WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 9)

WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 9)

Some unknown number has been calling me since I left Amobi’s house ten minutes ago and I have been putting off answering the call because I’ve been en route back to Iliana’s house.

Eventually I get down at the junction where Amobi picked me, and I’m now walking down the road, hoping to get a keke to finish up my journey back home. The call comes through yet again, and with no small amount of irritation, I answer it.

“Yes, hello?!”

“Ah, na fight?” a familiar voice laced with startled amusement responds from the other end.

Mandy.

“Oh it’s you,” I say, lightening my mood just a bit.

“Are you always this full of sunshine on the phone?” he queries with a chuckle.

It’s Saturday morning, and it doesn’t help with my mood that I’m trekking with no hope of getting any keke soon, and under a very warm sun, much too warm for the morning.

I dab at the moisture on my temple as I look about at the road while grunting a noncommittal response at Mandy.

He chuckles again, before saying, “So I just called Francis to tell him to be expectant of your call. He can be quite the paranoid one, doesn’t pick calls from numbers he is not familiar with.”

I roll my eyes at the egotistical inference of the statement.

“I probably won’t even call him,” I snap, my own pride wanting to make a show of itself in the face of his boyfriend’s implied self importance.

He doesn’t pick calls from numbers he’s not familiar with? Who is he, Bill Gates? Hmmph!

“You will call him, Sizikora,” Mandy counters, “or I will be forced to arrange a meeting myself. Amobi included.”

I can imagine him now wearing that his annoying, confident smile. I sigh inwardly, knowing full well that I won’t win this one.

Just then, I see a keke trundling down the road, and it seems to have space for one more passenger in the back. With a wave of my free left hand, I flag it down and get in. The two women on my right grunt with some displeasure as they move to make space for me. I am going to ignore them, but then I catch the eye of the buxom middle-aged woman right next to me fixed on me. The look she’s giving me is openly disparaging as she sweeps her glare over my body, taking in my mannerism and stylish dressing with deepening disdain.

I am used to these ugly looks from total strangers, and ordinarily, I would ignore her. But I’m still seething from the exertion I’ve had to expend already this morning, and my short temper tautens as I turn my head to face her, taking the phone from my ear, to snap, “Excuse me, can I help you with something?”

My hostility slams into her, a physical force that sends her face jerking backward. She seems momentarily at a loss of what to say to me, then she regains her aplomb, hisses and turns her head away dismissively.

“Good. Look away. That’s what you should’ve done before instead of looking at me like an onyokometer,” I snipe.

This time, both she and the other woman, a wraithlike woman who looks to be in her twenties, gasp at my effrontery. The younger woman’s eyes flash and she claps her hands together as she fires back, “All these efulefus! Not a single home training!”

The other woman nods her head in exuberant agreement, while the stocky man sitting next to the driver turns his head around to observe what is going on.

I laugh drily. “You mean the kind of home training this madam lacks when she will be looking at people anyhow? Yes, we must all lack home training in this country. Nonsense!” I hiss at them and turn my body in defiant dismissal of the woman.

I return my phone to my ear and say, “Hey, Mandy, are you there?”

“Yeah, I am,” he replies shortly after. “Seems you were distracted.”

“Yes, by something of no consequence.” I cast a scornful glance at the females, scoffing when I see the younger woman glaring back at me. I return to my phone call in time to hear Mandy saying something about calling Francis. “Okay fine,” I groan. “I will call him.”

“That’s my boy.” There is this brotherly undertone to his words that endears him some more to me, making me feel like he’s one person I can trust. Under different circumstances, I’d probably have wanted to date him.

We say our goodbyes, promise to keep in touch, and he disconnects.

***

I’m in front of Iliana’s compound and I can see a big van from which is spilling items of house property. There are abokis hefting things into the compound, their black bare bodies flexing under the early sun as they lift each piece of furniture from the van and into the building. There is a young man standing by the van, looking like he is monitoring the process. He is dark-skinned too, looks to be in his early thirties, clean-shaven, with full lips that purse with displeasure every time an aboki handles the furniture too shabbily, right before he speaks out in chastisement of the manhandling.

