(An Inside The Box Story)
Hokum Episode 14 | An Inside The Box Story
I closed the door and sat opposite him scared of what he had to say, of course I knew he wanted more money, maybe I was too quick to have provided the first one and maybe he had begun to think about the fact that he probably should have demanded for more money than he demanded.
My face was totally expressionless, he looked at me again and smiled but when he observed for himself that I was in no mood for jokes, he went straight to the point.
‘I would be needing some more money’ as he said it, he looked up at me, my face still had no expression whatsoever, he continued speaking ‘I really want to disappear, like leave this country to a neighboring Africa country, and I know you do understand that the farther I am away from you, the better it is for us all’
He looked at me again, I still had nothing to say to him, he continued, ‘I would be needing another Five hundred thousand, with one million naira, I would be able to travel to my destination and finally leave you in peace’ He stressed on the word peace and smiled again like a clown from a very stupid comic movie.
I didn’t want to reply him at first, but as he continued to stare at me I heard myself saying ‘And what if I can’t provide that money?
He got up from the chair, did a slow walk around my room and replied ‘then I guess I would trade a certain information to people that would be willing to pay handsomely for it’
He smiled again, tapped me on the shoulder and began to find his way out of my room, he turned towards me and spoke ‘I would be here in two days time, if I don’t get my money, then I guess a man would have to do what a man has got to do’
I watched him as he stepped out, he didn’t even bother to lock my door, I stood up and as I stood there watching him as he walked away, an idea crossed my mind, it was indeed a brilliant idea, why didn’t I think about it in the first place, I quickly rushed into the house got some money, put on a black jacket and in less than three minutes I was out of the house too in a very big hurry.
When I returned back to the house two hours later, I was certain I had done a good job all I had to do now was sit and wait, but that was just on one end, on the other end, I still had great problems to attend to, I was caught in a Web, a Web I never thought I could be caught in, here I was having feelings for someone and someone else that I least expected was having feelings for me too.
I really liked Amaka so much but I had never thought about I and her in that way and again, this wasn’t good for Damilola at all, she couldn’t of course contend with her Madam over a guy, she was a lady, even without telling I knew she understood the movie that played in front of her some few hours before.
Now that I was done with the blackmailer, I was in a better mood to address my personal issues. I dialed Damilola’s number, it rang the first time without response, I tried again and she responded, I wasn’t prepared for what she said over the phone.
‘please Jackson, I really need you to leave me alone, at least for sometime, I really can’t afford all this drama right now, please I beg you in God’s holy name, just stay away from me for some time, I really hope you do understand’ and the phone went dead.
I didn’t understand, No, I didn’t even try to understand, I was suddenly mad at Damilola, even if I could understand that she was hurt and probably scared, there were better ways to handle this, how could she talk to me like that over the phone? I thought we had something great going on between us, even though her voice over the phone was soft and she was pleading rather than being rude, I felt really angry at her, she was acting like I caused all this in the first place and the most annoying part was the fact that she hung up on me. I thought about calling her back to express my disappointment but my pride got the better part of me ‘what the heck, who did she think she was anyway, people say there is a thin line between love and hatred, I guess that was what happened to me at that point, I was suddenly mad at Damilola, I felt insulted that she had responded towards me in that manner, I even caught myself calling her a low life girl, using the same phrase that Amaka had used on her. I deleted her number from my phone, I couldn’t understand why I was so mad at her but I knew I was really mad at her.
I made another call, this one was to Amaka, she picked the call at first ring, before I even said anything, she began to apologize for her rude behaviour, she was indeed very soft and apologetic on the phone that for a second I thought I had fallen in love with her, I apologized too for not telling her about Damilola and I lied to her that Damilola was only a friend.
She wanted to meet up that same night but it was already late, she promised to visit me the next day and once again I and Amaka were cool. She was family, We couldn’t stay mad at each other for long.
That night, I had difficulty sleeping, the anger I thought I now had for Damilola suddenly turned into restlessness, I missed her so much, I began to regret deleting her number, I hardly knew phone numbers by heart, the only way I could see her now was probably going back to Amaka’s shop but that was totally out of the question, I rolled over from side to side thinking about Damilola, I was no longer mad at her, infact I had quickly given excuses for her to have spoken to me in that way, if I were a lady and I was in her shoes, I was quite sure I would have reacted in the same way, I was eventually able to sleep at about 3am that morning.
I woke up at about 11am, with a banging head ache, I quickly got my phone, I expected to see missed calls or sms from Damilola, at least, I thought she would try to reach out, as this was a new day, every hurt should have passed with the day before, but I saw nothing, no missed calls, no sms, rather I saw ten missed calls from Amaka and an sms from her that simply passed the message ‘please call me as soon as possible’. I made a call but not to Amaka, I called my accountant at the shop and told him I couldn’t come to the shop that day, then I placed another call to Amaka, she could sense I was not sounding very okay over the phone, she promised to be with me in another one hour and ended the call.
True to her words, the next hour saw Amaka in my house, I just got out of the bathroom, when I heard the familiar sound of her car, I unlocked the door, though I left it closed and went ahead to dress up, she opened the door a few minutes later, I hadn’t put on my shirt then, she was carrying a white cellophane bag, she obviously had made a stop over at an eatery before she got to my house. She dropped the bag on the table and came to hug me. I felt rather shy having her hug me when I had no shirt on, but it didn’t matter to her.
Amaka hugged me with purpose, I could feel it, she didn’t want to let go, somehow I didn’t want to let go either, maybe I was just hurting from the fact that Damilola still hadn’t reached out to me and I probably needed someone to just hold unto me, we would have hugged for about three minutes before she broke away and said ‘I got you something to eat’
I smiled as she sat down on the chair, I put on my shirt and sat beside her on the chair as I helped myself to the delicacies she had got me from the Eatery.
She hung around for a very long time I really got to enjoy her company, I still couldn’t bring myself to tell her about my feelings for Damilola and she didn’t bother to ask, it seemed we were both stylishly avoiding the topic. I thanked her for the gift and again stylishly refused to say anything about the note, She did expect me to mention it though but when I said nothing about it, she decided to ignore it too.
She stayed for about two hours and when she announced she was leaving I felt bad, I tried to convince her to stay some more but she had a client she had to meet,
I saw her off to the door, she made to open the door but just then she stopped, I didn’t expect her next move, she turned round swiftly, hugged me very closely and kissed me passionately on the lips, I couldn’t think, I returned the kiss and I guess it was passionate as well. She broke the kiss as suddenly as it had begun, looked me in the eyes and said the words ‘I really do love you Jackson, it hurts to see another woman have you’ she turned almost immediately, opened the door and walked swiftly to her car, she didn’t bother to look back, she kicked the car and zoomed off as I stood there staring, totally dumbfounded and rooted to the spot.
I didn’t know how to explain what had just happened but I was certain of one thing, that kiss did something to me, I always loved Amaka so much but what I felt now was far stronger than what I always felt for her, as stupid and crazy as it appeared, it seemed the kiss had started an unbelievable chain reaction, I was falling for Amaka.
As unbelievable as it appeared, this wasn’t just a thought anymore, this was the naked truth and it stared me in the face, I was in love with two women.
Written By: Emmy Blinks