PLAYING THE PLAYER - Episode 7

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - video, phone, University, egg, breakfast, Bournvita and Peak milk, big mug of tea, fried egg and bread, tea, hospital, pregnancy outside marriage, fried, lawyer.


“How could you, Chisom? How could you be so mean and unforgiving? Why did you send that video to Azubuike? Do you not have a soul at all? I did all that you asked of me, yet you sent the video to him. Now, he has left me…I hope that makes you happy. You have achieved your aim Chisom,” Oluchi cried bitterly over the phone. She had been crying since she got the text messages from Azubuike and Eloka.” “I have no idea what you are talking about because I did not send anything to anybody…except Eloka for other reasons, but Eloka does not really know Azubuike per se,” Chisom replied in defense. “Stop lying Chisom. Azubuike just sent me the video of you and I. How else did he get it?” “So it was not Eloka because he does not have that video and I can swear on my mother’s grave that Bernard did not send it to Azubuike either because he does not even know him.” “Then it has to be you!!!”

Oluchi was crying hysterically. “It was not me Oluchi. I can’t say that I feel sorry for you, but I did not send the video to Azubuike. You should check yourself because you were the only one I sent it to,” Chisom protested vehemently. All of a sudden, Oluchi wondered if Folashade may have sent the video to Azubuike. “I will call you back,” she said hurriedly and hung up on Chisom. She called Folashade several times, but she did not pick up. As she pondered the possibility, her phone rang. It was her lawyer, Barrister Benfield. “I have been trying to reach you,” he said. “I am going through a lot right now,” she replied. “What is it?” “The videos I mentioned to you…one of them was sent to my fiancée and he has ditched me. I feel like the ground beneath my feet is rapidly washing away.” “That is blackmail. They don’t have the right to do that. I can file a suit against them for blackmail and attempt to disparage your person.”

Oluchi pondered the lawyer’s suggestion for a moment. “Will that lead to anything? I feel like everywhere I go, I run into a dead end. I am failing my courses at school and I don’t even know if I will still be in University by next week or month.” “That is the reason you must fight them all with everything you have. What more do you have to lose?” David Benfield urged her on. “I will call you back if you don’t mind,” she requested. “I am here for you. You should not let people use you. From the University to these guys, we can make them all pay!!!” He bellowed bullishly. “Okay, I will call you back…maybe tomorrow. I have a few things to think through please.”

Back in Lagos Folashade woke up on Monday morning and headed for the kitchen. She had been staying in Azubuike’s apartment for the past week. She was clad in a transparent pajama that clearly showed her curves. She had nothing else underneath. She broke open a few eggs and slashed through some onions and tomatoes as she fried up some egg for Azubuike who was in the shower. When he came out of the shower, his breakfast of fried egg sandwiched in-between slices of bread and hot tea garnished with Bournvita and Peak milk fumed and erupted invitingly on the dining table. Waves of steam rose ebulliently out of the big mug of tea, but what caught Azubuike’s eye was Folashade’s figure. She looked sumptuous. Luscious. Her undulating waist beckoned at him invitingly.

He overlooked the tea and grabbed her. “Your tea will go cold honey,” she said pretentiously. She had dressed in that outfit purposely to arouse him. “Let it go cold…you are hotter than the hottest tea in the world,” he said as he yanked the pajama off her body. Within a minute, they were both moaning on the couch in the living room. “I wish I didn’t have to go to work today,” he said. “I will be here waiting for you when you return,” she replied with an erotic smile. “I will be thinking of you all day,” he answered. Soon, he downed his tea with fried egg and bread and jumped into his vehicle. “See you in the evening my love,” he said as he left. “See you sweetheart,” Folashade replied. I have to keep dressing like this to turn you on all the time. The sooner I get pregnant the quicker we can get married, she thought with a malicious smile on her face. She picked up her phone and saw seventeen missed calls, and all of them were from Oluchi. You don miss road, she thought as she dropped her phone casually on the dining table.

Oluchi did not know anyone else to turn to. She could not tell anyone else about the videos, so she returned to her lawyer, out of desperation and lack of options. “Can you begin the process now?” She asked him. She had gone to his office. “You want me to file a suit against those young men?” He asked her. “Yes, I am ready for that now.” A few days later, Bernard and Chisom received a letter from the court informing them of a suit against them. They quickly ran to John Snow. He read the letter and asked if they had been involved in blackmail. They explained what had transpired between them and Oluchi to him. “So you did not send the video to a third party?” He asked. “Absolutely not. Besides, I thought we had the right to video-record our apartments,” Chisom remarked.

“Yes, you do, but with someone else in it, you would likely face charges if you actually sent it to a third party.” “There is absolutely no proof of that and we did not!!!” Chisom emphasized. “Good. Leave the rest to me.” They left and waited for the pre-trial hearing. One afternoon, Oluchi was walking back from the University when she began to feel woozy. Her lawyer had just contacted the University threatening to bring a lawsuit against them if they rusticated her. He claimed that Oluchi had pictures implicating Professor Evans, who was a staff of the University at the time. That move bought Oluchi some more time as the University considered whether to expel her or not in light of the likely backlash from her lawyer.

She got off the bus and walked towards her apartment when she suddenly felt as though she was on a sleeping pill. Her knees caved in and she dropped to ground. Passers-by called an ambulance and rushed her to hospital. Some hours later, she woke up. She was somewhat confused. The last thing she remembered was walking towards her apartment. David Benfield was seated beside her. His business card was in her purse, so the hospital rung him up. “What happened?” Oluchi asked him. “You fainted on your way home, I guess,” he answered. “I have no recollection of it. I need to leave; I have a quiz to write tomorrow. I would like to be discharged.” “That is up to the doctor. You are pregnant.”

