Dial Episode 27 is running…
Angel opened the door for me.
Dark-skinned, curvaceous and petite, she looked really beautiful that morning, reminding me again of how much I had enjoyed being with her.
It was the apartment I had rented for Evangelina, located at a respectable neighbourhood inside East Legon. It was detached and enclosed, with a clean, beautiful compound and part of a gated community.
She was wearing a very short black skirt and pink shirt, her pert feet encased in soft white slippers with tufts of feathers on it.
I had wound a turban around my hair, and I had put on a beautiful pair of sunglasses that hid my eyebrows and eyelashes.
The collar of my Polo T-shirt was turned up, and so the only tell-tale feature about my aged feature was my moustache.
She stood looking at me with her beautiful eyes, and a slight scowl on her face.
“Yao,” she said gently. “You look different, somehow. Are you okay? Why have you dyed your moustache?”
“A long story, Angel-darling,” I said with a deep sigh. “I’ll explain in a moment. Can I come in?”
“Sure, sure,” she said and stepped aside to allow me to pass through into the beautiful living-area.
Rachel, tall and fair, royally-formed, was lying on a sofa when I entered. She was the sensitive one, easily affected by stress, always sad about one thing or the other. But I had enjoyed her company the most, more than the sisters, and I had really felt sorry for hurting her.
She sat up slowly when she saw me, still in a morning-robe, and gawked at me with so much shock on her face that it struck me again how awfully I had changed in the space of a few days.
“Yao Biko!” she said tremulously. “Is that you?”
“Rachel, it’s me,” I said with a forced smile. “How’re you? You can’t imagine what has happened to me. Where’s Eva?”
“Right here, darling,” Evangelina said as she emerged from the inner room, wearing only a white bra and skimpy white jeans shorts, her dark skin glowing radiantly, her curves incredibly displayed.
When I turned toward her, the smile died from her face, and she raised her eyebrows at me, and the surprise was evident on her face.
“What the fu*k happened to you?” she asked in sharp voice. “Are you going to audition for something? You look old!”
I smiled thinly and flopped down on the settee.
“I do look old, Eva-darling,” I said painfully. “You haven’t seen anything yet. Sit down, girls, please. There’s something you must do for me, I beg of you. If you don’t help me, I’m going to die.”
“What’s wrong, Yao?” Rachel asked, getting up and coming up to me. She sat down beside me and took one of my hands, and she gasped when she saw the beginnings of wrinkles on the back of my hand. “What’s going on? Is there something wrong with you? Have you got some bad disease?”
And so I told them.
It came out in little spurts, as I had to pause often to redirect my thoughts. I didn’t want to hurt them by telling them about the Dial List because I wanted them to feel sorry for me and forgive me.
I told them about Akos, about how I had met her, made love to her and then we had parted. How she had tried to get in touch with me, but I had by then travelled out of the country. She found out she was pregnant, thought wrongly that I was avoiding her, and had committed suicide.
Her father, a wicked fetish priest, had put a curse on me. I was growing old quite rapidly, and would die of old age if I didn’t get the three girls I had hurt badly to forgive me.
They looked at each other whilst I told the story, and they didn’t interrupt me, their faces registering disbelief first, and then horrified belief as Rachel reached out and took off my sunglasses, and they saw my grey eyebrows and eyelashes.
“Surely, you’re shi*ting us, right?” Evangelina asked with horror.
“No, Eva-darling, no,” I said imploringly. “That’s the horrible truth.”
“And this jujuman specifically mentioned us three, said you should come and beg us?” Angel asked slowly.
“Well, he didn’t mention your names, not exactly,” I forced out the lie. “He said two sisters and their friend, and you’re the only two sisters and friend I had messed with, and hurt badly, and I’m very sorry. You need to forgive me to reverse this curse.”
“Are you saying, only the three of us can reverse this curse, no one else, by forgiving you?” Evangelina asked.
I nodded slowly, and spoke the lie smoothly, sadly.
“Only the three of you, my darlings,” I said in a distressed voice. “Otherwise I’ll die, please.”
They were silent for a while, exchanging glances, and then Rachel spoke quietly.
“Can I see, can we verify?” she asked shakily. “Can I take off your turban?”
“Yes, yes, sure,” I said uncomfortably.
