Happy Sunday! Enjoy this episode. It’s a long, juicy one!
Ishi had one of those dreams in which he got a forewarning to an unpleasant incident that would befall one of his friends. He didn’t know who it was, though. He hadn’t dreamt like this since he lost his family in the explosion.
He lay in bed after waking up from the dream, trying to recall the details. There had been a car going out of control and a piercing scream. That was all he remembered, but somehow, he was certain it had to do with a friend.
Typically, he would pray the dream away. Was he now to talk to God whom he hadn’t spoken to in months? What was he to say to him?
Ishi lay in bed until daylight approached. He had an early breakfast and entered his workroom to concentrate on a client’s project, turning on loud music to drown the echoes of the nightmare that still lingered in his head.
He didn’t hear the knock on his front door until his phone lit up with a strange number on the screen.
Curious, he took the incoming call.
“I’m outside your door.”
The voice on the phone made his jaw go rigid. Ishi turned down the music and walked out to the living room. He opened the door.
His ex, Stephanie, was outside, smiling at him.
Ishi frowned. “How did you find this place?”
“Pastor Jacan gave me the directions.”
Ishi sighed. His uncle was a pain sometimes.
Stephanie walked in. Ishi gave her attire a full review. She was still chic and posh as he remembered. Her jumpsuit looked like a collector’s item. It wasn’t modest in the bust area, and it made no effort to hide her rounded backside.
Ishi shut the door and offered her a seat.
“You stood me up on Friday,” she said.
“You left me when I needed you the most.”
“Ishi, I’m sorry…”
“Sit down, Steph.”
She lowered onto a couch.
“Do you want breakfast, seeing that you came to my house at eight in the morning?”
“I’m good, thank you,” she answered as her eyes admired the living room. “Your house is beautiful.”
“Why are you here, Steph?”
“Ishi…I came to tell you how sorry I am. I was traumatized over what happened–”
“You weren’t even there, Stephanie. If I recall, that night, you were mad at me over the fact that my sister asked you some uncomfortable questions and I didn’t defend you. I remember begging you to stay, but you just walked off. I’m glad you left, though. You didn’t witness the horror I did. I alone saw what happened, Steph. I alone lost my family and was shot in the chest. Not you. So, I don’t know what trauma you’re talking about here.”
“Ishi, I’m deeply, honestly, terribly sorry, and this is not me making excuses for my behavior, but I seriously freaked out. I was scared. I couldn’t sleep at night after what happened.”
“And so, you send me a text while I was in the hospital to tell me we’re over?”
“I wasn’t thinking rationally.”
“Stephanie, you haven’t changed. You are the same woman who married a man for money and cheated on him and got pregnant by another man,” Ishi maliciously reminded her. “The same person! I see no difference between you and that woman from your past.”
A glum expression marred her pretty face.
“And I cannot trust you,” he went on, sitting on the armrest of another couch. “I still like you, but all that fire is gone. I appreciate that you’ve seen your mistakes and you’re apologizing—thank you—but I don’t want anything to do with you anymore.”
She dropped her head.
“You’re just a fair weather lover, and I don’t…”
“Is it because of Kyenpia?” Stephanie looked up. “Is it because you’re with her now?”
“What are you talking about? I’m not with her.”
“Ishi, I saw two of you at the mall the other day.”
“So, you’re stalking me now?”
“No. That was even the day I came back. I went to get a few things for my apartment, and I saw two of you, Eliana and the twins. You guys looked…nice together. Like a complete family. You’re with her now, right?”
“None of your business.”
“I just need you to tell me, so that I don’t keep hoping…”
“I’m telling you nothing, Steph. I want you to stop hoping. We’re over.”
Stephanie touched the sides of her eyes with her fingers to stop tears that quickly filled her eyes.
“I took you when nobody wanted you, Steph. The whole world turned their back against you, but I believed in you. I saw something in you that you didn’t even see…”
“You proposed to me out of pity?”
“Or was it because you couldn’t get Kyenpia?”
Standing, Ishi laughed at her assertions. “This is ridiculous. Don’t try to twist this around, Stephanie.”
“I felt it the whole time. I said, ‘Stephanie, there’s no way this guy loves you for who you are. He can’t have the woman he loves, so he’s settling for you.’”
“Please, be honest.”
“You came into this house and went from saying you’re sorry to trying to make me feel like an awful person?”
“Ishi, please answer me.”
“I have nothing to answer. You’re stupid to believe that after I kept myself away from the dating scene for eleven years, I picked you because I couldn’t have Kyenpia.”
“Then why me, Ishi? Why me?”
“Because you were worth it. Stephanie! I wanted you! Steph, you made me happy, you turned me on, you were my only choice! I prayed about you, and I was certain in my heart that God wanted us to be together! How wrong I was!”
“So, it’s not because Kyenpia was getting married to your cousin and I was the next available thing that you could use to show her that you weren’t hurting inside?”
He laughed again. “You know what? I just got tired of this conversation. Steph, please, leave.”
She took out a hanky from her handbag and dabbed her eyes before getting on her feet. “I’m very sorry.”
“I know you and Kyenpia have something going on. I’ve heard the story about your history with her. Beautiful story of friendship and love… But if it never works out, just know that I’ll be waiting. I told you before that I’m not looking for a relationship, hence, my lack of desire to throw myself into the dating pool. I also told you that you completed me.”
