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It felt like when we were dating. There I was buying flowers, smelling several bouquets, trying to get a perfect blend of tulips and roses, just the way she liked her flowers. When was the last time I gave her flowers? I thought, a pang of guilt striking my heart. Flowers, chocolates and every other silly thing that women love; it was almost a year. I had stopped being who I was right after the abortion issue. A part of me reassured me it wasn’t really my fault but the part that loved Omoboye unconditionally faulted me. It told me I was wrong to stop being me. Love forgives all.
By the time I was done shopping, I had three goody bags filled to the brim. One look at me and Omoboye’s mum would know we had been fighting, I thought, chuckling. Since I was supposed to be coming back from a trip, I decided to add two loaves of bread to my load. I went home after I was done; there were five more hours before night fall.
‘No, Boladale. You did not!’
‘Tell me I am wrong. Tell me right now. Tell me it’s not who I am thinking.’
‘Omoboye, please calm down,’ she whimpered.
‘I should calm down?’ I saw through the corner of my eyes that we had an audience and I almost imagined security throwing us out any moment.
‘Boladale, I will calm down because I need you to start from the very beginning,’ I said, slowly enunciating every word. ‘I need you to tell me that I am wrong, that it is not Dapo that you are pregnant for. So I am going to calm down right now, I am going to sit down and you will do the same and we will have a very calm discussion, just make sure you tell me it’s not Dapo.’
That was when she broke down in tears. Frantically pulling out her handkerchief, she blew her nose and I turned up my face in disgust. I hated her so much at that moment. There was no denying it, I had to be right. It had to be Dapo or why else would she feel this much guilt, I thought.
‘Omoboye, I didn’t plan for this to happen at all. He is not someone I would want to have anything to do with given the history between you two and the fact that he is married.’
‘Wait, Boladale,’ I said as calmly as I could.
‘Are you saying Dapo is the father of your unborn baby?’
‘Babe, I don’t want you to nod. I want you to say it. I need to hear his name on your lips.’
‘Yes, Boye. It’s Dapo,’ she said, choking on her tears.
‘It’s Dapo,’ I repeated placing my head in my palms.
Boye, you don’t have friends, I told myself. Why would this girl do this to me? She knew what Dapo put me through, she knew how much he maltreated me, she knew how much I hated him, she knew everything that ever happened between us and how I hated to hear his name mentioned.
‘So you are pregnant for Dapo?’ I said when I finally managed to raise my head up. ‘It’s okay. Now I want to hear exactly how that ‘mistake’ happened. The whole story, mind you.’
She then started a story that could qualify for a full episode of a ‘Why Do Hoes Fall So Quick’ series, if anyone ever decided to produce such a show.
I didn’t interrupt, it was too sweet a story to spoil with comments or questions.
‘We were just having fun as we usually do at work and that day someone brought up the topic of married men and single ladies. The married women on my desk said it was totally wrong for a single girl to date a married man. They went on and on about how stupid it was and how shameless such girls were and how nemesis would catch up with them when they also married.’
Boladale then said although she agreed with them, she decided to play the devil’s advocate and side with the guys. I didn’t ask why she did that but she said it all the same. She said the ladies were too full of themselves, that they saw their being married as a trophy of some sort and looked down on single girls like her. She said she told them she saw nothing wrong in a married man dating a single girl because it didn’t matter to a single girl whether the man capable of fulfilling her physical and emotional needs was single or married especially when the single ones were not forthcoming.
‘The guys hailed me,’ she said. ‘They called me a “correct girl” but the ladies shot me looks of disdain and went on to give several reasons why they believed I was very wrong. Boye, I stood my ground and kept defending my point even though I didn’t really believe it.’
I wanted to smile at that point, and the part of me that was still a diehard fan of Boladale wanted to say “I trust you, na your way”. That was vintage Bola; she never backed down in any argument even when she was wrong.
But still I didn’t interrupt; no words, no smile and she continued.
