My father died of a heart attack while making love to his mistress. I was replaying what I could remember from the eleven years that I had known him, so I postponed plans of getting out of bed. Eventually I got up, as I couldn’t stand the humid discomfort of what could have been my sweat or tears. There were no missed calls. Not even Fidelis’ best friend Marvin, who knew what was going on, bothered to check on me. I had fallen asleep in the black cocktail dress, the one Fidelis bought for me during one of his trips to Milan. “When in doubt wear a little black dress” he joked. Over the months my wardrobe got stacked with several black dresses. Yesterday, I couldn’t decide on what to wear. After trying on more than a dozen black outfits, I recalled Fidelis’ ogling eyes when I put on the dress he bought, as we were getting ready for Chief Obajimi’s dinner party. Fidelis had just returned from Milan, and I was in love with my new dress, I so desperately wanted to launch it that day. Fidelis wasn’t going to have it. He said he didn’t realize it was a little too much. We had a fight because of the dress. Since that day, I could only wear it in the privacy of our bedroom.
I returned to our bedroom, I realized I had spent hours in the kitchen, possibly hours staring into the freezer, trying to play back memories. Memories only a sick mind could strive to distort, “he was the best” I said aloud to myself over and over again. The room was a mess, I couldn’t quite put back all the dresses I tried on yesterday. Some were on the floor, some hung haplessly over the wardrobe door, and some unfortunate ones must have been drenched in my sweat and tears. I reached for under the pillow, hoping to find one of those sweet notes Fidelis used to leave me. Under my pillow, was an order of service, “A service in celebration of the life of Chief. Joseph Odafe Oloko” My mind went back to fifteen years ago, when my newly-widowed mother in the midst of wailing, hair-scattering and floor-rolling, would pause to shriek powerful curses at Ms. Arinze. Then my mind also went to Ms. Arinze, I don’t know what became of her. I think she fled town, when the news broke out, but wherever she was, I secretly hoped my mother’s curses weren’t at work. Just as I was thinking of Ms. Arinze a text message came from Marvin saying “thanks for staying out of the way, we miss him dearly”. I didn’t know when I unconsciously started pulling off the sequins on my little black dress.