The moans from the room grew louder as Ivan approached the side of the three-bedroom bungalow.
He shook his head as he let himself into the sparsely furnished living room and lowered himself into the sofa.
The sounds were louder now. The girl, whoever she was, had a shrill voice that was difficult to ignore.
He leaned back and shut his eyes. It had been a long day, but also a good one.
He needed to nap, but something told him he’d struggle to achieve that with the gymnastics going on inside.
Just then, the front door swung open and Emem came in. He was spotting a blue polo t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans.
The two guys exchanged a slight handshake that ended with a snap of the finger.
“Wey this yeye guy na?” Emem asked.
“He dey inside, e be like sey him get visitor jare,” Ivan gestured in the direction of Bayo’s room.
As if on cue, a woman stepped out of the room with a young man in tow.
There was an awkward silence as the men locked eyes with the woman who looked to be in her mid-fifties.
“Err…guys meet my friend, Daisy. Daisy, these are my friends, Ivan and Emem,” Bayo said.
Emem responded first.
“Hello, nice to meet you,” the woman replied.
Ivan could only mumble his greetings. He was trying to reconcile the shrill voice with the heavyset madam that stood before him.
Bayo saw his visitor off as his friends exchanged a knowing look.
“Guy, who be this one again?” Emem asked, as soon as Bayo came in.
“Ogbeni, make I chill first jare.”
He picked up the half-filled bottle of Hennessey on the stool and poured himself a drink.
Moments later, Ivan and Emem had learnt that their friend’s guest was a manager at one of the branches of Veneer Bank.
“The same Daisy Chukwuma, wife of General Chukwuma?” Ivan eyes widened.
Bayo nodded with a smirk.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” Emem was up on his feet, “na this kind parole pesin suppose dey run. All this small small girls no fit help pesin, na who dem go suck dry dem sef dey find. Why you think sey I dey manage Caroline dey go? E pay me make I dey cope with her domineering ways as far as money dey show than all this girls wey no get shishi yet dem go dey form.”
“I have seen the light jare, my brother,” Bayo replied, “Daisy has already given me half of the money I need to run that job I told you guys about?”
“Really?” Ivan asked.
“Just like that?”
His friends burst into laughter.
“What is five million naira to a bank manager who’s also the wife of a high-ranking military officer?” Emem asked.
“Ogbeni, wake up and smell the coffee. Dating an older woman is one of the easiest ways for young men like us to get ahead in this shithole of a country. Just look for one of these lonely middle-aged rich women to service and your life will change forever,” Bayo said.
“I don’t know, mehn. It just doesn’t feel right. These women are not just old enough to birth us, they are married too,” Ivan said.
The guys spent the rest of the evening teasing Ivan about his naivety. He was the voice of reason and moral compass of the group which often earned him plenty of friendly trolling,
Ivan loved his friends, but he did not support their decision to date married women who were old enough to be their mothers for pecuniary benefits. Emem and Bayo also had girlfriends and he didn’t think it was fair to cheat on them the way his friends did.
So, he was clueless and a little surprised when Mrs Adeleke asked him to see her privately and proceeded to attend to him in flimsy nightwear when he obliged her request.
He was even more surprised when she led him into her bedroom and began to tell him how much she had always admired him and promised to keep their affair secret and worth his while if he was a good boy.
But he was most surprised at the little resistance he put up even though he knew the consequences of his accent to her proposal could be dire.
Perhaps it was curiosity, perhaps it was his endless monetary struggles that would be a thing of the past if he did what she wanted.
He wasn’t sure, but he was going to break his own rule and date an older married woman.
It didn’t matter that Mrs Adeleke was his bosom friend, Bayo’s mother.