Frank refused Efe’s offer of a towel, sat on the easy chair and stretched out his legs on the tiled floor in front of him. Sleep hugged him with heavy arms and he struggled valiantly, fighting off the cold and the drugs and the warmth of the room –
He started awake.
At some point in his doze he had slumped in the sofa, half-sitting half-lying. Now he struggled up – and swallowed a yell as he bumped his hurt finger. Choking on the pain, he sat up straighter and cradled his hurt hand, staring at the sore appendage – at the blood-soaked plaster that wrapped it.
“What is it? Is that the – the accident you were talking about?”
His gracious host Efe swept into the room, holding her voluminous boubou against her body with one hand, steaming cup in the other. Moving quickly but not hastily, she placed the cup on the table beside the sofa and knelt in front of Frank.
“Let me see,” she said softly.
They presented a cozy picture; Efe holding Frank’s hand gently and staring at the red-spotted plaster, Frank looking at her bent head, all kinds of emotion at war on his face. A standing lamp wrapped both of them in its warm glow – and the unrelenting sound of the rain slapping various surfaces gave theme music. For some reason, Frank’s mouth was dry and he swallowed softly hoping Efe wouldn’t hear. He knew he was staring holes through the back of her head; he knew he should just look away –
But to his horror, he couldn’t.
“You’re bleeding,” Efe said, eyes still on his finger. “I think we should take away the plaster. At least we can then know what to do.” She finally raised her head and met his eyes. “Okay?”
Frank nodded. Okay.
Smiling reassuringly, she cradled his hand in both of hers – and then she placed it, palm facing up in her thigh. Slowly, she gently unwrapped the plaster – sucking air through her teeth as Frank’s wound appeared; a red and angry line.
“Fr – Frank! Jesus! Wha – how did this happen?” But before he could say anything she placed his hand back on his thigh, stood up and said “Don’t move.”
There was a swish and she was gone.
The rain did not let up on its insistent pounding.
Frank’s eyes were closed – his head was back against the sofa but he wasn’t asleep. Efe had washed the finger in warm disinfected water and replaced the plaster.
The fiery pain was gone out of it too – it just throbbed dully.
He’d just finished telling her how it happened and was resting. His head was clearer and he was feeling a lot warmer than before. His mind kept drifting back to Fola’s house and the noise he’d heard. Before long he began to feel responsible.
I should have interfered; he thought.
“Hope you like foo-foo,” Efe’s sing-song tone preceded her into the living room – about the same time the heady aroma of steaming afang soup invaded his nostrils and upended his inner calm.
“You cheat,” Frank said with a half-smile. “Of course you know I love foo-foo. And afang?!”
Efe smiled as she gently placed the tray on a table on the other side of the room. And then, waving Frank into his seat, she carried the table and brought it to him. Frank’s mouth watered as he shifted and looked into the plates. Two wraps of foo-foo eyed him with disdain; two wraps of foo-foo that looked as big as a baby’s head each. Chunks of meat and fish hugged the vegetable in the soup as though for dear life. He looked up and into Efe’s face – and she held out a bowl with water.
“Dig in, Mister man.”
Sighing in contentment, Frank leaned back and patted his stomach. “That was really good, Efe. Thanks.”
She didn’t say anything – but he knew she’d heard him as she moved around softly, clearing the plates. He looked at the ceiling – stared at the patterns in the woodwork and itched for a cigarette.
“You can smoke if you want.”
At the same time, a weight came down on the sofa beside him and he turned to look at Efe who was sipping from a cup. Freshly-brewed coffee stank.
“Why isn’t your husband around?”
Efe smiled – a smile that had nothing to do with happy. “He’s hardly ever around. Business trips around the world – this time he won’t be back before Christmas. Packs condoms too.”
Frank cleared his throat. “Haba. That’s – that’s – “ he couldn’t quite find the words.
