After Adanna had left the principal’s house, she decided to go check on Oscar whom her mother had told her about. But as she neared the gate of the house, she paused when she saw the gate keeper pushing the gate open and then a nice-looking car slowly drove out and turned towards her direction. Quickly flagging down the car and grinning from ear to ear, Adanna waited as the window of the back seat whirred down.
“Hello young lady.” A well-dressed young man in sunglasses said to her and immediately, she knew that it was Oscar.
“Hi Oscar.” She lifted her hand and fluttered her fingers at him as she admired the car.
“May I help you?” He asked now.
“Oscar, it’s me.” She told him.
“You, who?” He asked with a puzzled frown.
“Ada… Ada nau, have you forgotten me? I used to work as a clerk in one of your father’s hotels eight years ago.”
“Oh! Adanna!” He said now in recognition. “Wow! You’ve grown bigger than the last time I saw you and beautiful too!” He complimented.
“Yes o… Eight years is a long time o.”
“What are you doing here by the way?” He asked.
“I was just passing by to visit a friend at the end of the street, so I decided to check on you since the news is all over town that you are back from Canada.”
“Oh, well, I’m sorry but this is really a bad timing. I’d have entertained you, I’m actually on my way out to hang out with some friends, maybe we can do this some other time.” He said “But lemme give you a little something.” He said, and fetched some money from his pocket which he handed to her through the window.”
Adanna happily collected the money and squeezed it into her handbag. “Thank you very much, Oscar!” She said excitedly. “God will bless you abundantly and give you a good wife like me!” When she said so, Oscar gave her a look she didn’t understand then she quickly asked now with an awkward smile: “Erm…can I at least have your contact, so that I can call you and thank you very well.”
“Nah, thanking me well? I don’t think that will be necessary.” He said.
“Please…” She insisted. “I’m a very good Christian and the bible teaches us that we should always show gratitude.”
“I see…” Oscar said then after a slight hesitation, he handed her his complimentary card.
“Thank you… So when can I come over?” Adanna asked.
“Come over? I don’t get you.” Oscar said, puzzled.
“I figured that since you live in this big house all by yourself, it must really be lonely for you. I can cook several delicious delicacies. I can sweep, cook and wash, in fact, there’s nothing a wife material like me cannot do.” Adanna bragged.
“Thank you, Adanna, but I can assure you that I’ve several domestic helps to help do all these things, so I don’t think that will be a problem…”
“Oh…” Adanna said in disappointment now. “Okay then…” She glanced back at the house as she scratched the back of her head, thinking of what to say next. “So… do you have a girlfriend? What I actually mean is that…do you have someone that can keep you warm at night?… You know that we are almost in the raining season and men like you will need all the warmth they can get.”
Oscar sighed now. “Adanna, I was on my way out before you came… I really should get going now. Do have a nice day.” He then ordered the driver to move.
Adanna continued to thank him though: “Alright, thank you once again, Oscar, I really appreciate the money… I’ll tell my mother that you sent her regards too, thank you, o!” She waved at the car and as she passed in front of the gate, she paused to admire the beautiful house then said to herself: “So one day, me too, I’ll get to live in this big house?! People will be calling me madam, left and right. I’ll even be driving my own car! Mama is right o, I must not let this man pass me by. If he can give me twenty thousand for just coming to see him, at the gate, how much will he now give me if I get on his bed? In fact, how much will he even spoil me with when he finally marries me?! I’ll not let this opportunity pass me by o, never!” She shook her head and clicked her tongue several times. “In fact, this is when I must prove to papa and all those who laugh at me that bad girls can also get lucky in marriage. Papa thinks that I’m After-one because I gave birth to Ikenna out of wedlock, and he also thinks that no decent man will want me because of my promiscuity, but I’ll show him that one has to be promiscuous in order to find the right man. After all, if I keep being a good girl and refuse to explore by sitting at home all the time, how will I run into a good man?! I’ll prove him wrong!” She said in determination as she started walk down the street, still admiring the house.
A month later…
Nene who was dressed in her nurse uniform was buying some roasted yam by the roadside which she would take for lunch when Oscar who was walking out from a nearby supermarket and was about to get into the car, glanced down the road and saw her. Taking off his sunglasses, he began to admire her from afar. His driver Pablo, who was in his mid-forties and had been waiting outside the car near his door noticed and turned to follow the direction of his gaze.
