… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!
Knowing it was useless to argue as it would only raise her father’s suspicions if she refused, Abbey swallowed back her anxiety. “I’ll run the bag upstairs,” she said.
Jafar said nothing. He stood in the living room watching as Abbey grabbed his bag and lugged it up the stairs. She hurried down the hall, dropping it inside her parents’ bedroom. The envelope caught her eye, with her father’s name scrawled across the front. Her mother had kept the note brief. She’d placed it on the pillow and they’d shared a sense of relief. They had both succeeded in escaping. Or so she had thought. She would succeed at nothing if she didn’t get moving.
Abbey turned around to leave and she was startled to find her father behind her. His eye had been on the note as well. He said. “I’ll ask you again. Where is your mother?
“I don’t know.” Abbey lied. Fear was clearly written on her face.
“From the hand-writing on that envelope, it seems that the note is from your mother.” Jafar said smoothly.
“I guess.” Abbey swallowed a lump in her throat. “I’ll leave you alone to –”
“You are not going anywhere.” Jafar said, his voice sounded deadly.
Jafar gently closed the door behind him.
No one had to tell her twice. Abbey knew she was in trouble.
==========AND NOW on Roulette Of The Damned!!!==========
—–DANCE WITHOUT YOU—–
Jafar strode to the bed and grabbed the envelope. Abbey had a crazy urge to run like a criminal would but she knew her father moved with remarkable quickness; and the glare in his eyes told her she wouldn’t get very far even if she tried.
Jafar offered a cold smile. “Lets go down to the living room and read this together, shall we?.”
“I really think its better if you read it alone,” Abbey said. “The market closes soon and –”
“The market can wait.” Jafar said, his voice like cold steel on warm flesh. “Besides, I’m not really hungry.”
Abbey’s heart thumped wildly as she trudged down the stairs with her father close behind. He steered her into the living room. “Make yourself comfortable my darling daughter,” he said. “I have a feeling this is going to be good.”
Once Abbey was seated, Jafar opened the envelope and scanned the words of the letter, his expression barely changing. He’d always been a master at concealing his emotions. Abbey sat rigid, wishing she had listened to Mofe when he had insisted she avoided her father. She could have been shopping right now on Mofe’s tab if she hadn’t been so stubborn when he had begged her yesterday.
Jafar blew out a heavy breath, crumpled the letter, and tossed it on the centre table. “Where is she?” His voice told Abbey that he meant business.
“I don’t know.” Abbey said, still sticking to her story.
“Do not lie to me again, Abbey.” Jafar said, his emotions still unreadable. “You will not like the consequences.”
“I would never lie to you, dad.” Abbey replied. “I never have and I never will.”
Smiling like a psychopath, Jafar said “Now you and I know that you just lied. You’ve been lying to me for years Abbey. Don’t forget, I hear about each and every of your escapades from Edirin.” Jafar stepped closer until he was hovering directly over Abbey. “You’ve been a busy little bitch, my darling daughter.” Touching her hair and twiddling it between his thumb, Jafar cocked his head to the side and said, “Before I ask you one more time, I need you to remember that all liars go to hell; but before you go there, I will personally give you a little piece of hell on earth if you do not tell me the truth. Now, I will ask you one more time before the wrath of heaven comes down upon you with my anointed hand. Where the fuck is your mother?”
Abbey forced herself to sit up and meet her father’s deadly stare head-on. “Honestly dad, I swear to you, I don’t know where mum is” she said. Jafar kept looking at Abbey until she looked away. His voice was strangely calm when he spoke. ” I am a lawyer Abbey. I know the perfect words to use when I choose to lie in the court of law. It’s funny how any sentence that starts with ‘honestly’ usually isn’t an honest statement. Just so you know, I will find your mother regardless of whether or not you tell me where she is hiding,” he said. “However, if you make this any harder than it needs to be, you and that mother of yours will regret your choices.”
Yesterday, Abbey had told Mofe that she wanted to tell her father how she truly felt about him but she had decided against it before picking him up from the airport. Now, she was livid and didn’t care anymore. She was tired of her father’s threats. All she wanted now was for her father to squirm with the knowledge of how much she truly hated him.
“It doesn’t matter where she is,” Abbey said, her anger beginning to build within her. Her voice managed to hold a confidence she didn’t feel. “The only thing I truly regret is being your daughter! How many women’s lives have you destroyed before marrying mum? More importantly, how many women’s futures have you ruined after you married my mother? I only know of Edirin right now but I’m sure you’ve had more concubines out there. How many more bastards have you fathered? How many more women have you forced to have an abortion and potentially destroy their wombs?”
