I ran downstairs taking the steps four at a time. The air was choking me, I couldn’t breathe. All I wanted to do was to get enough distance between myself and the crime scene. I opened the door and by now it has started raining lightly but I didn’t feel anything. Luckily I saw a tricycle (keke-napep) man who just dropped someone off at the next block and I practically ran into it before he could even ask me any questions.
‘where to oga’ he finally asked in that thick yoruba accent of his.
‘just drive out of this place’ I repliied panting as if i’m been chased by Boko Haram boys.
‘oga na drop u dey take ba?’ He asked again after starting the keke and I replied ‘yes’.
I looked back at my house and saw her standing at the door crying and calling my name, while he was standing at the bedroom window looking down at me, and at that point tears that I have been holding in since came flooding down my eyes as his name slips from my mouth “James….”
What irritated me the most in the entire situation was the fact that I wasn’t feeling humiliated or annoyed or even fooled. Betrayal was what I felt, my heart broken not only by the woman I was in love with, but also by as I once believed a true friend and a brother.
I finally told the driver to take me to one of the hotels along independence way, it’s not really far from my parents place, I couldn’t call anybody because the only person I could stay with in the kind of situation was in my house with my wife on my bed.
While we were going my mind went back to the scene I just witness in my own home. James wasn’t just a friend but a brother. We grew up together, the same neighbourhood, primary school, secondary and university. The only difference was that he studied Electrical engineering but we stayed in the same house because our parent won’t have it any other way. He is the only boy in the family of seven, while I had two elder sisters, so we became the brother we never had. We were partners in crime.
While at the university he was the outgoing type while I was contented at been in the shadow. Even though I was the better looking of the two of us, he was the ladies man. I can’t even count the number of night I was locked outside just because my guy was busy. I cook while he eats; I fetch water while he uses them. Don’t get me wrong, James was not all bad, infact he is one of those people that hates cheating, bullying and injustice so much that he became a politician/activist on campus. From our second year in school he started running for different posts, state post, department post, SUG post until he finally became the SUG president during our final year but he has to stay behind a year for mobilisation for NYSC due to his unionism wahala.
After finishing his service in Calabar, he was lucky to run into an old friend of ours who works with one of the telecommunication outfit and one thing led to another and he got a job. He was posted to Lagos where he stayed for like three years befor returning to the north and finally to kaduna. He was my bestman nd the godfather of my daughters.
I was jolted back to reality when the keke-napep driver announced our arrival and from his stare it seems as if he has been talking to me for quiet awhile and I didn’t respond. I asked him how much and he told me and I paid and he zoomed off.
I got to the security pist and was scanned with their metal detector machine and was directed towards the reception. Due to the fact that Mr. President was in kaduna for campaign hotels around kaduna metropolis were booked, so I took was was available and paid for two nights.
I got to the room, dropped my bags and headed straight for the bathroom, stripped naked and enter the shower. Water is my only friend now and its the only one that can cool me down. As water runs down my body I remembered the day I introduced Shade to James.
It was two days to our wedding, James couldn’t come earlier because of his service, Dayo too was in town. We all went out Shade and I, Dayo and his fiancee Kemi while James came with ifeoma – his girlfriend as at the time. There was enough laughter and drinks. Gist of our past escapades were shared, the good, the bad, and the not so good. James and Shade got along well and were even poking fun at me.
When I stood up to go get us more pepper soup and drinks, James said he was coming along. While waiting for our drinks he said to me ‘O’boy u lucky o… That babe fine and she is lively too”
‘thanks bro, am happy u approve. Of her..’ I replied sheepishly and add ‘when you go bring your woman come for introduction na’,
‘Guy allow me see land before I go build house na, shoooo’ he replied with one of those his usual proverbs as he called them.
‘Hahaha guy you no well at all o’ I said and we both laughed and collect our drinks while the waitresses carried the pepper soup back to our table. It was in the early hours of the morning we left the joint, even though I have quit drinking and smoke back in school, I couldn’t resist their plead to join in the fun and moreover it was going to be my last day as a bachelor so I joined in.
Up to the wedding, James and I were always together planning anf if he is not with me he is with Shade filling her up on the rest of things she doesn’t know about me. James did everything possible to make the wedding a success. The bachelor’s eve was the talk of the town, it was full of women and booze courtesy my one and only bad friend, James. After the wedding he stayed for one more week before returning to Lagos. We kept in touch all the time nd during the naming of our first daughter he came around and with yet another lovely girl by his side. Shade asked him if he would love to be the godfather of our child and he was very happy and since then he has never stop spoiling them (including our second daughter).
I was once again brought back to reality for the second time that night. But this time it was my phone that has been ringing since. It could be work or it could be HER. After some hesitation, I came out of the shower with towel round my waist, water dripping from my body as I search for the phone. As I picked up the phone and looked at the caller ID it was as if my entire problem was halved…………..
(watch out for Part 3)