Esosa felt persistent taps on her thigh, drifting her slowly away from dreamland. She moaned discontentedly as her consciousness began to return. She had had a dream, she thought as she stretched exhaustedly on the bed willing her eyes to open. Slowly, she opened them only for her blurry gaze to fall on a dark-skinned, middle-aged man of average height tucked in a grey suit, grey pants and red tie which hung loosely around his neck. His jaw which appeared to be set in a quaking frown held a small goatee-color of which matched perfectly to that of his hair. He was…..admirable, she thought smiling with eyes half opened.
“Hey, what are you smirking about? Are you going to be sleeping all day? Look here my friend, you better get up and find something doing around this house” the hoarsely voice, echoing from the man who appeared to be preoccupied with something, commanded.
Esosa’s eyes sprung opened in total dismay with all the traces of sleep gone with the wind. At first, she sat up, speechless.
“Huh?” she asked, confused by the scene playing itself in front of her. She thought she was still asleep probably in the next slide of her dreams but…
“See, if I come back and find you still on this bed, you will not find it funny with me at all. Here are my clothes,” he pointed down at a pile of scrambled clothed hipped up like an Egyptian pyramid. “Please…..I’m begging this time…make sure they are washed and ironed before I get back” he muttered sarcastically and marched out of the room in a swift motion, sending the door shut almost as abruptly.
Esosa stared at the closed door, dumbfounded. She shook her head earnestly as if to rid herself of whatever disease of paranoia was crowding her senses. She began to rub her eyes hoping that whatever was making her see things would wipe off but still, there she was in an exquisite bedroom painted in green. This wasn’t her room, she suddenly realized. Hell! She hated green. Who would paint their bedrooms of all places green, she wondered sarcastically as she glanced round the room. Wait! Probably she was still dreaming, she decided as she tried to still herself. This was perhaps one of those dreams that make one believe he or she was actually living it and might never wake up…yet they do and it was still just a dream.
Unable to think of anything else, she laid back on the bed and willed sleep to return. Maybe when she awoke this time, she would be back in her own blue-painted room and tiny bed. Two, three, twenty minutes, Esosa remained motionless with eyes shut yet sleep evaded her. It was like the drowsy little fella had abandoned her, leaving her clueless on what else to do. Cursing, she struggled out of the bed and tried to recall the events of the previous day but nothing seemed to return to her at first. It was like she was suddenly amnesic to everything about herself except from the fact that this wasn’t her room or her apartment, and by the way, who was that mad man that spoke rudely to her? She wondered again but her thoughts were promptly interrupted by a buzzing phone vibrating from the dresser, a drawer away from the bed.
Esosa walked up to the dresser and picked the call …
“Hello!” She called into the mouthpiece of the phone and then froze at the sound of her voice. This wasn’t her voice, she roared as she stood petrified at her reflection in the mirror there at the dressing table. For the first time, she noticed the swollenness of her feet and arms…She was fat! She yelled out in panic as she began to roam her hands over her body, dropping the phone to the floor. She scratched at her face as she tried to remember the last time she has seen her reflection in a mirror. She had been in jeans pants and had even been wearing her favorite white blouse, she recalled. But now she was in a bogus and shapeless night-wear that stretched to her feet. What the hell happened to her perfectly slim features and curves? And for crying out loud…this isn’t how she looked At least she was a hundred percentage sure about that. Her eyes weren’t as close up together like the ones she had now, staring back at her in the mirror; neither was her nose as flat as the one she was breathing through. This is crazy! This is…
The horror of what was happening began to condescend into something unexplainable to Esosa. Nothing was making sense. She sought through the room for anything that looked like hers but then her eyes caught the portrait of two charming couple grinning sheepishly from the bed stand. She picked up the portrait and recognized the man as the same who spoke rudely to her that morning and she was the perfect resemblance of the woman in the portrait. Awed by this realization, she heard the phone she had dropped to the floor ring again. Quickly, she picked up the phone and hit the green button. If she wanted answers to what was going on with her she could as well start immediately.
With shaking voice, she spoke into the phone “Hello?”
“Oh thank God, Tonia, Why weren’t you picking my calls?” the caller spoke….
“Huh?” Esosa wondered fluttered in confusion….who the hell is Tonia?
Tonia pulled the car to a stop. Opening the address book in front of her, she read the pen written letters scrambled in italics and stared at the house that stood effortlessly ahead of her with a giant circle that held 28 in its middle. Taking a deep breath, she got out of the car and walked into it. The house which was spaciously built to contain two other buildings was painted in ox-blood red and had flowers planted around it. Despite its old structure, it looked well built and…welcoming. Tonia walked up to the first door she saw and knocked. After several knocks, a heavily bearded man popped out his head behind the window and grinned at her.
“Ha! Esosa, where have you been? I don’t think I have seen you since yesterday”, the man asked thoughtfully as he struggled with his curtain, pulling it to one side of the door.
“Emm…sorry sir, I went to see someone and I couldn’t make it back in time. I am even thinking of travelling this morning. I came to get my things” Tonia lied as she pulled her handbag closer.
“Ehen? I hope there is no problem?” the man asked genuinely concerned as he worked up a pity face.
“No, No, everything is fine sir…Except ehem…I’ve been trying to open my door with my key and it’s not working, so I was wondering if you can help me” Tonia lied again, fixing up a quick smile.
“Oh….you and this door sef. It’s still giving you problems abi?” He asked walking towards a closed door at the far end of the “face me I face you “apartments. “There is no problem, although I suggest you get another lock so that this one would not be a bother anymore” he suggested as he stopped at a thick wooden door and took the key from Tonia who smiled gratefully at him.
As soon as the door flung opened, Tonia thanked him and walked into the room but noticed the man was still standing by the door.
“Eem…sir, thank you, is there anything I can do for you?” Tonia asked confused…
“Haba! Esosa, stop acting as if you don’t know why I’m here”, the man asked as he walked into the room without waiting for an invitation. “I haven’t seen you in days and you are asking me if there is anything you can do for me, of course there’s always something na” the man answered pulling closer to her.
“Emem emem, sir” Tonia protested as she pulled out of his desperate embrace, trying to understand what relationship she had with this so called man.
“See Esosa, I don’t like what you are doing o. How can you just leave for a whole day without telling me and come back with this nonsense attitude and now, you are travelling? Think I will just let you leave and keep me in hunger?” he asked still pulling up to her with a simper.
Tonia’s head rattled as she put two and two together to understand that she must have had something besides neighboring relationship with this man. But right now, she didn’t have the time to get into it. She had to get out of this place as soon as possible.
But how is she going to get rid of this man?
“Ok sir, emmm…are you home alone?” Tonia asked as an idea popped into her head.
“Yes, I am” he asked pulling her into his arms”. The man oozed of cigarette and alcohol. Tonia winced as she tried to pull away from him but his lips were already on her neck, licking it.
“Ok…while don’t you go to your apartment hen. So I can freshen up and come and join you before I leave. I even got some sexy under wears. I can try them on for you” Tonia volunteered fixing up a fake smile as he turned to look at her, obviously shocked by her remark.
“My house? But we never do this in my apartment na, except you want my wife to catch us” He answered teasingly “but anyways, you are lucky she wouldn’t be back till later this evening. So my lovely Eso, freshen up sharp sharp and come and meet me. I’ll be waiting, you hear?” he kissed her on the cheek and left the room.
“Gosh”! Tonia exclaimed as soon as she was sure he was gone from hearing range. “What kind of rubbish is this?”
Figuring out that there was no time to ponder on the issue, especially now that there was an adulterer waiting for her with his stinking body, she had to get out of there…..and fast too….