Spending Mommy’s Money is inspired by the things that inspire me
Chapter One – Meet the Olumeses
A typical day for Xavier would have him waking up at 5:00 a.m., getting himself and the kid dressed, getting both of them to their respective destinations, going through the drudgery of work, stopping at his favorite joint for a happy-hour drink, going home to make dinner for the kid, stepping out to another favorite spot to pass time, coming back home, and falling face-flat on his bed until the following morning.
But this morning, he slept a little longer, as he was hungover and the kid was with her mom for the week. Xavier wished the girl would stay there permanently and give him the space to be depressed in peace.
Three hours ticked by and Xavier finally opened his eyes. He dragged himself off the couch he had fallen on last night. An hour later, after the hangover ache at the base of his head subsided and he had freshened up, he trundled down the expressway in his rickety Honda, heading toward his office.
It was almost ten, and he was late. It wouldn’t be the first or second time, but if one was rolling under the sheets with the HR boss in one’s office, one was likely to get away with a lot of things.
He arrived work, looking his best, which was not unusual. Flirting with the ladies at the reception was typical for him too. They enjoyed the attention that came with his hugs, air kisses, and light banter before he slid into the elevator and went up to his office.
This morning, someone was kind enough to do away with the potted plant that someone else had left by his window for weeks. He had not touched the thing, though he had been tempted more than once to topple it over and watch it crash to the ground below. This would often lead him into pondering on how fast or slow he would die if he jumped out of his office window. There was something comforting about such thoughts, even though he didn’t think that he had it in him to take his own life.
Xavier settled in for work. There was a backlog of emails to reply. He buzzed his assistant for coffee and opened his laptop. A password prompt popped up on his screen and he typed in his password. He got a response informing him that access was denied. He repeated the action and got the same response. He did this two more times and drew back to stare at the screen, trying to recall if he had changed his password the day before. But nothing came to mind. He tried one last time and he was banned from further attempts for the next hour. A second prompt instructed him to contact management.
“Hmmm…” Xavier cracked his knuckles as annoyance crept in. He had set up the systems in the office himself. He could find out what the problem was, but he was going to take the laptop’s advice and ask questions. Why would anyone want to deny him access?
He got off his chair and headed toward the door. Just as he stepped out, his assistant made her way in. They crashed into each other and the coffee she held spilled on him. He jumped back, grabbing a fistful of his shirt as he felt the sting of the steaming coffee on his chest.
“I’m so sorry, sir,” his assistant muttered. She hurried to her desk and returned with a box of tissues. Xavier didn’t hide his annoyance. He had no extra shirt, and this was his best one. It always brought the premium ladies and the high-paying clients his way.
His assistant’s phone rang. She dashed to her desk and lifted the phone’s receiver off its cradle.
“Mr. Olumese’s office,” she answered. Xavier drew out sheets of tissue from the box and attempted poorly to wipe off the coffee stain.
“Mr. Olumese?” his assistant called. “Mr. Afenfia wants to see you.”
“Please, tell him I’ll be with him shortly. I have an em…situation here.”
“He says now.”
Xavier sighed and stepped out. He took a walk down a long hallway and stopped before a corner office. He walked in without knocking, went past a secretary stationed behind a desk who stared at his shirt curiously, and stopped at his boss’ door. He knocked and the man answered from within.
He went in.
His boss was one of those bosses. You know, the ones that were middle-aged, had potbellies, wore glasses that rested on the tips of their noses, had a deficiency that made it hard for them to smile or see humor in anything, couldn’t keep their eyes off female employees, possessed all the makings of a bad boss, but somehow found a way to do things right and make a ton of cash while doing it.
Xavier disliked the man.
“Good morning, sir,” he greeted. “You called for me.”
Mr. Afenfia looked Xavier over from behind his phone. Just the other day, he had had difficulty figuring out how to activate the spyware he had installed on his wife’s phone from the same phone. Xavier had been there to help. Together, they had seen his wife’s chats with a certain ‘Baby Boy’. Baby Boy had sent photos of his endowed member to Mrs. Afenfia.
