Forums Coolval Family (drama) The Necklace ( A short Story) by Akintayo Akinjide

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    AvatarValentine
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    1

    My story is a very long one and I wonder when we will finish it if I start from the beginning. So, I will start towards the end of it. No… I’ll start from the end.
    I don’t even know how to keep living a life I hated with passion. I need not bore you with the fact that I was born into a poor home.

    But I was lucky enough to marry a man who loved me but wasn’t rich enough to provide for my insatiable desire for wealth. I couldn’t fathom why some people were born into a family of wealth. If life was truly a lottery, I had chosen wrongly by coming into Nigeria, I had done wrong by being born into Ajegunle.

    Despite my husband comfortable riches, I couldn’t believe I still had the shawl of poverty wrapped around my neck even at the age of thirty-two. When we were in the University, I had plans to make it big in life. I wanted to surpass Bill Gate, Dangote, Otedola and the rest. I came out as one of the best in school, but my husband had made me a full housewife.

    The preparation for my woe started one fateful Saturday evening. My husband had just returned from having a nice time with his friends. And whenever he returned from such meeting with them, his view about life change- he worked all night to meet their standard. Maybe because they were all rich and he wanted to beat their standard or because they motivated him, I can’t tell. He was the poorest among them. He was still the only one living in a two-bedroom flat and still used a Golf car.

    ‘Boluwatife’ He said, caressing my hair as he loosened his tie. I was lost in thought. ‘What are you thinking about?’
    I shook my head.
    ‘Are you sure?’
    I nodded.
    ‘When did you become Agama lizard’ He said, and laughed. I smiled. I was lost in thought about the necklace I saw with Rasheedat, my bosom friend. I loved that necklace. I couldn’t ask her for the price because I knew she was expensive. Just like her husband, she rode Kia Rio when my husband and I shared his own golf to office. He was the owner and not the both of us. The necklace was laced with diamond and the highest I saw in Nigeria online store was two hundred thousand naira, which wasn’t even up to the standard of her necklace. She was a senator’s daughter and married to one.

    ‘Chinedu is organising a get together and he was particular about bringing you’.
    ‘Me?’

    ‘Yes’ He said, joy beaming through his face like a laser bearing through ones skin. I knew he was always proud of me but how will I relay my fear to him. ‘
    He cocked his head as he did whenever he saw my face change form. I looked away. The feeling was visible on my face. ‘What’s wrong with you?’
    I shook my head. ‘
    ‘You’re lying’.

    I sat beside him as he slouched into the couch. ‘I definitely know when something was wrong with you’.
    I pouted and stared into the air.’ I’m not going?’
    He stroked my head and frowned the more. He wanted to cajole me into going to the party but I couldn’t.

    ‘You don’t want to go?’
    I stiffened as I frowned. ‘Yes… I don’t have any clothe’.
    ‘You sure have clothe’.
    I shifted back to face him. ‘What? Do you call those ones cloth? Those old rags. Don’t you know the calibre of people that would come there’?
    ‘I know now, but what does that matter?’

    ‘It does matter. I won’t wear those clothes of cheap material. Do you want me to look inferior?’
    My husband removed his hand from my back. His face stiffened.’ What are you trying to say? Are you saying that I’m poor?’

    I brushed an imaginary dust out of the air. ‘Leave that side, my friend. You know I’ll never mean that. What I’m saying is that my cloth would be up to the standard of the women coming there.’

    ‘I still do not get what you are trying to say’
    ‘I’m saying… Forget it. Will Jerry’s wife not be there?
    My husband stared at me and nodded.’ I still don’t get’
    ‘Will Ireti, Shola’s wife, not be there?
    He nodded.
    ‘Will Priscilla not be there?’
    He nodded. ‘Of course she will there now. What’s wrong with you? In fact forget it .Forget it. What do you need?’