“Yet, you went away.”
“I deeply regret that, Ishi. I want us back now. I know I’m asking for too much, but I miss you. Nobody has ever treated me so affectionately and respectfully. I was very stupid to walk away.”
“Stephanie, go nau.”
“I love you, Ishi.”
“I love you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“It took me being away from you to figure it out, but I do. I can’t stop thinking about you, and the way you kissed me, and the moments we hung out… I’m not taking off your ring.”
“Good, because I don’t want it back.”
“I’ll be waiting, Ishi. Take care.”
When he moved closer to her to open the door, she leaned over and left a kiss on his lips, caressing his cheek. He didn’t stop her, even though his glare was hostile.
He opened the door. She walked out. And just then, he remembered the dream he had the night before. He became scared for her.
She turned, looking at him expectantly.
“How did you get here?”
“Mind if I dropped you at home?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Let me get my car key.”
Green wasn’t Fiyin’s favorite color, but she had no choice. The hotel’s boutique had only one office wear that was her size. Everything else was either batik or Ankara. The type of stuff foreigners enjoyed buying at ridiculous prices. The shoes she picked weren’t bad, though. She got a pair of nude Jimmy Choos she was already in love with. The dress was going to be managed.
She forced herself into it, and found out that she couldn’t tug the zip up.
Jaiye was to blame for this. He showed up for her family dinner yesterday, uninvited by her. She had gone to answer the door upon her mother’s instructions, and found him standing outside, smiling at her, dressed in a black bespoke kaftan and a vintage bottle of wine. Of course, her parents had fallen in love with him, and everyone else in the house had lapped up every word he said. His charm had been enough to moisten a thousand vaginas last night. With the exception of hers. She was angry with him and her parents who shamelessly peddled her to him. She left the house before him, and had since refused to take his calls. She deliberately slept at the hotel instead of her house, knowing he would go there, looking for her.
Now, she was being forced to pay for a dress she hated, because she couldn’t go home for a change of clothes and return for a meeting on time.
“Argh!” Fiyin stomped her foot in frustration, having now tried the zip six more times.
Someone knocked on the door. She was sure she hadn’t called for room service, but she was grateful to have them here. She dashed to the door and opened it. There again, was Jaiye!
He swept in, taking her waist and mouth at the same time. She pushed him off. He kicked the door shut.
“I’m sorry about last night,” he apologized. “Hey! We’re wearing matching colors!” He took out his phone and lifted it in the air. “Smile for the camera, baby.”
Fiyin scowled. He took a selfie.
“Gosh! You’re so beautiful!”
Fiyin hissed. She crossed her arms. “Start explaining yourself.”
“Okay, I got a call from your mom yesterday morning.”
“How did she get your number?”
“At first, I thought you gave her, but after we talked, I realized that she got it from wherever she got it.”
Fiyin wasn’t surprised at Alhaja. The woman had her ways.
“Anyways, she said she knew you wouldn’t invite me for the family dinner, and so, she invited me herself. She said I shouldn’t tell you–”
“And you listened to her?”
“Em…I’m Yoruba and we respect our elders, especially the mothers of the women we want to marry.”
“Marry? You’re sure you’re not drunk this early morning, Jaiye?”
He tried to take her hand. “You’re my wife na.”
“Wife tani e?”
Fiyin strutted off to the dressing mirror.
“Look at that ass! Watch it bounce!”
She frowned harder to ensure that she didn’t give in to his charm.
“Anyways, I came to say that I’m sorry, my onion booty. Now, that I have the love of Mommy and Daddy, I will start listening to my wife first.”
“Keep calling me your wife and I will bite your dick the next time I give you head.”
Jaiye shivered, forcing out a smile from her.
“I hate you.”
“I heard you paid for this room. I’m sorry you had to. I will ask them to refund every last kobo. Even for the dress and shoes.”
“How did you even know I was here?”
“You’ve forgotten that this is my hotel?”
“Your hotel ke. Come and zip this dress up for me jare.”
Jaiye was behind her in a wink. She saw a familiar look of lust in his eyes as she looked at him in the mirror.
“Don’t even think about it, Jay.”
He stared at his watch. “We have seven minutes and forty-seven seconds until our meeting.”
He lifted her dress, baring her bum. “Aaaah…no underwear… You’s a nasty girl.”
“Jay, what’s your problem nau?”
She heard the sound of his zipper. She was not in the mood for sex, but she knew it would be a waste of time trying to stop him. He always got what he wanted.
“Hold on to that table,” he instructed, greasing his penis with spittle. “It’s going to be a short, but rough ride.”
Fiyin shut her eyes, priming up for the pain. He parted her butt cheeks and drove in sharp and hard. She yelped and clenched her teeth. He went in deeper, bit her on the shoulder and began moving. Each motion burned her, but brought some sort of pleasure. Soon, her walls began to relax around him. Hearing his animalistic grunts and the slapping sounds of his groin against her bum heightened her pleasure. She moaned in response.
The table hit against the wall with each movement. Her handbag and makeup purse toppled to the floor.
“Can any other dick fuck you this good?”
“I didn’t hear you.”
Jaiye reached over and grabbed her neck as his movements got rougher. He tilted her head to the side a little and tightened his grip on her arteries. Fiyin soon felt like she was about to pass out, like her body was floating and dissociating from her; but this only lasted a short while as adrenaline began to kick in. He released his grip and caused a rush of blood to her genitals. Fiyin screamed out. She clawed the table and arched her back like a cat to meet his possessive thrusts. He closed in on her neck a second time. She bucked against him to match the intensity of his wild rhythm.
