… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!
She knew it was late but she had asked the cabbie to drop her off at Jiro’s. She knew she wouldn’t be staying long so she asked the cab driver to wait for her. All she had to do was tell Jiro she was ready to give him another chance. Somehow, her physical reaction to Mofe had made her feel like she was cheating on Jiro. She hated the feeling. Maybe I’ve been unfair to Jiro after all. He’s been trying to reach out to me; and instead of hearing him out, I’ve been acting like a bitch. Everybody deserves a second chance. Besides, he didn’t really deserve all the horrible things I said to him. How could I have even said he and Andrew secretly wanted to be lovers? I really messed things up. It’s time I made things right, no matter the cost. I’ll wake him up if I have to. Abbey thought.
As Abbey walked up to the steps leading to the front door, she knew Andrew was here because she had seen his car parked outside. After her conversation to him on the phone, she knew that he might not want to see her but she also knew that Andrew wouldn’t not turn her away either. He was always the gentleman. He’d listen to what she had to say at the very least.
I messed up big-time with Andrew too. Andrew has been my friend for a long time and I can swear on the life of my unborn children that he is not attracted to men. I have to make things right and apologise to both of them, She decided.
Using the bunch of keys she retrieved from her purse, Abbey unlocked the front door of Jiro’s house with her spare key and silently walked in.
==========AND NOW on Roulette Of The Damned!!!==========
Abbey knew it was past four in the morning. Daybreak was around the corner and she didn’t want to risk waking Jiro and Andrew if they were asleep. She hoped however that she would meet them playing video games. After all, they weren’t going to work at daybreak and from what Jiro told her, they always stayed up late on Friday nights and slept for the better part of Saturday mornings.
Carefully leaving the front door slightly ajar, she took of her red heels and tiptoed through the hallway. Making her way to the living room without making a sound, Abbey carefully watched her step in order to not fall over anything. Her left foot hit a man’s shoe — Jiro’s or Andrew’s, she wasn’t sure — as she walked into the living room. There was no sign of Drew or Jiro anywhere there. I guess they went to bed early, she guessed. As Abbey turned to retreat from the living room, the corner of her eye noticed a slight shape of something on the carpet. She walked silently over to the carpet and used the torch light on her iphone to check what it was. It looked — and smelt – like chicken. No wonder Jiro said the cleaning lady complains about how dirty the house is when she comes to clean every Sunday afternoon. I’m glad I haven’t been attending their hangouts, she thought to herself. If I had, maybe I’d be the one cleaning up this mess. African men sha!!! Abbey shook her head in mild amusement.
Using one hand to hold the phone and the other to hold her shoes and her purse, Abbey surveyed the mess in the living room. There were bottles of beer on the centre table. Beside them, movies were stacked on the table. They looked untouched. There were no game pads or play station equipment abandoned anywhere in the living room. Except for the stain on the carpet and a couple of pillows in disarray, the living room looked pristine…too pristine in her opinion. Abbey likened the feeling she was getting to that of walking into the room of a messy occupant in the morning to find the bed immaculately arranged, like nobody had slept in the bed.
She looked at her wrist watch. Its almost 4:15 am. Could they still be awake? Abbey wondered.
Turning away from the living room and her musings, Abbey made her way quietly down the hall and towards the bedrooms. Her initial thought was to check on Andrew first but she decided against it. Jiro was the most important person to see at the moment. Once she had made peace with Jiro, Andrew’s case would be easier to handle. At least , if I can get Jiro to forgive me, he can help me beg Andrew to forgive me as well. As they say, two heads are better than one, she mused. Knowing the entire layout of the apartment by heart, Abbey turned off the torchlight on her phone and made her way to the master bedroom.
