Irikefe gawked at Mr. Cosmas when he said he was calling Jide to the meeting.
“I believe you came to me with this because you trusted my judgement.”
“Yes sir. But we have to decide what we will do to him. He is a monster and has no place in this compound. Not while I am the caretaker”
Jide Falomo entered the room and started at the sight of Irikefe. He looked at Mr. Cosmas and sought an explanation with his eyes.
“Things are pretty serious now Jide. Please sit down.”
Jide took the seat reserved for him.
“The caretaker is here about the matter we discussed the other day. He knows you were in the policeman’s room that night.”
“No, Mr. Cosmas. I am not here to play with this man.” Facing Jide he said “Oga, I know you raped the man. The only reason I have not cut off your dick and thrown you out of this compound is because of …”
“Hold it Irikefe.” Mr. Cosmas charged. “I’m handling this now. This man is as much a victim as the policeman.”
“What is that?”
“Agbonyibo raped the policeman through him.”
“I already explained it to him. You came close with your conjecture but now it is important to put the pieces together for you.”
“Pardon me sir. But why are we doing this?” Jide Falomo said. His unease evident in his sweaty palms and trembling feet.
“Because Irikefe here is responsible for the wellbeing of tenants in this compound and he is now aware of your involvement. You are lucky he didn’t act like he typically would when he found out but came to me instead.
“I’ll get straight to the point. You were not wrong Irikefe when you said Agbonyibo’s ghost did that to the man, only you did not understand how or why. Why is because Agbonyibo’s soul is earthbound and he had a propensity towards homosexuality and his soul would always be around homosexuals till he goes away. Jide and the policemen are homosexual men who were having sex and Agbonyibo came around and found a chance to partake using Jide. Only in partaking, he did it his own way and we have seen the result.
“Now, Jide as a lawyer knows that that will not stand in court. It should, but unfortunately, man had since lost his way to their faulty intellect which has unfortunately pushed spiritual truths to the background when really it should be the main consideration in all human endeavours. But spiritually handicapped humanity will throw him in jail for something he did not do because they do not understand.
“Now, Jide, we are here because your wife knows you went to be with the policeman and has heard about the rape and she has reported you to the caretaker because like everyone else she believes you are guilty of it. And that is not all.”
Jide Falomo covered his face with his palms.
“We now know everything Jide. I mean everything about your marriage.”
“And you are going to let her go today,” Irikefe interjected. “Agbonyibo may have used you but I see why. You are a wicked man for what you are doing to that woman. For that reason alone you deserve fourteen years imprisonment as the law says. That for being a nyash man o! You will now get extra years for rape. And even more for what you are doing to that poor woman! Fine girl like that! Wetin dey worry you oga?”
Jide Falomo began to cry. Mr. Cosmas handed him a tissue box.
“But why. Why am I like this sir? I did not choose this life. I have tried to be like everyone else but I only like men. I will do whatever you say but please explain it to me. Why am I like this?”
“Before you say anything Mr. Cosmas please let me do my work. Oga you will free that woman and you will do it in such a way that we are convinced you will not go back for her because you know she is vulnerable. You will delete the sex tapes you have of her and you will confess on tape that you raped a man and I will keep that in case you do anything funny later. I know you are a lawyer and you have sense but I swear if you try rubbish you go die!”
“You will not speak like that in my room Irikefe. But I get your point. I doubt that Jide will have any objection to doing the right thing even though I will not subscribe to blackmail as an option.”
“I will do whatever you say but please just help me. Why was I born like this?”
“You were not like this from the beginning. In the beginning, God made man and woman to complement each other. But somewhere along the line humanity lost it through the one-sided cultivation of the intellect which has led humanity astray. God made man with active features and woman with passive features so that by coming together they form a perfect whole. While the man was given the muscles for the daily toil, the woman was given the intuitive ability to be the link through which spiritual power would permeate and further creation. A woman is supposed to receive from above and guide the man and indeed all of creation in the will of the Almighty.
