Wunmi pulled up in front of the fitness center Olumide owned at exactly 2pm. Olumide had given her a call early that morning to schedule their meeting for that time, just an hour before the center usually opened on Sundays. Sitting in her car at that moment, hands on the steering, she felt funny and unsure if accepting his offer of being her personal trainer was the sensible thing to do. She laughed at herself knowing she agreed to his offer only because she wanted to see him again.
The thought of going back home crossed her mind but the anger she had in her for Kunle after their conversation upon his return from Abuja was still there. He returned from Abuja just before she left the house for church. Casting her mind back to that conversation, a frown slowly developed on her face.
“Sweetheart I’m sorry I left the way I did, it was stupid of me I know,” he told her
“Saying sorry won’t make me happy Kunle, changing this attitude of yours will. I really don’t understand why your business means more to you than I do. You’re almost never here with me and I’m usually alone in this big house. If we had a child between us I wouldn’t even complain,”
“You know I’m trying,”
“You’re not trying enough. We’ve been married for fifteen months Kunle and I can count the number of times you stay home each month. Whenever I try to talk about making babies, you either say you’re tired or you change the topic. I’m sex starved and its depressing,”
“I try to make it up to you in every way I can. We’ll have babies soon, I promise. The funny thing is I’m not complaining, no one is on our neck for a child and besides its just fifteen months not fifteen years,”
“Wow!” Wunmi said “I wonder why I have been too blind to see that you are a selfish bastard”
“Hey! Don’t call me names!” Kunle shouted, pointing a finger to her face
“I’ll call you whatever I like. You’re selfish selfish selfish!”
“Listen to yourself calling me a selfish bastard. How about you? Didn’t you marry me for my money? You knew I have always been engrossed in my work yet you dived right into marriage with me and here you are talking about selfishness,”
“Let me finish,” Kunle said cutting her short “it was your birthday yesterday and I knew you wouldn’t be happy hearing that I had to travel again. I got you roses, played your favorite songs, got you expensive gifts and even transferred a huge sum of money into your account just to make you smile. I left Abuja and the rest of the work I had to do yesterday just so I could clear my head and get down here this early to apologize to you and you don’t appreciate any of these. What else do you want from me Wunmi?”
“I’m not doing this right now,” she said straight-faced “I have to go. I’ve got a church service to attend and a friend to see afterwards,” Wunmi said and walked out of the house.
Her wedding fifteen months ago was an epic one, the talk of the town in fact. She thought her marriage would be as beautiful too. She thought Kunle would be more responsible and spend more time with her unlike when they were still dating. She thought she would enjoy everything marriage had to offer. She thought the occasional compensations would keep her happy always. She thought many things but she thought them all wrong. Kunle was the exact opposite of what she hoped he would be when they got married. She looked at the fitness centre and thought of Olumide. She was going to make herself happy with him. Wunmi got out of her car, locked it and walked into the fitness center without looking back. She did this just so she wouldn’t she change her mind.
A few weeks later
Anita watched as Wunmi chopped the vegetables to cook lunch for them both. They were going to have semo and egusi soup, Anita’s favorite food. To Wunmi, Anita was over at her house for a sleepover but Anita was there for a different purpose. She’d been nursing questions in her about Wunmi’s quick change in behavior and wanted to know what inspired this change.
“What’s with you lately? You’re different” She asked not able to contain the questions in her head anymore
“I don’t understand your question,” she replied not taking her eyes off the chopping board
“You’re not the Wunmi I used to know,”
“Maybe its my body. Olumide has been showing me in more ways than one how to keep fit you know,”
“Exactly where I’m going. Olumide’s name has been coming up in almost all our conversations lately and Kunle’s name has gradually begun to fade off your lips. What’s going on between the two of you? Olumide and you, I mean”
“You’re not telling me the truth Wunmi. You’re behaving just the same way you did when you first met Kunle. You like this man, don’t you?”
