The Police Woman I Love

I was arrested on a fine Saturday morning. The sun was shining without malice and the beautiful pattern its reflection through the window made on my floor made me think of love and tomorrow. I sighed and turned another side. I was prepared to spend the whole of today on bed, to be interrupted only for the bathroom, for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner.

It wasn’t to be. A knock landed on the door. I suppressed a hiss as I got down the bed. The earlier I got to the door and dismissed the disturbant, the better for my bones spread on the bed like suya.

I opened the door and my heart stopped beating at the sight of a policewoman. I noticed first her black uniform, then a beautiful face with small red lips and brown soft eyes. I looked downward, taking her breasts, flat tummy, and pistol and a pair of handcuffs in either hip in one swift gaze.

‘Good morning,’ I said in a small voice I didn’t recognise; I swallowed an invisible lump to strengthen my voice.

‘Good morning,’ she said. Beautiful voice; the kind of voice that was set on the cusp between a mild cough and a sing-song vibration.

I glanced at the nameplate on her chest. Gloria or something. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t look to confirm because I didn’t want her to think I was looking at her sizable breasts. I am that kind of man who would not want any woman to think I am looking at her breasts, even though I would love to stare but have no intention, as yet, of looking.

‘You are under arrest,’ she said. This was the first time I was being arrested and I almost smiled. She continued talking: ‘You have your rights. The most crucial one being the right to remain silent, because anything you say now might be on record and used against you during the trial.’ She spoke like a kindly matron announcing a lunch of eba and ora soup. ‘Dress up.’

I turned and she followed me in. ‘May I?’ I asked looking towards the bathroom.

‘Hurry up.’

In a few minutes, I was done with bathing. When I came out, I saw her standing near my wardrobe door holding my only suit in her hands. ‘Wear this,’ she said. It was not an order; it wasn’t a suggestion. I obeyed. She walked a little away from the wardrobe and turned her back on me so I could dress up. Nice ass, I noticed. I tried not to stare. I am not the type of man who would stare at the bottom of an officer of the law sent to arrest me; no, I am not.

‘I am done,’ I said, knotting the tie.

‘Good,’ she said, almost appreciatively. ‘Stretch your hands’; she brought out the handcuffs from her hip, solid, shapely hip, and proceeded to handcuff me. Her fingers on my flesh felt warm, tender and reassuring.

The room was silent, save for the soft, sweet hum of her breath. Her hair not fully covered by her beret, a kissing distance from my face, smelt nice. If she hadn’t just cuffed my wrist, I might have reached out and hugged her. She had that kind of effect on people/criminal. But I am not the type of criminal to reach out and hug my arrester. I am not even a criminal, although, with cute officers like this, I would seriously consider towing the craggy lines of felony.

We walked out of the room. I locked the door then she led me away, her hand on my elbow.

My neighbours gapped through their windows, I could feel their eyes, whitewashed with gossip, on my back. But I wasn’t ashamed. The grace and beauty of the woman police shone through the shame of being handcuffed.

We stopped at her car parked in front of our gate. A clean white saloon marked Police, crowned with a red and blue lightbar. She led me to the passenger’s side, opened the door and watched me slide in. She shut the door, rounded the car to the driver’s side, opened it, got in and filled the car with allurement.

She started the ignition and the engine leapt to life and one of my sweetest rides ever began. I didn’t know where she was driving to, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want the ride to end. She was probably driving to Enugu State Police Command but I wouldn’t mind her driving as far as the Zone Nine Police Headquarters in Umuahia. Anywhere, as long as I remained in the pool of her elegance. To my dismay, the drive ended in just under twenty minutes.

We stopped before a court building that was painted white with flowers by the door. Enugu State Conjugal Affairs Court, read the inscription on the wall. Otherwise, it would have passed for a church of a congregation who cared for both body and soul. She got down and opened my door for me. I stepped down with disguised reluctance.

Arm-in-arm she led me up the steps into the court. The court was half-filled already with my friends and relation. My parents, my eldest sister, my brother were there; Oge, Ifeoma, Muyima and Choice too. My heart stopped beating. I sensed a whiff a heart attack in the air. Fresh air suddenly became sparse and I could hardly breathe. This was the ultimate disgrace.

I walked with plastic legs between the rows. The judge, a stern man in an enormous robe, was already waiting. The policewoman put me in the witness box and removed the handcuffs; she stood by me. I caressed my wrist with a pinch of gratitude.

‘What is your name?’ the judge spoke. His voice sounded like thunder; it reminded me of the voice of Amadioha in Nollywood.

I told the judge my name.

‘Mr Okechukwu, you are accused of being lonely and in need of a soulmate. Guilty or not guilty.’

‘Guilty sir,’ I replied. Very guilty.

The judge continued, ‘I hereby sentence you to life under the care of Sergeant Gloria Aaron, to love and behold till death do you part.’

