*All characters are entirely a work of FisayoTalabi's fictional imagination.
I couldn't believe this. It was difficult to understand. I couldn't place my fingers on how it was even possible for Ogechi to do this to me. I locked my phone first, then I wiped the screen of my Galaxy with my shirt. I didn't care if this shirt was white. I just wanted to see the picture clearer.
And there it was, staring me right in the face. No be say dem say. Ogechukwu had posted these photos herself, with her own hands; those hands i loved to kiss tenderly all the time. Those fingers! I had declared in my heart that I was going to bejewel the fourth one on the left. Yes. That one that she painted in a color different from the others, as though she was sending across a message to me that it needed to stand out truthfully. It had been undecorated long enough.
Oge had even changed her status from 'In a relationship' to 'married' on Facebook.
That's why this was so difficult to believe. Where was the time she had to date this her new husband? We only had a misunderstanding last week. Could she have dated and known this new dumbo in just a week? I hadn't even been the one to argue with her. I never argue. I know how women are. They just like to talk and go on and on and on. I know that if I had replied one word, it would only have landed me in a lot more trouble.
She had come over to my house and she had worn that backless top that girls wear these days. I saw the top all over Instagram. Of course, My Oge has a nice back; upper back, and lower back. She's very light skinned with not a single spot on her entire skin. I confess that's one of the things that attracted me to her.
Oge knew I didn't like that top. The back was totally exposed and the front was entirely covered up, as though the front was making a case for the misdemeanor of the back. To top it all, we were supposed to meet with my Pastor. He had said he wanted to meet the woman I was in a relationship with. I know that was my fault. Oge always complained that I never introduced her to the important people in my life. But she had met my elder brother and his wife a few times. Wasn't that enough? For now, at least. I was trying to be slow and steady. I had explained to her so many times that I didn't want to rush things and I was making money for our future together. After I made a good sum, I would take her to Anambra to meet my parents; Papa and Mama Ukaegbu, and then we could proceed with plans for our wedding rites and ceremony.
"Why are you wearing this, after I already told you I do not like it?" I had asked her.
"Like what?" She looked over her outfit, building up her defense.
"This top. I told you before that I don't want you to wear it anymore." I replied.
"But I like it and I want to wear it."
"We are going to meet my Pastor today! You knew that already!"
"I have a blazer with me. I can wear it over the top."
"Oge when will you start respecting me as your man?"
I didn't know if what I said was funny and why it warranted her laughter. I had just asked her a serious question.
"Have you respected me as your woman?" She retorted, like the answer was programmed in her head already.
What was she talking about? I gave this girl fifty thousand naira every month! My salary was 150k! That means I was left with just 100k per month. I had bills to pay, I needed to stock the house with food because Oge never bought food stuffs when she came over to cook. I had to pay the DSTV bill because Oge loved to watch Telemundo and Fashion Police. I had to fuel my Generator every time because Oge said her skin couldn't stand heat, as though she had ever lived outside this country.
I had opened my mouth to speak but then I decided against it. I didn't want to start an argument. She saw I was quiet so she leveraged on that and continued to rant.
"Six years! Six years we have been in this relationship. All my friends and even my juniors are getting married. When will you even propose to me, not to talk of marriage? I am getting older, Ikenna. And there you are talking about a top."
When she was angry at me, she didn't call me I.K, or Bae. She called me Ikenna. Thank God she didn't add my middle name and surname.
We were back at this wedding thing. I was going to propose to her. I really was. I was saving the money but I'd taken out fifty thousand from it because my boss paid late and I needed to fund her account.
"I'm not going to see any bloody Pastor! I'm tired. Gosh!" She yelled. I had never heard my angel, Ogechi, say that adjective she had qualified my Pastor with. She grabbed her purse...the purse I had bought her, and she stormed out of my apartment.
I'd thought it was one of our many fights that we were going to be able to settle after a few hours, or max, two days. But things spanned on and on and Oge did not reply my messages nor pick my calls.
She was wearing the wedding colors that she had always told me she wanted when we got married; Teal and Silver. Oge was a goddess. She stunned in her outfits.
The groom. I zoomed in on the picture. He was a Nigerian, but he was based in the U.S. He was wearing dark DKNY shades, and he had a strong build...stronger than my four and a half packs. Oge always said i had Muskules and not muscles. I always laughed and told her she would be surprised when I started to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, back in his Terminator days. Obviously, her groom was a rich man. He had no doubt, paid for the whole wedding, because I knew Ogechi's retired Government-worker parents didn't have the money for such a loud wedding.
I started to scroll through the comments. 79 Comments, and 106 Likes! My God!!! Her friends were all a bunch of hypocrites. I saw Uchenna's comment, and Obianuju's, and Freda's, and even her yoruba friend with a weird name, Olorunfunminigbala. I had tried to call her Funmi for short. The name was too long. But the girl always said she wanted me to pronounce the full name...Olorunfunminigbala. These her friends were the same people who had encouraged me and had told me that Oge was totally in love with me and that she would never break my heart or hurt me! And now they had even been at the wedding and were wishing her well! It was Uchenna's comment that annoyed me the most.
My boo Ogechi finally ties the knot with the finest and swaggest husband ever liveth!
