Tag Archives: Relationships

It’s Another Novocaine Saturday #13

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He is never this quiet. Not even on days when he goes on a hyper mode and has to medicate himself to calmness. Wura worries about his state of mind. He is seated on the steps that lead out to the backyard from the backdoor of his kitchen, smoking cigarettes. He has had one too many for the day and it bothers her. Watching him as a mother would her newborn, she is just coming to realize that the responsibility of protecting him is now all on her.

His mother passed away on Sunday night and was buried not long after. Mahmud had received the shocking news without showing any form of reaction. He traveled home to Sokoto the next day and returned on Wednesday and since then he hasn’t been the same. Wura has been unable to reach him and she doubts that she can understand his pain. As the lastborn, Mahmud had been his mother’s pet. Wura is not sure she can take the woman’s place.

“Tokunboh, there’s dinner.” Wura moves towards him. “You’re going to eat today, right?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“But you’re going to have a shower, at least?”

“Is the stink that bad?”

“No. It’s just that you haven’t showered in three days.”

He lights a fresh cigarette and turns his head away from her and she immediately knows he is going to be unreachable for the entire night.

“I’ll be in the room if you need me.”

She walks back into the kitchen, picks her dinner and goes to his bedroom. Tomorrow promises to be a busy one for her but for this night she will have a good rest. She takes her dinner at a relaxed pace as she keeps up with her social media accounts which haven’t been attended to in a long while. These days she is a celebrity, thanks to the Love Concert. But she is yet to find a way to respond to the growing popularity as it comes with both the good and bad. There are people who are yet to forgive her for her past, and would, at every occasion remind her of it.

Her eyes cloud over they fall on a photo comment on her Facebook fan page. Someone posted a munched photo from one of her sex videos and added the caption: A leopard cannot change its spots.

Wura deletes the comment and puts her phone away. She forces down a sob but she fails. Her mood plummets and she buries her head in a pillow for a good cry. She has come to accept that her past will always keep up with her but she is yet to find a way to handle it whenever it shows up. Every bad comment from a hater always gets her down in the dumps. Without Mahmud, she would have fallen apart.

Finding a short moment of respite after her tears, Wura goes for a long, cold shower and steps out to find Mahmud in the bedroom, popping a couple of pills. She notices he has switched on the nightlight, bringing in dimness to the room.

“Should I get dinner for you?” she asks.

“I’m not hungry. Thanks.”

He takes off his t-shirt and shorts and tosses them in a corner. He now walks towards her, stops and holds her eyes for a while.

“Thank you for being here with me, mami. I’ve been trying to get my thoughts together, to understand why it all happened. I thought it’d be the old man to go, I was even ready for it but life throws in this curve and I’m yet to understand it.”

“God knows best, Mahmud.”

“Thank you for being here…”

She touches his face. “Please, don’t thank me. Your loss is my loss, Tokunboh.”

“Still…”

He pulls her in for a hug that expresses his distress. Minutes later, following a shower, Wura sets his dinner before him and persuades him to eat. Being his first meal in three days, he takes his time. She sits beside him, distracting his mind with tales of how her week has been.

“How does someone sleep and never wake up?” he asks from nowhere, cutting her off midway. “She was fine. You saw her. Wasn’t she looking okay to you?”

“She was, Mahmud.”

“Then how can she just go to sleep and refuse to wake up?”

Wura doesn’t have an answer for him. She lifts his dinner tray off his laps and takes it to the kitchen. When she returns, she finds a cigarette between his lips and moisture in his eyes. She fears that he is withdrawing from her again, so she picks her handbag and car key and stands before him. She is about to tell him she is set to leave but he takes her hand.

“Please, stay.”

“I’ll come back tomorrow evening, TK. I have to go to bed early…”

“Stay for a bit, please.”

She drops her car key and handbag and sits beside him as before. She watches as tears leave his eyes and disappear in the thick stubble of beard he hasn’t groomed for a while. The long drags of cigarette smoke and the manner in which his fingers keep combing through his this hair in a back and forth manner show his pain. There’s a silent heave, a sniffle and he throws his weight backwards on the bed, his head hitting a pillow.

Wura follows him and finds that the tears are more now, gushing down the sides of his face. In a tender manner, she wipes them; and while doing so, speaks comforting words to him. But he stops her hand, kisses it and turns to face her. She doesn’t object when he moves closer and places his lips on hers. She is also silent when his hand leaves hers to rest on her waist. His mouth tastes salty, smoky and delicious at the same time, and his kiss comes to her with intensity.  He leaves her lips to bury his face in her neck. His hot breath and the graze of his stubble give rise to goosebumps on her skin. When his lips trace their way back to her mouth again, leaving wet patches in their path, Wura allows herself feel the familiar tremors of desire. And because she hasn’t been in this place in a long time, the spark is instantaneous. Every nerve in her is awake and she responds to Mahmud’s ministrations, shutting down the cautioning voice in her head.

What follows is a series of lovemaking sessions that last for most of the night, bringing to Wura the kind of pleasure she has fantasized over for months on end. When she finally shuts her eyes in sleep, the morning after is the last thing on her mind. All that has happened feels right, and her emotional state of mind being the neediest, finds gratification in Mahmud’s arms.

sexBut the morning comes faster than she wants it to, and it brings with it censure. She opens her eyes in a slow and lazy manner and shuts them again to feel a quick rush of tears burn them. She then buries her face in shame. After a while, she quietly slips into her clothes, picks her handbag and begins out when Mahmud calls her back for a kiss.

“Let me take you home,” he says, getting off the bed. Her head shakes. She can’t stare at him in the eye.

“Just take care of yourself,” she tells him.

He pulls her in for a hug that ends with another kiss. She tries to leave but his hand resting on the nape of her neck keeps her back as his lips tastes hers once more.

“Mahmud…” she groans. He breaks away but stays so close she can feel his breath on her cheeks.

“I’m sorry yesterday happened,” he whispers. “Knowing you, you’re going to beat yourself over it and I feel terrible… Just…don’t sink under.”

“Please, let’s not have this talk. You lost your mom and you’re still grieving.”

“I don’t want you to feel bad over what happened…”

“I already feel bad, Tokunboh. I feel like shit.” Wura turns around, giving him her back. “I’m not so sure about me, if I’ll be the wife you think I’ll be.”

Mahmud’s full brows come together in a scowl. “Why?”

“See how easy it was for me to have sex with you? I couldn’t hold myself. What if after you marry me and my inner slut comes out and I cheat on you?”

Inner slut? What manner of rubbish talk is this, Woo?”

Wura gives no answer.

“So because you make love to the man you love, the father of your child, you’re now a slut?”

“Last night was not supposed to happen.”

“You’re right. It was not supposed to happen but I needed you and you were there for me. You took away the pain. Call it pity sex or whatever but I needed you.”

He walks around to face her.

“We were never supposed to happen, Belinda. Not with our different religious backgrounds and our pasts. But we’re here, fighting the odds, and I know we’ll make it work. You just need to believe it and never let anything from outside or within tear us apart.”

“I can’t think straight right now, Tokunboh. I have to go home and get my mind off everything.”

He covers her hands in his.

“Okay, I’m sorry about last night. I should have stopped us but I was as carried away as you were. At the same time, I’m not really sorry because being with you is what I always want to do. Don’t give up on us after what happened. I see you want to. I see it in your eyes. Please, hang on. We’ll get through this.”

Wura puts his hand to her cheek as tears let down.

“I so want to believe you, Mymood,” she says to him. “But can’t you see? There’s always something ready to tear us apart. First it was my past, then your family and now, this… Maybe we should just let go.”

Mahmud drops his hands. “We won’t.”

“It’s going to hurt now but we’ll both get over each other in the end.”

“You’re being ridiculous, Wuraola. It’s just sex!”

“It’s not just sex, Mahmud! What we did was wrong!”

“I am not going to lose you over what happened last night! Period!”

He gives the conversation an abrupt end by marching to the door.

“Since you’re irritated, you should go.”

She picks her handbag and walks to the door. Mahmud stops her and delivers one last kiss that sends her back to her emotions. After that, he holds her in a squeeze.

“Please, hang in there.”

He holds on to her a little longer and then lets go. His ringing phone takes him to his bed and while he attends to it, Wura quietly makes her exit. It is still dark outside when she leaves the house. A layer of moisture has settled over her car. She sits in and painful tears fill her eyes. She does not want to be taken by her emotions but the guilt cannot be helped. She remains in the car until the first light of the morning breaks. Only then does she drive home.

She enters a house that is dead quiet save for the hum of the deep freezer. Out of it she picks a bowl of chocolate ice-cream and retires to her bedroom where she consumes the entire thing without break. Afterwards, she hides beneath the blanket as the tears return.

Today is Sunday. She should be getting set for church but not in this state her heart is in. She is convinced God is disgusted at her.

Crying wears her out until her eyes shut. She doesn’t know for how long she sleeps but a long while after, she is awoken by Lexus’ voice in her ear.

“Move jare, let me lie down with you.”

Wura opens her eyes.

“Woo-woo, shift.”

She moves a little and allows Lexus in. They both leave their heads peeking out of the blanket.

“I need to talk to you about something,” Lexus says.

“You woke me up from sleep, so you better shoot.”

“It’s about Kasi.” There’s elation in Lexus’ tone. “I think I’m in love with him.”

Wura hisses. “I thought you had something new to tell me. Be going, let me go back to sleep jare.”

“No, no, this is deep, Woo. This is really deep, like massive. Like, I’m all in. Like, head over heels kind of shit!”

In spite of her mood, Wura smiles.

“So we’ve spent the entire week together – with Trini of course. And I think we make the cutest, little family.”

“I can imagine.”

“The arrangement is that we take Trini to daycare and then stay in and fuck all day and bring her back home, feed her, put her to bed and fuck all night.”

“Can you warn me next time before you use the F-word so lavishly?”

“Fuck?”

“Yes, stop saying it.”

“It’s just a word, Woo-woo.”

“Aunty, just go on with why you’re here.”

“Woo, have you had so much sex you get sore at first? But it’s the good sore that makes you want more; and then you get more until you become unsore and all you can feel is pleasure. Can you relate?”

Wura simply smiles.

“That’s where I am right now. But that asides, I think I really love Kasi.”

“You’ve said that already.”

“No, I mean, I love him enough to want to wear a ring and do the whole forever thing with him.”

Wura gives her a proper stare. “That’s serious, Lexi.”

“I know and it scares me because in New York, he was all about settling down and I freaked out and left him because I wasn’t ready. And now, I think I might’ve scared him off completely. As beautiful as our one week of smashing was, he hasn’t mentioned anything about us getting really exclusive.”

She sits up abruptly. “Woo, how do I propose to him?”

Wura’s brows shoot up.

“Propose?”

“Yeah. How do I say ‘Kasiobi, let’s get married?’ Of course, I don’t want to get married immediately because the entire concept still freaks me out but I want to own him exclusively.”

“You’re not joking.”

“Do I look like I’m joking, Woo? Kasi’s ass is mine and no Chichi or Shakira or any of them smelly ass thirsty bitches will touch his dick again.

Wura can’t help but laugh.

“Yes, I want to be his wife. Maybe next year or the year after. No, not the year after. That would be too far. Next year is fine. Trini has to start walking so she can be our perfect, little flower girl.”

“I can’t believe you’re going all girly on me this morning, Lexi. Your father’s prayers are finally being answered.”

“But seriously, how do I pop the question?”

“I hope you’re not planning to go on a knee with a ring.”

“Naa. That’s mainstream.”

“No. Actually, Lexus, that’s masculine.”

“Okay. So, any feminine ideas?”

“For starters, don’t buy a ring. Like I said, masculine.”

“Okay?”

“You can just talk to him. You could say, ‘remember we used to talk about settling down a lot?’”

“Naa. I don’t think I want to dredge up that past. It’s painful for both of us.”

“Then just leave hints.”

“Hints are going to fucking take forever! Urghh! Can’t I just say, ‘Kasiobi, marry me!’?”

“No!”

“Why?”

“Because girls don’t propose. The guy has to do it with a ring and on one knee and it has to be a huge surprise.”

“Who makes these rules?!” Lexus cries out in frustration.

“I don’t know. Just don’t propose.”

“Oh, before I forget, awesome surprise party on Friday. I had fun.”

“Thanks. All your dad’s idea. He just wanted to appreciate you and the boss lady.”

“I can’t believe I actually cried when he asked her to dance Unchained Melody with him. All I saw was that scene in Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. It was so beautiful, and I think it’s what inspired me to want to make this bold move with Kasi.”

“I’m proud of you sha. You’re all grown up now.”

Lexus sticks out her feet and rests them on the footboard. “So can you be a darling and throw in a good word to Kasi for me?”

“How?

“Just let him know I’m ready to take the plunge. He can propose any time, from now till the end of the year. I am so ready. Hair, nails and makeup will be on point every day for the perfect moment.”

Wura falls apart in laughter. “Tonbra, you will not kill me o! Come and be going, let me go back to sleep, abeg. I no get your time this afternoon.”

“You’ll talk to him for me? Maybe pick out the ring? It should be a blue or black stone. Nothing feminine.”

“I’ll talk to him.”

“Thank you!” She hugs her. “I love you, Woo-woo.”

“Me too, baby.”

“Meanwhile, I’m hungry. What did you cook?”

“Nothing jare.”

“Let me call Genesis to know if she has food.”

“She always has food. Go and raid her kitchen.”

“You want to come along?”

“Nope. I want to sleep. Now, go.”

Lexus stumbles down. She pushes her legs into a pair of crocs.

“Wait, though. You didn’t go to church, Woo?”

“No.”

“What’s wrong? Your eyes are swollen.”

“Nothing. I’m fine.”

Lexus abandons plans of leaving and takes the bed again.

“What happened?”

Wura lowers her eyes. “Mahmud and I had sex yesterday.”

“Ooooh.” Lexus moves closer. “How was it? Give me deets!”

“It was great, Lex,” Wura replies. “But you know it was wrong.”

“Nope. I don’t know that.”

“I was waiting until we got married…”

“But then you got horny and did it. So what? You’re going to kill yourself now?”

“You won’t understand.”

“No, I don’t. I’ve never understood your religiosity. But hey, it’s your life. Keep on killing yourself over something you enjoy doing. But seriously, how was it? I want details.”

“Go home, Lex.”

Lexus springs up. “Stop regretting what you did, Woo. It was just sex.”

“Just go.”

“Breathe in and out. And tell yourself ‘I love sex and it’s okay to do it with Mahmud’.”

Wura flings a pillow at her. “Be going.”

“See ya!”

Lexus steps out and Wura dives back under the blanket but that only lasts a matter of seconds as she hears Lexus calling out Ralph’s name. Knowing her alone time is over, Wura walks out to the living room where she finds Ralph and Lexus conversing.

“You’re the worst niece ever, Tonbra,” Ralph states. “You don’t even care about your cousins.”

“Uncle, me and your offspring are not age mates. What am I going to be discussing with them? How to wrap weed or have safe sex?”

Pastor Ralph cringes. Wura laughs.

“It’s fine. You don’t have to connect with them.”

“I thought so too.”

“We should have a family dinner or something one of these days…”

“Yeah…before Aunty Maggie disappears with all your money to London. You know I never liked her, right? Just putting it out there.”

Wura’s jaw drops.

“Eva didn’t like her too,” Lexus continues. “Thought she was too stuck-up. But it was weird that Eva thought Wura would have been better for you.”

Ralph looks at Wura who merely frowns at Lexus.

“I’d have been calling you ‘Aunty Woo-woo.”

“Lexus, just go nau,” Wura begs with a giggle. “Be going.”

