To Love and to Hold – Episode 13

“This is not looking good”. Kunle said to himself. Tochukwu had caught him staring at Fadeke and knowing her antecedents, she would not keep her mouth shut. This was not news to Fadeke but it was definitely going to be to Chinedu. He put his palm on his forehead and closed his eyes, trying to think. He knew Tochukwu would love to have her pound of flesh because he jilted her. “Should I ignore the fact that she caught me staring at Fadeke? Would she mention it to Chinedu? Would he believe her? Chinedu isn’t one to believe telltale stories so that rules out the possibility of him taking note of whatever she would say. But I have to tread carefully”.

His obsession with Fadeke’s body was beginning to get out of hand. Since the day he saw her half-naked, his nights had been filled with dreams about her. That day had played itself over and over again in his dreams; his dreams taking him a step further than what he had seen. Each time, he woke up sweating and panting like one who had been on a race course. He sighed blowing air out of his mouth. “What have you gotten yourself into, Kunle? This is crazy, man. Damn crazy”.

“Hey, are you talking to yourself?” Chinedu said walking into Kunle’s room. “I heard you talking about crazy. What’s crazy?” He tapped his friend on the shoulder with a mischievous grin on his face.

“Oh, that was nothing”. Kunle replied taken aback. “I was just thinking about our final exams and all”.

“Hmm….you sure? Or is your new catch playing hard to get?” Chinedu asked walking towards the bed to sit down.

“My new catch?” Kunle asked looking lost.

“Yeah, your new catch. Are you okay? You have been disoriented of recent.”

“I’m good. Maybe the coming exams are getting to me”. Kunle replied forcing a smile. “I think….” He was interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Come in. The door is open.” Chinedu replied turning towards the door.

As Tochukwu walked into the room, Chinedu and Kunle looked at each other with surprise boldly written on their faces. “It is already 10 pm and too late for a visit. What has come over her? Does she ever give up? I wish I was through with school and finally out of her reach.” Chinedu thought.

Kunle looked at her standing arms akimbo by the door and wondered. “Has she come to have her pound of flesh? She takes no prisoners. What better time to come see me than now? From the firm look on her face, she means business.

“Are you guys going to keep on looking at me like I was some newly acquired statue or would you offer me a seat?” Tochukwu hissed.

“You can have a seat”. Kunle said pointing to the lone chair in his room. “Don’t you think this is a little late for a visit?” He continued.

“Who decides what time is late? The guest or the host?”  She sneered, ignoring the chair as she walked towards the bed to sit beside Chinedu. As she sat down, she put her hands on his thigh and smiled at him. “Hi Chinedu. It’s been a while”.

To Love & to Hold 23

“Yeah, been a while”. He replied removing her hands from his thigh. “Kunle, we would talk tomorrow. It’s already late”. He said, standing up to leave the room.

Kunle could only respond with a nod. His mind was already running amok as he wondered what the whole charade with Chinedu was about. Is she back to her obsession with Chinedu? That would be good news. It would only mean she has gotten over me jilting her. He looked on as Chinedu closed the door behind him. He sat down on the bed absentmindedly and was jolted back to reality by Tochukwu’s hiss. “I did not realize you now find your fellow men attractive as well”.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Kunle asked in annoyance. She is really beginning to get on my nerves and the earlier she makes her mission known, the better for me.

“Exactly what I said. Do you also find men attractive or why were you staring at Chinedu as he walked out?”

“Look Tochukwu, I haven’t got time for this. Why are you here at this time of the night?” Kunle asked changing the topic.

“10 pm is now late to be in your room? Have you forgotten so quickly that we spent many late nights together in this same room?”. Tochukwu asked scornfully.

“Okay, can you get to the point?” Kunle asked getting impatient.

Tochukwu stood up from the bed and walked towards the window with her back to Kunle. She had a mission and Kunle’s impatience wasn’t going to stop her from what she had made up her mind to accomplish. She gradually unbuttoned her shirt and turned round to face Kunle when she was done. “What do you think you are doing?” Kunle asked shock written on his face.

Without a response, Tochukwu walked towards the bed, knelt down in front of him and planted a full kiss on his lips. Kunle who was too shocked to speak pulled her back and asked, “What exactly do you think you are doing?”

