It would have been something laugh-worthy, lewd – and then mildly inspirational; a staring husband sporting an ill-concealed erection on his wedding day.
The problem was; the husband – Tade – wasn’t staring at his wife.
No. He was looking at the dark-skinned, wet-eyed long legged wide-hipped beauty with rubbery lips swaying towards him. Her gele – her headtie was exceptionally woven – and the shimmering gown she wore wobbled at her every move.Tade had a small fight with himself – to stare at her so-generously-offered breasts or – at her face and the simpering smile that adorned it.
The face won.
It was familiar, Tade reasoned. He swiftly sorted through files in his memory – files and faces of variously hued women; trying to remember which she was as he shifted in his seat to hide the thing growing between his thighs. He searched out his wife with the sides of his eyes – and then he saw her surrounded by her friends. Good.
Once again he gave his attention to the approaching beauty – at the off-shoulder gown she was wearing and the tattoos that covered her right arm from elbow to wrist. She was attracting stares and whispers – Tade chuckled as he saw some old women frowning in displeasure. Old women – and then he winced, realizing his new wife, Peju would sooner or later become one of them.
Such is life.
She – the approaching beauty – was close to his seat – and he was sure he knew her. He had seen her face before, but where? Across a table, at dinner? Across a pillow, after dinner?
And then she stood before him. “Tade darling,” she purred. “You look so good in a suit.” She took his right hand and leaned over it, presenting him an uninterrupted view down her gown. Tade swallowed, fettered monster in his pants rearing its head in anger, fiending to be let loose. He cleared his throat. “Ah – I’m sorry. Do I know you?”
The smile widened – and she let go of his hand. “Ah, Tade. You’ll never change.” Her hands reached behind her, fiddled with something – and came away with two handguns. “This is for Onye – my best friend who killed herself after you broke her heart, for the baby you made me abort and all the other women.”
Tade remembered her then. Yemisi; her name was. He remembered her as a geek who spent all her time reading books. He remembered he’d only seduced her because he was dared – and he remembered being surprised at her skills between the sheets. So surprised he had been unable to stop – not even after he impregnated her.
His mouth fell open – but all speech failed him. The last thing he saw were the tattoos on her right arm. They seemed to glow.
‘That’s not normal,’ he still had time to think.
The twin guns winked, and Tade’s lights went out.
And you think you have problems.
I woke up at exactly 4:32 that morning. I know because the first thing I saw was the glowing face of my bedside clock – it said 4:32 am. And it was always correct.
I woke up feeling really good. I had not felt like that in a long while – and it was an unusual feeling. If you drove a Major General around the streets of Lagos too you would feel the way I feel. It was a strange feeling…one I wasn’t used to; but I wasn’t going to knock it by questioning it.
I’m a staff sergeant in the Nigerian Army, a detail attached to Major Momoh Abubakkar. I was loyal to him; because not only was it standard military practice and therefore expected, but he had earned my loyalty. He was a good man. We also had a lot in common; our zest for life and living, we both enjoyed a cold bottle of Harp and a big plate of fish pepper soup…usually after work. But we differed greatly on personal values.
For instance, he believed in Nigeria. He harbored the opinion that in the right hands, the country will flourish. I shared the same beliefs, but with the exception that I strongly believed that the right hands did not exist. And so we would argue back and forth, never reaching a conclusion.
He also believed a man should have a family. A son to carry on his name, to make him proud and so on. He was married to a beautiful woman named Shadiat and they had a boy, a brilliant energy bundle of four named David. He thought I should be married too, had hooked me up with enough officers’ daughters and cousins and nieces till everyone in the army started to look related to me. Still, I did not think a woman was for settling with.
Of course, I did not share this sentiment with him.
I strongly believed women were created for pleasure and pleasure only. Take what you will of their bodies, and allow them go be another man’s problem. A philosophy I happily indulged in.
But I never let Major in on my indiscretions. I was always very careful. It’s not as though I was afraid of him or anything – I just felt it would be wrong of me to rub my promiscuous nature in he and his family’s faces. So I kept it as discrete as possible.
I lived with him in Ikoyi, somewhere off Bourdillon Road. I had half of the boys quarters to myself, a mini-flat. The next flat was occupied by the cook and gateman – but I did not mix with them and they did not mix with me. We were polite to each other and that was it.
I drove my boss around and I was also his official bodyguard. It was my job to protect him; with my life if need be. I didn’t think it would ever come to that, but we had been in some pretty tight spots together. So I walked and drove around with him, never relaxing, always alert.
Yesterday I drove him to the airport to take a flight to Abuja where he had a meeting with some of the top ogas – I mean the top top ones. I thought I was going with him so I had packed a small bag filled with the barest necessities. As I left my small room carrying the bag, he was already standing outside holding his wife.
“No o, you’re not coming. You’re only taking me as far as the airport,” he said as I walked up. His wife gave a small scream and clung to him fiercely. “No darling,” she said, tears welling in her eyes. “I’m not going to allow you go on your own! How am I to know you’ll be safe?”
He smiled at her. “How you wan take know say I no go safe?” he said, smiling condescendingly at her fears. I stood on the sidelines and watched, feeling a bit of disgust. That’s why I didn’t like women – at least not to the point of keeping them home. Women are clingy. They slow you down.
They shared some more tender moments – and then he signaled that we should leave. I opened the door for him and got into the car myself. I drove him to the airport and watched him leave. No long thing.
For most of the day, I lazed around watching David play in the courtyard. Around four, oga called to tell us he was fine and he had landed well and everything was safe. He said for me to come get him at the airport in two days. Ah, I felt relief. I really care about my oga o.
Around six in the evening, I headed for the mammy market off Awolowo Road for a couple of drinks and to hang out with other soldiers. It was one of the spots I frequented with my oga, and so I just blended in and had a nice evening. When it was around eight, I left there and went home. I checked on madam and David – they were fine. So I just went into my apartment and slept.
I woke up at 4:32 that morning, feeling on top of the world. I didn’t know – I couldn’t tell exactly why I was feeling that way, but it was an amazing feeling. I felt really good.
Maybe it had something to do with the dream I’d had.
There had been a woman with me. A woman so beautiful it could only have been in a dream. She was like wine; smooth and all too willing to indulge and accommodate me. It was as though we had been walking that road since forever; she felt so familiar and yet so unknown. She pleased me so much…and one would expect that I would wake and feel disappointed to have returned to reality.
Not so. I felt good.
So I sat up in bed and stretched; yawning –
And touched something warm in the bed beside me.
The light bulb was turned off, but lights from the main house streamed through the windows and I could see the outline of a body, a woman’s body.
I sat still, heart in my mouth. I didn’t bring anyone home from the bar yesterday, and no woman had my keys. She couldn’t have entered if I didn’t open the door for her and I hadn’t. I suppose it would have been a simple matter to look at her face, but I was too busy trying to figure out how she had gotten into my room, who she was…
“Good morning Sanni,” the woman in bed spoke as she stirred.
I knew that voice but I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t possible.
I turned to look at her and it was. The woman in bed with me was my oga’s wife, Shadiat.
Thank you! Have an amazing week!