Fiction

Ikechukwu Asika: Eye in the Darkness

kiss
Image by Ana Duque from Pixabay (modified)

You could not deny it, not when his cum was still in your mouth. You were not used to swallowing those creamy human seeds. No, you’ve never swallowed. You and Fumnanya had always laughed about it in Aunty Bibian’s bedroom. You would scream and spit out through the window and call her a bad child. She liked the feeling you said it gave you, the mere thought of swallowing cum. Your face placid, the pouted mouth marred with red lipstick, your favourite.  She loved those looks on your face dimming the effect of your dimples. Then, the contorted bewilderment that lingered, the way you smeared your lipstick in your last attempt to wipe off the taste as if the melting babies in your mouth somehow were applied on your lips. Fumnanya would laugh and laugh till her cheekbones hurt. You always ended up coiled at her side, giving her ample time to crease your hair – dark, curly, utterly full. In those fleeting moments, the morning-fresh scent from your bosom often mixed with lavender scent and jelly from hers. With the lavishing aura of the strong ambi-pur air freshener that hung loosely at the side of the thick bed and the voice of Simi, your favourite singer, coming from the background, the whole room is lit and your bodies quivered. Enemma, you were her sunlight – gentle and brilliant – igniting light in her darkest moments.

You told her it smelled like raw pap mixed with soured yogurt. Fumnanya always countered you. Her claim was simple– you cannot assume superior knowledge of something you never tasted. She was experienced enough to tell you about cum. She had swallowed it not once, but many times. She described the taste to you: Salty. Sweet. Bitter. Metallic. Sharp. A little sour though. She claimed semen varies from person to person, and though it is generally warm and salty, there will always be unique differences in flavor. She told you to name the flavor you like and there is a chance semen will taste like that. You listened to her like you would listen to your literature teacher narrate the exciting tale of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Yet you disagreed. Though you have not swallowed it, you could tell the taste from its gloomy and slimy look.  And you always won the argument. But Ene, you knew you don’t win. Fumnanya allows you to win, not just that argument but many others you have had. She enjoyed your time together more than winning the argument on the taste of cum. Later, you laid on her after the heated argument, innocent and at peace, the dim light concealing your sluttish nature.

The last time you argued about it, you wore a pink flawless top and she could see through it. She could see your nipples nudging the edge of your top and she knew they wished to play. The sight of them always made her glorify God’s creation. Only yesterday they were nothing but tiny little dots that made you sad and you wished they were like hers, even the size of Olanna’s could have assuaged your tears. What you had were tiny dots that made you shy away and you never undressed before the glaring eyes of your female folks. Now she felt them, big, the size of two ripe oranges at Ismali’s garden. And because you were proud of them, you rarely wore bra to cage them. They were your prized possessions, always free to roam wild. Sometimes she wondered about her role in the whole metamorphosis, her endless touch on them. With you Enemma, Fumnanya realized what God meant when He declared that everything He created was beautiful. You came into her life just the moment she was in dire need of a savior. Four heartbreaks and a painful abortion, Fumnanya was losing it with men when you came. An orphan in search of direction, she lacked many things you had in abundance.  And you lifted her on her feet, above the drudgery of emotional strain. You gave her many reasons to wish to live forever in an unfair world.

 

***

It was not just the midnight studies to excel in your S.S.C.E that brought you together. It was not just the quest to understand mathematics, one thing she had you never had. It was something more than that. It was the way her eyes stared deeper into yours, searching for answers she knew were there. And you always trembled at the mere touch of her her olive skin. You lost your voice. You grew weak. You melted. With her, you were never yourself. You knew it was not the age difference. She was four years older, but you knew it was not it. After all, fate dissolved the age thing the moment it entrusted you in the same class, and then in the same hostel in the last year of your stay in Federal Government Girls’ College, Onitsha.

She always knew you were her kind. Sluttish, bold and daring. You were the missing soprano note to ignite her melody. Yet she wanted to be sure. She was avoiding scandals. She had seen it happen before. A failed love adventure from a senior girl. She was disgraced and dismissed from the school hostel. The fear was in your eyes too, in everything you did around her. She protected you even when you needed none of it. There were days she went without food at the mere sight of you with other girls, other girls she thought you were into. Yet she never told you.

