WRITTEN BY: OGECHI ALABI
Efe came back home with some snacks and drinks for Esther. He had raised the money he needed. He wanted to take her out to eat so he could talk to her. When he entered the house, the aroma of soup hit him. He wondered if he just entered his flat or somewhere else.
“Welcome back,” Esther greeted him as he came inside.
“What’s going on here? I can smell soup.”
“I made Egusi soup and swallow so we can eat when you get back.”
“Esther, are you through with Jake?”
“Is that what we should be talking about now or you should eat…”
“Answer me, are you through with him?”
“I am not but I want to be with you for two days”
“And then what? You will go back to him?”
“Efe, I like you. I want to spend time with you. Why is that so hard?”
“You want to spend time with me and at the same time have Jake. Why do you have to do that?”
“Other guys don’t mind, why do you? I am giving you my body freely without asking for anything in return. Why can’t you accept it?”
“Which other guys? Who accepted to be sleeping with you while you still sleep with your boyfriend? That person has no regard for you. The person is just using you for sex.”
“We are using each other for sex. Purely a sexual relationship. But it is you I want and not him.”
“But I don’t want. I can’t have sex with you knowing you are having sex with someone else. It can’t happen. Please, you will leave for Warri tomorrow morning. I don’t want any trouble. I will spend the night at my friend’s place and come back for you in the morning.”
Read – The Godfather episode 1 – 2
“Eat first,” Esther replied while she walked into the kitchen to get the food.
Efe went to take a bath and change before joining her. They ate together in silence. Esther couldn’t understand what his problem was. Why was he treating her like a leper? She was determined to have her way with him.
She waited for him to come out, and served the food with the drinks he came back with. She went to take another bath and came out in revealing nightwear that made Efe swallow hard. He knew she was seducing him. She sat beside him, she smelt good. He took a few moulds of the swallow and he couldn’t eat anymore, he stood up.
“Where are you going?”
“Esther, I can’t play this game with you. It is a dangerous game. If Jake finds out, there will be problem. I have told you I am not interested but you are still pushing. Why? Why do you want to destroy me? I don’t have money, I don’t have anything that will interest you. Why choose me to destroy?”
Esther stopped in her tracks. “Ok, I like you more than I like Jake but he won’t let me go. Why we can’t keep a secret relationship while I remain with him is what I can’t understand. Ok, I will pay you to sleep with me whenever I want, will that feel better? I will pay you.”
“Pay me?” Efe laughed. “How much will you pay me?”
“For the two nights, I will pay you N3,000. You are to satisfy me during this period.”
“Are you serious? N3,000 for sex? I had to borrow N500 so we could go out to eat and you have a whole N3,000 to spare on sex. I am game. At least I offered a service.”
“Then let’s eat, you need your strength”
“Payment before service.”
“I will give you the money but you must perform well.”
The two days were bliss for Esther. There were no more arguments. When Efe came back the next day, he ate and they went down to business. Since she was leaving the next morning, she had cooked enough food and stored in the freezer for him. It was the best she could do. She dropped the money on the bedside stool. He took the money and then took her to the park. He paid for her fare from the money he gave her. He kissed her at the park just as she was about to leave. When they left, he went back home. He was N2,600 richer than he was before on a salary of N35,000.
Nkem was the last person to leave the room for the Christmas holiday. She was travelling home with a coursemate’s family. They had some of their family members who returned from abroad and they wanted a road trip. It would save her money for the trip.
Patience invited her to spend the night at her house so they would leave very early in the morning but Nkem declined. She told them she would be at their house at 5 am. She had planned with her cab driver who helped her carry her merchandise from the market to drop her off at the house address. He was conversant with the area.
She arrived there wearing a pair of jeans and a lacy top but wore a sweater over it since it was very cold that morning. Patience welcomed her and was shocked she got there so early. They were not even ready. She came with her travelling bag and a large Ghana-must-go bag packed to the brim with food items for the holiday.
She sat outside waiting for them. She didn’t know the vehicle she was to travel in and she also didn’t want to enter the house. She sat by her bags. One of the drivers offered her a seat in one of the cars so she will be comfortable. She took the backseat.
When luggage began to come out of the house, then she came out of the car and waited. Two men came out of the house followed by two women. Nkem deduced that one of the couples was the parents of Patience. She greeted them politely.
“You are Patience’s friend? Welcome. Imagine, she is here and they are still getting ready. They stayed awake almost all night talking. My daughter, you are welcome.” Patience’s mother said to Nkem.
Patience came out with her siblings and cousins. They had a Hiace bus the children of both couples were to travel in. Altogether the children were six. They loaded their luggage into the boot of the SUV the parents were to travel with and also in the Hiace bus. Nkem’s luggage was also kept on the bus. She sat at the back while Patience sat behind the driver with her female cousins. She wanted Nkem to sit with them but she declined. She claimed she was sleepy and would like to rest and the back was comfortable.
Patience’s brother and another cousin sat in front with the driver. Two cousins sat in the middle. A third one entered the bus last. He was dark and quite tall. He wanted to sit at the back, he didn’t know there was an additional passenger. He asked if he could share with her and stretch his leg, and she agreed.
The journey went on smoothly. There were talks on the bus but Nkem and her seat companion did not participate. Snacks and drinks were shared to everyone in the vehicle. Nkem collected her and thanked them but she didn’t eat or drink anything except water. She had come with some biscuits and was glad it was enough for everyone on the bus to take at least two sticks each. She brought out the leftover gala she had packed for her siblings and shared it too.
When they got to Umunede, the driver stopped for them to ease themselves and also stretch their legs. Nkem came down with them to ease herself. She had only taken two sticks of biscuit. She didn’t want to eat any other thing until she was close to Owerri. She didn’t want to have an upset tummy on the road.
Her seat companion offered her the bananas he had bought. His mother bought them for him. “We never got introduced. I am Demian. What’s your name?”
Read – Making his cold heart soft episode 5
Nkem was shy to answer him. The others in the bus had fallen asleep it was just the two of them and the two others beside the driver. His American accent tripped her. Her accent bothered her and she didn’t want to strike up a conversation. But he was adamant.
“Don’t be shy, you can answer me.”
“Nkem is a nice name. Which Nkem is it? Nkemdirim, Nkemakolam, Nkemjika, which of them?”
“Nkemjika. How do you know all these names?”
“I come to the village every year, my parents insist. I am used to it now.”
“That’s nice.” Nkem didn’t want to continue with the conversation. His accent was American and her Igbo accent was making her feel inadequate. Interestingly, Demian didn’t care about her accent, he liked it.
He continued talking to her. He offered her some mint he was having. He told her about himself. His phone rang and he spoke into it in Igbo for a few minutes and then the call ended. He turned back to Nkem.
“You speak Igbo fluently,” Nkem said excitedly.
“You preferred to speak English so I let you.”
“That’s very nice.”
“So what do you do?”
“I am a student. Third-year Economics student.”
“Wow! The brainy ones.”
“Not really, but we try. What of you?”
“Finished my university education three years ago. I studied Computer Science. I work for Microsoft.”
“Yes, it is. I come back twice a year. I like Nigeria and I wish to relocate.”
“Why don’t you?”
“My parents don’t want me to. They also don’t approve of my girlfriend, she is white. My mother wants me to marry a Nigerian girl of Igbo descent. She is looking for a wife for me from our village. She said I must marry from our place. Where are you from?”
“I am not from your place.”
Demian laughed and Nkem joined him. “I know. I only asked where you are from. I am from Nkwerre.”
“I am from Mbaise.”
“My cousin married from Mbaise. We visit her every year. She is married to a man from Ahiazu Mbaise. Where are you from?”
“You don’t have to.”
“Why are you hiding it?”
“I’m from Ahiazu too. Akabo. I don’t know anyone from Nkwere married to our place.”
“Ahiazu is large. How will you get home from where we drop you?”
“I will manage. I will charter a taxi to take me home. That is if we get there in good time.”
“We have crossed the Niger bridge so it is a matter of time. I would have used the bus to take you home.”
“You don’t have to. This free ride is more than enough good you and your family have rendered me. The next step I can manage on my own.”
“Are you going back home with us?”
“I didn’t discuss it with Patience and I will like to stay a bit longer. I will find my way back.”
“We will see about that.”
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