On her arrival at the door, she expertly turned the knob of the door without making a sound, gently guided the handle of the door to submit to her will, and opened the door. The room was dark and she couldn’t hear Jiro snoring. Adamant to make sure she didn’t wake him up just yet if he was sleeping, Abbey left the door slightly ajar and walked over to the bed. Remembering that Jiro slept on the right side of the bed, Abbey silently dropped her shoes and purse on the floor, left her phone by the bed cabinet, and got into bed on the left side of the bed. Reaching her hand out in the darkness, Abbey sought to grab Jiro into a warm embrace. She instead, hugged the air. Jiro isn’t in bed? she wondered bewilderedly. Confused, Abbey reached out for her iphone yet again and put on the torchlight. Jiro’s side of the bed remained untouched and perfectly arranged. Where could he possibly be at this time of the night– uh morning, Abbey asked herself. With no plausible answer coming to mind, Abbey decided to seek Andrew out instead. Packing her belongings and remaking the bed, Abbey left Jiro’s room exactly the way she had found it and walked out of Jiro’s room. Eyes and mind set to task, Abbey crept towards the guest room.
The music played softly and melodious voices of a girl band Jiro had never heard before drifted from the stereo to his ears. It almost seemed like Andrew had hand-picked this play list specifically for sex. All the songs on the CD had people moaning and sighing and singing seductively. It was the kind of play list that not only put you in a horny mood, but also made you want to do more sexually…break boundaries…go beyond borders…reach your sexual peak and surpass it.
Jiro thought he heard a sound from outside the room but he couldn’t concentrate on anything but what Andrew was doing to him.
Andrew bit into Jiro’s flesh as he suckled on Jiro’s nipples and ran his fingers expertly along the ridges of Jiro’s chest, muscles, and arms. Jiro couldn’t help himself from moaning deeply as Andrew licked his sensitive nipples. Encouraged by Jiro’s moans, Andrew bit into the tender nipple again and gave his friend more pleasure while exploring the rest of Jiro with his eager hands. Clothes recklessly abandoned, Andrew pinched Jiro’s ass and thighs. He kissed Jiro everywhere. Seductively, Andrew scratched and sucked every body part Jiro had, one following the other; causing conflicting sensations to Jiro’s mind and body from every direction imaginable. Everything inside Jiro felt hot and cold at the same damn time. Pleasurable stings drifted all over Jiro’s body. As more of Andrew’s kisses were trailed by his fingernails and the sensations went from good to better to great in seconds, Jiro thought to himself: This man is a fucking creative genius. He’s doing things to me I never knew existed.
Jiro moaned as Andrew did something to Jiro with his mouth. Everything felt new, scary, and indescribably exciting to Jiro. Sex had never been like this with anyone else. Certainly never with a woman…
As she got closer to the guest room, she could see a dim light emanating from under the bedroom door. She smiled. Andrew was awake. At least she’d be able to make things right with him. If she could do that, then Andrew would be the one begging Jiro for her. When it came to the two men, it didn’t really matter which one she had on her side. As long as she had one of them in her corner, the second man always listened. Getting closer still, Abbey started to hear mumblings from inside the room. She wondered who Andrew could have been talking to on the phone at this time of the night. Could he be talking to his recent ex-girlfriend, Kimorah? Abbey hoped so. She had always liked Kimorah. Perfect couple, she had called them.
As Abbey reached the door, the mumbled words became stifled moans. It sounded like there were two or three people in the room — or was it four? Abbey could not be sure. One thing was certain though…something fishy was going on in that room. There were no video games out set out in the living room, no movie seemed to have been watched all night, Jiro was not in his bed, and there were some funny sounds coming from Andrew’s room. Yes… something fishy was definitely going on and Abbey intended to get to the bottom of it.
Abbey reached out for the door handle to Andrew’s room and quietly made to expertly open the door like she had done for Jiro’s room. Holding the door handle, many possible scenarios entered into Abbey’s head about the sounds emanating from the room. One thing sounded distinct…the sound of sex. Some people were having sex in the guest room where Andrew was sleeping — or meant to be sleeping in. Scared to see what lay on the other side of the door but too curious to stop herself from discovering what those secrets were, Abbey pressed her small waist into the door and made to open it.
She was stopped by the sound of a creaking door behind her. Quickly leaving the door handle that led to Andrew’s room, Abbey tiptoed towards the front door where the creaking sound came from. As she got closer to the front door, she heard someone call out in a whisper “Aunty Madam.” several times. Abbey remembered she hadn’t shut the door to Jiro’s house and silently prayed that she had not led thieves to Jiro’s doorstep. Rushing over to the front door as fast as she could without making a sound, she carefully checked to see who was at the door. It was the cab driver that had driven her to Jiro’s apartment. She opened the slightly ajar door a little more and peered her head out to answer the man.
