WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 20)

WHORE Of BABYLON (Episode 20)

Kenny is dragging his traveling box across the compound from its iron handle, walking ahead of us like he knows where he is going to. Jide has his other bag, a red-coloured tote bag made out of pure leather, and is trying very hard to appear as though he isn’t deliberately sticking to my side, but is failing very terribly at it.

Suddenly Kenny stops and whirls around with a finger on his free hand pointing at me. “Don’t think you have gotten free, Sizi boo. But as it so happens, I can’t be sour for my husband. We’ll have that discussion later. Don’t get comfortable.”

With that, he continues ahead, then stops again almost immediately before turning to glare at Jide as if he’s only just realizing Jide is supposed to show him the way into the house.

Jide, as though grateful a decision has been made for him, walks away from my side, past Kenny and pushes open a door – and I kid you not – large enough to push another house through it.

We walk in and I hear a gasp. I don’t know if it came from me or from Kenny.

Magnificent doesn’t just cut this interior. It is exquisite!

“Amazing, isn’t it?” It’s Kenny. His voice is almost a whisper that is laced with apparent awe.

I do not respond. I just nod mechanically as my mind is blown away by the sheer grandeur of the house.

The interior looks like something straight out of a catalogue about what a palace in ancient Rome looks like. The house appears to whisper cash, money, ego as I walk through the stadium of a living room to the great hall that is the dining room. I am taking my time, drinking in all this converted millions.

I don’t know how long he has been watching, but Jide’s next words put an abrupt end to my wonder and pull up the emotions I am starting to forget exist. “You like the place, huh?”

I throw him a middle-finger, stomp past him and plop down on one of the numerous settees in the living room. That is when I notice Kenny has disappeared.

I do not want to ask – Lord knows I do not want to engage this boy – but this is a house I haven’t been to, a very large house that obviously belongs to a very influential person. And my friend is already missing.

Biko kwa!

“Where is Kenny?”

Jide is at the fairly large bar planted in one corner of the living room. With admirable skill, he carries a bottle of what looks like wine, two pretty tumblers, one wine-opener and a tray, and walks over to where I’m seated. The concentrated look on his face as he makes his way to me adds to his appeal and I find my heart skipping beats.

What the hell is wrong with you, eh? Can you please concentrate on the anger you have for him?

Oh Mandy, see what’s happening to me? I’m starting to really like boys!

For a second, Mitch’s face crosses my mind. How he’ll laugh himself to paralysis should he find out I’m nursing feelings for not just one guy, but three!

Well, I guess even when it’s not about sex, you’re still a slut.

This thought brings a smile to my lips.

Jide, of course, notices it.

“Is it the house or me that’s got you smiling?” he asks with a smile of his own, as he places a glass cup in front of me and proceeds to fill it up with what I can now see is champagne.

I do not need to take a closer look to know it’s not the type that’s usually ordered at some of the hookups I’ve been to or the type perched on the shabby bar at Amobi’s place. Those are Mountain Dew compared to the sparkly bubbling into my glass from the bottle.

“Don’t flatter yourself, Mister. I’m still mad at you,” I retort, but there’s no bitterness. No lingering annoyance; just a memory of an issue yet to be completely dealt with.

Jide comes to sit beside me. He doesn’t make any attempt to touch me or look at me; instead he fixes his eyes on his drink as though lost in deep thoughts, and that is just fine by me.

Let him brood, I think offhandedly.

I sip from my glass, and let the rich taste of the drink roll over my tongue, savouring it before gulping it down. Then Kenny’s absence strikes me yet again. It makes me uneasy to not have him around in this big foreign place.

“Abeg, where is my friend?”

Jide raises his head and his eyes fall on my face.

“Oh, he’s upstairs na,” he replies in a tone that seeks to soothe. “I showed him the way to my uncle’s bedroom.”

“And this happened when? I’ve been here the whole time.”

“Have you been though?” His lips curve once again into a smile and I feel a tug of both desire and annoyance at the sight. “A couple of minutes ago, you were lusting over the house.”

“Oh shut up!” Despite myself, I laugh. It sounds strange to me, the boom of my laughter. And the realization hits me. I have not laughed in a while.

In the days that have passed, I have been a lot of emotions – sad, content, scared, angry, provoked, anxious, relieved.

But not happy.

Not excited about anything.

As if reading my mind, Jide moves closer to me and I resist the urge to move away from him. I won’t give him the satisfaction of seeing me uncomfortable.

When he reaches for my hand though, I pull it away and glare at him. “I laughed at your obviously funny joke. I didn’t accept a proposal.”

“I didn’t make one,” he rejoins with a smile.

By God, the man is beautiful.

I shoot up from my seat, drink in hand, unable to be that close to him without revealing how much he is starting to affect me.

“Show me to where I’ll sleep tonight,” I say as I move away and sip once again from my glass.

“In my room,” he responds coolly.

“Holy Ghost fire!” The exclamation explodes from my mouth.

