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Hi guys, It’s Ajay again. Welcome to a new week and the latest episode of Heat. For those following us on wordpress , please note that the blog will be shut down in December 2015. Visit the site here www.thepassionchronicles.com. Don’t forget to follow the girls on “Rendezvous” every thursday and check out what we are discussing on “Random Saturdays”. Enjoy!
Lolu Hassan had not slept since they both returned from Hercules Club in Ikeja at 12.30am that morning. Ajike slept off immediately after the sex, but He had stayed awake staring at the window. He watched every movement of the moon through the open window.
Ajike snored and curdled under the blanket, while He stood vigil, not because He wanted to, but out of an uncanny fear that his wife knew his exact location. He did not care that much about her, but Ajike was too sweet. This is what they say about church girls. He ran his fingers through Ajike’s hair. She turned in her sleep, and grabbed his hand. Raw with passion, releasing fresh succulence from all over their bodies, Ajike was no exception. He had met her ten months before as an Executive Trainee in his office. Charming her was not too much of a challenge, even though She had a fiancé. He had learnt to play the devil , so He dangled a bit of attention, and the exciting Lagos night life before her. His mind wandered to the first time He took her to her point of no return.
They had been friends in the office for a while, and He ensured He drove her to her bus stop every night after work, and this was the time to get all the information He required. He knew about Stephen, the ambitious pianist who Ajike claimed She loved so much. He had asked her one night how much She loved him on on a scale of one to ten.
“Ten”, Ajike smiled sheepishly. “That’s a guy after God’s heart. I love him so much.”
“On a scale of one to ten, how much do you enjoy my company?” He had his thermometer questions.
“I don’t know.” She smiled, avoiding his gaze.
It was better She didn’t know. It was the smile that gave him his readings. That was the first night they kissed. It is always better when they don’t know. Very easy to be unbridled when you cannot define your emotions clearly. He took his chance after the kiss, and escorted her into her flat. Playing the devil was critical to being a successful cassanova. Kisses always led to feelings of love, and sparks of passion. He played by certain rules that hardly failed. That night, She moaned with pleasure.
He slipped his hands beneath her blanket hoping to touch a mound, and then the light on his phone disturbed his mind and hands. This was the umpteenth time his wife was going to call him. He summoned courage to speak with her. He took the phone and tip-toed out of the room, watching Ajike’s frame on the bed for signs of distraction from sleep.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” He hushed, trying not to shout.
“Your brain is stuffed with hell. You think I don’t know you’re in Lagos.” His wife bellowed in anger over the phone employing her American accent.
“You’re just a crazy woman.” He cut the line, and shot a glance at the door to the room. He clenched his fists in anger. His phone rang again.
“I am a crazy woman, and very soon you will see how crazy I can be. And if you love yourself…”
Lolu cut the line a second time, and switched off his phone.
“Who was that on the phone?” Ajike’s voice startled Stephen. She stood at the door to the room and switched on the light on the corridor.
“Oh..that was mum.” He feigned composure.
“I told you She suffers from manic depression.”
Ajike stood silent for a while.
“So when are we going to see her?”
Ajike had begun to wonder if Lolu was not cheating on her. He had played down on all her requests to meet with his family.
“At the right time, babe …can we talk about this later? I barely slept all night.” Lolu needed something to distract her, so He turned on the television.
Her mom taught her to be patient with the men in her life. She was prepared to be a little more patient if only She did not feel guilty leaving Stephen. She prayed everything will be fine in her relationship with Lolu. Stephen’s promise of a great future had stopped working when She met Lolu. He opened her eyes to passion, and showed her beautiful things of life. On occasions like this, when She had reasons to doubt her decision, her mind flashes back to all the times She spent with Stephen praying for a miracle in their careers. She got a job, and Stephen was still hoping for a scholarship to attend London Trinity School of Music. Their relationship was built on a promise of hope. Lolu brought that hope alive.
“I am going to church today.” She digressed.
“Great. It’s a good thing to worship God”
“Are you coming with me?” Ajike hoped the answer will be a Yes. She wanted to attend church with him. All her fellow choristers needed to meet the bloke for whom She left Stephen. She was sure they will understand her when they meet Lolu. She took a look at the thirty-five year old, tall , well built, and pink- lipped bloke.
“Nah..Told you I had to be at my Uncle’s place this morning. I’ll just drop you off in church.” He retorted.
“When will you come see my Pastor?” She asked indignantly.
“I’ll let you know when I am ready. Off you go, you need to be ready to leave the house in an hour.”
Isiaka strolled in between the dingy slums of Ajegunle. His body ground against slimy wooden panels on either side of houses separated by narrow walk ways. He had lived in Ajegunle all his life, and the man that spoke to him on the phone did not sound like someone that could be a regular guest at Iya Risi’s spot. The voice sounded too refined for these parts of Lagos. He approached Iya Risi’s spot with unusual caution, looking furtively through the open space to catch a glimpse of all the palm wine drinkers for the night. He noticed Iya Risi pouring fresh palm wine from one of her famous gourds they called Pinto. Iya Risi used Pinto only to serve important visitors. He took a close look at the man again when He heard his name with appellations from his drunken friends. Many of them spent Sundays at Iya Risi’s spot.
“Isiaka, the driver.”
“The only danfo driver that drives a car in Lagos.” They jeered as He approached.
“There can be only one lion in the jungle.” He responded.
“Those appelations are fit for the Balogun of Ajegunle.” Isiaka shook his friends violently.
He watched the the bulky man wearing a blue jeans jacket at the corner from the corner of his eyes. The man lifted his head up, so his face could be seen from beneath his face cap.
“My people, Balogun must attend to urgent matters. Iya Risi, palm wine is on me today.” Isiaka raised his voice above the blaring music of Orlando Owo.
His friends hailed as He took a seat in front of the man He believed He had been speaking with on the phone. This guy knew everything about him, and He had credited his account with Ten Thousand Naira the day before. It was transportation fare to Iya Risi’s spot, according to him.
“I got your alert this morning.” Isiaka held held out his hand to the man.
“Sit down. I don’t shake.” The man croaked.
“I have an assignment for you.”
As a former Danfo driver, Isiaka was accustomed to strange assignments. Some of his colleagues had confessed to transporting dead bodies and human body parts across Lagos. This was Lagos, and any assignment that greases palms is always welcome.
“That is my job. To carry out assignments, provided the fee will pay a few bills. I don’t want my children to end up like me, so I pay close to Two hundred thousand for their education every term.” He hoped the assignment was worth so much.
The man took time to describe the assignment and the terms of agreement were stated. With Fifty Thousand Naira, Isiaka agreed to break security protocol. A balance of same amount was to be paid after the job was successfully executed. The man took a few more glasses of Palm wine, and disappeared into the fallen Sunday Evening. The assignment was due within twenty four hours.
Stephen glanced at his wristwatch. He had waited for an agonizing hour. He wondered why it was necessary, but He was prepared to follow his mentor’s instructions. Since He got the scholarship and visa to study at Trinity School Of Music a few weeks back Uncle Fred had asked him to get in touch with Ajike.
“Uncle, I really do not think this is necessary. Ajike has moved on, and I am aware of that.”
“You need to close the wounds as well.” Uncle Fred told him emphatically.
“You need to open up your heart to her. Tell her how you felt about the way She treated you.”
Stephen found himself shouting uncontrollably in anger. Tears welled up in his eyes, as He paced up and down the office.
“What does she care? She has never called me one day to apologize. I will not call her, Uncle. I am sorry to disappoint you this time.”
“It’s okay. I understand, and I will not be disappointed if you do not speak with her. It’s the way with young people. You don’t close the wounds of your failed relationships, then you carry the baggage into the next one, and the cycle never ends.”
Uncle Fred’s words drove him to this point; the So Fresh bar in Lekki, and He had waited for over one hour. He wanted to tell her his mind, and also to tell her He had finally gotten the scholarship.
Uncle Fred had told him that He owed her the testimony of the scholarship, since they prayed together for many years.
He dialed her line one more time.
“Hello..Stephen, you can leave if you cannot wait.” Ajike sounded distressed on the phone.
“Is that what you have to say? I have waited for over an hour already.” He shouted in frustration.
“Please , please… I have a tonne of issues to deal with right now.” The line went dead.