Scaring The Spoilers Away

“Don’t look at her that way, she’s still a child.” Mr. Eke yelled at the two men admiring his daughter from their car by his right as they both waited at the traffic light near Abakpa Army Barack.

“Why then did you father a pretty girl when you can’t stand men admiring her?” Chika yelled back jokingly. His friend nodded in support.

But Mr. Eke was in for no jokes. He hated it when grown up men looked at a teenage girl in a certain way.

“Get your eyes off my daughter this moment and vanish. That’s how you go about spoiling little girls.”

“Hey girl! Don’t mind your father hmm, you’re a pretty girl and I’ll like to marry you in five years time. By then you’ll be a grown up.” Chika teased. “What’s your name? Do you have phone yet? Don’t worry, I’ll buy you one so we can always talk.” he talked the innocent girl who smiled at him in silence.

“That’s it.” Mr. Eke eased his tall strong frame out of his white Toyota Camry and walked to Chika’s car. By now the traffic light had turned green, but he didn’t care. Other motorist beeped their horns impatiently but he ignored them all.

“I’m warning you. Don’t talk to my child that way ever again.” He pointed at Chika.

“Okay, okay” Chika said, rolled up his glasses and pressed the central lock.” His friend laughed at his cowardice. He knew Chika could make trouble with his mouth but run away when it’s time to fight.

“He’s damn serious. Unbelievable! He’s one heck of an emotional wreck.” Chika said to his friend sobering up.

“I thought he was bluffing.” his friend said as Mr. Eke hit the windscreen over and over again, pointing his index finger, warning and challenging but It didn’t work to provoke Chika to an extent. He didn’t know chika well. Chika would never step out of his car for a fight nor make a public show of himself.

The motorists behind them stepped down and threatened to call the police if he did not get out of the way.

Mr. Eke then calmed down a bit after he had unleashed his annoyance by hitting the windscreen and bonnet of Chika’s car with his iron-like palm severally. He made to return to his car but it was too late. Two federal road safety officers, three policemen and five army officers had already gotten to the scene.

Once he stood aside, Chika drove away fast. The officers let Chika go because all the tens of fingers of dozens of motorists pointed at Mr. Eke as the only offender.

“Why are you obtructing the traffic?” Asked a soldier approaching him menacingly.

“I’m sorry sirs, I’m sorry. Those irresponsible young men made me mad.” he said to them.

“Put your hands behind your head! Stand away from your car! Move it!” Shouted one of the police officers who was holding a batten in his hand.

“This is federal road, not your private property.” A soldier said with a scary tone.

“I know sirs, I said….. I’m sorry sirs.”

The soldiers were furious because no one dared cause traffic jam at anywhere near the baracks. The federal road safety guys were ready to take him to the station as well as the policemen.

“Do you agree with me that you’re a bad example to the generation after you?” A soldier asked pointing at his fifteen year old daughter.

“Yes I know. It’ll never happen again.”

The soldiers and the policemen left when his daughter started crying and pleading on his behalf.

But Unfortunately he didn’t escape from a fine of thirty five thousand naira by the federal road safety department for obstructing the traffic. Mr. Eke had to go with the officers to office to settle the fine before continuing on his way to taking his child home from school.

He realised the gravity of his overeaction only after the deed had been done and his money wasted. That was the part he hated about the hot temper thing which had forced him to do unimaginable things like having physical combat with a twenty year old and at fifty-three as well as slapping an old woman that provoked him. He had been working on himself for more than twenty-five years without much success.

But one good thing about him which was rare in hot tempared people was that Mr. Eke was always ready to apologise once the demon left him.

African Proverbs

One who walks with wisdom hardly stumbles.

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If hunger forces a farmer in a certain year to eat not only his yam tubers but also the seed yam, the succeeding years will be worse because he will neither have yam to eat nor seeds to plant.

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A seller who spends both his income and capital to solve a pressing need will have nothing to live by.

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Aftrican Proverbs

Keeping Peace #6

Stephanie watched the doorknob move in the left direction and tensed.

Clement entered and she got up to welcome him. The diner had been prepared with her money as usual. She preferred providing the meal to giving up her earning. No matter how long the challenge would last, she’s ready to stand to face it without any qualms.

“Welcome, darling.”

No reply.

She collected his briefcase, placed it on the sofa and made to undo his tie as she used to.

But he swept her hands away, picked the briefcase and walked to the bedroom. She waited at the dining table and after an hour he walked to the television turned it on and sat to watch.

Stephanie sat by his side.

“You need to eat.”

No reply.

“Stop this drama, Clem. It won’t do us any good.”

No reply.

“We really need to talk,” she said.

“I’ll only talk to you when you place your March earning on my palm,”

“Hear me out first.”

“Everything had been moving on smoothly until you changed.”

“See, life doesn’t work that way. We’re partners in this union.”

“Where did you learn that? The last time I checked, this is Africa. Not the US. Here marriage is not a partnership. In this part of the world, the husband and wife are not equal. The husband is always the head and the wife is supposed to be under him, loyal and submissive..”

“Well, that sounds like the era of the savage and uncivilized. This is the twentieth century and we are learned and should be liberal.”

“Being learned doesn’t make the man the woman’s equal. Wake up.”

“Understanding, Tolerance, respect is all I need from you.”

“And so do I, Stephanie. I need those from you too. Desperately.”

Silent ensued.

” How will I make you understand that you’re stretching me beyond what is tolerable buy forcing all my earnings out of my grip every month. If you really love me, you were supposed to care about how I feel about certain things you do.”

“I believe so much in the adage which says that if you know what triggers dispute between you and someone, avoid it.”

Stephanie watched his eyes spark the fire and knew it’s either she gave in to his demand or give up the marriage. It was that serious and that realisation terrified her. But she was determined to fight for her right to the end.

“Okay.” She took his hand in hers. He didn’t resist.

“I have an idea.” She said and waited.

He kept silent.

“How do you see us opening a joint account?” He scowled, got up and went away.

Stephanie went into the bedroom and called Mrs Gelu to give her some update and ask for what to do next.

“Allow him some time to digest the evening dialogue. Remind him again about it in the morning.”

“Thank you ma.”

Stephanie heard a noise in the bedroom restroom and felt like the earth should open up and swallow her. He had been in the restroom the whole time she had been talking with her life coach, Mrs Gelu. She was sure he heard her. conversation but why didn’t he react.

“I’ll call you tomorrow.” She ended the call with a whisper and followed him. He entered the visitor’s room and locked the door.

That was very childish of him. Keeping malice was not her thing. Growing up she was nicknamed the ‘okay girl’ some called her Miss No Problem. As far as she was concerned, no one needed to apologise before being forgiven and no one needed to complain because she readily apologised. She didn’t like that side of her but she didn’t have any choice. That was one of the stuff she was made of.

It took a lot of effort to say no to her husband.

So when morning came and Clement didn’t listen to her, Mrs Gelu told her what to do.

“Do not bother him anymore. Your duty now is to be nice to him. Perform your duty as a wife but whatever you do do not give in. He’ll get over it.”

But John had already told Clement to do something drastic.

“If she can’t do what you say, then stop her from working.” he had said over the phone.

“How on earth will I ever do that?”

“Put her in a family way. Make her a mother. And then tell her you to want your kids to always have their mum around. She might even decide to stop work. Mothers hardly cope with banking jobs.”

Thanks, John. You’re such a handy friend.

“Everything will be fine. Go back. Be nice and do what I said. Within one year, she’ll be out of work and you’ll have your wife as humble as a Jesuit to his superior.”

Clement went home from work that day to be nice to Stephanie.