The drivers on the road are particularly mad today, thought Tunde as he slowed down to prevent bumping into a car that had abruptly braked. He maneuvered his car carefully, mentally biting his tongue so he wouldn’t insult the useless driver that wanted to be the reason he would dent his almost new car.
He stopped at a red traffic light and the car behind him honked very loudly. Tunde looked into the rearview mirror and used his hand to motion that the guy should fly over his head.
“Idiot,” he muttered under his breath. Soft music came from the speakers as his early morning playlist pumped him up. Music did a lot of things to his mood and sometimes even woke him up more than coffee ever could. How could people even stay awake with coffee? He had tried it all – black with sugar, with milk, without milk, and every bloody time, he just wanted to put his head on his office desk and snooze.
A car horn blared from behind him snapping him back to reality. The light had turned green. He steered his car back into the moving traffic as he shook his head. His mind wandered a lot like that. The car behind him sped past and he could see the man behind its wheel muttering what were most likely insults.
You just had to love Lagos.
He reached his office building early enough and took out his backpack containing his laptop and some files from the back seat of his car. The weather was nice and cool as he strode into the office, but it was just morning and the afternoon might end up being brutally hot. It wasn’t as though it was any of his business, since his workplace was fully air conditioned. Not one to wear suits, his office had forced him to do so if he didn’t want to die from the icy blast of the AC.
He strode to the front door, but it was being opened already by someone he didn’t recognise. He said a polite ‘good morning’, and walked down the fluorescent lit hallway till he reached the door to his office, which was really a bunch of cubicles with a personal workspace for him.
He greeted his colleagues as he made his way to his cubicle. He ignored one of them though. Her name was Nneoma, and she was one of those kinds of people who felt only their opinions mattered in life. He had recently had a brief but heated argument with her, when she refused to submit a file to the boss and the blame was placed on him; it had clearly been her fault for not signing it on time.
He took his seat, brought out his laptop, plugged the power pack to the socket provided and flipped open the screen.
“Urgh! Yeah, baby…! Fuck me…!” a deep male voice cut startlingly through the atmosphere, and Tunde immediately slammed shut the laptop screen.
But the damage had been done, and all eyes in the office were on him.
Tunde felt the heat rising to his face and was glad he wasn’t white because he’d be very red. Fuck! Damn that boy they call Ope, he fumed silently. He had always told him to close whatever it was he was doing whenever he used the laptop before giving it to him or going to sleep. But he wouldn’t hear word. How the heck was he to close the video now with all these people here? He really wished he hadn’t let the yeye boy he called his cousin stay with him for the holiday.
Everyone appeared to be going back to minding their business. He sat there, deliberating on how to handle the situation. He wasn’t bothered that a male voice, and not female, had said “Fuck me.” It hadn’t been that loud, but it was loud enough to be discerned as porn.
He decided to take the laptop to the toilet and close the video there. Awkwardly but determinedly, he made his way to the toilet, laptop in hand and shut the door. He opened the laptop and quickly closed the VLC media player registering vaguely the lean muscles of a black twink and a muscular hunk humping him. Then he left the stall before people would start thinking he was jerking off.
He could feel the eyes of his colleagues on him as he made his way back to his cubicle. He heaved a tired sigh and realised this was going to be a long day.
He had only begun to work in the company a couple of weeks and had hardly made friends. He usually took his time before associating with anybody to the level of friendship. But he sure as hell didn’t want to be known as the porn addict.
He realised he was staring at Nneoma, and she was glowering at him. He gave her a wink which seemed to put her off balance. He chuckled to himself before settling down to start the monotonous tasks he called work.
When it was lunch time, Tunde left the office to go have a small meal at the canteen down the road to his office. Tunde notice that the weather was still cool and the sky was light grey as he walked down to the canteen. It was probably going to rain today. Maybe in the evening? Maybe at night? Tunde hoped it would be at night. At least he’d be safely tucked under his duvet, all nice and warm. Pity there wouldn’t be anyone to cuddle with. Who needed cuddling anyway? It was so overrated – that feeling of closeness with somebody that made you feel good. He’d read somewhere that it was the flush of dopamine and oxytocin that caused cuddling to feel so good and even be addictive. But wasn’t oxytocin what caused women to go into labour during pregnancy? And wasn’t labour supposed to be painful? Tunde realised his mind was wandering away again.
He ate his lunch quickly and looked at his phone to see if there were any texts he needed to reply. They were mostly either broadcast messages or hellos from people that he wasn’t in the mood to talk to. He typed ‘Sup’ in response to one of the messages he accidentally opened, so the dude wouldn’t think he was being ignored, and he responded to his cousin, Ope’s question as to whether he should take the laundry to the dry cleaner before heading back to his office.
Normally he’d chill at the canteen, watching the people who came to eat, pondering over who was cute and who was not, or just letting his mind wander. But he had a deadline to meet up with, so he finished his sachet of pure water and hurried back to the office.
Upon entering the room, his eyes fell on someone doing something at his cubicle. It wasn’t anything new. People dripped files or borrowed staplers and stuff like that from different tables all the time.
As he approached the cubicle, the person straightened up and Tunde realised it was Kola. The office hottie.
“Hey Tunde, I was just looking for this,” he said holding up a pack of stapler pins for Tunde to see, and Tunde gave a small smile and nodded in acknowledgement.
Kola made room for Tunde to sit down, but he didn’t leave the cubicle. Tunde looked up at him. He looked like he had something he wanted to say and was even about to open his mouth, then he turned abruptly away and walked to his own cubicle in the far end of the room.
Tunde was wondering what brought about the odd behavior when he noticed his laptop screen was on. His heart sank to his belly. Kola had been fiddling with his laptop. He had probably not expected Tunde to be back from the lunch break early. It was just him and Tunde in the office. Tunde wondered if Kola had seen something. He couldn’t have. He hid his porn quite well. Under lock and key. He also didn’t exactly have a folder that said “porn stash”. No.
Then he remembered something. The way Ope had found his porn stash while Tunde was sleeping was by right-clicking on the VLC app button on the tool bar. It brought out a list of recently-watched videos. Tunde had said he would correct it, but never got round to it. He did exactly what Ope did. The list came out, and it was full of porn titles like ‘Big dick fucks man pussy,’ Back guy fucks vanilla twink,’ and ‘Threesome with hot black guys.’
This time Tunde heart sank to his feet, but with the feeling came anger, and he shot an angry look in Kola’s direction. Kola had been looking at him with a sort of shamefaced, apologetic look, and although Tunde was one to avoid confrontation, he stood up to go ask his colleague why the fuck he had been snooping around his laptop. However, just then, the door opened and the other colleagues walked in, flooding the room with their chatter.
“Ah-ah, Tunde,” Shalom, a pleasant round-faced, young woman who really should cut down on the pastries she ate said, “who do you want to kill, that your face looks like this?”
Tunde managed to compose himself and slowly sat down. “No one,” he mumbled.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” she said, standing close to him. “See, if it’s about the little incident in the morning, abeg don’t worry about it. One time we even caught one of my former colleagues using the office internet to download porn. That’s why they fixed it to be strictly used for official business now.” She chuckled, and Tunde gave a half hearted laugh. “Nawa o, you’re so quiet,” she said, but it wasn’t in a reprimanding way. She smiled before heading back to her cubicle.
Tunde decided that she seemed like the kind of person to be friends with.
He glanced at Kola again. The man was now working on his laptop. He wouldn’t confront him, Tunde decided. Hopefully he could pretend the little incident never happened. However, he began to delete from his laptop the folders of porn he had amassed over the years.
TO BE CONTINUED
Written by James