Tag Archives: God

It’s Another Saturday…#27

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Last night, I was down in the pits. There was a trigger, a text from Harry that I ignored, and before I could stop myself, I lurched into this senseless state of melancholy that I couldn’t get out of. I went to bed and found myself feeling like the walls were closing in on me. Tola and Mary had long gone to sleep and when I checked the time, it was 1am.

I sat by my window for a while. The bed seemed to be laid with pins and needles. It took me exactly twenty-seven minutes to decide that I needed to sleep in Jide’s bed to feel better.

I got the car key, slipped out of the house and drove all the way to Jide’s. I had not expected to find him at home. When I entered his room, he was in bed, awake and reading.

He looked at me when I walked in, showing no surprise.

“I’m getting used to this,” he said. “The impulsiveness. The spontaneity.”

He turned a page in his book.

“I understand that it’s your way of fighting your snags but can you please call me next time you want to leave your house at 2am to come see me?”

“I didn’t expect to find you here.”

“Just…call me next time.”

He didn’t understand that I did not want to burden him with my problems, that at that time of the night I just wanted to get away from the four walls of my room and it didn’t matter if I put myself in danger.

“I’ll try.”

He went back to his book while I entered the bathroom for a shower. It made me feel better, the change of environment, the cool of the water. I breathed out when I turned the shower off.

These days I try not to worry about certain things even though it’s hard. I take each moment as it comes as Jide has taught me. It’s difficult to have my shortcomings and my gloom laid bare before another person but he doesn’t complain – not when I sometimes withdraw to some place to brood or when I lash out at him for no reason or even when I dive into some unexplainable mood of excitement. He’ll tell me there’s no difference between me now and the person he fell for. But I know the difference; it’s something I suffer daily. Having finally been taken off my meds, it’s hard to keep a balance.

“And that’s because you worry yourself about staying normal. Just live.”

That’s what I’m trying to do. I wish it wasn’t so darn hard. I wish my siblings would just stay out of my life for good.

“Hon?”

I walked back into the room where it was freezing. He winched up the blanket and I stole in. He had his arms lifted to let my head rest on his chest but that wasn’t my final destination. I slid all the way down, taking his Calvin’s along. I needed something to distract me.

He didn’t protest.

And here I am this morning, tired, lazy, not willing to leave the bed for my morning out with Mary and Tola.

“Sugar lips?”

Jide taps me. I pretend not to hear.

“You should wake up.”

I moan.

“Honey…”

“Leave me. I want to sleep.”

“Your period is here.”

Straightaway, I throw off the bedspread I’m covered in as I jump up. True to his words, I’ve stained his bed. I look at him in shame. He’s seated at the other end, eating an apple, calm.

“I’m so sorry. I’ll clean this up immediately.”

I drag the bedspread and dash into the bathroom. I’m a bit sad that my period is here. It means the baby we’ve been planning for is not coming anytime soon. This threatens to dampen my mood but Jide appears with a pack of tampons.

“Maybe history will repeat itself,” he says and kisses lips I’ve pressed together. “I’m going to work and then off to my parents’. Will you promise me that you’ll not let your menstrual cycle or whatever it is that made you drive into the night dictate your happiness today?”

I nod, determined to act upon his words but I have no idea that somewhere in town, my evil siblings are thinking of the best way to ruin my day.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I am staggered! I simply cannot believe this.

Somebody please tell me I am not dreaming right now. Please tell me my eyes are not imagining things because I am sitting here lost, confused, shocked to my bones at the sight before me.

This is not just happening.

“Mary, you’re not saying anything.”

Of course I am not saying anything because my mouth is hanging wide open and my tongue has lost its speech. How do you expect me to speak, Ekene?!

“Mary?”

I manage to bring my dazed eyes away from where it has been held bound and direct it to Ekene’s hand on mine. His touch is warm, yet strange on my skin.

“Please, say something. Even a ‘no’ would be a lot better than this silence.”

I take my eyes away from his hand and look into his face.

It’s a stranger’s face. I don’t know this man at all. Not his pink lips. Not his rubbery nose. Not his light-brown eyes. Not even the whole beard gang thing he has going on.

I don’t know him!

“Mary?”

Something snaps in me and I recoil from his touch. He raises his hand, moving back a little. I pick my phone and handbag, and still maintaining my silence, I hurry to the door as if chased by a ghost.

“I need my answer in four days, Mary!” he says as I open the door. “Four days!”

I slam the darn door and half-run, half-walk my way to Honey’s house. When I get in there, I collapse into a chair in a huff and stare at Jide who is watching some TV.

“He proposed,” I say.

Jide turns down the volume of the television.

“What did you just say?”

“Ekene proposed to me.”

Jide’s reaction is one of puzzlement. He calls Honey who walks in with questioning eyes.

“What’s going on?”

“Ekene proposed to me. He got out a ring and just popped the question from nowhere.”

“For real?” She grins. “Where’s the ring?”

I blink a couple of times at her and shake the dazedness out of my head.

“What ring? You think I’d say yes to that type of proposal? First of all, he tricked me into coming to his house. There was no girlfriend there! None! Just me and him and a house that can take twenty more people. I asked him where his girlfriend was and he was like the dinner was a surprise for her and if she knew about it, the surprise would be ruined. I believed him and went ahead to cook and he stood in the kitchen the whole time, not talking, just staring at me and giving me the creeps. After I was done and served the food, he asked me to sit. He confessed that he had lied about having a girlfriend and was hoping that I’d be the one.”

Jide stopped me. “Wait, what?”

“My thoughts exactly. I now asked him, ‘Ekene, what type of creepy, by-force toasting is this that you Igbo boys like doing?’ Sorry Jide.”

“Be nice.”

“No, but seriously, have you not seen those market traders that will grab your hands and pull you, calling you stuff like ‘my wife’ ‘my color’? Ekene looked like the same thing to me! No difference! I had scarcely recovered from him calling me his girlfriend when he brought out this blinding diamond ring from nowhere, looked straight into my eyes with that his cockiness and said, ‘Mary, marry me’.”

“No way,” Jide remarked.

“I swear. He said it like that. Not ‘Mary, will you marry me?’ And he didn’t even go down on his knees!”

“And your answer?” Honey asks.

“I freaked out, Honey. In fact, I am still freaking out! See, how my heart is pounding in my chest. My tummy is even turning sef.”

Honey is laughing; Jide is equally amused.

“Why are you freaking out, though?” Honey wonders. “I’m sure you’ve met different types of men. Kene can’t be the weirdest.”

I stand up. “He is. By far, he is. I just can’t deal.”

“You like him,” Jide states. He is not asking; he sounds sure.

“Me?”

“Yes, boo. You. See the effect he has on you.”

“He scares me. I don’t like him, Jide. When did we meet that he’ll propose to me just like that? Abeg o! I’m sorry, Honey, I know he’s your friend but his actions today ring of all shades of ritualist behavior.”

“Haba nau.”

“Then explain why a man that rich who has been around the world and has everything going for him will go and buy an expensive diamond ring and propose to a girl he hardly knows? It makes no sense! Unless he wants to use his wealth to dazzle me into marriage and then offer me as sacrifice to prolong his life.”

Honey rips apart in laughter.

“She really likes him,” Jide tells her. They both nod.

“Can you stop saying that, Jideofor?!”

“He’s getting you all worked up.”

“He is not!”

I breathe out.

“He is not.”

Another breath.

“I am calm. Very calm. Very, very calm. And I will repeat: I do not like Ekenedilichukwu Obiecheta.”

“Wow!” Jide sits up. “You called his full names, using the correct Igbo accent and you didn’t even stutter. Abeg, husband him.”

I am mad at Jide. I hiss and pick my handbag.

“I’m going home.”

“Why?” Honey frowns.

“All of you are annoying me. You and you and Ekene…all of you. Ekene clearly doesn’t understand the concept of boundaries and feels he can just pop a proposal from nowhere and I’ll say yes. Then instead of you two to be on my side, you’re making fun! You should all enjoy yourselves. I’m going home!”

I don’t give them an opportunity to respond. I know I am being silly but I haven’t been in this mood in a really long while. I march into the guestroom and shut the door behind me. But then I remember one vital piece of information I didn’t pass to them. I poke my head out.

“Oh, and he told me right before he asked me to be his girlfriend… he said, ‘I can have anything I want. Anything, including you.’ Can you imagine?”

“You don enter,” Jide sniggers.

“No, she has not.” Honey tries to remedy things. “Kene is just being Kene. He teases a lot and he understands boundaries, Mary. Please, don’t go. I’ll talk to him and tell him to behave. Just please, don’t go, Mary boo.”

I give a vehement shake of my head. My mind is made up.

“Okay, can you allow me speak with him first?” she requests.

“Still not changing my mind.”

“Please?”

Honey goes for the door and she’s out in a jiffy.

“You want to know my thoughts?” Jide asks.

“No, thank you.”

I close the door, leaving him still amused.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

mary's ring

“I told you not to propose to her, didn’t I?”

“Hi Honey.”

Ekene lets me into his house. The place is grand and spotless – as usual. The only difference from the last time I was here is the aroma of food in the air.

Ekene leaves me standing in the living room and walks to the dining area. I trudge after him and find him seated at the table, having dinner. The meal and setting is something only a professional like Mary can pull off. My tongue longs to have a taste but I’d rather listen to him explain his actions.

“You had to go freak her out, Kene. Why?”

“Well you know me, I don’t have time beating about the bush. And I’m too old to be doing boyfriend and girlfriend unlike some people I know. I learned my lesson with you. Years of my life wasted in love. Look where it got me. No more time for long talk, baby.”

I pull a chair and slide into it, my eyes catching the glitter of the controversial diamond ring as it sits in its box, untouched.

“Kene, you’re probably the closest friend I have and Mary and I pretty close; she’s an amazing person. And that was why when you told me you were crazy about her, I gave my blessing. In fact, I even dreamt about you guys getting married. I wanted you two to work but the way you’re going about it is wrong, Kene. You can’t force love. You have to…”

“Who said anything about love?”

He picks a piece of watermelon from a bowl of intricately-diced fruits and throws into his mouth. He looks at me.

“Because you’re in love you think everyone else has to go your way to maintain a happy relationship?”

“No. I…”

“Honey, I am not looking for love. I am looking for a wife. A beautiful, godly, industrious, humble woman I can take home to my dear, old mother. Mary fits the bill. Simple. Abeg, don’t go mushing up things in her head and filling her with romantic ideas. Plus I really, really like her. Do you know she has a birthmark on her neck that is shaped like the one on my left ankle?”

I smile at him. “But you used to believe in love.”

“I still do but not love at first sight and all that nonsense about being struck by lightning and having butterflies in one’s tummy. I want to grow into my feelings.”

“Well, you have a point. I’m just saying the whole proposal thing…”

“Is medieval. I know, and that’s how I do my thing. Leave me be, abeg.”

“You scared her.”

“I’d be worried if she wasn’t scared, Hon. The way she bolted out of here was proof that she is the one. Do you know how many women would walk in here and see that ring and go nude for me? But she didn’t; she got scared and that’s why I want her.”

I stare at the ring.

“Is this the same one you got for me?”

“No. I returned that one the day I went over to your house and from outside I heard you moaning and screaming out your boyfriend’s name like he was the best thing you ever had.”

“He is.” I give Ekene a straight face.

“Well, I’m glad you’re happy.”

I pick a slice of apple and stand.

“I know Mary will say yes,” Ekene adds. “She just needs to figure things out. She likes me. Maybe not as much as I like her but she likes me. And that’s enough for me.”

“I really want you guys to work, so stop being cocky and try not to screw things up.”

“How are you these days sef?” He looks at me.

“Good.”

“He knows?”

“Yeah. And he’s so amazing, and so patient, and so…”

I stop as I think of the many, beautiful ways Jide has been there for me from the moment I shared with him the story of my bipolar disorder.

“He’s an angel, Kene. And this means you have to stop being an ass to me. I have a bodyguard now.”

Ekene smirks. I tell him I’m leaving and he waves absentmindedly as he concentrates on his meal. I stroll back home with plans to talk with Mary but when I get in, Jide Informs me that she is gone.

“She says to tell you that she is sorry but she misses her home.”

I dump my sad self on Jide’s laps. His arms enfold me. I’m going to miss Mary. Tola is gone already. I have come to love both women in the short time they spent with me. Jide is right about having friends who will stand by you in dark moments. They both know about my depression and have been beside me, patient and supportive. I have had a couple of blue moments which they helped me through. The house is going to be quiet without them.

“You can come bunk with me if you need a roomie.”

Jide’s breath on my earlobe gives me goosebumps and other ideas. Too bad it’s that bloody time of the month.

