After eight agonizing months of disciplined saving, I finally had enough money to buy myself a new mobile phone. The people who gave birth to me were not in support of me buying a phone worth more than the entire sum of my fees in the university and I could not convince them otherwise, so it had been only ‘le boo’ by my side. My previous phone had been a Nokia C3 and I had bragged to everyone that cared to listen that I, Teleola Onifade, the lethally sanguine chic from the Baptist denomination where the word of God is followed to the letter, would NOT use a Blackberry, except the Holy Spirit whispered it into my mortal ears. I would take a gigantic leap to a touch-screen phone.
Now, sitting in my room after a hectic day at School of Hygiene, Eleyele, Ibadan, marking scripts that made absolutely no sense, I raised my face to the ceiling of my room, imagining I was looking up to the heavens, and said a silent prayer of thanks. God had truly been faithful and all the people who had doubted me had been silenced. Glory, Hallelujah. I had rushed home with my stomach grumbling and found that Tosin, the lady I stayed with, had made Amala for lunch. My bank account was yet to recover, so I couldn’t eat out for a while. It was not really a problem though because Amala IS the truth that was sent to set all stomachs free and I enjoyed this freedom almost five times every week, courtesy of Tosin’s equal love and the ubiquitous nature of yam flour in Oyo state. I settled down with my food and a Stephen King novel and before long, I was happily sweating. Everything in the plate was hot; Amala, stew, okra and the meat. I ate with my right hand, which I was sure was suffering third degree burns, and held the novel with my left, my phone, my pride and joy, was by my side, I was in paradise. Then my new phone rang. I smiled the way I always smiled whenever the phone rang. My phone. It was ‘le boo’. I dropped the novel and answered.
“Hey” I beamed happily into the mouthpiece.
“Hi. I can almost see you smiling. Na wa o. You are still in the honeymoon period with this your phone. I give you three months. You will start throwing it …….”
“Lailai! God forbid!” I interrupted. “I will never throw my pride and joy upon any surface, no matter how soft.”
He had laughed and said that if someone else heard me talking, they would think I was talking about a child. We talked about how I was beginning to spend too much money on novels and how to protect my complexion from the sun while I finished my food. After about twenty minutes, we said our goodbyes and he promised to call later. As I removed the phone from my ears, the screen remained dark and that was when the confusion started. Let me explain something to you first.
You see, the phone was a Samsung Galaxy SII and it has this feature called ‘proximity sensor’ which can be put on or off. When it is on and a call is being made and the phone is on the ear, the screen goes off to ensure that the touching of the screen by the ear does not mistakenly tap the ‘end call’, or ‘mute’, or ‘speaker’, or any other function. When the user removes the phone from the ear, the screen comes alive again. The boo had explained this to me during my one hour tutorial of how the phone worked because I am not so much of a technology person. I am sanguine as I have said, not choleric. So, you can imagine my confusion when the screen remained dark because my proximity sensor was on and my ear was nowhere near the phone.
I cleaned the screen, pressed the ‘menu’ button so it could come on and checked the setting. Nothing seemed to be wrong. I was not comfortable using my left hand so I took my plate to the kitchen, washed and cleaned my hands, then returned to my phone with a deep frown already setting on my forehead. I turned off the phone and turned it on and then called my mother to test it. After two minutes, the call ended and I removed the phone from my ear. The screen remained dark till I pressed the menu button. My lacrimal glands sensed distress and were on standby for action. Don’t panic I thought to myself. Breathe.The phone is not a fake and it has not spoilt. Breathe. I fiddled with the phone for a while and decided to call my tutor.
After I explained what had happened, he started with the questions.
“Have you checked the settings?”
“Have you put off the phone and put it on again?”
“Did you remove the battery when you put it off?”
“Did the phone fall?”
“Did water touch it?”
“Never. I don’t even answer calls when I am sweating!”
“Is it hanging?”
“Baby, I don’t know again o. But the phone is not bad now. Just the proximity …..”