“Yeah, Uncle Ralph, let me split and go and see Zach and Zoe before they start looking at me weirdly like your kids do.”

“Okay, sweetie.”

They hug and Lexus makes her exit. Ralph turns to Wura.

“You look tired.”

“Just sleepy.” She yawns.

“Why weren’t you in church today?”

“I had a little fever,” she lies, “but I’m better now.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, hopefully the good news I have for you will change your mood.”

Wura sits up and Ralph takes a seat as well, resting his feet on the center table. He is wearing a pair of loafers that match well-ironed grey pants and a black shirt. She notices he has lost some weight.

“Should I get you something to eat?” she asks.

“No, I’m fine. Just brace yourself for this massive gist.”

“I’m all braced up.”

“You remember the record company that contacted you two years ago to have you sign a recording contract?”

Wura nods but with a drop in enthusiasm. The record company in question had come to her for a three-year recording contract with an offer of a few million bucks and a tour around Africa but they had a single clause that put an end to the deal. They wanted her to break up with Mahmud, on the reason that she couldn’t be a renowned gospel artiste and have a relationship with a Muslim. This had happened shortly before her videos became viral and being so invested in her relationship with Mahmud then, she had walked away from the deal.

“But Pastor Ralph, you know I want nothing to do with those people.”

“I know but they have come with something different this time. Something you can’t resist.”

“Okay?”

“Fo Yo Soul Recordings is signing three musicians in Africa. One from SA, another from Ghana and then, wait for it… You and I, as a duo. As a team.”

Wura gasps, head pulled back, mind taking in the news. “You’re joking.”

“I’m serious.”

“For real, Pastor Ralph? As in, for real?”

“Yes.”

“Oh my God!” Wura springs up and screams as she hops around like a little girl. She stops and asks Pastor Ralph if he’s pulling her legs.

“No.”

She screams out again and stops once more. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

“It is.”

“Fo Yo Soul?”

“Yep.”

“As in Kirk Franklin’s record label?”

“Yep.”

“Oh my God! Oh my God! I can’t breathe.” She fans herself.

“You need water?”

“Yes.” She doubles over, hands on her knees. “No, I’m fine,” she says when she sees him rise up. She straightens up too. There are tears of joy dancing in her eyes.

“Finally.” The words come out in a whisper.

“Finally.”

“Oh God.” She slumps back into her chair and starts sobbing. Ralph watches her for a bit but when she doesn’t stop, he takes the space beside her and places his hand on her back.

“I never thought this day would come,” she cries. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

“You better believe it.”

“But I’m not worthy, Pastor Ralph. I don’t deserve it.”

“Stop saying that…”

“No.” She sniffles. “You don’t understand. Last night…”

She sniffles again.

“I slept with Mahmud.”

Ralph’s hand leaves her back. She covers her face.

“Slept with him, as in, on the same bed…and nothing happened?”

“Everything happened.”

Ralph shuts his eyes in disappointment.

“I am so sorry. So, so sorry.”

He doesn’t say a word. His silence stretches as her sobs intensify. But somehow he pulls her close for a hug.

“Oh, my darling Wuraola, you’re always a mess.”

“I’m sorry.”

“But God loves you like that, you know? In your weakness, he’s strong. Strong for you. Don’t give up on yourself. He’s still molding you.”

“But I keep falling.”

“He will restore you, baby girl. Just hold on, and please, stop crying.”

His words only pull her deeper into her emotions. He is patient with her; he lets her unburden and it takes quite a while. When the last tear is gone, wiped by his hanky, he releases her.

“You want to hear me play something? It’s a new song.”

Wura nods. Somewhere outside the house Bilal is screaming at the top of his lungs in excitement. She guesses he is playing football with her cousin. She is glad he is off her hands today. Her mood wouldn’t have been able to contain him.

Pastor Ralph leads the way to her studio. When they get in, she finds some corner on the floor to sit on while his fingers caress the black and white notes of her piano.

©Sally@moskedapages

Image: weheartit

It’s Another Saturday…#24

Honey’s Secret

So the other day Oba asks me how I cope with two wives and I give him a pretty straight answer. I tell him what he wants to hear – that I’m having a ball, basically. Double the pleasure, double the fun. It’s not beans to wear two wedding rings. I think I deserve some respect.

yazmex3

You’re never going to hear me complain about my marital status. I love both women and they love me back. Case closed. We have bumps like every normal family. Jide tells me I’m living in a fool’s paradise. He calls my situation, in quotes, “a fucking freak show.”

I take no offence. He’s my brother and he means no harm. Besides, he’s been cynical since Honey dumped him. I honestly like her as a person but the moment their breakup clocks two months, I’m hooking him up with one of my friends. I don’t believe a man should hunger for a woman, no matter how fantastic she is. There are lots of women out there who would drop on their knees if someone like Jide as much as looks their way, so why lose sleep over one random chick?

I’m not your regular douchebag; I’m just always realistic. I didn’t write the rules and I’m not about to change them. I have a heart beneath it all, mind you. I honestly do love my wives and I’m faithful to them because they both keep me on my toes. Man, do I love the drama and double loving they bring.

Take for example, Yazmin. She’s cray. On a whole different level. She has plans to screw my life with her demands. I have literally spent the last week attending to her, hand and foot. Still, she wants an extra limb, the one I have been reserving for Tola. And she knows this but she doesn’t care. Yazmin must get what Yazmin wants or Emeka will hang.

Presently I’m watching as she weakens me with her tongue skills. I have always been meaning to ask her who tutored her in oral sex. I should ask her now but I can’t even speak. That’s how good she is.

I swear out loud as she goes deep-throat. I don’t think I can take it any longer, so I grab a fistful of her hair and push her away from me.

“Biko, it’s enough.”

The look on her face is not a good one, hence I hurl myself up on my knees, and still holding her hair, I kiss her.

“Baby, I gotta run,” I tell her.

“Just one more.” Her hand dives below my waistline. “Five minutes, I promise.”

Five minutes sounds harmless but I should know better what Yazmin can accomplish with it.

“No.”

I move away but she holds on to me, her hand working the length of me.

“Just lay back and let me do my thing, papi.”

She pushes me and my back hits the bed. Before I can blink, she is on me and I am in her. When I feel her warmth, my lips sputter out something nasty that gets her laughing.

“Why are you doing this, mi vida?”

“Because you like it and I’m the only one who can do it the way you like it.”

And that’s no lie there. Yazmin gets me sexually. Tola holds me emotionally and sometimes, it makes for great sex but when it comes to consistent, mind-blowing mayhem in bed, Yazmin has no equal. And she’ll swear that she’s had only two other men in her life before me.

My phone is ringing. Tola is calling but I can’t stop now, not when I have flipped Yazmin over and her butt cheeks are squeezed in my hands as I give her a taste of her own medicine.

I bury her head in a pillow. If I don’t, she’ll kill me with all that loud moaning. And to worsen it, she’s mouthing off nastily in Spanish. I try my best to hold on but I can’t. I withdraw from her before I risk giving her a second child. She takes me in her mouth once again to finish the job.

The instant she enters the bathroom to wash up, I dash out of the house.

In my car, both phones are ringing. Tola is on one line and of course, Yaz is on the other. I glance at the house and I see her standing by one of the windows with Tobe in her arms.

“I love you,” I say into the phone.

“Pinche pendejo,” she replies.

I laugh and drive off. Forty minutes later, I am home. Tola is in the kitchen, sitting before a huge mortar she got from God-knows-where. She is pounding something that looks like a mixture of pepper and crayfish. The housemaid stands nearby, watching. I’m sure she has pissed her madam off and has been ordered to do nothing. I look at the madam in question. She has a malicious look on her face that has me wondering what I have done this time.

But she looks beautiful. Sexy, even – with her legs spread apart and her little baby bump beneath her t-shirt and shorts. I haven’t seen her in a week. Staring into her troublesome face, I realize how much I have missed her and her constant hassle.

“I have chlamydia,” she spurts out as she stops pounding.

“Chlamydia?” I go for a drink of water.

She orders the housemaid out with a quick gesture.

“Isn’t that like yeast infection or something?” I ask.

“It’s worse. And I got it from you because it is sexually transmitted.”

“Oh?”

“Have you had any discharge from your penis lately?”

“For real?” I pick a bottle of freezing water and shut the fridge. “No.”

“Burning pain while urinating?”

“No.”

“Swollen or tender balls?”

“Jeez, doc! I don’t have Claudia or Carissa…”

“It is called chlamydia and you freaking gave it to me and I’m sure you got it from your wife!”

“Haba!”

“Well unless you got some other sidechick out there…!”

“Kilode?! What is your problem this early morning, madam?”

“I have a really bad sexually transmitted infection that can cause serious damage to my reproductive system or hurt our baby and I got it from you and you’re asking me what my problem is?!”

“Calm down, doc. Maybe you got it from your trip. You like swimming, so maybe you used the pool and…”

“Don’t be very stupid, Mex. You gave it to me! And now, I have to go on antibiotics which could cause me yeast infection and generally screw up my entire pregnancy! I hate you!”

She abandons the pestle and leaves the kitchen. I follow her.

“Let’s talk about this…”

“There is nothing to talk about, Chukwuemeka!” She swings at me. I break my steps.

“I did not sign up for this! It was supposed to be just me and you but now I’m sharing you and sharing STDs?!”

She walks to the bed, drops on it and begins to sob. I hurry to her and take her in my arms. I assure her of my love. I kiss away the tears too.

She stops for a bit and looks at me. “We can make this work, Mex. Three of us can but not with STDs flying about.”

“I’m sorry about what you’re going through, baby.”

I lie back on the bed and pull her to sit on me.

“Is there another girl out there, Mex?”

“I already told you there isn’t.”

“Then it came from Yazmin…”

“Yaz is not cheating on me.”

“How then did I get chlamydia?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, you figure it out and get yourself tested for chlamydia. You and Yazmin. And also get yourselves treated while I take a break from this ménage-a-trois before I lose my mind. I can’t keep crying like this. It’s not good for me and the baby. And it’s so hard because I need you. You used to be my best friend.”

“I still am,” I assure her.

tolmex2

She lowers to give me a kiss. It’s deep and passionate and for a moment, I brace myself for a long session of lovemaking but she breaks contact and rises to her feet. I suddenly realize she has not unpacked her things from her travel suitcase.

I sit up. “I hope you’re not planning to go away again.”

“I am.” She takes in a long sniffle. “I’m beginning to hate you.”

“Tols…”

She stops me, picks her handbag and points at the suitcase. “Help me with that.”

“Where are you going?”

“Just get yourself treated. And I want you and Yaz to run complete tests of every other STD out there…”

“Come on…”

“I have freaking chlamydia!”

“Fine. We’ll run tests. Anything else?”

“My box!” She points and I go for her suitcase.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Someone is ringing my doorbell like a maniac. I listen to the sound while staring at my television screen without interest. Ekene and Saratu are too deep into the movie they’re watching and the box of fries and chicken they have wedged between them that they ignore the doorbell. Who gets so engrossed in a movie at 10am anyways?

I get off my seat and head towards the door, praying that it is not Jide I’ll find outside. It’s been a month since we broke up but seventeen days since we last saw. I still love him, even more than I did before but I just can’t be the Honey he used to know. I don’t even know who I really am. I have lost my mind, my emotions and generally my will to be the person I used to be or do the things I loved. The pain is intense and I can’t really explain it. I feel I have hurt Jide so much that there’s nothing I can do to make up for the pain I have caused. I am literally burying my head in the sand and it’s the darkest place I have been yet.

I’ve told him to move on and since I haven’t heard from him in a while, I guess he has.

I open my front door and the last person I expect to see is standing under the blazing sun, decked up in Casual Couture and frowning at me like I am responsible for making her break out in perspiration.

I lower my eyes to her feet and see a suitcase resting on the floor beside her.

Her frown disappears, replaced with a smile. “Hi Honey!”

“Hey, Tola.”

She gives a curious expression, her head tilted to an angle to study my face.

“Are you okay? Heard you and Jide broke up. How are you coping?”

“I’m good.”

“Is it me or have you added a little weight?”

Her statement cuts. I have added more than a little bit of fat. I can’t comfortably look into the mirror these days.

“But I understand. When Emeka started cheating on me back then I did a lot of comfort eating and added some weight. So, don’t worry. You’ll get over it.”

“Are you coming in?”

“Bless! I thought you were going to leave me burning outside.”

She drags in her suitcase and stops when she sees Ekene and Saratu staring at her inquiringly.

“Hi.” She waves.

Ekene waves back. Saratu merely stares.

“I’m greeting o,” Tola pronounces.

“Hello,” Saratu mouths.

“Honey, can we talk?”

Before I can answer, she takes my hand and drags me into the kitchen.

“How are you, darling?” She holds my face tenderly; and if I am in the right frame of mind I would be trying to decipher how I became her darling overnight.

“You miss Jide, don’t you?”

I stay silent.

“Aww, I understand how you feel. I also suffered from Jide withdrawal for like twenty-four hours after we had sex.”

Is she kidding me?

“But I trust that you’ll get your shit together. Unlike me and Mex.” She sighs. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to the way we used to be. Like right now, I am so mad at him. Yazmin has given me some STI through him! And he’s denying it, claiming that I got it from my trip to Mauritius. I’m like how?! How on earth does one catch an infection like chlamydia from a swimming pool?! So I said to him, go and get you and your wife tested for STDs and treat yourselves before we continue our threesome! I have a baby coming on the way and God knows I cannot risk him getting an infection!”

“Yeah.”

Her shoulders slouch. “Honey, you look really down. Are you sure you’re okay?”

She touches my forehead.

“Temperature fine.”

She pulls at my lower eyelids. “Eyes normal. Stick out your tongue for me. Say aaah.”

“I’m fine, Tola.”

“You’re sure?”

She takes my hand and tries to forcefully read my pulse but I pull away.

“Okay. Since you’re fine, can I stay with you for a while? Like let’s say two weeks. Until I’m no longer angry at Mex?”

“You want to stay here?”

“I know I should have told you before coming but the truth is I didn’t plan to bug you initially. I was actually going to stay at my aunt’s place but my cousin said there was nobody in the house, that they all traveled. Then I thought of my friends but I changed my mind immediately. If I went to any of them, they would start spreading gossip that my marriage is on the rocks, so I thought of that one person that would neither judge me nor spread gossip about me and we could have mad fun together…”

“And you thought of me.”

She nods with a grin. “I even bought you something from Mauritius.”

She pulls out a nightshirt from her handbag that has ‘sisters-in-lawv’ written on it.

“I have a matching pair in my box. You like?”

“Yeah. Thanks.”

“We’ll have fun, right? I could have gone to a hotel but I don’t want to be alone. And you’re such a cool chick and well-traveled as I am. We have a lot more in common than we know, asides the Onuora boys. Plus we’re both heartbroken.”

I simply smile.

“So, tell me your spare room is free.”

“It is not,” Saratu answers, walking in.

Tola instantly puts up the condescending air she is known for but I step in before things turn nauseating.

“You can stay in my room, Tola.”

“That’s better.”

“This way.”

I lead her to my bedroom and let her in.

“Jesus Lord!” She gasps at the state of mess that is a result of four weeks of neglect.

“I’ll try to fix things this afternoon. I’ve been very busy.”

I part open the curtains to let in air.

“Honey…” Tola walks to me and touches my hand. “What’s really going on?”

I look at her. I desperately want to talk to someone but my tongue feels too heavy right now.

“Like you said,” I reply, “heartbreak.”

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

 “And I’m done!”

Tola takes a pose and flings a wet wipe into a trashcan resting under my dressing mirror. The room is now spotless but not as good as I’d normally do it. Jide used to tease me of having traces of OCD. I wonder what he’ll think of me now.

