As I floated up, out of the embrace of sleep, I became conscious of a softness against my back. I froze, confused.
It was warm against my bare skin, and it moved. I relaxed as memories of last night flooded my mind, my lips curved in a smile.
Sheets rustled as I slid out of bed and padded, barefoot, to the bathroom. At the sink I looked at the face looking back at me in the mirror.
What in the world got into us last night?
The running water did not hide the creak of the bedroom door opening, or the soft click as it closed.
At training that day Rolayo was her usual self. Nothing in her demeanour let on that things had changed between us. I was happy to play along.
After the first night she came to my room, Rolayo slept in my bed every night.
If I wasn’t walking a razor’s edge, it would be funny: wake up to the sound of Rolayo leaving, spending the day in training with her, spending the evening with Cynthia, and going back to Rolayo in my bed.
“Earth to Bobo, come in Bobo.”
The voice snapped me out of my reverie.
“Sorry,” I gave a sheepish smile. It would have been more than a little embarrassing explaining how I was with one lady, but was thinking of another. Especially since the lady I was with was the one I would rather be with if it came down to choosing.
“I asked if you weren’t going to take your call.”
My evenings with Cynthia consisted of a meet up at the mall where we then decided on what to do for the evening.
Because it was Friday, my last night in Abuja, and new movie cycles started on Fridays, we decided on the cinema.
I set my phone to “silent” at the movies, and had forgotten to change it right back after the movie, so I didn’t hear it ring, but Cynthia had seen the screen light up when the call came in.
“Thanks babe,” I said and picked the call. “Hello?” I frowned. I didn’t recognise the number.
“Hello, is this Bobo?”
“It depends on who’s asking.”
“It’s Ronke,” she said.
“Sly’s wife. I got your number from Keme. I hope you don’t mind.”
I felt that now familiar quickening of my heartbeat.
“Nah, it’s alright. What’s up?”
“It’s Sly o,” my heartbeat spiked again as I braced myself for some bad news. “I’ve been trying to reach him but he’s not picking my calls. Is he with you?”
I let myself breathe again.
“Sorry, what was that? Hello… He.. can… hear…” I waved the phone across my mouth to simulate a bad connection before ending the call, then I dialled Sly’s number and listened to it ring.
He didn’t answer the call.
– Dude pick your phone. Talk to me first!
I called his number again, checked the time, and then called Wale.
He picked on the first ring.
“Guy what’s up?” he asked.
“Is Sly there with you?” I didn’t bother with pleasantries.
“Yes, anything? ”
“Give the idiot the phone.”
“Bobo wants to talk with you,” I heard him say before Sly’s voice came on the line.
“Dude where’s your phone?” I asked him.
“It’s charging in the corner.”
“Ronke’s been trying to reach you…”
“Exactly. She had to get my number. Call her back. Oh, and tell her we’re together. Talk later.” I hung up.
“Wow,” Cynthia applauded from where she sat, “I’d heard guys cover for themselves, but I’d never seen it before today.”
“I wasn’t covering for him,” I smiled. “It’s just that it’ll be suspicious that he suddenly saw her calls after not answering them earlier.”
“Did you consider the truth though?”
“What truth? Women say they want truth and openness, but in my experience, not a lot of people can handle truth.”
“Maybe you have a point there,” she said.
“Maybe? Really?” I raised an eyebrow and waved her away.
“Why are you sulking?” she got out of her sofa and walked towards me. She stopped where I was sitting, and lowered herself onto my knees.
“Whatever it is you plan to do, just know that I have plans of my own too,” I tried not squirm. “Also, let down your hair, I like the way it frames your face and brushes against your shoulder.”
“Lines,” she teased even as she reached up and pulled at the black elastic band and her locs came tumbling down. She leaned forward and kissed my lips with a loud smack.
“Hmmm,” she licked her lips, “your lips taste funny.”
“I was just going to say the same,” I said with a wide grin.
She leaned in again, and this time the kiss was longer and less noisy.
I felt her warm moist breath on my upper lip and my eyes closed. My hands travelled up her back to caress her neck before getting lost in the thicket that was her hair.
We we broke the kiss our breathing was ragged, and I could not see too clearly out of one eye.
“How was…” my voice was thick, the rest of my question got swallowed by her lips which had returned to mine. I pulled her closer against me, and the kiss deepened.
I reached beneath the loose t-shirt she was wearing and the heat from her skin seared my palms. She did not try to stop me. Instead she tugged at my shirt and I moved this way and that to aid the freeing of the shirt from my trouser band.
Her palm was cool against my feverish skin she raked her nails down my spine and I shivered.
I heard my belt buckle clink from a distance, and I took my hands from under her blouse to cover her hands where they were on my belt.
She broke the kiss and her eyes questioned me.
I shook my head without saying a word.
Her eyes widened, and I shook my head again. In silence she struggled to free her hands, but I held them trapped in my bigger ones.
Her shoulder drooped and her body relaxed, and when I let go of her hands, she made to get up. I held her down.
“I’m not going to apologise,” she said.
“I’d have it no other way.”
“What is your hang up?” she asked.
Images of Rolayo, Keme and the other girls whose names I couldn’t be bothered to remember danced before my eyes.