[Story]: THE RICH, THE POOR, THE MISERABLE LOVE (Episode 9) TrendyVoice

14 September 2016

[Story]: THE RICH, THE POOR, THE MISERABLE LOVE (Episode 9)





 


ENJOY the CONTINUATION!

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“It’s about Aunt Arike, they wrote some really disturbing stuffs about her, says she’s a slut and all, that she’s had sex with every male teacher in the school and all,” Phillips reported on phone, after I got my phone charged.
“But, I don’t get it, today is Saturday, who’s going to read it? And, resumption is not until Monday.”
“I guess they were just eager to release that stuff, Monday could have seemed too far for them to wait for.”
“But only few students are in school. What’s the point?”
“They’re not few. Only fifty percent of them went home. I don’t know why, there’s something wrong with all these students, like… like some zombie apocalypse in a durable pitch.”
“How? Why did you think that?”
“Hell, they’re so quiet, look normal, yet committed to defacing the personalities of their teachers and nobody is saying anything.”
“That’s because the person behind it is the smartest girl in the school.”
“Girl?”
“Yes, it’s Mary Martins, ss2.”
“Mary… You don’t mean Mary, Big Victor’s daughter?”
“Hell yeah!”
“Why did you say that?”
“She’s doing it because of me.”

A short silence before Phillips later asked, “How do you mean? You mind expatiating a bit?”

I couldn’t explain comprehensively at that spot regrettably. Toro had finally appeared in front of me.

“It’s a long story buddy,” I was scratching my head and yawning. “But I’m sure she’s the one behind it. I’ll find time to discuss it, ta-ta for now.”
“You don’t mean you’re banging that girl, do you?”
“More like it, but not exactly. We’ll discuss later, I’m so… tired.”
“Mr. Adebayo, you really don’t—”

I cut the call and silenced the phone. How could I be discussing such in Toro’s presence?

“Baby, hi.” That was me, greeting Toro.

She was still laughing over the “one or two things” issue.

“When was your first time of getting drunk?” she asked.
“Yesterday. Seriously, I don’t drink, my religion disapproves of it, and I’m kinda religious a bit, trust me. I was—”
“Religious a bit explains why you fuck without remorse.”

Fuck without remorse? I couldn’t hold back the laughter. What the hell is fuck without remorse?

“Does your religion approve of fucking?”
“Ah, Toro, c’mon!”
“Let’s leave religion out of our discussions okay? Hiding behind religions in matters of blunt objectivity is an attribute of cowards, according to a philosopher called Teju, my big bro.”
“No problem about that then. Yesterday was… a bomb! I was never that, careless? I mean, I was so happy and free with you I forgot my personal dos and don’ts. And it’s as a result of that I got stenciled on my one or two things for the first time too.”
“Stop saying one or two things or you’re going to kill me with laughter.”

We laughed endlessly before the endless laughter met its end at the hand of a question she asked, “where are we going today baby?”

“I don’t know yet,” I was thinking, “but I think we need to steal something first.”
“Oh no, I’m not stealing anything again.”
“At least, hear me out first. It’s not a bank, I promise.”
“Okay, what are we stealing?”
“Gimme your ear. We can’t be sure this hotel room isn’t bugged.”

She crawled up to me on her knees, and as she brought her ear, I grabbed her head and planted my lips in-between hers to install some avenging kisses in her system.

“I just stole it, kisses,” said I when I let go.
“Ah, miserable you, you call that kissing? That ain’t kissing, this is kissing.” She jumped at me like a rabid dog and we devoured each other from the couch to the bed, uncensored. Guess our story was happening too fast, or perhaps too slow, we’re still on it.

After the stage show of no audience, we fell asleep, not long after some whisperings, giggling and chuckling, and we did not wake until six o’ clock in the evening, courtesy of hunger. We went out, spent some quality time together, discoursed on a lot of topics and our birthdays; hers, July 7, mine, September 29. I told her September came from the Roman word, septem, which means seven. That September was the seventh month on the old Roman calendar, and her birthday being on the seventh day of the new seventh month had only brought the old and the new sevens together. She said no wonder Adebayo is a name of seven letters. She then told me the full version of her name, Toromade, and in fact, wasn’t she doing just that?

