Amelia was flustered, she still felt her heart beat since
her encounter with Andy. He was her dream man; Tall, beautiful eyes, charming
smile and drop-dead gorgeous face, at that moment, Amelia knew that she was
smitten.

“Stop it Amelia…stop it! You are married! You love your
husband! Besides, this new guy hasn’t said anything yet…or has he? Did he?” She
said aloud while blaring the horn of her car and speeding through the free-way.
Her phone rings and without checking the caller ID, she answered, the phone was
linked to her car speaker.
“Hello baby…”
It was George, Amelia hissed in a distressed voice.
“What…”
“I got you something…it’s at the house…”
“So…how’s that new?”
“C’mon babe…I loaned money to buy those stuff.” George said.
“Did I send you to beg or borrow or whatever?”
“Don’t be harsh…I love you so much and I’ll do anything to
make you happy.”
“Can I hang up now? Because if LATSMA catches me answering
my phone while driving you would be too broke to bail me out.” Amelia hissed
and hung up.
Turning up the volume of her radio set, she sped down the
freeway.
******
George was still shocked at his wife’s sudden behavior and
as he sat at the bar in the famous lounge in V.I he asked himself if he had
made the right decision of marrying early. He had already paid for the gifts he
had bought for her but it had eaten deep into his pocket and he was dead broke.
“Hey George…” Akin said walking to sit beside him at the
bar.
Akin was one of George’s secondary school friends, with an
oil mogul for a dad, Akin had quickly started his own oil servicing firm which
was very prosperous.
“Hello Akin…how far…”
“I dey ooo…I dey wonder how married man go dey call me for
cool weekend like dis. Shebi you have nack tire?” Akin asked laughing.
George smiled, he was used to his friend’s foul words.
“You’re a joker…”
“Seriously dude, if I were you ehn, I’ll still be digging
it! For Pete’s sake, wasn’t it last two weeks we attended your wedding and
wasn’t it last week that you returned from your honeymoon in Dubai?”
“Yea…”
“Don’t tell me you’re already bored…but knowing you, Mr. Faithful
and nice guy, I’m sure you decided to give the Mrs. a break! Guys like you are
rare you know…”
“What do you know?” George said then rapidly changing the
topic, he says quietly, “Guy, can I get some cash from you? I need about half a
million naira.”
“What’s up? Is Lagos on fire?” Akin asked playfully.
“I have a lot on my plate right now.” George said.
“Bro…are you okay? You look beat. Are you happy?” Akin asked
in a concerned voice.
“Yes I am, man! I just need some quick cash, I’ll pay you
when my pay-check comes through…”
“That’s no problem man, but are you in some kind of trouble?
Because you have never asked me for money before.”
“You know me, I have my pride…” George chuckled dryly.
“I’ll send the money to you right away, can I have your
account number?”
“I appreciate this…thanks a lot bro.”
“Anytime…” Akin replied as he whipped out his phone to make
the transactions.
George watched his pride slip away, he was never known to be
a borrower, he was always the content one and now, for his wife’s sake he was
risking his identity, his sanity and his pride.
*******
Demilade woke up with a start and stared around her
environment, she was lying on a pile of rubbish and running amok around her
were chickens, street dogs and goats. She remembered everything that had
happened between herself and the hotel manager till the last part where she had
suddenly blanked out. Now, looking around at herself, she stood up shakily from
the rubbish and maneuvered her way out of the heap. People stared at her,
obviously thinking that she was mad, she was so sure that she wasn’t far from
the hotel as whoever left her on the pile of rubbish wouldn’t have taken her far
from the hotel. True to her thoughts, she was she close to the hotel and one
glance at the hotel building made her eyes water. Her bag! She remembered and making
her way back to the heap where it lay she searched it to see if anything was
missing. She heaved a sigh of relief when she saw her phone and the crumpled
one hundred naira note that she had left in her bag were still intact. Her
phone chose that moment to ring, the caller ID read ‘mum’ it was her mother, so
she picked it.
“Hello mom…”
“Demi…where have you been? I have been calling you for the
past thirty minutes.”
“Mom…something drastic happened…I was…” Demilade burst into
tears.
“Demilade…it shouldn’t be all about you all the time. Why
are you crying over the phone like a baby ehn? Today is your brother’s fifth
year wedding anniversary and we are all at his house except you. Yes, I know
that Bobo is sick but he’s at the hospital isn’t he? Isn’t he well-taken care
of by the hospital staff? It’s so easy for you to cry and beg for money but
when you have to make the sacrifice, you become scarce and unavailable.”
