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When Jide opened the door, relief was the main emotion that flooded Nike’s soul. His look of angst, worry and bewilderment led Nike to make a decision on the spot. She would not tell him the truth. She could not. Not when it meant admitting she tried to use connections to land him a job. Nepotism was the very thing he hated the most. That, coupled with the fact that her pride was at stake drove her to act as though everything was normal.
She asked him for something hot to drink. The temperature had suddenly dropped and she shivered.
Back in high school, Nike had been known for her story telling and Nollywood blockbuster imagination. She hurriedly spun Jide a tale of kidnap, near murder and armed robbers or ritual killers.
Jide’s look of disbelief told her he didn’t buy it.
She didn’t blame him.
He knew her too well.
She needed to give him a distraction as well as clear her mind.
She rushed in the bathroom and dried the last of her tears.
Surprisingly she felt the need to be touched, loved…comforted in some way.
After all, she had had one heck of a rough day.
She chose her outfit wisely. She knew her husband would not budge till he had sufficient answers to his questions but knew her wearing the lacy black ensemble she got from Paris would draw his eyes and mind away from their usual inquisitiveness.
Typical man! She thought…it didn’t take much to turn them on.
The only thing that nearly gave her a fright was the fact that Jide was rummaging through her bag.
What on earth could he be looking for? She thought. Gum? Really? At a time like this? Mscheeeeeeew! This husband of mine sef… She continued her seductive act and loved every minute of it. If it’s one thing, she knew she was blessed with, it was her God-given assets and the fact that her husband was a pro at turning women on made her job so much easier.
His every touch was like a balm healing her emotional wounds.
She thought again of Chief’s rough hands and quickly dismissed the thoughts from her head. After all, she was still a faithful wife. What use was it thinking of another married man?
Her thoughts flew back to Jide’s thorough search of her bag.
She could not shake the feeling that he was looking for evidence to back her tall tale up. She mentally thought of what could be in her bag that could possibly incriminate her. Why should she worry? I will check in the morning she said to herself and fell asleep in Jide’s arms…
Daybreak brought with it the aftermath of the previous night’s worries as well as a few certainties:
- PHCN had interrupted the electricity again. Nike would have to remind Jide to pay the bill before they completely cut them off the civilization known as electricity.
- Nike was never going to see Chief Olumide Lawson in her life again. Never.
Only sheer desperation would lure her back to that place. As far as she was concerned, that rapist of a man never deserved to see her face or even share her breathing space again. She would have to think up another way to get Jide a job.
- Jide had definitely found Chief’s card in her bag. It explained why she did not see it rummaging through the only good bag she had. How could she explain this to him without sounding vain, hypocritically selfish or causing another fight? Truth be told she was tired of the fights with Jide. At the same time, she wished he had called her out. Wished he could go and wring Chief’s neck and break his balls. Wished he would protect her from all the evils in the world.
But Jide was just a man.
Who knew what Chief had the power to do to him?
No, telling Jide the truth was out of the question.
Her thoughtful daze was ruined by her phone vigorously vibrating. It was her friend Tricia.
“Nike, where have you been? Jide has been worried sick looking for you.”
“Trish! How are you? Sorry I ignored your calls yesterday. Ehyah. Don’t worry. I am home now. If I tell you what happened to me…”
“Abeg, abeg, abeg! Now is no time for gist. I have news for you. Remember Yomi Badmus? The CEO of Yomitech? Word on the street is his company has gone bankrupt due to tax evasion and the yeye man left for Dubai yesterday morning…”
“Wait oh! Jide went to that man yesterday to get a job.”
“Which job? You mean he’s still looking for one?”
“Yes. He is” Nike swallowed bile.
“Ayo Kingsley, my brother’s friend just opened a branch of his bank TLC in Lagos. I think he still needs staff. Tell Jide to drop his CV and I will drop a line for him. Meanwhile, meet me for lunch at Palms. We need to catch up.”
“Ok. See you soon then”. Nike hung up the phone.
She turned around to find Jide staring at her backside.
“Morning sweetheart” he said, barely roused from sleep.
“What is good about the morning? You mean to tell me you left this house yesterday, wasted money on transport and then came back to swallow my food knowing fully well that you are still jobless. Why didn’t you tell me Jide? Why?”
“What is there to explain? I got stood up. Besides I wasn’t the one who came home late yesterday.”
“Oh so you are now blaming my ordeal for your lies?”
“Lies? Oh give me a break! What lies? Look at the pot calling the kettle black. Miss holier-than-thou, can you please explain how Chief Olumide Lawson’s card came to be inside your bag? And why his, of all the numbers in the world was the one you called at the time of your so called ‘attack’.”
“Jide, I can explain….”
Nike felt trapped and swallowed. This was going to be a long morning.