A Temporary Affair by Obinna Udenwe

He liked her the very first day he saw her. He wondered what had attracted him so – was it her arms with skin so fleshy? Her breasts so massively formed they could send a man straight to hell? Her big roving eyes that made a man’s heart skip? Or her hair that was plaited fully, cascading down her back, like that of mamiwater? – He couldn’t tell.

She was an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and was new in his university. The first day she came to class she introduced herself and began to write on the white board, using a diagram to classify soils. Then she turned back to face the class.

“My name is Halima,” she had said, “I am your lecturer on Agricultural Extension this semester.”

The class hadn’t known that she was an Assistant Professor until a day or two later when someone checked the list of lecturers for the semester at the Head of Department’s office. It had stunned them – for not only was she a woman, she was young, in her late thirties, thirty-eight or thirty-nine. He wasn’t sure.

He began to see her in his dreams: a panacea for his nights of insomnia. He would close his eyes and sleep off, dreaming all through the night, about her – he would chase her down the massive campus garden – once he kissed her and woke to discover that he had wet his pyjamas. And in the morning, he would have a stubborn morning wood, difficult to placate.

He dreamt of her in class too, and would not hear a single thing she said during lecture.

A month after she began to teach them, the government slashed the minimum wage of the university staff by eight percent, and the students had to protest because the staff was planning a strike.

On the day of the protest, he noticed that she was the third person to address the students while they stood in front of the State Parliamentary building, thumping her clenched fist in the air and screaming to the topmost of her voice,

Aluta Continua!

Afterwards, as they marched to the State Government House, he made sure he found her and gave her a chilled bottle of water and a bottle of coke. She accepted them. She gulped the coke down. Then she looked at him, and said,

“Are you not in my class?”

“I am.”

“Thanks.”

At the Government House gate, the protesters met over fifty mobile police officers, who didn’t wait for them to approach the gate before firing teargas canisters at them. Everyone ran. But some brave students picked stones and threw in the direction of the policemen. Some of the stones hit the police vans and smashed the windows and windshields. The braver students rushed at the police, and the police charged at them. They dragged some policemen into drainages while the officers beat the students with batons.

He frantically scanned the scene, looking for her – she was tall, big, and easy to spot. She was in the company of a male lecturer and about three students hitting a police officer who had fallen to the ground, tearing his uniform. He rushed and dragged her by the elbow.

“Enough! We have to leave!”

They ran off, just a short while before the first gunshot was heard and the second one, and then someone screamed. They ran towards the Ministry of Finance building. He held her hand and took her through the Water Road, down through a small street and they emerged at the Bank Road, a busy stretch of road hosting several banks. She was breathing so fast.

From where they stood they could see smoke rising in the air. In the evening they would find that the students had set ablaze one of the police trucks. They would learn that three students had died, over fifteen were in the hospital receiving treatment and five police officers were killed and many injured.

When he saw an okada that agreed to stop, he asked her to get on it. He tried climbing on after her, but she said no. “I have to get back to the school to get my bag—”

“I can come with you.”

She wondered out loud, “Why?”

He said nothing. He just stared at her.

“I have to meet up with someone. I will see you in class.”

She tapped the cyclist on the shoulder and they zoomed off. He stood, staring. He cursed. He walked to his lodge, three miles away from the Bank Road. His father called. He was in town on business trip and would leave the next day.

 

Throughout that day, he wondered if she was thinking about him, about the drinks he offered her and why he had singled her out to drag her away from the scene. But the truth was that as soon as the motorcycle zoomed off, she didn’t give a thought about him.

The government would announce the closure of the university for three weeks. He would be devastated for every minute of the day in those three weeks. Normally he would have travelled home to his parents, but he stayed back in school. When his mother called, he told her that he was reading for his final exams.

He wished he knew where she lived.

