He was known all over the village, both the born and the unborn. All saw him as a failure to his peril but those that knew his pedigree knew he was more than ordinary hustler. When he passed, the crowd shout, “our man!”.
Those were the days he was still single. Ever since he got married to Eucheria, the story changed to . . . I may say, ‘it is alright’. He was nothing but a failure, including everything associated with him. His walks to roads defined him as a failure.
Matthew, as he was formally called met his wife as an orphan whose parents were alive. She had no where to go apart from serving as an auxiliary nurse in ST. Mary’s hospital where all mouth sang her eulogy routed from her skills and mastery in hospitality.
As a christian, Matthew frowned at impunity and unfaithfulness. He had great desire for discipline. It was a game he did not demand special skill to win. That was because he was bred in the family where quality was ascribed to uprightness. Many opportunities, as many greedy fellows would call it came to him many times but he remained steadfast.
Those were the days opportunities were even found in gutters. From the day Matthew started dating Eucheria, things changed to the worst. Lost monies on roads grew wings whenever they saw him. Even those that called him, “our man” where more scarce than a south- eastern man becoming the president of Nigeria. They rather mocked him instead. That was unrelated to his divorce of his former two wives in separate marriages.
Amara, his first wife was a victim because he found her sitting on the lap of another man. He divorced her, undermining the pleas of her parents. He turned them down because he would not reconcile on how a married woman should visit another man.
His second wife, Lydia was divorced because he realized she dated a man in her early primaries. According to him, any girl who dated a man as early as primary school must not remain faithful to her husband. To him, a sinner is a sinner forever.
Hmm! Those were when he was still in his early twelve and eighteen. He confided in Eucheria that he saw any body who said evil of her as an enemy of no comparison.
As a victim of poverty, Eucharia thought of what to do to better the life of her husband and hers. One day, in her usual hospitalized ways of life welcomed one Dele, a widower and a multimillionaire to their hospital. The man was so sick that all the nurses were rude and stigmatizing him. She showed uniqueness in her acclaimed profession. The man made her his personal nurse.
Dele invited her to his mansion which she succumbed to.
Dele had stayed for ten years after the death of his wife without intimacy. He continuously searched for any chance to fall in love again. He promised himself that any woman he met would inherit all his properties. That was between him and his lawyer, barrister Adebayo Ifetide.
Fate was really after Eucheria. She was facing opportunity under obstruction. Her husband was her bane.
Matthew was recently arrested by the man he collect an advance for job and failed. His wife went to every places she knew to borrow money to bail him but he seemed to have been destined to spend eternity in the prison. It was not long when the landlord served them quit notice for not paying three months rent.
All these boozed into Eucheria’s mind for scrutiny. She paused and pondered to know if perchance Dele would help out in her biased state of mind. She threw caution into the wind and went to Dele’s residence.
As fate has its due course, when Eucheria got to Dele’s room, he was at the verge of death. It took Eucheria much toils to resuscitate him. When he gained consciousness, he demanded that Eucheria had sexual intercourse with him. She asked him if that would prevent him from dying. As she was still struggling to stammer the last word, Dele collapsed.
She started crying, “oh sir! I’m sorry. I promise that if you mistakingly gain consciousness, i shall do whatever you want for you. Just give me this one chance, I promise I will not fail you”. As she was still wailing, Dele coughed and yawned simultaneously. She dismantled herself and swam together with him.
Dele had spent four months in the prison without any luminary to his defence. He was on the fence like a cockroach in the midst of lizards. His hope was his wife whose stipend was stopped for over six months. He was at the mercy of helplessness.
Two weeks later, after when Eucheria slept with Dele, She revisited him to ascertain his health status. When she got there, she discovered that he was dead. She cried so much that her heart nearly broke. She did not know what to cry of: should it be her pride of womanhood? Should it be her imprisoned husband? Or should it be her failed dream? All these were boko haramic to her; both struggling to the fore. “I do not know what to think about now. I am a failed woman now. My husband is helplessly in the prison and all I was able to do was sleeping with another man”, She muttered to herself. “Should I confess it to my husband? I think this is the best option. I have to tell him that I failed him for once”, she submitted.
As a man who had lost all hope, Matthew was in the prison hoping to be there forever.
It was not long as Matthew was contemplating when Eucheria banged in. She shyly told her husband, “I have something to tell you”. He was like, “what else does she have to tell me apart from reminding me my sorrows”. It looked as if he knew she was there to cause him more harm than good. “I am sorry my love. I have done what I had never done since I was born. I failed you my love”, Eucheria said. “What do you have to say?” Matthew inquired. “It was not my fault. It was because . . .”. “Say what you have to say and let me have my peace,” uttered Matthew. “I was sleeping when I felt a snake between my legs”, Eucheria submitted. “Okay; did you kill the snake?” Matthew asked in a haste. “I mean . . . I wonder how you my feel if I tell you this thing I am about to tell you”, Eucheria added. “Say whatever you want to say, I have my ears to hear all sorts of stories from you”, said Matthew. “Okay, let me open up; provided you will bear with me”, said Eucheria.
Eucheria’s heart started panting as she continued stammering: “I slept with him”. “Who did you sleep with young lady? Wait . . . are you referring to a lady?” “No, he wanted to die that was why I slept with him so that he would not die” “At my peril? You must be mad. just pray that I do not leave this prison. I shall show you the stuff I am made of.
