Tag Archives: dinner

It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #15

Here’s an announcement to new readers!

It’s Another Novociane Saturday is a combination of two separate stories. One of them voted as the best series on Moskedapages by my fans. You would enjoy this sequel better if you start the stories from the beginning.

Catch up with It’s Another Saturday here 

&

Novocaine Knights here

God bless you!

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Honey’s call meets me in the middle of a birth. My colleague holds my phone to my ear while I’m severing an umbilical cord. Honey wants to know if I can do dinner at theirs. I reply that I’m up to it. She tells me to wear a nice dress. There would be guests. Okay, I reply, thinking about the little red dress I bought off a colleague last week just to butter up to her and her gang of bitchy nurses. They still hate me for being close to Jide.

Honey hangs up, I go back to my patient. Hours pass, darkness comes and I am still at work. I have totally forgotten that I have to do dinner at the Onuoras. Honey calls again. This time my hand holds the phone. The first thing I say to her is “shit!”

“You totally forgot.”

“I am so sorry.”

“Please hurry over. Our guests just arrived.”

After she’s off the line, I dash out of the hospital like the mad woman I am. I don’t even have time to change from my scrubs. Thank God it’s a Sunday or I would have encountered some bad traffic on the way.

I smell my armpits. Not so fresh. I have been at the hospital since last night and haven’t had time for a shower today. I wonder if I can dash home, do a quick one, change and meet up on time.

I hiss, suddenly annoyed for agreeing to the dinner. Knowing how tired I am, I should have declined Honey’s invitation. But you see the thing about Honey is that she is so sweet that you can’t say no to her. I can understand why Jide is constantly smitten. She has charm, even over the phone.

“Olodo!” My head is sticking out of a window to insult a keke driver who thinks this is a good time to try to scratch my car. “You wan die, abi?!”

The guy rains abuses on me in Yoruba as he squeezes between my car and a trailer, barely missing my side mirror. I shake my head and ask myself for the zillionth time why I made this bold move to relocate to Lagos.

I blame my mom.

“Go to Lagos,” she said. “Plenty of men there. You’ll find a husband.”

As if there is a large sea of husbands here just waiting to be fished out and married. To her – and everybody else in my family who is married, finding a life partner is as easy as breathing and yet when I ask them to give me a husband they keep bringing me trash.

My dad believes my standards are too high, and that one day I will come down to earth. But I am already at that point where I don’t need love again. Let me just marry and get everyone off my back. I know the danger in this. My friend did it and she is now stuck in an impossible situation in the name of marriage. But I know there are men out there who are mature enough to stay civil in a marriage that is not built on emotions and unnecessary romance. The problem is that such men are an endangered species. Everyone else is a dick these days.

I hiss again. To drown disturbing thoughts, I turn on the radio to Cool FM. I don’t know what is playing but it sounds nice and makes me start to bump my head. I love music. I can’t sing. I can’t dance. I don’t know who sings half of the songs on my playlist but I just love music. In fact, if I hear a song I like for the first time, I will sing along to it, chopping my mouth and shouting when I get the lyrics right – just like I’m doing right now and drawing the attention of people in a yellow, rickety bus.

Whatever. They can stare on. Who gives a rat’s ass? My house is just around the corner, anyways. I keep singing and thumping on my steering wheel until I make the turn to my street. I drive past the Onuoras’ residence on my way home. When I arrive at mine, I rush into the shower and step out five minutes later. And this is not because I am in a hurry. I have never understood why people spend forever in the bathroom. Once my body parts are thoroughly washed and rinsed, what else is there to do?

After drying my body, I slip into a thong. No time to rub any type of cream. I brush my hair up in a bun, put on minimal makeup, a pair of diamond studded earrings and matching necklace…and oh, before I forget, I douse my armpits with some deodorant.

I stare in the mirror. I look good to go. A pair of flats compliments the look and finally some spurts of my favorite Victoria’s Secret perfume.

By now Honey is calling. I choose to ignore the call. When I leave the house, I hop on a commercial bike that takes me to theirs. A feeling of relief washes over me the moment I knock on the front door. Honey is there in a flash. When she opens the door, her face lights up in an approving smile.

“Hauwa, you look dashing. Where on earth do you get your dresses from?”

We hug and I walk in.

“Well, I shop here and there,” I answer, my ears picking voices coming from the dining area. “How many people?” I whisper in her ear.

“Just three,” she answers. “Come.”

As I follow her, it occurs to me that I have no idea what this dinner is about. I shrug. I’m hungry, so whatever.

“Look who the cat dragged in,” Honey announces the moment we get to the dining area. I quickly pick out the faces of Jide, Genesis and her husband. There’s a third guy there and I have no idea who he is, although I think I recall seeing him at the appreciation party Honey dragged me to on Friday.

“Huawei,” Jide greets, calling me a name that sounds nothing like mine. I forgive him for it like the million other times I forgave him.

“Good evening,” I greet. Genesis and her husband respond but the guy doesn’t. He simply keeps his stare on me and it is rather uncomfortable. Honey makes things bumpier by placing me directly opposite him.

“Everyone, I want to introduce you to one of my closest friends,” Jide says. “She took care of me like a sister would her brother at a point in my life when I was kind of discovering myself.”

I snort. I don’t mean to but Jide is quite an idiot. Discovering himself? Who is he kidding? He was a dog on heat, and he could have easily smashed me if I gave him as much as a wayward wink. Discovering himself, my ass.

I notice everyone is watching me. Am I supposed to be saying something?

“Nice to meet you all,” I mutter.

Genesis smiles and that beautiful dimple of hers gets my eye. A fancy plate is put before me flanked by impressive stainless steel cutlery and I am asked to feel free to serve myself. There are three dishes and all of them look mouthwatering. I am at a loss on what to choose.

“Try the pasta,” the strange man facing me says. Jide had mentioned his name but I hadn’t caught it. “Everything is awesome but the pasta is a hit.”

Only I hear him speak. Jide is saying something which they are all laughing to.

“Or you could do a buffet of everything,” the guy goes on. I am forced to look at him now. On his face I find a thin, pointed nose that is just like his thin frame. His eyes are like black seeds – dark and cryptic, like the well-groomed beard that stands out from the beards of the other men at the table. These days, men are going full on their stubbles but this particular man keeps it simple, giving him a much younger look. I easily conclude that he is in his forties. There’s a certain poise and calm that come with men his age, just like Genesis’ husband who is seated beside me.

“You want me to help?” he asks.

“Sure.” I smile and watch him begin to bless my plate with pasta, a potato meal that is unfamiliar to me and some rice that is rich with vegetables and bits of beef.

“Thank you,” I smile at him.

He smiles back. My eyes settle on his lips. They seem to belong to someone else and not him. Someone more rascally.

“So Hauwa, Jide tells us you’re a midwife as well,” Genesis’ husband, whose name I just remember as Dominic, speaks. His voice is raspy.

“Yeah, we work in the same hospital,” I reply.

“So where are you from?” Genesis asks as she rests her hand on her chin.

“I’m from Gombe state.”

“You’re a Muslim?”

“No.”

“Forgive my ignorance but I just automatically assumed you were a Muslim because of the name.”

I tell her that I understand. People from the south naturally conclude that everyone who comes from the north is a Muslim especially when they bear the same type of names the Muslims bear.

“So you’re Hausa?”

I excuse her ignorance again with a patient smile. “No, I’m not.”

“Fulani?”

“No.”

“Oh. Seyi’s half-Fulani, half- Yoruba,” she informs me. I store the name in my head. Seyi. He doesn’t look like a Seyi to me. He looks more like someone who would fit in nicely at my hometown.

“You’re from Kwara state?” I ask him.

“Yeah.” I see a little surprise on his face. “How did you guess?”

“It’s obvious.”

“I think you should eat. You haven’t touched your food.”

I lower my eyes to my meal and begin eating. Everything is delicious, I say to Honey. She grins in appreciation.

“I can’t believe you only started cooking recently,” Genesis comments. “I might soon come to you for lessons.”

“Me too,” I add.

Honey is blushing. Jide is proud. Dinner goes on. There’s small talk and big talk and small talk again as we move on to dessert. Honey doesn’t let me leave the table to clear the dishes. She and Jide gladly do the job and return with chocolate cake and ice-cream.

dessert2

By its name and appearance, the taste is orgasmic. When it comes to food, especially sweet things, I am quite expressive. And it is no wonder I let out a moan at the first taste of the ice-cream. There is silence and then laughter follows. I open my eyes which have been shut and stare at everyone shyly.

“I’m so sorry but I can’t help it. This is good,” I compliment.

“Thank you,” Honey responds. Dominic mentions something about ice-creams and they fall back into conversation once more. Seyi joins them this time. For the rest of the dinner, I am ignored by him. Maybe the way I moaned over that ice-cream turned him off. I know his type – the proper gentleman who likes well-behaved women that are about decorum and comportment and all those dainty things stuck-up rich people do.

But why should I even care what he thinks about me? I don’t know anything about him, not even his surname. So, I pretend he is not there as I direct remarks to everyone else but him. Anytime Honey tries to lump us together in a comment or question, I subtly remove him from it. And in that manner the night wears on until they announce that they are ready to leave. I also make known that it’s way past my bedtime.

“You’re leaving too?” Honey links her arm in mine. I am seated in-between her and Jide.

“It’s past ten, Honey.”

“It is, isn’t it? Well, you guys, thank you for coming over,” she says, rising up, after her guests stand to their feet. Hugs and handshakes are shared. I insist that I have to leave as we all walk outside.

“Genesis, do me a favor and take Hauwa home,” Honey requests. “You do remember her house, don’t you?”

“I do. But Seyi came with his car. Maybe she can join him and she’ll give him directions?”

