Victim of Greed
By Tony Chuks Modungwo (Nigeria)
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Greed, the soul of fox
You have in which the light
Of God has been put off.
Your tongue traffics in deceit
And leads men astray.
Your treachery is exhuming
Sordid events long buried
In peoples’ subconscious minds.
Arrogant and unheeding you’re,
You’ve hygienic habits of a pig
And regard gracelessness
As a great virtue.
You’re a tyrant that
By the throat
And swear to thrust her
Down to unfathomable depths of agony.
Greed, I’ve seen through
Your mask of warmth
You’ll only change when the
River flows backwards.
Men, watch galloping greed,
Because the cat always eats
The mouse it plays with.
TO: MY WIFE
The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening.
As I lay in the hospital fatally wounded; unable to go backward nor forward, I wondered how it had ever happened that I had come to find myself in this pathetic situation.
I was born into misery, bred in a ghetto called Ajegunle. Most of Ajegunle was unglamorous, noisy, crowded and dirty. We lived in the area that was an eyesore and could sicken any man of considerable decent standards to the point of regurgitation. Any person with a decent standard of living would shudder at our living conditions. In my early years I ran errands for all sorts of people in our area when I returned from school with the hope of tips. My clothes were always tattered and my shirts rarely had buttons. Scattered around our neighborhood were emaciated children with bulging stomachs, sunken eyes and big heads akin to what one would see in the famine-stricken Ethiopia due to inadequate intake of protein. Many children in the area died annually from malnutrition and related disorders. Many of them suffered from mental and physical retardation because eating a well-balanced diet was a luxury not many families could afford. Due to the environment I was brought up in, I grew up tough. Hardship characterized my youth. Many times, I went to school without breakfast and had no hope of having lunch on my return.
However, I was endowed with an incredible retentive memory. This was why I was able to attend the university through the help of some philanthropists. Because of my family’s dire financial circumstances, I was determined to be rich the means notwithstanding. I was inordinately ambitious.
My father, apart from being abjectly poor, was a religious fanatic. He believed that God’s time was the best. We were two different people because I never agreed much with him. To my mind, to be old and poor was unpardonable. What then was achieved with all the years spent on earth? He’d worked as a laborer for 20 years without promotion. He refused to complain. He deliberately refused to attend the adult education classes organized in our area. He said he was too old to learn anything. Instead he spent all his spare time reading the bible in our native language. When I explained to him that education had no age limit, he simply told me to leave him alone.
Whenever I told him to do something about his poverty, he would quote a verse in the Bible for me. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but lose his soul.”
“If you want to live a standard life in a dishonest and corrupt society you have to be dishonest and corrupt,” I told him several times. He always waved me off.
“My greatest dream is for you tobecome a pastor. There is nothing like serving God all your life,” he said righteously. Unfortunately, his fondest dreams didn’t coincide with mine.
I laughed uncontrollably at the absurdity of the proposal. My father looked malignantly at me. I’d vowed to myself that nothing would be allowed to destroy or in anyway interfere with my decision to get rich at all cost.
“Dad, you’ve been poor because when people were thinking and hatching plans on how to get rich, you were in the church praying. It’s good you’ve surrendered your life to God unreservedly. I’m not going to try to change your fanatic belief in the power of prayer and of God Almighty, but I’m going to take my destiny in my hands. I want to be the master of my fate. I’m going to do something to change this sordid condition we are living in.”
“My son, it’s not wise to measure one’s success in life by one’s worldly possessions. In Luke 12:15 Christ said: ‘Beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consist not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.’ Money is not to be sought by all means.”
“I’ve heard enough of pontificating, sermonizing and moralizing. If you’re not going to do something about yourself, I’m surely going to do something about myself. James Hadley Chase wrote a novel, “What is better than money,” I reminded my father.
He stared unbelievingly at me.
“I’d an empty childhood riddled with unfulfilled basic needs. I hate poverty,” I said. “What irks me most is that many poor people like you have no ambition, but indolent faith in the hope that God shall provide or such nonsense as my poverty is the wish of God. The argument that a man must be humble and poor to reach the epoch of spirituality is baseless.”
