BISI – THE OTHER WOMAN EPISODE 11
By Jon Doe
In that instant, the phones in their hands were forgotten by all but Namdi, he alone knowing where the ring truly was.
“I don’t remember seeing a ring on your finger. I can check again at the front desk. Maybe at the lost and found too.”
“If it wouldn’t be a bother. Zainab if you could follow her to be sure it’s mine.”
“Your heart rate seems to be going up…”
Doctor Oluwakemi stepped up to the monitor.
“I’m fine, i’m fine just worried.”
“Maybe I should stay here with you while the doctor goes.”
“No, no need, in a hospital bed is not the way I plan to go.”
Eyes still brimming with worry, Zainab nodded her head; Namdi’s phone still in her clutches. He couldn’t look away. She wouldn’t take it with her would she? Should I say something? But then what do I say? He began to panic as the doctor headed out the room, Zainab a few steps behind. The phone was now out of his sight, Zainabs back the perfect cover. He began to open his mouth to say anything when Zainab stopped. Turning she walked back to the plastic flowers setting Namdi’s I-phone down. She looked at him and smiled before chasing the doctor, the door closing behind her with a soft click.
Alone in the private ward Namdi felt the fear of a cornered animal, his time of relief but a mere instant. He could clearly see the smile Zainab had left behind before leaving. Closing his eyes he tried to forget it but it only allowed the memory to grow more vivid. In that smile was knowledge, a statement, a suggestion. She knew something, why else would she smile like that. Or was he making a mountain out of a molehill.
Swinging his legs out of bed, he tentatively put his weight on them. He could stand. He took the small victory. Each step came with strong protests from his nervous system. He endured, progress coming at a bearable cost. Steadily he made his way to the vase of plastic flowers. Even in their brilliant intertwining colors of blue, red, green, purple and pink Namdi could not see beyond their nature. Grabbing his phone he began the journey back finally laying on the hospital bed, alleviating the pressure on his body. Having no idea how long before Zainab would walk through the door a trembling thumb reached out to unlock the I-phone.
Hands shaking, every inch of him tense to the utmost, he feared the worst. When he saw nothing out of the ordinary on his phone screen the tension evaporated, his body visibly relaxing. Namdi began to laugh at the absurdity of his situation. Even with the laughter causing renewed pain in his ribs he didn’t mind. There was nothing for Zainab to see. Worrying had merely shaved minutes of his life he wouldn’t get back. Reaching up to wipe the beads of sweat gathered on his forehead, he noticed a notification on the phone complaining of low memory.
Finding it peculiar, Namdi struggled to remember any major files he might have downloaded on the phone. Nothing came to mind. A quick run through his download folder bore no fruit. Chalking it up to the crash, he looked up preparing his mind for the pain he would experience walking back to those flowers. The colors of the flowers delivered into existence a thought in his mind. Sitting up, whiplash of intense pain completely ignored, Namdi’s thumb slammed against the phone in a frenzy to unlock it. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. Over and over that single word looped in Namdi’s distraught mind his thumb striking the gallery icon of the I-phone with more force than needed. The app opened displaying boudoir photo after boudoir photo of her.
On a bed she lay, body facing up, Cleopatra in her pose. Stomach stretched, back arched, a single finger between her teeth as she gazed longingly at him in nothing but a white shirt. His shirt, the buttons undone, showing the outline of the flat of her stomach while revealing the valley of her bosom; each peak barely hidden. One leg reached forever into the sky toes curled; the other bending at the knee with a hand caressing a taut thigh.
Namdi could not look away, eyes glued to the marvel he saw on his phone. It was the first photo. He looked at her as she looked back at him, the blood in his veins pulsing harder, pumping faster, heat coming off him in waves. Even in 2D she was vibrant and alive. Swipe of the thumb to reach the end merely gave birth to photo after photo, each more provocative than the last. The sound of hurrying footsteps outside the door of his hospital room stopped him cold.
Horror set in as the danger of his situation hit him like a sledgehammer. Namdi knew he had to move but his body refused to comply, frozen in terror. Do something! He silently shouted in vain, unable to do anything but listen as the footsteps got closer and closer. It reached his front door, an agitated Namdi waiting, watching the knob of the door, the executioners axe coming closer and closer to his neck. Hearing the footsteps fading into the distance, Namdi felt a heavy pressure lifted from his shoulders, mobility returning to his limbs.
The fear of what might have been galvanized him, his fingers a flurry of motion deleting the pictures. Picture after picture disappeared from the world, nervous glances aimed at the door. More than half way through Namdi let out a small sigh of relief knowing he would soon finish and devoting his full attention to the task. The door knob turned, shocking an unprepared Namdi, the phone slipping from his hand, a picture of her curving seductively against a door filling the screen.
Over and over the phone turned, gravity embracing it in her unforgiving grasp till it landed face down on the unyielding hospital floor. Namdi nearly cried out in frustration.
“Honey you won’t believe the things that people forget here!”
“Do tell Zainab. Find anything for the one who has everything?”
His voice remained steady, mind working a mile a minute. I have to distract her, Namdi thought while also trying to remember how much time he had set for the screen to turn of.
“Has everything? What is that meant to mean?”
“Zainab, you know how hard it is to get you a gift. Remember your birthday shortly after we started dating…”
She laughed as she reminisced. Running a hand through her dark hair she moved to Namdi’s bedside, her complete focus on his cut lip.
“You thought you were such a Casanova back then. What did you even get me again?”
“Woman, stop pretending like you don’t remember.”
“Oh, so you know what I remember and don’t remember. I’m guessing you also know what i’m thinking too.”
Zainab looked at Namdi, seeming to dare him to read between the lines, her face inches away from his. From the door to his side he could swear she glided on air. He forever marveled at the way she moved. She has the grace of a panther, sleek, silent and elegant but sometimes it felt like there was an inkling of something more; A thought Namdi could not quite shake off but did not dwell on. Seeing her so close to him he reached up to kiss her, body still emanating heat.
“This guy! After we were just caught red handed.”
Roughly she pushed him away, her hand pressing his back to the hospital bed.
“Alright, alright, I thought you wanted a kiss is all.”
“After the time we were pretty much caught at the company Christmas party, we agreed we would be more careful.”
“And whose idea was it? Zainab tell me whose idea it was to use my bosses office?”
Zainab looked sheepishly at Namdi.
“He never comes for the Christmas parties. How was I meant to know… It’s weird you still call him boss even now.”
“I’m sorry Zainab, I’ll try harder to stop. Now come here and tell me what you found.”
He reached for her but she nimbly dodged his outstretched hand aiming for her waist.
“What is this? Isn’t this your phone on the floor?”
Dancing away from him she saw the phone slightly under the bed.
“Zainab don’t worry about it, first tell me what you found at the lost and found.”
“Namdi why are you now acting like i’m a spoiled brat that can’t bend down to pick up a phone.”
Chuckling she reached for the phone. Namdi lay there, powerless to do anything, reduced to praying enough time had passed. Mind crunching up one unsatisfactory answer after another for what she might see.
To be continued