In case you missed it, read Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4 , Episode 5 and Episode 6
It’s amazing how a certain thing feels like the most important thing in the world. You are pursuing this something with all you have. You eat it, sleep it, dream it and scheme it. Every step you take is geared towards this something. And then another something happens. And in that moment, the first something loses all its importance and the new something takes over your life.
Before I felt that pain, all I could think of was my scheme with Fafa. But in that moment, the baby reminded me that it was alive and kicking in my tummy. I waited for that pain to come again, but it didn’t. if I hadn’t been the one that felt it, I would have even began to feel like I had imagined it all.
Fafa had asked in alarm as I yelped “Reks what is it? What’s happening to you?”
“it’s nothing, really. Just the baby,” I had responded, downplaying things. I didn’t want her worrying and fussing about me. Being pregnant doesn’t make one an invalid, contrary to popular male and never been pregnant female belief. I directed the conversation back to where it was meant be. The questions she was meant to ask were meant to lead to talk about the Niger Delta and oil bunkering operations going on there.
“that’s not a problem. We just need him to think you know some of the top militants, that’s all.” I said.
“it’s okay, I can swing that easily.” She responded. It was true. Men around Fafa just wanted to hear her talk and they would believe she had the president’s direct number if she wanted them to believe that.
“How far with the online thing? Have you started?” she asked.
“Been busy with these files all morning. Would get to that now,” I responded.
“Okay, no problem. My guy is working on the photo and the other thing. I’ll pick it up once I’m done with this date and bring em home,” she said.
“No yawa, cash ya laira!” I said and hung up.
By online thingy, here’s what she meant. Fafa is the one that loves all the twitter, facebook and instagram things. She tells me she has met some of the most interesting people in all those places, but as for me, I’d rather see people physically before deciding whether I wanted to be their friend or even have continuous conversations with them. But today, she had asked me to select as many of the old pictures I had taken together with Ochuko. The pictures had to be different occasions and places. i didn’t have Instagram so I had Duke open an account for me.
Then I set about uploading all the photos on Facebook and Instagram, with all sorts of romantic captions. In all, I uploaded seventy on FB, but because I got tired of the Instagram thingy, I put only thirty.
“Duke, can you get your friends to like my Instagram photos?” I asked. It was more of an instruction than a request though. He gave me a look that said “see how the thing is shacking this one” and then said “sure ma.” I didn’t bother with the Facebook pictures. It didn’t look out of place because even the few pictures that were there before didn’t have any comments.
After that, I dug into the work I was actually paid to do.
The pain came again on the drive home. This time though it was less intense. “it’s probably normal, and anyway it’s already subsiding sef. I’m sure I’ll sleep it out,” I said to myself.
I got home before Fafa and impatiently sat in front of the TV. I was trying hard to concentrate on the documentary on Nat Geo Wild, but who was I kidding? And that foolish Farida wasn’t picking her calls.
She came in at about eleven. I had dozed off on the couch but she had let herself in and shook me until I woke up.
“Madam, I would have woken up if you just called my name,” I said in annoyance.
“who took this one’s bread, abi is that how you welcome someone who has been working her ass off for you home? Come on, at least use me as target practice for how you’ll welcome your husband home.”
“You know you’re very annoying abi?” I said.
“But of course. Annoying you is my hobby. How else would we prove to the world that you are not a robot?”
“For you baby, for you. And this witch has produced it.” She waved an envelope in the air. I tried to snatch it from her but she was too quick.
“Didn’t your mummy teach you not to grab? Say please.” She said, sticking her tongue out.
“Farida Azare, if you don’t hand that thing over now, I will… Oya please,” I said.
She shinned her teeth and then gave it to me.
From it, I extracted the biggest of the contents. It was a wedding certificate from the Ikoyi Registry for my wedding to Ochuko.
“She brought out a similar certificate from her bag and I put the two side by side. “if I didn’t know that this was a forgery, there’s absolutely no way I could have known.” I exclaimed.
“You don’t know those Oluwole boys. They can bring out anything once you give them a sample. And it’s a picture of the certificate we need anyway, so it will do just fine.”
Then I emptied the other contents of the envelope onto the couch. I could not believe my eyes.
“how in the world did you get this done, Fafa? Na to begin fear you o,” I said, eyes wide with disbelief. I was holding in my hands a picture of Ochuko and I on our wedding day.
“My dear innocent and offline Rekiya,” Fafa said, patting my head “you will be surprised at what people can make happen with all sorts of computer paparazzi these days. Again, under close scrutiny, this will fail, but since we’re taking a picture of this hardcopy, it will be hard to tell that it’s a fake.”
With that, she took the photos and certificate from me and set them carefully on the dining table. She took a picture of each and then settled into the couch to chat with her group member who had given her Ochuko’s London gist.
“Babe, I have gist for you o. Your friend and someone I know have entered Ochuko’s one chance,” she began the chat. It took like ten minutes for the message to deliver and in that time we assumed every acrobatic position under the sun searching for network. Thankfully, it seemed her friend was holding her BB. She read the message immediately and responded.
