Kiss Me One More Night – Episode 5
© Rosemary Okafor
Sister Uchendu and Deaconess Titi were leaving the church when Grace arrived, she stopped to greet them,
“mhmm” they both snorted at her and walked on,
She felt their eyes on her back as she walked on, their laughter and clap of hands trailed her.
She knew they were not happy to see her, according to Deaconess Titi:
That was before she was suspended from the church for leaving her husband’s house.
Grace walked inside the church, nothing much has changed since she last came to the church, except the three new split unit air condition standing at the alter and the choir stand.
“I ran into your mother last Saturday and she told me you need godly counsel” Pastor Mrs Edith Obi said as she offered Grace a seat in her cosy office, she was busy writing and did not look up for a while.
“you are not looking bad Grace, I can see that the Unction in this commission has been guiding you irrespective of your mistake and failures” Pastor Edith said with a patronising smile when she finally looked at Grace.
“The lord has been faithful” was all Grace said
“Grace, I want you to come back to the fold, come back to the Lord, let the lord cleanse you and restore you back to his glory ” Pastor Edith admonished
“The lord is ready to cleanse you, the book of… ”
Grace couldn’t help but look at her lips, heavily made up with a bright red lipstick, shimmering like roasted pork fats, Grace’s gaze traveled from Pastor Edith’s lips to her enlarged bossom, she had added a lot of flesh these few months, looking at her will tell anyone that the church is feeding her shepherds really well.
Pastor Edith had condemned her months ago, when she came to her and her husband in shame, they had called her the hand made of the Devil sent to destroy the life of an innocent young Man.
“… Draw near to him and he will draw near to you” Pastor Edith continued
“Mama” Grace used the name they have bestowed upon the pastor’s wife to befit her status
“I appreciate your concern, I don’t know what my mother must have told you, but I have asked for forgiveness from God and have gotten it, I don’t know if Ken will ever forgive me but seriously, I don’t need admonishment from you or your husband ”
“I don’t know why you would want me back to this church ” Grace continued “You said I was a bad influence to younger sisters, you never made any effort to help my marriage work, you threw me out to save the face of your church, the last time I checked your women leader is still your strong member, irrespective of her own secret sins”
“Grace, you never told anyone why you left your marriage, we just heard that you left, the night you came to us, you admitted that leaving Ken was for the good of both of you, so we assumed you wanted to walk away… Probably… Ehm… To some other Man of something, because no responsible woman will wake up one morning to leave her husband” Pastor Edith put in
“you people never gave me a chance, giving me time to deal with myself would have been the least you and your husband could have done”
With that, Grace stood up and walked out of the office.
As she sat in the taxi going home, she wondered why her mother, who had once hated marriage because of the grudge she bore against her father before his death, would suddenly change her perspective towards marriage, after the death of her father. Could she possibly be regretting the years open resentments, spoken anger and unspoken Love, years of not understanding and wrong choices?
She ran her fingers on the screen of her Infinix hot 4 mobile phone, the invitation to attend a costumer’s birthday party with Ken laid among the many messages in her phone, and the desire to see him again lay in her heart.
Imelda got up from the bed some hours after Ahmad walked out of the room, he had come back later to pick his shirt, looked at her and left, he had told her earlier that he needed to go clubbing with the guys, she earned herself that beating when she pleaded with him to stay home with her. He accused her of trying to control him and eases his frustration on her again.
She had lain on the bed unclad and in pain, marks of Ahmad’s belt curled like a snake on her stomach, her [email protected] and her thighs.
She couldn’t moved her body at first, even when Ahmad came into the room, she could only move her face, she managed to look away from him, waiting for him to come to her, put his hands around her, show how sorry he was, offer to take her out or cook for her, even shed some few tears like he did two days ago, but he did not, she only felt his eyes on her Unclad body and that made her ashamed and cold.
When he closed the door behind him as he left, she felt her heart smashed with a thousand rocks at the sound of the door being closed, clutching herself on the bed, with her hands on her folded knees, she sobbed.
So hours later when she managed to walked out of the room, she noticed that he was gone, leaving the front door ajar.
She looked out from the door and caught the eyes of Mama Ruky looking at her questionably, and Her husband Baba Ruky was looking down at the floor, it was obvious the two must have been talking about her, they must have heart Her screams.
