July 14th, 2012.
High expectations are dangerous. They have this wicked ability to immensely disappoint when you put your heart and mind towards only one possible outcome. Its like the proverbial saying that advices against putting all eggs in one basket. Life’s numerous experiences has taught me that its a whole lot better to be pleasantly surprised than to be heavily disappointed and I’ve tried to guide myself by that philosophy. Its hard because most times, when you reason like that, those pleasant surprises rarely come. So I bend or break my rules as frequently as I make them. It keeps my life interesting.
So, there I was with my very good friends, having a good time. We were pretty much inebriated by this time with the never-ending supply of drinks and we talked about the old times; about undergrad days, youth service, past failures and conquests, heart-breaks and the players game, settling down, cash and how to get more in no particular order. We laughed loud and hard at jokes we threw freely at each other; it was a typical boys show.
Inasmuch as I enjoyed this beautiful outing, my mind had sort of strayed away with other thoughts. I had slowed down on drinking as I wanted to be focused on what lay ahead. The mental video of how I expected the evening to turn out replayed in my head over and over again and only the frequent calls from Christy (she’d called four times already to check if I was alright, or so she said) jolted me out of my erotic reverie. Each time Kemi passed by as she carried out her duties, she managed to fling a mischievous wink my way and do this mean walk that would send my blood rushing and my temples pounding. My mental erotic adventures would replay with more fervor and action. I waited and tried to participate in the “gist” which never seemed to end. Everybody had one funny story to tell and as the drinks flowed, lips became loose and some hidden secrets were revealed. Arguments ensued and eventually, it all ended in one volley of laughter. I listened but paid not much intention.
Nearly four hours had elapsed before Kemi came out with her bag. It was already getting dark. Tunde had joined us after thanking the other guests who had taken their leave and we drank some more, had a few laughs and took a few pictures before it was agreed that we’d hit one or two clubs in town before turning in for the night. Amaka joined us little later and immediately became the center of attraction as we all complimented her beautiful traditional outfit. She wore a gold-colored blouse decked in expensive red beads. The ‘george’ wrapper she tied on her waist had sprinkles of gold and blended perfectly with her expertly tied ‘gele’ on her head. She looked every bit an African queen. She smiled modestly as everyone praised her beauty. Tunde beamed with pride. Tunde, Amaka and I stayed back to talk for a bit as the guys moved out after exchanging farewells. I expressed Christy’s apologies for not being able to make it. They held each others arms as we talked. There was this twinkle I saw in their eyes. It was pure joy, unadulterated happiness; that feeling that envelops you when you find ‘The One’. Something I longed for deeply. However, as I spotted Kemi coming towards us, all thoughts of ‘the one’ were banished from my head immediately. Once again, my eyes traced her every step and confident gait and she walked towards us. Tunde noticed my attention had gone elsewhere so he looked back to catch my gaze. He smiled and shook his head. He knew something was up already.
Amaka broke off from Tunde and hugged Kemi tightly. Tunde came and stood beside me as we watched the two ladies.
“I know you already have designs on this one.” He said casually.
“Who?” I asked, feigning ignorance.
“Nor be today I know you.” He said in Pidgin English. “So don’t act like I don’t know what I’m saying. I know that look.”
“What look?” I asked, laughing knowing he’d figured it all out.
“Ok na.” He said, looking ahead with a straight face.
“I’ll give you the low down later.” I whispered. “Just act cool.”
Amaka and Kemi came towards us. Amaka introduced Kemi to me and we both said “hi” like we’d really just met for the first time. The crew were already outside and the horns were honking for me to hurry up. I excused myself and said I was outside to no one in particular as all three of them were talking and laughing heartily. I went outside to meet them. Most of the other guys had gone. Just Marcus, Ifeanyi and Tuoyo were left and they had just finished taking a leak by the fence. The street that was once filled with cars and people was now dark, empty and graveyard-quiet. Only the monotonous ‘tututututu’ could be heard coming from the massive power plant inside Chief Obiora’s compound. The empty plastic chairs had been arranged for removal.
“MJ, what’s up? Are you with us this evening?” Marcus asked.
“I told you this dude is not rolling with us tonight. That ikebe nor go let am see road.” Tuoyo said, and we all burst into laughter.
“I’ll be with you guys of course! But I just want to polish a few details.” I said.
“He wants his knob polished.” Ifeanyi whispered and we all roared in laughter again.
“Shush guys! Don’t disturb the peace.” Omo called out from inside his car. A red Toyota Camry.
“Oya, you guys should move. I’ll call to find out where you are and meet you up.” I said.
As they entered their cars and began to drive away, a taxi cab drove and parked right in front of my car. The driver was on the phone. I entered my car and waited. Kemi came out waving to the couple inside the compound as the guard shut the gate behind her. I’d guessed right. The cab was for her. I alighted from my car and she walked towards me.
“Hey, so you really waited?” She said, her eyes smiling.
“I told you I was going to wait.”
“Let me send the cab guy off.” She said. She went to the cab; they spoke briefly and she gave him some money. The cab man said, “thank you” loudly before driving off. I was inside the car waiting for her to enter the opened door to the passenger seat. She entered and I asked, “Where to?”
