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Red Underwear Red Underwear
by Aloysius-Gonzaga
2013-01-16 23:29:43
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Udeani was sharpening his favourite machete when the DHL man’s delivery motorcycle sounded across the brick fence. He abandoned the machete and took position near the centre of the gate which was closed and locked.

The gate’s design was typical of the area. Its lower half was completely sealed with iron sheeting, while its upper part boasted a beautiful, holed and gapped design created with coiled iron rods. The gate was aged and rust-ridden. The rust had in fact overwhelmed what was the red hue the iron construction had received when it was first completed and mounted, exactly thirty-two years ago. Nonetheless the fairly beautiful, holed and gapped design it still boasted meant someone stood at the compound side of it and watched and spoke to a visitor who was still outside – on the street side – and then opened for the visitor should the need arise. Pedestrian visitors used a smaller single gate mounted beside the main gate. The two entrances were always padlocked.

Good day!’ a uniformed young man greeted from the outside, indifferent as to whether Udeani responded or not. Please I am looking for Mr and Mrs Ozor?’

You have come to the right place,’ Udeani replied. And then with a mild, happy anticipation he recognised the motorcycle parked behind the man. It was the same Honda motorcycle that delivered their son’s letters, only a new face rode it today.

‘Are you Mr Ozor, sir?’

‘Yes. I am Mr Ozor. And Mrs Ozor is seated over there under that udara tree,’ Udeani gestured. ‘I can call her if you wish?’

‘No, sir; you don’t have to. You only need to open the gate and I will give you a paper to sign before you collect the letter.’

Udeani naturally avoided anything that could expose his illiteracy, even a situation that called for a mere signature immediately threatened him.

‘Don’t worry,’ he offered. ‘Give me a second and I will fetch Nnenna.’

He turned in the direction of the udara tree where she sat, checking the register of a local married women’s organisation where she served as secretary.

‘Please be fast, Nnem.’

Nnenna signed and collected the letter. Back under the udara tree she opened the envelope. Udeani was seated across the table – as was the case whenever they received an envelope – like a limbless, hungry dog waiting to be fed and seeing the food coming. His eyes and ears were all aroused.

‘You don’t want to know what this letter is saying, Nnanyi,’ Nnenna gave her signature trouble-indicating smile.

‘Who wrote?’ Udeani asked hastily, leaning forward on his cushioned chair and settling his walking stick under the table.

‘Who else if not our son, Obinna. Nnanyi we are finished!’ Her voice was now panicky.

‘Easy, woman! What is it? Is he in trouble?’

‘He’s not, Nnanyi.’

‘So what is the problem then? Is he sick?’

‘Nnanyi white people!’

‘Ehee? What about white people?’

‘They have stolen our only son, Nnanyi!’

‘How? For what? Is he in jail? Did he sell drugs?’ Udeani was totally impatient now. ‘Woman say something!’

‘He is not in the prison, Nnanyi. He wrote that he has been living with a white woman for roughly two-and-a-half years now. That they are in love and are meant for each other!’

Ilo!’ Udeani mocked thethey are in love part. Afuchaa nkea anya akpoo! Mbanu! Ofu anya ji isi ugwo!he rebuked.

‘Our enemies are at work, Nnanyi.

Mbanu! No way! We sent him to Europe to study and come back. Not to go there and marry a white woman! Ona apu ara? Is he mad?’ he protested, fumingly. ‘What nonsense! I won’t let it happen, Nnenna! I won’t!’

Nnenna folded and gently slapped the letter on the table. She had only read half of it. Her illiterate husband had married her for, amongst other reasons, reading and writing on his and their behalf.

After having their first child, Amara, who came relatively late and was now grown and married to a city of Lagos-based businessman, it didn’t appear like Nnenna could conceive again. Udeani had panicked over the frightening thought that he hadn’t fetched himself the best woman he could get. They seriously needed more children, more sons especially as was demanded by their culture. It certainly meant more to Udeani than it meant to his wife; he was after all a married man in a society where only a male child is deemed qualified to perpetuate a man’s, or indeed a family’s, name and blood.  

