New Woman – Chapter 2

I barely slept last night. The constant images of Vicky’s lips on my own replayed in my head disobediently whilst I tried to erase the memory. What was I doing? This was not the way I behaved with a man let alone a woman. The first time Jonathan and I were intimate, I had done intense research in the way to kiss and how a man would like to be touched – ridiculous as it seems, he was my first boyfriend and with no siblings, I had to depend on a number of articles to be my guide. However, I’ve just moved to New York and here I am acting out of character, way out of character! So many thoughts were running through my mind, reminding me of the previous night, that I could barely concentrate on anything. I could barely allow one emotion to run through me because I started to think about things like Vicky’s lips on mine, remembering how soft they were on my own, how my body vibrated in unexplainable excitement and warmth, and instantly I regret even doing it in the first place and wish I could bury myself under the sheets so that I didn’t have to come out until I forgot about last night.

It didn’t help that my head felt as though two mine workers were hammering at my brain trying to find gold. I found myself wincing at the pain amongst a number of other memories which I tried to forget. I knew that I had to get up soon for work, but the thought of even raising my head felt impossible and facing Vicky today, did nothing to encourage me to leave my white silk sheets. I closed my eyes, trying to focus on eradicating one problem in hope that would make any future plans easier to organise in my head. Firstly, I needed to locate some paracetamols. There was no way I was going to have an internal war with myself when I had a splitting headache. Slowly I sat up, instantly gripping my head when the throbbing intensified due to my elevation. Taking deep breaths, I slid out of bed and carefully made my way to the bathroom, remembering the floor pattern as rising my head to look directly in front of me, would have only made everything worse. After making my way to the bathroom safely, I opened the mirror cabinet and grabbed the only tablets in there.  Feeling far too awful to make another journey to the kitchen for a glass of water, I popped two pills into my mouth and gulped the water from the taps of the sink. Once the bitter pills made their way down my throat, the image of Vicky arose in my mind. What was I meant to do? How was I meant to act with her now? Did she ever consider that before throwing her lips on mine?

My forehead tightened as I remembered another detail from last night, I’m sure she mentioned she had felt attracted to me for a long time hence why she was unsure of how to behave with me? If I took what she said into consideration that would mean, from when I first arrived in the office she had started having feelings for me? It all seemed to surreal to believe. I could imagine telling Jonathan what had gone on yesterday and him turning around and blaming me for my boss kissing me. I scoffed thinking about Jonathan and instantly regretted it as the mine workers bounced around in my head, causing me to wince. Bloody Jonathan, how could we be in a steady relationship for a few years and the time when I start to progress in life, that is when he decides to give me an ultimatum? I looked at myself in the mirror, looking at the way my brows furrowed in annoyance and the way my mouth frowned as I thought about the way in which Jonathan failed to get in contact with me after I left for the job. After staring at myself for a few minutes, I realised that I had transferred my anger, shame and guilt to Jonathan. If he had been caring, if he had stuck by my side, maybe I wouldn’t have found myself here, clutching onto the rim of the porcelain sink, my head pounding and my heart racing after every thought of Vicky. I had no right to blame Jonathan, if anything he would laugh and say the infamous, ‘what did I tell you’ line – but who else could I blame?

I dragged my feet as I walked back to bed and gently sat on my bed. I grabbed my phone and noticed that soon enough if I didn’t start to make a move towards the shower, then I would have to call into work and let them know that I won’t be showing up. And even though every muscle in my body craved for me to get back underneath those sheets and get lost in my unconscious, something within me stopped me from doing so. I had to remain professional. Maybe because I was one of the youngest of the bunch at work (bearing in mind the team was all nearing the same age), but I felt I had more to prove. I was the one with the least experience, yet still managed to find myself in a position where someone who had years under their belt should have been. I had to prove not only to myself (and the imaginary Jonathan in my mind) but also to Vicky. I needed to show her that no matter the curveballs thrown my way, my head was still in the game and I would fulfil any promises I made.

With very slow movements, I made my way back to the bathroom and ran the hot water in the shower. Watching the water spray out of the mouth of the shower hose relaxed the miners in my head. I stripped out of my pyjamas and stepped into the shower slowly, enjoying the hot water beat against my skin. Breathing slowly, I thought about nothing apart from the water being sprayed against my skin – it was much needed. The silence, the calm because I knew after I left my apartment, I would have to face the storm I wasn’t prepared for.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It took longer than normal to get to work, but as I stepped through the glass doors of Building 59, and swiped my ID on the barrier sensor I knew that I had to put on a brave face. Even though I couldn’t think of anything better than hauling a taxi and returning home. Instead I put on a bright smile and walked out of the elevator meeting Kirsty, the receptionist by the welcome desk.
“Bloody hell, how do you do it?”
Paranoia claimed me as I tried to decipher what Kirsty had meant. Do what? Had Vicky gone around and told everyone we had shared a kiss yesterday night and now Kirsty was wondering how I could show my face in the office the next day? Too stunned to speak and too scared to hear what her next line was I stood in front of her in utter silence, bracing myself for her next words.
“I mean, we all drank so much yesterday, yet here you are looking like you never went out and got the best sleep ever.”
A nervous chuckle escaped my lips as I remembered that she too was there yesterday, dancing the hardest on the dance floor. I shrugged my shoulders whilst signing in.
“Trust me, I don’t feel as good as I look.”
“I wouldn’t have guessed that you felt like shit.” She said taking a long gulp of water, whilst taking a tablet. I waved her goodbye and made my way to my desk, dreading seeing Vicky as my desk was the closest to her office. I couldn’t face any awkward situation and didn’t think I had the energy to. Once I got to my desk, Eileen was first to greet me with a disgruntled face.
“I feel bloody terrible Rebecca…you know when you think to yourself ‘was it really worth it?’ – yeah that’s my thoughts now.” She said slightly perching on my desk.
“Yeah, I seriously contemplated coming into work today – I feel like absolute crap.” Eileen looked at me deeply and then shook her head.
“Would have never thought you have a hangover, you look too good to be feeling as crap as you say you feel.”
I chuckled slightly, booting up my computer. “Don’t us females try harder when we know we look even more worse than usual?”
“No honey, that is you only. How did get you home anyway? I should have texted you, but I had to share a cab with the girls because I could barely stand once I left.”
“Just a taxi.” I said avoiding any eye contact, hoping she couldn’t notice the lie.
“Did you see Vicky, she left shortly after you and I thought she may have caught up to you?”
“Nope, didn’t see her. I got a taxi quickly lucky for me. Anyone get lucky yesterday?” I asked her hoping to get her to switch topics and talk more about herself and her experience yesterday night.
“Nah,” She said shaking her head and getting up from my desk, slowly making her way back to her desk. “sadly, I was banking on someone to get lucky…even a cheeky kiss would have been exciting!”

She turned from me and walked to her desk as I looked back at my monitor. If only she knew that a ‘cheeky kiss’ was shared last night, but between the two people she would have least thought would have shared an intimate meeting.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Hunt – Part 1

She sat frozen, watching Gabriel watch her. He was being sentenced to ten years in prison for domestic violence and numerous sexual assaults. She tried to ignore his glare, the way in which she was aware of the fierce fire that burned behind his expressionless face. She knew what that look meant and even as the security guards began handcuffing him, she felt more vulnerable than ever.
At first he tried to defend himself. Tried to lie and claim that Marina had wanted it too. The beating, the abuse, the constant verbal insults, in his mind she had wanted it…asked for it even. According to Gabriel, it was a mental thing, that somehow sexually excited her. Being dominated and oppressed was something that apparently gave her thrills.

