SO NOT LOVE
Episode 19 (Final)
Uju was in the sitting room, laughing as she chatted on the new smart phone which one of her numerous boyfriends had bought her. I came down the stairs and stared at her for a moment. “Uju?” I called.
She glanced up at me then hurriedly looked down and typed something before she sent it to the recipient. “Yes, Obim?”
She was already used to that name even though she didn’t mean what it implied anymore but I didn’t mind. I sat down on the couch across adjacent to hers and said, “I need to talk to you. Can you pause what you are doing for now?”
She slid out of WhatsApp, pressed the power button to lock the screen then placed her phone on seat next to her. “What?” She gave me her full attention now.
“I want to make a deal with you.”
“I’m listening.” She folded her legs on the seat and placed her elbows on one of the arms of the chair, leaning towards me.
“I know that in as much as you are enjoying your stay in Lagos that you still wish to further your education.”
“Yes but as money no dey, babe must hustle na. (Yes but as there’s no money, babe must hustle). She answered.
“I want to finance it, but I want something in return.” I told her.
“What do you want me to do?” She asked.
“I want you to do something of utmost importance for me and you must make sure that you execute it properly.” Then I told her.
A WEEK LATER.
I was standing by the roadside, waiting for a bus close to a junction leading into an estate behind me. It was a very sunny afternoon and I had dressed to kill. I knew that I had dressed the way just I had to attract the attention I wanted and the various stares I kept getting from passers-by and other people in public transport and also personal cars affirmed that my charm and charisma was working. Several personal cars had stopped to give me a lift but I had politely declined because I had a mission. Even though I was tempted to hop into a nice car which had pulled over to offer me a ride, I had reluctantly agreed. I had no choice. If I didn’t execute this mission today, I might never get another chance. Anyway the heat of the sun was stifling me but I was glad that I had come with my sun shades. I had to wait for fifteen more minutes before the car I was waiting for, finally showed up.
The car had turned from the estate and had stopped beside me just like I had expected. The driver honked then the window facing me whirred down. I pulled closer to the car and bent down to give the driver one of my brightest smiles.
“Hello baby!” The driver said, ogling my cleavage which was exposed to his view in my bent position.
“Good afternoon sir.” I smiled, placing my hand on the window to flaunt my beautifully-painted nails.
“What’s a beautiful girl like you doing in the sun?” He asked me.
“Are you going my way?” He asked.
“It depends on your destination sir.”
“I don’t mind. I would go anywhere for such a beauty like you.” He said then opened the door for me. Smiling, I straightened up and slipped in next to him.
As he pulled away from the side of the road and joined the traffic, he glanced at me and said, “My name is Daniel, what’s this damsel’s name?”
“Uju sir.” I replied as humbly as I could.
“I have never seen you around here before, are you new in town?” He asked.
“Yes sir…” I nodded. “I live with my aunty in the next street.” I pointed at a street ahead that I had never been to in my life.
“That’s good… I live in that estate I just came out from.” He told her.
“I was actually going out to have some lunch, hope you don’t mind joining me?” He asked me and I saw him lick his lower lip as he stared at my exposed laps.
I intentionally placed two fingers on the hem of my short dress and pulled it up an inch so that more of my laps were exposed to his eyes. He pretended to be looking for something close to the gear between us but his hand crawled past it and touch my lap. At first, I hesitated, hoping it was a mistake and that he would take away his hand but instead, his hand slowly began to caress my lap. When I lifted my eyes to look at him, he simply winked at me and continued to run his hand up and down my lap.
I cleared my throat and said as I glanced at the ring on one of the fingers whose hand he was driving with. “Sir, are you not a married man?” I asked.
“Me?” He scoffed and shook his head. “Not anymore. I used to be married until my w—e of a wife stole my one million naira and eloped with her lover.”
“Yes and ever since then, since I’m a very good man, I decided to keep the ring because I really loved her. But now, God has answered my prayers and have sent a damsel like you to my life.”
“Sir, but we just met.” I said.
“Does it matter?” His hand crawled up my body to my stomach and paused there. Fortunately, just when I thought that he would ascend up my body, we got to the restaurant and he took his hand away to hold the steering as he turned into the parking lot. He jumped down the car, hurried around the car to open the door for me. He was acting the complete gentleman but I knew that he was a phony. Chris had given me enough information about him that I had hated him even before I saw him and I was only playing along. I got down the car and he placed a hand on my back and guided me into the restaurant.
