Monday, 25 April 2016

Heat in the Raindrops - Episode 6

EPISODE 6






It had only been about three months since Torera had relocated to Nigeria on her father’s instructions. In her old man’s voice, “The U.K system won’t help you save much. Come home and join my business.”

She had packed her bags and gotten on the flight back to Nigeria after fifteen years of living in the beautiful city of London. She and her older sister had moved with her mom after her parents got a divorce and her mother re-married. She had been eight years old at the time. She had gotten a good banking job with Lloyds after which she only started working with HSBC seven months before the call from daddy. Her mother had passed away a year and some months ago and her big sister had gotten married and moved to the United States.

She came back to Nigeria and had joined her dad’s financial advisory firm. Her father never got married and she had to admit that the man was getting old and needed family around him especially as her sister was not even interested in coming home.




She was having a rather slow Monday. She had met her major deadlines and was now looking for new projects. Their marketing and sales team were all on their toes, trying to bring in new business for the company.

She was bored. She started to check through her social media to pass away time. She stumbled on Instagram posts from one of her friends from Queen Mary, Samantha, who was doing a #throwbackthursday on a Monday. She laughed as she looked at the picture. Torera was in it. They had all gone out to Nando’s for Samantha’s birthday that evening the photo was taken. All twelve of them friends, including her and Ayo. 

She and Ayo had been a couple. For all of their undergrad years, until he had moved to the U.S for his masters degree and returned to Nigeria afterwards. They had to break off their relationship because of the distance.

They had reconnected again some months ago when he came to London last summer for a mutual friend’s wedding. She knew above everything else that he had moved on because he couldn’t stop talking about his wife and his amazing babies. She knew he didn’t mean to hurt her. He was just overwhelmed with a different kind of love…similar to the kind they had shared once upon a time.
Samantha had tagged him in the photo too. She clicked on his handle @ayobosssman. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to keep in touch. After all she was now based in Lagos. She knew she had moved on. She wasn’t in a relationship but she knew she had gotten over Ayo William-Adeoti. In fact, she really wanted to meet the wife and kids he gushed so deeply about. Having an affair with a married man was the last thing on her mind and she knew better than to ignite a relationship with a father at that. She tapped the Follow button and then went on to check other wedding and fashion pages. 

In a little bit, she got a DM notification. It was from Ayo.











  
“I can’t believe you agreed to come back to Nigeria.” He laughed, sipping on his Chapman.

It was a Friday night and he had asked if they could meet up. He was just being nice. Truth was, he had been having a rough time at home especially with Muna’s attitude. He tried to stay out as often as he could so that he could get in after she had slept. He had started to miss his space as a bachelor. He really couldn’t deal with all her tantrums and grudges.

The moment Torera Tafa had started following him on Instagram, he had sent a message immediately and asked for her number. He was so happy and eager to see her. He knew she was his ex, but she was more of a friend to him. They could talk about almost anything and she was one of the most down-to-earth and free spirited people he knew. A part of him hesitated. He didn’t want to ignite any past feelings….on her part, especially as she was still single. They never had the talk. The closure talk. But he figured she was over him already. He trusted himself and he knew he would never cheat on his wife, no matter how hard she was making the home for him. All he wanted was some distraction. He hated to classify Torera but she seemed a good distraction. He would ordinarily have gone out to hang with his male friends but a whole bunch of them would force him to drink and talk dirty and that he was trying to break away from.

Muna had been the one to kind of re-ignite his spirituality. She had come all so angelic and talked so much about how he had to get serious with God and let go of old habits that reaped nothing. And so it surprised him that the same Muna was looking like the opposite of all she had made him believe. She had even stopped going to church. Once he had confronted her again and they had gotten into a terrible fight so he decided to drop the topic.


“Dad made me. But it’s not so bad really.” Torera replied.

They were hanging out at a spot in Victoria Island. Ayo had called her up and asked if they could meet over drinks and some proper Nigerian night food.

The waiter brought their bowls of goat meat pepper soup and served them.

“Have you tried Asun yet?” Ayo asked her.

Torera shrugged.

“Oh that’s steak yea?” She said. She started digging into the pepper soup. She screamed and grabbed the bottle of cold water on the table, hanging out her tongue. Ayo burst into laughter.

“This is hilarious!” He laughed. “Pele.”

“This is spicy!” Torera exclaimed.

“You should try asun or nkwobi. I used to bring Muna here all the time before the wedding.” He said.

