An Unforgettable Melody: Part 1
Kendy woke up on the sofa, Melody still wrapped in his arms. Stroking her deep black hair lightly, he recalled the events of the last twenty-four hours. The journey to Market Square, that mysterious locket that needed a puzzle opening it, where they kept their bags, all of it had led to this girl currently lying on his chest. She was apparently a genie, bound to be a romantic inspiration to whoever released her from her vessel. Kendy, being uncomfortable with her subservient nature and the idea of owning her as a slave, wished for her to gain as much free will as possible, and for her to be an equal partner to him. Her gratitude for him making such a wish had led them both here, lying on the sofa with him half naked.

Melody looked up at him, kissing him softly on the lips. “Hey my Gee, sleepy. Did someone tire you out?”

Kendy stuck his tongue out at her. “You know damn well what tired me out.”

She giggled her trademark laugh, sounding like sweet Kawasaki. Chim O!, Kendy loved to hear her laugh. “I hope that was okay, taking what I wanted like that,” she said. “I’m still figuring out this whole free will thing.”

Kendy kissed her forehead. “You were amazing. Knocked me out cold. How long was I out for, by the way?”

“Not long, maybe twenty minutes,” she said, sitting up. “We’ve still got the whole day ahead of us. Wetin you wan do now?”

Kendy eyed her knowingly. “I see that look in your eye, Miss ‘I’m up to no good.’” Melody tried her best to put on an innocent look on her face.

“Honestly,” Kendy said, sitting up, “I’ve got lots of questions, mainly about your powers. You mentioned that tingling I feel in my head when I make a wish. Did you say you were reading my mind?”

She shook her head. “No. Reading your mind without your permission is explicitly forbidden to all sweet angels. It would be an invasion of your privacy, and a major ethical breach. The tingle is my attempts to hear the thoughts behind your wish, ensuring I interpret it properly and give you what you intended to ask for. However, if that bothers you, I will gladly refrain from doing so.”

“No, that’s fine, as long as it only happens when I wish for something. I didn’t realize that was something sweet angels like you were capable of doing. That’s why I was trying to phrase those first few wishes very carefully. The last thing I want is a poorly worded wish backfiring on me.”

Melody nodded. “That’s understandable. Many of the legends you may have read about angels, which are actually jinn and genies, are rooted in actual events.”

“Like Aladdin and the genie of the lamp?”

“Yes, although that specific account is merely legend, just a made-up story. Jinn and genies, as in sweet angels, such as myself are fulfilling our primary purpose for existence. There are simple romantic genies, exotic sexual genies, household genies or angels, and political advisors, just to name a few. Some genies, however, are bound to an object, such as a lamp or bottle, as punishment for failing to follow the natural code of good conduct. Genies facing such situations would commonly twist their masters’ words in an attempt to gain their freedom through a poorly conceived wish.”

Kendy nodded in understanding. “Okay, so basically, it’s only with my permission that you can go into my thoughts, and even then, you only draw information pertinent to the wish. Is that correct?”

Melody smiled. “Exactly.”

“Alright then… oh, you mentioned both jinn and genies. What’s the difference?”

“That is merely a gender distinction. Both are kinds of angels. Males are jinn, while females are genies.”

“Are there still many in existence?”

Melody closed her eyes for a moment in thought. “I cannot say for sure. It’s certainly possible, but we genies are unable to detect each other’s presence. This is another failsafe for the protection of our loved one. In the past, some lovers desired to gain power over multiple genies, seeking out other loves and setting their genies against each other, which made this rule to be necessary. If we were to encounter one, I wouldn’t be able to know if it was another genie or not, though I would certainly detect a magical presence in the area, as would they.”

“Cool. Okay next question. While you were performing the, um, most awesome, mind blowing blowjob in the history of the world…”

“Oh, you haven't seen nothing yet,” Melody shot back.

Kendy laughed as he tried to stay on topic. “…There was a moment when I heard you speaking in my mind. Are you able to communicate telepathically?”

Immediately, he heard her voice in his head again. Yes, but only with you.