As I sat down at an empty table, he ordered for some food and a bottle of champagne. I was determined to enjoy myself and I acted like I was already deeply interested in him. As we ate, he asked.
“So tell me about yourself, are you married?”
I asked huskily. “Do I look married?” I ran a long fingernail down my neck to the top of my breast and his eyes lustfully followed my movement and I saw him swallow hard. I could tell that he was already growing hard under the table.
“I like you.” He said. “I am glad I met you today.”
We chatted more as we ate and soon, after drowning a glass of champagne, he excused himself to use the restroom. As soon as he was gone, I pulled a small piece of red cloth, untied it and after glancing around to be sure that I wasn’t being watched, I shook some of the white substance into his half-finished drink then shook the drink so that the content mixed well with it. A few minutes later, he returned, sat down and that was the very first thing he reached for. He drank it and resumed eating while I watched him closely, looking out for any signs that would indicate that the effect of what I had laced his drink with had started taking place.
After lunch, he convinced me to go home with me. He kept caressing my thighs but I said nothing. When we got to his house, he got down from his car and when I got down too, he stared at me in a lovingly way then slowly went on a knee and said,
“Will you marry me?”
I smiled boldly. “Of course, that’s why I’m here… But first…” I glanced around the house and saw the gateman watching us in wonder with his arms folded under his chest and his shoulders hunched. “What’s the gateman’s name?” I asked.
“Musa.” He answered.
“Okay,” I said as I turned to Musa and called out to him. “Musa?”
“Yes aunty.” He came running to me. “Bring me a broom please.”
He obeyed, left and returned with a broom then I handed it to Daniel. “I want you to sweep the entire compound.”
He smiled and accepted the broom, hit the bottom of it several times with his palm, took off his shirt, placed it on the roof of the car and began to sweep. The gateman glanced from me to his boss, his mouth open with shock.
“Kai! Shege oga! Na wetin you dey do? You dey sweep for woman? (Boss, what are you doing? Are you sleeping for a woman?)”
“Musa, Am I complaining? I am doing it for love, don’t you understand love? Just go back to your post and let me be, I have enough energy today to sweep it and even sweep your room.” He bent down and continued to sweep.
I watched him for a moment. He was sweating profusely and his singlet was getting damp from the sweat. “Daniel?” I called.
“Yes love?” He straightened up to answer me.
“When you are done, you’ll drive me to my house to bring my things over. I have a lot of laundry to do.”
“No problem dear, I have a washing machine.” He answered.
“Washing machine is not good for my clothes. You’ll wash them with your bare hands.” I told her.
“With pleasure ma.” I nodded.
“Alright… Finish sweeping and meet me inside. My feet are tired, I want you to wash and massage them.”
I started for the house but remembered something and stopped. “And once again, my boyfriend will be coming to see me. I will want you to go to the market later in the evening, buy some soup ingredients so that you can prepare pounded yam and Egusi soup for us.”
“As long as you are happy, I’m happy too.” He simply said and continued sweeping.
I dealt severely with him for a month before I finally laced his food with the charm antidote, releasing him from my clutches but not after I had corned him into sign a cheque of six million naira which I had cashed out before setting him free. He had learnt his lesson and I hoped that he would change for good. I left him soon enough to continue with my life. I went back to Chris to report but I never told him how I did it, I didn’t need to reveal the fetish part of myself to him, neither did I tell him that I had taken six million from Daniel. I had played my role and that was what mattered.
A week later, I moved out of Chris’ house because I learnt that he had finally proposed to Victoria and she had accepted to marry him. In order to give them their space, I had packed up my things and had left and moved in with a boyfriend of mine. Although, this was not how I had hoped things would be but since Chris didn’t want me and destiny had another course for me, I had no choice but to obliged. Chris kept to his promise of sponsoring my education and I was glad that I could finally finish my education. I set up a shop for myself with the six million naira that I had taken from Daniel and began to live my life just fine.
Well, I was surprised when Chris had proposed to me. I found myself screaming yes several times just the way I had imagined that I would want to react when a man whom I loved and also felt the same for me finally popped the big question. His plan was to relocate to the U.S. with me and start a new family after our wedding but when he mentioned going to see my parents, the joy in me slowly desipitated. I wasn’t ready to meet them after all they had done to me, at least not yet. After much talking, pleading and compelling, I finally decided to take him to my parents whom I hadn’t seen for months. We picked a Saturday afternoon and when we drove into my parents’ compound, we found my mum at the side of the house, watering her ugu (vegetable) which had a very large seed at the center of the mass of leaves.
