Quick Announcement: I’ll be taking a break. I don’t know how long it will be, hopefully two or three weeks. But I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry about me. I’m not sick or anything and I have not run out of my writing juice. In short, it’s overflowing and that is one major reason I want to pause for now. Novocaine Knights is not letting me concentrate on other things I want to write. Also, I have work to bother about which will be very grueling this April. So I have to purge Novocaine and its characters out of my system for a while to face my life. I promise to return with back to back episodes, Lord willing.
Gosh! I’ll miss your comments but you can still catch me here or on moskedapages.com And please, share the story on your Facebook and Twitter.
His vision was hazy, his eyes a tad gritty after a sleepless night. The bedroom lay dark, curtains drawn to cover the morning light, but he could see her well enough to know that she had woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Arms crossed, lips pursed and twisted to one side, dimple making an appearance with no hope of a smile, Genesis was about to give him trouble.
“Hi sexy,” he whispered. Her dimple sunk in deeper but no smile appeared.
“You were on the phone with her again for almost an hour.”
Dominic knew what she was alluding to but he was going to play clueless for as long as he could.
“What are you talking about?” His hands held her slim waist.
“Speak English, lady.”
“Your ex. The one in Germany. You were on the phone with her.”
His answer stunned her. “Would you allow me talk to my ex at odd hours of the day while you’re in the next room listening?”
“You were listening? Boundaries, Genesis.”
He turned her around, had her lying on her back and left the bed. She went after him, into the bathroom where he went for a leak.
“So you’re not going to stop?”
“I used to have this dream about the three of us. I’m wearing a wedding dress and I’m following your scent all the way into a church, thinking I’ll find you at the altar but when I get there, it’s her I see instead and she has this evil look on her face. I hadn’t had that dream in a while but it came this morning. Is she going to be a problem?”
“Then stop calling her…”
“No Gen, you can’t tell me what to do and my private life is off limits to you. I told you this from the first day. Worry only about what I do with the time I spend with you. Have no say in my ‘me’ moments. Okay?”
He knew he had won the battle even before she gave any answer. But he didn’t know for how long this would hold out. Genesis was clearly in love with him, which was what he wanted. However, Eyimofe was still on his mind. He just couldn’t erase her; she was the one that got away.
The toilet flushed, he turned round to Genesis. Her cheeks were flushing red and her arms hadn’t uncrossed each other. He untangled both of them and put around his neck.
“You know you’re the only woman in my life, right?”
“Then show me.”
He shook his head. “Gen, you just started therapy…”
“I don’t want to go for therapy. The last session was grueling. I don’t see how sitting on a sofa and talking about my rape experience with a stranger can help me when I feel better with you.”
“It helps, Gen. See it to the end.”
“I miss you, Nick.”
“It’s just been twelve days of abstinence, baby. Surely, you can stay a little longer…”
She boldly ran a hand down into his boxers and the moment she held him where it mattered, he lost his resolve.
“Oh Genesis,” his voice grated and he took away her hand, “you cannot be doing this to me right now…”
His last words ended between her lips as she devoured him with a hungry kiss. She had a way with her tongue and it didn’t matter what part of his body she had under her spell, she always drove him crazy. Of all the women he had been with, Genesis was by far the most exciting. He was yet to find a way to say no to any of her requests.
“Genesis…” He managed to free himself off her. “I have to rush to work. I have a meeting at the government house by twelve.”
“Then let’s shower together.”
He smiled. She had trapped him. This wasn’t what he wanted; he truly desired her to heal from her pain but it seemed she wouldn’t have it any other way.
She turned on the shower and dragged him beneath it. Already pre-heated, steaming water hit their bodies with a fury. Genesis dashed away but Dominic drew her back and held her, watching her stylish Ghanaian plaits get soaked. She didn’t seem to mind as her initial resistance to the water gave way to a pleasurable sigh.
Dominic couldn’t take his eyes off her. With the way her nightie clung to her body and revealed the full form of her breasts, he was apprehended and knew if he wasn’t stopped, he could ogle her all day. But she bore the look in her eyes that said there was no time for preliminaries. She wanted to be had, there and then. That manner of no-nonsense demand for things from him was one of the few traits he found sexy about her. She always knew what she wanted and each time, claimed it like it was her birthright. And he always provided, as much as he could, like he was going to do in the next few seconds.
