Dial Episode 26 is on…
“You know just how much I felt for Dede,” I said, striving to keep the pain and bitterness out of my voice and not succeeding. “I haven’t felt for any woman the way I felt for your sister. If you really want me to change, to be a better person, why then did you stop me from speaking to Dede and making her stay with me?”
His expression was inscrutable as he looked steadily at me.
“You and Dede are not meant to be together,” he said quietly.
“What are you talking about?” I almost screamed at him. “I do want her here! With her I feel complete, I feel different, I feel free. I’ve fallen in love with her!”
“No, Mr. Biko, you haven’t fallen in love with her,” he said gently. “You can’t fall in love in just two days!”
“Well, you’re wrong, Nana!” I shouted this time. “You may not believe it, but she and I made something different, something beautiful! Please, let Dede come back to me, and I promise I’ll marry her! I’ll show you that I have changed.”
“No, you haven’t Mr. Biko,” he replied.
“Who do you think you are, God?” I asked with heated pain.
He shook his head.
“No, I’m not God, Mr. Biko,” he said. “If I had been God, I would’ve changed your heart and made you a good boy. Look, I stopped this thing between you and Dede because it wasn’t love. You were both in a special place, finding solace in your loneliness. You shared a moment of passion, and craved for it to be something lasting, but in effect it was just a passage of wind and vexation of exertion.”
“Oh, cut that out!” I shouted again, and for a moment I wanted to reach out and shake him out of that mirror. “I care for her! I’m hurting for her! I want her back. I’ve never in my life wanted any woman back, but I want Dede back, right now! And that can only be love. You’re wrong about us!”
He looked at me almost sadly.
“No, I’m not, Mr. Biko,” he said. “Several years ago she wanted to marry, and I told her she was making a mistake. I saw the boy already dead, and when it happened on her wedding night, she blamed me. She cried to me when we left here, saying she loved you too much, and I told her the truth.”
“What truth?” I asked harshly. “You lied to her that I refused to tell her to stay and that I was going to blame it on you. Meanwhile, you know you and your evil beings prevented me from speaking!”
“It wasn’t about speech. It was simply that she is destined to marry a white man. Every time I see her future, I see her with a white man. Now she is in Nigeria, then she will move to Canada, and she will finally find true happiness there. Forget it, Mr. Biko, because what you shared with Dede wasn’t love. It was companionship.”
“You don’t know anything!” I said, my heart in a turmoil from his words. “No matter what happens, I’ll be fine again, and I’ll go to the end of the world to get Dede, and stay with her, and there’s nothing you can do about it!”
“I wish you luck then, Mr. Biko,” he said patronisingly, as if to a child. “But listen, I must go in now. The curse I put on you is irreversible without genuine repentance and forgiveness by one of your victims. I’m afraid I was very angry and put that curse on you. But listen, Mr. Biko…in choosing those five women, don’t place your emphasis on women you think would be gullible and forgive you instantly. Choose the ones you know you really need to apologise to, and not the ones you think would easily forgive you because they’re ‘sure bankers’ as you put it.”
I gasped and took a step back, really knocked for six as he put my entire criteria for selecting those five women on the deck, right down to my terminologies! The shock was so total that it even gave me a little jolt of fear.
“If you care so much about me not messing up even in that aspect, why can’t you just stop what you’re doing to me?” I asked desperately, utterly despondent.
“Mr. Biko, I can’t do that. It is like asking God why He let His only son die on the cross for ordinary sinners,” he said quietly. “The wheels of your fate are in motion already, and can’t be stopped. I’m just entreating you to make the right choices based on women you’ve seriously wronged and crave forgiveness from them, and not women you see as emotionally weak. Once you’ve chosen them, you can’t go back, so think carefully before choosing. Goodbye, Mr. Biko. I am hopeful that you can get someone to forgive you, and reverse the curse. Goodbye.”
The smoke quickly swirled across the mirror, and my confused image was back in the mirror. I stared at my grey-haired face, and I took a shuddering breath.
“Hope I never have anything to do with you again, you bastard!” I muttered and walked to my desk angrily.
I would maintain my grand-mother and Akushika. They were in reality sure bankers, and yes, I needed sure bankers. I spent the next hour going through the list. There were some who were not in the country, and some I had no idea whatsoever where they were.
There were some too whom I knew would not even touch my shadow and would definitely not speak to me. No matter what way I looked at it, it didn’t sound sensible to look for the bitterest women, those I knew I had really trampled upon. I needed those who were more of friends, in a way, and whose egos had just been bruised by my breakup with them. Those women would love to see me saying sorry, and they would forgive me, and also I knew where they were presently. Nana Bosomba, for all his strange caring ways, could actually be trying to trick me into doing away with my ‘bankers’ and selecting the highly-strung women who would more than love to shove knives up my eye-sockets than listen to my pathetic story.
Eventually, I ended up with three more, and my list was complete. I took a new sheet and prioritized.
Angel and Evangelina were sisters, and Rachel had been their best friend.
They were numbers 38, 39 and 40 on the Dial List.
I had met Angel first. She had been a hotel receptionist, and I had spent a wild night with her in Tamale. She had told me her older sister, Evangelina, was a beautician in Accra, and I should help her if I could because she was looking for accommodation.
I had met Evangelina and rented an apartment for her. We had gotten drunk, and I had hit her up just for the fun of it. I had told her I preferred her because she was older, and that we would find something to tell her sister, so that I could marry her.
The next two weekends Rachel had shown up with Angel at the apartment. And it had seemed so sweet to have all three of them on the Dial List, two sisters and a best friend.
Rachel had not wanted to do it, but then her mother was seriously sick, and I had the money. She had begged me not to let her friends know. That was okay with me, as long as she was dial listed.
She had been ridden with remorse, though.
Since she knew I had made love to Angel, but not Evangelina, she had confessed sleeping with me to Evangelina, who had been shattered. Evangelina told Angel, and they called me up, so filled with fury that I had played them so badly.
I went to the apartment, thinking Evangelina was alone, but both Angel and Rachel had been around. It had been a nasty scene, but I had been cool, and begged them, and written cheques for them.
I called them The Hat-trick chicks, secretly, and I just loved to see them on the Dial List.
We still kept in touch. Rachel even called me from time to time, wanting to hook up. Evangelina and her sister also used to call, each wanting to make it permanent, but there was no longer any inclination on my part to date any of them.
Once a girl was a dial-lister, it never excited me to sleep with her again, and so eventually I ditched the number I gave them, and slowly lost touch with them.
Sitting at the desk, I called Evangelina, and told her I needed to see them urgently and asked when I could see them.
“Oh, Yao, how nice to hear from you,” she said sleepily. “Actually a friend of ours is having her wedding this weekend, so Angel has come down. We can meet tomorrow, it that’s okay with you.”
“Yes, Lina, that’s great!” I said with a relieved sigh.
We spoke for a bit, and then I said goodnight, cut the call, got up from the desk, shirked my clothes, and went to bed.
Morning would come.
The Hatrick girls were on call early in the morning. I knew, without any shred of doubt, that at least one of them would forgive me, and give me relief from this terrible dilemma I found myself in.
I smiled for the first time as I lay on the bed…maybe they would all forgive me, and we could have a fantastic threesome right there on their bed.
But that was unlikely, though. Maybe I could go somewhere with Rachel and have a little sweet time with her.
The future, suddenly, didn’t seem so horrible anymore.
I sighed, and for the first time since Dede left me, I slept well.[insert-comment-form]
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