“Oga, wetin na? I talk say make you wait for me.” Abbey said.
“Ah, Aunty Madam, I no fit wait for you again jor. You no look time? Na 4:30 in the morning we dey. You talk say make I wait for five minutes but I don dey here for thirty minutes now. Abeg pay me my money make I dey go.” The cabbie said.
“Oga no vex abeg. Please ehn, just give me ten more minutes. I need to do something first. Abeg no vex.” Abbey implored the driver.
“Aunty madam, you no dey hear word? I say I no fit wait again. Abi you don forget say tomorrow na environmental? If you want make I drop you somewhere else, talk now or else I go collect my money from you and I go commot for here.” The driver insisted.
Shit! She had totally forgotten that tomorrow was environmental Saturday. If she didn’t leave with the cab driver now, she most likely would be stuck at Jiro’s and wouldn’t be able to move around from the hours of 7am till 10am. Torn, Abbey looked back to Andrew’s door. She needed to find out what was going on behind that closed door. On the other hand, if this cab driver left her, she wasn’t sure she would find another cabbie to take her home. Abbey hesitated as she considered her options.
“Aunty madam, I no think say you get another place go tonight. Please pay me my money make I dey go my own way.” The cabbie said, his patience obviously wearing thin.
Still trying to decide on whether to stay or go, Abbey got money from her purse and paid the cab man his fare.
“Thank you Aunty” the cab man said and made his way swiftly to his car; leaving Abbey standing by the door of Jiro’s house.
Looking back at Andrew’s door from where she stood, Abbey badly wanted to find out who the persons behind that door were. Her attention was diverted from Andrew’s door when she heard the cab driver start up his engine. She looked around her. It was a 4:35 am on an environmental Saturday morning. No one would be rushing out anytime soon. If she didn’t leave now, she’d never get home on time. Checking to make sure she had everything she had brought along with her, Abbey quickly locked the front door to Jiro’s house. Shoes, purse, and phone still in hand, Abbey ran bare feet to the cab and said “Oga wait abeg. Please carry me home. I go come here another time abeg.”
“Ah, okay. But that one na extra money o” The cabbie gave her a toothy grin.
Abbey wasn’t surprised. The man was out at this time of the morning to earn a living, not play father to girls in short black dresses and red shoes. “No problem. Let us just go.” she said.
“Okay Aunty madam.” The cab driver said with a toothy grin.
As the cab pulled away from Jiro’s apartment, Abbey stared at the front door. Some people were having sex in that house. It was Jiro’s house. Jiro was not in his bed and both Jiro and Andrew’s cars were parked outside. The answer was obvious to her. She just didn’t know why she had not seen it earlier. The living room had no sign of games or anything because they hadn’t played any games. They had drunk bottles of beer, eaten something with chicken in it, gotten a little tipsy, and had gone to find girls to sleep with. How many girls were in that room now? she wondered. Two? Three? Five? Abbey felt like a damn fool. She had met a hot amazing man tonight but had run away from him just because she had felt guilty about somehow cheating on Jiro by lusting after Mofe. She had even been stupid enough to come all the way to his house and lie down on his empty bed while he was making love — no, fucking — other women with Andrew in the room. They share so many things in their lives: their offices, their cars, their keys, their secrets and many other things. It is no wonder that they would share the same women. My God…and to think I wasted my time considering Jiro as my life partner. If after only a week of fighting, he had found some slut to replace her in bed, what would happen when if she got married to him? Here I was feeling guilty about being physically attracted to Mofe when Jiro has the audacity to have a gangbang or an orgy with his best friend and other girls after only a week of our argument! Didn’t the four years we spent together mean anything to him? Abbey shook her head in disgust. I will not let any man treat me that way. Never…Not after what I have seen people close to me go through. I will not follow the footsteps of those that have come before me in my family. I will never succumb to a man’s ill-treatment of me. Never!
Determined to not let sentiments cloud good judgement, Abbey made a final decision to close the door of her heart from Jiro forever. No man was worth the heartache. Abbey wiped the tears from her eyes as she approached home. She paid the cabbie and made her way to the front door to her house. No more tears. Its official. Jiro and I are done.
