Fish Brain Clan (3) James
There are many versions to this story but there is only one reason I mentioned Amaka’s name at the altar on my wedding day.
When you love a woman, nothing on earth can stop you from thinking about her.
Before I go on, let it be known that Onagite is a mentally disturbed woman. I understand that it’s really not a psychological disease but years of shameful leaving, a desperate bid to get married and the awful realization that she is getting old that has turned her insane.
She is what I believe they call a sociopath.
I want to begin with the big question: did I know that Onagite had a terrible past?
No woman today is a saint but when three of your friends have slept with her, you know that the situation is really critical. I wasn’t getting married to Onagite because I loved her. To be honest, I had no feelings for her. My mother was the one that was infatuated with her and felt she was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Onagite, after a life of sharing her goodies with many guys in Abuja, decided to settle down and get married. She repackaged herself well and everyone was fooled but I knew her intentions from the beginning. She tells a steamy story of how I went after her but that was not the case. From the beginning, she was out to separate me from Amaka but by God’s grace, I successfully eluded her traps. However when Amaka and I broke up, she made a beeline for me. I didn’t take Onagite seriously then; I was just glad she distracted me from my broken heart. However, thoughtlessly I introduced her to my mother and she became the perfect daughter to her, since all my sisters were in their matrimonial homes. Onagite literally lived with the old woman and did everything for her. Now, excuse me for saying this but my mother is the most manipulative woman on earth. When I saw the danger Onagite posed to my freedom, I made it clear that I wasn’t in the mood to get married to her and my mother fell ill, and it got so critical that I had to fly her out for treatment. While on her sick bed, she successfully twisted my sisters’ minds against me, turning my entire family into a heavy Onagite fan club. Every time I tried to end the relationship, I wound up being labeled a heartless and irresponsible creature. It got so bad that even my brothers-in-law joined in the whole drama.
Onagite says we just happened to have sex on her birthday, that one thing led to another but that was not how it happened at all. To me, it felt like consensual sex but when I woke up the next morning and had no full recollection of what happened the night before, I knew she had drugged me.
I’m a thirty-five year old grown male and I think I have had sex enough times to know when the line crosses from consensual to rape. I woke up the morning after Onagite’s birthday and to my confusion, Onagite had bruises on her lips and shoulders and was cowering away from me like I was a monster. She related, in an award-winning performance, how I had ripped off her clothes and raped her. I was in total shock, like I couldn’t believe myself. As I sat down speechless, too weak to move, she threatened to report me to my family, the church and even the police.
I have heard of stories like this. In fact, one of my friends had been a victim quite recently and when he related his ordeal to me, I laughed at him. Now, I was the one in his shoes and I still couldn’t wrap my head around what had happened. Naturally, I started to second-guess myself. I went through the previous night over and over and began to remember bits of what happened and to my horror I recalled her luring me into a rape fantasy. As a doctor friend later related to me, Onagite was able to successfully pull that off only because she put in the right dosage of drug that kept me intoxicated but at the same time, sane enough to make me believe I was in control.
I had no option but to apologize for what I had not done and propose to her immediately. You should have seen her screaming like a little girl who had just been given the keys to a mega Barbie store. Problem was I was the Barbie and was about to have her dress me up for the roll of marriage. I never was Ken.
Two days later, I got her a ring and before I even drove out of her house my phone beeped. She had tagged me in a photo of herself and her ‘dazzling eighteen carat engagement ring’ on Facebook. It was actually only nine carats.
From that moment on, everything started happening very fast—the marriage counseling, the introduction, traditional marriage and the wedding planning. During that time, Onagite played the role of the good wife. She adored me in front of family and friends, stroking my ego and making me look like the perfect man just so that they believed she was responsible for my excellence. I on the other hand went through the motions like a puppet and never told a soul what I was going through. As the wedding date drew closer, I tried offering her money to dissuade her from getting married but I was met with more threats. I literally was dealing with a serial man-eater, so ultimately, I resigned to my fate.
A lot happened during that time but when the moment of truth presented itself at the altar, I just couldn’t see myself continuing with the charade. Calling Amaka’s name was not deliberate. It just came out and I think I subconsciously channelled myself to call to her for help. But more than that, I called Amaka because, like I told you, when you truly love someone you just can’t stop thinking about them.
So I’m here, sitting on my loveseat, with my bottle of beer, about to watch a replay of a match I missed yesterday but I can’t stop thinking about how much of a coward I have been. Maybe I should have taken my chances and broken off with Onagite a long time ago. The worst would have been her word against mine but seriously, who likes to be labeled a rapist?
“Jaymo!” I hear Shola call my name and I turn to him. He has this interesting look in his eyes.
Some people just love to gossip. They know where to get the latest gist and are willing to whisper it to any itching ear around them. This is the case of the guy that lives in my house and has been scrubbing off of me for over two years. You know those types of guys that will come in with nothing but the clothes on their back and ask to stay for just a week until they find their own place? Shola is one of them. One week turns to two, two to four, then six months and now, I can’t get rid of him without causing some serious pain. The thing that amazes me though, is that he has a job, a car and yet he hasn’t found a place of his own for almost three years.
“Guy, I dey try watch match, na,” I complain when I see him pull a side stool and sit right in front of me.
“Chairman, just hear wetin I wan yarn you first.”
It takes him a while to come round to the main topic. He first asks me if I know this Ayo that dated this Kate, that eventually got married to this Calabar person that now lives in Warri and owns this big eatery and he goes on and on until he somehow finds his way back to Lagos to some Derrick guy I vaguely recall Onagite mentioning a while ago.
At this point Shola pauses, maybe for effect, but he continues, with words rolling out of his lips like red hot spears aimed at burning my heart but he has no idea what he’s spilling is actually good news. When he is done, I look at him blankly, thank him and go back to my game. He isn’t so happy with my reaction; he picks his car key and leaves the house to see some friends.
The moment he leaves, my phone begins to blink with that annoying red light. I pick it and discover I have five unread pings and two text messages. When I go through them, they’re all from Amaka’s friends, telling me something is wrong with her and I need to come to their place immediately. I scroll through my phone contacts and dial Fiyin, one of Amaka’s closest friends but it rings off the hook. I dash into my room and grab a tee from my bed but as I step back into the living room, Onagite is there waiting for me. This is the first time I’m seeing her since our wedding was cancelled and all I am thinking is how blank she suddenly looks to me.
She stands there, by the door, expecting me to rush and hug her but I look around for my car key and act like she’s not there.
“James?” she calls me in a surprised voice.
“What’s up?” I bury my fingers into a hole by one side of the loveseat and fish out my car key.
“Why are you acting weird? Aren’t you happy to see me?”
I walk to her. “I have an emergency…”
“Is Momsie alright?” she asks with a mask of concern.
“Yeah…yes, Momsie is alright.”
“So, what’s going on baby?” she tries to touch my face but I take her hand and lead her outside.
“You have your key to the door? Can’t seem to find mine.”
“Yeah,” she puts her hand into her handbag and produces the key to the front door. I take it from her, lock the door and walk her to her 7-series. I check it out and see that it is still factory fresh with no scratches.
“I want to take you out but we’re using your car. I haven’t driven it yet.”
“Okay,” she gives a full smile and I open the passenger door for her. I take the driver’s seat.
“James, I missed you,” she leans towards me and tries to touch me but I take her hand and kiss it. The moment we leave the house and the gate closes after us, I stop the car and give her a long, hard look. She becomes very uncomfortable.
“Onagite, I am very curious to know why you’re sleeping with Derrick but it‘ll be a waste of my time. Some things are not worth looking into, especially the lifestyle of a dirty, shameless slut…”
“James!” she gasps.
“You know what? After every rotten thing you’ve done in your life, one would think you’d use your head but somehow, you just don’t have it in you to think straight, do you? It’s beyond me how dull you truly are. As in, I just can’t wrap my head around your profound stupidity.”
“What are you talking about? I didn’t sleep with Derrick.”
I take a deep breath. “At the risk of sounding like your bitch, I admit that I was the biggest fool around here. You did your job well, putting your ducks in order and at the right time. You played me, Onagite. Oh, you played me but finally, I believe it’s fitting to say I’ve been set free. As in, what do you have over me now? Nothing!” I laugh.
“I’m pregnant,” she says in tears and in a gentle voice that is supposed to stir something in me.
“Really?” I play along and she nods, her ruby cheeks glistening with tears.
“Well, that’s just another unfortunate child who would have to learn that this stupid life is sexually transmitted.”
She puts her hand to her mouth. “James…”
I step out of the car, walk to her side and open her door.
“Get out of the car.”
“James?” she looks at me with wild, frightened eyes. “This is not you. Why are you doing this? I am carrying your baby! I didn’t sleep with Derrick!”
“Get out, Onagite!”
My phone starts to ring. Fiyin is returning my call.
“I told you I have an emergency, woman. Get out!”
“It’s Amaka, isn’t it? She’s the one calling you! You can’t do this to me! You can’t get me pregnant and dump me! What kind of wicked man are you? First you jilted me at the altar and now…”
I grab her hand and pull her out of the car. She makes a move to fall to the ground but I lift her by her shoulders and look straight into her conniving face. “If I ever see you around here or my mother’s place, both of us will regret what I will do to you. Do you understand me?”
I let her go, get back into the 7-series and drive away. As I hit the streets, I dial Fiyin again, putting her on speakerphone. She takes my call immediately.
“Talk to me, Fi.”
“Are you almost here?”
“I just got out of the house. What’s wrong with Amaka?”
“I dunno, o. She locked herself in my bathroom since yesterday morning and has refused to come out.”
“I dunno. She lost her job on Friday and when her popsie found out, he kicked her out of the house. Then as if that one is not enough, the money Loretta gave her to pay into somebody’s account, someone stole it from her in a bus.”
“A bus? What happened to her car?”
“Popsie took it too.”
“What money did Loretta give her?”
“I don’t know but iz plenty o! Iz 500k! Now, she’s looking for Amaka and the silly Amaka is hiding in my bathroom and I have been using our neighbor’s toilet since yesterday. Me and my friends have done everything to make her come out but she refused. Please come quick, abeg before I break the door and Amaka pays. I’ve been wanting to go to toilet since but I’ve been holding it and my neighbors have gone out.”
I smile. “On my way… and Fi?”
“don’t tell her I’m coming.”
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