SHE WAS NOT SCARED OF HIM ANYMORE, SHE HAD NOT BEEN FOR A WHILE, NOT AFTER WHEN SHE HAD STARTED TO LEARN HOW TO ENJOY IT, she looked at him coyly from under her full lashes, slowly balanced herself on the low kitchen counter and parted her legs.
She had been washing in the rain before he called for her, she was not wearing anything under her wet, low neck lemon tank top and the tank stuck to her skin, revealing her taut nipples and firm breasts.
What was beneath her short skirt was a red thong, one of the numerous expensive underwear he had bought for her from his trip overseas and gifted her on various occasions.
Without looking away from him, she gently parted the thong with her fingers and motioned for him with her other hand to come closer.
He did come closer and he devoured her mouth like a ravenous dog, kissing her like he had been starved for the two weeks he had been away in the states.
Then he eased into her and she moaned his name all through the two minutes it lasted. “I am going to give you the whole world, even the one you don’t deserve, even the one that might get you into trouble.”
It didn’t make sense what he said. It never did. And she had forgotten it. Until now…
Her eyes fluttered open and she looked around her, everything around her seemed a bit hazy and she shut her eyes back.
“she would be fine don’t worry sir” she heard a feminine voice say.
…even the one that might get you into trouble
Funlola’s father had put her into trouble on purpose but why? And why was she here? In the hospital? On a hospital bed?
Her eyes opened again and she saw Toni by her side, she looked past him and towards the wall clock that hung on the wall. It was 2.30am.
She remembered why and how she got there and the last thing she had seen before she passed out.
The teenage daughter of Kunle Bifarin.
She sat up straight immediately, causing the nurse beside her to gently put her back to rest with a smile and with firm hands.
“You cannot go home tonight ma, you need to get rest.”
She looked from the nurse to Toni, “what is she talking about?”
“You need rest Dede and you will be getting it here first.” He emphasized what the nurse said.
“Where is Mayowa? I need to see Mayowa” she said and tried to get up again, the nurse tried to pin her down but it was impossible this time because Dede struggled with her.
“Dede where are you going and who is Mayowa?” Toni asked her as he helped the nurse get her under control.
“Mayowa is in danger! I need to see her right now! You two need to get off me!” she yelled, struggling harder to get out of the hospital bed.
“You are not feeling fine! You cannot see Mayowa.” Toni said gently, “please Dede just get this much deserved rest”
“How can I rest when one of my girls is in danger. Mayowa is in danger.”
It did not make sense to Toni and she watched him as he regarded her with a look that asked if she was mentally okay.
“Who is Mayowa and how do you even know she is in danger?”
“The girl we saw earlier, the girl whose father brought into the hospital, she is Mayowa Bifarin and she is one of my girls and I have to see her right away!”
“Not now ma you still need to rest…”
“I said I have to see her right away!” she yelled.
FUNLOLA’S GAZE FOLLOWED HER MOTHER AS SHE WALKED DOWN THE MARBLE STAIRS AND RESTED ON A COUCH IN THE SITTING ROOM.
The older Williams was dressed in an expensive Kaftan lace and gold charm bracelets adorned both wrists.
She had just returned from a visit to the Spa and that might be the reason she seemed to be glowing on a whole different level, Funlola thought as the woman devoted her entire attention to her.
“You look good” she said, scrutinizing Funlola from head to toe, she repeated the action, this time from her toes to her head, her eyes resting on her mid region. “And all the stomach fat is gone, impressive” even though her face looked nothing like it was impressed.
Funlola had grown up trying hard to change that, she had slaved, toiled and worked tirelessly trying to impress the woman or at least make her smile but never had Titi Williams done either of the two things her daughter had longed for.
“I don’t feel too good though” Funlola said, she had worked all her life to make the woman feel good, passed at the top of her class, picked up hobbies she was sure she would like and married their closest family friend’s son and that had not worked in the least bit.
Who knew starving herself on some stupid Hollywood inspired diet would have been what would make the woman impressed?
“What is new at the hospital, you have been evading information regarding that for weeks.” She said as if she had not just been told by her only daughter that she was not feeling good because of the diet she had introduced her to.
Funlola was tempted to say “and you have been evading being my mother all my life” but instead she said, “Nothing is new mom”
“Has she given up the shares?” “She” was Dede Okosun and no, she had not given up the shares her mother and worked tirelessly all her life to get from her.
“You know the answer to that already mom, if she had you would have been the first person to know” Funlola responded and a look of anger flashed through the woman’s face.
