10:00 PM. Thursday.
With all the energy she could gather, Zainab gave Jummy a deafening slap. It was so loud that the neighbours at the extreme end of the street heard it and became scared, hoping it wasn’t what they thought it was.
“Are you high on cheap drugs?!” Zainab yelled at Jummy who was totally confused and now counting the stars only her could see. “Jumoke, what’s wrong with you? Are you that desperate?” Zainab asked.
Jummy couldn’t find the right words to reply Zainab with so she kept quiet, glaring at Zainab, the slap had been surprisingly very painful.
“Jummy, I rushed into marriage with Richard and you saw where we ended up. Your case is even worse, not only do you want to rush it, you want to get into it for the wrong reasons.” Zainab moved closer to Jummy, held her hands and looked into her eyes.
“Jummy, don’t do this,” she said sympathetically.
* * * **
9:30PM. 30 MINUTES AGO
“Any problem here?” Henry asked as he had gotten closer to Zainab, he spotted Taofeek before he walked into his house and thought it might be trouble, so he decided to come and be Zainab’s knight in a shining armour.
Zainab turned to Henry and with a fake smile she said, “not at all, I’m sure you’ve met Jummy, this is my brother, Taofeek. Taofeek this is my friend, Henry.”
Both men stretched forward their hands and shook it, “nice meeting you.” They both said in unison and just smiled back at each other in response. Taofeek had a warm smile on his face but Henry gave him a cold stare which somehow said: “Nigga, you ain’t welcome here.”
By the time they retracted their hands, Henry turned to Zainab and asked in a low tone, so low only Zainab could hear, “You never told me you have any siblings.”
“You never asked,” Zainab replied.
Henry shrugged, she had a good point and he had no reply to fire back so he turned to the small pack of people and literally screamed, “okay, I think I’ll be going to my house now,” he paused and turned to Taofeek, “nice to meet you, hope you going to stay long, because I wouldn’t mind knowing some of those secrets Zainab would never tell me.” A warm laughter followed and even Jummy who hadn’t really been in a good mood smiled a little.
“I really don’t know, but let’s see how it goes,” Taofeek replied with a grin and watched Henry walk back to his gate and enter his house.
As soon as Henry was gone, Taofeek started grinning at Zainab so hard it made her uncomfortable.
“What?!” Zainab asked.
“Nothing, you didn’t tell me you now have a personal security guard or is he the new boyfriend?” Taofeek replied and his grin grew wider.
Zainab smiled and changed the topic, “okay then, let’s go in, I hope you are spending the night here? It’s already too late to go to a hotel and it’s rather stupid considering I have a free guest room.”
“Okay, if you say so.” Taofeek replied, he knew Zainab just avoided the question.
Zainab looked at Jummy and saw the swollen eyes once again, and concluded that something was wrong with Jummy. She opened the gate and let Jummy and Taofeek walk into the house while she drove her car into the compound.
By the time she had successfully parked the car and walked into the house, Jummy and Taofeek were already sitting in the pallor in total silence. For her brother, it was a normal thing since he wasn’t much of a talker just like Zainab but it was really unusual for Jummy to keep quiet for so long and Zainab noticed it.
“Err… The guest room is over there… The second door by your left,” Zainab said to her brother trying to take things easy and be in charge of the situation.
Her brother smiled and walked to the room as Zainab directed, pulling a small trolley bag along with him.
As soon as the brother was out of sight, she walked to the couch where Jummy was sitting and dropped her handbag on the floor.
“So what’s up?” Zainab asked.
“Nothing much,” Jummy replied, “how was work today?”
“Apart from discovering Henry now worked at TOP, my day was just casual. Ehen, that reminds me, aren’t you meant to be at China now or something like that?” Zainab asked.
“Yes, I am but the trip got cancelled.”
“Is that why your eyes are swollen? Don’t tell me you cried over it.” Zainab said in a mocking tone, “let me guess, you were hoping to travel to Dubai afterwards to shop right?”
Jummy smiled, “you think everyone is like you? Shopping at every opportunity you get.”
“So why is your eyes swollen?” Zainab asked grinning, “did you finally fight with that Mrs Ogbonaya at your work place and she ended up beating you up?”
