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Home Post 10062-chapter-56

10062-chapter-56

*Maduka’s POV*

*’Lost Treasure.’*

Lost Treasure is an anonymous blogger who has been on the Lagos scene for a while now, showcasing vibrant and realistic photographs of everyday Lagos life, from the watery slums of Makoko to the bustling, crammed streets of Balogun Market, and the writhing bodies of dancers in flashing neon lights during night parties in numerous clubs.1

Her write ups have a way of striking a chord in me each time I read them, because I see honesty in them. Agatha had introduced me to the blog, and after reading one of her humorous pieces on living in Abuja, I was hooked. She was witty, with a hint of sarcasm and a way of exaggerating things in a very interesting way.

But it is her latest piece, Memoirs of the Men Who Loved Me, that blows me away. She writes about three men, who loved her in three different ways, and how these different shades of love almost ruined her but also strengthened her.

It reminded me, of the night Nwanyieze had revealed to me that she had been victimized in such a horrible manner, it had scarred her.

“You’re not done reading that piece?”

“I am,” I say, looking up from my phone to where Agatha perches on my desk, her legs dangling a few inches from the floor.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” She asks.

“Yes. And sad, too. It’s almost like you can feel her pain.”

“Something must have hurt her real bad. You can’t create such beauty without pain, Maduka. At least not like this.”

I enjoy analysing with Agatha; she has a sharp mind and can provide so much insight. The piece we are talking about is the latest post by Lost Treasure about lost trust, descent into darkness, love, and destruction of the last shred of morality in a bid to stop feeling. At the end, the author wonders if there is any hope for her.

Why does it sound familiar?

Agatha adjusts her spectacles, the same gold-rimmed ones from last year. “If you’re not busy, we could have lunch at The Place. You know how delicious their food is.”

“I don’t feel like having lunch outside today.”

“Then we’ll order lunch. Choose your vendor.”

“You know, I’m not hungry.”

Agatha raises her brows at me, a sign that her patience is running out. “Maduka, you just signed a multimillion Naira deal and you have the effort to say you’re not hungry? At least celebrate with some snacks.”

“Small chops, then. Let me order for them.”

She smiles sweetly. “That’s the spirit, Farmer.”

I move closer to the desk so I can pick up my wallet which contains my cards. Agatha reaches for the wallet at that moment and our hands touch.

“My bad,” she says softly, withdrawing her hand immediately like I’ve burned her.

“That’s fine,” I tell her with a smile.

“Maduka, could you please do me a favour?”

“What’s that, Agatha?”

“A kiss,” is what she says after a long pause.

Oh, wow.

I know that after our kiss last year, she’s been walking on eggshells around me, trying not to initiate any type of intimate contact. It makes me guilty that I am unable to reciprocate her feelings, and I have been dreading the day we might stop being friends because of this.

“That sounds like a bad idea.”

“It is not a bad idea because it’s all I can think of right now while you feel nothing. I’ve always wondered, what I’d feel if we kissed again.”

“Agatha-”

“Please. It’s not like you’re cheating on anyone exactly.”

She sits up expectantly while I move closer to her with deliberate steps. Her eyes are bright with anticipation.

“Agatha, I didn’t lead you on,” I state. “I’m only trying to satisfy you, and I don’t expect to gain anything from this.”

“I know,” she breathes, eyes wide behind her spectacles. Her legs open, creating a space for me to stand between them. I’m rather thankful she is wearing a jumpsuit today, because I don’t want to place my discipline under any form pressure.

“And I’m not sure our relationship will ever remain the same after this.”

“I know,” she repeats. Her hands grab the front of my shirt, pulling me down towards her. Before our lips touch, her eyes roam over my face, like she is trying to memorize something. With a sigh, Agatha closes in.

The contact is pleasant, warm and soft and wet. She moves forward on the desk, so her legs wrap around my waist, locking me in place.

Such close contact, I think while our lips move in synchronisation and she grinds against me in a slow motion. She Mõ@ɲs when my tongue enters her mouth, arches her body towards mine, and grips my shoulders so tight I know that her nails will leave temporary dents in my skin.

It does feel good.

She gasps when my hand squeezes the side of her waist.

It would be easy, so easy, to take what she’s offering.

I am equally aroused, and I see this as a cue to withdraw before I make a mistake I might regret.

“Wait,” she pleads, her arms flying around my neck. I freeze and allow her to rest her head on my chest, her breathing heavy. After a few moments, she sighs yet again.

