Breakfast was fries and scrambled eggs, prepared by Amra. She had also woken up before dawn and cleaned the entire house. When Umi came downstairs, she was served a steaming cup of tea.
“I don’t do tea, Amra.”
“It won’t hurt to say thank you, though.”
Umi looked at her sister. She felt no beef towards her. They were sisters that loved each other despite the present situation of things. However, Umi had chosen to keep her heart at bay. It was to ready her for when Amra would break it again.
“Good morning, Aunty Umi.”
Umi turned her face into a smile when she saw Zainab beaming up at her.
“Morning, sweetie.” She walked over to her and pulled her in for a hug.
“I kept this chair for you.” The child tapped on the chair next to hers. Umi sat.
When breakfast began, Amra entertained with stories Umi wasn’t particularly interested in. She wasn’t there for the food either. She wanted to be done with it so she could get to work. She half-listened, half-smiled, but mostly calculated figures in her head.
A disheveled Quincy met them halfway. She waltzed into the dining area with hair that made her look like she had just had an encounter with a bolt of lightning. Mismatched socks adorned her feet and the shirt she had on which was three sizes too large was wrongly buttoned.
“Did you fight with witches in your sleep?” Umi asked.
Quincy ignored her and went for a mug of hot water. She threw in a teaspoon of coffee and slumped down in the last available chair.
“Good morning, Aunty Quincy.”
“Good morning darling and a beautiful morning to you, Amra,” she said. “The rest of you can go and collect your greeting from the Igbo man you slept with last night.”
Umi’s brows went up but she gave no retort. After an awkward moment, breakfast continued with Quincy and Amra engaging in hearty conversation. Umi wasn’t particularly bothered by the fact that she was ignored. In fact, she had gone back into her head to calculate more figures. After a while, she stood up, made her exit and ended up in a garage full of clients’ laundry. It was in her manner to start a working day before her employees, thus she sorted out clothes by colors, textures and quality. When she dumped the first set into one of the washing machines, Amra walked in.
“I’ve come to help,” she said, picking up a short, black dress that had all the shine in the world. “This is pretty,” she commented.
Umi snatched it off her hands.
“So, tell me where I can pitch in.”
“Nowhere,” Umi replied.
“Okay.” She hopped on a washing machine. “So…I was thinking that maybe I should look for a job.”
“Maybe you should.”
Umi plugged in a pressing iron and cleared out a table.
“It’s just that I don’t know where to start looking.”
“Jobs are so hard to find these days. If you don’t know somebody, you’re just on your own.” She paused, waiting for Umi to comment, but when she didn’t, she added, “You think maybe you can help me talk to someone to find something for me?”
“You think maybe you can get out of here so I can concentrate on what I’m doing?”
“Amratu, I’m not going to help you find a job. The only thing I can do for you is to get Zainab in school. And it’s not even for you sef. It’s for the poor thing. She needs a stable life. You can go and roam the streets for all I care.”
“You’ll really pay for Zee’s school fees?” Amra hopped down, ran to Umi and threw her arms around her. “You’re the best sister in the world!”
“I love you sooooooo much.” She gave her a couple of kisses.
“Go nau. I have to work.”
Amra let go and walked to the entrance but stopped. “So you slept with Buzor?”
Umi looked up. “Get out.”
“Just asking. No need to bite my head off.”
She disappeared. Umi rested both palms on the table as she recalled the night before. The kiss with Chibuzor had been a terrible mistake on her side. She had gotten carried away by the awesomeness of his lips but had quickly regained her senses and asked him to leave. It was hard to see the disappointment on his face as he walked away. He had left her feeling guilty and unsure of herself.
Buzor was a constant in her life. He represented trust and devotion, qualities all the men in her life had lacked. He had been there for her in her best and worst moments. No man on earth loved her the way he did.
But she just couldn’t love him back. There had to be that cosmic dust that could link their hearts together that just wasn’t there.
Femi, on the other hand…
There was a spark between them that always grew into strong fires whenever they made love but never died the moment the sex was over. It was there still, silent, buzzing like a low voltage of something that should be bigger. She was scared to feed it and make it grow, just to watch it die out too quickly or become something that would be bigger than both of them.
However, she had no desire to kill it. No desire to stop seeing Femi. In fact, with the stunt Buzor pulled the night before, she knew their friendship was going to pass through an uncomfortable stage of awkwardness which would push her into Femi’s arms. It would be better to spend her evenings making love to a man that had no feelings for her than hang with a friend who sought for something she could not give.
