Thank You For Flying With Me

Dear Subbies and everyone else who read, liked, commented, smiled and enjoyed my posts in 2014, I say a big thank you for having you here with me following my stories and my silly rants.
Sheedart, I have not forgotten the assignment you gave me. Phredoh, Cynthia, Tabitha your comments on the just concluded series – LIES WOMEN TELL were truly encouraging and invaluable. It pleases me to see y’all actually entertained by my writing. To the writer of BEST MAN DUTY, I want to say a big thank you for pushing me to do this series and for holding my hand on those really hard days. And to every ghost reader out there, keep reading but start commenting in 2015.

I love you all and hope to read your comments on my new series starting in 2015 – LIFE of A GIDI BROKEASS.

Thank you all for flying with me on WordPress. Thank you WordPress for keeping this space open for me. Have a wonderful 2015.

LIES WOMEN TELL #15 : FINALE

Episode #15 – The Finale

Sitting morosely at lunch with some of her colleagues, Lara’s phone was directly before her on the table. She kept glancing at it after every few minutes willing it to ring. It was over two weeks now. Malik hadn’t bothered to call since he left her apartment that Saturday morning. She had analyzed the whole episode and decided it was on him to call her so, she wasn’t going to call but was willing to pick his calls within the next few days. Otherwise, it is ‘bye-bye baby boo’.
If he didn’t call in the next couple of days, it is over. I won’t bother picking his calls until I am safely married to someone else…..if only to spite him. That ought to show him how mad I am at him for not at least calling so we can talk about it. Men can be such jerks sometimes. If I were to marry someone else right now, who would it even be?
The following week went by without any sign of Malik’s name flashing across her screen. At this point, Lara was beyond mad at the man. She had re-saved his number as ‘never answer’ effectively closing that chapter of her life. She was glad she had not fallen stupidly in love with Malik before their first and only fight ended a relationship before it had a chance to begin. She decided to redirect her energies towards Dele in the meanwhile after all, he made her blood sing every time he touched her.

Picking up her phone, she dialed a number.
“Hey baby!” crooning
“Hey! You remember me today?” came Sandra’s voice
“Not really” came Lara’s hiss “I just wanted to inform you that Malik is officially history. You won’t believe he has not called in the last three weeks. Just because I panicked for a minute.”
“Or it could be because you finally gave him some sugar” came Sandra’s contribution
“Yea……that is also a possibility. Men are so terrible. You won’t believe he stopped calling my name and would only call me ‘ife mi’. He begged several times for me to stay with him only for him to disappear at a slight display of trouble”
“Hmmmmn” drawn out encouragingly
“I’m totally fed up with these men. In fact, I give up. I will just stay with my Dele jejely” Lara complained bitterly to her friend
“Don’t give up so easily. Did you try calling him to find out what happened? He may have lost his phone or maybe his mother had another attack and died sef. You don’t know”
“Lost his phone how naa? Malik can not lose his phone. He is always very careful and he doesn’t take public transport”
“Listen to yourself. So, because someone is careful or does not take public transport, that gives his phone immunity in Nigeria eh? Better wake up and smell the thieving economy” Sandra advised
“Me, I am not going to call him. He should have called by now. If he thinks this will be like the last time in Abuja, he is dreaming. I will not call him” Lara emphasizes
“It is well dear. Maybe it is for the best”
“Yea. Anyway, let me allow you return to whatever you are doing. I will soon close for the day”
“Be safe girl”
“You too” disconnects call
Letting the phone drop into her bag, she climbs the staircase back to her work station. It is well and over she repeated firmly as she climbed.

**********************************************************************************

At the close of work, she checks her phone for missed calls, unconsciously hoping to see something from ‘never answer’. Nothing. Another sigh deep inside her.

When the heart badly wants something, it sometimes doesn’t happen; but just when you give up on it and let go, it comes back at you with force. Lara contemplated her budding relationship with Malik and how a single moment of panic seem to have nipped it in the bud. She regretted not going with him to Abuja for another full minute. All the could-have-beens.
Remembering a T.D. Jakes message she had listened to over the radio not so long ago where a young woman wanting so bad to marry a man, she cried, prayed and fasted for weeks when the young man broke up with her. So, she said to her pastor “Pastor, you have to pray this into reality. You have to pray for him to come back. I can’t live without him. I love him and can’t marry anyone else” the pastor was heartbroken for her.
Many years later, she returned to the church to visit. She was smiling this time when she said to him,
“Pastor, remember the young man I cried, fasted and prayed over years ago?”
“Yes, I do” answered the pastor “Well, I didn’t get married to him praise Jesus. I’m married to someone else and I love him completely. We have two kids, a house and God has been so good to us.”
“So, what about the other man” asked the pastor
“He has been through two divorces already and the third one is in court. I thank God everyday for not answering my prayers. I can’t help but shudder when I think that could have been me married to him and divorced already.” she informed him
Thinking on this whimsically, Lara decided it was time to let go. Of all the answered prayers….

**********************************************************************************
Unfortunately for Lara, today was not one of her driving days therefore, she thronged with the multitude of her co-workers going to the junction to catch a bus home. Sprinting with a couple of guys towards the taxi as it coasted towards them, at the last minute, she decides to let it go and wait for the next one. Somehow, she felt her chances were better with the next taxi.

Finally in a taxi, sandwiched between two plump women, she felt like chicken breast in a mini-oven. The woman on her right wore a short-sleeved dress and appeared to have figured out a new way to make only the sweat pores on her arms work. She was sweating seemingly only on her arms and it felt nothing like sweat, very sticky, squishy and annoying liquid that threatened to soak entirely through the sleeves of Lara’s shirt. Slightly annoyed to say the least. Gravitating towards the woman on her left to avoid the bollocks of sweat to her right threatening to drench her shirtsleeve.

Moving closer to the other lady, she almost choked to a stop. This one stank all kinds of stale. What was she carrying on her person? She probably took her bath this morning with last night’s washwater. Dang! Deciding to vacillate between her handkerchief or behind the driver’s seat until either of them got off so she could hug the window to death, she patiently endured. None of the women got off until Lara did. She quickly alighted, took a gulp of air and hurried towards her junction. I need to scrub this Ebola-like sweat off as a someone with OCD would shuddering as she walked down her street.