She paused to ponder what she had just heard. “Not now!!!” She protested. Abruptly, a rush of tears descended down her face. “God, am I the worst sinner in the world?” She asked rhetorically. “You will be alright, Oluchi. Do you have any idea who might be responsible?” “Alright? Who is responsible?” She seemed confused. Benfield listened carefully to her. “I am not alright at all. I wish I could say I knew who the father of the baby is,” she finally answered. “Babies,” Benfield corrected her. “You are carrying a set of twins,” he added. “My goodness, God is really mad at me. It has got to be Evans or Eloka. These were the people I have been within the last two month without protection. I thought it was just stress when I missed my period last month!” “I pray it is Evans. He will have to pay through his nose,” Benfield pointed out. “Who said I want to keep the baby? I can’t...I want to graduate. My parents will kill me. If I am carrying white children, then there is no chance of me getting my fiancée back. I can’t keep them.”

“I doubt that he’d take you back if the babies are black, so you are better off with them white. At least, you will make that old professor pay for them.” “Perhaps I’d have to rent a mother for them too. I am not ready to be a mother yet. God, how did I get here?” There was silence in the room for a while. Another wave of tears streamed down her face. Later that evening, the doctor came in to see her. “You have to take it easy, young girl,” he explained. “You are certainly pregnant and we think you are carrying a set of twins. Of course that will become clear in the next few weeks. You need to register for pregnancy care, unless you don’t want to keep it,” the doctor suggested. “You are free to leave now, but you should be back in two weeks for a checkup. The receptionist will give you the details outside.”

When Benfield dropped her off later that night, she cried herself to sleep. She continued to call Folashade but there was no response. By the next morning, she called another friend in Lagos, Efe. She pleaded with her to go to Folashade’s house and find out why she was not responding to her calls and texts. “Please go today. There is something very important I need to discuss with her,” she pleaded with Efe. Six hours later, Efe called her back. “Olu you won’t believe this,” Efe started. “What…I hope Folashade is fine,” she replied. “It would be better if she was not.” “What do you mean?” “I went to Fola’s house and she was not home. Her younger sister told me that she has been staying with her boyfriend. When asked her if she knew where the boyfriend lived, she gave me the address. She told me that she was the only one that Fola had given the address. I told her I had important information from University to pass to her, so she gave me the address to go and see her at her boyfriend’s.” “So?” Oluchi asked.

“The address na Azubuike address!!!” “Really? Did you go there?” “I did!!! I just camp for outside dey wait. By afternoon, I saw Azubuike with Fola. He had returned home earlier from work and shortly afterwards, he and Fola walked to the shopping mall, arm-in-arm. Dey even peck and kiss for road as they were walking. I dashed over the gate and asked the gateman how long Fola had been staying there, and he said some weeks. ‘Na oga new girlfriend’, he told me,” Efe explained to Oluchi’s heartbreak. Oluchi’s heart began to pound fiercely against her rib cage in anger. She wished she could take a bus to Lagos to confront her. “Are you sure?” She asked. “I am more than sure!” Efe answered emphatically. “Thank you Efe. Thank you very much. I guess friendship is a death trap!” “No be all friends oh!!!” Efe protested. “Yes, you are right, Efe. Thanks a lot. I will call you soon.” “Make I go confront her? I fit beat her up if you want me to?” Efe offered. “No, that won’t be necessary. Thanks a lot.”

Oluchi cried herself to sleep yet again. She began to make plans to visit Lagos. The next morning, she went to talk to a doctor about getting an abortion. After discussing the procedure, the doctor asked her to think it through one more time. “Come back in five days’ time. If you still want to do it by then, then, we’ll go ahead and get it done,” he suggested. “Okay, I will think it through,” she said. “Will anything go wrong?” She asked him. “Sometimes, there could be complications. We try our best to avoid that, but we are not God, you know.” “Do you believe in God?” She asked him. “Not really,” the doctor said. “That was my way of saying that we can’t avoid everything all the time.” “How often do your clients have complications and what are they?” “I don’t really have the figures on the frequency, but there could be excessive loss of blood, which could be fatal, depending on the person. Also, if we scrape your womb, you may never conceive. Again, we try our best to avoid those.”

She left the hospital and walked towards Oxford Street. She wanted to clear her head. She began to think of her parents’ advice to her and how they had loved and catered for her. What would they think of me, if they knew what I am about to do? She thought. She thought of her pastor in Lagos too. Without planning to, she ended up at the junction between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. The Dominion City Theater, where Hillsong Church held its services was opposite from where she was standing amid tourists. It was a Wednesday and a mid-week service was on. She walked in carefully and took a seat at the back.

“We all carry one burden or another!” The pastor said. “It could be the burden of pregnancy outside marriage, the burden of abortion, the burden of a broken relationship with a loved one - a parent, a dear friend, or sibling; the burden of heartbreak or betrayal; the burden of lies, backbiting, backstabbing and selfishness, and in some cases, it could be a combination of these and lots more. How long are you going to carry those on your own? You are not alone…you are not alone!!! We are all smeared and dirty – hurt and bruised - when yours is happening or being talked about, you think you are the worst of us all. No you are not, turn to God…turn to God my brother...turn to God my sister!! Do not add another layer of pain and burden to the one you already carry…let the load slide off your shoulder…right now!!!” Oluchi began to sob intensely, feeling her belly as tears rained down her face.

STORY CONTINUES...                 CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 8

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: PLAYING THE PLAYER - Episode 7
PLAYING THE PLAYER - Episode 7
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - video, phone, University, egg, breakfast, Bournvita and Peak milk, big mug of tea, fried egg and bread, tea, hospital, pregnancy outside marriage, fried, lawyer.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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