In the spirit of valentine, Cizlar brings with much love this special valentine story. One that would leave you wishing and wondering and smiling, I hope.
HAPPY VALENTINES, WITH LOVE.
Aisha sat on the chair in one corner of her room, her phone pressed to her ear, her body shaking with laughter. “Your head is not correct.” She said into the phone amidst bouts of laughter. The person on the other end of the phone, Raymond, was laughing too.
“Seriously?” he asked. “Well, I am your friend so it goes to say that you are even more unserious than I am.”
And as she always replied when he brought that up, she said “Eh, you and who are friends? You are not my friend o. Tufia. I can’t be friends with a crazy person.”
He laughed at that as usual, “You are really the one whose head is not correct.” Then after a slight pause he said, “Speaking of correct heads, Ada’s own is not o. The girl has been sending me pictures of engagement rings and cute pre-wedding shoots. What’s that supposed to be?”
Aisha stretched backwards on the chair as she reached for the remote control on bed. “Hehehe. That’s the way o. you know that girl has been on your matter for years. She is only giving you a glimpse of the big picture. Shine your eyes o.”
Raymond huffed. “To see what, please? It’s actually very upsetting. We’ve only been dating three months and you know me nau. I am never in a rush, especially not when it comes to love. Besides, I am not even sure if she is the one yet. I just want to see how it goes, you know?”
“See how it goes, see how it goes, Raymond, seeing how it goes since 2009.”
The laughter was instant and loud. “You this girl… what am I going to do with you?”
Aisha grinned from ear to ear, enjoying herself a little too much, “You can help me pick out a gift for Kunle’s birthday –”
“And why will I do that?”
“Because you love me and you want to help me butter him up to receive the no-birthday-sex-or-any-other-kind-of-sex news.” Aisha was grinning when she finished talking because she knew Raymond would roll his eyes and scoff at her.
“Really Aisha? You still haven’t told him?” Raymond sounded shocked. “Na wa for you o. I thought you promised to tell him last week? Why didn’t you –” he was cut off by the automated voice informing her that she had “one minute remaining.”
“Ah, my credit has finished. Bye. Let’s talk at lunch tomorrow. You are still taking me out right?”
“Why don’t I call you back?” he asked making her shake her head. “No joor. I want to watch TV. I will see you tomorrow.” She said before ending the call and tossing her phone on the bed.
The room was dimly lit by the candles that lined the floor creating a path from the door to the bed. The smell of wild flowers filled the room and had drafted to the rest of the house from where Raymond had been tracing their scent. As he stepped further into the room, he noticed the pieces of clothing carefully placed at the foot of the bed and immediately, his eyes moved to the top of the bed to see the lady lying on it. Her body was curved and her lack of clothing, save for a pair of red lace underwear and red heeled shoes made her look like a dream. Raymond swallowed and took a few steps closer to the bed to get a better look and her full lashes fluttered open. A smile curved her lips and blood rushed to his groin. He swallowed again.
“Ada,” was all he could say.
A giggle escaped her. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” she said as she sat up, leaning on one hand. “I slept off waiting for you and I think I caught a chill.” She looked down at her almost naked body as she gestured with her hand. His eyes followed her movements. “Won’t you come and warm me up?” She asked, batting her lashes at him.
“I thought … were you … is today my birthday?” he asked as he moved towards her still trying to understand the situation.
Ada laughed again getting on her knees so she could put her arms around his neck. “I just wanted to surprise my baby… you are looking very handsome by the way.” With that, her lips found his.
Thirty minutes later, Ada was moving about the room, picking up the candles, blowing out the lights and throwing them in the duffel bags she held. “One thousand eight hundred naira each. One thousand eight hundred naira, that’s how much each of these scented candles cost me. And I bought them! Do you know how many I bought? Just to set the mood…”
“Ada, I am really sorry.” Raymond said from the bedside as he struggled into his trousers. “I honestly didn’t mean to upset you.”
“Oh really?” she asked, stopping to stand to her full height and face him. “Then I take it you just wanted to tell me subtly how stupid and foolish I am. My God,” she said looking up, “And to think that I thought you were not like other men. I thought you were different!” She looked straight at him before bending to resume her task.
