The day was sweltering, and Miriam put on her sunglasses all through in the car, until they got home. She was quiet all the while, and Imabasi wondered what was going on with her.
When Troy stopped the car right before their house, Miriam was the first to alight hastily.
The first step she took was jarring.
Imabasi gave Troy a kiss on the lip and walked as fast as she could behind her friend.
“You don’t seem okay?” Imabasi asked sadly.
“I am fine. I am not just in the mood.” Miriam retorted.
“No you’re not. You were so excited to join Troy and I for a weekend vacation. And then this morning, you said you wanted to come back home.”
Miriam clicked the door open as she glared at Imabasi. “Richard wants me.”
“That’s not true.
You told Richard you were going to be with Troy and I this weekend. And he allowed you, because you said he has something to do in Loxford. Why are you lying to me? Don’t you like Troy?” Imabasi asked with a stern look.
Miriam sniffed in disgust as she threw her handbag on the sofa.
“Where was Troy last night, few hours after dinner?” Miriam asked, her face suffused with bitterness.
“I was deeply asleep…Most times he plays the PS3 game in the sitting room, so I am sure he was there while I was asleep.”
“No, you’re not sure. He was right in the guest room, running his hands down my thighs, trying to reach my panties, so he could sleep with me and….”
“Stop it, stop it this minute! My Troy isn’t the person you’re talking about right now. I won’t have you talk about my boyfriend like that. He loves me, he will never want any other woman.”
Miriam said softly,
“I didn’t want to tell you this. But you forced me to. This is the last time I am going to talk to you about Troy. He is not the guy you think he is. He is a womanizer, he a cheat, he is worse than a rapist, he is a….”
“Just shut up! You’re jealous. You’re jealous of me, you can’t have him. He is better than your Richard, whom you wash his dirty linens and you’re just so tired of his boring, stupid, dirty life! My Troy is much better. I can’t even compare him to your Richard. I don’t wanna ever see you cross my bedroom door. Stay in your lane, I stay in mine.” She glared angrily at her as she walked away, and she turned back in time to see Miriam’s fury. Miriam actually smiled, a bittered smile, which only mad her angrier.
There was disappointment written allover Miriam’s face. She didn’t know what to say or do. She lowered herself on the sofa, breathing in and out.
Suddenly, Imabasi flew out from the room to the sitting room, she stood before Miriam and said, “I brought you from Nigeria to London, I organized your visa, bought you a ticket. I made you, I made. And now, you wanna pay me back by ruining the only perfect thing I have ever had.”
Miriam pretended not to hear her, but instead stared at her angry reddish face.
“As I told you earlier, you’re dating a male whore! If there is any word like that. If I had known, I would have screamed the roof down when he came to me last night. But I pitied him. I pitied you. I didn’t wanna see that tears in your eyes, I didn’t wanna see the shame. He couldn’t even get his eyes off my breast. My Richard can never be so lustful towards a woman, not even my friend. Instead of you raising your voice, and embarrassing yourself here, why not go investigate more on this guy. You don’t know him. Whatever he told you about himself are all lies. He is a Casanova, and he is never going to change, not even because of you. Because you’re so naive and stupid!”
Miriam said with anger in her tone, while Imabasi nodded tearily.
Miriam took her handbag and walked away with long strides, her voice deepening several tones when she said, “get out of my way!”

Imabasi was angry. Her heart became bittered as Miriam’s words ran through her head.
She got up from the sofa and took her wallet. Walking out, she slammed the door.
She didn’t know where she was going to. She was pained and needed someone to talk to.
She took a cab to Troy’s house. She wasn’t sure about what she was doing, but she closed her eyes all through, wishing in heart that Troy will tell her Miriam was lying. And that he loves just her and nobody else.
“We are here ma’am.” The cab guy said.
Imabasi gave an audible sigh of relief and handed some money to him.
As she alighted from the cab, her legs ached, they were trembling as she walked toward Troy’s apartment.
She pressed the door bell twice. The door clicked open and her heart trembled at the sight of a white lady, she had a blonde hair and Troy’s towel tide around her.
“Who are you?” Imabasi asked with anger in her tone.
The lady noticed the irritation in her tone and smiled to herself.
“I am Maya.”
“Same Maya? Troy said you’re his ex.”