The doorbell goes off again and I feel my tummy churn. Without a second thought, I shut my bedroom door. Tola doesn’t notice. She is busy undressing for a shower.

“I actually wanted to make catfish peppersoup this morning but when I saw Mex, I just lost my mood. The guy is just an annoying ass, I swear. But I love him like that.”

She takes off her bra using that skillful manner women use in taking off their bras. I remember I once had a roommate that could not only take off her bra while dressed but also her jeans with her panty still on.

Saratu barges in.

“That your friend is here again o!” she announces.

“What friend?”

“The curvy one. She insists on seeing you and she even brought her luggage as well. I wonder when this house became a refugee camp.”

“Erm…let me see her.”

I leave the room with Saratu.

“Are you doing a sleepover I know nothing about?” Ekene jokes. “Fine chicks are just dropping in from the sky like rain.”

I open the front door and there is Mary standing outside. She is not smiling and I’m guessing Saratu must have been rude to her.

“Hi Honey.”

She reaches forward and gives me a hug.

“I’ve missed you,” she tells me, letting go. She doesn’t comment about my weight. Bless her!

“I’m staying for the weekend. Just to keep you company and to make sure everything is copacetic. Hope you don’t mind?”

“We do – actually,” Saratu answers. Mary puts on a scowl. “And what is copacetic?”

“Ignore her,” I say. “Come in.”

Mary walks in. Ekene says hello, she mumbles in reply.

“We’ve met?” he asks, recognition hitting his face.

“No,” Mary responds.

I make introductions.

“Nice to meet you again, Mary,” Ekene mutters.

I direct Mary to my room. Saratu follows us in.

“So, Mary the thing is the house is packed full. Tola just came in…”

“Tola?”

“Yeah. She’s in the bathroom.”

“Why is she here?”

I don’t answer the question. “She’ll be sharing my room. Saratu is in the other room…”

“And there’s nowhere for me to stay. I understand, Hon. Not that I could have called you to inform you, though. Your phone has been switched off for ages. How are you?”

“I’m good.”

“No, she’s not,” Saratu butts in. “But wetin concern me? You know what, Mary? You can stay. I’ll bunk with Kene. I just have a few days left in this damned country anyways, so enjoy your weekend.”

“No, it’s okay,” Mary protests.

“You’re not displacing me, seriously. I’m only too glad to be out of this house because sisi here has been acting really weird.”

Mary puts an arm over my shoulder. “She’ll be fine.”

“Me, I don try.” Saratu walks out and we’re left alone.

“Tonight we’re going for Peace’s divorce party,” Mary says. “I know she invited you.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Mary faces me and rests her hands on my shoulders. “You will. I’ll dress you in a beautiful dress, do your makeup, fix up your hair and we’ll go and support a friend. I know you’re going through a hard time too and that is why I’m here to uplift your spirit. But I promise you that after this evening, you’ll feel a whole lot better.”

“Will Jide be there?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t want to see him.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t do anything about that. You just have to manage.”

I exhale. “Okay. I’ll go. I actually got Peace a gift but I was planning to have it delivered tomorrow morning.”

“You will hand it to her yourself. Come here.”

She draws me into a hug.

“I don’t know what is going on with you, Honey but you’ll be fine, dear.”

There’s something about Mary that gives me instant peace. I hold her tightly. That’s the only thing I can do to stop the tears from coming.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“Awww, you look absolutely gorgeous, Honey!” Tola exclaims when I step out of my room with Mary behind me. “I’m officially jealous.”

“Me too.”

Saratu is busy with a chicken bone. She is yet to move to Ekene’s house. Right now, she’s in a pair of boxers and a strapless bra. Her hair is held up in Brazilian rollers while Tola helps paint her toenails. I have no idea how they bonded in the few hours Mary and I left them alone.

“Yellow looks good on you, Honey,” Tola compliments. I try to smile but I can’t. I agree that the dress I have on is lovely. Jide would love it, especially the length. He likes me wearing short things because he thinks I have amazing legs. But I feel fat.

“Don’t I look fat?”

“No.” The answer is a chorus from the ladies.

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah,” Tola reiterates. “I would have told you if you looked fat. Go and kill them, bae! Honey for the boys them!”

I smile.

“I particularly adore the heels,” Saratu comments. “When you come back, I’ll just claim them.”

“And your makeup is sublime,” Tola adds. “Please, Mary, let no man steal her from us at that party o. She will marry my dede whether she likes it or not. All this one her and Jide are doing is just yanga.”

Mary links her arm in mine. “She’s in safe hands. See you girls.”

We turn to the door and Mary drags me along. It’s dark outside and the weather a little cool after a long, hot day. I feel weird the moment my heels dig into the lawn. My skin tingles and the air invades my nostrils. I immediately have the urge to turn back. Mary senses it and she holds me tighter as we head outside the gate.

“Hey ladies!” Ekene’s car stops across the street. “Need a ride?”

“How does he always pop up from nowhere?” Mary whispers.

“It’s his talent.”

“You’re both looking great, by the way,” Ekene mentions. “It would be my pleasure to drop you off wherever you’re going.”

“Let’s go.” I tug Mary’s hand. We cross over and I take the backseat of the car, leaving her with a puzzled face and Ekene’s ogling eyes. He doesn’t seem to notice that she’s properly covered because her curves are in full display from underneath her outfit.

He is going to have a hard time concentrating on the road.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Peace welcomes me with a smile that is new to her features. She looks radiant in white. Her cheeks are full and ruddy. There’s a contagious glow about her.

“Where is Honey?” she asks me, looking over my shoulder. I smile apologetically in response.

“You guys should stop this rough play jor. I will not take that breakup nonsense I’m hearing. You belong together.”

“Please help me tell her when you see her.”

“So she’s not coming?”

“I don’t think so.”

“That’s heartbreaking. Come in jare.”

I step into the house and realize I am a late. Everyone else is present, except Mary, and they’re already having drinks. I throw in a general greeting and take the seat Peace offers after leaving a gift bag on the dining table where others are placed.

“How are you?” Celia leans towards me and whispers.

“I’m good.”

She’s stirring a cocktail. “You miss her?”

“Yeah.”

“We miss her too…”

“I have something to say, everyone!” Peace stands, interrupting Celia.

“First of all, thank you for coming. When Celia came up with the idea of this get-together I totally kicked against it because of my beliefs. Divorce is not a tag a Christian wants to carry, let alone party over. But when I deeply thought about it and remembered all I went through with Reno, I was like, why not? I am basically celebrating my life here today. Eight years ago, I walked down the aisle to stand before a man I barely knew. I gave my body, my heart and my future to him instead of giving them to God and I paid dearly. I never imagined I’d be here today, doing this, but I am and I’m grateful to God and to you, my friends. I don’t know why Mary is not here. She was the catalyst that woke me up and I owe her a lot. In her absence, I want to make a toast to life, to love and to broken hearts being mended.”

Celia passes her a glass of wine. She declines.

“Just for tonight, Peace.”

She takes the glass and lifts it in the air. As we are about to cheer, the door opens and Mary waltzes in.

“I’m sorry we’re late! So, so sorry! Our dumb driver took us through one corner-corner road and dumped us in traffic! We had to use a keke here. Hope we didn’t miss much?”

I am about to ask her who her companion is when Honey makes a grand entrance in the most beautiful dress I have ever seen on her. My tummy literally makes a loud grumble that gets Celia’s attention. She snorts. I ignore. My eyes won’t leave the door. Honey stands by it as if she is uncertain about joining us.

“Look who the cat dragged in!” Celia exclaims. “Hi Honey! We missed you, babes! Come give us a hug.”

Honey walks in with slow steps and hugs everyone, leaving me for last. I don’t intend to give a show when my arms wrap around her, so I make it quick but ensure that I hold her hand afterwards. Celia conspiratorially vacates her space on the couch but Honey decides to go for another empty space right opposite me. I don’t complain. It’s perfect. This way I can stare at her as much as I want.

“Honey, what would you like to drink?” Bobby asks.

“Water.”

“Water? Nobody except Kate is doing water here today. We have spirits, wine, champagne, beer, even palm wine! Pick any.”

“Um…”

“I know exactly what she wants,” I offer, getting off my seat.

I dash into the kitchen to mix the perfect cocktail. I want her to loosen up. It’s been seventeen days since we last saw. I have been counting because that is the most I can do. She has shut me and everyone else out and I don’t understand why. From what I have gathered, Saratu and that Ekene guy are the only persons that have access to her.

Fam, that just makes me plain mad. The guy literally lives in her house. The couple of times I went there to see her, it was he who answered the door. He didn’t let me in at both occasions and he held this smile on his face that made me just want to punch the yellowness out of his DNA.

I don’t want to believe that something is going on between them. I have been trying my best to shut out that irksome voice that keeps telling me that the Bridemaker curse has returned.

I’m worried. Something feels out of place and I might have plans to swallow my pride and speak to Ekene. Maybe he knows something I don’t. I won’t accept that she has stopped loving me as she told me the last time we met.

Her eyes had been wearing a veil of blankness. She was sitting across the table from me in this dim, bland restaurant she had chosen for us to have dinner. I held her hand. I caressed her palm with my finger but she merely stared back and told me she had lost every feeling she used to have for me.

“What changed?” I asked, my heart bleeding.

“Nothing,” she replied and pulled her hand away. “Nothing changed.”

“So you’re sleeping with Ekene again?”

“No.”

“Then what is it?”

“I’m sorry, Jide. I can’t do this.”

She picked her phone and purse and began out before I could stop her. I sat there, broken, angry and confused. She left me with questions that still need answers and I would have them tonight at all cost. This cocktail I’m mixing has always been her kryptonite.

I split the mix into two glasses, place one in the fridge and take the other to her. After serving it to her, I reclaim my earlier position and resume gazing at her.

“Before you ladies joined us, we were about to make a toast to life, love and broken hearts being mended.” Peace raises her glass once more as do we.

“Cheers!”

We salute to her toast. When I let my bottle of beer down, I catch Honey’s eyes on me which she averts straightaway. I also notice she has had a good gulp of her drink.

The evening goes by rather slowly, jokes are told, stories are shared and Honey loses her subdued temperament. She is into her second cocktail now, being entertained by Bobby’s hilarious tale about a client who pretended to go mad in court by stripping nude because she felt she was losing the case. I am not that into the story; I’m simply observing Honey. She has no idea my eyes are on her. She laughs out loud every now and then and I remember how much she loved doing that, especially when I strap her down and tickle her pitilessly. I miss that uncontained hilarity. And her lip-syncing skills and weird addiction for Choco Milo, or how she loved to be part of my morning shower just to hear me sing a Michael Jackson song. I haven’t sang since she left, though. Nothing is the same without her.

It’s almost 10pm and we’re having an argument about love and relationships. Everyone has something to say, including Honey. Her tongue is completely loose now and she has some interesting opinions about relationships and I’m amused.

Out of the blue, while speaking, her gaze drops to her phone and she lifts it off her laps.

“Excuse me,” she mutters as she hurries outside.

I go after her. I find her at Peace’s front steps and stop behind her. I’m just a hair’s breath away but I keep my space. The smooth arrangement of fine hairs on her neck gives me goosebumps. It is with self-control I keep my hands to myself.

“Come and get us in an hour,” she tells the person on the phone with her. “We’ll be done by then.”

I wonder if it’s Ekene.

“See ya.”

The call ends and she does a swivel into my waiting arms. There is initial surprise and then a twinkling of silence as we both remain immobile.

Then she makes to pull back but I tug closer, smelling her hair, feeling the lushness of her breasts on my chest.

“Why did you take all of this away from me, sugar lips?”

I’m not looking for an immediate answer. I’d rather have a kiss, so I take one without asking. She only lets me taste her lips for a second before she moves away.

I see the defenselessness in her eyes. The cocktail has done its job; it’s time to do mine. I take her hand and cart her away from the front entrance of Peace’s home. We end up outside the gate where I have the car parked.

“Jide, Mary will look for me,” Honey protests weakly.

“She won’t.”

I open the passenger door, she slips into the car on her own accord. When I fire up the engine, she turns on the Mp3 player and makes a selection of her favorite party songs. I see that she’s in a hyper mood and I’m a little worried that I went too far on the cocktail mix.

“I don’t want to go home yet,” she tells me.

“My place, then?”

She nods, and does so to the rhythm of the song presently playing. Then she goes ahead to lip-sync to it, dancing at the same time. It’s Sia’s Free the Animal playing, a song I have heard so many times. But I am just realizing the song is talking about sex. I don’t even know what the lyrics are exactly; I’m more interested in the way Honey’s body pulses to it. Naturally, I am on my way to being turned on but I’ll control it. We need to talk first. If all goes well, anything else can happen.

It’s a short drive to my house. Honey is still pumped; there’s a party going on in her head, I guess. Once inside the house, she livens it up with the home theater, now playing some Jimmy Jatt party mix.

This is not what I had in mind. I enter the kitchen for a drink of water and when I return, I find Honey stripped and left in nothing but her underwear.

I balk.

“Isn’t this why you brought me here?” she asks, sauntering towards me. “Why you got me drunk in the first place?”

“No, Honey.”

I switch off the home theater system.

“I didn’t get you drunk. I just wanted to loosen you up a bit so we can talk about why we broke up. I feel there’s something you’re hiding from me.”

“I’m hiding nothing, Jideofor.” She keeps her eyes on my lips. “Except this.”

Her bra falls to the floor. I look straight into her eyes.

“Erhinyuse, behave.”

I hold her hands together. “I need answers. Just a few answers. I know you still love me. I know the breakup was hard on you too and it still is. I can tell by just looking at you. But what I don’t know is why you let go of something really good. What did I do that is so unforgiveable? Why was it so easy for you to dump me just like that?”

She loses her seductive air as her eyes grow dim. “It wasn’t easy, Jide. It was the hardest thing. And I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s best that you don’t know.”

“Okay, what if I give you time and you eventually tell me what is going on, will that fix things between us?”

“Jide, we’re done. There’s no fixing things. You won’t even want to be with me once I open up to you.”

“Let me be the judge of that, Honey. Let me stop loving you on my own terms.”

Tears instantly fill her eyes. She stoops down and picks her bra.

“I have to go.”

I catch her hand as she turns away. “Don’t go.”

She steps closer and shawls her arms around my neck, going for a weak spot underneath my ear.

“I’ve missed you,” she whispers.

I have never had reason to resist her advances before and I don’t think this time will be different. We kiss like we have been sex-starved for years. We grope and fondle like wildlings. We crash into the nearest couch. When I thrust into her, she explodes, and I have to break for a while to let her have her moment. She laughs as the orgasm takes her. All I can do is entertain myself while I wait.

But she won’t let me. She drags me by the collar and forces me in deeper.

The feeling is bliss! That’s the only way I can explain it. I have held this want for a long time and it’s more than I can bear. The deeper I go, the wilder we both get, the more certain I am that I want to be doing this to Honey all my life. I don’t care what her story is, I am not letting her out of my sight again.

She has a second orgasm that makes me lose control. I try to pull away but she straps me in. History could repeat itself but at the moment, neither of us cares. The absolute ecstasy we’re both feeling and the elation of being together trumps everything else, thus I get lost in pleasure and spend myself within her.

Total stillness takes over. I kiss her while trying to catch my breath. Tired eyes stare back at me and I caress her lips until her eyelids close. It doesn’t take long for her to drift into deep sleep. I lift her up and take her into the bedroom, and then return to the sitting room to accomplish what has been tugging on my mind.

I pick her phone from the floor where she has left it. I make a ‘G’ with my finger to unlock the code and surprisingly, the picture I see on the wallpaper is of both of us.

I stare at the phone for a while, not knowing what exactly I’m looking for.

I begin with her call log. The last call she received was from a contact she saved as ‘Eks’, obviously Ekene. The call before that was from me, seventeen days ago. This explains why I haven’t been able to reach her since then; her phone has been off.

Nothing else of interest arrests my attention. I move on to her text messages and find a blank wall as well. What am I expecting to see?

I check her email messages next. I still find nothing. I put the phone down, more curious than ever. I guess I have to wait until she wakes up before we can have that talk.

I turn on the television to get distracted and it is at that exact moment she receives an email. I know I shouldn’t read it but my curiosity won’t let me act politely. I tap open to read. It’s from some doctor with a Dutch-like name and he is responding to an email she sent at an earlier time before we broke up with the header, “I am pregnant”. His reply comes in five lines.

Hi Honey,

I am sorry to reply you this late. I was off connection for quite some time.

Please, don’t abort the baby or stop taking your meds. The baby will be fine. I hope this is not too late.

Attached is a new prescription and recommended dosage, assuming you’re still pregnant.

Can you fly in for your routine checkup?

I feel my heart beating fast as I scroll down and discover the email sender is a psychiatrist. I tap on the attached prescription. It reveals that she is on a drug called Lithium. The name rings familiar but I can’t recall anything about it. I quickly go to Google search on her phone and type in the word. Google lists out some suggestions and top amongst them are lithium for mania and lithium for bipolar disorder.

I stop right there, afraid to go any further as a cold sensation washes over me. I know I said I needed answers but I’m not so sure this is what I wanted to discover.

I walk back to my bedroom and stand by the door. She opens her eyes.

“I’m cold.”

I turn off the air conditioner.

“No, I want you here.”

I slide in beside her and she snuggles into my arms. The words mania and bipolar disorder won’t leave my head and I’m scared but I love this woman and I’m willing to bear her burden.

“Do you still want to talk?” she asks.

“No, sugams.” I kiss her forehead. “I just want you back.”

jih

©Sally@moskedapages

Translations:

mi vida – my life (Spanish)

pinche pendejo – fucking asshole

sisi – young girl

yanga – to front

keke – tricycle

 

Image credits:pinterest.com, favim.com, tofo.me

 

 

 

 

It’s Another Saturday…#17

Read Previous Episodes Of It’s Another Saturday

Ravished!

I find her waiting outside. She has two boxes with her and a broken expression. I park the car, get down and help her with her things. When we enter the car, I take a good look at her face and see that the demon of a brother has left her cheeks marked. My anger grows wings. I try to find my voice but I can’t.

“They took all of my mom’s stuff and set them on fire,” she says, her eyes lost somewhere. “Every single thing my dad had kept over the years.”

That explains the smoke I’d seen rising from the building as I was approaching.

“They said she slept with someone else to have me. He was never my father.”

“And you believe them?”

Honey says nothing. I want to scold her really bad for letting those animals get to her but I think of her pain and loss. All she needs is a shoulder to cry on. I drive her straight to the hotel and lay her down. She tells me she is too exhausted to wash up. Her feet are dusty, her skin oily with sweat. She has acne on her face and the creaminess on her skin is gone. She doesn’t look like the Honey I know. I want to beat somebody real bad for this.

Before I can say anything, she falls asleep, snoring like a tired, old woman. I take a walk out of the room and dial Bobby. He answers my call but lets me know immediately that I disturbed his sleep.

“I need a lawyer,” I tell him.

“What trouble have you gotten into this time?”

I relate Honey’s ordeal to him.

“Devils!” he spits angrily.

“Azzin! He decorated her face, Bobby.”

“And you leave am?”

“I swear, I dey regret. You don’t want to see how she looks, man. She is traumatized.”

“Ah no o! We just have to screw those fuckers up abeg. I’m taking the case. I’ll be in Warri next tomorrow. I’ll fly in through Asaba.”

“Thanks, man.”

He hangs up after cussing Honey’s siblings one more time. I walk down to reception and ask a very alert receptionist where I can get some analgesic, explaining to her that I’m a medical personnel with a patient up in my room that needs treatment. She asks me to give her a second as she leaves her post and returns with a key.

“Follow me.”

I accompany her to a door that opens to a pharmacy.

“Help yourself,” she says. I pick the drugs I need and ask her bill to it to my room. She explains that the pharmacy is closed for the day, that she had just felt like doing me a favor. I understand that she needs some cash. I pass her some notes and go back upstairs. Emeka calls me and tells me he heard about Honey’s father’s death and wishes to send his condolences.

“She’ll hear.”

“How is she coping? Heard she lost her mom too.”

“Aww, she’s just an orphan like me,” I hear Tola say in the background.

“Well, shit happens,” I reply. Emeka immediately senses there’s something bothering me. He questions me in Igbo and I tell him everything.

“Boys suppose travel that Warri go arrange that nigga. I hope you people are not leaving it all to God?”

I laugh. He’s lucky Nne is not there or he would have received a smack on the back of his head.

“God gave us lawyers,” he states.

“Bobby is on the case.”

“That’s better. Bobby can’t be messed with.”

True. I’m proud to have him as a friend. He’s brutal, thanks to a boss and mentor that was famously known as agbero. Bobby is the posher version of him but not any less ruthless or intelligent. If I know him, he’ll be up early tomorrow, making phone calls to find out whose legal toes he would probably be stepping on once he gets into Warri to take Honey’s case; and he would doubtless, also call in some favors.

My anger has abated now and I’m calm enough to listen to that voice that has been telling me to pray. Nne would always say to me that before I face my enemies for war, I should always ask God for peace. My heart is against making peace with the animals Honey calls her siblings but I pray, nevertheless. It’s that type of prayer where I first ask for forgiveness from all my sins before laying my complaints. I don’t know if God will answer my prayer but I know he is the father to the fatherless. I tell him to help, if not for my sake, then for Honey’s who is now his sole responsibility.

After the prayer session, I lie beside her. She is not snoring anymore. I watch her sleep and I’m thinking if it’s too early to ask her to be my wife. It’s something I plan to do eventually but I feel that as a married woman, she would have better standing in this fight against her family. That way I can get into their drama and treat their fuckups personally without anyone telling me nonsense. But knowing Honey and her strong-minded persona alongside her romanticized way of viewing marriage, she would kick against the idea. All the same, I’ll try.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

This is not how I like my breakfast in bed. Not with my man half-worrying about me and half-concealing his anger over how my siblings treated me. I, on the other hand, have decided that I am done shedding tears. It’s time to move on. Very painful decision to make, especially since I know I rightfully own all that my dad left. However, I will not waste time that I’ll use to build my future in fighting with my seniors. They can take it all. Daddy had already compensated each of them years ago but somehow their greed and hate for me and my late mom consumes them still.

Well, whatever they do, they cannot erase the fact that daddy loved my mom more than any man I ever knew who loved his wife. I guess that is why I have this textbook impression of what love and marriage should be. He doted on her to the point of obsession. I can’t remember how many times I saw them kissing or the few occasions where he’d literally sweep her off her feet in his arms and leave her squealing like a little girl. Of course, my brothers and sisters couldn’t stand their brazen display of love. Harry was particularly disgusted over it and many times I heard him openly voice his irritation.

It was no secret that daddy had not loved their mother while she was alive because, according to my aunt, she was impossible to love.

“She was the most wicked woman on the face of the earth,” my aunt had told me. “She hated and fought with everyone and poisoned your brothers’ and sisters’ minds against your father. Every time he was away at work, she told them he was with other women, something that was a total lie. Everybody knew that even though she was the most impossible woman on the planet he was still faithful to her.”

He had only married her to please his mother. The marriage barely survived the years it did. One ordinary day she died on her way to some errand, knocked over by a police van that threw her off the road and to her grisly death. Ten months later, daddy married my mom in a drama-laden wedding ceremony that would have given Mexican, Spanish and Indian soap operas combined, a run for their money. My mom was never welcomed by his family or his late wife’s. And it didn’t make it easier that she was young, beautiful, educated and opinionated. They tried to make life unbearable for her but she fought them on every side. In the end, they killed her.

Daddy told me she died in her sleep but I knew he was lying. I had spoken to her on the phone the night before she died and she had sounded like one in pain, stopping every now and then to breathe. When I asked what was wrong, she had simply told me she was tired. Then she went ahead to talk about her love for me and how she would have me as a daughter again if she had another life to live. She told me to make sure I fell in love with someone like my dad and to be certain that his family loved me. She didn’t want me to suffer the same fate as she did. At that point, I became apprehensive and asked why she sounded like she wanted to die. She laughed my fear away and told me she wasn’t going anywhere. And in one final warning, added that I should never fight with my siblings. She prayed for me over the phone and called it a night. The next day, daddy called and summoned me home. He didn’t have to tell me; I knew something had gone wrong with her. I cried all the way to Warri. I was taken to the mortuary upon insistence, to see her. She looked nothing like the healthy mother I knew. She had emaciated so much and yet daddy insisted that she had died peacefully. The chapter of her mysterious death was closed after the burial and I got no other explanation from him. It’s been so many years but I still suspect foul play.

“You’re seriously not going to take them to court, sugams?”

I love Jide’s voice in the morning. It’s deeper and sexier. He sits, facing me, watching me with intense eyes. I am having my breakfast like I have not eaten in days. Come to think of it, I really haven’t had a decent meal in a while.

“Initially I wanted you to leave them with the money but after you told me what your dad was worth and how much your mom contributed to the wealth, I don’t think you should just let it go like that.”

“It’s just the Igbo in you talking, Jide.”

“It is not about money.” He seems annoyed by my statement. “It’s about your father’s legacy, about what your parents built, the love they shared. Your siblings want to take it all away.”

“Then let them have it. I don’t care.”

He says nothing more. I can see that he is still annoyed, though. I leave my breakfast and crawl towards him.

“You don’t remember yesterday, do you?” He asked. “How your brother hit you, how you cried, how I came and found you sitting outside your own father’s house because they kicked you out after setting your mom’s stuff on fire?”

“Jideofor, please stop.” I hold his face and kiss the edges of his lips. “Let’s just forget them and leave this town.”

“Where is the woman who smashed my phone and walked out on me? I want her back so we can deal with these assholes together. Where I come from, you do not just throw away your father’s legacy like that. And it is not about the money. It is about your pride. The memories your parents built. The pain of loss that must be healed.”

“But not by fighting with my brothers and sisters!” I shoot back and move away from him, exasperated. “I want my peace, Jide! It’s priceless! I need my peace! Inheritance wars never end! They go on and on and on! And I don’t want that!”

I get off the bed in frustration.

“I want to start and build my business and get married and have kids and forget that I ever had siblings! I can’t live my life looking behind me and wondering who wants me dead just because of money that won’t follow me when I die.”

“I understand where you’re coming from but Honey, you can’t just leave them like that.”

I sigh. I am tired of explaining myself to him.

“They’ll see you as spineless.”

I have had enough. I walk into the bathroom for a shower but my knees weaken beneath me and I burst into tears.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Couple_Legs

I’m glad to be away from Warri. Finally I can have my peace.

It’s Friday and I wake up to find my head resting on Jide’s chest.

“Morning.”

I try to remember the night before but I can’t. I know we were spooning and then we ended up making love in the same position. Did I sleep off during the act?

“Yes, you did,” Jide replies. I bury my head in shame.

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? It was actually an intentional act from me. You were dead tired and couldn’t sleep. I told you I would tranquilize you, remember? You had this dirty joke about me injecting you?”

“Yes, I remember. But still I’m sorry.” I keep my head buried on his chest. I get a smack on my bum, and then a squeeze, or more like a crushing cuddle as he pulls me into him.

“How are you, though? No more headaches, fever?”

“No.”

“Good. So you have energy for me like…right now?”

“Now?”

“M-hm.”

I’m about to reply but he attacks me with tickles. I scream; he shows no mercy. I have to kick my way out of his clutch to free myself before he stops. He takes my hand again and sits me properly on the bed.

“You know I’m crazy about you, right?” His voice carries a serious timbre.

“Yeah.”

“And I don’t want anything to be between us.”

“Me too.”

“I actually cheated on you with Ezinne. We kissed and maybe my hands strayed a little…”

“Maybe?”

“Okay, not maybe.”

I pinch his nose.

“But that was all we did. I’m sorry, baby.”

I smile genuinely. I had forgiven him a long time ago. “I hold nothing against you, babe. I knew you did something with her and when I forgave you, I forgave you for what you told me and what you didn’t tell me, so it’s fine.”

“Sure?”

I stroke his cheek. “Sure, hotstuff.”

He takes my hand and kisses it. Together we enter the bathroom for a shower and there’s a lot of naughtiness as we both soap up. Jide tells me he’s glad that I can laugh after all I’ve been through. I reply that he makes me happy.

“So, the car is yours,” he says casually.

“Car? What car? The one you brought to Warri?”

“Yeah.”

“Mine?”

“Yeah. Got it for you.”

The news doesn’t sink in. “But I don’t even know how to drive.”

“I’ll teach you.”

“Okay.”

A few seconds go by and then I get the message.

“The car is mine?!”

He gives a quiet laugh. I scream and get soap all up in my mouth and nose.

“For me?!” I turn off the shower. I’m overwhelmed. It’s the most expensive thing a man has ever given me.

“Yeah.”

I start to cry. Life doesn’t feel so shitty anymore. I have the best boyfriend in the world. I thank him with kisses, long and sensual ones, but he doesn’t seem to be in the mood. He’s late for work.

We leave the bathroom and I snuggle in the bed to watch him dress up. His bedroom has changed quite a lot. It looks smaller but that’s just because he used up all the extra space smartly. I love the new décor. It’s cozy, manly and cool. I’m in a sea of pillows and bed covers that hold different tones of blue. I pick out Argyle and Moroccan patterns against a cobalt duvet. There is a small, black ledge beside the bed that holds items Jide likes to indulge in before he sleeps; like a tin of cashew nuts, a hydro flask of freezing water for when he gets thirsty at night, his novel collection of ‘manread’ (as he calls it), and surprisingly, Fifty Shades of Grey. I smile when I see the book. I had begged him to read it so we could try some Christian Grey stunts but he had vowed that he’ll never read such ‘tasteless’ literature, that he had already been scarred enough by the cheesiness of the movie. I spot a bookmark sticking out of the novel, indicating he is currently reading it. Silly boy. After all the shakara.

I tilt my head towards the wall above the bed and see two square paintings hanging side by side. One of them is of a busy street on a dark, rainy day. The other has a black background that holds the painting of a daffodil. It suddenly strikes me that Jide’s feelings for me are not surface. This particular flower holds meaning for two of us and he has let it into his personal space. I begin to feel bad for the hard time I gave him over his ish with Ezinne. I recall daddy’s advice and promise to make it up to him.

Daddy…sigh. It’s heartbreaking that I can’t think about him without exhuming the terrible things my siblings told me. How do I live past the nightmare?

How can I just let it all go like that?

Jide pulls me to my feet for a kiss.

“Can I borrow your car, sisi?”

“Sure.”

“Want me to bring you something on my way back?”

I pull at his waistband. “Just your hot self.”

He encloses me in a hug and leaves.  I hear my phone ringing. I fish for it. The screen spells out Jane’s name. I go for the answer button but remember that I have promised to have nothing to do with them. I reject the call.

Yet I am curious as to why she’s calling. As much as she is the kindest to me, I still don’t trust her.

I search for a change of clothes from my suitcase and come up with a pair of matching Ankara shorts and a crop top. I lie in bed with a pen and notebook in hand to touch up on the plan for my travel agency. Saratu has shown interest and Dele’s wife has also bought into the idea enthusiastically. Tomorrow is Saturday and we plan to meet to talk about it before Saratu travels back to London.

