He shoved Kema away and sat up straight, moving away from the guy he called his brotherly. Kema sighed. He was embarrassed. He was not expecting G.D to take the kiss with levity however.
"What are you doing, dude!" G.D asked, horrified.
"I'm sorry..." Kema stuttered.
"No. I don't understand what just happened." G.D said.
Kema decided there was no point hiding it anymore. He could as well just tell G.D that he was into men.
"I'm attracted to you. I am in love with you." Kema said.
G.D made a puzzled face, worse than a jigsaw.
"What are you talking about? Kema wetin do you?"
"Is it hard to believe? I love you. I always have."
G.D put his hand over his head, still confused.
"I love you too man, but not unto that level...that's some gay ish, man!"
Kema let out a slurred but short laughter.
"Huh? Tell me you're joking, please. Kema today's not April Fool's day. I have known you practically all my life! You like women. You change them like..."
Kema didn't need to say anything. G.D began to get the message. Kema had never stuck to one girl. He always changed them...and maybe that was because he wasn't into women, not because he liked the female sex to a fault.
"You sleep with them! You were checking out Rolake the other day...You said Umi was hot when you met her...Kema please..."
"Calm down, G.D." Kema said, taking G.D's hands in his. G.D pulled his hands away faster than the speed of light.
"I don't find any pleasure being with women. I mean, I look at women, but to be honest, I'm not attracted to them. And that's why I don't stick with them. It's more like a cover-up. I don't want people thinking I'm weird staying away from girls.
I had someone at the University. He understood me and he really did like me too, but things didn't work out. I guess it's because the feelings I've always had for you were still so strong. I can't explain it, man. I just feel so attached to you."
"Nawa o. Guy, you high? Did you drink something too strong, abi you dey weed?" G.D said, still shocked.
"No. I am very composed and conscious. Why do you think I've stuck with you since all these years. Four years at the Uni was horrible for me, without you. That's why I made sure I didn't lose communication with you."
"Umi...you approved of her. You said I was lucky."
Kema burst into laughter, and for a split second, G.D hoped the laughter would end in his best friend admitting he was only pranking, as usual.
"Umi, Umi, Umi. I approved because if you married her you would not be poor or have to struggle anymore. Come on, her dad is a big shot. I hated seeing you struggle. I wanted you to be happy. I know I'm not making a lot of sense...
You don't have an idea all the things I've done to have you to myself."
Kema got up and walked towards the wall, and then leaned against it, keeping his eyes glued on G.D's chest. G.D followed Kema's gaze, and immediately grabbed a pillow, pressing it against his chest.
"I won't rape you na!" Kema laughed.
"When Rolake was leaving Bayelsa for America, she gave me a note for you. She said she was in love with you and couldn't live without you, bla bla. I always knew she liked you...I kept the note. In fact, I tore it, so you would never see it."
G.D was surprised. Rolake? She liked him? He knew he was beginning to have some feelings which he had no business feeling for her, but he never guessed she wanted him too. Now he was getting very confused about everything that was happening. He looked at his wrist watch. It was around 1 AM. He grabbed his shirt and other items, then started to wear his shoes.
"Where are you going? It's 1 AM." Kema said. His voice shivered.
"Of course to my wife! Where do you think?" G.D yelled.
Kema didn't say a word. He watched as G.D packed everything and dashed out of the bedroom like it was a filthy shrine. He came back however, after a few minutes.
"Kema please open the door. It's locked." G.D said.
"That's because I locked it." Kema smiled.
"Please I don't have time for this. I need to leave."
Kema looked at him.
"You're not going anywhere. I'm not letting you go."
"Huh? Why? You want to rape me now, right?"
Kema laughed again.
"How do you think I feel? When you have your marital problems, and you dump them on me. You need company and time away from your brat of a wife, and you call on me. I'm tired of being in the friend zone. I have emotions too."
Now it was G.D's time to laugh. He couldn't believe these words were coming from Kema. They sounded like something a woman would say. If they were coming from Rolake, it would still have made some sense. But not Kema! Kemauode!
"So what do you want?" G.D asked, finally sitting on the bed, seeing Kema wasn't going to unlock the door.
"I want you."
"You were my best man. So you know I'm married." G.D said, throwing jokes back at him.
"That was the worst day of my life!"
"Okay." G.D said dryly.
Kema came closer to him and knelt in front of him, holding his waist. G.D pushed him aside.
"I don't mind that you're married. I just want....an affair, a relationship..." Kema said.
"So I should cheat on my wife with a man." G.D laughed. "This is crazy. How do you want me to help you? You're just locking me up in your house for no reason. Do you want me to book an appointment with a therapist for you..." G.D said.
Kema got angry. He stood up and walked away from him again, this time, facing the wall.
"G.D why are you pretending like you haven't been with a man before? I'm your best friend. You tell me everything...remember? Even your dirty little secrets."
G.D swallowed hard. His heart skipped a beat. Literally.
He had closed that chapter of his life. Why was Kema bringing it up again.
"Kema, no. I trusted you with that information, as my brother. You can't use it against me. It's past!" G.D said, defensive, yet attacking.
"Oh, so you know how it feels, right? Consider this a conflict of interests."
Rolake didn't know what next to do. She and Jessy had paid the rent for the house together. There and then, she felt nothing else but keeping her distance from the back stabber of a friend she had. She couldn't bear to be under the same roof with her.
She had started to pack her things, but then she realized she wasn't stupid enough to take irrational decisions. Where would she move to? If she lodged in a hotel, Jessy wouldn't be bearing the cost.