“Mom…it’s …I was…”
“I’m not ready to listen to your cries…it’s either you come
here now or you are not part of this family anymore. I can’t believe that I just
paid in the remaining part of the money for Bobo’s hospital bills and you can’t
find your way to your brother’s place. It’s not as though you are looking for
money to pay his hospital bills or anything…”
“What…mom? I am trying to explain to you…”
Demilade’s mom hung up. Staring at her phone in disbelief,
she sunk down on the heap of rubbish and cried hard. How much worse could life
become?
*******
“Do you like it?” George asked watching his wife regard the
gifts with disinterest.
“It’s okay…” Amelia answered.
“I am sorry I didn’t get what you wanted on time….but it’s
complete.” George said gesturing to the gifts displayed on the bed.
“I changed my mind…I don’t want them…” Amelia snapped.
“Please accept it…I’ll get you something bigger when my
salary comes through.”
Amelia walks towards the bed and pokes the gifts which are
heavily wrapped in gift packs.
“How am I sure you got the right gifts?”
“C’mon darling…we checked online together remember?” George
said waiting for her nod of approval.
“Thanks baby.” Amelia said in a small voice.
That was all George wanted to hear, he rushed towards his
wife and kissed her passionately.
“Hey…slow down boo…” She whispered as she placed her palms
on his chest as though pushing him away.
“Things are back to normal right?” George murmured.
“Yea…” Amelia answered as she broke the hug and walked to
sit on the bed.
“It’s Saturday you know…even Akin joked that we’re acting
kinda exhausted, being a newlywed couple and all…” George started.
“What do you mean by that? When did our family life become
the subject of public discussion?”
“Public what? No it’s not and never will be…”
“Then how come Akin got to throw such an expensive joke at
you?” Amelia asked with eyes blazing in anger.
“I had lunch with him at the restaurant down the street.”
“You had lunch with Akin? And you didn’t even ask me if I
had lunch today at all…”
“Amelia…must we fight? Can’t we live in peace for once in
our lives?”
“Excuse me? Are you trying to say we have no peace in our
lives? Are you calling me a nagging wife or an evil woman?”
“I didn’t say that…it’s just that I’ve been trying so hard
to please you and it’s like you don’t care.”
“I don’t what? You know what, I’m out…” Amelia said as she
got up from the bed, grabbed her handbag and the gifts and stormed out of the
room.
“Where are you going to? Amelia! Amelia!” George called out
as he followed her out of the room.
“I’m off to my folks place…don’t expect to see me back here
tonight.” Amelia flung at him and stormed off.
George, stopped and sighed, marriage wasn’t a rosy nest
after all.
******
Image Source: http://thyblackman.com/
“I think we have to protest this…” Grace was saying to her
married neighbour.
“Protest? Protesting doesn’t make sense…besides it shouldn’t
be any problem not if you have something to hide.” Her neighbour said.
Her neighbour had knocked at her door that evening eager to
discuss the change of events in the estate. They were filling out the forms
that Isaac Mobola-Jacobs had handed out and Grace paused at the sign indicating
that she fill in her place of work and the address.
“C’mon neighbour, this doesn’t make sense abeg…” Grace
pressed further.
“Well, I’ve filled mine already, I’m a housewife and that’s
the truth, I wait for my husband to send upkeep to me and the kids. I really
have nothing to hide, but come to think of it, this is a good way of keeping
our neighbourhood safe. I know someone who was a next door neighbour to the head
of an armed robbery gang. So you never know, this could be a blessing in
disguise.”
“Well…I’ll have to check with my boss about this thing you
know…we run an online business and that doesn’t entail that we have to be in
the office everyday because if you have noticed, I hardly go out…” Grace said
trying so hard to cover up her tracks.
“Hmmm…” Her neighbour scoffed.
“Excuse me? What’s that supposed to mean?” Grace asked
picking offense.
“Do you think we are blind in this estate? We see the cab
driver that comes to pick you up at eight-thirty pm every evening.”
“Are you monitoring my life? I’m in a serious relationship
and I go to see my boyfriend everyday after his work hours hence my late nights…”
“You don’t owe me any explanation Grace…but that boyfriend
of yours sha…he is very lucky. You are very pretty and decent…I mean…I’ve never
seen any man in this house before. You both should get married quickly or…” She
lowered her tone of voice. “Are you dating a married man?”
