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    My people, I heard some of you called me Oliver Twist. It is not like that oh, you know you are my friends, and I am telling you my story, when you give me feedback, it shows me you really care about me and the story of my life. So, it is not Oliver Twist things, I am only greedy with these three things; money, sex and men, and of course for my butt to be bigger.

    Haliru stunned me with that proposal, Abasi mbom! I was like “what?” The bad thing was, we were in front of the people who had come to greet us at the airport. I did not want to marry Haliru because, if I did, he would feel he has conquered me, and the hold I have over him would weaken and soon, I would no longer mean much to him. At the same time, I liked Haliru, and did not want to hurt him and disgrace him in front of the world. I agreed to his marriage proposal.

    “Of course, I will marry you” I said and stretched forth my fourth finger, while my mind was looking at different ways to end the engagement. The look on Haliru’s face was enough to change this bad girl, but I was determined not to hang my boots just yet. I told myself, there were a lot of Haliru(s) in the world, and there were some many adventures waiting for me, and so much to life than love and marriage.

    My parents were pleased when they found out on the news about our engagement. They didn’t care that Haliru could have passed off as my father, all they cared for, was his status. Besides, I have been sending fat packages home, so, of course they were not going to object to my desires.

    While I thought of the best way to break up my engagement with Haliru, my ex bestie was plotting ways to bring me down. She leaked to a blogger that she had secrets about wife number two of Haliru, and soon the media was buzzing around her, asking for a sit-down interview. I did not know this until I saw the interview on television.

    Coincidentally, Haliru was in the sitting room and was watching it too. Lizzy told everyone how I came to Abuja for my NYSC and how I turned into a high-class prostitute. She left out the part she had in my becoming what I am, she however made the public think we fell out because she didn’t want to follow my ways.

    “Ene, badt Akwa-Ibom girl, you have surely come a long way from being a call girl into to-be wife number two of a notable man in the society, but a leopard never changes its spots, does it?” these were the exact words she used when the reporter asked her for final words to me.

    I was stunned. Why would Lizzy be so cruel to me, what did I ever do to her? I cut off ties with her because I didn’t want the FIRS man in my life. It was not with any malicious intent. Haliru stood up and saw me standing by the staircase. His eyes were full of hurt and disappointment, he didn’t say any word, but his eyes accused me. I ran up the stairs to our bedroom and packed the few clothes I had in his house into my overnight bag and dashed downstairs.

    “Where are you going?” he asked coolly.

    “Somewhere far, where my stench will not touch you” I said and left the house, amidst protests from him.

    Perhaps, Haliru would have forgiven me, but then that knowledge of what I was would always be with him, and the respect he always had in his eyes for me would not be there anymore. I couldn’t live with that; besides, I was going to l leave him anyway, better now than later, right?

    I had flagged down a taxi and was on my way to my apartment when my phone rang. It was my mother, and she was crying.

    “Ene, we sent you to school so you would have a better footing and not have to be on your back to make money. But you decided to put us to shame by prostituting yourself. Ene, you told us you got a job” she wailed.

    It was clear to me that she had seen Lizzy’s interview. Her cries pierced my heart, but then I became angry when I remembered all the pressure I got from them.

    “As much as I would like to console you and give you kind words, I can’t. You told me about Felicia who moved her parents into a duplex but did you ask Felicia what she did to make that kind of money? No, tell me, was it a government job that was enabling me send close to a million naira to you and father every month. You want to pretend that you didn’t know? Save me that. I did the best I could, given the circumstances, don’t judge me, judge the system” I said and hung up.
    …….

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