On that night of a terrible thunderstorm, just a month away to your examinations, your chance came. You were both together solving the last of the examples from her comprehensive mathematics textbook when the wind came rushing by. A terrible thunderstorm followed with maddening lightning and thunder. As the waves of the rain splashed carelessly into the classroom, she took you to the safest corner and enveloped you in her arms. Just the same moment too, the light from your rechargeable lantern went off. Even in the thick darkness, you knew she was the only thing that shielded you from the torrential downpour. It was the darkness and the grumbling thunder that heightened your fear. You held tighter. She whispered assurances into your ears many times, of how everything was going to be fine. You believed her and that was when you began to caress her skin. She felt it, the waves of sensation it brought. It lifted her. Every movement of your finger on her wet skin was everything she had imagined–peace, blessedness, soothing. Like the wave of a magic wand over pain. She kept calm. She wanted to be sure it was what you wanted. Your hand was close to her breasts when you hesitated. Her voice came in the darkness. Fumnanya urged your spirit. You held tighter. And before the moments of your true epiphanies, she felt the answers in the way your bodies quivered. In that darkness she found your lips. It tasted like citrus juice, exactly the way she knew it would taste. Finding nothing of note on your chest, you guided her hands. You wore no pants. It did not surprise her. Her hand became wet inside of you, the same way yours soon felt inside of hers. The thunder drowned your soft moans and the darkness concealed your sins.

You knew nothing would ever be the same.

‘I love you, Enemma. I have always loved you.’ She told you when calm returned and your bodies disentangled.

‘You are not angry with me?’ You asked. Fumnanya was too happy to speak. She only found your lips again and you heard her soft whispers thanking you for coming through at last. She told you she had waited for the moment her whole life. It was really who she was, where she belonged. You asked if it was her first time. She affirmed. You admitted it was not your first. There was Olanna, the girl in your street who didn’t swallow her saliva when she kissed you and when she put her lips in-between your legs. For her sake, you ended things with Olanna. Fumnanya became everything to you. In appreciation, you too became the mother and father she had lost, the sister and the brother she never had.

The memory of your last moment together still haunts her. That morning, you had marveled at the size of the play toys newly purchased from an online shop. There was a tricky smile of excitement overflowing from your face. You knew you had never taken those sizes but you were ready to try. She had ordered them at your request. Fumnanya refused to show the petrification in her eyes. You hated how she always shied away from new adventures and you mocked her and sang songs into her ears—no be you say you be oga, na why you dey run? She hated that song and the way you taunted her, and she wanted to take the lead for you just like you had always wanted her to. Just while she resumed the touch, setting the mood, watching you adjust for her hand to feast on the lovelier parts of your body, you sprang up like a wild beast on heat. She had never seen anything like the fires in your eyeballs and the great determination with which you spoke.  You were not done with the argument on the taste of semen! The core of your argument was that something as slimy, smelly and moody like that could never taste like yoghurt or any flavor you knew! She made no effort to interrupt you. She was lost admiring you unable to complete the process of removing her purple gown, to become as plain as she was the morning of creation day, right before your almond, brown eyes.

‘Sometimes it is even very watery, like the urine of a child.’ You were referring to Jide. Your experiences with him had done lots of damages to your psyche, blotting out the memories of the real men that have forged themselves over your furnace in the few years of your existence. ‘How can something like that taste like yoghurt or any other flavor you could think of?’ You queried. That was when she capitulated never to bring up the subject of cum again. She pleaded. You were close to tears. And the one thing that breaks Fumnanya on this earth was the sight of tears on your face.

‘It is okay my darling. It is all right now. Come to mama.’ You lay your head on her belly and let her fingers walk through your ear and neck. You stayed in her arms and listened to the sound of her voice—soft and horrible—singing for you. And that, you thought, was really beautiful. Like a dream you once had. You pulled up and buried your nose in that rich blonde hair of hers and took in deep breaths. She watched you undress and walked past the parted curtains of the bedroom and stood there. Your body stretched like a female gazelle. Fumnanya’s gaze lingered much more than you expected. She was lost admiring the colour of your skin, a perfect blend of milk and hot coffee. Few steps saw her in your arms. Her purpose was clear! In so many indescribable ways, she made you happy that morning, and it felt like it was the happiest you had ever been. Later, the neighbours began to whisper about the way they heard you moan. It didn’t bother her. Pleasing you was all in her thoughts when she threw caution to the wind, a deed she defended for hours before her cousin. Bibian was so sure of her neighbours’ corroborated versions of the story. But Fumnanya did not care. How was she to know that it was the last time your bodies would be united together? The image of you now tortured her like the itchy bite of flies perched on an open sore.

