Aargh! Focus, Ifiok, focus!
Ifiok massaged his forehead with a thumb and forefinger. Ever since last Tuesday, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it. .
He had gone to a client’s house to bring her up to speed on some new developments in her case as they were due to appear in court this Thursday. She had been ill and the doctor had put her on bed rest for a week.
She now lived alone. Her late husband’s cousin had moved out after accusing her of murdering her husband eight months ago. His family now wanted her put away for life. They had never been thrilled about her presence in Fred’s life, especially because he was three years younger than she was.
He was about to ring the bell for the fourth time when he heard the shuffling of feet on the other side of the door. She opened the door a crack. Seeing him, she looked relieved.
“Mr. Harrison, good morning. I, em, I wasn’t expecting you this early.”
“I’m sorry. Is this a bad time? I just wanted to brief you before I went ahead with….”
“Please, come in. I’ll get dressed and we can talk.”
She was wearing a pale green cotton nightgown with lace trim. He had never seen this much of her skin before. Her wide, curvy hips filled out the night gown and his eyes followed their sway as she walked in front of him to the living room.
Abasi, mbok. The things he could do with these hips!
She turned to face him, showing him to a chair.
What was that? He thought he saw a hint of the red lacy bra she wore underneath.
“Would you like some tea?”
“Yes, please.” He blurted, before realizing he hadn’t really heard her question.
As he watched her walk away, he felt a rush of blood to a certain part of his anatomy. He frowned as he leafed noisily through the papers he had brought out of the file in his hand. As a criminal defense attorney, his clients were mostly men. Men who you only had to take one look in their eyes and know that they were indeed capable of being murderers, molesters or robbers.
Mrs. Anya Ogidi was his first female client in almost six years.
In their previous meetings, she was always dressed in outfits made of some African print. He could remember thinking to himself that her tailor was quite good. The cut and style of the dresses gave good hints as to what lay beneath without being revealing. Seeing her in this nightgown however, was totally different.
She came back into the living room a few minutes later, wearing some faded blue jeans and a yellow Arsenal FC jersey. She set his tea on the coffee table. He thanked her and had drained almost half the cup before remembering this was a woman who was supposed to have killed her husband through food poisoning.
She wouldn’t poison me. I’m her only hope for freedom. He shrugged and finished the tea.
“So, madam, there’s some good news and bad news. But with your help, I can turn the bad news into good. This is what’s up…”
Ifiok Harrison momentarily forgot his yearnings and faced the business at hand while she listened attentively.
After their discussion, she walked him to the door.
“Mr…..Har..rison. Sir, I…” She kept her eyes down, brow creased, as if trying to find the right words. Suddenly, she clasped his right hands in both of hers and held it to her chest.
“Thank you for believing me. I didn’t kill Fred. I didn’t love him anymore, but, I would never…” Her voice broke off as her body shook with sobs.
He dropped his briefcase on the floor and put his arms around her. Her hair smelled like the flamboyant flower trees around his childhood home which he had loved to climb. He squeezed her shoulder.
He smelled the way Fred did when he was fresh out of the shower….like baby powder. She pressed her nose against his chest. After a few minutes, they pulled apart slightly, his hands still on her shoulders.
“We’ll get you through this, my dear. You’ll walk free.”
This time, she put her arms round his neck and pulled his face down….to hers.
This was his first kiss in eighteen months, ever since Rita had left him and married his cousin. Ifiok ran his hand down the hips he had drooled over just a couple of hours ago, and pulled her even closer. He was hungry.
This meeting was far from over. In fact, it had just begun.
He hadn’t seen her or spoken to her since last Tuesday. Tomorrow, he’d be seated across from her in the courtroom. He stared, unseeing at the yellow legal pad in front of him, and rubbed his forehead. Again.