By Adebiyi Demola
I shouted, “no o o o” when I felt down from the chair and my sister rushed out from her room, “Afeez! Afeez! What happened? What’s the problem?” she asked out of worried while I was panting heavily like someone who just completed a marathon race. I wiped my face to be assured that it was a dream and yes it was.
“Haaa! It was a nightmare (still panting)”, I replied her.
She placed her left hand on her chest while the right one was wrapped across my neck and relaxed by tilting her head towards my left shoulder, “take care dear”, she said with care. And gradually, I came back to my sense. Then my sister went back to her room. It was still rain raining, I looked at the wall clock and it was around 10:55pm. I stood up and observed my prayer before I went to bed. I got over my troubled mind when the rain stopped finally and slept off after some minutes.
I woke up late the following day which way Monday. I observed my prayer and prepared for work after some minutes. I didn’t rush because the day happened to be my send-off. I got to my place of work to see the office decorated. I was surprised thinking there was a program on that day, until when my Bosses started singing the farewell songs for me. They started this when my phone started ringing. I looked at it and when I discovered that it was Zainab, I quickly switched it off so that she wouldn’t use her reggae to spoil my blues. I was commended and complimented with gifts for my hardworking, commitment to work and loyalty. We took pictures together and my logbook was signed and stamped for me. In fact, it was really colourful.
I left the office happily and returned home.
I was a bit tired because of the fun I had at the office, so I decided to rest. I woke up around 5:52pm and decided to switch on my phone, then a message entered from Zainab and I read, “the moments of loneliness without you were like enslaving me in love, these are the time I came to realize how precious you are to my joy. I miss you so much that I didn’t hear from you. You mean a lot to me, in fact, you are a rare gem. Let my trust continue to be in you. Love you to the bone. Beep me whenever you are available”.
I was emotionally touched with her message. “Definitely, Zainab is still very much interested in me, but how do I go about Taiwo’s issue?” I soliloquized. Then, I put a call to her, but her number was not reachable.
When it was around 7:45pm that very day, I got a call from Taiwo…
Taiwo: Hello, how are you?
Me: I’m fine, and you?
Taiwo: I’m doing well too. So, how was the logbook? Has it been signed for you?
Me: Yeah. In fact, they really made it a colourful day for me. I was presented gifts, we danced and took pictures together, all sort of things sha.
Taiwo: Hmmmm! That’s lovely o. That means I missed a lot niyen o.
Me: Not that much joor.
Taiwo: ok o. (moody) Afeez, I must confess to you that I am seriously in love with you and can’t afford to lose you, but… (Stopped)
Me: But what?
Taiwo: Don’t worry. When we see, everything is gonna settle.
Me: But why now? Can’t you just tell me something?
Taiwo: I’m gonna uncover it, not something, but everything because my conscience is even disturbing me.
I was lost with what she just said.
Me: I can’t get you; can you please shed light on what you just said now?
Taiwo: later o o o. Goodnight. (She hung up).
I started wallowing in confusion and couldn’t just think straight but soliloquizing.
I got a call from her (Taiwo) on Wednesday around 6:00pm telling me that she was free and I should join her if I could make it. I left home without hesitation and got a bike to her house.
It took me like ten minutes to get to her house. We exchanged pleasantries and offered me a sit which I did without hesitation. We sat facing each other. She felt uncozy on her seat looking moody.
“Sometimes, there exist something to discuss, but there will be no time. Thank God that we have what to discuss, and we have gotten the chance of discussing it”, she said and continued, “I have to tell you this, so as to set my conscience free, and at the same time to open your eyes because you are in darkness. You must have been wondering why I got hooked to you despite the fact that I didn’t know much about you. I want you to erase the thought now because I know much about you. I want us to resolve this issue before Zainab’s arrival which is the end of this month (this coming Sunday)”
I was shocked when I heard this and couldn’t utter a word. I wished to say something, but words just didn’t come out.
She continued, “I don’t want to be an ingrate and I don’t want to bite the finger that feeds me”, she stood up and started wandering in the room while she continued talking, ” Zainab and I were childhood friends and even family friends because her dad and my dad were business partner. Some years back, we were in the sitting room when hoodlums visited our house. They killed my parents, raped me which made me lost my virginity and also lost my twin sister (Kehinde) just because he proved manly to them”, she kept sweating and tears were rolling down her cheeks while my mouth was widely opened and my lips were relaxed.
She continued, “Zainab’s father was the one who came to my aid, financed my studies by sending me out of the country and Zainab later joined me after she aborted for you. She explained everything that transpired between both of you to me and how much she loves you because you are trustworthy. She showed me the pictures you took together when you were in polytechnic. I have phobia for guys as a result of my experience too, but owning to the way you were being presented to me by Zainab, the phobia disappeared and I started having interest in you. Zainab’s father was the one who got me the job in the bank. The first day I saw you in the bank, I was shocked because I never thought we could meet. Though, I was not so sure very well that it was you, but I informed Zainab that I saw you. And I told her that you looked charming and that you must be a womanizer. She asked me to seduce you to confirm if you are still trustworthy and still in need of her so that she would prepare for wedding with you. If you could remember vividly that she called you the following day you came to the bank, I was the one who gave out your number to her and she was the one who asked me to send that one thousand naira to you. I was the one who told her to shift her coming day to end of the month that I will need little time to carry out her assignment. I didn’t disclose to her that something has happened between us instead I told her that you still remain the man she knows.
Now, the ball is in your court to play. What is the way out?” she confessed bitterly with her top soaked with sweat coupled with tears.