“ ‘Sad? Shameful? Embarrassing’?” She shrugged round bou-bou-covered shoulders. “I’m pretty much used to it – or used to ignoring it.” She shrugged again. “That’s how it is in marriages these days.”
Frank wanted to disagree – and then he remembered Fola’s jab that morning. So instead he said, “And your children?”
Her eyes met his over the rim of her coffee cup. It stayed there as she drank – then she put the cup down. “They’re asleep – so you can smoke if you want. It’s fine.”
He held the stare a little longer – before moving his head back and forth. “No o, I can manage.” He rose, suddenly aware of his proximity to Efe.
“Is this rain ever going to let up?” he asked as he wandered over to the widest of the sitting room windows. He looked down into the streets, marveling at the rain determined to give it a thorough washing. The rain, the thunder and lightning flashing combined with hazy security lights barely penetrating the curtain of rain combined to make him feel as though he was looking into a scene from a horror movie.
He knew when Efe arrived beside him – but he refused to acknowledge her presence; instead choosing to continue staring out the window as though there was a hidden message on there somewhere he was trying to decipher.
“Nights like this – nights like this can really be hard on me. I just sit and stare at the rain outside while ignoring the one on my face. So you will understand how thankful I am to have you here. Now. With me.”
The hair on Frank’s arms began to rise – and as he turned towards Efe, she pressed her mouth against his.
Almost immediately, it seemed to him that the rain stopped falling. The electricity in the house became brighter – so bright – then bulbs started to explode, setting off sparks – sparks he saw even through closed eyes. Efe drank her coffee straight, no milk or cream; that much he could tell as she softly caressed his upper mouth with her tongue – mashing her breasts against his chest and drawing her nails along his scalp. The blood sang exultantly in his body; his nether regions began to grow warm, eagerly jumping to life, dancing and rejoicing at coming alive again after so long.
I haven’t done this in a while…
Suddenly Efe pulled away and smiled in his eyes. “Come Frank,” she said softly, eyes glowing with new life. “Come lie with me.”
Only then did he realize the rain was still falling as heavily as before; the power was still on and all the bulbs were glowing as they should. Efe tugged at his hand and he followed on watery legs. They made it to the couch before she fell in his arms and searched out his mouth with hers.
Oh God; Frank thought. She can kiss.
She could too; really kiss. Without taking her mouth away from his she pushed him till he was lying against the arm of the sofa, and then she put her weight on him, tucking her feet underneath her as she curled up against his body. She kissed like his mouth was ice cream and hers was the scoop, making love to his tongue with every trick in the book and more than a few from the internet.
Frank’s head was screaming in a collage of sounds that made it almost impossible for him to hear anything – anything apart from the blood that pulsed and pounded somewhere in his lower body. He wanted to touch her – touch her breasts – breasts he unconsciously stared at every time she came around the house back then. But her voluminous bou-bou kept getting in the way. He reached towards her thigh and tried to pull it up – and then, she must have sensed his distress because she leaned away from him, and with a half-smile said, “Here, let me help.”
Kissing him with her eyes, she reached towards her ankles. There was a moment in which her face disappeared – a moment that would have allowed for second thoughts had it been longer – but that was all it was.
He blinked – and the bou-bou was gone. She opened her arms to him, light-skinned arms and thighs robbing him of all will. He leaned forward and the assault on his mouth continued, heat from hers enveloping and burning him up. His hands wandered around her shoulders, down her back – and then right up again in the other direction. Efe chuckled softly and whispered, “I wanted this – I’ve wanted you for so long…”
She grabbed the back of his neck – and something cold and hard scratched him there – scratched him so hard his eyes watered –
Something cold and hard. Something; like a wedding ring.
Sanity returned to Frank – sanity with the effectiveness of a cold-water ducking and he pushed away from Efe. He pushed so hard he nearly sent her off the sofa. As it was, he quickly grabbed her arm – and that was what saved her.
