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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Guilty Pleasures

 

Roulette Of The Damned: MAKE MY HEART! (EPISODE XIII)

… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!

Tunde had already left for work by the time Abbey reached his place. She and her mother sat in the comfortable living room eating the chicken Abbey brought along with her. “How do you feel mum?” she asked

Tari shook her head. “I know I shouldn’t be happy but I’m a little relieved. I thought for sure that your father would find us and make us pay for leaving; me especially.

“I know.” Abbey agreed. “Its unbelievable. I know I wanted him to pay for all the abuse and maltreatment but I would have settled for seeing him in prison uniform, not dead.” On the drive to Tunde’s house, Abbey had decided against telling her mum. The secret was best kept between herself and Bukunmi.

“Yeah, but what’s done is done.” Tari said. “We didn’t kill him. I’m glad I’m free from him but I hope he makes it to heaven. It might sound silly but I don’t think anyone should go to hell. Eternity is a long time to suffer, even for your father.”

“Hmmmm” Abbey mused. She knew deep in her gut that people reaped what they sowed and her dad had been horrible to a lot of people for a long time.

They both feel silent for a moment. Then Tari said, “I spoke to Edirin’s other yesterday.”

That surprised Abbey. Tari and Edirin’s mother had been friends for as long as Abbey had known Edirin. But for some reason, she thought their friendship would have ended with the news of Bukunmi’s affair with Jafar and the pregnancy. “That’s good.” Abbey said. How is she?”

“Managing.” Tari said. “She told me that Edirin has decided to keep the baby. They had a long talk and Edirin is glad your father is out of her life too. I wonder if she has seen the news this morning.” She sighed “Raising a baby alone is going to be hard for her. Perhaps it would be best for her to give the baby up for adoption. She needs to focus on herself and on putting her life back together.”

“I don’t think Edirin could ever had handled giving up her baby no matter the circumstance,” Abbey said honestly.

“Yes,” Tari agreed. “That’s not an easy choice. I’m not sure what I would do in her position.”

Abbey nodded. “Me either.” She said. “No matter what Edirin decides, her life will never be the same. It will never be what she’d planned.”

“And how are you handling all of this?” Tari asked as she took another bite of her chicken wings.

“I don’t know,” Abbey said. “I -”

Abbey stopped mid-sentence, her eyes fixed on the stranger that had broken into the house and was standing a mere couple of feet away. As if the intrusion wasn’t scary enough, the man was wearing a black mask that only revealed two large angry brown eyes. One gloved hand gripped a short black handle with a long steel blade… a cutlass.

Abbey’s voice was frozen from somewhere deep in her throat. She glanced quickly at her mother, whose eyes noticed the fear in Abbey’s composure and mirrored all the fright she was feeling.

The intruder, Saheed, attacked them quickly, without a word. Abbey blocked her face, shrieking as the blade tore into her hands. She was aware of screams through she wasn’t sure whether they were hers or her mother’s.

Saheed, the hired assassin Jafar had employed to find Abbey and Jafar, shoved Abbey backward. She slammed her head against the end table. Glass shattered. The room swam around her. Abbey tried to grab the chair for support but the hands slid off, leaving a bloody trail behind.

========== AND NOW… ==========

========== THE FINAL EPISODE OF ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED!!! ==========

the finals

LETTER FROM THE CONTROVERT!

I began writing ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED sometime last year. For months before I started, I had been toying with a storyline in my mind…inventing characters and visualising scenes. As time passed, I started to venture beyond the confines of my imagination. The characters became real to me as I spent countless hours experiencing their lives, living their passions and their struggles in the recesses of my thoughts. It was like having sole access to a great book that could not be found online or in any of the book stores worldwide. In the back of my mind, I always thought that someday I’d write it all down.

And then someday happened.

While indulging with a bottle of Jameson’s on fine evening, I sat in front of my laptop and began typing the first scene that I had already witnessed a thousand times in my head. I could see every last movement and word of the characters; and every last detail of their environment as if they were right in front of me. I struggled, quickly coming to the realization that writing about more than two people is much more difficult than imagining them. When imagining, the scenes just play out and make sense because you are both author and audience; but writing is altogether different. Writing means commitment. Writing means exposing my thoughts through words that someone else may read. And for a fairly private introverted extrovert with a penchant for controversy like myself, that was a scary concept.

Writing was slow at first, but I pushed through and I began to see improvement. I gradually became able to express my thoughts for all the characters without struggle. I no longer spent hours agonizing over a few sentences, but could write a couple of pages in one evening and giving life to the characters you now know and love. Being a fanatic of contemporary art, I decided to infuse pictures, theme songs and choreographies to breathe life into the story.

So… that is how THE ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED came to be. As the story comes to a close today, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you find that the story finished sooner than you wanted it to, don’t worry, I’ve got more stories in the pipeline– much more!

Prepare yourself for a mind blowing invasion as you join me to toast the herald of THE ERA OF THE CONTROVERT!

Have a great read!

-The Controvert!

 

—– MAKE MY HEART!!! —–

This episode is dedicated to that special someone *wink wink*. I Heart you my Lucky Charm!

MAKE MY HEART!

MAKE MY HEART!

Tari tried to get to Abbey but the intruder grabbed her hair and yanked her hard, making her fall to her knees. The cutlass danced through the air towards Tari and drops of her blood fell like rain.

Forcing her body to move despite the lacerations on her arms and body, Abbey scrambled across the carpet towards where her mother lay on the floor. Blood was splattered all around. Her mother moaned. Seeing Abbey crawling towards her, Tari weakly called out for Abbey to run.

Her mother’s pained voice awoke the demon within Abbey. Every iota of her being went into kill mode. Abbey crawled her way to the kitchen while the intruder continued to pull on Tari’s hair as he inflicted more lacerations on her with his blunt cutlass. Barely managing to stand up once she got into the kitchen, Abbey frantically searched the drawers for knives or anything large and sharp that she could use to protect herself and her mother.

A torturous scream from the living room sent a cold shiver down Abbey’s spine. Her stomach turned and she tasted vomit coming. Her noisy cluttering of kitchen utensils had alerted the intruder and he had followed the noise. As Abbey turned to go help her mother, she saw the intruder standing menacingly by the kitchen door, a mere feet away from her.

“If you are considering using anything in this kitchen against me, just forget it. I am only meant to deliver you and your mother dead or alive but if you piss me off, I will rape you first just for the fun of it.” His voice was muffled beneath the mask. Fear and adrenaline invaded Abbey’s body and she reacted purely out of survival instinct. Without thinking, Abbey yanked the drawer out and heaved it at the intruder’s face. He easily sidestepped the drawer and it fell to the floor beside him. Unfazed, the intruder strode toward Abbey. Abbey panicked. She started throwing whatever she could grab…the toaster, the kettle, cups and spoons. Her hands left a trail off liquid red on the kitchen cabinet as she did scrambled for something to throw at the intruder. A moment later Abbey was cornered holding a tea spoon, stuck between the wall and Saheed’s bloody cutlass.

“Stop!” Tari stood in the doorway behind him, holding a gun she had stolen from Jafar’s drawer before she had run away from her matrimonial home. Her blouse was torn and drenched in blood. She was still bleeding and droplets of blood fell to the floor around her.

The intruder half turned. Time froze as he stood there, the cutlass inches from Abbey’s face, his gaze fixed on Tari. Taking advantage of the intruder’s loss of concentration on her, Abbey dropped to the floor out of her mother’s aim of the gun. Tari smiled and Saheed looked at her, confused as to what amused her. From the corner of his eye, he saw Abbey crouched on the floor holding her ears tightly. Realization dawned on Saheed as he looked back at Tari. Fear crept into his eyes as Tari’s smile widened. Before he could take a step towards her, four gun shots rang out.

Then silence.

a_smoking_gun_by_eightball1

==========

Mofe had gotten home ten minutes ago and he was tired. He had seen the news about Jafar’s death on TV this morning and had called Abbey to see if she was alright. He had wanted to leave work and come home to be with her but she had insisted that he stayed put at work. She had told him she was going to go to spend the day with her mum at Tunde’s place. Mofe had willingly agreed. Even though he didn’t know where Tunde’s place was, he knew Abbey was safe as long as she was with her mum. Besides, her father was dead now so he couldn’t harm her from the grave.

Mofe wanted badly to call Abbey but he decided not to. I’m sure Abbey and her mum are popping open a bottle of wine now and toasting their freedom from Jafar, Mofe told himself. I have nothing to worry about.

Wanting to feel closer to Abbey, Mofe walked over to her work space in his house and sat down on her  makeshift work-chair. He could still smell her perfume all around her workspace. Mofe tilted his head back and smiled.

MOFE

MOFE

I’ll see her soon, he told himself. We’ll celebrate her freedom from her father’s tyranny in grand style when she returns.

==========

Abbey slowly raised her head. The intruder’s body was sprawled across the kitchen floor. His blood had splattered everywhere. Wet sticky goo clung to her face.

Abbey rose on shaky legs. “Mum…”

Her mother had slumped by the kitchen doorway. she clutched the gun in her hand. A river of blood pooled beside her still body.

“Mum!” Abbey stumbled across to the kitchen door, falling to her knees as she reached her mother. “Mum, can you hear me?”

Still smiling contentedly, Tari’s eyes stared blankly into space. She looked pale and the river of blood just kept on growing in size all around her.

Abbey raced to the living room, snatched her phone and dialled the only number she knew by heart. “Mofe…please help me. Something terrible just happened”

She gave him the highlights and the details of how to get to Tunde’s place. As Mofe asked Abbey more questions over the phone, Tari’s weak voice called out limply to Abbey. “Abbey, it’s no use. I’m not going to make it.”

“Don’t talk like that mum.” Abbey said to her mum whilst still on the phone with Mofe.

“I…I love you.” Tari said before her body went completely still.

Disbelief crawled into Abbey’s eyes as she watched her mother’s hand let go of the gun. “Mum? Mum!!!” Abbey screamed. Without dropping the call, Abbey abandoned the phone and ran towards her mum, resting Tari’s head on her lap and holding her mother’s limp hands in her own. “Mum, please wake up. Mum please! Mummy, please wake up now!”

She forgot all about Mofe on the phone.

And she prayed.

… for the intruder to be dead and be on his way to hell.

… for help to arrive.

…for her mother to live through this.

===

As Abbey spoke, the walls closed in around him. The minute he had heard her voice in panic, he had already grabbed his keys and was out the door. Mofe wasted no time. He was already starting the ignition when Abbey had screamed for her mother to get up. His tires screeched as he pulled out of his driveway. Clutching the steering with one hand and his phone with the other, Mofe stayed on the phone and tried to keep Abbey talking to him. It didn’t take long for him to realise she had abandoned her phone. All he could hear was Abbey crying out for Tari to wake up.

Mofe cut Abbey’s call and sped all the way to Tunde’s house using the directions Abbey had given him.

The only thing resounding in his head were Abbey’s screams.

So Mofe did the only thing he could do in the heat of the moment as fear invaded his thoughts.

He cursed.

….at himself for ignoring his instincts when he had wanted to call Abbey earlier on.

… the son-of-a-bitch who had attacked Abbey and Tari.

…at every slow driver who drove slowly and tried to block his way to get to Abbey.

When Mofe got to the address Abbey had directed him to, something about the house seemed vaguely familiar to him but he couldn’t place his finger on the why. He didn’t really care about trying to rack his brain to remember either. All he wanted to do was to get to Abbey and help out however he could.

The first thing Mofe saw when he got to the house was that the main gate was open. Moving further, Mofe walked cautiously into the house. The only thing Mofe’s eyes could focus on when he got into Tunde’s house was Abbey holding her mother’s limp body as she sat inside a pool of blood and more blood. Abbey’s beautiful face had streaks of blood in it, her arms were bleeding, and she had dry blood in her hair and clothes. Mofe wasted no time. Moving with the speed of light, he grabbed Tari’s limp body off the floor and into the backseat of his car. Moving just as swiftly, he rushed back into the house and lifted Abbey from where she still sat on the floor as if she was still holding her mum n her arms. Aware of the need for quick action but knowing Abbey was in shock, Mofe helped her gently but swiftly into the car as well. In fifteen minutes, Mofe had broken over seven traffic laws to get to the front entrance of the General Hospital.

Without regard for his car, Mofe carried both women into the hospital one after the other and got them admitted. It was only after he had seen the doctors quickly wheel both women into the emergency ward that Mofe went back to re-park his car in the parking lot. On entering into the hospital, Mofe sank into a chair the first chance he got.

The adrenaline that had carried him from his house to the hospital was slowly fading away and he was glad he was sitting. He didn’t trust his knees could have held him standing. Mofe buried his face in his hands. His mind kept replaying Abbey sitting down in a pool of blood like a broken-down bloodied and helpless doll. On their way to the hospital, Mofe had tried to get Abbey to fill him in on what had transpired before he got there. The details didn’t totally register in his brain. All he could make out from her ramblings and his confused state was that Abbey and her mum had been attacked by a man with a cutlass. She had told him the man that had attacked them was dead but Mofe still wanted to go back and kill the man all over again, just for the fun of it.

She is going to be okay, he said to himself. She has to be.

As he lifted his face from his hands, the doctor attending to both women walked up to Mofe and asked “Are you the gentleman that brought in those two critical women into the hospital?”

Mofe instantly jumped up from his seat and nodded mindlessly.

“Are you okay?” The doctor asked. “You don’t look too good. Maybe you should get a quick check-up just to be sure you are fine.”

All Mofe could remember the doctor saying was the phrase ‘two critical women’. “Doctor, how bad are they?” Mofe asked, ignoring the question about his own health. He wasn’t the one bleeding out on a hospital bed…or worse. Mofe tried to steel himself and prepare for the worst possible scenario.

For a few moments, he listened to the doctor that had come out from the emergency room talk about Abbey. She was alive and but completely disorientated. She had fought the doctors, calling them strangers and requesting to see Mofe before they could touch her. “But you can’t go in now sir,” the doctor said. “Her injuries are extensive and she had to be sedated to reduce her blood pressure level. So far, we cannot determine the extent of her psychological balance but we are hopeful that in the next few –”

Mofe couldn’t take it anymore. He was done listening. He side-stepped the doctor and started walking towards where the doctor had come out from. He could hear the doctor trying to stop him from going any further but he didn’t care. He didn’t know where he was going but he knew he had to see Abbey…to hold her and never leave her side again. The doctor must have noticed Mofe’s determined stride because somewhere far behind him in the distance, Mofe heard someone that sounded like the doctor say something about going to the fourth room on his left.  He spotted the room. Mofe stood at the door and looked at the door knob for a second and hesitated. Taking in a deep breath, Mofe turned the doorknob and walked in.

image_2(2)

He saw her then.

Her eyes were closed.

Two bags of drip hung beside her hospital bed, pumping blood and a drug-like fluid into her body.

Mofe stood by the door of the room for what seemed like hours. All he could do was put his hands to his mouth as he stared at the dried coats blood in Abbey’s hair and the streaks of tears and blood on her face. Without warning, tears began to fall of their own free will from Mofe’s eyes and he couldn’t stop them from falling, try as he might. Fighting to keep calm, Mofe took a deep breath and wiped the tears from his eyes as best he could. He needed to keep himself together for Abbey’s sake.

She is going to be okay, he repeated to himself. She has to be.

==========

Wearing only his boxers, Andrew had woken up early that morning to make plantain as breakfast for himself and Jiro.

ANDREW FRYING PLANTAIN

ANDREW FRYING PLANTAIN

After his apology two days ago, they had both called in sick at work and had taken their time to rekindle their affections for one another and make up for lost time. Andrew had just finished making breakfast and he was cleaning the kitchen. As he worked, his mind replayed the night before.

ANDREW

ANDREW

Andrew’s hands had fidgeted at first, rubbing Jiro’s back and playing with his shirt. It had been a while since they had touched each other. Slowly but surely, Andrew’s nerves had calmed and his fingers had slowed, creating a pathway on Jiro’s body with his hands. He had found a small gap between Jiro’s shirt and jeans, and his fingertips had idly played with a soft patch of pubic hair on Jiro’s skin there. Jiro’s breathing had slowed too, settling into a gentle rhythm of relaxation. Andrew could feel the broad muscles of Jiro’s back soften and relax, unknotting in his embrace.

Three hours later, they had learnt, touched, and tasted every inch of each other. Exhausted but relaxed, Andrew had wrapped himself around his best friend and had listened to him sleep. He had smiled, and had gently covered their naked bodies with the duvet.

Coming out of his reverie, Andrew smiled as he finished cleaning the kitchen. Carrying the tray of plantain, Andrew walked bare feet to Jiro’s room and stood by the doorway, love and joy filling his chest as he watched Jiro sleep on his stomach, naked, regal, and breath-taking without even trying.

JIRO

JIRO

“Hey cupcake.” Andrew called out to Jiro. “Wake up with your sexy self. Papi’s back!”

Totally comfortable being butt naked in front of Andrew, Jiro leisurely lifted his head towards Andrew and smiled as he saw the plate of food coming his way. He smiled and said “My Oga at the top…good morning.” Jiro said. “Normally, I’d complain that you left me alone in bed but that plantain smells so good, I’m inclined to let you off the hook with a warning.”

BREAKFAST

BREAKFAST

“Anything for my heartbeat.” Andrew said with a killer-smile. “Consider the warning duly noted. Besides, I owe you a decent meal. You haven’t eaten anything proper in 36 hours straight…except chocolates, pringles and some biscuit you found at the edge of your bed.”

Sitting upright on the bed, Jiro said “I have eaten exactly what I needed in the past 36 hours, thank you very much” Jiro smiled. “Besides, I have been preoccupied with other types of meals.” He dragged Andrew back into bed the minute Andrew dropped the tray and ran his tongue over Andrew’s lips before kissing him.

Smokey eyed, Andrew asked “How did I get so lucky to land an awesome man like you?”

“I’ll have to get back to you on that.” Jiro said, making a face at Andrew. “Besides, the jury is still out on how you will make it up to me for being a dick three weeks ago in your office when you broke up with me.” Jiro said with a smile.

“I know.” Andrew said “Which is why I want to give you something to prove just how much you mean to me.” He sat down on the side of the bed, reached into the pockets of the trouser he had worn the day before and brought out a small black box. “Jiro, Would you –”

Jiro’s eyes sunk in immediately. “No.” he said quickly.

“What?” Andrew asked with a worried face. “I haven’t even said anything yet.”

“Its a ‘no’ Drew.” Jiro said quickly. “I’m not going to marry you. You cannot just bring a ring and think it would solve all our problems. And that’s not even scratching the surface of the issue of homosexual marriages in Nigeria. What would we tell everyone? What would I tell anyone? I’m not sure I’m ready for that step Andrew. The cultures and traditions in Nigeria don’t even accept same sex marriages. Don’t think giving me a ring will make me love you more than I do right now because I already love you beyond what I thought possible. But marriage? It’s just not something I want to do just yet with anyone…not after what Abbey put me through. I wasn’t even ready to be married to her. I only proposed to her because she kept pestering me and I thought it was the right thing to do to shut her up and get my parents off my case. And that’s another thing…my parents!!!. And what would I tell my parents? Oh my God what would we tell everyone at work? Where would we find a pastor that would even consider joining two men in hold matrimony in Nigeria? How would we –”

Andrew shut him up with a peck on his lips that quickly turned the peck into a full tongue onslaught. The kiss made Andrew all too aware that he was only wearing a thin layer of fabric and Jiro was still butt naked. When Andrew came up for air, Jiro had shut up, much to Andrew’s delight. “I’m the talker in this relationship remember?” Andrew said. “I have started having an effect on you it seems.” He smiled. “I’m not asking you to marry me.”

“Oh thank God” Jiro breathed

“…Yet!” Andrew added quickly. “I’m not asking you to marry me yet!” Andrew’s smile waned. “Don’t think I won’t ask you to marry me eventually. I know what I want and I know who I want to spend my life with. I would send the rest of the world to hell to have you by my side for a lifetime if I have to, but we’ll have that conversation at a later date. Right now,” Andrew opened the little black box he held in his hands, “I want to give you a ring as a sign of my love and fidelity to you. Consider it a commitment ring.” Andrew took the ring out of the box and slid it on the wedding finger of Jiro’s right hand. “I want you to always have a piece of me with you even when I’m not there.”

“Drew…” Jiro said breathless and overwhelmed. “It’s stunning. I adore it because its coming from you but I didn’t get you anything. I cant accept it. Not yet. When I get you a ring, you can give this one to me.”

“Cupcake,” Andrew said to Jiro, “you are still new to the being-in-love-with-the-same-sex dynamic so I’ll be an awesome best friend and lover and I’ll explain.” Jiro punched him playfully in the gut and Andrew fake-fell into Jiro’s nude lap, but he was careful not to let hit Jiro’s crotch. “Commitment rings come in pairs.” Andrew continued. “I have one of the same kind babe.” He handed the ring to Jiro and Jiro slid it on for Andrew on the wedding finger of his right hand.

“I love you J.” Andrew said, his voice laced with emotion.

“I love you more Drew.” Jiro said. Taking a calculated risk, Jiro added “and I know eventually, your parents will love you too.”