Taking her hands off the pressing table, Umi took her mind off both men and concentrated on work. The day went by and she gave herself no break. Not even when her employees announced that they were leaving. She had nodded in distraction as she stood, admiring the dazzling whiteness of a wedding gown that was before her. It was as strange a clothing piece to her as it was beautiful. Weddings, marriages, and all the paparazzi that came with them were strange concepts to her.
After much staring, she decided to call it an evening. She longed for a long, hot bath and some of the pepper soup she made the night before.
She went into the house and climbed up the stairs, dragging tired feet beneath her. Her destination was her bedroom but she had heard the voices of Amra and Quincy in Quincy’s bedroom and thought to stop and say hi. When she drew near the room, she picked out a sob in Quincy’s voice. Quincy sounded that way only when she was drunk.
“I’ve always loved him,” she sobbed. “But all he ever thinks about is Umi. Umi this, Umi that. I’m like dude, I’m here. Look at me! I’m way finer than Umi. No offense.”
“None taken,” Umi heard Amra respond.
“But no, dude wants dark meat. I’ve done everything, Amra. Maybe I shouldn’t have slept with him when I did. I feel so used and dumped.”
“It’s not your fault, my dear.”
“It is. He sleeps with me but he still wants Umi. What the hell does he see in her? No offense, again.”
“None taken – again.”
“Maybe it’s because her life is so perfect and put-together. She has a laundry service, she has money, she’s successful, she has principles…”
“She’s not perfect, Quin.”
“Then why does she get all the good men?”
“Same question I asked myself when we were younger. Naturally, guys get attracted to me first, but when they get to meet Umi, they start asking me why I’m not responsible like her. And I’m always like, ‘hey, I’m giving you pussy, mate. Is that not enough?’ Why go for pussy and start yapping about principles and responsibility?’”
“And the most annoying thing is how unassuming your sister is; yet she gives them some vibe they fall hopelessly for. Just imagine the mess of yesterday. Two grown ass men fighting over her.”
“Don’t get me wrong. I love your sister but she’s my least favorite person in the planet right now for what she did with Buzor.”
Umi swallowed. Tears threatened to spill but she didn’t let them.
“If you really want Chibuzor,” Amra spoke, “I have a few tips and tricks that can help.”
“Trust me, my plan is better than yours. Reporting them to Femi wouldn’t have helped the situation.”
“Don’t blame me. I was angry. I just don’t want them together. I’m crazy about Buzor and I can’t stand to see him with her. You understand, don’t you?”
“Trust me, I do. I feel you more than you know.”
They both laughed, Quincy sniffling in-between. Umi felt she had heard enough. She walked to her room where she slumped on her bed and willed herself not to cry. She couldn’t understand how she was labeled the bad one for being the good one. All she had ever done to both women was love and care for them. She had never set out to take any woman’s man; especially not men that belonged to women she loved. And when did it become a sin to choose a career over being irresponsible?
She dragged herself to the bathroom for a shower, abandoning her plans to indulge in a bath. When she returned to the room, she met the dying light of her phone. Someone had just called. When she checked, she saw that it was Chibuzor and he had called three times.
A text dropped in.
I’m sorry about the kiss. I’m on my way over so we can talk. I’m bringing peppered chicken wings and root beer.
Umi dressed up in a flash. Grabbing her purse and phone, she dashed out of the house, taking the front door in case Buzor was already on his way in using the backdoor as he usually loved doing. She walked fast when she hit the road, keeping away from the brightness of the streetlamps. Luckily for her, she found a cab a few houses away from hers. She gave the driver Femi’s address. Femi was the only person she knew would not judge her.
He was staring at his phone. Frowning at the ridiculous sum of money his baby mama just texted that she was expecting for the Christmas holidays. Something close to a million.
Just to shop and eat chicken.
“Wawu,” he muttered before kissing the bottle of beer in his hand. He yawned after he swallowed. He was tired. After leaving Umi’s house last night, he had dunked himself in work. He left for the office early this morning and was just returning home. Weak bones had him sprawled on his bed in his work clothes. He was too lazy to even microwave anything to eat.
Molly whined from where she sat on his bed. She was also hungry but he was pissed at her for chewing the kilishi he left on one of the couches downstairs
“Stop complaining. You already had dinner.”
The dog left her spot and moved closer to him to rest her head on his lap.
“Nifesi is a bitch. I should starve her this Christmas.”
Molly lifted an ear.
