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Gentlemen of the bar – 15





Damilola rubbed the scented massage oil between her palms and then pressed her hands into her husband’s body. Kneading the tight flesh under her hands, she tended to the coiled tension around his neck and shoulders. Martin moaned in pleasure as his muscles loosened under her expert hands.

“You are getting good at this.”

Damilola smiled and pushed the heels of her hands into her husband’s sides.


The length and breadth of her husband’s back traversed, Damilola decided that she had done enough for one massage session. She slid off her husband’s back and collapsed on the bed beside him. Martin flipped to his back and reached out a hand to drag her close to him.

“That was great,” he said, kissing a spot on her jaw. “I feel better now.”

Damilola ran a finger along the underside of Martin’s lower lip.

“That’s good news. I guess we can talk about the young man in your office now.”

Martin groaned and turned away from her to lie on his back.

“I thought we had gotten past that.”

“No we have not,” Damilola said, raising herself to her elbows and looking into her husband’s eyes. “You said we would talk about it later.”

“It’s not important Damilola.”

“It is to me, especially because it affects Angela.”

Martin turned to his wife again.

“Does it?”

Damilola sighed. “Martin.”

A lopsided grin appearing on his face, Martin acquiesced to his wife’s demand.

“I am just trying to help him get better at what he does.”

“Does that include setting him up with Angela?”

Martin feigned surprise. “I am trying to set him up with Angela?”

“I think it is pretty obvious what you are trying to do.”


“So, his brother?”

“What about him?”

“I heard the conversation with your friend. You brought him to Lagos.”

“Woman, you shouldn’t be eavesdropping on my conversation with people.”

Damilola smiled. “It’s hard not to when I am sitting just across the table.”


“So why?”

“Why did I bring his brother to Lagos?”


Martin blew air through his mouth as he tried to think of an appropriate answer to his wife’s question. He shook his head after some minutes.

“I don’t know. Let’s just say, I am trying to save a soul.”

Damilola fell into deep thought.

There was something Martin wasn’t telling her.

What was it?

“They had a rough life,” Martin said, forcing his way into Damilola’s consciousness. Her eyes focused on him again. She stared at him for several heart beats as she stumbled upon the truth.

The young men whose lives her husband was trying to control were the sons he never had.



The parking lot of CentroLekki Mall is full of high spirited festive chatter. Throngs of brightly coloured females blind me from all angles, merging into one large human rainbow, replete with exposed cleavages, thighs and glittering jewelry. My own crowd, all male and Neanderthal are happily involved in shameless catcalling. They ogle the human rainbow, offering numbers and BB pins while managing to shove cartons of beer into the boots of the cars in our possession. My ears are assailed by the senseless chatter.

Yeah…hmm hmmm….call you? Sure.

….has anyone told you…you look like Genevieve…

Please jare….Genevieve ko. Rita Dominic ni.

…you can spend the Easter with me….do you have a boyfriend?

My phone shrills through the afternoon heat, cutting through the conversation between Henry, his friends and the group of female shoppers surrounding them. I excuse myself even as one of the women break away from the circle and head towards me. I make my escape before she reaches me and then walk a good distance to call Ahmed back.

“Good afternoon Ahmed.”

Ahmed’s accented tone is warm and friendly as usual. “Good afternoon Barrister. I just went to see them.”

“Okay. So they have the money now?”

“Yes sir. I even called you when I was with them. The mother wanted to thank you.”

“Sorry I missed your call. I was busy at that time, but I am not the right person to thank.”


“I am not…” I stop myself from explaining to Ahmed that the largesse had come from Martin. He had been particular about remaining anonymous, “never mind.”

“Okay sir.”

I make my way back to my friends and announce that it is time to go home. They hug and shake the hands of their love interests, confirming potential dates and hook ups. The girl I had avoided on my way to answer Ahmed’s call tells Henry she likes me.

“But he is so quiet,” she adds, smiling seductively.

I duck into my car to avoid the attention and turn my key in my ignition. Henry and Itohen join me in my car while Abbey and another of Henry’s friends drive behind me in Abbey’s car. We are barely out of the car park when Itohen taps me on the shoulder.

“Guy, why you been dey avoid that babe…the one wey dey take style pursue you?”

I cut into the express, checking my side mirror for the truck swaying drunkenly behind me. “Who?”

“Martha. The one wey talk say she like you.”

I shrug. “I don’t know. I guess I wasn’t in the mood to talk.”

“You no know Naden,” Henry says, twisting in his seat to look at Itohen. “Na only girls wey book don scatter their brain im dey like.”

I smirk. “Well…”

Itohen laughs. “Talk true.”

“But honestly Naden,” Henry says, turning to look at me this time. “You need reduce your taste for women. E too high. I no sure say you go fit find complete girl for this day and time. Either them go too know book, come wowo, or them go fine, no come know book.”

Henry and Itohen laugh together, citing real life examples of the flawed females in Henry’s statement.