Torera nodded, gulping the water.

“So, what’s she like? I’d want to meet her you know. She sounds so ….so super.” Torera giggled.

Ayo smiled, looking into his glass of chapman.

“Yeah.” He said.


“So how has work been? How are you adjusting?” He asked.


“Well, it’s really not bad. I get to hear a lot of whispering in the office though. I’m beginning to wonder if I am a mean person because I don’t say yes ma or yes sir to the older staff.”

“You’re the boss’ daughter. It’s a given that they will whisper about you.”

Torera smiled.


“So what do you do? How do you spend time? Do you have friends here? I know all your friends are in London mostly. How’s Sam by the way?” Ayo said.

Flavour’s music played in the background and it was beginning to get dark. The spot was getting crowded with the many Lagosians who wanted to ease out stress and TGIF. 

“Samantha’s good I think. It’s been a while I heard from her though. I think she wants to move to Paris for fashion school.”

“Fashion school? I thought she was going to be a lawyer.” Ayo exclaimed.

“Well, she doesn’t wanna be a lawyer anymore. Look at you for example, you were going to be an architect but here you are doing big things in Lagos.”

Ayo smiled a little.

“I always knew you were going to do big things.” Torera said.

Their eyes locked for a bit. Then Torera looked into her plate of peppered snails and fried meat.

“Work and church.” She said.

“Huh?” Ayo said.

“You asked what I do. I go to work and I go to church.”

“What church?”

“City of David.”

Ayo laughed.

“You’re looking for husband in church, innit.”

Torera burst into laughter.

“Shouldn’t I?”

“You’re still young. I don’t think you should rush though. You have lots of time ahead of you.” Ayo said.

“Says the man who is married with twins.” Torera rolled her eyes.

Ayo clasped his hands together.


“Marriage isn’t what it seems all the time, boo.” He said.

She nodded, laughing.

“So where do you and your family worship?” She asked.

“Worship?”

“Um…well, yea…”

“We attend House on the Hill.” He said, looking away.

“Oh so you attend church, not worship God.” She said.

“What do you mean?”

Torera sighed.

“I mean, church isn’t just about attendance. It’s not like there’s a register where you have to enter your name and the time you got there. It’s a place to worship God and connect."



Ayo smiled.


She was different. This Torera wasn’t exactly the same as the one he had dated. He looked at her, analysing her and trying to put a finger on it.

“What?” She said, wondering what he was thinking.

He remembered the tattoo on her waist line. She had tattooed his name with a little heart back then in school. He wondered if she still had it but he knew that was a very wrong question to ask.

“You’re….different.” He said.

“I get that a lot.” She said.


She looked at her Rolex and sighed.
“It’ getting late. I should get going now and you should go home to your wife.”

Ayo didn’t want to think about home.

“This was fun.” He stood up and hugged her.


She smiled and then he walked her to her car and they said their good byes.









***




Muna still did not believe what Papa had told her. And the more she tried to process it, the more upset she got. She needed Ayo. He wasn’t there for her. He usually never was home of recent. She knew she had upset him but she expected him to understand that she was vulnerable and emotional and just wanted to be held. She missed him, but she was upset at everything in general.

Papa had told her that her mother had been molested as a child after she moved to the convent with the nuns at Onitsha. She had started secondary school there and was doing well. A lot of times especially during her school vacations, she went to the priest’s house to cook and clean and run little errands. Father liked her. A lot. He always encouraged her and kept very close tabs on her spiritual progress. He said she was like the daughter he never had.

One of the days Mama had gone to the Reverend Father’s house, he’d told her to wait for him as he needed to be somewhere urgently. So Mama had waited. When she got bored she started to sing hymns. She had a great voice and had joined the choir.

She didn’t know that Ifeanyi had been in the house too. Ifeanyi was the son of one of Father’s relatives who lived with him. Ifeanyi wanted to join the seminary and become a priest like his uncle too. Ifeanyi had been a lot older than Mama.

He offered her a bottle of Dr. Pepper and chin chin. She had a secret crush on him. But the crush remained secret. He was going to be a priest and even if she didn’t want to, the Reverend Sisters and her own parents wanted her to become a nun. When ifeanyi placed his arm over her shoulder as they watched the Sound of music on Father’s TV, she felt a little uncomfortable. She had never been that close with any boy. But she liked that he liked her. It was getting late and Father had not returned so he walked her back to the convent. They talked and he held her hand and told her she was very beautiful.

