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THE HUSTLER’S STORY (A Matter of time.) 

Written by Chinaza Jessica

“Emeka, Emeka leave me alone. Just leave me alone. I must leave this house today. I cannot put up with you anymore. What kind of life is this? Leave me jor.”

“Uju, I am begging you from the bottom of my heart. Uju, please don’t leave me. Please, my condition will not remain like this.”

“Naso, every day my condition, my condition. It never changes ehh Emeka. Your status never update? I am tired of condition. I cannot continue this life of penury. My friends are doing vacation in Dubai. Emeka I want to do shopping in Dubai. I am tired of your useless condition that will never change.”

“Uju please understand. I am the only son of my mother. My father is long dead and you know the situation of Nigeria. No job. I am using my shop as a welder to sustain you, me and my family. Things Will get well Biko. Just have patience.”

“patience which patience?” she said dragging her bag from me.

“Uju please. You are the love of my life. I love you with all my heart. I want the best for us. Just give me time, money will come. Reason with me Biko.” I knelt down begging her.

“Emeka, you are mad. I said you are really mad. You talk of love! Emeka do I eat love? Do I wear love? Can love take me to Dubai?

You open that your wretched mouth and speak of love. It was not like before I was following you like Mumu. My friends have warned me about you. They warned me that I should not carry my beauty and figure to meet you.
They said you didn’t have the funds to meet my needs. And it is true. You are nothing but a wretched Fool.
You are talking about reason with me. How long will I continue to reason. You have turned to rude boy abi?
Have you forgotten that your mate. Davido is using car to do assurance for their girlfriend abi.
Idiot get out of my way. I am going to meet Collins. He knows the value of a woman.”

She pushed me aside. Tears was welling up in my eyes. I couldn’t afford to let Uju go. No, I loved her with all my heart. Even her words would not chase me away.
I grabbed her hands, begging in tears.
“Uju, I am sorry for all the pains I have cost you. I really am. Uju I would do anything for you. Anything Within my reach. I would invest in y…

“Emeka will you keep quiet. You would do anything for me?
When I asked you to open a boutique for me what did you do?” she eyed me.

“But Uju, i gave you five hundred thousand Naira to start up naw.”

“Emeka you must be mad. How much is five hundred thousand naira?
What will I do with it? You think i want to open a caravan? Emeka, I said boutique! Boutique!!

Emeka I cannot continue this useless life. You have no future, not a dime to your name. Nothing to be proud of.

I have no future with you. Collins is the guy I want. He has everything a woman wants, money, houses, cars.
Emeka, I want to fly in aeroplane. I want to shop in Dubai. I want to meet men of calibre and timber. I want assurance!!!

You have nothing to offer me.”

I knelt down there as these words hit me heavily like a hammer. She told me the truth. Emeka!!! You had nothing. Let Uju be with her Collins.

As Uju rained these acids on me that afternoon. Tears poured in their numbers. Man or no man, all I wanted was to be with my Uju.
The love of my life, I wanted a very happy life with her.
But here she was, leaving me like a piece of rag. Like I was a haggard slave she wanted to do away it. Her love for me had turned sour because I couldn’t provide for her.
I couldn’t leave the big live she wanted. She was leaving me because of my poverty. Poverty was a bastard.

“Emeka you can never amount to anything in this life. I will never stay with such a useless, filthy rag as yourself…

“Aunty Uju, it is enough naw.” I turned and noticed Oluchi, my next door neighbour. She had been the only person in our face me I face you compound that afternoon.
She had come out to witness the drama unfolding.

“Aunty Uju please it is enough. Brother Emeka is obviously hurt. Don’t do this to him. He truly loves you.”

Uju looked at her and burst into laughter. “oluchi biko forget that thing. I cannot waste my time with this ill lucked guy who has nothing. I have a better future else where.
Emeka has no house or car of his own. He has nothing to be proud of. Oluchi, leave me jor.”

Oluchi walked closer to us. She looked at me pitifully and then to Uju
“Aunty Uju, Emeka does not have a house today does not mean he can’t own Estates tomorrow. He does not have a bicycle today does not mean he cannot be a car dealer tomorrow.

Aunty Uju, it is just a matter of time. That his little business will explode someday. Have faith and stay with him.”