    I turned to him. Now, that the opportunity had presented itself I grabbed it. There was this cloth Ireti wore the other day, I heard the price was twenty thousand. I knew a cloth that was better than hers and I’ve heard the ladies talk of this cloth times without number. God! If I could get one, Ireti would forever never look at me as she did. Many of our friends hated being near her whenever they wanted to feel better because her disdainful look could deflate anyone’s ego. I remember vividly the day she saw the last cloth my husband bought for me as a birthday present, her look made me scramble to the toilet to cry.

    This was my payback time. I wondered why my husband couldn’t stop moving with politicians and rich men. At least, I know how I make other women feel, I mean those that weren’t as well to do as I was but I would surely make Ireti feel bad throughout the dinner if I got that cloth and that’s what I would do. If I got the clothe, all attention would be pull from her to me.

    ‘There’s this cloth, if you buy it for me, it would really make look good’.
    He smirked and looked away. He wasn’t rich as others neither was he poor. The only problem I had with my husband was that he cared less about such things as new clothes. He believed in the future and to that, he spent most of his money. He had invested most of his money. As an economist, he knew the laws behind such investments. He spent less and met more needs than want.

    ‘How much?’
    I grinned and looked down’ Thirty-five thousand naira’.

    If it were in a movie there would have been suspense tone playing in the room, but it was real, the tone wasn’t playing. Instead, I held my breathe. He looked at me quizzically. ‘Are you for real?’
    I pouted and looked away. ‘I told you. Forget it. I’ll see Chibuzor another time’.

    He grinned.’ Okay. I have this money I was hoping to invest tomorrow. I will give it to you and use it. Buy the cloth’

    I felt the pain in his voice but I was so sure that he would always try to make me happy. So, I locked my hand around his neck, pecking his forehead. He could only nod.

    The afternoon of the next day met me at the boutique. The woman was so happy for me. She gave me a lot of attention and requested I come another time. I was on top of the world and treated like a queen. Yes, I understood how it felt to be rich. You are adored by all and sundry. You are not look down upon like a common person.

    Even my husband couldn’t stop staring at the cloth, especially when I wore it. His eyes traced the lines of my body and I smiled like a baby whose mother praise for wearing her cloth perfectly. He kept singing the praise of my ability to choose beautiful things. He was a lover of beautiful things himself and my greatest fan.
    ‘Now, you will put small necklace to make it golden’, he said.

    My heartbeat stopped. I had totally forgotten I would need to beautify the cloth. I stared at him and he looked at me as if I didn’t hear him right.
    ‘Yes now. The necklace would make it beautiful’

    ‘What! God! I can’t use that necklace. All those necklace are old and not to taste. God! How did I forget that?’ I brushed my unplaited air. I saw my husband’s eyes brightened. He loved my long hair and had told me times without number about how much he loved to see me brush my hair, and I the teaser, don’t hesitate to do that again whenever I notice his face brightened. However, I was not in the mood for teasing him today. God! I need a necklace.

    ‘I need a new necklace’.
    He cocked his head to the side, and frowned. ‘What? You don’t need a necklace. What is wrong with you? Others wouldn’t not be coming for you’.
    ‘I’m not going. I didn’t want to go o. You were the one that insisted that I go. am I bothering you about a necklace? It’s just that I can’t go without a better necklace. ‘
    ‘I don’t know what you want us to do. I’m tired. I’m tired. If not that Chibuzor insisted I bring you along, I would have asked you to forget it’.

    ‘Tell him anything. Tell him I fell sick that I can’t come.’ I said and crumbled on the bed, frustrated. He came to me and rubbed my hair. I sniffed. I just can’t go to the get-together without being fully dressed.
    ‘I can’t buy necklace at this time. Can’t you borrow it?’
    My head pounded with joy. I have totally forgotten the necklace, my desire. I sighed.
    ‘Yes… Yes… I will meet Rasheedat. She will borrow me’.

