A pinot noir filled to the brim in one hand and half a slice of pizza on the other, laxly seated on the floor surrounded by junk food, in her boxer shorts and oversized Tee, while leaning on the bed frame, Bodun was performing a ritual for two on her own.
The clock said 10:49pm, indicating it was only a few minutes to her birthday, she took a long gulp of the wine, exhaling deeply as she placed the cup on the floor.
A sincere talk through the night into their birthdays was a ritual Ariel and Bodun had initiated since their university days where they would talk about the entire year, their mistakes, heart breaks, frustrations and achievements, they had never missed a night until now.
The past few weeks had been entirely different from the whole year, things were looking good. There was no negativity in Bodun’s life and it felt weird, weird but good.
Lola had returned from the CEO’s meeting and rumour had it that she was a disappointment, Kelvin suffered the consequences as the CEO deemed him incapable of managing a firm considering his poor choice of representation. He was demoted from managerial level and also transferred to another branch. Her last two periods weren’t as painful as it had been the entire year, a single dose of pain killer was all she needed.
Reflecting through the year, Bodun admitted it seemed surreal, it was as if the entire year never happened and for a minute she almost believed it never did. She wanted to believe so because that would mean she never went through an embarrassing breakup with Kelvin, lose her spot at the CEO’s meeting to Lola because of dysmenorrhea and most importantly it would mean she never found out about her best friend and Michael her ex.
She wasn’t even angry that Michael and Ariel had sex, well maybe just a little bit angry, fine a little more than just a little but who wouldn’t be? Ariel watched her drown in pain, heartbreak and confusion constantly wondering if and concluding that she wasn’t good enough for Michael.
Ariel was there all the times she tried to place a call to Michael, she saw how much it hurt that Michael would pick none of her calls, Ariel was there every step of the way. It was even more painful that Ariel was the shoulder she leaned on.
How do you stay calm knowing you are the cause of your best friend’s pain and still act like you care? Thunder will fire some people sha oh! Even the devil wouldn’t do that and now that Michael is about to tell me the truth, she confesses. I mean why would she have to wait till now? After how many years? How am I supposed to believe she is saying the truth and not twisting things?
Frustration was building up in her chest again, she was finding it difficult to breathe. Deep breaths Bodun.
She realised she was eating up her emotions and forcefully dropped the piece of pizza she held, back into the pack.
If Ariel finds out I’m eating this much she would kill me… Wait, who cares what Ariel thinks? Ariel can go to hell for all I care.
Yeah, she said that but deep within her, Bodun did not really mean that. Yes she was mad, disappointed and felt betrayed but not even in her next life would she wish anything but good for Ariel. Ariel had been there for her through extremely tough times, she was only too angry at the moment to think of those times. She wanted to be angry.
She emptied the bottle of wine into her cup and took a very long gulp till she aspirated and began to cough, she could feel the wine finding its way out through her nostrils, so she held her nose with her fingers and tilted her head backwards, when she felt easy she released her grip and exhaled. She was intoxicated and it felt good, she was all giddied up. With so much excitement buzzing in her head, she picked up her phone, drunk dialled someone and then she blanked out.
Fighting hard to keep her heavy eyelids open, Bodun woke up the next morning with the worst hangover ever. Her head was banging and it felt like a rock and roll party was happening in her frontal lobe.
She tried to remember what happened the previous night but she was mostly blank. She vaguely recalled the wine and pizza and looked around expecting to find remnants to confirm her memory but she couldn’t find anything. There was no mess around her, no bottle, or cup or pizza or chocolate wraps. She remembered lying on the bed but couldn’t remember leaving the floor.
“I must have gotten really high last night”
She brushed her hand across her face and took a deep yawn which awakened her nasal senses as she took a whiff of detergent and air freshner why does my room smell clean? “No alcohol for me for the next six months” She muttered.
Even with Ariel by her side, Bodun had never gotten this high. Her heart skipped a beat as she heard a door in the house get shut
“Who is there?” she called out but got no response
“Oh great, now I’m hearing things. Who did I expect to be in my house? Note to self, never ever get drunk again! Ever!”
She slowly found her way out of her bed and steadily to her feet, she wobbled to the bathroom using the wall and wardrobe as her support. Jeez what kind of headache is this? Who sent me message ehn?