My stare passes from Honey to Genesis and my dumb brain finally registers that the whole dinner has been about getting Seyi and I together. Why didn’t anyone pre-inform me?

“It’ll be my pleasure to take you home, Hauwa,” Seyi states. “If it’s okay with you?”

“It’s fine.” I smile.

He leads the way to his car, and as I predict, it’s a luxurious beast of metal, manly and fitting for his person. His perfume is stimulating but not in an intrusive manner. The way it blends with the leather smell of the car’s interior reminds me of a warm night in a deluxe hotel suite in some European country during winter, where one is lost in the arms of a lover, binging on kisses and sparkling red wine.

“So, which way?”

He has just driven out of the Onuora compound. The direction to my house is on our right but I have every intention of derailing him just to soak up the posh scent of him. The man already has my weakness.

“Turn left,” I direct. The car swerves to the left and goes on a slow cruise. No intruding vehicles or unnecessary pedestrians in our way. I breathe in and get in more of Seyi who remains quiet all through the ride. This time, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. In fact, if he speaks, it will ruin the perfectness of the moment. And it’s as if he knows this. He turns on some music that sounds like a mix of soul and jazz. I don’t ask him who is singing; I just let the moment take me.

“Which way?” he asks again. We are at a junction. To connect back to my house, we can either take left or right but neither of them seem like an option I want to consider.

Just take me away already, Seyi.

“Keep driving.”

He doesn’t say a word. The only time he speaks is when a call comes in and he has to respond to it. After that, he continues on until we get to yet another junction.

“Are you sure we’re not going off your route? I thought you lived near Honey.”

“Um…you can make a U-turn now.”

He gives me a questioning frown that doesn’t last on his face. But again, he is silent. On, we drive, all the way back to my street. We finally come to my house and I ask him to stop.

“You live here?” His head is angled to have a good look at my house which bears a large, black gate and high fence. I live with just one other tenant, who is residing in the apartment upstairs.

“Yes. This is where I live.”

“Cool. So, can I walk you in, just to be sure you get in safely?”

I think of the mess that is my living room and the junk I have in my verandah which I haven’t had time to stash away in its proper place. I will not disgrace my ancestors this night.

“No, it’s fine. Thank you for the ride.”

“Do you mind if I get your number, call you tomorrow or next or maybe when I get home?”

Oh, wow. Call me tonight? Dude wants to get laid badly.

“Well…”

“If you wouldn’t mind, of course.”

I mind. I actually do. In fact, when a guy I meet for the first time asks for my number on that same day, I never pick his calls. They only want one thing from me and I stopped giving it a long time ago, hoping to find the one right man that truly deserves it. So far, no man has been worthy. I am not surprised that Seyi is no different. But curiously, I give him every single digit of my cell phone number. I get a call from him immediately while we both sit there, listening to who I don’t know is singing.

“Goodnight, Seyi.”

“Have a lovely night, Hauwa.”

The way he pronounces my name is beautiful. Not the way they all do it here, ignoring that it has a ‘U’.

I step down from the car and walk home, forcing myself not to look back. But when I make it through the gate, I find a crack between the wall and peep out to see him driving away. I continue to my front door, insert my key in and only then do I realize that I had actually forgotten to wear a bra.

Crap!

Who the hell forgets to wear a bra?!

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

“I can’t believe she left her house without a bra.”

My laughter is loud at Jide’s statement. I have seen all sorts of crazy but Hauwa tonight, with her affronting nipples, takes the cake.

“Is she always that crazy?” I ask him as I walk around our bedroom with Jiney resting on my shoulder. She is having a restless night.

“Huawa has always been like that. She’s stylish and gorgeous from afar but when you get to know her, she’s a walking disaster. She sometimes reminds me of that Susan character in Desperate Housewives.”

“You used to watch Desperate Housewives?”

“And Telemundo. When you’re with a woman for hours who is in labor, you have to do everything to entertain her.”

“And Zee World?”

“Nah! I drew the line there.”

I laugh again. Marriage is sometimes beautiful. You discover new things about your partner every day. Last week I found out that Jide eats only the hard core of pineapples and never the juicier parts. Before then, I had never noticed it. Two days ago, he discovered that I have a birthmark behind my right ear.

“So about Didi…” he says, walking towards me. My light mood dies and I exhale heavily. A short while ago, after our guests left, Jide shared with me details of the conversation he had with Oba about Didi and the auctioning of her virginity.

Weird.

And disheartening. I had high hopes for her. And I still do. I don’t intend to leave this matter as is.

“Let’s talk to her,” I suggest.

“Same thought here.”

We put Jiney to sleep.

Didi is in the living room, watching E! and having a bowl of my chocolate ice-cream.

“I took what’s left. It was little,” she tells me.

“It’s fine. I’ve had too much. My boobs will leak if I take more. Enjoy.”

“Thank you.”

We watch TV with her for a while and then I tell her we want to have a talk. She doesn’t object. Jide speaks, asking her is she registered online to have her virginity auctioned. She darts her eyes around before admitting that she had plans to give herself to the highest bidder. But only for fun.

“I was curious. I just wanted to know if it was for real. I promise you, nothing to it.” She says this, giggling and bouncing her chubby body on the sofa.

“You’re sure it was just for the kicks?” Jide probes.

“Ha-ahn, Uncle Jide, I’m not that stupid.”

“But what if one day, this gets exposed online?” I ask. “What will you do? It’s the same thing as prostitution. You are selling your body.”

“I was only kidding, Aunty Honey. I didn’t mean anything by it. If I did, I wouldn’t have done it with Oba’s knowledge. Think about it.”

I do. I think about it and maybe, she is telling the truth. The set jawline of my husband’s face, however, believes differently.

“Well, it’s a good thing you were just goofing around,” he states. “We can’t imagine you doing something so utterly stupid. Popsi would be highly disappointed if he hears about this.”

“I know, and I’m sorry. I didn’t think it through.”

“Please ask them to delete your account from their database.”

“I will. Thank you.”

“Goodnight.”

Jide walks back to our bedroom while I decide to stop at Yazmin’s. But when I get to her door, I change my mind. I should let her sleep. It’s late, anyway. I join Jide in bed, ready to make love, but he is as tired as I am. We spoon, say a prayer and fall asleep.

When morning comes, I am awoken by the sensation of being filled. I open my eyes and see him on top of me. I respond with an agreeable sigh as my walls slowly stretch to accommodate him. He goes in hard and deep. My body quivers as he begins to grind his body into mine. His movements are fluid and measured, and it’s sweetly torturous. But it’s the sweetest things that don’t last long. Jide soon lets go, just at the moment when I feel like I’m about to have an orgasm.

“Noooo!” I cry, slapping his arms for being a sloppy one-minute man this morning.

“I’m sorry,” he splutters in laughter.

“So not fair.”

He lowers and gives me kisses all over my face until I forgive him. He then tells me the sweetest things every wife should hear each morning.

“I’ll make it up to you, sugams. I promise. Right now, I have to rush to work.”

“Me too. But just one more…” I beg. I can feel him already growing hard again.

He shakes his head. “Not now.”

Wicked man. I push him away. When he leaves to the bathroom, I throw a bathrobe on and go to Yazmin’s bedroom. I knock on the door. She doesn’t respond. I knock again and wait. Still no response. I turn the key and walk in.

The room is empty. The bed is made, blanket folded, floor spotless. But Yazmin is gone.

“Yaz?” I push the bathroom door in. She is not there. I leave the room back to mine and pick up my phone to call her. The line rings on the other end. She answers.

“Yaz, where are you?” I ask like a worried mother.

“Honey…” She sighs. “I’m on my way to Abuja.”

“Abuja? To do what there?”

“I have a plane to catch to Texas. I’m going home, Honey.”

My eyes fill with tears. I slowly sit on the bed and listen to her cry on the phone. It’s depressing.

“Are you coming back?”

“I don’t know. He doesn’t love me, Hon. He never did.”

My face is soaking wet now. “And the baby? What will you do?”

“I’m keeping it.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Honey, I gotta go. I have to check in.”

“Okay. Will you call me when you get to Abuja?”

“Yes.”

“I love you, Yaz.”

She is mute. I know she’s still crying.

“Give a big kiss to Tobe for me.”

“I will.”

She hangs up. I rub my palms over my cheeks to dry my tears. What a sad way to start the day. I so hate Emeka right now and I have to let him know how much. I scroll through my contact list and tap on his name. The line begins to ring.

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

I am happy today. After one week of being miserable and talking to a therapist, I wake up on the sunny side this morning. Maybe it’s because my husband is lying beside me and we’re back to our old selves, all fight gone, and a resolution reached on how to handle our marital situation with Yazmin.

Last night, Emeka and I had a talk we had both been avoiding for over a year. After he showed up at Mary’s place drunk and calling me Nicole, I gave him a nasty slap, a cold shower and some time to cool off. Afterwards, we spoke and he was open about his feelings for Yazmin.

“I love her, Tola. Maybe not the same way I love you. You’re my best friend but I have deep feelings for Yaz.”

“How deep?”

“I’m finding it hard to let her go. She means that much to me.”

My heart broke a million times hearing him say that but since he was only being honest, I took the revelation in bravely.

“But I will let her go if you just say the word, Tols. I can’t lose you for anything.”

“I don’t want you to let her go. Yazmin loves you, Mex, and she’s human and has a heart that you keep on breaking. Asides that, what will you do with Tobe if you ask her to leave?”

He was quiet. We were sitting out in the dark, just outside Mary’s kitchen. There was a table before us with dinner we both hadn’t touched.

“But this triangle isn’t working, Omotola.”

“It isn’t working because you keep treating Yazmin less than she deserves. Mex, I’m not in competition with her. I’m holding my place in your life. She should feel secure in hers. If she doesn’t, it’s your fault.”

“Can I love you both equally?”

