Tag Archives: pregnancy

It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #11

She comes to him in the morning. He is barely opening his eyes from a three-hour sleep when he hears a knock on the door. As he drags his feet to the living room, he imagines it is Chichi knocking. It’s something that has played out in his head several times—Chichi standing before him, begging to be let back into his life and him slamming the door in her face. Or it could be Kira coming back to pick a thing or two she left in the house. Last night he dumped her after she admitted, without flinching, that she couldn’t care for Trinity.

“I didn’t ask you to fuck her mother without a condom. She’s your problem, not mine. Isolate her from our relationship.”

That last line had been the cause for the fight that pushed Kasiobi to isolate Kira from his life entirely. She had cried a little but took the breakup rather maturely. He is hoping she is not the one returning to say she is sorry.

A surprise, however, awaits him as he opens the door to find Lexus standing outside with a tear-stained face and hair that looks like she has just tumbled out of a washing machine.

“Lex, what’s wrong?” he asks.

Lexus shakes her head and throws her arms around him. Her sobs are intense, shaking both of them with each heave. Kasiobi manages to shut the door but that’s all he can do. She doesn’t let go of his body. So, he stands there, rubbing her back, rocking her gently and assuring her that things would be fine even though he has no idea why she is crying.

Eventually, she comes to calm and explains to him that Dominic collapsed some hours earlier and is presently on a surgeon’s table having a procedure done to keep his heart in better shape.

“They said his coronary artery was blocked by a blood clot and they need to place something they call a stent in to keep it open.” She wipes her nose. Kasiobi is weak from what he has just heard.

“Wow.”

“He’s been suffering from coronary artery disease.”

“Your dad?”

“Yeah.”

“How come no one ever knew?”

“It’s not something we talk about. He manages it with drugs, diet and exercise but he’s been getting easily tired lately.”

Kasiobi guides her to a couch and sits beside her. “He’s going to be fine, Lex.”

“That’s what the doctors said but I just couldn’t wait there. I just couldn’t. Kas, I’m so scared. What if I lose him like I lost Eva?”

“You won’t.”

Kasiobi’s words don’t hold water. She begins to sob again. He holds her. The familiar scent of pineapples coming from her hair, blending with her perfume puts him in a place of memories. He recalls nights when they snuggled together on the only couch they had in their apartment in New York, covered by a blanket to keep warm, watching something boring on TV. Sometimes they ended up making love. Other nights, she would sleep off while he stayed awake, playing a computer game.

“Genesis is strong,” she murmurs. “I don’t know how she sits in that waiting room without losing her mind. I just can’t.”

“Your dad is going to be fine, Tonbra. Just believe that.”

Lexus nods but bites fingernails that peek out from the sleeve of an oversized sweater. Kasiobi drowns down the urge to kiss her hair, to bury his fingers in, push back her head and take her lips. These are thoughts that always occupy his mind in idle moments when all the things they had done and been comes rushing back to him. Just the other day when she came over to pick Trinity, he had longed to hold her hand when he handed over a feeding bottle to her. He could have told her then how much he missed her right before kissing her.

But his pride didn’t let him. Not even when he saw that she wanted it. Her eyes had taken on that look he knew so well that revealed how much she wanted to be kissed. That look always made her vulnerable, like a little girl, open to the wiles of a grown man.

“I’m sorry for bugging you like this, Kas.”

“It’s fine,” he replies. “You’re fam.”

Lexus pulls away. She sets herself in a comfortable position to face him. They stare at each other without words for a long stretch until her eyes moisten up again. He doesn’t touch her this time. He simply watches as the tears slowly course down her cheeks. He thinks it’s a beautiful sight, sad as it is.

“I was pregnant for you in New York,” she confesses.

For a second or two, he doesn’t understand her words.

“And I didn’t want the baby. But I couldn’t tell you because you were serious about us at that time. You wanted us to get married and have a family and it wasn’t what I wanted. I always tried to tell you but you just assumed we were on the same page. That was why I had mood swings and shut you out so many times. And then I went and got pregnant. I felt stupid and irresponsible. I hated myself…”

“What happened to the baby?”

“I had an abortion.”

Kasiobi shows no reaction, and this is not because he can’t. He keeps it in because he doesn’t want to upset her more than she already is.

“That was why we broke up. It wasn’t that I stopped loving you. No, Kas. I was…and I’m still crazy about you.”

At this, Kasiobi rises up. “Thanks for explaining everything but let’s not bring this topic up again.”

“Kas, I’m sorry. I just couldn’t face you after what I did.”

“You had an abortion, Woyintonbra,” Kasiobi responds with much calm. He is neither angry nor bitter but he feels the need to express himself.

“You aborted my child. You made that stupid, senseless decision all on your own without telling me and now you’re saying you still love me? What am I supposed to do with that? Dance? Let you back in?”

“I’m sorry.”

The sincerity in her tone makes it hard to keep a grudge; that and the fact that he is tired of the distance between them. She has been a mother to Trinity, helping him out without asking anything in return. This more than makes up for everything she did to hurt him. He wants her back but is scared to take the leap again. A friends with benefits arrangement would be better. That way, he eats his cake and keeps it.

Trinity wakes up with a scream.

“This talk is not over,” Kasiobi makes clear. “We won’t do this today. After your dad gets better, we’ll talk about it.”

As Lexus makes towards Trinity’s bedroom, Kasiobi pulls her back and enacts his fantasy of kissing her.

667832

It’s a long and deep one, the type that is gentle and fierce all at once. He has longed for this, dreamed that it would come in a finer setting and with a romantic ambience, but this is just as good and he would leave it hanging right here.

He marches away from her. She follows him to Trinity’s bedroom. The first sight of the little girl puts a smile on her face.

“Can I carry her?”

“Sure.”

Lexus walks to Trinity’s crib and lifts her out of it. The screams die down immediately.

“She’s hungry. Make food for her. I’ll heat up her bath water.”

Less than an hour later, the three of them are in Kasiobi’s SUV, on the way to the hospital. Genesis had called to let Lexus know that Dominic was out of surgery and asking to see her.

“Why do you think he’s asking after me?” Lexus had looked into Kasiobi’s face after Genesis hung up. “You think he wants to say goodbye? Give me some sort of last words?”

If Lexus hadn’t been dead serious with moisture dancing in her eyes, Kasiobi would have laughed. And even now as he parks in some empty spot in the car park of the most expensive hospital in Lagos, he sees that her apprehension hasn’t let down as she keeps chewing her nails.

They walk into the hospital, to the ward Dominic is recuperating, but they don’t let them in. Genesis comes out a while later.

“He’s sleeping,” she informs them. “Sedated.”

“Did it go well?” Lexus asks.

“Yeah, it went well. Your dad is fine, Tonbra.”

“He’s not going to die?”

Emotionally drained, Genesis can only shake her head. “Come here.”

Lexus steps forward and into a waiting hug. “Your dad is not going to die, Tonbra. Far from it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Very sure. Just believe that, darling. I’ll take good care of him. I promised you this on the day we got married, didn’t I? He’s not dying on my watch.”

Yet, Lexus is inconsolable. Genesis doesn’t let go of her until she pulls herself together. Only then does she step away.

“I’m such a cry baby.”

“It’s okay. I don’t think you can handle any more loss. Me neither.”

They both smile.

“That being said, you’re a mess, Tonbra. Let’s go and have our nails and hair done and we’ll be back here when he’s awake.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Lexus sniffles.

Genesis links arms with her. “Kasbi, thank you for bringing her. She literally bolted out of here earlier.”

Lexus turns to talk to Kasiobi but he nods her away. “Go and glam up, B. We’ll see later.”

She gives Trinity a kiss and leaves with Genesis.

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

Today, I had to say goodbye to Saratu. Her ex-husband is back in her life and she answers to his call without a second thought. She is off again to the UK to wastefully give her body to the man, not caring how it affects business. Dele’s wife thinks we don’t need her anyway. This is painfully said over a table where we are all seated. We’re in a noisy restaurant that has families with loud kids, all of whom have come to have their Sunday lunches. Eating out is quite a big deal in Lagos these days. I stare at some of the families and wonder if Jide, Jiney and I are going to be them someday.

“I’ll come back, baby.” Saratu takes Dele’s wife’s hand.

“Please, don’t. Just remain there even after he breaks your heart again and treats you like trash.”

“Oh, he will misbehave but before then, I’ll suck his account dry.”

Dele’s wife withdraws her hand. My eyes fall on Yazmin who is awfully quiet.

“Yaz?”

She doesn’t hear me. Her concentration is on her phone.

“Yaz!”

Saratu snatches the phone off her hands. “They’re calling you.”

Yaz looks up and her eyes dash to her phone.

“You’re consulting your ovulation app?” Saratu asks nosily. “Na wa o. Tobe is just over a year and you want another one?”

Yazmin mutters some insult in Spanish. Dele’s wife and I burst out laughing. Saratu frowns and hands Yazmin back her phone.

“One person I will not miss is you sha,” Saratu says to Yazmin. “I hate your racist ass.”

“Cabrona,” Yazmin cusses.

“Screw you right back, baby.”

“Yaz, be nice,” I scold.

“She started it.”

I am ready to roll my eyes right now. This is a typical day at work. I have no desire to see them play it out over this farewell dinner which is already going moodily.

“Can you two just get along? Just once?”

I know I’m speaking to the wind. How they have managed to work with each other for almost a year beats me. I love them both, though, and I tell them this. Saratu hugs me and we both tear up. I am going to miss her. She is the one friend I love and hate in equal measure.

Somehow we all manage through lunch and after we’re done, we walk out to the parking lot. Saratu hurries to one of the security guards and takes her pet dog from him. After shoving little pieces of chicken through the dog’s willing mouth, she brings it to me. I don’t cringe or move back. The animal has become a friend over the past month and has taught me to face my fears. These days I can stomach the sounds of barking and howling dogs.

“It’s for Jide.” Saratu hands me the leash. “All the times he stopped over at the office he came with something for him. I think they’ll bond well.”

I smile.

“Jide will be glad,” I tell her. “Thank you, Sara.”

The dog, Barry, sits beside me and looks up at Saratu, expecting more chicken but she stares at her phone and announces that she is set to leave. An Uber is already waiting to take her to the airport.

She embraces Dele’s wife first and comes to me next. I leave a few words of love with her and give her a parting gift. Finally, she stands before Yazmin.

“Don’t come back,” Yazmin says. We laugh. They hug and we afterwards, we watch Saratu leave. When the Uber has driven out of sight, I say goodbye to Yazmin and Dele’s wife and get into my car. Barry obediently sits in the backseat. I drive home.

jide8

When I get in, I catch Jide having an afternoon nap. For a moment I am distracted by the man’s half-dressed sexiness which lies invitingly on the couch. I want to do things to him while he sleeps but Barry whines and I behave myself. I quietly lead Barry to him. The dog sits beside the couch and on his own puts his nose to Jide’s sides and sniffs. Jide scratches the spot but Barry repeats his actions that get him a smack right before Jide springs up.

He glares at the dog for a few seconds and then at me.

“Sugams, what’s going on?”

Barry yelps. Jide stares at him again and then recognizes him.

“Barry?”

I don’t know if dogs can smile but I think Barry just did.

“How are you, boy?” Jide ruffles his fur. Barry responds by wagging his tail in excitement.

“He’s all yours. A parting gift from Saratu.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah.”

I watch his face light up. He is a dog person but he has kept the house free of them because of me. I am happy to see him this way. Momentarily, he forgets I am there as he bonds with Barry.

“I just hope Fumi doesn’t get allergic to him.”

“He’s hypoallergenic. Have no worries.”

Fumi is the short version of Fumnanya, Jiney’s Igbo name. Jide is the one who starts calling her that and it’s beginning to stick.

“So, we’re going to have a visitor anytime soon,” he informs me.

“Visitor? From where?”

“It’s Hauwa.”

My face changes.

“She is stopping by to say hello and formally ask your forgiveness over the Facebook pictures stuff.”

“I’ve forgiven her. She doesn’t have to come here.”

And at the instant, we hear a knock on the door.

