Lemonades

lemonades episode 9

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TITLE: LEMONADES

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WRITTEN BY: OGECHI ALABI

PART 9

Bode came the next weekend and we sat down to talk about our relationship. I maintained my stand, I wasn’t having s-x and I wasn’t relocating to Ijebu ode. He accepted. But, he said since I didn’t want to have s-x, what happens when his b©dymoves on seeing me? I took it as a joke and laughed. He was serious. He wanted us to get involved in ki$$ing and deep necking he even asked me to perform oral s-x on him. My refusal infuriated him. He left angry.

The sixteen-year-old girl, Yewande, was discharged and I brought her home. Grandmother and I had prepared a room for her. The housekeeper who had been with my grandmother for a long time agreed to tend to mother and her children. This would enable Iya Yewande to start her business and support Yewande and her siblings.

Dr Fahdi had gotten more money than I had anticipated. He advised that we should save at least half of it so Yewande will go back to school and give a better life to her children. The man who got her pregnant was arrested. His family had agreed to pay a certain amount of money monthly into Yewande’s account so she could buy necessities for the babies. Unfortunately, he was a married man who took advantage of the vulnerability of a young and impoverished girl.

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On the plus side, my grandmother was excited about having company in the house. She looked forward to seeing the triplets every day and tending to them. It was a win-win situation for all of us.

Three Sundays after their discharge, Dr Fahdi came to the house to visit Yewande and the triplets. It was a surprise visit. We had just come back from church when he came in. I introduced him to my grandmother and she thanked him for what he did for Yewande and her babies.

He checked up on Yewande and the babies while I went to change. We had drinks in the house. I had prepared the traditional rice and stew with goat meat for lunch. I served the food and also served Dr Fahdi. He relaxed with us and we talked. All of us were in the sitting room; grandmother, Junior, Yewande, and I.

Dr Fahdi took interest in Junior and they talked about career paths. My son wanted to be a software engineer and I was ready to go with whatever he desired. Junior was deep in conversation with him when we heard a knock on the door. I just cleared the plates we ate with and was coming out of the kitchen when Junior opened the door. It was Bode.

“Bode, how are you?” grandmother asked him.

“E kaso ma. I am fine”

“Welcome, Bode. How was your trip?” I asked. I noticed his eyes were fixated on Dr Fahdi and Junior who had continued their conversation.

“Let me talk to you outside” he replied to me. Outside, he asked me, “what is that guy doing here?”

“He came to check on Yewande and the babies. What the problem?”

“And he is that cosy with your son? I don’t see him talking to anybody. Who is Yewande?”

“The girl that I rushed to the hospital the other day. The first time you saw me with the doctor. She stays here now. He just came to visit her and check on the children”

“Hmm, Esther, are you taking me for a fool. Look at me very well, I’m not stupid. The guy has something with you. How did he know your son? He has been coming here. A small misunderstanding and you go haywire. You have disrespected me enough”

“Bode, Please, I am tired. It is energy-draining explaining anything to you. You refuse to talk to me for weeks and then show up to ferment trouble. I am tired of your childish behaviour. I’m out of here”

“Where do you think you are going? Are trying to walk out on me?” He raised his hand to strike me but it was caught in the air by Dr Fahdi.

“You can’t hit a woman while I am here,” Dr Fahdi told him. “It is best you leave and come back when you are calmer”

“Your boyfriend came to fight for you, right? I thought you claimed there was nothing between the two of you”

“Think whatever you desire to think but you cannot hit a woman in my pres£nce. It is impossible. Esther, please go inside. If he is too stupid to believe what he constructs in his head, that’s his problem”

“Dr Fahdi, don’t worry, I am fine. I can handle him. Thank you” I turned to Bode, “You can leave now. I don’t want to see you or talk to you. It is over between us. I can’t take this anymore. You are so insecure”

Bode was angrier now. He asked me, “You want me to leave? I am not leaving.”

“Then stay” I replied. “Dr Fahdi, are you leaving?”

“I don’t trust this guy. I will stay until he leaves”

“That won’t be necessary. He can’t harm me. He can’t hit me in the pres£nce of my son.”

“He is a woman abuser, I hope you realise that. Once he starts hitting you and it is fine by you then the problem begins. This one is a wife beater”

Bode tried to charge towards Dr Fahdi but I stopped him with my words. “Bode, behave yourself. I have asked you to leave and you have refused. If you attack my guest then I will have no choice but to react. I am through with this nons£nse.” I went into the house.

My grandmother asked me what happened and I explained to her before I saw Bode come in and Dr Fahdi behind him.

“Bode, what is the problem?” my grandmother asked.

“She is having an affair with this man and accommodating him in this house …”

“Having an affair with who?” grandmother asked.

“This Dr.”

“Bode, this is my granddaughter; she has nothing like such with this Dr He came to see Yewande and the triplets. He was the one that delivered the babies and also paid their medical bills. He collected contributions to help the girl while Esther gave her shelter. I know the story. Her mother has been here. Why would you accuse Esther falsely?”

I jumped in, “Grandma, I have told him I am done. He tried to slap me outside if not for Dr Fahdi he would have succeeded. I am not interested anymore. He is disrespectful and insecure. Won’t I be going from frying pan to fire? I am not that desperate to marry. I am friends with Dr Fahdi and that is it. If you don’t like the friendship, that’s the door. I will remain friends with him and that is final”

“Mami, she has said it all. She has chos£n him over me. I am leaving.” Bode turned to me and said, “you will regret this” and he walked away.

I apologized to Dr Fahdi and he also left.

