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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 9

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Amaka had not seen this coming.

She had always picked her maids verrry carefully. They were not allowed to be yellow (because hubby liked light-skinned women), tall, endowed or even remotely beautiful. They wore uniforms to ensure that they didn’t dress seductively and she had made this foolproof by making doubly sure that she was the picture of pure feminity in sharp contrast to their plainness each and every day. How could her husband sleep with her every night and then still have time to sleep with that little, flat-chested rat?

She was the ideal wife. She never threatened his manhood; never nagged or quarreled, she cooked all his meals, was adventurous in the bedroom (she knew the karma sutra like the pope knew the bible) and always looked and smelt good. She had only failed in one respect; for five years now she had been unable to conceive. She had done three IVFs and they had failed. The doctor had told her to have faith that in some cases, it happened naturally. But really was that enough reason for a man whom she had given everything to disrespect her in such a manner? He had broken her heart, her spirit and her mind. She didn’t think she could ever forgive him.

She looked at Mamus and Toke and tried to make sense of their many words. She heard jazz and she shook her head. Chuka could not have been bewitched, it wasn’t possible. She was a prayerful woman; she refused to believe one Babalawo somewhere had the magic ingredient for breaking up her home. One of them had pointed out that the help could have gotten pregnant for someone else and was just blaming her husband because he was rich and successful and big, fat tears rolled down her eyes as she remembered the confrontation at home…

Chuka had not denied it. She had pleaded with him to tell her it wasn’t true but he had stayed mute, a crestfallen look in his eyes. How could he be such a dog? And that bloody b*tch, she wished she could wring her neck and snuff out the life from her pathetic body. How dare she? She was an ungrateful wretch if ever there was one and both she and Chuka were going to pay for this dagger they had plunged through her heart.

She got up suddenly.

“Where are you going?” Mamus asked with concern
“Home”
“Should we come with you?” Toke added
“No, I am fine. Thank you for listening. I have to deal with this on my own.”
“Please don’t do anything rash dear…”
“Thanks Mamus, I will try, thanks Toke…goodbye”

As she drove off, she saw the concern in their eyes and thought about how she had gone from having the perfect life and being the envy of all to being pitied. She had actually thought of concealing the matter but for her sanity’s sake she had sought out her friends. There was only so much that coffee could do. She picked up her phone and called her dad. He picked on the second ring. Ten minutes later she had downloaded her whole sob story to the one man who would kill for her and he had asked her to come stay with him for a while. As she dried her tears, she had gently turned down the offer. Yes, daddy was an ex-governor and liked to be in control of everything but this was her fight and just knowing her family had her back was enough for now. She knew her mum would be calling her soon and she put her phone on silent. She wasn’t ready for her just yet.

She drove to her house and was surprised to see three cars parked in the driveway. She had sent the maid packing this morning and expected her house to be quiet. The front door was unlocked and when she entered the living room, her mother in law, the maid, her husband, his close friend Gideon and two of her husband’s uncles were seated, obviously waiting for her.

“Good afternoon my daughter”

Amaka stared at her MIL for a couple of minutes and then finally responded.

Five minutes later, she had been coerced into sitting and listening to serious crap. It was like watching a Nollywood movie. They had apologized on her husband’s behalf and then asked her to please accept the new wife (WTF) and the unborn baby as hers. She scarcely heard anything after that. There were Igbo proverbs here and there, bible verses interspersed (imagine oh!) and vague, empty promises. She desperately needed some coffee and her hands quivered slightly- she wasn’t sure if it was the coffee craving or the loads of bull sh*t she had been listening to since she walked in through the door. She suddenly felt sick.

“Please excuse me” and without waiting for consent she dashed up the stairs and into her bedroom. The tears stung her eyes as she splashed cold water on her face. She had to be strong, had to be brave. She picked up her phone and sent a message to Irene, her travel agent.

‘Need a trip to someplace serene, book me a flight for tomorrow morning. Will be gone for two weeks, you know the visas on my passport so plan accordingly. Thanks’

She felt better afterwards.