“Women!” the man had said, shaking his head as if a cheating wife was one of those things a husband was to shake his head over and forget. But Xavier understood. What was a man to do with a woman who had cheated on him? Beat and lock her up in the house? Kill her? He wasn’t sure Mr. Afenfia would have the heart to divorce his wife as he had done with his. Everyone knew that Mr. Afenfia was an unapologetic cheater himself. Baby boy was probably his wife’s response to his infidelity.
“Sit down, Xavier.”
Xavier pulled a chair and sat facing the unnecessarily massive table before him.
“So, how long have you been with us?”
“Four years, sir.”
“And would you say that you have done well these four years?”
Xavier paused. This had to be a trick question. His first three years were great. Then, he had to go and discover that his wife cheated and his life became an unending mess.
“I’ve done well,” he replied.
“Are you sure?”
No, he wasn’t sure. As a customer experience manager, it was his job to ideate, design, and execute programs that would improve the customer experience of the client companies that hired them. If he were to be honest enough to rate himself based on that job description, he would say that he had done badly this past year. But he wasn’t going to say that.
“I’m very sure I’ve done well, sir.”
Mr. Afenfia flung a file his way. “Reports, reports, and endless reports from your subordinates. All complaints about how you simply delegate them to do all the work and take the credit for their efforts. Over and over.”
Xavier opened the file and flipped through pages of compiled angst.
“So, what exactly have you been doing over the past year?”
“Sir, I’ve been working.”
“No, you’ve been posturing. And I think I’ve had quite enough. Starting from today, you cease to be an employee of EAC Solutions.”
“As you’ve noticed, your access to the system has been revoked,” Mr. Afenfia continued, rearranging his already organized desk, avoiding Xavier’s eyes. “Kindly turn in all EAC effects in your care to HR. And being that it’s the end of the month, you’ll be paid your salary. But that’s all you’ll get. Please, don’t feel obligated to send in any handover notes, because we both know that it would all be lies, since you haven’t worked in a while. Just take your things and go.”
Xavier’s head was reeling. This had to be some poorly executed joke. “Mr. Afenfia, you’re firing me?”
“No. I’m nicely asking you to leave and…never come back.”
“Is this a joke, sir?”
“Do I look like someone who jokes?”
“Mr. Afenfia, sir… It’s me. Xavier Olumese.”
“Yeah, I know it’s you, Xavier Olumese. I won’t forget that you’ve brought some of our biggest clients and kept them satisfied, but I also won’t overlook the fact that we lost two major ones recently because of your negligence and laziness.”
“Is this because of Tricia? Because from this report, I can see that she’s behind all of this.”
“Don’t bring my sister-in-law into this!” Mr. Afenfia growled. “Whatever happened between you two is your business!”
“I’m sorry it has come to this. I really am. You used to be one of the best, but something went wrong, Xavier. Maybe you shouldn’t have walked out on your wife… I don’t know. But you’re not what you used to be, and I think it’s time you left.”
Xavier sat in shock for a couple of minutes. He eventually spoke as he rose to his feet. “I can appeal this with the board, right?”
“Board?” Mr. Afenfia laughed. “I am the board, boy. Don’t bother.”
Xavier knew now that this was personal and Tricia was behind his termination. She alone stood to gain from his absence. She was his associate; which meant that the moment he left, she would be promoted. What was that thing they said about a woman scorned?
“Oh, and don’t think you can take us to court or something,” Mr. Afenfia added. “Your family name no longer holds clout, so you have no reach anywhere that can get you justice. I have all the money to fight you and all the time in the world. You should focus on your divorce and on getting a new job.”
Xavier turned towards the door.
“Take the file with you. Go through it and see all your sins.” Xavier picked the file. “And your shirt… Goodness! Has it come to this?”
Xavier left the office before the sudden desire that crept into him to punch the man took over his body. He marched to the other end of the hallway and burst into the human resource manager’s office.