Approaching her gate, Dele calls.
“Hey babe!”
“Hey Hey! Did you see the message I left you on Facebook?” cautiously
“I did. That’s why I’m calling”
“So why are you so chirpy?” heightened caution
“Because it confirms to me that even my baby cannot be trusted as much as I imagined in my head that she is beyond such temptations” he said in that annoyingly chirpy voice
She hung up. Three seconds later.
“Did you hang up on me?”
“No. It must be the network. Those your girlfriends in MTN do not want you talking to me” she jibed
“This is serious shit. Why are you trying to trivialize it?” he accused
“I’m sorry babe”
“So, you kissed a guy over there?” he said “Are you sure that’s all that happened?”
“Yes. That’s all that happened. He kissed me. I didn’t kiss him first and I didn’t kiss him back….technically”
“Are you trying to panasharp what you did?” sarcastically “Are you trying to tell me you were just walking on the street minding your own business and a random guy stumbled across your lips where you were minding your business and somehow your lips was open and his too and they met in midair?” more sarcasm in a grim voice.
She started laughing.
“Oh! I see. You think this is funny”
“I’m sorry babe. I do not. It was just the way you painted the scene” she apologized
Sigh “So, tell me what happened exactly” he said
“Errr, I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. I just felt so bad within myself but with this ‘no-holds-barred’ thing we agreed to, I decided to just come clean with you so my conscience can allow me sleep” trying to assuage him
“Just tell me what happened. Tell me how he stumbled on your open lips when you were gently walking down your street because that must have been what happened eh?” fresh sarcasm
“Baby, I just said I was sorry. Are you going to be like this about just a kiss?”
“Oh! ‘Just a kiss eh”? You imagine I believe only a kiss happened between you both? You are kidding right?”
“Baby, I swear I won’t lie to you. After deciding to tell you what happened, why would I lie to you?”
“Well, you are yet to tell me how it happened. I still await your side of the story. Unfortunately, I will be hearing only your narration. The poor bastard that stumbled across your open lips on the street will not have the privilege of telling his”
“Baby, please you have to stop saying it like that”
“How else do you want me to say it when you won’t tell me what really happened?”
“That’s what I have been trying to do.” hotly
“I’m all ears” simply “first, what is his name?” he queried
“Malik”
“Aha!” recollecting this was the name he had seen flashing across her phone screen that night in his house. So they did hook up and had been hooking up behind his back since then! Let’s hear the pretty liar out first.
“He came to visit me on Saturday morning. I assumed it was just an innocent visit since we work together and it was morning. I woke up late, remember you called and I told you I just woke up and was rushing to get ready for work? Remember?”
“Continue” came the response
“So, I felt he came over to give me a lift to work. My car has issues with the alignment and I don’t want to have an incident when I’m driving by myself. I told you that too. Remember?” accusingly
“This is not about fixing your car babe. Don’t start accusing” he returned
“So, I was rushing around the place trying to get set while he sat watching some soccer re-runs. Then, I came out of the room and he complimented my dress which I thought nothing of since we all do it at work all the time. I said ‘thank you. Ready to go?’ Are you with me babe?”
“I wouldn’t miss this for anything” he seemed to have found a new lease on sarcasm this evening
“Then, as I approached the door, about to say something to him, he just kissed me. I swear I don’t know how it happened but it was him that kissed me. I was too shocked to respond or anything” she concluded
“Oh! You were panning to respond to him before abi?”
“No. That’s not what I meant. I mean, I totally did not see any of those things he did coming so I didn’t know how to react immediately.” trying to explaining
“The things he did? You mean there were other things he did? You are trying to tell me right now, babe that he still did other things beyond stumbling upon your lips?” he asked incredulously
Hastily “Baby, allow me to explain myself. I meant, him coming up to my house and kissing me and being nice. I just assumed because we worked together and because I was rushing for work, I didn’t analyze them properly before the kiss happened. I’m sorry”
“You are sorry? You invite a strange guy into your home, this and whatever else you have decided to not tell me happens and you say sorry!” close to raging now
“What else do you want me to say? He isn’t a stranger. We work together. Are you ever around? Do you ever have time for me? Do I see you unless I come visiting? Do you ever just surprise me and fly down here with chocolates and wine and rose flowers? Do you? Do you?” yelling into the phone as she sobbed now. This was turning out to be a real bad day for her. First, Sandra had warned her against confessing anything to Dele.
“Babe, you don’t go confessing anything to your man. They do worse but you will never hear it from them. Even when you catch them, you better be sure to catch them good and say right there to them ‘I see you o. We will talk about this’ else, they will deny it totally even if you have a picture! They will just tell you ‘na photoshop’. Don’t do it babe. He will never forgive you”
“I just want complete closure on this Malik’s thing. Dele won’t hold it against me. He totally loves me.”
“Love eh? Wait till you tell a guy another man kissed you then you can watch him redefine love in your relationship. Don’t do it Lara. Why am I even telling you not to do something you already made up your mind to do? I’ll be here waiting. Lemme know how it goes”
She should have listened to Sandra. Apparently, you do not confess your sins to your man. Mistake no.2 in the women’s handbook for men now experienced firsthand. She was worried. Would Dele be able to let this go? They had both gone silent in the meanwhile but both remained on the line.

“So that was what he did? Wine, chocs and roses? That’s all he had to do to get you?” He accused bitterly in a low voice “So, I’m up here working every day of the week and most weekends so I can take care of you, treat you like a woman should be treated, provide everything you can desire, trying to build a life for us that we both can be proud of yet you can complain about wine and chocs Lara. Have you ever said to me ‘baby, I miss you and I want you to come over this weekend’ that I refused? Have you ever invited me to your place Lara? After I paid for the place, furnished it and came to see if it was comfortable for you, did you ever asked me over since then? Let me also ask you this since we are on the topics of chocs and wines, when did you ever say to me, ‘baby, I’m coming over today or this weekend and you got here and wanted chocs, roses, wines or whatever that I said ‘NO’ to you?”

She was crying again. “No Lara. Don’t cry. This isn’t the time for you to cry” she cried harder. He had called her Lara instead of the usual endearment. No matter how mad he had been at her in the past, he never used her name. This must signal the end of them she surmised. Dear Lord! What have I confessed to!
“Don’t cry yet. Allow me to finish. You must think because I work so much and do not seem to have a social life that I am a recluse impervious to other women eh? You think I cannot recognize a beautiful woman besides you right? I disciplined myself for your sake Lara not because I can’t be like other men but now………..” he let his statement hang threateningly

She was still crying. “So, just chocs, roses and wine Lara? Things you can get for yourself with your own money is what this Malik guy got you with! I’m thoroughly disappointed”
“I’m sorry baby. I’m sorry. I was distracted” pleading
“Oh! Now, it is distraction? Not because I did not bring you wine and chocolates?” twisting the knife in

Pulling herself together, recognizing this as the relationship one-up ‘having one over your partner’. Rarely, would a partner let stuff like this go if then can use it to make you do something in their favor. This was the part where she had to offer him a blank cheque to write whatever figure he desired. He had the upper hand now. Taking another deep breath to clear her head.

