Feathery Kisses

     I would like to apologize again for the silence on the blog. I am new here so I am still undergoing rigorous training and Janus has tried his best to be a good teacher (see what I did!) with all the perfection lessons and tutoring/mentoring and I understand because everything is for you guys. And my betterment, of course. Enjoy.

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I burst out of the room, opening the screen door swiftly and widely and then releasing it abruptly. It made a loud noise, temporarily deafening me but I did not pause in my stride. My blue long-sleeved shirt was wrinkled, the top three buttons were undone, and my blue jean trouser was hanging loosely on my hips because my belt had been unbuckled. I held my shoes in my left hand while my right hand covered my mouth, my head buzzed, my heart pounded and with each racing pulse, one name resonated in my head.

   Simisola.

The gate was not far. I would wear my shoes when I get outside. I felt my pocket for my mobile phone and wallet. Intact. Thank God those were the only things I brought here. I heard the netted door slam furiously again. She was coming after me.

“Olamide!” she screamed.

I increased my pace. I pushed the gate open, faced the street and started putting on my shoes. The laces were troublesome. Darn these Converse laces. I just tucked them in haphazardly, buckled my belt, buttoned my shirt, wiped my mouth vigorously with the back of my two hands and began to resume my walk. She was at the gate as I took the first step.

“Olamide, please, wait.”

She was panting. I stopped but did not look at her. She couldn’t come out and I knew it was because she was ill-dressed. I caught sight of the yellow wrapper which I had noticed was folded on the bed less than three minutes ago.

“I am sorry. No. I am not sorry. I really like you. I can’t sleep. I can’t think. I can’t eat. I really tried to like someone else because I know you have Simi, but I couldn’t.”

I started to walk away but stopped again as I heard a faint sob.

“I really tried. I am sorry.”

I resumed my walk again and this time, she did not speak and I did not stop.

*               *               *

     Mr. Olanipekun was rounding off his usual comic talk which was usually my weekly doze of silly humor but it meant nothing today. General CD was all fun and games. I couldn’t recall anything that had been said and while people had laughed all around me, I had stared at them, wondering if they could tell that something was bothering me. Since I spoke to Simi on Monday, I hadn’t heard from her. She said she would call me when she thought of what to say. I had understood. She always needs time.

Everyone was standing now. Youths obey the clarion call my arse! No matter how much we all tried to lift this nation, generation after generation, all the swallowed oil money would not be vomited and old grey-haired men dressed in expensive danshikis, suits, agbadas and velvet would still keep pummeling each other over selfish issues for the whole world to see. The anthem was finished and the rush to sign CDs cards began. I was very hungry. Allowance wasn’t due till next week and the remaining one thousand five hundred and fifty five naira with me would just have to do and I would have to cook. I would have to dust cobwebs off the pots too. I sat still waiting for the crowd to thin while all around there was chattering and screaming. I watched them and understood why people called me snob. I didn’t talk much to people who had nothing important to say. I was still sitting and thinking  when she appeared before me.

“Hi, Olamide.”  she said softly.

Her khaki trousers clung to her like second flesh just like her white T-shirt. She was nervous. Her widened eyes and her high-pitched voice betrayed her. Now I understood why I had been transfixed. She looked so much like my Simisola. The wide brown eyes were the same. The 32B which I had rightfully guessed during a game of ‘Guess It’ were the same. The forwardness, the same.

“If you are not going to speak to me, now or ever, you should let me know” she said slightly above a whisper, bringing me out of my thoughts.

It took me a few seconds to playback what she had said. I patted the space on the bench by my right, indicating that she should sit. Her face relaxed a little and a weak smile curved her mouth as she did. It wasn’t entirely her fault. I had agreed to go to her house to grade assignment and test scripts because she didn’t understand Yoruba and the HOD had asked that we be merciful.

Corperx, plix, tranxlate and mark the correct wonx for them. You Lagox people and your Engliksh. There ix even no xpeks for all of them to repeat.”

 I could have asked that she brought it to school. I don’t know why I didn’t. Ten minutes passed.

Fifteen. Twenty.

