(Enters Mrs. Tombra Ogiri and their Kids. Joshua is twelve and Daniella is seven. The Kids are still dressed in their School Uniforms, they rush to greet their daddy but sees him sleeping thy run into their room to change their clothes, Tombra comes around and looks her sleeping husband over, she picks up the empty glass cup and smells it, she picks up the Clothes Ogiri had dropped carelessly on the Chairs then she sees the folded envelope on the centre table, she picks it up and reads the retrenchment letter of her husband: Ogiri turns over on the couch, utters some incoherent words, he hisses a long one and continues to snore )
Tombra: (Murmurs) Jesus! Jesus Christ! (She drops the letter and runs into the room tilting over a side stool, Ogiri jumps awake abruptly)
Ogiri: Who goes there! (Wide eyed) I say who goes there! (He stands up and looks around the sitting room; he notices the movement of the adjoining Curtain to the bedroom, he moves carefully towards the bedroom and shouts) I say who goes there! (The Kids now in different clothes rush out to greet him, hugging – 8 –
him, he was taken aback) oh dear me! It’s you Guys! Who brought you home?
Joshua: its Mummy sir!
Ogiri: Your Mum came home this early? What for?
Daniella: Today is Thursday nah! Mummy will go to Church for fellowship
Ogiri: Oh! Oh! I forgot!
Joshua: But Daddy, why are you home so early? Are you going to Church too?
Ogiri: em, em, no! Not really, something happened at work and we closed early
Daniella: What happened at work Daddy?
Ogiri: em, em, we are on recess for now! We have finished the project we were handling at Elekahia and we do not have any other one at hand so I won’t be going to work for sometime until we get another Contract. Where is your Mum? Is she inside?
Daniella: yes daddy! She is inside! (The Kids leave their Dad and proceeds to the dinning table with their books to start working on their home works) Daddy! Come and help me out with my home work.
Ogiri: I am coming my dear! Give it to Josh to help you out; if he cannot do it, then I will do it!
Joshua: Daddy what about if you cannot do it! (Sneering)
Ogiri: Then we will consult the internet! (He enters the room only to re emerge trailing his wife) sweet heart I was coming to meet you in the room, the Kids say you are preparing for Church!
Tombra: yes I was!
Ogiri: You were? You changed your mind?
Ogiri: Wetin happen? Why the change of mind? Did you just change your mind on your way home? (Picks up the letter his wife dropped on the floor) or you changed you mind when you got home and read this letter?
Tombra: Daddy Joshua what is it nah? Haba!
Ogiri: Ahn han! Why are you so agitated? Did something happen to you too?
Tombra: (Snaps her fingers over her head) Tufiakwa! God forbid! Nothing will happen to me in Jesus name!
Ogiri: (Nods his head knowingly, he hands over the letter to her) Sweet heart, please read this!
Tombra: Read what? Will my reading it change its content? Please don’t give me any bad news letter to read o!
Ogiri: Which means you have read it already while i was sleeping, that is why you are acting this way and that is why you are no longer going to the Church, but you did not even show any sign of concern towards me! You did not even ask me what happened! You are supposed to me my pacifier instead you are being hostile and aggressive! What kind of attitude are you giving me so?
Tombra: You lost your job and instead of going about to look for another job you came home to drink, sleep and snore!
Ogiri: How? Is it not today that I lost the Job? Did I see it coming? No! Won’t I come home first and think of the next step to take? I have been working consistently for fourteen years non stop! I don’t even know where my credentials are any longer except I begin to search, I don’t have an updated CV! All these I have to come home and arrange before going out to look for another job!
Tombra: You did not come home to think! You came home to drink! (Points to the empty glass cup on the centre table. The Children leaves the sitting room with their books slowly)
Ogiri: see how you are disgracing me before my Children? Tombra what is wrong with you? You are getting me scared! You have never talked to me like this in our twelve years of marriage!
Tombra: you have never been jobless in our twelve years of marriage!
Ogiri: But you swore to stand by me for better for worse! Just my first day out of job and you are acting up this way! Darling, I hope you will not make me regret this marriage because as it stands now I need your support more than ever! I see no reason for this attitude you are putting up after all we are not yet desperate! Your Shop can sustain us until I get something to do or until they call us back to work!
Tombra: (Furious) Did You hear your self now? You hear yourself?
Ogiri: What did I say wrong?
Tombra: So you are going to wait until they call you back? And when will that be?
Ogiri: Hopefully, after the elections!
Tombra: (Claps her hands laughing sarcastically) ha ha ha! You make me laugh! That is four months from now! And what will you be doing until then? Drinking and sleeping?
Ogiri: I cannot be hungry till then, I have some savings that can carry us for the next six month.
Tombra: Including payment of the Children’s School fees when it falls due?
Ogiri: Can’t you take care of the fees for me? Your shop can take care of that nah! After all I have never asked you to give account of your shop income to me! I gave you free hand right from its inception. But now, I need your assistance.
Tombra: Bros I can’t o! I can’t at all, at all! I have other concerns I need money for!
Ogiri: (Angry) other concerns? For where? In this house of else where? Are you okay? Look here woman! It is for better for worse o! When it was rosy you were there to enjoy good life! Just today, today! That I lost my job you are already showing me attitude! You could not even persevere for a month of two before you start to complain. Just one day! One day! Tombra, you fall my hand!
Tombra: was it not you that said you want to wait until eternity before you start looking for another job? How did you expect me to react? You are scaring me with your nonchalant attitude!
Ogiri: Oh! Me! Nonchalant attitude? A whole me? I have maintained a steady job for fourteen years with a nonchalant attitude! I built this house from my savings with a nonchalant attitude! I bought you two Cars and set you up in business with my nonchalant attitude abi? Kai! Kai! Kai! My Gawd! Now I understand why it is not good to marry a girl you met when you have arrived! They will never know how to manage you when you go down because they are used to having everything at their disposal.
Tombra! You are a gold digger! I made a mistake in marrying you! I think I will have to convene a family meeting so that we can revisit this charade you and I called marriage!
Tombra: (Clapping and booing) nonchalant man! Lazy man! Go and get a job! You want to turn me into a man over night! What is mine is mine! You will not see a kobo from my shop! You gave me money for business, and so what? Am I not your wife? Is it not your responsibility to make me comfortable? So why are you bragging as if you have done what Napoleon could not do? Go to Town and see what Men like you are doing for their wives! Common three million naira that you invested in my Shop we no go hear word again! (The Children emerges from the room standing side by side they stare at their Parents ranting till fade)