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“I don’t want to do this,” Genesis says out loud. She is talking to no one, although she is in the company of Zach and Zoe whom she has just dressed up for an outing. Her expression of frustration gets their attention and they both fix their stares on her.
“You guys want to go see grandma?”
The gurgle turns into a smile. Genesis sighs, regretting her decision to have the twins visit Mamisi. But the woman had begged to the point of embarrassment and left Genesis with no choice. Now, she wishes she can take back her consent.
“Ma, I’m ready.” Iya Idaya emerges from Genesis’ closet where she went to keep a few clothes. She is set to take the twins to Mamisi’s. She would stay there with them before bringing them back home by six.
“Please, always have your eyes on them.”
Iya Idaya lifts Zach from the bed. Genesis takes Zoe and together they leave the bedroom. The sound of Dominic’s robust laughter rings through the house as they walk down the stairs. He has a few friends over. Having just had lunch, they are now seated in the living room, drinking over hearty conversation.
“I want you back here with them at 6pm sharp, Iya Idaya. Not later.”
Genesis and Iya Idaya step outside to a waiting car. They strap the twins in their seats at the back and after giving them each a kiss, Genesis stands and watches as the car drives out of the compound. She goes back into the house only when the gate slides back into place.
Loud laughter from Dominic and his friends greet her when she walks in. She takes a peek to see how things are going, having no desire to join them. But Seyi who is among the group, calls her in. The conversation stops as she enters the room. Seyi makes space for her to sit beside him and as soon as she does, the banter continues.
“I think I’ve fallen in love,” Seyi reveals to her in a low tone.
“Fallen in love? That’s new.”
Seyi leaves the sofa and goes for a glass of wine for her.
“And who is the lucky girl?” Genesis takes the glass offered.
“Someone I’d like to meet today.” Seyi sits and crosses his legs, straightening creases on the navy blue kaftan he’s wearing. A pair of lace-up leather boots completes the attire which Genesis approves of. She has always argued with herself over whom she feels is more stylish between Seyi and Dominic. Although Seyi’s fashion sense is more expressive, it lacks the attention to detail Dominic has. But both men always impress with their looks, pampering themselves with the same attention they give their women. Not that Seyi has had a woman in a while. His last relationship with a much younger girl ended quite dramatically after a pregnancy scare. Since then he has stayed off females completely, concentrating on work as much as Dominic does.
“Remember your friend on Friday night at the party?” He straightens out his moustache.
“What friend?” Genesis asks.
“The fair one who was in the company of her husband, whom you called Sugar or something like that.”
“Yes, that one. Honey.”
“You’re in love with Honey?”
“No. But maybe if I had met her before her husband did, yeah, probably I’d have fallen for her. She’s got it. And that dress she wore…” Seyi gives a thumbs up.
“You even noticed her dress.”
“I’m sorry, my eyes pick out and appreciate sophistication by default… which reminds me to compliment the way you looked on that night. You killed it as usual.”
Genesis fights off a grin but her dimple betrays her. And for some reason, Dominic’s eye falls on her from across the room, adding to her blush.
“Thank you,” she says to Seyi.
“So, back to my crush.”
“She came with your friend.”
“Okay?” Genesis tries to recall the events on Friday night. So much had happened that she gave little attention to the people around her. She can hardly remember all that transpired that night.
“She was wearing a teal dress that had stones on it.”
Genesis had spent the entire Friday with Honey glamming up for what she thought was a charity ball. On their way to the party, Honey had made a quick stop at the junction of their street and picked Hauwa whose dress left a mark on Genesis.
“I loved that dress she had on,” Seyi comments.
“So her name is Hauwa?”
“She’s a Muslim?”
“I don’t know anything about her, Seyi. She’s Honey’s friend.”
“Is there a way I can see her today?”
Seyi leans in closer. “I thought about her all night on Friday, and the most of yesterday. So, yeah…I think maybe it’s something deep I feel. I need to see her to be certain.”
“I hope you’re not planning to just sleep with her, Shay. She seems to me like a responsible type.”
“I just want to see her before I travel back for business.”
“I think that can be arranged. Give me a minute.”
Genesis leaves the living room and returns some minutes later, talking to someone on her phone. When she sits, she concludes with the call.
“Honey will have us over for dinner tonight,” she informs Seyi.
“I hope we won’t be intruding?”
