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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 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 2

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It couldn’t be Azeez. I blinked, was I dreaming?
“Hey beautiful, are you gonna let me in?”
I pulled myself together and forced a smile. Please come in.
“Azeez darling, I wasn’t expecting you so soon, was just rounding up my evening with the girls”
As Mamus gave her visitor a warm hug, I caught Siki’s eye, that was our cue to leave. I knew Siki would have loved to stay, she generally loved aproko but I couldn’t stand being there a second longer than necessary. Thankfully Zainab and Amaka agreed with me and despite Mamus’s half-hearted protests that we stay a little while longer, we were gone in less than five minutes.

“Didn’t he recognize me?”

I silently pondered about this on the short drive home. Thankfully Barry was working late so I had the house to myself. I poured myself a stiff drink. Barry had banned me from drinking since we were trying for a baby but I needed it. Where had Azeez been all these years? Was it a good thing that he couldn’t remember me? Why did seeing him still have such an effect on me? Was he the beau Mamus had been talking about finally getting serious with? Why would he want an older woman? I hated having so many unanswered questions. I had a brilliant idea and grabbed my iPad. These days, most people had their lives on full display on one social network or the other. I checked Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter and four hours and a full bottle of wine later I had answers to quite a few of my questions.

Azeez was a successful designer with a fashion brand called Azure. He had relocated to Lagos from L.A some months back and he was divorced (already) with a child from his previous marriage. His ex-wife and kid still lived in L.A. He had no pictures of Mamus on his Facebook or Instagram but had some interesting tweets about his new lady love. I scrolled through his older tweets and one dated on the 12th of August 2010 caught my eye.

“I wish I could have this night forever,  I wish time and circumstances would give us a chance…”

I had felt that exact same way that night. I remembered that night so vividly. I had hustled my way into a society owambe hoping to catch myself a generous toaster but had realised it wasn’t your regular party when all around me there were sounds of excited conversations heavily impregnated with deep British and American accents. This was forming on a new level and I had gotten weary of hearing people boast about how much money they had or where they spent their last holiday and had quietly retreated to the balcony. I couldn’t imagine opening my mouth in this kinda gathering and with the number of correct babes in designer clothing at the party, my chances of catching any correct bobo were slim. I stood there hoping Taiwo would hurry up with her work so we could leave, most guests had eaten anyway so I figured her job was almost done. That was when I heard his rich baritone. I have always been a sucker for a sexy voice. The balcony was dark so he hadn’t caught a glimpse of my face but his handsome features would be forever etched in my memory. He had come to the balcony to make a phone call and hadn’t noticed me which gave me ample time to study him.

“Remi this party is dulling oh, all the babes are forming like they never spoke Yoruba in their lives. Abeg come and pick me, I dont know why my mum refuses to let me drive in naija…”

I giggled at what I had eavesdropped and he noticed me for the first time.

“Guy I dey wait oh, let me call you back” “Hello were you laughing at me?”
“Yep, I couldn’t help it, the forming at this party na die”
“As in, omo I no fit shout, Hi my name is Azeez and you are?”

Modinat was what he knew me as and we had gisted for one hour switching from pidgin to Yoruba back to pidgin in obvious defiance of the party behind the glass door. We had tons in common, our ideas about life, favorite songs, childhood games. I had never been so real with anyone in my life. I was really feeling him and I knew it was mutual. When he let on that he had just finished his masters at a university in America and had come home to visit his mum, I felt the insecurity for the first time. Our lives were too different, I was a poor orphan, hustling for a living. He would never want to be with me if he knew who I really was. We bonded unimaginably and I tried to be as truthful with him as possible which meant evading any questions I felt were too personal. He told me that he had never felt this way about anyone in such a short time and that he wanted to be with me and see how far things would go even though he admitted that he had a girl abroad. I knew we could never be together and I told him I was engaged and in love with my fiance. His friend called at that very moment telling him he was parked badly and that Azeez had better hurry down. A tear pricked my eye as he asked for my phone number and I refused, how would I explain to him that I didn’t own a mobile phone? He took it as further rejection and had turned to leave and on a whim, he had grabbed me and kissed me and I swear down, no one had ever kissed me with such passion.

I hadn’t seen him again till tonight at Mamus’s house and he obviously hadn’t recognized me. I reached for my glass of wine and found it and the bottle empty. I groaned. What was wrong with me? I was supposed to be happily married and here I was agonizing about the one that got away. As if on cue, I heard Barry’s key in the door.

“Hi honey, I figured you’d be too tired to cook after hanging with the girls so I stopped by at Mandy’s and got us some dinner. Have you been drinking woah!?!”

