“He is your Sugar Daddy.”
“So he is like all the others you were following up and down.”
There was a very long pause.
“Has he asked for forgiveness?”
“Then wait for it. Just tell him to come and pay your bride price soon after you forgive him.”
My mother had to be joking, there was no way she’d heard me right.
“Mummy, he locked me up o.”
“Hian, you this child sef. Did you not say you turned his manhood to meat and doused it with pepper soup?”
Actually, I did not tell her that. Technically, I didn’t. Kofo had done the honors.
While I was at the station, my mom had tried to reach me severally and when she was worried, she’d reached out to Kofo who had tried too and had started to panic when she couldn’t reach me.
And because she was aware of the things she had told me to do, she told my mom and yeah, they all started to freak out from there.
Until I had called and told them I was locked up.
And my mother had been initially angry but then got over it all because “after all it is my future husband.”
“Just settle it as soon as possible. The man is God sent.”
“Settle kwa? No o.”
But as much as I did not agree with my mother, she was not the one you could win an argument with.
Steve was walking into the house now, bags of groceries and different files in his hands.
From where I was sitting in the dimly lit sitting room, I could see him struggling with the things in his hand and the door.
Instinctively, I stood and walked to the door to help him.
“I can handle it myself.” He snapped and shut the door before I could move close.
“Okay…” I honestly couldn’t find the words to reply with. I knew he couldn’t stand me and that he hated my guts and was probably counting down the days to when AKT would return.
But at the same time, I could not understand why he couldn’t be civil with me.
He didn’t have to chat with me, or discuss the weather or ask me what I thought of Dbanj’s music these days.
All he had to do was be civil, be fucking civil.
My mother was still on the phone. I had almost forgotten that.
“And remember that a man is not someone you can just use remote control to control like pin pon. A man is a man, they rule the world and we…”
“Alright mummy. We would talk later.”
“Ehen and remember to go to Church on Sunday. And all these fornication things you’re doing…”
I hung up. Steve was struggling with his things all the way to the Kitchen now.
Did he hate me so much he couldn’t even bear the thought of me helping him with ordinary groceries?
I caught up with him, grabbed a bag before he could say anything and entered the spacious kitchen with him.
I knew he was staring at me angrily but he must be stupid if he actually thought I would turn and give him the gratification of getting a response out of me.
I dropped the bag of groceries on the kitchen counter, grabbed two more bags from him and dropped on the counter.
“See? The slutty sugar baby has helped you out. You gon die now or what?”
I marched towards the exit, I was livid. The nerve of this individual to make me feel terrible.
Who the heck did he think he was?
He pulled my hand and dragged me to an abrupt halt, “I did not need your help.” He said calmly even though I could see how difficult trying to put his anger under control was for him.
But I was not going to let him control that anger. If he had shit to say to me, then this was a very good time.
“Looked to me like you did. And looks to me like you need a lot of help to stop being such a Judge.”
“I can handle things and take care of my things by myself. Unlike you who needs the help of older men with plenty money.”
I am not even sure why that hurt my pride. I had lived the past few years telling myself I had made the right choice being a sugar baby but having this person who assumed he was the Savior of mankind and who had never sinned, say those words to me, made me feel worthless.
And for the first time in a long time, I realized I actually had a pride that could be hurt.
“Fuck you.” I said and with the way he blinked rapidly, I was certain he didn’t see that coming.
“Fuck you, Steve.” Then I yanked my hand off him and proceeded out of the kitchen.
Thank goodness for Skype, it was saving me from losing my mind at Steve’s.
I was on a Skype call with AKT an hour after his cousin who somehow thought he was Jesus Christ and could judge us all for our sins told me I couldn’t touch his groceries.
And I had to admit, talking to AKT relieved me a little bit. Or maybe that was what I told myself.
If it relieved me so much, then why was I still wondering why Steve hated me so much?
I knew I was the woman who did the things he didn’t subscribe to but he did not have to treat me like shit. It was unfair that he did not get to know me first.
“Don’t worry, Kaycee. Steve would come around and I will be back in less than a week anyway.” AKT said to me.
“I am counting down.” I responded.
“You look sexy.” He said to me and I smiled. I was wearing a tank, one of the few things I had been able to buy courtesy of the money AKT had sent to Steve for me.
“Thanks. I kuku bought it with the money you sent me.”
“You didn’t send me money?”
“Nope.” AKT shook his head.
Then it occurred to me. Steve had bought me the tank and the other few clothes with his own money.
It all got confusing that moment. What did he care if I had clothes on my back? I could walk naked and he wouldn’t even flinch.
Why was he doing stuff for me and still acting like I was shit.
“See? He is not a bad person. Steve is actually a nice guy.”
Yeah, but not just to me.
I shrugged, “We’ll see.”
“Meanwhile, I think LJP is calming down a little. I spoke to him earlier and he was asking how you are and if I had talked to you.”
I frowned, “for what na? So he can lock me up again?”
AKT laughed, “Madam, you cooked the guy. It would have taken a lot for him not to do something that harsh to you.”
I laughed back. Okay, maybe I was a little crazy. But hey, the man beat the hell out of me.
“Does he seem sorry?” I asked, wanting to know how LJP felt for locking me up like that and making bail very hard.
“Yeah… He seemed concerned. He said he knew I would come through for you.” AKT said then added, “He knew I would come through for you, Kaycee. Even he knows.”
I did not want to get emotional right now, maybe we needed to steer the conversation in another direction.