“Wha – what is it?” she asked, desire sitting in her throat like thick phlegm.
Frank shook his head. “I don’t want – I’m not sure we should be doing this. You have a husband…and I – “ he shook his head some more, feeling miserable. “I just don’t think we should be doing this. My wife – “
“Your ex-wife. And what do you care, Frank?” Efe righted herself and leaned back into him, placing a warm hand somewhere out of sight. Frank jumped, swallowing spit and trembling from something that wasn’t the cold.
In fact, he was trembling from heat.
“I don’t know. It just doesn’t – “ he stopped. “Twelve years and we never stepped out on each other. Not once. I feel – “ he paused. ”Look, I know this sounds crazy, but I really feel I shouldn’t be doing this. Especially not with you.”
Efe’s laughter rang loud and hollow – echoing the empty feeling in his belly. “Why are you laughing, Efe?”
She shook her head. “Never mind, Frank. My husband does not give a hoot what I do or don’t – and before you go around proclaiming how faithful you and your wife were to each other – “ she hesitated and Frank couldn’t take his eyes away from the generous swell on her chest as she inhaled, “ask her about that. Ask her about a guy named Dapo.”
“What?” He grabbed her shoulders roughly. “What are you talking about – who the hell is Dapo?”
“You men,” Efe began, bitter smile lighting her features, “walk around as though you’re God’s gift to us females. You like to think you’re the bomb – you treat women anyhow and when you hear she’s unfaithful you start huffing and puffing. Your self-righteousness irritates me.”
Frank’s hands fell off her shoulders and onto the sofa between them. “But I never…I wouldn’t…”
Efe pushed her hair out of her eyes. “What does it matter? I’m here now – she’s not. Nothing matters – nothing other than right here, right now.” She posed, arms on hips – managing to look somewhat exciting in her awkward position on the sofa. “What are you going to do about that?”
Frank inhaled, stood up – and almost fell. Somehow, his trousers had made its way around his thighs. He fell back to the sofa, intending to put them back on properly – and then he turned and faced Efe, taking in her heaving breasts, swollen lips – desire a fire that had set her eyes ablaze.
What was he going to do about that indeed?
After twelve years of a supposedly-happy marriage, a man is pressured into leaving his wife because they don’t have a child of their own. But he comes to ask himself – are children really the most important part of a marriage?
May God preserve us. Join me on this journey.
See You Then!
His new shoes pinched.
In fact, everything pinched and scratched – one way or the other.
Kehinde frowned at the rain as it pelted the streets and people alike, with raindrops that sometimes felt like hurled stones. From his perch under the arch of the Baptist Church – the perch he shared with some other characters – he brushed off his new suit, poked his finger in his shirt neck to get his neck more space.
His armpits scratched. His waist, thighs and feet itched as though someone had doused his new clothes in scratching powder or werepe; the leaves of an herbal tree his mother liked to talk about a lot. Hopping from one foot to the other, Kehinde hoped the other people wouldn’t be too concerned with his antics.
“Dis kain rain no dey quick stop o,” a woman who looked and smelled like a fish factory said. Kehinde agreed gloomily, realizing she was correct in her assertion. It was the kind of rain that looked deceptively light – until you stepped in it and got drenched within seconds. It was the kind of rain that fell the whole day – no reprieve whatsoever.
It was going to stay a while.
Dismally, he looked at the carefully wrapped parcel he was carrying – the parcel that represented his entire savings minus transportation for the rest of the semester and some change for miscellaneous expenses. He couldn’t afford for it to get wet – and he couldn’t stay underneath the church awning forever.
An image of Tokunbo trapped in her room, her friends unable to show up because of the rain decided him. Quickly he shrugged off his new grey jacket and carefully wrapped the parcel snugly. And then, keeping his head down, he dashed into the rain.
