Madu had woken up to see his wife preparing for work. She had
been trying to button the back of her shirt when he stood up and helped her.
“Oh…good morning, I didn’t know you were awake.” Stella
had said.
“Yes I just got up.” He had said.
“I’m quite late for work as it is…” She had said.
“You were late home last night, you didn’t give Kamsi the
chance to say happy birthday to her mom.”

“I’m sorry darling, I am on a new project at work and I have
been bursting my ass off. I’ll get her something today when I get home.”
“Your work is taking you away from us, we hardly even talk
anymore, like old times.”
“That’s because it’s what puts food on the table.” She had
snapped.
“I am not spoiling for a fight, I just hope this is
temporary because if we continue this way, we’ll turn to roommates…” He had
said.
She turned to face him and held his chin with her palm.
“Listen to me dear, I have to work, I am due for a promotion
and I can’t be rushing home at five pm with the others, I have to stay to prove
myself. I promise it’s for a short time and soon, I’ll be back to getting home
early.” She had said. “I’m so sorry about the way I’ve been snapping at you of recent, it’s just that work gets so stressful sometimes and I get so tired. If your job was well-paying enough, God knows we’ll have moved from here to somewhere more decent and closer to my place of work to enable me get home sooner.”
He kissed her and hugged her close.
“You are my support system, Stella, my everything. I love
you much more than words can tell and I am going to be supportive of whatever
decisions you take but please be careful. Don’t let work burn out the fire of
our love.” He had said.
“I promise it won’t.” She had said. “I’ve gotta go, give
Kamsi a kiss for me.” She had said as she left the small room and soon, he
heard the door to the house slam shut.
He had gone to brush his teeth, prepare water for his
daughter’s bath and in thirty minutes, she had bathed, brushed, eaten and was
ready for school. He did his normal routine of taking her to the front of the
gate to wait for the school bus and when she’d gotten in, he had waved her
goodbye. As he made his way back into his small house, he’d seen his neighbour’s wife Brenda, she stared at him with a fire of desire in her eyes but he’d ignored her and entered the house and locked the door behind him as he wasn’t ready for any new surprises.
Now, as he got ready to go to the company, he wore his shoes
and stood up.
“Perfume…I need to use a perfume.” He said as he searched
for the cheap perfume he had bought some weeks ago.
He searched his bags and couldn’t find it then he moved over
to check his wife’s bags to see if it was there and his hand touched something.
He pulled it out. It was a box with the words inscribed, ‘Happy Birthday’ and
when he opened the box, his mouth fell open as he stared at the most powerful
wristwatch he’d ever seen.
“A Rolex?” He asked aloud.
************
“Hey Diamond.” Mitch greeted when he saw her step in through
the door.
Diamond screamed and launched herself into his arms.
“Oh my gosh! Am I dreaming? Mitch! Mitchy Mitch!”
“No you’re not dreaming, it’s me, in flesh and blood.”
“My goodness! How’s school? Are you done yet?”
“Yes, I graduated a while back.” He said.
They both stared at each other and began to laugh
hysterically.
“C’mon speak to mein that new accent of your’s.” Diamond teased.
“Hahaha…not for the world D’, I’m not ready to be teased.” He laughed.
“You’re so boring.” She joked. “How’s everyone? Mom, Dad,
your siblings?”
“They are fine.”
“I spoke to Mirabel some time ago via Whatsapp, she told me
she was already serving. That little Mirabel of yesterday.” Diamond said.
“Yes ooo…they’ve all grown, infact fancy my shock when I
found that Angel has a car.”
“Yes, I saw the car on her Facebook page and congratulated
her.” Diamond said
.
Cherry emerged from the kitchen with fried chips and fish
and said.
“That rusty old thing! That car is a hundred years old, if
you ask me. The seller might have dashed her the car sef.”
“Jealousy!” Diamond spat.
“Well, I’m proud of her.” Mitch said as he prepared himself
to launch into the meal set before him. “That reminds me baby, show your
sister, your finger.” He said.
“Finger? What happened to her finger?” Diamond asked.
Cherry held out her left hand to reveal the ring with a tiny
stone at its center.
“Mitch proposed!” Cherry said. “I said yes.”
Diamond’s eyes widened and if it widened any further, it
might have fallen out of its sockets.
“I see you’re surprised.” Mitch said to her when he saw her
facial expression. “I made a vow and I fulfilled it. I am going to marry your
sister.” He said.
“Could you excuse us a moment?” Diamond blurted as she stood
up from the sofa and grabbed her sister by the hand, pulling her towards the kitchen.
Once they entered the kitchen, she slammed the door behind
them.
“What?” Cherry asked.
“You were engaged yesterday, how come you got engaged today
again?” Diamond asked.
“Mitch came with a ring and I couldn’t say no.” Cherry said.
“So, you’re calling it off with Sean?” Diamond asked
hopefully.
“Not exactly.”
“What do you mean by not exactly?”
