On a bed she lay, body facing up, Cleopatra in her pose. Stomach stretched, back arched, a single finger between her teeth as she gazed longingly at him in nothing but a white shirt. His shirt, the buttons undone, showing the outline of the flat of her stomach while revealing the valley of her bosom; each peak barely hidden. One leg reached forever into the sky toes curled; the other bending at the knee with a hand caressing a taut thigh.
Namdi could not look away, eyes glued to the marvel he saw on his phone. It was the first photo. He looked at her as she looked back at him, the blood in his veins pulsing harder, pumping faster, heat coming off him in waves. Even in 2D, she was vibrant and alive. Swipe of the thumb to reach the end merely gave birth to photo after photo, each more provocative than the last. The sound of hurrying footsteps outside the door of his hospital room stopped him cold.
Horror set in as the danger of his situation hit him like a sledgehammer. Namdi knew he had to move but his body refused to comply, frozen in terror. Do something! He silently shouted in vain, unable to do anything but listen as the footsteps got closer and closer. It reached his front door, an agitated Namdi waiting, watching the knob of the door, the executioner’s axe coming closer and closer to his neck. Hearing the footsteps fading into the distance, Namdi felt a heavy pressure lifted from his shoulders, mobility returning to his limbs.
The fear of what might have galvanised him; his fingers a flurry of motion, deleting the pictures. Picture after picture disappeared from the world, nervous glances aimed at the door. More than half way through, Namdi let out a small sigh of relief, knowing he would soon finish and devoting his full attention to the task. The door knob turned, shocking an unprepared Namdi, the phone slipping from his hand, a picture of her curving seductively against a door filling the screen.
Over and over the phone turned, gravity embracing it in her unforgiving grasp till it landed face down on the unyielding hospital floor. Namdi nearly cried out in frustration.
"Honey, you won't believe the things that people forget here!"
"Do tell Zainab. Find anything for the one who has everything?"
His voice remained steady, mind working a mile a minute. I have to distract her, Namdi thought while also trying to remember how much time he had set for the screen to turn of.
"Has everything!? What is that supposed to mean?"
"Zainab, you know how hard it is to get you a gift. Remember your birthday shortly after we started dating..."
She laughed as she reminisced. Running a hand through her dark hair, she moved to Namdi's bedside, her complete focus on his cut lip.
"You thought you were such a Casanova back then. What did you even get me again?"
"Woman, stop pretending like you don't remember."
"Oh, so you know what I remember and don't remember. I'm guessing you also know what I'm thinking too."
Zainab looked at Namdi, seeming to dare him to read between the lines, her face inches away from his. From the door to his side, he could swear she glided on air. He forever marveled at the way she moved. She has the grace of a panther, sleek, silent and elegant, but sometimes it felt like there was an inkling of something more; A thought Namdi could not quite shake off but did not dwell on. Seeing her so close to him, he reached up to kiss her, body still emanating heat.
"This guy! After we were just caught red handed."
Roughly, she pushed him away, her hand pressing his back to the hospital bed.
"Alright, alright, I thought you wanted a kiss."
"After the time we were pretty much caught at the company Christmas party, we agreed we would be more careful."
"And whose idea was it? Zainab, tell me whose idea it was to use my bosses office?"
Zainab looked sheepishly at Namdi.
"He never comes for the Christmas parties. How was I meant to know... It's weird you still call him boss even now."
"I'm sorry Zainab, I'll try harder to stop. Now come here and tell me what you found."
He reached for her but she nimbly dodged his outstretched hand aiming for her waist.
"What is this? Isn't this your phone on the floor?"
Dancing away from him, she saw the phone slightly under the bed.
"Zainab, don't worry about it, first tell me what you found at the lost and found."
"Namdi, why are you now acting like I'm a spoiled brat who can't bend down to pick up a phone."
Chuckling, she reached for the phone. Namdi lay there, powerless to do anything, reduced to praying enough time had passed. Mind crunching up one unsatisfactory answer after another for what she might see.
Continued on next page...
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