She hated tears. They were for the weak. For those women who loved and gave their hearts to men. She was not one of them. She was Umi and she simply did not do love.
But love had done her in somehow. Found that hard outer shell, cracked it open and slipped in quietly through the fissure until it located her soft core and dumped its mushy mess into her.
This love came in form of a man whom she had met in church almost two years ago, who offered a ride to her as he saw her standing by the roadside waiting for a taxi.
“Francis is the name,” he had said to her as if she had asked. To this, she had rolled her eyes in that discreet manner she often did and no one saw.
“What’s yours?” he asked as she had predicted he would.
“Umi,” she replied and waited for the obvious question that would follow.
“Umi? Where are you from? Are you Hausa?”
Two options dangled before her. To indulge him or not to indulge him?
She picked the former. It was a beautiful day, after all. The pastor hadn’t preached for long, the choir sang her favorite song and Francis’ perfume was in all ways manly and sensual. And damn! That smile! No man should have that sort of perfect dentition. It was unfair to other men.
But Francis had that and more as she found out a few months later in the darkness of his bedroom. She had strung him along for almost five months before she agreed to a kiss that led to many other things. By then, her feelings for him had gone out of her control. What was there not to adore about Francis? His boyfriend material was of top quality and could stand the test of time. He was into her for the long haul and did everything a lover in a romance novel would do for the woman he loved, demanding same from her.
And maybe that was where the problem arose. He had gone in deeper than she had. Love, to Umi meant many other things asides what it actually meant. To her, love was ambition, independence, pursuing her dreams, and yet having a man on whose chest she could place her head whenever she felt like. Not a man who demanded all of her. She loved to come and go like blinking Christmas lights. Francis had told her that he understood her eccentricities and had given her space whenever she needed. But he had snapped one evening, lost his mind and shocked her with a marriage proposal – and a public one at that.
Umi had burst into tears and everyone had thought they were tears of joy. In-between heaves and a shattering heart, she accepted his ring and let his tongue dance around her mouth as their friends cheered. Numb, she followed him to his place and allowed him make love to her through most of the night. By morning, she shattered his heart.
He had cried, with tears, snot and his knees to the floor, clutching her legs. It was a most painful scene for both of them but what Francis didn’t know was that Umi was long gone, already feeling the sun on her face and the wind on her back. Her dreams were more than what any man could offer. She had learned years ago that love and marriage were not all that they were hyped to be. Firsthand, she had also seen how much harm love could do to an individual and nothing could make her tow that lane. Francis had tried but she was glad to escape while her mind was still in control.
Right now, however, she felt like crap. Tears were weakening her. They had come when Francis showed up at her doorstep a short while ago to drop her things. This was exactly a week after their breakup.
The bewitching smile on his face was gone. His skin had lost its freshness and he stood before her, a gaunt version of himself.
“Can I come in?” he asked, and her head shook. “Is there any chance that you’ll ever take me back, Umi?”
And right there, she broke down. Unable to contain it, she shut the door in his face, withdrew to her bedroom and cried helplessly. Solace came in form of a phone call from a client. The woman was seeking Umi’s laundry services. She gave a house address and hung up.
Umi immediately jumped off the bed, changed clothes and dashed out. Her laundry business was small and boasted of the garage and entire ground floor of the duplex she shared with her friend, Quincy. She also had a staff of two guys and a girl who were impressive with their work but because Umi loved to do laundry, she sometimes took on jobs herself.
This was one of them. She had been holed in for one week, doing nothing but watching movies and spending time with Quincy. Today was a good day to feel the sun.
“Ouch,” she muttered as she stepped out of the house. Maybe feeling the sun was not a good idea. It was burning hot and her skin was beginning to complain from the assualt.
Touching the ‘U’ pendant that hung off on her gold necklace, she aimed for her laundry delivery van.