“That is how it starts! One thing will spoil then another thing will spoil! Then it will fall apart! Then I will be phoneless!”
By now I was screaming. My enemies had struck. My eyes were full. Was I never to advance in life? Jesus help me. After everything I have been through. Why me? I have been good. This is punishment for what sin?
“Sorry. Calm down now. Don’t shout at me. I am trying to help you.”
“My phone, baby. My pride and joy. It has spoilt. Where will I start from?” I said as the tears flowed freely down my cheeks. I should have listened to my parents. They did not give me the blessings to purchase this phone. This is the end of a disobedient child. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Ephesians chapter six verse one. My chin sank to my chest and I began mourning. Matthew chapter five verse four. I believed the word of God, but who would comfort me?
“Tele, don’t cry now. Okay. Give me five minutes, let me think of something. Pick when I call you, okay?”
“Okay.” I sniffed.
“Don’t worry; your phone will be alright. I will fix it. I promise.”
“Okay.” I cleaned my eyes. My man never broke his promises to me. The word of God never lies. The masculine trinity in my life was threatened because I couldn’t tell my father about it, but God is my father too and would cover me there. These facts strengthened me as I blew my nose on my wrapper. I will be comforted.
As he was about to end the call, he hesitated.
“You know where the sensor is in front of the phone. On the top left. It looks like a tiny camera. Check if there is anything on it. I’ll hold on.”
I removed the phone from my ear and looked very closely.
A very tiny glob of Amala was sitting quietly on the sensor.
Janus and I both read Stephen King.
Everything I have said has been the truth and nothing but the truth. Ask le boo.
Ladies, add ‘knowledge of phone mechanics’ to your check list when looking for a man. Thank me later.
Do not answer calls when eating Amala or any ‘swallow’.
Take all your problems to God in prayer with a clean heart and you will receive answers.
5 pm. He’s fucking bored.
He ain’t done shit all day.
The evening is almost here;
Daylight is wasting away.
All day he’s been in this house;
With nothing much to do.
His brain is working very hard To search for something new.
He’s slept, he’s woken, watched some porn,
Jerked off till it hurts.
Tried to call his ex-girlfriend,
But he couldn’t find the words.
He’s sat down in all the chairs, But they all feel the same.
Turn on the TV, turn it off;
This is his only game.
But suddenly, a powerful urge
To get into his car,
And drive down to the neighborhood church
Which isn’t very far.
He doesn’t know why he’s going there,
Or what he’s gonna do;
The voices just say, “Where’s your rifle?”
“Take that shit with you.”
He gets into the car,
And pulls away from the house.
The street is strangely quiet; No peep from even a mouse.
The voices are scaring him now,
But shut them up he cannot.
He turns on the A/C,
But his body still feels hot.
He drives into the church parking lot,
And turns the engine off.
The sweat is making his shirt stick,
And his breath comes hard and rough.
He’s standing in the shadow
Of the hallowed home of God,
When again, the voices call to him,
And their screams ignite his blood.
“Quickly! You must get to the roof!”
“Don’t stop until you’re there!”
He dashes up the staircase,
Of others unaware.
“Where are you going, my son?”
The pastor yells to him.
But he cannot hear anyone else;
The voices make his senses dim.
Up and up the poor man runs;
His footsteps echo loud.
In a frenzy he climbs the stairs
As if chased by a crowd.
The pastor shakes his grey head,
And continues on his way.
He doesn’t see the rifle,
Because it’s in its case today.
He finally gets to the roof;
He looks up at the sun.
It’s just beginning to go back home
To prepare for the dawn.
In this one moment, his thoughts are his,
And they are very clear.
But suddenly, his mind goes blank;
And the voices are back there.
He goes to the edge of the roof,
With his rifle in tow.
He puts his eye to the view scope,
And watches the world below.
There is a woman with her little child,
Going home at the end of the day.
Somewhere else, a groundnut seller
Is packing her wares away.
He just stands there and watches them,
Oblivious little ants.
