PLAYING THE GAME =EIGHTEEN=

Playing The Game
Playing The Game
Playing The Game

Hello Yarners – it’s been exciting weeks of playing the game and celebrating our second year anniversary. It has been so much fun because you have been with us, but like you know, this is the last Saturday in August and …eerm… it’s the best time to say thank you for making the celebrations special.

We still have a N5,000 Grand Prize on the table  (remember -Only Blog Followers qualify for the grand prize) and the winner as randomly chosen by the team will be announced soon. For now, do enjoy today’s post while the last set of our call voucher winning comments will be unveiled at the end of the post.

For previous episodes of ‘Playing The Game’, please click here

** *** *** 

//Get On Your Knees, Aisha//

 

“Have you infected my sister with HIV?” Anu asked Idriss as soon as Emeka and Uche left the room.

Idriss jerked his head in her direction before springing up. He paced to the other end of the room as if she was the one with the infectious disease. “Is that all you are going to say?”

“What more do you want me to say? What do you want me to do?”

“How about, get on your knees, Aisha. Apologise for scheming to take my child away from me.” He gave her a look that he hoped translated as disdainful. “You told me Bradley was the father.”

“I didn’t.”

“You didn’t correct me.” He felt like shouting. Not at her but at someone, anyone. How could he be about to become a father again when moments ago he got his death sentence?  He wouldn’t just be leaving his Kanyisola in this world without a father, he would be leaving a baby too.

“You made my life a misery,” she got up and walked towards him, her hands pressed together. “You mocked me to my boyfriend, making sure you filled his head with what we did in London. You accused me of killing your baby. When exactly was I supposed to share the news with you?”

“I’m sorry,” Idriss managed.

“When was I supposed to tell you Idriss? When my sister became your wife or should I have called you during your honeymoon?”

She wasn’t done. Her eyes held loathing strong enough to wipe out a generation. He wondered if to cork his face nearer to hers and kiss her. Perhaps this would shut her up.

“Idriss, you married my sister. You flaunted her like there was no one like her…”

“Are you angry that I chose your sister instead of you? Were you not the one who started playing loved up with your supposed childhood sweetheart first?” He realised his voice rang higher than hers but he needed her to know she was no saint. He could feel his phone vibrating in his jeans pocket. It had to be his wife ringing him. Thinking of how his baby-news would break her, made his voice go even higher. “You have no right to be jealous. You didn’t want to know me after London.”

“You already had a girlfriend,” she screamed and jabbed her index finger in the middle of his chest. “My sister!”

“Come off it, Aisha. I did what most guys would have done trapped in a hotel room with a beautiful girl. Especially one that thinks I’m hot. You wanted me too. Stop acting as if I seduced you.”

She shook her head. “I wish I’d never set eyes on you.”  Frowning, she marched back to the sofa and picked up her bag. “I’m out of here.”

“And what about my child?”

“In the UK, the man that stays with the mother is the child’s father. So, go back to your chosen life with my sister.”

“Fine, then. I will go back home.”

When Idriss headed out of the lounge, she stayed where she was. She was trying to work out what to do when Emeka and Uche walked back into the room.

“Where did he say he was going?” Emeka asked as he picked up his jeans jacket from the hook.

“Home,” Anu replied.

Emeka had left the room before Uche spoke. Anu inclined her head towards the woman when she realised she didn’t hear what was said. If it wasn’t for her need to be polite, leaving would have been her preferred option. She wanted to crawl into bed, cover herself up and never leave her bed.

Uche patted her on the shoulder. “Sit down, dear. You are trembling.”

They sat close to each other on the sofa as if they needed the warmth from their closeness to get past the last few minutes’ revelations. They were quiet for a while.

Uche ended the silence. “Do you want me to get you a blanket or make you tea?”

“No, thank you.”

“Stay here and rest, you are in shock. Besides, he needs you right now.”

Anu folded her arms across her chest. “He is my sister’s husband. A player, whose philandering ways earned him HIV.”

