I had just told Archie I was getting married to Kashimu.
As they say, the news went down smoothly like a cluster of nails.
He didn’t understand it. Couldn’t comprehend it.
“The guy that’s rumored to be an arms dealer?” he asked after a long time of silence.
“Just rumors, Archie. He’s not anything they’ve said about him. He’s an importer, exporter.”
“Really?! Perfect excuse to smuggle arms into the country and cause the deaths of many!”
But I wasn’t lying. Kashimu no longer had anything to do with weapons. Captain owned it all now, under an alias that couldn’t be traced back to him.
“Where did you even meet this guy from sef?”
A waft of cold air blew over me. There were tiny rain droplets in it. We were at the rooftop of Léon Hotels. One of my favorite spots to chill. Drinks, barbecued chicken and one angry doctor mad at the love of his life.
“I can’t give you the details about how Kash and I met or why I’m doing this…”
“Is your family pushing you to marry him?”
“If they are, I would understand, but I would tell you not to do it. Don’t be like me. Don’t marry someone you don’t love.”
“Love is overrated.”
“Don’t say that, Bianca.”
“Love is overrated, Archie.”
“So what I feel for you is…?”
My beer tasted like a pig’s gut. I didn’t know if it was the brew or my head telling me that I had had too much to drink. Earlier, some of our friends had been with us. Catching up on old times. The beer had flowed freely. If I ended up in Archie’s bed, I would blame it on the alcohol. Not like I needed to blame it on anything.
“You’re not going to answer me?”
“Archie, can we not make my marriage to Kash about us? What we have is what we have. My marriage is what it is.”
“And I’m telling you that you’re making a big mistake. I’m a guy. I can cope with a bad wife. You’re a woman. You can’t cope with a criminal.”
“I hear you.”
“I hate it when you’re like this.”
“When I’m drunk?” I burped.
“No. When you’re indifferent about issues that can mess up your life.”
His anger was rising. “Or is this about me? You’re getting married to him because I married someone else?”
I didn’t know what was funny but I burst into a laugh that got him even madder.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. So, so sorry.”
And that too was funny. You see, I needed the highness. The past six days had been tasking. I flew to Cameroun for some work related stuff for two days. Back to Abuja to do office shit and then back to the home office. Then, there was the gym to handle because Archie had end-to-end surgeries to knob. It was crazy.
“Can we go to your car and fuck and not talk about the other people in our lives?” I suggested. Archie wasn’t having it.
“Did you even date him? Were you ever his girlfriend? Or you guys just skipped the dating part and arrived at this point?”
“Why are you angry? You think I’ll forever be your sidechick or whatever it is you think I am to you? Dude, chill abeg.”
He chilled, refusing to talk to me until his bottle of beer was done. I tried to make small talk, but he always steered the gist back to my relationship with Kashimu. I was tired. He announced that he was heading back to the hospital.
“Can I drop you off at home?” he offered.
Home would be Kashimu’s. I had informed him I was sleeping over. I didn’t want Archie taking me there.
“Na, I’m good. Just go. I’ll call a cab.”
He called the cab himself, and waited until I was in it before leaving. I went to Kashimu’s. It was past ten and he had late night callers. Bakare was there too. I maintained a steady gait and a composed appearance when I entered the living room. It was one of those nights when I had chosen to dress like a lady. Corporate attire and all. Kashimu took my hand proudly when I bent over to kiss him. He introduced me to his friends. Baka didn’t spare a greeting. His eyes were cold. Wanton too, in the way they gawked at my body.
“It’s been a long day, gentlemen,” I said. “My bed calls me, I’m afraid.”
I left their presence to Kashimu’s bedroom. The cold shower I had was more than satisfying. I dressed into one of his t-shirts and curled up beneath the blanket. I went on Twitter, to catch up on the latest with the Alter Natives. They had trended every day from the moment they went live. People were joining the movement. Everyone was becoming their own version of a superhero. They wanted to save Nigeria one hashtag at a time. They dared the government to arrest them. They called on young people to unite, regardless of their ethnicity and religion.
