Loving, Every Minute
September 28th | Ibeju, Lekki“Where are you taking me to?” Eddie asked, throwing her a glance, then shifting gears. He looked relaxed in a pair of light-blue jeans and a white, long-sleeved shirt.
She gave him a winsome smile. “Don’t you like surprises?” Unconsciously channelling their very first date, the dance activity he’d introduced her to. She crossed her legs, her sun yellow dress riding up slightly to expose dark, flawless kneecaps. The colour choice setting off her skin tone and reflecting her current state of mind.
It was a Friday, the start of the weekend, a long one due to the Independence Day celebration.
“I am used to giving them.” He told her. “Hardly ever on the receiving end.”
“That’s why you’re getting this. You’re always taking care of things and people; you should get the same treatment.”
“So where are you taking me to, woman?”
“I probably won’t have any peace until I tell you, will I?” She picked up his cell phone from the armrest between them and stared at the screen.
He grinned. “I know this route, so let me hazard a guess. Eko Tourist?”
“No!” A horrified look on her face as though it was sacrilegious to even dare think of it.
“Ah ah, where is your patriotism?”
“I’m not from Lagos. I just live here.” Tongue-in-cheek response.
“Hermitage?” He asked again, tentatively this time.
“Nah.” Her response was confident, tapping his screen with a finger.
He was silent for a long moment then he grinned widely, glanced at her before focussing again on the stretched strip of road in front of him. “I think I know where we are headed.”
“You do?” She was staring at him now.
“It shares the same first name with the magazine.” He said with certainty.
“My lips are sealed.”
“Ha!” He slapped a palm on the wheel in victory.
“You’ve been before?” She asked.
He nodded. “Years ago. For the firm’s retreat. Dipo and I kept promising ourselves a return trip for a weekend.”
“What stopped you guys?”
“Life happened. And Dipo’s wife won’t let him leave for that long unless it is work related.”
“I see.” She went back to his screen and tapped gently.
“How were you able to book at such short notice?” He inquired. “I know it’s not easy to get a spot, especially at this time of year or during a holiday coinciding with a weekend.”
“In July, I spent a week there, and wrote a review of the place. Mrs. O. posted it on the magazine’s website, and they got in touch with her. Something about the review being good for business. Offered me a weekend for two on the house, expiring in November.”
“Interesting.” He glanced at her. “What are you doing with my ‘phone?” He suddenly realised the device in her palms belonged to him.
“Looking through your playlist.” She answered. “And you have a lot of oldies here.”
“If you want recent songs, I am not the man to come to.” He informed her. “My choices were shaped at an early age when I started going for holidays at my father’s.” He continued. “Two of my elder, half-brothers couldn’t live without their radio; it was always on. With electricity. With batteries. The house was forever alive with music, talk and news blaring from that radio. So what came out of it, I imbibed. That’s why my mobile’s filled with them.’ He said. “But there are some new sounds put in by Seyi who thinks his boss is a dinosaur.”
“Yeah but he needs to add some more so as to bring his boss up to date with the times.”
“Esohe, they don’t make music like they used to. Few of them deviate from sex and money and physical looks and transient pleasures.”
“But there are some that…”
“See, my elder half-brother, Osaze, used lyrics of songs to write letters to woo girls back then.” He told her, laughing. “It was crazy, but it worked like mad because the lyrics were mesmerising, well-thought out, decently put. Not now. Not now at all.”
“Hmm.” She scrolled upwards. “Do you have any favourites? I’ve never heard you listen to music.”
“When I’m working and need to think, I put the jazz playlist on repeat.”
“Well, the R & B collection kept me company for those two weeks in Abuja. After we just met.”
She was silent for a beat. “Any in particular?”
“Fallen by Lauren Wood. Emotionally Yours, the Ojays. You’re my kind, Seal & Santana.” He reeled them out one after the other, without hesitation, from memory. “The only one, Lionel Richie. For you, Kenny Latimo…”
The opening strains of a song filled the car, interrupting him. Then the sultry quality of a female voice rose above the melody:
I can’t believe it
You’re a dream coming true
I can’t believe how
I had fallen for you
And I was not looking
Was content to remain
And it’s ironic to be back in the game…
“It sounds familiar.” She said seconds later.
...the one who’s led me to the sun
He nodded silently.
How could I know that I was lost without you?
