… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!
“Babe…about the guy Bukunmi brought, you may not –” Mofe’s words were drowned by the sound of a familiar voice speaking directly to Mofe from behind.
“Happy Birthday cousin! It’s been forever!” the familiar voice said.
Mofe, Bukunmi, and Abbey turned to see who it was. Mofe was the first to stand up with a big smile on his face as he said “Andrew! You made it! Finally. I was going to give you a hard time if you had missed it. And who’s your plus one? Is this the famous best friend I have heard so much about? It’s really nice to meet you. My name is Mofe.”
No one paid any attention to Mofe anymore. Dead silence around the table.
Mofe went on. “Andrew, let me introduce you to love of my life. Abbey, this is Andrew, my closest cousin and his best friend.”
Dead silence around the table.
“Abbey,” Jiro said in shock.
“Jiro,” Bukunmi said with a look of disbelief from where she sat.
“Andrew,” Abbey said, too scared to breathe.
“Bukunmi,” Andrew and Jiro said in unison.
Mofe did double take and looked around the entire table. “Wait, you all know each other?” Mofe asked.
Another voice interrupted the group with a “hello everyone. I’m Bukunmi’s date”
Everyone looked at the intruder.
Mofe looked at Abbey nervously.
Andrew stared blankly.
Jiro’s eyes widened in disbelief.
==========AND NOW on Roulette Of The Damned!!!==========
Definitions of Maelstrom: – A large, powerful or violent whirlpool.
– A restless, disordered, or tumultuous state of affairs.
Synonyms: Chaos, Confusion, Disorder, Fuss, Pandemonium, Turbulence, Turmoil, Uproar.
“Nnamdi?” Abbey said. She stared at Bukunmi in disbelief “Of all the people in the world to bring tonight, you brought Nnamdi? Are you seriously kidding me right now?”
“Wait a minute, can someone please explain what’s going on here” Mofe said but nobody heard him.
Jiro stared at Bukunmi’s date, turned to Abbey and asked “Hold up! Abbey how do you know Nnamdi?”
Nnamdi looked round the entire group and his eyes set on Jiro. “Oh my God, Jiro. What in the world are you doing here?”
Jiro turned to Nnamdi and said, “I should ask you the same question Nnamdi. How do you know Abbey and what the hell are you doing here with slutty Bukunmi as your date?”
Stunned, the smile faded from her face and Bukunmi looked directly at Jiro and said. “Huh? What did you just call me?”
As Jiro was about to repeat himself, Andrew looked at Jiro and asked cautiously “Jiro, who is this dude?” pointing at Nnamdi. “You’ve never mentioned him before. How do you know him?”
Again, as Jiro was going to answer Andrew, Abbey interrupted him with another question. “Wait,” Abbey said to Jiro. “you know this douchbag?” she asked as she pointed to Nnamdi.
As Jiro looked at Abbey to answer her, someone else spoke up, much to Jiro’s annoyance. “Take that back you good for nothing fucking flirt,” Nnamdi said, his gaze focused squarely on Abbey; his smile gone.
“Now hold up one minute.” Mofe said to Nnamdi. “Watch yourself. That’s my –”
Abbey turned to face Nnamdi and cut Mofe’s sentence short. “Who is good for nothing out of you and I?” Abbey said in an angry tone. “After your display at the club that night, even Jehovah-Witness believers will agree with me that you are the useless one that should die by a firing squad. So don’t you dare cuss at me, you good-for-nothing pervert.”
Noticing everyone in the restaurant was watching the spectacle at their table, Mofe spoke quietly for only the five people around his table to hear. “Ok everyone calm down and let’s figure this out. No need for name calling here,” Mofe said.
Again, nobody paid him any attention.
Andrew shook his head and asked “How come everyone knows this Nnamdi guy except me?” He looked directly at Nnamdi and asked him. “Who are you and how do you know Jiro?” His over protectiveness and jealousy coming out in spades.
Sensing the change in Andrew, Jiro touched Andrew’s shoulder, “Calm down Drew. Nnamdi is –”
Abbey cut Jiro’s sentence as she spoke again “He’s a disgusting pushy overbearing pervert, that’s what he is! ” Abbey said irritated and angry.
“Hey, don’t call my date a pervert!” Bukunmi intervened on behalf of Nnamdi.
“You little bitch” Nnamdi said, directing his hatred at Abbey.
“Who the hell are you calling a bitch, bitch!” Abbey spat back at Nnamdi.
It seemed like the calmer side of Nnamdi lost the war raging inside him at that point. Picking up a table knife from the table in front of him, Nnamdi said “Ah Jiro, this cunt doesn’t know me oh. I will cut this bitch right now” he said as he lifted the knife towards Abbey, aiming for her throat.
All girly mannerisms out the window, Abbey dropped her phone on the table and said to Nnamdi “Come and try it motherfucker. Ah, I swear to God Just try it.” Abbey picked up a knife of her own.
Nnamdi stepped menacingly closer to Abbey but Jiro stepped in front of him and held him tight around the waist before got any closer. “Calm down” Jiro said. “You don’t want to do that Nnamdi. Not here, not now.”
