Back From God to Rica

An interesting story by
Obinna Chukwudi

Chapter One

There are some people that believe that the current commander in chief of Africa's Goliath is a first-degree imposter. Fifty percent of those people are what I call LAZY. The remaining people that fall under this category  are the scholars. They are also activists in their various fields of profession. Whether the man is the real person or not is simply no concern of mine. It just so happens that I'm a very busy man who has a very beautiful wife and two lovely sons to provide for. Today is a day that I hold so dear because, today is my fiftieth birthday anniversary. Whether you're talking about how bad a job Donald Trump is doing in America or how obviously horrible things are going in Niger's area It means you have nothing better to do with your time. Not me, you see - I'm a very busy man who has a multi billion naira company to run. I was driving on the road once and I saw a man who was spewing all sorts of stupid things, so I shook my head in irritation. When he looked at me and saw how disappointed I was, he felt ashamed of himself. By looking at me, people can tell that I'm a man of solid principles. With zero tolerance for misconduct. My company, “Gwendolo" - produces clothes. Especially suits and ties. At my home - I open my gate and drive in. I park my car next to my other beautiful car. I step out of my car and lock my gate because I have no gatekeeper. How convenient for me because I would be giving money to a man who does nothing other than to open the gate for me. And that would be a waste of my money. My wife comes out of the house and welcomes me with a big smile. I really love my wife. I married her twenty years ago as a model, and she has not lost the beauty that made me marry her. It's 8:00 o clock in the night as I check my time. I carry my wife up in my arms and take her in. The kids are asleep. Deveroux and my Emeka are my twins. I have a very big house in a very big estate. Some of my friends see me as a very proud person but I don't care what people say about me. “Gwendolo" is a concept that came to my mind when I was just a young lad. The idea of establishing a fashion company came to my mind when I was in senior secondary school two(SS2), and that was at the age of nineteen years old. My wife Juliet brings out my food - mmm! I savour the meal. Fried rice, chicken and fried plantain is set before me, she sits beside me as I eat. The pleasure I get from this food pales in comparison to the pleasure I get from staring into my wife's big beautiful eyes. I finish eating my dinner and carry my wife who fell asleep into our room. I'm not just rich, as many people understand wealth. But physically I'm intimidating. I stand at six feet four inches tall. If my money does not intimidate you then my height will. The other day I was driving back from work and two thugs stopped my car. When I stopped, they ordered me to give them money but I refused. One of the thugs grabbed hold of my attire so I bent his finger backwards. He grinned in pain long enough for me to hurry out of my car with my carrier's gun. They saw my gun and thought about it twice. Not many people know that I have a gun that I carry about for protection. With these Fulani herdsmen reaking havoc everywhere,buying a gun was a brilliant decision. Any herdsman that comes my way is liable to getting shot in the face. Gwendolo is the name of my company, a company that produces suits, ties and beautiful white shirts to complement it all. I'm a Christian who believes in Jesus Christ the son of The Living God. If this is the case then why do I carry a gun? Why do I act like what Americans call “A jerk?" None of your business because I can live my life the way I want it. I most certainly will not live a life that is founded upon human philosophical nonsense. Some people say that a good person is measured by the number of times he or she salutes people. But those people will not acknowledge the fact that SALUTATION IS BY NO MEANS LOVE. You see, I can greet you ten times in a day but that does not mean I love you. You could even greet me as many times as you please but that does not express your love for me. Because there are certain types of people who have mastered the art of hypocrisy. And so these people will salute you and still plot to kill you behind your back. So there's a contract I'm currently working on. My company is partnering with another company(Pactulant) to produce the first ever mixed trend cloth. Pactulant is a company that much similar to mine produces suits. But my progress in sales proves that my products have a slight edge over Pactulant's. The honorable owner of the company is an Italian who walks around with the name, Vincento Pacino. Both our companies are working together to produce a mixed trend called “The nugolo." The nugolo is a a black and