R U Still here?
Timi is about to drop the blackberry on the kitchen work surface when she feels it vibrate. Once again the irish potatoes have to wait another few minutes before she can give it some attention. This non-attention she hitherto reserved for a rash was now the exclusive reserve of her cooking and any other chores that had the misfortune of falling to her.
Say the truth, you’ve been looking at your bb since, waiting for a beep from me
You wish you had that effect on me right? - she recalls the lurch in her stomach when his message beeped, even now, the involuntary smile tugging at the corners of her lips as she punches the gadget with ambidextrous fingers in shocking speed.
I know that you are overfed on my ‘winch’, that’s why you can’t wait twenty seconds for my reply, you love me, just say it!
The full toothed smiling emoticon that ends that message has her smiling in complete abandon. She replies with another emoticon; it says love struck with the heart shape in both eyes.
Her face lights up, like a flower in the full glare of the sun. She realizes warmly that Archer was right; she was somewhat addicted to the banter that they shared daily- and sometimes nightly.
Maybe it was the near sublime feeling that accompanied the comfort of knowing he was just a click away. Or was it the pleasure of their joint moans stretched over cyber space, climaxing in convoluted contraptions of chips, radio waves and virtual reality so distant, yet so completely real.
All this was cushioned on the appealing justification that all that sex really was not sex since they had never been together in the flesh. In spite of the pictures, the horny voice notes, that raunchy video…
His steam not only raged hot in orgiastic frenzy, he also gave her the drive to design more. He helped her share the innovative dress and shirt styles on two social media sites on which she was registered, but never had the zeal to constantly bother with. Then came the biggest catch; he opened her eyes to the closest thing to a website. Putting her designs on blogosphere was one more thing to be grateful to him for.
A chance meeting had brought them together on one of those sites fourteen months ago; she had spoken with him because she saw that they had five mutual friends on the site, one of them her cousin. He seemed to understand the strain she was under, coping with a long distance relationship with ND, her long time boyfriend. ND got transferred to Abuja less than a year ago while she remained in Port Harcourt without a regular job, making her designs to keep busy.
When he seemed impressed that artistry ran in the family, she nearly did a double take, how do you mean? She asked.
Oh, I saw your cousin’s lovely cakes. She tagged you in some pictures.
Of course, she thought. He had her email password and her social media passwords to enable him update her posts and pictures.
But you are her friend on facebook too, not so?
Yes, I am. I don’t know her that well though.
Angelica, the flighty twenty nine year old mother of one came to their family home during preparations for a relative’s wedding in Port Harcourt a week later.
Out from the shower one morning, she waddled her plump frame into Timi’s room and gingerly dropped the question in her lap.
Do you know Chigozie Ogosi?
You mean Archer Ogosi?
Timi’s fingers assumed an instant quake, toppling her bold five
Yes, that’s him. Are you guys dating or something?
Dating? No. We’re friends though
Oh, 0kay. Because I told him I wouldn’t want to do my cousin’s man, not even her ex.
Timi is about to rejoice at the meaning she chooses to infer from this statement, but that joy is short-lived as Angelina continues, moisturizer in hand, leg poised on a nearby stool.
But the guy has a way with words though, did you notice that?
Yes, he does. Timi answers slowly, anxious not to let her voice betray the panic attack she was about to experience
For an IT engineer, the guy can be obnoxious sometimes! One cannot even dare have a different opinion from his. Anyway, that’s a little sacrifice to make for all the exposure and commendation he is giving my cakes on the internet.
Your cakes? Internet?
I know, it sounds crazy yeah? That’s what I thought till he helped me set up a blog for the cakes, Awesome stuff!
Yes. It’s called ‘Yummy Art’. The name was his idea too.
Wow! That’s wonderful. This lame response is the best she can exhume as she makes an excuse to look away from her cousin.
Even as she leaves the house for the gym, she cannot erase from her mind the picture of Angelina’s eyes rolled back as she described her online sex sessions with Archer; her Archer! Or so she had thought till this August visit got her dreams tumbling into reality’s vortex. Angelina tells her she just wants to get the best out of this friendship; she knows there is nothing in an e- boyfriend. That’s why she has refused to send him pictures of her body. She and Angie had always been free with each other, usually there were no holds barred when they discussed Angie’s sexcapades, but that bit of information sank Timi’s heart; she had been the gullible one here and after having her, he decided to move in on her younger cousin.
