FRENEMY - Episode 2

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - able to carry any pregnancy, stared absentmindedly into space, unfinished food into the kitchen , meeting my emotional needs, separated from her husband, dinning with the devil, washing the dishes.

Itohan sat on the dining table and ate the cold dinner alone. Nosa had called again to inform her he wasn’t coming home because he had work to do at the office. It was unlike him and she worried that he might be angry with her. “Maybe, the fact that I haven’t been able to carry any pregnancy to term is giving him sleepless nights,” she reasoned.  She was oblivious of the tear drops that had fallen into her plate as she stared absentmindedly into space. Her nights were becoming lonely as Nosa always found an excuse to leave their bed every night. The excitement she first saw in his eyes was no longer there, he stared blankly at her as if he didn’t recognize her sometimes. She took the unfinished food into the kitchen and dumped it in the bin; after washing the dishes, she retired to bed early.

“My big baby,” Mercy said teasing Nosa who looked dreamily into her eyes. She had called him earlier and asked him to spend the night with her. He hesitated at first but only agreed when she said the words the babalawo (medicine man) told her to say. It was like a film trick when he stood knocking at her door only 30 minutes later. She excused herself and went into the bathroom to use the potion she was told to apply to her private parts.  Mercy did as she was instructed and walked stark naked into the room. Nosa nearly tripped her over as he found her very irresistible. In his eyes, she was like a goddess of some sort. “You look like a goddess,” Nosa said as he reached for her. She laughed. “I am a goddess,” she said.

It was nearly sunrise when Nosa woke up and realized he was still in the arms of Mercy. He stared at her as she slept; she wasn’t as beautiful as he felt she was the night before. He got up gently and headed for the bathroom. He saw a black bottle with a red robe tied to neck. He wondered if it was some kind of soap or lotion, he was still examining the bottle when Mercy walked in and snatched it from his hand. “Don’t touch my things!” she said angrily. Nosa was taken aback by her outburst and wondered if he did anything to infuriate her. He had his bath and left her place without saying anything to her.

“Nosa when did all this start?” Itohan queried her husband when he walked into their room. Instead of responding to her question, he sat on the bed and started taking off his shoes. Standing with her hands across her chest, Itohan had the angriest look Nosa had ever seen on her. “Start what? I have apologised already for Christ sake!” “Really? So does that eliminate the fact that I need to know what’s really going on?” Itohan shouted back.  As if in a play, Itohan began narrating how badly she was faring and how much of it was due to her husband’s negligence. From anger to panic and then tears, she broke down and wept bitterly. “You hardly even look at me these days Nosa, I am your wife! You are not meeting my emotional needs,” Itohan sobbed. Nosa who was greatly moved by his wife’s outburst, gathered her in his arms and apologised for his behaviour. She raised her head and said quietly “If you are going through anything, tell me… we will deal with it together,” He simply nodded, contemplating if she could really handle the truth if she heard it.

Later that night, he couldn’t sleep. His thoughts were filled with questions. “Would she really understand if I told her I have a child?”  he reasoned. Nosa wondered if he was ever going to get away from the mess he was in. he never planned having a child with another woman but when his mistress informed him she was pregnant. He had mixed feelings because he knew he had to keep it a secret since Itohan was still battling with several miscarriages. He knew this wasn’t the life he envisioned for himself as a married man. Things spiralled out of control and left him floating through life aimlessly. He stared at Itohan as she slept peacefully; she looked as beautiful as the first day he set his eyes on her. He had a strong desire to touch and feel the warmth of her body. He kissed her gently and forced himself to sleep instead.

