She looked down at her gown as she got off the bus, the engine oil stain from the mechanic’s overall had spread a little wider. She worried about getting the stain off, wearing a white uniform frayed the ends of her patience. The thing attracted more stains than a young girl at a boys boarding house would magnet eyes and she spent a good chunk of her salary on bleach and detergent.
There were women who could wear the same white gown for a whole day without a wrinkle or a stain, Patricia was one of them. Thinking of Patricia always made her lips purse in a rather unattractive pout, she shook her head as if by doing that she’d shake off the unpleasant thought. The bitter taste in her tongue remained until she got home, clinging even as she took off the offending gown and put it in a bucket containing water mixed with bleach and detergent.
She walked to her mirror to stare at her reflection, the lacy line of her bra shyly framed her breasts and the same lacy line spanned her waist and lightly covered the top of her thighs. She like order and would have arranged the world in matching sets if she could. She liked her thighs best of the parts of her body, the smoothness of it made her feel ridiculously proud and when Jesse caressed them and placed tiny kisses on them on his way to worship at her hairy throne, she smiled like the proverbial Cheshire cat.
She had read Alice in wonderland when she was a little girl but the story flew by her head. She knew it was supposed to be a literary classic beloved by children all over the world but she much preferred Juju rock, The rainmaker and other stories, The passport of Mallam Ilia and other books by Cyprian Ekwensi. She still wondered what a Cheshire cat really looked like and why Lewis Carroll thought it had a mischievous grin. She supposed she could whip out her phone and google Cheshire cat grin and see thousands of answers and theories.
Ignorance is indeed bliss, she thought as she traced the fine line of hair that started from just under her navel to the top of her waist before disappearing into the lace of her panties. She remembered when people could argue for hours over certain things with each person holding his position fiercely with a passion that’s beautiful to watch, there were no smart phones with chrome, opera mini or UC browsers that could give answers to much debated questions. She wanted to wallow in ignorance sometimes and luxury in beautiful uncertainty because most times answers were flat and dull like Hero beer in a tumbler two days after it was poured.
The knock on the door made her turn towards it and the rhythm of the knock made her smile, it was only Jesse who would knock in the rhythm of her favourite song- Runaway by STYL Plus. Because it was Jesse, she didn’t get a wrapper to cover her body with but walked to the door with what she thought was a sultry smile.
“My lioness, roar for me” he said as he walked in.
“Na this kind thing you dey like” she replied with her smile intact.
He took off his shirt and whirled it above his head.
“For your mind you be Channing Tatum now” she said even as she laughed at his stripper persona.
He smiled too, loosened his belt and stepped out of his jeans, his polka dot boxers flailed in the weak breeze. She picked up his clothes and walked to her bedroom. It was their ritual- the shedding of clothes and the sensuous walk to the bedroom that he claimed turned him on every time.
She dropped the clothes on the loveseat and went to get a pack of condoms from her stash, her jaw fell open when she found that all the condoms were gone.
“Jesse all the condoms are gone”
“Your brothers have struck again” he said just before he chortled.
“What brothers?” she asked, her voice sharpened.
“Babes have you forgotten how your brothers raid your stash all the time”.
She worked in a HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counselling and Testing unit of a teaching hospital and she was the nurse who handed out condoms after counselling individuals who could not practice abstinence and wanted to protect themselves. On Tuesdays she would put ten packs of premium condoms in her bag and by Sunday they’d have all disappeared. She couldn’t ask her younger brothers about it because she was uncomfortable with the idea that her younger brothers could be sexually active.
It was a little ironic that she who counselled strangers about sexually transmitted infections could not talk to her brothers about sex. Jesse told her to be grateful that her brothers were using protection and would never end up being one of her nervous patients. They always laughed when he said this, her patients always walked gingerly to the clinic and kept to themselves, occasionally there’d be an exception to the ‘fraidy cat’ prototype. It was the loud, usually male patient who’d chatter about everything under the sun and smile at everyone. If their results came out negative, they’d buy drinks for everybody in the clinic and come back often to “greet” the clinic staff.
“But my brothers are not around” she replied
“Martha, what are you saying?”
“My brothers travelled, they travelled on Monday morning and haven’t been around since I got the stash that you and I used on Wednesday.
“You mean to tell me that your brothers travelled and you did not tell me” he stuttered.
“Is that what we’re talking about here? What happened to those condoms?”
“Stop screaming babes, because of ordinary packs of condoms you want to destroy our romantic mood?”
She went to the loveseat and flung his clothes at him and got a loose gown and rolled it over her head.
“Babes let me confess, I took those ones to give to my guys. I don’t want them to end up in your clinic too”
“Quick thinking Watson, close but no cigar. If you wanted condoms for your guys, you’d have told me to bring some for you.”
“Are, are you excusing me or something?” He was closing his fly with his eyes fixed on her.
“My friend, the word is accuse and yes! I am accusing you of having sex with someone else and having the fucking nerve to use my condoms.”
“Mi amore, you’re the only woman who matters to me.”
“The one you stole my condoms to use with doesn’t matter right?”
“Babes, stole is such a strong word. I merely filched a couple or so. See, it’s not like it means anything. It’s just that sometimes I need a woman to hold and you’re busy or at work.”
“What’s a guy man like your guy to do?” he smiled and cocked his head to the left. He knew that she couldn’t resist him when he smiled at her from that angle. He thought about opening his arms so she walk in for a hug but decided it was too soon for that.
“And that makes it right?” she exhaled and let her shoulders slump.
“I think it’s time for you to leave, Jesse.”
“Babe don’t make no hasty decisions just yet, we love each other.”
“I need time to think” her voice seemed to be submerged in her distress.
He stood there for a minute watching her and waiting for her to raise her head and look at him, his phone rang and the name on the display made him flinch. Why would Patricia call him now of all times?
This is where I should say watch out for Part 2 innit? The thing is, this is the third part of a series I started in January. I'm not the most conscientious writer in the world but I promise to do better this time and actually finish this. I'm writing the next part already... See! I can change.
So let me know your thoughts on this one. What you think I should work one, what didn't werk for you and just anything that flashed through your head when you read this.
Sweetness and light to you and yours.