It was Friday. Tunde left his place of work earlier than usual and went to his usual Friday joint in Ogba, partly to cool off and partly to see Nike. He was not ready to give up on her and their dream to get married yet.
He was fairly sure she was going to be at the club tonight with her friends. He was halfway through a can of cold beer when his best friend came in, who was followed by his elder brother, Wale.
They pulled out a chair each at his table.
“Docky Oloye! How are you?”Olayiwola hailed Tunde’s brother.
“I’m fine, kiddo. How is your wife?” Wale grinned as he sat down and signaled to the waiter.
“She is fine.” He grimaced before answering.
“Are you guys having problems again?” Wale asked in a puzzled tone. The waiter arrived and they gave him their order.
“They are always having a problem since they got married. I’ve always known it would be the greatest mistake you will ever make. You don’t need to get married because she got pregnant with your baby.”Tunde glared at him for the umpteenth time. Ola sighed heavily.
The issue had been a bone of contention between the two friends ever since he told him about his intention to marry his longtime Edo-state born girlfriend, Enobong. “You know that was not why I marry her, Tunde. Can we drop this issue?”Olayiwola said angrily. Their orders were delivered and they were silent for some time, listening to the music blaring from all direction in the room.
“I spoke to the family lawyer. I didn’t know things have gotten this bad, Tunde. You didn’t bother to inform me.” Wale’s voice rang with silent accusation.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to bother you with the whole issue. It was enough that mum’s business has gone down the drain already.” Tunde sighed heavily and sipped his drink. “They‘ve put most of our properties on sales too. Do you have to result to such drastic measures? I mean it can’t be that bad, can it?”
“Yes, it is. The values of our stocks have dropped drastically and we have just one shareholder holding solid right now, even Tayo and Ayoola wants to sell theirs too to anybody at any cost.” Tunde’s tone was bitterly angry.
“Who is the shareholder?” Wale asked curiously.
“Delilah Smith.” The two friends chorused. Wale’s jaw dropped in shock.
“Lila Smith? That is Josephine’s younger sister.” He exclaimed in surprise. Tunde shrugged, indifferent.
“Well, all our landed properties have been sold. There is just one buyer for it as well.”Tunde informed both of them ironically.
“I think I can guess who the buyer is.”Olayiwola said ruefully.
“I see. I think something is going on here. No wonder she took an instant dislike to me. Do you guys have an idea of what it is?” Wale asked, truly perplexed.
“I have a guess. Can you remember the episode I told you about her and Nike in my bedroom a few days ago?”Tunde turned to his friend.
“Yeah. You are here to see Nike, right?”
“You are right, guy. She hasn’t been picking my calls. There is something else I didn’t tell you.” His voice was somber. The two men stared at him in expectation. “She is Fatihat Ali.”His voice was barely above a whisper. The can of beer in his friend’s hand dropped abruptly. The waiter ran over to mop the table and his trouser while he went practically mute with shock.
“I don’t understand. The name rings a bell but I can’t place it.” Wale said in confusion. “She was a former housemaid in our house. You were in the school of medicine then and you never met her.”Tunde popped open another can of beer and drank as if his life depended on it.
“Tunde raped her during her stay in your house.”Olayiwola recovered at last.
Wale looked from one friend to another in horror that gradually changed into anger. “What kind of human being are you, guys? You’ve been going around destroying women’s lives in the name of being young virile men and now we are all suffering the repercussion of your irresponsible actions. You are so disgusting!” His voice was full of fury. The two friends stared into their drink silently. “What are we going to do now? Why is she hitting on the whole family?” He asked after some time.
“I have a clue but I’m not so sure until I talk to mum and I don’t want to do it alone.”Tunde looked at him and his heart sank in dread. “There is more to this, isn’t it?”Wale asked in near whisper and he nodded, looking away in time to see Nike’s friends came in but she wasn’t among them. The girls moved to another table and refused to acknowledge his presence, his heart sank like lead.
“No problem. We will have to see mum together then. I need to talk to those little boys as well. They need to hold on to their share of the company like a lifeline.” Wale got to his feet and bade them goodnight before walking out.
Tunde woke up the following morning with a heavy hangover and strolled over to the bar in his room to down one more extra smooth. It has been a restless night, yet he was not near getting a solution to his problems. He took his bath and changed into combat shorts and t-shirt before heading for the kitchen.
His mum was out of the house, probably still shuttling around for funds that were not forthcoming.
He took a breakfast of toast with hot tea and drove over to the Alpha beach to cool off. By the time he got there, the sun was up and the weather was growing hotter by the minute.
Few people were already there. He felt he could relax and at the same time tried to work something out. He strolled along the sandy shore, thoughtfully and saw a camp bed in the distance with a huge umbrella shielding the person lying on it. He could make out a lady’s figure on the bed.
She was reading a novel and smoking simultaneously. He strolled towards her direction. It was Delilah Smith.
She was clad in a pink bikini bra and pants and her body glistened from a recent swim in the salty water. He strolled over to her and looked down at her.
She felt a shadow fell on her and removed her sun shade glasses before looking up.
“I beg your pardon? There must have been a mistake. I’m Lilah Smith.” She told him haughtily.
