Kennedy came out of the kitchen with the tray housing their dinner to meet Bola sitting calmly in the sitting room. After taking a warm bath, she had decided for a loose big long sleeve shirt that looked very large on her over a short black jean.
‘Thank you.’ She said, when Kennedy offered her the tea. He placed the tray and its content on the table near her and walked off to turn the TV on. He was deliberately taking time for the effect of the drug to surface. When he stole a glance at her, she hadn’t touched the noodles.
‘You won’t eat?’ he asked knowingly, so grateful he had foreseen this and had poisoned the drink too. She didn’t reply. Her melancholic face refused the relief. She only sipped the tea continuously as she watched him pace up and down the room, unreasonably searching for his phone charger that wasn’t lost. When he found it, he lolled in a chair opposite hers. ‘Now, what happened?’
‘It’s a long story.’ Bola was saying. She precipitously began to feel dizzy, perhaps because she had suddenly been comforted from the cold rain or because she had cried all day. Bolatito was ignorant that what made her so hungry for sleep, was the tasteless, colourless Rophypnol which Kennedy had implanted in her drink, cum with the hotness of the tea that had cascaded the pill down her spine.
She felt very easy and comfortable as she slumped into a deep helpless slumber. Ken looked at the sleeping lady hungrily. His phallus, already becoming obvious as he pictured the graceful scenes that would follow. He couldn’t hide his happiness, he felt like an hunter, whose prey had walked right into his trap. First, he tapped her lightly to confirm the effectiveness of the drug, then without wasting time he began undressing.
The next morning, Kennedy was brushing his teeth in the bathroom near his bedroom when Bola woke up on the bed naked. She groped around the bed for her clothes and was surprised not finding any beside her. She wrapped the bed sheet over herself and walked out of the room anxiously.
‘You’ve acted foolishly’ She said at sight, to the brushing man whose face glowed with satisfied lust.
‘hmmm? Why?’, Kennedy kept humming a nuisance song with enthusiasm.
‘Where are my clothes?’
‘I washed them and -’ Kennedy spat bubbles of chloride and odour, before continuing, ‘spread it on the line outside.’
Bolatito went outside to fetch them. She felt ashamed of herself; that Ken had raped her and even washed her underwears. For several years, she’d remained a virgin and she had promised to remain so till she married, but the way men disturbed her – and it wasn’t that per se, but her expertise at getting her things done her way – made her so unready for marriage. Now within the space of just twenty four hours, she had drastically lost that honour.
They both didn’t talk to each other for almost two hours that Sunday morning.
While Kennedy worked on his laptop, connecting people from his other business and humming a loud music enthusiastically that only him knew, Bolatito oddly busied herself cooking for him in the kitchen. This really surprised Ken, he felt like a man and very proud to have that baby-faced queen cook in his kitchen.
When breakfast was ready. Bolatito called him to the set table and he was more surprised that she had made it appear more perfect than himself. He blessed the food, as a husband would, and started eating the yam and egg. It was from the same tubers he had cooked severally that hadn’t taste good, this was very different. It was so sweet.
‘There’s something I have to tell you!’ She said in the middle of the meal.
‘Go ahead!’ He said knowingly, like a man. He hadn’t expect such calm reaction and he knew such definitely had fishy requests attached.
‘For several years, I have kept myself pure.’ She began her unbelievable story, ‘not for religion or taboo or culture. Although I have a lot of men – like you; ready to give me everything I want in exchange for marriage. Yet, I have refused to let any of them lay me shamefully.’
‘Hmmm. Men like me? So you know it is so unfair. The way you treat us, – the way you taunt us into believing that one day the ‘‘yes’’ you have always expressed with your actions will come out verbally, and you make us prepay a price of the good we’d never get.
‘I know I do it. I must express my apologies here. If only I knew.’
‘’Of course you knew! If only you weren’t cunning… So where were you coming from yesterday’’ Kennedy filled his mouth with slices of delicious yam, and then forced fried eggs inside his full mouth. This drama was meant to mock the lady sitting opposite him.
As she recollected the past, she sobbed, Kennedy spilled the yam out and became more serious with the discussion. ‘What happened?’
