Keseima added a touch of spice to the pot of goat meat pepper-soup. She tasted it and smiled to herself, her mother-in-law would love it. She brought it off the fire and put a small pot of rice on, the smoke brought tears to her eyes but she bore it bravely. It could have been worse as her late husband Udeme used to say…. Udeme, the name brought bittersweet memories to mind. She remembered their first kiss, their coded jokes and their second honeymoon. He was so strong, so kind, and so thoughtful. She had thought it would last forever until that fateful Saturday three years ago. He was driving down from Port-Harcourt to see her at Uyo where she was doing a post graduate program in nursing. A group of nomadic cattlemen lost control of their herd, they ran across the road and a petrol tanker rammed into them. Udeme was two cars behind but all that remained of him was charred broken bones.
They tried to hide the news from her but it was only a matter of time. She wept uncontrollably for months and sometimes felt she was losing her mind. Three years later she still missed him but she knew he was gone for good. Her mother-in-law said it was time she considered settling down again as she was not getting younger. She knew that but it was not that easy.
At thirty-two she looked several years younger. She was 5foot 8inches tall with a full 40D sized bust, a narrow 26 inch waist and a generous backside. Her beniseed brown skin was smooth and shiny. Her face was oval shaped framing large luminous eyes that made grown men turn babies. She was a beautiful woman. Her friends made jokes about her being made on a Friday night; hence the extra care and exceptional good looks.
All through her teens she was always fending off male advances. Marrying had helped; in Africa touching another man’s wife was taboo. But young widows were fair even desirable game. Many loose men sought out widows because they were thought to be mature caring and sex-starved. One man had told her “You had better let me touch you now before you run mad from desire”. Recently her desires had begun to worry her, she found herself craving a man and nothing she did seemed to quell it. Usually she would drown herself in work and only come home to sleep, but now she was on vacation.
She had been thinking of visiting a cousin in Abuja when Mama called to say she was ill. Instantly she knew she couldn’t be anywhere else. She had picked up some foodstuff and drove fifty kilometres to AdiahaObong Commercial Secondary School Omum Uyam where her mother-in-law was the principal. She met Mama huddled up under a stash of blankets. The doctor had diagnosed malaria and given her some medication. She was a little better but the chills and rigors persisted. While Itoro, Mama’s maid helped with the tepid sponging, Keseima got busy in the kitchen. An hour later she was done, the savoury dish of rice and goat meat pepper -soup revived Mama instantly.
“Thank you my daughter”Mama said as she pushed away the empty plates.
“My pleasure Mama” Keseima replied
Itoro carted away the dishes and Mama retired to her room.
It felt incredibly hot and humid in the little bungalow. She had to cool off somehow….Yes! She would go swimming in the stream!
There was a little stream inside the school premises, mostly it was just a part on the landscape but it also served as an alternate source of water during power cuts and as a quasi swimming pool as well. It was off limits to students and most teachers were too busy or too boring to bother. She hadn’t brought swim suit but she an old spaghetti top and a pair of bum shorts that would have to do. She wore an ankle length loose gown over her makeshift swimming garb and started off to the stream with a faint smile on her lips.
Thankfully the stream was deserted. She found a dry rock by its banks and removed her gown. Seconds later she was doing backstrokes in the balmy blue waters totally content.
Ubong noted the blue car parked outside the principal’s house with interest. It meant Keseima was around. Keseima, the girl he had to meet when she was married and had to want in vain. That had changed with the death of her husband. He had been about to tell her how he felt when he was selected to do to Dubai for twenty-six month advanced computer course. It was perfect for his career but a bad blow to his love life. He thought of walking up to the house for some sort of surprise visit but rejected the thought. He would find a way to see her without raising Mama’s eyebrows. Now all he wanted was a swim so he rode his mountain bike towards the stream.
