LOVE AND SEX IN THE CITY (Episode 51)

LOVE AND SEX IN THE CITY (Episode 51)

My phone jumped to life in my hand with my Downton Abbey ringtone. I took the phone to my ear. “Ken, hold on. I’ll soon be with you.”

“Okay…please, hurry…” My cousin’s voice was husky with mounting trepidation. “Being here with him –it’s just freaking me out.”

“Where is he?” I asked.

“In the bedroom.”

“And you’re in there with him?”

“Yes…”

“Leave the bedroom then. Get out, go to the parlour.”

“I don’t know… What if he wakes up or something, and needs CPR or something, and I’m not here to help him…”

“But you said he’s dead –”

“No, I said I think he’s dead – or maybe he is dead… I don’t know, Declan! I don’t know anymore. I’m going out of my mind here!” His voice ratcheted up a few decibels of hysteria.

“Calm down, Ken,” I said, projecting an imperturbation I did not feel. “Just calm down. We are on our way.”

We who? Who are you coming with?”

“Biola and Martin.” I could feel my friends’ stares on me, as Biola drove through the pre-witching hour traffic of a retiring Lagos. At a few minutes to 11pm, there was still some life on the road, even though the traffic was scant and the pedestrians were a handful who moved with purpose, driven by an anxiety to get away from the lurking exigencies of the night we were plying down the highway toward Cele, the closest junction to where Tony Drake lived.

When I hung up the call, Biola quipped, “Well, I’ve heard of a woman using her pussy to ride a man to his death. But a guy’s bugaina…” He let out a sardonic chuckle. “Dee, your cousin may just have made history.”

“This is not a joke, Biola,” Martin admonished from the backseat. “If that man is truly dead, then this doesn’t look good for Kennedy at all. And we going there will make us accessories after the fact.”

“Accessories after the fact,” Biola reiterated, unruffled by Martin’s reproof. “I like the way you’re reasoning.”

“And what way is that?”

“You already see us doing something illegal to help get Kennedy out of this mess.”

“I cannot be a party to anything that’ll make us potential criminals.”

“Perhaps you shouldn’t have come out with us then.”

“Guys, please,” I cut in, first looking back at Martin and then at Biola. “Let’s not fight over decisions of a situation we aren’t even conversant with. Perhaps the man had a heart attack, and we’ll just need to get him to a hospital. Or perhaps he simply lost consciousness over a mildly serious medical condition, and would already be up by the time we get there.”

“Or perhaps he’s dead and we need to figure out a way to get Kennedy out alright,” Biola said.

“Do you have to be so morbid?” Martin snapped.

A short laugh gusted from Biola in response, and he said nothing more. We lapsed into silence, and I was left to dwell on my thoughts. After Kennedy’s panicked call, one which I had to terminate when I couldn’t get him to elaborate on the situation beyond his distressed claims of his lover’s death, I’d woken up Biola and Martin, apprised them of what had happened, and a few minutes later, we had hastened out of the house, piled into Biola’s car and roused the gateman to let us past the gate, leaving instructions of our quick return. The young man had grumbled incessantly, unable to hide his displeasure at our interruption of his sleep.

With a combination of our scant knowledge of the area and the guidance of Google Maps, we eventually got to the street where Tony Drake lived. Parked cars sat crammed along the curb, bumper grinding bumper, seemingly jockeying for position long after their owners had left them to retire for the night. Night sounds throbbed and hummed. I heard music. There were lights on in most of the houses flanking the thoroughfare. And sporadic bursts of laughter came from a small muster of men gathered around a neighbourhood shop, who were idly gabbing away in Hausa.

“There it is, number 25,” I said, pointing at the gate post upon which was marked the house number.

Biola pulled into a parking spot beside the gate, and the three of us alighted.

“Hopefully, the compound hasn’t turned in for the night,” Biola said, glancing up at the block of flats beyond the palisade. Lights winked back at us through some of the windows.

“The pedestrian gate is open, thank God,” I breathed out as I spotted the metal conduit standing ajar.

As we approached the gate, I saw a stout-figured man hurrying toward us. The nylon swinging from his hand hinted at an errand expended at the shop we’d just passed.

Menene!” he hollered, halting our progress. He skipped the rest of the way to us, his gimlet eyes placed searchingly on us. “Oga, wetin I dey find for hia?” he queried in Hausa-accented pidgin.

Martin drew forward and responded in halting Hausa. He’d spent several holidays in Kaduna while growing up, and had a passable command of the language. The gateman replied, and for a short moment, they carried on, the machine-gun bursts going back and forth. Then the gateman nodded, fired off one last bit of instruction in Hausa with an upraised index finger, and waved us in.

“What was that last bit he said?” I asked as we filed into the narrow compound.

“He said we should hurry with the friend we came to see,” Martin answered. “He wants to lock up in a minute and go to bed.”

I took out my phone and dialed Kennedy’s number. He answered almost immediately.

“Are you here yet? Please tell me you’re here –”

“Yes, we are. What flat are you in?”

“I’m coming down to get you.” And he clicked off.

We only had to wait about forty-five seconds before a figure emerged from the unlit stairwell. Kennedy flew into my arms and clung to me, his body shaking as he buried his face in my shoulder.

“Oh God, oh my God, I’m so relieved you came.” His voice was muffled. “I didn’t know what else to do, who else to call.”

“That’s alright,” I said, breaking the embrace. “We don’t have much time. Let’s go in and see what we are dealing with.”

Moments later, we were in Tony Drake’s bedroom. It was not a very large room. As we entered, facing us was a dresser and a small chest of drawers, beside which was a burnished wooden wardrobe. The floor of the entire room was covered with a brown carpet, and a large divan bed covered by a blue bed-spread took up the remaining space in the room.

Tony lay on top of the covers, naked and supine, with his legs entangled with the sheets. He was a big man, paunchy with small fingers that had frozen into grapnels hooked into the bed. Biola and I moved closer to him. Something about the cast of his face did not resemble sleep or a mere loss of consciousness; it was as though his soul had left behind a shell. My heart plummeted down an elevator shaft as I realized that I was looking into the face of a very dead man.

Biola placed a fleeting touch on his neck, checking for a pulse. “He’s definitely not going to wake up tomorrow, asking for breakfast.”

“What happened?” I turned to Kennedy.

There was horror still etched on his face, and his eyes were taking on the haunted look of devastation. “I don’t know… I just… We were making love… I was on top of him. And then, he suddenly started gagging and choking… I did not know what to do… I kept on asking him what I should do, but he wouldn’t respond… He couldn’t respond…” As he spoke, tears misted his eyes and rolled slowly down his cheeks. “I felt so helpless. And then he stopped moving… And I got so afraid, and all I could think of was you. And I grabbed his phone and called you… And I just…” A choked sob cut him off. He heaved and caught his breath. The tears began to flow faster. “I watched him die, Dee… Oh my God, I watched him die…”

“There’s nothing you could have done,” I soothed as I moved over to him to put my hands consolingly around him.

“No, there’s nothing he could have done,” Martin intoned. “But there’s something we can do now. We have to report this to the police.”

“Are you crazy?” Biola flashed at him. “How would we explain what a twenty-something year old man was doing alone in the house with a middle-aged man he’s not related to?”

“We could come up with a plausible lie –”

“Like what? Kennedy is Tony’s personal assistant who usually spends the night in his boss’s house?” Biola gave a short, caustic laugh. “The police may be corrupt simpletons, but even they are not that dumb.”

“It doesn’t help that this antigay bill nonsense has suddenly made everyone in this country distrustful of two men being together in questionable circumstances,” I said.

“So what do you suggest we do?” Martin huffed. “We can’t just leave him here.” He gestured at the body on the bed.

“That’s exactly what we’ll do,” Biola said.

“What? Come on, Biola –”

“He’s dead, Martin. Dead! There’s nothing we can do for him at this stage. We can only look out for ourselves.”

“Declan…” Martin turned to me, seeking support.

“I’m with Biola on this. Let’s just get out of here.”

“Wait, not so fast,” Biola said. “Kennedy, where’s his phone?”

“Huh?” Kennedy stared uncomprehendingly at him.

“Tony’s phone – where is it?”

“Over there.” He pointed at the dresser.

“What are you going to do?” I asked as he picked up the iPhone.

“He’s away from his family in the States, all by himself in Nigeria. It’ll be awhile before anyone figures out that something might have happened to him. We don’t want people breaking in here to meet a decomposing corpse.” His gaze was on the phone as he swiped his thumb up and down the screen. “There! I’ve got it. The wife’s number.” He got out his own phone and began keying into it the digits he was reading off the iPhone. “We’ll call her anonymously tomorrow morning and tip her off to a situation involving her husband. Then she’ll get someone to break in here pronto.”

“That’s good thinking,” I said.

“See?” he said, turning a pointed look and a mocking smile to Martin. “We’re not simply callous criminals.”

Martin gestured irritably at him.

Biola was about to replace the phone on the dresser when a thought dropped into my mind. “Ken, Tony has your contacts saved in his phone, right? Both Nigerian number and abroad?”

He nodded.

I turned to Biola.

“Yes, I got you,” he said, already deleting Kennedy’s digital existence from the device.

Something else nagged at my mind, something I knew I should say, but I had no idea what it was.

“Aren’t you, like, leaving evidence for the police to find?” Kennedy spoke up then. “You know, your fingerprints on the phone? Heck, my fingerprints must be all over this bedroom.” He stared wildly around.

Biola chuckled. “Honey, you’ve lived way too long in America and have watched way too many Hollywood detective shows. This is Nigeria. Fingerprint checking is about as much a part of our police investigations as I am this close to shagging PSquare.”

In spite of myself, my lips twitched in amusement at that. “Alright, let’s go.”

“You guys, this is horrible,” Martin protested as we started for the door.

“No, Martin, it’s self preservation,” Biola countered.

Before I exited the room, I spared one last look at the man I’d only just met. I stared at his naked figure lying there on the bed, alone and about to be deserted in his death. There was something indefatigably sad about that. And I was suddenly struck by the realization that this may very well be the future for me; getting in bed one night and never waking, my demise shrouded in the aloneness that may have characterised my life. A cold gust wafted through my heart at the thought. I hurried to banish the disconsolation from my mind, right along with the disturbing image of Tony Drake’s dead body.

As we let ourselves out of the apartment, my mind churned as I tried to remember what I’d wanted to say back in the room. Something played along the edges, but it wouldn’t come into focus.

The next few minutes were spent getting out of the compound, after Biola squeezed a 100 naira note into the grateful gateman’s hand; we got into the car, and Biola gunned the engine, his determination to put as much distance between us and Tony Drake as quickly as possible mirrored on the countenance of the rest of us.

We were silent throughout the drive to Ajao Estate. There nothing we had to say to each other. There was nothing we could say. Tonight, we had set off a tiny ripple that would either gather momentum to a vortex of effects that would suck us back in, or ebb away in a direction we’d be blissfully unaware of.

And that was the moment, just as Biola was making a turn into his neighbourhood, that the thought struck me with something approaching horror. I gasped.

“Oh my God, Kennedy, you said you called me with his phone!”

Written by Pink Panther

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25 Comments

  1. KingBey
    December 14, 06:46 Reply

    And that was exactly the first thing I thought you would have done. Check the dialled call log and clear your number. I wonder how you didn’t remember that. Y’all better take your asses back to that house and do that immediately.

  2. KingBey
    December 14, 06:48 Reply

    This is the reason why I refused to fuck this old daddy that was on my case. I don’t want an old man passing out on me during vigorous love making. Abeg ooo. He wouldn’t understand. Lol

    • KingBey
      December 14, 07:01 Reply

      It’s too early to slut shame. Lol

    • Francis
      December 14, 20:58 Reply

      Nna hypertension and heart disease no dey look age and body size these days ?

  3. Dennis Macaulay
    December 14, 06:51 Reply

    Was Tony asthmatic?

    **Whispers silent prayers to Jesus for his miracles**

    This was a bit like desperate housewives only that they didn’t hide the body. I don’t even know how to feel about this; should they have stayed? And called the police? Hmmmmm very toff one.

    I suspect the man is not dead yet!

    Where is Olivia Pope when you need her

    • Pink Panther
      December 14, 07:06 Reply

      Do you have her number? I have a feeling they’ll be needing her service soon

    • Mandy
      December 14, 08:04 Reply

      Dennis, if na you, you go stay? Will u call the police? Ashmatic pikin that you almost fucked to his death had you panicking, let alone a dead man on his bed.
      His. Because I wonder how the story would go if one doesn’t have the convenience of simply walking away. Imagine your dead lover in your bed in Nigeria. Otiooo!

      • Dennis Macaulay
        December 14, 08:58 Reply

        Hian*

        Uncle take am easy Na, we are saying the same thing.

        “Nearly fucked to his death”

        Okwaya?

        My god will ansa you in due season

  4. drizzle
    December 14, 06:57 Reply

    I was about asking if u guys hadn’t learnt anything from Annalise Keating and her clan before someone realised his no was the last dialed on a dead man’s phone.

    This is a wicked reminder that one day it will all be over.

    Another well written episode Pinky.

  5. Kerr
    December 14, 07:01 Reply

    Lol…. I was about to ask that . Declan’s contact wasn’t deleted .
    This was quite short though, but interesting.

  6. Kester
    December 14, 07:01 Reply

    You could not help it could you? Declan, if he were real by now would have died from high BP, how could one person live long with so much drama in his life? Amazing story, you transported me to Lagos in a flash and as usual dealt with themes we ought to worry about. You should be in new York or California writing scripts or mega novels you are that good
    OAN:i absolutely loved your secondary school story, I was at FGC ikot ekpene, a mixed school and it still takes my breath away the amount of deeds we did and got away with. I would do it all over again if given another chance and this time hit those guys who I only found out were “doing” when I was about to leave.

    • pete
      December 14, 07:44 Reply

      FGC, Ikot Ekpene here too though it was for a short while. Gongola house to be precise.

  7. McGray
    December 14, 07:40 Reply

    Lemme believe ur genius friend also deleted ur number. But having anything to do with someone even seven years older? Maybe in my next world. By d way Pinky did u see it?

  8. Mandy
    December 14, 08:01 Reply

    ‘What is your number doing on a dead man’s phone?’

  9. Dickson Clement
    December 14, 08:54 Reply

    Firstly! So hysteria has an S.I unit called Decibel? *never knew*, This Lagos that is still busy by 11pm in the night? I need to visit this city and Ajao estate hope is a fine estate cos I know some peeps wif dat address. BTW Nigeria has a lot of Molecular labs now, so don’t u dare say it’s fiction, they can run finger prints and DNA’s…. it all depends on the case or requests made by the court!

  10. Teflondon
    December 14, 08:56 Reply

    @Pink Panther
    ???????
    Lovely! lovely story!

    #SinceWeAreInTheSpiritOfAssKissing

    **Shrugs**

  11. Ruby
    December 14, 08:58 Reply

    Oh Мy Goodness!!!!

  12. kaytee
    December 14, 09:32 Reply

    i hope this is not a true story….#scared#

  13. Kester
    December 14, 09:43 Reply

    Tefkirikiri, sarcasm unwarranted /useless! Get a life.
    Besides if you saw PP ‘s ass you would rush to kiss it and he won’t let you being the rabid fetid, presumptuous, pretentious prick you are!!!!!!!

  14. Tobi Macaulay
    December 14, 11:39 Reply

    But wait ooo, why did Ken had to use a dead man’s phone to make call nd he stays out shore of our Great Nigeria, he needs to be flogged

  15. Itz_Mztur JOJOARMANI
    December 14, 11:43 Reply

    “How to get away with murder” comes to mind.. y’all need Annalise Keating now…

    when he went for the phone that first time, thought he even wants to delete that number…

  16. Marc Francis of Chelsea
    December 16, 00:12 Reply

    Awesome chapter.

    There really was nothing they could do. Other than the number on the phone, there’s also the fact that the gateman saw all of them walk into the compound.

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