Things are going to change drastically for the characters of this story. Some hearts will break, some will find love, what has been hidden in darkness will come to light and like water spilled to the ground which cannot be taken back, some of these changes will be irreversible.
And here it begins…
Just a kiss. That was what she said. But it was more than that to both of them. It had been ignited from the moment she raped his mouth at Mr. Enenche’s and since then, they hadn’t been able to stop the fire that drew them into an endless kissing game. Uyi had left the Enenches’ that evening, embarrassed and in a hurry but he could not hastily erase the taste of Dami’s tongue over his all through that night. Work was a bore for him the next day and with Temi’s absence, his weariness was turned up a notch. But Dami spun things around when she materialized before his desk with a bogus assignment she wanted him to do which would require him working overtime. He acceded to her wish and continued his day with a renewed zest.
When evening came and the office building was empty save for the two of them, the kissing kicked off again. Scared that they might be caught by the numerous surveillance cameras, they moved to Dami’s car at the parking lot where they went on for a prolonged time.
“Are we ever going to have a serious conversation?” Uyi asked when he stopped to breathe. Dami shook her head slowly at him with what seemed like a naughty smile.
“Who wants to speak geek this night, Uyi?” she whispered and bit his lip so hard he flinched. Then she continued again. No touching was done, no phone numbers were exchanged, no words were said, and she kissed him all the way to his doorstep… and then stopped, breaking into laughter when she saw his roommates staring at them with gaping jaws. One look at Ovie and Peter had Uyi changing his mind about staying home.
“Let’s go to your place,” he suggested to Dami and she nodded readily. “Er…wait for me in your car. I just want to get something quick.” As she walked away, Uyi dashed into his apartment and was welcomed with loud whooping from Peter and Ovie. They followed him into his room, begging for juicy details about what they had just witnessed. Uyi said little to them but it was enough. They already had evidence of the kiss, a photo taken with Peter’s phone. They waited for him to leave before logging into www.totameavirgin.com to upload the photograph. And that was how Uyi’s name joined the list of Dami’s potential deflowerers. In less than thirty minutes, he topped the list and Dike’s phone buzzed for three full hours, alerting him of new bets placed on the newcomer.
However, Dike couldn’t concentrate on his incoming alerts. He had his own headache to deal with at home. Kachi had been crying for five long hours and had refused to tell him why. He suspected that she had somehow found out about Temi. But Dike wasn’t really fazed. In fact, he had half-expected her to catch him because he wanted a big showdown. So bored he was of his life and marriage that he was willing to risk it all to start over again. He believed he loved Kachi immensely but the fire was long gone and he just couldn’t see himself playing the role of a husband anymore. His heart was dead cold towards her. He had tried to revive it severally but without success. Now, all he wanted was a way out of the prison he called his marriage, and if Temi was the exit, he didn’t give a damn if his affair with her was exposed. Still, it hurt him somewhat to see Kachi cry. She once was his best friend and if there was left any part of his conscience that was alive and jabbing him at that moment, it was for the friendship he once shared with her.
“Kach, talk to me nau. Why are you crying like this?” He didn’t know how many times he had asked that question in Igbo and in English but the answer was always the same – silence and more tears. He was tired and heavy-eyed and one look at his blinking phone reminded him that he had messages to attend to, so he sighed and said, “I’m turning in. If you want to talk, just tap me.”
He rested on his side of the bed and connected his phone to charge as he began to attend to his messages. Just as he was about logging into totameavirgin.com, a text message arrived. He clicked on the SMS icon and saw that the text was from Kachi. He glanced at her side of the bed where she was crouched, and saw her fiddling with her phone. He turned back to his and clicked on the SMS and it read thus:
Mrs Dike, my name is Temi and I have been sleeping with your husband. I’m very sorry about it. Dike told me he was divorced. I didn’t know you guys were still married. Pls forgive me. But I have worst news. I am pregnant for him and have no intention of aborting it. Again, I’m truly sorry.
Dike was dumbfounded. Temi couldn’t be pregnant, he argued in his head. She was just trying to cause trouble. What on earth would possess her to send such nonsense to Kachi?
He looked at Kachi. She was still crouched and backing him. She sent him another text.
