ONE NIGHT WITH EVAE

She stood in front of the door and
waited for him to open it and let her in. This was his chance to change his
mind, his chance to insist that he did not need to do her this favour. But
Ndifreke moved like he was being pulled by gravity. He even had the time to
look this way and that way, to be sure no one was looking before he unlocked
the door and let Evae enter the room first.

He switched on the light. She turned her back on him and said, “I go sleep for ground.” Ndifreke was looking at a figure that rivaled Maya’s.  He found that he was positively aroused. He collected himself and said, “You can turn and face me Evae.”

“No.”

“Alright. You are my guest. You take the mattress.”

“How I go do that kind thing?”

He did not want to argue. There was no need for that. He went to the side of the wall where they kept a mat, picked it up, and shoved it at her. She turned and took it and then backed him again.
That little turn – a teasing moment of brazen bralessness under a gauzy white t-shirt
doubled his excitement. Now she was backing him again, leaving him  to contend with a hourglass figure and waist beads visible right from outside when she was giving her life to Christ. It was awkward, but he did the right thing, which was to turn off the light and settle
into the mattress on the floor.

“You get wrapper?” She said.

“Yes.”

“You go borrow me? I go wash am for you tomorrow.”

Ndifreke stood and went over to his travel bag and fiddled for the wrapper he barely used and offered it to her.

“Take.”

It was dark, so she turned and took it from him. What Evae did not know was that there was no such thing as darkness when a man knew there was a soon to be naked woman alone with him in the room. With his eyes fully adjusted to the situation, Ndifreke could see every sinew
of her body as she removed her clothes and folded them and then tied the wrapper over her breasts. He swallowed and almost choked. Evae only said “sorry”, spread her mat, and lay down. You could cut the silence that followed with a knife. Ndifreke was reduced to a barrel of boiling hormones, such that he could not help but remove his shorts to allow his member a free upward striving since there was no way he could keep it down and with the shorts on, he risked some
damage to it.

What was she waiting for? Was she not the man-eater Irikefe had so many times described in flowery language? Did she want him to make the first move? All the images of her the previous evening flashed back and his excitement grew such that he moaned before he realized.
Then he heard:

“How can you be in love and yet you are so weak?”

Ndifreke was so jolted that he quickly scrambled for his shorts. He found it and struggled into it. What was that he just heard? Was it an angel? Was it from inside him?

“Why are you not sleeping?”

“Evae?”

“Yes?”

“Is that you?”

“Yes.”

“You speak English like that?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I’m wondering, how can men claim to be in love and yet they become animals in the presence of another female.”

“Good Lord Evae.”

“On the other hand, when a woman is truly in love, all she wants is her lover. She wants no one else.”

“What are you saying Evae?”

“If you gave a woman in love a choice, she would want her lover first. But you men will go for the bigger breasts first even if you do love another.”

“You have me confused, Evae.”

“You want to have sex with me. You have not thought of Maya for a second since we stepped into this room. Why is it so?”

“Okay let me understand. How can you sound like this? You have always spoken broken English but…”

“Does it matter?”

“I am astounded.”

“I have no need to impress anyone with my English. I function perfectly talking the way I do.”

“So what happened now? Who exactly are you, your father and mother?”

“It’s nothing for you to worry about. At least not anymore.”

“And how come you are preaching to me? With your reputation?”

“I don’t have that anymore.”

“What happened?”

“Achike.”

“What about him?”

“I love him. He is the only one I
want.”

“You must be joking Evae.”

“I have deserted my parents to come and be with him.”

“Do you know what your father did to him?”

“I do.”

“You think he will not harm you when he sees you?”

“I will be honoured to suffer in his hands.”

“Are you alright Evae?”

“Yes I am Ndi.”

“Only Maya calls me that.”

“I know.”

“So why did you call me?”

“Because I want you to think about Maya. You may lose her soon.”

“I may have lost her already. It’s why I want you.”

“You do not want me because of that. You would have me and still go and profess love to her in the morning. It’s the way men are. But I want you to think about her now as you fall asleep. I am
thinking about Achike, and Jesus whom I have just met.”

“I don’t believe this.”

“He may not want me I know. I may not even deserve him after everything that has happened. But I will offer myself to him as his slave. I will put my wrapper on the floor for him to step
on. I will worship the ground his walks on.”

“Achike has been scarred and deeply humiliated by your father. You will be a constant reminder of that. You will be putting yourself in grave danger because all that will be in his mind now is
vengeance, and taking it out on you will be almost as satisfying as doing it to your father.”

“That is a risk I am willing to take. I have not done any good in my life. I have not done anything noble. Paying for my father’s sins, by the hands of a man I love will be an honour.”

“So you will definitely not be having sex with me tonight.”

“Not tonight. Not ever. Be faithful to Maya. It is much more honourble.”

Ndifreke turned and faced the wall. Who would have thought that he would be receiving moral instructions from the notorious Evae? Another reason why you must never judge.  

He let his mind return to Maya as he drifted into oblivion.

**********************************************************************

Mama Tobi woke with a jolt.

“They are still here. They are here!”

“Mama, who?” Maya said as she awoke too.

“My father. Abacha.”

“Abacha that died before I was born!”

“Please tell them to leave.”

Maya saw that there was nothing else they could do now than to take her mother to the psychiatric hospital. The  prayers clearly  had not worked. She looked at the time on her phone. It was 3:15 am.