Three minutes past six. He’d be here in less than an hour, Abbey realised. Clad in red coloured panties and a matching bra, Abbey stood in front of her closet trying to keep her heart from leaping out of her chest. Her cell phone rang. For a moment, she stood there holding her white jeans, staring at the iphone. It was just her alarm reminding her of her date. She knew she’d never be ready on time if she didn’t get reminders so she had set the reminder. She dismissed the reminder, threw the phone back on her bed, and went back to deciding what to wear.
“Did he call yet?” Edirin asked.
“Yes, he did. And thanks a lot for giving him my number.” Abbey retorted with loving cynicism.
“You’re welcome a lot.”Edirin squeezed her face into a scowl and playfully teased her friend by sticking her tongue out in open rebellion.
Abbey laughed. “Some friend you are.”
“Didn’t you want him to call?” Edirin asked. “The guy is great to look at and he’s got a great personality to match!”
“Yeah…I have to admit, he does” Abbey said.
“He begged me for your number…not that he couldn’t have gotten it himself anyway. You know, he’s a smart guy, he could probably get anybody’s phone number without my help.” Edirin said in her matter-of-fact voice.
“Did you stay long at the club?” Abbey asked. She didn’t really care about the answer but it was the only way Abbey knew to change the subject off Mofe’s expert information gathering skills. What she really wanted to know was who he went home with…or who else’s number he got before he left.
“Till the club closed,” Edirin said. “But he only stayed about a half hour after you left.” Edirin chuckled and added, “Just long enough to get your number.”
“Oh,” Abbey wasn’t sure why that made her feel better. It just did.
Edirin asked. ” “So when are you seeing him?”
“Tell me something I don’t know Abbey.” Edirin said, her voice laced with sarcasm. “What time are you meeting him?”
“Six thirty.” Abbey said with a blushing smile.
Edirin’s face lit up with excitement. “Good for you! Are you nervous?” she asked
“Very!!!” Abbey said. “Bukunmi called me and complained about Mofe’s reluctance to even look at her after I left. To be honest, I’m surprised he didn’t go home with Bukunmi instead. She really went all out for him before I left.” It had been a week since she had met Mofe and he had called her everyday since then. They spent nights talking on the phone and most of the day texting and ‘whatsapping’ each other. She hadn’t heard from Jiro since that night she had almost caught him in his house. She was sure he would not know she had been there because she had been careful not to leave anything behind. It didn’t matter anymore really. Regardless of whether or not Jiro ever tried calling again, she’d tell him they were officially over. She was done taking the back-burner role in his life.
Edirin laughed. “If you think she went all out for him before you left, you will be shocked at how much harder she worked on him after you left. He just wasn’t biting.”
“I know you’ve told me this several times today but I still can’t believe he actually thwarted Bukunmi’s sexual charms. I saw him do it before I left the club but I thought it was just a front he put up because I was there. I mean we are talking about BUKUNMI here, for Pete’s sake. She every man’s desire…physically. Just my luck eh,” Abbey said. “She really needs to stop playing that card though. Just because she is beautiful doesn’t mean she should over-sell her beauty. She works with Jiro and Andrew in the same company and from what they told me, a certain Bukunmi on the 16th floor has been sleeping with almost all the guys in that building. There must be over 40 floors on that building. She really needs to slow her roll. Good thing they don’t know she and I are friends. I love her to death but she can be such an embarrassment at times.”
“Wow,” Edirin whistled. Not wanting her friend to dwell on Jiro anymore, Edirin said, “Funny how guys gossip as much as girls, eh? Anyway, back to Mofe. I don’t know why or how you did it Abbey but you practically had the guy panting over you.”
“I wouldn’t say that.” Abbey said with that stupid smile creeping into her face again. She couldn’t help it. Even his name made her smile.
“I would. You should have heard the third degree I got when you left. He thought you left to get away from him.” Edirin said.
“Why?” Abbey asked. Looking at Edirin curiously, she confronted her best friend. “Edirin tell me, what did he say?”
“Oh, he thought he might have been too pushy or something.” Edirin said
“What did you tell him?” Abbey asked. She didn’t want Mofe thinking she was a bitch. She was just beginning to like him.
“That you’re crazy sometimes.” Edirin said with a cheeky smile on her face and her evil glint in her eyes.
“Gee, thanks.” Abbey said, feigning being deflated.
“I meant it in a nice way.” Edirin said in her most reassuring voice.
Abbey smiled at her best friend and confidant “I know you did. Okay, I’ve got to finish getting ready. Mofe will be here soon.” Standing in front of her mirror, she wore her rainbow-coloured maxi dress and brushed her hair for the umpteenth time. “Maybe I need more makeup.” She sighed. “Makeup won’t even hide my nervousness right now. I need a lot more than makeup. I need a freaking miracle.”
Edirin laughed “Whatever miracle you want to make, do it quick. it’s already 6:30. I’m leaving. Call me in the morning. I want details.”
Ten minutes after Edirin left, Abbey quickly wore her sandals, grabbed her purse and went down to the living room. She found her mother sitting on the couch, drinking her usual evening cup of tea while watching her favourite soap opera on TV. Tari looked up from her show, a wide smile quickly transforming her. “You look great,” she said. “Where are you off to”
“I’ve got a date.”
“Oh. Okay dear. Say hi to Jiro for me. Don’t forget to take your house keys too. There’s going to be vigil tonight in church and I’ll be attending it. I hope your father decides to attend too. You should come over and join me at the vigil Abbey. You need to be more prayerful. You know you will soon be a married woman in your husband’s house. You have to be the bedrock of your future home.”
Abbey still hadn’t told her family about the Jiro issue just yet. She had no idea how or where to start. I’d rather deal with that bridge when I get to it, thank you very much. she thought. “If all goes well, I’m going to be a little late. As for the church vigil, I’ll try to make it mum. If I don’t make it, pray for me.”
Tari smiled knowingly and said “Maybe some other time then. I’ll pray for you though. Tell Jiro I said you must drag him to church next time.” Abbey smiled. Nothing was going to make her tell her mum that she and Jiro were over just yet. I’d deal with that bridge when I get to it. It was only when Abbey came to her mum’s side to kiss her on the cheek that she noticed it. If it weren’t for the slight puffiness below her mother’s left eye, Abbey never would have noticed the bruise at all. Her mother did an amazing job concealing bruises with make-up. But of course, her mother was an expert by now. Not all relationships had to be violent. She had known for a while now about her dad’s playful fists on her mother’s face but her mother never actually came out and talked about it. Although Abbey had never seen her dad physically hit her mum, she knew it happened. The worst part was they both said they were happily married. Suffering in silence was not the way to go but her mum always had a defence for him. What annoyed Abbey the most was that her mum kept going to church and praying that her father would change. After almost twenty-five years of marriage, Abbey doubted if her father would ever change. Even if God was to decide to work on her father, he would still be stubborn. He reminded Abbey of the 21st century Pharaoh. This is why I can never be with Jiro again…my perfectly dysfunctional family. I cannot be in a marriage that abuses me physically, emotionally, or psychologically. Jiro falls under the last two categories so he’s out! Four years is more than enough time to make a decision about who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Despite her resolve, Abbey secretly knew that she still felt strongly about Jiro. If Jiro came back begging, she’d have a difficult choice to make: The devil I know or the Angel I barely know? Jiro or Mofe?
She sighed. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, she told herself.
The doorbell rang . Abbey’s knees were shaky as she made her way to the door entrance. I still don’t know why I’m so attracted to Mofe. She stood for a moment by the door, inhaled deeply, then opened the door.
“Hey there sexy. You look amazing.” Mofe said
“Thanks. You don’t look half bad yourself.” Abbey said as she blushed. “Ready?” she asked.
Mofe nodded. “Sure.”
In an bid to avoid questions about her relationship with Jiro if her mum saw or heard Mofe, Abbey swiftly closed the door behind her and let Mofe lead her to his car. As for the potential questions her mum was bound to ask her later when she eventually found out about Mofe, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, she thought.
If he ever makes it that far… she silently decided.
I’m almost there…
I have to make it….
So close… so close…
Andrew raced for the elevator as it was about to close. He was on the 32nd floor of the building and he didn’t want to have to wait another ten or twenty minutes before the elevator finally made its way back up to his floor of the building again.