It was five years later when the kind egg that became Obinna out of sheer mercy decided to let the sperm do its job as requested by its master, Udeani. A son finally! The couple didn’t expect a second one but did nevertheless try. They were unsuccessful in the end.

He’d decided against consulting a third party for opinions on whether he should finally accept and become contented with just one son, although two or more could have just been perfect. Udeani knew marriage was a private affair and came to the conclusion he could not hope to find a perfect partner. Such a woman had never existed and never would. Nnenna, he wrapped up, embodied enough qualities in herself. Firstly, she had finally given him a son, someone to sustain his family’s name and blood. Secondly, she was able to read and write, having successfully completed high school, and so served as his eyes with respect to literacy. Finally, better than anyone else who lived, she understood the reasonably stubborn man that was Udeani.

The last time a matter as intricate as this – their son’s decision to be with a white lady – visited the couple was exactly four years ago when that same son, Obinna, expressed his wish to study in Russia. It was a country that generally interested him. The couple sat at this same spot that evening, under the udara tree where they always relaxed in the evening. Sometimes they entertained visitors there too. If the period of the year wasn’t the rain-free dry season then there must not have been rain for four days or more before a person could comfortably sit there. They sat there now. The month was December, the driest time of the dry season.

You sell one of the most valuable lands you inherited from your father, below market price, and spend the money to send your only son to Europe to study. All the while he never mentioned in any of his many letters that he’s dating a white woman that you, his older and wiser parents, might caution and deter him from doing before the relationship develops. Suddenly, after achieving his first degree and beginning to study for his second, just when you are excited your son will soon be home and stuffed full of world-class knowledge to make you proud and make your enemies weep, you get this heartbreaking message – ‘I have been dating a girl called. . .’ did he say Mava or Mavra . . . ‘and she’s from here. We love each other and would like to get married when the time’s right…’  Udeani reflected and felt robbed.


There were sounds made by hinges of the old wooden door that connected their compound with that of Uzodike, Udeani’s younger brother. Sure enough Uzodike walked in.

Uzodike had one of his wife’s newest wrappers tied around his waist. His upper body was nude, his scarcely shaved chest a Christmas turnoff. He was barefooted.

Osi ańaa?’ he greeted them cheerfully.

Anyi ghasa, Uzo. How’s your family?’ answered Udeani.

The two men shook hands. Uzodike complained to his brother of the bad Christmas season their village was experiencing that year; how significantly fewer people had returned from the big cities for the big season, unlike in the previous years. Fewer people were driving new cars too, Uzodike observed, and what was more, food was unusually too expensive.

Udeani agreed. ‘Could you fetch an extra chair for Uzodike, Nnem?’ he said to his wife, who left and in a heartbeat returned with her kitchen stool.

‘I hope it can sustain you, Uzo,’ she teased the hefty Uzodike.

‘I bet you sat on it while you were pregnant with Obinna.’

They all laughed.

Udeani wanted to ask Uzodike whether his oldest son Vigor, who was learning trade in the city of Onitsha from one of the area’s richest men, was coming home for Christmas. But he quickly forgot his question.

 Nnenna sat awhile listening to the two men’s mannish conversation which was dominated by local politics. She had nothing to add and all at once it occurred to her the table was unacceptably bare. This was above all a period of eating and sharing. (Never mind the fact that evil and wicked citizens also used this time of the year to eliminate both their true enemies and people they simply envied, mostly by handing out poisoned edibles as gifts and refreshments.)

Nnenna wasted no time in making the setting look and feel like Christmas. After breakfast with her husband she had prepared a full pot of ngwo-ngwo for their after lunch relaxation session under the udara tree.

Ngwo-ngwo, usually served with palm wine or some other kind of alcoholic liquor, is mostly considered an adult’s relaxation treat. Far from being a meal or even a dessert it is usually comprised of meat chopped into bite-sized pieces, gathered particularly from a goat’s head, and creamed with traditionally prepared cream whose main ingredients include palm oil, chilli pepper, salt, and a certain local vegetable. Ngwo-ngwo is primarily an Igbo delicacy.

