Okafor Ude returned to my compound the next day. I had originally planned to throw one unique surprise at him but since the issue of getting money from my mother came up, i decided that it was good to give the man a good welcome and reception.
“Good morning Sir” I said to Okafor Ude as i opened the gate wide for him to enter.
“Thank you my son” He Said, “Is you mother at home?”
I nodded and led him to the smaller house where my mother lived.
Three of us sat down and began to discuss how we were going to visit Nsukka.
We were required to buy some of the items the native doctor listed while we were required to just give money for others.
“We will buy the…” Okafor Ude was saying but i cut him short.
“Listen Oga Okafor, I understand how much you want to help us in this case but please you must listen to my instructions. I am the one bringing out this money, not you. We will go to Nsukka first to meet with the man, then we will ask him what we will buy and the ones he will buy by himself. Just get ready because we can go any time soon” I had said.
He noticed that i was getting angry and as a result, he agreed to what i said.
The first thing to do was to go to Enugu Urban to withdraw some money From the woman’s account.
I told her to get ready in an hour.
We drove to Enugu around 10am and stopped at the UBA opposite Amokwe Bus Stop along the long and popular Agbani Road.
Twenty minutes later, we came out with 400,000 Naira in cash.
The first thing i did was to drive to Ogbete Market and bought things for the woman.
As we walked around and bought clothes, milk, sandals and more, i paid from the money i had with me in the pocket. I wanted her to know that i wasn’t touching the money meant for the Nsukka man.
It was almost ridiculous to think that i was going to hand the money over to a native doctor at a bush village in Nsukka.
A native doctor who didn’t know what my missing brother looked like.
A dirty native doctor that struggled to survive, yet he knew how and where to locate a man who was abducted by gun men more than 2 months back.
No matter what the case may be, i wasn’t going to give the money to anybody.
I drove my mother back to the village and returned to Enugu.
Ify, the girl i was told to marry had been calling me ever since i disappeared from her agenda.
She knew that i was busy running up and down looking for my brother but she still wanted me to have time for her.
I picked her up in her residence At topland area and we drove to the ‘Celebrities’ eating center.
At a quiet corner, we sat alone and discussed.
She said she got admission to study at Enugu State University of Science and Technology and that she needed some money to pay for acceptance fee.
“How much?” I had asked.
She said it was about N26,000.
“Listen Ify, giving you this money is never a problem for me. The problem is that i would be required to pay more and more as soon as i start paying. We are not yet married. We Are not even engaged. I am sure you will get disappointed the moment i decided to stop paying. Therefore you need to get this money from your father. He has money and you are still under him” I said.
“I already told him to give me the money but he said i should ask you for it” she said.
“That’s what i mean. He is already thinking that i should take responsibilities for your well being. He is being very insensitive and i must talk to him about this. I will give you this acceptance fee since you said you only have one day left to pay but bear in mind that i am not responsible for your education at the moment” I concluded.
We ate in silence and later left ‘Celebrities’ for Toscana Villa.
My phone rang continuously while we sat beside the swimming pool and struggled to fall in love.
Okafor Ude had been calling to remind me that we had no time.
I eventually got angry and answered his call.
“Your mother said she gave you money for the Visit to Nsukka” he boomed with excitement on the phone.
I cut the call without saying a word.
Mr Okafor Ude was getting me angry on hourly basis. I didn’t know what to do with him because he was an elderly man but the way he was disturbing me, i had no doubt that i needed to shut him up for a while.
He seemed to have noticed that i was angry because he didn’t call me again.
Before we left Toscana, i gave Ify the money she demanded.
I saw some disappointment in her face but i didn’t want to ask her anything.
I knew that she wanted something from me. She wanted some kind of strong commitment which i wasn’t ready to give her.
She had believed that the money i gave her was going to be the beginning of our relationship but unfortunately, i told her that i won’t be giving her more as long as her education was concerned.
She was still going to pay for school fees and other hidden University fees. The money wasn’t really the issue but i knew that the moment i committed myself to some extent, it would be difficult to go back.
I recalled the first time she sent her pictures to my email, i had checked them and told her that she was beautiful.
It was just a normal compliment every young girl deserved but Ify went as far as thinking that i had agreed to marry her since i said i liked her pictures.
Since i returned to Nigeria, i didn’t make any move to sleep with her. I knew that she wanted to and i knew that as soon as i did that, she would blow her trumpet loud enough to the hearing of even her parents.
Things could have gotten complicated if i did because i had realised that the way i reasoned was far different from the way most people did here in Nigeria.
Back in Europe, dating a girl meant nothing because the system was good and the government had social packages for everyone but in Nigeria, especially in my dear Igboland, the moment you start to date a girl, she would start looking forward to her traditional and Church weddings.
But then i had my own rules which i wasn’t going to change for anybody; not even her.