I took a deep breath. I felt sad and sober. I was short of words and didn’t know what to say.
After some minutes of deep silence, I summoned courage and spoke out…
“Taiwo, sit down”, I commanded her and she sat reluctantly. I sighed before I started talking again
“In fact, I really appreciate and commend your effort for taking your time to shed light on this issue and at the same time share from your feelings and sympathize on that of your family. This issue is a serious task for me to handle all alone. We both have to deliberate and decide on it. To be sincere, I have created feelings for you, but sequel to the explanation you gave which I also reason along with, it will be very bad of you to do such to her and her family. In fact, it doesn’t speak well, but how do we go about that?” I stylishly put the question to her.
“Though, I still love you, but we just have to cut the love to save both of us. We have to let bygones be bygones and leak the secret not to her. That’s my own suggestion”, she said while tears started rolling down her cheeks again. I drew her closer towards me and hugged her tightly while I was trying to fight back the tears rolling down my cheeks as well.
We left each other and stared at each other for a moment. I felt sorry for her which increased my feelings for her. I closed my eyes, sat back and tilted my head to the back when I felt a warm kiss on my lips. I responded immediately and our lips started fighting the war of supremacy again. Suddenly, I resisted and withdrew myself, “Taiwo, I have to leave. Remember, we have to stop this!” I said and stood up. She looked at me with passion and kept mute. I knew she wanted to say something but she has to keep mute.
“Get me the wrist watch. It’s high time I left because it is already dark”, I said when she went in sluggishly and came back with the watch. She saw me off out of the house and waited with me till when I got a bike to my area. Her eyes followed me till she lost sight of me while waving to me as if we are not going to meet again.
She called me when I got home to ask about my movement. In fact, she was really loving and caring.
“Zainab was really the architect of this problem. Why must she test monkey with banana? She has to be blamed for whatsoever that comes out of this”, I taught to myself
I had a sleepless night that very night as I was just pounding on what could be the end result of our game.
My sister asked about the latest development but I refused to reveal what has happened to her because I knew she would discourage me more. I received calls from both of them from that day till Sunday when Zainab finally came around.
She called me around 6:00pm on that very day telling me she was around and eager to see me…
Zainab: I’m now in Oshogbo o. In fact, I can’t wait to see you.
Me: Good to hear this. How was your journey? Hope it wasn’t stressful sha?
Zainab: It was o, but thenk God sha. How do I get to you joor?
Me: My side is difficult to locate. Perhaps you tell me where you stay so that I can join you and we can as well come back to my side together if time permits.
Zainab: Alright dear, that would be the best. I’m gonna text you the address when I hang up the call now.
Zainab: Love you so much.
Me: Love you too.
She dropped the call and sent me the address via text message. When I checked the address, it happened to be same address as that of Taiwo.
“Oops! How do I go about this? Taiwo and Zainab in a house! How do I react when I get there? What could be Taiwo’s reaction when I got there? What of if Taiwo has betrayed me by leaking the secret to Zainab? Or these ladies are trying to play me?”
Those were the questions running through my mind with no response. I felt remorse for my action with Taiwo.
After some minutes, I cheered up and prepared for the worst. Though, I had taken my bath in the morning, but I still went to bathroom to shower and dressed up for her house. I told my sister that Zainab was around and possibly, we might come back together so that it wouldn’t meet her unprepared and I zoomed off to her house.
When I got there, I stood opposite the yellow bungalow house doing nothing but contemplating whether to go in or not. I stared at the window hoping to catch a glimpse of what was going on inside but saw nothing.
Although my instinct urged me to turn back while thinking about the questions that were begging for the answers which I have asked myself, but yet, I belled the cat. I punched the door bell with a finger and it rang melodiously when it felt my touch. I waited for a reply but I didn’t hear one until the second time when a feminine voice spoke from the inside.
A few minutes later, when the door was opened, I was stunned by the sight I behold, the figure standing before me was that beautiful damsel with an extravagance attire. Her charming smile was so sumptuous. The surprise on her face was enormous when she saw me; she jumped squarely on me with her lips finding mine…
“I missed you so much baby” She intoned, stealing more kisses.
“I missed u more”, I replied apathetically sequel to the wound she has created in my heart through the test she conducted for me which I failed.
We looked at each other in a special way; in fact, I didn’t know how to describe her beauty. She dragged me in while my heart was pounding heavily.
I sat down and put on a fake smile while she was trying to get me what to entertain me…
“Zainab”, I called.
“Yes dear”, she replied.
“Come over, we need to talk”, I said.
“Alright dear”, she replied and came around.
I commanded her to sit down which she did immediately with joy. She started staring at me with passion.
“Please, what is going on here? Because I’m confused” I asked.
“What are you confused o?” she replied comfortably.
“I have once been to this house when I was invited by a friend I told you last time, but which I ran away when she was trying to seduce me”, I said.
“Hmmmm! It was true. I thought you would fall into my trap, but fortunately for you, you passed the exam”, she said joyfully.
What! What were you insinuating? Why must you test me through her? Assuming I was a womanizer, what do you think would have happened? So, you could still doubt my feelings for you? Oh my God! I said accusingly and burst into tears.
She quickly stood up from her sit and started begging me while she was on her knees…
“I’m sorry dear, we were joking with it before it turned to real, and again, I did that just because I have my trust in you and can boast of it anywhere. I know I made mistake, but please, forgive and forget about it”, she said regrettably while weeping bitterly.
I hugged her tightly and from there, we started kissing
…to be continued