WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 14)

WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 14)

Francis’s office is quite big, almost like a mini-hall. The walls are painted white, just plain white, a colour that blends beautifully with the navy-blue curtains. There are a few artworks hanging on the walls, and because I am a fervent lover of paintings, I advance on one of them with the kind of sparkling interest only such art can ignite in me.

“The artist is Just James,” a slightly husky voice calls from a corner of the room, startling me out of my reverie. The voice has a certain youthfulness to it, embellished with the coarseness of one who prefers to say very little.

I have almost forgotten I am in someone’s office.

I turn to him. “Just James? As in a singular name – the way we have Cher and Madonna?”

He chuckles. “No. That’s not what I mean. I mean that his professional name is Just James.”

I arch my brows in comprehension as I turn to look at the painting once more. At the bottom right corner of the canvas are the words ‘Just James’ signed with a flourish.

I turn away again and move toward Francis where he’s seated behind a desk. I did not have an image of what I thought he’d look like, but he looked nothing like someone I’d imagine Mandy dating. With his glasses on, a shaved beard and homely face, he looked too unglamorous to be Mandy’s type.

Because Mandy is gorgeous, he must date an Uti Nwachukwu wannabe, abi? my inner voice reproofs. At least, now you know his type – calm and collected.

And what is that supposed to mean? I snap silently back. That I’m scattered and loud?

Well, you said it, not me.

I silence the exchange as Francis clears his throat. His cordial smile is still in place as he looks attentively at me. “Please sit.” He gestures to the chair in front of him.

“Thank you.” I take my seat. I start to cross my legs, but think better of it. Instead, I close my legs together like a proper lady would.

“You can cross your legs if that would make you feel more comfortable,” he says with a polite nod of his head.

I shake my head in disagreement. Sizikora has to be repressed, biko.

“So Mandy says that you have a problem and –”

“Mandy says I have a problem?” I cut in with a tone that carries with it the disbelief I am feeling at his choice of words.

“I’m sorry,” his disarming smile is on again, “but if you have no problems, you won’t be here now, would you?”

“I’d prefer you call it an issue,” I say. “Problem makes it seem like I’m due for admission into a psychiatric ward.”

Francis starts to laugh. It’s a rich, sincere laugh that makes me chuckle as well.

“You are funny, umm…” He lingers on the last word.

“Ikemefuna.”

“Right. Mandy said something like Zikoya or –”

“Sizikora. That’s my alter ego. I’m dressed as Sizikora, but I believe it’s Ikemefuna you want to talk to.”

“Actually, I want to speak to both.” He leans forward on his desk and says with a deliberate slowness, “Is Sizikora there? I’d like her to come out as well to make this meeting complete.”

I burst out into laughter. Okay, I like this dude!

“Well, Sizikora never really goes anywhere,” I say, my lips still twitching with amusement. “She just knows when not to be visible, and your persona, Doctor Francis, is quite intimidating.”

“Let’s rest the title of doctor for now. I’m Francis and it’s an honour to finally meet you, Ikem. Mandy has told me lots about you.”

He has? I choke out with silent shock. Heat rises up my belly as I find myself wondering just what Mandy has told him about me. Certainly not the stunt I pulled on him in Amobi’s –

“Oh yes. He mentioned you have very strong seductive skills.”

Just negodu this Mandy! I cuss silently. What is it with people in relationships and their need to tell their partners everything?

The heat floods my face and I look away from the doctor’s careful gaze, feeling awash with mortification.

He notices my discomfiture and chuckles. “Look, I’m not at all angry that you tried to seduce my boyfriend. If anything, I’m glad you helped strengthen my trust in him. If he could resist someone as hot as you, then he is truly mine.”

“Strengthened your trust? You didn’t trust him very much before?” My surprise is quite evident in my voice.

He smiles and leans back in his seat, clasping blunt-nailed fingers over his crossed legs. “I don’t do trust, not very well at least. I’m quite the paranoid one, and no, it’s not about Mandy. It’s just the way I’ve matured into.”

“Hmm.” I let the words sink into me. His little revelation sparks something inside of me. Something that reaches into my heart and unlocks something else – and all of a sudden, I find myself yearning to open up.

I move closer to the table, placing my hands on it. “Francis?”

“Yes?”

“I have a problem.”

He leans forward and his gaze his grave. “That is why you are here.”

“Actually, problems.”

“Okay, I’m listening.”

“First off, I’m a whore.”

He guffaws, throwing his head back in his mirth. When he sobers up, his eyes are twinkling as he says, “That’s not a problem, Ikem. That’s not an issue either. We are all whores in different ways.” He reaches out a hand to pat mine on the table. “Now, tell me what is actually a problem.”

“Well, the thing is,” I speak very carefully, my expression taut and icy, “I have to kill someone.”

Written by Delle

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5 Comments

  1. Kenny
    July 27, 09:23 Reply

    Haven’t we read this before?

  2. Iliana
    July 27, 19:04 Reply

    Yes we’ve read this before d break

  3. BRYAN PETERS
    August 01, 03:10 Reply

    Still waiting patiently with fingers crossed for a new episode…

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