Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON TWO
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Oyinda and Temi drove home in a strange silence that was becoming characteristic of their marriage. They were both lost in their own thoughts, thinking about what had happened at the party today. To compensate for their mutual lack of interest in conversation, Oyinda had the radio on, pretending to listen to the Sports news, while Temi looked out of the window. Thankfully, the twins, exhausted from their activity today, were both asleep in the back, being minded by their nanny.
Oyinda was stressing about how to fix the mess he had made today with Kemi. It wasn’t the first time he had been caught out in a lie by his women, but for some reason, he cared about what Kemi thought of him. Had she pieced two and two together yet? Was she ever going to speak to him again? Why couldn’t he just let her go…? There were so many other fish in the sea that didn’t having him jumping through hoops to get them into bed.
He stole a glance at Temi. He knew he should make an effort to talk to her, but she didn’t seem to be bothered herself. She had been in a strange mood for a while, and honestly, it was just as well. He appreciated the distance. He needed to focus on what he wanted, and trying to make his wife smile was not on his list of priorities. What more did she want from him anyway?
At last, they got home, and Temi and Diana, their nanny, came out of the car, carrying the twins. Oyinda didn’t bother to come out. He told Temi he had a meeting to attend, and would be back later. She just nodded, and made her way inside the house, without another glance back.
Kemi had left the party early, and dropped off her nieces with her brother and his wife, who also lived in Ikoyi. They had been pleased to have their home quiet without the kids for a while. They asked Kemi if she’d stay for dinner, but she said that she was still full from the party. Truth was that she had lost her appetite. Seeing Oyinda today at the party had been an eye-opener, and she now felt really sick.
Of course, he was married!!! It was so obvious now, when she thought of his strange behaviour since Valentine’s Day. She’d noticed the wedding band in his hand at the party, and his guilt was so obvious. What was wrong with her that she kept going for such slim bags?! Why couldn’t she just attract and keep a decent guy for once?
Thank God she hadn’t slept with him. That was her only claim to dignity right now. They had done pretty much everything else, but she had held back on that. She was really trying to be a good girl, and even if she couldn’t do the whole abstinence thing, she thought at least she would heed Steve Harvey’s advice and keep him waiting at least 90 days. They were just past 60, counting from Valentine’s Day.
But she’d been really starting to fall for him. Since they became official last month, when they’d met in Abuja, he had been so sweet and attentive. He called her every day, sent love notes, flowers and candy often, and they had dinner as often as their jobs would allow, which was like three times a week. They were supposed to have a weekend getaway next week, and she had been seriously considering breaking her rule for him. How could he do so much, and it all meant nothing…?
Kemi was sprawled on the sofa, watching for the umpteenth time her favourite romantic movie. It was her go to movie whenever she had been ditched by a man. “He’s Just Not That Into You”. She really wanted to be the exception, like the main character, Gigi, played by Ginnifer Goodwin. She didn’t think she needed to change to attract the right kind of man. Oh, why was love so complicated???
Her doorbell rang. Who could it be? She just wanted to be left alone for now. To cry, eat ice cream and enjoy her movie.
She rose up and made it to the door. She couldn’t see anything through the peephole, so she opened it.
Amaka returned home, feeling so much lighter and happier after the day she had had at the hospital. It had been wonderful talking to Jamie about Jesus, and she’d also enjoyed reading to her sister and three other patients. She had been surprised to bump into Doctor Oziegbe again. It was a pleasant surprise, and she was excited at the possibility of bumping into him again at the hospital. She hadn’t known that he was a doctor there.
She got in to find Zainab at home watching TV. Since their awkward interaction two months ago, their relationship had changed significantly. Amaka still didn’t know how to deal with the realisation that her flatmate was not only a Lesbian, but also fancied her. One revelation might have been okay to swallow, but together, it was demanding too much of her, even if Zainab didn’t pursue a relationship. They both knew things could never be as they were before.
Zainab stood up from the sofa when Amaka walked in the living room. Amaka had been happy with the Volunteer opportunities at the hospital which had kept her engaged, and distracted her from her lonely existence. It also meant that in addition to Zainab’s radio shifts, they had to be intentional about being home at the same time. Amaka had expected Zainab to be on a shift this evening. She wondered if there was an issue with her work.
“Hey,” Zainab spoke first. She swallowed. “I think we need to talk.”
“Is everything okay?” Amaka asked, dropping her handbag on the dining table.
Zainab nodded. “I just think we should talk about what happened. It’s been like two months, and I think you are avoiding me.”
Amaka gave a half-smile and sighed. She took a seat on one of the arm chairs, and Zainab sat down again. “I thought you had work tonight…”
“I swapped shifts. She owed me one!” Zainab said.
Amaka nodded. “So… What’s up?” Since Zainab had initiated the conversation, Amaka felt it was only right that she lead it. She also used that opportunity to begin to pray for wisdom and grace to speak the truth in love.
“Do you want to leave?”