Tonight she would be lodging at the most expensive hotel she could think of. She needed her sanity back, needed to be away from all this rubbish. She felt numb and as if in a trance began to pack a few clothes and personal effects into a small travel bag. She threw in her passport and zipped up the bag. She took a deep breath and walked down the stairs, plastic smile on her face.

“Mama I have heard everything you have all said, to err is human, to forgive divine. I am not divine unfortunately. I need time to think, please don’t try to contact me and I do not want this girl in my house.”

“It is my son’s house-“

Mama never finished what she was saying because Chuka who had been on the phone when I came downstairs rushed into the sitting room, a panic stricken look on his face.

“Amaka you can’t do this to me I beg you, please.”

He knelt down, tears in his eyes and I looked at him with a mixture of anger, disgust and immense sorrow.

“You should have thought of that when you f*cked the maid!”

Amaka walked out with her head held high and started her car engine. Just then she got a text message.

‘I just finished speaking with the bastard. I not only fired him but had my boys freeze his entire assets including his bank accounts. It’s my business and my money AND no one messes with my baby girl. Love you hon, please come home your mum is worried.’

She smiled, a small smile which was a first, considering the sort of day she had had. Nobody messed with daddy’s princess. She wasn’t going home however, she loved Chuka and even though an elaborate punishment was her plan for his betrayal, she was not about to let go of her marriage.

…for better for worse

To be continued…

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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 8

cheating
This was a mess and frankly it couldn’t get any worse.

Mamus had just caught me lip-locking her ex-fiance. Ex didn’t make it any better and the icing on the damn cake was that she had come into the room with guess who? If you thought Barry then you are an evil person geez! Anyway it’s not like you were that off the mark, she walked in with Ifedayo, Barry’s nosy P.A who happened to have a message for me from my hubby.

This was bad…Azeez seemed annoyingly unperturbed! I needed to fix this like yesterday. I slapped Azeez hard. I swear this slapping thing never gets old. Azeez howled, his eyes round like saucers but thankfully he was too stunned to thwart my plans. Mamus seemed shocked and Ifedayo jumped, he didn’t do much to hide the smirk on his face.

“How dare you Azeez? Mamus imagine this useless man, he walks into my house asking me to help get you back and the next minute he is jumping me like a hungry ape. Hisssssssss”

I held my breath…

Ifedayo didn’t look convinced but for now he was small fry. I needed Mamus on my side.

“Azeez I am ashamed of you, please leave now.”

I had never seen Mamus like this. She seemed eerily calm and Azeez obeyed her immediately without even looking at me. When he got to the door he looked at Mamus and with a voice that sounded very sincere though you can never tell with Naija men, he apologized to her and then left.

Mamus walked to the bar and poured herself a drink. I took a deep breath and faced Ifedayo.

“Come with me Ifedayo, Mamus please excuse me.”

I picked up my purse on my way out.

“What was the message you had for me?”

“Oga said the man that wants to service the generator will be coming at 12.30 instead of 4pm and he couldn’t reach you on the phone so he sent me to come and tell you so you don’t leave the house before the generator man comes.”

“OK thank you…Take this…”

I handed Ifedayo twenty thousand naira.

“What is this for madam?”

“That man in there would have raped me if you and my friend hadn’t walked in. I am just showing my gratitude. You know we women couldn’t have stopped him but once he saw another man he had to stop. Also I wouldn’t want your oga to hear about this because he has a heart condition and this might kill him if he doesn’t kill that man first.”

“AH, Olorun maje oh. Ese ma. I promise that oga will not hear a word about this but ma please be careful oh. The world is wicked.”

“Thank you, take care.”

As he walked away I took another deep breath. This was Lagos for crying out loud. I knew Ifedayo hadn’t bought a word of what I had said but he would not spill because I had paid for his silence besides this wasn’t such an uncommon occurrence after all, I was sure he had seen worse.