He was leaving the office late because instead of working most of the day, he had been re-living the intense weekend he’d spent with Jiro last week. After Jiro had gotten into bed with him, there was still an hour of rebellion and Jiro cursed him out in every imaginable language possible. Eventually Andrew had been tired of Jiro’s bullshit and had kissed him just to shut him up. That had done the trick. As he lowered his hands, hooked his thumbs in the elastic of Jiro’s pyjamas and pushed down, Andrew had quit breathing. Andrew had kept on staring and drinking in every inch of Jiro’s naked body. Absolutely perfect in every way. Things happened pretty quick after that. They had fondled most of the weekend and, seeing as it was Jiro’s first time ever with a man, Andrew had taken it slow with Jiro, intentionally worshipping every angle of Jiro’s body and leaving a trace of hot wet kisses all over his best friend.
Being a sucker with a competitive spirit, Jiro had taken the initiative and retaliated. The second Jiro had gotten past his moment of apprehension and had held Andrew’s shaft, Andrew knew he was a goner. By the end of the weekend, they hadn’t gotten through any of the movies or video games he’d brought over to Jiro’s place on Friday. The only time Andrew let Jiro out of his arms was for food; and food had only been a necessary intermission from the weekend’s ‘core’ activities.
“Hold up the elevator please”. He made it just in time and fell into the elevator, crashing into whoever had held the door for him. The folder containing the contract he was taking home to read through one more time fell to the ground, pages of the document scrambled in every direction of the elevator. He bent down to pick up the papers and started apologising to the stranger who had held the door for him. “I’m so very sorry. I didn’t mean to run into you.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.” The stranger said.
Oh no no no no no. It cant be. Andrew looked at the stranger for the first time since he got into the elevator and found himself staring into Jiro’s handsome face.
“I thought you had gone home for the day,” Andrew said.
“I had to clear my desk.” Jiro said. “Lots of work to do and I didn’t want to take any work home tonight. Besides, I had a deliverable that needed to be handed in and I couldn’t go home without getting it out of the way. What’s your excuse? Trying to avoid me?” he asked Andrew in a teasing voice.
“Me? Avoid you? Gawd no!” Andrew said. “I had work to finish and some of it is spilling home with me, as you can see.” he motioned to all the loose papers that were sticking out of the document. He checked to make sure he’d picked up all of them. He had.
30th floor… ding!
29th floor… ding!
28th floor… ding!
27th floor… ding!
22nd floor…. ding!
21st floor…. ding!
20th floor…. ding!
They both kept quiet and said nothing.
Andrew breathed in and let out the tension building up in him. He had to say something to Jiro. He really didn’t care what came out of his mouth as long as he got rid of the God-awful silence.
Jiro was ready to burst. He couldn’t stand the quiet another second. He had to say something to Andrew before he lost his damn mind. I can’t do this anymore. Turning to face Andrew, he said “Uh…”
“We need to talk”. Both men said the exact words in unison.
The elevator lights flickered and the elevator shook unsteadily. The emergency lights went on and they both knew the elevator had jammed. They were stuck in a jammed elevator on the 14th floor.
Great. Of all the days for this elevator to stop midway to the ground floor, it had to be today…with him! Worst time for this to happen, Jiro thought
What do I say to him? Andrew wondered. I’ve been so busy with work since Monday and I hadn’t achieved half as much as I was meant to because I kept day-dreaming about Jiro. He haunts my every waking moment at work and now he’s here with me…stuck in an elevator. There are so many things I want to do to him right now in this elevator but I’m not sure he’ll let me. More than that, I’m not even sure I’ll stop once I start. I should have taken the stairs, Andrew thought.