Jide stares at his watch at the exact moment my phone starts to ring. I groan. I decide to let it ring out.

“You won’t pick the call?”

“Nope.”

“Okay. Um…I have to pop back to my parents’.”

“Again?”

“Family meeting.”

“Is everything alright? I don’t understand these family meetings you guys have been having all day.”

“Everything is fine, baby.”

“Can I come along?”

“No.”

I try to read his eyes which seem kind of evasive at the moment. Jide is always open with me about everything. What is he hiding?

“Are you coming back?”

“Sure.”

He kisses me before he leaves. Worrying about him, I stand by the window and watch until he’s out of sight. The moment he’s gone, my phone rings again. The Caller ID tells me Jane is calling for the millionth time. I know she wants to scold me for not honoring our cousin’s wedding, an occasion had no intention attending.

“Good evening, sis.”

Jane huffs on the phone. “Erhinyuse, why are you treating me like this? Fifteen times I called. Fifteen!”

“I’m sorry, sister.”

“This is not fair at all.”

“I know. And I’m sorry. I was busy.”

“Too busy for me?”

I stroll to the kitchen. I am so not in the mood to be scolded. I’m having cramps and the last thing I need is someone breathing down my neck.

“I’m sorry,” I say for the last time.

“Why didn’t you come for Sabina’s wedding?”

I open my fridge. “Well, you know… everyone else will be there and I don’t want drama. Brother already sent a text, telling me I was acting irresponsibly for not attending the wedding even though Sab and I are in the same town.”

“And what did you reply?”

I am staring at a fridge stocked with fresh fruits and salads. “Nothing.”

“That’s good. Ignore. Anyway, I want to see you.”

Immediately, red flags go up.

“You want to see me?”

“Yeah. Are you at home?”

I quickly recall a casual conversation I had with Jide two days ago about my family and how he warned me not to let any of them near me. His warning had sounded odd and when I asked why he came up with it from nowhere, he simply repeated himself and added, “If they want to visit, don’t take them to my place or yours. Bring them to my family house.”

I asked no more questions after that, finding it uncanny that at that moment we spoke, my cousin Sabina was having her traditional wedding and no doubt my siblings were present. I did not want to share that information with Jide. I felt my family issues were mine alone to handle. Just being with me was enough burden on him, although he must never hear me speak this way of myself.

“Can I come over?” Jane requests.

“Erm…I’m not at home right now…”

“I just want to drop your aso-ebi with you.”

I frown. “I don’t recall contributing for it. Or is Sab giving it out for free?”

“I paid for it to save face, okay? So tell me where you are let me hand it over to you with some other food ingredients I brought from Asaba since you have now started cooking.”

“You know what? Tell me where you are and I’ll drive over.”

“Even better. I’ll send a text.”

She goes offline and I remain standing, the light of the refrigerator in my face. I settle for a bowl of chicken salad. While I await the text, I dive in with a fork.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Jane is at some fast food restaurant as her message says. I drive there, still with no intention of informing Jide. It isn’t until I park the car in the parking lot and realize that Jane is not alone that I decide to dial his number. Annoyed, I speak to him on the phone.

“You were right about not trusting any of them,” I tell him.

“What’s going on?”

“Jane is in town. Everyone else is here as well for my cousin’s wedding. Jane told me she wanted to see me and asked me to meet her at this fast food joint. I drive here, thinking I’m meeting with her alone and you won’t believe who she’s here with!”

“Your other siblings.”

“I have a very good mind to turn this car around and go home right now, Jide! I am so pissed! She tricked me into coming here!”

“Calm down, sugar lips.”

“I trusted her.”

“I know. Just calm down and listen to me. Go and meet them. It’s safe. It’s a public place. Just go there and tell them you’d rather host them at yours–”

“Never!”

“Listen to me. Remember what I told you the other night?”

“Yeah.”

“Do it. Tell them you’re taking them to yours but bring them to the family house.”

“Jide, I don’t want them near your family. It will be a disaster…”

“Let me worry about that, sweetheart. Just bring them over.”

“Jide…”

Bring them.”

I concede, but not wholeheartedly. Imagine the shame if Harry or Jessica decide to act up in the presence of Jide’s parents.

“And take it easy on Jane.”

“She betrayed me. I’m so done with her.”

He laughs. “See you soon, sugams.”

I leave the car. Jessica is the first to spot me. The huge glass windows that act as walls do not hide what’s going on in the restaurant. I see them all looking at me. Jane is the only one with a lowered head. I grip my wallet tightly to still my nerves as I walk in. They keep their eyes on me and there is not one smile to go with their offensive stares.

I, however, maintain a poised exterior as I amble towards them.

“Good evening,” I throw in a general greeting. For a moment it seems my show of respect would be ignored by them as they used to do years ago but Harry breaks into a scary grin that halts my steps.

“Erhinyuse, my darling sister! Come and give me a hug.”

I stand frozen. Something evil crawls up my spine and fills my throat as I glare back at the same hands that abused me throughout my childhood now spread open to me in a show of love.

What on earth has this old devil up his sleeves this time around?

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I am not sleeping. I’m sprawled on my floor, eyes to the ceiling, hands on my chest.

To watch the video or not to watch the video.

This is a rerunning dilemma in my head. I have one good reason to watch the video and an equally damning reason why I shouldn’t. Following my hysterics earlier at Honey’s house, I have decided to handle the situation with commonsense. One would think I’d toss Ekene’s proposal aside but I can’t. This video holds the reason why.

I turn around. My laptop is asleep. I tap it awake. It takes me another ten minutes or so of fighting the urge to go on YouTube. In the end, I do. I search for the video and with a palpitating heart I play it.

It’s a recording that stretches for an hour and twenty-one minutes. I should forward to the frame that mostly concerns me but I decide to watch from the beginning to calm my nerves. I sip cup after cup of green tea while I watch. I’m into my fifth cup when the video gets to the moment of truth. I sit up and clasp the cup with both hands.

“There’s a sister at the back row there!”

The voice of Peace’s pastor fills my ear, bringing nostalgia and a host of other feelings into me. My eyes stay glued on my laptop screen and I am transported back to the day the video was recorded.

Peace had invited me to her church for some program they were having at the beginning of the year. It was something they did annually. Seven days of fasting and prayers. I had begrudgingly attended; the end of last year had seen me in a terrible relationship that left me somewhat depressed. Church was the last thing I wanted but Peace assured me that I’d feel better when the program ended, and so I decided to attend just to get her off my back.

It ran for one week and finally we came to the last day, which was a Sunday. The church was packed to the rafters that morning and I had found myself somewhere at the back because I came late. The service was one of those power-charged affairs and when finally Peace’s pastor took the stage, people’s hearts were open to hear God’s word with a lot of expectations. I wasn’t one of those people. I was a tad disappointed that a whole week was wasted and I didn’t feel any better about my state. Years of failed relationships had left me bitter and resentful of the male species.

Somewhere in the middle of his sermon, the pastor stops, turns and directs his eyes straight into mine. But he says nothing and continues preaching. I tell myself I imagined the occurrence. However, towards the end of his sermon, he repeats his action and this time, he calls out.

“The sister at the back row there!”

He points. Heads turn left and right, including mine.

“The one with the green and yellow Ankara!”

Now, all eyes focus on me. There’s no one else wearing a green and yellow Ankara outfit except me. Slowly, I put my hand to my beating heart to confirm if it’s me as I rise to my feet.

“Yes, you. You have a surprise coming for you this year.”

Yeah right, my inner skeptic remarks. I have always had a strong dislike for pastors who did things like this. In my church we do not entertain such. We are more orthodox in our way of worship.

“Your husband will come this year,” the pastor continues. My inner skeptic snorts. It’s clear that I am not married because I am not wearing a ring. Please, man of God tell me something else.

And he does.

“God says to give you two signs so that you will know this message is from him because the man will come into your life and without these signs, you will throw him off.”

Okay, this is getting interesting.

“First sign: he will propose to you without any relationship going on between you two. Second sign: when he proposes, he will give you a short time to return with an answer.”

I remain a doubting Thomas.

“And God says you should say yes to him because that is your husband. He said he has made events and situations in your life align to that man. Your years of searching and frustration are not wasted years. The time was not yet set but before this year ends, you will wear a ring on your finger.”

The congregation choruses out a loud ‘amen!’ that terrifies me. I slump back into the chair, annoyed at Peace. Clearly, she told her pastor things about me.

“I did not,” she says in sincerity after the church service.

“You’re sure?”

“Why would I even do such a thing, Mary?”

“Maybe out of concern.”

“Please believe me, I did not. And you know what’s even scary about what happened here today?”

“What?”

“Our pastor hardly ever does what he did. He is more of a teacher than a prophet. If he prophesies in a year, it might be two or at most three times. What happened today was rare, so please take it as a message from God.”

Indeed. And that’s how I go through the year, a disbeliever, even though deep inside I know the message wasn’t a hoax. For fear of wanting it to come true, I refuse to entertain the presence of any guy. I dedicate my year chasing my career.

And then Jide returns home after five years and the feelings I once had for him are re-ignited, especially after the kiss we share. I tell myself he is the one. I speak to Peace first but she dissuades me, reminding me of her pastor’s prophecy. Ignoring her words, I share my feelings with Celia and the rest and they are only too happy to pair us up. Peace is not in support but she keeps mum and goes with the flow. When Jide brings Honey to the get-together at Celia’s and throws all of us off, only Peace shows support for their relationship. Well we all know how that story ends and how the next day, I debase myself by stripping for Jide and he gives me the tongue-lashing that I rightly deserve.

Peace’s reaction to the incidence is an ‘I told you so’.

“Shebi you will listen to God now?”

Listen to fire. I tell myself that the chances of that prophesy coming true is one in a million. I am more likely to get a yes if I propose to any random man out there than find Peace’s pastor’s dream husband for me.

I carry on with this state of mind as the months go by, oblivious of what waits for me around the corner.

Ekene is a blow to my face I don’t see coming. His proposal knocks me off balance and the after-effect still leaves me swooning. I am fighting him with everything in me and even after watching this video as a confirmation of where my life is supposedly ought to be heading, I insist on rejecting him.

“I do not like Ekene,” I say out loud. I need to believe this. I need God to hear me. “I don’t like him.”

I finish my cup of tea.

“I will not marry him.”

©Sally@moskedapages

Images credits: www.virgosandkisses.com, mystictalia.com

 

 

Fish Brain Clan (4) Amaka

AMAKA

Girls have the habit of burning their ex-boyfriends’ stuff when they know the relationship is really over and there’s no hope of a reunion. As for me, I didn’t go through that stage of hatred for all things James. I kept little pieces of him with me—his Arsenal mug, a few of his t-shirts, his boxers and his perfume. The perfume was the most important. It always made me feel better whenever I was down but for some stupid reason I had left it at Loretta’s place and being holed up in Fiyin’s bathroom with no comfort through Saturday night, it was hell. But the last thing I expected was to hear James’ voice the next evening and to hear it calling my name.

“Amaka?” he knocked on the bathroom door. “Are you okay?”

I didn’t trust my voice to sound normal, so I kept quiet.

“Can you please, open the door? Please?”

Not with my own power o, but something pushed me and took me to the door and used my hand to turn that key and open that door. It was also not by power or might that I held James and broke down in his arms, so nobody should say that I went after him. I stayed there for a long time and the yeye James held me tight and was tapping current. When I realized that all my friends were standing at the door to Fiyin’s room and looking at us with this awww-they’re-so-cute expression on their faces, I pushed James, picked my handbag and started leaving the house. Fiyin ran after me.

“Amaka!” I stopped and turned. “Amaka, what is wrong with you? Abi you don dey craze ni? You didn’t even ask where the Loretta that was threatening fire and brimstone is and why she’s not here to ask for her money.”

My sister was a mad woman. She had mad love for me but when it came to money, she displayed a different type of madness and didn’t care if she went against family.

I crossed my arms. “Where is she?”

“Iz now ya asking. You’re a very selfish human being! Very selfish! You misplaced your sister’s money and instead of you to gaan beg her, you ran into the bathroom and hid yourself and switched off your phone! You won’t even talk to me no matter how much I begged you. Just thank God for James o, because me, I gave up wanting to help you in any way. He has already promised Loretta the 500k and that was why she left, and instead of you thanking him, ya storming off as if he owes you something.”

Apart from the fact that Fiyin had this hot body that I so wanted to covet, she made sense some of the time but at that moment I didn’t want to hear anything she was saying, especially when it had to do with James and my annoying half-sister, Loretta.

“Who asked you to put mouth in my own matter? Ehn, Fi? Who the hell asked you? Is it me that told Loretta to give me money to put in the bank or is it me that called James to come and be forming hero?”

