May 23rd 2013 8:25pm Ebenezer hostel Yaba, Lagos. Onyekachi eyes me with contempt, “I’m confused, I don’t understand what you mean.” She starts laughing her high pitched laugh, the one she starts when she’s trying so hard to believe you but she really doesn’t. “Amma please tell me you’re joking”. For a roommate she really…
May 23rd 2013
Ebenezer hostel Yaba,
Onyekachi eyes me with contempt, “I’m confused, I don’t understand what you mean.” She starts laughing her high pitched laugh, the one she starts when she’s trying so hard to believe you but she really doesn’t. “Amma please tell me you’re joking”. For a roommate she really didn’t know me, I keep my eyes on the carpet; barely able to lift my eye lids as they were swollen with tears. She doesn’t stop laughing; she probably thinks I’m joking. I lay on my bed watching her, I look at my watch again; it’s been almost an hour since I broke the news to her and all she has done is laugh and discredit the evidence telling me it wasn’t possible, asking all the necessary questions. “You sure say the thing enter?” “kai so you no tell am make hin no try empty am for your body” “which day you start to dey fuck ehn Amma?” “How many you don try since that day?” “You sure say nah wetin the thing show, you see?” “You sure say the thing never expire?? “. This is the longest I’ve heard her speak pidgin, it doesn’t go well with her vocabulary. I am pregnant and when my father finds out he’s going to murder me. Forty-two minutes after, she stares at me. ” So after sucking up to you, after being there for you, telling you everything, being your best friend. After all the stupid things I’ve had to go through because of you; your protruding misdemeanors, miserable annoying, childish, stubborn, strong headed contradicting attitude. I was here for you and you couldn’t even give me the courtesy; you couldn’t even tell me when you broke the fucking cherry to avoid this particular inhumane situation?” She asks.
“It’s Inhumane because the only way out of this is to get rid of it, we both know its the only option there is. Your dad will kill you.” Tears come down my cheeks, as she sighs. This is her anger stage, she raves, rages and rants to the main cause of the problem which at the moment is me. My friend Kachi, I’m going to miss her when she finds out.
Two years gone by already; the only child of her parents, wealthy, smart and beautiful, everyone’s dream. Her over zealous girly attitude, curves and the charming smile. After a major fight down in our first year she was stuck with me for a year as a punishment from her parents. We had to live together, one night in a crowd of inebriate students we became best friends. She moves over to my bed and sits beside me, she hugs me and she holds onto me like she knows my mum would; I cry more than I have since I discovered there was something growing in my belly.
“Who’s the father Amma?” I shake my head, and push her away “why would you want that? Why would you fucking need that? leave me alone” I wince in pain letting my head fall to my thighs, it felt chilly almost immediately. I wouldn’t tell her; I can’t possibly tell her. She’ll never forgive me. She will never look at me the same way. She will assume I’m the cause of her problems, part of the people that ruined her only hope of having a happy family; I can’t, I really can’t. She moves away from me watching me, thinking about the approach to take, just like her father does. She watches me, without concealing the look of pity and sadness on her face. How the hell am I going to tell her, that her dad is the father of my baby?
June 23rd, 2012
Ebenezer hostel, Yaba,
“You’re pretty, you know bah? I mean you’re light skinned, you’ve got some mad ass hair stereotype thingy going on. Why don’t you get weaves and try doing something about your eye brows, stop your tomboyish attitude, and maybe you might get a boyfriend. Get a boyfriend and stop moping around making me feel bad every time I have to go out at night.” The chocolate chip cookie still half way from my mouth I stare at Kachi. “Who says I want a boyfriend?” I ask, with a voice barely above a whisper I pretend to defend myself; I shrug off reminders of how lonely I get sometimes. She laughs re-touching her make up for yet another night out. “My birthday is in 6 days you know, y’all are going to meet my parents and they’re way to classy and picky; I can’t have you looking like this.” I nod, slightly distracted by her figure. When we first met I got to spend time with Kachi and her mum; at 18 she is stunning and beautiful just like her mother Jachima Igwe. She never talks about her parents, but I know they’re not together and her mum kept her maiden name.