A few days before school was to resume, he searched for her name on Facebook and found forty-three people with same name. He took his time, looking them through till he found her. Her profile picture was in portrait form, her face bright and very visible. He stared in those eyes, convinced that they were looking at him. He kissed her lips on his phone, and held the phone to his chest for minutes, while lying on his bed. He sent her a friend request while he made some noodles in his kitchen, then as he ate, he typed a message:

Hey, this is Nduka, your student. We were at the protest and….

He deleted that.

He typed another:My name is Nduka. One of your students, I was the one who ran with you to safety during the protest.

He deleted that.

He wanted to type something that would not elicit just any response from her. So he typed: Hey, dear. My name is Nduka. I am one of your students, we met informally at the protest weeks back, remember? The guy that offered you water, and ran with you when it got tough.

He paused. That sounded official sort of, she may just say hi back and that would be that. So he pushed aside his plate of noodles and drank from a cup of water. He began to type:Hey, didn’t know you were on Facebook; I would have contacted you earlier as I have been trying to get in touch. My name is Nduka, your student in Agricultural Extension class. We met during the protest and ran to safety together. School is starting in three days time, and I wonder if we could meet up for a drink before then. Please. There are things I need to tell you.

He sent that and made the sign of the cross. And waited.

There was a gold-coated Omega watch on his desk, brand new, purchased with all his savings – a birthday gift to his dad who would be visiting the town on a business trip. He checked the watch. It was an hour and forty-three minutes. Then he got her reply: Hi Nduka. Thanks for the other day. What do you want us to talk about?

His heart fell into his stomach. She was online, so he didn’t waste time in sending her a reply: Something that has to do with the day of the protest. Can I explain over the phone? Please give me your phone number.

And she dropped her phone number. He spent the next ten minutes thinking of what to tell her. She picked after the third ring. He went straight to business. He told her that he liked her so much. She gasped. He was sure that she was swallowing some saliva that had got stuck in her throat, taking her time, wondering what to say to him. When she found her voice, she asked him when he began liking her. He told her it was the very first day she walked into their classroom – at first it had been an admiration for her intelligence but then few days after, he’d discovered that she was so beautiful, more than any woman he ever knew. He told her that he had a confession to make. She was silent, listening, his heart began to beat fast but he said, “I cannot sleep. For months now, since the very first day you introduced yourself in class. I have been dreaming and daydreaming of you. I kiss you in my dreams. It is like a strong obsession… lust… I don’t know… I am sorry but I have to tell you how I feel—”

She aborted the call.

He was doomed.

The remaining days to resumption was like living and knowing that you were going to die in a few days. He wondered if she was going to report to the Head of Department and have him sanctioned – it was a crime to have an affair with one’s student or teacher, it could lead to suspension or expulsion – he was sure.

 

So the day the school resumed, he stayed at home. It was a Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday she came to their class for the second time that week and after she was done teaching she said,

“Course Rep. There is this student that I haven’t seen since resumption. His name is Nduka Ozofor. Where is he?” The class wondered how she got to know Nduka. She’d remembered his surname from Facebook and as she waited, watching the surprise register on her students’ faces, she knew she had to convince them that there was nothing wrong.

“On the day of the protest I recognized him as a member of this class. I asked him to get me a bottle of water and asked for his name. I wonder if he is not one of the students in the hospital? ”The Course Representative said that he was sure that Nduka wasn’t in the hospital. He had checked the names of the students in the hospital at the Admin Block.

In her office she wondered what was wrong with him, then it hit her – he may be scared that he had pissed her off and was afraid of the consequences – she laughed till tears came off her eyes. He had pissed her off, true, but she was haunted by his words. It had been years since she last heard such words – the last was when she was in the university herself, that was the last time a man talked to her with so much affection while trying to befriend her – it made her feel younger. She smiled. Besides, she liked his boldness. But he was way-too-young. She was sure that he wasn’t more than twenty-three. She was thirty-nine. She sighed.

That evening, around 4pm, after she took her bath and was working on a chart and couldn’t concentrate – she was wondering if Nduka Ozofor would continue to miss classes – she dialled his phone.

“Good evening, Prof.”

