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Over the coming months, he missed Daphne’s birthday and that hurt. It was something he and Oz had planned for months. They had decided on all her guests from school, the neighborhood and the church. They talked about it almost every day and kept updating the plans. But,when the day came Oz and Daphne were gone and he spent it wondering where they were and how his baby princess was spending her birthday. He had no clue where they were. None of her family members told him anything. They however told him that she was safe and that it was better to let her sort things out by herself.
He didn’t understand what that meant. He didn’t know or understand anything anymore. His wife and daughter were gone….Olamide and his baby were also gone. He was an anchor-less ship in the middle of a raging storm. He was distraught and went through life and his activities like a robot.
The two women he really cared about, and whom he had indelibly hurt had forsaken him. They had ostracized him – he could understand Olamide’s hurt. But, he couldn’t find the angle in Oz’s actions. She set this all up in the first place and skipped when the heat got cranked up a notch. It was not fair. They were both not fair on him. He was a man and men cannot keep themselves away from women. Not for long anyway, especially from a beautiful and classy woman. It was a lost battle from the start when pitched against such a woman.
At first he reckoned that if he threw himself at his businesses, the pain in his heart would go away and he would heal quickly. And for a while, it did. The business project in Brazil came on fine and in the first four months of rolling out operations, the money was pouring in. He traveled out there often to keep an eye on things.
It was running well.
But, the ache in his heart was bigger than everything else and it soon engulfed him. He was tormented at night by visions of Oz and Olamide. He found sleep difficult and an ordeal, he always woke up from a nightmare – all ending with Oz in a coffin.
He turned to God. He prayed and devoted more time to his bible. He prayed to see his family again. He also prayed to see Olamide again – if not for anything, for a proper closure and a chance to let her know he would always love her and the baby. He turned inwardly, and soon lost touch with many of his old friends.
He even stopped going over to the club.
As for his own family, they steered clear of him. His parents couldn’t come anyway, as they were far away in Austria. Since the day his brother had tried to suggest he forget about Oz and get himself another girl, none of them came close or to visit. On that occasion, he had punched him like he was an enemy, bloodying his mouth and telling him never to set foot in his house again. He shouldn’t have reacted like that to his brother, he didn’t know the full story. But he was a like a champagne bottle whose cork flew off uncontrollably as the pressure from within the bottle came bubbling up. His rage had taken the better of him. He needed an outlet to vent his anger and his brother had come right across his cross-hairs. He tried to make amends but he sensed it all didn’t go away.
After that they all left him alone. They spoke over the phone once or twice a week – his parents and his brother, and that was that.
He preferred his own theory that Oz left him over a domestic argument, but he didn’t know the full picture of the kind – he couldn’t think of anything before Olamide that could have led her to behave the way she had. The letter she left could be a decoy to throw him off. He couldn’t, didn’t want to believe, that what was hinted in the letter was true. No, it can’t be.
In the end, there was nothing left for him to do but to continue praying to his God for all the mess to be cleared up soon and for his businesses to continue to thrive.
But, things began to get skewed when the Brazilian government was toppled by a popular mass revolution. The world economic depression was beginning to bite and the situation in Brazil, a country corrupt to its bone marrow, even more so than Nigeria, became heated. The citizenry were angered at the indecent display of wealth by the nouveau riche amidst much poverty in the larger population. The subsequent unrest led to several weeks of chaos. His tourism corridor suffered and the squeeze began to hit him. When the government was eventually toppled, the new government proscribed everything and brought it under national control. Socialism was back in Brazil.
His multi-million dollar money pipe-line in Brazil was shut down, as all privately owned businesses were placed under government control by the new edict.
That was in Brazil, back home the bank still needed to be paid. Good thing he had not touched the profits that had poured in the first six months of his operations. They were all in the bank. So, by his quick calculation, he still owed the bank about forty percent of the total loan he took out. If he moved some of his funds from elsewhere into his account he should be fine with the bank. But, that would leave a huge hole in the finances of his other businesses. He had to find a way to plug that hole.
He needed something big to happen soon. His dream in Brazil had become a nightmare, and there was no shoulder to cry on. He was all alone to face the world and its worries.