WHAT MY ELDER BROTHER’S WIFE TAUGHT ME. PART ONE
Written by Temi Akintade
I have always thought that everyone in life will be happy about your success especially when they are your family members at least that was what I told Chinomso the last time I visited him after our NYSC in Nekede.
I had told him, “Bia, why is it that you always like praying all these fall down and die prayers? All these prayers that have to do with foundational and generational powers? See as long as you are born again and you have the life of Christ in you, no one can do you any harm. What is yours will come to you, my brother”
He laughed so much that I got irritated. I felt like slapping his hairy chest. Chinomso was very hairy. Sometimes we made jest of him and called him, monkey or fair goat. He would always laugh at our stale jokes.
“Right from the days of John the Baptist the kingdom of God suffereth violence and only the violence can take it by force! This world is 100 percent spiritual than physical.” He said.
I threw my big head back in laughter. I was tired of hearing Chinomso’s preaching. He wasn’t a pastor yet he knew almost all the scriptures in the Bible. “But upon all the prayers you have been praying. You are still a primary school teacher in a local village earning fifteen thousand naira as salary. Don’t you think it’s time for you to quit all these wrong prayers?”
“Ekwere. I know where I am coming from. So if I am still at this level with these prayers of mine, then that means I’m making progress. Haven’t you heard this scripture that says the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much? I’m 37 with nothing tangible to show for it. My elder brother is worse than me. No job, no skill, unmarried, still in their father’s house! So I am the only one making tangible progress. So I need to break this terrible family pattern of the male children becoming nonentities.” He concluded.
I ignored him and left him to his life. Besides, I didn’t like associating with those who made Christianity boring. Life wasn’t as serious the way Chinomso painted it to be.
5 months after NYSC, I moved to live with my elder brother and his wife who lived in Port Harcourt. Then I finally got a job in a private company that deals with the manufacturing of sneakers for adults and kids. I became the creative director in no time as a result of my graphic designing skill. In each of our meetings with the CEO, I always contributed something new to the development of the company. It didn’t take long before my boss took a liking to me. One day, during lunch break, he called me to his office.
“Ekwere you have shown signs of seriousness and great organization. With this, the company has agreed to replicate you to our new branch in the UK and you will not just be our creative director, but a branch manager with mouth-watering benefits in addition.” He grinned.
I was dazed. I couldn’t believe my ears. With just a few months after youth service? God is indeed faithful to me. That evening when I got home, I picked my phone to call Chinomso.
“What God cannot do doesn’t exist my brother. We need to chill out over a bottle of beer soon oo!” Then I told him about my Boss’s offer and that my Visa documents were getting prepared at the moment.
“I am happy for you! I also got promoted to the position of a Head Teacher in the primary section.” His excitement was almost contagious but I felt there was nothing to be excited about his promotion.
Then I ended the call.
I will now later tell my elder brother’s wife who will now tell me; “You cannot go to obodo Oyinbo before your elder brother.” Her eyes stayed on the TV. We were both watching The Johnsons.
I stared at her fake lashes, wishing that I could pull them off and stick them on her head instead of where she lacked real hair. “Why? If I go abroad, I can tell you, people, to come and stay with me. Before you know it, you people will become UK citizens.” I grinned as if it was that easy to get citizenship abroad.
She chuckled and we both spent the rest of the evening in silence and the day after that, and months after that.
Soon it was time for me to go for my Visa interview. As soon as I sat in front of my interviewer, he shouted at me. “Stand up and get out! You criminal!”
“Sorry excuse me? My name is Ekwere Ejimadu and I am here for the visa interview.” I adjusted my black bow. I had worked hard the previous night. Rehearsing what I would say to the interviewer.
“I know, I said get out! You cannot travel out because you are a criminal.”
Before I knew it, I was thrown out of the embassy like a dog. And by the time I got to the office, my report had already gotten to the office. My boss threw my criminal record file at me.
“This cannot be me!” My heart broke when I saw my criminal record. It said that I was an ex-convict haven stolen my former boss’s money.
“Then who’s name and biodata are that?” My boss’s voice was stern this time.
“One Ekwere Ejimadu not me. I have never seen the four walls of the prison before and I have never worked for anyone. You are my first boss since NYSC.” Tears fell freely from my eyes wetting my black suit.
My boss didn’t believe me. He terminated my appointment and I was thrown out. I was still sulking and thinking about my life when my elder brother told me after a month that I needed to leave his house because his wife was expecting a baby soon.
I was thrown out and I had to sell my android phone to get a new apartment and start an online graphic designing business. I was good at the art but only a few customers patronized me. It was now at this stage that I began to search for Chinomso’s number but I recalled that I lost his contact, the moment I sold my other android phone. I tried to reach him at his former place of work but no one knew his whereabouts.
To be continued…