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”
Second and concluding part of this fiction story
Of the lot, Dave and Ugo spent a good chunk of the time away from home at the new apartment.
They barely slept at home and hardly saw their kids the few times they managed to sleep in their own beds.
They snored so hard with reckless abandon that sometimes their wives wondered if the job task required of them at work was manual labor.
Their wives, Joy and Modele, put the lack of their presence at home down to intense pressure from work and their weekly shifts to get the refinery working.
The other two guys did not fare any better.
They had found a new lease of life and it was the best thing since slice bread.
Ifeoma had been calling Modele’s phone for the last thirty minutes. She was already tired of listening to the noisy ring tone of the gospel song that played over and over as it rang unanswered.
She knew she had to speak to someone before she cried her eyes sore. She had no clue what to do or what her findings meant. She had never envisaged being in such a situation.
She had found a small piece of what could be a part of a shinny pack with jagged edges, as though torn off crudely with the teeth, in the breast pocket of Tomiwa’s shirt.
The piece was no more than the size of a thumbnail but was enough to rouse her suspicion.
She had never found any such thing since they were married two years ago.
Deep within her, she suspected the piece was off a condom pack. But she wished it was something else, perhaps from a foreign biscuit pack or from a chocolate candy.
“Not a condom” She had hoped.
Her suspicion was confirmed when she dashed over with bated breaths to the wooden kiosk right across her street where Adamu sold all sort of petty household supplies including condoms.
The piece she found in her husbands shirt matched one of the packs that had “Kiss condom” emblazoned on it along with erotic and sexual images that pissed her off.
As soon as she got back into the house, she started to look for any other sort of evidence. She searched his wardrobe carefully, looking underneath the neatly folded cloths but found nothing. She pulled out his bed side drawer hoping for anything that could corroborate the stories that was beginning to form in her head.
Her heart skipped a beat the moment she considered that her hubby could be cheating on her. It was a thought she couldn’t give credence to.
“No he wouldn’t dare” She assured herself.
That was the moment she heard her phone ring in the washroom where she had left it.
At first irritated by the sudden shrill of her ringtone as it disrupted her thoughts, she ignored the call.
But it rang the second time as though determined not to stop until it was answered. She hurried into the washroom to see that Modele was returning her call.
“Hello Sis” She feigned excitement.
“I am sorry darling, I have been packing and dispatching some special jewelries all morning. My customers are going berserk with this new design” Her voice trailed off as she barked orders to her assistants.
Modele had been clothing celebrities in the movie industry for a couple of years since she ditched her good paying job at the bank. Her boss at the time was determined to have her warm his bed. It was easy to choose to leave her job since it was the only other option she had.
Her business had been doing pretty well as far as the patronage was concerned and she got a lot of support from her “man-about-town” husband, Ugo. She had everything going for her. Nothing to complaint about.
Although she was much older than Ifeoma, they spoke as though they were sisters. And that morning she could feel that her friend needed more than just a casual conversation.
Ifeoma’s loud sobs decimated the brief silence in their conversation. It gave away any pretense that she had it together.
She sobbed so hard as though her soul could bleed an ocean through the eyes.
The sound of her sobs was so heart-wrenching that Modele pleaded with her to take it easy.
“Tomiwa is cheating on me!” She blurted out.
“How is that so Ify?”
Ifeoma then narrated her findings to Modele between trickles of accumulated brine.
Modele promptly asked her to stay action and not do anything foolish until she arrived. They lived 15mins apart!
“You’re lucky he uses a condom” Modele muttered under her breath when she ended the call. She didn’t dare say it within earshot.
What Ifeoma didn’t know was that she wasn’t the first of the wives to speak to her about their fears and suspicion on the subject of cheating. She also never mentioned to any of them about the strong scent of a female perfume she perceived one night after her husband sauntered in late from work reeking of alcohol and cigarette.
She never mentioned to either of the ladies about a mysterious bracelet that had Ugo’s name engraved on it she had found in his trouser pocket. She knew for certain that Ugo would never purchase such an item with his money let alone have his name engraved on it.
She never asked him about it too. Not once!
Joy had mentioned in the past to her that she had seen a short message on her husband’s mobile phone from an unknown number with these exact words.
“I am waiting for you baby, don’t forget the money“
Dave, Joy’s husband, was already notorious for undressing any lady with his eyes even in the presence of his wife. He had the neon signs with flashing lights screaming “Cheat” written all over him. Just like the other guys, Modele suspected that they shared similar passion for women. But she never challenged the ladies to do something about it.