‘What did you bring us, woman?’ asked Udeani deliberately, as though his keen nose had suddenly started lying to him.

‘The scent sneaking off the pot has spoken for the pot, Ude,’ commented Uzodike, who now smiled a hungry smile.

The mini pot encompassing the prized delicacy was now placed on the table by Nnenna, who first left a page from an old newspaper on the table – preventing what could have been a soot stain on the unpolished, locally-made, rectangular bench which they used as their under-the-udara-tree table. They cooked with firewood, which meant their pots were always covered with thick soot.

Nnenna ran quickly back inside the house and brought a plastic vessel of hand-washing water, two plates and a dishing spoon. They used no cutlery certainly, as ngwo-ngwo is eaten with bare hands. She first placed the plastic vessel on the edge of the table to her husband’s left. Then she rested the dishing spoon inside the top one of the two concave plates, which she didn’t separate, and positioned them beside the now uncovered pot.

‘Please, help yourselves,’ she said.

Nnenna was the knower-of-her-husband’s-heart and knew her husband badly needed this one-on-one chance to discuss, in a manly way, Obinna’s letter with Uzodike. She excused herself and on her way back to their building called out to no one in particular: ‘I hope to get comments afterwards. It does not matter whether good or bad.’ She was referring to her ngwo-ngwo.

As the two men ate and discussed more local politics, telling their usual jokes and minding the chilli pepper by laughing cautiously, Udeani eventually announced: ‘By the way, I thought I should let you know, Uzo. We were just reading a letter from Obinna.’

‘Oh that’s great, Ude. It’s a good thing, my brother, especially in a season like this. I bet he’s now used to lonely Christmases.’

‘It wasn’t only about him sending us season’s greetings this time, Uzo. Can you imagine, just when I and his mother felt it was high time we found him a wife, possibly during this Christmas season – as many good, young girls will as usual be on display as part of the festivities – what we learnt was he is going to marry a white woman he’s been dating and living with for years with neither our knowledge nor consent?’

You can’t be serious, Ude?’ Uzodike adjusted himself on his stool.

I am still wishing it were a joke, Uzo. Honestly. Because as you know I didn’t send my only son overseas for a story like this one. We sent him there to study and to return and make Ozor family proud.’

Inukwa! Asinum! As a matter of fact I did detect anxiety in you and your wife when I walked in.’

That’s what we are currently facing, Uzo my brother.’

After about twenty minutes had been absolutely devoted to sympathising and minds rubbing, Uzodike was certain his brother wasn’t just open to a suggestion. He saw that Udeani was in fact desperate for any.

But come to think of it, Ude,’ Uzodike said, first keep in mind that I, Uzodike your brother, cannot participate in the murder of a person whose funeral is obligatorily mine alone to take care of, meaning I cannot hurt you, my own brother. That said, what I have to say is that I don’t expect your son, after years in Russia, to return to Nigeria and like the kind of woman you and your wife would choose for him to marry. Change is the only constant thing in life, Ude, and I hope you understand your son has grown out of the category of young men their parents choose a wife for. I know it’s hard to accept, but I also know you get what I mean.’

Nnenna has said something like that after feeling worse and panicking herself,’ Udeani paused, but don’t forget we are speaking about my only son here – Uzoremember.’

I can only tell you the truth, Ude; nothing but the truth.’

And that truth is what?’

Let him be with the white girl, if that’s what he truly wants. This is twenty-first century, Ude.’ Uzodike raised his hands in surrender: Ogwuna ka oham na onu.’

Udeani fixed his victimised gaze on him, saying nothing further. The silence lasted awhile.


After lunch, which the couple had late, Udeani thought of another critical discussion and thought of none other than his friend Mazi Ambrose. He scrapped his plan to visit their farm by the river Isi-iyi and marched to his friend’s house. Most of all, Nigeria was one of those places where people could, if they desired, visit without notice or invitation.

Mazi, after their long exchange of pleasantries, politely asked what had brought Udeani to his place that late afternoon.