Andrew smiled sadly. “You are so optimistic Jiro.” Andrew said with a sigh. “As much as I love that about you, I cannot let myself fall into that delusion anymore. My parents will never accept what I am. They can’t see past my attraction to men to look at anything else,. They aren’t interested in all the other things I am or I could become. It think it’s time I moved on. I’m done chasing after the love my parents can’t bring themselves to give me. My case is that of the prodigal son that got no love from his parents even after they saw the truth.” he said with so much regret in his voice, his throat ached.

It wasn’t until Jiro leaned forward, kissed a tear from the corner of his eye, and hugged him tight that Andrew realized he was crying. What the hell? he asked himself. I prepared myself for this. I had my emotions under control..at least I did until Jiro spoke about my parents. So he wouldn’t see Jiro’s concerned face, Andrew closed his eyes. Jiro’s chest brushed away the last of Andrew’s tears. “Do you know why I started liking you and why I came into your room all those many nights ago?” Jiro asked Andrew suddenly.

“No.” Andrew replied as he let Jiro’s strength warm him from the inside out. “I don’t have a clue.”

“Its because you say what you mean and you mean what you say.” Jiro said with a sincere smile on his face. “That’s just you. That’s just the way you are. That’s the real Andrew…the same one that wasn’t scared to tell me that he was attracted to me that night and the same one that warned me that he’d kiss me till my knees went weak if I kept tempting him. You are blunt, yes; but that’s a strength, not a weakness. Never forget that.”

At that very moment, for Andrew, trying to push away his feelings for Jiro was like trying to hold onto a fistful of sand in the middle of a strong windstorm. Damn. when did Jiro get so good at finding all my soft spots? And when did he get so good at seeing the man I am inside?

“Are you going to beat yourself up forever for not being perfect?” Jiro asked Andrew with a soothing tone in his voice. “You don’t need to feel like it’s all on you. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. Your parents should be proud of you. They should be bragging to everyone either earshot how great their son is.” Winding a hand around the back of Andrew’s neck and fitting himself even closer, Jiro kissed him. “If no one else says it, I want you to know that I’m infinitely proud of you.”

A lump formed in Andrew’s throat and he found himself overwhelmed with Jiro’s openness and sincerity. Feeling the need to lighten the mood, Andrew asked playfully, “So I am officially your one and only, right?”

“Absolutely” Jiro answered with a small smile on his face. “Same question goes for you as well Drew. The night we were stuck in the elevator you mentioned something about you ex in the UK still wanting you back. Will you ever go back to him if he came begging? Am I your one and only boyfriend?” Jiro’s voice had a tinge of jealousy in it as he asked the question.

Andrew thought of all the other hot women and men out there, and he considered all the conquests he would miss out on if he said yes to Jiro. There was no contest. Andrew knew that he would rather talk to Jiro, experience that feeling of pride every time he made Jiro laugh, hold his strong yet delicate hand through movies, and keep him warm at night. There wasn’t anything a casual encounter could offer that could compare to the absolute sense of completeness Andrew felt with Jiro.

“No,” Andrew answered. “You are not just my one and only boyfriend. You are me one and only. Period! I’m all yours Jiro.”

Beaming with smiles, Jiro kissed Andrew lightly. “I’m glad we sorted that out.” Jiro said. “Now that it’s all ironed out, I think I’ll have some plantain. I’m starving. I need to brush my mouth first though” Standing up, Jiro grabbed the duvet and started walking away from Andrew but Andrew pulled him down hard on the bed.

“I was thinking about eating as well but I’ve heard food is over-rated.” Andrew said, letting the duvet slide down Jiro’s muscled chest as he licked his lips.  Jiro laughed but his eyes were beginning to heat up. “Well, when you put it all sexy like that,” Jiro drawled in his smooth voice. Jiro moved into Andrew’s personal space, his hands already peeling Andrew’s boxers off. “I’m hard to please though. You’d have to sell a far brilliant idea than food to me. What did you have in mind?”

Andrew gave his lover a wicked smile. “If you come back to bed with your naked self, I’m sure we can negotiate.”

Jiro shook his head, even though he was already pulling Andrew’s boxers off Andrew’s body completely. “I don’t know. When I negotiate with you naked, I get very distracted.”

Andrew reached out and grabbed Jiro’s arm as his boxers fell away. “Good thing I never get distracted then. I’ll help you stay focused.” Andrew answered with a twinkle in his eyes.

“Oh yeah?.” Jiro asked teasingly.

“Hell yeah!” Andrew murmured with a wink.

Jiro let Andrew pull him in. They kissed softly, like they had all the time in the world. Jiro lay back to give Andrew ample space for nibbling on his muscles. As Andrew moved in to suck on Jiro’s nipples, his phone rang. Andrew ignored it. “Aren’t you going to answer your phone?” Jiro asked him

“Let it ring babe.” Andrew said, working his wicked lips all over Jiro’s rock hard nipples.

The phone rang again . Fighting to keep his physical need at bay and be the logical one, Jiro said “Pick it up Drew. It might be important. I’m not going anywhere”

Exasperated, Andrew groaned and said “Only because you want me to.” He checked the caller ID. “This better be good.” He picked it up. “Mofe, Hi. Thanks for the other day. I know I promised to call you with details but –”

He stopped mid-sentence and his face turned from a smile to a concerned frown in an instant. Jiro sat upright, noticing the change in Andrew. “What’s wrong?” Jiro mouthed.

Andrew ignored Jiro’s question and kept listening to what Mofe said on the other line. After a minute of listening, Andrew said “I know where that is. We’ll be right there.” He cut the call and sprung himself off the bed and grabbed his boxers.

“What’s going on?” Jiro asked again

Still nursing a hard-on in his boxers, Andrew grabbed his trousers and started wearing it. “Abbey and her mum were attacked. They are at the General hospital but Abbey’s condition is critical. Mofe managed to get Abbey and her mum to the hospital on time but he’s losing his mind with worry. If I know my cousin as well as I do, he’s going to blame himself, lose control, and have a manic episode in the hospital if he doesn’t get an update on her health soon.” Turning to look at Jiro, Andrew kissed Jiro on his forehead and said “I promise, we’ll continue our you-and-me time later. Get dressed. We’ve got to go right now.”

==========

Mofe made his way back towards Abbey’s hospital room after his call to Andrew. Voices floated toward him but the words didn’t register. He had let Abbey down. He hadn’t seen this coming. This had to be Jafar’s doing. No one else could possibly want to make Abbey or Tari suffer like this. Mofe hadn’t expected Abbey’s father to carry out his threats after he had punched him. Until the news of his death that morning, Jafar had been a walking time bomb who was ready to destroy any and everything in his path; even his own daughter. Even from the grave, Jafar still managed to torment Abbey. It was a wonder she wasn’t  taking out her daddy issues on him. Still feeling he could have prevented the incident from ever happening, Mofe’s guilt turned his stomach into a churning boiling pit of hate  for Jafar and the killer; and rage stole the air from his lungs. He certainly hadn’t expected Abbey to be in danger at any point when she was under his roof. He would never have left her alone or let her go to where her mum was if he had known it would result to this.

As he re-entered Abbey’s hospital room, Mofe forced himself to walk to the empty side of Abbey’s hospital bed, slumped into the chair and stare at her as she slept. “You have to get better baby,” Mofe whispered. “I need you. We have a lot of talking and figuring out to do about our future, our kids, and our life together. There’s so much I want to say but none of that matters now. The bottom line is that I love you Abbey, and I’ll be damned if I lose you.”

The doctor came in and checked Abbey’s vitals. Mofe sat quietly but held Abbey’s hand while the doctor made his notes on Abbey’s progress report sheet. For a few more minutes, Mofe simply sat, held Abbey’s hand, and watched her sleep. Mofe willed with all his energy that all his strength would flow through his grip on her hand and flow into her. Take it. Take everything baby. Take all the strength and time you need. Just don’t leave me. Don’t you dare die on me. I’d never recover from losing you.

As if hearing his wordless admonitions to her, Abbey slowly opened her eyes. She spotted Mofe and almost smiled. In a voice that was impossibly small, she said, “Mofe, thank God you are okay.”

Here she was, lying beneath bloodstained sheets in a hospital and she was worried about him. He fought back the tears that threatened to come crashing down. “Baby. Oh my darling,” He said. The doctor shot him an irritated look but Mofe was too strung up on Abbey to care. He wanted to say something calm and comforting but all that came out was “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. Don’t you dare die. Don’t you dare leave me. I can’t make it without you.”

She smiled weakly and said “I love you too. My mother… is she…”

“Don’t talk babe.” Mofe insisted gently, caressing her palm as he spoke. “Just try to rest.”

“So much blood.” Abbey shook her head and tears sprang to her eyes. “She may be dying. I have to find her.” Abbey tried sitting up but Mofe gently kept her pinned to the bed. “She’s going to be fine,” Mofe said. He didn’t know that. He hadn’t even asked anyone yet about Tari but he sure as hell wasn’t about to tell Abbey otherwise.  Mofe had a sudden flash of what the scene must have looked like. Images Abbey would have forever in her memory, courtesy of her father. His hand tightened into a fist on the hospital bed. His stomach rolled and he tasted the threat of vomit. “Please baby, just rest.” Mofe manages to say with a somewhat soothing voice.

Abbey reluctantly slipped back into unconsciousness. The doctor finished making his notes and exited the room quickly. Mofe kissed Abbey’s forehead and rushed after the doctor. He caught up with the doctor in the hospital corridor at the same time Andrew and Jiro  walked up to where he stood with the doctor in the hospital corridor. Too busy to acknowledge their presence, Mofe focused on the doctor and asked “Doctor, was Abbey…” His voice faltered. He didn’t want to ask this question but he had to know the answer. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Was she raped?”

“No, no.” the doctor said. “Thankfully, she was not raped.” More questions from Mofe revealed that Abbey had received fifty-two stitches in her hands and arms…defence wounds, the doctor had assumed. From the location of her injuries, the doctor presumed that Abbey had covered her face with her hands. None of her internal organs had been damaged but she had severe bruises on her thighs, stomach, and left breast. The blood clots around the regions were still fresh but a total recovery was very much expected. “Unfortunately,” the doctor said,  “her left  index finger was badly severed  when she fell. I have to be honest with you, there is a fifty percent chance that she will regain full motion of the finger. That said, you should bear in mind that the other fifty percent means that she may have limited motion on that finger when it heals; that is if it ever heals completely.”

Mofe couldn’t stand upright. He bent over and put his head in his hands. Andrew quickly walked over to his cousin and patted his back as a show of support and understanding. The doctor then added “You should be glad Mr Mofe. Not many people go through what Abbey went through and live to tell the tale. Let’s thank God for her life and pray for speedy recovery.”

Mofe straightened his posture, took in deep breaths, and breathed out a sigh of relief. He thanked the doctor and left him to do his work. As the doctor walked away to attend to other patients, Mofe turned to face Andrew and Jiro. “Thank you guys for coming.” Mofe said  “It means a lot to me and I’m sure it’ll mean a lot to Abbey too.”

“Anything for you Mofe.” Andrew said. “Tell us everything that happened.”

Mofe filled them in on the events and let out a shaky sigh when he finished. “I love her so much. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happens to her. I don’t know if I would be able to take it.”

“She’ll be fine.” Andrew encouraged.  “Abbey’s a fighter. She’ll get through this. You both will.”

“Thanks cousin!” Mofe attempted a smile. He failed miserably.

“How’s her mum?” Jiro asked

“Oh shit.” Mofe exclaimed. “I don’t know. I haven’t asked. I hope she’s okay. I promised Abbey she was okay. I have to find her.”

“We’ll come with you.” Andrew said

Together, all three men walked off in search of news on Tari.

==========

Mofe found the nurse’s station on the second floor . He stopped one of the nurses and asked for Tari but she gave him a look of distrust that all nurses seemed to have. They must have practiced in front of mirrors in nursing school. “Are you a family member?” the nurse asked.

Technically, the answer to that would be no. Mofe was in no way related to Tari. Then again, what truly constituted family? He didn’t think the nurse would want to get into a long philosophical debate on the matter so he gave the simple answer, “Yes.”

The nurse appeared unconvinced. Thankfully, She looked over-worked and stressed out. That probably was what worked in Mofe’s favour because the nurse decided to give Mofe the information she had. “Mrs. Tari lost a lot of blood and was barely alive when she was brought into the hospital.” the nurse said. “She still in surgery fighting for her life.” “I would expect it to be another hour or so before we can provide any more information.

“You must know more than that surely,” Mofe said, “Even off the record. Please tell me. I can take it. Just how bad is she?”

“Bad.” the nurse said softly. “But I believe she got here just in time.” She motioned to a small waiting room down the hall. “You can wait there with her husband if you like.”

Husband? Mofe was thrown by that remark. He turned to face Andrew and Jiro. “I thought Jafar was dead. Mofe said. “I saw it on the news this morning. If he isn’t, I swear I will drag that bastard outside and kill him myself for what he’s done to Abbey.”

“Calm down,” Andrew said gently as he stepped in front of Mofe to block his way.

“If someone hurt Jiro the way that bastard hurt Abbey, would you calm down?” Mofe asked Andrew. Mofe smirked as he saw the instant protective anger emanate from Andrew for Jiro’s protection. “Exactly,” Mofe said. “So get out of my way Drew.”

Andrew stepped back and let his cousin go. With each step decisive Mofe took, Andrew and Jiro trailed him behind. All three men strode down the waiting hall on the second floor where the nurse had said Tari’s husband was waiting. As Mofe turned into the waiting room, ready to punch Jafar and leave permanent damage in his face and groin, he was confronted with only one man.

And it was not Jafar.

His adrenaline was coursing though him like hot lava. To calm down, Mofe unclenched his fists . He instantly went from angry to confused.

“Uncle Tunde?”, both Andrew and Mofe said it in unison.

Tunde turned around, wishing it was the doctor coming to give him news on Tari’s condition. His disappointed face was also replaced with confused look. “Mofe? Andrew? What are you boys doing here?” Tunde asked.

“We came to see Abbey, Mofe’s girlfriend.” Andrew said. Mofe was still in shock.

“What are you doing here?” Mofe asked.

Tunde looked uneasy. “I’m here to see my Uhm…lady friend, Tari.” he managed to say.

“Oh my God.” Mofe said breathless. “You are the mysterious Tunde? Uncle Tee, You? Great. Just great.” Mofe said. “No wonder the house where I picked Abbey up from a couple of hours ago looked very familiar.” Mofe hadn’t been to his uncle’s new house but he had a faint idea of what it looked like from the pictures that Andrew had sent to him through Skype during one of their long conversations while Andrew was still in the UK.

Wait,” Jiro said to Mofe as he shook his head, trying to understand the situation. “He’s your uncle?”

Mofe and Andrew nodded.

“And you are all related?” Jiro asked Tunde, Mofe, and Andrew.

They all nodded.

“By blood?” Jiro asked still with disbelief.

Tunde, Mofe, and Andrew all looked at each other and took a few moments before nodding again in unison.

“So,” Jiro continued, “Tari and Abbey are dating different men with the same surname that happen to be members of the same extended family? This is one messed up rollercoaster. I’m not sure I can keep up.” Jiro said. No only were mother from the same household, Abbey and Jiro, once ex-lovers, were dating cousins from that very same extended family.

The three other men laughed. Jiro felt it was at his expense and he still had a confused look on his face. Eager to clear the air and put Jiro in the loop, Andrew was the one to speak. “Jiro, its not what you think.” Andrew said. “We were just joking Jiro. Uncle Tunde is Mofe’s dad’s best friend; my uncle’s best friend. We are all so close to him, we grew up calling him uncle Tunde. We are however not related by blood so its safe. There is nothing remotely close to incest or abomination here.”

Jiro gave a small laugh as he scratched his head. “Good to know.”

Mofe sat in the chair closest to Tunde and said “But the nurse said Tari’s husband was here.”

Tunde offered a hint of a smile. “Abbey asked one of the nurses to call me before they sedated her. I guess the nurse assumed I was Tari’s husband. I didn’t correct her because I figured she wouldn’t let me see Tari otherwise. Stupid hospital rules.”

“I hear you loud and clear Uncle Tee.” Mofe said. “I also did the same thing.”

“How’s Abbey?” Tunde asked with concern

“Lots of stitches and a broken pinkie but no internal damage.” Mofe said. “She’ll be okay.”

“Thank God.” Tunde said.

“Just how bad is Tari?” Mofe asked

Tunde nodded. “Lots of internal and external damage. That’s all I know.”

All four men sat together in silence for another hour until the doctor came out of the theatre and said. “She should be okay.” the doctor said. “We managed to contain the internal and external bleeding but we will have to monitor her progress and proceed from there. I’m optimistic she’ll make it though.”

“Thank you doctor.” Tunde said.

Mofe promised to come back downstairs to check on Tunde and Tari in a couple of hours with updates on Abbey. Tunde promised to have more updates on Tari by then. Once  Jiro and Andrew said their good bye’s to Tunde, Mofe, Jiro, and Andrew headed back to the emergency room to be with Abbey.

==========

… Eighteen Months Later

The flower arrangements? Ready!!!

obi-nwokedi-012

Abbey’s bouquet? Ready!!!

ABBEY'S BOUQUET

ABBEY’S BOUQUET

Mofe’ Watch? Ready!!!

MOFE'S WATCH

MOFE’S WATCH

Abbey’s make-up? Ready!!!

ABBEY'S MAKEUP

ABBEY’S MAKEUP

Mofe’s cufflinks? Ready!!!

MOFE'S CUFFLINKS

MOFE’S CUFFLINKS

Abbey’s earrings? Ready!!!

ABBEY'S EARRINGS

ABBEY’S EARRINGS

Mofe’s ring? Ready!!!

MOFE'S RING

MOFE’S RING

Abbey’s ring? Ready!!!

ABBEY'S RING

ABBEY’S RING

Mofe’s shoes? Ready!!!

MOFE'S SHOES

MOFE’S SHOES

Abbey’s shoes and bag? Ready!!!

ABBEY'S SHOES AND BAG

ABBEY’S SHOES AND BAG

Mofe’s suit? Ready!!!

MOFE'S SUIT

MOFE’S SUIT

Abbey’s gown? Ready!!!

ABBEY'S GOWN

ABBEY’S GOWN

Due to the number of weddings booked for the day, the church service was short and precise. When it came to the time for vows, the pastor officiating stressed the need to go strictly by the church’s way of doing things. Personal vows were frowned upon so only the traditional vows were said. After the vows, the couple were asked to shake on their promise as a sign of trust and fidelity.

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By the time Abbey and Mofe left the church premises in their wedding car two hours later, Abbey and Mofe were pronounced husband and wife.

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==========

The parking lot at the rented hall was jammed. Abbey was shocked when they pulled in. For some reason, she’d assumed this would be a small gathering. “Who are all these people? she asked Mofe “Are all these people here for our wedding reception?”

“You are a popular lady” Mofe teased.

As Abbey got down from the car, she spotted Edirin coming from the front entrance of the hall towards her. She was holding her son. Abbey’s excitement grew. She lifted her long white flowing wedding gown and she waved. “I was hoping I’d get a chance to see you before all the crazy begins.” she said as Edirin approached.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the church this morning Abbey.” Edirin said. “I had to feed Abdul before we came,” Edirin smiled.”Congratulations darling! You finally got married.”

“Thanks, Edirin.” Abbey said blushing. “Wow. I can’t believe its been eighteen months since you found out you were pregnant.”

“You are one to talk!” Edirin teased. “I still can’t believe its been eighteen months since you were attacked. I’m glad all your injuries are healed and all your scars have faded away”.

“I know right?” Abbey said beaming. “I was just lucky.”  Looking down at Abdul, Abbey reached her arms out. ” Oh my goodness. He has grown so much! Can I hold my godson?

“Sure.” Edirin said. “He’s eager to play with Aunty Abbey too. Just be careful. Don’t let him stain your wedding gown or pull out any of the sequins and stick it in his mouth. He’s teething.”

Abbey took the smiling playful baby in her arms “He’s my little prince. I don’t mind getting my wedding dress stained for him.” she said. ” I have already done the most important part of marriage: professing my love for Mofe in front of God and man in church. Now I just want to get my groove on.”

Another car pulled into the large parking lot where they stood and Bukunmi stepped out of the car narrowing her eyes at Abbey. “Young lady,” Bukunmi started, “what did I say about abandoning me in your quest for a little one-on-one time with Mofe? I said to let me know, not abandon me at the church looking for your sorry ass. You are lucky its your wedding day.”

As Abbey rolled her eyes at Bukunmi’s antics, Bukunmi walked over to Edirin and hugged her long and hard. “How are you darling? Oh my goodness, Is that Abdul? He’s such a big boy. He’s so beautiful Edirin.”

“That’s because he looks like his godmother.” Edirin teased.

“Don’t mind his godmother.” Bukunmi said. “She abandoned me in church and went to suck face with Mofe in the car that brought them to the reception. I had to hitch a ride with Jiro and Andrew.

Edirin looked at Abbey with a teasing look on her face. “Abbey! You sef! Why did you leave her?”

