Dugo

Dugo #16

“Do you want to go on a road trip with me?” Sunrise. Or the lack of it, because rainy morning. Cold bedroom. Dugo found her face nestled in his chest. It had been unfamiliar, at first, having a man reach out to hold her in the night as he did. Years spent being alone had gotten her accustomed to loving her solitude. Her body had almost rebelled against his. Her body also enjoyed being needed that way. “Where are we going?” she asked. “Benin. I need to see an uncle who’s sick, and also sort out some of my dad’s property there. You want to come along?” Dugo had other plans. She had wanted to visit her hometown for some time now, but had always found a reason not to. Maybe this would be a good opportunity to make the journey there. “I play the best songs in my car.”…

Dugo #15

It rained all night. They were awake right through it. The first half was spent exploring each other’s bodies as if for the first time. Luper had come with dinner and apologies for his behavior earlier. He was simply worried about her, he explained, emphasizing why he still felt that she needed therapy to heal from all the abuse she had faced in the past. Dugo didn’t care for his speech. She cut through his words with a silencing kiss that led to another, and another, and ultimately to clothes being tossed on the floor of her bedroom. A cold meal of macaroni was waiting afterwards. Dugo hated macaroni. She opted for some of Luper’s birthday cake which was being stored in the freezer. In the kitchen, while Luper warmed his meal, she fixed herself a cup of tea. “Will this rain stop at all?” she asked, looking out the…

Dugo #14

She saw him today. Her brother. He walked past her in the bank. She might have been mistaken because he looked chubbier and was pushing a beer gut. But it was him, alright. Half of his right ear was still missing. Mazi Enemuo, the village womanizer, had been responsible for the missing chunk that year. Her brother had dared to snatch one of his women and the man chased him with a cutlass, almost taking his head off. Nothing was done to Mazi Enemuo, of course. He was the igwe’s in-law. He didn’t even pay to treat the ear. Mama handled the treatment with the money she got from selling aki and ukwa at Eke market, the same money they all ate from. Adaugo recalled hawking her okpa for longer hours the following week. She’d walk all the way to 9th Mile where commuters coming from the middle belt and…

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…

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