“A movie soundtrack?” She wanted to know.
…you control my brain
And you should know that you are life in my veins
He nodded again. “Pretty woman.”
“Yes!” Esohe concurred in excitement. “On their way to the opera!” Not too long ago, she’d seen the rerun of the movie at his house.
Still nodding, he said. “And after you wore the red dress to the gala, the song took on a whole new meaning for me.”
She reached out and placed a hand in his; he squeezed it softly, meeting her gaze for a moment before staring straight ahead again.
Oh oh oh oh oh, you’re a dream coming true
Oh my my my I had fallen for…
“That’s the best part.” He protested mildly. “Why did you…?” And his ringtone filled the car’s interior instead.
“It’s Dipo.” She stated before he could ask.
He reached upwards to a connecting device fixed to the flap which had the driver’s mirror embedded in it. “Hey Dipo!” He spoke, raising his voice noticeably.
“Eddie, where are you now?!” His friend’s voice boomed around the car. “Seyi’s just telling me you left like 30 minutes ago.”
“Oga, you said you’d be in by 3.30pm. I waited until 4.15pm. Did I not try? What happened to you?”
“Wo, it was traffic at the Lekki roundabout. You should have waited a little bit now.”
“But I told you I was leaving at 4pm.”
“You should have still waited small.”
“I had to meet Esohe.”
“Ehen, now you’re talking. You should have said so before. That BB was behind your disappearing act. Because you won’t just leave me hanging like that. Greet her for me.”
Eddie laughed. “I will.”
“Okay. I’ll swing by tomorrow evening, then we’ll…”
“I’m away the entire weekend, man.”
“Where are you going to?!”
“One of the resorts on the edge of town.”
“For this whole weekend? With BB?” Dipo wanted to know.
Momentary silence from the other end.
“Dipo? Are you still…?” Eddie started to ask.
“Make sure you break that bed!” His friend’s voice boomed at the same time. “You hear …?”
With lightning speed, Eddie reached upwards and broke the connection. He glanced sideways, an apology already forming on his lips only to discover Esohe clutching her stomach with one hand; she erupted into a fit of laughter suddenly.
The last time Esohe had been at the beach resort, her eyes had constantly strayed to a chalet adjacent to hers, separated by a communal pool, located some distance away. It was bigger, grander than hers with its own veranda wide enough to hold a picnic on. She’d promised herself to lodge in it the next time she visited.
So it came as a disappointment, during her call to take the management up on their free offer, when she was informed the chalet was unavailable for the four-day slot required. However, the manager assured her, she’d be happy with the alternative they had in store for her.
The staff of the resort, assigned to cater to their every desire, guided Eddie to the edge of the grounds being bathed in soft lighting as twilight descended, past the chalet of her choice allowing her cast a wistful eye on it, and towards the cluster of suspended, three- bed-roomed chalets with external, bamboo fittings and their own private pools beneath, replete with lounging chairs and netting beds hanging low from palm trees.
Apparently, the management of the resort thought her worth more than her preference.
Esohe could hardly contain her excitement as she checked out one room after the other – the strictly African decor and statues, the detailed care and thought which must have gone into putting the entire apartment together, etc.
A bottle of bubbly, encased in crushed ice cubes half-jutting out of a black bucket, and two, long-stemmed glasses were the first things which caught her eyes as she strode into the master bedroom. Right beside it stood a bowl of fresh fruits, a food menu card propped up against it. She almost missed the other chocolate-coloured card beneath it. Written boldly and clearly in cream ink was a short message welcoming Esohe and Edosa to the resort and wishing them a memorable stay.
She smiled. They had gone the whole nine yards for her. She should visit more places and pen more reviews, she thought.
She selected an apple as Eddie and the resort staff marched in with their baggage. “Babe, where do you want these kept?” Eddie broke in his stride to ask.
“Definitely not here. In another room, please” She answered walking towards him, apple outstretched.
He held her hand in one of his as he took a big bite; dark, sharp eyes holding her gaze. “Thanks.” He managed out. “But I need food.” In between crunches and turned to trail their help who had disappeared.
“We can order in.” She told him. “Or go eat out. I also packed some snacks.”
For a moment, he paused by the door to throw over his shoulders. “Let me sort this out. Then we’ll discuss it, okay?”
Less than half an hour later, he was perched at the head of the bed scanning the menu list. Esohe laid down beside him, her head resting on one of his laps, scrolling through his cell phone.
