First, she forgot her earrings. They were a small orb-shaped ornaments the size of giant beans. She didn’t have to remove them. But Nosa was on the eighteen-yard box and goal was on target so he didn’t mind when she said wait and reached for her earring. It was the next morning that he noticed the earrings on his reading table, beside his laptop. He called and teased her. “So, I am that good?”
“Yes o. In fact, it wasn’t just my earrings I forgot; I forgot my name and had to check Facebook.”
Next, she forgot her singlet. “Wash it for me o,” she said when he called her the next morning. He didn’t. It smelt like her and it was a smell that reminded him of the hilarity of her presence and the warmth of soft breasts on hard chest.
After this, she left her shoes, her skirt, her blouse and handbag at the same time. She washed the clothes in the morning before she left. She wore his shirt and trousers and slippers home. She said she wanted to walk light. She didn’t take her clothes, shoes and handbag the next time she came. In fact, she left her jacket.
Nosa didn’t mind. These things were an assurance that she was his today and on the morrow. Again, he relished the ecstasy of hiding them from his other babes. He was twenty-five with a half-decent job, bright prospects and happy to be winning in this game that had bruised him so much in the campus and during NYSC.
Nosa became a little worried when one day he counted two blouses, one jacket, one pair of trousers, two skirts, two pairs of shoes and the earrings. He was worried because they were too much to hide effectively. The biggest priority in the cheating game is to make sure your main bae doesn’t catch you; a distant second is to make sure side runs don’t catch the main one. Side babes are replaceable, he concluded.
Nosa became worrier when she brought a small travelling bag for the holiday and left without its contents. It was a Thursday and Friday Holidaying fun plus a Weekend that she called jara. But looking at her gown, blouses, shorts, singlets, bra and other underwear when she left, he felt dizzy; the muscles in his stomach felt loose. He didn’t feel like going to work as the prospect of becoming an unmarried married man weighed heavily on his shoulders. He would have to talk to her. Tonight.
Tonight, she came and gave him an unforgettable thrashing. He didn’t forget his name like she did. But he forgot to tell her to gather her things and take them with her; he promised to be stern. But now he lay down like a sated cat, weak, his bones felt like ice blocks and he just wished they wouldn’t melt.
One day, she said: “My roommate is so annoying. I will just go to work from here for a week.” A statement of fact, not a permission-seeking one. She stayed for over one month. He wasn’t so comfortable but he kept quiet. She was useful. She took care of his most demanding chores, cooking and organizing and cleaning his two rooms. And the early morning matches calmed his nerves and giddied his brain.
The day she said I missed my period, nearly all her most important wears were in his place and he knew she had won. He felt ambushed. He was however not mad at her; he saw her coming with a quiver and he provided her with the arrows. Now, there were so many arrows on his body and he was bleeding with the opening gambit of unprepared marriage and fatherhood.