by Gloria Ezeh
When I asked Iyke who Gift is, all he said was, ‘Forget her, she’s not important.’
Over the years, many things has kept me glued to Iyke.
First it was his persistence. I liked that he continued to chase me for weeks despite my well-designed stunts. And, saying the truth, Iyke isn’t so bad-looking, if at all.
When we finally started dating, I liked that he never bothered me about chores and such whenever I visited.
Iyke is not the guy to turn you into a maid because you are dating him. Believe me, I’ve had experiences before. In Iyke’s house, I cook when I want to cook and I’ve never washed his clothes. He has washed mine though.
Don’t stare at me jor! It was once, a long time ago. I was sick.
Many months into the relationship, I started to like that he was faithful. Seemed faithful—I mean, you never can really tell.
But truth is, I’ve never caught Iyke in something suspicious. In fact he always turned my suspicions to stupidity at the end. He never locked his phone and easily gave out his passwords. Sometimes I think Iyke lived too openly. But then it was one of those things with us that we found nothing absolutely satisfying. In every situation we must always found something to complain about.
Because of all this I decided to let the Gift matter go. For the meantime anyway. I need to get more evidence before I launch my case fully.
On Monday evening, Iyke called me. With voice full of glee, he announced that he has booked us two tickets to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Yes, I was among the few lucky Nigerians to see the semi-porn before its tear-provoking ban.
Okay, first, I never read the book. First reason, I don’t like reading books that have parts. Secondly, the only girl I hated at work called the book her favourite. She frequently set up Fifty Shades of Grey discussions at the office which she headed.
‘Glo, I didn’t hear you scream?’ Iyke said over the phone.
‘Why should I?’
‘I just said I booked tickets to Fifty Shades of Grey!’
‘So? How? Isn’t that the movie that is getting you ladies high like Origin at the moment?’
I laughed. ‘You not serious. When is the movie showing?’
‘A.M or P.M?’
‘P.M na. Nawa you o, movie dey show for morning on Tuesday?’
‘So what time are we going to return?’
‘We should be back before 12. You can get your stuff, you sleep at my place.’
‘Yes. Meet me at the mall before 8p.m.’
‘Who told you I have agreed to go with you?’
‘Suit yourself then. Do you know how many girls that will die to have the ticket right now?’ He hung up.
Don’t he always do that!
I thought about giving him the surprise of his life by not showing up, but the temptation of seeing Grey was quite strong. It was the same feeling I had the first time I saw the reviews on Daniel’s book—Ola and couldn’t resist reading it the following day.
By 8 p.m. on Tuesday, I was already all dressed and set to hit the road. I was at Leisure Mall, Surulere, some minutes to 9.
Stepping into the mall, I pulled out my phone and dialled Iyke.
He took the call at the first ring and said, ‘Look up, bitch!’
I looked up and saw him, inclined to the metal fence, smiling like a fifty-year-old woman that finally just got engaged.
Escalating up, he came and took my hand. Seeing other ladies walking about, clipped to their boyfriends and man-friends, I wished Iyke kissed me.
That would send out just the right note for me.
But Ichie Iyke is always shy in public. I used to like that about him too, till I saw his other side.
Seeing the innocent face he always wore in public, you never could believe he would be able to do the things he does in the bedroom.
He gave me my ticket and a bottle of Fanta. Checking his wrist watch, he said, ‘We have less than 10 minutes, let’s just hang around here.’
I looked round, many people were walking about with their white slips of paper. You could tell just how much they cherished it from the way they were holding it.
Some distance away, a sizable crowd stood before the ticket seller. From the crowd, I heard a girl cry, ‘Oh my God! Finished? Not again! What am I going to do now?’
‘Let’s see The Dazzling Mirage instead,’ another girl standing beside her said in a calm voice.
‘Which mirage? Let’s go jor.’
As I watched them slide down, the girl’s face so crumpled you’d think she would burst into tears anytime, I felt like calling her back to give her my own ticket.
Iyke checked his watch again. ‘5 minutes more,’ he announced.
‘No popcorn?’ I asked him.
‘Hmm. You won’t believe I bought these tickets for 1200 each.’