He released her neck again and her tears trickled.
“Harder!” she screamed.
And harder he went. But only for a few more seconds before he groaned harshly in a jarring climax, spilling into her.
Fiyin held on to the table to catch her breath. As her pulse mellowed down, her ecstasy plummeted like a wounded bird. She caught Jaiye’s eye in the mirror and grimaced at him.
“It was just a quickie, baby.” He consulted his watch again. “We have less than three minutes before our meeting. Good timing.”
He entered the bathroom. Fiyin tried not to be frustrated, but she was mad at him. When he returned, she sent him back to get some tissue paper.
“Cuming inside me on a Monday morning, three minutes before we have a meeting is so classy, Jay,” she said.
He came back with a roll of tissue paper and tossed it at her. “Not my fault that your pussy is fire.”
“I have to make sure everything leaks out before I go out there.”
He checked out his reflection in the mirror. “Best way to start the working week, if you ask me.”
“Zip up my dress, abeg.”
He zipped her dress up and kissed the spot on her neck that had felt the pressure of his hand more.
“See you later.”
Fiyin stooped to the floor and placed some tissue paper underneath her. She stayed that way until she was sure she had gotten every bit of Jaiye out of her. Afterwards, she wiped herself with a wet towel, refreshed her makeup and left the hotel room.
She took the elevator to the third floor, and just as she was getting into the boardroom, she bumped into Anna coming out of it.
“Hi,” she greeted with a smile.
“Hi.” Anna managed a grin. Fiyin thought she looked good this morning in a pink pantsuit and new hairdo. “Just the person I wanted to see.”
Anna took her hand and dragged her down the hallway to Kyenpia’s office. They stopped in the anteroom. Anna closed the door behind them.
“Okay, forgive me for butting into your personal life, but I know you’re doing something with Jaiye.”
“Fiyin, let’s cut the bullshit.”
Fiyin was taken aback by the mention of her name. Anna had always called her Ms. Fiyin, and had never addressed her in this manner.
“I know what is going on, and that’s because I was in your shoes last year.”
“Yes. I was Jaiye’s plaything for a while. The sex started out great until he brought out his Fifty Shades of Psycho and almost killed me.” Anna took Fiyin’s left hand and pressed into her sore wrist. Fiyin winced. “This is just the beginning. You may enjoy it, but he doesn’t know when to stop. And by the way, he’s using you. Very soon, he’ll start asking you to do things that would betray your friend. Just like he tried to make me do things to…”
Anna stopped, sighing.
“See, just end what you have with him because it won’t end well. And by the way, what type of friend are you sef? Don’t you know what loyalty means? Sisters before niggaz. Jeez!”
Stunned, Fiyin watched Anna proceed into Kyenpia’s office. She stood for a while before she shook off the moment. On her way back to the boardroom, she tried to convince herself that she wasn’t betraying Kyenpia. She was only having sex as any adult would.
She gripped the door handle to the boardroom and entered. Jaiye was at the head of the table this morning. Kyenpia was seated at the opposite end. Fiyin walked in. Jaiye, who had been speaking, stopped and looked at her.
“Hmm… Fiyinfoluwa, you are late again today. Is this a habit of yours or some sort of work ethic with BFAM staff?”
Fiyin breathed in to mask her annoyance at him. She gave him a smile, exhaling. “I’m really sorry, Mr. Jaiyesimi. Some lowlife delayed me on my way here. We had a rough, but very brief exchange. I’d love to talk about it, but I don’t think I want to spill the details…”
He cut her off. “I suggest that you keep it and let us get to business.”
“Of course, sir.”
Fiyin sat and tugged out her phone from her handbag. After putting it on silent mode, she straightened her posture and took on a serious demeanor. Her eyes, however, strayed to Kyenpia’s direction, and she found her friend looking at her with interest. There was a smile in Kyenpia’s eyes, one that Fiyin knew so well.
Fiyin averted her gaze, but couldn’t help herself as she returned it and found Kyenpia still staring. Fiyin smiled. Kyenpia didn’t. Luckily for Fiyin, Anna walked in, giving her reason to break away from Kyenpia’s grip.
Seated in her car, waiting outside Polaris and Eliana’s school, Yenkat listened to the radio. The presenter on air was running a call-in show where listeners were asked to count their blessings and say what they were grateful for. A caller had just shared that she was grateful for getting pregnant for the first time after being married for twelve years. The joy in her voice was intense, making Yenkat smile. The woman burst into a song in Ibibio, which the radio presenter sang along to. After she rang off, he made a short prayer for families who had fertility problems, asking God to visit them like he visited Abraham and Sarah.
“And my brothers,” he added, “don’t go and do like our father Abraham o! No go give any Hagar belle as you dey wait for God to do miracle in your life.”
His co-presenter burst into a laugh. Yenkat shook her head with a smile.
“What are you grateful for?” the presenter asked.
“What am I grateful for?” Yenkat echoed. She didn’t have to think hard. She had achieved and exceeded the career goals she had set for herself in her twenties and she was thankful for that. She was also blessed with friends she could rely on. She had Polaris to fill in the void that came with not having her own child. What else?