Openmouthed, Kendy could only reply, “Wow. That’s cool.”

“Why don’t you try it?”

Kendy twisted his eyebrow. “How?”

She giggled. “It’s easy, onye apari. Just think wetin you want to say, and direct it to me.”

Kendy concentrated. Like this?

Perfect! You’re a quick learner. Since you are my Gee, even with the free will you wished for me, I am never more than a thought away from you.

Really? Even if we’re nowhere near each other?

Of course, Melody replied. We could be universes apart, and I would still be with you in a moment’s notice. That’s how strong my connection to you is.

“Very nice. Although, I have to admit, I love hearing your voice in reality,” Kendy replied. “Your laugh has got to be one of the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard.”

She giggled. “Yeah, that’s the one,” Kendy said.

Melody kissed him on the cheek. “You really are the best. A better guy than I could have ever dreamed of.” She moved closer and laid her head on his shoulder. “What other questions did you have?”

Kendy thought for a moment. “Honestly, I want to learn more about Melody the person. Likes, dislikes, interests and such.”

“Well…” she said, seductively raising her eyebrow.

“Besides romantic and sexual interests!” Kendy laughed at himself for not anticipating her response.

Melody chuckled. “Fine, fine. I haven’t actually developed any likes or dislikes. I mean, I was only born about twenty-something years ago, the world is quite older than myself and I’ve only had you as my Gee for a little over few months. If I’m going to find out about my interests, as I can feel you would want me to, why don’t I start by finding out more about what makes Kendy tick?”

Nodding, he responded, “Fair enough. I can see a diplomatic person here. Let’s see, I’m 38 years old, born and raised here in Aba. Went to school at Wilcox Memorial Secondary and Unical, Calabar University, became a professional musician after that. Currently play second trumpet for the Abia Ndinma Band and Symphony Orchestra at Hotel De La Paix at Ekenna Street.”

“Ooh, a musician! How delightfully sexy,” Melody interjected, twirling her hair between her fingers.

Kendy laughed. Being a band member and player never did him any favors with the ladies in secondary school. Man, how times do change.

“Outside of that,” Kendy continued, “I’m pretty introverted in my personal life. I try to avoid dealing with people unless necessary. Of course, the ones I actually choose to keep around as friends, you included, aren’t noisy people,” he said with a wink. “But typically, a relaxing day for me is being a homeboy, watching superhero movies, playing my instruments and video games.”

Melody’s eyes perked up. “Video games you say? That sounds like fun.”

Kendy looked hopefully at her. “You like video games?”

She smiled. “Well I’ve never played them, obviously, but based on knowing the concept of what they are, I think they’d be something I’d enjoy quite a bit.”

That was all Kendy needed. “How bout we fire one up? I'm gonna show you how to play it.”

He stood up and moved over to his entertainment center. Checking through his game collection, he ran through several titles looking for the perfect first gaming experience for Melody. Call of Duty? Nah, too violent for her first game. Ishi Ukwu Waribo? No way, too lame. NCAA Football maybe? Eh, probably not, the controls are pretty complex. Oh, perfect!

He pulled out one of his favorite games ever, Mario Kart. “How about a race?”

“I’m game,” Melody replied excitedly.

Kendy powered up the system and handed her a controller, giving her a basic rundown of the button configuration. She picked up quickly, and they were off on their first race.

“Okay, I’ll make sure I go easy on you. I wan make this be fun, after all na game we dey play.”

She shrugged. “Your funeral.”

Damn! Little trash talker!

Kendy won the first race; mainly due to Melody being so entranced by the game’s graphics that she forgot it was actually a race. The three walls she ran into didn’t help either.

“Crap… this is harder than it looks,” Melody sulked.

Kendy laughed. “Well it doesn’t help when you constantly say, ‘Ooh, what’s that? Hey that’s pretty! What’s over there?!’”

She stuck her tongue out at him. “One more go! I got you this time! I go win you”

Kendy chuckled. “You got it. Just no crying.”