“But shey you were the one hugging him now-now? Are you not still the same person that will be crying in the night because you can’t sleep without him? Or abi you’ve forgotten how you almost went mad when you heard that he got back with Watzhername? Now that he’s here and you have the chance to make it right, you’re forming and acting all high and mighty!”

What was this dumbass chick talking about? Didn’t she know James was standing behind her, soaking in every word?

“So I should just go back to the same James that dumped me for no reason?” I shouted, making sure he heard me.

“Yes! Why do you think he came here? He still loves you, Maxy. And all he wants to do is comfort you with all the stress you went through this weekend. At least, give him a chance,” she begged. “Give all of us a chance. If Loretta hadn’t told us what was happening to you, we wouldn’t have known. That’s how you would have been dying in silence.”

“You want to know what I went through?”

“Yes! At least, talk to me, Maxy,” she said, pouting.

“Let me gist you how my weekend started. I was PMSing! Yes, James, women tins, not that I expect you to understand. I had all the symptoms, headache, excess weight, waist pain, pimples all over, as you can see…so my Friday morning was already messed up. As I was about to go and take my bath, Loretta’s momsie got on my case and wanted a fight. I didn’t want long talk, so I sha insulted her. When I got to work, my boss – that old, disgusting thing with his oily face decided he had gathered enough liver and stretched his ugly hands to grab my breasts in his office. The audacity! If you see the way I slapped him ehn, I’m sure I altered his DNA and the next child he will give birth to will have the marks of my fingers on his face!”

James tried hard not to smile.

“That’s not all! I went home and I don’t know what demon entered Popsie that he packed my clothes to the very last studded earring I have and threw them out of the gate just because I insulted his wife. He said that I was not allowed back unless I came back with a husband. He said all my mates were married and had stable homes but I was ‘globetrotting’ and bound to catch something worse than an STD soon.”

“No, Popsie can’t say that,” James said.

“Do you know my popsie?” I lashed at him. “Have you ever met him before?”

“Sorry.”

“Then the old man took my car from me and said that my using a car will drive prospective husbands away. That was how I was kicked out and that was how I found my way to Loretta’s place. She was on her way to Ibadan and she gave me some money to put in her pastor’s account. They stole the money from me in the bus while I was sleeping. So, there you have it! My messed up weekend and my messed up life!”

After sharing my woes, I turned around and left the house.

“Amaka!” This time it was James calling me.

“What nau?” I turned back and he walked to me.

“I’m sorry, Amaka,” he said, “about your weekend and all you went through.”

“I’ve heard.”

“I feel responsible for all that happened and I want to make things right for you, for us.”

“For us? Which us, James? What happened to your madam? Abi she too suddenly developed an unwitting character with no future ambition?”

“What I did to you was cruel and I don’t expect you to trust me after this but can you give us another chance?”

My mouth dropped open and I looked at him as if he was one ugly alien. The words that wanted to come out of my mouth were too angry and too x-rated, so I just gave him my bad girl smile and left him standing there. I heard him calling my name but I quickly stopped an okada and went to Loretta’s place.

For three weeks, James bugged me. There was always a missed call and a text every single day but I ignored him completely. All I was interested in was reading my Bible and the twice a week counseling sessions I was having with Pastor Ishi. It’s not that I turned into this holy-holy person but I desperately needed Jesus in my life.

On a particular Sunday evening, while I was trying to sleep, the door burst open and my four elder sisters came in and told me to get dressed and follow them to see my popsie for some form of reconciliation. They forced me into our firstborn’s car and two of them sandwiched me in the backseat. On the way, they started giving lessons about men.

“Amaka, I heard you are forming for our fine boy. Why?”

“Why not?” I lashed.

“Don’t you know good men are hard to come by these days?”

“Tell her o! You want to end up being like Loretta abi?”

Quick history. We are nine girls, all born to one father because he was looking for a male child. I was only two years old when he drove my momsie out of the house for giving birth to only female children. But he already had a girlfriend outside the house that he was hiding from everybody. Just two months after momsie left, he brought the girlfriend in and people were shocked to see that she already had two girls for him. In short, Loretta who was the first was three years older than me. As the years went by, Loretta’s momsie added two more girls for popsie, making us nine.

“She’s thirty years old and still no husband in sight.”

They were still on Loretta’s case. Was I supposed to learn something from it?

“She will keep paying money into that her pastor’s account for ‘special prayers’”

They said the ‘special prayers’ in unison and burst into laughter.

“Hopefully, the man will use the money to ask for her man in marriage.”

“As if!”

Another round of laughter.

“Okay, okay, okay, let’s be serious now. Maxy, you have to do everything to make sure you hook the next man you date and we’re going to teach you how.”

“Now?” I asked.

“Now.”

I knew what they were talking about and honestly, I didn’t want to hear it. The last time they had this talk, it was with Loretta and I was there and it was embarrassing because my sisters talked about sex like they created it. It was no big secret that they all controlled their husbands with their bedroom skills.

“The lesson is on how to make sure accidents occur during protected sex with the man of your dreams…”

“Why?” I almost cried. “I’m not sleeping with any man in any dream! I’m keeping my body for my husband!”

I received a hard slap on my back and a warm rub after that and a “don’t interrupt me when I’m talking. Now listen: when he insists on using a condom, don’t argue with him. Instead, handle the condom yourself. Let me see your nails!”

I stretched out my hands and showed them my long, natural nails.

“Good! You have to use these your sharp nails to puncture the condom and also make sure you use petroleum jelly as a lube.”

“Yes, blue seal is the best. Before you guys go halfway, the condom will burst.”

“Confirmed!”

“And before you know it, you’ll be pregnant.”

“Make sure you’re ovulating, though, so that you can be sure.”

Oh God, wash my ears after this.

“But Aunty,” I complained carefully, bending my back for fear of another slap, “it’s not good to sleep with a man before you marry him. What if he does not marry you in the end? That’s what James did to me before.”

“That’s because you did not get pregnant. This time you will make sure he puts that bun in the oven. Inugo? The women in our family are very fertile. Apart from Loretta.”

They laughed again.

“You just have to take in. It’s getting too late for you.”

Getting too late? I am only twenty-seven. This had to be my mother’s doing. Somehow, from her house in Enugu she still found a way to control our lives. Three of my sisters had carried on her instructions to the letter and had gotten pregnant before they got married and now it was my turn to follow the family tradition. My dad who was supposed to be neutral in all of this had teemed with them because he wanted a new car to add to the four he already got from my sisters’ husbands. I felt choked and wanted to run. Saying my mind was not an option.

As my sister’s car parked outside the gate of our family house, my heart started pounding. I saw a strange car I didn’t recognize and knew immediately that my popsie had brought a husband for me. Hian! Igbo tins! I had heard all about arranged marriages and had insulted the girls that allowed their parents push them into that type of stupidity; now it was my turn.

What was I to do? Where was Pastor Ishi when I needed him?

Tears were already gathering in my eyes as I neared the door. My plan was to cry and grab my popsie’s leg until his heart melted towards me and he changed his mind but for now, holding my immediate senior tight would do. She dragged me in.

At first the parlor was dark because outside had been very sunny and my eyes had not adjusted to the darkness but one by one, I made out the people there. I greeted my popsie and Loretta’s mother and when I turned towards my by-force husband, I started from his legs because I was afraid that his face would be ugly. But when I saw the familiar feet of James and saw that they were crossed together, Hausa style, I raised my head and gave him a very nasty look.

My popsie said something, Loretta’s mother also spoke, someone else joked and they were all laughing but I was still standing beside my popsie and talking to James clairvoyantly.

ME: what are you doing here?

JAMES: ?

ME: What is‘?’

JAMES: ?

ME: If you know what’s good for you, better start going.

“Amaka!” Loretta’s mother shouted my name and I turned to her.

“Ma?”

“Where’s your mind? We’ve been calling you since!”

“She’s been looking at him,” my popsie said with a proud smile. “It’s young love.”

Somehow that was funny and they all laughed, including James.

“Oya, down to business. Come and sit here,” the old man said and shifted so I could share his chair with him. He is a very thin man and me I don’t have any backside so the chair took us comfortably. At that moment, all our previous beef ended.

“Chiamaka, do you know this man? He said his name is… er…gini bu afa gi?” he asked James.

“What’s your name?” Loretta’s mother translated the question.

“James Haliru Bako.”

“Do you know this awusa fellow, Chiamaka?”

“Yes, daddy.”

“You do? Why didn’t you tell me you had a man na? And you allowed me send you out to fish for nothing?”

You kicked me out.

“Daddy, James is not–” I started to say but Loretta cut me off.

“My friend, will you stop interrupting daddy while he’s talking?” It was only after she spoke that I realized she was in the parlor. Now everything began to make sense. She was actually behind the whole arrangee[1].

“So, he has officially come to ask for your hand in marriage but before I say yes, I have to ask you, as is customary: is this the man you want to marry?”

I couldn’t believe the question. With killer eyes I looked at Loretta and then at all my seniors and at James and knew there was no way out. I stared at the door. It wasn’t too late to walk out.

 

 

 


[1] Arrangee – arrangement

© Sally@moskedapages Cover Design by @IamAyomiDotun

Read next episode HERE

Thanks for reading today’s post. Next week Loretta shares her story and leads us to a whole new set of characters.

Fish Brain Clan (2) Onagite

Read previous episodes HERE

ONAGITE

I waited for him to say my name. Pastor Ishi waited. The whole congregation waited. But James just stood there and confirmed, to my horror, that he actually called Amaka’s name. I wanted to die! No, it wasn’t possible; it had to be a dream. Maybe people didn’t hear. Maybe James’ microphone had not really worked.

Then I heard people murmuring.

The microphone had worked. They heard and they were now talking about me, laughing at me, saying “shey she wants to marry?” They were already tweeting and updating their Facebook status. My social life was dead!

God! How could James do this to me? Why did they pin that stupid microphone to his suit? God, why did you even create that thing called Amaka?

Tears burned my eyes and I felt a fever coming. Before I could stop myself, I was hyperventilating and my hands were shaking my bouquet. I felt like throwing up.

Oh please biscuit and banana, stay down in my stomach. Please stay down. Don’t add to my shame.

“Uhm…” Pastor Ishi spoke up into his microphone, addressing the whole church as he adjusted his collar and prayer shawl. “Due to…” he sighed, adjusted his geek glasses. “Due to recent developments, the wedding’s been cancelled.”

A low murmuring of human voices spread around the church.

“Please, can I have absolute silence? Thank you. As I was saying, the reception is scheduled to hold at Four Points. If you’re up to it, you can still go there and enjoy the buffet. Having said that, on behalf of the Edafetanures and the Bakos, I sincerely apologize for any inconveniences. As you return to your various destinations, I pray the Lord grants you journey mercies in Jesus’ name. Thank you.”

God! So my wedding is over before it even started? Jesus, who swore for me?

My heart wanted to literally pop out of my chest with the way it was racing. All I kept saying in my head was “please, stay inside, banana and biscuit,” as I felt my breakfast coming to my mouth. Gratefully, my elder brother, Oyibo came to my rescue and whisked me out of the church through the nearest exit but before we got outside, I had puked all over my dazzling Kosibah gown.

“Gite!” I heard James call my name and I turned to see him coming behind me.

“You have the audacity to follow her?” Oyibo raged, advancing towards him. I stepped in-between them.

“Gite, I am sorry,” James said and I felt that involuntary movement rising from my pits again. “Can we go somewhere private and talk?”

Somewhere private? Is this guy insane?

“She is not going anywhere!” Oyibo tried to pull me away, but again it was too late. My mouth forced open and I puked on James.

It was supposed to feel good but it didn’t. A crowd had gathered to watch us but the church security, God bless them, quickly locked the doors. Oyibo took my hand and dragged me away from James to the parking lot.

As the car raced out of the church premises, Oyibo began shouting at me.

“I told you!” He hit the steering and honked at a commercial bike. “I told you but Onagite, God forbid that you should ever listen to me!”

Up to this moment, I had not shed a tear. All I wanted was James. I wanted to break down in his arms. I braced the long ride to Ikeja as Oyibo went on and on and on about how stupid I had been with James. He was right, he was harsh but I did not cry.

When we got to Oyibo’s house, he led me to the guest room. As he opened the windows to let in sunlight, I listened to the sounds of Lagos outside and was brought back to the reality of my situation. I wondered if James was thinking of me or facing the heat with Pastor Ishi. The latter had to be the case.

“He used to say all the beauties of the world put together paled in comparison to mine and that he wouldn’t give me up if all the riches on earth were given to him,” I said to Oyibo. “Do you think the whole time we were together, he was thinking of Amaka, just like he did in the church just now?”