I met her the day we had our brawl, she had just come in to attend her daughter’s expulsion meeting because her dad was too busy in Switzerland. She wore a pair of black ripped jeans, a pleated white blouse and navy blue flats; she carried around a beautiful blue Prada bag, ever so dignified. I literally drooled after her; she looked so young, beautiful and carefree. Kachi her younger twin as I call her; in her monochrome skater dress and blue sandals so much like her. She removes her hair net and let the curls of her very expensive weaves fall all around her; she is a beauty, a very haughty and disdainful one. Intimidation and jealousy hit following simultaneously relative to the other; her voice catches me off guard “You know it’s rude to stare; what’s wrong?” She sits on her bed; ” I’m sorry I didn’t realize I was staring. Why can’t I be like you though?” I whine covering my head in embarrassment. She utters a high pitched cry grabbing on her purse and her phone “I will make that happen when I get back, I promise.” She grabs the last biscuit off my bed before running out the door.
I lock the door behind her, fall face first on to my bed; my red encased journal falls to the floor, my mother’s picture slides out. I smile picking up the dog eared photograph; I miss having a mum, she’s been gone for so long now it’s hard to remember her face or the sound of her voice. I grab my photo album from the shelf above; settling on my bed I try to imagine how my dad was around her. If I really remind him of her; It’s not possible, he hates me. Why else would he treat me like his second son as though my brother Ahmed isn’t enough. I unlock my phone and type a quick message. “Hey dad. Haven’t heard from you in a while, this is me letting you know school is fine and I love you. Goodnight.” I press send and turn off my phone dreading the wait for a reply; a reply I know will never come. Flipping through the album, I smile at the start of each new page souring with emotions. She was so happy, she had given up being a Muslim for my dad. That’s definitely love, especially in this part of the world. I look just like her I’m told; my skinny, lanky form. The black, curly mane on my head threatening to grow into my eyebrows; my round little face. Moving over to Kachi’s table I stare at my reflection in the mirror to justify; a splitting image of my dead mother. Taken so early after a failed thyroidectomy; I flip the light switch before making it to my bed in the dark.
I pull my duvet over my head and unlock my phone to begin another night of self-stimulation; this being the 6th time this week and I already feel like I have a problem. Prancing around every day like a novice and jerking off at night time as though I’ve spent 10 years in the business; if there is a business for this kind of thing. Kachi caught me last week and till date I suffer our inside jokes in public; she keeps asking me why I don’t lose the damn thing and enjoy the real deal with pleasure in an age of abundance, she says it’s better than having to do all the work myself. Every day I swear it will be the last time and every day I download a new video; when the deed is done only anger, guilt and contrition set in. I choose the video of two black girls, a dildo, and a large man lowering the volume so as to not betray myself to my neighbors. I click on download silently calling myself a hypocrite remembering I did the exact same thing three days before, seven days before that and the other days I keep to myself. The digrace and embarrassment I feel over shadowing my thoughts; not completely as i block it out to watch my video
July 4th 2012
Ebenezer hostel, Yaba.
“Amma come out jor!” Kachi shouts. Completely distracted in my bathroom, I’m shaking; It’s Kachi’s 20th birthday and she has completely changed me. I don’t know who I’m staring at in the mirror; after 30 minutes of packing stuff on my face, another 3 hours in the salon; here I am. She had warned the stylist to do something wonderful and she hasn’t reduced her compliments on anything since then. As a gift for wanting to be like her, I was given one of her most priced possessions. The weave given to her by her mother; I remember not knowing what to say, hugging her and not letting go. I remember bringing out the weave from my wardrobe each time I was left alone, pulling my hands through the weft of soft curls. I treat it like a treasure because it is, I could never be given enough money to even attempt buying one. Now it’s on my hair and subconsciously pulling at the hair has become a habit.
Blowing out the last puff of smoke from the window I flush my cigarette down the drain; emptying the air fresher can before untying my dress off the hanger. I had begged my brother for twelve thousand naira to buy me this dress; he happily gave it when he found out it was for Kachi s birthday. Every person I know with a penis has an obsession with her; I put on the dress and tie it at the waist, it falls loosely to the floor exposing enough cleavage and thighs. Trembling with insecurities I open the door to my very rowdy room; six over active, ecstatic females in a rush for Kachi’s birthday dinner. The creaking door announcing my entrance; I hold Kachi’s gaze and blush when she gives me a knowing, proud smile. That’s when I notice how quiet the room had become, Kachi wasn’t the only one proud of her work.