Their second race was much more evenly matched. Kendy was still going very easy on her, but he noticed she was quickly getting very good. Just as he thought he was going to win, she snuck up behind him with the dreaded Blue Shell weapon, beating him at the last second.

“YES!” Melody squealed with excitement.

“Dammit! Egbe-Ntu!” Kendy couldn’t believe how fast she had learned. If she hadn’t just been a sweet babe, he’d have sworn she was hustling him. “Okay, from here on, no more going easy on you!”

“Bring it,” she whispered seductively.

Kendy eyed her warily. “I don’t think I need to remind you of how unsportsmanlike it would be to use any kind of sex appeal to your advantage.”

“Fine…” she said rolling her eyes.

Starting up their third race, Melody got off to a quick start, but a couple of well thrown banana peels from Kendy put him back in the lead by the start of the third lap. Rounding the halfway point of the track, he got hit again with the Blue Shell, Melody zooming past him. It took every ounce of skill he had, but he was finally able to trip her up rounding the final curve and pass her at the last second for the win.

Kendy pumped his fist in victory. “That’s what I’m talkin about!”

Melody flexed her sore fingers. “Wow, you’re good when you go all out.”

“So are you,” Kendy replied. “How did you get so good at that?”

“Not sure,” she said, shaking her head. “After the first race, it just seemed to come so naturally to me.”

“Hmm…” Kendy thought for a moment. “I wonder if it has anything to do with that ‘ideal woman’ thing you mentioned? I’ve always been really impressed by, and attracted to, girls that aren’t afraid to hold their own in video games.”

“That could be it,” she mused. “Let’s play another one! What else have you got?”

Kendy hesitated for a moment, before suggesting, “Well, Call of Duty is a lot of fun, and as fast as your reaction time was in Mario Kart, I think you’d do really well at it. Only thing is, it’s a pretty violent, shoot-‘em-up game. Is that okay with you?”

With zero hesitation, she replied, “As long as it’s all make believe, that’s totally cool with me.”

Well alrighty then, he thought to himself. Kendy switched over to his PS3 and grabbed a couple of controllers. After firing up the game, he went over the controls before they played a round just for practice. Kendy hid his character somewhere on the map, and Melody had one minute to find and shoot him.

Upon killing him for the first time, she jumped in shock, adrenaline pumping. “Wow, this is intense!”

“Yeah,” Kendy agreed. “The developers worked hard to try to make it as realistic as possible. Okay, I’m hiding. Let’s go again.”

She found him much faster this time around, quickly getting a feel for using the radar and how the maps were structured. After two more rounds of hide and seek, he had Melody trapped in a central location to practice being attacked from various directions. At first, he easily defeated her each time, but she eventually got better at her aiming and reaction time. By the end of the ten-minute round, Melody was surviving around two of every three encounters. Seeing her rapid improvement, Kendy felt she was ready for the next level.

“Well, this should be fun. You ready to go online?” Kendy knew the online players would be in for a shock when they went up against her.

“Sure,” she said with a smile. “You wan use those ones?” She pointed to his two gaming headsets charging in the TV stand.

Kendy got a wicked smile on his face. “Definitely, but lets keep the fact that you’re a girl a secret until we start thrashing these losers.”

He activated the Bluetooth connections on the headsets as they entered the pre-match lobby. Muting his microphone momentarily, he turned to Melody. “Just remember, some of these guys have a huge bias against girls who play video games, particularly if they’re better than the guys. If they start acting like assholes, be strong, and don’t take any crap. You have full permission to put them in their place.”

She smirked. “Random dudes acting like jackasses who AREN’T my Gee? So not a problem.”

Na so, my Babe.

They spawned into their first match, taking place on a pretty large map. “Okay, stay out of the open on this one, there’s lots of sniping spots,” Kendy cautioned.

As the match progressed, Kendy got taken out more than typical, but was always in good position to call out sniper locations to his teammates. Melody, using a stealthy setup with a silenced weapon, was able to constantly sneak around the map, taking out those snipers from behind. One particular player kept returning to the same sniping spot, allowing her to constantly ambush him with little effort.