“Pablo, who’s that girl? She looks familiar but I can’t seem to place where I’ve seen her before?” Oscar asked.
“Oga, na Nene be that o.” Pablo replied.
“The same Nene, Adanna’s younger sister?”
“The Nene I knew eight years ago was so skinny and was still writing Jamb when I left the country. I can’t believe that she’s the one who has grown this curvy and beautiful now!”
“Abi o, Oga. The girl na very good girl o. Nobody wey no know am for area say she dey mind her business. She no dey waka-waka upandan like her sister. If Nene no dey go work, she dey go house. If she no dey go house, she dey go church. Her life simple, na triangle lifestyle she dey live.” Pablo revealed to Oscar.
“I see…and from how she’s dressed, I presume that she’s a nurse now, right?”
“Yes o… The girl really serious with her life o…” Then smiling slyly, Pablo asked now. “Oga, this one wey you dey look am like this, you like am? Many men just dey rush her hand for marriage. If to say I still young, I kon gallant join, I for don try my luck since. This girl deserve make better man spoil am o. She no deserve to suffer at all. She too good abeg. Any lucky man wey go marry am, go really enjoy. See how her skin dey shine for sun. She no be like one of these girls wey dey form anyhow, follow different man upandan, kon even dey bleach. She fine so tey, she no even need makeup.”
“Obviously… Can you do a favour for me, Pablo.” Oscar asked now when he saw Nene pay the woman and began to wait for change.
“Oga, anything, I go do am! Anything at all!” Pablo eagerly said.
“Okay, I want you to run her and the seller-woman over.”
Pablo straightened up now, all traces of the smile on his face instantly vanishing. He slowly removed his cap and asked: “Oga, you say wetin?”
“I say you should run her down. You don’t have to make it severe, just a slight bruise. Make it look like an accident.” Oscar said.
“Oga, wait, you mean say make I use moto jam Nene, like make I nack Nurse Nene wound am?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I said.” Oscar answered.
Pablo slowly turned, holding the cap on his head then whistled aloud. “Oga, you wan put me for trouble? You want make I go prison for this my old age?”
“Pablo, I’ll take responsibility for whatever happens. Just do as you are told.”
“But Oga, this girl no do you anything na, why you go wan wicked am like this?”
“I like her and I want to make her mine.”
“But Oga, na for where dem person dey use moto jam girl because he like her? Why you no just carry all your swag go talk to am? I sure say if you speak with this your Canada foné, she go fall for you. Nene no get wahala like that.”
“Listen Pablo, I’m beyond trying to woo a woman. Ordinarily, Nene is not even my type. She’s beautiful quite alright but she’s not my class. I only want to try her out because I’m fed up of dating gold digers and hoes.”
“Oga, if this girl no be your type, then leave am na for person wey go like am the way she dey na.” Pablo said, almost annoyed.
“Once she’s mine, I’ll eventually polish her to my taste, but first things first Pablo, run her over!” Oscar simply ordered and got into the back seat of the car. Reluctantly, Pablo got into the driver’s seat with a frown on his face. “Remember, make it look like an accident and be fast about it before she collects her change.” Oscar anxiously said.
Pablo turned the ignition and started the car as he began to mumble under his breath. Then he started driving down the side of the road and bracing himself for impact, he drove into Nene who was quick to jump backward out of the way and the car proceeded forward and ran into the seller’s small table, spilling the fried palmoil stew, chunks of roasted yam and plantain and the burning coal on the ground. As the seller got up and began to wail at the disaster that had just happened, Nene sat close to the gutter wincing in pain at the big bleeding bruise on her right leg. Oscar suddenly rushed out of the car, pretending to be shocked at what had happened, while Pablo reluctantly got out of the car and slammed it shut then dragged his feet to examine the damages he had deliberately caused to please his conceited boss.
When the seller saw Pablo, she walked around the mess to yell at him in a teary voice full of despair. “You know dey see?! Here na road?! Na jeje I sidan my own dey mind my business and sell my market, wey you carry this car from no where kon take scatter everything wet I dey sell! Dem send you?! See wetin you do now! Just see how you don troway all my market for ground! Even my obonge customer, una wan kill am for me!” She gestured down at Nene with a hand whom Oscar was already apologizing and attending to.
