The slap was unexpected, the force of which it landed on her cheek pushed her mobile phone off her ear it landed on the wall, then settled on the floor in pieces.
Ahmad could not stand her treating him like he doesn’t exist, for two days, he has been trying to win her back to himself, had gone out of his way to please her, he had even borrowed some money from Kabiru yesterday to buy her a new pair of shoes which she just threw beside the bed without even sizing it.
He had endured her silence, had suppressed his anger when she turned down his offer to take her to his popular joint with his guys, and had even swallowed his pride when she turned her down in the night;
“Me Ahmad, dey beg woman for Toto and she dey form queen Sheba for me” he had complained to Kabiru
“Na so women dey do, show dem small softness, dem go use you play ball” Kabiru had replied him
He always cringes whenever he remembered how he was crawling over her like a little puppy, begging for her to open her legs, yet she denied him.
He had suspected that she was seeing another Man, but he had no evidence and wouldn’t want to lose the chance he got to win her back. He had wanted to continue with the pretence but he had already gotten to his boiling point.
“She no get fear again, she dey commot dey come back anytime way she like” he had lamented to Kabiru
“You no ask am where she dey go abi you too don’t dey fear am, make she no stop to dey give you food again?” Kabiru joked
“If no joke make you stop am abeg, how I go fear woman… na work she dey tell me say she dey go, but she no go come back early, if I ask am she go say she work over time, the boldness way she go take answer me sef n aim dey scatter my head, she go just take her bath and go sleep, she no go even ask me whether I don chop, she too no go chop” Ahmad had lamented to Kabiru
“O boy, e bi like say another bobo don dey chop you babe o, na only that kine thing fit give am boldness, she don dey see another prick way big pass your own o” Kabiru had replied, drawing a huge cloud with the smokes from his cigarette.
He didn’t want to believe it, but he couldn’t come up with a better explanation why Imelda changed so sudden.
He had noticed how uncomfortable she was staying in the house with him that Saturday, and how close she has held her phone, ignoring a particular call all day, so he had pretended to leave the house in other to give her the opportunity to relax and talk to whoever it was that was calling her since morning.
He had walked in when she least expected, he overheard her mention the name Kola, and had promised to see him, he couldn’t stand the humiliation, he needed to show her how it used to be and humble her to be loyal to him alone,
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But what happened next shook him to the bones…
Imelda could swore that she saw black out and some stars dancing in the darkness with that slap, then it was as if a nut was unscrewed from her brain, transforming her into someone she would never imagined to be in her right senses,
Without thinking, she lifted her hand and it landed on Ahmad’s Cheek, she saw his jaw moved and she could count her fingers from his cheek,
Ahmad was frozen, he was looking at her like he would look at a raging mad woman, her yellow face was red, her eyes had lost its calmness and was replaced by flames of fire, he could see all her nerves and her breath was as heavy as the sound of a heavy armored tank.
Whoever the woman that stood before him was, he was sure it wasn’t his Imelda.
“Are you mad! You dey craze! How dare you raise your hands again on me?”… She was screaming on top of her voice
“All these years… all these years Ahmad, I have fed you, clothed you, lied because of you, bleeped you, lost friends because of you I have lost my personality because of you, I don’t even know who I am any more…” she was a breath away from him, daring him, looking him in the face and poking his chest, while he sat himself on the sofa, still looking surprisingly at her
“… I have been humiliated because of you, I have lost my dignity while searching for Jobs for you… what do you do? You go out to drink with your guys and come babe to practice your boxing with me” she said
“Imelda she you realize who you dey talk to so? Shey you know how e dey be?…” her sudden outburst weakened him
“Shut up! Shut the f*ck up! who you be? Who are you Ahmad? What else can you do to me? you have used me, abused my body, ripped me off with your constant demand for money, deprived me of love… what else will you do to me? Hit me again? Okay… come on … hit me! Hit me again Ahmad! And I will show you that you are not the only one that has madness in his DNA, I will slice you with this kitchen knife and go to jail”
She was shaking with anger and fear, she didn’t want to wait for His reaction or responds so she fled. Scared that he may decent on her if she remained in the house; she left on her night wear for the second time.
She saw the peering eyes of her neighbors on her when she came out, he landlady smiled at her but she wasn’t in the mood to exchange words, she walked briskly out of the gate, then she ran.
Her breast bounced up and down, her slippers splashed drops of sands on her heels but she cared little about her look, she was able to enter a taxi, most of the passengers were looking at her with questions in her hearts but none said anything to her. The tears were flowing freely by the time she got to her Madam’s house, but she was disappointed when she met her gate locked with a padlock.
