SO NOT LOVE
As soon as he reached me, he simply sat on the very spot my husband had been on earlier and I began to fidget. I was so nervous that sweat broke out on my forehead. A minute passed and he said nothing to me. More minutes ticked away and yet nothing then I began to grow angry for no reason. If he was not going to talk to me then why had he come here to sit with me? Why hadn’t he just remained at the corner where he was sitting before instead of coming here to play dumb or had he only changed location so he could have a very good view of the people dancing on the dance floor. My nervousness slowly grew into displeasure and I felt like getting up and walking away but I only remained put because I was scared what Daniel would do to me if he returned and couldn’t find me where he had left me.
Ten good minutes passed and all he did, was sipped his stupid wine. I soon relaxed and angrily leaned back against the backrest. I decided that he wouldn’t be the only one enjoying a drink so I reached for my glass of wine and took a sip
“What are you doing here?” Daniel angrily asked. “Didn’t I tell you not to move from that spot?”
“Indeed.” He stated and continued what he was doing with the girl as he spoke to me.
Sensing that I was still there, my husband turned an angry eye on me. “You are still here? Will you get out, close this door and go back to where I left you?!” He snapped at me and simply let the door close
I entered two stalls away from the one my husband was in and quickly relieved myself and after flushing, I stepped out to wash my hands in the sink and I could hear him telling her that he was also interested in having the same thing with one of her friends and that he would pay any amount that they wanted him to. Composing myself, I returned to where I was sitting before. I paused when I discovered that the stranger was still seated on the couch and this time he was busy tapping away at his phone with an ankle on his other knee and his arm stretched out along the head of the backrest. I angrily walked to the couch and sat down and noticed an artificial rose flower lying next to my glass of wine. Wondering who has placed it there, I glanced around but no one seemed to be paying me any attention. I was almost tempted to ask the stranger who had left the rose flower there but I changed my mind. Ignoring the flower, I simply went for my glass of drink, as I brought the cup to my lips for a drink, the stranger finally spoke without taking his eyes off the screen of his phone:
“I wouldn’t drink that if I were you.”
I paused then pulled the cup away. “Excuse me?” I said.
He finally lifted his head to look at me and I could see a sly smile in his eyes. “Rule number one, never leave your drink unattended in a public place like this, especially in a social gathering like this” He said to me.
I skeptically stared at my drink then lifted the glass to look through its transparent body at the bottom. I saw absolutely nothing and I wondered if he had only said that to strike a conversation with me. Well, if that was the case, I had long lost interest, so he could as well just shut up and mind his business.
“Look no further, it’s long dissolved.” He told me as if he had just read my mind.
I swallowed hard. “What do you mean?”
“Some dude slipped something in your drink while you were away.”
“Really?” I scoffed in doubt. “Who would do such right in front of someone, you.”
He smiled now and I caught a glimpse of his white teeth before they disappeared. “Desperate sex predators have their tactics and they never work solo. One pretended to be asking me irrelevant questions in order to distract me, while the other spiked your drink. Most girls have fallen victim and they often wake up feeling disoriented, unable to remember anything or even know that even if they were raped, it was a gang bang.”
I glanced down at my drink again. “Why didn’t you raise an alarm?”
He chuckled. “C’mon, I don’t wanna get shanked. There are a bunch of them in here and how am I supposed to stand up to all of them. I’m no Bruce Lee.”
I smiled a bit then simply placed the drink back on the table. I had had enough of wine tonight anyway. “So did they leave the rose too as a token?” I asked.
He hesitated now then pursed his lips and shook his head as he stared down at the rose. “No, that was me.” Then he lifted his eyes to meet mine quizzically. “You don’t like roses?” He asked.
I took the rose and brought the petals to my nose. “I’m indifferent to flowers. Tell me, do you carry roses around to offer it to any girl you find?”
“Find appealing? Yes.” He said frankly. “But never to a married one.”
Just then, in reflex, I folded my fingers into my palm as if trying to hide my ring. I smiled sheepishly and gently lowered the rose to my lap unable to meet his eyes.
“What’s a married woman doing all by herself in such a nasty place full of miscreants and die-hard whores who have a penchant for one-night stands?”
“I’m not alone…” I coyly answered, my head lowered now. “I came with my husband.”
He glanced around. “And what fool of a husband would leave his wife unattended with a lot of predators looking for the next vulnerable woman to pounce on?”
“I’m not vulnerable.” I tried to defend myself softly.
He scoffed and set his foot down then leaned sideways towards me with his elbows on his knees. “Tell you what…”
“What?” I curiously asked.
“You are lonely and unhappy.” He said flatly.