The news was everywhere that Dele slept with Eucheria. The CEO of ST. Mary’s hospital was not left out; he was acquainted with the news and sacked Eucheria for toying with the norms of the hospital. She was so helpless that she thought her misfortune was routed from her affairs with Dele.
One rainy afternoon, Eucheria returned from the farm where she went to cultivate for money. That was because it was the only job one could do to earn money at that period of the year. It was particular to men but a beggar had no choice. Those that called her for labour were the men because they always wanted to know how she could cope as a cultivating woman. She always amazed them. She was always tired whenever she returned from work, although her customers thought she was a tireless lady. It was one of those days that she was cooling off from the drench of the rain that someone knocked on her door. She unlocked the door only to hear, “are you Miss Eucheria Matthew?” She was afraid that it could be one of the plots to worsen her situation. She responded, “yes, I am. Is there any problem?” “No.” the respondent answered. “I have a message from Mr Dele Afolabi”, he added. “Ehe! What is it?” Eucheria inquired. “he willed all his properties to you. I am his lawyer as you can see. Congratulations young lady.” he said finally.
As soon as Barrister Adebayo Ifetide finished with what he was saying, Eucheria went back to the room but that was after when she had filled a form given to her by the lawyer. It was not too long when her account was credited with five hundred billion naira. She took her first step by bailing her husband.
As if Matthew knew he was going to be freed that particular day, he had concluded in his mind that his wife was not going to spend a month with him in his house.
Eucheria had set up two million naira software business for her husband before she proceeded to the prison to bail him. In a week, Matthew was already a special rich man. He counted in millions. That was when he decided to cut his own pound of flesh from his wife. He told her to ly on the ground. He took an electric iron and started ironing it on her body.
One with a neighbour is more than a rich man. The wailing of Eucheria attracted neighbours. They pleaded with Matthew to pardon his wife. He agreed with them on the condition that she must pack out of the house at that very hour which she later agreed with. He seized everything she had on the condition that she came to his house empty. The document she received from the lawyer was also seized. He claimed everything that belonged to Eucheria.
After the divorce of Eucheria by Matthew, everything seemed to be detrimental to him. All the things he came in contact with always deemed negativity: both those he acquired from his wife, Eucheria.
Prayer houses were no more far as usual. All the proprietors of prayer centres began to suspect that Matthew was desperate. Alpha Ogunfemi was not apart. In one of his prayer and miracle days, Matthew appeared into his centre. He told him that he wanted a breakthrough; that whatever he touched were detrimental to him. The eye of the Lord told him that it was because he did not pay his tithe. He replied that he paid his complete tithe without any bias. He told him to sow a seed of one million naira and see what the Lord would do for him. He accepted on the hope that his worries would be over. He transfered the money into the man’s bank account immediately.
After two years from when Matthew went to Alpha’s prayer centre, things were continuously getting worse. He went back to the eye of the Lord only to be told that he lacked strong faith. He was retold that he should trust in the Lord as his personal Lord and saviour, that everything would be alright. He was further told to sow more one million naira but this time, he was very careful to avert stories that touch the heart. They reached an agreement that if the Lord did not answer his prayers, The eye of the Lord was going to balance him.
Men of God of nowadays are too cunning. They know the ways to justify their treacherous acts. It was on this vein that Alpha tricked Matthew. He made him . . . if I were ask, to become ill. The second visit of Matthew was no more to complain of failure of the said Lord to answer his prayers. It was to find an antidote to his ailment. Alpha through the sentiment he had against Matthew told him to pay the sum of five million naira as a deposit for the treatment of his sickness. Those were some of the ways all the monies and properties Matthew seized from Eucheria vanished.
Anyone who falls down the bridge during dry season realizes that the ground is dry. Also, a cow does not know the value of its tail until it is cut off. Matthew did not know the value of his wife until she was out of his life. The fall of misfortunes to Matthew made him to visit more than million prayer houses. Many of the Seers with four eyes revealed to him that he was a destined ill-luck man. They added that the little luck he found came from his wife; that if he did not beg and marry his wife back, he would end up as a living-dead. He was frightened by the prophesies. He imagined how a whole him would beg a woman to accept him back.
A trouble maker abides if he had never met serious case. A healthy man does not know the value of the hospital until he gets sick. These were akin to the mannerism of Matthew. He knew hubris could make a wise man foolish and turned a new leaf. He buried his pride and went to Eucheria for apologies.
Before Matthew concluded to beg Eucheria, it was six years after the year of their divorce. Eucheria had got married to an oil baron who even bought Hummer Jeeps for Eucheria’s poor parents. He built storey buildings for her parents and fenced their compound. Matthew could no more recognize the compound of his purported in-laws. He wallowed until dusk. When he got wearied, he saw a buzzing picnic Jeep galloping close to him. He ran away out of fear only to Hear a familiar voice from the direction of the Jeep. It was Eucheria, his former wife. He knelt down for apology but Eucheria’s husband started quarrelling at her that she invited a madman to insult him. In order to avoid disagreement between her and her husband, Eucheria zoomed off, leaving Matthew unattended.
Nemesis caught Matthew as he was grudgingly leaving the scene of his disgrace. He wanted to cross the road without looking back and met his destiny. He was crushed by a speedy vehicle. All attempt to resuscitate him failed woefully. He died instantly.