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I LOVE YOU, BUT….
Freeman noticed the door to Mrs Winter’s Apartment was partly opened. Something in him screamed ” CAUTION”…
” Hello…Hello Mrs Winter” Freeman stood at the door calling out to her…
” Mr Freeman …please come in..You can wait for me in the living room” Winter said.
She knew that was the trick to make men comfortable. Tell them to wait in the living room… That would erase fear from them. If you told them to come into the bedroom, they would immediately know what you are up to…
” Ok..” Freeman said as he walked into the living room. His initial fear was taken away.
Freeman walked into the living room. The view was beautiful…It felt like he was on top of Lagos. The view gave a proud feeling to whoever was looking.
” You like the view?” Winter said
Freeman turned and the view that met his eyes was more beautiful that the view he had been staring at.
“Cloth doesn’t do justice to Mrs Winter” A voice said within him.
Winter’s half nak€d outfit complimented her stature. Her female curves were emphasized in the outfit.
” Do you like the view?” Winter said again with a voice that implied something else.
” Sure…I mean yes…” Freeman looked away from Winter back to the city view…
” I am sorry the way I am dressed…it is a bad habit I have. I walk around nak€d in the house. I had to wear this because you were coming.. I hope you are not uncomfortable?” Winter said
Freeman wanted to scream and beg her to wear something decent as her body was not a body you could look at and still maintain s€xual sanity..
” Please take a seat” Winter said
Freeman sat on the seat opposite to her, which few minutes later, he discovered was a wrong move because Winter showed no shame. She had her legs parted in front of Freeman. Freeman was not a child so he knew what was happening…
” You are not sick, you just wanted me in here?” Freeman asked
” You are smart!”
” I am married”
” I am married”
” Now widowed, we don’t have the same life if you are comparing us”
” I am not trying to destroy your home, I am only trying to protect myself “
” From ?”
” Betrayal…If I have nothing on you, and someday you decide not to give me my returns on the 500 million investment, won’t that be a huge loss… I am not stupid like that..”
” So you think we sleeping with each other will give you assurance ?”
” Every business person likes a form of assurance”
” S€x isn’t a form of assurance” Freeman replied
” I am not asking for S€x, I want marriage” Winter said bluntly…
Freeman couldn’t believe his ears…
” It doesn’t have to be public, I just want to know that you won’t st@b me in the back. My late husband left me assets worth Seventy Million dollars. I am ready to let us trade with it, if I am sure you are not going to walk out on me someday. Marriage is what binds a man and woman together…”
” I am legally married ..Marrying you will be a criminal offence, i will be committing bigamy “
” I have my way around… if you are in for this, you don’t need to worry your head, I will have it sorted out. This is Nigeria and some people can break laws and still escape it.”
Pamilerin sat in the cab staring at the complimentary card the doctor gave her…
” God forbid I go to a Native doctor…I’d rather die than bow to another god..If this is my mother’s way of making me go diabolical, she has failed.”
She needed to talk and share what she was going through with some one, especially since Freeman had been unavailable in the past two weeks. He had been going to one meeting to the other…
Pamilerin knew that was the only person she could turn to…
Pamilerin dialed Dearest Mom and the call was dropping by itself…
” No…no…no” Pamilerin shouted all of a sudden. The Cab driver looked back in fear..
” I am sorry…”
Pamilerin knew the meaning of that call ending on it’s own. Dearest Mom was not in town. Maybe she had gone on holiday to one of her children living outside the country.
” Maami?” Pamilerin thought of her birth mother instead…
” No…What if she has a hand in my leg problem… No way…”
Beauty sat in her room waiting for it to be dark. She still had the fear of going out under the sun like the herbalist said. She had begged her pr€gnant roommate to tell her when it was dark… Her plan was to go out and she knew in her BLIND state, she would find help…
Her pr€gnant roommate had brought her food, which she refused.
” Where is she?” Beauty could here Baba Shagba’s voice.
She moved close to wall…
” I heard you refuse eating my food… You want to die here out of starvation… Never… I see that you are stubborn. I know how to bring you into submission.”
Beauty heard the familiar locking of door. She had been abused too many times, she knew when the demon of rape entered men into raping her….
” You better don’t injure yourself…” Beauty heard him say as she groped in darkness looking for safety that was absent…
I LOVE YOU, BUT….
Love my wife…I can’t do that to her…”
” I am not asking you to sleep with me, our marriage will be a business arrangement…It’s just an arrangement that will give me the assurance that you won’t betray me..Betrayers everywhere…” Winter said…
Freeman kept quiet…the offer looked innocent and it was a big opportunity to change levels.
” There won’t be any s€xual commitment?” Freeman asked
” No…It’s not like you find me attractive… I am just a lonely widow to you.” Winter said
Freeman swallowed hard. If only Mrs Winter knew how hard and highly turned on he was, she won’t say such.
“Can I think about it and possibly discuss with my wife?” Freeman said
Winter didn’t see that coming… His wife…
” This guy is a loser, can’t he keep anything from his wife? No wonder he told her about Beauty. I will break that bond between you” Winter thought wickedly but she knew she had to pull out another winning card in this game…
” Sure…but do you think your wife will see it the way we see it, are you sure she won’t begin to feel insecure? You are very handsome and I think I am still beautiful…..” Winter said hinting something could actually start between them.
