I’m so sorry for the missed episode of The Immortals’ Code. I was too lazy to do a last minute edit. Please, don’t be mad.
Read the first episode of It’s Another Novocaine Saturday
It is Noka who first notices the ring on my finger barely seconds after I let them into the house. She has an eye for glittery things, a look of greed I’ve come to accept as part of her nature. And it’s not just the look. It’s her entire person. She is of a covetous kind. It was for this reason she got pregnant for Ibro and became his wife and is now in a loveless marriage. One would expect that she would have learned after all this time but she gets worse by the day.
She clutches my hand and gasps.
“Honey! This is so sexy!”
I smile at her. I think her dress is sexy too. It is worn for Ibro whom she hasn’t seen since in a while. He now lives with Eno in a smaller house somewhere in Ikeja, miles away from her. I can’t imagine her pain. She literally begs him to touch her and it seems she would be doing so tonight. Her dress is red and hugs her curves sinfully, showing off a plunging neckline no one can ignore. It’s a good thing the men are all outside. It would be awkward to have people’s husbands trying not to stare at her boobs.
“Why did you buy it?” she asks of the ring as the others make themselves comfortable on pale yellow couches.
“Jide bought it. It’s my push present.”
“Are you serious?”
“Push what?” Mary asks, glowing in all lights of Ekene’s love. I hardly recognize her these days.
“Push present,” Celia repeats. “It’s a father’s way of saying to the mother of his child, thank you for pushing my child out of your vagina.”
“I’m just hearing of it,” Peace confesses. “But I love the sound of it. I wish men would start giving sex presents too.”
“Well, I get a present every single time Ibro and I have sex…”
Celia stops Noka. “Which is like almost never. Abeg, spare us. We know your husband has money. It’s getting quite irritating the way you remind us. Can’t you learn from Mary? Does she brag about everything Ekene gives her? By the way, they are probably richer than you people but no we won’t hear word from you. Abeg, shush.”
The message is to Noka but somehow all of us comply, no one saying a word after the outburst, waiting for Noka to retort. But she doesn’t. She sits beside me, silent as a mouse.
“Am I the only one that is anxious to actually see our little Jiney?” Mary turns to me. “Madam, go and bring the latest Onuora bundle. Abi you think we came here to look at your ugly face?”
I rise to my feet but stop when Genesis steps into the living room with my little angel. Another moment of jerky silence follows. Of course, my friends are not awed by my baby but have been taken unawares by Genesis’ presence.
“Hi ladies,” she greets, calling each of them by name. Their replies are polite but lacking of cordiality. Only Mary responds with friendliness, rising up to take Jiney off her arms.
“Awww, she’s so adorable. See her face like her daddy’s.”
The others crowd around Jiney and she gets passed round, taking kisses that Jide would not approve of. He is already very protective of her.
Peace is the last person to hold her. She gently rocks her back to sleep after she had been awoken by our loud voices. While she drifts off, we talk about my birth experience and share a good laugh over how it went. They each tell their own birth stories, Celia lamenting on how long it took for her to regain her body back after she had Dara.
“I tied my tummy like there was no tomorrow but it didn’t work. Last-last I resorted to aerobics and tummy exercises.”
Noka lifts my t-shirt without permission. “Who tied yours for you?”
“Nne. Jide doesn’t like it, though. He says it’s archaic.”
“It is,” Genesis agrees.
“It is not,” Noka counters. “It worked for me.”
“And me.” Peace lifts her hand.
“Maybe I didn’t do it well,” Celia says. “It should have worked for me if I did.”
Her statement is said only to oppose Genesis who simply smiles back at her.
“Well, I didn’t tie mine,” Genesis insists.
“And you’re flat like that?” Peace asks, taking everyone’s attention to Genesis’ scandalously-dangerous curves. She is wearing a loose jumpsuit that should naturally understate her sexiness but it does nothing of the sort. Genesis has the type of body that even a blanket would find hard hiding.
