Benny strolled into the small eatery attached to the hospital and as soon as he saw Nengi, he told himself to walk right back out. Then felt ridiculous at the idea. He was the Consultant for heaven’s sake and she his subordinate. Besides, he wasn’t even the least bit interested in her and just because she’d tossed an audacious wink his way that morning didn’t mean he should be avoiding her as if he feared her— or her powers.
He ordered his food and just to show her, and himself, that he wasn’t the slightest affected by her, he strolled over to her table and without asking permission, set down his tray of food and sat opposite her.
“It is honoured I am that Dr Kachi-Williams deigned to share my table.” Nengi sat back to savour the pleasure of having the strapping, handsome doctor within arm’s reach. Such a pity that she couldn’t reach and just take a bite, she thought with sighing regret. “I missed having you around last week, Dr Jebolisa was such a bore.” She rolled her eyes at the thought of the other OB-GYN who wanted a piece of her. Like she’d ever do a married, middle-aged, man.
There were tales, silently whispered among staff, that his older and more libertine colleague has his eyes fixed on Nengi nowadays. Of course, he couldn’t intimidate her with his position, as he was wont to do with house officers, as she was the daughter of the hospital’s medical director.
“I’m sure you found other things to entertain you.” He said dryly, cutting into his porridge yam. “It is off course insubordinate to call a superior a bore, but I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear that.”
“You heard it and you agree with me.” Nengi’s twinkled with mischief. “He would too if he heard me. And he won’t do anything about it.”
“He wouldn’t, not when you’re daddy’s little girl.”
“It’s not me being daddy’s little girl that’s stopping him.” Nengi returned, unoffended by the sneer. “It is the fact that I have a nice little shot of him plugging it into Nurse Aduke behind in ghost-room-1.”
Ghost-room was a ward that was not in use, inadequate funding and maintenance had some wards like that strewn around the hospital.
“You do not!”
Nengi grinned at the shocked look in his eyes. “I do. It’s not in this device or I might be tempted to give you a peek. But I do have it, a fact that’s got him desperate to plug me too, so lost in lust, I might do a delete. No such luck for him.” Nengi chuckled. “But I won’t share evidence though— just for Nurse Aduke’s sake.”
“But she is married!” Benny didn’t know which horrified him most, that Nengi had a picture of his colleague having sex with a nurse or that the said nurse was Aduke Alakija, a married woman with two kids— no, three kids.
Nengi laughed. “So is sweet-faced, holy-saints Dr Abiye and he’s got her singing the halleluiah reverse-version too.”
Certain he would choke if he took another forkful, Benny set down his fork and slowly, and carefully, lifted his bottle of water. He took a long sip and couldn’t stop gazing into Nengi’s mischief-sparkling eyes. She has bright, fun-filled dark brown eyes, he thought—before he could stop the thought.
“I can’t believe this.” He finally said, setting back the bottle of water.
“Not everyone lives by your brand of principles, Dr Benny.” Her eyes suddenly went sombre. “Which makes admiring you so much harder to resist.”
Behind the quietness seriousness, Benny noted the sincere admiration and behind that, the faint gleam of desire. He would have explored that faint gleam, if there was no Nora, he would have explored that gleam. The truth behind that thought made him drop his gaze and reach for his fork again.
“I can’t believe that there are really women who would so decadently break her marriage vow. And for what, a few minutes of pleasure and negligent material gain?” He tasted the bile of disgust that usually crawled through him at the thought of infidelity.
“I see you’re going Adam’s excuse on this— it is the woman and not the man.” Nengi picked up her paper napkin and wiped her mouth. “He too is married, let’s not forget.”
“Yes, but he is a man, much less is expected of him morally.” Benny shook his head. “Don’t get me wrong, I abhor infidelity, whatever gender is guilty. But you can’t deny that a woman is considered, and rightly so, a moralist; a moral-banner for all else. An epitome of virtue and upright conduct. A woman should always know better.”
“Sorry, if I disagree, sir. But it is a man who should always know better. The head should always be more logical and more discerning, the heart is forever sentimental.” Nengi angled her head and studied him. “Tell me, if Aduke or angelic Abiye was your wife, would you forgive their misdemeanour?”
“I abhor infidelity, Nengi. One can be tempted, but one needn’t fall into temptation.”
“First time you’re using my first name.” The wicked sparkle returned into her eyes. “I like the sound of it on your lips. I like the full, luscious look of your lips; I’d like the taste of them even better.”
“Isn’t it time you got back to your duties, Dr Toby-Koko?” Benny refused to be tempted.
Nengi chuckled. “It definitely is, sir.” She pushed back her chair and got up. “I abhor infidelity too, and I would never be unfaithful… in-case you’re wondering.” And with another low chuckle, she started towards the exit of the eatery.
Alone, Benny expelled a deep breath and willed his heartbeat to return to normal. Yeah, he would have definitely explored that. But he wouldn’t— not when he had the perfect woman already. And remembering her, the yearning only she could set off, started to burn.
Nora deleted the message without reading. She didn’t need to read it to know its content. Tim had been sending same message begging her to talk to him since their encounter at his hotel room last Friday.
Encounter? The demon taunting her for the last one week repeated demanded in a mocking voice. It wasn’t an encounter, dear Mrs Kachi-Williams to-be, it was sex—wild, hot, incomparable sex. And you want some more.
“No, I don’t!” Nora vehemently denied, wishing she could yank out the demonic voice from her head.
“Hmm? What did you say?” Benny queried from the kitchen.
“Err… I was talking to myself.” Nora inhaled and tried to push back the wave of guilt. God, what had she done? What in heaven’s name had she done? And how was she going to undo it?
Another message tooted in.
“Your phone has been nonstop beeps since you got home. Who’s driving you insane with text messages?” Benny asked as he strolled into the living room with their plates of noodles, vegetables and chicken— her choice of dinner tonight.
“It’s MTN o.” The lie tumbled out of her without thought. “The number of spam messages these people send eh, na wa.”
“Just be careful you don’t mistakenly click yes to any of those advert messages they trickily send along too.” Benny set her plate in front of her and lowered down beside her. “Meanwhile, you won’t believe the gist I got today on Jebolisa and his antics. It’s unbelievable. My God, even now I still find it hard to believe they are both capable of such.”
“Both?” Nora frowned as she forked up some noodles. “Jebolisa and who?”
“Not Jebolisa— well, he’s also a culprit. But I am more shocked by these ladies, especially Dr Abiye. My God, she is a good Christian! I mean she professes to be one and even acts it. Always kindly, always remonstrating patients, and colleagues, to keep their faith in God… begins every working day with a long prayer section.”
“So, what did she and this other person do?”
Another text message beep came before Benny could respond.
“Is that still MTN?” Benny glared at the mobile device. He so hated spam messages. “Hand me the phone, let me see which of their short-code numbers is sending the messages. I think I know how to block them off if it’s the 33111 code.”
“Forget MTN and their wahala jor. I will just switch off the phone and have some rest.” She switched off the phone and set it down on her laps. “Finish your gist abeg. What’s Dr Abiye involved in—hospital politics?”
“Hospital politics is better sef and not a crime.” Benny scowled as his thoughts returned once again to the story Nengi had told him. “She is sleeping with Jebolisa, and so is Aduke, an Anaesthetic nurse. They are both married and with children o. I can’t believe these women would stoop so low as to allow another man access to their bodies, my God! Where the heck is their dignity?”
Her fork clattered out of her limp hand.
“You find it shocking too, don’t you?” Benny said, picking the fork that tipped over and fell at his feet. He got up and walked to the kitchen to bring a new one. “This is exactly how I felt after I heard the story. When I ran into Dr Abiye after that, I almost threw up at the bile of disgust that choked me. Unbelievable how some women, and men of course, have zero morals. No principles and code of conduct at all. You will find that their husbands are nice, affectionate, well-providing men o. As for Jebolisa, he-goat…” Benny let out a hiss. “If you see his wife, eh? Exquisite woman. Homely, sweet-natured, well-bred and mannered. Only God knows what he is looking for in other women. God forbid!”
“Na wa.” Was all Nora could manage as she dipped her new fork into her plate.
But the noodles and chicken were tasteless in her mouth. Oh God, what has she done? If ever Benny found out, she would be finished. What was worse even was the manner her body couldn’t stop burning for Tim. She went to bed every night since Friday dreaming of their wild lovemaking and yearning for it. Tim had always been more adventurous in bed… something Benny wasn’t.
She was in trouble. In so much trouble.