“She insists. I was going to have us do the ‘we’re in the neighborhood and so we decided to drop by’ type of visit while she had Hauwa over but she insists on dinner. She’s happy to entertain us for the night.”
“Okay. With Nick?”
Genesis glances at her husband. “Your friend is very anti-social. What’s the deal with that?”
Genesis bursts out laughing. Dominic stares at them with a frown.
“You know he’s an arrogant prick.”
“Hey, he’s not. And to prove to you that he isn’t, we’ll take him along.” Genesis adjusts her sitting to a more comfortable pose. “So tell me what you like about Hauwa?”
“I have no idea, Gen. You guys walked in together and trust me, you were smashing and your friend…”
“Honey was gorgeous as well, but Hauwa…” He shakes his head. “She got me like damn!”
“You think she could be the one?”
“The one?” He chuckles. “Take it easy. I don’t even know her. She could have a man on the side.”
“Whatever she has, please, Shay, no hit and run with her.”
He taps his chest. “Scout’s honor.”
∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞
I had planned to have a quiet Sunday. Just stay in bed and sleep until I hit the gym in the evening. But family drama will not let me be. First it’s Mex and Yazmin. After ignoring her for a whole week, Mex stomps into my house, barges into Yazmin’s bedroom and demands that she returns home or the marriage is over.
I have never been a fan of Yazmin but I just can’t stand and watch a woman being treated like shit, so I step in and order my brother out of my house. He is tipsy, of course. I don’t give a shit. Instead, I call Oba over and ask him to drive him to Kalu’s. After they are gone, I have a moment with Yazmin which basically ends in me being a shoulder she weeps on for a whole hour. She tells me she desperately wants to leave but is torn not because of the pregnancy but because she still loves Emeka. Even more now, with all their issues. She explains how they fall deeper into each other after every fight.
Crazy. But then the whole love triangle is.
Before I let her be, I notice that she is running a temperature. I get my thermometer and stethoscope. I check her vitals. Things don’t look good.
“Have you started attending antenatal?”
She shakes her head and breaks down again. “I don’t want this baby!”
Good Lord. What am I to do with this mess? Where is Honey when I need her?
“I want to have an abortion.”
I sigh and balance my butt properly on her bed. This is going to take long.
She explains to me her reasons, which are quite logical. Emeka doesn’t want the baby, they never planned for it and she feels guilty over the whole thing. She feels getting rid of it will give her some peace of mind and heal her marriage.
I let her speak until she falls silent. Only then do I make her see reasons in keeping the pregnancy. Unlike many of my colleagues, I am pro-choice and strongly believe that a woman should be allowed to make her own decisions as pertaining to her body. But I’m never going to go outright and tell anyone that comes to me for advise to terminate a living, breathing fetus.
“We will take care of your baby, Yazmin. You have brothers and sisters and parents who will be here for you even if Mex isn’t. We will never break your heart. You are family and so is that baby you’re carrying. So, please, think about it before you make your decision. Okay?”
She nods with a smile so faint. I smile back. I think I have taken to her finally.
I get off the bed and walk to the door. She stops me.
“I want to keep the baby.” She sniffles. I look at her. “Yeah, I want to. I didn’t plan for it but I think it’s innocent and shouldn’t have to die because Mex and I were careless. Yeah, I want to keep it. But will you be my midwife? Please? Because if you’re not, I don’t think I can stay strong.”
I mull over it for some seconds.
“I need to check you. I don’t feel comfortable with that fever you have. Is it okay if I have a quick look?”
I go to my room and return with a few items. I take Yazmin’s vital signs again and calculate her due date. I find that she is already thirteen weeks pregnant. I question her about her gynecological and reproductive history as well as any medical conditions in her family that I need to know of. After that, I examine her for gum disease which can be an indicative factor for preterm labor. Done with that, I check her breasts, abdomen, and listen to her heart once more. Finally, I do a thorough but delicate pelvic exam. This is one of the reasons the gynecologists at the hospital where I work don’t really like me. I have been accused of trying to take over their jobs. But that’s far from it. I am just thorough with my methods, having trained specifically as a gynecological nurse before moving on to midwifery. This is all part of my process. The doctors usually run the first tests and once the pregnancy clocks twelve weeks, I take over, but sometimes, I am stubborn and break the rules with patients who have little trust in their doctors.