He turned her around and with no fuss, gave her what she desired.
Roughly an hour later, they were downstairs for breakfast. Dominic’s housekeeper, Iya Idaya, informed him that he had a visitor. He gave instructions to have the person come over to the dining area and a meal set for him as well as Lexus who was upstairs in her room in the ambience of loud music.
“Sit down,” Dominic offered the chair at the other end of the dining table as a young guy, about Kasi’s age walked in. Genesis sat beside Dominic and he saw a verdant smile around the corners of her lips. He loved that he made her happy. Like Eva and Vhasti and all the other women in his past, she was stunning. He never went for second best. But from experience, he had come to realize that the most beautiful women turned out the saddest. He hoped that it would not be the same with Genesis. He had failed with his exes; he wasn’t going to fail with her.
He focused his attention back on the young guy and considered him fully – tall, neat, intelligent-looking, a strong chin and a confident air.
Dominic consulted his phone and pinged Eva.
–your boy just got here. What’s his name?
–Chris. That was the best I could do on short notice. Just get acquainted. He knows why he’s there and he’s quite ballsy.
Dominic pushed his phone away and concentrated on Chris.
“You know why you’re here, Chris?”
“Good. So, you’ll see me in my office at the mall by 7pm. We can talk better there and you’ll sign a confidentiality agreement because it’s important that this is kept a secret.”
“But it’s all supposed to be fun. Don’t get serious with my daughter. Don’t fall in love with her. Don’t let her fall in love with you. And don’t sleep with her.”
The talk had Chris uncomfortable and Genesis smiling as she feasted on her breakfast.
“You touch her, you’re dead,” Dominic threatened.
Upstairs the music died and shortly after Lexus came running down.
“Hey dad! Hi Genesis!” she called out; dashing to the front door, but Dominic summoned her back. Lexus rolled her eyes and went to him. She didn’t seem to notice there was an extra person at the table.
“Tonbra, meet Chris and Chris, this is my daughter. We call her Lexus.”
Lexus ran a quick scan over Chris.
“Tonbra, that’s your new boyfriend.”
“Wh-what?” Lexus chuckled.
“Remember what we talked about the other night?”
Dominic said some key words and had her recalling two nights ago when he laid out a plan to have Kasi back to her.
“I’ll get you a fake boyfriend,” he had told her, “one who is very much like Kasiobi. He’s going to have a shady background that will get Kasiobi suspicious…”
“Dad, I never told you it was Kasi.”
“My sixteen years over you should mean I have the ability to know stuff I haven’t been told. Now, will you listen? Back to what I was saying. Kasiobi starts to act protective towards you and his protectiveness sparks jealousy in his girlfriend, naturally and causes some issues between them. While this is all going on, you’ll start showing signs of a pretend fight with your new boyfriend, hinting that things aren’t going so smoothly. In the end you break up and stay away from Kasiobi for a while. He will look for you, I assure you, and you can make your move.”
“You’re a woman. You know what moves you people make when you want men to want you.”
“Are you telling me to have sex with him?”
“Just make your move, Woyintonbra.”
“Remember the talk now? Or do I need to bump your head?” Dominic asked as Lexus gave Chris another full stare.
“Dad, we were just joking that night.”
“You were. I wasn’t. But it’s your choice, though. Chris can leave right now or you could use him to have fun and get your boyfriend back.”
“Kasi’s not my boyfriend.”
“Whatever he is to you, I just don’t want one more morose female under my roof. You’re young and you should enjoy falling in love, playing games, getting brokenhearted and having your dad spoil your ass rotten.”
“I’m fine dad, really but I could use the extra company. Hope he’s not a gigolo?” Lexus asked and looked at Chris. “You’re not a gigolo?”
“I’m an actor. My first movie is coming out in August.”
“So until then you go around acting fake boyfriend?”
“The country is hard, Lexus,” Chris said, his manner very relaxed. His boldness held everyone’s attention.
“Went to school, did my NYSC, almost got stampeded to death during the NIS recruitment, can’t pay my rent, squatting in a house with six guys sharing one room, haven’t…”
“It’s okay.” Lexus stopped him and scratched her head. “Erm…dad, this is really awkward.”