blue suit that is worn with a black pants. It is a special kind of suit that the masses are sure to patronize. Vincento Pacino is a man that I respect so much. I brought the idea of the modern day suit and Vincento worked hard to bring the design out. The importance of education can not be over emphasized. I finished school with a towering 4.2 grade points. I was the best in my department and I made money off lots of lazy delinquent. Some people just find it so hard to pick up their books and read. You see, I believe in one truth that says “Readers are leaders." Vincento Pacino is definitely someone who makes his research very well. Pactulant is a company that has been booming for years. I went to Vincento's office today and we did the final touches on the nugolo. Today, I drink my coffee at home and drive off to my office. I really worked hard to get where I am today and there were a lot of ugly moments. The estimated income for this year 2019 is one hundred million naira. I get a call from the principal of my children's school, telling me that one of my twins got into a fight and the other twin helped him beat up a boy. “Which of my boys got into the fight?" I ask. I jump out of my very comfortable office chair and rush off to the school. My employees had earlier looked at me in a funny manner. They thought I was going crazy. “What happened Sir?" I ask the principal. My boys stand there staring at me. The boy they beat up is also present in the principal's office as well. “ What happened is that your boys ganged up and beat my boy up.” A man says. “Just look at my boy." He continues. I look at the man who spoke then I look to the principal's direction. “Who is this man?" I ask. “Am the father of the boy standing next to me." The man says. “The boy your criminal sons assaulted." The principal jumps out of his seat in anger. “That is out of order Mr James." The principal thunders. But I wave off the tension. “Am so sorry my good man. I will pay for whatever it costs to treat your son." But the man continues to ramble. I move closer to the principal and whisper; “Give me the feed back on phone." Then I hold my boys by their hands and walk us out of the office. The information I receive from the principal later on that day is that the man continued to ramble after I left the office. The principal also told me that the man demanded for two hundred thousand naira to treat his son. Honestly the swell on the boy's eye should not cost more than twenty thousand naira to treat. I discipline my boys later in the day, well that's because I love them. “spare the rod and spoil the child." I have this to say to parents that do not discipline their children, “ You're all a bunch of cann-heads." Today my alarm rings, I look at the alarm and its exactly 4:00am. Last night I spent time looking for creative designs but I came up with none. So that's why I slept late and that's why I wake up late. I manage to get off my bed and say my prayers. I enter my b.m.w and drive off to work. I meet all the paper works on my desk just as I left them. I call for a meeting. Not a board meeting but a general meeting. The general meeting involves all the workers in my company. Even my Hausa gatekeeper is not excluded from this meeting. I pick up the phone: “Tell the others I want to see them all." When they arrive I look at all the faces of my employees and rejoice within myself. “Am happy to see that you're all in good condition. But there is something on my mind. For some years now we have not been winning the Trend fair Award for best clothes. So here's what I want from you all." I pause for a moment to think of what to say. “I want you all to double up on your efforts." Some of the workers frown their faces. “Please get rid of the long faces." I tell them. They were beautiful a few minutes ago. “If you double up on your efforts, I might increase your salaries." Immediately I said that their countenance lighten up. “I did not say I will increase your salaries I said I might. Dismissed, all of you." They all leave. A few hours later I remember that I need to go and see vincento for our final touches on the nugolo. When I arrive at Vincento's office I shake his cold wealthy hands. “My friendi Jonathane."  