I was at school at last and that was good news because it meant that my days of chores were gone, well at least till the next time I had any reason to go home.
I had two things in mind as I walked into my apartment. I needed to talk to Maxwell and I needed to start reading because my course rep had been kind enough to text the examination time table and on reading it, it turned out my first paper was on the upper week Monday.
After showering, I picked up the notes I had photocopied and folded myself at the edge of the bed. I found out over time that I understood faster when I read why lying down than when I sit up right, do not ask me how that’s possible because I do not understand the logic behind it as well but experience had taught me it was fact and not myth.
Ayo left the house and for over thirty minutes she was missing, I was glad because that gave me the peace and quiet I needed to read but soon enough she came back with Henry.
She and Henry walked to the balcony with Henry simply waving as he walked passed me. I did not bother to check what they were doing because that would have required I moved and broke the perfect position I had founded after consistently adjusting, but some minutes later I started perceiving the sour scent of cannabis and my unasked question was answered.
That was the last thing I needed but I could not say anything so as to avoid the ‘you just dey show yourself because na your house’ reply I expected Ayo to give me if I had complained so I reluctantly packed up my books and left the house for them. The things we do for friendship.
Of course, I climbed upstairs to Maxwell’s house once I had left the room, after all, if the mountain does not go to Mohammed, Mohammed would go to the mountain. Besides Henry was at my place, it was only natural I repaid the favour.
The pleasant smile on Maxwell’s face once he opened the door was so wide I feared his lips might touch his ears if he stretched it just a little bit more.
He quietly moved aside so I could pass. I walked in, dropped my books on his table and sat on the bed.
He locked the door and came over to join me on his bed where he continued smiling and staring at me still without saying a word to me. I was starting to get nervous as it was getting creepy.
“What?” I asked as I noticed he was not going to say anything but stare all day if I let him.
“You look beautiful,” he replied, still smiling.
I smiled. “Yea, I’ve known that for a while now,” I bragged playfully.
“And it’s a wonderful thing because I know I’m the lucky guy who have you,” he replied.
Can you imagine such brute confidence?
“You don’t have me, don’t fool yourself,” I said meaning every word. I sure as hell was going to hear his excuse for kissing another girl before even considering him.
“Oh I do, and before you start to show yourself I think you should know I am all yours as well,” he said.
“What is wrong with this one?” I asked pulling back.
“I love you and if you did not feel the same about me, you won’t be here right not,” he replied.
“I only came here because I wanted to read but Ayo and your roomie has refused I read in my room my contaminating the air. You better warn him for me oh,” I defensively replied hoping my facial expression didn’t look as fable as I sounded.
“Oh really” he asked dragging the really to imply he did not buy my cock and bull story.
I was going to prove him wrong so I stood up from the bed and wanted to walk to the table where I had dropped my books but I felt his really soft palm grab my hand and for some strange reasons I felt shivers down my spine as our skin came in contact.
“Did you feel that?” he asked, standing up to face me and turning me around.
“I did not feel anything, please leave me alone,” I faintly replied. My voice was failing me.
“I don’t believe you,” he said and then he moved his palm from my hand and then placed it on my cheek. He leaned closer and our lips met.
Funmi pull back! You need to read your books! He has not even explained himself! A little voice screamed loudly in my head but the heart and flesh was not willing.
I kissed him back and our tongues met. I felt like I understood his pain, his struggles, his heart as we kissed and I wished the moment could have lasted forever but eventually the connection was broken and I could finally pull myself together.
“Maxwell, don’t do this,” I said as I noticed he was about to make another move. “We need to talk and make sure we understand ourselves well,” I said, my voice growing louder with each word.
“Baby, please let’s just let go of the past and embrace the present,” he said.
“All I want to know is why you went and kiss another girl even after all you said to me, or is all these your activity a scheme just to get into my pants?” I asked straight up. The funny thing is I had not had such thoughts before I blurted that out.