About a little past 8 we pull into Kachi’s Street; Kachi and I, Seun the grub, Amaka and Eloha, the parasites; Chika and Hadiza her classmates. Joslyn my friend. Eight of us stashed in 2 cars, like ovaries spiked with liquor; hardly my scene. I don’t remove my attention from candy crush, I ignore the squeals, fake laughs and adulterated conversations. I sigh in relief when I see her house in the distance; her mother, looking beautiful in a sleeveless, black lace midi dress, hugging her hips, with nude pumps. Her hair packed in a bun. She waves at the cars as we pull into the compound. The silent thuds of the generator covering the screams of Kachi and greetings. I smile at my woman crush and hug her as she whispers compliments of my beauty in my ears; I blush suddenly wondering where Kachi’s dad was.
Her father’s house is a beauty, an art centre I muse over. The distance between the front door and the dining area has 9 paintings as a distraction; one of which is my favourite by El Anatsui. Hanging sculptures of exquisite delicacy such as in the world but don’t really know the world, made with aluminium wrappings and bottle-caps. It’s a beauty, I push away the thoughts of how much it would have gone for. I walk past admiringly ignoring the parasites who stopped to take pictures; probably to gloat and gossip about us the next day and show their Instagram followers they have a wealthy friend.
I have been here countless times, slept here even more times and still every time I admire the beauty. Her massive dinning table covered with dishes of all sorts and cakes. I find the burgers with my eyes and hastily I make a grab for it; Jachi says a quick prayer before asking us to dig in. Making a burger out of prawns for Kachi and I; I grab a bottle of white wine and my purse before handing it over to her” I need to call my dad, let me know when yours gets here” I whisper she nods distracted.
I make my way up the stairs to the balcony, surrounded by parapet overlooking the pool; I settle on the seat beside the wall and pull out my phone, my spiff and lighter. I light my spiff and take a drag before dialing my father’s number. He picks at the second ring; “Good evening sir,” his voice is strained or is it the liquor playing tricks already? I ask myself “Yes, how are you?” definitely not the liquor. “I’m fine daddy, I wanted to know if you got my message about staying with Kachi today. It’s her birthday, and her mum said she spoke to you. I didn’t want you to worry.” He replies “She did call yesterday, no problem. Are you drinking? ” “No sir” I wonder if he believes me, “Goodnight” I gulp down the white, dry liquid, hearing a mumbled “have fun” before ending the call.
My skin pricks as I feel eyes on my back, turning back in a fright my mind strays after meeting the steady gaze of a very beautiful man, the pictures I’ve seen the past couple of months did not tell lies. He stares at me, watching me like Kachi does. Dressed in black jeans, a striped shirt and a black cardigan. Inarticulate with a feeling of awe I say “Hello, Sir” doing the best thing I could think of, I pass him my glass of wine, and he takes it brushing against my fingertips sending shivers down my spine “You’re my daughter’s friend?” I nod giving way as he moves past the glass doors heading outside “Her roommate, Amma” a flicker of recognition passes “I’ve heard a great deal about you. Why am I just meeting you? I hear you know my house better than I do.” I laugh, almost choking on lack of self confidence; I push my spiff inside my purse hoping he didn’t notice. “You’re always busy. Sir” he nods “True” taking a sip.
I stare at his back, he is ripped. I could see through his outfit, I’ve never been attracted to anyone before, even as little as this. I try to understand my body, wondering why the weather changed so suddenly, wondering why I can barely form my sentences correctly; his words bringing me out of my trance “It’s rude to stare.” I look away taking back my glass; “I know, I’ve been told. I live with your daughter, trust me I’ve been told. I can’t help it you’re…” red with embarrassment, turning pink in my stomach I steal a glance at him, trying to remember in my skipping state if I saw a smile. “I hope I see you again Miss…” “Garba, Fatima Garba ” I blush feeling the effect of the drug and liquor taking over, I strut past him almost tripping on Kachi “I think I’m drunk!” She laughs, holding onto my hand she leads me towards the step waving back at her father. We’re going to an open bar, you sure you can still make it?” I nod “it’s your freaking birthday, you only turn 20 once” Riantly she grabs me and drags me outside towards the car where our tardy, apathetic friends were waiting.