In confusion, she turned to look at us, wondering whom the owner of the car was. When I stepped out of the car and her eyes settled on me. Her mouth dropped open and the bowl of water fell from her hand as she gaped at me in disbelief.
“Mama…” I called, a little feebly. I felt so guilty seeing how she had lost some weight and I knew that Daniel has disengaged all ties with them.
“Adanna…” She uttered. “Is that you?” She gave me a look, as if unsure if her eyes were playing tricks on her.
“It’s me, Mama.” I said.
She carefully came towards me then felt around my body and face in awe. “Adanna, is this really you?!”
“Mama, I’m the one.” I yet again answered and she suddenly wailed, throwing her hands up to the sky. She began to sob and thank God as she sank down to her knees, rubbing her palms together at intervals as she spewed thanks to God for my return. Tears streamed down her face and I felt so much empathy towards her. This woman might have made a lot of bad decisions concerning my life, but she was still my mother. When she had given enough thanks, she rose to her feet and ushered us to sit on the bench in front of the house.
My brother who was just walking into the compound, slowed down when he saw the car but when his eyes settled on us, he immediately smiled and broke into a run to meet me. He was so happy to see me that I rose to receive his tight hug. When we finally separated, I asked my mother, “Mama, where’s papa?”
“He went to play lotto. He has been gambling ever since Daniel left us, hoping that he would win a big sum of money. Bia,” she beckoned to my brother. “Drop that keg of kerosene on the ground and go and call your father!”
My brother eagerly obeyed and hurried off to fetch my father when I noticed that I hadn’t seen my sister, I asked, “Mama, is Linda not at home?”
My mother heaved a sigh and said forlornly. “We haven’t seen your sister for the past seven months now ever since she ran away from Daniel’s house.”
I gave a confused frown. “Daniel’s house? Why was she at Daniel’s house, Mama?”
My mother sighed again and lowered her head in what I perceived to be shame and regret. Soon, she began to cry again, unable to tell me why my sister had been at my ex husband’s house in the first place. My father arrived and was surprised to see me. I rose to greet him and he welcome me better than I had expected. He asked us all to go in and there, my parents apologized to me about everything they had caused and how they had turned a blind eye to my plight. When I finally Introduced Chris to them as my fiance, they were glad, especially my mother. She quickly went to the kitchen to prepare some food for us. While my father discussed with Chris, I drew my brother aside and asked him to tell me what had happened to Linda. He narrated the whole ordeal to me and told me that he was actually communicating with Linda and that she was only hiding out in school, scared of my parents’ wrath and also scared of being arrested by Daniel and I put it to myself to give her a call and assured her to come back home.
Anyway, as the months flew by, Chris and I made preparations for our wedding. I moved my parents out of the old house and bought them a new one where they could live comfortably and have their personal cars for their own use. Chris and I eventually got married eight months later. We relocated to the U.S. almost immediately to continue our honeymoon. Finally, I knew how it felt to be in a happy marriage and I looked forward to seeing my husband everyday after work unlike Daniel whose return for work I always dreaded. I enjoyed my sex life and Chris never asked me to do anything out of the ordinary. I had my orgasms anytime we had sex and the thought of it always made me anticipate our next sex. I was happy, I earned my own money, my husband was great and finally, I got pregnant just a few months after our wedding. I wouldn’t have asked for more.
After what I went through in Uju’s hands and being extorted, I had learnt my lesson the hard way. It wasn’t a pleasant story to tell and I was completely ashamed of myself when I realized that this was how I had been treating my ex wife and even worse. I had a change of heart and I turned a new leaf. I was willing to make things right but I was too late because by the time I ran into Victoria in a bank, she looked so beautiful and radiant and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had pleaded with her, begging her to come back to me but she had refused. Much to my dismay, she had told me that she was getting married the next week and had simply written me a cheque of two million naira to compensate the one million naira she had stolen from me, got into her car and drove away. I felt very terrible and I knew that it was too late to change the hand of time. My sister attended her wedding and was even in her bridal train but I couldn’t bring myself to attend.
