WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26th, 2014.
Funmi lay on the bed sick to the pit of her stomach. She was physically and emotionally drained. Too weak to cry anymore.
The walls in her room constantly seemed to be closing in on her or maybe she was just going insane. A tear trickled down her cheek leaving a path of pain as it travelled down.
Was the pleasure of the party worth the pain that was threatening to consume her soul?
The music was soothing, with flashing lights. The place smelt of rose flowers. She loved it. Dressed up in her black gown that just rested a little above her knees, her curves were accentuated by the perfect slim-fit of the gown.
‘Bode almost ate you up when he picked us up in the house,’ Dunni said teasing. ‘He couldn’t keep his eyes from the rear view mirror, always peeping backwards. I was just praying that he would get us here without any incidents’.
‘What time are we leaving again?’ She asked Dunni, totally off the line of discussion.
‘What’s your P? We just arrived,’ Dunni replied in astonishment. ‘I have never seen a bigger kill joy than you I swear.’
‘What time?’ She repeated, smiling.
‘Eleven.’ Dunni replied
‘But you told me ten before we left the house.’
I’ve been drinking, I’ve been drinking
I get filthy when that liquor get into me…
The ambience in the room immediately changed as there was a roar of approval for the djs’ choice of music. Dunni ignored her as she swayed to beyonce’s ‘drunk in love’.
‘Hey,’ Bode bounced into the mix smiling, he had two glasses of wine in his hand.
Dunni looked at Bode with the glasses in his hand and then turned her gaze on her and in the rhythm of the playing song started singing, ‘he’s been drinking, he’s been drinking,‘ pointing at Bode.
The group laughed as Dunni excused herself taking a glass with her.
Bode offered her the other glass but still smiling, she refused. ‘I don’t take wine, do they have something soft…I don’t want to be drunk like two cousins’.
‘Very funny. I’ll tell Dunni you called her a drunk,’ Bode said as he left to go get her another drink. ‘Keep my space, there are too many wolves in this room.’
She laughed. Maybe her instincts had been wrong all along. This Bode guy wasn’t such a bad guy after-all. And she couldn’t deny that he had a thing with the ladies as it wasn’t lost on her how the eyes of the ladies in the room trailed him. How they all wished to be in her shoes right now.
Maybe she should consider herself lucky
They had chatted for a long while, with Bode easing her out to a quieter place. He made her laugh, giving her glass after glass of juice as they talked about themselves.
‘Not anymore,’ she said rejecting the next glass.
‘Scared of being drunk on juice?’ Bode asked, his hand still offering the glass.
‘Scared of having to visit the toilet because I couldn’t reject another glass,’ she replied with her eyes fluttering.
The scenes blurred out.
The tears running down her cheeks brought her back to the present. She should have trusted her instincts, instead she chose to trust a complete stranger in Bode, gulping glass after glass of laced juice.
She remembered his coy smile on saturday as she walked past the door, into the eatery. He was not surprised to see her.
‘What will you take?’ He asked, his hands travelling across the table to wrap up hers.
She recoiled, withdrawing her hands from his almost immediately.
He laughed. A very devious laugh. He didn’t look so handsome anymore. He looked evil. Handsomely evil, a part of her chipped in. ‘Can we get this over with please, why did you ask me over?’.
Bode ignored her and instead got out his phone. He fiddled with it for a couple of seconds, his face cold as steel. ‘Put on the bluetooth of your phone,’ he ordered.
She hated him so much, her eyes literarily spewed with venom. She saw his phone’s bluetooth request and paired both devices.
Would you like to receive a file from Bawwdey!
She scrolled up to the Yes option on her phone and tapped it.
Receiving ‘Valentine 2014’
Seeing the tag of the file irked her…she was just a number after all. Tucked away somewhere, maybe in a cupboard or a file, was a ‘valentine 2013’, ‘valentine 2012’, ‘valentine 2011,’ and so on and so forth. And now she was just one of them.
‘Funmi, you’re a big fool!’ She cursed under her breath.
Bode was talking to a waiter, but she could tell he was watching her.
As the file transfer completion rate reached 90%, her entire body system changed. The rate of her heartbeat doubled. For someone who had never had a heart attack, this sensation felt like one.
She bit her lips in anger.
What’s with 99%, that the file was busy hugging?
‘It’s complete,’ Bode said, like he was surprised the transfer was successful.
‘Yes it is and if there’s nothing else you called me out here for, I’d like to be on my way home.’
The calmness of her voice surprised even herself and she could see that look of wonder in Bode’s face.
‘You mean, you won’t open it?’ Bode asked. It was obvious this was not the script he had played out in his head.
‘It’s in my phone and I will open it when I want to,’ she said rising up from her chair, and with her clutch in hand, left Bode’s staring eyes and half open mouth trailing her.
She couldn’t remember how she got home that day, or where she got her strength from but she remembered mumbling greetings to her mum and her guest who were in the sitting room chatting.
Safe in her room and on her bed, she searched out ‘valentine 2014’ in her phone and seeing it, pressed play.
Her eyes opened wide in shock as the video began to play. she peered closely into her phone, refusing to recognise the person in the video. It was the same black gown and the same hair. She couldn’t see the eyes of the stranger in the video because it was shut. This stranger was a splitting image of her.
‘Damn, she’s stoned.’ She heard Bode say. He sounded very excited. She felt a crawling sensation on her skin as she watched Bode run his fingers on her neck. No, No, No she heard the stranger gurgle, but Bode was already in a state of delirium telling by the now unsteady motion of the pictures. It was a ten minute, thirty four seconds video and it was only just past one minute, five seconds. Every second was torture. She watched as Bode’s free hand reached out for the zipper of her gown while still trying very hard to keep the pictures stable and focused on her. As she saw his hand sliding down her gown in a zipping motion, she couldn’t take it anymore as she buried her head into her pillows and let out a heart rending yell. Her body vibrating as she sobbed into the comforting silence of the pillow.
Dwelling on these memories was what made her both emotionally and physically drained, but the confusion made her clueless to what else she could be doing. She reached out for the pillow and like she’s been wont to do these past days, buried her head right into it. She wasn’t crying and for the first time in a long while, seemed to have a clear head. However, the longer her head was buried in the pillow, the more difficult it was for her to breathe.
I can kill myself…I can kill myself…I can…I will
Images of a lifeless ‘Funmi’ flashed in her mind as she pushed her head deeper into the pillow. She was determined to exorcise the stranger that had put her into this mess and suffocation seemed like a good way to do it.
How come she never thought about it? Now she can escape the shame, the blame, the insults, the shock, the pain, the talk, her father’s disappointment, her mother’s rejection, her siblings unbelief… It’s goodbye world, from Funmi with love.
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