“Tricia screwed me over, Ronke,” he blurted, slamming the file on her table. “She screwed me over. You knew this was coming and you never said anything about it?”
Ronke was lying on the floor of her office, resting on a yoga mat. She was a voluptuous woman in a short skirt. When she wasn’t working and spending time with her mom and her three-year-old daughter, she was in Xavier’s arms. He didn’t care if she had other men in her life.
“Help me up.” She stretched out her hand to Xavier and he pulled her up. She tugged down her suit and exposed an inviting cleavage that Xavier would normally dive for. “Xavier, between me, you and God, I didn’t see your termination coming.”
“And this?” He pointed at the file.
“They didn’t come to me. Tricia was behind it. I didn’t even know that she and Mr. Afenfia were planning something. The stupid man told me about it just yesterday—”
“And you didn’t tell me?”
“That’s because I’ve been trying to talk him out of it. I told him that the complaints in that report should have passed through my table first. I also reminded him that the way he was going about it was not ethical. Guess what he said.”
“That I shouldn’t get involved, it was none of my business. Can you imagine? You want to fire my staff and it’s none of my business?”
“So, what’s the way forward now? I can’t lose this job, Ronke. I just can’t. It’s all I’ve got in this crazy world that just keeps spinning out of control.”
Ronke was not just that convenient lay that a man found himself entangled with now and then. She was sometimes a confidant to Xavier.
“Talk to me, Ronnie.”
Ronke locked the door. She placed her hands on Xavier’s sallow cheeks.
“Baby, there’s nothing I can do. Mr. Afenfia has hinted that I could lose my job if I pursued this. And I would have pursued it if you haven’t been queried twice in the past month.”
“He didn’t even give me any notice,” Xavier laughed bitterly.
“He did you dirty, no argument there. But what can we do? It’s his company. I’m really sorry, baby.”
Xavier dropped her hands from his cheeks.
“Maybe you could call your uncle and see if he has any connections that can get you something?”
Xavier laughed, as he turned toward the door. “I’ve told you before that the Olumese name is surviving on past glory.”
“Should I come over this evening with a bottle of wine?” Ronke asked.
“To celebrate my disgrace?”
He unlocked the door and walked out to the hallway. The journey back to his office seemed to take forever. He took off his shirt once he got in, leaving him in a sweatshirt, which was stained as well. But he didn’t care. He sat in his chair and sent a text to Tricia.
He knew she was trouble from the start, but he had needed a companion badly then. He had just initiated the divorce proceedings and it felt to him like his heart was falling into an endless abyss. Tricia filled that hole. She was convenient for him because they worked together. She had told him that she didn’t care that she was his rebound girl, but she had lied. A couple of months into their arrangement and she began to ask the usual questions.
Where are we heading with this? What am I to you? Do you have feelings for me?
It was expedient to him that he lied to her. And he continued to do so until he found out that the bliss between Ronke’s legs was more of the type of succor he was looking for because she didn’t care if he had flash engagements with another woman. Xavier let Tricia go as gentlemanly as he could and ensured that the thing he had with Ronke was a secret. Tricia didn’t complain about the breakup, and she kept a line of friendship with him. A colleague had warned him about her, though, telling him that he had overheard her threatening to ruin him. Xavier had laughed. Tricia was sweet and soft-spoken; she could never hurt him.
Well, look where they were now.
Xavier turned his chair toward the window and realized that he missed the potted plant. He stayed in that position until the close of day. There was nothing much to pack in his office. But someone had dropped a fancy package that was the size of a shoebox. It was sealed with a gold ribbon When he asked his assistant who brought in in, she told him that a delivery guy did.
Xavier tossed the few items he had in a backpack. Picking up the black box, he walked out the door.