I was embarrassed but tried to hide it. “That’s not true. Like I said, I’m married…” I lifted my hand to flaunt my ring. “Happily married.” I quickly added for emphasis and in order to sound convincing.
“I know right?” He said in sarcasm. “Most women are married and yet lonely and you are just one of them… I sensed it from the bar. All these makeup couldn’t conceal your pains from me. They are etched into the lines of your face and yet you are in your early twenties.”
I gave him an uncomfortable look. “Are you some psychologist sent to analyse me or what?”
He chuckled softly. “I’m just some crazy fella looking for whom to make me forget some of my troubles.”
“Well, there are a lot of hotter girls on the dance floor whom you can psycho-analyse and choose from.”
“Yeah…” He cast a bored look across the dance floor. “And yet you caught me from afar. You stand out here.” Then he briefly bit a part of his lower lip before he said again, “I’m Chris.” He stretched a hand towards him.
I hesitated and stared at him. Somehow, just washing him s–k a part of his lower lip into his mouth. I felt like having such guy by my side. Suddenly, I snapped out of my daydream. No, this was wrong. I shook my head to shake the dirty thoughts off. I’m married and shouldn’t be fantasizing about another man. It was so wrong, very wrong and I felt shame and guilt fill me up immediately.
To avoid further temptations, I jolted to my feet and he slowly rose too with surprise registered on his face. “You okay?” He asked in concern.
“Yes.” I managed to say past the knot that had formed in my throat. “I’ve got to go fetch my husband. I think it’s high time we went home.”
I saw him smile in understanding then he simply said, “Let me at least walk you outside to be sure that you are safe. Because I’m sure that those who spiked your drink would be very pissed by now and might just decide to jump you.”
“Yeah…” I quickly agreed as I threw a wary glance around, “thanks.”
“After you.” He gestured with a hand towards the entrance of the place and as I started to maneuver my way towards it, he followed me closely but suddenly, I asked him to wait that I wanted to check for my husband in the restroom. He obliged but I soon returned because Daniel was no where to be found. I found the girl smoking in the corridor leading to the back door and I paused to ask her,
“Hey, where’s my husband?”
She gave me a terse look and took another puff from the cigarette. “I be husband keeper?” She asked me back. “Abeg, no disturb me, just commot from here go find your husband for where you keep am. Allow me smoke my cigarette in peace.” She said dismissively.
After checking the restroom and he was not there, I went back but he was not on the couch nor the dance floor. Sighing, I speculated that he might be outside. When Chris and I got outside the place, I was grateful for the clear atmosphere and I quickly took in a deep breath of air to clear my lungs of all the cigarette smoke, smell of beer and wine and also the stench of sweat and crazy perfumes which I had been breathing in inside the choky interior of that rubbish place. There were a few people standing aloof outside alone or in twos. I walked to the bouncer who had greeted my husband and asked.
“Please, have you seen my husband?”
He hesitated as he gave me a contemplating look. “He no dey inside? (Isn’t he inside?) His deep voice reached me and from his accent, I could tell that he was from south-south.
“No, I have looked everywhere but he’s not inside.”
“Okay…” He looked around and said in a quiet voice to me. “Me no dey snitch on my fellow guy but because you fine and you get sense pass all the mumu girls wey full here I go just tell you.” (I don’t snitch on a fellow guy but because you are beautiful and also more sensible than most of the senseless girls that have occupied this place, I’ll tell you.) He reluctantly said. “Your husband just pass here five minutes ago with one lepa. The lepa na ashawo. I just dey pity the kind disease wey your husband go carry give you after he kpansh that mumu girl finish. Some men no just wan get sense at all. As you fine reach, see how you set…” (Your husband just went past here five minutes ago with a slim girl. The slim girl is a prostitute. I’m just sorry for you because of the kind of STD your husband would infect you with after he is done with that girl. Some men do not want to be reasonable at all. Just see how beautiful you are. Look at your shape…” He gesticulated with his hands to describe my shape. “na im your husband still dey follow that bongafish. I no just know why some men get longer throat. Wetin dem dey find for outside na im go kill them last last.” (And yet your husband is still following that skinny girl. What men go in search of outside of their marriage is what would cost them their lives at last.) Then he pointed at the corner of the compound which led to a dark parking space. “Just follow here, you dey hear me so? Na there he enter. No tell am say na me tell you o.” (Just go through this way, are you listening? That is where he went through. Do not let him know that I was the one who told you where to find him.) He warned finally.
“Thank you.” I said and started for the corner. I had hardly taken three steps when I heard Chris pause and say to him.
“Bros you no try at all. You no Sabi bro code?” (Bro, you didn’t do well at all. Don’t you know the bro code?)