She hissed from frustration as she settled on the toilet to pee for what seemed like an hour, she lazily did a rinse and dry then stood up to look into the mirror and much to her surprise she looked good, too good for the way she felt.
Okay, if this is the effect of getting drunk, maybe I should try this more often and then she felt a hard bang around her temples and groaned or maybe not. She splashed water on her face, picked up her toothbrush and was about to apply toothpaste on it when she realized it was wet “How is my brush wet na?” She hissed, dropped the toothbrush on the sink and walked out of the bathroom.
“Jesus Christ!” she exclaimed, nearly jumping out of her skin as she got to her bedroom and discovered she was not alone.
There was someone in her bedroom, but she couldn’t make out the face because all she could see was the rear view of the person, but it was obviously a man.
He wasn’t aware of her presence, he seemed to be occupied with something. She looked around to find any object she could use for defence. She spotted her high heeled shoes and tiptoed to pick one. She approached him with stealth but also with the kind of courage she was surprised she had, she wasn’t scared. After taking a few steps she heard him singing an Usher song which made her realize that he had a headset on.
Wait, this voice is familiar she tried to place it but before she could, he turned suddenly, making her scream until she realised there was actually nothing to be frightened about, he was her familiar stranger.
“Hi there beautiful, how are you doing this morning I tried not to wake you up. I’m sorry if I did. Did my noise wake you up? I thought you were busy in the bathroom, didn’t want to interrupt”
She guffawed not from amusement but from confusion.
Here he was after such a long while, in her bedroom and she couldn’t remember how he got there.
Do I have amnesia or something. She wanted to be worried but something about the way he looked at her, smiling, beaming, looking as handsome as ever, put her at ease.
“What are you doing here?” she whispered trying to find the right words
“Sorry?” he looked confused
“What do you mean sorry? I asked what you’re doing in my house, in my bedroom. How did you get in?”
“Calm down Bodun”
“Where in the history of calm down has anyone calmed down by being told to calm down. Feranmi, I need answers! What are you doing in my house?”
“Did you expect me to go home that late? I couldn’t leave by that time na. I left this morning as early as 7 to freshen up and got back at about 9:30”
“What are you talking about?” She wasn’t sure if she should be confused or worried because she definitely had no idea what he was talking about.
“Are you serious? Wow, you really don’t remember” He realised as he read her blank expression and heaved
“Oh boy! Urmmm where do I start from? I received a call from you last night, it was quite late, past 11, I was quite surprised you called considering you haven’t taken any of my calls since you know…”
Bodun coughed to clear her throat hinting that he should go straight to the point and he caught the drift.
“I picked your call and you sounded incoherent, begging me to come over that you… it was an emergency” what Bodun actually said was “I need you” but considering her short term amnesia, he didn’t want to embarrass her further so he went for a less embarrassing description.
” I thought you were in trouble so I rushed over here, I banged on the door really really loud, so I only got worried when you didn’t respond, I saw your car outside and I kinda know you well enough to know you wouldn’t sleep out, I knocked even harder and after a decade you yelled who is that motherfucker at my do…”
“Wait I said what now?”
“Oh trust me, I was as shocked as you are, so long story short, you let me in, you puked, I cleaned up, gave you bath and tucked you in”
What Feranmi didn’t say was how much of an emotional wreck Bodun was, the heartache she felt because of Ariel’s confession, the slap she gave Feranmi, her attempts to kiss him only for her to puke all over him and everywhere. The fever she had when the puking subsided. Him giving her the painkiller he saw by her bed, brushing her teeth and gave her a warm bath after which he changed her bedspread, and cleaned the room. And then when he tucked her in, she wouldn’t let him leave her side and insisted he combed his hand through her hair and tell her stories which he gladly did till she was knocked out. Taking care of Bodun was a privilege for him, he was grateful she reached out to him, he was grateful to have been there for her at what seemed like her weakest and most vulnerable state. But since she couldn’t recall anything, he wasn’t going to let her feel bad by telling the whole story.
“Wait you gave me a bath, I was naked? You saw me naked? I let you see me naked? How can I not remember all this?” Her eyes were blinking really fast.
“Well you were pretty messed up last night”
“What else do I not remember? what else happened last night? Did you, did I, did we have sex?”
Feranmi couldn’t help bursting out with laughter, he chuckled so hard that it pissed Bodun off
“Why are you laughing” she scrunched her face in annoyance.
“Because you think we had sex”
“And are you saying you cant have sex with me?”
“Oh I definitely can, I mean I will that’s if you want me to, us to…”
He paused and they both took in the humour of the moment and exploded into ecstatic laughter.
“For real, what else happened?”
“Nothing really, save for the fact that you slapped me”
“No!” She exclaimed with humourous denial
“Yes” he said with laughter in his eyes.
Bodun sighed and for the first time, realized Feranmi had set breakfast by her bed.
“Wow, is that for me?” She was genuinely surprised and she felt her heart melt even before she heard his reply, she stepped towards the bed and opened each serving, it was a delightful sight to behold, Feranmi had prepared a beautiful English breakfast and it smelled divine, she heard her stomach creak and realized she was very hungry. She looked at Feranmi trying but failing to hide the sincere gratitude in her eyes as she mouthed “Thank you”.
In a split second, there was no distance between them, he was so close to her and she could feel his warmth spreading all over her, she felt an electric wave rush to her spine as he took her hands into his and whispered the words Bodun had completely forgotten about.
“Happy birthday Bodun”.
“I missed you too” she whispered as she bit her lower lip seductively, leaning in for a kiss expecting him to meet her half way. But rather felt like an island coconut as he shook her with his firm hands awakening her senses..
“Ehn?” She blurted out shaken
“Happy Birthday, today’s your birthday right?” He looked slightly confused
“Birthday? No it’s not, is it? What’s today’s date? Oh my Goodness, it is my birthday! How could I forget?”
“Too much red wine I guess” Feranmi said amidst constrained chuckles.
“You are so lucky you have me, who would you have called?” He grinned
“Oh well, Happy birthday to me” She muttered and in a carefree moment, Bodun tiptoed and planted a kiss on Feranmi’s lips but didn’t quite get the reaction she expected as he stood motionless. So she returned to her heels embarrassed and was about to sit on the bed when Feranmi swept her off her feet in a passionate embrace, lifting her unto himself, as they kissed with fiery desire.
The kiss would have intensified if Bodun’s stomach didn’t make a loud growl, oh great! They both burst out laughing hard, as Feranmi set her down gently
“You should eat Bodun” He said softly
“Yeah I should” rolling her eyes while cursing underneath her breath stupid stomach.
“Thank you Feranmi” she said as she took the last gulp of hot chocolate in her cup “I don’t know how you did it, because I’m pretty sure I had none of these things at home, but I don’t mind waking up to that kind of breakfast everyday.”
“Yeah I did a little shopping, the birthday girl deserves the best doesn’t she? I’ll be right back, let me clear this, then I’m yours for today”
Bodun couldn’t help but notice, Feranmi was glowing and she felt her face heat up in turn, as soon as Feranmi left the room with the dishes, she sighed and giggled to herself. She heard the muffled vibration of her phone and searched for it, finally finding it under her mattress now how did you get there she hissed. Her phone was still vibrating and she saw that it was a reminder.
What reminder is this, I definitely didn’t put up a reminder for my birthday… “Oh” she whispered, It was for Ariel. Ariel had a show today, runway and she was the highlight model for the show. This was her big break and she had put in the reminder herself, in her words
“Even if you forget your birthday, I would never forgive you if you don’t come for the show”
Who needs forgiving now Bodun scoffed, she pulled down her notification bar to check for missed calls or messages and she saw a missed call from her dad, three from her mom, two from Ariel, you know what? I can’t even deal with this birthday shenanigan, Feranmi is in my house, and it looks like things are about to get… what’s the word? Turnt!
“So where were we?” Feranmi’s husky voice interrupted her train of thoughts but she didn’t mind. Responding in the same sensual manner, Bodun gently placed her phone on her bedside table not taking her eyes off Feranmi. Softly nibbling on her wet lips she whispered fiercely
“Come here” hoping he would actually play along and not make her feel like a fool, then he hesitated and her confidence quivered for a few but was restored as he took seductive strides to her while taking off his shirt
“Damn you are so sexy it hurts to watch” placing her hands gently on his chest she moved to feel his skin and a kind of uninhibited desire overwhelmed her, she felt wild as she began to move her nails lightly on his body. Feranmi cupped her face in his hands and gazed into her eyes with an affection that whispered tales of amazement and yearning.