Bukunmi answered for Abbey. “Don’t mind her” Bukunmi said. “She’s a little on edge because she and Mofe wrote their own vows but the officiating pastor didn’t let them read it. They went along with the customary church wedding without the twenty first century drama of ‘writing vows yourselves’ as the pastor so put it.”

Abbey pouted. “I really wanted to hear what Mofe was going to say and I really wanted him to know just how I feel our vows are meant to mean something to both of us, not just be a quick everyday church requirement to finish the ceremony.” Sighing, Abbey said “Anyway, its cool. I’m over it.”

Wearing tuxedos and looking good enough to eat, Andrew and Jiro came out of the car Bukunmi had jumped out of and walked over to where Abbey, Bukunmi, and Edirin stood. “Don’t leave us alone with Bukunmi anymore.” Andrew said to Abbey. “She can talk for the ages.” Bukunmi gave him a slight punch and he feigned hurt. Jiro stepped closer to Abbey and gave her a side hug, careful not to squash little Abdul in her arms. He kissed her forehead and said “You look beautiful my darling.”

image (27)

Abbey blushed and her heart beat fast at Jiro’s words. This man was always going to be in her life somehow. She was glad she had rekindled their friendship. “Thanks Jiro.” she said.

Andrew spotted Mofe a short distance away making a phone call. He kissed Abbey on her forehead, hugged Abdul, and went over to greet him.

“Abdul looks at home in your arms. Abbey.” Jiro said. “You’ll be an awesome mother.”

“And you’ll be an awesome father and husband.” Abbey said to Jiro. “Speaking of husbands,” Abbey looked to see if Andrew was still with Mofe a short distance away. He was. She turned back and faced Jiro. “When are you going to pop the question to Drew? Its been three days since I helped you choose that perfect engagement ring for him. He’s not wearing it yet so I can only assume that you haven’t proposed to him yet. Why haven’t you? It’s time Jiro. Ask him already. He’s an awesome man and you both deserve to be happy”

Jiro turned towards where Andrew and Mofe stood. He watched Mofe say something to Andrew and heart leapt like a kid at the sound of an ice cream truck when his best friend and lover laughed heartily. Jiro couldn’t help but grin. And to think that eighteen months ago, I told him I’d never be ready for marriage. Time does change a lot of things, Jiro mused. He turned to face Abbey “Yeah, he’s pretty awesome.” Jiro said. “We both got our holidays approved for the same time. We’ll leave for London in four days. I’ll propose to him then. As for the being a great dad someday, we  are considering looking for a surrogate mother to carry my baby or Andrew’s. I know it will sound weird to our gay, bi, and straight Nigerian friends but I’d rather be happy with Andrew and build a life with him than hurt another woman the way I hurt you by not telling you how I felt about Andrew when I found out. Either way, I’m in it for the long haul with him.”

Abbey gave his hand a squeeze and asked the question she knew had been bugging Jiro ever since he opened up to her about his trip to his parents house. “And how are your parents taking all of this — you being with Andrew. I mean I know they know he’s been your best friend for so long. How are they warming up to the idea of you being with a man?”

“They aren’t.” Jiro said simply. “There’s no warming up to this on their part. I haven’t been able to win them over to see my side of things. My parents have just decided to ignore the man-on-man aspect of my life like it doesn’t exist. I mean, I have heard of parents trying to pray-the-gay-away but trying to ignore-the-gay-away is far worse. Trust me, I tried to do that too. It doesn’t work. Good thing Andrew prepared me for my parents actions as a possibility. As far as my parents are concerned, Andrew and my ‘alternate lifestyle’ don’t exist. Andrew’s fine with it so I guess I’m fine with it too. I’ll get over it… As long as I have Drew, I’m good.”

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Abbey hugged Jiro tight “That’s good!” Abbey said. “Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t do it. Relocate to another country if you have to but fight for the love you want. When you get to London in four days and you propose, call me the minute he says ‘yes’!. ”

Jiro laughed. “I will, don’t worry.” Jiro promised. “Let me go congratulate your husband and steal Drew away. I’m sure they will call you and Mofe in any minute from now to come into the reception hall.” He kissed her lightly on the cheek, hugged Bukunmi and Edirin, and gave Abdul a kiss on his forehead before walking towards Mofe and Andrew.

All three ladies played with little Abdul for a couple of minutes. The smiles on their faces never wavered…babies have that oga-at-the-top effect on people, Abbey mused. Spotting Mofe walking towards them as Andrew and Jiro entered into the reception hall, Abbey handed Abdul back to his mother and said “Speaking of oga-at-the-top, here comes my husband now — My husband, Abbey repeated to herself. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of saying those words.

“Babe, it’s show time.” Mofe said as he approached her. “They are calling us to dance in.” Abbey started walking but she noticed only Edirin and Abdul were coming along. She turned back to see Bukunmi whisper something into Mofe’s ear. “You coming baby?” she asked.

Mofe looked at her and smiled. “I’m with you till the very end baby.” he said “Let’s go.”

===

Abbey received a greeting like she’d never expected. More than a hundred people applauded as she walked through the door. The hall was beautifully decorated and they had even managed to get  one of her favourite celebrities to attend and perform at her wedding.

After she and Mofe danced to their seats, the wedding procession went by quick. Before long, the next programme on the menu was the father and daughter dance. Mofe had wanted her to cancel it off the wedding programme but Abbey had insisted on keeping it. She knew she had only known him for a short while but in the last eighteen months, Tunde had been more of a father to her than her own father ever was. She had however asked that Mofe and her mother have a Mother and Son dance as well. She got up and met him on the dance floor. As the song started playing in the background, she noticed  from the corner of her eyes that Mofe had dragged her mother to the dance floor.

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“How’s the guest of honour doing?” Tunde asked as he slow-danced with her, all eyes on the two couples dancing on the dance floor.

“Great,” Abbey said. “I’ve been watching my mum. She looks more beautiful and better every passing day”

“I think so too. The therapy has helped her a lot” Tunde said

“I have a feeling it’s more than the therapy.” Abbey said. “Its all thanks to you that she’s finally fulfilled that dream she’s always had of being happy.” Abbey replied.

“I’m glad you see it that way.” Tunde said. He swirled Abbey around before bringing her back close. “I was going to ask you if you were okay with me asking for you mother’s hand in marriage. I intend on proposing tonight, if that’s okay with you.” Tunde said, his anxiety at her response evident.

Abbey grinned at him and said  “I would have it no other way. Welcome to the family, ‘dad’.” She tried the word on for size and it fit Tunde perfectly. She hugged him tightly as the song finished.

After Mofe hugged her mum, Tunde took Tari’s hand and led her to sit. Abbey had already started walking back to her seat when she heard Mofe’s voice through the loudspeakers. What in the world? She turned back to find Mofe holding the microphone and still standing on the dance floor. He winked at her.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Mofe began. “Can I have your attention please. Thank you for coming and celebrating with me and my beautiful wife. For those of you who weren’t able to make it to the church service, we thank you for gracing us with your presence here.” He walked over to Abbey and continued. “However, today will be a waste if I don’t say how I truly feel in my heart. Thanks to our good friend Bukunmi, I got to know only a couple of minutes ago that my wife was feeling the same way. I wrote down my vows on the altar of my heart and I want my wife to hear them from my lips, in front of God and man, here and now.”

Abbey couldn’t see clearly. Her eyes were clouded with tears as she looked into Mofe’s eyes. She searched the crowd looking for Bukunmi and smiled at her friend as she saw her standing close by with a handkerchief. Bukunmi rushed over, gave Abbey the handkerchief and squeezed her hand tightly. “Thank you BK,” was all Abbey could say.

Bukunmi winked at her and whispered “Its your wedding day. He’s your husband. This is your moment. You deserve it.” With a light kiss to her cheek, Bukunmi exited the dance floor, leaving only husband and wife on the floor.

“Abbey,” Mofe said as he started with his vows; ” I could promise to hold you and to cherish you. I could promise to be there in sickness and in health. I could say ’till death do us part.’ but I wont. Those vows are for optimistic couples, the ones full of hope; and I do not stand here on my wedding day optimistic or full of hope. I an not optimistic, I am not hopeful.”

Abbey twisted the beautiful ring on her wedding finger and looked at Mofe as if he had slapped her. How can he say these things to me? I thought marriage was all about these things…the very things he’s saying he won’t do.  Her brows furrowed and she opened her mouth to speak but Mofe held a finger to her lips and continued.

“I do not stand her on my wedding day optimistic or full of hope. I an not optimistic, I am not hopeful. I AM SURE, I AM STEADY AND I KNOW!!! You are a breathtaking reflection of God’s love for me. You are my mate, my soul, my love, and my heart; and it doesn’t matter what happens in this life as long as you are with me. Of this I am sure…you are my partner, my lover, and my very best friend. My heart — my heart — beats for you and you alone. So on this day before God and everyone present here, I promise you this. I promise to lay my heart in the palm of your hands, I promise you: Me.”

Some people in the crowd echoed an “awwww” and Bukunmi wiped the tears from her eyes. Clearing her throat and taking the microphone, Abbey gave her own vows.

“Mofe,” Abbey started. “When I was a little girl, I wanted fairytales, princes, and bouncy castles. As I grew up, I didn’t want any of those things anymore. Instead, I craved heart-breaking, earth-shattering, mind blowing love. You have given me all these and more. Loving you comes with zero pain. You get me in a way that nobody else does. When I look at you, I know that there is a God. Thanks to you, I know that He loves me so much that he took the time to create you just for me. You held my hand in the darkness when no one else bothered to and you pulled me into the light. I love you above my past and beyond my present. I am alive and at my best when I’m with you. I love you from my soul…the space where only you and God dwell. No matter what happens from here on out, I promise to stand by you, be faithful to you, and live everyday thankful to God for you. I promise you; Me.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Mofe whispered “I love you” to Abbey. He kissed her passionately and she opened up for him with willingly and with passion. The crowd applauded in unison and started trooping out to the dance floor to congratulate the couple. In a matter of minutes, the dance floor was covered with money from the guests spraying the couple with different denominations of Naira and other currencies.

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Abbey didn’t know when her tears stopped. she kissed Mofe and hugged him. “How was that for wedding vows?” he asked as he dragged her close to himself before anyone else stole her away for a dance.

“Perfect.” She said “Simply perfect.”

“If you think that was perfect, wait until you see what I’ve got planned for tonight.” Mofe said, an evil gleam dancing in his eyes.

“I am a girl with a flair for surprises” Abbey said “So surprise me hubby!” Behind her smile was a smirk as she thought of her own little plans for him tonight.

“I know that smile.” Mofe said as he looked at her curiously. “What do you have up your sleeve Abbey?”

“Lets just say I’m going to –” She whispered the rest of her sentence into his ear and his eyes widened in shock and excitement.

“Are you serious?” Mofe asked breathless. “Don’t get my hopes up Abbey.”

She simply smiled.

“I have to say though, If you are really going to do that to me, you will make my heart –” Mofe whispered the rest of his sentence into her ear.

Abbey gave a hearty laugh. “I look forward to it.”

Mofe’s face turned serious. He brought his lips close to hers and said “I can get us out of here in less than thirty minutes so we can start the honeymoon from the car. That way, you can tell me what else you’ll do to me in the car while I take my time to tear your gown off you.”

She planted a kiss on his lips and laughed into his chest. It feels good to hear her laugh without a worry in the world, Mofe thought. Abbey looked up from his tuxedo and said “Not so fast babe. A girl’s got to have her secrets.” she teased. “Don’t worry, you’ll know eventually. You know what they say: good — no, great — things come to those who wait for it”

“Oh yeah?” Mofe teased. “Say’s who?”

” It’s in the bible babe. Habakkuk 2:3.” Abbey said as a matter-of-factly. “Just in case you don’t know, it says…”

As Abbey opened her mouth to recite the bible verse, Mofe joined her in reciting as well. Together, they said the words in Habakkuk 2:3 together as an acknowledgement of God’s fulfilled promise to them.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” HABAKKUK 2:3

THE END

THE END

THE END.

IT’S BEEN AN AMAZING THREE MONTHS (14 WEEKS)!!!

THANK YOU FOR READING.

THE CONTROVERT WILL RETURN!!! 

 

I look forward to your comments!

Soundtrack for Episode 13: MAKE MY HEART by Toni Braxton

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Guilty Pleasures

 

Roulette Of The Damned: IF IT KILLS ME!!! (EPISODE XII)

… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!

Andrew was not in the mood to meet any guy. Just because he and Jiro were not in a good place at the moment didn’t mean he wanted to spend his days getting to know another man, no matter how hot he might be. Irritated, Andrew asked Funke, “Didn’t you just hear what I said? It’s only the two of us that came here. We aren’t expecting anyone else.”

Mofe tapped Andrew’s hand and said “You might want to take a look at the guy before you say that.”

Feeling betrayed, Andrew looked at Mofe in surprise and said “You too? You know that I’m not interested in anyone else Mofe. Why would you tell me to look at another guy. I’ll never be over Jiro and I’m not interested in any other guy, not matter how hot he is.”

Noticing the waitress looking uncomfortable with the conversation, Mofe said to her, “Can you please get us our bill. Thank you.” As she hurried away quickly, Mofe said under his breath “You idiot, calm down and look at the guy already. Stop being such a difficult bitch.”

Funke, the waitress, came back with the bill and handed it to Mofe. Andrew whispered under his breath so only Mofe could hear him. “Don’t call me a bitch, bitch. And I’m calm.” Sighing heavily, Andrew asked “Okay, so where’s this must-see guy you want me to see so badly.”

Smiling, Mofe pointed towards to front door of the bar. “Over there. Sexy guy in the black shirt.”

Andrew looked at where Mofe was pointing to. The minute he saw who the sexy guy in black was, Andrew dropped his beer and his hand sprang free like he’d been electrocuted. The bottle bounced off the table and hit the grungy carpet with a thump. Foam splattered everywhere, soaking his arm and spraying up the side of his face. Sudden heat suffused his entire body. A burning hot point of flame centred itself in his chest and banked slightly to the left to flare brightly inside his shattering heart. I’m having a heart attack, Andrew’s head told him. As the wave of heat rushed from his chest region to his boxers, his shaft sprung to life like it was on salute. Okay, so maybe it’s not a heart attack.

Andrew registered the sound of Funke angry and squealing about the mess he had made of the beer and knew he should respond somehow, do something. He just couldn’t think. Or breathe. Jiro is Here. You’re not imagining it– He’s really here. Andrew absolutely couldn’t tear his eyes away from Jiro either In case he vanished again in an instant and it was all a dream. Jiro stared back at him and pulled at Andrew’s iron will like a magnet.

Mofe cleared his throat.

The deep rumbling sound of Mofe’s chuckling finally intruded into Andrew’s focus on Jiro and his sudden appearance. “For someone who asks me why I chose Abbey, you seem to find it easy to forget that any other person exists whenever Jiro is around.” Mofe said smiling. “It’s actually kinda poetic.” Even though Jiro was still standing like a statue by the or the bar and Andrew was towards the back of the bar, Mofe still spoke like Jiro and Andrew were standing beside each other. “Maybe I should leave you two alone so you can catch up on things. We can have drinks another time Drew.”

Even though he had heard everything Mofe had said, he was not interested in looking away from Jiro. Despite his lack in interest in looking at anyone or anything else, Andrew eventually looked at Mofe to thank him for dragging him out of the house. As Andrew looked at Mofe, he realized that tearing his eyes off Jiro actually hurt in a weird way. As it was, the sight of Jiro had made Andrew hard in a public place. Embarrassed  he said “Jesus Jiro, I’m so sorry. I’m being such a dick. Its just that Jiro…oh my God, he’s actually here. Trying to understand how Jiro could have walked into the same bar he and Mofe were having in a drink out of the hundreds of bars in Lagos, Andrew cautiously asked “Wait, Mofe did you– was this your idea?”

With the biggest grin on his face, Mofe said “Yes. actually no. It was  Abbey’s. Now make it worth it already. He’s a hot-headed man but he’s still your man. So, go get your man.” Mofe winked.

Happy for the first time in three weeks, Andrew smiled an appreciative smile to his cousin and said “Thank you Mofe. You and Abbey rock!.”

Still smiling, Andrew turned his head towards the door of the bar to look to at Jiro.

Jiro wasn’t there anymore. Panicking, Andrew looked all over the bar but couldn’t see Jiro anywhere.

He was gone…

No…no…no. Andrew’s heart felt like it was going to jump out of his chest with the pain and sense of loss he felt.

Not again!

==========AND NOW on Roulette Of The Damned!!!==========

—– IF IT KILLS ME!!! —–

In the art of war, if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the approaching battles. If you know only yourself and not your enemy, for every victory there is also defeat.

IF IT KILLS ME!!!

IF IT KILLS ME!!!

Andrew quickly paid Funke her bill and dropped a large tip apologising for the mess he had made. He ran after Jiro but only got outside fast enough to watch Jiro’s car pull away. Mofe ran outside and met Andrew looking lost and confused. “Where’s Jiro?” Mofe asked as he looked up and down the street. “Did you catch up with him before he left?”

Looking at Mofe like he was the most irritating human on the planet, “Does it look like I caught up with him?” Andrew asked and answered before Mofe could speak. “No, Mofe. Jiro is one fast fuck when he wants to be. He clearly didn’t want to be here and he must have felt cajoled to come here today.”

“Damn it.” Mofe said. He looked truly disappointed.

“Did you set this up?” Andrew asked Mofe as he swirled round to look at him. Mofe took an unconscious step backward because he could see that Andrew was livid. “Was this your idea?” Andrew was seething and he didn’t know why. All he knew was he had to take his frustration out on someone somehow.

“No.” Mofe said defensively. “I told you before already. It was Abbey’s idea. She wanted to come to your office over a month ago to apologise for everything that went down between both of you and mend fences with you and Jiro but Bukunmi had advised her against it. Apparently, Bukunmi noticed you and Jiro had a major falling out around that same time. In truth, she said that a lot of people at work noticed.” Andrew flinched. Mofe sighed, wiped the sweat off his brow and kept talking. “Three weeks ago, Abbey planned a surprise getaway package for you and Jiro as her personal apology to the both of you but she cancelled it last minute…something about Bukunmi saying it wasn’t the best time for the both of you to be getting such a package because you were dealing with things in your relationship. So far, it is obvious that you and Jiro are not exactly on talking terms and Abbey is concerned. She personally believes that three weeks is a long time to have a fall out in a relationship but she was certain you wouldn’t have come here if she had been the one to invite you so she sent me instead. She also called Jiro and said she wanted to mend fences. That’s why he was here. Her master plan was to ignite the spark you and Jiro share when you saw each other again. She obviously didn’t think of how ugly it could get or just how angry Jiro must be at you. I’m sorry Drew. I should have told you.”

Andrew felt like an ungrateful bigot for shouting at Mofe the way he had. Mofe sounded so sincere, Andrew didn’t have the heart to remain angry at his cousin. “Its okay Mofe.” Andrew said as shoulders drooped in defeat. “It all my fault. I messed things up and now I’ve lost Jiro for good.” Putting one hand on his head and another on his waist, Andrew continued. “I said some horrible things. I destroyed what I had with him without even knowing. To hell with all my good intentions! I’m the one person that should have been on Jiro’s side even if everyone else in the world abandoned him. If he didn’t want to be with me, he would have told me. Instead, I pushed him to make that decision of leaving me because he thought it was what I wanted. Now I’ve lost him for good. He’ll never listen to me at this point.”

Without warning, Mofe tapped the back of Andrew’s head. Andrew frowned his face in pain and yelped “Ouch! What the hell was that for?” He asked as he rubbed his throbbing head.

“That was meant to help you get your head back in the bloody game” Mofe replied. “Snap out of your depression this instant or I swear I’ll give you a backhand slap next. Quit being a bitch! Granted, you said some things to Jiro that you shouldn’t have said and he’s mad at you, and rightly so. It still doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be happy.”

“Mofe,” Andrew started. “You don’t get it. It complica—-”

Mofe swung his hand to tap the back of Andrew’s head again but Andrew ducked his head from Mofe’s painful palm just in time.

“Quit hitting me Mofe!” Andrew yelled.

“I’ll stop hitting you when you start doing what you need to do.” Mofe replied in his matter-of-fact voice. “The thing about Jiro right now, the thing you don’t seem to realise is that he is very dangerous right now because he is very angry at you. He’s a walking suitcase nuke waiting to go boom because he is not thinking like your best friend anymore. Right now, he is thinking like a victim. He is thinking like a boyfriend. He is thinking like a man who’s heart has been broken by the last person in the world he’d ever have expected to break it. He is a credible threat to you right now and if given the chance, he’d most likely beat you into a comma or a coffin. It’s time to fold and give, Andrew. You fucked up but you can still make things right.

“How?” Andrew simply asked.

“What do you mean ‘how’ Andrew?” Mofe asked irritated. “You already know how! Give Jiro whatever he wants. Give him anything and everything he asks for except an exit from the relationship! Don’t let him go no matter what. Give him everything except that.”

“There are laws against stalking, you know” Andrew mumbled

Mofe stared at Andrew like he was addressing a five year old child “Like that has ever stopped you before. Besides, don’t laws don’t apply in Nigeria and you know it.” Taking a softer approach to his tone of voice, Mofe asked Andrew “Do you love him?”