“Just drive. I want to relax. I’m so tired.” She said wearily. She relaxed the chair and leaned back. I drove towards out of the narrow street into Summit Junction. I put on the radio and the soulful voice of Michael Buble serenaded the atmosphere singing “Me And Mrs Jones”. How apt.
She closed her eyes for a few minutes before she opened them and looked at me. I saw her from the corner of my eyes and was beginning to feel quite uncomfortable with her stare when she spoke.
“I know you want to fuck me.” She said.
I was so shocked that I almost stepped on the brakes. I looked at her to see if I heard right and she had this intense look in her eyes as she maintained eye contact. I returned my gaze on the road, sort of confused. Yes, it was what I wanted but she didn’t have to be so blunt about it!
“The feeling is mutual,” she continued, “but not tonight.”
I felt myself deflate instantly. What was there to say? There was nothing else to say. She was familiar with the game and blunt to a fault. I didn’t think my words would make any impact so I kept mute.
“You’re not saying anything.” She said, mildly surprised after about three minutes of silence. Even the radio had taken a cue.
“There’s nothing to say.” I said dryly.
“I was expecting you to talk me out of it.” She said.
“It wouldn’t matter. Your mind is made up.” I kept my face straight, trying to hide my disappointment.
“Well, if its any consolation, I said ‘not today’, not ‘never’.” She said, peering into my face.
“Ok.” I said quietly.
I continued to drive around, my mind was a mixture of rage and I was ready to throw a fit but I kept a cool exterior.
“How’s Christy?” She asked suddenly.
“She’s good.” I said, my conscience eating away at me.
“You didn’t tell her I was at the wedding, did you?”
“I didn’t.” I said.
Kemi kept silent for a few seconds before she spoke again.
“I’d love it to remain that way. Let it be our little secret…” She said, a naughty smile spreading across her face.
“Of course.” I replied looking at her, feeling a stab of regret. Secrets with no action. I wanted to say something to her; convince her to spend the night with me for opportunities like this were one in a million and may never come again but somehow, I held my peace.
“I think I’d love a drink.” She said again. “Let’s stop here.” We were driving past a street that had numerous bars with inviting displays that shone brightly in the dark night. She pointed to one of the neon lights that blinked in several colors with the words, “Caribbean Dru”. I pulled into the spacious car park that was filled with cars. We got a nice and private caribbean-styled hut. I ordered a bottle of water, while she ordered for a bottle of Guiness stout; the big bottle.
“Why aren’t you drinking?” She asked.
“I’m taking a break.” I said.
“Because of me?” She asked smiling.
“Nah. The night is still young.” I looked at my watch. It was 8:45pm. I would call the boys whenever she was through wasting my time, I thought angrily.
We drank in silence. She regarded me and kept smiling.
“Are you always this quiet?” She asked in a teasing manner.
“No. Only when I’m depressed.” I said smiling and she laughed heartily.
Shortly after, she asked me to drop her off at her hotel which I did promptly.
“Have a good night, dear.” She said.
“You too.” I replied, forcing a smile.
As I drove off, I slammed my right palm on the steering. How could she just ruin my evening after taking my mind on a wild erotic journey, I wondered out aloud. I puffed, I fumed and I steamed. I was severely depressed that I drove aimlessly for almost thirty minutes to clear my head. When I called Marcus, he gave me a location which I couldn’t hear properly because of the loud music in the background. I decided to turn in early so I drove back to the hotel. I stopped at the bar and ordered a bottle of fine scotch. That would be my company for the night.
Well, the dangers of optimism, I mused. I only wished I hadn’t worked my mind up unnecessarily. It was probably for the best. At least, I didn’t cheat on Christy. I smiled at the thought and gave her a call. She sounded sleepy but brightened up when I told her I missed her terribly. We talked for some time. Afterwards, I did a couple of sit-ups, press-ups and had a shower. I sat on the king-sized bed and watched Nat-Geo Channel as I sipped my scotch with a plate of peanuts by the side.
I had gone nearly half-way through the scotch and was feeling sleepy when there was a soft knock on the door. I looked at the time; it was a few minutes to twelve o’clock. Probably the boys, I thought. We were going back to Lagos tomorrow so they probably came early to regale me with tales of their exploits at the club. I unlocked and opened the door, expecting three drunkards to spill into my room, shouting at the top of their voices. It was Kemi! I gaped at her for a couple of seconds, not believing my eyes.
“What…what are you doing here?” I stammered incredulously.
“I couldn’t sleep.” That was all she said as she walked into my room. She was wearing a long, grey fitted jacket that covered her knees but did nothing to hide her amazing shape. She wore stylish but very comfortable slippers. When she got to my bed, she took off her jacket revealing nothing but red g-strings and a matching bra. No clothes underneath the jacket, just undies!
I hurriedly shut the door and watched her as she sat on my bed, crossed her legs and wagged her index finger at me with a naughty smile on her lips. She looked so amazing. I swallowed hard, totally shocked out of my wits. So my fantasies were going to come true after all. I smiled at her deft seductive tactics. She totally maneuvered and turned the tables against me. The hunter was now the hunted. She was now calling the shots; an unfamiliar territory for me.
I didn’t mind…
Malcolm O. Ifi
Follow @saymalcolm on twitter