The moment I heard the key turn in the lock, my heart skipped a beat. I just did not know what to expect anymore. My life had become like the script of a horror movie, with me as the innocent victim. I had so many questions to ask.
‘How did I get into this?’
This was the chief among them and I asked it time and time again. The answer was not farfetched.
‘You walked into it with your two willing legs and your eyes wide open.’ The answer leered at me as the door opened and she walked in.
At that moment, peace flew out through the window. I turned to face her, my heart thumping with the fear experienced by a child who has to face a cane-wielding father.
‘’Sweetheart, welcome.’ I said in a voice that did not carry much sincerity. Sweetheart? Bitterheart was more like it.
She hissed like an angry snake and walked past me into the bedroom. I sighed and stood up with great effort, putting on a resolve I did not feel.
‘This has to stop.’ I muttered to myself.
I entered the room and sat on the bed watching her undress. Her body was a painter’s delight, with the right curves in place and sculptured to please. I reached for her and she pushed me away, fixing me with that cold stare that had become almost a permanent fixture of her face and one that chilled me to the bones.
‘Don’t ever try that again.’
‘But honey, you are my wife. Why are you doing this?’
She hummed a song defiantly as she strode to the bathroom to have a shower. At the sound of the rushing water, I felt transported to another time, another place, not too long ago when her body was indeed my delight.
I was sent by my boss to a company in Owerri which we were doing business with. The trip was uneventful until I met her. She had also come to do business with the same company. I was seated in the reception when she walked in.
I stood staring at this perfect specimen of creation. She was not really beautiful but she had a body that could distract even the pope. She oozed attraction from every pore of her being. And her voice was like a symphony played in the heavenly realms. I was already trapped before she could launch any onslaught. And launch one she did.
I asked her out to lunch and she willingly obliged. I could not remember what the food tasted like. I kept staring at her and wondering how it would feel to strip her naked and expose that body to my hungry view.
‘Stop staring.’ The lady, Lorraine said with a teasing smile on her lips.
‘I can’t help it.’ I confessed. ‘You are just enthralling.’ I said, twirling the word round my lips.
‘Familiar lines! I wonder if this is what you say to every girl you see.’
‘Not every girl. Only the one who wound my emotions with her presence.’ I said, staring deep into her eyes. She chuckled, a sound that brought goose pimples to my skin and blood to my veins.
‘So where are you staying?’ The question was pregnant with meanings and the look she shot me spoke even louder.
I told her.
‘And you?’ I managed to ask.
‘I am yet to check into any hotel.’ She said the words meaningfully, her eyes never leaving my face.
I hurriedly paid the waiter and we left the restaurant in a chartered vehicle, her luggage in the boot. There was no need for further words. We both knew where we were going………what we wanted………what we had to do. The porter wheeled her luggage right into my room and the door shut after us.
Her lips were already quivering and I was equally aflame with desire. I reached for her as if my life depended on it and in a matter of minutes we were both naked. I gasped as her luscious body was revealed to my gaze. I practically lost my senses as I lifted her gently and placed her on the bed. Then it was only the sounds of her deafening moans intertwined with mine that filled the night. I was trembling long after I rolled away from her. It was an experience that was as enthralling as she was. She cuddled close to me and I held her firmly as if I never wanted to let her go. It was at that point that I spoke the words that I had obviously forgotten, caught up in the frenzy of exploring her delectable body.
‘I am married.’
Lorraine jumped up as if the words stung her. Instinctively, she looked at my finger but there was no need to. I never wore my ring. I viewed it as a small handcuff which I took off the moment I finished uttering my wedding vows. Not that a ring stopped any man who wanted to wander outside his matrimonial home.
‘Married?’ She repeated as if she had not heard the word before.
‘I am sorry. I should have told you before. I just got………………………’
‘Carried away with what I had to offer.’ Lorraine’s voice held a tinge of bitterness.
‘I did not mean to………………….’ I tried to touch her but she carefully removed my hands.
‘Not that it matters anyway.’
I was glad when Lorraine did not leave the hotel that night. I was afraid she would. Sometime during the night, I felt her butter soft hands all over me and I responded like a hungry man.
‘Am I forgiven?’ I asked later as we lay spent in each other’s arms.
‘Nothing to forgive. I guess I should have been more inquisitive. How could I have expected a dashing young man like you to still be single?’ She teased. ‘I decided to take my share before your owner takes over.’