“Yeah, she’s more of a bitch than you but I’m to blame. I told her not to go back to modeling. You unleash her and she fucks everything with a pole that’s breathing around her.”
Molly hopped off the bed and yapped.
“I know you like her but we have to keep her domesticated.”
Molly yapped again, her head towards the balcony that faced the gates of the house. Femi listened and heard nothing. Nonetheless, he rose up.
“Let’s get you something to eat before I wake up at night and you’re eating my balls.”
The excited dog was out the door in an second. He managed out of his clothes and left in his briefs, he left the room. Just at the foot of the stairs, he heard a knock on the front door. He grunted, praying it wasn’t his mother. He didn’t have the energy for her at the moment.
But when he opened the door and saw Umi standing outside, he literally felt all the exhaustion in his body leave him.
“Hi,” she greeted. Molly ran to her and danced excitedly around her feet but she didn’t seem to notice.
“Thought I’d never see you again,” Femi said.
“What’s the word for I’m broken and haunted by tears that won’t fall unless I get a shoulder to cry on?”
“Chibuzor?” he replied spitefully.
Powerless to keep from falling under the weight of her emotions, Umi broke down right at his doorstep.
“Geez! You were serious.” He stepped forward and wrapped her in a hug. “I’m sorry, baby.”
Moments later, they were seated on a couch, Umi’s tears on pause, Femi pouring dog food into a dish for Molly.
“I’m sorry but your sister’s a pig,” he mumbled, listening to Umi’s story. “After all you’ve done for her.”
“She wasn’t exactly gossiping about me.”
“I wasn’t exactly thinking of smashing you all day.”
Umi gave him a look. He straightened up.
“She’s not worth it, Umi. But then, she’s your sister and you’ll forgive her. As for the other pig, I never really liked her from the start. Something about those wide eyes that freaked me out.”
“She’s my friend.”
“She’s jealous of you. She wants what you have. I know girls like that. Maybe you should stop living in the same house. Let her get her own place.”
“It’s not like the things she said were horrible. I mean, I never knew she had something with Buzor. She could have told me. Why go and speak to Amra about it?”
“Is that what hurts you?”
“Yes. And the fact that she thinks I’m better than her…”
“You are better than her.”
“If she feels I’ve got everything going for me and she’s not good enough, how are we even friends?”
“Why hasn’t she ever spoken about it?”
“Why didn’t you confront her?”
Umi gave no answer.
“It’s so not like you to walk away like that.”
“I was exhausted, tired of the drama. The house was stifling.”
“Still, I feel you should ditch Quincy. A friend who always feels like you’re better than her cannot be good for you.”
“I can’t let her go like that, Femi. Where will I find a new friend?”
“I don’t count?” He held her hand and kissed it. “So I’m just knacks to you?”
“But I like that Quin likes Chibuzor, though. They can hook up and he can stop hanging around you like a mongrel. Then I can have you all to myself…”
“I kissed him yesterday,” Umi let out. Femi slowly took his hand off hers. “It was why Quincy got upset. And she thinks I slept with him.”
“You didn’t, though…sleep with him? Or did you?”
“I didn’t. But we’ve had sex before…”
“Good Lord,” Femi mumbled in a low voice.
“We were younger, high and stupid.”
Femi stood up. “I want to arrange something for dinner.”
He went into the kitchen. Umi followed him. “You’re angry that I slept with him?”
Femi took something out of the freezer and threw it into the microwave oven.
“Your body, your vagina, your business.”
“One of the biggest regrets in my life.”
The pain in her voice forced Femi’s head in her direction. He saw she was crying again, her tears matching the sad color of her dress. It stabbed him to see her that way.
He was about to go to her when she said, “Stay there. I don’t cry like this. It’s probably exhaustion. I don’t want a hug or anything. I just want someone who won’t judge me. And I know you won’t. You’re just disappointed because you really like me. So while you sort out your emotions on what you just heard, I’ll go upstairs and lie down and get rid of all these tears, then you can make me feel better.”
Her speech left him slightly stunned. He stood with crossed arms as he watched her leave.
“Hmm,” he murmured. And as he made dinner, he marveled at how easily she had understood him and the maturity lay beneath her surface. He had always wanted a woman who could handle her emotions as well as admit that she needed him. A woman who didn’t come with any fuss. His ex-wife had been a baby, a burden on his shoulder at every breathing moment. And now as he thought back to the miserable life he had shared with her, he wished that he had met Umi first. He would have married her instead.