His laughter is loud and immediate.

Truthfully, he has a horrible laugh. Just imagine a hyena drowning and calling for help. I would have thought he is mocking me if I am not watching him and the genuineness of the mirth rolling from his mouth.

“So where will you sleep?” he finally asks.

“Anywhere from what I suppose are the thousand rooms in this house na!” I say with some exasperation.

If this guy thinks he can use this as a ruse to get into my pants again so soon after he called me a slut, he has another think coming.

His smile turns indulgent as he notices my mounting ire. “Don’t worry. I’m not staying the night here. I never said I’ll sleep with you. You’ll simply be in the room I sleep in whenever I’m here.”

My breathing returns to normal after I expel an audible sigh of relief.

With a smile and a small shake of his head, he says, “I’ll never understand you, Ikem.”

“Don’t be setting yourself up for such an impossible task, dear. And for you, Jide, it’s Sizi. Thank you.”

“Follow me,” is his response, before heading for the giant stairway that seem to curve upwards forever.

***

It feels like it’s coming from my dreams or a distant memory, but someone is lightly knocking somewhere. The knocking continues, refusing to let up, causing me to very reluctantly open my eyes to realise it’s the door to the room I’m in that’s under the onslaught.

With a groan, I push up from the bed.

“Who is it?” I call out, more an affront than an enquiry.

“Get your lazy ass out of that bed and open the door for me osiso!”

Kenny.

The bitch, who left me immediately we got to this place and has obviously gotten some, finally remembers it’s not just his traveling bags that came with him here.

I feel my way to the switch and turn it on, blinking as bright lights wash all over the room.

I mean, what time is it? Is it even morning yet? I think as I glance at the darkness beyond the windows.

I unlock the door and stand with one hand on my hip, hoping my disapproving stare will earn me at least an apology.

I should have known better.

“You only get to stand in my way like this if you’re Boris Kodjoe. Now move.” He swats me to the side like I am some pesky housefly and walks with an exaggerated swing to his hips all the way to my bed.

He is smiling. Very sunnily.

And I’m charmed. My false anger breaks and curiosity knocks briskly. I let it in.

“What gives?” I query as I shut the door.

“What gives? Darling, everything! For a fifty-something-year-old, that man can GIVE! That is what gave!”

I want to know more. I have had sex with my fair share of fifty-something-year-olds, but I figure sex with a fifty-something-year-old who owns a house like the Sultan of Brunei’s should be on a league of its own.

Kenny goes on to tell me of all the styles they tried, the orgasms he had (Jide’s uncle came thrice and Kenny twice. How many hours was he gone for again?), the promises made, and the fact that he already has one hundred thousand naira sitting pretty in his account.

Mine is blinking red, by the way. All the ways we are different.

Sigh.

After the gist, all I say is, “Is that why he didn’t come down to greet us when we came in?”

As soon as the words leave my mouth, the sheer silliness of it hits me.

Kenny raises a brow and although his mouth doesn’t make a sound, I can clearly hear him say: Come to greet you as gini? Elizabeth Taylor that you are?

“You like Jide,” he says simply, a non-sequitur I don’t see coming.

I blink rapidly, as though I need my eyes to hear what Kenny said. “Are you asking or telling me?”

“Both. But answer me sha.” He looks intently at me, as if to say: Today na today, you no go escape this one.

“I like him,” I say with a sigh.

I get to my feet, suddenly feeling agitated and begin pacing the room. “I mean, I like him but I don’t want to.”

“Why?”

It is such a simple question. And yet, the answer feels complicated.

“Because I don’t want to like any man,” I finally venture a response. “I don’t want to be indebted to anyone. I’m very happy fucking and getting the money and moving on.”

Kenny laughs. It is so brief, I think I might have imagined it.

“You don’t seem so happy with that life to me. At least not anymore.”

“What changed?”

Kenny clutches at his heart with exaggerated shock on his face. “You’re asking me? Honey, is that not for you to answer?”

Feeling suddenly drained of energy, I stand with my back against the wall, throw my head back and exhale deeply. Loudly.

“I think there is a need to prove something to myself. To my mother. To people around me.” Kenny doesn’t say anything, and so, I continue, “There’s also this need to show Sage that I am so much more than he thinks. So much more than a worthless whore who’ll fuck anything with a penis.”

Kenny scoffs. “Okay, you’re getting boring.”

“Or growing up,” I rejoin.

“So people who don’t grow feelings are immature? You’re very subtle, my friend.”

I roll my eyes and walk towards the bed. After a moment’s contemplation, I sit lotus-style on the floor and relish the coolness of the tiles that seep into my system. “I still enjoy fucking men. And I don’t think I’ll stop. I just feel myself wanting more of something I cannot quantify, and that terrifies me. Usually, I just want the cold, hard cash. That I can see. That is actual currency that gets me somewhere. This though…its newness is terrifying – and yet, not unappealing.”

