Andy felt like he was going crazy. He stood up from the bed
and sat on the small chair in the room. This was the third
time he was standing up from the bed after fruitlessly
trying to sleep. He had been terribly devastated ever since
he dropped off Jessica. He still could not believe that it had
all happened so fast. He had lost his appetite even though
he was hungry but his thought that his anger would go down
as time went by was totally wrong because each passing
minute added a measured level of frustration to the ones on
Sleeping on the bed was the worst part of it all. He kept
remembering all that he and Jessie had been doing on the
bed; their intimacy, laughter, jokes, emotional tears and
even their breakfast. The masters’ bedroom held far too
many memories, all derived from one day, but the joy and
fulfillment he felt within twenty four hours had evaporated
just like that.
He could not bear to think of the look of betrayal and hurt
he saw in her eyes. He sighed and stood up. If he had been
told years back that one day, he would care about the
feelings of a woman; he would have laughed the person to
scorn. But here he was, having sleepless night because of a
woman. He had only been in love once in his life but the
experience was too traumatic.
He checked the time on the wall clock as he entered the
sitting room and noticed it was some minutes to three. He
had expected that it would be around five or something like
that. He sighed and switched on the TV, hoping that he
would be able to focus on the TV.
Lizzy woke around past six as she was used to and noticed
that Jessica was still asleep, she was happy. She had given
Jessie some drugs which she usually used after a really
stressful day and seeing Jessie sleep peacefully told her that
the drugs were effective. She was not used to bathing so
early, so she just washed her face and brushed her teeth.
Moving about quietly in order not to rouse the sleeping
Jessie, she went into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. She
checked the rice she had cooked the previous night and was
happy that it was enough for two; the stress of cooking
another food was out. She heated up the rice and stew but
also boiled water to use for tea. The weather was very cold,
considering the heavy rain that fell throughout the night.
While she waited for the food to steam up, she went to the
sink and started washing the plates from the previous night.
She was happy that she was on her own and not with her
parents, if not, they would be ranting about sweeping the
entire house, and she would not be able to ask for food
until she had worked her bones sore.
“Tunji, I believe you should be able to handle the office
without my assistance” Andy said as he conversed rather
reluctantly with Tunji, his best friend, over the phone,
driving at the same time.
“Well, thank God you finally noticed that. Hope there is no
problem? I mean you never miss a day at the office but
today would make it three days”
“Well, that is the difference between a married man and a
“Don’t tell me that. Did you just get married? You even
came to the office during your honeymoon so cut it out.
Andy, are you on the road?”
“I have not got time for this now Tunji, got to go” Before
Tunji could respond to what he said, Andy hung up. Andy
dropped the phone and swallowed. He knew it was too early
but he could not stay in the house for another minute. The
thought of Jessica was almost driving him mad and he
needed to make her believe him. He just could not fathom
what it would be.
He encountered a little traffic and was instantly angry that
he lived in Lagos. Lagos was a state that he had always
known for its overcrowded nature. Though Lagos was a
beautiful place, he was not happy that today of all days he
was being delayed by traffic, so early in the morning.
“You should have woken me up Lizzy, I am not a baby”
Jessica said. Even though her head was still pounding, she
did not like being the last person to wake up, only to find
all the work already done.
Lizzy smiled. “You are my baby for today sweetheart. Just
wait, Paulina would be here soon”
“Oh no”, Jessica groaned. “I don’t need a motherly
intervention right now”. Jessica stared at the food in front
of her, she had no appetite whatsoever and her head ached
terribly. She drank the tea slowly.
“I am all ears Jessica” Jessica did not need a long speech to
know what Lizzy was referring to.
Jessie sighed and decided it best to talk about it. “Andy is
a womanizing cheat”
“Wow Jessie, that is a really strong statement. I assumed
that Andy was the subject matter but needed confirmation.
Andy does not strike me as a womanizer, though I can’t
dispute that he looks seriously like a ladies’ man. Women
would always be attracted to him, there is no stopping it
but I don’t think Andy is someone who jumps from skirt to
It hurt Jessica that Lizzy was defending Andy. “Well, he
turned out to be a womanizer”
“I don’t like people feeding you with lies. You are married
to one of the most famous men in this country; people want
to take your place. Come to think of it, even if this were
true, should it bother you? I mean, you don’t have feelings
for him, do you?” Lizzy knew that she was intentionally
goading her friend.
Jessie swallowed and glared at Lizzy for some seconds. “Of
course I don’t, and it does not bother me” Lizzy’s knowing
smile annoyed Lizzy. “I am serious Liz, the only thing that
bothers me is what happened” she paused. Talking about it
seemed much worse. Now that she thought of it, she could
not imagine Andy raping anyone but common sense never
makes sense to people when faced with a situation like this.
“He almost raped Sonia”
Lizzy choked on the tea she was drinking and started
coughing. She coughed and coughed for sometime and
breathed in deeply. “Ok Jessie” she coughed. “I think you
are imagining things. Are you sure you don’t feel dizzy? The
drugs I gave you are strong and you should still be asleep by
“Cut it out Liz, I am not crazy. I got a call from Sonia
yesterday evening and she asked of what I was doing. I told
her that I was home with Andy and was about going to make
my hair. She then told me that she was coming over and
should get to the house in about two hours. I decided to go
over to the saloon, leaving Andy at home, since everything I
needed to do there would just take about an hour. On
getting home, I saw Andy with Sonia, struggling with each
other on the chair. The sight was…” she trailed off.
