Nse had left the village school.
Her aunty had come for her. She was to take her WAEC and JAMB out there and immediately begin seeking for admission in prestigious schools.
Alex didn’t know the whole story, like why would the wealthy aunty come for her now when Nse had been living with her granny all this years? But there was no one to answer and he didn’t much care either, he only cared that his apology hadn’t been acknowledged, talk more of being accepted by Nse and he would never have any opportunity to make it right.
He hated Imeobong with a passion so intense the whole school noticed but no one knew the story behind the hatred except his friends. None of his friends could pull him out of his depression when he’d heard that Nse had left.
Alex was angrier with himself than with Imeobong. Why couldn’t he have controlled his reaction to Imeobong’s nipples grazing his stomach through their shirt uniform when she’d forcefully hugged him that morning? He should have known something was amiss when Imeobong told him Nse wanted to see him and accept his friendship in the morning, but Nse’s wave the previous day had excited him and given him hope.
He should have suspected something when he hadn’t seen Nse but her friend in the classroom. He should have walked away…should have, could have, would have, all coming after the fact that Nse was gone from him for ever. Her granny said she wasn’t ever returning to the village, unless it was for her traditional marriage.
The dear old woman didn’t know how her happy words sliced his heart to pieces.
“Da! Alex, this is getting out of hand o, this depression is embarrassing for a guy man like you,” Jojo stated impatiently after trying for weeks to enliven him.
“He’s still at it?” Uko asked, just rounding the backyard that connected all their houses and made them neighbours. “He must have really loved her then,” it was his standard comment for every complaint that Jojo and Ekanem flung Alex’s way.
“Uko, please, stop saying it is love, the guy didn’t even nail the babe,” Jojo pointed out and then instantly changed the topic, “Where is Ekanem?” he asked no one in particular.
Alex sighed wearily as he sighted their other friend making his way towards the pear tree beside his grand parents’ house. He wished his friends would just leave him alone, but it was going on a month and deep down, he knew he had to forget about Nse; the girl never liked him in the first place anyway.
He was suddenly angry at her.
It wasn’t as though she hadn’t uncovered her friend’s deceit but she’d just lumped them together and simply ignored them. Alex was angry that she hadn’t given him the benefit of doubt; she should have known that he would never cause friction between friends. He loved sex but he would never have done anything to hurt Nse.
“My niggas, come with me! Today, I have the winning games, this one is sure!” Ekanem shouted the moment he got close. A few months ago he had discovered the ‘white paper’, football betting.
Alex scoffed, “My hundred naira was wasted on your games yesterday,” Uko and Jojo eagerly laughed in relief as Alex was talking without being coaxed as the case had been this past weeks.
“This one is different,” Ekanem swore sincerely.
“This thing is all a gamble, how are you so sure?”
“Anyway,” Alex said and got to his feet, towering over his friends both in height and bulk, his teenage features had slowly morphed into that of a young adult. He was dark in complexion, his body was hard with defined muscles as he exercised with lifting crudely made weights, and the things that seemed to make the ladies swoon was his starkly pink lips, an obvious contrast to his dark skin.
“I can’t go with you guys…”
“But I thought you were fine just now,” Uko cried, almost sulking, he had missed his friend and had hoped that today would be different, especially after his joke at Ekanem.
“I’m fine. But grandma has a bunch of pumpkin vegetable for me to deliver in the next village, that’s why I can’t go with you guys,” he explained and felt bad when his friends blatantly exhaled in relief; had he burdened them that much?
“We could go with you,”Jojo suggested mildly though Alex knew he was serious.
“No. If Ekanem is swearing for this game, I need to play it,” he smiled and handed Jojo a dirty one hundred naira note.
The group of friends laughed freely and were silently glad their friend had broken out of his funk.
“Yes, grandma!” Alex answered in a shout and waved at his friends before rushing into his grandparents’ three bedroom flat. He was happy that his life wasn’t so bad, at least, he could boast of helping his grandparents with every chore, especially with deliveries of pumpkin vegetable and Afang to clients. And in that vein, he had subconsciously shown his friends that helping out at home was right.
Alex never compromised when it came to helping his guardians and so his friends had imbibed that culture, making their parents happy.
“Change your cloths before you go,” his grandfather said, giving him a pointed look over his glasses.
Alex looked down at his jeans trouser and t-shirt and sighed. Having lived over a year with his grannies, he had learnt that his grandfather was a staunch believer of respectable dressing. He had drilled that belief into Alex so much he couldn’t argue the point anymore.
He returned still wearing his jeans trousers but paired with a second hand, short sleeve shirt that had once belonged to his father. It was a good thing that his father had been tall, even though Alex was still growing; but at the moment, it meant that Alex and his grannies didn’t have to worry for cloths and their costs.
