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“Madam, are there no other ways to shut him up permanently? Why does it have to be a kiss? Why should he feel any bit of pleasure?”
“Calm down, Farida. The route is not important, so long as he gets to that destination.”
Six minutes had passed since the fusion of lips began. Jerry’s hands were tied behind him round a chair, but his lips would not be denied. It seemed that each tried to outdo the other, as their lips shared the fate of oranges.
Emem stared thoughtfully. She began to feel that she just might have issued her orders a little too fast. Jerry had a huge mouth on him, but for some reason, she didn’t want that mouth closed just yet; she enjoyed his wit. She knew how potent Aidee’s lipstick was, and for a moment she wanted to tell her to stop…but she could not. She was Emem. She could not be seen to have gone soft.
Wole and Soogun had sweat dripping from their brows like raindrops. They had seen how Jargo fared, and they sighed repeatedly in resignation as they watched Jerry feel the soft wetness of Aidee’s lips. Jerry it was who had been their source of courage, and in a matter of minutes, he would be referred to in past tense. They mentally bemoaned their impending fate too. All the education, all the hustle, would end with a single kiss. Why did Walt form the group at all? Why did they listen when Jerry said, “follow me”? Who joined an organisation with such a warped agenda?
“Farida, why the anxiety on your face?”
“It’s nothing, Julie. I guess I’m just eager to see this loud mouth get melted. I only wish Emem granted me the privilege of finishing him off myself.”
Twelve minutes passed. Aidee had alternated between upper and lower lip, tongues had collided, and now she focused on Jerry’s earlobe. For a moment, he thought of eternity. He thought about his earlier years as a priest, how he voluntarily retired, how he drank himself into a coma after being dumped by the lady who made him take off his cassock, and how he now made it a point of duty to lead girls on and then leave them high and dry. How would he give account on The Day? What would he tell The Creator? But these lips tasted like vanilla-flavoured cakes. They were worth risking damnation for.
Another ten minutes passed. The much-expected screams of agony and corrosion of flesh were nowhere in sight. Emem knew that Aidee had failed and, as she saw Jerry’s lips gliding down her neck, called for her to get off Jerry’s laps.
“Aidee, feel free to save your lip gloss. I like to think you have both done enough making out. It’s clear that Jerry won’t flinch even if you did this for another nine hours.”
The men looked at Jerry in awe as Aidee tried to keep a straight face. How did he not die?? Surely, he was not human! Farida, maintaining a frown, spoke up.
“Jerry, I don’t know how you still breathe, but your luck will run out soon enough.”
“Farida, you know what they say: What doesn’t kill you……”
“…….disappoints me”, Farida retorted.
If anyone had the ability to read minds in that basement, they could have seen Aidee wearing a big smile in hers. She knew what she had done. When she was summoned by Emem, she had quickly cleaned her lips and replaced the “Killer Lipstick” with a regular one of the same hue, which also had the same tube colour. She had wanted to taste Jerry’s lips all along, and she wouldn’t have been able to live with herself if kissing her turned out to be his last act on Earth.