After NYSC, what else should a girl be looking for if not a guy she could settle with?
His words tended to balloon my head, but I knew how to keep things down at such situation.
“So what day?” Ben seemed to be consumed in realizing my desire with the snap of two fingers.
After weighing the options left for each of the days of the week, we agreed on Sunday. It seemed perfect for a lot of reasons. Aside me being free, I guess the girls won’t be doing much too.
With the grimace on Ben’s face, I just doled out N1,500 and gave him. That’s as far as I was concerned would settle everything about transportation and other contingencies. I am not a stingy person. When I like something, I like to invest, because my father says it all the time, that nothing good is free.
By the time we left that pub, Ben’s re-assurance that Ezinne would be mine had turned to tap a song and I was happy that I was making a headway even though everything seemed like paying lip service.
By Saturday, I contacted Ben and he told me that everything had been sealed, that Imelda, his cousin would come with Ezi (by this time, I was always thinking about fondling her) on Sunday, like we had earlier agreed. He had said 1.00pm.
Enthusiasm, I would say, fired the level of preparation I had that day for all of them. Before 1pm. Ben had come and it was good that he came ahead of time because we used that little opportunity to fine-tune our plans. It was when it appeared that everything was set that we settled down to watch a DVD. It would be nice for the two girls to walk in and meet us watching a DVD player, I had reasoned.
My feeling when it was 1pm was indescribable. It was a mixture of everything good, everything fun. But by half-past-one, they were nowhere near my apartment. I did not know what was going on but Ben kept assuring me to himself that they would come. I did not ask him, but he kept on coming up with excuses why they were not around.
They did not turn up until 3.30pm that day. It was late, but the excitement in the air consumed every other hiccups. We were introduced. We talked. And we agreed that we would give each other a chance to explore ourselves.
That was how everything started. About one year later, Ezinne and I were pronounced husband and wife at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. I would not say it was a gathering of the top echelon of the society, but a lot of important people graced my wedding.
And this probably placed us on an envious pedestal. The first eight months were quite rosy, quite memorable. The three contracts I executed for some Local Government councils in Ogun State were paid for.
So I meant I had the time in the world and perhaps the money too to make my wife happy. Of course, I was always making sure that she got whatever she desired.
But one mistake I made was that I failed to teach her how to live like a contractor’s wife. You see, a contractor lives like a Spartan. When there’s food, you eat, when there is none you endure and hope for a better future.
The word lack was what infuriated Ezinne. The moment it seemed as if the money was not flowing the way it used to flow, Ezinne gets really pissed off.
At such times, she would pick quarrels with me and call me all sorts of names. The one that amuses me most is when she begins to stress the fact that I was cheating on her.
“Why would you believe I am cheating on you?” I would ask her.
“I know you well,” she would claim. “I know you quite well. Before you used to come with money. Now, you don’t come home with anything.”
“That’s because, there’s no business now,”
In our business, perseverance is the key thing. At times, there are no jobs to execute, so we just stay until we have something.”
“It’s a lie! You spend it on women! You spend all your money on girls outside. That’s why you don’t remember to bring anything home,” she would argue.
No matter how much I tried to explain, or the facts I used to back up my claims, Ezinne would not want to understand. Deep inside her mind, everything I did was because of this woman outside. Yet she was not able to pinpoint the woman. She was always battling with her imaginations.
It’s not entirely wrong for a woman to get jealous, but let it be justified. I wish Ezinne’s was. It got so bad that it began to eat into her.
You could notice it anytime she was praying.
“Lord, all those women,” she would be screaming. “Trying to take my husband away, let them die! Let them die! All those women taking my husband’s money, let them die. Let them die.”
But I knew no one was taking my money away. It was just bad business. It was just something peculiar to our kind of jobs.
Because of her extreme nature, I decided I was not going to let her in on some of the things I was doing. Since letting her know some of the things I was doing was bringing problem, I reasoned the best thing to do was just to keep quiet about most things.
When I got a contract of four million naira from a Local Government Council in Lagos, I decided to keep it to myself. I want to surprise her so I hid everything away from her. With the help of my bank, I executed the job, and luckily the money came out quite on time.
The day I got a call to come for payment, I did not believe it and had to pinch myself to really confirm if it was a dream.
But it was real. I got to the Council Headquarters and found my four millions were cheque written. It was a Zenith Bank cheque and I did not have an account with them so I took the cheque home and hid it in my box. Where I concealed it, no human being would have the inkling that something was there. I securely kept it there for a lot of reasons.
The next day, I got dressed and ready to go to the bank to take the money. But to my greatest surprise the cheque had been neatly removed from the box.
I was stunned. Was an evil spirit following me? What was the explanation for that? I got really hysterical, ransacking every available item in the room, looking for the cheque I collected the previous day.
Ezinne walked in.
“Ezinne, did you touch my box?” I asked her.
“Yes I did. Is it the cheque? I have taken it. Pity you, those your mistresses won’t see anything to take. You see your life?”
“You never agree you have money. How come you have money now? You are a liar o, a bloody liar! That’s what you have been doing. Lying and carrying women all around town. Emeka I pity you?”
As we were talking, the guy in the bank called to know what was delaying me and this got me angry with Ezinne. I don’t know why she was behaving the way she was doing.
I called her like a wife and begged but she refused to bring out the cheque. So I went the Lord way.
…to be continued