All is not well,’ Udeani answered promptly.

What’s the matter?’ asked his friend, in whose spacious sitting room they sat.

It’s about my son, Obinna.’

What about him? Is he sick?’

His health is good, Mazi, but I am afraid I might end up myself in a hospital if nothing is done soon to stop my only son from marrying a white woman.’

Did he say he’s going to marry a white woman?’

Udeani told his sad tale.

Chai! reproached Mazi, as though his friend’s outcry hadn’t hit his sixty-three year old ears as good news.

Mazi had always been a fake friend. And not just to Udeani, who knew this sad fact, but also to his other companions. Indeed Udeani had always known Mazi suffered from enviousness, at an incurable disease level. Except Mazi was two things, which some locals, those who let their own unimaginable degree of enviousness ultimately transform them into murderers, were not:

1) a little educated and

2) an average churchgoer.

Otherwise Mazi, who at heart was extremely close to those murderers, would happily have joined that highly feared club which had no definite list or register of members. Specifically, whenever another villager made progress in any way – small or big, or even if their own children did – Mazi’s heart, responding in just the same way as did those of the murderers, first quaked in bitter disapproval regarding the good news or sight; and then it was overwhelmed with immense disappointment and sadness.

‘Your enemies are on your doorstep, Udeani,’ Mazi announced.

‘That’s why I have come to share with you. Perhaps you might have some good advice for me?’ pleaded Udeani who knew cutting all ties with Mazi would have been the best thing to do if only there were such a thing as genuinely good people in his village.

Udeani knew Mazi was wicked but also knew he couldn’t kill, for Mazi did not belong to that club. And so Udeani assuredly accepted edibles from him. Above all, he saw Mazi as his best choice, the least of many evils, who occasionally, either mistakenly or for another unknown reason, offered good advice.

‘But I really thought you were wiser than this, Udeani. Whose idea was it in the first place to send this boy overseas?’

‘Does it matter whose idea it was, Mazi?’

‘You people should have known he was your only son.’

‘But I was not the first to send an only son overseas. I feel I am just unlucky.’ Udeani sighed.

‘I guess you wanted to be the first man in the whole of Nkete village to produce an overseas graduate son. Now look at what you have done to yourself,’ said Mazi with satisfaction.

‘I have not come so that you blame me, instead of offering kindly advice. Please help me if you can.’

Mazi gave a sarcastic chuckle. ‘I know how you feel, Udeani,’ he chuckled a little further, adding, ‘I suppose you know how it goes when one’s son marries a white woman?’

‘I have no idea, Mazi. But I know there is nothing good about it.’

‘Oh, I thought you knew. How come you are panicking then? Well, I once worked at the magistrates’ court, as you know. At my workplace was a man who was a victim of this same child abduction as I call it.’ He paused for his friend to beg for the rest of the story.

‘And what was it like with him?’ Udeani asked at once.

Mazi sighed a long sigh. ‘What else? The man lived to begin to see his ears with his own eyes without the help of the mirror.’

Meaning the man had faced indescribable suffering as a result of his only son’s marriage to a white woman.

Udeani was now clearly alarmed as he came forward in his sofa. ‘How exactly do you mean, Mazi?’

‘He and his wife had three children, a boy and two girls. The older of the girls died young. The other, immediately after high school, got married to a well-off man who then lost his money and became a poor farmer. When the boy grew into a young adult he quickly became the target of the murderers who, as one would expect, aimed to eliminate him so as to inherit the family’s landed wealth once the man and the wife passed away. So as a precautionary measure the man and his wife decided to spend everything they had saved, even borrowed, to send this boy overseas and away from these wicked people’s wicked eyes. They didn’t know they were sending him there to fall in love with a German woman.’

Mazi stopped speaking and waited for Udeani to beg again.

‘So what happened afterward? You can really be such a bad storyteller sometimes, Mazi,’ complained Udeani impatiently.