He even continued to state the their daughter was planned, that she had begged for child, to extend their family and that he was more than happy to give his woman what she desired. Marina shut her eyes, remembering how hard Gabriel had knocked her out that night, to awake the next morning naked on the floor beside her bed. She had almost left him then, she knew she had to get out before he had killed her. But, every time she was close to escaping, she realised the fear that wrapped itself around her was more than the one that was with her whilst she lived with Gabriel. She then knew leaving him scared her than being with him. It was that fear that had kept her grounded with Gabriel until Elina was born.
She was now bound to this man, he had not only tainted her, made her undesirable, but he had officially claimed her by giving her a child, whom she loved dearly. Two conflicting emotions with people who ran the same blood as each other, things as such was enough to confuse Marina and keep her with Gabriel. Through the abuse, the torment and the constant demeaning comments – this was what she knew, and that monster had given her a beautiful daughter, at times she found herself thanking him for Elina’s life.

She opened her eyes to see Gabriel walking away with the guards. But just before he disappeared from her sight, he turned and stared at Marina. No last words, or even a shift in his face, just a dead glare that Marina knew she wouldn’t forget anytime soon.
That was the last time Marina saw Gabriel, being handcuffed and taken away to serve ten years of his life behind bars…that was until now. Four years later and she had found herself just as tightly wound up as she was when Gabriel had first entered this place. She sat on the uncomfortable plastic chair that was nailed to the ground, unable to move as the nerves was all too much for her to bare. Why had she decided to see him again? He’d asked for her to bring Elina, which Marina wholeheartedly disagreed with when she first received his letter. But what made her still come? What was it that Gabriel had said to bring her to this confined room, under the tight surveillance of the guards – back to the man who she was more than grateful was behind bars?

A door opened and in walked the inmates. Marina’s breath caught in her lungs as she remembered the letter she received from Gabriel. Asking her for her forgiveness, for a chance for him to explain his actions. Four years was a lot of time for someone to go over their behaviour and he now knew where he went wrong, he simply wanted to apologise. At first she refused to even consider going to see him, but after some thought she thought he deserved to explain his actions, maybe he could change. And he certainly had.
He was far more built from the last time she saw him, his shoulders broad and square almost looked too big for his jumpsuit. His chest was clearly visibly through his clothes as it pressed tightly on the material, showing her the definition of how much muscle he had gained through his four years of being in prison. He was bigger and more threatening compared to the Gabriel she once knew. What had she done? And was she truly ready to hear what he had to say to her now, whilst he was walking slowly towards her?

Her Secret – Part 1

Tala rolled up her sleeve, to check her watch for the third time that hour, 16:47. She knew Vince would eventually not show up, especially after the last public display they shared together. They hadn’t only embarrassed themselves, but had also highlighted their personal issues to their counselor and anyone who had close proximity to her office door. She looked at Dr Bailey, who had a stack of reports across her desk. Aware of her gaze, Bailey looked up and gave Tala a smile, aware that time was passing by and Vince had not yet showed up to their appointment.

Tala reached for her phone, which was wedged in her pocket and tried Vince’s cell phone for another time, cursing softly under her breath when she was directed to his voicemail again. With her annoyance rising, she began tapping her boots against the marble floor, trying to find a solution to what seemed to be a downward spiral that she had found herself to be apart of. Taking another sneak peek at her watch, she rolled her eyes knowing their appointment ended at five o’clock. She wasn’t even sure why she had waited for so long. She knew deep inside of herself that she should have taken her jacket and left as soon as Vince started playing hide ‘n’ seek. But she didn’t and it was because she was still scared of letting a relationship of nine years go to waste. She knew if she had walked out when she really wanted to, then she wouldn’t be returning. As soon as she stepped outside Bailey’s office, she would have finally given up on Vince and that wasn’t something she could do so easily after building a family with him; a family that she was bounded to. And for that reason alone, is what kept her sat in Bailey’s leather seats, constantly hoping Vince walked in.

She was never sure why she let Vince convince her in going to relationship counselling. She knew way before he did that their relationship had come to a sour end and all counselling did was make their issues more obvious. Instead of rebuilding their damaged bond, counselling in fact had strengthened Tala’s resentment towards Vince. Every night she’d found herself wondering what her life would have been like if she hadn’t met Vince that Friday night in the bar. If she hadn’t let his lies and façade paint false images of him for all those years. She probably won’t be sitting in a counselor’s office waiting for a stranger to help solve her personal problems.

Thoughts about Vince always caused her teeth to clench in anger. If only she was smarter she would have noticed the signs from early, but love had blinded her to the point that every indication of his actual self was disregarded. Then she had Deanne and things started to change. The arguing wasn’t as frequent and their focus was on their first child together, they didn’t have time to notice each other’s faults. But of course she knew it was only a matter of time before old habits slipped through the cracks of their act. It was the little things he did that caused problems, never wanting her to leave the house, making her feel like a maid instead of a mother. She hadn’t even realised when she’d stopped communicating with her friends and family. Must have been when she was still trying to please Vince and his unattainable needs. But it happened, and it meant that whenever things got too heavy for her, she had nowhere to run to apart from the bathroom, where she found herself frequently. In the same position every single time, crumpled to the ground next to the sink, crying until she felt better.

With things as bad as it was it surprised her when she found out she was pregnant again with Paige. She contemplated aborting Paige, shuddering as she feared her second baby would look at her with questions in her eyes, the same way Deanne’s had. But as soon as Vince found the pregnancy test in the bin, she was further constrained to him. So she’d brought another beautiful baby into a fragile and damaged home. There was no escape for her, because if she left she’d have to think about her daughters, think about them seeing their father, think about how they would feel, so for four years she sat, waiting till the moment was right. But it never was and here she was, sitting alone in Dr Bailey’s office.

The weight of the leather chair shifted slightly to the left side of Tala, pulling her out of her thoughts and back into reality. It was then she realised she was crying as Bailey held a box of Kleenex in her hands.

“Oh, excuse me Dr, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be ridiculous Tala, you need no reason to apologise.”

Tala took a few tissues from the box and wiped the tears that had found their way down her face. It was bad enough that she sat here alone for so long but now she’d begun crying in front of Bailey, she took time to suppress her emotions before grabbing her jacket and leaving once and for all.

“I know you’re upset Tala, it’s obvious that there’s things you’re dealing with that you haven’t shared with anyone and it’s getting too much for you to handle by yourself.” Bailey moved closer to Tala, as Tala wrapped her arms around her body remembering how alien she was in her own family.

“I have no one to speak to…”

Her words trembled as they left her lips, feeling naked to her emotions she huddled more into herself. Taking note of her stance, Bailey moved close enough to Tala that she could embrace her, using her right arm as a belt, she gently held Tala as she remained hunched and pulled her softly towards herself. Allowing Tala to understand her presence was there for her.

“I’m here Tala. You can speak to me, you can tell me what’s truly bothering you, tell me the things you hide from the world. I’m here for you.”

