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Another angle!

By Treena Kwenta
– the funloving, but hardworking single parent

Hi readers! I thought it was decent of Nkem to ring me up to apologize for the crude way she had behaved at the pool side at Veronica Guest House, earlier that day. In another setting, it might have been some form of entertainment for me, but they had both come to see me and I felt responsible for their safety at the hotel. I had been the one who had taken Rachael aside to ask her why she was looking gloomy that morning. Nkem had taken it upon herself to come join us. To knock Rachael down and then begin to pummel her on her backside was most uncivilized.
We had barely arrived in Accra when I got the call from her. She sounded extremely sober.

“Is that Treena? This is Nkem. No, no, don’t say a word. I apologize profusely for the bad way I behaved in Lome today at your hotel. I don’t know what came over me. I normally don’t lose my cool that way and become physical.” Not true!

“Thanks for ringing to apologize, Nkem dear, but even though I hadn’t registered a protest about the way you and Rachael behaved, I must say that I was terribly disappointed. I know that you have a lot of energy, and getting physical has always been your preferred way of settling rows, but I thought you’ve mellowed with age. I was once fiery too, but one has children to raise and we must shun violence if we don’t want them to become violent.”

“You’re right, Treena dear. I should have exercised some self-restraint about what Rachael said.”

“That’s applying medicine after death. However, Nkem, I understood perfectly well how you felt, but that was a public place. What if you had both been hauled off to cool your heels in a police cell, for disturbing the peace?  Anyway, I accept your apology. We thank God that you both have reconciled now and there’s peace.”

“Why do you say that? I haven’t reconciled with Rachael. That vixen? God forbid.”

“But we all saw both of you holding hands as we pulled out of the car park in Lome.  Even my mum remarked that you’re both very friendly, despite being married to the same man.”

“Did you tell dad and mum about the fight we had at the pool side, Treena?”

“I can’t remember if that was discussed,” I lied smoothly. “They know, however, that you’re both married to Hyacinth, hence that remark.”

“I see.  Well, Rachael is married to Hyacinth; I am not.”

“Are you both divorced?”

“No, but the union was mutually dissolved, at least, by me, and it has since evaporated out of my life.”

“I’m trying to understand what that means, Nkem.”

“It means Rachael is Hyacinth’s wife and I don’t care. However, I’m sorry about the scene you witnessed. My only regret is that I didn’t have enough time to deal with her. If I knew she was going to provoke me to being physical this morning, I would have lured her elsewhere where I could have given her a proper beating. I raised my children without violence, so, that singular act wouldn’t have encouraged violence in them.”

“Besides, they’ve left home. Nkem, if you don’t mind, why did you keep aiming at her buttocks? It was strange and obscene.”

“That’s the only place that wouldn’t show signs of battering if assault is reported. Also, it is the most provocative part of her anatomy.  We held hands briefly to show that we’ve ended the quarrel. It was good show, yes?”

“It was. What happens to Zodo now? Will you give him another chance?”

“God forgive me, I won’t. If you give that boy an inch, he would grab a mile, and arrogantly, too. Mind you, he’s not the devil. He’s hardworking, and can be charming. But he’s been brought up the spoilt child. I rather liked him when he just joined us, and I was hoping to groom him to be in charge of that business.”

“That would have been a risk, since Hyacinth obviously wants that business to be owned by you and your children.”

“True, but will my children who are U.K. citizens come down here to settle and take over the business? Not in a million years.”

“If that’s the case, manage this Zodo. You said he’s responsible, isn’t it?”

“But not with money. Also, this is for your ears only. He’s into sugar mummies, and he thought if he succeeds in having me as one, then his fortune is made.”

You can imagine how my ears were flapping at such juicy news. I urged Nkem to tell me how he tried to seduce her.

“I knew you’d ask that, Treena dear. There was no attempt to seduce; only a subtle hint that he was in love with me.”

“So, did he actually open his mouth to tell you he was in love with you?”

“You mean he would look me in the face and say ‘Madam, I love you?’ No way. He tried to be decent about it; paying compliments about my looks and mode of dressing; saying I could pass for a woman in her thirties and all that. It all looked innocent at first, but when he began to turn up at my place saying he was lonely and wanted company, or that he was hungry for my food, I decided to nip his plans in the bud.”

“Well, you could have used him as a companion for a while, and then dumped him when you no longer found him attractive.”

“Would you do that?”

“No, I don’t believe in a relationship with younger men for any purpose. I like to be looked after by an older guy, who would count himself lucky to have me; not I struggling to look young so that people wouldn’t think I’m a boyfriend’s mother.”

“Exactly. To cap it all, like you Treena dear, I’m not looking for a male companion. You know what?”

“What?”

“I believe money was his motive. I don’t believe he found me attractive. He thought that if we’re in a relationship, I would allow him easy access to company money. For where? I would rob my own children for a piece of action? No way, sir! My mama born me with sense o! Treena, I miss you o. How long will you be in Accra?  I could come spend a day or two with you there.”

“I know.  I miss you too .  I’m here only two days; until Sunday morning, actually. Then Ify and I would return to pick up nanny at the Aflao border and return to Lagos.”

“Nanny’s still with you? My goodness! Can that woman cook! You’re lucky o.”

“Yes, I am. Well, let’s give God the credit for making her stay.”

“Can you and Ify and nanny stop by on your way back? Just for one night.”

“Thanks Nkem. Sorry, we can’t. Ify would have been away from my brother and the children for one full week. I don’t want to extend that. I try to be careful as a divorcee, not to do anything that would upset another home.  Joe wants his wife back fast.”

“I know. Well, some other time, then. Pity I didn’t see Seb, either. Will he marry his dame?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care.”

“Trust you. Are you going to re-marry?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care.”

“That seems to be your favourite line this evening. You must be tired. Have a good night’s rest, my darling. Greet papa, mama, and Ify. Love you.”

“Love you back, Nkem dear. You’re already in Cotonou, I assume?”

“Yes. Hold on. Hyacinth is driving in. He’s gone to the office block. He didn’t tell me he would be coming down.”

“Bringing the young man, I’m sure; to plead with you to give him another chance.”

“He can’t do that. He can’t stand him.”

“That’s a pity. Where does he stay when he pays you a visit?”

“What a silly question.  He stays with me of course.”

“And in your bedroom.”

“Aha! I knew where you were going. He does stay in my bedroom, but he sleeps on the other bed.”

“Is that possible between ex-spouses?”

“It is o. I don’t have a spare room because  a church member and his family are staying with me temporarily for six months, and I can’t ask Hyacinth to go stay in a hotel, or sleep on a desk in the office, or in my sitting room.”

“Okay o. You can’t get pregnant, so, all’s well as we shall never know what takes place.”

We had a good laugh over that.

“By the way, can Zodo be Rachael’s son?” I asked her.

There was silence. “I think so. From a previous relationship. There was a rumour that it was a member of Joe’s church who was responsible for the pregnancy, and that to silence her, they later matched her with Hyacinth.”

“Oh my God! That can’t be true. No brethren there would do such a thing. They are authentic Christians. Besides, Hyacinth himself told me, that he was fond of her and very willing to marry her.”

“Hm! Well, I’m not saying your brother’s the likely father o. After all, he’s a man of God and he runs a church, but Zodo does look like him, Treena dear. He has Joe’s face with his dimples. Very handsome. Bye.”

With that, the vixen rang off and switched off her phone. You can imagine the state I was in until the next morning when an SMS from her said she was joking.  Phew!

Tara.


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