Itohen taps me again. “Okay, so Naden as you dey so you no fit sleep with chick wey no sabi book?”

I grimace, wondering how my sex life ended up as the subject of the conversation.

“I am not…”

“No mind am,” Henry cuts in before I get a chance to defend myself. “Im no fit. Naden too like book. If chick no know anything, Naden no go do.”

“Guy, try lower your taste o. Agro no dey remember book.”

Henry snorts at Itohen’s admonition.

“Which agro? Agro sef wey know book. Leave that thing abeg.”

I am glad when the conversation turns to football. Henry and Itohen argue about the Premier League and its football coaches, bantering and betting on future matches. I pull outside the house ten minutes later and find that Abbey and his passenger have arrived before us. They form a trio with Boma in the living room, laughing at something Abbey says. The laughter stops when we join them but is revived the next minute when Henry starts a football debate, peppering his argument with funny anecdotes. I occupy myself with arranging the beer in the fridge as the happy mood swells and carries everyone along.

Somewhere along the line, Abbey notices the change in weather and remarks about an imminent downpour. Abbey’s statement provokes another round of good natured ribbing. Abbey is the first target. I know I am next. I slip away to the kitchen under the guise of making a call. There, I listen to my friends enjoy themselves and think of Angela.

I should have met with her the last time.




Fausat is in chatterbox mode. I curl in the cushioned white loveseat at the end of the living room and listen to her attempt a conversation with a confused Agatha.

“You get?” Fausat says at the end of her long winded speech.

“Err…I don’t think so,” Agatha says with a laugh. “I am not even sure I heard anything sef.”

Chortling, Fausat shakes her head at Agatha.

“You ha…have a short attention span.”

Agatha releases a good natured laugh.

“No. I am deaf to American phonetics actually.”

Fausat giggles and hops off the sofa beside Agatha and picks up her phone which had been charging at the electric socket close to her. Folding her legs under her as soon as she claims the next sofa, she begins to tap earnestly on the screen of her phone.

“So have you spoken to the boss?”

I frown at Agatha. “The boss?”


I make a face as I remember his rebuff a few days ago.


Agatha inclines her head, burning holes through me with an intent stare.

“You guys are back to being enemies?”

“Yes sort of.”

“No, they are not!”

I turn together with Agatha to look at Fausat whose face is split even in a sheepish grin.

“They like ee…each other. They just fronting.”

Agatha turns to me and wriggles her left brow.


I threaten Fausat with physical violence. She giggles delightfully and calls my bluff. I go back to the more serious conversation with Agatha.

“He saw me with Peter.”

Agatha shakes her head. “And?”

Eyes brightening with realization, Agatha straightens in her chair and raises a finger at me.

“Wait…what exactly happened in Kano?”

I check sideways to be sure Fausat’s concentration is still trained on her phone. I find her head bowed over the phone and turn, pursed lips and all to Agatha.

“We got a little friendly.”

Agatha’s eyes turn to saucers. Her whisper spoken at the other end of the room conveys her surprise to me.

“You slept with him?”


I signal Agatha to keep her voice low. We check on Fausat together. I am relieved to find her lost in the virtual world of texts and updates. Her shock out of the way, Agatha shakes her head at me.

“You are something else.”

I shrug.

“Do you like him?”

I want to answer Agatha’s question but then the loud growling of the sky outside makes us contemplate the changing weather. A rush of cold wind announces the coming rain, and all I can think of is Kano and naked bodies. I look into Agatha’s eyes.

“I don’t know, but I want him again.”



It is an hour since Henry and his friends left the house. The sky is now an unending spread of darkness and the strong fast winds orchestrate a deafening symphony with glass windows, unlocked doors, metal bins and other unknown objects. The lights wink furiously in the bulbs and die quickly. Boma tells me he is going to bed. I wonder briefly about the look of anger on his face while talking earlier on his phone with someone he called Lydia. I shrug off my curiousity and walk to my room to find my phone ringing. It is Angela.

“I am at your gate.”

Surprised, I fetch the keys for the gate, unlock the living room door and walk through the haze of dust and hard pellets of rain to let her into the compound. She drives into the compound, kills her engine and leaves the car.

“How did you get here?”

Giving me a ravenous look, she murmurs something about Mr. Hassan giving her my address and walks with purposeful steps into the apartment. I walk slowly behind her into the semi darkness of the living room. She faces me, black brassiere clearly imprinted against the cream coloured chiffon top she is wearing over a dark stone wash jeans.

“Which way to your room?”

I frown. “Why?”

Her chin shoots up and she regards me for several minutes.

“Which way to your room Naden?”


The defiant clicking of heels against tile echoes in the house as she turns and heads like one accustomed to her surroundings to my room. In the room, I find her shrugging out of her blouse. I stand at the door and shove my hands into my pocket.

“What are you doing?”

Stripped down to her jeans and black brassiere, Angela walks to me and presses her body against my own.

“I want…”

I shake my head. “No.”