“But with the fall of man, a woman’s role became debased and she became only a tool for childbearing and house chores. Things got worse and she began to channel her finer features wrongly; got more interested in fashion and enslaved many a man with her charm. Things got even worse when she rebelled and decided to also go out and do as the man did in the world of matter. The result? We began to have women who were no longer women as designed by the Almighty. Women who were only women physically but men inside. Over time as they reincarnated their souls became distorted. I will dwell more on reincarnation another day. You will completely miss the point of my explanation if you do not understand this. Christians do not get excited. Reincarnation is biblical and I will show you.
“So with time we started having women trapped in men’s bodies and vice versa. Because the active will always find the passive, when these ones desired to mate, they found that they were attracted to people who were like them physically. But you see, attraction of this nature is spiritual. The spirit recognizes the other spirit as one that complements it irrespective of the physical gender.
“There is also the unfortunate situation of celibacy for religious reasons. Men and women kept away from each other in convents and such places who eventually resort to having sex with members of the same sex because that is what is possible for them. Over time it becomes their preference and they do not even want the opposite sex anymore. Because we have one existence that cuts across several lifetimes, they are born with their sexual preference already imprinted on their souls.
“Spiritual indolence and the wrong doctrines means humanity do not know these truths. They are adamant that they were born that way. Indeed they were, but they were not created that way! It was a choice that accompanied the fall of man! Both sexes had a role to play in it but the most tragic was the woman who failed as the mediator that she was made to be!
“So I may have been a woman in another life. I believe because I like to be penetrated,” Jide said.
“Thunder fire you bros,” Irikefe said.
“Watch it Efe. It could be, Jide. It is a complex issue I have not even scratched the surface. But this gives you an idea.”
“But how can I remedy this?”
“An understanding of the laws of nature is a good place to start. With humility and heartfelt prayer you will receive the help that you need. Help is always there for us if we ask for it.
“About half the people on earth today are not supposed to be here. They are supposed to be maturing in lower planes of existence. But the woman of today has acted as a bridge to give them the opportunity to incarnate on earth.
“But that is story for another day.”
Ndifreke stayed in bed when Irikfe left. Why did he react like that when Irikefe mentioned Maya? Could it be that he still felt something for her? He dwelt on it for a while and then decided that his reaction was due to the fact that the story of his life would not be complete if Maya was not mentioned. So it was normal that the mere mention of her name would have such an effect on him.
What was important now was finding a way to convince Irikefe to give him the shop so that he could start his business. Funbi was a good prospect alright, but losing the shop and a friend seemed be too big an opportunity cost.
Ndifreke heard a knock on the door and invited the visitor in. It was Maya.
Ndifreke met her in the sitting room. She was wearing a short print gown and had no makeup on and had tied her braids in a bun at the back. He noticed her bulge. She was beautiful.
They stood looking at each other until Ndifreke coughed and offered her a seat.
“So what brings you here?” Ndifreke said while avoiding eye contact with her.
“I heard everything while Irikefe was here.”
“I’m not surprised. Your room is opposite and Irikefe is not gifted in speaking low-pitched.”
“Congratulations. I didn’t think you had it in you to run a business.”
“Thanks but I haven’t even started.”
“I know. But I can tell you will be a success. I heard how you said ‘I am a businessman now’. You sound the part. That was cool Ndi.”
Ndifreke looked at her and smiled. He did enjoy getting Maya’s validation.
“But you must have heard too that he is not giving me the shop.”
“Yes I did. But talk to him again. Assure him you will have nothing to do with his girl.”
“It is not about me having something to do with his girl. It is about his girl going astray. You must have also heard the example he gave.”
Maya bowed her head and twiddled the hem of her gown.
“Will you blame him?”
“So there’s your answer.”
“I can remedy that Ndi.”
Ndifreke scoffed and said “How? Unfuck Jonjo?”
“Don’t be mean Ndi.”
“Maya it is the truth. And because of that another girl’s dream of becoming a model may never come true.”
“Wrong. Irikefe does not own her. Even if you don’t work with her, she can pursue the career through other avenues. I can even help her.”