“Seriously, it would be fun Lex,” Genesis voiced out. Lexus held her persuasive eyes for some seconds and got convinced by her.
“Okay. I’ll do it. I’m just not sure there’s any need for it sha,” Lexus stated, making her exit.
“Don’t screw things up.” Dominic left one last warning with his fork pointed at Chris. He was going to add more words but Lexus returned, her head poked in.
“Chris, want to come try out our first kiss?”
Chris avoided Dominic’s eyes.
“I’ll be waiting in my car.”
Lexus giggled and disappeared again.
“I think you should follow her,” Genesis said to Chris. He nodded and got off his chair. On his way out, he stopped in front of Dominic.
“I-I’m not going to kiss her, I promise…”
Dominic waved him away and waited until he heard the front door close before he let out the laughter burning in his throat.
“The guy was so serious. The look on his face!”
“I think he likes her already.”
Dominic stopped laughing. “Hm?”
Genesis shoved a piece of boiled yam shrouded in scrambled eggs into his mouth. Dominic chewed in thought. Morsels of the scrambled eggs were left on his lips and Genesis took a photo. He wiped his mouth after chewing, then stared at the table napkin in further contemplation.
“He’s going to touch her,” he mumbled and frowned. “It’s in his eyes.”
“You’ve done your bit already, Nick. Lexus is an adult. She can figure out this one herself.”
“I just wanted to help.”
Truth be told, he wanted to do much more. But he concurred with Genesis that it was better to let Lexus do things her thing.
As he concentrated fully on the meal before him, an SMS came in and he opened it.
Thought about it and I’ve decided to make that trip back, just as we discussed.
The SMS almost made him choke. What in heaven’s name was Eyimofe about to do?
He replied her:
Don’t come. I’ll visit Germany instead.
Dominic saw Genesis’ eyes on him and he smiled at her. She didn’t buy the smile.
She had taken her time to count them all, excluding the four living rooms, the two dining areas and the lounge. Eighteen large rooms, each en-suite, some of them with closet spaces as large as the bathrooms, and Bashorun was offering it all to her at a very steep price.
He wanted her to be his wife, the mother of the four more children they were going to have, as he had put it. He would give her even more; he just wanted her to bear his name. She had laughed at his proposal and the dazzling diamond ring he forced upon her middle finger.
“You can’t be serious, Bash.”
“But I don’t want to get married. Not to you or anyone else.”
His face turned angry immediately.
“You have to marry me.”
She took off the ring. “No, Bash. Just because we’re seeing each other and we have a kid coming doesn’t mean I should remain with you all my life. I am fine being alone.”
“But if Dominic had proposed, you would have agreed abi?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You seem to have forgotten that you came to me because you were heartbroken over his new relationship, you wanted to punish him by being with me.”
“So, you still love him!”
“So?!” Her voice was a little louder than she wanted but Bashorun was insufferable and quite infantile. She was getting tired of his Dominic-driven tantrums. His whole life seemed to be revolved about what he was not because of Dominic. She couldn’t cope anymore but Bashorun was known to be dangerous. She had to tread carefully until the baby was born.
“Lord Bash,” she leaned forward from the ottoman she was seated on and touched his legs, hanging down from his bed, “I’m having your baby; not his. That’s all that matters.”
Bashorun threw her hand off. “But he’s claimed that right before me. He disvirgined you and you let him! Even though you knew how much I wanted you then!”
Eva was confused. What was he talking about? As a teenager, Bashorun was much a rogue as he was presently. Even as royalty he was the socially-misfit one amongst their friends. He used to give her the creeps with the way he stared at her. But he never said a word other than the perfunctory greetings he threw her way in form of nods and the sick notes he left in her school books about how he wanted to have sex with her. She didn’t get to know him personally until years later when he grew up into a somewhat well-behaved, chubby, moderately good-looking guy. Outwardly, he displayed a normal comportment but privately, he was still the same Bashorun with the weird stares and vile eyes.
“You must marry me, Eva. It’s important that you do–”
“No, Bashorun! I won’t get married to you because of this behavior you are exhibiting now! Grow up! You’re behaving like a little boy!”