Barry rushed to my side and instead of reprimanding me, he fussed over me caressing my hair and cooing into my ears. He had learnt early in the marriage that I didn’t like being questioned and as he silently reassured me of his love and carried me to bed, thoughts of Azeez began to dim in my head. When Barry served me dinner in bed I smiled gratefully at him. I would never know what could have been between Azeez and I but I was grateful about what I had in the present with Barry. Just as I finished dinner the doorbell rang, I wondered who could possibly be at my door at past 9. Barry got up from where he was propped beside me to check who was at the door. He came back in looking grim.

“Honey I think you had better dress up and come with me”

My heart skipped a beat!

……to be continued………

 
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Posted by on February 24, 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 1

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Hi Chutzpah Fam, due to popular demand, it’s all for the money has been continued…thanks for the feedback readers ♥

People say that when one chapter of your life closes, another begins. I sighed dreamily at the words ‘The End’ that signalled the concluding scene of our wedding video. The guys who did the video were incurable romantics and the priceless scenes captured on film along with the 80s love songs had me squeezing Barry’s hand in a way that clearly showed my emotions were on overdrive. They really don’t sing love songs like they used to…I really wished that was the end it would have been a most perfect ending but unlike real life, the end wouldn’t come till I was 6 feet under and right now I had way too much to live for. I couldn’t believe 6 months had rolled by so quickly. Marriage was beautiful. I had friends who would say otherwise but really life had a way of throwing you lemons and peaches and if I was eating peaches at this stage of my life it didn’t mean I hadn’t sucked my lemons dry.

Most of the women who had become my close friends had lived with a silver spoon all their lives. Amaka’s dad was an ex-governor and she had never worked a day in her life. The husband and the spa which were her two most prized possessions had been handed to her by daddy. She was your cliche fairytale princess. She reminded me of Bree in Desperate housewives, Barry had loads of DVDs and I’d spent a good part of my days catching up on the series I missed in my hustle days. I laughed because watching Friends or 24 now when people had moved on from them reminded me of the fact that even though late, I had definitely arrived. I couldn’t imagine any of the girls I had hustled with sitting down to watch Desperate housewives. The English would have been an issue and as for our mindsets, we would have never been able to identify personally with what we watched. Thank God for Bukky Wright and Yoruba movies jare. Anyway back to my friends. Amaka had a life everyone outside envied, she was regularly featured in magazines and was a style icon. Her yellow skin was pampered and spotless and she had a body that would make you jealous. Her husband was tall, dark and handsome and was the oga in charge of one of her father’s most successful businesses but things weren’t what they seemed. Amaka didn’t talk much but it was obvious to me that something was amiss. They had no kids and Amaka said they weren’t ready which was kinda odd to me cos they had been married for 5 years and then there was the little issue of Amaka’s love for coffee. She drank about 30 cups a day, I kid you not and while I used a teaspoon of decaf coffee downed in milk to make mine, she took hers strong, black and very bitter judging by the way she heaped the coffee grains into her cup like it was sugar sometimes I could swear she was high on caffeine. I had asked her once about it and she laughed in that way she always laughed, a laugh that sounded toosh and gentle like it had been practiced and perfected and told me that she needed the bitterness in her cup to remind her of the realities of life. Well like I said before she was perfect.    

 Then there was Siki, I had bumped into her at a supermarket one day and she had shouted ‘Modinat’ which had me quite embarrassed since I didn’t go by that name again. I had wanted to get rid of her fast and did all I could to form busy but this childhood friend of mine was not going anywhere. Ever the slut, she had used her bottom power to get herself out of the ghettoes and was dating a famous Ondo state politician whom she proudly pointed out was just one of her options. This girl knew me from way back and trust me when you’ve struggled to get a new identity the last thing you need is someone from your past wanting to be chummy. Anyway fate has a way of stirring things up. She’s the biggest drama queen in the universe and true to type, she brought Siki into my life a few months later. She moved into my estate, newly married to Tosin, Barry’s Nigerian boss. She had failed to mention that he was one of the people held spell bound by her powerful toto. I wondered why the yeye thing hadn’t slacked since. Her hubby had opened her a big supermarket around the corner and I had been forced to embrace her or make an enemy of her and trust me nobody wants a loud-mouthed Yoruba girl as an enemy. As a Yoruba girl I should know. Anyway I had to welcome her into the group to keep Barry happy since she was his boss’s wife and Amaka wasn’t too pleased. She was all for pedigree and pedigree was the one thing Siki and her expensive perfumes, bleached body and Brazilian hair did not reek of.   

