Akunne called me two hours later and said he had collected the money. He told me that he met a man in the house and asked who it was.
”Akunne I don’t know who the man is. I called Jennifer and she said she had invited a man to live with her because she couldn’t sleep alone. That was why I sent you to go get the money. As a result, I want you to suspend paying for that apartment. The man will start paying” I said.
Akunne asked if he would send the money to me, I told him that Johnson will pick it up from him.
I was boiling inside and couldn’t concentrate on anything after what Jennifer said. I had warned her to get a woman if she wanted a roommate, not a man. I wouldn’t care if Jennifer dated someone in my absence but I wouldn’t tolerate the person living in an apartment I paid for. Out of respect, I never invited a woman into that apartment just because of her. Well, all those things were over.
The following morning, Azuka called. She said she had returned from 5:30 mass and wanted to know if I was around.
I told her to come if she wanted. She showed up a few minutes later and was looking beautiful as always. We sat in the sitting room and talked. She said I was looking fine and well fed. We joked about how her mom had chased me away from their house back in 2001.
She wanted us to go out in the evening but since I was traveling the next day, I told her that it would be the following weekend. I gave her N2000 when she was leaving. When she left, My brother said that N2000 was much. He advised that I should learn to give them N1000 instead, only if he knew what I did in Aba.
The rest of the Sundays passed slowly without any activities. I just sat in the parlour and watched some Nigerian movies. Some were interested while some were just total rubbish. There was one with a man named Victor Osuagwu who was struggling to make impression as a comedian.
I got tired of watching and asked my brother if he still have some of the Jack Daniels I had given him as gift. He said there was one he had not even opened. I wondered why I didn’t ask about that since I returned. He picked it up from his room and opened it.
He called two of his friends who came and joined us to drink the foreign whiskey. We joked as they reminded me when I was their co-trader at the Used spare parts market.
When they left, I ate Some rice and went to my room. I called village and told them I was in Onitsha.
I also called Jennifer who confirmed that she was given €200 by my friend. She wanted to know if I was angry about the new guy in the house.
”Jennifer, you don’t have any respect for me anymore. Maybe that is because I traveled but the news flash is that mr Osagie will start paying for that apartment until I return. I warned you not to bring a man there. You think I was not serious. I hope he is not touching any of my clothes or shoes because if anything happen to any of them, you will give me the money when I come back. By the way, I don’t know what you did with the money I left for you. I warned you not to use up to €400 in a month. You have monthly ticket and you have a bag of rice in the house. I don’t know what you did with it but be rest assured that the €200 is the last money you will get from me” I finished and hung up. She didn’t sob or cried as she used to do. Something was wrong.
I called Joe and asked how he was doing. Business was still doing fine but not like when I was there. She asked if I needed anything but I told him not at that moment. He said Jennifer had called him and he had given her €400. I told him never to give her any money again.
What was wrong with Jennifer? What was she doing with money?
That new Osagie must be exhorting her. I pitied her and almost seeped for her but since I promised myself that the affairs of Europe won’t hold me hostage in Nigeria, I waved it behind me and slept.
The following day was monday. We prepared to go to Cotonou. The ship carrying the last cars I bought had returned four days ago. We got to Upper Iweka and boarded different buses to Lagos. My brother had told me that it wasn’t wise for two of us to follow the same bus due to security reasons.
”anything could happen” he had said. I saw some sense in what he said and agreed to board a different bus.
We got to Maza Maza at an hour interval and headed to Cotonou that same afternoon. We got to Seme border and bribed our way into Cotonou through the border. A new massive toll gate had been constructed on the Seme-Cotonou highway.
We got to Cotonou in the evening and decided that it would be better to go to the wharf in the morning.
We found a hotel and rented a room for both of us. I wanted separate rooms but my brother was good at minimizing expenses. We slept until the next morning, then we entered bikes and drove to the wharf.
Unlike Nigeria, the process of clearing vehicles in Cotonou was easier. The three vehicles were cleared the same day. There were people from Nigeria and other countries who came to buy cars at the wharf. My brother advised that we sold the cars that I bought for my Father and younger brother who was still a student. He gave reasons ranging from the fact that they couldn’t maintain the car to the fact that my younger brother would start to lose concentration in his studies.
I eventually agreed and we sold the Honda civic and Opel Omega. We hired a driver who took us to Idiroko via Porto Novo. We gave him money to settle the customs and police, then he crossed the car in the night and brought it to Owode. We called Izu, a friend of my brother from Lagos and handed the mercedes over to him to bring down to the east.
My brother left for the east while I went to Lagos to catch more fun.