African StoriesComedy and Humour StoriesNaija StoriesShort Stories

Nighttime

Eddy’s eyes scans the length of the tiny room, his gaze lingers on the metal safe. He rubs his beards in confusion, he never trusts anyone when it comes to money, even himself.

He glares at his wife. “You’re very sure nobody came through this door the whole of the night?” Tiredly, she nods.
He had to be sure. “Even me? You are certain I didn’t sleep walk into this place?”

His wife sighs, “Eddy, you didn’t sleep walk in here last night and even if you did, it’s yours, isn’t it? Please I’m tired of you asking me foolish questions.”

“Did you call me foolish?”

“Maybe. What kind of man goes to sleep at night and leaves his wife awake to watch his safe? Do you even have a conscience?”

“I pay you, don’t I?”

“So?”

“This is better for you. After all, you stay awake all night gossiping with your sisters about other people’s matters. Since being awake and chattering is your hobby, I prefer you do it in the safe house.”

“You just called me a gossip.” That was a statement, not a question.

“I didn’t.”

“Then what was it you meant?”

He saw the danger and thought it wise to maintain his ground. “I only said you chatter at night time, and it’s very annoying.”

“It’s very annoying? That’s why you pay me to sleep in a room with an empty safe every night?”

Eddy gasps. “How did you know the safe is empty?” He has been caught.

“Because I am not a moron! And I’d rather sleep here than bear your midnight sleeptalks! The other day you slapped me! You were arguing in your sleep with God-knows-who over a land and you slapped me, in real life.”

Eddy, knowing that this could be true places his hands on his head as if to keep it from falling. As a child he had torn his mother’s panty that hung on the side of their one-room apartment, thinking it was the Nigerian flag. He learnt early not to be proud of this country. And till today, nobody believes he did it while asleep, they usually thought he was possessed. His mum really cried, that was her favourite one.

Eddy stares at his wife blankly, not having a clue about what to say. He turns and sluggishly walks out of the safe house.

“Eddy…”

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