“Take it.” Femi demanded for the second time that night from the woman staring at him. Abebi looked away. She couldn’t quite understand why she was acting this way. She knew the routine of her job and so, why was she behaving this way?
“Abebi take this money from me, or I will throw it away.” Femi’s patience was soon running out. He had better things to do than to be begging Abebi to accept his money. If she wanted their business to be free with no charges, he was totally opened to it.
“I don’t want this anymore.” Abebi mounted up the courage to say what had been bothering her since Femi came to see her.
“What do you mean?” Femi asked the woman who has been at his beckon call for the past four years now. She wasn’t his mistress, she wasn’t his girlfriend; she was nothing to him.
“I mean— I don’t— I don’t even know self.” She answered, frustrated. She ran her hands through her hair, ruffling her neatly straightened hair. Covering her flushed face, she grunted so loud, Femi got scared for a minute. She flung her bed cover off her body, exposing her nakedness to Femi. She got out from the bed to stand by the window.
Femi coughed, clearing his throat before he spoke again or rather before his man hood spoke again.
“Oya take it.” He shoved the stack of 200 thousand naira to the air. “I got better things to do you know that right?” he said urgently. Abebi could feel tear bubbles starting to build up in her eyes but she refused to let them go.
“Femi why can’t you just understand!” she wanted to yell but she held that back too.
“Understand what exactly? Abebi you’re acting funny and you know I don’t like such attitude.” He bent to retrieve his trouser from the pile of clothes that were on the floor.
“Femi I don’t want this anymore. I don’t want your money, I just want—“
“You want what?”
Abebi said nothing.
“Answer me, you want what! Isn’t this what I’m paying you for?”
She scoffed at him. Disgusted at herself, she said,
“You know what, just leave. Just leave Femi and please do not come back.” She moved away from the window to pick up her clothes that were also on the floor. Femi looked away when she came close to him. Sampling her round butt so close to his face, Abebi bent to pick up her lace gown. She began putting on her clothes, Femi did the same.
He needed to get away from her. He knew what she wanted and he knew he could never give her that, not in a million years. Abebi was not in the same class as he was. He only wanted her for the pleasure, for what was between her legs. Sometimes, he wished he’d never picked her up that night. Other nights, he wished things could have been different between them.
He came around to stand behind her where she was struggling with her dress zipper. Sighing, Abebi released her hand from her zipper in defeat, allowing Femi to take over.
“Abebi I will need you tomorrow,” Femi cooed so close to her ears. He contemplated if he should keep that zipper going up, or enjoy her again for the 3rd time that night. But Femi was a busy man; he had more important things to do. He sighed as he turned her to face him; he reached for her hands in front of him. He attempted kissing her, but she turned her face away. The kiss landed on her left cheek. He knew he had to make things alright with her tonight because tomorrow which was the last day of the year, he would be in need of her. He always needed her, which pisses him off.
“I will add 50k to the money, will that make you happy?”
He shifted her gown off her left shoulders and placed a gentle kiss on the exposed shoulder. Abebi shivered.
“I don’t want your money Femi.” she said in a whisper. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him; to look at the man she’s been secretly loving for the past four years. The man who she knew was out of her league. She was a common call girl, a prostitute. A life with someone as rich as Femi was out of the question.
“Abebi you know I—”
“You what?” Abebi interrupted, giving Femi a questioning look; she dared him with her eyes to speak. This time, she was really curious of what Femi had to say. He what? Femi let go of her almost instantly.
“I can’t deal with you right now. Same time, same place tomorrow. In fact, don’t be late.” And with that, he was gone.
Femi didn’t know if he should have taken Abebi’s threat more seriously the last time they met. As he opened the door to the hotel room where he frequently met up with her, he was nervous.
He opened the door and her perfume filed his nostrils. He became excited in that instant. He walked further into the room to find her already lying on the bed, waiting for him.
He began to unbutton his shirt. Next, his tie came off. Abebi smiled at his eagerness. She knew she was the only woman who had ever succeeded in pleasuring Femi the way he liked it. She took joy in that. She had contemplated if she should yield to her threats but then again, the heart wants what it wants. An hour from now, it would be a new year and her love for Femi will be renewed, never dying.
“What’s wrong?” she asked when Femi all of a sudden became still. Femi tried to continue kissing Abebi but he just couldn’t do it. He tried to bring back the sensation he felt when he first walked into the hotel room, but what Abebi murmured a second ago in the heat of the moment had struck him!
“Did you just mention the word love?” he asked quietly. Abebi became still. She did not know she had spoken such words to him.
“Did you just say you love me!” he asked in a firmer tone this time. Abebi still didn’t say a thing. “Answer me!” Femi barked. Abebi pushed him off of her lazily.
“I think you should go.” She said as she secured the bedcover closely on her chest.
“I think I should stay and hear this!”
“Oh what the hell!” she might as well give it to him right? “Femi can’t you see, I have— I have fallen—“
“god woman! You should be wishing me a happy New Year and not love! I warned you Abebi. I told you to never mention those words to me. I am to be married in a few weeks, and I don’t need this; especially not from you. Do you often fall in love with the other men you sleep with?”
Abebi couldn’t hold her anger in any longer, she slapped him! She had her pride still, even though she’d lost her heart to Femi.
“Femi get out!” she yelled, pointing at the door.
“Don’t worry, I will go but I will be back tomorrow and you had better wipe these thoughts off your head. You and I,” he made sure she saw the seriousness in his words. “We are not cut out to love each other.”
“You will always come back Femi, you always do. What do you think that means?”
“It means you’re good at your job…”
Because he couldn’t bear the guilt that was eaten him up as he stared at the love in Abebi’s eyes, he slammed the door and left for good; she hoped.
For 2 whole months, Femi stayed away from Abebi. It was the longest he’d ever gone without her. He wanted her, he needed her but he was never going to have her.
One night, he mounted the courage to go visit her because he felt that if one more day went by without her, he would die. He knocked on the door of their usual meeting spot. Another man opened the door, he was half naked. Femi pushed the door open furiously. He was enraged! How cold Abebi do this to him? She had claimed she loved him! He questioned the love he’d never admitted he wanted. But deep down, he knew he couldn’t blame her after all, she was only dong her job.
She shrieked in fear as Femi came forward. Femi’s movement became stalled as he recognized who it was. He staggered backwards, an unexpected sigh of relief escaped from him; it wasn’t his Abebi but rather, it was Chioma, his fiancé.