The next few days were the worst for Malika, the worst since her childhood – when her mother had constantly suffered in the hands of her numerous lovers’ wives. She still cringed at the memories of the numerous times women had stormed their home with either thugs, mean looking bodyguards or bribed policemen and in some cases all 3.
The news of the slap at Mrs Robertson’s party had travelled really fast, thanks to social media. She had trended on twitter, become news on many blogs and had even seen lots of pictures that captured her initial reaction immediately after the ‘Kofo-ingloriously-served’ slap.
It was hell for her. Her first thoughts were for her to get the heck out of Zest Ville and find a hideout for a while where nobody knew her, but she knew that wasn’t an option. That would make her look guilty and she wasn’t. She had slept with Akin Bucknor when she knew nothing of his marital status and now she knew, nothing whatsoever was going to happen between them again.
Kofo had been livid, probably still was but Malika knew she could do nothing to make her feel better. The truth was going to be revealed at some point. Unfortunately, Malika had not gotten the chance to say it.
Her phone rang. It was Vivian Ejike, the popular blogger. She knew what Vivian wanted and she was not ready for it. She was not ready to give her own side of the story.
“Are you supporting what she did to your sister?” Kofo asked exasperated. She could not believe her kid brother was not in support of the slap she had rightfully served Malika days before. He was her brother and she expected him to support her actions.
“I am not in support of what she did to you, I’m only saying you should have handled the situation in a more mature way.” Korede responded. He knew his elder sister was worked up and she was going through a lot of emotional issues but slapping Malika because she lied was not the way forward. That was why he hadn’t told her of the slap Malika had dished to her husband on the night of the anniversary because he knew she was one who never calmed her nerves before she reacted.
“What would you rather I do to a woman who is probably sleeping with my husband?” Kofo queried
“That’s it. You aren’t even sure, yet you reacted that way”
“Mrs Robertson’s spies saw her kissing Akin! She probably has been sneaking around with him. Yet she lied to me. She is supposed to be my friend!” Kofo retorted
“I just think you should settle this with your husband not with the poor girl…”
“Poor girl?” Kofo interjected. “She ruined my marriage!”
“No. Your marriage was already ruined before she came into the picture” Korede responded and Kofo gaped at him, clearly in shock at her brother’s response.
“You’ve got to be kidding me” were her words before she shut the door in his face.
Akin kept knocking regardless. He didn’t blame her for shutting the door in his face, ignoring him whenever he tried to talk to her in public and acting like he wasn’t there when he was. But he wanted to apologize to her. He needed to. He hadn’t meant for her to be caught up in his whole family drama.
Malika didn’t care for how long he stood at the door knocking. She cared less about the reason he was there; all she wanted was for him to be gone. She had gotten enough hate from people who assumed she was a home wrecker and the Bucknors could handle their stuff. She didn’t want to be entangled in their drama anymore.
Two hours later, Malika stepped out of her apartment, ready to leave for a shoot when she found Akin Bucknor at her door.
“Wait, have you been here all this while?” She asked
“I figured you’d come out at some point so I decided to wait.” He responded
“Mr Bucknor, I don’t understand what it is you are trying to do. But I do not want to be part of your family drama. I would like to be left alone, in peace” then she made to leave but he wouldn’t let her as he stepped in front of her, barring her from walking away.
“Malika I am sorry. That’s what I came to say. None of this is your fault…”
“Oh someone finally sees that” she interjected, her response heavily laced with sarcasm. Something Akin Bucknor didn’t miss and didn’t care about. He just wanted her to know he was truthfully sorry and that he meant it.
“Malika, I’m sorry you got caught up in this. I’m sorry I lied to you…”
She watched him as he stood in front of her now, his eyes boring into hers as he pleaded with them for her to forgive him and if she had missed the sincerity in the apology he gave with his words, she didn’t miss the one his eyes so genuinely offered.
“Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?” He inquired, hoping and praying he could wipe away all the troubles somehow.
She nodded, “stay away” she answered and walked past him.
She was busy in her studio when Korede Kuti walked in and she rolled her eyes in frustration because she was honestly tired of the Bucknor family following her around town.
What did Mr gorgeous body want?
“I haven’t seen you since the slap” he said and she was surprised he could feel comfortable saying that and with a smile!
He was lucky his smile was infectious though because that was the only reason she responded with “and I’m sure you know why” she watched him inch closer.
“I’m sorry about it.” He said calmly and she frowned. “Honestly I am” he added and continued, “the night shouldn’t have ended like that…”
“Its okay Korede. I deserved it”, she said to him.
“No you didn’t. Nobody did. Especially when Kofo isn’t sure you slept with her husband. I know you didn’t. You wouldn’t ruin someone’s home.” He said to her and Malika wondered why he was so sure
“Don’t be too certain” She said to him, regarding him carefully.
“You don’t look like you’d hurt anyone on purpose” He replied.
“Looks are deceptive. Didn’t your mom teach you that?”