Andrew looked at the way Jiro held Nnamdi.
It looked normal but it seemed sexual.
Who the hell was Nnamdi to Jiro and why did Jiro feel so comfortable holding this man the way he was holding him right now? Andrew wondered.
He kept quiet but his blood boiled like lava.
His hands tightened around the bottle of wine he and Jiro had brought for Mofe as a gift.
Nnamdi’s hands lowered with the table knife and he seemed to calm down a bit until Abbey opened her mouth and spoke out of turn again. “Jiro let him do his worst.” Abbey said. She only made matters worse when she added “He can’t do more than a dead rat.”
Nnamdi’s eyes turned blood red and he pushed through Jiro’s arms to stab Abbey from any angle he could reach but Jiro strength surpassed Nnamdi’s and Jiro’s muscles flexed underneath his shirt as he wrapped his arms around Nnamdi shoulder to stop him from possibly killing Abbey on the spot.
Death by a table knife. Who would have thought… Jiro wondered.
Still addressing Nnamdi, Abbey continued “C’mon bitch, c’mon. Do your worst.”
Still holding Nnamdi, Jiro turned to face Abbey and he spoke angrily “Woman, are you trying to get yourself killed? Shut up for two bloody minutes, will you?”
Jiro still held on firmly to Nnamdi. Oblivious of how his actions were affecting Andrew, Jiro crushed Nnamdi’s body with his own from the back to ensure that Nnamdi would be trapped with his body weight. Andrew’s blood reached tipping point. Blinded by rage, Andrew’s his hands tightened around the bottle of wine so tight that the bottle in his hand broke.
Everyone turned to look at Andrew.
Shards of glass and the wine’s contents soaked the table cloth and messed up the floor surrounding Andrew.
Quickly leaving Nnamdi, Jiro rushed over to Andrew and checked his hand. It was bleeding slightly. Quickly picking up a napkin, Jiro bandaged Andrew’s hands to stop the bleeding before he looked up at him and asked Andrew “Jesus, are you okay?”
Andrew nodded, eyes still fixed on Nnamdi with venom.
Clearly worried about Andrew, Jiro asked “What the fuck was that Drew? What just happened?”
Andrew looked too angry to speak, his anger focused squarely on Jiro. I thought he said he had never been with a man before. Clearly, I was wrong. Andrew thought to himself. There was a lot of familiarity with the way Jiro held Nnamdi’s body a few minutes ago, like he knew the man intimately. Is this Nnamdi guy someone Jiro has done something sexual with before? Why didn’t he just tell me that in the first place? I would have been understanding. Instead, I had to find out by meeting the man Jiro must have had feelings for at my cousin’s birthday dinner…with Jiro wrapping his arms around him! Was he ever going to tell me that I wasn’t the first man in his life? Why can’t men just say the damn truth? Why do I keep falling for the same type of good-for-nothing deceitful men? Damn you Jiro! Fuck you very much!
Abbey said to Andrew “You need to apply pressure to that hand to stop the bleeding.” Abbey looked from Andrew’s hand to Nnamdi’s face. “As for you, you are lucky. What I would have shown you if you had stabbed be with that knife ehn!” Then, turning to face Bukunmi, Abbey lashed out at her friend. “And you! You are just a tramp. Are there no more men in Lagos? Why did you have to pick this candidate for hell as your dinner date?”
Bukunmi instantly jumped from where she had been sitting all though the fiasco and turned to face Abbey. “You are one to talk, you bloody hypocrite. You have absolutely no right to tell me who I can and cannot hang out with. You are NOT my mother and you are NOT part of my family. Besides, who I go out with is none of your business. I’ve got the right to be with whoever I damn well want to hang out with. I will do whatever pleases me even if you don’t approve”
Having completely lost his temper, Mofe hit his fist to the table and spoke up in a loud voice. “Ok everybody shut the heck up,” Mofe yelled in an irritated tone. Startled, they all turned to face him. “Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on here! How come all of you” he pointed at all five of his dinner guests “know each other?”
Everyone in the restaurant still looked directly at their table; some guests already bringing out their phones and recording the drama for Youtube and Instagram.
Dead silence around the table.
“I suggest you all better start talking and start talking right goddamned now!!!” Mofe spat out.
No one said anything.
“Speak the fuck up! How do you all know each other?” Mofe said to all of them, his patience fast spent.
A nicely dressed woman walked up to their table and said “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I am the assistant manager at Four Points restaurant. Please kindly take your seats and keep your voices down. The six of you are constituting a nuisance and some guests have openly complained of the disturbance. I suggest you either sit down and eat peacefully or get out! Your choice.” The woman was clearly out to make an example of their table.
Turning to face the woman, Mofe looked at her apologetically and said. “I am so sorry for all of this,” Mofe said. “They are my guests. I take full responsibility. I’ll make sure no complaints come along about this table anymore.”
“Thank you very much sir. I would really appreciate that.” The lady said. “I recommend that you and your guests sit down and eat. The house special on the menu tonight is particularly superb.”
“Will do. Please bring two bottles of Rose for the table.” Mofe said with a bleak smile on his face.