It’s as though Bailey’s words were filled with a key that opened a door to Tala’s vulnerability. The more Bailey spoke, the more tears continued to fall from Tala’s face and into her laps. She hadn’t felt so naked before, she made sure she stayed strong in front of everyone, even if that meant she broke down almost every day privately, she was okay with that. But here she was, feeling like a child in her mother’s arms, just looking for some guidance.

Bailey moved the box of tissues to the table in front of them then faced Tala, feeling a wave of sadness rush through her own body seeing a grown woman cry uncontrollably because of her partner. She pulled Tala to sit up, unwrapped her arms and then held Tala’s hands. With tears still streaming down her cheeks, Tala felt embarrassed for letting Bailey witness her in such a state. She looked into Bailey’s eyes hoping for an answer, or an escape but saw nothing but big brown eyes stare right back at her.

“You don’t need to cry anymore Tala, things will get better for you, I promise that.” Tala closed her eyes, her eyelashes wet from all the water and nodded, hoping Bailey’s words held more than truth but reality. She looked back at Bailey who’d watched her in pain. She didn’t want anyone’s pity, hating the feeling of being helpless, Tala released one of her hands from Bailey’s grip and made sure all tears that may still be visible were gone with the back of her hand.

“I’m sorry Dr, I should go, but…thank you.” Bailey smiled and surprisingly gave Tala a light hug. Stunned, Tala stared blankly at Bailey’s embrace. Not knowing what to do, she sat waiting for Bailey to let go, unsure of how she should take Bailey’s action, but she didn’t move. Involuntarily she found herself resting her head on Bailey’s shoulder and for once allowing herself to be looked after. She couldn’t help but enjoy the feeling of someone truly caring for her, a feeling that had become so foreign to her. She hugged Bailey back, hoping that everything she was going through was a dream and that she’d wake up and everything would return to normal.

She felt Bailey’s chest rise and fall against her own, taking note of the amount of breaths she took, noticing how her fingers penetrated warmth on her spine and how her hair smelt fresh. Something about the way Bailey was, made Tala feel safe. She didn’t want to leave the microcosm she privately built with Bailey, because she wasn’t sure when she’d return. She hummed silently as her reality slipped away and she found herself lost in Bailey’s touch. Bailey’s fingers circulated against Tala’s spine leaving small flames everywhere she touched, causing Tala to draw closer to Bailey.

Bailey knew this was beyond what a normal counselor would do for her client, but seeing Tala wait for her husband and then surprisingly start crying had triggered something deep within Bailey. Tala deserved more, she definitely deserved better, and it pained Bailey to know she could do nothing but sing empty promises in her ear. After a few minutes, she loosened her embrace on Tala. It may have felt like the right thing to do, but she was not ready to lose her job over a woman who’s husband barely cared for her.

When their eyes locked Tala felt a surge run through her. She wanted to crawl back into Tala’s arms, she wanted to remain there until things had gotten better, Bailey seemed like a secure place to lay her nest and that was what she wanted to do. But she had never felt like that with anyone. She wasn’t even completely sure if it was a sexual emotion or just raw emotions getting placed in wrong categories. But after staring at each other for longer than necessary, Tala grabbed her jacket and rushed for the door – feeling so vulnerable and exposed, she knew the only place she wanted to be was in her bathroom.

Bailey watched as Tala rushed out, trying to ignore what she knew she felt, as it was beyond inappropriate. She closed her door behind Tala and sat back at her desk, her heart beating against her chest hard. She felt her chest, disbelieving the way in which her heart seemed to crash into her when she felt the pebble beneath her shirt. Looking down ever so slightly, she saw her nipples were erect. She never mixed her personal life with work, but that hug had overstepped the mark and now Bailey knew she was going to have to have the upmost restraint if she ever met Tala again. Because Bailey not only understood her pain and wanted to resolve it, but she wanted to be the reason why Tala smiled and the way Tala held onto her, she knew Tala wanted the same.

Harlem Death

My knuckles turned white as I gripped onto the steering wheel, remembering how they marched and chanted for freedom and “equal rights”, holding banners like they deserved to be placed on the same peddle stool as us white folk were on. I was beyond tempted to take down each and every one of them that walked passed me, all high and mighty, fists in the air and hope in their hearts. My fingers twitched on the trigger of my gun, but lucky for them my colleague stood beside me and reassured me there’ll be other times where we could get revenge, for now that was their moment.

It was bad enough and obvious that that nigger, Rev Brown, used black magic in order to win the vote to send his child to our schools, but now they demand for more? My blood still boils daily when I think about how a nigger has the opportunity to sit amongst my kind and learn the same information my children are learning. It’s an abomination. We all know their mentality isn’t strong enough to comprehend what the schools teach, that’s why they were under our control for so many years, because they needed our brains to help tell them how to function. But here there are now, ungrateful bastards, declaring for equal rights and the rights to vote, when did they feel they were the same as us?

I took a deep breath and controlled my anger, releasing my grip on the steering wheel. It was only a matter of time before God corrected this mistake that the devil obviously had committed and put America back into order. Because if God failed to return America to what it once was, we’d have to deal with more people like Malcolm X, who felt the need to speak for his people and demand for things like the rights to vote or equality, which he had no right in asking for. People like him would provide all of them with false hope that I didn’t have time or energy to shut down. I can already see it, all of them walking around like they own the streets, attempting to stand up against us because we haven’t taken the time to assert authority and fear over them.

Instead, now it’s my kids that come home with the same fear that they used to have in their eyes a few years ago. It’s my kids who look at me during dinner as though I failed doing my job as a father and as a police officer. It’s my duty to keep them safe and to keep those animals out of the public eye, but here I am, cruising through Harlem watching them chant for segregation to be abolished, walking into ‘only whites in’ entrances in order to prove a point.

Being in this part of town did nothing but fuel my anger, seeing them so frequently and not under the care of a white persons command, kept my frustrations at bay, so I decided that leaving would be the best. Not for myself, but for them, because the longer I stayed amongst them, the more tempted I felt to kill them all, to prove that they have no chance in succeeding in a society that is ruled by our kind. Just as I begun to leave Harlem, a boy rushes out in front of my car, causing me to slam on my breaks, jerking me hard against my chair. Instantly a sharp pain in my neck arose and I knew this anomaly of the world had given me a whiplash. I was already having a bad day and there stood a coloured boy watching me in awe as I rubbed the back of my neck as it ached in agony. Cursing quietly, I opened my door and rolled my neck back and forth, in attempt to ease the pain, whilst walking towards the boy.

 

“I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking!”

“Shut your damn mouth.” I rubbed my neck, making sure the pain wasn’t too severe then focused on the boy.

“I was in a rush to catch the bus, that I wasn’t focusing on the road, so I didn’t see you.”

“I said shut your mouth, I didn’t ask for a explanation. Where are you coming from nigger?” His face grew tight after hearing the word ‘nigger’, but he seemed smart enough not to react to it. He shifted from one leg to the other, never breaking eye contact with me.

“From school sir.”

“Oh you’re one of those ones. You think you can handle me right?”

“No sir.”

“Well you’re looking at me like you want to hit me?”

“That’s incorrect sir.”

“So you’re telling me I’m lying?” The coloured boy kept quiet and lowered his gaze to his shoes. This is what my duty was, to enforce fear into his kind, so that they knew their place in society.