“You must have done liposuction,” Noka concludes. “I did mine in Abuja. Who’s your doctor?”
“I didn’t do any liposuction. This is the way my body is. I dance to keep shape.”
“Ah. You’ll come and teach me the dance o!” Mary pats her own tummy. “I need it.”
“No wahala.” Genesis stands up, as do I. I can hear Jide entering the house through the backdoor. I’m guessing he’s getting drinks. They’ll also need peppersoup.
“So can I get you ladies anything?” Genesis asks. “There is goat meat and catfish peppersoup, party jollof, yam porridge and egusi with pounded yam.”
“You cooked all of that?” Peace gapes at her.
“Well, I’ve been here since morning, so…”
My friends look at me as though I have betrayed them but I pretend not to notice. Genesis is as much a friend as any of them. Even more than they may ever be. She had visited as early as 8am, melancholic in her manner when she cornered me in the kitchen to ask how she can help. Nne was leaving to the hospital at that time. Elsie’s eldest daughter, not so accustomed to Nigerian weather, had fallen ill and was admitted in the hospital. Hence, Genesis’ presence was much needed. I asked about why she looked so glum and she told me she had a fight with Dominic just before leaving home. She had admitted it was her fault for giving him stress over his constant absences. She had planned to apologize later in the day but Dominic had resurrected the issue and led them into a row that saw them exchanging offensive words with each other.
“I am tired of the money,” she sobbed. “It’s become a burden. The fame, the status… I wish someone would just take everything away. Just strip it off and let me have Dominic again.”
I lent her my shoulder to cry on and she had a good one. Shortly after, while we ate breakfast with Jide, she told us how she came into Dominic’s life and how they ended up together and built their business to what it is today. It was a peculiar story but a beautiful one. Jide and I advised her to be patient with Dominic and find subtler ways to express her concerns next time. After breakfast, she and I got busy in the kitchen. She did all the cooking while I entertained visitors. I am surprised that she is still pumped to serve my guests after all that work.
“Don’t worry,” Celia speaks, getting up. “We will serve ourselves. This is our house.”
She leads Noka and Peace to the kitchen. Mary stays behind, obsessing over Jiney.
“It’s almost seven o’clock, Honey.” Genesis reads the time on her watch. “I have to go.”
I look at her with a grateful smile. I don’t know how to thank her. Apart from the cooking, she has left a check for Jiney with an amount I’m still reeling from. I give her a bottle of vintage wine to take home to Dominic, and just as she is about leaving, Noka walks in on us with an expression I’m not comfortable with.
“I’ve been trying to place your face, Genesis.”
“Yes.” Noka drops her dish of peppersoup on a stool and straightens up. “Did you ever date the petroleum minister some five, six years ago?”
“Me?” Genesis places a hand on her chest.
“Yes, you. Were you dating him then? He was just a director or something like that in NNPC.”
Peace and Celia file in, each with a dish of something to eat.
“What’s happening?” Celia sits.
“I was just asking Genesis if she ever dated the petroleum minister.”
“That’s silly,” Mary puts in. “The man is in his fifties or so and married with kids. How could she have dated him?”
“Well, shit happens.”
I am upset with Noka. I don’t know where she is going to with her assertions. Genesis is clearly embarrassed by the line of questioning. I already know of her past but I don’t think she needs to explain anything to anyone. I decide to step in.
“Genesis has been here all day and has left her babies for almost twelve hours. Please, allow her go home to them.”
“Just answer the question,” Noka presses.
“Yes,” Genesis replies. “Yes, I dated him. Any problem?”
“So it was you who tore my aunt’s marriage apart.”
“Ojonoka!” I scold. “What’s wrong with you? Behave yourself!”
“Honey, I have to leave,” Genesis announces a second time. “Thanks, again. Goodnight, ladies.”
They all respond, excluding Noka. I walk Genesis to her car and apologize for Noka’s rudeness.