Jummy looked at Zainab and she was sure Zainab grin would fade once she told her what was troubling her.
“You are killing me with suspense, what’s wrong with you na?” Zainab replied sounding impatient.
“It’s John.” Jummy finally said. “John? What about him?”
“It’s a long story…” Jummy replied, still trying to decide if it was such a good idea to tell Zainab about it.
“Well, you had better start telling me now before it gets to my bed time.” Zainab replied and braced herself for the ‘long story’.
* * * **
Jummy sighed and stared at her feet, “well, John and I were together last night at my place.” Jummy started.
“Hmmm, so you guys finally did it?” Zainab said with a mischievous grin, “I was starting to think he was gay self, which normal guy has a girlfriend with your type of curves and doesn’t make a move?”
Jummy rose an eyebrow in surprise, she mentally gave herself a knock for being so blind, even Zainab who wasn’t in the relationship noticed. “Sorry to burst your bubbles but nothing happened.”
“Nothing? As in nothing nothing?” Zainab asked, emphasizing on the nothing.
“Err… Not entirely, we cuddled and did some really naughty things but didn’t do the koko.”
“Oh! You were forming and playing the hard-to-get card on him?” Zainab asked and tapped Jummy on the shoulder jokingly, “you are one naughty lady.”
Jummy didn’t smile. “Actually, I wanted him but he was the one who refused, he said he wanted us to get married first.”
“Aww… A nice guy. So romantic.” Zainab replied and blushed for reasons she didn’t even know.
“Would you just let me land?” Jummy yelled, she was getting irritated as Zainab cut in after each statement, it was hard enough that she was literally revealing the whole incidence by telling the story and Zainab wasn’t making it any easier as she made the story seem longer.
Zainab was taken aback by Jummy sudden outburst, but she knew Jummy only acted that way when she was damn serious, “okay, I am sorry oh, I won’t say anything again.”
“Better!” Jummy replied and with a really low tone, she went ahead to tell Zainab almost everything, from when she got to John’s house to the deal and just as she was about to tell Zainab about the statements Samuel made before leaving the room… Kpa!!! Zainab slapped her.
** ** *
9:45PM, Same night.
At the other side of Lagos.
As John undressed in other to have a shower, thoughts of earlier that day crossed his mind.
He was now wondering if he handled the situation properly or was just being a moron. He had discovered he was bisexual in high school when a certain friend of his who was purely gay made a move at him.
It so happens that the friend and him used to sleep on the same ‘six inches boarding school sized bed’ because John’s bed has been stolen. He was new to the school and didn’t even know it was possible for beds to be stolen, but after his was stolen… He obviously now knew. So the friend had been so nice to let him share his bed with him until the new bed which he called his parents to send arrived.
They were both lying on the bed one faithful night when John’s friend started. The friend placed his hand on John’s shoulder then slowly started to caress it, slowly moving up and down. Due to John’s tender age and ignorance, he didn’t find anything wrong with this so he let the friend continue and to the best of his knowledge he assumed his friend was just being nice since it was a cold night and the feeling he got from his friend made him slightly warm.
The friend took the risk and slid his hands all the way down and grabbed John’s butt. John was startled, and was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that squeezing the butt had nothing with keeping someone warm, “what are you doing?” He asked.
“Nothing, just playing with you.” The friend replied, “Or don’t you want to play with me?”
John considered the fact that the friend may throw him out of his bed if he said no and besides he knew it was a weird kind of “play” but he ignorantly said yes since he didn’t see anything wrong with it and that was how it started, the friend advance to caressing John’s whole body and even kissed him, they went ahead to do it the next night and the night after… Well, the rest is now history.
Back to the present, John walked into the bathroom stark naked and as the warmth of the water hit his skin, he started thinking once again about the earlier incidence.
He knew he at least had strong feelings for Jummy even though he didn’t really love her and he had really planned on telling her about his sexuality situation before asking for her hands in marriage.
He had it all figured out in his head. A romantic dinner on the roof of one extravagant building in Paris, he was sure there was no way she could say no in such situation but now things had taken a different turn.
He dried his body and walked out of the bathroom, “I can’t lose her just like this.” He said to himself.