by Umari Ayim
Leather Corsets And Tokunbo’s Tirade.
– Read Episode 1 of the compelling story HERE.
– Read Episode 2 of the compelling story HERE.
– Read Episode 3 of the compelling story HERE
– Read Episode 4 of the compelling story HERE
– Read Episode 5 of the compelling story HERE
– Read Episode 6 of the compelling story HERE
– Read Episode 7 of the compelling story HERE
The plastic bag is passed to me and I shake my head at Sarah before dipping my hand inside the bag. I bring out a red and black strapless leather corset top with matching leather panties pinned to it. I try to return it back into the bag but Sarah deftly moves the bag away from my reach, a look of mischief in her eyes. Chika is laughing at her own choice.
“What in God’s name am I going to do with this thing?” She asks, holding up the red g-string and shaking her head.
“You can wear it to the market if you like,” Sarah says with a laugh and slaps Ajumai’s hand as it attempts to return into the bag for the second time.
“Oooo,” Ajumai says, making a face at the white lace panties in her hands. “I don’t wear things like these to bed, let me check for something decent.”
“There is always a first time,” Sarah says, closing the plastic bag with the drawstring at the opening.
Her notepad on her lap, Sarah takes down the amount owed to her while we continue to complain about the outrageous slips of underwear in our hands.
“But seriously, these are the kind of things prostitutes wear,” Ajumai says, making a disgusted face.
“I keep telling you to stop saying that,” Sarah says, brandishing her white fountain pen in front of Ajumai’s face. “We should make more effort to keep our men interested.”
“What about the men?” Bidemi asks with a snort. “What effort do they make to keep us interested?”
Ajumai turns and gives Bidemi a high five. “Tell her.”
“All that effort at night,” Sarah says, winking at Ajumai and Bidemi.
Patricia starts to laugh. “Sarah, seriously…”
“What effort?” Ajumai asks, still studying her latest acquisition with a frown. “It is just good old missionary. I usually just lie back and count to ten while he goes about his business.”
Chika almost spills the glass of water she is raising to her mouth. “Ajumai!”
Ajumai gives Chika an unperturbed shrug.
“Well, no matter what you all think,” Sarah says, pushing her notepad and pen into her red Louis Vitton bag. “You can’t underestimate the power of a nice lingerie.”
Ajumai crosses her ankles and arranges her sleeveless green paneled maxi dress around her leg, so that only the top of her white sandals is peeking through. When she is done, she turns to Sarah.
“So how does wearing sexy lingerie to bed affect your sex life?”
“I get a lot of action these days.”
Patricia giggles and Chika holds her hands over her ears, while Bidemi throws back her head in laughter.
Ajumai and Sarah continue their back and forth until the discussion gets more intimate.
Sarah is making a case for the men. “Seriously, we cause these problems for ourselves. Nothing
should stop a wife from going all lengths to satisfy her husband sexually.”
Ajumai rolls her eyes. “I personally find some things disgusting.”
“Like what?” Patricia asks, jumping in.
“Going down on my husband.”
“God!” Chika says covering her face with her hand. “You guys really need to stop.”
“You need to lose your inhibitions,” Sarah says, admonishing Ajumai. “You don’t want to lose that man.”
“It works both ways,” Bidemi cuts in. “Husbands also need to lose their inhibitions when it comes to their wives.”
“I find the whole thing boring,” Ajumai says, shaking her head. “If we weren’t trying to have a baby, I would have begged to be excused from the exercise.”
The women take turns in advising Ajumai to be more receptive to her husband’s sexual advances. Ajumai points out the futility of trying by making reference to Sarah’s problem with her husband’s mistress.
“..at the end of the day, you can move that waist like God forgot to put a bone there, if a man is
going to cheat, he will cheat.”
The discussion ends when sound of Chika’s husband honking at the gate reaches us in the living room.
Toju is squealing into Shadda’s face as I drag my suitcase behind me to the dressing room. I leave it beside the chest of drawers and go back to the room. I sit at the edge of the bed and wait as Shadda moves Toju to her laps and begins to rock him.
“I think he has powers.”
I make a face at Shadda. “You know I am talking about Richard.”
“Oh,” Shadda nods and nuzzles Toju’s neck. “He does..dormant powers.”
“He kept reading my mind.”
“He has the power to, he just needs to work on it.”
“I don’t want him to be able to get into my mind.”
Shadda stops cooing at Toju to smile at me, “you have nothing to fear for now.”
I nod and then remember the leather corset. “What do you think of this?” I ask Shadda, picking
the corset from the bed where I dropped it upon my return home.
“I don’t know what to think of it.”
“I am thinking of wearing it for Richard tonight.”