“Of course!” Oyibo exclaimed.

“I know how easily guys can code stuff. Was Amaka a code name for me? Clearly, she’s a symbol of love to him, so it could mean that when he said her name, he was just trying to tell me how much he loved me.”

Oyibo could have bashed my head in with the way his eyes burned me but he simply headed towards the door. “I’m going back to get Susan and the boys from church.”

My phone rang, it was James. Oyibo turned and looked at me threateningly.

“Don’t you dare!” he growled.

I answered the call. “James?”

“Sweetie?”

Then I broke down.

**********

Facebook status update Tagged: James Haliru Bako

To set the record straight for all you bad belles running your mouths and poking your ugly noses in my relationship status, James did not call any Amaka’s name at the altar. He simply said ‘Max’ and Max does not in any way refer to Amaka. It’s a pet name for my massive onion tush. James and I are still together and hope to finish what we started. All you useless amebo[1] old-timers, instead of using me to get more twitter followers, please get creative and use your spare time to find your own husbands.

I updated my status and flung my phone on the bed and waited for James. He pinged me about two minutes later.

I tot u were done wit d internet wars

 

Gite, so all d beggin I’ve bin doin 4 d past 5days is nt enuf

u havnt yet scratchd d surface of ur knees dats y u stil hav mouth

let me com n c u nau?

Lai-lai!

k. wat els do u want?

I paused. Let me see…he apologized on Facebook and Twitter, apologized to the whole church, paid transport fares for my friends who came from outside Lagos, bought me a brand new car, a bigger and blingier engagement ring and finally made me signatory to one of his accounts. Hmmm…. What else do I want?

4get amaka!

I hav

court marriage ASAP!

I tot we said we’d wait

U stil luv d bitch! Fk u!

I flung my phone on my bed again and burst into tears. I had been crying like this for days, holed up in Oyibo’s guest room, not talking to anyone and appearing only for dinner. When my nephews and sister in-law, Susan, tried to make small talk with me, I just nodded or shook my head. I tried on a smile once but it came out grotesque and scared the boys. So I wore a long face throughout and listened to Cece Winans for comfort and Celine Dion for torture. Susan gave me a Kenneth Haggin book, How to Win Over Pain but I pushed it under my pillow and read romance stories off the web instead. At night I had nightmares of James trying to kill me. He would float into the room like a ghost and try to choke me to death. When his hands close in on my neck, I’d wake up screaming. Oyibo would run into the room and hold me while I cried myself senseless. Most times, he put me to sleep himself and slept beside me like we used to as kids.

On the sixth day, Susan brought a doctor friend who looked into my inability to keep any food down. I had lost 10kg and had all these spots on my face. The doctor ran some blood tests and promised to return the next day with results but she gave me vitamins which I flushed down the toilet. I didn’t want to get better unless James got back to me, but at the same time, I didn’t want him to see me the way I was and think he had power over me.

Growing up with my mother, she had all these rules about men but I remembered three in particular:

  1. Don’t ever shed a tear for any man.
  2. Don’t ever let a man control you.
  3. Don’t ever buy a car without a test drive.

When I asked her what the last one meant, her answer was simple: “stop asking me stupid questions!” Then she taught me all about ‘cars’ and how to change ‘gears’. I was only ten.

My mother single-handedly raised my brother and me. I would like to say that she worked really hard but all she ever did was either lie on her back or bend over. Oyibo hated her for what she did and I’m sure if he was in some foreign country, he would have become a serial killer whose obsession would be centered on prostitutes.

Me, I didn’t follow her way. At least, not in the beginning. Her money was enough to put us through secondary school but the moment we got into uni, we were on our own. While Oyibo did odd jobs to make ends meet, I dated the richest boys on campus and didn’t care if they had girlfriends. In my fourth year, I had mastered my art and dug my claws into some maga[2] in Port Harcourt who had a wife and two kids that lived in France. When the relationship ended and he finally moved back to France, he left me with a lot of money. At this point, any sensible girl would count her blessings and remain stable but not Onagite. I loved ‘gears’ more than my mother did; Michael Schumacher had nothing on me. By the time I turned twenty-five, if you went to a bar and saw five guys sitting around a table, chances were, I had slept with at least three of them. As long as they were packing heat in their pockets and in their boxers, I was good to go. My philosophy was if you wan chop frog, kuku ma chop the one wey get belle.

Before I turned thirty I was engaged and jilted twice. The first engagement ended when mandatory pre-wedding blood tests confirmed that I was five weeks pregnant. The problem was my fiancé at that time had not slept with me. I was carrying another man’s child and didn’t even know it. The second engagement ended a month before the wedding when I got a call from London from my supposed fiancé who secretly packed and left without telling. He told me that he was living with a British girl who was pregnant for him and wasn’t ever coming back to Nigeria.

I was devastated and decided it was time to pack up shop. Destination: Lagos. But fate had plans for me as it put me in the same plane with Pastor Ishi who preached to me for the whole fifty-five minutes. By the time we arrived Lagos, I was a changed person. I had no desire to go back to my old life. I started attending church judiciously and there I met James. I knew when he started dating Amaka, thanks to the tatafo[3] sisters in the church who had no job than to set serious P on fine, loaded guys. When James and Amaka broke up and James was in the market again, he wasted no time in zooming in on me. It was obvious I was his rebound crush but it felt good to finally have the man I had been secretly dying for. Before long, we started dating. But I had another man in my life. His name was Derrick. He was broke, struggling with his music career, cooked mean Calabar soups, was my best friend, younger than me, made me feel alive and did not hide the fact that he was crazy about me. While James kept a sexless relationship with me, Derrick and I were constantly tempted to take it beyond friendship.

During my eight months with James, he mentioned Amaka once only after I bugged him. He honestly told me he still had feelings for her but she was history. Still he kept a phone he carried around like a lifeline, a shrine dedicated to her with her pictures, videos and text messages; and one afternoon while he napped at my place, he was calling her name in his sleep. Did I confront him again? No. See, at my mature age of thirty-two, you learn to accept the things you cannot change.

On my birthday he took me to see a movie and started asking me about my past, about guys I had dated and how many I had slept with. The wheels in my head started spinning. I was scared. We had never really talked about our pasts and coming to have to face mine and knowing it could cost me the love of my life, I lied like I had never lied before and even put up a you-don’t-trust-me act with tears and all. He laid the case to rest. When he dropped me off at home later, he popped the question with a stunning diamond ring and I accepted. Maybe it was the sugar in the popcorn or all the hugging and excitement but we ended up making love that night.

The next morning before he left, he said we had to get married instantly and that I shouldn’t use any morning-after pill. His requests were strange, so I called Oyibo and shared with him what had happened and he advised me not to listen to James and take the pill and added that James’ motives for rushing into marriage and wanting me pregnant were suspect. That same afternoon, I drove a long distance to see Derrick. We talked all night and drank and the next morning while leaving, I told him I was getting married. He walked me out of his house and later deleted me from his BBM contacts, and blocked me on Facebook and Twitter.

Now, I wanted him. The doctor Susan had brought for me the day before stopped by and confirmed in very cheery voice that I was pregnant. After staring at her blankly for what seemed like forever, I told her to leave me alone. It turned out that when I went to tell Derrick the good news about my engagement, we didn’t only talk but drank a lot and ended up crossing the line from friends to friends with benefits. It was after the shameful act that I decided to heed Oyibo’s warning and I took the contraceptive which boasted of seventy-two hours post-sex coverage. Unfortunately, the pill did not work. Now, the question was whose baby was I carrying?

With my eyes, too gritty and sore from crying, I rested on my back and stared at the ceiling, going through all that happened. It still felt so unreal. I had James back but with the recent turn of events, I wasn’t so sure anymore. My life depicted someone who was lost in a jungle with no one to rescue her. Once in a while a helicopter came by and though I called and shouted and threw flares to be noticed, and though the helicopter came down so low it almost touched me, it would soar up again and disappear, leaving me stranded. Three times! Wow! Something was wrong. Surely I was cursed. Even if I was a victim of my own doing, it had to be someone that swore for me.

Keeping the baby wasn’t a matter for debate. I almost died at the last D & C; the doctor said it would be a miracle if I got pregnant again. I wondered: was it God’s mercy or the doing of a skilled jazzman? Was it punishment for cheating or have my sins of eleven abortions finally caught up with me in a perverse manner?


[1] Amebo – Gossip(s)

[2] Rich guy who spends on a lady for sex in return or just because he’s stupid

[3] Tatafo – Gossip(s)

© Sally@moskedapages Cover Design by @IamAyomiDotun

Read next episode HERE

 

To Tame A Virgin #19

For Kef Richardson… HBD!

thighs

Temi received her query letter with an uncomplaining smile and put it beneath her keyboard. She made plans to reply it later in the day. She was relieved that she worked in an office where everyone minded their business. No one asked her why she had been away from work or why she had lost so much weight. No one bothered about her and for that she was happy. That was why she found it weird when one of the senior partners’ secretaries appeared before her table and said ‘oga’ wanted to see her immediately. Temi automatically assumed it was either Felix Enenche or one other man whose name she always forgot. She had no idea she was going to see Dike. She followed the secretary up the stairs to the management floor and they stopped at Dike’s office. Temi didn’t bother to read the name on the door before she walked in. It was his perfume that first gave him away before her eyes saw him standing by his window, looking out.

The secretary exited, leaving them alone. Dike turned to Temi and her insides churned just looking in his eyes. She bit her lower lip nervously and pushed her glasses to rest properly on her nose.

“Hi Temi. Please, sit.”

“No, I’m fine standing. This won’t take long, will it?”

“No.” Dike also remained on his feet. Temi was mighty uncomfortable. She had never imagined she would be with Dike in the same room again, let alone get flushed by his presence. She was beginning to see what Uyi had spent two full hours trying to make her understand. The problem was not with the men in her life; it was with her. And she knew that if Dike crossed the table separating them and touched her, she wasn’t going to resist. She cursed herself and felt tears burning her eyes. Dike wasn’t saying anything; he was merely staring at her and it was doing things to her body.

“Temi, what is wrong with you? Are you okay? You look emaciated.”

“I’m fine. If that is all you called me here to ask, I can tell you that I’m okay. Can I go?”

“Hope we’re good. You don’t hate me or anything like that?”

“No.”

“I just needed to clear it all up and apologize again. I was an idiot and I used you. I can’t forgive myself for what I did. I’m terribly sorry.”

“Okay, I heard you. Can I go now? Please?”

Dike nodded. Temi kept her face down and with legs pressed together, she shuffled out of his office in a hurry. She dashed to the nearest restroom to let it all out. She couldn’t look into the mirror; each time she did, a whore was staring back at her.

“Something is wrong with you, Temi,” Uyi had said in a tone she never heard him use on her before. “You have to get help. Maybe from a doctor or a pastor or an older woman who can mentor you or something.”

“I’m okay. I just need to get over the shock that I almost got AIDS.”

“No, it’s not that. And it’s also not that sex is your comfort food. It’s more. I think you enjoy it a little too much.”

“You’re calling me a nympho?”

“No. And please be honest with me here. I’ll know if you’re lying. If I kissed you right now, would you stop me?”

Temi held her tongue but the look in her eyes and the instant change of color on her face told Uyi all he needed to know.

“Go and get help. And it’s time you quit the nice girl act. It’s getting irritating.”

That conversation didn’t end well. It left her in tears especially after Uyi made it clear that he wasn’t going to be seeing her again. How she survived that night was a miracle. The next day, she went for a HIV test and to her relief she was negative, though she was told she would have to return in six weeks for a confirmatory test. Like most people do, who find themselves in the dump, Temi sought God, beginning a self-imposed one week prayer and fasting and an everyday visit to a neighborhood church to spend her evenings. After the week ended, she believed she had successfully expunged the demons of lust in her. So why did just one look from Dike get her all flustered and wet?

She dared to look into the mirror and her image judged her. She commenced crying hysterically, not caring about the lady that walked into the restroom, staring at her through the mirror as she rinsed her hands.

“My dear,” the lady finally asked, “are you okay?”

Temi nodded.

“It’s obvious you’re not but whatever it is, know that God is control,” she said with a gentle hand on Temi and Temi’s eyes caught a hand rosary dangling from the lady’s wrist. She was once Catholic herself but had changed churches after dating a Pentecostal pastor. From then she never went back. Now seeing someone from her former church brought some form of peace within and authentication that she needed God completely to change her lifestyle. After work, she paid a visit to an old friend from her former church. The woman had been like a mother to her when Temi first came to Abuja. She had not seen her in three years. Temi hoped she was going to be received well.