    I need not disturb you with the details but I must emphasise that Rasheedat, despite being my friend warned me not to allow anything happen to the necklace. The necklace was rare. Maybe, that was the reason I fell in love with it. It’s type was rarely found anywhere else. Of all the jewelleries shops I’ve searched, it’s type wasn’t there.

    Of course, at the party, my joy knew no bound. I was the queen of the day. Chibuzor-my best friend- kept taking me about despite the presence of his beautiful wife, Kike, that humble woman. She was the one with my husband and I loved that. The party went as planned. Ireti was side-lined. All the women in the room wanted to know where I got the dress and the necklace. It was just too beautiful for any normal Goldsmith to have made. I laughed throughout the party, and drank more than normal. I was tipsy. I really enjoyed the day. And I couldn’t stop thanking my husband even as we headed outside. He was also tipsy, so we left his car at his friend’s place and opted for a cab. It took us a long time to get one especially as we are in Nigeria and the only available vehicles were personal ones, busses and bikes. After a long search, we found one and headed home. Even the driver knew how happy I was.

    In fact, the happiness was supposed to meet the next day but my real problem started when we got to the door. I touched my neck and the necklace was gone. I shook my head. I was definitely still tipsy. I touched it again. It wasn’t there.

    ‘No. No’. I muttered.
    My husband halted on his track. He stirred towards me’ What’s it honey?’
    ‘Oh God! Oh God! The necklace’
    My husband stiffened. He nodded severally. ‘What happened to it? He looked at himself and switched on the torch of his phone. ‘What happened to it? Where did you put it?’

    ‘I don’t know’ I shouted. My hands were shaking right like a leaf in the wind. ‘What have I done? The necklace is not here.’
    He pointed the torchlight everywhere; I was so fretful that I couldn’t search for it myself.
    ‘What have I done’?
    ‘Don’t worry I’ll find it’.

    I crouched on the floor, not minding how expensive the cloth was. He was gone and the whole place was dark. I cried as I repeatedly checked my neck, hoping an invisible hand would return it there. The necklace can’t be lost. It mustn’t get lost. I don’t know the price. The prices of everything had skyrocketed, how will we get it? I looked at myself and knew I was done for.
    After an hour, my husband returned dejected. The necklace was gone. I cried. At first, my husband consoled me. Then he blamed me but I didn’t reply; instead, I kept crying my heart and eyes out. He slept off, but I didn’t. I cried into the night, then into the morning and into the next night. I fell sick and worried a lot.

    After few days of my worry, my husband couldn’t take it anymore.
    ‘Okay we will get a new one’.
    ‘Thank you. Rasheedat must not know about this because she would cause a big trouble for us. She hated people misplacing things that belonged to her.’
    He stared at me. I don’t know how I looked but I’m sure it was one of those appearances he detested. He moved nearer and cuddled me.
    ‘It will be alright. I will get a new one no matter what it cost’.
    ‘Are you sure?’
    ‘You know me. I fulfil my promises no matter how small they are. And, luckily we still have the picture of it on the phone’.
    I tried nodding but my head was fixed between his hand and his body.

    Therefore, he set to work on it. It took him two days to get a shop abroad that sold it. But, no matter what he thought of it before, when he returned, I saw him dragging the shadow of himself back home. He sighed and shook his head.
    ‘The jewellery is sold for … ‘He said and shook his head dejectedly and lowered into his hands.
    ‘How much is it? I said with fear striking chords in my body.

    He shook his head. I edged forward on the seat.
    ‘They described that the jewellery was gotten from a rare gem and the workmanship was expensive’.
    ‘So?’
    ‘ Six fifty hundred thousand minus shipment fees’.
    ‘What? Didn’t you bring down the price?’
    ‘ Sorry, I couldn’t. It’s a fixed price. You know they sell to very wealthy people who don’t haggle prices.’.
    I knew I was done for. Rasheedat can lock up her friends because of her possession, even my husband was a witness to one of such events.

