Soki finally came to the conclusion that this was certainly one of those days he wished he never got out of bed in the first place. He sighed inwardly at his boss’s curt request;
“I want the report on my desk first thing tomorrow morning!”
Not even a commendation for salvaging the situation – Geez! As he got behind the wheels of his car to begin the long drive home, he felt like a man who had been to battle and lost. He felt frustrated, battered and bruised.
He started out the day arguing with his wife, Belema over her idea of a second honey moon. She had been brimming with it all week, and he had cleverly managed to avoid discussing it until this morning. It was not like he was unromantic, or completely abhorred the idea; heavens NO! He just wasn’t ready for the financial implications of such a trip. He wasn’t poor at all, he was sure he could afford it if he stretched his resources, but that was exactly what he didn’t want to do. His mind went back to the question his mother asked him, when he announced his intention to marry Belema. She called him aside and after listing all of Belema’s very desirable qualities, she popped the question,
“Soki dear, I know you love Belema, but she was brought up with the finer things of life. She is used to a very lavish lifestyle, are you sure you can maintain it?”
He recalled how fast his confident and cocky answer came out. He was young, ambitious, climbing the corporate ladder with a speed that surprised everyone, and so he was fully convinced of his capacity to satisfy Belema’s cravings. Besides he really was in love with her, and still is. He still remembers how scared he was approaching her after Cupid’s arrow had struck. Eventually when he did get to know her he found out that even though she was a ‘daddy’s girl’ she was very sweet, very accommodating and very supportive of his dreams.
But this morning she was very far from any of her sterling qualities, at the height of her nagging he yelled at her. For the first time in their three-year old marriage he came very close to hitting his wife. Belema screamed in shock when he grabbed her by both arms and gave her a good shaking. It was the scream that stopped him. The look on her face when he eventually let go of her made him hate himself. He could not believe he had done that, he wasn’t a violent person, he wasn’t even confrontational. He moved up in his career, not by ruthlessness or brute force but by his intelligence and cunning.
After that encounter with his wife, his day just went south. He got to the office to news that a major account he secured had been lost. As if his morning couldn’t get any worse, rather than blame the subordinate that lost the account, his boss shifted all the blame to him. For Pete’s sake! He got that account and several other major accounts for his company in the first place. Why should he now take the fall for another employee’s incompetence? His boss wouldn’t hear of it, he just wanted the account back.
The fact that he was also expecting a call from Captain Briggs, his father in-law, didn’t help his mood. Belema wasn’t a tattler but her father was the first to hear about things she couldn’t handle. Soki effortlessly filled that space most times, but being the cause of this particularly ‘thing’ she couldn’t handle, he was sure Daddy would be her only choice.
He managed to set up a meeting with the client. Their reason for pulling out was explained and a commitment to reconsider extracted. It was the report of this meeting his boss expected him to deliver by tomorrow morning. He sighed again as he looked at his wrist watch, he hoped with all his heart that Belema will be at her parents so he could put in some work at night. Besides he wasn’t ready to confront her and their ‘domestic issues’ just yet.
His car suddenly making contact with the car in front of him brought him out of his reverie; in all his musing he had momentarily forgotten he had his feet on the accelerator pedal. The car he hit was a black and shiny Toyota land cruiser; thankfully it had a rear-guard so the impact left only a visible scratch. He imagined most of the damage will be to his car.
Before he could pull himself together, a woman, about 5ft 3inches tall sprightly jumped out of the Land cruiser. She appeared to be middle aged underneath all the makeup. She had on cleavage baring clothes, clothes a younger woman would have pulled off effortlessly; needless to say she looked like a hooker in them. All of her fingers were adorned with rings varying in sizes, but none looked like a wedding band. Even before her feet made contact with the asphalt of the road, she had started yelling expletives at him,
“Get out of your car! You this arrogant man, you dare to bash my car yet sit down in yours? Idiot! Wretch!”
A crowd slowly started to gather. People were murmuring excitedly anticipating a show to spice up their otherwise routine lives. From the crowd someone ventured to address the screaming land cruiser owner
“Madam, na small scratch, leave am make him go, you no see as him own car damage?”
That got her really ticked, and she stretched to her full height to say to him
“Idiot, you say na small scratch, you fit buy common bicycle wheel talk less of this kind motor? If you no know wetin to talk carry yourself and your poverty comot for my front”
At that, some in the crowd burst out in laughter, some gave her a disapproving look as the man that spoke up slinked away. They were all clearly waiting for Soki to get out of his car and confront the land cruiser owner.
He eventually got out of his car, after deciding that his best course of action will be to apologize to her.
“Madam, I am very sorry, it was never my intention to hit your car I simply lost control momentarily”
“It was not your intention abi?” She screamed at him
“A stupid idiot like you, is that all you have to say?”
He chose to ignore the insult and instead continued pleading with her
“I am truly sorry Madam, what will you have me do?” He asked her
The very next thing he saw was a flash of her bejeweled fingers making contact with his cheek, and then he saw stars. For a moment he didn’t understand what happened until his cheek started to sting painfully. The crowd gasped simultaneously then a hush fell on them, he knew they were all waiting for his next move. He still can’t explain what happened to him, but he knew at that moment something in him snapped. He took one cold look at the madam as she quickly stepped away from him. By now the crowd had grown to about two times its initial size, surprisingly the policemen that usually littered that road were absent. He walked quietly to his car, opened up the boot, took out his jack and walked back unhurriedly to the land cruiser.
When it dawned on the woman what he was planning to do, she began to scream again but this time at the crowd
“Are you people just looking at him? Somebody stop him o! He clearly does not know who I am”
Unfortunately for her she left her handbag in the car, so making a call was out of the question as it appeared her phones were in the bag.
Soki brought down the jack on her windshield with all the force he could muster, and it was with relish he heard it crunch on his second try. While he was at it, the woman was still screaming at the crowd, who by now were deeply engrossed in the entertainment, some found it extremely funny, some felt it was payback time for her arrogance , some shook their heads in pity but nobody moved a finger to help her out. By the time he was done taking out the two headlamps in front, his anger was spent. He walked back to his car amidst the excited chatter of the crowd. He even heard someone say
“Madam you dey fear am now? You no go pursue am make you give am another hot slap? Useless money miss road”
Soki was past caring, after he returned the jack to the booth, he got in behind the wheels and zoomed off. The whole drama lasted for nothing less than 10 minutes, but it was a crazily, exhilarating 10 minutes. After checking his side and rearview mirrors to make sure he wasn’t being followed, he threw back his head and burst out in maniacal laughter. He felt all the frustration of the day draining out of him and taking its place was a strange invigoration. He parked his car in the garage with a huge smile on his face. And as he got out of the car his phone rang. It was a very cheery Soki that answered it
“Good evening Sir, Yes I just got home, and yes I will be able to see you tomorrow evening. Can I please speak to my wife now?”