July 24th 2012
Unilag when exams are over, its as depressing as anything. I pass the cab stop making a hasty decision to walk down to my hostel just opposite the school’s main gate; I have nothing at home to hurry back to. Kachi in London with her mum for the next 12 days; It’s going to be me, myself and I alone in the room. My phone vibrates bringing me out of my depressing trance, I pull out the vibrating gadget from my back pocket. “Hello?” Subconsciously my legs turn to jelly, “Hi Fatima, it’s David, Kachi’s dad. “I’ll call you back in 10 minutes.” I hang up and walk briskly back to the cab stop, I pull the door open and settle in ignoring the angry rants and stares from the people on the queue, anxiously waiting for the traffic to move.
I get down at the gate and pay the driver for his services before running past the yellow buses to my hostel. David picks up at the 2nd ring, locking the door behind me I flip the switch behind my bed smiling at the air cooling my head “Hi…, you called” I answer, in a voice I could not believe was mine. “Yes I did, I hope you don’t mind the intrusion, I got your number from Jachi.” noticing he calls his ex-wife by name, I unzip my jeans and walk out of it. Putting him on speaker, I grab my towel. “No I don’t mind at all, I’m actually glad you called. So how are you? How is work?” He makes a choked sound making me flush. “I’m very well Fatima thank you, so is work. In a bit of the leisure mood… that’s why I called actually, it’s very unbecoming but I was wondering if you wanted to spend some time off your books….” I stop unhooking my bra and close the bathroom door. “You want me to spend time with you?” I ask trying to hide the excitement in my voice “Yes that’s precisely what I mean” “When? I hear some paper in the background “8 today sound good?” I waver in happiness “Alright I’ll be waiting” I hang up before I get a reply, swallowing a silent scream I enter the bathroom.
The chilly Victoria Island breeze pushing through my hair, leaving goose bumps in their wake; I wonder if its the wind. I’m nervous, at the same time excited. I should not be doing this, I should not put myself in this situation. What would I tell Kachi? What would Kachi say? I remove the wavering thoughts and decide to let things be. I say a quick thank you to Segun, Kachi’s driver. In my black, maxi chiffon dress, I step out of the black range rover. Yellow chili, I have never been here. “Fatima” I spin around and there he is, giving me quivers; dressed casually in blue jeans, a white shirt and loafer; he makes me day dream just by looking at him. “I’m sorry I couldn’t come to get you, I had a business meeting to attend to, so I sent him to get you”. I smile, trying so hard not to make it excessive. “It is okay, he was nice.” referring to the driver ‘You look lovely” he says. I blush, patting my cheek to reduce how obvious it was. He stares at me, a smirk on his face, taking my hand in his, I follow him concentrating on my numb into the restaurant.
He greets the doorman and leads me to the back of the restaurant, to a private seater backing the actual restaurant, I blush some more when he pulls out the chair for me. I settle in my seat; “HI,” I blush again and grab the menu to distrait my gaze from his., “Can I have a meal with the jumbo prawns? That’s kind of like my kryptonite. I try to make any meal out of prawns”. He laughs and nods “Of course you do, Kachi offered me a burger once, it had prawns in it. I remember complimenting on her creativity, sure she got that from you” he signals the waiter and murmurs our orders to him.
“So, Fatima, besides being drawn to prawns, what’s your story?” I place my phone face down on the table and cross my legs, pouring years of trained etiquette into one dinner date. ‘Erm, My mum died when I was three, a failed operation my dad said. My elder brother Ahmed, he was 8 at that time. He was all I had left, besides my dad. Her death really took a toll on him, my dad basically left me in his care and sought solitude at work. I attended saint saviors for most of my primary days, moved to Vivian Fowler and now I am an accounting major in your daughter’s school. ” I smile, “That is my story, besides growing up in agony with a father who hates me, and having to deal with the years of torture during puberty and having no one to talk to, having everyone laugh at me.” I raise my eyes to meet his; I couldn’t possibly ask where he went to school, that’s beyond inappropriate. I look around the restaurant “this is a very nice place” he nods “I come here every time I am in Victoria Island. Its one of my favorites, I’ll love for it to be yours too.” I frown thinking, he wants this too? I ignore my thoughts and ask “So David, what are you thinking about right now?” with his face concealed of all emotions he smiles. “Truth? I am thinking if I wasn’t old enough to be your dad I would tell you you’re one of the most beautiful, interesting woman I have met, but I am old enough to be your dad so you and I are going to be just friends, okay?”. I laugh and turn to the nearest distraction, my stomach churns and I smile, the hunger is a good enough distraction. I take a sip of water and reply with a hint of sarcasm, ‘definitely!’