Dressed in her most conservative of clothes and every Catholic paraphernalia she could use to piously adorn her body, she was ushered into the office of the Mother Superior at the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Temi stood by the door, unsure of how to greet the comely nun who was sitting behind her desk with a bland face; but a smile erupted from the woman’s lips and hands stretched out to Temi.

“Come here, Temidire.”

Temi rushed to her with a hug. After the greetings and small talk to catch up on lost time, Temi stated the reason for her visit in the most prudish face and voice she could muster.

“Mommy, I want to become a nun.”

The woman’s eyebrows went up and she crossed her fingers together. “A nun?”

“Yes ma. I have always wanted to be one.”

Which was not a lie. But Temi always found herself falling into the arms of a guy each time she made the resolution to get herself married to Jesus.

“My dear, dedicating your life to God like that is no easy feat and it is not for everyone. You must have a call from God.”

Then the lies began.

“I am sure of my calling, mommy. I have prayed and fasted for months and I keep seeing signs everywhere.” She got off her chair and walked to the woman. “This is where I want to be. Please, don’t say no. There’s no life greater than this.”

“It is a long process, Temidire.”

“I know but I have been living my life like a sister already. My friends at work call me Mary Amaka and men have given up on me completely. I don’t have any desire for the things of this world, especially not in these wicked days.” She held the woman’s hands and went on her knees. “Please, don’t turn me away.”

“My dear,” the woman touched her head, “I am happy to hear you say this but will you give me time to seek the face of God? And I think you should use the time also to pray some more and speak to your parents about it.”

Temi nodded. Not quite the answer she was expecting but it was good enough. She knew she would be accepted into the community. She thanked the kind nun and left her office a lot happier than she went in. The rest of the evening was good for her; it felt like angels walked with her all through. Even when she went back home and found that Peter had packed his things and left the house without as much as a note or text, it didn’t rain on her parade. To her, it was even better he left. He was one of the reasons she was in the damper; he had ignored her completely and often looked at her like she was the one that infected him with the disease.

She treated herself to a hot shower as if expunging her past, got into a simple dress, adorned her face with light makeup and took herself out for a treat in a bar somewhere in the neighborhood. When she drank beyond her limits, she told herself it was going to be her last. When she flirted with a group of guys on a table next to hers, she told herself it would be her last flirting. And even when one of them came to sit with her and his hand found its way up her dress, she told herself, he was going to be her last fling.

The guy took her to a hotel nearby and spent a good hour on her. After which, he wore his clothes and dumped some naira notes beside her on the bed. It was at that moment the alcohol spinning her senses receded and Temi shot up from the bed.

“What’s this? I’m not a prostitute.”

“I know. But you need the money, don’t you?”

“No.” Temi’s sight was getting clearer too. The guy was not as hot as she had believed.

“So why would a beautiful girl like you come out alone to drink and allow a strange man have sex with you just like that?”

The answer waiting on Temi’s lips bordered on something about it being the modern world and a girl not being made to feel like a slut just because she wanted to sleep with a stranger; but Temi kept quiet and concentrated on forcing her pooling tears of shame away.

“I’m a nice person. My friends wouldn’t have offered anything, so stop forming and take the money,” the guy insisted.

“I am not a prostitute!” Temi restated, took the notes, squeezed them into a ball and flung them away. Then she went to him and began unzipping his fly.

“My friends are waiting for me,” he stopped her.

“Let them wait,” she replied and continued what she began. Her heart burned within her. She hated herself for what she was doing but she wasn’t going to allow the last thing he remembered about her be centered around the money he gave her. She was going to prove to him that she wasn’t a slut by giving him the screw of his life free of charge.

************

Dike knew Kachi was a witch. A good witch. Who was doing bad bad things to him. She had some form of magic, a manner in which she wove her spell over him. She was a mistress of the art of knowing his heart, and boy did she work her charm like no man’s business.

Who knew she could smile so much? Or could even sing while cooking? Or endure watching National Geographic with him? Each day he observed her unfolding before his eyes like the pages of a fantasy novel. He was just getting to know her and it was beautiful to watch her reveal herself under his eyes.

Her enchantment was potent in him. Some would call it love but Kachi had found the secret to controlling his center of gravity. She kept him distracted and he forsook all other diversions. They were now chasings after the wind. In his own jungle, a wild lioness had been tamed and it was not by his control or even his knowledge. What had happened to Kachi was nothing he could take credit for. Maybe something really good came out of her newly found Christian faith in the end.

She believed in the power of her God. Dike’s God too. But Dike was skeptical about the whole spiritual issue. Mortals and immortals had little business with each other. What did a generic God care about a man’s love life with his wife? Such things were too high for Dike to comprehend. Thus he was okay with his little ‘mustard seed’ religion, even as enticing as the new Kachi made him hunger for more.

He had a more powerful craving though. Kachi was responsible for it. Why put cheese where a mouse can easily reach? But he had known what he was getting himself into when he brought her back in. Now she was binding him in another spell too strong to break; the trap was set and he was circling the cheese. To the casual observer, he barely noticed her but his phone followed her everywhere she went; and when she looked at him all she saw was him being absorbed in something off the web. But Kachi had also acquired the power of patience and perseverance through seduction. She kept displaying the shorts and tights and see-throughs diligently with a never-fading glimmer in her eye.

Witch!

Dike knew he was going to fall soon… One of these nights…

He had no idea it was coming sooner than expected. Ten days after she came back into his life, Kachi finally trapped him in a bottle. Only he didn’t know. Just arriving from work, he walked in to nostalgic sounds of love songs from 1998, the year they met. It was Shania Twain first and Dike laughed at the cheesiness of the song, asking himself how he could have ever been carried away with such music. Then came LeAnn Rimes, Janet Jackson, K-ci and Jojo, Usher, Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees, Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, Monica and of course, Celine Dion. It was while he was listening to Dreaming of You that it finally hit him that Kachi was playing a collection from a mixtape he had given her on her birthday that year. He remembered vividly waiting outside her family house with the guard dogs going wild at his presence. Kachi had kept him waiting twenty minutes before she showed up with an unwelcoming frown.

“Yes?”

She ignored his smile and greeting and crossed her arms rudely beneath her breasts. He would never forget how heavenly he thought she looked.

“Happy birthday.” He handed her a manila envelope.

“Thank you,” she said with no smile. “But you know I have a boyfriend, right? And he’ll be here soon. So you better go.”

Dike was deflated but he walked away with a sure grin. He knew she would love the presents in the envelope. One of them in particular had cost him a fortune. Others included a mixtape, a birthday card and hair care products he had gotten from his sister’s shop on credit.

The next time he met her, Kachi was wearing a tolerant smile but it was a smile nevertheless. She thanked him appropriately for the presents and accepted to have him buy her suya but she reminded him that she kept her heart for her boyfriend. Dike noted that she didn’t wear the one gift he had spent all his cash on, not then and not even after they got married…

 

Too Close by Next was playing at the time Dike walked by Kachi’s bedroom. He just had a shower and was dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, ready for his dinner and TV time. He stopped by her door to stare at her clad in her towel alone, holding a blouse in the air. She put the blouse aside and changed the music to something native; another very familiar sound from their traditional wedding.

“Will you stare at me all day or will you walk by and pretend you didn’t see me as you always do?”

“Where’s Travis?” Dike asked, ignoring her opening line.

“With Mama.”

“Hmmm.” Dike smelled a conspiracy in the works. “Have you seen my Mastercard?” he inquired and Kachi smiled in guilt. She walked to her dressing table and picked the card in question.

“That was not part of the deal, Kach.”

“I’m sorry but Ene’s sister’s wedding is tomorrow and I needed to shop.”

“So you went on a spree,” Dike said, eyeing the heap of native attires on her bed.

“Yes.” The guilty smile again. “I will reimburse you when my new boss pays me.”

“I see. Feeling smart with yourself, abi?”

He walked in and took the card from her. As he was turning away, she stopped him.

“Please, tell me which one you think fits me best.”

“Kachi, I just came back nau. Lemme rest.”

“It won’t take long.”

Dike looked at the heap of clothes and shook his head, pitying himself. He sat on the bed and without warning she dropped her towel.

“What is wrong with you?” he asked.

“What?” she looked at him innocently and picked a yellow, embroidered blouse to wear. She got into it, struggling. When it settled on her body finally, she couldn’t zip it together. She tried two more blouses and the results were the same.

“Didn’t it occur to you when you were buying them that you’re pregnant?”

“I should have just gone to my tailor to sew me something.”

“Well, that’s your business.” Dike stood up. “Pick something old.”

“One more! One more!” She picked a red, ankara gown from the bed and got into it, legs first; but there was a long zipper that ran from her upper back to her bum and she called Dike to help her with it. He walked to her and ran the zipper down with as much control and as fast as he could. In the end, he handed her the pull-tab.

“Dike, you spoilt my zip!”

“Sorry, the thing just followed my fingers and came off. You’re using my money to buy fake things.”

She turned around with an endearing smile at him and the sight of a glittering gold necklace on her neck caught his attention. He didn’t notice it earlier because his mind had been on ‘other’ distractions. He pulled the necklace and held out a D-shaped pendant with yellow stones on the surface.

“You still have it.” His voice carried silent surprise. “I thought you hated it.”

“I did. It was conceited of you to give me a gold necklace with a D on it on my birthday.”

Dike grinned naughtily and put the necklace down. “So, madam, are you done seducing me?”

“I’ve not even started.” Kachi turned around. “Undo the zip please.”

“What made you change your mind?” he asked and began parting the zipper.

“About the necklace?”

“You know what I’m talking about.”

Kachi didn’t answer immediately; she allowed herself feel the goosebumps his fingertips were deliberately creating on her skin.

“Travis.” She answered. “Travis changed my mind. What type of mother watches her son each night pray to Jesus to bring his mommy and daddy back together and walks away from that with an untouched heart? Every morning it was ‘mommy, is daddy coming today?’ ‘when are we going back home?’ ‘are you still angry with him?’ I was falling apart and I was angry that I couldn’t go against the prayers of a little boy who knew nothing of the pain I was going through. And then one day, it occurred to me that my pain was a lot bigger than my motherhood and my happiness and even my sensibilities. I was scared that it would swallow my life entirely. It was at that point I started fighting you hard because I was at my weakest then. Nnai, I had to stop and do a turnaround, to let it all go. And it’s not been easy. I still look at you sometimes and feel you don’t deserve to be forgiven but seventy times seven doesn’t come all in a flush, does it?”

“No,” Dike said but he was not interested in a conversation. Kachi understood and she turned around to face him.

“I’m going to kiss you, Onyekachi. And touch you everywhere. Then make love to you. But I don’t want to do it if you have an investigator lurking around or if I wake up tomorrow and hear you’re off to London or something like that. I need to be assured that you’re here to stay and your heart is here as well.” He made no show of hiding his defenselessness as he spoke to her.

“I’m here.”

“Onyekachi Chibuzor, I beg of you, biko, emekatakwala hapu’m.”

“I’m never leaving you again, Dike.”

“I ma na I ji obi’m.”

“And you hold my heart too.”

He moved away from her and sat on the bed. “Then dance for me.”

“What?” she laughed.

“Give me your best Igbo dance. Shake what I paid for. That’s the only way you’re getting back into my house.”

“Dike…”

He got out his wallet from the pocket of his shorts and brought out a healthy collection of a thousand naira notes. She laughed. “I’m shy.”

“I’ll put my money back and go and sleep o! Ngwanu!”

Kachi laughed again and gave a little shake of her body.

“Ehen! Na now you come!” he moved further into the bed and rested his back on a pillow. “I have all night. Let’s make the moment count. If you want this money on you, you better give me reason.”

Kachi knew this was Dike’s last fight to reinstate his ego. She wished he understood that there was no need for it; she was totally surrendering to him. Yet she felt the need to let him know where she stood, so she began to dance for him. It was one of the few things he liked about her; she was completely sold to her culture and was not ashamed of it. He was liberal on such things and would not bother to speak his language or visit his hometown if she did not make him.

She moved closer to the bed and gave him her best dance yet, twerking and mixing in a little Yoruba booty moves in her performance.

“Oriaku! Odoziaku!” he praised her, sitting up. “You no go finish me! Enenebe-eje-olu! Utommanuanu! Igodo obi’m! Mmazuruahu! Dance for your husband Obi’m! Ugochinyere’m”

The naira notes flew into the air and landed all around her.

“Yes O! shake am! Na only me get am! Nke’m! Lolo’m! Uto’m! Adaugo! Omalicha! Anyanwu! Ugegbe mma!”

Kachi stopped to catch her breath and fan herself.

“Oya rest. You’re carrying a baby, abeg. But you’ve not danced enough oh. Some money’s still in my hand.”

Kachi smiled, and then turned sad face as tears gathered in her eyes.

