Tiana found it rather surprising that I who was reluctant to pray in the mornings would prepare and head to church with her.
“It’s true that men change when they become fathers.” She teased as I tucked in, if only she knew that I was evading her cousin. I didn’t want to put my resistance to a test. Without even trying, I knew I was meat for the tigress.
Tuesday came quickly and blessed Stanley with 10,000 naira. I thought severally about not giving him the money, I could have still given him the money without him toeing the line of betrayal, maybe he thought the money was too much for me to dole out. This is the last time he would seek for anything from me.
Two hours after lunch, it was relayed that I had a Mr. Stanley Ogwu at the reception. I stomped down the stairs with the bundles of the cash in the plastic bag the bank had put it in. There he was flirting with the receptionist, he saw me and smiled. I didn’t return any either, my face had become as inert as a cement-cast humanoid’s. I thrusted the bag to him which he collected hesitantly. I saw doubt dance in his eyes.
“Tay, what’s up.” What’s Beverly doing here? I almost asked aloud, but when I turned, it was Ruby, blaring her white teeth from a wide grin.
I returned her greetings and continued upstairs. She followed me up the stairs amidst few harmless bants.
“You know I haven’t given you the conditions to buy my silence.” She said out of the blue.
“Oh, is that so?”
I didn’t want another drama. She didn’t say anything until we were in the confines of my office. As soon as I opened the door, she entered, drew out the guest’s chair, sat on it, stooped to take out her left foot from her sandals, and then placed its heel on the chair while the other remained on the floor exposing her panties covered orifice.
I tore my eyes away from the younging’s thighs and sat heavily in my chair across her.
“What’s the condition?” I wanted her to leave before Kofi or someone else barges in.
“I want you to befriend me.” It seemed she wasn’t sure of the reception she would get. I looked askance at her. And she surmised it.
“I want to be your girlfriend.”
This is too much. At home a deep blue sea, in the office a small devil. I can’t deal with this.
“Get up! out! out!” I rapidly screamed at Ruby. She was looked doubtfully, but when I stood up she darted out. I was enraged “What nonsense? Na me this small girl wan use play?”
Suddenly, I wanted to leave the office. I picked up my car keys and made for the door.
“Taye come out here, now!” Mr. Balogun bellowed.
In her flight from my office she rammed into her father. I was faced with a weeping daughter and suspicious father.
“Daddy, he touched me, he almost raped me.”
“What? He did what!” That was all he said and he stomped to his office like there were ants to crush underneath.
“Sah! it’s not true.” Before I could say more, he broke into a jog and raced into his office, came out handling .22 handgun.
The floor was ridden with terror and colored with screams. Ocheuwa leaped out through the window. Kofi buried his fat body inside the wall.
Mr. Balogun aimed the gun at me as I backtracked towards the stairs. Before he shot, Ruby jumped in between us and begged her father not to shoot. I turned and flew down the stairs. I ran blindly through the reception.
Nervously, I ignited the engine almost made it out of the compound when I heard the loud bang of a gun, my off-side-front window perforated and rippled with cracks, he had missed me probably by hairsbreadth. Fearfully, I glanced towards Mr. Balogun. Stanley was making it hard for him to trail the gun at me. I didn’t know Stan was still here, how could I when I was blinded by an imminent death. As I exited and turned out into street another shoot rang, I saw Stanley go down through the side mirror.
I drove with frenzy. Is Stanley dead? Ask Mr. Balogun na. What would have happened if I had hesitated? You will be dead. What was Mr. Balogun doing with a gun? To kill you. I did more oral examinations in my head until I drove into my house.
“Arrest him!” Big Daddy blared. I was beyond surprised seeing my father-in-law for I was not notified of his visit. What has Uma done that they are arresting him? I climbed of the car about to prostrate.
“I said arrest him.” Big Daddy pointed at me, before I could process what was going on, his security details surrounded me.
Cuffs slammed around my wrist.
“Daddy, what is going on?”
Beverly sat on the front porch weeping her bags and clothes littering everywhere.
“What had happened?” I searched for Tiana and Uma.
“Daddy, please Sir. What is going on?” I protested.
“You are asking me.” He moved with a lightening speed and flashed a slap across my face. How I got to the ground, I couldn’t tell but I was pulled up from it and forced into the back of their Station Wagon.
For bad three days, I was thoroughly disciplined before I was released on the morning of Saturday. I was driven to Big Daddy’s house. Tiana saw me first and averted her eyes. I felt like a new fowl in a house I had visited countlessly. My sin was out for Uma had talked.
Today, I draw the curtains as I flash back with a pang of nostalgia. That was the day I felt the weight of what my family had said; I was the BRIDE. Stanley sustained a bullet to the hips and has been on a wheel ever since.
And Beverly, the last time I saw her was at Joyce’s marriage; my last child. Beverly and her husband had come back from England for a visit and came by for the wedding. She had not changed much there was only a hint of extra fat. And she didn’t hesitate to flash her insides when nobody looked. My Dixk grew and nodded with affirmation, I couldn’t remember the last time it got hard without a help.
Thank you for taking your time to read, comment, like and share. We had so many ghost readers and I appreciate them.
You were the oil that kept the fire of the story burning.
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