“No,” she lied
“Then explain your behavior. Kunle complained to me that you’ve been acting strange towards him ever since you two had some sort of argument after he got back from that trip to Abuja the day after your birthday. He said you’ve been paying more attention to your phone chats than you pay to him, you’ve been going to the gym more than you used to and you’re always looking at your body in the mirror like you’re trying to look good for someone. What’s going on? “
“Okay!” She shouted and dropped the knife “I like Olumide so what?”
“You’re married Wunmi. If you like someone other than your husband you should stay away from that person as much as you can so you don’t fall into temptation,”
“Maybe I want to fall into temptation,”
Anita’s eyes widened in surprise at Wunmi’s response. She couldn’t believe what she heard. “What has come over you Wunmi? This isn’t you talking,”
“Listen, I’m not the bad guy here. Kunle is. He’s the one who decided to get married to his work. I’m human and I have needs. If I’m able to get it somewhere else apart from my home, there’s no crime in that,”
“You’re making a huge mistake Wunmi, one you’ll regret if you don’t nip it in the bud,”
“Thanks. Tolu told me you’ll say all these,”
“Tolu? Tolu is in on this? How can you even listen to her? You know how dirty that girl can be,”
“You’re saying all these because you’re not in my shoes. I don’t wish for you to experience these things happening to me when you get married,”
“Every marriage has ups and downs Wunmi. Life isn’t a bed of roses. Please don’t make a mistake I won’t be able to help you get out of,”
“Thanks dear, I won’t. I know what I’m doing. Now quit lecturing me and add some seasoning to the soup,”
Wunmi got out of her gym clothes and changed into something else. She’d retired to the locker room after a hard routine to rest for an hour. She looked at the time, it was some minutes past six. She was out longer than usual and had to leave for home to prepare dinner. She stood up and began packing her bag.
“Leaving already?” Olumide asked stating the obvious as he walked into the locker room.
“Yes, I am. My husband’s home and I don’t want to keep him waiting even though he does that to me always” she said rolling her eyes
“When you told me about him I felt sorry for you. I really can’t imagine a man having someone as beautiful as you and still treat her as a piece of thrash. I’d never do that to you if you’re mine you know,” he said and gently placed a loose hair to the back of her ear
“If I’m yours?”
“Yes, if you’re mine. I would not only help you keep fit physically, I’ll help you keep fit emotionally and every other way you want me to”
“I’d like that a lot,” she said and placed a hand on his chest
Olumide leaned forward and kissed her. She held his face with both hands and responded to his kiss. She had been dreaming of that moment everyday since she started her training sessions with him. She smiled and pulled back. It was just as she imagined it would be.
“Come home with me, let’s finish this at my place” Olumide proposed
“I can’t. I have to go home to my husband”
“And leave me all alone? I, just as you, have been pretending we feel nothing for each other all these while. Now is our chance to start something”
“I have no choice Olumide. I have to go back home. You know what?”
“My husband will be leaving for Ogun state on Friday to return on Saturday. I suggest we meet at Hotel Royale on Friday. We would have all the time in the world to ourselves,”
“Not a bad idea. Just let me know what time I should be there. If I could wait all these while, I don’t mind waiting for you till Friday,” he said and kissed her again
Kunle folded two shirts and placed them in his suitcase. He looked into the wardrobe and picked two trousers to match the shirts. He added his toothbrush and a few other necessary things. He looked at Wunmi. She’d been watching quietly as he packed.
“I’ll be home by Saturday evening,” he said as he locked his suitcase
“What do you want me to bring back for you?”
“Nothing. Just come back home alive”
He laughed. “Of course I will,”
“I’ll miss you,”
“Me too,” he said smiling at her. It felt good hearing that from her. The weeks that followed after her birthday had been unbearing. She stopped talking to him as much as before and. He bent over and kissed her forehead. “I’ll be back before you know it,”
Olumide and Wunmi walked into Hotel Royale at about 5pm on Friday. Olumide left the fitness centre earlier than usual with Wunmi, leaving the rest of the day’s work to his assistant. They went straight to the bistro where they first met to get something to eat before heading to Hotel Royale. They checked into the room Wunmi had booked before their arrival and ordered a bottle of red wine. Wunmi excused herself to have a shower and Olumide helped himself to a glass of wine while he waited for Wunmi.