There was the Fela music wafting melodiously from the home theatre, there was the recently inhaled weed settling into his lungs and there was the sexy naked woman arching her back waiting for his aching shaft to plunge deep into her.
There, Heaven had come to him the way he usually loved it.
Induced by the music and the weed, he prepared himself to take the sexy kitten before him.
Holding her waist firmly with one hand, he drove deep into her, his other hand fiddling with her breasts as it jiggled, her whole entirety lost in sheer ecstasy.
When his hips demanded her with a thrust, her moistness responded to him, meeting each thrust with overwhelming passion.
Her long wavy jet black virgin weave cascaded her back, her whole being lost in sheer ecstasy.
Another thrust and she was pushed to the brim, almost spilling over.
“Fuck, I’m coming!” she screamed, one hand finding her clit, the other hitting her bare ass.
His eyes fell on her golden brown body as he said to her, “Come for me, baby…”
She moaned some more, letting out a cuss word before she collapsed on the table, her body in spasms as her climax overtook her tiny frame.
“Your turn,” she said breathlessly, turning over.
A smirk told her he approved of her swift change in position. Spreading her legs open easily like butter on piping hot bread, she gave to him an unrestricted access into her recently waxed center.
Her feet were still tightly held in her pair of black hooker heels, her soft boobs peeking at him from under the full hair that cascaded her shoulders.
Merely looking at her that way hardened him more and with a hand, he guided himself into her.
She bit her lower lip when he gently eased in and out of her damp place, her teeth cutting deeper into the flesh when he moved faster.
“Fuck me, babe…” she moaned as she watched him drive in and out of her in quick thrusts. “Shit” she said when he moved faster, his release causing him to grab her waist firmly, holding on to her as he emptied himself into the condom he wore minutes before.
She covered his face and neck with kisses as he tried to find his breath.
“You’re as good as your friend,” she muttered, biting his earlobes.
“I’m better,” he said, pulling out of her. She giggled, her soft voice acquiescing as he made his way to the closest bathroom to them – the guest bathroom.
Relieving himself of the condom, he tossed it into the trash can by the sink and stepped into the Shower Booth.
Thanks to the water heater, warm water cascaded his back the moment he turned on the shower.
Slapping the soapy liquid from the body wash his mother had placed in all the spare bathrooms in the House a few weeks before, he guided his hands through his body as he washed himself clean.
When he stepped out of the bathroom two minutes later, she was lying on his couch, her fingers scrolling through the iPhone in her hands.
She was still nude and her feet were still the only part of her body donned in something; the hooker heels.
The image was yet another temptation to fuck her senseless but he resisted the urge. He had his fill of her already – four times from midnight till midday was not bad, it was time to take a rest.
“We’re on Bella Naija,” she said to him as he made his way to the dining table where his laptop and phones sat.
He’d been in the middle of work, a stick of weed cigarette held between his lips, when she came down the stairs thirty minutes before, waking up his erection and giving him no room to devote his hundred percent attention to the pile of paper work in front of him.
He’d taken her right there on the dining table and now he had to return to work because he had a deal worth millions to close.
Grabbing his briefs, he wore them and drew his V neck T-shirt over his neck before returning to the Laptop in front of him.
“Doesn’t matter, Bianca. Everyone makes it to Bella Naija at some point.”
He could sense she was frowning before she appeared in front of him, the phone in his face. “You’re not bothered?”
“Why should I be?” he asked, his brows furrowed.
“You’re the one who doesn’t like to be in the news…”
“Bella Naija is not the news.” He grabbed his phone and typed a quick message to his Personal Assistant asking her to schedule an international meeting for him via Skype.
“So this means this is serious?”
He sighed. “Bianca, we are just fucking. It is good sex and I will very much like to continue but appearing together on some random website doesn’t make us official.”
“Is this because I slept with your friend? You said it meant nothing.”
He wanted to roll his eyes all the way to his sockets but he held himself, held her hands and pulled her closer to himself. “Babe, I am not going to get official with anyone again. It’s never going to happen.”