His grandfather gave him the nod of approval and he rolled his eyes at his grandma who chuckled, patting him on the back as he grabbed the huge heap of pumpkin vegetable, wrapped with condemned sack bag, and walked out the door.
Alex knew his Thursday deliveries and they included Mistress Carol who he had yet to report to his grannies that she behaved inappropriately with him. He had been proving himself to Nse, even though she hadn’t been aware, but he’d wanted to maintain a clean record for her sake when he’d began pushing her seriously to be his friend.
He wasn’t surprised that Mistress Carol received him with a wrapper over her chest, she did this every time he delivered vegetables to her. He wasn’t worried about her today, after all she was no more their English teacher at the school as Youth Service Corpers had taken over for even lower pay. Additionally, there was no more Nse to prod his conscience.
With this thought, he confidently walked into her house when Mistress Carol coyly invited him in and directed him to drop the vegetable in the small kitchen of her self contain apartment. He saw the slight confusion on her face when he didn’t look hesitant as usual.
“That will be two thousand naira, Ma,” Alex stated categorically with a serious mien.
Mistress Carol frowned, “I only ordered for three hundred naira vegetable and your delivery makes it five…”
But her words ceased when Alex moved closer, towering over her diminutive height and fearlessly grabbed her breast, squeezing it while he looked at her directly with a cocked eyebrow.
She nodded immediately, “Yes, yes, two thousand naira,” she gasped.
Alex silently pushed her towards her big mattress in the other room. Unceremoniously, he ripped off her wrapper from her chest, her big breasts spilling over a flat stomach. Alex allowed his eyes to boldly roam her naked body, stopping momentarily in between her legs before extending his hand, silently asking for his payment.
He dared not play with his granny’s money. Carol immediately scampered shamelessly for her purse and paid him. He pocketed the money in his wallet, while sliding out a condom at the same time.
Stoically, Alex pulled off his shirt and begun unbuckling his belt, “Lie down,” he commanded in a voice filled with authority and the woman, over ten years his senior, meekly complied.
When he stood naked, his engorged penis perfectly sheath with protection, he climbed the huge mattress, his expression still stoic and roughly separated the woman’s legs, his nose twitching at the heavy smell of her sex.
She whimpered when he teased her hairy lips before sliding in to rob her clits. Her hips raised and bucked and she instantly begun making gurgling sounds, apparently she was a screamer. It was a good thing she didn’t have next door neighbours.
Alex was detached as he gave his former teacher pleasure. It felt like he was watching some other person do this despicable act. All he wanted was Nse and he didn’t even want her for sex. He furiously pounded into the crying woman as though she was responsible for Nse leaving him in the village.
He had felt an affinity with her, as she was almost an orphan too and she had experienced life in the city before being abandoned in the village.
Carol screamed her third release and looked like she would pass out, so, Alex knew he had to cum but he couldn’t. Finally, he had to picture that it was Nse beneath him which invariably caused his gasp of pleasure and released into the woman.
Silently, he got up, went into the bath and cleaned up, returned and dressed up, checking the money in his wallet and walking out.
It became a weekly activity. Mistress Carol suddenly became the highest buying customer of his grandma’s pumpkins.
“You almost broke my waist the last time,” she giggled while spreading her legs for Alex. He smiled slightly at her and went to work, pounding her more and hoping he actually broke her waist.
One of those days, he was furiously pounding away with Carol’s loud moans in his ear when a heavy knock sounded on her door.
“Carol! Carol! Open this door!” more pounding on the door.
Mistress Carol pushed him off with a strength he hadn’t known she possessed.
“That is my boyfriend,” she furiously whispered and Alex’s eyes widened.
“I thought you broke up with him,” Alex whispered back while hopping on one leg in his effort to drag on his trousers.
“Carol, I will break down this door!”
And Alex didn’t doubt him. Once, he had been shown the picture of the boyfriend currently banging the door, he was a burly fellow. He would break Alex in two if he got his hands on him.
In panic, Carol pushed him out of her kitchen window and he had to run with his belt unbuckled, shirtless and shoeless through the village until he could get a bike ride back home. He could not imagine what would happen to Carol, but it was certain he was never going back there again.
He was worried about his grannies hearing of his gaffe and he dreaded the disappointment that would colour their faces. He wasn’t surprised when they confronted him a week later.
Of course, Ikot Ukap and Mmbiaso, the next village, were practically one village. It only took a fifty naira bike ride to get there and they shared some market days. Someone that knew his grannies had definitely seen him. And news flew like wild fire on dry grass in small villages.
His grandmother cried heartbrokenly. His grandfather staunchly declared he wasn’t delivering vegetables anymore and then preached the sin of casual sex every morning in devotion. It took a whole month before they could even look him in the face again. And by then, the WAEC exams had drawn close, even his friends were guilty by association and couldn’t visit his house any longer.
Alex was just glad Nse wasn’t around to witness his scandal.