Merit Madume’s POV
Since I’ve explained the church Scenario to you, let me take you deeper into whom I really am.
It was a Wednesday and I was bored out of my mind. I am twenty-eight years of age, graduated three years ago from Unilag and ever since then I had not bothered about going out to hunt for a job. I was already too depended on the men in my lives to meet my needs and also to be financially available whenever I needed them to. I was now squatting with my friend, Thelma, who is a banker and anytime she left the house for work, I was reminded of how lonely life was.
I am lazy and I enjoy being lazy. There was no joy compared to having to dread an inevitable Monday morning, which meant that one had to go to work and there was no way that I would give up my sweet freedom of having to lounge in bed for as long as I liked while others had to wake up early and prepare for work. I just couldn’t deal, not to mention having to tolerate the exhausting traffic of Lagos. I was fine the way I was, infact, not having a job enabled me to frolick around town in order to get the attention of men.
Sometimes, I would deliberately go to certain places in the city just to be noticed and approached by men, and my charming skills never failed at catching one. Although, I loved all the attention I got from men, but I had strictly decided to keep just five even though I was gradually losing them one by one. One was now married, another would be married in a few weeks’ time and was already putting up all the red flags to tell me that it was over between us; the third one had already broken up with me after he discovered that he wasn’t the only guy I was seeing and screwing, the fourth one is not in the country at the moment, and the fifth one was a little bit stingy but loved sex like his life depended on it. He made sure never to give me any money without drilling me first like I was some whore, and the annoying thing about him was that he gave the best sex and was unfortunately a late-cummer.
But with most of my men gone or now showing little interest in me unlike before, I was beginning to get desperate for some attention. I’d do almost anything to be taken out on a date right now, but I had no one to call, not even prospective toasters. I would have jumped on my toasters on Facebook and Instagram but while some of them were not my type of men, others were even fake or were not even in the same state as I am. I turned on my back on the bed now and stared up at the ceiling. I knew that there were dishes to be washed in kitchen and my friend, Thelma would be mad if she returned from work and still found the dishes unwashed but I was lonely and frustrated. My phone no longer rang with several calls again. In fact, I barely got any calls anymore and it felt like the universe was working against me. I thought of going to keep myself busy by washing the dishes but I was reluctant. I hated washing dishes and clothes. They made my wrists ache.
Well, I had told Thelma several timed to get a maid but she had refused and her reason was that since I was jobless and putting up with her, I should at least help do the chores while she was at work. I rolled my eyes now. This is why I really needed my own place but I just couldn’t afford it, at least not now. I had only one thousand six hundred naira left in my account and I was already thinking of which guy to beg for money online. I thought of using my usual cliche of I wanted to do my monthly data subscription, my mum was sick or request for money for my hair but I didn’t know who exactly I would ask. Most men online were stingy these days. Some would either request a meet-up or nudes before they even released any money. Selfish bastards!
Yeah, I know what you are thinking; you think that I should be working instead of being such a cheap social media begger, right? Hell no! Like I said before, I can’t afford to be waking up so early, trying to beat traffic in order to get to some stupid job which would wear me out, when I can just dress up, post some pictures online and men would be clamouring for my attention in no time, ready to spoil me silly.
Even Thelma was already tired of her bank job. Apart from public holidays, she barely had any time for herself except her yearly three-weeks leave which was almost nothing. Thelma had even lost her distant relationship because of lack of attention and inconsistent communication. She kept lamenting on how her bank job gave her little or no time for a social life and she wished she could quit.
Of course, I didn’t want to end up like Thelma. She earned a hundred and fifty thousand naira monthly, but for me, when hoeing business is really good, I could get a whooping sum of two hundred thousand naira just from having sex with a random wealthy guy. So think of it, I derive money from pleasure, so why the hell would I want to work myself out for twenty-three days per month just to get paid when I could even get an orgasm as a bonus while fucking a guy for just one night?
I’ve not had sex in a month and three weeks now, and it was really beginning to get to me. I raked my fingers through my hair and blew a partial raspberry through my lips, feeling my lower lip vibrate. I got off the bed now, grabbed my phone and moved out to sit in the balcony overlooking the front of the house. As I sat in the dangling woven chair, I slipped into Instagram. I had not scrolled far when I saw one of the women I was following wishing a lady happy birthday in arrears.
I instantly clicked on the celebrant’s profile and realised that the celebrant’s user name was @Olivia_Coker. She was a blogger and a writer who had over sixty thousand followers but was only following a one hundred and fifty three profiles. What got me glued to her profile were all the amazing pictures she had uploaded. From the look of things, this woman was enjoying life. She had several pictures of herself taken in lovely backgrounds that were clearly not in Nigeria. In fact, it was as if she was always going on one vacation to the other.
There were pictures of her taken in New York in front of the statue of liberty, in Paris with the effiel tower in the background, In China on the great wall of China, in Dubai, the Bahamas and Canada too. In fact, she was everywhere that I could only dream of. The only place I’ve been taken on a vacation to was Kenya- the Safari, and here was this simple-looking woman enjoying all the beautiful things of life I have always craved for.
I scrolled lower and saw pictures of her in a private jet and a cruise ship and just when I began to marvel at how a mere blogger and writer could afford to live such a lifestyle, that was when I saw the source of her happiness and extravagant lifestyle- her husband. He was so handsome and his eyes were captivating. I realised that she was always posting pictures of them together and bragging about how he makes life so beautiful for them and their two children. Even on her birthday which had just passed two days ago, he had bought her her fourth car and I felt my stomach churning just from the thought of being spoiled like this.
“God when?” I asked, looking at the sky. “When? Why is it that all the good guys are always married?! Why do other women beat us to keeping them for themselves?” I soliloquised.
Oh, hold on, I forgot to tell you that I’ve a weakness for married men. In fact, just knowing that a man is married is enough to turn me on. I am not really a fan of bachelors because they are too demanding emotionally and physically, but a married man always knows the right things to do at the right time. As a matter of fact, they are more mature and understanding. Because a man is married doesn’t mean that I won’t shoot my shots; however, when I’m ready to settle down, I would retire and consider bachelors once again. When I gave this man a closer look, it finally dawned on me that I had seen him before. As I tried to recall where I had met, I finally remembered that it had been in church. In fact, he was the very handsome rich man whom I had gotten up to hug thinking he was the brother the pastor had summoned.
After I had moved in with Thelma two weeks ago, I realised that I had totally forgotten about him because I was still being distracted by my several boyfriends and Thelma’s married neighbour who lived downstairs, directly below us and was always flirting with me. Besides that, ever since the unfortunate incident, I had not returned to the church. Now that I was awfully bored, I decided that this was the best time to strategize and focus on the real purpose of moving in with Thelma in the first place. Clicking on the follow buttons on his page- @PeterCoker and his wife’s @olivia-coker, I knew that monitoring them online would be the first step. So I went on to Twitter to also look for their handles.
Making a mental note to ask Thelma some questions about the Cokers when she got back from work, I glanced down below when I heard a splash of water. Rising from the suspended chair, I walked to the edge of the balcony and leaned with my forearms and elbows on the railings then looked down as I saw my neighbour splashing some water on his car, washing the soap off. His name is Joel Zubair. He was shirtless and was only in shorts and rubber slippers and did I mention that he was also cute?
“Hello neighbour…” I said in a sultry tone.
He paused and looked up at me then smiled. He warily glanced towards his apartment then returned his gaze to me. “Hey Merit.” He greeted quietly as if trying to make sure no one heard him.
“Not going to work today?” I asked.
“I’m, but at noon. I’ve to be at the site today.” He answered.
“All those leaving so early in the morning has made you pretty scarce, you know?” I said with a wink.
He smiled and whispered. “I missed you greatly.”
“Is your wife home?” I asked when I saw him glance towards his apartment again. I knew that his wife hated me so much because she suspected that I was having an affair with her husband. Well, she was right, I’ve fucked him once and it definitely won’t be the last time as long as her husband was still within my reach. His wife detested me so much that she had even visited Thelma at the bank two weeks before to beg her to throw me out of her apartment in order to help her save her marriage, but Thelma had given her an epic reply which was- tether your goat and stop complaining about my yam farm.
“Yes…” Joel whispered as he glanced towards his apartment again. “She’ll soon be leaving for work though.”
“Good… Do you have twenty thousand naira that you can spare?” I blurted since I was in dire need of any financial help that I could get right now. I needed to change my nails and replace my artificial eyelashes.
He hesitated. “I don’t really have up to that amount now, Merit.”
“Fine…” I rolled my eyes. “…what about fifteen?”
“Ten… I’ve ten in cash right now…
I contemplated for a few seconds then said in a seductive tone, “Okay, once you are done with the car…” I turned to press my buttocks against the railings so that he got a good view of it and just then, I heard his wife’s voice.
“Baby…” She called and soon appeared in view, all dressed and carrying a colourful handbag.
Her husband quickly composed himself and turned to face her. “Bae.” He leaned in for a good kiss.
Well, I was not going to go unnoticed, so I made sure she noticed me. “Good morning, Juliet.” I greeted with a sly smile.
She looked up at the sound of my voice, eyed me scornfully then returned her attention to her husband, totally ignoring me. I heard her say some things to her husband about the breakfast she had made, then she kissed him on the lips again and headed for the gate, before she stepped out of the compound, she shot me a mean look, got into her car which her husband had probably helped her warm up and parked outside too then she drove off.
“She still doesn’t like me, does she?” I asked her husband, although indifferent about his wife’s reaction to me.
“She’s just being protective, that’s all.” Joel replied.
“Maybe she should try to fuck better if she really wants to keep her man.” I said with a smirk. I had known this because men tend to reveal almost anything to you before, during or after sex which was their weakest moment. He had told me about his wife’s ailment the first time I had given him head. He had confided in me about how their sexual life was quickly deteriorating because of her ailment, and how it had also drastically reduced to almost oral sex.
“I have told you that it’s not her fault, Merit… She’s always in pain during sex.” He said to me, sounding a bit annoyed.
“Not my fault either that she’s got fibroid.” I said with a wicked smile. “She should go for surgery and stop being so bitter.” I said.
Joel shot me a displeased look now. “Because I confided in you doesn’t mean that you should mock her with it. She’s still my wife, remember?”
“Whatever!” I waved a dismissive hand. “So…are you coming up or not?”
“Let me finish washing the car.” He answered with anticipation in his eyes now.
“Don’t forget the money…” I reminded him. “…and don’t keep me waiting too.” I winked at him, turned and returned into the house.
Thelma Banjoko’s POV
I returned from work that evening and announced my return as soon as I stepped into the apartment. I quickly took off my shoes, eager to get out of them, walking into the bedroom, I tossed my bag and suit on the bed then I walked to the other room to look for Merit. I didn’t find her in her room, but something made me pause- I noticed that the bedsheets were rough and there was a used condom on the floor. Shaking my head, I moved towards the kitchen and found her washing the dishes. She was oblivious to my presence because she had her headphones on and was moving her body to the rhythm of whatever music she was listening to. I approached and pulled the head phones back, leaving it around her neck, and startled, she spun around to look at me in surprise.
“You are back?” She stated and asked at the same time.
“Uhn-uhn…” I gave her a disgruntled look. “What did I tell you about listening to music this way. You didn’t even know when I returned. What if some thief had snuck into the house and carted away with all my stuffs?”
“In this estate? No thief jare!” She snorted.
“Right…” I glanced down at the dishes she was washing and asked, “How come you are just washing the dishes now? It’s 6 p.m already.”
“I was busy all day.” She replied.
“Busy fucking someone’s husband, abi?” I said with a side of my nose pulled upward with an accusing look on my face
She shot me a surprised look now, “How did you know?”
“The condom on the floor, Merit.” I stated as I moved to the fridge to fetch myself some cold juice. “You really should learn to clean up after yourself, Merit, and if Juliet comes after your head again for sleeping with her husband, you are on your own. I have warned you that that lady is not a lady to be toyed with. She has anger issues o!”
“Yada-yada-yada!” Merit rolled her eyes.
“Continue!” I told her ironically as I turned to look at her, glass of juice in hand. “Just don’t say that I didn’t warn you when things get ugly.”
“Right…” Merit impassively replied then suddenly spoke again after a short silence ensued. “Thelma, what can you tell me about the Cokers?” She asked now.
I quirked a brow. “Why do you want to know about the Cokers?” I asked in a suspicious tone.
“Is it true that they own half of this estate?”
“Yes…and he has several landed properties scattered all over Lagos and the country.” I revealed.
“How’s the husband like?”
“Well, from the little that I know, he’s sweet, gentle and everyone knows that he loves his wife silly!” I emphasized on my four last words. “He doesn’t joke with that woman.”
“So you want to tell me that such a rich man like that does not have a side chick?” She skeptically asked me.
“None that I know of, but from the information I gathered, that man loves his wife too much to even think of another woman.” I replied. “You have no idea how many women have tried to tempt him and have failed woefully. That’s just the kind of husband that I pray for!”
“The ladies who attempted probably didn’t do it right.” Merit murmured. “Not all have the skills I have.”
I scoffed. “Don’t tell me it’s what I’m thinking o, Merit. Don’t even go there at all. Don’t go and embarras yourself because that man will only turn you down like he did the others.”
Merit turned to face me now with a sly look. “Are you saying that he’s not winnable?”
“I’m telling you that that man is side-chick proof! He’s not like the average Nigerian man, so whatever plan you have got hatching in that head of yours, you had better discard it.” I told her as a matter-of-fact.
“Thelma, it’s me o, Merit, the irresistible Merit.” She bragged. “Have you forgotten how men easily flocked around me back in our university days? Have you forgotten how almost all lecturers wanted to date me? Don’t tell me that you have also forgotten how easy it is for me to attract and seduce men?”
“Well, like I said before, Mr. Coker is no ordinary man, so just don’t waste your time. That man is a genuine Christian who frowns upon adultery. You’ll fail woefully before you even begin your nonsense, so for your own good and to save yourself from shame, just give it up, Merit.”
“So genuine Christians no dey fall, abi? What if I tell you that I can get this man to sleep with me?” Merit asked, folding her arms now with a bold smile on her face.
“And I’ll keep telling you to give up this vain quest. That man will not fall at all. He will not even give you any audience!”
“Since you are so sure of yourself, let’s have a bet. If you lose, you get to give me a hundred thousand naira, if I lose, I get to give you the same amount, deal?” She challenged me.
I snorted then flinched my lips towards her. “And where do you expect to get such an amount from? Or have you found a job that I don’t know about?”
“From him of course, because I’m very certain that I’ll win the bet and I’ll be swimming in money soon. In fact, I could even double it to two hundred thousand naira just to rub it in your face.”
“You had better don’t get cocky. Don’t forget that pride goes before a fall.” I warned.
“Well, thank you; all you have to do is tell me the few things you know about him and I’ll pick up from there.”
“Fine…” I said, eager to see how this would play out. “He goes jogging to the estate gym every saturday morning and spends almost two hours exercising in the gym… that’s the most I know about his routine.”
“Does his wife go with him?”
“No… She does her walk on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.” I answered. “That woman is a very nice and friendly woman.”
“I don’t care. She can’t enjoy that man’s riches alone. Such wealth is not meant for only one woman.”
“May God have mercy on your soul.” I told her and started to walk out of the kitchen. “Please go and get that condom off the floor and dispose of it properly.” I said aloud over my shoulder as I walked into my room to take a shower, then I murmured under my breath, “Husband snatcher!”
“I heard that!” Her loud reply came and I chuckled quietly.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa