He watched her devour a mountain sized plate of food he offered her, like a starved wolf.
“Hmm…I have not had a good meal for days now” she said, chewing a large piece of meat like a voracious beast
“And my daughter? Have you been starving her too?” how he hated this woman, the last time he set his eyes on her, she was still looking radiant, but as he looked at her from a corner of his eyes, she looked like a pack of bones.
“Your mother will not allow her starve” She cut and chewed “See I know you are wondering why I don’t have money to feed even with the monies you have been sending” she chewed “I have been offsetting some debts alright?”
“…my daughter starves because of your numerous debts?” he wasn’t surprised, she has never been one to look away from cloths and shoes sampled on show glasses, even when he was just a ‘Sub-Lieutenant’ earning sixty thousand naira. He had gotten her pregnant after two nights of booze and passion.
He had come to Warri as a new officer and had found life there filled with fleshy enjoyment and loose women. She was a bar tender in one of the clubs he frequented with his colleagues. Still didn’t know how she ended up there, her father was a village chief.
“I still need look good Ebube, no matter what you think, I am still young and beautiful…” She pushed her chair away from the table and picked her teeth with her fingers, sizing the man that was once her husband
“Where is my daughter now?” Ebube asked
“I took her to your mother when I couldn’t cope with her” Seeing the relief in his face she added; “Not that I have giving up custody of her…she is still my daughter and I tend to go and get her once I leave here with this money”
She wasn’t his kind of woman, she was an exact opposite of his desire but he was stuck with her when she announced her pregnancy. Her father had eagerly given her to him, insisting that no daughter of his would be seen with a child out of marriage.
“Who made this food for you? one of your female friends? One of the numerous girls that warm your bed?” she spat out a small piece of meat on the dining table “I heard you are now a Captain…” He didn’t respond so she continued “Your mother couldn’t stop telling everyone of your raise from grass to grace”
His cellular beeped and he picked “sir! yes sir…Bonny sir…yes sir…I will summon the commander Immediately sir” he left her and walked towards the balcony, the fresh air did some good to him, he inhaled the cold breeze and called the Commander,
“Order from the Rear Admiral…some boys should be sent to Bonney first thing tomorrow morning…Yes…the Jetty…Okay”
By the time he walked back in, she wasn’t in the sitting room, he met her in his room with his towel wrapped round her loosely “What are you doing in my room? I though we agreed you will stay away from here?”
She gave him a seductive smile “We didn’t agree on such, you only said I should sleep on the couch” she placed her hand on the wardrobe and balance her weight
“I don’t want my towel on you, do not touch my stuffs, not a pin! He ordered”
But she wasn’t scared of him, she smiled again “would you have we remove the towel?” She allowed the towel to fall on the floor, revealing a slender naked body, she moved her hips from side to side like a model on a runway, when he said nothing and made no move to leave, she gave a victorious chuckle and walked towards him
“How do you ease your tension at night, Officer?” her voice was so alluring “how many girls have you made to scream your name on this massive bed like you made me do those years? Or do you Masturbate?” she was a breath away from him, whispering in his ears and sucking his lobe.
“Cover yourself and get out of my room” he threw the towel at her and pushed her out of the room.
He had no feelings for her, her body didn’t entice him like it would have done many years ago. he had always been a man who loved his women thick, he settled for her and had tried to love her when he discovered she was pregnant and there was nothing he could have done but to agree to marry her. With her, he thought he would have settled down to fatherhood at twenty-eight, but she had left him a broken man filled with anger and resentment for women. It took him about eight years to heal and move on, channeling his energy on his mother, his daughter, his job and working out.
He dialed his mother “Mommy Kedu? (Mom How are you)” it came out like a breath
“Adi m mma (I am fine) what is wrong, why are you calling me by this time of the night” His mother asked
He checked the time “It is not that late Mother, it’s not even ten o’clock”
“Your daughter is here”
“I know, when did she bring her”
“Since Sunday, and has not called or asked of her, not that I want her to though, I don’t know why the court gave her custody of this child, I am capable of taking care of Omalicha”
“I know Mother…but don’t worry, we will get her off the girl. I want to speak to Omalicha” Ebube rested his back on a pillow
“Let me wake her u…”
“No Mother, allow her to sleep, I will speak to her tomorrow before I leave for work”
He didn’t tell his mother that Clara was in his house, she would have gotten angry and would have demanded he sent her out immediately.
She lay on the couch, dressed and brooding over his rejection when he entered the sitting room to get his cellular, they didn’t say another word to each other, but she nursed an ill plan of how she would make him pay for the humiliation.