“No one is asking you to. But neither of us should know how you feel about the other. Just make her happy. Is it that hard?”

“No. I’ve just been intentionally indifferent.”

“Please, go and make up with her because we’re all in this together. If one side hurts, the whole body hurts.”

“You’re okay with me spending quality time with her?”

“Haven’t we been doing this already, Mex? And it was going smoothly until you screwed it up. Me, I have a hospital to run and very little time to perform any wifely duties. You and Yaz have all the time in the world. Just make sure you’re not exhausted when I want you.”

I could see relief on his face. Dude was actually scared to have this talk. I had avoided it too but my therapist suggested it and I’m glad I listened to her.

He left his chair and came over to mine. Leaning over from behind, he rubbed my belly and was lucky enough to feel the baby kick.

“Please, eat. I made the food just for you,” I told him. He kissed me. It was a beautiful night that stretched into this beautiful morning.

tols2

And now, while he still sleeps, I leave the bed for my daily exercise. I’m a fit mama. I work out every dawn and dusk. Add that to eating the right meals and staying off anything fatty. I intend to have a healthy baby so that the pain of losing Majekodunmi is totally forgotten. Sometimes I remember him and cry. I wish I hadn’t held his underdeveloped body after I birthed him. The image still haunts me. To know that he was part of me and lived in me and yet died in me is not something I can put in words. I used to be an advocate for abortion until Jide handed me his lifeless, little form, wrapped in a blanket on which friends and family wrote out heartfelt messages. It had been hard for me to lay him to rest. I mourned him for a long time without anyone knowing. It was at that time I sought God and begged him to bring him back to me if he still loved me despite all my sins. God answered my prayers, and today I’m carrying another boy. His name is Akintunde, meaning the warrior has come again. It’s also my late father’s name who was born under similar circumstances.

Nobody knows how much this baby means to me and that is why I won’t let anyone, not even Emeka, give me negative aura during this pregnancy.

I pick out the sound of Emeka’s phone ringing. He is still asleep and doesn’t hear it. I go for it and see that it’s Honey calling. I pick the call; before I can say a word, she goes into a tirade, calling Emeka out for being unfeeling towards Yazmin. I tap Emeka awake. He opens an eye and I put Honey on speakerphone.

“You better not let her leave the shores of Nigeria or you’ll lose her!” Honey warns. “Just go and bring her back, abeg!”

“Honey?” Emeka is confused. Still sleepy. “What’s going on?”

“Yazmin is on her way to Abuja. She’s leaving you. Go and bring her back. She’s at the airport. She’s hurting deeply, Mex. Please, go and bring her.”

“Shit.” Emeka springs up. “Honey, let me call you back.”

He ends the call and immediately dials Yazmin’s number. It rings and stops without her answering. Emeka doesn’t wait. He picks his t-shirt, my car key and his phone. I get a kiss before he leaves. I go back to my exercise, mulling over the whole thing. My youngest sister who is in the States is a hardcore feminist and is not talking to me right now because she feels I am being oppressed over my decision to stay married to a man who has another wife. I told her, during our last conversation, that I was okay with the status quo.

“Polygamy is patriarchal and it is all about oppressing women!” she had shouted. “Will your husband allow you have another husband if the tables were turned?!”

“I have no intention of having another husband.”

“What if you fall in love with another man? Will Emeka let you marry him or have sex with him?”

Her question hit me hard. But the truth was that I was capable of being physical without putting my emotions to it. That was why it was easy to sleep with Jide. Emeka, however, is not that type of person. That is how I know that he loves Yazmin. And it is something I have come to accept. As for how he is able to love two people at the same time, I discovered human beings are capable of doing so, when as a teenager, I found out that my mom was having an emotional affair with our pastor.

My parting word to my sister was that human relationships were complex and Emeka and I were doing fine with our arrangement. Her response to me was, “You’re oppressed, and I am ashamed that you’re my elder sister. Don’t ever call me unless you divorce his ass!”

We haven’t spoken to each other since. I don’t care.

I leave the room to the kitchen for breakfast and to also tell Mary that I have long overstayed my welcome and I’m ready to leave.

I find her and Ekene in the kitchen. They are having a huge fight. I give them some privacy but stay within eye and earshot. Their fight has to do with Ekene’s insistence on not wanting to have a child at this time and Mary doing everything to get pregnant. Unkind words are thrown from both sides. Mary can’t stand the heat and so she leaves the kitchen. Ekene takes a chair. He fiddles with his phone for a while, thumbing over the screen, putting it down, lifting it up and repeating the process a few times. When he stops, he slants his head in my direction.

“Mrs. Onuora, you can come out now.”

Embarrassed, I step away from the darkness and stroll towards him.

“Guess you heard everything.”

“Just a little.”

He stands up. He is all dressed to leave the house. His light blue on dark blue attire, complemented by a dark brown tie and matching shoes remind me of how much of the outside world I have missed. I can’t wait to go back to work.

“Breakfast?” he offers.

“No, I’m good. I’ll do it myself.”

“You’re my guest. Please, sit.” He rolls up his sleeves. “Oats? Pap? Rice pudding? Madam made moi-moi.”

“Oats, please.”

Ekene puts a pot on fire and pours some oat into it, according to my specifications. He adds water and returns to me.

“Can you help me talk to your friend?”

“What’s going on?”

He takes his seat. “Before we got married, I had badly wanted a baby, just to make my mom happy. But she died and Tomiwa and I sat down and decided we would wait two years before we start planning for one. However, three months in, she begins to tell me that she wants to take out her IUD. She wants a baby. I get angry because this is not what we agreed. I scold her, she apologizes and doesn’t bring up the topic for a while but just last month, I stumble across a pregnancy kit she had discarded outside. I ask her about it and she confesses that she had the IUD taken out. I am mad at her. We have a fight and don’t talk to each other for days. Later on, she comes to me and apologizes and tells me how badly she wants a child. But I still don’t want one. Tola, a child changes everything. It changes us, and I’m in this amazing stage with her right now where I’m deeply falling for her.

“You know how our marriage went. It wasn’t really about love. We were both ready and desperate to be married and we did it. Soon after, I really started to fall in love. But all Tomiwa wants from me is a baby. Do you know how that hurts, Tola?”

I nod.

“I feel like your friend may never really fall for me.”

“Don’t say that. These things take time for some people.”

“I’m crazy about Mary. You guys have no idea.”

“So if you love her that much, give her what she wants.”

“So that she’ll push me away? No, thanks. I know how fathers are quickly replaced by their babies. Especially with first time moms. But that’s not what bothers me. I’m afraid that Tomiwa is simply living out a blueprint of how she feels her life ought to go. Find a man, get married and have kids. I don’t think I fit into her grand plan.”

I tell him I think otherwise. Mary doesn’t always talk about him but her feelings are strong. She doesn’t seem like the expressive type.

“She needs time, Kene. And maybe…just maybe a baby will bring you guys together.”

“I doubt that it would.”

He stands up to check my oatmeal. Like Tomiwa, Ekene is stubborn.

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

My activities for the day:

>Fight with a bus conductor over fifty naira.

>Insult a man’s entire generation on an ATM line when he tries to jump in front of me from nowhere.

>Get to work and generally ignore everybody. When they try to talk to me, snap at them.

>Get scolded by Wura for my nastiness.

>Enter the bathroom to have a good cry.

>Come back to the office go on Facebook to troll and give all my haters a piece of my mind.

>Return to the bathroom to have another weepy moment when one of them calls me a fat pig and adds a meme to it.

>Sit outside the office in rebellion and decide to do nothing until closing hours.

>Pick up my phone and finally dial the person who is responsible for my anger.

“Can you come over to see me at home?”

“Jide’s place or…?”

“No, the Ditorusin mansion.”

“Okay. I’ll be there in a bit.”

I hear him saying something else but I cut the line. I walk back into the office, pick my handbag and close for the day. I avoid the irritating buses I find outside the building for the sake of world peace. I have decided to use an Uber instead. As I wait for one, I rehearse the words I would tell my dumbass younger brother who feels like he has a say in my life and what happens to my vagina. He is so dead today.

My phone rings. I look up and see my Uber waiting. I hurry towards it. When I get in, I go back on Facebook to finish what I started. I can’t overemphasize how angry I am.

I cuss.

The Uber driver, like the million others out there, doesn’t even as much as blink an eye. I keep cussing and hissing until I arrive home. I enter my room and find stupid Oba waiting.

oba

I’ve always considered him the cutest amongst my brothers. It’s about the swag. He reminds me of DJ Kasbi who for reasons known to him abandoned me when the chemistry between us was peaking. I’ll still take him with open arms if he finds his way back to me. He can gladly pop my cherry for no fee at all.

And why on earth do my moralistic brothers find the idea of me auctioning my virginity such a disgusting thing? The average dumb girl will give it freely to a lost soul who would break her heart. If she can make a lot of cash from it, why not?

“Hey, Di,” Oba greets. I ignore him as I loosen the knot that holds my hair and take off my jacket.

“You won’t talk to me?”

I flash angry eyes at him. He stares back like an innocent child.

“Get off my bed!” I hit him with my jacket.

He stands. My hand knocks off his cap.

“I told you something in confidence, Obasi. Only you! I even remember telling you not to tell anybody! But you go and run your mouth to Jide and his wife because you feel you have a say over my sex life!”

“No, Di…”

“I have not finished talking! Shut up!”

“Please, don’t shout.”

“I can shout as much as I want, Obasi because you’re a Judas! I trusted you with my secret but you betrayed me!”

“Didi, calm down.” He comes towards me. I move back, repulsed by him. “Please, listen to me…”

I don’t know how it happens but I respond to an instant, thoughtless urge to slap him. My palm meets his face and I feel the sting, even more than he does. There is a fleeting moment of silence between us and then he charges at me, grabs the hand that has hit him, swivel me around like I’m some doll and slams me to the wall.