I shook my head. Reaching into my purse, I pulled out a 500 naira note and gave him.
Soon he returned with two paper jars filled with smiling corns.
Almost at the same time, people started to file in. Iyke and I quickly joined the line.
Inside the theatre, Iyke headed straight to the back, pulling me along. He always like to sit at the back. To his luck, we sat on the two seats at the most extreme right.
It took about 10 minutes before the movie finally started, after a series of adverts. The Nigerian movie adverts looked like behind-the-scenes clips.
Finally the lights went off and then back on with a hammering sound. The movie was on. Fifty Shades of Grey was on. I could feel everyone adjust to the suspense.
A short time and the opening credits were over and the pictures came on.
In the room, Ana was all dressed and jittery as she was about leaving to the Grey House, where she’d stand in for her sick roomie in the interview with Christian Grey, the hottest young billionaire in town.
To me, that glass tower was the only thing worth seeing in that movie. Okay, I also liked the part when Christian surprised Ana with the car, that scene filled me with great longing.
Okay, I cannot begin to describe all the scenes, but really, there was nothing so captivating about Fifty Shades of Grey.
First, the sadomasochism love story was too shallow and the love scenes were cold. To me, at least. The entire plot is too linear. Life is rarely like that.
It might be different with the book though, because your imagination has a way of placing everything in perfect order.
But in a movie, you have to follow what you see. My first hiss came when Ana fell while entering Christian’s office.
Come on! She just opened the door and dropped to the floor. Not like she tripped on anything or something. Not very well done jor.
Then again the Christian guy looked too innocent for the role. He came across to me more as a submissive than a dominant. I can see Hugh Jackman doing a hotter job.
Okay, again I would say that I did not read the book to know the author’s true image of Christian Grey.
The biggest disappointment came when the movie ended abruptly with the elevator closure.
Ana. Christian. And the elevator slid closed and the movie ended. Shoo! Heard there is going to be a sequel though, but I wasn’t that stuck that I’d say I can’t wait.
It wasn’t just me that felt insulted with the abrupt end though. The hall was filled hisses, groans and mutterings of disappointment as people started to leave.
‘Did you enjoy the movie?’ I asked Iyke as we got outside. He hasn’t said a word since.
Iyke said nothing, only staring straight-front as we walked out of the mall. Something is wrong, I know it. I could feel it.
The New Shade Of Iyke
wasn’t till we were in the cab that Iyke finally spoke to me. He’d put
his arm round me and, giving my shoulder a light shake, said, ‘How you?’
‘Fine,’ I said.
‘Did you enjoy the movie?’ he asked.
‘And did I not ask you that question some minutes ago and you kept quiet?’
He shook my shoulder lightly again. ‘Forgive me, a lot on my mind.’
I gave him a look. ‘Like what and what?’
‘I will tell you later.’
The taxi man stopped us in front of the gate and came down with us.
As usual, the gate was wide open. Ever since I started visiting Iyke, I’ve never met that gate closed once.
‘Oga, add something na, you know say this place far,’ the taxi driver
said as he collected the two notes Iyke extended to him. He was a short
man in a long native attire.
‘Let’s go,’ Iyke said to me, rudely ignoring the man.
Inside the room, Iyke kissed me lightly on the forehead and walked into the bathroom.
I walked into the kitchen and made myself a cup of tea. The two packs
of crackers biscuits I bought last week were still in the fridge, same
spot I had dropped them. Iyke will not touch them less they were made
I picked one of the yellow packs and carried my tea to the sitting room.
A few minutes later, Iyke was done bathing. As with his tradition
whenever we were alone in the house, he was out in the sitting room
naked. His gender looked blacker, and bigger, in the weak bulb light.
Low voltage is a major characteristic of Iyke’s Street.
‘Did you make me a cup?’ he asked, stopping in front of me.
‘Did you ask me to?’ I raised the tea cup to my mouth.
Iyke extended his hand and took the cup from me. He took a careful sip
and handed it back. ‘Must you allow the water to hit a 1000 degrees
before making the tea?’ His voice trailed him as he started toward the
I didn’t give a response. My attention was now on his
round black ass as he pranced into the room. Many times I’ve wondered
how something so dark and hard could be so attracting.
minutes later, I’ve had my own bath and we were on the bed when Iyke
asked, ‘How would you feel if I’m the guy in that movie?’