“And I can help you too Ndi.”
“This is getting interesting.”
“I came here to discuss just that with you. We can work together. I mean, run this business together.”
Ndifreke thought about Elizabeth and wondered what she would say if she knew about Maya’s plan.
“Please don’t take this in a bad way but being you know, Jonjo’s woman, I know a few things, and people too. We could make a formidable team.”
“Well I don’t want to be a team with Jonjo’s woman. And I already have all the help I would need.”
“Hold on Ndi,” Maya said and reached across the table and took his hand. Ndifreke let her hold him.
“I don’t know if sorry is the right thing to say in this circumstance. I understand that I have hurt you. I understand if you do not want to have anything to do with me. But I want you to know that I care deeply about you. I believe in this dream of yours and I can help. I am not asking for any more than that.”
“Alright. Help me get the shop. That will be a good place to start.”
“I can’t do that. Your friend hates me now.”
“You caused it.”
“Find a shop somewhere else. You can afford it. If you can’t, we can. Take the Funbi girl as your poster girl and work starts.”
“I will stop being friends with Irikefe. I still live here mind you.”
“I hate to say this Ndi but you do not belong in the same level as Irikefe and your umbilical cord was not buried in this compound. You can go and live somewhere else.”
“Well, for your information, my business is going to be about harnessing the talents in this slum where you and I came from. I’m not going to do that living in Lekki.”
“This slum is big enough Ndi.”
“What are you trying to do Maya?” Ndifreke said and snatched his hand away from her.
“I’m trying to help.”
“No you are not. I already lost my girlfriend. I will not lose the first true friend I made in this town. I may not be on the same level with him as you say but I love and respect him.”
“You can have your girlfriend back Ndi.”
Ndifreke made to speak but when he brought himself to look at her face and their eyes locked, the words got stuck in his throat.
Maya saw her chance.
“You can have me back Ndi. I can be your partner in every sense of the word. And we have a child coming. Please let’s give this another chance. We have made our mistakes, we have matured. We are in a better position to make this work now. There is something else I need to tell you.”
“What is it?”
“Before she died, my mother told me something.”
“She said she was partly responsible for our breakup. She said it in her final confession to me. She said after we both, you know, cheated….”
“Correction. You cheated and left and I met someone else.”
“Alright, after what happened happened, she took our names to the coven and made sure we stayed apart. It explains why we almost hated each other. I remember the last day here before the start of the renovation when we had that talk on the soakaway. You were like a piece of shit in my eyes. Thinking about it now, I know it was not normal.”
“So it was your mother’s fault that you slept with Jonjo and lied to me about it?”
“I have told you what she told me and how I felt. I believe her. It was not normal. Circumstances made me stray at first, but something else made sure I did not think about you anymore. But since her death, I have felt differently.”
Ndifreke thought about what Maya said. Indeed Maya became a stranger just before her mother died. Though he had Elizabeth and desired Josephine and even Evae at a time, all he really wanted was Maya. His Maya. Now he understood why he felt the way he felt earlier that day when Irikefe mentioned her name. But would he just get back with her like that?
“We can’t get back together Maya. It will not work. There are Jonjo and Elizabeth. Too much has happened Maya.”
Maya took his hand and stood and Ndifreke stood too. They faced each other as they liked to do.
“Do you still love me Ndi?”
“It’s not that Maya?”
“I love you too Ndi. And so long as we still love each other, we are going to be alright.”
Ndifreke made to speak but Maya put her index finger over his lips and silenced him.
“This is our fate Ndi. We may stray, but I don’t think there is any life for us both apart. We were made for each other.”
“I’m sorry for everything Ndi. It was all my fault. But if you take me back, I will be the woman you always wanted and more.”
Ndifreke pulled her closer and their bodies pressed together. She put her arms around his neck and he held her waist.
“You hurt me, Maya.”
“But I still love you.”
“Then kiss me Ndi. Make love to me as only you can.”
TO BE CONTINUED.