It was late morning. The shaft of sunlight seeping through the gap in the white silk curtains settled on a spot on her exposed thigh. She rolled lazily upon the bed, rustling the sheets and exposing more of her firm thigh.
An eyelid peeled open. The eye peeked half-heartedly at the world outside through the gap in the curtains. She hissed and turned her face away from the window for it seemed to accuse her of staying in bed so far into the morning.
She didn’t bother to check the time. She never did, except when there was an appointment to keep with Otumba. She had long removed the clock in the bedroom on the very first week of her moving into the flat.
She hissed again at the thought of Otumba and the flat.
There were no plans for today just as there hadn’t been any for as long as she could remember. Everyday has always remained the same for the past four months, with the same boring routine of sleep, eat, and TV viewing. And then there was the occasional shopping and outing when Otumba felt like it.
She would have remained in bed, but her full bladder wouldn’t allow one minute of it. It was the nagging pressure that had woken her. This was one of those moments when she wished she had a tube connected from her bladder to the toilet so that she wouldn’t have to get off the deep comfort of the king-sized bed. She eyed the toilet door, hissed again and then lazily pushed herself upright. For some moments she remained seated, her dishevelled artificial hair pouring about her face like shredded strands of some black veil. Drowsily, she surveyed the spacious bedroom about her. It was neat, quiet and peaceful all about. Only the low hum of the split-unit air-conditioner broke the silence.
Edging out of the bed, she ambled with unsteady steps towards the toilet door. The oversized long-sleeved shirt she always slept in lent her the look of a character from a zombie movie. She didn’t bother to shut the door while she peed, but she took her time, seated on the closet, her hands supporting her jaw as she gazed thoughtfully into space. Done with easing her bladder, she reached for the bath-hose, turned the tap on and aimed the surging jet of cold water at her vagina. Her body erupted all over with goose pimples at the coldness of the water. She stood up, reached for a white towel hanging on an overhead silver railing and dabbed at the areas between her thighs.
Back in the bedroom, she would have returned to bed but for the beginning of hunger pangs gnawing at her stomach. And so, lazily, she made for the large wardrobe instead. She singled out a pair of close-fitting shorts, wriggled into it and donned a yellow vest, never bothering with a bra. She gathered her loose hair at the back and secured it with a band, and then she strode out of the bedroom, in the direction of the kitchen.
She leaned against the doorjamb of the kitchen, undecided as to what to have for breakfast. Her eyes roamed the kitchen. It still looked wonderful but not as it had struck her on that day Otumba had brought her to the flat and dangled the keys in her face.
The little pile of unwashed dishes from last night’s sparse supper waited in the gleaming sink. She wondered how she had grown into a lazy girl in a space of only a few months. Of all her vices, she had never recognized laziness from those days when she would have to wake up very early to help Mama prepare the foods to be sold in the shack at the Onitsha Main Market. Even in her university days, she still did her bit of academic hard work. But now, she could hardly bring herself to pick up a book or do some timely house chores without having to viciously kick herself mentally. She had asked Otumba to hire a house help, but he had looked at her with those perpetually bloodshot, bulging eyes and said to her in a leering whisper:
“Baby, this is our private getaway. I won’t want to hear of another soul’s presence desecrating the sanctity of this place.”
The hunger pangs bit at her stomach again and then she shuffled to the silver-panelled fridge and pulled the double doors open. She stared undecidedly at its chilling interior packed full with supplies she had only gotten the day before from Port-Harcourt City Mall.
It was to avoid more dishes to wash that advised her decision to reach for the remainder of the chicken breast wrapped in aluminium foil. She tossed it into the microwave, set the timer, and then summoning up courage, she attacked the unwashed dishes in the sink.
Eighteen minutes later she was seated cross-legged on the sitting room floor, before the flat-screen television. She had her attention torn between the warm chicken breast and Africa Magic channel. Every now and then, she would take a swig from a defrosting pack of mango juice beside her on the floor. The soft ring of her phone drew her attention. She wondered who the caller was even as she sprang to her feet to get it from the top of the CD player. It was Otumba. A wave of resentment washed across her face. She slid her thumb across the phone screen and placed it to her ear.
“How’s my baby today?” the gruffy voice sounded.
“Where are you now?”
“In the house, of course. Do I have any other place to go to?”
A moment of silence lingered. She imagined the contentment on his flabby face.
“What are you doing now?”
She rolled her eyes and heaved a resigned sigh. “I’m doing nothing. Just watching TV and eating breakfast.”
He chuckled. “That is my baby.”
The background on his end was still, but she could swear he had his phone on speaker for his colleagues at the office to listen in. On some of their outings, she had been in the company of his colleagues, and the look on their faces had told her so much. It was pointless confronting Otumba; she knew him showed them their sex tapes. No wonder he demanded they tried all those hardcore porn moves in front of his digital camera. At first she had protested the idea, but the experience had taught her to grant the old man all his bizarre fantasies if she was to remain a beneficiary of his ‘generousity’. The leering look of his friends and colleagues never unsettled her anymore; they were all as old and mischievous as their friend, Otumba. They could be listening in on their phone conversation for all she cared.
“I will be coming to the house in twenty minutes time. I want you to look sexy for me. Put on that bikini I bought for you last week. In fact,” he seemed to change his mind, “forget about the bikini. Lie down in bed stark naked and wait for me. Don’t lock the front door …… And remember, don’t shave your pussy today. I would like to fuck some hairy pussy for some time until I decide to fuck a shaved one after doing the shaving myself.”
She said nothing in reply.
“Do you hear me?”
“Be a good girl and don’t give me any reason to feel disappointed.”
The connection went dead. She sighed heavily, tossed the phone onto the sofa and returned dispiritedly to her place on the floor. Without the initial gusto, she returned to the plate of chicken breast. The television program appeared like a meaningless blur. With considerable effort, she tried to shut her mind from the imaginations of what derogatory fantasies of an ageing sexual pervert she was soon to pander to……….
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