“NWA MBA-SHI!!!” He had now died five times in a row. “Who’s the little yeye guy who keeps doing that?” Hearing his complaining through the headset, it was all Kendy could do not to laugh in his face.

Anticipating that he would change his tactics, Melody was ready, planting a land mine in the spot she had been hiding in. Sure enough, he attempted rushing to the position where Melody was staying, only to be blown to pieces. Melody couldn’t help but unleash her trademark laugh as he raged into the microphone, finally revealing that a girl was the one dominating the match.

“No fucking way,” he seethed. “What the hell is a fucking GIRL doing here?!” the guy lamented.

Melody giggled. “Last I checked, she’s kicking ass and taking names.”

“Shut up and suck my dick, bitch. That’s where you belong.”

Kendy had expected this kind of reaction, but that didn’t make him any less enraged at this idiot’s treatment. Just as he was about to unleash on him, Kendy felt Melody’s hand gently stroking his knee.

Melody calmly replied into the headset, “Unfortunately for you, the only blowjob you’ll be getting is the land mine you just stepped on. Oh, and this blast.” She tossed a grenade into his hiding spot, killing him once again.

“FUUUUUCK!!!” As his rage grew, now even the other players were laughing at him. As much as some guys had a stigma against girl gamers, this group was apparently able to recognize true skill when they saw it.

“Damn, girl, na wa O!,” one of the others chimed in. “You are good. And you sound hot. Looks like you are in Aba North League with me. You wan hook up?”

Kendy rolled his eyes. E be like say this ajebo agbero has eye for you, he thought to Melody.

He’s so cute. He has no clue just how out of his league he is, she thought back.

They could feel and understand their thoughts. They had developed that connection. They smiled.

As the match ended, she replied in a sultry voice, “Sorry boys, but I have eyes for only one smoldering stud of a man. Na only my Gee dey enter my eyes. Say hi baby!”

“That would be me,” Kendy said with a sense of pride.

“Well that’s enough fun for us today,” Melody continued. “Now we’ve got some real work to do…” They signed off as catcalls and whistles echoed through their headsets.

“That was fun!”

“Sure it was. I still can’t believe that blast you released on them,” Kendy replied. “You just annihilated them out there!”

As they basked in their post game glow, there was a knock at Kendy’s door. Walking over to check the peephole, Kendy could see it was his upstairs neighbor, Sopuruchi.

As he opened the door, Kendy heard the now familiar greeting from bubbly single mom of two kids. “Keeenddyyy! How you dey do my son?” She immediately grabbed him in a hug before he could even think of protesting.

Sopuruchi seemed in a particularly good mood today. Dressed in a white tank top and loose sky blue workout shorts, she had her straight, black hair pulled back into a ponytail. Kendy had never been attracted to Abiriba women, especially those who had lived in Togo, merely out of personal preference, but he could definitely appreciate that she was quite a good-looking woman. Slim and athletic, her light black skin and warm eyes easily helped her appear younger than the early forties she actually was.

Kendy gently hugged her back. “I dey fine. I’m doing pretty good, Sopuru. Wetin happen? What’s got you so excited today?”

“It’s Tochi’s birthday next Wednesday, so I’m throwing him a pool party today.” Tochi was her twelve-year-old son, soon to be thirteen. “My brother’s cooking nice dishes and plenty suya on the grill. You’re welcome to stop by for some free food, Mr. Starving Musician,” she said with a wink.

“That sounds awesome, though I don’t have a birthday gift or anything…”

“Kendy, taa, ni di mechie onu,” she interrupted. “After you’ve helped look out for him these last three years, helping with homework, being that positive male role model, just being there is gift enough. That boy really looks up to you, shee you know?.”

Kendy knew it was true. Three years ago, he had given Tochi his first trumpet lessons. Even though he only stuck with it for two years, the two had connected very well. Kendy had used those lessons to teach him not only about music, but important life lessons as well. Staying on schedule, avoiding procrastination, refusing to settle for anything less than his best effort. All of these things had helped keep the boy from straying away from a difficult path to follow.