“Sorry sir.”

“Where’s the evidence that you’ve just come from school?” The boy slowly reached in his pocket, making me draw for my weapon. I wasn’t going to take any chances, knowing how those people worked, they’ll act like they are going to co-operate and before you know it, your body is laying on the floor covered in blood. As soon as he saw my gun, he stopped moving and put his hands in the air.

“I didn’t tell you to stop, show me some identification that you came from school.”

“But sir, you’ve drawn your weapon.”

“I won’t tell you again nigger, show me some identification or I’ll be forced to take you to the precinct.”

The boy’s hand visibly shook as it moved closer to his back pocket, whilst my fingers twitched on the trigger of the gun. As soon as he’d grabbed something out of his pocket, I shouted in my radio, ‘I have a suspect reaching for a weapon.’ And the pulled the trigger. His body lifelessly dropped to the ground, whilst his registration card lay a few inches away from his body. I put my gun back in my holster and stood closer to the coloured body feeling no remorse, as his body lay limp on the ground, other than joy. I looked around, wondering whether anyone else had witnessed the scene, but there was no one around. I made sure I didn’t stand close enough so that my shoes were in his blood, but I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that I knew in my heart that, I had managed to get one less nigger off the streets. I felt as though I had done my duty, my kids were safe. My fellow white folks were safe. That was all I wanted for my kind, for them to be safe and have no fear that their lives were in danger – and as the thick crimson blood slowly began creeping towards the tip of my black leather boots I knew that as long as more blood was drawn, the world was going to be a better place.

 

 

 

 

Author’s Note:

 

As a young black female, I tend to see a lot of videos posted on my Facebook wall about how the world has become more abusive to a selective group. And for what reason? Because of the colour of their skin? Or their religion? I’m a Christian and one thing I believe in is freewill and it utterly disgusts me when I see people mistreated, verbally/physically abused and alienated by something that should not be a issue in the first place.
I’ve been trying for a while to write stories that reflected the hurt that I see when I watch these videos of people being shot for no reason, or for kids being bullied due to their religion and weirdly enough I find it difficult. Harlem Death was something I wrote a few months ago but didn’t post because I wasn’t too sure how people were going to take it. But I do hope that people see the irrationality from the narrator of this story and hopefully dislike him as much as I did as I was writing him up.

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Sarah E. Balogun

Toxic – Part 5

Josh hadn’t spoken to me for the rest of the time we were at the house. Avoiding my touch, my gaze and any interaction with me. It hurt, but I was aware of what I had done the night before and forced any type of pity deep within myself. We drove to his parent house in silence, not even the radio could drown out the awkward tension between us. I could tell Josh didn’t believe everything I had said to him back at the house, but the mere thought that his wife could have slept with her best friend or his brother was probably too much to bare, so silence was his only option.

He’d wore a nice grey snug knitted jumper, with dark black jeans and dessert boots. I’d worn a presentable dress, that came down to my calves and plain black ballerinas. My intention was not to stand out this evening, my plan was to be as invisible as possible. Say my ‘hi’s’ and remain quiet, I had already made a fool of myself today, there was no need for me to do anymore.
Josh had parked outside of his parents home and took a deep breath. He looked at me as if wanting to say something but thought better of it. He turned his gaze away from me and proceeded to get out of the car, without saying a word to me. Tears welled up in my eyes, but knowing I didn’t have the right or time to be emotional, I wiped the strayed tears that had fallen out of my eyes and composed myself.

I stepped out of the car and waited for Josh to lock it before following his lead. Before we’d gotten to the door, Josh had grabbed my hand with such force that it hurt. There was no affection in the way he took my hand, if anything the force of his hand crushed into my wedding ring finger, which pressed into my other fingers, squeezing them tightly till they rubbed on each other, rubbing onto the bone. With a little wince, he knocked on the door and before a second went by, the door swung open and there stood his sister, Anabelle.

“Joshie!”
Josh threw my hand backwards as he embraced his younger sister. Ana was only 23 and was one of my bridesmaid at our wedding. She always seemed to make me laugh and understand me in a way that always shrouded her true age – almost making her a chameleon to anyone she came into contact with.
“Anabelle, how you been?”
He swung her around lovingly.
“Great! Hi Sash!”
She jumped off of her older brother and gave me a tight squeeze. She stepped back and allowed us to enter. The house was modern. Wooden floor boards surrounded by cream walls with family photos hung chronologically on the wall gave the house the ambience of love and warmth. It was what defined it from a standard house to a loving home. We entered the living room, and out bursted a room full of people. Young and old, everyone sat mingling with each other.

“Josh how have you been?”
His mother kissed his cheek twice affectionately whilst his father made his way to me, giving me a bear hug.
“Good to see the lovely Mrs Fletcher again.”
With a tight lipped smile, I hug his mother who welcomes me just as warm as her husband. For a long time after our little greeting with Josh’s parents, I simply follow Josh. I watch him greet his family that he hasn’t seen in a long time and others he barely recognises. Soon it’s dinner and we’re all packed around his dining table that has been extended, so that everyone is able to have a seat. I sit between Josh and Anabelle, and find myself staring at the empty plate on the table in front of me because it seems Josh has, when possible, ignored me and placed all his attention on his family at each opportunity given to him. The door bell rings and Anabelle rushes to open the door. Moments later, we’re all welcomed by the sight of Mike, who has managed to find my gaze before anyone else’s.

Stood confidently at the doorway of the kitchen, wearing a plain white shirt, tight enough to show off his physique with smart black trousers, sends images of my hands trailing over his chest the night before. I looked back at the empty plate before me whilst Mike walked round greeting everyone. I tried to ignore the tingle I felt deep within myself, but the closer Mike was getting to me, the more I felt my heart race and my legs tightened shut together. I felt Josh’s chair scrape out as he rose to hug his brother. They both gave each other a firm pat on the back, which didn’t last enough for me to compose myself. So I decided staying seated was my best option. Mike bent down to hug me, wrapping his strong arm around my neck as our cheeks touched each other briefly – but enough to spark a flame within me. I made sure my face didn’t replicate the feelings I felt within me. The tension that was becoming almost too much for me to bare, the way in which my insides had tightened to a tight ball waiting for Mike’s touch to unravel it. I took a deep breath as his arm unwrapped from my neck and he moved to the next family relative.

“Oh Mike why don’t you sit next to mum!”
Anabelle offered as there was no other available seat apart from the one opposite my seat. Mike was going to decline, but when he realised he had no option, he gave Anabelle a small smile and pulled the seat beside his mother out and took his position. I looked back at the only place I seemed to have found solace today, wishing I was anywhere but here when Josh randomly reached for my hand and this time, with more care, started to caress my skin gently, ever so slightly rolling his finger across my wedding ring as he watched Mike greet his father.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Toxic – Part 4

“What’s wrong baby, did someone hurt you?”
Why did men think all signs of emotion from women meant we were hurt? It was me who had caused pain. If only Josh knew, I’m sure his anger would dissipate. I shake my head, throwing tears left and right.
“Then why are you crying?”

