SEAMS S1: Signs

 


“Hallelujah! Mummy please raise a song for us.”

Panlam rolled her eyes from her perch on the plush couch in the living room of their detached duplex as she watched her pyjama clad parents clap and sing in off-key voices. For a house as large as theirs, it was surprisingly devoid of froufrou. The chairs were one of the few luxuries left in the house, those and the massive beds and state of the art kitchen. Her mother fought to keep the kitchen, she loved to cook and wasn’t going to use a kerosene stove just to please her father.

Panlam clapped and mouthed the words to the praise songs her parents enthusiastically sang as she stared longingly at the yawning space where their large flat screen TV used to be, now occupied with the table piled with board games and Sudoku puzzle books. Her father had donated it along with everything he considered a ‘negative influence’.

“Panlam!”

“Sir?”

“Panlam, can you even pretend to be interested in this devotion? I asked you to say a closing prayer.”

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CHAT HISTORY

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saanyol, please reply my messages.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

I know you don’t respect or care for me. Or anything of the sort. But please, this goes beyond our petty issues. Its life and death.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

PING!!!

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

PING!!!

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saanyol, if you ever loved me, please pick up your phone and answer me. :'(

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Sent VN12400gHms

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

PING!!!

Saanyol ¯..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯

Kikelomo, what part of ‘over’ don’t you understand? Won’t you let me fucking breathe? If you send me one more message, I’ll delete you.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saanyol please, just listen to me.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Saan?

(Message not delivered, recipient does not exist)

—————————————————

“Father?”

Panlam stuck her head in to the darkened room lit only by the adjustable reading lamp overhead. From when she was little, her father’s study always reminded her of an interrogation room but now she hated it even more because she wasn’t an innocent six year old anymore. He looked up from the documents he was poring over and beckoned her in. She slipped in through the door and left it ajar so light from the corridor softened the darkness and took the seat opposite him. In his half moon glasses pulled down over his slim nose and the stubble that mulched his sunken cheeks and provided definition for his deep set eyes, he looked exactly like her; but they were different now, so different.

“How was school?”

“Fine father.”

He pursed his thin lips. “You know how I feel about you using these artificial things on your head. A woman’s glory is her hair.”

“I know father, it’s just that my hair is breaking and I want to give it time to recover.”

“I give you enough to care for your hair. Remove it as soon as you can.”

“Yes father.”

He sighed. “Panlam, you’ve been back for more than two weeks now and you’ve barely spent a day at home. You and Mr. Adegoke’s daughter are always together again, like when you were children and your brother was still here with us. I don’t mind you spending time with her. She’s such a nice girl, polite and always smiling. Such a delightfully innocent child. I just wish you’d stay home more, remember that your mother is lonely and she misses you.”

Panlam looked down at her nails as she cleaned them with a piece of folded paper. She said nothing, because she knew he took replies literally and would hold her to whatever she said. He pushed off the plush office chair, rounded the huge mahogany table littered with accounting ledgers and came to sit beside her. The sudden proximity made her even more uncomfortable. She shook her braids down to hide her face and thumbed through the documents on his table.

He put a hand on her shoulder.

“Panlam, your mother told me you don’t like how strict we are with you. And I understand, you are almost twenty and this lack of freedom must be frustrating. But the bible says, spare the rod and spoil the child and I would rather pull you out of school entirely and lock you up in this house till we find you a God fearing husband before I let you go out there and end up a disgrace to us like your brother. Jesus Christ has given us all a new chance at life and I will make sure you use yours to the best of my ability.”

His grip tightened on her shoulder and he urged her up, gathering her into a smothering hug. Panlam wrapped her hands around his slim torso and hugged back, reluctantly enjoying the solidness of her father’s intimidating presence.

“Just two more years Panlam. Two years and you will be done with textile science and you’ll join me in running the business. Everything I have is for you.”

He released her from his embrace and pushed a wad of notes into her hand before returning to his chair.

“Go out today; see a movie or whatever it is you children do nowadays. But don’t stay out too late.”

Panlam smiled as she slipped out of the study, a stolen cheque leaf hidden in between the naira notes in her hand.

——————————————————

————————————————–

Her head was blissfully silent as she concentrated solely of milking as much pleasure as possible from the warm body underneath her. Panlam liked being on top, it appealed to her well hidden feminist persuasions and gave her a feeling of control in the most spontaneous of situations. She also liked to keep her bra on, at least one illusion left perfect. Just the thought of flailing breasts made her shudder.

She kept her moaning down to whimpers so she could hear his heavy breathing as she ground into him faster and faster, daring him to take charge and flip her over. Instead he arched to meet her and bit his lip to silence himself. She smiled; he was so passive aggressive, made things infinitely more interesting. She dug her nails into his chest and settled into him, letting him finish her off. He took charge under her, following buck after buck in quick succession till her chest rose and fell in orgasmic gasps. She rolled off him and lit a cigarette. He reached over and held her hand away from her mouth.