She laughed. Yeah, she was glad to have Omar in her life, to go to sleep being held by someone who loved her and to wake up in his arms. It was one of life’s little blessings and she was going to cherish it for as long as it lasted.
The school gates opened and Yenkat turned off her ignition. She got down from the car and made her way in after showing her ID card to a security man. She picked Polaris and Eliana and drove home. She left Polaris in Omar’s care and then left for Léon Hotels with Eliana who was sleeping. Kyenpia, in a meeting, already left instructions with Nelly to take the child home.
Yenkat handed Eliana to her and strode into Kyenpia’s office. There was no one in. She stretched out on a black leather couch on chatted with a client on WhatsApp until the door opened and Anna walked in.
“Oh,” Anna muttered. “Good afternoon, Ms. Yenkat.”
“Hi Anna. You guys are done with the meeting?”
“Yes. Can I get you something to drink?” Anna asked, placing Kyenpia’s laptop on her table.
“No, I’m good.”
Kyenpia strode in. Yenkat sprang up from the couch with flattering eyes on her outfit. She was the only women Yenkat knew that could do smart casual and nail it. Today, she wore a patterned suit with a white t-shirt underneath and white sneakers to go.
“You wore that to a meeting with the governor’s wife?” Yenkat asked.
“You like?” Kyenpia spun around.
“One of Leonel’s post-humus birthday gifts to me. I finally opened them.” Kyenpia smiled sadly. “Five of the boxes had complete outfits, each with a note.”
“Awww…” Yenkat smiled back. Her eyes caught the side stare Anna gave Kyenpia.
“I miss him, Yen. So much.” Kyenpia waggled her head and pressed a finger on the side of her eye. “It’s still so hard to believe that he’s gone.” She went to her table and pulled out her chair. “Anyways, I have good news.” She grinned. “Drumroll!”
Yenkat put her thighs together and drummed on them.
“I got us the deal with the governor’s wife!”
“Iz a lie!” Yenkat jumped up.
“I so did! You should have seen me pitching this hotel to her. I dusted that shit like I was born to do it. Leonel would have been so proud!” She picked a framed photo of Leonel on the table and kissed it. “You married the right woman, Butter Babe. The rightest woman!”
“We should be drinking to this, shouldn’t we? Anna, call room service for wine nau.”
“I’m breastfeeding, Yen.”
“A glass won’t kill you, abeg. Anna, get wine.”
Anna cleared her throat, eyes on Kyenpia.
“Oh, yes! And Anna was amazing too. She was my hype woman all the way. Our presentation was so… What’s the word?”
“Avant-garde,” Anna said, gesturing comically. “We had je ne sais quoi!”
“M-hm. We killed it, baby.”
Yenkat laughed, noting the team spirit between both women, despite the jealousy Anna bore for Kyenpia.
“When I was done talking, Her Excellency was like ‘there’s something about you that inspires me, young lady. I don’t know what it is, but I want more of it in my life. And then she said something about women power. I wasn’t listening because I was doing the running man in my head.”
“But Kay, you know you have that woman power thing, right?” Yenka complimented. “You talk and women just feel like they can take over the world.”
“Thank you.” Kyenpia blushed. “Anna, get that wine.”
Anna left the office and Kyenpia took off her jacket. “Any more Omar gist?”
“Please, gist me nau.”
“No. He said he’s going to see Aanu later today, though.” Yenkat looked at her watch. “It’s already two o’clock. I have to go and see this property off Sangotedo. Kay, come and invest in real estate nau.”
“Yeah. Undeveloped land, though. I don’t know how many acres, but it’s massive. Buy and sell out plots.”
“No, thanks. I have enough land and houses to start a small country of my own.” Kyenpia’s shoulders dropped. “I have to fly to Port Harcourt and Awka and Umuahia next week to see some of these properties. I’ve been thinking, Yen…”
“Yes?” Yenkat gazed at her expectantly.
“I know you’ve been waiting for this.”
“What would it take to fire the present realtors Leonel was in business with and hire you?”
Yenkat took leaps from where she stood and went straight for Kyenpia. Kyenpia dashed away in time, going round the table.
“I only want a kiss!”
“I’ve not made up my mind yet. I was just asking a question!”
The door burst open, bringing Fiyin in. She stopped. “What’s going on?”
Kyenpia ducked behind her.
“Save me, Fi.”
Yenkat stopped. “I only want to hug my cousin for the potential business she’s dropping on my laps.”
“I have good news and bad news,” Fiyin announced.
Kyenpia let go. She came forward and stood in front of Fiyin. “What happened?” she asked.
“Maxy was in an accident.”
Kyenpia clenched up.
“Accident?” Yenkat took a step closer to Fiyin.
“Good news is that she’s fine. Loretta said she’s been calling you, Kay.”
“My phone has been on silent,” Kyenpia said, dashing towards her table.
“What type of accident?” Yenkat asked.
“She was coming back home from dropping off the boys at school this morning and ran off the road. Then another car hit her.”
“She ran off the road? How? Amaka is one of the best drivers I know.”
“What!” Yenkat covered her mouth. “How is she?”
“Loretta said she’s okay, but she was hysterical and they had to sedate her.” Fiyin sobbed. “James is not even in the country as we speak. I was so scared when Lolo was telling me. God! I don’t want to lose anybody again. I’ll just die.”
