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Monday, 4 January 2016


It was a sunny Monday. He was dressed in a blue striped shirt and black chinos trousers with a pair of black LaCosté shoes to match. He was standing on the queue in UBA just within the neighbourhood to make withdrawals of his savings while he worked at the filling station. He had hoped that whatever he had saved up would be sufficient to take care of his bills and miscellaneous expenses for the period in which his unemployment lasted. He was quiet and his eyes fixed on the Western Union advert that was just across the banking hall. He was unconsciously listening to the buzzing sounds of doors, clicks of computers and murmurings by other customers that complained of the slow services of the bank. It eventually got to his turn and he withdrew every single dime he had collected over the years. He was just about to walk out of the bank premises when he ran into Anita at the ATM. Though she had tried to avoid him, but Chinedu ensured that he was in full glare.
“Hey honey, how are we?” Chinedu said as he walked towards her.
“Chi, I am fine o. What are you doing here this early?”
“I just came to make some withdrawals my love.” Chinedu replied as he tried to catch a glimpse of her account balance.
“Okay, that sounds typical for a Monday. I even ran into your friend Tunde on my way here.”
“Don’t mind that foolish boy. But babe, your account is breathing fine o. Wanna tell me your secret formula?”
By this time, they had left the banking premises together and Chinedu had offered to walk her towards her home before leaving for the business of the day. They talked as they walked along the way. An onlooker could tell that these two were in super love. But who would have thought that Chinedu didn’t know that his sweetheart had just made a withdrawal of the money that James had sent her. They were finally at her gate and exchanged final pleasantries and hugs before parting.
Chinedu was grateful to the Universe for sending an angel his way in the form of Anita. She was the only woman that could understand him, the only woman that knew his weaknesses and strengths, the one for him. He flagged down an Okada rider and gave him necessary information on his destination. As he got to his door, he found a letter stuck at the door knob addressed to him by a mystery person. He was taken aback because his neighbours had told him that they did not see anyone come to deliver the letter. Within the comfort of his room, he sat down to read the content of the letter; that had read: “FOR YOUR GOOD” on the brown envelope that enclosed the letter.

Mr. Chinedu Oboh,
I sincerely thank you for being a good care-taker in my absence for some years now. I have seen your good works and show of affection towards my betrothed wife Anita. I believe that this little revelation could come as a shocker, but the world we live in is one full of beautiful surprises. I am a man that holds respect in high levels and as such I thought I would show you some respect by sending this letter to you. I have watched you from afar, even till this morning when you went to the bank; and later did a good job of taking my wife home. I thank you for your kind gesture.
Chinedu, henceforth you shall desist from seeing Anita Nwokoye. I have come to take what is mine. I have come to take care of things myself. I sent her a hundred thousand naira just some days ago and I plan to do more. Things that you cannot do in your present condition. We are currently in contact with each other and are trying to make the best of our communication. By the way, did she tell you we have a son? Please stay away FOR YOUR GOOD.
King Of The Slum.

The letter dropped from Chinedu’s hands to the floor as he tried to comprehend what he had just read. It felt like he was in a trance. He needed someone to wake him from this dream. He was afraid. This was deceit. It couldn’t be true. Did Anita have any idea about this, being that he was with her earlier today? A lot of questions had to be answered. He fell upon his bed and simply closed his eyes and slept off.

“James, how could you? Are you crazy or something?”
“Baby, what are you saying?”
“Why would you do a thing as stupid and selfish as that?” Anita asked again.
“Anita, did I tell you we were through?”
“James, you disappeared into thin air without a word”.
“Is that the reason why you have refused to let me see our son? Do you know the evil things I had to do in South Africa just to come back to fend for you and my son?”
“Do not bring Jason into this. That’s very cowardly”
“Madam, you dey talk rubbish o. E be like say, that Chinedu don give you Juju chop. But, don’t worry I am here to deliver you. You know what I can do.”
James slammed the door shut as he walked out of Anita’s home. She was left holding a brown envelope that contained the money that James had sent to her. She had planned to return the money to him, but the fury she had seen in his eyes killed the thought almost immediately. He had boxed her in using the little detail of the love child they had together. James had disappeared on hearing about her pregnancy and she had become a disgrace to her mother who had trained her to do better. She had endured all those years of pain alone until she met Chinedu. She did not have any idea that James would come back some day to tear her world again just as he was doing now. She thought of Chinedu, his predicament, her son, her mother and the new King of the Slum; James.
A lot was just about to unfold. She was still swimming in her thoughts, when her phone rang. It was a call from Dupe. What did she want? She ignored the call and promised to call her up later. She had pressing matters to attend to.

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