To read Episode 1 CLICK HERE
To read Episode 2 CLICK HERE
To read Episode 3 CLICK HERE
“Think about the proposal very well. If you don’t call by next tomorrow I’ll take it as a no”
Nike got the gentle dismissal and she turned round not bothering to say goodbye, she walked hurriedly towards the door.
“Oh and Nike,” his voice interrupted her and she turned round helplessly.
“What?” she made her tone indifferent as a camouflage for her raging emotions.
“I always drop white roses for Madina every 5th of each month. You know her birthday was on the 5th of March,” His eyes had some form of emotions in them when she looked at him, dropping her gaze down at his shoes she replied, “Thanks”
“I can’t forget the both of you loved white roses loyally”
Nike nodded in response feeling a lump in her slender throat.
“Do you still love them?”
“No,” she replied, making her voice emotionless “just like you said, people change” with that, she walked out of the office feeling sickly.
“Mummy I don’t know what to do anymore” said Nike perturbed looking at her aged mother who sat in deep thought of the situation.
Funke sighed, “Indeed it is a very tricky situation”
“He gave me till tomorrow to decide and I still…”
Funke cut her daughter short putting the plate of rice on the table in her daughter’s house “It could be a big risk withdrawing from the job. I think you should just take the job but at the same time it isn’t too healthy for you”
“Segun is the child’s father and I fear I may treat the child very badly”
Funke grunted in disagreement “I suppose you don’t have any feelings for each other anymore… how old is the girl?”
“En, so what is the problem?”
Nike shifted uncomfortably in her cane chair “she’s bearing the same name with Madina”
Her mother shook her head in frustration “okay, so what do you want to do now?” she asked impatiently.
“Resign? For where? Is it in this day and age you want to resign from a good job because of a minor holiday assignment? Please Nike think before you talk!”
Nike looked at her mother stubbornly “But you can’t expect me to stay in the same house with him. He’s married and it would be very awkward”
“As you have no other choice nko? I’m not asking you to sleep with him, just maintain your distance and I know Segun, he has too much dignity to have an extramarital affair”
“I just want to feel right mummy and this is all weird. I don’t know what God feels about this” replied Nike uncomfortably.
“Such is life my daughter. I am if you ever saw all those silly excuses to fight you wouldn’t be in this your present predicament”
“Gee, thanks mum!” Nike said ironically.
“I’m just telling you to be careful; you are very much an adult so whatever decision you make is your own cross to bear” replied her mother “I don’t want you mixed up in any kind of scandal”
Nike sighed tiredly “only time would tell mummy, only time would tell”
“I think it was very wise of you to come on a Saturday
”Yes Madame” staring blankly at the ever cheerful Mrs. Peters.
“Amadu! Amadu!” shouted the woman as a young man scuttled to her, without waiting she spoke “Please take Miss Arinde’s things and show her to her room”.
The boy nodded and left with Nike following behind. Her room was downstairs, she marvelled at the well furnished and medium-sized bedroom with a bathroom and toilet attached to it. The bed was also medium size close to the window overlooking the pretty little garden in the backyard. Nike switched the fan on.
“Aunty, where should I put your luggage?” asked Amadu with his heavy Hausa accent.
“Please drop it near the bed, ” she replied, watching him as he did according to what she said.
“Dinner is at 8 o’clock”
Nike smiled as he reminded her like a hotel chaperone, “Thank you and please don’t call me ma, just aunty Nike would do” she stated gently.
The boy looked at her mildly surprised “Is there a problem?”
“No, ” she replied hastily not wanting him to get hurt “Of course not”
“Okay, ” he smiled back, relaxed “Please call me if you need anything”
With that, he left the room, smiling to himself. Immediately she heard the door shut, Nike collapsed on the bed feeling her bones relax. She sighed.
So, she finally landed with the job, Nike thought in awe as she kicked off her shoes tiredly. She fell asleep after moments of staring at the designed brown smell… It was 7; 30 by the time Nike woke up feeling refreshed. Quickly she washed and unpacked looking for a casual dress she could wear for her first dinner with a new family in a very long time. Finally she settled for a short-sleeved plain shirt and pleated skirt combing her long silky black hair. Segun used to love stroking it.
She looked at the mirror, satisfied with her appearance, she went out to meet all the nuclear members of the Peters family, her jaw clenched unconsciously with envy. It was Segun, who spoke first looking smugly at her as he dropped his arm across his happy wife’s shoulder and also motioning for her to sit which she did numbly looking at him in spite.
“So, Miss Arinde hope you are happy with the hospitality” Segun queried.
Her gaze locked coldly with his own mocking gaze “Yes sir” she replied in coated ice.
Quickly she shifted her gaze to the calm looking girl who sat in the single chair staring at her. Nike suppressed a lump in her throat as she felt a strange pull towards the girl and she knew deep down it was it was because Segun fathered the child.