When his tired Honda jerked and stopped outside the gate of his house, Xavier saw his ex’s 2020 Toyota Corolla turning the street toward him. The car was a gift from her ex whom she had sworn that she hadn’t slept with while she was still with Xavier. She also swore a bunch of other stuff, maintaining her innocence on the matter of being accused of infidelity. She admitted, though, that there had been one night with the guy when things nearly got out of hand. But they had not crossed the line. She had gone on to state that Xavier’s father, who claimed that he got credible information of her infidelity, was lying. Worsening matters, she added that the entire Olumese family was toxic and being married to him had been hell. That had been Xavier’s last straw.
He wanted to take back everything now—to undo the divorce proceedings, which he initiated, to tell her to come back, to love her like he used to because he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Asides that, nobody had warned him that a divorce was hard and expensive. He was broke and five months behind on his rent.
He stepped down from his car and waited for her. She came out of the Corolla, straightening out a colorful but short dress that embraced her body. She was chubby, light-skin, and had the most beautiful thighs he had ever seen. He would not have allowed her leave the house dressed like this.
“Hi,” she said, a frown on her face.
“Hi, Bami.” He didn’t smile as well. “Where’s Zion?”
He spied the plastic bag she held in her hand. She stared at his stained shirt.
“I got something from your mom today,” she said. Xavier frowned.
“Yeah. Did you get anything from her?”
Bami opened the bag and took out a black box, like the one Xavier had gotten at work.
“Oh! Em… Someone delivered that to my office too. You’re sure it’s from my mom?”
“Yeah. You didn’t open yours?”
“No. What’s inside?”
“I think you should open the box and let’s talk.”
Xavier gave her a suspicious stare before returning to his car. He took out the box and led her into his house. They used to live here together until she left him to an upscale apartment, paid for by her ex, who was now her man.
“We’ve not had light in a couple of days because the transformer is bad. The gen is bad too. I called the mechanic and he hasn’t come yet.”
He was annoyed that he had to explain himself. Bamitale had not cared about their manageable conditions while they were married because they were economical about their spending, as they had plans to join the japa wave. Then, she was managing a small store where she sold frozen food items. Now, she owned an entire cold room. Her boyfriend had dual citizenship, and once they got married, she would be eligible to go anywhere she wanted to in the world. Xavier knew these details about her because his sister, Lanumi, was friends with Bami and always kept him updated.
“Sit down nau.” Xavier pointed at the long couch. “Abi you want me to carry you and put on the chair?”
“You don’t have to be so rude, Xave.”
He opened the windows to let in air and took a couch, facing hers. Once he sat, he opened the black box. Out of it, he pulled a black card, on which an invitation was written in gold letters. Xavier held the card at a distance that helped his forty-two-year-old eyes see better.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“This is to request the presence of Mr. Xavier Olugbenga Olumese and his lovely wife, Bamitale Princess Olumese to the sixtieth birthday celebration of Kofoworola Aboderin…” Xavier looked at Bami. “What the fuck is this?”
“Date…December 23rd to 31st 2022.” He looked at her again. “An entire week?”
“Venue… The Krystal House, New Providence, Nassau… Bahamas?”
“Is she crazy? Does she think she can just show up in our lives and request that we use our heard-earned cash to go and celebrate her old age, all the way in the Bahamas?”
“Xavier, calm down.” Bami opened her box and took out a phone. “I found this in the box. It’s an iPhone 13 pro. It came with a sticky note that asked me to put it on. I did, and saw a video she made for us.”
Bami got off the couch and went to him. “You need to watch it.”
Xavier inhaled her perfume against his will as she sat beside him. She clicked on a video stored in the phone and his mother’s face showed.
“Hello, you two. Hi, baby boy.”
“Is she kidding me?”
“I know you’re wondering what this is about, so I’ll go straight to the point. Yes, my birthday is coming up during Christmas, and yes, I just invited you to the Bahamas to celebrate with me. I know you’re going through a divorce, which is utterly ridiculous. Stupid of you, Gbenga, if you ask me…”
“I didn’t ask.”
“Anyway, tickets, visas, everything is on me. But you must come as a family. You, Bami, and Zion. You can choose not to show up and you’ll lose whatever I have in store for you. I don’t mean party favors. I’m talking about lifetime wealth and investment.”
