Gold Digger 2
Dayo sat in the darkness, his mind besieged by thoughts; painful thoughts. A cold draught blew into the house; he zipped his jacket and rubbed his palms together to gain some warmth. A taxi stopped in front of the house. He looked through the curtains, it was Tina. She wore a black dress that clung to her slim figure. Dayo retreated into the bedroom. He left the door ajar so he could have a clear view of the entrance. Tina opened the door and entered the dark apartment carrying shopping bags. She dropped them, hurried outside and came back in with more bags. She put on the lights and began opening the bags with relish, like a child opening Christmas gifts.
‘Where have you been?’ he came out of the shadows of the bedroom.
Tina dropped the Prada shoes in shock. She hurriedly put some clothes back in their bags but it was too late. Dayo had already seen everything. ‘What are you doing home? You said you will be in Birmingham tonight’ she said as she continued to put the clothes back in their bags.
‘I changed my mind and decided to stay back.’ He moved closer to her. She moved back in the chair. He looked at all the bags scattered on the floor. ‘Where did you get the money to go shopping?’ He knew the answer already and it broke his heart.
Tina took off her shoes and stood up. ‘Are you insinuating that I have no money of my own? I am a successful model and I also make clothes.’
Dayo was ready for her this time. He had been seduced by her beauty and had allowed her to have her own way. But this was getting too much. This wasn’t the life he wanted.
‘Tina, did you go shopping with Ambassador Khalifa?’ If he hadn’t been watching her closely, he wouldn’t have noticed what happened next. The tiniest hint of fear flashed in her eyes, then she regained her composure. He had to give it to her; she was a damn good actress.
‘Ambassador Khalifa? What are…are you talking about?’ She stammered. Tina only stammered when she was about to tell a lie.
‘You know damn well what I am talking about. I saw what happened at the dinner party last week. And I saw the missed calls on your phone from Khalifa. Tina, why can’t you be content with what you have? Am I not good enough for you anymore?’
‘Are you accusing me of cheating on you? How dare you?’ She raised her hand to hit him, but he held it in the air. ‘Dayo, you are hurting me, let go of my hand.’ He pushed her into a chair and stood over her, his face contorted in anger. There was a time, a few months ago when he would have let her hit him the way she liked, but now he knew who she really was.
He suspected it would lead to this when he took her to the diplomatic dinner held for AU diplomats at the residence of the Sudanese Ambassador in London. He should have known better, but sadly he didn’t. He wanted to expose Tina to some of his high net-worth contacts and help her fashion business. But it was a mistake which he had come to regret.
That evening, Tina wore a sea green dress with matching jewelry. She was stunning. Dayo felt all eyes on her as they entered the venue of the party. Soon, Tina was mixing freely with the diplomats and finally spent about twenty minutes talking with the Sudanese Ambassador. The way Ambassador Khalifa looked at Tina, you would think that he wanted to rent a room immediately. Dayo knew that something intimate transpired between them. Tina flashed her brilliant white teeth, threw her hair back and laughed a lot while talking with him. He knew her well. When Tina laughed like that, she was interested in the guy. Before he interrupted their conversation, the damage had already been done. On their way home he asked her what she and Khalifa talked about.
‘Are you questioning my right to talk to a man?’ Tina was always on the defensive. He was a good conversationalist and I enjoyed talking with him.’
Dayo kept quiet and drove past the empty London streets. He didn’t tell her that he saw when Khalifa slipped his card into her hand. He was fast but Dayo saw it happen. That was when he moved to interrupt their conversation. They drove in silence through the cold streets.
Days later, Dayo saw a missed call on her phone. It was from Khalifa. He refused to bring up the subject with her. He wanted to see where it would lead. The call came through again and she took it in the room. He went to work and left her in his apartment. When he returned, she had gone out. Dayo hated himself for the situation he put himself. To think that he had introduced this woman to his family as his fiancé!
When he took Tina to Lagos for introduction to his family, his mom pulled him aside. ‘My son, I know you have to get married because you are ready for it.’ She paused. ‘But this girl is not your wife.’
‘Maami, what do you mean by that? I love her and I want to marry her.’
His mother sighed deeply. ‘Our people say that it is only a child who calls a lion cub a cat because he doesn’t know the difference between a pet and a wild animal. This woman whom you say you love is a woman of the world. I can see it in her eyes and her manners. She’s not wife material. She pretends but I know her type very well. These are the type who have tried unsuccessfully to take my husband away from me but by God’s grace,’ she lifted her hands and face to heaven as if in prayer, ‘ I am still with him but they all have failed in their assignment and faded away.’ She put her hand gently on his arm and looked into his eyes. ‘My son, I pray that the God whom I serve will give you a good wife. Not this one.’
Now he had seen for himself what his mom was talking about. Tina was nothing but a gold digger.
‘You haven’t answered my question. Where did you get the money to by all these?’
Tina stood up from the chair. ‘I have had enough with you. Do you think you are the only one who has money? There are men who are ready to do anything for me.’
‘Men like Ambassador Khalifa?’
‘Yes, Khalifa!’She spat the name in his face with venom. It stung like the slap of betrayal that it was. Tina was beyond shame now. Her game was up. Her little scheme had been uncovered. She let it all out. Gone was the pretence that she cared for him in a special way. Gone was the Tina who wanted to move in with him to ‘get married quickly’, even when his Pastor advised him against it. Her insatiable appetite and greed for material things had gotten the better of her. He had given her all she wanted but she wanted more. He just couldn’t continue like this. She stood in front of him, her eyes flashing like someone under the influence of a drug. ‘If you gave me what I wanted, do you think I would go shopping with Khalifa?’
She kept talking but Dayo’s mind was elsewhere. With each word she spoke, his anger raged within him. He wondered what to do next. In a daze, he managed to find his keys on the dining table and headed for the door.
‘If you were man enough you could have set up my business for me. Khalifa has promised to rent me an office for my fashion house. You call yourself a man and you couldn’t even buy me a good car. Look at the crap of a car you bought for me.’ Tina continued: the crazy rant of one who had nothing to lose.
If he stayed back, he might do something he would regret. He had a few more weeks to return to Nigeria; he didn’t want to spend time in a British jail for assault and battery. He turned around and took one last look at her. There was deep sadness in his eyes and his heart ached with pain. And this was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He shook his head. He walked out and shut the door. He heard two heavy thuds on the door behind him. Tina threw or broke things when she got angry. Since he met her, he had changed two television sets. When he returned hours later, Tina had left with all her belongings. The apartment was empty. But, it felt so peaceful.
To be continued….