“I’ll do anything you say Dele” deliberately using his name to let him know she was serious
“Hmmm. Fine then, come to Abuja tomorrow” calmly
“Tomorrow? I have to go to work!” exclaiming
“You said you would do anything” he reminded her
“But tomorrow, tomorrow? Please can it be Friday instead?” pleading
“No. You can come Thursday however” relenting
Sigh. “Okay. Thursday. You will pick me up?” hesitantly
“You can take a taxi…..” hearing her resigned sigh “Of course I will pick you up. We don’t want fresh strangers giving you a lift” he couldn’t resist
Another sigh was her only response.
“Thank you babes. You forgive me?” she wanted to know she was in the clear
“When you come over, we’ll talk about that” he said and hung up
She was left with an empty dial tone and wondering what did I just do to myself?

Dialing, Sandra was not picking up. She dialed again. She should be home by now. She picked up on the third ring.
“Tell me” the first thing out of her mouth
“Hmmn I should have listened to you” came Lara’s sad voice
“I know you should have listened to me girl. I should listen to me all the time too but I never do” Sandra soothed
“I just handed him big time leverage and he is already using it.”
“How?”
“He wants me to come to Abuja on Thursday to show how repentant I am and whatever else he has planned, I have no idea at this point” Lara informed
“Well, you already got into it, might as well ride it through. If you do everything he says, it will soon blow over but you gotta go along with all he says tho” cautioning
“What if he says something ridiculous like ‘marry me so something similar does not happen again”?
“Simple: you marry the man!” came Sandra’s rejoinder
“What?” Lara exclaims
“What is what? Ehn Lara? what is what? Why have you been wasting your time dating him all these three years if you had not the slightest desire to marry him? Why couldn’t you do like other women and just shut up about Malik instead of allowing your conscience beat you to death till you confessed?” allowing her muse briefly, she continued “You know what, I think on a subconscious level, you wanted to be found out by Dele. You wanted a way out of the relationship so you can be free to chase that unserious Malik guy that goes on and off like PHCN. Too bad Dele loves you too much to give up that easily. If he says ‘marry me Lara’ that’s exactly what you are going to do”
“But….but” stuttering
“no buts. I admit I encouraged you about Malik. I was wrong. This time, no more mistakes. If that’s what Dele wants, that’s what Dele is going to get. He has tried more than most of the weyreys you keep dating anyways. If that’s what he wants after your stupid confession which any man can tell is a half confession, then you are going to say ‘yes’ to the man or ain’t you tired of counting calendar?” pausing meaningfully. ‘counting calendar’ referred to single girls always counting their cycle on calendars to determine their safe days so as to avoid unwanted pregnancies with their boyfriends.
A deep sigh. “Alright. I hear you and I’m somewhat relieved you have helped me put it all in perspective. Malik is a no-show and if Dele still wants me after what I told him, then, I’ll gladly marry him. His mum barely has a say in what he does these days ever since he got this great position and became the financier of the family. Thank you Sandy” she said fondly
“You are welcome anytime girl. See you Thursday?”
“Ah! I don’t think so. Dele said he will pick me up and I guess that means we would be gong straight to his place or his office depending on the time I get in”
“nawa o. Just now now wey we talk something, you don quick grab am dey act like Ruth abokoku! Diariz Godu o” They both laugh “No P. Just keep me posted. Love you girl”
“Love you too. Thanks for this Sandra”
“Anytime”

Now, for that OCD scrub and a relaxing cup of white wine and fish afterwards. This was shaping up to be a great great week and a promising weekend ahead. Just then, her phone begins ringing ‘Never answer’ was flashing across the screen for the first time in three weeks. What does this devilish maniac want just after she thought she had closed his chapter and settled her head on Dele! Oh well!, that’s why his name was now stored as ‘never answer’. He will tire and go away she told herself as she sailed into the bathroom peeling off her clothes as she went.

LIES WOMEN TELL Episode #14

She opened her eyes and Malik was still here. After last night, she had half expected he would have snuck off her bed and returned to Abuja in the wee hours of the morning. Isn’t that what they all do? Bed the girl and board the train! Mother of surprises, he was still here. What does he really want? Are we friends or is this something more than being ‘just friends?’ she asked herself again for the hundredth time since last night when he had told his mother she was just a friend.

She glanced across at him as he lay peacefully with an arm flung above his head, resting on the flowered pillowcase. He looked so adorable in his sleep. She wondered if he was dreaming of their night together as a brief smile played across his features teasing his lips into a half-smile. Should she wake him up? It was a Saturday and she could choose not to go to work today. It would only get deducted from her paycheck. She was used to taking a cut at the cost of having a social life besides working six days a week.

She would stay if he wakes up and act right. She would leave by 9am if he wakes up and acts like a pig. That decided, she crawls over to him, placing a kiss on his upturned nose, his eyes flutter open. Those clear dreamy eyes that always seek to drown her. Presently, they appeared to be deep pools of darkness trying to drown her soul.

“Good morning Ife mi. Slept well?”
“I should be the one asking if you slept well. Hope the bed bugs didn’t bite?” she teased
“Ah! My back!” on an octave
“Oh dear! Are you alright? Did something prick you?” she asked before catching the gleam in his eyes and realizing he was only pulling her legs considering he wasn’t even lying on his back anymore
“Stop teasing!” she said batting one of the pillows at him
“I couldn’t help it. You were the one worried I didn’t sleep well. I wanted to give you something to fuss about. Too bad you found me out” he laughed pulling her into his embrace and rolling her underneath himself on the big bed before kissing her properly.
“Good morning my love. I did sleep well. Did you too?” he repeated
“Yes Malik. I did sleep just fine.” eyeing his face suspiciously, she continued “I noticed you were snoring loud enough to wake the neighbors so I decided to wake you up first before they come to break my doors down” it was her turn to tease him
“I do not snore!” he announced indignantly “However, I heard you snore a bit”
“That is so untrue! Ladies do not snore”
“Oh really! But do they breathe? Do they have noses? Do they use their noses or does the air just pass through their pores and go out someplace else?” sarcastically
“You are incorrigible” she said laughing hard “Yes, we use our nose but we do not snore” she maintained
“Well, you at least, do not. I can’t say about the many others that do” he conceded
“I have to leave today and I want you to come with me. I want my mother to meet you properly”
“I met her already. Was that improper?” snidely
“You know what I’m talking about Lara. I want to go and introduce you to her as my fiancee. I am sure this is what I want to do” he said to forestall her asking that question just as her lips parted
“I know what you are thinking but contrary to your belief, I am not taking you to her just because of what happened last night…” at her raised brow “Alright. What happened several times last night and which I thoroughly enjoyed” he stopped to poke her so she giggled

Seeing her giggle, he pushed the question again “Do we have an agreement?”
“What?” she said on a drawn out breath “You just informed me now. Allow me think about it for a bit” she added when he made a sad face
“Please…………..” he was making puppy faces now “Please……”
“You are not even going to allow me think!” she accused
“Alright. Think. I will be in the bathroom. By the time I am out of the bath……” he allowed it to hang threateningly
She poked out her tongue in response.