I took a deep breath, in attempt to inhale the overflowing emotions that threatened to show itself.
“I just…I’m sorry.” Sorry for going out yesterday, sorry for making him scared and definitely sorry for being intimate with his brother – all the things I wanted to say but kept it trapped within the deepest depths within myself.
“Sasha…what happened last night? Where were you?”
God, here it comes. The fabricated truth, the story smeared with hazy lies. I fear to look him in the eyes, so I keep my gaze to our feet and take a deep breath in.

“I drank too much,” Lie. “Then I saw Mike,” Truth. “I’m not sure how, but he was worried…I think.” More lies. “So he took me home and then I woke up this morning embarrassed and left to go home.” It was more or less what had happened. The bare outlines of yesterdays events. I look at Josh through my wet eyelashes and see the concern in his facial expression.
“Why didn’t you go home with Clarissa?” It was then I remembered Clarissa had lied I was with her. I needed to explain why Clarissa would have lied without mentioning that I was aware I knew she tried to make an excuse for me.
“I think I wondered away from the group a little…”
“WHAT THE FUCK WAS YOU THINKING?!”
His outburst made me jump. I didn’t expect this from Josh. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that I had said that had caused his reaction.
“Sasha you’re acting stupid! I knew Clarissa was bad influence – what if Mike wasn’t there to help you?”
My lip trembled as I couldn’t quite fathom a response. I had been more than stupid – in fact I had been out right brain dead. But I was prepared to take stupid over him knowing the truth.
“Never, you’re never going out with her again!” Something bubbled in me, who was Josh to tell me who I could and couldn’t see.
“She’s my best friend!” I said through tears, from both sadness and a slight hint of anger.
“I don’t care Sasha! What if something happened to you?”
“Nothing –”
“Wait,” He interrupted me, looking at me like something didn’t add up. “When did you drink that you’re that out of your mind that you can’t even get yourself home?”

I shrugged, not having the brain power to think of a response. I wiped my tears with the back of my hand and internally told myself to control my emotions. Stop the tears that continued to be rebellious and show itself even though I fought so hard to keep them at bay. Stop trying to defend Clarissa, there was a time and place that I would be able to bring justice to Clarissa’s name and today was not the day. For now, I just needed to accept that I was wrong and then clear the grey areas at a later stage.

“Something’s not right Sasha, why didn’t Mike let me know you were with him?” Because we were fucking on the floor and then on his couch and then literally on every appliance until we reached his bedroom. My insides flare up with small voices reminding me how good it was with Mike. How he made me scream, how I grabbed him with passion leaving scratch marks on his body as he plunged deeper and deeper. God, the thoughts were so real, I could feel myself tensing up. My core tightening and slowly getting moist as I thought about our passion.
“I was scared you’d be upset, I was a mess.”
My voice came out huskier than necessary – thicker almost with Mike still on my tongue. Just as Josh was about to say more, his phone rang, pausing him in his tracks. He gave me another glare and reached for his phone.
“Mike…” My eyes dropped to the ground, what if our lies hadn’t matched? We didn’t thoroughly think this through. I looked back at Josh who had me under strict scrutiny whilst speaking to Mike. “Yeah she’s home safe…thanks for your help Mike…fuck I forgot about that. We’ll see you at mums.”

The phone was off. He gave me one last look and then left. But before he was out of ear reach he shouted, “It’s my grandfathers anniversary, we’re going to my parents. Get cleaned up.”
I rushed to the shower and took a long bath. I thought things were already difficult, but now we had to play happy family in front of his actual family was really not ideal or even part of the plan. This was going to be one extended day.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Toxic – Part 3

Throughout my journey home I can’t help but question who I really am, who’ve I become? It was bad enough that I had thought about cheating on my husband on multiple occasions, but the fact that I had actually committed the act almost left me bewildered. Who was the woman that sat in the black cab, wearing a body con on a early Saturday morning? Because I sure as hell knew it couldn’t have been myself… I risked my marriage for what? A night that I probably wouldn’t forget for the rest of my life. It sounds exciting when I think about it, but was it truly worth it?

I should have thought about my actions in more depth. Even though I’ve felt like this for a year, I’m not sure if I had truly contemplated the aftermath if I had went ahead and actually slept with Mike. I’m not even sure why now, sitting silently in the back seat of the cab driving me to where I thought was home, but now sounds weird to call home is where I contemplate my actions. I knew what I was doing yesterday – I could hardly blame it on the alcohol, I barely drank any. And even if I drank a glass or two…or the whole bottle, I knew what I wanted from the start. The way Mike had touched me in the club and even more so when our lips touched was enough to remind me that I knew exactly what I was doing.

My conscious was beyond clear at that point, maybe if I was intoxicated it would be a better pill to swallow, rather than having the guilt slowly choke and suffocate me silently in the back of the cab. Before I had even knew what I was doing, I asked the cab driver to stop and requested to walk the rest of the way. I paid him the fare and got out of the vehicle, clutching myself tightly as the cold London air blew wildly on my bare legs and in my short outfit, more suitable for 7PM than 7AM. I ignored the quizzical stares that Londoners couldn’t help but do and hugged my body as I walked home. Getting some air should help me think.

I needed to plan how I was going to approach Josh. What I was going to say, in which way would I say it and whether he would believe me or not. The lie Mike had told me to stick to sounded ridiculous. Far too close to the truth for me to remain settled, but the more I thought about other lies that could replace Mike’s one, the more I realised why Mike had wanted me to stick to his own lie. The guilt from cheating and the hint of truth would make it more believable to Josh and with Mike as a sturdy alibi – Josh would know I was telling the truth.

I cannot believe I have come to this. Thinking of ways to lie to my husband to get away with infidelity. Where was the determined and strong woman who knew exactly what she was doing the night before? Because if she could show herself now, then maybe confronting my husband wouldn’t feel as hard as it did now. I wasn’t strong enough for this, even as I think back to Mike, back to the night we shared, I can’t help but shudder. Thoughts of us constantly replaying in my head as I ponder when the next time will come…hoping it would be sooner rather than later.

But what was done was done, right? The damage has been created and it was now sealed. I was a fragile glass yesterday that shattered under Mike’s touch – my only hope now was that the cracks that were more than evident didn’t reveal themselves to Josh.
I was coming up to the house now. 17…15…13, the more steps I took the more my heart crashed into my chest. I have never feared my husband – never needed a reason to, but today the fear that resided in me, was wrapped around me like another layer of skin. It wasn’t welcoming, but I was aware I gave it room yesterday to take place in my body.

Sucking in my breathe, I open my white wooden gate, wishing I was returning with a clear mind. But after having spent the night with Mike, my mind was far from clear. Even now, when I remember how our lips touched in the club makes my libido dance in excitement. God even thoughts of him can spark me to life, even in such situations as the one I was in currently. Before I get to open the door, Josh has it opened. Rushing to me like a mother reunited with their abducted child. He hugs me tightly, too tight and very one sided. I think because I’m too stunned to move my arms let alone my body I am left in a one-sided embrace. He stands back to watch me and then draws me inside the house.

Walking in silence, my breath comes out shorter, he faces me again and embraces me once more. This time with less worry but with more love. It was then I realised I was a horrible human being, weak and selfish. My husband stood in front of me, me in his arms, his breaths coming out in short rapid spurts, and I can tell he is happy to see me safe. And there I stand, arms planted to the sides of my body, scared that if I touch Josh, I’d ruin him like I have done so with this marriage. I feared tainting him but was too emotional to pull away. That was when I found myself in tears, a flood of emotions rushing out of my chest before I could stop it.

