Laide, the Managing Director of Daisy Children’s World: a first Class Children Trading Store, Lagos State Branch opened the door to her office and walked in with purposeful stride.
The Air Conditioner was on and running, giving the room a cool atmosphere and it helped ease her from the heat of the scotching sun she was coming from. She had just returned from acquiring a deal on behalf of her company with A Children Toy Brand.
She walked towards her work table, unloosing the button of her black blazer as she did and moved to sit on her chair behind the table.
As soon as she was seated, she grabbed her water bottle from her Lunch Bag that was placed on the floor under table and drank from it.
After taking four gulps, she stopped, allowing her body to relax.
Her eyes roamed to the framed pictures arranged on one side of her table. One was hers, another of her and her husband, and the last one: the picture of both of them with their three year old daughter.
Her gaze remained on her husband’s face as her mind flashed back to what had happened before she left home that morning.
Her husband had rushed to stop her as she was entering her car with her daughter and told her he would withdraw 300,000 naira from their joint account during the day.
The truth was all the money in the account was hers but she gave him access to it as to how a Submissive Christian Wife should do.
His own money remained in his personal account, all for his spending alone since the money he got every month wasn’t that much but it was sufficient to cover his own personal and emergency needs.
Laide earned nothing less than 800,000 naira per month aside other side benefits and allowances. For her husband Wale, he worked with an Electronics Startup Company that had the potential of growing big.
They had no special need in the family at the moment so she wondered what he wanted to use the money for.
“Sometimes, I wish I can read what goes on in that mind of his.” She said as she drank from the water bottle again.
She sank deeper into her chair, closed her eyes as she thought about how their relationship had started.
When Laide was still single, she was someone people referred to as a Beautiful Believer with Brains.
She had been fortunate to land her present job though not the position, immediately after her one year compulsory service year to the Nigerian Government.
Before long the American Woman who was the Managing Director then wanted to return to her country and having noticed the fact that she was a hard worker and honest person presented Laide to their Head Office in Briton. Even though she was young, the Company was willing to take the risk and she was made the managing director at the age of 26.
Laide had always been one who never joked with her relationship with God and Service to him. She attended a Pentecostal Church that preached the undiluted word of God and everyone in the church knew her as being friendly and humble.
As she neared twenty nine, she decided to take the matter of marriage serious and started praying about it. She never got a succinct answer but before long Wale proposed marriage to her.
She had been reluctant at first but later gave it some thought and prayed about it.
Eventually, she got a go ahead from God and she gave Wale a Yes.
Things had started wonderfully, as she immediately helped him secure his present job and in a bid to show she was a humble wife who was also truthful, she gave him access to her bank account.
By the Grace given to Godly Women who wanted to keep their home, she was faithful and truthful to him even with the fact that it was her money.
As soon as she was paid every month, she would pay up her tithes, stock up the house, settle some bills and whatever was left would be for her and her daughter’s up keeping and for safekeeping. She never spent from her husband’s money.
Three years into their marriage, things had been going on well but now, she didn’t understand her husband with money any longer.
He always seem to have a need to make huge withdrawals. She prayed silently that he would stop the new habit he was taking on.
She opened her eyes and probed her chair closer to the table. She had one more hour to work so she could pick her daughter from school.
“Sweetheart.” Laide began that night as soon as they retired to bed. Her head was on her husband’s chest as he used his hand to rub her earlobes playfully. She couldn’t see his face so she prayed for the right words.
“Yes.” He replied as he bent down a little and bit her earlobes playfully.
She giggled. “That tickles.” She hoped he was not trying to distract her.
“Ermm. About what you told me in the morning. I was wondering what happened to the money?” She said softly.
He stopped still. His heartbeat increased against her head. “I don’t get you.” He said coldly.
Laide lifted up her head and their face were just inches from each other.
She chose her next words carefully. “I mean is there any need I don’t know about?”
His eyes flickered. “Need?”
“No.” he replied bluntly trying to push her away from him.