**********************************************************************************
Retreating into her thoughts,she was playing a few unpleasant scenarios in her head containing Malik’s mother.
Arriving Nnamdi Azikwe Int’l Airport, Malik’s driver is already waiting.
“Is this a new guy?” she inquires
“Not really. He was on leave the last time you were in town. So, yes he is new to you”
“What is his name?”
“Isa” came the response
“Nice. So long as he drives you safely” with a side hug as he smiled at her
On approaching the house, Malik begins a strange ritual – checked his face in the mirror, wiped it down with a gray handkerchief, folded it neatly, placing it into his jacket pocket before bringing out a little vial of oil, dabbed some on his fingers, rubbing in between his fingers. Next, he takes out a narrow toothed comb made of bone and ran it through his full hair. It was like watching someone preen for an audition and she was curious what the performance was about. Still watching him curiously, she was finally about to say something.

“I do this little ritual when I visit my mother. It is something of a habit left over from when we used to live together in my high school days and my mother was always particular about my grooming.” seeing the questioning look on her face, he decided to elaborate “She wanted me to appear well taken care of. You see, after my father’s death, his relatives wanted to take me away from my mother but she held on to me and refused to let me go. Their condition to leave me with her was that she would not re-marry. An utterly harsh condition but she readily agreed to it instead of giving me up.”

Lara looked utterly surprised at this new piece of information.
“That is a really huge sacrifice she made”
“I realized that in the last year of my senior high school. Initially, when she made such requests about my grooming, I would rebel and she would cry for hours. After a while, I sat, thought about her life, how she always did her best to give me every single thing I wanted and how I never saw her with any man.”
“wow!” was all she could say
“Yes. She is a pretty amazing woman and she is all I have. She fought for me and she was there through all the hard times. That is why I am always scared to lose her or offend her. I am used to pleasing her and find it difficult to disagree with her sometimes” he seemed to be forewarning her
“I can understand how that can be like” she soothed him patting his hand as it lay in between them on the seat. “I totally understand how that can be”

She could imagine the hard times, social pressure and financial struggle his mother must have been through to train a young boy all by herself. She also imagined how terrible in-laws would be to impose such a life sentence on a young woman because they wanted to take the last thing her husband left her away from her.
Such heartlessness in this country! North, South, West, East, she was sure she could not bequeath the award to just any of the demographics in the four zones in Nigeria. They all had their excesses but all could be hard on a woman who just lost her husband and had no kid for him, or just one child. Even those that had three or four kids were not treated any better. A deep sigh a minute later, she absently rubbed the back of his hand again as it lay limply in the same spot.

He was glad she could empathize with his story unlike that brash Igbira girl he had tried telling and who had immediately let him know that was ‘past tense and should not be relevant to their present or future plans’. That one had not even made it to his mother’s house for any introductions. He quickly discarded her like she was hot potatoes. What she had failed to realize was that his mother was his present and he intended for her to be part of his future. He was not ready to compromise that. This one seemed to get that unspoken truth already and he believed everything would sail smoothly from here on.

They finally pull into a huge driveway, the house is up in front with an open space to house just one car. Isa pulled in there and the huge double doors flew open in welcome. His mother was standing in the doorway with her maid hovering a few feet behind to help collect their luggage.

Malik Immediately stepped out of the car to fold his mother in a warm embrace. Lara took her sweet time getting out of the vehicle unsure of what reception she would get. Mothers seemed to pick an instant dislike for her. It was like instant coffee – commensurate with the degree of affection their son show her. She sighed again in trepidation as Malik called out to her and his mother looked curiously towards where she appeared to be struggling to put her shoes on.

“Lara come over let mother see you properly” Malik urged
Not so much as a peep from Lara until she walked up to the huge double doors with his mother counting her every step appraisingly. She seemed to be weighing in the girl her son brought home, jewelry, cut of her dress, shoe and hair. She finally brought her appraising eyes back to Lara’s face and affected a smile. Immediately Lara saw that smile, followed by a superficial “Aah! How are you my daughter? Welcome. How was your trip?” a question she had not even bothered to ask her son, she knew there was trouble.
This meet-the-mother was not going to be any different from the rest of the other meets. She sighed again

“Thank you ma. How are you doing now? I hope you health has improved greatly since the last time I saw you?” trying for civility and also to remind the bitch ‘Yes, we have met. Yes, I brought you flowers when you laid in that hospital bed looking on the verge of becoming a ghost and yes, you didn’t look so judgy then either. You were glad for the company and for the flowers. Bitch!’

Smiling again as the woman seemed to recognize something about her before turning aside to allow the maid finally step out.

“Come! Come! Come in please. Lara watch your step. There is a slippery tile just somewhere inside the door as I can see you are wearing heels. I have been meaning to ask Isa to bring in the tiler to change that” she kept up a monologue as she walked towards the sitting room, past it, into a huge kitchen that almost made Lara gape. She quickly caught herself as his mother turned again as if on cue to see what her reaction to the kitchen would be. Malik seemed oblivious to the undercurrents. In his opinion, everything was sailing smoothly.

“Your kitchen is very lovely ma. I like what you have done with the space and instead of clumsy cupboards all over the place, I like how you fitted everything into the wall including the stove. Your stove is big and shiny. I envy this space” she allowed herself say thinking ‘Now, if that doesn’t do it, I might as well just leave right now’.
“Hmm Thank you. I designed this place over the years after my husband passed away. This project and my baby….” pausing to smile fondly at Malik “kept me going. The house distracted me while Malik always brought me back to reality with his willful nature. Looking at him now, you wouldn’t believe if I told you some stories”

“Really?” she turned a considering look at Malik “Please you have to tell me some of those stories because as an adult, he appears to have always been so well-behaved, it is hard to imagine anything else. You did a wonderful job on him” buttering her up won’t hurt one tiny bit Lara told herself

“Thank you Lara. You are so sensitive and kind”

Alarm bells were going off in different directions “baby! did she really call a grown- ass man ‘her baby’? Dang! There will definitely be some trouble here” What was it with women that couldn’t let go of their grown kids? It wasn’t like they could marry each other no matter the amount of I-can-die-for-you love between the both. These mothers are ridiculous sometimes! Baby! Snort*

“Did you say something?” his mother asked
“oh! Not at all. I was simply taking in the colors you combined here appreciating all the work and attention you put into creating this lovely space” she embellished neatly
“Thank you my dear. I am glad my son finally found a woman with similar taste as me” came the reply

All the while, Malik merely stood watching both faces trying to figure out if something was wrong or if he could leave them together and go do something else. He was sure Lara would be civil but knowing his mother with being overbearingly protective of her relationship with him, he wasn’t entirely sure yet if he could leave them together so he decided to stay for a bit to watch some more.