“Right away sir.” She said. Looking briskly around the table, the lady said ” Enjoy your dinner.” The smartly dressed lady smiled at everyone and walked away, giving specific orders to two waiters to give the table whatever they needed.
Feeling like a righteous fool, Abbey looked apologetically at Mofe. Mofe wasn’t smiling back at her. This was not the dinner he had imagined. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the service of the restaurant that was the problem. It was the people sitting around his table.
“Every customer in the restaurant is watching us. Everyone sit down. NOW!.” Mofe said. Abbey could tell he had switched from his nice and friendly self to the rarely seen strict and no-nonsense mode.
After the warning the restaurant manager had given them, no one dared question Mofe’s tone. Everyone sat down.
All the other customers in the restaurant turned back to their meals before Mofe spoke. “Ok…lets start from the beginning.” Mofe said. “Who wants to go first?”
No one spoke.
“Anyone?” Mofe inquired.
No one spoke.
Mofe sighed. “Fine. I’ll go first then,” he said. “There are six people on this table. Abbey is my girlfriend and Andrew, the fool bleeding his hand out on a napkin over here, is my cousin. Bukunmi is Abbey’s friend and Nnamdi is Abbey’s date. Jiro is Andrew’s plus one, the famous best friend I have been waiting to meet. That’s how I know all of you. It someone else’s turn.”
“Mofe, I’m your cousin. Tell me the truth.” Andrew said. “Are you are really dating Abbey?” He pointed at her.
“Yes,” Mofe said. “I just said that Drew! What I want to know now is how you know everyone else on this table.”
Finally trusting himself to speak without losing his cool, Andrew spoke. “Jiro is my best friend from way back and we work in the same company. Abbey and I were friends for a long time before we uhm… had a little misunderstanding recently” he cleared his throat and turned to face Bukunmi. “Bukunmi works in the same company as Jiro and I but on a different floor.” Turning to stare coldly at Nnamdi, he said, “I don’t know who this guy is.”
“But I do.” Jiro interjected. “Nnamdi is my brother-in-law’s younger brother” he said with a pointed look at Nnamdi.
Andrew instantly felt stupid.
Jiro continued. “As you already know, Andrew is my best friend and work colleague. This is my first time of meeting you Mofe but I have heard a lot about you from Andrew. I know Bukunmi because we work in the same company and she’s kind of a popular personality there, especially around men. Abbey, your girlfriend, is my ex-fiancée.
Wait one minute” Mofe said, his mind trying to register what Jiro had just told him. “You were engaged to be married to Abbey — my Abbey — This Abbey?” he asked Jiro incredulously as he pointed towards Abbey.
“Yes, we were engaged.” Jiro said to Mofe before turning to look at Abbey accusingly ” Although Abbey, in the three years we dated, you never said you knew Bukunmi, even when I told you things about her. You must have known I was talking about the same Bukunmi. I described her to the last detail and even showed you a picture of her but you feigned ignorance. Why is that? You must have known I was talking about her!” he pointed to Bukunmi. “Or were you so ashamed to admit that she was your friend after I told you she is popularly known as the company slut!”
Bukunmi looked ready to burst with anger but she kept quiet for the moment.
“Forget that for a minute.” Abbey said. “Are you telling me your sister married this pervert’s brother?” She pointed an accusatory finger at Nnamdi.
“Hey.” Jiro said to Abbey immediately. “Nnamdi’s part of my family. Don’t you dare call him a –”
“And so what if he’s part of your family? Ehn?” Abbey said, raising her voice slightly. “Tell me Jiro. So what if he’s part of your family? Is it common practice in your family for the men to hit on women till they agree and be rude to them when they don’t?” she asked cynically. “In your case, you asking me out all those years ago was tolerated because I liked you. Nnamdi on the other hand, I did not like and I made it clear to him but he practically wanted to drag me to the dance floor and shove drinks down my throat just so he could sleep with me.”
The colour drained from Mofe’s face. He still hadn’t gotten over the fact that Jiro and Abbey had dated and had been engaged. ENGAGED!!! Mofe felt like he was having an out-of-body experience. “You used to date my cousin’s best friend?” Mofe asked Abbey but she didn’t hear him. She was still mad about the Nnamdi situation to consider Mofe. Her blood had begun to boil.
Jiro looked from Abbey to Nnamdi “Is this true? Did you try to force Abbey to dance with you just so you could sleep with her?”
Looking uncomfortable, Nnamdi tried to defend himself. “Jiro, I can explain.” he began.
“Explain what?” Abbey asked with venom in her voice. “Go ahead Nnamdi, explain yourself to your ‘family member’. I’d love to hear how you intend on spinning this in your favour.”
The waiter came to the table with the two bottles of Rose and dropped it.
With a smile, the waiter asked “Can I get all of you something to eat from the menu? We have an amazing variety to choose from. I could even help you select some delightful meals if you’d like” He brought out his notepad, ready to jot down their orders.
All six of them looked at the waiter like he was crazy.
In unison, Mofe, Abbey, Andrew, Jiro, Nnamdi, and Bukunmi said “NO!!!”
Startled by the hostility, the waiter quickly mumbled “Okay, I’ll come back” before running off.