Andrew’s eyes got glassy for a brief second and he had to look away from Mofe. “That isn’t –” He begun to say but Mofe cut him short.

“It’s a simple Yes or no question Drew.” Mofe said. “Do you love Jiro?”

Taking in a shaky breath, Andrew looked at the sky for a brief moment before he finally answered.”More than life itself… more than the air I breathe. More than –”

“Good.” Mofe said. “Then give whatever the hell you have to give for the sake of what and who you love. Give him the damn moon if you have to. Go to him Andrew. Save your friendship and your relationship. Its a Saturday. Where would he be on a Saturday night?”

“Home.” Andrew said wearily. “We were meant to have guys night as always.”

“So meet him at home.” Mofe suggested. “If you r lucky, you’d catch up with him, but you need to go now to beat any kind of Saturday evening traffic!”

Andrew looked at his watch. He could still make it. He fetched his car keys from his pockets and ran to his car a few feet away. Before he got in, he looked at his cousin and said “Thank you Mofe. I owe you big time. Thank Abbey too for me as well. If all goes well, you both may just have saved me from a life of loneliness.”

“Yeah yeah.” Mofe said easily, waving off Andrew’s thanks. “Happy we could help. Now get to driving already! Go get him and I hope to God that you have good news for me on Monday. Abbey will kill me if she thinks I messed up her chances of playing match maker or cupid or something.”

Andrew smiled at Mofe. I hope to God what I’m about to do doesn’t backfire, Andrew thought. I hope I’m not to late to win Jiro back. Although by now, Andrew figured God had probably washed his hands off the whole affair. A bisexual man trying to get the courage to run after — and catch up with — his once-straight-now-bisexual male lover in a country built on overtly sanctimonious religious beliefs, sexual prejudices, and a passed law that insisted on throwing individuals into the farthest bowels of the earth with a fourteen year jail sentence for being sexually attracted to the same sex? It would be nothing short of a miracle if God heard his prayer about getting Jiro back. For all he knew, God was probably off elsewhere listening to a choir concert or saving starving babies from death in some remote part of the world.

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Andrew gave a quick nod in Mofe’s direction and jumped into the car. He could feel his head starting to hurt from an oncoming migraine, his ears were ringing from the loud music from inside the bar, and his heart…well, that was miles ahead of him down the road in the hands of the sexy man wearing grey that had sped off after seeing him only moments ago.

All Andrew wanted was the chance to tell Jiro how he truly felt.

He put the key in the ignition, started his car and drove off.

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I’m coming Jiro…I’m coming!

==========

Jiro knew he was driving like a mad man that had just escaped from a psyche ward but he didn’t care. He was angry enough to kill. He could not believe that Abbey had pulled a bait and switch on him tonight. He had ignored her call twice during the day before she sent him a text message explaining that it was important that she spoke with him via a telephone call. Her text had literally begged him to pick up her call and he hadn’t had the heart to ignore her so he had reluctantly obliged. She said she had wanted to make amends and build their friendship from scratch. So far, she was off to a very bad start.

As he approached the traffic light on a major road, he honked his horn for the car in front of him to move quickly so that they could beat the green light before it turned red but the car kept moving leisurely.

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Just as the car in front of him saw the light was on yellow, it sped past the traffic light and as the lights turned red, Jiro tried to speed past but three LASTMA officials jumped in front of him.

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“Please officer,” Jiro pleaded. “No vex. I didn’t mean to run the traffic light when it had turned red. It was the car in front of me. It –”

The LASTMA official stopped Jiro from talking too much. “Oga, let’s not talk too much. You ran the traffic light. That’s all I care about. Open your car.”

Knowing his excuses would not fly, Jiro unwillingly opened the back doors of his car and let the LASTMA officials get in.

Fuck, Jiro thought. This is all Abbey’s and Andrew’s fault.

Thirty minutes later, Jiro was driving home with his wallet N5000 lighter. I hate this country, Jiro thought to himself. All officers of the law ever care about is just bribery.

==========

Andrew got outside Jiro’s house and noticed all the lights were off. He got down and did a walk through round the entire house but there was no sign of life anywhere. Jiro’s car was not parked outside either. He’s not home, Andrew realized. Maybe he decided to go somewhere else because he knew I’d chase him. Just my damn luck. He sat down. I guess I’ll just have to wait for him.

After ten minutes, Andrew’s thoughts began to run wild. Jiro had gotten a good head start from the bar but Andrew had beaten him home. Something was wrong. Thoughts of Jiro running into the arms of another man or woman to tell his woes to made Andrew want to crawl into the floor and waste his life. He had no idea what he’d do if Jiro had found someone else. Then again, with the way Jiro had sped down the road when he was fleeing from the bar, Andrew began to worry if Jiro had gotten himself involved in an accident. The image of Jiro bleeding out in a ditch somewhere on the brink of life and death, calling out his name or cursing Andrew’s lineage for causing the accident shook Andrew out of his reverie. I have to find him, Andrew decided as he got up in his panicked state. I just have to.

As he got up and started running to his car when he saw Jiro’s car pulling into the car park. Jiro is safe. Thank God. Getting down from his car, Jiro barked “What do you want here you bastard?”

“I came to see you Jiro.” Andrew said. “We need to talk.”

All Jiro could remember was the embarrassment he had received from the LASTMA officials and how his wallet was N5000 lighter. “Get out of here Andrew. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to speak to you. I don’t want to so much as breathe in the same as you right now or ever!

As Andrew started walking towards Jiro, Jiro gave Andrew a pointed look and said “Get the fuck away from me and my house before I beat you to a pulp.”

Okay… Andrew thought. So Jiro may be safe and sound but he’s in kill-mode and I’m his target. I don’t give a damn. I’m still not going anywhere. If he’s going to kill me, he can get it over with already.

Andrew stopped advancing towards Jiro but he stood his ground and refused to make any move to leave. “I mean it,” Jiro threatened.

“No,” Andrew said calmly.

“No?” Jiro asked, surprised at the balls Andrew had grown all of a sudden.

“No!” Andrew said with more gusto in his voice.

Jiro was too tired to deal with Andrew’s bullshit. “Suit your damn self then,” Jiro said. He pushed Andrew out of his way and walked up the stairs leading to his house. Jiro stormed to his front door, opened the door and walked in. Jiro knew he wasn’t in the mood to listen to Andrew right now so he attempted to slam the door immediately after he entered but Andrew was faster. Andrew slipped in and made his way directly to the living room saying “No more hiding. we have to talk.”

ANDREW

ANDREW

Jiro closed his eyes and blew out a breath. “Get out of my house now.”

Andrew dug his legs into the carpet and stood his ground. “I said No. We have to talk. I am not leaving until you have a conversation with me today Jiro. You will have to kill me first.”

Jiro took a menacing step towards Andrew “Sound’s like an awesome idea.” Jiro said, ” so don’t think I wont take you up on that offer of killing you.”

Andrew smiled. At least Jiro was having a conversation with him and not ignoring him. That was more progress than he had gotten in the last three weeks. “Go ahead.” Andrew said. “Make my day. Put me out of my misery.”

Jiro wanted Andrew out of his house so he could drown his sorrows at the bottom of a whiskey bottle but it was obvious Andrew was determined to have his way no matter what. Jiro  sighed. “I’ve had a long night Andrew,” Jiro said. “Say what you want to say and get the hell out of my house.”

“I want you back” Andrew stated simply

Jiro didn’t think twice. He already had his answer at the ready. “Fuck you Andrew.”

“I’d like that,” Andrew said. “In fact, scratch that. I’d love for you to fuck me but that isn’t why I’m here. I’m here right now because I need you back.”

Jiro made his way towards the whiskey bottle. If he was going to listen to this bullshit, he might as well do it drunk. “People in hell want cold water but they cant get it either,” Jiro said. “I’m sure you’ll survive. If on the off-chance you don’t survive, fantastic! You can die for all I care.” Jiro got a glass and started pouring out the whiskey. “I don’t care if you need me to donate blood for you or whatever you claim you need me for. I don’t care if Jesus Christ himself asked me to take you back as he hung on the cross. Jesus is not me. Jesus forgives. Jesus saves. I’m not that kind. I swear on the grave of my ancestors, I will kill you on the spot if you touch me.”

“Good,” Andrew said, raising his voice as well. “You’ll need to touch me to kill me. At least I’d get you to touch me before I die because frankly, not touching you or being close to you has been killing me every minute since you left and cut me out of your life. I would go to the highest mountain, offer any necessary sacrifice, and come out of the closet for the world to know just to be with you again Andrew.”

Jiro drank his double shot of whiskey in one gulp and slammed the glass cup on the bar table. Jiro looked at Andrew with a pointed look and said, “And the republic will burn and the seas will run blood and the four horsemen will ride just because you wants to be with me?”

Andrew gave Jiro a curt nod and said “Precisely.”

“What do you want Andrew?” Jiro barked?

“To earn you.” Andrew said simply.

“Fuck you!” Jiro said angrily before taking another gulp of the whiskey from his glass cup.

Andrew took a step closer and spoke with confidence. His adrenaline was at an all time high and he knew that it was dangerous getting close to a drunk Jiro because he was even more unpredictable then. Andrew didn’t care. He had to weather the storm that was Jiro to get the rainbow that was Jiro’s love. “You asked me to earn you if I wanted you and I’m going to do just that even if it kills me.” Andrew said. “I love you Jiro.”

Jiro couldn’t think straight. He took a gulp of whiskey directly from the bottle.

“Do you hear me Jiro?” Andrew said louder, his voice laced with more emotion than he had bargained for. “I am in love with you.”

Jiro dropped the bottle of whiskey slowly and turned to stare Andrew down. “And how does that change anything that has happened Andrew? What’s the point of this exercise in pain?”

Taking a chance at broke, Andrew asked Jiro “Do you still love me?”

Jiro looked away from Andrew, his emotions getting the better of him. “What does it matter?” Jiro asked quietly.

JIRO

JIRO

“It matters.” Andrew said immediately. “Love is an emotion and is a mixture of pain and pleasure. The two are sometimes inseparable. Love knows nothing of rank or riverbank. It could spark between the Queen and the poor Vagabond who plays the King and their love should be minded by each, because love denies blight the soul we owe to God.” Andrew paused and asked again. “I ask you again, do you still love me? Its a yes or no question.”

Jiro shifted his weight from his left leg to his right, hesitated for a bit and said. “Yes, I do but I can’t do this anymore. I cannot keep placing my faith and trust in you when all you do is bitch about how things will never work out between us. Even if you claimed you’d change from now on, I cannot possibly bring myself to believe you enough to continue a relationship with you”

Andrew moved carefully and set his car keys on the table. He put his hands in the air in open surrender and said “Okay. I deserved that, but you might want to think about whether you believe I’d ever deliberately hurt you. You might not trust me to always be optimistic or to make you feel like you didn’t make a mistake choosing to be with me; but you know you can trust me to always be there for you and step up to be the kind of man that deserves you when it counts. You know me.”

Jiro huffed. “Correction,” Jiro said “I thought I knew you”

Andrew shook his head and added more gusto into his voice “You–know–me.” he said. “You know me better than anyone else. You can trust me to keep my promises when I make them. You know you can trust me with your life like I trust you with mine.”

“Yes Drew, I know I can trust you with my life,” Jiro said in a sure voice.

Andrew breathed a little easier and almost smiled. Jiro stared directly at Andrew and repeated his mantra for the umpteenth time in his head He has kind eyes but the soul of the devil before he spoke again.

“Unfortunately Andrew, even though I trust you with my life,  I cannot trust you with my heart.” Jiro stated categorically, the iceberg of indifference coming back into his eyes.

Andrew’s smile crumbled to dust. Jiro turned and started walking away from him when Andrew desperately yelled “If nothing else, fight for the three percent!”

Jiro turned around, a confused look gracing his handsome features. “What?”

“Three percent!” Andrew repeated, his voice a bit calmer.

Jiro snickered. “What about three percent? What the hell? Is that meant to mean something to me?”

Standing his ground, Andrew shrugged and looked directly at Jiro, “It should. They are your words. You said them to me.”

Fighting to remain level-headed and calm, Jiro breathed in an out before speaking again. “Since you seem to remember so much about what I said, why don’t you remind me what I said about three percent?”

“Sure.” Andrew said. He remembered the conversation like it happened an hour ago because it was the last conversation they had together. It was the same conversation that he had been playing in his mind over the last three weeks. “You told me that you are a one-man-wrecking ball. You said you know the odds are against us. You said our relationship’s survival rate is 3% and even though it’s bad, its not nothing. Those were your words, not mine. You asked me not to give up on us so here I am… I’m fighting for us.”

Jiro held up his hands in anger and pointed them at Andrew like poisoned daggers. “Andrew, you are a son-of-a-bitch oh. When I asked you to fight for us, you gave me reasons why we would never work out. Now that I don’t want to be with you anymore, you decide that it’s time to throw my own words back at me. That’s low, even for you.

“What else can I say or do to make you see how sorry I am?” Andrew asked. He sounded so sincere but Jiro was in no mood for the guilt trip.

“You can start by getting the hell out of my house and my life.” Jiro said instantly before taking another gulp of his whiskey.

“I’m sorry Jiro.” Andrew said as he walked towards Jiro. “I can’t do that.”

“Get out now or so help me, you will regret the day you met me” Jiro said as he kept moving back, angling himself away from Andrew’s advancing frame.

“I can’t leave Jiro.” Andrew said. “I won’t leave you again. I’d rather die here and now.”

Jiro closed his eyes for one minute to stop his head from spinning. When he opened them, Andrew was looking at him like a dog that had destroyed his owners favourite pair of shoes.

“Jiro,” Andrew began.

“Please just stop.” Jiro snapped out.

“Please just try to understand my point of view for five minutes.” Andrew pleaded.

“I hate you.” Jiro hissed out. ” I left Abbey for you. I stood up for you with my parents. I fought for our relationship when everyone else in my life fought against it. The least you could have done was to make my efforts worth it. No one has ever hurt me the way you did. Do you know that? I hate you Andrew.”

Andrew was close to tears. He felt the lump in his throat but fought through it to keep talking. “I know I messed up. I’m sorry I fucked up. I was wrong and I’ll have for live with that guilt forever. I just need you to know that I am genuinely sorry and I will fight for you till I win you back. ”

Genuine remorse shone in Andrew’s eyes and body language but Jiro chose not to care. He wouldn’t care. He couldn’t let himself care. He refused to let himself be deceived and sucked into Andrew’s I’m-sorry crappy act to care anymore.

Steeling himself and his emotions, Jiro said. “You hurt me. I don’t forgive you. You are not forgiven.”

Exasperated, Jiro started advancing towards Andrew in anger. “I would have moved heaven and earth to save our relationship. I tried to convince you. Had you said the word, I would have lied for you. I would have stolen for you. I would have cheated for you. Damn it to hell I would have killed for you if I had to but you were too hung up on yourself to notice that I would have done anything for you. Thank you though. Your actions have shown me that the stupid Romeo and Juliet romance I was nurturing with you was doomed from the onset. Romeo and Juliet were teenagers and they died. I’m not a teenager and I’m not ready to die. I have had enough. This is not a romance novel. Life is not a romance novel.” Jiro turned back and started walking towards his room with the whiskey bottle. “Shut the front door when you leave.”

“Jiro, please wait, please.” Andrew said.

Drew sighed and waited. “What now, Drew?”

Andrew took a pause before he decided to speak. “It has taken me three weeks, two extra nights, twelve hours and” Andrew checked his wrist watch “thirty-four minutes to realise that I cannot exist without you… that I cannot breathe without you…. that the man I am without you is an empty shell. I’m nothing and you are everything and I need you to give me another chance. I demand another chance. we are worth another chance.

“How long has it been since we broke up?” Jiro asked Andrew.

“Three weeks, two nights, twelve hours and” Andrew checked his wrist watch “thirty-five minutes” Andrew replied instantly

Jiro smiled despite himself. “You’ve been counting?”

“I didn’t need to count.” Andrew said with a solemn look on his face. “My balls are dangling with the weight of my un-spilled sperm. That’s how I know how long it’s been.”

Jiro refused to feel joy or excitement that at the fact that Andrew had stayed completely celibate since their fight. Instead he looked for something else to latch his anger onto.

“What did you mean when you said ‘you demand another chance’? Jiro inquired.

Andrew raised his hands in subtle surrender. “Okay maybe that came out wrong.” he said. “Look. I’m a talker. It’s what I do. I talk. Ever since I was a child, I could talk myself out of anything. It’s how I got guys and girls to fall for me. It’s also how I made relationships happen and it’s equally how I broke relationships up when it suited my purpose. As I got older, I got better at it. Now, I’m a freaking genius at it. You, however, are not a talker. You are a man of action. You are not just a man of few words. You are a man of the fewest words possible so I don’t know what to say or how to get through to you. This is coming from me, the man who talks his way through anything. Some of that is on you because of the way you shut me out when you’re pissed but it’s mostly on me because despite all my talk, I keep pissing you off in the most random and most hurtful of ways. You see, I have no idea what to say here because you make me realize each day and especially right now is that all I have ever been is talk so I’ll just sit here and not run my mouth by saying words that are not worthy of you. So you can beat me up, drink till you pass out, and be as full-on crazy as you want to be because I’ll be right here with you and I’m not going anywhere. You have to forgive me, Jiro. You have to.”

“Like hell I do.” Jiro said. Andrew was slowly beginning to make him want to forgive him and the thought of letting his anger go made Jiro feel weak emotionally. “You might be able to move mountains and work miracles but you cant make me forgive you.”

Andrew had just about had it with the begging. He was sure now that Jiro wasn’t going to kill him so he decided the best thing to do was to quit begging and be a whiny bitch about things.”Forgive me already, damn it.” Andrew yelled as he moved towards Jiro. “I’ve been there for you through everything. Yes, I’m a dick but you still love me.” He beat his chest and raised his hands up in the air in exasperation. “This is the man that you love…the flawed man in front of you is the one you love. Don’t try denying it because you know you do. You said so a couple of minutes ago. At the end of the day, you have to forgive the people in your life for the sake of the love you have for them. Forgive my stupidity and take me back Jiro. I’m going for broke and fighting for you now with all my heart. It’s time for you to meet me halfway and be my gladiator. Save me from myself or I swear to God I will go wherever and to whoever will be willing to listen to me and I will spill my guts to them about how much I’m madly in love with you.”

A tear fell from Andrew’s face. Shocked, Jiro opened his mouth to speak but Andrew cut him short as he continued “And think I won’t because I will never let you go.” Andrew yelled. “I will never get over you. I have searched forever trying to find heart breaking, earth shattering, mind-blowing love and I finally found it with you. I’d rather lose everything else than lose you so get used to me because I’m here to stay!”

Overcome with emotions, Jiro walked over to Andrew and kissed him long and deep. When he came back up for air, he said “You bastard, don’t think I have forgiven you.”

“That’s cool.” Andrew said as the tears started flowing freely from his eyes. “I haven’t forgiven me either.”

No one had ever fought for Jiro the way Andrew just had. The best part of it was that Jiro was sure Andrew would make good on his threat if he didn’t forgive him soon. Jiro tore Andrew’s shirt with his hands, sending buttons flying everywhere as he ground his lips on Andrew’s. One step after the other, they fumbled till they found their way into the bed room.

image

==========

The next morning, Abbey woke up well-rested on Mofe’s warm bed. She turned to look at where he had slept beside her during the night and saw a note in his handwriting.  The note read

Gone to work my love. Be back soon.
Please be safe and call me if you need anything,
M.

Abbey headed for the bathroom and took a quick shower after brushing her mouth. She got dressed and made herself a cup of tea and an English breakfast of toast, gizzards, and eggs.

ABBEY'S BREAKFAST

ABBEY’S BREAKFAST

She stepped out of the kitchen and into the living room, picked up the remote control and turned the TV on. The scene in front of her was a gory one. A view of her father’s house was on the news. The house had caught fire after a couple of kids had been smoking around the area and had thrown their unfinished cigarette close to the house. The fire was put out just in time, and although the bodies were burnt, they were still recognizable. The police were asking for any information about the incident and asking members of the public to come forward. if they knew anything. The news reporter came on. Abbey heard the words “ongoing investigation, fatal accident, gas leak, and possible robbery.” The reporter offered a few more facts and some speculation but it all sounded far away. Her stomach churned and the tea turned sour in her mouth.

She got her phone out of her pocket and dialled her mother’s number. “Have you seen the news this morning? she asked

“Yes” Tari said.

“Feel like company?” Abbey asked. She wasn’t sure whether or not to tell her mother what had happened but she knew that they should be together at this time in case the police, relatives, or other well-wishers wanted to talk to them.

“I would love that.” Tari said instantly.

==========

Saheed had woken up and treated the day like any other day in the past one month. He had brushed, showered, turned on his television, and sat down by his computer to get information from his informants about the whereabouts of Jafar’s runaways. He had woken up to information on Tari’s location and was sure he was ready to move on to her today. Once he got Tari, Saheed was sure that Abbey would come willingly once she found out her mother had been captured.