He had not even told his mother to Lara’s hearing that she was his affianced but that was taken for granted already. He had never seen his mother interact for any interval longer than two minutes with any of the women he brought home which usually signaled her disapproval. She would merely say ‘hello’, appraise the lady as she had done Lara earlier, hear the first two sentences out of the girl’s mouth and decide she did not approve. He was always so in tune with her that no words needed to be exchanged between them. The said lady would simply find that they had to leave almost immediately as something usually came up at the office.

“Is there something I can help with?” politely
“Oh no! Nothing at all. Seyi already fixed dinner. She set the place too. I will just go freshen up and meet you both back downstairs in thirty minutes. Malik show Lara to the guest room. Seyi prepared the one to the right of my room” with that, she walked out of the kitchen.
‘his mother doesn’t approve of me’ Lara thought to herself ‘even with all the banter and thank-you-Lara, I can feel her disapproval’. Deciding not to say anything to Malik about her doubts, she smiled at his questioning look.
“Your mother is an amazing woman. Strong and a lady too.” watching as her words took effect on him. He was distracted enough to forget what he wanted to ask her. “Come show me to the guest room” she said tugging on his arms.

**********************************************************************************

They stayed up late that night but she was up by 6.30am to help with some house chores. Going into the siting room, everywhere was dark, drapes were drawn shut, electric bulbs still switched off. With no idea where anything was and not knowing where the maid’s room is, Lara returned to wait in her room until she heard some movement. She fell back into a light sleep. Suddenly, something startled her into wakefulness. Opening the door, she found Malik’s mother sitting in a cross-legged position.
“Good morning ma.” Lara greeted kneeling down
“Hmm Is this how you wake up late in your father’s house?” came the reply “Is this the time you wake up at home young woman? Don’t you do anything in your house in the morning?”
“I’m sorry ma. I woke up earlier but nobody was up and I didn’t know where Seyi’s room is so I can ask her what to do” shakily
A hiss.
Quickly getting off the floor, Lara stepped into the kitchen where Seyi was making breakfast. Asking after Malik, she was told he was still asleep and there was nothing or her to do in the kitchen so she should go take a rest.
“Ha! You want mommy to have my head for breakfast!” Lara exclaimed
Seyi simply smiled. A door opens, footsteps are heard approaching.
“Good morning my son. Hope you slept well? Breakfast is almost ready. Lara is in the kitchen too”

Soon, arms snake around her waist to pull her into a sleep warmed body. She didn’t realize she was so tense until he held her that way. She was grateful someone was on her team. Letting him hold her for a bit, she tried to disentangle herself before his mother walked in and saw them. He refused to let go.
“Come to my room. I want to show you something” he said loudly enough for his mother to hear from the sitting room then he dragged Lara right past his mother where she still sat. Lara carefully averted her eyes to avoid the disapproving glare she was sure was directed at her.

Back in his room, she was struck at the simplicity of the huge room. The only concession to beauty and luxury was his huge bed which he subsequently told her was his mother’s choice. Beyond that, everything in the room was functional. The room she had slept in boasted of more luxury that his. A slight shift of perspective for her about Malik as a spoilt, pampered child.
“What do you want to show me?” she asked a little out of breath
“Nothing. I just missed you and wanted you to myself so I can hold and kiss you without mother looking at us” he confessed
“What? Do you want to put me in trouble? I have to get back to the kitchen right away to help with the plates and breakfast”
“That is Seyi’s job not yours”
“But, I’m here now. Do you want your mother to say I lack home training?” protesting
“She would say no such thing. Before you came to visit, it was Seyi’s duty. After you leave, it will still be her duty so let her do her job” he argued as he pulled her into his embrace to kiss her throughly
“I missed you all through the night” he announced after kissing her to his satisfaction “You will sleep here with me tonight. I cant bear to be separated from you for another night”
“ha! I can’t. This is your mother’s house. She already prepared the guest room for me. She will be furious and would think I’m a slut” more protests
“I do not care what she thinks. I want you here in the same bed as me and I will tell her if that will make you feel better”
“Malik I don’t want trouble o. Already this morning she complained I didn’t wake up early enough to help clean the house. I don’t want to give her more to complain about.”
“She complained? Did she say anything to you specifically?
“well, she only asked if this was how I wake up late in my father’s house” she informed him
“The more reason for you to sleep in the same room with me. I will see if anyone will come wake you in the morning if you are here with me. Stop arguing with me. I want you here in my bed so I can hold you at night then I can sleep well”
Sigh“Alright” sagging against him in relief, she let him hold her quietly while she drew some much needed strength.
“Are we cool now? Hope your first night wasn’t so bad? Don’t say anything to her. Just leave it to me” he told her
“Okay” nodding in affirmation

Opening the door, Seyi was just raising her hand to knock.
“Mama says to tell you breakfast is ready”
“Thank you Seyi” Malik replied

**********************************************************************************
It was the second night. Malik bade his mother goodnight holding his hand out to Lara.
“let’s go to sleep”

Lara looked askance, hesitating before placing her hands in his and saying ‘good night’ to his mother. A grudging ‘sleep well’ was the response she received.
True to his words, Malik held her close all night, kissing her half the night and nuzzling her warm breasts. He kept saying ‘I missed you….so bad”. She was only too glad she was in his arms getting some comfort. This whole meet-the-family thing wasn’t really her forte. She just hoped it all goes well and she could return to her awesome regular life devoid of preying mother-hawks watching her every move.

They soon drifted to sleep spooning and the first she knew of daybreak was Malik nudging her folds apart from behind her. She smiled parting her thighs slightly to allow him in. Short, sweet and silent, It was soon over. She got up to leave the room quickly donning a t-shirt over the skirt she was wearing.
“Where are you going?”
“To the kitchen to see what needs to be done”
“Come back here to bed. No kitchen for you today. You are a guest not a maid”
She reluctantly grumbled back to bed but was secretly glad he had stopped her. She wasn’t really the early morning house chore person. She preferred to cook and clean at her own hours. Crawling back into bed with him, she planted a kiss on his lips before he folded her back into his embrace with a husky ‘go back to sleep. It is still very early’.