“What’s the problem now?”

She lowered herself and sat on him, accepting the embrace his arms offered.

“The last time you called me those names was on our traditional wedding. Sadly, I was not interested in hearing them then. I was not even there; it was all an act.”

“But you’re here now and this is not an act, sweetheart. Isn’t the end of a matter better than the beginning?”

“It is.”

“So why the tears na? See how far we’ve come after everything. I am not with some girl and you’re not with some guy. We’re here together. We fought and worked things out even with all the childish conduct from two of us. We’ve really come a long way, Kach. So why cry for the past that is being erased at the moment?”

“I wonder o,” Kachi mumbled as his fingers stopped her tears.

“All these tears spoil breastmilk oh. It will become sour now.”

Kachi laughed. “You listen to Mama too much and she’s taught you one of her old wives’ tales.”

Dike pulled a serious face. “This is not about old wives, biko. It’s about a man who is getting the breastmilk first before the baby comes. Please, don’t use tears to sour my pleasure.”

“Speaking of which…how about that kiss and touch and lovemaking you were talking about earlier?”

Dike rose up from the bed, carrying her with him, but he placed her on the bed again.

“I’m hungry jor.” He began walking out.

“I knew you’d be difficult. Your too form!”

“I learnt from the best!” Dike stated in a raised voice, heading towards the kitchen.

Kachi hurried out of her gown and dug under the pile of clothes for the attire she had kept for the night and wore it. Next, she changed the music to a collection of songs from Kenny G, one of Dike’s favorite musicians, and dabbed her perfume on his pleasure spots on her body. On her way out, she bumped into Dike. He had a contrived frown on his face.

“If your plan was to starve me and seduce me with that hot lingerie on your body, it’s working… oh, it’s so working I want you to feel it.” He pulled her close. “My mom was so right. You’re a witch, Onyekachi.”

©Sally @moskedapages

To Doctor Val and his Uzoamaka…the beauty that graces his life.

 

 

Translations

biko, emekatakwala hapu’m – please don’t ever leave me.

I ma na I ji obi’m – you know you hold my heart

The names Dike called Kachi while she danced are just terms of endearment men use for their women in Igbo land.

 

 

An Early Morning Rain by Emmanuel Chux Chukwurah


This rain
If you had last night come,
Well would have been your come.
As you on every roof bang
So would lovers do.
For you would have a good ambience made
For a lovely pair to pair well at night.
For a honey moon group,
O what a time it would have been!

Even a Miss lonely on a bed
Would have sojourned away in sleep
Like  Snow-White.
And a Bachelor too
Would have you enjoyed.
For he would have journeyed afar on his bed
Well tucked under his duvet.
And your dropping rhythm
Would have him accompanied
To a dream land.
There he might meet a Miss
Who his missing rib bears,
Whose heart has the rhythm of his.

Not even your rolling thunder
Would an infant awaken.
The little life too
Would have met the fairies of the tales.
For you would have a lullaby sung.
And the dream goes on.
As long as you would in the night remain.

Then we would have awoken
To a new day refreshed.
For you would have the day bathed at night.
The trees refreshed;
As if made anew on creation day,
The grasses resplendent
With your droplets on them.
The clerk to his desk,
The farmer to his field,
The pupil to his classroom
All with energy renewed.

But now that this morning you came
And earlier than the  crows of cock
And on you go
Not a rest at the hour seventh
Unlike God on the day seventh
You have come not so well.
For this is our time to hunt.
But now by duress you make us sleep
Or lazy around our home.
If your orders we defy,
Drenched we become.
And like fish we swim
In pools unwanted
To our fields of hunting.
The gutters and the road
Are now twins identical.
Only a walk in the deep
Will the difference show
With a broken bone added.

This rain this morning,
You should have come at night.

To Tame A Virgin #6

As God has willed, I am well again. Thank you for your prayers and healing words. I’m back on my feet…er, sorry, back on my fingers. 🙂

thighs

Things are going to change drastically for the characters of this story. Some hearts will break, some will find love, what has been hidden in darkness will come to light and like water spilled to the ground which cannot be taken back, some of these changes will be irreversible.

And here it begins…

Just a kiss. That was what she said. But it was more than that to both of them. It had been ignited from the moment she raped his mouth at Mr. Enenche’s and since then, they hadn’t been able to stop the fire that drew them into an endless kissing game. Uyi had left the Enenches’ that evening, embarrassed and in a hurry but he could not hastily erase the taste of Dami’s tongue over his all through that night. Work was a bore for him the next day and with Temi’s absence, his weariness was turned up a notch. But Dami spun things around when she materialized before his desk with a bogus assignment she wanted him to do which would require him working overtime. He acceded to her wish and continued his day with a renewed zest.

When evening came and the office building was empty save for the two of them, the kissing kicked off again. Scared that they might be caught by the numerous surveillance cameras, they moved to Dami’s car at the parking lot where they went on for a prolonged time.

“Are we ever going to have a serious conversation?” Uyi asked when he stopped to breathe. Dami shook her head slowly at him with what seemed like a naughty smile.

“Who wants to speak geek this night, Uyi?” she whispered and bit his lip so hard he flinched. Then she continued again. No touching was done, no phone numbers were exchanged, no words were said, and she kissed him all the way to his doorstep… and then stopped, breaking into laughter when she saw his roommates staring at them with gaping jaws. One look at Ovie and Peter had Uyi changing his mind about staying home.

“Let’s go to your place,” he suggested to Dami and she nodded readily. “Er…wait for me in your car. I just want to get something quick.” As she walked away, Uyi dashed into his apartment and was welcomed with loud whooping from Peter and Ovie. They followed him into his room, begging for juicy details about what they had just witnessed. Uyi said little to them but it was enough. They already had evidence of the kiss, a photo taken with Peter’s phone. They waited for him to leave before logging into www.totameavirgin.com to upload the photograph. And that was how Uyi’s name joined the list of Dami’s potential deflowerers. In less than thirty minutes, he topped the list and Dike’s phone buzzed for three full hours, alerting him of new bets placed on the newcomer.

 

However, Dike couldn’t concentrate on his incoming alerts. He had his own headache to deal with at home. Kachi had been crying for five long hours and had refused to tell him why. He suspected that she had somehow found out about Temi. But Dike wasn’t really fazed. In fact, he had half-expected her to catch him because he wanted a big showdown. So bored he was of his life and marriage that he was willing to risk it all to start over again. He believed he loved Kachi immensely but the fire was long gone and he just couldn’t see himself playing the role of a husband anymore. His heart was dead cold towards her. He had tried to revive it severally but without success. Now, all he wanted was a way out of the prison he called his marriage, and if Temi was the exit, he didn’t give a damn if his affair with her was exposed. Still, it hurt him somewhat to see Kachi cry. She once was his best friend and if there was left any part of his conscience that was alive and jabbing him at that moment, it was for the friendship he once shared with her.

“Kach, talk to me nau. Why are you crying like this?” He didn’t know how many times he had asked that question in Igbo and in English but the answer was always the same – silence and more tears. He was tired and heavy-eyed and one look at his blinking phone reminded him that he had messages to attend to, so he sighed and said, “I’m turning in. If you want to talk, just tap me.”

He rested on his side of the bed and connected his phone to charge as he began to attend to his messages. Just as he was about logging into totameavirgin.com, a text message arrived. He clicked on the SMS icon and saw that the text was from Kachi. He glanced at her side of the bed where she was crouched, and saw her fiddling with her phone. He turned back to his and clicked on the SMS and it read thus:

Mrs Dike, my name is Temi and I have been sleeping with your husband. I’m very sorry about it. Dike told me he was divorced. I didn’t know you guys were still married. Pls forgive me. But I have worst news. I am pregnant for him and have no intention of aborting it. Again, I’m truly sorry.

Dike was dumbfounded. Temi couldn’t be pregnant, he argued in his head. She was just trying to cause trouble. What on earth would possess her to send such nonsense to Kachi?

He looked at Kachi. She was still crouched and backing him. She sent him another text.

Temi, thank you for letting me know. I do not advise you to abort the child. And I do not advise you to stop seeing Dike if you love him. I am leaving him for you. Enjoy.

“Kach?” Dike called Kachi in a very low voice and she lifted herself from the bed and faced him. “Nnai…” she began and stopped and rubbed her swollen eyes. “I… actually found out about two of you earlier today. I followed you from work until you got to her house. I saw you guys kissing in the car, I saw everything. And I was so angry. I planned to go back to her house to beat the hell out of her before descending on you… but her text came in and… everything changed. It was like someone poured cold water on my body and anesthetized me and I am yet to recover. So here I am, Ogbudike, all fight in me gone. I can’t come to blows with another woman over a man who doesn’t love me, over a man who takes away my dignity and shares what is mine with someone else. I can’t keep giving you all of me only to find out it’s not enough and you want more outside. What you and I have is more than physical but you take it and make it small and strip it of all its essence and it’s killing me, Nnai. It’s killing me. I can’t do this anymore…” She covered her face briefly and sniffed, then let down her hands and pierced his eyes with a tormented stare. “I want… a divorce.”

Dike shivered without his helping it. He was afraid to look into Kachi’s eyes to discover she actually had the power to break him completely with just one stare. It was only his pride left and he wasn’t going to let her take it away and emasculate him all over again yet he felt some sort of darkness covering him, something profound leaving him, severing a cord between him and Kachi that he never knew existed. He was experiencing, at that point, what Kachi told him she had experienced earlier. A cold sensation took over him and he could hardly feel any part of his body.

“Are you serious?” his throat burned. The kneeling image of Kachi on the bed stirred something strong in him. She had never looked so beautiful in all their life together. He wanted to just reach out and hold her but his hands were like dead weights beside him. He desired to tell her he was sorry, to tell her that he truly loved her but had been consumed with his ego. He needed to ask to be forgiven but sadly, nothing in him budged. He remained there like one who was dead.

Kachi drew a long sniff and slowly dismounted from the bed. She took her wrapper and phone with her and was heading out of the room when he finally found his voice. And it came out with anger that surprised even him.

“You want a divorce?” She turned to him as he sat up. “Fine! I will give you your divorce so I can rest from your controlling hands because Kachi, I am tired! You choke me every single moment! I can’t breathe when I’m with you. It’s like walking on thin ice! You always find fault in everything I do! It is either how I laugh or the way I swallow my food or the fact that I speak pidgin in public or that I fart in bed! You push and push and push AND DRIVE ME CRAZY! You don’t know when to stop! And now, you’ve pushed me into the arms of another woman who gives me the respect I deserve! Yes, she is better than you and more woman than you will ever try to be!”

Kachi whimpered.

“So don’t stand there taking the moral highroad with me! I know your dirt, in and out and I ate it without complain! But you… baby, you destroyed this marriage! You! Not me. And I have totally given up too. You can have your bloody divorce!”

With his face etched in stone, he picked his pillow and phone and stormed out of the room, banging the door behind him. As he headed for the guest room, he dialed Temi.

 

Temi was in a cab headed for Gwagwalada when her phone flashed silently in her hand. Dike’s number appeared and she hated herself for knowing it by heart. She had already deleted his details but saved every text and ping in a folder named ‘bastard’. Five hours ago, she was sitting with Hafsa in her room, traumatized by his betrayal.

“So what will you do with the baby?” Hafsa had asked her.

“I’ll keep it na. What else will I do? I can’t abort it oh.”

“I’m not asking you to, but Temi, he’s a married man. The baby will tear his family apart. Don’t you think you shouldn’t involve…?”

“What are you trying to say, Hafsa?” Temi grimaced heavily.

“So you want to carry the stigma on your head that his marriage scattered because of you?”

“Oh, I should just be shoved aside because I’m not the one with the ring on my finger?!”

“Temi…”

“I was not a mistress, Hafsa! I was Dike’s girlfriend!”

“But he’s married.”

“And I don’t want him again! How many times will I say that?!” She emphasized. “I just want him to be in my baby’s life and I don’t care if his wife cannot handle it! I did not snatch her husband! I was innocent and so is my baby!”

Hafsa didn’t argue further. She left a few minutes later and it was then Temi sent the text to Kachi. It had taken a whole hour for a reply but when it came in and she read it, Temi experienced a cold feeling wash over her. Numbed at once, she read Kachi’s text over and over again and Hafsa’s words returned to haunt her. She paced around her room endlessly and each time she stopped, it was to eat something. The hours dragged by leaving a heavy weight on her shoulders. She was all out of tears, and it seemed, of options as well. But there was just one alternative left for her to take. She went through her contact list and retrieved a number she hadn’t called in years and dialed it. Fortunately for her, the person on the other line remembered her. They conversed a little and she ended the call. The black Diesel clock on her bedroom wall struck eleven and Temi hurried into the bathroom. She had a quick shower, changed into clean clothes, picked her wallet and exited the house. Uyi had not yet arrived and she doubted that he was on his way, hence she took her key along. Outside her house, she hailed a cab and asked the young driver to take her to Gwagwalada. Sitting behind, just by the window, she felt the wind outside blowing over her as the cab sped on. It was then she finally released held tears.

