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BN Prose: Illicit by Blessing Christopher

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You know it is love because it is the only thing you have never really felt for a man, and you’ve felt them all – mild attraction, lust, and even pity. Your body is pulsing hard and your fingers are all glistened with sweat.

You are sitting on the park bench where it all began. You’re here because he’ll be here. He didn’t say it out loud, but he’s been here everyday for the past thirty days.

This park, this beautiful white elephant project that had been commissioned by a braggart of a governor is the meeting point for your two-member book club.

Gillian Flinn, Gone Girl, book of the week.

You flip the pages of the book. You can’t read a word. You think about his long fingers, the fingers of a pianist, and you wonder if they will trace the stretch marks on your belly and caress your loose skin.

Ifiok finds your scars beautiful, but then Ifiok thinks everything about you is beautiful.

You push Ifiok from your mind. You replace his image with that of your stranger, the one that you’re waiting for.

You had taken a walk that evening you first met your stranger. You had chosen to walk across the park because you needed to be alone. You got tired and sank down on the park bench and you…

You were startled to see the man, the beautiful man who sat beside you reading a book.

“Who are you?” you fired at him. Why had he chosen this park bench when there were several others?

“It is a public park,” he replied with a smile, and then he just sat there and read.

You didn’t speak another word. You just relaxed there in the fading light and absorbed the beauty that emanated from the gorgeous, nonthreatening man.

You stood up to leave after forever and he stood with you.

“Honestly, I couldn’t leave you napping out here alone. Just wanted to wait till you woke,”

You mumbled a thank you.

“Also, this is my favourite bench in the park. I read here almost everyday.”

You went back the next day. His last words to you had been an invitation, or so you thought. He came.

He brought you a copy of Gone Girl.

He said the book was better than the movie.

You concurred.

You went back the following day. He touched you lightly on the shoulder when he spoke. Your body flared.

You wanted the touch to be deeper, you wanted clothes to be discarded, and you wanted your sweat and his sweat to flow together and bond your skin to his.

You have read five books on that park bench.

You love him, and the love you feel leaves you heady and nauseous. Real love is like motion sickness. Settling is safe and boring. And you had settled.

Ifiok.

When you were twenty-four, Ifiok asked you to marry him. You said yes because you were not supposed to believe in soulmates and the fine gentleman with the well-paying job and very little family baggage had shown interest.

Your mother had wondered if you loved him.

You told her you did. And you did, in a safe, drama-free way. He was good to you. He was safe and predictable. You returned the favour. How were you to know that toe-curling love waited in the future?

You’d been going to the park for fifteen days when you returned home and found your husband waiting.

He wept when he saw you. Snot, tears, and sweat soaked through your blouse as he cried between your breasts. He made love to you that night. It had been a year since the last time. When he was spent, he fell asleep on top of you. You did not dislodge him. You just bore the weight of the world on your body while your silent tears flowed.

Your stranger approaches the park bench. The dimple deepens as he smiles when he notices you watching. He is tense. You know that your relationship will be altered today, for good or for bad.

If it turns out bad, you have been through worse. You will live. If it turns out well, if he finally verbalizes all the feelings you have also been plagued with, how will you tell Ifiok?

Ifiok.

He blamed you at first when your toddler slipped through the rails and lay like a wingless angel four storeys down. He questioned your mothering abilities. Later, he blamed himself for not being man enough to ensure his house was childproof. Then the blame had transformed into hate. He can’t stand himself. It has been a year since your little angel flew, and the safe love you used to feel for Ifiok has transformed into something dangerous – indifference.

The war within you intensifies as your stranger sits besides you. You start the book club. You are talking about Adichie’s Americanah when he silences you with his hot mouth open on yours. You’re still.

He backs away. He searches your eyes.

“I’m sorry,” He says.

“Why?” your voice is creaky so you clear your throat. “Why are you sorry?” You ask again. You smile.

He stands. He is smiling too.

“I live very close to here,” he says. “Wanna see?”

So many thoughts run through your mind, but the thought that gains ground and silences others is the one screaming in your head. Your head says that this is love, or grief, so all is fair.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sam74100 

Blessing Christopher's bio will probably bore you to tears, but if you're extremely curious about this human, you can check out her web serial blog storiesbydel.com

23 Comments

  1. beauty

    October 13, 2015 at 10:55 am

    sweet one… I want more!!!

  2. Bella

    October 13, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Chai – I couldn’t stop reading and want more ! Nice read Blessing and I am sure you will grace us once again with your writing skills. Now off to work and hope along wishing for my own long fingered pianist 🙂

  3. jane

    October 13, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Pls write a booooook!! So we can read it allllll. Dnt lv us hangn!! *soBs*

    • Blessing Christopher

      October 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Thanks! Book is on the way…

  4. tolulope

    October 13, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Beautifully written prose. Reads very well. Poetic language, beautiful style and great diction. You said so much in just a few words. None of that nollywood drama some people have been writing here on BN prose in the past couple of weeks. Love it. Love you! Please, write more. And oh, I love how it ends. You left us guessing. I think she’ll follow him to his house, cos she seems so sure what she feels is love.

  5. vee

    October 13, 2015 at 11:10 am

    me too

  6. Tumz

    October 13, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Can’t wait for the book…well written

  7. Tolu

    October 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Beautifully crafted thoughts! Please don’t leave me hanging I beg….finish this story?.
    Tiri gbosa for you???

  8. Busola Adedire

    Oluwabusola Adedire

    October 13, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Very good!

  9. Person

    October 13, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    This is really, really good. Let’s know when you write a book 🙂

  10. Fola

    October 13, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Nice!

  11. Tolu

    October 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    @Tolulope, you go pay for that name wey you dey use o?

    • tolulope

      October 13, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Hahahaha! Oya na

  12. Psychic

    October 13, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Illicit are d best and the worst,they make your blood boil,the lust is of devilish high quality,u won’t believe such fire could run through you. but do they ever end well #sigh

  13. reqe

    October 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    You write really really well. Please let me know when this book comes out so I can buy!

  14. ogeAdiro

    October 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Cool stuff… For me, “Wanna see?” made Mr Pianist lose some of his “panache”. “I’d like to show you my place” would have worked better for me. Or, she spills something on both of them as he kisses her, and he offers her a change of clothes at his place. Or, it starts raining and they have to run back to his place, drenched. Or, I’m just overthinking it.

  15. illicit

    October 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I like illicit stories, there is this bittersweet feeling about them, there is this dull pain in your chest when you think about them. Things you enjoyed doing that were not right, trying to justify your illicit thoughts and finally following your desires. Regret always come after, my mind screaming ‘what have you done’? and my flesh saying ‘sod off, cant a girl have a bit of fun?

    I hate illicit stories because they often end and it hurts like having a catfish bone stuck in your throat

  16. Suwa

    October 13, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Oh, how sweet.. Lovely piece. Plenty hugs for you Blessing

  17. Eaglebabe

    October 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

    OMG!!! Illicit stories…we all have some to share….Blessing you nailed it. Anticipating the book

  18. chizzy

    October 14, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I love I love I love…can’t wait for the book to be out.Nice one Blessing.

  19. Annie

    October 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Well written! I Love this

  20. okhai

    October 24, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Beautifully written. I was so drawn in. I love this. Well done.

  21. Richie

    November 1, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    This is an absolutely intriguing story, just wished u had written more.

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