You left that evening, just at the nick of time before your mother returned. All day long she thought about you. She had forgotten the argument about cum but you never forgot. You too wanted to taste! And that fateful morning, with the cum in your mouth you opened the door for your mother.

 

***

Through the window, your mother commanded you. The command was simple: open the door! You were not permitted even to put on your clothes. Naked, petrified you stood unable to think. You knew when Nwakanwa hurried into his trousers. The agony in his face made him forget his underwear that littered on the same spot where your father kept his newspapers and your mother sometimes kept her fruits while she slowly ate them. All you could remember was how you were both carried away, Nwakanwa exploring your curves and cleavages. You were lost following his thrusts, obeying his commands.You were following his lead like you loved to, like you had followed Fumnanya’s lead countless times. But it was not Fumnanya. It was the new seminarian for your parish. Later, you confessed to Fumnanya that he was big, bigger than the last few toys she bought. And you were taking it, like a heroine in an action movie! You confessed there was something in his name—Nwakanwa—a child greater than (any) child. You said he lived up to his name. He surpassed all your past and present, and you had a naughty feeling that Nwakanwa would surpass even your future records anywhere you would be. You knew he was close when he began to release those killer moves and you were ready. You were too preoccupied to hear when your mother’s car hooted several times for you. You were in cloud nine.

Just the moment he cried out like an accident victim about to breathe his last, you quickly disengaged and shoved the sizable lot into your mouth. The cum settled well. You held the chunk of it all in your mouth, a dream of many months fulfilled! Like a porn star, you mumbled the content—full, thick, slimy—savouring the taste.

Your mother must have died and woken up at the sight of an only daughter, barely eighteen; a daughter she lavished with all the cares and moral training now fornicating in her house. The image, like some images from a horror movie would stay with her for the rest of her life.

You were not expecting her. You were not expecting anyone. You were armed with her assurance that she would be joining your father in the village for a coronation ceremony. Both of them were to be back on Sunday. You personally assisted her to pack. Even the love she would extend to your father seemed to occupy the whole of the back seat when you bade her goodbye. She left in time on Friday, early enough to make to your hometown, Adazi before dark. Your elder brothers were away in school and you were supposed to sleep in your aunt’s house, Aunt Eunice, your mother’s younger sister. Her house was just a stone’s throw down your street, but you chose to sleep alone that Friday night. Even though the plan was not to exactly sleep alone. Fumnanya was supposed to spend the night with you. Everything was perfect until the last minute changes that saw her to Onitsha. There was pain in your voice, an unquenchable anger when you placed your last call and realized she would not make it back to Asaba. You had cursed and cursed and called her names. Even when the line went dead she could still hear your curses. And Fumnanya on her part cursed Bibian who sent her away to her godmother at Onitsha to deliver a parcel. The final curse was on her godmother who refused all her pleas to be allowed to return to Asaba to be with you.

She was on her way to see you that Saturday morning when the news broke out. She still bore the guilt that it was her disappointment that pushed you into the arms of Nwakanwa. However, your mother caught you with a chunk of semen in your mouth. Red handed!

You were too dumbfounded to speak.You scurried round the living room, naked. Even in your state, you were sure your mother had never taken time to notice how beautiful you look especially near the light when you are naked. She tried to call your name. Her voice cracked. Her shoulders drooped. She shuttled between an imaginary world and the reality before her eyes. If only she never asked that question—what was happening there! If only you did not speak, never spoke, not with the cum in your mouth. ‘Moo..th…er…’ you tried to say and it happened. A chunk of the cum spread to her before the rest settled on the floor. Some part of the semen already mixed with your saliva, hot and sad, stained her white brocade. You stained her pride and you tainted her joy of motherhood. And you reasoned that it likely got into her mouth. And if any of that were to be true, then your mother had tasted Nwakanwa’s cum.

It was your mother who commanded you to put on your clothes. She called you dirty. Stinking. God-forsaken prostitute. The words came out in clusters. There were adjectives upon adjectives, describing you and your deeds. But you knew no amount of words was enough to describe your deeds. You scurried round to find your clothes. The truth was that you wore no clothes to the living room. It was only your panties and a black strapless tube top that you could find on the floor. You had received your visitor in G-string panties and a tube top. There was a tablet of tramadol and lubricant on the floor. Your mother saw them all. Fumnanya thought it was you who introduced the drugs to the young seminarian, but later you confessed that it was Nwakanwa who sold the idea to you.

