The Third Warning.
The moon had found its way to its lover’s bed. Relinquishing the thought of copulation, he glanced at the room. The magical unveiling, they used to call it.
Nzube shifted uncomfortably, lacking in patience, what he would surely see why all the fuss? Must women involve drama in everything. The third time, he heard June say. I wouldn’t warn you again, the voice rang again. He looked around uncomfortably. The nearby vegetation was still.
He felt them staring at him, reminding him again. June won’t for the fourth time but if there were a hundred trees in the bush, they had added a hundred more to June’s three. They whispered again. Imagine a room of hundred people whispering. When he strained his ear to hear, he heard nothing, just the way students would go dumb when a teacher turns back. He thought he saw the class. A hundred of them. Pupils with June’s face.
“What?” the teacher said. The teacher had his broad nose and his unmistakably, notorious eyes. He would turn to the pupils and close them a bit, the sensual way and they would love it. Just like June loves it. Their faces were mean, the pupils, they are not interested in his handsome face. I warned you, he read from their face. One of them, I told you. She spat on the floor.
What is happening. The moon, he reminded himself. No moon. It’s coupling with its loved one. I can barely see the vegetation because the moon is away. And soon enough I will do what he is doing too, makes two of us. For the third time. Fish. The pupil spat. No, I am honey. What’s happening?
“What? ” he shouted to clear his head. The moon is away. It’s for a reason. I have to hide from this peeping nature. He moved in. They followed. Just hundred of them. For the third time. He turned immediately. Shivers ran through him from head, then spread to other parts of his body, for the third time. He felt them dispersing. He felt himself pressing hard on his trousers. Quite a sensation for he smiled merrily knowing it won’t rise in vain. Like the night before and the other one and the third night before. The fish. I warned you.
He listened intently. The night was silent as it could be. Its a village after all. His own fathers house, his house. The beetle whistled the customary welcome tune. The wind could have made them sleep. But there is no wind and no June and for the third time, a woman is bathing. And I am in my father’s house. He turned again while they stared, with those cold eyes. In uniform, a hundred of them while the pupil spat. Nonsense.
The hallway that led to his room seem a little bit longer. It sort of closed in on him as he walked. Back to its original when he touched it. The light was off safe the rays emanating from his room at the end of the hallway. The moon rays used to lit up this part of the house. But the moon hadn’t shown. It’s coupling just like he would but with who? Fish?
Fish. As usual, the silence inside was deafening. He would always ignore noises downstairs. They might be coming from rodents. Even before he met June, even before she gave the third warning, rodents always made noises downstairs. Especially when he came here alone. He couldn’t wait for tomorrow, to meet his kinsmen and be long gone. Their smiling faces, never to be trusted. He could have slept in one of their houses but he could wake up dead, poisoned or named craven.
A great man might prefer death but he surely couldn’t see why he should care if old village men called him craven. There is a new type of bravery. Does being promiscuous count? Maybe. I have dated the devil’s daughters, he used to brag. Until he met June. She had warned him to stay away unless he was willing to reform. Without saying, showing a sign of remorse for his lifestyle had got him many conquest. But June had warned him and wouldn’t again after the third.
The door to his room made such a noise when he pushed it open. His eyes darted quickly to the table. Fish. I bought fish. Nzube sat down and made a quick chew with the first spoonful which he packed to his mouth. I love fish. His guest entered almost immediately. She was ready. As fully dressed as one can be for sex.
The fish stuck in his mouth as he watched her with wary. She was taller than he thought. Her breast full and firm, he felt even without touching it. Or no, he had touched it before. This is not the features of the village girl he met at the church market earlier that day.
“I will take the lead. Just watch me. ” Tracy drew those words. It sounded almost like a melody that jolted his mind to a fret. The seven wonders of the next hour which always has its freshness whenever it’s pleasure is initiated. In a jiffy, he was out of his clothing, pressing his two lips together like a labourer about to perform a heavy task. June would tease him about that. But for the third time, this is not June.
