Home Post 10055-chapter-48


*Saheed’s POV*

I am agitated.

“Stay still, Saheed,” Tasha snaps.

I push her hand away. The ice pack she is pressing to my nose falls to the floor.

“Don’t pick it,” I growl at her. She obeys, remaining silent beside me on the floor.

After Maduka had given me a knock-out blow, the party had been dispersed by Tasha. The excited crowd had left, annoyed that they were unable to witness the whole story behind the drama. I had regained consciousness to find myself on the floor, with Tasha trying to wipe away an assortment of food from my body.

“He said we are never getting back together,” she chokes beside me.

“You’ll be fine.” I wrinkle my throbbing nose, trying to gauge how long until the pain subsides.

“I don’t get it. I just don’t. What did he see in her? She’s not–she’s not like me. I’m classy, I literally slay in all aspects. What did she do to keep him?”

I sigh and roll my eyes, but she fails to understand that I’m tired of hearing her rant. Tasha fires on.

“She’s not right for him, she’s local… What if she’s using juju? Or f-__-king him-”

“Enough!” I exclaim, unable to put up with her nonsense talk.

Now I know why Maduka isn’t considering you.

“Why are you feeling for her? You’ve played your part already. You told me about your date at Sailors Lounge. Were you expecting me to do nothing?”

I sigh. I had told Tasha about my plans with Queen, only because she coincidentally happened to be with Jide when I met him a few weeks ago at Bheerhugz cafe, Ikeja. Jide had introduced her as Maduka’s ex, and in the bid to stir trouble, I had told her about Queen. Jide had remained uncomfortable, even leaving us alone under the pretense of buying French fries from KFC downstairs.

Tasha had been outraged, and had asked me what on earth I was doing with such a person like Queen, what I saw in her. And I hadn’t been able to explain myself, except to tell her that I wanted revenge.

“Just for rejecting your advances?” She had asked with a laugh.

“I don’t make advances for nothing.”

“You,” she had said before taking a long sip of her Fayrouz drink, “are one entitled man.” She had looked at me from underneath her long, artificial lashes. In a skin-tight, bright yellow contraption that she passed off as a dress, long, flowing hair that probably belonged to Priyanka in India, and make up that might last for centuries, Tasha had looked like one of those vixens from an A-list musician’s video $h00t. And if I hadn’t another woman on my mind, I might have hit it…

“That makes two of us,” I had replied with a wink.

What I didn’t know, was that she would go as far as she went. Taking chances and waiting for us at Sailors Lounge, taking snapshots of Queen and I while we argued, while I kissed her…and sending the photos to Maduka.

That was a genius idea, no doubt. But…

“And you didn’t tell me you were bringing a whole damned camera crew to take some night vision photos.”

“I thought you would approve.”

“Tasha, just stop…talking. As your pretty face has never met with an angry fist, you won’t observe that I have this brain-splitting head ache. Your whining is aggravating it.”

My skull feels like it’s going to crack in two. The pain emanates from my nose to the top of my head, and then to the base of my skull.

There must have been so much anger inside him. Even Anthony Joshua can’t knock me out like this.

I know I’m supposed to be satisfied with this new development, but Nwanyieze’s face keeps swimming before my eyes. Even in tears, she had looked so beautiful. And there had been this unmistakable urge to hold her and console her.

She had been broken.

I had wanted to follow her, but it had seemed like a terrible idea.

Aren’t you satisfied, though? You made her expose her secret.

I find myself wondering if she got home safely; maybe Temi had taken her home.

“Are you in love with her, too?” Tasha whispers.

“Do you have a right to ask?” I retort, unsteadily getting on my feet. The room spins for a bit, but I regain my balance in a few seconds. I really need to shower; the smell of food on me is nauseating.

“I guess that’s my cue to leave.”

“And you guessed right, pretty one. I need to be alone.”

Even after Tasha is gone, I sit back on the sofa, unable to free myself from my thoughts. The smell of food is all around me, still nauseating me, but I find no zeal to get up and wash it off. I feel no satisfaction from tonight’s achievements, and this greatly disappoints me.

I had really wanted to hold her and make her stop crying. Hell, I had even been angry with Maduka for being responsible for her tears, even when his fury is justified.

Another part of me had wanted to scream at him, “Does it matter, though? Can’t you see she’s the real deal?”

The satisfaction I had felt was fleeting, a mere approval of the fact that the truth is finally out and that he would see her past as an obstacle, or she would end everything with him out of shame, and I would take over, woo her, and make her see that despite her past, I want her.

How confusing is this? You sound like a freaking teenager.

