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I kept reading the message again, over and over hoping that it was typed out wrong. Sure enough, it was still the same message,
Suzie: 2:16pm “Here you go boo. I hope you are ready to pound this round ass. I can’t wait till she leaves so I can have you to myself. Hope to see you soon. XOXO”
Every time I read the message, I felt like someone kicked my testicles into my stomach and simultaneously punched them back out. Only a soccer player who has been hit with the ball from close range can really relate to what that kind of confused and inconceivable pain must feel like.
I woke up that next morning like my world had ended. I was sure that I had lost Arewa for good. I was now more worried about my reputation. Arewa was the type connected the entire circle in some sort of way. She had friends in your circle, grew up with some or was basically like family with someone in your group. She knew everyone and was loved by everyone. She was never the type to make you look bad for any gain but if her best friends knew what had happened, well I couldn’t vouch for what any of those women would do.
I drove over to Arewa’s that evening after her parents had gone to work hoping that I would be able to talk to her. I had nothing planned. I didn’t know how to start to beg and thinking of her feelings just made me sad on the inside. I was at a loss.
I arrived at her house and knocked. It took a few minutes as I heard her brother ask if he should let me in or not. A few moments later the door opened and it was another brother; one that actually really liked me. He let me in with a handshake and a look on his face that sort of said, “Make it right bro”.
I went up the stairs to Arewa’s room. It was dark as she had the blinds closed and was watching an Indian movie with an almost empty bottle of wine on the floor right next to her.
“What are you doing here?”
She asked with disgust and irritation battling for recognition in her voice.
I began explaining myself. I told her how we had started texting and talking over the phone and how I hadn’t done or said anything to warrant that kind of message. She seemed to be buying the story. I swear I was surprised but I think it was the fact that I came clean and told her exactly what she wanted to know. I was always of the opinion that the truth doesn’t set you free with women, it only takes you out of one problem and still potentially into another.
I then made the mistake when she asked me why I didn’t just talk to her. I accidentally worded my response as if to blame her absence and travels for my actions. Arewa lost it! She literally snapped and began cursing me to get out.
“Leave! I never want to see you again!”
I was trying to figure out how to stay calm and at the same time encouraging Arewa to lower her voice. She then increased it and asked her brothers to kick me out. Knowing our relationship, her brother’s could not bring themselves to kick me out of the house. She was calling me all sorts of names while it seemed like she wanted blood. She was very angry. At one point I almost lost my temper but I was quickly put in check when Arewa threw her phone at me in an attempt to have me. With my own dignity, I left that evening and wondered if there would ever be an “US” again.
. . . . . .
I hadn’t text, called or heard from her in a short while. Since the incident at her house, I needed a couple of days of space. It was a surprise to me when Arewa texted and asked to meet up; in a public place.
The park down the street was private enough to have a conversation without being disturbed but also public enough for someone to save me, if the need arose.
Arewa was more than justified to be upset but I was more upset at the fact that she did not understand that I never touched the girl nor did I have plans to. But Arewa like most women did not think that far ahead. The message coming into my phone was a sign of infidelity and unfaithfulness regardless of what I had done.
Arewa walked out of her car with a blanket and headed for the grassy field.
“Where are we going?”
We ended up sitting on the grass and she went straight to the point and asked,
“Would you have fucked her?”
I answered, looking at her and trying to make eye contact.
Arewa knew who I was and what I would do and that which I would simply avoid. And then she said,
“I’m not sorry I lost my temper but I am sorry for involving my younger brothers. That was wrong of me and I am sorry.”
I also apologized for my deeds after she had made me vow to never contact Suzie again. It was an easy requirement to agree to because I knew who actually meant something to me.
Nightfall slowly crept over the sky and engulfed it. The streets lights went on and fewer cars roamed the streets.
I remember we began talking about how we had both missed each other and how these fights that lasted multiple days were unhealthy. I pulled her in closer to me as it began to get colder. My left hand became very happy as her soft skin touched mine. I wanted to feel everything. I laid her down on her back and began kissing her.
