I gasped and turned in the direction of the bathroom, I couldn’t believe my ears.

“Your phone’s ringing…” Jennifer said politely. “I’d better get going.”

She left and I closed the door and leaned against the door frame, breathing hard and fast. Thankfully, Enitan’s phone had a common ringtone so his wife hadn’t realized that it had been his phone ringing instead of mine. I saw my phone lying on the bed and I rushed to snatch it up, I had never been so scared in my entire life. I rushed to the bathroom to open the door and Enitan peeked out.

“Are they gone?”

I gave him a loud slap across his cheek and he looked at me in stunning silence.

“What is it? Why did you slap me?”

“You almost risked it all! You risked my stay in this house, you risked my peace of mind…you risked…” I gasped as I hurried to take a bottle of water from my table and drink.

Enitan rubbed his cheek and watched me drink the water thirstily. He walked up behind me and snaked his hands around my midriff, squeezing me into his frame.

“Don’t you dare! Get your hands off me!” I spat.

“But nothing happened. Why are you panicking? My wife didn’t find out that…”

I turned to stare at him in fury.

“Your phone rang while you were in the bathroom!” I yelled.

“Hey! Keep your voice down. Yes, my phone rang but my ringtone is the same as many other people’s.”

“Get away from here…just go…go!” I said.

“No…not until we…” He started, as he tried to pull my clothes from my body.

I struggled with him and suddenly he got rough on me.

“I’ll scream Enitan, I swear I’ll scream…” I warned when he’d torn my blouse and exposed my right breast.

“Scream all you want…I’m not leaving here without having a taste of you…” He moaned.

I shoved him with all my might and he fell to the ground in a crash, he looked up at me and I could see that I’d hurt him. He’d scratched his arm on my standing fan which I hadn’t yet fixed.

“Enitan…I…I’m sorry…” I said as I held out my hands to him.

“You have just stepped on the Tiger’s tail, Cleopatra and you will be bitten!” He barked as he got off the ground and stormed out of my apartment.

I watched him leave wondering if I’d just made the biggest mistake of my life. For one, I was broke and another thing was that I had no other man to ask for help. Kanyinsola’s dad and brother were history and I didn’t want to dig up the past with them. Bringing them into my life spelt trouble and I was in more than enough trouble already.

I sat on my bed, cradled my face in my palms and sobbed.

******

The next few days saw me avoiding Suzie at all costs, she’d come to knock at my door and I’ll pretend that I wasn’t around. She’d see me heading out to throw the trash and invite me to see a movie at her house and I’ll give her a lame excuse of having somewhere to be at. My life was miserable because I had no money, no friends and no life. I had nothing at all. There was a day that I was tempted to call Kanyinsola and ask her to loan me some money or bring me some food as all I had left in my apartment was a loaf of bread but I couldn’t bring myself to beg her. I had wronged her as a friend, after I left her house, I’d stopped picking her calls and I never replied her text messages. The last text message she sent showed me just how upset she was at me. It had read.

‘Cleopatra, when my mother told me that she’d seen nothing but bleakness in your eyes, I never believed her, instead, I fought for you. I fought for our friendship but it seems as though I’m the only one doing the fighting. You’ve refused to take my calls or reply to my text messages and it’s okay. I wish you the very best in your new life.’

Today, however, I woke up deciding that enough was enough. I was tired of the hunger and the long sleepless nights spent on an empty stomach. Even if I had to stand at the roadside to beg for food, I’ll do it. So, I gathered my courage and walked to Suzie’s apartment and knocked at the door. She opened it and looked so surprised to see me. She was dressed as though she was headed somewhere.

“Hey Suzie…” I greeted.

“My goodness! It seems like an angel has fallen from above and landed on my doorstep. Cleopatra!” She exclaimed.

“I’m sorry that I have been busy these past few days…” I started.

“Oh, no need to apologize, please come in.” She ushered me into her apartment.

It was my first time of stepping into Suzie’s apartment and mine paled in comparism to hers. Not only was a gigantic plasma set hanging on her wall, her furnishing was tastefully done and very expensive. She also had air conditioning, something I couldn’t boast of. I wondered what Suzie saw in me that she wants my friendship. I smiled at her and walked into the apartment.

“You have a lovely place…” I stammered as my stomach began to growl.

“Oh nonsense…. this place is far from lovely. You should see the neighbours’ apartments.” She said.

My eyes widened, so, our neighbours apartments were beautifully designed too? I wondered.

“Have I come at a wrong time? It seems like you’re preparing to go out.” I said.

“Oh, no! I am going out this evening but right now, I’m trying out what to wear.” She said.

“Where are you going?”

“Well…you see, there are these friends of mine that have just come into town. They are big boys. Not just the big boys you hear about but real big boys with real cash. I am going to keep them company for a while. At least, when the night’s over, I’ll have an extra sum in my wallet.”

My eyes widened.

“Do you mean like an escort kind of thing?”

“No, that’s not what I mean…I mean, they are generous but they are my friends.” She said looking at me. “You should come…I’ll totally hook you up.”

I was ready for anything and everything, so I nodded.

“Do you want something to eat? I have rice in the fridge, you could warm it up in the microwave.”

I dashed into the kitchen and quickly opened the fridge, this is not the time to form at all.

 

To be continued next week…

 

My sincere apologies for not posting last week.

 

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