Choices...

Choices… Episode #1

Nifemi did not particularly have a striking face, but she had the kind of body that most men would covet – a bosom that was not too big, but sizable enough to make a man’s gaze linger, a slight waist and a moderate backside. She was an average height beauty, with a flawless skin – with more money at her disposal she would look more radiant – and to crown it all she had brains too. She had passed all of her papers in WAEC with A’s and B’s, and graduated top of her class in the polytechnic. In a sane society, she would be selecting from several scholarships offered her, but this is Nigeria – a place very far from being sane.

Most people would probably call him shameless for lusting after her, seeing that she was his friend’s daughter, but he didn’t care. He just couldn’t help his attraction to her. His attention had first been drawn to her after her secondary education, when Badejo, his friend, had brought her to see him about securing admission into a higher institution. She had applied to study computer engineering at ABU and help was needed getting in, as it always is in most Nigerian institution.  

He had laid eyes on her and become obsessed. But at the time, he had respected himself enough not to act on his urges. Unfortunately, she didn’t get into ABU. Instead she got into Bida polytechnic to study computer science.  He had occasionally sent her money in school under the guise of a kind family friend, whilst bidding his time – waiting for the right moment to strike.  And now seemed like the perfect time. 

He stared at her as she stood up to hand him some papers. She really had blossomed into a big girl, and now would be the right time to make his intentions known. However, he was confused on the best way to go about it. He walked towards her to collect the papers, then decided at the last minute to make his move.  

“What are you doing Sir?!” Nife squealed. 

She pushed away his hands that had grabbed at her bosom, and took an involuntary step backward. 

“Come on Nifemi, are we not friends anymore?” He whispered, his mouth curving in an innocuous smile. 

Dazed, she dropped abruptly into the couch behind her. “Friends? But,”   

“Daddy, mo ti she tan o.” 

He calmly took a step back, facing the direction in which the voice had come from, so it would seem as though he just stood up. He had been so distracted he forgot his wife was home. Thank God she was in the habit of talking to people before seeing them. 

“La ta ro. the event will be over before you get there.” 

He cleared his throat, and sank into one of the cushion just as she walked in. No. the appropriate word is rolled in. The woman in front of him now was a far cry from the one he had married. When they met at the university, she had been the cynosure of all eyes, with a body size he liked to call moderate, and a perfect figure 8 shape. 

“Abi, they’ll just be starting.”  She answered him. 

“Ah Nife, how are you doing?”

She heaved a sigh as she sat next to him. He loved her still, but she just didn’t do it for him sexually anymore. She hadn’t for years, and he had learnt how to find his pleasure outside with his mistresses. He suspected she knew and had come to accept it, however, he doubted she would accept his plan to move in on Nife.  

“I’m fine ma.” Nife stood up abruptly. “I’ll be on my way now ma.”

““Oh, you and daddy have finished talking ehn?” 

“Yes ma’am, I just brought my application documents.”

“Okay. She le lon lo? Let me drop you at the junction.” Mrs. Oladapo asked. 

“Yes ma.”

 “Eh. Nife, take this for your transportation. Extend my Greetings to your dad.” he stretched out two 1000 naira notes to her.

He had spooked her, he knew, but the token should calm her down. His approach had been so stupid, he admitted to himself. His wife could have walked in on them, or the girl could have slapped him and made a scene. Well, it was a good sign that she didn’t. 

***

Nife flashed a smile that belied the turmoil in her mind as she collected the money Chief offered her and thanked him for his generosity. Refusing to collect the money was not an option. It would be too awkward and may cause his wife to ask questions. As she stepped out of the house behind Mrs. Oladapo, she wondered if the woman had seen what transpired between her and chief. Could that be why she was giving her a lift? Her heart rate doubled and a line of sweat coated her brow immediately. Fortunately, all through the short 5 minute drive to the junction, Mrs. Oladapo was busy on the phone. 

She alighted the car with a sigh of relief. As she stood at the junction waiting for a cab, several thought raced through her mind and her head ached as if her brain was experiencing a meltdown. It, apparently, couldn’t wrap itself around the fact that Chief Oladapo, her father’s somewhat friend had just grabbed her boobs. Somewhat because, a very rich man like Chief and an average man like her father could never really be friends – not in the real sense of it, and definitely not in this society. Mere acquaintance with a business arrangement is what they really were, but of course they’d prefer to regard each other as friends because of the benefits they both get from each other. 

“Kai, how did I not know he could pull something like this? I’m particularly good at spotting sexual predators na. Damn it!” she cursed, as she boarded the cab that had stopped for her.  

In the short 20 years she had been on the planet, she had had more than her share of men behave improperly with her, so much that she could spot a sexual predator a mile away. There was Uncle Ken, when she was 7, who would ask her to come sit on his lap, then urge her to lay on the bed while he laid on her; Uncle Joe, who greased her hand with Vaseline, and asked her to glide it up and down his penis; Mr. Audu, her economics teacher, who grabbed her boobs in his office when she was in SS1 and some others in between; neighbors, friends and acquaintances; young and old. At a time, she felt like she was doing something to attract the unwanted attention, so she became conscious and watchful of her interaction with the men around her. 

The signs had been written all over Chief, but she just hadn’t thought for a second that a man of his caliber would stoop so low. And for God sakes, he was her father’s friend – somewhat or not. How was she to think that the hugs he forced on her every time she visited was not so innocent, but he was only trying to cope some feels. She had always felt uncomfortable and awkward hugging him, but just chalked it up to him being ajebo. Then there was the, ‘my dear’ that he seemed very fond of using when referring to her and the, ‘omo mi ni Nifemi’ comments that always hinted at some special closeness that didn’t really exist. 

“Area 3.” The cab driver’s voice intruded into her thoughts.

She quickly handed him her fare and dropped. Was the 2000 naira transport a bribe or an attempt at seduction? And more importantly, should she report the incident to her father or not? Undecided, she headed straight to the bathroom immediately she got home

“What would happen if I tell dad?” She pondered. “What goal would my telling achieve?” 

By the time she was done bathing, she decided not to tell anyone. She reasoned, telling would only result in the breaking up of the business relationship between her father and Chief, and that would be tantamount to dealing her father a huge financial blow. 

“I’m an adult. I would handle it myself.” She picked up her phone, a tecno P5, and opened the texting app to send a message to Chief.

“As my father’s friend I’m highly disappointed at what you did today. Please I beg of you, for your own sake and mine, do not repeat what you did again, as the result will be very unpleasant. Good day.”  She typed hurriedly, and hit send.  

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