Tracy moved him slowly to the bed. Her hands found its way deftly to his loins. “Not fast, we have all day. ” but she didn’t respond. He found her wet and ready. It had felt like a hundred sex tapes playing at once. The pleasure of a hundred. He climaxed almost immediately with a long moan that woke him.
Nzube felt dizzy. His heart palpitations were almost audible that he felt it might wake June. Company? He traced the spinal bulge in her back to her hips. She was neither June nor Tracy. He made for the door immediately, shivering. The night was dark and still. He felt the tickles of sweat and they ran down his body. The moon was away. Coupling, he remembered, like he would do. No, like he had done but with who? Tracy or June or…
“Shayo? ” He looked at her incredulously. What are you doing here? He didn’t say.
“I should be the one giving you that look. Jerking off, when you are with me. What were you thinking? ” she twitched her red lips. The one that got him attracted to her in the first place. She turned and spat.
“I am sorry. I will make it up to you.” She spat again. ” C’mon , this my father’s house. You don’t… ” For the third time, she spat. When she spoke her voice was hollow and sensual in the very least.
“Was that not why you left me? ” She said. This must be a dream, he told himself. “Go ahead and pinch yourself. It used to work, remember. ” He quickly did but nothing happened. Shola went hysterical with laughter. He pinched himself even harder with fear. Hurts.
“Zu… Zu. ” He opened his eyes. Her voice filled the room as she mumbled his name amidst pleasure. He was lost in the heat of it all as he found his way in and out. So much for the almost involuntary movement of peak pleasure, he could afford to stare at her. He found the traces of tears as they glimmered in the dim light offered by his handset on the table.
Something inside bordering on pride and achievement edged him on. His lips came together tightly as he went agog with pleasure. The sounds now came from his nose. He felt her vibrating beneath, him too. In a mini-second, he had affirmed himself. Whatever would happen, let it happen! The woman would not kill me, at least not now. The lack of conscience of an erect dick. Amara had given a deep moan climaxing with him.
“Again and again and again. ” Amara turned. Only that she was June or was it June. Nzube pulled away. The heavy mattress slowing his guilty race. This had to be a dream.
“Zu… ” Amara bellowed. No, no. He stuck out his hands trying to prevent her from approaching. This must be a dream.
“Maybe, I would help you out. ” Fish. The fish was still on the table. She picked the table knife and licked the sharp side with her tongue. Blood filled her mouth and dripped down to her bare breast. A gesture that could have been deemed sensual Now conjured the most dread. Nzube rushed to the door but it wouldn’t open. He pinched himself really hard.
“Oops! That usually works. ” Amara gave a hysterical laugh. “Pinch again and again. It might work the third time. I warned you. ”
“This is just a bad dream. ” He was almost drenched in his own sweat.
“Of course, use this and end it. ” She offered him the knife. “End it. End this life.”
Nzube began to shout. Go away, go away. ” Take the knife…and if you won’t… ” She approached him.
Nzube felt the knife cut through his flesh, plunging into his organs. The pain was deafening. He felt a surge of blood to his head. Instead of sorrow, he heard himself laughing.
“Hey! Hey! ” The tender hands caressed his bare chest. He was still laughing, or shouting, whichever, but loudly. He stopped and stared at June. Shame slowly crept over him like a shadow. “You were dreaming? ” she said.
Only those calm voice could melt his heart. Overtly, he know he was completely in love with this woman.
Why then had you betrayed her for the third time? Nzube was a youth in his prime with all the frailties that come with it. Asking a man to be faithful in marriage is one thing but insisting on the same outside wedlock is almost impossible. Something had made a dog whimper. If he could honestly and accurately tell himself all these were a dream, he might try being faithful to avoid these kind of things in real life. When it comes to June, he knows the untangling process would definitely take years.
