There is no kerosene left in the lamp. I told my husband to let us buy one of those solar rechargeable lamps but he said no. It’s too expensive. There are also no more candles in the house. I told Kunle, my husband to let us buy a generator but he said no. It’s too expensive. Everything is too expensive for Kunle. I have no engagement ring because Kunle said the ones he found were too expensive. He proposed to me with a ring I already owned. At the time I thought it was cute.
I don’t have a car. I had saved up money to buy one but Kunle said it was too expensive and we should put the money to better use. I also do not work. I got a job in Lekki- we live in Ikeja, but Kunle said it was too expensive going from the mainland to the island to work. He told me turn to turn it down. I joked that if I had a car, it wouldn’t be a problem. Kunle said my joke was too expensive.
Kunle and I have been married for 5 years. We don’t have any children. Kunle said children are too expensive and we can’t afford them at the moment. He said we should wait till our 6th year of marriage or our first million; whichever one comes first. Kunle is an engineer and he works at the Apapa port. He spends 3 nights a week at the port, making repairs to the ships. Kunle said that buying fuel in his car to go from Apapa to Ikeja everyday is too expensive. He sleeps on the ship to cut down on costs.
I decide to take some food to my husband at the port one evening. I think about taking a taxi, but I know he will say it’s too expensive and get upset. I take a keke from our house to Ikeja along bus stop, a bus to Moshalashi, another one to Oshodi, one more to Ajegunle and an okada to the port. I get to the port and look for Kunle’s station. The security guard tells me there’s no one there. “Madam, call your husband for phone. Everybody don commot for this place,” he tells me as he slouches back to his old chair to resume his nap. It shouldn’t be this stressful to surprise one’s husband.
“Oga, my husband dey sleep for this place. I’m sure he just stepped out. I will sit down here and wait for him”, I tell the surly looking security guard. He barely even lifts his eyelid to look at me. I wait for one hour and consider calling Kunle. It’s almost 8pm at this point and I don’t want to have to go back home too late. Ikeja under bridge is not the safest place for a lady at night.
I finally run into someone that looks a bit knowledgeable. ”Good evening” I say to the gentleman. “Please I’m looking for Kunle. He works at this station”.
“Ohh you mean Oga Kunle?” he says with a smile. “He has gone home oo. They are having a party at his house this evening.” I quickly apologize to the man for disturbing him. We are obviously not talking about the same person. Kunle is definitely not an Oga and he doesn’t believe in parties. He says they’re too expensive.
“There is only one Kunle in this station,” he tells me. “I am even going to their party. I can give you the address so you can go there yourself. Or I can take you if you don’t mind.” My curiosity is piqued, so I get into his car, hoping and praying he’s not a ritualist and this is not a ploy to get me into the forest and drain me of all my blood.
We climb unto Eko brigde, head into Victoria Island and pass the first tollgate. At this point I’m terrified because now I’m sure he’s not referring to my Kunle. Kunle hates Lekki, he says everything there is so expensive. This man is definitely trying to kidnap me.
As I prepare to open my mouth to scream for help through the open window, he stops at a majestic white house. There are two fountains in front of the house, each one with a cherub placed strategically at its centre. The lights in the garden give the water a rainbow colored tint. It’s arguably the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen.
Trying not to get too distracted by the house, I begin to plan my escape. I’ve watched too many Nollywood movies to not know what happens next. This is where they cover my head with a bag, and lead me to meet the other victims in the all-white room. I quickly open the door and prepare to run unto the street until I notice there is actually a party going on. My curiosity gets the better of me and I go inside the house.
The house is brimming with people; they spill out from the inside to the garden. They are all dressed in white, holding champagne glasses and eating Hors d’oeuvres. I hear the clink of a fork against glass and a man clears his throat, preparing to give a speech.
“Thank you all for coming to celebrate my beautiful wife’s birthday. We’ve been married for 3 years now, and it’s been so wonderful. She still hasn’t left me even though I have to be away from her four nights a week.” The room erupts in laughter at this and he continues.
“I love you baby. I promise to give you the world. Nothing is too expensive for you.” Kunle turns around and kisses this woman on the lips to a round of applause.
Everyone turns around to stare as I drop the bowl of food I completely forgot I was holding.
The bowl rolls down the short flight of stairs I’m standing on and lands right in front of my husband.
Okro doesn’t look too nice on white, hand made, leather shoes.