Laide didn’t let him.
She knew her husband well. She had to make him talk.
Since their faces were inches from each other, she moved in for a kiss.
He moaned as he tried to deepen it.
She wasn’t done yet. She broke the kiss.
“So what did you now use the 300,000 naira for?” She whispered softly looking at him eyeball to eyeball. He was soon lost in her eyes.
“I’m using it to bui…” He stopped himself. He had caught up with her.
He blinked. “Woman, what are you doing ? Are you actually trying to make me talk, knowing I can’t resist you? Laide, you are actually questioning me? This is about your money right?” He was now raising his voice.
“Not at all. I’m just concerned. I’m sorry.” She replied calmly.
“I used it for a project. Satisfied?” he replied bluntly.
“Hmm. Okay.” She replied thoughtfully.
Not wanting the matter to cause any rift between them, she moved closer into his arms and laid her head back on his chest.
“I was an asset to many before you married me; don’t make me a liability in my own home. Wale, please don’t wreck me.” She whispered softly before she drifted off to sleep.
It was another payday and once again Laide got the alert that her salary had been paid.
She stared at the balance in her account: #1,200,982.98k .
She prayed that no emergency need would rise up, as the money withdrawn by her husband was already reflecting in her account.
She removed her diary from her hand bag and started noting out the money she withdrew on monthly basis. She had to work on it that afternoon, she never knew what her husband was up to.
Tithe 8o,ooo; Fuel 8,000; Shopping and Stocking up 50,000; Dara’s School fees 70,000; Mum and Dad’s monthly money 150,000; Personal Upkeep 100,000; Life Insurance 100,000;
She hummed as she calculated the total: 558,000 Naira.
That left her with 642,982.98 Naira.
She was about closing her diary when she remembered she hadn’t inputted her vows in the Church.
That one was 200,000. The money would remain 442,982. She wrote it down quickly.
She sighed. The money was already below the 500,000 Naira that she always made sure remained in her account after all her expenses.
She carried her handbag in preparation to visit the ATM Withdrawal point for all the transactions when a message came in on her phone.
“Have my bosses decided to compensate me for the successful deal so quickly?” She clicked the message open. She read in anticipation.
Amount: 800,000 DR
Desc: USSD from 09008007012 TO GTB/WALE BADMUS
Avail Bal: 400,982.98
Her husband had just scraped off her salary.
“Ha! This man is trying my patience.” She said in anger as she immediately called his line. He didn’t pick up.
She figured she had to act fast so the rest of the money won’t also be transferred.
Right where she stood, she quickly settled her daughter’s tuition fee. 70,000 was immediately deducted.
She couldn’t just leave her parents stranded. Instead of the 150,000 monthly stipends, she had to send them 50,000 Naira.
She dashed out of her office in haste. She went straight to the fuel filling station, filled up her car tank, drove to the market and bought some provisions and foodstuff.
She stared at the balance in tears: 222,900.54.
Without wasting time, she withdrew 100,000Naira. 80,000 for her tithe and 20,000 for her to have little cash on her.
She prayerfully left the remaining 100,000 plus in her account hoping her husband won’t remove anything from it.
Laide sighed. For the first time in the last 5 years, she had less than 500,000 Naira in her account.
From there, she went to pick her daughter from school and went home.
She got home so tired and worn out. She asked Wale for details about the money but he just told her it was for a project.
Many ideas popped into her head.
Go to the bank and remove him from being a beneficiary? No, he could misunderstand her.
Ask her parents or his parents to talk to him? No, they had agreed no third party.
Should she change it for him and make him know what he was doing was wrong? A Christian Wife who wanted to keep her home wouldn’t do that.
Laide concluded that at least the 800,000 would cover whatever project he was on and she kept quiet.
She loved her husband and wanted to keep her home.
To her, her home was more important.
She managed to survive that month. She cut down a lot on things she would have bought for herself.
