"You're staying with me from now on," Jovi said as we settled in his kitchen. He had driven behind me as I dropped Douglas back at his house. During the drive, Douglas and I had wondered about what was going on. I promised to give him a call as soon as I got it out of my boyfriend.
"What are you talking about?" I queried.
"I mean you, Moyo, are moving in with me. No questions asked." Jovi sounded so resolute.
I bristled slightly. "No questions asked? Haba! You know that's not possible."
"Really? You want to argue? Like right now?" I gave him one of my many looks.
"No, of course not."
"Well then, why? Why should I just up and leave my apartment?" I crossed my arms over my flat chest.
Believe me, the chest was a very flat one. I wonder why this guy loved me that way. No abs, no biceps. Nothing! Nada! Zilch! Just plain slab of flesh over bones!
But I digress...
Jovi sighed. "Someone is blackmailing you – us."
"What? Who?" I suddenly felt drained. I sat down on one of the stools by the kitchen counter.
"I don't know."
"What does this person have on us?" I asked.
Jovi said nothing. Which could only mean one thing: it was something huge!
I could see the crestfallen stance my boyfriend had on. So I got up and walked slowly to where he was standing. I lift his chin so I could look into his eyes.
"Babe, tell me what this person has on us,” I said gently.
After a beat, he said, "A video of us fucking."
My eyes were wider than saucers. "What! Ema gbami ke! Sex tape, bawo? But how? We don't have a sex tape." When he didn't say anything, I looked at him, like really looked at him. "Jovi," I said with narrowed eyes, “do you have a sex tape that I don’t know about?”
He didn’t say anything. He had his head down.
“Okay, let e rephrase. Do you have a video of us fucking?"
Again, he said nothing. Instead, he moved away – which was all the answer I needed.
And I lost it!
"You recorded our love making?!" I walked up to him and whirled him around before shoving him back. "Why would you do that?! Why would you do such a thing without my consent?! Are you mad?"
"Babe –” He made to come closer.
"Don't. You. Even. Dare!" I said through gritted teeth, with such forcefulness that he was reared back, collapsing onto a stool by the counter. "Ha! Jovi. You had me filmed without my knowledge." I clapped my hands like a Yoruba market woman. I was livid.
"Moyo, please, calm down."
"If you tell me to calm down, I swear, you'll hate what I'll do next. Abi you're mad ni?"
Why would he make a tape without letting me know? And all the time I asked that we make one, he’d always declined. I was angry. No! Angry is an understatement. There were china plates on the rack by the fridge. I took out three and smashed them in quick succession.
"FUCK!" I screamed.
Jovi sat silently and didn’t attempt to get in the way of my fury.
A few minutes passed and I calmed down a notch. It was hard work but eventually, I succeeded somewhat. "Where's the video?" I said.
"It's on my hard drive in the study," he answered immediately. Let me get it." He made to get up from the stool.
"Sit!" I barked.
And he did.
I left the room, took the stairs three at a time up to his study, fetched the hard drive from his bookshelf and picked up the laptop on the table. I turned on my laptop when I got back down to the living room and proceeded to raid the contents of the hard drive. Jovi was standing somewhere in the corner. I could tell he was uncomfortable with me been this mad at him.
Well, he deserved it! To make matters worse, I couldn't find the video.
"It's not here. Where is it? Where’s the fucking video, Jovi?" I snapped at him.
"It's in the locked folder marked Trouble."
I turned to look at him. "Trouble? Really?"
‘Trouble’ was the pet name he called me the morning after our first night together. It was a form of endearment that popped up when I was up to my shenanigans. A smile slowly crept up to my lips at the memory, but I remembered we were in actual trouble and I was mad all over again!
"You couldn't think of a better name, abi? You had to use Trouble, and now we're in this big mess! No thanks to you! Trouble was on its own, you called it forth like Jesus did with Lazarus. What were you thinking?"
Jovi didn’t respond. He was biting his left thumb. Something he did when he was tense and nervous.
I found the locked folder. "What's the password?"
"One –” he began.
"Never mind," I cut him off and proceeded to type in my date of birth, followed by his age and his date of birth. I chuckled in spite of myself when the folder opened.
I counted nine video files in a sub-folder named Porn. I looked at him. I didn't even have the strength to be angry anymore. I clicked open the first file; it was a video of us having sex in the backseat of his car. The second video was of us having sex on his kitchen counter. The third was from his bedroom, the fourth and fifth showed short clips of sex in his living room, the sixth was another round his car, but this time, we were on the driver's seat. I couldn't believe the position I was in while he was ramming me like a rabid dog. Damn!
