Ashtrays and Heartbreaks- Episode 3

“…Guy now their bosses hire them in the name of ‘marketer’ or some other classy title, give them everything- car, house, raises, you name it. All that is a facade they’re really using them as cooperate sluts! Typical example that place Ebere works!”
“Which Ebere” I asked hitting pause on our game
“How many do we both know?” Seun replied squeezing his face at the screen
“I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that” I said shrugging it off “No dey bring this your fake gist abeg”
“I’m not joking at all! One of my niggas like that brought the gist now, was talking about some babe in his office who travels with all the rich men and gets ALL the good travel deals while he’s left with crumbs. Its either her or noone else for most men. Its like they refer their friends. You know me iDont like gossip but I got interested and he showed me the babes picture when I asked to get in on the deal”
At this point all the saliva in my mouth had dried
“I’m not believing this shit! Don’t spread fake gist Seun, you be my guy oo”
“See the chat now, see as he even sent the picture”
I gathered courage to peek at his screen, lo and behold, Ebere’s beautiful smiling face stared back, mocking me.
At this point I tossed the console at the wall and barely audibly told Seun to leave my house.
Normally, I’d have made a come back and returned the slander but he hit a sensitive spot and that was just by saying her name. Ebere, light-skin, tall, beautiful Ebere! My Ebere!
Without thinking, I dialed her number and told her to come over…

‘For crying out loud, give it a rest, Nkanu. The man didn’t molest me or anything. It was just four days. FOUR days!! I’m not a child you know, I can handle myself.’
‘If this is what this job entails now; traveling around with rich men as their official concubine, you have two options. Either you quit the job or we end this relationship- I cannot be dating a corporate slut!’

It was at this point I lost my sanity. Temporarily, that is. It’d be almost three months since I was this mad.

‘A slut?! NKANU! You called me a S-L-U-T?!’

Every vessel in my body was pumping rage. My brain was almost exploding, words and even my lungs failed. Nkanu and I had been fighting a lot lately and deep down, I was tired and frustrated. I exited his house without any added thought and once on the street, I flagged down a cab. The only place I had in mind was my mum’s office but while seated quietly in the backseat of the cab as the driver made no effort to avoid the potholes and poodles, I changed my mind.

‘Take me to Redeemed Church, oga.’

‘my daughter, which one?’

‘the one by Total junction.’

I barely made it to the altar. I broke down in tears 7 rows from the entrance.

‘God bless you, my daughter.’

I struggled to gain a clear sight of the speaker. It was my Pastor. I immediately started crying again while lamenting to him. I didn’t know if he was listening or if I was even making sense. I just kept crying with my face buried in my palms. After some probably dreadful minutes, my cries reduced to sobs and I gradually lifted my now messed up face to look at the Pastor. He was looking at me, I guessed he was just staring at me the whole time. Then, he gave me an assuring smile, pulled me to my feet and dragged me in for a hug.

‘Ebere, I’ve watched you grow into a beautiful woman. From your childhood days, you were a star. I remember when you used to come out for bible recitations or song renditions, your voice would fill the auditorium and people would even be moved spiritually. You were and still are a blessing, Ebere. Nkanu has always been made for you. You too were so close, remember how he struggled to teach you how to play the keyboard during your secondary school days? Even though you took so long to get it right, he never gave up on you. You’ve loved him longer you even know, my dear. Don’t let the enemy take away what God has blessed you with. You may regret it for a long time. I am a pastor but I’m also a man.’

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