I checked my notifications. I had numerous mentions. People wanted to know if I was part of the Alter Natives. If I supported the movement. I ignored the tweets. The Black Witch worked alone.
Kashimu came in. He slipped in beside me.
“How many bottles did you take?”
I smiled, giving him a shake of my head, and thinking I shouldn’t have because it was all heavy with beer. He possessed my waist. After numerous kisses, it began to occur to me how much the man liked me. It was more than he probably even knew.
“So, what kind of wedding do you want? Loud and extravagant? Quiet and modest?”
“Let’s do loud.”
“Are you sure? You don’t seem like the loud type.”
“What’s wrong in wanting a little princess treatment once in a while?”
“Well, let’s see how your parents take the news in the first place. My guess would be that they would freak.”
“Why would you think that?”
“I’m an Acre, for one. I know their history with the Acres.”
“That’s all? Not because of the bad blood between you and Victoria?”
“What bad blood?” He held an expressionless face.
“She killed your wife, didn’t she?”
His finger, caressing my bum before now, didn’t stop. Neither did his poker-face change. But the dilation of his pupils, I caught that. Even in my inebriated state.
“My wife and her dad died in Damaturu. It was the work of terrorists. I’m sure you read the news.”
“I’m sorry for what Victoria did.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I didn’t pursue the discussion. It was hard to keep talking when his lips were busy making mine unavailable. We shagged lazily. Lazy because I simply lay there and let him do the work.
After that, he pulled out the condom and showed me. “Do you think we should have babies?”
“Not on your life.” I yawned, head seeking the warmth of a pillow.
“Not even one tiny, adorable tot?”
“Kash, you’re a rich to stupor guy. Knock some chick up out there and take care of two of them. I’ll unlook and ignore when people call me infertile.”
He didn’t respond. Minutes later, he was lying beside me, speaking to someone on the phone in Yoruba. His voice put me to sleep.
In the morning, I awoke to him slipping my engagement ring over my fourth finger.
“Or is it the middle finger?”
I pulled off the ring and flung it on the bed.
“I’m not wearing that.”
“You have to.” He got off the bed and went towards a small table where breakfast was laid. It smelled inviting. “I just acquired a bank. My face and yours would be everywhere. The ring is good PR for our brand as a couple.”
The alcohol had cleared from my head. What the fuck was this guy on about? Brand? PR? Couple?
The bed didn’t feel so warm anymore. I put my feet down and looked at him pouring something black into a cup. The aroma confirmed it to be coffee.
“Kash, the marriage is nothing serious, and I don’t expect it to last. We have a deal.”
“I know.” He brought the coffee to me. “But while it lasts, let’s make it believable.”
I took the cup. Three gulps and I was done. I returned the cup to the table.
“Quiet and modest wedding. Quieter marriage,” I said. “Let’s sign a prenup.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
I began towards the bathroom. “As they say in the Bahago family, my people will contact your people.”
An hour later, I was in the family house, contacting my people, telling the parents about my intending nuptials to the son of Lamidi.
Well, as you would predict, Victoria was beside herself.
“Kashimu Lamidi?! That nobody?! That criminal with a notorious record?! That’s the man you want to get married to, Bianca?! This is ludicrous!”
The conversation was taking place in their bedroom where I had met them having breakfast. Idris was quiet about the whole affair. His breakfast was never known to waste, no matter what mood fell upon him. Victoria was up on her feet, her unnecessarily long kimono sweeping the floor as she strode about in annoyance.
“Mom, I don’t want this to be one of those things where you’ll call my brothers and tell them to speak sense into me or make us have long, needless fights. I will quietly tie the knot with Kashimu if you try to be an obstacle.”
I was probably the only one in the Bahago clan that could speak to her that way, and do so while staring directly into her eyes.
“Your brothers aren’t going to accept it. Tanko, especially. These same people that Kashimu is with are the ones who kidnapped him, the ones who tried to kill Jet.”
“The same people you were friends with,” I reminded her.
“It was my past, darling. Our past,” she said, looking at Idris for support. “I left them because I realized my wrong and needed to start on a clean slate.”
I gave her a creepy smile that disappeared when Idris looked at me. Victoria was a living lie. She wouldn’t recognize the truth even if it came to shag her every night. Scary old woman.
