A year has passed since I got separated from my husband. We realized we couldn’t live together anymore. I knew he had been cheating on me all along until I couldn’t take it anymore and returned the favour.
Eight months in, he found out and raised hell about how I was a prostitute and a whore but I didn’t care. We had two kids together and he used his money to get a good lawyer which made him keep custody. I loved my children but I just couldn’t handle them in the state of mind I was in at the time. On the day of the court ruling on the case, I went back to the hotel room I’d been staying in and cried till I fell asleep.
My ex-husband had a very good lawyer, but so did I. I had enough evidence to show how he had neglected his wife and kids on most nights while he chased younger girls all over the country. I got a sensible settlement from the divorce and bought myself a two-bedroom flat at a choice location in town and a fairly-used-but-in-great-condition SUV from a friend who wanted to sell.
I was 43 years old and still full of life. I considered it a new beginning. I never planned to marry again and so I decided to enjoy my life and this newfound freedom to the fullest. I still saw my kids on weekends when I felt like it and they visited from time to time so all was well. I heard from my daughter, Nora that her father had found a new wife, 19 years younger than him, who he wanted to marry so she could raise them. He could do whatever he liked as long as he didn’t let her maltreat my kids. I still had the phone number of that very good lawyer.
The first few months into my new life. I decided to stay off guys but delved too much into alcohol. I stocked my refrigerator with every type of wine and gin and tonic I could find. With a couple bottles of vodka, too. I would sit at home all by myself and go through the movie and entertainment channels, laughing so hard at the funnies and then crying hard when ever any scene from any of the shows reminded me of the family I once had.
I would quickly get over that and drink more red wine or vodka till I fell asleep. Gracey, my good friend who sold the car to me visited one day and wondered how I managed to live alone and be comfortable with it. I told her there were so many women like me who lived alone and hadn’t died from the loneliness.
“Me I can’t do it o. Anh? Don’t you get scared at night?”
I laughed “I just make sure all my doors are locked before I go to bed. And besides. It’s a good neighbourhood. It’s practically safe to take a stroll at night and not get robbed or raped.”
“Hmm” Gracey shrugged “So how are you coping? How do you sleep at night in that big bed?”
“How do you mean?” I asked.
“Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about, Felicia”
“But I don’t know what you’re talking about” of course I knew what she was talking about.
“Look at you. After being married for so long and getting used to sleeping with a man beside you every night you want to tell me that you’re not missing anything?”
I laughed again. “What exactly am I missing? Are we talking about the man who once slept in a bed beside me for just four times in six months? Abegiii. I’m actually so used to sleeping alone that sleeping beside somebody these days feels very strange to me.”
Gracey suddenly raised her eyebrows “So there’s a new guy huh? I haven’t heard anything o, Felcica”
“Stop making me laugh, Grace. There is no new guy. Men should carry their wahala and go. My life hasn’t felt as good as this in a very long time. Ah… I’m fine like this.”
“We both know that’s a lie. What of that guy you were seeing when he found out?”
“You mean Derrick?” I asked her and wondered how she knew when she nodded her head “He found a girl that he wants to marry. I couldn’t stop him. We had a great time but that’s over now.”
Gracey suddenly handed me her phone “See” she said “Do you like him?”
I lazily and uninterestedly took the phone from her. It was the picture of a guy in his early to mid thirties, darkskinned with a rough beard which made him look rugged but still handsome. He looked athletic in a black t-shirt, holding his phone in one hand and trying to stop the person who took the picture from taking the picture. He was smiling and it was a charming smile. I suddenly got reminded of one of the guys I’d been with. “He looks cute” I said to Gracey. “Does your husband know you have a boyfriend?”
“Just shut up and listen. Last week when you came to Frank’s birthday party” Frank is Gracey’s husband “remember when I told you that a lot of people were looking at you with needful eyes?”
“Yeah and we called them sex-craving animals.” I chuckled. We were quite tipsy that day.
