Konji

Kainene shuddered as the sweat covered man collapsed on her bare chest. She wasn’t
supposed to be cuddled in bed right now. No, definitely not with Dipo, covered in a threadbare
wrapper that smelled like ogili in his one bedroom apartment in a beat down face-me-I-face-you house. She wondered why she had let her guard down easily. Maybe it was konji as
Yemisi, her best friend from the suburbs of Lagos, would say. Or was she in love?
Kainene had only known Dipo for a week now. They had met at a local restaurant where she
ate after work daily. She’d ordered fufu worth of 200 naira, but the humongous ball of fufu that
she was served made her screech loud enough to startle the customer behind her also waiting
to order. Dipo was that customer. He laughed at her outburst and paid for her food.
She couldn’t believe she had even let him take on the expenses of her meal after refusing
twice. Judging from the large tee-shirt, the frayed edges of his washed jeans to his oversized
brown loafers, that with every step hit the ground with a koink before his heels met the shoes
some milliseconds after, Kainene knew Dipo’s name had entered Mama Nonye’s book of
debtors.
Lying there made Kainene remember Udodi her last boyfriend. Udo’s personality
contrasted his name so much; his name Udodi meant “Peace” whereas Udo was trouble
himself. Kainene couldn’t help thinking that mama did not utterly mean harm when she
suggested seeing their village native doctor to cleanse her of ill-luck. This ill-luck, Mama would
later tell her, had begun when Kainene was birthed four times in four years and people named
her ogbanje after her second coming. The fourth time her mother birthed her and she died,
Kainene’s infant body was taken to Dibia Nkponani of Ukpo, there she lost her index finger on
both hands; a ritual to make her ogbanje spirit stay the next time she came into the land of the
living.
She couldn’t understand the physics of how she felt like this. Feeling pity for herself for her
miserable life choices, feeling pity for Dipo because she had already concluded she wouldn’t be coming back here. Kainene was glad all the same.

“At least the sex was good, too good,” she thought, trying to feed her ego.

Kainene scrambled off the mattress that lay on the floor, barely missing breaking her jaw as
she stood hurriedly. As she put on her work clothes, she stared absent mindedly at Dipo still
naked sprawled on the mattress, not actually seeing him. She felt like she had just fucked a
secondary school boy in his dorm room.

“It’s late. Shó gbò? You won’t sleep over?”

Kainene ignored him knowing that he knew the answer in her silence. She glanced away, almost angrily. An ignoramus, her illiterate-literate father would have called him. She put on her slippers and put her stilleto heels in a plastic bag. She was headed for the door when she realized she had forgotten to put on her panties. As if on cue, she found Dipo waving it in the air with a smirk on his lips. Fighting the urge to wipe the smug look off his face with a slap, she snatched up her panties and stormed out the room, slamming the door with force. Dipo seemed like the push Kainene needed to make up her mind that Mama was right. She would set out for Umuokorobia in the morning. Kainene shall be cleansed.

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