Because Tokunbo’s house wasn’t too far from his, he ignored the Keke Napeps as they slowed down beside him earlier. The lightness in his pocket had also helped make him decide to walk to her place instead of riding. But now, in the rain he wasn’t sure if that was such a hot decision. His new shoes squelched and squealed as he ran – but he wasn’t worried. They were leather. They would survive their baptism.
He had felt self-conscious buying the suit and shoes. He didn’t trouble his mother for money that session because his sister would be sitting for WAEC and JAMB soon enough – that was burden enough on mother. In fact, he had taken menial jobs – laborer, handyman and the likes – so he could have enough money for himself and still pitch in at the house.
He felt stupid buying the suit for so much. But he knew the kind of girl Tokunbo was, the kind of guy she was used to. That she gave him attention was enough for him – and when she had agreed to be his girl he had almost died from pleasure.
He was determined not to fall her hand.
There was a smidgen of worry nudging his mind – something about her reaction when he’d told her he wouldn’t be able to see her that day. “Why?” she’d asked, and he had told her he was sick.
“Okay baby. Rest up, I’ll miss you.”
It bothered him she hadn’t offered to come over, but then – it was her birthday after all. So he had made cooing noises weakly and she’d laughed. He smiled now; thinking about her laughter.
That had to be the most beautiful thing about her. That; and her smile.
And her eyes. And lips. And boo –
“Okay, that’s enough.” He chided himself out loud – and then spluttered as rain water ran into his open mouth. Spitting out, he wiped his eyes – his mouth, and then slowed down as he rounded the corner to Tokunbo’s house.
His heart started to thump heavily and he stopped for about nine heartbeats, steadying his breathing and getting himself together – as much as a drenched chicken could compose itself before dying. And then he started to walk slowly – past a shiny Honda Accord parked in front of the building – and down the path that led to his heartthrob’s side of the house. Some soft music was playing from – where; he couldn’t tell but it sounded familiar.
He stood on the doorstop and listened for sounds of activity. It was all quiet – but he knew she was home because she said she would be. Carefully, he unwrapped the parcel – grinning happily when he saw it was still dry. He placed it between his thighs, flapped the suit to get some water out of it before shrugging it on and shivering in the wetness.
And then he knocked firmly.
After some time he knocked again, pounding the heavy metal door a lot longer than before. He looked around; to see if there was someone he could inquire about her whereabouts from and then he realized the sounds of the rain hitting the roofs were making quite a racket.
“She dey house.”
He looked to his left – it was Alali, one of Tokunbo’s housemates, a guy with a permanent scowl on his face. Kehinde waved – but he had disappeared.
He grinned and turned back to the door. Only then did he realize the soft music was actually coming from Tokunbo’s part of the house, and it was a little something by Asa. He lifted his hand to knock again – and then decided against it.
He walked along the wall of the house – past the living room windows and then turned to the left to where her bedroom was. The music was getting louder – and Kehinde’s smile widened. She was home indeed.
He stopped by the bedroom window. “Tokun – “ he started to say, and then something inexplicable put a chokehold on his throat and silenced him. It had to be something inside the room; because he looked – looked; and couldn’t tear his eyes away.
The room was just as he remembered it – the little he could see but that wasn’t what arrested his glance.
His sight was riveted by the couple who were doing a dance as old as time on the floor, after making a mess of Tokunbo’s usually impeccably-laid bed. Familiar sounds and moans struggled to be heard over the music – and the rocking up and down motion could only mean one thing – except some guy was doing pushups on some girl.
His mouth opened – but no sound came out. His limbs unfurled, and he staggered backwards, letting go of his most precious parcel. It fell and hit the edge of the concrete pavement, smashing the only way a Samsung Dual Phone could smash.
But Kehinde did not notice.
Holding his head as though trying to physically keep it from splitting open, he weaved a drunken pattern past the main door and away into the street, rain mingling with tears on his cheeks and staining his new suit, shoes still squealing and squelching – but not the same way as before.
Now, they mourned too.