“It’s okay. The past will always come calling, Honey. And maybe I deserve what I’m getting from Nick after what I have done to other people’s marriages.”
“Haba! Don’t speak like that. Your marriage is fine. Dominic adores you. And your past is your past. Ignore Noka. She’s just being the basic bitch she is.”
Genesis pulls me close for a hug. I can feel her heaviness through her hold. I assure her that all will be well. As she drives away, I stand outside until the taillights of her car disappear. Jide calls me over to say hi to the guys. I spend a few minutes with them, accepting congratulatory messages and lighthearted teases. They eventually let me be and I enter the house to give Noka a good scold for her rudeness to Genesis. She listens to my rant without uttering a word but doesn’t show any remorse.
“She ruined my aunt’s marriage, Honey. You would hate her too if she did the same to you.”
“So you hate her?”
“I didn’t say so.”
“You just said so. You hate her for no reason.”
“She is a husband snatcher.”
“Was! That was her past! Why are you judging her without even knowing her?!”
“Honey, calm down,” Mary pleads.
“I’m pissed, abeg!” I retort, keeping my eyes on Noka. “You come to my house to visit me and then you insult my guest! Why can’t you just be a nice person?!”
“I wonder,” Mary murmurs. “You were totally out of line, Noks.”
Noka ignores us both. For all she cares, I might be a buzzing fly trying to steal her peppersoup. Peace motions to me to calm down.
“I think you really need your husband’s dick to help you take the edge off,” I add acerbically. “Try and do that tonight. And by the way, Genesis is here to stay. You just have to get used to her.”
“As long as she’s not stealing my husband, we’re good.”
“Your husband is already stolen,” I bite back as I march off to the kitchen.
What a way to end the day! I wish Bimpe was here. She alone knows how to put Noka in her place. I wonder how she and Bright and the kids are coping in Angola. The last time we spoke on the phone she expressed that she was making friends with other expatriates. She actually used to be my least favorite amongst the wives but I now realize how her presence had been influential on them. Noka needs to be tamed and since Bimpe is not here to do it, I’ll take it upon myself to put her straight.
∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞
Dominic is welcomed into Wura’s three-bedroom home by her cousin. He’s a young boy in his teens, face riddled with pimples and sporting a few strands of hair on his chin. He greets Dominic with a smile much like Wura’s. Dominic returns the gesture as the boy points him into a couch of navy-blue fluffiness that matches little, azure dots on buttery-colored curtains that hang off the windows.
The room is small and cozy, the type of space lovers might enjoy, snuggling in under dim lights and the fragrance of mild incense which Dominic spots burning in a corner. Certainly, Mahmud’s northern influence on Wura inspires her décor choices. The couches all bear distinct Afghan designs that complement each other. And Dominic, without having to look twice, can tell that they are all imported pieces, including the Moroccan lantern hanging off the ceiling that gives the room its subtle lighting.
Dominic makes himself at home in the comfy space, putting away a toy truck he almost crushes as he sits.
“Aunty is in the studio with Pastor Ralph,” the teenage boy informs him. “They’re rehearsing for their concert.”
“Just tell her I’m here. But she shouldn’t rush out. I’ll wait. You know who I am?”
The boy nods.
“Okay. Just inform her I’m here.”
The boy disappears through a door to his left, leaving it wide open. The sound of music floats in, carrying rich, full notes from a piano playing a familiar song that puts Dominic in a calm disposition. Before long, the smoky tone of Ralph’s voice hits the air, harmonized by Wura’s subtle soprano as they take on Bebe and Cece’s It’s Okay.