The next couple of days, she eagerly went back to Father’s house over and over. One of those days, Father had travelled. Ifeanyi locked the doors and told her he wanted to show her something inside his bedroom. She had hesitated. She liked him but she knew she wouldn’t like to see anything inside the room. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He had forced her and then, he touched her inappropriately and took her childhood away.

She hated him for what he had done and so she reported to Father. Ifeanyi was Father’s real blood. Mama had just been LIKE a daughter to him. When he confronted Ifeanyi, the boy denied it and accused her of begging him to touch her body. He claimed that he had rebuked her and she plotted to ruin his priestly career. Nobody believed her. Even the Reverend sisters that she lived with. Father had expressed his extreme disappointment and had shipped her back to Enugu where her parents lived. And even her own parents failed to believe her. She started to not believe herself. Maybe she had caused the rape. She had been the one that had a crush on him after all. 


A couple of years after, she became a very young woman and a man called Eze wanted to marry her. Eze was her friend’s brother who had studied in Owerri and now wanted to settle. He heard that Onyeka was a good girl and he came to pay her bride price. A few days after their wedding, he had to be in Lagos on an emergency assignment and so Mama had been the only one in the house.

She had been the only one in the house when that visitor had come knocking. She had opened and it was Ifeanyi. Father Ifeanyi. He had heard that she got married from her parents and he had come to deliver his wedding gift in person. Her greatest mistake was letting him into the house. She respected his cassock and authority, especially as she believed that maybe he had come to apologize for what he had done to her many years ago.


But he did it again. And again, no one would believe her. Especially as she was now a married woman. How would she explain that the same man she had accused had raped her again. People would not believe her. After all, he was a priest. And if they would, they'd say she had welcomed him into her matrimonial home with open arms. They would call her a lose woman, the kind that had to be stoned for adultery.


Papa returned from his Lagos assignment two weeks after and she had confessed to him. He had also not believed her. He had called her an adulteress and wanted to end their marriage. The elders intervened and he finally agreed to keep her in the home but not without several weeks of spite and hate.

She announced she was pregnant and he was not sure if the child was his or the Reverend Father’s. But he never questioned her when the baby girl was born and looked nothing like him. The child had come with a lot of love from heaven and his heart had melted unconsciously. He loved Onyeka and decided he would take the child as his own. He had named her Munachi. The matter was going to be between him and God.


In 1995, June 4, when it was aired in the local radio news and in the dailies  that a popular Priest Ifeanyi from Onitsha had been accused of defiling a young girl secondary school girl who had come to him for personal confession and counselling, Papa finally believed her.


He knew the day would come when Muna would ask to know who her real father was. He dreaded the day because he had grown to love her so much, almost more than his own biological children. She was a special child and it broke him to pieces when that ugly incident had happened and he couldn’t do anything about it.









*** 


Muna was depressed. She was sunk in absolute depression. She was still battling living a lie in her marriage when she discovered that the man she had called Daddy all those years was actually not daddy. She was angry at her parents for keeping the truth from her. It started to make sense why she looked so different from her siblings.

Was she cursed? Was it history repeating itself? Was it going to be a generational thing? She feared for her daughter.

She had called her mother immediately over the phone but then, she ended the call. She wasn’t ready for more details. Not yet. She needed to get over the shock first. 

She thought of Ayo. What if like Papa, he wouldn’t believe her if she told him she had been raped? Maybe that was why Mama had told her to keep shut about it. She wanted to tell him just like Papa had advised but she was scared. She couldn't bear it if things went south more than they already had between them. She was going to tell him eventually. But she didn't know how to. 



The door of the bedroom creaked open. It was Ayo. They were beginning to live like strangers. They hardly even spoke anymore. She always made sure she had his dinner ready but he never ate. He always claimed to have eaten already. And everything fueled her suspicion the more.

He switched on the lights but put them out immediately as he saw her laying in the bed. Her eyes were shut and the remote control of the air conditioner was in her hand. He thought she was asleep. He tiptoed to his side of the bed and undressed himself then he went into the bathroom to have a shower. 

Muna jolted from the bed and grabbed his phone. She had formed a habit of checking his phone. The password was Muna. In figures. She unlocked his phone and hurriedly looked through his texts and call log.

They were mostly from work. She was going to drop it until she stumbled on consistent messages from a Torera Tafa. She hadn’t heard that name before. She opened the messages and held her breath.


Torera: Hope you loved coming to my church

Ayo: Certainly. I have felt dry for a long time. I must confess your Pastor is on point.

Torera: Really? That’s good news. You should come more often. You can invite your wife.

Ayo: Lol. You looked nice.

Torera: Thanks. Good night.

Ayo: Are you okay? You seemed like you wanted to say something to me.

Torera: Um…it’s nothing.

Ayo: Okay. If you say so. Let me know when you get home.

Torera: Why?You’re not my husband. Lol.

Ayo: I just wanted you to pray with me on my work. I’m really scared about something and it’s a big deal in my business.

Torera: Okies.

She heard him turn off the shower and hum a little. He loved to hum in the bathroom and he had a horrible voice. She locked the phone and placed it back on the bed, then she went back to her sleeping position.


She heard his phone beep. Her heart wanted to jump out of her chest in anger and anxiety. He checked his phone, laughed a little and then put it aside. Then he got into bed beside her. She felt his breath over her face and the hair on the back of her neck stood out. He touched her arm, and then her hips. She was rigid. He kissed her neck and then she pushed him away.


“Don’t play with me, Ayo. I’m not as stupid as I look.” She said angrily and walked out of the bedroom.

Ayo sighed. He put his hands on his head. He was tired. He had come home and wanted to set things straight with his wife. He wasn’t comfortable with the sudden closeness with Torera. Although their closeness was in a good way. She encouraged him and helped him. She did the things Muna used to do once upon a time. His urges had come on him and he wanted more than anything to make love to his wife, his woman. He wanted to mend fences and hold her close, but she had shoved him aside. He didn’t want to cheat on his wife.

Torera popped up in his mind. She was beautiful. Even more beautiful than she had been back then. He had been intimate with her innumerable times and he ached for her again out of the blue. At least she was real. She wasn't the virgin Muna lied to be yet she was looking like all he wanted. He wouldn't have bothered if Muna was a virgin or not. What mattered to him was deeper than a past. When she had claimed to be a virgin, he had been surprised and it gave him a longing because of the love he had for her. He sighed. He did not want to cheat on his wife. He knew this was wrong. His spirit warred with his body. 





In the living room, Muna paced round, confused, angered and mad. She decided she was going to give him a piece of her mind. She was going to let him know that she would not condone cheating. She was no fool. After about thirty minutes sitting in there and thinking of all sorts, she stormed into the bedroom. She searched around for him. He wasn’t there. She hadn’t seen him leave the house. She figured he was in the bathroom. She didn’t care what he was doing. She needed to talk and let it all out.


She opened the door of the bathroom with all the energy she had for a fight. Ayo jumped and almost slipped.

She couldn’t take her eyes of the man she had married. She was speechless. He froze right where he was on the toilet seat, looking at her and losing speech.


“I’m…I’m sorry, Muna it’s not what it looks like, please.” Ayo stammered.


Muna shook her head and shut the door behind, leaving him and his Vaseline.






*fisayotalabi

*Episode 6

*Heatintheraindrops

*please read, drop a comment and share



8 comments:

  1. Ghen Ghen, Ghen Ghen.
    Muna should break the jinx and tell her husband the truth already. All these yeye suspicion and getting mad at him for getting home late won't solve anything.

    This is ghen-ghen! That's the only word that captures how this episode was to me.

    Good job, 'management'. Lol.

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  2. She should just confess already. I'd do it on her behalf but you know, it's supposed to be a story.
    I just want to smack Muna on the head, tell her to get a grip, on herself and her marriage, so can live happily ever after!
    I feel for her though.
    And I say NO TO RAPE!!!
    Great job Fisayo

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  3. Hahahahah.him and his vaseline. She sholud confess already. Ayo has tried abeg

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  4. As per Oliver twist, all I can do is ask for more. Lol

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    Replies
    1. Muna does need a brain reset, he's using vaseline so as not to cheat on you and your angry? Body no be wood!!

      Delete
    2. Body no be wood true true! I mean, you can't blame the guy. Over a year and its only once they have gbenshed? I'm sure he has been using Vaseline since seff.

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  5. Been following this story from the beginning and for the first time, I feel like beating sense into Muna. She should tell her husband already. Ahn ahn.

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  6. Fisayyooooo. Where do you get these stories from sef. Great job

    I love this

    Ayo is a good man but Muna should hurry up. There is so much a man can take.

    Please next episode

    ReplyDelete