Finally, I take a long, hot shower. While the water runs down my body, rinsing away the soap suds, all I can think of is her. The way she had tasted when I’d stolen that kiss at Sailors Lounge. The way her fury had made me stir, the pleasant surprise that I had caused her to display passion towards me, even if it meant wanting to harm me physically. I close my eyes and reminisce about her warmth against me, contrasting with the ice in her voice.

When I open my eyes, I look down at myself and swear.

What is this madness? How can lust be this intense?

Is it just lust? Or am I gradually, slowly, and steadily falling in love? I shudder at the thought.

Love isn’t for Saheed. All I do is…f-__-k.

And suddenly, the thought doesn’t make me proud, especially after seeing the pain in Maduka’s eyes when Queen had screamed at him and forced him to withdraw from her. There was something between them, and I had just been too blind to notice it. I had been misled by my anger at being rejected and the misconception that Queen, a former prostitute, was just like me, interested in segz and money.

What do I do now? Isn’t it actually better that she told him? I mean, wasn’t that the point?

But I’d had my own selfish reasons! I wasn’t concerned about Maduka; I just wanted him out of the way. I had believed that I would be a better man for her, that I have all it takes to make her happy without caring about her past.

That had been my initial plan before my anger had turned me into the bad guy.

It disappoints me that I had looked forward to the moment she revealed her past with so much expectation, only to end up feeling so many emotions at once that it confused me.

I don’t know how long I spend in the shower, but when I snap out of my thoughts, my skin feels tight and my fingertips are wrinkled. By the time I lie in my bed after making online arrangements for cleaners to deal with the mess in my sitting room, I have decided on what I’m feeling.

Guilt. Guilt for doing what I thought was justified.

*Nwanyieze’s POV*

“What are you doing? Won’t you get dressed?”

I don’t reply. I just stare at myself in the mirror, studying my own reflection, turning my face this way and that to see my angles. The girl in the mirror watches me through half-closed eyes topped with metallic blue eyeshadow, sharply winged eyeliner and long lash extensions. Her red-lacquered lips show no hint of a smile.

“Beautiful,” he says behind me as he comes to stand close to me. His voice is smooth and deep, reminding me of black coffee, the type that leaves dregs at the bottom of the cup after the liquid has been drained.

I still say nothing when he wraps an arm around my waist, pulling me closer so my backside rests against his thighs. Dressed in a charcoal-grey three piece suit, he looks dashing. His single diamond stud catches my eye, glinting under the bright lights from the massive chandelier above.

He brings his face closer to the side of my neck, and inhales deeply. The movement of the air around my sensitive skin causes the hairs at my nape to stand up.

“Oh, little miss silence has missed my touch, hasn’t she?” He questions, planting a kiss on my skin. His free hand rises to play with my curls, curls that I have had the opportunity to surrender to the most exclusive natural hair stylists in the country.

I struggle against him to show disapproval, my eyes on his reflection. But he doesn’t budge.

“That feels delicious, my little queen. Carry on, and I might take this suit off…and we both know you won’t beg me to stop.”

I gasp. The way he talks to me, it shocks me but awakens something deep inside me. I can’t explain it, but I know it’s not right.

I’ve been sucked into his madness, and each day it’s more difficult to resist.

“I have a present for you.”

“Another diamond bracelet?” I finally speak. My voice shows him that I am not the least bit excited. “Or maybe a new phone? Peruvian hair?”

“Something better.”

I make a small sound, a dismissal. It seems to annoy him, because his arm tightens around my waist, grinding me against him. I roll my hips and hear him hiss through his teeth, watch the lust darken his light brown eyes and his jaw muscles clench and unclench.

“You were saying?” I remind him. Sometimes I enjoy the power I have over him; when I can’t make him think straight; when my actions and inactions render him speechless even with the endless words he is holding in; when I watch him try to make me feel better, knowing that he will fail.

He always fails. And it pleases me immensely.

He produces a glittery piece of jewellery and proceeds to fasten it around my neck.

“A diamond choker. Nice.”

My lack of gratitude does not go unnoticed. He looks like he wants to say something, but thinks the better of it. Disengaging myself, I leave him there at the full length mirror and saunter away in my six-inch red bottom heels.

“Stop,” he commands.

I turn back to face him, my legs apart, hands on my hips, face giving nothing away. His eyes are suddenly sad, and I can tell he has a lot to say but doesn’t know how to express it. He looks at me from head to toe, drinking in the image, a manifestation of his fantasies…so close and yet so far…

“Red lace doesn’t do you justice, Queen.”

I raise a brow at him, smirk, and say, “I know, and it’s not just red lace.”