Eyes hooded and lips curved in a smile, Angela draws even closer so I can see her irises in the semi darkness.

“It’s just sex Naden. I don’t want anything more.”

I frown, torn between the desire to accept her offer and the desire to show her out of the apartment.


“No. Just not interested.”

The dim light in the room allows me see the thoughtful lines that form on her forehead. There is silence for a while. In the silence, logic and need wrestle with each other. I listen to my mind order me to pull away from the seductive contours and dip of Angela’s body but my body in total rebellion, stirs awake, pushing blood to the place where our bodies meet. I watch the lines disappear from Angela’s face. In their place, a haunting taunting smile appears.

“You want this too, don’t you,” she says, her voice smooth as honey.

Suppressed feelings of a darker nature fills me. I rise to Angela’s bait.

It’s just sex.


I grab the hem of my shirt and pull it over my head. Tossing my shirt aside, I loosen the drawstring of my jogging slacks and move towards Angela. The smile still on her face, she mimics every step I take with a backward step until she collapses into the bed. I join her in seconds, climbing in beside her and reaching for the band of her jeans. I undress her, keeping my mind on the task and refusing to think how beautiful her body is or how nice how hands feel as they run along my chest and arms.

It’s just sex.



I feel myself burn with need when he kneels above me, his face clouded and unreadable as he rolls a condom on himself. My breasts still ache from his rough handling, but they ache in a good way. I cup them, keeping my eyes on him as he stays poised between my legs. Seconds drag and he seems to freeze. I enjoy the fact that he is watching me. I roll my nipples between my thumb and forefinger until they are hard again. He breaks the spell soon enough, running hands up to my waist and pulling me downwards to meet his arousal. He is not gentle. He pushes in deep in one swift move, filling me up and blocking out coherent thought.

My hands fall from my chest and I grab his shoulders, legs wrapping around him. I strain against him, wanting more than he is giving. I run my hands along his back, pushing up from the bed to meet him but he holds himself up, far away from contact.

We move in rhythm for several minutes and then I manipulate my way to the top, grinding against him and courting orgasm. He changes the tempo quite often, refusing to let me dictate the pace of our coupling. He moves me up and down, hands clamped on my waist like a vice. I go back to playing with my breasts, yearning for his mouth on them, like the last time, but this time is different. He turns away from my offering and flips me back to the bed.

Using one hand, he pins my hands above my head before I can touch him and begins another round of exquisite torture. I tighten myself around him and beg for release in every tongue I know.



I am trying not to be undone by her moaning and whimpering but it is hard. I look down at her parted lips, struck with the need to taste her but it is not part of the plan, so I kill the yearning.

Yes…yes…make me come…please…Naden…oh God!

Her voice wraps around my mind, breaking the seams of self control, and soon I stop thinking. I lose myself in the pleasure, dipping inside and exploring her warmth until I explode into a million tiny pieces. The lights continue to flash in my head for some time and then everything stills. Soon enough, I become aware of the movement under me, I look down to see Angela straining against my body. Her eyes are still hazy with passion. I slide some of my weight off her and move my hand to the juncture between her thighs. Using the wetness there, I find the small pink flesh of her arousal and twirl it around my thumb. Her breathing growing ragged, she throws her head backwards on the pillow, pressing harder against my hand. I slip out of her, pushing my middle finger where I have been. Turning my finger around and crooking it, I touch her most sensitive spot, my thumb still working on her flesh. I watch her face closely, mesmerized by the plethora of expressions flitting across it.

Her breathing now laboured, she grabs my arms, nails biting into my flesh and tells me she is about to come. I increase the pressure until she tenses and then begins to tremble. It is over in minutes. I roll away from her just when her eyes begin to clear. Leaving the bed, I walk to the bathroom for a quick shower. Refreshed and a little guilt free after a few minutes, I walk back to the room, to a very empty room.

The sound of a car zooming off is the only answer I need.




I soak myself in warm soapy water, my entire body engulfed in one single throbbing headache. I close my eyes, reliving my moment of passion with Naden.

He didn’t want it.

The realization hurts. A single tear, hot and ashamed wets my lashes. I shake my head to get rid of it. Perplexed at my muddled emotions, I open my eyes and stare at the crack on the door of the shower stall opposite the bathtub.

Guilt free sex was easier with Peter.

Why was it hard with Naden?

Why did his lack of interest matter?

Finding no answers, I empty the bathtub, rinse my body and leave the bathroom. I massage moisturizer into my skin and crawl into bed. I am unable to sleep after a long time. I call Agatha and share my predicament.

“Angela, Naden is not Peter,” Agatha says, sighing into the phone when I finish talking.

“But it was easier with Peter.”

“Yes, that was because you did not have feelings for him.”

My heart freezes inside me.


“Angela, it’s obvious….this thing between you and Naden…everyone can see except you. Casual sex is not going to solve anything. I – ”

“No…please, don’t say anything more. Thanks. Goodnight.”

I sit horrified in the middle of the bed for a long time.

I have feelings for Naden?

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