1st of January, 2003.
“Yes sir, it will be an honour for me to be on the committee and an achievement as a Lawyer” said Kunle. “I know you won’t disappoint me, I’ll brief you later on during the day when all necessary arrangements are in place, Happy New Year Mr Daniels” said the Party Chairman, “And a Happy New Year to you too Sir” replied Kunle.
In a few seconds, he was off the phone and he couldn’t believe his luck in this New Year that had just started. “This is a miracle; finally I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This year is BLESSED” Kunle said to himself pouring his favourite wine into his glass to celebrate. Unfortunately, he was the only one at home at this time “When you need her she’s always in church, I don’t know if her pastor has told her to abandon her husband” he said in his mind.
The sound coming from his phone disturbed his train of thought, checking his phone the name Fola appeared on the screen but Kunle didn’t pick up the call, he would rather speak to his closest friends first before anyone else. Immediately his wife walked in with Seun (their daughter) in her hands “Baby, I’m home” said Folake, “Happy New Year Mrs Folake Daniels” Kunle told his wife gently kissing her on the forehead. “I’m sorry for the way I behaved earlier, I just don’t like the idea of you being at home instead of being in church” she said in her softest voice possible. “Folake, I know – its a new year, let me share my first new year blessing with you – I have just been appointed into the committee that will draft the constitution for the National Alliance Party” Kunle said joyfully.
“Wow, this is in fact the beginning of a great year for you Mr Daniels. Well, I’ve got a question for you, husband, what are your New Year resolutions?” asked Folake innocently, “That’s a nice question but I don’t have an answer to that now, maybe in the morning sweetheart after your prayer time” Kunle told her as he sipped some more of his wine. Kunle as an individual never had any kind of resolution. Besides, he never had anything he wanted to change other than the mistake he made fifteen years ago as an undergraduate. “Resolution, I wish I had one.” he thought in his heart and gently releasing a sigh. “When are you going to speak with the guys?” she asked, “Very soon, I can’t wait to speak with them” said Kunle with a slight excitement in his voice.
“New year resolution? How do you expect a policeman to have a resolution?” asked Emeka, “Why not, aren’t police officers human?” Beatrice replied. “You’re the friend of the people, I just wish all Nigerian police officers could really be nicer” said Beatrice. “Woman, are you aware you are talking to the might be Deputy Commissioner of Police” said Emeka with a slight smile. “Well, this calls for celebration even though it’s not yet confirmed. This is really going to be a blessed year for us” Beatrice told him but Emeka’s mind had already drifted away and could longer hear the voice of his sweetheart. This woman, the love of his life, made him commit a crime that still bugs his conscience. Emeka couldn’t believe that he is an officer of the law, the law which he had broken more than once in the past twenty years.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” asked Beatrice, “Nothing darling, I was lost in thought. Where is Jr?” Emeka asked Beatrice. “He has gone to Cynthia’s place, his girlfriend, for the new year” replied Beatrice. Speaking of Emeka Jr reminded her of the predicament that had plagued her for the last fifteen years. Beatrice and Emeka had come a long way from their first year in the university, Emeka had been her sweetheart and she Emeka’s heartthrob but she has been unable to conceive. This fact, though painful, doesn’t bother Emeka but this had been a terrible sore in her heart. They decided to fix themselves something to eat. In the kitchen Beatrice asked Emeka a question “have you spoken with the crew yet? I mean Kunle, Kazeem and Femi”, “no but we’ll soon have a conference call, the four of us, like old times” said Emeka. “Have you spoken to Folake, Ronke and Halimah?” asked Emeka, “no but we’ll talk soon, at least we all get on well” said Beatrice, “Is there any reason why you shouldn’t get on well?” asked Emeka. “You know women aren’t always like men” replied Beatrice.
All the four wives became friends because of their husbands’ inseparable friendship, at times, these women wonder if there’s something else to their friendship but only Beatrice knows the truth. She had been there from the beginning and this annoys the other women. However, there’s a major distinction between them, the rest have children whereas Beatrice is childless. Though they all tend to act normal but deep down in her heart, she knows it can never be normal. Their relationship is platonic but who knows whether they will still come together to form a serious bond someday – in the days of trouble.