She chucked and I was drawn to her sense of adventure. By the time we dressed and left for Port Harcourt where we both resided, I was completely taken over by Lorraine’s charms. We travelled back to Port Harcourt in the same flight and chatted as if we had known each other for ages.
I did not know how much Lorraine had affected me till I got back home. I just could not bring myself to appreciate my wife, Stella again. She had become so unappealing, after I had tasted the sweetness of Lorraine. I complained about everything she did, feeling dissatisfied with my marriage.
Stella was a thoroughbred village girl that my mum had practically ‘married’ for me. She was quiet, submissive, a great cook, a hard-working staff in her office and a dutiful mother to our two children.
Stella never initiated sex and when I asked for it, she was as passionate as a sack of rice. I was not too bothered about it, since her other qualities overshadowed her lack of passion in the bedroom. But since I touched flesh with Lorraine, I knew I could not continue to put up with Stella’s ‘cold fish’ posture.
I found my way to Lorraine’s flat after a ‘dispassionate time’ with Stella the night before. I was upset as I watched my wife sleeping. I wondered how I had coped with her for the six years we had been married. I could not wait for the next day which was Friday to come; when I would hold Lorraine’s supple body in my hands.
I knocked gently on the door of her flat and she opened it slowly, clad in a see through negligee that accentuated the curves of her deadly figure and held in place by a sash tied loosely around her waist. There was a sweet smile on Lorraine’s face as she spoke.
‘What are you doing here, married man? Is your wife not enough for you?’
I slowly reached for her negligee and loosened the sash. It fell down to the ground and she stood, delightfully nude. I ran my hands hungrily around her body, as I recalled the moments of pleasure we shared at that hotel in Owerri. Her throaty cries were doing wonders to my mind and I lifted her up in one swift movement. Right there on her soft rug, our blazing bodies came together in an earth shattering climax. I was drunk with desire for the woman who lay beside me. I turned to her, marvelling at her antics in bed and said the first thing that came to my mind…….the only thing that occupied my mind at that moment.
‘Marry me, Lorraine.’
‘Larry you are………………….’
‘Sh!’ I silenced her protests. ‘That does not matter. It has never mattered. We share a special bond, Lorraine. Don’t you want to give what we feel for each other a chance?’
Lorraine kissed me deeply, passionately and soon our hands were roaming over each other’s bodies. I did not need to hear anything more.
I already had my answer.
The sound of the bathroom door opening cut off my journey to the past. Lorraine walked into the room and staring straight at me, threw off her towel. I almost went mad at the sight of her wet, naked body. I thought she was about to pity me and ease the pain that had accumulated from the months of denial but she turned her back to me as she slipped on her nightgown. Then without another glance at me, she turned to her side of the bed and covered herself with the duvet.
I nearly climbed the roof of the house in my frustration. Another question jumped at me,
‘Why was Lorraine tormenting me like this?’
She walked into the house, not asking if I had eaten, not bothering to cook for me like Stella would have done. And for months, she had denied me access to her body………….that luscious body that always set me on fire. That had set my emotions on fire and was now setting my marriage on fire.
The thought of Stella made me so subdued. Was I suffering for the way I treated her? I would never forget the look of shock on her face when I delivered the news. That evening, I had come back from work in a foul mood. My daughter, Chika and my son Charles rushed to me but I shunned them.
I walked into the room, a scowl on my face as Stella followed me closely.
‘Just look at the way you are dressed.’ I glared at Stella that day, not hiding my disgust. ‘Can’t you see your mates outside?’
‘Is that why you have not touched me for the past one month?’ Stella asked. I was feeling more and more disgusted with the timid creature I had married. That was her only way of saying how much she had missed our lovemaking. She could not even initiate it. She was too dull to think that way.
‘And why should I touch you when your very sight irritates me?’ I dropped the bomb that made her face cringe in shock.
‘Me? I irritate you? What have I done?’ Tears crept into her eyes but I was past caring. The thought of bringing Lorraine into my house and having uninterrupted access to her body goaded me to push out my uninspiring wife.
‘I want a divorce, Stella.’ I told her coldly
‘Divorce? No my husband. I don’t want to divorce you. I love you. Please forgive whatever I have done. I am ready to learn. Please show me how to please you.’ Stella wept, kneeling and clinging to my trouser but I was unmoved.