Yenkat drew Fiyin into her arms. “Nobody’s dying. Calm down, Fi.”
Kyenpia was standing next to them, holding her jacket and handbag. Her phone was pressed to her ear. “Lolo?” she muttered.
The door opened. Fiyin and Yenkat moved away to let Anna in. Kyenpia walked towards a bookshelf nearby and conversed with Loretta on the phone. They waited until she was done.
“She’s at home,” Kyenpia informed them. “Gina has gone to pick the boys from school. We should go to the house. Anna, cancel everything I have today, please.”
“Let me have that.” Yenkat snatched the bottle of wine Anna had come in with as all three women left the office. Yenkat’s other chauffeur was waiting in the parking area. They took the backseat of the car and sat in silence for most of the journey. Kyenpia made phone calls to Nelly and the twins’ nanny. When she was done, she held Fiyin’s hand, tapping it to the rhythm of songs that played in the car’s sound system as they drove to the Halirus’.
When they got there, the chauffeur asked Kyenpia if he should wait.
“No. Go home and bring the twins and their nanny. I’ve called them already. They’re expecting you. Nelly should take Eliana to her father. I’m spending the night here.”
The ladies got down from the car and were let into the compound by the gateman. A maid welcomed them into the house and Kyenpia led the way upstairs to Amaka’s bedroom. Amaka was stretched out on her bed, eyes fixed on the television on the wall facing the bed. Loretta, taking her pulse, smiled when the ladies walked in. Amaka turned slowly, revealing that she had a bruised lip. Her left hand had small scratches as well.
“Maxy?” Kyenpia called in a gentle tone as she rushed to her side.
“Kay?” Amaka stretched out her arms to her. “Fi, you managed to leave your secret man to come and show me love? I love you girls!”
“Maxy, what happened?” Kyenpia inquired. She sat on the bed while Fiyin took the other side.
“My village people o! They did meeting last night and decided that they will attack my enemy, but my mother’s prayers during her sober times came to the rescue. Hi Yen!” Amaka blew Yenkat a kiss as she hugged Fiyin. “Don’t mind me. I’m high on the sleeping injection they gave me earlier. My eyes are just clearing.”
“Maxy, please, don’t try to die on me.” Fiyin broke away from the hug and buried her face in a pillow to cry. Amaka looked at her.
“My friend, get up. I’m not dying. You’ll probably die before me.”
Kyenpia laughed. “You’re a fool, I swear.”
“Mumu,” Loretta added. “Your pulse, blood pressure and temperature are okay now and life is returning to you.”
“To God be the glory.”
“This is not a joke, Chiamaka. You girls, can you please talk to your friend? She fainted on the wheel because she was exhausted and dehydrated. Please, remind her that she’s a breastfeeding mother with two little boys. I didn’t inform James because you know him and his no-nonsense manner. He will just tell her to quit from BFAM. You people should talk to your girl.”
Loretta hung her stethoscope on her neck and left the room with a bowl containing medical apparatus.
“Maxy?” Kyenpia called maternally.
“Yes, I know my sister is right. I am overworked and exhausted.”
“You fainted while driving. That’s scary.”
“It was Zikora that caused it! That girl has not allowed me sleep since her father traveled! I don’t want to use my eyes to see that her annoying face right now! Every small thing, cry! Sean didn’t give me this type of stress at all!”
“Chiamaka, we’re cutting down your work days and hours,” Yenkat said. “You’ll come in only twice a week and close at exactly two.”
“Ah, no o!”
“Yes!” all three women said.
Amaka lowered her head as her eyes went moist. “See, it’s complicated. I got pregnant with Sean too early and had to stop working after a while. I had him, and not long after, I got pregnant again. I lost two years of my life and I feel like I’ve lost everything. Do you know what it feels like to go from being young, wild and free to becoming a mother with three little kids fucking your life up?”
“She said the ‘F’ word,” Fiyin muttered.
“I feel fucked, Fiyin. When I was pregnant with Zikora and got the chance to get into BFAM, I grabbed it with both hands and legs. It’s not me that will come and be old for nothing in my husband’s house biko. BFAM and that whole work environment makes me feel sexy, alive, and it makes James respect me. He’s no more asking me stupid questions about my life’s goals. Come and see him bragging to people that his wife owns a company. He won’t even say co-own o. He’ll make it look like I’m in charge of everything.”
“But you have to find a balance,” Yenkat said. “And this advice if for you too, Kay. And maybe even for me and Fi. We have to take out time for ourselves just to breathe, rest and pamper our bodies and minds. We can’t come and kill ourselves because of work, children and men.”
“That’s why I’m not having kids. They are parasites,” Fiyin commented.
“I agree,” Kyenpia responded.
Amaka concurred as well, nodding. “Just imagine a whole me not having the time to seduce my husband because one tiny parasite is crying somewhere, looking for breast. The other one is screaming because his brother has removed his diaper and waving it everywhere and the poop has splashed all over him. They’ve taken my time and self-confidence. They’ve taken everything! I can’t remember when last I wanted sex or went after Oga Haliru’s dick.”
“She said the ‘D’ word.”
“It’s tiring abeg. You don’t want to lose the fire between you and your husband, so you have to struggle to remain sexy. But to be forming sexy and wearing lingerie up and down, you must have time on your hands. But how can you have time on your hands when those small bloodsuckers won’t let you rest? You now go to work to escape them and you start fainting on the wheel! Who did I offend?”