What had I done? Was it truly worth it? Could I just erase such mistakes from reality and act as though none of it occurred – was that a possibility? Because if it was I was ready to do anything to undo my mistake and go back to the woman I was only just a few hours ago.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Toxic – Part 2

The sun had crept through the bedroom curtains and had teased my eyes awake. At first I was still in a dream-like state. Enjoying the warmth of the bed and the sun both massaging my body, pulling me back to sleep. Until my phone vibrated and with each vibration I was taken away from this bliss and was forced awake. At first I thought I was at home, laying next to my husband – but when I begun to remember the events of last night, I was mistaken.

It wasn’t my husband that had thrown me against the wall and had ripped my clothes off once we were out of the cab. Neither was it my husband who had me open and craving for more. Images of my husbands face flashed in my mind as I arched my back in ecstasy and when I had reached my climax for the third time. Yet, the more I thought about the night before, the more my husbands face morphed into someone else. Someone who has invaded my dreams, my thoughts – my life.

At first it felt too much like I’m still in a dream. Like soon enough I’m going to awake and find my husband laying too close beside me. But after a few minutes, I don’t awake from what feels like a dream and when I dare to look at who is laying behind me, reality rushes back to me so hard my stomach begins to roll.

I’d cheated on my husband. It wasn’t as though I had forgotten, it was all in my face. The room I had woken up in was not mine. The dark curtains were key, yet I still chose to believe it was a dream. But now seeing Mike lay peacefully beside me, was enough to remind me of what I had done the night before. What was I to do? My phone vibrated for another time, stirring Mike awake.

It took him a while before he was awake enough to notice me. But once he did his arm slithered around my waist, pulling me closer to him. Even though I was aware of what I had done and guilt was starting to sing in my mind, my body tingled to his touch. Trembling in his embrace, my inner demons still having power to make me crave what I knew I shouldn’t, whilst my conscious was thinking about my husband at home. It must be him that was calling. Wondering where I have been throughout the night – if only he knew I was with someone he trusted, someone he thought would keep me safe.

Mike smelt me as I tried to decide what I was going to do next – stay and lay within this microcosm that seemed too good to be true or run back to my husband and act as though none of this occurred.
“I love your scent.”
Without thinking, my body leaned back into his touch, so our bodies were as one. I felt his hard-on, making a small smile creep onto my lips. I guess no matter the logic that seemed so obvious to me, my inner demons decided what I did when it came to Mike.
“Thank you.” He had slowly begun grinding his hips into mine, using his left knee to separate my legs, allowing his access to become more easier.
“I’ve dreamt about this for a long time Sasha.” He was now between my legs. My thighs trembled as I knew what was to come soon. His hand danced on my skin and then made its way to where it needed his touch the most, when my phone had begun vibrating again. My eyes shot open to where the vibration was coming from.
“Leave it.”

And I was sure that I would have left it, until it began vibrating again. I knew who was calling, and it was bad enough that I had cheated on him with his brother, but to make him worry was not something I intentionally wanted to do. Peeling myself away from Mike, I tried to find the phone that was still vibrating. Where was it? In my jacket pocket? Or did I take it out of my clutch bag? Before I had the chance to get off the bed, Mike had grabbed onto my hand, stopping me from moving.
“I need to get it Mike, we both know who it is.”
I made another attempt to get my phone, when Mike’s grip tightened.
“I know it’s him Sasha, but I don’t care. I just want you. Let’s enjoy this once more before we have to think about the consequences.”
It was stupid, I knew how dumb his suggestion was and how I know I had done more than enough damage, but I didn’t want to think. I just wanted to be in Mike’s arms again before I had to face reality. I had to choose between the vibrating phone or being taken to new heights once more.

I let Mike crawl towards me, and take me again. Take me away from everything. It’s crazy because it wasn’t as though my relationship…or marriage for that matter was in shambles. Josh and I were in a good place. It just was not as good as I wanted it to be. I wasn’t too sure what was missing, but when I laid my eyes of Mike at our wedding I hadn’t noticed it then. I was so drunk on love, I couldn’t see the way he held me too tight as we danced on the wedding night as a polite gesture from him to me. Neither did I see the other times he would linger around in my house for too long after guests had gone, a few months after me and Josh had moved in together. However, after three years I was no longer drunk on love – I was enjoying it with a more sober mind. But that opened my eyes to Mike. To how he watched me, how when we hugged his hand lingered very close to my bum. And instead of these things to make me feel awkward or at least tell my husband, I enjoyed it. Enjoyed the thrill, the feeling of having another mans hands over my body. And not just any man, my husbands brother.

That was when I realised that my marriage was not enough. Josh was an amazing man, great at sex, was romantic and treated me perfectly. Yes, we argued but that was normal. But he no longer had the hunger in his eyes when he saw me walk through the door and neither I for him. Instead, I kept losing my breath when Mike and I were left alone together, when he tried to kiss me when my husband had gone to get us glasses to drink wine in. Or when we had been celebrating their parents anniversary, and Mike had managed to touch me inappropriately in a crowded area. I was sure that Josh had seen, but he didn’t mention anything and I heard nothing of it – so I tried to ignore it. But with the more passes Mike made on me, the more I felt for him.

So here I was, laying on my back. My mouth in an ‘o’ shape as Mike had now thrusted himself inside me for another time. Penetrating me in time of the vibration of my phone. He grabbed a handful of my breast as my back arched in pleasure and as the strokes increased. With strength and speed, Mike continued to push me further and further to the edge. I knew it wasn’t long until I collapsed to his love, my eyes opened pleading with him to end it. He smiled as he continued to power through me, ignoring my plea and pushing himself to the brink before exploding. His whole body shaking in desire. Every muscle tensing as he tried to keep his body up above mine, whilst I crumbled below him. That was it, we had had our last fun in this world we had created for the night and now it was time to be true to ourselves.

I had a husband to confront and Mike had a brother he had just betrayed. After a few minutes of laying in silence, I sat up and went to hunt for my mobile. I didn’t put any clothes on as I had no need to hide something Mike had already seen more than enough in one night. I checked my jacket, yet couldn’t find anything. After looking for a few minutes, I found my clutch bag, which had my phone inside. I unlocked the phone and saw six missed calls from Josh and two from Clarissa. Then a few messages from both Clarissa and a few from a group conversation that I was in. I opened Josh’s message, which was frantic. He had called Clarissa and she claimed I was with her, but when failing to prove that I was there, he knew she was lying. He had started to get scared and also annoyed – the tone in his texts and voicemail had gotten a lot more serious. I needed to go home, before anything had gotten worse.