“I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made. Marrying Lamidi would mean you being part of the Acres.”
“And if that would stop them from harming us…”
“Is that what he’s promising you?” Idris spoke at last.
“Yes, dad. But more than that, I’m crazy about him.”
Victoria groaned silently. “You can’t be nau. Bibi, you’re smarter than this.”
“Why do you hate a man you don’t even know? What did he do to you?”
“It isn’t so much what he has done as it is who he is. We don’t need someone with a reputation like that in our family, Bianca.”
“He just acquired Verity Bank.”
“He did?” Idris wiped the edges of his mouth with a napkin.
“Yes. He owns it now.”
“Nothing special about that,” Victoria spat. “Verity is a failing business. That’s a poor investment. Do you want to marry a man who makes such unfortunate decisions or a man like your father that turns dust into gold?”
“Vicky, that’s enough,” Idris shut her down. “I’ve listened to both of you and I am not taking sides. Bianca, you are in your right to marry any man you choose to. You’re an adult, after all. Victoria, you have every right to feel concerned over her choice of a life partner and her reasons for choosing him. Bianca, as your father, I’m also concerned. You never gave us any hints that you were seeing someone. And then you come from nowhere and drop this like a grenade. It bothers me.”
“Dad, you shouldn’t be.”
“Are you doing this because of his promises to keep this family safe? You shouldn’t sacrifice your happiness for the rest of us, DD. We’ll be fine.”
“It’s more than that, Dad.”
“Or is this something Captain asked you to do?”
“Captain has nothing to do with this.”
“Okay. Then why?”
“I like Kashimu…”
“Shouldn’t that be love?”
“Love is overhyped. And I don’t think it belongs in a setting such as marriage. If it does, it should grow with time.”
Idris and Victoria shared a look, worry on their faces, like they had done badly raising me up as parents.
“Kashimu is enterprising and successful and has a great future ahead of him. If there’s anything I’ve learned being the daughter of a billionaire, is that marriages for people like us are carried out for legacies and posterity. Just like Munachi and Archibong. We all know how she’s not the best fit for him, but both families worked hard to see them together. Now, they are pregnant and would have kids that would carry on the legacies of the Bahagos and Kentoros. That’s what Kash and I want.”
“But he’s a criminal,” Victoria insisted. I refused to respond to her.
“I want to do this, Dad. With all my heart.”
“Give us a few days to mull over this,” Idris told me. “I need to pray too. Just give me some time and I’ll get back to you. Okay?”
I pecked him on his beard and blew a kiss to grumpy Victoria on my way out. Munachi’s call dropped in as I headed out. I knew she wanted to ask why I missed making breakfast for her again. I was not interested in the thing abeg. Nonsense and family tradition.
“I don’t want to meet up with that appointment today, Tsaka. I’d rather we sit in and talk. Just me and you.”
“But we’ve paid for the session nau. Expensively fa. We can still talk when we get home. We need this, Pero. We really need this.”
Pero was repeatedly drawing a circle with his pen on a piece of paper on his desk. He hated the sessions with the marriage counselor they were presently seeing. He felt it was all a waste of time. Their marriage was headed for a cliff. It seemed the counseling was pushing them farther towards the edge. He was weary.
“Okay. I’ll be there.”
He put his phone away to attend to the knock on his door.
Sufiat stabbed her head in. “As-Salaam-Alaikum.”
“Do you have a minute?”
She entered the office. Today, she had no scarf on. She was wearing a jumpsuit that was stimulating and modest at the same time. Pero was well aware of his thirst for her, but it was more than that. He was more drawn to the fact that she wanted him. Tsaka had stopped wanting him. It confused him that she was more interested in fixing their relationship than she was in reviving her dying feelings for him.
Sufiat came closer, bearing some documents. “Did you get my email?”
“Your email? Um…yes. I did.”
“And you didn’t respond. So unlike you.”
She sat and tendered the documents to him. They discussed work-related issues. She did most of the talking, computing figures, making suggestions, foretelling outcomes of decisions already made. He was half-listening to her. The other half of his attention was divided between thoughts of Tsakani and how the red of Sufiat lips glowed.
“I’ll speak to my partners about this and get back to you. Sounds like a good investment,” he said when Sufiat was done.
She stood up. “You weren’t listening, were you?”
“Are you alright? Okay, that’s a stupid question to ask. I know you’re not. Maybe you can stop by for dinner one of these weekends or for lunch, so we can talk…”
“Sufiat…” Pero put on a straight face. “I’m your boss. Let’s keep things professional, please.”
“Okay. I’m sorry I…”
“Don’t do it again.”
He knew he was fighting a losing battle, one that would come crashing so badly he would find himself taken prisoner by her in the end.
He pretended not to notice the disappointment behind her apologetic smile.
She left the office. He picked his car key. It was almost time for the session with the marriage counselor.
He enjoyed the traffic he met on the way. Good excuse to show up late. Tsakani’s calls were left unanswered. He enjoyed that too. When he arrived at the place, almost forty minutes had been lost.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic,” he apologized. The counselor was a woman in her fifties. Motherly, but stylish. She gave him a smile and pointed at the space beside Tsakani on the couch they had both now gotten used to.
“Hi,” Tsakani greeted.
He sat. Tsakani’s perfume welcomed him, bringing an unexpected wave of nostalgia. He looked at her. She was wearing a gown. Short and corporate. She looked dashing in it, but he couldn’t tell her that.
“So, how have you both been?” the counselor asked.
“Good,” Pero answered.
“Not good,” Tsakani responded. He looked at her again.
“Pero, that’s good to hear. Mind telling us what’s been good?”
“Work. All work. Work’s good.”
“Home? You and Tsaka?”
“No. Not that.”
“So that means you and her are on the same plate. The ‘not good’ plate?”
He didn’t give an answer.
“Tsaka? Let’s talk about that. What’s not been good?”
He heard Tsaka sigh silently. Her hands were rested on her thighs. She was playing with her fingernails. A sign of nerviness.
“I… We hardly talk. It’s gotten worse since the last time we were here. Seems like this is the only place we talk now. He ignores me, as if I’m not there. I try to talk to him, but…” She shook her head. “I don’t know…”
“You don’t know?” Pero asked.
“Pero, please, allow her finish,” the counselor said.
“I’m done,” Tsaka responded. “I just wanted to let you know what’s not good.”
“And how does that make you feel? Him not talking to you?”
“I’m sad and angry. It’s like he’s not making any efforts at all to see this thing work…”
“How can I make any effort when you live like I don’t exist in your life? Like you don’t have a husband?”
“What does that mean?”
“It means, Tsakani, that you hide things from me.”
“Like what? I’ve been honest with you about everything. Including Tanko. Especially Tanko.”
“How about the baby you’re carrying? When am I going to find out about it?”
Tsakani opened her mouth as if to speak and shut it again.
Pero faced the counselor. “And I’m the one not talking.”
“You’re pregnant, Tsaka?” the woman asked.
“Congratulations are in order for you two…”
“Don’t be so fast, ma. Ask her who the father of the baby is.”
Again, Tsakani opened her mouth and shut it.
“You see that? That’s why I have not been told about the baby! There is a strong possibility that it belongs to Tanko Bahago!”
“Please, calm down, Adepero. That’s a strong accusation. I need you to breathe and consider your next words before you speak, because you cannot take them back.”
“I am not going to take anything back. Ask her who is responsible for the baby.”
Tsakani had her head lowered.
“I do not think this is the right place to discuss that yet,” the counselor said. “Things like this should be between you two first. The announcement of a baby is always a special, bonding moment for both mother and father.”
“I want to discuss it here. Right now. Tsakani, whose baby are you carrying?”
Teardrops hit Tsaka’s hands.
“There she goes with the tears.”
“Tsaka, do you want to talk about it?” the counselor asked.
Tsaka was quiet for a moment, and then she nodded. She picked a tissue paper from a box on a table before them.
“Speak when you’re ready.”
Tsakani blew her nose and lowered the tissue paper. “The baby is yours, Pero,” she said. “Not Tanko’s.”