“Why have you not been in class, boy?” his heart skipped when he heard the word ‘boy’. He knew that she was intentionally putting him where he belonged.

“And what business of yours is it, madam?” There was nothing to be afraid of now.

There was a brief pause. Then she said, “You are acting up, abi?”

He didn’t say anything. There was a long silence.

“I’ve got to go.”

“Why?”

“I am with a friend—”

“Boy or girl?”

Oh goodness, he rolled his eyes. Was she jealous? “Girl.”

“Girlfriend?”

“I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“All men are liars.”

“I thought I was a ‘boy’, eh?”

She laughed aloud. “The address is 196 Orange Road, New City Layout. If you ain’t going to the girl’s house, then come and tell me what you had wanted to tell me the other day—”

He aborted the call. The phone slipped off his hand, but he caught it before it reached the floor. He took a deep breath. He took a taxi, it was faster. He got to her house in fourteen minutes. He noted the duration.

It was an old apartment block, with the paintings coming off. He didn’t know which one was her flat, but didn’t want to call her. So he stood by the gate, waiting to ask someone.

She was surprised that he had aborted the call, but she had laughed. Youth and their stupidity! She was sure that he was trying to get back at her for aborting the call on him the other day. She knew that she had to tread carefully with the boy. She was going to allow him come after her and toast her, while she pretended she wasn’t interested.

There was a knock on the door. She wondered who was knocking. Reluctantly she opened the door and her heart skipped, and she screamed, “Wayo Allah! What the hell are you doing here?”

“Oh. Sorry, I am looking for one Miss Halima Adetokunbo. She called me a few minutes ago and told me she lives at No. 196 Orange—”

“Come in, you fool.” She smiled and he walked in.

It was a one-room apartment, with a small kitchen attached, and en-suite bathroom and toilet. The room was extra-large. There was a single cushion. A massive mattress on the floor and a thick duvet on top of it, there were three pillows too. There was a small shelfon the wall for books on Agriculture; he could see a few novels too. There was a reading table and a plastic chair by the corner, and a copy of the Holy Quran on top the table. He sat on the bed.

“You are supposed to sit on the sofa.”

“I prefer to sit on the bed.”

“I like your bravado, boy.”

“I like your…” he swallowed saliva. “I like that you call me boy.”

“That wasn’t what you wanted to say… you like my what?” She was still standing.

He looked her in the eyes. She looked away. Good, he was winning. “I told you the first day on the phone, that I liked your body. It took me a lot of courage to tell you that.”

They both became silent. In her mind she wondered what to do with this boy. She liked him. He wasn’t handsome though, but he kind of fit her category of ‘a real man’. Nduka was very dark and his head was clean shaven to the style of Tupac Shakur. He had no beard and no moustache. She wondered what to do with him.

In his mind, he wondered what she was thinking about – he was sure she was looking him over. That gave him a hard on. He leaned on the bed and began to look at the chart she had been working on before he came. She sat on the cushion.

“I am too old for you, boy. You should get a girlfriend. There are over sixty girls in your class.”

“They are not mature.”

“Wow!”

“Yes.”

“And your girlfriend?”

“I don’t have one. Had one up until eight months ago.” He scanned the room for pictures. The room was painted sky-blue. There was a wall paper of a half nude woman by the door.

“Stop looking.”

“I thought you were a Muslim?”

“The poster doesn’t make me less a Muslim. My appearance, how I dress, what I do, doesn’t make me less a Muslim.”

He nodded.

“So tell me about your ex-girlfriend.”

“I don’t want to talk about her, so don’t ask me. And I won’t ask you about yourself. I won’t ask you where you are from, the school you attended, what you did over there, the friends you had. I won’t ask you if you have a boyfriend now, a fiancé, if you were engaged before or if you were married. Your age. I won’t ask you any of those. I don’t care.”

She inhaled slowly. “What do you care for?”

“Water.”

She smiled. She went to the kitchen and got water in a glass. He drank while she stood waiting on him. She retrieved the glass but he stood and held her hand.

