men be wise n beware of she devils # she had longed for him, a longing that reminded her of those intimate moments they used to have behind the school’s dinning hall, a longing that fizzled when she gained admission into the university. Dozie was her first love but her memories of him did fade over the years. Her various university boyfriends did not let her keep her promise of loving him forever. She had changed her sim card severally and did not deem it necessary to keep in touch with him. The distance between them also watered down the feelings she had for him.
Now, those feelings did rush back. Dozie was standing before her, staring at her. His look did not hide his surprise.
“Where the hell have you been?” He asked, his gaze still on her. She was still beautiful, her eyes still large with childish curiosity.
“I’ve been moving to and fro, but not like Satan.” She chuckled. Dozie realised she hasn’t lost her sense of humor.
“Oh! I see!” He was laughing now.
She held him and they crossed the road to the nearest restaurant. He just followed, his mouth lacking what to say. Chidinma always led the way. She hadn’t lost that trait either. They found a seat at the far end of the restaurant and sat down. She ordered some drinks.
“So what are you doing in Lagos?” She quizzed as she sipped her drink quietly. She studied him from the corner of her eyes. Dozie was still that handsome guy she fell for. His beards accentuated his good looks.
“I came for a conference in Atlantic Centre, Laque. It’s scheduled for tomorrow.”
“So you already have a place to stay?” Her eyes searched him, wanting him to give an answer she silently wanted to hear.
“Yes…I just booked a room in Languese hotel before I bumped into you.”
“Oh!” She took another sip, a look of disappointment sweeping across her face, a look Dozie pretended not to notice. Silence slowly crept between them. Chidinma cleared her throat, her mind arranging her next speech.
“I know I disappeared from what we had without a trace but I can explain,” she said after a while but she knew she had no valid explanation. Life as a new student had swept her off her feet and that feeling overwhelmed every feeling she has ever had, even for Dozie. University boys did not give her any breathing space. It was a common practice for these boys to flock around new female students especially the beautiful ones. Some of these students were naive and easily fell prey to the sugar coated promises of love from various casanovas. Chidinma was not left out. She was carried away by the numerous attention she received from those boys.
“Dozie,I sincerely apologise for cutting you off but it was never intensional. I hope you find a place in your heart to forgive me.” She paused. She had just noticed the gold plated ring he wore.
“Is that a wedding ring?” She asked, trying hard to maintain her composure.
He looked at his fingers.
“Yes? Any problem with that?” He asked, observing her quietly.
“Are you married?” She didn’t hide her disdain.
He nodded. She took a deep breath. There was a protracted silence between them, a silence that spoke of what could have been.
“Her name is Amara.” He said with a distant look. “Chidinma, there isn’t much to talk about. I loved you but I’m in love now.” He paused but decided to stop.
“OK. I get. There is no “us” anymore. I get.” She said meditatively. Dozie looked away. Waves of emotion were flooding into his heart, emotions he thought were dead and buried.
“I’ve got to go.” He stood up suddenly. “I’ve got a lot to do before tomorrow’s conference.”
Chidinma looked at him and smiled, a knowing kind of smile, a smile that made real the Dozie of ten years ago. He was still the “little talk” kind of guy, a guy who didn’t waste time on talks that he knew would lead no where.
“OK.” She stood up and brought out a complimentary card. “Feel free to call me if you need any assistance in Lagos.” She paused and swallowed hard. “You’ll always be my first love.” She said solemnly, forcing a smile.
“Thank you.” Dozie said curtly while avoiding her eyes. He collected the platic card from her and studied it briefly. There was a tensed silence between them, a silence that understood a lot hasn’t been said.
Dozie hurried away. Chidinma stood, her eyes staring at the departing figure of a man who used to be head over heels in love with her.
Few minutes later, Dozie got to the hotel room he had booked. He opened the door and took a deep breath as he settled down on a chair. His heart was heavy. He didn’t want to understand why. He began to unbuttoned his shirt as he forced himself to focus, to focus on his family, a family he has grown to love and was determined not to betray.
His phone rang. It was Amara, his wife. He put the phone on loud speaker.
“Di m, keekwa nu.” He could hear her sonorous voice across the room. It calmed him, a kind of calm he knew he needed.
“I’m fine, Sweety.” He replied slowly and proceeded to tell her about his preparation for the conference. He also told her about Chidinma. He could feel the fear in her voice now.
“Please, be careful and return to me unscathed,” she said. Her voice was mellow.
“Nne m. I will. I love you,” he said.
