: The Elite & The Pauper (episode 8)
When two people are genuinely in love with each other, there’s really no need trying to interfere in a bid to separate them because you are bound to lose. Love is a force that can’t be defeated no matter how powerful the contender is. Richard’s dad might be a very influential and powerful man, but his strength and power is no match when faced with that of two people truly in love. It was apparent that he was ready for war, so it’s safe to say that the battle line had been drawn between father and son.
The name revelation by Richard’s dad threw Naomi off balance that she almost dropped dead. Her hands immediately started shaking and her heart began to beat faster than ever. Even though Mr Coker hadn’t revealed his reason for visiting her, the look on his face could clearly tell that he wasn’t there to chit chat with her, but was rather there for serious confrontation as regards her relationship with Richard.
“Good morning, sorry! Good evening sir” Naomi said stammering, “Now can I come in?” Mr Coker asked again and she immediately opened the door for him to come in. As he took a step inside, Naomi almost collapsed due to fear of what he was up to. She kept thinking of what he was going to say to her and her heartbeat wasn’t helping matters because it was beating extremely faster than normal.
As Richard’s dad sat down in one of the parlor chairs, Naomi stood at the door frame in anticipation of what was about to come out from his mouth; thankfully her mum was fast asleep so as not to witness what was about to go down. After few minutes of everyone being silent, Mr Coker finally spoke. “Who are you to my son?” He asked, “Richard is my friend” Naomi replied and he continued, “Do you truly know who my son is? I’m asking because if you knew, you wouldn’t for a day think any future with him is ever possible” he said with a straight face.
That little reality check up by Mr Coker pierced Naomi’s heart and really got to her. At that point, she didn’t know the best reply to give to him so she kept staring at him without uttering any word.
On seeing that Naomi wasn’t responding, Mr Coker continued. “Paupers like you are a distraction to my son and absolutely not a good influence. You have succeeded in making him leave home and also succeeded in rubbing off your diminishing low mentality on him. There’s a reason for everything under the sun and a reason why we have the rich and the middle class. My son isn’t from your world and I won’t fold my hands and let you keep deceiving him with a lame reason called Love. I know he has brushed your life up a bit as I can see in this house you just moved into; I know my son paid for it and also got you a job, I know my son gives you anything you want because he is able to foot any bill you request for. I’m willing to pardon you for making the mistake of falling in love with him, now I need you to call this child’s play off and leave my son alone before I show you that other side of me; which I’m definitely sure you wouldn’t like because it isn’t pleasant” He bluntly said.
Before Richard’s dad was done talking, tears had already began to fall off Naomi’s eyes. The manner of disrespect he spoke to her was enough to land her into depression. Such demeaning things being said to a lady that had never asked Richard for anything since they started seeing each other. One of the things that hurt Naomi the more was how he made her feel like she didn’t deserve the good things of life and also didn’t deserve a good man like Richard.
When Mr Coker was done talking, Naomi looked at him with her teary eyes and said; “If I die today, I would die a happy person knowing that I crossed path with a good man like Richard. What you have failed to realize is that life is much more than having money, cars, statues, influence and power. Those things are good but I would rather be a pauper with the freedom to choose whom I want to spent the rest of my life with, than have all the power and riches in this world but a prisoner in my love life. When did love become a trade by barter exchange; where the rich are only suitable for the rich and the poor for the poor? When did love become an avenue to secure contracts, partnership and business mergers between both families? Why do you feel that because I came from a humble background, I am not fit for your son? You haven’t even given me the benefit of doubt to prove myself to you, but you have already made up your mind. Sir I love your son; not because of his social statues but rather because he is a very good man with a golden heart. I didn’t even know he was from a wealthy family until recently. Do whatever you want to do to me but please don’t extend it to Richard because he honestly doesn’t deserve it. I’m sorry for any trouble I might have caused you” she soberly said.
The atmosphere was getting tensed and at that point, Mr Coker was short of words and didn’t know how else to pass his message across to her. As all this was going on, Richard pulled up at Naomi’s house to pick her up for their scheduled dinner date. When he drove inside the street, the first thing he eyes caught was a car that looked very familiar, parked in front of the gate. As his car got closer, the doubts in his heart were confirmed when he set his eyes on one of his dad’s driver; which was apparently the man that drove Mr Coker to Naomi’s house.