As Saheed was getting himself ready to get his work sorted for the day, his eyes were also drawn to the breaking news on TV. The sole benefactor he had banked on for years was dead. He didn’t know how Jafar had died and he didn’t care. After all, Jafar was not his family member. Jafar was however, one of his most valuable and well connected clients. Due to the number of years they had worked closely together, Jafar had transferred the money for the job into Saheed’s bank account. Even though there was no love lost or tears on Saheed’s part with the news of Jafar’s death, there was a matter of loyalty and principle of seeing jobs through, especially jobs that had been paid for in full. As if drawn back in time, Saheed remembered his last conversation with Jafar over the phone.

“Good evening my oga at the top.” Saheed had said.

“Saheed, it has been a while.” Jafar had said. “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.”

“Sure thing sir. Just tell me where they are and I will make sure they come back home before the close of work tomorrow.” Saheed had said.

Something had shattered in the background where Jafar was and Jafar had shouted over the phone, his anger directed at Saheed.

“If I knew where they were, I wouldn’t need your help in getting them back, would I?” Jafar had said. “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 had replied Jafar over the phone.

The last words Jafar had said to Saheed were “Oh and one more thing Saheed, You know how much I hate loose ends. Don’t screw it up.”

“Understood,” Jafar had said before he had cut the call.

That was exactly what Saheed was going to do…not screw it up.

==========

Tunde had already left for work by the time Abbey reached his place. She and her mother sat in the comfortable living room eating the chicken Abbey brought along with her. “How do you feel mum?” she asked

Tari shook her head. “I know I shouldn’t be happy but I’m a little relieved. I thought for sure that your father would find us and make us pay for leaving; me especially.

“I know.” Abbey agreed. “Its unbelievable. I know I wanted him to pay for all the abuse and maltreatment but I would have settled for seeing him in prison uniform, not dead.” On the drive to Tunde’s house, Abbey had decided against telling her mum. The secret was best kept between herself and Bukunmi.

“Yeah, but what’s done is done.” Tari said. “We didn’t kill him. I’m glad I’m free from him but I hope he makes it to heaven. It might sound silly but I don’t think anyone should go to hell. Eternity is a long time to suffer, even for your father.”

“Hmmmm” Abbey mused. She knew deep in her gut that people reaped what they sowed and her dad had been horrible to a lot of people for a long time.

They both feel silent for a moment. Then Tari said, “I spoke to Edirin’s other yesterday.”

That surprised Abbey. Tari and Edirin’s mother had been friends for as long as Abbey had known Edirin. But for some reason, she thought their friendship would have ended with the news of Bukunmi’s affair with Jafar and the pregnancy. “That’s good.” Abbey said. How is she?”

“Managing.” Tari said. “She told me that Edirin has decided to keep the baby. They had a long talk and Edirin is glad your father is out of her life too. I wonder if she has seen the news this morning.” She sighed “Raising a baby alone is going to be hard for her. Perhaps it would be best for her to give the baby up for adoption. She needs to focus on herself and on putting her life back together.”

“I don’t think Edirin could ever had handled giving up her baby no matter the circumstance,” Abbey said honestly.

“Yes,” Tari agreed. “That’s not an easy choice. I’m not sure what I would do in her position.”

Abbey nodded. “Me either.” She said. “No matter what Edirin decides, her life will never be the same. It will never be what she’d planned.”

“And how are you handling all of this?” Tari asked as she took another bite of her chicken wings.

“I don’t know,” Abbey said. “I -”

Abbey stopped mid-sentence, her eyes fixed on the stranger that had broken into the house and was standing a mere couple of feet away. As if the intrusion wasn’t scary enough, the man was wearing a black mask that only revealed two large angry brown eyes. One gloved hand gripped a short black handle with a long steel blade… a cutlass.

Abbey’s voice was frozen from somewhere deep in her throat. She glanced quickly at her mother, whose eyes noticed the fear in Abbey’s composure and mirrored all the fright she was feeling.

The intruder, Saheed, attacked them quickly, without a word. Abbey blocked her face, shrieking as the blade tore into her hands. She was aware of screams through she wasn’t sure whether they were hers or her mother’s.

Saheed shoved Abbey backward. She slammed her head against the end table. Glass shattered. The room swam around her. Abbey tried to grab the chair for support but the hands slid off, leaving a bloody trail behind.

To be continued…

Enjoy the choreography below!

WATCH OUT FOR THE FINAL EPISODE OF “ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED!!!” NEXT WEEK!!!

I look forward to your comments!

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Guilty Pleasures

 

Roulette Of The Damned: GLADIATORS (EPISODE XI)

… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!

For the first time in her life, Abbey was finally happy. All her friends were in good places, her mother was finally out of her father’s house, and her father couldn’t hurt her or her mother anymore. The only people left in her life that she had to make amends with were Andrew and Jiro and she wanted her two best male friends back. After the surprise plans Abbey had just planned over the phone for the two men, she was sure that her efforts to win back their friendship was in the right direction. Nothing can go wrong from here on out, she thought to herself with a smile.

As she thought of logging into her emails from work, her phone rang. Abbey looked at the caller ID. It was Bukunmi. Looking at the laptop and the tons of emails from work she was yet to go through, Abbey reluctantly stood from the office space she had created in Mofe’s house and walked towards the balcony of the house to get better reception for the phone call.

“Hi BK. I was just thinking about you.” Abbey said with a grin on her face.

After listening to what Bukunmi was relaying to her over the phone, Abbey quickly got up from the comfort of the couch and started pacing. Her grin was quickly replaced with a frown on her face and fear in her eyes.

Oh my God! No no no no no. Abbey repeated in her head over and over again. This is not happening! Not now! Not when everything’s going so well.

Taking a deep breath, Abbey  tried to calm her nerves and get all the facts. “Wait, say that again slowly. You are where?” Abbey asked, her heart skipping beats by the second.

“I’m at your parent’s house.” Bukunmi said in a rattled voice. “Please Bukunmi, help me. I don’t know what to do.”

“Bolt all the doors!” Abbey instructed. “Don’t leave the house or open the door for anyone except me. In fact, stay where you are. I have my house keys. I’ll let myself into the house that way. Don’t do anything until I get there. I’m on my way. Please Bukunmi stay EXACTLY where you are and tell no one else about this.” Abbey insisted.

“Okay,” Bukunmi said. She was sobbing violently.

Abbey quickly cut the call, grabbed her car keys and ran out of the house.

Knowing that time was of the essence, Abbey jumped into the driver’s seat and drove like a mad woman all the way to her parent’s house

==========AND NOW on Roulette Of The Damned!!!==========

—– GLADIATORS! —–

A person’s true identity can often be difficult to discern, even to themselves; causing one to question their character, their calling and their very existence.
For most people, time provides clarity. For others, these questions remain unanswered; for an identity cannot be fully defined when it is a guarded secret.

GLADIATORS!

GLADIATORS!

Abbey got out of the car and ran towards the front door of her parent’s house. Fidgeting to find the right key for the front door, Abbey took in shallow breaths and looked around to make sure she wasn’t being watched. Finally getting the right key, Abbey managed to insert the key into the keyhole without dropping her phone or the keys. Satisfied that no one in the neighbourhood had noticed her presence, she crept into the house and locked the door behind her.

As she burst inside, the scene before her was exactly as Bukunmi had described. Jafar and Nnamdi lay a few metres from each other swimming in a pool of their own blood with a gun between them. Abbey recognised the gun to be Jafar’s. With a tear-streaked face and a limp body, Bukunmi was at the far corner of the living room covered in blood as well.

blood-drops-floor-28173436

The minute Bukunmi spotted Abbey enter the living room, she started crying all over again.

Running past the dead bodies of Jafar and Nnamdi, Abbey rushed over to Bukunmi and knelt close to her but made a mental note not to touch her. “Oh My God. Bukunmi are you okay? What the hell happened?”

Still in shock, Bukunmi directed her gaze from Abbey to the dead bodies and back to Abbey. She started shaking her head in confusion. When she found her voice, she spoke amidst her tears. “I don’t know.” Bukunmi said. “It all happened so… so fast.” Looking down at her hands and her clothes, Bukunmi continued. “There is so much blood everywhere. Oh my God what have I done?”

Needing to get the whole story, Abbey added a subtle hint of command into her voice. “Bukunmi, I need you to tell me exactly what you remember happened. Go as far back as you can remember and leave nothing out. Every little detail is extremely important right now. The only way I can help you is if you tell me exactly what happened to the letter. I need to know everything. To the very last detail. Can you do that for me?”

Bukunmi slowly nodded.

“Okay then.” Abbey said in a softer voice. “Try to gather your thoughts on everything that happened and tell me everything you remember.”

Stifling more of her sobs, Bukunmi began her story.

“My Monday morning was unlike any other morning I’ve had in a long time.” Bukunmi said. “I guess I owe that to the fact that I partied all night at Elegushi beach on Sunday night.”

“You mean yesterday night?” Abbey asked carefully.

“Yes,” Abbey gave a small nod as her lips trembled. “Yesterday night.”

“Okay, go on” Abbey encouraged.

“Okay.” Bukunmi said. “Where was I? Oh yeah, it had been one hell of a busy week last week and I hadn’t had any fun in a while so I decided to go to Elegushi beach with a couple of people from work yesterday night. Seeing as we were going to resume work today for 8 am, we all decided to pack our clothes for work before heading to the beach. I packed sets of clothes because I couldn’t decide on what to wear for today, my shower kit, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a small towel, my body cream, and my make-up set.” Bukunmi took a deep breath as if to calm herself before she continued with her story.

The beach was fun at first. There were lots of drinks, food, and good music. It was the perfect escape I needed from the madness of work from the last week and the madness of work that was going to commence today.

BUKUNMI

BUKUNMI

“While at the beach dancing and having a good time,” Bukunmi said. “someone walked up to me and started dancing behind me. I was going to walk away from the person when I heard my name. The voice sounded familiar so I turned to look at who it was and I realised it was Nnamdi.”

Abbey looked at Nnamdi’s dead body on the floor of her father’s living room and asked Bukunmi “Nnamdi? The one and the same?”

Nodding spastically, Bukunmi said “Yes. The same Nnamdi that was hitting on you at the club all those months ago and the same guy that I invited over to Mofe’s birthday party at Four Points. We got talking and for a while and I really enjoyed his company. He offered me a drink and then he asked if I wanted to dance. One thing led to another and before I knew it, we were making love at the back seat of his car.”

“Please tell me you used a condom Bukunmi,” Abbey pleaded.

Bukunmi nodded. “I always have a condom in my purse, my bag, my wallet, my phone pouch and one specially tucked in my bra at every given point in time. Trust me, I might have had sex with him but I protected myself.”

“Okay,” Abbey said, breathing a little easier. “So go on.”

“Right.” Bukunmi said as she wiped some of the tears off her face with the back of her hand. “After sex, he told me that he lived close to where I work and asked me if I’d like to follow him to his place so we could continue our little rendezvous in the comfort of his bed. He said he wanted to treat me the way he felt I deserved to be treated and not some girl he fucked in the back seat of his range rover. I agreed and decided to tell the people I went to the beach with that I was going home with my brother-in-law.”

“But Bukunmi,” Abbey said in a concerned tone. “Nnamdi is in no way related to you. Why did you lie?”

“Why wouldn’t I lie?” Bukunmi asked Abbey in a defensive tone, her tears threatening to envelope her. “After the name-calling I had gotten from Andrew and Jiro in the office, I was sceptical about saying Nnamdi was a one night stand that I just had sex with in the back of a car and I was going home with to continue ‘the deed’ with. Luckily, the guys from work were too drunk to question what I had told them. A close colleague of mine from work however had noticed that Nnamdi was looking at me with more affection than necessary for a brother-in-law. She put two and two together and caught me in the lie. I eventually confessed the truth to her but Toyin was uncomfortable with the whole arrangement.”

Bukunmi shuddered as she remembered the conversation she had with Toyin the night before.

“Are you insane?” Toyin asked Bukunmi.

Bukunmi looked at Toyin and shrugged. “Maybe a little.”

“Your dad is a police officer and Your two brothers are in the Navy,” Toyin reminded Bukunmi. “You know better than to go home with strange men, especially one you pickED up at the beach at this time of the night. Its past midnight for God’s sake Bukunmi.  He could be a serial sadist or something!”

“It’s because I’ve grown up with a God-fearing strict police officer for a father and two navy men as brothers that I know what I’m doing with Nnamdi.” Bukunmi replied Toyin. “Being the only daughter, my brothers and dad treat me like I’m meant to be prim and proper…a true lady. No man will ever be good enough for me in their eyes. For one night, I’d like to just let loose and have fun, thank you very much.”

Toyin grimaced.”This sort of reckless behaviour isn’t you Bukunmi.” Toyin said. “Yes, I know you put up a slutty front in the office so that you can get away with most things but deep down, we both know that you aren’t a loose woman. You don’t want to admit it but all of your ill behaviours are simply acts of rebellion against the dominating authority your dad and brothers have placed on you.” Toyin sighed. “You’ve had a lot to drink and you are not in the right frame of mind. How about I take you home?”

“Are you quite done Toyin?” Bukunmi asked harshly. “I shouldn’t have told you too much about my family. It is because you know too much that you feel you can psycho-analyse me like this.” Trying to look for a diplomatic approach to dealing with the situation, Bukunmi said “Look, I know you are only saying your mind because you are worried about me but I promise you it’s alright. Nnamdi and I go way back. I’m totally safe with him. I promise.”

“I was such a fool,” Bukunmi said as she let her mind drift back to the here and now. “We got to Nnamdi’s house a little past 5am. I think it was 5:27 because I checked my phone. I went into his bathroom to shower but he joined me.” Bukunmi looked uncomfortable as she said her next sentence. “We had sex again for over another hour in the bathroom, on the bed, on the couch, in the kitchen… everywhere. After the long round of love-making, I lay down on the bed while he went back into the shower.

BUKUNMI

BUKUNMI

Bukunmi looked at Abbey and willed her to understand her own point of view. “I felt like I had finally found the one, you know.” Bukunmi sighed.  “After he showered, I got into the shower to get ready for work while he made us cups of coffee. He was so sweet. He even insisted that he would drop me off at work this morning.”

Bukunmi didn’t speak for a while so Abbey touched her left shoulder gently and urged her to go on.

“On getting to work,” Bukunmi continued, “I kissed him goodbye and he said I should call him anytime… day or night. He even suggested that we see later today and I agreed because I really had begun to like him…and not just because he was amazing in bed.”

“I know honey,” Abbey coaxed Bukunmi, not really wanting to hear of Nnamdi’s prowess. “Go on.”

“When I got into my office this morning,” Bukunmi continued, “I realized that I hadn’t made photocopies of the document that was going to be needed for the Annual General Meeting coming up in the office tomorrow for all managers on all forty-five floors of the company. I tried using my photocopier but it wasn’t working well so I took the elevator from my floor up to Jiro and Andrew’s area on the 41st floor. I met with Benjamin, the guy that usually lets me use his photocopier on that floor and I started making all necessary copies. When I had only one more copy of the last page of the document to make, I noticed Jiro was walking to Andrew’s office with a funny look on his face. I hadn’t seen them since the debacle at Mofe’s birthday so I was eager to meet them both and apologise. I quickly finished my photocopies, thanked Benjamin and made my way towards Andrew’s office. As I got closer to Andrew’s office door and I wanted to knock before entering, I heard Jiro shout ‘I thought you liked being with me. I thought you cared about me. I thought you would fight for our relationship no matter what but I guess I was wrong. If you were tired of me, you could have just said so. I wouldn’t have bothered you anymore.'”

Bukunmi looked mega shocked but she didn’t say anything. She just kept quiet and let Bukunmi continue.

“My curiosity got the better of me so I hid somewhere close to Andrew’s office where I could hear what they were saying but they wouldn’t know that I could.” Bukunmi said as she sniffed back some of her tears. “Even though I couldn’t see them, I got the gist of what their fight was about and I saw Jiro storm out of Andrew’s office. I was going to pretend like I was just coming to say hi to Andrew after Jiro left. When I peeped into Andrew’s office to say hi, I saw Andrew  picking up his laptop and tons of paperwork from the floor. He didn’t even notice me. His laptop was cracked and there were paper documents everywhere on the floor. It almost looked like a tornado had gone through Andrew’s office. I quickly disappeared before he could have seen me.”

“What did you do then? Abbey asked, transfixed by the information she was getting from Bukunmi.

“Well,” Bukunmi said as she was trying to remember what else happened. “I headed over to Jiro’s office to see if I could get more scoop on their fight but I was told by Jiro’s secretary that he was not in a good mood and would not like to be disturbed. I quickly used the elevator back to my office on the 16th floor, submitted the photocopies, and picked up my phone to call you and tell you all that I had just witnessed. Your phone was engaged so I tried calling your office number but I was told that you were not feeling well. I immediately became very worried about you because in all the time I have known you, you have never been absent from work on account of being sick. I decided to come over to your house and check up on you but I didn’t have my car because I hadn’t driven myself to Elegushi beach yesterday or to work this morning.”

“So how exactly did you get here?” Abbey asked, sensing that the mystery of the two dead bodies on the floor was about to be revealed.

“How else?” Bukunmi asked with a pitiful face. “I did the only next rational thing I could think of. I called Nnamdi to come and pick me up. I asked  Toyin, my colleague, to cover for me till I returned. I figured since I had finished all that would be required of me for the next few hours, nobody would miss me in the office. When I got to Nnamdi’s car, I told him I needed to go home because I forgot something at home. I didn’t want to tell him I was coming to your place because I felt he would not want to see you after Mofe’s birthday. Nnamdi agreed to take me. My plan was to run in, see how you were doing, quickly tell you what I could and head back out without Nnamdi ever knowing that this was not my house. Unfortunately things didn’t go as I had planned.

Yup, Abbey thought to herself. Things hardly ever go according to plan in this house “Go on,”.she urged Bukunmi

“I got here and your father opened the door.” Bukunmi said.  “He looked angry and I was surprised because I hadn’t expected him to be home. In truth, I totally forgot all about your dad. I asked for you and he had a hateful look in his eyes for a brief moment before he smiled at me and invited me in. He told me you were upstairs so I thanked him as I walked past him and ran up the stairs eager to see you. Your room was empty so I became confused. I came back down here to ask your father if he was sure you were upstairs but he was sitting down on the couch over there with a gun pointed to me.” Bukunmi said as she pointed to the chair Jafar had sat on when intimidating her with a gun.

coucch

“He told me to sit down that we needed to talk.” Bukunmi said in continuation. “I was so scared, I sat down and kept quiet without any complaint. I had never been held at gun point in my life before and after everything you told me about what he did to your mum and Edirin, I was really worried he would shoot me if I didn’t cooperate. He told me what happened between you, himself and Mofe; and said I should call you and tell you to come home with your mum or else he would kill me. I tried calling you but your phone was still engaged. I told him your calls were not going through but he didn’t believe me. He snatched my phone and tried calling you with it but he too saw that it was engaged. He said we would wait till you were off your other call and try again. He said he would find something for us to do in the meantime.”

Bukunmi shivered and Abbey braced herself for the worst part. “Your father got on top of me and tried to rape me. He smelt of alcohol and bad morning breath and I instantly felt like vomiting. I immediately started shouting and screaming. He slapped me several times to shut up but I just kept screaming till my lungs hurt. One minute all I could hear was the sound of my own voice screaming and shouting for help and the next minute, I heard someone burst through the door and lift your father off me. I scrambled over to the back of the couch and noticed that the person that had saved me was Nnamdi. But something weird happened.”

“What?” Abbey asked, her back aching because of the position she had kneeling down . Her heartbeat was racing. “Tell me, what seemed weird?”

“The minute Nnamdi got Jafar off me and they looked at each other, they both looked surprised, like they knew each other.” Bukunmi said as she contorted her face in recollection of the events that had occurred.  “Everything became very confusing after that.”

“How so?” Abbey asked intently.

“I don’t know.” Bukunmi replied. “One minute they were fine and the next minute, they both started talking nonsense. I couldn’t understand them at first. Jafar was asking Nnamdi what he was doing in his house and Nnamdi was asking Jafar what he was doing in my house.”

I can see why that would be confusing, Abbey thought to herself. “Go on B.K. You are doing good. Keep going.”

Taking in several deep breaths, Bukunmi continued. “Your father started rambling about how wrong everything was going and how he never let any one of his employees to know his house. He said that the job he gave Nnamdi did not comprise him coming to his house at any point in time. Nnamdi told him that he had followed me to my house and was still on the job but was looking for the right way to get to you through me.  They both looked at me like I was the reason for the confusion before they looked at each other and started arguing again.”

“Who was holding the gun at this time?” Abbey asked.

“Your father.” Bukunmi answered.

“Okay.” Abbey said. “Go on.”