“This is a joke.”
“It’s all your choice. In case you’re wondering, your siblings got their boxes too. I’m inviting everybody. Let’s put the past behind us and reunite as one happy family. That’s what I expect you to do with Bami. But that’s talk for when we meet. I have to run, baby boy. Send my love to Zion. Oh, the iPhone is yours. I know your phone is a mess right now. So much for being a tech guy. Bye!”
The video ended and Xavier stared at the screen, confused and angry.
“Please, don’t get into a fit right now,” Bami pleaded. “I’ve had a long day, and I can’t take any shouting.”
Xavier shot to his feet and stared down at Bami. “This is not about you, madam. This is about my mother who walked out of our lives twenty-four years ago and went to live in sin with her boyfriend abroad, now suddenly showing up in our lives and expecting us to welcome her back with open arms.”
“It’s utterly ridiculous! So, she expects us to follow her across the world because she throws an iPhone at me?”
“It’s the Bahamas—”
“So?” Xavier shouted.
“Stop shouting, X. Jeez!”
“Are you even asking me how I feel about this? I am your ex, not present wife.”
“You’re still my wife, Bami. We’re not fully divorced, yet,” he said dismissively, walking away from her.
“But we’re almost there, yet your mom feels you’re still my husband and I have to show up as your missus. What do I tell my boyfriend?”
“Nothing.” He started to unbutton his shirt. “Because you’re not going, I’m not going, Zion is not going! Period!”
Bami got on her feet. “Xavier, she is your mom. Call her first to find out what this is all about before you say no—”
“I won’t go, but Zion… She needs to get to know her grandmother—”
“You also need closure—”
“Anyways, I think it’s too early for you to have a final word on it. We’re still in May. You have seven months to consider her invitation.”
“I’ve already made up my mind.”
“Fine. I’m out of here.”
She picked her box and walked to the door. Xavier turned his face away when she looked at him.
“Let me know what your plans are, after you speak to your siblings and your…dad.”
The door closed behind her and he instantly regretted his attitude toward her. He was still mad at her, but he was madder at his mother. There was no way he was accepting her invitation or doing anything she wanted.
He reached for his phone on the center table and discovered that he had missed calls from his siblings. He made to return his younger sister’s call, but the moment he thumbed on her number, the phone went off.
“Me, I’m going to the Bahamas o.”
Nadia eyed her elder sister, Lanumi, as she filled four wine glasses with sweet, red wine. She could tell that Xavier needed something stronger with the way he paced around her living room in anger—but this was all she had in her minibar. She was yet to shop for groceries, and she doubted that she would, as every kobo she had worked for in April was already going for her dad’s outstanding hospital bills.
“Of course, you’ll go. Are you not a sell-out?”
Nadia’s baby brother, Nehi, had said those words. In response, Lanumi hissed.
“That’s the dettiest my December can ever get,” she said, throwing her braids over her shoulders. “And it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“Shut up,” Xavier ordered.
Nadia handed them each a glass of wine. When Xavier took his, he grunted a word of thanks and asked for something stronger.
“It’s all I have.”
He downed the wine at one go and pointed the glass to her.
“The bottle is on the table.”
Nadia sat and looked at each of them. Before their estranged mom came with her breaking news, she planned to invite them out for drinks and tell them that she got a job in Port Harcourt and was going to move there the following month. She would also explain that she was no longer going to be responsible for Nehi’s tuition or their father’s healthcare. What she would not tell them, though, was that the job paid less but she took it to be free from the financial burdens that were draining her. It was time for Xavier and Lanumi to act like the older siblings they were and leave her to build her finances. She was tired of being everybody’s ATM.
“Who the fuck does she think she is, though?” Nehi asked. He had stretched his legs on the glass table in the middle of the room, an act that Nadia detested. But she didn’t care anymore. She would sell everything in the house before she moved.
