Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Unwritten Rules: Chapter 4
Gbolahan Dada slipped through the crowd at a party somewhere in Abuja. He made his way in a black suit to a man seated in traditional Hausa attire. In his head when he saw Hausa's he saw turbaned men who cut people's hands for stealing a goat and married 10 year olds.
Mahmoud wasn't Hausa. Mahmoud was his friend. He was what the contemporary Nigerian called the Northern elite. To Gbolahan, Mahmoud was his friend.
"Mahmoud Abubakar" He hugged him "My brother from another mother".
He belonged to a royal family and had the clout to get him into any social circle in Northern Nigeria. They met at the age of 17 in the United Kingdom. They were college friends and soon grew to become close friends. Mahmoud was now married to a 35-year-old woman with ten-year-old twin boys.
They sat together and exchanges friendly light chats.
They were at a wedding of one of the hosts' daughters. This party was sane; it was a very different kind of the party.
It was different from the parties they had frequented when they were still younger. Alhaji Danjuma or as he was fondly called by the London crowd, 'Musa' was a party animal. His parties were characterised by acts that dehumanised humans, men, women and children alike. He had no limits. The orgies he threw by night had nothing to do with Sharia law which he supported by day. You would think he would give up youthful lusts but on the grapevine, he still heard things that suggested that he had not given up his penchant for such parties.
As much as his conscience had seared in many areas, he was not comfortable participating in the destruction of human beings. What these two eyes had seen, his wife would never know.
As an adult, He had to run away from some of the parties organised by Danjuma, after a while he simply stopped doing business with the man. Until Mahmoud rescued him from the dilemma of doing business with Musa, It was not worth losing his soul.
Only Mahmoud knew how much of a Christian he was that being at such parties bothered him.
He wondered how much of a Christian he still was. He still went to church. He just did not talk to God any longer. The guilt would not let him be. His mother could not drive away his nightmares anymore. He was a big boy now.
"We have seen great days together, some connections are divine"
He remembered the days when Mahmoud and Ada were part of their trio. The trio had schooled abroad and sowed a couple of wild oats but nothing as risqué as what was going on in northern exclusive parties set in London.
Ada and Mahmoud were into each other all through college but it had all fizzled out when Ada returned to school in her final year saying: 'Emeka has carried my palm wine, we have to stop'.
Mahmoud lost his temper and tried to convince
her otherwise. That day changed everything for all of them.
Whether he raped her, whether she gave in to their shared passion, no one would ever know.
All he knows was that he came home an hour too late and Ada was leaving teary eyed. She never said anything but her eyes said it all. Their connection was broken just like that.
The relationship shut down. He never asked Mahmoud what happened.
It went to the grave many relationships of people from different tribe go. Ada's father would never have accepted Mahmoud. They have an Uncle who died in the Nigerian civil war. It ended abruptly
"Mahmoud, this life we live, is it enough?"
"How do you mean? Our job is to provide for our families and do the best we can to love them. That is our destiny; we don't need any other".
"Hmmm, you won't understand. I just know that I am not satisfied; the more I get, the more I want".
"My friend, Gbolahan, stop bothering yourself about things that don't matter".
The burden left him and they went on to enjoy the party.
Ada Okonkwo sat across the bay in a purple canopy. She was having a drink of orange juice. She was dressed in grey slacks and white jackets. She was having a meeting with one of her old friends from college days. She was 39 years old and successful in all areas. She had never worked a day in her life.
Her college days were bittter sweet, she was not sure how many relationships she made that added value to her life. College was all about having fun and enjoying her life with family and friends. She had never been good at relationships and now she didn't bother. All she needed was to make goals and meet them and rejoice at her success. She wasn't too sure how that was going. All she knew was that these days the dissatisfaction was killing her.
She wanted sometime more to fill the vacuum inside her.
She belonged to charities because her younger sister insisted on adding her names to every charity that cropped up in Nigeria. She was married to one of the wealthiest eastern men in Nigeria. He had family in politics but had no intentions of ever been in politics. She had three beautiful children and managed to not lose her figure or self esteem.
Unfortunately her zest for life was gone.
She wasn't the kind of woman who had affairs, it was just something about her principles.
Her Yoruba friend, Doyin had suggested she have an affair on one of her many trips abroad, she immediately felt distaste for the woman. She was woman enough to not want to revenge just because her husband did.
She looked down and saw his name on the screen of her silenced HTC phone.
She listened to his voice on the other end, her mind on the convo but her body disconnected from the conversation.
All these years and her husband still couldn't place her moods. He either didn't know or didn't care. She didn't know which was worse.
She looked over the people scattered at different small umbrella canopies. Anyone of them if not all were probably envying her at the moment. She envied them their freedom.
"Okay sir. I love you too"
In the public, everyone saw them as a perfect couple. They were almost that, he had never laid a hand on her, she could give him the credit that. He just never respected her as someone with a brain. He treated her like a kid. His verbal abuse was out of this world. When she was receiving verbal onslaughts in private, it erased the power of any praise he gave her at the public events and global meetings they attended.
She was complicated. She wanted more than he was willing to offer.
To him, she was his beautiful treasure, a trophy wife whether she wanted to be or not. She was a trained medical doctor but was condemned to never practising.
"Tade, book a flight to Gombe for me" she spoke authoritatively into the phone. "I need to see my husband"
"Thank you" She whispered into the phone.
She called home and asked Lara to pack her luggage ready and prepare someone to care for the property while she was in Gombe for two weeks. She asked her to take a break while she was away in Gombe. She was tired of all the charities for once.
Her numerous pharmacies were successful and located all over the country in choice location. They had qualified pharmacists in place to running them.
Maybe she needed a new hobby, something that would add life and meaning; she needed purpose but her husband was too blind to see.
Well she was done. She was the kind of person that could trade all this wealth for some money and a fulfilled life. She needed to find something to spend all her pent up energy on; she needed work.
"Are the tickets ready?" she asked in a satisfied voice as she picked up her once again ringing phone
"No, don't bother about that, I will pick them up at the airport for 7 pm, thank you"
Somewhere on the other side of town, someone's life is changing forever. Bright Okopi is jumping up and down like an 8-year-old.
He has received the job that would metaphorically bail his family out of poverty.
He has no thoughts just yet, he is just happy that his dreams are finally picking up.
He just got the call. He made it.
He was to report for Monday, look in on Human Resources and then head to Port Harcourt for training.
He fell down on the chair and immediately called his pastor.
"Hello sir, I made the cut" he screamed into phone "I got the job, God really is good"
His pastor laughed on the other end. "Walk with God and He will show you His wonders, this is just the beginning"
"Yes sir" he laughed "sir I've never had a job. Can I come for some coaching on how to comport myself?"
His pastor paused then said, "You can come on Saturday, I'll teach you some principles on how to be the Joseph in your office, you'll soon be pleasing both God and your boss".
"Remember the giver of promotions is God and He gives to confirm the covenant He had with Abraham. Honour Him with you, your life and all that you have".
"Yes sir, I'll do that".
He cut the phone and ran to find his mother at the kitchen behind the house to inform her of the goodness he had just received.
"God, I am rich, I can finally say I am rich" he murmured as he went "this goodness is a confirmation of the covenant you have with Abraham; I recognise You as God, I am your people. I belong to you"
He looked up into the sky then dashed out to inform Mama Bright of their good fortune.
Maybe his dad would finally go to church.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN