It was 12:30pm on a Wednesday and the boys and I had just returned from lunch at the office canteen.
The starter had been turkey pepper soup, followed by jollof rice, moin-moin, coleslaw and grilled chicken and finally fruit salad.
We were sitting on Okey’s desk discussing the results of the US elections while picking our teeth. I worked in the Production Unit of Oasis, an indigenous oil and gas company.
I would be celebrating my third year work anniversary in two months time. The salary was not as generous as our international counterparts but it was quite substantial.
The door to the business unit opened and Chastity walked towards us. Speak of the devil. Seeing her reminded me that we had actually met during my interview at Oasis.
I noticed a worried frown on her face. She had always been terrible at hiding her emotions.
I saw one of the guys I was with, Michael sit up straighter when Chase came in. I smiled to myself. Poor guy, Chase would chew him up and spit him out.
“Excuse me, Chike. I need you” she said.
“Oooh! Chike, she needs you” Ola, one of our colleagues teased.
“Oh shush” Chastity rebuked him as she sashayed back out of the office.
I didn’t even glance at her arse even though I knew every other eye in the room was on it. She barely glanced back as she walked out of the room in her high heels.
Chase worked as a JV Accountant in the Finance Department. Before then she had worked in Treasury. She was considering rotating out to Internal Audit so she could close work earlier.
“What’s wrong? How is Inem?” I asked.
“She’s fine” Chase replied impatiently. “Guess who I just saw in the car park,” she continued.
I frowned at her wondering if she was playing with me as usual.
“Umm, the MD” I said sheepishly.
“Nope” she pulled me towards the end of the corridor that gave us a good view of the car park.
At first I couldn’t see what she was pointing at, but then I noticed the black Mercedes which was idling and the license plate number that I’d committed to memory.
“What’s she doing here?” I asked no one in particular.
“You’re asking me?” Chase snorted sardonically. “I went to pick up my package from Konga at the gate o. That’s how I saw her sitting in the car and crying. You better go sort that shit out”
Fuck! I wanted to curse and hit a wall. How dare my ex bring this drama to my workplace?
I glanced down at my phone and noted that I had some missed calls. I held my thumb against the home button to unlock the phone and sighed wearily when I saw that the missed calls, six of them, in fact were from Kachi.
Chase glanced at my screen and then back to my face with a deep sigh.
“I thought you were going to block her number” she said.
Chase was famous for calling out bullshit. One of the many reasons why we were friends.
“Chase, this is someone I was going to marry. It’s not that easy to block her and pretend the past two years never happened. Everyone can’t be you” I snapped.
My emotions were all over the place and I dealt with them the only way I knew how – lash out at the nearest person.
I knew the minute Chase’s mood changed, sadly it was too late to take back my curtly delivered words.
“Oh-kay” she said rolling her eyes. “I’ll leave you to deal with your mess. Just handle it before the security peeps embarrass her or worse yet someone from the office recognises her”.
With those words, she spun on her five-inch heels and walked away.
I took a deep breath, glanced at her retreating figure and then headed for the elevator.
Kachi’s head was bowed as I approached the car. She looked up and her tear-filled eyes met mine. I was struck once again by how stunning she was.
There was a certain impassiveness as I scanned her face which I attributed to the fact that we were no longer together. I knew she had false lashes on. Her full lips were as a result of plumping and lip liner techniques she’d learned from YouTube. I also knew she had traded in her glasses for clear contacts years ago. Her makeup was impeccable as usual despite her supposed crying bout. Everything had been artfully done to appear natural. I knew better.
She unlocked the door to her car wordlessly and I slid into the passenger seat.
“Hi” I said awkwardly.
“Hi” she sniffed.
I was so pissed. I focused instead on picking imaginary lint from my trousers.
“How are you?” she asked.
“You drove all the way here to ask me that?” I bit out.
“I was in the neighborhood.” she said defensively.
Confrontations were one of the many things I avoided like the plague. I could not meet her gaze, afraid of the pain I’d find reflected there.
“Did you see my calls?” she continued when I remained quiet.
“No” I replied.
“Vero sent me your fila for her wedding next month. I guess she didn’t get the memo that we’re no longer together” she continued.
Vero was my cousin’s bride-to-be whom Kachi had met when we all holidayed in Cancun the previous year. The two had become fast friends and still corresponded, with Kachi slated to serve as a bridesmaid at the upcoming wedding. Just fucking great. I thought to myself.
“Cool,” I said and watched as she reached into the back seat for her bag. Her breasts brushed my arm and I stiffened.
Her hair felt soft against my arm and smelt of Amouage Memoir just like the rest of her. I resisted the temptation to breathe it in, breathe her in.
She handed me the cap which I collected and made to leave the car but her hand on my arm stopped me. I stared down at her long purple nails.
“Kachi, what?” I asked impatiently.
The water works started again and suddenly the car felt too small. I could not deal.
“Obim, please let’s give our relationship another try. I’ll…”
I was out of the car in an instant, heaving like I’d just run a marathon. I was a douchebag, I knew this but I could not tolerate her pleading and crying.
