Queen was seated at her desk when her phone rang, her heart
almost flipped over when she saw the ID, it was her husband.
“My goodness!” She exclaimed as she took the phone and
quickly answered. “Zach! Where have you been? What is the matter with you? I
have been calling for a whole week and you’re number has been out of reach.”
A very frail voice answered her.
“Darling, I…I..am not too strong, I fell so sick.” He

“What? Sick? Where are you? Are you back in Lagos?” She
asked in worry.
“I’m back in the country but…I’m in Abuja at the
moment…I have some business to attend to there.” He said in a near whisper.
“What? In your condition? You’re not strong enough to work
and have you forgotten how weak you get whenever you’re sick?”
“I haven’t forgotten my love…how are you and Junior?”
“We’re okay, but things haven’t been going well. I’m looking
for a school to enrol Junior and it’s either that the school isn’t good enough
or the prices are too high. Can you imagine that some schools tuition are even
as high as a million naira?”
“Do you see the reason it’s best to go back to Calabar. At
least, Junior was fine there and things were more stable. Have you thought of
how this move affects our son?” He asked.
“No…I sincerely didn’t think of that and I’m worried…so
“Look darling, why don’t you guys go back to Calabar? I hate
hearing the stress in your voice.”
“I just wanted us to be here with you, at least for a
change. We’ve lived apart for the five years of our marriage and I wanted
to…you know…see if we could live together at least for one year.”
“Don’t worry about that, besides, I’m hardly at a place…my
business takes me around very often.”
“C’mon, go back to Calabar.” He cajoled.
“Okay, but I’ll have to inform the manager at Calabar, he’ll
be disappointed plus, the pay here in Lagos is higher.”
“But the costs of living here in Lagos makes the extra money
look like nothing.”
“You’re so right darling, you’re so right.” She said.
Zach let out a very loud and disturbing cough.
“My goodness! Have you been to a doctor?”
“Yes, he…said I’ll be fine…don’t worry about me.”
“Why won’t I be worried? You are my husband and I worry
about you…”
“That’s what I love about you baby, you…are so selfless.”
“I just don’t want anything to happen to you.” She said.
“Don’t worry, I will be fine. Just inform your manager that
you need to go back to Calabar. Talk to him and give me a call, okay.”
“Yes darling, get well soon.” She said.
As soon as she hung up the call, she sighed. Jessica stood
up from her desk and walked up to her.
“Hello, Queen…” Jessica said with a smile.
“Hi Jessica.”
“I saw you were on a phone call so I didn’t want to bother.
I just had a few questions to ask you relating with the upcoming project that
you’d be heading.”
“Oh…that! I don’t think I’ll be in charge of that
anymore.” Queen said.
“Why? I was told that you were given charge of that job.”
“Well, I was transferred from Calabar and to be honest,
living in Lagos has been quite a struggle. I just spoke to my husband and he
advised that I go back to Calabar.”
Jessica pulled a chair closer to Queen’s desk and sat on it.
“I don’t understand. Why? Is he in Calabar?”
“No, he’s actually here in Lagos. We’ve been in a long
distance marriage for five years.”
“What? Five years? How could you be in a long distance
marriage for that long?”
“My husband is a very understanding man. You see, when we
met, I was on a master’s programme in Calabar and I was working there too. My
family was there as well and it all seemed logical that we lived apart at least,
till I was done with my schooling but…”
“You didn’t want to leave home?”
“I grew up in Calabar, I am from Calabar and my memories are
“Wow! Why do I find that strange? I mean, if it was possible
for you to transfer over here, I wonder why you didn’t move when you could have.”
“Well…I don’t know. There were factors limiting my
movement at the time too…I got pregnant, had a child and he had some
complications and a doctor there in Calabar, handled his case. Then, when it
was time for him to start school, I found a very good school for his condition.”
“Oh really? I’m sorry about your child. Did you come to
Lagos with him?”
“Yes, he’s at the day-care.”
“Oh…I love children.” Jessica said with a smile. “I can’t
wait to see him.”