He welcomes me. Vincento has a funny accent. We work on the final touches and we shake hands. All that's left now is to put it on sales, joint sales that is. I remember drawing so many designs as a child. The designs just came naturally to me. I didn't draw suits because there were no suits when I was a boy. I drew designs that were not even in existence. I took my designs to nearby tailors, passerby tailors and far side tailors and made some cool cash. But now I don't just draw designs but I live and breath designs. Some people think am not talented enough because I only produce suits. Those same people are the first to buy my suits. The funny thing is this: those people spend so much time watching my every movement that they don't realize how far off they've derailed of their own paths. I get home to my big house but my wife does not come out to welcome me, she must have fallen asleep. I just close the gate and I properly lock my b.m.w. Next to the b.m.w is the VENZA jeep. My wife always takes that one to work. My wife graduated from modelling five years ago and graduated to become director of her company. She now trains the models at her company and she tells them what to do. I rush off to bed, I don't even take a shower. After putting the nugolo on sales I often go to see my friend Vincento and we discuss lots of things. Well from the looks of things the masses have received the nugolo with open arms. So the black and blue suit with black pants is what we call the nugolo. Back at home my wife asks me how well people are receiving the nugolo. “Very well." I tell her. She hugs and kisses me. The next day I go to work wearing my own nugolo suit. “You look sharp boss." My secretary tells me. “Thank you." I majestically sink into my chair and open my laptop. My landline rings. “Sir Mr Vincento Pacino wants to speak with you." What could he want. I think to myself. “Put Vincento through....Hello Vincento." “Hello Jonathane, we have a small problem." “Vincento what's the problem? Don't give me a heartache brother." “Jonathane, therisi one washed up journalist writing veri bad things about di nugolo." He tells me with his Italian accent. “Vincento I thought we had a real problem." I reply him.“Jonathane, wi do, go on google and searcha for Miguel Tayo." Hot chills run down my spine. “But nobody has ever stood against any of our products. Why now? Why the nugolo. Let me Google this punk." I search for Michael Tayo on Google. “ Jonathane, have you seen him?....Jonathane...?" “Vincento let me call you back." I know who this guy is, its Michael Timothy from my secondary school days. “Why did he change his name to Michael Tayo." I have to look for him and tell him to stop writing trash about the nugolo. Vincento really loves the success we are getting from our sales and Italians are dangerous people. “Michael Timothy. It doesn't look like life is treating you well." I whisper to myself. What on earth could you have against the nugolo." That Michael Timothy has always been one to pick unnecessary fight. I always told him to stop picking fights, especially the once he obviously had no chance of winning. Michael Timothy or whatever he now calls himself was brilliant, he always took second in class and I always took first. From what I read he works at a journal company called “EXPOSE." The next day I drive to the company called EXPOSE. I make my way through the workers, all the way to his office, Michael Timothy is just a staff. I knock on his door. “Who is there?" He asks. “Your worst nightmare." I reply. He opens the door and realizes that he's looking at the C.e.o of Gwendolo. “Good evening Sir." He says. Michael Timothy does not know that I am actually the boy who sat next to him during secondary school days. “Good evening Mr Michael Timothy, I am here to advice you to desist from the path you're threading." Michael Timothy does not say anything for some minutes. He stands there as though puzzled. “Where are my manners. Please come in,Sir." I walk into Michael Timothy's office. “Have a sit Sir." As I take my seat I realize that his office is actually well decorated. “Sir you called me Michael Timothy instead of Michael Tayo. This is not America where you can dig up people's past so my question is this: how do you know my real name, Sir?" I open my mouth as one who is being interrogated. “My name is Jonathan Fencing, the IBO boy...." “Oh I remember. you're a big man." Michael is obviously ashamed of the fact that his social status pales in comparison to mine. “If you say so Michael. I came to tell you to stop writing negative things about the nugolo." Michael's countenance changes to the negative. “I know that your company partnered with pactulant to produce that horror movie, the nugolo. But am sorry old friend, I need to do this job, it's my assignment from the high table." I move close to Michael and touch him. “Michael if your boss put you to this then quit the job and work for me. You do not want to piss Vincento off, even your boss doesn't want that. Think about it friend." I leave the office and make my way out of the company and into my car. At Michael's company, he tells his boss about the threat he received from me earlier. His boss waves it off. “Don't worry Michael, go on with the assignment. Whatever happens next keep me posted." Later that day I(Jonathan go to see Vincento, I tell him that the journalist who is giving us this headache is my secondary school friend. “Jonathane, di masses have received di nugolo with open arms. At dis rate, we could