I know you are wondering how I got here. How I became part of the large percentage of majorly undetected, Lagos married women who were having extra -marital affairs? God knows I tried to resist Azeez but damn that guy had all my mumu buttons and he was bloody persistent. I think the turning point was when Mamus had called off the wedding three weeks ago. Yes, I had been having an affair for three whole weeks. Barry hadn’t suspected a thing because I was if anything, more loving, caring and attentive now and no, I did not do all those cliche infidelity things like buying new lingerie. Mamus too hadn’t suspected a thing because she was too blissfully in love with Gerald coupled with the drama and gossip that ensues after a wedding is called off. Speaking of Mamus, let me give you her gist. After weeks and weeks at the gym, Mamus had lost tons of weight and gone down to a size 14 (there wasn’t enough time to get to her beloved 12). She had set up a meeting with Gerald while Azeez was outta town and the hours before the meeting I had hooked her up with a stylist, a makeup artist, the works. Mamus looked like a yummy mamalet. According to her Gerald had barely recognized her and couldn’t stop staring, they had had a nice evening and when he hugged her goodnight, she had kissed him. She swears the alcohol gave her Dutch courage and that she had carried a knife in her purse to slit her wrists if he had rejected her advances (yeah right). Anyway he hadn’t rejected her. Apparently Mamus had always had his heart and now they were a couple. Azeez had been hurt when she broke off the engagement or rather his ego was wounded as he always imagined he would be the one breaking things up if that ever happened. He had come after me with a vengeance, what was a poor girl like me to do ehn?

I walked back into the house. I couldn’t stand outside day dreaming much longer. I didn’t want Mamus to come outside and make a scene before the whole estate would be discussing me at dinner. I closed the door and Mamus got off the phone. I figured she had already reported me to Gerald sweetheart. Geez!

“For how long has this been going on?”
“Mamus I am so sorry…”
“FOR HOW LONG?”
“Barely a week, it wasn’t what it looked like…”
“Toke do not lie to me”

Sigh…Mamus was one of my closest friends and she deserved the truth. I told her about how Azeez had been my one true love but fate had kept us apart and how I had had nothing to do with him till after she broke up with him. Well that was basically it! I held my breath.

“I have two questions for you Toke. One, did you advise me to break up with him because you wanted him? And two, what is gonna happen to Barry?”

“Of course not Mamus, I advised you to break up because it was obvious your heart was with Gerald I swear. I love Barry Mamus, I know it may seem like such a joke now but getting caught with Azeez brought me back to reality. I don’t wanna lose my marriage please…”

“You should have thought of that when you started cheating on your husband. Gosh I can’t believe you were the other woman my instincts kept shouting about, the one I was so sure had Azeez’s heart. SO much for friendship.”

“Please forgive me Mamus, I should have told you about my past with Azeez, maybe that would have helped keep my feelings in check. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.”

“Forgive I shall, but it would be quite hard to trust you again. You hurt me Toke, I am not gonna lie about that. Barry is a good man and I hope for your sake that your act of infidelity does not ruin your marriage. You don’t deserve him anyway.”

Ouch…I deserved that sha. I hung my head in shame.

“I am sorry for hurting you with my actions Mamus”

Just then Amaka burst into the room, tears in her eyes. She looked like her heart had been ripped out of her chest.

“What’s the matter Amaka?” Mamus and I asked in unison, concern written all over our faces. Our quarrel momentarily forgotten.

“My husband has impregnated our maid…”

“Jesus!!!” Mamus and I exclaimed.

Just then I got a text message. I glanced at the phone and froze…

“YOU WILL HAVE TO TRY MUCH HARDER THAN THAT TO GET RID OF ME LUV, WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS! STILL HAVE A HARD-ON…X”

I clenched my fist, e gba mi oh! “Father Lord help me”, I whispered.

….To be continued….

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 7

Mamus was angry, she bit her lower lip as she tugged at the dress. It’s too damn small, she seethed. Nothing fit right, it was all so frustrating. She cussed loudly and I was forced to pay attention. I had been doing a great job ignoring the tantrums she had been throwing all morning. I had a lot on my mind and the constant whining of this bridezilla was lost on me.

“What’s wrong?” I asked in my best concerned voice. It wasn’t my fault she had gained a ton of weight in the past few weeks. I had tried to get her to go to the gym but she wouldn’t budge and she had a penchant for size 12 dresses that reminded her of the days when she was a skinny, hot babe.

“Everything’s wrong!” and she burst into tears. This was a bit much really. My intuition told me this wasn’t about the dress. Mamus wasn’t usually such a drama queen.

“What’s the matter hon?”