Maybe we can talk it over
And save our hopes and dreams
Though the waves seem endless
Somehow we’ll cross this angry sea
With love all things are possible
If we just believe
I need to know, yes it’s okay
Can I hurdle this storm
Yes but only together
With love in our hearts, the only way
Somehow, things will work out just you wait and see
Oh it will, believe it will
See real life confrontations
Caused our vows to break
But I learned the word forgiveness
Can time chase the pain away
True love made our hearts inseparable
If we just believe
But right now it hurts so bad
And feels so bad
But tomorrow waits with laughter
If we endure the tears then joy comes after
I need to know, you need to know
It’s gonna be okay
Can I hurdle this storm, oh-oh-only together
With love in our hearts, the only way
And somehow, somehow
Somehow I can feel love again
Somehow, things have worked cause you stayed with me
I’m glad to know it’s okay
As the ending notes on the piano die down, Dominic realizes that the song has taken him to an emotional place. His fight with Genesis earlier had been the worst they ever had. He had called her names that he wishes he can unsay. The pain he saw in her eyes as she hurried out of the house might need more than a verbal apology from him to heal. It would need all of him, and he isn’t so sure he has the time or endurance to give Genesis what she wants at the moment. She was raised a diva, taught to be demanding of her men. She either gets the best or nothing, and this includes affection and time. If Dominic doesn’t love her the way she wants to be loved or spends quality time with her, they get into a fight. He is coming to learn that as successful and as business-savvy as she is, she is beginning to lose grip of what’s important to them as entrepreneurs. He fears that she will let her sentiments get the best out of their business and ultimately ruin what they had both worked for. It is for this reason he is paying Wura an August visit. She alone can fix things.
“The Don himself!”
Ralph emerges from Wura’s studio. Dominic rises up to share a handshake and a manly hug with his childhood friend. Ralph enquires about Dominic’s family and Dominic replies that all is well. When Dominic throws the same question his way, Ralph presents an uneasy smile.
It is hardly news that he and his wife are going through a difficult divorce. As Ralph had shared with Dominic a short while ago, the marriage had been hanging by a thread for years, both of them managing each other for the sake of their reputation as church leaders. But his wife woke up one morning and decided to share with the women fellowship in a tear-jerking session that she was leaving Ralph. He got the shocking news from the general overseer’s wife after it had spread around the church like a California wildfire. Ralph did everything within his power to change his wife’s mind but it was obvious she stopped loving him a long time ago. Thus, their nine-year marriage was tossed into the hands of court documents and lawyers.
The collapse of their relationship left Ralph broken but filled him with a desire to minister to folks like him going through tough times in their marriages and relationships. And what better person to have on his tour than Wura, a woman who was publicly disgraced when her past was shared to the public in sordid videos that went viral just a week to her wedding. She had withdrawn from church and work, following the devastating scandal, also breaking off her engagement with Mahmud who was insistent on marrying her despite everything. She then fell into depression that saw her admitted into a psychiatric clinic. Ralph stood by her through the duration of her hospitalization, especially when Mahmud had to leave the country for a surgery course in Saudi Arabia. During the period, two broken souls sought God and found healing, and together commenced on the tour that has so far run for three months and will come to an end in a mega gospel concert organized by Novocaine Knights at the end of the month. As told to Dominic by Ralph, this final concert would be Wura’s first appearance since her public disgrace. Prior to this, she had stayed behind the piano and lent her voice as a backup singer alone. This would be her chance to share her story and redeem herself through her music.
“Hello Wura.” Dominic smiles at her as his eyes shifts to the corner where she stands like a stranger in her own home.
“Good evening, sir.” She curtsies in her usual courteous manner.
“I like what you did with this place.”
“Thank you, sir. And you’re heartily welcome to my home.”
“Where’s Bilal?” he inquires of her son.
“By this time? Ah. You’re in trouble at night be that.”
Wura shakes her head in exaggerated self-pity. “He keeps me up every night. Every single night.”
“I feel your pain.”
“Sorry for interrupting you guys but I gotta run.” Ralph extends his hand for a handshake and blows a kiss at Wura before stepping out.
“Mr. Dominic, can I get you something to drink? Don’t mind my stupid cousin. The boy doesn’t have manners.”
“No, it’s fine. I’m good.”