He could see the hurt written across her face like the message on a Billboard but he also didn’t care for it.
They had gone through the same conversation too many times in the past and he was exhausted.
A broken marriage and two lying ex-girlfriends were all he needed to put an end to relationships in his life and Bianca’s pussy was not going to ever change that. The reason she had ended up in his bed at all was because his friend, Tomiwa had her and told him he could share.
She hadn’t ended up in his bed because he fell in love with her or because he cared for her.
And this, he suspected she knew but was trying to change anyway.
“Whatever,” she said, shoving his hands off her as she made her way out of his dining room, her heels making a loud sound as she made for the stairs.
He had barely returned his gaze to an email asking for his attention when he heard a knock on the front door.
Wishing he had gone to the office, he grabbed his phone and punched a response into it as he marched to the front door, his puppy, Molly right on his heels.
When the door swung open, he found her standing there, sweaty, looking like she was lost and she had no idea why she had knocked on his door midday.
A quick trip through her body told him she was a laundry person and a brief gaze on her lips informed him how much his tongue would like to explore that mouth.
But because he had no idea who she was and did not understand why a woman dressed in a Laundry Service uniform was standing by his door, he cautioned his wandering thoughts and eyes.
Molly was licking her pair of black converse and he literally had to scoop the little beast off the floor before it stopped.
“Yes?” he asked, wondering how long it was going to take her to stand by the door, looking like a lost three-year-old.
“Erm… Mr Agbaje?”
“Yeah…” he replied, still puzzled.
“Right okay… I’m from Umi Yohan Laundry Services and…”
“I can see that?” he interrupted her. Standing there with his dog in his hands while she looked like something off a porn flick was not doing any good to his recently fucked body.
He literally just eased himself out of one woman, a woman he had filled himself with all night. Yet, this mahogany toned woman dressed in a laundry service uniform, looking like a dazed toddler was waking different emotions in him simply by standing by his door.
“Sir, I am here because I was called by a certain Mrs Agbaje to come and pick laundry.”
Her tone told him he had been quite harsh so he tried to soften a bit, even though that was extremely hard for some reason he was yet to decipher.
“Mrs Agbaje?” he inquired, puzzled.
“Yes.” She retrieved her phone and flashed him a number on the screen. “She called with this number”
“Oh,” he replied, recognizing his mother’s number on the phone screen. “That’s my mom”
“Oh,” she responded, her stony glare telling him she was not impressed by his earlier interruption.
He wondered if she went to her clients’ houses, wearing an attitude like that. Stepping aside, he let her into his sitting room.
She walked in, shutting the door behind her.
“Excuse me,” he said and took the stairs two at a time as he raced to his bedroom.
He’d returned from Los Angeles just a week before with dirty laundry, coupled with the used bedsheets, curtains that hadn’t been washed in months, more dirty clothes in his wardrobe, his mother had complained the last time she visited.
“Babafemi, you need a maid,” she had said and he had reminded her what happened with the last three maids he tried to employ.
“I don’t need a maid. I am fine this way.”
“Then you need to find a way around this dirty clothes,” she said and hadn’t said more until that laundry lady showed up at his door step.
“Want to join me?” Bianca asked from the bathroom when he strolled into his bedroom, his hands grabbing all the dirty clothes he had neatly placed in the laundry basket.
“No,” he replied and made it down the stairs almost immediately. Molly had gotten off his hands and was now back to licking the lady’s shoes. She smiled at it this time and he wondered if she liked pets or was simply tolerating this one.
Molly could be pesky around strangers and visitors and he mostly locked it up in its cage whenever people came around the house, because most of his friends weren’t exactly dog lovers.
But this Lady didn’t seem bothered and if she were, she wasn’t showing the animal which now stood on its hind legs, its fore legs balanced on her trousers.
“Here,” he said dumping the laundry by her feet. And it seemed like her smile disappeared the moment she sighted him.