“It’s Azeez. I feel too old for him and worse still I feel he is only marrying me because he can’t be with the person he wants to be with. I know I sound crazy but I feel this in my guts!”

“Mamus we can’t keep doing this. Marriage is a choice and at your age you do not have to settle. If you don’t think Azeez will make you happy then don’t marry him!”

“I know Toke but it isn’t that easy and to make matters worse I bumped into Gerald last week and he said I had added weight…” Mamus burst into fresh wails and I groaned.

“Please don’t cry, who is Gerald for Pete’s sake and how dare he comment about your weight?” hiss

“Gerald was my husband’s lawyer. I fell in love with him some years after my husband died. He was so supportive but I guess he never saw me as more than a friend. He made that remark because we were always honest with each other and would tease each other mercilessly. He helped me get back on my feet when my husband died and my son sees him as a second father. He doesn’t know how I feel about him…” more sobs.

“How you feel about him or how you felt about him? I thought you loved Azeez?”

“I do love Azeez but the love I feel for him is a gentle, good feeling. Gerald on the other hand gives me butterflies and makes my heart race.”

“I can’t believe I am about to say this seeing as we are at a bridal shop, shopping for your wedding to Azeez but why the hell did you never try to seduce Gerald? Was he unavailable? The way I see it, you could have been married to Gerald ages ago, men rarely have female friends, they just have females who are their friends because it is not proper to make them more at the time.”

Mamus was silent and seemed lost in thought.

“He talked sometimes of his family abroad and when I teased him about his love life he always said he had no time for women so I just assumed that included me and that he probably had a wife he devoted that time to.”

“Never ever assume babe”

“So what do I do now?”

“Make a decision, a broken engagement is better than a broken marriage. Azeez would not appreciate a second divorce.”

“How did you know about his divorce?”

“Facebook of course!”

“Oh, I should visit these social networks more sha”

That was close! I wondered if Azeez would appreciate me sabotaging his wedding. It wasn’t personal I swear, but if Mamus had a choice not to be married to the man I couldn’t get out of my head, I was definitely going to explore that option with her.

“Mamus you have four months to the wedding. The next two months you are going to spend at the gym getting back in shape. Then the third month you are gonna find Gerald and see if this thing is mutual which gives you one month before D-day to either call off the wedding or focus on it heart, body and soul. I know it’s a gamble and you risk hurting Azeez but you owe it to yourself to get married without shoulda, woulda, couldas!”

“I only have one objection, can I lose the weight in one month instead of two?”

“Sure. But it will take some serious discipline and determination.”

“Right. Thanks Toke. You are really a Godsend”

Just then a text came into my phone.

Heard your husband is out of town, I will be waiting for you when you get home. There are so many things I wanna do to you…hurry back. A

I gasped. Which kain wahala be this one?

“Are you alright dear?”

“Y…yes, Barry just sent me a weird text about stuff happening at his work place, nothing major”

“Ok let’s get out of here, I am starving”

I followed her meekly. A chant on repeat in my head; ‘Get thee behind me Azeez, my marriage is covered with the blood of Jesus’ Chei!!!

…….to be continued……

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 6

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I opened my mouth and closed it again and then opened it again. I must have looked like a fish gulping large volumes of air in quick succession. I was frantic. Words failed me. I looked around for the nearest exit. The room was too quiet. A show down was definitely about to go down! I could feel the sweat on my brow.
‘OK snap out of it Modinat; there’s nothing Toke can’t handle!’
The quiet encouragement by the diva in my head helped me switch persona remarkably fast given the fact that I was about to wet my pants.

“Mamus I think we should have this talk in private.”

My response was short, calm but confident. I had definitely regained control. Acting so cool would surely make Mamus have a rethink. Mamus seemed to blush, she was obviously not expecting that. Geez, polite society was so different from the back streets where I’d grown up.

“Y..you are right dear! Forgive my ill-manners, love does make us do some foolish things. Hahaha…Let’s talk outside. Excuse us ladies”

Her nervous laughter and forced cheerfulness didn’t have me fooled for one second. Something serious was about to go down. The others were quiet but looked both curious and disappointed. I guess every one loved a cat fight. I flashed them a wry smile as I followed behind Mamus. Nothing prepared me for what happened next.