“She is what she thinks she is,” Lanumi answered. “Your mother, Kofo freaking Aboderin.”
“Doesn’t give her the right to show up and start demanding things from us because she’s rich.”
“Fucking rich,” Lanumi corrected. “So, you’re not going?”
“Well, I am.”.
“We heard you already, Lanu.” Xavier sat, holding the wine bottle. “But you won’t go.”
“Are you telling me what to do, sir?”
“Yes. As your elder brother, I’m saying that you’re not going, and that’s final.”
“No wonder Bami left you.”
“Don’t go there.”
“I will go there, Xave. What’s your problem sef? Mommy made a mistake years ago and she has tried to undo it, but we keep shutting her down.”
“What did she try, really?” Nehi asked.
“She tried to make peace. Maybe you were too young to remember, but she came to the house a couple of times and daddy walked her out. Didn’t he even slap her the first time she came?”
“She deserved it.”
Lanumi shook her head. “Me, I don’t want to be her enemy forever. She’s never met my boys before and I want them to meet her. Don’t you want the same for Zion, Xave?”
Xavier didn’t respond. He drank what was left of the wine.
Nadia didn’t respond either. She hadn’t heard her. She was thinking about a report she needed to submit at work first thing tomorrow. She was yet to do it. She also needed to get a buyer for her car. She was lazy to put it up in the market. These undone errands were stressing her out.
Nadia looked up. “Yeah?”
“Are you going to the Bahamas in December?”
“Bahamas?” She was lost for a bit. “Um… No, no. I’m not.”
Then, thoughts of her mom filled her head and she sighed in annoyance. Kofoworola Aboderin was the least of her problems. The woman could go suck a thousand shriveled dicks for all she cared.
“So, you’re not going to give her a chance to explain herself? Tell us why she abandoned us? Tell us her own side of the story?”
“Her own side of the story?” Nadia laughed. “Are you high, Lanu? Your mother cheated while she was married to Daddy. Then, she divorced him, left us, and went to live with some man outside Nigeria and forgot that we existed. She left Nehi when Nehi was three months old. What other story does she want to tell us except that she was a cheating slut?”
“Look, if you want to go, go abeg. I have bigger things to worry about like Daddy’s health.”
“Why is it always about him?”
“Because he was the only parent that was there for us. He fed us, clothed us, put us through school—”
“What if there’s more to the story?”
“Okay, I’m done with this.” Xavier stood.
“Xave, there’s more to that story, and you know it. You were the oldest and you know something that we don’t all know. I’m just not buying the narrative that she was as bad as Daddy and the whole Olumese clan painted.”
“Of course, she was not that bad to you.” Xavier looked at his baby sister. “Because you grew up to be just like her.”
“I’m not the one who is legally married to two different men and still fucking around.” He picked his car key from the glass table. “I’m out of here.”
“Nothing wrong in being polyamorous,” Lanumi said in a quiet voice. No one said anything for a while. Nehi was on his phone while Nadia wandered back to her plans. She mentally scheduled the next day, but her thoughts returned to the living room—to Lanumi who was fighting not to cry.
She was a thirty-three-year-old big baby, which was something that irked Nadia as much as it fascinated her. Lanumi was the most emotional person she knew but the strongest at heart when it came to idealistic relationships. She could get involved with men for long periods and not get caught up in her feelings. She was skilled at making them attempt to satisfy her unquenchable thirst for sex. Her body, she claimed, was for pleasure and she was on earth for the soft life. In many ways, she had attained that softness. But she often lost it whenever she got tired of whatever man in her life was financing her lifestyle. She would then walk away from him and abandon the benefits he offered for someone less financially capable, as long as he was great between the sheets.
Nadia struggled to understand her. She had the beauty and sex appeal to get and control the best out of men, but they were never enough. Nadia wished she could, at least, try to keep a job or run a small-scale business for the sake of her kids. Living like a 70’s hippie was disgraceful.
Lanumi sniffled and rubbed her nose with the back of her hand.