“Jide, there are people here!”
She said referring to another couple in a similar position like us across the soccer field. I looked at them and responded,
“Who cares? They don’t know us”
That was definitely my small brain between my legs talking but I wanted her. It was as if I needed to get out all of the frustrations; we needed to make up.
I slowly crept under the blanket and began to work my tongue around her thighs. She was squirming and asking me to reconsider what I was doing because of the location. I didn’t pay any attention to her as I placed my now hot tongue gently in her wetness. Slurping up her dripping juices, I was out to ensure that nothing was left behind and my thirst was well taken care of. In her normal fashion to control the intensity of my tongue, she placed her hands on my head but I continued determined to have her moan my name. I carried on working my tongue into her like I was searching for an apology from inside her. She was wet. Under the blankets, my head was covered in sweat as I slowly rose up and pulled out my member to welcome him to the party.
Slowly I lowered myself into her. Shifting my body to gently be consumed by her tightness. I was covered in her juices and the warmth from between her legs sent a warming sensation down my spine. I could feel it as she clutched my back and dug her nails in direct response to every thrust into her. I began to speed up the movements and her moans became louder. Now, she was the one who didn’t care as I asked her to keep her voice down. The couple sitting across the field was definitely getting a show, they might not have been able to see us but just hearing the moans was enough for someone to enjoy.
I turned her over to hit it from the back. My favorite spot being my weakness as I grabbed her waist and pounded into her, I knew I was going to explode soon and she was ready for it. A few moments later, we were slumped next to each other kissing and cuddling under the stars. We had overcome Suzie, for now but bigger tests lay ahead.
. . . . . .
Her monthly cycle was either late or it wasn’t coming at all. It had been about a week and there were still no signs of her menstrual cycle.
I wasn’t freaking out about it because everyone has at least one pregnancy scare along the way in a relationship when there is unprotected sex. I wasn’t entirely sure if I had released into her or not but I went ahead to the store and picked up the pregnancy test and headed back to her house. The whole time I had played us having sex in the closet of her parent’s room and having to rush out over and over again in my head. I remember cumming but I don’t remember it being inside her. I felt like I pulled out before I did, but who knows? It was all very wet down there.
What if she was pregnant though? What would happen then? Will I have to marry her?
We were actually able to start a family financially but who would want to bring a child into such a volatile family environment when the heads of both households couldn’t stand each other? I pulled into the driveway and rushed into the house. Arewa’s cousins were still visiting so it was a full house. One of her younger cousins had clogged the shared bathroom upstairs leaving only the bathroom downstairs. Reluctant to use her parent’s bathroom upstairs, Arewa headed into the bathroom to take the test. She returned a few minutes later with a slight smile on her face.
“Well at least I’m not pregnant but I still don’t feel good and I don’t know why…”
She said gently behind her smile while clutching her stomach. I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief before concern covered my face and I replied,
“That’s strange. What else could it be babe?”
“You know I don’t know!”
She seemed to snap as she responded.
“I’m going to take a walk”
I said okay as she put her coat on and walked out into the evening chill. I wasn’t going to go after her; this wasn’t one of those moments. She just had to take space. This was classic Arewa. When frustrated or irritated, her first instinct was to walk away from the situation and then calm down or gather herself to address later or never at all. I found out later that she just had an ongoing allergic reaction to the new almond milk, she had added to her new diet.
I was heading home that evening thinking, our personalities were perfect for each other and a belief that when the time was right, we would actually be very good parents. It was a warming feeling to know that I was in love with a woman so dedicated to caring for others, passionate about her goals and a rock for me. Her Yoruba and pidgin English definitely still needed work but I knew she was the one. I just hoped that God would perfect us for each other in due time because if not, they would sell her in Nigeria in a heartbeat and she would never see it coming.
The music I was playing from my phone stopped as I looked at the phone; it was Arewa.
“How you feeling baby?”
I answered as I parked my car at home. I was madly in love with this woman.
. . . . . .