“If you ever try the nonsense you just did, Ndidi, I will beat you without giving a fuck that you’re a girl.”

“Obasi! Have you gone mad?! Let me go!”

“I’ve endured enough of your nonsense – you ordering me around, using me as a driver, spending my money anyhow and on top of that, having the guts to slap me. If you try it again, you’ll regret what I’ll do to you.”

I am shocked. Oba again? My own baby brother manhandling me? Is this spoilt brat out of his mind or what?

I push back. “Leave me alone, Obasi!”

“Apologize.”

“Apologize? Oba, what has gotten into you?”

“Apologize or I’ll not let you go.”

“Hian!”

I can’t believe this. Somebody tell me this boy is joking.

“Oba, let me go!”

“Apologize. It’s simple,” he says into my ear. “Say, ‘I am sorry for how I’ve been treating you.”

I feel hot, painful tears baking my eyes. This boy has gone loco.

“I’m waiting.”

I hesitate for a long time but when I see that he is not budging, I give in.

“I’m sorry,” I murmur, just to get him off my back – literally.

He releases me. I turn around and slap him again. This assault packs more punch than the first. Oba takes the same hand, pins it above my head on the wall and pushes my back to it. I open my mouth to speak and he covers it with his.

Revulsion hits me as I use all my strength to push him away.

“You did not just kiss me, Oba!” I scream. “What is wrong with you?!”

We are both heaving as we glare at each other. I’m reeling over what just happened.

“I am your sister, Obasi!”

“You’re not my sister,” he replies before I can finish speaking.

“What is wrong with you?!”

“You are not my sister, Didi! Your mother is not my mother! Your father is not my father! They both lied to you! We, all of us, lied to you!”

I keep breathing like an ox that has just been chased around by a pride of lion. I refuse to believe what I just heard.

“My dad had an affair with your mom in 1995. You were already born then. There was no way he could have been your father.”

“But…”

“They lied to you, Didi. Your real father is probably alive somewhere.”

“No,” I croak.

“Yes, Didi.”

“No. I’m going to call Jide and ask.”

Oba doesn’t stop me, and the fact that he doesn’t, scares me. I reach for my phone and call Jide. He answers immediately.

“Hi, Ndidi.”

I bite my lips before I speak. A sniffle escapes.

“Uncle Jide?”

“Didi, are you okay?”

“No, Uncle Jide.”

“What’s going on? Talk to me.”

I pause. Jide is the sweetest brother on earth. How can he not be related to me?

“Oba… Oba just told me that daddy is not my biological father. Is it true?”

Jide is silent.

“Uncle Jide?” my voice breaks.

“Where is that Oba that told you that nonsense?”

“Is it true, Uncle Jide? Please, tell me.”

“Didi, when you come home, we’ll talk about it. Please, pass the phone to Oba if he’s there.”

I give Oba my phone. He taps the speaker button.

“Obasi,” Jide calls. “Leave where you are to a quiet place so I can insult you right now.”

Oba doesn’t leave. Jide goes ahead with the promised insult but he serves it in Yoruba. I don’t catch a thing he says; however, his reaction to what I told him only confirms what Oba revealed to me. I fall on my bed, my back hitting it hard. As I look up at the ceiling, I begin to cry. My mom, the only person I loved and trusted, lied to me. The man whom I thought was my dad lied to me. My real father must be some scum of the earth, living a terrible life somewhere. What did I do to deserve this, Lord Jesus?

I cover my face with a pillow, praying it chokes me to death. Oba lets me cry for some time but soon I feel him climbing the bed. He kneels astride me and forces the pillow off my face.

“Please, stop crying, Di.”

His voice is gentle, nothing like the Oba who was just rough with me. But his gentleness can’t take away my pain. When his palm tenderly wipes my tears, he finds it a waste of time as his efforts only make me cry more. He keeps begging me to stop but I can’t. The pain is overwhelming. He gives up and lies beside me.

“There’s a silver lining in all of this, though,” he says.

“What silver lining?” I snivel.

“I can make moves on you now that you know we’re not related. We can actually have a thing.”

I lose what little sanity I have left as I let out a miserable wail. This is so not happening to me.

“I hate you, Oba!”

He cackles.

©Sally@moskedapages

Images: FoodbeastWe Heart It, Angela Simmons

It’s Another Saturday…#6

Hi guys,

If you missed episode #5, read it HERE

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

“Honey!”

My mom flashes a loving smile when Honey and I walk into the kitchen. Under bright, white lights, Honey’s skin glows. I look for flaws on her face and find black dots like minuscule moles beneath her eyes and a scar on her lower lip. Weirdly, they add to her beauty.

“How are you, darling?”

“I’m good, mommy. How are you?”

“Good. Thank God.” The old woman pulls back a bit when she sees the flowers in Honey’s hands.

“She wanted them,” I explain. “So I let her have some.”

My mom approves. “Daffodils. They have meaning, you know.”

Here we go with the creepy part.

“They symbolize chivalry.” She looks at me. “And also rebirth and new beginnings. Some say they also symbolize unreciprocated love.” Her face changes but brightens again as she continues. “Honey, I’d have been worried if Jide gave you just a flower. That would have meant misfortune was coming your way. But a bunch represents happiness. And I pray you find it.”

“Thank you, mommy,” Honey says.

“Let me have the flowers. I’ll put them in one of my miniature vases, so you can take them with you.”

Honey thanks her again and she shoos us out of her kitchen. I take Honey to the sitting room. My father is just coming down the stairs with Kalu. Both men look Honey’s way and I see they want some form of introduction. She greets them. My father is standoffish in his usual manner; Kalu is more welcoming.

“Honey, meet my dad and my elder brother, Kalu.”

“Honey kwa,” the old man murmurs and adds in Igbo, “why don’t you just caress her in front of me so that I’ll know you have a woman now. My friend, will you introduce her properly?”

“Her name is Honey,” I reply in English.

“Hian,” he mumbles and walks away.

“You’re welcome, my dear.” Kalu smiles to make her feel at ease.

“Thank you.”

He also walks away.

She turns to me. “Did I do or say something wrong?”

“No. Ignore the old man. He means well.”

I offer her a seat. I want to disappear to my room until dinner is served but I don’t want any more harassment from the old man, so I sit with her and entertain her with old family photo albums. She’s wowed by my mom’s unfading beauty through the years and laughs at my afro and Michael Jackson obsession as a kid.

Against my wish, I find I’m charmed by her lighthearted way of laughing. But only slightly. I count the minutes to dinner time, not because I’m hungry but because I’m yet to feel comfortable with her. I don’t know why.

“So your elder brother lives here in Nigeria and his family stays in the UK?” she asks.

“He shuffles between here and there. His wife was raised there; he’s trying to convince her to move to Nigeria.”

We switch to silence until the maid comes to announce that dinner is served. We move to the dining area. Tola is there with Emeka; we act like total strangers. Following my mom’s sitting arrangement, Honey is put between Kalu and I, Tola between Emeka and Oba and my parents at both ends of the table.

“Jide, you’re the only one who hasn’t met Omotola,”my mom mentions. “I already told you about her. Say hi.”

“Nice to meet you, Omotola.”

“Pleasure’s all mine, Jideofor.” Her reply is cold as her eyes. My radar points to something being amiss. I also notice how she shifts her chair closer to Oba’s, leaving a noticeable gap in-between Emeka and herself.

My father says the grace and we begin our meal. There’s carefree banter, a little laughter and some stories from the past shared by the old folks. I catch myself stealing glances at Honey just out of curiosity. I notice she has a healthy appetite, kudos to Nne’s good cooking. I particularly observe the way she licks her fingers after each swallow. She’s being intentionally sensual and I can’t see why nobody notices it except me. After the third ogle, I turn away and catch Nne staring at me. She smiles. I look elsewhere.

Soup dishes are beginning to empty, dinner is drawing to an end and I’m about to silently whisper some thanks to God for a hitch-free ride when the old man commands everyone’s attention.

We all face him.

“I am happy to have all of my sons under the same roof with me,” he begins in his Igbo accent which he is so proud of. “We thank God for bringing Jideofor home after five years of prodigalization with prostitutes and lost souls.”

My brothers laugh; my mom frowns. The man doesn’t care. He continues. “I want to believe that it is his Honey that has brought him home.”

I make no move to correct his assumptions.

“God bless you, my daughter.”

Honey simply smiles.

“And then we have Chukwuemeka,” he continues, “who is also here with his own honey. She is carrying his child. Of course, without our permission. Children of these days, una no dey fear God again?” He concentrates on Tola. “Omotola?”

“Yes, daddy.”

“You should have closed your legs.”

“Lawrence,” my mom cautions in a low tone.

“No, let me talk to them and tell them the truth. I don’t know where they are heading these days. Let me tell you children about your mother and I.”

“Here we go,” Oba murmurs.

“We had no physical contact before we married. We didn’t even hold hands, not to talk of kissing sef. Before I saw her brassiere, it was on our wedding day, and I didn’t even know how to remove the thing. Na so I dey there dey fumble and the woman no wan even help me.”

“Dad,” I mumble.

“All I’m saying is that you boys should practice some decency. Respect your women, for Christ’s sakes. If it’s sex, you’ll get tired of it.”

“Speak for yourself,” Oba murmurs again.

“But let’s not dwell on what has already gotten k-leg. Chukwuemeka and Omotola, wedding arrangements have to commence immediately. It will be a shame to this family if Omotola carries a bulging belly to church on her wedding day.”

Mother nods in agreement.

“That is the decision from your mother and I. Kalu, what do you have to say?”

“Erm…does it matter what say I have in this? Emeka committed the deed, not me. I think you should ask him what he wants.”

“What he wants ?” My father frowns. “He wants a child and that is why he put a bun in the oven.”