Stella ran to my mother who did all she could to convince me but I was too sold out to Lorraine’s body to listen. The cries of my mother, Stella, our children and my best friend, Goke were drowned in the sweetness of Lorraine’s love (or lust as I now see it). I wanted nothing but to have her in my arms every night.
The first time my mother met Lorraine, she had expressed her disapproval.
‘Larry! Larry! Oh Larry my son. I wish your father was alive to bring you to your senses. This woman is not a wife. She is like a beautiful painting that hides rottenness underneath. Do not do this to yourself, I beg of you.’
‘Mama, Lorraine is a wonderful woman. You will like her when you get to know her. I love her and I have to marry her.’
‘Love her or love her body?’ She continued as my face showed my discomfiture. ‘You think because I am an old woman I have become stupid. I am also a girl and I know how these things make you men lose your head. Retrace your steps before it is too late.’
I did not listen to anyone’s pleas.
Larry and Lorraine. The sound of our names had a musical ring. I believed we were a perfect match. I sent Stella and the children out of my house and they moved in with my mother. Lorraine told me she did not want them in the house and I obliged her. I made arrangements to cater to the needs of my children and visit them often. At that time, all I cared about was to love Lorraine.
Lorraine and I were married in a registry the moment the ink dried on the divorce papers. Drab, dull, uninspiring Stella was out of my life and delectable, sensuous, killer dresser Lorraine was in. For life I hoped.
And for a while, all was well. We went on honeymoon to the Caribbean Islands and there we explored over and over again the delights of each other’s bodies. We returned to Nigeria, drunk in each other’s love and our marital life began in essence.
Then I saw the difference between the ‘glamorous Lorraine’ and ‘the home Lorraine.’ Lorraine was a disaster in the kitchen. The first meal she cooked made my tummy rumble so much that I begged her not to repeat the experiment. We ate out most of the time and I tried to excuse it, saying it gave us time to bond better with each other. But I secretly wished she learnt how to cook!
Lorraine was a bad housekeeper as well and the dirtiest woman I ever met. Her glamorous side showed forth only when she was outside. Inside the house, she was a mess! I had picked up her dirty underwear so often that I began to grow angry within.
I had to employ a housekeeper to ensure that our home was not submerged in dirt. I wondered how Stella coped, taking care of our two children, aged five and three, holding a day job and yet keeping the house spotlessly clean.
I began to see the jewel I had thrown away. Sometimes I went to see my mother on the pretext of eating the homemade food Stella cooked. Food that I once took for granted but which I now craved like a traveller panting for water in the desert.
Then Lorraine began to take unexpected trips without telling me. I was not too bothered at first. After all, I had met her during one of such trips. But soon, I began to suspect she was having an affair. Goke told me he had seen her coming out of a hotel with a man. I refused to believe at first until I set a trap for her and caught her pants down!
I wept like a baby that day. Lorraine apologised and promised it would not happen again. I never knew I would tolerate infidelity from a woman but I did it for Lorraine. Probably out of shame. I had been warned not to enter that marriage and so I had to endure whatever I saw in it.
The last straw was when Lorraine began to deny me of the body that got me into trouble in the first place. The first time it happened, I practically ‘raped’ her because I just could not take it anymore. I had sacrificed so much to be denied access to the body that pulled me into that mirage of a marriage.
Lorraine began to let me touch her only once a month, then it dwindled to once in two months and soon, she stopped allowing me touch her. I got tired of forcing myself on my own wife and let her be. The pleasure of our union could only come from two willing bodies. That much I knew, drawing from our earlier moments of passion.
I was an injured man as I cried almost every night.
Then one Saturday afternoon, fifteen months into my sham of a marriage, I went to my mother’s house and Stella was not there, neither were my children. I did not know I was in for a shocker till my mother told me where they were. I raced like a deranged man to Stella’s office on the Monday of the following week and she was nice enough to grant me audience.
‘Is it true what mama said?’ I asked her breathlessly.
‘It is true, Larry.’ Stella said in that her gentle voice that I once thought dull but which now gladdened my ears with its simple, sincere texture.
‘Stella, I know I offended you but I did not expect you to do this.’ I said the first foolish thing that came to my head.
