Dugo

Dugo #13

How do you break up with someone without being a monster? Ace’s text to Dugo went unanswered. Can I just ghost her instead? Still, no reply from Dugo’s end. Ace crushed the empty beer can in his hand and picked another from the fridge. It was too early to be drinking anything alcoholic, but he needed to remain in one piece when he shattered Joana’s heart. She entered the house, springy, and with all the wow of her beauty. She was wearing the same dress she had worn on the day they she dumped him, as if it was a sign that the heavens were okay with what he was about to do. “Just coming from church.” She dropped a kiss on his cheek and wiped the spot. “Not straight from there exactly. Stopped at the market to buy things for turkey stew.” Ace took the shopping bag she had…

Dugo #12

“Hi.” It was all her pale lips could utter as his strong arms wrapped themselves around her. She shivered a bit. She was exhausted. Ace’s hug was more than welcome. She had felt like a floating balloon before now. His hold and the feel of his body brought her back to earth. The only problems was that she wished it was Luper hugging her. She told Ace this. “Then why didn’t you tell him you were coming back today?” “Tomorrow is his birthday. I want to surprise him.” “So that means you guys are back together?” She gave no reply. She received a peck on her forehead before Ace picked her luggage and began towing it down the alley that led to the parking lot. A little over two weeks ago, she had buried the cremains of her ex-husband. He had insisted on being cremated and his ashes stored in…

Dugo #11

He received her email the moment his car pulled up in the garage. It was work-related, but just seeing her name pop up on his screen gave him hope. She was out of the country at present. Ace had informed him that someone close to her in Germany was sick and she went to be with the person. He had asked Ace if he thought there was still a chance for him with her. “I can’t answer that. Rape is a huge thing for her.” Luper knew that, considering all that Osarobo had told him about what both ladies had gone through in Italy. He knew Dugo’s life had been plagued with sexual abuse as a teenager. What he didn’t understand was why she hadn’t told him about it. But that didn’t matter now. Would they get back together? Would she look beyond all he had revealed about himself and…

Dugo #10

The last thing Dugo wanted when she returned home after a tiring day was a chat with Ace’s women. But that was exactly what she did. First it had been Joana, and then, her friend, Titi. Dugo had burst into the house, wondering which she wanted so badly. A shower or a drink of water. Or maybe even a full body massage. Luper had taken her to get one of those the weekend before. She had forgotten to ask the name of the spa and the directions to the place. Now that she was driving on her own, she needed to do these things for herself. She dumped her handbag in the living room and barged into the kitchen for a drink of water. Standing before the sink and peering out the window was Joana. She turned. Their eyes met. Dugo opened the fridge. “Hi,” Joana greeted. Dugo closed the…

Dugo #9

“You made me leave class for this? You should have seen me panicking and running out like a mad man. Now, I’m here and you’re walking up and down and making me dizzy? My friend, stop walking and talk to me.” Dugo obeyed Ace’s instruction, having just realized that she had been pacing around since she returned home. She also noticed that she had stopped thinking. Her head couldn’t contain the different thoughts that struggled for relevance. She had never felt so confused and embarrassed, and regretful, all at once. “Talk to me,” Ace said, coming to stand in front of her. “I fucked up. I really fucked up. I really, really fucked up.” And then she told him everything about her visit to New Beginnings and being exposed by Osarobo. “You ran away? Dugo, you fall my hand.” “I didn’t know what to do! He was looking at me,…

Dugo #8

Monday evening. Ace was exhausted after spending the day supervising some construction work on Dugo’s newly-acquired property where she intended to establish an NGO to rehabilitate and empower former victims of sex trafficking. Dying for a massage and uninterrupted sleep, Ace slumped on his bed the moment he got home. But Joana showed up shortly after, with a body hungry for him. She was also just returning from work. She tossed her clothes on his bed and entered the bathroom for a shower. Ace picked her phone from her handbag. Fortunately for him, she still used her old password. He unlocked the phone and held it for a bit, unsure of what to look for. He settled for chats on Whatsapp. She used to be an active user of the app. He needed to get into her world, and not the world she wanted to create just for two of…

Dugo #7

Church was uncomfortable. Dugo had issues with organized religion and with God altogether. Her beef began a couple of years after her introduction into the world of sex slavery. She had spent nights in endless prayers, for God to come rescue her, but what she got was excruciating silence and darker nights. Her flickering faith fizzled out when her maman, the woman who ran the brothel in which she was held, took her to church on a cold Christmas morning. At that point, she had taken a liking to Dugo and allowed her the privilege of living with her and servicing choice clients. Still Dugo remained a slave, and even the visit to the church was without her consent. She would have found herself flogged and starved if she had refused. The Mass that morning had been torturous. Dugo picked out a few faces that frequented the brothel, including the…

Dugo #6

Breakfast, being a combination of sliced bread and burnt eggs, tasted bland. Ace wasn’t into it, having engaged himself in a phone call with a friend. It was one of those, quiet wet mornings when one could hear the sound of the rain over the roof. He picked his cup of Masala tea and left the dining table to the living room. The television was on, but the cloudy weather made viewing most of the cable channels difficult. Ace switched off the television and sipped what was left of his tea. He listened to his friend for a while longer before putting his phone away. He went to Dugo’s door. He had heard her moving about earlier, which was an unusual thing for her on a Sunday. She usually stayed in on Sundays, coming out only at noon after studying. He knocked on the door. “Come in.” He pushed the…

Dugo #5

She didn’t want it happening this fast. She had planned to take her time with him, to get into his mind and heart slowly, to have him invest in her, and then bring him to ruin. But here they were. Tipsy and out of his mind, he was. Face over hers, eyes wanting to devour her. He had already talked about his failed marriage and how broken he had been after his wife of six years left him. He had also talked about being a disappointment to his late father. All of this had been triggered by the unexpected appearance of his ex-wife at Wendy’s party. The woman was some sort of gem to the parents of the pupils in the school. A good number of them had attended the party. She had also been the school’s administrator, running its affairs under the guidance of Luper’s father, even while they…

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