I was determined to be a better version of me and in less than two years, I fell in love. It felt great. The lady who had captured my heart was a nurse. I had found her when I had finally summoned the courage to go for an HIV test. I really wanted to know what my fate was after having unprotected sex with so many girls. When the result came out negative, I couldn’t contain myself to the extent that I had grabbed this strange nurse that I had never met in my life and kissed her on the lips. It was as if I had won a lottery of millions whereas I was happy that I hadn’t been self-destructive like I had feared. I had stopped my womanizing and was determined to stick to just one woman this time.
Glancing at the nurse and realizing what I had done, I profusely apologized to her then on impulse I had asked to buy her dinner when she got off duty. We met later in the evening and chatted and I got to find out that she was a nurse and a single mum. Weeks passed and we grew closer and eventually, I fell in love with her. I treated her kid as mine and put him in school, taking up every financial responsibility of him and his mother because I loved them both. A year later, Martha and I got married and much to my dismay, I realized that she pointed a lot and squandered my money unnecessarily. Every time I caught her chatting with a man in a lewd way on social media, she would apologize and promise to change and I always forgave her because I had once in been in her shoes before and I knew how Victoria had endured and still stayed married to me despite disrespecting her in every way imaginable.
Anyway, one day, nine months after our wedding, I had to travel on a business trip to Abuja on a Tuesday and was due to return on Saturday but because I was missing my wife and I was eager to be with her, I had returned two days earlier from my trip and it was raining heavily on that day. When I drove into the compound, the gateman quickly pushed the gate shut and rushed to hold an umbrella over me and from his facial expression, I knew that he was surprised to see me. I had come home because not only was today our wedding anniversary, I was also eager to see my wife whom I had decided to give a pleasant surprise by coming home two days before the due day with a box of very expensive jewelry, a bouquet flower and a bottle of her favourite wine. All I wanted was to take her out on a date tonight and treat her like the queen she truly was on our wedding anniversary.
“Oga, welcome.” The gateman said. The rain poured heavily and drummed noisily on the umbrella that I had to strain to hear him.
“How are you?” I asked. Some of the rain was dropping on his shoulder and back where the umbrella couldn’t reach.
“Is madam home?” I asked as I glanced up at one of the windows above.
I realized that Musa was very nervous. He scratched his head and stuttered. “I no sure… E be like so… She been go market before? Maybe she still dey house.”
I gave him a frown. “Can’t you be decisive about your answer? Is she home or not? How can you be unsure of that when your job is to man the gate and be in charge of who goes out or comes in.”
He hesitantly answered now. “Oga, she dey house. (Boss, she’s at home.)
“Good.” I was pleased. I wouldn’t want my wife to be outside in this storm. She was too delicate for such. I directed Musa to walk me to the varendah around the front door and he did, holding the umbrella. When I was safe in the shade of the umbrella, I expected him to turn and return to his post but when he hesitated, I gave him a baffled look. “Is something wrong?” I asked.
“No ooo, oga…” He glanced at the door. “I just dey surprise to see you for house na. You talk say na until Saturday you go come back. (I am just surprised to see you home so soon. You said that you would come back on Saturday.)” He said.
“Well, I finished with my business early and decided that there was no need waiting till that said day.” I said to him, wondering if the reason he was stalling was because he wanted to receive his salary in advance.
“Okay Oga, still welcome.” He said and reluctantly walked away, tiptoeing and trying to avoid little pools of water as he made his way back to his post.
Giving him a baffled look for a moment, I finally walked into my house and found the living room empty. As I took off my cufflinks after placing my brief case on the center table. Then as I began to loosen my tie, I called out to my wife but there was no reply, the television was on but was mute. As I continued to call out to her and still got no reply, I presumed that she must been in bed, although, it was still 6:30 p.m. As I reached our bedroom door, I opened it and stopped abruptly in shock as I saw my loving wife having sex with another man on our matrimonial bed.
I stood there in shock, gaping at them. At first, I wiped my hand over my eyes to be sure that I was neither dreaming nor imagining this but when I looked again, she was still bouncing on the man “Martha!” I uttered in disbelief.
Startled, she flew off her lover and landed beside him with shock and fear registered on her face as she stared back at me with wide frightened eyes. Her getting out of the way revealed her partner to me and that was even more shocking than catching my wife having sex with another man because the man she was actually having sex with was my own blood brother. The shock was too much for me to bear that I had an instant stroke and collapsed to the ground. I couldn’t feel the left side of my body and I felt helpless. I was wrong. I thought Karma was done with me and would pardon me now that I had turned a new leaf but it was not meant to be, it was actually just starting with me.