 

Three days ago

  She had sat too closely beside me on the bed. I had stylishly moved and laid on my stomach, supporting myself with my elbows on the mattress as I continued marking the scripts. She had done the same directly opposite me so that if we both looked up, we were facing each other with mere inches between our faces. I had unbuttoned my shirt halfway earlier due to the searing heat. Now I understood why Ibadan people were aggressive.  She passed me a Yoruba-written script, looking up and sighing deeply as she did so. At the same moment, I had also looked up to ask her why she would grow up in Lagos and not understand one word in Yoruba. My mouth had been open to speak but no words came out. It seemed as though I was staring into her soul and before I could say anything to change the atmosphere, she had placed her lips on mine. Soft. That was the first word I could think of. Very soft.  Then no. My small eyes had become wider than a flat plate, looking into her closed eyes but seeing nothing. Two seconds felt like forever and I scrambled off the bed, standing with my tongue folded in my mouth. My heart was racing wildly in my chest. Shit. Shit. Shit. She stood and walked to where I was, pulling the white gown she wore over her head when she was in front of me. I couldn’t move. Her hands went to my belt and as she undid the buckle, she had looked at me with wide eyes, asking the unspoken question. She had stood on her toes and held my face in her hands and pressed her lips on mine again. Her tongue was warm, skimming my upper teeth, wanting an equal response. But I felt nothing and that was when I peeled her hands from my face and marched out of her presence.

I looked to my side at her and found her staring ahead, waiting patiently. A lock of her weave strayed to her face and I reached out and tucked it behind her ear. That was all she needed.

“Thank you.”, she said with a genuine smile as she looked at me. “See you in school tomorrow.”

And with that, she left.

*          *          *

     The sun was angry today. I was sweating profusely despite the swirling blades of the ceiling fan and my almost naked body. The movie didn’t even seem interesting anymore. Nonso just called to cancel our game duel because it was raining heavily at Ring road. I had screamed into the phone, calling him a liar, listing all the names of the girls who I knew were crushing on him and asking him which of them was on his bed, telling him the sun would burn him to ashes like an unprotected vampire. He had laughed and told me to shut up. He would come tomorrow to finish our battle and he was bringing his friends that I had met when we went for a swim at Kokodome last week. I was on my own today. Again. My phone beeped. A text message. I leaped to my feet.

It can’t be.

I hurriedly wore my black jeans and the white unwashed T-shirt of two days ago hanging in my wardrobe. I snatched my wallet from the bed and tore out of the room like a man on fire in search of a river.

*           *          *

     The aboki was speeding carelessly but I didn’t mind. I didn’t even ask how much he would collect. I just needed to get to the bus park. It couldn’t be.

*           *            *

     I slammed a two hundred naira note into the aboki’s outstretched hand not even waiting to see if I had any change and I started my frantic search. Where could she be? I jogged around the park, pausing at intervals to scan the area. Amidst awkward gazes, I looked in buses, under roadside call center umbrellas, inside a couple of stalls. Where was she? I patted my pocket. Shit. In my haste, I had forgotten my phone. I walked towards an Airtel umbrella I saw in front of me. I had not checked this one. There was a fair young lady seated underneath it with her back to me. My heart skipped a beat.

I walked faster. I smelt her before I saw her face. She was the one. Vanilla flavored Body Fantasy. I touched her shoulder and she turned.

“Olamide”, she said with a smile. “I asked for a message.”

I held out my hand and she took it.

*           *          *

     Nonso hadn’t been lying about the rain after all. Outside, everywhere was wet and the heavy rain had subsided to a drizzle. We had had Suya and Garri for dinner. That was what she had wanted. There was no light. She was sleeping on my chest, wearing only a bra and her trousers, her mouth slightly opened, her nose buried in my armpit. I remembered the first time she told me about her fetish for underarms. Clean underarms, she had stressed and we had both burst into fits of laughter. I had been surprised but as I walked to my hostel that night, I knew my armpit hygiene would climb to another level. And it had.

*           *          *

     The bulb glowed brightly above me. I still couldn’t sleep. Despite the cool breeze, I was hot. We hadn’t talked about it yet and I still didn’t know why she came, to leave or to stay. She turned in her sleep and wrapped her arms around me. Beads of sweat were already forming on my forehead and if I stayed near her this way, she would also begin to sweat soon. I unzipped her trousers, revealing matching colored panties and covered her with my blanket before heading to the bathroom.

“Olamide.” She moaned sleepily. “Are you hot?”

I nodded.

“You want to bath?”

I nodded again.

