This episode is rather long, so I’m breaking it in two parts. This first part comes this morning and the second comes by 4pm.
Have a fun read and remember to tell me how you feel about it.
This series is dedicated to my daughter, Kayla, and to every child out there who is different and special. We will never understand the struggle they go through; the best we can do is be there for them. Someone once told me that perhaps the child in my womb had been exchanged while I was pregnant. My reply was ‘yes, and they gave me a better child.’
Dedicated to all parents with special kids. You’re the real heroes.
Bankole couldn’t believe the bombshell beside him was offering him sex.
Just like that. Without hesitation. Telling him the way she wanted it.
“I’ll go all night and do any style. Any style. I’ll even go anal.”
At this point, he had to look away and release a sigh. This was not how he wanted to fly his first business class. He had imagined a quiet trip from Calabar to Lagos, he and his broken heart, trying to come to terms that his girlfriend just dumped him the night before. It was supposed to be an alone time but little Miss Bombshell had left her seat and taken the one beside him to load her baggage on his lap while thrusting luscious breasts in his face.
He was flattered at first, when she came by with a ‘can I sit with you for a while?’ It wasn’t every day a girl that gorgeous sought his company. She was smallish but buxom and possessed the type of light complexion that always made him want to stray. However, her type was not for the likes of him; they usually smelled his lack of confidence from afar and stayed away, but for some reason this one wanted to be with him. Was he to say no?
For a moment, he forgot Beatrice, his ex, and was carried away by the sexiness sitting next to him. But it turned out that the girl’s second name was misery and she was looking for company. Probably she sensed his pain and was drawn to it, because the moment she sat down and looked into his eyes, she unloaded her burdened heart on him.
Her story was that she caught her boyfriend cheating on her with her elder sister the night before. While everyone was in church seeking God’s presence to enter the New Year, the pair was in the car humping 2014 away. Miss Bombshell had gone to retrieve an envelope of cash from her man’s SUV to offer up her first tithe and stumbled across the inglorious scene. No amount of begging or explanation sufficed; she picked her cash and stopped the first cab she found on the street and went straight to her mother’s. When morning came, she went to the home she shared with her sister and packed all she had there and booked the first flight out to Lagos. She was starting a new life. She had nothing but her clothes, some cash in her account and a body she was bent on using for sin. God was out of the picture. As usual, he had betrayed her by not protecting her from the treachery of the male species after ten years of seeking his good graces. There was no use believing anymore; her fate was now in her hands and she was determined to succeed via any means.
“So are you up to it?” she asked Bankole.
“Sorry, up to what?”
“Be my first client, mbok. I’ll treat you fine.” He saw pain behind a cute smile as she leaned toward him. “A fine guy like you must have a lot of cash.”
He laughed loudly at her statement and drew the attention of other passengers in the cabin. Miss Bombshell didn’t seem comfortable with his reaction and he could read the shame her eyes delivered. He ended his laughter abruptly.
“I should go back to my seat,” she muttered, a film of moisture over her eyes. “I just made a fool of myself…”
“No, no… you didn’t. It’s just…”
He sighed. Clearly she had been fooled by his appearance, coming to the conclusion that his expensive-looking clothes (which were secondhand) and the fact that he was in business class meant he was rich in some way. But the truth was that he was broke and had been that way since he was born. Never had he known luxury. Never had he found the secret to acquiring it. For these reasons his girlfriend of four years dumped him and threw his stuff out of her two-bedroom apartment where he had been bunking for over a year. He was an obstacle to her, she complained. Like a Pharisee he was blocking her from getting into the kingdom of riches and stopping the riches from coming to her. Hence, he was to leave, and never return until he became a man of considerable status with the ambition to keep progressing. Shutting the door in his face, she had added that she could not marry a common photographer.
“I just feel… you shouldn’t take the path you want to follow,” Bankole said to Miss Bombshell.
“Why?” her question was hostile.
He looked into her face and smiled graciously, and with one glance he could see beyond all that she just spilled about herself. It was a gift he possessed.
“You’re so much more than that. Don’t throw away your life because of one man. Tomorrow has something good for you but you could lose it by mistakes you make today…”
She raised her hand. “Abeg, spare me. I didn’t steal my sister’s money to pay for business class to come and hear preaching, please. Enjoy your trip.”
She walked back to her seat. He felt her pain and wished he could do more but his own pain left a heavier load on his shoulders. Drawing open the small curtain that shielded his window, he stared out into foggy clouds and thought of Beatrice, what she was doing, if she was okay… if she was missing him as he was missing her…
So deep were his thoughts that he hadn’t heard the pilot announce their approach to Murtala Mohammed Airport until a hostess came by and kindly asked him to strap himself in. Again, Beatrice was forgotten for a bit as his insides churned with curiosity over his trip. A chauffer would be waiting to pick him at the airport to an unknown destination to meet the stranger that paid for his airfare. This person was somewhat related to an acquaintance that died exactly six months ago. It was said she left a message for him before she passed. He was burning to know what the message was.
Khalid pretended not to feel the sting of his wife’s slap on his cheek. The woman was out for trouble and he wasn’t ready for her. Giving her his back, he concentrated on buttoning his shirt. There was a plane to catch in the next two hours and he needed to do a few things before hitting the airport; Sachi and her wahala were the least of his problems.
Done with the first button on his right sleeve, he aimed for the second and felt a jab on his back, causing him to hurl forward a couple of steps.
“Behave yourself, Sachi.”
“I’m talking to you and you don’t want to answer me!” Her words came out with fire. “Where are you traveling to this early morning?!”