He stopped and chuckled at the ease with which these thoughts came to him.
After dinner was ready and he took it upstairs, he found her asleep. He stored her meal in a flask, had his and slept off beside her. Later, in the middle of the night, he woke up and found her standing out at the balcony.
He went out to her. It wasn’t his favorite place in the house, being that it faced the gate. He preferred the balcony in one of the other rooms that faced the rest of the estate. There, he sat on lazy Saturdays and watched teenage boys play basketball in a court that was a short distance from his house.
“Hi.” He put his arms around her. “Is there any moment this visit would turn into something steamy?”
“I have a proposition,” she said to him, ignoring his statement.
“I’m all ears.” He kissed her shoulder.
“Let’s get into that pseudo-relationship thing you were talking about the other time.”
“The time when you said I was thinking through my dick?”
“When you said you wanted me exclusively – just for sex.”
“If I remember, you looked at me like I was trash. Why are you agreeing to it now? Is it because you don’t trust yourself with Buzzer?”
“Buzor,” Umi corrected. “And I can trust myself with him…”
“But you kissed him.”
She turned around. “No commitment. No emotions. Just me and you.”
“Works for me.”
“But I get to let everyone know that you’re my boyfriend.”
He smiled, pushed his body into hers. “As long as you let me hit it anytime I want.”
“You do understand why I’m doing this, don’t you?”
“Because of bomb ass dick?” He chuckled. “I got you, baby.”
“You’re such a retard, Babafemi.”
He kissed her, lifting her off the floor. She didn’t need to explain her reasons. He understood. He was her escape. From Chibuzor, from a sister she couldn’t trust and a friend she felt betrayed by. She needed someone who would make her forget, a place she could lay and be laid and not feel judged.
A pseudo-relationship was all he needed to make his holidays awesome. Last Christmas had been depressing, with his mom out of town, Nifesi and Teni in South Africa and all his friends with benefits scattered around the globe. He had hung with a depressing set of business acquaintances who introduced him to bawdy women that screwed his Christmas up, one of them making away with his Rolex watch.
This year, he had Umi and he was going to give her the time of her life. It had been long since he had splurged on a woman that deserved it.
“Close your eyes,” he heard her say when they hit the sheets in the nude moments later.
“I can close even my nose and my ears…”
He felt a smarting slap across his face.
“Yes, ma’am…” he groaned.
Umi was sometimes a dominatrix. Other times, she was his slave. And then there were days when they were just lovers. Tonight, she was in control.
He shut his eyes. Her small hand gripped his jaw as her lips seized his, biting him, causing a ripple of hot sensations around his body.
He smiled within. Pseudo-relationship or not, there was no way he was letting this woman go.
The holidays came and went. And just like last year, Nifesi took Teni to South Africa to spend the Christmas with her dad. Femi’s mom chose Kaduna as her place of destination despite Femi’s worries over the state of security there.
For Umi, her relationship with the people in her house had somewhat waned. The only person she grew closer to was Zainab. She hadn’t let Amra and Quin know that she knew how they felt about her. There were no quarrels or silent treatments but love was lost.
Chibuzor, on the other hand, withdrew from her entirely when she announced that she and Femi were now an item, and this broke her heart. Every move she made to bring them back to where they used to be as friends failed. The last she heard about him from Quin who had let out the news angrily was that he had traveled to his village for the holidays.
And thus, Umi delved deeper into the thing that she and Femi had to find succor. In a short time, he became her most trusted friend. She found it easy uncovering her heart to him, and in the same vein, he let her in on parts of his life he never shared with anyone. All except for that one in which he still kept the memories he shared with his wife.
After receiving a curt answer on a night she asked about his marriage, Umi learnt not to bring the topic up again. She believed he would open up when he was ready.
On this particular evening, sometime in the middle of January, they were in his mother’s house. The place was bigger and classier than Femi’s.
“First house I bought when I hit it big,” he had said to Umi proudly when they were driving into the compound earlier on. “You’ll love the décor inside.”
He hadn’t been kidding. Mrs. Agbaje had taste, and from the collection of paintings in the house, Umi could see where Femi got his love for art.
The old woman had called a teenage boy to get Femi and Umi’s overnight bags when they walked in. The boy lowered himself to greet Femi in Yoruba. Umi gathered that he and his two sisters lived with Femi’s mum. They were children of her late sister, the only family member that stood by her side when she got pregnant out of wedlock.
After the boy disappeared upstairs with their bags, Mrs. Agbaje drew Umi away from the living room to the kitchen.