Temi, thank you for letting me know. I do not advise you to abort the child. And I do not advise you to stop seeing Dike if you love him. I am leaving him for you. Enjoy.
“Kach?” Dike called Kachi in a very low voice and she lifted herself from the bed and faced him. “Nnai…” she began and stopped and rubbed her swollen eyes. “I… actually found out about two of you earlier today. I followed you from work until you got to her house. I saw you guys kissing in the car, I saw everything. And I was so angry. I planned to go back to her house to beat the hell out of her before descending on you… but her text came in and… everything changed. It was like someone poured cold water on my body and anesthetized me and I am yet to recover. So here I am, Ogbudike, all fight in me gone. I can’t come to blows with another woman over a man who doesn’t love me, over a man who takes away my dignity and shares what is mine with someone else. I can’t keep giving you all of me only to find out it’s not enough and you want more outside. What you and I have is more than physical but you take it and make it small and strip it of all its essence and it’s killing me, Nnai. It’s killing me. I can’t do this anymore…” She covered her face briefly and sniffed, then let down her hands and pierced his eyes with a tormented stare. “I want… a divorce.”
Dike shivered without his helping it. He was afraid to look into Kachi’s eyes to discover she actually had the power to break him completely with just one stare. It was only his pride left and he wasn’t going to let her take it away and emasculate him all over again yet he felt some sort of darkness covering him, something profound leaving him, severing a cord between him and Kachi that he never knew existed. He was experiencing, at that point, what Kachi told him she had experienced earlier. A cold sensation took over him and he could hardly feel any part of his body.
“Are you serious?” his throat burned. The kneeling image of Kachi on the bed stirred something strong in him. She had never looked so beautiful in all their life together. He wanted to just reach out and hold her but his hands were like dead weights beside him. He desired to tell her he was sorry, to tell her that he truly loved her but had been consumed with his ego. He needed to ask to be forgiven but sadly, nothing in him budged. He remained there like one who was dead.
Kachi drew a long sniff and slowly dismounted from the bed. She took her wrapper and phone with her and was heading out of the room when he finally found his voice. And it came out with anger that surprised even him.
“You want a divorce?” She turned to him as he sat up. “Fine! I will give you your divorce so I can rest from your controlling hands because Kachi, I am tire
d! You choke me every single moment! I can’t breathe when I’m with you. It’s like walking on thin ice! You always find fault in everything I do! It is either how I laugh or the way I swallow my food or the fact that I speak pidgin in public or that I fart in bed! You push and push and push AND DRIVE ME CRAZY! You don’t know when to stop! And now, you’ve pushed me into the arms of another woman who gives me the respect I deserve! Yes, she is better than you and more woman than you will ever try to be!”
“So don’t stand there taking the moral highroad with me! I know your dirt, in and out and I ate it without complain! But you… baby, you destroyed this marriage! You! Not me. And I have totally given up too. You can have your bloody divorce!”
With his face etched in stone, he picked his pillow and phone and stormed out of the room, banging the door behind him. As he headed for the guest room, he dialed Temi.
Temi was in a cab headed for Gwagwalada when her phone flashed silently in her hand. Dike’s number appeared and she hated herself for knowing it by heart. She had already deleted his details but saved every text and ping in a folder named ‘bastard’. Five hours ago, she was sitting with Hafsa in her room, traumatized by his betrayal.
“So what will you do with the baby?” Hafsa had asked her.
“I’ll keep it na. What else will I do? I can’t abort it oh.”
“I’m not asking you to, but Temi, he’s a married man. The baby will tear his family apart. don’t you think you shouldn’t involve…?”
“What are you trying to say, Hafsa?” Temi grimaced heavily.
“So you want to carry the stigma on your head that his marriage scattered because of you?”
“Oh, I should just be shoved aside because I’m not the one with the ring on my finger?!”
“I was not a mistress, Hafsa! I was Dike’s girlfriend!”
“But he’s married.”
“And I don’t want him again! How many times will I say that?!” She emphasized. “I just want him to be in my baby’s life and I don’t care if his wife cannot handle it! I did not snatch her husband! I was innocent and so is my baby!”