Itohan was delighted to have her friend, Mimi, visiting after several years. They were course mates back in the university and somehow they lost contact until recently when they Itohan saw her on Facebook and decided to catch up on old times. Itohan kept gushing about how much Mimi had changed and how different she looked. “Is that your husband in the photo” Mimi asked as she settled into the sofa Itohan offered her. “Yes oo, my dear! That’s my knight in shining armour,” Itohan gushed. A subtle look of disgust settled on Mimi’s countenance but it was gone before Itohan could notice. They talked about school, work and finally the men in their lives. Mimi who wasn’t wearing any ring on her wedding finger, told Itohan that she was married and had two kids, although she was at the moment separated from her husband. Mimi wasn’t particularly optimistic about marriage; she was one to walk out of it at the slightest discomfort she felt.

After Mimi’s visit to her home, their friendship grew stronger. Itohan started confiding and seeking counsel from her at any given opportunity. Itohan owned two large supermarkets where she employed managers to see to the day to day running of the shops. She had plenty of time to talk to Mimi who wasn’t engaged in any meaningful business at the moment. She lived off her very rich ex-husband and other rich men who found her attractive.

At first, it was the little things Itohan told her like, “My husband is starting to get on my nerves these days,” and “sex is like three times in two weeks now”.  Later on, Itohan shared deeper truths with Mimi about how she discovered a packet of condom in her husband’s briefcase and the feminine perfume that oozed out of his shirt whenever he slept out. Mimi was always there to tell her what to do. Against her better judgement most times, she took Mimi’s advice. One time Mimi advised her to never allow her Nosa touch her until his behaviour pleased her. She did exactly that but instead of Nosa to turn a new leaf like Mimi predicted, he simply stopped asking her for sex.

Nosa was pacing the floor in his office. He was confused as to how Itohan suddenly changed from being the sweet angelic wife he married to a monster who starved him of food and sex, his two basic needs. His first instinct was to ignore her and wait until she comes back to her senses. It only got worse; she even stopped acknowledging his presence. He ended up going back to where he didn’t want to go to, Mercy’s arms. “Mercy is more of a wife material than Itohan,” he mumbled to himself. “After all, she cooks my meals and satisfies me in bed,” he continued.

Mercy’s words echoed in his ears “Maybe she’s a witch, how does she explain all the miscarriages? Anyway those are the ones she told you,” she sneered. He had confided in her during his last visit to her house. She had absolutely nothing good to say about Itohan as if she knew her in person.

If he knew the truth about Mercy, he probably would have known that he wasn’t only dining with the devil, he shared a bed with one. Nosa wasn’t the first man that Mercy had caught under her treacherous web. She used her endless devious means to get whatever she wanted. She was particularly obsessed with Nosa because she felt she deserved a man like him.

Things got really bad between the love bugs, Nosa and Itohan; they couldn’t even stand the sight of each other anymore. It was as if an evil spell was cast on them. Itohan seemed to have found a new confidant in Mimi who had neither regard for the sacredness of marriage nor was she proffering solutions to make things better. Nosa on the other hand wasn’t coming home most of the evenings, he was either drinking with his friends or with Mercy, his mistress.

Itohan was tired of crying herself to sleep and so decided to keep herself busy by staying at her supermarkets. She took complete management of one of them and often stayed as late as 10 pm every day. It was on such a late evening she met Sammy. They stumbled on each other when he came by her supermarket few minutes past their closing time. After much persuasion on his part, Itohan reopened the store and sold him what he wanted. Sammy was a tall fair handsome man in his early thirties and he was unmarried. Although Itohan was a few years older than him, they seemed to bond the moment they set eyes on each other.

Sammy was very kind to her and respected the fact that she was a married woman. Although his actions showed that he was very attracted to her, he kept emotional distance from her in order to save their friendship. Itohan liked talking to Sammy because he understood her even before she said anything. He would bring her snacks and take out whenever he learnt she was in the supermarket working late. The little things and attention she craved from her husband were the exact needs Sammy was meeting in her life. She often wondered why she didn’t meet him earlier.


                          CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 3

Written by:
Hope Obamwonyi

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FRENEMY - Episode 2
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - able to carry any pregnancy, stared absentmindedly into space, unfinished food into the kitchen , meeting my emotional needs, separated from her husband, dinning with the devil, washing the dishes. An African Literary Blog
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