Secret Games (4)


She sat besides Chief on the couch, massaging his hand. He had been having pains in it, he said so she was applying a balm to it.

"Hmm. That feels good," he said as she worked on his wrist. When she was done, he flexed his hand and fingers.

"Is it still stiff?" she asked.

"It's much better now. Thanks, my dear," he said. Then looking searchingly at her face, he added: "Good to have you back. You must have enjoyed your stay though, for you are glowing!"

She gave a little laugh. "Maybe it's all the delicious food, Anna's sister-in-law, Debbie sent over from her house. That woman can cook, especially her vegetable soup. Yummy!"

"I can see you had fun." He paused. "That reminds me, Koko dear. I think it's time we took a holiday. We've not travelled for quite some time."

"That will be nice. But is it ok for you to travel now? You know because of your health and all.." 

"I'm fine."

"But will Dr Adu be in support?" asked Koko. The doctor was their family doctor; there was also a physiotherapist apart from the nurse, who attended to him regularly at home.

He shrugged. "I'm only an invalid not a prisoner. He can't stop me from going anywhere I want," he said firmly.

In her room later, Koko prayed and hoped the doctor would advise against such a trip for health reasons. Since the accident over two years before that affected Chief's spinal cord and left him unable to walk, there had been talk about taking him to a specialist abroad for further treatment.

But Dr Adu had said it was better they waited until his health stabilized.

"Your blood pressure is still too high, Chief. Besides, you're taking treatment for your heart condition. A long flight is not advisable at this time," the man had said sometime ago.

Koko hoped his opinion had not changed. She did not want to travel anywhere soon as it would mean separation from Chuks.

She had desired and schemed to have him for so long, now that they were together, she was not ready to part from him. Being with him was wonderful. It made up for her situation, being married to a man stuck in a wheelchair, incapable of doing anything for himself; as helpless as a baby.

This was not what she bargained for when she married him about four years before. They had met one afternoon at Opebi, Ikeja when she had gone to visit her friend Osas in her office. She was standing close to the bus-stop when he gave her a lift...



At that time, his first wife had died and he had a second wife who he was not living with. The woman had her own place at Ogudu where she lived with her two children. So he was more like a bachelor. His first children were all grown up; the youngest, Tobi was about my age.

I never planned on marrying Chief. He was already over sixty then and I was in my mid- twenties. As a typical Lagos 'hustling' babe, I just wanted to have fun with him and enjoy his money of which he had plenty of. But I got pregnant some months after we met and he did not want an abortion so we married. The baby, a girl, however died a few months after birth.

My marriage to Chief Badmus against the wishes of nearly everyone- his grown children, who saw me (and still regard me as a 'little gold digger'), his second wife Mummy Ireti who was scheming on moving to his house, my late father's family members who kept reminding me of the age difference between us, some of my friends who said I was making a big mistake marrying an old man like that: 'Do you want to end up a young widow?' they wondered.

My mother was the only one in support of the union. She had been struggling all alone for years to take care of my three siblings and I since my father's death when I was 14 years old and still in secondary school.

To her, Chief was god-sent, the one that would help lift some of the burden from her overstretched shoulders.

He had not disappointed in that regard, doing so much for my family including building a nice house for my mother.

As for me, he gave me whatever I desired. I only had to mention it and it was mine. But material things was not everything as I later discovered.

Being wheel chair bound, he could no longer fulfil his duties as a man and I missed that greatly. A man's touch. So, when Chuks came on the scene, I saw him as a solution to my problems. I knew I had to have him. And whatever I want, I always get. Now that he was mine, I was not ready to let go...

Four months later...

Koko stood in front of the bathroom mirror brushing her long weave on which fell in waves on her shoulders.

Then she applied some lipstick and a little powder to her cheeks and she was done.

Back in the bedroom, Chuks was still getting dressed, pulling on his T shirt over a pair of black jeans.

They had spent most of the day in that hotel room and it was already evening and time to return home.

She dreaded these moments when they had to part, often wishing they could spend more time together. A few days or a whole week would have been nice. But she knew that was impossible. As long as she stayed with Chief, these stolen moments were all they had.

Walking up to him, she hugged him from behind, her head resting on his shoulder.

"I don't feel like leaving, Chuks. Let's spend the night."

He turned round to face me.

"You know that's impossible, Koko. Chief will be waiting for you."

"Let him wait! Of what use is he to me anyway? All he does is sit in that wheelchair all day, grumbling and whining and lamenting his fate! Am I the cause of his accident?" she said hotly.

He sat her down on the bed.

"Take it easy, sweetheart. He's still your husband. So, endure until..."

"Till when?" she cried. "Am I going to spend the rest of my life with a man like that? Stuck in a wheelchair? I'm too young to be facing all this stress!"

"Sometimes I wish..." she began to say.

He looked at her expectantly. "Wish what?"

She drew his head close to hers.

"I wish we could run away. Leave everything behind and go far away, just you and me so we can be together..."

He smiled. "Sounds great. But where will you go without Chief finding you? He doesn't look the type of man to let go easily of anything that belongs to him."

"That's his problem. When the time comes, he'll know who I want to belong to," she said pointedly.
He did not argue further and standing up said: "Let's go. It's almost 6 o'clock."

"Let's do it this way. How about we spend next weekend together at the resort at Ajah? I can always tell Chief I'm visiting Anna and her baby."

"Ok with me."

At the door, she hugged him for the last time. "I'll miss you, baby. Can't wait for us to be together again."
He laughed and pinched her nose. "You talk as if we are parting for weeks. We'll see on Monday when I come to the house."

"You know it's not the same. We have to act all formal to each other. Sometimes, I want to hug and kiss you but I've to restrain myself because of Chief and the other people around..." she said as they stepped out of the room and walked down the long corridor.

They were heading towards the hotel car park to her car when someone called her name.

"Aunty Koko!"

She turned round towards the voice and...

To be continued
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