Finally leaving the bed at a quarter to 8am. Lara was sure Malik’s mother would be furious already. Cracking open the door, the coast seem clear so she tiptoed past the living room relieved his mother was not in her usual spot. Unknown to her, she was seated on the other side of the room and as Lara made to sneak by, she cleared her throat. Lara stopped in her tracks.
Turning towards the sound, she went on her knees to appease her.
“You woke up late again today. Is this how you behave in your father’s house? I ask you again.”
“I’m sorry ma. Malik said there was no need for me to come to the kitchen so early that there was nothing for me to do”
“So, because he said that, you too stayed in the room eh?Tell me, is it Malik you will listen to or me?”
“I’m sorry ma” appealing
“Look, if you want to my approval, you will do as I say. Malik is my son, but you and I know men do not always think straight in the morning and you can’t always listen to what they say in such situations. It will be better for you if you listen to me and do as I say. Hmm” She ended abruptly

Properly confused by now, Lara fled back into Malik’s bedroom. The fact that his mother had not even mentioned her sleeping in the same room with Malik was enough to terrify Lara. She knew it was only a matter of time before his mother finally told them both to their faces that she did not approve but before that happened, she was going to leave their big house for them.
“what happened? Where did you go?” Malik asked
“Never mind. I think I will go back to Lagos tomorrow”
“No. you are not”
“What do you mean ‘No’ you can’t keep me here against my will” beginning to tremble and raise her voice “What is this? A hostage situation? I’m returning to Lagos and that is the end of it” she informed him
“I said No because we didn’t discuss this earlier and I am not ready to let you leave like this.” trying to be reasonable
“But I have to go back. I did not plan to stay beyond two nights.” she pleaded
“If it is clothes you are worried about, we will get some for you”
“No. I have to go to work” trying another tact
“Call your team lead, I will speak to him myself and get you three more days off”
“No. I have to leave” she insisted
“What is it ife mi? Don’t you want to stay with me anymore?”
Sigh. “I want to but this is not your house and your mother doesn’t approve of me” there! it was out
He laughed. “Of course she approves of you else she won’t have let you stay or let you sleep in my room. She approves but she just doesn’t show it”
“She doesn’t Malik. I’m a woman and I can tell when another woman doesn’t like me” she replied
“I won’t argue with you. Just stay two more days so we can work this out. Let us call your team lead first” he said passing her phone to her

*********************************************************************************
Stepping back into the sitting room where Lara reclined deep in thought, Malik stood there for a full five minutes watching her think and wondering what was preying so heavily on her mind that she failed to hear him approach. After waiting a few more seconds for her to notice him, he tapped her on the shoulder. His luggage sat by the door.

“I am ready to leave when you are”
“Malik, I can’t go to Abuja with you” close to tears, she fled the sitting room
“Ife mi what is wrong? I thought we agreed to this before I went to take a bath. What is the problem?”
“I have to get to work. My team leader just called me that most of my team are absent today and he needs me to come in to make up the numbers. I’m sorry Malik. You go ahead before me. I’ll come next weekend” She called from the bathroom.
“Lara please don’t change the plan. Just come with me. Everything will be fine. I promise”
“I’m sorry Malik. I can’t go with you.”
“Could you at least drop me at the airport then?” he tried another tact to bring her out of the room
“No. I’m sorry. I’m running late. Just take a taxi. This is still Ikeja” she replied

After another ten minutes, the front door opens then closes shut. She sagged with relief then gingerly steps out of the bedroom to find that Malik had really left without her. At first, she thought he simply opened the door and closed it so she would think he had left and come out but she realized his little luggage was really gone and he with it. Then she collapsed on the sofa and bawled her eyes out.
This could really have turned out into something more than ‘staying-with-Malik’ but her phobia for his mother, made her drive him away before it actually had a chance to start. How could she have explained to him that the only reason she would not go to Abuja with him was because she painted some deep scenarios in her head about his mother while he was in the bathroom.

LIES WOMEN TELL #13

Hello faithful readers and subbies, I was really excited writing this episode. I hope some of my enthusiasm in writing it would transfer as you read and enjoy.
Enjoy and leave a comment. Thank you for following thus far. And for all those that complained about length, I hope this is lengthy enough for your weekend. ha-ha.