Immediately after the waiter left, Abbey looked at Bukunmi with anger in her eyes and continued. “And you. How can you possibly bring this ‘thing’ to my boyfriend’s dinner.” She was pointing at Nnamdi with her perfectly manicured nails. “That is just the height of it. I thought you were my friend? What is wrong with you? Do you always have to –”
Tired of keeping quiet, Bukunmi’s anger erupted. “Shut the hell up Abbey.” Bukunmi said. “Just shut the hell up. I am sick and tired of your sanctimonious attitude. What is it with you exactly? Why do you have to act so stuck up every damn time? Do you think you are better than anyone else at this table? Haba! And what’s all this I’m hearing about Jiro talking to you several times about me?” When I asked you why you never told Jiro about me being your friend, you said it was simply because you wanted someone strategically placed on the inside at the office to tell you what Jiro and Andrew were always doing behind your back. You told me you didn’t trust them and you had started to wonder if they were gay.”
Jiro and Andrew sat up immediately, feeling uncomfortable.
No one noticed. All eyes were on Bukunmi.
“Why didn’t you tell me they were calling me names behind my back? Abbey you are a wicked friend. I have done nothing but be a good friend to you. I have made excuses for you even when I knew better. I have supported you through the good times and the bad. I practically threw myself at Jiro to know if he was truly gay just so you could have peace of mind. All at your fucking request I might add. I have been awesome to you but you have done nothing but betray me at every damn turn. With friends like you, who needs enemies?”
Jiro and Andrew stared at Abbey in unison, shock and disgust on their faces. Jiro spoke up “You–you asked her to spy on us… on me? How low down and dirty can you get Abbey? How long has this gone on for? Have you no shame? I cannot believe this!” He turned to Bukunmi “And you…why would let her use you that way? Why would you let anyone use you that way? Have you no self respect?”
Bukunmi whirled and stared at Jiro. “You bastard. Who are you to talk? You have done nothing but insult me all evening. If you hadn’t heard what I just said about how Abbey used me to get to you, you’d still be insulting me without truly knowing me. You judged me by what people said and you call yourself a God-fearing Christian. Why didn’t you call me into your office and talk to me like a good Christian should? Are you only a Christian on Sunday?”
Before Jiro could get a word in edge-wise, Bukunmi continued. She was on a roll. “And who did you call ‘company slut’? I like men and I don’t try to hide it. Its not a problem for me because with me, what you see is what you get. I have never tried to be someone or something I am not. I am open and honest about who I like to have sex with” She rolled her eyes “unlike some people.” She eyed Andrew and Jiro.
“And what the hell is that suppose to mean bitch?” Andrew asked angrily. His hand still hurt but, thanks to the pressure applied on the napkin, the bleeding had stopped.
“It means my dear Drew,” Bukunmi said sweetly while battering her eyes “that you and your best friend are nothing but cock suckers.” Andrew and Jiro’s breath caught and all eyes stared at both of them but Bukunmi didn’t stop there. She was ready to talk “And don’t try to deny it because I caught both of you on Tuesday evening around 10pm. You see, unlike the both of you, I only use my sluttish powers for good and I only use it when necessary. The photocopy machine on my floor broke and I was coming to be the ‘company slut’ as you so delicately put it, to ask Benjamin on your floor to let me use his since I know he works late and he’s got his own in his office. Only, I saw Benjamin when I got out of the elevator and he told me that everyone had gone home but I could ask either you or Jiro because you were both still in the office. Imagine my surprise when I saw the reason why you both work late nights and why your secretaries keep complaining that they lock the windows in your offices before they leave for home but they always find papers on the floor the next day. If memory serves me right, someone had his mouth wrapped around someone else’s cock. You can be sure that I stayed to watch the show. By the time I was leaving, someone was penetrating the other person anally. I’ll do you both a favour and keep the details of who was top and who was bottom to myself. Don’t say I never did something good for you.” Bukunmi finished her revelation with a satisfied smile on her face. Next time, you’d think twice before calling me a slut. Bastards, She thought to herself.
Andrew was livid. “Why you little peeping conniving –” he began. Abbey interrupted Andrew’s rant.
“Is it true?” Abbey asked, cutting Andrew short. “Have both of you been fucking?” She was asking both of them at the same time.
Andrew and Jiro said nothing, but Abbey noticed the flutter in Jiro’s eye; something he did only when he was trying to hide the truth. Understanding crept into Abbey’s eyes.
“It’s more than that isn’t it? You aren’t just having sex. You guys are in a relationship.”
Again, both men said nothing, indirectly confirming Abbey’s suspicions without meaning to. “Oh my God, so it’s true. So both of you are faggots! I thought I was crazy. I thought I was losing my mind but it turns out that it is the both of you that are crazy. You are both disgusting. How can you possibly enjoy such sexual practices? What is so intriguing in a man’s body that you cannot find and more in a woman’s body?”
