DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 73

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

Blank. I am blank.

Toyin insists the best thing is to tell Luke he’s not the father of my baby. How do I do that? I’ve never admitted guilt to any man. I don’t love them. I use them and dump them. Why would this be different?

Toyin cries over the phone. “He is brutal, Nosa. He is waiting for the right time to ruin you?”

“No man can ruin me.”

“You have seen them all, haven’t you? Then why are you calling me for advice?”

I take a deep breath. She’s right in a way. From the day I met Luke Chase, things have changed. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

“Look here Nosa, you have done this thing for too long. It’s time to consciously change your path. God’s arms are wide open—”

“Toyin, stop!” We’re both quiet for several long seconds. “What do you know of Luke?”

“Nothing you’re interested in.” She sighs. “I need to go, Nosa. I’m coming back to Lagos tomorrow by road and I need to sleep.”

“Why are you coming by road?”

“I don’t have money for flight, Nosa. My husband doesn’t either. And we won’t do the wrong thing to get it.”

“Okay, good night.” I hang up.

I am being stubborn, no doubt. She wants me to get a proper “job.” When all my life I haven’t. Is it now I have a baby on the way I will start looking for a job? Besides the fact that no one wants to employ a pregnant woman, no man wants to keep another man’s baby while having an affair with the mother.

The question of sustaining myself is out because I can from my savings but with a baby! It’s not even an option. My baby should have a rich father. All these years, I haven’t gotten pregnant. Why now? And I have the option of removing it…Toyin will faint if she even hears I thought of it.

Am I unredeemable?

My phone rings again. It’s Toyin. Should I pick it or not.

“Hello, Toyin.”

“I wanted to ask for your new address. You never did give it.”

I roll my eyes to the very back. But maybe I really do need her back in my life. I call out the address.

“Thanks. Actually, I’m coming to your place tomorrow. We had accommodation issues and even Bode went to his parents’ in Ondo till we can sort stuff.”

“You don’t have accommodation!”

“I told you Bode moved to Lagos because of me. His business hasn’t done well. It’s just a phase.” She sighs. “Please, I’ll see you tomorrow evening.”

She hangs up before I can say anymore.

This is why I don’t want to lose Luke. I’ll beg, and that will be unthinkable.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 72

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

I continue to contemplate my staying alone.

Luke came back from his trip just as I return from mine. For some reason, because I am one tough babe, I am shocked to realize I am scared to face him. With the calls, and Toyin’s hanging threat, what will he say?

Sure, I am going to maintain a tough front. I will not break down and confess he is not my baby’s father. He should feel privileged to be offered a baby on a platter. Everyone will know I cheated on him, but who cares. I don’t, and he shouldn’t.

So, I disappear to a shop in the neighborhood at the time he scheduled to visit. And didn’t pick his call. He leaves a message that he wants to spend the night, and he’ll be back. He should want to spend the night, a man hasn’t touched me since December. Which only happened when I didn’t have a “job.”

A man like Luke won’t even accept sickness as an excuse. AI don’t want him to touch me; maybe it’s the pregnancy.

Confusion has never been my mate but today, I don’t know what to do. Maybe it’s time to lay everything open. Tell Luke the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What can he possibly do to me? With my father’s funeral behind, I have an escape route. I will go and stay with Julia in Benin. I have money in my account, over two million.

Right now, I can even disappear.

A soft wind blows my face and the other voice harshly reminds me of my baby. A billionaire’s child. Will I forfeit the life I can have with Luke Chase as the mother of his child?

I call Toyin. “Please, I need your advice.”

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 71

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

I am Nosakhare William. From the time I was thirteen, I’ve been with men. I cannot be intimidated now at thirty. I know some men are pure evil but I know how to get even. This may be my first time of dating a man like Luke, but a man is still a man.

I call Toyin’s bluff and travel back to Lagos the following day. What can anyone do to me I haven’t seen till now – now I’ve been raped, a definite first.

The only thing that hasn’t happened yet is I haven’t died before. But I have had near-death experiences. What can Luke possibly do to me? Now I know I’m a target, I will be careful too.

Things don’t feel the same, though.

My stomach is growing, and because I want to keep this baby, I cannot break up with Luke and find another man. Even if I can, who will want a pregnant woman like me? Except for perversion.

My house is as empty as I left it and I consider getting a flatmate. It can be a very bad idea, I know, but with my life spiralling in different directions I’m not used to, I think someone in the house can help me find purpose and direction.

Where will I get a flatmate from anyway?