As he disappeared, the door he had been pounding on opened and a fully dressed Tokunbo stood in the doorway, looking at her phone screen.
“Kehinde should have been here by now. Or is he really sick?” she said out loud, worry putting a crease between her otherwise beautiful eyebrows. “I better go check on him,” she resolved, as she hurried back into the house.
And the rain continued to fall…
There are women. And then there’s her.
It’s the curse of the writer – or one of the many curses; a desire to capture, with flowery words the simplest yet most profound of experiences. Instead of simply saying I saw a madman a writer tries to show – as though anything can be more picturesque than just saying it how it is – by writing I saw a man who looked like he was both coming and going, dressed in the finest of rags, hair looking like it was cut with a hell razor –
Sometimes, simplicity is the best thing.
Now is one of such times.
I like that the lights are off, I like that the blinds are drawn. The air conditioner hums its business away – and that’s the only music we’re allowed. She doesn’t like the noise; she says. She doesn’t care much for music – she sees it only as a distraction.
I don’t care. Not much anyway. As long as I get what I want, music can go to blazes.
The cold Stout cools my tongue as I take a long sip and watch as she’s engaged in the ritual all women go through at some point, a ritual as old as the world’s oldest profession – yet as fresh as breast milk; at least to me.
I can never tire of watching women do that.
The television flickers silently; the only light source in the room. Some football war is being waged – but I couldn’t care less and she couldn’t either. I’d put the TV on when I came into the room earlier; something to distract from the passing of time while I waited for her. Now, it is busy making long weaving shadows of her movements.
I take another swallow of the cold bitter liquid as she reaches behind her to unclasp something – and then; smiling at me over her shoulder, lowers a couple of straps. I’m in a trance as she bends over – bends over to remove another piece of something the same color as the one she just let go off. A snap here, a click there – soft whisper of lighter-than-cotton material against flesh and she stands before me, naked as the day she was born – but a lot older.
I’m thankful for the last part.
I put the bottle aside and rise, hands eager to confirm what my eyes have been seeing for the past few minutes. She closes her eyes as I near her, sighs as I touch her – bites her lower lip softly – and then throws her head back, a look akin to pain on her pleasing features. The room fades into the background along with everything else that followed us into it. Now, there’s just now and her for me; now and me for her.
That’s all that matters – all that will matter – for the next couple of hours. After which we both will go on with life as it happens outside the four walls of this escape. I’ll go back to my laptop in my bachelor pad, pound out another story for my blog and leave my friends wondering if anything like this actually happened – or I’m just crazy imagining. She will go back to her greedy money-grubbing politician husband and house filled with all sorts of servants and finery; back to her socialite friends who smile at her and invite her to all their parties, but secretly hate her and wish there was a way they could invite her purse without her.
But for now, this is all that matters. She is all that matters.
Touch me; she whispers.
Good morning, awesome people.
As promised, a mere week from today, we will be sharing our latest effort; the dual project ebook/EP titled Love Drops.
To give an idea what we’ll be looking at, please read an excerpt from one of the stories below:
“Why aren’t you married?”
The question shocks her mouth open – and then she closes it and rearranges her face into a frown. She cannot resist a barb; “If I was married, would you be here?”
His self-possessed mask slips and surprise appears as though conjured up. “I didn’t mean…” he shakes his head, dispelling the cloud around it. “I’m sorry.”
She’s instantly contrite. “Don’t mind me.” She holds herself still – and then the words pour forth. “I never really thought any man was worth the trouble.”
He nods slowly, as though approving her response. She watches as he takes another pull at the cigarette – and then the glimmer off one of his fingers inspires a question.
“Why are you married?”
He starts awake. “Ehn?”
She nods in the direction of his ring. “Your ring. That’s a wedding ring, right?”