“Something is different” He whispered
“What do you mean?”
“You seem different”
Yes boy, alter ego activated, Bodun has left the building! Coyly she whispered “Don’t you like this version of me?”
“You know I love every part of you there is…”
“You talk too much” she hushed him as she kissed him with a strange passion, wild fire engulfed them and neither was willing to put it off. The pace quickened as did the flames, it was like a moment in a Mills and boons novel then at the spur of the moment Bodun blurted out
“What about your girlfriend?”
Her question took Feranmi by surprise and he stuttered before answering “We broke up”
“Oh good, Great, well not great just good, that’s if you wanted it, but I guess you did, well I’m not entirely sure, I just have a thing against infidelity..”
“Bodun…” he called calmly
“Yeah” she replied her heart beating really fast, her Beaver throbbing, her world was spiraling and she was letting it
“Shut up” he whispered in a sexy dominant way that made her want him even more.
He placed her on the bed while taking off his brown leather belt, but the glow the sunrays gave his dark carved skin was too overwhelming for her to be still, she touched his chest and gazed deep into his eyes wondering if this was really happening, she moved her fingers everywhere till she felt a scar on his shoulder blades, his hands caught hers and he planted a kiss on her forehead that made her toes curl up in delight.
Bodun closed her eyes and when she opened it, they were wrapped in each other, she could feel his breath melt on her skin and his heart rhythm beat down her spine. His stillness made her restless and in a rush of excitement she rolled on top of him, planting kisses from his temples, to his neck which she observed made him squirm, she liked it. She slowly found her way down, planting kisses all over till she got to his waistline and saw his overwhelming bulge, her eyes widened with dirty desire and she heard herself whisper “Damn“.
As if on cue, Feranmi swiftly had Bodun under him. She loved the way he moved her, she felt light and for the first time in forever she felt intimately comfortable with her body.
“It’s your birthday so I should do all the work” And maybe it was what he said or how he said it but Bodun couldn’t hold back the laughter that rose from her belly, a laughter that narrowly ruined the moment. “I’m sorry” she whispered.
“You should be flogged” he replied with a smirk on his face, he wasn’t offended and Bodun remembered how easy life was when Feranmi was still in her life.
He carressed and fondled her awakening every nerve ending, teasing her, steadily arousing her to climax, spasms of fervor made her thighs tremble, echoes of her moaning with pure pleasure filled the air and just when the cherry was about to pop, he stopped. Involuntarily, Bodun gave him a blow on his arms and groaned with exasperation
“Why did you stop?” She whimpered
“Do you want this?”
“Want what?” Her thinking was fuzzed up with ecstasy
“Bodun” he stared at her in disbelief
“Oh right” she realised what he meant “Ummmm yeah” she hesistated
“You don’t sound sure”
“I am but do you have protection?”
He reached out for his trousers which Bodun had taken off and flung to the side, brought out a piece of condom from the pocket and flashed it at her.
“Do you always go around with that?”
She was surprised, not sure what answer she wanted to hear
“No I don’t”
“Then why do you have it here?”
“Do you know how hard it is resisting you?”
“Liar”, she smirked
“Wait till I’m done with you, then we would know if I’m lying or not”
“You brag a lot”
“Maybe” he grinned as he tore out the condom and rolled it on.
“I like the scent”
“You are going to like more than the scent when I’m done with you”
“You better be as good as you are cocky”
“You bet I am”
“I can’t believe we are actually talking instead of fucking” She snickered
“I know right, I guess it’s time to shut you up” he put his hands in hers as he held her down and moved to invade her when her breath became raspy
“Be gentle” she whispered with a plea in her voice and that ached Feranmi’s heart, he nodded. She cringed with pain as she dug her nails into Feranmi’s arm, and he stopped immediately.
“Are you okay?” his voice echoing with worry
“I’m fine, it’s just been a really really long while” she muttered avoiding his eyes
“We don’t have to do this Bodun”
“I want to” she cupped his face into her hands “Just be gentle with me okay?”
“Okay” he whispered as he placed a kiss on her forehead.
He thrusted slowly, moving carefully to avoid hurting her. She looked in his face and saw that he was being too careful, she moaned in fake pleasure, cueing him to intensify his actions but he didn’t, so she kissed him passionately to unleash the fire she needed and then took over the wheel.
A rollercoaster with an explosive climax came unleashing suppressed emotions and Bodun found herself crying not from pain or sadness but from pure Bliss.
“Bodun, Are you okay?” Her tears confused him
“Yeah I am” she wiped her tears and smiled
Yeah that was just really great, come on, let’s go shower” she jerked him up as they walked hand in hand to the bathroom.
Bathing together was another communion, Feranmi didn’t let her do one thing in the shower, he brushed and bathe for her and it made her feel something she hadn’t felt in a very long while, she felt loved. He even sang the birthday song to her which made her smile silly. It was a fairy tale.
Stepping out of the shower, reality dawned on Bodun, every thing fell into place, perspectives were clear, priorities were established. She knew what she had to do and she wasn’t going to hesitate.
Sometimes all you need is to get high, get laid and everything becomes clear
“You look like you have a date”
“Yeah I do”
Sadly he nodded, “Can we talk Bodun?”
“Errrr okay I guess”
“Just listen to me, don’t say anything until I’m done”
This is going to be weird “Okay”
Then he began talking and all she could hear was blah blah blah, because she wasn’t actually listening, some times she would try to focus on what he was saying and then she would lose his voice in the corridor of her thoughts. Her mind was else where, then she felt his touch which finally brought her back.
“So what do you think?”
Oh shoot, what did he ask, quickly improvise “Whatever you decide is fine”
“It’s not my decision to take, it has to be a mutual agreement”
Damn Bodun why didn’t you just listen? “I see”
“Well if you need time to think about it…”
“Yes! let me think about it”
“So do we see tomorrow? Dinner? Maybe your answer will be ready by then”
Okay this improv is not working “Sorry Feranmi what answer do you need?”
“Answer to the question I asked?”
“Are you kidding?”
“I’m sorry, just say it”
Frustration slowly creeped on him as he searched for better words
“Can you give us another chance?”
“Another chance for what? Sex?” She giggled but Feranmi’s face was as straight as an arrow
“Bodun I’m serious, weren’t you listening to what I said? I really want to be with you, like you know a relationship”.
“Oh I see” a lopsided grin spread on her face.
A montage of her life played before her eyes and one thing was clear to her. All her life, she had depended on people way too much for her happiness. She had entered relationships at the spur of the moment hoping to fill the void she felt and none had lasted which only made the void bigger.
“Feranmi, you are kind and caring and a few months ago I would have given anything to be with you but we both know how that story turned out”
“I said I’m sorry” Remorse echoing in his voice
“I know, but it doesn’t really matter anymore. My life has been a whirlwind, a roller coaster, I’ve had my fair share of heartbreaks and No, I’m not scared you are going to break my heart that’s if I still have one there’s just not much space in there to love someone else, I don’t have the energy a relationship requires. Right now, I need to focus on me, heal and nurture myself. Someday, I would love to give this a whirl because you are amazing, I mean amazing in everything. But for now I gotta go my own way” She found herself quoting a song from High School Musical and tried not to smile which wasn’t so hard because her words broke him and his face was pale with rejection. She felt his pain and wanted desperately to ease him of it, to run into his arms and tell him she was kidding and would love to be with him but she knew that wasn’t what she wanted. She decided she wasn’t going to compromise her happiness for anyone else’s, for the first time she didn’t care if it seemed slefish but her feelings were more important. Her lips folded into a smile, she was beaming with pride, pride in her resolution, pride in her strength.
“Smile for me” she teased
“I don’t remember how to…Who’s the lucky guy you’re going on a date with?”
“No lucky guy, there’s a fashion show happening today and I need to be there for my best friend as she has always been for me. Some things are not worth losing good friends for.”
“You are one of a kind Bodun”
“I know” she had a smug on her face as she put on her last piece of jewelry, her confidence.
The best type of love is self love, not the toxic kind but the one were you no longer need others to validate your existence.