“When did my life become a topic of discussion? Please
neighbour, I think it’s high time you left my house.” Grace said.
“Ah ah…has it come to that?”
“I have a lot to do and as you have rightly observed, I am
almost late for my date night with my boyfriend and I haven’t even prepared
yet.”
“Okay…sorry for upsetting you…see you tomorrow.” Her
neighbour said as she walked to the door and left the house.
 Grace just sat still
and stared for a moment then in anger she groaned loudly and hit her forehead
with her palm.
“I can’t believe this! Why can’t people mind their business?
So, I’ve been going out and coming in all under the watchful gaze of my
neighbours…haba!”
She stood up from her sofa and paced about the sitting room,
her phone rang suddenly disturbing the quiet of the room, she stopped pacing
and went to pick one of the phones that was on the side stool.
Grace had three phones, two were her personal phone lines
while one was her business line. Some clients of her took her number so as to
call her at will.
“Hello…” She spoke into the receiver.
“Hello…am I speaking with Femme Fatale?” The man inquired.
The voice sounded familiar but she couldn’t place it, Femme
Fatale was a pseudo name she gave herself especially to her clients.
“Yes you are…”
“I got your number from someone and err…since I am new in
Lagos, I was wondering if we could meet up for you know…what you are known
for.”
“Sex? Is that so difficult for you to pronounce?” Grace
asked irritably.
“You are the whore and I am the customer, I do not
appreciate your up-front manner of speaking to me. Are you interested in this
proposition or should I hang up?”
Grace almost screamed ‘NO’ she was almost behind on her
house-rent payment and she needed some cash to augment.
“Where do you want it? For special requests I charge twenty
thousand naira. Ten thousand naira should be paid upfront and after sex, I’ll
take the rest.”
“That’s not a problem…I want you to be at my house in the
next thirty minutes…can you do that?”
“Sure…as long as you’re in Lagos, I’ll make it in no time.”
“My address is No 1 Mobola-Jacobs Street…” He started.
“Excuse me?” Grace blurted.
“Do you or don’t you know the street?”
“I…err…I …do …sorry for my outburst…”
“I’m expecting you in the next thirty minutes…I do not
appreciate delay.” The man said and hung up.
Grace dropped her phone and her mouth hung in shock, ‘who
could that be? And on her street too?’ She asked herself as she groped for the
side stool for support. This was a job and one that she’ll be paid a lot for,
she had to take it but how could she go for business without being recognized
whoever it was that called? That was one plan she had to tackle.
******
Image Source: urbanintellectuals.com
“Mommy are you okay?” Bobo asked, he had noticed her silence
since she arrived the hospital about thirty minutes ago and she was smelly too.
“I’m fine…” Demilade replied smiling in a way that didn’t
reach her eyes.
“Are you sure?”
“I am fine Bobo…” Demilade said reaching out to hold his
hand. “Doctor says your drip is almost finished and that you can go home
today…are you happy about that?”
“Yep! And Aunty and Uncle’s anniversary is today. Shebi we
are going to celebrate with them?”
Demilade swallowed the lump in her throat and shook her
head.
“No.”
“Why? They are our family…”
Demilade remembered the words her mother had said to her
through the phone and cringed, her mother’s words had made her look like a
failure.
“We are going to stay away from family for now…from now on,
it’s you and I, Bobo…”
“Can we survive without them? The term will end soon and
they usually pay my school fees…” Bobo said with tears in his eyes.
“We need to let them know that we can survive without them.
Do you remember that story I told you about the cat that kept begging the mouse
for food?”
Bobo nodded quietly.
“What happened to the cat?” Demilade asked.
“He outstayed his welcome and the rat humiliated him …”
“That’s what happens when you depend so much on people…”
Demilade said wiping out a stray tear from her eyelid.
“But they are our family…” Bobo sobbed.
“I know honey…I know…even granny sent the remaining of your
hospital bills to my account. They have been so helpful but I’ve been ripping
them off. I think distancing myself from them will go a long way in helping
them focus on what matters most to them…” Demilade said.
“Okay…” Her son replied and looked away, sniffing back the
tears that fell down his lids.
“I am so sorry Bobo…I truly am…I brought into this world and
selfishly have rid you of everything good that you deserve…I am sorry.”