Bending over, she separated the bright colors from the dull ones, retrieved her notepad from her back pocket and scribbled into it with a pen she produced from her breast pocket.
“Five washes” she said, pointing to the dirty laundry she’d separated into different piles on the floor. “Can I have your email address please?” she asked briskly, replacing the notepad in her pocket.
“Why is that needed?”
She looked like she would rather not indulge him by responding before she said. “We usually email invoices to clients,” and then added, “You think you can share that?”
Without giving him room to respond she said, “I promise you we would not be sending nuclear launch codes to your inbox” and if she had smiled, he would have thought it was a joke.
But she did not – her full lips stayed glued together after the words fell off them – telling him she was one sarcastic woman.
Unsure of why he spoke the words he uttered next, he found himself asking her. “Does your employer approve of your behavior?”
“I am my employer.”
Silence fell on the room, the tension between them seemingly reaching a crescendo until Bianca’s voice rang through, her heels hitting the tiled floor.
“Hey, I’m leaving.” She gave Femi a quick kiss on the cheek, rubbed her hands through his chest before stepping out of the house.
Once she was gone, the silence returned and the two held each other’s gazes for a few more seconds before Femi looked away.
Something about her unnerved him and it was not in the way her gaze pierced into him or the way her sarcasm dug mercilessly. She just seemed so… so unnerving.
She typed it into her phone and his phone beeped almost immediately. “Your invoice has been generated. You can pay for the service rendered when you get your laundry.”
And he wanted to take her offer and make the payment immediately, however, he knew he wanted to see her again. To strip her of the strong demeanor she possessed on the exterior, to pull open the curtains of what lay on the physical and take a peek into what truly lived on the inside.
He wanted to open her up but more, he wanted her to open herself up for him. To beg to be taken, to plead to be touched.
“When would it be ready?”
“Before the end of today” she replied
“Would you be making the delivery?”
“I hope not.”
She was gone in a jiffy; grabbing the piles of laundry that lay at her feet like she did it in her sleep and slamming the door behind her as she made her exit.
Dashing to where his laptop sat on his dining table, he punched in her laundry service name on Google and found her company website on it.
Umi Yohan, 29. CEO Umi Yohan Laundry Services. Company started in 2013. We aim to please.
“I certainly do hope you please me, Umi,” he said to himself as he busied himself with more searches.
She had an Instagram page she last updated a month before and a Twitter handle where she mostly tweeted about her business.
Choosing to scroll through the Instagram page, he clicked on photo after photo, checking out her life and even friends.
She was extremely good to look at – her almond shaped face one of the prettiest he had ever set eyes on.
Her mahogany skin also stood out even when she was in the midst of light skinned girls. Her full lashes seemed more enticing than the faux lashes he was used to seeing on women these days and her body seemed well groomed.
That was a look into her world but still, he couldn’t shake off the feeling that there was more to her. That she was not as simple as the photos offered, that she was more than the woman who liked to take selfies and hang out with friends.
He looked up the area her Office was located via Google Maps. If she didn’t bring those clothes back with her own hands, he was going to find her and pay her a visit.
Bianca was getting too familiar anyway, and this Umi chic was not a bad replacement for her.
The mere idea of her petite frame in his bed was beginning to arouse him. That coupled with the smile that slowly formed on his face told him he was going to pursue that woman and lay her before the week ran out.
Thank God it was only Monday.
Umi stared at Femi Agbaje’s laundry. It was all done and ready to be delivered. Her employees were all busy and she was free and this naturally meant the job of delivering the clothes was left to her. However, she remembered Femi’s lewd smile and lustful stares and decided she would send one of the boys.
“Kingsley!” she called. She was in the garage and Kingsley was somewhere in the house. But he came running out immediately.
“Have these delivered. Get the address from Ayo.”