His phone rang before he could reply. It was Kofo.
“Sunday night is Akin’s birthday. I’m throwing a dinner party, family and a few friends. Ebuka can come…and please come with Malika”
“Are you sure you want to be here?” Korede asked her as he killed the engine of his sleek Toyota Avensis. He had offered to bring Malika to the dinner even though she had insisted for a long time that she’d rather drive herself down.
She nodded and he shrugged.
Malika had been surprised that Kofo invited her for the dinner at her house. And she honoured the invitation for one purpose – to apologize to Kofo. She’d almost finished a bottle of liquor just to prepare her for the moment and she just couldn’t wait to get the apology out of the way.
Akin met her at the entrance of the house and after greeting his brother in law, pulled her along with him.
“What are you doing here?” He asked immediately they were outside.
“To apologize to your wife.” Malika said and then made to leave but Akin’s firm grasp held her back.
“Malika, I know my wife and she’s never this open hearted”, he said seriously.
“Like I said I’m here to apologize”, she said and once again made to leave but just like before, he stopped her. She was about to ask him why, when he held her in a warm embrace and kissed her forehead.
“I know this is hard for you and I’m terribly sorry.” He said to her and then walked into the house, holding her hand.
Kofo spotted the duo as they strolled in; she eyed Malika with contempt. If only they knew what she had planned for the evening.
Korede immediately cornered his sister after entering into the house, and asked what her plan was. Kofo had smiled sweetly and assured him she was just being open hearted like her pastor had advised when she went to see him earlier in the day. Korede had not been convinced and now that they were sitting at the table in silence as Kofo and the maid dished out food, he still wasn’t convinced. Ebuka arrived and after greeting everyone and staring at Malika like she was just delivered from heaven with a bow, he sat by her.
Vivian Ejike came in next and took her seat at the dining table.
Malika looked at Kofo and she knew she had to make the apology immediately.
“Kofo” she began, she realised she had everybody’s attention and all of a sudden, the apology became harder than she had imagined. The door swung open and Malika was grateful for whoever came in because everyone’s attention was directed his way.
“Pastor Benson!” Kofo smiled as the man of God joined them at the table.
As everyone welcomed the pastor, Korede began to wonder how many people his sister had invited and what she had planned out. He knew her well and he just knew she was up to something.
Malika made another attempt at her apology and this time she succeeded in getting the words out “I’m sorry for causing you so much trouble Kofo. I know you expected more and as much as I cannot erase the past, I hope you’d give me another chance”
Kofo smiled at her but the smile did not reach her eyes.
“Let’s pray” she said and they all joined hands. “Pastor Benson, please lead us”
As the prayer ended, another guest joined them. Korede was shocked to see who it was.
“Chisom! I’m glad you could make it” Kofo said excitedly.
“Same Chisom you’ve been talking about?” Ebuka asked his best friend who was still in shock. When Ebuka got no answer he added, “she is as fine as you said. I like this dinner, fine food, fine wine, fine women”
Chisom took her seat and again, silence fell upon the room.
Dinner began and Malika began to pour herself glasses of wine, she wasn’t comfortable and she needed more alcohol to help her through the dinner.
“Oh forgive my manners. I haven’t made any introductions” Kofo said again in her overly sweet manner, “everyone this is Malika Aliu, the whore who has been doing God knows what with my husband”
Everybody froze. Malika tried not to look up while she poured herself another glass of wine.
“Have you f&<ked Malika, little brother? ‘Cause I think you shouldn’t. God knows what disease she’s carrying around, I mean considering she sleeps with the whole town” this time around the statement was directed to Korede.
“Kofo!” Akin called her sternly. He just knew she had some childish games planned out, he just didn’t know it was this…this stupid!
“What? I am telling our friends who you decided to stoop low to be with.” Kofo said and then turned to Malika.
“Malika this is Korede’s ex – Chisom. She had an abortion for him years back and she is back for real…”
“Kofo” Korede was the one who called her this time “please stop”
But she wasn’t done. “How many times have you slept with my husband you bitch?” She asked Malika and this time her sweetness was all gone.
Pastor Benson who had been watching in shock all along, finally found his voice “Mrs Akin-Bucknor, please be calm. This situation can be handled better”
“No Pastor. Let this little whore tell me the number of times she had the nerve to go behind my back to sleep with my husband!” Kofo yelled
“Mrs Akin-Bucknor, please…” The pastor pleaded
“No” Malika cut in. “Let me answer her question…”
“Malika…” Akin said
“I f&<ked your husband three times the only night we did it. Way before I knew he was married because he lied about his identity. But I loved every second of it and I would do it all over again…”
“Bad girl” Ebuka said almost in a whisper as he smiled. Kofo however heard him and directed his way, a venomous look. He quickly got rid of the smile.
“Guess what he told me when we were done? That it is the best sex he’s had in five years. What does that say about your pu$$y Mrs Bucknor?”
And again, silence fell upon the room.