Terence managed to hide in the restroom while madam Funmi made her purchases and left the restaurant. He came out and met Chioma who had so many questions for him.
Chioma: “and what was that act for? Don’t tell me it was about the stomach upset, I won’t buy that lie” she said peering into his eyes.
Terence: “You should be thanking me that I went away”, he said trying to dismiss the discussion.
Chioma: “and why should that be?” She asked obviously confused.
Terence: “That was my aunty who is always advising that I get married. If she had seen us together, she would have embarrassed you by saying you are one of those girls who do not want me to settle down. That is why I ran away to prevent that” he lied.
Chioma: “Like what is that supposed to mean? Do you want me to believe that story? Can you even listen to yourself at all? Any way, you are not making sense but that does not matter right now. Let us go” she said to his surprise.
Saturday came and Terence and his friends stormed on Chioma and the lecturer in the hotel just like they had planned. The lecturer was caught pants down and his photos were taken by Terence and his gang who threatened to expose his secrets and release his nude pictures on social media if he ever asked any female student out again. Chioma left the hotel, triumphant that Terence whom she was beginning to admire had helped her solve her academic problem.
Kachi was finding it very difficult to cope in America, although he was getting paid handsomely, his mind was not at rest. He was frequently sending all that he was making to Chioma even though his uncle had cautioned him against entrusting all that he had to a woman. He had assured his uncle that Chioma was a very good girl whom he could entrust his life to. He had told her to save the money so they could use it to get an apartment and get married when he returned.
That evening, he was particularly sad because his visa was due to expire in few weeks and he didn’t know how to go about extending it. His uncle’s wife had promised to help him but because he had refused to make love to her, she had been hostile and had refused all entreaties to help him. He picked up the phone and called Chioma, he knew that he had offended her by not calling her for two days and that was because he had worked over time the past few days so that he could end more. He had promised to call her every day after work because they were not allowed to use their cell phones while at work. He dialled her number and she picked immediately.
Kachi: “Hi bae, how are you?” he asked weakly. The burden in his heart was like a clog in his throat.
Chioma: “Hey, love. How are you? I missed you, been trying to reach you all these days to no avail” she said in one breathe.
Kachi: “been working overtime o, so that I can save more money before I get kicked out of this country when my visa expires” he said sadly.
Chioma: “Hmmn, what about your uncle’s wife that promised to help?” she asked with concern.
Kachi: “Ah, just forget that one jare, all these Americans can be something else. So, hope you have been saving all the money that I have sending to you?”
Chioma: “Yes, but wait o, what sort of job do you do that gives you so much money like that?” she asked with wifely concern.
Kachi: “It is not plenty money jor. I understand that the value of the naira is very low compared to the dollar and that is why you are seeing it as if it is plenty money” he replied casually.
Chioma: “really? Okay o. But I still want to know the nature of your job over there. Why are you hiding it away from me? Hope you are not into drugs o” she chuckled.
Kachi: “drugs ke, abeg o” he replied quickly.
He was contemplating whether to tell her about the nature of his job or not. But he knew that he couldn’t keep it away from her forever, the earlier he told her about the nature of his job, the better for their relationship.
Chioma: “hello, are you there? What is wrong with me knowing the sort of work my fiancé is doing overseas? I heard that some men go as far as sleeping with white women to get paid. I hope that is not what you are hiding from me?” she said into the receiver.
Kachi: “Hell no, baby. You and that your weird idea of what people do here for money. Anyway, I am a morgue attendant here” he said quickly.
Chioma: “Which one is morgue again?” she asked trying hard not to believe what her brain was interpreting.
Kachi: ‘Morgue like mortuary”, he said quietly into the receiver.
Chioma: “Chineke me eh!” he exclaimed.
Kachi: “baby calm down, you are screaming into the receiver” he said.
Chioma: “I cannot calm down o, In fact, I don’t understand what you just said. What did you say your job is?” she asked again.
Kachi: “does it matter how we make the money? What matters is that we make it legitimately”, he tried to play on her intelligence.
Chioma: “I agree but what is your job description?” she insisted.
Kachi: “I work in a mortuary as an attendant, which is where I make the money that I have been sending to you. Now, can we move to another topic?” he pleaded.
Chioma: “we cannot move to another topic o. How can you condescend so low as to washing corpse for money? Why didn’t you tell me before you started sending the money to me? Tufiakwa! Arlu eh, Kachi, you are doing the job that is meant for slaves and Osus in our village. Chimo eh” she began to rant, forgetting that her roommates could hear her phone conversation.
Kachi: “Please baby, don’t make this more difficult than it already is for me, I beg you in the name of God” he pleaded with her.
Chioma: “don’t baby me o, you didn’t tell me that you were going outside the country to work as a mortuary attendant. It is so disgusting that I cannot even think about it. Do you know that such jobs have negative consequences? It can bring about bad luck in the long run. Look at those doing that type of jobs in Nigeria, many of them end up very poor, some run mad and some die prematurely. Is that what you have gotten yourself into? Wouldn’t it have been better if you had remained in Nigeria to hustle? Most of your friends that you left behind are doing very well now and they are not even working in the hospital talk more of mortuary” she chided him.
Kachi: “so what would you have me do? Remain here idle until my visa expires? I had to do something Chioma, anything that would give me money to send to you for your education and to save money for our marriage. If I had enough money back then in Nigeria, we would have been married long before I came here. Every day I wake up with the fear of you breaking my heart, that is why I send all I make to you since I don’t have to pay for my feeding and accommodation here. I entrust all my money to you just so that I can have the guarantee that you are mine and mine alone. Is that a crime?” he asked with pain in his voice.
Chioma: “Well, thank God we are not even married o” she said
Kachi: “and what is that supposed to mean?” he asked his voice betraying the pain he felt.
Chioma: “I am sorry but I am not sure about this marriage thing anymore. I cannot keep my eyes open and go into a marriage that has dirty money as its foundation. How will I escape the ill luck when it comes? In fact, send me the account number of any of your people in Nigeria so that I can send all your money that you are keeping with me to them. I cannot continue keeping such money in my bank account” she said irrationally.
Kachi: “Chioma, no, you are not saying this Chioma. Hello, hello”, he looked at the receiver, only to discover that she had dropped the call on him. His heart began to beat violently against his ribs; he was suddenly regretting his ever accepting to work in a mortuary.
Question: Na wa oo, Kachi is in for it o. Is Chioma’s reaction justified? Should Kachi resign and return to the country for her sake?
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