We spent the following Sunday on a beach, then on that night, we had the third encounter which was brief but most intimate. Monday morning at exactly 5:48am, she left for Lekki, would later call me that day that her early departure had saved me from an intense embarrassment, that Teju had gathered his police friends to come and meet me in school that day and they were just about to pick him to lead the way when she got home. That she didn’t respond to their questions and had to lock herself in her room quickly. That their course of direction was thwarted by her return and that I could call her on her number now; she would switch the SIM cards.

“I love you,” she seemed to cry, and after I said I love her too, she ended the call.

It was Monday morning. I checked out of the hotel instantly, the money we’ve spent there could pay for three years rent of my room. I dressed up at my place and although I was excited, going to school suffocated me, you can never know what to expect next.

There was no need for further cudgeling of the brain; I was cocksure of the identity of our character assassinator, it was Mary Martins. The first time I knew this girl, she had helped me with my bag to the staff room and I never in any fragment of my thoughts could have considered her in that dire role. I guess the people who look like butter would not melt in their mouths are those who could make clergymen’s blood freeze easily. She attacked Phillips who she thought was a threat, yet she was the one I ran to for help. She attacked Aunt Arike, guess she was finally on to demolishing her as she had promised.

I bulled through the china shop into the school and everybody I greeted or greeted me seemed an accomplice to our dear little Mary, the way they looked at me was like, “look at him, he’s even smiling, doesn’t he know he’s the next on our list?”

I didn’t give my stuffs to those who offered to help me with them, the office was open already; the cleaner had worked there already. And… there was something about that cleaner that spited me; I had no reason to believe she was not part of the conspiracy. She wasn’t the only cleaner in the school; they were four but she was the one tasked with cleaning the teaching staff offices and the Management Quarters. I suspected her. If she was the one who found the panties, she was only the one with the role of finding it, if that makes enough sense to suspect her.

Christians pray when they get to their offices, maybe Muslims pray too, I never prayed, I would just say Salam Alaykum at the door and rumble across the room to rest my butts in the chair. I looked great at that table, not that I took a picture yet though.  Mr. Francis was still up behind me, and I was waiting for when my portrait would replace his. Papers went from my bag to different hemispheres on the table, things followed, odds and ends, chores and writings, idle songs and phone calls, and well, I was back in school. Then my phone rang, I ignored it for a while but when it refused to stop ringing, I picked it and oh my… it was the Principal. I exchanged numbers with him once but he never called me before.

“Mr. Adebayo, good morning. Yes. Thank you, fine, and you? Good. Where are you? Okay, please what I’m about to tell you is not to be known in the school yet, Big Victor’s directive. The proprietor’s wife died in an auto crash two days ago, yes… on Saturday, no, between Port Harcourt and Abuja. Yeah, it’s an unfortunate incident, it is. I’m already at their house; don’t tell anyone in the school yet. And please come over quickly.”

I was shaken, as in, what the heck! Proprietor’s wife died in an auto crash? I never met the woman but I’ve heard a great deal about her, mostly condemnations though. They said Mary embodied everything after her but a bit Southey; she was very intrusive, dominating and abusive.

The question, “what about Mary?” came from reflex action, I guess my stress about Mary was just starting to leave footprints over everything.

“She’s been home since Saturday, poor girl. Are you coming now? Come please. Don’t tell anybody.”
“I don’t know the place.”
“You don’t? Ah… okay, I’ll send the direction. I can’t stand all these tears alone.”
“Are the VPs aware?”
“VP Acad knows, she’s also here. Let me send the text.”
“Okay.”

The call ended. I let the phone lay on the table quietly and I remained stiff like that. I didn’t know this woman and I wasn’t sure I was moved by her demise, but something about death always hit a part of me very hard, as in, what’s the point? What’s the essence of all our mortal hassles if we’re prospective meat logs for ants to devour in the soil? Anybody could die anytime, any fucking time and that’s so scary!

The phone buzzed on again but it was Phillips this time.