“Right.” Bukunmi said, her swollen red teary eyes began to water again. “From what I understood from their discussion, your father had sent Nnamdi to you that night we had gone out to party at the club. Nnamdi was meant to hit on you, get you to fall in love with him, and keep you under controlled surveillance at the request of your father. Unfortunately for him, he failed to make an impression on you that night; especially since Mofe came to your rescue. After your father heard about Nnamdi’s failure, he gave him a second chance to redeem himself and find another way to get close to you. That was when Nnamdi started tailing me until he found the perfect avenue to make it look like he bumped into me by accident. He wormed his way to making me invite him for Mofe’s birthday party. He just seemed so genuine. I didn’t know that your father had ordered a hit on Mofe’s life. Nnamdi’s plan was for him to come with me to Mofe’s birthday, charm the socks off you, send guys to kill Mofe that night, and go home with me. In Nnamdi’s mind, he believed that if anything was going to happen to Mofe, because you were not speaking to Edirin and you wouldn’t willingly run into your father’s arms, you would come running to my door and he would be there as a shoulder to lean on. He would have broken up with me a couple of days afterwards  and started chasing you in order to comfort you. He believed that you and I would have a falling out because I would accuse you of stealing the guy that I liked and we would stop talking. His plan was to alienate you and I from each other and have you all to himself so your father could control you through him. The only problem with his plan was that he hadn’t expected to see Jiro there. He hadn’t even known that you and Jiro were once lovers before he had taken the job from Jafar. The shock of seeing Jiro there, his brother in law, took him aback and spoilt his plans, especially since he could not stay the rest of the night or go home with me because I didn’t want him to…not after the way he had insulted you that night even if you deserved it.”

“Wow.” Abbey said. “I certainly deserved that. Go on.”

“Nnamdi was sure he had failed in his mission to get you. He was going to return the money to Jafar today before he saw me at the beach yesterday. He had sent a message to Jafar saying that Jafar should give him another chance at succeeding.” Bukunmi said. “Your father was so upset that things had gone so awry with Nnamdi, he pointed the gun on him and was going to shoot him and dispose of his body. Nnamdi promised to deliver and Jafar agreed to give him one last chance. Your father then pointed the gun on me and said I had heard too much and he was going to have to kill me. Nnamdi started arguing that he was going to be able to handle me and I wasn’t a problem but your father would have none of it.  Nnamdi complained that if I turned up dead here, people would know he had something to do with it because a lot of people had seen him leave the beach with me yesterday and they had him on CCTV at my office coming to pick me up. Your father didn’t care and he wanted to shoot me anyway. Nnamdi felt your father was trying to implicate him so as to cover up his own tracks so Nnamdi started fighting for the gun.

Abbey was sure that Nnamdi fighting for the gun was not out of the goodness of his heart. She could bet her Jimmy Choo shoes that he only did it so her father would not be able to implicate him for Bukunmi’s death if she had she been shot.

Bukunmi looked at her hands and continued talking. “In the tussle between your father and Nnamdi for control of the weapon, the gun went off and when they separated, your father was bleeding and Nnamdi was holding the gun. He threw the gun down because he knew he had shot your father by mistake . Forgetting about me for a brief minute, Nnamdi cleaned his prints off the gun and went into the kitchen to wash the blood off his hands. He was so fidgety. By the time he came back into the living room, I had picked up the gun and pointed it at him even though my hands were shaking. I felt was used and confused. Nnamdi was the very first guy in a long time I had liked. I liked him even more because he was Jiro’s brother-in-law but Nnamdi had used me to get to you. Just because he had fought for me with your father didn’t mean that he would ever let me get away with watching him shoot your father…not after all I had heard. I knew too much and I worked in the same office with his brother-in-law, Jiro. He was bound to kill me sooner or later so I shot him three times.”

“You what?” Abbey asked, needing to be sure.

“I shot him three times,” Bukunmi replied. “I walked over to his side to check if he was really dead but your father grabbed a hold of my leg and dragged me in a bid to get the gun. I didn’t even know that your father was still alive. I was so scared. I fell into their pool of blood and kicked my way to get the gun back. Your father was strong but I managed to get a hold of the gun first. I didn’t think twice Abbey. All I could remember at that time was him trying to rape me and all the things he had done to you, your mum, and to Edirin. My adrenaline kicked in and I shot him twice…one in the heart and one in the head to make sure he was dead. I dropped the gun and got up, saw both of them dead n the floor and myself in the reflection of your mirror covered in blood. I was so scared about what I had done,” Looking back up at Abbey, Bukunmi said, “That was when I called you again and you finally picked up. I couldn’t hold back the tears over the phone.” Even as she said it, Bukunmi resumed crying again.” I’m so sorry Abbey.” Bukunmi said. “I’m now a murderer. My life is ruined. I’m in big trouble Abbey. This will shame my entire family. If my father and brothers ever knew about this, they would kill me or arrest me and leave me in jail to rot for life. They believe in upholding the law no matter who needs to suffer. What will I do now?”

“Look at me Bukunmi,” Abbey said as she held her friend’s face in her hands. “You’ll be fine,” Abbey said. “First things first, you said you packed two change of clothes before heading out to the beach yesterday right?”

Bukunmi nodded.

“Where is it?” Abbey asked urgently.

“It’s back in the office” Bukunmi said in a small voice.

“Okay.” Abbey said, her brain working faster than her body. “I need you to stand up and remove everything you are wearing.” Bukunmi did as she was told. When she was naked, Abbey said “Now I need you to go to my room and shower. When you finish, choose something from my wardrobe to wear and lets get out of here.”

Bukunmi nodded and started making her way up the stairs. Before she reached the landing upstairs, she turned back at Abbey and said “Thank you for believing me Abbey. I’m sorry I dragged you into all of this.”

“No Bukunmi. I’m the one who’s sorry. You are in this mess because of me. I brought you into this. I promise that you won’t have to worry. I’ll handle this. I promise.” Abbey said with a tight smile. Considering the predicament they were faced with, there was very little to smile about. “Now go and shower. We need to get out of here as fast as possible.”

Once Abbey heard the shower running, She got to work of wrapping Bukunmi’s clothes in a black trash bag. Once done, Abbey began to trash the entire place, knocking things down and making the scene look like a robbery had taken place. When she was done with that, she waited for Bukunmi to come downstairs. As Bukunmi made her way downstairs in a new set of clothes, Abbey gave her the keys to the car and told her to wait there until she joined her. Not having any strength to argue Bukunmi walked out of the house like a zombie and made her way to Abbey’s car.

Abbey quickly made her way to the kitchen. Carefully covering her hands with her shirt, Abbey turned all the gas knobs on and let the smell of gas permeate the kitchen. In a couple of hours, the entire house will smell of gas. If any naked flame came near the house, it would burn it to the ground. If not, the bodies would be found days later and it would look like a robbery-gone-wrong. Abbey hoped that the house would catch fire though. She knew that the Nigerian police didn’t have the necessary equipment to check for fingerprints but she wasn’t willing to take any chances. She or Bukunmi might have left something behind that could implicate them.

Abbey carefully picked up the trash bag with Bukunmi’s bloody clothes and made her way out of the house..

Rushing over to the car, Abbey threw the trash bag into the back seat and started the engine. As she drove away, Abbey looked at Bukunmi and said. “This will remain between you and me. It will be our little secret. No one else can ever know about this. Ever! Okay?”

Bukunmi nodded. She was crying again.

“Don’t cry anymore.” Abbey said. “I told you I will handle it and I have. If anyone asks anything, I know what to say. My mother and I travelled and came back to see two dead men in our house. Nnamdi was an armed robber and my dad had a gun. Nnamdi was not working alone. My father killed Nnamdi and the other armed robber killed my father and ran away. Thats the official story.

Bukunmi nodded bleakly.

“Now tell me everything you heard about Jiro and Andrew” Abbey urged.

Glad to have a different topic distract her, Bukunmi sat up and relayed everything she had heard in the fight between Jiro and Andrew.

==========

Three Weeks Later

As Andrew sat picking the last bits of the label off his beer bottle — stupid immature habit — he cursed himself for the umpteenth time. Mofe’s label on Mofe’s drink however, still remained intact.

MOFE'S DRINK

MOFE’S DRINK

It had been over three weeks since his fallout with Jiro and so far, he had not seen, heard, or spoken with Jiro since that day at his office. He had tried getting through to Jiro but Jiro had completely shut him out. He had changed the locks of his house, taken a sick leave off work for a while and hadn’t picked up any of Andrew’s calls. It was official…Jiro was shutting Andrew out of his life completely.

And Andrew was going mental…

Considering all the years of education behind him, Andrew hated that he’d been so remarkably stupid. He knew that when he had said what he had said to Jiro, he was trying to think of Jiro’s future. Now, it only felt like he had destroyed one of the best things in his life. It wasn’t just his relationship with Jiro that had taken a nosedive. His friendship with Jiro was also dying fast and it was the fading friendship that was killing Andrew slowly from the inside.

How could I let him go without a fight? Andrew asked himself for the hundredth time that day.

Because I had to, he decided within himself, answering his own question.

Sometimes doing the right thing sucked. The first couple of days without Jiro had been a study in misery. Everything felt dull and annoying. Work was the last place Andrew wanted to be, his bed reminded him of Jiro so he slept in the living room but he had made memories with Jiro there as well. His car smelled of Jiro, his phone was filled with Jiro’s pictures, and his plans for the next couple of weeks had been planned specifically to suit Jiro’s schedule. He felt like he wasn’t in control of himself or his decisions anymore and the craziest part of it was that he didn’t want to be in control…not anymore. All he wanted at this point was Jiro. If Jiro were with him, he’d feel a lot better. As it was, all Jiro’s absence had offered Andrew was a guilty conscience, an empty bed, a river of painful memories, and a broken heart. Everything about Andrew felt absolutely empty and he had never felt so alone. After the first couple of days of misery, the ache of loss had grown, not abated. After three weeks, the loneliness had become absolutely unbearable.

I have to find him! Andrew decided. I have to find him and beg — no grovel. I’ll stalk him till he takes me back. starting tonight, I need to stalk him and pay him the apology that is long overdue. I’m so stupid. I never should have waited this long!

“Andrew?” Mofe said, shocking his mind back to the here and now.

Damn it, Andrew thought. This was very unlike him. Since Jiro left, he could barely keep a thought in his muddled head. Every other thought in his mind in the last three weeks had been invaded by thoughts of Jiro. Andrew had known he was not up to socializing with anyone in his emotional condition but he couldn’t stand being alone with his thoughts and in his house another minute. When Mofe had called him to have drinks with him so they could catch up on stuff, he had willingly jumped at the offer. Desperate, infinitely miserable, and running out of things to do to keep his mind busy, he had agreed to have drinks with Mofe. Initially, Andrew had felt he’d be able to have Mofe commiserate with him on his failed relationship with Jiro. Now that he was here, he really wasn’t in the mood to talk. He might have accepted Mofe’s invitation in a bid to reconnect with the outside world but now that he was doing just that, he realized that there was only one true way to really reconnect with people again…he had to first reconnect with Jiro. Despite his obsession with Jiro, Andrew had agreed to have drinks with Mofe and chat. The least he could do was pay attention to the man.

“Sorry Mofe,” Andrew said. “I got carried away for a brief minute. What did you say?”

Mofe gave him a weary smile. From the way Mofe was looking at him, Andrew could only guess that his mind had drifted elsewhere more than once. “I asked how you are holding up.” Mofe said. “You don’t look too good and you are not your usual cheerful self. This version of you beats a dozen women mourning their husbands hands down. You look like the weight of the world is literally sitting like a curse on your shoulders.” Patting his cousin on the back, Mofe asked Andrew “You know you can tell me anything. Are you sure you are okay?”

Mofe’s phone rang as Andrew was about to answer the question. His caller ID identified the caller as Abbey. Mofe picked it up and said “Hi honey. Let me call you back. I’m still with Andrew.”

Abbey said something on the other end of the line. Mofe smiled like a fool in love. “I love you too baby.” Mofe replied Abbey. “I’ll let you know when I’m on my way home. Make sure you eat something. I’ll talk to you soon.”

When the call ended, Andrew turned to Mofe, his face contorted with a confused look. “Why Abbey?” Jabbing his thumb in the phone’s direction of Mofe’s direction, Andrew continued his inquiry. “You’re one of the hottest guys I know, and trust me, I know  A LOT of how guys. You could get practically any girl in the world if you really wanted her but you chose Abbey. Obviously she means something to you. Why?”

Mofe laughed. “What do you mean ‘why’?”

Pursing his lips, Andrew look in a breath and tried to explain the rationale of his question. “I understand that it might seem like a stupid question but I really need to know. I know that we can’t always choose who we love because the heart wants what the heart wants. We do however, choose who we date. I’d never have pegged Abbey as your type but you are head over heels in love with her. I just wanted to know why you feel the way you do about her.”

Mofe thought over Andrew’s question for longer than anyone should have to. Andrew was sure he wouldn’t answer at all when Mofe finally said “I’m with Abbey because she is easy-going, drop-dead gorgeous, and in her own clumsy way, romantic as hell. I know she can be selfish one minute and selfless the very next minute but everyone had flaws and I love her despite all of her flaws. She is exactly what I need. I might be able to get any other woman if I wanted to but none of those women could ever compare to Abbey. It’s not just about looks or personality. Abbey and I simply connect in a way that I cannot describe. Without Abbey, I would just be sitting around wasting my life with other women. When I’m with her, I feel complete, like I’m exactly where I need to be.” Taking in a deep breath as if to calm the rising of his emotions as he spoke about Abbey, Mofe smiled and said “When I’m with Abbey, every minute feels too important to waste so I try to be the best person I can be for her while trying to make her feel as special as she makes me feel. I consider myself to be her gladiator. I’d kill for her if I had to. It’s not just the sweet parts that make her special. It’s how willing I am to make the difficult decisions that need to be made for her sake and mine.”

Andrew thought for a moment and said. “Damn that’s a good answer. But I don’t know how to get through to Jiro. I messed up big-time Mofe, and I think it may be too late to win him back. How do I ask my hot-headed boyfriend to forgive me when all he seems to want to do is tear my head off. It’s like he effortlessly drives me insane.”

Mofe smiled. “I know the feeling but if Jiro is truly what you need, things will work out. It’ll click as long as you are open and ready for it when it happens.”

“You sound so sure.” Andrew said miserably as he put his head in his hands. “I wish I could believe those words. You don’t know Jiro like I do.”

Still smiling, Mofe said “I guess I don’t. Okay, so what exactly is your next move in your quest to win him back?.”

As Andrew opened his mouth to answer, the waitress with the name tag Funke, came over and asked “Can I get you anything else?

“No thanks” Mofe said.

“And how about for your other friend staring at you from the door.” Funke asked. “It looks like he’s coming this way. Should I get a drink for him too?

“Who?” Andrew said, looking confused. “Its only two of us here tonight. There’s no one else here with us.”

“Oh I am so sorry sir.” Funke said, looking like she had just made a silly mistake. “I was so sure that the hot man in black was staring at you.”

Andrew was not in the mood to meet any guy. Just because he and Jiro were not in a good place at the moment didn’t mean he wanted to spend his days getting to know another man, no matter how hot he might be. Irritated, Andrew asked Funke, “Didn’t you just hear what I said? It’s only the two of us that came here. We aren’t expecting anyone else.”

Mofe tapped Andrew’s hand and said “You might want to take a look at the guy before you say that.”

Feeling betrayed, Andrew looked at Mofe in surprise and said “You too? You know that I’m not interested in anyone else Mofe. Why would you tell me to look at another guy. I’ll never be over Jiro and I’m not interested in any other guy, not matter how hot he is.”

Noticing the waitress looking uncomfortable with the conversation, Mofe said to her, “Can you please get us our bill. Thank you.” As she hurried away quickly, Mofe said under his breath “You idiot, calm down and look at the guy already. Stop being such a difficult bitch.”

Funke, the waitress, came back with the bill and handed it to Mofe. Andrew whispered under his breath so only Mofe could hear him. “Don’t call me a bitch, bitch. And I’m calm.” Sighing heavily, Andrew asked “Okay, so where’s this Adonis you want me to see so badly.”

Smiling, Mofe pointed towards to front door of the bar. “Over there. Sexy guy in the black shirt.”

Andrew looked at where Mofe was pointing to. The minute he saw who the sexy guy in black was, Andrew dropped his beer and his hand sprang free like he’d been electrocuted. The bottle bounced off the table and hit the grungy carpet with a thump. Foam splattered everywhere, soaking his arm and spraying up the side of his face. Sudden heat suffused his entire body. A burning hot point of flame centred itself in his chest and banked slightly to the left to flare brightly inside his shattering heart. I’m having a heart attack, Andrew’s head told him. As the wave of heat rushed from his chest region to his boxers, his shaft sprung to life like it was on salute. Okay, so maybe it’s not a heart attack.

Andrew registered the sound of Funke angry and squealing about the mess he had made of the beer and knew he should respond somehow, do something. He just couldn’t think. Or breathe. Jiro is Here. You’re not imagining it– He’s really here. Andrew absolutely couldn’t tear his eyes away from Jiro either In case he vanished again in an instant and it was all a dream. Jiro stared back at him and pulled at Andrew’s iron will like a magnet.

Mofe cleared his throat.

The deep rumbling sound of Mofe’s chuckling finally intruded into Andrew’s focus on Jiro and his sudden appearance. “For someone who asks me why I chose Abbey, you seem to find it easy to forget that any other person exists whenever Jiro is around.” Mofe said smiling. “It’s actually kinda poetic.” Even though Jiro was still standing like a statue by the front door the bar and Andrew was towards the back of the bar, Mofe still spoke like Jiro and Andrew were standing beside each other. “Maybe I should leave you two alone so you can catch up on things. We can have drinks another time Drew.”

Even though he had heard everything Mofe had said, he was not interested in looking away from Jiro. Despite his lack of interest in looking at anyone or anything else, Andrew eventually looked at Mofe to thank him for dragging him out of the house. As Andrew looked at Mofe, he realized that tearing his eyes off Jiro actually hurt in a weird way. As it was, the sight of Jiro had made Andrew hard in a public place. Embarrassed  he said “Jesus Jiro, I’m so sorry. I’m being such a dick. Its just that Jiro…oh my God, he’s actually here. Trying to understand how Jiro could have walked into the same bar he and Mofe were having in a drink out of the hundreds of bars in Lagos, Andrew cautiously asked “Wait, Mofe did you– was this your idea?”

With the biggest grin on his face, Mofe said “Yes. actually no. It was  Abbey’s. Now make it worth it already. He’s a hot-headed man but he’s still your man. So, go get your man.” Mofe winked.

Happy for the first time in three weeks, Andrew smiled an appreciative smile to his cousin and said “Thank you Mofe. You and Abbey rock!.”

Still smiling, Andrew turned his head towards the door of the bar to look to at Jiro.

Jiro wasn’t there anymore. Panicking, Andrew looked all over the bar but couldn’t see Jiro anywhere.

He was gone…

No…no…no. Andrew’s heart felt like it was going to jump out of his chest with the pain and sense of loss he felt.

Not again!

To be continued…

I look forward to your comments!

SOUNDTRACK FOR GLADIATORS (EPISODE 10): MY HANDS by LEONA LEWIS

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Guilty Pleasures

 

Roulette Of The Damned: THE FALL (EPISODE X)

… Previously on Roulette Of The Damned!!!

Itching to reciprocate, Jiro kissed Andrew. Man, Jiro could kiss. 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 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 an 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 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!

==========AND NOW on Roulette Of The Damned!!!==========

—– THE FALL—–

THE FALL

THE FALL

Jiro pushed Andrew away from him like a plague and jumped off the kitchen counter. Andrew quickly picked up his clothes to cover his near-naked body. Jiro followed suit.

“What the hell do you boys think you were doing?” the intruder asked.

Andrew kept looking  from the intruder’s face to the floor like a blithering fool. Jiro found his voice first.

“Oh my God. I thought you were asleep. What are you doing downstairs so late?” he asked the intruder.

“Is that what you are meant to ask me right now?” the intruder asked, looking ready to throw a ton of bricks at the two near-naked men. “When did you start answering my questions with another question? Are you mad? Answer my damn question Jiro!” the intruder retorted. “What the hell were you doing with that buffoon behind you?”

“Uh…Mr Ejike it’s really not what you think.” Andrew said from behind Jiro.

Standing in the kitchen doorway with a bottle of Heineken in hand, Jiro’s father, Ejike, looked at Andrew as if he was one of the deadly plagues of Egypt. “I’m not talking to you idiot. You’ll get your turn when I’m done with my embarrassment of a son.”

“Dad, please calm down.” Jiro said, fumbling over his words. “Its really not what you think.”

“Really? Really?” Jiro’s dad asked, irritation, and anger laced in each word. “Because from where I stand, it looks like both of you were re-enacting  a scene from the Sodom and Gomorrah era. I think both of you were fawning over yourselves and engaging in homosexual acts.” Ejike sniffed the air and continued. “I also smell weed. Seeing as only both of you have been downstairs, I can only assume that you have both been smoking weed in my house. You both said you’d wash up after dinner but from the look of things, you idiots waited till you thought we were asleep before you smoked weed and embarked on having sex in my kitchen. With a man!!! Of all people, Jiro! A man!!! When it is not like there are no women in the world anymore! A fucking man, Jiro!!!”

Ejike took a deep breath to calm himself and reduce his voice. When he spoke next, his voice was even but he sounded like a spring ready to burst at the faintest provocation. “I dare you to tell me I am wrong!” Ejike said.

Jiro opened his mouth only to close it right back. “Okay, maybe it is what you think.” Jiro muttered under his breath.