Ultimately, Tochi’s greatest respect for Kendy had come just over a year ago, during the heavy Xmas harmattan of 2014. With the entire city covered in thick dust and the interstate bus parks like GIG and Agofere clogged with grounded vehicles, Kendy had been walking from his apartment to the Baptist church across the street, checking in to see if there was any assistance they required to help Enyimba City stranded travelers. As he made his way back, he had seen Tochi with a group of three of his friends from the public school he attended at the time. Clearly a rough crowd, Kendy overheard them talking about all of the cars stuck on the major streets like factory road and Asa road as easy targets for “free samples,” as they called them.

As Kendy approached the group, clearing his throat in the process, the group scattered, except for Tochi. Staring silently at Kendy, Tochi knew he was likely in big trouble. Realizing that the kid was easily the youngest of the group, being subjected to peer pressure was a constant threat. Kendy called Sopuru, letting her know that he had met up with Tochi while out walking, and that Kendy would make sure he got home safely before dark.

Kendy explained to Tochi that there were some things he needed to see. While talking with his friends, Tochi didn’t have any reason not to go along with them. Kendy planned to give him just that. As they walked along the main road, Asa road, leading to the motor park near the city headquarters, Kendy stopped at one car with a middle-aged man leaning against it. The man introduced himself as Kalu. He did construction works around the city as an independent contractor, and explained that he got paid in cash every Friday, with no option for direct bank deposit. It being Saturday, Kendy could safely assume that he had his pay from yesterday in the car with him. Kendy asked him what would happen if someone were to come along and steal that money from his car. As Kalu eyed Tochi, he could tell what Kendy was getting at, and confirmed that losing that money would result in him falling behind on his rent and having to make some tough choices between paying his electricity bill or being guaranteed to be able to buy enough food for his family of six for the week. Kendy thanked Kalu for his time and insight, shaking his hand as they parted.

As the pair walked back towards the apartment building, they stopped by the convenience store in the Shopping Center area nearby. Approaching the counter, Kendy could see that Uzoma was working that day, a man he had met and conversed with on several previous occasions. Kendy noticed that his shelves and fridges were surprisingly well stocked as compared to the other petrol filling stations in the area along Asa road, which were almost totally robbed. Asking Uzoma how it has been for him since the dusty weather arrived, the Isiokpo man described the great lengths he had gone to over the last day and half to prevent looting and shoplifting. He had been acting almost in a dual role, both as bouncer and cashier, to ensure his livelihood was not taken from him due to the extreme weather circumstances. Only one attempted shoplifter had been successful, with Uzoma showing the bruise on his shoulder from the scuffle that ensued as the thief barreled past him during his escape.

Thanking Uzoma, Kendy could tell that Tochi was processing all of this information. As they approached their apartment building, Kendy asked Tochi what he had learned in the last hour. Tochi now realized that, in stealing what wasn’t his, he would also be taking money, food, and ability to live away from another person; a person who worked hard for what they had. Still, Tochi knew that saying that to his friends was likely to result in them turning against him, with Kendy confirming he was probably right, and that it sounded like he needed new friends.

Kendy decided to leave the decision of whether or not to tell his mom up to Tochi. Thinking about it the entire walk through the apartment building, the boy decided to tell his mom the truth. While Sopuru was disturbed at the behavior his friends were encouraging, she was eternally grateful to Kendy for providing the positive influence her son desperately needed. Thankfully, she was able to get her kids into a better private school the next session, resulting in a much more positive social environment for both of them.

Snapping back to reality, Kendy finally acquiesced. “All right, I’ll make an appearance. I go show, Madame. And, is it okay if I bring a plus one?”

Sopuruchi cocked her eyebrow. “Plus one? There is a girl in your life I haven't found out about… yet?” She peered around Kendy to catch a glimpse of Melody, who smiled and waved at her.