“That should be her.” Jide stands up and goes to the front door. I take the seat he was sitting on, putting on an unwelcoming expression on my face. Soon, I hear her voice and seconds later she is in my house.

“Hi, Honey.” She stands by the door, waving at me with a smile. As usual, I find her distractingly beautiful. She is wearing a fitted gown and heels that are to die for. Gold bangs fall to one side of her face and join a fluff of alluring curly hair that bounces each time she moves.

Jide offers her a seat and walks to the kitchen to get her a drink. When he is gone, she pulls up to the edge of the seat. I know an apology is about to come, yet I act oblivious.

She starts out slowly, picking choice words she feels will get to my psyche. But bit by bit, she breaks through my tough exterior and locates a soft spot in my heart. It’s a very small spot, though.

“It’s alright, Hauwa,” I find myself saying. “As long as you’re not stealing my man, we’re good.”

“I will never hit on someone I consider my brother.”

“That’s good to know.”

Jide returns with something alcoholic for her and a glass of orange juice for me. After she is served her drink, we all sit and converse. Before long, Hauwa and I are laughing like old friends. All the resistance I put up against her falls away as she charms me with her openness. It doesn’t take long for her to express how desperately she is to get married.

“Why desperate, though?”

“I’m thirty-eight, Honey. Everyone I know is married, even my younger ones. My mom cries all the time because she believes she has done something wrong in her past and that’s why I’m in this situation. My dad and I now have this strained relationship. Home is no longer home. I’m the one everyone looks at with pity and when I’m not there, I become their gossip topic.”

“Aww.”

“I just need to take the shame away. At this point, I’ll marry whoever is ready to settle down…”

“Please, don’t.”

“But the problem is that I am still too picky. Am I not supposed to have sense and do away with some of my deal breakers?”

“You shouldn’t,” Jide replies. “I’ve told you over and over again, Hauwa, you will find a good man. Just hang in there.”

“You know I have offers to be a second wife. Many of them, in fact. Some of the men are my dad’s friends, but I just can’t. I want what two of you have or at least, something close to it. Even if I don’t find love, let me find a man who respects and treats me like a princess. Am I asking too much?”

Jide and I shake our heads in the same manner without meaning to. Hauwa finds it funny.

“You guys are sooo cute together.”

“We know,” Jide says.

“What if I fix a few blind dates for you?” I ask.

“I’m game. I never stop believing, though, and that’s why I moved to Lagos. The land of dreams.”

“And heartbreakers,” Jide adds. “Be warned.”

“This heart has been broken so many times that it is now numb to whatever.”

“Okay o.”

We talk for longer, keeping to the topic of marriage and all things relationship. When she announces that she is going home, I have a good mind to ask her to stay a little longer but I don’t. We walk her to the door and the moment she is gone, Jide turns to me.

“So, what do you think of her?”

“I like her. She’s nice.”

“Told ya.”

“And I feel for her. I’d be desperate too at her age. Frustrated even. There are just very few women in Nigeria these days who are comfortable being single after they clock thirty.”

“I respect such women.”

“You respect every woman,” I tell him with a certain look in my eye. He catches it.

“Can I respect you now?” he asks, taking me by the waist. I fall into his arms as my body presses into the muscles of his chest and the tightness of his abdomen. Jide, to me, is like some Greek god twenty-something hours of each day. It’s not about sexiness; he’s just incredibly male, and that always turns me on. Now that I have had Jiney and done away with that weird phase of sex-hating, I am always on heat. Jide can so get it any day, at any time.

Forgetting that Barry is present, we start to make out – first, standing, and then we fall onto the nearest couch. We are so into it that we don’t hear Didi’s door open and close until we hear a sound and we turn to see her standing near the front door with some guy I do not recognize.

Neither Jide nor I move. Thankfully, no private parts are out in the open.

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes. “We had wanted to sneak out quietly.”

“Go ahead then,” Jide tells her.

The guy with her wants to say something but she takes his hand and drags him out. I sit up.

“Who is that boy?”

Jide shrugs. “Some guy she said was her friend.”

“Hotstuff, that’s the second guy she’s bringing here. I am uncomfortable with it.”

“She’s allowed to have visitors.”

“No. Not anyhow. What if she brings an armed robber or pedophile?”

Jide screws up his face in thought. “You’re making a point…”

“Talk to her or I will. The only guy permitted to enter this house is her boyfriend. If she doesn’t have one, she should entertain her men outside.”

“I’ll talk to her. Now, can we continue?”

Like I said, I’m on heat. He scarcely finishes speaking when I grab him again and we fall back on the couch. Barry barks. We both turn and catch him staring.

“Let’s take it to the room.”

∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞  ∞∞∞∞

I watch the sunset from the kitchen window as I wait for the pasta I put over the stove to cook. I ate less than three hours ago and here I am, hungry again. My pregnancy cravings will soon do me in.

Emeka is in the living room watching a football match on TV. It’s a chill evening, the weather is fine, the baby is not kicking much, all is good. What can possibly go wrong?

The doorbell dings. I pay it no mind. The sunset still has my attention. However, Emeka soon walks in and announces to me that Yazmin is around and wants to have a word with both of us. I frown. Yazmin and I are still not cool, although we are never at each other’s throats. She will always be the other woman that snatched my husband from me, an act I have not forgiven Emeka for, either.

I follow him out to the living room to find her waiting.

“Good evening, Tola,” she greets. I like when she greets me. Nne has instructed that she pays me respect always. So far, she is acting like the nice, little iyawo she is.

Emeka picks a sofa that is away from both of us. He rests his feet on the center table and glances at her.

“Oya, talk.”

We wait for her mouth to open but instead of words we hear a whimper as she covers her face. Emeka and I both stare at each other in puzzlement.

“Yaz?” he calls. “What’s wrong, bae?”

She shakes her head and sobs. We keep our eyes on her for a while until Emeka, loving husband that he is, goes to her and holds her. I won’t lie to you, I feel jealous. I don’t think I can ever get over the fact that he holds me the same way he holds her and that she gets the same type of loving I do.

“You don’t love me anymore, papi,” she cries. “You spend your whole time with her and hardly even pick my calls. And then when you’re with me, you’re always on the phone with her. Don’t you love me anymore?”

“Hian!” Emeka exclaims. “Yaz, is that why you came here?”

“Yeah.”

The audacity!

“But why would you think I don’t love you anymore, mi vida?”

“It’s the truth. You spend all your time with her.”

“And so?” I bite back. “He’s my husband.”

“You know she’s pregnant, baby,” Emeka explains. I roll my eyes. Is it something someone needs to tell her? She cannot endure until I give birth? See me see wahala.

“She needs all my attention,” Emeka continues with his unnecessary explanation. Me, I just feel like walking over to her and slapping her so that that pretty, white face will turn red. But all I can do is sit still and take in the scene. Emeka is speaking to her in Igbo, a language I’m finding difficult to learn. Yazmin already knows how to speak bits of it but understands it well. Honey, too; and even Mary. I am the only woman married to an Igbo man that is carrying last.

Emeka manages to calm Yazmin down. I don’t say a word about what I feel about her right now. We are both not allowed to insult each other or she wouldn’t have heard the last of it. This is the same babe that is playing games with Emeka, using that Omoh human being just to get him all jealous. Two nights ago, he disgraced himself by going to Omoh’s house to pick a fight but the security guards wouldn’t even let him in. He is treated like trash, all because of her. Tell me why I should like her?

“Are you better now?” he inquires.

“There’s more,” she answers. My frown deepens. I cross my arms.

“I’m listening, mi vida.”

“I’m pregnant.”

My crossed arms unfold. Emeka gives her a nasty up and down glare.

“What did you just say?”

“I’m pregnant, papi.”

“Don’t ‘papi’ me! Which one is that you’re pregnant? Pregnant for who, biko?!”

“You.”

“Yazmin Ivan, you are on the fucking pill!”

“You know I hate pills, so I stopped taking them. They were getting me fat.”

Emeka cannot believe what he has just heard. I can feel the coldness that has just settled on him.

“You did not take your pills at all.”

“No,” she answers in her usual I-don’t-give-two manner. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for yourself and your whole family back in Mexico! They didn’t give you proper home training at all!” He charges up. “And fuck you!”

She starts to cry. I hiss and give her a piece of my mind.

“Your crocodile tears are useless, Yazmin. What you did is wrong. You intentionally got pregnant just for attention. What type of nonsense is that? Do you think marriage is some game you play with your husband and that babies are things you use for your own selfish ends? Tobe is not even up to eighteen months and you’re carrying another one. Why, Yazmin?”

“I didn’t mean to.”

“Same way you didn’t mean to take my husband and have a son for him abi? Same way you didn’t mean to come between us! Why can’t three of us just stay in peace without you cropping up something from somewhere. The other time it was chlamydia and now, this!”

“I seriously didn’t mean to.”

“Abeg, keep quiet!” I yell back as I stand up. “I don’t sha blame you. I blame Mex and his community penis.”

My anger is now directed at Emeka.

“If you kept it in your pants, we won’t be here. This is your mess, handle it, and leave me out of it!”

I march to the kitchen. I warn myself against crying. I will not shed a tear because of those two. I must not. My baby needs me to be happy at all times and that’s the way I will remain.

I take down the spaghetti from the stove, serve it into a dish for one, add peppered stew that has lots of meat and head to my room to enjoy my meal.

Emeka comes in. I pretend I don’t see him.

“Doc, I am so sorry.”

I don’t reply. He sits beside me. “If you want me to divorce her, just give the word.”

“So that a Mexican warlord abi drug lord will come and kill all of us here? Abeg o! Take responsibility for all your actions. It’s your fault. You went to marry an omo daddy. Now, see where you have landed yourself.”

“I won’t lie to you, Tols, I’m regretting everything.”

“That one concern you. All I know is that once I finish this food, I’ll need you on this bed with me, to cuddle me while I sleep, right after you give me head. Only head. That your dick must not touch me.”

“I’m very sorry.”

“Meanwhile, are you sure she’s even pregnant?”

“Well…”

“She may be trying to play a fast one.” I drop my fork. “Where is she sef?”

Before Emeka replies, I leave my room. Fortunately, Yazmin is still in the house. I call her over. She gives me attitude.

“Come jor. Abi you think I’m Emeka that you’ll be doing anyhow ni?”

She walks to me. I point her in the direction of my bedroom.

“Why?” she asks, pouting those her red lips that make my husband lose his mind.

“Don’t question me, onyibo. Just be going.”

She walks ahead of me. When we enter the room, I tell her to take off her panty and lie on the bed.

“No.”

“S’onsiere ni? You think we’ll believe anything you say? I need to check if you’re really pregnant. My friend, off your pant and lie on that bed! I don’t have time for shit!”

Emeka tells her something in Spanish and she obeys while I get some gloves from my First Aid box. When I return and part her legs, I am shocked to see my husband’s name tattooed on her cleanly-shaved pubis. I eye him.

“Relax, Yazmin,” I instruct, although I’d rather shove my fingers in there and injure her.

“Don’t kill my baby.”

“That’s if there’s anything inside.”

“I’m not you.”

I push my fingers in and press down on her lower tummy without further warning. It doesn’t take me long to find out that she’s truly pregnant. I shake my head with a sigh as I pull out my fingers.

“Satisfied?” She gets off the bed. I remove the gloves, wash my hands and continue eating. I ignore them until she goes away. I can’t kill myself because of them – so I say to myself. But after my meal is completed and I’m cuddling the life size teddy on my bed, I put a call through to Mary and tell her what is happening. I say this while crying like a little baby. I tell her that I think it’s time to give Emeka an ultimatum. He either divorces Yazmin or I leave. I can’t take this again. But until then, I want to move into Mary’s. Does she have a spare room?

“Yes, Tola. Come over.”

©Sally@moskedapages

Translations:

Cabrona – fuck you

Iyawo – wife

S’onsiere ni – are you crazy?

omo daddy – daddy’s baby

 

Images: Pinterest,  Dariuswilliams

It’s Another Saturday…#22

Eid Mubarak, guys!

This one is for the holidays just because I love you. Another comes on Saturday.

Have an awesome night, fam!

Baby Daddy 

“Love without complications? Honey, that’s like asking for a rose without thorns.”