“Before I forget, tap in these numbers for me.” And he proceeded to reel out ten digits which she rapidly typed into the ‘phone. “Save with the name, Dan. That’s the guy, the staff, who just left.” He explained. “Said I can call him if we decide to order in. He’ll organise it. So what do you want to eat?” He peered down at her.
She shrugged, catching his eye briefly.
“Aren’t you hungry?”
She shrugged again. “Just a little.” She focused on the screen in front of her again. “Whatever you order will be fine.”
“Are you sure?”
She smiled up at him. “I trust you that much.”
For the next couple of minutes from her prone position, her gaze was fixed on him as he interacted with Dan on the ‘phone, laying out his order for both of them. Once or twice, their eyes locked together for a moment or two before he corrected or reiterated an item for Dan’s benefit.
He was wrapping up the conversation with an expected delivery time ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, when she slid off the bed, waited for him to end the call before relieving him of the ‘phone. “I know what I’d like to eat now.” She stated tapping on the screen with a fingertip.
His eyebrows furrowed fractionally, regarding her in front of him. “Darling, I just got off the…”
Gently, she placed his cell phone on the bedside cupboard. As it made contact, the beginning sounds of a ballad (Baby, I’m yours announced a baritone from the device) filled the room interrupting him.
“You, Edosa Williams.” She spoke above the ensuing musical interlude and leaned forward, straddling him. “I want you for dinner.” She captured his lips with hers and reached for the buttons of his shirt simultaneously, stunning him into silence and submission.
She felt him surge beneath her as the buttons came undone one after the other, gradually exposing his taut chest.
His arms circled her hips as they both collapsed onto the bed.
In the background, the Ojays crooned:
…Come baby, show me
Show me you know me
Tell me you’re the one…
One minute she was above him, savouring the fading taste of apple from his mouth; the next, he’d manoeuvred her beneath him. He shrugged out of his white shirt easily and proceeded to hook fingers under the straps of her yellow, frilly dress. In one slick move, the fabric slid down and wriggled away from her body, exposing lacy lingerie of the same shade.
For a moment he paused to devour her semi-nude beauty with hungry eyes, his breathing laboured; he uttered not word. Only when she attacked his belt to strip him off his jeans did he tear his gaze away and reach behind for her bra.
He nuzzled her neck, thoroughly covering every inch of it with delicious, little kisses while struggling in vain with the contraption preventing a skin-to-skin contact around their torso area.
She flexed her legs, and guided his trousers with a pair of boxers down his long, strong limbs. Like him, she returned the favour; her eyes travelling down the length of his figure; she failed to hide a naughty smile. Her man was well-hung and raring to go. Then, with a giggle at his frustration, she unhooked her bra deftly.
Their lips came together once again, and his hands were everywhere and nowhere, her body shivering beneath their feverish touch; her own hands impatient to feel every part of him under them. From his chest which shuddered as her fingers brushed and explored to their light, soothing caress of his shoulders, then sliding over his back in a gentle rub before finally resting on his behind.
For a man who could talk one into oblivion, he was silent in bed. Not one word had passed from his lips since she kissed him. No endearments. No expletives. Instead he spoke to her body; instantly receiving responses which let him know he was on the right path.
Those lips of his replaced his hands, grazing and discovering places she hadn’t known existed in her body. And somehow, they discarded her last piece of clothing in the process.
She moaned her pleasure; he knew his way around a woman’s anatomy.
Four years of unfulfilled passion unfurled as he teased, tormented and thrilled her body; if this was torture she didn’t want it to stop. She was like a flower blossoming again.
As she arched her body towards his, she could feel the pulsating rhythm of her loins.
“Take me now please, Edosa!” She pleaded hoarsely.
And with a low exultant laugh, he slid into her, fitting his entire length into her wet, welcoming warmth.
Emotionally Yours! the Levert man belted out in the background as Eddie began to ride both of them to ecstasy.
Her eyes fluttered open to a almost pitch black room, minuscule light rays reflected from outside. Her body, nestled on a warm, heaving chest beneath her, was loosely circled by two long arms and completely covered with a heavy white duvet.
She smiled slowly. It had been a while since she felt this sated, this alive, this womanly. She sighed contentedly.
