Light came on and Maxwell opened his eyes immediately.
“NEPA! The idiots have woken up,” he thought.
He was lying on his side, near the edge of his oddly large bed. It colonized more than a third of his organized bedroom. Except for two condom wraps, a pair of Nike shoes near his crowded shoe rack and the jean discarded at the foot of the bed, everything in the room was neatly arranged.
His wardrobe was locked and not a single cloth hung from its doors. Between the bed and the wardrobe was his reading table and a chair. On the table were two neat stacks of books, arranged according to size, on the left and right. In between them was a closed Macbook. The Mac’s neighbors included a pen, a jotter, a flexible lamp, and a small metallic flask.
On the other side of the bed was a small cabinet with a few toiletries and beside that was his shoe rack. At the foot of the bed was a rug on which sat his slipper. A TV hung on the wall, above a small LG sound system. Near the door, an aluminum dustbin sat empty.
Maxwell yawned noisily as his hand slowly found his way down to his crotch for his usual morning scratching. His practiced fingers reached around, under his scrotum, and he closed his eyes briefly to savor the pleasure.
His mind drifted and berthed at the usual destination… Cynthia, his ex…
It still felt awkward that he would have to add ‘ex’ to his every thought of Cynthia. It was a long list of ‘exs’, after all the things they had done together. He sighed. The word bounced around his mind. Just few weeks ago she was his fiancée.
He remembered the first day Cynthia caught him doing his scratching routine. She had immediately thought he was masturbating and got really mad. Her slim self, in his baseball T-shirt that reached to her knees, had stood over him with anger in her eyes.
“It seems I am not good enough for your perverted self,” she had said.
Maxwell smiled again as he remembered the long lecture he had had to endure, and that came only after she had yanked him scratching fingers from inside his boxers. Even after the lecture, it had taken six more hours of sulking on her part and explaining on his part to get things back to normal.
“Can’t a man scratch his own balls?” he had thought to himself.
That was nearly two years ago. It became normal for her after several encounters.
Now she was married and he had to remember her with an ‘ex’. It still beat him how she could marry her father’s age mate. It was not even that that irked him. It was the suddenness of it. He hadn’t seen it coming. One week he was proposing to her ‘Yes’ delights which ended on Instagram and Facebook, the next week, she was out of the country and the week after that, she had become a Mrs. To make it even worse, he still hadn’t set his eyes on her to get an explanation.
Well, one day…
Maxwell yawned and stretched his limbs, still leaving the scratching hand in place. The bed shook along with his body. Then he settled and shut out a developing yawn. Split seconds after, the bed shook again then something landed on his body.
It was a hand!
He turned and muffled a scream. There was a woman, a naked woman, on his bed. His hands magically left his crotch as he scrambled off the bed and backtracked until his back touched the wall. It was then he noticed that he was also naked and there was a condom hanging loosely on his limp penis. There was semen in it. He removed the soggy condom with shaking hands and flung it towards the bin like he would a vile thing. It landed only few feet from where he stood.
His heartbeat raced, until he could feel it in his throat and hear it pounding in his ears. He swallowed a morsel of strangely hot air. It felt like a whole elephant going down his gullet.
The woman on his bed had her back turned to him. So he could even guess who she was. He tried to remember something about the night before. He drew blank. Well, not blank entirely.
He could at least remember buying a few bottles, the first few bottles, at ‘The Den’, his favorite bar in Lagos. He had picked up the habit of taking more than two bottles the day he learnt about Cynthia’s marriage. On the first of his binging nights, the barman, a not-so-close friend, had had to seize his car key and force him into an Uber taxi.
Did I meet her there?
He wracked his befuddled mind and nothing came to fore. Nothing! He looked at the girl’s body. His bed sheet covered her legs only up to the base of the butt cheeks which were well rounded. He could partly see her right breast. Even in his confused state, he couldn’t help but compare her body with Cynthia’s familiar form. It was almost the same, except of course the fact that this stranger seemed to have a fuller body.
The woman yawned and stretched, grabbing an edge of the bed sheet as he legs kicked out. She turned towards at the same instant. He could see her full frontal nude now, but her face was covered by her store-bought hair. Cynthia would never wear such. She was a natural, through and through, and that was one of the things he loved about her, his ex.
Maxwell looked around for his clothes. He saw the jean at the foot of the bed. As he reached for it, his eyes on the girl, he saw his boxer under her now exposed legs.
She had an anklet. It looked familiar. He leant forward, trying to watch the girl and her leg at the same time.
And then she turned…
“Good morning Maxwell,” she said.
His jaw dropped as his mystery woman packed the hair off her face.
Author: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
KIS, author of two poetry collections, ‘WHAT CAN WORDS DO?’ and ‘I SAID THESE WORDS’, is an award-winning Nigerian writer, photographer, and media professional with experience in journalism, PR, publishing and media management. In 2016, he was listed in Nigerian Writers Awards’ list of 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40. The same year 2016, he won the Nigerian Writer’s Award for ‘Best Poet In Nigeria 2015.’ he had also won the Orange Crush 1st Prize for Poetry in 2012.
He is the CEO of Words Rhymes & Rhythm LTD.