DOZ Issue 35 September 2018 - Page 37

my uncle and his wife travelled abroad with Ruth, and I practically lived in Andrew’s house, the man also washed my clothes, so I had been to his shop several times, and we knew one another quite well. I was really quite surprised to see him, as he was the last person I expected to run into in Asaba. At first he looked at me as though he couldn’t believe his eyes. I did not blame him. I knew I changed a lot physically, and I was pregnant with a lot of added weight, making me a lot different from the skinny girl with long legs he knew in Agbor all those years. “Nneka!” he exclaimed in disbelief, as if he wasn’t quite sure it was me. “Mr. Sunday!” I screamed excitedly. “Is this really you?” For the next few minutes, we exchanged pleasantries, and he told me that business had become slow in Agbor so he relocated to Asaba, the capital city, and was making more money here. I told him that I was married and lived in Asaba with my husband and daughter. He was very happy for me. “I could tell from the way you look and the car you parked in front of my shop that you are married to a big man. You are very fortunate to not have married Andrew all those years ago, though you might not have seen it at the time.” Before I could think of a response to his comment, he asked me to hold on because he wanted to get his staff to come and say hello to me. I wondered why he would want his staff to say hello to me, but I didn’t get a chance to say anything because he disappeared inside even before I could open my mouth, leaving me alone in the reception area. A few minutes later, he returned in the company of a man dressed in black jean shorts and a white tee shirt, or what was once a white tee shirt. The man was sweating so much that the tee shirt stuck to his chest. I almost fainted as I realised who it was. “Andrew!” I cried in doubt and horror. Was it Andrew Mr. Sunday was referring to when he mentioned his staff? Was Andrew now Mr. Sunday’s staff? How did that happen? Or did I not hear properly? Andrew was even more surprised than me. Apparently Mr. Sunday did not tell him I was the one he was being led to meet with. “Nneka!” he shouted, wide eyed, like someone who had seen a ghost. Then he moved over to where I stood, knelt and grabbed my legs. “Oh, Nneka, I wronged you. Please forgive me. All these years, I have been looking for you to beg your forgiveness. I know I wronged you and because of that, nothing has worked for me since I sent you away.” I stared down at him speechlessly as he recounted his tale of woes. After he married his accountant fiancée, he brought he r into his pharmacy so they could run it together. The woman eventually duped him of everything he possessed and disappeared into thin air with the only child they had in the marriage. The shock was so much that he became sick for more than a year and unable to work, which put a bigger strain on him financially. Eventually, he left Agbor because he had become I stared down at him speechlessly as he recounted his tale of woes. After he married his accountant fiancée, he brought her into his pharmacy so they could run it together. DOZ Magazine September 2018 37 «