Mofe’s car swung into the driveway beside Abbey’s parked car. After talking for a while, she kissed him goodnight and watched him drive off before she turned and walked up the pathway to the front door of her house. As she walked into the house, she noticed all the lights in the house were off. Another Friday. Another vigil for her mother. Good thing her mother had made her take her house keys. If not, she would have been locked out. Maybe dad is sleeping. Or maybe mum finally got dad to go to church with her. Highly unlikely, she mused. There was no sign of her dad’s car or movement from the house. Maybe he had gone out with his own friends. Maybe her dad had parked his car in the garage. He never parked in the garage so it couldn’t possibly be that. Fortunately for her, it meant she had the house all to herself. Her date with Mofe had gone perfectly and she was excited beyond belief! He’s perfect! Best part, she hadn’t even thought of Jiro all night. Maybe Bukunmi and Edirin are still awake. I need to tell someone about how awesome my date tonight went. I’ll conference call them after I shower, she decided.
She trudged up the stairs, her mind on the kiss she had shared with Mofe in his car a couple of minutes ago. His body had felt powerful but gentle when she had melted into him earlier. He reminded her of a gentle giant. She had to admit to herself that she would give almost anything to re-live that date all over again. That kiss had made her feel like the only girl in secondary school the finest boy wanted.
As she reached the top of the stairs, voices drifted towards her. She stopped, taken aback. She hadn’t checked to see if anyone’s car was in the garage and she didn’t know if her mother had decided to come back early from vigil or not go out at all. I hope she’s not having one of her notorious migraines, Abbey silently prayed.
More sounds drifted her way, barely audible. Then a female giggling. Mum giggling? Weird! Abbey quietly made her way down the hall.
“You should not have come here tonight,” Jafar was saying. “Though I am pleased that you did.”
Abbey stood by the door, her heart thumping frantically. That was definitely her father’s voice. what did he mean by ‘you should not have come here tonight?‘ So it wasn’t mum in there with dad, she realized. Her father actually had another woman in the bedroom with him. How could he be so cruel? So blatant! How could he even think of bringing another woman into the same house and bed that he shared with his wife?
“I’ve missed you,” Jafar said. “It has been a while, has it not?”
The woman moaned. Actually it was more of a purr. The purr had a familiar ring. Abbey shook her head. Familiar? It couldn’t be. The idea that it would sound remotely familiar was ridiculous.
“You are quite a woman,” Jafar murmured.
“Mmm, and you are quite a man.” the woman said.
Abbey gagged on the vomit that rose to her throat. Her night was about to go very bad very quick. That voice. I know that voice! It was her. But she had to see it for herself. She had to…
Abbey shoved the door open and stared at the two naked figures on the bed. “How could you?”
Jafar grabbed at the covers. “What the hell are you doing in here?” her father bellowed.
Abbey’s knees were suddenly too weak to hold her up. She leaned against the wall for support, barely able to keep from sinking to the floor. “Dad, why her?”
Edirin hadn’t bothered to try and cover herself. She did however, have the decency to look contrite. “I didn’t want you to find out this way,” Edirin said.
Abbey shook her head. Nothing made sense to her anymore. “Edirin, why my father?” she asked.
“I love him, Abbey.” Edirin said.
Turning away in disgust, Abbey ran away from her father’s room, raced to the bathroom, and slammed the door behind her. She crouched on the floor, vomiting uncontrollably into the open toilet bowl. When at last she could stand, she splashed cold water on her face and rinsed her mouth. Then she opened the door to find her father there waiting.
“This will stay between us,” Jafar said.
“Get away from me,” Abbey said with hatred in her voice.
“You wont tell your mother.” Jafar said in his commanding voice. “Telling her would serve no purpose aside from hurting her. And I know you do not want her hurt.”
Abbey pushed past Jafar, ran to her room , and slammed the door behind her. Seconds later, there was a knock. “Can I come in?” Edirin asked.
“No!” Abbey yelled!
Edirin eased the door open. “Can we please talk?” she asked
“I said hell fucking No.” Abbey spat out as she began to take off her clothes to prepare for her bath.
“Abbey, I have been in love with Jafar for a long time. It is not just sex.” Edirin said, trying desperately to make her best friend understand.
Abbey took off her bra and stood wearing only her red panties. She turned to face Edirin. “And should that make me feel better?” Abbey asked, her voice laced with hateful cynicism.
Edirin hesitated in the doorway. “I know it sounds awful,” she said. “But far the past five years I have –”
“Five years?” Abbey asked in a shocked tone.
“Yes. Five years. I wanted to tell you but I didn’t know how.” Edirin almost sounded apologetic…almost.