      Mamus hadnt minded the new addition. We called her the mummy of our little group. She had lost her husband some years ago to cancer and her son lived abroad with his wife. She travelled a lot but when she was around she made us her business. She was nice and very accommodating and people said she was the first person to move into our estate and that she owned some of the other houses in the estate. Mamus knew everybody and everything. People tended to open up to her when left alone with her for a few minutes. She was the one who had warned Zainab that her hubby might be taking a second wife soon and also advised her on what to do and a few weeks later Zainab’s hubby had realized he couldn’t love two women equally and had called off the Nikkah. We loved Mamus and she loved us back. After Zainab’s incident we hid nothing from her and the more she knew the happier she was. She always teased me that I held back, I guessed she must have spoken to Barry at some point and realised he also had parts of my life he had no information about. I always wondered why Mamus needed to know so much, maybe her older age made her feel like it was her right but that secret was my secret and it was bad enough that Siki was in the picture, I wasn’t ready to let on anymore about me than was necessary.   

     Zainab was the last girl in our circle. She was also the only one with a 9-5 job. She left her twins at home with a nanny and drove to her job at Zenith bank every day. She refused to get a driver the same way she had refused to allow her widowed mother-in-law come take care of the kids. She hadn’t forgiven the woman for trying to get a second wife for her husband. When she had tackled her, the woman had said she wanted a wife who knew her place was at home taking care of her husband and kids. Zainab had been so outraged and would have acted rashly if not for Mamus’s timely advice. Now she had her husband eating out of her hand and was polite to her mother-in-law which only made the woman more afraid of her. She even sent the old hag a card and a basket of fruit every two weeks and nobody would have ever suspected that she detested her mother-in-law save for the woman. Zainab was ambitious. She was a goal-getter and a workaholic. Her husband was a business man but with the money she brought in from the other businesses she did outside her 9-5, her hubby was content lounging about and rarely brought home any money. She didn’t mind though, contrary to her mother-in-law’s opinion she was very much dedicated to her man and kids she just didn’t agree that a woman had to take the backseat in life just because she was a wife and mother. I agreed with her jare.     

     I looked around at the four women sitting at Mamus’s dining table drinking cranberry juice and vodka and gisting nonstop and I smiled contentedly. This was my new life. I was a responsible married woman and had friends who loved me. Even Siki had grown on me and sometimes I was actually grateful that there was another ex-hustler in the group. Mamus considered herself single and on nights like this she would regale us with tales of the men she dated. She was quite discreet especially since she had a penchant for younger guys but she always saved all the juicy details for us. Thursday nights were our nights and we took turns hosting the girls. That night as we sat drinking, the door bell rang and since I was sitting closest to it, I got up to open the door.

“Who is it?” I called out laughingly as I unlocked the door
“Mamus darling-”
Our eyes collided and time seemed to stop…

….to be continued…..

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 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” Episode 5

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He stifled my scream half way out of my mouth with a dirty palm. I struggled as he pushed me indoors and bolted the door.  
“I am going to release you and you are going to be calm you hear me?” He growled menacingly.  
I nodded absolutely terrified. Why was he here? He was obviously no ghost but really I would have preferred if he was dead and buried. He let me go and I sat down on the chair farthest from him.
“What are you doing here? I thought you were dead, the police-”
“Don’t tell me about the police, trust me I know all about it. Just listen to me, we don’t have much time…”  
He proceeded to tell me about his escape from that building, his partner whom he had maimed but not had the courage to kill because of the loyalty he once had towards him. Alhaji and the role his organization played in his untimely death and then about his constantly being on the run since the envelope was found. Really it was a very great story but how did that have anything to do with me? I needed to know and damped the consequences. I had to know.  
“Sammy why are you here?”
“Damnit I hate it when you call me Sammy! You are the reason I am in this mess. They asked me to kill you and I hesitated that’s why my partner had to turn on me. He had been given instructions. Now because of you I am a fugitive without the protection of the organization I worked for. Because of you Modinat!” “Because of me you are alive!” I retorted angrily.  
He looked at me incredulously.  
“No be me wake you up? You had passed out. If not for me that your partner for kill you finish!”
“You would have been dead too! Anyway we have to leave first thing in the morning. I think we would be safe here tonight. Tomorrow you will gather as much money as you can while I get us new passports. We will cross the border and go and live in Ghana as husband and wife. It’s a new start and that way we will be safe-”
“TUFIAKWA”  
I hissed out with all the pent up anger and frustration within me. Was this man a joker? Did I follow him to kill pessin? This criminal wanted my money and on top of it all wanted me to join him as his wife. Bonny and Clyde ko, Sammy and Modi ini. I needed a plan. I looked at him, wishing he would just vaporize. If looks could kill ehn.  
“Modi it’s for your own safety. I know you would rather marry someone else and live a normal life but you and I are alike, we are tainted and have done things we are ashamed of. Also there is no guarantee either of us will live past this so let’s stick together. You need me Modi, I am doing this for your own good.”   I kept quiet. Really I couldn’t be bothered with all this long story. The koko was I wasn’t going anywhere with this man. Just when I had decided to put my life in order. Lai lai.  
“Can I boil water for you to take a bath and perhaps give you some food to eat?”
“Yes Modinat, I would really like that.”  
I half expected him to follow me into the kitchen but I didn’t hear footsteps behind me, then I realized I had left my two phones on the table. I groaned. No wonder he didn’t follow me. I contemplated using one of my kitchen utensils as a weapon but I couldn’t be sure if he was carrying a gun and everyone knows a gun is faster than a knife. I decided there was only one thing left to do. I had sworn I would never do this again but really this had to be the exception. I prepared his bath water and ushered him into my bathroom.  
“Alhaji left you all of this? You must have been really good in bed.” He murmured.  