“Gbam!” Oba contributes. Emeka glares at him.

“Emeka, what do you want?” Kalu asks.

Emeka draws in a quiet breath and lets it out the same way.

“Talk nau,” Tola urges him. “Tell them what you told me. Ashiere.”

“What did you tell her?” I glower at him and he gives me an apologetic look. I shake my head in disappointment.

“We are waiting, son,” my mom implores gently.

“Tell them,” Tola stresses. I feel some pity for her. I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy but she has lost her oomph. Dark rings around her eyes covered by makeup reveal she is either losing sleep or is crying a lot.

“Talk!”

Emeka sits up. “I…don’t want to get married – yet.”

Tola’s eyes fill with tears. “No, what he said was that he wants me to have an abortion.”

“Chukwuemeka!” my mom gasps.

“You did not tell her that,” Kalu points a finger at him.

“He did,” Tola maintains.

“Emmy, why?” My mom goes weak.

“I…I was just joking.”

“You were not!” Tola cries, a little too dramatically.

I reach over the table and snatch Oba’s phone off his hand when I realize he has been recording the scene.

“If I break that your phone ehn!” Kalu threatens. Everyone at the table is irate; well, except for Honey who has extracted herself from the drama and has her head bent over her pepper soup bowl, sipping the soup with so much concentration. Under different circumstances, I would have cracked up in laughter.

“Okay, I’m sorry, Tola.” Emeka takes Tola’s hand but she slaps it away. “I wasn’t thinking when I said those words.”

“You were! Mex, you were!” She faces my dad. “Daddy, that’s not all!”

“Oh good. There’s more.” My father pours himself some wine.

“He thinks I don’t know why he won’t marry me but I know.”

“You know what?” Emeka asks, fear in his eyes.

“I found out, Mex.”

“You found out what?”

“I found out about Yazmin.”

Emeka buries his head. So do I.

“Daddy, mommy, there’s a girl back in the States. Her name is Yazmin. She’s Mexican. Emeka got her pregnant too.”

“Oh God,” Nne pants, her hand to her chest.

“She’s lying,” Emeka puts out. I shake my head at him. I can’t believe he’s thirty-one years old and yet acts like he’s twenty.

“I’m lying?”

“Shamelessly.”

“Oh, I’m lying?” Tola gets out her phone and flashes it in his face. “Yazmin texted me. The bitch got my number from my cousin, whom you also slept with!”

“Wait, what?” Kalu cuts in. “What did you just say?”

“Emeka also slept with her cousin,” my dad repeats.

“I did not,” Emeka states.

“Why are you still lying?!” Tola screams, slapping him everywhere her hand can reach. “You slept with my cousin! You slept with our neighbor! You slept with that girl that works at the phone shop! You even slept with your boss!”

A silent chill settles over all of us. Loud thunder blasts from the skies, adding effect to the dark atmosphere. My dad has a familiar look in his eyes that usually comes before he does something crazy. In his hand is his glass of wine which makes a non-stop journey to his lips.

“Chukwuemeka,” my mom calls. Her voice is weak. Emeka looks in her direction but not in her face. “Tell me all I just heard is not true. Tell me Tola is lying.”

Emeka, for the first time, has no words.

“Chukwuemeka.” Nne’s voice now shakes.

“She’s not lying. It’s all true.”

I look at my dear, old mother. She is on the edge of heartbreak. I want to strangle both Emeka and Tola for spoiling a beautiful dinner. The least they can do is wait until they are alone to hash out their issues.

“If you’ll all excuse me, I need to recover from this rude shock,” Nne says as she stands.

Emeka also gets on his feet. “Mom, I’m sorry…”

She raises her hand, stopping him from walking towards her. “Just stay there. I don’t want to see your face right now. Stay there.” She looks at Honey. “My dear, I am so sorry for what you just witnessed. It usually isn’t like this. Please, forgive us.”

“It’s okay, ma.”

My mom leaves the room and we fall back to silence.

“If anything happens to your mother, Chukwuemeka,” my dad says in Igbo, “I will kill you. I brought you into this world and I will gladly take you out if what you want to become is the son of the devil.” He picks his glass of wine and makes his exit as well.

“Give me a minute,” I tell Honey and hurry upstairs to my parents’ bedroom. My dad has just walked in. I breeze past him to my mom who is sitting in one corner of the bed, dazed. She looks at me as I sit beside her.

“It’s just a phase, mom. You know Emeka is not this person. Maybe he has some issues he’s dealing with. Just don’t let it stress you.”

“Just a phase, Jideofor?  He has two girls pregnant for him and you say it’s just a phase?”

“Something is wrong and I’ll have a talk with him.”

“Jide, I’m beginning to feel like I did something bad as a mother that I now deserve all this punishment. When you left here and we started hearing stories about you and all the girls, I felt my enemies were at work. I blamed it on them but now, I don’t know what to think. Maybe I was a bad mother to you people.”

“No.” I take her hands in mine, broken at her words. “You were and still are the best mother in the world, Nne. Please, don’t ever say those words again.”

She moves her head from left to right in helplessness and begins to cry.

“Why are you crying?” my dad asks in annoyance. “If that useless boy wants to give belle to the whole Nigeria, let him go ahead. Why shed tears for a Billy goat?” He hisses and takes his side of the bed.

I wipe my mom’s tears and beg her to stop. It takes a while before she listens to me.

“I’ll pray for him,” she finally states. “God will sort things out for him. I will not give up.”

“That’s the spirit, ma.”

She holds my face. “I prayed for you every day, Jidenna. Every single day. And God heard me and brought you home. I thank him for what he’s doing in your life and I’ll keep praying that what he has started in you, he’ll be faithful to complete it. But I do hope you don’t have some nasty surprise waiting somewhere.”

I laugh. “Surprise? Like what?”

“Like some people being pregnant for you,” my dad replies.

“No. Nothing like that.”

“Please, help me beg Emeka to start using condoms,” my mom requests. “I can’t stop him from having sex but he should protect himself. Talk to him.”

“I will.”

“And apologize to Honey once more. Make sure you take her back to her hotel. Don’t put her in a cab, biko.”

“Yes, ma.” I turn to my dad. “I’m not comfortable over your silence in this matter. It’s not a good sign.”

“Just go home, Jideofor.”

“I know you’re planning something that would affect Emeka adversely. I pray it doesn’t tear you guys apart. No matter what, remember that he’s still your son.”

“Good night.” His tone carries a bit of his hidden anger. I hug my mom and call it a night. Downstairs I find only Kalu and Honey. Oba, Tola and Emeka are gone.

“Are you ready to go?” I ask Honey as I hand the vase of daffodils to her.

“Yes. Is mommy okay?”

“She’ll survive.”

I hear footsteps.

“Hey, Jide.”

I turn. Tola is standing at the foot of the stairs. “A minute?”

I stroll towards her and she leads me to the door that connects the kitchen to the dining area. She hands me my confiscated belongings.

“This was all a big mistake. I’m sorry.”

I give her no reply as I search through my wallet to make sure all is intact. I still feel pity for her, though. Her eyes have gone blood-red and her face puffy after all that crying.

“You still want to get married to Emeka despite everything?”

“Yes.” She sniffles. “Why not? He may be an idiot and may not be as good as you in bed but I love him.”

I don’t get women. A man blatantly, without remorse cheats on you and you still want to stick with him.

“I wish he was you, though. After that night with you at Kate’s wedding…”

“Stop, Tola. Please.”

“Just letting you know how I feel. Good night.”

She strides back upstairs. I turn around and I see Oba in the corner watching me.

“Plot twist,” he mutters and gives me this look like he has one over me. Like I care.

I join Honey at the front door and we leave the house. Following my mother’s instruction not to dump her alone in a cab, we walk out to the street and stop the first cab that comes our way. It’s raining now, heavy raindrops that hit the car furiously once we get in.

“Can I apologize once more for what happened back there?”

Honey shrugs my apology away. “It’s normal, Jide. Every family has their own share of drama.”

“Not like mine.”

“Trust me. Worse than yours. Let me tell you about mine. My uncle is a randy, old man who loves tapping all his nieces’ asses.”

I laugh.

“My grandmother walks around with a koboko. If you don’t hear her when she speaks, she whips you with it. And if she doesn’t hear you, she whips you. Mind you, she’s hard of hearing.”

I laugh some more.

“Then my sister…” Honey sighs. “Kleptomaniac.”

“Really?”

“As in, it’s bad. So bad her husband hides stuff from her. I don’t even know if I should call her a klepto because she steals only what she uses. She will steal it and then hide it for a while and then decide to use it one day, in front of the person she stole it from.”

“No kidding.”

“For real. And she’ll keep a straight face. If you confront her, she’ll get bitchy and remind you of all the many ways she was there for you. But she’s generous sha; she can give you the clothes on her back just to make sure you’re comfortable.”

“Well, that should compensate.”

“Abi. Everyone’s given up. We love her the way she is. In fact, her husband knew about it before they married and he still married her.”

“Interesting.”

“True love.”

“Is it?”

“It has to be.”

I don’t say anything more in effect to that. As if planned, we both look out our windows. I’m staring at the rain absentmindedly and marveling at how little by little, something is chipping off at the awkwardness between us.

“So you didn’t tell me yours,” I say as I tilt my head in her direction.

“Mine?”

“Your own thing. You just told me about your sister and grandma and uncle.”

“My own thing,” Honey repeats, caressing a daffodil petal. “Erm…this is embarrassing.”

“Just say it.”

“I can’t cook.”

My brows shoot up. “Seriously?”

“Seriously. I can’t cook to make heaven.”

“Why?”

“My mom spoiled me as a kid. I was the baby of the house, so cooking was out of bounds for me. I grew up that way and in the university I bought all I ate, except for the occasional noodles or pap I made. Immediately I graduated, I got the air hostess job and never had the time to learn how to cook till date.”