Demilade said quietly.
The doctor chose that moment to walk into the ward.
“How is my brave patient?” The doctor asked trying to be
funny.
“Fine…” Demilade replied.
“Awww…doesn’t he want to talk to me? I hope I’m forgiven for
all the injections I administered.” The doctor said, still trying to be funny.
“You are forgiven doctor.” Demilade said.
The doctor sniffed around and said quietly.
“Is there a dustbin around here somewhere? Everywhere smells
awful.”
Bobo turned to give his mother an accusing glare.
“I…er…I…don’t know…” Demilade stammered, knowing fully well
that she stunk like garbage.
“I am about to administer his last injection, has he eaten
anything?” The doctor asked her, changing the topic quickly.
“No…he hasn’t.”
“Can you go and get him something? He needs to eat.” The doctor
said.
Demilade nodded and taking her purse, she left the room. She
was in a dilemma, the only money she had was a hundred naira note and if Bobo
was discharged today, then it’ll be trekking things. The hospital was far from
their house and she wondered how she was going to manage. Whispering a silent
prayer, she said aloud;
“Dear Lord, I need a miracle.”
She left the hospital premises and sighted a small food
kiosk across the road, hoping with all her heart that the money in her purse
could buy enough food for her soon, she crossed the road quickly not thinking
to look left or right. There was a screech of tires and Demilade felt herself
being knocked down.
********
Image Source: mycandylove.com
Grace had prepared herself calmly for this outing, all
thanks to the costumes she had stowed away in her wardrobe. She had on a face half-mask
and had painted her lips neon green, she was wearing a black bra and red
panty-hose and a black short flair skirt. She quickly slipped on a knee-length
charcoal jacket and placing the mask in her purse, she left her house. Her cab
driver was waiting at his usual spot. Grace made sure no one saw her as she
left her apartment but who knows if her gossip neighbour was glued to her
windows, waiting to monitor her movement. That was a thought for another day,
she told herself as she gave her cab driver the house address.
“But auntie…na ya street you give me so…you fit waka am na.”
“When did that become any of your business?” Grace spat
staring at him through the review mirror, with her lips shinning like fluorescent.
  
“Sorry…” The driver said as he drove her to the house which
was just at the entrance to her street. Grace knew the house so well, and she
was surprised that it suddenly looked alive, all the while, it always seemed
abandoned. She alighted from the cab and walked towards the house, not
forgetting to put on her face mask. The gate was open so she entered and seeing
a huge door at the entrance to the house, she stepped forward and knocked. She
heard the brisk footsteps and when the door opened, she almost fainted. It was
none other than Isaac Mobola-Jacobs, her hot fit new neighbour.
*******
Amelia walked into her parents sparsely furnished home,
sighing audibly she fell on the sofa at the den and breathed deeply.
“Chioma! Chioma!” She screamed.
“Yes auntie…” Chioma answered running to meet her.
Chioma was one of their household servants, she was
distantly related to Amelia’s family.
“The driver is coming in with some stuff, take them from him…”
“Yes auntie…should I take them to your room?” Chioma asked.
“No…it’s yours…you can have them…” Amelia said offhandedly.
She wasn’t interested in George’s paltry gifts, her father had wired in two
million naira into her savings account this morning and she had already ordered
the latest designs from London.
“Thank you auntie…God bless you ma…” Chioma whooped for joy
and ran out of the house.
Amelia closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, she had just
exhaled when a call came in, her phone buzzed loudly.
“Who is that? I hope it’s not that miserable husband of mine…”
She said aloud and picking her phone she stared at the strange number.
“Hello…” She said into the receiver.
“Hello…it’s Andy, we met today at the mall.” The voice at
the other end of the line supplied.
Amelia sat up and blinked.
“Andy? Hello…hi…yes, we did.”
“How are you, I hope you got home safe?”
“Yes I did, and thank you for lunch…you are truly amazing.”
“Beautiful women are rare and you are one hell of a
beautiful lady.” Andy said.
Amelia blushed, and started researching through her mind on
the shortest marriages in history, it can’t be too early for a divorce or was
it? She thought.
“I’d like to take you for dinner sometime.” Andy chirped in,
since she seemed to have grown dumb all of a sudden.
“Oh…yes…err…that would be great…”
“Would tonight be too soon?” Andy inquired further.

“Tonight sounds perfect…” Amelia said as she browsed through
her mind for what to wear.

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