“Where are you?” he asked.
“I’m in my office.”
“I thought you haven’t arrived. I didn’t see you at the assembly.”
“I came late, but I’m here now.”
“On my way.”
“Okay.”

He came not long after, just when the Principal’s text message entered.

“The write-up has vanished,” he said. “Aunt Arike must have had supporters of her own among the students. I can’t even find a copy left anywhere, nice one.”
“Hugh, that one, when did you say it was released anyway?”
“Saturday.”
“The person I suspected left the school on Saturday too but I don’t know whether suspecting her is sensible now or not.”
“Mary Martins?”
“Yes.”
“You still have something to tell me about her, remember? Many things! What is it about you and her that she had to be suspected of sponsoring bills because of you?”

Sponsoring bills? What the hell is sponsoring bills? Well, I told him a brief version of the story.

“And you didn’t find it necessary to tell me?”
“I’m sorry, it often escaped my mind.”
“That’s really bad.”
“Even if she wrote the write-up, I can’t bring it up with her again. The Principal said her mum died in an accident on Saturday, and she’s been home since then. It can’t be a good time for her right now.”
“Her mother died?”
“Yes.”
“How?”
“I said in an accident, between Port Harcourt and Abuja.”
“That’s very bad. She was sick for a long time and that was when she stopped coming here, used to be a pain in the neck then. But she survived it, now, accident took her instead. Life!”
“I’m not to tell anyone yet, keep it secret please.”
“Okay, may her soul rest in peace.”
“How old is the woman anyway?”
“How old is or how old was she? I don’t know, but she should be up to fifty. Mary is her last child, fourth child and only daughter.”

We kept quiet, mourning in our own not really bothered way.

“Mr. Adebayo, I’ll have to go to class now, second period is close. We’ll still talk about Mary, but I must warn you seriously, do not relate with that girl in any way. Don’t ever—ever allow her to weave herself into your hands. Apart from the fact that she’s a bitch and exactly like her mother, may God rest her soul, it’s immoral to date students. And she’s also the boss’s pet, he could jail you if he found out.”
“I’ll not allow her. I have to go now.” I was scrolling through the address received.
“I can’t believe the school is still open even with the proprietress’ death.”
“Since they don’t want anybody to know yet, they can’t shut—even if the school knows, they can’t close the school because of that naw. School can’t be paused since it’s not a video player.”

He chuckled. “Okay.”

A disconcerted muttering filled the school, some teaching, some whispering and many gossiping in groups. The truth whispered soundlessly, these people already knew what had happened. Many faces turned to me as I passed by, but I made sure I looked totally expressionless. And a single bike got me to their house in six minutes; a double flat, fenced and painted in cream. There was a gatekeeper who asked what I wanted and when I told him who I was, he let me in. I met some people coming out talking to one another in mourning moods. They didn’t even look at me as I passed by them. Into the big house I went and who came throwing herself at me? Mary. Immediately I saw her running towards me, I knew I had to brace myself; it was going to be a collision of Marwa tricycle and BRT Marco polo. She was all over me. It was their sitting room and there were many visitors, guessed relatives all sitting about, many crying, many talking regretfully about their last conversations with her. Big Victor was whispering to the Principal when I sighted him, he was in a black shirt and ash-colored trousers, silver wristwatch and barefooted, first time I would see him barefooted. And I had to free myself from Mary before the fierce hug began to pass a vulgar impression to the onlookers who were already being melodramatic about how happy a newcomer’s presence had made her. Nonsense!

“I’ll be back, Mr. Adebayo, Big Victor had sent me on an errand.” That was the Principal.

Big Victor himself waved me over. “How’s school?” he asked in a blank voice.

“Everything is going on routinely sir, nobody has known yet… in the school. I’m so sorry for the loss sir. Almighty God shall grant you the fortitude to bear it.”
“Thank you, Adebayo, thank you.”

I soared back. The house was a fine house but I was not in the mood to critique the décor, asking who Mary’s brothers were so that I could condole with them or asking how the funeral was to be conducted so that I could be part of it was totally not in my list of what-to-dos either. There were chairs at the dining to the right, I sat on one of them and looked at people coming and going, Mary was no more in sight. I wanted to cry along with others but I wasn’t a man of tears, and candidly, that death wasn’t any painful to me since I didn’t even know who died, personally. I wouldn’t pretend that I cared that much. The woman’s picture was everywhere in the house, Mary really took everything after her, including the massiveness, I observed. The scene was familiar though, when my father died, our house was similarly crowded, a bit more than theirs.