Raymond sighed for the umpteenth time. “I am sorry Baby, please. It’s just … you are really so beautiful and seeing you like that tonight really made me lose control.” She stopped at his words after placing the last candle in the bag. When he noticed she had paused and was listening to him, he continued. “You know I love you and I would never deliberately hurt you.” He started to walk towards her and she looked away, tapping her right foot and reducing her grip on the bag. He stopped in front of her and took her free hand in one of his, “I am sorry, Aisha, please –”
The duffel bag was out of her right hand and hit the floor in the same instance that her hand hit him across the face. “How dare you? It was not enough for you to call out her name in the middle of sex; you just had to do it again while apologising didn’t you? Let go of my hand!” she said pulling her hand out of his. “So you live in denial? You are in love with her yet you claim she is your best friend?” Shaking her head and picking up her bag again, she said in a barely audible voice, “I should have known.” She turned around and walked out leaving Raymond standing there, his erection barely hidden by his trousers, wondering about what he had just done. He heard her footsteps returning and was excited that she had forgiven him until she stopped at the door and said, “I forgot my car key.” She walked into the room, picked it up from the table and walked out the way she had come. He heard the living room door slam shut a few seconds later.
“What is wrong with you Raymond?” he asked smacking his head with his right hand as he sat at the edge of the bed. “You just had to kill the mood.” He looked down at his trousers before putting his head in his hands, a heavy sigh escaping his lips.
The couple walking out of the restaurant hand in hand was smiling. The man was a head taller than the woman even with her hair combed out in a full afro that framed her head like a halo. Her hips swayed from side to side as much as her body hugging dress could allow and her hand in his didn’t make it easier, yet she held on all the way to where he had his car parked.
“I had a wonderful meal.” Aisha said smiling into his eyes. “Where did you find this place?”
“Oh. A friend of mine brought me here a few days back. The food was so good; I thought you would like it.” Kunle replied as he pulled the car door open for her to go in. she let go of his hand and placed a kiss on his cheek before sitting in the car. He was smiling when he came in through the driver’s side.
“You should let me drive when next we go out.” Aisha said half smiling. “Let me show you as e dey go.”
Kunle looked sideways at her and made a face as he started the car. “Very funny. So you can bash my car right?” Just then, someone tapped on the windshield at his side of the car. He was holding out what seemed to be printed photographs. Kunle wound down the glass and raised an eyebrow at him.
“Evening sir. I am sorry I missed you the other day. Here are the pictures Antie asked for. Eight hundred only.” He pushed the pictures at Kunle baring his teeth in a smile and then just noticing Aisha said, “Antie, good evening ma.” His forehead wrinkled in a frown when his eyes met Aisha’s, before he faced Kunle who had already reached into his pocket to pull out a one thousand naira note. He shoved it at the man and pulled back, the man’s shouts of thank-you following them out. As he pulled into the road, Aisha said, “Let me see the pictures.”
Kunle looked at her and then back at the road. “It’s nothing Aisha. It’s my friend who brought me here the other day.”
“I didn’t ask for an explanation, Kunle. I just want to see the pictures.” Aisha was smiling.
“There’s nothing to see. She’s just a random girl. She’s not even half as pretty as you are.” Kunle was looking straight ahead, occasionally looking her way.
“See me see this man o. I said show me picture, you are talking about fine. I just want to see the picture.”
Kunle paused for a long time not making a move to give the pictures to her. Then suddenly looking at her and away, said “Aisha, I just needed… I don’t know how to stay without a woman. I love you but I need sex… I am sorry.” He looked sideways at her and then back at the road. “You are quiet.”
“Stop me here.” Aisha said with a sigh, gathering her purse and phone.
“Aisha, I am sorry.” He said, still driving ahead.
“Stop the car!” Aisha said slamming her left hand on the dash board. Kunle jerked up, slamming the breaks at the same time, making the car screech to a halt. The driver coming behind him cursed him in eloquent Yoruba as Aisha opened the door and jumped out. Then she walked back the way the car had come to the taxi park she had spotted. The taxi was headed to her apartment when her phone rang. She ignored it thinking it was Kunle. On the third ring, she hissed, pulled out her phone and snapped, “What?!” Then she realized she had not answered the call when it kept ringing. As she made to swipe the phone, she saw that it was Raymond. Tears welled up in her eyes. “Raymond,”
“Hey, what’s wrong?” He asked immediately.
“Nothing… Kunle cheated on me.” She said and a lone tear rolled down her left cheek.
“My goodness. I am so sorry. Where are you?”
“I am on Herbert Macaulay road. Why?” Aisha reached into her purse to retrieve a handkerchief.
“Just to know if you are okay.”
“I will be. You don’t sound okay yourself. Is everything alright?” Aisha asked as she wiped her cheeks.
“Ada left me.”
“It’s a lie. That’s impossible. She’s crazy about you. What happened?” Aisha asked sitting up.
Raymond sighed. “I called out your name during sex.” He said without preamble. Aisha gasped and then, burst out laughing.
*** To be continued ***