The harmattan that year had begun as timidly as a rabbit the month I got back home for the holidays, but a few days later the afternoon heat became more oppressive than I’d ever known it to be. My mother had said it was the worst she could recall, and dad said she had finally gotten her wish. Just like APC had done gullible Nigerians, she had brought him hell on earth. Yeah, my parents didn’t have a happy marriage.
Nature appeared as depressed as I was that season. The sun blazed warmer than usual during the day, licking off whatever moisture was left by the morning dew and the nights were no cooler than the days. At times the air was so heavy with humidity that my hair would become damp and no amount of hitting could make the itch go away. Thanks to the paralytic power supply too, we didn’t have fans or air conditioners to keep us cool during the day.
I can remember this summer of 2012 vividly because it was when things finally came tumbling down. A wind of truth was to blow into my affairs and bring my secrets to light.
I thought it was the heat and my own gloom that upset my stomach one night. My mother thought I might be coming down with some sort of dysentery. She gave me some pills and told me to go to bed early. She was a professional nurse and I believed her prescription would work wonders.
But the next morning I woke up just as nauseous and had to vomit again. My mother was worried, but once I finished throwing up, I suddenly felt better. My headache was gone and my nausea passed.
I tried to reassure her that the medications seemed to have worked but she looked thoughtful and unconvinced. I wasn’t sick again for nearly a week, but I was continually tired and sluggish, once falling asleep on the dining table.
One afternoon my mother noticed me returning from the toilet.
“How many times have you been to the toilet today, Dora?” She asked.
“A few. Just to pee, mom. My stomach’s okay.”
She still stared at me suspiciously.
And then the next morning I woke up and had the same nausea. I had to vomit again.
My mom came to my room and put a wet towel on my forehead and then she sat on my bed and stared at me. Without speaking, she pulled the duvet back, pulled up my pajamas top and looked at my breasts.
“How late is it?”
I was confused, “what mom?”
“Your period, Dora. How late is it?” She probed.
“A few weeks,” I admitted.
She was quiet. She looked away and took a deep breath and then she turned to me slowly, her eyes sad but firm. She sucked in some air and looked up before she looked at me again.
“How did this happen, Dora?” She asked softly. “Who got you pregnant?”
Truly how did it happen? I had been intimate with Mark and Jack a number of times but we had been careful enough to use protection, except, except that one time when we ended up with a damaged French letter…
I had just seen my friend’s body being covered in the hospital after the doctor certified him dead. His mother’s screams echoed in my mind as I walked home, dazed. Richard, Richard, his name over and over again.
He had been an only child, the apple of his parents eye and the light of their life. Cirrhosis, the liver disease that had wreaked havoc on his kidney and caused him to shed most of his weight, had finally killed him. His kidney transplant hadn’t made matters any better and now despite the millions spent on his health, he was gone.
His mother had lost a son but I had lost a dear friend. Despite our prayers and endless vigils, he was dead. I went to my room still in shock and proceeded to bawl my eyes out until Kelvin came.
He wanted to return a book he’d borrowed and was shocked to see me in such a sorry state. He proceeded to comfort me and gathered me in his arms like a baby. I held on to him and cried and it felt so good. His chest felt so warm and firm and his hands stroking my hair consoled me.
He allowed me cry and thereafter proceeded to tell me jokes to distract me. Before long we were laughing together. He soon stopped and seemed to be aware of my face staring up at him, my eyes dancing in merriment and my lips just inches away from his jaw. We were half seated on the bed and I was still snuggled in an embrace with him.
He bent lower and claimed my lips with his and though I was astounded at first, I soon returned his kiss. His hands slipped underneath my blouse and his fingers pushed up my bra and tugged at my nipples. He disengaged his lips from mine and slowly moved down my neck, leaving a trail of kisses on my ear and slender neck. He soon replaced his fingers on my nipples with his teeth, a fire raged within me and within seconds my panties were wet.
It had been two months since I’d been with any man. That was the longest time I’d ever stayed celibate since I lost my virginity to Mark. I couldn’t deny being attracted to Kelvin from the first day we met but I was finding it difficult to let myself go in his arms. My mind panicked, Kelvin wasn’t just any guy, he was Jack’s brother and despite our differences, Jack didn’t deserve to be treated this way.
I froze my moaning and Kelvin seemed to sense my withdrawal. He stopped and looked at me.
I nodded. He sighed and let go of me.
I shook my head, the tears burning beneath my eyelids. “I’m not pregnant mom. I’m not”
“Yes you are Dora. You’re as pregnant as pregnant is. There’s no half-pregnant.”
And truly I was pregnant but I hesitated to tell her who was responsible. I had conducted my affairs in secret, satisfied that I would never be found out and it won’t happen again. But fate had something else in store for me, for us.
When I told him about the child what would he do? We were both so young and had our lives before us. A baby would ruin the plans especially a baby that had been borne out of an abominable desire. My mind went back to that afternoon.
“Do you think he loves you?”
“Yes, I mean, I don’t know but I know I can’t do this to him, not again, not with you. Its so wrong.”
“But I love you.”
I stared at him dumb struck as he told me all of it. How he had felt for me from the first day. His sadness at the cruelty of fate that had made me end up with his brother instead of him. All the drama I’d gone through with Mark that only riled him, he knew about it because I told him. He’d always thought there was something terribly wrong with him for desiring his brother’s girlfriend but he didn’t care. He loved me unashamedly.
But I wasn’t having any of it – a destined for failure relationship shrouded in secrecy and guilt. A roving fire of passion and lust bound to leave everyone burned out. An abominable liaison – or so I thought.
He shut my arguments with a soft kiss that made my brain turn to mush. All of a sudden I couldn’t remember what it was we were arguing about again. His tongue probed deeper into the recesses of my mouth, seeking, demanding and I gave my all and some. His tempo increased to fever pitch as I encouraged and urged him along and soon we were buck naked.
“No it can’t be him!” Common sense had warned me. “Anybody else but him.”
But my body proved a traitor when my hard nipples trembled and sent slivers of pleasure when he sucked at them. Common sense was eroded over passion when he sent two fingers into me and drew them out wet. I was ready for him long before he moved over me, and when he entered me I let out a long, satisfied sigh of completion. I moaned as he thrust slowly deep inside me and moved my hips in rhythm with his.
I was being carried to heights I’d never dreamed of before. The pain and regrets seemed infinitesimal to this. Surely something this right couldn’t go wrong, or so I hoped, as I rode on gloriously to an earth-shattering climax.
TO BE CONTINUED