The last thing she remembered was climaxing ahead of Eddie and clinging to him moments later as he came. Even at the peak of his desire, he had been mindful of his weight and strength over her and had wanted to spare her their impact during his release, but she had clung to him. It was their first time together; she wanted to remember every part of it, feel every part, be every part…
When he collapsed beside her, she watched him silently as he got his wind back, and his breathing gradually began to stabilize. “Do you want something to drink?” She whispered when their eyes finally met.
He shook his head and pulled her even closer, cuddling her. The duvet over them came next; the temperature in the room had dropped significantly due to night fall, though it didn’t prevent the sheen of sweat which had gathered on his forehead or his chest. “Gosh, Esohe!” He exclaimed softly, speaking for the first time. “What did you just do to me?!”
She chuckled and nuzzled into his chest, not responding. He dropped a kiss on her forehead before tightening his arms around her.
She was thrilled at the fact that he snuggled after lovemaking instead of turning away, passing out. With the frantic beats of his heart beneath her and his warm breath above her, she knew not when she drifted off.
Now, she needed to use the bathroom. But was reluctant to leave the comfort of his warm cocoon. Or disturb him either. It was a no brainer; she had to go.
Gingerly, she started slipping out of his hold. One of his hands restrained her.
“Where do you think you are going to?” The smoky tones were less drowsy than she’d expected.
“I thought you were still asleep!” She exclaimed, twisting around to find those eyes of his trained on her in the dark.
“Now I’m ravenous.” His hand caressed her belly under the duvet. “Where were you trying to escape to?”
“The bathroom! ” She wriggled out of his hold and towards the end of the bed. “I’m pressed!” She groped for her underwear or dress. “Did you see my things anywhere?” She asked.
“What do you need them for?” The smoky tones had a teasing quality in them, and she suddenly became self-conscious. Mustering all the courage she could, she rose and made her way to the bathroom on the other side of the room, imagining him trailing her with his intense gaze and blushing at the thought.
She hit the light switch by the door and disappeared inside to the sound of a low, rumbling laugh. She heard his ‘phone ringing as she secured the lock.
By the time she emerged later on wearing a short, towelling robe, the room was brightly lit, and the curtains drawn. He was by the head of the bed, topless and backing her, sliding into his pair of jeans.
The smart quip on the tip of her tongue turned into a sound of horror as she gazed at his back. “Oh my God!” She moved towards him for a closer look. “Did I do that?” Referring to a series of lengthy lines slashed across his otherwise smooth, broad back.
He twisted around, belting up, his expression amused. “You obviously don’t remember clawing away in passion.”
“Eddie, I’m so sorry!”
He shrugged. “Am I complaining?” And reached for his shirt on the bed, laying alongside her yellow dress and underwear. “I’m a marked man. Esohe’s property. Do not trespass.”
“It’s not funny! I feel like a predator.”
He threw on the shirt and began to fold the sleeves, meeting her halfway. “It’s sweet and I don’t mind being clawed by you again and again and again and…so stop fussing.” His eyes raked over her. “Did you want to take a bath? We could do it together, before or after eating…your choice.”
She looked away and felt the heat rising in her face at the prospect. He didn’t miss her expression as he began to button up.
“Darling, I don’t get it. ” He began softly. “We just made love. Hot, explosive, sweet love which you initiated. I’m trying to connect the woman who jumped me a while ago with the one standing in front of me now, shy to walk around in her birthday suit, shy at the image of us in a bathtub at the same time.”
She didn’t respond. Instead she nuzzled his chest, her arms going around him.
His found her waist. “Dan called. Food is on the way.” He changed the topic smoothly. “Should I leave you to dress up?”
She nodded against his chest.
“One more thing…” He continued; she pulled a couple of inches away. ” This might not be the right time to say it but …my mum. I want you to meet her…soon.”
She opened her mouth to speak but he rushed on. “Before you say I’m getting ahead of myself, she has a little window with her memory, and I want your image in there before it closes permanently. I want her to see both of us together, associate you with me.” He went on to explain. “So that if there’s anything she remembers about me, I want it to be that you are with me and, I promise you, I’ll wait until you ready to discuss our family and our future…”
She stood on the tip of her toes, sorely missing her high heels, and kissed his lips closed, her palms framing his face. “I’d love to meet your mum, Eddie.” She told him quietly.
His face creased into a smile. A knock sounded on the front door of their apartment. Their food had arrived.