“who be Ochuko o?” she asked. She had apparently forgotten their former conversation and since she knew him under another name, it had not clicked.
Farida quickly sent him the same picture she had posted in their BB group the previous time and the lady said
“ah, the nonsense guy. What atrocity has he committed again?”
Fafa: Shebi you said he is married to your friend with kids?
Salz: Yeah, against sensible advice she allowed him use her get his papers.
Fafa: I don’t know what all these babes are thinking o. He married the babe I told you about o, here in Naija.
Salz: it’s a lie. You have got to be kidding me.
Fafa: No joke o. they are Mr. and Mrs. Now. And I have proof.
Fafa sent her the picture of the marriage certificate.
Salz: *bbsurprisedsmiley* Serious matter. This guy will never change. And I warned this girl, she will not listen. See the mess she’s gotten herself into now.
Fafa: Wait, I have one of those wait and get party venue pictures here, let me snap and send to you.
Salz: Oya, I’m *bbwaitingsmiley*
Fafa waited for the appropriate time it should take to snap a photo and then sent it to her.
Salz: Oh Ehm Geeee. It is true. It is effing true.
Fafa: Which one is it is true now? Will I now be giving you fake gist ni? Oya search for Rekiya Reks on Facebook or IamReks on Instagram.
Salz: Haba, it’s not like that now, I was just very shocked ni. This dude is just heartless men.
Fafa: He is, but it’s our friends who are gullible jor. Didn’t you warn your friend? Didn’t I warn this one too? But she still went to go and marry.
Salz: Na true sha.
Fafa: Yes o. that’s why me I don’t leave eye down for any guy. Abeg it’s not worth it. Anyway, I’m out sha, I just said I should nack you tory, as e dey hot ni
Salz: No probs. Take kia.
Within ten minutes of the chat, I got a new follow on twitter from a @sexysally. Then a friend request came in on Facebook from Sally Oyinbra Woko. Finally, a Sally Woko became part of my Instagram crowd. We enlarged the twitter handle’s AVI and Fafa confirmed it was her Salz.
“Kai, people and aproko sha. See the speed she came to check out these social media things. And she was forming “haba” on BB o”
We both laughed, waited for like ten minutes before accepting her friend requests. I imagined her saving the pictures on her BB and screengrabbing the instagram ones before calling her friend up, armed with “facts” to show her what her hubby was doing in Naija.
“There’s one more thing I’ve done” Fafa said and then called someone “oya, tell them to post the story now,” she said.
I looked at her wondering what she was thinking. Minutes later, she brought her iPad and handed it over to me. She handed over her Note 2 to me too. On the iPad, Linda Ikeji’s blog was open. The story “Very Bad Sharp Nigger”. It had the picture of Ochuko and wife in UK and Ochuko and I in front of the Ikoyi registry.
“You are mad Fafa, this is too much now. It could backfire you know?”
“Do you really want to get this guy?” she asked earnestly.
“Then let’s go the whole nine yards.”
I sighed. I guess I really didn’t have a choice. “you haven’t told me about your date o,” I said.
“Ahh, that one. I have him. And while we were at it, you remember that my friend in Port Harcourt I’m always saying changes his number like anything?”
“Yup yup,” I responded.
“Well, the reason he changes it that frequently is because of his business. He’s a bunkerer. Once I mentioned his name, your oga knew him. Seems they need someone just like that for this their deal. I told him I could get the guy. He’s yet to tell me the details, but we’ll get it. He’ll talk soon, the moment I can find what number that bozo uses now and get them to talk once.”
I rubbed my chin “sounds good. I’ll try to find out what I can from Ochuko too,” I said.
“You have to do it right my dear. The easiest way to get a man to talk about such stuff is to pretend its above you and that you really don’t understand what he is saying. So you have to practice appearing un-smart.”
“Yes, aunty,” I said and bowed low.
My phone rang out loud and I grabbed it angrily
“why the hell is this one calling at this time of the night?” It was Ochuko calling and I nearly did not pick it. Fafa pressed the green button and put it on speaker.
“Hey boo,” I said, pretending to be sleepy.
“Sweetheart, how are you? Hope I didn’t wake you up?” he said.
I rolled my eyes. “you know you are the only one allowed to do that,” I managed to say.
“there’s an emergency and I have to fly out to UK tomorrow evening. And unfortunately, I have a string of meetings all day, so we won’t be able to see before I leave.”
“Ahan, what is this emergency and how long are you gone for o?”
“it’s business stuff dear. A huge deal will fall through if I don’t get there. Should be able to sort it out in a week and I’ll be back. I’ll miss you, okay?”
“I’ll miss you more dear.” I responded.
“Gotta go now, love you,” he said and hung up.
Fafa’s eyes danced as she said “Sisi Salz no dey slack. She has reach the Mrs. already.”
That night, as I lay in bed and tried to sleep, the pain came again, milder than even the second time. It would be gone by morning.