“Well, I mean that I’m still marrying Sean and would later
explain to Mitch the reason why I have to reject his proposal.”
“Are you stupid? Are you insane? You just accepted his
proposal!”
“Chill jo, the wedding with Sean happens very soon while
Mitch still has to find a job and get a place to stay before we get hitched.
So, I will just marry Sean and let Mitch understand that I really need to
settle down fast and that’s why I’m marrying Sean. Besides, who puts their eggs in one basket these days? I know lots of men that propose to twenty different girls with different rings,  why should mine be different?”
Diamond opened her mouth in shock and stared at her sister.
“Guess what? Sean asked that I start planning the wedding
with the best wedding planners in town and guess what? It’s going to be a one
hundred million naira budget wedding!”
Diamond still didn’t close her mouth, she kept staring at
her sister and was wondering if she had really shared the same womb with this moron.
“Since you’re not responding, I’ll get back to Mitch in the
sitting room.” Cherry said and opening the door of the kitchen, she hurried
out.
“She’s mad!” Diamond said when she finally found her voice.
***********
Stella’s phone rang but she didn’t  hear the phone ring so she missed the call.
She was typing out a report on her computer but that wasn’t what was on her mind.
It was the exotic restaurant that the GM had taken her to last night to
celebrate her birthday. They had entered the posh restaurant and had ordered
for very expensive food. In her entire life, Stella had never eaten anything as
rich or stepped into a place as exotic.
“Happy birthday to you…” The GM had said. “How old are you
today?”
“We ladies love to hide our ages but I’ll make an exception
and tell you mine. I’m thirty-two.” She had said.
“Wow, you’re really young.” He had said.
“Wait! How old do I look? Forty?” She had blurted in
excitement.
“No, you look way younger…” He had said.
“So, how old are you?” She’d asked.
“I turned forty, two months ago.” He’d said.
“Really? That’s cool. How does it feel leaving the thirties
train?”
“It’s quite a relief actually! Now, I know I’m definitely growing older.” He laughed.
They had laughed during the rest of the night and she had
totally lost track of time. When desert was brought, she was so full.
“Wow! I don’t think I’d be able to eat ever again.” She
laughed.
“You’re so silly…let’s eat desert.” He had said with his
charming voice.
The GM was indeed a handsome man with an impeccable taste in
style. He was very charming and she loved his dentition. She was still laughing when
she glanced at her watch.
“My gosh! It’s past midnight…I have to go.”
“Why? The night is still young…” He had said.
“I’m married, with a child.” She had said.
“So? Your child has a father right? Can’t he take care of
her while you have fun? It’s your birthday and you have to wait till next year
to celebrate another one and it won’t be the same because you’ll be
thirty-three then and not thirty-two.”
She had smiled, he had a queer sense of humour and she knew
she liked him instantly. They had stayed one extra hour before he had his driver take her
home with his other car.
Now as she typed and reminisced her encounter with him, she
wished they could do a replay of last night tonight. She was still reminiscing when she heard her phone ring. She picked up the call. It was her husband.
“Madu….”
“I saw a Rolex in your bag. Where is it from?” He asked calmly.
“Ahhh…it’s a present for my colleague, she celebrated her
birthday yesterday too and she got the present from someone but she’d gone home
before the present was delivered so I offered to keep it for her.” She lied swiftly.
She could hear the relief in her husband’s voice.
“Okay, but please return the watch to her, you know I don’t
like us holding onto things that are not ours.”
“Sure…I will. Did Kamsi’s school bus come to pick her up
on time today?”
“Yes it did babe.”
“Are you still at home or at the company?”
“I’m heading out of the house now, I’m on my way to work.”
“Okay dear, good luck.”
“Thanks babe.” He said and hung up.
*********
Madu alighted from the keke napep and walked the short
distance to his company. He was surprised to see some workers at the gate,
making a ruckus. He walked up to them.
“How far?” He greeted.
“Ol boy! Dis people get skoin for head o.”
“Wetin happen?” Madu asked.
“Check list to see if ya name dey dia.” The man said. “If ya name dey dia, na gbege!”
Madu looked up at the gate and saw the list of names. His
name was the number ten on the list. He didn’t understand why his name was
posted at the gate with those of a few other employees of the company.
“Country hard, na our fault?” Another man shouted.
“What’s this? What’s going on here?” Madu asked.
“Didn’t you read what’s written on the paper? You’ve just
been fired!” The first man said.

10 COMMENTS

  1. #sigh# I feel sorry for Madu. As if he didn't have enough trouble already, now he gets fired from work.
    Stella is setting herself up for a huge fall. The lie she told so swiftly even makes matters worse.
    Beautiful writing, as usual.

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