I turned back to Mike who was watching me.
“I have to go Mike.”
“I know, but I’ll see you again soon, just say you was with me when you speak to Mike. I found you a little too drunk and I took you here. I’ll come round later and explain it to him.”
“Are you crazy?”
“Trust me Sasha, say you are with me and I’ll handle everything.”
He stood up and came to me, pulling me close so that our naked bodies touched as he kissed me deeply. I was scared, but I wasn’t too sure what of. I don’t know if I was scared that Josh was going to wonder where I was, or whether this may be the last time I see Mike.
“God Sasha, if I had my way, you wouldn’t leave my side. But I know you have to go to Josh. Sasha…trust me, stick to what I said and we’ll be good.” I nodded nervously. He planted another kiss on my lips and helped me gather my things as I ran through the lie in my head. Well, it wasn’t even a lie, I did come home with Mike, but we did things I know Josh wouldn’t approve of. I just hoped my face didn’t have the events of yesterday night and this morning written all over it.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Toxic – Part 1

Do you ever get that feeling when you know what is wrong, and you try so hard to stay away from that – but everything in life is pulling you closer to the wrong? No matter how many times I turn away from the temptation, or ignore the constant opportunities, the more I’m faced with it, the more I feel myself growing weak. With each opportunity I pass, I feel myself opening up to the idea more and more.

I am a loyal woman, never been swayed by temptation (baring in mind I don’t get many temptations). But then he presented himself to me, and after all the pushing I did, it seemed as though I couldn’t push him no more. I knew in every part of my body that he was wrong, toxic for me. No one has ever made me question my marriage, no one has ever made me want more. Yet, here I was watching him, watch me from across the room whilst he sat with his friends.

It was a girls night out, I felt I needed the space – with my head clogged up with all this confusion, getting out and forgetting for one night didn’t seem like a bad plan. But here I was, thinking about him again. I didn’t know he’d be here. If I did, I sure as hell wouldn’t have come here, but here he was and my girls were already ordering drinks. We located a table close to where he sat amongst his friends and drank.

It wasn’t as though I could drink, I needed a sober mind if I was going to be in the same room as him. I didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardise my marriage. My girls had started to take off their jackets and began dancing to the music of the club – me on the other hand sat still, battling with my inner demons. A quiet voice screaming at me to leave, but the demons caressing my muscles telling me to stay, no harm in watching and enticing yourself with something you’d never had and never will. My best friend Clarissa tugged on my shoulder, pulling me out of my deep thoughts and forced a glass of drink in my hand.

“Oi! Stop being so boring and drink!”

I hadn’t told Clarissa about Mike. There was nothing proud about my feelings about him to share, so I made sure I’d kept him hidden, like a dark secret you didn’t want anyone knowing about, yet was always in everyone’s face. I gave her a small smile and put the cup on the table.

“Sasha what are you doing! It is your night off for once, enjoy it – why are you sitting there like a prune?” She shouted over the music. I gave her another shrug and looked away from Mike who was watching our every move. She lifted the glass off of the table and forced them near my lips.
“You will drink Sasha! You are not going to be like this throughout the night – not on my watch.”

Before I could protest, she’d found an opening with my mouth and began pouring the drink, as I tried to lean away from her offer. She almost climbed on top of me to ensure the liquid went all the way down my throat. By now, not only was Mike, but his friends also had started to watch the show. The liquid burnt my throat as it intruded its way inside my body. As it slid its way to the bottom, small flames ignited on the inside of my body causing me to feel warmer than I had a few minutes ago. Clarissa was laughing now as my face grew tense with the burn that came with the drink. Her hand fell behind her and before I knew it, she was pressing another glass cup to my lips.

I shook my head furiously, trying to push her off of me, but failed as she had now taken seat on my laps and was begging me to drink.
“For me Sasha, please drink one more and then we can have some fun.”
I looked at her and then thought of Josh, my husband. He was never too fond of Clarissa, felt as though she was always pushing me to do things I never wanted to do. And he was never too sure what her sexuality was and for that fact, he never liked to leave me alone with her for too long. He always said he saw a look in her eyes that I never seemed to notice. But I could never vouch for that – me and Clarissa had been best friends for almost ten years, and within those years I had never thought she swung for the same team.

But as she pouted and came closer to me to make me drink, I saw a flash of who Josh had been seeing all those times ago. I opened my mouth to not only receive the drink but to drown the many voices in my head that were screaming far too many things at me. After the drink had disappeared, she wiped a drop that had escaped my lips and licked her finger. Smiling, she got off and walked to where our other friends were dancing.

Too embarrassed to look at Mike, I took my jacket off to busy my hands and stared directly at the table. He was still watching me – this time I’m sure he had a look of hunger in his eyes. It had only been a second that I looked at him, but I knew how this night was going to end. I had lost the will to fight against what my body craved for, what it thought would heal it. I took a deep breath and hoped he didn’t make his way to me, but I knew sooner or later there would be nothing stopping him, and he’d come and get what he truly wanted.

After a while, the girls returned from dancing and were all hyped. I had managed to drink a glass or two more and then watched them all chatter. Then one of Mike’s friend had approached us.
“Hello ladies.”
“OOOOooooOOOO, what can we do for you today?” Aimee said, giving him what I was sure was her most alluring face.
“Well me and my friends were getting a little bored and saw how much fun you were having and wanted to see if we could come and join you?”
“NO!” Was the voice that screamed in my head, yet my lips didn’t move in reality, instead, I watched as the girls eyed up the guys and invited them over. My heart thumped so hard in my chest, I wasn’t too sure if it was drink or the fear I had of knowing Mike was walking straight towards me – either way, I knew my heart could not slow down.

All the guys had paired themselves with a lady, others making a triplet as the women were more in numbers that the men. Mike sat close, too close to me. I tried to ignore the heat that radiated off of him as our skin brushed, but all it did was make me tingle – inside and out. Everyone chatted whilst me and Mike sat silently watching the party in front of us. Then before I was aware, Mike had grabbed my waist and pulled me closer to him. The minor touch did wonders too my body, I tried to block out what it made me feel, but who was I to fight something that seemed so inevitable.

“You smell beautiful tonight Sasha.” His face pressed against my neck, so close that as he spoke his lips gently slid across my skin. I bit my lip and prayed for something to intervene, even if it was a funny look from Clarissa, anything to make me know this was a bad idea. Yet, everyone was far too enticed with their own guy to notice me. I nodded my head in thanks and felt his breath on my neck. I tried not to lean into his touch, into his warmth, into what felt like home, but before I knew it, my eyes were closed and I had leaned my head on his to feel his hair caress my cheek. He chuckled and moved to my left ear.

“You’re not fighting me off no more?”
I looked at him, watched his face analyse mine and couldn’t help but touch him. His eyes closed as my fingers trailed little touches of flames onto his skin. He opened his eyes and stared at me waiting for an answer, waiting for me to allow him to have me. Somehow, I always thought it would be him that would take me as soon as he had the chance, but here he was giving me the power, asking me whether he had permission to have me. I tried to find ‘No’ in my mind, but all I could see was ‘Yes’ and there was still a little voice within me that was telling me not to do what I wanted to do so much. I took a deep breath and came close to his lips.
“I should be fighting you off, you’re no good for me.”
A wicked smile grew on his lips and he came closer to my lips that were parted ready for him to enter inside.
“I’m no good for you now?”
“No,” I said smiling. Who had I become? Entertaining the devils dance? Knowing what was right and what was wrong. Whoever told you you’re conscious drowns out when you’re tempted was lying. The closer our lips got together, the clearer I could hear my mind scream ‘no!’ – yet it was me now that had chosen it to shut up. I forced the rebellious screams deep inside a room within my head and locked the door, leaving just my desire and Mike alone. “You are no good, but I can’t fight you off anymore.”