“I am not.”
“So you’re saying you’ve never had sex with him?”
Tsakani hesitated with her answer, sniffling. “No.”
“Again, she’s lying. You’re lying.”
“Look into my eyes and tell me that.”
She stared at him. “I haven’t.”
If she was lying, he couldn’t tell. Her eyes were covered in tears. Nothing in her body language gave her away. Could he be wrong? Could Victoria’s insinuations be an act of wickedness just to separate them as he had suspected?
He remembered how exactly a week ago he walked into his office, just returning from a lunch break, and saw the small woman seated comfortably in the visitor’s chair.
“G-good afternoon, ma,” he mumbled, surprised at her presence.
“Hello Adepero. How are you doing?”
He went over to his side of the desk and stood.
“Forgive my intrusion. I’m not known to be this way except it bothers on matters of importance.”
Pero sat. “Is everything okay?”
“No, dear Pero. But it will be if things fall into place as they should.”
He became curious, restless.
“You do know that my son, Tanko, and your wife have been seeing each other, right?”
“Seeing each other?”
“In the sense of her helping him to recover. Pardon my use of words.”
“Tsaka has been very helpful to Tanko and to the family, and we’re grateful for her help. But then it keeps me wondering what type of man you are. If you’re generous to a fault or just a fool.”
Pero was silent.
“No man I know would allow his wife have constant access to her ex. An ex that is not so much of an ex in the sense of the term. We all know that they didn’t divorce or go their separate ways. He was abducted and she had to move on with her life. Terribly heartbroken, of course, because they loved each other in a way I’ve never seen a man and a woman love each other. If I’m not mistaken, you came into her life when she was at the peak of loneliness. You filled that void and made her forget him. But now, he’s back, and from what I can see between them, it was as if he never went away….”
“Sorry to cut you short, ma. But please, where is this talk headed?”
“You’re not stupid, Adepero. You may be a fool, but you’re not stupid. You know what’s going on. I don’t understand how you can let that happen right under your nose.”
“Please, let’s assume that I’m stupid, ma. Tell me what’s going on.”
Victoria smiled. He could tell she hadn’t anticipated his sense of humor.
“Tanko and Tsaka can never be separated. The earlier you come to realize and accept that, the better for you. Unless, you already know this and you’re fine with playing sidecock. He will always be the only man in her life.”
“Why do you care about me being a sidecock?”
“Oh, I don’t care about you. I care about my son. About his wellbeing. He went through hell with his abductors. God gave him a second chance at life. He should have sunnier days now, not heartbreak and pain. It wasn’t his fault that he was taken away from the love of his life. He shouldn’t have to suffer for that.”
“So, I think it’ll be wise for you to let them both be. Tsakani loves you, no doubt. But not as much as she loves Tanko. She’s a strong woman. She can handle you both. But I doubt that you can take it. You’re a man, after all. Your ego won’t let you play second fiddle to a woman’s affection.”
“You think you know me.”
“I believe I know you’re smarter than you let on. As a mother, I’ll beg you to allow your wife be with the man she loves. I’m sure your mom would agree to this. She never liked Tsaka in the first place. Do the right thing and let her go.”
“The right thing is her being with me. Tanko is damaged goods. Nothing can fix him.”
Victoria’s eyes narrowed, and then she smiled. “Your wife can. With her presence, with her heart, with her vagina…”
“Is there anything more you have to say, ma? I’m very busy right now.”
“Have you ever asked yourself what she does with him whenever they’re together? Have you asked whose baby it is she’s carrying?”
Pero had had enough. He got off his chair. “Ma, reiterating, I’m afraid I am too busy to continue with this fine conversation. I apologize and courteously ask you to leave.”
Victoria pulled herself up with the aid of her walking stick. “If you need some sort of incentive to do this, I’m here to help. Just a few words whispered in the right ears can take your company from struggling to the pages of Forbes. Give it a thought.”
He watched her leave. His mood had not been the same since then. Everyone around him, from Tsaka, to the employees at the office, got on his nerves. Somehow, Victoria’s words poisoned him, confirming his fears. He was certain Tsaka had slept with Tanko. Now, she was contradicting his suspicions. It was messing with him. He needed to nail something on her. Something that would give him reason to leave the marriage. Victoria had been right. He couldn’t compete with Tanko.
