Shades Of Deceit Episode 5
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th, 2014.
Wuse 2, Abuja.
‘Table for two?’ The waiter who was smartly dressed in a white shirt hidden behind a black waistcoat and tucked into a black pant trousers with a black tie to match asked, as soon as they stepped into the restaurant.
Priye could feel an aura of celebration as Ben pulled out a chair for her to sit. He had insisted on doing it, even though the waiter was already set on the task. He had been smiling all evening on their way down to the restaurant.
‘You’ve been smiling, what’s the news?’ She asked, searching his eyes with a smile.
‘Just be patient Madame P, the night has only just begun,’ Ben replied, his eyes set on the road before him.
He was visibly excited.
If only he knew that she was aware that his excitement was about the new salary package for pastors and church staff, maybe he wouldn’t guard it so jealously. She indulged him, feigning ignorance as she couldn’t also defend how she had gotten the news.
How could she tell him that the senior pastor had told her as they both lay cuddled in bed after a steaming session?
She rolled her eyes as the thoughts of that night ran through her mind.
‘I can see you like the place,’ Ben said as he watched her roll her eyes.
‘It’s a lovely place,’ she replied smiling. Her attention back in the present.
Ben put out his hands to close up hers. He loved this woman so much. He couldn’t wait till they were officially married so he could finally know her fully as a husband.
All he knew right now was the fragile nature of her ribs when they greeted in a side-hug, the softness of her palms as they held hands when they went for their strolls in the park and of course that magic moment when their lips touched for two seconds in what nobody would call a ‘k’, talk less of a ‘k’iss.
She had pulled herself away expertly from his arms. We can’t do that until we’re married.
ALSO READ: Shades Of Deceit Episode 1
That was the day she won his heart.
He knew she was not a virgin, she had told him that much, but she had also told him that she wanted to do things rightly this time. She was just his dream woman. Posh, beautiful, classy, real, intelligent, minister in songs and definitely God-fearing.
‘What?’ Priye asked, ‘You’ve been staring at me for the past thirty seconds. ‘Besides…’ She glanced sideways at the waiter who had been standing by their table since they arrived, waiting for instructions.
‘You know I love staring at you,’ He answered, ‘it’s my favourite past-time.’
‘I’m sorry,’ Ben said to the waiter who responded with a slight bow. ‘We’ll be having the specials for the night.’
Priye glossed through the page. It contained a lot of intercontinental dishes. She wondered what the specials for the night would be.
She allowed her eyes to scan the place as Ben excused himself to the gents. In front of her was the LED menu board with the bright lights blinking WELCOME.
As the waiter placed the tray of what obviously was the hors d’oeuvres, her taste buds went to work as she gazed at the tempting array of snacks before her. They were beautiful to look at.
‘And this would be called?’
‘Canapé Madame,’ the waiter replied as he gave a slight bow and took his leave.
She dipped her fingers into the tray, having previously washed her hands. She couldn’t bother to wait for Ben as the tray was too tempting to resist.
She guided the snack carefully into her mouth. It tasted heavenly. And just as she lifted up her head slightly, she saw it. It was her name being read out on the LED menu board.
It blinked at her severally. She stopped, very surprised. The snack in her hand, refusing to come up to her mouth. What was happening? Her mind was in a haze.
She looked towards the door that Ben had disappeared into, hoping he would emerge soon as she didn’t know what to make of the situation and just then, her name scrolled up from the middle of the board to the top and she choked for a second as she saw the words displayed on the board.
WILL YOU MARRY
The snack fell off her fingers as she felt a slight tap on her shoulders. Still masked in surprise, she turned around to see Ben on bended knees, holding out a ring bedded in a case to her.
Ben was talking, but she couldn’t hear him.
She was in cloud nine.
This doesn’t happen in Nigeria, no Nigerian man, let alone a pastor, would be this romantic.
Her head was fuzzy. She felt the tears roll down her face and all she could hear herself say, was ‘Yes!’
*** *** ****
Amaka Obi Ezenwa sighed and fell back on the couch, the single piece of furniture in what was the sitting room of the Boys Quarters that she had recently rented and just moved into.
