SUIT Etiquette – unspoken rules for wearing your suit “A gentleman is one who puts
“Every man is a bachelor out of his wife’s sight””
Who cried wolf? – ghost of bachelorhood (Part 2)
This story is fiction, and the characters are products of my crazy imagination. Please enjoy the short story.
Halt!! I suggest you start from the first part of this pulsating story HERE
That is me again!
A film of sweat broke out on my forehead just as the hunger pangs radiated through my body as I stood transfixed at the hotel lobby.
“What a silly joke is this?” I blurted out to no one in particular.
I could see the worried look on the face of the hotel receptionist as he made his way from behind the standing desk to placate me.
The contraction in my stomach wringed tighter and the discomfort would not allow me vent and that in itself got me upset.
“We are really sorry about this sir. We regret the inconvenience and ……” I didn’t even let him finish his sorry speech before I cut him off with my raised palm. He knew better not to speak further.
“I hope my car wasn’t damaged by that irate woman?” I asked with a growing air of confidence whilst casting careful glances at the hotel entrance for signs of anything, perhaps violence or at most a melee.
“No, it wasn’t sir” He replied with pleading and droopy eyes before another of his colleagues joined him. I looked them both over in disgust as I restrained my every being from spewing the fiercest and most unkind words.
Everywhere looked calm, except for the half a dozen or so men crowded at a spot within earshot. If this mysterious lady was anywhere, she certainly wasn’t in that lobby.
Before I turned to make my way back to the room, I took a cursory look at the small gossiping lot. It felt like I wasn’t there as they spoke in hushed voices about the lady’s husband whom they claimed was still a guest at the hotel.
It caught my interest momentarily. So I lingered.
Someone claimed that he knew the man at the centre of the unfolding drama and that his wife had trailed his vehicle to the hotel late that evening as he drove in to spend a furtive night with his girlfriend.
“And the unfortunate man shared the same name with me” I wondered, shaking my head for the umpteenth time that evening.
“What a bummer!”
Did she even think that he would be dumb enough to put his name down on the hotel guest list for this clandestine romp between the sheets?
“She must be the dumb one to think so” I let my thoughts flourish.
The set of wall clocks with different time zones behind the receptionist desk reminded me quickly that I had some sleep to catch. Besides, the longer I stayed, the more worried my wife would get. I had to hurry back quickly.
I started to walk towards the elevator when I felt an intense trepidation that the empty elevator could conspire to mock me by getting stuck on my way up, worsening my plight.
Without thinking much, I opted for the stairs.
I wasn’t going to take chances. In my head, everything was now an object of suspicion. I chuckled while I took the flight of stairs to the third floor.
Hell, indeed, hath no fury like a woman scorned.
My darling wife stirred the moment I pushed the door open. Her eyes quickly danced over my body as she searched for signs of a scuffle or bruises. Her eye brows collapsed into a wrinkled bow when nothing in my appearance gave a clue to what she dreaded could have transpired downstairs.
I hurriedly jumped out of my cloths, slipping right under the duvet for a well-deserved rest. I snuggled close to her again, but this time whispered to her;
“We are leaving this hotel in the morning” I placed a warm kiss on her forehead as I held her in my arms.
There is no way I am staying a second night at this hotel – luxury or not!
She nodded in agreement. My stomach squirmed noisily in response.
I turned to look at the black bedside phone as though anticipating the dull ringtone that very moment. Only this time, I unhooked the receiver from its cradle quietly.
Honeymoon Day 2
The next morning was the second day of the rest of our lives, and we started off checking out of the luxury hotel I had spent months saving money for. I had a lot planned for our weeklong post-nuptial vacation and the mood just had to be right. Birsmark Luxury hotel was not fitting the narrative I desired.
No strange “Kemi” was going to scare the hell out of me neither would I lend creative thoughts to some crazy scenes that lingered from my past. What I have now learned to call the Ghost of my bachelorhood.
I simply wasn’t going to take any chances.
We checked out of the hotel after collecting a refund. They tried hard to compensate for their incompetence by offering us an additional night and other freebie. I just wasn’t having it.
We walked into the parking lot for the first time since the false alarm but somewhere at the back of my mind, I wondered if the lady was still stalking her hubby. Weirdly, I wondered if perhaps she was sitting somewhere around the hotel premise waiting to pounce on me.
It would be such a pity!
I scanned the parking lot from left to right as I killed time deliberately looking for the car keys – that wasn’t lost, just to buy some moment to be sure my thoughts were not becoming the reality. My wife, oblivious of my deft tactics walked ahead.
We approached my vehicle as I inspected it for assault or damages of some sort.
There was none. Thankfully so.
