The drive from Labone to Tema was long and stressful. Annette hating driving, but if she wanted any sort of independence it was a skill she had to develop. She had depended on drivers her whole life, and if her parents had use of the two they had on staff, she was always stranded. She vowed that that would not always be the case when she was married with a house of her own.
When she got to Community 11, she parked her car, sat outside of Sophia Ike’s house and took off her wedding ring. Once it was off her finger, she dropped it in her purse and rang the gate bell.
The watchman opened it up and let her in.
“Good evening, Idrisu,” she said quietly.
“Good evening madam!” he replied cheerily. Idrisu liked Annette very much. She was one of the few people who greeted him like a man, and not a servant. He always took good care to look after her car when she came to see Sophia.
“Please, madam is inside,” he informed her pleasantly.
“Thank you, Idrisu,” she smiled.
Idrisu felt his pants stiffen as he watched Annette walk away. Her firm buttocks swayed seductively but innocently with every step she took. And her hair – how he loved her hair! It was curly and always smelled of the morning dew. If only he were richer, more educated and younger. He rubbed his throbbing penis and went back to his guard post, pleasuring himself with his forbidden fantasy of Ms. Annette.
When Annette walked into the house, Sophia was in the kitchen.
“Hello dear!” Annette called.
Sophia smiled and kissed Annette on the cheek.
“I’m so glad you were able to make it by before you went home.”
“Yeah, it was a pretty tough afternoon,” Annette sighed, rubbing her neck. “Naa Akweley and Afosua got into it today. I thought it might come to blows in the end. Thankfully, it didn’t.”
“Oh?” Sophia pressed. “What happened?”
She passed Annette a small bottle of chilled water. Annette gratefully accepted it.
“Apparently Afosua has some sort of project up her sleeve,” Annette began. “She wants to take Naa Akweley and I up to Dumbai for a girls’ weekend. She said it is a place every woman should go to, at least once.”
“I’m familiar with Dumbai. My dad went there once when he was a forester…before the all the Nigerians were sacked from Ghana in the 70s. He said it was lovely.”
“Really? I’d love for you to join us if we do go!”
“Do you think your friends will be okay with that?” Sophia asked cautiously. “You know I’m not a part of their ‘group’.”
Annette laughed. She loved the way Sophia spoke. Her Nigerian accent was so harsh it was comical. It always made her laugh for some reason.
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t think we’re going anyway. Naa called Afosua some choice names, Afosua shot back, and I just sat there like a bump on a log watching the whole thing unfold. What could I do? You know how superior Naa Akweley is.”
Sophia handed her a bowl of pepper soup, which Annette accepted with her left hand. This made Sophia snatch it back.
“Sorry I used my left!” Annette apologized. “I know it’s rude.”
“No,” Sophia said, shaking her head, “it’s not that. You’re not wearing your wedding ring.”
“We both know you’re married, so why pretend you’re not?”
“Because I don’t want any more reminders of my husband…of my LIFE… than I need to have,” Annette snapped.
“Okay, okay! I’m sorry,” Sophia apologized. “Here’s your soup.”
Annette spooned into her mouth slowly, her thoughts now on her husband whom she had tried to forget, at least temporarily until she was forced to face him at home. He was an old man, nearly 70. He was rich, but there was nothing he could provide for her that was of value. He was not her friend, and he was too old to be her lover. When he touched her she was repulsed. There were many nights that she lay in her bed, still as a corpse until he was finished using her unresponsive body to pleasure himself. When he was done, he would retreat to his master bedroom, slinking away like a snake to its hole. She was grateful that she at least did not have to share a bed with him.
Annette’s marriage to Kwame Prah was the result of a ‘joke’. Her father, a Lebanese merchant had fallen on hard times many years ago, and Mr. Prah was a successful land developer with ties to every industry from tourism to retail. Her father had gone to him for a loan when she was 6 years old. The ‘joke’ apparently was that if Annette’s father was unable to repay the loan, then he would give Annette away in marriage to Kwame Prah. With time and interest compounding, her father was unable to settle the loan, and Mr. Prah came for his consolation prize, to the shock of all in the household.
“A deal is a deal,” he grinned sinisterly, holding Annette’s hand.
That was over 20 years ago, in the 80’s when the famine had struck and things were going badly for everyone. Things had gotten a little better, but not quickly enough to pay the enormous debt. Annette’s father begged her forgiveness, and for her to save him. What could she do, seeing her father so broken? She left with Mr. Prah the next morning and the debt was forgiven. In an odd act of kindness, he let her finish school but married her at 18. She had never seen the world, outside of the confines of Mr. Prah’s permission. She was a nobody.
Sophia watched Annette struggle with her thoughts and reached over to wipe her tears of distress.
“I know what you’re thinking, and it’s going to be okay…I promise.”
Annette sniffed and nodded. She gave Sophia a brave smile.
“Come with me,” Sophia said softly, holding her hand. She led Annette into the guest bedroom and shut the door.
“It’s going to be okay,” she whispered as she slowly began to kiss Annette, pulling expertly at the tie around her wrap dress. Annette was instantly disrobed, her dress falling to the floor in a soft heap.
Sophia made quick work of her bra, never stopping her torrent of soft wet kisses that she delivered to Annette’s anticipating lips. Annette moaned with pleasure, closing her eyes and welcoming Sophia’s skilled seduction. She pushed Annette to the edge of the bed, lifting her legs individually and removing her white lace panties. When she was completely naked, Sophia threw off the bright orange and green boubou she was wearing for the evening. There was nothing underneath. She had been waiting for Annette all day.
Placing her hand between Annette’s thighs, she traced her tongue down the younger woman’s neck, stopping at her belly button and teasing her with flicks of her tongue, running her lips over the expanse of her small, taut belly, biting her softly when she saw fit. Annette shuddered in anticipation.
Sophia smiled and spread Annette open, hungrily devouring the wetness that was waiting for her. She tasted so sweet, so sloppy; like a ripe mango and a dry Harmattan afternoon…and Sophia was thirsty. She felt like a youth stealing from her neighbor’s back yard, and the audacity excited her. When she had had her fill, she sucked Annette’s clitoris gently at first, and finally with more urgency. She moaned with pleasure, knowing how much pleasure Annette was receiving. When Annette could take it no longer, she collapsed backward on the bed, clutching Sophia by the head, her most intimate and secret places screaming silently as she climaxed. She screamed audibly and remained on her back, the only thing moving the rhythmic rising and falling of her chest.
“I love you, Sophia,” she whispered in the darkness.
They lay entangled with one another, blending the smells of lilac and violet from the perfumes they were each wearing. The scent of sex clung to the cool cotton sheets.
Outside, Idrisu stood under the night sky looking up at the broken bathroom window where the sounds of the two women’s lovemaking always escaped, the light of the bright West African stars reflecting off the whites of his eyes. Heart pounding and palms wet, he wiped his hand on his handkerchief and went back to his guard station. He smiled contentedly. This was always his favorite part.