“I think he got it from your sister.”

“What?”

“Emeka said she was a virgin when she got with Idriss. Perhaps she got it through the use of needles or…”

“My sister is no saint but she wouldn’t do drugs.” Idriss’ friends and associates were as bad as him. Fawning over him and believing his versions of events. The man could wave a stained knife over a dead body and still get away with the crime.

“Idriss is exhibiting symptoms of someone that has been infected recently,” Uche said. “From what I know these set of symptoms starts in the first few weeks after infection. Emeka said he was always careful but most men don’t think to be careful with their wives and girlfriends.”

“How does a virgin infect a player?” Anu was at the edge of the sofa. Her back hurt from the strain but this wasn’t a matter that one could sit back for.

“My guess is she wasn’t really one. I mean… how do you explain this? If Idriss was infected when he got you pregnant, how come you are not infected?”

Anu shrugged. She felt sorry for her child. Its father’s chance of beating this illness with his drinking and hard partying was worse than slim. She imagined the poor mite asking her questions about the father she never met and choked up.

Uche continued. “He can still live a long healthy life if he has the support of people he cares about around him. There are even ways of making babies these days without the negative partner contracting it.”

She gawked at her, “are you suggesting I stick around to help him?”

“Are you comfortable watching the father of your child get ill because this is what will happen if he doesn’t have anyone to support him. If he starts missing his medication, his viral load will become high and that’s how people infect others. This is what I think happened with Elicia. She wasn’t able to take her meds regularly at Idriss’ house because she was scared of him discovering her secret…”

“So, she risked his life instead.”

“Now, he needs you.”

She could feel the skin around her brows crease up. “I’m pregnant. Do you want me to risk my baby’s life?”

Uche’s eyes dimmed. The room’s light which filtered in through the patterned blinds when she arrived had been lost to the weather which had now turned wet and grey. She couldn’t tell if her new friend had now grown tired of trying to help her and Idriss.

“I’m not saying you should sleep with him.” A small smile dotted the woman’s words. “Haba, there are ways of helping a man that doesn’t include jumping in his bed. But I suppose, it will be hard because you and him have a very colourful history.”

“It was just one night.”

“One very busy night,” Uche chuckled as she eyed Anu’s bump.

“Yeah, it was very busy, chick.”  She laughed with Uche. And she was content for a while until she thought of her sister. It was the last word she uttered that did it. A word that Elicia phrased most of their conversations with, when she started college in Manchester, years back.

How could she support the father of her child without alienating her sister further? Yes, she disliked what the latter had become but they were sisters. Families were supposed to stick together.

“He is married to my sister.”

Uche narrowed her eyes. “Your sister hasn’t played fair. “ She hissed, “Did she think of all the children in Nigeria whose school fees Idriss pays before infecting him? What about the little boy’s surgery he paid for? A boy he had never met, according to Emeka.”

“Really?”

“I’m guessing you don’t know of his charitable side. This is why you need to spend time with him, so that whatever happens, you can tell your child about her father one day.”

***

Idriss thanked Sade before disconnecting the call. He and Emeka were sitting in his friend’s car as it had started to rain. From the way, his friend’s eyes scrutinized him, he wanted him to relay the conversation he had just had on the phone word for word.

“Sade doesn’t have it,” he said. “She had a test five months ago.”

“The babe that lived upstairs in London?” Emeka asked.

“No, Zainab is the one you are thinking of.”

Oh, is she not the one I met in your flat?”

“That was Chinyere,” Idriss was getting frustrated.

Aah ah, I remember Sade. She be the leepa one you say dey flexible like rubber.”

“That’s her friend. Sade is the one I scored with. The one I was careless with that got pregnant two years ago…”

“Oh, the one that aborted your baby?”

“Yes,” Idriss nodded. “Both Sade and Anu, the only women I have been careless with, in the past two years don’t have it and everything came back negative ten months ago…”

“Ten months?”