“This is your first time here since I decorated the place,” Wura says, moving towards him, her long Ankara skirt making a whooshing sound as she walks.
“Yes, it is.”
She settles into one of the Afghan couches and picks a throw pillow that has gold trimmings on its corners.
“So, Mr. Dominic, this one that you visited me this evening, I’m scared o.”
“Relax.” Dominic laughs. “It’s all good news, the first of which is that Lexus is back.”
Pleasant surprise fills Wura’s face as she gasps. “Are you serious? When?”
“I was in my study this morning and next thing she was standing in front of my table. Best surprise ever.”
“Awww, that’s so sweet. I can’t wait to see her.”
“I’ll give you her new number before I go.”
“Okay, thank you. Yay! Lexi’s back!”
“So, Wura…” Dominic moves forward on his seat. “The reason I came here is to offer you your old job back.”
The pleasantness drains from Wura’s face.
“Novo needs you, Wu. Your management skills are top notch. Genesis and I haven’t been able to fill that hole you left. You were our most valuable player on the team.”
“Sir… you’ve forgotten that a client recognized me from the videos.”
“A client. Just one. And really, it doesn’t matter. We, your family, we did not judge you. We stood by you through that difficult time and we’re still here for you. You’ve been brave enough to put yourself out there again in your music tour with Ralph.”
“I stay in the shadows literally.”
“Well, it’s time you stepped out. You can’t keep punishing yourself for your past, Wura. You have to let it all go. And since you’re going to be on stage with Ralph for this final concert, I don’t see why you can’t take back your place as Novo manager again.”
“Sir, I don’t know. Even the thing with Ralph, I’m still contemplating. The moment I step on that stage, they’ll resurrect everything. The videos will resurface.”
Dominic leaves his seat to hers and lifts her restless hands off her skirt.
“Remember I was accused of murder and I had no one to defend my name?”
“You never asked me how I got over it or maybe somehow you think my heart is made of stone.”
“No, I don’t think it is.”
“It is not. I’m as human as you are and I’ve been where you’ve been and the only way I survived was just to keep going. Your shit is already out there. You can’t do jack about it. Some people will forever call you a stripper. You can’t undo that. But what you can do from now on is to write a different future for yourself. And we all believe in your greatness, Wuraola. We need you to start believing in that greatness too. Will you do that for all of us?”
Wura nods, eyes brimming with tears.
“Your salary would be doubled and you’ll get a brand new car plus other benefits. Please, consider the offer.”
“I’ll think about it, sir.”
Dominic lets go of her hand and stands up.
“Lexi’s number?” she requests as she pulls out her phone from her pocket. “So she’s completed her art course?”
“Yes, she has, and she’s back home to stay.”
“Yay! I’ve missed her like mad.”
Dominic passes Wura his phone and she copies out Lexus’ phone number.
“She says she still has to go back to iron out a few things but she particularly came because she has a surprise for us.”
“And you don’t like surprises.” Wura laughs.
“You know me nau. I was like madam, I hope you’re not pregnant for that white boy sha. That one will not go down well with me. I’m sorry but I agree with my wife that I’m the occasional racist. I will not be the grandfather to white kids.”
“Sir, it’s not that deep nau. If Lexus decides to marry the guy, then I’m sure he’s cool.”
“I think you just have a bias for Kasi.”
“I do. He’s been endorsed by Gen and I and Lexus better adjust her sights on him. Enough of this her white boy persuasion.”
Still laughing, Wura shakes her head as she hands Dominic back his phone.
“I’m on way, Wura. Take care and be sure to give me your answer soon.”
“No wahala, sir.”
Wura walks him to the door and once he steps out into the night, he dials Genesis. For the eighth time, she refuses to take his call.
∞∞∞ ∞∞∞ ∞∞∞
Kasiobi stares inattentively at the girl in the voicing booth. She is just another voice that would be forgotten soon, even before she is known. There is no question about the power of her vocals. Her cords pack a punch but that is all there is to it. She lacks what it takes to be a star. He had sensed it on their first meeting, by just looking at her, that she wasn’t hungry enough for the fame, but he had obliged her– only as a favor to a friend.