“Tell me you haven’t missed this”. She asked rolling her eyes seductively.

To Love & to Hold 23b

“Sincerely, I have”. Kunle replied his defenses breaking. “Come here, baby”. He continued as he pulled her up from her kneeling position to the bed. As he kissed her passionately, she responded just like she had done in times past and in a few minutes, she had undressed him to his underpants. As he was about to lay her down to take pleasure in her, she pushed him with so much force that he fell with his butt to the ground.

“What the …..?” Kunle cursed as he hit the ground.

“So you still have the guts?” She hissed buttoning her shirt. “Wow Kunle, you are so pathetic. Did you actually think I would go to bed with you again after all the pain you have caused me?” She asked shaking her head with pity. “And don’t even think you can force yourself on me. I am sure the whole school would like to know the treacherous friend who is hitting on his best friend’s babe”.

“Who told you I am hitting on her?” He asked standing up.

“Well…. I can see how good you are doing down there”. She mocked looking at his nether region.

“Who told you I am hitting on her?” He repeated as he picked up his trousers from the floor to wear it.

“She told me herself. Don’t even try to deny it or have you forgotten so soon that I saw you staring at her backside”.

“Accepted, I was looking and not staring at her”. He emphasized. “But I have never, I repeat never tried hitting on her. It was just….” He was saying and stopped mid-sentence. Fadeke and he had agreed to keep the incident of the other day a secret. Could Fadeke have told her what transpired between them? No, she wouldn’t. She knew that would be putting her relationship with Chinedu at stake.

“It was just what?” Tochukwu probed.

“It was just a coincidence that you saw me looking at her. I wonder why she would tell you that I was hitting on her”.

“Well, you must have given her that impression considering the way you were ogling at her”. Tochukwu said trying to scheme her way. “And I am sure you don’t want Chinedu finding out”.

“Get to the point, Tochukwu. She did not even know I was looking at her. What do you want?” Kunle snorted.

“I want Chinedu”. She replied matter-of-factly.

“Excuse me! This is not Chinedu’s room; so why tell me you want him when you know where to find him”.

“Hey, don’t play dumb with me. You and I know that Chinedu doesn’t want to have anything to do with me”. She retorted.

“You are not making any sense. You want someone who does not want you. How is that meant to be my business?”

“It is now, baby”. She said standing up and walking towards him. “You are going to get him for me or the whole school would know what you have been scheming with Fadeke”. She said whispering into his ears and giving him a peck on the cheek.

“You are such a bitch”. Kunle spat. “How am I supposed to achieve that when he can’t even stand you? “Besides, it is your word against mine.”

“Not when Fadeke has told me you are hitting on her.” She said with sarcasm. “So, we are in business”. She said clicking her tongue as she lay down on Kunle’s bed.

“What do you think you are doing?”

“I’m going to bed, isn’t that obvious? Or do you think I would go back to my hostel at this time of the night?” She said adjusting the pillow to suit her.

———–

Kunle looked at his wristwatch and realized it was already a quarter to midnight. He had wasted almost two hours talking to Tochukwu on a silly mission. He looked at her as she closed her eyes. What have I gotten myself into? I never imagined that I would be threatened by anyone, much less a woman I dated. Did I turn her into a bitch by jilting her or was she simply one by nature?

As he sat on the lone chair in his room, his mind roved for a solution. I could inform Chinedu about the silly mission; but wouldn’t that amount to shooting myself in the foot? Tochukwu had so many wiles up her sleeves. What if she decided to tell Chinedu a twisted story just to get back at me? And what is Fadeke’s position in all this? Did she actually tell Tochukwu that I was hitting on her or is this a fabricated story? Could she have told Tochukwu about the incident of that night?” He bit his upper lip and shook his head. Entangling himself from Tochukwu’s web was more difficult than he thought.

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All of a sudden, he raised his head to look at Tochukwu who was already fast asleep. It dawned on him that Fadeke wasn’t aware of Tochukwu’s obsession with Chinedu. How naïve she was. She had a traitor as a friend and in all this; she was bound to be the loser. As he lay back on the chair and closed his eyes, for the first time in a long while, Fadeke wasn’t the issue on his mind. Getting himself out of Tochukwu’s web was uppermost.

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