The Director’s voice boomed across set, halting proceedings. Everybody turned to look at him, and someone sighed tellingly. This was the fourth time we were retaking this one scene.
Mark walked over with an apologetic smile and his ubiquitous clapperboard under his arm. The thick lenses of his glasses gleamed in the harsh overhead lighting.
“Sorry Sonia. I know you’re tired and all but I think a little something is still missing. I want a bit more passion in your delivery, a little more energy. Give it some more life girl; show the viewers that you’re really hurt by your boyfriend’s betrayal. You dig?”
I quickly nodded in agreement.
I didn’t ‘dig’ and felt my delivery had been just fine, but I knew Mark wouldn’t quit until he was satisfied. All I wanted was for the damn shoot to be over, so I could somewhere quiet and rest my pounding head. The bright lights weren’t helping matters, but a professional had to stay in character.
Mark yelled again.
Everybody got back in position and indicated their readiness.
Some rough shaking woke me from sleep, but it took a moment or two for me reconcile where I was, in the bed I shared with Tara our make-up artist.
“Sonia! Look at yourself. What’s all these? Look at you???”
I didn’t know what she was talking about, as some sleep still clung to my brain but I managed to squeeze out a couple of words in between yawns.
“What.. is…. it Tara?”
She didn’t say anything but slowly pointed at something further down on the bed and between my legs, an unreadable expression on her face.
My eyes followed her finger.
A dark patch stared accusingly at me from the bedspread. I glanced at Tara, who obviously hadn’t slept at all as she was still dressed as she had been when I left her in the bar downstairs where the end of shoot party was holding, and a sinking feeling crept into my stomach. I didn’t need to touch my nightgown for confirmation; my nose by now could clearly discern the heavy smell of urine in the room.
The next morning, shame made me vacate the room before Tara woke up.
Incontinence had plagued me during childhood. I remember clearly being flogged many times by my parents for bedwetting. I remember all the suggestions – don’t eat late, don’t drink water before bed, don’t do this, don’t do that – and how they all failed.
The problem largely stopped just before I turned ten, and since then I’ve only had a few very random incidences. In the past six months however, there’s been an upsurge. Prayer and fasting hasn’t worked, nor the deliverance sessions recommended by Sade’s Pastor.
Somebody on the internet suggested hypnotism. Desperate times call for equally desperate measures.
“Your problem is not a new one. I have treated many many people like you; this one won’t be a problem.”
The nauseating smell of garlic in Doctor Rajiv’s poky office and the constant movement of his head as he spoke through his nose like Indians liked to do was distracting and annoying, but I had no choice. Beggars couldn’t be choosers. All I wanted was to be rid of this shame.
He cast a speculative look over my body, quietly sizing up my outfit before he responded.
“Twenty five thousand naira and all will be fine. I use hypnosis and that is expensive, but it works just fine.”
Silently I counted out the money from my handbag and placed it on the table, within easy reach of his grubby hands and watched as it quickly disappeared.
“Now we can start.”
According to his explanation, he was going to hypnotize me and reach down into my memories to find out what trauma I was trying to repress. That he believed was the cause, and once addressed I would be healed.
“I will put you in a trance and ask questions which you will answer. Once we’re done, I will mention the safe word and you will wake up, perfectly cured. Is that okay with you?”
“Good, very good.”
I wanted to tell him his turbaned head which kept bobbing was already making me dizzy but I didn’t.
“You have to pick safe word now. That is the word that wakes you up from sleep.”
I chose the first word that dropped in my head.
“Like cut?” he asked, making the motion of a scissors.
I nodded again.
“Good, very good. Now we’re ready.”
It worked. A full year after and not a drop did I see.
The movie date had been fun, just like everything else with Oriade. He is everything a girl could ask for and more, smart, handsome and with a great sense of humor. He also drove a Porsche.
“So, what else would you like to do?”
The deepness of his baritone fitted perfectly with his tall, broad shouldered frame. Every time he spoke, it sounded as if he was trying to put one to sleep. I imagined him saying naughty things in that voice of his and suddenly felt hot in certain places.
“Err, do? Honestly I don’t know.”
He looked at his shiny silver watch in his usual casual manner.
“Seeing that the evening is still young, why don’t I show you my place?”
I picked up the undertone in his request.
“Are you sure that’s all you want to do?”
I asked the question with a playful smile on my lips.
“Of course it is. What else can a young innocent man like me be up to?”
I thought briefly about what he was not so subtly suggesting. We’ve be going steady for a couple of months, and he’s been really nice to me. I liked him a lot. Thank God I was wearing new underthings.
“Okay mister Innocent, it’s your lucky night. Lead me to temptation.”
Laughter erupted from his chest.
“When you put it like that, how can I refuse? After you….”
His apartment in Oniru was spotless, and tastefully furnished. Barely ten minutes after we got in both of us were naked on his expansive bed. Oriade certainly knew his way around a woman’s body. He kissed and bit, tickled and licked with exactly the right amount of pressure to deliver the maximum pleasure. He drank from my lips, suckled at my nipples before he slowly went down between my thighs and worked magic with his sugar coated tongue. In no time, I was a mass of shuddering flesh.
Two orgasms later, and it was time for me to return the favour. His thickly veined and slightly curved member filled my mouth and he groaned and moaned as I sucked on it. I felt his balls constrict in my hand, an indication that he was close to coming and somehow, I was back under the harsh lights at work and choking in the smell of garlic at Doctor Rajiv’s. I clearly heard both of them yell loudly in my head.
And my jaws clamped shut.
There was screaming, and blood. A lot of blood…