The seventh was in his balcony. The eighth was on his lawn. The ninth was back in his kitchen. I remembered that day vividly. It was my birthday. I could see the icing from my birthday cake, strawberry and grapes, on a plate. He had smeared my neck with it and licked it off while thrusting in and out from behind, slowly and with every sensuality he could give.
"Why?" I didn't look at him. My voice was hoarse. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't want you to be conscious of the fact that you were being filmed."
"You're sick. You know that, right?" I said after some seconds. The birthday sex scene was still playing. "So which video is it? Which one does this person have?"
"None of them."
That got my attention and my face swiftly turned to him. "I'm confused. The blackmailer has none of these videos?"
"How do you know?"
"He sent another file via email." He took out his phone, went to his email app, and moments later, he was showing me the opened file on his phone screen.
"Wait a minute... Tha – that's my room," I croaked.
Jovi nodded. His left thumb was still in his outh.
"And he was in my closet."
He nodded again.
"Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! This can't be happening. The bastard knows where I live?" Anger had been displaced from my veins by a blind rush of fear. I felt violated. Shocked and violated. "Ha! I'm dead!"
LOL! Well, in reality, I'm dead now.
"He knows about Douglas and Bankole too,” Jovi’s voice came to me through the haze of panic.
"Say what now?"
"He's blackmailing Bankole too."
"Christ!" I'd always warned Douglas about lusting after his uncle. Now they both were in trouble.
Jovi proceeded to tell me what had happened at the office that day. How the four of us weren't safe. I finally understood why he’d insisted I move in with him.
"I need to warn Douglas,” I said a in a quiet desperate voice.
I know you have been wondering about what I did with the information Lotachukwu threw at Douglas and I at the mall. Of course, I knew Jovi had had sex with Douglas. It happened months before Jovi and I met. Lotachukwu only said what he said to get a reaction from me, but I wasn't fazed.
I got my phone from the kitchen counter where I'd left it, swiped the screen and found four missed calls from Douglas. My ringtone had been muted. I called right back.
"Where did you put your phone –”
"There's fire on the mountain o –”
We simultaneously started speaking the moment Douglas picked the call on first ring.
"So you've heard already? Chai! World people!" Douglas heaved.
"I don't understand. Heard what?"
"Er, what fire are you talking about?" Douglas asked instead.
"Douglas, heard what? What's going on?" For the second time in a few short moments, my heart started racing with dread.
"Your matter is all over that Facebook group I'm in o."
"My matter? What matter? What group?"
So, there's this anonymous group Douglas joined many months back. The group comprised of various people from all walks of life. Christians, atheists, Muslims, well established professionals – you name it. The group was created basically to rub minds and debate on topics about everything and anything. Sometimes, juicy gossip was brought up too. And now, someone was dishing tea over the conversation between Lotachukwu and me at the mall earlier that day, and almost everyone in the group wanted to know who I was. Whoever was dishing the tea apparently wasn't dropping names yet.
"This is crazy," I rasped after Douglas narrated everything to me.
"You have no idea. Someone is at my door." I heard a slight rustle. "Babe, I'll call you back."
Douglas ended the call and I sank into the chair, numb from everything that was happening at once.
"Hey..." Jovi held my shoulder and shook it. "What's the matter?"
I swallowed hard before narrating my encounter with Lotachukwu at the mall.
"Why didn't you tell me since?" Jovi groused.
"Really, Pot? You're one to talk."
Jovi sighed. "I'm sorry, Moyo. I really am. I promise you, no one else has seen these videos."
I believed him. Yes, he had me on camera without my consent and hid the videos from me, all the while refusing to make a tape with me. He messed up big time. But I believed him when he said no one else had ever seen the videos. Many weeks leading to my death, he'd wanted to delete them, but I told him not to.
"Look, Jovi, we talk about stuff. We don't hide anything from each other. I hate that you did this without my consent. It's fucking wrong."
"I'm sorry." He held my left hand. "Ma binu."
"Oh, gawd." I laughed. "Your Yoruba is awful!"
"But I learnt that from you."
"Stop it." I was laughing really hard now. His Yoruba was indeed awful.
We continued our good natured banter before he apologised again. "I'm really sorry, Moyo. That's the only thing I've hidden from you. I swear it."
"It's okay. I can't forgive you just yet. But it's okay."
Meanwhile, in Douglas's house, his killer was explaining to him why he was going to die.
Written by Vhar