Love Bite: Entry #10
This fictional series contains Nigerian slangs and some inappropriate use of diction. This is for the proper portrayal of the character.
Love Bite #10
Ajibade opened the peephole in the pedestrian gate.
His eyes darkened with a scowl, “Wetin?”
“Open the gate.”
“Oga no dey.”
“You are the one abi?”
“You are helping him with all this? It was you at the window that night. God will punish you!”
Ajibade opened the gate. He was dressed in old mid-calf denim shorts and a grey, distressed t-shirt with the words, “Over It” written in white canvas letterings. The ‘o’ was almost completely gone.
He muttered under his breath,“Na you God go punish…”
“So you are helping Niran record?”
“No o! No be me.” His face was straight, “I no help Mr. Niran with anything.”
“So who dey for window that day? With light?”
His eyes found the stones on the floor and shrugged.
I groaned. He made me want to strangle him. My fingers found two folded thousand naira notes in my back pocket. I shoved them in his palm; his fist closed around them in a crunch.
His dark, sweat-dampened face twisted in a frown, “Na me dey for window. Nothing dey der...I just dey look, but I no help Mr. Niran do anything.”
I felt sick. To think he was watching. He probably did all the time.
“They tell me make I shine light next time wey you come.”
He looked to the ground again. He eyes looked for missing objects between the cracks in the cement. Another note. 500 naira this time.
“Na one woman wey dey follow Mr. Niran here.”
“Is she dark? Big woman?” I wiggled my hips, trying desperately to describe Tayo’s curvy figure.
“No. She no dark. Yellow like pawpaw. Dey wey glasses. Her eye pencil na super.” He drew an upside down tick in the air.
“She dey call herself Abimbola. Abi Abim…”
Abim? Who was Abim?
“Whether na Abimbola, I no no. Her name sha na Abi or Abim.”He shrugged.
A light breeze lifted my top from my body, and in the distance the sky rumbled with thunder.
The chill seeped quickly into my bones.
Abi? It couldn’t be.
Lightening streaked the navy Lagos sky as I stepped out of the dark gate of house 21. I heard the metal gate close behind me and Ajibade murmuring to himself. Abigail knew about this? I walked briskly to the Main Street off Garrison. Surely the okadas and napeps would be near-blind in the impending storm, but I took my chances. I got into the first napep tricycle I found and we drove to Abigail’s apartment. It was impossible. She is my best friend. She had always been there. Always...
By the time we pulled up, the rain was pouring. I paid the man, who muttered that he had no change. I stepped out into the rain, and walked to the gate under the gaze of the napep man. He was yelling about my change. She lived in the Boy’s Quarters of a four-flat building in Gbagada. The security man let me in and with unhurried steps I made it to her door.
The glass pane rattled as my fists hammered on her door. I knocked again. Now, I wouldn’t stop knocking. Soon, the knock became distant, drowned in the patter of the rain.
“Who is it?” Her voice rang, “Don’t break my glass o! Moshood, is that you?”
The door swung open and she stopped short.
“Lani. What are you doing here?” Her hand went to her chest. Her brows rose above the rims of her glasses.
“Come out of the rain! You’re drenched!” Her fingers grasped my arm.
Was that concern I saw in her eyes? How rich.
“How could you do this to me?” I tore my arm away. My voice shook.
“Can you come out from the rain?”
“You’ve ruined everything.”It was almost a whisper.
“I don’t know what you are on about.” She shook her head.
“You knew about the videos!” I wheezed.
Her lips tightened into a knot. Her fists sat on her hips.
“I’m not having this conversation in the rain. I just fixed my hair.”
Why did you do it?”I asked.
She leaned her weight on one leg, her hip popped.
“I was tired of your whining. I was tired of Niran’s whining. You destroyed the guy, you know? And I had to hear all of it from him!”She snapped.
”You cheated on Leke before you got married”, She continued, “Then you got married and you thought you’d stop, like marriage is a wand that transforms cheats into saints!”
Rain water streamed into my mouth as it in widened in disbelief. She continued, “Leke isn’t home, so you cheat. You reported Niyi. He could have lost his job. Lost his livelihood. Did you think about that? Do you even think? Do you think about anything other than yourself? What about me? Do you ever ask me about me?!” Her voice rose louder with each word.
Her eyes blazed under the sharp arches of those furrowed brows.
“Do you know I started seeing someone?” She asked, “No. You don’t care. Do you ever ask about my work, my new business?”
”And this justifies why you just ruined my life?”I wiped away the rain from my eyes, or was it the tears…
“ ‘MY’”,Her eyes rolled,” It’s always about you. What about all the other lives that your selfish actions have ruined? Niran, Leke, Ngozi!”
“Abi, you are my friend!” My tears lost in the rain, “I don’t care how selfish I am. You don’t do this!”
“It is what it is.”She shrugged.
“That’s all you’re going to say? You were going to post the video at Leke’s conference?”
She raised her penciled-in brow.
“But you called, text, held me, when it spread around the office… All this while…you were sending the videos…you sent it to Leke—”
“Sending it to Leke—that wasn’t my idea. You wouldn’t fess up to tell him. I told you to a million times. You’d never listen.”
“When Niran told me about what he was doing I tried to cover for you. But to be honest, I thought if you saw it…if you saw yourself cheating…you’d stop. If you thought someone knew, you’d stop. I told the gateman to scare you off a little.”
I scoffed, water splattering from my mouth.
“You are probably solely and successfully the worst thing that ever happened to me—”
“No, Lani”,She turned her body fully to me, “You are the worst thing that ever happened to yourself. You are caustic to yourself and everyone—”
“—Oh shut it! You are just sad. And what stupid business do you have? The makeup retail?! Really?! Well, I see you’ve built a mansion from that success”, I threw a hand at her rented apartment behind her.
She flinched, then she went back to stone.
For a second, we both said nothing.
“Lani. Look, I’d apologize if I thought you deserved it.”
I took a long look at her, then turned on my heels and walked towards the gate.
The street was lonely, save for a man in a suit running for cover from the rain. A cab approached, and at the wave of my hand pulled up next to me. As we drove along, I thought about Abi. About Leke. About Jare, his life was fine. Mine was a mess.
He deserved the mess just as much. I wondered if his wife was on Facebook, then I wondered how Abigail slept at night.
My phone vibrated against my thigh as I got out of the taxi.
My heart sank at the sound of a stranger’s voice. He was calling with regard to the missing person inquiry.
They had found someone with Leke’s description. Families were already arriving to identify bodies involved in the crash.
Hello? I heard the voice say. The line got disconnected and if he called back I didn’t know. My jaw hung loose. A cry escaped from my throat. It sounded far away. My knees buckled and hit the rain-drenched tar which paved Garrison street, just as the orange street light came on for the night.
Copyright ©2018 by IkeOluwapo Adegboye
Love Bite Finale out soon!