Wagging his finger at Jiro, Ejike said, “”You owe me an explanation but I can’t stand to look you in the face right now. We will discuss this at length in the morning. Just know that your mother will hear of this. In the meantime, both of you should get out of my sight before I stab you both with a knife!”

Avoiding coming close to Ejike, Jiro and Andrew rushed out of the kitchen and up the stairs.

Behind them, Jiro shouted “And make sure you go to your separate rooms you spawns of Satan!”

==========

The house had stirred early on Sunday morning and from the stomping of feet, raised voices, and arguments from outside his door, it was obvious that Ejike had told Stella what he had seen downstairs last night. Andrew had not been able to get all the information about what transpired from the morning’s discussion between Jiro and his parents but it seemed like Stella had cried, Ejike had threatened Jiro on something, Jiro had called Ejike’s bluff, and Jiro had threatened to never return to the house if they made Andrew uncomfortable.

Needless to say that Andrew felt like he had caused an issue in the house. Knowing he couldn’t hide forever in the room he was in, Andrew had showered and prepared to face whatever was thrown his way once he got downstairs. So far, Jiro’s parents had been civil to him and everything seemed almost normal…almost.

With the evening drawing near, Andrew had gone outside to watch the sunset and to get some breathing space. If he thought the house was uncomfortable when he got here on Friday night, it had turned unbearable now. The evening weather was chilly but not in the same way as the reception from Jiro’s parents. Jiro’s mother, Stella, had slowly warmed up to Andrew throughout the day and treated him almost like she was unaware of what had transpired last night, but Jiro’s father had not. It was clear that he could not easily forget or accept what he had seen Jiro and Andrew were about to get up to last night.

“So you are the man my son has taken up with?” Ejike asked as he walked over to where Andrew stood on the front lawn of the house.

Andrew glanced backward to see Jiro’s father approaching from the house. The older man, a virtual mirror for what Jiro would look like in about twenty-five years, closed the door from the kitchen and came to stand next to Andrew on the front lawn.

After they had been caught by Jiro’s father, Andrew had cursed himself in a hundred different ways. He should have insisted that they go to one of the rooms to have privacy but it had felt so good to see Jiro so relaxed and carefree, it had rubbed off on Andrew too. Unfortunately, it was too late to cry over spilled milk.

Andrew turned to look the man in the eye. “Yes sir. I am the man your son has taken up with.” There was no need to lie, however Andrew wasn’t fond of the ‘taken up with’ terminology. Jiro had wanted them to accept Andrew, to accept his relationship with their son, but the instant he and Jiro had walked through their individual bedroom doors the morning after getting caught in the kitchen, they’d been under scrutiny and the object of disapproving stares. Andrew knew the only thing he could do now was answer any and all questions directly and let the pieces fall where they may. It is time I stand up for who I really am and stop hiding under the guise of being heterosexual, Andrew said to himself. If Jiro can stand up to his parents, I can do it too. I need to do this…for Jiro. For me.

“You should know I don’t approve of any of this.” Ejike stated succinctly.

“Yes sir. I know.” Andrew said with a curt nod.

“I could ask you to leave my premises immediately.” Ejike said, his voice sounding like he was constipated. He seemed unsure of his words.

“Yes sir.” Andrew replied. “You could.” Before coming downstairs after his shower, Andrew had decided that he was not going to get into a pissing match with this man. He adored Jiro too much. The rift between Jiro and his father over Jiro being in a relationship with a man wasn’t going to be worsened because of Andrew… not if Andrew had anything to say about it. He had already packed his bag early that morning and was ready to leave if Jiro’s parents gave the command.

ANDREW'S BAG

ANDREW’S BAG

Ejike sighed and continued “If I told you to get out of my house and never come back, Jiro would leave with you, I suspect.” He looked Andrew directly in the face waiting to read Andrew’s countenance.

There was resignation in the older man’s voice and that bothered Andrew. He managed to look the older man in the eye before he answered “Yes, he would.” Andrew said. It was a weak victory, but a victory all the same. Too bad it was useless to Andrew. How could he feel good about Jiro’s loyalty if it meant it would create a wedge between him and his parents?

Andrew had no doubt Jiro loved his parents as he should, but Andrew was also aware of Jiro’s feelings towards him. Andrew was Jiro’s guest and should Andrew be asked to leave, Jiro would go too. “I don’t think you’ll do that though. Knowing Jiro, he’d make good on his threat to leave if I left and he can be stubborn when his mind is made up.” Jiro finished.

“No. I wouldn’t chase you away because you are right. He’s stubborn.” Ejike said resolutely, “Besides, him walking out now would break his mother’s heart forever. She’s trying so hard to accept all of this but it isn’t easy for her and it certainly isn’t easy for me. Not even close.”

Taking in a deep breath, Andrew, for the first time since he arrived on Friday, spoke candidly with Ejike. “Jiro’s choice of who to date or make his mate isn’t up to you.” Andrew tried to be gentle with his tone and not let his frustration show. He knew that wasn’t going to do anyone any good, but he wouldn’t let himself be bullied into someone else’s belief system and without Jiro on the porch to defend himself. After Jiro had stood up for their relationship with his parents that morning, Andrew was happy to take up the task of standing up for Jiro.

“How dare you tell me how to raise my son?” Ejike asked angrily. There was pride, indignation, and a touch of sadness in his question. Andrew felt for the position Jiro’s family found themselves in. They didn’t know how to accept a relationship that went against their deep religious beliefs.

“There was no disrespect meant sir.” Andrew said. “I was not trying to tell you how to raise your son. I just want to point out that you have already raised him. I am well aware that the hardest part about being a parent is knowing when not to parent. He’s a grown man, responsible for his own actions, and capable of making his own choices. I just happen to be one of those choices he made.”

The older man didn’t say anything else for a long while and Andrew relished the bit of silence. He knew a person couldn’t choose the family they were born into, but they could choose to love beyond religion, belief, faith, right, and wrong. He hoped Jiro’s father eventually came to accept him as Jiro’s mate or at least be able to love Jiro in spite of his choice of lover.

“So has Jiro had more friends… like you?” Ejike asked, his face contorting as he voiced his curiosity.

“Like me? What about me?” Andrew inquired with a quirk of his eyebrow. He knew what was being asked, what was being inferred, but he was going to make Jiro’s father say it. Andrew was determined to not be the only uncomfortable one in this conversation.

Jiro’s father swallowed hard and opened his mouth several times before he actually said anything “You know…Like you. Preferring men.”

Andrew smiled inwardly. Close enough. I guess that couldn’t have been very easy for him. “Not exactly sir.” Andrew said. ” He knows some people who also prefer men but he’s never been with a man until me. Before me, he’s always preferred women and he’s had over a dozen girlfriends.” Andrew breathed out unsteadily. He had said a lot but he was still determined to be open and honest about his relationship with Jiro.

Cocking his head to the side, Ejike said “I remember Jiro bringing home that nice girl, Abbey. I liked them together. They fit so well as a couple. I was so sure he was ready for marriage with her. I was excited when I heard that they were finally engaged after three or so years of dating. He probably would have married her by now if you hadn’t made him a …..”

“If I hadn’t what?” Andrew asked, his eye squinting as he tried not to take offence to what Ejike was about to say. Still, he had to know exactly what Jiro’s father meant. “If I hadn’t turned Jiro over to the dark side? If I hadn’t made him a man-lover?” Andrew wanted so badly to laugh out loud  at the common misconception that a heterosexual could be converted to participate in homosexual activities under duress but he restrained himself. Nothing about the current discussion was funny.

“Yes.” Ejike said, infusing more courage and gusto into his voice. “Yes if you hadn’t come into the picture and corrupted his sexual desires. If you hadn’t…hadn’t…” Ejike blustered.

Andrew had known this was going to happen and although he knew nothing he could have done before coming downstairs and facing Jiro’s parents would have prepared him for this part of the conversation, he was determined to face the anger and confrontation head on. “For your information Mr Ejike, Abbey, the fiancée-gone-wrong that you are so fond of, is the one who made Jiro and I happen. She pushed him to me. I had nothing to do with how things began between us. I only accepted Jiro’s invitation when I knew what Jiro wanted.” Andrew swallowed hard. That much about his relationship with Jiro was true…So far so good, he thought to himself.

Sucking in a deep breath, Andrew continued “I’m sorry you don’t approve, but Jiro and I are a couple and he wants nothing more than for you and his mum to accept it, to welcome me as you would if his partner had been a woman. I hate to break it to you sir but the possibility of Jiro being with only women from now on is slim to none-existent. He’s with me right now because he wants to be with a man. If he wants a woman at any point in his life, I will willingly back off and let him be with a woman. Until he tells me he doesn’t want me in his life, I’m here to stay.”

“No no no no no.” Ejike said, shaking his head vehemently, “It is an abomination and I will not allow it.”

Emboldened to finish what he had started, Andrew answered. “I understand that’s how you feel sir, but its not how I feel and it’s certainly not how Jiro feels,” Andrew said easily. He really wanted Jiro’s parents to like him but he didn’t care to try to change anyone’s mind about him or his relationship with Jiro. The only thing Andrew knew for sure was that he was willing to fight anyone to defend his  best friend and lover.

Ejike sighed heavily. “Do you and my son live together?” Ejike asked cautiously.

“How do you mean sir?” Andrew asked innocently.

“I mean, do you boys sleep in the same house on the same bed each night?” Ejike asked, his face showing his discomfort with having to ask the question of whether or not Jiro and Andrew have had sex before.

The question was awkward and Andrew felt for the man. Andrew didn’t know what it was like being a parent, but it couldn’t be easy, especially when your child turned out so different than how you’d expected they would turn out. “No. We don’t sleep in the same bed every night. He still has his apartment and I still have mine. We might work in the same office but we definitely have different schedules and deadlines. We don’t live together and doing so isn’t in the plans just yet.” Okay so I lied about that one tiny detail of not sleeping together every night…big deal. Andrew thought. Just because I and Jiro sleep on the same bed every night doesn’t mean we don’t have our separate apartments. It just means that we select which apartment to stay in for the night… his or mine. Altering that minute detail so Jiro’s father could at least feel better wasn’t a bad thing. Its hard enough having to discuss my sex life with Jiro to his father, but confirming his suspicions that we fuck every night is just asking for trouble. Nodding affirmatively to himself, Andrew made it a point of duty to remind Jiro to go with the story he’d told Ejike about their living arrangements…The less Jiro’s parent’s know, the better. At least for now.

“Do people at the office know about the both of you?” Ejike asked cautiously, his brows raised slightly, ready to echo his condemnation of their lifestyle further.

“No, they do not.” Andrew said as a matter-of-factly. “Not to my knowledge anyway. We certainly don’t intend to tell anyone either. Its none of their business, and If they find out and have a problem with it, well, Jiro and I will deal with that bridge when we get to it.”

“Look,” Ejike said, ” I’m uh…I’m sure you are a good man, and I can see you really do care for Jiro. I just can’t accept that he…you…both of you chose to live this way.”

Andrew couldn’t hold himself any longer. He felt it was time to educate Jiro’s father on the issue as best he could. If Jiro’s father was going to see any reason to at least accept Jiro for who he was and for his choices so far, he needed to know more. “Sir, some would tell you  that its not a choice they’ve made. It part of who they are.” Andrew said. “After going through various sociological research, certain people have come up with the theory that having an attraction to the same sex caused by a combination of both the biological and sociological theories. From the biological stand point, an individual must be birthed with an inborn tendency to be homosexual; but in order for the tendency to become a reality, that individual, according to the sociological perspective, must be socialized in a certain way, where the behaviour is relatively — although often unintentionally — approved. In other words, if someone is exposed to that lifestyle for a long period of time, it could have an effect on the person. Both theories are correct in their own way but a combination of both theories give the best explanation when discussed together. The combination of these two theories are what build up the attraction to men. That’s why some people say it’s part of their DNA. That’s just how sociology describes it.”

“You are wrong Andrew,” Ejike said, “and you telling me all these things means you don’t want to change. I heard you lived in the London for quite a while so I’m not surprised that you are saying all this rubbish. If you don’t want to change, its fine. Jiro on the other hand, doesn’t have a choice. He must change this nonsense. He cannot be attracted to men. It is abnormal and it is an abomination and my son will not be party to it.”

Seeing that his words were not getting anywhere with Jiro’s father, Andrew tried a less clinical approach. “This isn’t a matter of where I have lived before sir. If anything, living abroad helped me think out of the box and see things for what they truly are. As individuals, who we love isn’t — and shouldn’t be — up to anyone but us. Its hard being attracted to the same sex. Most people have a problem with it and as such, they instantaneously judge people based on their sexual orientation. Take a walk in our own shoes for a minute. You don’t want to mess your life up but you don’t know what else you can do. The craving and attraction just sort of creeps up on you without warning. When you finally notice the change, you realise that things aren’t what they used to be. Your whole world is transformed. You only realise that the ground beneath you has shifted when its too late. You might not accept it sir, and I’m not trying to make you accept me either; but I hope for Jiro’s sake, you’ll respect his decision to have me in his life while he still wants me here.”

“I don’t believe that.” Ejike insisted yet again. “He chose this and that’s all there is to it. I don’t know why but I’ll stop at nothing to make sure that my son comes to his senses.”

Andrew almost rolled his eyes and groaned out-loud. He could never understand why straight people always believed they could pray-the-gay-away. After years of trying to do just that, Andrew knew better. Still, he couldn’t say what he truly felt to Jiro’s father. No point taking away the man’s hopes of Jiro changing…even if they are useless at this point.  “For everyone involved sir,” Andrew said, “I think we will have to agree to disagree.”

That said, both men stood side by side and watched the sun set. In uncomfortable silence, both men focused their thoughts on one thing: how to do what was best for Jiro.

==========

Dressed to impress, Jiro walked smartly with precision through the long hallway on Monday morning like a man on a mission towards his destination.

JIRO

JIRO

Any other day, he would wait for Andrew to come to his office but he couldn’t wait for him today. The both of them hadn’t spoken about getting caught on Saturday night and something had changed in Andrew’s countenance towards him after they had left his parent’s place. Jiro just couldn’t put his finger on what exactly had changed or what had triggered it. Before Saturday night, Andrew had been great. He was fun, affectionate, and amazing with his parents until they got caught. In the last twenty-four hours, Andrew had become distant with Jiro and something didn’t feel right. Jiro didn’t know what was wrong but it was starting to bug him.

As Jiro got to Andrew’s office, he peered in and noticed Andrew’s buried in paper work. He was typing something on his computer and his ipad was open on the table as well. Jiro didn’t care. Now was the best time to get to the bottom of the issue.

“Good morning. Can I come in?” Jiro asked from the door of Andrew’s office.

Andrew looked up from the tons of paperwork he had to get through before noon and gave Jiro one of his award-winning smiles. “Nothing would make me happier.”

Jiro eyes swept Andrew’s office with a curious glance. “I can count how many times I have come to this office in the last three years. I usually see you at my office every morning…well until this weekend’s visit to my parents happened. Look Drew, I know you’re busy but you have got to tell me what happened.”

“What are you talking about?” Andrew asked, calmly feigning ignorance.

“I am talking about this. You and me” Jiro pointed back and forth between them.

Andrew looked perplexed. “What do you mean, cupcake? Nothing happened. Everything’s fine between you and I”

Jiro shut the door and walked into the office towards Andrew. “Everything’s not fine. You have been acting weird with me ever since my father caught us. You may not know you are doing it so I’m letting you know. It only got worse after you came inside the house for dinner yesterday. From the look on your faces of my father’s and yourself, I could tell that both of you had a discussion that left a sour taste in both your mouths. I want to know why you are shutting me out.”

Andrew sighed, relaxing his back on his chair and forgetting about the piles of paperwork in front of him. “Its nothing babe, really. Just need to …”

“Cut the crap.” Jiro said in a clipped tone. “You are my best friend, my boyfriend,  and I love you like a brother but if you don’t tell me what happened that’s’ got you shutting me out, I will beat you up so bad, you’ll be eating out of straws for the next month! Spill it. I know my mum never hassled you because I was with her the whole time but I saw you talking to my dad. Tell me what he said.”

Andrew looked stoic. “Jiro, I’ve got a lot of work to get through before noon and this isn’t the right time to discuss this.” Andrew said. “I’d like you to leave. We can discuss this during lunch or something. How about that?”

“Don’t test my patience Drew.” Jiro said. “Tell me what my dad said. Now!”

Andrew felt like an Alzheimer’s victim in a whore house. From Jiro’s tone, Andrew could tell that Jiro was getting fed up of not knowing what was going on in Andrew’s head; and Andrew had no doubt in his mind that Jiro would indeed make good on his threat and beat him to a pulp if he didn’t speak up about the conversation between Ejike and himself. Knowing Jiro, he’s most likely be the one to feed Andrew with the straw after putting him in the hospital just so he could teach him a lesson.

“Your dad said you didn’t use to do a lot of things.” Andrew said, carefully picking his words.

Until me. Andrew had left out that part of Ejike’s talk with him but Jiro heard it anyway.

“Andrew…” Jiro began

“No wait, let me finish.” Andrew said. “Its all my fault. You said you wanted me to go with you for your parent’s anniversary weekend and I obliged because I knew how much it meant to you. All you asked me to do was to stay at your parent’s house from Friday to Sunday. I should have respected the fact that it was your parent’s house and stopped myself and you from smoking weed that night. More importantly, I never should have come to hold you in the kitchen. I should never have kissed you or tried anything with you there. If anything, I should have waited till we got upstairs to one of the rooms assigned to us before ripping your clothes off you like a maniac. It’s just that I couldn’t help myself. I just wanted to hold you and steal one kiss from you without caring about where we were. That mistake led to clothes being shed. I honestly thought your parents were asleep. I never thought your dad would come down for a beer in the middle of the night and check if all the doors were locked. It’s because of me that your parents now know you like men.”

Walking from where he stood and over to Andrew’s table, Jiro sat down beside Andrew and waited until Andrew looked him in the eye. “Okay first off. We are both to blame.” Jiro said. “I didn’t know about the beer-at-night thing. Mum was only just telling me about that on Sunday afternoon; making me promise to talk to my dad to quit sneaking out of bed at night to drink. He thinks she doesn’t know but she always smells it on his breath every time he gets back into bed. Anyway, that’s not the issue. I need you to know that its not your fault babe.”

Andrew looked away, the memory of  Jiro’s dad’s face when he caught them and screamed ‘blood of Jesus’ forever burned in his memory.

“Drew, look at me” Jiro guided Andrew’s face with his hands and said it again with affection laced in his voice. “It. Is. Not. Your. Fault. To be honest, I thought you would be relieved that my parents now know about us. I know I am! I have thought of how I’d say it to them or if I’d wait for them to die before I say it so I don’t destroy the dreams and aspirations they have coined up in their heads for me. I know I never would have told them anything if I had my way but what’s done is done and they know now. They are my parents. They’ll eventually get over it. I’m sure yours will too when they find out.”

“Like hell your parents will get over it.” Andrew said exasperatedly. “You can’t speak for them Jiro. You don’t know if they will ever get over it. From what your dad said, he’s not ready to get over it any time soon,” Andrew insisted.

Trying to calm down, Andrew blew out a breath and finally revealed the secret about his family to Jiro. “My family already knows about me and my attraction to men and women. My father found out about me and he never forgave or accepted me as his son from that day till now. My mother went all over Nigeria and other parts of the world looking for native doctors, pastors, Muslim leaders, Buddhists, and every kind of religion known to man just to find a cure…a way to pray-the-gay-away. My mother almost died of high blood pressure and depression shortly after that and my father has never really forgiven me for it. She didn’t die, thank God but her health became extremely sensitive. To get away from all the family drama, I relocated to the UK and was only forced to come back to Nigeria after I lost my job and became broke. After I returned from the UK and had to live  with my parents for a while, I had to swear to them that I was done with liking men– like its something I personally refused to turn off. I wish I could but it’s not a switch for a bulb. People just don’t get that. My family surely never did. Two weeks after I moved out of my father’s house and into my new place, my parents paid me a surprise visit and found a half naked man coming out of my shower while I was only wearing my boxers to meet them at the door. They disowned me after that.”

Jiro looked like he was about to say something but Andrew had started opening his proverbial black box of family secrets and he couldn’t stop talking. His never talking about things was so he’d not bother anyone with his issues. With all the walls closing in on him, Andrew was done keeping quiet about things and everything came flooding out of his mouth.

“My younger sister and brother say they accept me as I am but I can almost hear the fervent prayers in their heads begging God to make me like only women. They are confused about how to explain to their future kids that their big uncle might possibly be in a relationship with a woman one month and a man the very next month. That’s why I wanted so badly to stay in the UK all those years ago.  So don’t sit there and tell me that your parents will forgive or accept you like you are because you don’t know. You cant be sure. Not completely.”

“Andrew,” Jiro said, “calm down you idiot. I know you’ve had it pretty rough but these are my parents we are talking about. They will get over it. Not all parents are the same. I have to believe mine will let this go and love me regardless. With time, they will come to love you too. I’m sure of it.”