‘I graciously accept the sentence,’ I said.

The audience clapped.

The judge hit his gavel on his desk. ‘You may kiss the bride.’ I faced the policewoman I loved. She smiled. Her teeth was white, the colour of the inside of coconut. I reached for her…

‘Talk to me! Why are you not saying anything! What kind of thing is this?’

I opened my eyes. I was lying on my bed. The shouting was from my phone. My earphone was in the phone which meant that any call I got was connected automatically. So the call was answered and someone was shouting on the other end of the line. I picked up my phone. The caller was the civilian I loved. A beautiful girl with a short fuse who would follow most ‘I love you’s’ with a fight if the intonation or stress were misplaced.

‘Talk to me,’ she screamed.

‘I can’t talk,’ I screamed back. ‘I am in police custody right now. Later.’

I ended the call, switched off the phone and close my eyes, to return to dreamland where the police woman I loved stood, waiting for the kiss that seals unions.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

Officer Hadiza Muhammad

Note That this image is only for inscription purpose. Nothing else. Don’t let the devil use thee.

Christmas Gift For Nkechi

Read last year’s Christmas Story here

25th December, 2016, Enugu, harmattan is blowing a reluctant wind and somewhere a young lady is nursing a heartbreak. Let’s call her Nkechi. That is not her real name. She lives and it is not my intention to uncover her real identity and cause her embarrassment. I will not describe her in detail either except to say she is a little above average height, slender and possess enormous eyes that nearly spoilt her pear-shaped, chocolate beauty. She is twenty-seven, lives alone except from time to time when one of her relations visits her; she manages her hair saloon and earns nearly a lot, at least enough to support a staff of two and to eat whatever she wants to eat, wear whatever she wants to wear and travel to wherever she wants to travel.

In October, she fell in love. The boy is called Ifeanyi. That is his real name (he may come and jump on my back if he is unhappy with his name mentioned here; or sue; or drink water pia). He is one of those Enugu fine boys who do nothing for a living; who live off some rich relation or rich girlfriend or sugar mommy or sustained by gambling and other petty swindling; boys whose CVs contain a fine face, an Indonesian prison record/a British deportation stamp and a sweet voice. Plus a big cassava to say the truth (whatever that means). (Cough. Excuse me.)

Of all the men in Enugu, it was Ifeanyi that Nkechi chose to fall in love with. The signs were clear, although he is everything she wants in a man, tall, cute and sweet voice, he does everything she hates in a man: he gambles, smokes, drinks, swears and hates church. ‘Pastors are only interested in your offering and seeds. They can’t get me.’

Nkechi forgave him all these.  ‘He is just frustrated with life,’ she told herself. ‘He would change.’ She didn’t believe herself but she she hung on to the faulty see-saw of a relationship with a conviction that wouldn’t convince a six-year old. He didn’t change. Rather, he was changing her. Nkechi is one of those girls who having tasted the forbidden fruit, turn around to denounce it and term herself ‘secondary virgin’. No more sex till marriage. But she broke her two-year old secondary virginity for Ifeanyi. To make a bad situation messier, Ifeanyi has no room of his own so he takes her to the hotel a place she abhors, she paid the bills and he refers to love-making as fuck.

‘What a sweet fuck.’

‘Love-making; please stop calling it that.’

‘I hear you. Nice fuck sha.’

She would sigh. He would change. He didn’t. He shattered her heart instead. On the 14th of December, she arrived the hotel room she had paid for only to find it locked. After banging at the door for a quarter of an hour, Ifeanyi, naked safe for boxers opened the door. Behind him was a woman naked with mammalian glands the size of a pillow. ‘Oh my God, Ify why?’

‘You came late na. I was waiting for you since 7pm. This is after nine.’

She was crushed. He shut the door on her face. He snapped off the light. She heard the girl laugh and she died.

It was miracle that saw Nkechi make it out of the hotel in Presidential Road, get a keke to convey her to her apartment in Asata without breaking a leg or neck. But she wept a pool of tears. Her cousin who thought she went for a vigil at the church didn’t understand. Did fire gut the church? She wouldn’t talk to her cousin nor touch her phone. Ifeanyi called her twice before sending her this message: ‘Cheap gal like you. You are not even sweet you smelly motherfucker.’ Nkechi died again.

While in the university, Nkechi became friends with this fellow, Paul. She met him in their second year and they have remained tight friends till this moment. He has everything she would want in a guy; he is respectful, humble, considerate and doting. He is equally good-looking and industrious. ‘Honestly you have all that I need in a man but I can’t date you, some people must be your friend.’

‘Don’t flatter yourself; you are too ugly for me,’ he would say. And she would laugh and slap him on his chest. In the university, Nkechi suffered two heartbreaks and in each case, Paul was her refuge, she called him the boyfriend of the boyfriendless and he usually helped her back to herself, with plenty laughter and doting.