Andrew’s body jerked in anger. His palm itched to give Abbey a dirty slap but he kept his hands on his laps instead. Is she really asking what is so intriguing in a man’s body that isn’t in a woman’s body? Is she really asking that? uh, well a penis for one thing, Andrew thought. Jiro noticed Andrew’s reaction to her question and touched his lap lightly as if to tell him to take it easy. When Andrew calmed down, Jiro turned to face Abbey.
“Abbey its not what you think.” Jiro told her. “Things aren’t as easy as you are making them out to be. You don’t understand what or why things happened the way they happened. Its complicated and its all your fault.” Jiro said.
“How is it my fault?” Even as Abbey said the words, she knew that Jiro was right. After all, she was the one that pushed Jiro into the arms of someone else… particularly into the arms of the man beside him. Although at the time, she hadn’t thought she was right. She was just so angry about having to share Jiro every weekend with his best friend that she had jumped the gun and accused both of them of homosexuality. She didn’t think they’d actually take her serious and practice it! And to think I waited four years for him to propose. Four wasted years! God, I am so stupid. At least I wasn’t married to him before I found out. Better a fag hag than a fag’s wife, she thought as she consoled herself.
Abbey turned to look at Andrew and Jiro before speaking. “Both of you did this to yourselves. Liking men is a choice both of you made. You were not born with it. No one twisted your arm or put a gun to your foreheads to suck another man’s dick so don’t blame anyone else. The only person to be blamed for your life choices are YOURSELVES!” Abbey said as a matter-of-factly.
“You hold up right there you mouth-painting, tongue wagging, deceitful little Jezebel!” Nnamdi said to Abbey. ” You are acting like such a bitch. Why don’t you remove the log in your eye before judging other people. First of all, you lied to me at the club and said your name was Esther. I saw Bukunmi at KFC some days back and remembered her from the club. I felt horrible that I had treated you badly at the club that night. I had just broken up with my girlfriend of five years and I was drunk so I acted stupidly around you. I explained everything to her and she was nice enough to forgive me. I practically begged her to give me your number but she said no. We exchanged numbers and said she’d see when she can get you and I to meet so I can formally apologise to you and put the past behind us. Imagine my excitement when she called me last night and told me about this dinner today. I immediately jumped at the chance to right my earlier wrong from all those weeks ago. I came here with the intent on making things right with you but instead, all you have done is call me a ‘thing’, a pervert, and a dead rat that will never amount to anything good in life. If you think about it, which of the both of us is worse? You know its you. So don’t sit there judging other people until you look at yourself more closely. Salvation is a personal journey. You’d do yourself a huge favour by remembering that.”
Jiro looked at Nnamdi and said “Thank you for standing up for me.”
Nnamdi looked at Jiro with disdain on his face. “I wasn’t supporting you or standing up for you Jiro. I was standing up for myself. When did you become a cock sucker? Are you gay?”
“No”, Jiro said quickly. “I’m bisexual.”
“Is there even a difference?” Nnamdi asked cynically. “You like men. That’s all I gathered from what Bukunmi said. You aren’t defending yourself so I’m guessing it’s true. End of story.”
Jiro was taken aback by Nnamdi’s reaction. He swallowed hard and kept quiet.
Abbey was speechless. Then again, maybe she wasn’t. She turned to face Nnamdi. “You cant expect me to have known you came here to apologise to me when the first words that came out of your mouth tonight to me was ‘take that back you good for nothing flirt. Your intentions might have been noble but your method of approach was offensive. You practically lunged at me with insults.”
“That is only because you called me a fucking pervert!” Nnamdi said in response to Abbey. “Look, I understand why you sent the hulk over here” he pointed at Mofe “to threaten to break my bones that night at the club, but I thought you would be open to the idea of an apology, especially one that was face to face. Obviously I was wrong. Bukunmi I am so very sorry but I cannot stay any longer. She’s not worth apologising to.” He turned to Mofe “Happy freaking birthday to you Mr Hulk. You may want to reconsider your relationship with Esther or Abbey or whatever her name is. Maybe you need to start beating her every once in a while to teach her some manners. She’s an unforgiving, rude, homophobic little –”
“You will want to stop right there Nnamdi.” Mofe said, standing up. “I understand that your reasons for coming here tonight were genuine and heartfelt and that is why I condoned your presence but don’t you dare tell me how to treat a woman. I know better than to take advice about relationships from guys who act like idiots after their relationships go awry. I will pardon everything you have said to Abbey tonight but if you cuss or insult Abbey — my girlfriend — one more time, you will find yourself with more than a couple of broken bones. Try it again and you will really see what the hulk looks like in Nigerian form.”
“I think I should take my leave. I know when I’m not wanted.” Nnamdi said as he got up.
“That’s the first thing we have agreed on since I met you. I also think you should leave.” Mofe said. “Thank you for coming.” The comment sounded more like an insult but Nnamdi dared not speak out of turn with Mofe. He was scary.
“I’m so sorry Nnamdi. This is all my fault.” Bukunmi said standing up as well. “I didn’t know this dinner was going to go all kinds of wrong.”