I walk past the activity into the compound.

“Bitch, are you back?” Iliana hollers as I step toward her room. She is by the door, stirring at the content of a pot sitting on a lit stove.

“No, I’m not,” I retort. “This happens to be my hologram. Yeye.”

She dips her hand in a bucket next to her, scoops up some water and sends it like a missile at me. I am not quick enough to get out of the way of the spray and I bristle when the moisture hits my body, dampening my shirt.

“Witch!” I shriek, looking down at my shirt with an exaggerated scowl.

She begins to laugh while I stalk past her into the room. I begin to undress, and without the distraction of Iliana’s presence, I find myself thinking about the past 12 hours, back to all that went down at Amobi’s place. Mandy’s annoyance. His compassion. Amobi’s willingness to help me deal with Sage. His inexhaustible libido through the night. And then my random feelings for Mandy.

I catch myself smiling wistfully at my thoughts of Mandy, and quickly expel the expression from my face.

What is the matter with you, Sizikora? I mentally chide myself. Biko behave! See you catching feelings in just one day after years of keeping your heart under control!

“Have you seen the new tenants?” Iliana enters the room, and her question jolts me from my thoughts.

“Yes.” My mind wanders to the big-lipped skin-head I saw outside on my way in. “The one I saw is dark with –”

“That one’s Dennis,” Iliana cuts in. “He’s one-half. Mitch, the other half, should probably be inside doing the internal decor.”

I nod in response. The thought of the new neighbors, these two Iliana is positive are partners, brings me back to thinking about all Mandy told me last night, and for the first time, I feel somewhat incomplete. Like I want something more than what I have presently.

I find myself suddenly feeling like I want what he has with his boyfriend. What these new neighbors might have with each other.

The feeling proves to be so disconcerting in its newness that I hasten to dispel it from my mind. I cast about for something to say, to distract me from the strangeness that’s threatening to overtake me.

“Where’s Ife at now?” I finally find something distracting to say.

“Oga, it’s still early na.” She says as she retreats from the room back to her cooking.

I go to stand by the doorway, observing her as she tips a bowl containing parboiled rice over the pot, letting the rice spill into the simmering sauce.

I watch her and suddenly something tightens inside me. I turn and walk back into the room.

Then I call her name. “Iliana?” My voice is cool, almost unrecognizable, even to me.

Even though she’s outside, she hears the oddity in my voice. She peeks into the room, and must have seen something on my face, because she proceeds to stop what she’s doing. She covers the pot, cleans her hands with a hand towel and walks back in, a concerned looked etched on her face.

“What’s the problem, Ikem?”

I am sitting on the bed, so she drops to her haunches in front of me, looking to make a connection with her eyes.

Iliana hardly ever uses ‘Ikem’ on me. In fact, the last time I remember Iliana call me by this name was in secondary school. Following the advent of Sizikora, she stopped calling me Ikem.

All of a sudden, the weight of my emotions are hanging heavily on my shoulders, overwhelming me before I can take any measures. My whole body goes weak and I feel my defenses crashing down to my feet. Tears are stinging my eyes badly and my stomach is in knots.

And in that moment, I do what Sizikora would never do.

I throw myself at Iliana and begin to cry. The tears are endless, resonating through my entire body as she holds me to her body, hushing me softly and rubbing my head in an attempt to calm me down.

I look up at her; the confusion and deep concern in her eyes is so genuine, it throws me into another fit of anguish. I realize then that I have not just a friend in her but a sister.

“Iliana, I don’t think I want to be this anymore.”

“Shhh,” she coos, her jaw on my head as she keeps rubbing my trembling body. “Don’t say things when you are emotional.”

“I know what I’m saying.” I pull away from her, while trying my hardest to pull myself together. Nothing seems to be making sense to me anymore.