He lets her have her moment in the booth while his mind travels to Lexus whose image he can’t quite get out of his head.
He had gone to pick her on Genesis’ request and found her in a t-shirt and distressed black skinnies, topped with a red fedora. A pair of gray Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers which probably cost a fortune also caught his eyes. Her overall look screamed ‘model off-duty’. Casual, yet chic. Kasiobi concluded her designer boyfriend was responsible for her new sense of style which had turned her tomboy looks to something modish. And he also noticed that she was fuller at the hips and bust, having added some weight in the right places. It gave her an overall mature look which turned heads. Everything about her begged to be noticed but in typical Lexus fashion, she was oblivious of what was going on around her.
Taxi drivers had tried unsuccessfully to get her attention but her phone had all her concentration. She didn’t even notice that Kasiobi was standing a couple of breadths away from her. His eyes had been on her tattoos, checking to see if she had inked on something fresh, but all he saw were the old ones.
Nothing new. Yet everything different about her. She remained the same girl who used to be his best friend amongst other things but was now a stranger.
Her head jutted up, her eyes falling into Kasiobi’s in surprise.
Some uncomfortable seconds passed and then she put her arms around him for a hug of which he didn’t object to. He felt the familiar crush of her breasts on his chest and the softness of her skin that translated into memories of intimate moments.
“I’ve missed you, Kasbi.”
He had realized just then that his anger at her would not last long and it got him irate at himself. Having Lexus as a friend was fine but having her back as the girl that had the power to crush his resolve put him on edge.
Lexus broke from the hug. “Let me guess. Genesis sent you to pick me up.”
“It’s fine. Awkward. But fine.”
They didn’t speak after that. He helped put her baggage in his vehicle and they carried on in silence as they headed into town. However, Kasiobi interrupted the peace when they hit their first traffic stop. He unfastened his seatbelt and leaned towards her. When she returned his stare, his lips took hers unexpectedly. He kissed her like he had forgotten something in her mouth and was searching for it. He went in deep and hard, his puny anger making a comeback. But he stopped abruptly and went back to the wheel.
The silence continued, now burdened with fresh sexual tension that Kasiobi had supposed was dead. He was amazed at how quickly Kira was forgotten and all he thought about was kissing Lexus again. He looked at her. Her face was pressed to the window. Her fedora was resting on her laps, letting free her full, long hair which fell all the way to her neck in different tones of brown. Preoccupied eyes continued to stare out but she turned suddenly and caught him ogling.
And to him, that had been the defining moment. Looking into her eyes, he knew he was going to let her back in as easily as it had been for her to walk out on him. The thought annoyed him a great deal and he expressed it with more quietness, giving quick, terse responses when she tried to engage him in conversation.
“Clearly, you’re still mad at me,” she finally said when he neared the street that led to the Ditorusin mansion. He kept his face away. The sight of people walking about a drab street on a busy morning was good distraction.
“Kas, I’m sorry.”
“Let’s not go back there, Lex.”
“I tried to explain but you never let me,” she complained in a Nigerian drawl that had been tainted with an American accent.
“Tonbra, shut the fuck up.”
She obeyed – but only for a few seconds.
“You know what? Fuck you, Kas. You think breaking up with you was easy? It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. I had massive feelings you.”
“And yet you walked away.”
“I don’t expect you to understand what I was going through at the moment.”
“Oh, it’s about you now and what you were going through? When did you become so complicated sef? You have feelings for a guy and yet you leave him? I don’t get it. What happened to the Lexus who loved the simple life and lived for the moment?”
“That was what I was looking for!” she uttered. “Just the moment! Just two of us being two of us and having fun every day but…”
She broke off, staring out again.
“Tonbra, what happened to you?”
