01 Mar The Boy Is Mine – Short Story
Dike woke with a jump. His eyes quickly scanned the immaculately tidy room. He reached for the duvet and pulled it over his naked body. The door swung open noiselessly and Oyinda floated in, gloriously naked as well. She turned to close the door with her hip and his gaze traced a path down her body. Each of her curves took his eyes on an exciting journey. The dark chocolate of her skin glowed like polished mahogany. A thin band of black and white beads sat comfortably around her lean waist. The slivers of gold across her neck and ankles gleamed in the soft morning light. He drank in every inch of her body. The door finally clicked shut and she turned to face him. In her hands was a tray with two cereal bowls brimming with their usual; very sugary corn flakes.
She settled the tray on the nightstand and fell atop him.
“I was worried I would have to slap you awake”, she said, nuzzling her nose across his.
“There’s much faster ways to wake me up”, he replied, kissing her good morning with a little grab of her toned backside.
“Now isn’t the time”, she giggled. “You don’t want to be late, do you?”
“Maybe I do”, he joked. “That would subvert the stereotypes, abi?”
She rolled off him, taking her bowl along to her side of the bed.
“There will always be time for that”, she remarked as he picked up his own cereal.
“Always.” He answered with a smile that told her he meant it.
She came out of the bathroom with the towel wrapped only around her hair. He was fully dressed at this point. She slithered over to help him straighten his bow-tie.
“You look so good in a suit”, she began coyly. “Kinda makes me want to rip it off you”
He laughed at her compliment. “Now isn’t the time, as someone said”
“Shhh, a woman can change her mind”, she purred, taking his hands and placing them on her perky breasts. His tempted hands lingered for a second but he held himself. He honestly couldn’t afford to be late. His gaze shifted from her nipples to her eyes and he let himself swim in their depth. The sun shone in through the large windows and illuminated her face, like heaven itself was smiling down on her. Why wouldn’t it? She was perfect in every way. His heart was locked away behind those brown eyes.
“I love you, you know. With all my being.” She smiled and wheeled away from him. She knew. And she knew he knew she loved him equally. She noticed the red envelope and little bouquet on her dresser and the smile broadened. Same place, every year for the past three. But this year was different. She knew he’d already read hers because he was wearing the cologne that came with it.
“It’s 10”, she announced. “Go. I’ll come soon”
He waltzed over to place a peck on her forehead. “Happy Valentine’s Day baby” he said with a smile. And then he was gone. She ran straight for the envelope and skimmed through the card. This man had a way with words. And his words had a way with her heart. “I will love you as long as there is breath in me,” she mimicked his voice as she read her favorite lines. “I will be your rock and will crumble to dust before I ever let you down.” She blushed at the gloss paper. She knew she would hear him say these words again today. She let out a long sigh. ‘What kind of love is this?’, she thought to herself as she combed through her closet.
Dike kept reminding himself to focus. He snuck a glance at his watch. The vicar had been droning on for what felt like hours and his mind was tired. He couldn’t even pick out the individual words of the message anymore. He peered over at his mother, perched in the front row like a proud mother hen. Her attire was white as snow and starched solid. Her big red head tie fanned out and threatened to interfere with all the cell phone signals in the room. This was all her doing and he knew he would grow to resent her for it. Her hands were locked firmly with those of his docile father. The man who stood by and watched this woman control both their lives. She had sucked the life out of him over the years. Dike vowed never to let that be his fortune. Oyin would be there to stoke the fire in his heart well into his old age. And just as his eyes began to scan the congregation, she walked in. His heart lifted as she strutted down the aisles, in a fiery red dress he had never seen before. She probably bought it specifically for the occasion. He chuckled to himself as the color returned to his world. Even from this distance, her smile shone its light deep into him, like a lighthouse steering a stranded ship landward. He snapped out of his reverie in time to hear the vicar calling his name.
“Y-y-yes”, he sputtered, gathering himself.
The vicar continued.
“Mr. Dike. Do you take the lovely Ms. Adaobi Anyanwu as your lawfully wedded wife, to love and cherish so help you God?”
Dike looked down at the gorgeous smile of the former pageant queen in front of him.
Oyin sat silently at the back of the church, listening as Dike reread her card to Ada in the form of his vows. There was not a pang of pain in her heart. This was all a formality orchestrated by his mother, who couldn’t stand the idea of a Yoruba woman in her house. At the end of the day, Dike was hers, and everyone in this church knew it.