Nzube studied her again as dread slowly crept in. He had been in bed a number of times, more often than not, to be sure that he wasn’t feeling her legs. Seems like a long log of wood but soft and smooth. Something about the body beneath him got him hard again. No, no. The feeling was a mixture of pleasure and pain.
“June!? ” he stifled out.
“You look scared! ” Ever so lovely. He was muttering please in his heart. His loins jerked involuntarily in and out of her body. Nzube looked woebegone.
He felt his bones vibrate inside. “Are you pleading now? How many were they? I warned you again and again and again. ”
“I have always loved you and you know it. Why are you hurting me? ”
“I told you and had warned you for three times. I have been heartbroken before and my mother would not allow it again and I don’t have much say in what is happening to you. ”
“Only if I can stop all these. But the rites had been concluded a long time ago. For some time now, you are only a working corpse. ”
“It’s only a dream. ”
June closed her eyes to savour the sweet sensation. “Ala Igbon! I loved you and I want to taste you for the last time. ” Tears rolled down her face. Nzube could not place the cause: the pleasure or his…
Suddenly, he felt control of his body again. He pulled out and made for the door. Locked again and again. I would wake up if I experience something really painful, he thought, just a bout of bad dreams. I cannot be man bullied in my father’s house.
“Who are you? ”
“Yes, fish!” Nzube was startled. It seems she can hear his thoughts. She whined on the bed in a way so surreal. He remembered the skin he felt when he lay on June. Not that fish. His eyes darted to the table. The fish was on the table with a knife beside it. He made for the knife. An exorcism, he convinced himself, not suicide. He pushed the knife through his stomach. Blood spurt out. The pain was excruciating and for some time, he waited to wake up but nothing happened.
The room was hot. His body spit water like a fountain. He lay silently for sometime correlating the whole story. And in fact, he couldn’t. Had he woke up or still in the dream? Should he expect company or not? Fact remains that he was in his father’s house, but with whom? What could assure him that he wasn’t dreaming? The moon! He gave out a wry grimace. He was going mad.
But the moon was with its lover like he hoped to be.
The magical unveiling. Where is she? He couldn’t remember who she was now, or who to expect. Am I going mad? For the third time, his thought ran, then the child with June face spat. This must be reality, he thought.
Or not. He felt himself get hard. He looked at himself and didn’t feel like he had done anything in the past hour. Why would he go to sleep when he was relinquishing pleasure for the night. The door handle twitched and he sat to a fighting stance on the bed immediately. Who should it be? June? Amara? Tracy? Shayo? Did he even ever met a village girl?
The door opened with its usual cracking sound. She stepped in, looked at him and laughed. “What’s wrong with you? No doubt you look stunning in that position, like a nude Egyptian god. ”
Her wet hair dripped water. ” June? ”
“Such the Casanova right? Not sure of my name now. Maybe we should ask her. ”
“Who?” Nzube felt the cold shiver tour his body. His erection, not yielding. The window opened. Not by itself, the wind was hard on it. The moon lightened a bit as against the torchlight coming from his handset. He froze. Not again.
“How many times would I tell you? I will miss you! ” What is she talking about.
“Whatever you are saying, I don’t claim to understand. I am going to end this dream. ”
June held out the knife to him. He knew it won’t work this time around, the weird certainty of dreams. Maybe a jump, he thought.
“Go on. I expected ‘I love you, goodbye ‘. My mom was right. You are not worth it. I warned you. Not every girl is just a girl. Pity you won’t have a fourth chance. ”
I would wake up in my bed. Nzube rushed through the moonlit window. Falling from his father’s three-story building, he saw June starring at him from the window. Looked like she was weeping. Then it stuck him.
Their was no moon. The moon had found its way to his mother’s bed. The vegetation was still. He felt them staring at him, reminding him again. That this is the real world. No time to think, just regret. For it would be over soon. It pained him that it will be termed suicide while he was murdered by June, his girlfriend.
Written by Agbalokwu Chibuike