Feeling a little more courageous, Abbey got up and continued attacking her father with words she had longed to say for a long time. “So many women are praying on a daily basis for babies. These women pray to God for just one child so they can remove the stigma of being called barren! You on the other hand, force ladies to abort their unborn children simply because you consider their pregnancies a problem and not a blessing. Why would a man sleep with a woman and enjoy the pleasures of sex with her only to put her through the torture of playing mind games and pressuring her into getting an abortion. Every man that has done that to a woman is a bastard in my opinion and does not deserve to make it in life. Congratulations dad, you are one of those men! Unfortunately, the devil is enjoying using you as much as you enjoy being used by him and as such, you are still living, breathing, and being successful even after you have destroyed lives. The irony of life! Then again, I wonder why we women even listen to men like you when all you and your type do is destroy wombs and futures.”
Jafar was taken aback. For a moment, he was completely short of words to say. He just stared at his daughter. After a moment, a scowl formed on his face. “You women never want to take the blame for your own actions. Always blaming a man when you stupidly fall in love and let yourself get fucked without a condom or forget to take the pill before sex. Don’t even try to pin this shit on me or any other man for that matter. Any woman that is stupid enough to get pregnant outside marriage to a man that does not want to marry her deserves everything she gets.”
Abbey’s irritation shone in her eyes and her body visibly vibrated with pure hatred for her father. She desperately wanted to slap her father for what he had just said but she put her hands on her hips instead. “Ah, but that’s where you are wrong Jafar.” That was the first time she had ever called her father by his name but she didn’t care. He wasn’t worth being called dad anymore. “You think you are a man but you are not. You don’t even come close to the true definition of a man. You are a bastard, a rapist, and a monster and you deserve to go to jail. You can hide your real personality under all your designer clothes and fashionable perfume but at the end of the day, you have always been and you will always be a barbarian. As long as I live and breathe, you will never see my mother again you son-of-a-bitch! In fact, it will be over my dead body.”
Without warning, Jafar turned around and swept his arm across the bar in the living room, sending bottles of wine and whiskey spiralling to the ground and smashing into hundreds of piece, their contents spilling to the floor. Abbey quickly sank back into the sofa, all evidence of her confidence gone with the wind. “You impudent little girl!” He said, staring her down. Abbey wanted to kick herself for letting her mouth run unchecked. Her insults had only added petrol to the burning fire that was her father’s anger. “Your lack of respect is annoying but not shocking,” Jafar said. “I have your mother to thank for that. She’ll get what’s coming to her soon enough. And for the record, if you ever address me as Jafar again, I swear to you on all the pages of the bible that you will have that death-wish you just proposed. I’m done playing games with you Abbey. It’s time I got serious with you. Lie to me from now on and you won’t have a tomorrow to look forward to. Was your mother’s disappearance your idea?” he asked, his hands itching at his sides, ready to educate Abbey on the consequences of lying.
Abbey didn’t respond. She knew that her father’s question wasn’t really a question. For him, it was more of an affirmation. He knew that Abbey had encouraged Tari to leave him and he was waiting for her to deny it so he could have a substantial reason to deal with her. Instead of responding, Abbey focused on breathing. She wanted to scream. She told herself to get up and run towards the door and towards freedom. but she knew it would not be that easy. Her nerves were extremely frail and she knew that if she started one more bravado confrontation with her father, he would surely snap her in two.
“I take your silence as affirmation.” Jafar said, beginning to talk more to himself than to Abbey. “That bitch you call a mother will not disgrace me. Not in this lifetime!” Jafar stormed across the room. He yanked the lamp closest to him and smashed it on the wall. Livid and breathing heavily, Jafar turned to face Abbey. “You will call your mother right now and tell her to come home immediately or I swear to God Abbey you will not live to see tomorrow.”
Abbey stood on shaky legs. “I’m sure you are strong enough to kill me dad, but right now, you need me to get to mum. So, here’s the deal. Mum is at a friend’s place. Now the only way I will –”
Jafar’s nose flared up and he cut Abbey’s sentence short. “Which friend? Your mother has no friends! Who is she staying with? Is it a woman?”
Enjoying her father’s obvious discomfort, Abbey added raw pepper to Jafar’s already bruised ego. “You are wrong dad. Mum has friends and she is staying at another man’s place at the moment. We couldn’t have her staying at a woman’s place. After Edirin, we weren’t really sure which woman was under your spell so we decided on mum staying with a man.” Telling her father that the man hosting Tari was Tunde, her mum’s lover, would have been too much information. “He is currently taking care of mum and she is trying to heal from all the torture you have inflicted her with. I’ll talk to mum and tell her to come back home only after you have calmed down. Then, and only then, will she return home. I will however only agree to do that once I’m safely out of this house. You have my word.” Eager to get out of his presence, Abbey took two steps towards the door.
