Bitter Leaf Soup

The Buffet

What if it wasn’t so tasty? What if your taste buds didn’t agree even over time? And what if the soup didn’t like your mouth? Soups have feelings you know…His lips bring me back.


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His lips taste like rubber and he needs to shave. Kissing him is like brushing my face with a hairbrush. I wrap my arm around his neck to hold on, the movement brings my hand to the front of my face, and there, sitting on my finger, is the one thing that’s supposed to make this all worth it.

I bend my fingers to get a better view, watch as the rock catches the light and I think, my mother would be so proud. A sigh forces itself out of my mouth into his, and as he grunts in response his doughy fingers dig deeper into my back. Ouch.

Believe it or not there was a time my eyes closed when I kissed, when my stomach grew a million tiny wings and my heart spun my head around in dizzying bursts of bliss. Love, I called it, until the day a hungry danfo driver forgot to put his left foot on the brake pedal of his vehicle, as a young man crossed the street.

I see him still, sometimes, when I close my eyes; he smiles down at me, reaches out his arms, and I hear the strange sound of my own laughter as I run and run and run to hold him. I never get there.

They said I should move on, so I did; that love was a choice, so I let my mother choose for me. She sat me down and said to me, “Arike, love is like pounded yam, it can go with any kind of soup, you just have to get used to the new taste.”

“The new taste…”

What if it wasn’t so tasty? What if your taste buds didn’t agree even over time? And what if the soup didn’t like your mouth? Soups have feelings you know…His lips bring me back. Rough, hard, hungry lips that could give you paper cuts if they tried hard enough. His fingers were under my shirt, his breath was hot on my lips, and his brush of a beard was furiously creating woeful masterpieces on the canvas of my face.

Then he was on top of me, and shoving his groin hard against me, his stubby fingers finding their way to my lips. At this point, I blanked out. It was the only way I was going to endure it. I was back with Jide, and he was telling me one of his stupid jokes with his crazy facial expressions, he was reciting his defence speech to me, he was playing the guitar and singing with his perfect Jamaican impression, he was teaching me to drive, he was beating me at Pro Evolution Soccer, he was stealing chicken from my plate….

He was smiling…
“My Rasta”
“I said Faster”
“Oh, okay baby”

And he was thrusting faster. I didn’t even notice, I simply blanked out again. He pounded and pounded till he climaxed and rolled off me and onto the sheets. In less than 3 minutes, he was snoring lightly. What happened to pillow talk?

“Pounded yam…”

“Maami, that’s a terrible example. I don’t even like pounded yam.”

“At least you get my point. Look at your brother Olufemi. He had absolutely no problem getting over Joke when she died. He has moved on now, and has settled down with his wife. Now he’s happy and you can see it on his face. Please move on. Audu is rich, he’s stable, he’s stable, he’s not bad looking, and he’s ready for marriage. You are a very lucky woman, if you ask me”

The reflection of light from my left hand brings me back to the present as I clean up the mess Audu just created. Lucky indeed… I still dreamt of Jide. I just wanted God to take away this man in the bed and bring back the man in my head. But it wasn’t going to happen. The wedding was tomorrow.


He started keeping late nights. Barely 3 years into the marriage, with a 2 year-old baby, and he couldn’t keep his ass at home? He always had one meeting, or he was hanging with the fellows, or he was with Femi. And every time I called Femi, it was always in the affirmative.

“He’s with me.”

And he was never affectionate. After demanding his ‘right’ as a husband and invading my body from the back door, he would roll over and smoke a cigarette, or doze off.

I knew something was wrong but the ring on my finger made it too heavy to lift to do anything. Not to mention placing the said finger on what the problem was.  I kept enduring the excuses until I heard his end of a phone conversation once when I had left the shower to get a new bar of soap.

“I married her because you asked me to… I love you, you know that. And I want you, not her. She’s standing in the way of our love… Okay fine…. Quality time this time. Not just the usual late nights hanging. Find a way to get rid of her.”

I became scared. Did he want to kill me? What happened to “For better, for worse”? Who was this dangerous woman he talking to? A million questions raced through my mind and one thing was for certain, I had to leave before they got to me. I rushed my shower, and got out, acting like I hadn’t heard anything. Just as I was gathering my thoughts together, my phone rang.

“Hey Arik. Bawo ni? How is the aeroplane business going?”
“Your sense of humour is still appalling, broda mi. Kilode?”
“Mummy has been saying she wants to see you oh. I suggest you pay her a visit today if you’re free”

“Ah Femi, you are heaven sent. I’ll go visit her right away. Thank you.”

I dressed up, picked up my keys and left without saying a word to Audu. He seemed oblivious to my presence and it just made me feel worse about myself. I got to my mother’s and there was no one home. She had gone to the hair salon. I sank. I should have called her. After spending a solid 2 hours contemplating my next move, I decided I had to go back home.

My baby needed her father, even if I didn’t need my husband, or vice versa.

The voices I heard when I slipped into the house were not only loud, they were disturbing. So the woman was here. Cool. Maybe I could set the house on fire and burn them both in it.

As I inched towards the door, the voices became more and more audible.

“You like that, don’t you?
You want more?
I’ve been waiting for you for so long.
Say my name baby! Say my name!”
“Femi! Take it easy with me”
Femi ke?

I barged in through the door and what I saw was an eyesore.
There was my brother, solidly behind my ‘husband’, with his muscles tense and his face contorted in pleasure. And there was Audu, with a sudden look of realization bursting through the perspiration on his face. What made the sight even more grotesque were the tubes of KY Jelly and the abnormally large, purple didlo on the floor… then I saw that the camcorder was sitting on the table, silently recording the proceedings and the sordid scene became even stranger.

“Oh, I’m late for the party.”
“It’s not what it looks like” Audu was quick to say.
“How can you tell what it looks like? You’re all the way down there and most of Femi is still inside you”
“I can explain Arike. Just let me explain, will you?” he prodded.

I was angry at everything that had happened, but inside, I had never known more peace. Now I could get a divorce and get child support or/and alimony. Ha! So he was gay. Not only that, he was my brother’s ho. I was finally free of this sham marriage.

I wonder what my mother would have to say now.

Served by –  @terdoh


  1. greekgoddess
    Better if it ws someother dude her own brother … But, wait oh .. I've got some questions I'd like to askkk ….hmmmmm.. Something doesn't jell right
  2. TJ
    TERDOHHHHH!!!!!! Nice twist to the story, kinda guessed he was gay tho'; I wonder why people r surprised. With terdoh, there's always a twist. Thumbs up.

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