Dear Chief Ajanaku,
I hope this letter meets you well. Please if you haven’t eaten, do well to eat because the content might cost your appetite. Have a bottle of water close by too.
Chief, courtesy of the uproar in my workplace, I and some of my colleagues have been asked to stay at home. They say it’s not retrenchment, rather, leave with no pay.
It’s been three weeks and whenever I call the office, my most dreaded sentence comes howling at my ears. “We will get back to you, Mr Stephen. We’ll get back to you.”
I’m sorry to bore you, chief, with my unending stories. Life has been hard lately but I can’t see bad things happen to good people and keep shut. No! It’s not in my DNA. I wasn’t brought up that way. I can’t stand it.
Here’s the aim of writing you this letter. It’s not about money. Rara o! It’s nothing. Finding myself yawning and patrolling the street like an unwanted ghost, I have noticed a lot. And I have also taken to writing; first to myself, my dreams and my demons; second to correct and right the wrongs in my society, of which my street comes first. They say charity begins at home, right?
Chief, whenever you leave the house every morning after that Hausa man you call Mai Gida has wiped your white car clean, after you had shared your herbal mixture as a morning ritual to everyone outside, your house turns to a runway where fashion styles are exhibited.
First, your wife leads the way, you know she’s young and people hailed your ability to capture such beauty. Once you leave, she struts around, catwalks even, sometimes in bump shorts and a loose top that let her unbridled chichi dazzle the eyes of young men. Other times, she’s in a gown that barely covers her pubic area, carrying herself like the best thing that happened to humanity.
Once she finishes her first strut, people start visiting. Not just people, but those I assumed were your friends; Mr Seun, your neighbour on the right, the one you wore his asoebi some months ago. Once he leaves, smiling, Mr Okon takes a cue and slides in. When Okon is in your house, your wife makes loud funny noises, noises you’d never make except something was being driven into you. This was the routine for the first few days until it changed.
Chief, the woman you gifted a wedding ring allowed your driver to drive not just into the compound but into her. The vendor also, that demo old man that prostrates before you, that allows me to read his complete sports paper for free got there too. That would have been less hurting, considering that both men were fine until I saw Mai Gida eat from the plate meant for you. He even forgot he was outside the gate when he tapped your wife’s buttocks.
Chief, I know this is a hard pill to swallow. The whole street knows. They see and keep quiet, but I can’t. You’ve been a good man to me. The few bottles you gifted weekly is a tip of your magnanimity. I don’t want a confrontation so I decide to put it in writing.
Ask these questions when you get home today. Ask your wife why she takes long before picking up your calls. Ask her why your bed has no legs. What exactly broke them? Ask your Mai Gida why it takes him so long to open the gate lately. Ask your driver if his duty post involves the bedroom.
Truth be told. I couldn’t hold this atrocious attitude any longer. So I confronted your wife a week ago.
In her defence, she parted her legs. Chief.
I drove in.
© Stephen Toochi