© Tunde Oni
One month after her august visitors arrived, Nneka lay on her bed on a Saturday morning wondering how she was going to come out of the hole she had dug herself into. She had not even been able to discuss with her best friend because she did not want anyone belittling her husband. Every day she asked Segun when his mother was leaving and she never got a response. Her mother in law was getting too comfortable. She had taken over the kitchen and refused to let Nneka cook for her husband claiming that, ”young girls of nowadays put too much spices in food”. Of course, Segun’s response to that was that Nneka should be happy his mother was helping her and she wasn’t going to stay with them forever.
Segun came in a few minutes later and sat by her side giving her a neck massage,
”Baby, mum has made breakfast, please come and have some food” he said.
”I am not hungry this morning, I have had some tea” Nneka said.
”You know mum wouldn’t be too happy about that, she said you need to keep your diet healthy” Segun cajoled.
”I need to keep my diet healthy so I can easily get pregnant right? How do you even know I want to get pregnant Segun? How do you know I want to get pregnant for a man who has not woken up to his responsibilities? Nneka shouted.
”Haba babe, I told you things were going to get better, I just need some capital to invest in this new business Wale told me about. Wewill go and buy some timber from the north and export them to Germany. He told me they are in high demand now”. Segun explained.
He watched in bewilderment as Nneka burst out laughing. ”Now it is timber again? she said. ” Six months ago, it was shoes,before then it was clothes, before then it was networking and before then it was ICT and…
”It’s okay madam, I get your point. I have done plenty businesses that have failed but trust me, I am reading a book that says it’s not the number of times a man falls, it’s the number of times he rises and tries again. I just have to keep trying till it works out”.
”No Segun, you don’t have to keep trying. You need to pick up your CV and get a job. Not every one was destined to be an entrepreneur and you are part of those people. If only you had told me or discussed with me before resigning from your well paying job two weeks after our wedding, we wouldn’t be in this mess”.
”Baby, you keep going back to that time, I have told you severally I made good plans. I had enough savings to last for 6 months before quitting my job. It’s just unfortunate it has not worked out”.
”So why haven’t you told your mother about it if you are so proud of your decision. Why does she think you just got a promotion and I am lavishing your money? Nneka said.
”See I just don’t want to bother her. Anyway, babe I need your help again. This time it’s a loan. I will pay you back in less than 6 months trust me. I need just 2 million naira. I want to use 1.5 million for the business, then use N300,000 to enroll Funsho in school, you know she is already behind”.
”First of all, why is Funsho spending N300k to go to school when her school fees used to be just N60k. See why I warned you not to bring her here? Schools are expensive and you want me to foot the bill?”
”It’s a loan Nneka and if it was your child, you wouldn’t worry about how much the fees cost and before you tell me you don’t have money, I know they just paid your leave bonus so you have the money.” Segun said.
Nneka looked at her husband with awe and as he pulled her closer and kissed her while touching her softest spot. She knew she had fallen victim again and as soon as this was over, he was going to get her to sign the cheque. As he made love to her that morning, tears rolled down her face because she had never found the strength to resist him for long or say No. He knew what to do to get her to bend her will and he used it judiciously.
On Monday afternoon, Nneka had just finished attending an intense 4 hour meeting with the board of directors of a company they were partnering with. As she stood to leave with the rest of her team,the managing director asked her to stay behind and she rolled her eyes knowing exactly what he was about to discuss with her. As soon as the room cleared out, he pulled her close,
”Nneka, how long are you going to keep treating me this way? You know I love you. I have always loved you and still you won’t let me just take care of you”.
Nneka stepped out of his embrace, ”Obinna stop it. I have told you several times this cannot happen. We are both married now and I don’t need you to take care of me, my husband does that well enough”.
He moved a little bit closer to her, ”are you sure he does? I watch you closely Nneka, you don’t glow anymore, he hasn’t changed your car since you got married, I see you hustle hard. That is not a sign that he is taking care of you better than I would have done”.
”Obinna, I won’t stand here and watch you insult my husband. If you don’t have anything else to say, I will like to leave now” Nneka said.
”Okay babe, I am sorry. I will leave your darling husband out of it. I wish I didn’t let you choose him over me. I begged you to consider me but you refused and still two years after, you cannot deny there has always been a connection between us.”
”Obinna, no I could not have left Segun for you. For christ sake, I met you two weeks to my wedding. I was supposed to just cancel every thing and run away with you? Does this look like a movie? Is this what you called me for? If I remember correctly, you got married a year after me so I don’t know why you are still talking about it”
”It’s fine babe, no problem. I actually stopped you to give you this”, he said as he handed over a cheque to her.
Nneka looked at it and raised her eyebrow, ”Obinna, why are you giving me a N2 million naira cheque?”
”Nothing, I did one quick business like that and made some extra cash so I decided to be nice to my friend. Afterall, we are friends, aren’t we?”
”Well, if you put it that way, I guess we are friends” Nneka said smiling.
”See, that’s the kind of smile I love seeing on your face. Tell that husband of yours to sit up else I will come whoop his ass for you baby girl”.
Nneka gave her own retort as she laughed and walked out of Obinna’s office all smiles. She was extremely happy the money she was going to loan Segun dropped into her lap without any effort. Now she was not going to be so bitter if Segun ended up not paying the money back. However, for the first time she wondered if her life wouldn’t have been better if she had chosen Obinna instead of Segun.
…to be continued