Going along their different routes
In their skirts and shorts and pants.
With a grim chuckle to himself,
He loads his tool of death.
He puts his eye back to the scope,
And takes a very deep breath.
He looks again at the view below,
And the targets in display.
He’s picking random people
To take their lives away.
He stands there for a long time,
Just looking at the scene,
When suddenly, in his pocket,
His phone starts to ring.
He looks at the display;
His ex-girlfriend’s number shows.
In the rapidly darkening evening,
The phone screen brightly glows.
He answers the phone call,
Puts the phone to his ear.
She tells him she’s driving to his house,
And she is almost there.
He hangs up and just stands there,
His thoughts all in a whirl,
When suddenly, the voices scream,
“Dude, go home and fuck that girl!”
He dashes back down the stairs,
Past the bewildered pastor again;
Revs up the car engine,
And pulls into the fast lane.
The voices in his head are silent;
He’s feeling normal now.
He’s driving like a maniac,
As fast as traffic can allow.
And those people may never know;
Have any idea at all,
How all their lives were saved
By a goddamn booty call
What I’m about to write may be a little unusual, but I recently completed Stephen King’s Dark Half and came out into the bright sunlight to see two sparrows take flight from the roof above my window. So I guess, there is a little George Stark in me right now, and I want to pen.
Ah yes..this contains scenes involving sex, violence and other quite disgusting stuff. For the sqeamish and innocent at heart, please stop readin now.
Peter was blunt. He was always blunt. It was a privilege afforded tall, handsome men with strong fingers and sensual eyes. His lips, though full and inviting, were cruel and constantly parted in the most sardonic grins. But men found him sexual and were attracted to the danger he presented. So he used them, used those eyes they were attracted to, and beguiled and betrayed and dumped.
Ruki was shocked and annoyed and secretly pleased. She hadn’t heard from Peter in almost a month, asides a half-hearted “Happy Sunday” chat two weeks ago. And here he was pinging her now, for sex! Well, she had a boyfriend now, as she had informed him two Sundays ago, and he had one too. So leave me alone for gossakes!
But she knew.
She knew she wanted him. Knew deep within her, in that sweltering core that was slowly beginning to moist, that she needed him.
“Gerrawt jor!” she typed. “That’s how you’ll talk and you’ll not show” That much was true.
He sent a ‘devil smiley’. “Tempt me!”
She grinned, her centre getting wetter, and told herself it was just harmless flirting.
“LOL,” she typed, and sent a ‘batting eyelashes smiley’.
“So, 10:00am?” he typed.
“Haba! Isn’t that too soon? I won’t have bathed even…”
“Better…I want you dirty even..”
She giggled then, and shifted her position, her body was beginning to get that warm feeling. An image coursed through her mind: she and Peter, naked, twisted among the sheets, as she clutched at his back, her centre thrust toward him, her neck arched back in desire.
“LOL..you’re just too horny..” she typed.
As she watched the message deliver. The screen suddenly dissolved to show an incoming call. The caller ID read ‘Nathan’. Inwardly, she groaned in exasperation, as the flow of hormones to her brain cut off suddenly. She thought about ignoring the call. But he’ll only call again. And then he’ll ask questions.
“Hello..?” she answered sullenly. Almost guiltily.
“Hello baby..” her boyfriend replied.
Fifteen minutes later, she ended the call. Her phone beeped with a new message. She checked. Peter.
“I just want you so badly now. You can barely imagine. Or maybe you can..’grin smiley’..wait for me, 10:00am”
And then later, “I’ll bring chocolate..and the pineapple flavoured ones…”
He meant condoms, she thought, with a throb of guilt and an inner warmth spread through her again.
Two years ago, she was in 100l, a fresh student, new to school and innocent as a jay-bird in July. It was afternoon and she had been buying a novel from a stand in the shopping complex right beside her Science faculty. Till now, she wasn’t sure if she had been listening subconsciously, or if her ears had suddenly picked up on the sound of a particular word or phrase, but she suddenly wanted to know who the voice belonged to. And when she saw him, her heart gave one of those little flutters.