“Aren’t you bothered that it might wean out certain men from your life?”

“It has, actually. With my exes, I was never around and when I finally had their time, I just couldn’t handle the kitchen. I got dumped. A lot.” She chuckles and goes back to caressing her flowers.

“How about you?” She looks up. “You didn’t tell me yours. Your thing.”

We both laugh. “Do I have a thing?  I do, actually. So many…things.” I try to be sly. There’s no way I’m telling her that Emeka has nothing on me when it comes to body count.

“Just tell me one.”

“Um…I’ve never traveled out of Nigeria before.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Everyone in my family has – several times. But I’ve not even visited Cameroun.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Honest truth.”

“Why?”

“Because I’ve not had any reason to travel. But maybe soon.”

“You should. There’s life out there.”

My brain is beginning to register peculiar things about her, like how her voice drops at the end of sentences into a near-whisper.

“But what you just told me doesn’t count for bad behavior,” she goads. “I want something juicier, scandalous.”

“Honey, angels will lose their wings if I share that part of me with you.”

“It’s that bad?”

“Yes.”

“Oga,” the driver interrupts, “e be like say we don enter wicked traffic o.”

I realize we are at a standstill. The rain still rages and a gridlock puts us in the middle of nowhere. Information has gotten to the driver via phone call that a tanker and a bus collided farther down the road and major access is blocked.

“No worry, e go soon clear,” I assure the cabbie. But I have predicted wrongly. An hour later, we have roughly moved the distance of seven houses. The traffic is indeed wicked. The cab driver is beginning to whine; he wants more money than originally bargained for. An idea comes to mind. I turn to Honey.

“My house is just at the next corner. I’m thinking we could stop there until the traffic clears, that way we save up on cash and avoid the stress. I’ll take you to your hotel after the rain stops.”

She looks at me uneasily. I think I must have sounded like a rapist or something.

“I’m not planning anything funny. It’s just a suggestion…”

“No, no, no. It’s a good suggestion. It’s just that…” She bites her lower lip and turns down her voice a notch. “I’m on my period and I don’t have change of tampons.”

I smile away her nervousness. “Is that all?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m a midwife. We always have sanitary towels and disposable underwear on standby. So, have no fears. And stop cringing. Your menstrual cycle cannot gross me out.”

“Thanks.”

We elapse into an easy hush. At this point I’m thinking she’s not bad company but I continue to feel the same way about her. She still makes me uncomfortable.Traffic-Jam-at-Tin-Factory-Bangalore-Night

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I’ve just returned from church with my family. It was a most uncomfortable experience because everyone was moody. I had learned that in my absence last night, my dad instructed Emeka to return to the US to bring Yazmin home. The old man wants the baby born in Nigeria and a DNA test carried out to make certain the child is Emeka’s. On the other hand, he stands by his decision to have Emeka get married to Tola. Only God knows what the girl told him to make him take her side so easily.

I push away the morning’s events and think of lunch as I rummage through my virtually empty fridge. As I do this, my phone rings. I answer the call; it’s Shady.

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,” I say.

“How far, guy?”

“I dey.”

“Na wa o. Na so you no take show yesterday.”

He’s referring to some wedding of an acquaintance I missed.

“Omo, family dinner and other things.”

“Guy, you miss o. The wedding was out of this world.”

“I know. People just dey make noise about am for Twitter.”

He goes on to tell me how the groom gave them VIP treatment and about the souvenirs they received. I’m not interested in the gist until he diverts abruptly into a different topic.

I break out of my distraction. “Wetin you just say?”

“Why you kiss Mary? Wetin dey do you sef?”

Shit. I can’t believe Mary told on me.

“Who tell you say I kiss Mary?”

Why you kiss the babe, Jide?”

“It was just an innocent kiss, na play we dey play with each other. But how you take hear dis gist sef?”

He relates that at the wedding, after a sizable amount of alcohol had been consumed, the topic of me being single was brought up and a plan to hook me up with someone new emerged. But Mary foiled the plan by making a huge confession about how she had been in love with me for years and how our kiss had made it clear that I am the one for her.

I laugh at the ridiculousness of the story. “Mary in love with me?”

“Yes o. Na wetin she tell us.”

“Abegi! She just dey play jor.”

“Play keh. The babe been dey yarn with tears for eyes o. No be small matter. Na so the women come agree say dem go do everything to make sure dem hook two of una together.”

“What?”

I cackle in a strange voice; I can’t believe what I’m hearing.

“I just say make I give you heads up because dis evening na the plan be dat. Celia dey open her bag of tricks for you, so beware.”

Ah. Celia and her bag of tricks. The woman, first of all, loves to throw house parties for no reason. And then, she enjoys making grown men and women play all sorts of games that will make them look silly. She’s a sweetheart, however, and her parties have brought couples closer.

“Thanks, man,” I say to Shady as an idea forms in my mind. He rings off. Holding my fridge open, I laugh to myself. Mary, in love with me for years? Yeah, right. I refuse to believe it. Some things are best not pondered on. All the same, I won’t fall into their plans. I straighten up and go through my call log. I find Honey’s number and dial her after a brief moment of contemplation.

She answers with a sleepy tone. I apologize for waking her up. She tells me it’s fine.

“Honey, I was wondering if you’d like to go with me to a party this evening?”

“This evening?”

I hold my breath. She’s the best option to foil Celia’s conspiracy.

“Yeah, sure.”

I breathe out. “Cool. Thanks. I’ll come pick you up by seven?”

“No problem. What sort of party is it?”

“Just a house party with a few close friends.”

“Alright.”

“Okay, bye.”

“Bye.”

I end the call, smiling.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I’m still smiling when I get to Honey’s hotel suite and she comes out looking flawless. I’m standing there staring at her and thinking this girl must have guys falling at her feet at every turn. She’s wearing this floral print skirt and a lacy crop top that fits her form. I’d like to describe how she looks but words will fail me. I can’t wait to see the faces of my friends when I show up with her.

“Hi.” She grins.

“Hi.” I maintain a low key; no need sounding like an awestruck teenager. “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you.”

We leave the hotel with her arm in mine. I don’t know how that came to be; it just sort of happened. When we get into the cab I came with, I straightaway tell her why I’m inviting her over to Celia’s party. I leave out the bit about Mary.

“You want me to pretend to be your girlfriend?”

“Just for this evening.”

“Okay.”

She goes quiet, making me uncomfortable. I fear that my request has not been met with an open mind.

“But if you don’t want to…”

“I do. It’s fine. I just thought you asked me out because you wanted to spend some time with me, you know…after last night.”

I recall last night and how we stayed up till late drinking wine and talking about almost everything. She didn’t make it back to her hotel until this morning. We had a great time but it meant nothing serious to me. Nevertheless, I find the perfect words to fix up my mess.

“Honey,” I lift a leg up to rest on the car seat as I turn to her, “if I want to spend time with you alone, it would be with you alone. No friends, no family. Just you and me.”

I guess my reply seems to be sufficient because a smile lights up her face. We talk the rest of the way to Shady and Celia’s. When we step out of the car, I give her a last minute warning about my friends.

“They are loud, meddlesome and vulgar, especially after a few drinks. Watch out for Celia, in particular. She’s very sneaky.”

“It’s fine. I can handle them.”

I doubt that she can.

“Let’s go in,” I say and put my arm around her waist. It’s weird how she fits right into my frame without me needing to lower my arm. We walk up to the front door. Loud, boisterous voices tell us how far the party has gone without us. I knock and seconds later, Shady is at the door. He raises his hand for a handshake and leaves it hanging in the air when he sees Honey.

“Oh. Hello,” he says with a voice he uses for gorgeous women.

“Good evening,” she replies coolly.

“Welcome, welcome. Come in.”

He lets us in. We follow a small passage that leads us into the living room where the others are. I walk in first and they all cheer at my appearance. I pick out all the familiar faces. Ibro, Reno and Bright; and the wives, Peace, Ojonoka and Bimpe. The hostess, Celia, is absent.

And of course, there’s Mary, beautifully made-up, wearing this short, blue dress that does wonders to her hour-glass figure and leaves me with cocked eyebrows.

Surely all that dressing is not for me.

The cheering and hailing dies abruptly and I notice their eyes are all in one direction. Honey’s. She moves closer to me and links her fingers with mine. Mary’s eyes drop to our held hands.

“Honey,” I claim her waist again, “I want you to meet my friends.”

I mention their names one after the other.

“And guys, this is my girlfriend, Honey.”

If there was prickly silence before, then what follows is worse. It feels as if someone has pressed the pause button over everyone in the room. Not even a breath is inhaled.

My lips are closed but I’m grinning widely behind them. I feel Honey snuggling closer into me due to unease.

I hear a sound and turn my eyes. Celia is standing there with a look on her face that shows she knows what I’m up to.

Nice one, Jide, I hear her voice say in my head.

nice one jide

This time, behind my lips, I laugh. I can’t wait for the drama that will unfold. Bring it on, Celia.

©Sally@moskedapages

It’s Another Saturday…#5

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The One Gone With The Waves

I have never really thought of having kids, which is quite weird, considering the fact that I have helped bring so many babies into this world. I have shared the joy of parents seeing their babies for the first time and gone through the pain of those who suffer loss. Births have left me in tears on some occasions and transported me into the spiritual when I simply just look upward to God and thank him for the gift of life. However, the feeling of wanting to have my own kid is always fleeting. The reason is simply because I know I’ll make a terrible father without a wife beside me. I’m old school like that. I believe in marriage first, kids later. Much later.

And that is why I’m deeply concerned for Emeka. How will he handle two children and their mothers?