“I am really sorry Toke but I am going out of my mind. Azeez has asked me to marry him but I think he is still in love with an ex. I have tried to do my research and find out more about her but she was in his life a very long time ago. He refuses to talk about her and asks me not to worry but I can’t help worrying. I have been single for so long and to now allow a man into my life, I have to be sure he won’t mess up. All I know about the woman is that her name is Modinat!”

She paused for air and I looked at her incredulously. Was she toying with me?

“How do you know her name?”

“He called me her name by accident one day while we were laughing hard about something. I asked him who Modinat was and he denied saying the name. I let it go but I am convinced that’s her name. I don’t wanna live a lie but in all fairness we are great together and I know he cares deeply for me. I am just scared that if this woman ever comes back into his life, I may not win if he has to make a choice. That’s why I need your help. Please don’t deny it but I think you know more about Azeez than you are letting on. Please help a friend here.”

I couldn’t believe I was about to tell a big, fat lie…

“Honestly Mamus, I don’t know Azeez. After I saw him at your house, I went snooping on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I know I shouldn’t have but you are my friend and I have to watch out for you and you are obviously smitten by him. That’s how I got the extra info I have. I could show you my ipad so you could check my browser history for the stuff I looked at after I left your house that night. I was a real Inspector Gadget. Sorry babe, didn’t mean to pry but really I don’t know much, at least not more than you.”

Mamus laughed half-heartedly.

“Ok I won’t lie, I am a little relieved because it took me a while to work up the courage to ask you cos I was so afraid of what I would hear but I am also a little disappointed because the mystery still remains unsolved. Do you think I should ask Amaka to use her father’s connections to investigate him?”

“Nooooo!!! That’s a very bad idea. What if he finds out? He would never forgive you for not trusting him. Besides I have seen you guys together and I think what you have is for real but remember that marriage is a big deal. I wouldn’t want you going into it with doubts so you need to sort this out in your head before taking the big step. How are things with you guys at the moment?”

“Fine actually. Azeez is such a romantic and I feel thoroughly cared for. I guess you are right. I won’t mention it to Amaka. Please let’s keep this between us. I guess I am just being paranoid. You know I am not as young and sexy as I used to be hahaha”

I felt like crap. Mamus was my friend. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Now I knew how Judas felt. I hoped I wouldn’t end up hanging myself.

“Toke I am so blessed to have a friend like you. Thanks for always having my back. Love you babe”

Mamus hugged me and tears stung my eyes. I was a good person and I was going to prove it. I hugged her back with a new resolve. Azeez was history.

“One more thing babe. I know the others are gonna kill me but would you do me the honor of being my maid of honor?”

I froze. Kai karma’s a b*tch. This was gonna be harder than I anticipated.

“I would love to dear.”

She hugged me again and I could have sworn I heard laughter from heaven. Even the angels were laughing at me. I was in big trouble!

…….to be continued…..

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 5

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Modinat knew in that instance that he was going to kiss her. The unmistakable tilt of his chin and that dark, smouldering look in his eyes caused her tummy to lurch and she knew she had a choice; close her eyes and give in to the heady emotion or step away. There was no time to think…

“What is it babe?” He asked softly with the confusion that comes with getting mixed signals from a person you want so bad.
“I…I can’t. I am married and you are engaged!”
“But what we have transcends time and ties, I know you feel it just as strongly as I do”
“I feel nothing Azeez, we are not teenagers. This is crazy!”

Azeez grabbed my waist with a sudden aggression his breathe ragged in my ear.
“I will have you Modinat, I swear to you. Making you mine shall be my life’s mission…”
He kissed me deeply and with my thoughts in a maze of shock and unbridled passion I did the first thing that popped into my head.
“Ow!”
“That’s for kissing me without my permission”
He grinned and rubbed his cheek in a way that was all too distracting. I turned and walked towards my car. I needed to be home with my husband.
“I am moving into your neighborhood hon, I hope you won’t get into the habit of slapping your neighbour…”
His deep chuckle was the last thing I heard as I drove off in a hurry.