“You are way older than me—”

“That is the point—”

“Shee.” He placed his right forefinger on his lips.

“Don’t ask me my age.”

“You should be in your late thirties.”

She smiled.

“But I want to have an affair with you. Trust me I don’t kiss-and-tell. No one except God and Satan will know….”

She laughed. He didn’t. “Like I said, I won’t ask anything… if I come here and see a guy, I will pretend I am your Course Rep. In class I won’t ask you questions or respond if you ask. I won’t come to your office… I won’t—”

“Did I say thank you for the other day?” she wanted to get him to stop talking. He was reminding her of many years back, when she was an undergraduate like him.

“I can’t remember if you said thank you. But I know that for saving you I deserve a hug.”

She laughed and said, “In your dreams.” She tried to turn away and he held her elbow. “Hug the back,” She joked.

“My pleasure.” And he hugged her from behind. Her protruding buttocks made him bend to be able to hold her. But that was enough. If he didn’t take the opportunity, it might not come again, so when she tried to walk off, he held tight and moved his hands to her large bosom. The glass fell from her hand and shattered. She inhaled sharply.

“Sorry.”

She said nothing. She rushed to the kitchen and came back with a broom and a plastic dust packer, saying, “Climb the bed so you don’t get hurt.”

When she was done cleaning, she sat with him on the bed, talking about the riot and the injured and the dead. She wondered briefly if she would have been shot if he hadn’t come when he did. But as they talked, they were both aware of the charged air around them. His mind kept telling him that he needed to take charge for he wasn’t sure of sitting close to her, ever again, for was it not said that he who climbed the oji tree must ensure that he got all the firewood he could find, for one dared not climb the oji tree twice? So while she was talking, he kissed her, stifling her words in her mouth. She tried to pull away, reluctantly but his tongue sought hers and caressed the walls of her mouth. She moaned and he pushed her back on the bed, her massive body resting on the white duvet.

They kissed for long minutes before he traced his tongue down her neck to her chest, her cleavage. With his teeth he unbuttoned her shirt – it surprised her no end – he kissed her bare breasts. When he found her nipples, he was moaning so loudly, and she wondered if he hadn’t kissed a woman’s breasts before. She made a mental note to ask him. He caressed her entire body, her breasts, her big stomach, kissing the folds forming on them, making her lift her head to seek his face, ashamed of her aging body, cautious like every woman would be. But she was perfect – as long as he was concerned no woman had ever been that perfect – her breasts weren’t as strong as he had dreamt, but to him they were still so beautiful, so enormous, so soft, and hard at the normal places. Her nipples were taut and he squeezed and pulled, and elicited moans from her. She caressed his shaven head and closed her eyes – she was sure that he wasn’t paying attention to what she felt was the failings of her body – he was enjoying himself, and when the pleasuring of her body lasted for close to thirty minutes, she discovered that he was more interested in giving her pleasure than enjoying the pleasure himself, so she allowed herself get lost in the ecstasy and the passion.

After long minutes or an hour, when she had died and resurrected uncountable times, after he had removed her skirt and put his tongue down there and she was undone for not all men could do that, he entered her. And she cried, so uncontrollably that he nearly stopped.

She didn’t want him to spend the night in her room. After they had slept a while, she made him some cereals with milk. When he was done eating, she asked him to leave. It was 10pm.

“It is late,” he said.

“But you can’t spend the night here.”

“Why?”

She didn’t respond, so he found his shirt and dressed up. He had been naked all the while. She was dressed in a night gown. Then she went to the kitchen, she didn’t want to see him leave. While she washed the plates in the sink, he called from the door. “Thank you, Halima! We see tomorrow in school?”

“Insha’ Allah! Good night!” she called back. When she heard the door close, she fell on the floor and cried. Years after, till her death, she would not know why she had cried that night.

 

In class they avoided each other’s eyes. She never asked him any questions and he never volunteered to answer when she asked the class. Once when she argued a point with the class he had intervened, his voice stopping everyone,

“It seems you are a stubborn Professor and you are young. I wonder what would happen when you get old.”