“Today, I’ll teach you to make ewedu the way your man likes it.”
“Okay, ma.” Umi smiled politely.
Femi was technically not her man. Seven weeks into a fake relationship didn’t change the status. Although they were now close friends, there was no serious commitment from either of them to take things to another level. He still was quick to take out a condom anytime they had sex. It was a responsible thing on his part to do but it showed that he wasn’t willing to cross the line from casual to serious.
“You’ll clean up the fish and I’ll get the other ingredients sorted,” Mrs. Agbaje said.
Both women began to work. It was silent at first but after a while, Mrs. Agbaje threw in a question Umi wasn’t expecting.
“Ehn?” she responded.
“When will you take things to another level with Femi?”
“Umi, my son still lives like he doesn’t have a girlfriend. I go to his house and it doesn’t look like he has a woman in his life. Your impact is not felt there. Not even a toothbrush in his bathroom.”
Umi was amused but she didn’t laugh.
“I don’t want you to be just a booty call to him.”
Umi was unable to hide her smile.
“You love my son, don’t you?”
Her smile dried up.
“I… Femi and I… we’re just getting to know each other. Love is a huge deal for us. We want to be sure we’re ready to do that before we get into it.”
“I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable, my dear. I just would hate to see you become one of his mistakes. I really like you. I’ll welcome you into this family with open arms.”
Umi didn’t know what to say. She gave the woman a smile. They went back to putting dinner together but it wasn’t silent anymore. Mrs. Agbaje had all these stories of Femi’s childhood and teenage years that cracked Umi up. She didn’t stop talking about them when the cooking ended and dinner began. A quiet Femi sat beside Umi and ate his meal while both women talked and laughed over the misdemeanors of his juvenile years.
“I always knew he’d end up making me proud,” Mrs. Agbaje said, looking at her son adoringly. “He’s been through a lot. God has been faithful.”
“Maami, can we talk about anyone else but me?”
“Take good care of him for me, Umi.”
“I will,” Umi assured.
“He flakes out easily when it comes to matters of the heart, always guarding himself because of how the streets treated him. The absence of his father…”
Femi slammed the glass of water in his hand on the table, making his mum flinch.
“I’m done here.”
He pushed his chair backwards and stormed out of the dining area.
“I think I touched a nerve.” The old woman went back to her meal, seemingly untouched by Femi’s behavior.
“I think I should see how he’s doing.” Umi washed her hands and hurried after him. When she climbed up the stairs, she followed the sound of his voice which was loud and angry. She found him in a room that had bronze and olive colored curtains. The bed was covered in sheets that were a shade of buttermilk, matching the color of the walls.
Femi was standing by the window, his phone pressed to his ear.
“I think I’m about done with you! You can go fuck yourself!”
He hissed and threw the phone on the bed, muttering in Yoruba.
“Is everything okay?” Umi asked. He didn’t answer. Rather, he sat on the bed and took a moment to himself to calm down. When he lifted up his eyes, he had a smile for Umi.
“Who was that on the phone?”
“No one important.”
“And yet they had you that angry.”
“Can we forget you came in and saw me shouting on anybody?”
“Okay. Well, I’m going downstairs.”
Femi rose up and took her hand. “Stay here. The old woman doesn’t need our company. But I need you.”
“Not now, Abgaje. I’m going downstairs.”
She turned around and he followed her. They spent the rest of the evening with his mum, talking, watching Telemundo and NTA network news. At last, she called it a night just before the clock struck twelve. The moment she disappeared, Femi turned off the lights and pulled Umi to the couch he was sitting on and began making out with her. Like teenagers, trying not to get caught, they giggled their way through kisses and smooches.
Just at the point where they were about to get to the main affair, the lights went on. Umi, who was on top, moved away from Femi. Mrs. Agbaje was standing at the foot of the stairs, staring at them.
“The fuck, mum?”
“There’s a reason why I put you two in the same room. Stop misbehaving here. There are teenagers in this house. Umi, pass me my glasses.”
Umi reached for a pair of reading glasses on the center table and hurried to her, clutching her dress which was barely covering her heavy breasts.
Mrs. Agbaje took the glasses, turned off the lights and began upstairs.
“E sha lo rubber,” she said to Femi in Yoruba. When she disappeared, Umi went back to the couch and they finished off what they started.
The rest of the weekend went well. They returned to Femi’s house on Sunday evening. After a long nap, Umi stirred up at 10pm and told Femi she was heading home.