Kola has been trying to reach her for hours without any success, he was almost panicking , he didn’t know what was going on with her and that was giving him a serious concern, he considered going over to her house to find out what was happening and why she scream
“Should I call the police to check her out?” he reasoned
Then he remembered how slow and inefficient Nigerian police could be, before they could get to the place, the person involved must have been dead.
He looked at his clock, it was eleven forty three, and he was still trying her number when he heard a knock on his door.
He opened the door and saw her standing there, with no words, he took her in, and sat her down on his sofa,
“What happened, why are you like this?” he asked as he sat beside her
She didn’t answer, but for the first time after many years, she let out a loud cry, he was afraid she could wake his neighbors, but he could do little to stop her from crying, he knew she needed to ease her heaviness.
So she cried, she allowed the tears to flow, gradually she calmed down, and started murmuring, he didn’t hear her at initially, until she became louder and louder
“I gave him everything and he gave me nothing, I was his meal ticket, he battered my body and my soul…” she said, and then she turned to him;
“I am the fool you know, thinking he would change, thinking he was only frustrated because he had no job, thinking I could make him better… yes I am a fool, I have always been a fool” she continued
He said nothing, he couldn’t say anything, he doesn’t know how deep the cut was, how deep her hurts were, he could only understand that this woman sitting in his sitting room, is on a long journey of self realization and healing, and he would allow her do that at her pace.
“You… do you think I am a fool too?” she asked him
“No you are not, you are a woman who was love with the wrong Guy” he replied with a sigh
She looked at him, her eyes searched his face, permeated throw his body and went deep inside his soul, she searched for the Truth, whether to believe him or not.
When she was satisfied, she looked away, she was tired and he saw it in her, he brought her a cup of warm milk and she drank without any word.
He carried her to his bed, covered her up and closed the door behind him as he moved to the guest room to have a troubled night.
Ken woke up to the arms of a woman around him, he almost forgot that Grace loved to cuddle, they had always joked able it, he named her ‘cuddly bear’
It was still early, but he could no longer sleep, so he allowed his eyes to admire her, he looked at her soft face, she was angelic even while sleeping, the blanket that covered them has fallen off, exposing her unclad breast.
The way her breast raised and fall with the rythim of her breath fascinated him, his eyes fall on her nipples, large, dark and hard. He caressed them gently, and she responded by snuggling closer to him.
He loved having her in his arms, and on her bed again, he wished she would stay, that they would agree to make this work again, he was ready to give her another chance and even reach some compromise with her concerning her career.
He slowly removed her head from his shoulder and left the bed, he saw her phone on top of the chair, in the sitting room, out of curiosity he went through her messages, one name kept appearing in her inbox;
Grace moved, the sun was beginning to rise when she opened her eyes and shut them again as the ray of the sun hit her face, she turned towards where he lay the previous night and noticed he was no longer there, but he left his scent behind.
She pulled the pillow he used close to herself, drew it to her nose and sniffed the alluring scent from him. She took her time enjoying the familiarity of the Bed that used to be theirs together, it was as if the Bed was alive, for she heard it speaking to her last night while Ken made sweet love to her, it was as if the whole room was lighted up, and the voice of a thousand orchestral made sweet melodies for them.
She stood up from the bed, covered herself with one of his shirts before going downstairs
She met him at the dinning, she watched him go through his records for a while before she came to him;
“Good morning K” she greeted
“You are awake! Good morning to you my babe” he said
“Please stop calling me that K, I am no longer your babe” she argued with that husky tone that comes with the mornings
“You were last night” he said
They were both silent for a while, ken was afraid that he had said too much
“Are you regretting last night Grace?” he asked her
“No K, I am fine” she said
“Good” he said, handing her phone over to her
“You left it on top of the sofa, meanwhile… one Morgan sent a message to you, asking to go on a date again with you” he said casually
She opened her mouth and closed, she didn’t know what to say, she took her phone from him and read the message,
“Ehm…ehmm… it’s not really what you think K, he is just a guy I met … ehm…” she didn’t know how to explain to him
“Grace stop please, you owe me no explanation, it is your choice to make, but whatever your choice is at the end of the day, don’t forget that I love you, and will wait for you, just let me know when you decide to finally move on without me” he said caressing her cheek
A sob escaped from her throat, she felt little and unworthy of him
“Last night was the best night I have had since you left me, and you know the best part? I could tell you have not been with any other man since you left me and it gives me a little hope, I will cherish what you gave me last night and will wait for you to see how much I want you back with me”
“K… how can you be this good? how can you easily forget what I did to you? How can you be so perfect? It’s unfair” she asked him
“Let’s just say I know what I want, and will not want the pain of yesterday to deprive me of you”
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