Evangelina jumped to her feet immediately and stood in front of me. As she unwound the turban around my head, my eyes were fixed on the spot just above her jeans button. I saw the tiny hairs on her lower abdomen, her sleek belly…and then my eyes descended to her dark, curvy thighs, and I felt the desire beginning to rise inside me.
And then she screamed loudly and jumped back, holding the turban and staring at me with horrified eyes.
“Christo Yesufo!” Angel also screamed as she leaned forward in her seat to stare at me with such horror that my rising libido did a sudden reverse act.
“Heeeeeeerh, the jujuman is brutal!” Evangelina screamed, and then her eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You’re shit*ting us, aren’t you? This is makeup, isn’t it? You just want to test our pulses, right?”
I reached out a trembling hand and took her hand.
“Do I look like I’m wearing makeup, Eva-love?” I asked tremulously. “I’m dying here, girls, and I need your help!”
And that was when Evangelina and Angel looked at each other, and then they both burst out into peals of laughter there and then, right in front of my eyes!
That sinking feeling of doom – the one that usually made the body go loose instantly and brought heaviness of breath and a fainting feeling – hit me with the force a derailed, over-speeding train!
I saw, on their laughing faces, only sheer macabre bliss…and not even a trace of sympathy!
They were actually absolutely happy!
The shock was so severe that every joint in my body began to hurt me physically! I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t speak.
The sisters held each other tightly and laughed until tears fell down their eyes. I stared at them with my mouth slightly open, confusion and horror gripping me.
Evangelina stepped forward suddenly, dropped to her knees in front of me, and then put her hands on my knees, looking at me with such frightful pleasure that it looked almost macabre.
“Oh, Yao, you don’t know just how happy you’ve made us this morning,” she said in a joyous voice. “But, let me tell you the truth, the real truth here! When we found out that you played all three of us, Yao, it really shattered us! It took away our self-confidence, Yao. Angel here almost committed suicide.”
“Look, I’m so sorry!” I managed to blurt out. “Cut me some slack, please. I was selfish, yes, and I was wrong. I’m sorry, girls, please! Forgive me!”
“Sorry, my ass!” Angel hissed as she thrust her face in front of me. “What the hell is the matter with you? You screwed me, my sister and our best friend? How sick can you be, Yao Biko? You hurt us so much! But we pretended everything was okay, and we continued being friends with you.”
“Why?” I asked, horrified. “In the name of God, if you hated me that much why the pretence? Why did you all continue to look for me, and be friendly with me?”
“Oh, Yao, can’t you guess?” Evangelina said with a sweet giggle. “We wanted to take revenge on you! First we planned to murder you, or trick you and cut off your damn dick and your testicles! We wanted to pour acid on you! Hell, we wanted to boil hot pawpaw in fire and throw it on your face! We wanted to tie you to a bed and shit all over your bloody face! Oh, you just don’t know just how much we hate you!”
“Yes, but you were too handsome, too rich, too powerful, and there was just nothing we could do to you to go scot free, but we were planning it, you bastard! So we pretended to be cool, waiting for the right time to take sweet revenge on you…and now this! The jujuman has just given us the sweetest of revenges!”
I was trembling now as I looked helplessly at them, so devastated that I almost fell down in a faint.
“You’re happy to see me like this?” I asked shakily. “You want this curse to go on, and kill me? You really want to see me dead?”
“Oh, Yao!” Evangelina whispered and giggled. “You don’t know just how good it is to see you like this, and to look at your pathetic face! Yes, yes, yes, yeeeees, Yao Biko…die soon as an old man! Die, die, die oooo, Yao Biko, die la!”
“Oh, no, no, don’t die soon, Yao!” Angel said, pushing my head back with a savage thrust of her hand. “I want you to die slowly! I want to see your teeth falling out, your eyes going blind, your skin rotting! Oh, I want you to die a slow, painful death, Yao!”
“You really hate me that much?” I whispered, aghast. “Do you want me to suffer this way? You can’t forgive me?”
“You bastard!” Evangelina screeched, and slapped my thighs painfully with both hands. “Because you had money, and power, and you were so damn handsome, you thought you could make every girl your whore! There’s no forgiveness for you here, bastard! If indeed, we’re the only three who can forgive you to reverse this curse, Yao Biko, then the curse will never be reversed!”