Kenny starts to bite his finger but catches himself. It’s a habit he’s trying to stop. Not like it’s ever bothered me.

“Well, I’m sure you’ll be figuring it out as you fuck just this one man. I think it’s good for you.” There’s a hint of pride in his voice.

“Who said it will be one?” I say with a smirk.

“Wait, it’s not just Jide you’re having the hots for? I thought… Well. Hmm…” He appears speechless for a few moments, staring at me as though waiting for me to fill in the blanks.

But I stare innocently back, feeling petty enough to get back at him for intruding on my slumber without an apology.

“Are you going to talk or would I have to smother you and make your silence more authentic?” he finally says.

I laugh. He laughs too, and that moment, the intimacy of it, the silent attestation of a friendship that has stayed put and sweet memories shared, fills me with no small warmth.

Moments like this are rare and I do not take them for granted.

“They are three of them, I think,” I finally say. “It should have been four, but the fourth one is very married to a very husbandable individual. I have had sex with just two of them though.”

“Still a slut, thank God. I thought I’d lost you.” He makes a show of exhaling deeply.

“You’re an idiot.” But I laugh still.

“So tell me, what will you do about this?”

“I’m seeing one of them later today.”

He sits up. I can almost see his amebo antenna buzzing.

“Which one?”

“Which one do you know?”

“Talk or die!”

“Well, just know he came from Owerri to see me.”

Kenny blinks in exaggerated wonder. “He came all that way just to see you? Does he know you’re an unrepentant ashawo? Why would the son of man put himself through such stress?”

With lightning speed, I am on the bed pulling and dragging. “Oya, your time here is over. Get out! Go and receive more dick, ewu!”

Kenny is laughing hysterically. “Hapum aka joor! Daddy is sleeping na. You want me to kill somebody’s father? Okay, I’ll behave.”

I am not buying, and truthfully, I need to sleep. I have a long day ahead of me. “Eh just go. Don’t fuck. I need to sleep and look good for my appointment.”

Kenny gets up with a fake pout and walks towards the door. Then just as I think he’ll open it and leave, he turns, walks back to me and pulls me into a hug that makes my breath catch. Then with no more than a whisper, says into my ear, “Thank you for being here with me. I love you, Bae, and cannot stop being proud of you.”

With that, he lets go, and before I have the chance to react, he is out of the room. Kenny, just like me, doesn’t know how to deal with such outward display of emotions.

I stare after him for what seems like a long time, my heart constricting with the flood of emotions coursing through it.

I only know I’m crying when I lie on my side on the bed and a tear moistens the pillow beside my head.

Written by Delle

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5 Comments

  1. Mandy
    April 13, 09:50 Reply

    As to the person out of the three that Sizi will eventually pick?
    My money is on Jide. We haven’t been introduced to Mark yet, but so far, I feel like Jide has the highest chance of eventually winning Sizi’s heart, because of the following: (*beginning my presentation*)

    1. Jide is hot. Right from when Sizi first encountered him the hospital waiting room, Jide’s good looks were very front and centre as one of the reasons Sizi was attracted to him. Like I said, I don’t know Mark, but Bryan wasn’t exactly a head turner when we met him.

    2. There was conflict in their chemistry. If Hollywood has taught us anything, it is that the love stories that happen are those that are not smooth sailing and easy all through. I mean, look at Sex Education for example. Rahim, by all accounts, seemed to be the right choice for Eric. He was safe, easy, comfortable. And yet, it was the bad boy Adam with the rugged mysteriousness that Eric eventually ended up choosing. Jide strikes me as Sizi’s Adam. I don’t know Mark, but the fact that he is always whining for Sizi’s attention makes him someone that Sizi will stomp all over. Bryan may be a competition here; after all, he checks the excitement box with the sex they had in the compound kitchen, and also checks the white in shining armour box with the fact that he wants to help Sizi deal with Sage.
    But I still believe Jide will win over Bryan, because he is the one whose chemistry with Sizi has been turbulent enough to keep things interesting between them.

    And finally 3. Jide is LOADED. Yes, of course, the money is his uncle’s, but he still has access to wealth that Bryan (and maybe Mark) do not have. And given that Sizi issa material gurl, you bet Jide has the trump card to win him over.

    • Delle
      April 13, 12:10 Reply

      Lol Mandy! 😂😂😂😂

      Well, we’ll just have to wait and see, right?

      • Dove
        April 13, 12:15 Reply

        We are waiting Dear😜

    • Mitch
      April 14, 00:25 Reply

      See serious thesis on top Sizi’s love life na. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  2. Bryhms
    April 14, 18:58 Reply

    Pls don’t make us thirst any longer for the next episode, for we might just by chance lost root and the overwhelming excitement sizikora is giving us might waned…
    Pls I can’t wait to read Jude and Ikem make love. As for Bryan he is by the way…he has not met mark but my end up not up to the picture of him in as painted as par the images he had seen on Facebook 💪💪

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