The Other Side of Money – Segun Durowaiye (King of Suspense)

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the other sidenof money - Segun DurowAIYE

Nelson Gboyega was the happiest man on earth when he got a visa to travel to the United States of America. He was all smiles and giggles. It was a long time ambition he had nurtured so passionately. ‘America Oh America!’ he thought excitedly. Nelson was in his early 20s, precisely 21 years old. He was bubbling with youthful exuberance. The very thought that he would be jetting out to ‘God’s own country’ the following weekend gave him sleepless nights. He couldn’t believe how ‘lucky’ he was to get a multiple visas to America. “America, here I come!” he screamed enthusiastically.

‘Rumour,’ they say, ‘spreads like wildfire.’ So before one could say ‘America’ the whole town was rife with the news that Nelson was travelling to the USA. He became a celebrity overnight. He became the toast of friends, males and females alike. He held his head up and high like an ostrich, looking down on his peers, thinking that he had finally ‘made it’. It was like he was travelling to the moon.

It was a blissful and lovely night, the night Nelson jetted out to Chicago, a beautiful city in the United States of America. He had fantastic hopes and dreams in his head. He dreamt of counting dollars in millions! He was very determined to make it big in Chicago either by hook or crook. No kidding.

There’s a popular saying by an American music superstar: “Get rich or die trying!” Nelson was a staunch believer in this warped philosophy. He believed he must be rich at all cost and by all means even if it would cost him his precious life. Most people think dollars are picked easily on the streets of America. No one actually know that people work sleepless nights and struggle tirelessly in the US to earn a little dough. Life is not a bed of roses anywhere in the world.

He had the wrong and false idea that dollars are picked on the streets of America. A philosopher once said that ‘the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence and also the streets of London are not paved with gold.’ But to Nelson all these thinking was utter gibberish and nonsense. To be rich in the US was an ambition he held very close to his heart and he was passionate about it. To him, the only solution to his economic and financial woes was to be in the US.

Nelson squatted with an old friend simply called by the sobriquet, ‘Ramonny’. Like his friend who had lived in Chicago for 12 years, Nelson had no ambition of furthering his education. He quickly learnt the ropes from his friend who was actually living big in the US. Ramonny taught him the short ways of making big money in the US and living a life of stupendous luxury and affluence.

“Hi buddy,” Ramonny said in American accent, “don’t ya think all da money and wealth comes from da sky when ya see ya friends and peers driving big and exotic cars and living like kings! I’ll show ya how to make megabucks in the US. Is that understood?”

“I’m all ears Ramonny,” Nelson replied excitedly, “I’m ready to do anything to be wealthy, just to be like you. I really want to be part of the action! That’s why I’m here in God’s own country.”

“Nelson,” Ramonny called, “you’re damn tall, dark and handsome! You have all the qualities to be a gay or homosexual. Let me know if you’re interested so that I can do the match-making for you. You’ll make millions of dollars with your natural qualities. D’ya hear me?” he grunted.

“I’m ready Ramonny!” he replied excitedly, “I’ll do anything to make money. Dollars! Dollars!! Dollars!!! I’m ready to do anything I repeat!”

Ramonny took Nelson to the homosexual cabal; where he was initiated that very day. He was given a white lover who was in his mid-fifties. Nelson was very willing and eager to make quick money no matter what. Nelson’s lover, the white man, was tall, round-faced and had silvery-white moustache. His name was Roger Thomas. He gave $2,000 daily to Nelson for his ‘services’! Homosexuals make love to themselves through the anus. It’s a man-to-man affair. Wonders, they say, shall never cease. It’s still a mystery how an able-bodied man would enjoy the art of love-making through the anus of a fellow man when there are lots of charming and adorable females out there. It’s an outright abomination and sin unto God, but all the same some weird people with warped minds do engage in the abominable act. It reminds one of the scriptural days of Sodom and Gomorrah. There are lots of dangerous and risky things attached to indulging and wallowing in the lecherous and blasphemous acts.

