“Amaka!” Seun called after her, pushing Tomi aside and taking a step towards the open doorway. But Ms. Reggie, the hospital head Nurse, blocked his path and truth be told, he was a little afraid of nurse Regina. With her huge towering frame, she stood at least a head taller than he did. It was rumored but never proved, that she’d repeatedly smacked a patient going through labor for being too loud.
“Where you going somewhere?” she asked, in a deceptively gentle tone.
“No, not really” he mumbled, actually shuffling his feet like a school boy caught stealing candy.
“You are needed in A & E. There are four adult accident victims, one of them is going into premature labor.” she said this, while shoving a few files into his chest. He hurriedly grabbed them before they spilled to the ground.
Opening the door to his office wider, she raked her gaze over Tomi’s enticing figure
“Hmmm…” she muttered, and then pulled the door shut.
“I’m sorry Tomi” Seun said, immediately opening the file on top of the pile in his hands, and going through its contents.
“I’m going to be very busy for a while, so you’ll have to go.”
“Okay darling” she said, with a bright smile “we’ll need to hook up sometime soon ’cause we have a lot of catching up to do.” Seun felt a slight tickle of unease crawl up his spine. He recognized that tone of voice for what it was, an order and not a suggestion.
“We’ll see” Seun replied, in a non-committal tone, still going through his files.
“Ok, goodbye then.” She placed a kiss on his cheek on her way out and at the door she turned around and added, “by the way, I saved my new number on your phone. Try not to lose it this time ok?” with that, she left.
As soon as she was gone, Seun ran to his desk, grabbed his cell phone and speed dialed Amaka’s number. Suddenly the first few lines of the chorus to John Legend’s “All of me” filled the office. He searched frantically for the source of the music, until he found Amaka’s purse buried under a stack of folders. He uttered a loud groan of frustration, and then savagely ended the call.
Amaka paced the length of her tiny sitting room, furious. How dare he? And minutes after asking her to marry him too. Was he that callous and self centered, that he couldn’t even wait for her to take five steps away from the building before pouncing on Tomi? He’d also introduced her as a “Friend.” Her hands trembled with rage as she angrily dashed the tears that blurred her vision, away.
What was she to do about the baby? Since it was obvious now, that Seun had a new love interest, a woman who was obviously more suited for him. She suddenly felt tired and sick with despair as she plunked herself down on the sofa, curled up and hugged a pillow to her heaving chest. She vaguely wondered why he hadn’t called her yet, then remembering that she’d left her phone at his office, she hissed loudly.
Presently, there was a loud knock on the front door. Her heart leaped in her chest. Seun! She thought, it had to be him. She smiled involuntarily, and then promptly schooled her face into a tight mask of austerity. She hurriedly wiped off all remaining traces of her weeping and marched towards the door. Yanking it open, she was shocked to find not Seun but Agnes, a teenaged, distant cousin who sometimes watched the boutique for her. Agnes was usually sweet tempered but at the moment, she wore a dark scowl on her thin, acne scarred face.
“Aunty Amaka, where you throw your phone nah mama been call you since.”
It was then that Amaka noticed the cell phone in Agnes’s hand. A sharp pang of guilt assailed her as she realized that she hadn’t called home in weeks. She’d completed her youth service almost a year before, in the north central city of Jos and had decided to stay back, run a business and be independent. Her mother hadn’t supported her decision and had wanted her to return home at once, find a nice young man and get married. Defying her mother had been difficult and she had to have been desperate to reach her, in order to have called Agnes. She quickly snatched the phone from her cousin’s outstretched hand and placed it to her ear.
“Hello mummy kedu?” she asked.
“Hmm My daughter all is not well oh!!” her mother replied in a shaky voice.
“Mummy, kedu ihe adabaghi?” Amaka asked in alarm. In response, her mother wailed long and hard. Suddenly filled with foreboding, she sat down, with the phone pressed tightly to her ear, on the cement stairs leading to her flat. Standing on a lower stair, Agnes watched her carefully, noticing the change in her expression.
“O na-okokure o! chai!” her mother cried out again.
“Mummy, biko tell me what is wrong.” Amaka said, beginning to get impatient with her mother’s theatrics.
“Your father is dead nwa m nwanyi” her mother sobbed. Step father Amaka thought, she hated how her mother kept insisting that he was their father. Truth be told, she was relieved to hear it was he who was deceased and not her younger brother, Chidi. Their biological father, who had been an orphan, had died from a snake bite when she was a little girl. Ndubisi was just a village low life who’d moved in with them three years after the official one year mourning period was over. She still couldn’t understand what her mother saw in him. Either way, she knew her mother would need her at this time. Putting her reservations aside, she made soothing sounds and comforted her mother as best as she could over the phone, promising to be in Enugu the next day. After offering a hasty explanation to Agnes, she handed her a thin wad of Naira notes and asked her to go to the car park along Zaria road and buy her a bus ticket for the all night journey to Enugu. Then, she went into the flat to pack.
Tomi uttered a short, piercing scream, as she climaxed. Above her, Aziz shuddered as he also reached his peak. Gasping, he collapsed onto the bed beside her.
“Wow, Tomi that was amazing!” he remarked
“I do my best.” Tomi replied, coyly. He smiled and leaning forward, placed a kiss on each of her taut nipples. “I’ll be right back” he promised huskily, then pulled back the sheets and walked bare-assed to the bathroom.
Tomi stretched languidly on the bed. Sex with Aziz was always good, that was true. She’d met him while schooling abroad in Germany and they’d hit it off immediately. He’d left Germany long before she had, but they’d always kept in touch. She’d always called him up whenever she needed “some-loving” as she liked to call their sexual encounters, but it was never enough. She needed a man she could connect with on an emotional level too. With Aziz, it was merely physical. They never talked about things that really mattered.
She rolled over on her side and found her thoughts wandering to Seun for the umpteenth time that day. She smiled and slowly trailed her fingers, over her exposed torso. She shivered with pleasure as she imagined they were Seun’s fingers, touching, teasing and caressing her. Temporarily sated, she glanced round the hotel room they’d tumbled into, for the first time. Aziz’s briefcase lay partially opened on the floor, on her side of the bed. It had apparently come unlatched when he’d hurriedly dropped it in order to gain better purchase on her rather intricate lingerie.
She wrapped the sheet across her chest, as she sat on the edge of the bed and bent down to re-latch the briefcase. Who carried around a briefcase these days any way? She mentally asked herself, as she curiously raised the lid up to see what was inside. Crisp one thousand Naira notes, lined the inside of the case. They were arranged neatly in rows and a shiny Colt M19 lay on top of the money. Just then, she heard the toilet flush and without thinking, grabbed the gun, slid it under the bed and hurriedly re-latched the briefcase.