“I had a beautiful weekend,” she said to him, stroking the gentle curls of hair behind his ear. He stirred. “Thank you.”
“No, thank you,” he replied, turning on his back. “What time is it?”
“Three past ten.”
“And you want to go home now? Me I don’t have energy to drive to your house o.”
“I’ll call an Uber.”
“Take one of my cars, or just kuku stay nau. Am I chasing you away, baby?”
“No. Tomorrow is Monday. I have to be at that hotel that wants me to open a branch of my business there…”
“You need to relax.”
“I know. I just…”
He pulled her to him and turned around, pinning her to the bed. “Relax.”
His lips came down on hers. His hand made no show to hide his intention as it found her breast and kneaded it. He once told her he loved the fact that her breasts made his hands look small.
“You no dey tire?” she asked him, smiling.
“Not with a woman like you. I can do this all my life.”
He bit her nipple through the t-shirt she was wearing. It elicited a moan from her.
“I so badly want to fuck you Umi.”
“You always so badly want to fuck me.”
“You’re not going to take your pussy away from me one day, are you?”
This was the fourth time he was asking that question over a span of three weeks, and Umi was only getting to read the hidden meaning behind it. He wasn’t necessarily referring to the great sex they were having; he was pleading with her not to leave him.
“I’d probably get lonely and wank until my dick comes off in my hand and I die of a heart attack.”
Umi snorted, laughing. Still kneading her breast, he kissed her nose. “You have no idea what your body does to me. I can’t do without it.”
Umi stroked his cheek, enjoying the feel of his soft beard on her fingers. Femi had grown on her too. She didn’t know where they were heading with their arrangement but she knew she didn’t want it to end just yet.
“I can’t do without your dick too.”
She got rewarded with a kiss, and soon, with the part of him she couldn’t do without. In exhaustion they went to sleep some two hours later. When it turned cold at night, Femi shut the windows and wrapped Umi in his arms. Usually she would pull away from him to lie on her back, but this night she let him, muttering in her sleep about how he was the best boyfriend.
He dozed off too, resting his chin on her head. Entwined, they barely stirred until morning.
Something woke both of them up at the same time. Umi opened her eyes first and discovered that someone was parting open the curtains to let in daylight. She blinked a couple of times and focused her eyes on the shapely woman whose back was to the bed. She had one of those long weaves that almost fell all the way down to the waist.
Femi turned, and when he did, the woman also turned. Unable to see her face clearly due to the blinding daylight, he sat up.
“Wakey-wakey,” she said. Her voice was deep and had a hush tone to it.
“Susan?” Femi muttered.
“Who are you?” Umi asked, covering her breasts with a pillow.
The lady moved away to give them a better view of her face and Umi found herself staring at what she could best describe as blinding beauty. The person standing before her looked like she was cut out of the front cover of a magazine for mermaids. Flawless, fair skin, hazel eyes, lips that begged to be kissed and a face so well-sculpted, Umi was sure it was the work of a skilled surgeon. Or maybe God had been in a really good mood the day he created her.
And then she smiled, stealing the shine out of the brightness in the room.
Umi’s mouth fell open. She glared at her and then at Femi who suddenly couldn’t move a muscle.
“I’m back,” the younger Mrs. Agbaje revealed, pointing at a set of Louis Vuitton suitcases lined up in a corner. “Shocked?” she asked Umi. “Yes, I’m his wife. Not ex. Still married. And I want to thank you for keeping my own side of the bed warm. But we won’t be needing your services any longer, sweetie. You can leave.”
Umi glared at Femi a second time. He still hadn’t moved a limb. Quick anger filled her and she slapped him. But he remained where he sat, eyes trained on Susan. They hadn’t left her from the moment he turned and fixed them on her.
Umi picked her clothes and phone off the floor and made her exit. Femi didn’t go after her. He stayed right where she left him until Susan walked to him, climbed over the bed and rested her hands on his shoulders.
“I missed you, Babafemi.”
She wrapped her arms around him.
“I’m sorry for walking away, for breaking your heart. But I’m back to make things right and I’m never leaving you again, oko mi.”
From nowhere, Femi began to laugh. It was soft at first, but it picked up momentum as he threw his head backwards and laughed louder. So loud that Susan left the bed and stood before him to be sure she wasn’t in the same room with a mad man.
But when she did so, Femi sprang up and made his way out of the room in the nude, still laughing.
E sha lo rubber (Yoruba): Use a condom