Dugo

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Dugo #20

“We need to talk.” His words flew over her head like a bird winging past. She shoved her textbooks into her backpack and pretended he wasn’t standing so close to her. “Tabitha?” She zipped the backpack. “Did you hear me?” “I’m late for school.” “No, you’re not. This is just three minutes after six, and the school bus doesn’t get here until six-thirty. We have enough time to talk.” Tabitha kept her head bowed and crossed her arms. This was their first conversation since Dugo showed up. The girl had gone silent mode on him. It was something he was used to. Whenever she chose not to speak to him, it would bother him for the whole of five minutes, and then he would get over it. He didn’t ask her why she was mad this time, because he knew. She was pro-Dugo, and Dugo’s visit a few days ago…

Dugo #19

Christmas in Berlin. Heartbroken and missing Luper, Dugo spent the most part of her holiday indoors. She had never been a fan of winter, anyways. It was better to let the days pass, watching German movies and babysitting Mila’s children. It distracted her from her pain, although it couldn’t erase the regret she felt over asking for a break from Luper. On the other hand, she felt justified for going away. He had behaved foolishly. The love she bore for him had not been enough to save him from being axed. She missed him, nevertheless, and wished that things hadn’t gone the way they did. “You know you can just call him and end this nonsense, right?” Ace told her the night before. His words were a reiteration of what he had told her repeatedly over the course of three months. Her answer to him was silence. In the early…

Dugo #17

If Luper hadn’t stayed so long at the mechanic’s shop, if she hadn’t come downstairs for a cup of tea, this moment wouldn’t have been happening. But here she was, granting Udazi audience again. The backdoor was open and Dugo sat there, stirring her cup of tea. Udazi had made herself comfortable in a plastic chair in the kitchen, long legs crossed. Dugo had to admit that there was something stately about the woman. Her beauty was ageless. Even in her sixties she slayed with her elegance. But maybe it was all part of her foul packaging. Her aesthetic presentation had deceived many along the years, covering the blackness of her heart, and it was still doing so. Dugo couldn’t comprehend what type of person she was. Udazi carried out her malevolent acts as if she was doing the world a favor by them. Only a short while ago, she…

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…

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