My phone buzzes. Jane is calling again. I don’t take the call. Seriously, what does she want?

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

If I go for one more wedding where people leave what they came for and start questioning me about my marital status, I’ll break someone’s neck. Can’t married folks just leave us single people alone? Is marriage the height of life’s achievements? It’s already hard on a guy just being a guy. People should free me abeg.

“We should sha hear wedding bells by the end of the year,” Celia says to me with an annoying wink.

“Can you just stop, madam?” I reply. She laughs. I wish Honey was here for this wedding. Everyone would have let me be. I don’t even know why I came in the first place; I don’t know the couple getting married. I did it for Mary who had specially invited me. This is her first big wedding as a chef. Reno has graciously offered to help her and both of them have whipped up dishes that the guests are going crazy over. I especially like the goat meat peppersoup. I have to admit that it is better than my mom’s.

“I think we should leave,” Bobby says, staring at his wristwatch. We all concur.

“Peace, are you waiting for Reno?” Celia asks.

“No. He’ll stay back with Mary until after the wedding. Let’s just go.”

We shuffle our way through the thick crowd of wedding partiers. After bidding my friends goodbye, I get into my car and head home. I have no idea that they are tailing me. It isn’t until after I park outside my building that I see them driving towards me.

“Is everything okay?” I enquire as they all step out of their cars.

“We came to pay Honey a visit over her father’s death,” Shady says.

I’m touched. I have the most amazing friends in the world.

“Thanks, guys…”

“And we’re also here for a beer or two,” Bobby adds. We laugh.

“Yeah, Mary promises to come with more of her peppersoup,” Celia announces.

“Let’s go in.”

I lead them to my apartment. Honey appears to be home. I hope her hangout with her friends went well. She opens the door and lets us in, surprise impressed on her face.

“Am I on the barstool again today?” she asks and gets a round of laughter.

“No dear,” Peace replies. “We just came to pay our respects to your dad.”

She hugs Honey, sits her down and in classic Peace manner, delivers this long tribute that gets all of us emotional. Honey is in tears when she is done.

“Sweetheart, I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

“Aww, you poor thing,” Noka adds and before I know, the women are all over her. Well, looks like they have finally let her in and the idea of Mary taking her place is old news.

Honey pulls herself together and thanks everyone. Subsequently, she and I raid the fridge for drinks.

“You have very nice friends,” she tells me.

“Yeah. But sometimes they can get anal,” I reply, taking two bottles of wine from her. “Be warned.”

“Where’s Mary?”

“She’s still at the wedding with Reno. They’ll be here soon.”

Honey brushes her butt against my groin as she walks away. I swallow and wish my friends are not under the same roof with us right now.

I join them in the sitting room. Over drinks, we talk about Honey’s siblings, and everyone except Peace, shares my mind over what should be done to them.

“You can’t just let them do this to you, Honey,” Celia strongly puts out.

“If the inheritance is in your name, then they can’t touch it,” Bobby states.

I feel this is not a good day to talk about this issue but I just have to let out why the whole thing gets on my nerves.

“Honey wants to sign it over to them,” I reveal. She frowns at me as everyone faces her.

“Why, luv?” Noka asks.

“I don’t want to fight them.”

“But it’s legally yours,” Bobby points out. “And that is why they have come up with this bullshit that your dad was not biologically your dad. If they can prove that, then they don’t need you to sign over the money to them. They will just take you to court to challenge your dad’s will.”

“That’s the problem. I looked nothing like my dad. And my mom was already pregnant when they got married, so I don’t know…”

“Sugar lips, you allowed them get to you? You actually believe them?”

“I am the only light-skinned person in my house and the only one that doesn’t look like my dad.”

“Your mother was light-skinned,” I stress. “She was half- Eritrean and half- Shua Arab,” I explain to my friends.

“You shouldn’t believe them, Honey,” Bimpe tells her. “They are lying and we will prove that they are. Abi, Bobby?”

“It’s all in your hands, Honey,” Bobby emphasizes. “And they can’t touch what has been passed down to you. So as long as that will is in your name, you still hold the power. If they insist that you are not related to them, we can get the court to order a DNA test, using a sample from one of them.”

“But what if it turns out negative?” Honey asks with fear in her eyes.

“Then we fight still. It might get hairy but we’ll get something out of that inheritance in the end. Nothing will nullify the fact that it was willed to you. The law will back you on that.”

“Trust Bobby,” Bimpe utters. “He handled my case with my ex-husband. The monkey wanted to cheat me out of a business we built together but Bobby helped me get what was rightfully mine. He will help you, Honey.”

Honey seems overwhelmed. I don’t want us to push her into a decision she doesn’t want to make.

“I’ll talk to her later on,” I assure my friends. “We’ll come up with a plan.”

“You’d better,” Celia pipes. “Because the whole thing is just scattering my brain. It’s like being raped, like someone violating me. God knows what I would have done if it was me.”

Shady cleverly shifts the conversation to something else and time ticks by as we banter. Someone mentions something about Mary’s peppersoup and Peace wonders out loud where Reno is. She dials his number but gets a busy tone.

“I’m sure they’re still occupied at the wedding,” she comments, putting her phone away.

“Let me call Mary.” Noka picks her own phone from her bag. As she sets to dial Mary’s number I see that I have an incoming call from Mary herself. I answer it.

“Are you alone?” Her voice is hush.

“No. Anything the matter?”

“Please, can you come to my house right now? Please?” I hear distress in her voice and move away from the curious eyes resting on me.

“What’s wrong, boo?” I walk into the kitchen.

“Just come, please. Don’t tell anyone where you’re going. Just come.”

She puts an end to the call. I walk back to the sitting room.

“Who was that?” Honey asks.

“Erm… Nothing serious. My mom. She wants to see me straightaway. She won’t say why.”

“I hope everything is fine.”

“Me too. You guys, excuse me. I’ll be right back.”

I leave the house in a hurry and dash downstairs. When I get into the car, Mary is calling again.

“Are you on your way?” This time I pick out that she’s crying.

“Boo, what is wrong? Talk to me nau.”

“Are you on your way?”

“Yes.”

I fire up the gas and drive away from my neighborhood. I get to Mary’s apartment some fifteen minutes later. I knock on her door and she opens it. She is wrapped in a bathrobe. I am not wrong about her crying. I’m greeted by red, swollen eyes.

“Jeez! What happened to you?”

She locks her door. I walk in to find her room in disarray.

“Did you fight with somebody?”

She remains silent.

“Mary?” I turn to her fully and when I take a step forward, she moves back.

“What happened here?”

And just like that she shatters into tears. Her fingers clutch at the collar of her bathrobe tightly. I try to touch her but again she steps away from me.

“Mary, please talk to me.”

But she wouldn’t, so I sit and let her cry it out. Finally, she simmers down and let out words that cut my heart like a knife.

“Reno raped me.”

I can’t move. A thick cloud of darkness falls on me, choking me. I can’t speak; she can’t either. When I finally regain use of my voice, I ask her how it happened. She tells me everything – in disjointed words, but I piece it together.

Mary had called Reno about two weeks ago to help her out with the catering of the wedding since he was a master chef at a prestigious hotel and had catered to many weddings before. Although an excellent chef, Mary was new to the food business and needed help on her first huge gig. Reno gladly offered his services for free. Over the days that followed they walked closely together, seeing each other every now and then. Reno alone was aware of some new guy Mary was dating and had promised to keep it a secret from the wives because she wasn’t sure the relationship would go anywhere. Mary opened up to him about many other things in her life and especially her loneliness and fear that she might not find the perfect man. Reno played the role of the supportive friend and they bonded in such a short time. She trusted him, she told me, just as she trusted me.

“I would never have imagined that he’ll do this to me. Never!”

mary

The story becomes grimy when she begged Reno to accompany her home earlier on so she could change into something fresh before they drove down to my place. Upon getting to hers, she decided to go for a quick shower while Reno waited. When she stepped out of the bathroom in her towel to pick what she would change into, Reno shamelessly asked to have sex with her. She explained to me that she thought he was joking at first and brushed the request off but he repeated himself and went on to tell her how he had always nurtured feelings for her and wished it wasn’t Peace he was married to; and that his feelings had grown for her over the past week and he hoped they could develop something on the side.

At that point, Mary lost her top and ordered him out of her apartment, threatening to tell Peace what had just transpired. And to her, she thinks that was the mistake she made, because Reno turned into this beast that locked her door, pushed her to the bed and raped her.

Anger like I’ve never known bustles inside me. I feel tears scald my eyes as I watch my friend sit in one corner of her room like one who is held hostage in it.

“I am so sorry, Mary.”

I don’t know if she can hear me. Her head is bowed over.

“When exactly did this happen?”

“It happened just before I called you. He told me that if I told anyone what he did he would deny and say we had consensual sex and I had been seducing him for a long time.”

“Did he use protection?”

She shakes her head.

Lord help me, I will kill Reno and nobody will stop me.

Mary stretches her hand to me and hands me a small container. She doesn’t tell me what it is but I know it’s semen sample.

“Wear something let’s go to the hospital.”

“No.”

“Mary, you need to be properly checked and taken care of.”

“No.”

“Please,” I beg.

“Jide, no. It’s just sex–”

“IT IS NOT JUST SEX!” I am enraged. My tone plunges Mary into another round of weeping. I pull her from the floor and hold her until she calms.

“Mary, please let a doctor check you.”

She steps back. “So that they’ll treat me like a rape victim? And ask me intrusive questions and leave me worse than I already feel?”

“No. They’ll give you anti-retroviral medication alongside contraceptives and some pain killers. If you don’t want to talk to anyone, it’s fine.”

She considers my words. “They won’t ask me to recount what happened?”

“No.”

“Okay.”

I leave the house and sit in the car. My anger has not gone down one bit. Reno has no idea what is coming.

I take Mary to the hospital and leave her in Tola’s care. I drive back to my house as if I’m on steroids. When I get in, I am shocked to see Reno comfortably sitting on my couch, sipping on my wine and making conversation like he had not just committed a monstrous crime.

God knows self control is the last thing on my mind. I speak to no one as I aim straight for him, jerk him off the couch and deliver a punch that breaks his nose on impact. Dazed, his head falls back. I use the opportunity to knock him to the floor and he goes down in a heap.

I am so furious I can’t hear my friends speak. My anger is made worse by the helplessness I felt when I couldn’t give Honey’s brother the beating he deserved.

I see Bright dashing towards me. And in quick but lethal kicks, I give Reno’s balls a lesson in unbearable pain. Before Bright gets hold of me and drags me away, I add one last kick to the side of his face that knocks him out.

“You’ve killed him!” Peace screams and rushes to him. I ignore her and everyone else as I shove Bright off and storm into my bedroom.

©Sally@moskedapages

Image credits: favim.com, pinterest.com

Translations:

Agbero – tout

Sharaka – to fuss

It’s Another Saturday…#15

LeChase Hotel

erotica

Your hands on my hips pull me right back to you
I catch that thrust, give it right back to you
You’re in so deep, I’m breathing for you
You grab my braids, arch my back high for you

You’re diesel engine, I’m squirting mad oil
Down on the floor ’til my speaker starts to boil
I flip shit, quick slip, hip dip and I’m twisted
In your hands and your lips and your tongue tricks
And you’re so thick and you’re so thick and you’re so…

Crown royal on ice, crown royal on ice
Crown royal on ice, crown royal on ice

“Ooooh… Jill Scott.”

“Jill Scot? Are you for real? How about ‘ooooh…Jide’?”

I laugh, even though I so badly want to cry. I so badly want to scream out his name and wake the entire neighborhood.

It’s 5am and Jide and I have been at this since 3am. I’m not even counting the one we did when I arrived around 1am. We just can’t seem to get our hands off each other. The things he does to me…the different ways he makes me feel. And with Jill Scott, queen of aural sex, setting the mood, there’s no better way to start the day.

I feel a tremor erupt from the center of me, and it begins to spread to every part of my body. I bite the pillow my head is buried in but it’s not enough to keep me from crying out. Goosebumps, moist eyes, curled toes… Inside, I clench him real tightly as I go off. I’m having a huge one that is coming in spurts and going on for what seems like forever until I can’t seem to feel myself anymore.

I blank out for a few and he turns me around, peering into my face. I can’t see him. He tries to touch me but I press my legs together securely. I can’t take any more. The guy’s pipe laying skills are on fleek abeg, kudos to his bride-making experience. I won’t lie; I’m dickmatized right now. Or give me a better explanation why he and I are not in a heated fight at the moment after I have stumbled upon the text from his ex, Ezinne.

Okay, maybe ‘stumbled’ is the wrong word, considering that I paid some good money for an app that can help me easily spy on Jide’s phone and online activities from his text messages to call logs, to every single social media interaction, to photos and videos and even his browsing history. So, clearly, I got Ezinne’s text when it came in yesterday evening and I knew he called her not long after. This discovery had left me upset and I came with the full intent to bring it up but two things prevailed. One was the fact that I didn’t want him to think I was this insecure, possessive girlfriend that had no respect for his privacy. Then the second reason, as I already mentioned, is the D. It is boss. My ebony love tool.  The way it commands respect gets me tongue-tied and on my knees every time. If I hadn’t fallen in love before I had it, I would swear it’s the only thing keeping me sprung.

Not to trivialize what we share, I’ll state it clearly again that I love Jide. And I want us to work. That is why I will say nothing and hope that he doesn’t go to see Ezinne; but if he must, I hope he tells me.

Please Jide, don’t lie to me.

I feel his body heat as he cradles me. The hair on his skin is such a turn on that I fear we’ll start all over again. I’ve always had this high level of eroticism just below the surface. Saratu constantly asks me why I hide it. And I’ll often tell her only one man can bring out the freak in me. Before Jide, all others, including Kene and Nonso tried but they fell short. Jide is oga. No contest.

I climb over him now and look into those calm eyes.

“I thought you just passed out,” he says.

I shut his mouth with a kiss that sends a direct message to his midsection.

“You’re a nympho,” he says into my ear. We begin all over again.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“Madam, I know you’re tired but this baby has to come out like yesterday. I can see the head. All I need is one push from you to make it happen.”

The soon-to-be mom before me nods dispassionately. Her face is washed with tears. She has been in labor for quite a long time.

“Okay, now push.”

She screams out, clenches her feet, grips the bedsheet beneath her with her fists and gives it a big shove, sending a girl into the world. The baby comes out protesting in a very angry cry.

“And there you go. Your beautiful baby girl!” I announce. After two days of labor, her bundle of joy has finally arrived. As is in my practice, I place baby on her mother’s chest for warmth and instant bonding but the mother, whom I’ll call Mrs. B, makes a face and tells me to take the child away.

This is not a strange occurrence. In my experience as midwife, I’ve encountered women who want little to do with their newborns immediately after birth, especially when they have endured so much. All the same, as professionals, we have to investigate further to know if it is due to sheer exhaustion or something deeper.

I go through the afterbirth process I’ve been through a million times and during the course, I watch my client’s passive face as she observes the room around her like one not there. When baby is all wrapped up, I help the woman up on her feet and ask the junior midwife who has accompanied me to help bathe her.

“I can do it myself,” she replies with an angry tone. “I just gave birth to a human being, not a mountain.”

She waddles off to her bathroom. I tell the midwife to clean the room as I take baby out to meet her father and other family members who are waiting. They cheer when I step out of the bedroom. The father rushes to me and picks his fourth child in his arms. He has done this three times already with his late wife but his eyes go moist at the sight of his first daughter. Family members surround the baby and everyone has something to say about her pretty face. I stand by and watch them, merely nodding each time one of them thanks me.

After what seems like forever, the man walks to me and asks if he can see his wife. I shake my head.

