DIAL is on…
She whipped up a delicacy with noodles and shredded chicken sauce.
Basically all I had in the kitchen were noodles, frozen meat and some packets of spices. I was really not fond of cooking. My father had been a marvellous cook, and most of my happiest moments had been spent inside that kitchen helping him cook.
Dede served the food at the huge dining area.
I had never eaten there since my old man died, but sitting with her that evening and eating was suddenly a wonderful experience for me.
She was beautiful, thoughtful, and ate like a human being. I was used to women eating as if their mouths didn’t want the food, or that their hands were unwilling to put food in their mouths.
The art of eating daintily, chewing softly with mouth closed and dabbing gently at the corner of the lips with dainty napkins or tissues always filled me with an inner resentment.
Dede was not that type, though.
She twirled her noodles into huge lumps that I thought could not fit into her mouth, and then she opened her mouth and chomped down on them and ate as if she were really hungry. Perhaps, the best part of the dinner happened when, after eating every tiny piece of noodle, she was left with a little gravy in the bowl.
She stood up and went to the kitchen and, returning shortly with a bit of sliced bread, began to mop the gravy with the bread and stow it into her mouth with renewed relish.
She stopped eating halfway and looked at me, then scowled.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked quietly.
“Can I have a piece of bread too?” I asked politely, striving to keep the laughter out of my voice.
She broke the bread into two, and tossed me one half.
Just like that.
She tossed it through the air to me.
I caught it, and then I began to laugh, and she laughed too.
And for a very brief moment she made me forget that I was becoming an old man in my late twenties!
She was such a great human being to have around!
After washing the bowls and stashing them she came back to the living area.
“A little problem, Yao,” she said. ‘I didn’t know I was going to spend the night here. I’ll need some things, if you don’t mind. Things I have to buy.”
“Let me show you to your room first,” I said and stood up. “Then, if there’s something else you might want, I’ll gladly take you to town.”
“I’ll definitely need things you can’t provide, Yao,” she said levelly. “So yes, show me the room, and afterwards I’ll have to go to town.”
I didn’t argue with her.
We rode the elevator to the topmost floor of the mansion, which was three floors up. It dawned on me, as we walked along the luxurious corridor, that I had not come here in a very long time, years, actually.
I racked my head but I couldn’t remember the last time I had ridden the elevator to the top floors. Maybe it had been on one Christmas eve when my father and I had gotten drunk on the roof, and I had descended one floor down and just picked a room and slept off the booze.
Shortly afterwards, my father died, and I had never come up here again. My favourite spot was the rooftop pool area. I loved the view from the top, and I loved the luxurious layout, but none of these was the actual lure for my deep attachment to the rooftop. The truth was that I had spent most of my happiest moments with my father on that rooftop, and the memories always refreshed me. It always felt like I could feel my old man’s presence on the rooftop.
So, I took Dede to the Guest Floors and showed her into one of the luxurious rooms on the fourth floor. She entered and came to a complete stop as the sheer level of luxury hit her.
“Wow!” Dede breathed as she walked forward slowly, dreamily, and stopped in the middle of the room just looking around.
The guest floors always had that effect on people.
My father, who had known real poverty as a young man, before building himself up into a multi-millionaire, had hired an expensive interior decorator to design the guest room floor of the mansion. Housing ten different rooms, each was as exquisite as it was breath-taking.
“This is the most beautiful room I have ever been in, Yao,” she said, her voice hushed, and I smiled humourlessly at her.
I walked past her and slid open a glass partition that led to the inner bedroom.
“Please, come here for a moment, Dede,” I said in my gentlest voice.
She was still looking around at the splendour, but she eventually entered the bedroom and then came to a stop. She looked at the huge bed, laid with an incredible combination of white and pink sheets, the elaborate awning above it, and then she took a look at me.
I avoided her eyes as I moved to the left wall and pressed a switch that swung a glass door to the side, revealing a big space segmented like a store, and which had a wide array of sleepover items ranging from exotic soaps to sponges, underwear, to nighties and bathrobes.
She entered and walked slowly through the neatly-arranged and segmented room.
“I think you can find most of what you need here,” I said without looking at her. “If there’s anything you need, and can’t find here, just lemme know, and we’ll go to town to get it.”
She reached out and slid a glass case open, and then she took out a pair of very sheer, crotchless panties and examined it, and then turned and looked at me with cold accusing eyes filled with great disappointment.
“Wow,” she said with a voice filled with disgust. “You even have a whole pimping store inside your mansion, Mr. Yao Biko! Congratulations! Highly impressive! I wonder how many innocent women you have wowed with this little gig here just to get between their legs! Wow, did you bring Akos here too?”
I looked her straight in the eyes and when I spoke I was aware that my voice sounded hurt, because her words had, surprisingly, hurt me a lot.
“My father used to entertain his women on this floor, yes,” I said softly, painfully as I looked away from her. “But his guest rooms are on the other wing; he had never used this room. I had five rooms for my guests, he had five on the other side of the lounge. As surprising as it might seem to you, you’re the first woman I have ever brought here!”