Hafsa didn’t argue further. She left a few minutes later and it was then Temi sent the text to Kachi. It had taken a whole hour for a reply but when it came in and she read it, Temi experienced a cold feeling wash over her. Numbed at once, she read Kachi’s text over and over again and Hafsa’s words returned to haunt her. She paced around her room endlessly and each time she stopped, it was to eat something. The hours dragged by leaving a heavy weight on her shoulders. She was all out of tears, and it seemed, of options as well. But there was just one alternative left for her to take. She went through her contact list and retrieved a number she hadn’t called in years and dialed it. Fortunately for her, the person on the other line remembered her. They conversed a little and she ended the call. The black Diesel clock on her bedroom wall struck eleven and Temi hurried into the bathroom. She had a quick shower, changed into clean clothes, picked her wallet and exited the house. Uyi had not yet arrived and she doubted that he was on his way, hence she took her key along. Outside her house, she hailed a cab and asked the young driver to take her to Gwagwalada. Sitting behind, just by the window, she felt the wind outside blowing over her as the cab sped on. It was then she finally released held tears.
Now Dike was calling. She looked at her phone and though she had no intention of taking his call because of what she was planning, something pushed her to press the answer button. She told herself that she had to say her final goodbye to him.
“Dike?” she said, rolling up her window to stop the bellowing wind from interrupting her call.
“Mmm?” she answered in a moment of weakness.
“How are you?”
“Um…quick question. Are you pregnant?”
His voice was affectionate, filling her with warm memories.
“Haba, Temi, why didn’t you tell me first? Why did you have to tell my wife?”
Temi burned in instantaneous anger. “Why didn’t you tell me you were still married? Why did you lie to me?” Her tone was raised and she caught the cab driver looking at her through the rearview.
“I’m sorry, cuddles. I wanted to but…”
“Dike! Dike, Dike! I beg you, leave me alone! As it is, I’m going to abort your child now, now, now! I don’t want to tear anybody’s family apart. Lai-lai! It’s not me God will come and punish! So if you know what’s good for you, don’t ever call me or text me or even show up at my door! Me and you are through! I don’t want to ever use my two eyes to see your cheating, lying face again!” Temi hung up and hissed. She cussed in Yoruba for a long time before she let down the window to take in fresh air. Uyi had crossed her mind without warning as thoughts of him usually did, so she dialed his number and waited for it to ring as she had breathed in unsullied air to calm herself. But something weird caught her attention when she noted the environment they were in. Her brows creased and she looked around, searching for signs to indicate they were en route Gwagwalada.
“Ehn, oga?” she drew the attention of the cab driver and he stared at her through the rearview mirror. “Where we dey go? I say Gwagwalada, not Nassarawa State. Ode oshi.”
The cab driver took a few seconds before responding but he turned with his hand stretched out holding a piece of cloth which he shoved into Temi’s face. On impulse, she hit his hand and pushed the cloth away but she realized that her sight became instantly blurry. She blinked severally but it only got blurrier. The car appeared to her as if it was rocked by giant hands. Temi tried to hold on to something for balance but she failed and slumped on her seat, her right hand still holding her phone.
Uyi pried away from Dami’s lips and went for his phone. He saw it was Temi calling and though he didn’t want to pick the call, the gentleman in him would not let him ignore it. Besides, he felt he owed her an explanation for not showing up at hers.
“Temi?” he answered the call with a guilty smile but met silence. He suspected that she was upset with him. “Tems?” There was more silence though he could hear something like movement in the background. “Come on, Tems, I know you’re there. Answer me nau.”
He heard more movement and the line went dead. Uyi looked at his phone with a smile and shook his head. He was in too deep in the middle of his kissing game with Dami to bother about Temi. She could be handled better at a later time. He switched off his phone completely and turned back to Dami who was sitting behind her wheels.
“Where were we?” he asked.
“In my car, parked just outside my house and you were saying something about it not being right for you to be here by this time and because I didn’t want to hear that, I stopped you with a kiss.”
“Dami…” Uyi looked like he had another objection to make, hence Dami hushed him with her finger.
“Let’s go in.”