She stood and followed me to the bathroom. After filling the tub with water, she told me to sit in it. I took off my shorts and stepped into the cold water, goose pimples covering my body immediately. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, she bathed me, washing me everywhere while singing Coldplay’s Yellow with her sleep-cracked voice. She pulled the plug to drain the soapy water and rinsed my soapy body, pouring bowl after bowl of water on my head till I was squeaky clean. Thank goodness I took out that weave.  I stepped out of the tub and she dried me, she held my shorts as I stepped back into it.

As I lay down on the bed, I looked in her eyes. Wide like saucers. She kissed me and I closed my eyes. I would sleep soon, finally. She moved closer to me and slowly planted feathery kisses on my eyes, nose, mouth, neck, arms, chest, stomach, thighs, legs, and feet. I turned my back and she kissed them too. And with that, I drifted off.

*         *          *

     The sun will be angry again today. The bright rays coming from the windows told me so. I could hear water splashing in the bathroom, by my side was the last Sunday’s bulletin of the church I attend and neatly laid out where she had lain were two blue gowns. We were going to church together. I smiled.

 

Disclaimer

  • Errr…… I haven’t learnt how to use this ‘disclaimer’.

535

It’s been a while since we posted anything here, and for that I apologise. I promise we have changed, (yes, Tele is among). After all, Mary appeared in Ubiaja yesterday, Endtimes have come. Meanwhile, today’s post I wrote in a well, slightly different style; played a bit with locations and timelines. But you’ll follow..

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The night was moonless. Above, the sky was inky black, and sparsely spotted with stars. The town was quiet, and as people slept, darkness woke and evil lurked. But it is not always like that.

Originally, the plan had been to dump the body over the bridge and into the river, but no more. As he slowed the Jeep Cherookee, the dark SUV coasting down the Ikpoba hill slope leading to the bridge, the lights from the streetlamps revealed silhouettes of several men milling about the river banks below.

“Shit!” He cursed.
It was 2:00AM. What were those bastards doing here?

Even as he wondered, he realised. He barely made out the parked vehicles; buses and trailers, the half-clad men stretched out over the vehicles, their arms going back and forth in swaying motions. It was a Carwash anyway.
He gunned his car, the powerful engine responded with the slightest hint of a purr. There was no point waiting around here any longer.

He could have left the body anywhere on a dark quiet street. But it was imperative he was not found out. Not anytime soon anyway. She was his daughter after all.

******

Seven years earlier..

“Daddy?”
“Yes?”
“What are you?”
“I’m your daddy.”
“No nah..” Her face frowned indignantly. “I know. I mean, what do you do in your office?”

He laughed quietly, his eyes still on the road. He loved to tease his brilliant daughter.

“I’m a businessman, a black operations contractor.” He grinned at her briefly.
“A businessman, a contractor? Daddy which one are you nah..how can you be many things? David that is in Primary One Yellow, said his father is a Doctor. Our Aunty said we should clap for him.”

He laughed then. Loudly. These teachers, already paving the way to discrimination. “Well, tell them that your mother’s a doctor too.”

“Okay!” She smiled and settled into the seat, a contented grin on her face.

Her mother…

******

Thirteen years earlier

The doctor came out of the delivery room, looking drawn, a tight smile on his face. He was a businessman, he knew the look of loss. His heart began to beat faster.

“Doctor..doctor,” his voice increasing in volume and intensity. “My wife, is she alright?”

“You have a bouncing baby girl,” the doctor announced.

He was not to be fooled!

“Doctor! My wife! How is she? What is wrong?”

“Could you please calm down Mr…” But he was already around the doctor and dashing into the delivery room.

“You can’t go in there,” came the doctor’s yell.

Too late.

Till his dying day, the sight haunted him. The two nurses, one bent over a tray of gleaming silver instruments a look of fear on her face, and the other holding a tiny brown baby against the breast of his wife. A look of guilt on her face. In their eyes pity.

His wife’s eyes were closed.

He stifled back a sob as he rushed to her side, turning over the tray of instruments. He took her hand. She didn’t grip his back. He started crying.

He flashed his headlights, speeding past the intersection at First East circular/Akpakpava junction, ignoring the RED warning of the Traffic light. There was no one about at the hour. He slowed as he entered the Ring road. Light from the extensive array of lights within the square shone brightly on his tinted windshield. On the front passenger seat, well within his reach, the barrel of the Browning pistol glinted.

******

“Get the fuck down!”
“Get down you bastard!
Then he shot him.