Her eyes lead his towards the middle finger of his left hand, and he stares at the white gold band as though he hadn’t seen it before. He holds the hand up for a while, staring at the ring, cigarette smoke from his right hand wrapping itself around his face like so many white bandages –
“I can’t exactly call it a wedding ring; seeing I don’t have a wife – “
“What happened to the one that gave you that?” She is curious.
We hope you’re as excited about this as we are!
Have an amazing week!
Good and evil; two sides of a coin, he reflects afterwards. Inseparable.
He sits on the pavement beside the expressway and looks at the passing cars, at the strolling workers hurrying home – to the giggling lovers hugging each other as though they were stuck at the hip. He looks – but doesn’t see.
Instead, his memory is a loop stuck on the last twenty-one minutes. He swears. Threatens. Curses. Pounds the pavement underneath him.
If you had seen him an hour before, you would have though you were looking at a groom who just lost his virginity to his wife and was being teased about it. He was all laughter and blush – swinging the yellow Shoprite bag in his left fist.
He could barely stand still.
As he walked, he hopped from foot to foot like an overeager boxer – dancing, ducking and weaving in anticipation of punches yet to come. He tap-danced, bogeyed, salsa-ed, etighi-ed sef.
All was right with his world.
People moved out of the way for him as he danced from the bus stop towards his house. They looked at him as he waltzed past – and then shared an all-knowing smile. Love; their faces said. E dey shack am like harmattan breeze.
They nodded condescendingly and followed him with their eyes, watching to see which street or house he would dance into. They saw him reach in his pocket for his phone – watched as he put said phone to his ear and dialed – saw the small confused look that appeared on his face – and then watched as he put phone back in his pocket.
And then – they collectively averted their eyes as an okada screeched, looking like it was going to knock him down –
When they looked again he was gone.
No; he didn’t disappear. He had simply swung asides to avoid the bike man – and he had turned to walk into his street.
It had been a close one – but he was okay.
He smiled again as he thought about the one he was dancing home to – the reason he was holding a Shoprite nylon in his fist. He couldn’t wait to feed her the cold Nestle Chocolate Delight; couldn’t wait to see her eyes light up at the sight of the Cadbury’s Fruit and Rum and Hershey’s.
It was his way of apologizing; you see.
Apologizing for the past four months that had been hell on them – most of all on her. He had lost his job, and being a normally expressive person had turned his anger and frustration on the nearest available target.
No; he hadn’t beat her. But he swore at her, yelled, threw tantrums and broke things. He spent hours wandering the streets, walking home dead-tired and unhappy, crawling into bed to get a few hours of sleep and then pushing her away impatiently whenever she tried to initiate intimacy.
His balls seemed to have shrunk – along with his self-esteem.
She had kept her head while he seemed to lose his – kept her head and the house together. Deep down, he was grateful for it – for her, but it kicked against everything he knew for her to take care of the house and him. And in his over-expressiveness, he resented her.
And just when it seemed all was lost – he got a new job. And with that, sanity returned. And with it came shame.
Had he not promised this women for better for worse? How bad had it gotten and he’d started behaving like a rabid dog or something – something inhuman?
Shame made him unable to look at her, the first morning of the new job, sitting at the breakfast table, eating bread and eggs she’d served. He ate without looking at her and hurried out of the house before the tears overwhelmed him. It shamed him to see how unhappiness had aged her – and he knew it was his fault.
At work he called her – and cringed at the deadness in her voice. He hurried off the phone and nearly hurled it at the wall.
What have I done?
He had been working for a week when the idea came to him. He called Jerry to ask for a loan – just ten thousand naira and Jerry; who knew his friend was working again, obliged. He went to Shoprite and bought some things…
He got to his house, amidst the roar of neighborhood gen sets and tried the front door. It was locked.
Unusually at the time of day – but he wasn’t too worried. She was probably running some errands around the neighborhood and would return soon. That would also explain why her phone was switched off.
He let himself in with his keys, and was turning to lock the door when a loud burst of laughter startled him.
It was coming from within the house.