‘I know,’ admitted Mazi, who then crossed his tiny, dry legs and began to add salt and other ingredients to a story that nevertheless had truthfully taken place. How could aggrandising the event benefit Mazi? Of course it would help destabilise his friend Udeani even further. Mazi was a wicked soul and understandably couldn’t wait to see just that take place.

After explaining to Udeani his personal belief that the western marriage could not be compared with what they had in Africa, he went on to express his thought that it was a better idea to send one’s only son to the monastery and forget about him. One could always count on God’s supreme memory, which meant God would reward such a person for sacrificing an only son to His Church. That was better than to stay alive and watch him marry a white woman. Perhaps the western marriage system required the African man to make a pledge to the western woman to abandon his parents and focus solely on her, continued Mazi, who never lacked words on such occasions. Mazi was fully aware that he could comfortably mock and be tolerated in times like this, owing to the fact he offered good advice simultaneously – or would do so at the end of his ridiculing of the troubled other.

The former workmate and his wife saw hell according to Mazi. As was the trend, the German lady overwhelmed their son and subsequently he scarcely answered his parents’ phone calls, much less called them himself. In a letter he wrote when he was still able to write, he admitted that whenever a phone call came in from his parents she was always furious like a tigress. So talking to his parents meant he had to hide from her.

The man retired from his work and soon afterwards his wife fell ill, Mazi carried on. They had become financially lacking, so she died one month later of mere typhoid! Mere typhoid! Mazi repeated this part, his tone bewailing. All the man’s attempts to communicate with his son, when the boy could still save his own mother’s life by sending just a hundred euro were to no avail. The man lived an extremely secluded and wretched life afterwards – and then there was his own shameful death.

‘Mind you,’ Mazi called, ‘this boy attended neither of his parents’ funerals! Their compound has fast become a forest. Is that what you want for yourself, Udeani?’

A trembling Udeani was dumbstruck. He was close to tears now, except men didn’t cry in this place.

Mazi remained unrelenting. He explained to his friend that Africans gave birth to children to raise them well and have the children help their parents in their elderly days. Westerners, he was convinced, thought differently.

‘Even though I am yet to visit there,’ conceded Mazi, ‘but I have read books with an s, as you very well know. To be honest, I cannot tell you what their reasons for having families are but I know they have something they call Social Security. This means, believe it or not, that society takes care of them from birth to death. This Social Security – I know this much – is usually tax-funded. So perhaps people there make babies so that when they (the parents) are old, there will be people to pay taxes that will be used to take care of them (the parents). But we both know we don’t pay taxes in this country. How many of us Nigerians have even heard of the term Social Security? Family and children are our everything. Correct me if I am wrong anywhere?’ He was noticeably feeling a little proud of himself.

‘You have hit the nail on its head,’ acknowledged Udeani. ‘This is why I like talking with you, Mazi, this is…’

In the end Mazi put aside his evil nature, albeit momentarily, and didn’t mince his words. If Udeani had previously informed him that he and his wife were hoping to choose a wife for their only son Obinna, Mazi would have suggested they forget the doomed idea. Following which Udeani confessed his brother Uzodike had said something similar and given just the same reasons.

‘It is true that ours is one of the few societies where people invest heavily in raising their children. But at the same time we tend to hold on to that and try to take away our children’s independence and freedom of choice,’ Mazi stopped to clear his throat, ‘which is simply unfortunate! Of course it would be unreasonable of me to conclude that your experience, should your son marry a white woman, will resemble that of my former friend from the magistrates’ court. After all, it’s where one person goes and fails that another goes and succeeds.’

A moment later Udeani hurried home, clearer about things but still very undecided. He walked the village’s unpaved main road covering his eyes against dust and related particles as harmattan wind acted up, gusting and twirling everything in its path. It was only four days before Christmas. About every six minutes an unfamiliar car cruised past him. He moved closer to the bush whenever he heard their sound behind him or saw them approaching from the front. Their unfamiliar look meant they were some of the few that had returned from the big cities for that year’s unusually quiet Christmas.