“Is this your little girl?” She asked, trying to sound apprehensive.
“Oh, ” replied Mrs. Peters in her usual cheerful tone, “I’m sorry I didn’t introduce you two” she replied…
During the days that passed, Nike marvelled at how Yinka and she grew very close, though she couldn’t help thinking of Madina and Segun.… Segun. The thought trailed her head as she had her bath and dressed into a turtle neck top and dark blue denims. Satisfied with her dressing, she went to the sitting room on hearing happy voices.
To her surprise it was her. His wife was formally dressed and Segun was in his pyjamas. They both looked at her as she approached them bearing a smile.
They smiled at her and she caught the glimpse of amusement in Segun’s eyes as he assessed her.
“Nike, I’m going to work today so I need you to look after Yinka, you know she’s on holidays”
“Amadu isn’t coming today so I’ll need you to look after her breakfast. I prepared vegetables for lunch but I’ll be back for dinner”
“Okay” she repeated.
The woman kissed her husband on the lips making Nike feel strange which she suppressed. “See you around Tola,” Segun called to his wife as she left the house. Nike walked quickly to the kitchen nervously looking for the egg rack.
“You don’t know where the things are kept”
She stopped, allowing his voice seep into her nervous state. Nike gathered her wits. “Thanks, but I’d look for the things I need” she replied, thankfully putting three eggs on the kitchen table.
Segun leaned on the white wall and sighed “We need to talk Nike, Seriously”
Nike ignored him and started cutting the onions. It strangely reminded her of how Segun loved chopping, her heart was filled with unwanted nostalgia for her happy marriage days, and jerkily she dropped the knife and stared blankly at the onions.
“You just can’t shut the past out can you?” Segun asked in a soft voice making her eyes water in response.
Nike shook herself; she was allowing her emotions take over her. Her wretched heart…did she ever have a heart after she broke up with Segun? Three men had come and gone and none of them had made her feel the way she felt with Segun, once again she shook herself.
“I’ve already shut the past out” in a smaller voice she said “I thought we made a deal to keep away from each other?”
She heard the familiar brief laugh “I always thought of you each day…”
“We are supposed to stay at a distance from each other…” she repeated again, Nike shouted sharply but her voice sounded shaky in her ears. She felt the vaguely familiar feeling of weakness 7 years ago.
“We can’t run away from each other all day. A month is a long time.
Nike made her tone sharp and matched up to meet his eyes “Yes, you are right and I intend to spend every bit of it without having to see your face!”
Segun looked at her and laughed overlooking her ambiguous statement “That is not possible”
“I could always quit” she threatened “what about your daughter? She would be surprised to find her father in a deep conversation with her nurse”
He smiled and shifted in a more comfortable position “You haven’t changed in your biting choice of words”
“I would take that as a compliment Mr Peters”
“Sure. Can I ask you something?”
Nike felt his x-ray eyes on her and shivered against her will. Before she got the chance to reply, Yinka entered cheerfully dressed in a plain shirt and jeans.
“Good morning daddy” she exclaimed smiling.
Nike watched as he replied her smiling “Morning love! I hope you slept well”
The little girl smiled “Sure. Morning Aunty Nike”
She nodded not trusting to speak. Nike smiled.
“Well” sighed Segun “I should leave you girls to your girl-chat”
“Ah dad, come on”
“No” he replied catching Nike’s glance “I need to rest child”
2 weeks later…
The drive to the airport was a long one mused Nike as she sat on the passenger seat beside Segun who drove. She looked out of the window to the dark streets of Lagos marvelling at the tiny globes of light sprouting out from places.
“Is Yinka asleep?” Segun asked making his way into a shortcut in the dark.
Nike looked back at the sleeping child and sighed inwardly “Yes”. If only it had been like this in their own marriage, she thought reluctantly, with Madina… with Madina. She sighed again forcefully shutting out the door of the past.
“What are you thinking of?”
Her unconsciously closed eyes fluttered open as she turned to look at his cloaked profile, “About things,” Nike replied not strong enough to put up a fight.
“About what things?” he asked in a gentle persistent way.
Nike sighed again relaxed… too relaxed around him. “My past” she replied passively.
“What have you been doing all these years?”
“I studied nursing; you know I always wanted to study that. I fell sick recently and they said I’ve been killing myself too much”
“Fell sick?” asked Segun throwing her a glance sideways “I thought you hardly fall sick”
“I’m human,” Nike replied drily. “How’s Uncle Kola?”
“He’s fine. He got a visa to America three years after us…” he seemed not to want to say the word.
“We divorced?” completed Nike coldly. She felt the uncomfortable grip of reality on her. He was married, married to a wonderful woman and with a wonderful daughter… so much like Madina.
“You know, he never really got why we divorced because of Bunmi”
Nike shifted uncomfortably in her seat and changed the subject trying to sound indifferent to her feelings “So how did you become a business man?”