I turned horrified eyes to look at Rachel sitting by my side.
My heart thudded with hope when I saw tears streaming silently down her cheeks. She had not uttered a word so far, and her sad, shattered expression gave me hope that at least, she was different. I could see her genuine look of pity on her face, and she was still holding my hand.
“Rachel?” I whispered painfully, my heart a broken mass within my body. “Please, what about you? Please?”
Rachel’s tears flowed faster, and her lips trembled uncontrollably. She lifted a trembling hand and touched my hair, my eyebrows and my moustache.
“Oh, Yao!” she whispered sadly.
“Rac?” Angel said with sudden concern. “What’s the matter with you, baby girl? Don’t tell me you have pity for this sick bastard?”
Evangelina put a hand on Rachel’s shoulder, but she pushed Evangelina aside roughly, and then she got to her feet.
Gently, Rachel sat down on my knees, put her arms around my neck, and put her wet face against my cheek.
Here it comes, I thought suddenly elated, here it comes! Rachel, my baby, my angel! Of course, she had a good heart. She would forgive me, and then I was going to make her the envy of those damn sisters, oh yes.
“Yao?” Rachel murmured.
“Rac!” Evangelina shouted angrily, her face stunned. “What nonsense is this?”
“Rachel, my sweet darling,” I said, holding her tight as tears of gratitude came to my eyes. “Thanks, love. I’m going to show you my gratitude for this, I promise you.”
“That man, that fetish priest, he’s so wicked!” she said, and then she raised her face and kissed me sweetly, slowly, lingeringly on the lips.
“Rachel!” Angel screamed with total fury.
I ignored the sisters.
I held Rachel tightly, kissing her so gently, my heart breaking at such an angel, at such a soul who could feel so much for me.
“Yes, love, he is!” I murmured as I lifted my head.
“He’s wicked to me,” Rachel murmured sweetly, lovingly. “Why, oh why didn’t he know my favourite colour is pink? Oh, Yao, he should have turned you pink for me, Yao! Oh, to see your pink head, pink face, pink skin! That would have been so perfect, but no problem, I’ll take your grey like that, you stupid swine!”
And in a flash she was out of my arms, laughing shrilly as she wiped tears of joy from her face.
“You’re sick!” Evangelina screamed, rolling on the floor with uncontrollable mirth. “Oh, Rac, Rac, you sick bit*h!”
“Savage!” Angel was shouting as she collapsed on the settee, kicking her legs with sheer bliss. “Rachel, you’re the Queen Bit*h! You do all! Look at the bastard’s face!”
“Oh, what sweet revenge!” Rachel was sitting on the floor, seized by giggles. “Oh, Oluman Yao! Oh, what a day, what a fine day!!”
I got up and raced blindly for the door as their jesting and mirth and mad glee followed me!
I never knew how I got into my car and blasted away from there!
Much later, shaking with horror, I heard my phone ringing, and ripped it out of its clip on my dashboard.
I looked at the screen blindly.
It was a number I had stored but never called, a number I hated, because I hated its owner.
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She called at least twice every month, ever since she came to my father’s birthday. She called consistently, every month, although I never picked any of her calls, neither replying to any of her texts.
I had saved her as WHORE on my phone.
Yes, the woman who had broken my father’s heart, the woman who had regretted giving birth to me, and whose parents had dumped me on my father when I still needed breastmilk to survive.
The woman who had given birth to me, and who I never ever would call mother!
But as I stared at the phone, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had my grand-mother on my list, one of the women who would forgive me. I had saved her as the last option, but now the call from the woman who had carried me in her womb for nine months frightened me.
For the very first time in my life, I picked that woman’s call.
“Hello,” I said tightly.
“Oh, Yao, Yao, my son!” she was weeping uncontrollably. “Grandmother is dead! She just had a heart attack and died! Oh, God! Oh, son! Please come to me! Yao, I beg of you, please forgive me! Please come and see me! I have no one but you, my son….”
She rambled on, but the horror struck me, and for a wild moment I almost vomited.
It slammed fiercely into my guts!
In the blink of an eye, four names had been crossed from my list!
I had only Akushika remaining!
And, after her…a date with death if she refused to forgive me!
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