Now Dike was calling. She looked at her phone and though she had no intention of taking his call because of what she was planning, something pushed her to press the answer button. She told herself that she had to say her final goodbye to him.

“Dike?” she said, rolling up her window to stop the bellowing wind from interrupting her call.

“Cuddles?”

“Mmm?” she answered in a moment of weakness.

“How are you?”

“I’m good.”

“Um…quick question. Are you pregnant?”

His voice was affectionate, filling her with warm memories.

“I am.”

“Haba, Temi, why didn’t you tell me first? Why did you have to tell my wife?”

Temi burned in instantaneous anger. “Why didn’t you tell me you were still married? Why did you lie to me?” Her tone was raised and she caught the cab driver looking at her through the rearview.

“I’m sorry, cuddles. I wanted to but…”

“Dike! Dike, Dike! I beg you, leave me alone! As it is, I’m going to abort your child now, now, now! I don’t want to tear anybody’s family apart. Lai-lai! It’s not me God will come and punish! So if you know what’s good for you, don’t ever call me or text me or even show up at my door! Me and you are through! I don’t want to ever use my two eyes to see your cheating, lying face again!” Temi hung up and hissed. She cussed in Yoruba for a long time before she let down the window to take in fresh air. Uyi had crossed her mind without warning as thoughts of him usually did, so she dialed his number and waited for it to ring as she had breathed in unsullied air to calm herself. But something weird caught her attention when she noted the environment they were in. Her brows creased and she looked around, searching for signs to indicate they were en route Gwagwalada.

“Ehn, oga?” she drew the attention of the cab driver and he stared at her through the rearview mirror. “Where we dey go? I say Gwagwalada, not Nassarawa State. Ode oshi.”

The cab driver took a few seconds before responding but he turned with his hand stretched out holding a piece of cloth which he shoved into Temi’s face. On impulse, she hit his hand and pushed the cloth away but she realized that her sight became instantly blurry. She blinked severally but it only got blurrier. The car appeared to her as if it was rocked by giant hands. Temi tried to hold on to something for balance but she failed and slumped on her seat, her right hand still holding her phone.

 

Uyi pried away from Dami’s lips and went for his phone. He saw it was Temi calling and though he didn’t want to pick the call, the gentleman in him would not let him ignore it. Besides, he felt he owed her an explanation for not showing up at hers.

“Temi?” he answered the call with a guilty smile but met silence. He suspected that she was upset with him. “Tems?” There was more silence though he could hear something like movement in the background. “Come on, Tems, I know you’re there. Answer me nau.”

He heard more movement and the line went dead. Uyi looked at his phone with a smile and shook his head. He was in too deep in the middle of his kissing game with Dami to bother about Temi. She could be handled better at a later time. He switched off his phone completely and turned back to Dami who was sitting behind her wheels.

“Where were we?” he asked.

“In my car, parked just outside my house and you were saying something about it not being right for you to be here by this time and because I didn’t want to hear that, I stopped you with a kiss.”

“Dami…” Uyi looked like he had another objection to make, hence Dami hushed him with her finger.

“Let’s go in.”

They both got down from the car and walked to her house, slowly and silently, holding hands like lovers do, not wanting to spoil the moment. Dami unlocked her front door and welcomed him in. The house was beautiful as he would later discover but for that passing moment, Uyi had eyes for Dami alone.

The kissing started all over again but this time, their hands proceeded to discover each other’s bodies all the way from the sitting room to Dami’s bedroom. However Uyi stopped when jolted to his senses the instant his hand found its way down her underwear. He pulled away as if stung by something and apologized.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I can’t.”

“You can’t what?”

“I can’t have sex with you, Dami. You’re a virgin.”

She laughed, her twinkling eyes, laughing as well. “Relax.” She held his hand.

“No, I’m sorry, I can’t.”

“I said, relax. I’m not a virgin,” she said.

“What?”

She shook her head. “I started the virgin rumor to give credibility to my career as a model here. It was my selling point. Because God knows I needed to enter the Nigerian market after my relic of a dad burned my entire modeling career in Europe.”

“So, you’re saying…”

“I’m not a virgin. I lied to help my market sell and while my career lasted, it worked, until my dad burned me here again and shoved my ass to work for Felix’s firm,” she said in slight bitterness. “So, don’t you worry, child. I’ve had sex before. Relax.”

“Are you sure?”

“Wouldn’t I know if my hymen went missing?” she laughed.

“Dami…” Uyi still complained but Dami pulled open the drawer attached to her nightstand and showed him an array of condoms.

“If I was a virgin, would I need these?”

“Okay, the number of condoms in there bothers me.”

“Er, I don’t use them. It’s just for… well, you know…” She stretched from her bed to the wall and switched off the lights in the room. Immediately a soft blue glow of moonlight from her wide windows illuminated the bed.

“Is it true you have four boyfriends?”

She shook her head. “I’m seeing four guys but nothing serious. Just casual, nonphysical dates. Nigerians are funny sha. Once a girl goes out on a date with a guy more than once, they assume she must be seeing him exclusively. That’s why that stupid website they created about me is a waste of time. None of those four guys stand a chance. I hardly even see them these days.”

“And what about me?”

She smiled and pointed at her wide grin. “See this? That’s what you do to me.” She sat on his laps. “Be my boyfriend, Uyi. My real boyfriend, not the play-play type.”

Something in the weird accent she used to say the Nigerian expression made him laugh.

“They say you’re a tease,” he stated.

“Am I teasing you now?” she nibbled his earlobe and he squirmed.

“They say you change men like underwear.”

“Make dem say wetin dem wan say. You send dem?”

Again her accent made him laugh.

“You’re an ajebutter and I’m ajepako. Can you handle that?” he asked.

“Butter meets pako. Butter falls in love with pako. Butter makes pako her man.”

Tickling her, Uyi pushed her to the bed and lay over her to look at her intricately carved form under the moonlight. She looked too perfect to be real, like he was staring at real life Barbie.

“Is this just a onetime thing?” he asked.

“No. So if you have a girlfriend, better dump her.”

“She’s already trashed.”

“You talk too much,” she hoisted up to meet him with a kiss.

“If we’re going to be exclusive, no more PDA,” he said.

“Already laying down the rules like a typical Nigerian guy.”

“No clubbing and partying during the week.”

“Yes sir.” She began unbuttoning his shirt.

“And lastly, no…”

“Oh, shut up,” she covered his lips with a fierce kiss him and pulled him to her. A voice told him he was playing with fire but he silenced it and peeled off her clothes and underwear one after the other. She responded to him in a way no woman had ever done before and all of his senses were fully employed in the occupation of pleasing her. To him, it was more than just an act of affection between two lovers; it was a hoorah moment, for on that bed, thanks to his triumphant boner and his new, insanely beautiful girlfriend, he proved that he was not a learner.

However, a while later, as Dami pulled him to the bathroom to have a shower with her, something on the bed seized his attention. He stopped, turned back and turned on the lights and right there in the middle of the bed, staining the flowery, pink bed sheet was evidence of Dami’s lost virginity.

Like cold water being poured over him, he became speechless as he looked at her.

“W-w-what just happened?” he asked.

“Ouch.” She smiled mischievously. “I lied. But you, you just boldly went where no man has gone before. Clap for yourself.”

 

©Sally @moskedapages

 

 

©Sally @moskedapages

To Tame A Virgin #4

Read previous episodes HERE

thighs

The weather was strangely cold and Uyi watched as Temi shivered in her seat even though the AC in the office was turned off and the window next to her was closed. He wondered why of all days, she had decided not to wear a sweater. But needless to say, she was looking good in a plain white top that made no attempt at hiding her breasts and Uyi was glad that she had gone the extra mile to appear sexy. She had been a sight for sore eyes for him, a distraction from the complex matrix systems he had been staring into all day.

“Thank God it’s Friday!” A colleague exclaimed with his hands in the air and Uyi knew it was four o’clock. He smiled at the colleague who had gone back staring into his screen through thick glasses. He was a strange guy who rarely smiled nor frowned but did weird things like dance his way in or out the office, bang his head over his keyboard incessantly whenever frustrated and scream out ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ each time the clock struck an hour every single Friday. He was the only form of entertainment they had in the office since television was not allowed.

Uyi pushed out his chair and walked to Temi’s table.

“Hi.” She managed out a smile.

“Are you okay?” he asked and she nodded. “You don’t look too well. Is it the cold?”

She nodded again and he felt her forehead.

“Tems, your temperature is up.”

“Is it?” She let out a sniffle. “I have sore throat, headache and runny nose. I’ve taken Paracetamol sha.”

“You need something stronger. I’ll just run down the road and get you Actifed.”

“Work ends in an hour, so I can manage. Thank God it’s Friday. Phew!”

“You need to rest. Work has been so bad this week. As in, I’m seeing double on my monitor.”

Temi sneezed.

“Sorry.”

“Your perfume is strong. Go away.”

“I’ll walk you home and nurse you if you promise not to jump on me again.”

Temi’s little, shy eyes shifted uneasily and she pushed him away playfully. “Go jor. I do one silly thing and you keep reminding me. Haven’t I behaved myself since?”

“By dodging me throughout the week and boning as if we’re fighting? Plizz! What if we had slept with each other?”

“Shhh!” Temi looked around, embarrassed, scared that a colleague had heard him.

“Go nau. I have work to do.”

“Omoruyi!” someone called and Uyi turned in the direction of the door to see one of the senior partners’ secretaries.

“Oga wants to see you immediately!”

Uyi nodded and turned back to Temi.

“Mr Enenche wants to see you?” Temi asked. “What have you done now?”

Uyi shrugged.

“I don’t like the guy. He looks like a pedophile.”

“Now, Temi…”

“What? It’s a vibe I get around him.”

Uyi shook his head and walked away. Outside his office he took a flight of stairs that led him up and came out to a long hallway. He walked to the last office on his right and peeped in. The secretary who had called him earlier was behind her desk and she pointed to Mr. Enenche’s door. Uyi walked straight to it.

As most bosses appeared, Mr Enenche was older than Uyi but he was still in his prime. He was bald with no signs of gray in his beard and was totally bereft of wrinkles. And also, like most men his age, he wore glasses that just wouldn’t rest anywhere else but on the tip of his nose. An Omega watch adorned his wrist and a suit that squeezed at the armpits but swagged of wealth was covering his upper body over an equally expensive-looking shirt. The weather did not seem to bother him because his AC was on and at a very low temperature.

“Good evening, sir.”

Mr. Enenche nodded but stuck his face to his laptop. Uyi watched the movement of his pudgy hand as it caressed the touchpad of his laptop.

“I need you to hack into a site for me. Can you do that?”

Uyi wondered if it was a trick question. Of course, he could hack into anywhere he wanted but it was against personal principles and work ethics. He replied nothing and fixed his eyes on a church poster behind Mr. Enenche.

“I asked you a question, dude. Can you hack into a site for me?”

The ‘dude’ unsettled Uyi but he replied, “I can, sir, but I’d rather not.”

“I knew you wouldn’t,” Mr. Enenche continued, his head still crouched over his laptop. “But if you have a younger sister whose virginity has become the butt end of randy men’s jokes, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to make sure you secure her honor?”

At this point, Mr. Enenche looked up into Uyi’s eyes.

“I know you’re aware of the site running solely to see Damaris ruined?”

Uyi considered this another trick question but saw through the man’s piercing eyes to know he was in trouble if he lied.

“Yes sir, I’ve heard about the site.”

“You know the people behind it?”

“No, sir.”

“I heard they work here.”

“I’m not aware of that, sir.”

“Do you know why I called you in particular?”

“No, sir.”

“Because I have watched you closely. Apart from the fact that your work is outstanding, you seem to have a godly comportment which is very hard to find in your peers.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“That wasn’t a compliment. I just stated a fact. Anyway, it pains me to see my little cousin being treated like a commodity on display.”

“Sir, your little cousin is Dami… Sorry, Damaris?”

“Yes. And she is under my guardianship. Her father will skin me alive if any bastard messes her up. I know she has her flaws but she needs direction and that is why I need you to find out what idiots are running that site. In short, I want the IP addresses of all the people who log on to that site. All of them!”

“Yes, sir.”

“Be sure that you’ll be rewarded.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“And by the way, I’m inviting you to my house on Sunday for my baby’s naming ceremony.”