Lizzy was looking with wide eyes and open mouth and for
almost a minute, nobody talked. Lizzy stood up and paced
thoughtfully. “Jesus, I can’t believe this. Andy?” the full
memory of the past evening returned with full force and she
swallowed as pain overshadowed her. “What did they both
“What else would Andy say? He said it is not what I think”
she laughed slightly. “Sonia said he was trying to rape her.
It is so disheartening Liz, my friend almost got raped
because she visited me” she remembered something. “That
was when Sonia surprised me by mentioning the one year
contract between Andy and I”
“Yes. I was terribly shocked. She said a whole load of crap”
Jessica went ahead to narrate everything that was said the
previous night, even including Andy’s bewildered responses.
Lizzy sat down and looked thoughtful.
“Something is fishing. I am not sure I trust Sonia”
“Lizzy! How can you say that?”
“It is true Jessie, I don’t trust quiet people. Come to think
of it, she said she would be in your house in two hours time
and you got back after one hour only to meet her there”
“It happens all the time Lizzy. She might have anticipated
traffic when she said that but met with a clear road”
“But she knew you were at the saloon and could have gone
earlier to meet Andy” Lizzy looked thoughtful.
“Why would she want to do that?”
“Everyone loves a rich man”
“Stop it Lizzy, I can’t believe you doubt your own friend.”
Jessica was surprised.
“I am just trying to be the reasonable person here; I mean,
if you can doubt your husband, I see no reason why a friend
cannot be doubted. Besides, I cannot fully trust someone
who is too quiet, just like Sonia. I can still remember how
much she lamented on the beauty of your house and how
much you must be enjoying”
“Everyone did that, even you. I can surely doubt my
husband, or contract husband but I have known you girls for
a long time now, I trust you”
“The same way you trusted that best friend of yours and
she stole your first man? You can deny it but deep down,
you know that what is between you and Andy is beyond just
a mere contract” Lizzy countered. Jessica did not have to
answer when they heard a knock. Jessica was still processing
everything when all of a sudden Andy was standing before
her. She did not know when Lizzy opened the door, all she
saw was Andy, standing at the entrance, looking directly at
her. As usual, his presence was so powerful, she could
almost touch it, but she still noticed his anxiety.
“I would leave you two alone” Lizzy said.
“No Lizzy, don’t you dare” Jessica yelled.
Lizzy was never known to be an obedient child; she went
outside and closed the door. Jessica breathed deeply. “What
do you want?” She folded her arms across her chest.
“I just want you to hear me out Jess. Don’t sentence me
without giving me a fair hearing” Andy said.
“What do you have to say? More lies?”
“The truth. Jess, Sonia was forcing herself on me” Jessica
laughed. “I was sitting shirtless in the sitting room when I
heard a knock. I felt it was you so I did not bother putting
on the shirt. Sonia came in when I opened the door so I
went for my shirt but she flung it. She came up with a
story that she does not know what I saw in her S.U. friend
and that I should have come for someone like her. She
jumped on me before I could even think and we both fell on
the chair. It was while I was trying to detach myself from
her that you entered” Andy landed.
Jessica smiled and laughed. She clapped her hands slowly.
“Bravo. Did you spend the entire night coming up with that
Andy groaned. “Come on Jessica, I know we just became
intimate and that it must be hard for you to believe me,
but trust me Jess, I can’t hurt you” he paused. “I love
Jessica swallowed. “Wow… the three magic words. Is that
what you tell every woman you sleep with?”
Andy swallowed. It had taken being in that traffic to finally
admit that he was madly in love with Jessica. It was
something he had known for some time but never admitted
to himself, much less someone else. “I have only told Wendy
“Oh, the woman at Convy Hotel?”
Andy hated the way Jessica goaded him. “No, my ex.” He
paused. “She was my fiancé” she swallowed. He sat on the
chair at the dinning for some minutes without talking.
Jessica was done goading. She saw the pain that raked
through him and was deeply touched. “She is the reason why
I could not love any other woman. She was my first love”
“What did she do?” Jessica’s voice softened.
“She died” Jessica gasped. “A day before our wedding” Andy
swallowed. “She was asthmatic, I knew that and made sure I
always got her inhaler. I was not rich then and getting the
pump at times was difficult. She was caring and
understanding. When her pump finished she did not tell me;
heck, she should have. She was so damn stubborn, wanting
to buy things by herself.” He inhaled. “She got an asthma
attack and the people in the house found an empty pump.
They rushed her to the hospital but before they got there,
she was already… already dead” she swallowed hard and
breathed deeply. Jessica could not move a muscle. “I was
busy expecting the next day so that I can be joined with my
wife. I was at the bachelors’ night that was organized by
my friends when my friends called me. They were told to
tactically deliver the news to me. How tactically can they
deliver that? Tell me”
Jessica went and hugged him tightly. “It is OK Drew” she
wanted to take away the pain she saw in his eyes. Andy was
not the extremely emotional type but he needed that hug.
“That was why I dived into work. It paid off because I am
successful today but I didn’t have time for women. I had
some women after that but it was not anything serious.”
The feel of Jessica drove his pain away. He pulled back and
stared into her eyes. “I would never hurt you Jessie. You
were the reason why I became obsessed with work. I
thought about you every time and I was using work to
substitute you in my mind” he kissed her head. “Do you
have feelings for me Jess?”
“Please, don’t say no.” he paused. “You know what, I would
be back. Please think about it” He kissed her cheek, stood
up and walked out slowly.