It was obvious the rain wasn’t going to stop soon.
I heard when you blew your car horn at me. When you saw that I wasn’t going to come near you or your car, you came down with an umbrella in your hand.
‘Kini? Kini?’ you called, but I ignored. It wasn’t by force to enter your car. I was no more the woman whom you’d once almost died for her skin. So, you can go ahead and go pick your Debbie. She was the one who had dress sense and was competent enough to slay in her ugly stiletto heels.
‘Kini? I am calling you!’ I could hear your voice from behind me, but I removed my shoes and ran away into the rain. When I turned, you were going back to your car, covered with the umbrella.
I hid behind a closed drug store when I saw that you were driving forward. You stopped at a particular point. I knew you were looking for me. But I hid still. I didn’t want you near me. The scent of your perfume, your look and your visage tormented me. The image of you and Debbie tormented me.
As I walked in that rain, I saw the bin overflowing with crisps and biscuit packets.
When I got to the junction, my hair was dripping wet. It shrunk like it was sad too, just like my heart.
I took a bus to CMS that night, and from CMS to Apapa. It had been long I went through the stress of jumping from one bus to another.
I was cold, shaking and wet. My sister had been calling my phone, but I couldn’t bring it out. I was afraid of letting the rain drench it.
‘You’re wet. Your boss didn’t drop you today?’ Martha asked. I stayed on the balcony to remove the wet clothes before I replied her;
‘Boil me water,’ I said as I walked into the house with just my panties.
‘Good news! My aptitude test result is out, my name is on the list!’ Martha said.
I screamed so loud, I forgot about you for a while. I hugged my sister so tight to myself. Finally, I was going to boast about having someone in the university. ‘I will pay your school fees,’ I said excitedly.
‘I have been able to save some money from my chin-chin business. I have made twenty-seven thousand naira,’ she said.
‘Save it in your account. Don’t touch it. Tomorrow we will call mama and inform her of this good news,’ I said.
‘I made jollof rice and goat meat sauce,’ she said.
I gave a loud sigh, ‘I’m not hungry jare,’ I said.
After I had my bath, I began to shiver uncontrollably. And even after I had paracetamol, I became even more feverish. I’d managed to sleep even as I thought of you. I imagined what you were doing that night, if you’d gone to find solace in Debbie’s arms.
It was almost 2am when my phone rang. I looked at the screen of my phone and my heart fell even as I shivered. It was your number. I didn’t want to pick your call, I didn’t want to talk to you, but my heart longed to hear your voice. You’d called more than six times, and when the seventh call came in, I didn’t let my phone ring for so long, I picked the call.
‘I’m by your house,’ you said. My heart sank and rose again.
‘What did you say?’ I asked unbelievably. ‘I’m by your house,’ you said. The fever vanished as I rose from the bed and checked through the window. I could see your car being beaten by the rain.
I turned and looked at Martha, she was deeply asleep already. I got up and sneaked out of the house.
I covered my whole body with a raincoat. I was shivering, smelling of essential balm when I knocked on the window of your car and you opened it.
The AC was chilly, it hit through me like a hard needle through my body.
‘Please off the AC sir, I am shivering. I am having fever,’ I said. You turned off the AC and drove off.
‘Where are you going?’ I asked. But you didn’t answer me. You were in your pajamas, scenting of Thai makrut lime oil.
‘I didn’t tell my sister that I am going anywhere,’ I said. But you didn’t still say a word.
You drove in the rain, straight to Oakwood Park Hotel. I was in my long pajamas and a sweater. My afro hair was full and standing.
‘What are we doing here?’ I asked.
You stepped down from the car and opened the car door for me.
‘Come with me,’ you said.
You held my hands firmly and led me toward the hotel and when we got into an elevator, you said;
‘I’m working all night, and I will need you by my side.’
You handed your phone to me;
‘Call your sister, tell her you won’t be home till Sunday. You and I will spend Valentine together,’ you said.
‘Valentine?’ I asked as I collected the phone from you and sent a message to Martha.
Urgent work at the office. My boss came to pick me.
Lock the door and be safe. Love from big sister.’
When you opened the suite, it was as large as a house a family would own. It was my first time in a hotel with a man. There was a bottle of American honey on the table where your laptop was kept. I tasted a little bit and my eyes turned.
‘Why are you not in your house?’ I asked.
‘Because I wanna be somewhere else today,’ you said as you sat on a chair and concentrated on your laptop.
Next Chapter: |Chapter 10|