The Sunday Gentleman [Chapter 17]

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Ubokobong gave a mischievous smile as she walked through the gate of her son’s school. She introduced herself as his mother and lied that he was sick the previous night and that she needed to take him to the hospital as soon as possible.

The teachers couldn’t doubt her because Daniel was already running toward where his mother stood, “mommy, mommy, mommy….” he shouted. Tears clouded Ubokobong’s eyes as she knelt down and took her son into her arms. There were bruises all over his body as Martha had said. And the teachers even advised that he should be well taken of because he is always running temperature.

“Thank you.” Ubokobong stood to her feet, she carried Daniel into her arms and walked hastily to her car. Driving speedily like she was being chased by someone. She even forgot to wave at Martha. She drove Daniel to her daughter’s new school and when Daniella saw her brother, she ran to him and hugged him so tight for Long moments, like she was never going to let her go.

Ubokobong drove him to the hospital, and he was diagnosed with malaria and typhoid. She sat there, watching her son as he was given injections through the canola that was connected to his hands. She had started wondering what to do with the money Chidimma loaned her. Owning a shop at the Ikeja mall was never going to be a good idea anymore. She was always going to stumble on Phoenix path and she didn’t want that.

Running away was easy, but how was Chidimma ever going to believe that she would pay back her debt. She texted Chidimma immediately, alerting her of Daniel’s ill health and how she went to take him from his new school.

In a few hours, Chidimma arrived at the hospital with bags from the grocery store filled with biscuits, chocolates, lollipops, and new clothes. She carefully took sleeping Daniela from Her arms and settled by the bedside.

“What happened?” She asked.

“Hmm. My former neighbor narrated how Phoenix’s girlfriend maltreats my son, and I don’t know just how to deal with those people. But today, as I sit here today,” she began to cry, “I curse them, they will not find happiness in their lives, they will suffer in penury and see no good thing come their way. God will punish them for doing this to my son.” She cried out. Chidimma stared at her pitifully, she didn’t know what to say.

Olufemi walked in looking stressed and tired, “babe,” he said as he walked hastily to her and kissed her on the cheeks before he realized that Chidimma was sitting there. “Ah, madam, it’s you.” He said with a smile that didn’t seem sincere.

“Yes, Mr. Olufemi.”

“How is my oga?” He asked.

“He is fine,” Chidimma replied coldly.

“Em, babe,” Olufemi said to Ubokobong, he was looking unsettled because of Chidimma, he was now aware that she knew of her relationship with a married client who happened to be her own friend.

“How is he?” He asked.

“He has been given injections. The doctor says he will be fine.” Ubokobong said.

“Okay. Please take care, okay? I will come to see you after the close of work.” He turned to Chidimma, “okay ma, my regards to the boss.”

“Okay, Barrister,” Chidimma replied in a cold manner. When Olufemi left, she gave Ubokobong a mean stare.

“Don’t even start. You are not in my shoes, so you will never ever have an idea about what I have been through.”

“So he is the right man to get happiness from? A lawyer I introduced to you to help you out of issues.”

“Chi, please.”

“I Have to tell You my mind because you are my friend. How can you ever think that Olufemi is even better than Phoenix?”

“I never said that,” Ubokobong muttered.

“So why did he kiss you?”

“Because he is my boyfriend,” Ubokobong said, boldly.

A murmur of voices drifted from the corridor and they became mute, waiting for whichever people they were to pass.

“So you can boldly call Femi your boyfriend now.” Chidimma giggled.

“It’s not funny, you have never been through half of what I have been through in the hands of that idiot called Phoenix. You think Caroline is the first woman I have ever caught him with? Or maybe because I wasn’t telling you all the shits. Why do you think I stopped having maids?”

“Because you said Phoenix didn’t like the idea.” Chidimma shook her head per word she said.

“I lied. He was sleeping with the maid. You remember the maid my mom sent to me from Ukana? The fair girl?”

Chidimma nodded.

“Phoenix was fucking that girl and giving her porn to watch. He watched porn with my maid and practiced it on her body. She was sixteen, just finished secondary school when my mom sent her to come to help me. Do you know how many abortions she committed? I even took her to do the last one myself.” She Cried out loudly, then she wiped the tears on her cheeks and continued, “I see that when Arinze does little annoying things to you, you’d run to Naomi’s house, and he will come and beg with all the beautiful things of this world. Phoenix would never ever apologize, instead, he would advise that you learn to be mature. Then he carried his manliness Like pride and beat me up anytime I questioned his wrong moves and behavior. And now you sit down there in your expensive denim, covered with wealth and a good husband, you sit there and judge me, Chidimma.” She cried out. “You can ever walk in my shoes, then why do you judge me. You’re lucky that you have a man who loves you, but I don’t.”

Chidimma immediately rose to her feet with Daniela in her arms.

“I didn’t come here for this,” Chidimma said, struggling to keep her mind clear.

“I will sleep with whoever I want and wish to sleep with. I will do whatever I want with my body, it’s my body!” She exclaimed. The harsh comment threw Chidimma off guard, and at that moment, she had no idea what to say. She handed Daniela to Ubokobong and smiled softly.

“I am sorry for whatever you are going through. I am sorry for misunderstanding you.”

“It’s okay,” Ubokobong replied softly, bringing down her face.

“A day after tomorrow is Arinze’s birthday, and I have to call the organizers to make sure everything is in place. Please take care of the kids. Whatever you need I am here.”

She gave her a warm hug and rushed out of the ward.

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The traffic on Lekki roundabout kept Chidimma for over six hours. She sat there in her car, calling the birthday planner and telling Naomi about her meeting with Ubokobong. When Arinze called for the seventh time, he was becoming impatient about his wife’s delay in traffic.

“Where exactly are you?” He asked.

“Lekki Admiralty way.”

“Okay. I am sending a helicopter to your axis now. Keep your phone, so that the pilot can track you.”

Chidimma burst into a burst of loud laughter, “Ah, dim, it’s just the usual Lagos holdup Biko.”

“You don’t know how long you will be there. I am sending a helicopter to come to carry you now.”

“What about my car?”

“Mr. David is joining the pilot, he will take over the car. You can’t be there for that long, not safe. Last week, Akele’s wife was kidnapped on holdup. And I heard that the kidnappers haven’t called for a ransom. You never know what they have done to her. So the pilot is coming in a jiffy.” He said and hung up the call.

Chidimma smiled, wondering how she got so lucky to marry a man like her husband, Arinze.

A few moments later and she could see the sound of the helicopter, coming from the west. Her phone rang immediately and Mr. David tracked her down there on the long, unending queue.

People gathered and took pictures as David led her to the helicopter and ran back to the car. The internet talked about this very act the next day. It was all over the news, that a man sent a helicopter to pick his wife on Lagos traffic.