Immediately Richard saw the driver, his heart dropped due to heavy shock. “My God! What is going on here and why is dad’s car here?” he asked himself and hurriedly got down from his car. “Fred what are you doing here?” Richard curiously asked the driver, “Oga dey inside! He came to meet someone” Fred innocently said and before he could finish his statement, Richard ran inside the compound and headed straight to Naomi’s flat. The door was unlocked when he got there so he forcefully pushed it and entered inside.
“What’s going on here?” Richard shouted and everyone shockingly looked back. Immediately Naomi saw him, she ran and hugged him with tears falling uncontrollably from her eyes. Richard held her very tight and started tearing up too because he knew his dad had murdered her feelings with hurtful words; which was true.
“Daddy why are you here and what did you say to her?” he angrily asked, I just told her the simple truth my son. I’m leaving now, you definitely know that you are wasting her time so stop deceiving her” Mr Coker said and walked away. At that moment, Naomi was broken beyond words could say that the only thing she could do was cry. She cried bitterly, while Richard did all he could to console her and reassure her of his feelings for her.
Despite all Richard’s efforts to get Naomi to say what his dad told her, she couldn’t find the strength to narrate anything to him but just kept sobbing. An evening that was supposed to end well for the two lovebirds ended up a disaster. Richard tried to persuade Naomi to follow him back to his hotel so he could bring her out of the bad mood she was in, but she refused and told him she was Ok. After staying at her place for over three hours, he had to leave because it was getting late.
On the way home, Richard was boiling with anger and felt like ripping someone apart. He diverted and started heading to his family house to confront his dad because his anger was overflowing and needed to be channelled towards the right person who triggered it. When he arrived, his parent and sisters were in the sitting room having a family time. Immediately his mum saw him, she knew that there was fire on the mountain because his countenance was like that of a person going to war.
Before anyone could say anything, Richard flared up; “Dad why on earth did you do that? Why did you go to Naomi’s house? How can you disrespect my feelings like that by going to confront a lady you know that I love? How can you be so insensitive to do a thing like that daddy? This isn’t fair and I haven’t done anything to deserve such cold and unsupportive treatment from you. Daddy please stay away from Naomi now I still have my sanity together, I beg you. If anything happens to her, get ready to disown me because it wouldn’t be funny at all. Mummy please talk to your husband and tell him to leave the only lady I have ever loved. I have been noting but a good son to you both but there’s just a limit as to what I can handle at this point, Leave Naomi alone!” he said and walked back to his car and drove off.
When Richard left, his mum became emotional and was about begging her husband, but he got up, sighed and walked away. All through that night, everyone was restless and kept thinking of the nightmare that happened earlier on. Richard tried to call Naomi but she wasn’t picking up so he decided to give her some space to get over the shock his dad must have put her into.
The next day, Naomi was still moody and in shock. She couldn’t eat anything and cried most of the time. It was on a Friday so she went to work and tried to focus but Richard’s continuous phone calls weren’t helping matters. She refused to pick his calls because she needed some time alone to digest the new reality his dad instilled in her mind.
After work that day, Naomi returned home crying. When her mum inquired on what the problem was, she kept crying and wasn’t able to talk. That weekend, her mum had a wedding to attend in her hometown so she told Naomi to pack so they could go together. The weekend getaway was a good idea for Naomi to clear her head, so she jumped at the offer.
Without informing Richard, they travelled the next day to the village. After calling severally without Naomi picking up, Richard drove down to her house on Saturday afternoon so they could talk. On arrival, he knocked over and over again on the door but no one was responding.
Frustrated and heartbroken, Richard sat on the staircase and dialed her number again and this time around she picked up. “Where are you, please open the door for me because I’m not leaving until we talk?” he immediately said.
Naomi started tearing up while on the phone and said; “I can’t do this with you anymore baby, our worlds are entirely different and I’m trying to sink in the reality of the both of us never having that happy ending. I’m scared and don’t want you to get into trouble with your family because of me. I love you more than my life but I’m painfully letting you go. I’m so sorry baby”.
Richard was confused and asked; “Are you breaking up with me?”, she sobbed and said ‘Yes’.