They say karma is a bitch!
If it is called a bitch then it must be a woman, abi.
I sell female clothes; I began to hustle after I left my Oga; who didn’t set me up as agreed after serving him for 7 years!
I went after his old customers who liked me; I started travelling to Dubai, China, Turkey, even India to buy market…I was making it small, small.
I delayed marriage because as a man, you can’t marry a woman if you haven’t settled your own life. Where will you put her? What will you give her? Woman will not stay with you if you don’t have shi-shi.
That was where I met Chika. She worked at one of the banks down Broad street. She would come to buy clothes and if her money did not reach, she would deposit money, then month end, she would come back and balance me.
I liked her. She always looked nice plus she knows fashion. It is one thing for a woman to know nice things, it is another for her to know how to combine the clothes and look like she is in a fashion magazine. Chika was that kind of girl.
Apparently, she herself was on the lookout for a man for marriage because she was around that kind 35years, though at that time, she told me she was 28years.
At that time, too, I was 42 years and I too was telling myself, Nna, time to marry o. I live in a three bedroom in Ikeja, off Toyin street. I have two cars, I have two boutiques. One at Ikeja not too far from my house, the head office at Broad street.
Wetin man want again?
Was I having girlfriends before then? Yes, of course. Am I not a fine bobo?
So, me and Chika enter this relationship o. I told her she will have to stop this her bank work and manage the shop at Ikeja. It will be near home and when we start having children, she will be able to go to shop and still manage the home.
We got married and began to ‘work’ hard for children.
You are laughing? Yes, we ‘worked’ very hard for the children because I expected Chika to get pregnant even before we finalized the wedding arrangement, we had been ‘working.’ At my age, I can’t be wasting time again.
My dear, nothing happened o.
Oya, go Motayo hospital and find out why you never get pregnant, I told Chika. Motayo hospital is in Ikeja, you know.
The doctor there told her we should be patient, that pregnancy will come. So we were ‘working’ night and day…one year passed!
How can? In my days of yore, I know the number of women who told me they got pregnant for me but i didn’t want them; I was young and how would I have been able to care for them?
I followed Chika to the hospital, doki, what is happening to my wife , why are we not having children?
We did some tests, mostly my wife.
I was told both of us were going to have children that we should be patient. I wasn’t too worried after that because though I know I am still an ‘action’ man, my wife was still young, only 29, so no problem.
We were growing the business too. Chika was very good with the Ikeja shop, before long, we were talking of opening another one close by. Yes, she knew so many bank ladies and so she went after them and they came to our shop. And we eventually opened another shop. Business was good but time was going…five years, no child!
As you can imagine my mother and sisters were worried. They suggested I marry a village wife, who will bear me children because I was staring 50 in the eye at this time and no child. I stayed true to my wife.
But after so much pressure; after 7 years…I agreed. I travelled to the village and met the girl. She was around 20 years and she just finished OND at the polytechnic.
My mother had done the necessary arrangements with her people. They had met, exchanged wine, everything was almost done by the time I travelled to the village that December period.
She was fine, yellow like pawpaw, her name is Anwuli. Ok, since I don marry na, no bi to begin ‘work?’
I found out the girl was not even a virgin. Children these days are spoilt. Anyway, I began to go to the village regularly, every two months to ‘work’ on Anwuli. Then after about six or seven months later, she told me she was pregnant!
Finally, I was going to be a father! After waiting for more than 7 years!
I knew I had to tell Chika; she still deserved to know, at least before gossip from the village got to her. But you know, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, o. I was just delaying, delaying…it was this delaying that eventually helped me one kind.
First, one day, my wife called me to pick up a test result from the clinic on my way to the shop. The clinic is at Ilupeju. I found out my wife will never be able to have children and she had known.
Her tubes are damaged! …one tube is gone, the other is scarred.
Meaning what? We can’t have children!
Which kind of witchcraft is this!
On the other hand, I will have children through Anwuli. Ok. We thank God for that. So, I Had to think like a businessman, what will I do with Chika? She is smart, kind, can grow the business but she can’t have children.
Anwuli is young, she will become wild, and I mostly don’t even understand half of what she is saying. So if not for the matter of children, we don’t even have anything in common. Besides, I am a Catholic, I can’t have two wives!
This matter was still giving me sleepless nights when Mama called from the village. Katakata don burst. One small boy from the Polytechnic where Anwuli is schooling has been making trouble with her. He said he is the owner of her pregnancy; that Anwuli has been his girlfriend and he can prove that the pregnancy is his own!
Even Anwuli says she is not doing with me again, that the boy is the father of her pregnancy!
So, I am not the only one riding this horse?
Now, we are all waiting for the baby to be born. What if…? See me see wahala, o at almost 50!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)