The Knowing

The night was not so young anymore. Somewhere in one of the apartments located in the off-campus community of one of the nation’s foremost federal universities, Mark was panting as he brought himself in and out of Chioma with all the skill he could muster. Perfect way to end the weekend and usher in a new working week. Being entangled with such a lady so beautiful and light in complexion was more than he could ask for. Mark couldn’t have wished for anything else…….

Or could he have? This was not exactly his mission here. He had only come to visit Chioma after her perennial accusations of not being a caring study partner. The night had begun with an intellectual discourse on Chinua Achebe’s ”There Was A Country”, followed by an exhibition of Chioma’s great culinary skills. They then proceeded to watch a few episodes of Spartacus on her notebook, after which one thing led to another, their lips collided and then the movements began.

No, Mark was not your typically experimental, virile and adventurous undergraduate with a considerably high libido. He was nothing of the sort. Mark, a penultimate year student of one of the Arts disciplines, was a young man from a conservative Christian background who had been grafted into one of the major fellowships on campus right from his first year. He had been very dedicated to the cause of soul-winning, and had in fact spearheaded a major revival which swept through the university the previous session. For him, this would be the very first time he would be applying his manhood to a purpose other than that of urinating.
Not so for Chioma. She had been through her fair share of relationships, and was quite ‘experienced’ in that sense of the word. She had heard Mark boast that he was above seduction, and tonight she would make him eat his words.

Mark was not having the easiest of nights. No gym class, no football training session, had ever made him sweat profusely and gasp for air as he did that night. He had even gone on to make his first insertion in the wrong place, but Chioma, who managed to hide her giggles, put him in the right direction. She was on hand to guide him, having him alternate between his palms and his mouth on her breasts, and having his tongue glide down her torso. When he let out an emission from his organ, she led him through the messy process, and when it had seemed to lose steam, she patiently worked it until it was ready to go again, facilitating the application of his fingers in the meantime.

Exhausting and enerviating as the whole experience seemed, Mark just could not get himself to disengage. Maybe it was the atmosphere; it was near-perfect for the occasion. The lights were dim and the weather was largely influenced by the downpour earlier on. Furthermore, serenades such as John Mayer’s ”Your Body Is A Wonderland” and Robin Thicke’s ”Lost Without You” had their fair share of airplay on the background via Chioma’s mini home theatre. And when these were combined with the visuals of certain scenes from the Spartacus series, secretion of the appropriate hormones just had to be at an all-time high. There was also something about the way the hair fell on her face, and the way she moaned upon contact, that seemed to spur him on.

Mark was an epitome of nervousness now, a plethora of thoughts and questions running through his head. How would he not know that his visit would culminate into this? Discussing a novel could only take so long. What would he and Chioma have done for the rest of the night, break melons? What other meaning could have been read into the honey-laced text messages she had been sending for the past few weeks leading up to tonight? How had he become so connected to a lady whose principles were much different from his? What had Benny Hinn’s ‘Good Morning Holy Spirit’ got to do with E.L.’s Fifty Shades Of Grey? Had he himself not admitted to his fellowship president that there was something inexplicably alluring about Chioma, after which he was told to be careful? How then did he end up here? Or was there a little bit of desire on his part as well?

Well, whether or not he wanted this wasn’t the issue; he had somehow found his way in, and he had to be a man on this score, hard as it seemed. By now he had let out another emission, but Chioma was on top of the situation, patient enough to let him get himself together and keep up with the thrusts. Afterall, Postinor was not out of circulation, she reasoned. Even if it was, she knew where to get lime. She eventually switched her position, straddling him and gripping it so she could feel more of him inside her.

For Mark, he could feel all his efforts at chastity go down the sewers. His resolution earlier in life to keep his fly zipped until his wedding night, was now a mere vocal exercise. He it was who had, in his zeal for the Lord, exhibited violence when he spotted two lovebirds canoodling under an almond tree at night, in his first year on campus. And now here he was! So much for Proverbs 31:3. So much for Hebrews 13:4. So much for 1st Corinthians 6:18. So much for 1st Thessalonians 4:3. So much for his personal mantras imploring God to ”keep him where the light is”. He had fallen to that which he had boasted of being immune to.

Mark’s mind was riddled with guilt like bullets in a windshield. He couldn’t believe what was going on, what he was doing with his body. This guilt soon gave way to anger. He wanted to curse the day he first met Chioma. As far as he was concerned, she was Delilah and Jezebel fused into one. With further reluctant thrusts anger gave way to resignation, and resignation to desire. He couldn’t deny that a tiny part of him wanted her, and wanted this. He had tasted the fruit, and he was going to enjoy this first bite. With all the lustful energy he could muster, he went into her with renewed vigour, a move greeted with prolonged moaning from Chioma. He lacked experience, but he would make up for it with passion. He no longer needed guidance in gnawing at her breasts, or in alternating between organ and tongue when he penetrated her.

In all the passion, Chioma spared a thought for what she had done, what she had unleashed in Mark. On the one hand, she felt slightly remorseful for making him break his vow of chastity. He was a really good person, different from many other young men she had known, one of the few genuine hearts around, and she wasn’t just about to change that about him. But ultimately, she reasoned, she had done nothing wrong. She had only shown him a more physical aspect of human emotions, while also proving to him that he was human afterall. For all she knew, he should be grateful for finding an avenue to express himself, to unleash his potential.

Two emissions later, and they were done. He would doze off soon after, Chioma’s head resting on his chest. But he wasn’t prepared for how he felt the next morning. A feeling of ‘post-coital tristesse’ was what first engulfed him. The sadness was overwhelming, to say the least. He wished that could be all he would feel, but it was not to be. Something most difficult to explain took over his emotions. The last time he felt anything close to this was at his baptism nearly a decade ago. And indeed, the events of the previous night could pass for some sort of emotional baptism. He had been introduced to the ways of the world. He took a long hard look at the mirror; that unusual glow that often lit his face was gone. En route to the classroom, he could feel everyone staring at him. It felt like they already knew what transpired between he and Chioma. ‘Is this how Adam and Eve felt after discovering they were naked?’, he wondered. A new chapter in his life had been opened, and his innocence was missing from its pages. Chioma was by no means his wife, but thanks to her, he had ‘known’ someone in the Biblical sense.

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En Route

It’s 10.55am, just a little over ten minutes before you mark your second hour at this particular motor park, and still the bus shows no signs of taking off any time soon. Slowly squeezing ticket in hand, you begin to wonder when you’ll eventually get to your destination, which at maximum speed would involve nothing less than seven hours of your day, not including the urgent need to top up the fuel tank at intervals, the ‘statutory’ gauging of the stomach midway through the journey, and responses to the cries of incontinent passengers (which of course depends on the driver’s degree of sympathy). You put all these into consideration, and concede that your plans of exploring your destination town (it would be your first time there) in the later hours of the day are all but quashed.
In your mind, you begin to adduce several reasons for your current plight. You ask yourself why you didn’t heed your father’s advice to disentangle yourself from your bedsheets before 6am, so that you would find yourself with eager passengers and an alert driver on the first bus. You also wish your conservative father had accepted the political appointment which his childhood friend (a legislator) had tried to shore up for him; it would have flight tickets by now rather than bus tickets, eye-catching flight attendants rather than multiple-scarred bus conductors. You then ask yourself why you didn’t explore the option of a roadside bus; those ones charge for less and the bus actually moves, albeit several stops. But then, your mind goes back to the day you first mooted the idea to your father three years ago. You still remember the grim expression to his face, and the authority with which the words ”Not in my house!” spewed from his lips.
An hour passes. Your ticket finds itself somewhere in your left hand, showing signs of extensive squeezing. Part of you wants to hand it over, ask for your money back and set out in search of another bus, but your mind recalls the caveat boldly crested on almost every ticket: ”No refund after payment”. You also consider what time it is in the day and the rigours involved in getting another bus, and decide that your patience is not exactly a matter of choice. While you wait, a blind deaf-mute, led by a companion, approaches your side of the bus, bowl in hand. Your mood at the time, coupled with the lack of a really low naira denomination, means that you pass up the opportunity to show some generosity. Further contributing to the lack of serenity in the park are the shouts of hawkers calling for the purchase of their wares, from drinks which for all you know are largely diluted, to snacks whose expiry dates you can’t be sure of, to motivational books whose titles make you want to ask the seller if he ever applies the principles therein. It takes another 30 minutes before the bus is finally ready to move, but not before a ‘mobile preacher’ shares some scripture, says a few words of prayer and encourages the passengers to support the ministry with their ‘widow’s mite.’
You’d think that the movement of the bus finally offers some respite, but you are proven wrong soon enough. In the first place, your position in the bus offers you no room to stretch your legs, which means you’re in for a really long ride. While you begin to wish your legs were a few inches shorter, the woman next to you chooses to feed herself on garlic. Garlic! You resign yourself to keeping your nose close to the window for the rest of the journey, trying as much as possible to resist turning right. Another passenger who’s sitting next to the driver is making what you suspect to be a business transaction over the phone, in an indigenous language which you don’t understand and which, thanks to his tone and his high pitch, you immediately lose interest in learning. You feel your pockets for your music player, only to find out that you accidentally locked it away in the box at the boot. Yea, that big box which incurred extra charges. You decide to distract yourself with the dark-skinned lady behind you, but she’s reading a novel with her ears plugged and, judging from her response to your pleasantries, she’s in no mood for conversation. You heave a sigh, which goes deeper when you observe two lovebirds sitting two rows behind. With the level of coziness on display and the way they leaned into each other, you could swear that these two would definitely make out as the journey progressed.
No, the bus never gets quiet enough for you to delve into deep thinking as you would have liked. At intervals, different discussions and arguments spring up, from which European football club has the most fans, to the present state of Nollywood, to what measures should be taken to tackle insecurity in the country. The attention of everyone on the bus is soon captured however, when a male passenger implores the driver to stop so he can relieve himself in a nearby bush. Reactions duly follow, some in sympathy and others in derision, but no one appears to dance to his tune. It appears Mr. Incontinent had consumed some African salad at the park before the journey began. You wonder why he would go on to consume something so sensitive at a place where the quality of its preparation is not guaranteed. Well he holds it in long enough to avoid embarrassment, for in a matter of minutes, the bus makes its ‘statutory’ stop at a mall in the town which stands as the journey’s midway point. Relief for him, as he dashes to the nearest restroom, and relief for you too, as you can afford to stretch your legs and also pacify your stomach enzymes.
After a period of a little over 30 minutes, everyone is back on the bus, and ultimately on the road for the second part of the journey. Now the road is not so smooth, and it appears that the driver had a little too much to drink. Cries of ”weli ya nwanyo” and other calls for restraint in other languages (including pidgin) rent the air, but these seem to spur the driver on to even more recklessness. Abuse and counter-abuse ensue between driver and passenger, and someone maximizes the opportunity to chip in a fart or two. The day is gradually aging, and then you are treated to panic calls from your parents, the destination relative and your significant other, each anxious to know where you are. The bus eventually stops at a designated park by 7pm. You alight from the bus with hurting knees, just in time to see your box tossed out of the boot in a manner devoid of care. You shrug and tend to the box, and only get to your exact destination an hour, five calls and an exploitative taxi driver later. You are welcomed by the anxious waiting arms of your destination relative, and the story seems to end happily.
Two weeks pass, within which you’ve gained a few pounds. It’s now time to go back home to your immediate family, and it’s you yet again at the park, ticket slowly getting squeezed in your left hand, seated next to a woman eating sardines, and slowly preparing your mind for what lies ahead.