I look at the bunch of roses in mommy’s hands. She is wearing gardening gloves but she remains careful not to touch the thorny stems of the flowers.

“Tola, please pass me that vase I gave you.”

A sulky Tola picks a green vase at her feet that contains clean water and hands it to me and I pass it over to mommy who smiles into my eyes.

I love her garden. The flowers, the way they are meticulously arranged, their different fragrances all coming to one intoxicating fragrance make me want to forget that I’m having a not-so-good day. Jide and I had this nasty fight this morning and I miss him like crazy already. I wish he would just answer my calls.

“So back to your question, Honey. Love is never free of complications. When you step out of the honeymoon phase, you begin to experience the nastiness that comes with it.”

“As for me, my honeymoon phase ended when she showed up,” Tola mouths acidly.

Mommy looks at her with a lighthearted frown. “Oya, lay you complaint, darling. I know you’ve been itching to talk.”

“I’ve been having dreams,” Tola almost cuts in. “Really bad dreams…”

“About?”

“Emeka and Yazmin.”

“And what do you see in the dreams?”

“That they have another baby together. Or the other night, it was that Mex followed her to Mexico and told me he wasn’t coming back.”

“And this somehow means what?”

“Mommy, I feel like something is going on between them.”

I look at Tola’s distressed face and marvel at the power of female intuition. Jide already revealed to me that Emeka married Yazmin and asked me not to tell anyone. So far, there has been nothing in the way Emeka relates with Yazmin that throws suspicion in anyone’s direction but Tola strongly holds that something is going on.

Abandoning her snooty attitude a few days ago, she invited me to their home for lunch and shared her fears with me. Although she didn’t mention it, I knew she wanted to know if there was something going on in the background that Jide was aware of and had mentioned to me. Luckily at that moment, I was oblivious of what was happening. Later that night, Jide exposed Emeka’s secret to me. I didn’t know what to make of it because I like Yazmin a lot and we have bonded.

On the one hand, I don’t blame Emeka; the marriage was forced on him. But on the flip side, no one got him into the mess but himself. Jide feels he should divorce Yazmin but I doubt that it would be the best solution.

“What is wrong with him having two wives?” I had asked. And I wished I hadn’t spoken because Jide gave me such a lecture on fidelity and the sanctity of marriage that I ended up apologizing for my careless statement.

“Nothing is going on between them, Tola baby,” Nne assures her daughter-in-law with a smile and a gentle rub of her back.

“I hope so.”

“You know you’re pregnant and pregnant women always have vivid dreams. It’s because of all the hormones running wild in your body. You’re a gynecologist; you should know better.”

“Mommy, this is beyond pregnancy. My instincts are telling me something is off. I feel this disconnect from Emeka.”

“Wait, I hope he’s behaving himself.”

“He is… but…”

“But what?”

“He is suddenly too loving and generous.”

“And you said your honeymoon stage is over?”

“Well…”

Mommy laughs. “This girl ehn!” She pulls her cheek. “Don’t worry, your husband is faithful to you.”

“If you say so.”

Mommy flicks off a little, green worm off a rose stem and her eyes passes over me briefly.

“Are you alright, Honey?” she asks. “You look pale.”

She is not wrong about her observation. I haven’t been feeling right all day. At present, I have this nauseous sensation building in me.

“I’m fine, mommy. Just tired.”

I dare not tell her how I’m feeling or she’ll jump into the easy conclusion that I’m pregnant.

“Maybe you need to go in and stretch out on the couch.”

“Sorry,” Tola mutters to me.

I nod and head into the house. Yazmin is watching a Nollywood movie. She is obsessed with Nonso Diobi and has gotten an entire collection of his movies after forcing Emeka into using his connections in the entertainment industry to arrange a lunch date for her with him. Now, she won’t stop going on about how handsome he is.

How do I describe Yazmin? Physically, she’s smallish and shapely. She is beautiful; I can’t overemphasize that. Character-wise, she is fun, friendly and bubbly, everything Tola is not. She charms everyone around her effortlessly and has chosen to make me her Nigerian bestie.

I genuinely like her despite her husband-snatching ways, and it was what got Jide and I into a fight this morning. Hurtful words were uttered on both sides. It didn’t start with me, though. He woke up in a mood and felt like laying down the law on my friendship with Yazmin. I defended my right to befriend whomever I wished but he insisted that she is not all she presents herself to be and is simply out to destroy his brother’s marriage.

So I said to him, “What if it was me that got pregnant for you? Would you abandon me and the baby like that?”

And he went, “First, I’ll never make the mistake of getting you pregnant until we’re married. Secondly, I don’t think you’re that irresponsible not to know how to handle your reproductive organs after unsafe sex. Only stupid women and those with bad motives get pregnant out of wedlock.”

I was dazed at the manner in which he had spoken because here was a man that clearly slept with more women than there were days in a year, yet he was going all straitlace on me. So I called him a hypocrite and in response, he told me he questioned my values if I found in Yazmin someone I could call a friend.

I was livid because his statement struck a chord somewhere. I knew he was dredging up my past affair with my pilot ex, Nonso (which I had shared with him). Hence, to hit back where I knew would hurt him, I told him the only reason he was defending Tola was because he had slept with her.

At that point, the air went dead silent and cold. Jide had a look in his eyes I had never seen before. Without telling me anything, he picked his phone and left my house.

He has refused to answer my calls since.

“Did I go too far?” I asked Mary over the phone.

“Probably,” she answered. “Here’s something you don’t know about Jide. He was a really good guy before the whole Ezinne disaster. Not that he was religious or perfect but he was one of the good ones. He didn’t sleep around, only drank socially with his friends, went to Mass every Sunday and held strong family values. His Bridemaker days are over and he’s back to being that old person. You didn’t have to dredge up Tola. He feels really bad about it.”

“But he hurt me too.”

“I know but bringing up Tola was way below the belt.”

Well, what did I expect? That Mary would take my side? She and Jide have this bond not even I can break and I have come to respect it. All the same, I have taken her words to heart and I plan to apologize to him later on. Right now, Yaz wants to accompany me to the mall where I intend to make a second installment of cash for office supplies.

The travel agency is coming up nicely, thanks to Kalu and concerted effort from Dele’s wife and Saratu. We hope to launch in a couple of months or even earlier if all goes according to plan. Sadly, the bulk of the work falls on my shoulder and I wouldn’t have bothered if my health was in order. I still feel nauseous and a little dizzy but I think I can manage to the mall and back. By tomorrow, Saratu will be in town and take over the running-around while I rest.

Yazmin dashes upstairs to change into fresh clothes while I am forced to watch Nonso Diobi do some slobbery kissing act with an Igbo-looking actress who has a budding moustache and fake grey eyes.

Out of nowhere, as it is with Nigerian movies, a horror tune takes over the bluesy song that is playing and Yazmin’s adorable baby is disturbed from his slumber. He cries out and I rush to his crib to check on him. His eyes are open but I don’t think his concentration is on me. I rock the crib gently and his eyes shut again. I smile at his cuteness. From the moment I laid eyes on him I fell in love. He is that type of baby that makes you think of having babies but just like Jide, I am not ready right now.

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

I feel a presence in the room and turn. Yazmin’s maid, Maria Lena is standing by the door that leads to the kitchen and she’s giving me that look, which I’m quite used to now, that spells her dislike for me.

I head back to my seat and settle in.

Cabrona,” I hear her say. I turn to her with a frown and she smiles.

I turn back. Maybe I misheard. She did not just call me a bitch.

A couple of minutes fly by and I hear, “Puta.”

I turn again. She retains the evil smile, having just called me a slut.

“Did you just call me Puta?” I ask.

“Me?” she responds innocently. “Noh.”

I eye her real good. I understand Spanish a lot more than anyone knows. Working as an international flight attendant affords you the privilege to learn the basics of the world’s most popular languages. I have French, Russian, Chinese, Latin, Dutch and Spanish in my repertoire. Spanish, in particular, came easy for me because of a colleague who was Mexican.

Yazmin and her maid assume I know only the ABCs but I have enjoyed playing the fool just to listen up on all their gossip. I have learned from eavesdropping, that Yazmin’s mother is not in support of the marriage and wants her home immediately. I have also learned that Yazmin sometimes cries when no one is around because she feels she is going to lose Emeka to Tola. And of course, I gathered that Maria Lena hates all of us, especially Emeka, and wishes the marriage will come to a disaster soon.

Yazmin generally pays her no mind. They are more like sisters, Maria Lena having been born into their household to a mother who is still a maid to them. Both ladies grew up together.

“You should stop calling me names, Lena,” I tell the annoying fatso plainly. “I have been nothing but nice to you, although you have been a nasty bitch to me. So, stop it.”

I know she can’t translate my sentence word for word but she pretty much gets the message.

Si senora,” she replies sarcastically.

“Leave the door and sit down.”

She hesitates for a moment and then she decides to take the space beside me, which makes me rather uncomfortable.

“Don’t sit too close, Lena.”

Maria Lena,” she corrects me.

“Whatever.”

I shift away but she moves closer, nudging me with her thick arm.

“What’s your problem?”

She looks up the stairs and towards the kitchen door. I observe her cagey behavior.

“I tell you something,” she whispers. I lower my head.

“You hear Spanish.”

It’s not a question. It’s an outright assertion.

“No, I don’t.”

“You hear.”

“No, I don’t.”

Next, she grumbles in this long sentence that she knows I understand Spanish but she doesn’t comprehend why I pretend that I don’t, and it is the reason she hates us Nigerians because we’re always trying to fool someone.

“I don’t know what you just said.” I laugh, enjoying the annoyance I am building up in her.

Escúchenme!” She grabs my skater skirt, hiking it up my laps and exposing my nakedness.

I slap her hand away in embarrassment.

“Oh! No panty!” she sniggers.

“Don’t do that again, Lena.”

I straighten out my skirt.

“Sorry.”

Her face switches on to a serious manner and she moves yet another inch closer.

“You hear me?” She takes my hand now. Her grip is scarily strong but I extract my hand from it.

“Okay. I’ll listen to you. Just don’t strip me or break my hand or come near me. Okay?”

Stubbornly, she shifts closer one more time!

Okay, I’m officially freaking out here.

She begins to make certain gestures with her hands that I cannot comprehend. She links her fingers together and slams the heels of her palms into each other in a continuous motion that leaves me confused. I know she is talking about Emeka and Yazmin but I’d rather have her say the words in Spanish than this charade thing she’s doing.

Yazmin y Emeka …”

She does the hand motions again. I sigh.

It’s time to give up my pretense and expose that I understand her language. But she beats me to it as she grabs me forcefully and whispers really fast into my ear.

“Sabes porque anoche Yazmin y Emeka se desaparecieron? Estaban singando en su carro.”

WHAT?!!!

Okay, give me a minute and I will explain what she just said but WHAT?!!!

“No, Lena. You’re lying. It’s not…”

She slaps her hand over my mouth and I pick the sound of Yazmin coming down the stairs.

“Shhh!”

Maria Lena disappears just as Yazmin appears.

“I’m ready!” Yazmin announces with a bright smile. I take a good look at her from top to bottom and her smile dies away.

“Is everything okay?” she asks in her Mexican-American accent. “You don’t like what I’m wearing?”

I absolutely love what she has on. It’s a little black dress with teal floral prints and on her feet are purple sneakers. She looks casual, yet fab. I should tell her that but I am still reeling from what Maria Lena just shared with me.

“No, your dress is fine, Yaz. My mind was somewhere else.”

“Okay.”

She leaves a peck on her son’s cheek and we head out, she leading the way. I give the sitting room one last look before I leave and I see Maria Lena with a finger over her lips, instructing me to keep my mouth shut.

Like hell I will!

It’s drizzling when we drive out to the road. Yazmin stays in character, filling my ears with fascinating stories from her privileged life. She is quite the storyteller. She knows how to weave a tale with suspense and anecdotes that would leave you begging for more. Daddy, in particular, makes her entertain him every chance he gets.

“So last night, did you and Emeka have sex in his car after dinner?” I ask unexpectedly, repeating word for word what Maria Lena told me.

Yazmin slowly turns her head in my direction.

“Last night?”