“There have been proofs by the lives of the wealthy and politically powerful people in the past that wealth is incompatible with spiritual development. That was why Jesus told the rich, young man who came to him: ‘Go thy way, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor and thou shall have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross and follow me.’ You have to choose between wealth and serving God,” he said defensively. He was a fanatic who believed anything worldly was sinful.
“To my mind, to seek material comfort, some luxuries and sufficient financial means to assure health and happiness is not inconsistent with spirituality,” I replied. “Dad, many Nigerians spend too much time in churches and mosques praying to be allowed a place in Heaven, while they’ve not been able to avail themselves of the chances of surviving first on earth. Don’t you think that our people should concern themselves about surviving here first, before talking of some paradise somewhere beyond the blue?”
“Chika, you’ve been too daring for your own good, too bold and careless. Headstrong, when you get a thought in your head, nobody can dig it out. You are so stubborn. You’ve been like this since childhood.”
“Dad, you don’t seem to understand. If you believe in something, you’ve to follow it all the way, with all your heart.”
“You don’t want to take it now, but time will come when you’ll remember what I’ve said.”
Dad had not only been cheated in his office but also in his church. I tried to make him change to another church if he must attend a church but he refused. We had another heated argument one day.
“Your pastor is a rogue,” I told him.
Jeremiah Adebayo was the General Overseer of Miracle and Peace Ministries International Incorporated in Ajegunle. He swindled his flock of millions of naira; collected from those who were hungry for greener pastures in America. He collected five hundred thousand naira from each of his victims to help them obtain an American visa. In Nigeria, the acquisition of American visas was a do-or-die affair, so fraudsters cashed in on such desperation. He forged documents, including bank accounts, for those he promised to help travel out of the country, but none of them succeeded.
He’d lied that he’d made arrangement with his international branch in U.S. to provide jobs and accommodations for them. Some of the victims had sold everything they had; while others borrowed the money with interest. Six months after the money was paid, and no success was showing in the planned trip, some of them stopped going to the church. The number of people attending the church declined, but my father continued to attend. Some of the victims reported the matter to the police. Pastor Jeremiah Adebayo went into hiding and his assistant pastor Owens took over the affairs of the church, telling members that Pastor Jeremiah went for missionary job outside Lagos.
“Stop blaspheming!” he warned. “Our Pastor is good. Pastors help people.”
I grinned. “That’s what they’re supposed to do, but your pastor does the opposite. He steals from people, instead.”
He went mad. “You’re just an ignorant fool. He can’t steal; our pastor is a chosen messenger of God. How do you know he’s a rogue when you’re not a member of our church?” His eyes glared accusingly.
“I keep my eyes and ears open. Can you explain to me how he came about the money he used to buy a Nissan Patrol in this period of austerity? He spent the daily contribution the poor followers made in the church, of course.”
“So what? Have you forgotten that it was written in the Bible that the rich shall have more riches bestowed on him and the poor shall have the little he has taken away?” he reminded me sharply. “What our pastor is doing is written in the Bible.”
“You’re enslaved to the doctrine your pastor preaches. In fact, you’ve been brainwashed.”
“May God forgive you for you know not what you’re saying,” he declared righteously.
“I know what I’m saying. Your pastor is using religion to conceal his sinister and undisputable intention to get rich quick. He has turned your church into a commercial house. He’s an incredible liar endowed with alarming ability to manipulate people. He preaches morality and practices immorality.”
“You’re lying. Do you know that he has supernatural healing powers?” he parried.
“He is a charlatan. Physically sound or fairly sick members are the people that always come forward to claim that they have been healed. We’ve so many disabled and lunatics in the streets, how many has he healed? If he has supernatural healing power, let him help us rid our streets of physically handicapped people. Can you remember the number of married women he made pregnant in the name of special prayers, let alone single, young girls?”
“Pastor Jeremiah is a reincarnation of God, so it’s a privilege for him and supreme honor for any woman he sleeps with, not only for the woman, but also for her husband, if she’s married. Sleeping with Pastor Jeremiah is a form of purification.”
