L’Esprit de L’Escalier

You cannot imagine my pain.

Emmanuel had been making my afternoon miserable. Engaging me in an argument I had no plans of fuelling.
He had been going on and on for a long time now and I had begun to feel sick from the sound of his voice.
His audience listened with rapt attention as he went on and on about how his good fortune was the best thing about his life.How he was a very privileged twat, and would never for a day in his life need to work.
It was skill acquisition day at the orientation camp. And while everyone acted interested in the different exhibitions, Emmanuel had sat in his car, playing on his phone totally uninterested.
It was lunch hour when he joined us at our table. Because he liked to make a show of his inherent affluence, he’d usually “declare” as he walked into the canteen. Today he only responded to his adoring fans who hailed as he walked by.
“I’m only here for the girls mehn.. “was his reply to when one of the girls on the table, Lola, asked why he was skipping the seminars. It made the guys laugh and high five. The ladies giggled and slapped him playfully. Me, I just shook my head.
“But they are imparting really great skills, I think you should join it, Obong advised, you may find that you enjoy them. And you can never tell where these skills may be required in future. They can even come in handy for entrepreneural ideas.” A good number agreed with him, but Emmanuels guffaw drowned their yes’s.
“See, Emmanuel started,” my value the last time I checked, I’m a billionaire! In pounds sterling sef! “he hit his hand on his sturdy chest as he spoke. His physical fitness complemented his handsome. That was probably the most endearing thing about him to me. And also that beneath his show-off, he was also a good friend.
“My father’s Estate alone, generates 500 million per annum. And this value is subject to inflation. It only goes higher, never lower. Money in stock.. Haha! Lemme just leave that one. But believe me when I say it is not chicken feed. And you know the best part, I am an only child. My mother is late so by default I already inherited her share of the investments. My father does not have any other children. And Even if he does, I am heir apparent. Illegitimate children cannot come do me over! Are they mad!!”
His guys hailed him and drummed on the tables with their bottles. I couldn’t take it anymore.
” Emma, shut up small and stop sounding like a Child ” I finally spoke.
“Child ke! How biko, Aunty Ife? Tell me” Emmanuel asked in sarcasm.
“You know very well that money is not a renewable resource. If you don’t learn how to manage it properly it will all go away before you know it.” I was trying to sound as tactical as possible.
“Yeye. Ife, do you realise how much I live on, right here and now? ” he was not letting go of the sarcastic tone.
“Your Papa money no be your own!”now that I had said that, I realise I sounded a little jealous but he was not even backing down.
Our other friends were probably enjoying the exchange, judging from the way they listened to us, quiet.
” Nicca please! What are you going on about. There is a legal document, filed by my mother and father, before my mother, God rest her soul, passed , because they owned everything jointly. This document gives right of claim to only legit children A.K.A child i.e Me.”
Seeing that he had me quiet, he took one more shot at me.
” I’m never going to have to work a day in my life if I can help it. There is hardly any other way around it after I come upon my inheritance. I will be richer than you even envision. What are you going to do about it Ife?”
I remained quiet and everyone too, their breathing giving a sort of humming soundtrack. I eventually found my voice and answered.
“Just as I thought” he said as he got up to leave. The rest of us got up awkwardly after him and walked out the canteen. I felt quite humiliated, losing so poorly at the fight.
So imagine my pain, when an hour later, while still mulling over the matter, it hit me.

When he had asked what I could do about it, instead of saying “Nothing.” I should have answered “Marry your father.”
My satisfaction would have been complete.


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