“Not now. Give her some time.”

“Is she okay?”

“Yeah, everything went well.”

He thanks me and I turn back into the bedroom. Mrs. B is all cleaned up now and lying on her bed, her face to the wall. I turn to one corner of the room where Honey is seated. She had begged to accompany when I told her I had to work. I acceded to her wish and here she sits, traumatized by what she has just witnessed. I try not to laugh.

“Madam.” I sit on the bed to face my client. “Don’t you want to see your baby?”

“Not now, Jide.”

“Talk to me.”

“She should have been a boy.”

“Ah,” is all I can say. In my experience, this is also not new. In fact, I have seen it countless times. The male child always trumps the female.

She sits up slowly. I arrange pillows and help her rest her back on them.

“I’ve been trying to conceive for three years. Three years of miscarriages, one stillbirth and non-stop persecution from my husband’s family. Finally I take in and it’s a girl? His late wife had three boys for him. Three healthy boys. Do I need to tell you what this means? Where it all leaves me?”

“It leaves you with a beautiful, healthy little girl who is the light of her father’s eyes. Today is a good day, madam. Your baby whom you carried for nine months is finally here. Can you just put aside everything else and welcome her?”

“You can go, Jide. Thank you for everything. I just want to be alone. Please, go.”

I stand up. “My colleague will be sleeping over, so anything you need, ask her.”

She nods. I walk to Honey and take her hand and find it cold. Dazedly, she follows me out of the room. The family is still fussing over the newborn as the father escorts us outside and thanks me once more for my services.

In the cab, on our way home, I try to make conversation.

“Some women baffle me, honestly. People are looking for children and God gave you one and you’re not happy because it’s a girl. I felt like shaking her back to her senses as she was talking all that nonsense.”

Honey remains silent. I look at her and snap a finger in her face. She blinks back to life.

“Are you still shaken by the whole childbirth experience?”

“Shaken?” she looks at me. “I’m in awe.”

“Awe?”

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, hotstuff. The way her vagina stretched and that baby came out. It was… Wow!”

I look at my girlfriend with careful eyes. She seems to get weirder by the second. Every single girl I have taken to watch the birthing of a baby left the place traumatized, some swearing never to get pregnant.

“Jide, can we have a baby?” Honey gives me puppy eyes and holds my hands. “Please?”

“No.”

“Okay, even if you don’t want to be responsible for it, just put it in me.”

I laugh. I’m not taking her serious. She likes to play like that.

“No.”

“I’ve quit my job now and I’m about to start my own business. I have all the time in the world for a baby. All I need is a baby daddy.”

“And you came up with all of this just after watching another woman give birth?”

“No, I love babies. They’re so cute.”

“Erm…they are not.”

Honey leaves her spot on the seat and sits astride me. The cabman glares at us through the rearview mirror. He doesn’t seem pleased with the action but I ignore him.  She doesn’t kiss me; she just rests her head on my shoulder and using carefully chosen words, whispers how much she loves me, adding that I shouldn’t do anything to break her heart.

“Is there anything you’re hiding from me?” she asks, leaning back to look into my eyes.

My tummy tosses – loudly – as I recall that in the next hour I will be with Ezinne.

“What type of question is this one, Hon?”

“Just asking.”

“You were talking about babies one minute and now you’re questioning my devotion to you? Just out of nowhere?”

“I’m supposed to keep a special time for asking you that type of question?”

“How about never asking me at all and just trusting me?”

She lifts herself off my laps and takes her seat again.

“How long are you going to be at the hospital?” she questions.

“My rounds start by eight. I’ll be there till let’s say, ten-ish.”

“Can I go with you?”

“Honey, for heaven’s sake, what is up with you this evening?”

“Sorry I asked to spend more time with my man.”

She gives me a look I can’t decipher. It is not a good look. It makes me uncomfortable and almost forces me to assure her that I’m faithful to her. But I refrain. I’m not going to be bullied by her insecure ways.

“You need to deal with your trust issues or it will ruin us,” I say thoughtlessly.

“Okay.”

We remain silent until the cab stops outside my gate. I lean towards her to give her a kiss before she steps out but realize there are tears on her face. She pushes me away and alights from the car. I’m a little baffled by her behavior but I’m beginning to get used to being shocked by her impulsiveness.

“Le Chase Hotel,” I say to the cabman the moment she disappears into the compound. He complains about hitting some traffic along the way. I tell him I am fine with it. We hit the road.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

It’s exactly eight o’clock when reception rings Room 219.

“You can go up, sir,” the receptionist informs me and I turn to a flight of stairs, ignoring the elevator she shows me. I take slow steps because I want to still my wildly-thumping heart. I can’t believe I’m going to see Ezinne. I’m nervous; I don’t know what I’ll find when I walk into that room.

I’m standing at the door now. I knock and wait…

“Come in, Jide,” I hear her say. I steady my hand that has begun to shake and force it to open the door.

bed

I walk in. And there is Ezinne, or some altered version of her, lying on the bed like she and I are still an item and I’ve come for a booty call. She turns and regards me with eyes that have haunted my sleep for years.

I can’t speak, so I stare back. She’s wearing a pair of jeans and a white spaghetti top. Her weave is long and falls over her shoulders and back. And then I dare to take in her strange face which carries a nose perfectly sculpted and lips that are fuller than I used to know. This Ezinne has lost the beauty I once was crazy about. But she still holds some part of my heart which is stirring at the moment.

“Hi, Jide.”

I say nothing. She leaves the bed.

“I said I’ll hold my emotions when I see you but I just can’t.” She rushes into my arms, and starts to cry. And I’m not talking about that sniveling that ladies do when they want attention. No, Ezinne is weeping intensely. I have no option but to console her, and as they say, before I know it, we’re kissing each other crazy. I get lost for a moment, as our past is recalled and I fall back to the time I loved her and could have given my life for her.

The kiss gets intense and my hands begin to move beyond her waist because Ezinne still has this hold over me that she used to have back then. It’s even stronger now and I can think of nothing else but her. She’s unbuttoning my shirt and kissing my ear when Honey makes an appearance in my mind without caution. As if being slapped, I return to my senses and pull away.

“I have a girlfriend, Ezinne,” I tell her with a broken voice, removing her hands from my neck.

“Please, don’t stop.”

“No. You can’t just disappear from my life, fake your own death and think you can get back by offering me the sex you starved me of back in the day.”

My words bring back her commonsense.

“God! What am I thinking?” she asks herself as I give her some distance. “What just happened here?” She straightens her top. “Jide, I’m so sorry. Very sorry. Please, forgive me for all I did to you. I’m sorry.”

“I came here for the truth. That’s all I’m here for.”

“Sit.” She points at the bed.

“I don’t want to sit.”

“Please.”

“I said no,” I reply edgily.

“Can I get you something then?”

I hear her but I’m distracted because I’m still staring at her. She has added some weight. And her skin tone is lighter; she used to have this dark, glowing complexion.

“Jide?”

“No, I’m good.”

She picks the only chair in the room and sits.

“Why?” I ask, straightaway. “How could you fake your own death, Ezinne? Why would you do such a wicked thing?”

She scratches a brow.

“Answer me.”

She looks at me. “The accident almost killed me.”

“Me too. But I didn’t go faking my death.”

“I was scarred beyond recognition, Jide. Did anyone tell you that?”

No one told me anything. In fact, no one knew her whereabouts after the accident.

“Of course, they didn’t tell you because none of them cared about how I was faring, if I had died or lived. The only person that asked after me was Bobby but he didn’t even have the courtesy to come see me. My parents went to see your parents to ask for financial assistance for reconstructive surgery to replace parts of my skull that had been damaged and your parents turned them away. In fact, your mother blamed the accident on me and threatened that if you died in your coma, she would make our lives miserable.”

My initial anger begins to lose edge. “Are you serious?”

“Yeah. But I don’t hold it against them, Jay. I was a bitch to everyone.”

Yeah, she was, especially during a particular incident when she was rude to my mom over some minor issue or the time she walked out on my friends at one of Celia’s home parties just because they asked if she truly loved me.

“The accident scarred me, Jide. Badly. Half my nose and lips were disfigured beyond recognition. My neck, my jaw, one side of my head, all damaged. I looked like a corpse.”

She passed her phone to me.

“Viewer discretion is advised.”

I take the phone and the first photo I see on the screen makes my skin crawl. I can’t look any further. Forget my medical training, there are certain things the eyes are not supposed to see. I pass the phone back to her.

“And then I had to endure the drugs, injections, the wound-dressing, every single day. I wanted to kill myself, Jay. But for God, and my mom’s prayers I would have gone. She prayed for me constantly and would sing hymns to cheer me. That was the only way I survived. But I was still struggling with loving myself the way I was. You remember how I used to be about my looks?”

She was a Barbie back then. Couldn’t stand a scratch on her body, cared for her skin with the most expensive of products, and was vain like no man’s business. I can’t imagine the horror she went through after waking up and finding she had turned to Frankenstein’s bride.

“My parents were running around, looking for money for my hospital bills. My dad sold all his land in the village, my mom sold everything in her shop and yet the money pooled together couldn’t go halfway. Then one quiet morning, Kalu visited and signed a check that left us dazed. The money covered my bills and there was extra, which he asked me to use to fix myself up.”

I’m stunned by the direction the story has taken. “Kalu? My brother?”

“Yes. The only thing he asked of me was to stay away from you. He didn’t force me, he didn’t threaten. He begged.”

I am not shocked that Kalu would go out of his way to do such a thing. He is generous to a fault. However, I’m not sure what his motive was.

“And so we paid the bills and left. Someone gave me the contact of a plastic surgeon in Seoul. They said he was really good but affordable. I got in touch with him without my parents’ knowledge and he agreed to handle my case. Three nights before I left, I came to see you to say goodbye. Luckily for me, your mom wasn’t there and the nurse was super nice so she let me in.”

“Wait…you wore something yellow and had this veil around your head?”

“Yes.”

“You prayed for me?”

“Yeah.”

Oh God. She was the lady in the yellow dress. How didn’t I recognize her?

“I used the veil to cover the part of my face that was still bandaged. I knew our chapter had ended, Jide, which was why I was there to say goodbye that night. I didn’t want to come back here. And I knew that by the time the doctor finished his work on me, I’d be changed, and so I sat with my parents and begged them to allow me fake my death. They kicked against it but I went ahead with the plans and without informing them, disappeared to Seoul. It was after my plane landed that I called them and told them I wasn’t coming back. But I still contacted them every now and then, asking after you. I was informed of when you got better and came to look for me and they had to lie to you that I was dead.”

“Well, it wasn’t hard for them. They always hated me.”

“That’s because your family wouldn’t let me be with you. But that’s all water under bridge now, Jide. How have you been?”

“That’s all water under bridge? You disappear from my life and think you can shove it off like that?”

“I had to do what I had to do, Jide! Our relationship the entire time was on pins and needles. Your family hated me. My family hated you. Friends didn’t support us being together. My career was shit, with musicians and directors trying to sleep with me all the time… in fact, I had nothing I was proud of! And then my looks were taken away from me! Was I to stay back and struggle with all of that just because I wanted to be married to an Onuora?!”

“How about what you felt for me?”

“It was not enough, Jide! It was not! I cried the day we collected the money from Kalu. I was grateful but I felt helpless. I lost my place in your life that day because of that money. And so I had to leave. But I still loved you.”

“Not that it matters now.”

“Yeah.” Her tone lowers. “I’m married.”

I laugh. It is a harsh laugh that tries to mask the pain in my heart.

“He’s Korean. We live in Seoul. He’s a banker…”

“I don’t give a fuck what he does or who he is, Ezinne! You’re so heartless! And you came here acting like you still love me when you already found a life, ehn?! What’s this meeting all about? You want to cheat on your husband?”

“God! No. I just wanted you to know the truth.”

“Which I wouldn’t have known if I had not bumped into you.”

“But how did you know I was still alive, Jide? My parents told me you’ve been calling relatives. How did you know?”

“Because I love you, Ezinne! How can’t you still see that? I love you! I have felt you aura all these years! I just couldn’t mourn you. And to think you were doing just fine…”

“It’s not like that.”

“Your disappearance turned me into a man I’ll forever regret!”

“I’m sorry.”

“So you came back for what exactly?!”

“I’m pursuing my MBA there in Seoul. I came back to get my transcript and some other documents…”

“You didn’t come to see me.”

“Jide…” She moves towards me but I step back.

“Don’t let me hate you, Ezinne. I’m very close to getting there. I wish I hadn’t bumped into you. In short, I wish I never even met you in my life. You’re dead to me this time and that my phone number you got from God-knows-where, lose it!”

I march to the door, open it and march out. It’s barely half past seven when I leave the hotel and head back home. I am mad and relieved at the same time. Mad at Ezinne, of course. And relieved that the truth is finally out and I can put the whole saga to rest. In fact, I won’t share this encounter with anyone because of the humiliation I’m feeling right now. I will let them all believe that they were right about her being dead and buried. I just feel bad that I’ll have to lie to Honey as well. But first I need to confirm with Kalu what I just heard.

I dial his UK line. Elsie answers. We talk for some time before she passes the phone to him.

“How much did you give Ezinne?”

Kalu hesitates. “So you found out.”

“Why did you do it?”

“Because I felt them popsi acted unfairly towards her family. It was not her fault that accident happened. And she needed the help, so I helped her.”

I don’t know what to say after he speaks, whether to scold him for asking her to stay away from me or thank him for the help he offered. I choose the latter.

“Don’t mention. But how did you find out?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“She’s fine, though?”

“I don’t know,” I lie.

“Okay.”

I have nothing else to tell him, so I hang up. I focus my mind on Honey as I head home. I feel contrite for the way I treated her earlier. As much as I felt pressured by her, I think she deserves more than I’m giving. I’m glad I don’t have Ezinne’s ghost hanging over me like before. Honey and I will build our relationship from the scratch because I’m devoting myself to us entirely.

im-sorry-cake-graphic

I stop at a bakery near my house for a chocolate cake and with my own hand, I write an apology on it. I also get a card and spell out all the amazing things I love about her. By the time I get home, it’s some minutes to ten. Honey is in the sitting room, alone in the dark. She startles me when I walk in. I don’t speak to her as I have noticed that she’s still unhappy with me. I simply head to the bedroom and place the cake and card on the bed before going to take a leak. When I return to the sitting room, I meet her the way I left her. Only this time, she has her phone to her face, and I’m left to see how pissed she is.

“So you’re going to act like you didn’t see me, sugar lips?”

“Where are coming from, Jide?”

I hate that tone she’s using on me.

“From the hospital, like I told you.”

“Really?”

“What does that mean?”

“I’ll show you what it means. Here.”

She’s handing me her phone. I’m not looking at it; I’m looking at her.

“Take.”

I collect the phone and to my shock, I’m staring at the same SMS Ezinne sent to me.

“How did you get this?”

“Does it matter? What’s important is that my boyfriend is a cheat and a liar.”

“Hey, easy now.”

“You lied!” she screams from nowhere.

“Calm down, Honey. No need to raise your voice.”

“And you cheated!”

“I did not. I just went to see her. Yes, I lied about where I was going to but that was done not to hurt you. How would you have felt if I told you I was going to see her?”

“But I begged you not to!”

“Honey, I had to see her. I needed to see her.”

“In a hotel room? Alone with her?”

“Yes.”

“And nothing happened?”

Shit! I didn’t anticipate this curve.

“Honey…”

“Nothing happened?” she repeats.

I look down.

“You did something with her?” Her voice cracks. “Oh God, I’m a fool.”

She stands up but I don’t let her move. I rush to her and hold her in my arms. She doesn’t fight me; she fights with her tears but she doesn’t win.