I could tell already that she had benefited from Oge's husband in monetary terms, the same way she had benefited free Jollof rice, Chinese, Suya, Grilled Chicken, Pepper soup, and even clothes and shoes, each time I took my girlfriend out with her friends. Gosh, I forgot to mention the myriad of recharge cards I sent to her each time Oge and I had a fight, so she could help me persuade my woman.
So time had passed since I was dumped without words, and my woman got married to another man. She never called me. She never even replied my text message when I demanded an apology and an explanation. Well, it was over a year now, and via the same social media platform, I'd been informed visually that Oge now had a baby. Her baby was a cute one. I tried to ignore her other photos but I couldn't fight that temptation. I opened them. Oh. So she now lived in Maryland with her family. Nice. At least it was a better life for her. I'd loved her for six years. I couldn't wish her nothing but well.
I started to read the comments on her recent post about her new baby. I was tempted to comment. I started to punch in the words.
He's so adorable. Congratulations, Ogechukwu.
I entered my comment and I didn't regret it.
I didn't regret it because that evening, I checked again to see if maybe she even acknowledged me and as much as Liked my comment. She didn't like it. She liked everyone else's, except mine. Hmmm.
A chat window suddenly popped up. It was from someone I didn't really know.Well, I had so many friends on Facebook that I didn't even know at all.
The person's name was Annie Marty. There was a thumbnail of the picture. It was a lady. I wanted to ignore but I decided not to.
Annie Marty: Hi. How's your day going?
Ikenna: Hi. Good thanks. I don't know you, I'm sorry
Annie Marty: I know. I don't know you either. I just know we are friends of each other here.
Annie Marty: (Smile) Nice photos you have.
I smiled. Good thing I had deleted every single picture I had taken with Ogechi on my profile. I wasn't really busy that night so I checked her photos. They were just three photos of her. And mehn! Annie Marty was sooooo hot! I knew this was my revival! My deliverance from the pangs of Ogechi.
We started to chat almost every day. She told me what she was doing, asked what I was doing too. Told me what she did for a living. Cute. She was a medical student at a school in Boston. She was Nigerian. An Igbo chic! Her Igbo name was Somtochukwu. I loved that name! I have always had it in my mind to give the name to my daughter.
Time had passed again, and it was over three months since me and Somto, as I had preferred to call her, started to talk. I asked her for her phone number many times but she declined. I checked facebook but I didn't find it. I knew she was playing hard to get. Been there, done that. Oge played hard to get for three years before she finally dated me.
I'm a good christian, with strong faith and a very strong belief that I am going to heaven when I die. But Lord have mercy! She was too hot to handle; too sexy for hating. She sent me a picture of her wearing only a bra once, and then, she typed, 'Oops! That was a mistake.' I told her it was okay, but I never deleted that photo. I begun to stare at it, like a bible. Day and Night, I meditated on it. I think she did it on purpose because she asked me if I still had the photo, and I told her yes. Then she sent me another one, with a different color of underwear, and then, Naked. And then she asked me to send one of myself. She wanted to see me.
I'd never done this before. But maybe I wasn't thinking straight! I went to my bedroom mirror, and I took off my shorts, and snapped myself naked, then sent it to her, but not without cropping out my head first. I now had the muscles Oge teased me for not having, and the six packs! She laughed and said she was impressed. My conscience pricked me, because my Pastor called me right after I had sent the picture, asking if I was fine, and how I was doing generally. I told him I had just finished studying the book of Isaiah.
That's how we started. I mean, that's how I got addicted to sending naked photos to Somto, and receiving same from her. Then we started typing sexual things to each other, arousing each other. And before I knew it, I got addicted. I was a Somto addict! Which man wouldn't be?
I saw Oge's missed call one Sunday, after I had just sent a picture to my Somto. Why was she calling me? What did she want? After all this time. I ignored her call. But she still knew my weak points. She sent a text begging me to reply if I ever loved her. Smh! I called her back though. She always came to me when she had problems because I always had smart solutions for her. She always told me I was the smartest person she knew.
"Ikenna, I'm finished o!" She was weeping. I couldn't really make out what she was saying.
"What is it?" I asked. I was concerned. I hated seeing her or hearing her cry.
"My husband! I don't know who to talk to! I can't tell my friends. They will laugh at me and spread the story. Please I don't know what to do oh!"
"Talk to me now!" I raised my voice. She was getting me hyper.
"So my husband left his computer on. I was bored because my son was asleep, and my husband had gone out for a jog. I saw photos in one folder, of a man! Naked photos! A very attractive man. He has nothing less than thirty pictures. I didn't see the man's face. They were cropped. And there are also photos of other men. Black men, white men!"
I was trying to wrap my head around this. What in the world was going on?
"I checked his Facebook page because it wasn't closed. I don't understand. There is a page of a woman called Annie Marty, with a pretty face on it. I thought he was cheating on me with her, but I'm seeing photo-shopped and enhanced pictures of my body. They are pictures I have sent to him of myself when we were apart. I recognize them. I can't believe he worked on my pictures and posted them to different people he was chatting with." She mumbled, confused and in shock.
She started reading out the names of the people her gay husband had been chatting with.
I knew it already. My name was going to pop up. I was one of Somto Annie Marty's customers.
Oge was faster than me. I was going to end the call before she called my name.
"Oh my God! Ikenna?!" She said.
I ended the call immediately. I wasn't going to wait for the rest of it.
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