You must cry to laugh – Part 2
– Continued from last week’s Saturday.
“Love,” they say, “is blind.” Even in poverty love knows no limits or bounds. Joko was the only love of his life, so while reeking of penury and lack Matthew still remembered his estranged wife on a daily basis in that distant town situated in Ondo State. So, on three different occasions, Matthew would travel to Lagos on a ‘peace mission’ to beg his wife to forgive him, no matter what and come back home. But really his wife had made up her mind to leave him for good.
Our people would say, “Aja ti o ba maa so nu ki n gbo fere ode,” meaning, “A hunter’s dog destined for doom would never hear the whistle or call of the hunter.” Joko was all the while basking in wealth and comfort to listen to the love sermon of a man suffering in every sense of the word.
On one of Matthew’s trips to Lagos to beg his former wife, Chief Alani bribed the police and got him arrested under a false accusation of theft. Matthew was unjustly detained in police custody for two weeks. He was subjected to harsh treatment and battering by the cell inmates. He cried and shed painful tears of sorrow. He would never forget that agonizing experience in his life. He sustained injury and left the police station with scars on his body. Before he regained his freedom two weeks later, he wrote a statement under duress that he would never visit Chief Alani’s house again. His children implored him not to go to Lagos again, that instead, he should focus his thoughts and energy on building a better future for himself and his immediate family.
About seven years later Matthew had really weathered the storm. Things had changed for the better in his life. A family friend had loaned him a huge capital with which he started a farming business. He had become a successful farmer with two acres of land in his possession. In the eight-year, he went into partnership with an agricultural bank and God was merciful to him. Before the mention of ‘Matthew,’ he had become a millionaire in the country with shares in oil and gas.
Somehow, Cupid’s arrow had struck Matthew’s heart again as he had found love in the hands of a lovely young lady by name Seki. The hardworking and lucky young lady was delivered of twins – two bouncing baby boys on the very day he was formally opening his ultra-modern soap factory. It was a double joy for him!
Matthew, who had been gaunt and lean in those turbulent years of his life, was now handsome, radiant, chubby and fresh like a flower planted by the riverside.
In the 10th year, things had taken a bad shape for Chief Alani, Matthew’s former landlord. His business had suffered terribly from the global economic recession. The economic crunch had hit him real bad. He was now as poor as a church rat. The following month, he put up his only house for sale to pay huge debts, which had crumbled his business empire. Matthew came to Lagos for a business deal around that time and saw the advertisement in the newspaper. There was bidding for the property and he won. As luck would have it he bought the only property of a man who snatched his wife from him many years ago.
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