Your mother was a patient woman. You confirmed that with how patiently she waited for both of you to be properly dressed. She waited but she never took her eyes off either of you. You knew Nwakanwa could have escaped through the other door but he too knew it was useless. Your mother knew where to find him. You noticed when the smell of the semen hit her nostril and the hunger to do Nwakanwa a terrible harm reached its peak. She stared at him, like a viper sizing its prey. You wished you could read the thoughts in her head. You were sure she would be visualizing him standing next to Father Okunna during mass, his white blindly immaculate and ironed to perfection. She must have pictured him reading out announcement as directed by the priest. Then the image you knew would have made her wish to spit on him would be the image of him dishing out Holy Communion and making sure he heard ‘Amen’ after he had declared ‘Body of Christ’ before he allowed the host sink on the tongue of the parishioner. Nwakanwa had placed Holy Communion on your mother’s tongue, not once, but many times. She wanted to call him by his title, the seminarian he was. But she could not say the words. She could not get herself to say the words.

‘My daughter is your apostolic work, okwaya? My only daughter? In my house?’ Her voice was low and powerful. It was in the way she didn’t flinch.

‘I am sorry, ma. It is the devil’s handiwork.’ You heard him say.

‘Keep your sorry for the entire parishioners. By the time I am done with you, you will live the rest of your miserable life trying to forget this day.’ The semen hit her nostril again. You knew she had had enough.

‘Before I close these eyes and open them, you have vanished from my house.’ Your mother commanded him. Nwakanwa did not wait to pick his rosary, his catechism book and Bible. He only shoved his underwear inside his pocket and fled.

Later, you remembered the several times Fumnanya had warned against the young seminarian, but you would not listen. You were so driven by your lust to care that he was destined to be a priest of God. You knew the day it all started, that day the parish priest introduced him as the new seminarian for an apostolic work after what seemed like a draught of seminarians. You noticed he was young. He was cute. His smiles threw rose petals and every young girl in the church wanted to dive in.

‘That seminarian is so cute,’ you said on your way home and the meaning was clear. You ignored Fumnanya’a pleas that he was a priest.

‘Priest kwa? He is just a seminarian.’ You countered. You knew he was training to be a priest and that every priest was once a seminarian. You held your ground.

‘Till then. He is not a priest yet.’  Your mind was made up. Not even the devil could have stopped you. Everyone who knew you too well knew the fate of the young seminarian was sealed when you began to attend evening masses and benediction. There were many girls who wanted the same trophy as you did but you trusted in your beauty and charm. You were the Enemma everyone spoke of her beauty! Your chance came that Sunday the priest announced that they would need volunteers to help teach the catechism class. And you volunteered, Enemma. You began to teach catechism to the children! Fiam! You became close to him. Those long walks and laughter, eating suya and drinking soya-milk with him on your way home were pits he was too blind to see.  Within weeks, he was well entangled in your trap. The young seminarian fell woefully in love with you.

‘I just want to fuck him,’ You told Fumnanya. It was useless for you to say anyway. She already knew. The signs were all over you. You claimed he was just a seminarian. You would be done with him before he became a priest.

‘Besides, even priests have girlfriends. I know a lot of them asking me out.’ You ignored the part about God’s wrath. You would not wish to hear of it.

‘Has God killed us for all the bad things we are doing?’ You threw at Fumnanya. She knew his fate was sealed. Who had ever broken free from the snares of Enemma? Later in the days that went by, you struck a deal with her.

‘I will lash him only once and that will be it.’ There was something about that Semy you wanted to explore. You claimed it was a hunger, a darkness you could not escape and you began to count the days and waited for the perfect moment.  Finally the chance came! And of all the semen you would swallow, you went for a seminarian’s cum. You were sure that God saw it all and wept for a son He had lost.

 

***

That cum you tasted changed the rest of your lives, forever. Nwakanwa will never become a priest. Not after your mother finished swearing for him. Then for your father, that man that smiled twice a week, you could bet your life that he would surely deal with him. Apart from ensuring that he was expelled from the seminary, he would wish he could maneuver things and send him to prison. You were barely eighteen and he was hoping there would be a case there. He was going to explore it. If only your father knew who you truly were. Nwakanwa’s family should have been the one suing your family for unleashing a terror of a child like you into the world. You were an evil he could not escape. Your father punished you. You will never see the four walls of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, a place you and Fumnanya had thought would be your fortress. You would never study in any university around the East. Your father had concluded plans to transfer your admission to the North, to Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, in faraway Sokoto State.  Sokoto you heard is almost a two-day journey from there. You were due to be parceled to that your wicked aunt, Aunt Rebecca. Even your mother did not like her but she had no choice. All she wanted was for you to leave the East as the stories of your escapades with men continued to filter into her ears daily.