Kyenpia rested her hand on Amaka’s lap, rubbing it. “We’re here, and we will help you get your life back, okay? We’ll simplify everything.”
Simplification began with lunch prepared by Gina who had been busy in the kitchen. The meal looked as vibrant as the mismatch of colors she had on her clothes. They watched a movie while they ate. Something old and funny to get Amaka and Fiyin out of their drab moods. After that, they sat at the poolside and watched the sun go down while relaxing on pool loungers, sipping cold drinks.
“I know it’s not the end or the beginning of the year, but can we all say something we’re thankful for?” Yenkat suggested. “I’ll start. I’m thankful for all of you and for Amaka’s life today, that we didn’t have to mourn.”
“Yes o! Me next!” Gina raised her hand. “I’m thankful that my dog is now the proud father of four pups. His bitch doesn’t like him again sha. She’s forming busy mother and all. I’m not thankful for that.”
“Get a life, Gina,” Kyenpia remarked.
“Says the one who named her son after me.”
Loretta spoke up. “Me, I’m grateful for my man. He’s started on his weight loss journey and he’s lost 10kg so far.”
“When will you start your own?” asked Amaka. Loretta thrust out her middle finger. “Me, I’m thankful that Zikora is awake right now and she will sleep at night. I’m also thankful for the little pleasure gift my husband got me on his last trip.”
There was a general reaction of surprise.
“What did he get you?” Kyenpia leaned towards her.
“Me, I don’t even know the name of the thing.”
“Vibrator?” Gina asked.
“No… Em, yes. But it looks like an egg.”
“Have you used it?”
“Hmm…. Boobsy, Boobsy!” Kyenpia winked.
“Blame my husband. He’s been talking about adding spice to our sex life. His birthday is around the corner and I’m thinking of retaliating. Do you think a sex doll would be nice?”
“No!” Kyenpia, Loretta, Yenkat and Gina chorused.
“What should I get him then?”
“I know this chick on Instagram that sells those things,” Gina said. “I’ll ask her.” She smiled to herself. “Eh-ehn! James has evolved o.”
Kyenpia looked at Fiyin whose present mood was still in the damper. “Fi, what are you thankful for?”
“Can I make a confession?” Fiyin sat up.
“No, please.” Amaka replied. “Anytime you confess, everything scatters. Just be thankful, biko.”
“I’m thankful that… I don’t know. Can I just confess?”
“No!” they replied together.
“Let me say mine.” Kyenpia uttered. “I’m thankful that I can still smile after losing my husband.” Her tone was somber. “I never thought I would, but here I am. I’m thankful for my kids and for all of you and for everything really. I’m not in my best shape, but I’m surviving and killing it.”
“Cheers to that!” Gina toasted with a raised glass. “Fiyin?”
“Please, let me say what I want to say, because it has to be said. What happened to Maxy today has really shaken me up. I’ve been thinking that I could die any minute, just like Butter Babe.”
“Insensitive,” Amaka mumbled.
Kyenpia allowed it. “It’s okay.”
“No offense, Kay. His death shook me up, and now, with Maxy’s accident, I just feel like life is fickle, and we should always be truthful and honest with each other…”
Kyenpia’s sons’ nanny made an appearance. “Sorry for disturbing you, Ms. Kyenpia, but Kane and Reggie are up.”
“Together?” Kyenpia groaned.
“I didn’t come with formula.”
Kyenpia stood up. “It’s fine. Ladies, give me a minute.”
“I need to use the toilet abeg,” Loretta announced. “This Gina’s food is turning my stomach.”
“That one concern you.” Gina got on her feet. “I have a dick appointment, so, I have to bounce.”
“Care to tell us who?” Kyenpia inquired.
She hurried into the house. Kyenpia and Loretta tailed her. Kyenpia attended to her sons and took quite a while with them, bathing them after they had been fed. They went to bed afterwards. By the time she was done, it was dark and the other ladies had returned to the house. No one remembered Fiyin’s request to make a confession until they were seated in Amaka’s bedroom.
“Y’all are sleeping over, right?” Amaka asked.
“I’m not,” Yenkat said.
“Please, stay.” Amaka pleaded, taking out shopping bags from her closet. I have something for everyone, except you, Lolo. You hate sleepovers.”
“Let me guess. You bought matching outfits.”
“Why did you spoil the surprise?” She handed each of them a shopping bag. Kyenpia opened hers and took out a jumpsuit nightwear designed with x’s and 0’s.
“Seriously?” she asked.
“Just wear it, let us take photos.”
“Maxy, we’re not fifteen-year-olds,” Kyenpia complained.
“Age is a social construct, Kay. You can be forever young.”
“Lolo, you can wear mine.” Fiyin tossed her jumpsuit at Loretta. “We’re almost the same size.”
Amaka gave her a worried stare. “What is wrong, Fi? Is it because I said you’ll die before me? I was only trying to cheer you up. Okay, we’ll die together when we get old. Satisfied?”
“Amaka, that’s not my problem. I almost lost you today and it’s freaking me out. Can’t you girls understand that? I am freaked out!”
“Calm down, Fi,” Kyenpia said gently. “Breathe.”
“Shh… Just breathe. Relax.”
Fiyin inhaled and exhaled.
“Now, confess that thing you want to confess because I can see that it’s really eating you up. Not necessarily Amaka’s accident.”
