“So girlfriend, if am getting what you just explained, your showing up at Ken’s door step wasn’t anything but a call for help, you are not secretly screwing him, and you have no plan of seducing and screwing him? Your life is more boring than mine” Mary said dramatically over Lunch“that’s not fair Mary, am not that boring, besides I don’t think I have the time to go on a seduction mission” Grace replied with a full mouth.Mama Obafemi’s Restaurant has been their favorite spot for lunch, at least for four years now, it has not just been a place for delicious lunches, but a place of letting their guards down and gossip.“Gracy Gracy” Mama Obafemi came over to their table “ Make I bring another meat for you na, I get better goat meat, wey get correct pepper inside” she said, grinning at the two ladies, she was pleased to see their plates wiped clean with no single grain of rice remaining in their plates.“Ra ra Ma” (no Ma) “your food is delicious as usual, but I can’t eat more than this” Grace has learnt few words in Yoruba after ten years of coming to Lagos.“ehm… Iya (Mama) I will take that goat meat, put am for take away for me, Gracy go pay” Mary cut in“Oda’ (Okey) I go bring am now now” happy Mama Obafemi replied. “ Agatha! Agatha!!” she called on her sales girl while walking towards her kitchen.“How did I become close to you!” Grace jokingly screamed at Mary“Ask yourself” Mary replied“What do I do with you Mary?”“Pay for the food and my take away” Mary replied both laughed“So how is Mami” Mary asked after Grace’s Mother, while wiping her mouth with a serviette“My mum is there o, I dread calling her these days, she would remind me that am working too much, how much I need a break so I can make my marriage work again and give her grand children…. Mtcheeeewww, I can’t deal with her anymore” Grace replied“She doesn’t know you guys are already divorced?” Mary asked“She does, but she still nurses the hope that Ken and I will still get back together” Grace Replied“Please allow the poor woman to keep her hope alive joor, anyways, I still agree with her that you need a vacation, Babe you have been working too hard, for these few months I have watched you wipe out FUN from your life and has buried yourself with building another Man’s Company” Mary Admonished“Mary am building myself, this is who I am now, I can’t change it, please don’t make me feel miserable”* * *She got back to her office and Imelda, her secretary was not on seat, she has this annoying attitude of not coming back from lunch on time, most times she disappears for hours after lunch, only to come back with one excuse or another. She would have sacked her a long time ago, but then she still needs her around, at least until she gets another good secretary.
Grace checked her time, it said past two o clock, she should as well go see her boss who wanted to see her previously.The ecstatic moaning of her secretary stopped her from entering her boss’ office, so there she was, peering through the slightly opened window, Imelda has her back on the bosses table, her legs held high, her left hand on the bosses bent head while the other holding one of her legs, her eyes closed, looking like a pretty witch from the movies, her full well shaped pair of breasts bouncing in harmony with the rhythm of the desk as her boss pushes his full length in and out of her, grunting like an angry pig and sweating even with the air condition switched on.She stood there watching them arouse her in the most sinful way, for every thrust reminds her of Ken and what would have happened between them the other night, the bounce of those breasts reminds her of those times Ken used to take her on the dining table, he used to tell her that she was sweeter than any food served on that table, She wanted to walk away, yet she wanted to stay and watch.She watch her Boss jerked like an old pickup truck and went numb for a while, deciding to let the two lovers be, she walked back to her office.That night, she would have one of those wet dreams and wake up with orgasm.___The pandemonium on the road close to Mami Market made Ken to stop his car by the side of the road. He could hear angry voices yet he could not make out anything from what they were screaming about nor could he understanding why there were excitements and high adrenalins.“Ole! Ole!!, thief o…”A young man has been caught with an Infinix phone, running out the electronics and gadget shop two blocks from where he parked.“I no be thieve o! The Man dey owe me money o” the boy was shouting as he kept running like he was racing a sport edition SUV.But it was already late, the excited shop owners who heard only the chant from the crowd but not the pleading voice of the running boy, laid ambush on him, like a trap, he ran into their arms, the crowd closed up on him, then stones and clubs made took turn to re-design his body, like a fresh Anambra Fufu at the mercy of the mortar and pestle, he was reduced to a pulp.The joy on the faces of passers-by and on-lookers, the clicking of phone cameras like paparazzi on run-ways, Ken couldn’t stand it anymore, he stepped out of the car and squeezed himself into the crowd.“Please stop!” he said to no one in particular “Hand him over to the Police” he tried once more“Oga e bi like say you wan make we beat you join abi” someone responded from behind him“As your face fine reach, you wan make we redesign am for you? This is Lagos o, no do anyhow” another person responded to him.Later that day, someone would suggest the little thief be burnt alive, another would get the expired motor tires, yet another would get a gallon of scarce fuel while a stick of matches would be enough to call on fire to come and consume the thief like Elijah did to his sacrifice on mount camel in the Bible.