“Leave o! Leave! Get out of my house. Agbonyibo why?”

Maya jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to fetch Ndifreke.

She got to the door and banged it with her two hands. “Ndi! Ndi! Come!”

He woke with a start and in his disorientation made straight for the door and threw it open. Evae on the floor also scrambled to her feet, and was trying to make sense of what was happening when Maya said “What? Ndi? Who is that?”

Her movement was discernible even thought the light was turned off. Maya pushed past him and flipped on the light switch behind the door. Evae’s wrapper loosened and she gathered it and straightened up. Maya burst into tears, turned, and ran out of the room. Ndifreke ran after
her.

“It’s not what you think Maya.”

“Get lost you bastard! That thing! Of all people! Even you!”

“Nothing happened.”

“Tell that to a fool.”

“Evae is not like that.”

“You even call her name!

Maya was matching towards the frontage.

“You can’t go out now it’s not safe.”

“Don’t fucking tell me what to do you pig!”

“Nothing happened Maya. Nothing happened my love.”

Maya found a number on her phone and pressed dial. Her hand was shaking.

“They changed the lock to their room. She had nowhere to go.”

“Please I need your help sir,” she said when the line connected.

“Say no more. I am on my way,” Jonjo said from the other end.

She then marched upstairs as Ndifreke followed and continued to beg.

“It was past midnight. I couldn’t send her away.”

“And what is she doing tying your wrapper!”

Ndifreke caught up with her in front of her room, held her arm, and knelt down.

“Please honey, I know how this looks. There is nothing I will say for you to believe me but please give me the benefit of the doubt. I did not touch her. I was only helping her.” Maya
snatched her arm from him and said, “Go back and continue helping her.”

“You called Jonjo already?”

“I can call whomever I want it is none of your business.”

“Where you waiting for something like this to happen?”

“Go to hell!”

“Lord, what is happening to us Maya?”

“You are fucking a public latrine that’s what!”

“Jonjo. Since that man came you have been intolerable.”

“Don’t you dare call his name! I saw a naked woman in your room at 3 am and you are looking for whom to blame!”

Then from inside the room Mama Tobi hollered, “Leave o! Tell them to leave!”

Maya rushed inside and see her mother splitting her hairs and screaming at invisible people.

“I will call an Uber,” Ndifreke said.

“I don’t need your Uber. Please leave here.”

“Yes, leave. All of you leave me o!” Mama Tobi wailed.

Ndifreke heard the honking of a car and knew Jonjo was around already. Only God knew if he flew. Ndifreke was not waiting around to see what was about to unfold. He went back to the room. Evae was now dressed in the clothes from the previous night.

“Brother sorry. I no know say na wetin go happen be dat.”

Ndifreke sat and calmly said, “If you say another word in that rotten pidgin I will make sure you spend the rest of the night outside.”

“Okay”, she said and sat on the stool.

“I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault. I couldn’t have left you out there at that time.”

“She is really mad.”

“Not only that, she has called a man who has wanted to fuck her from the first day he saw her to come and help her with her mother.”

“I’m sorry.’

“So now tell me, you who was telling me about how you women love. How do you describe Maya’s behavior now? Since that man showed up, if I sneeze, she calls him. Just because the man
refused to sleep with her on one occasion she now believes he is Jesus Christ.”

“Hmmm.”

“What is hmmm?”

“She is only distracted. She will return to her senses.”

“After sleeping with him?”

“Maybe. That is not the worst thing in the world.”

“Well, not to you. But no woman of mine will sleep with another man.”

“But you could sleep with another woman.”

“No, I mean, I haven’t, have I?”

“You did already in your mind. In my world, thought is deed.”

“What world is that?”

“Never mind.”

“So you are saying she is only distracted?”

“And bored perhaps. Could be that she doesn’t like it here. Could be anything. But a woman does not easily stop loving. Maya really loves you as far as I can see. This will pass.”

“But she thinks I slept with you.”

“Nothing you can do about that.”

“Meaning.”

“She will still take you back that notwithstanding. By the time she goes to him and finds out that all roses are not red.”

“But she will sleep with him.”

“Wake up Ndi.”

“It means nothing to you because you have slept with everybody!”

Evae kept quiet and looked away.

Ndifreke saw that he had hurt her and said, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright. I wan go.”

“Oh not again!”

She stood and Ndifreke stood and held her hand.

“I am not offended. I know how I have lived. But I have to leave now. Another person must not see us together.”

“But it is barely 5am.”

“Soon people will be out on the street. Soon Sister Esther will also be out preaching.”

“Your door is still locked.”

“I will stay outside. Don’t worry about me.”

She freed herself from him, opened the door, and stepped onto the corridor.

************************************************************************

It was Achike’s idea to return early in the morning when there would be no one in the frontage. It was either early in the morning or late at night. It was better they saw him already in
the compound and not when he alighted from a taxi. As Chisco entered the corridor with his bag, he saw Evae coming out of Ndifreke’s room and stopped. Achike who was behind him pushed him aside to see what he was looking at.

“Bro Achike” Evae said and ran towards him.

Chisco stopped her from getting close to his brother. Achike ignored her and went into his room. Two minutes later, he came out of the room brandishing a machete. Evae knelt down and cocked her head to one side and Achike took aim at her neck and swung the machete.

TO BE CONTINUED.

THE HAWK AND THE CANARY

March 23, 2019

EVAE’S LOVE

March 23, 2019