“Would you take me out of this nuthouse please?” that was Mary, suddenly appearing in my face.
“I noticed you weren’t in here again all of a sudden. Where would you like to go?” I asked concernedly.
“Anywhere but here please. But you’ll tell my dad so that he won’t be bothered. I don’t know why they all think I’ll commit suicide if I’m alone.”
“Okay, let’s tell him.”

I went over to her dad, she was following me closely behind.

“Sir, I’d love to take Mary outside for fresh air. She needs it.”
“Thank you Adebayo, thank you.”

Everything is thank you, Adebayo, thank you.

Mary led the way, grabbed my arm and took me through few doors and then we were in a room which smelled of milk and cornflakes. Pictures on the wall, not much of hers but of people I didn’t know, a wide bed, window at the far end looking at the fence, things roughly arranged, bed grubbily lain. She locked us in and again held me so tight for a mo before she withdrew and suddenly burst into tears as she reversed to the bed and sat down at the edge. Oh no! Not these tears again; I didn’t know how to play that consoler role, walahi! I went to her and sat beside her. That was the moment Nicholas Cage would light a cigarette and offer her one but neither of us smoked.

“Sorry, Mary,” I said. “You have to be strong, I know it’s not easy, but I just pray God—”
“Why weren’t you picking my calls? And then it was totally switched off!” she cut me off.
“Phillips and I travelled with the Rotary Club, there was no much receiving or making calls, and we had to even switch off at some point. My mind was with you all the while. I’m sorry.”

She looked up sharply at me, smiled out of the river situation of her face and rose. The source of the room’s illumination was the window, she went there to draw the curtains close, then it became too dark she drew them apart again and left the fancy under-curtains alone closed. The room was cool then, not as bright as before, and not dark either. No sooner had she done that than she undid her buttons and totally nude she stood right behind me, I was gaping in an aching neck. She came around the bed to stand before me, slowly but confidently, probably not sure she was doing the right thing.

“Why are you looking like this?” I heard her say, “Stand up.”

I stood swiftly like an obedient child, my body shivering like some wobbling gargoyle. I tell you, if she had tried to undress me before she undressed herself, I wouldn’t have ever let her, I was the most disciplined person I ever knew. For God’s sake, I guess self-assessments bring wrong conclusions after all. Undressing herself before she came before me changed everything. I don’t think I’ve ever been that aroused; I was so aroused my genital was aching. If I had taken something like a drink or fruits or something, I would’ve been sure such drink or stuff was spiked with an aphrodisiac. What didn’t happen that day between Mary and I is not in the mantra of Kama Sutra. She was not a virgin, not even close, and she was so athletic, acrobatic and packed with styles that I thought, oh, is this what I’ve been missing?

For how many minutes or hours we were in there, I did not know. The Principal calling me over and leaving on an errand, I forgot everything. When the third round was over, we lay naked on the bed, I, wrapped in the warmth of her massiveness and we talked.

“Mary, please, I want you to stop formulating slanders against the teachers.”
“I didn’t formulate anything against anybody. I have nothing against Mr. Phillips.”
"What about Aunt Arike?”
“Huh, I do have something against that one but I’ve not concluded on how to get rid of her yet. I’m still thinking.”
“So, are you saying you have not attacked her yet? Were you not the one behind that write-up?”
“What write-up?”
“The Saturday’s.”
“A bill was sponsored against her on Saturday?”
“I’m not talking about any bill. It’s a write-up on—”
“That’s what we call write-ups written against people in the school. It’s not a new culture in the school. It’s as popular as you, just older than you in the school, that’s all.”
“Whatever you call it, I just know it’s a libel and illicit. Mary, are you denying knowledge of it?”

She snorted. “It’s funny and nasty… that you don’t take my words seriously. I didn’t do it.”

