Shaa we unpacked and I pulled out my shoes, sliding into my comfortable slippers. We waltzed out to see the rest of the place. We ran into his father at the backyard. He was overseeing the slaughter of a goat. He was a few inches taller than his wife and had a dark strong face, the type of face you would see on a carved woodwork. Maybe he was a bit finer when he was younger but I happen to miss its reflection on his face. Another hug and introduction followed. He shook me strongly and he was really jovial. That added a little glow to his face.
“James, is like your village people no dy like fine,” I said after his father had left and he eyed me.
I laughed. Just when I was trying to summarize my points to him, a rainbow crawled out of that cloud of a village. This beautiful foxy girl just walked through the house to where we stood. She was all heavy with endowments, she let her cleavage pop out from the top of her blouse and they were fresh. She had dimples, a nice set of smiles and her walk was so out of that village, in fact it was out of this world and she was fair!!!
She walked straight to us and dropped all that sauce on James. I stared wide eyed.
“Guy meet my little sister, Chinemelum,” James said. She threw me a stupefying smile and I caught it. I went for a hug too and she obliged. I held onto her long enough for James to break us. She excused herself and I turned to James.
“Did your mom play away match?” I asked. He gave me a shove as we ran out through the gate that led into the house. The sun was setting already. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and welcomed my self to the city of Ebonyi, The salt of the nation.
We danced and made merry all through the night. James’s father let us have a crate of beer to ourselves and we drank it up like fishes. James had this mad home theater in his room and we banged it up with run town’s mad over you track. The ladies around were either older than I was or not fine enough for my standard so I just mingled with my bottle of Heineken. I was at it and also shaking my head to the rhythm of music banging away when I felt a light touch on my arm. I turned and Chinemelum stood before me with a plate of steaming jollof rice in her hand. I took it from her and dropped it on the table with a thank you.
“Where are you going?” I asked as she turned to go. She pointed in the direction of the kitchen and I nodded.
“Will you come back?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Well I want you to come back,” I said, flashing her my Mr charming smile. She smiled back.
“I will try.”
She left the room brushing James who was already on his way in. He came in and shot daggers at me with his eyes.
“Nothing naa, she only brought me food,” I protested.
“Next time, tell me. I will even add more meat for you.”
He dropped more chilled beer on the bed and we knocked ourselves out. Real out. Things moved so fast and I soon found myself at the far corner of the fence, in the darkness with Chinemelum. We weren’t kissing or smooching as most of you would think. She held a bowl of water while I bent low, vomiting the destiny out of my life. I’v had too many to drink and the consequences hit me like a mark trailer. It was my second time of vomiting that evening and she was there through it all, heaping me with sorry.
I took the bowl from her and washed my face and then rinsed my mouth.
“Thank you,” I murmured, staggering to stand erect. She smiled and her dimples showed.
“I would have kissed you but I am afraid I may vomit on you,” I said and she smiled again.
“Don’t worry, maybe tomorrow.”
I assumed the answer was conjured up by the liquor in my blood and sent to my brain because if it wasn’t so then it means she would actually allow me kiss her tomorrow. Jeez. Why do girls love me so, or is it because I love them?.
We walked into the house, leaning on each other. She left me at the door to James’ room. I pecked her cheek and she smiled. She bade me Goodnight and left. I watched her go and realized How beautiful and innocent she looked. She was the type that I had always loved to kiss and hug but never fuck. She looked too innocent and beautiful to be messed up plus James would poison the next drink he would offer me.
I staggered into the room and James was already snoring his life away. I fell beside him and prayed I don’t vomit on him.
I and James lay in the room wasted the next day, staring at the ceiling and trying to kill the headache with soft blues. We brushed around 9 am and fell back into the room. We had no business around, everything was already being taken care of.
“Your sister is fine,” I whispered to James all of a sudden.
“I know, everybody knows, even she knows,” he replied.
“Well, are you aware that my name and hers sound alike?” I asked.
“And she is my exact spec, fair, beautiful and curvy,” I said and he turned to look at me.
“We could be in laws you know,” I suggested.
“You are still drunk,” he replied and I laughed.
“So James, you had a treasure like this at home and you didn’t even tell me, eh Chibundu?”
He laughed at the way I called his native name.
“Now you know, wetin go come happen? Will you be coming here from Anambra just because of her?”
“No but you can invite her for small holiday at our lodge since you live alone.”