“This is lower than low! Get out” Abbey spat out with enough venom to kill a snake.
“But –” Edirin started.
“Out!” Abbey yelled.
The door closed quietly. Abbey walked over to her door and closed it behind Edirin. Walking back to her bed, Abbey took off her panties, faced the wall of her room, and collapsed on her bed. She hugged her full breasts with both her arms, tears rolling silently down her cheeks.
Jafar stood in front of his bathroom mirror straightening his trousers. Edirin came in, sat on the closed toilet lid. She said. “Abbey doesn’t want to talk to me.”
“She will get over it.” Jafar said.
“Jafar, I don’t think you understand. She’s really upset. We should have told her sooner, so this wouldn’t happen. I don’t want her hating me because of this.”Edirin said, her voice laced with worry.
“You should have taken that into consideration five years ago.” Jafar retorted in a clipped tone.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Edirin asked, shock and hurt evident in her voice.
Jafar sighed. “I apologise for my snippiness. This has been a difficult week, that’s all. Let me handle things. Abbey will be fine.”
“What about Tari?” Edirin said. “God, I feel so guilty but this secret needed to come out. If your wife had just agreed to give you a divorce like you’ve been asking, then none of this -”
“Stop it!” Jafar said as he grabbed Edirin’s arm and yanked her up. “Tari must not — will not — find out about this. About you and me. Is that clear?”
“I wasn’t going to tell her. I just figured, you know, now that Abbey knows…” Her sentence drifted into the air. His grip was tight and Edirin shook inwardly with fear. “Jafar, let go of my arm. You are hurting me.”
He cleared his throat, dropped his hands to his sides, and adopted a softer tone. “I’m sorry. I really am. It’s just that Tari’s state of mind is far too delicate at this time. She wouldn’t be able to cope with all this just yet.”
“I understand,” Edirin said. “But Abbey knows now. What if she tells Tari?”
“She won’t.” Jafar ushered Edirin from the bathroom. “You need to go now though. My wife will be back from the church Vigil she went for in a couple of hours. This thing we have — you and me — it will all fall into place when the time is right.”
It had been over forty-five minutes and they were still stuck in the elevator. No movement. They had discussed everything from the weather, to sports, to work, to the next public holiday…everything except the weekend they had shared together.
Jiro was the first to break through the evasion of the topic.
“Is there a reason you don’t want to talk about our weekend together?” Jiro asked. “You have been avoiding the topic all evening. Is there something wrong? Did I not do ‘it’ right?”
Andrew almost laughed at the absurdity of Jiro’s words. “Oh no…trust me, you did absolutely awesome. I couldn’t have asked for any better.”
“You sure?” Jiro prodded.
“Absolutely. It was amazing. You were amazing.” Andrew said. For some reason, Andrew’s words washed relief over Jiro in a flooding torrent. Christ I can’t believe how much I care about what he thinks about my sexual prowess. Well he’s been with men before so he’d know. It a perfectly legitimate question asked to the nearest expert in the field. Nothing more!
“Drew…” Jiro started.
Head resting on the wall of the elevator, Andrew replied “Hmmmm?”
“Can I ask a personal question?” Jiro asked.
“Anything you want to know, I’ll tell you.” Andrew said honestly. “I’m an open book where you’re concerned.”
“How many men have you been with?” Jiro asked. The thought of another man kissing Andrew the way Andrew had kissed him that last Friday caused a tinge of jealousy to squeeze Jiro’s chest.
“I won’t lie to you…I’ve been with a number of men. I want you to know that even though I have had a lot of men in my life, I take personal safety and health very seriously,” Andrew continued, clearly unaware of the turmoil going on inside Jiro. ” I take personal safety and health as seriously as I am sure you do too with all the girls you have slept with. Playing around with men and women has its perks but it also comes with its troubles. Even though I always used protection with all the men and women I have been with — I have in the last three years been medically tested numerous times for every known thing in the book; especially because my last relationship with a guy ended in part because the man was married and HIV positive.”
Jiro’s jaw dropped right to the ground.
To be Continued…
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SOUNDTRACK FOR EPISODE 4::: Roulette of The Damned: REVELATIONS:
LET YOU GO by KATE HERZIG