The nylon bag slipped from stunned fingers, and on legs that had suddenly become stilts he walked deeper inside the house towards the laughter. One of the voices he recognized. It was his wife’s. It was the other, however, the voice that had the louder of the laughter, the voice that was even at that moment fading into some indistinct murmuring that was tormenting him.
It was the voice of a man.
His legs stopped being his as he willed them to not move but the ignored him, propelling him forward inspite of his fear and hesitation to see what was waiting ahead. They kept propelling him, moving him towards the sounds that had now become noises of pleasure –
For a second, his scream drowned out even the loudest of the generators.
He stopped long enough to register the panicked and frenetic movements coming from the room he was standing in front of.
And then he took off, running out of the house like it was on fire, heading for the side of the expressway we saw him for the first time.
He sits on the pavement beside the expressway and looks at the passing cars, at the strolling workers hurrying home – to the giggling lovers hugging each other as though they were stuck at the hip. He looks – but doesn’t see.
Instead, his memory is a loop stuck on the last one hour. He swears. Threatens. Curses. Pounds the pavement underneath him.
And then, finally he surrenders to the overwhelming push within his chest and eyes.
He cradles his head on his arm- and cries.
Previously published on Fabolosity Reads.
Ike always recommended that his friends put their conscience in one pocket and their privates in another entirely different one. Morals and pleasures don’t mix in his opinion – best case scenario, a guy ends up with blue balls and a bad case of should have. He believed in living now; nothing was permanent to him.
Therefore, it was funny to see Ike in a moral quandary. It was amusing to watch this guy who did not have scruples where the fairer sex was concerned, struggle with trying to do what was right for the first time in his life.
It was pathetic. It was almost like listening to DMX talk about killing, raping and looting on one track and then praying to God on the next one. It was the groaning of a man who had been pushed within an inch of his endurance. His tolerance. In fact, there was a point where Ike began sweating, perspiring from his mental exertions.
A clearer picture might be necessary.
Ike was standing beside a window looking outside. He looked like a prisoner who was trying to get a glimpse of something beyond the prison walls. Something – anything to give him an indication of hope, a sign that there is life outside. But of course he cannot see far; he cannot see past the high walls of the prison; his home for God knows how long. The same could be said of Ike; except that his prison walls were made of water and something intangible. Water because the rain outside was pounding slate roofs and the wind was tearing at the trees and other movable objects. A few minutes ago he had watched a roof sail past so slowly on the river outside, and so indistinctly it was surreal.
He might as well face it. He was trapped.
But that; in itself would not have been a bad idea. But there was a lot more.
Take the sofa behind him for instance.
I wonder here exactly what image the mention of sofa put in your head…but that’s just a by-the-way. The sofa; typically a three-sitter was in the far corner of the room, partly shrouded in the PHCN/weather- induced darkness. It was a dark-green, army-regulation type green. It had brown napkins on both arms and back.
Just as you are wondering what significance the sofa has to this story…
“Ike, I’m cold.”
The speaker was a woman.
Her name was Isioma and she was seated on one side of the sofa.
It was hard to see what Isioma looked like, seated in the darkness like she was and wrapped in a blanket from neck down – like she was. But if her voice was anything to go by, she was muscular, tall and bearded.
She talked like a man.
Now why would Ike be having a crisis of conscience? After all, they were both grownups and the fact that she knew his name indicated some measure of familiarity, right?
Yes, they were not strangers. They knew each other well; had known each other for a while. But Ike had not counted on being alone with her. In fact, several minutes before this story began; the house looked like the host to a mini party. There were four other occupants and Ike had not had any worries like the ones he was having now. But slowly and yet suddenly, six had become five and then three – before the last guy; Dayo their host suddenly remembered he had to go pick up something for his fiancé on the mainland. He had driven off in Ike’s car; a full thirteen minutes before the rain started.
