BOND III The woman came in. She’s not surprised to see me. She must have great trust in that man. I pretended to be asleep on the sofa with my back to her eyes. She didn’t call or let the man know she’s around. She just moved to the table at the centre of the room. I knew she was looking at my stuff on the table. If she had a Junous jealousy she’d have torn the picture of my sensual excesses. No, her husband would have packed them away from the table. I remembered he asked me what I studied in Lagos. I remembered I didn’t tell him my name. I wanted my father or mother to be the ones to first utter the name into the ears of the twins. Of course, the twins would only scream and when mother hears them shout that I’ve come, my name will be rendered to the fertile earths. Father told me that rats knew many languages. They knew I wasn’t home because I loved them. I couldn’t say my name myself and he understood me. Now, I was afraid I’d scatter this home. She murmured some words at my pictures and some sounded like “wow, nice. Hmmmm, this isn’t bad. Sexy. So, threatening.” Certainly, I heard the word ‘threatening’ but it’s hard for me to fake death. An itching almost made me unsheathe my heart from its sleep. Then I turned as I itch my body as if unconscious and now I was facing her. And I squinted. Before she came, I’d closed my eyes. I saw my mother smiled but I knew her when she meant to smile. So, I moved in to see my father. He’s not in. I spoke with my mother but she seemed deafened. The twins were sitting as if in prison; naked, neatly shaven to redirect the light of the sun to my eyes as I looked at their dome; cross-legged like an angry hungry sheik and saying nothing to each other. They didn’t see me. “Where’s father?” I asked but no one answered me. It’s a house built on a plot of my father’s farmland. But it seemed that someone put them on house arrest. While I wondered if father’s away, he came in and looked at me. He’s the only one who saw me. But he said nothing. He cried. Then he smiled and stretched forth his hand. His inherited string of beads was in his hands. I looked at him, expecting him to say something but he seemed too sad to speak. It’s when I decided to ask him what happened or what miracle made him able to stand that this woman came in. Her spirit must be so strong that I quickly returned from my lovely journey to my father’s farm. They’re at the farm! I knew, sure! This woman needed to know I hate suspense. I must meet my father and ask him questions. But now, that I saw a Helen I forgot other things. The God who created this woman must be the God of Helen. She’s a definition of beauty packed in a mortal frame or a sparkling album. I couldn’t think of any Indian princess or Arabian queen to match her. I just felt a legion of jealousy spirit crept into me. I could be blessed with such but I’m not a magician. What a creature with pectus and hindquarters protuberances that could make empires go to war! She took some steps to switch on the TV and I opened my eyes. Serious! Who says there’s equality in life? Nature disproves that. Some of us aren’t as lucky as others are. If I were a Jove now I’d plunder or Juno, this woman would be transmuted permanently. Even Hades would break out of underworld just to relieve his eyes with the sight of light and life and hope in some fresh fair and spotless skin. Why was I so unlucky? As I looked at her, her husband came out of his room. He saw me quickly closed my eyes, squintingly. He surely did. He stared at me like eyes fixed on a star in the sky. Only God knew what he thought of me. Then, I knew she was angry and he's guilty and scared. They didn’t kiss each other. They didn’t just hug for long. Well, that’s because he knew I was pretending but she didn’t know that. She asked him, “you’ve a visitor?” and she never let him give a response. Being a goddess in beauty, she must be arrogant, most of them like that are. “You could've called me and told me” she challenged him, “that you’ve a visitor. And I’d just stay away.” “Away? No, don’t talk that way. I’d be dead if you’d stayed longer outside. You know that. Come on. I’ll explain...every...” “You’re being kind. I know. So, I trust you. I trust your judgment.” “Okay. Let’s go to eat. I prepare you…” “Don’t say that aloud. Humans here are like computer applications programmed with fixity. Even your visitor may be…” “Don’t talk of strangers carelessly. Let’s go in. Let our beneficiary enjoy some sleep and we some foods together” And they walked in. Oh, my God! I was soaked. I needed to sleep. I didn’t want to hear the crowing of the nocturnal chat line. I wasn’t much hydrated so I needed to protect my puddle from draining upon nothing. I curved the pillow around my head but some faint sayings of mirth kept echoing into my ears. I tried to return to the farm but I couldn’t navigate my course without distractions. Even my adventures with the devils in Lagos crossed my path. ... To be continued.