Fiyin picked her handbag. “I’m sorry, I have to go.”
Kyenpia dashed towards the door and blocked Fiyin’s exit. “You’re going nowhere. And just so you know, I know what you’re hiding.”
“Yes, I know.”
“What’s she hiding?” Amaka asked.
“How did you know?”
“I saw it in your eyes this morning during the meeting. I know. I’ve always known.”
“Know what nau?” Amaka yelled. “Somebody tell me!”
“Fiyin, tell her. Tell us.”
Fiyin looked around and dumped her handbag on the bed.
“I’m back, bitches!” Gina announced from the hallway. Kyenpia moved away from the door.
“This Gina sef!” Amaka whined. “You’re like those ajayi people in Telemundo that will just come from nowhere and spoil the moment when the wicked person wants to confess their sins. Do and enter jare!”
Gina charged into the room. “Girls, I have to rethink my life. And I say this in the most serious tone. Something just happened to me.”
Amaka hissed. “Do and talk, let Fiyin confess and scatter this place with her confession.”
“Sorry, Fiyin. Your confession can wait. Okay, so…my dick appointment…” Gina laughed. “For those of you here who don’t know me, I don’t date guys.”
“You just sleep with them and dump them,” Kyenpia stated. “Nothing new.”
“Good. Thank God you all know. Anyways, I always put out a disclaimer before the sex happens. I will tell them that ‘look o, me I will not call you tomorrow or answer your call. There’s no Okafor’s Law in my dictionary. Just shag and go.’ Moving forward with the gist, I did it to the guy I went to see a short while ago. He was forming not understanding me, so I had to break it down to him in non-technical language. I told him that it’s just sex and I wasn’t planning to meet his parents. And do you know what this guy did? He looked at me and casually said that it’s not like I’m the type a man wants to take to his parents.”
“Ouch,” Yenkat muttered.
“Exactly! Ouch! That thing entered me ehn! I now asked him what he meant and he repeated himself, and that was how fight started. My dick died and I found my way back here.” She slumped on the bed. “Ladies, I need to reevaluate my life and ask myself some serious questions.”
“Or you could just get serious with Lanre and marry him,” Kyenpia stated.
“Lanre?” Amaka’s eyes widened. “Our own Dada? Two of you had a thing?”
“Yeah, but he dumped me…”
“I’m sleeping with the enemy!” Fiyin announced.
“The enemy?” Amaka frowned wearily. “Satan?”
Yenkat burst into a laugh.
“Satan is the only enemy I know nau. But how is that even possible? Is it masturbation that is causing it? Because I remember one sermon that Pastor Ishi preached long ago about masturbation. He said you can’t do it without imagining someone lustfully, and that the more you do it, the nastier the imagination. Fiyin, that means that your level has gone too far if you are now seeing Satan while touching yourself.”
“Your ex pastor is a hypocrite,” Gina said with her eyes rolling. “How did he produce sperm to father Eliana?”
“Can we allow Fiyin tell us who this enemy is?” Kyenpia shut them down. “I pray to God that it’s not…”
“Jaiye,” Fiyin mentioned.
The room went silent. Kyenpia left the doorway and slowly walked to Fiyin.
“Who is Jaiye?” Loretta asked.
Kyenpia looked into Fiyin’s eyes as she stopped before her. “Which Jaiye?”
“The one you know, Kay. It’s just sex and…”
Kyenpia cut her off with a raised hand. Amaka began snapping her fingers.
“Ewoooooooooo! Fiyinfoluwa has killed us! Why nau, you this girl? Why? This one is more than Satan nau! Ah!”
“I thought you said you knew,” Fiyin said to Kyenpia.
“I was just fucking with you, Fi. I didn’t know shit.”
“Well, now you do. It’s great sex. Just sex. Nothing more.”
“Fiyin, how could you?”
“I know this hurts…”
“You know it hurts? Jaiye came on to me! That’s aside him trying to take my husband’s company from me! He opposes everything I do in that hotel and tries to belittle me!”
“Which kind of sorry, Fiyin?” Amaka shouted. “Which type of nonsense sorry? When will that your vagina get sense! You chook this and chook that and now, you’re chooking what you’re not supposed to be chooking! Don’t you understand solidarity? You do not chook the enemy of your friend! Use your head and not that your otu! Tufiakwa!”
“My parents like him.”
“I don’t care if your whole village likes him!” Amaka sprang up and rested her weight on her knees, clapping in Fiyin’s face. “You do not sleep with the enemy! What type of friend are you?”
“I’m sorry, but the sex is great.”
“Amaka, calm down,” Yenkat pleaded.
“I should calm down? Do you know this girl, at all?”
“Obviously, not like you, but calm down for the sake of your health. My take on this is that Fiyin and Jaiye are adults. I don’t know if there’s any girl code between you girls…”
“Do we need to have a code before Fiyin knows she can’t cross boundaries?”
“I’m not absolving her of what she’s done, but let’s all be real here. We’re human beings and these things happen. You can’t help feeling a type of way for certain people. Especially those that are off limits.”
“Yen, this your talk no enter at all.”
“She has a point, Maxy,” Loretta stated.
“Of course, you’ll support her. You sef get am for bodi.”
“And didn’t you commit fornication with Oga Haliru? Did he pop your cherry on your wedding night?”
Amaka swallowed back her retort.