Maya giggled. ” I am his wife! I am sure you’re one of the girls Troy has been deceiving. Since I left for Bromley, I have seen your types in quite a number.” Maya said.
Imabasi suddenly became calm. ” You’re married to Troy? He told me you’re his ex.” Imabasi said in a broken voice.
“Troy, Troy?” Maya called out in a loud tone, as she laid her head on the door and folded her arms. Troy appeared with same color of towel wrapped around his waist. His heart melted as he saw Imabasi. Maya slapped him twice on the cheeks.
“This is the fourteenth girl I have seen in one hour since my arrival from Bromley. You used my house in fucking your whores!”
Maya said as her angry gaze swept Imabasi from her head to her feet. She slammed the door against Troy and Imabasi.
“What are you doing here?” Troy asked in a shaky tone.
Imabasi’s eyes were clouded with tears, but she tried to control it.
She ached all over, and now she was exhausted.
Nothing in her life had prepared her to deal with a man like Troy.
“Please don’t come here anymore. Maya is back. I met her at home after I returned from dropping you and your friend off. I didn’t know she was coming.” He tried to explain to her.
“Troy!” Maya called from inside the house.
“Yes honey.” He replied in a loud shaky tone as he opened the door and slammed it against her.
Imabasi knew it was over. She felt her face flush. She became angry with herself. After a while, her eyes grew heavy and the ground grew harder.
With bittered pains in her heart, she made it to her house.
She clicked the door open and the fresh smell of bacon rumbled her stomach.
Miriam saw her when she walked in, she noticed there were tears in her eyes. She untied her apron and took the kitchen towel, cleaning her hands and walking hastily toward her.
“You were right. He is a male whore.” Imabasi said in broken whispers.
“Oh no. You asked him?”
“I wanted to. But I discovered he is married. He has a wife.” Imabasi began to sob softly.
Miriam’s eyes fluttered shut, and she sighed.
“Victor has been calling the landline. I strongly believe that guy is good. He loves you. He promised to stop smoking because of you.”
“I don’t want a man now, until I hear from God.”
Miriam shook her head. “Until you hear from God now? No more searching for a perfect man?”
“A perfect man is the one God is going to show me. I won’t choose alone. Pastor preaches about getting signs. I will ask God for a sign.”
Miriam’s eyes widened. “It doesn’t work for everyone. It doesn’t.”
“It does! I will ask God for a sign. I will find out from God if Victor is really the right man.”
Miriam tried to suppress the smile that played on her lips, but she was not entirely successful.
“You’re an adult, but still thinks like a teenager.” Miriam said softly.

“Sister Imabasi, God said I should let you know this; The first single man you see today at your door post is the man God has ordained to be your husband.” Pastor Iniunam said over the phone.
Pastor Iniunam was Imabasi’s mom’s pastor in Nigeria. Her mom had given her his number since two years back.
“He is a powerful man of God. He sees what others can’t see. He sees visions.” Her mother said to her on the day Ima complained about not being lucky with relationships.
“Thank you sir.” She greeted.
“And again, you can also pray before you sleep, God will also reveal to you In your dream. I will speak to him, but before then, you will pay your tithe, and send pounds for the construction of the church’s podium. We need a big Television screen and piano for the church, when you do these things, God will grant your heart desires.”
“Amen pastor. I will do so as soon as possible. Send the church account number.” She turned her face to Miriam, who was listening to her conversation with pastor Iniunam over the phone.
Imabasi hung up the call and said, “This is going to work. I wonder why I didn’t call him since, by now I would have been married Mimi. Mom was right, he is indeed a man of God.”
“Indeed.” Miriam muttered and gave a loud sigh.
“Nigerian pastors! why must you send him money first? I am not just having a good feeling about this pastor Iniunam.”
“He is my mom’s pastor. He is real.” Imabasi said, scooping up her blanket and relaxing under it.
Miriam nodded mockingly.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang.
The two women turned to each other.
“Are you expecting someone?” Imabasi asked surprisingly.
“No I am not. Richard won’t come here without letting me know.”
Imabasi was quiet, she thought only for a moment.
“Jesus! Pastor Iniunam was right! He said the first single man to knock on our door is going to be the man God has ordained to be my husband!” She exclaimed, and got up immediately from the bed.
Miriam stared at her surprisingly, as she sprinkled the body mist on her body and wore a nude colour lipsticks. She glanced down at her feet and applied a lotion quickly on it.