‘Larry, that is a very unfair thing to say. You divorced me. You battered my self esteem with your words. Remember how I begged you. I cried. And now that I find a man who appreciates me, you say I should not go with him?’
I was speechless as she spoke. She exuded a new kind of confidence that was missing during the time we were married. Then she spoke again as if reading my mind.
‘I never had an opportunity to be myself when I was with you, Larry. You never saw anything good in me. I waited for you to praise me one day. I hungered for your approval but it never came. Now I have found someone who truly loves and appreciates me. My husband is the best thing that has happened to me and I am grateful he found me.’
As I walked out of Stella’s office that day, I felt the emptiness of someone that had lost a treasured possession…….one that could no longer be found. I became a shadow of myself as I lived with the luscious and lethal Lorraine.
I met them one day.
In a restaurant where I went for a weekend business meeting. I was so absent minded that I did not see them until she called my name. I looked up to see Stella looking like a model. She wore a figure hugging lime green dress that emphasised her womanly curves. I was stunned at how alluring she looked. I never knew she had such rich curves, strange as that may sound. Her face was well made up as if done by a professional. Her husband was huge, handsome and muscular. I looked like a dwarf standing beside him. He stretched out one large hand to me.
‘Hi, my name is Steve. Thank you for rejecting this jewel so I could find her.’ A lazy, mocking grin played around his lips.
I felt as if air had been pumped out of me at his brazen statement. I looked at his outstretched hand and walked quickly away, embarrassed and totally unnerved by the picture they painted. It was obvious they were a perfect fit; so very much in love. He obviously brought out the best in her. A feat I could have achieved if I was patient enough and did not get carried away by animal lust for Lorraine.
I remembered a message I had stumbled on one day as I flipped channels on my television set.
‘Be careful when you want to choose a spouse. Do not let sex blind you to other more important qualities. Ask yourself this question: ‘After sleeping with your spouse, what next? If you cannot think of anything to do with him or her, then you should think twice about starting the relationship.’
Strange that I did not remember that admonition before I got entangled with Lorraine. I suddenly realised that I had little or nothing in common with her. The only thing that drew me to her was her body. When we came out of bed, I found her very shallow.
Stella at least shared my love for books. It was what drew me to her in the first place. She loved reading. We often discussed the books we read together and were thinking of setting up a library. She was the best student in her class in my mother’s village and my mother praised her to high heavens, convincing me she was the perfect ‘wife material. I spoke with Stella and was inspired by her intelligence. She completed her tertiary education in my house and moved into the role of a submissive wife. She married me as a virgin and remained unspoiled by city sophistication.
‘I could have taught her. I could have been more patient. She could have learnt to please me.’ I said to myself over and over again, wallowing in regrets.
As I watched Lorraine who began to snore slowly in bed, anger built in me, almost burning up my insides. I had been deceived by what the holy book called ‘lust of the eyes.’ I wondered how I could be rescued. Should I divorce her and hope that I meet another Stella? Or should I go for deliverance to ensure that the demons plaguing my wife were exorcised?
I rolled over to my side of the bed with a firm resolve. I had to do something about the situation I faced to maintain my sanity.
I returned home from work the next day to discover that Lorraine’s possessions were missing. I called her phone endlessly but could not get through to her. I woke up to reality when her lawyer visited me.
Lorraine wanted a divorce.
I laughed at the absurdity of it all. The woman for whom I abandoned my devoted wife and children wanted to divorce me! But it was real and I had to act out the drama that unfolded in court. Lorraine got her divorce and took with her my peace of mind.
A month later, I heard that she had married a wealthy French man. I wished I could get the chance to talk to her. I would ask her only one question; the only one that I could think of after all that had happened.
‘Why did you marry me?’
She could have picked any other man to do her bidding as I did. Why did she come into my life to disrupt it the way she did? I know I asked her to marry me but she could have said no. Why did she agree to be my wife if she did not want forever with me like I wanted with her? What exactly did she want from me? Was she so intrigued by the fact that I worshipped her body? Was I the only man who showed interest in her at that time?
So many questions!
My children are not happy with me. My mother is so worried about me. She weeps daily at the jewel I threw away to pursue a Jezebel. I have lost my job as a result of my absent mindedness.
As I sit in solitude and sing a lonely song, sorrowing over the loss of my sweet Stella, I can only warn the men out there.
Men who have plans to tread this evil path I have trod.