With brisk steps, I headed towards the office building without looking backward. A quick stop at the vending machine and I headed to the left wing. The ladies in Commercial smiled at me as I entered. Biola Sowunmi was looking extra fine in particular. Her red dress hugged curves that could only be the result of hours at the gym. I made a mental note to chat with her later before reminding myself that I was celibate and a chat would lead nowhere.
“I come in peace,” I said to Chase as I approached her desk.
Dropping my peace offering on her table – a small bottle of Farm fresh yogurt, I gave her a sheepish smile . Silently, she reached under her table and raised a larger bottle of Farm fresh yogurt.
“Michael beat you to it. He found out I liked yoghurt” she said.
“Na wa o. All these your suitors. Can they buy yoghurt for two next time?” I joked.
She frowned at me before breaking into a smile.
“You know you’re annoying right?”
“Umm, I’m lovable”
“To your mother”
“Anyway have you settled your drama?”
“Yup. I left her in the car crying”
“What!!! How is that settling it?”
“What? You know I can’t deal with tears”
“You’re a DB I swear.”
“But you love me anyway”
“Abeg abeg come and continue the Nkem gist jare. How did you end up sleeping last night? That is if you even slept o”
I gave a self-deprecating laugh. “You have no idea!”
I had anticipated a long night but not one of this length. It seemed like the moon and the sun had reached an impasse with the moon refusing to retreat and the sun refusing to rise.
My boner was bordering on painful and I could feel the heat emanating from Nkem’s body even though she was under the duvet. In a rebelious fit, I had refused to join her under the covers, afraid that she might want to cuddle.
I was suffering the consequences of my decision. A mosquito buzzed near my ear and I swiped at it angrily. My long legs had long since suffered several mosquito attacks.
Nkem stirred in her sleep again, eliciting a sleepy moan that sounded almost erotic. I turned away from her punching my pillow as I did.
Minutes passed. Hours maybe. I had drifted off to sleep when I felt the duvet settle around me. For a minute I was glad for the comfort. That was until her arms snaked around my waist enveloping me in a hug from behind. Her hand was dangling dangerously close to my dick. She kissed my back softly.
My breathing sounded incredibly loud to my ears. I had mild form of sleep apnea which was responsible for my snoring. I often tried to catch myself snoring which made me a light sleeper.
“Are you awake?” she asked huskily.
I gave no response. Instead I intensified my snores hoping to deter her hands which had started to wander.
I rolled onto my stomach instead causing her hands to become trapped under my body.
“Chike” she called softly.
I pretended to mumble sleepily.
She nudged me again. “Chike I can’t sleep”
Fuck! I will bloody punch this girl o. I thought to myself.
She finally managed to wrangle her hands out from under me. I heard her huff angrily and smiled to myself.
Two more hours till dawn.
I had drifted off to sleep again when I felt her arse poking into my side. For a minute, I was disoriented until I remembered that it was Nkem in my bed. My right thumb twitched, skimming just under her arse in the process.
The small shiver of pleasure than ran through me was worth every feeling of guilt. My right arm reached out and snaked around her waist, causing her to burrow into me.
I turned into her so we were spooning. Her arse felt perfect pressed against me and her hair had fallen to the side exposing her neck.
I gave into the temptation I’d been fighting all evening and pressed a kiss against her neck. A soft sigh of pleasure escaped her lips.
My hands wandered from her waist to grab her arse and then inched upwards towards her breasts. She was practically arching from the bed, all pretense of sleep long abandoned. I could sense her anticipation.
Her neck smelt like Gucci Guilty. Sinful. Delicious.
I wondered what her lips would taste like.
Gucci Guilty. Not Amouage Memoir. Like Kachi.
Thoughts of Kachi led to thoughts of Chastity to whom I was accountable to whether I wanted to admit it or not.
Fuck! I thought to myself as I pulled away.
“What’s wrong?” she asked turning towards me, her eyes bright and alert in the dark bedroom.
I remained mute.
“Chike” she called again, her voice rising in annoyance.
“I’m sorry. I’m just going to the living room” I said as I rose from the bed hastily.
I stubbed my big toe against a piece of furniture in my haste and muttered a steady stream of expletives.
I stumbled into the living room fuming with annoyance and noticed that Skippo had made himself at home on the couch as usual.
With a deep sigh, I settled onto the air couch and set up the Playstation 4.
One more hour till dawn.
Morning could not come soon enough.
Chastity stared at me in disbelief.
“Wait o. So you had a hot babe dressed in nothing but a tee shirt and black lace undies in your bed and you expect an agbalagba like me to believe nothing happened?”
“That’s what I’m telling you na” I insisted.
She burst into another fit of laughter, clutching her sides.
“I’m serious jor” I continued.
She paused and stared at me. “Wow! My friend my friend, you are really doing this o”
“Yup!” I said beaming. “I’m doing this celibacy thing”
What Chastity didn’t know would not hurt her, right?
[to be continued]
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.