Three days after the tsunami, when Nkechi found herself,  she picked herself up, picked up her phone and called Paul. When he answered and she heard his excited voice, she began to cry. ‘I will kill him,’ he vowed. ‘I swear.’ Of course he didn’t mean it but he sounded so convincing she felt better.

Paul lives in Onitsha. He, like Nkechi, couldn’t secure a job with his fancy degree; he manages his own business, making a little lot selling ladies shoes in Ochanja Market. He promised to come and spend Christmas with Nkechi, and swore that by the time he was through with her she wouldn’t remember the name Ifeanyi again. She believed him.

9am Christmas Day, Nkechi was waiting for her heart-healer Paul. She stood in front of a book shop, trying not to look back hence she got tempted by a Templar or a Brian Tracy. She kept dialing Paul’s number but he wasn’t answering it. He had told her he was on his way more than two hours ago. But she wasn’t worry. If Paul says he would do something, he would do it–d

Someone hugged her from the back, almost knocking her fancy phone from her. ‘Pau-uul!’ She squawked with joy. He lifted her off the ground. ‘Oh, drop me, drop me, you naughty big head.’ He did but only after swinging her round three times, so that when he did drop her she was so dizzy he had to support her.

‘You evil!’ She hit him. He laughed.

One minute in Enugu and he was already making Ifeanyi sound like a cry from a distant clan. They boarded a keke. ‘I am not going home yet,’ she said.

‘I am taking you to you to a gift shop. The gift I will get you will blow your mind off.’

‘Can’t wait!’

Paul took Nkechi to Shop Husband. It is in Enugu, that is all you need to know about it. It is most likely to be abused, so I will keep its localtion secret. Only women with special needs are allowed entrance into the shop. Like Nkechi. The shop is actually a mall of six storeys. The tagline ‘You are a step away from your better half’ leaves little room for doubt as to what they sell here.

‘You will get the man of your dream here,’ Paul told her. ‘It is costly, but I will pay.’ Nkechi didn’t fully understand but she believed her best friend.

At the reception, Nkechi and Paul met the kind and beautiful sales woman in her middle age. ‘We want to buy one,’ he told her.

‘She already has you,’ the woman said.

‘She said I am not handsome enough.’

‘He is too short,’ Nkechi said. They laughed. Her heart was pounding, pounding, pounding. Her forehead was beginning to gather beads of sweat.

‘This is the door,’ the woman pointed. ‘There are six floors. In each floor are husbands for sale. Make your choice from any floor. If you choose your man from any of the floor, pick up the phone and call me by just pressing the green button. Don’t be too choosy. If you are not satisfied with the husband in offer at any floor, move to the next floor but know that you are not allowed to return to any floor. The door shuts permanently. Once you leave a floor you have rejected the husband materials there forever. Understood?’

Nkechi nodded. ‘Good luck.’

She turned to Paul who kissed her on the cheek. Nkechi stepped up the staircase and began to climb, her head soft like mutton with anticipation. At the end of the stairs was a bold inscription on a board, beside the telephone.

‘The men here have jobs, they don’t smoke nor drink nor swear.’

Wow, better than that loser Ifeanyi. But Nkechi didn’t settle for this. She decided to see what the next floor has.

Second floor: ‘These men have jobs, don’t swear nor smoke nor drink. They are very good-looking and tall.’

Hmmm. These ones here completely butcher Ifeanyi. The prick. But better men lie ahead. I will check. She climbed the next floor.

Next floor: ‘The men here are tall and handsome, have jobs, are kind, don’t smoke, drink nor swear. They are funny like crazy.’

‘Wow. Like seriously? This is too much.’ She nearly settled for this floor, she already picked up the phone but on a wiser thought, she dropped the phone and decided to climb another floor. Why settle for the third floor when you have three more floors?

On the fourth floor, this inscription met her: ‘The men here are God-fearing. They are very rich, funny, love kids, cook for their women and extremely good in bed. They are super handsome.’

Oh Jireh, this is the bomb! But she was sure the next floor had better men to offer. Up she went. On the fifth floor, she read: ‘The men here are romantic, funny, love kids, are generous, are very handsome, very rich, famous, hardworking, funny, kind, love cooking, great cooks and powerfully excellent in bed.’

Nkechi knew this was the best. What could possibly rank higher than this? She couldn’t fathom. All the right adjectives are here. But this is the Shop for husbands. This floor had already blown her mind, but trust the last floor to blow her heart of heart. She ran to the last floor. She stopped shocked when she read the inscription:

‘You are the 8,789, 679th woman to come to this place and leave empty-handed. There are no men here, just a proof of the insatiable beings you people are. Have yourself a merry Christmas. Olodo.’

Her world turned sharply, jolting her. Her legs became plastic, her nostril narrowed. Someone began laughing in the background, a voice full of ridicule and scorn. And he sounded so much like Ifeanyi.

Nkechi finally died.

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