I ignored him and focussed on the task at hand. I had warmed some efo riro and was making some eba to go with it. My plan was simple. Drug him through his food and escape while he was asleep. By the time he woke up, so much time would have elapsed that he would have no choice but to go on with his escape plan alone. The only problem was he might probably suspect foul play and demand I eat with him, it wouldn’t be the first time a demand like that would be made, the only problem was I couldn’t find the damn antedote.
Back in those days as a newbie aristo chick I had had to drug a few disgusting clients, those I would rather die a slow, painful death than sleep with. Many of them had insisted we eat together and along with the native sleeping medicine I had gotten from iya Bola at the garage was the antedote. A small black bottle with foul smelling liquid that made one instantly alert and a tad hallucinatory if I may add. Usually when the men awoke with me at their side, they couldn’t remember anything but assumed we had had a night of wild, passionate sex.

The sounds coming from the bathroom ceased and I was jerked out of my reverie, time was running out. Frantically I rechecked the kitchen cabinet and heaved a huge sigh of relief when I spotted it behind a jar of curry. No sooner had I mixed the medicine into the efo that I heard the room door open. Samsudeen had found one of alhaji’s jalabias and had eased himself into it although it was a little short. No respect for the dead. I hissed.  
“Food is ready!” I called out.  

Soon we were eating and like I foresaw, he had asked me to share his food, even joking about me poisoning him. Throughout the meal, I kept stealing glances at him. I wondered if the effect of the drug would be dramatic, I had taken the drug several times and knew I had ten minutes before it’s effect would hit me but for a first timer it was usually faster. The meal was finished and he was still up. I offered him a glass of juice and he obliged. I ran to the kitchen to drop the plates and drink the antedote and out of annoyance I poured all of the remaining medicine into the pack of juice. Thankfully the medicine was tasteless.   “Here’s your juice.”
“Why only one glass? Please get another glass”.  He said quietly and my heart began to pound. I had drank all of the antedote. What would happen if he insisted? I had to think fast.
“I don’t drink juice.”
“Very funny so why do you have it in your house?”
“Haba Samsudeen, you know the line of work I used to be into. Alhaji had a sweet tooth. If I used to drink juice anyhow would I have been able to keep my body in such great shape?”  

As I emphasized the word body, I gave him my sexiest pose and rubbed my body as if unconsciously but in a manner so seductive that I knew I would definitely have his attention. I had decided that rather than he drinking the juice and forcing me to drink it too, I would distract him totally from the juice matter and pray the powder in the efo riro did its magic.  

Samsudeen swallowed hard. His mouth was suddenly dry. Modinat was so beautiful and the thought of spending forever with her was so appealing. He grimaced as he saw her seduction for what it was. He would have preferred her as the good, Muslim girl she had been a long time ago but all hope was not lost. He would lead her back to the faith as soon as they were out of harm’s way. Now he had to resist spending the night in her arms, he really needed full concentration for the next 24 hours at least till they were safe and he could already feel the tiredness taking its toll. It wasn’t easy to be on the run. He needed a few hours of sleep. He tried to say something. She looked wanton, horny and very inviting. No words came out of his mouth. He looked at the glass of juice he had suspended in mid air and downed the whole glass.  
“Modinat I don’t think that is a good idea. I think we had better get some hours of sleep before tomorrow”.  
He rose up from the dining table and staggered. As he clung to the table, a confused look on his face, I smiled a small smile.  
“Are you alright?”  
……..to be continued………

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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