He wasn’t as tall then, and his features weren’t as chiseled, but as he stood talking animatedly with his friends: two guys and a girl, about some author he had just read, she was taken. To hear him talk, Ruki found herself wanting the book, wanting his voice, wanting him. These were emotions strange to her then, and for a while she was both excited and puzzled. The girl with him, a skinny thing, kept looking with such rapt attention as Peter talked, her nostrils flared as though to drink in the very scent of him. Ruki found herself getting jealous of the proximity.
As a sharp Sapele girl, to whom slacking is not an option, she called out in her best accent, and asked what novel it was they were talking about. He turned then, dark-brown eyes appraising her quickly; expertly. If he liked what he saw, he gave no sign. But he smiled when she said, she could have heard him from the other side of the campus, with the way he praised the book, and if she bought it and the author was no good, she’ll probably have no choice but to jump naked in a bowl of hot egusi.
“He is that good,” he laughed. His mind probably already imagining her naked, 5’5, narrow-waisted form drenched in oil. The other girl hissed in envy.
She achieved two things that day. One was exchanging numbers with Peter and the other was buying a copy of Janusaneni’s latest bestseller.
It wasn’t till a year after that they first fucked. After that night, she was completely smitten. She bought a new Janusaneni the next day.
Outside, Peter was sarcastic, malevolent and a playful tease. In bed, he was nothing but a beast. He tore at her, devoured her in ways she thought impossible, leaving her spent and sore and always wanting more each time.
But it was never normal.
One time, he let himself into her room while she was in the bathroom, using his spare key. He then hid beside the bathroom door, waiting for her to come out. As she stepped out, oblivious, clad in only her towel, her shoulders and legs glistening with beads of water, he came up behind her and clamped a hand over her mouth. She nearly fainted from shock. Shoving her against the wall, he tore at her towel. Instinctively, her brain still reeling from the shock, her first reaction was to retrieve her towel and cover her nakedness and she bent over. Without warning, he stuck a finger right into her vagina. She tried to scream then, but his hand was firm over her mouth and all that came out was a muffled cry. Then he spoke in her ears, his voice a harsh whisper.
“I’m going to fuck you Ruki.”
Turning her around, so she faced him, he pinned her to the wall and bit her shoulders. His eyes were wild and crazy.
“Peter, sto..” she tried to say, but his hand was over her mouth again. She could smell her sex on his fingers, and impossibly, crazily, she began to get moist.
Peter? Peter was already naked and ready for action.
Are you going to be home?
I’m coming to fuck you!
She had had other men. Some were boisterous, some languid and sensual, but none of the experiences, none of the styles could hold a candle to Peter’s. Peter was an animal. There was no conventionality with him.
Once she was on the toilet bowl, taking a shit. They had just come from this Chinese restaurant, and it was already obvious, from the groans and loud noises erupting from her anus, that any food prepared by a small yellow person was certain to disagree with her.
Suddenly Peter was in the bathroom, naked, his small member, swollen and throbbing.
“What the hell are you..?? Can’t you see I’m in the..!”
“I want to fuck you Ruki.”
And so he had. Right there in the bathroom, her head in the sink, her arms flailing to the sides, dribbles of yellow shit falling from her buttocks to splatter against the white floor tiles. He thrust into her, repeatedly, consistently, for hours it seemed. Till she was lost in a kaleidoscope of colours, and pleasure, and later pain.
He was insatiable.
He was coming tomorrow.
The next day, at 10:15am, the knock came on her door. Light and yet, insolent. Like he owned the place.
She opened it, and there he was. First time she was seeing him face-to-face in almost a year.
“Hi,” he grinned shyly, his eyes twinkling. “That’s a nice gown. Chocolate?”
She loved him. Of that she was sure. Why she loved him? Why she loved this coarse, very dangerous animal? Of that, she had no idea.