‘I went to visit a chief in Abuja yesterday. He had been asking that I marry him for over two years now, but I know I can’t. I cannot, because he already has five wives.’
‘Hmmm. But you collected money from him severally, don’t you?’
‘Yes I do,’ Bola admitted sadly, ‘he sends me quiet a lot of money. He made my going to him yesterday necessary if only I wanted to collect the next money he was going to give me.
‘Let me guess, you went by air’
Bolatito nodded, still with tears in her eyes. Ken wondered why she was crying. ‘So, what happened?’’
‘’I had made up my mind that I’d never be in any quiet place with a man. I know what you men are capable of doing’
‘’How wicked you are! You didn’t want men to lay you, but you kept deceiving them, telling them ‘‘yes’’ by your actions but ‘‘NO!’’ with your mouth and making them emotionally degraded and destabilised. Don’t you have feelings at all! … Anyway, what happened in Abuja?’
‘When Chief and I met and talked at a restaurant, he gave me the money I had requested, but when he observed that I was smartly resisting going to his house, he told his boys to manhandle me. They threw me in his boot and I was taken to his house, where he raped me.’’
‘’Rape?’, Ken said coldly, understanding the reasons why the old man had no choice, if he had money like that he could have done worse, ‘ that’s fair’.
‘No Ken! He told me afterwards, that he had HIV/ AIDS!’ Bolatito yelled at Ken.
Ken was surprised by the word that proceeded from the still beautiful girl’s mouth. He wished she could reverse it and say something else instead.
‘Why on earth should he be that wicked?’ Ken asked stupidly, feeling very unsteady inside himself.
‘Don’t you even think Ken?’ .She was surprised at Ken’s ridiculous reply. ‘I came here yesterday, to find encouragement in you. Cares I could still count on, hope I could view, optimism I could muster. But what did you do instead? Even chief felt sorry when he discovered that he had raped a virgin.’
‘What did I do?’ Ken asked bewildering, it was clear from his tone that he was asking himself his question too and was fighting hard to recollect the night’s memory.
‘What did you do?’ Bola yelled at him, gesticulating by hitting the table violently, making the plates and utensils chink on every note. ‘I came here to seek hope. But instead, you drugged me and raped me!’
The words almost rendered Ken fidgety, he got the previous night event in his mind, and stood against the condemnation. ‘Rape?’ He scoffed. ‘See, I am a man with feelings, I have genuine love when I say I do and I cannot deceive myself.’
Yesterday, before you came, I had longed for your womanhood. I had even spent occasionaly longing for you and wanting to get even. when you came, I drugged you. I couldn’t help it! But rape? My genuine feelings for you delivered me from that at the eleventh hour.’
Bolatito was shocked that Ken hadn’t raped her. That was something almost unbelievable, it would have been unbelievable, if not that Ken spoke so confidently, obviously too impossible for anybody with the fear of being infected. Then, suddenly she began to feel Ken’s weakness. She could picture the struggle within him as he took off every one of her attire the previous night with a glint hope to explore her helpless bag of treasures. The intensified melee as he brawls within his poor self over a simple, tempting decision. She found herself respecting that thing in him that seemed like weakness but in actuality wasn’t. If they had been discussing something entirely different, this was the perfect time she would have definitely said ‘yes’ verbally to Ken’s offer of marriage. But given the circumstance, she could tell that the offer had long expired.
‘I only hope you have learnt your lessons.’
Bolatito walked away shamefully, picking her bag on the sofa sluggishly as she strode past it. She realized that the handsome, vibrant young man had enough possessions to be a good hubby, because besides being a teacher, Ken was into Forex trading and this brought him more money every week. He even had rich parents, who still send him money regularly.
‘And thanks for the delicious yam’, he mumbled at the disappearing figure of the lady.
The yam! – maybe it had been infected while she was cutting it, Ken ran to a clinic three days later and confirmed the third time after the event that he was HIV negative. Graciously, Ken reasoned as he lolled on his sofa after he had dropped the test result analysis on his table, knowing that the urge that he overcame wasn’t limited to genuine feelings only. He thanked God – the God that had delivered him from raping the beautiful lady, and had not allowed him to be infected.
When Ken married five months later, Bolatito received his wedding invitation belatedly; (two days after) on her hospital bed.