“It’s okay Bukunmi. I’ll see you around. Feel free to call me anytime so we can hang out, just you and I.” Nnamdi turned to Jiro. “I’ll call you later Jiro. We need to talk about this gay thing you have going on.” Jiro looked at Nnamdi’s face and knew he had a lot of explaining to do. He wasn’t sure if Nnamdi would keep what he had heard at this table to himself and not tell the entire family. Knowing Nnamdi, half the family might find out that he was now into men before the night was over. Jiro nodded at Nnamdi weakly.
…And Six became five!
Mofe sat back down after Nnamdi had gone. “You didn’t have to do that Abbey.” Bukunmi said.
“Do what B.K.?” Abbey said indignantly “Speak my mind?”
“You know what? You are right.” Bukunmi said. “You have spoken your mind. Now I will speak mine. You and I go back a long way and I can forgive you for not telling me the things Jiro and his cohorts in the office said about me. I can even forgive you for being rude and mean to Nnamdi, but I cannot stand to be beside you right now after you have treated me so badly tonight. Your attitude tonight has been nothing but repulsive. That’s the reason I didn’t tell you about Drew and Jiro’s love scene when I caught them red-handed. I knew you would go all homophobic on them. I don’t know why you’d do something like that, especially with me here. How can you so openly bash their relationship when we both know you are the reason they became sexually attracted to each together in the first damn place. Don’t forget you pushed them together with all your complaining and scheming. You told both of them they were in love. In fact, you practically insisted that Jiro made a move on Andrew and get it out of his system. Should you now blame them for taking your advice and finding out if they really were?” Bukunmi got up and picked her bag. “I’m so sorry Mofe. I cant be here right now. Happy birthday. I’ll send you your gift later on. Hope you enjoy the rest of your dinner. I’m sorry if I ruined it for you by bringing Nnamdi along.”
She turned to Jiro and Andrew. “Guys, I’m sorry I ousted you…it was never my intention. I am a huge fan of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) clan. I hope you can find a way to forgive me for tonight. For what’s it worth, I think both of you look amazing together. If I was a guy, I’d definitely go gay for either of you. As a woman, I still find you both insanely attractive even with what I know now” Finally, she looked at Abbey, “I love you Abbey but some things are not just right. Friendship is all about making sacrifices and being true to those you call friends. Betrayal and being judgemental is not friendship. You still have a lot to learn. For everything you have done to me till date, I forgive you. You don’t deserve it but I forgive you anyway. I want us to start on a new clean slate. That’s REAL friendship. You’ve got a friend in me Abbey. When you are ready to reciprocate my friendship to the fullest, call me.” Giving Abbey a peck on the cheek, Bukunmi walked off, hurrying to see if she could still catch up with Nnamdi.
…And five became four!
Abbey looked away from Bukunmi’s retreating frame and turned her attention to Jiro. She looked apologetic. “Look Jiro, about what I said tonight, I’m so sorry. I never meant to –” she began.
“Save it, Abbey.” Jiro said. He looked drained and truly hurt by everything that had happened. “You got what you wanted. You used Bukunmi, lied to me, and made yourself seem like the saint when you are the devil in the group. I never asked you to tell me how attracted I was to Andrew. I begged you to come back to me but you ignored my pleas and now that I find myself truly falling for Andrew, you dare open your mouth and judge me. How dare you? Who died and made you God? You caused this. Let it register in your head. You did this.” Jiro got up and looked down at her. “I just realised we haven’t really discussed since you threw my ring back at me all those weeks ago. Consider this my official break-up with you. Delete my number from your phone and never contact me again. If you do, you will live to regret it.” Looking at Mofe, Jiro said. “I’m so sorry for all of this. Everything else aside, it was really nice meeting you. Have a great dinner. Sorry I can’t stay any longer.” He looked at Abbey and said “I have lost my appetite.” Without looking back, Jiro walked out of the restaurant.
…And four became three!
“I think I better go too.” Andrew said, holding the blood-soaked napkin to his hand. “I’m so sorry about this Mofe. I’ll call you first thing in the morning. Please don’t make any assumptions about my liking men until I explain everything to you from the beginning. You’ll love Jiro once you get to know him. He’s truly the best thing that has ever happened to me, even before he and I found out that we were attracted to each other. Promise me you won’t go all homophobic on my ass until you hear my side of the story.”
Too stunned to speak, Mofe simply nodded. “Get that hand checked” Mofe said to Andrew.
“Thanks cousin. I will. I love you.” Andrew said. Without a single word to Abbey, Andrew got up and ran after Jiro.
…And three became Two…
Mofe stared at Abbey.
Abbey couldn’t bring herself to face Mofe. Her stomach churned. She looked down at her hands and realised she was shaking. No surprise there, she thought miserably. The first man she’d let her guard down with after Jiro happened to be Jiro’s lover’s closest first cousin on his mother’s side. She had embarrassed herself and Mofe in a busy and prestigious restaurant on his birthday. She looked up and got lost in his eyes. Abbey tried to summon the courage to speak but her voice failed her. Her current boyfriend was her ex-fiancé’s lover’s closest cousin. Was there any justice in this world? Was her life just one big joke to God?
“Abbey listen –” Mofe started.