“Classic Egg’s Benedict?”
The waiter asked and I raised my hand to indicate that it was mine.
“And the vegetarian omelet for you…”
He continued as he placed the plate in front of her Arewa.
“Enjoy your meal.”
He added as he walked away. I remember making fun of her food like I always did. Her dedications to her healthy eating habits were quite amusing from no sugars to no carbs, to only fruit diets. She was on some new regimen every two weeks. I was mostly fine with all her diets unless it affected my personal meals. That’s when I would become defensive like the time she asked that I no longer fry plantain and strictly keep them boiled. I was both baffled and disrespected. Like did she know what plantain meant to me?!
Breakfast was great with her as usual. She was actually feeling better and had an appointment with her doctor the next day to find out why she still felt weird inside. On our way back from the restaurant, we stopped by a family owned furniture place to look at items for my new apartment I was about to acquire. I remember falling love with this couch because it was a his and hers set that allowed us to sit next to each other watching TV or doing whatever but being next to each other. Many men would run from that prospect but I was drawn to the idea that whenever she was over, we would sit and share each other’s space together.
I wasn’t exactly sure what song was playing but I remember one was playing as we pulled up to Arewa’s house as I was dropping her off because she complained about the volume. I parked behind her car on the street in front of her house. She pointed out that her father was home and his best friend was there with his car parked next to her dads. We spoke for a few minutes and she gave me a kiss when I headed out of the car. I watched her walk into the house like I always did whenever I dropped her off. I was about to leave and wanted to respond to the text messages I had gotten which I was doing when I heard a huge bang on my passenger side window.
Startled and shocked, my phone flew out of my hand and I turned to find out what was happening. There was a running person to the driver side of the car… it was Arewa’s father! He had rage in his eyes and fumes blowing out his ears. I was quick enough to press down the auto-lock buttons on the door ensuring that he could not make it in into the car. He was yelling at the top of his lungs,
“I will kill. You want to ruin my daughter’s life. I will end you!!”
I was confused. Arewa was now standing on the passenger side telling her father to stop but he didn’t. He practically ignored her standing there and just continued screaming at me. I was turning around in the car expecting someone to tell me that it was a joke. Some of the neighbors had come out of their houses to play nosy-parkers and I was now becoming extremely embarrassed and angry. I wanted to react but I didn’t even know what I was reacting to.
“What did I do?”
I was finally able to yell out at her father.
“You this useless boy is trying to get my daughter pregnant!”
My mind immediately flashed to the pregnancy test and the fact that Arewa had used the bathroom downstairs. I would find out much later that it was her dad’s best friend that went to use the bathroom and noticed it. He then pointed it out to Arewa’s dad who flew right off the handle and came straight for my blood.
“Abi e ma wo omo olori buruku yi… O fe ba’ye mi je?”
He cursed in Yoruba, consciously acknowledging the presence of the neighborhood crowd now spectating at the madness of the only “black house” on the street.
He basically called me a cursed person trying to ruin his life by getting his only daughter pregnant. I knew I wasn’t going to make it out of there and then I realized that I was in my car. I quickly started the engine and snapped it into reverse and tried to drive off. He was holding onto the car as I made the turn. I floored the gas as I sped away. I could see him motioning in my rearview mirror as I drove off. It was then I noticed myself shaking.
“What just happened?”
. . . . . .
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. . . . . .
Down by Brymo
It had been almost a full week of short, cold responses and ignoring Arewa completely. I was still furious. News had travelled around town that I was almost killed by my girlfriend’s father for giving her herpes. Like What The Heck Man?!
That wasn’t even what happened but trust Nigerians. The story was bound to be different from the truth. I just wanted to be left alone. I was reeling from the pain and the confusion that came from that incident.
As much as I loved Arewa, I was extremely angry at her carelessness for leaving the box in the bathroom. She tried to apologize and make it up to me but I was furious. That was such an irresponsible thing to do. It was like me leaving the condom wrapper on the floor after we had sex. I would never do that. I tried to play that weekend over and over in my head to see how I could have avoided it. There was no way that made sense. I never saw the whole thing coming.