“Good for you.”
There is a knock on the bedroom door and I open it to see the nanny. I wave her inside and she walks to pick Toju from the bed, brushing Shadda as she does. I notice how she pauses for a second before straightening up with the baby.
“I think she felt your presence,” I tell Shadda as soon as we are alone.
Shadda nods. “She did, but will forget all about it before tonight ends.”
I shrug at the nanny’s poor spiritual receptors and hold up the corset again. “You want to see me
Shadda stands up from the bed, her long gypsy skirt trailing behind as she walks to the window.
“No, thanks. I will just stay here and watch the evening.”
I pick up my phone from the bed to check the time and find out that it is almost nine in the evening. It has been one hour since Richard returned home and disappeared into his study. I return back my phone to its former position and leave the room for the bathroom. I finish pulling up the zip in front of the corset before I release my reflection.
“So what do you think?”
“I like it.”
“Are you sure Richard will like it?”
“I am sure he will. Stop fretting.”
“I just hope you are right.”
My reflection flashes me a cocky grin and says, “You know I am always right.”
I pull the top of the corset in an attempt to cover the rest of my breasts spilling over it but the material is uncooperative.
“I don’t think I got the right size.”
My reflection ignores me and begins to pull different sultry poses. I make a face at her. “What are you doing?”
“Showing you how it is done.”
“I think you look ridiculous.”
My reflection laughs and tells me I need to learn not to take myself too seriously.
“Try meditation maybe.”
I wave her suggestion aside and tell her, “okay, I am going to bed to wait for Richard.”
I return to the room to find Shadda gone and the drapes pulled shut. Richard is still not back from his study. I sit on the bed and decide to wait for him. After one hour of looking expectantly at the door, I lower myself to the pillow thinking,
Must wait…must seduce Richard
I tell myself that I am going to stay awake and I manage to do just that for all but ten minutes. I come out of sleep several hours later and try to focus on the two faces before me.
“Hey, look Toju,” a voice is saying above me. “Mummy is a dominatrix.”
When the sleep clears from my eyes, I see Richard in a white T-shirt and black jogging pants standing with Toju clasped to his right side while his left hand holds the mug he is lifting to his lips.
Richard is not done talking to our two month old son. “What do you think mummy is missing?”
Mouth open and eyes fixed on my chest, Toju gives a loud squeal and Richard nods.
“Yes, that is right. Mummy is missing a whip.”
I laugh and push myself up just as Toju begins squirming in Richard’s arms. I reach out my hands to collect him from Richard. As soon as I set him down beside me, he starts to rub his face against my chest. I stand up from the bed with him and grab a towel from the bathroom on my way out to the nursery.
I finish breastfeeding Toju and let the nanny take over from me. Richard must have returned to his study because when I go back to the room, he is not there. I use the opportunity to dash to the bathroom to get out of the corset. I am just pulling down the top of the corset when the door opens and Richard walks in. Startled by his presence, I hold my arms up to cover my chest.
Richard stares pointedly at my arms and asks what I am doing.
“Covering myself I guess.”
Richard laughs and walks to meet me at the mirror. He stands behind me and pulls me up against him, his eyes holding my own in the mirror. Slowly, Richard works my arms loose until mychest is exposed to his eyes. I clutch the edge of the counter top as Richard bends to drop a kiss on my neck as he slowly tugs the zipper of the corset down. Turning me around gently to face him, Richard takes care of his own T-shirt and pulls me in for a deep kiss.
“We should use the shower together,” Richard says, pulling away at last.
In the shower, I run slippery hands all over Richard, exploring every curve of his body and Richard returns the favour with gentle strokes. When the shower is over twenty minutes later, I lay my head on Richard’s shoulder, feeling spent and sated at the same time.
“I liked the costume,” Richard tells me a while later in the bedroom. “It was really inspiring.”
I laugh at Richard’s choice of words. “Inspiring?”
Richard laughs and nods. “Yeah. Gave me plenty of ideas.”
We spend the rest of the morning in bed until Richard decides to go back to work in his study and I take time off to check on Toju before going to the small office where I spend time arranging books in the book shelf.
Henry sits opposite me in my office, trying to explain his grievance with Tokunbo.
“My problem with the operations manager is her insistence that we continue to use the auditor in
spite of the fraud we uncovered three weeks ago.”
I know Henry wants me to approach Richard about his issue with Tokunbo but I want to let sleeping dogs lie and at the same time, I want to reassure Henry that I understand his position.
“You know, let us give it some time,” I tell Henry, giving him a cheerful smile. “Maybe two weeks and then within that time if we find more evidence against the auditor, Richard will be happy to hear us out.”