“In your church, the congregation worships Pastor Jeremiah not God. Let me tell you dad, the truth is not in the scriptures, but man’s own heart. Your pastor is a wolf under sheep’s clothing. Why the leadership tussles in your church? Why does Owens want to displace your pastor and his willingness to serve God?”
“May God open your eyes to the truth,” was his final statement that day.
I’d loved only a few girls in my life. And each time something usually went wrong somehow.
Ada had been my youthful love. At the time I was crazy about her; she became pregnant and died while committing abortion. I’d never made love to her all the years we were friends. Any time I made the attempt she would ask why I was in a hurry when she was for me forever. We were still very young so I agreed with her. We were barely eighteen years old. One question still remains unanswered. Who made Ada pregnant? Ada was from the same tribe, the Igbo speaking part of Delta State.
After Ada’s death, I met Osaro, who was exceedingly pretty and fair complexioned. She had an angelic face, bowlegs and good movement. It was her legs that usually turned me on. You needed to see her in trousers. And now, I had found happiness again, but my enjoyment of it was spoiled by a dreadful premonition that this happiness with Osaro would not last. It was just another love affair, doomed to end before it had really begun. When I went on a relief duty my best friend got her pregnant a month after I met her. Her serious weaknesses were her insatiable appetite for sex, and the only language she understood was money. What a betrayal. Who should I blame? She was from mid-western Nigeria, Benin precisely, the home of culture and world famous artworks.
In the University, I fell in love with Ekaette. She was full at the bust and hips. She was from a very rich home. She paid my expenses for the session we were lovers. Things fell apart when she wanted to turn me into an errand boy. She was a faithful member of the women’s liberation movement. She held the belief that “What a man can do a woman can also do and even better.” She sent me on stupid errands and tried to control my movements.
So I revolted. “A man is the master of the house and should control the woman, not the reverse, is my strong belief.”
Ekaette’s unflinching belief that men and women were equal had been the cause of our quarrels.
“Are you not aware of some women’s contribution to the socio-economic, political, cultural, educational and industrial development of their respective countries?” she asked me one day.
“I am. That a few women are able to do what many men are doing doesn’t make them equal,” I replied.
“You’re timid and parochial. Men have no right to claim superiority.”
“Preaching equality is religiously and culturally blasphemous and sacrilegious. Read Genesis Chapter 2 verses 21 and 22 and you’ll understand that God created men to be superior to women, if not mentally but physically. This explains the better performance of men in jobs requiring tremendous strength and stamina. The inspired people who wrote the Koran recognized the supremacy of men and allowed them to marry four wives.
“Culturally, polygamy is our practice. Polyandry has no place in our society. Physiologically, we differ to a reasonable extent. I never heard of a man having menses and women’s psychological and emotional responses to situations are never the same as that of an average man. Take the case of bereavement for example. Most women will break down into tears but men will usually take things more calmly. These Utopian ideas contribute to men not wanting to marry highly educated ladies.”
At the mention of this, she went wild. “Who wants to marry after all? Most men aren’t worth staying under the same roof with.”
“Two captains cannot be in the same ship,” I told her. “The claim of equality is one of the things contributing to the alarming rate of divorce in his country. ‘All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.’ My apologies to George Orwell.”
“Let it be.” If ever there had been a chance for any real feelings to blossom between us, it was ruined now. Our love never gained momentum again before it finally ended.
After this I concluded that I was simply one of those men destined to have disastrous taste in women so I decided that I wasn’t going to allow any other woman mess around with my heart. I was from an abjectly poor family but I’d a charisma, which most girls found irresistible. I was undoubtedly handsome. My affairs with women afterwards became mainly physical without any emotional involvement.
I met Amina during my National Youth Service Corps. She was serving too. The former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) in 1973, introduced the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. “The objectives of this scheme are among other things: to inculcate discipline in Nigerian youths by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work, and of patriotic and loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves. It is also meant to remove prejudices, eliminate ignorance and confirm at first hand the many similarities among Nigerians of all ethnic groups,” the director of NYSC told us during the orientation.
As we waited for the school bus, that was to take us to the school of our primary assignment, I started a discussion with Amina.
“I’m the happiest man now that the orientation has come to an end,” I said.
