That was what I said, not minding if my explanation was reasonable or not. That very day I wept more than a widow would. I was also wondering if there was any element of truth in the news that was making the rounds. Of course, I knew that news get slower when one is involved. If
Ikenna had indeed married another woman in Lagos, perhaps, I would be the last person to know. The whole frenzy made me take the decision to travel to Lagos.
My trip to Lagos was revealing. It gave me a firsthand knowledge of how my husband, Ikenna was coping in Lagos. It was not easy to locate him but by the time I did, I almost
shed tears. He had lost so much weight, and anyone looking at him would know that he was being confronted by myriads of financial challenges. Of course, he was surprised when he returned to see me, waiting at the balcony of where he was staying, somewhere at Ijesha in Lagos.
“Stella?; he was surprised. “How did you get to know here? Is there any problem? What about the kids?”
“No problem. Everyone is fine. I came to know how you are doing. I also came to see your new wife in Lagos,” I said.
“New wife in Lagos?” he asked with sarcasm. “If that is the reason for your trip, then you wasted the money.”
That night, he explained how he had been faring. According to him, he had had to do all sorts of menial jobs just to be able to feed himself which was why he had not been bothering to get across to us. According to him, he did not want to insult me with his misery. In spite of all those odds however, Ikenna still looked hopeful. He told me that a man he met three days earlier had promised to help him purchase a second hand molue, which he would use for transportation business.
” Stella, the whole thing is like a miracle. In fact you are even coming at a time, when the whole suffering is about to end”, he said.
“And you will not believe I have just known this man for three days”.
“That is good news. I am happy that at least you are living and that contrary to what people in Onitsha are saying that you have abandoned us, you are still my husband”, I told him.
“Stella, I will never leave you. In fact once this business begins to move, all of you will move to Lagos with me. I have great plans for all of you, and I have sworn with my life to make it happen”, he said.
I spent four days in Lagos, and luckily by the time I was leaving, my husband, Ikenna has taken delivery of the bus. The terms of repayment, from what I gathered were very friendly too, and Ikenna was most ecstatic about it.
One and half years later, we moved from Onitsha to Lagos. Business was better for Ikenna, and he had even finished paying for the bus and was working on buying another
one, which he intended to hand over to another driver, who would be working for him. In fact, it was like a dream, because, often I would pinch myself to know if it was real.
But it was. Everything was just falling into place for us and at an amazing speed. With the new prospects, I did not even have to teach again. I was just put in charge of the
home front. But this soon changed, when Ikenna, announced that he wanted me to take charge of the bus business. By this time, he had already acquired three buses.
“What would you be doing?” 1 had asked him.
“I want to go into shipping business”, he replied, with the same hint of courage and optimism which he employed to announce his resignation earlier.
“Shipping is not your area. So how do you intend to make this work?” 1 asked him again.
“The same man who started me up in this bus business wants me to go into shipping.
He has agreed to help me facilitate a loan from a bank”, he explained. “The facility is worth fifteen million naira. So with that, 1 will not have time to be controlling the
transport business. So it naturally will be your business as from now.”
That was how I became a transporter, while Ikenna became a shipping agent. That arrangement simply made things merrier.
There was money, in fact, surplus of it. In less than four years, my husband was a notable millionaire, with mansions in Lagos,
Onitsha, Nnewi, London and New York. My three kids were also schooling abroad, because we discovered that the standard of education in the country was just not suitable for them. I had improved from the nursery school teacher in Onitsha to a millionaire’s wife with not only a retinue of aides at her beck and call, but one who could afford foreign trips for things as trivial as shopping! I was sure the spate of transformation would astound a lot of people who knew me before, because sometimes it did surprise me.
But there was a price.
One day, I fell sick. I had woken up that morning with some funny feelings of nausea, much like a woman experiencing pregnancy for the first time. I called Ikenna, who travelled to the United States for a business meeting and he instructed his manager to drive me to Eko Hospital in Ikeja, Lagos. Before we even got there, he had called one of the doctors working there to examine me and know what was wrong with me. But surprisingly after the series of tests that were conducted on me the team of doctors found nothing wrong with me. Not even the usual malaria and typhoid germs, but I was still sick and weak. It was at this point that one of the doctors, a lady, suggested that I should seek spiritual help.
To be continued…