“Are you okay?”

“No.”

“This was a bad idea.”

“This is the best idea I’ve come up with all week.”

Typical Agatha, I think with a rueful smile.

“Agatha, we can’t-”

“Be friends, I know. How can we be so close and yet so far? I admire your discipline, Maduka. Any woman would be blessed to have you.”

“Any man would be blessed to have you too.”

A small, ironic laugh. “And we can’t ‘bless’ each other.?”

“No, we can’t.”

When she withdraws and looks up at me, her eyes are full of sadness. “The media will have fun writing about us when they don’t see us at events together.”

Despite our previous denials, the media- and their followers- thinks we are dating because apparently we ‘look good together.’ Our absence of ‘PDA’ or public display of affection has been attributed to the fact that we are a ‘conservative’ couple. There have even been speculations on our segz life. We have given up on trying to vindicate ourselves.

I sigh. “It’s for both our sakes.”

She nods in agreement. “I sincerely hope you find who you’re looking for.” Her grip on me loosens.

“Thank you.” I smile at her and slowly move backwards, hoping that my arousal has faded.

Still standing, I watch her pick up her bag. “I look forward to seeing you at our usual conferences and other events. Please, don’t avoid them because of me. I wish I could control these…feelings.”

“Agatha, I would never avoid them because of you. You’re my friend…”

“Only more distant now.” She smiles and shakes her head. “I’ll still send you the lunch, only you’ll have to eat it alone.”

“I’ll take it home for dinner. Agatha?”

“Yes?”

“Thank you for understanding.”

She shrugs and nods. With a peck on my cheek, Agatha walks out of my office, leaving me feeling sad but glad that this has finally happened.
*

“This Lost Treasure lady, she’s too good oh,” Amara tells me with a laugh. “And it’s pretty cool that she has an account on Wetin now.”

“Really?” I make a mental note to follow her on Wetin so I can view her posts.

Wetin is one of the most popular social media platforms in Nigeria now, an application created by a group of Nigerian software developers from Ebonyi State. Meaning “What” in Nigerian pidgin, it came into existence two years ago.

Maybe I’ll get to see the face behind the personality. “What has she posted today?” I ask her, my eyes fixed on my youngest niece, who is quickly draining a feeding bottle filled with milk. I have been visiting my sister more frequently since she gave birth, because holding my niece has a calming effect on me.

“She’s talking about living the fake life in Lagos. It’s hilarious, but very true. In fact, she is shaking a lot of tables today.”

“I hope they don’t break. Amara, how can this baby finish the milk so fast, eh?”

Amara laughs. “This one? She wants to suck me dry. Isn’t that so, Mama?” She tries to take three-month-old Ola out of my arms, but I protest and shift away from her on the couch.

“Let me bond with my niece, na.”

“Maduka, the only time you think bonding is enough is when she poops.” Amara rolls her eyes. “Maybe you’ll change her diapers today, ba?”

“Erm, no.” I look down again at the precious bundle in my arms. She is a light caramel colour with pink cheeks, dark brown eyes, and short ringlets of brown hair. And she smells heavenly, feels soft and delicate in my arms, and makes me suddenly want to have a–

“You know you’ve got baby fever written all over you, right?”

“What? Me? No,” I deny. But the smile on my face gives me away. “She’s perfect, Amara. So beautiful.”

“She’s smitten by you,” my sister says softly, her eyes shining with love. “You’re her best uncle already.”

Holding Ola takes me back to decades ago, when a boy had found a baby girl in the trash and felt like he’d found the greatest treasure ever.

“So innocent,” I whisper, suddenly overcome by emotions I cannot describe. Ola gurgles, and a drop of milk seeps out from the corner of her little mouth. I remember that I have to burp her and I do that gently, holding her against my chest with her chin on my shoulder. After a few pats, she makes a low sound and I smile.

“There you go, little one.”

“You’d make a very good Daddy,” Amara compliments me.

“And eye bags like yours would look so good on me, right?”

“Adrian is trying to catch some sleep. He was up all night, too. It will get better.”

“Yes, it will.” I feel warm liquid running down my shoulder and sigh. “Amara, your baby just threw up on me.”

My sister bursts into a fit of laughter. “Maduka, Ola has blessed you. Wh@ťěver you really need, be sure you’ll get it soon!”

“Oh, she can throw up on me all day, then,” I joke. “Because I need all the blessings I can get.”
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Happy First Sunday of the Month

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