“He’s the sweetest thing…it’s just that his problem makes
him withdraw and not want to socialize.”
“Are you serious? He should play with other kids more often.
I come from a big family and my nephews and nieces are very loud, they don’t
care that you want privacy. I’m sure they’ll take to your son. My nephew’s birthday
comes up soon, will you mind if I take your son with me to the party?”
“I’m moving back to Calabar, remember?” Queen said.
“If you ask me, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why? My husband wants us to move and…it seems logical.”
“You said he’s based in Lagos right?”
“Yes.” Queen said.
“I don’t want to believe that you’re naive…” Jessica said. “I shouldn’t also be telling you this since we just met..” Jessica said testily.
“I don’t understand you. Please tell me….I don’t mind that we’ve just met.”
“There’s no man alive, who really loves his wife who’d not
jump for joy that she’s actually coming to live with him. Please don’t take this the wrong was but what’s he hiding?”
Queen stared at Jessica, she was tongue-tied.
“Please don’t get me wrong, I do get ahead of myself
sometimes but come to think of it, Queen. Why doesn’t he want you to stay here?”
“I…I…really…can’t…can’t say…he said that
Junior…needs to go back to his school…and…”
“There are schools in Lagos that can cater to your son’s
“But I’ve checked and I…I…can’t seem to find any.”
“What’s a newbie’s business with checking for schools in a
city as big as this? Don’t worry, just tell me your budget and I’ll help you
out. My elder sister is managing a school and I’m sure she’ll help out.”
Jessica said.
“Thank…thank you.” Queen said.
“You’re welcome. Now, don’t go running wild with
imaginations. I didn’t mean to make you doubt your husband; I just want you to
give living with him, a shot. It wouldn’t hurt, would it? Besides, there are
fresh opportunities here in Lagos and who knows what you might bump into? Then
again, I’m selfish because I don’t want you to go as, I’ll be the only woman in
this department and I don’t want that.” Jessica said with a smile. “Please don’t pay any heed to my assumptions, I have a knack for getting ahead of myself.”
Queen stared at her and didn’t know whether to laugh or keep
mute. Jessica’s phone rang and before she answered, she said.
“It’s my husband.” Then she quickly answered the call. “Hello darling…”
“How’s the most beautiful woman on earth?” Zach asked.
“Well, I’m fine honey…” She said with a smile. “What’s up?”
“I am just around your office and I want to take my
beautiful wife for lunch.” He said.
“Hmmm…you can’t get enough of me, can you?”
“You know I’ll never get enough of you.” Zach said.
Jessica looked at her wristwatch.
“You’re in luck hun…it’s lunch time and I’m starving.” She
“So, if it wasn’t lunch time and you aren’t starving, you’d
leave me outside your office huh?” He teased.
“It’s my first day at work in a new company, I need to make
a strong impression.” Jessica laughed as she got up from the chair and waved to
Queen nodded as she watched Jessica leave. There was a ring
of truth in what Jessica had told her. Could it be true? Was her husband hiding
something? She thought. If he was, she was definitely going to find out.
Zach sat in his car and waited for his wife to show up, he
wanted to take her to a very cool spot for lunch. His mind wandered to the
discussion he’d had with his first wife and a smile tugged at the corners of
his lips. It was best that she left Lagos for good, there was no way he was
going to successfully hide his second marriage with Queen around. He thought.
He was still in the car when the door opened and Jessica slid in. She shut the
door and turned to him to give him a long kiss.
“Look who’s missed me.” He said with a smile.
“I missed you terribly.” She said.
“Let’s go then…we can go to the spot and dash off to the
house and head back within the hour.” He said suggestively.
“Naughty guy.” She said punching him playfully on the arm.
“I love you Mrs. Jessica Izamojie.”
“I love you more, Mr. Zacchery Izamojie.” She said to him with
a smile.
As they drove away from the office, Jessica said to him.
“I love my new office and I’m already beginning to make
friends. I was just speaking to the only woman in my department and I like her
already. She seems so nice and unassuming.”
“Unassuming? Why do you say that?” He asked.
“I don’t know…something tells me her husband is cheating
on her and she has no idea that he is.”