“I knew you were going to do this to me. I knew.” With brute strength, she pushes me backwards after snatching her phone off my hand.

“I hate you!”

“Honey, please…”

“You were asking how I got the text? Well I’ll tell you. I hacked into your phone and kept track of all your online activities.”

“You did what?” I can’t believe my ears.

“I couldn’t trust you, Jide! All the stories I heard about you and the way you went off radar last week–”

“And so you invade my privacy?!”

“Don’t make this about me! It’s about you and how you can’t stay faithful!”

I laugh. I’m dazed. My girlfriend is crazy and I’m officially scared of her.

“Wow.” I can’t take my eyes off her. She’s heartbroken; she has every right to be but to spy on me? I’m sorry fam, I can’t take that. It’s a deal breaker.

But I’m crazy about this woman. And even now I just want to hold her and kiss her and tell her I’m sorry. I want to tell her I love her honey-brown eyes. I want to tell her to smile because there’s something about it that makes me feel like the world is at peace with me.

However, the words that come out of my mouth baffle me.

“I know I screwed up, Honey. And I’m sorry but you spying on me scares the hell out of me and makes me wonder about your maturity and emotional state of mind–”

“Fuck you!” She thumps my chest but loses steam immediately and begins to cry dejectedly. I reach out to her but she moves back. “I hate you. Just go to hell or-or just go and fall off a cliff or something…”

She storms into my bedroom and the door slams after her with spite. I hear a click, indicating she has locked herself in. I decide not to beg her because well, my pride has taken over my reasoning. She owes me an apology as well.

I turn on my games console and lie on my favorite couch. I realize my phone is in the room where I dumped it together with my wallet; but I refuse to go get it.

“When you vex finish, na you go carry your own two legs commot,” I say out loud but I don’t think she hears me because she seems to be hitting something in the room. I ignore and wait for her to come to her senses.

“You go tire.”

And that is how the whole night goes by without her leaving the confines of my bedroom. I fall asleep, my control pad in my hand. I wake up to some noise and realize the day is yet to break. I’m shutting my eyes back in sleep but a blast of bright light intrudes. I open my eyes and see Honey standing in the sitting room. She is dressed up, all bathed and fresh. Her box stands beside her and her handbag hanging off her shoulder.

“Where are you going by this time?” I ask.

“It’s five in the morning and I’m going to the park to get a vehicle to Warri to visit my dad.”

“I thought that wasn’t until the weekend.”

“I can’t stay here,” she almost interrupts me.

“Why?”

“Why?” she scoffs. “Because we’re over.”

I swing my legs to the cold floor. “What did you just say?”

“We are over, Jideofor.”

Mehn, this babe dey vex o. Just like that?

“Sugams, what’s wrong with you nau?” I question, walking towards her. “Just that little fight and you want to leave me?”

She pushes her hand into her handbag and pulls out something I vaguely recognize. It isn’t until she dumps it in my hand that I get to know it used to be my phone. She seems to have smashed it with something heavy. Phone that I bought for almost two hundred grand.

“Honey, why?” I’m dumbfounded.

“That’s what my heart looks like right now.”

And with that, she turns away and leaves the house, and I’m standing here with my mouth wide open like what the hell just happened. It takes me several minutes to get over the shock and anger she has just left me in. When I finally sit down, I start to laugh as my inner voice asks me why I like impossible women. I really don’t know why. If there’s no drama, she’s not worth my time. And it seems Honey has a lot of madness in her.

Anyways, I’m going to miss her and it will sting badly because it appears that I’m beginning to love her.

©Sally@moskedapages

P.S: The remaining episodes of It’s Another Saturday have been withdrawn from the blog for editing and a full revise. The full ebook comes out sometime in the middle of this year or hopefully before that.

Thank you for reading.

image credits: flickriver.com, shutterstock.com, tumblr.com

 

 

 

It’s Another Saturday…#11

So, I had this episode of It’s Another Saturday since Saturday and I was like, I’ll post it on Monday because of the public holidays. But then on Monday, I think I forgot or something very stupid like that. Then I wanted to post it yesterday but I had another post scheduled. 

So, here it is…the bonus episode. Specially dedicated to erm…to you. You know yourself.

PREVIOUS EPISODES

Taken

I’m not listening to a word he’s saying. All I want is to just get away from him before my feelings turn to hate. I can’t even look into his eyes right now.

“Leave me alone, Jide.”

“Just listen to me. Let me explain. It’s a pretty, simple explanation…”

I shove away his hand resting on my arm and leave the house through the kitchen backdoor.

“Honey!” He comes after me and takes my hand again. “Smoochie, listen to me, please.”

I almost melt at the pet name he has just called me. This is following a heavy make out session earlier this morning in which we got caught by mommy and she gave us the third degree about the dangers of premarital sex.

“Let me go.” I wrestle but he holds me tighter and pulls me closer, wrapping his other arm around my waist. I take just one look into his eyes and I soften but it doesn’t stop the tears from spilling.

“You know you can trust me, Honey.”

“How? After what I just heard? Jide, that’s like the worst thing to do. I’m so disgusted at you right now. Leave me!”

I pry my hand off and walk away.

“You know I won’t go after you,” he says. “If you want to leave without hearing my side of the story, then go ahead.”

I stop and wipe my tears. Okay, maybe I need to hear him but after I’m done listening, I’ll go to his place, pack my things and leave his life. Sleeping with one’s sister-in-law? I just can’t deal.

I turn around and find myself almost in his arms. I step back. He clutches my hand once more and leads me back into the house. Daddy is in a very bad mood. He is ranting in Igbo. Everyone is dead quiet. Mommy has her chin in her hand as she stares at the floor with absent eyes. Tola has settled on a side stool, crying, but nobody pays her any mind. The moment Jide steps in, daddy’s tirade hits the roof. I don’t understand what he’s saying but I think he’s telling him to leave. Jide replies in Igbo, daddy fires back, Jide raises his voice as well, and mommy finally steps in.

“Let him talk, please,” she says to her husband exasperatedly.

Daddy grunts and slumps into a single couch behind him.

“You all want to know the truth,” Jide begins. “This is the uncut version of what happened between Tola and I. Tola, if you open your mouth while I’m talking, I’ll throw you out of this house like a rotten egg. Don’t say a word.”

I have never seen his face so icy. I lean on the wall behind me and listen to him.

“I met Tola at Bobby’s wedding party. We hit it off on the dancefloor. I told her my name, she told me hers. Family or dating history never came up. We ended up in a hotel room where we spent the night. By the next morning, when I woke up, she was gone, and she took my wallet, one of my phones and wristwatch, and then called me to tell me that she was Emeka’s fiancée. She said I was to make sure Emeka got married to her or she would expose that we slept with each other. She also told me she was already five weeks pregnant then. God being my witness, I did not know who she was prior to our meeting. Tola had revenge sex with me because Emeka cheated on her with her cousin. She had it all planned and I fell into the trap. My only crime here was sleeping with someone I didn’t know. I have confessed to Emeka. I told him everything but I am not responsible for his being absent today, although I am happy he is. Tola doesn’t deserve him.”

All eyes are on Tola now. “You knew who I was, Jideofor!” she rants. “Emeka sent you pictures of us!”

“Did I not tell you to close your mouth?!” Jide growls, advancing towards her. She shrinks back and he stops, but leaves a menacing glare on her.

“Omotola, can you dispute all Jide just said?” Kalu asks.

“Mm?”

“Did Jide just tell the truth about what happened between you two?”

Tola strikes a restless pose and I start to dislike her.

“Emeka and I were not technically together when I hooked up with Jide,” she answers in a mousy voice.

“Jesus Omotola! Or whatever your useless name is!” Elsie snaps. “You’re such a ho! And you stormed into this place, slapped Jideofor and made him out to be the villain when it was you who jumped from one brother to the other!”

“I didn’t mean to.” Tola launches into a fresh sob. I want to march to where she is and knock her off that stool this minute.

“Stop that very nonsense cry right there!” Daddy thunders. “What type of woman are you, sleeping with two brothers?! And you came here and made all of us fall in love with you when you had evil intent in your heart all along?!”

“No, daddy. I truly love Emeka.”

“Maybe a little too much,” mommy says in a gentle tone. I don’t see the anger in her eyes that everyone shares. She looks rather tired. “You’re obsessed, Tola. And it’s a bad thing for a woman to be that way with a man. It will make you do things you normally wouldn’t do.”

“Stop trying to understand the reasoning behind the abomination she has committed!” daddy tells his wife. “She is no longer welcome here! Omotola, get up from that place and leave my house this minute!”

Tola lets out a loud cry.

“Lawrence, please, calm down.”

“No! She leaves this minute! Get up, my friend!”

Tola vacates the stool but falls on her knees to plead. I want to feel sorry for her but I can’t. Not when I’m still mad at Jide for giving himself to other women so easily but denying me what is rightfully mine. This fight is so not over between us.

Tola, snake that she is, has crawled up to mommy’s feet and is putting up the shoddiest act, still making the whole thing about her.

“Woman, you are defying my orders by letting this wicked human being stain my floor with her crocodile tears!”

“Mommy, let her go, please,” Elsie begs. “The marriage is off. Her tears are unnecessary.”

Tola moans pathetically and throws herself on mommy’s laps. Mommy rubs her back and looks at her husband dolefully. Daddy doesn’t budge.

“Obasi, call the gateman to come and throw her out!”

Tola screams again, holding mommy tightly. “Mommy, help me beg him!”

As Oba heads for the door, it pushes in from outside and Emeka walks into the house. To everyone’s surprise, he is dressed in his wedding attire.

“Where have you been, Chukwuemeka?” mommy demands. Emeka doesn’t give an answer. He walks further and stands before everyone with a smile.

“I have a son!” he announces.

At first there is silence and then Elsie lets her baby down and gives him a hug.  “Congratulations, darling!”

Mommy cracks a proud smile and calls him over as tears flood her face. When he bends to hug her, he pinches Tola’s cheek and mutters something to her. With the atmosphere suddenly changed, we all congratulate him, except daddy who retains his anger and cold mood.

“Tola,” Emeka calls, “it was this good news I was trying to share with you on the phone this morning but you heard the name Yazmin and totally flipped and concluded the wedding was off.”

“I’m sorry, baby.” Tola stands up. “I didn’t know.”

“Well maybe next time, you should try not to listen to that resident demon in your head.”

“I think they’re more than one demon, Chukwuemeka,” daddy comments. “And that is why the wedding will not hold anymore. There is no way I’ll sit back as your father and watch you marry this woman.”

Tola walks to Emeka and puts her arms around him. They look cute together in their matching attire. Why do I have a feeling that they were once crazy in love?

“Help me beg him, Mex. Beg mommy and everyone else too. I’m so sorry for what I did with Jide. I’m very sorry. I was desperate. And I’m begging you too. Please forgive me.”

Tola goes on her knees again. She holds Emeka’s sokoto and resumes her sniveling.

“Oh well, the secret is out,” Emeka addresses everyone. “Tola really screwed up but I’m taking the blame for this one too.”

“Emeka?” Elsie whispers.

“Please, let me talk.” He focuses on his father. “When we were growing up, dad, you taught us that one of the things that makes a man is when he keeps to his word. You also told me that integrity is more valuable than money. I have lost my integrity, dad. I’ve messed up in many ways. With Tola, with Yazmin, with all of you. All I have left is my word. And I wanna keep it. I promised this woman here, a long time ago, that I’ll be her husband and I’ll keep that promise today. I’ve broken one heart already today; I can’t break another. What type of father would I be to my son if I go around treating women less than they deserve? Yes, Tola slept with Jide but that was only because I screwed around too. She is not this person you see here. A lot has happened between us to get her to this point. It never used to be like this. She was my best friend and was constantly there for me. I loved her and though, I don’t feel that way now, I know we can get back what we lost. I have forgiven her for what she did with Jide and I’m ready to start all over but we need your blessing – again.”

“I don’t approve.” Daddy shakes his head. “I’m sorry, son.”

“Dad, please. Your permission means a lot to us. You’ve been in my life from the first day. Don’t leave me now.”

We all look daddy’s way. He is still shaking his head.

“You want to build your home on a faulty foundation, Chukwuemeka, and I won’t allow it.”

“Daddy, please.” Tola is out of fake tears now. I think I see genuine regret on her face. I’m not sure. The girl is hard to understand.

“No.” daddy gives his final word. He stands again and begins up the stairs. Mommy also stands.

“Lawrence,” she calls, “it’s not like she committed adultery.”

Daddy stops.

“Even those who commit adultery find forgiveness from those they hurt. Emeka has said he has forgiven her. Why should we stop their happiness?”

Daddy turns and locks eyes with mommy in silence.

“Biko,” she drops one last plea.

Daddy lifts his head and stares up the ceiling as if in communication to God, and lets it down in a sigh.

“Chukwuemeka, I’m doing this because of your mother.”

“Thank you. Thank you, mom.”

“Get up, Omotola.”

Emeka helps Tola up and she rushes into mommy’s arms for a comforting hug. The old woman blesses them in prayer, removing any curse that looms over them due to their sins. She calls on God to make them fruitful and prosper the work of their hands. Daddy’s prayer is less extravagant, but he gives his blessing, nonetheless. I’m amazed and touched by this family’s love and forgiving spirit. I don’t think my family would do the same if they were in their shoes. This makes me love Jide more, knowing he has such awesome parents.

“Okay!” Kalu lifts his hand to check the time on his watch. “I think we have a wedding to attend.”

“Before we leave, Tola, there’s one more person you need to apologize to. And from today, you are not allowed to call him by his name. He is either Uncle Jide or Brother Jide or Dede or just De.”

“Yes, ma.” Tola nods and presents herself to Jide in a meek manner. “I’m sorry, Uncle Jide.”

Uncle Jide keh. After knowing each other carnally. I’d like to see how things go from now on. The whole thing still makes my head woozy.

“And please, I beg all of you,” mommy adds, “that what has been revealed here today does not leave this house. This should be one family secret that we take to our graves.”

We all agree with her. As Kalu directs everyone into waiting cars outside, Jide strolls to me. I turn my face away.

“Are you still vexing?”

“I am. Everybody seems to have had a taste of you, except me. I’m supposed to be smiling about that?”

He laughs and takes my waist. I push him away.

“Stop fronting jor.”

I ignore him as I head for the front door. He follows me and forces his arms around me from behind, lifting me off my feet. I squeal. He leaves wet kisses on my neck and shoulders, right in the presence of daddy who doesn’t seem impressed by the brazen display of affection.

“That is how you people will doing now,” he grouches. “After una go say una no wan do again. Na only God go judge all of you.”

Jide lets me down and we join the others outside. Kalu has us in the backseat of Oba’s car. There’s a cousin in front with Oba and they kick off with some gossip about some family member while Jide and I carry on our PDA.

“Have I told you how gorgeous you look, smoochie? Like I seriously want to eat you, right now.”

“Stop teasing, Jideofor. You’re such a tempter.”

He grins wickedly and pokes me in my sides. I can’t help but scream.

“Do I park the car and we wait outside till you guys are done?” Oba asks but Jide motions to him to face the road, and then he goes for my lips. Oh, sweet paradise on earth! This man is such a good kisser.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

tola

Tola got what she wanted at last. I hope she’s happy. Despite all the drama, tears and heartbreak, the traditional and white weddings are going down in history as the weddings that shut the city down. Did I mention that Emeka and Tola have a lot of influential friends? I didn’t know, being that I’ve been away for five years. Tola’s younger sister, Morenike, who is the manager of a multi award-winning rapper made sure she literally dragged the entertainment industry to both events. Then let’s not forget Novocaine Knights and the job they did as event planners. They have become so much of a household brand that people just pop up anywhere their name is mentioned and since the weddings were not strictly by invitation, the reception halls were packed to the rafters.

