Ijeoma and Magnus had kept malice for 1 week. They wrote notes when they had to communicate, or sent texts to each other. Magnus was tired of the whole thing. Especially as it meant he wasn’t getting any attention at night. In bed that night, he turned to Ijeoma. She had her back to him, arched stiffly in a way that invited no approach.
“Honey?”, he whispered.
“Sweet?” She ignored him.
He got up and walked over to her side of the bed. Kneeling by her, he took her hand in his. Her eyes flew open reluctantly.
“O gini? (What is it?)”, she asked testily.
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me”
“Sorry for what? For pushing me? Or for the late nights? Or for the economic hardship you have put us through?”
“Everything, I’m sorry for everything”
“Magnus, I don’t think I can continue in this marriage. There are other men out there who will treat me like the princess I am”, she snapped.
“Which man can love you like me? You know how I feel about you”
“You don’t love me. I should be the first on your mind but any money you have you prefer to send to your mother”
“But you know why! It is to take care of Chibuike. Lately, his autism has worsened. Last week, he injured himself by hitting his head on the wall. All because someone repainted his room”
“So we must starve, right? What did you contribute to Jonah’s treatment? Do you know that Kevin fell ill after Jonah recovered? You don’t care about us”
“I’m sorry. I took out my anger on you. The promotion I wanted was given to Pius”
“That small boy?”
“Ehe, it is good for you. Your stinginess is blocking your blessings”
“Ij, how can you say that to me?”
“Is it not the truth? The bible says if you are mean to your wife, your prayers will not be answered. See your mates. They are all doing better than you. Charles has started his own firm and Dumi is an associate in his firm”, she snatched her hand from his and turned away.
He rose and sat by her.
“I can’t continue like this. Please, don’t be so hard on me. Please”, he begged.
She humphed. “If all this begging is for anything to go down tonight, forget it. I have forgiven you but, you have to earn the right to my body”
He smiled and hugged her. “How do I make it up to you? ”
“You have to repay me the money I spent treating the kids”
“How much is it?”
“Is that all?”
“And I need to do my hair”
“I’ll give you N10000 tomorrow. Will that cover it?”
“I’ll manage. Mind you, some women spend N50000 on their hair”
“You already have very lovely hair. Sit on my lap let me rub your feet”, he coaxed.
“No, thanks. Nothing is wrong with my feet”
Magnus saw that he wasn’t going to have his way and let her go with a peck. He moved over to his side of the bed and got in with a smile. At least, he had hope for the next night.
Regina was driving to make a sales pitch to the CEO of a new hotel. The hotel was still in construction phase but was billed to be commissioned in 6 months. She had tried for months to secure an audience with the man unsuccessfully. Luckily, she found out that his sister-in-law was a member of Gateway. That was how she got a leg in.
In his secretary’s office, she took a seat and adjusted her navy blue skirt suit. Placing her laptop and bag beside her, she mentally prepared herself for her pitch. Usually, she took out time to pray,and then rehearse her speech. With her were 2 male sales associates. She did not trust them to handle the job alone. Neither of them had ever landed a contract worth the millions this one would pay. Besides, she never believed in sending a man to do a woman’s job.
“He’ll see you now”, the secretary announced 20 minutes later.
“Thank you”, they chorused.
The three of them rose. Regina preceeded them into the spacious and tastefully decorated office. Mr. Lawson was seated behind a massive desk, at the end. She stepped forward confidently and extended her hand for a handshake.
“Good morning, sir. Regina Momoh, from Oak and Cedar. With me are, Ikechukwu and Dapo, my associates”, she flashed a lovely smile.
Mr. Lawson grinned at her.
“Good morning Sir”, the 2 associates greeted.
He ignored them.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit”
“Sir, we have a short presentation to make to you. It concerns your hotel, Lambardo hotel and spa. We want the contract to furnish it”
He held his beard, twirling it thoughtfully. “What makes you think I haven’t given it to someone else?”
“We hear the company you gave it to initially, is undergoing…..errrmm….financial difficulties”, Regina offered.
“Financial? O, be plain. Their CEO is in the EFCC net”
“Well, if you put it so frankly, Sir”, Regina smiled.
“You met me on a good day because Manchester United won their match last night”
“I felt their centre was rather weak. If Tottenham was better, they would have received a pounding”, Regina said.
“You are a football fan?”
“Yes, sir. The blues for life”
“You are not even afraid to support my enemies?”
“I know you are too big to hold it against me. After all, we are the defending champions”
“You are actually rubbing it in?”
“Sorry, Sir. I couldn’t help it”, she grinned charmingly.
He smiled back. “Drop your card. I’ll call you”
“Sir, do you mind if I get a definite date and time? I know you have a deadline and we would like to hit the ground running”
“You are assuming that I have awarded you the contract?”
“Haven’t you?”, she smiled cunningly. He laughed and winked
“Who can resist beauty and brains? Drop your quote on your way out. My MD will get back to you”
“Thank you Sir”, the three rose and chorused.
“Regina, I look forward to the thrashing we will give you guys on Sunday”
“I doubt it, Sir. I highly doubt it”, she smiled as they exited the room.
TO BE CONTINUED.
EFCC: Economic and financial crimes commission