Love Bite: Entry #2
I held on to the headrest of the keke napep driver, as he fell into as many potholes he could wiggle us into. Another five minutes of this pothole-plunging, and I'd be at work. Every other minute, the woman who sat next to me--dressed in the ankara iro and buba, and a matching head-tie towering on her head in a messy, rushed do--would slap the headrest. “Slow down. Napep. Slow down."
The young man seated in front groaned in solidarity. I had hoped for a short nap in the napep.
"Ani, slow down!" The woman slapped the headrest again.
That nap was not to be. I stifled a yawn and let the tears tease out of my kajaled eyelids and mascaraed lashes, careful not to rub my eyes into a vampire eye make-up smudge. I had hardly slept a wink; and by the time Leke got into bed, I realized I was still awake.
Someone had seen us.
Jare and I.
I tightened my grip on the headrest and my free hand poked my phone screen with its thumb. Calling JRK. Jare's phone rang out through my ear plugs. My ninth call.
“We don reach.” The driver called above the rumbling engine. His bony arms maneuvered the napep to a stop.
I unfolded myself out of the three-wheeled wagon, paid the driver and proceeded towards the tall, blue glass building which was Jade Towers, and which housed on the sixth and seventh floor Theta Communications, my place of employment for the last eight years. Just then my phone buzzed in my bag.
My heart skipped a bit. Jare.
I breezed in through the gate, past the blue uniformed security men, said a quick hello to Gbemi at the front desk and a quicker one to Udoma whose cubicle was next to mine.
I dug out my phone. There were two messages. They had to be from Jare. Did he have any info on who saw us last night?
💬 GVMinistries: Halleluyah! Join us at Grace and Valour ministries for our annual church anniversary celebration on the 23rd of October at …
💬 Hubby: Babe, where is the stew?
I rolled my eyes and typed a quick response.
Me: In the fridge
As I typed, my phone vibrated.
“Good morning.” The brief drop down summary showed.
I opened the message
💬 Good morning.
Attached was a video. I plugged in my earplugs and dimmed my screen light by 60 per cent. At first I couldn't make anything out. There were dark shadows and forms. Then I saw my face. It was twisted in pain…wait,no…pleasure. My jaw was slack and eyes shut. Jare’s hands held mine up against a wall. My legs wrapped around him.
My eyes stung and breathing needed some effort. Someone had been watching us all along. They had recorded! I scrolled quickly to his number. At the sixth ring and hung up. I looked around, Abby wasn’t in her seat yet. I dialed her number.
“Where are you?”
“On my way in.”
I left my desk and hurried towards the entrance. Abby walked in, navy dress, yellow pumps, a brief case and a lunch bag. Her hair was held back in a loose ponytail.
“What’s going on?” She asked. I grabbed her arm and led her into the restroom near the elevators.
“Someone saw us!” I whispered, when we got into the restroom. I caught the shift in my wig in the mirror but I couldn't care less.
Abigail placed her briefcase and lunch bag on the sink.
“Jay and I.”
Her hand flew to her open mouth.
"No!”She whispered,”I thought you stopped. You told me you had stopped!”
I looked at her and then at the lights above the mirror. Her pretty face drawn with surprise and concern.
“I didn’t.”I said,”We didn't.”
Abby’s eyes blinked behind her Tom Ford reading glasses.
“Someone saw us last night”, I shoved my phone into her hands. Her eyes widening with every second of play.
“This is serious, Lani.” She said,”First, I'll never be able to unsee this. Second, is this person blackmailing you? Do you want to tell Leke? ” She handed the phone back.
My hands began to shake, a slight tremble.
“ What will I do?”
“ You think it's his wife?”
“ I know it is,” I said, “She doesn't deserve him you know.”
Abby looked at me from the corner of her eyes, "Really, Lani? And you do?”
I brushed her remark aside.
“He isn't picking my calls.”
"What about the number sending the videos", Abby took the phone from me and dialed the strange number on my phone.
“What are you doing?” My knees knocked.
“Check the number and try again” a voice said.
“Find a way to talk to him. You have to. You have to find out who it is.”
Her pretty features lit up, "On a happier note, I heard Niran is talking to HR about making you project manager of the North Africa project. You'll be in Marakesh or Casablanca next year. Killing it!” She did a little dance with her hips.
A smile played on my lips, “Really?”
“Yeah, but Tayo is up for the position too.”The joy was short-lived.
“And you know about Tayo and Niran, right?” Her voice dropped to a whisper.
“What about them?”I whispered back.
Her eyes widened and her brows rose.
“Niran is a dog.”My voice low. “Isn’t he on probation with HR?”
“Because you didn’t welcome his advances, doesn’t mean Tayo shouldn’t.” She shrugged.
“Isn't he married?”
She gave me a look.
“You don't know what it's like.”I said.
“So Niran is a dog but you are the saint, who is boning her way through life in the BQ of her neighbor’s home, while his wife is at home and her husband is in bed?!”
“Leke is never in bed. He's never at home.”
“Sometimes he gets home at midnight. Sometimes he doesn't come home. He says it's the sacrifice of church planting.”
“This morning he got in at 5:30”
Abby tucked her hair behind her ear. Her arms crossed, her left brow arched.
“He doesn't notice anything." I continued, "One Sunday, we left the house—he was driving— My wig was in place, by the time we got out of the car, it had gotten stuck on the coat holder as I got out of the car. Leke did not notice!” Abby doubled over, holding her belly, her laugh echoing in the restroom.”I had gotten to the church entrance when I saw myself in a glass pane wearing my nude wig cap.”A reluctant laugh bubbled inside me.
“Told you to show up at his church office one day, wearing nothing underneath.”She popped her hips,”He’ll notice that.”
“He shares the office. Thank you very much.”We both burst out laughing.
The heaviness in my heart returned. I sighed.
“Abby, what am I going to do?”
“We have to keep it contained. You need to talk with Jare. Find out if he found the person that night.”
I sat at my desk, unproductive. I responded to emails all day, trying Jay’s number every other hour.
By 3pm, my phone vibrated. A new message. A video clip. It was from a new number. It was a dark video. I tapped the large play button. My jaw fell open, my eyes large and my throat dry.
I stared at the screen in horror, at Jay and I on his pool table, moans muffled and distant, in the dark room behind his house.
Copyright ©2017 by IkeOluwapo Adegboye
Entry #3 out soon!