“I love you too.”
He ended the call and laid on the neatly made bed, his mind drifting from Chidinma to Amara and Amara to Chidinma. Sleep has eluded him. He didn’t want to know why.
A knock brought him back to reality, a knock that nearly rocked his world.
He stood up, approached the door and held the handle of the door for a while.
“Who’s there?” He asked as he buttoned up his shirt.
“Room service.” He heard a voice say. It could be the waitress he had met down stairs, he thought. He had placed some orders earlier. He took a deep breathe and slowly opened the door. He was stunned for a moment. Chidinma was standing before him, her eyes pleading impatiently.
“How did you get in here?” He managed to ask. She was putting on a see-through top, a top she wasn’t putting on when he bumped into her earlier that day.
She didn’t say a word. She simply walked pass him into the dimly lit room.
“Chidinma, you’re not supposed to be here.” His voice was low, like he was afraid to speak.
“So what if I’m here! So what?” She said and burst into tears. “I can’t believe this is how you want to treat me after all we’ve shared! You amaze me, Dozie! You really do!”
Dozie stood, his mind blank on what to do or say. He wanted to comfort her but on a second thought, decided it wasn’t a wise idea. He spoke up but found himself stammering after few words.
‘I have done nothing wrong, Chidinma. You…you… disappeared without a trace. For heaven’s sake, what am I supposed to do? Wait till thy kingdom come? Come on! I sincerely do not know what you want from me.” He looked confused and weary.
Chidinma looked up with her tear stained face.
“Dozie, I’m still I’m love with you. That’s why I came looking for you. I can’t let you go for the second time. I can’t make that mistake again. I know you love me too. I can feel it. I know it. Dozie, please give us another chance. Don’t tell me you want to throw away all we’ve shared because you’re married.” She paused as more tears streamed down her face. “You aren’t the only man who is married, Dozie. Please, give me a chance to make it up to you, to bring back those good old days.” She was drawing closer to him. “I know I’ve hurt you. My conscience hadn’t known peace since I let you go. I want to make it up to you. I want you to forgive me. I want you to prove to me that you no longer hold any ill against me.” More tears streamed down her face now. There was silence between them, a silence that threatened the strength of Dozie.
“I care about my family, Chidinma. I can’t do this great wickedness against my wife.” He paused. He could feel his heartbeats. “How else can I prove to you that I’ve forgiven you? His else can I prove to you that I’ve moved on, that I no longer hold any grudge against you. How else?” His defences were breaking down and he knew it. Chidinma was facing him now, her chest heaving and screaming “take me” at the same time. There was something enticing about her, an enticing familiarity he understood.
“Then make love to me,” she said suddenly, her eyes fixed on him. “Make love to me, Dozie. Take me in your arms the way you used to do. Let’s bring back yesterday. You want me. I see it in your eyes.” She began to take off her dress slowly.
Dozie stood, his heart pounding, his desire slowly suppressing his will to fight for his marital vows. He has never cheated on his wife but he wondered how possible it was to continue to be faithful now.
“Dozie, take me. I’m all yours tonight. Take me. No one will know, not even your wife.” She began to caress his arms, her eyes still fixed on him, her desire consuming the atmosphere in the dimly lit room.
Memories of yesterday became real again. The nostalgia that was birthed from these memories made him begin to bask in the pleasure Chidinma was offering him.
As if bitten by a bee, he drew back suddenly, creating a huge distance that separated him from Chidinma. He was sweating profusely. His loud breath was in synchrony with his heaving chest.
“Put on your clothes and leave my room now!” The tone of his voice was deep and mean.
“What?” She said, not believing her eyes. She had not expected that reaction. No man has ever resisted her seduction.
“You heard me right.” He said, his eyes were blood shot now.
“OK! ” Chidinma said irritably. She began to put on her cloth quickly. “Fine! If that’s what you want,you loser!”
“Get out!” He was almost screaming. The word ‘loser’ has gotten to him.
Chidinma took another look at him, hissed and walked towards the door.
“You’ll come begging for this soon,” she said, pointing at her crotch. She hissed again, opened the door and hurriedly walked away.
Since her last visit to Dr. Nduka’s office three years ago, it has become her hobby to sleep around. Dozie has not only escaped her trap, he has also shielded his home from her disease. Chidinma was HIV positive. Like a furious harmattan wind spreading dust and dirt everywhere, she has spread this dreaded virus to anyone who fell prey to her seductive whims.
Written by Omokaro Akpesiri Precious Oruo.