By Udemeobong Udoeyop
I am a man, a hustler, and a hopeless romantic.
I am Uchenna King.
“Uchenna!” Mark’s voice boomed through the large apartment we stay in.
Seated on an armchair, legs crossed, my back resting on the chair, I aimed a crumpled piece of paper at the bin.
Used plates from our lunch earlier were still on the table and books I was reading were scattered on the bed. I’m a messy person and couldn’t care less to tidy up my environment.
I fiddled with the keyboard of my laptop, navigating through different screens. Engaging in an online business alongside my job isn’t a sin.
So I think.
I grew up in a poor family and I had to leave for the city to fend for the family, being the firstborn. I came to the city, hustled like every other person here but it wasn’t paying. I was on the verge of giving up when a guy introduced me to what I may term as my lifesaver.
“Wetin? I de for the room!” I shouted back.
There was this pretty lady I’ve been chatting with for a while now.
I can stare at her pictures for a whole day, there’s just this special aura that comes through whenever we chat. Christine was her name.
The woman that turns my insides out.
I almost jumped out of excitement as she accepted my request to meet up with her tomorrow.
Mark, who has been my colleague, housemate, and buddy for years now walked into the room.
Unlike me, Mark is a short Nigerian with brains, afro; he believes he’s Wole Soyinka junior; I’m quite tall.
“Guy I’ve gotten myself a date tomorrow.” My cheeks stung as I smiled like a child who has just been given candy. Trust me it feels honestly great to get a damsel to go out with you, especially a Nigerian damsel.
“Mad! Is it that girl you’ve been rambling about for days?”
I smiled, “yes.” We did a quick handshake and decided it was high time we had dinner.
I laid back on the bed, thoughts of all sort running through my head.
What if she isn’t the girl in the pictures she posts?
What if she has a bad character and only chats like an angel? I pushed such thoughts aside. She has really captivated me and if she can do that without meeting me then she’ll probably have me under a lock and key once we meet.
I put on a well-ironed grey shirt and a pair of black trousers. I kept staring at myself in the mirror, adjusting my collar and brushing my thick eyebrows.
“Uche, you look good oya go, all this one just for a woman? Hian.”
I just smiled and in no time I was hailing a cab along the busy streets of Enugu.
After about a minute, a bus honked and halted before me, I quickly got in.
The adrenaline and anxiety that rushed through me was dangerous.
I was sitting in Crunchies a popular eatery, tapping my feet on the ground as I waited.
I heard footsteps approach. I raised my head and for once I thought I was in heaven because I’m certain I saw an angel.
She was in a beautiful gold gown that stopped above her knees exposing those gorgeous fair legs and magnifying her curvy shape.
The hairs on my neck stood and my jaw relentlessly dropped.
Her cologne had a unique strong scent that filled this part of the eatery and she kept walking as though she was a model.
I quickly comported my self and cleaned my sweaty hands on my trousers.
To tell the truth, I was totally swept off my feet.
She smiled and took a sit.
“Uchenna! it’s so nice finally meeting you,” her soft nightingale voice chimed.
The rest of the date went amazing, I have never been more
intrigued by a woman.
I got home, I was seated in the lawn, I ran my comb through my hair as I leaned backward on the chair.
A strong wind blew, the rumbling of thunder and lightning bolts were heard and seen. I watched Rocky and Pablo play, Rocky wiggled its tail and ran up to me licking my feet as I patted its head.
Mark joined me with a chessboard, it has become a ritual to play chess here.
We arranged the pieces and Mark moved a pawn forward twice.
“Uchenna, have you told her?” I knew what he meant, I didn’t have an answer so I decided to play with him a little, I moved my knight.
“About?” I feigned ignorance and he scoffed. I knew the smart guy
noticed I understood what he hinted but it didn’t hurt to try.
“You know what I mean, you know what will happen if she finds out herself.” That alone made goosebumps appear on my skin, the thought of losing her alone made me freak out.
I was confident what I feel for her isn’t lust, I may admire her body but her heart is what I’m after.
“Guy, I can’t just walk up to her and tell her ‘hi, I’m actually working for the Nigerian Intelligence Agency ‘ she’s going to walk away from the relationship, most people believe we are fake and you know about our anonymity,” I explained as he thought about it and moved a bishop.
“Still tell her.”
At this point, I was beginning to think he wanted to break my relationship with her.
Annoyed, I stood up and went inside, only to be met by the burning smell of the chicken Mark was baking. I put off the oven and left to my room.
I can’t take the risk of losing Christine.
Six Months Later
Like other days, we were at a recreational park.
I took her hands and placed a soft kiss on them. She looked at me with those loving eyes of hers. Does she know how much impact she has on me?
It’s high time I made this official.
I got on my knees, got the ring out, and raised my eyes to meet hers.
“Christine Uko Anthony, would you be my wife?” My heart pounded against my ribs. Come on, please say yes, she looked at me with tears in her eyes.
Oh my God, I’ve messed up!
“Yes,” she cried and I slipped the ring into her finger, and pulled her into a hug.
“I want to meet your parents. I want to let them know my intentions towards you.” From the first day we started chatting, I knew she was the one, I’ve been with so many women but there’s something special about her.
There’s something pulling me towards her, I hope I’ll figure it soon.
It was surprising as the scorching sun quickly set.
I know I may sound very cheesy but apart from the sun, she lightens up my day.
I’m the luckiest man alive.
“Okay, you can come with me as I’ll be going to the village.” She made it clear she doesn’t like staying in the village so we’ll be back today.
The drive to the village was long and tiring but I couldn’t let it deviate me from why I came.
“Good afternoon mum,” Christine greeted once we got in. She doesn’t share any resemblance with her mum. She had beautiful light skin and ebony black hair with captivating bulgy eyes while her mum had dark brown hair and was dark-skinned.
“Good day ma,” I gave her my award-winning smile. As e dey so, I dey enter contest.
“Afternoon, Christine who is this young man?” She smiled at me easing the worry that had formed in me.
“Oh, this is Uchenna, my fiancé.” I was going to change that soon.
We got seated in the sitting room and I deemed it fit to bring up the matter when her dad joined us.
“Good day again Mr. and Mrs. Anthony, as your daughter had said earlier, I am her fiancé but I wish to change that soon. I want to marry your daughter.”
The whole room went silent, they looked at each other and turned to me.
Chai, I don enter!
“What do you do for a living?” Her dad questioned looking pointedly at me as if he was studying me.
“I am a public servant,” I lied and they shared a look and turned to me again,
“Look, young man, you dress smart and you look like a good person but we can’t let our daughter marry a man who doesn’t have enough money to
spare,” her mother said, I was completely taken aback.
I had enough money in my account to buy a good bungalow and take care of Christine. My NIA job has earned me over five million just this month.
I just have to keep a low profile, I don’t want those greedy lazy touts knocking on my door soon.
“But ma, I do have enough money to take good care of your daughter,” I tried explaining.
She just shook her head and smiled.
“We know you, my daughter told me you work with your laptop a lot. Do you think after all the money you’ve looted you’ll marry my daughter and leave her when they eventually arrest you? Uchenna, that is not true wealth and you will never marry my daughter, over my dead body!”
With that shocker, she went into what I assume is her room and Christine just looked confused.
I was confused too till it registered that she thought I take part in cybercrime since I use my laptop a lot.
I can’t let Christine go, it’s only love that matters.
Nigerians and others out there. Cybercrime is present in many
countries, rather than spreading stereotypes we can come together and fight this. It is not the ‘Nigerian Prince’ as popularly known, it is the ‘The World’s King’.
Let’s try our best to stop cyberbullying.
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