“You know Xavier didn’t mean what he said, right?” Nadia told her.
“He doesn’t have to sound so judgmental all the time.”
“The thing with Bami still upsets him. Just ignore him.”
“I think he needs to see a therapist. It’s childhood trauma that’s affecting him.”
“And that is why he shouldn’t go to the Bahamas to see the cause of the trauma.”
Lanumi sighed, getting up. “Nad, I give up, abeg. I’m going home.”
“Okay.” Nadia yawned. “Send my love to the boys.”
“They’ll hear. Nehi?”
Nehi lifted a thumb as Lanumi made for the door. Once she was gone, Nadia stretched out on the couch, taking her phone from beneath a throw pillow.
“Nehizena, go and make noodles for us, abeg.”
“Yes. And put plenty pepper.”
“I was just about to go to—”
“Now, Nehi. First, bring my laptop from me. It’s in my brown bag.”
It took Nehi almost a minute before he went to do her bidding. Nadia eyed him as he walked away. She couldn’t wait to be free of him. The boy took his lastborn status seriously and was a nuisance to all of them. Having been rusticated in his final year for exam malpractice, it took him another year to gain admission to UNILAG. Now, he was twenty-four years old in his third year while his friends were done with their master’s degrees and holding down good jobs. Everyone blamed their mom for being responsible for his stunted growth, claiming it was a spiritual attack from her. But Nadia knew better. Nehi was useless, and it had taken her stern hand to see him through.
She wondered if he would stay in line once she left for Port Harcourt. She was tempted to turn down the job for his sake, but she couldn’t remain here any longer. She had her own secret demons and they were threatening to ruin her sanity.
Dinner was delicious, even though it was just the average noodles and corned beef. Nehi had enviable culinary skills, better than his capacity to be useless.
“Maybe you should be a chef,” Nadia told him after dinner. He ignored her as he cleared the dishes. A short while after, he left the house without telling her where he was going. She didn’t care. She switched off the lights and went in. After a shower, she sat in bed to complete her report. Just as she began, her phone vibrated and the screen lit up with a message from her dad in the family WhatsApp group.
I hope none of you are thinking of going for that birthday party?
She read it and laughed. She thought to reply, but she didn’t want him to know she was awake. He would call and try to engage her in small talk until his wife grabbed the phone from him.
Nadia returned to her report, but the phone buzzed again announcing her uncle’s message.
Uncle Inno: I dey go jaray, Bahamas ne be Benin ibeg
Nadia laughed out loud, hearing her uncle’s retort in her head. Then, it hit her that he also got the invite. Unable to help herself, she typed a reply.
Nadia: Uncle Inno, you sef get invite?
Another uncle responded.
Uncle Sunny: Ignore him Nad. He wants to go there and embarrass himself
A private message dropped from Uncle Inno.
Uncle Inno: Nad baby I didn’t know it was the family group o, dem no invite me but Bahamas na visa free, I must find my way there
Nadia smiled. Uncle Inno was a clown and had a way of getting on everyone’s nerves. But his heart was in the right place. The same couldn’t be said about Uncle Sunny, who was presently the richest Olumese. He considered himself better than all of them—and this was true, as he somehow seemed to retain his wealth when his brothers lost theirs.
But Nadia couldn’t hate him totally; he had done his best to help her pay some of her dad’s hospital bills, despite being responsible for his own family and other financial duties. Her biggest issue with him was his duality. Uncle Sunny wasn’t who he said he was, and she suspected that he had something going on with her mom.
Uncle Sunny: I did get an invite, like all of you. I really do wish you’d come. Your mom would be happy. Don’t listen to your dad
Nadia switched off her phone after that. She shut down her laptop too, her report would have to wait until tomorrow. She was tired, her shoulders ached, and she was dying for a massage. But the only person who could give her what she wanted was lying in bed with his wife right now.
To text him or not to text him?
She reached for a second phone underneath her pillow.
Nadia: I bought new panties. You want to see?
®Sally Kenneth Dadzie @moskedapages