This week’s episode is dedicated to love, to loving and to all those who hope for love. Two more to go….
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Returning to her apartment, Malik surprises Lara by pulling her close, kissing her long and deep before letting her catch her breathe “I have wanted to do that since our first lunch date in Abuja” he said to a dazed Lara. For the second time in a fortnight, a guy had made her speechless.
She could only stare at him in silence watching as his head descended again for another taste of her lips. He sure took some kiss lessons she thought to herself
“What do you want to eat?” she asked finally able to remove herself from his firm embrace
“You!” he said simply from somewhere close behind her ears
Why was she feeling this way around Malik. It wasn’t like she had not already had a couple of wet dreams with him as the subject so why did she suddenly feel like a high school girl on her first kiss trip! She should pull herself together she said to herself firmly.
“Oh! Really? And how is me going to fill your empty stomach because you only get one choice of what to eat” she teased him back
“Never mind that. I am a man so allow me worry about what will fill my stomach and what won’t.” he replies still from somewhere too close for comfort behind her ears.
It appeared he had somehow figured out her sensitive spot somewhere between the back of her neck and ear, so that he just kept his words directed towards that spot. The air leaving his mouth as he spoke softly was beginning to do things to her body so much that she was goose pimpling slowly from her neck down. She had to flip this back to safer grounds she thought as she turned to face him on their way to her snug kitchen.
“You know we could go to the Pizza place just at the end of my street” wrinkling her nose at the way it sounded, she tried again “Okay, I heard how that sounded even to myself considering this is your first time visiting me and considering you were on a flight that does not serve anything serious beyond colored cake and plenty of sugary drinks!” Even to her own ears, it sounded like she was blabbing. Malik kept staring at her mouth like he recently stumbled across it on Discovery Channel.
Please don’t kiss me again else I won’t be able to pull back Lara was mumbling to herself absently as she stood rooted before Malik undecided what to say or do next. She had expected their relationship would progress beyond friendship naturally but she had assumed with the Fulani blood running in Malik’s veins, that she would need to do the seducing and come-hither moves before he would make catch on. This wasn’t the way she had expected it to happen and definitely not within the first thirty minutes of his getting into her apartment. In all the three weeks she had known Malik, he had been the perfect gentleman, with good control of his hands, his language and did not make her feel their relationship was about just the physical. Right now though, she wasn’t sure he had not just been playing the gentleman to get her to trust him and allow him into her apartment without reservations. If anything seriously physical had happened between them before now, she would have suggested he lodged in a hotel with a standard lie of “having a roommate”. It seemed too late right now. He was here and he wanted ‘her’ for dinner.
“Are you done contemplating how I am suddenly a pig and how I plan to take advantage of you” he asked when it looked like she had reached the end of her idle contemplation.
Gasping lightly, she looked sharply at him to see what else he had deduced from her transparent face. She had forgotten that unlike Dele, Malik appeared to know what she was thinking at every point.
“Why would you say that?” hesitantly
“Because I can read your face like a visual aid” he said simply
“Well…..I wasn’t exactly thinking…..err…you know…” she stammered
“You don’t have to feel guilty for your thoughts. Besides, I have behaved like the pig you rightly thought since I got here. I apologize. However, I feel a really strong pull towards you so do not totally blame me. Fortunately, my mother did a good job on me and I can control myself. I will practice some control for now but I warm you that after we have had dinner, I may not be so good with my self-discipline on a full tummy” he smiled at her managing to get a smile from her too.
Relieved, she turned back towards the kitchen “So, what would you like to have? I can make stir-fried greens with elbow macaroni and chopped chicken breast”
“Sounds good to me. You always know what to suggest so my tummy would approve. Just hear it growl, it suddenly remembers it is empty” making her laugh this time with pleasure at the flattery
“Fortunately, I also brought a bottle of wine which I believe would complement the meal nicely. Let me remove it from my box so it can sit and breathe” he told her as he turned back the way they had come. She waited to hear him unzip his bag. The sound was a while in coming but just as she straightened to open the cupboard a bit above her head, she heard the sound.
***********************************************************************************
Removing the widest heavy pan hanging on the rack, she prepared to make a meal Malik would remember. Reaching for the refrigerator door, Lara absently scanned her kitchen shelves for things she would need to make the meal work – fresh carrots, chilli, onions, ground parsley, some garlic, some ground black pepper…..at this point she was hoping Malik’s tummy would approve of all the spices she planned to use in the meal as she did not imagine she could make a bowl of even noodles without using some garlic and parsley in it. Finally pulling the refrigerator open, she takes the chicken breast she bought two days ago. It was skinless. That was usually a good sign. It meant the fat attached to the skin was off and she could just fillet away and saute the filleted pieces in the olive oil heating in the pan.
Absently humming while she worked, she was so lost in what she was doing that she did not realize Malik had been standing inside the door watching her. Briefly startled, she smiled at him.
“How long have you been standing there?” she inquired
“Not too long. Just as you were about to blind yourself with the chilli and onions as you poured it into the chicken” he chuckled
“That’s almost from the beginning. Naughty you! You should have said something so I would know you were here”
“Why? So that you could give me something to chop too? Lailai” he laughed
“Lazy man! You all want to eat but not do the work eh?”
“With pleasure. Was it not you begging me to eat some minutes ago? So, we just do you people a favor by eating” he pursued the banter in an effort to relieve some tension.
“Oh! A favor eh? In that case, Please don’t eat o. I don’t need the favor anymore. Please don’t eat”
“Ah! But now I have to. You don’t have a ‘Bingo’ to eat your leftovers so I have to do my best and save you also from ‘spoilage’ and ‘wastage’” laughing harder at her
She had turned away from the stove and was looking at him with mirth contained in her eyes as she shook her head.
“Never mind the ‘spoilage and wastage’. I will save the leftovers in my refrigerator. Please don’t eat o”
“Okay I surrender. With all the nice aroma coming from that pan. I have to eat this food till my tummy screams ‘stop!’”
They both laugh as she turns back to continue stirring the contents of the pan. She had just added a sieve full of steamed elbow macaroni.
“Dinner would soon be served sir” adding a mock curtsy “You should go fold yourself into a chair while I bring you a tray” she added
“Alright ma’am. I would take the wine from the makeshift ice bucket to the coffee table while I wait for you” turning to leave, he stops to add “I love your place. Nothing is excessive. It is all so comfy and functional”
“Thank you sir” preening
***********************************************************************************
After dinner, Malik’s phone started to ring. Picking it up on the second ring
“Hello, Mama. Good evening. I’m sorry I did not call you as soon as I got to my friend’s place. I told you I would be staying with Lara.”
“Did you forget? Yes, she was the one that brought you the lilac flowers at the hospital. Yes, she is fine. She just made me dinner” he informed his mother reaching out to rub Lara’s neck affectionately
Friend? Friend? Did he just tell his mother I am ‘his friend’! I thought he said he wanted us to try a relationship and see how it works? I thought he was just trying to get into my pants some few minutes after he entered my apartment? And we are just friends eh? Oh! We will see about that she promised herself rolling smoothly to her feet simultaneously clearing the coffee table of the remnants from dinner.
Watching her go, Malik knew he had some explaining to do. He needed to wrap up fast with his mother before Lara had more time to dwell on whatever it was that had annoyed her in his conversation. That ass was too tight to sleep untouched tonight! He mused randomly.
**********************************************************************************
“Do you want to shower now or before you sleep?” she asked politely
“Now would be fine. Thank you” came his response
“Do you need hot water or would you be fine the Gidi way” she asked again
“What is the Gidi way?” he almost snorted
“Straight from the shower or tap”
“I see. I will try the Gidi way and if I can’t survive it, be ready with a tub of sauna-tempered water to immerse me in” he tried to make her smile. It didn’t work
“What’s the matter ife mi?” he inquired making her look sharply at him. Why was he calling her ‘ife mi’? Didn’t he just inform his mother that they were just friends? What game is this man playing now?
“ What did you say?”
“When?”
“What did you just call me?” she pushed
“Ife mi” simply
“Yes? Why would you say that? Ain’t we just friends? Isn’t that what you just told your mother?” she spat out angrily
Oh Finally! So, that was what this was about.
“My mother is old and would not understand if I told her I was staying with my girlfriend. Would you have preferred I told her you are my girlfriend and not my friend and let her begin to think terrible things about you?” Taking the two steps that separated them, he held her shoulders forcing her to turn towards him.
“Look at me Lara. I told her you were my friend for your sake. I was trying to protect you from her prejudice. In my mother’s age, girlfriends were sneered upon as sluts. No one wanted to be a girlfriend. Only betrothed and affianced. I want to be able to introduce you to her as my fiancee not girlfriend. Do you understand?” he cajoled
She was still playing mute trying to weigh his words to see if she should believe him or if he was just a joke. Then he did it again. Holding her in his embrace and speaking to the back of her neck.
“I’m sorry ife mi. Forgive me. I’m sorry” he kept muttering on a refrain unaware that he was making her skin tingle and if had been a man, a part of her anatomy may have been the only warning he would get.
She felt weird. Trying to be angry with a man and then turning to liquid cheese because he inadvertently keeps stumbling upon her sensitive spot. She needed to put some space between them. Trying to step out of his embrace, Malik interpreted it as her still being mad at him, so he tightens his hold almost crushing her as he resumed repeating his new mantra “I’m sorry Ife mi. I’m sorry. Please say you forgive me”
“I’m not angry anymore” she managed to croak in a very husky voice
Hearing the emotion in her voice, Malik was startled. He looked down at her face, noticed the dark heavy look in her eyes and instinctively realized what had happened. He didn’t pause long enough to analyze his luck, he mustered another ‘I’m sorry’ before claiming her lips. The response was spontaneous.
She found herself responding without holding back, easily sinking into him. She was giving all of herself to his kiss without meaning to. Was this a release from all the pent up wet-Malik-dreams or was this as a result of his making her tingle. It could also just be curiosity on his part, wanting to figure out what she would taste like for dessert. She did not care anymore. Shutting out the niggling voice, she allowed herself float into his taste with a sigh. Dang! He even tasted better in the flesh than he had in her dreams she thought to herself.
“I should take that bath now” he said breaking away abruptly, shaking slightly. He had not expected her complicit response. Her response was like a sedative. He needed to take a shower to calm down first. He hadn’t hoped for so much.
“Okay” she agreed calculating immediately that she would call Dele while Malik was in the shower so he doesn’t call her at an inconvenient time e.g when Malik was getting her thong off or something. Which thong do I even have on today? Is it the flowery one Dele got me for Easter? She wondered before going to look for her phone. Six missed calls. Five from Dele. Ol boy! Dele is gonna bite my head off now. Waiting to hear the shower run before hitting call back.
**********************************************************************************
“Hey baby!” she croons prepared to lie through her teeth if need be to placate her big baby.
He wasn’t saying anything which meant he was probably listening for background noise to figure out where she was or he was really angry. Thankfully, the shower sounds did not filter into the kitchen where she went to place the call.
“Baby, you are not answering me? I’m sorry I missed your calls. I left my phone in my bag all the way in traffic and when I got indoors, I just dumped the bag in the bedroom and rushed to the kitchen trying to fix dinner and my tomorrow’s lunch for work”
“I’m sorry naa. I just remembered I should call you before you sleep and then I saw your missed calls. Talk to me plsssss”
“Baby, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. What else do you want me to say? Okay, I love you baby, sleep tight and dream of me. Goodnight since you won’t speak to me” she said and when he still didn’t say anything after two seconds, she hung up feeling weird. Dele was weird, sulky and unpredictable. He picked her call but did not say anything for the duration. Why ever did he pick up! She was slightly pissed. Just then her phone vibrates in her palm. She turns it over to read the text that just came in.
“LOL. You sounded real contrite and convincing. Sleep tight baby. I just wanted to hear your voice. It was enough for me. *smile*”
Sometimes, Dele was just a sweetooth. She began to smile as she turned off her phone for the night listening to Malik rummaging in his box. She tacitly stayed where she was pretending to be busy with the dinner dishes and cleaning imaginary dust motes off the counter-top.
**********************************************************************************
Hands crept round her waist pulling her against his firm chest. Her breathe escaped in a soft whoosh as she dropped the pretend dusting cloth in her hands to savor the moment. He was nibbling on her ears. She had figured out by this time that Malik was one of those guys that wanted to feel in control of the seduction. He needed to feel like the initiator and the abuser. He could not handle if the woman has a strong response or met him stroke for stroke. She had concluded that if she was going to finally get some piece of Malik outside dreamland, she better start playing like a Hausa girl would – docile, surprised, with the right dash of receptive. She allowed him nibble some more because she knew the 5 ft air conditioners in her office and the one in her car did not allow her enough room to sweat so she still smelled fresh from the day’s work. He began with her shoulder, moving her blouse aside to graze lightly on the soft skin underneath.
“ I should go take a shower too” she said to determine if he thought she needed a shower or smelt clean enough by his standards
“Not right now, you don’t. I like the way your skin tastes” he told her making her eyes pop. Hmmn. This ‘malo’ boy has some flow in him. Deciding she would just let him have his wicked way with her while she laid back, enjoyed and pretend to be docile. Ha-ha! This is gonna be fun she promised her naughty side.
“So, when will I take my shower?” she teased
“Hmm? Oh that! When I’m done with what I have in mind he said scooping her up immediately. Ignoring her yelp of surprise, he carried her back to the bedroom. She was surprised. He had straightened out the bedspread and flung some pale rose petals on the sheet with pieces of Hershey chocolate on the bed spelling “STAY WITH ME PLS”. She was speechless for the second time that night by the same man. When he had said earlier “when I’m done with what I have in mind”, she had automatically assumed it was just plain old sex but it seemed Malik had managed to exceed her imagination twice in the same night and impress her throughly. She was so surprised, she had not even noticed her feet were back on the floor.
“What do you think?” he asked her when she didn’t say anything for a long time and just kept staring at the bed like she just saw a snake forking its tongue out at her.
“I’m speechless Malik. I never expected any man would do this for me. What do you expect me to say?” she had a film of tears in her eyes
“Say you will stay ife mi. I am falling hard for you and I want you to be by me always….not literarily anyway. You know what I mean”
“Yes, I do. I’ll stay” she leans into him to kiss him “Thank you for asking so nicely” she adds as his body begins to respond particularly a part of his anatomy was all the warning she got before she found herself tumbling onto the sheets, Hershey flying all over and one wayward rose petal straying into her mouth. They were both laughing.
“But tell me, how did you bring all this with you on the plane?” she stopped him long enough to ask
“Well, The petals were wrapped. I bought a dozen roses from the flower shop at Maitama and had my mother’s house help pick each petal from its thorny cocoon then pack it in a Ziploc bag to keep fresh. The Hersheys were easier. I just walked into a supermarket and there they were sitting, smiling and singing “bring me to Lara” so I brought them along Ha-ha” he kissed her briefly again
“Everything was well sealed so the airline didn’t have any issues with it being inside the plane” he told her.
“Thank you”. She said again shoving one of the Hershey she had just unwrapped into his open mouth as he paused to say something else. Laughing at his surprised face as he chewed the chocolate, then tried to kiss her with the gooey mess while she clamped her lips together swinging her head from side to side. He laughed at her finally kissing her with half of the original mess in his mouth.
“I love you Lara”
She stopped laughing and stared at him in shock. Now, this was the third rude shock he was giving her tonight. Was the man all about shocking a girl continuously till she was carried off to the E.R? He didn’t even allow her enough time to digest the choc and rose petals. Number two on her bucket list. Even Dele had never done half as much in all their dating history. Should she say something about the “I Love you Lara” thing or not?
“What did you really come to do in Lagos?” she said instead. Something kept telling her there was nothing in his box and he had made the trip solely to see her.
“If I told you I came just because of you, would you believe me?” he said
Okay. I only imagined it. I didn’t say I wanted for it to be true now did I? Please don’t let his box be empty she prayed as he got off the bed to get his box.
Pulling open his box, she found it was empty as empty. Just an extra shirt and folded shorts nestled inside the box.
This man had truly come all the way from Abuja with a bottle of wine for dinner, chocolates and mutilated rose petals to ask me to “pls stay with him?”. There has got to be more to this than just ‘staying with each other’ business. Now, this was one of those rare times a man was allowed to say “I came to town just to see you” she said to herself.