I hope to God my pastor is not reading this. If you are a non-pastor reader who missed last episode, click HERE. *Winks*
Micah and I stood by the expressway at Ikirun waiting for Helen’s bus to arrive from Oshogbo. We were still dressed in our khaki, having come straight from CDS meeting. I had four thousand naira in my pocket—one thousand from my account and three thousand that Micah just lent me. So we stood waiting for Helen, knowing that four thousand wouldn’t serve the Trojan Princess, knowing that Uncle Dayo and the NCCF family would have my hide for insulting Rural Rugged Evangelism.
First, Dayo trusted me and I abused his trust by going to a dibia; he forgave me. He helped cleanse me. He gave me chance in the pulpit to speak to the brethren. And I repay him by bringing a girl to Cemetery Lodge! I hissed. If I were Dayo, I would curse me…
Micah looked at me and smiled encouragingly. I frowned. I looked away. It was normal for Micah to smile encouragements, what had he to lose? I was now in debt, insulting NCCF and risking an eternal curse. I looked at Micah; he was hiding behind dark glasses and my frown deepened. I noticed for the first time that Micah was quite good-looking; tall, fresh-skinned and oozing with confidence, near innocence and charm. If Helen were to be asked to choose between us I knew who she would prefer—she wouldn’t choose me!
The thought burnt me so hard in the chest, I had to unbutton my khaki jacket for air to reach my heart. I would break Micah’s handsome nose one of these days, I swore. I am twenty times smarter than him, I kept telling myself but this didn’t help my resentment.
‘What is biting you?’ Micah asked me.
I reached for my dark glasses on my forehead and shut my eyes.
Helen was the last to come down from the bus. She was wearing a white sleeveless over tight jeans. She looked tired but even this didn’t darken her glamour. She made for the boot and brought down her suitcase and holdall. ‘She’s a masterpiece,’ Micah breathed as we began to make towards the bus. She saw us and squealed with joy and flew into my arms. ‘Oh K, I missed you so much!’
‘I am so tired.’
I grunted. She looked at Micah. ‘Meet Micah,’ I said hurriedly. She extended sleek hand. ‘He is so cute.’
‘He is married with kids,’ I said.
She looked at me with doubt.
‘With three kids actually,’ Micah said.
‘And his wife is heavy with a fourth.’
‘Jesus, but he’s so young! Does your wife stay with you?’
‘No, but he sends her two-third of his allowances,’ I said.
Helen looked at Micah with pity. ‘You must be hungry,’ I said.
‘Oh K, I am starving!’
We put Helen’s suitcase in front of the motorcycle. Helen sat behind the bikeman, I sat behind her with the holdall on my lap and Micah sat behind me. ‘Mehn, I am sitting on the carrier,’ Micah complained.
I pushed my buttocks forward. Helen grunted. ‘Oh K, why don’t we just take different bikes? I am soo tight here.’
She actually pronounced bikes ‘by-kisses’. How would she know that I was dangerously running out of money? We just spent a thousand naira in the restaurant. By jam-packing ourselves in one bike I would pay 500 naira instead of three hundred each in different ‘by-kisses’. ‘Oh K, this is too much on mee!’
I sighed. ‘Babe, this is the best way to travel here because of the danger of head-hunters. We take individual bikes and you may end up in the hands of ritual guys. Election is by the corner.’
She caught her breath and grabbed my palm. ‘I am so afraid.’
‘Don’t worry, we are here.’
Micah pinched me and I leered at her hair.
Helen didn’t say anything until we began to pass a road lined up with wears shops in either side. ‘K, look at that blue gown, I soo love it!’
After paying the bikeman, I would have 2500 naira in me, and she dared admire a blue gown! I pretended not to have heard. ‘K, isn’t the gown so cute?’ she propped. ‘It is. Micah, did I give you my ID card?’
‘No,’ he said. ‘I thought you gave it to Dayo.’
‘I have collected it but I can’t find it.’
‘We will ask the CLO then.’