“Tomorrow, I’ll take you to the hospital to have some tests run.”
“Are they going to do another pelvic exam?”
“Yes. I’ll refer you to an OBGYN who will run further tests.”
“I always freak out with pelvic exams but you were gentle and I hardly felt a thing.”
I hold my tongue. I am not to say thank you to that. I have just literally shoved my fingers into her vagina. I doubt that Emeka will find it funny.
“I’ll be there with you,” I promise. She seems relieved.
“I’ll get you something for the fever and a full bottle of water. Please stay hydrated, draw the shades close, turn off your phone, use earplugs and go straight to sleep. Didi will watch Tobe.”
I stroll out and find my wife’s beautiful face smiling at me as she steps out of the kitchen. She has just returned from the market where she went to get foodstuff for tonight’s dinner with the Ditorusins.
“Is Yaz okay?” she questions.
“She’s fine. Nothing a little rest and Tylenol won’t fix. How are you?”
The scent of her perfume is like a pheromone and I follow it until my lips are tasting the sweetness of her mouth.
“Can I help out with something?”
“No, I got it all covered, hotstuff. Just sit down and put your ear out for Jiney when she wakes up.”
I’m not in the mood for Jiney or anything else. Having just had a taste of Honey’s lips, I want the rest of her. However, I take a couch in the living room and visit my blog to do some technical work in the backend. Barry makes it hard for me to concentrate. Chewing my jeans and yapping for no reason is his idea of male bonding. I ignore him and when he gets tired, he sits quietly beside me. By now I’m done with my blog and I’m trying everything I can to get laid but nothing is working. Not even when I use Barry whom Honey now considers the cutest thing asides Jiney. Amused at my antics, she takes a picture of both of us and quickly uploads it on Instagram, tagging me.
I tap on the little heart icon to like the picture, agreeing with her about my cuteness. I seem to have gotten sexier as a married man. I tell her that and give her kudos, all in a bid to get tail but Honey is not falling for my sweet mouth.
“Later in the night when I’m tired, you’ll be molesting me anyhow,” I tell her as I follow her into the kitchen.
“I’ll touch you anyhow I want, hotstuff,” she responds, stroking my junk as her other hand stirs something in a pot on fire. I drag her away and pin her to the wall for a steamy kiss but my phone lodging in my back pocket starts to ring. Honey pulls it out and hands it to me.
“Nne,” she utters.
I answer the old woman’s call.
“Nne’m oma, how are you, darling?”
“Tired,” my mother answers. “Please come and speak sense to your younger brother before I pour pepper in his eyes.”
“Nne, I have washed my hands off Emeka…”
“Which Emeka? I’m talking about Obasi.”
“Oba is at home? I sent him to Kalu’s a short while ago.”
“He’s here with me. He just got in and it seems he has lost his mind with the nonsense he’s telling me. I will soon slap him and pour that pepper in his eyes.”
She then goes off in Igbo in one long ass lamentation.
“I’ll be there in a few minutes.” I groan silently as she rings off. Honey gives me a comforting peck. To show appreciation, I squeeze her boob and correctly aim for the nipple. She shrieks, pulls back and smacks me. Barry, who has been watching us, begins to bark at me. The beast is quite protective of her.
“Shattap.” I playfully kick it and it goes for my Nike slipper. We struggle for a while before I fling it off and hurry out of the house.
A sunny sky meets me outside. No, scratch that. Burning hell meets me outside. My car offers little comfort. The AC is bad. I let down the windows and hit the streets.
I yawn. I am tired, hungry and horny. The last thing on my mind is Oba and Nne’s drama. I pray it doesn’t take my time.
I arrive at the family house and from the gate I hear Nne’s raised voice. When I get in, I expect to see Oba in the same state but I find him seated on a couch in the living room, thumbing over his phone screen.
“What’s going on?”
“Ask her,” he replies. I look at my mother and I don’t need to be told that she has gotten into her bitch mode. This happens once a year. Woe betides the person that is responsible for bringing out this side of her. What is her grouse this year? Oba wants to leave the house and move in with a colleague. That is all! Nothing else. To her, Oba is still her little baby boy and going to live on his own means he has joined bad gang. The old woman is not having it. And yes, she has fresh pepper, pounded and waiting to pour into his eyes.
I put my arms around her and lead her to the kitchen where I sit her down, placate her and explain to her that Oba is now a grown man and should be allowed to do as he pleases.