She looked at him with a weary smile. “You. You happened to us. You screwed up what we had with bullshit talk about love and marriage and…having kids.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
“It was scary. I wasn’t ready to be responsible for anyone’s feelings or even be responsible for anyone at all.”
Kasiobi tried to ponder on her words but shook the silliness of them off his shoulders before they settled in.
“You know what? I officially give up on you. We should end this talk now and never have it again.”
The silence returned, and went on until he pulled up in front of her house. When he said goodbye to her with a hug, he sensed that she had something to say. But she stepped back and he waited, watching stray curls of her hair, blown by gentle morning breeze shimmer in hues of brown as they flipped across her face.
“I don’t want to lose our friendship, Kas. It was and still is more important than anything else.”
“Lexus, you can’t just separate our friendship from our love life. They were interwoven. You did not only betray me as a girlfriend. You broke my heart as a friend and it’s hard to go back to being us.”
“So I should give you time?” she asked.
He gave no reply, entered his ride and fired it up.
He drove away, leaving her outside the gates of the house with a look on her face that was going to break him if he stayed longer. When he got home, he fixed himself a scanty breakfast and let Kira in just to watch her grovel.
Twelve hours have gone by since then and Kira is still groveling. While the ambitionless girl in his studio sings herself into a delusion, Kira prepares a meal of starch and banga soup to appease Kasiobi. She sets a lavish table and pokes her head in to let him know that dinner is ready.
“I’ll be out in a jiff,” he replies. But he takes longer. A whole hour later. When he eventually comes out, he finds a pouting Kira and a dish that has gone cold. He renders no apologies to her. Kira is now quite used to his poor eating habits, and being that she is still in a contrite mood, she makes no complaints about her food being ignored.
“Don’t you have somewhere else you have to be?” Kasiobi asks, walking into his bedroom. “With Mayor or something?”
“He dumped me. Said I should move out of the house.”
“Maybe you’ve been begging the wrong person all day. He’s your sugar daddy. Go back to him and grovel. I’m not going to take over from him. I can barely feed myself.”
“I’m not asking you to take care of me.” Kira clutches Kasiobi and rests her head on his chest. “I can take care of myself.”
“By finding a new blesser?”
She gives no answer.
“Go home, Kira. We’ll talk tomorrow, abeg.”
She looks up at him. Her expression turns innocent. “I’m still your girlfriend?”
Kasiobi stares back, finding her artificial lashes and the deep red blush on her cheeks distracting.
“We’ll talk tomorrow,” he repeats.
“I want to spend the night. I’m scared of what Mayor will do to me if I go back there this night.”
“Kira…” Kasiobi sighs in exhaustion.
He releases another sigh, twirling the edges of her hair in his fingers. He has no plans to do away with her just yet. She could be good reason to keep Lexus away from him.
Fingers dig into his joggers from behind and squeeze his butt as a kiss meets his lips, seizing his mouth without consent. His t-shirt is peeled off his body and he finds himself falling backwards until he hits the bed. Kira sits on him, her face disappearing in the darkness as the power goes out.
She drops her weight over him for another kiss but a flash of light from his phone on the bedpost alerts him of a notification.
He picks the phone and sees that it’s a Whatsapp message from an unknown contact. He taps it open.
-Hi Kas, this is Lex. Store my new number
He types out a reply.
He adds her to his contact list as another message comes in.
“Who is it?” Kira inquires. Kasiobi ignores her and reads Lexus’ message.
-I’m about to send you something. Please, don’t freak out
He waits. A blurry photo pops up in the chat thread. He taps on it and waits some more. When it clears up, the photo of a baby held in Lexus’ arms is displayed. Kasiobi frowns and thumbs over his keyboard.
-Whose baby is it?
He glues his eyes to his phone screen as the double tick that indicates his message has been delivered turns blue. An uneasy feeling takes over his mood. A few more seconds pass and he repeats his question.
Lexus’ answer drops in.
-Yours, Kas. She’s your baby.