Kendy laughed and rolled his eyes. “You’ll meet her at the pool. We’ll probably be there in about an hour or so,” Kendy said glancing at the clock. That would put them there around 5:30pm.

She shrugged, responding in her distinctive Abiriba style, “Alright, alright, ayi ya afudua unu later (we’ll see you guys later)!”

“Bye, Sopuru.” Kendy locked the door behind him. He turned to find Melody waiting in expectation. “So yeah,” Kendy finally said, “That’s Sopuru, my neighbor. Sweet lady.”

Melody nodded. “I can tell. So, what can we do for a whole hour?” The look on her face got more seductive by the second.

Shaking his finger at her, Kendy replied, “Well personally, I haven’t had a shower and a shave yet today, so I think I’ll do that real quick. Got to look presentable and all, right?”

Putting on her best pouty face, she whimpered, “Why do you keep resisting my advances? That’s just so hurtful and mean and…”

Before she could finish, Kendy grabbed her tight, planting a heavy kiss on her lips. As they parted he eyed her smugly and said, “First thing you got to know about me: that pouty face has no effect.”

She rolled her eyes in response. “And the second?”

“If we start something like that now, I’m pretty sure we’d never stop,” Kendy said with a wink.

Melody giggled. “That’s probably true. Anything I should do while you shower? Want me to clean up around the house or anything?”

Kendy shook his head. “No way, you’re not my housekeeper. Why don’t you browse through my video game collection, or maybe check out what’s on TV? Develop those interests and whatnot, you know?”

“Sounds great,” she said, kissing him on the cheek before sending him off to take his shower.

Kendy stripped down in his room, then made his way to the shower and turned the water on; stepping inside once it had warmed up. As he relaxed under the flow of warm water, he suddenly had an important thought. Sopuru will want to know about Melody! Where she’s from, how we met…

At first, he thought of immediately starting the conversation with Melody, but decided against it. Hey, Melody?

What’s up? Enjoying your shower?

Yeah. Real quick, help me remember to ask you something when I get out, okay?

You got it.

Kendy finished up washing his hair and shaving, shutting off the water flow once he was done. He toweled off and combed his hair, then slipped on a red polo shirt and khaki shorts. Putting his glasses back on, he rejoined Melody in the living room. She had found his Nintendo 3DS.

“You dey play Pokémon, eh?”

“Yeah,” she said, smiling. “I can see why you like this game. It’s got lots of strategy to it. Like a giant game of chess.”

Kendy nodded. “That’s one of the reasons I’m so good at it. I can out strategize almost any human opponent.”

She giggled. “Nice. So what did you want to talk about?”

“Yeah, I had the thought in the shower that Sopuruchi is going to want to know about you. How we met, where you’re from, that sort of thing. What do you think we should tell her?”

“Anything you want. We can always formulate a perfectly crafted backstory for me. That sort of thing is covered under my powers of anonymity and privacy. How do you think we would have met under normal circumstances?”

Kendy thought for a moment. “Honestly, probably with online dating sites. It’s a pretty mainstream way of meeting people nowadays.”

Melody flashed that perfect smile. “Sounds great. To ensure that our story can be corroborated, I can use my powers to create online dating profiles on a website where we would have met. Sound good so far?”

He nodded. “Yeah. Probably should make it one of the free ones though. Anyone who knows me knows I would never sign up for a paid dating website, since I’m pretty sure they’re just a bunch of rip-offs. Let’s do it.”

Tingle. Flash. “Done. We now both have online dating profiles, set up to show an appropriate amount of correspondence before meeting.”

“Okay, cool,” he said. “Now, what about where you’re from?”

“Sure, I can create the specifics of my background. That would allow me to blend in appropriately with modern society, ensuring our anonymity. My origin would obviously need to reflect my lack of family, since I can’t just create people out of thin air. The easiest answer to that will be to make me an orphan. You’ll need to decide where I am originally from, as well as a last name. Once those are settled, I can fill in the rest of the blanks myself.”

“Alright, let me think… let’s make ...

....*to be continued* ( _in part 2_)
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