Short Story: Priority Misplaced

by Daniel Nkado

I finally had to call off the relationship three months ago. She was nearly choking me to death.

Don’t get me wrong, Ijeoma is the kind of girl I’d have liked for a wife. She knows how to cook and clean, and curtail unnecessary expenditure. The kind of woman that makes marriage a profitable venture.

But she was just too intrusive. If only she asked less questions, pried less into my affairs, did not secretly go through my stuff and all, maybe we would still be here today, together and happy.

We had seemed so good together.

But then, Ijee will always be Ijee.

She saw a number written on a piece of paper in my wallet and quickly thinks it had been from another girl, just because, according to her, the handwriting looked feminine.

Yes, the number had actually been written by a girl, a girl that came by my office sometime, but it had only been a harmless meeting and I was never going to call her.

Didn’t think I would have any reason to.

Like an unending rope, she trailed me all round my social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Nairaland, name them.

I like an old course mate’s picture on Facebook and she asks me why, if I shared or intend to share something with the girl.

I can’t even say the things I want to say on Twitter because she will get the notification and ask me about it at home.

Most times, the questions came immediately after sex. That time we lay quiet on the soft bed, spent to the last drop, eyes to the ceiling, hearts overwhelmed with sugary satisfaction.

Even the air in the room appeared scented, of love and sweet passion, and other things beautiful and soothing.

And then, out of the blue, the question pops out and spoils the moment.

I had always liked sex with her.

A tall pretty angel with a body to die for, she is. My own African Kim K—I used to tease her with.

It had been surprising to me. Very. Because girls as pretty as her do not usually behave so. They do not usually love up so hard, let alone show it so openly.

I finally had to let go early August.

I needed my life back. It hadn’t been a very easy thing to do – she was my angel—but then I had to.

Lilian was also already creeping into the picture as at then. I would say she had quite aided the separation process.

But now that Lilian and I have finally started to date, I have begun to reap the true joy of a relationship.

She gave me the kind of relationship I want.

A very spacious relationship.

She comes to the house on select few days, never staying more than a night on each occasion. Even on the few weekends she came around to stay, her presence was still very subtle because she was always going out, coming back and going out again, allowing me a good deal of time, and peace, for me and my game.

She is just adorable.

I don’t even know her Facebook name, if she has a profile there at all. Though she hates cooking and doesn’t know where I keep my broom, I quite don’t complain.

You can’t have it all in a relationship, can you?

At least I have the most important thing I want– my peace!

That Friday, on my way back from work, I stopped at KFC to get her the chicken and chips she requested. She had called me earlier in the afternoon that she’d be coming around from school.

I had asked her on the phone if she’d like me to get anything else for her and she said I shouldn’t bother.

‘All I need is just 85K to get a few things before leaving on Saturday,’ she said.

That is almost half my monthly pay.

And I have just been paid.

Lilian seemed to always know when the pay alert arrives, as if they send her the notification too, so that she’d quickly demand for 65, 75 or 85K to use to get a few things.

Just a few things.

I don’t always find it funny, but I don’t complain either. I’ve come to see it as the price I pay for having peace in a relationship.

I stopped at Diamond Bank ATM and withdrew the money for her.

At home, I met my front door ajar. I entered and stood on the lush rug in the wide sitting room and called Lilian.

I had thought she was upstairs, or had gone out to the street to quickly get something.

I called her name again.

No answer still.

I brought out my phone and dialled her number. I had saved it with Angel Of My Life, exactly what I had used to save Ijee’s number the time we were together.

Now I remembered my first angel and swallowed hard. A part of me really missed her, the way she always stayed at the door to receive me, help me pull off my shoes and take them with my briefcase up, to my bedroom.

She never forgot to ask how my day had gone, before asking of what I’d like to have.

I miss Ijee. Really.

I sent Lilian’s number off and put the phone to my ear. Some seconds and it started to ring, a deep tuu-tuu in my ear and a screaming Beyonce by my side.

I turned and saw the iPhone on the long couch beside me. It sat next to a green and black patterned cushion.

Lilian hadn’t gone out with her phone.

I remembered the iPhone, the day I bought it for her. I was smiling under clenched teeth, sweat pouring off my face even under the cool air surging out from the split unit in the shop, as I counted the N1000 notes and handed to the phone seller.

I had had to beg Ijeoma to allow me buy her a Samsung Android instead of the cheap Tecno she requested.

‘They are all the same jor,’ she’d said to me. ‘Is it not the same Android version? The only difference, my dear, is just name so don’t be deceived.’ I remembered her thin voice now and felt like smiling.

I stepped closer to the cream-colored couch and picked the screaming phone.

And my eyes popped!!

My name was saved with Lekki BF2.

Scrolling down her contact list, I saw Lekki BF1, 3, Ikoyi BF 1 – 4, Gbagada BF, Ikeja, Surulere, even Iyana-Ipaja!

That night, my eyes remained open till morning.

I had left a good woman that loved me too deeply that all I did mattered to her for the one that wouldn’t even bat an eyelid if she caught me with another woman, because to her, I was just one from a million!

I misplaced priority.

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8 Comments on “Short Story: Priority Misplaced”

  1. wow….wow…wow… lekki bf1…omo mehn if it was me i would run mad. He should have suspected from the get go. Everyone respects their space but you have to know who you're dating well. What if she was some mami water girl…hahaha. Nice write up…i love plenty… Thanks for stopping by my blog. mwahhhh

  2. Even though I don't like obsession in a relationship, I would have still preferred Ijee than Lilian even if she wasn't double dating. She too materialistic 4 my liking apart from d fact that she does not like to do anything.

    Sometimes we don't know what we have until we loose it. I don't think u deserve Ijeoma.

  3. Lolz. She should av saved ur num wif mugu. U neva can satisfy a man. She gave you ur peace becos she knew it was only a matter of time before she dump u, and move to her nxt maga

  4. Any how you lay your bed, you sleep on it like that. You made your choice ,So enjoy your position–Lekki P 1000000 or whatever number you see yourself!

  5. lol I like dis babe…if I were d guy I would collect d phone keep my money n dah night is d night wud enjoy all my money.b4 I dump her d next morning..chai he is lucky

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