Andrew tapped his fingers against his left leg and starred off into the distance as a different kind of pain Jiro had never seen before crept into his best friend’s eyes. When Andrew finally spoke, his words were full of pain and lost hope. “Your parents want grandchildren, Jiro. You know they do. You are the only child. How in God’s name do you expect me to give you children? I can’t get pregnant even if I wanted to. Not even a sex change operation would give me a womb — not that I want a sex change operation or a pregnancy. I’m very happy being a man thank you very much. Besides, you love kids. Do you think that I’ll be enough? Do you really think that you and me will be enough for you? The thought of sharing you with another person, even a woman, will drive me crazy for sure. Even if we both decide to get married to women, how do we still stay together when we are married to two separate women? How will that work exactly? Four people, two marriages, and one homosexual love affair? I don’t see that happening. What happens if the women we marry find out? Abbey walked out on you before anything happened between you and i. Do you think if we decided to marry women, they’d react any different given that we are already so into each other?

“We can get married to a lesbian couple.” Jiro grumbled. “At least they’d understand. You’d marry one and I’d marry the other but four of us will know who our real partners are.”

“Yes we can marry lesbians but for how will that work out?” Andrew asked. “A lie weaved in a lie that was ultimately born out of a lie! Two fake marriages to cover up two real relationships that will bring children into this world. What kind of future would we be fostering for our children? Secrets never remain secrets Jiro. At the end of the day, every secret always comes out into the open one way or the other, whether or not you are there to witness it. Not even Olivia Pope would be able to cover up this scandal if people found out about us.”

Jiro opened his mouth to speak but Andrew kept on rambling. “This is a big risk for the both of us. You might be okay with family knowing today but what about the future when everyone else finds out one after the other? All of your neighbours, our acquaintances, people at work- what if they find out? What if we don’t work out in the end? What happens to our friendship? What happens to you? Everyone will know and there will be no taking it back once that happens. What then Jiro? What then?”

Jiro swallowed spit and didn’t know what to say. “I cannot believe that you got all of these depressing thoughts from speaking to my dad for half an hour yesterday. He must have really done a number on you. Look, all the points you raised are valid but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a way around every one of them. Loads of people get through this everyday. We just have to take it one step at a time.”

“Don’t be naive Jiro.” Andrew retorted. “What’s the point in believing in fairy freaking tales that will never happen? You don’t seem to understand my logic on the situation. As it is, the odds are against us but its not just that. Its me!!!”

Trying hard to understand Andrew’s point, Jiro asked “What about you?”

” I’m a one-man-wrecking-ball.” Andrew said, throwing his hands in the air in defeat. “All I do is break things…My mum’s health, my dad’s happiness, your relationship with Abbey, your relationship with your parents, your sexuality, your virginity when it comes to same-sex practices, your life, and if I’m not careful, I’ll break your ass and your penis too from overuse.” He sighed, shaking  like he had pneumonia.

“Dude,” Jiro said to Andrew, “you sound like a crazy person now. You do know that I’d probably break your genitals first from overuse before you break mine? For some reason, I can’t seem to get enough of your body no matter how hard I try.”

Andrew wanted to butt in and say something but Jiro said “Shut up and let me finish. Yes, you are a one-man-wrecking ball and yes the odds are against us. I’d say our survival rate is about 3%, and yes I agree that the statistics are very bad but its not nothing; and I don’t think we should give up on it or us, at least not yet.”

Looking at Jiro as he said those words to him, Andrew’s love for Jiro grew exponentially. He cared so much about Jiro and prayed that nothing bad ever befell this man… His man!

He makes such a great point, Andrew thought to himself. The odds may be against us but what we have is not nothing.

The devil on Andrew’s shoulder – or was it the angel — he didn’t know, said what the hell are you doing? You know he deserves a full life and he will never get that with you. You are his best friend and you will always be, but that’s all you will ever really be. He belongs in the straight world with loads of kids, grandkids, friends and family.

Andrew’s thoughts sought to find excuses to debunk the facts being thrown at him in his mind by his angelic/demonic conscience. But I can still be his lover, can’t I? He asked his conscience.

No! His angelic/demonic conscience said. You cannot be more than a friend to him. He deserves a chance to watch his wife give birth, see his child’s first steps, and have a couple of his kids look exactly like him. He deserves that. If you really loved him, you’d let him go. If he regrets not being able to do all these things later in life, he’ll forever blame you. Its time for you to let him to fly away.

Despite his failings as both a best friend and a boyfriend, Andrew had always tried to follow the simplest and most profound of edicts he lived by: Do no harm! How had he managed to fail so miserably, so completely where Jiro was concerned?

You’ve harmed Jiro by turning him into someone like you, The conscience in his head continued. Let him go so he can put the pieces of his life back together and make something of his life while he still has the chance.

Finally seeing reason to what the angelic/demonic conscience was saying, Andrew began to think to himself. I was selfish. That night when Jiro kissed me for the first time, I should have walked away but I didn’t. I wanted -no- I needed, God I needed — and I took. I’m so sorry Jiro. Andrew’s eyes burned with unshed tears of remorse. A lump of guilt stuck in his throat.

Butting into Andrew’s reverie, Jiro said “Drew, quit spacing out on me. Talk to me.”

Andrew knew the first step toward his decision would be the hardest but each step thereafter pricked his conscience even more. Do it. You have to, you know you do. “I don’t think we should continue seeing each other anymore.” Andrew said. “I think its time I let you go.”The only way to chase Jiro towards the right part is to hit the nail on the head, the conscience in his head said. Say it now before you lose your nerve. He will thank you for it later in future. With that in mind, Andrew opened his mouth and finished his sentence. “You…you are not attracted to men…not really.”

“You son-of-a-bitch?”Jiro asked. Jiro knew he was raising his voice but he couldn’t help himself. Andrew looked guilty as he gazed to see who was watching or listening  from outside his office like they were doing something wrong. If anyone could hear him from outside Andrew’s office and they decided to stare, he didn’t care. It was their lucky day because he really didn’t give a shit right now. Let them stare.

Even before he saw it in Jiro’s eyes, Andrew already felt Jiro’s defences go up. “I thought you liked being with me. I thought you cared about me. I thought you would fight for our relationship no matter what but I guess I was wrong. If you were tired of me, you could have just said so. I wouldn’t have bothered you anymore.”

Still looking down in despair, Andrew said it again. “You are not attracted to men. Not really.” Andrew’s words only made Jiro angrier.

Shaking with anger, Jiro clenched both his fists but kept his vibrating arms locked to his sides. “You sadistic, cynical, overly-pessimistic, borderline-crazy bastard! I became attracted to men for just you… because of you. Wasn’t it enough that you fucked with my mind and my head until you made me want you? Wasn’t it enough that you made me want your hands on me? Wasn’t it enough that you teased me endlessly and made me beg for permission to suck your cock?” Wasn’t it enough that you let me enjoy making love to you until I practically sold my ass to you in submission so you could make love to me too?”

He became attracted to men just for me; because of me? Is that even possible? Andrew knew it was a stupid question. Jiro had shown him it was very much possible.

Trying to get Jiro to reduce your voice, Andrew used his hands to gesture to Jiro to speak quietly but Jiro would have none of it. Pushing Andrew’s hand away, Jiro continued. It seemed like asking Jiro to reduce the volume of his voice only seemed to make him go higher in tempo. “Weren’t all these things enough thrill for you? Sorry if I wasn’t gay enough for you.”

Andrew spoke up trying to defend himself. “N- no, no… That’s not what I meant…” Andrew’s throat felt dry and he lost his words. Some of the remarks Jiro had made felt uncomfortably close to the truth.

“Did I amuse you good enough?” Jiro asked spitefully. “Did you laugh about how pathetic I am? Did you make me a joke to all your gay friends as you laughed about how a man that was so straight could indulge in such gay activities and fawn over you? I guess now that you know I’m willing to go the extra length with you in this relationship, you got bored, huh? I don’t really blame you, Drew. Hell, I cannot believe how stupid I am! How could I have fallen in love with the biggest son of a bitch this world has ever produced? I should have known better!”

Whoa…Did he just say he loves me? Andrew asked himself, trying to be sure he heard right.

“I have no one to blame but myself.” Jiro continued. “I knew you were into men from the get go after the first kiss when you told me. It was my own damn fault for letting it get this far. It is all my fault”

“Jiro,” Andrew started. He never got to finish his sentence because Jiro stepped around the edge of Andrew’s table and towards Andrew with closed fists. He knew Jiro’s body had gone into attack mode and he was most unpredictable when he was this way. Andrew jumped out of his chair and moved back, holding his hands out defensively.

“Actually,” Jiro snarled as he continued advancing towards Andrew with closed fists. “How about I give you half the blame?”

No, its all mine!.Andrew wanted to say. He so badly wanted to speak but he couldn’t find his voice.

Jiro’s trembling hand swept across Andrew’s table, his full strength behind it. All the files, papers, laptop and ipad Andrew had been using to prepare for his meeting at noon all went flying across the office floor. Andrew’s hands remained on the defensive to protect himself from any sudden moves from Jiro. Knowing Jiro was unpredictable when he was angry, Andrew never took his eyes off Jiro to about the damage to his work files and laptop. He’d do that later.

Jiro was oblivious to Andrew’s fear. He just kept on talking. “But since I let you fuck me six ways from Sunday in every way imaginable, mind and body included, how about we call this checkmate.” Jiro’s ice cold stare felt solid, like a touch.

“You win. You don’t want to be with me anymore? Consider yourself a single man once again. Congratulations.” Eyes steady, spine straight, Jiro turned and walked over towards the door.

I cant do this, Andrew told himself. I can’t let him walk out of my life forever. It fucking hurts too much. Under his shirt and past his breastbone, Andrew could feel his heart breaking with each step Jiro took towards the door. If I let him leave this office, I will definitely lose him forever.

Jumping over his now-messy table, Andrew followed Jiro towards the door. “wait Jiro”

Uncharacteristically quiet, Jiro turned to face Andrew. He stared at nothing and pointedly avoided looking at him “What for?”

“I’m not kicking you out of my life.” Andrew said. “Please don’t go. I’m so sorry. I never thought about how what I was saying would affect you. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Please lets talk it over. This is not what I meant at all.”

Jiro looked irritated. “Oh fuck you Drew.” Jiro said with bitterness in his voice. “You don’t have to lie to me to spare my feelings. I’m already leaving like you wanted. I’ve had lots of experience with Abbey to know when I’m not wanted. I am not a toy you can take out, play with, and shove back into a box when you get bored or lonely or horny. I am not the guy you get at the end of the fucking movie. I am not a fantasy.”  With one last icy glare, he turned and said harshly, “I’m done putting my heart on the line for you when all you seem to do is play with my emotions whenever the hell you like. If you want me, earn me!”

Blocking his exit route, Andrew stepped in front of Jiro.

“Move,” Jiro snapped

Andrew didn’t bulge.

With his elbow, Jiro knocked Andrew out of the way. and yanked open the door.

Desperate to keep Jiro in his office a little longer, Andrew went for broke. “Jiro,” Andrew called out. “I forbid you to leave this room.”

Jiro stopped dead in his tracks like someone had shot him in the head. He wasn’t sure he had heard Andrew correctly. What the hell did Andrew just say to me? Wait, hold on, Jiro thought to himself as he did a double-take on the words that had just come out of Andrew’s dirty mouth. Jiro turned back to face Andrew, deadly intent in his eyes. If looks could kill, Andrew would have been dead in that very instant; and from the strides Jiro took towards him, Andrew knew it would have been a very painful death.

“You what?” Jiro asked him angrily. “Nobody forbids me from doing anything. Not even you. Especially not you!” Jiro grabbed Andrew by the shirt, looked him dead in the eyes and used his most threatening tone. “Got it?”

Too scared he’d get punched in the eye and knowing he’d be unable to explain a black eye to his boss in his meeting at noon, Andrew mumbled a simple “Got it.”

Pulling away, Jiro stared Andrew down. A fine crease was visible across the man’s smooth forehead, but his brows were less furrowed than before. Jiro pointed at Andrew and said ” Love, like every original emotion in the universe, cannot be destroyed but it can change over time. There’s a thin line between love and hate Andrew, and you just crossed it. You’ll regret you ever said the words you said to me today.”

Without another word, Jiro turned his back to Andrew and he was gone.

Andrew wanted to chase Jiro down and take back all that he had said, but thought better of it and let Jiro go. At the moment, Jiro was livid. If he was going to get through to Jiro anytime soon, he simply had to lay low for a while and let Jiro’s anger simmer down.

I’ll give him his space for now and talk things out with him later, Andrew thought. He can’t stay mad at me forever.

Whether it was cowardice or good judgement that led to that decision, Andrew didn’t know. All he knew was that staying away from each other for a couple of hours seemed like the right thing to do.

Letting out a breath he hadn’t known he was holding, Andrew picked up his laptop from the floor. The screen had cracked but it was still on. At least it’ll get me through the meeting, Andrew said to console himself. I’ll have to get this laptop over to the IT department to repair it after the meeting. I wonder how I will explain the cracked screen to them.

Sighing, Andrew dropped to his knees and started picking up the files and scattered papers from the floor.

==========

Righteous anger carried Jiro out of Andrew’s office, down the hallway, and all the way to his own office. It was only after he had gotten to his office that the anger dissipated a bit and then it dumped him in his chair feeling empty and shaking like a leaf. Turning to face the window, Jiro held the armrest of his chair firmly in both hands and stared outside at nothing.

VIEW FROM JIRO'S OFFICE

VIEW FROM JIRO’S OFFICE

He had given up everything for Andrew: his love for women, his body, and his heart. When he was a teenager, planning an education and career had been easy for Jiro. He had known exactly what he wanted to study in the university and what career path he had wanted ever since he was in secondary school So far, he had accomplished every goal he had set for himself in every area of his life.

…except when it came to the love department.

He had always believed that love made the world go round and love could heal the deepest of wounds.

Utter garbage!

How can love heal wounds when love is the primary cause for heartaches? First Abbey and now Andrew!

Abbey had tossed him around and nagged him to death about getting engaged before breaking up with him. According to Andrew, Abbey and Mofe were now engaged. As for Andrew…the son-of-a-bitch had just broken Jiro’s heart into a million little pieces.

Jiro was done believing how love could make the world go round and how love could make people whole again. The only thing that idiotic notion had brought into his life was pain and indescribable heartache. Love was built for idiots, Jiro surmised. He was done with being a player in cupid’s lousy games.

What Jiro wanted now was revenge. He wanted his pound of flesh and he wanted it badly. There was only one problem… How was he going to get his pound of flesh when his stupid heart still loved Andrew?

There was only one way….

Jiro had to hit Andrew where it would hurt the most!

==========

Glad her plans were finally falling into place, Abbey ended her phone conversation. Although it was a Monday, she had called in sick and promised to work to the best of her ability from home. Her boss, knowing that she had never missed a day of work before, had willingly let her stay home and had told her to get better soon.

After the face-off between Mofe and her dad, Abbey had gone home with Mofe and had stayed at his place all weekend. She hadn’t wanted to call in sick but knowing that her father could find her in her office had made Mofe a bit worried. He had begged her to stay home for the week until her father had let go of his anger and was no longer a threat to her. After a brief tussle of wills, she had agreed to call in sick only for today. Mofe had willingly jumped at her concession to stay home even if it was only for one day. She knew he would still try to make her stay home for the rest of the week but for now, he was happy having her safely away from her office, her father, and her father’s house. Mofe had left the house before she woke up but he had left a gift for her on his side of the bed.

MOFE'S GIFT TO ABBEY

MOFE’S GIFT TO ABBEY

Abbey absolutely loved her new bag and shoes. She knew he was trying to take her mind off stressing over everything that had happened. So far, his method was working.

Being with Mofe had taught Abbey a lot in the short time they had been together. His understanding nature was fast rubbing off on her and she was loving every minute of the transformation. So far she had learnt that just because she wasn’t with Jiro anymore and she didn’t talk to Andrew as such anymore didn’t mean she didn’t care for both of them. Although she wasn’t completely comfortable with Jiro and Andrew’s relationship, she was beginning to warm up to it. It was just like Mofe had said… Having homosexual tendencies in the middle of a heterosexual community couldn’t possibly be easy for Andrew and Jiro. She had decided to focus on their personalities as good friends and not their sexual orientation.

For the first time in her life, Abbey was finally happy. All her friends were in good places, her mother was finally out of her father’s house, and her father couldn’t hurt her or her mother anymore. The only people left in her life that she had to make amends with were Andrew and Jiro and she wanted her two best male friends back. After the surprise plans Abbey had just planned over the phone for the two men, she was sure that her efforts to win back their friendship was in the right direction. Nothing can go wrong from here on out, she thought to herself with a smile.

As she thought of logging into her emails from work, her phone rang. Abbey looked at the caller ID. It was Bukunmi. Looking at the laptop and the tons of emails from work she was yet to go through, Abbey reluctantly stood from the office space she had created in Mofe’s house and walked towards the balcony of the house to get better reception for the phone call.

ABBEY'S WORKSPACE IN MOFE'S HOUSE

ABBEY’S WORKSPACE IN MOFE’S HOUSE

“Hi BK. I was just thinking about you.” Abbey said with a grin on her face.

After listening to what Bukunmi was relaying to her over the phone, Abbey quickly got up from the comfort of the couch and started pacing. Her grin was quickly replaced with a frown on her face and fear in her eyes.

Oh my God! No no no no no. Abbey repeated in her head over and over again. This is not happening! Not now! Not when everything’s going so well.

Taking a deep breath, Abbey  tried to calm her nerves and get all the facts. “Wait, say that again slowly. You are where?” Abbey asked, her heart skipping beats by the second.

“I’m at your parent’s house.” Bukunmi said in a rattled voice. “Please Bukunmi, help me. I don’t know what to do.”

“Bolt all the doors!” Abbey instructed. “Don’t leave the house or open the door for anyone except me. In fact, stay where you are. I have my house keys. I’ll let myself into the house that way. Don’t do anything until I get there. I’m on my way. Please Bukunmi stay EXACTLY where you are and tell no one else about this.” Abbey insisted.

“Okay,” Bukunmi said. She was sobbing violently.

Abbey quickly cut the call, grabbed her car keys and ran out of the house.

Knowing that time was of the essence, Abbey jumped into the driver’s seat and drove like a mad woman all the way to her parent’s house.

To be continued…

I look forward to your comments!

 Soundtrack for Episode 10: THE FALL – REHAB by RIHAANNA

 
12 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Guilty Pleasures

 

Tags:

ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED: TRIVIA EPISODE

Hi there Controverters!

Here’s hoping your Wednesday was eventful.

Enjoyed the long weekend? Awesome 🙂

A lot of people have commented and sent personal messages to me concerning the absence of episode 10 today. Just to be absolutely clear, this was intentional. I should probably start with an apology for not hinting what would happen this week but it was for the best of reasons. This week will not go by however. To get more people talking, this week has been devoted to TRIVIA QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROULETTE OF THE DAMNED!!!

Bear with me…there is definitely logic to my madness.

Now, I noticed that there are rarely any interactive forums on blogs stories anymore. I find it pertinent that we get talking and share our thoughts on the issues raised. These issues so far are things I would like to get your views on. so, lets get talking. IT’S TIME TO FIGHT FOR THE CHARACTERS YOU LOVE!!!

1) Who is your favourite character and why?

2) Do you support Jiro and Andrew’s relationship? If Yes/No, please state your reasons.

3) If Jiro had never kissed Andrew, they would never have found love in their “hopeless place”. Do you think that Abbey would have been happier with Jiro had this been the case?

4) What is Andrew’s best Quality?

ANDREW

ANDREW

5) What is Jiro’s best quality?

JIRO

JIRO

6) What is Abbey’s best quality?

ABBEY

ABBEY

7) Why do you think Jafar is the way he is?

JAFAR

JAFAR

8) Do you think Edirin could have handled the situation with Jafar better? If so, how?

EDIRIN

EDIRIN

9) What do you think should happen to Jafar?

JAFAR

JAFAR

10) What was your favourite scene in the story so far?

FEEL FREE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT INTEREST YOU THE MOST.

I look forward to debating these issues with you. I promise to respond to each and every comment that will be sent in on the blog. So, send in your comments and lets get the ball rolling.

Your opinions are GOLD.

SNEAK PEAK FOR EPISODE 10

Episode 10: Roulette of The Damned: THE FALL!!!

THE FALL

THE FALL

Soundtrack for Episode 10: REHAB by Rihanna.

 

I look forward to your comments.

Expect the unexpected!!!

Now and Always,

The Controvert!

 
32 Comments

Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Guilty Pleasures

 

Roulette Of The Damned: DANCE WITHOUT YOU (EPISODE IX)

… 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—–

DANCE WITHOUT YOU

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.

TARI'S CRUMPLED LETTER

TARI’S CRUMPLED LETTER

“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!

Unforgivable!

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.

Abbey nodded.

“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.

ANDREW CARRYING THE BAGS

ANDREW CARRYING THE BAGS

==========

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.

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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.

JAFAR

JAFAR

“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 -P hot by TripCity Visuals

DINNER -Photo by TripCity Visuals

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.

JIRO

JIRO

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.

ANDREW

ANDREW

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.

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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.

JIRO

JIRO

“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!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Guilty Pleasures