She never shared her findings with the other wives. She was extremely reticent about her personal affairs.
Now Ifeoma was in for a rude awakening.
Every night, Dave and his friends would meet at the apartment they now christened “The Fellowship“
They had chosen the name carefully so they could make reference to the apartment even in the presence of their wives without raising suspicion.
They had a good laugh the night they coined the name. Every now and then they cracked it as a joke whenever they needed a good laugh.
The day they moved into the apartment was the day sleep died in the other apartments.
The occupants of the other three apartments in the building found sleep a luxury they could no longer afford.
Most nights, three cars cramped into the parking area in front of the building with ladies of all shapes, color and sizes alighting from the cars with different men.
Their neighbors could not tell who rented the apartment and which of the men they could lay their complaints to.
Sometimes when public electricity had gone off- as they often did, the men left their car stereos on with music blaring off their speakers as they chatted loudly, smoked and shouted profanities at each other competing for audience amidst the noise.
Other times it was the muffled moans and groans of sexual ecstasy that rented the air at the dead of the night even till dawn.
They had companions during the day times too. There was no limit to the times they had guests.
They paid no attention to anyone and had crazy fun like it was going out of fashion.
Some nights it was the sexual orgies with loud music that irritated the neighbors.
During what the neighbors could rightly decipher as dry spells, the boys watched pornography with the TV volumes turned to the maximum whist their relished their morbid fantasies.
The first month after they moved in, the neighbors kids started to ask parents questions they couldn’t provide answers to.
Since they weren’t getting the right answers, the kids started to mime some of the popular songs that played repeatedly from their apartment. The ones with the vulgar lyrics in particular.
They were now a complete nuisance!
It soon got worse.
Girls were starting to fight each other within the house, throwing utensils and stuff at each other. Swearing and cussing. Friends found each other out and fought like possessed animals.
Somedays the girls they had over for the night, fought over money with their loud voices echoing past the walls. Every word they screamed at each other rang in their neighbors ears like they were right there in the room with them.
They had had enough, something had to give!
One of the neighbors decided to make enquiries.
The Night to remember
The boys had retired to their respective rooms with their guests. All four of them. They were supposed to be on the night shift at work, but they had cleverly swapped positions with their colleagues.
They only just got back in from a night club hours earlier, spent and broke. Six girls had accompanied them home that night. While they paired up in the rooms, two ladies found comfort in the living area.
That was the moment the banging on the security door and windows started.
If banging doors was how folks announced that they’d lost their self control, that their primitive self was in the drivers seat, then this was the case that night.
The boys were still fast asleep and cozy in their rooms snoring.
“Tomiwa! Dave! Nnamdi! Ugo!”
The unmistakable voices of their wives – that was what finally woke the men up.
“Open this door before I break it down” Joy had lost all decorum and was prepared for whatever trouble had in store for them.
Their husbands woke up with a start. Their hearts beating fast. They tossed the bare breasted girls off their chest and quickly huddled together in one of the rooms to discuss what to do.
The sudden vicissitude of fate left the men confused and cast a pall on their hitherto lovely evening.
Amidst nagging headaches from hangover and bruises from the sore foreskin, Dave tried to think.
His thoughts were constantly interrupted by the girls as they kept poking into the room wondering what to do. All of them half-naked as they ran from room to room picking up what was left of their dresses and underwears from corners they had dropped them in the frenzy of their romance.
The cheating husbands stood around the bed in the farthest room from the entrance porch, contemplating how to handle the shameful imbroglio.
“Oloshi ni e Ugo” Modele yelled from the window through a crack between the curtains.
Dave shook his head when he saw Ada’s face right behind Modele and Joy!
“Aye mi temi bami“
A week before their wives turned up at “Fellowship”, one of their neighbors had made repeated calls to Ada who had relocated a few months earlier to Lagos with her husband.
They accused her of letting out her property to miscreants and good-for-nothing young men who pillaged their peace with loud music and sexual immorality.
She swore she gave the house to a young lady who was planning to get married in a few weeks. She was so shocked at the stories they narrated that she made a trip back to the town to see things herself.
She hid in one of the apartments and watched as the occupants arrived. She recognized no one in particular as different men walked into the front porch into the house until she saw Dave!
One phone call to Joy was all it took and all the four wives laid in siege that night in one of the apartments in the building until all the men arrived early that morning and the house fell silent.
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