“Okay, well, I cheated on you, since you don’t want to be honest,” he revealed, expecting his disclosure to shock Tsakani. “I haven’t been faithful.”
“I know,” Tsakani said. “You and Sufiat. I knew when it happened.”
It was he who was stunned. “How?”
“You spent a certain night with her, I think. You lied that you slept over at your friend’s because your car was bad and it was late and you were uncomfortable coming back home that night. I knew you had been with Sufiat.”
“Intuition, your body language, your behavior… I just knew. After it happened, you stopped talking about her, stopped calling her or chatting with her. And then she started being overly friendly towards me. I just knew something happened between two of you.”
“Why didn’t you confront me?”
“I figured it was a one-off thing, that you loved me too much to ruin what we have with something flimsy.”
“Flimsy? That’s what infidelity is to you? Flimsy? That’s why you’re sleeping with Tanko?”
“It was just once!” Tsakani blurted, bursting into a sob. “Just once!”
“I knew it!”
“The tension was a lot. The feelings were too much for me to handle and…”
Pero sprang up. “I’m done here! This session and subsequent sessions are over! So are we, Tsakani! Over! Call your lawyer. We’re getting a divorce!”
The voice of the counselor disappeared with the office as he stomped out. His anger fueled his strides. He walked out to the car park, got into his car, and then gave into his anguish. He sat, staring ahead of him, unable to breathe well or think coherently.
Tsakani entered the car a while later. He didn’t look at her. He didn’t ask her to leave.
“I’m sorry I lied. I was so scared of losing you,” she apologized.
He was silent.
“I don’t know if the baby is yours or Tanko’s.”
He kept on with his silence.
“I’m so sorry, Pero.”
Her sobs annoyed him. He wanted to shout on her and tell her to shut up. But it was he who continued to remain silent as she apologized and begged him not to give up on their marriage.
“I’ll stop seeing him if you want. I’ll stop right away. Don’t just leave me, Pero. Don’t.”
She cried until some part of him melted. He managed a gaze at her.
“You’re willing to kill that part of you that loves Tanko just to be with me?”
“You’re willing to do anything?”
“Get rid of the baby.”
She stared at him, jaw dropping to the floor.
“That’s the only way I’ll accept you back. Get rid of it.”
“Pero, why are you asking me to do this? What if it’s yours?”
“What if it’s his?! I already have his son under my roof and this ties me to him and to his entire crazy family! You think I enjoy this life I’m leaving with the shadow of the Bahagos hanging over us?! Look at my house! The maid is a bodyguard! The gateman is a bodyguard! That man parked there in that small car that follows me around is a bodyguard too! How am I supposed to live like that and yet add more stress to my life with another Bahago baby, Tsakani?! Get rid of the pregnancy or forget about me completely!”
Tsakani was shaken. She groped around for the door handle for a bit before opening the door.
“I’m sorry for everything,” she said, stepping out.
She shut the door. Pero bit his tongue to stop from cussing himself out. He hated what he was asking her to do. He hated himself for what he had become.
They were awake long before his alarm went off. Their reasons for being awake were different. She had been struggling futilely to make herself orgasm while he lay beside her with his mind elsewhere, ignoring the buzzing sound of her vibrator.
She didn’t stop when his phone alarm began to beep. She kept on for a while before she gave up, cussed and flung the vibrator across the room.
He moved a little. She turned.
“Why didn’t you sleep?” she asked, pulling towards his body.
“You’re thinking about your visit to your dad’s?”
It was more than that. He had lost a patient the night before and was still sore about it. The Nigerian Football Coalition was owing him a bulk of money and he was tired of pursuing it, his only option being to go kissing the sports minister’s ass or bribe his way into said ass. In addition to all of that, Bianca’s intending nuptials to Kashimu was killing him.
“Answer me nau.”
“Yeah…” Archie exhaled, lifting his arms to let Muna rest her head on his chest.
“Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine.”
He allowed her hand travel down his abs.
