Chidi’s eyes roved over the bet9ja match line-up on his computer screen, ‘This was finally going to be the day.’ he thought. The Champion’s league was about to start, The line up could not be any more predictable, Manchester City versus Liverpool and Roma versus Barcelona. He had already selected his game for the English Championship, before now he had diligently followed every match and their odds leading to this moment and knew that Millwall, Fulham, Aston Villa, Brentford, Bristol City, Preston North End, Ipswich Town, Hull City, Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers would win their matches, he could predict it. He also knew for certain that Liverpool would win and Barca would definitely win.
“Are you kidding me!” Bella screamed. “You are still on this bet9ja nonsense. I swear Chidi if we are late I am going to dump you. What kind of nonsense addiction is this?”
Chidi hurriedly entered his code, placed his bet, and ran out with his nagging fiancé.
“You better behave in front of my parents and put away your phone.” She continued as they got into the car.
After his break up with Angelica, Chidi had gone to the bar to drown his sorrow; it was in the process of drowning his sorrow that he met the sorrowful Bella. Her misery met his misery and they both smiled. They’d been dating ever since. She was nothing like Angelica, she was not as mild or patient, she nagged on a regular and she was demanding. But he felt something with her that he had never felt before, plus since he met her his luck had gotten better.
They soon pulled into Bella’s parent’s compound—a block of 5 flats—then to their apartment, he shrugged his shoulders to get ready. Her parents were disapproving of him and they did not hide it. He had to get ready for their interrogations.
And o did they descend on him.
“So you still have no job?” Her mother asked as they started dinner.
“You know I have always been disappointed in you but these days I feel you just intentionally try to maintain you position on my bad side.”
“James!!” her mother cautioned her father. “This is not why we invited our daughter.”
Chidi did not know how to react to this, he never knew how to react to her parents, and Bella was becoming agitated, he knew she would lash out at him once they got home, nagging him to start a small business of his own. He would tell her that he would open a bakery for her when he won 10 million naira and she would only get angrier, but for some reason she never left.
“Bella, well we did not expect you to come with—“ she eyed the man sitting next to her daughter “—Chidi.” took a mouthful and chewed to let her words sink-in then continued “But since he is here, and you have said we can say anything we would say to you in front of him. Remember Bode? My boss’ son, you used to have a big crush on him. Remember?”
Chidi knew more than anybody that he did not want to know where this conversation was going. “I’d like to ease myself.” He got up and headed to the toilet. As he left he heard her mother say. “He is back in Nigeria and looking for a wife.”
He shot the door behind him and pulled out his phone to see some good news, Roma was leading Barca 2 – 0 and it was the second half already. He felt his eyes water until the tears began to pour. “Why me? God if Barca wins i promise to give up gambling and get a real job.” Once he was sure that his tears had stopped falling, he placed his phone in his pockets, washed his face and returned to the dining room.
“You know what, mum I have had enough!” Bella was standing and addressing her parents who were also standing. “Sure Chidi, is everything that you’ve said, but he loves and respects me and so far we have made things work, and we will in fact.” She noticed Chidi walk in “We are getting married soon whether or not you accept him. Chidi let’s go.”
“You are getting ma-married.” Her mother said then broke into tears “This girl has finally killed me!”
Chidi hurried out faster than Bella, he knew she would still nag him, but he would rather have her nagging than spend another second in her parent’s house.
That night, they crawled on their bed silently, she did not say a word to him, she did not nag, but her silence made him uncomfortable, guilt squeezed his chest and he did something he would never have done for Angelica, he logged into bet9ja to delete his account.
His phone fell from his hands as he screamed.
“What happened?” Bella jumped genuinely worried.
“20,000,000” he stuttered.
She picked up his phone and saw his winning, he had really won. How? She checked his game. Chidi had placed a bet that Barcelona would lose because she had hurried him while he was selecting his odds.