August 29th 2012
So long after and still nothing, the fact that I’m keeping count irritates as well as burdens me. David takes me to really great places and always sends me home before curfew, not to talk about each gift I was sent; I had to hide and lie to Kachi about. Clouded with worry I jump when my phone vibrates, it’s from David. “Fatima, how are you? I hope your day was better than mine.” The bathroom tap goes off and Kachi comes out cleaning her face, “why do you look so confused?” I shake my head ‘Do you say everything you think about out loud?” she chuckles, “you know this. Been neglecting my books for like a week now; passing the night in the library. You down?’ I shake my head “Nope…, I kind of have to be somewhere” she struggles with her towel “where?” She sits semi-nude to study me closely, “Nowhere…’ her face lights up ‘I’m guessing whatever I did, and whatever I taught you worked. You better keep all the interesting specifics till you’re ready to tell me. Don’t make me wait biko and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do” I laugh covering my head with my pillow. I’m literally the worst friend, I’m basically running after her father with growing feelings and I’m here telling lies by omission. I reply David’s message “I’ll be ready in 30” He had asked me to be with him at Southern sun, a hotel in Ikoyi, he had a meeting there till 8. I send a text telling him I’ll come earlier; he agrees and books a room for me.., or for us. He is charming, my David. I have met boys and I have met men, I don’t know where he fits; he acts like a school boy sometimes and then an overly mature person at other times.
I sent him a selfie a couple of weeks ago, I was at the beach with his daughter; his reply caught me off guard and got me thinking. “My goddess” He said. He wants us to be friends yet he goes round making comments like that.
Thoughts about him flood my mind on the drive to the island. I didn’t even realize when I dozed off, till Segun said. ‘Madam, we have reach’
47 Alfred Rewane Rd,
Eti-Osa Local Government Area,
The quiet sounds of my slippers against the floor as I walk briskly through the parking lot and make my way to the front desk; the receptionist gives me a funny look. ‘Amma Garba’ she smiles and nods passing me a key card. “6th floor, room 241” I return with a smile and strut towards the elevator pushing my hair behind my ears. Pushing the key card in I open the door, the fridge encased to the wall I pull out a bottle of wine. I love hotels; they always have four miniature bottles waiting each time. I gulp down the liquid, the cold liquid causing bubbles down my throat. I turn on the TV and kick off my shoes burying myself under the duvet.
I open my eyes trying to adjust to my surrounding, I had fallen asleep. I check my phone 8:15, a message from David already arrived saying he was on his way. I lock my phone going under the duvet again when I hear a soft knock on the door. Grudgingly I make my way to the door, ‘Hi’ he smiles sending butterflies round my stomach, and he hugs me kissing me on the cheek closing the door behind him. Dressed in a grey suit, his beards growing out, he looks as handsome as ever “You’re staring” I cover my head with the duvet he laughs sitting down on the side of the bed. I push myself off the bed and move to his side ‘Come on’ I pull him up, towering over me he obeys, I take off his jacket, then his tie. I feel his body stiffen at my touch. I start unbuttoning his shirt. “I feel like a school boy, I feel like I’m out of practice” he whispers “it’s like riding a bicycle, it’ll come to you.’ I tell him; refusing to meet his gaze “This can’t happen, I’m forty-five years old, I could be your father.” “But you’re not.” I reply. I push my hands up his chest, I feel his skin tremble, “You have a beautiful body’ he scowls, I tug at his belt and he grips my hand. I look up and meet his eyes, Without giving him the chance to argue, my lips find his. He is in shock I can feel it, I put my hands on his chest, and he trembles even more; his hands on my waist pulling me closer.