“What if it ends up badly?” he asked. “I get there and lose my cool and we have one big fight like we did the last time?”
“Big deal. You walk away. You don’t owe him shit. He owes you.”
Munachi towed her husband’s boxers down, his length springing up, despite his mood. She grabbed his shaft as if it was about to take off.
“Stop it, Mu. I’m not in the mood.”
“But I am.”
“That’s not what your little man is saying.”
She lowered her head and took him in her mouth. It was no use stopping her. She would get into a fit if he did. This had been their sex life for a while now. He never consented. She had him whenever and wherever she wanted.
“Don’t puke on my dick, Muna. You did the last time.”
“Shut up,” she mumbled.
“This is not the right time for this.”
“It’s the best time. You’ll get to daddy’s all relaxed and clearheaded to take his bullshit.”
“Stop calling him ‘daddy’. It’s awkward, being that you call me the same thing in moments like this.”
“You talk too much, daddy.”
Archie swore as a wave of pleasure came over him from the buzz her mouth administered. He hated his penis for constantly betraying him. It was as though the thing and Muna had an ongoing relationship he knew nothing about.
She sucked slowly, from tip to base and back up again. She did so torturously. He switched off, his mind traveling to Bianca and how he wished she was the one with him at the moment; how he wanted to be with her every other moment; how their last session had been mind-blowing and passionate. Was she doing the same with Kashimu?
She came to him whenever she felt like. And he was okay with that. It made wanting her even more titillating, more intriguing. It was like knowing your favorite meal was within your reach, but indulging in it only on special occasions because it was too precious for you to have it all in one swoop. So you wait, you dream, you pine and burn until you get to taste it again.
Bianca drove him wild. She was mysterious. They were best friends, but he knew there was a lot more to her than what she showed him. He wanted to know more of her, to own her time and space completely. He always toyed with the idea of walking away from his marriage to Muna if he ever had to choose.
But he knew he couldn’t. Not without his grandfather’s permission. He was where he was because of the old man. He would have been another bastard Kentoro-Abassi out there, unacknowledged, no matter how much he had accomplished in life.
“I want you to cum for me, daddy. Cum in my mouth.”
Images of Bianca sprawled on his bed disappeared as he looked down at her sister.
“That’s not going to happen.”
Archie pulled away from Muna, grabbed her and trapped her beneath him. He had to be on his way to see his father soon. She was wasting precious time.
“I wanted to drink all of your cum, boo,” she whined.
“It’s not me who wants it. It’s the…”
He covered her mouth, knowing she was about to say ‘baby’. Since announcing to him that she was pregnant, it had become all about the baby. The baby wanted a pair of customized Tiffany earrings. The baby wanted to eat a whole bucket of ice-cream. The baby thought the man with the full beard in the Dodge convertible beside them looked super sexy. The baby hated the curtains in the living room.
Archie entered her gently, telling himself that her sister felt so much better. Again, it was about the mystery. Bianca didn’t emit sex like Muna did. On a good day, if she didn’t try, she looked like a dude. She acted like one. But the instant she came out of her clothes and let herself become undone in his arms, she was an entirely different exotic meal he could kill to have.
“Have you picked what you’ll wear to see your father?”
Archie frowned at Muna. The woman had a weird habit of initiating conversations that had nothing to do with sex during sex. Never mind that the sex was always on her terms in the first place.
He ignored her question.
“Are you wearing a suit?”
“Lose the suit. Pick a shirt and trousers. Fitted. Neat. A suit makes you look like you’re trying too hard.”
She lifted her legs and tightened them around his waist. “You’ll be fine.”
“What if he wants me to do something I don’t want to do?”
“Why would he do that?”
“Because that’s how these things go.”
“Like the way your grandpa told you to propose to me?”
Archie laughed, biting her lip, putting his hand underneath her to pull her body closer to him as he pushed in harder. She was beginning to moan loudly.
“I proposed to you because I loved you.”
“Stop lying. You love Bianca.”
“And yet I’m here inside you.”
They picked up pace. Muna was arched in wild response to his movements. She called him all manner of names. Some of them, good. The others, not so much. Just another day in their sex life.