make a billion naira this year." Vincento pauses, thinking of choice words to convince me that we need to take some measures, maybe even drastic. “Jonathane, we need to silence these fools and silence the critics." I walk about in Vincento's office. “Vincento, give me more time to convince him to abandon this chase." I leave Vincento's office. Today being Saturday is a day I need to spend relaxing with my wife and twins. “Juliet! Emeka! Deveroux! Get prepared we're going to Mr Biggs to eat." They came downstairs and I drive us to Mr Biggs. “Honey is that your friend still writing against the nugolo?" My wife asks. “I don't know sweetheart, let's wait and see." We enjoy our dinner and drive back home. It's a brand new day and I look forward to brand new opportunities. I say my short prayers and make my way to work. I read the news paper and it reads EXPOSE'S Michael Tayo writes more trash about the nugolo. “Oh no.Michael you fool. You're playing with fire. Desist from this." I Google out the fool's number and dial it. He picks up. “Who is this?" Michael asks. “Michael what foolishness is this. If it is a job you need come and work for me and stop writing negative things about the nugolo. Stop being so pig headed you....." He cuts the phone. I must confess that this makes me very angry. “Okay Michael. You're about to realize that this is not a school game." I quickly drive to the pactulant. “Vincento the man is still writing negative things about the nugolo." Vincento smiles at me. “Den lettim continue. Have u sin di ratings ov ar prodact? Business isi booming Jonathane. So let di fool write." As the days went by Expose continues their hammering on the nugolo. The more they hammer us the more people buy the nugolo. Just after weeks of marketing our products,Gwendolo has made fifty million naira. Today as I drive back home I drive into a go-slow. I look to my left and see Michael Timothy who waves at me. I look at him with irritation on my countenance and ignore him. He knows that all his efforts to make a name for him self by running down the nugolo proved futile. I heard he got fired from Expose because his stories were not up to requirement. I bet he needs a job, and a ride home too from the looks of things. But am not going to hire him neither am I going to give him a ride home. The cars ahead of mine begin to move because the go-slow has ended. I drive on but I look back at poor Michael, I feel sorry for him. The look on his face says: “Am so miserable right now, so help me God." When Michael Timothy gets home to his rented one room apartment, he rests his head on the bed and sleeps off. Later that day he attends evening Church. When I get to my own house I come out of my car and open the gate. I drive in and my wife welcomes me and takes my bag from me as usual. I go in and dinner is served. “Honey how was work?" She asks. “Work was fine. I saw that idiot, Michael." My wife laughs softly. “Your friend the idiot? Forgive him, his boss made him do it." I look at my wife's beautiful face, amazed at the level of her compassion. “But I gave him the chance to work for me and he refused."I tell her.“You should understand that he refused, to avoid the possibility of being humiliated by you; his friend." My wife makes a valid point. “Juliet you're right. Why didn't I think about this." Juliet stands up irritated. The look on her face shows how disappointed she is at my level of reasoning. I think I will go and see Michael to settle things. Businesses continues to boom for my company and Vincento's. Michael Timothy lives in a one room apartment where life hurts so much for him. The nugolo has brought so much success to both our companies, Gwendolo and Pactulant. The next day I go to Michael's house to settle things, he lives in a single room apartment. I knock on his door and there's no answer, I knock again and again until he opens. “What do you want?" Michael says. I offer him my hand to shake him but he puts me on hold. I become so infuriated that I almost regret why I came here. “I warned you not to write against my suit; you refused. I offered you a job, you refused. I...." “You should have offered me a ride home." Michael cuts in. I(Jonathan) shake my head in disbelief and gesture to him. “You ingrate. Look at the pride on you. Back in school days you were proud. Now, broke and miserable as you are you're still proud." Michael slams the door at my face. “Is that how you want this to play out?" I Yell through to him. “I came here to offer you a job." After I said that I walk away. But I don't go so far off when I hear him call my name. “Jonathan." He yells. I stop to look back at him standing there like a demoralized desperado. “I need the job. I should have taken your advice." As I turn to walk away I tell him to be at my office tomorrow morning. The next morning I wait for him but he does not come. My Secretary