“I am equally very happy. The physical training and the parade practice were too strenuous. The camp commandant didn’t realize we were not soldiers,” Amina agreed calmly.
“I’ve tried several times to dodge the early morning drill to no avail. My platoon officer always noticed my absence,” I complained.
“What I hated most was the bugle-blower, who woke us up at five o’clock. I hate waking early,” Amina said.
The bugle-blower woke the Corpers at five o’clock. We reported to the field by five thirty, dressed in white pants, white vests and jungle boots. We were shared into groups called platoons. Each platoon had its own police, army and man o’ war supervisors. The army supervisor was in-charge of parade practice, while policeman and man o’war supervisors were responsible for the physical training.
By nine o’clock, dressed in khaki suits, youth Corper’s caps and jungle boots, with our trousers tucked into our stockings, we reported to the field for parade practice. It was only an enjoyable period for athletic Corper.
When we eventually arrived at the school, Amina was disappointed with the environment. The school was situated in a small village, with few decent buildings. Most of the houses were built with mud, with thatched roofs.
The facilities inside the school weren’t better. Two Corpers were assigned to a two bedroom flat, better described as two rooms and a parlor. The buildings were crying out for repairs. But nobody cared. Watermarks discoloring the ceiling in several places confirmed the presence of old leaks in the roof. Termites had destroyed the frames of the doors and windows. The pit toilets meant for the occupants of the flats, were about a hundred yards into the bush.
“I’ve made up my mind to have a change of environment, otherwise, I would’ve asked for redeployment. This is a terrible place to live in. I’ve lived in the city all my life, so I want to see what village life is like. I don’t even know my own village. It might sound incredible, but it is true. My parents have never taken us home for fear that witches will kill us,” Amina said.
“Where I live in Lagos is not better than this village,” I replied.
Thereafter, we became close. We visited each other and I noticed that Amina was going out of her way to please me.
Corpers were made to serve in states other than their own state of origin. Amina and I served in Cross River State in South - South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Her father was a senior staff in the Ministry of Education. Her mother was a secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. She was the first child of four children and the only girl. We taught in the same school. She was an embodiment of love, patience and perseverance. But because of my earlier resolution, I resisted falling in love with her. She wasn’t discouraged by my unresponsiveness. She continued to visit and help me in domestic chores. She occasionally met my others girls but she never complained. I was surprised. I’d never met a girl who wasn’t jealous. She always looked confident. She was a fulani from northern Nigeria.
The relationship between Amina and I gradually became serious and we believed it would end in matrimony.
One evening, I invited her to accompany me to a local palm wine bar. The local bar was a small mud hut, with thatched roof, with bottles of palmwine displayed on a small dirty table in from of the hut.
“Welcome Corpers,” the owner of the bar greeted us as we entered. We wore our youth Corper’s caps.
“Give me a bottle of palm wine,” I requested. “I hope it is sweet.”
“Yes. It is sweet. You’ll like it.”
“Do you’ve pepper soup?” I asked.
“Yes. I’ve goat and chicken pepper soup. I also have 404.”
"What does 404 mean?” Amina asked.
“That is what we call dog meat pepper soup in this area,” the woman explained.
“We are sorry, we don’t eat dog meat. Please give us two plates of goat pepper soup and two cups,” I said.
The palm wine was really sweet, so we ordered for another bottle. After that day, we visited the palm wine bar occasionally. As the time progressed, I was becoming closer to Amina. We were almost living like husband and wife. She did all my cooking and washed my clothes.
“Will you marry me?” Amina asked me when the service year was coming to an end.
I cupped her face with my hands. “Amina, I love you, I love you very much, but I can’t ask you to marry me, not right now.”
“If you love me; why not?” She asked in a voice that I could barely hear. “I thought that when two people are in love they eventually get married to seal the love.”
“Yes. They do. And we will. But I can’t marry you right now. I will not enter into a marriage when I’ve got no job.”
The pain in her face chilled my blood. “I can’t bear to think of a life without you, not after what we have shared during this service year.”
“Let us wait till we are employed.”
After the passing out parade to end our one-year service to our country, we were issued certificates of participation. Amina left for Kano while I left for Lagos promising to keep in touch. We never met again till several years later.
One sunny afternoon, I walked into Chemical and Allied Products Plc in Jefferson Street. It was a chemical company that imported huge quantities of chemicals and distributed them to other smaller companies for the manufacture of different products such as cosmetics, soaps, paints, plastics and polish. It was the biggest chemical marketing company in Lagos. I approached the receptionist and asked for the personnel manager. With a wave of her hand she indicated the direction to the office. I knocked on the door and waited.
“Come in,” a feminine voice said.
In all companies I had earlier visited, I met men as the personnel managers. I was unprepared for what I saw.
Seated in a padded revolving chair behind an immense desk was this compellingly beautiful lady. I greeted her and she invited me to sit down.
“Can I help you?” She asked with a well-modulated voice. Her brown eyes surveyed my suit with approval.
“I want a job. I am a graduate of Industrial Chemistry from the University of Benin”
She smiled regretfully. “It is unfortunate my company can’t increase its staff strength now due to the economic recession. We’ve just received five million naira import license instead of twenty five million licenses we applied for. We’re not sure of receiving additional approval soon. We’ve even decided to retrench some of our workers till business improves. While this company doesn’t like to lose our skilled workers who we’ve spent so much to train, we’ve no alternative under the present situation.”
Even with the present high rate of unemployment in the country, you still want to retrench workers?”
“I am afraid we must, if we’re to remain in business. Though, we’ll try to recall some of them immediately the condition improves. The list of the retrenched staff, in fact, shall be placed on all the notice boards this afternoon. Blame the nation’s present state of economy for our action.”
All the time she spoke my eyes were fixed on her. I was staring at her with avid curiosity. I’d forgotten my problem temporarily. Her white blouse was crisply immaculate, with a low-cut neck showing what she obviously considered her best assets. Her complexion was flawless. She wore a red lipstick to match her red skirt and rouge on her cheeks. I hadn’t a job but I knew a beauty when I saw one. What held me spellbound were her provocative busts. She was a Yoruba girl from the south west.
I was leaving when she called me back and offered to buy me lunch. As I waited for her to retouch her face with powder my imagination ran wild. Why had this lady invited a complete stranger (me) to lunch? Was it out of pity for my joblessness? Had she fallen for my charm? You must be crazy, I told myself. How could a personnel manager fall in love with a nonentity like you?
A few minutes later, we were driving in her posh Honda Prelude car to where I knew not. I didn’t care to ask. I could afford to get lost with such a lady. She exuded a strong perfume imported from Paris. She finally parked in the lot of a plush hotel in Dantel Street, known as Royal Majestic Hotel. We were welcomed into the restaurant by a well-dressed waiter, who handed us two menu cards. I ordered rice with chicken casserole. She ordered for the same. We ordered a pre-luncheon drink. We chatted amiably while we waited for the food to be served.
“I read Business Administration in U.S. Both my first and Master degrees were obtained from Harvard University Business School. It was my father’s idea. He told me that going to Harvard was a prelude to a life of fame and fortune,” Biola told me.
“Is it not a very expensive university?” I asked.
“Yes. It is. But my father could afford it. My name is Biola. Biola Harrison.”
“Harrison, the Senator?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes. He is my father. In fact, I’m his only child.” She glanced up from her plate and found me studying her with my eyes hooded in intense stare that made her feel uncomfortable. She smiled. “Are you surprised?”
“Yes. How did you cope? Being the only child, it must be lonely for you while growing up.”
“Yes. I had a younger brother but he died at very tender age. This brought me closer to my mother. My father was a very busy man and still is. He is rarely at home.”
“I’m sorry. But why are you working here? With the number of companies your father has, I wonder why you are not working in one of them.”
“I didn’t want to work in any of my father’s companies. I wanted to work hard to earn my own money and not depend on his help to survive. I just wanted to be myself; I wanted people to deal with me personally as Biola and not as Senator Harrison’s daughter. Since birth I’d been constantly embarrassed and frustrated by my parents’ attempts to shelter me. When I came back from U.S. after my studies, nobody wanted to employ me. They always asked me why I should be looking for job when my father had so many companies. Being that this is an American company and I studied in the U.S., I found it easier to be employed here. They think differently.”