“Abeg, free me, who bro code help? That guy too stingy. He no dey even give person tip. Na to dey spend money on top ashawo he sabi. I still dey wait for the day wey I go box im eye.” (Please, spare me, forget about bro code. That guy is too stingy. He doesn’t even give me tips. All he’s good at is spending on prostitutes. I’m still looking forward to the day I’d give him a black eye.) The bouncer retorted.
I ignored them both and walked around the corner and in the dim parking space which was occupied with cars, I noticed my husband’s car bouncing and I could hear murmurings coming from within and a pair of legs jutting out through the back window.
“Seems your husband is a very busy man.” Chris wryly said behind me.
I was ashamed and embarrassed and I grew angry. The last thing I wanted was this guy thinking that my husband treated me like crap. Summoning courage which I didn’t know where it came from, I marched to the car and yanked the back door open, startling them both. I was appalled by the sight. Just how many girls did this he-goat intend to sleep with tonight. And yet after everything, he would still insert that dirty, public thing inside of me. I had had enough of this disrespect.
“Daniel!” I snapped. “Get down now!”
He stared at me as if I was crazy, ignored me and simply resumed with the nonsense he was doing but I angrily seized him by the back of his shirt and yanked him off the girl. He staggered to the ground and quickly struggled to pull his dress up while the prostitute, quickly tugged down her skirt and snuck off to avoid my wrath.
“Are you mad?! Have you lost your mind?! How dare you?!” Daniel furiously asked.
“I am sick and tired of your nonsense and it ends tonight!” I stood my ground.
Shocked that I was speaking to him in such manner, he swung the back of his hand and landed it heavily on my face and I felt blood splatter out of my nose. I reeled backward in shock and pain, my hand flying to my bloody face. He concluded that that wasn’t enough damage and he came after me again, as he was about to strike me again, Chris suddenly grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back and he groaned out in pain and almost sunk to his knees.
“Pick on someone your own size!” Chris hissed at him. “Only cowards like you hit women.”
“I see!” Daniel managed to lash out at me through his pain. “So it has gotten to this, eh?! You brought your boyfriend to attack me, Victoria?! You have been sleeping around! Your parents must hear this!”
Hearing this and feeling sorry for him, I quickly interceded. “Please Chris, let him go.”
Chris gave me a surprised look. “Are you sure?”
“He’s my husband and you are hurting him!” I insisted and when he hesitated, I blurted. “I didn’t invite you into this! This is between my husband and I, so please, let him go now!” I raised my voice.
Chris let my husband go by shoving him away. Daniel got off the ground, with his eyes shooting daggers at me, he ordered: “Get into the car!” He walked around to get into the driver’s side after slamming shut the door I had opened.
I reluctantly complied and got in next to him, avoiding meeting Chris’ gaze. My husband started the car immediately after threatening to deal with Chris then he roughly drove awa. As he drove, he kept fuming and would occasionally hit the steering several times. “So it has come to the extent where you have the guts to cheat on me?!” He bawled at me. “So your plan is to kill me so you can inherit all that I have laboured for? Ha! You ungrateful b—h!”
I tried to plead my innocence but he suddenly struck me again with the back of his hand catching me in my left eye. I felt the pain shoot straight to my brain and I buried my face in my hands but he didn’t stop, he jammed my head against my window, making me dizzy from the pain. “Let’s just get home, I’ll make sure I teach you a very good lesson, you s–t!”
“I’m innocent!” I suddenly cried out, weeping now. “I don’t even know him!”
“In fact, I can’t bear to be in the same car with a liar and a cheat!” He said and suddenly turned sharply to the shoulder of the road and brought the car to an abrupt halt. “Get down!” He hissed.
I gaped at him in shock. It was late into the night and there was no car in sight, not to mention that the road was flanked with bush on either side. “What?” I gasped.
“Are you deaf? I said get down!” He insisted.
“But Daniel, something bad could happen to me here. There might be kidnappers! Worse, I could even be raped! You can’t possibly leave me here, how will I get home?!” I pleaded.
“You think I care?! If you can call your boyfriend to attack me, it means that you want me dead! I don’t care if you are kidnapped! I don’t care if you are raped! I don’t even care if you die! Just get the f–k out of my car!”
I began to cry and plead with him not to do this to me but he simply got down the car, came around the car, opened the door, dragged me out of it and threw me on the dusty ground. He slammed the door shut and walked around to get back in and before I could pick myself off the ground, he automatically locked the doors from inside. I began to tap the window gently, begging him to let me in but he ignored me, started the car and roughly drove off, abandoning me there and just then I knew that I was doomed as I watched the red tail lights of his car soon fade into the distance, leaving me all alone in the middle of the night and on a dangerous road popularly plagued by armed robbers.
To Be Continued…