‘After a while, we moved on to other things. Later that day a male colleague told me since it was Friday night, they wanted to go to a Karaoke bar and restaurant that just opened on Ligali Ayorinde Street. They asked if I would like to come and I felt it was okay given that it wasn’t so far from my house. So I followed them.’
She paused at that point and swallowed hard. Go on bitch, I wanted to say. At least they didn’t rape you, or did they? Go on Boladale, let’s hear how you slept with your friend’s married ex.
‘We had fun and then the other guys started pairing up with girls, every one of them except Dapo. At a point, we were the only ones left at the table. I really don’t know what happened, but I am pretty sure I wasn’t drugged because I didn’t leave my seat at all and I opened all my drinks myself. But somehow the atmosphere changed. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I had been celibate for over eight months.’
Mstcheww, perhaps it’s due to the fact that you are just an unrepentant hoe! I wanted to say, but I didn’t interrupt her and so she continued.
‘Suddenly, Dapo’s perfume smelt like the sweetest thing I ever smelled and I could feel myself getting moist just looking at him. He must have felt something too because we just kept looking at each other. Boye, do you know that place? Da Real? If you know it, perhaps you would understand. They have these enclaves that are dimly lit, cozy, cool and so romantic. Perhaps that was part of what affected me. But before long, Dapo got all touchy-feely and I didn’t stop him. I knew I should have but I didn’t.’
Of course I didn’t know Da Real and I didn’t understand how a cozy enclave could make a woman lose her senses. Maybe I was just biased but I still didn’t answer her. I just stayed mute, listening.
‘And then, we were walking and I somehow hoped we were going outside where I could breathe fresh air and get over the lust. I knew I wouldn’t be able to say no if he decided to kiss me or do more than kiss. I followed him when he entered one of the back rooms. You know those rooms they keep in anticipation of such things. Looking back, I think Dapo must have booked it earlier because I can’t remember him booking a room. I was afraid common sense would tell me to flee, so I didn’t allow myself to think. Not when his lips sought mine, not even when my clothes started dropping like onion peels. It wasn’t until I felt the first wild thrust that my brain started warming up. It was at that point that I started murmuring, “Oh no, we didn’t do this. No I didn’t do this.” He didn’t say a word in reply Omoboye, he didn’t say a word. Not ‘don’t worry’, not ‘yes Bola, we are doing this’, not even sssshh. Nothing Boye, he just kept thrusting in and out. He never paused, he didn’t stop until he was done. Boye, I didn’t even enjoy it, I could not. The first thing I did when he got up was confirm that he had used a condom and then I put on my clothes hurriedly and ran back to my car without a word.’
I was crying by the time she was done. My tears were silent; she was sobbing somewhat noisily. A part of me felt sorry for her, and that part of me wanted to console her. I knew very well the kind of man that Dapo was and I felt sad he hadn’t changed. I knew I should forgive Boladale but I couldn’t stop thinking of Dapo’s wife; her sweet, angelic face kept coming to my mind.
‘How will she feel if she knows you are pregnant?’ I said aloud.
She knew without asking who I was referring to. ‘Boye, that’s my greatest nightmare right now but I can’t abort. I can’t afford to,’ Bola said amidst the tears. I didn’t fail to see the determination in her eyes.
I had no intention of advising her to abort her baby; I didn’t even want to say anything more to her, at least not yet. So I wiped my face clean, picked my bag and walked out. I didn’t glance back but I could feel her watery eyes trailing me as I walked out.
I still can’t decide, between that night and our first night in Zanzibar, which was better. It was beyond beautiful, for want of a better adjective to use. The very sane part of me kept wondering if our relationship was that type that was only sweet when misunderstandings and making up are mixed in the right blend.
I got to the house around 8pm and Omoboye gave me a very warm hug. The hug was warm but her eyes were not and I knew it was just for her Mum’s benefit. We could still go home if we wanted to, but I understood that it was important for Omoboye’s ego that she stayed that night just as she had said when we spoke on phone. Her Mum was watchful and kept trying to see if there was any awkwardness between us. We both had enough experience in keeping up appearances so I think we succeeded in fooling her.