“I was enjoying the conservation. Biola was easy to talk to. “Nigeria must have seemed strange to you after your years in America!”
“It was okay. Home is home. There is nothing like home.”
“Can you tell me something about your parents?”
“My mother was a lecturer in the English Department of University of Lagos before she retired two years ago. She was a perfectionist. It was her responsibility to teach me manners, to discipline me when I err and make me read my books. She is practical-minded and down-to-earth. ‘Money is not everything,’ she constantly reminded me. My father is a politician and businessman. Though, he was rarely at home, but whenever he was around, he indulged me. He took me to the zoo and to boutiques for clothes and jewelry. He bought me whatever I wanted.”
What were the chances of a laborer with the only daughter of an influential billionaire? I asked myself. After she told me about her background, I felt I had to tell her about mine. “I am the first son of a family of ten. My father is a laborer in one of the government ministries. My mother is a petty trader. My younger ones are in the secondary school. I studied Industrial Chemistry. My name is Okafor,Chika Okafor.” Biola kind of sophistication came from growing up in U.S., attending the best schools and taking frequent vacations abroad. It was acquired over the years.
When we finished eating we stood up to go. She dropped me at the bus stop. She gave me her card and two hundred naira for my transport fare.
“I’ll help you find a job. Call on me from time to time in the office or at home. The addresses are on my complimentary card.” I thanked her for her uncommon act of kindness. Her generosity was astounding. She gave me a little goodbye wave and on encouraging smile. When she drove off, I took a bus home. It was cheaper.
Two weeks later, I visited her in the office; she gave me a hearty welcome.
“I have contacted my friends to help you find a job. They promised to inform me immediately they find something suitable. Check me at home on Sunday to check if there is any news.”
She gave me five hundred naira as I was leaving. I chuckled to myself and thanked God for directing me to a gold mine. Every word, every action of hers spoke of her aristocratic upbringing. I liked being greedy. But I didn’t realize what I was walking into.
“How did your search of job go today?” My mother asked immediately she returned from the market.
“All the offices I visited claimed to have no vacancy. I am really tired of the situation.”
“Don’t be discouraged. God will give you a job at the right time.”
On Sunday morning, I tried to make the difficult decision as to what to wear to make the most impact on her. I later settled for my only suit. When I was fully dressed, I walked over to the long mirror at the corner of our one room apartment and studied the effect of the suit. I was satisfied with the reflection I saw. I walked to the street and hailed a taxi. When the cab stopped by me, I gave the driver Biola’s address at Victoria Island. Buses were not allowed to ply the streets of Victoria Island. It was the home of the rich. V. I. as it’s popularly called, it is an expensive area of Lagos. It housed quite a large member of the diplomatic community, along with some prominent Nigerians who had made it.
The taxi dropped me off at the gate of the house. I paid and walked to the gate and dug my finger into the bell push on the outside and waited. The bell was answered by a security man in uniform, “What do you want?” he asked.
“I want to see Biola ,”I replied.
“Are you Mr. Okafor please?”
"She’s expecting you.”
The home was a massive out-of-ordinary architectural edifice in a large compound surrounded by huge fence. It was even more imposing than I had imagined. It was a splendor of splendors. The compound was decorated with assorted flowers, planted in unique patterns. I looked around and was awestruck at the grandeur of the compound. Parked in front of the house were several expensive automobiles – Mercedes, Lexus Jeep, Biola’s Honda prelude, BMW and Land Cruiser. All spelled one word – money. They were people of substance accustomed to wealth. I followed him to Biola’s room. On our way we met Mrs. Harrison.
"Who’s this man?” she asked the security man, as her eyes assessed me appreciatively.
"He is Biola’s visitor ma’am.’’
"Good afternoon ma’am,” I greeted.
"You’re welcome. I hope Biola is in her room. Jack take him to her room. If she is not there, wait for her, she is around.”
"Thank you ma’am,” I said.
“You’re welcome,” she said tenderly and flashed me a dazzling smile.