“The month after I left the house I got promoted to Jos where I met Tola. She’s the M.D of Spiral Bank’s niece, we got hooked up and I told her about my plans and basically… she was there when no one was”
She looked at him, feeling tears gathering around her eyes, she forced a little smile and looked away reading the meaning of his ambiguous statement.
No one said anything even when they got home, each in their own sober thoughts.
The bright morning sun gently lay on her sleeping body and Nike woke up feeling refreshed. She said a short prayer and prepared for the coming events in the day. Yinka was going to her friend’s place for a birthday party, leaving her with Segun. Nike smiled to herself unconsciously as she made her way out of the bathroom.
She was weakening; she felt it each moment she spent with him. She tried her best to run away, but it only seemed to bring her closer to the man… the married man.
“Oh my God,” murmured Nike dropping her clothes as she sat lightly on the bed, still for a long time “He’s married” she repeated scolding her thoughts…”to another woman”.
A ragged groan escaped from her lips as she lay flat on the bed shutting her eyes. If only she could easily shut her feelings too. Well, she hadn’t, had she? She had picked success over love…she had picked death over love. Nike put a hand to her chest, after all these years she still loved the man… till death. What happened to the strong brick she built around herself? All the oaths she took never again to allow her heart take over, never swear to love; never let a man stay too long or there would be serious complications in her life. She was throwing caution to the mindless wind and letting her buried heart run away.
After all these years of beating herself up off her own stupidity; he was having an affair outside their marriage. He had agreed to a rusty knife to stab her back, she had to watch him and his wife together… happy. With their child Yinka… not her child, Tola’s child. A feeling of rage and envy engulfed her and Nike put her hand to her chest.
This wasn’t her; this was the old Nike, the innocent girl who didn’t understand the ways of men. She had to bury her again or else… but, this was her true self how could she kill the soul and let black rings of sorrow cover head?
It was past 12 when Nike finally went outside her room. The cool atmosphere relaxed her mind and calmed her spirits as she made her way to the kitchen to eat bread and butter.
So engulfed in her thoughts as she ate, Nike did not hear Segun coming into the kitchen until he sighed. Nike looked up at him caught in surprise, he was as handsome as always in his casual wear, by the time she finished gaping at his beauty, she raised her eyes to meet his mocking gaze.
Segun stood leaning on the shelf watching her. She was such a rare beauty with her liquid brown eyes holding pain and loss of the past both mixed to give her a hardened heart but he knew her weakness; him, and still it made him feel intimate with her. No matter how many men she encountered after him, he knew she still felt the emptiness he felt too, even when he was married.
“So” began Segun with a husky voice, “We are left alone”.
Nike shifted on the chair hardening her voice “No, you are left alone, with your fantasies”
“What do you know about fantasies?” he asked in an amused voice “come on, you know next to nothing about that”
Nike felt her cheeks colour and smiled a little meeting his challenge “How would you know? Oh, I forgot, you tested a lot of women lately,” she finished satisfied as she saw his lips thin in anger “And how is Bunmi lately?” she continued “she won’t be too happy knowing you’ve gotten married to another woman!”
Segun sighed controlling his anger. How was it possible to want to strangle a woman and at the same time love her? “You really are a piece of work you know?”
“Thanks for the compliment” she replied, standing up to wash her plate “but I’ve heard a lot of that”.
She felt something grip his heart. The old familiar feeling of jealousy “Don’t forget you are a married man” she completed.
Segun walked closer to her, too close for comfort. Nike looked at him, dry mouthed and moved back hitting the sink. She turned to face him with her back nervously playing with the soapy water as she felt tingles all over her body. To think she hated him!
A hand played lightly over her back, causing a shiver of desire run through her. She tried harden herself, but her whole being betrayed her to him as they played homage to the ever familiar feelings he aroused in her. Nike tried ever familiar feelings he aroused in her. Nike tried an angle of attack in a weary voice; it sounded a moan in her ears, “You are a married man,” she said as his lips trailed a path of fire on her slender throat. She struggled with herself as she felt the old Nike taking over. It was only going to be pure sex not love-making, but to sum it up it was all wrong, it is adultery, She tried to push him off. It was all wrong but still she wanted him so badly she threw her senses out of the window.
Few minutes later she found herself on the cold tiled floor, which brought her back to her senses as Segun lay atop her unbuttoning her shirt to expose her bra covered breasts. Nike lay still trying not to respond…he was married.
Sex would lead to a secret affair, it would lead to heartbreak, then suffering and what about God… all the rest of her life as a loner.
The shrill ringing of the phone in the sitting room was her salvation as Segun uttered a curse and left her to drown in emotions. Quickly, Nike stood up and ran hurriedly to her bedroom. She could do this! She couldn’t live in the same house with her ex-husband!
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Written by: Oyinda Dosunmu
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