I left the bedroom then, and rode the elevator to the leaving-room.
I felt really sad, in a strange way, and I soon had a cold bottle beside me as I tried to watch a Kung-Fu movie. Almost an hour later, the elevator doors slid silently open, and then I saw her at the far end of the room. She was looking stunning, even though she was wearing a huge white fluffy bathrobe, belted. She had wound a white towel around her hair, and her face glowed with sheer loveliness as she crossed to the living-room.
Dede stood close to my seat and looked down at me.
“I’m sorry, Yao,” she said, and then she sighed heavily and sat down on the seat beside me. “Thank you for your hospitality.”
I turned and looked at her.
“You’re welcome,” I said gently, somehow gladdened by the fact that we were once more on the peace trail.
“Your hair,” she said after a while. “Let me braid it for you, into a cornrow style. It won’t make you look so hideous.”
“Your brother should just lift this curse off me,” I said miserably.
She reached out and touched my arm.
“I `believe he will, Yao,” she said gently. “When he gets here tomorrow and sees how sorry you are, I’m sure he will have a change of heart.”
I nodded miserably.
“I hope so, Dede.”
“Hey, cheer up,” she said with a smile. “Pour me a drink and come and sit down. I’m going to braid some cornrows for you.”
And so I poured her some drink, and sat on the rich and expensive rug in front of her open thighs, and I leaned my head back.
She drank, and poured more drink, and all the time her sweet hands moved through my white hair, and the tail of the comb drew lines in my hair…and that sweet lady braided my hair in cornrows.
Bottom line…it was the sweetest thing I had ever experienced with any woman, aside the sex. It was comfortable, it was natural, and above all, I enjoyed every second of it. My eyes were closed, and finally she leaned back and rotated her head slowly to get the kinks out of her neck.
“I’m done now, Yao,” she said softly. “The bottle is empty, your hair is nicely-done, and I feel tired and sleepy. I think I’ll turn in now.”
I still leaned my head back on her lower tummy.
“You drunk?” I asked softly.
“More than a palm wine beetle,” she said, and we both chuckled, and right about that moment the atmosphere changed.
She was incredibly beautiful, and I was emotionally-shattered. Alone, drunk and in very close contacts with each other, it was suddenly a scenario I was very familiar with.
But I hesitated.
I had to tell myself that this was no ordinary girl.
This was the sister of Nana Bosomba we were talking of…the sister of the world’s most wicked man, and under the earth. That was something I could not lose sight of, and so I didn’t make any move.
Even when her hands dangled down my shoulders and rested lightly on my chest, I didn’t make any move to hold them. Eventually, she shifted and pushed my shoulders gently.
“Can I get up now?” she asked softly.
I leaned forward and leveraged myself up, and then I gave her my hand. She held it, and I pulled her to her feet.
We stood looking at each other.
“Thank you for everything, Dede,” I said gently.
She was all woman as she looked at me, her eyes soft, her lips full and wet, her cheeks rosy. At that particular moment, it didn’t seem to me that I barely knew her. It didn’t seem to me that this was just about the second time I had seen her, or that she might have someone already in her life.
At that moment in time, she touched something deep down in me that no other girl had ever been able to touch. There was an emotional chord somewhere inside me that was jangling at that very particular moment, a poignant and powerful ambience that was both bitter and sweet at the same time.
I reached for her and put my hands on her waist.
I felt her stiffen, and she exhaled sharply. Her eyes were fixed on my chest.
“No, Yao,” she whispered tremulously. “It wouldn’t be right, not for the memory of Akos. A flippant relationship that doesn’t mean anything will be an insult to Akos, and believe me, I loved my niece very much.”
“Then don’t let it be flippant, Dede,” I whispered tremulously as the thought of sweet Akos of Wowo flashed through my mind’s eye. “Let it be something meaningful. Let’s do something crazy, Dede. Let’s get married!”
She looked up at me, her eyes wide, shiny and emotional.
“You’re joking, right?” she asked.
The truth was, I didn’t know whether I was joking at that very moment or not. I had never ever in my life mentioned marriage to any living woman and meant it. Sure, I had used it as a last resort – like I did in the case of Akos – but I had never meant it, no.
But, looking into the beautiful gentle face of Dede, I suddenly felt like doing something crazy, indeed. Maybe it was because of the terror-level of living which Nana Bosomba had slammed me into, and maybe it was because I was feeling so vulnerable and lonely, but I really wanted to do it.
She had been able to organize my house and myself in the short time she had been around, and she was such great company.
The only girl who had braided my hair into cornrows!
“Let’s do it, Dede,” I murmured against her cheek. “Yes, let’s get married.”
“Yao,” she whispered, and then I drew her close, and when her head lifted, whether with protest or acquiescence, I would never know, but I claimed her lips in a sweet, gentle kiss.
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