“ Maybe you should hold on as regards telling her. I am not in a rush to invest… We could start to build the trust between us as family friends… I get to know your family and they get to know me… so that way when you tell her about the marriage plan, it won’t be a big deal… She won’t see me as a threat .” Winter said quickly
” That sounds brilliant… “
” So ..when do I meet your family…I am new in town and I have been wanting to connect with old friends, though I have been skeptical about that. But meeting your family is a very good one for me…”
” Let me inform my wife today, we can host you tomorrow.”
” Perfect!” Winter said
Freeman stood up.
” I should take my leave.”
” Thanks for the time and I am sorry for tricking you here, a woman has to do what she has to do. ” Winter walked close to him stretching out her hand for a handshake.
Freeman fell for it. He stretched his hand for the handshake but Winter took his hand and placed it on her chest…
” I pledge to be a good business wife partner” Winter said as she deliberately moved his hand over her br€ast.
Freeman quickly removed his hand as his body felt the immediately jolt of excitement.
Freeman walked away without saying his goodbye.
Beauty wanted to scrape the smell of the herbalist off her body…. His body smell was like acid…Beauty thought the rape events in her life was over but it had repeated itself again…
Beauty groped around in the darkness looking for anything sharp to kill herself, instead she was surrounded by clothes.
She picked one of the clothes and tied it around her neck hoping to strangulate herself. She started coughing really hard in the process..
Beauty started hearing a lot of noise coming from outside. She could recognize the loudest voice. It sounded like the voice Lara had told her belonged to one of the herbalist’s wife, Chigozie…
” You are a cheap liar…thief…woman wrapper…Useless man…Trouble finder…
Ejighi ihe eji agba na nti agba na imi.( We do not employ what we use in cleaning the ear to clean the nose.)
I thought you said you and her friend were working together to dupe her, so is sleeping with her part of the deal ? Useless man… I can tell you this one will backfire on you”
Beauty heard those words but she hoped she was dreaming. The shock she felt and the pain that followed that shock was worse than the pain from the rape…
” Can you shut up?” Winter heard Baba Shagba say to her…
” I wasn’t planning to sleep with her, but when she insisted on going today, I called her friend who said I should tie her down till she comes. I tried to tie her down with a charm but she refused eating the food . The only thing I could think of doing was what I did…I am not planning to marry her if that’s what you are thinking…” Baba Shagba said more quietly in a bid to calm Chigozie, but Beauty had followed the voice and heard everything.
Beauty hid behind a door. She could tell they couldn’t see her.
Beauty’s heart was racing at the realization that Winter was a Frenemy. She started connecting the dots… Her eyes had become worse after she started using the soap from the herbalist…
” Why?” was her continuous thought as she found her way back to the room.
She told herself she had to get out of that place that night…
Pamilerin sat in the living room with the girls waiting for Freeman.
In the past two weeks, Freeman had been calling her less during the day and he cared less about her leg. He only told her occasionally the leg would get better…
Freeman walked in looking excited. His eyes shone in excitement… Pamilerin feigned her smile…
” Welcome dear! Have you won a contract? Your eyes are shining “
” No, like I told you before I have hit a jackpot… The investor I told you about…”
” Oh.. the woman…What about her?”
” Her late husband left her 70 million dollars and she is ready to invest it in our company.” Freeman said excitedly with the hope of laying the foundation of Mrs Winter’s visit to their house the next day.
” Why?” Pamilerin asked on impulse
” Why? ” Freeman said
” I meant to say Wow… but I mean how did you meet her and why is she interested in the company. I hope she is not planning to take over the company from you” the business minded, intelligent and logical personality of Pamilerin popped up..
” Well, I kind of brought her in… I met her at a lounge where I went for a meeting and God made it possible for me to have a conversation with her…” Freeman said as he was trying to defend Mrs Winter…
” But I thought the last time you told me about her, you said she was an investor you had a meeting with?” Pamilerin asked as she winced in pain
” Pamilerin, can you stop this over questioning… I hope you don’t have weird ideas about the woman and I?” Freeman asked
Pamilerin was quiet, but she couldn’t help the tears that flowed…
” Pamilerin, I am not dating her…”
” But for the past two weeks, you have been out on a daily basis and you don’t ask me about my leg. I have been taking 10 painkillers everyday.” Pamilerin said crying
” I am sorry, I am trying to regain the money I lost recently due to my stupidity, I Mean the one I gave to Beauty. Listen.. I will invite the woman over to our house tomorrow, at least if you know her, your mind will be at rest.” Freeman said hoping he played his card well…
Pamilerin looked up at him…
” You want to bring her home?” Pamilerin asked
” Yes, so that you can meet her, because we will be working closely together pretty soon.. but if you don’t want to meet her…no problem”
” I want to meet her” Pamilerin said.
She wanted to see who her husband would be working with.
Beauty could tell it was midnight already…her pr€gnant roommate was already snoring deeply. Beauty rose up from the bed where she had been pretending to be asleep…
” God, if you are real, please get me out of here!”
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1. The Story was Inspired by the Living Word
2. TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY OR TO GET THE HARD/SOFT COPY OF THIS NOVEL, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR ‘MRS OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE’ via EMAIL: [email protected] or PHONE NO: 08151103646. God bless you.