You once told Fumnanya how Aunt Rebecca confronted your mother. That was two years ago when you wore that red biker short and a top that exposed your cleavages ‘indecently’. The fight had ended in your favour. Your mother’s argument was simple: Enemma is her daughter not your aunt’s. She defended you. She believed you were still a child growing up. You would come around as soon as you were grown. After all you were attending one of the best secondary schools in the city where girls were trained in morals and discipline. She saw nothing wrong in it and dismissed it as mere fashion. She ignored the ranting of Aunt Rebecca that went on for days. How would your mother believe that even that time your body count was already more than ten. You had already forged many boys over your furnace and hungered for more. Ene, you lost your virginity at fourteen!  Someday, you hoped your mother would be privy to what happened beneath the four walls of Federal Government Girls College, Onitsha. One day she would learn about the many sins that happened behind the backs of the teachers and hostel mistresses. Sadly, you poured cum on the face of the only woman that had ever stood by you.

Aunty Rebecca could not wait to have you. She had a lot of scores to settle with you. That prayer warrior, she would scatter you with prayers. You had already begun to imagine how many deliverance ministries you would visit and the number of evil spirits that would be exorcised from you. By the time you ever returned, Ene, you would have known all the Bible verses off heart. Who knows if you would be speaking in tongues too? In three weeks you would leave with a bus bound for Sokoto.

 

***

Two days before you were due to leave for Sokoto, you learnt from your brother that your father had left an instruction. You will not live in any of the school hostels and lodges. You would attend your classes from Aunty Rebecca’s house. Her house was just a hundred-naira cab from the school. Ah! Kirikiri Maximum prison promised more fun than Aunty Rebecca’s house. You would no longer study Theatre Arts, your dream course. Your sins had provoked your father. You would study Law. He wished to ensure you had no time to waste. He worked towards it even if it meant you taking another JAMB to secure the new course.

Poor Fumnanya, she received her fair share of the punishment too. She would never see you again. She would never see your naked body dancing in the light. And she would never smell the coconut and olive fragrance of your hair and feel the deep breaths of you on her skin. You would never be there to share those low moments she tilted towards the cliff unsure of where the pendulum of life would take her next. You knew you were that optimistic side of her she lost years ago. The balm to her pains, the scars in her heart, body, and soul. You lighted up her world. Now you take the light away. She knew it was time to return to the darkness of her life, the orphan she was. Ene, you were everything to her—a quasi-divine creature. And no one could ever boast of having a better friend than Fumnanya.

You promised you would see her again. You wanted to hear the same assurance from her. But you knew. You both knew you were saying what you wished to hear. Sokoto was not at the back of your compound. It would take years. There were no doubts about it. The hurricane of life would blow you in many directions and in that oscillating transition, things will happen. Life would happen. Love would also happen. Memories will certainly grow weary. You knew Aunty Rebecca would not rest until she blighted the memories of all you shared. Your sinful past.

Before the wind took you away from her, you finally found a chance to kiss her again. It was a long kiss and it carried in itself, a certain wave of valediction. Fumnanya held your hand, and she told you, before the bus took you away, that you were irreplaceable. She said you were the noblest and truest of souls even with the cum you swallowed. You both laughed. You both cried. You promised Fumnanya the thought would keep you warm. And that the bus that took you away would someday return you to her. If not in this life, you were sure it would be in the next to come.

It was the certainty with which she said ‘irreplaceable’ that lingered in your mind, that stayed with you and kept you warm until you got to Sokoto.

——————-

Image by Ana Duque from Pixabay (modified)

About the author

Ikechukwu Emmanuel Asika

Ikechukwu Emmanuel Asika is a scholar, critic, playwright, poet, and novelist. A First-Class Graduate of the Department of English, Anambra State University, now Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Asika holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) as well as Masters and PhD degrees in English and Literary Studies from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State. His research interests include African and Comparative Literature, Folklore, and Creative Writing. His essays and journal articles have appeared in local and international journals of repute. He is a prolific writer with award winning works in all genres. His novel, Tamara, won the Youth Achievers Award for Prose (Senior Category) in 2013 and was 2nd Runner-Up for the ANA Prose Prize for Fiction in 2013. The play, Erimma, made the shortlist for ANA Esiaba Irobi Prize for Playwrighting in 2014. Asika can be reached through asikaikechukwu@vahoo.com

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