He padlocked the front tires and rested the bike on one of the numerous palm trees . the last twenty or so meters were a steep slope best negotiated on foot. As he approached he could see a lone figure doing near perfect backstrokes. Something about the swimmer seemed vaguely familiar then he realised why, it was the woman he had dreamt of for the past two years. Suddenly his heart was racing and he felt his lips get dry. He dug his arms into his pocket and muttered under his breath” This is your chance brother, use it!”. He removed his T-Shirt and jeans and took a plunge. This was make or break.
Keseima suddenly noticed she had company. She paused mid-stroke and wiped the water off her face. Whoever it was must have dived underwater, she could see ripples coming closer…. Vwoooshhh!!! She felt her feet leave the floor and suddenly she was being cradled in a man’s arms. She panicked and began to thrash violently until she heard him say her name.
“Keseima! EASsssssy” Ubong said chuckling “You would make a great cat you know, excellent scratching and screaming skills”
PUT ME DOWN! Keseima Screamed.
“I will in a bit” Ubong replied “but first you have to kiss me”
“What???” Keseima shouted” are you out of your mind?”
“Yes my dear I am totally helplessly thoroughly foolishly crazy over you” Ubong said “but that, my dear is another matter, first my kiss.”
With that he released her gently and encircled her waist with his left arm and grabbed the back of her head with his right. She froze. He nibbled along her jaw line, light feathery kisses that felt like flower petals, his arm were stroking the small of her back and lightly massaging her neck, her shoulders, and her arms. She felt herself relax and her body respond to his touch. He drew her closer still and then planted his lips on hers. She stiffened but he persisted till she had no more fight in her. She kissed him hesitantly at first but when he probed a little further she surrendered and matched his rhythm with hers. She felt something in her melting but suddenly it was over.
“That is better.” He said smiling “I missed you girl”
Her eyes fluttered open and a wave of guilt hit her. She had enjoyed that. She had actually enjoyed being kissed by someone she hadn’t seen in ages and even then on a purely platonic level. She must be more starved than she thought.
“Great,” She replied “it’s nice having you back in the country. I am sure you made us proud overseas. Now if you’ll excuse me I just must get home.”
“Hmm, the lady is in a hurry. Perhaps she ll take me home with her i know how to cook a few things and cleaning is my middle name” Ubong said.
“No, I am fine” Keseima mumbled as she stormed out of the stream. Ubong followed her
“Baby, relax Okay? I am sorry; I shouldn’t have jumped on you like that okay? I don’t know what got into me please.”
With trembling fingers she slipped on her gown and her slippers.
“I am fine, Ub, seriously”
“No you are not” Ubong replied “I have upset you and i must make amends, please Kesi, let me make this up to you. I swear, this wasn’t meant to be this way, please. I just wanted to wade up to you and say hi. Then I was going to ask about your job and your love life. Then if you were still listening i wanted to ask you out to watch the Ten Villages football finals tomorrow.” He shook his head ruefully, “I guess I just told myself that if i didn’t kiss you now i might never have this chance again, i am sorry Keseima. Please give me another chance”
And she had. They exchanged numbers and he called her every day. He took her to all the nice places there were to see, the museum, the beach, the monkey reserve. After about a month they were at his place watching a movie when he started to touch her arms. She didn’t object so he scooped her closer and peeled off her mini-dress. She pressed herself towards him and unbuttoned his shirt. He undid her bra with his right hand and caressed her with his left. She nibbled his neck and his shoulders. He slid off her panties in one fluid movement.
“You are amazing baby, so, so amazing” he said
He turned her over and showered kisses all over her neck, her shoulders, her back, her thighs her legs, her feet. Soon her entire body was awash with desire. She reached for him
“Ub, Please , come in!”
“Of course my dear” He chuckled “Let me get dressed first.”
He pulled open a condom, pinched the tip and rolled it on in seconds.
He straddled her and gently plunged in to her dripping wet depths. He rocked her gently at first but gradually increased the tempo till they were both dizzy with pleasure and he heard her scream his name as she climaxed. He came seconds after. And his first thought was – Yes, this is definitely bliss
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