“Oluchi forget that old story. Is it today I have been hearing this. Emeka can never grow, Never!
I cannot continue leaving this life. Mbanu, I cannot. My name is Uju. I Move with wealth.
I cannot struggle for another man’s son. Oluchi, if you want him take him.
But my simple advise to you is, when you see poverty stinking people like Emeka. Run for your life. I am out of here.” she said and rolled her bag away.

I raised my eyes to see Uju walking out of my life for the very last time. She walked out of me, the relationship and our future together. She walked out on us!!!

I knelt down there, with tears flowing from my eyes. My knees were glued to the ground and my throat glued together.
My heart was heavy but my mouth failed to produce any sound. Only my eyes spoke the words.

My world had crumpled. Oluchi looked at me and shaked her head pitifully.
“Brother it’s OK. Go inside Biko.” my ears barely heard her plea
But my body failed to respond. It was dead!

Months passed but I wouldn’t forget about Uju. My heart still Longed for her. I heard of her exploits and fun fare with Her Collins. But I still wanted her, I was determined to get her back.

I called and called, texted and texted. She blocked my line. I called her with another. The day, she finally picked, she warned me never to try it again.

I visited her, but she never let me in. Some days, she would instruct the security man to throw me out. It happened times without number. My friends warned me but i couldn’t listen.
I wanted my Uju back.

Her birthday arrived. I wore my best clothes I had. I bought her a necklace which I saved so many months to buy. All I wanted was Uju’s Happiness.

On arrival at the venue, I wasn’t allowed to enter because I didn’t have an invitation. The security held me back. The bouncers on black were tall and huge, they were thrice my size. They meant business.

But love pushed me. I fought through the thick men. I had burst into the hall and I started to shout as these men pulled me back.

The party was interrupted and every one turned towards our direction.
“Uju please, Uju please. I still love you. Take me back.”

The guards continued pulling me. Uju was shocked. I saw the Collins with his hands strapped around her waist.

He ordered the guards to take me away but Uju stopped them. She cat walked towards me majestically.

Uju had changed so much. Her skin glowed and her curves became more attractive.
She looked so rich and classy like a queen. Poverty is a bastard.

“Uju I still love you. Take me back.” I said kneeling down with the expensive necklace I bought.

She looked around the hall watching the eyes around her. She picked the necklace, she was marvelled. She wore it and it fitted her perfectly.

She smiled as she touched it and placed her hands on my face. Her fingers were soft and fresh as it caressed my cheeks.

“Emeka you got this for me?” she asked sweetly.
“yes baby I did. I would do anything for you. Just come back to me and I would love you till the end. I love you so much Uju. I really do.”

I looked at her as tears welled up her eyes. The people around us were already making videos. I saw pity in her eyes.
“Emeka you really do?”
“yes my love.”

“Then this is all I have to say.”

I looked at her and I never saw it coming. She placed a glass of red wine and poured it on me. The people there burst into laughter.

“Emeka you must be mad. You crashed into my party to tell me this crap. Do you think I can ever love you. You are poor and worthless. You Will never amount to anything.” she cut the necklace around her neck and threw it to my face. “Emeka, what is this?
You call this a necklace. This is Aba made. I am not like your stupid poor sisters. I don’t deal with rubbish. Emeka, I am sick and tired of you. Get out of my life. I am in love with Collins Now.”
She walked over to him and gave him a romantic kiss. The people around me clapped and booed at me.

Tears cascaded from my eyes. The videos were already streaming live on social media and were trending before I got home. I was the talk of the town. This was The life of a poor hustler.

Ten years has passed since that incident. I was now a fulfilled man. I had opened chains of companies which were already running contracts for international oil and marine companies.
I had become filthily wealthy and I had forgotten my past as a hustler.

“look sir Builders Intl simply does not run low classed contracts like that. We have a stock of companies and clients to attend to. A twenty five million dollar project is simply an insult to my company.
We mean business. When you and your company is ready to hire my company call my PA.” I said banging the call.

My company can never attend to such mini project. We have a standard here. My Personal phone Rang. I looked at the caller but it was unknown. I wondered who it could be as I picked the call.

“hello who is this please?”

“Hello Emeka is that you?”

“yes.” I answered the caller. I am still trying to get who owns the voice.

“This Is Uju, Obiauju. Your ex fiance .”

“What!!! Uju how did you get my number?”

“Emeka, please listen to me. I am sorry. I was foolish. I should never have been so cruel to you and I wan..

“listen young lady. I don’t know who the hell you got my number from. But I beg you in the name of God. Don’t ever call this line again. Thank you.” I said ending the call before she could say another word. How would that witch call me again. I blocked her number.
My mind wanted to travel into the days of my past and my story with her. But I was interrupted by my secretary who reminded me of an important meeting.
I heaved a sigh. I was a very busy man.

The gate of my compound opened. I couldn’t wait to see my family. The comfort and happiness, I was overwhelmed it whenever they were around me. “I’m coming baby” I smiled.

My driver turned the steering to drive into the compound and immediately I heard a loud bang. He pulled the car to a halt.
“Jesus!!! what was that.” I opened the door and jumped out to see who my car had hit.

The old woman scampered for safety. And she grabbed my legs.

“ahh mama. What are you doing? Why did you run into my car?”

“Emeka, I am sorry please forgive me. I am sorry, I was a fool.”

The woman continued dragging me, but the voice I heard struck me. The voice was hoarse but I could recognize it anywhere. I pulled the woman from my foot and lifted her face up. It was no old woman at all, it was UJU.

I stood there frozen with fright as the figure before me continued begging in tears.
“Forgive Emeka. I am sorry, I left you.”
I did not want to hear more of her crap.
“security! security!! Security!!! Take this witch out of my compound. I don’t want to see her around here again.”
My able bodied guards pulled her out, the way they did to me ten years ago. I turned my back on her plea and cries. I shut my ears to her begging.
“it was Collins. It was him all along. He was a lie!!!”

I turned to her and ordered my boys to let her go. She knelt down weeping
“Collins was a liar. After some years of friending him. He used me and chased me out.
He called me a slut and a gold digger that I was too low and loose to be with him.
All my friends abandoned me. I had no one and i couldn’t see you again. Finally I have met you. Please..
“shut up Uju. You treated me like a piece of rag. You could not stay with me when times when rough. You said I didn’t have a future and now you have come to beg?”

“Emeka it was the devil. I was a fool take me back please.”

“sorry Uju. Times have changed. I don’t use OKRIKA products. Get out.”

She Continued pleading, the place was already noisy and immediately her please was Interrupted by the sharp shout of my daughter.
Five Year old Ada, jumped on as I lifted her up.
“baby I missed you.” I kissed her as she giggled.

Uju’s face froze and it turned to acid when my heavily pregnant wife came.
“Darling, welcome. What’s going on?”

Uju stared at us all in shock. I laughed and kissed my wife’s cheeks.
“Uju meet my lovely wife. Oluchi, she was that my neighbor. That came to beg you the day you left.”

The women looked at each other in shock. I explained her story to oluchi and then faced the already weeping Uju.

“You see my dear. After my ordeal with you. I was heart broken and depressed.
But Oluchi showed me a meaning to life. It was a slow and painful process but with her encouragement and prayers. I was beginning to stand.
After some time we started dating and there my breakthrough came. She got me connection to her uncle’s friend who gave me a contract that made me have a future.

She named my company and I started a shopping business for her.

Uju, oluchi does not travel to Dubai for shopping. No, she supplies the Dubai market.
She does not have a car for assurance. No, she travels In her private plane.
She does not dine with men of timber and calibre. No, she hosts their parties.

Oluchi is living a better life with me. And now we are raising a better family.
If only you had patience maybe you would have been in her shoes. I guess not, because oluchi was the key to my success. You had to leave for the key to establish itself.
She believed in my vision and now she is enjoying the future.
Now, Uju leave my house and enjoy your life.” I said holding my wife and Ada. Tears trickled from her eyes as we walked into our house.

This story is a dedication to all hustling guys out there. I believe in the success of your dream and a call to women out there to be a source of support and encouragement to that guy.

Note: this story should not be a defence for lazy guys out there who wish for a brighter future but are not ready to work for it. And you want your woman to stick by you? OGA suffer no dey tire you?

Stories of The Pen ✒.

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