Just then, the door creaks open and someone’s head comes through, followed shortly by his body. He is tall, chocolate-skinned and his face, although handsome, looks like it once suffered a serious acne battle.

“Please, can I get a broom?” He says to Iliana, while giving me a quick once-over; he is probably wondering why my eyes are soggy and red.

This one cannot even say hello.

Iliana hands him a broom. He says his thanks to her, and favours me with another speculative look, this one tinged with disdain, like he can’t stand boys who cry into the arms of women. It is such a subtle yet complete expression that instantly gets my dander up.

Then he was looking away and walking back out of the room.

Oh church!

On a normal Sizikora day, I would have matched him coy sass for coy sass. But this isn’t a normal day for me.

“I’m guessing that’s the Mitchell,” I say as I wipe my eyes and nose with a handkerchief.

Iliana nods, her hand still rubbing my shoulder.

“Couldn’t he have knocked? Or at least greeted?”

She merely shrugs in response, clearly not wanting the rude interruption to distract us.

“Sweetheart, what’s the problem?” she asks instead.

“I don’t even know what it is myself.” I am staring blankly at my intertwined fingers. A few moments of silence pass, and then I reach into my sling bag for my phone. “I have someone to call. Maybe he would explain it to me.”

She gives a quick nod before getting up to return to her cooking as I start dialing Francis’ number.

The door creaks open again just then, and the bitch with the broom walks in.

“This broom is really small, you guys,” he begins the second he’s in, gesturing with the broom. “You should endeavor to get a new one. Some people who sweep are tall, you know.”

With that, he drops the broom and exits the room, leaving Iliana and I gaping after him, she with astonishment and me with irritation.

Written by Delle

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15 Comments

  1. Nel
    March 10, 09:14 Reply

    Mitch!
    Really???
    More like Bitch!

    And Sizi’s guards are down. I can’t wait for the next entry.

  2. Façade
    March 10, 09:21 Reply

    Oh lawd, this episode had me rolling on the floor with laughter. Damn

  3. Francis
    March 10, 16:41 Reply

    Free me and my telephone issues biko. ??????

    I really dread those moments when I’m suddenly over the top vulnerable. Looking forward to the drama between Sizi and Mitch. Lol

  4. KikiOpe
    March 10, 18:42 Reply

    Awwn, Dennis has full lips? Just the way I like them. And “skin-head” seem cute as well #justsaying As for that Bitch, sorry Mitch ehn? I’ll just leave him and do first timer, but when he tries such palapala again, body go tell am.

  5. BRYAN PETERS
    March 10, 18:43 Reply

    Rude much!!!??? Sizi, are u gonna take that sitting down?

  6. Mitch
    March 10, 23:21 Reply

    Really?
    You had to make me a bitch, okwaya?
    Wehdone sah!

    Lemme keep my fingers crossed for the day we’ll fight. Yoozzlezzz???

    • Nuel
      March 11, 17:25 Reply

      lolzzz…. such a drama queen. hope u don’t fight with ur claws!

  7. Danger
    March 11, 02:25 Reply

    Cool story.
    My first comment on KD. I just got introduced by a friend to visit this blog for reasons i will only have to discuss with the admin. Anyone? The admin’s email handle please?
    XoXo.

  8. Ivory Child
    March 11, 06:55 Reply

    You this Delle ehn! You’re just something else ???, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode

  9. iAmNotAPerv
    March 12, 22:04 Reply

    Wehdone sir. You sha want me to beg you to put up the episode on me shey? I forgive you for it sha. I love Sizikora so much. Mitch is a bitch who won’t get hitched but rather dumped in a ditch. (Referring to the character not actual KDian)
    Glad to see Dennis and Mitch have made it into the plot. You’re both welcome. Iliana, i have missed you. call me

    • Delle
      March 13, 17:33 Reply

      Lol???
      Only you wee not like suspense

      • iAmNotAPerv
        March 16, 05:38 Reply

        ogbeni, i just want to see how you portray me 🙂

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