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“Having connections is koko in Naija”
Amaka smiled at my remark. Siki’s husband had been picked up and harassed by her father’s men and then he had signed an agreement never to come near her again. He hadn’t resisted and was just grateful to be allowed to leave without any permanent scars. We had all been shocked to realise that he wasn’t her ex. Siki had never divorced him. If the guy was more influential he could have made an issue out of it but instead he came after her. Siki was just a big bag of secrets. Almost as bad as I was lol. We waited patiently for her to be strong enough to talk while speculating about why she would choose to be a bigamist seeing as it was against the law. The only reason we could think of was the physical abuse. We watched over our friend like mother hens and her husband was grateful for the support. Siki could see the questions in our eyes but she was assured of our devotion and support. We were friends and friends stuck together no matter what. Which was of course one of the main reasons I couldn’t have anything to do with Azeez. I hadn’t seen him since that night but the way Mamus was carrying on, I knew she was in love and happy. I couldn’t take that away from her. There was also my Barry. The only real love of my life. That man’s love and devotion made hurting him a bizarre thought. He made me feel safe, secure and wanted and there was no way I was going to give up my marriage for a tall, dark stranger. There were too many stakes involved.

One bright Saturday morning Mamus, Zainab, Amaka and I were sitting around Siki’s bed making small talk when she took a deep breath and told us she was ready to tell us the story we were all itching to hear.

Siki’s story:
“Sometimes one mistake can haunt you for the rest of your life. I met Wasiu at a party in Lagos some years ago. He looked nice and talked like he was somebody and we felt the attraction immediately. Wasiu had told me he worked in an oil company and I had been blown away by the car he drove and his sweet tongue. We started dating soon after and I tried to be a good girl for him. I never asked him for money because I had all the money I could want from the business deals I did and I didn’t stress him in anyway. Our love was a fairytale and one day he asked me to marry him. He told me straight up that he didn’t believe in big weddings and that a court wedding with dinner afterwards with a few friends was his ideal wedding. I agreed. I didn’t need a big wedding anyway. I had visited him in the modest apartment he shared with his friend a couple of times and when asked about the modesty, he had told me he was almost done building his house in lekki and didn’t want to waste money paying for an expensive apartment. The day I became Mrs Ajibade the truth began to unfold. We had skipped the honeymoon because he had to be at work and soon after I had settled in the modest apartment with his friend as a flatmate based on the premise that his mansion was almost complete. In two weeks being the sharp babe I was, I began to get suspicious. He never brought his car home, one excuse after another. He was always broke though he blamed that on his mansion in progress and he was always fast to ask me for money. The love began to wane and one day I confronted him. I asked him to tell me the truth and the truth was shocking. He was a driver for a big shot who worked in an oil company, he had no house anywhere and he was currently squatting with his friend cos he hadn’t had money for rent due to some other pressing issues. I had almost fainted.  I shouted and cursed and insulted him. I couldn’t believe I had been hoodwinked. I always considered myself a sharp babe. I guess I must have really bruised his ego because soon he was raining insults on me telling me he knew I slept with men for money and wasn’t fooled by my pretence and had only married me because my ‘business’ was so lucrative. I had cussed and thrown a stool at him and it must have triggered something because he beat the hell out of me. That night as I writhed in pain, he told me we were gonna move out of his friend’s apartment and that he had found us a new one and I was to pay for it the next morning or he would kill me. That was the beginning of my nightmare. I constantly walked the streets looking for men who would have their way with me in exchange for money at my husband’s insistence. He took all from me and left me with just enough to look good for the men and take care of any wounds I incurred from his constant beatings. He eventually quit his job and became my pimp, dictating who and who I was allowed to sleep with and even making me steal things from the men. I knew I had to escape. I had already met Tosin and he was quite smitten with me. One day I made up my mind to leave. I drugged Wasiu’s drink and ran. I lay low for a month avoiding all the places I usually hung out and didn’t pick any calls. I was constantly afraid he would find me and his threatening text messages had clogged up my inbox. I finally decided to change my SIM and move on with my life because I was seriously low on cash. I sent Tosin an sms with my new number and told him I had been kidnapped by unknown men and only just released. He came to get me and the fear in my eyes made him not doubt my story. He brought me here and in no time he made me his wife. I actually thought I was safe here till Wasiu broke into my home…”