“That was when I had my last test.”

Emeka put his seat belt on. “Uche tell me say this girl she knows faked her virginity for her Jand guy. She poured fake blood on the bed when he wasn’t looking. She also said there are minor procedures girls dey do these days to get it back. And there are fake things them dey wear too. Shey you see where I dey go with this?”

“Elicia didn’t fake it.” Idriss frowned, “naa me a small girl go fool?”  The rage he had managed to control inside the house was taking over, consuming him. Over the past few months with his wife, it had dawned on him that she wasn’t as innocent as she had portrayed on their first night together. Yet, he was far too experienced to be fooled. The jagged gasps and her shrinking back that night were not lies. And even if she had tried to pretend, it wouldn’t have put an end to their relationship as he wasn’t in search for that kind of lady.

“Emeka,” he slid his phone in his pocket. “Take me home. I need to talk to my wife.”

***

They had a plan hatched by the time they got there. His friend would get his things. He would talk to his wife. This wasn’t Nigeria where he could throw her out with nothing, Emeka warned. “You will have to play the fool until you can sell the house from right under her.”

Emeka went straight upstairs whilst Idriss proceeded into his lounge where she often was for a couple of hours in the late afternoon doing her yoga routine. Her rare perfume and enchanting music greeted him as he opened the door.

She was poised on her pink mat, clad in shorts and a bra top. He sprinted to the remote control and turned the music off. It took him all the self-control he had left to stop his hand from flinging the remote control at her head.

“Are you okay, hubby.” She was at her feet, smiling.

“I have HIV, wifey.” He replied in a bitter, mocking tone.

“Honey…” Elicia rushed over and made to hug him.

“If you touch me, I swear you will wish you had never been born.”

His wife didn’t move any closer. Her smile had turned into a partial frown. One of those she doled out as her confused look. She was about to open her mouth when he pointed to the armchair. He couldn’t trust himself to speak. His heart was beating so fast he was afraid it would rip his chest open. His eyes were blazing hot and the warmth was spreading to his face.

She took the armchair and he stood by the sofa, fists safely tucked in his jeans pockets.

“I haven’t done anything.”

“Liar!” he kicked the side of the sofa. “Now, listen because I won’t repeat this.” He paused to catch his breath. “I will give you some money. Not much but enough to get you to London and keep you there. I won’t press charges too for what you have done to me…”

“But hubby…”

“Shut up, Elicia. Don’t interrupt me.” He wagged a finger at her face, “I need you to leave this town. I need you to go back to London.”

“You want me to leave so you can be with my sister!”

“I want you to leave because you are suffocating me. I want you miles away from me.” He was shouting yet she seemed so collected. He remembered what would hurt her and he set to work. “Your sister is pregnant with my child.”

She didn’t flinch.

“If she is willing to give us a chance, I will be with her.”

Elicia rolled her eyes. “How is she going to give you a chance when you have a virus in your bloodstream? She is pregnant, remember. What kind of woman will take that risk?”

He sat on the sofa and hoped for strength. Emeka told him on the way down that Elicia’s next move would be to get him to lose control and then she would call the police. He would spend his child’s first year in prison. “I’m not a fool, I won’t touch her” he had assured his friend. Now, he wasn’t so sure. He stretched his legs as his wife waltzed to his spot on the sofa.

“Hubby, darling,” her face was painted with her lost-girl smile, the one she seduced him with, that cursed day in London. She caressed his face until her hand reached the soft, charcoal- black stubble adorning his lower face. “We both have it. Our best bet is to stay together now. I’m sure you know no woman would want to be with you. But I’m willing to stay because I love you. You don’t want to risk confiding in a girl that might run a mile then tell the whole world, do you?”

“How did you get it?”

“A client,” she contorted her face and winced. “He raped me. He attacked me, honey.”

Idriss grabbed the hand now hovering over his belt. He had heard footsteps on the landing and guessed Emeka had finished. He was done. Letting go of the hand, he rose. “I don’t care, wifey. Get your stuff and get out. You have three days. Please don’t underestimate me.”