Yesterday, I was at the family house to pick Aso-ebi for Jide and I. One of their cousins is getting married soon and Nne insists we should all pay for the ridiculously expensive Aso-ebi material. After picking it up and dropping the money, daddy had insisted I stayed for dinner. Emeka was also present, and of course, acted distant towards Yazmin. It’s still hard to believe he shagged her in his car after dinner. I hope Maria Lena was lying.

“Yes, last night. Did you screw Emeka in his car, Yaz?”

“No,” she replies.

I stare at her squarely. I wait for her to say something further but she doesn’t.

“Look, I know you’re married to Emeka. I was told the whole story.”

“Okay.”

“Okay? That is all you’ll say?”

“Yeah. And that I don’t have to lie about last night. We had sex, okay? It’s called conjugal rights.”

I hold back words that are about to say something nasty in response.

“Yaz…I think marrying Emeka was a stupid move because you’ll always be Emeka’s sidechick, wife or not.”

She chuckles and says silently. “I know.”

“And then, Tola is an Adeniyi. The name is pretty important around here. I doubt that Emeka would want to dump it for a Ramiros.”

“I’m fine with the arrangement, Honey. I’m not fighting for Tola’s place. I don’t want to tear them apart. I just want my son to grow up with his father. It’s a gazillion times better than life as a Ramiros, trust me. And it’s my escape from hell too.”

Her tone silences me. I realize her shoe pinches where no one sees or feels. I shut down my argument and promise to keep my opinion and nosiness to myself from now on. Love triangles are complicated things. I just hope no one gets hurt when the truth eventually blows out.

I slow towards a traffic stop and fight the nausea that is coming on me full force now.

“Are you okay?” Yazmin touches my shoulder.

“Yeah.”

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“You’re pregnant,” Ekene says the moment I stoop down, bend over my toilet seat and barf up my lunch.

“Get out.”

I point the way out of my bathroom. My head is still crouched over as another upsurge of puke comes to the surface.

I feel terrible; I don’t need his unsolicited diagnoses about my health. Come to think of it, who even asked him into my house?

“How did you get in here?” I ask, wiping my mouth. I don’t get an answer.

I briefly recall parking my car outside my house and he showing up with his dog. I remember being really dizzy…

The toilet flushes and it startles me. I look up to see Ekene standing over me.

“Go away.”

“So after the last time, you didn’t learn shit. You still stupidly got yourself pregnant again?”

“I am not pregnant.”

“You are! And you’re showing the same symptoms like the last time! Night sickness, nonsense vomiting and faintness!”

I look at Ekene again. Why the hell does he think he has a right to shout on me?

I rise up.

“Please, go home. Whoever annoyed you outside, go and meet the person and stop shouting on me inside my own house, abeg.”

His face is a deep red shade of anger and seriously, I can’t understand why he should even care.

“You have your life ahead of you and you ruin it with a dick?! Learn to close your legs, Erhinyuse!”

“Okay, leave!” I scream back and instantly feel a burning sensation in my throat.

Ekene stomps out and seconds later, I hear the front door slam. I walk to the sitting room, lock the door, turn on classical music and walk back to my bathroom. I am too tired for a shower but I strip down to my underwear, rinse my mouth and lie in bed.

I pray Jide slips in later at night as he usually does. The weather is too cold; I can’t sleep in my bed all alone. I miss him.

Pregnant.

Ekene’s words return with a sting. I ponder on them.

No. Impossible.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

This priest, I don’t like him. He is boring and his homilies are as long as I used to know. One would think he would have changed after five years but it’s like I went away, returned and met him right where I left him. I prefer the older priest. He is more engaging.

I yawn loudly and get a disapproving stare from my darling mother who is seated with her husband two rows ahead of us. I smile at her.

Scolding after Mass, loading…

“Christ admonishes us to forgive one another just as he forgave us our sins on the cross,” the priest says and I catch some people nodding in seriousness like they had just heard breaking news. Isn’t the whole message of Christianity centered on God’s forgiveness through his son, Jesus? Why pretend like you’re just hearing it for the first time? God is not impressed by anyone’s falseness. I tire for these church folks sef.

“No matter what is done to you or what has been said, Christ wants us to forgive.”

I think about Honey. I have forgiven her but it feels good to punish her some more. I wonder if that counts as malice and if God would hold it against me.

“You didn’t have to tell Kalu,” Emeka, seated beside me, comments.

“Shh!” replies Kalu, seated on his right.

I’m in no mood to revive the conversation we were having before the homily began. It was about Emeka’s unfortunate marriage to Yazmin. I hadn’t planned to tell Kalu but coming to church and seeing Yazmin with the family, all happy and feeling at home with herself, I let my dislike for her get the best of me and blurted out to Kalu what was going on. Emeka hadn’t been pleased; a hushed argument between him and I ensued and we flagrantly kept on until Kalu stopped us just at the commencement of the homily.

“You are in God’s house, for God’s sake!” he had said with clenched teeth and we both conducted ourselves. Now, Emeka is pushing my buttons again.

“I will not divorce her,” he makes clear. “Deal with it. That is her, sitting two rows before you. Get used to her back view, her side view, her front view and every other view because she is your sister-in-law and will call you Dede from now on.”

I feel like elbowing his face. And why on earth did Tola decide to worship in her own church today? Why is she not here to put an end to Yazmin’s madness?

The homily ends and we all rise to recite the Nicene Creed.

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen…”

“You shouldn’t have married her,” Kalu speaks.

“I didn’t ask your opinion,” Emeka squelches.

“In God’s eyes, Tola is your only wife.”

“Don’t speak for God.”

We bow our heads as we recite more lines from the creed.

“But what has been done has been done,” Kalu continues. “Live with the consequences.”

“Meaning?” I question.

“Divorce is totally out of the question.”

“He should keep two wives?” I ask, aghast.

Kalu looks from me to Emeka. “It’s called consequences. Let Yazmin choose to leave you on her own. But you have to love and respect her and the vows you made to her.”

I don’t miss Emeka’s smile as the Nicene Creed comes to an end.

“We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

The lector then launches us into general intercessions and I go through the routine like a zombie. We sit and I carry on my zombie mode. I feel annoyed over Kalu’s opinion and the way he uttered it.

I do get where he is coming from. I also feel it would be heartless to displace Yazmin, and that Emeka ought to face up to his responsibilities as a husband and father but at what cost?

I honestly do not see a happy ending for those involved. But as it stands, I officially withdraw myself from the saga.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I am staring at the blue line on the pregnancy test strip like it is an alien color to me. I have broken into a sweat and my heart races twice over.

How did this happen?

“I am so disappointed, Hon.”

Ekene’s words are a million miles away, coming to me only in an echo.

“I am not pregnant,” I whisper, wishing the blue line away.

Why did I agree to the test when Ekene showed up at my door with Saratu and the test kit some minutes ago? Why didn’t I kill that proud voice that was telling me to go ahead with the test just to prove that I was not pregnant? Why did I do this to myself?

“This result is false,” I say.

“The pee is still there and so is another strip,” Saratu tells me. “Do a second test.”

I eagerly take out the second pregnancy home test kit from its pack and dash into my bathroom. I still want to prove to them that there is just no way I am pregnant.

I dip the strip into the urine and wait, my heart thumping.

After a while I pull it out and sadly, get the same result.

“No.”

Tears invade my eyes.

“No,” I repeat.

I walk back to my sitting room, dazed. Saratu is irked when she sees the result.

“I told you not to do this to yourself, Hon. I told you.”

“Does she listen to anyone?” Ekene lashes.

I slip into a chair and sob. Neither of them consoles me. Not that I want them to, though. My mind is on Jide and how he would react to the news.

“You don’t need this baby now, Hon,” Saratu states. “It will just ruin your life.”

“The worst part is that she doesn’t even know this guy well and she’s already carrying his child. If this is not the highest order of irresponsibility, I don’t know what is.”

I’m too devastated to reply their harsh words. What in heavens will I do with a baby in my life right now? Erhinyuse, what type of mess have you gotten into?

“And I will not support you in any abortion like I did the last time,” Ekene states. “For that one, I followed you because it had been a one-night stand. For this one, I remove myself kpata-kpata! In short, I wash my hands off you, Honey. Disappointment is an understatement for what I feel. I am heartbroken that you’ll do this to yourself and to us.”

“Us?”

“Yes, us! You knew I still wanted us back together. Your ring is waiting in my closet! You were supposed to be the one but you go and do this-this irresponsible thing to yourself?!”

That’s the word Jide used yesterday– irresponsible. Am I?

“I don’t have feelings for you again, Kene.”

“I didn’t tell you I was looking for your feelings!” He eyes me up and down. “Have a nice life, Iya Ibeji!”

He breezes out the front door. I am a little baffled at his behavior but it is the least of my problems.

“Well, there goes a good man,” Saratu murmurs.

I ignore her.

“So what are you going to do now?” she asks.

“Do?”

“With the pregnancy. What will you do?”

“Sara, I don’t want to talk about it now, please.”

“You know you have to get rid of it, right?”

“Get rid of it,” I echo.

“Yes. Go for an abortion.”

“Saratu…”

“Abeg, spare me any religious crap you want to spit out now. That baby needs to go. We have a company to build and you are the face of that company. We already have a baby mama onboard; we don’t need another. So, chin up and wipe those tears. It has already happened. Tomorrow, I’ll take you to a doctor in town and he’ll handle it like this.” She snaps her fingers.

I can’t say anything to her. I am still wondering how it all happened. Jide and I had that one night of unprotected sex and my period came in the morning. In fact the rush was so heavy I went through a tampon in just two hours. How on earth did anything survive that flood? Or does semen take a different route to the same uterus that releases the egg? And how can fertilization and menstruation occur at the same time? What the hell happened in there?

I hear the sound of a car outside. I peep out the window and see that it’s Emeka dropping Jide off.

“Jide is home.”

Saratu stands. “I’ll say hi to him later. Let me go in and unpack and rest.”

She kisses my forehead and wipes away the tears on my cheek. “You’ll be fine, luv.”

I watch as she gathers all evidence of the pregnancy tests I conducted.

“Don’t tell him anything yet.”

She vanishes into the guestroom while I enter my bedroom. Seconds after, Jide walks into the house. I’m standing at my bathroom door when he makes an appearance.

“Hi,” I say.

He doesn’t respond. I’m about to launch into an apology over our fight when he walks to me and kisses me really slowly and sensually. I bury myself in his embrace and struggle to keep my emotions in check.

“I’m sorry for all I said, hotstuff. I didn’t mean them.”

“I know. I’m sorry too. I love you so much, Honey.”

My emotions can’t be held back any longer. I break down in his arms. He doesn’t ask me why I’m crying; he thinks it’s because of our fight. I squeeze him tightly and get consoled by the affectionate words he uses to assure me of his love.

Somehow emotions transform to desire and before I can stop myself, we are peeling off each other’s clothes. Sex comes in a slow but passionate way and afterwards, we lie back in bed, both staring up the ceiling.

“Is there a reason why you were crying so much while we were having sex?” Jide questions.

I don’t know if I am to smile or be scared that he can read me so well.

“What’s wrong, sugar lips?”

He has his weight resting on his elbow and he’s staring at me in concern.

“I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. If it’s something my dick didn’t cure, then it’s serious. Come on, talk to me.”

He lightly runs a finger from my earlobe down to my shoulder and then to my nipple.

“I’m pregnant.”

His finger stops moving and he lifts it off my body. Slowly, he withdraws from me and shifts away as if I have a contagious skin disease.

“Can you repeat yourself?”

“I am pregnant.”

His eyes rest on my tummy for almost a minute.

“Honey…” His voice is hushed.

“I…”

He stops me with a raised hand. I can’t bear to look into his face and see something that might break me further. I gaze away and the moment I turn, I hear him leave the bed.

“I hope you’re happy,” he says, putting on his briefs. “You accomplished what you set out for.”

“What I set out for?”

“This was what you wanted all along, wasn’t it?”

“Jide?”

“Well, congratulations, Hon. Regrettably, I won’t be a part of it.”

I bury my head in shame and weep.

large

©Sally@moskedapages

Images: blog.daum.net, v0gue-en-soiree.tumblr.com

Translations:

Cabrona – bitch

Puta – slut, bitch

Si senora – Yes, madam

Escúchenme – Just listen for a moment!