My mother-in-law went to bed few minutes to 9pm and bade us goodnight after ensuring there was an extra cover cloth for me in Omoboye’s room. My wife however took it to the guest room immediately her mum went to bed, reminding me she had said we were not going to sleep in the same room.
I didn’t mind, I had guessed she wasn’t going to back down anyway. We didn’t speak after her mum left and she even ignored my enquiries about how she was doing and when we were going to have the discussion. She kept her eyes glued to the television watching a programme where women found themselves in labour without any prior knowledge of being pregnant. The programme seemed drab and unreal to me. How could you possibly tell me someone was pregnant for nine months without knowing? But above all, it was quite depressing to see that Omoboye was still neck deep in her somatization and pregnancy obsessions.
I left the sitting room after watching the programme for about twenty minutes. I walked up to her as I was about leaving and slipped the note I had written earlier in the day into her bra.
I must have been very tired to not have heard when the door opened, but I opened my eyes immediately she entered the room. It was her scent that alerted me; the scent of Frederico Mahora’s Pheromone that had become permanently registered in my brain.
She was on the bed before I could say a word, lying on my chest. I hugged her hard and kissed her lips. We didn’t speak, we just held each other at first and then I splayed my hands on her rear. It was smooth despite the fact that I was touching it through her sleep wear. The kind of smooth that made you realize she was wearing nothing underneath. Leaving her clothes on, I removed my boxers and flipping her over, I found her core. I let out a small groan at the wetness that welcomed me. She was ready, my wife was ready for me, my heart swelled with love for her, beyond the brusqueness, the aloofness was this woman who wanted me and without further thought I allowed myself to sink into her depths, losing myself in them. We didn’t speak; I never even opened my eyes throughout. I just made love to her with my eyes closed. My hands were familiar with every part of her body and her soft little moans told me where exactly she wanted me to linger.
It was like our best ever, perhaps because we knew her Mum was just down the hallway and we couldn’t afford to make animal noises, or maybe it was because we both channelled the unresolved issues between us into a sexual energy of some sort, or maybe it was because we didn’t allow each other to come fully. She kept vibrating in my arms for a long time after we stopped, grinding her body against mine. I smiled a smile of contentment, certain she was going to follow me home the next morning.
How could I say no when he asked if I would go home with him the next day? First I knew Mum would ask what the problem was if I didn’t, but I could have explained that away so it was more like I followed him because I wanted to. It was hard to fight with him after the explosive night we spent together. It was as if Mum knew too because I caught something that looked like a wink in her eyes when she asked me what I thought my husband would like to eat.
We left after breakfast. I carried the flowers that Jite had given me the previous night. They were well preserved. I am a sucker for roses and tulips and I think I temporarily forgot every bitterness I felt the moment he walked into my parents’ house with the flowers in his arms.
We were not going home. Since it was a weekend, I suggested that we went to a resort outside Lagos to unwind and he had agreed readily. I told him I would prefer if we discussed on a neutral ground, somewhere different from our house.
We had stopped at a supermarket to get some toiletries when suddenly a car parked in front of ours and a woman stepped out from it. I froze. It was Skipper in real life. She is even more beautiful than her photos, I thought, disappointment clouding my eyes. I had hoped for a blemish, but I could see none from where I stood.
Jite stood rooted to the spot. He looked angry.
Bastard! I thought all my bitterness coming back in a rush. He never expected his mistress to trail us and reveal herself this way.
‘Wow, you must be Boye,’ Skipper said excitedly.
I didn’t answer; I just gazed at her stomach as she removed the shawl draped around her upper body. She was sporting an unmistakable bump. I was sure it was pregnancy; it was the only thing I knew that could curve a woman’s belly that way.
She is pregnant, I wanted to say, but the words didn’t come out. I just looked from her excited face to Jite’s angry face, trying to decide whether I should scream or run.
‘Boye, I am so glad to meet you. This man here is so desperate to hide me,’ Skipper said, smiling and revealing deep and beautiful dimples.
So she also has dimples.