“How about Kyenpia here who is sleeping with Ishi?”
“Or me that they cannot take home to parents,” Gina contributed.
“Or me that is sleeping with my former best friend’s son,” Yenkat added.
“Huh?” Amaka gasped. “Come again?”
“Look, my point is that we aren’t all perfect, okay?” Yenkat pointed out. “And I’m not making any excuses for our terrible choices, but enough of the judging, abeg. Just because Fiyin is doing shit with Jaiye doesn’t mean you’re better than her because you’re married. You’re the one with a vibrator wanting to buy your husband a sex toy.”
“Help me tell her,” Loretta said with a laugh. Amaka sneered.
“We can all scold each other, but remember to do it from a place of love. That’s all I’m saying.”
Kyenpia, whose eyes had been on Fiyin the whole time, shrugged. “I can’t even be mad at you at this rate, Fi. What’s the use? I just pity you, because you enjoy hurting yourself. Jaiye will hurt you.”
“Be lying to yourself.” Amaka hissed.
“I’m not that girl anymore, Maxy. I’ve changed. Like I said, it’s only for the sex.”
“I’m still in shock, Fi,” Kyenpia said sadly. “And it may take me this night to sleep over it, but I…” She sighed, looking up and down. “This is hard. Fiyin, do you understand that I don’t want to see Jaiye in my circle of friends? I don’t want to organize a party and he shows up with you…”
“I promise you that it won’t happen. And I promise all of you that I will never bring whatever I have with him to BFAM or Léon Hotels.”
“I respect you for telling us the truth,” Kyenpia said. “Just keep him away from me.”
“I will. I promise.” Fiyin exhaled in relief. “Thank you, Kay. Can I get a hug?”
“No, please.” Kyenpia turned away. “I need to check on the twins.”
At her exit, Amaka cast angry eyes on Fi. “See, what you caused? You’ve scattered everything as usual.”
“Maxy, go and touch yourself with your vibrator and leave me alone, abeg. I’m not your problem.”
Amaka tumbled off the bed. “Sew your vagina shut!” She stomped out, following Kyenpia.
Loretta focused her attention on Yenkat. “So, Yen, tell me about this your former best friend’s son. How old is he again?”
Omar sat in his friend’s car parked outside Aanu’s house. He had been there for two hours. Waiting…
His mind was employed with thoughts of Yenkat. What he felt for her wasn’t something new. His feelings had been there for years, superior to what he had felt for other women. Now, they were more intensified. Finally getting to know her in a way he had fantasized about was more than he had expected. Her reaction to him had shocked him too. The women in his past had treated him like a sex toy or a neophyte they wanted to tutor in the ways of the world. But not Yenkat. She had taken him as he was and given herself to him without the labels that applied to their situation. This deepened what he had for her.
It scared him too, and had him asking if he should be a little more guarded around her and not give in to his emotions so deeply.
But the sex… Damn! She wrecked him. Her body was sublime, in and out. She was a burst of pleasure that kept on giving. He didn’t think he could aptly describe what he felt each time he was inside her. One had to be in his shoes to understand.
Yenkat was a cult. Once you got in, getting out was almost impossible. He wasn’t ready to leave anytime soon, though. He wanted to make her happy, to adore her, to undo the hurt she went through in the past, to show her that he was man enough to take care of her. He wanted to make a shitload of money to afford her wants and needs. He didn’t see himself as her sugar boy. She wasn’t his cougar. She was Yenkat and he was crazy about her.
An SUV coming in the opposite direction dispersed Omar’s thoughts on Yenkat. The vehicle slowed as it neared Aanu’s house and stopped in front of her gates. Omar watched as the gateman opened the gates from within and let the SUV in.
Omar stepped down from the car, zipping up his hooded jacket. He marched to the gates and knocked. The gateman opened the pedestrian gate and stared at him for a bit before deciding he recognized him. They had only met once.
“Your mom is not in,” he told Omar in Hausa.
“I know.” Omar entered the compound. He shoved his hand into his pocket and took out a thousand naira note. “Please, help me go and buy suya.”
He was aware that the nearest suya joint was at least ten minutes away. The gateman nodded and dashed out. Once he was gone, Omar locked the gate from within and walked to the SUV that had just driven in. Out of his jacket, he pulled out a baseball bat. Without wasting a second, he smashed one of the passenger windows and had the vehicle’s alarm system in a frenzy.
The front door opened and out came running Obidan. He was a thin, bald man who wore glasses. Holding on to a towel around his waist, he dashed towards his car, calling for the gateman. But his movement halted when he saw Omar standing beside the car, baseball in hand.
“Are you mad?” he shouted. “What is wrong with you? Have you lost your mind young man?”
In a flash, Omar broke into an unexpected run towards Obidan and his angry expression quickly morphed into shock. Still holding onto his towel, he made a sharp turn back the way he came, but Omar was faster. He knocked him off the ground with one swing of the bat and had him crashing on his back.
Obidan looked up at Omar with terrified eyes as Omar let down his hoodie.
“Sup Uncle Bidan. Remember I once told you I’d fuck you up?”
®Sally Kenneth Dadzie @moskedapages
Je ne sais quois – means “I don’t know what” in French. The phrase was borrowed into English as an expression of a quality that makes something or someone attractive, distinctive, or special in some way, but is hard to put into words.
Otu – Igbo word for vagina..