Going out was a struggle. I just wanted to be indoors till it all blew over. I was hoping for something, anything in the Nigerian community to take the focus away from me. A death, wedding proposal, new born or even a deportation story… Anything…. I just needed something!
I was watching soccer highlights on my computer when I received an email on my Mac. It was from a member of the Men’s Association that my father and Arewa’s father were part of.
He began by telling me that he understood my feelings and was sad to see me going through that public embarrassment. He included his number and asked me to call him whenever I had a chance because there was something he wanted to talk to me about.
About twenty minutes later, a man that I recognized his voice answered the phone and introduced himself. I did not know the name very well but I definitely knew the voice. He started off by telling me that what he was about to tell me was confidential and I had to make sure that it was never traced back to him. I promised.
He told me he was doing it to make sure I stopped both families from causing pain and heartbreak for Arewa and I.
He began telling me about the hatred between both our fathers. I began to reconsider the phone call. I knew all of this. This was old news to me. And then he began to hit the good parts. He told me about how I was sent to Nigeria for school, around the time the government was investigating my father for tax fraud a few years prior. He carried on to say that my father served 16 months in the prison that Arewa’s father worked in at the time. I began to sit up straight.
Arewa’s father and my dad apparently became involved with each other with her father sneaking my dad out for “sessions” in the break room. He said it was a regular thing that the staff did with the inmates and our father’s hit off their relationship easier because they were from the same part of Nigeria. My eyes grew bigger, my heart raced, I could feel my pulse in my ear. What The Heck Man?!?!?!?!
He continued that the relationship went along for about 7 months until my father and some other inmates ganged up to snitch on the staff for early releases. Arewa’s father never knew that my father was part of the people that snitched. All he knew was that his dirty supervisor, who covered his ass by not blatantly firing him, suspended him for a year from the department. The suspension gave him the opportunity to still get a job later, which he would eventually do.
I was shaking now. This man was making very serious claims about two men which could potentially ruin them.
He continued by telling me that the hatred between Arewa’s father and mine only started when Arewa’s father found out through another inmate that my father had planned the whole thing from the beginning. The meeting, the relationship and the exposure; it was his get out of jail early ticket. He said that Arewa’s father had confronted my father at the Nigerian committee elections and my father had told him that he needed to stop threatening him or he would tell the whole world about what really happened. Since then, they have played enemies to ensure that none of them ever had to tell the story.
The man stopped talking. My mouth was ajar. I was shocked. My father and the father of the woman I love had sexual relations?! I did not know what to say.
I slowly gathered my speech and asked the man how I was supposed to believe everything he said. He coughed and said,
“My son is the doctor at the prison your father served time in. He told me everything he saw and heard. The reason this must not be traced back to me is to protect my son, not really me.”
I thanked him and hung up the phone. For about 45 minutes I sat on the couch in that same spot processing everything I had just heard. Tears began rolling down my eyes. I wasn’t sure why I was hurt but I was. I felt betrayed.
It took me a minute to gather myself and when I finally did, I set out to get the facts straight. I knew my father’s medical information, so I hopped on my laptop and keyed it in. The man was right. My father had visited the hospital with a genital rash and had tests done to rule out STI’s.
My hand was covering my mouth in shock. I wanted to cry out louder but didn’t know how. Arewa and I had been focusing on the wrong things, like a mirage we thought the problem was just the hate between our fathers but we never truly knew what we were dealing with. There was a desert of lies that our fathers had led us into and left us for dead with no hope that our love would survive. My thoughts circle back as I heard the garage door rise as my dad and his girlfriend arrived. They walked into the house talking about something and that was when I dropped the bomb.
Directly I asked my father,
“What happened between you and Mr Amusan? Specifically while you were in jail…”
My father stopped dead in his tracks. Sandra, his girlfriends eyes lit up, I sat up straight. He never esperred it, I needed the truth or it was going to be a deadly day.
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