“This is God. God bless Pastor Iniunam, I am going to send him that money before noon Mimi.” She said excitedly as she paused and exhaled.
“I wonder what he might look like.”
The doorbell rang the second time, and Imabasi took her phone from the bed and turned to Miriam.
“Mimi, it is not right that my husband should see me for the first time, looking like a low life woman. How do I look?”
She asked eagerly as she turned around stylishly.
“You look good. Loosen your hair, ponytails don’t really fit your face.” Miriam said shrilly.
The doorbell rang the third time and Imabasi ran out of the room, followed by Miriam.
They were both anxious.
They opened the door immediately and their eyes swirled like molten lava.
He gazed down at her, his lips set in a tight line.
Imabasi caught and held his gaze, he was aghast at the way the two women stared at him.
“Newspaper delivery?” He asked in a soft tone.
Imabasi stared at his dirty feet, he had just one hand; His left hand was cut off. His left eye was closed with a one-sided shade.
Imabasi collected the newspaper reluctantly as she gave him a disgustful stare.
She glanced down at his feet severally, wondering the last time he had his bath.
“Thank you. You can go.” Miriam said when she noticed her friend got lost in her thoughts.
As they slammed the door, Imabasi’s knee suddenly went weak, as she slumped to the ground. She was trying to gather her thoughts together.
“In all my years of seeing one’s husband, that guy isn’t worth being a boyfriend of a pauper.” Miriam said and gave a loud amused laugh. “Your pastor failed you this time.”
Without a word, Imabasi kept thinking of the newspaper delivery guy.

“Few months ago, you needed a perfect man. Now you want the man God will choose for you by himself. There is no such man as perfect Ima.” Mimi said shrilly, as she scooped the last spoon of noodles into her mouth.
Imabasi’s face had gone blank as she’d yelled. “A man given to me by God is perfect!” She stood up straight, her eyes hooded and a small frown creasing her forehead.
Her phone rang, and she picked it up immediately from the sofa when she saw that it was pastor Iniunam.
“Hello pastor” She said, as her voice got low.
“Sister Imabasi, God bless you my child. I sent the account number since, but I didn’t get any alert.” He said huskily.
Imabasi coughed and then said, “Pastor, the man who came to my door post this morning was a newspaper vendor. He had just one hand. I am angry, so angry. Why would God want to give me a man who is that dirty and handless? I am not worth such a man.” Her voice was so bitter.
Pastor Iniunam gave a loud laugh and then said, “You are a child Of God sister Ima, you can tell God what you want and he will send him to you. If you don’t want the newspaper guy, you can keep praying. God can show you more people to choose from in your dream.” Pastor Iniunam paused and then began to say things in strange languages, “Hahhalabosokalabarayah, hmmm! Sister Ima, the lord Just ministered to me, that the first man you are going to see outside when you go out today will be your husband. He is a white man, the lord is trying to tell me what he is wearing, but I am not seeing clearly. Pray before you go out today, your mother cannot wait to have her son inlaw.
But If you don’t like this one, you can keep fasting and praying, God will reveal to you in your dream.”
Miriam shook her head Jerkily, as she watched her friend.
“Thank you pastor. I am making a transfer to you right now.” She said, her voice sharp.
“God bless you, remain blessed.”
Imabasi hung up the call and turned her gaze to Miriam, “Pastor Iniunam is a man of God indeed.
“Oh really? This pastor Iniunam that you believe in so much, I hope he won’t turn out to be fake.”
“Can’t you be positive for me once Mimi?”
Miriam glared at her, her arms crossed, a wry smile curving her lips.
“okay. I will stop sounding negative. Let’s go find your man. Go have a shower, wear your best dress, do a light makeup, let’s go get your man.” Miriam said with a wide smile on her face.
Imabasi became delighted as she ran into her room. She had removed piles of clothes from her trunk box, just to get a dress.
She took her shower immediately, and after a long makeup on her face, she wore a turquoise blue tight gown that exposed her buttocks.
“Wow, this is beautiful. You look like a seductress.” Miriam teased.
Imabasi whirled around excitedly as she took her purse and stood still for Miriam.
“Pastor Iniunam said he is a white guy remember? So, your British accent should be superb.” She said excitedly.