That very month of June, after Nelson’s initiation into the Gay club, he began to spend money recklessly. His life changed surprisingly. Three months later he started living a life of luxury and unbelievable affluence.

He packed into a beautifully furnished duplex in Southbase Chicago where the opulent and the wealthy lived. He had about three state-of-the-art cars in his garage. He started sending thousands of dollars to his family in Nigeria. After a year in this business Nelson had a lot of properties in choice areas of Nigeria. His family and friends back home often wondered where and how he got so rich quickly. Many questions but no answer. The fact was that Nelson had now become rich; let all the doubting Thomases bite their fingers in envy and jealousy. He always sent pictures of his affluent lifestyle to his friends and families in Nigeria. It still remained a mystery how Nelson ‘made it’ in so short a time on leaving the shores of this country. People wondered the kind of business he was doing and some thought it was easy to make wealth in America.

About three years later Nelson had become a millionaire. He had several Gay lovers scattered all over America. He was stupendously rich! Nobody knew the type of business he was into. He started junketing all over the world. He became an amazing spender. Musicians in Nigeria sang his praises to high heavens. Yoruba people have a proverb which says: “Isale oro legbin,” meaning, “The secret of wealth is dirty.” The same thing can be said of Nelson’s wealth. Only members of his cabal knew his source of wealth. It was a mystery to the uninitiated.

Nelson’s family started putting pressure on him when, after five years, and he was still not married. They became worried and pressurised him to have a wife because it was getting late and his peers were already married. Moreover, money wasn’t the problem. Then he made up his mind to come home and marry a girl of his choice. Nelson travelled back home in the month of November, 2006 to marry a very beautiful young lady by name Jumoke, or Jumee for short. It was a grand society wedding that had all the shakers and movers of the business world in attendance. Jumee was an outstandingly charming and delectable beauty any time and any day.

Exactly about four months after this marriage Nelson started getting leaner and leaner. His body started emaciating quickly. His flesh started peeling off too and he ate less of food. His strange and unusual state of health became a serious cause for concern to his new wife. On a particular Saturday morning he was rushed to the hospital when he came down with frequent stooling and nausea. A test was carried out on him and he was confirmed to be HIV/AIDS positive. The reports and findings of the medical team at PLEMS International Hospital in Chicago showed that Nelson had been nursing a five-year attack and infection from the AIDS virus. Nelson’s wife was shocked, downcast and disillusioned. She burst into tears and wept continuously. She was completely sad and in dilemma.

This development wasn’t a surprise to Nelson himself. He knew he had paid the supreme price for quick wealth. He shook his head droopily and felt no remorse or regret for his condition. He was now thin and gaunt in so short a time and he writhed in persistent pains.

“Don’t you worry Jumee,” he said to his beautiful wife who was all the while in tears, “when I die you’ll inherit all my wealth. You’ll be richer than Croesus, the richest man ever!”

“Leave me alone Nelson!” she retorted with heavy heart, “You must have infected me with the AIDS virus too. Would I enjoy all these on earth here or in the great beyond? My days on earth are numbered too. God, what sort of thing is this?!”

Exactly a year later Nelson died in his sleep despite the fact that he was on medication with regards to his illness. The family of Nelson’s wife took him to court a couple of months before his death; the bone of contention was that he had infected their pretty daughter with the HIV/AIDS virus.

That was the grace to grass true-life story of Nelson Gboyega, who reaped all the wealth and good things life can offer but lost his soul to Mammon and died like an old, useless dog. His affable wife lost her life too two years later as her health had deteriorated drastically. It is a good thing to chase wealth and acquire it but one must not be too much in a hurry as to be blind to good reason and common sense. Not all that glitters are gold. He who chases wealth blindly would end up dying painfully and buried like a worthless and unsung human being, like Nelson Gboyega.

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