By Ekeoma Ajah
“What is the eviction date on that order?” Chike asked.
“Chike, what does it matter what the date is?”
Chike whirled to find Ogemnabia standing at the foot of the stairs, her face a mixture of incredulity and anger.
“What are you doing? I told you to stay in the room!” Chike yelled at her.
“Sir,” the formally dressed man said, peering exaggeratedly at the notice, “the date on this order is today, Saturday, the twelfth of July, two thousand and fourteen.”
“That cannot be right,” Chike snapped. He walked over to the man. “Let me see.”
“Chike, what the hell is going on?”
Chike ignored his wife’s question and read the notice. From the corner of his eyes, he could see his wife pacing back and forth in the hallway, with her hands on her head one moment and then folded across her chest the next.
“This is wrong,” Chike said. “It should say twelfth August, not July. That was the agreed date.”
“Agreed date for what, Chike?” Ogemnabia shrieked.
Chike would not look at his wife. He could not bear to see the despair, and eventually, the loathing he knew he would find on her face.
“Mr. Man –” Chike said to the formally dressed man.
“I beg your pardon,” the man said, nose in the air. “My name is Mr. Tamuno Daniel.”
“Mr. Tamuno, you cannot evict us today,” Chike said. “I had an agreement with the Chairmen of A.A. Smart and Pinnacle that I would have till August twelve to move my family out.”
Ogemnabia cried out in shock. Chike pretended not to hear.
“Do you have a court order or any signed documentation to confirm this?” Tamuno asked.
“It was a… verbal agreement amongst gentlemen of hon–”
“Then I am afraid you and your family must vacate the premises at once.”
“Mr. David –”
“Daniel,” Tamuno corrected.
“Do you have any idea who you are talking to right now?” Chike barked, in a tone that always rattled his subordinates.
Tamuno did not flinch. “I do. You are Mr. Chike Benedict Anyan-wu. Or did you forget your own name?”
Chike’s blood boiled as the policemen and movers sniggered. He clenched his fists to keep from punching the smug look off Tamuno’s face.
“You don’t know the people I know,” Chike spat. “People whose shit is worth more than you and your entire generation! You are a worthless nonentity and I will have your job today.” Chike reached into his pocket for his phone, Tamuno watching him with a blank face. He dialled the number of the chair of the board of Pinnacle Trust Bank, a man he’d had drinks with many times,and as he waited for an answer he sent threatening scowls Tamuno’s way. But there was no answer, even after three more tries. The movers and policemen, uninvited, had sprawled about the living room furniture and floor to wait out the dra-ma, with a look on their faces that said they had witnessed scenes like this too many times to not be slightly bored. Chike considered calling Sebastian, the new Chairman of A.A. Smart. But Sebastian would only gloat; after all, it was because of him that Chike was in this situation.
“Mr. Anyanwu, please stop wasting our time,” Tamuno said. “Who will you call next, the president?”
Chike felt his anger boil over, and before he could stop himself he had marched over to Tamuno and grabbed him by the collar. In the struggle, Chike’s phone fell to the floor with a loud crack, which he ignored.
“You piece of shit! I’m going to kill you!” Chike said, satisfied to see