She was dialing G.D's number when it occured to her that Jessy might have been the one who had sent those thugs to beat her up. Maybe she wanted her to be away in the hospital, so she could have the house to herself and Kola. But no. Jessy didn't need to go that far if that was what she wanted. She could as well have just gotten a room in a hotel or gone over to Kola's house.
Jessy had been so ashamed that she couldn't bear to face Rolake.
She now started to consider all the reasons why she should not have betrayed her. Things she hadn't thought of, prior to sleeping with Kola, the same man she had consoled her over.
She remembered how she had come to Lagos and needed a place to stay, and she didn't have enough money for the rent. Rolake had offered to pay 70% while she paid 30%. It was Rolake who had given her capital to push her interior design business forward. Not as an Investment, but as a gift. She had even worn some of Rolake's expensive formal clothing in her search for contracts from big clients...big clients that Rolake had introduced to her.
It wasn't as though Kola was worth it. He had promised to help her out with big clients in the Oil and Gas, and Telecoms industry who would undoubtedly give her jobs. She didn't want to, but then, they had broken up. Rolake had said it herself that she was over Kola, and she was beginning to like someone else. And Jessy knew that someone else was G.D.
And that was why she had stayed away from sleeping with G.D.
She had marked him; G.D Igobasi. But then she had been upset when Rolake began to show a lot of interest in him. It wasn't just for the job. She was very attracted to the man. He was too good looking to be true, like he had walked out of a GQ magazine.
She had shifted focus to his silly friend, The Kema guy. Kema had scoped her the day she had stopped by their office. He even gave her his card, and told her to call him. She eventually did, and after a few dates of making it obvious he wanted more than her sales speech, she eventually fixed a day and a hotel room to seal the deal. He had told her he had a cousin who needed designing done in his new office. However, a day to their supposed meeting, Kema blew her off and told her he was sorry but he couldn't cheat on the person he loved. She had thought Kema was weird though. He didn't seem the kind of guy that took any woman seriously. She wondered who the lucky woman would have been.
Rolake heard a knock on her door. She knew it was the whore, Jessy. She didn't respond. Plus, she was still in pains, from the severity of the beating.
"Rolake please, we need to talk. We can't go on like this." Jessy said.
Rolake didn't respond.
Then Jessy forced the door open.
"Get out!" Rolake yelled.
Jessy rushed to her side and sat on the bed beside her.
"Rolake, please. I'm so sorry. I know I messed up big time. Please let me explain." Jessy pleaded.
"I don't know what you have in mind to say. I'm not interested. Please leave my room."
'Please just hear me out. I can't hurt you deliberately."
"I said get lost!"
"I'm broke! I did it because I'm broke. And my mom is dying. The last time I went to visit, she was so sick. And there's no money for the surgery she needs. Please, Rolake."
Rolake kept quiet, although still angry.
"And sleeping with Kola was the solution?" She said.
'No...no. I never meant to hurt you...I had no other choice. My business isn't yielding much. That's why I had to do this."
Rolake turned to look at her...with pity, but mostly with disgust.
"It's no justification. How different are you from a prostitute? You should be ashamed of yourself. That's like the worst thing ever. Where's your class and dignity? First, he's my recent ex. I am your best friend, girl! Secondly, you're getting paid for sex. Jessy, I'm so disappointed in you. If you can do this to me, you can seduce and sleep with my husband when I'm married. You can break my home! You...." Rolake went on.
Jessy stood up.
"Heeeeessss! Wetin sef, Rolake? Unto what? Because I dey beg you. Stop judging me. You don't know nothing about class or dignity? You're worried about me breaking your home when you're shattering Umi's home. Remove the log in your eye before you see mine." She hissed and walked out.
Rolake stared at the door, minutes after Jessy had slammed it. It wasn't Jessy's razzness or the loud sound of the door being slammed that kept her staring. It was the volume and and weight of what Jessy had just said.
"She has still not left him alone. Didn't you hit her enough? Didn't she get the message?" The caller yelled over the phone at one of the thugs who had worked on Rolake.
"She no dey hear word o! You mean say she still dey follow am?" He said.
"Don't give me that. I paid you good money to do your job."
"No vex. I will call my boys and we will attack again."
"No, no. That's not necessary. I have other means."
The caller hissed and ended the call.
She was wearing a denim shirt and black leggings, and huge Ray Ban sun glasses, with a baseball cap. She looked around, scared that someone might be watching her. She was only just recovering and didn't want to get beaten up again by unknown men from unknown enemies.
She spotted G.D sitting in his car, parked at the back end of the car park. His seat was reclined. She opened the other door and then reclined the seat too, so they were side by side. She looked at him, taking off her sunglasses. She almost leaned a few more inches forward to kiss him, but she discarded the thought.
"You still look bruised." He said softly.
She nodded. That didn't sound like him. He looked and sounded so weak and vulnerable.
"Ayiba what's wrong?" She asked almost immediately.
"So much! So so much! I'm finished, Roxy. I'm confused. I don't know what to do."
"Talk to me please."
He cleared his throat.
"Kema is gay, and he wants to sleep with me." He said.
He had wanted to laugh at the look on Rolake's face but he was too worried to think of a laughter.
"What?" She replied.
"He is gonna blackmail me if I don't."
"How? With what?"
G.D placed his hands on his head, and Rolake had to admit he wasn't oozing a very nice smell. Had he even had his bath?
"I'm not gay. But I've been with a man before...." He said, looking away, tears stinging his eyes.
Rolake sat up straight, not minding whoever was looking.
"I was desperate. I was broke...Rolake, trust me, I'm not gay."
"Does Umi know this?"
"That's the blackmail. He's going to tell Umi."