She wonders now whether it was sensible or just plain impetuous to let Angelina know that Archer had made passes at her a year ago, and to joke with the idea of him wooing her with the promise of a dildo and some g-strings on his next visit. That had made Angelina’s eyes pop. She eventually ended the gist with: We haven’t spoken much recently though, not after one last quarrel, about something so silly I can’t even remember.
At thirty three, she was not about to risk her possible marriage to ND over a silly internet fling. Her mind was made, she would not raise the matter with either Angie or Archer, they could ravish each other on the phone all they wanted each night, while Timi pretended to be in the full embrace of sleep that eluded her relentless search.
Her shock knew no bounds however when Archer’s voice came across her phone – accusatory and full of venom - as she left her tailor’s shop the next day.
How can you make me look bad before your cousin? How could you tell her about the g-string? You want to look like the saint and I the bad guy right?
Hold up! Since when is this my fault? I thought you didn’t know her well? These days you only know her enough to incite her lusty moans, and design her cake blog! Mr. blog-ur-way-to-our-bed!
It didn’t happen like that, honestly. I, erm, I, I, didn’t mean to. But that’s no reason to paint me black in her eyes, just because you are jealous of her relationship with me.
How dare you say that? What does that even mean? Timi struggles to restrain her voice, and walks to a secluded corner of the street to ensure no one is within earshot
I thought you are engaged to be married and would not want your man to know about our internet fling?
But of course…
Then you better realise you made a big mistake making me look bad. Back off Angie and me, else you will make headlines with your nude pics and video! With that he promptly hung up while she stared at the mobile phone in her hands in shock.
The gasp that escaped her lips was only a fraction of the torment that ensued in the days that followed as Archer sent her messages repeating this threat. Timi’s face tensed each time she heard Angelina’s phone beep. She unconsciously watched, dreading the shock that would accompany her sighting of the said video and pictures.
Unable to cope with the tension and the unbearable ulcer it was reawakening in her bowels, she eventually forwarded the threats and her responses to Angie.
Are you kidding me?
No Angie, It’s serious.
You mean you guys were? Are…? Hmm. No wonder he kept asking me what else you said after I teased him about the g-string! But Timi you should have told me!
I had no idea you two were … close. Besides when you started telling me about how you two were, I didn’t want to burst your fun, I just wanted to let it pass. Now I’m scared that he may send the pics and video to ND on facebook!
But why threaten you like that though? That’s very immature of him.
I don’t know about immature, but last time I checked, he and ND are now friends on FB. Timi’s voice is quaking on the verge of tears; once again.
Angie gives her a knowing look. One that says, hey I’m a pro at this game. You really should not play if you do not know the rules and how to break them. She walks over nonetheless and hugs her, all the while saying: don’t worry babe, we’ll get him
Her naïve older cousin amused her to no end, how could she behave like life was about to end just because a pervert threatened to turn her into an internet porn star? She obviously had a lot more work to do in Port Harcourt after their relative’s wedding, but not just yet. Presently she would conclude her scheme on the next ‘maga’ that would send her some pounds in exchange for a fake boob display. After that she would show Archer that he was not the only one who understood blackmail. Speaking of which, she dug through her picture archives, and found the right picture, with just enough to incriminate the sicko. She smiled the phallic image in perfect pose, turgid with the beginnings of come spurting at the one eyed crown, his hand in perfect position to show the signature tattoo she knew so well from facebook before they started playing ‘house’.
Silly fool; he forgets that I also know his girlfriend on FB, she said out loud.
She never stopped wondering why many boys with unimpressive toys were cursed with a great smallness within as well. The kind of smallness that made them blackmail their way to whatever they wanted. The more she thought of Archer the more she realized how grateful she was that she would never physically get in touch with him; that kind of ego would possibly need all sort of creepy games to satisfy his cravings.
Before going too far, she needed to change all her internet passwords. Two can certainly play this game.