“Really? Why would you think that?” He asked as he made a
turn into the road.
“Well…female instincts.” She said.
“So, if I were to cheat, your instincts will tell you huh?”
“Don’t you dare trod that path or you’ll be worse off dead.”
Jessica said to him stiffly.
“Relax honey, I’m just saying stuff…it’s not as though I’d
cheat on you…never.”
“Well, I’ve sounded off my warning bells because the day I
find out that you’ve cheated on me, you’ll regret it.” Jessica said.
“Can we drop the topic?” He said.
“Sure…so where are we headed for lunch? I’m suddenly
Zach stared at the road intensely; he was so worried at
Jessica’s reaction to infidelity that he silently thanked God that Queen was
returning to Calabar with their son.
Ella was busy at her desk when her phone rang, she hadn’t
eaten all day and she was famished.
“Hey sis booo…” Tamara greeted.
“Tamara, what’s up?”
“You sound very weak, are you okay?”
“I know mum set you up to this but tell her that I am fine.
I know she’s worried about me and she’s wondering how I’m coping with my new
family and life so tell her that I’m fine.”
“We’re all worried about you sis. You never sound cheerful
over the phone. Shouldn’t newlyweds sound breathless anytime they answer phone
calls? You always sound dull.”
“That’s ridiculous! I sound just like myself.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Don’t put words in my mouth Tamara.”
“Well, I called because I want us to hang out for lunch for
sister girly talk. C’mon, let’s go to that sharwarma spot you love so much.”
Ella sighed, she mentally thought of her account balance and
knew she couldn’t keep splurging on meal luxuries.
“Don’t worry, it’s on me.” Her sister said as though she
knew what went through her mind.
“I…okay…let’s meet.” Ella said.
“Yay! I’ll be there in ten minutes. It’s not far from your
office so, I’ll see you there in ten.” Tamara said and hung up.
Ella stretched hard till she heard a snap at her back and
turning her computer on sleep mode, she stood up from her desk, picked her bag
and headed out of the office. She got outside and headed to the car park, she
reached the spot where she parked her car and alarm bells rang in her head.
“Oh no! My car has been stolen!” She exclaimed quietly, then
she remembered that she hadn’t brought her car to work today but had let Jacob
take it to work. She sighed and made her way out of the car park.
She got out through the gates of the office, and saw the
yellow Keke Napeps running about the road. Not knowing how to stop one, she
“Keke! Napep!”
None stopped as they zoomed past her. Suddenly, from
nowhere, someone held out a hand and stopped one of the moving tricycles. She
looked up and stared at a young man with a smiling face.
“You were stopping the ones that are already filled up and
besides, you shouldn’t scream. All you need to do is flag them down.” He said
to her.
Ella looked at him and nodded in thanks. The tricycle
stopped in front of them and they both got in.
“I err…I’m going to the …err…Lakeside restaurant.” She
“Madam na charter? I dey go Along ooo…” The rider said.
“Are you chartering the tricycle?” The young man who’d
helped her flag it down asked.
“Chartering?” Ella echoed.
“How much you go take to carry am go there?” The young man
asked the rider.
“Five hundred naira.” The tricycle rider said.
“It’s two hundred naira, my friend.” The young man said.
“No oga, fuel don too cost.” The rider said.
“Na two hundred she get, I go add my fifty naira so you go
drop me for Along.” The young man said.
“Oya make we go.” The rider said.
“Thank you.” Ella mouthed as she looked at the young man.
The man nodded and smiled at her, then she nervously rubbed
her knees with her palms and his eyes went to the wedding ring on her finger
and he looked away. The tricycle stopped and he alighted and handed a five
hundred naira note to the rider.
“Haba! Oga, five hundred naira for fifty naira journey?” The
rider protested.
“Give me two fifty change, I dey pay for her own ride too.”
The young man said.
Ella was stunned, she looked at the young man and said.
“Oh no…please don’t…I can pay my bills.”
“No, don’t worry, it’s my pleasure.” He said, taking the
change from the rider and walking away.
To be continued next week….
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