Iyke was silent for a while. Then, turning to face me, he said, ‘I mean, do some ladies enjoy that?’
‘Been whipped and tortured during sex.’
‘No. Any lady that’d enjoy something like that is twisted.’
‘What if a guy enjoys it?’
‘Enjoys being tortured?’
‘No. Being the torturer.’
‘You really think that?’
‘I know that. Sex is an art, I agree, but there are boundaries to what
can give pleasure. Gaining pleasure from pain is perverted. ’
‘So that’s what you think?’
‘Yes. And pretty much any normal person too.’
Iyke gave a small hum. ‘So what happens to your, ‘you really don’t know what goes on in their mind’ sermon?’
‘That’s exactly what you said the day we were arguing about gays and lesbians.’
‘Iyke, abeg that one is different.’
‘Really? Are they not perverted ways to pleasure all the same?’
‘I don’t think so. Even if they are, who cares! There are so many nasty things that go on in people’s bedroom.’
‘So it’s really none of your business, right?’
Iyke touched my nose. ‘Finally we arrived on the same page.’
‘Whatever! Can we now sleep?’ I grabbed one of the pillows and curled round it.
‘Taa, sleep what!’ Iyke gripped the pillow and flung it away.
He started to kiss me.
Only a few seconds and I was already swallowed up in the heat. Iyke has my key like that.
Some distance into the action, Iyke pushed my two arms up and held them down above my head.
That was new. A part of my senses suddenly cleared out.
It was from Fifty Shades of Grey. I struck it out immediately.
I freed myself from Iyke.
‘What now?’ Iyke said, pretending not to know.
‘I am not Ana, my friend,’ I told him.
‘What?’ He snorted. ‘Wait, you think I’m practising what we saw in the movie?’
‘Iyke!’ My eyes were wide at him. ‘You just held my hands above my head, what do you call that?’
‘Glo, come on, haven’t I always been doing that?’
‘No, you haven’t.’
‘Okay, I’m sorry.’
‘Sorry na!’ He came close and held me.
In a matter of seconds we were swept away in the heat again. But I did
not allow myself get fully immersed this time. I kept a part of me
alert, ready to pick out anything unlikely. Anything that was new.
To both our luck, Iyke behaved.
The Friday of that week, I was at work when Iyke called to tell me
Fifty Shades of Grey has been banned by the Nigerian Censors Board. He
sounded really excited that we did see the movie before the startling
ban. I was kind of excited too.
At least I was sure the Fifty
Shades of Grey Madam at our office will not have the chance to see it
again. No wonder she’s not been her sprightly self since morning.
I didn’t go to Iyke’s house that Friday as I promised. I went on Saturday evening.
Iyke was away when I opened the door. He’d probably gone to the stadium to gym.
Inside the room, I found the new shirt he bought.
Another brown. I shook my head as I ran my hand over the fabric. Iyke’s
affection for dull colours embarrasses me. It’s always brown, black, or
Beside the shirt, I saw the bundle of money he
left. A paper on which he’d scribbled down ‘For Soup’ in his sloppy hand
was on the pile of cash.
I picked it and counted it.
It was 10K. 10K for soup? Obviously salary done show.
I was turning to leave when I caught sight of something else from the corner of my left eye.
A blue nylon bag. It was at the far end of the bed, sandwiched between the two plump pillows.
I reached for it and scooped it up. Opening it, I saw the weird equipment it contained.
I brought out the pair. They were like cuffs, but leather, joined
together by a small chain. The inside of the lock compartment was soft
with a furry attachment.
As I turned the objects in my hand, I searched my mind for whatever reason Iyke would buy such a weird equipment.
Had he owned a dog, I would have quickly guessed it was something for the dog.
It wasn’t long that an image flitted through my mind. An image that made my jaw drop.
Fifty Shades of Grey.
It was something inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey. Something to cuff my
hands to the bed with. I became sure in a matter of seconds.
My chest rose and fell. Iyke will come back and meet Fifty Shades of War.
Adapted from Tales From Gloria by Gloria Ezeh.