“Madam, abeg no vex! Na the brake fail.” Pablo apologized as he threw a glare at his boss who was too carried away to notice and was now helping Nene stand on her good foot.
“No vex?!” The woman screamed now. “Na no vex I wan chop?! Na no vex go feed my children?! You must pay me my money o! You must pay me my money today-today! Person dey manage survive for this Nigeria and people like you just dey go around dey scatter things as if na una get road!”
“But madam, no shout for me na, no be me get car! Shout for my oga head!” Pablo said.
“You dey craze!” She shot. “No be you drive the car?! No be you?! If your work don tire you, why you no resign?! Na until you kill person abi?!”
Oscar who had successfully helped Nene into the backseat of the car, closed the door and walked back to the shouting woman. “I’m not surprised that poor people like you will always behave like idiots!” He hissed. “Is it because of this nonsense…” He gestured at her scattered goods on the ground. “…that you’re making so much noise?! Take this and shut your gutter already!” Oscar said rudely and suddenly threw several notes of 1000 thousand naira at her then returned to the car while the money scattered all over the ground and some of them settled on the spilled stew.
“Na God go judge una.” The seller lamented as she bent down and begin to collect the money.
“See two one thousand naira don enter gutter o.” Pablo pointed.
“Abeg, carry your wahala dey go!” The woman snapped at him. “Badluck people!”
Pablo got into the car now and gazed through the rearview mirror at Oscar who had an arm around Nene’s shoulder and was comforting her. “Sisi Nene, abeg no vex… Sorry…” He apologized as he started the car again.
“Just drive to the hospital goddamnit!” Oscar snapped at him and Pablo glared at him through the mirror before driving into the road and joining the traffic.
When they reached the hospital, Pablo tried to assist Oscar in helping Nene out of the car but Oscar bluntly refused. As Oscar led Nene into the hospital, Eva, her friend quickly hurried to assist.
“Jeez! What happened to you?”
“I had an accident.” Nene managed to say.
“How come? Just to go and buy lunch and you came back like this?” Eva asked in surprise.
“His car ran into me at the roadside where I was patronized mama Efe.” Nene gestured at Oscar with her head.
After they helped Nene into a ward and helped her get on a bed, Dr. Mike who was passing by, suddenly stopped when he saw her. Turning, he walked into the ward now and asked in concern: “What’s going on?”
“She was involved in an accident, doc.” Eva answered.
Mike pulled closer to Nene and began to examine her injured leg.
“It’s not that serious…” He said after a moment or two. “It’s just a bruise. I’ll bathe it and also dress it and I believe it would heal in days.”
“Doc, I can quickly do that.” Eva offered.
“Don’t worry, I’ll handle it.” Mike said, glancing up at Nene’s face then he asked Eva: “Who brought her in?”
“He did.” Eva pointed at Oscar who was standing at the foot of the bed and had just finished a phone call.
When both men turned to look at each other, their eyes widened in recognition now. “Micheal!” Oscar exclaimed in surprise.
“Oscar!” Mike was equally surprised and both men quickly shook each other and bumped shoulders while the nurses stared at them in confusion.
“You two know each other?” Nene finally asked.
“Yes, we schooled in the same institution abroad.” Mike answered then said to Eva. “Nurse Eva, please get the needed materials we need to treat Nene’s injury and do not forget to include some aspirin.”
“Yes doctor.” Eva said and quickly walked away while both men began to catch up on old times. After treating Nene, Mike told her to take the rest of the day off and two additional days, then offered to drop her at home but Oscar quickly insisted that he would do so since he was responsible for her accident.
When Oscar got to Nene’s house, Ginika who was seated outside eating fried snails slowly rose when she saw a big car stopping in front of the house. When Oscar and Nene appeared from it, crossed the gutter on the wood planks and approached her, she glanced down at Nene’s leg and asked: “What happened?”
“I had an accident, mama.” Nene answered.
“Oscar, thank you for bringing her home.” Ginika said in an emotional way. “I can’t begin to imagine what I’d have done if anything had happened to my precious daughter.”
Just then, Adanna who had heard voices came out of the house out of curiousity to see what was going on and when she saw Oscar, her eyes lit up. “Oscar!”
Oscar looked up now and smiled a bit when he saw her. “Adanna.”
“Please come in. Welcome to our house. You came just at the right time. I just finished preparing a delicious soup. I think you should stay and taste my cooking skills.” Adanna suggested.
“No, maybe some other time, Ada. I only brought your sister home. I’ve to be on my way home now.” Oscar said and before he left, he gave Nene a bundle of cash who only reluctantly collected it after he kept insisting, then he collected her number which he immediately saved on his phone while Adanna glowered at them and angrily folded her arms under her chest with a jealous frown on her face. After bidding Oscar goodbye, Mother and Adanna walked into the house to meet Nene who was seated in the living room with her bandaged leg placed on the center table.
“So, you didn’t see anyone’s car to go and throw yourself at but his car!” Adanna angrily said.
“Adanna, I didn’t run into his car, his car ran into me instead.” Nene explained. “Why would I deliberately want to do this to myself?”
“Liar! Shut up that lying mouth of yours! The car should have damaged your leg beyond repair, you cheap little slut! You think that I don’t know what game you are playing? You think that I don’t know?!”
Nene gaped up at her sister in surprise. “What did I do to you now, Adanna, that you are wishing me bad?! Is it my fault that this accident happened to me?!”
Adanna was about to retort when Ginika stopped her by placing a hand on her upper arm. Then with a false smile, she said to Nene: “That money he gave you, how much is it?”
“I dont know mama, I didn’t count it.” Nene simply answered.
“Let me help you count it then.” Ginika said and bent down to take the bundle of money from the chair before Nene could stop her. Wetting her fingers with her saliva, she began to briskly count the money and her eyes grew bigger and bigger as she continued to count. “Two hundred thousand naira!” Ginika finally announced in surprise when she was done counting.
“Two hundred what?!” Adanna grew even angrier. “And he gave me just twenty thousand naira! Twenty!” She complained in indignation.
Nene simply exhaled and stretched her hand up towards her mother. “Mama, please let me have it, I’ve to show it to papa when he comes back home.”
Ginika drew backwards now with a disgruntled look on her face. “Show it your father? You lie! You think that I don’t know what you want to do? You want to sideline me again as usual, abi? You want to sideline your own mother! I don’t know why you are so different, Nene! Other daughters are quick to bring everything to their mothers, but you, you take everything to your father! Was he the one who carried you in the womb for nine months? Was he?! Anyway, it’s a good thing that Oscar gave you the money in my presence and I’m sure that he meant to extend this generosity to the family… You know what I’ll do?” She asked as she wet her fingers again and began to recount. “I’ll take 100k and give 30k to your sister, while I keep 70k for myself.” She counted out 100k and placed 100k on the chair beside Nene. “You and your father can share the remaining 100k however it pleases you two, but this one is mine.”
“But mama, this money belongs to me na. Whenever Adanna brings money home, you never give me and papa any out of it.” Nene complained.
“Listen, you little brat, I can benefit anywhere I want and since Adanna does not bring this kind of amount home, it simply means that it can’t go round.” Ginika answered and took Adanna’s hand and started for the bedroom. “And as for your leg, sorry, oo? Maybe men will notice you less now that one leg has a problem and you’ll be limping around.” Adanna snickered at this now while Ginika continued. “You should also know that now that you cannot walk around well on your own anymore, you’ll have to start giving me more money to take care of you or better still, I could give you a stick, but until then, continue being daddy’s girl, o?” Ginika mocked and left the sitting room, laughing with her favourite daughter in a mocking way.
After the two left, Nene began to sulk and as she folded her arms under her chest and stared at the money her mother had left for her on the chair, she felt cheated. The woman was always quick to cheat her at the slightest opportunity. Nene decided that she would simply just wait for her father to return home then she would tell him.
Well, this incident was the beginning of the relationship between Oscar and Nene, for he kept coming to the house everyday to check on her until she had recovered and could return to work. As their relationship grew, Adanna got more angry and feisty but there was nothing she could do but hope that her mother would come to her aid at the right time as usual. Since Ginika had assured her that she would never let Nene marry before her, Adanna felt rest-assured.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa