Dance with the masquerade

Hi readers. The Passion Chronicles is back.  I’m sorry for the silence, and many thanks to you guys that called and tweeted to find out why there were no new stories here. That gist is for another day. This story will run for the whole month of March. I hope you enjoy, learn, and share. Welcome to the month of March, Welcome to Thepassionchronicles 2013.



Events moved faster than Michael could imagine. His emotions ran wild at two extremes, and his physical body could only move in one direction. He wondered at this uncontrollable lust for his guest and colleague that sat in front of him. Tope was dressed in a black spaghetti gown, adorned with a little portion of a voluptuous cleavage that got every man at Manhattan restaurant ogling. He thought he heard a voice in his head saying “Just go home!” He could not concentrate enough to translate the voice to the locomotive motion of his legs. This dinner was his idea, even though she had asked for a date severally – so how was he to walk away suddenly? In his head a reasonable compromise would be to they finished eating the special order of Singapore rice and freshly roasted goat meat.

It was a cold January evening. Ifeoma dreaded the walk down two streets from the public library to her studio flat. Baker Street was unusually empty on such cold nights. Even the pubs made little money on such nights, as it seemed London had an early night. As she turned into the second street, she picked up her phone and dialed Michael’s number. London was naturally lonely to her and other scholars were curled up in bed with their live-in boyfriends and girlfriends. Michael’s phone rang twice before he picked it, and when he did she could not hear a word of what he said. How she looked forward to his rib-cracking jokes. She dialed his number a second time, but this time his phone was switched off. She wondered why the network would choose to act up on a night like this. She arrived at her door step wondering how she would go through the night without hearing Michael’s voice. She followed a prompting in her spirit to simply pray, and her lips opened up to the mysteries of the spirit in her heart.

A black man with a pony tail walked up to Michael from behind, and said with a squint on his face that made Michael a little frightened. “Young man, you should be home now”. Michael caught the whiff of alcohol as the man sauntered away while staring at Tope’s breasts.
“He’s obviously drunk”, Tope jeered at the figure disappearing into the VIP section of the restaurant. Michael could not ignore what seemed like an alarm bell ringing in his head. It sounded as urgent as the primary school assembly-time bell. Tope got him into a conversation about her teenage years and how she had her first kiss when she was fourteen. Enthralled by her story telling skills, he soon abandoned the bells ringing in his head. He realized how he had not thought so highly of Tope as a colleague in Skyscape Architects; pretending not to notice her innuendoes to him on several occasions. He always reminded himself that he was a Christian and had a relationship and planned to be faithful to his fiancé. They left the restaurant at nine-thirty pm, and he sped through the streets of Victoria Island towards third mainland bridge. He had to drop Tope off at her house in Iju Hills. As he approached the third mainland bridge, he heard gun shots muffled by the thick glass of his Mercedes benz E-Class. He slowed down, put on the highest intensity of his lights, and saw cars reversing from a distance. He slammed his brakes, and made a three sixty degree turn, and sped back through the one-way to the nearest intersection with street lights. He was on Ozumba Mbadiwe when he broke the silence.
“My God, we were almost robbed. I was sure I saw a man holding up a gun a few cars ahead of us”. He spoke through his breath.
He noticed Tope did not respond.
“Am I the only one who just escaped a robbery attack? You’re suddenly mute”
“Yeap. Just wondering where I would sleep. I have no friends this side of town”. She sounded worried.
More bells rang in Michael’s head, but he kept his legs on the pedals for fear of another attack.
“Michael. Where am I going to sleep tonight? It’s already a quarter past ten.”
Michael suddenly realized they should have left much earlier. He grudgingly invited her to sleep over at his apartment. Tope smiled.
“Finally, today I get to share your palace with you. I hear you live like an ambassador”.
Twenty nine year old Michael Asuquo was lost in thought as he drove past an array of posh cars parked on Ambassador’s street.
“I live like every other young man my age. I am bachelor, remember? A lot of things are Spartan”.

Ifeoma was awoken from slumber by the pains from her hurting knees. She had prayed only ten minutes by her bedside before she slept off. She felt a nudge to pray specially for Michael that evening, but she succumbed to the dark cold of the January winter. She slid under her duvet and closed her eyes for the night.

Michael felt Tope’s breasts pressed against his back as he struggled to open the door to his flat. Sweat broke through his palms, making the bunch of keys in his hand drop to the floor. Tope bent to pick up the bunch, and he caught a full glimpse of her breasts without the nipples. His mind flashed back seven years back; the last time he had sex. He tried to gain control of his mind by praying in between his breath, but Tope’s lips shut his breath as she pushed her tongue through his mouth. He freed himself, and opened the door to a burst of passion in the darkness of the sitting room. Three minutes after, there were two naked bodies on the rug, and clothes all over the floor.

Michael lay on the floor beside his colleague wondering at the events of the past two hours. He had just committed a sin, and his heart became very heavy. What would Ifeoma say, if she discovered his escapades of the evening? He tried to ask for forgiveness, but something in him could not connect to his spirit anymore.
“You can sleep in the second room”, He said to Tope, and walked away before she could respond.

Tope smiled to herself as Michael shut the door behind him, and said “A thousand steps must begin with one step”. She heard Michael wail from behind the door, and she smiled again.

Ifeoma opened her eyes, and looked at the wall clock. She had been asleep for eight hours. She reached for her phone to see if Michael had sent a text or made any skype calls to her, as was his custom early on Saturday mornings. She had no notifications on her phone so she dialed his number. She hummed to his caller tune, a popular Nigerian song, she had come to love. She didn’t mind dialing again, since she wanted to hear “Kabi o O si” again. The song was punctuated by a sharp female voice on the other end.
“Hello”. The voice crackled.
“Hello, who’s this?” Ifeoma sat up in bed not knowing what to think.
The line went dead immediately after. After redialing the number seven times without a response, she remembered she could call his second line.

”Hey baby”, Michael was groggy from sleep.
“Michael love, where are you?”, Ifeoma asked anxiously.
“On my bed, inside my room. Good morning sunshine!”
“I have called your mtn line. How come you didn’t pick it?”, she asked.
“I must have left it in the parlor last night”. He quipped, pushing away the blanket.
“Really? Is there someone in the house with you?” she wondered.
“No!” Michael’s voice shook as he realized he had left his phone in the parlor with Tope the previous night. He raised his voice to save any further suspicion.
“Look baby, why are you asking me these questions? I got back from work late last night, and I must have dropped the phone somewhere between the kitchen and the parlor. And now I have picked up this line.”
“Oh, fine! Call me when you find it.” The phone went dead. Michael hit the floor and headed for the parlour.


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