I squeezed her hand as big fat tears rolled down her eyes. I wasn’t surprised at her story. I had encountered worse in my hustle. We were Lagos girls and we all had our sob stories. I looked at the other three, born with silver spoons- daring them to judge!
Amaka was the first to speak.
“I am so sorry Siki luv. I spoke to my father and Wasiu has been handled. He will never bother you again. You are safe here.”
Mamus dried her tears and Zainab seemed genuinely pained. Silver spoon or not, love and friendship prevailed. They may not have understood all of her pain or the reasons for some of her actions but they were behind her solidly. I smiled a grateful smile.
“Thanks guys, what would I do without friends like you? I hope you don’t think me a fool for not seeing Wasiu for what he was before marrying him. I truly fancied myself in love and love makes you do stupid things…”
We all nodded, lost in thought. Love did make us do stupid things and I was determined not to allow myself fall in love with Mamus’s fiance.
Just then Mamus looked at me and said;
“Toke I have been meaning to ask, how well do you know Azeez?”
My eyes widened, kai yawa don gas oh…

……………………………………………..to be continued………………………………….

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 4

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Siki opened her mouth to say something but her voice was muffled by the anguished exclamations of three women. They had arrived! I looked over Mamus’s shoulder hoping that I would not see the very person my heart longed to see. This was crazy, I felt like a teenager. I was brought back to reality by Amaka’s accusation.

“Amaka I know what the nurses said but I have spoken to Siki, her husband didn’t do it.”

My declaration started another burst of market-square chatter as the threw women aired their views at once. I knew that my usually cultured friends were still in shock about the degree of assault on Siki but I also realized that if they didn’t quieten down, the nurses would come and chase us away.

“Siki can I tell them?”

I knew it was unfair to put her on the spot but I also knew her confession was beyond me and she was definitely going to need all the help she could get. Siki shrugged and nodded obviously too weak and defeated to argue. Amaka, Mamus and Zainab looked at me expectantly.

“The monster who did this to Siki was her first husband. I don’t have the details but somehow he found her at home and did this to her. Her husband doesn’t know- frankly I don’t know how much he knows…”

I looked at Siki and she looked away, her eyes filling with tears. I continued…

“All I know is that our friend needs our help. Mamus you will have to convince her hubby that his wife was beaten by an armed man who broke into the house just to corroborate Siki’s story. Amaka you will need your father’s connections to ensure that this man is found and made to pay for his crimes and that he never has access to Siki again…”

“What will I do?” Zainab asked. I had gotten so wrapped up in my master plan that her question momentarily threw me off balance.

“You and I will take turns watching over Siki at the hospital. We must make sure that there is someone with her at all times. I know you work but please while at work tomorrow see if you can contact Siki’s sister. The four us, Siki’s husband included will run shifts watching over Siki. Mamus and Amaka will also chip in. We do not want a repeat attack.”

“I have an idea, why don’t I get my fiance to organize some mobile policemen to watch over her instead of us running compulsory shifts?”

“I thought he was a fashion designer Mamus?”

Mamus stared at me awkwardly.
“I never told you what he did for a living”

“Sure you did”. I laughed a little too loudly. “Don’t tell me you are starting to forget our little chitchats?”

Mamus exchanged glances with Amaka. Zainab sensing things were getting a bit awkward glanced at Mamus with a look that said drop it and announced that Mamus’s idea was splendid.

I couldn’t care less about what just ensued. If Mamus probed deeper, I would just let her know that I had checked him out on Facebook out of curiosity as I didn’t want my friend to fall into the wrong hands. What I did care about was the fact that Mamus had used the word ‘fiance’. She wasn’t wearing an engagement ring but definitely something had gone down. I needed a breath of fresh air and told the girls I would be back.

I was leaning on a car behind the hospital psyching myself to get it together and forget this Azeez of a person when I heard a voice that made me jump.

“Hello Modinat”

I looked up and there was Azeez with a smile playing on the corners of his full lips as he stared back at me with an intensity that burned my skin.