Laide that would have lunch to her satisfaction at the Company Cafetaria and even pay for some other people became one that would stay hungry till she returned home in the evening.
The next month the same thing repeated itself. She wondered what was happening. This time he withdrew 700,000 and left her 100,000.
One afternoon, she sat at her table lost in thought when her friend who worked in the Administrative Block entered her office.
“Laide, how are you doing?” Dasola asked with a wide smile.
“I’m doing well.” She shrugged.
“Wait! Is it my imagination or what? You look lean a bit. Hope all is well?”
“My sister, that’s how I saw it too.”
“Ha! Please take care of yourself. Are you ready to go down for lunch?”
She had stood up excitedly when she remembered her state and sat back with a thud. “My friend, I can’t go with you.” Dasola would even expect that she pay for her meal.
“But i can see you are hungry.” The other lady insisted.
“Dasola, I’m broke.”
“You are Broke? What happened to the pay you collected days ago?”
“It’s a long story my sister.”
“I hope it’s not your husband. These days you are not even doing your job like before. Let’s go, I’ll pay for your meal.” Dasola replied.
As they ate, Laide was lost in thought. She was the one that paid Dasola’s meal on occasions like this but now reverse was the case.
Even her daughter couldn’t take mid-day meal to school like before.
Wale would have eaten sometimes before he got back home so he didn’t care if there was nothing for her and their daughter to eat.
When they finished eating, the Cafetaria attendants looked expectant for tips as she had always given them. In her present predicament, she dared not.
The attendants looked shocked when she ignored them. Dasola paid and they left the place.
“Did you notice people staring? You are not the Laide everyone knows.” Dasola commented as they neared the main building.
Laide sighed in reply.
“Oh God.” She exclaimed suddenly.
“What is it?” Dasola asked.
Turned out her front tires had gone flat. She would have to put a call to someone who helped her in situations like that. She would also have to pay the man his transportation fare.
In despair, she confessed to Dasola she didn’t have the money. Dasola eventually lend her some money.
At a point in time, Dasola realized Laide being broke was becoming a regular occurrence. She sat her down and asked what was happening.
Laide didn’t want to paint her husband the wrong way so she just told her friend not to worry.
They prayed together and she encouraged her to settle whatsoever was going on.
Before long, Laide and her daughter were looking unkempt and malnourished.
Twice, calls came in from the Head quarters of her Company that she was beginning to take her job with levity. She had started losing important deals because of her imbalance.
People in the Church started noticing the change too. Some called and checked up with her but she told them things were going well. Some concerned members eventually implored their Pastor to intervene, as they didn’t understand any longer.
After a Service one day, The Pastor called her and asked her some questions. She eventually explained what was happening.
“You using a joint account is great but I will look more into this. I wonder what my brother is using that huge amount of money for every month. I will invite your husband to my office.” He said and she thanked him profusely.
She hoped her husband would at least listen to the Pastor.
It was another First Sunday of another Month and Laide managed to dress her daughter and herself in their best clothes.
During the Service, the Pastor announced that her husband wait after the Service.
Immediately the service ended, Wale went to the Pastor’s office while Laide and their daughter waited in his car.
About one hour later, the Pastor’s secretary came to inform her that the Pastor demanded her presence.
As she walked to the Pastor’s office, various thoughts crossed her mind.
Had her husband opened up to the Pastor or not?
Hope Wale was not going to take things personal with her when they got home?
The secretary showed her in and she stopped in her tracks.
What she saw got her confused.
Seating in front of the Pastor was her husband and he was sweating profusely.
She looked at him briefly before sitting in the armchair beside him.
“Welcome, Sis Laide. I’ll go straight to the point. Your husband has opened up to me but it was with a miraculous intervention.”
“Oh!” Laide nodded and stole another look at her husband. He was looking at the floor shamefully.
The Pastor continued; “Yes. As soon as he got to my office, i asked him questions as regards what you had discussed with me. He told me the money was for a project.”
“Hmm. Daddy, which project?” She asked the Pastor in displeasure.