“I haven’t been wearing bra sef. Of course Steve couldn’t buy me that.”
AKT grinned, “Ehen? Oya let me see”
I chuckled, raised my tank above my head and showed him my breasts.
“The twins are missing me I can see from here.”
I laughed. This was fun in a silly way. I missed AKT, I couldn’t wait for him to come home. Maybe he was that guy for me after all, maybe all I needed was to be that girl for him.
“How’s Adele?” I asked
He shrugged. I liked that, shrug was good. Shrug meant that madam was not of major relevance anymore.
“We should spend more time together when you come.” I said and when his smile widened I knew we could get a fresh start.
“Kiss your boobs for me.” He said and I did just that.
I was dreaming of several men buying me different labels when I heard noises coming from the sitting room.
I checked the time on my phone, it was 3.30am. I could hear silent murmurs, as if the people talking were trying hard not to be heard.
But the thing was, when it was midnight, even silence could be deafening.
I rolled out of bed, conscious I was only dressed in my grey tank and thong. I did not intend to invade the privacy of the people talking, I was just curious as to why people were arguing at 3.30am in the morning.
I could see Steve from where I was standing now, he was talking to a woman I was sure would be in her mid-twenties.
She was thick and curvy, her light skin glittering under the low light in the well-furnished sitting room.
I was not sure if she would be beautiful without all that perfect makeup, but she looked effortless with it, giving her a look that was way above average and that could bring any man to his knees.
Her low cut hair which would have made anyone else look bland added to the beauty she already was and she somehow reminded me of Amber Rose.
“Please Lade, tell your Parents I can take care of him.”
She looked at Steve as if listening to him, then, she turned and made to leave. He pulled her back, his eyes gazing into hers, pleading.
For the first time, I saw Steve differently. He was without his glasses and he was not the way he was anytime he was around me – cold.
I was not sure how that made me feel.
“They don’t think you are financially capable to be his father.” Lade had an accent, one of those that belonged to people who had schooled in Ivy League Institutions outside the country.
“But he is my son.” Steve seemed angry now but he was trying to keep his emotions under control, the same way he’d done with me hours before. “Lade, I want him here with me. This is his father’s house.”
There was a long stretch of silence before she said, “Are you seeing another woman?”
“No. How does that change anything?”
“Do you miss me?”
“Lade that is not the point here.”
“Tell me Steve, do you miss me?”
At this point, I had to be honest. It was not only Lade that wanted to know if Steve missed her. Me sef, I wanted to know.
When he did not respond, she pulled him close, put her hands under his shirt and kissed him.
He did not seem like he was into it at first but soon, he began to respond to her kiss and her touch.
She removed his belt quickly and put her hand into his boxers.
I knew at that point that I should leave but I was not sure if it was curiosity or the fact that Steve could melt under a woman’s touch that kept me there, I just stood there.
She was putting her mouth on him now and he was removing her dress.
They were on the couch in no time, naked, with Lade on top of him.
Two people were about to have sex in front of me but I just stood there like an idiot.
“Fuck.” I heard Lade say. She was sitting on Steve now, clearly taking him inside of her.
I turned and left then. All the way back to my room, I could hear her moan.
Steve had sex, he had emotions and he was capable of being human like the rest of us. So why the heck was he so such a judge?
He was making himself a cup of coffee the next morning when I walked into the kitchen.
Standing in the kitchen in a plain white T shirt and grey shorts, he looked handsome as he stirred the steaming coffee which was inside a mug that had Martin Luther King’s face painted on it.
“Good morning.” I greeted and he nodded in response.
I wanted to ask him what last night was about, who Ms Amber Rose was to him and why he thought he could be a sinner and the rest of us had to be saints.
“There’s coffee if you want some.”
“Thank you” was all I said before I grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge. AKT had mentioned to me during one of our Skype sessions that he sometimes worked from home.
Steve was his own boss and he owned a law firm which he ran with his partner and which he could afford to stay away from if he wanted.
If he was home at 9.am it meant he was probably working from home.
I did not intend to spend the day in the same house with him, so jogging for a while was a great option.
I would jog and walk and do whatever would take at least two hours of my time.
And that was a good idea. I had surprisingly loved it.
But if I thought that was the only surprise I was getting that day, I was kidding.
When I returned to Steve’s there was barely space for me to walk in.
Right in the middle of the house were several bouquet of flowers, shoe boxes and gift bags.
“What’s going on here?” I asked Steve as I began to look through them.
“Two of your Aristos clearly think my house is yours.”
Two? I frowned and began to look through the gifts. He was right, some of the gifts were from LJP and the others from someone with the initial SK.
My phone rang then and I heard the heaviest Igbo accent I had ever heard in my life. This was some new Sugar Daddy.
Steve was looking at me, clearly waiting to say something.
And for some reason, I wanted to let him know I did not care what he thought. So I told the SK dude that I would see him that evening.
“You don’t learn don’t you?”
“I saw you fucking a woman here last night, Steve. We are all going to hell.”
He was shocked, “You what?”
“You heard me.”
I was almost walking past when he pulled me back. “You’re joking.” He said and I could see he wanted it to be a lie.
“No, I am not. I saw you and Lade.”
His grip on my hand tightened, “You are not going to tell AKT anything you hear me?”
Wait, what was going on? Who was the Lade chic?
And why was my heart racing faster than a superbike speeding through third mainland bridge on a traffic-less night while standing close to Steve?
– Tomilola Coco Adeyemo