“H…how…I don’t understand…”

“How did I know it was you? I admit I never got a good look at your face but I memorized the sound of your voice and when you opened the door at M’s house I couldn’t immediately place why your voice was familiar but just now I was walking towards the ward when I overheard your laugh and suddenly it all made sense to me. Oh Modinat!”

I looked at him in what was a mix of shock, horror and pure longing. He took a step towards me and I froze.

…to be continued

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 3

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The look on Barry’s face scared me. I knew something terrible awaited me in the living room. I wondered if it was the police or worse still Samsudeen. I wondered if whatever lay ahead would signal the end of the fairytale life I lived. I wondered if Barry would stick with me regardless of what he had heard or was gonna hear. His silence was deafening.

“I love you Barry”
It was a silent, gut-wrenching plea. It was a desperate affirmation of what we shared and a subtle reminder of the vows we took.

Barry held me hand and squeezed it softly without saying a word and then I opened the door and walked into the living room with a deep breath suspended in my lungs…

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. I let out the air in my lungs in a loud whoosh as I ran to Siki’s side.

“OMG, Siki were you in an accident? Are you alright? Is that a hand print on your face? Who did this to you? Oh God!”

Siki had been battered. Her face was red and there was a distinct hand print on her cheek. Her clothes were torn and she had cuts and bruises in several places. She groaned in pain, unable to answer my barrage of questions. Her eyes were wet with tears and filled with regret.

“Babe let’s take her to the clinic. That’s why I needed you to dress up”.

I was startled by Barry’s voice. I had forgotten he was behind me. No wonder he had looked so grim when he walked into the bedroom. This was obviously domestic violence and Siki’s husband was his very respected boss. I guess Barry couldn’t fathom how a man so cultured could batter his wife but I knew many men were two faced monsters. I felt really bad for Siki.

Barry and I had to carry Siki to the car. She had no strength left in her. At the hospital Barry called Siki’s husband and the doctor informed us that Siki had three fractured ribs and would be admitted. I quickly called Amaka and Zainab. I didn’t call Mamus, I figured Azeez would still be at her house and didn’t wanna risk seeing him again. Siki’s husband arrived at the hospital very alarmed and making a whole lot of fuss. If I hadn’t already found him guilty in my head, I would have believed he was innocent. He made quite a show and some of the nurses began to sympathize with him. An older matron walked up to me and whispered that many wife batterers were good actors. I guess she saw the confusion in my eyes. She eyed him coldly and walked off.

Siki’s husband walked up to us and shook Barry’s hand thanking him for bringing his wife to the hospital. Barry asked him what had happened with the last shred of civility he had. I knew Barry was protective about my friends and anti-domestic violence. Siki’s husband sensing the accusation in the air, swore that he had just gotten home when he got Barry’s call. As we were talking, Siki was wheeled past us on a stretcher enroute the theater. Apparently the doctors needed to perform a procedure and as she saw her husband her eyes widened with fear. He ran after her but the matron who had spoken to me earlier blocked him and asked him to take a seat.

Three hours later, we were still there and Barry and Siki’s husband were struggling to keep their eyes open. I told Barry to go home that I would stay here till Siki was stable and suggested that Siki’s husband take him home and get some rest himself. The men protested but I told Barry that the wine I had drunk earlier in the evening had me very alert and that I would be fine and besides both of them had work the next day. They finally agreed howbeit reluctantly. I had other motives for wanting to be alone with Siki. I needed to hear the truth. Just then Amaka called and said she and Zainab were on their way and that they had had to pick up Mamus hence the long delay.

Siki finally came out, weak but alive and she was bandaged up in so many places that if I could find the humor within I would have likened her to an Egyptian mummy. How did we women get ourselves into such situations? I wondered if this was the first time her husband was beating her. I wondered if she knew of his violent streak prior to marriage. I reckoned she did, these days it was all for the money. I held her hand and she opened her eyes and gave me a painful smile.

“Siki who did this to you?”

There was a long pause and she turned her head slowly to see if there was anyone else in the room.

“My husband”

“I knew it, that evil son of a…Na God go punish him. Ah! Men can be so wicked…”

Siki raised her hand as if to say no;

“My first husband”

I opened my mouth and closed it and opened it again. No words came out. What was Siki saying?

….to be continued

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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