I looked at the other cars within the parking lot for signs that something was amiss. Every where looked calm and forgiving. I couldn’t find any other blue Honda Accord and I would probably never know how the drama was sorted out the night before.
Still, I wondered briefly if this wasn’t a ruse of some sort.
That was when I noticed a woman from far away looking keenly, her head cleverly ducked behind street umbrellas. She was lurking behind a couple of traders while looking intently. She was starting to get up when I jumped into the driver’s seat, fired the engine to live before quickly maneuvering the car out of the premise into the adjoining road.
Was my mind playing tricks on me now?
I only stopped looking at the rear-view mirror when we drove into the quiet suburbs of Ikeja. I wasn’t sure what I expected to see really. My wife wasn’t saying anything either, she looked like she could use some more sleep.
We found a much smaller hotel but a grand one. It had three buildings huddled together on about two plots of land. There was barely any space to park my blue Honda as I drove into the premise.
I noticed the enticing blue hue of the swimming pool as sunlight danced on the surface of the water as if sweetly inviting play.
“Now this is what I am talking about” I muttered with a smile spread across my face.
We checked into a smaller room compared to the luxurious space Birsmark offered, but one with a good dose of technology. It was a modern hotel and the room came with half a dozen remote controls for everything in the room. Aside the remote for the 65inch television, there was a remote for the Air conditioner, the heater, the Bluetooth speakers carefully tucked into the ceiling soffit, a room service request remote and one other I couldn’t quite place the purpose it served. The infusion of technology made the choice worth it.
My wife turned the television on and started to scan through scores of channels for a program of interest, while I stripped myself of every piece of clothing save for my swim trunk – which was basically a fancy pant with strings.
“I am off to swim” I announced gleefully.
“Go have fun darling, I will just stay in and watch a soap” her voice was soothing even though it had a hint of tiredness as she propped her head with pillows the moment she laid on the bed.
The bed sheets were white of course!
I made my way to the swimming pool, half-naked with a white towel draped across my shoulder, admiring my fine and hairy skin. I didn’t have the pleasure of any masculine abs to boast of, but I loved the way my soft muscles curved gently into my stomach.
You could call it my one-pack, and I swear I won’t take offence.
I let myself indulge in the thoughts of my days as a bachelor. I sure left a mark, an indelible one. I probably retired early too at 28. There was no reason to stay long in the game, not with my harem of lovers bearing down on my every move. I was done and it felt liberating.
Aside Kemi, Agnes competed for my time and attention with Ijeoma, whilst Omotola was still on the fringes getting a look-in whenever I was chanced. Yet I escaped unscathed – or seemingly so, married to the love of my life, leaving behind the scarred hearts of the women who fought for my love.
I shrugged the thoughts off as I approached the swimming pool that was empty except for one burly well-built dashing young man of medium height. I muttered a “good morning” without waiting for an acknowledgement before I taking a dive into the still waters.
It felt good as the water parted in a splash for my full immersion into its blue depths. The truth is, I wasn’t really a good swimmer. My hours of swimming started in a shallow local stream in the bushes of a village in Ondo state where I spent my national service year (NYSC). There was no fear of drowning although it was a gentle moving water. My swimming experience was therefore always a comfortable one.
To stay safe here at the hotel swimming pool, all I had to do was to stay at the shallow end. There were to be no surprises. The other fellow was swimming comfortably at the deep end of the pool while I showed off different swimming styles across the shallow side of the pool, stopping only when I tired out by allowing my legs touch the bottom of the pool to support my wobbly self.
I didn’t start to panic until my feet couldn’t find the bottom of the pool again. Somehow, I was at the deep end, flapping my legs desperately while attempting one last-ditch effort at a power thrust to the other side of the pool. I soon found myself drowning.
Drowning is a bitch of a way to go.
Panic, fear and more panic were the order. At least it was that way for me. I thought I was dead, or about to become dead. I was starting to sink; my legs were too tired to fight as I struggled to bring myself back toward the sun-speckled surface.
I could no longer hear the chirping of the morning birds that welcomed me to the poolside earlier. Summoning my last energy, I propped myself to the surface again, this time managing to gulp at the harmattan air and a mouthful of water and then with barely a splash I was under again.
Death beckoned. I started to take in gulps of water that tasted of chlorine. The panic had my heart hammering against my ribs, that was when I noticed the apparitions of my exes. All four of them having a sordid laugh at my sudden predicament.
It seemed like they were beckoning at me.
I was helpless and my thoughts and essence were beginning to fade away like the broken TV screen in horror movies.
I was surely dead! Newly married but now dead!
My eyes were starting to glaze when a muscular hand found my arm and pulled me upwards and to safety.
Somehow, I survived this time!
My dear wife was asleep by the time I was back in the room. Only if she knew that these “ghosts” were not done with me.
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