The Pastor smiled. “That was the question I also asked him but he never answered until Bro Daniel came in. Bro Daniel was the miraculous intervention.”
Laide looked at the Pastor in confusion. “Bro Daniel, the new Church Building Contractor?”
“Yes. He had come in to quickly see me as regards the money for the renovation of the Pastorium. I asked him if he had the best men and he told me to ask my beloved Brother here. I wondered what that meant and he said he just finished working on your house. He didn’t know Bro Wale was on hot seat.”
Laide’s head was going crazy. “House? Which house again?”
“Hmm. I asked Bro Daniel how much Bro Wale spent and he mentioned an aggregate of 6millionnaira.”
“Jesus!” Laide screamed.
The Pastor felt sorry for her. “Sis Laide, please calm down.”
“I’m calm Pastor.” Laide said looking at her husband in frustration.
“Bro Daniel showed me the picture of the building on his phone. I asked him to send it to me on Whats App and he did immediately. I knew you would want to see what your money was used for.” Pastor held out his phone and Laide collected it hastily.
She jumped up from the chair; “Lord Jesus!”
What she was looking at was not just a house.
It was a Mansion.
She looked at her husband with distaste before returning the Pastor’s phone to him. She sat down waiting to hear what the Pastor would advise they do.
“Bro Wale, what you have done is very wrong. You as a man ought to care for and sacrifice for your wife’s well-being. You are to provide for all her needs.” Pastor started.
“This woman was faithful to you, she trusted you with her money but you were not faithful. You were been secretive.”
“He does not even give me anything from his own salary. My money became his in the long run.” Laide shook her head furiously.
“That’s very wrong, Bro Wale. I’m sure Sis Laide will not move in with you into that new place.”
“God forbid.” She interjected.
“Your house is beautiful enough. I don’t see why you need another house.” The Pastor said.
Laide had one thing to say; “Daddy, we are selling that house.”
“I agree with her.” The Pastor said to Wale’s dismay. “Sis Laide, since your husband has proved himself unworthy, I think its best you withdraw his access to your account.”
She nodded in agreement. “Thank you Sir.”
“I know you are not the clingy type, so please visit the bank and work things out. Make sure you buy new clothes your yourself and your daughter. I believe since your money covers the family expenses, things will go on well. As much as I support Joint Account and presently run two with my wife, it should only be encouraged for couples who trust each other and who will be truthful and faithful to each other. If having a joint account will make one of the partners to be living below standard because of the spending of the other; it is wrong.”
The Pastor then encouraged and prayed with them. The couple left the Pastor’s office in silence.
As soon as they got home, Wale apologized to his wife in tears and she told him she had forgiven him but her decision to cease the joint account still stand.
He knew he had no choice and the two agreed things would eventually work out. That night she showed to him in every way that she still loved him.
One week later, Laide walked into her company building with joy bubbling through her.
She hummed a song of worship as she rode the elevator to the third floor where her office was.
Things were going on well between her and her husband.
She wasn’t clingy, so money caused little or no rift between them.
She couldn’t help but agree within herself that Trust and faithfulness had a long way to go in marriage.
Soon the elevator doors opened and gaping at her in awe was Dasola. Her friend literally dragged her off the elevator.
“Laide, you are glowing this morning.” Dasola hugged her.
“Thank God, my sister.”
“Please, I want the full gist.” Dasola said as she pulled Laide’s right hand and dragged her to her office.
Both giggled in excitement.
They got into the office and Dasola let her friend go.
Laide smiled at her friend broadly. “There is nothing much to tell. Let’s just say i got my man and my money back.”
Dasola pouted. “You mean I followed you all the way here for you to tell me just that.”
Laide laughed; “Dasola, you dragged me to my own office.” She said before walking confidently to her seat.
Ignoring her friend for some seconds, she thanked God for Pastor Gbade who God used for her.
She now had her man and her money back.
(Based on a True Life Event.)
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