******

“Daddy?” The small voice whimpered from the back seat.
“Yes dear?”
“I’m scared..”
“It’s alright. I’m here now. The bad guys are all gone.”

The bad guys are all gone. There were never supposed to be any bad guys.

******

Ten years earlier

“Why does the cat always get beaten by that rat?”
“It’s a mouse. And it’s because he’s the bad guy. But don’t worry, Bad guys only exist in Televisionland.”

She seemed satisfied for only a bit.

“Is Aunty Kate my mummy?”

The question jolted him. He had always expected it. Prepared for it even. But it still jolted him.

Reducing the volume so the capers of the mischievous pair on the television could barely be heard, he drew her close. She was holding a rag doll.

“Aunty Kate is not your mummy. She is my cousin, which means she’s like my sister. She only stays here to take care of you and cook indomie for us.”

She giggled.

He grabbed a picture frame from the mantel beside the television. “This is your mummy. See how beautiful she is. Just like you. You even have her ugly nose.” He tapped her nose gently.

She giggled again. Then she sneezed. An involuntary action, but even at that age, so similar to her mother’s. He felt tears well up in his eyes.

“But she’s dead now,” he continued painfully. “For three years, she’s been with GOD protecting us.”

The child’s eyes went blank with incomprehension. She glanced at her doll. He didn’t know when he had taken it. He gave it back to her. “But know this, she loved you very much…”

Even though she never met you.

******

“Hey! Ouch! That was painful”

She squealed happily and smacked him on his bum again. He chased her round the compound before catching her beside the car. When he caught her, he lifted her into the air, giggling and squirming.

“Look at how small you are, beating me,” he laughed. “Who taught you that?”

“Yout friend,” came the answer.

“What?” He dropped her slowly. He had meant the question only rhetorically.

“Your friend that stays there,” she pointed at the Senator’s mansion next door. Her face puckered, as she wondered what she had done wrong.

“Oh it’s alright. He’s just playing with you,” he said thoughtfully.

Then he smacked her on her arm and darted away as she chased laughing.

If only..

******

“Sir, I would like to respectfully ask you to stay away from my daughter.”

“You would mind the tone you use. This is a senator of the Federal Rep..”

He walked away while the aide was still talking.

******

Until her came home and found her room locked. No one ever locked their rooms in his house. Kate wasn’t around that day.

“Hey! Open up, it’s Daddy..open”

It took a few minutes.

“Are you okay?” Her eyes were red.

He smelled the blood instantly. His first thought was that her period had started. She was twelve after all. A mixture of pride and revulsion flashed through his mind. Where was that damned Kate at a time like this?

“I’m bleeding Daddy..”

He almost started to smile knowingly. Then he saw the panic and fear in her face.

“I know you said it’s alright, but the Senator…”She broke off sobbing as she buried her face in his chest.

That was when he knew he’ll have to kill him. Raising a furore would be pointless, it won’t catch. It was his word against a powerful figure.

Then they still lived in Kaduna.

It had taken almost a year.

Senatorial committee inspections of dams in the Benin river basin. Illicit late night visits in a house just off Winners road in a slightly secluded part of Aduwawa, Ikpoba hill. Easy details for a man of his means to find out.

Easy to get there ahead of time, undetected. To neutralize whatever resistance present. To scare to silence the thirteen year old sex slave imprisoned there. To stare into the Senator’s shocked eyes with your daughter beside you as you take a Browning to his shoulder and shoot him through.

“Get the fuck down!”
“Get the fuck down you bastard!”

Enough pain to cause him to pass out while you gagged him and smuggled him through the darkness to a waiting car.

But change of plans..

There was no point hiding the bastard’s death. Best to make it a spectacle. The bolder the statement, the less likely the investigation would be traced back to him.

“I will always protect you. You know that right?”
“Yes Daddy.”
“This is what happens to bad guys okay. He caused this to himself.” He handed her the Durbar knife. “Cut it off”
“Yes Daddy.”

They left the body at the junction of the Airport road with Ring road. Less than 50 yards from the State House of Assembly building. A naked, blind man. Gagged and tied, but alive, blood seeping from what appeared to be a gash in his groin, and what seemed to be raw meat hanging out of his gagged mouth.

What should always be..
What should always be..

NB: I would do anything for my daughter.

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Not very subtle now am I?

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Peace.

PS: Nothing subliminally deep about that title, believe me.

Shalom.