After five months of reconciliatory meetings, pleas and false hopes, the reality of the situation was becoming very clear -her marriage was over.
She sighed again.
She stared at the ceiling tiles as her mind travelled back to that Monday, the 13th day February, 2012, when Bode walked into the bank. He looked very handsome, and as usual had all the females gushing like they had always done when he was still working at the bank.
He was with an oil servicing company now and he looked every inch the part.
‘Is Amaka around,’ He asked a colleague as he rounded up his transactions. She was right at his back.
‘So because I have caught you in your sneaking moves, you have suddenly decided to ask after me right?’ She teased.
‘Aah! You know that’s not possible,’ Bode replied smiling. His dimples in full force as he took her by the hand, leading her out of the banking hall.
‘So tell me what is?’ She asked as she followed him to the car park. ‘I can see that you have started paying your valentine dues into the accounts of your many girlfriends.’
Bode laughed heartily. ‘Why won’t I have many girlfriends when you abandoned me for an Abuja big boy, besides I’m spending this valentine with you,’ he said matter of factly. ‘Or would you rather spend it alone?’ He asked.
‘And who says I’m spending it alone? It’s just 2pm and there’s still a 4pm flight to Abuja you know,’ her eyes glinting even as she spoke.
‘Oh I see,’ Bode said with his trademark smile playing on his lips. ‘So I don’t get one last date before you say ‘I do’, right?’
‘No you don’t,’ she cooed, ‘and that’s cos’ you’re a very bad boy.’
They both laughed as Bode said his goodbyes, letting out two sharp honks as his car strolled out of the park.
He was a man she once loved and while they were together for roughly more than a year, they actually had a proper relationship for only three months. The other times, what they had was undefined.
Bode was always distracted by other women, but the only woman whom she truly considered as a true competition was a ghost. She was his ex -Julia.
He never got to share with her what happened between them but she could feel it on several occasions, that she was only a rebound. His heart had been scarred too deeply by his break-up and he was still not ready for a relationship.
‘Thank you for spending the day with me, I had fun’ Bode said as they walked up to the car, his right hand placed lightly on her waist, as he opened the door for her.
‘I had fun too,’ she said when he joined her in the car.
‘You know you always have fun when you’re with me,’ his fingers scanning the radio stations for God knows what.
She heard the tune as the scan skipped past and as she reached out for his hand to stop him, he stopped abruptly. He had heard the tune too.
Turn up the bass, turn up the treble,
I’m about to take it to a whole another level!
‘DJ turn off what you’re playing,’ they chorused at the same time, singing along with T-pain and Chris Brown, as the track, Best Love Song, boomed out from the radio.
They burst out laughing.
‘This will forever remain our jam,’ Bode said, as his hand squeezed hers.
She smiled. She could hear the mush in his voice as much as she could feel the butterflies in her stomach.
The car was electric.
‘And now we’re in the car and she touching me…’ Bode continued soloing with T-pain, paraphrasing when it suited him.
‘I’m not touching you,’ she countered almost in a whisper. It was a mistake to have spoken as her hormones were louder than the words she had just said.
Go ‘head and kiss your baby
And now we’ve got the whole stadium in love like eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
She knew he would try to kiss her when the song reached that point and as much she tried to build a resistance for the moment, she felt herself go as his lips touched hers.
‘We can’t do this here,’ she moaned, when she finally could take in some air.
ALSO READ: Shades Of Deceit Episode 2
Bode didn’t need any more prompting as he started the engine of the car and drove straight to his house.
Everything felt familiar, the house, the room…even his body, but the experience was different. It felt wrong and that made it even more exciting.
Bode called her twice after that night but she ignored both calls, preferring to send him a text telling him that she was very busy with her upcoming wedding.
That was the last time he called and that was her last connection to that night -up until five months ago, on that Saturday morning when Chika called her into the study and she saw the video, playing on the laptop.
The video did not remind her about that valentine’s night with Bode, instead it reminded her of karma, as she was always reminded about that night every time she stared into the little eyes of her son, Josh.