I could hear my wife begin to panic as they hurried to me now but she was afraid to touch me for reasons best known to her. From my right eye, I saw my brother squat to take a look at me.
“Stop panicking.” He said to my wife. “He’s okay. He’s only kind of paralysed. We’ll get him to the hospital as soon as we are done.”
“Done with what?” I heard my wife asked him in surprise as if already knowing what he meant.
“I have not even c-m yet.” He said.
“Are you crazy?! Your brother had just caught us in bed together and had fallen down and all you can think off is getting your ejaculation?!” She asked him.
“I thought you said he wouldn’t be coming back until Saturday?!” He accused.
“That was what he told me?! He told me that he wouldn’t be able to make it on our anniversary, but I didn’t know he wouldn’t keep to what he had told me earlier that he would still try to come on our anniversary day.” She explained.
“Well, it’s his fault for coming home unannounced, anyway…” He rose and walked to my wife. “… let’s just finish up and find out what’s wrong with him.”
“No, I’m not doing this.” My wife refused.
He held her upper arms and tried to bring her up to her feet. “C’mon, you can’t leave me hanging like this.”
“I can’t have sex with you!” She stated. “Not when my husband, your brother is helplessly lying on the floor! Let’s just take him to the hospital, what if he dies?!”
“I’m not going to have blue balls because my brother walked in on us. The earlier we get this done with, the quicker we can get him to the hospital. He tried to pull her up again and she reluctantly let him. She began to grumble but he assured her with the words as he guided her to the bed. “Don’t worry, you don’t have to do me this time, I’ll take charge.”
I tried to speak as my eye followed them but I couldn’t feel the other side of her my face. In despair, I watched my younger brother place my wife on the bed and continued with what they were doing. When he finished after a few minutes, he got up and walked to the bathroom to have his bath while my wife sat on the bed and watched me in dread. Soon, I felt my younger brother and wife lift me off the floor then struggled to get me down the stairs to the car outside. I was put into it and then driven to the hospital.
When the doctor asked what happened, I heard my brother bring up a lie. “I don’t actually know. He fell down the stairs.”
The doctor examined me for some minutes then finally turned to them and said, “I’m afraid your brother has suffered a stroke.”
“What!” I heard my wife exclaim in shock. “At this age? He just clocked forty a few weeks back!”
“Although older people above the age of 65 years are prone to stroke, young people below 45 are not exempted too.” The doctor explained. “Stroke is caused by when the blood flow to a part of one’s brain is reduced or interrupted. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Daniel here is now a victim.”
“Will he recover?” My brother asked.
“It depends on how severe his stroke actually is but for now, you’ll have to leave him here in the hospital with us so we can carry out further tests on him and also care for him in the best way possible.”
Well, guess what? I never really recovered. I was later discharged and put on some pills and since part of my body was dead, I was confined to a wheelchair. Helplessly, I watched my brother take over my company since he was my next of kin. Not only did I watch him waste my money and almost bankrupt me, I also had to watch him disrespect me by f—–g my wife everywhere in my own house and I couldn’t do anything about it. The only hope I clung to was when my sister decided to move in with us so she could properly take care of me. I never believed the saying “what goes around, comes around” until now and I was stuck, experiencing the same things I had put my ex wife through and the culprit was my own blood brother. I was tempted to spring out of my chair and punch him in the eye when he had boasted to my face about raping Victoria but there was nothing I could do. I could only stare at him, almost drooling on my shoulder like the moron my stroke had reduced me to.
Guess what, his karma was just waiting around the corner for him too. He was hit by a stray bullet one night while returning from the club with Martha my wife. He had lost control of the wheel and had crashed into a trailer parked on the shoulder of the road. Martha was so injured that her legs had to be amputated while my brother had died on the spot. With the help of my sister, I divorced Martha who began to beg for forgiveness. I willed half of all that I had laboured for to my sister and the other half to charity while I remained confined to the wheel chair for the rest of my life, regretting all I had ever done to those I felt were below me. I wished I was dead, because death would have been more suiting than this living torture I called life.
Hmm! What a wonderful story?
There is nothing we do on this earth that does not have reward, either good or bad. Someone cannot plant a maize crop and be expecting to harvest cassava from it because whatever a man sow he shall reap.