“Not so fast, I haven’t kissed you yet.”

Panlam sighed and let him kiss her deeply, snaking her tongue into his mouth and letting him taste of it before pushing him off. He shimmied off the bed and went out into the living room to go find his underwear and she dragged deeply of her cigarette. She was slightly annoyed by how he always wanted the ‘kiss’ after they had sex; it always spoilt the high for her. She finished the cigarette with a few more deep drags and straightened the straps of her brassiere before pulling on her lace panties. He came in with a glass of vodka and cranberry juice for himself and a mug half filled with a coke and Irish cream mixture. She sat up and took the mug. They drank slowly as Saanyol told her of Kike’s attempts to contact him.

“You should take her back.” Panlam suggested once he’d finished his story.

“I know, I know. She’s loyal to me, even with all the boys that surround her. But I can’t face her right now without feeling guilty. I may be an asshole but I’m not a woman beater.”

“People make mistakes. I think if she takes you back, you shouldn’t hesitate.”

Saanyol drew close to her. “But I like this. You and I, best friends who help each other satisfy urges. I don’t need anything more.”

Panlam chortled and picked up her camisole off the sheets. “You forget that I know you better than anyone else, you’ll never be satisfied. Every person who you lure into your bed is an ego trip for you. But fucked up as you are, you somehow really love her. Don’t deceive yourself otherwise.”

Saanyol gave a rueful laugh. He hated that she was right, every single time. She’d raised her hands over her head and started to slide down the camisole when he suddenly pushed her onto the bed and climbed on top of her, kissing down to her navel as she struggled to free her head from within the camisole. She stopped struggling the moment his lips touched her panty line. He looked up at her and grinned.

“One more ego trip before you go?”

————————————————————–

CHAT HISTORY

Arab Money

Hey, just opened my twitter, you’ve flooded my DM’s. What’s up?

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

You promised you were coming? Where are you?

Arab Money

I’m in Prof Arigbede’s class. She asked for you but thankfully I covered and said you were sick. Why didn’t you come?

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

I went to sell the phone. They cheated me but I think I have enough in case I need it. The class is ending four right?

Arab Money

Yeah.

UniLaGs FinEsT <3 <3

Can we see after it? Please, please, please, this is really important.

Arab Money

Yeah Sure.

——————————————————-

“Hey, I’m almost there.” Panlam said as she crossed the street.

It was almost four pm and she’d been in the restaurant outside the Ecobank building for almost thirty minutes. She paid for her drink and straightened her pencil skirt, making sure to tuck in the sheer blouse she wore atop it. It still smelt faintly of Saanyol. She crossed over to the bank and joined the throng that made up the pre-close crowd, just making it in before the security guards at the revolving doors began to turn people away.

She stepped into the metal detectors and peered through the plexi-glass into the hall on the other side. There were easily over a hundred customers spread around swarming the few available tellers. She slipped past the crowd and headed for the complaint’s desk. A mousy man-boy with shifty eyes and a tie too big for the shirt he wore inside his blazer was seated fidgeting with his pen as he watched her approach. She sat opposite him and slid over the blank cheque leaf which he quickly collected and filled in a barely legible script. He passed it back to her and she signed in all the appropriate areas with a passable forgery of her mother’s signature.

“The usual?” He asked before he stamped the cheque.

“No, 200,000 this time around. There are a lot of weddings she’s been invited to over the next two months, so I doubt he’ll even cross check.”

“Okay, so still the same 40-40-20 sharing format?”

“No. My brother doesn’t know how much I’m siphoning this time. Send him the usual 48,000 and take 40 for yourself and push the rest to my account.”

“The local or Domiciliary.”

“Domiciliary.”

She watched vigilantly as the cheque was stamped and processed and only stood up when she felt her clutch vibrate. She flashed a disarming smile and excused herself, making her way to across the expansive hall to the exit, stopping momentarily to tip the illiterate guards who showered effusive praise on her while they ogled her behind. She increased her pace to a brisk walk and crossed the gate, fighting to hide her nervous jitters till she was able to successfully hail a cab.

“VGC.”

The cab slowly accelerated, taking with it her urge to panic. She fished out her phone and opened her email, where the electronic letter that announced the successful deferment of her admission to the Art Institute of New York City sat. She sighed. Just a few more months of this and she’d be able to pay her way through and leave this all behind her.

————————————————————-

Farhad’s phone vibrated in his satchel before the Verve’s bittersweet symphony rang from its tinny speakers. He pulled out the phone and cringed when he saw the caller I.D. The prof had given an impromptu open test and in the ensuing craziness he’d completely forgotten he was supposed to see Kike. He tapped the answer icon and put the phone to his ear. All he could hear was unintelligible mumbling punctuated with sniffling.

“Kike, Why are you crying? Talk to me?”

“You said you were going to come!”

“I know, I know. Arigbede gave a test and I forgot afterwards. Just tell me what happened.”

“I, I think I’m pregnant.”

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