‘Yes we will. When will your CDS group submit their report?’ I hadn’t lost my ID card, I didn’t want to know about some miserable CDS report; I just knew that the only way to stop the pressure of Helen’s wanton admirations was to keep talking. Micah, God bless his soul, understood, so we kept talking nonsense, suppressing Helen’s exorbitant wishes.
When the motorcycle stopped before Cemetery Lodge, my heart-beat was deafening. Please God, let it be that Uncle Dayo wasn’t at home. Let it be that he had gone to the mountain where he would pray for 21 days and 21 nights…
‘You live in the cemetery,’ Helen said. I got down the bike with a burning nose. Micah chuckled. ‘We live opposite the cemetery,’ he corrected.
She inspected the atmosphere with her nose and eyes, mostly with her nose. ‘O gosh, this is too rural.’
I paid the bikeman and reached for Helen’s suitcase. ‘I thought you were serving in Oshogbo,’ she said.
I live in Ohio, I was tempted to say. Micah chuckled as I grabbed hold of the suitcase and my temper. God please make me deaf (and dumb!) for the rest of her stay here, I prayed. We carried Helen’s luggage inside without meeting Dayo or any other obstacle on the way. At the door, Micah whispered into my ear, ‘Where will she go toilet?’
‘When we get there we cross it,’ I said hotly.
Micah laughed. I hissed. Helen looked at me. ‘Is like you have hot temper o.’
You never see anything.
Helen was lying on the bed with her beautiful head on my lap. She was wearing bum shorts under something that was too small to be called a vest and too large to be called brassieres which cut her breasts into two, revealing the larger chunk. This and the sight of her most striking legs left my mouth waterless. But somewhere inside of me, the fear of Dayo/NCCF kept me civil.
Helen was having a wonderful time. She was sucking a lollypop and chattering. She would suck the sweet then feed me the sweet; I would suck for few seconds, then she would remove it and return it into her handsome mouth. So romantic. I just wished this was happening in 2017, a million miles from Osun.
Somehow, my hand fell on her chest.
‘I thought you were crippled.’ She laughed.
As I began to caress a knock sounded on the door. My hand snapped off as though it had been laid on electric cooker. I listened. The knock increased in sound and urgency.
‘Who is it?’ I couldn’t recognise my voice.
‘It is me,’ Uncle Dayo said. My heart sank.
‘Who is that?’ Helen asked as she put the lollipop in my mouth.
‘Please get up and put on something decent,’ I said.
Helen frowned. ‘Why?’
‘Kings, open the door na,’ Uncle called. I looked at Helen, ‘Please get something; it’s the NCCF uncle…’
‘And so? Is he a virgin?
I blinked at her.
She frowned at me. ‘Are you a virgin?’
‘What arrant nonsense,’ Helen said as she rose to her feet. ‘If he has never seen a woman in bum shorts before, let him say so.’
As Helen made for the door, the lollipop fell off my mouth.
I am taking a break. The other day, I was talking to a lady I like real well and she suddenly said, ‘Mehn, you are thin, you need to fleshen up’. I went to the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw. I decided something must pay for my stress. I brought out my axe, I looked around, I saw my blog and kpam, I axed it. I am going away in search of rest or whatever (not even sure), have been blogging constantly since January. Haba! I don’t know when I will come back and won’t speculate. In this era of false prophecies, count me out. I may come back after one week, or one month, or two years, or never. Only the father knoweth. I shall return like a pickpocket in the night. Two people shall be gisting in their room, and suddenly one person will receive my blog alert on email; two people will be strolling on Facebook and one of them will stumble on my link. Somebody will be sipping garri and groundnut and my call will interrupt to announce my return…
For now, I will just relax, maybe sit on a balcony, with a binocular and watch as co-bloggers scurry around chasing traffic in a country where people are too hungry to read. What the people really need is bread link, not blog link, aswear. God help us.
Thanks to everyone who reads me, who shares me, who talks about Hard Voices, you have kept me in business. God bless all of una, and make you bigger than the next bet (just for reading a blog? why not!) See you when we see. Kisses.
Tweets to @Oke4chukwu