That’s my cue, I deepen the kiss; his tongue pulling on to mine, his hand moves to my hair. I wrap my hands around his waist grabbing on his back, he pushes me back and unties my halter, my dress falls to the floor. Unable to meet his gaze in embarrassment, he cups my face with his hand, “You’re my goddess” he whispers placing a kiss on my fore head; he places another kiss on my cheek “My beautiful goddess” he whispers on my lips. I unhook my brasserie. He smiles and pulls me closer to him. My hands go around his neck as he lifts me to the bed. He kisses me cupping each breast in his hand, I’ve never had anyone touch me like this, it feels good. He kisses my neck and covers my nipple with his mouth, his other hand pushing my legs apart. I oblige and welcome his hand as they go under my panties to my haven. I can’t help the moans that escape me, my hands fly to his hair and draw him up to kiss me while my hands unbuckle his belt. He pushes his trousers off him to the floor and I whimper when I feel the bulge on his briefs.
He stands up and gazes at me, I smile and whisper “It’s rude to stare” he smiles and nods “I can’t help it, you’re beautiful” I blush feeling my nipples harden when the cold air touches my skin, he seems to notice because he grabbed my legs and pulled down my panties, I’m so glad I shaved. He pulls out his wallet from his fallen jeans and pulls out a condom, I smile internally imagining how long he’s been thinking about me, about this. He removes his briefs and I erase all emotions from my face, I don’t want him treating me like a hurt animal. He’s huge and hard, the lights showing me his length as he covers it with the condom, he moves towards me, easing my legs apart he climbs the bed moving closer. I’m shivering inside wondering if it’s getting colder or if it’s just me.
His fingers find their way to my sex, “Amma what you do to me,” he whispers in between kisses on my thighs, whimpering “David…, baby” He kisses me there, I whimper when one finger goes in; then another. I chew on my lip to stop myself from crying out. “David please” he crawls up and kisses me, letting it linger long enough before thrusting inside me. I swallow a scream holding him close wrapping both my legs and arms around him; tears form in my eyes, God he’s so big. “Did I hurt you” he asks raspy breaths in my ear. I shake my head moving my hips smiling when I hear his intake. He pushes into me again “make it memorable” I whisper. Heat waves are sent through my vagina up to my spine, my hips rolled insisting and he delivers. So long, so wet; with each sting I dread and welcome each thrust. He moves faster, jerking roughly drawing closer. Dazed with pleasure, my back arching drawing him closer. He pauses as I roll over climbing on him; I pull on his length welcoming him into mine. He groans grabbing on my hip, ignoring the stinging pain he pulls me towards him making me moan; I move and push grinding on him with his help. He begs, I scream and parallel to each other he pulses. I fall to my side trying to stop my body from shaking;I sigh exhausted. He pulls me closer to him; he pulls the duvet over us before placing a kiss on my forehead head, I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.
My phone vibrates waking me up, I turn around and see my baby asleep beside me; I smile thinking we’re no longer friends. With unease I make my way to the bathroom; I close the door behind me and turn on the shower, afraid to look at my reflection in the mirror. I’m no longer pure. I rinse the towel in hot water and dab at the dried blood off my thighs; mindful of the pain dying down. I enter the shower and wash off the pleasures and memories from my body setting a reminder on my phone to take the Kachi’s pill later; considering I’m a paranoid freak.
Tying the bath robe around me I unlock the door and scream when I find David staring at me, ‘Why didn’t you can tell me?” my hand still on my chest from shock I push past him “Tell you what?” “You were a bloody virgin, why didn’t you tell me?” I use the duvet to cover the exposed patch on the bed, “What difference would that have made?” I ask facing him; he is displeased. “Amma, I shouldn’t have been the one to take your innocence, I mean you’re my daughters best friend” I sigh “You finally call me Amma, I’m not your daughter, I would never be your daughter; especially after what happened here. So stop making reference to that, you’re someone I like dearly. I’ve liked you from a distance once, not anymore.” I whisper the last words and untie my robe, I watch his intake of air as I walk towards him “Amma” he mouths “David” I reply, wrapping my hands around his neck “your daughter would not dare do this” I smile when he drags me closer for a kiss.