“I hope that was just a joke?” he asked. His smile was nowhere to be found anymore.
“I’m not joking. I know how you guys are, when you guys are chasing the thrill excites you but once you’ve gotten what you want its goodbye,” I found myself saying. I swear, I planned none of this.
“Funmi, what the hell has come over you?” He asked moving a few steps back and staring at me as if he was checking if I was the one still talking.
“Why are you avoiding the question? The more you prolong the matter the more I doubt your motives,” I replied calmly. So calm I was sure he was getting more confused as to who was talking to him. I had never attacked him in such way before because I was too busy being sweet and cute.
He walked back to his bed and sat back down. “Well since you insist, Mary-Anne was the one who kissed me and not the other way around, I pushed her away once she made such move but you had already seen us so your mind registered what you thought you saw but I can assure you that whatever I had with Mary-Anne is ancient, like the Pyramids,” he finally opened up.
I still had one question on my mind.
“Say I believe you, how do I know you are real and I’m not making the worse mistake of my life?”
“I am disappointed in you for asking that question and I would rather not reply because I expect you to know better,” he said and walked to the balcony where he leaned on the rail staring at the people who walked on the street at a distant.
I stood affixed for several seconds unsure of what to do next. I felt bad that I had doubted his feelings for me because he either meant all he had said to me or he was a good actor, either way, I believed him.
“I’m sorry,” I said as I joined him at the balcony. I leaned on the rail as well, purposely avoiding eye contact.
He kept me quiet.
“I’m new to this love concept so please don’t get mad at me because I don’t quite know the dos and don’ts yet,” I pushed.
“Okay then, in that case you have the best teacher,” he turned to look at me and I saw his smile had returned and that made me smile.
They say the real beauty about love is knowing that the happiness of your loved one make you happy and frankly I could not have said it any better because if at all I had any doubt before concerning love then it is all gone because staring at Maxwell smile sheepishly as his over grown incisors glowed only made me understand one thing; I was in love.
All I had in mind when I stopped Amaka at the front of the gate was to warn her about what David, the NSS agent had said to me. I figured if someone had approached my friend claiming to believe I was somehow involved with something as delicate as a murder, I would be pissed if I was not immediately informed.
But before I told her I needed to know how much she knew, so I went on to ask her several times about David who I saw her leave the lounge with but she either did not know much or was not just willing to spill and was even about to get angry so I just decided to tell her anyway.
“He approached me this morning,” I told her referring to David.
“What did he want?” she asked anxiously.
“Something about the death of Agbaya,” I replied calmly. I was not even sure what I expected her to do with such information so that was why her reaction to it surprised me.
“Come in,” She said and moved away from her door so I could pass.
I quickly sat down on her chair and dropped the nylon bag filled with ingredients I had planned to cook soup with on the floor.
I watched her as she paced round the house silently. She walked to the balcony, stood there for a minute staring at blank space and the walked back into the room.
“Can you calm down and talk to me?” I asked as she was starting to make me feel uneasy.
She paused at the front of the toilet, looked at me for a few seconds and then continued pacing. She was murmuring some words to herself that I could barely hear.
“Amaka!” I yelled her name. It was like five minutes now and still she had said nothing.
She paused again and turned to look at me. This time she walked to the door and bolted it before she sat on her bed and then with her two hands tucked in-between her laps she finally started to talk.
“Mary-Anne, can I trust you?” She asked.
When someone starts a conversation like that then you should know the person is just looking for encouragement and a reason to tell you something they shouldn’t .
“Yes Amaka, you can trust me,” I calmly said, staring straight into her eyes.
She stared back in my eyes, looking for a hint of sincerity but I stared her right back, holding back the urge to blink.
“Very well,” she started to say, “what I am about to tell you is not something I should but the burden is too big for me to carry alone and just need someone to tell me that everything would be okay.” She said and waited for a responce.
What an introduction, I thought. Whatever she had to say was clearly very important.
“Well, we are friends now right?” I asked.
“Being my friend means that I will always have your back no matter what,” I replied, hoping that would be convincing enough for her to spill whatever was in my mind.
I was really interested to know what was bothering her so much because primarily, I genuinely cared but I also kind of felt cheated after I told her my story of how I whored myself around Henry which was my deepest secret and she did not tell me anything about her. I sure deserved to know one of her secrets as well.
“Okay then, promise me you wont freak out when I tell you,” she said.
“I can’t make any promises but I’ll try not to freak out,” I replied.
“The NSS agent is right,” she took a deep breath before adding, “I am somehow involved with the death of Agbaya.”
This was the single most shocking news I had heard all my life. Amaka who I had defended so furiously was not so guilty after all? How can she be involved with such a thing? My mind starting racing at 250km/hr as I thought about the different ways she could have been involved but everything I thought just did not match up to my impression of Amaka.
“How are you involved?” I finally give up trying to decipher the puzzle and just ask.
She became dumb again for another few seconds before she replied, “I was there Mary-Anne, I saw him killed with my very own eyes.”
As she spoke, I noticed beads of tears were gathering in her eyes. Even though they were tucked in-between her legs, her hands were visibly shaking probably because of flashes of the horrible sight that must have been crossing her mind at that moment as telling the story was making her relive the incident.
I was shocked at this discovery but I just needed to hear all she had to say first before I reacted.
“So you know who killed the man then?” I asked.
She nodded slightly in response.
“Who?” I asked, there was a huge chance I did not know the person but wouldn’t you ask if it were you?
She stood up and walked to nearest wall, backing me in the process she paused for a bit before she finally replied.
“Henry,” she said.
My heart stopped beating, I pulled back with my mouth and eyes wide open in shock. I wanted to say alot of things but the words just refused to be voiced out.
Henry? Murder? How come? What does this have to do with Amaka? Is Maxwell involved as well?
So many questions popped into my head I felt it was going to explode anytime soon.
“What are you thinking, say something please,” she pleaded as she pulled another chair closer to me and sat down at my front.
This time, I was the one who was quiet. I just did not know out of my one million and one questions, which I wanted to know the answer first.
“You promised you won’t freak out,” she reminded me.
I made no promise but that was not what was important at the moment.
“Tell me everything,” I said, thinking that was the best way to go. “And don’t skip any part!” I added.
Having spilled the biggest part, telling me the remaining story was easy as she went on to tell me a story that I bet you only see in movies.
“…so I’m really confused on what to do, Henry is not acting really concerned with what’s going on maybe because he has a back up plan so I need a back up plan of my own,” she concluded. She was no longer crying but her hands were still vaguely vibrating.
“Amaka, this is a lot to take in,” I replied.
“I know but I really need to do something to secure my interests,” she said.
I drifted off in my thoughts.
Apparently, Henry had not only destroyed my life by taking the only person that mattered to me, Maxwell, away from me but he also wanted to spoil destroy Amaka’s life as well. Maxwell was even at risk to some extent.
I decided I was not going to let him hurt anyone again, if not for my friends then just for the satisfaction of a revenge well executed.
I concluded to do the thing one thing Amaka was not able to do.
“Let me think about it for a few days,” I said to Amaka as I picked up my nylon bag and walked to her door. “I will let you know when I have an idea on what you should do but till then, don’t do anything.”
I did not give her the luxury of a reply before I walked out of her house and headed to mine.
As soon as I got to my room, I pulled out the complementary card that was still in my pocket and dialed the number on it.
“I knew you would eventually call,” the voice at the other end of the line said once the call was picked.
TO BE CONTINUED
PS: It’s been a long exciting ride that’s why it saddens me to announce that the concluding chapter of Why I Want To Be Bad would be posted on Tuesday, 31-05-2016 by 5pm on the dot so I expect you all reading this to be present. The epilogue would follow shortly.