“Let’s go, before we miss him.” Imabasi said as she walked majestically out of the house, followed by Miriam.
As soon as they stepped out of the house, a cab guy stopped in front of them, making a low break sound from the car.
“Here he is!” Miriam whispered to her as she took a deep breathe.
“Hello beautiful women, where?” The cab guy asked, his English had Chinese accent, and it was obvious that he was Chinese.
” Brixton Market.” Miriam said shrilly.
“He is white and clean. I think I like him, your god child is going to be Nigerian-chinese, such a child is going to be so beautiful because she will have a combination of black and white beauty right?” Imabasi reeled off in whispers into Miriam’s ears. She pulled away again and headed for the front seat of the car.
As soon as Imabasi slammed the car door, a strong garlic smell hit her hard on the nose. An unreasonable fury trembled inside her, desperate to be released. She let it all out, she puked all the noodles she ate in the car and then yelled, “Stop the car! you’re not my husband!”
She was becoming hysterical and her throat was clogging up.

A smile played involuntarily around Miriam’s mouth as she listened to Imabasi lament over her misfortunes with men.
“I am never going to pick pastor Iniunam’s call again. He is a liar.” Imabasi said as she walked to the kitchen sink and ran cold water over her wrists, then splashed her face. She stood there, her dripping hands covering her face, until her throat stopped hurting with the need to cry.
“I will be thirty one next year Mimi. And I don’t even have a serious boyfriend.” She said weakly.
“You had good men all around you. But you said they weren’t perfect enough.You complained about Stan’s small penis, Victor’s smoking habits, body odours, snoring and all that shits. You haven’t met the right man yet, keep searching. Pastor Iniunam gave you other options after all.”
“What options?”
“That God can also reveal to you in the dream who the man is. But I think you should let go all of these and try to fix a date with Victor. He said he was going to stop smoking because of you.”
“He didn’t mean that. I don’t ever want to see him. I detest the acrid smell of cigarettes, it’s choking. No matter what, he is still going to smell cigarettes.”
Miriam started chopping the celery, while Imabasi helped in washing the dishes.
“Have you ever thought of why I am so careful about choosing a life partner?” Imabasi broke the silence.
“It has never occurred to me.” Miriam replied.
“I have witnessed so many divorces. I don’t want to face that. Marriage is everlasting Mimi.”
“Ima, I just hope that all these won’t lead to a more woeful marriage. Life is too short.” Miriam said as she turned the chopped celery into a pot.
Just when she placed the pot of celery on the gas, the doorbell rang.
“Are you expecting someone?” Miriam asked Imabasi.
Maybe it’s the newspaper guy again, but I don’t wanna ever see his face.” Imabasi said as she wiped her hands on the kitchen towel.
Miriam left for the door, while Imabasi followed her afterwards.
“Newspaper vendor?” Miriam called out tentatively, moving forward to the door.
She clicked it open and her heart skipped at the sight of Richard.
He was carrying a bouquet of roses. “Hi baby.” He said huskily as he smiled at her.
Imabasi stared at them smiling wide.
“Hi Richard.” Imabasi said softly.
“Ima Hi.”
Richard handed the flower to Miriam as he knelt on one knee, he inserted his hands into his pocket and brought out a small box. He clicked it open and Miriam and Imabasi were bewildered.
Miriam tried to compose her face, but the sight of Richard kneeling there, so handsome and masculine with a diamond ring in his hands sent dozens of happiness to her heart. She bursted out laughing and crying at the same time as she put her hand over her mouth and tried not to laugh out loud.
“Please Marry me Baby. The moment you came into my life, everything changed. You became my everything; my mom, my sister and my lover. And now I want to make you my life companion. Marry me please. Life without you will be meaningless.”
“Yes. Yes! I will marry you.” Miriam said excitedly as she gave out her left hands.
A line of tear dropped out of Imabasi’s eyes as She watched Richard put the ring into Miriam’s finger.
She wiped her eyes as Miriam kissed Richard on the lip and hugged him tight.
“Thank you baby.” Richard said as his arms tightened reflexively around Miriam.
After Miriam had hugged Richard for a while, she turned to Imabasi and gave her a warm hug.
“I am getting married!” she said shrilly.
A fierce longing swept through Imabasi, speeding up her heart. She wished at that moment that her dream man should come to him soon.



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