He got to his knees and stared her straight in the face. “Call yourself any dog name you feel like but you are fatihat Ali and that is what I will always call you.” He told her firmly.
“Whatever. Can you please move on and let me enjoy my peace, Mr. Abeeb?”Her voice dripped with unhidden hostility.
He sat down on the sand beside her camp bed and pulled off his t-shirt as sweat trickled down the middle of his back. “You are still free to call me Tunde like you used to. I’ve no intention of obeying your orders.” He grinned at her.
“It is a free world. Enjoy your stay in my territory.” The sunshade glass was back firmly in place and she went back to her novel. He snatched the novel out of her hand and dropped it beside him, out of her reach.
“Are you with your sense at all? What is your problem, Tunde Abeeb?” She asked coldly, staring down at him as she lifted the sunshade glass away.
“I want to talk to you.” He stared right back.
“We have nothing to say to each other. We’ve said it all years ago, Mr. Abeeb.”She informed him.
“That is where you are wrong, fatihat Ali. If you don’t want anything to do with me, you won’t bother to interfere in my family business, talkless of having the audacity to buy our assets. We have a lot to say to each other for a very long time.” He told her quietly. “Really? I deal with your lawyers and stockholders. I have no business with you, sir. Get in touch with mine if you have something to say.”
“Yes, you have a business with me when you also wade into my personal relationship. Moreover, we are also co-owners of Abeebs group of company and we need to meet to discuss the way to move the company forward. I heard you’ve turned that building on Opebi road into a big five-star hotel, right?”His voice was heavy with sarcasm which covered the raging fury in him.
“What I do with the properties I acquire is none of your damn business. I want to be a silent partner in your father’s company, how about that for a thought?” She glared at him. “Chickening out? I thought you have more gut than this.” He openly mocked her.
“I don’t run away from anything, guy. When is your next board meeting?” She swallowed the bait and instantly regretted her words. Her heart hammered heavily in her ribcage. She has always been a silent partner in all her business acquisition. Money opens all doors was her belief until now…
“It is on Monday at 9.00am.”He informed her as he got to his feet. “I will see you then” He threw over the words over his shoulder as he moved away.
She stared at his back, seething with rage and then she froze abruptly.
Just above his belt at the index in his waist was a dark mole, a birthmark, the type she has noticed on the back of her twin babies and wondered where it has come from because she didn’t have one!
Yetunde Kolawole believed she was the most miserable woman who lived on the surface of the earth.
She had grown up with her grandma who was a well-known businesswoman during her time. The older woman sold clothes and pieces of jewelry and Yetunde learned the trade as she grew up.
She finished her secondary school at the age of seventeen and went straight into business. She usually traveled to the north to buy the merchandise at a cheaper rate and sold it in a store in Balogun market.
By the time she was in her twenties, she could boast of several thousand in her bank account.
She met her husband, Adeniyi salami during one of her travels to the north.
Niyi was three years older than she was and was an accounting student at Kaduna Polytechnic when they met. He was from a polygamous family and was always having financial problem which she never failed to sort out.
She had also helped him secured a job in a reputable firm in Lagos in addition to introducing him into business. She was in her mid-twenties when they got married and they had been very happy at the initial stage of their marriage.
After five years of marriage, she couldn’t get pregnant and hell was let loose in her home. The pressure from her in-laws increased every day and she ran from pillar to post in her bid to get pregnant.
She went for medical check-ups and test in exclusive hospitals but the results were the same. She was fertile and there was nothing wrong with her medically, then she resulted in visiting traditional practitioners.
However, matters came to an end when rumors reached her that her husband had impregnated a younger woman but he denied the allegation outright. A short nikka (Islamic wedding ceremony) took place in her husband’s family house when the young lady by name, Oyinlola gave birth to a baby boy and she was officially brought home. After a while, things started heating up between herself and the new wife.
She packed her things without informing anybody one fateful day and moved into her new house. She then filed for divorce.
Despite all her marital problems, her wealth has continued to increase in leaps and bounds and she started investing in landed property and estates. Her new home was one of her properties and she just acquired another half-building when the crises in her home got to the peak.
Her first free Saturday as a single woman, she got into her car and drove to the new site after breakfast. The environment was covered in weed but the main building was surprisingly neat. She made her way around the house and stopped in the front when she saw a bundle of rags on the floor.
Her heart picked up speed and she made to turn away in haste when she saw a slight movement, then an ear-splitting yell filled the air.
A baby? She thought in amazement as she edged closer and peered into the bundle of rags. It was a newborn baby; it raised its legs and hands into the air and screamed loudly with his lungs.
“Is somebody here?” Yetunde shouted as she looked around from corner to corner. There was a sign of previous, very recent occupancy because the place had been swept clean and there were traces of blood which revealed the fact that the birth had taken place in the house.
She also thought that the mother must have been a sane reckless young girl because there was no sign of rubbish to point at an insane woman. She walked back to the front of the house and stared down at the screaming baby. Tears filled her eyes as she thought of the way she had prayed to have one of her own while some stupid woman has the gut to throw hers away. She picked the baby up and drove straight to her private hospital to carry out all medical check- up on the new-born!
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