***

They got back to Emeka’s house with a suitcase and a travel bag. They both paused at the living-room door when they saw Anu on the sofa. She was asleep, one hand underneath her face, the other over the pink blanket covering her frame. Her plaits were bunched together but a few had escaped their confines, lolling down the side of her face.

Uche joined them in the doorway and took the bag Idriss’ had. “She fell asleep waiting for you.”

He mouthed his thanks as Uche followed her man out of the room.

Anu stirred. Controlled by his longing for her, he rushed to her side and whispered her name. She was in his arms when her eyes opened. He couldn’t be sure who reached for whom and he couldn’t think either as he was kissing her and her hands were holding on to him. The desire that coursed through him as he tasted her was new, different from the lustful feelings that hounded him in London.

When she let go of him and started to get off the sofa, he knew he’d lost her even before it began. Why would she want him like this? He left her standing there and called for Emeka to take her home on his way to the spare room.

***

Elicia’s eyes prised open – a few nights after Idriss told her to leave. She had woken up to the sound of strange footsteps. She had locked the doors and set the burglary alarm. It couldn’t be her husband, she had heard he was too ill to even go to work. As the footsteps got louder, she searched for the pocket knife she’d kept under her pillow last night. Gripping it firmly, she waited.

—————–

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PLAYING THE GAME by Olajumoke Omisore

CONTINUES NEXT WEEK

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Our call voucher winners for today are comments 1, 25, 60 and 100 (only comments with verifiable identities qualify).

 

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156 Comments

    1. Like I'm getting used to saying every week - Congratulations @Amina Idris – you’re our 1st ‘commenter’ for the day which means you just won for yourself a Call Voucher from AideYarn! – The Team will reach out to you.

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    1. Don't worry, I have asked her for you @Gift.
      We appreciate your comments.
      Thanks Gift. Have a fab weekend.

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    1. @Tbone, thanks for reading jare unlike all the people (@Amina Idris @Nai @Chinny etc that haven't even read it, lol). They are too busy playing the game to read playing the game.
      Have a fab weekend Tbone.

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    1. Another regular winner -Congratulations @Ifedami – you’re our 25th ‘commenter’ for the day which means you have won for yourself a Call Voucher from AideYarn! – The Team will reach out to you via your email.

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    1. Keep counting @tbone 60 and 100 still dey, hoping for you to win.
      Maybe by that time Oga Daniel for don wake up.
      Oga Daniel wake up o!
      Owwww @chinny you're that Wednesday gurl, hope you win too.

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  1. @Nai, you are too kind, bowing out for Tbone. Shey you know Amina, Chinny, Ifedami and Gift are still in the race.
    Thanks for the comments as usual.

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  2. I don't understand what I just read. Tell me anu isn't getting back with idris????????????????????????????

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      1. Lol!! Okay. I still full ground! Lol.. I couldn't even enjoy elicias yawa cause of that... Jumoke and Daniel.. you guys rock. Well done

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  3. Now I feel bad Haba guys una jus dey call my name.
    @ifedami if am d bossette u be d boss o.
    @nai, @chinny, @ tbone @gift lol.
    @olajumoke we played the game first o before reading.
    Tnx for d updates and I know you know that we love the story, you always do that making us think of nothing else but the characters.
    You guys are amazing.

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  4. We love teasing you @Amina Idris, don't feel bad.
    I have so much respect for you cos I remember trying to be the first on the comment thread when I was just a reader on this blog. I didn't even get anywhere near 7th or 8th once.
    Have a fab weekend.
    @aideyandaniel will confirm the winning comments when he 'wakes up'.

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    1. *yawns* @olajumokeomisore wake up? when i'm just in the second stage of my sleep mode... I dreamt @Amina won again and I woke up shouting "Not Again"...that babe is gangster... me like... @Chinny please why do you want me up at this time? leave me to sleep jare - @initomiwa dont you sleep on duty -I'm playing my own game in sleep land *No Noise - Sleep Time* (Thanks guys for dropping your thots - we appreciate you)

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  5. I really hope there is mistake in Idriss's test. How can Elicia feel comfortable destroying another person's life just to make her self happy?. She must be really really sick

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    1. This is our 60th comment for the day which means you just won for yourself a Call Voucher from AideYarn! – a hearty congratulations to @Chinny on being a first time winner -I actually have a big grin on my face typing this- glad you won.The Team will reach out to you.You gave the masters a good run for their money.

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  6. Mhen...Idriss has hetchAyeVee ooo...thrz notg we can do..
    na obodo.oyinbo dem.dey na...it's rare for such mistakes to.be made..plus Idriss ma sef is tooo...*mouthsealed*..to go Scott free.

    Heniwaiz..LajummyLawriterLabaddest! Killing Elicia wee not make sense o...she has to suffer a slow painful death..whre she would painfully disintegrate den maybe u can have mercy on her and help her give her life to christ..so dat she wee not perish patapata.

    Oga Bradley tho...sigh..guys like him always find sweet love in the end..
    painful thing is very few of them let go of their initial first love...beht like dey say.. e go beta!!

    Well done A team..thou has yarned well! August is truly ur birth month..since inception till now, uve
    1. Awed us...
    2. Uniquely loved us.
    3. Given us the sweetest gifts and episodes
    4. Unleashed our crazy sides
    5. Sweetened our minds with mind blowing stories and...
    4. Tantalised us...
    On behalf of thine fans...we are grateful.
    More ink to ur fluid pens...More Inspiration to ur creative minds..and More money to ur generous pockets!

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  7. Hmmmm, considering the fact that I started reading not too long ago, I mean I joined this cute family not too long ago, it's bin a wonderful experience so far. I love every story I have read, the way u draw ur readers into the life of ur characters is awesome, we get to feel their joy, pain,happiness, disappointment etc. And that u care enough to respond to ur comment either constructive or not shows how much u value us. Once again happy anniversary to the A Team!. Bowing out, duty call.

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  8. I like to preserve my webisodes for when I am alone and not doing anything so after chores, workouts etc?
    Jummy boo you forever have my reading heart ❤️?

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  9. i have a suggestion to make o, it wnt be bad if you open a whatsapp or bbm group for the blog, it would be great getting to know each other beta, I'm personali interestd in seeing the faces of the yarners

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    1. @initomiwa, that's a brilliant idea.
      So, you can see all the fine girls abi?

      Bril idea. The team will talk about it. Thank you Initomiwa.

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        1. Helep me ask o, sorry for what. She must die slowly painfully, hardfully and badly.
          Initomiwa your name is really cute.
          Whatsapp group in support I wan see the fine guys, may be one of them go resemble Idriss.

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    1. The last of our Three Musketeers -Congratulations @Initomiwa – you’re our 100th ‘commenter’ for the day which means you just won for yourself a Call Voucher from AideYarn! – The Team will reach out to you. thanks for playing the game.

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  10. Yeaners are not taking this game funny at all. Oga Dan, hope you will keep September as fun filled as this o...really enjoyed seeing all the activities on this blog.

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  11. Hmmmmm, so Idriss has a good side to his womanising!!! Well, we will leave him to God to judge. As for Elicia d whore, her fate is sealed. Thanks for the likes of Uche and d nonsense Emeka.
    Anu pls, try n see if u can develop feelings for Brad.

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    1. @Ihunanya of course Idriss has good side jare -what has Emeka done to make him nonsense now? lol....thanks so much for dropping your thots. we appreciate it very much.

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  12. E don happen!To think I will have to wait till saturday.Jumoke you are a very badt writer(in Olamide's voice)

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  13. first timer
    Your write ups re sinfully delicious
    I was jumping when I saw it been posted,am a silent reader tho,hope I am welcome?

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