Published on January 31st, 2013 | by The Alchemist24
Aiyé Îlé: Episode 1
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, this is The Alchemist.
First, in case you didn’t know, our TWO competition is finally (finally) at an end. Thank you all for submitting entries, reading, commenting, rating and generally responding well. The Writer competition begins soon and you can look forward to reading and voting for your favourite writers there when it commences. The Winners of the TWO competition will be announced on the same day as the other 9 contestants for the Writer.
Second, Thursdays are series days and we know you’ve come to expect some engaging series here. From the wedding drama – Our best friends wedding, to the action thriller – FIST (Owo Ese), the hilarious situation comedy - 43 Fafunwa, the adolescent social drama – SEAMS, the dramatic junkie memoir – Drug Dairies and the Lagos taxi driver adventure – My name is AZed, we’ve given you a lot of great series and we have no intention of stopping now. There are several new ones in the pipeline, including a sequel or two of some of your favorite series above (I’m not telling which just yet). While we put the finishing touches on our first full fledged series of the year, we wont leave you hanging.
TheNakedConvos presents: Aiye Ile by Remi Olutimayin. A miniseries exploring the intricacies of desire and power. You may have read some of Remi’s work before. But make no mistake, this is entirely different, and it is fascinating. I must warn you that it contains adult themes and strong language. Reader discretion is advised.
Now that the pleasantries are done, I bid you welcome to Aiye Ile.
THIS IS ANNE
‘The trouble with getting badly bruised is the unasked questions and the humiliating assumptions.’
Her gaze was always steady, it helped that she had learned to keep it balanced between the steely glare of a knife and the natural reticence of a force of nature in repose. She practiced it in the mirror first thing in the morning. It kept her guard up. It kept everyone else in the dark…or where they thought they wanted to be with her. Her reflection had stopped condemning her long ago. She now only looked for visible marks, scars, and bruises…you don’t have to hide what you can’t see.
Anne hoped her deodorant would disguise the smell of the balm on her lower back. She didn’t welt easily and she didn’t develop keltoids, so all she needed to do was tend to sore muscles and tender skin. She hadn’t slept since she had returned from work at 3:37am. It was 7:30 and her 2 boys were ready to go to school.
As she entered the kitchen, the Avatar wallpaper, the domestic smells of baked beans and fried eggs reminded her what she was working hard to protect. The table was almost untidy as Yemi and Chibuzor were chatting about their teachers and cartoons while eating in a hurry. She grabbed the cereal pack that stood ravaged on the table and chewed on a handful of flakes. She directed Clara the nanny to bring their school bags and that was when the boys first saw, then got up to hug her. Pain-retardants make her mornings easier to deal with. The kids knew she didn’t like noise in the morning, so they asked her questions in turns and she nodded out ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each one absently. It had been a while since she’d walked them to school, so she told Clara to leave and pick the boys up from school for her.
‘It is very disappointing to know that people still judge you by how you look in what you wear and drive.’
She wore a plain purple T-shirt and a pair of straight jeans that flattered her hips. It was enough room for envy having 2 boys and looking like a woman who’s been selectively sexually active for 2 years. From the PTA gossip she had heard, people ‘knew’ that her husband must be an angry man. The PTA members were mostly ignorant bitches to her, all complaining about running out of ways to look better, spend money, find new trends to follow…chicken heads.
She knew that they were shallow and fond of judging those who were not members of their cliques. But she knew them better than they knew themselves…or their husbands.
She was opulent and just focused on the basic necessities of life. They didn’t understand that what she did preserved their vapid way-of-life.
It is obvious to the observant that the lifestyle of top-tier executives exposes them to a vulnerabity, maximum marginal utility shears them down, whittles them away. The wear and tear starts from the mind and later manifests in all manner of disturbing ailments…like cancer, where the body goes to war with itself. Many claim it is an unhealthy lifestyle that leads to this. Many speak the truth, but really it all boils down to mental pressures that they bear in silence and with no proper avenue for release. This is why they need the house. Why they need her.
ABOUT THE HOUSE OF LIFE
The joggers and weekend sportsmen, the readers and the game-players, listeners of music and movie-watchers…these are the most fortunate ones. These were not her clients. Her clients were those who had drunk, smoked, got high, got low…and had found no escape. To be more precise, they realized there was no escape before the lie of the addict became plain to them. They needed to have access to things that most leaders of civilized societies publicly frown upon, things they will not recognize to exist; things they speak against…for fear that it will become the next lie of the addict, and enslave their children.
It involved a 2 storey building with 14 rooms in a removed location in a slowly developing area outside of the city limits. Each room had a 4-poster bed, a television, a small bar, scented candles, black, red, ultra-violet, or regular lights (depending on the client’s preference), and any number of ‘pleasers’ the client wanted. Aiye Ile was for those who had sought everything and found nothing, but had enough to ‘get in’. Not even their families knew of it.