As the words came out my mouth in a rush, his lips met mine in a hurry. His hunger seeped through his lips and onto my own. His arm that was wrapped around my waist, had now moved towards my bum, squeezing what he could, whilst my arms found their way around his neck. I heard screams and laughter, but I couldn’t seem to pull myself away from Mike. I slipped my hands between his legs, trying to get a feel of what I was sure to come later on tonight. He moved to my neck and growled at me.
“Don’t Sasha.”
Once I had found the bulge that I had dreamt about for nearly every night for a year, I couldn’t stop myself. Rubbing on it, trying to imagine the whole length, his hand stopped mine abruptly. He pulled away from me and looked at my face. My lips now plump from the kissing, my body now scorching hot from our intimacy, now sat vibrating waiting for him to make the next move. The voice that had been screaming no in my head, was now whispering no, whilst hoping he kissed me again. If my conscious wouldn’t fight against him, what chance did I have? My inner logic had now crumpled onto the floor clutching her legs shut whilst saying no, but wanting more.

He grabbed my hand and led me outside. It was only by a second that I had managed to grab my jacket and bag and left with Mike. No one was entirely sure where we were off too, I signalled the smoking area, but neither I or Mike smoked. But who was to question when they all probably witnessed their married friend kiss another man.

Once we were outside, Mike hauled a cab and gave them an address and before I knew it, we were inside sitting in silence, but our bodies screaming for so much more. I dared to look at Mike and see that look he had on his face that showed he was going to devour every inch of my body. His hand still clutched onto mine, with a pain that oozed with ecstasy. I knew he was hanging on by a thread and if the cab man hadn’t got us to where we needed to be, Mike would take me right here.

I looked at him slowly, and was taken back when our eyes met. There was no stopping us anymore. Even if I was starting to doubt my actions, there was no way Mike would let me go. I was about to cheat on my husband with his brother and no voice of reasoning was going to stop us.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Big Apple – Part 1

I stumbled into the cab, vision blurred and stability definitely gone. I wasn’t too sure whether Dara gave the driver my home address or her own, but all I was aware of was that she’d gotten in with me and the cabman was driving to our destination. I was beyond embarrassed, I’d only been working with Dara for two months and already she’s seeing a side that I wasn’t even aware lived within me. She pulled my lifeless body against her own and began stroking my hair. It soothed my spinning vision and mind, I didn’t know how I was going to make it up to her, but I knew the treatment she was giving me was going to cost me a week of late nights in the office, but at that precise moment I didn’t care.

I’d embarrassed myself in front of my co-workers and my boss, all I wanted was to bury my head dead within my pillows and let this nightmare be forgotten. I closed my eyes, feeling like a little girl again and remembering the last words my mother told me before I moved out to New York ‘make sure you look after yourself.’ And here I was, a shambles. The cab stopped after a few minutes, which seemed like hours to me. Dara and the driver exchanged some words and before I knew it, she was helping me out the cab.

“Mind your left leg, the curb is close.”

I clasped her hands tight, afraid my footing would fail me and I’d land face first into the ground. Once I was upright and out of the cab, she began walking me towards some stairs that led towards a tall building. It didn’t look anything like the apartment I was staying at, but I wasn’t confident enough to believe my own eyes, so I fumbled carelessly towards the entrance, with her grip firm on my waist. I opened my pouch, in attempt to find my keys when Dara stopped me.

“What are you doing?”

“We can’t get into my place without my keys Vic!” The last words came out as a burp, causing me to cover my mouth.

“Katy, we’re at my place.”

She opened the doors with her keys and walked me through the lobby and towards the elevator. I stumbled after every few seconds, only highlighting how drunk I seemed to have been. She pressed the elevator button, causing the doors to open. We walked in, waiting for the lift to take us to her place. I wonder why she took me here? Why didn’t she just drop me home and leave me there and what floor does she live on? I leaned on Dara, feeling tired and looked up to her.

“Why’d you take me here?”

She looked at me with what seemed like a confused stare, “what do you mean ‘here’?”

I threw my arms in the air and signalled the building she lives in, instead of the building I live in.

“I wasn’t going to leave you all drunk by yourself.”

The elevator doors opened just as she answered. She guided me to her door, unlocking it with her keys, revealing a dark corridor. She led me through the darkness to what seemed like the living room. She forced me to sit on the sofa and then left me. I couldn’t believe I was drunk and in my boss’ apartment. I closed my eyes and felt the soft velvet sofa under my fingertips. The tiny hairs soothed my skin, calling me to sleep. I kicked off my heels and curled up like a ball on the sofa, ready to get lost in the call of this velvet masterpiece, when the lights flickered on. I groaned in annoyance and sat back up, confused with why it’d suddenly gotten bright.

“Before you even dare to sleep, take this tablet and drink this water.”

I obeyed her command, not thinking twice to answer back. I placed the small chalky white tablet in my mouth and then gulped the water, that I hadn’t know I’d been craving.

“Do you feel better?” She asked walking back to what I can only assume was the kitchen area.

“Why am I here Dara?” I said, looking at the light that shone opposite from where I sat.

“I told you that already Katy.”

I looked down trying to remember when she told me, but failed to remember anything passed the lights turning on and waking up from a blissful sleep I was sure to have.

“Oh sorry. Is this your place?”

The light in the kitchen turned off, turning the intensity of the light within the room down. She came out with a plate in her hand. She laid the plate on the table and sat beside me. I looked at the sandwich and my stomach flipped twice, I shut my eyes, trying to burn the image out of my head as it began making me sick.

“Yes, it is my place.”

“It’s beautiful.” She sat besides me and chuckled.

“Are you tired honey?”

I nodded, too tired to speak anymore, just wanting a bed and sheets to cover myself with. She helped me up and walked towards the bedroom. It was dark, but with the light from the living room, I was able to make out shapes from the silhouettes casted by the objects. There was a huge bed in the middle of the room, must have been double, maybe even king sized, with a few cabinets and wardrobes resting against the walls. What caught my attention was the huge window that oversaw the busy roads and buildings of New York. Little lights danced across the roads, whilst buildings stood affirm in the midst of the party of lights, like security guards. The lights started to blur ever so slightly the longer I looked at it, making my head feel dizzy. Dara must have been aware, because she pulled me towards the bed, but it was too late. The drink had finally settled and my limbs had gone to sleep, causing me to fall to the ground. She sighed and crouched down, so that we were face to face.

“You alright?” Another nod, replaced speech. She lifted me up for another time tonight and managed to get me into her bed. At first she tried to undress me, and I tried to fight her off. I was drunk, probably more than drunk. But I still had enough sense that this wasn’t a good look at all, rolling around intoxicated in her bed was bad enough, but having her unzip my dress and try and pull it off was another. What was worse was that even though I felt I was putting up a good fight in attempt to stop her, it was all futile. All she had to do was move my defensive hands with force and they never lifted again. This was definitely something I was going to regret in the morning. Once I was down to just my undies, I closed my eyes, letting the silk sheets caress my skin and drag me further into the sleep abyss that had been calling my name.

As I slowly drifted deeper into sleep, it was as though I felt Dara hover above me and watch me. I’m sure she even muttered a few indistinctive words, but after I groaned and kept saying sleep, I felt the duvet fall over my shoulders and two soft lips touch my forehead. Then I was gone.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun