“Nope! There’s nothing wrong with what I’m wearing,” said Jovi to Alice.
Black suit, starched white shirt, and lipstick-red tie, Jovi was dressed that morning like a successful entrepreneur and he had a stiffened posture to go with it as he glared at his secretary, Alice. She had standing beside the long mahogany table with her arms over her ample chest, glaring back at her boss from behind her glasses.
“Look, the point of this shoot and new materials for the new website is to make this company less pretentious and stuffy. I’ll go to your house now and get your blue windowpane Dior suit. You have a pink shirt, don’t you?”
Jovi didn’t answer.
“Of course, you do. We’ll keep the tie. Let me see your shoes.”
When Jovi made no move to show her his shoes, she went to him and turned his swivel chair.
“Brown, good. Now stop sulking and continue with your work, I’ll be back soon,” she ordered as she turned to leave the room.
“I won’t stand –”
“Don’t say another word, or I’ll make sure a make-up artist is available. One with lots of lip gloss,” she threatened as she exited the office.
He clamped up immediately.
Jovi was being stubborn. He’d wanted to look powerful with what he had on. I’d told him he’d look just plain and conventional when he told me what he would be wearing for the photo session over the phone that morning. He was adamant, claiming it was his power suit. Apparently, Alice eventually had the upper hand. LOL!
He called me just as I was stepping out of my car.
“Hey,” I said into the phone. “How are you?”
“I’m not fine at all,” he growled. “Alice is dressing me up for the shoot.”
I stood back in the bloodied jeans I died in and watched me, alive and happy, as i gave out rich laughter in response to my boyfriend’s words.
“Shebi I told you to not to go with that black suit? Ntor!”
“Did you plan this with her?” I knew he had squinted at that precise moment. He does it a lot.
“Me ke? What do I know about fashion?” I denied.
“Then how come she suggested the Dior suit?”
I laughed out really hard again. I love my laughter. It was one of the things Jovi made sure I did always. “God, I love that woman.”
“So you did plan this with her. Ehen! This is how you play now, ba?”
Duh?! No man of mine will dress like a prude and since Alice was fashionable to the core, I had enlisted her help. Tough woman, that one.
“I plead the fifth.”
“I’ll find you and bite I’ll you,” he growled again.
“Yes, daddy,” I retorted cheekily. “Come bite me.”
He laughed. “You’re something else.”
“Of course I am. That’s why you love me.”
“Yes.” He paused. “Yes, I love you.”
I heard the smile and contentment in his voice.
“I love you too,” I replied.
“So, are you there yet?”
I was meeting with a friend for lunch and small gossip before heading back to work. I’d told Jovi of my plans that morning. “Yes, I’m here already. I want to eat hot amala with ewedu and bush-meat.”
“Kai! You’re just a Yoruba boy.”
“Just enjoy yourself, okay? I’ve got to run now. Laters, baby.”
How Christian Grey of him. “Laters,” I said back.
Immediately he hung up, he got an email notification. There was a video file attached to it. He almost dismissed it but the file thumbnail looked very familiar. He clicked it open.
It was blank at first but the voices were unmistakeable.
“…yes – yes, B! Ride me!” It was Jovi’s voice.
Then the footage appeared on his laptop screen. Jovi’s face was hidden as I rode him in reverse jackhammer. From the angle it had been recorded, whoever it was that recorded us had been hiding in Jovi’s closet. When we switched sexual positions to the standing congress so Jovi could thrust in harder, his face was still hidden. It wasn’t until I said something inaudible that the camera’s mic didn’t pick up and Jovi had bitten the flesh between my neck and shoulder, did his face come into full view.
The video was taken few weeks after the altercation I had with Maje in our office.
In the air-conditioned room, Jovi began to perspire. He swallowed slowly.
And before he could fully recover from the shock, another email came in. It was a question.
Like what you see?
Then another email came in.
Say hi to your guest for me.
Without warning, Bankole, Jovi’s business partner barged into the office. He stopped midway to the work-table. My boyfriend didn’t know what to make of the stare that was trained on him.
Bankole was staring.
Jovi stared back.
It felt like two hours when it was only twenty seconds.
Bankole finally looked away. His gaze settled on the waste basket in the far corner of the room. “Was that really you in the video?”
Jovi didn’t answer. His world was crashing. He felt an emptiness form in his stomach, a kind of vacuum sensation that was instantly replaced by a rush of anxiety, and then fear. That settled on him like fresh dew from a long black night. Even now that I’m dead, I can feel his fear. It was consuming him just as it is consuming me.
“I can explain…” Jovi croaked.
“Don’t explain. Just tell me what I want to know!” Bankole sounded mildly irritated.
Jovi said nothing.
His desk phone rang, startling and sucking his attention away from his friend. He didn’t pick up. Not now, Alice.
After the shrill of the phone stopped, another email popped in.
Pick up the phone.
Seconds after, Bankole’s Blackberry Passport chimed. An email had popped in.
I’ll call again. Your business partner had better pick up.
They both stared at the screens of their gadgets. Confusion and worry were etched on their faces. Whoever the caller was, he or she had wanted both associates in the same room for one major purpose.
To reveal secrets.
Written by Vhar