“Happy New eYar” everyone shouted. Everywhere was in frenzy; people were hugging one another happy to be in 2003. Femi hugged and kissed his wife gently saying “happy new year, my love” and she replied “Happy new year”. Femi and his wife, Ronke, weren’t just in any kind of gathering. They were in the Chapel of the Oyo state government house. Since Femi got appointed, it had become a tradition to spend New Year’s Eve with the Governor of the state. The commissioner of works walked up to Femi congratulating and welcoming him into the New Year. The gathering comprised of state dignitaries, Ronke doesn’t really feel comfortable in the company of the Elites. She preferred to be with Halimah, Beatrice and Folake and their husbands on New Year’s Eve than with this ‘crowd’ of sycophants. Things had changed for them in the last four years. Femi had started to climb up the political ladder, know more people and become a die-hard politician.
It was time to leave the chapel and head to where the celebration gala was being held, “Ronke, it’s time for us to leave. Get your bag. Thank God we left Deji at my aunt’s place, he wouldn’t have liked this crowd” said Femi, “At last!!!” she thought, “Alright. I’m good to go. Let’s go home” she said. “You know that’s not possible, we have to go with the Governor, Ronke this year is a special one for me, I mean us. I’m going to be contesting in the forthcoming elections and I need all the connections I can get. I can only get these connections at gatherings like this” as he tried to convince her. “Did I hear you say contest in the forthcoming elections, well you must be joking but this is not the time or place to discuss this. Let’s go and have fun for now” she said with the most gentle smile. However, Femi is serious and had started planning his campaign. He wants to run for the position of Speaker of the House of Assemblies in Oyo state.
Kazeem and Halimah were cuddled up in their King-sized bed. They both stayed at home this year deciding to relax. “If we aren’t in Lagos with Emeka, we’ll be in Abuja with Kunle or at Ibadan with Femi when he had time” Halimah said. “Well, it isn’t that bad; you forget that they also come to visit us, here, in Port Harcourt too. Don’t forget that these successful men happen to be my closest friends ever” Kazeem admitted to her. Most times this knowledge kills her that her husband refers to his friends as his closest confidant even after their marriage. To worsen the matter, Beatrice, Emeka’s wife is never out of the picture, she’s the sister of the crew and this makes Halimah jealous. “What about me! In which category am I?” she asked Kazeem with just a slight irritation in her voice, “don’t get worked up, you are my baby, my Hali” he said. “Now let’s enjoy the rest of our morning in tranquility, and NO phone calls” Halimah told him. This was going to be difficult because he had agreed on the conference call with the guys to discuss their plans for 2003.
“Erm, I have to make a conference call with the guys” he said cautiously, “No! You wouldn’t! How can you?” she said with venom in her voice. Kazeem wanting to pacify her said “but you can also call Beatrice, Ronke and Folake. You women can have your own conference call, how does that sound?” he asked, “NO” she replied pulling the sheets over her head deciding to sleep instead. “You’re a difficult woman that’s why I love you” he said with all sincerity in his voice. Kazeem went under the covers searching for her lips; once he found them, he locked her lips gently using his hands to explore the rest of her glorious body.
Kunle’s phone had rung twice and it started ringing the third time, picking up the phone he said “Hello, who’s on the line please”. “Lawyer Daniels, happy new year” said the caller. Kunle still confused said Happy New Year too not wanting to sound rude. “How can I help you? And whom I’m speaking with? Kunle asked trying to hide his irritation. “Fifteen years is a long time lawyer, as a lawyer you know murder is a crime, of course you know, pardon my manners” said the caller with sarcasm in is voice “But who the hell are you? Calling me and threatening me” shouted Kunle. “Hmm, you still have the temper. Just relax lawyer, let me inform you that this year will be hell for you and your friends. Goodbye for now” before Kunle could reply the call was disconnected.