“No Mofe. Please just… no.” Abbey said. She signed and continued. “So many secrets have come out tonight and I cannot bear another blow. I know you want to break up with me. After the fiasco I drummed up here tonight, who wouldn’t want to break up with me? I’d break up with me too if I were you. I seem to be the cause of everything that has happened tonight. All I do is ruin lives, relationships, friendships, and birthday dinners.”
“Now common, you know that’s not even remotely true.” Mofe said. He reached out across the table to hold her hand but she moved away from his touch as if it would burn her.
“I dated your cousin’s boyfriend and now I’m dating you. Bukunmi’s hurt because of me. I just lost my friendship with Jiro and Andrew because I did not trust them and I judged their actions when I had absolutely no right to. I didn’t even wait to hear what Nnamdi had to say before I bit his head off when I saw him initially. I am such a horrible person ”
“These things are all circumstantial Abbey. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I don’t mind one bit. We can still fix all the things you just mentioned. They’ll all come around. And if they don’t, then they don’t. It doesn’t change the way I feel about you. Abbey, I’m in love with you” Mofe said, his eyes shining bright with the love he truly felt for Abbey. Abbey couldn’t see it. She was too busy wallowing in her self-loathing to notice Mofe’s heart being offered to her on a platter.
“I doubt that Mofe.” she said. “How can you love someone as horrible as me? I’m not worth loving. I’ll destroy your life sooner or later if you love me. This is how my life is…even at home. My father’s behaviour has taught me how to destroy lives and I learnt it without even knowing. The issues my parents exposed me to all these years have found a way to ruin so many things in my life; trust and love being the two greatest causalities.” she smothered a sob and said. “Maybe Nnamdi was right. Maybe you should just cut me off now while you still can. You deserve a better birthday dinner. You deserve a better girlfriend. You deserve a better life.”
“Abbey please stop all this crazy talk.” Mofe said, his voice desperate. “Look, I only care about you. I’ll die for you if I have to. I don’t care if you dated my cousin or father or whoever before. I’m the one in your life now and I’m in love with you and only you. That’s all that matters. I cannot breathe without you. I cannot live without you. I don’t care about anything or anyone else but you. You mean more to me than –”
But Abbey wasn’t listening. She got up and packed her bags.
“Abbey please wait. Lets discuss this” Mofe said, his voice laced with despair.
“Mofe, you may not see it right now but I am doing you a favour by walking out of your life before I ruin it completely. You deserve better than I can ever offer you. I can only say I’m glad to have met you. Never contact me again. Have a good life Mofe.” With that, Abbey ran out of the restaurant, leaving Mofe all alone on a table with six seats.
…And two became one!
Mofe looked around the restaurant, only now aware that everyone was staring at him again and had witnessed his entire conversation with Abbey. “What are you all looking at?” he asked. Irritated, Mofe signalled for the waiter to bring the bill for the unopened bottles of champagne.
There would be no drinking of champagne tonight.
Happy fucking birthday Mofe, he mocked himself, as he pulled out his debit card to pay for the alcohol nobody had tasted!
As they both walked into Jiro’s apartment, Andrew felt uncontrollably sad. He had spent years in the UK making friends, meeting lovers, and enjoying the freedom to be who he truly was without prejudice. Coming back to Nigeria had been a good move because he had gotten a good job and he was now with the man he would willingly die to protect from any and everything. Unfortunately, it also meant that he was stuck in a country where people hated, misunderstood and feared his kind based on sexual preference. It sometimes felt like the only choices he would have if he was caught having sex with a man in Nigeria was to choose how he would like to die.
They didn’t talk. The night had taken it’s toll on Andrew but the brunt of the whole night fell on Jiro’s shoulders. They both simply walked into the bedroom, took their clothes off and went into the shower together without saying a word. Over the threshold of the shower and under the warm water, Andrew gathered up his best friend and wrapped his hands around him. They stood that way for some time, Jiro resting his forehead against Andrew’s shoulder. Andrew rubbed his cheek against Jiro’s beard and stroked his back to soothe him. There was quiet comfort in the unspoken words.
Soon after, they quickly finished their shower and dried themselves. Jiro led Andrew to master bedroom and bandaged Andrew’s hand. It had stopped bleeding and the wound wasn’t deep. It would heal completely in a couple of days. Knowing that they hadn’t eaten anything at the restaurant, Andrew asked Jiro what he wanted to eat and Jiro chose to eat rice. Knowing the layout of Jiro’s house like the back of his own hand, Andrew went into the kitchen and warmed up the food from the fridge. Knowing Jiro loved eggs, Andrew boiled an egg and added it to Jiro’s meal.
Tired of eating rice, Andrew warmed up beans for himself, fried plantain to go along with it and and took both plates to the living room.
Getting to the living room, Andrew noticed that Jiro was already drinking rum and coke and had poured him a glass as well. They ate in silence. Once the food was done, they lay down on the couch and sighed in unison. Andrew reeled Jiro in for another hug. Turning to face Andrew, Jiro placed an arm around Andrew’s waist, his hand slipping under Andrew’s vest to touch the hollow base of his spine through the light cotton.
“Thank you for the meal and for not talking about what happened at dinner tonight. It was nice to just be with you and just feel. No words necessary.” Jiro said.