The slap that met her face had her tumbling to the floor even before she could find out what happened to her. But out of dignity, she held out her hands and pushed herself into a kneeling position, trying to steady the white noise in her ears. The loathing in her stare met the anger in his and both of them remained that way until she turned away. She picked her purse from where she had left it on his unnecessarily gigantic bed and was turning to leave when he snatched her wrist and threw her back to the bed. She yelped and tried to free herself but she couldn’t, not with the force he was using against her. She saw his intentions even before he went for his belt buckle.
“Bash please, don’t do it. Please, I’m begging you,” she pleaded. “I’ll do anything. I’ll get married to you but please, don’t do it.”
She had heard the stories about him raping his women but she’d brushed them aside as untrue. Her underwear was ripped from beneath her viciously and she cried out. As he descended on her, the torture became all too real and her fear intensified. She screamed and begged and hit him and clawed at his neck but she was too weak against him. The fury he used on her frightened her so bad that even when he was over, she stayed motionless, scared that there was more coming. However, he pulled up his trousers, buckled his belt and left the room with not even as much as a grunt. Eva lay there for almost an hour, shocked and unable to connect with her surroundings. It was Dominic’s ping that brought her back to life.
She replied his question about Chris and finally sat up. Her cheek burned from the slap Bashorun gave her and she felt like her lady parts were on fire. She didn’t bother to clean herself as she pulled down her dress, picked her torn underwear, fixed up her hair, wiped mascara streaks off her face and left the house.
Eva drove to her friend’s home around the corner and asked for an abortion pill to terminate her pregnancy. She took the pills and lay down on her back with her legs up while she chatted away with her friend. Four hours later when the pill began its work, her friend drove her to a hospital in the neighborhood and there a doctor extracted semen samples from her, examined her for signs of rape and documented all his results. She began to bleed not long after and the doctor added it to his report. Almost two hours later, after having a proper abortion done and her health stabilized, Eva was released and she went straight to the police to lay a formal rape report with documented evidence, a semen sample and her torn underwear. In her written statement, she added that the horrifying ordeal was responsible for the painful end of her six-week pregnancy. Having done that, she went home, sat before her television and tuned to Telemundo while she consumed a bottle of her choice champagne. As drama on the screen unfolded before her eyes, she wondered how hers was going to turn out.
Messy, no doubt. But she was prepared. If things followed the way she wanted, she was going to be loved by her fans again, simply by playing the victim. Everyone in her line of business knew that there was no such thing as bad publicity. If one was going to get on the news, one had to put the news out there themselves.
It had taken seven days of fasting and prayers for her to come to terms with her present condition. Genesis had begged her not to deny herself any meals because of the baby but she stayed resolute on her course and saw it through to the end. The daily exercise always began at dawn and ended by 4pm. The first two days were difficult but after the third, her body adapted and she found her footing. Genesis relieved her of marketing duties and left her at their new home office to handle customer relations while Chichi took her place. It seemed Chichi was a better marketer as she brought in a couple of customers in the first three days alone.
Wura cherished her moments in the office where she studied her bible and prayed fervently – for strength to keep her going, for love to accept the child she was carrying and for the spirit of forgiveness so she could pardon Mahmud over his grievous sin against her.
She had learned about the contraceptives he switched during a drive to Yaba to visit his elder sister, Asma. Mahmud had explained that Asma was his closest sibling and the one who had their father’s ears. If the family was going to accept their relationship, Asma was the person to impress. He assured Wura that she would receive her with open arms.
Still, Wura wasn’t so comfortable with visit but just to make Mahmud happy she agreed to go with him. On their way, he got her a bowl of her favorite chocolate ice-cream and as spoon after spoon melted on her tongue, her edginess disappeared slowly. She chatted, told a joke or two and even left hummed whenever the radio played any of her favorite songs.
One would think that Mahmud would be elated that she had finally stopped being sad over the pregnancy but he sat behind the steering wheel,
quiet as a mouse. His mind had mooched off to whatever it was that had been bugging him all evening. She stared at him, full eyebrows gathered in thought. She loved his view from the side, the way his hairline connected to the side of his face, over his hollow cheeks and down to his chin. She hadn’t realize how pointed his nose was until now. Wura wondered if the baby would take after him. The possibility of her genes messing up the looks of their child was high. Her siblings’ kids were not the cutest bunch she had ever seen.