She let him in.
All through the night and early in the morning, she had steeled herself. She was prepared for him. She was prepared to rebuff all his advances. She knew her desire might betray her and for that reason, she had set the stage to detract from such intentions. The curtains were wide open with the bright sunlight streaming in, and playing on her TV was The Hobbit, the most ‘un-sexual’ movie she had. But he made no pass. For all intents and purposes, he was there simply for the movie, and the chat from last night might as well have been typed by a mischievous alter ego. She decided not to bring it up.
They watched the movie, while he lay with his head across her lap, her hands unconsciously stroking his face. They were perhaps fifteen minutes into the movie, chewing on chocolates and laughing, when she suddenly stood up, walked to the door, locked it, and let down the curtains.
“Ah..a cinematic feel eh?” he started.
She straddled him, and kissed him, deeply and fully on his lips. For a second, he seemed to hesitate, and then he was kissing her back, but not in the usual hungry manner. He was kissing her slowly, almost sensually.
What was happening?
But she couldn’t help herself, she wanted him. Had wanted him for so long. Still kissing him, her expert hands flew over his shirt, unsnapping his buttons. In seconds she had his shirt and singlet on the floor. She was already naked. There was nothing underneath her gown.
“Fuck me Peter…”
“Ruki calm down. I…”
“Fuck me dammit!” she was trembling.
She didn’t care if he was in a homosexual relationship. She wanted his body. She always had. She needed that canine ferocity he brought into his lovemaking. Stabbing her nails into his naked chest, she scratched deep red lines on his skin, drawing blood.
Peter roared. Inflamed. Twisting around he slammed her into the bed and slapped her.
Yes..yess.. she moaned.
But still he paused. “Ruki, I shouldn’t have come here today. I just wanted to talk to you that’s all. I really can’t do this anymore.” He got up from the bed and picked his shirt off the floor. Ruki was stunned. Whaaaat?!!
Hell no! She scrambled up from the bed, her heavy breasts swaying, and grabbed his arm. “You wait here! Where are you going?!”
If you didn’t look at her head, she seemed to be sleeping. She lay on her left side; her right arm flopped over in front of her. Her head however rested at an unusual angle against the wooden side of the bed, her eyes open and sightless. Peter was stunned.
Oh my God! I’ve killed her! When he pushed her, there hadn’t really been that much force! It was the chocolate! It was the fucking Cadbury wrapper! When she stepped on it , she had slipped and fallen backwards while he looked on. Her head had struck the sharp end of the bed rest where it protruded towards the doorway. The sound it made had been sickening, like the sound of breaking coconut. At first he thought it was an ordinary bump until she slid to the floor with her neck at that angle. Then he realized, she had hit her neck.
He crouched beside her, afraid to touch the corpse. Oh my God! He wondered if the neighbours had heard her when she called to him. But he doubted it. It hadn’t been that much of a shout. He drew out her legs. Her head fell to the floor with a dull, lifeless thud. From her mouth trickled a thin line of blood. He stiffened. His penis stiffened.
He touched her lips, using his thumb to paint the blood on her lips. He got harder. He caught sight of the Cadbury wrapper, there was some chocolate still left in it. He took out the chocolate, it had gotten mashed up and coated his fingers nicely. He smeared some of it on her vagina. Peter smiled. Then he got naked.
For calm is the storm found on the lonely lengthy road that leads to down.
Since I was little till now, I see this guy every Sunday in church and whenever I attend weekly programs. I always notice him. He never misses service. I am sure of it. About five months ago, I stalked him for close to six Sundays and even ensured I sat near him on one. I do not even know his name. What I feel for him is not really pity. It’s just…. I don’t know. Maybe compassion. And never you look down on them; their heaven is sure. Only God knows of yours.
•Yes. The guy has Down’s syndrome.
•Yes. I disobeyed the ushers.
•Yes. The stalking was fun.
•Since I am not disclaiming anything, maybe I should have called it a ‘claimer’.