Jafar moved closer, so that Abbey could smell the breath mint in his mouth. “Sit down! You are not going anywhere.” Jafar shoved Abbey into the nearest couch. He dug his fingers into her shoulders, immobilising her with his tight grip. He grabbed her face with one hand while his other hand continued to dig into her shoulder. “You seem to think this is a negotiation,” he said. “Don’t take me for a fool Abbey. If you really think that I’d let you walk out of here without handing your mother over to me, you have another thing coming.”
Abbey wriggled to break free but Jafar’s hold was strong. “You are hurting me dad.” she said through clenched teeth.
“Am I?” He asked cynically. “Good. Contrary to what you believe, your mother has no female friends that I don’t know of and she sure as hell has no male friends because they are all afraid of me. If she is staying at a man’s place, I can only assume that he is banging your mother. Now, let’s play a game shall we? You will tell me where your mother is and the name of the bastard who is hiding her, and I reward you by letting you go unharmed. I’ll even forgive your mother for sleeping with this son-of-a-bitch that is hiding her if she comes home.”
Abbey would have slapped herself if her dad wasn’t holding her face in a painfully tight hold. In an effort to make her father suffer, she had unknowingly informed him about the existence of Tunde. Knowing her father, even if he decided to forgive her mother for sleeping with another man, he would hunt that man down and make an example out of him; and he would enjoy doing it in Tari’s presence as a means of punishing her as well.
Damn it…Her mother had warned her! Abbey swore to herself and to God that if she ever got out of this mess, she would watch her tongue and everything she let slip out of her mouth from now on.
“You see little girl,” Jafar continued to say as he tightened his grip on Abbey’s face and shoulder, “I know that you do not understand the fundamentals of marriage so I will do your future husband a favour by explaining it to you. Your bitch of a mother took vows to love and cherish me forever and by God, I will make sure she remains true to her promise or I will kill her myself. Now, I know you are simply a casualty of war in this situation and as such I don’t want to hurt you; but I swear on my honour I will break you into two like a twig if you don’t tell me where the hell your mother is right fucking now.” He took a long breath as if to calm himself before he spoke again. “You know what I’m capable of.” he bellowed, his eyes promising all kinds of pain that Abbey had only read about in books and watched in movies.
Acting out solely on her hatred for her father, Abbey spat in Jafar’s face. “I would rather die than let you hurt mum anymore,” Abbey replied. Okay, maybe she’s watch her mouth tomorrow, if she even had a tomorrow to look forward to.
Jafar used his left hand to clean the spit off his face. He looked ready to kill but his voice sounded like smooth ice. ” As you wish.” Jafar raised his hand and gave Abbey a dirty backhand slap.
Rage filled Abbey’s lungs as her face stung from the slap. She spat in his face again and Jafar cleaned off the spit with his hand again. As he raised his hand to give Abbey another resounding slap, an intruder kicked the front door open and slammed it shut behind his large muscled frame. Advancing towards them like the angel of death, Mofe strolled into the living room, tiny droplets of rain from outside making his skin glisten. He glanced at Abbey before settling his focus squarely on Jafar. A low growl escaped his throat without his permission.
“You son-of-a-bitch.” Jafar said angrily. “You broke the lock on my front door. This is an invasion of my home. I will have you arrested.”
Mofe didn’t even flinch. “I guess you didn’t hear me knocking.” The anger that burned in Mofe’s eyes scared Abbey. From the way she sat, still pinned down by Jafar, she knew this confrontation wasn’t going to end well for one of the two men in the room.
“Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house?” Jafar bellowed.
“I’m Mofe, Abbey’s boyfriend and future husband.” Mofe said with controlled voice. “I believe you are the father of the bride-to-be. I have been waiting for her. She’s late for our appointment.”
“Get out of my house you good for nothing idiot.” He still held on to Abbey’s face and shoulders so tightly, she flinched and said “Dad, let me go. You are hurting me.”
Mofe gritted his teeth and let out a feral snarl. His chiselled set jaw looked like it could cut through paper easily. His body looked set to attack the threat that had made Abbey wince in pain. The fire in his eyes burned deep and he snarled. “She said you are hurting her. Let her go. I swear if you so much as leave a bruise on her or raise you hand to hit her ever again, this planet won’t be big enough to hold you and me.”
Acting like a schizophrenic, Jafar looked at Abbey’s face as he held her tightly and said “I’ll get back to you in a minute.” Jafar turned and stared at Mofe like he was deranged. “I suggest you get lost, boy. You are playing in deep waters with sharks well out of your league. I strongly advice you to swim for safety. There’s the door. Get out while you still can.” Turning to face Abbey, he said “As for you, if you don’t want to tell me where your mother is, I’ll just have to force the answer out of you.” Jafar buried his hands deeper into Abbey’s face and shoulder until she screamed in pain and shed tears, her shout resonating throughout the entire house and Mofe’s brain. Everything sane in Mofe went right out the window after that.
Mofe instantly saw red and went into attack mode. His right hand shot out in a blur of motion. The anger behind the punch sent Jafar reeling backward, his nose gushing blood. As Jafar staggered, Mofe clutched his tie and yanked him forward, head-booting Jafar as he did so. As Jafar’s head lunged backwards from the head-boot, Mofe connected another powerful punch to Jafar’s exposed throat, hitting him square in the gut. With a bleeding and broken nose, bleeding gum, and pain-ridden throat, Jafar stumbled to his knees struggling to breathe.
But Mofe wasn’t even halfway done with Jafar yet. All he could hear in his brain was Abbey screaming out in pain…pain caused by Jafar!
He had warned Jafar not to hurt her but he hadn’t listened.
His eyes still covered by a film of red rage, Mofe had only one goal: to make Jafar suffer!
Abbey gripped Mofe’s arm as he was going to strike her father again. His taut muscles were like a rat trap ready to spring. His rage was a living thing pulsating through him. If she didn’t stop him now, he’d kill her father for manhandling her. “Mofe…look at me. Look at me.” she pleaded, having to kneel beside Mofe and use both her hands to turn his face from starring at Jafar and turn his attention to look at her. “He isn’t worth it. Please let’s just go.”
At first Mofe looked as if he would ignore her. But then he met her eyes and something shifted. “Yeah, okay.” he muttered. Mofe took Abbey’s trembling hand and turned to face Jafar. “Consider yourself lucky that Abbey was here to stop me. If you ever hurt Abbey again, the next time I meet you, one of us will die.” Mofe said, his voice held a longing to fulfil his promise right there and then.
“We’ll see about that.” Jafar said from where he sat crouched on the floor tending to his broken nose. His voice sounded hoarse from the throat punch he had received from Mofe’s unforgiving fist. “I will have you arrested for this. You can get out now. As for Abbey, she stays here until she tells me where her mother is.”
Moving menacingly towards Jafar, Mofe broke away from Abbey’s hands and took a few steps closer to the older man bleeding out on the floor, dragging Abbey along with him as she tried to hold him back from killing her father. Jafar crawled as far away from Mofe as he possibly could but Mofe kept advancing towards him like the Grim Reaper.
The more Abbey tried to slow Mofe down, the more she realized she wasn’t making the slightest bit of impact. If anything, She could feel Mofe’s muscles tighten under his shirt and she saw his hands had formed into fists again. Unable to stop him, Abbey stepped in front of Mofe and blocked him from getting any closer to her father. “Babe please. For my sake, let’s just go.”
Cocking his head to the side, Mofe addressed Jafar. “You are lucky Abbey doesn’t want me to kill you today.” deadly intent evident in his voice. “There is no way in hell I’d leave Abbey here with you. Not even the devil will stop me from leaving this house with her by my side.” Mofe said calmly as Abbey came closer and held his muscled hand with her fragile own. “If you doubt me, just try and stop me from leaving with her.”
Jafar glared at Mofe from where he was still crouched on the floor and bleeding out. Abbey looked at the faces of both men. They both looked ready to kill. Still tempting fate, Jafar spoke from where he sat on the floor holding his bleeding nose, “This is a family matter,” Jafar said. “Get out before I have you arrested.”
“Go right ahead.” Mofe said smoothly. “You can explain the bruises you inflicted on my fiancée at the police station. I’ll even write a statement about it before I get thrown into prison for breaking your damn nose. And if I’m going to jail, then I will willingly go to jail. Until then, Abbey is leaving with me right now!” Mofe gently nudged Abbey toward the door, his attention focused on Jafar. Mofe’s voice sounded calm but Abbey could feel the tension in his muscles. Even though Mofe was retreating with her towards the door, Abbey knew that the situation could still end horribly for her father if she didn’t get Mofe out of the door quickly. She wanted her father to suffer but she didn’t want Mofe paying the price for it.
“Abbey, don’t do this.” Jafar said as he watched her walk towards the door. “If you leave now, the outcome of all of this will be on your shoulders. I trust you understand me. I will destroy you. This is all your fault. You pushed your mother away from me. You destroyed your mother’s womb as you came into this world and now you are trying to destroy my marriage. Tari never would have left if you hadn’t encouraged her, I’m sure. What happens to your mother when I find her is solely on your head”
Irritated, Mofe turned and stared Jafar down. “Nice. Very nice. Just the words every daughter wants to hear from her father,” Mofe said with dry cynicism. “Thanks for raising such an amazing woman but the only person that will be giving her any more orders from now on will be her husband; and I intend to be that man. You are welcome to the wedding if she says she wants you there but you will never be welcome in my home.”