While her husband was away to Mazi’s place Nnenna had crossed the middle door that connected their compound with that of Uzodike and family. She had gone to see Maria, Uzodike’s wife, to seek her view of the Christmas big news that had hit her and her husband. Maria had appeared too excited upon hearing it again, this time from the horse’s mouth. Nnenna learnt Maria was in fact planning to come over to congratulate her. The news was to Maria, who had seen mulattoes on TV and deeply admired them, something to be unrestrictedly proud about.

Nnenna first thought Maria had been told to react the way she did. But later into their conversation she saw Maria truly would have traded positions with her. Nnenna didn’t only see and sense that Maria meant it, she felt it in her gut. And while walking back to her house afterward she felt as though she and her husband had been blind – for how long she could not remember – and, lo, she was finally feeling what people who saw felt, and could think about life the way they thought about it.

Was she going to tell Udeani about the miracle she experienced? Definitely no! If at all, perhaps later, certainly not immediately. He’s going to dismiss it the moment he hears the miracle-worker was a woman, Nnenna thought. Worse would be the fact that the lady miracle-worker is younger than I, the delivered.

Udeani indeed had his few disturbing opinions. He was certain the mother-child bond could never allow any woman to make a sound, unemotional decision when the problems on the table were her child’s desires opposed to what’s best for that child. He also staunchly believed the older person was always more endowed with wisdom. Nnenna had learned to live with his prejudices after initially trying her best to alter some of them, but recording not a single win. She knew it was now too late – he was going to hit sixty soon.

But she felt strongly Udeani was going to arrive where she currently was as to their son’s relationship. If it took only a thirty-minute, honest conversation with Maria for her to see things clearly and make up her mind, two longer conversations with Uzodike and Mazi Ambrose should go a long way in helping her somewhat inflexible husband. Maybe not right away, she understood. Maybe in another day or two after he had digested and processed all advice he had received from the two men. She was now sure Uzodike had said the right things to Udeani. She hoped Mazi did just the same.


In Vladivostok, where Mavra and Obinna had arrived early on New Year’s Eve for celebrations after spending Christmas with Mavra’s parents in Moscow, the roads around the city centre were packed full of people. The New Year’s Eve Mass had just ended. Fireworks had begun going up into the sky above what was Russia’s eastern-most major city.

The couple’s New Year wishes included good health, success in all their endeavours, more good sex, and being honest with each other. They stood just ten metres from the church’s main entrance as they pronounced the wishes and then kissed as more fireworks hammered overhead. It was Obinna who’d guiltily added the last of the four wishes, about honesty. Luckily for him it had escaped Mavra’s notice. For she would have immediately thought what a weird wish! And of course she would have gotten the feeling her man might have been lying to her all along and was now wishing to put an end to it.

 Lying to her? Not exactly but, perhaps, something similar. In the mature relationship he had told only one lie. But he’d always had to support it, every time against his own heart.

‘Have you told your parents about us?’ she had asked.

‘Yes, I have,’ he lied.

‘What did they say?’ she posed, additionally, expectantly.

‘They are in support!’ he lied again and covered it up with a false smile.

‘Just in support?’

‘Excited, I meant to say. They were excited.’

They enjoyed the good dinner she made that evening. Days rolled into months.

‘Can I say hi to your parents on the phone one of these days?’

‘I am afraid you can’t.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because they know we are only dating; and where I was born and raised you don’t bring a girlfriend home. You also can’t introduce her to your parents. It is widely regarded as fundamentally disrespectful and irresponsible.’

‘Oh my god! So I will never talk to them?’

‘No. You will, but in due time.’

‘When is due time?’

‘When we are closer to the substantial thing.’

‘What’s the substantial thing, if I may ask?’

‘That substantial thing.’

‘What’s that substantial thing?’

‘That thing that you know.’

‘I don’t know anything. Do you mean marriage?’

‘Maybe. In fact – I don’t know.’

He had to tell that one lie: ‘Yes, I have already told my parents about us,’ so that the woman of his dreams didn’t consider booting him, citing lack of seriousness. He wished she’d stop asking more, digging further, after his one false but to her a satisfying answer – which should have neutralised any additional questions in her pipeline! Just stop asking so I may quit hurting my conscience by fabricating additional lies all to please you!