“I want to be on top. Let me ride you, daddy.”
Archie was almost at the edge of busting a nut, but he obliged her, after receiving another session of pleasure from her mouth. She sat astride him, wild eyes rolling in ecstasy. His stare strayed to the clock on the wall. He had to leave soon or he’d be late for the appointment with his father. But Muna was just getting started. If he stopped her, it would be trouble. He indulged her, as he did always, letting her have her orgasms, which came in quick successions. In the beginning of their relationship, it had been thrilling to know he could please her so easily. With time, however, he realized it had nothing to do with him. He was simply a tool for her sexual gratifications.
“Have you fucked her?”
The question, jumping out from lips that had just been moaning, made him frown.
“What are you talking about?”
“Are you for real right now?”
“Answer the question.”
“Munachi, don’t start…”
“Answer the question, Archie,” she demanded breathlessly as her small frame bounced up and down his slowly-dying erection.
“Have you fucked my sister, Archibong?”
“So you know the truth?”
“You’ve fucked her?!”
Munachi stopped moving. She hit his chest.
“Hey, stop it! The fuck is wrong with you?” Archie felt his patience thinning.
“What is wrong with me?! You fucked my sister and you’re asking me that stupid question?! You’re a dog! Dirty Calabar dog!” She said the words as she slapped him more than a few times across the face. “I HATE YOU!”
Archie caught her hands. “I’ll beat you up this morning, Munachi! And FYI, I’m not Calabar! I’m Akwa Ibom! You’re so dumb, you don’t even know the difference!”
She grunted, struggling to free herself. Archie detained her and managed to get off the bed. The instant he freed her, she went full frenzy, attacking him with her hands and feet. He pinned her beneath him. “Tell your demons that I’m not here this morning! Not today, Munachi! Behave! You’re pregnant, for God’s sake!”
She struggled underneath him, but he kept her bound until he was certain he could get away without his face being clawed. Showing up at his father’s house with fingernail marks on his face was the last thing he wanted.
“I hate you! You’re so useless!”
He felt his eyes burn. He was at the edge and she was pushing him. Familiar anger caused his pulse to quicken. Without wasting another second, he let her be and turned away, heading towards the bathroom.
“Of all the girls in the world to go and fuck, Archibong! Of all the girls! You’re a fuckboy! Shameless dog! I hate you!”
Just getting into the bathroom, he heard his phone ring. Cussing, he turned back. And it was at the particular moment she decided to fling the device across the room.
“The bitch is calling you!”
Archibong stood, feet frozen, as the phone winged towards him and struck him on his shoulder before smashing to the floor. He went blank. Nothing in him gave any warning that he had snapped. His mind had one goal alone, and that was to hit Muna really badly. It felt like the only option.
How he made it to the bed from where he stood would be something he would find hard to recall later. But somehow he charged at her. He dragged her feet, pulled her towards him and hit her across the cheek.
She screamed. He clasped her jaw.
“You want this abi?! Answer me! This is the version of Archie you’ve been pushing and pushing to see, shey?”
He struck her again. Words, uncouth and deprecating, accompanied his assault. Munachi screamed. She cried. She begged. But Archie was deaf. Rage had never felt so empowering, so freeing. It would take strong hands coming from behind him to drag him away and push him down to the floor for his senses to return.
When he looked up, he saw Bianca seated on his bed, arms around her sister. He watched them both, cognizance slowly hitting him. The flagrancy of his actions came to him in episodes. At first he couldn’t speak. But he stood up from where Bianca had hurled him and stared at them like he was lost. When he finally found something to say, he called Muna’s name.
His voice added a fresh momentum to her weeping.
“I’m so sorry.”
Bianca lifted her eyes at him. There was disappointment in them. It hurt him. Maybe even more than what he had done.
“Just go away,” Bianca said. “If you have somewhere to go, just leave. Please.”
He wasn’t sure about how much he had hurt Muna. He was worried, concerned, but one more stare from Bianca made him leave the bedroom. The screen of his phone had been damaged, but not so bad that he couldn’t make a call to his father’s office. He informed them that he would be late.