Silence…

“Then who did?”
“I don’t know. If it’s against Aunt Arike, why can’t you go and ask Mr. Phillips?”
“Do not misunderstand me, it’s not like I don’t take your words seriously or something but, you know, you were the one who said you’ll demolish her.”
“I do not claim that I didn’t say that now, do I? I didn’t do it, simple. And I wasn’t even in school on Saturday, mummy’s accident happened on that day, I was here. Just ask Mr. Phillips, okay?”
“Mr. Phillips isn’t an oracle, so, it’s a waste of time to ask him.”
“Look at you. You don’t get it, do you? If any bill was sponsored against Aunt Arike, Mr. Phillips is the sponsor. That’s what I meant.”
“Humphh…” I scoffed. “Well, since you said you didn’t do it and didn’t even know such… bill? …was sponsored, I’ll just take that Mr. Phillips’s name has entered your bad books too since you’re now bent on implicating him.”
“I knew you would say that, but let me ask you, for how long have you known Mr. Phillips? He’s been here for four years, you just came and you’re defending him.”

She paused, looking at me. I refused to talk, so she spoke on.

“Aunt Arike used to be his best friend before. I can assure you they had sex several times. Mtcheww…” she rolled her eyes and shook her head. “I doubt he ever told you that.”

I didn’t talk.

“He also wanted to be Registrar, has he told you that too? Guess no, and for your information, he still wants to. If you don’t believe, I can show you some pieces of evidence in my dad’s office when I return to school. How did you even meet him anyway? Did he suddenly walk up to you and started being a good person? You really don’t know that man, he’s your greatest enemy in this school and he would advise you to steer clear of me because he knows I know everything, everything about him! Aunt Arike, when she probably considered that he might advise you against dating her, brewed the first propaganda against him. That Saturday bill you said was sponsored only assures us that Mr. Phillips has discovered the instigator of the propaganda and had responded too. But Aunt Arike is a smart person, I doubt such bill can survive on the board.”
“They’ve been removed,” I said that before I knew I said it, what she was saying was making a lot of senses to me, and also kind of made me scarily curious.
“Mr. Phillips can’t beat Aunt Arike, only I can beat her in that school, nobody except, hmm… maybe the Council of Stakeholders too.”
“Tell me about that Council. What is it about?”
“They’re some staffs who are too useful to the school to be sent away or maybe too useful to my dad and he would side with them on any issue. He never seems to know they’re parasites eating him up. Nobody likes them. They’re very proud and intolerable. They just think they can—well, I don’t like them.”
“Okay. Tell me more about Phillips and Aunt Arike.”
“About Mr. Phillips, be wary of him, he’s probably close to you to learn your weakness and secrets so that he can get rid of you once and for all. Aunt Arike, fuck her once but don’t do it very well and she’ll leave you.”
“I don’t get that.”
“I meant that you should have sex with her, but don’t do it at a place where she’ll get to call the tunes. You can do it, for example, in the office, poorly, I don’t know how but don’t let it satisfy her, she’ll leave you alone. It works like magic.”
“How could you know that?”
“Maybe because I’ve advised someone on this Aunt Arike issue before and it worked. You just came around, baby, you don’t know anything about all these people. I’m the only one you can trust.”

Hmmm… when a student begins to call her teacher baby!

I got back to school that day at 4pm when the students have returned to their hostels, Muslims in the mosque for Asr. Mr. Phillips was still in the school, at my request. He came to my office and although Mary’s words had made me very careful of how I would relate with him, I still gave him the impression that nothing had changed. I told him about how things went down with Toro, to the explicit details, more than I would say if I was not willing to make him lower his guards of deceit and games and continue to think me for a fool. And he did advise me strongly again in opposition to dating the proprietor’s daughter. At some point, I asked him if he was sure a write-up was truly released on Saturday, that I couldn’t find any trace.