Still, regardless of how many extra lies he had to fabricate in order to cover up that first short one, he always felt in the end he had been telling only one lie: ‘Yes, I have already told my parents about us.’ The others are all under it, and are thus negligible.

The right time to liberate himself from the shackles of that one lie was now. He had justified it for years and rightly so. It hadn’t really been his fault. None of Moscow’s many banks would have volunteered to continue financing his education in Russia had he told his parents about his relationship sooner, when Udeani might have said ‘LEAVE HER NOW! Or we freeze your Nigerian bank account where we banked your five-year overseas study funds!’ He had imagined his father authoritatively uttering it, meaning it and his own mother supporting his father either voluntarily or grudgingly. He spoke the Russian language now and had pocketed his bachelor’s degree. In no time he was going to complete his master’s studies too. Should they decide to abandon him at this stage he felt he was prepared and thus wrote the Christmas letter to them.

About half-an-hour before midnight they opened their hotel room door. Obinna hadn’t had a chance earlier to find out what she wore beneath her dress as they had been hurrying to the Mass. His first glimpse of his lady’s New Year’s Eve underclothing came now as she settled into her low-cut, transparent nightgown. He had raised his face from his shoes where he loosened their laces, to be captivated by the view of the cleavage on her chest – supported by her shelf bra, red.

She had spoken passionately about wearing red underwear on this day: It endows the coming year with an enormous amount of good luck, she pleaded with him. But Obinna had dismissed it as a joke and, what was more; his Catholic faith was against superstition. She had however insisted she was going to wear hers.

It was ten minutes before midnight and the pyrotechnics were loud, competing and clashing outside. The minutes that followed were aggressively spent the way real lovers do with him finally flinging her red g-string aside, admitting to himself she had looked exceptionally appealing in it.

When he felt the beginning of her orgasm he increased his pace. He felt the depths of her vagina start to shudder and her body begin to quiver. She held him increasingly intensely now, tighter by the second. She moaned and repeated a couple of meaningless words before finally screaming out loud.

Then she flipped him over and took charge; rode him for a moment, withdrew and at once grabbed his penis. Hungrily, she took it in her mouth, massaging it with her pliable, warm, wet lips and tongue. With her other hand she began to fondle him while simultaneously raising his phallus a little quicker each time. He held her locks with his left hand and began stirring his hips adjacent to her face. It was without doubt the sentimental contraction that paved the way for his ejaculation, and he yelled as he exploded into her mouth.

Shortly afterwards. ‘Do you think anyone among the hotel staff heard us?’ Obinna muttered.

‘Who cares?’ replied Mavra carelessly. ‘Let them eavesdrop further if they wish.’

They chuckled at that.


Udeani – thanks to an unwarranted guilty conscience – struggled to find a way to convince his wife, who in fact wasn’t asking for explanation or assurance. He argued that his decision to support Obinna’s relationship had nothing to do with their returning to the letter and reading the remaining half of it, a day before – 2nd January. The half in question, which they hadn’t the patience to notice the day they received the letter, had said in conclusion that Mavra’s father was a successful international businessman who traded mostly between Russia and Serbia, and that he had made some serious comments about establishing Obinna in his business once he had finished his education in Russia, and hopefully married Mavra.

They were watching evening television.

Nnenna smiled at him, with a kind-sorry look. ‘You don’t have to worry about anything, Nnanyi. I am not looking for reasons or explanation of any sort. I believed you when you said you have realised there’s nothing wrong with their relationship. I should know you better than anyone else, or did we get married to each other today?’

‘That’s why I keep saying you’re special,’ offered Udeani.

She acknowledged she had – before him – arrived at the same conclusion herself, but avoided saying how.

‘We just need to pray for them and wish them well, that’s all. If they are happy together our name, the name of this family, shall survive. It shall live on, Nnanyi!’

‘Amen, Nnem!’ agreed Udeani, gladly and with all his heart. ‘He will get a good New Year letter from us, right?’

‘Of course, Nnanyi. Of course they will.’


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