She watched as Kingsley loaded up the van, got into it and drove out of the compound. Just as he disappeared, another car drove in. Umi straightened up. She picked out the tall frame of her best friend making its way in. She hadn’t seen him in more than a week. Usually whenever he disappeared like that, he was to be found deep into some new business. He was a mercurial man when it came to making money. These days he was obsessed with MMM.
“Hi baby.” He smiled and for a second she was reminded of Francis’ sunny smile.
“Hi,” she greeted back and accepted a hug from him.
“Q told me what happened.” He rubbed her back. “I hope you didn’t cry much?”
Chibuzor squeezed her. He was not only tall, he was slightly big. Not on the fat side. Just big-boned.
“Have you eaten?” He let go of her.
“All day or just lunch?”
“All day. I’ve not even showered.”
He squeezed his face. “No wonder.”
She playfully punched him. He took her hand.
“Let’s go upstairs. I’ll have food ordered and tell you all about my week as you soak in the bathtub.”
“I’m not soaking in any bathtub, Buzor.”
She noticed how he didn’t say anything about Francis. Both guys had never liked each other, and it was the same way Buzor had related with all the men in her life. He had never approved of them. Umi knew of his love for her and how, if she lost her mind like she did years ago and gave him her body again, he would take all of her and never let go.
“You’ve lost weight,” he commented as they climbed up the stairs, Umi in front.
“I’ll fatten you up.”
“No, thanks. I actually love the way I look.”
They entered her bedroom and Buzor made himself comfortable on the bed. Umi disappeared into the bathroom for a shower. She left the door slightly open and listened to him tell her about how his week had been. When she stepped out, she wrapped herself in a bathrobe and sat beside him, back propped up on a pillow.
“So, you want to talk about what happened between you and Francis?”
She shook her head and then nodded. Buzor had an ever-listening ear, always there whenever she ended a relationship and needed to vent.
“I miss him,” Umi confessed. “I didn’t think I would but I do.”
“You’ll get over it.”
Umi felt sadness crawling back in and so she laid her head on Buzor’s shoulder. The tears came again and she hated that they did. She was usually strong and would never cry over a man but this was different.
“Maybe he’s the one and I made a terrible mistake.”
“He’s not the one,” Buzor said strongly and turned to lift her chin up with his finger. “Hang in there. You’ll get over this, okay?”
She was too weak to keep on crying. She let him dry what was left of her tears. He laid her on his laps and ran his fingers through her baby curls.
“I don’t know what I’ll do without you, Buzor. Thanks for always being here when I need you.”
Buzor smiled and felt a prick of guilt that disappeared as it came. Soon his fingers caressing her scalp put her to sleep.
Their mutual friend, Quincy, walked in; she took the scene in and left. Buzor didn’t miss the hurt in her eyes.
Just like him, she was in the friendzone. Her feelings for him were probably as old as his feelings for Umi, and he didn’t particularly care for her. But just last month, he asked her out for dinner, made love to her and afterwards told her to suggest to Francis that he proposed to Umi.
“If they get married, it would be a good thing for us,” he had whispered into her ear while working his finger round her earlobe, one of the most sensitive spots on her body.
“Mmm,” she responded with a purr. “Sounds good. After all, this has been her longest relationship. It means she takes him seriously.”
“Exactly. So let her marry him and then you and I can sort ourselves out. I need to get my thoughts out of her and into you.”
By now he was biting her neck, sending goosebumps all over her body.
“Will you do it, sweetie? Talk to Francis?”
“Yes,” Quincy said breathlessly.
“That’s my girl.”
And then he had her again…and two more times after that. But the moment she gave him news that Francis had bought the ring, Buzor cut off all intimate communication with her and went off radar.
Today was two weeks since they last met and he understood just how she felt when she walked in and saw Umi on his laps. He understood this because he had been there many times in the past.
But as he kept massaging Umi’s scalp while she slept like a babe in arms, he told himself that none of those times will come again. No man would have his woman.