The class laughed.

“See me in my office ehm, Mr?”

“Nduka… Nduka Ozofor.”

“Mr. Whatever. And listen, I think this class is becoming too informal. If any of you speak to me like that next time, I will deduct five marks each from your class quiz.”

The class began to murmur. The girls especially cursed at Nduka. She packed her books and left the class. He followed few minutes later.

She was in her office, seated on the table when he knocked and came in.

“Mr Ozofor—”

“I am sorry.”

“What are you apologizing for?”

“I don’t know. For making you feel uncomfortable in class. I didn’t mean to insult you. Don’t think because we… what happened, happened, that I do not have respect for you anymore—”

“Shut up, my friend!” she went to her chair and sat down, staring hard at him. He wore a cap, the kind students called papa’s cap. He was dressed in a Tee shirt and in jean trousers. “You look great.”

“Thank you.”

“You didn’t call me the day you left my house to tell me you got home. You never called or SMSed till today. How long now?”

“Twelve days now, Ma’am.”

“Ah! Isn’t that a long time?”

“It is.”

There was a short pause.

“You should walk me to the gate, will you?” She began to put some books into her handbag. He said nothing, waiting by the door. When she got to the door, her hand sought his penis and found it erect. She smiled. They walked to the gate, discussing the topic she had taught them in class earlier, ‘The Failure of Agricultural Research Institutes: Case In Point the IITA’.

At the school gate she said, “Thank you. Sorry I took your time.”

“It was my pleasure.”

“I enjoyed walking with you.” She was sweating.

“My pleasure.”

“I don’t think I will take the bus. I will walk home. It is less than two miles.”

“You will get exhausted.”

“It is good for me. I am on the big side.”

Buses were passing them by, drivers calling on them to enter, students hurried, and cars zoomed past. “Walk with me.”

“My books are in the class.”

“Forget them.” She said with finality in her voice but with a wink that made his heart skip. They began to walk.

By the time they got home, they had discussed about other research institutes, they had discussed some novels they had read together – she had told him that she liked Dostoevsky and he told her he hadn’t read him, but they had both read Sefi Attah’s Everything Good Will Come so they talked about it. At her home, he found the room unkempt. While she removed her sweaty clothes; he straightened the duvet, packed some textbooks on the floor to the reading table and straightened the curtains. She was dressed in a short skirt and a singlet – he saw her heavy upper body and swallowed.

“You are a thief!”

He laughed.

She went to the bathroom and he hurriedly removed his clothes and joined her. She took her time soaping his body. She bent down and kissed his stomach and traced her lips down to his public area and up again, to his nipples and his neck. When she was done, she handed him the sponge. He washed her and caressed all part of her soapy body: her neck, her massive breasts, making sure she moaned as his lips worked on the soap filled breasts. He pinned her to the wall and suckled the nipples, biting and kissing at the same time. Her moans were so loud that he wondered if she was going mad. Then when she couldn’t take it any longer, she pulled him inside her and all hope of man’s redemption was lost. They gyrated to the pleasure of passion till she was done. When he was finished, they giggled as the water ran down from the shower.

They sat on the bathroom floor, in each other’s arms, oblivious of time and the world. Then she pulled him up and they loved each other again before they towelled and came out. He took her to the bed and they lay down, hungry for both food and their bodies. They were entwined in each other’s arms as she snored loudly. He couldn’t sleep while she snored, so he scanned the room, taking it in, with happiness.

He had never been so happy. Then his hand felt something under a pillow on the floor by the bed, it was slippery. He sat up, lifted the pillow and found a used condom, the tip tied and semen swimming inside it. There was something else: an Omega watch, gold-coated. He recalled the unmade bed and the unkempt room. He wore his clothes. He dropped the condom and the watch on the pillow beside her head and went home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obinna Udenwe is the author of the conspiracy crime thriller Satans & Shaitans. In 2015, his erotic series Holy Sex was published to wide readership and criticism

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