Now, Ike considered seriously the option of running into the rain. He looking again through the rain-streaked window; particularly at the river where the road used to be. He watched in disbelief as a goat; loud bleating drowned in the louder pounding of the rain, was swept away.
Walking into that was suicide. He was trapped by a wall of rain.
Dropping his head resignedly, he headed to the sofa and stood looking at Isi from his height. His hands were shaking – but what they were shaking from I leave to your imagination. He stood there feeling his stomach clench and unclench in nervousness.
“Isn’t that blanket warm enough for you?” he asked through a throat was clogged with nervousness, already knowing her answer.
She did not reply. Instead she threw open the blanket and shifted slightly, indicating silently that he join her. Ike had a last moment argument with his head. But blood was rapidly filling into another part of his anatomy, leaving his oxygen-starved brain with two options – continue the argument and die, or find another alternative.
The choice was obvious.
Anyways he sat beside her, inhaling her heady perfume and reclining in the crook of her embrace. She drew her open arm closed, effectively wrapping him in two layers of warmth. She placed her head on his chest and closed her eyes. The momentary storm within Ike began calming…
Suddenly and unfortunately, PHCN restored power, startling the two stars of this story awake and throwing everything into sharp relief.
Let me tell you what I saw in that moment.
Isioma’s voice was actually NOTHING to go by. The girl looked exactly like Moet; that ONTV presenter with the frustrating behind. Frustrating in that it’s on display for the entire world to see, but only a few will ever actually see it; and only an even fewer few will ever get to touch it properly like it ought to be touched.
Sorry. I was talking about Isi.
She looked like Toolz looked in that gown that started tongues and fingers wagging in offices and on twitter respectively. She looked like a nylon bag would look if filled with raw pap and then carefully molded. To say she was well-built would be an understatement.
Her lips looked like they were trying to get free of their anchor – like a pair of ripe agbalumos; local cherries if you will, begging to be plucked. Her skin had this light but obvious coat of hair on it, and while I found that to be a slight disadvantage, it absolutely worked for Ike.
They suddenly found themselves face to face in close proximity and at this time Ike had lost the battle with his head. He kissed her.
Isi responded eagerly, finally about to find out if everything she had heard about this guy was true. Their lips danced; expertly anticipating each other. For a moment I felt as though I was watching a P-Square show and the twins were just the ones on stage doing their thing. These were two people who knew how to give and take pleasure.
Ike’s hands eagerly fumbled at the gates of Isi’s blouse; gates that kept him away from confirming how much of her protuberances were real and how much of it was the work of a bra. He tried to keep kissing her and trying to open the blouse at the same time, but unless you have eyes around your chest area, opening a blouse like Isi’s while you were kissing said Isi is a herculean task.
Isi pushed him away and took off her blouse hurriedly yet carefully. She would be hard put to explain a torn blouse. But the next moment she was kissing Ike again, pushing the now-unfettered twin loaves of Shoprite Bread against his chest. Ike died and went someplace totally…
He nuzzled her neck, gently nipping the skin as he kissed his way to her neck and collarbone, Isi’s gasping sighs and loud moans silent pats on his back. Slowly he nosed his way down her chest, smiling as he felt her breath hitching in her chest, licking the tops of the loaves as his thumbs found engagement with some other parts of said loaves that felt as hard as local cherry seeds. He suddenly dipped his head and grazed the right one with his teeth, and then rapidly licking over it with his tongue…
In other words, they had sex.
And Ike, lying on his back some twenty-something minutes later, inhaled and exhaled loudly while wondering which of his over-a-hundred similar conquest felt like what he’d just experienced. He came up blank.
Whoa, he thought, imagine Dayo having this for the rest of his life.
And just like that, all thoughts of sex and related topics were driven from his mind with the force of a really terrible BRT accident, replacing it with realization, shame and self-loathing.
Still don’t get it? Allow me break it down for you.
Ike just had sex with his best friend Dayo’s fiancé Isioma, exactly five days to their wedding.