“Anything I can do to help, you know I’ll do it for you. I’m glad you feel better.” Andrew said.
“Thanks. I’m glad its out now though.” Jiro said. “I’m not interested in running around Lagos telling everyone how I feel about you but I feel somewhat free knowing that my attraction to you is not a major secret as such anymore.”
Andrew smiled. “I’m glad you feel that way. For a little while, I thought what they said tonight would make you want to break up with me.”
Jiro looked into Andrew’s face, smiled and kissed him. “Not going to happen mate. You’re not getting rid of me that easy.”
“In fact,” Jiro continued, “I’d like you to come with me for my parent’s anniversary weekend next week. It’s going to be quiet. Just my parents, you, and I will be at the house. My siblings are all out of the country on vacation at the moment so we’ll have the house all to ourselves when my parents go to bed.”
Andrew looked unsure. “I don’t know Jiro. It’s your parents house. I wouldn’t want you to do something you would regret. Be sure of what you want before you risk it all. I’m happy just the way we are. I promise not to pressure you for more than you can handle. I might not always be a patient man but for you, I’ll wait as long as I have to.”
As he heard Andrews words, Jiro’s eyes softened with an emotion he couldn’t define. “It’ll be fine ‘Drew. Trust me, if I didn’t want you there, I wouldn’t have offered. So what do you say? Please come with me to my parent’s place for their anniversary weekend. It’ll be boring without you there.”
Andrew still looked unsure.
Afraid Andrew was going to say no, Jiro quickly said “Just think about it okay? For me?”
The second Jiro had said those two words ‘for me’, Andrew knew he was done for. There and then, he knew he couldn’t say no.
He just wasn’t ready to say yes either.
“Okay cupcake. I’ll think about it.” Andrew said.
Abbey undressed quickly and got in the shower. She cried until her tear ducts refused to produce any more tears. Feeling defeated and deflated, Abbey was too tired to wear her pyjamas after her shower. Instead, she dried herself with her towel, wore only her panties and got into bed like that.
She had lost Mofe. She had lost the only man that loved her unconditionally and it was all her fault. Picking up her iphone, Abbey checked her pictures and scrolled through all the pictures of her and Mofe together. Sad beyond belief, she continued scrolling through the pictures. As she saw a picture of Mofe shirtless, she almost burst out in tears all over again. He had sent the picture to her to tease her a couple of weeks back. She loved the picture and had made it her screensaver. Realization hit Abbey hard. Damn it, I’m in love with Mofe.
As she made to drop her phone, it rang. She checked her phone. It was Mofe. She picked it up to tell him to go away but her throat felt constricted. She simply held the phone to her ear and listened to him as she sobbed quietly.
“Abbey. Hello. Abbey. Are you there? Abbey, answer me!” Mofe said.
She kept quiet but he heard the sobs. “Abbey are you crying?” Mofe asked.
She still said nothing so Mofe spoke again. “Abbey, I am outside your house now and I’m not going anywhere until we talk about what happened tonight. Come and open your door before I break your front door down and meet you upstairs. Don’t test me Abbey. I’m crazy enough to do just that.”
Knowing Mofe was serious about breaking the front door down, Abbey forced her voice to obey her. “Mofe please, just go home.” Abbey pleaded.
“You’ll have to kill me and drag my dead body from your front lawn before I leave without seeing you.” Mofe said. He sounded like a man on a mission. “Come and open the door Abbey.”
Abbey knew if she didn’t comply, Mofe would indeed break the door down. As much as she wanted to ignore Mofe and let him do his worst, she honestly didn’t know how she would explain a broken front door to her father. Too tired to argue anymore with Mofe, Abbey simply said “Okay.”
Too wound up about Mofe’s presence downstairs, Abbey rushed out of her room still only wearing her panties. She knew her parents were not around because they had gone out for a dinner function and they would not be back for another three or so hours. Again, she considered ignoring Mofe but she had behaved so badly at dinner, she felt she could at least see him one more time before she decided never to see him again. All I have to do is see him and tell him for get lost or else I will yell rape. That should do the trick, she decided within herself as she walked out of her room and down the stairs.
As she got to the living room, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves.
“Abbey!” Mofe shouted from outside. “I’ll count to three before breaking this door down.”
Abbey hesitated, putting her hands on her head, unsure of what to do with Mofe.
Abbey shut her eyes, totally confused.
She opened her eyes, determined to be rude to Mofe and chase him from her life before she ruined his completely. Before he could say three, she walked to the front door and opened the door.
Mofe was on his knees.
“Abbey, we need to talk!” Mofe said, his face contrite. From where he knelt, Mofe looked up at Abbey’s naked breasts. Mofe’s sharp intake of breath was unmistakable.
Abbey looked at Mofe kneeling in front of her and opened her mouth to tell him to get lost. She never got the chance because she noticed what lay on the floor in front of where Mofe knelt.
For the second time that night, Abbey gasped.
To be continued…
I recommend you watch the choreography below. It’s amazing and perfect for this episode!
I look forward to your comments!
SOUNDTRACK FOR EPISODE 6:THE MAELSTROM BATTLEFIELD by JORDIN SPARKS