“Congratulations, sir.”

Mr. Enenche went back to his laptop.

“My secretary would give you the details. Come with your girlfriend. I like to know my employees one on one.”

“Okay.”

“And Omoruyi,” Mr. Enenche lifted his head. “Please keep this between us, will you?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good.” He dismissed Uyi who walked out and hurried down the hallway. As he got to the stairs, he came across Dami who was speaking on her phone but she stopped him with her free hand and had him wait for her. During the wait, Uyi studied everything about her carefully, his eyes adoring her features without letting on what he was doing. Her face was carved to perfection with high cheekbones, twinkling brown eyes, a straight nose and full but wide pink lips that caressed each word she uttered. The touch of her hand on Uyi’s was smooth and she distractedly but gently stroked him, leaving goosebumps on his flesh.

“Hi.” She smiled at him after ending her phone call. Her hand was still resting on his and she applied gentle pressure with every word she spoke. “Uyi, right?”

“Dami, what’s up?”

“You didn’t ask me how I got your name,” she said and Uyi spared her a half smile.

“Does it matter?”

“Not that it does but hey, nice meeting you again.”

“Same here.”

“And you smell really nice.”

“Thanks.”

She started up the stairs and Uyi made his way down.

************

“How do you feel?” Uyi searched Temi’s face as she rested her head on her pillow. He thought her eyes looked too sunken without her glasses.

“I’m fine,” she replied him and bit her lip. “Please close the windows.”

“No, you need clean, fresh air.”

“I’m still cold.”

“You’ll be fine under your blanket and once the drug kicks in, it’ll send you straight to sleep. Where’s your boyfriend by the way?”

“He’ll come later.”

Uyi thought he saw a lie in her eyes but he didn’t dwell on it. He reached for his laptop carrier from the floor and pulled out his laptop.

“You’re always insulting Naruto. Well, today, I’ll introduce you to it and I promise you that you’ll love it.”

“Whatever. Just play it. Hopefully it will put me to sleep faster than the Actifed.”

Uyi turned on his laptop and played the cartoon in question. Initially, Temi seemed interested in it but after she received a call from someone whom he suspected was her boyfriend, she turned her face away and backed Uyi for a long time. He could hear her sniffing every now and then and he suspected she was crying but he didn’t pry. Finally, she turned around and spared him a weak smile and continued watching.

“So who’s this guy with tribal marks?” she asked, pointing at the screen.

Uyi laughed. “It’s not tribal marks.”

“It’s what nah? Three lines on each side of his face like my grandfather.”

Uyi smiled. “He is the Naruto.”

“Okay. And that’s his babe?”

“Sakura? She’s his friend but she’s in love with his former best friend, Sasuke, who is now his enemy.”

“And from all indication Naruto is in love with the babe but she’s forming friendship abi?”

“Yes.”

“But wait oh, why do they run with their hands behind their backs?”

“The ting tire me sef.” Uyi laughed and Temi hissed in amusement.

“You guys can watch rubbish.”

“But it’s better than watching Cuando sex me.”

Temi burst into laughter and went into a terrible coughing fit until Uyi held her up, rubbed her back and it subsided.

“It’s not Cuando sex me,” she corrected after finding her voice. “It’s Cuando Seas Mia and it means when you are mine.”

“Whatever. It’s cheesy nonsense. I can’t watch that mush with a gun to my head.”

“Speaking of guns to heads, why did Mr. Enenche want to see you sef?” Temi asked.

“Nothing serious.”

“It can’t be nothing serious with that man. It’s either he’s about to fire you or promote you. Which one?”

“Do they promote corpers?”

“Why did he call you nau?”

“He simply wanted me to find out who is running that totameavirgin website.”

Temi hissed. “I thought it was even something serious. Isn’t he a hypocrite!”

“What do you mean?”

“The person that is running the site is his very close friend.”

“For real?”

“Yeah. So how come he doesn’t know?”

“Well, friends stab friends in the back. But who is the person?”

“I’m not telling.”

“Temire, you’re not being fair.”

“I gave my word.”

“So did I and see how I just broke it by telling you.”

She stuck out her tongue.

“And they say women don’t know how to keep secrets. But seriously, you won’t tell me?”

“Nope.”

“I hate you. And by the way, your nope sounds like dope. All your Ns are now Ds.”

Temi sniffed. “Stupid catarrh. And stupid hypocrite Mr. Enenche. He and his friend like to follow small-small girls and use them anyhow. So it serves him right that people want to use his cousin.”

“Wow. That’s harsh. What’s eating you like that?”

“Nothing. Back to our argument. Admit that romance movies and series are good.”

Uyi mock-vomited and she hit him with a pillow. Then they fell into an argument that dragged on for a while and in the end, Uyi had to admit that he had enjoyed some cheesy movies. Temi blessed him with a hug and rested on her pillow again. They settled into silence for a while as the exotic Japanese language coming from the cartoon pulled Temi into a snooze. When Uyi turned around to explain a scene to her, he found her asleep with her mouth slightly open due to the blockage in her nostrils. He pinched out some mentholated balm from a small container and applied it below her nose; he also moistened her lips with some of her cherry lip balm and lifted her blanket to cover her properly. He wrote a note and placed it by her nightstand before he left. Slinging his laptop carrier across his shoulder, he walked off into the night, hoping to catch a cheap cab being that all he had on him was three hundred naira.

************

There was no one home when Uyi walked in through the front door. Earlier Ovie had complained about being too broke to host anyone for their customary Friday shindig and made plans to go see his elder sister to raid her freezer. As usual, Peter also made plans to tag along, keeping to his scrubby nature. Now, with the house to himself, Uyi made a meal of jellof rice and sausages, popped open a can of cold beer and settled to eat and continue with his Naruto when Edet appeared. The front door was locked, so he pressed his face to the window and made gestures at Uyi to open up for him. But Uyi being in no mood to do so, continued with his alone time. Edet moved away from the window and went to the door and began banging on it, yet Uyi remained seated and upped the volume of his laptop. Edet returned to the window and peeped really hard to be sure someone was within, that he wasn’t just imagining things.

“Uyi, your papa! You dey craze?! Open dis door jor!”

Uyi ignored him and after more insults, he disappeared from the window. Uyi finished his meal and cartoon and went for another can of beer but Edet showed up again. He came with a loud bang that rattled the door and riled Uyi up. Uyi got to his feet, marched to the door, unlocked it and inivited him in. As Edet took the first step, Uyi rammed the door in his face, knocking him out cold on the floor. He remained there as Uyi locked the door again and went back to his beer. The night wore on and he listened to love songs on his laptop and went off to sleep, forgetting Edet outside.

The next morning had him waking late and to the buzzing of his phone. He stared into the screen to see Temi’s name and he took her call.

“Hey sicky-sicky. You’re up already.”

“Yeah.”

“You got my note?”

He heard a smile in her voice. “Yeah. How sweet.”

“How are you feeling?”

“Still not good oh. I’m still running a fever.”

“Okay. I’ll come over but hope your boyfriend is not going to be there. I don’t want wahala.”

“He traveled. Just come.”

“Okay.”

************

Uyi had a wonderful time with Temi again. As he guessed, she wasn’t as bad as she had projected on the phone but she still needed little more nursing. He administered her drugs and held her head over steaming, balmy water to clear her nasal passages. Afterward, they worked on a client’s account, watched a movie and argued about trivial things. When it was getting dark, she begged him to stay awhile and made him a big bowl of soup to take home.

“Thank you, Uyi,” she said and hugged him in her tight kitchen.

“Anything for a friend.”

She released him and headed out first, deliberately brushing her backside against him. Uyi smiled at the seemingly innocent act but kept a blank face when she turned around to look at him. She went for her sweater and walked him out the door but didn’t go far. There was another hug and this time he felt her lips brush against his neck as she let go.

“See you on Monday,” he said.

“Good night.” She walked back in and he went home.

************

Sunday service was one of those long affairs. The pastor had too much to say, the choir had so much to sing about, people were thanking God for too many things and all the people that had starved church attendance in a while decided to show up. It was well past 2pm before the pastor said the closing prayer. Like many members, Uyi joined the church bus and it dropped him right at the junction of his street. Feeling satisfied and refreshed with himself, he walked home with a gospel tune in his head. Ovie and Peter were not back yet but Edet was in the compound when he walked in. He saw a plaster over the poor creature’s nose but he ignored him and he walked past.

“Uyi, abeg, make I explain wetin happen between me and Vivian.”

Uyi allowed him all the way to his flat and pretended to listen to his unpardonable excuse as he unlocked the door but when he stepped in and Edet tried to do same, he slammed the door in his face again. Fortunately for Edet, he wasn’t standing so close this time around.

Uyi made himself a large bowl of eba, had his lunch and fell asleep.

He woke up three hours later and dressed up to head to Mr. Enenche’s party at Asokoro. Following the address the secretary texted him, he found himself on a street that was lined with expensive cars. He could hear music in the distance and it drew him to the venue easily. He walked in through an open gate to face a magnificent house with a spacious lawn. There were large canopies with chairs covering the whole area. Women and children littered the place mostly but there was a section where men were hurdled together, sipping on beers and peppersoup. Uyi could spot some people from his office and they were mostly from management, but there were a few junior staff too, none of which he was acquainted with. He protectively held the gift he had come along with as a pair of little girls ran past him. He smiled at them and strolled straight to the front door and entered a sitting room filled with so many people. Nodding a greeting to anyone who cared, he waded further in, towards the dining area to see whom he could speak with. To his relief, Dami appeared. She was angrily walking past him as she murmured incoherently to herself but he stopped her and she slowly released a taut smile when she saw him.

“Hi,” she commented and hugged him tersely. “So good to see you, Uyi. The ass invited you?”

Uyi wasn’t so sure who the ‘ass’ was but he had a good idea that it was Mr. Enenche.

“He’s in his room,” she said. “Let me call him.”

She disappeared and reappeared a while later with a drink for Uyi. Mr. Enenche came out subsequently, looking tired but having a smile that Uyi had never seen him spare at the office.

“Omoruyi, you came. Welcome.” He shook his hand warmly. “I’m sorry I can’t offer you a seat because I don’t even have one for myself. I didn’t budget for this many people. It seemed everyone from my church showed up and more are still coming.”

“It’s how these things are.”

“You can say that again. Come this way, though.”

Mr. Enenche led him further into the house to a room that looked like a guest room but had a small parlor with a single plastic chair.

“Please, sit. I’ll have them bring you something.”

“Sir, this is for the baby. It’s small but…”

“Thank you, Omoruyi,” said Mr. Enenche, taking the gift Uyi was offering. “My wife would appreciate this. Thanks.”

“My pleasure.”

Mr. Enenche walked out and Uyi could hear him call Dami’s name out. He heard her reply back in a rude tone and they both began exchanging words in Idoma. Their voices faded away immediately and Uyi busied himself with his phone. While doing that, someone poked her head in and announced to him that everyone was needed outside because the pastor was about to give his final blessings to the family before leaving. Uyi nodded and she left but he had no intentions of making it outside. He sat put and continued with his phone as the house emptied gradually. Minutes passed by and he could hear only a few voices around him and for that he was relieved, but not long after, he heard Mr Enenche and Dami at it again. There was another female voice in the mix and Uyi suspected it was Mrs. Enenche’s. He listened as they lashed out loudly in Idoma. Dami was the angriest as her tone rose with every syllable. He heard her pause to prevent a lump in her throat but a sob had broken in and she raged on with staccato words all fired out in Idoma and English. Not so sure if he should hang around any longer for the private family spat, Uyi got up and began heading for the door. However, he was stopped short by Dami who was storming out of one of the rooms, tears streaming down her face.

“Hey.” He put a gentle hand around her. She hesitated at first but the calm stare from his eyes made her turn around and crumble in his arms. It wasn’t what he had expected but he didn’t know how to push her away even though he knew it was the right thing to do, considering Mr. Enenche could show up any moment and have the wrong impression.

“Stop crying. It’s okay.”

But Dami held Uyi tightly and all hope of escaping her grip vanished out the window. He brought out his hanky and wiped her face just to have an inch away from her but she stuck to him and remained there. And just as he had imagined, Mr. Eneche and his wife appeared from nowhere and stood looking at both of them questioningly. Uyi tried to pull away but Dami held him tight and fixed stubborn eyes on the couple. She wiped her eyes angrily.

“You were asking who my boyfriend was? Well, here he is.”

Uyi’s mouth dropped open, and he wished it hadn’t because just as it hung there on its own accord, Dami shoved her tongue right through his lips with an angry kiss; and all Uyi could think of as he tasted her alcohol-flavored mouth was catching the next, available flight out of Abuja.

©Sally @moskedapages