“Nne, one day he will get married and leave you and your husband. Will you follow him and his wife to his house?”
At this, she keeps quiet.
“He is an adult now, mom. Please, it’s time you let him be.”
“Abeg, help me tell her.” Oba is standing by the door, hands in his pockets. “She doesn’t want me to go, yet she won’t let me have any girl over.”
“So that you will be romancing them in my parlor, in broad daylight!”
“Will you let me carry them to my room?”
“You see it? You hear your brother, Jideofor? All he wants to do is fornicate, and that is why he will not leave my sight! I can’t have a useless son, going around with a wayward penis!”
“Jide did it and nobody said anything.”
I turn to him. “Hey!”
“Jide did it and that’s why you too you want to do it, okwa ya? I will not only rub pepper in your eyes! I will hold that your thing and bathe it with the pepper! Open that your nonsense mouth again and see what will happen to you!”
“Mommy, free me nau! Let me go! It’s just out of respect that I’m still here o! You know I can walk out and there’s nothing anybody will do to me!”
I see hurt in my mother’s eyes. I gesture to Oba to leave. He goes away, grumbling. I take her hands in mine.
“Nne, you know you’re fighting against the wind. You know that, right?”
Tears fill her eyes.
“This is not a crying matter nau.”
“No. You don’t understand. It’s your father’s late mistress that is responsible for all of this!”
“How did she enter this talk now?”
“The only reason I am holding on to Obasi is because of that her useless daughter.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I suspect something is going on between two of them.”
“Oba and Ndidi?”
“Yes. I don’t want to ask him because it will be like I’m accusing him. I have not seen anything directly that connects them but I sense it, Jideofor. I sense it. And I don’t want that girl in our lives in any way. She has the same strange, evil spirit her mother had. She will ruin my baby. Please, help me talk to him. If he can stay away from her, then I’m fine with him living anywhere he desires to but as it stands, I want him under my nose all the time before she will destroy him. Please, talk to him.”
Wow. What a lot to take in. Oba and Didi? It’s unlikely. Nne must be imagining things. Nonetheless, I assure her that I’ll have a word with him.
“Let’s go for drinks,” I tell him as I come out to the living room. He picks his phone and follows me out. I allow him drive my car. I sit back and turn the radio on.
“So, what’s going on between you and Didi?”
Oba looks at me for some seconds and then throws his head back in laughter.
“Nne suspects there’s something between us?”
“Ignore her jare. There’s nothing going on between me and Didi.”
And so I rest the matter. We stop at a sports bar, play a game of pool over drinks and after two bottles, Oba begins to sing a different tune.
“I have a crush on Didi,” he confesses. “Basically she’s been using me as her driver since she came to Lagos. And hey, I’m not complaining. She’s hot. I’m her baby brother, so it’s all good. We get to hang out a lot…”
“And you drop her for dates with other guys and spend money on her, abi?”
He gives an uneasy laugh. “I really, really like her, Jide, but it’s not just the brother and sister issue. I mean, I could just tell her that we’re not related.”
“And watch yourself burn in popsi’s hell.”
“I can handle that. But here’s my issue with Didi – and I’m not supposed to tell anyone this. Can you keep it to yourself?”
He breathes out loudly. Whatever he is about to say is difficult to let out.
“Didi is auctioning her virginity online to the highest bidder.”
I put my beer bottle aside.
“The URL of the website is sellyourvirginity.org and Didi is registered there.”
I quickly pick my phone up and type in the site’s URL in my Google Chrome.
“You can’t find her there. It’s a very private site that protects its members. It’s run by Bunny Ranch in the US.”
“And what’s that?”
“A brothel. Once Didi’s auction ends, they’ll fly her to the ranch to meet her bidder and basically, she’ll be stuck there as a ho’.”
My tummy churns. “Oba, are you sure of all you just told me?”
“Can you please help her before she fucks her life up?”
I am dumbfounded. Unable to say anything, I down my beer as I ignore my ringing phone. Honey is calling. I guess the Ditorusins have arrived. I call one of the bar girls to come over with our bill. As I wait for her, I take a good look at my brother’s face and feel sorry for him. Dude is really in love.
“Not Ndidi,” I tell him as I rest a hand on his shoulder. “Find someone else, Oba. Not her. She’ll break your heart.”