A story written by INEGBENOISE OSEODION OSAGIE. (07068221839, 08093828575, [email protected])
Before she would jump into her bed, her stomach needed some attention. She wandered to the kitchen and searched for a fast-cook. She fumbled for a pack of Indomie noodles from the cabinet, set the pot on the cooker and poured in the noodles.
The refrigerator had a stench good enough to announce there had been no power all day. She cursed PHCN and picked up a 7up, gulped down the drink and cursed PHCN even more.
The pot’s cover trembled and steam soared into the air. Her palm, she coated with a rag and lifted the pot’s cover. The steam from the cooked noodles bathed her face, and more of it hit her as she spooned the noodles into a plate.
The crackling of the gate burgled into her ears. She covered the food with a flat plate and ambled to the sitting room. A peek through the window gave her a full view. It was Richard, in a white suit. She drew in a long breath which she flushed out through her mouth, placed the stools at their right positions and eased to the door.
“Richard,” she called and smiled. Her stomach quivered, and before it could quiver again, she commanded it to stop. It did not obey, but rather doubled.
His cologne sent waves through the lines of her nostrils and flowed into her vein holes like a spell determined to make her hide in his jacket and inhale all of it until she drowned.
“Nice place you have here.” He looked round and clip-clopped to a couch.
“It’s my dad’s. I should go get you something.” She attempted escaping into anywhere than the overpowering sitting room so she could have a deep breath, readjust her system and tell it who is in control. She owned it.
“Only a cup of water. I’ll be gone soon.”
She made for the kitchen and leaned on its wall, did a deep inhale and let it out. The refrigerator’s unwanted warm air rained on her as she opened it. Again, she cursed PHCN, cursed and cursed them. She touched every can, checking for one that could be a bit cold. None. She picked any, took a mug and walked back to the sitting room.
She filled Richard’s mug, and got a fuller dose of his spell. He lifted the mug to his mouth and sipped. “Power has since been out?”
The water flowed down his throat without the tiniest obstruction. Water was the most privileged thing on earth. It could go into the insides of whomever it wanted. He was a married man, she reminded herself and positioned on the couch adjacent to his. A happily married man.
Dropping the mug on the stool, he directed his gaze at her and thanked her for the drink. She did not blink or shake. She had perfectly mastered that. What she now needed to master was to stop the quivering and churning of her stomach anytime his voice came up. Very soon, she should have attained perfection in that. He struggled with his briefcase’s lock and brought out a book, the book her therapist gave to her that was supposed to help manage her disorder.
“You left this at my house,” he said.
“I thought of delivering it to you.”
She leafed through the book, skimming over the jargons filled with useless terminologies.
“I love your wallpaper.” He viewed the painting of sunflowers in water, hung beside the television. “I have some of those in the small garden at home. Why don’t you come take some and plant on your lawn? It would look good on it.”
It was a good idea, but she was not taking any flowers from his house. She wouldn’t want anything that would bring his picture into her head anytime she passed her lawn. “Thanks for offering, but I love the lawn this way.”
“If you don’t want to come to the house, I could send someone to bring it here and plant it for you.”
Her nerves froze, and the life in them ceased. Why would he assume she wouldn’t want to come to his house? How did he know that? “N-No. What are you saying?” She introduced some facial puckers. “Why won’t I want to come to your house? I simply love my lawn this way.”
“Sorry for the assumption. I thought—I’m sorry.”
Thought what? She wanted to ask, but kept mute to avoid hearing another revelation from him and to avoid her quavering voice from showing forth itself.
“I should start going. And read your book. It’s recommended by the doctors.” He stood up and lifted his briefcase.
She watched him open the gate and wished the book would bounce back to his house, so there could be another reason for him to visit, even though he did not last a minute. One extra time, she needed to experience those spells. His car shuddered until the air swallowed it. She closed the door and bolted. His scent, spell, still surrounded the room. Now that he was gone, no fears in falling prey to them.
She sauntered to the sitting room fighting with all of his hexes, and reprimanding and reminding herself he was a married man.
Her noodles had gone cold. Power came up. The refrigerator began humming, began disturbing. Without touching the food, she lumbered to the bedroom, begged whoever ruled the dream world to allow her control her dreams for only this hour. Dreaming of anything was permitted, not a married man.
To Be Continued….