After a hectic day at work, I invite him and our elder brother, Kalu, for drinks and to have a talk. Emeka isn’t so pleased. Both of them aren’t best of friends. Kalu is the serious, churchgoing, business-minded type. He has his head in the right place always. Emeka gives him attitude at first but later takes in his wisdom. He advises him to come clean with all parties involved. The earlier, the better. He also tells him not to feel pressured to marry any of the girls or he would regret so later. He adds that Emeka should marry the woman he loves, or at least is friends with. Emeka replies that he is not interested in marriage in the first place.

“Then be ready to take care of the kids and all the drama their mothers will bring.”

This ends the discussion. I leave them and head home. It’s Wednesday and I’m already drained out. I’m not complaining, though. I have set my schedule this way so I can be free for the weekend. Saturday is the family dinner and on Sunday, Shady’s wife, Celia, has this house party I’m invited to.

I walk into my bedroom and there’s a girl waiting for me. An old flame that I bumped into the night before at a supermarket. She gives me a long, hankering kiss that makes me re-schedule my sleep. In lightning speed, our clothes are off. We make love beneath the sheets like they do in Nollywood movies. It’s my idea. I want our movements controlled, yet intense. She is the wild type and likes to take the lead. This is me putting her on a leash. We do our thing until we both tire out. She wears her clothes afterwards and tells me she has to leave because of work tomorrow. I walk her to the door and go back to my room where I fall asleep instantly.

I rise the next morning and walk into the bathroom to take a leak. When I return, I am startled to find I’m not alone. I release a breath the moment I realize it is only Ele.

“Hi.” She waves at me. She is sprawled naked on my bed.

“How did you get in?” I ask.

“You left your door unlocked.”

“I was dead tired yesterday.”

“Aww, poor baby. Come, let me make you feel better.”

I have no reason whatsoever to reject her offer. Sexual healing never hurt anyone. She pulls me to the bed and stirs me with a kiss, sending my hand down to her pleasure spot. I have only a few minutes to spare before I get ready for work, so I make it worth her while. When I’m done, she begs for more. I drag her to the front door and send her out, promising to fulfil her request after work hours. Once she’s gone, I shower and dress for work. The hospital welcomes me with a client in the late stages of labor. I attend to her and another lady who has been having contractions for a week. The day ends for me by 7pm. I change from my scrubs and head home. Just as I’m about getting into my house, my phone rings. Someone I have been wanting to meet with is on the line. He finally has time to see me.

I listen to him ramble off some address and then he hangs up. I turn back downstairs and out of the compound where I hail a cab. My destination is a quiet restaurant in a business district. My contact is waiting when I get there. He has ordered a full meal for himself. I sit and decline his offer to have a waiter bring me something. I’m anxious to hear what he has to tell me.

“How far?” I ask.

He takes a drink of water.

“Jideofor…” There’s a pause. “I think it’s time you let go.”

My face turns sour.

“Ezinne is nowhere to be found. I’ve done everything I can professionally, combed everywhere, turned every stone and yet…”

“She is not dead.”

“I have never had a case like this before, Jideofor. By now, after all these years, if she was alive somewhere, something would have turned up, at least. But there’s nothing. Not even a hair strand or a careless phone call. In fact, the deeper I look, the less I see. She’s really gone.”

I gently run my hand over my mouth to calm my restless innards.

“You just have to accept it and move on. Console yourself with the fact that she spoke to her parents and left you a text before she disappeared.”

“Spoke to her parents. Left me a text,” I repeated, feeling my irritation rise. “That what? That I was responsible for whatever she was going to do to herself? Well let me let you know that that was not my Ezinne. That was not the girl I knew. Ezinne was willing to defy her parents to be with me. We made plans to elope if they didn’t give us their blessing. How on earth does she move from that person to the person who kills herself?”

“Jideofor…the accident must have changed her. You were in a coma for almost a month. Enough time for her parents to coax her into a change of heart. And I’m thinking that might have been her reason for committing suicide.”

“I’m sorry but your explanation makes no sense to me.”

“Oh well…”

“If I hadn’t seen her parents mourn her, I would have sworn they had her taken to some part of the world just to hide her away from me.”

“She was their only child.”

I lean back and drum my fingers on the table.

“You also have to consider the other strong proofs of her suicide, like the old man at the beach who saw a girl walking into the ocean naked that night. Or her clothes and phone that were found at the shore.”

“But there was no corpse found.”

“Jideofor, it happens. Many people have drowned and their bodies were never found.”

“Not Ezinne.”

My contact holds that sympathetic look on his face my mom had when we spoke about Ezinne the other day. I don’t want them to pity me. I want them to tell me she is not dead, that I will soon find her, because as it is, I’m beginning to give up. It’s been five years too long.

“Here.” He pushes a file to me. “All the details you’ll need to hire someone else to continue searching for her.”

“To hire someone else? What about you?”

“I’m leaving to Ghana. I got a job there to run a security outfit.”

“Nice one.”

“Thanks. If you want I can refer you to a colleague but you can be sure that he’ll have to start all over again and will end up wasting your money as I did.”

“What if she was kidnapped?”

“For five years?” He shakes his head. “It’s unlikely. Kidnappers always demand for money or something else. Well, unless they are sick in the head and want to keep their victims just to torture them and…”

He stops when he notices the dread that must have filled my face.

“All I’m saying is that it is unlikely after all these years.”

I want to hear nothing further. I pick up the file, rise to my feet and tell him to send me an invoice for his services. I step out of the restaurant and go straight home. In the solitude of my bedroom, I open the file and take out pictures of Ezinne. Emotions I have long forgotten fill me at the sight of her. I still miss her but I know I can’t continue this way. My mom’s words on Monday have left me thinking how much I have hurt the ones close to me by giving up everything because of one person.

I pore through the details of the investigation and just as the detective told me, there are no new leads. I exhale and lie on my back. It is time to let Ezinne go. I bleed at the thought but I know I have to make the sacrifice for those who have been there for me. But I won’t give up hope. I know she is still alive somewhere, even if she’s just in my heart alone.

I shut my eyes to sleep and I’m gone really fast. Sometime around midnight, I hear Ele knocking. I ignore her and go back to sleep. I dream of a beach. I am the old man at the shore. I watch as a girl disappears into the waves. I am helpless to stop her. I call out to her but she doesn’t hear me, and yet I can feel her eyes on me.

I wake up sad. It’s a resident sadness I haven’t been able to expel for a long time now. I’m looking forward to the day it finally goes away, along with the emptiness that conquers my nights.

I close my eyes and force myself to sleep again. I don’t dream.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

It’s that time of the month and I don’t feel too well. I’m throwing my guts out in the plane’s lavatory. A fever keeps my body in shivers and I’m wondering why I wasn’t born male.

“Honey?” My colleague knocks at the door.

I wipe my mouth. “I’m coming.”

I freshen up my face and walk out.

“Are you okay?” she asks.

“No.”

She immediately understands what ails me. “Sorry, luv.” She rubs the sides of my arms to comfort me. She’s a sweet Irish girl with grey eyes and red locks which have to be subjected to being held in an up-do always.

“I think you should talk take some days off,” she tells me. She’s my in-flight supervisor for this particular flight and although it is not her duty to put me off work for some days, a report from her to our regional supervisor is enough to get me that rest I need.

“Thank you.”

She sends me off to find someplace to relax. I pick a backseat at economy and wrap myself up in a blanket to still the shivers. The journey is unkind to me but I make it in one piece. Once we hit land, I seek out my supervisor and ask for a sick leave. She grants me one and I’m off to my hotel room where I take a pill and wander off in my mind to my latest obsession—Jideofor. I can’t believe how much I am crushing on him. I tried, I really did, to exorcise him from my mind but I haven’t been successful. Instead, I fall deeper.

You know that feeling you have as a teenager when you fall in love for the first time? When all you do is think about the person and build fantasies in your head about them? That’s how I feel. I’m beginning to see colors again. For the first time in a long while I watched a romance movie aboard a flight alongside the passengers and I didn’t want to throw up over the cheesy lines and cliché scenes. Just yesterday I downloaded a whole bunch of love songs and listened to them without having to skip any. And then there’s this silly smile that won’t leave my face throughout the day.

Am I going crazy? I mean, this guy has not even as much as smiled at me. We barely communicated and here I am, all bunkers over him. What do I even know about him apart from what his adoring mother has shared with me? For all I know, he could be an ass or one of those guys that change girls like underwear. But what if he’s not? What if he’s super chill and ends up falling for me and we have this amazing relationship? Sigh. What if horses could fly?

I psyche myself out for my own wellbeing. No, literally for my wellbeing because if I don’t do away with thoughts of that Igbo boy, I won’t sleep well and get better.

I pull my blanket over my shivering body and will myself to sleep. It takes a long time for it to happen but I finally doze off. I wake up a whole lot better and decide to pamper myself with new clothes. I go shopping in town and realize I’m lost on the latest fashion trends. I rely on Google and the shop attendants. In the end, I walk out of the shop a little less rich but with more for my wardrobe. I decide to stop in a salon to have braids done. It takes me hours. However, I am more than satisfied with the results. I stare in the mirror all evening and wonder if Jideofor will like what he sees now.

Room service brings me dinner. As I eat, I watch Married Again on the Indian channel. I don’t understand what is going on but I’m held by some male character called Akash and another, Yash. Too much drama around them. I switch to something else more boring, just so that my mind can naturally wander off to its heart’s desire. It is then I decide to call Mommy.

She answers upon first ring and is excited to hear my voice. After pleasantries, I ask after everybody, one by one, leaving Jideofor for last.

“He’s fine. Been so busy with work.”

“Okay. My regards to him and everyone else.”

“Honey, when will you be in town?”

“I’m in town as we speak, ma.”

“Oh, that’s good. I’m inviting you to ours for dinner tomorrow. Would you like to come?”

“Sure, mommy. What time?”