“What are you thinking about, Tokunboh?”
“Nothing,” he answered.
Her cup of chocolate ice cream was empty. She wanted more.
“Can we stop somewhere for more ice-cream, Mymood?”
He didn’t make any response to her request.
“What?” He was till distant. Then as if he remembered she asked for something, “hey, we’re in the middle of traffic, Wuraola. Ice-cream has to wait.”
“Ow-kay. But are you fine? You seem tense.”
“I’m good.” The answer was brusque.
She turned her attention away from him and stared out. The traffic gridlock was insane and she had an urge to pee. She didn’t dare tell Mahmud, not with the look on his face at the moment. His fingers tapped on the steering wheel in restlessness; he was craving for a cigarette but there was no way she was letting him have any. Ahead of them, the line eased up and Mahmud put his car in motion. He stopped seconds later and they were back to the bumper to bumper menace.
“I’m turning off the AC,” he told her and let their windows down. The noise of a busy street and bad traffic, accompanied by the distinct smell of polluted air filled the car. Mahmud leaned his elbow on his window and cleared his throat.
“Did I tell you that I switched your contraceptives?”
The words had rolled out so fast that Wura wasn’t sure she had heard well. She asked him to reiterate.
“Um…I kind’a did not give you the morning-after pills that day. You actually took Vitamin B Complex.”
The sound of a helicopter above them broke into their private moment and Wura trained her ears on it. Anything to get her concentration on something else. She couldn’t take in the breaking news.
“Did you hear what I just said?”
“Yeah. You’re the reason I’m pregnant because you did something extremely selfish. Yeah, I heard.”
Mahmud gave her a confused stare. By no doing of hers, her face was unreadable. The shock was too much to bring out any expression.
“They’re moving.” She pointed ahead and the blasts of impatient horns tore the air, drowning the sound of the disappearing helicopter. Mahmud drove three paces forward and put his foot on the brakes.
“You’re not shocked or angry?”
“Nice of you to confess just when we’re about to meet your sister…”
“It’s not like that, Woo, I swear. I’ve not been able to tell you since but my conscience has been killing me from day one…”
“How could you do such a thing?” Her voice found its first emotion and it wasn’t pleasant.
“I don’t know… I’m so sorry. I just didn’t want to lose you…”
“Did you even buy any 4k pills?”
“I did. They’re still at home. And yes, they cost me 4k at the mall’s pharmacy but that’s not the point. What I did wasn’t premeditated at all. I never planned it. Forget the bet we made; I was just joking then…”
“But you won.”
Tears came down her face heavy and fast.
“It was on impulse, Woo. Mami, I’m so sorry–”
“Don’t call me mami! Don’t…”
A heavy wave of tears came and she could do nothing to stop it from overwhelming her. Anger and loathing she had never felt before followed and she saw Mahmud through different eyes. Suddenly he became all the things Sister Kate had told her he would be.
“I know you hate me now,” he said.
Her tongue was too tied to retort. She more than hated him, yet she couldn’t say it to him.
“I am sorry.”
He jabbed a hand on his horn at the driver in front of him who was holding traffic. It seemed the man had trouble starting his vehicle but Mahmud didn’t have the patience to wait. He began the process of cutting into the next lane. While he got about this, Wura left her eyes on him, desiring so bad to let out her piece of mind which was filled with a million sentences and questions, all angry and reviling. But she still couldn’t speak.
The car was successfully maneuvered into the next lane and Mahmud was back in the atmosphere of her wrath.
“Wuraola, say something honey.”
Her tears gushed unrestrained, washing away the makeup off her face.
“Woo?” His hand went for her thigh but she stopped him with a slap on his bearded cheek that rang out loud enough for the people in the car beside them to hear. Then before he could say anything, she unclipped her seatbelt and stepped out of the vehicle. Without slowing, she crossed over to the other side which was traffic free and stopped a cab. Seated at the backseat, her fingers typed a fast SMS to him:
We’re so over. I hate you and will never forgive you. FYI, I’m aborting your baby.