Egbe: “who did you promise that you will take care of Desmond?” she suddenly asked, after some quiet.
Major Festus turned from watching Desmond play catch with a girl his age and looked at her.
Major Festus: “I promised his father, before he decided to kill himself.” He said softly.
Egbe sat quietly after Festus’ reply. “He had promised Ehizogie that he would take care of his son. Had Ehizogie agreed to this promise? Why did the fool even kill himself? God…” she looked at Festus from the corner of her eyes. He was standing up and beckoning to Desmond. She looked at the time on her wristwatch, it was almost 6pm. She had not known that time had flown so fast. She stood up and dusted the seat of her jeans trouser.
Desmond joined them and they entered the car and drove away. Desmond chattered for a bit then he gradually became sober and quieter as they drew close to where they lived. They dropped Egbe first at her place.
Egbe: “thanks for today. Desmond thanks for inviting me, I had a great time.” She said, bending into the car to ruffle Desmond’s hair. The boy grinned and waved at her.
She turned to see Major Festus gazing at her.
Major Festus: “I am not my brother.” he said softly.
She looked at him blankly then she turned and entered the compound. Major Festus watched the gate for some minutes then he sighed and drove away. When they got to the house, Desmond immediately ran to his room. Major Festus went to check if Olamide had moved out as he had ordered. After confirming that he had moved out, he went to Florence’s room and found it empty. He called the cook and asked her for Florence’s whereabouts and the cook informed him that she had left the house almost immediately after he had left with Desmond. He nodded his head and went to his own room.
At that moment Florence and Olamide were seated in the VIP section in the bar of the club, she had carried Doyin to previously. She was having a bottle of chilled red wine while Olamide was having a bottle of dry gin. The live band was playing fuji that night and some of the patrons were already on their feet dancing to the melodic beats. It was a night for fun, for living, for enjoying life but the two of them had not come to enjoy life or talk about life; they were there to consider death.
Olamide: “The last time we spoke, you said something about a need to be free. I am interested in knowing what you mean.” He said.
Both of them were drawn close to each other, so they could hear themselves above the music and the raucous laughter that filled the bar.
Florence stared at him from above the rim of her glass of wine, then she placed the glass back on the table and turned to look at the people dancing below. She was quiet for some time then she pointed at a middle aged woman shaking her waist to the music. The woman was seated by herself. She had drunk two bottles of Guinness medium stout already and she was on the third bottle.
Florence: “you see that woman? Do you think she has a child to run home to or a husband? Yes, it is possible? But do you think she cares to? No… if not she would be home already. The question then is, how can she, possibly a married woman, dare the wrath of her husband and children, to spend time out enjoying herself? Freedom! She has found a way to be free off the roles society expects her to play. I want to be free of your brother, I want to be able to do what I want without having to dodge, hide, lie and pretend. That is what I want?” she said, her voice hot with venom.
Olamide: “then get a divorce.” He said.
Florence: “divorce? No… I can’t. My father placed a clause in his will that says that I either have children by Festus or we stay married forever, all else everything goes to him if I should try to leave him.” she replied softly.
Olamide: “I don’t understand. Why would your father tie you to a man that you don’t love?” he asked, surprised.
Florence: “when I was 17, my parents travelled to Jos for a political program or something, I can’t remember now. I was in secondary school then. Anyway, they returned before the day they had planned to come. They caught me with the gateman having sex.” She said.
Olamide: “so is that enough reason to chain you?” he asked
Florence: “the gateman’s friends were there too, waiting their turn. From the moment they stepped out of the house, I had been sleeping with any dick I could find.” She said softly.
Olamide’s mouth opened and closed like a fish on dry land; he was short of words.
Florence: “Festus wanted contacts and connections; he wanted to be rich and my father liked him. My father saw a means to tame me, so he married me off to Festus.” She added.
Olamide: “does Festus know this?” he asked, his eyes round with surprise.
Florence: “He thinks I keep boyfriends because I no longer love him but the truth is I like and respect him but I can never say no to a good dick.” She said.
Olamide sighed deeply then he took a sip of his liquor.
Florence: “the only way I can be free of Festus is if he dies.” she added softly.
Olamide looked at her quietly then he gulped his drink and poured another cup.
Olamide: “you want me to kill my brother?” he asked.
Florence: “No, I want you to do me a favour and in return I will make you a wealthy man.” She replied, placing her hands on his hand.
Olamide: “I also want a taste of that cookie…” he said.
Florence: “you want to fuck your brother’s wife? Are there no taboos somewhere concerning this?” she asked, smiling
Olamide: “if he is dying soon, it won’t matter now, will it?” he shot back, grinning.
Florence downed the remaining wine in her glass and stood up. “I think he bought my story, hook, line and sinker. Understanding men… is easy. Make them think you are a moron, make them think you are soft, mad even, and they will rush forth to assist. Well my pawns are gathering. I need one more move and I will get what I want.” She thought to herself smiling.
Olamide watched her through hooded eyes, “so it is always about money. Well brother, it seems you have been played. It is time, I got what I deserve. I will be digging holes into your wife for a long while, little brother. If she is a nympho, oh well, I know how to cure the best of them. There is nothing a good dose of crack addiction won’t cure.” He thought to himself.
Florence beckoned with her fingers and he followed. Both of them walked out of the bar and entered the reception room. At the desk, Florence collected a key and led Olamide to a room. She opened the door and both of them entered and the door shut behind them.
From a corner door, Doyin stepped out and stared at the door. His face bore his confusion; “what is this woman up to?” he thought to himself.
He had trailed her to the club and had sat a few feet away from her and her guest. He had not been able to hear their conversation but from the look on their faces, it had not been a pleasant one. Besides the man’s face looked a lot like her husband’s face. “I don’t like unknown entities. I need to know who this man is, and what games he and Florence are playing. I don’t want to be caught unawares.” He thought as he turned and left the front of the door.
Question: Between the story, Florence had told Doyin and the one she had told Olamide which do you consider to be the truth?
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