Ken could not erase that scene from his mind as he made his way through sweaty bodies, impatience ‘job men’ with their wheel barrows and angry Market women to get to ‘Nwanyi Anambra’ to buy ‘Akwu ‘ (Banga) ‘Okpei’ and ‘Nchonwu’ (scent leaf)* * *Grace saw him few minutes ago at ‘nwanyi Anambra’s’ shop, she did not know whether to go to him and say ‘hi’. She was at the meat stand. It was ken that introduced her to Suleman, the meat seller.“The best thing about buying meat in the open market is that you get the chance to flip it front and back and give it a close scrutiny” he said to her the first day he took her to Mami Market.“My Madam, Bawo” greeted Suleman“Sule, How you dey na?” Grace replied“I dey o Madam, na only bad market dey worry me” Suleman complained“Don’t worry Sule, costumers dey co…” she was about to finish her statement when a familiar voice interrupted her.“So you still come to this Market”Without being told, she already knew the voice like she knew her own name, the voice that excites and hunts her even in her dreams.“Ken! What are you doing here” she asked amidst laugh“The same thing you are doing here “ he replied and they both laughed“So who cooks for you now, I don’t see any lady by your side, or is she waiting at home? She asked as a joke.“Oh Grace, you hurt me now” Ken faked sadness “You have forgotten I used to cook for you”She remembered, he used to be a perfect cook and he enjoyed cooking for them, she don’t know about now.“don’t mind me Ken, I was only pulling your legs” she said“I thought you wanted to know if I have ladies coming around the house to do things for me now, but…” he was saying before Grace interrupted“Oh no Ken, please you are free to do anything you want, just be safe” she picked her meat from Suleman.Ken couldn’t say any word to her for few minutes, he looked at her and when she turned to face him, she met his eyes and their eyes locked for a while before he looked away.“I thought you would be worried if I had told you that some lady does come around the house, I forgot you have moved on” he saidGrace saw a flash of sadness and pain in his eyes, she have done a good job in masking her feelings, especially in his presence, he wouldn’t know her sleepless nights, her hunger, her desires for him, her jealousy each time she thought of him with another lady.“I have not moved on!” she wanted to scream to him, rather she said“Noooo Ken, I just want you to be free… ehm..you know…” she stammered“you don’t have to explain anything Grace” he said with a smile “Am making ‘ofe akwu’ tomorrow, you can come over the house and have a taste of real food” he joked“I don’t know … but I will try, am salivating already” she joined him in laughing.But deep in their minds, they were burdened with the fear of what they secretly feel for each other, and whether coming together in his house is a good Idea after all.___“Kenosky Abeg come open gate, I no get time for this your gateman” Nedum said over the phoneHe has been standing at Ken’s gate closed to ten minutes, answering series of questions from Baba the gateman. Baba has been taking care of that house from the time it was roofed, and he made the unfinished building a place to lay his head every night, he kept coming back to the house no matter how many times the engineers tried to chase him away from there. Until Ken learnt about the burden Baba was carrying along.It was said that Baba was a grain merchant, he resided with his wife and five children in Adari, Ngala Local government, Borno State, he came back from Jumu’ah one Friday to meet his home razed down and the sting of burning flesh welcomed him. He did not stay to mourn his dead loved ones, but followed the part of other villagers to seek refuge in Lagos.He spoke little about his loss though, Ken made him his Gatekeeper in other to keep him around as he has become part of family to him and his wife, before Grace left of course.“Edu onye nkem! Biko Bataba, Ima na Baba Ana emebeka” (Edu my man, please come in, you know Baba can misbehave sometimes). Ken beckons at his friend from the door.“Nna, I came to your shop,
to know if you have that Rosa betta granite but your sales girl told me you left since after four, ‘Odikwa namma’” (hope it is well) Edu asked as they walked inside the house.“Yes o, I just wanted to have a little rest today, person no go die say him dey find money” both laughed“Eh eh! Ken, who paid you a visit today, Mama Come, abi your sister?”“Why are you asking” ken feigned ignorant of what he was talking about.“Kenosky my Man! This Ofe-akwu am perceiving the aroma na your pot e dey come from?” Edu made straight to the Kitchen to satisfy his curiosity, Ken followed him to the kitchen to make sure he did not take food out of the pot as he would normally do.“Nwokem debe Efere ahu” (my friend keep that plate) Ken snatched the plate from his hands“You have not asked where the food came from, you are already dishing out, Emere gi ya Eme?” ken asked his friend who was surprised of his action. Edu could swear he saw seriousness in Ken’s face a while ago, as he dashed to cover the pot of Banga stew.
“Ken, is there something about this food you are not telling me, allow me to fill my belly now or are you expecting one babe?”“Which babe? Abeg make the food cool small before I give you” ken said defensivelyHe had told himself that she would not show up, that he was just cooking for himself, after all, she may have other important things to do with her time as she told him, but why he took his time to prepare the food, why he had to use her favorite part of meet, Kpomo (beef skin) and sheen beef, instead of his normal torso, why he decided to add Ehuru instead of Okpei (local soup stock) only, and why he did not add salt to the white rice while cooking, just as she would like, he could not explain, somewhere locked in his heart, he hoped she shows up, the excitement was killing him, and the disappointment of her not showing up was dragging him to the floor.*Grace has been on the mirror for the past forty-three minutes, the contents in her wardrobe has relocated to the top of her bed, as she has been changing cloths like a model on the run-way. She has tried to calm herself down;“It’s just a normal visit” she said to herselfShe did not know why it still bothered her, what he would think about her dressing and the impression she would make on him.“What is wrong with me?” she said under her breathShe had settled for the simple sleeveless sequence red short gown she bought from ‘Collectables’ last Easter, with a silver stud earrings and silver opened toe shoes to go with the outfit. She was just putting a last touch of make up on her face before her phone rang;“Hi” he said from the other side of the phone“Hi” she held her breathHe did not speak for some seconds, then “Ehm … I just want to know if you are alright”“Yes…” she said almost choking “Yes I am” she said more clearly.The next few minutes, she would be calling her texify driver to come get her, she would be sitting quietly in the cab questioning her sanity and why she was embarking on the visit, she would be thinking whether Ken still found her attractive.
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