Mickey had spent the rest of the day wandering about the area and sulking over Gbenga’s attitude towards her. Who does he think he is anyway? No one could change her from being who she is. She told herself as she recalled the wristwatch he’d rejected.

“I’m sure that if it was Chekwube that gave him the watch, he’d have accepted it. Mtcchewww…” She hissed as she walked up to the door of the room she shared with her mother and pushed it open.

Seated on the bed was Ola, her head was bent in tears and a bag was by her side.

“Wetin dey happen hia?” Mickey asked in surprise.

Ola looked at her and sniffed.

“Mickey…good evening.”

“Abeg, hold ya greeting for dia. Wetin you dey do for my house?” Mickey fired at her.

“I come to stay with you people…my husband chase me from house.” Ola said.

“I am not understanding.” Mickey said in disgust. “You nor fit live for hia ooo…lai lai…shebi Chekwube dey live for dat bungalow for our school side. You nor fit move dia?”

“The auntie dat own the place na my husband’s auntie.” Ola said.

“Abeg…pack commot…pack ooo…” Mickey raved.

The door opened and Baba Tee walked in with a small nylon bag in his hand.

“Mickey, Ola go stay for our place for sometime before I arrange wia two of us go stay. I nor fit carry am into de room wey me and de boys dey share.” He said to Mickey.

“Noooo…abeg ooo…dis room too small for me and mummy. I nor want anybody to inconvience person.” Mickey said.

“I go slap dat mouth of yours if you nor fit respect yaself.” Baba Tee said.

Mickey didn’t speak, she was so pissed.

************

Bunmi’s phone rang and she glanced around to be sure that no one was watching. Jermia was outside with Gbenga.

“Hello…”

“Madam, na me…Baba Tee.”

“Ohhh…I thought we agreed that I’d call you.” She said sounding offended at the young man’s audacious move.

“Yes, I know but dis job don too delay. Abi we nor fit start de work now? I dey tight corner now and I need cash.”

Bunmi was pissed.

“What in the world is wrong with you?” She spat. “Is this how you work? Look here mister, I am the one that contacted you for the job and I am the same person that would tell you when to begin. Do I make myself clear? You’re being so unprofessional.”

“Look madam, I nor want to upset you but I gat to tell you truth. I dey in strong need of cash right now and I for don go Abuja for anoda job but sake of say your job don hold me for Lagos, I nor get anything for my pocket.”

“Listen to me you nitwit, don’t you know the meaning of strategy? We need to strategize before anything else and that’s how to get the job done. I still need sometime to get somethings done before you go ahead with the job.”

“Oya…I understand and I dey sorry to hurry you like dis but you get anything for me? I need cash…I dey low on cash.”

Bunmi almost growled in frustration. She was broke as the only money she had on her was not even enough for her upkeep. Her only saving grace was the fact that she lived in her son’s house free of charge and also that she didn’t have to feed herself.

“I don’t have any money to give you. I will pay you when you get my job done but not before then.” Bunmi said and hung up.

She was still seething when she heard someone cough behind her. She turned in panic to stare into the eyes of Mummy Justina.

“Were you eavesdropping on my calls?” Bunmi fired at her.

“How is that any of my business? I only came to the sitting room to inspect the work of the new maid.” Mummy Justina flung at her and walked away.

Bunmi covered her mouth with her hands, how much information had she revealed over the phone, she wondered.

****************

Gbenga sat with Jermia beside the pool and stared at nothing in particular, the day was already growing dark and he was worried. He was worried for Chekwube and was itching to know who the bleeding man was and why he had rushed into her aunt’s place.

“Hey…you’re far away.” Jermia’s voice jogged him to the present.

“Huh…”

“You look faraway…” Jermia said.

“I errmm…I was thinking of something.” He said.

She walked up to the pool in her swimsuit and sat at the edge, letting her leg wade in the water.

“Your dad is pretty rich…fancy you having a swimming pool in your house.” Jermia said.

Gbenga shrugged.

“Do you know that you’re your dad’s sole heir? I mean…this house is all yours as well as all his assets.”

“That’s old news.” Gbenga said.

“When do you think you’d inherit all this fortune?” Jermia asked. “When you’re twenty, or twenty-five?”

“I really don’t know and I don’t care.” Gbenga said.