They both got down from the car and walked to her house, slowly and silently, holding hands like lovers do, not wanting to spoil the moment. Dami unlocked her front door and welcomed him in. The house was beautiful as he would later discover but for that passing moment, Uyi had eyes for Dami alone.
The kissing started all over again but this time, their hands proceeded to discover each other’s bodies all the way from the sitting room to Dami’s bedroom. However Uyi stopped when jolted to his senses the instant his hand found its way down her underwear. He pulled away as if stung by something and apologized.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“You can’t what?”
“I can’t have sex with you, D
ami. You’re a virgin.”
She laughed, her twinkling eyes, laughing as well. “Relax.” She held his hand.
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“I said, relax. I’m not a virgin,” she said.
She shook her head. “I started the virgin rumor to give credibility to my career as a model here. It was my selling point. Because God knows I needed to enter the Nigerian market after my relic of a dad burned my entire modeling career in Europe.”
“So, you’re saying…”
“I’m not a virgin. I lied to help my market sell and while my career lasted, it worked, until my dad burned me here again and shoved my ass to work for Felix’s firm,” she said in slight bitterness. “So, don’t you worry, child. I’ve had sex before. Relax.”
“Are you sure?”
“Wouldn’t I know if my hymen went missing?” she laughed.
“Dami…” Uyi still complained but Dami pulled open the drawer attached to her nightstand and showed him an array of condoms.
“If I was a virgin, would I need these?”
“Okay, the number of condoms in there bothers me.”
“Er, I don’t use them. It’s just for… well, you know…” She stretched from her bed to the wall and switched off the lights in the room. Immediately a soft blue glow of moonlight from her wide windows illuminated the bed.
“Is it true you have four boyfriends?”
She shook her head. “I’m seeing four guys but nothing serious. Just casual, nonphysical dates. Nigerians are funny sha. Once a girl goes out on a date with a guy more than once, they assume she must be seeing him exclusively. That’s why that stupid website they created about me is a waste of time. None of those four guys stand a chance. I hardly even see them these days.”
“And what about me?”
She smiled and pointed at her wide grin. “See this? That’s what you do to me.” She sat on his laps. “Be my boyfriend, Uyi. My real boyfriend, not the play-play type.”
Something in the weird accent she used to say the Nigerian expression made him laugh.
“They say you’re a tease,” he stated.
“Am I teasing you now?” she nibbled his earlobe and he squirmed.
“They say you change men like underwear.”
“Make dem say wetin dem wan say. You send dem?”
Again her accent made him laugh.
“You’re an ajebutter and I’m ajepako. Can you handle that?” he asked.
“Butter meets pako. Butter falls in love with pako. Butter makes pako her man.”
Tickling her, Uyi pushed her to the bed and lay over her to look at her intricately carved form under the moonlight. She looked too perfect to be real, like he was staring at real life Barbie.
“Is this just a onetime thing?” he asked.
“No. So if you have a girlfriend, better dump her.”
“She’s already trashed.”
“You talk too much,” she hoisted up to meet him with a kiss.
“If we’re going to be exclusive, no more PDA,” he said.
“Already laying down the rules like a typical Nigerian guy.”
“No clubbing and partying during the week.”
“Yes sir.” She began unbuttoning his shirt.
“And lastly, no…”
“Oh, shut up,” she covered his lips with a fierce kiss him and pulled him to her. A voice told him he was playing with fire but he silenced it and peeled off her clothes and underwear one after the other. She responded to him in a way no woman had ever done before and all of his senses were fully employed in the occupation of pleasing her. To him, it was more than just an act of affection between two lovers; it was a hoorah moment, for on that bed, thanks to his triumphant boner and his new, insanely beautiful girlfriend, he proved that he was not a learner.
However, a while later, as Dami pulled him to the bathroom to have a shower with her, something on the bed seized his attention. He stopped, turned back and turned on the lights and right there in the middle of the bed, staining the flowery, pink bed sheet was evidence of Dami’s lost virginity.
Like cold water being poured over him, he became speechless as he looked at her.
“W-w-what just happened?” he asked.
“Ouch.” She smiled mischievously. “I lied. But you, you just boldly went where no man has gone before. Clap for yourself.”