    ‘I’ll face the consequences, no matter what it is’
    ‘I promised already and I’ll do everything possible to get it’.
    ‘Don’t be stubborn about this. I’ll bear the brunt.
    ‘I said no’ He said, stomping the floor. I could only sigh now.
    The first thing to suffer my husband’s stubbornness was his car. He sold it for 200000 naira. Then we went into borrowing spree. After which I returned the jewellery to Rasheedat. Luckily, she didn’t notice the difference.

    At that time, I, who was just a housewife had to get a job. My husband was now cold towards me and I myself withdrawn. We lived like neighbours. Even neighbours have conversation, but we didn’t.
    After five years, we were able to pay the money to the people that lent us. By the time which I was older than I looked, uglier than I looked and my husband rarely had time to fancy everything he did in me again. Although, he still loved me. I know from his talks and from his little acts. But, his mind was always on how to regain his status.
    I also had the thought of meeting up to standard, and I kept planning and planning until I ran into someone in the market one Saturday evening. I looked up from my worries.

    ‘Oh Mama, face where you’re going?’
    I was transfix with mixed feelings- should I avoid her or should I tell her everything because I still felt like making her know she was the cause of my woe.
    ‘Rasheedat, it’s me’.
    She stopped in her track. Her perfume met my nose lapping at its scent. I controlled myself because there was nothing I could use to show superiority.
    ‘It is you … who?’
    ‘Me … Me’ I said and hit my chest.
    ‘Tife?’

    I nodded.
    ‘Tife! Tife!’ She shouted in the market and hugged me.’ What happened to you? How are you like…?’ Her look hovered on my body. I cringed. ‘I came to your house and they said you people had left the place. Why? What happened?’

    ‘Is it not you?’
    ‘Me?’
    ‘Yes’ I said emphasising the yes.
    She stiffened and bit her lower lip.’ What did I do?’
    ‘The necklace’.
    ‘The necklace?’
    ‘Yes. The necklace I misplaced it’
    She blinked severally and pouted. ‘But you returned it then’.
    ‘That was not it’.

    ‘What’ Her face had the same fierceness of a lioness. She looked about her as though people were already seeing the anger pouring through her. She moved nearer and her voice was lowered ‘Where’s my d--n Necklace. Which necklace did you give me’?
    I brushed off her imaginary attack. ‘The deed has been done. God! That necklace was expensive. I bought it for five hundred k’.
    Her eyes widened. I knew the price would be the higher but I was lucky enough to have gotten the exact one for her.

    ‘What?’ I said in fury and my anger blared like a siren. ‘Is it not the same thing? Have you forgotten that I have eyes for things like that? I made sure the specs are correct and you yourself can attest to it that they are the same’.

    Her mouth was widely apart. I was happy I still had the upper hand. Rasheedat was speechless for the first time. Normally, the best form of showing superiority was to say the word and leave but I couldn’t.
    ‘But… But ,… I bought the fake. It’s just 12500 naira’.

    The end

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    #1046181 Reply
    jummybabejummybabe
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    Good for you
    Materialistic wife

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    #1046205 Reply
    ⓞⓝⓔⓐⓛ32ⓞⓝⓔⓐⓛ32
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    na ur husband I pity

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    #1046282 Reply
    chilovelychilovely
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    materialistic wife. see what you caused your husband.

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    #1046322 Reply
    JerrieJerrie
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    Lets say 13k ni

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    #1046456 Reply
    Lonewolf05Lonewolf05
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    You greedy wife!, see what you put your husband through.

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    #1046514 Reply
    LadyGLadyG
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    Hmmmm some women ehn wit show off nd busy body, anyway dat serves u right maga.

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    #1046611 Reply
    damaris ezedamaris eze
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    stupid woman

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Reply To: The Necklace ( A short Story) by Akintayo Akinjide
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