Mrs. Harrison was a soft-spoken woman. She was spectacularly beautiful. She’d a physique and beauty that were hard to ignore. She’d a cute gap between her front teeth. She is quiet in her tastes, although they owned the best of everything. She was about 1.8 meters tall and slim. Her age I guessed to be about sixty years.
Biola’s room was in the first floor of the three-story building. When I stepped into Biola’s room, enthralled, I gasped in wonderment. Biola’s room was tastefully decorated and fully air-conditioned. The room was spacious. She’d assorted sorts of live size posters of American musicians like Michael Jackson and Barry White on the walls. On her reading table were ultra-modern stereo set, and a twenty-four inches colored television connected to DSTV satellite. A giant fridge stood at the corner of the room. The bed was so big it could accommodate four people. A red rug thick enough to swallow up shoes covered the floor wall-to-wall. The room had three sybaritic upholstery chairs. A gold chandelier adorned with marquise-shaped pendant reflected the many colors of the brilliant murals painted on the ceiling.
She was lying on her bed when I entered. She was pleased by my appearance but managed to convey this without verbal comments. She was still in her transparent white nightgown. It could only cover not conceal. She might as well be naked. I sucked in my breath at the sight of her. I stood at the door to allow her cover her apparent nudity but instead she invited me in. I wanted to sit on one of the upholstery chairs in the room but she objected.
“Come and sit by me,” she said. To my astonishment she was gazing at me with undisguised affection. She was manipulative and self-serving. She was the type of woman who possessed a natural seductiveness. I went and sat by her. She gave me a kiss before she stood up and went to the fridge to fetch me a bottle of beer. As she returned, I watched with bewildered eyes the vibration of her naked breast, under the light nightgown. My breath was coming in gasps and my heart was thumbing.
Why had she invited me into her room when she was so scantily dressed? What would be her parents’ reaction should they meet us under this condition? She was an adult, I reminded myself. However, I felt uncomfortable. I gulped down my beer greedily
As if she knew I was trying to escape, she drew me to herself and held me tight. I was conscious of her faint, exotic perfume. She stroked at my pubic region demandingly. Initially, I pretended to be innocent and ignorant. When she continued, I threw caution to the wind.
I stroked her thigh and she moaned loudly.
“You’ve such tenderness, such skill in those your strong hands,” Biola said almost in whisper.
As she continued to moan, I was afraid someone might come to check what was wrong with her so I raised the volume of the stereo playing in her room. I roused her to the highest echelons of passion before I eventually made love to her. There was no limit to my inventiveness and variety of styles in the act of loving making, so I gave Biola a treat.
I saw happiness in her brown eyes, and knowing I was the cause of it, my heart leaped for joy.
“No man has been able to make me reach orgasm except you. You’ve proved to me that my appetite for sex is not insatiable like most men I’d met claimed.”
All my joy over my achievement vanished. I suddenly jumped up from the bed as if it burned. How many other men had lain in this bed? Lain here in Biola’s arms and responded to her passionate kisses? A stabbing pain pierced my heart at the thought. But why should the fact that she’d slept with other men bother me so much? You couldn’t hold her accountable for living her life as she deemed fit. You’re the intruder here – not Biola. What would I do when the opportunity arose to make love again? Would I take her?
Unaware what I was thinking she continued. “I fell in love with you immediately I saw you. I was attracted by your look – tall, dark and handsome. I was fascinated by the way you carry yourself – your full understanding of who you are. I appreciated your dressing,” her voice sank to barely a whisper.
I was still feeling disappointed when she gave me a gold wristwatch studded with diamond. “Take this as a token of my love,” she said affectionately.
My countenance changed immediately. I became happy again. “Thank you very much.” This was my golden opportunity to take advantage of the love of not only the daughter of a billionaire but a Personnel Manager of a rich multinational company. She was older than me but that wasn’t a problem as far as I was concerned. After all young girls ran after men of their father’s age. It was even said that older ladies were better to fall in love with because they appreciated it more. Like wine, they got better with age. But she wasn’t that old. The difference between our ages wasn’t more than ten years. This was how my love affair with Biola that led to our marriage started, but there were numerous battles along the way.