“And why have you not been able to do anything about it up until now?” she roared
“Mom, there is nothing I can do about it” Funlola replied, the woman was worried about shares that she didn’t need and which she should have gotten over a long time ago not about her only daughter who did not feel good.
Funlola placed her hand on her stomach, her mother noticed that and looked at her.
“That whore was my housegirl, she slept with my husband right under my nose and with her dirty vagina took over my husband’s hospital and nobody has been able to do anything about it?”
Funlola tried to keep the food in her stomach down, she had tried another food suggested by her mother’s dietician during breakfast and now she was feeling sick.
“Your father was trying to get back at me for ch…” she stopped short and hissed, “I want those shares back! Do something!” she yelled.
Funlola bowed her head, she was going to throw up everything she had eaten that morning on the tiled floor if she did not make it to the closest bathroom very fast.
“What is wrong with you?” her mother asked.
Funlola stood, her handbag which had been placed on her laps tumbling to the floor, she almost tripped as she tried to hurry to the bathroom but she did not make it there as she vomited everything she had eaten that morning on the floor.
“Are you a baby? You could have made it to the bathroom sooner” her mother chided.
Funlola looked at the mess she had created on the floor, everything looked the same way she had swallowed it earlier, it made her sick, the food made her sick, the life she had been living for almost thirty years made her sick and her mother made her sick.
Tears formed in her eyes as she stared at the woman who was supposed to be there for her, the woman who was supposed to be her hero but who had spent her whole life being her enemy, the woman whom she had tried to please even when it was impossible and she knew right there and then that she was done pleasing the woman.
She was done trying to be her daughter.
“Are you just going to stand there or are you going to call the maid to come and clean it while we finish our conversation?” her mother asked.
Funlola walked past the mess, back to the seat she was sitting in earlier, picked her bag and walked towards the door, “I am going to leave. Goodbye mother and good luck fighting Dede…alone.”
Titi Williams watched in utter shock as her daughter left the house and slammed the door behind her.
“Hold me please…hold me please…hold me” And he held her, like he had been for years like he had been doing a lot in recent times. “She died Toni, she died, I killed her”
The tears started to fall, her hands clutched his shirt as he led her to a seat.
He wanted to tell her she did not kill the teenager who had apparently committed suicide after been constantly raped by her own father but he knew no matter how he said that, she was going to feel that way.
The guilt would overwhelm her regardless of what he said because she had turned her back on the girls when they needed her the most. “You told me to go back for them Toni and I did not answer, I killed her.” She continued to say as she wept her heart out.
Toni held her and gently patted her back, he knew her heart was breaking and he knew it would take a long time for her to heal.
She looked at him. “Her mother came to me at the club last week and begged me to help her but I refused and they shot her mother….they shot her mother. I still did not help and now she is dead. What was I thinking? What?” she asked him questions he couldn’t answer.
“I could not even look at her because I know I killed her”
Immediately he had convinced the nurse to allow her look for Mayowa earlier, they had found her in a ward, apparently just minutes after she passed, Dede had been in shock and had screamed until they pulled her out of the ward, then she had gone silent for over thirty minutes before she asked to be held and eventually started to cry.
Anger welled up inside Toni, whatever made a man rape his own daughter till the point where she felt suicide was the only option?
What type of devil possessed him and inhabited his soul?
“You are right, I don’t think she was the one that called her father, he must have found them somehow.” She sniffed and stood up. “I am going to report him to the police.”
Toni pulled her back into the seat, “You don’t have proof”
And she nodded, she did not have proof. “I promise to go all the way with you on this one Dede, just tell me what you need and what we need to do.”
“First, I need to get my girls. I am not allowing anything bad happen to another one before I do something.”
FUNLOLA LOOKED FROM HER EX HUSBAND TO HER FORMER BEST FRIEND AND LAUGHED, initially the laughter started mildly, then it increased to a high pitch and became hysterical, she pointed at them both and laughed harder.
The duo watched her while she laughed until she was done. “You must be crazy if you think for some reason that I will be a part of this your plan”
“We need you” Toni said.
“I don’t need you. I don’t need your drama or your trouble or your betrayal lurking around me.” She said, the laughter which died down had given way to a cold look, she looked at Dede and then Toni, “You both have been the worst people to me and you were supposed to be the only family I have,” she pointed at Dede, “yet you fucked my father”, then at Toni “and you threw away my trust and broke my heart!”
Dede avoided her gaze and played with her fingers, she had told Toni when he mentioned the idea of coming to Funlola for help as a very bad one but since he had insisted and convinced her that she knew the people who could help them, she had agreed.
But she was uncomfortable in the office and she wanted to get out, so she stood up and faced Toni, “I will be outside in the reception Toni” she said and walked out before anybody could say anything.
“The things you do Toni Akinbami, the things you do.” Funlola said as the door slammed shut behind her.
“Funlola we need you”
“No you don’t”
“We do and you will help us.” She frowned, “says who?”
“Me. Because I know you have a very good heart and the connections that we need.”
“I am beginning to think this connection I have is a curse sef, because it keeps bringing you both to me”
“Let me explain this to you..” Toni began and narrated every single detail of the reason they were in her office to her without holding anything back.
“Kunle Bifarin is a sick man” she said with distaste, the irritation clearly written on her face.
“Yes he is and he and the others need to go down.”
“Surely. What type of father is he? Christ I am disgusted. And that poor girl!” she said.
“How do I come into this?”
“The people you know have deep connections in this country and they can make sure we don’t get killed while we reveal the evil these guys are doing because all those girls have influential fathers, including the governor of the state”
“Wow” the shock on her face was evident. “I need you to start helping us with Chinedu Ejiro”
Funlola’s eyes widened, “Cj is a militant, a rebel and danger personified, why do you think I will even agree to speak to him?”
“Because he can help us and because he is the former Chief justice of the federation”
“A chief justice who was removed and who has blood on his hands…”
“And who has a soft spot for you.”
Funlola avoided his eyes, “CJ is trouble”
“We are already in trouble Funlola”
“Can’t you find someone else?”
“No. these guys have been fighting dirty and we need to stop being victims”
She considered his request for a second, “I am only agreeing to this because I hate the situation in which those girls are and we have to help before yet another one commits suicide”
Toni smiled and nodded, he had done it on purpose, he had told her all the gory details because he knew she had a good heart and knowing she could help was the only reason she would be on a team with Dede.
He hoped this would bridge the gap between the two women, a gap he had been instrumental to its creation.
“Thank you Funlola.”
“I will call CJ now”.
He nodded and watched as she picked her phone, “Hello CJ…” a smile formed on her face, “remember you said you will always be there for me since my father passed? Now I need you…”
HIS EYES ROAMED HER BODY AND SHE SQUIRMED UNCOMFORTABLY BENEATH HIS GAZE ALL THROUGH THE MEETING, HE WAS ON board with them because he hated half of the men who were guilty on their list and because he had a score to settle with Kunle Bifarin particularly.
He had offered them dinner and through it had discussed anything and everything with Toni, after the night passed, they all knew they had a partner, one who was impressed with their plans, Toni Akinbami and one who lusted after Funlola.
The older man had been discussing a few things with Toni when Dede joined Funlola outside the house, the latter eyed and ignored her friend.
“Your father gave me the shares because of a reason” Dede began
“Because of your pussy, I know” Funlola replied, barely glancing in her direction.
Dede ignored her, “I think he was trying to stir trouble but I don’t know why he did it.”
“And I don’t care, those shares are between you and my mother now, I want nothing to do with you both ever again” she said and started towards her car.
“You act like I hurt you on purpose, all I ask for is a second chance Funlola, I was a victim as much as you were.”
Dede said and the other woman halted and faced her. “You call yourself a victim? A woman who destroys friendships and people’s homes with her Vagina is not called a victim Adesuwa, she is called a ho”
“I am sorry for not being a saint Funlola, I am sorry for having flaws”
“Your business! stick your sarcasm to yourself please. If I had gone around stabbing you all in the backs or being as terrible as you all were, you think we would not all be overwhelmed by chaos?”
“You are not a saint yourself, Funlola. Nobody is”
Funlola’s eyes shot up, “Oh I am not? Tell me what mysterious cockroach did you find in my cupboard?”
Dede said nothing. “I thought so too. And you know why that is? Because there is none!”
She continued to walk towards her car. Dede’s voice stopped her, “There is actually. You were sleeping with CJ at some point weren’t you?”
Funlola turned sharply towards Dede, the shock and guilt on her face not properly hidden and clear enough for Dede to see, deduce and come to a conclusion with.
“And let me guess, it was while you were married to Toni?”
“It happened a few times and it was because I was unhappy.”
She said trying to appear calm while she internally fought a battle to still the storm raging inside of her.
But Dede saw through all that. “It doesn’t matter why you did it honey, it just goes to say you are a sinner just like the rest of us so stop making me feel worse.”
“Making you feel worse for what?” Toni asked as he joined the women outside, Funlola turned to look at him.
He stared back at her expecting an answer, an answer she couldn’t dare give.