DOZ Issue 40 February 2019 - Page 37

but that I would not want to live in the same house with her, either, for obvious reasons. Finally, he wanted to know if I would insist that he live in the same house with me. I said I would not; he could live with his first wife and visit me in my home whenever he wanted. At that point, he picked up my hand and held it to his mouth, softly kissing it. Then he said, “If that arrangement works for you, then I’m all yours, Ruki.” We slept in each other’s arms the rest of the night and I knew that I had been able to ‘tie’ Emeka. The following day, as I prepared to go to the airport to catch my flight to Warri, Emeka gave me a check for one hundred thousand naira. He said this was for me to cash and give to my parents, to help them out of any financial challenges they were facing. Then he gave me a cash gift of fifty thousand naira. This was to sustain me until I returned to Lagos in a fortnight. He also assured me before I left that when I returned we would travel to Ughelli together so he could meet my parents. I was delighted and I jumped into his arms and kissed him. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my mother that the ‘prayer’ was working. As soon as my plane touched down in Warri I went first to the bank where I cashed the check, and then made my way home to Ughelli. When I arrived my mother ran out excitedly to meet me. “My queen, my queen!” She hailed as she came close and embraced me. One of my stepmothers was in the kitchen and she stretched her neck so she could see me but when I greeted she did not respond. This didn’t bother me at all as I was used to it. My mother grabbed my suitcase and quickly led me into her bedroom. Even before I could sit she wanted to know how everything had gone with Emeka and when he was coming to pay my bride price. I laughed heartily. “Mama, calm down, let me give you what he sent to you and Papa.” As soon as she heard that she sat down quickly on the edge of the bed and I opened my bag and brought out the My father was speechless but nodded his head to indicate he had seen it money the same way it was given to me in the bank and dropped it on the table. My poor mother who had never seen such a huge amount of money before almost passed out. She clutched her chest and opened her eyes and mouth wide. I was afraid for a moment that she would faint, then, for another moment, I feared that she would scream and call the attention of others in the compound, and to tell the truth I don’t know which scared me more. Thankfully, neither 37 happened, and instead she told me to hide it, after which she went out to call my father. After about half an hour they both returned and she closed the door behind them. I rose to greet my father and on my mother’s instructions I brought out the money again. My father took off his cap and whistled in disbelief, his eyes fixed squarely on the money. “Papa Rukevwe, are you seeing what our daughter’s husband sent to us?” My mother asked, breaking the silence. My father was speechless but nodded his head to indicate he had seen it. Then they sat down and together we began to determine how the money should be spent. First on their list was the school fees of my younger brothers. It was long overdue and causing some embarrassment. By the time we were through, both were praying for Emeka who they addressed as their in-law. That evening, after dinner, my mother and I had some time to talk. I told her everything that had transpired between Emeka and I and she congratulated me on my wise answers and assured me that I did not have to drive the first wife away from her marriage, as we could both marry him, the same way she and her mates had married my father all these years. She was very pleased that Emeka indicated an interest to visit them, but added that it would not be good for him to meet our house in the deplorable state that it was. I agreed and immediately made some money available for the painting of the house. As I gave her the money, she informed me of another ‘man of God’ whom she’d recently DOZ Magazine | February 2019