She painfully picked her slippers, and dusted the doormat, Mama Ruky must have noticed her pains because she ask:
“Imelda, you dey ok? ”
“Hmm” she replied with a nod while avoiding Mama Ruky’s eyes.
She walked back inside and shut the door before Mama Ruky’s could start again with her many sermons.
Mama Ruky had once pleaded with her to let Ahmad go, to kick him out of her life and her house, that was last year, but she had warned Mama Ruky to stay off her relationship, after all, her husband has been sleeping with Kudirat her thirteen year old niece, and Mama Ruky had sent the girl out of her house after the girl opened up to her.
She went to the kitchen cabinet, took out a card of panadol, threw Two tablets inside her mouth and pushed it down her throat with water, she took the water back to the sitting room and sat down, sipped more water before dropping the glass at the table close to her.
The first time Ahmad beat her, he had complained about the sick looking Two pieces of meat in the soup she brought to him for dinner, he had demanded for more meat, but she told him that there was only one meat left, which she would want to eat, he was angry, accusing her of laughing at him for not being able to get a job, for not being able to provide money for food, when she tried denying the accusing, he hit her, the slap took her by surprise, then came the kicks and the choking.
He had claimed it was a mistake, that he was frustrated because of his failed job interview, had promised her that it would not happen again, he had shedded few tears.
One hitting done mistakenly gave birth to another, then another and yet another, until it became part of their relationship, the marks on her body becomes a symbol of their union.
Her phone rang, it was a number she barely know:
“Hello” she said
“Hi, it’s me Kolawole”
She didn’t remember any Kolawole
“the guy that gave you a lift from earlier two days ago…”
“Oh.. I remember now” she remembered him, the Angel that was there at the right time to save her from more shame, she remembered the smile he gave her when she was trying to cover her Unclad [email protected] from him, she remembered the scent of his perfume when he offered his jacket to her. He didn’t even asked her why she was being disgraced by another woman in the street, as if he knew she wouldn’t have been able to explain, yes she remembered him alright.
“I just want to know that you are fine” he said
“Yes I am, thank you so much, thank you for your help earlier” she replied
That was the only thing he had asked of her, her number, and she had given him.
“You sound tired, please have some rest” he said
“Ok, thank you once again ” she replied
“Can I call you tomorrow”
“ehm… no please, I will be fine”
That night, Ahmad did not return, she lay alone, her sleep was everything by peaceful
“Girlfriend that girl has been screwing the boss right under our noses and we didn’t know?” Mary said.
She adjusted herself on the chair, resting her arms on the table and gave Grace a knowing look. Grace wondered how Mary would react if she knew that she, Grace, had known for a while now. She was tempted to tell her girlfriend that she already know about the bosses secret affair with Imelda,
“How did you know this Mary?” she asked rather, feigning surprise
“I ran into her yesterday being disgraced by no other but Mrs Ogungbeso” Mary said, rolling her eyes and ducking her head
“Really! That’s serious o, was it so Bad?” Grace asked, Genuinely concerned this time
“You said Bad? Girlfriend… she was disgraced down to her undies, Boss Madam tore her into pieces” Mary was excited
“Oga o, I pity the poor girl” Grace said
“Wait o babe, you pity who? Don’t tell me you are feeling for a girl that snatched another woman’s husband” Mary looked accusingly at Grace
“No now, but to strip a lady on the street because you suspect she is sleeping with your husband, is just not cool at all”
“Babe, Imelda deserves what she got! She is reaping where she did not sow, Boss Madam is only protecting her territory”
“Mary I’m not supporting what Imelda is doing with the boss, but lets look at it this way, isn’t it better for Madam to face her husband at home and deal with him in any way she deems fit, instead of facing the lady” Grace asked
“What if it was Imelda who seduced the Man?” Mary counter asked
“And what if it was the boss who lured her into it? Probably threatened her job or something” Grace reasoned
“I don’t know but … I know that no lady will try that with my husband o, I will kill somebody the day I notice anything as little as a suspicious text message” Mary assured herself and her friend
“You will not do anything Mary… no be you again? You will only cry your eyes out and then resign to your fate, like a typical Nigerian Wife” Grace joked
“No o, ha Grace is like you don’t know me o, I will not leave o, for what now? For another woman like little Imelda to come and eat of my labor? Godforbid, I will scatter… I will make life miserable for my husband and the said woman” Mary was almost raising her voice
“ah ah Mary! Calm down na, na joke we dey joke o, e never reach quarrel, beside Oga Mike is not going to cheat on you anytime soon or is he?” Grace was laughing
“No now, My Mike will not try such rubbish with me, he loves me too much to try that” Mary answered
Imelda walked into Graces office with a tray and a cup of tea
“I did not see you when I came in this morning Imelda” Grace said after sipping from the cup of tea she handed to her by her secretary
“I was here earlier Ma’am, but the boss called me to make his coffee” Imelda answered
“Hmm..” Mary snorted and looked away from Imelda
“And what happened to the Bosses PA Mrs Martins?” Grace asked Imelda, Ignoring Mary
“Ehm… she … she … the boss said Mrs Martins is very busy and he wanted me to bring his coffee to him” Imelda replied
“Some people would not learn to leave other people’s husbands alone until they are bathed with acid…” Mary carelessly put in
“Mary!” grace warned her friend
“What!” Grace replied, giving Grace a challenging look “ anyway” she continued , she stood up and made for the door “I’m going back to my office, call me for lunch” she gave Imelda a disgusting look and walked out.
Imelda held her hear down neither she nor grace said anything for a while
“Go back to your desk Imelda, check my appointments and get back to me, send that email to Wilson Beverages, and write the proposal for Unique Homes advert contract.
“See me before the end of the day, I need to talk to you”
“Okay Ma’am” Imelda said and walked out of the office
Grace noticed the marks at the back of her legs, they looked like bruises or marks from a whip, she had seen those marks on her laps last week when she bent to pick a file, and she had meant to ask her about it, but has not gotten the chance to, before she could call her back to ask about the marks, Imelda had already closed the door behind her.
The day was already smiling at Ken, it was only nine am and he has been busy with sales, one of his major costumers had ordered for one thousand two hundred square metres of marble tiles, to be supplied at the new ‘God is great” holy ghost ministry’s building site. He had made arrangements for the first batch of the supply and is making some calls to see if he could quickly make fresh order from the company.
But one thing was bothering him, he had not gotten any response from Grace after the text message he sent to her concerning Mr Adekola’s birthday invitation to both of them.
“Oga, the Truck Driver said him no go collect eight thousand Naira for the supply o” One of his workers reported to him
“How much him wan collect” Ken asked
“Oga him say no twelve thousand o”
“He is a thief! Tell him that I said so, is he carrying Zuma Rock? Abeg find another truck for me” Ken angrily ordered
He had not called Grace after the night they had dinner in his house, the night he revisited the incident that led to their divorce. He knew she had cried, he blamed himself for making her cry, but he was hurting also, had been hurting since she left, and it was as if she didn’t care much.
He had tried not to tell anyone why they parted, not even his own mother, he had succeeded in convincing his family that him and Grace parted ways because they were never compatible, though his mother did not believe that,
“I don’t Believe you Kenneth, I saw how you adore that woman and how she also adore you, please don’t give me this your incompatibility lies, I’m not a kid” his mother had said
“Mama, am not lying, we just realized that I cannot keep up with her demanding job” Ken had insisted
“Did she catch you with another woman?” Her had asked
“No Mama! Haba! What made you think that I will cheat on my wife?”
“Are you not the person that told me now that you cannot keep up with her demanding job?”
Ken walked back into his office to raise the waybill for the supply, the loaders were done with their job and the truck was about to leave. He called the driver and handed the waybill to him.
He checked his phone message app for the third time that morning to know whether Grace had replied his text message, but there was nothing from her.
He would have gone to the birthday party alone, but apart from Grace being a very good friend to the Adekolas, he also wanted to see her again, he hate to admit it but he realized that he still love that woman, he has never stopped loving her.
Then the message came:
‘Am thinking about it, wi ll give you answer by tomorrow. How are you K? ’
“Fair enough” he said, smiling at himself
“she called me ‘K’…aaahhh today is going to be good” he relaxed on his chair and grind with satisfaction.
To be continued
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