“7pm.”

“Okay. Thanks. I’m staying at the Sheraton. Could you text me your address so I can come over?”

“Don’t worry about that. Jideofor will come get you.”

I grin. “Okay, cool.”

“So you take good care of yourself, okay?”

“Yes, ma.”

“And pray before you sleep.”

“I will, ma.”

“Goodnight, darling.”

She rings off. It feels good to be pampered by a mother again. I am yet to be weaned off my lastborn ways.

I finish my meal, and straightaway start choosing my outfit for the dinner. I try every piece of clothing I have just bought but none seems appropriate. I call Dele’s wife for help.

“Oooooh, dinner date. Who is he?”

“I didn’t say dinner date. I said dinner.”

“All join. Who is he?”

I tell her about Mommy and how I got introduced to Jideofor.

“Na wa for you and this your love for Igbo boys. Have they not shown you enough pepper already?”

I say nothing. She is right. Igbo boys have dealt with me and yet I can’t seem to stay away from them.

“Anyways, you know me I’ll always support you. I pray this one treats you well sha.”

“There’s a comma in this whole thing, babe.”

“What?”

“We’ve met just once and I’m the only one crushing on him. I’m sure he’s forgotten me by now.”

“Hmmm….”

“I swear I can’t concentrate on anything. He’s constantly on my mind. Am I normal to be dying for a guy like this at this age?”

She laughs. “Very. In fact, the crush I had for Dele, no be for dis world. If he was already married I wouldn’t have minded being his side chick. See, just make sure when you’re with him you compose yourself like nothing’s happening. Allow him make the first move but seduce him in a way he won’t even know.”

“How?”

“Honey, na wa for you o. You be pikin for dis game? Abeg, no fall my hand. Make I no hear say you just go there go dey shine teeth, come open leg for am. I go vex for you. Time has come to stop giving it away so freely.”

This is why I stay away from my married friends. Once they get married, they suddenly become holiness gurus in love and sex matters. If you confront them with their past and how they fornicated around, they’ll tell you just because they did it, it don’t make it right. Like Dele’s wife, she is one to talk. I remember when she first met Dele aboard a flight to Johannesburg and how they ended up in his hotel room that same night.

“I’ve heard you,” I say to her. “Just tell me what to wear.”

“I hope half of the things you bought are not yellow.”

I go silent. More than half the things I bought are yellow. I can’t help it. It’s my favorite color.

She sighs. “Ping me with pictures and I’ll see what we can come up with.”

“Thanks, darling.”

“I wish you well, my dear. I hope he falls for you too. He must be mad if he doesn’t but worry not, Igbo boys always love afin.”

I laugh and hang up. Afterwards, I send pictures of all I bought to her. It doesn’t take long for her to pick the right outfit for me.

yellow-top-jeans-outfit

It’s casual, low key and makes u blend in with his family but also keeps his eyes on u

-Thanks babe

We end the conversation. I slip beneath the covers and go back to fantasizing about Jideofor until the night takes me.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“You invited her to dinner?”

“Yes, Jide.”

“Why?”

My mother frowns at me. “Do I need to explain to you why I chose to invite someone to my own house for dinner?”

“Nne, this is a family dinner. She is not family.”

“Just shut up and pass me that bowl.”

I turn from her and find that I’m facing the kitchen counter with an array of bowls.

“Which one?”

“The blue one.”

I pick a blue bowl and pass it to her but not without picking a piece of meat from it and throwing it into my mouth.

“Oya go and pick her from Sheraton. She’s waiting. Here’s her number.”

My mom passes her phone to me and I transfer Honey’s details to my phone.

“Call her and tell her you’re on your way o.”

I leave the kitchen. I’m not happy about this new development. My mom is trying to force this girl on me. Secondly, I’m not even in the right frame of mind, mostly. I feel the dinner’s going to turn out bad and I’m freaking out right now. I just want us to enjoy each other as a family without any drama.

“If you’re still afraid to drive, go with your father’s driver!” my mom says. I step outside and find the driver waiting. We pick one of the cars. I sit in front and we head to Sheraton. When we get there, I call Honey and tell her I’m waiting. She takes forever to come down and while I wait, I work myself up to annoyance. Clearly, she has been deceived by my mom that there could be something between us and that is why she takes on the role of the woman who is being wooed; if not, tell me why she would keep me waiting as if I’m taking her out on a date? I’m sure she’s all dressed, sitting in her suite and counting the minutes until she makes her grand appearance. Typical Barbie behavior.

I check the time once more and begin to dial her number but something tells me to stop. I look up and there she is. Against my will, I miss a pulse. What follows can best be described as that thing that happens when a man sees a woman for the first time and he’s knocked off his feet by her looks. I act stupidly by staring at her like a love-struck teenager when in reality there isn’t much to see other than a pretty face and an endowed body. And to be honest, I’ve had enough of those to last me a lifetime. I snap out of my temporary absurdity and compose myself.

“Hi Jideofor. I’m so sorry to keep you waiting. It wasn’t intentional.”

All my vexing comes to nothing as she pulls out this practiced smile that leaves me feeling like a jerk for being annoyed at her.

“It’s okay.”

We head out of the lobby of the hotel to the parking lot and I do the gentlemanly thing by opening the car door for her. I want to sit in front with the driver just as I did when we were coming but I fear I would come off as rude, so I sit behind with her.

We ignore each other for a good half hour, and we still have some distance left on the mileage but I don’t intend to speak to her at all. However, she breaks the ice by commenting about the weather.

“It will rain this night.”

“Mm.”

“It’s so cold these days.”

“Mm.”

“Do you like the weather?”

I know she’s looking at me, so I shrug rather than speak. She remains silent after that. Good, I tell myself, as I face my phone.

Minutes pass and she comes on again.

“What’s the meaning of Jideofor?”

I don’t look at her. “It means hold on to truth. Or you are justified. Or one who has a clear conscience.”

“Nice name.”

“Thanks.”

That ends our exchange. I stick to my phone, she sticks to the road. After a while I give her a discrete glance. I want to tell her she looks beautiful but I hold back my tongue. It stays that way until we get to the house.

I step out of the car first and walk over to her side to find that she is not waiting for me to open her door. Good thing she did that. I hate being excessively chivalrous.

“Wow. Your house is so beautiful! Look at the flowers!”

She’s staring wide-eyed at the garden of flowers my mom has painstakingly cultured over the years.

“It’s all momsi’s work. She’s a horticulturist.”

“Yes, she told me. So beautiful.”

I can begin to perceive the faint scent of Queen of the Night as darkness hits the skies. We walk towards the front door.

“Do you think she’ll let me have one of these yellow flowers if I ask her?” Honey stops.

“Sure. Why not?” I look at her. “You like yellow.”

“Is it that obvious?”

“Yeah.”

She smiles. I don’t tell her about my thing for women in yellow.

“So what is this bunch of flowers called?”

I bend over the flowers she’s referring to and study them briefly.

“Daffodils, I think. I’m not so sure.”

Not thinking it over, I pluck a bunch of the yellow beauties and hand them to her. I almost slap myself when I see the dreamy look that grazes her eyes. Dumb, Jideofor.

Now, my mom will have my hide for touching her precious daffodils. If I recall something she told me during my childhood, is that daffodils are perennial.

“Thanks,” Honey says.

“You’re welcome.”

Suddenly, the serene air is shattered by the terrifying woofing of the family dog.

“What’s that?” Honey’s eyes pop out.

“Just a dog.”

“Dog?!” She looks around in fright but it’s too late for her as a huge greyhound rounds the corner at top speed. She dashes behind me and grabs me tightly while whimpering words I can’t make out. The dog approaches us; she grips me tighter, crushing into me and burying her face in my neck.

“Chill. It’s okay. He’s harmless.”

“Drive it away, please. Drive it away.”

“Down, boy!” I command the hound when I see him gunning for her. He immediately sits but not without a complaint in that distinctive manner greyhounds are known to communicate.

“Drive it away,” Honey begs still. She continues to grapple me. Unlike her, I am calm and so I’m able to get a full whiff of her perfume and feel the wetness of her lips at the nape of my neck. The girl is bent on tempting me; her plans will not work. I try to pull away but she gets even snugger.

“Please drive it away,” she whispers.

“Seriously, the dog is harmless. He’s actually mine and has been with us for six years.”

My explanation doesn’t suffice. She insists on the dog leaving. I grant her wish and send the dog away. Once it leaves, she extracts herself from me and to my surprise I see that she is actually off-color. There is moisture in her eyes and her hands shake uncontrollably.

“Wow. You’re really scared of dogs.”

She nods. “When I was little I got attacked by our neighborhood dogs. They were local dogs that moved in a pack and harassed people only at night but that day they attacked me in broad daylight. My mom sent me to buy some meat. On my way back, they popped out from nowhere and chased me, grabbed the meat from me and one of them bit me. I had to endure series of rabies vaccine shots on my tummy. It was hell. I’m still scared to death of dogs.”

“I’m sorry about what just happened.”

I want to say more but I can’t. Being with her still leaves me feeling awkward. I have neither sexual nor warm attraction towards her. It is quite unsettling. Usually at first encounter, I already know whether I want a woman or not, and if I do, I can promptly tell what I want from her. But this chick just leaves me hanging. I don’t know if there’s something there or not.

“Oh God, I’ve almost crushed them.” She spread out her hands to show me the flowers.

“Not quite. They’re still intact. Let’s go in.”

I put her in front of me and follow behind, watching the sway of her perfectly-formed butt in her tight jeans and wondering why it doesn’t stir me.

I’m beginning to think that maybe something has gone wrong with me.

©Sally@moskedapages

Read about the family dinner and how it went by 6pm today

 

Translation

Afin (Yoruba): Fair complexioned, albino

 

Image source:polyvore.com