Honey and I have a good time, especially at the second reception. She loves to dance as much as I do, and we make the most of the dancefloor. At some point we are so lost in each other, the world around us just disappears into fuzzy colors and distant music. She alone is alive in my vista and for a passing moment I look into her eyes and see the woman I saw in my dreams while I was on my sickbed.

But like I said, a passing moment. Everything comes back to reality when I spot Mary being led by Reno out of the reception hall. She is limping and I can see blood gushing down her left leg. I hand Honey over to Bobby and leave the hall. I find Reno and Mary by a tap outside. She has her leg under running water.

“What happened?” I ask. Mary looks down. She doesn’t reply.

“Some idiot cut her with a sharp metal he was carrying.”

“Let me see.” I bend down. Mary pulls her leg away. “Let me see, madam.”

I take the leg and notice that it’s a deep cut.

“You’ll have to stitch this. Does it hurt?”

“Like hell.”

“Pele. Reno, abeg you fit use your car carry her go hospital?”

Reno apologizes. “You know say I suppose don dey work by now sef.

“I can handle myself.” Mary sits on a slab nearby.

“Handle yourself, how? You can’t even stand. Let’s not forget the risk of a tetanus infection.”

I stretch my neck to peer out the street. It’s already dark and I doubt that we would easily get a cab out there. I remember Oba had parked his car where he can access it later with no troubles. I tell Mary to wait while I go get him. Luckily, I find him yarning with some chick in a corner, just outside the entrance of the hall. He hands me his key, the look on his face telling me to handle my shit by myself. I stall. I’m still very uneasy behind the wheel but I don’t want to bug anyone else. I look at Mary; she is in a lot of pain. I breathe in and make the brave decision to take her to the nearest hospital after telling Oba to inform Honey of my whereabouts.

We get into Oba’s car. Mary looks at me as my hand shakes when it aims for the ignition. She touches me.

“You can do it, Jide. Just blank out that night.”

She doesn’t understand. I can’t blank out the most dreadful night of my life. I had experienced the type of horror one only watched in movies. I saw death coming and could do nothing about it. I recall Ezinne’s screams and how she ordered me to start the car as a trailer out of control sped towards us. But my hand had frozen over the ignition and I couldn’t move a single muscle. The last I remember hearing was her hair-raising scream before we got smashed into by the trailer. I can never forget that night. This is my first time behind the wheel since the incidence.

Mary’s hand squeezes mine. “Start the car, Jide.”

Still shaking, I turn the ignition and the car fires up. I can hardly feel myself breathe as I put the car into gear and slowly ease it out of its parked spot. It is with nerve I steer it through the tight street and unto a freer highway. At first, I drive like an old man who can’t see the night clearly but with Mary encouraging me to let go, I ease up a little. Still, I’m not sure I can do this another time.

“That’s a hospital,” Mary points out her window at an imposing structure in front of us.

“It’s a General Hospital,” I respond.

“I don’t care. Let’s just go in. I can’t stand this pain.”

I find a parking space in the hospital premises and help Mary in. Unfortunately for us, we have come in at a wrong time. An accident that had just occurred down the road with a lot of casualties has taken most of the doctors on duty. Mary and I are forced to sit and wait. Even the nurses won’t attend to us after we register.

“Let’s go somewhere else. I’m sure there’s a private clinic around.”

“I’ll wait,” Mary insists.

And so we wait. For the first time in our friendship, we have nothing to say to each other. I feel Mary wants to bring up the incidence that has put this wedge between us but she’s too nervous. And I don’t want to talk about it either.

“Nurse!” I call a nurse passing by. “How far nau? My friend is bleeding here!”

“Ehen? You didn’t see other people waiting? Or is it because you’re wearing shine-shine we should answer you first?”

I frown. She is a disgrace to my profession. I’d like to tell her that but I try a different tactic as I go after her.

“Excuse me, nurse.”

She stops and eyes me. “What is it! I’m busy, abeg! ”

“I know that. And that’s why I’m asking if it’s okay to dress and stitch my friend’s injury myself? I’m a certified nurse and midwife.”

She looks at me from top to bottom, claps her hands together and laughs. “Nothing wey I no go hear for dis place.”

I take out my wallet and pull out my ID. Curiosity erases her earlier expression and she gives me a second look. I put out my charming face that has nothing to do with a smile. She melts.

“Midwife keh.” She smiles. “This is new o. Oya come this way.”

She leads me to a room where she hands me a tray complete with everything I’ll need to fix Mary’s leg. At the same time she checks me out and becomes self-conscious when she decides I’m hot enough to spark something in her. Side note: I’m not that hot.

“You can bring your friend here.”

“Thanks.”

I rush out and return with Mary. The nurse has forgotten that she’s busy as she hangs around to see if I know what I’m doing. By the time I begin cleaning the wound, she mutters to herself and disappears.

“Jide…” Mary winces.

“Yeah, boo.”

“I’m sorry for what happened.”

“Don’t break your head over that morning, Mary. I’ve forgotten it.”

“Seriously, I didn’t know what I was thinking.”

“Sex, maybe?”

She laughs. “Okay. Yes, that.”

“It would have been a disaster afterwards if we did it.”

“I guess so. Or we would end up falling for each other.”

“I already have fallen for someone else, Mary.”

“I know. I’m just saying.”

“But you were willing to throw away your vow of celibacy just to have me?”

“I didn’t make any vow but I’m not making any excuses for what I did either. I screwed up.”

“Okay, this will hurt, boo. Little Ms. Bitchy Nurse didn’t give me any local anesthesia, so bite on my shoulder or something. I’m about to stitch you up.”

Mary rests her hand on my shoulder and I send in the needle through her flesh. She groans.

“That sound is so sexual,” I tease to ease her pain. She laughs and hits me. “Is that how you would have been moaning if we…?”

She lets out again as I make another stitch but this time she is less loud.

“You’re just a wicked soul, Olajideofor.”

“I know, boo. I’m sorry but I’ll forever tease you for that dangerous stunt you pulled because I know one day you’ll get over this silly crush and find a better man.”

“It’s that supposed to be consoling?”

“It should.”

“It isn’t.”

“I know. By the way, nice peaks.”

She pulls my ear; I drive in the needle mercilessly. She screams. I think I hit a really sore spot.

“Sorry.”

I finish the work quickly but neatly, and then I cover the area to prevent infection.

“One last ouch,” I say as I prepare a tetanus shot for her. “Left arm, please.”

She turns but I can’t get to the spot on her arm that I need to inject. “Can I unzip your blouse?” I ask.

“Yeah, torture me some more.”

I smile unnoticeably as I unzip her to let her sleeve down.

I administer the shot. “It will hurt for some days. Please, don’t rub it.”

“Okay.”

I let the zip up again. “Feel better?”

“Yeah. Thanks, Jide.”

“You’re welcome.”

I clean up the mess I’ve made in the tray and turn to see the nurse and two of her colleagues at the door, staring. God knows how long they’ve been standing there.

They all smile at me. The first nurse comes with a file and asks me to fill details of Mary’s treatment, after which she signs her own name. She scribbles on a medication leaflet and passes the leaflet to Mary. As we leave, she asks for my number. I don’t want to be rude, so I give her Honey’s.

“I’ll call you,” she promises as we walk away.

Back on the street, we hit traffic. I start to worry about Honey worrying about me. I would call her but my phone is in her purse. I ask Mary for hers; she tells me she’s out of battery life. We endure the traffic and talk while music plays on the radio. By the time we get to the reception venue, almost everyone is gone. None of my family members are present. I take Mary home and go to my parents’ to drop Oba’s car. There’s a little party there and they invite me to stay but I tell them I need to rest. They inform me Honey left about an hour ago.

I hitch a cab home. As usual, there’s no electricity. It has become the norm in my area these days. As I hike up the stairs, I grumble to myself about being too lazy to service my overworked generator. I let myself into the house and I’m welcomed by the fragrance of scented candles. Honey is not in the sitting room. I find her in my bedroom which is illuminated by candles and moon rays streaming in from one of the windows. She is lying beneath the covers and for a second I think she’s asleep but she stirs.

“You’re back,” she says, without turning.

“I’m sorry, Honey,” I say as I take off my clothes. “Mary got injured and I had to take her to the hospital where I ended up treating her myself. On our way back, we ran into traffic and by the time we got back to the venue, everyone was gone. I’m really sorry.”

Honey stays silent. I sit on the bed, unable to resist the beauty of her silhouette beneath the covers. Without asking, I slip in behind her. I hear her let out a naughty giggle. It isn’t until my hand mistakenly brushes against her nude butt that I realize she is completely naked.

“Honey?”

She turns around and kisses me.

“I thought nudity was not allowed,” I remind her.

“The thing is,” she says, drawing lines on my chest, “I’m leaving for London tomorrow night.”

My brows pull together. “Why?”

“I got a letter from management at work. I’m to come and face a disciplinary panel to explain why I assaulted that woman.”

“Didn’t they already do that?”

“No.”

“But they’ve already suspended you nau. What else do they want?”

“Just normal procedure. The bad news is that I might get my job back and be asked to resume immediately.”

There’s some sadness in her voice.

“Actually, that’s good news, Honey.” I gawk at her lovely face. The glow of the moon gives her a subtle radiance.

“I don’t want to go,” she confesses. “When will I see you again?”

I pull her into my arms; she lifts her head to search my eyes. She wants an answer to her question. I have nothing to say except that I’m going to miss her. I brush my lips over hers gently; my hands feel the smoothness of her bare skin. It is not good for my sanity. I disengage from her clutch and leave the bed. She laments with a moan that drives me directly into arousal.

“I’m sorry, smoochie. I just can’t. I…”

My voice vanishes instantly as she sits up in one swoop and throws the covers off her chest. This is the first time I’m seeing her breasts. Oh sweet lawd! I’m in love!

I’m a tit man. I was breastfed for two years and my mom said from then on I had this habit of grabbing boobs until my dad caned the addiction out of me at the turn of my fourth birthday. Well, he caned the body but not the soul. I still remain loyal. And this is my adulation of my girlfriend’s double D’s—voluptuous, rounded, taut, jutting, heavy, achingly swollen and throbbing. And her nipples—plump, flushed, peaked, pulsing, and of course, waiting. Who knew there were such pleasures beneath all the bras and clothes?

Ladies, my advice to you: STOP. WEARING. BRAS. Really, stop.

“You know I’m leaving tomorrow,” Honey purrs coquettishly and rises to a kneeling position, exposing the lower part of her beautifully-sculpted body. I take two as my eyes fall on her clean-shaven V. I try to look elsewhere. No, actually, I don’t.

“Why are you doing this to me, smoochie?”

She thrusts her lips in a dangerous pucker that snips the last strand of my resistance. My mom’s counsel echoes in my ears but only faintly. Right now, all I want is a dip in Honey’s pot. I dive into the bed and take her down with me. She squeals but I shut her up with just a touch. She hums and purrs all at once, the sound driving me wild.

“Oh, Jide…”

She bites her lip and drives her fingernails hard into my skin.

“How long has it been?” I ask, my lips between hers.

“Two years.” She’s breathing hard, shivering at each touch.

“Oh, you’re so going to get it.”

I kiss my way down her body. It’s going to be a long night. Tomorrow she’ll be gone and I’ll face the four walls of my loneliness again. How do I stop myself from the emptiness that will fill my days? This woman has brought so much meaning in my life in such a short time. Is there a way I can keep her with me?

She giggles. I’ve touched a sensitive spot.

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes and squeals again. “I’m sorry. I’m just so sensitive.”

I stop what I’m doing to stare at her. “Don’t go.”

“What?” she lifts herself up on her elbows.

“Honey, don’t go. You hate that job. You hate the life. It’s taken so much from you and it’s about to take us too. Don’t go.”

“Oh, Jide.” She holds a fistful of her hair and falls back on the bed. “Let’s not talk now. Please! Or I’ll rape you!”

“You said you wanted to start your own travel agency. Kalu can help you with that. There’s no business on this earth he can’t set up.”

“Okay, good. I’ll talk to him but for now, please no more words, Jideofor Onuora.”

She drags me back and locks her legs around me. With hot kisses and ravenous strokes of my aching bulge, she silences me. We devour each other like wildlings. Beneath her sweet, calm exterior is a dirty, sassy lover who takes me and my nastiness without baulking. Her waist is a dangerous tool that undoes me in so many ways. I’m usually not this intense with a woman. Sex, before this, was skillful, yet empty, a way to fill lonely nights that were always plagued with insomnia or nightmares. There was never intensity; it was always detached. But in Honey I don’t need to impress. I close my eyes and I freefall. I don’t need to give. She takes, reaching into me and bringing out that part I have long buried. Nobody needs to tell me I’m in love again.

I hold her tight when we’re done.

“I love you, Jide,” she says in a slur as she shuts her eyes in sleep. I doze off after her and wake up at the rise of daylight. She’s still in my arms. If only there’s a way I can merge her soul with mine and keep her with me.

I hear a sniffle. I pull back and look into her face. She’s sobbing. I say nothing. There has to be a way to keep us together and I’ll find it.

Mom, you’re wrong about this one. Nobody can take her away from me.

jide

©Sally@moskedapages

Image Credits: solomonpatrick.blogspot.com, onewed.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

 

It’s Another Saturday…#5

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The One Gone With The Waves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How did you get in?” I ask.

“You left your door unlocked.”

“I was dead tired yesterday.”

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

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

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

“How far?” I ask.

He takes a drink of water.

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

My face turns sour.

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

“She is not dead.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh well…”

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

“She was their only child.”

I lean back and drum my fingers on the table.

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

“But there was no corpse found.”

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

“Not Ezinne.”

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

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

“To hire someone else? What about you?”

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

“Nice one.”

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

“What if she was kidnapped?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

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

“Honey?” My colleague knocks at the door.

I wipe my mouth. “I’m coming.”

I freshen up my face and walk out.

“Are you okay?” she asks.

“No.”

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

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

“Thank you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“He’s fine. Been so busy with work.”

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

“Honey, when will you be in town?”

“I’m in town as we speak, ma.”

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

“Sure, mommy. What time?”

“7pm.”

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

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

I grin. “Okay, cool.”

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

“Yes, ma.”

“And pray before you sleep.”

“I will, ma.”

“Goodnight, darling.”

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

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

“Oooooh, dinner date. Who is he?”

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

“All join. Who is he?”

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

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

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

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

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

“What?”

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

“Hmmm….”

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

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

“How?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Thanks, darling.”

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

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

yellow-top-jeans-outfit

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

-Thanks babe

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

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

“You invited her to dinner?”

“Yes, Jide.”

“Why?”

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

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

“Just shut up and pass me that bowl.”

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

“Which one?”

“The blue one.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s okay.”

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

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

“It will rain this night.”

“Mm.”

“It’s so cold these days.”

“Mm.”

“Do you like the weather?”

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

Minutes pass and she comes on again.

“What’s the meaning of Jideofor?”

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

“Nice name.”

“Thanks.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes, she told me. So beautiful.”

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

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

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

“Is it that obvious?”

“Yeah.”

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

“So what is this bunch of flowers called?”

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

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

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

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

“Thanks,” Honey says.

“You’re welcome.”

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

“What’s that?” Honey’s eyes pop out.

“Just a dog.”

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

“Chill. It’s okay. He’s harmless.”

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

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

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

“Please drive it away,” she whispers.

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

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

“Wow. You’re really scared of dogs.”

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

“I’m sorry about what just happened.”

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

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

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

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

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

©Sally@moskedapages

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

 

Translation

Afin (Yoruba): Fair complexioned, albino

 

Image source:polyvore.com