WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 17)

WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 17)

I bite down hard on my lip, feeling my blood pulse underneath the skin as I pull the sling bag over my head and throw it to an unknown part of the room. Then I plop down on the bed, bend my head slightly over so my clammy face is in the cup of my hands.

The words keep playing in my head.

Slut. Slut.

It has been an entire day since my encounter with Jide – twenty four hours spent screening his calls and ignoring his text and WhatsApp messages. Twenty-four hours spent wishing I can erase what happened, erase him altogether.

And yet, that blasted word won’t stop swirling about in my head.

Slut. Slut.

That is what I’ve been reduced to? The exchange at the hospital? The lingering question in the car? It was a slut he was seeing? It was a slut he’d been laughing so hard with? All along, I’d been thinking he was a, umm, friend?

Why then did he even bother calling me Ikem?

Lying scum!

Of course he wanted to get into my pants. Such a fool I am.

Why are you so bothered though? My nose-poking conscience throws at me.

You like him? You like him – maybe even a little more than you will care to admit because that’s the only rational explanation as to why you are getting so emotional about this.

Well duh! I had seen him in that car, and I had thought of letting him do me without pay. I saw the house and still wasn’t discouraged. What else could spell like? I did like him!

Maybe a little too much.

I pick up one of the pillows from the bed and with a scream of pent-up frustration, haul it towards the door just in time for it to hit Mitch square in the face.

“You do know how to welcome someone, don’t you?” he says, as he bends to pick up the pillow from the floor.

I am in no mood to be friendly with anyone at the moment.

“How about you knock first and wait to be invited in,” I snap. “Maybe it won’t be a pillow that’d greet you the next time you drop in unannounced to see somebody.”

Both my terse words and the waspish tone of my voice immediately register with Mitch and there is a flash of surprise in his eyes. He makes a show of looking around to his back, as though confirming that it was him I was speaking to and not somebody else that had entered the room behind him.

Then he turns back to me. “Someone is on his period, I see,” he says with a smirk.

I do not need this now. I do not need him – anyone – being friendly with me right now.

What does it even mean to be friends now that the one person who I’d seen like that only sees me as a piece of flesh for his sexual gratification?

Mitch walks toward me with exaggerated caution, like he’s about to face off with a viper.

“Are you alright, See-zee?” he queries, drawing out my name in an affected Igbo accent like he always does, something that used to amuse me.

This time though, I didn’t even crack a smile.

He lightly touches my shoulder, as though prompting me to say something.

“Mitch?” I say in a quiet voice after what appears to be an interminable period of silence.

“Yes?” He sits beside me now.

“I’m a slut.”

“Question or statement?” I can see from the corner of my eyes his expression of bewilderment.

Probably wondering what’s gotten into me, I’m sure.

Mandy.

Francis.

Jide.

Sage.

That’s what!

With a sigh of exhaustion, I rise from the bed and walk to the other side of the room where a dusty cupboard made entirely out of plywood has taken residence. Pulling out the first drawer, I take out my jotter. Just earlier today, I had been derisive about this idea of Francis for me to keep a journal. But right now, all I want to do is flip open the pages of this book and write.

“Let us hang later, Mitch. I’m going to be busy now,” I say to Mitch, who still has the look of concern etched on his face.

Something about this makes my heart burn.

He is a good friend.

A flicker of hope lights up inside me at the realization.

He gets up from the bed too, nodding his head at me while eyeing the book I had just dropped on the table.

“You write now?” He is looking from the book to me, a seesaw of visual movement that further emphasizes his bewilderment over what is going on with me.

“Just my thoughts,” I reply shortly.

“Perhaps one day, I’ll get to look into the book and know how the mind of someone like you works.” He flashes a smile at me and moves to the door.

“Yes, you will. The day you and Dennis stop laughing like jackals.”

He lets out a laugh. “You’re such a bitch,” he says, before disappearing from the room.

I drop into the blue chair, flip open the jotter and start to write.

“Dear diary,

So I got called a slut. By a man who used one of the corniest methods of chyking to get me.

Did you get that? HE chyked me o! Not the other way around.

And yet, I’m the slut? I should have cut that his useless, slut-fucking dick off. I should have slapped him hard on the lips with my shoe, so hard his blood would be the new house paint. I should have…

Just waited to know what next he would say?

Ah! I liked – okay truthfully, I like him. He is almost perfect.

Diary, don’t you think I should go back to being the tough bitch Paranoid Doctor Francis and Prudish Loverboy Mandy are trying so hard to get rid of? I will be sparing you a lot of pages and these mournful words.

Sigh.

I should see Francis again. I’m getting weak and he better not tell me it’s me improving because the only improvement today would have been Jide trying to save what would be left of that his kiosk after I set fire to it!

In short –”

I am so consumed by the rage I am pouring into those pages that when my phone suddenly peals, I jump a little in my seat, startled by the interruption.

I look at the screen and it is Kenny calling.

“Y’ello,” he singsongs into my ear when I answer, “bitch, I’m in town! Better come to the park now-now o!” The rich enthusiasm in his voice sparks something in me. Something only Kenny is able to do.

“Okay I’m coming. Has bae come to get you?” I answer, my earlier frustrations swiftly eddying to the back of my mind.

“He’s on his way. Abeg make una hurry. The sun here is already threatening my stay!”

I hang up and get to my feet, looking around for my shoes.

And in that moment, there is no way for me to know what awaits me at God Is Good bus terminal in Holy Ghost, Enugu.

Written by Delle

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1 Comment

  1. Mandy
    December 10, 08:34 Reply

    Way to keep us on a cliffhangar, Delle. 👏👏👏😡😡

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