“Yeah whatever. He was at the party that day and he was looking too. His name is David. He works in my husband’s office. One of their new employees. Fresh out of NYSC and hungry for money.
This boy actually walked up to me when you had left and asked me about you. I was tipsy but still surprised at his bravery to even approach me. Before we finished talking I took a picture of him. I don’t know how he got my number but he’s been sending me messages and still asking about you.
I asked him if he knows you’re a woman with a husband and kids and he said from what he saw that day he could tell that you were a lady who looked like you were in need and he wanted to satisfy that need. Here… see the message before you think I’m lying.”
Indeed, this guy named David had been sending her messages and asking about me. I didn’t know if to be confused or to be worried. Usually it was me who went after younger guys I liked but I’d never been this wanted by a young guy before. Before Gracey left I took his number from her and thanked her for not giving it to him before telling me about it, throughout that night I kept thinking of him. Grace had sent his picture to my phone and I just kept staring at it. He had warm eyes. Eyes that didn’t look like someone who had evil in mind. He worked in Frank’s office so he had to be a responsible person. I had said I would stay away from guys at least till the end of the year but this sudden interest in me had sparked something inside of me. it always felt good to be wanted, and I hadn’t felt this way in a long time. That night, just before I slept, I called him. He picked on the third ring.
“Hello?” his voice was deep. I liked it instantly.
I didn’t respond because I wanted to hear it again.
“Hello? Is someone there?”
“Hey, good evening. Is this David?” I asked in the sweetest voice I could muster.
Ýeah, this is David. Who is asking?” Hmm, maybe he’d blocked a girl from calling his number and must be thinking she was calling with a strange number.
“Remember the lady who you thought was in a need that you could satisfy?”
He was quiet for seconds. I waited, listening to him breathe.
“I don’t even know your name, yet. I’ve been thinking about you and what I’d say to you when I finally speak to you but I don’t even know your name.”
I chuckled. “It’s Felicia.”
“Such a beautiful name.” he said
“Oh, please. I’ve hated the name ever since I can remember so don’t even bother trying to-‘
“But it’s true.” He said. “It’s the female version of Felix, which I heard means happiness. You’re never meant to be sad. You were born and given that name so that you could live a very happy life.”
At that point I lost all my ‘no guys for me till the year ends’ resolve and instantly fell for David. We went on to speak throughout the night until about 5:00am when I begged him to catch some sleep because he had to be at work that morning. I found out all I needed to know about him and even liked him more.
He was Igbo, 32 years old. He had been in a long distance relationship with a girl he met in NYSC but realized it wasn’t working and ended it. He had studied real hard to get the job with Frank’s company and was still undergoing his training and hoping to scale through the probation period and get his promotion to a more secure position. I liked him even more by the time we ended the call and I lay down to sleep. I sent him a text just before I closed my eyes, telling him that I looked forward to meeting him and wishing him a wonderful night’s rest.
Two weeks later, after I’d made my hair and gotten myself back into shape since I was about to start dating again I met him at my favourite Asian restaurant.
He looked gorgeous in a sky-blue polo t-shirt that clung to a body that looked like he’d spent the whole week in the gym. His beard had been neatly trimmed and his fingers well manicured as he took my hand in his. We sat and ordered lunch. He hardly touched his food while I devoured mine.
I loved Asian food so much and couldn’t help myself. he told me that he loved watching me eat and I felt embarrassed. We sat there, talking for hours as people came and went. I didn’t live with my family anymore so I could spend as much time with him as I wanted to, unhindered by responsibilities. And he made me feel special. It was clear to everyone looking at us that I was older but I didn’t care. I felt something for David and I knew that even if he probably didn’t feel the same way, he was being too much of a wonderful person for me to even be bothered.
After lunch he walked me to my car and asked when he would see me again, holding my hand in his and looking into my eyes. I totally wanted to take him home with me and have him satisfy this huge craving that I’d had for him between my thighs all week but I waited. I was going to fuck him and that night was going to be a special night.
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