He said, “Are you kidding me? They didn’t tell me, I was here on Saturday and I saw the write-up with my eyes.”
“I suspect you of dating someone in this school, what were you doing here on Saturday?” that was me, trying to be Detective Adebayo.
“No,” he shook his head. “I don’t date girls of their age. Sometimes I just come here on weekends when I’m bored.”
“I didn’t know you get bored too.”
“Who doesn’t? Sometimes I just get angry at everything, everybody.”
“Even me?”
“Ah, no. not you.” He laughed briefly and I watched him keenly.
“What if you were the Registrar with all the weight of the school on your shoulders, would you someday burn everywhere down then?”
“Well, I’m not. I wouldn’t know what I would do.”
“Mr. Phillips, we haven’t talked about Aunt Arike, please tell me all you know about her. She’s all over me.”
“I’m aware of that naw. I pity you. She gets desperate when she likes a guy. She’ll raze anybody to get you into bed.”
“Ah, I don’t want to get into bed with her o. How can I shed her off?”
“You can’t shed that woman off unless you get into bed with her regrettably.”
“With her? No.”
“You better do it.”
“Do what? Have sex with her?”
“Yes, do it unsatisfactorily, she’ll let go of you.”

Gbagaun! A bell tolled in my head. What Mary said was the truth! This guy was really hiding many things from me! Wasn’t that Mary’s advice too? Have sex with her unsatisfactorily and she’ll leave me alone? Was he the one she was referring to when she said she had advised someone before and it worked?

“How can you say that? How can you be so sure? What if I had sex with her and she only has more reasons to stay than leave?”
“She won’t. Most girls won’t.”
“I know a girl who would stay whether the sex was lasting or short.”
"I don’t know. Do whatever you like. I don’t like talking about that woman.”

Wow!

“Mr. Phillips, who shall we suspect wrote Saturday’s write-up now?”
“I don’t know but I guess the person is disappointed now, since everything is removed.”

Lobatan!

By the second day, which was Tuesday, everybody had known about the incident of the proprietress’ death and was asking questions, I had to leave for Big Victor’s house with the Principal to ask for what should be our course of action. Mary hijacked me when she found me but since I went there with the Principal, I couldn’t get undressed as she demanded. I told her I found what she said true, that Phillips was truly hiding a lot from me. Then she said I needed to sponsor a bill against him, one that would destroy him totally and open an exit door for him from the school. She said Phillips was not a stupid person, that the way I had interviewed him would have alerted him and he would soon get it together that I’ve known his secrets and whatever he had to do, he would do it fast to gain the upper hand, he would want to strike hard soon before I even think of an action.

I had to promise I’ll still come back that day. She gave me a hint of how to sneak in without her dad’s consent. I went back and she had indeed prepared the bill, revealing all his secrets, and I only edited the tenses and transferred it to my phone. She insisted that I sponsored it that night and I agreed.

I did print it on my way back to school, made photocopies and bought two bottles of light gums. I was already lectured on how to go about it and when. And I returned to school and waited in my office till 11:45pm when the school was dead silent. Mary said if I did it right, nobody would ever trace it to me. No security would spot me. So I surged out, took the prescribed routes, I didn’t want Phillips to destroy me first. I went around pasting the write-up, or perhaps sponsoring the bill on different boards. Cold gnawed at me, I didn’t pull out. The sky rumbled like a big drum of water, I didn’t withdraw. And even when thunderclaps filled the starless clouds, I flinched not. Kill or be killed, that was my spontaneously tailored motto. I finally got to the last board before somebody appeared behind me in the dark and threw a stack of wet papers at me, then it started to rain softly. I looked down on the sheets of paper I expected to be read come dawn, before me; the person must have been following me quietly and removing the papers after I put them up.

“So, it’s true. You’re the one,” said the person, coming into view.

I was never so surprised in my life. What the hell!

“Phillips?” I uttered through quivering lips.
“Yes, it’s me. You never could have guessed I could catch you this red-handed, could you? So, Mr. Adebayo, my most trusted friend, why are you doing this?”

....to be Continued!

Written by: Lord eBay (and his romantic adventures, 2016)
Twitter: @eBayism
Facebook: http://facebook.com/lescothafrica
Email: dearlordebay@gmail.com

ABOUT AUTHOR:
Lord eBay is an Aspiring Author with a taste for Romantic, Political and Paranormal Fictions. His goal is to join other writers in resurrecting Reading/Writing culture in Nigeria.

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