Written by Nora
My phone rang.
“Henry”. It read.
“Nora, there’s this friend of mine that just came in to town and would want to hang out with some good looking chick for the weekend. You were the first person who crossed my mind, trust me, he’d pay very handsomely. He just got in to the country from overseas”.
Henry spoke straight up after I said my “hello” not giving me a chance for our usual chit-chat.
“haba, but you know my wedding is around the corner na. I’ve got a few things left to put in place prior to the arrival of my husband, I don’t think I can make it o”.
“na wa you o. Nora, na you wan dey dull like this? Small parol wey you go just run carry your mullar (money) deck for aza (account), na him you wan blow up like this? Reason am well o. See, even as you dey we’d like this sef, you go dey get joy to know say cold money dey your account on a chilling level after you don show me small love as usual na”. He spoke convincingly in his usual slangs.
“oya na. Gimme small time, I go out you call if I go fit make am. You sure say the guy go pay well abi? Azin, him hol the gbala (money) abi? I asked him using slangs.
” mama, na me o. Na your paddy man Henro o. You no believe my weight again? I dey tell you say this bros hol gbala scarra. No lele na, just put me call on how you wan dey come out”.
“no issue”. I replied him as the line went dead.
Okay, let me not put you in the dark. My name is Nora and you can say I’m a runs girl, but that’d be disrespectful, so, just call me a hustler. I hustle on the street to make ends meet and this call I just received is from a reliable source, a guy who has been my link over the years to prominent men, to men of timbers and calibers that has paid me beautifully and handsomely.
Oh, did I add, I’ll be a Mrs soon. On Saturday precisely.
I dressed up, looked my best and put a call across to Henry to forward me the address.
He did and in no time, I was on the road for my last hit as a single.
Money must be made and being a married woman shouldn’t stop a baby girl from making little money from a side hustle.
As arranged, Henry welcomed me from the hotel’s gate and let me in to the reception.
He disappeared into one of the rooms to notify my client of my arrival.
“the guy say make you dey fall in (come)”. He told me.
I trailed behind him.
I knew in my deepest hearts that this particular deal would be a hit. Something in me told me I’d smile home to retire from the street life and gloriously match into the married phase of my life.
“come in”. A thick masculine voice said as Henry pressed the door bell.
The door flung open and at that moment, my world crashed.
My feet went numb and the air conditioner started pumping heat instead of air.
I wanted to faint, but I didn’t know where the “faint button” of my life was at that moment.
I wanted to die, but death was afraid to kill me.
Right before me was Emeka my would be husband in a towel.
Emeka is the client I’m to sleep with for money.
Emeka is the man who I’m supposed to be his wife on Saturday.
Emeka is the man who had seen me through the university, taken care of my siblings and I since the death of our mother.
Emeka is the man who gave me the hope no man else gave gave me.
Emeka is my messiah in human nature.
I looked from the door to Henry, to Emeka and back to the door, then the floor.
I was speechless.
Tears flowed from my eyes, I knew I had met my doom.
I knew I have just lost a diamond while looking for pebbles.
I knew I had wronged even mother nature and I don’t deserve to live.
Emeka was too shaken by the shock to even utter a word.
His eyes were empty, but I could tell his heart had a billion words in them.
But then on a second thought, was his intention wasn’t to cheat on me one more time before we got married?
Maybe we’re both wrong after all.
Maybe I’m the devil and he’s the Saint.
Maybe, just maybe, there would never be an “us”.
Oh well, I knew I did wrong.
Don’t be like me, don’t be like Emeka.