brings a letter for me and it reads: “Jonathan, I really appreciate the job offer. I came to this place to make a living but things didn't work out the way I expected. I know you're now a big time business man and you have a lot of connections. But I cannot bear the humiliation of working for you. My third eye always served as an ‘ eye opener.' Always have and always will serve as an eye opener. Yesterday when you offered me the job, my inner eyes opened my real eyes to realize the impending doom of working for you. The salary would be good I know. But my ego would be damaged. Have a nice life Jonathan. Your's sincerely. Michael." Michael clearly needs to adopt a more humble persona. Michael was always known for making foolish decisions based on fragile emotions. Anyways, that's his problem to deal with. As I make my way out of the building my phone rings. “Hello Vincento." “Jonathane, am havin a parti ati my hoteli tomallow. I wouldu like you and your family to come. Even your employeesi are invited... And oh! Anywon coming to di party mus come wearing di nugolo." I cut the phone. “Tell Cynthia to take care of those paper works. Okay?" And so another busy day goes by, another day of success and another day of hardwork. “Goodnight Juliet." “Goodnight Jonathan." The cock crows somewhere in the estate and shortly after that my alarm buzzes. “ You seem to be in a good mood." She says. I look at her beautiful eyes. “That's because we're going to an Italian party." “Are we traveling to Italy?" She asks. “No we're going to Vincento Pacino's party. Get ready and prepare the boys." Later in the night we all gather at Vincento's hotel, The precipice." The precipice is the name of Vincento's hotel, his most valued possession. I walk out of the big hall in which everyone gathers and go out to get a good view of the atmosphere. After taking my time to enjoy the outdoors of the hotel, I go back into the hotel to see that Vincento is already in “Speech mode." He looks at me. “Thati being said I willi liki all ov you to welicom my partina in the success, Mr Gwendolo himself." They all applaud as I climb the steps. I look around and realize that high calibre people are present in the hall. As I climb the stage I look back at my wife's strong supportive smile. That's all the confidence I need right now. I collect the microphone and put it close to my mouth. “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I welcome you all to this mini launching of the nugolo. I can see that you're all wearing your very own nugolo, very nice. There is really not much to say except that; the nugolo was our idea of a mixed trend modernized suit. At first I didn't think it made sense but my friend Vincento convinced me that it did. And now, looking at you all, the nugolo really does make sense. And I want to assure you that with the partnership of Gwendolo and Pactulant, we can all look forward to the next generation of Nigerian suits. Thank you very much and enjoy. Good evening." As I climb down the three-step stage, Vincento comes and hugs me with a broad smile. “Well said Jonathane. Well said." After he said that he turns to every one and yells; “Well whatayu wairin four? Evuri one, drinki drinki drinki! Until you can drinki no mour." Everyone drinks their expensive wine. I look back and see someone who looks so much like Michael Timothy. “It can't possibly be him."I look away. I look back to the spot I just saw him and he isn't there. I find my way out of the gathering into other rooms and halls. But I don't find him in any of the rooms and halls I enter. I only find people carrying out other activities. I make my way down to the last floor of the building. “Have you seen a tall man with a slightly big face around here?" I ask the guards. “Is he wearing a white suit and a white tie?" That's him I reply in my mind. “Yes that's the one." I reply aloud. “He left the building Sir. If you hurry up you can catch up with him." I quickly hurry out of the building in search of Michael. I don't walk so far away from the hotel and I hear footsteps behind me. “Halt! Jonathan." Michael says. I turn around and I feel a sharp hot object pierce my side. “Michael what are you doing?" I yell. Holding the side of my stomach where I received fire I continue to yell. “Have you finally lost it?" The gunshot rattled my insides. “Why do you have to be the billionaire and I....the secondary school classmate who doesn't have a good bed to sleep on."  He points the gun at me again but luckily for me I receive the second fire in my right palm. I fall flat on the ground in the pool of my own blood. Michael takes a few steps away from me and looks back. The look in his eyes shows no absence of malice. “Michael you better...." I enter into coma. Before the neighbors finds me - Michael is long gone, no where to be found.

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