Anne knew things that never left those rooms. Stories, attitudes, feelings, and orientations considered to be abhorrent, repulsive, or base. She measured the cows of the PTA against their husbands needs…and she almost felt pity for them. But then she remembered how their husbands looked when they withdrew from her mouth, and she condemned their non-capacity for intimacy with their husbands. She condemned them for the way she has to help them keep their homes, their reputations and their way of rewarding her. She’d spit on them if she could, but she spat at their tyres when they got to her.
ABOUT THE MEN OF THE HOUSE
“If they need it that badly, they will find it…”, Justice Beduaiye would say when he would grab Anne by her hair, spit in her face, then fuck her like she was a woman deserving of pain and punishment. Room 12 was his personal favorite because according to him, “It faces a wall. No matter how high you rise, something outside of you and unwelcome contains you.”
He always favored the leather belt for her lower back. Unlike most of the other clients of the ‘Aiye-Ile’, the House of Life, he would talk to her like she was a person and tell her things that he wouldn’t share with his mistresses…and confidants. He knew in that room his secrets would be kept… or forced to the grave. But Anne was smart. He knew she knew this back from the first time he slapped her across the face with his half-shriveled penis. She didn’t look away; she didn’t break eye-contact.
She would grab onto the back of his thighs, just under his buttocks and say dirty things that resonated with his darker mind every time he pulled himself out of her mouth. “Fuck me like my daddy. Like you care for me and can’t stand the fact that I will leave you one day…can’t stand the fact that someone else will have his hands on me and I will be beyond your reach very soon.”
He knew she understood what he needed to hear her say, so he could do the things that he did with her with a passion driven by his deep-seated sense of guilt. She knew what she offered him was catharsis. He never fathomed why. When he sat high on his bench, deciding between life and death, innocence and guilt, truth and lie, he knew he didn’t care to know.
Whenever she drops her sons at school, Anne sees Yetunde Beduaiye, his 3rd wife, struggle to control his children that she had to take to school. She was yet to have any and so she was seen as the least important person in the house. The sight of the children embarrassed her almost as much as they way they talk back at her…based on their mothers’ authority. Anne still feels the look in Yetunde’s eyes. The look that says,”You’re beneath me. 2 bastards from 2 different men? No man in the house? You’re beneath me. That makes everything bearable…because you’re beneath me.”
Anne knows why the Justice chose to marry Yetunde out of all his other 34 concubines. She looks like his first wife, Sade. Sade died of birth complications. The good Dr. Alabi who attended to her had confided to Anne who the father of her child had been. The news had upset the Justice. It was the Justice who had the child ‘ended’. He didn’t want to bear the pain of an inbred child in the care of the boy that stole her from him through marriage. Better a grieving husband and father than a brainless banker armed with blackmail material. She couldn’t judge him, though. She had done worse herself.
ABOUT THE MEN OF THE HOUSE, II
Doctor Alabi was a client, but he wasn’t driven by depravity like the governors. He was different, like the Justice, but he was scarier. His eyes would seem to grow shadows as he became erect and he seemed to see beneath her skin, past her flesh, and he preferred her when she was on her period.
“For me, it’s like having you at your dirtiest. I want that. Do you understand?”
“Yes. You want no illusions. You want me as I truly am. To explore me with all my dirt, filth and secrets. Dig as deep and as hard as you like.”
His secrets were darker and most had nothing to do with him. He spoke of the secrets of the others with a distance in his words, like a laborer who’s worked overtime. Always in a chilling and impersonal tone of voice. But there was one secret that he had about himself. It was what led him to be single all his life.
His sweetheart from Secondary School had been faithful to him into marriage. Then he found out she had HPV. It was just beginning, but he recognized the early signs of the telltale warts…on himself. He killed her. It wasn’t hard for him. He got a blood-thinner and fed it to her in the 8th month of carrying their child…or ‘that man’s child’ as he would say. He started a quarrel and she had never known him to be violent so she did not expect the combination of punches he delivered to her torso and sides. She bled out internally as he calmly watched her struggle on the floor.
“I’ve seen people die more painful deaths than that. I chose my moment too soon.”, he said to her as she put him in her mouth. His eyes grew shadows as he became firm in her mouth. He placed his hands on the crown of her head and thrusted almost weakly. Their eyes met, and she tried to pull her head away.
“Don’t stop, just keep doing that. Anyway she cried and cried and then confessed that she had been with her childhood neighbour, Akin. She swore that the child was mine.”
He laughed deeply, absently, and grew even harder than she had expected. Anne did not let her fear show. She could not. It brought him no pleasure.
“I know she said that so I would save her life. At first sight, I can tell when a woman conceived to the nearest hour? I learned that in the Ukraine. She had me mix my seed with that…that…bastard. And that forced me into a deal with the other devils in this ‘house’.”
Anne understood that he was ‘stuck in a moment’, trapped by the evil that he did. Just like the rest of them. He had made a deal with Aiye-Ile to avenge his honor…he fast discovered that his honor was more illusion than anything, without any bearing on the real world that kept on going as though nothing good or bad had happened to him. He was, like all men of the house, living a false life of as much delightful relief, sin and escape as the house afforded him.
But the house of life is not built upon the secrets of the men who frequent it. No. The house is built upon a much firmer foundation: the women of the house of life.
To be continued…