Abbey squeezed Mofe’s hand and urged him out the door with her. In the next instant, they were outside breathing in fresh air. The rain had stopped temporarily but it looked like it was still going to rain. The calm before the storm, it seemed. Crawling towards the door on his hands and knees, Jafar shouted “I’ll find you and deal with you in ways you will never forget, young lady. As for you Mafi –”
“Its Mofe…” the muscled man corrected.
“Whatever.” Jafar said dismissively. “Nobody cares what the hell your name is. You will regret speaking to me in that manner. You will regret beating me up. You will regret the day you were born.”
“I’m ready when you are. Just name the time and the place and I’ll be ready.” Walking briskly, Mofe ushered Abbey into his car. When they had driven away from Jafar’s house, Mofe gently touched Abbey’s face “Are you okay?” he asked.
“Look Abbey,” Mofe began. “I’m sorry I showed up and interfered after I promised not to. I would understand if you never trust me again or if you decide to put my wedding proposal on probation till you feel you can trust me again. I’m a patient man. I’ll wait until you are ready. I’ll do whatever I have to do to make you trust me again. Just don’t be mad at me.”
Abbey looked at Mofe with open fascination. “I have never seen my father so scared in all my life. It is amazing how you can be deadly and absolutely scary one minute, and be soft and emotional the very next minute.”
“I’m only soft and emotional when it comes to you.” he said sincerely.
Reaching out to touch his hands on the wheel, Abbey said, “Thank you for not listening to me. You just saved my life back there. I don’t know what my father would have done if you hadn’t showed up.”
“It’s no problem my love. There was no way I was going to let you face him alone” Sounding both nervous and worried, Mofe asked “So am I back on probation?”
Abbey would have laughed if her jaw didn’t hurt so much from her father’s slap. “No, you are not. Don’t worry, you are not going to get rid of me that easy.”
Mofe couldn’t have said it any better himself. Feeling a weight lift off him, one he hadn’t known was there until it was gone, Mofe kissed her hand and concentrated on driving home before the rain started again.
They parked outside Jiro’s parent’s house right on time, just before the rain started. Andrew held both their bags while Jiro held the gifts they had gotten his parents for their anniversary. As they got to the front door and pressed the door bell, Andrew’s nerves kicked in and he couldn’t breathe.
“Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this right now.” Andrew said “I’m just not ready Jiro. Your parents haven’t met me before. Yes, I have spoken to your mum on the phone many times but this is different. I’ll be meeting them in person for the first time. What if they don’t like me? What if I do or say something stupid? Jesus, what if I –”
Carefully wrapping his arms around Andrew, Jiro hugged his best friend and said “Shut up already you big baby. You broke a wine bottle with your bare hands at Mofe’s birthday dinner and didn’t even flinch, you can talk and charm your way through any negotiation or tight spot with the toughest of clients at the office, and you are one heck of a hunk. I promise you, you have absolutely nothing to be worried about with my parents.” He removed his arms from Andrew’s shoulders to look into Andrew’s unsure eyes. “You’ll do great. They’ll fall in love with you just like I –”
Jiro never got to finish his sentence as the door opened. He quickly turned with a smile on his face.
“Mum!” Jiro said with excitement. “It’s so great to see you. Happy anniversary weekend!”
Walking into the short woman’s embrace, Jiro held his mum in a warm hug and kissed her forehead.
“Jiro, You are right on time, as always.” Stella said. “Come in, come in.”
As Jiro walked in, Stella stepped in front of Andrew and smiled. “And you must be Andrew. I finally get to put a face to the voice over the phone; and a handsome face it is too.”
Andrew wanted to prostrate as was customary in the Nigerian society but Stella would have none of it. Before he got to the floor, Stella shocked Andrew by reeling him in for a hug.
Jiro dropped the gifts he was holding on the dining table and turned towards the front door to where his mother still held Andrew’s hand warmly. “Mum, where’s dad?” Jiro asked.
“Right here, son.” His father said from the living room.
Quickly making his way to the living room, Jiro moved in to hug his father warmly. Stella held Andrew’s hand tightly and led him to the living room. Introductions were made officially. Jiro’s Father, Ejike, shook Andrew’s hand warmly, and Andrew noticed that Jiro looked a lot like his father. The man was handsome and Andrew smiled despite himself. So this is what Jiro will look like in a couple of years. Not bad, Not bad at all, Andrew thought.
As Jiro’s parents doted over him, Andrew attention was drawn to the sermon on television by Bishop Dag Heward-Mills.
”The Titanic was presumed to be the largest, safest and strongest luxury ship in the world before it embarked on its disastrous maiden voyage in April 1912. All kinds of people were welcomed on the Titanic’s first voyage: the rich, the famous, the elite, women, children, families and staff of the ship… they were all happy to be on board. It was believed to be the ship that could not sink, but it sunk on its first journey from Southampton to New York. This was one of the greatest tragedies of all time. After the ship sank, two lists were presented at the offices of The White Star Company (the company which built the Titanic). The list was simple. It had only two sections: ‘LOST’ and ‘SAVED’. People came to read these lists to find out which category their loved ones were under.
Interestingly, before the journey so many things seemed important: work, money, career etc. After the sinking of the Titanic, none of these things mattered anymore. The only thing that mattered was whether the people who were on board were saved and on their way home or lost at sea. Dear friend that is how Eternity will be. A time will come when none of the things we have on this earth will matter. A time will come when it will not matter whether you are a man or a woman! A time will come when it will not matter whether you are rich or poor! What will matter is whether you are ‘LOST’ or ‘SAVED’ on the day you die and meet your creator! If any of you are still living in sin, I urge you to give your life to Christ before it is too late. If you would like to surrender your life to Jesus or rededicate your life to Him, wherever you are, lift your hands and repeat these words after me….
Andrew’s concentration on the TV programme was interrupted when Stella came and held his hand. “You must be tired from all that driving especially after a hard day at work. I doubt you boys have even eaten.” Content with getting Andrew’s undivided attention, Stella urged Andrew to follow her, walked ahead, and held Jiro’s hand like any loving mother would. “Why don’t I show you boys to your separate rooms for the weekend so you can drop your bags and come downstairs for dinner.” Stella suggested. “Come along” she said, gesturing to Andrew to follow her.
Hand in hand, Jiro and his mum went up the stairs together making small talk and laughing together. Still holding his and Jiro’s bags, Andrew followed closely behind.
Jafar poured himself a glass of whiskey and threw the bloodied tissue on the floor. He still couldn’t believe that Tari had run off into hiding and Abbey had sent her good-for-nothing boyfriend to beat him up.
Those bitches! he thought to himself. They will pay. They will regret the day they acted against my wishes. No one leaves me. No one walks away. There is no way out of being married to me or being my daughter…not while I live and breathe! He picked up his phone and dialled the number he knew by heart.
“Saheed, it has been a while. Thanks for helping out in disposing of the key witness for my last court case. I have a more personal job for you now. I need you to find my wife and my daughter.”
He listened to the stranger on the other end of the phone and threw his now-empty glass of whiskey to the wall, shattering it into fifty little pieces.
“If I knew where they were, I wouldn’t need your help in getting them back, would I? Look, I don’t know where they are and I don’t care. I want them back dead or alive. Make it look like an accident if you have to. Just bring them home.”
“Understood boss” Saheed replied Jafar over the phone.
“Oh and one more thing Saheed, You know how much I hate loose ends. Don’t screw it up.”
The weekend was flying quickly by and before Andrew knew it, it was time for dinner on Saturday evening. So far, Andrew and Jiro hadn’t had much time to themselves. In the last twenty-four hours, the best they had done was steal glances at each other and send secret conversations through their phones.
Dinner went by quick, Jiro’s mum orchestrating small talk around the table. Andrew knew that eventually, Stella would ask about his own family but at the moment, he was just glad to sit quietly and enjoy watching Jiro with his parents in the house he had grown up in. His family wasn’t exactly a topic Andrew enjoyed talking about…especially his parents. Not after everything that had happened between them.
The TV was still on in the living room and from where he sat, Andrew could tell it was still on the Christian channel. Today, it was M. Williamson that was speaking:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”
Andrew liked the motivational sermon being offered on television today. As much as he was devoted to God and Christianity, Andrew wondered if Jiro had grown up learning and loving God on his own or if Jiro’s parents had forced God down his throat like most overtly religious parents would. Andrew felt a bit uncomfortable with the latter option being a possibility with Jiro’s parents. It was one thing to meet them but it was another thing entirely being in their house and seeing how they lived. Craving to watch Sky news, CNN, or Discovery channel, Andrew had to wonder if Jiro’s parents ever changed the TV channel from the Christian station. He wasn’t sure he felt comfortable enough to ask them to change the channel. He had come here to make a positive impression on Jiro’s parents, not act like a dick.
The possibility that Jiro’s parents were die-hard Christians stirred up an immediate pang of guilt in Andrew about his relationship with Jiro. Andrew quickly put the guilt out of his mind. Jiro was the one that had invited him over this weekend and Jiro seemed happy with his presence. Besides, Jiro was living his life for himself and not his parents so who was Andrew to question Jiro’s love for him? Andrew certainly didn’t want to question it. He was finally happy and he wasn’t going to let anyone ruin it. Andrew had a feeling there was more to Ejike and Stella than what met the eye. Many couples that seemed truly happy and religious usually weren’t Then again, Andrew had never been married and he had no intention of being trapped with a wedding ring anytime soon. Definitely not me, Andrew thought to himself, What do I know about marriage? I’m certainly not one to judge anyone.
Jiro parents made a joke about something and Jiro laughed. Andrew would have liked to bottle the sound up and save it for later, taking it out occasionally so he could listen whenever the mood struck. It warmed Andrew’s heart to see Jiro so happy but it also made him feel a sense of true loss. Why couldn’t I have been fortunate to have this sort of relationship and freedom with my parents? Am I to blame? Most likely. Andrew let the thought go. The only thing thoughts like that would do to him would be to depress him. At the moment, being depressed served no purpose so Andrew put up a fake smile and joined in the discussion around the table. There would be time for being depressed later on when he was alone in bed tonight.
Yup, I’m definitely not one to judge, he told himself again.
Seeing how tired his parents were, Jiro promised to clear all the plates from the dining table and clean up afterwards. He had practically instructed his parents to go to bed and make the most of their anniversary night. After a little more persuasive advances from Jiro and a supportive thumbs-up from Andrew, Ejike and Stella agreed and went to bed; leaving the clearing up of the dishes to the two young men.
The two men worked quickly and effortlessly in clearing up the dishes. Having done this several times together at both their apartments, it felt second nature to both of Andrew and Jiro. Once they were done with the plates, Jiro held Andrew’s hand and led him outside through the backdoor of the kitchen.
The residue from the rain that had fallen the day before had dried up thanks to the sunny day earlier on. Finding a hidden spot at the back of the kitchen window, Jiro pulled Andrew close and kissed him long and hard. When he came back up for air, Jiro said “Damn it, I have been waiting all day to do that to you.”
Smiling sheepishly, Andrew slid his hands under Jiro’s shirt and replied “Oh yeah, what else have you been waiting to do with me all day?”
A slow evil smile crept into Jiro’s face. “Funny you should ask that” Jiro said.
Sceptical of Jiro’s mischievous look and knowing where his best friend’s thoughts were headed, Andrew said “Oh no. I know that look. Jiro, what are you planning? You know we are at your parents house. Let’s not do something we’ll regret. I don’t want to put you in trouble”
With the cheeky smile still on his face, Jiro said “Calm down Andrew. I just thought we could smoke some weed. I noticed you’ve been acting a bit uncomfortable since we got here last night. Honestly, I had kinda anticipated that sort of reaction from you this being your first time meeting them and all. So, being the amazing boyfriend that I am, I brought along some weed to help you relax. Don’t worry, I brought a very small amount. Take a look at it.” Jiro said, holding up the small bag of weed for Andrew to see.
“But cupcake, you know I don’t smoke.” Andrew said. “The most I have done with weed is to eat it when it’s been mixed in my food and I haven’t done that in a very long time.” Andrew said.
“I know that Drew, but I still brought it anyway.” Jiro said. Andrew still looked sceptical so Jiro continued “Look, let’s just try it Andrew. What’s the worst that could happen? You’d cough and we’d throw the rest away.”
Andrew turned and looked towards the door to the kitchen. “But what if your parents smell it?”
“The smell will be long gone by the time they come downstairs tomorrow morning.” Jiro said. “Trust me, there’s nothing to worry about. My parents sleep off ten minutes after getting to their room. I’m sure they are already asleep at this very moment. Besides, a few hours ago, I sneaked out and brought out an air freshener from the guest toilet just in case” Jiro said, showing the air freshener to Andrew.
Andrew wanted to argue again but he decided against it. This was Jiro’s house… Jiro’s family. Surely he knew what he was saying. Besides, there was a dangerous thrill to knowing they were about to play rebels while Jiro’s parents slept upstairs. The thrill of being bad and not getting caught, Andrew mused. The thought made him smile.
“Okay.” Andrew said. “Since you are sure about it. Lets do this.”
Smiling, Jiro brought out the weed and rolled it up expertly. This obviously wasn’t his first time of doing it. Andrew made a mental note to ask Jiro about it later.
They smoked the roll of weed together and spoke about anything and everything. They finished one roll and got another one ready. Andrew mentioned the Christian TV channel to Jiro and Jiro laughed, saying that his mother enjoyed watching the channel and his father had learnt to tolerate it over the years.
When one round of weed finished, Jiro would roll up another and another. He continued this until they finished the whole pack of weed an hour after. At this point, they were both beginning to feel the after-buzz.
Trying not to fall over as they laughed over nothing and everything, Jiro and Andrew cleaned up the mess they had made outside and sprayed the area with the air freshener to clear the smell of weed.
“Is it just me or does it feel like we didn’t eat dinner?” Andrew asked Jiro while trying to suppress a laugh.
“I was just going to ask you the same thing.” Jiro said with a drunken smile on his face.
Giggling with their inhibitions gone, hunger had set in and both men went inside to find something to eat. The house was quiet. Walking towards the fridge, both men made sandwiches with bread and mayonnaise.
Finishing his meal first, Andrew got up and dumped his plate in the sink while Jiro sat down still eating his sandwich.
Feeling brave and carefree, Andrew walked over to his lover and dragged him up into an embrace. Tonight, he was breaking all his rules about not being intimate with another man if it wasn’t behind closed doors. It had been over an hour and a half since Jiro’s parents had gone to bed. The house was dead silent and they finally had the house all to themselves.
“Enjoying your sandwich? Andrew asked as he ran his hands along Jiro’s back.
Jiro nodded, trying to ignore the rush of heat through his body. He took a bite of his sandwich although it tasted like nothing at all. “So, what do you want to do now?” Jiro asked as he leaned back and let his hands graze Andrew’s bulge through his jeans.
Andrew groaned. “You are not helping my thought process.” he said to Jiro through closed eyes.
“Good, because I’m not really trying to.” Jiro slowly licked mayonnaise off his fingers deliberately. Jiro knew that past a certain point, he could get Andrew edging for sexual pleasure if he kept it hot and slow. Although Jiro didn’t know game he was playing, nothing in his life felt as alive as playing games with this man. “You’re the who showed up at my back. So I ask you again, what did you have in mind?”
Reinforcing his hands around Jiro in a warm embrace, Andrew sighed before speaking. “You will officially be the death of me. My God, I’ve missed holding you Jiro. I think I can officially say that I’m addicted to you” Andrew said. “You are my poisoned paradise.”
“I know the feeling,” Jiro replied with a seductive smile on his face. Wanting to tempt Andrew some more, Jiro wiped his hands with a napkin, wedged some distance between himself and Andrew before releasing a few buttons from his jeans, lifting his shirt ever so slightly to reveal his skin.
“Do you want to see how much I have missed you?” Jiro asked seductively, still raising his shirt slowly to reveal more of his flesh.
Andrew’s palm itched. The lighting of the kitchen seemed to shed a warm romantic glow on the two men.
“Are you asking me if I want you naked here and now?” Andrew asked quietly, a spark of interest and adventure in his eyes.
Jiro looked at Andrew directly and offered him a brilliant smile. “Yes, I think I am.”
Taking Jiro here and now in his parent’s kitchen with them sleeping upstairs? Andrew deliberated within himself.
A line just begging to be crossed, he decided.
Andrew groaned, the sound low and desperate. Craving to taste Jiro, Andrew walked directly into the embrace of his best friend and removed the shirt from over Jiro’s head. Jiro followed suit and undressed Andrew. Still without speaking as if afraid of breaking the spell, they undressed each other urgently; stripping down to only their boxers.
Andrew curved his hand around Jiro’s waist, taking pleasure in the bodily contact.
“Grab my neck and hold on.” Andrew commanded.
Grabbing Jiro’s ass, Andrew urged Jiro to lift his body weight and wrap his legs around him. Jiro inhaled sharply at the touch, licked his lips, then obeyed; letting Andrew lift him on top of the kitchen counter. Andrew’s touch ran down to Jiro’s thighs as he kissed Jiro’s cheeks, his neck, and jaw-line. Rolling his head back and letting out a shuddering sigh, an odd combination of contentment and encouragement.
Itching to reciprocate, Jiro kissed Andrew. His mouth was sweet from the mayonnaise, his tongue gentle but skilled. He touched Andrew, held him, licked him. Andrew was melting into it like ice-cream in the sun. Jiro’s smell and touch made Andrew dizzy with need. The torture continued as Jiro pressed closer to his side and buried his face in the hollow of Andrew’s throat. The tip of his nose was freezing cold and his breath was crazy hot. What the hell? Is he sniffing me? Andrew wondered. Andrew looked to the heavens and moaned a prayer to whoever was listening. Hopefully he didn’t smell that bad. At worst, he smelt of weed, need, and aroused male.
Jiro thought of standing up and holding Andrew in his arms but that would mean getting off the kitchen counter. Hell no! The kitchen counter was the only thing holding him up at the moment. He knew for certain that he couldn’t trust those rubbery things he called legs just yet so he opted for his second option. Latching himself firmly onto Andrew’s hips, Jiro pulled them closer until he could feel the throb of Andrew’s erection pressed against his stomach.
The way Jiro clung to him delighted Andrew to the core. Lust consumed Andrew and he couldn’t control the groan that came from deep in his gut. He wasn’t sure if it was the smoking of the weed or the thrill of potentially making love to his best friend in an unfamiliar terrain that made him feel light-headed and horny. All Andrew knew was that he needed this man wrapping his legs around him so tightly.
Desperation filled Jiro and he pulled Andrew tighter. Jiro felt like he wanted to crawl into Andrew’s skin and stay in his warmth. The more he got close, the more he was sure he couldn’t get close enough.
They didn’t hear the intruder enter the kitchen until it was too late.
“Blood of Jesus!!!” The intruder exclaimed!
To be continued…
I look forward to your comments!