Regina was at the hair salon with Miriam and another friend Ekene. They usually used the opportunity to catch up, having been friends from the university. Miriam was a management staff at a bank, while Ekene owned a boutique.
“Has the good doctor called since the date that went bad?” Ekene asked. She was getting her nails done
“Yeah. He still doesn’t know what he did wrong”
“No hope?”, she persisted
“Hope, gini?”, Miriam turned in her chair where she was getting a blow out. “Why must we compromise? I mean, is there anything wrong with us?”
“No, O. I just think she could have worked with him”, Ekene said
“I wasn’t feeling the guy, biko”, Regina said
“Please give me his number. A doctor for that matter. I will brush him up and teach him what’s up. When you attend our wedding you will not recognize him”
“I di kwa submissive? ( Are you submissive?)”, Regina mocked
“Very! Oversubmissive, even!”
“Ha!”, Miriam taunted. “Why did you refuse to tolerate Ibe’s sisters, then? Is that not why he broke up with you?”
“We were not even married but they expected me to cook and clean for them. They lived with him but left the house in disarray. My sister, I have seen things”
“Didn’t they come to your boutique and buy on credit, believing you would waive their debts?” Miriam pressed
“Don’t remind me of those painful 2 years of my life!”
“Submission my foot! “, Miriam spat
“I don’t mind submitting. Only that it shouldn’t be demanded. It should be earned”, Regina spoke thoughtfully
“Ehe, that’s my point”, Ekene asserted. “Agree to submit and train him to earn it later”
“Right. You forget that he is 38, probably set in his ways. Am I God to change him? It’s not easy to change a grown man”, Regina replied
“Gbam! ( exactly)” Miriam agreed
“Do we remain single for life?” Ekene wondered.
“Is that such a bad thing? Better to be single and happy, than married and unhappy” Regina stated
“I am thinking of getting pregnant O” Miriam announced .
“For who?” Regina and Ekene chorused .
“That my bobo, na”
“The lebanese?” Regina asked.
“Yeah. At least, the child will be mixed race and have curly hair” Miriam stated
“What a reason to get pregnant! ” Ekene snapped.
“I’m 36. The men are not coming. I’m tired of usingprotection, please!”
“Miriam!” they both exclaimed simultaneously
“What? Am I doing what others are not?”
Regina and Ekene exchanged glances.
“It is well” Ekene declared.
“Of course it is. Heaven helps those who help themselves” Miriam dismissed.
“As for me, I will wait for God’s time” Ekene whispered.
“Keep waiting. That place will soon close up” Miriam mocked.
“No, it won’t. They that wait upon the lord, shall renew their strength” Ekene retorted.
“They shall fly like eagles”, Regina completed .
“Bible scholars! “Miriam laughed.
Magnus and Ijeoma were having a talk in bed. The kids were asleep.
“So what is this wonderful deal that’s on ground?”, she asked
“Justin said a friend of his is importing rice for a politician to use as gifts for his electorate. You know how these things work. So, we want to invest in the business”
“Is that a business?”
“Sure! He got the contract to supply 10000 bags of rice but doesn’t have the money”
“The candidate should give him the money, then!”
“No, it’s not done like that. The guy is the favored person to win. You have to present the rice as a gift, like a contribution to his election. When he wins, you get your reward”
“Magnus, we are not politicians. Also, you don’t have an iron clad agreement with the guy. How much are we even talking about? ”
“What! Do you have that kind of money?”
“I have N400,000. I need N100,000 from you”
“Where will I get it from?”
“I know you have it”
“Hmm. Please, move over. I need my beauty sleep”, she turned away.
“Ij, love”, he whispered against the back of her neck
“It won’t work. Take your charms elsewhere”, she pushed him away
“Even if you won’t give me the money, at least, give me a hug. Let me compensate myself”, he traced a finger along her spine.
She ignored him
“Ij, my dimpled angel”, he teased. “Sweetie?”
“Let me give you a massage”
She threw off the covers and lay face down. Magnus smiled as he rubbed his hands together to warm them. The massage was certainly not going to be the only activity that night.
Justin was on the phone with Magnus.
“Guy, there’s this new deal on ground”, he said excitedly.
“What deal is that? The money for the rice has not yet paid off” Magnus replied.
“That one is a long term investment, now. The election is next month and the governor won’t be sworn in till next year. Besides, that our guy has been promised a position on the cabinet”
“Yeah! Commissioner for Finance”
“What! Thank God! He can finance my movement to the next level”
“Hahaha!”, laughed Justin.
“I pray it works out. Ij gave me part of the money. She will kill me if it falls apart”
“No, she will be singing your praise man! Let me tell you, she will forget her complaints about your brother cause money will be coming from every angle”
“Amen O! Let God do it, I pray. It’s been a long time coming”, Magnus rejoiced. “So, what’s this new deal?”
“There’s this company my firm represents. The lawyer on their account handled a matter for them very poorly. For some time, we have been trying to save face. They actually lost a lot of money due to his ineptitude”
“Who was that?”
“Ughegbe. You know him, right?”
“But, he’s good”
“I don’t know what happened. He goofed”
“Pity. How do I come in?”
“I heard their MD is fed up and wants nothing to do with our firm, despite our efforts to appease him. This is your opportunity to poach him for your firm”, Justin announced.
“Wow! Great idea. I will schedule a meeting with them and present my firm as the best alternative to yours”
“I’ll text you their name and address”
“Man, I can’t thank you enough for this. How can I thank you? My job has been under serious threat. This is just the lifeline I needed”
“Hey, what’s a favor between friends? You’ve bailed me out severally. I heard from a reliable source they will fire us no matter what. Why not let you in on it, then?”
“Thanks again, bro. I owe you one”
“You bet you do”
Regina was sitting in on a presentation with her MD, and 3 other senior staff of Oaks and Cedar. The lawyer presenting looked vaguely familiar. She kept trying to place him all through the presentation but couldn’t decide how she knew him.
“Miss Momoh, any questions from you?”, her MD interrupted her thoughts.
“No, sir. I think he has stated his case clearly and my money is on him” she replied.
Magnus beamed. He had misinterpreted her silence for disgust and expected her to speak against him.
“Barr. Ozo, thank you for your time. We will get back to you” the HR manager intoned.
Everyone rose and shook hands. Magnus was picking up his files when Regina approached him.
“Do I know you, sir? “, she asked.
“I’m not sure. Thanks anyway, for putting in a good word for me”, he smiled.
“O, don’t mention. I believe you did a good job”
“Wait, do you attend Gateway?”he asked
“Yeah, do you?”
“That must be why you look familiar”
“Small world, right?”
By this time, they were walking towards the stairs.
“You can say that again”, she smiled. “Are you in a service arm?”
“Wait! You are that pretty usher! The one who stands to the left of Pastor’s wife’s aisle, most often” he exclaimed suddenly.
Regina blushed. “I didn’t know Pastor’s wife had her own aisle”
“Don’t mind me. Wow, nice to meet you. I’m Magnus Ozo”
“Regina Momoh. Here’s my card. I have to be off. Now I know you are a Gateway brother, I will definitely fight for you to get the retainer”
“That would mean the world to me. You don’t know how much I need this miracle”, he palmed her card.
“It is well. God of Gateway has already made a way”
“Amen. Thank you”
“You take care”
“Thank you. Bye”, they shook hands and parted ways.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Gini : what
Biko : please