Sabes porque anoche Yazmin y Emeka se desaparecieron? Estaban singando en su carro – You know why Yazmin and Emeka disappeared last night? They were fucking in his car.

kpata-kpata – totally, completely

Iya Ibeji – pregnant woman

 

It’s Another Saturday…#9

The Challenge

“You never called…or answered my calls.”

Honey is standing before me in a little white dress. She is sporting a different hairstyle from the braids I last saw her in. This weave leaves her with short bangs that fall on CT  the sides of her face, almost covering her right eye. Her lips are a soft, pink shade matching the blush she has on her cheeks. A pair of yellow flats adorns her smooth, long legs and I catch myself staring longer than usual.

“Jide.” She has this understanding smile on her face.

“Hi,” I say for the second time, returning the smile as I walk to her. Her scent pulls me closer. I want to reply her accusation but my tongue feels heavy. She had called me twice last night and I was too busy to either take the calls or call back. I apologize, take her hand and lead her back to my office. When I shut the door behind us, I lean on it and gawk at her some more. I’m fighting with my words. They want to adore her and say things that I rarely say to women.

“Talk, Jide.”

I finally speak up. “I want to let you know that I’ve missed you, Honey. I didn’t know how to handle the fact that you were constantly on my mind. I felt out of control. One minute I didn’t know what I was feeling about you and the next minute I’m falling hard. Just like that. What have you done to me?”

“So you missed me,” she says in a whispery tone.

“Yeah.” I want to kiss her so badly. “How have you been?”

She shrugs. “So, so.”

I put my hands on her waist and pull her close like it’s the most natural thing to do. There’s an irksome voice telling me to tread carefully because I know nothing about this woman. Well, I don’t see how that information is helping me right now.

We both go silent. We are at the start of something new but it seems we don’t know how to get in. Some people kick off a relationship with sex, some with a direct proposal but Honey and I unsure of how to proceed.

“What do you feel for me, Honey?” I ask. “And no Shakespeare dramatization, please.”

She giggles and I think it’s the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a grown woman in a while.

“I’m crazy about you, Jide.”

“How much?”

“If I tell you, you’ll be scared, so let’s just say I like you a lot.” Her hand rests on my chest and she straightens my shirt. I have a feeling this woman will treat me like a king. I smile as I recall the rush of starting something new and exciting, and how it’s always paralleled to none.

“Can I kiss you?” She makes a shy request which I don’t respond to with words. I simply tug her closer and taste those lips I’ve been dying to have for a whole month. They are still as soft as I remember. I make love to her mouth by nibbling and teasing, taking pleasure from the soft caresses of her lips. It is meant to be a short kiss but it lasts for a while. When we pull apart, I give her that snuggle I promised over the phone. And oh, she smells divine!

“Am I going to share you with other girls, Jide?” she asks. I try not to think of Ele and the other two who have been features in my life over the past weeks. They are as good as done. It’s not even a hard decision to make; I’ve always been a one woman type of guy. Once my heart is captured by someone, I have eyes for only her.

“No, it’s just you, Honey.”

There is a knock on my office door.

“Who is it?”

“DOM, sorry for disturbing  you. Erm your intercom is not working…”

“Yeah, what do you want?”

“A patient needs to see you, sir.”

“I’ll be right out,” I reply the nurse outside the door.

“What is DOM?” Honey asks.

“Director of Midwifery.”

“Hmm…boss.”

“But not the boss of you.” I pinch her nose. “You’re my oga now.”

She moves away from me. “Are you going to be long?”

“No. Please wait for me.” I offer her a chair and leave.

It’s the fastest ward round I’ve ever done. I return less than thirty minutes later and suggest we go somewhere for breakfast after we share another intense kiss.

We have breakfast in a café nearby. She orders for fries while I take pancakes that don’t taste as good as my mom’s. I don’t mind, though, I’m listening to Honey retell me how she got herself suspended from work.

“You should sue that chick.”

“Jide, I’m from a country that is homophobic, and I slapped an influential lesbian from a place where homosexuality was just legalized. Who will listen to my case?”

She has a point.

“Sorry about your ordeal. But on the bright side, you have new clothes and six weeks to be with me.”

“You and my dad.”

“Tell me more about your family.”

She tells me about them. They’re not completely Nigerian. Her mother was half-Eritrean and half-Shua Arab. This explains Honey’s light skin tone. But her shapely figure is fully Nigerian, of Urhobo descent from her father’s side.

We touch on other topics before coming back to the subject of our relationship. I’m realizing that she’s the type that likes things spelled out; unlike me, I just go with the flow. She wants me to reassure her that I’ll be devoted to her. I make no promises yet. I don’t want us to rush things.

“I hope you’re not staying in a hotel for the entire time, though,” I enquire.

“My rent expired ages ago, so hotel it is.”

“Why not come stay with me?” This is not me trying to get into her pants. I’m just concerned about the hotel bill she will accrue.

My request makes her smile. “Thanks for the offer but…”

“I’m not trying to sleep with you. I gave my word once and kept it, didn’t I?”

“Jide, we’re so going to do it if I stay with you.”

“Really? You think I can’t control myself?”

“I didn’t say that. What I mean is that the chemistry is strong. We both won’t be able to control it.”

“Trust me, we can.”

“We can’t, Jide.”

“Okay, me I’m challenging myself not to have sex with you.”

She laughs. “Impossible.”

“Honey, I’ve kept a platonic relationship before and I can still do it. Just trust me.”

“Hmm… Kissing, smooching, spooning and cuddling nko?”

“Spooning and cuddling? Haba! Even the pope cannot resist. But kissing and touching are allowed.”

“You can handle that?”

“Sure, I can.”

I see the disbelief in her eyes. It mirrors my own uncertainty.

“Well,” she says, “I love the challenge because I’m not ready to be a bride yet.”

“Oh, come on! You too?”

She cracks up. On my face is an expression of amusement but inside I’m brooding on the matter. I’ve always pretended that the Bridemaker stuff never bothered me but secretly it did, and it still does. And that’s why Honey’s body will stay in the confines of my fantasies and not my bed. I don’t want to know her that way yet. I’ve had enough sex to last me a lifetime. She won’t be treated like the others.

“So, deal?” she asks.

“Deal.”

A mischievous smile is on her face. I’m curious about it but she assures me it’s nothing. We talk until twelve noon and just as we’re about to leave, she vacates her side of the table and sits beside me and takes a selfie. I steal a kiss when she is not concentrating. She pushes me off half-heartedly and I poke her side in a tickle. She squeals, jumping to a start. I stare at her. I can get used to this. It’s been so long since I’ve been this free with a female in a non-sexual setting.

I poke her again. She jumps off the seat and I pull her to my laps where I mercilessly tickle her until she begs me in tears.

“I just found my favorite past time. You’re so dead.”

She turns her face to mine for yet another kiss. It’s a quiet café; no one bothers us.

“Let’s go and see my parents,” I suggest. She gladly agrees.

On our way, we stop to get some red wine for my dad and a basket of fruits for my mom. When we get to the house, Tola and my mom are at the dining area, deep into wedding plans. Emeka is seated at one end of the table, moody like a black cloud.

anothersaturday360nobssad-blackman

When my mom spots Honey, she grins and calls her over. Honey gives her a hug and is offered a space to sit beside her. I hang with them for a few minutes before going upstairs with Emeka. I ask him to update me on his twisted love life. The last time we spoke he had told me Yazmin couldn’t come over because her father wouldn’t let her. The man insists that Emeka gets married to his daughter in Mexico once the baby is born, and both of them are to live there and not in Nigeria or even in the States.

“The poor girl is shattered,” Emeka informs me. “All the stress has gotten to her, thanks to her old man. But I just have to travel for the birth of the baby. The only issue is that Tola says I can’t leave until we get married.”

“When is this wedding sef?”

“In two weeks.”

“I thought it wasn’t until two months’ time. Why is no one updating me on these things?”

“That’s what I’m telling you. Everyone in this house is scared that if I travel I won’t come back. That’s why they’re rushing things. Me I’m just here looking at them. Nne is excited, Popsi has started telling everyone his son is getting married to an Adeniyi. You know how he is.” Emeka sighs tiredly.

“This is serious.”

I can’t believe Emeka is going to tie the knot. I know he doesn’t want to but he is so scared of my dad that he can’t do otherwise. I’m really worried about him and his contentment. Already, he looks depressed.

“You don’t have to do this, Mex.” I sit beside him. “Didn’t you listen to anything Kalu told you the other day? What’s the worst that can come out of this? Popsi disowning you? He won’t even try it. We got your back. And Tola, she’ll move on.”

“The girl loves me, Jide, and I think that’s all that counts.”

“How can you say that? How about how you feel?”

“Does it matter?”

“You will cheat on her like it’s going out of fashion once you get married, Mex. Is that what you plan to do? How you want to live as a married man?”

“Everyone cheats, Jide. Every single married man cheats. If not all the time; then at least, once. See popsi for instance.”

I look at him. “What did popsi do?”

“Oh, nobody gisted you?”

“Gisted me what?”

“When you were away, Nne left this house for like almost four months. At first we didn’t know why. It was later Aunty Chinazor told Oba that it was because Nne found out that popsi cheated like twenty years ago. There was some university chick that popsi used to take to one hotel then. I don’t know the details sha.”

But I do. I remember the time. 1995. I remember the woman’s face and I remember how I found out. I was in secondary school then. Reno, Shady and I were in our SS3 and misbehaved a lot. We always snuck out of school to attend parties and such. On this particular occasion we ended up in Reno’s uncle’s hotel, a place we always frequented. We were with our girlfriends. Reno hooked us up with one of their best suites that had a double room. The problem was that the walls in that hotel were thin. One could easily hear anything happening in the next room if its occupants were loud enough. And that was how we were hearing this couple have really loud sex. The lady was screaming her head off. It was entertainment for us. We jibed and called them names the entire time. When it all went silent, we continued our own little, private party. We were out of cigarettes and I volunteered to get some. The moment I stepped out of the room was the same moment the couple was stepping out of theirs. I don’t know why that night I didn’t ignore the voice that was telling me to turn and stare at them. I obeyed it and when I turned, I was staring into the face of my own father. In his arms was a much younger and curvier girl.

We were both shocked but neither of us said a word to each other. He walked right past me and I recall catching a fever at the spot. I was my mom’s favorite, the one everyone called her daughter, so you can imagine the kind of anger I bore for him from that day. Later he gave me a stupid explanation, the type Emeka just gave now, that every man cheats. Afterwards, he bribed me constantly, giving me everything I asked for without questioning. I forgave him when I grew up and discovered married life is a lot more complicated than two people just saying their vows to each other. Nonetheless, I still believe there are men out there who remain faithful to their women; and I want Emeka to be one of them.

“Wait o, JD,” Emeka calls my attention, “you think Kalu is not cheating on Elsie?”

“He’s not.”

Emeka laughs.

“Is he?” I ask.

“I haven’t caught him but that his born-again, over righteous acting no dey fool me.”

“No, he’s not cheating,” I maintain. “And he’s really born again.”

Emeka keeps quiet and his laughing face disappears really fast. It’s so unlike him. He is truly disturbed over his dilemma. I don’t know why he wants to subject his future to even more unhappiness.

“Just break Tola’s heart now, once and for all.”

“My mind is made up, Jide. They all want a wedding, they’ll get a wedding. I hope it makes all of them happy.”

I can see he is resolute on his stance. I won’t speak further but I won’t let him ruin his life. I make plans to discuss with Tola.

Noticing Emeka has withdrawn, I give him some space as I go back downstairs. My mom has smiles for me as I join her and Honey in the kitchen.

“What’s the grin about?” I ask. The woman looks at Honey and back at me.

“When is you people’s own wedding date?”

“Jeez, ma! What are you talking about?”

“She forced it out of me, I’m sorry,” Honey apologizes.

“What are you sorry for?” My mom scolds. “I would still find out. Jide tells me everything.”

I nod in confirmation.

“I’m happy for you two. When I met you, Honey, I knew my boy will fall hard.”

I tickle Honey. “You naughty girl, you told momsi I’ve fallen hard?”

Honey squirms while laughing. “No o! She figured that all on her own.”

I peck Honey on the lips and my mom doesn’t object.

“I invited Honey to come stay here but she wants to stay at her friend’s house instead,” the old woman reports as she puts a bowl of rice under running water.

“Yeah… She’s um… staying at her friend’s.”

A look passes between Honey and I. My mom doesn’t miss it but she says nothing.

“Mommy, I’ll always be here,” Honey promises.

I ask to be excused again and go in search of Tola. I find her in one of the guestrooms. She opens the door when I knock and a smile fills her face.

“If it’s not my hot brother-in-law.”

Her sassy look has returned. She purses her lips sensually and lets her gaze lower to my midsection.

“Have I thanked you for making me a bride?”

“Don’t rejoice yet.”

I shut the door and turn the key in the lock. Her carefully-shaped brows twitch in pleasure.

“You’re crazier than I thought, Jide. Under your parents’ roof with our partners around. Ooooh… come here, hotness!”

Her madness has returned too.

“Cancel the wedding,” I order her.

“Excuse me?” She stops.

Cancel the wedding.”

“Is that why you came here?” Her countenance drops like a boulder from the sky.

“You’re not pregnant.”

I don’t miss the apprehension that flashes in her eyes.

“What does that mean?”

“It means what it means, Omotola. You are not pregnant.”

“Okay, you just have to leave my room. I’m irritated now.”

I stun her by marching towards her, slamming her slim frame on the bed and pinning her hands down with my knees. She struggles but can’t break free. I proceed to feel her tummy for a ten-week fetus that is supposedly there and just as I suspect, I find nothing.

“I said it. Nothing here.”

“Jide, don’t be stupid. You forget that I’m a doctor. It takes lot more to determine if a pregnancy exists or not.”

I free her and get off the bed. “You are going to tell Mex that you’re sorry, and that the wedding cannot go on because you lied about the pregnancy.”

She mocks with a sinister laugh. “I will marry Mex and there’s nothing nobody can do to stop me.

“You’re not listening, Tola. If you don’t cancel the wedding, I’ll tell everyone we had sex.”

“You’re just so stupid, Jide. Add delusional to your spite. Do you think anyone will give you an award for revealing the fact that you screwed your brother’s fiancée?”

I don’t have words for her. My mind is set on exposing who she really is and saving my brother from a huge mistake. I know I’ll lose a few hearts to this but I can’t sit by and watch Tola ruin things for Emeka, knowing I can do something to change it.

I march to the door, unlock it and stride out of the room. Honey and I hang around for lunch and leave at the appearance of dusk. In the cab back home I seek her counsel over Emeka’s issue.

“If you’re sure he’s just marrying Tola to please everyone, maybe you should call the family together and talk to them. In the end, parents want their children’s happiness. I don’t think mommy or daddy would be that difficult to soften. The only problem would be Tola sha. From her plans, she’s investing everything into the marriage.”

“Wedding. Not marriage. She just wants to be a wife badly. She doesn’t love Emeka.”

“But the way she was talking about him…”

“Trust me, she doesn’t love him.”

Honey doesn’t comment further on the topic. We stay silent in the cab and I busy myself creating goosebumps on her skin as she slowly drifts into sleep. She seems really tired. When we get home, I give her the privacy of my bedroom and go back to the hospital. On my way, my mom sends me a text, asking me to use a condom. I simply smile. Meddling, old woman.

On arrival at the hospital, I’m taken to see a woman who is supposed to have a caesarian section due to some complications but she insists on having the baby vaginally. I am called to help her through the process. I beg her to opt for the surgery but she declines, claiming God had revealed to her through her pastor that if she climbed the operating table she would die.

Being that she is already in labor, the doctors advise that I commence on the birth process. We begin and it takes us a grueling period of ten hours. Finally the baby comes and is pronounced dead by me a few minutes after delivery. The woman goes hysterical. I’m sad by the turn of events but there’s nothing anyone can do. I get set to go home after punishing myself in my office for a long time, going through the unfortunate incidence over and over and asking myself what I would have done differently to save the life of the baby. On my way home, one of the nurses at reception stops me.

“DOM, that woman died o.”

I spin around.

“What woman?”

“Your patient. The one that her baby died.”

I go cold.

“How did that happen?”

“Pulmonary embolism.”

“Oh God,” I groan and settle into one of the waiting benches.

“DOM, it’s not your fault. The woman was stubborn. With her weight, she should have listened to what they were telling her. I’m sure while she was pregnant she was sitting in one place for a long time. That alone can lead to an embolism. And you know the risk is higher with women who just gave birth.”

I recall writing in her file that her blood clotted too fast, asking that the gynae in charge take note. It might be that the woman passed away based on the reasons the nurse noted but I have a feeling there was a pre-existing medical condition which we all missed because we were sidetracked by the complications before us then.

“May she rest in peace sha. And may God punish all these fake pastors that keep causing the deaths of their members with their fake prophesies.”

I add an amen to that before I leave the hospital. I take a bus home. When I get into the compound, I find Ele outside where the water tank is, busy on her phone, wearing nothing but a short bathrobe. I ask her what she’s doing there.

“Oh. Free WiFi. The reception is strongest here. By six they’ll turn it off until twelve in the afternoon.”

I shake my head and enter the building. She tags along. When I get to my floor, she tries to follow me in. I stop her.

“Ele, no.”

“Why? You’re tired? I’ll give you a massage.”

“No. My girlfriend is in.”

“Girlfriend? Since when did you have a girlfriend? Is it the tall one I saw you with last week? Or is that other darker one?”

“No. This is my girlfriend exclusively.”

“When you say exclusively, what does that mean?”

“It means you and I are done.”

She places her hand on her chest. “You just broke my heart, Jide.” She tries to touch me but I move back.

“I’m serious.”

“But I have a boyfriend too na.”

“Since when?”

“Since like forever.”

“And you never told me? You want one small boy to come here and break my head?”

“Relax. He’s not in the country. And he’s not a small boy. He’s thirty-eight.”

“Thirty-eight? Why do you like older men?”

“Why else?” she fixes her glare on my groin area. “Sugar daddy things.”

“You’re so unserious.”

“So you’re saying no more us?”

“Yes. Stay in your house.”

“Aww, it’s not fair o. Anyways, this is what you’ll be missing.” She unties her bathrobe and exposes her nude body. I turn to my door.

“Bye, Jide.”

I insert my key into the keyhole.

“Wait…”

I angle my head at her.

“My boyfriend proposed to me over the weekend.”

My hand freezes.

“Just out of the blue. On the phone he gives this long speech about love and drops the question from nowhere. And I’m like all that one is just talk. Me, I want a ring on my finger. Platinum, preferably, because it is stronger and will hold the diamonds much better than white or yellow gold. But that’s not the point, Jide. Should I commit to him since I’m not ready to leave Nigeria yet? I don’t want a long distance marriage.”

“I believe there are websites dying to have people like you write in to seek their advice, Ele. Email them.”

“You’re just so mean.”

“Bye.”

I enter my house quietly and stop for a second to brood over the fact that Ele has now joined the list of women I’ve made brides. This makes solid my decision not to have sex with Honey. I don’t want to lose her to someone else.

I walk in and find her sleeping in my bedroom, the door wide open. She is wearing a silky nightgown that disappears under the duvet covering the lower half of her body. I have the urge to snuggle in with her but I fight it and move back to the sitting room where I fall on my favorite couch and go to sleep.

I wake up a few hours later, to the sound of upbeat music coming from the television. It is neither loud not irritating. In fact, I’m beginning to doze off again when my eyes catch a feminine form in front of me. It is Honey. She is in black gym pants under a fitted top. Following the movements from an aerobics instructor on TV, she does squats. I want to take my eyes away but I remember that she’s now my girlfriend and no one will fine me for ogling.

She switches to another routine. In this one, the instructor is asking her to spread her legs apart while her hands rest on the floor as she angles herself at 45°. And then she has to commence this twerking movement from nowhere. As in, is the instructor conspiring with Honey to give me a hard-on this morning bikonu? Which kain wahala be dis? Person cannot even sleep in peace again.

I listen to the voice of the Lord, telling me to unlook. I turn my head and slam a throw-pillow over my straining boner. I don’t know what type of wahala I’ve put myself into with this stupid no-sex challenge. It’s going to be harder than I imagined. Only the devil knows the type of thoughts flying around my head right now. God forgive me.

“Hey you!” Honey calls. I look at her. She is facing me and she has that mischievous smile again. It is only now I understand its meaning. She’s bent on making me break my promise to her.

“I know what you just did,” I tell her.

“What I just did?” She asks innocently. “Oh, the aerobics. It’s something I do all the time.”

“On the plane? Up in the air?”

I catch her right there. She releases a guilty smile.

“Just trying to keep fit.”

I point a finger at her but utter no words. She leans over and kisses me, her cleavage in my face.  The sweet smell of her perfume mixed with her sweat intoxicates me. Jeez! This is going to be harrrd. Who sent me message?

“I’m going to have a shower,” she announces and walks away. Well, since I can’t sleep again, I follow her, and stop at the bedroom door, asking permission to gist her how last night went while she showers.

She agrees. As she walks into the room, I take a discreet photo of her backside. I will need it for later. Meanwhile, I’m thinking maybe she and I will have to go through that our agreement again and re-negotiate the terms because I don’t think I can last one more day having her walk around the house like this. She will just have to be wrapped up in a blanket anytime I’m at home.

As I ponder on this, I get a text from my mom.

I had a dream last night, Jide. Please pray. It’s about Honey. She’s your wife but the devil wants to take you from her like Ezinne. Pray against it. And please my son, don’t sleep with her or you’ll lose her. Please pray.

I go through the text again. She used the words ‘please’ and ‘pray’ three times. Interesting.

The old woman dreams a lot, especially after going to bed worrying about issues that don’t concern her. First she sends me a text about using a condom and now, it’s that I shouldn’t make love to my babe. I’m sure before she slept last night, her little head was panicking over her precious Honey being taken by another man the moment I make love to her. Don’t worry, ma, I have no plans to turn her into a bride.

No, but seriously, who am I kidding that I won’t touch Honey? Help me judge, abeg, Am I to unlook when I have this walking up and down in my house?

anothersaturday360nobsyogahoney

©Sally@moskedapages

Image credits: www.informationng.com, tumblr.com

It’s Another Saturday…#8

Click To Read Previous Episodes of It’s Another Saturday

The One Who Makes Me Cry

It’s been three days since I last heard from Jide. He has tried getting through to me but I have given him the cold shoulder. Before then, we had communicated really well for over a month via all the social networks and through phone calls. Gradually, we had drawn close and he had even given me the pet name Sugar Lips. It’s not like we have declared love for each other; we just know there’s something there. Or so I thought. Turned out I was building a sandcastle. The problem started when he and I were having one of our phone conversations and I heard a girl in the background. It was supposed to be 2am in Nigeria. What was a girl doing with him at that time of the night?

He told me blankly that she was a friend with benefits. I asked him why he was doing such a thing. He said because he was an adult and could do whatever he felt like. He wasn’t even apologetic. Was I jealous, he then asked? I lied that I wasn’t but I also failed to tell him I was pissed. Giving him a very curt goodbye, I hung up and haven’t kept in touch since.

I have some flaws, I must admit. The worst being that I can’t trust men. Dele’s wife and my dad have often begged me to change. I have tried but I’ve been unsuccessful. The irony is that with me being away most of the time, I still expect the man I love to remain trustworthy and loyal to me. The first inkling I get that he’s unfaithful, I’m done with him. I’ve been told that my head is in the clouds. One of my exes even called me a Disney princess. Whatever. I want my own Prince Charming, my one true love who will walk me into the sunset and give me my happily ever after. I thought Jide was the one. Turned out I was dreaming. I’m still mad at him. And yes, that’s another flaw of mine. I know how to keep a grudge.

My day has begun terribly, and I know it will get worse. I’ve been through different states of mind over Jide’s sexual indiscretions, not sure what to make of his behavior. I fear that all he wants from me is sex. My head tells me it’s commonsense to forget about him but I just can’t. He has sipped into my system in a way no other man has. Right now I’m holding my phone and hoping he’ll call.

“Honey, the captain wants to see you,” a steward informs me. I nod and put my phone away. We’re doing our pre-flight organization, making sure everything is in place before the passengers get onboard. I am not in the mood to speak with any pilot today. In fact, I’m not in the mood for anything.

I walk to the cockpit and find the door open. The moment I step in, it shuts behind me and I get pinned to it by a man I have sworn to have nothing to do with.

Before I protest, he covers my lips with his, giving me this very sexual kiss that brings back a lot of memories I have buried. I try to push him away but I can’t. He kisses on as one of his hands begins to feel my breast. I struggle and break free.

“Nonso, what’s wrong with you?!” I push away from him, stabbing his chest with my open palms. He moves closer again but I stop him.

“Hey, Hon.” There’s a slutty smile on his face. I can’t believe I used to turn to water at that look.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m back.” He laughs.

“I thought you quit.”

“Well, I did but now I’m back.” He takes my waist again and crushes into me. “Back to us for good. My divorce is now final. God! I missed you! Can you feel how much?”

He is referring to his excited penis that is poking me presently. Back then I would have hungrily gone for it but right now, I’m disgusted. I give him another jab in the chest and aim for the door. He pulls up behind me. One hand grabs my breasts and the other lifts my skirt.

“Nonso, stop! I’ll report you for harassment!”

I try to turn but he pins me hard to the door.

“Stop!” I scream and hit the door. I am so mad right now.

“Okay, calm down. I’ll stop.” He takes his hands off me, but not before squeezing my nipple. I turn around and give him a resounding slap. He grabs my hand and pins me to the door once more, making sure to cage my legs as well because he knows I’ll aim for his balls next.

“You’re angry, you’re mad. It’s understandable and I’m sorry, honey bun. I really am. I just had to sort myself out; that was why I left without saying anything. You said you didn’t want to share me with her, so I did the right thing and now I’m back for us, back to make things work.”

This guy doesn’t understand that our love boat sailed long ago. I have cried my tears and asked God for mercy over sleeping with someone else’s husband. I still feel so ashamed of myself for everything I did with Nonso. Both of us called it love then and blamed it on the loneliness in the skies. But it was just pure lust. I told myself I wasn’t hurting his wife and kids, that what we shared had nothing to do with them; and that the demise of his marriage was because of his demanding job. However, inside I knew I was part of the waves that wrecked his marriage. This, I admitted only after he disappeared without explanation.

Now he’s back and wants to lead us down the ruins of our wickedness? No way. Not me. I’ve lived clean for almost two years. I can do well without him.

“Nothing can work between us, Nonso. I don’t love you anymore.”

His grip on my hand weakens. Confusion creeps up on his face.

“Honey…”

“I found someone else, Nonso. Two years was enough time for me to realize I was a husband snatcher and a home wrecker. God will not forgive me if I build my happiness on an evil foundation.”

“Honey, I’m a free man. It’s not evil or wickedness to be with me.”

“Just stop talking trash abeg. We’re through. Step away from me.”

To be honest, I don’t know what is giving me the nerve to speak to him this way. He used to be my only weakness and one of the few men I could trust because he was always with me. I remember times when guilt hit me in the past over our affair and I’ll tell myself not to give into his advances anymore, only to melt at just one smile or touch. Now, I feel absolutely nothing for him. This is what loving Jide is doing to me.

“Who is this new guy?”

“Step away from me, Nonso.”

He sees the seriousness in my eyes and slowly frees me. I straighten out my outfit and walk out, hoping to God he doesn’t crash the plane out of frustration.

Oh well, the flight doesn’t go smoothly. No, Nonso doesn’t do anything stupid. It is the passengers this time. It is one of those days when all the dickheads decide to be on the same flight. Since they boarded, I’ve been fighting to keep my patience. Now, I just can’t take it anymore. I am about to have a nervous breakdown. I just saw a teenage couple making out in the back and the girl has the effrontery to ask me to be on the lookout to make sure no one comes their way.

Nothing wey person no go see for the hands of this opinion people. I’ve asked them to go back to their seats but they want to make a row. Sleeping passengers are waking up and turning our way. I’m exhausting all my professional options. All that is left of me is to slap some home training into them.

Okay that did it! The girl just called me a bitch and the boy is using racist expressions. I’m about to give them both an earful but my colleague steps in and asks to take them off my hands. I move up to first class, glad to meet more cultured people, only to have some randy lesbian bitch put her hand up my skirt after asking me to pick the pen she intentionally threw to the floor. I lose that last ounce of my cool as I shoot up, swivel round and give her a slap that makes the one I gave Nonso look like a joke. The entire cabin wakes up to find the chick crying and threatening to sue me and the airline.

I know I’m losing my job, that’s for sure. And I know this will make the news. I can see the headlines now: Homophobic Air Flight Attendant Slaps Lesbian Daughter Of Prominent New York Designer.

My bosses will have my hide. Lord help me.

I turn to her and apologize before dashing out of the cabin. We get to New York an hour later. Nonso is by my side as I wait in my boss’ office. He tries to hold my hand but I don’t let him. I eventually ask him to leave after we have been kept waiting in the outer office for five hours. He promises to call me later. I wait another hour before my boss appears and calls me in. The man is like an uncle to me but I don’t think he can save my head from going under the block.

“I’ve done all I can, Honey, but I’m afraid you have to go on suspension for a whole month, without pay.”

“Sir, she put her hand up my skirt.”

“You have training on how to react in such situations, Honey. You’re always the cool one, the most patient. What ruffled your feathers this way?”

“I don’t know. Just a bad day,” I respond, wishing Jide wasn’t getting benefits from some friend or that Nonso hadn’t returned. Both men are partly responsible for all that happened today.

“What you did can cost us millions of dollars in lawsuit.”

“I’m sorry.”

“The story is already out there and I don’t know if I can secure your job when you get back from suspension, if you’ll even get back.”

I feel tears pool up in my eyes.

“Fortunately for us, you can save us money and time in court if you go and see her. She wants a personal apology.”

My tummy churns. “She’ll rape me,” I complain.

“Honey, that’s our only choice not to screw this company up. She can’t rape you. Just visit her father’s beach house in the Hamptons, have lunch with her, kiss and make up.”

Kiss and make up? This man throws jabs when my job is at stake. I let my breath out. I know that chick is going to sexually harass me and no one will do anything about it. What type of nonsense job is this?

I leave my boss’ office so helpless. I need to talk to someone. I call Dele’s wife but her number is not available. I sit out in the lobby and try another friend. I can’t reach her too. The next person on my mind is Mommy but I refrain from calling her. I don’t want to load my problems on the poor woman who has her own family issues to deal with.

I hitch a ride to my hotel where I shower and change into a pair of unflattering jeans and a plain tee. I step out of the hotel to see a chauffeur ready to take me to my abuser’s home. We begin my journey to the Hamptons. The sun has just risen up on this side of the world.

When I return, I’m pissed. The trip was just like I imagined it would be. The chick had her hands all over my body the entire time and afterwards, gifted me a whole rack of ridiculously expensive clothes, shoes and lingerie which were my perfect fit. She had me feeling like an escort.

anothersaturdaymoskedapages

I get into my hotel suite and erase the memory of my encounter by trying out the new clothes. It’s better than sitting and brooding over Jide and my job which I may soon lose.

“Abeg use the time to come visit me jare,” Dele’s wife says when I finally get through to her line.

“I will. I’ll also go and see my dad.”

“How about your omo Igbo?”

I don’t give a quick answer. I don’t want to talk about Jide.

“I’ll see him too.”

“Okay.”

We touch on other topics. Actually, I listen to her tell me about her husband’s demands to have another baby. She’s not happy about it. She wants to start a business or she’ll lose her mind existing as a stay-at-home mom. She has a feeling Dele doesn’t trust her to remain faithful to him once she’s out there. I don’t trust her too. She used to be horniness on two long legs.

She rings off after advising me to never give up my dreams just to please a man. I put my phone away and start thinking how fickle women can be. The other day she willingly gave Dele her entire life without flinching, just so she would be counted as a missus.

My suspension letter comes in via email. Six weeks without pay. I have an instant headache. The last time someone was suspended for that long, she never returned. I want to cry so badly. I need a shoulder and a soothing voice to tell me all is well.

I pick my phone, swallow my grudge and call Jide. He answers.

“Hi Honey.”

At the sound of his voice I break down. He patiently waits on the line until I can speak. I relate to him my sexual harassment story and subsequent suspension.

“I’d hug you now if you were here with me,” he says.

I blush in the privacy of my hotel room. Jide is such a Romeo. He likes to pretend that his charming ways come naturally but he knows exactly what he is doing.

“Take a flight back,” he requests.

“Why?”

“Because I want you here.”

The words are enough to put me back on the next plane to Nigeria. And that is exactly what I do the moment he hangs up.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I spent all my money, bought a big ol’ fancy car

For these bright-eyed honeys

Oh yeah, you know who you are

Keep me up till the sun is high

Till the birds start calling my name

I’m addicted and I don’t know why

Guess I’ve always been this way

All these roads steer me wrong

But I still drive them all night long

All night long

 

All you young wild girls you make a mess of me

Yeah you young wild girls you’ll be the death of me

The death of me

All you young wild girls no matter what you do

Yeah you young wild girls I’ll always back to you

Come back to you ooh-ooh-ooh

 

I get lost under these lights

I get lost in words I say

Start believing my own lies

Like everything will be okay

But I still dream of a simple life

Boy meets girl makes her his wife

But love don’t exist when you live like this

That much I know

Yes I know

All these roads steer me wrong

But I still drive them all night long

All night long…

“Stop the song, Celia.”

I’m looking into Celia’s mischievous face as she sings along with Bruno Mars, strumming an invisible guitar for visual effects.

“You asked to see me so we can talk. I’m here and you’re playing Bruno Mars. How does your husband cope with you?”

She keeps singing in that terrible voice of hets. It’s not bad enough that the song is speaking to my conscience, she has to croak along with it.

“We’re in a restaurant, please. Everyone’s staring.”

She doesn’t stop.

“Okay, I’ll confess!” I try to shout her down. “Honey is not my girlfriend.”

She stops. “You sly prick.”

“You asked.”

“Yeah, a month ago.” She hisses. “You just made me miss the best part of the song.”

She stops the song and pushes her phone aside.

“So what’s this talk about?” I ask.

“Mary told me you stopped talking to her.”

“Did she tell you why?”

“Does it matter why? The point is that you’re suddenly on this moral pedestal.”

“Moral pedestal? Mary seduced me in my parlor. She was completely nude. She told you that part?”

“She was drunk.”

“She was not. She was drunk the night before and I gave her my room to sleep, only for her to wake up the next morning and think she can guilt me into sleeping with her.”

“She is your friend, Jide. She wanted you. The best you could do was oblige.”

I can’t believe my ears. Celia has completely lost it.

“You see the problem with you women? You don’t help each other at all. You, Bims, Noka and Peace, you’re all not helping Mary.”

“How?”

“Stop pushing her to get married. What’s the rush for? The girl is now desperate because you shove your marriages in her face and make it look like you’re all living perfect lives when you’re not. Look at Peace, for instance. I’m sure she can’t remember the last time she slept with Reno. Or is it Noka whom Ibro got married to just because she trapped him with pregnancy and has to constantly bend over backwards to please him? Or Bimpe that is suffering in the hands of her in-laws?”

“Or Celia whose husband is stingy,” Celia adds. “Abi? Go on.”

“Behave. You know what I’m talking about.”

“No marriage is perfect, Jide.”

“I’m glad you get my point, so stop making Mary feel like she’s missing the best part of her life because she’s single.”

“All we’re saying is that you’re single, she’s single…make una two help una sef. Or…at least, you could help her get hooked to someone else.”

“How?”

“Aren’t you the Bridemaker?”

Ah! Olorun!

“Celia!”

“She’s your friend. Love her or lead her to love. You do it for others on the daily for free.”

“I do nothing. I just…”

“Sleep around like a mongrel.”

She stares into my eyes, daring me to do or say my worst.

“I think I’ve played with you too much, Cee. You don’t have respect again. You and Mary; and that’s why she’ll be stripping for me because in her mind, Jideofor doesn’t have self-control. He’ll just hop on any available vagina. No problem.”

I stand up from my chair.

“You’re vexing?”

I don’t answer her. I pick my phone and she stops me.

“I’m sorry, Jide. Please, don’t go.”

“Leave me jor.”

I’m genuinely annoyed. I walk away. She calls me back but I don’t respond. As for Mary, she should enjoy the doghouse I put her in.

Outside the restaurant I get a call from an important client. Remember the woman whose husband I told you I greatly admired? Well she just went into labor and she needs me.

My journey is taking me to the other end of town, to a quiet neighborhood and a house that imposes itself above others. But first I have to stop at home to get my medical paraphernalia. By the time I get to the client’s place, traffic and all, it’s almost dark.

There are armed guards at the gate that confirm my invitation before letting me in. I’m being led by one of them to the main house as my eyes absorb the beauty of the grounds around me. The mansion is surrounded by nature, reminding me of my family home. The greenery and clean atmosphere fills me and I find myself slowing just to inhale the air. I hear dogs barking close by and music that is coming from another side of the premises which is demarcated by a short fence. There I see another building; it is a two-storey, sturdy and of modern architecture but not as impressive as the one I’m about to walk into.

The entrance door to the house opens before me and the guard moves away to usher me in, upon which he turns back and I stand facing an elderly woman.

“Good evening, sir,” she greets. I greet back. “Madam is waiting for you.”

I am led up a flight of wooden stairs. I notice that the house is mostly structured with wood. And it is done so skillfully that one can miss it without an observant eye. We come to the top floor and the woman leads me into a bedroom that is ridiculously large and yet cozy.

“Wait here,” the woman tells me and turns back. I am left standing in the private space of my client and her husband. On the walls are photos of them on their wedding day. There’s one photo of the bride and a younger girl who looks like the groom. I come to the conclusion that the girl is his daughter from a previous relationship. My client’s medical history points that she has never had a child of her own. This is her first full term pregnancy after two miscarriages. Her husband had wanted her cared for in a better equipped hospital outside Nigeria but she had declined. She never told me her reasons why.

anothersaturdaymoskedapages2

But let me deviate… She is drop dead gorgeous. Damn! I am not crazy about curvy women but if I ever stray from my preference, I would be found in the arms of someone as beautiful as she is. Her husband is one lucky bastard; I can’t imagine the number of men he has to fight off her. I just hope she doesn’t follow the way of many women and lose her looks after childbirth. It would be catastrophic.

A door squeaks almost inaudibly and I turn in the direction of the sound, straightening myself. My client steps out in all her pregnant glory and I smile at her.

“Good evening, madam.”

“Jide.” She walks slowly. She is tired. Nine months with twins is not beans. “How are you?”

“I’m good ma. How are you?”

She sits on her bed and tells me she is having contractions.

“How far apart are they?” I ask.

“I don’t know. They’re just so painful. I thought it’s supposed to progress slowly.”

I inform her that there is no textbook manner in which babies come, especially twins. Every birth, like every pregnancy, is different.

I ask her to lie down and I check her vitals. She seems fine, no alarms. I tell her I’ll need to do a pelvic examination. She nods and prepares herself for me while I slip on a pair of gloves.

“I’m not ready for these babies o. Their father is coming back tomorrow. They should try and wait.”

I say nothing.

“Jide, are you married? I’m not sure if I’ve seen a ring on your finger.”

“I’m not married, ma,” I reply with a smile as I invade her birth canal with my fingers. She winces in pain and grasps the bedsheet.

“Sorry.”

I realize her cervix is almost fully dilated. It’s a surprise that she is still so calm. When I pull out my hand, I inform her that we have to take her to the hospital immediately. She opens her mouth to speak but she’s cut short by a strong contraction. I ask her to count silently through each breath and tell me at what number the pain peaks most.

“Five!” she gasps when the contraction passes. “Five.”

“We’ll be on our way immediately. You have your bag packed?”

She nods and points at a door. “That’s the closet. There’s a black Givenchy suitcase and a matching baby bag beside it.”

I follow her direction and walk into a quaint but classy closet. I come out with the bags and we leave. Downstairs, a chauffeur is waiting. In the car, she gets a call from her husband. She puts him on speakerphone and I’m forced to listen to her sob as she begs him to take a flight home.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart. I still have a meeting before I leave. But I promise you I’ll be there by evening tomorrow.”

“It’s not fair o. You promised you won’t be doing all this travel.”

“Baby, I know. And I’m very sorry.”

She has another contraction and squeezes my knee while I urge her inaudibly to breathe through the pain. Her husband is still speaking. He’s telling her to be strong, to stop crying and remember that he loves her.

“Say that again.”

“I love you,” he repeats.

She’s nodding and squeezing my knee again. He realizes she’s having a contraction.

“I’ll stay on the phone, sweetheart, until the babies come. I’m not going anywhere.”

I see a dimple appear on her right cheek. “You will?”

“Yeah.”

And that is all she needs to pull through. We get to the hospital and I take her to the special birthing unit for women who want to experience something similar to a homebirth but having the hospital as a backup in case of emergencies. With her husband on the phone for an hour, she births a boy and a girl, eight minutes apart, both of them healthy. I hear the emotions in the father’s voice and get infected by it. He stays with her on the phone until I tell him she needs to clean up and take much needed rest. He promises to call back and requests that I send him pictures of his children. After assigning a junior midwife to bathe her, I send him the pictures and turn off the phone. My client sleeps until the next morning when I walk into her room with her babies and give her some bonding time with them.

She resurrects the topic of my love life and rather than give her the complicated version, I tell her about Honey, who has been on my mind all these weeks.

“You know you hurt her with the friends with benefits thing, right?”

“It was intentional. I wanted to scare her off.”

“Because you’re afraid of starting something new.”

“I don’t think I’m ready.”

“But your heart seems to think you are. All the words you just used to describe her are endearing words.”

“Really?” I laugh.

“You didn’t even notice. You’re so smitten. That kiss must have meant something deep.”

“Yeah, that’s strange. I thought it was purely sexual.”

“Well, the heart is not so far from the genitals.”

“That’s the thing. I’m afraid that if we get physical, I might become disinterested, and that would be bad because she’s not the type of girl you hurt. I don’t want to break her heart.”

“Let me tell you about my husband and I. It was pure sex from the start. I got into his life to seduce and ruin him, no jokes. But an empty sexual relationship turned to love and look at us today. Now I’m not telling you to just go ahead and sleep with her. I’m telling you not to see the attraction as a bad thing. Just control it and listen to your heart at all times. It’s a lot better being with one woman, sexually or not, than engaging in meaningless relationships that will lead nowhere. Trust me, loneliness can be worse than hell.”

I don’t tell her that my heart still misses Ezinne, and how I feel Honey is trying to erase our cherished memories so fast. The fear of letting go and finding out that it’s what I actually need is what is keeping me from falling in love with a new woman. But this is something I must do; it is exactly why I came back home after being away in exile. I want to start life afresh.

My phone vibrates in my pocket and I take it as a cue to leave. I inform her that I’m on my way out. She thanks me and I ask for a selfie with her and the babies.

“Can I upload on Instagram?” I request after taking the photo. It’s one of the cleanest I have taken.

“Sure.”

I upload the picture on Instagram.

“Tag me, please,” she says.

“Your handle?”

“@genesis_ditorusin.”

“Done, ma.”

I take my leave and walk to my office to have a short break before I start my ward rounds. I see that I have a text from my mom.

My love, I’ve missed you. When will you come and see your dear old mother? Don’t you miss me?

I reply that I do and promise to see her later. I rest for a while and begin my rounds. Walking down the cold hospital hallway that leads to the private wards, I’m thinking of Ezinne and Honey at the same time. I want something new; I want to really laugh and love again but I don’t want to let go of the old. How do I know what direction fate has prepared for me? Devoted Christians will tell you to simply believe in God. If he doesn’t give an answer, he’ll throw in a sign. Right now, I want both, just to be doubly sure.

“Jide.” A voice comes from behind me and makes my heart leap. I don’t want to turn. God possibly couldn’t have taken my thoughts seriously to give me an express answer. I’m sure this is some joke from him.

I shut my eyes and do a slow spin to face the woman who has just called my name.

“I thought I’d never see you again,” she says.

“Hi.” That is all my mouth can conjure up after all this time. I have missed this woman.

©Sally@moskedapages

Episode 9 comes up at 6pm. Don’t miss it!

PhotoCredit: aomosale.blogspot.com, www.agoda.com

 

I Was Invaded By A Body Snatcher

Here’s a short story by a writer you know well. She wants your honest thoughts. Please be nice.

How do I say this without sounding like an incoherent person? How do I perfectly convey the way I feel exactly? The truth is I can’t.

It all began when I started getting overwhelmed by work. I realized I couldn’t keep up with all I used to do so effortlessly. I had to balance my time and effort between my writing and my job and I was falling behind time and really messing up a lot of things. Granted that on any given day, I overwork myself but what I was going through at the moment was overwhelming. I started getting tired really easily and then gradually lost interest to write or do anything else. I fell ill over a couple of weeks and my boss had to excuse me from work for a while.

Then I began to feel this familiar weirdness in my system that affected me, down to my emotions. I had this nagging feeling in my mind to go for a checkup in the hospital to know what was off with me but I constantly pushed it aside, hoping the unease will pass. But it didn’t; so I took matters into my hands, woke up one morning, marched into my bathroom and ran a pregnancy test and gbam! my greatest fear.

I was expecting!

Right there, I became one of my characters but there was no one to write into my script that I wasn’t instantly happy. I walked back into the bedroom and told my husband and he laughed, that type of laugh that actually means, ‘how on earth did this happen?’

I was neither happy nor upset. I was just there. The next day, though, I started to get elated about it and I let myself feel somewhat excited. But the feeling didn’t last long. I got mad at myself, not long after, for getting pregnant. A baby was not in my plans or in my husband’s either. How it even happened was something I couldn’t wrap my head around. Making love to someone for over ten years and not having a pregnancy scare only to come and find yourself in that position out of the blue, made me feel totally out of control. I became depressed and the initial feeling of being disconnected to everything intensified. Friends pinged me, people checked up on me on facebook and twitter but I didn’t respond. I couldn’t respond. I just wasn’t there.

I remember staying up one night and crying for over three hours and getting my husband really mad at me. Everything around me irritated me, including the things I used to love doing like writing.  This didn’t get any better with the ongoing feeling of nausea and pregnancy fatigue. I just really hated myself and my body.

If it wasn’t for my husband, I’d have gone down a steep slope because I’ve not felt this depressed in a while. But he’d talk to me, fight with me, scold me and pray with me. Second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, I got better.

I still feel ill and I don’t have that excitement over this baby that has invaded me but I love him/her already. He/she came like the wind and swept me off my stability. They say every pregnancy is different and I totally concur with them. With my first I was so active that on the day I went into labor, I woke up and did some laundry; at the hospital, the doctor thought I was just six months gone because of how fit I looked. But with this, I ache, I’m tired, I’m lazy and I am not the woman I used to be.

However, all the same, I feel I should share this because I owe the people who love my writing some explanation for going away. I owe you guys for not updating my work here and on moskedapages.com, especially Novocaine Knights. I know I have those moments where I feel I shouldn’t care about my fans because they don’t pay me for what I write but hey, I didn’t start writing so that you guys will pay me; I started this blog because I love to write. I started this journey to improve my talent and to get my work out there (and yes to get paid). And although I appreciate you guys being here, in the end, if all is stripped away, including you, I will still keep writing because I was born to do it.

So why not just do it and share it with y’all?

My writing gets me paid, make no mistakes. Maybe not as often here but in other places, and I’m grateful to God for it. Grateful to God for you all. Grateful to God for the baby.

To all those who reached out to me to ask how I was doing, thank you. I am okay. God bless you all.

I won’t be regular with new posts as I used to be but I won’t leave you or forsake you here. My schedule is changing and I’m trying to get into a new rhythm. When I feel better, I’ll let you all know.

Have a great week ahead.