Excitement rushed through Wunmi’s veins as she ran water on her body. This was happening. She was going to be with Olumide for a long time until her husband’s return. She never imagined she would be with any one other than her husband when she took her wedding vows. Up until she met Olumide, she criticized women who were involved in extramarital affairs. She couldn’t do so anymore. She was in their league now.
She got out of the shower and patted herself dry “I know I shouldn’t be doing this but there’s no turning back now. I’m knee deep” she said and got out of the bathroom.
Olumide smiled as she walked out of the bathroom. This was his moment. He knew he would have this chance with her right from the moment he set eyes on her. Thanks to Kunle, she had become vulnerable to any man that would pay her attention and he was the first one to do so. He laughed
“What’s funny?” She asked “don’t I look good?”
“Of course you do babe. I’m only laughing because I’m not sure I’ll do things right” he lied
“You’re silly. You can’t do anything wrong. I should be bothered instead”
“We should stop talking” He said and pulled her close
“Hold on,” she said holding his hands “I’ve got something”
“What’s this?” He asked as she brought out a tablet enveloped in glassine.
“An aphrodisiac, courtesy of a friend I told about us. She gave me this to spice up the night. This isn’t new to you, is it?,”
“Of course not,” he said
“Hmmm I see” she said raising a brow
“Don’t get like that,” he said and took it from her. Swallowing the tablet, they toasted to a fulfilling night.
Same time, Ogun state
Annie sat on the bed waiting for Kunle to walk into the room he booked for her. He had asked her to accompany him down to Ogun state for his meeting with the state Governor. She didn’t refuse him knowing she had been praying for time alone with him. The thought of her working overtime and in another state didn’t bother her. She only saw the opportunity of a lifetime with Kunle at a hotel away from home.
He was in the room next door to her and it would take no time for him to knock on her door. She smiled knowing the plan she hatched before they arrived in Ogun state was about to work. As usual Kunle had kept their relationship strictly as an employer-employee relationship. Not once had he attempted to be anything more than that to her but that was going to change very soon. She had put a call across to him using the cliché trick of an aching stomach.
Annie opened the door for Kunle as soon as he knocked the door. He looked confused when he saw her. She didn’t look like someone in pain as she made him believe over the phone. Instead she was dressed in a rather revealing black lingerie, a contrast to her fair skin. She smelt nice too. She looked like she just had a light make up done. Kunle swallowed hard. He wasn’t expecting it.
Annie suspected he was about to turn back and she pulled him closer to her. The fragrance of her perfume slowly making its way into his nostrils. He knew Annie to be very attractive but he never imagined he would be in the same room with her as he was at that moment. He never imagined she would lie to him just to get him to bed. Since he met Wunmi he never came close to a woman as he was with Annie in the hotel room.
Annie ran her fingers through his hair and whispered something he didn’t understand in his ears. He knew he should get away but his feet were somehow stuck to the ground. Just as he began to explore her body with his hands, the words You should be doing this with your wife kept bugging him. You owe it to her and not to this woman. The voice came again.
He tried to pull away from Annie but she wasn’t ready to let go. She had imagined this scene since she started working with Kunle. She held him to her with one hand and guided his hand with the other. Kunle was gradually giving in to desire but the guilt of being with another woman made his heart pump faster and faster. Wunmi complained about not having a baby because of his usual absence from homeand there he was about to do just what his wife wanted with someone else.
Not being able to suppress the guilt, with one swift move he pushed her away from him and ran out of the room. He quickly opened the door to his room, sat on the bed and buried his head in his palms. What was I thinking? He asked himself. Annie was desirable. Too desirable to ignore. He had been lying to himself each time he was at Abuja working.
It was obvious Annie wanted this all along and he gave in to her easily. He felt stupid. He picked his phone and dialed Wunmi’s number. She didn’t answer his call on the first ring. He dialed her number again and then he heard the fear in her voice.
“I’m in trouble. I’m so sorry Kunle…I’m in trouble,”
“Calm down and tell me what’s wrong”
“He’s dead! Olumide is dead! I don’t know how!”
“Who is Olumide?”