Bode was back after two weeks to work things out. At this stage, I wasn’t interested. I told him. He asked me to give him a chance to explain himself. He was waiting for me to close from work. I don’t drive to work because it is cheaper to take a taxi to my office and pay N50. My grandmother uses the car for church and other activities she wants to do. I use it mainly on Sundays.

He picked me up in front of the hospital. I spoke with the gateman before I left. Luckily, he saw the car and the person inside because they hailed him before we drove off.

Bode drove past my house to an unknown destination. When I asked him where we were going, he asked me to ‘chill’. I was getting worried when we went through an unknown path. It was dark by this time and I was scared.

“You think you are smart. You are messing with another guy and rubbing it in my face. I saw the way the guy was looking at you the other day I saw both of you and he came to your defence the last time in your house. Well, let us see if he would be able to recognize you after this”

He came down from the car and dragged me out of the car. He tore my clothes as we struggled, I begged him because I feared for my life. I stopped struggling when I saw him wear a knuckle iron. I knew if he hit me with it my face won’t remain the same. He pulled up my skirt and was struggling to take off my t¡ght. When it was proving difficult, he asked me to take it. Bode is a big guy. He wasn’t very tall but he had extra fat. I took off my t¡ght. He asked me to take off my underwear, I did the same. He pushed me to lie down. I was praying as I laid down. He took off his trousers and came between my legs. As he tried to penetrate me, a flash of light hit my face.

“What are you doing here?” the person with the flashlight asked as Bode jumped up from the floor. There were three other people with him.

“My iyawo and I came to have a good time” Bode replied

“Inside the bush? Are there no h-otels?”

As they were interrogating him I was dressing up. They noticed my top was torn but kept asking Bode questions. Once I was as decent as I could be, I opened the car door and collected my bag. I turned to the ring leader and cut into their conversation.

“Baba, please, help me get to the road. I don’t know where I am. I don’t want to go with him. He kidnapped me and wanted to rape me here. Look at his hand, he would have used that iron on my face if you didn’t come. I have a house, why would I drive into a bush to have s-x with a man? E jo, I use God to beg you, help me”

“Oga, I thought you said she is your iyawo? Oya, you will drive us to where she lives so we can confirm she’s your wife otherwise we will waste you” they said pointing their local rifle.

I refused to sit in front. The ring leader sat in front while I sat with the two other men at the back. On the way back, he was begging them to let him go. He promised them money. They insisted. He drove into a police station and claimed he doesn’t know me and I arranged with the men to kidnap him. I was dumbfounded at his performance.

The DPO called all of us into his office. He asked Bode to narrate his story. Bode claimed in met me on the road and was giving me a ride then I lured him into the bush where these men held him to ransom and were kidnapping him.

The DPO asked me what happened. I told him Bode and I were in a non-s-xual relationship. I explained we had a misunderstanding and he threatened to deal with me. He asked for forgiveness like he always does and I agreed to meet with him to discuss. He picked me up from the front of the hospital and drove me to where the men found us. I told the DPO he was about to rape me when these men came to my rescue.

The men laughed at Bode. They explained what transpired. They told the DPO that Bode was a rapist.

Evidence was needed. I opened my phone and showed them our conversation. They called Bode phone and it rang. That was the first. I told them to take us to my grandmother’s house and his own grandparents’ house to confirm if we know each other. With my id card and Bode’s they called my grandmother and Bode’s grandparents and asked them to come to the station.

When they arrived, they confirmed Bode and I were in a relationship. My grandmother confirmed my story that I called it off. She didn’t even know I was meeting Bode that day. I told the policemen to check with my security if he picked me up from work. They s£nt people to the security and they confirmed I was picked up in an ash-coloured SUV. The occupa-nt had come to the hospital to see me on many occasions.

Bode realized the game was up. He asked to speak with the DPO alone. I don’t know what was discussed. The DPO called me in and advised me to let the case go. He said Bode has confessed to him and asked him to appeal to me.

“He is very much in love with you and he claims you have another lover and you were leading him on with the no s-x story. He was hurt. What he did was wrong but you can forgive him and allow this to go”

“He almost raped me. He kidnapped me, took me into a bush and proceeded to rape me. I was saved by these hunters. I will not let it go. I have told him it is over and he refused to listen. When the case gets to court then we will know who is telling the truth. I want to call someone that will ensure this case is taken to court”

“There will be no need for that. I think you should tamper justice with mercy. You will have to look out every time you leave your house or even in your house. I will arrest him and still release him on bail. He might come after you”

I came out and mentioned what the DPO said to the hunters, my grandmother and Bode’s grandmother.

The ringer leader of the hunters said to me to the hearing of Bode and his grandfather, “He can’t try. If he even thinks of you, he will go blind. If he mentions your name, he will go dump, if he plans evil against you, he will be paralysed before he can. I am saying. You lied against me; let me see how you will get to Eko”

Bode’s grandmother begged on his behalf. I knew Bode won’t give up so easily without a fight. I wasn’t safe unless he was locked up. Unless something happened to him to make him keep away. I was tired. I had fallen into the hands of another desperate man. I did everything right in this relationship and still, I got my f-ngers burnt.

Eventually, we agreed for Bode to be released. The hunters warned him to stay away from me otherwise he will suffer the consequence.

On his way to Lagos, Bode had an accident. He was wounded and his vehicle was totalled. When I heard the news, I believed he had tried to do me harm and it backfired. I thanked God for saving me. Bode never contacted me again.

Dr Fahdi made so much fun of me about Bode. He always looked for something to tease me with about him. I didn’t tell him what happened that night as I was ashamed. He believed Bode and I were still together even though I told him we were not.

Tbc

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