“Aunty sell fish give me na, I don dey here dey wait since…evening market go soon full” A buyer complained
“No vex abeg, the fish go reach you, these people don pay since morning na their own I dey select, I go give you oh” She has been sorting and selling her cat fishes since morning and her body ached. Not that she didn’t envisage the day to be like that, but it was easier when she had her sales girl around, the girl had gone to visit her sick father, leaving her to do the job alone
“Auntie na the big big ones you dey give them, which one you go give me now? Me I need those big ones o…”
She led the girl to the pond beside a paw-paw tree “Oya let me give you from here, though I am reserving them for those restaurant owners that will use it for ‘Point-and-kill’ but let me give you small and mix it with the medium sized fishes”
The girl was very happy by the time she gave her ten extra-large fishes from the pond, she counted the total fishes in her bowel and nodded in satisfaction, “Auntie see the money here” Elizabeth took the money from her, counted it and shove it inside her apron.
It was already eight-thirty pm when the last costumer left, she was exhausted as well as excited. The harvest was bountiful and the sales were amazing.
“Auntie…One man dey outside” one of his boys informed her
She has already removed the apron and was taking records of the day’s sales when the boy announced the arrival of another costumer
“what size does he want?” she had her sales book spread in front of her and concentrated on the money she was counting
“Him no talk o, him say he wan see you?”
“How can you not ask a costumer what he want?” she hissed, grabbed her apron and rushed outside only to slowdown her pace when she saw a man on Navy Uniform admiring the fishes “Sir please forgive my boy…what size are you looking…” the words got stuck in her throat as the man turned to face her and recognition hit her
“How did you get here?” she asked, stepping back as Ebube walked closer to her
“I have always loved watching fishes in the sea, and have caught one or two on board…” he had that spark in his eyes and was aware of the affect he had on her
“Don’t come closer!” she ordered, embarrassed with how shabby she dressed at the moment
“Why?” He asked
“I smell awful” she rushed the words and he laughed so hard and walked back towards one of the ponds
“So can I be invited in for a while?” he asked her
“This is not my house, it’s just a farm house for business”
He ignored her and diverted his attention from her to the fishes. he didn’t want to stare too much and make her uncomfortable
“Excuse me” she said and hurried off before he could respond. He watched her until she disappeared inside the small house, the movement of her hips made him want to have his hand round her waist, he swallowed hard, stuffed his hands in his pockets and walked around leisurely.
Elizabeth shut the door and lean on it before dialing Amaka’s number;
“He is here” she said
“Who else? The Man you gave my number of course”
“In your house?”
“In my toilet, Idiot! He is in my farm…”
“What? how did he get there? I only gave him the address to your house”
“Amaka I will kill you! you did what?”
“I am sorry Okay? He asked and…and…I couldn’t lie to him”
“I Don’t know what to do with him…I can’t even face him…”
“Why? I though you can handle anything” Amaka asked
“Amaka I am so dirty after today’s sales…I smell like a rotten fish”
“Oh… I Understand now”
There was a soft knock at the door “I will call you back girlfriend”
She said and cut the call
“Hope you are not in any kind of trouble” he said immediately she opened the door
“Why would you think that”
“You are taking long to come out…so I decided to check on you”
She moved herself out of the house and shut the door crossing her arms she asked “Do you normally barge in on people or is there something you want?”
“So what if I say there is something I want…”
“Then I am so sorry Officer, I have nothing you may have interest in…” she left him and walked towards the gate
“Are you this hostile to everyone or is there something about me you don’t like?” he followed her
“I don’t like you for walking up to that Piano and acting like a celebrity, I don’t like you for coming to my farm unannounced like you owe this place with me, and I don’t like you looking at my butt!” the wind carried her words and her voice shook as she walked angrily
“Common…I am trying to be friendly here…”
She stopped and faced him “my mother said there is no friendship between a man and a woman, and she is right, the only thing you want from me right now it to grab my fat ass and you will be gone the next minute…so…”
“You are just a hurting angry lady…” he said
“Thank you, I take that as a complement” She resumed her walk. He busted out laughing, getting her more confused “And why are you laughing?” her hands akimbo
“You know, you remind me of my Mother’s strong-headed turkey” he covered his mouth with his palm in a bid to stop himself from laughing, but with no success.
“thank you for comparing me to your mother’s ‘Tolotolo ’… no…go on…laugh all you want” she was closed to tears
He felt sorry for what he said and caught her arm as she wanted to walk away “See I am so sorry, I didn’t mean it that way…I didn’t know how to get you to stop and listen to me”
“Leave me alone, I don’t want to see you please…” she tried wiggling her arm away from his hold
“I am sorry please…” he tried again
She stood, tapping her leg on the sand and biting her lower lip
“Stop doing that…”
“what you are doing with your lips” she was so beautiful and so innocent of the affect she had on him
“you are so sexy woman…especially when you are angry” he added
Elizabeth blushed, she has heard men call her sexy and whistled while she walked by, but none was as sincere as this stranger standing before her, “You are crazy” she said, suppressing a smile
She would have loved to stay and listen to him, yet his words scare her like a thorn in a dark forest, she has walked that part before…
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