Toyin had mentioned Mary had accommodation problems in Lagos and was staying in her house, but even if I offer, my sister will never agree to live with me in a house provided by a man, a married man.

The walls are closing in on me. I feel so lonely. I rub my stomach. A baby is growing, and will come into a world so cruel, a world that has rejected its mother. I guess many will say I am one of the people adding cruelty but what about me? What chances did I have?

With my father gone, it doesn’t seem to make any sense to continue with my revenge. I only hurt myself. I am alone, hated by most people I know, deceived beyond measure by the married man I hope to exploit.

I’m not hungry but I have a bag full of fried meat. The meat has been well-seasoned and fried dry by the cooks. I put four on to a plate, open a can of malt drink I had in my fridge, and sit in my room, still the only furnished room in the house. It is not a good feeling to drink such chilled malt alone, with such sweet meat. But that’s what my life is. I can’t talk about regret.

I’m too stubborn to.

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 70

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

The burial is a huge success by all means. My cow made Mum and our side of the family look good. You see, in our part of the country, a good burial is weighed by the amount of food available to guests. Amount of meat, actually. Like Mary and Toyin thought, Queen’s food finished before ours, and soon servers were coming to “beg” for meat. It is really good to watch.

After the reception, we return to Julia’s house. We didn’t plan any night party, and even if Queen did, we won’t be there. The following day, the will is supposed to be read but Daddy’s widow said he didn’t have a lawyer and didn’t leave a will. Well, that is Julia and Mum’s headache.

More than half of the cow remains, and it is shared equally by Julia.

“I don’t need so much,” I tell Toyin. “I still live alone.”

“It doesn’t matter. I’m keeping mine in the freezer.” She chuckles. “I’m not buying meat for another three months!”

I laugh at her exaggeration. “Aha, Toyin! You want to cut it into maggi cube size?”

She puts her meat away in a raffia bag where her souvenirs are. “I don’t have to, haha.”

Still, I insist she takes some of mine. She’s feeding two people, me, one.

“When are you going back?”

I startle. The dreaded question. No one knows how miserable my life is right now. Being with my family these two days has helped me to forget the mess I left behind in Lagos. Money is currently not my problem but what if Luke is on to something? My best scenario is to continue to pretend he is the father of my baby, and he plays along, marries me and his wife leaves me well alone. But this sounds like a fairy-tale. This can only be if the anonymous caller is fake and just wanted to harass me.

If the caller is right…

I may be on my way out of a “comfortable” existence. Back on the streets, looking for a house, perhaps without a car, and how long will my savings last. A year, maybe after I pay rent. I’ll have a baby by then, and then what? Keep my baby with a nanny while I go out to “work?”

“Nosa! Did you even hear a word of what I said?”

I look at Toyin, all the confusion in my life probably clearly written on my face. “Ehn? Sorry. I’m leaving tomorrow.”

“Nosa? Nosa!” Toyin grips my hand. “What is going on with you?”

Aha, nothing! I’m fine.”

“It’s not true, jọ! Why are you lying?” She moves to the bed we shared for two days and sits beside me. “You need to confide in someone, Nosa! This is me, Toyin! Someone will call you and you won’t pick up, and you never pick unknown number.”

“Toyin, there’s nothing. I’m pregnant, and—”

Her eyes bulge. “You’re pregnant? For who?”

I snicker and move away to start packing my bag. “Who else? I don’t do two men at the same time.”

“Luke Chase can’t have children.” Her voice seems to come from far away.

Blood drains from my veins, and I slump back on to the bed. Sweat breaks on my forehead.

I whisper hoarsely. “How?”

“How? Didn’t Ivy tell you? Everyone knows. It’s not a secret, Nosa.” Then she gasps. “You told him you’re pregnant for him? Osanobua, Nosa! You’re finished. Luke Chase hates deceit.”

 

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 69

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

I thought it would be awkward but it isn’t. Especially by some divine coincidence, my cow arrives minutes after I did. It’s the first cow-gift, apparently. I don’t know what happened to my family, but they didn’t have enough money to buy a full cow.

Julia goes about ranting on how to kill a cow, and who will cook it, and I just pretend not to hear it.

“The cooks said they will get a butcher. And they have agreed to cook it without extra charge,” Mary rushes in to say. “Though we have to pay the butcher separately.”

Julia gasps. “Huh! How much will that be now? I don’t have any more money o!”

“I’ll pay for it,” Toyin offers. “And Mary, we have to monitor those cooks o, or they will steal all the meat, and we won’t have anything after the burial.”

Mary giggles. “Trust me.”

There is a lot of hustle and bustle, and the atmosphere is light. Which helps me blend easily. Everyone talks normally with me, thank goodness. I am just not ready for any drama at the moment. I learn my mum is in her house. She’s mourning the way Daddy died in her house more than the death. Toyin tells me it’s given her nightmares. But no one has time for all of this.

Queen, daddy’s official widow had dumped the date of the burial suddenly because I was wondering why I’d be given such a short notice.

“That girl,” Mary hissed as she, I and Toyin join the cooks to clean the meat. We volunteered for this so we can keep an eye and reduce the loss. “We’ve been asking her for a date forever. She refused to allow even Julia to attend the meetings.”

Toyin shrugs. “She thinks she’ll get everything from the will.”

“She cornered information and plans so she will be the one everybody gives money and otherwise.” Mary rolls her eyes. “Mummy just told us to do our own thing without her.”

“I’m sure nobody gave her a cow,” Mary giggles and steals a glance at me.

There is an awkward silence because, #throatclearing, where the cow came from is less than acceptable.

“Is Luke coming?”

I startle at Toyin’s question. For a moment I want to ask her which Luke? The one you condemned me for dating? But it’s daddy’s funeral and everyone has let down their arms.

“He can’t make it. The notice is too short.”

Awkward silence again.

Mary giggles. “I imagine that silly girl will be shocked when she sees the quality of food we will serve. All the meat.”

Toyin slaps her knee. “She’ll probably ask us, in fact, beg us to give her meat.”

 

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UNDER A RED DELTA SUN, my first fast-paced YA Suspense Thriller coming out on May 8!

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DIARY OF A STRANGE WOMAN – 68

Nosa will date any man for the right price. Find out why.

It’s not like I didn’t at some point in my life want a good relationship. I did. But each time I remember how my father treated my mother, I hate him, I hate her, and I hate all men, and I hate all women.

My life was very lonely, still is. My life has been so empty. The more I think I am punishing the people who hurt me, the more I hurt. It’s a rollercoaster, a vicious cycle. I don’t want to bring a child into this kind of life. I don’t want a child who will be me…And a male child may make worse choices.

The following morning, and two days to my father’s burial, I pack up, stop at the bank to credit my sister’s account, and get on the next available flight to Benin.

When we touch down, I send Luke a message. He pays half a million into my account shortly afterward and calls.

“Buy a cow for the burial,” he says.

“Thanks, darling.”

I hate him too. Is it true he can’t father a child? So, he knows I’m lying to him about carrying his baby. Oh, now he wants to use me or what? He knows I’m using him too. It’s such a hopeless lifestyle.

I check into a hotel and call my friend Sazu. He’s probably the only guest I’ll have. Esosa the clown would be at the burial too but I plan to snub hell out of him.

“I want to buy a cow. My baby-daddy sent money for it.”

Sazu whistles. “Wow! Nosa, you know how to rock this life.”

I roll my eyes. “How else?”

“I’ll call one of our customers who deal with the barrack boys. They’ll deliver wherever you want.”

“Great. Thanks.”

“And sorry about your dad. I don’t believe I’ve spoken to you since.”

“Thanks. I’ll pay on delivery.”

Sazu chuckles. “I trust you.”

“I’ll send the address for the delivery in a moment.”

Ideally, should be Daddy’s house, but I don’t want to give it to the control of Queen. Mum’s house should be best but are they cooking there? Or Julia?

I decide to call Mary. She’d be the least hostile, I think.

“Hello?”

“Hello? Nosa? This is Toyin. Mary’s phone is with me.”

I roll my eyes all the way to the back of my head and back. No way! “Oh, Toyin! Hi. You’re here already?”

“Yes, we’re staying in Julia’s. Are you in Benin?”

“Yes. I just came in today. I want to—”

“Where are you staying?”

“A hotel on Obasanjo way.” I sigh. “So, I have to deliver—”

“Hotel, ke! No no no. Come to Julia’s house, jare! What’s wrong with this Nosa? Everyone is expecting you.”

I snicker. “Really?”

“Please please please.” She says something to someone. “Abeg, come over. Your uniform is here, sef.”

I heave a heavy sigh. “I just checked in…”

“Yes! I’m coming!” She yells. “Nosa is here too. Yes. Is that not the goat Mama Ebube fried? No! Nobody should touch it. Abeg. Put it under my bed in—”

She continues to scream over the phone about all sorts of things and I hang up. My head is ringing. What will it be like to stay with family? Again. And in such a short time.

I call Sazu and give him Julia’s address to deliver the cow.

“I’m staying there too.” I sigh, resigned.

When did Nosa become this wreck out of control?

 

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