He ignored the question and continued with his button. A hard slap hit his left ear next and he was forced to duck. Immediate anger came upon him and he spun around to face her.
“Are you mad?!” he charged with a raised fist. She crossed her arms defiantly. Blazing in her eyes was familiar excitement; she was blatantly daring him to do his worst. He wanted to but he hadn’t the time for her. Forcing his anger down, he left a warning finger in her face.
“We’ll talk about this when I get back.”
His response was met by an incensed smack of his hand off her face and angry words. Believing her madness was over, Khalid fixed his buttons and proceeded to tuck his shirt in. Done with that, he checked his reflection in the dressing mirror briefly before turning to Sachi to ask for his phone which he just discovered was in her possession.
“You want this?” She dangled the iPhone 6 in the air.
“Sachi, please. I’m late.”
“Come and get it.” She shoved the phone down her panty and pressed her thighs together. Khalid felt his anger rise again and this time he knew nothing would stop him from going overboard with it.
“Onsachi, I swear to God I’ll kill you this morning!”
“What are you waiting for?!”
He grabbed her neck and squeezed hard until she reached down into the underwear and pulled the phone out. He released his grip but she flung the phone away, hurling it at a wall. Rage consumed Khalid and with one push he had her on their king-sized bed and began pummeling her with blows. He didn’t care where his fists smashed. He went on and on until her screams turned to muffled whimpering.
He stopped. His breaths came out heavy and strained. He moved away from her and she crawled to a corner of the bed sobbing.
He was irritated at himself and at her for constantly bringing out the monster in him. He didn’t love her, couldn’t stand the sight of her and was looking for a way out of their seven-year old childless marriage. But the darned woman had a way of drawing him back. She was crazy about him and was ready to do anything to keep him. For every time he threatened to leave, his bank account got credited with a huge sum of cash. A month ago, he got a brand new car and had his entire wardrobe changed just because he mentioned that he wanted a divorce. Truth be told, he enjoyed the financial perks that came with being married to her but he was tired of being a kept man, tired of waiting for her bedridden mother to finally give up the ghost and bequeath the entire family wealth to both of them. Theirs had been a marriage of convenience from the start. Onsachi was as barren as the desert and offered him all she owned just to make her a missus. Khalid, full of greed, fell for her deceit, plunging himself into a lifelong contract that zapped him of his game. Before he met her, he made a living as a gigolo and had inherited some good cash from two failed marriages. On the side, he indulged in every type of financial fraud his hand could find. But Onsachi stripped him of his juice and reduced him to a mere husband, a title he never saw himself carrying around for a long time. She tracked down all his female clients and threatened every one of them. No woman in Abuja wanted to go near him; she was that troublesome and that powerful.
But he was done with her. And he didn’t care how messy things turned, he was leaving the marriage for good. However, he had to honor an invitation in Lagos first. Upon his return, he would serve her divorce papers and start planning his life afresh.
Kahlid changed into a fresh pair of clothes, discarding the bloodstained ones in a laundry basket in the bathroom. He came back to the bedroom for his phone and luckily found it intact. Sachi was seated up now, holding a bloody hanky to her face. He gave her a side glance and looked away. He didn’t feel sorry. There was a time when he was human enough to give a damn about his actions afterwards, when he would clean her wounds, apologize to and make love to her. But those days now seemed like chapters out of someone else’s story. He hoped to God that when he was back from Lagos, she was dead or something close to that.
“You’re going to Akwanga to see her, aren’t you?” she accused. He smiled to himself. She was referring to his mistress, the one she was convinced was living in Akwanga. The irony was that the girl lived on the next street with his cousin in a house paid for with Sachi’s own money.
Khalid didn’t reply to the question. He picked his traveling bag and walked out of the room, missing the pillow hurled at him by half an inch.
He drove to his cousin’s, who was presently at their hometown for the holidays. At the first ring of the bell, Uju, his mistress came to the door. Donning nothing but a t-shirt that stopped at her waist just above rings of multicolored waist beads, she erased Sachi from Kalid’s mind with only a glance. Uju possessed the right curves, skin texture and attitude to distract the most faithful of husbands. She dutifully played the role of wife and mistress to Khalid and got rewarded with anything she desired.
Taking his hand, she led him to their den of sin and served him breakfast in bed, the way he liked it—food first, and then an hour-long session of wild sex. Subsequently, he held in his arms and buried his face in her sweet-smelling hair. He was crazy about the woman but saw no need telling her, lest she took his feelings for granted. Even if Sachi was out of the picture, Uju was never going to take a permanent spot in his life.
“When are you coming back?” Uju asked, blowing warm air over the fine hairs on his arm with her breath.
“I don’t know…”
“What’s the trip about anyway?”
“I also don’t know. I got a call from someone who is related to someone I had an affair with some years ago. The lady is late now but it seemed she left something for me and the person wants me to get it.”
“Hian. Something keh. Hope it’s not a child o.”
Khalid frowned. He hadn’t thought in those lines. A child? Naa. If there was, he would have been informed a long time ago. It had to be something else.
“Babe, I have to go.”
He pulled away from Uju and drew her up for a warm kiss.
“Don’t take any contraceptives. This is a new year. I want my baby in you,” he said to her.
“Not when you’re still married to that witch.”
“Didn’t I tell you I’ll handle her?”
“Handle her first Khal, then we’ll talk babies.”
He kissed her one more time and wore his clothes. Staring into a dressing mirror facing the bed, he looked distractedly at his likeness and hoped to God that whatever was waiting for him in Lagos had to do with money. Lots of it.