“Why don’t you invite Amara over then I will invite her.”
“I will rather invite my mother than invite Amara,” I said. Chinemelum walked in on us. I saw a different side of her beauty, one I couldn’t find in her parents. She brought us breakfast on the bed. We were really kinging and the icing on the cake for me was having a queen like her serve me on my bed, James’s bed actually.
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The wedding mass was for 10 am. Everyone of note left before them, Chinemelum inclusive, to my utter dismay. The house turned up boring so we decided to go to church, if for nothing, at least for photoshoots. So with my red tux, it was a wedding mass so Romance was in the air, my skinny pencil and black Italian shoes toe match, James was on something similar too. It was our uniform sort of. We strolled off to church, it was a walkable distance. The time was 11:30 am when we got there. The priest was already on his way to concluding the entire affair. We both sat at the back of everyone. We had a vantage view of the church and the choir girls mostly.
“See that girl?” James whispered to me, pointing to the direction of the choir girls.
“That one with big boobs?” I asked.
“No, the one on skimpy skirt.”
“Hian, all those choir girls are on skimpy skirts naa.”
“No, that one with Chinaza’s kind of laps.”
“James abeg, don’t start comparing my Naza with your village girls.”
He Pointed the girls out to me and I checked her out. She was cute and dark and fresh like pumpkin.
“Ehe? What about her?”
“She go fit you,” he told me.
“I know but I only do dark girls who are exceptional,” I said.
“She is exceptional.”
“She will save you from me.”
“Which kind saving?” I asked, switching stares between him and the girl.
“You need saving from me because I will poison you if you try any rubbish with Chinemelum. Just take that girl in her place,” he said. He wasn’t smiling but I can tell when James was joking. He was joking shaa. But then the girl looked cute though and from where she was sitting, I could tell she had that potential of being very curvy. I imagined myself hitting it off with the girl after the wedding mass and going home to a savory Chinemelum. I loved the idea and it was worth risking James’s poison.
“Will you introduce me to her?” I asked.
“Sure, only if you promise not to look at Chinemelum twice again.”
“Swear with your life,” he said and I shot my eyes at him.
“Haba guy, easy naa, like say those other girls you dy tidy are not people’s Junior sister.”
“I know what I am doing. You that is always doing magic with girls, I don’t want you to do magic with her.”
“I cannot swear with my life abeg, what if we get drunk again and something happens? I can’t swear abeg.”
“Then I will poison you.”
Fast forward to the wedding photoshoot. I was all over Chinemelum. Our hands on each other as the flashes came. We had a groupie, We had our personal, one which James was dictating to us where to hold each other. If he had his way, we would have been taking the pictures at a perfect 10m distance between us. And we had the one which James stood in between us. It was as fun as fun can get. Their entourage drove home while I walked with James, just as we had come. I made sure the girls around had enough reason to ogle at me and they did.
Into the house and the reception started. We ate and kept the drinks aside. We needed to be sober to be helpful. Things moved swiftly and a lot was cramped into the reception so it’s details would be bulky, I am leaving them out. Our Job mostly was to help those intending to spray money on the dancing couple get change for that purpose. I and James. We made quite a sum of money from it. Don’t ask me how, we weren’t stealing them tho, but we did make money.
We were far gone into the whole thing when I remembered Chinemelum. I searched around for her but couldn’t find her then I remembered the kitchen. I left James as he stood at a spot, looking for potential customers who would like to change their money. Into the kitchen I went and there was my fair lady, watching and rinsing ceramic plates. Her mom was around and I couldn’t possibly drag her out of there myself.
I stood at a distance from them for what seemed like 72 hours, hoping and praying she would look my way, then she did and our eyes smiled at each other. I nodded and pointed back inside, she seemed to understand my sign language and smiled at me, this time around with her lips and those her dimples knocked me out. I stood imagining those lips on mine. I believed it would taste like strawberry.
I ran back inside, into our room to wait for her. I passed the door, threw the curtain open and walked inside to meet our whole lodge there. Well it was just Shape, Willie and Chinecherem, James too. Willie was already on one bottle of Heineken and was grinning ear to ear at me. Shape was clutching his hand and smiling at me. The the gate crasher, the party spoiler, Chinecherem. She ran straight at me with her open hands and landed straight on me.
“Baby!” she yelled as she hugged me deeply, destroying my cheeks with pecks. Just then, Chinemelum walked in, wiping her wet hands against her blouse.