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G*I*G*O*L*OA STORY BY LATEEFAH ADEWUNMI JUMAH – LAJFINGERSEPISODE SIXRidwan returned home from his sister’s house. He couldn’t keep calm as he mumbled and hissed around the house like a grumpy kid.Jameelah watched him quietly as he talked to himself grouchily.When she could no longer bear it, she asked him questions.”Is anything the problem?” She asked, fixing her gaze steadily on him.As if he’d been waiting for the question all along, he suddenly jumped out of his chair and geared towards her. “Can you imagine my sister?””What did she do?” She asked and this further sparked his interest to discuss the issue with her.”Can you just imagine her?” He couldn’t stop the preamble. “What exactly happened?” Jameelah was losing her patience.”In fact, she really ridiculed me. Haa! She ridiculed me in no small measure …” he complained and this time, Jameelah didn’t ask anything again. She just stared at him dazedly. “Won’t you ask me what happened?””I’ve been asking you but it seems you wanted to beat around the bush before telling me …””Can you imagine?” He repeated, his fury rising by each passing second.Jameelah heaved a deep sigh. She got up and headed towards the room.”Where are you going?””I’m going to the bedroom …””Have you no manners? I’m still talking and you’re walking away …””I’m feeling sleepy. And it seems what you want to tell me is still cooking in the oven. When it’s ready, you’re free to tell me …””Wow! Why are you so insensible? Could you not have figured out that what I was about to say was really embarrassing and that’s why I’m really hesitating? Ain’t you supposed to urge me to speak out? This is the reason why a lot of men don’t confide in their wives. As my wife, you should be ready to listen to me at all times and persuade me to talk when I’m not feeling like …””I’m sorry,” she apologised and turned back to sit. “Please tell me whatever it is,” her tone was persuasive, exactly how he wanted it.”Can you imagine?” He repeated the same line and she squeezed her face for a short while and quickly forced a wry smile before he complained again.”My sister wanted me to become a driver. Can you imagine?””Really? Driver? I don’t really understand,” Jameelah shook her head.”One of her friends’ husband wanted to expand his side hustle or whatever. He bought a Sienna for transportation within Lagos and Abuja and needed a driver to drive the vehicle. And my sister wants me,” he touched his chest amazingly. “…. to become the driver. Can you imagine the disregard? Can you just imagine?” He lamented.”Hmmmmmmm!” Jameelah heaved a deep sigh.”Are you just going to sigh?” He asked, staring hard at her.”I really don’t know what to say. If I tell you to accept the job, will you listen to me?” She shrugged.”Why should I accept the job?” He also shrugged.”Exactly why I said I don’t have anything to say. You’ve already made up your mind. Trying to convince you will be tantamount to wasting of saliva.””Really? Have you given up on me? Is that what you’re telling me?” He asked and she cast him a scornful stare.”You really know how to guilt-trip people, is that not so? I don’t know what you really want me to do. It’s not like you’ll accept the job if I tell you to. So why are you putting words inside my mouth? Since you’re waiting for your dream-job to come, and this and the rest are not anything close to your dream-job, no one can really convince you so why are you getting angry that I didn’t try to convince you?””You can’t even convince me? Never! Why should I accept a driving job that’ll put my life at stake? Why should I accept a job that is associated with thuggery and hooliganism? Why should I accept a job as ridiculous as a driving job? Think about it now. Does it befit my status? Will you as my wife be proud to tell people that your husband is a driver? Haha! Some things don’t even need thinking. How could she reduce me to nothing? How could she even think of offering me such a ridiculous job …?” He kept wailing but Jameelah didn’t utter a word.As a matter of fact, she had grown disinterested in his affairs. She didn’t feel the urge to convince him to take any job again. Since she knew he would never accept any job unless it was his dream-job, she felt that bothering herself to convince him would be a waste of time. She would rather focus on herself and her unborn child.Days passed and the three weeks camping programme ended. Jameelah resumed at her primary place of assignment which was a big eatery in Lagos. The eatery was quite far from her house so she paired with two other corp members who were also posted to the eatery to get a room apartment. Jameelah was the only married woman among them but they all related well like they’d known themselves for ages.When Jameelah told her husband about getting an apartment near her place of work, he kicked against it. He feared that she might become another being if she lived outside the house. He feared that she might start telling people about her marital affairs and got misled. All these worries encapsulated his apprehension. But his objection couldn’t hold any water since he had no financial assistance to render her. If he wanted her to be going to work from home everyday, he had to provide her with transport fare which he clearly didn’t have. Also, Jameelah herself could not afford the transport fare to and from work should she decide to be going from home. Therefore, her husband’s objection to her living outside the home died a natural death. Ridwan had no clear cut job at this time. He was still living from hand to mouth. But somehow, he believed that something would drop from his wife’s monthly allowance. Jameelah decided to go home fortnightly or every month end. Her co-workers and roommates soon became her good friends. Halimah and Aminah were both understanding of her condition. They exempted her from chores and cared for her to the best of their ability. But they couldn’t stop wondering why she wasn’t living well like a ‘married woman should.’ Since they started living together a month ago, they didn’t hear her talk about her husband sending her money. Even if she didn’t talk about it, if he was sending her money, it would naturally be evident in her standard of living. But the Jameelah they knew lived like a student. In fact, she lived less than a student. All they saw in her was a struggling married woman. They were concerned but they kept mute. After the first allowance was paid, as if he’d been waiting for her to get paid, Ridwan sent her a message that he needed 10,000 naira. She squeezed her face after reading the message. Eventually, she sent 7,000 naira to him with a message that she wouldn’t be able to come home at that time until the next month ended. Her friends were observing her all along without her knowing. After sending the money to him, she looked so unhappy.”What is it?” Aminah asked her worriedly.”Nothing!” She replied softly.Halimah, being a forward person, quickly snatched the phone from her. Her phone was not locked so Halimah went through her messages. She saw the debit alert of 7,000 naira to Elebu Ridwan on her phone and stared at her with a million question expressions. “Is that your husband?” Halimah asked her and she nodded her head slowly.”I thought as much,” Halimah replied, shaking her head. “How can you send money to your husband? You received 19,800 naira (the setting of this story is before the NYSC allowance became 33,000) and sent 7,000 naira to your husband. Will 12,800 naira last you till month end?””The eatery pays us an additional 7,000, remember! I’ll manage till month end,” Jameelah replied.”Wow!” Halimah marvelled. “You sounded like someone who has already accepted a ludicrous lifestyle. How can you send money to your husband? Has he no job?””That’s the first question you should have asked? Yes, he has no job at the moment and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with assisting one’s spouse,” Jameelah argued.”Haaaaaaaaaaa!” Halimah exclaimed. “You mean you see nothing wrong in sending money to your husband? Wow! Wow!! Wow!!! Since we got here about a month ago, he’d never sent money to you despite your condition as a pregnant woman but immediately you received your allowance, boom, he sent a message to you, asking for 10,000 naira. Haa! This is giving bad vibes …””Did you go through all my messages?” Jameelah stared hard at her.”I’m sorry, I did,” Halimah replied and Jameelah hissed.”You ladies should mind your business, please!” She responded dully.”You don’t look happy,” Halimah told her. “Why should a man demand money from his wife instead of the other way? Has he always been like this since you got married?””Please mind your business,” Jameelah repeated. “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to mind my business when it comes to the pain of my fellow woman,” Halimah shook her head. “It’s understandable when a married man doesn’t have a high paying job. But that a married man doesn’t have anything doing is absurd. There are so many things a man can do that’ll fetch him an income. Even if it’s load-carrying, it’s something. How can a grown man send a message to his wife to send him money? You’re the husband in that case while he’s the wife. This is giving a gigolo vibe. I can’t deal at all ….” Halimah was disgusted.Jameelah kept quiet throughout Halimah’s outpour. Aminah signalled to Halimah to keep quiet. When Halimah kept on talking, Aminah had to interrupt her.”We don’t know what’s going on exactly,” Aminah cut in. “Her husband might just be recently out of job. Don’t let us jump into conclusion,” Aminah sounded a bit sensible. “Well, you may be right,” Halimah shrugged. “He might just be recently out of job. But my dear Jameelah,” she turned to Jameelah now. “Don’t you ever make the mistake of feeding a man. You’ll live to regret it. I’m talking out of experience …””Have you been married before? Or what experience are you talking about?” Jameelah asked her.”My father!” Halimah replied to her. “Do you know that a leech will later become a deadbeat father? Do you think it will end with him just being irresponsible to his wife alone? No, my dear, he’ll continue the irresponsibility even after the children start coming and after they’re done coming. A woman that endured the irresponsibility of a man should be ready to bear the responsibilities of the children alone …””Really?!” Aminah exclaimed while Jameelah’s face was enveloped with fear. “Yes,” Halimah replied confidently. “Being a deadbeat father doesn’t occur in a day, it starts from the onset. You don’t expect a leech who has been used to taking from others to be a responsible father. No, they later turn out to be the worst father anyone could have. Jameelah, I really don’t know your situation but I’m telling you that if your husband is showing traits of irresponsibility, don’t enable him. That was how my mother started. She ended up shouldering our responsibilities alone without the assistance of the freeloader. He couldn’t provide food, clothing and even shelter. He couldn’t pay our school fees or buy us school essentials like stationery and textbooks. My mum did EVERYTHING,” She emphasised.”Wow!” Jameelah and Aminah exclaimed.”Yes, she did everything. He became so used to a woman feeding him and fending for the house that he became so relaxed and botherless. My mum thought she was just being a supportive wife or a helpmate. Before she realised that she was aiding and abetting irresponsible behaviour, he’d become crooked and unable to get straightened again …” Halimah explained and Jameelah’s heart jumped out of her chest again. Halimah continued. “My mum built the house and the parasite lived comfortably there. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when he brought another woman to the house that my mother built with her money. My father expected my mum to continue to feed him and his new wife …””What audacity!” Aminah lamented. “Terrible audacity, indeed! That was my mother’s breaking point. She unleashed a side of her that I never thought existed. She sent my dad and his new wife out like pieces of trash …””Correct!” Aminah exclaimed excitedly. “At that time, she eventually accepted that it was better to stand alone than stand with catastrophe …” Halimah remarked and Aminah laughed.”You’re funny, Halimah. Catastrophe really got me laughing ..””Was he not a catastrophe?” Halimah asked rhetorically. “How best could we describe a man who’s supposed to be the head but deliberately removed his head and stooped to the tail? Isn’t it catastrophic? See, so many people blamed my mother when she sent them out. They called her an arrogant and disrespectful wife. They said she wasn’t helping him for God’s sake to start with. If she was helping him for God’s sake, she would have continued even after the arrival of another woman …””Nonsense!” Aminah and Jameelah remarked disgustingly. “Utter nonsense! My dear, despite everything you do to please a gigolo, you’ll still be blamed for not doing enough in the end. You know your situation well, Jameelah, don’t allow your case to be like my mum’s case before you call yourself to order. Gigolos don’t change. They’re super entitled. They always think you owe them something. It starts with a spirit of irresponsibility; lacking a sense of duty. There’s a difference between when a man doesn’t have and he’s struggling to cater for his family and when he doesn’t have but relaxes and continues to look onto his wife for survival. Such men should be run away from. I’ve vowed not to ever get involved with an irresponsible man. My mother’s story is an eye opener for me. I’ll put my intended spouse on a very hot seat and until I’m satisfied with his mindset, ideology and philosophy about life, there won’t be any wedding. Prayers too are important. Investigation is as important. May I not be as unfortunate as my mum,” Halimah rebuked.”Aamin,” her friends chorused.Jameelah heaved a deep sigh after her friend’s narration. She was equally gripped with fear. Everything Halimah said made her shiver. She didn’t want to end up catering for her children alone. If it was true that a gigolo ends up becoming a deadbeat dad then that would really be pathetic. How would she cope? She couldn’t stop worrying. That evening, she told her friends that she wanted to step out for fresh air but that was a lie. She wanted to call her husband. So she stepped out to do so. After exchanging greetings, she raised the discussion about jobs with him but he kept saying what he usually said – waiting for his dream-job. When he realised that Jameelah was becoming self conscious and impatient of his ‘vision’, he resorted to persuasion. He persuaded her not to give up on him but to trust and believe in him. Furthermore, he tantalisingly told her that he would take care of her when he made it. He urged her not to forsake him. In fact, he ended up working on her emotions so much that she sheathed her sword and decided to keep trusting him. The following month, he demanded for part of her allowance which she gullibly sent to him. This continued for seven months. She’d collected allowance for seven months now and every month, she sent money to him. By this time, it was getting close to her delivery date and she’d not bought a pin from the delivery requirements and baby things. This got her worried. She rethought her decision and decided to call him for a thorough discussion again. After the greetings, she went straight to the point.”Ridwan, I want to get baby things by next week. I’ll need at least ₦50,000. That ₦50, 000 won’t be enough but at least it’s going to buy important things …””Are you asking me for money?” He shamelessly asked.”What sort of question is that? Of course I’m asking you for money. Are you not going to give me money to shop for the child we’re expecting by next month?” Her anger was brewing. “Where do you want me to get money?” He replied, unperturbed. “Are you really asking me where you would get money? Ain’t you ashamed of yourself? See, I don’t care where you want to get money, all I know is that you must provide ₦50, 000 for baby things, otherwise, we’re done and I’m not joking ..””Are you threatening me?””It’s not a threat! It’s a fact! Your failure to give me that money will be the end of this marriage. I AM DONE!” She yelled. “What’s the essence of being married when I carry all the responsibilities alone? What’s the essence of being married when I feed myself and my husband? Isn’t it better to just stay alone and feed myself only without worrying about a parasitic mouth to feed? I’m done, Ridwan, if you refuse to provide that money. Can you imagine him asking me where I want him to get the money? You should get it where your mates are getting it. Go and ask your fellow men how they get money, you good-for-nothing man ..” she broke down in tears.”Did you just call me good for nothing?””Yes. Are you not good for nothing? You’re still proving ego over nothing. See, as a matter of fact, whether you provide that money or not, we’re done. Like, we’re forever done. Don’t call me again. Don’t visit me again. You haven’t even visited more than once. Since I started serving and staying outside the house seven months ago, you only visited me once, shame on you! You’re really good for nothing; a worthless thing that is better discarded without looking back. I’M DONE!” She yelled again with hot tears cascading her cheeks.To be continued.Like, Comment and make use of the share button on this page but do not share this story on WhatsApp groups, telegram groups or any other closed platforms ❌ Thanks as you comply. LATEEFAH ADEWUNMI JUMAH – LAJFINGERS



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