“Good,” Zainab smiled. “So, why are you avoiding me?”
“I don’t think I have been avoiding you. I just don’t know to relate with you anymore. And I’ve been busy at the hospital. Plus, you’re hardly ever around anyway…”
“Well, I know you normally spend like two hours a day at the hospital… But you’ve been spending at least five hours on Saturdays, which is like my only day off.”
“What do you want from me?” Amaka asked, baffled.
Zainab didn’t know how to answer that question. Amaka’s tone made her unsure of her meaning. “I just want to be friends again… Nothing more.”
Amaka sighed. “The truth is, I don’t know how I feel about your lifestyle…”
“My lifestyle? Would you feel better if I was a man…who liked women…and fancied you?”
Amaka met Zainab’s gaze. She felt exposed. “Well, if you were a man, who fancied me, and I didn’t feel the same way, I would definitely want to leave…”
Zainab nodded. “But, if I don’t fancy you…but I still like women, and sleep with women, would it bother you less, if I was a man?”
Amaka swallowed. “I guess… Because, it’s kind of normal, and expected that that’s what guys do…”
Zainab took in a deep breath. “So, you’re okay with someone living a promiscuous lifestyle, as long as they are male? Or as long as they are only interested in the opposite sex?”
“Actually, I’m not okay with either. I didn’t know anything about your sex life, until you kissed me. It was just a shock to realise that you were gay and all this time, you fancied me. Like I said, I would have been as shocked if you were a man, who did that to me, and I didn’t feel the same way. And I’d definitely be thinking of leaving to prevent anything from happening between us.”
“You would have been as shocked, but you would have been more understanding of his lifestyle??? Because heterosexuality is normal?”
“Yes and no. Heterosexuality is normal, doesn’t make it okay for people to be promiscuous. I know, because that used to be me. I believe in God now, and that has changed the way I view and practice my sexuality. For me, my real concern for you is your faith, your spirituality, not your sexuality. If the first is right, the second will follow.”
Zainab laughed. “You’ve known all this time that I am a Muslim, and it hasn’t bothered you. You haven’t once spoken to me about Jesus! Now you want to make that the issue? You have a problem with me being gay…you can say it.”
Amaka looked down at her hands. “You’re right. I have a problem with you being gay. For me, it is so obviously contrary to righteousness. But it’s true that I wasn’t concerned about your faith, until I learnt about your sexuality. However, I truly believe that your sexuality is a secondary issue, and I have no desire to make you heterosexual. I’ve learnt that you can’t make anyone do what is right…only God can. So, I’d rather leave that to Jesus…”
“So, you think Jesus can make me heterosexual?”
“There’s nothing impossible for God to do. He was the One who created our bodies and is able to do anything to restore us to wholeness.”
“Do you think I want to be homosexual?”
“I don’t know, Zainab. I’m just realising that I don’t really know you that well. I don’t know your past… I don’t know your relationship with your family or about the relationships you’ve been in before. I actually thought you were a passionate Muslim, so that was also a shock to me, because I know your religion doesn’t condone homosexuality.”
Zainab just nodded. “Well, thanks for your honesty.”
Amaka sighed. “Thanks for challenging me to address the issue. And, if you ever want to talk about Jesus, I’m always free. I don’t claim to know everything about Christianity or human sexuality. I don’t know a lot of things, and I suspect you also suffer from this inability to know everything. We are all learning so that we can be better people, and I want to be there for you…through the confusion to find meaning. I hope you won’t shut me out because my beliefs differ from yours…”
Zainab shook her head and sighed. “No. I don’t have anyone else to talk to about this…so I’m glad I can talk to you. Thanks for not running away.”
“Where would I run to?” Amaka laughed and stood up. She opened her arms wide to receive Zainab in a hug. That gesture warmed Zainab’s heart and she entered Amaka’s arms and enjoyed the embrace.
When they separated, Zainab asked the first question that popped in her head. “So, you really haven’t had sex since you became a Christian???”
Any other time, Amaka might have been on edge, especially knowing Zainab’s interest in her. But now, she saw the need to be open and real. “Yes! I can hardly believe it myself!” she giggled.
“Wow… I mean, how? With all the attention you get…?” Zainab was really trying not to give the impression that she was still into Amaka, but she couldn’t help but ask. It was so baffling to her that someone with Amaka’s history, and beauty could hold out for so long without sex.
“It’s really been by God’s grace. I think what has helped me is changing my focus. I’m not so concerned about sex or men or being in a relationship anymore. I still want those things, but I want God more. And I know…or should I say…trust that His way is best.”
“Ummm…” Zainab muttered. Amaka’s answer rang a bell with her. She wanted God more…
Zainab didn’t think she wanted God at all. She hardly even practiced her religion anymore because of her sexuality. She pondered, as Amaka left to go to her room, was she guilty of putting the cart before the horse?
To be continued…
Photo credit: www.pixabay.com
REGISTER FREE to catch up with my Patrons and Members, who are eight episodes ahead.