Mindful of the fact that Danladi hadn’t been to see her, she didn’t prepare for bed. She glanced at the time, past nine, when there was a knock on her room door.
It had to be Danladi; she had told the staff she required nothing more from them for the night, so it couldn’t be them.
Peeping through the peephole and confirming it was him, she opened the door and smiled nervously at him. “Hello.”
He entered and shut the door behind him and drew her into a bone crushing hug.
“Okay, I guess you’re happy to see me.” She said when he released her, trying to lighten the situation. She consciously tried to put some space between them.
He laughed richly. “You’re nervous, don’t be. Stand back let me get a good look at you.”
He gave her a thorough look-over, and she returned the favour.
He looked the same as years ago, not one ounce of fat anywhere on his tall lean, Fulani body. He looked almost boyish in jeans and tee-shirt, he could be mistaken for a regular guy.
“The years have been kind to you.” He said.
“Same as you.”
“Three children you say?”
“You don’t look it.”
“Thank you.” She blushed beneath her dark skin.
“Why don’t we get comfortable, we did pay for the whole suite not just the door.” He joked.
They went in and sat in the mini sitting room and caught-up on old times and old friends.
As the night progressed, Marian’s discomfort grew. Danladi showed no sign of leaving, on the contrary, he had made himself comfortable.
As though on cue, he got up and excused himself to use the rest room.
Marian was alarmed when she heard the shower running, and was waiting for him at the far end of the room when he exited in a bath robe.
“Why are you standing far off there?” he asked.
“What are you doing?” she countered.
“I don’t understand.” He seemed truly perplexed.
“I don’t either. It appears as though you’re ready to go to bed here.”
“Yes, I thought we had an understanding?”
“What understanding, that I would sleep with you?”
“Yes, isn’t that why you are here.”
“Excuse you! Are you forgetting I’m married, same as you.”
“Your husband sent you here.” He pointed out coldly.
“What does that mean?” As she asked the question, the answer came to her, and she was horrified.
He saw illumination dawn on her, and shook his head sympathetically. “Eleven years later, you’re still naïve.” He said, approaching her slowly.
“I can’t, I made a vow to my husband before God.” She refused backing away.
“And he pimped you out.” He spelt out coldly.
He attempted to touch her, she pushed him away and ran to the opposite side of the room.
“This isn’t about the contract. This is about you and I. A man who will pimp you out for money doesn’t deserve you. I want you, I’ve always wanted you. Name your terms, name a price and its yours. If you want me to marry you…..”
“I AM MARRIED!” she screamed.
“Doesn’t matter to me. Your marriage is over. The day a man decides to send his wife to sleep with another man is the day the marriage ended. Let me take care of you, give you a better life. Name your terms.” He persuaded.
She ignored him and ran to the wardrobe, she dragged out her suitcase and began packing.
“Ok, keep your marriage. This will be our little secret. I’ll give you anything; name it. I’ll pay the contract first thing in the morning even if it’s from my pocket. I want you, I haven’t stopped wanting you.”
She stopped and turned to him. “I made a vow, to honor my husband with my body. I will not share it with another, regardless of the circumstance. Even if my marriage is over, I’ll leave with my dignity.”
“You are making a big mistake, your husband doesn’t love you.” He said as she walked to the door with her suitcase. “Where are you going, it’s late. Okay, stay. Lets talk about this rationally like adults.”
“There’s nothing to talk about.” She left the hotel room.
It wasn’t until she got to the hotel lobby that she asked herself where she was going. It was late, and the people she knew in Abuja didn’t know she was coming into Abuja.
She spied Danladi’s car outside. She marched purposefully to it and tapped on the window. The driver woke from his nap with a start and rolled down the window.
“Oga said you should drop me at the airport.” She said.
“Yes ma.” He came down to stow her luggage in the boot, got in and started the car engine. On the drive to the airport she prayed she could change the ticket she had for the next available flight. She refused to think of the scene that just happened at the hotel room, or the scene she would meet back in Lagos. She couldn’t believe Dan could do this to her. She refused to believe it.
“You’re back already?” Dan asked in surprise when he opened the door to his wife the next morning. “How did it go?”
Marian refused to answer, she pushed past him and went into the bedroom.
She was tired in the body and in the spirit. She’d had to sit in the airport all night as the next available flight was for 6:15am.
“I take it the trip didn’t go well?” he asked following her.
“You couldn’t just do this one thing right!” He accused.
“You claim to love your family, yet you couldn’t convince your ex-boyfriend to pay what is owed me?”
She sighed sadly. “Daniel, did you send me there to sleep with Danladi?” She asked him point-blank.
He stared at her in surprise. “Ehm, I. I. I expected you to do the needful. We need that money Marian, can’t you see how bad things are?” He spread his hands helplessly.
“Chikadibia!” she called him by his native name. “How could you? I am your wife!” she cried.
“Yes! But desperate situations call for desperate measures!”
“Every other sin is outside the body but fornication, adultery. Daniel! You pimped me out!” she screamed at him.
“What was I supposed to do? That was our one chance! And you blew it! All you had to do was be nice to him and this morning we would have been out of the woods! It’s the morning after, has the world come to an end?”
“Daniel!!!” Marian was aghast, was this her husband?
“I’m going to pick up our children, cook your morality for them.” He grabbed his car keys from the dresser table and left.
Marian screamed in frustration and sank to the floor in tears.