Jermia looked at him and kicked her legs in the water.

“You don’t care?” Jermia asked and turned to stare at him. “Do you know that your dad could split your inheritance and give to someone else?”

“That’s ridiculous!” Gbenga said. “Who will he give? All my relatives on my dad’s side are wealthy.”

“What if he has maybe…another child and decides to give the child your inheritance.”

Gbenga looked at Jermia, he’d never thought of that but then again, garnering his father’s wealth has never really been his priority.

“Well…as long as he or she is my sibling, I really don’t care.”

Jermia laughed and said.

“Listen Gbengs, you have to care because someone will come into this house soon, and get all your dad has kept for you. Do you know how desperate people are to get rich? Do you know that if your dad marries a woman who gives him four kids or more, your inheritance will deplete. She will make sure that her kids’ get everything and that you will be left on the street with nothing. The fact that your dad doesn’t love your mother anymore can affect your inheritance.”

When Gbenga didn’t speak, she continued.

“I know for a fact that when men love their wives, they love their children more but when they don’t love the mother of their children, those kids suffer. Does your dad love your mom?”

“No.” Gbenga replied.

“Exactly my point.”

“All my dad’s ex wives love me.” Gbenga said.

“Don’t talk like a child, they love you because they don’t have any kids for your dad. If they did, they won’t even spare you a glance.”

“Why are you telling me all this?” Gbenga asked.

“Well..I just want you to be prepared for anything. You seem too comfortable and you need to sit up. Your mom is here but for a few more weeks and once she’s gone, you’ll be all on your own again. I think you’d better grow closer to her so that you’re not completely alone when your dad starts getting other kids. You might also need to demand that your dad makes you his sole heir.”

“What? Are you crazy? My dad will kill me if I tell him that.”

“Look, you don’t know the kind of power you wield. You are his only child and you can set your terms.”

“My dad is not as easy as you think.” Gbenga said. “Besides, I don’t want him thinking that I don’t want to work hard in life.”

“Listen, all you need do is get closer to your dad and ask him questions…you know…tell him that you’d like to understand his businesses and ask for a chance to be let in. God forbid but what if he dies today? Won’t you take over what’s yours?”

Jermia left the pool and sat on the wicker chair by Gbenga’s side.

“I’m not saying this to unnerve you, I’m just saying this to wisen you up. You’re sixteen years old and in a few years, you’ll be an adult. You need to know where you stand in your dad’s life.”

“I…am confused.” Gbenga said.

His mother’s voice floated out to him and he turned around to stare at her wondering how long she’d been standing behind him.

“Don’t worry son, mummy will help you.” She said.

***********

Mickey felt so uncomfortable lying in the middle of the bed and flanked by her mother and Ola. Suddenly, she heard Ola fart and she sat up in disgust.

“Abeg…comot from dis bed. If you wan fart, go outside.” She said.

Ola opened her eyes and sat up.

“I dey sorry…” She said.

Mickey looked at Ola and wanted to yell at her but held herself.

“What happened between you and your husband?” Mickey asked.

Ola shrugged.

“I carry belle for Baba Tee.”

“Are you sure it’s my brother’s child?” Mickey asked.

Ola shrugged and looked away. Mickey’s mother’s snore reverberated in the room.

“Baba Tee is my brother and I know him very well. He falls in love and after a short while, he grows bored. You should have stayed with your husband. You don’t know my brother at all and I am sure he doesn’t love you.” Mickey said.

“He love me, he tell me dat he love me.” Ola said stubbornly.

“It’s hard to imagine that you are older than Chekwube. She has more sense than you do.”

“Insult me ooo…just be insulting me.” Ola said.

Mickey eyed her angrily and lay on the bed again.

“A word is enough for the wise. If I were you, I’ll go back to my husband now that he’s not even gone home to report you to your family. Go to him before he leaves for your village and beg him to take you back. Nosike is a kind man and I’m sure that something can be done.”

“Tufia! I will not go back. Baba Tee will marry me, he is young like me and not old.”

“Mugu!” Mickey hissed. “So, were you blind when Nosike came to ask for your hand? You’re a silly girl and I hope that my brother reveals his bad side soon.”

“Back to sender!” Ola hissed.

Mickey closed her eyes to sleep, chiding herself for trying to advise the foolish girl.

 

 

To be continued…..

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