Henry thinks this is fair enough and leaves my office soon after. Just as I am pushing my chair back to walk to stretch my legs, Tokunbo walks into my office after a very quiet knock.
I stop moving my chair and wait for her to reach me.
Her tone is curt when she greets me. “Good morning.”
“Good morning Tokunbo.”
“First of all, I want to say I do not appreciate the fact that you are taking sides in an issue you know nothing about.”
I open my mouth to reply Tokunbo but she cuts me off with her hand in the air.
“Wait, let me finish.”
I close my mouth and wait.
“Secondly, do not think you can influence Richard any more than I can because you need to add six more years to the two years you have known him to beat me at knowing Richard.”
I let go of the last shred of self control I have and rise to meet Tokunbo.
“Don’t even go there,” I half hiss at her. “My relationship with Richard has nothing to do with you or this job.”
Tokunbo crosses her arms against her chest and raises one eyebrow at me, “really?”
Tokunbo’s arms drop to her side. “Let me just tell you this, you are only here because you are married to Richard.”
“I think you should just leave now.”
“And oh, I hope you like Richard’s room better than your own room.”
I feel as if I have just been slapped, but I keep a cool façade. “Leave!”
“Just stay out of my business with Henry, or we are dragging this one out.”
I watch Tokunbo sashay to the door in her black pumps, and concentrate on the four inch heels carrying her weight as hard as I can. I concentrate and concentrate, and then just before she reaches for the door handle, her pumps give a satisfying ‘thwack’ and she falls forward on her knees.
Not so cool now, are we?
Gathering her scattered wits and dignity around her, Tokunbo walks out of my office in pumps that have now become flats, her broken heels in her hand.
Shadda appears at my table immediately.
“You need to keep that anger in check,” she tells me, a smile on her face. “Tokunbo also needs to watch her tongue.”
“She needs to watch her tongue,” I say, agreeing with the latter part of Shadda’s statement.
“You conveniently left out the anger part,” Shadda says, pulling out one of the chairs around the small conference table and sitting on it.
“I am not done being angry yet,” I tell Shadda as I march towards her and do a U-turn back to my desk and march back to her again.
“Oh dear God, stop with the pacing,” Shadda says, admiring the silver rings on six of her ten fingers.
“How dare he?”
Shadda drops her hand and gives me a bored look. “How dare he what?”
“Talk about our sleeping arrangements with his ex.”
“Now, don’t get worked up for nothing.”
“But he told her!”
Shadda shakes her head at me. “You don’t understand.”
I draw to a stop at Shadda’s side. “So make me understand.”
“I can’t!” Shadda tells me, throwing her hands up. “I am not your husband.”
“Fine,” I snap at Shadda, resuming my pacing again. “I will talk to Richard about this.”
“Good for you,” Shadda says, producing a nail file from somewhere and beginning to file her nails. I get a sudden bout of home sickness.
“You remind me of Amara.”
Shadda wriggles her eyebrow at me and continues filing bright pink fingernails.
My heart suddenly feels heavy and I sit down on one the chairs facing Shadda. “I feel so sad right now, just when we were getting close.”
Shadda blows at her filed nails and looks at me above them. “Don’t push him away now.”
Standing up from the chair, Shadda changes her hairstyle to a high coiffure.
“Don’t push him away,” She tells me again, walking backwards towards the window and melting into thin air.
“I don’t care if I push him all the way to Gibraltar,” I tell Shadda with a pout just as she leaves me alone.
I walk back to my desk, sit in a slouch and wait for the day to end.
“So go on and explain. I promise not to get mad.”
Richard places his elbows on the desk before him and massages his temples. “I am not sure I know how to explain this.”
“You can start from the beginning,” I tell him, sitting on the leather sofa a few inches away from his desk, “the part where you felt obliged to share our living arrangements with her.”
“Can I just apologize instead?”
Richard looks down at the stack of papers before him and then looks up at me. “Fine, I will give you an explanation after I sort through this.”
I want to push but I realize from the look in Richard’s eyes that it would be futile to do so. I leave Richard in a huff and stomp all the way to the bedroom. I have the room to myself for the whole night. I wait till one a.m and when there is no sign of Richard, I burrow deep into the covers and fall asleep. Richard is beside me the next morning, fast asleep with one hand resting on my waist. For a few minutes, I am carried away with watching him sleep and then I remember our misunderstanding.
Umari Ayim is the author of ‘Twilight at Terracotta Indigo’ and ‘Inside my Head’ both winners of the 2011 ANA NDDC Flora Nwapa prize and 2012 Poetry prize respectively.
Umari blogs at www.umariayim.com and tweets from @umariayim