by Kyrian Offor
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First, his responses were humor-filled.
Soon they were laughing.
While the chats went on and on, she deduced something about him.
He was simply intelligent.
With a unique standpoint of life.
A young, handsome young man with an extraordinary prospect.
They were flaring.
Before they knew it they had exchanged contacts.
She in the U.K.
He in Nigeria.
And when she asked if distance would be a barrier to their friendship, he said.
“Oh come on. I frequent U.K. planning to attend a conference over there soon enough.”
Two months later.
They were dating.
Eight months later, he was telling her businesses here in Nigeria she’d love her to invest in.
One was real estate.
That was after she complained to him she needed to make some investments before she finally moves back to Nigeria.
She loved the idea of real estate.
He suggested Lagos.
Since she had no family in Lagos to look over it and help her with logistics and to represent her.
She suggested to him who was now her beau to do that for her.
He accepted wholeheartedly without a glare.
First, she sent money for him to secure land which he did.
And weekly she sent money to his account for the project, which was to build an eight-bedroom mansion on the island somewhere in Ajah close to Abraham Adesina estate.
The challenges she had were the charges that came with sending currency from abroad to him.
At some point, it became problematic.
And that was when he took the responsibility to find a solution to that.
But there a friend introduced him to Switch.
“With Switch, you can send money home with no charges from wherever you are in the world.”
He was surprised.
He continued as he made emphasis.
“My brother who is in Canada has been using Switch and he has not had any banking issue ever since. He enjoys all the benefits of having a Nigerian bank account.”
And he immediately proposed it to her.
She signed up and started using Switch for transactions.
It was smooth.
Easy and convenient.
And one day, it happened.
She had made a huge transfer to his account with Switch for the finishing of the building as he duly demanded, which he acknowledged.
But since that acknowledgment.
She never heard from him again.
His numbers were switched off and he was not responding to her WhatsApp and Facebook messages.
A day passed.
And two days turned to five days.
She became worried and tensed up.
And when she told her friends who were close to her.
“Ahhh, he has scammed you.”
She stood her ground and said.
“It can never be. I know what he can do.”
“He has scammed you. He don use juju cover your eyes. Fear Nigerian men. Do you know anybody related to him?”
“He was planning on introducing me to his family when I come back to Nigeria.”
“Have you spoken with any of them?”
“Not yet. He has been busy with the house project and his works.”
“Is that what he told you?”
“Not just what he told me. It was what I noticed, too. We rarely talk since he started with my project.”
She kept on trying to reach him, to no avail.
Her friends kept on telling her to alert the police. She became worried and thought about visiting Nigeria to know what happened most especially to know if he was okay.
So, he dropped him a message on WhatsApp among other messages she had sent.
That she was coming back to Nigeria.
First flight a few days later.
And when she arrived she sent him another message.
“Hi, honey. I just arrived. I am in Lagos. Eko Hotels. Please, reach me with this number.”
It was evening, she had a shower and decided to try his number again.
Lo and behold, it rang.
Four rang and he picked.
“Hi, who is this?”
“Thank God. Honey, where have you been? I have been trying to reach you for nearly two weeks now.”
He apologized profusely, and had explained he was attacked by robbers, they took his phone and gadgets.
He had to block his phone number that was connected to his bank accounts and other important portfolios.
He had been so busy with his projects and hers that he was assisting her with.
He apologized once again and had expressed how happy he was to hear her voice again.
She smiled and broke the good news to him.
That she was in Nigeria. Lagos precisely.
He couldn’t believe it.
His heart jumped.
She demanded them to see for the first time and also to see her new building that she cannot wait to see anymore.
“I believe it will be more beautiful in real life than the pictures of it you have been sending.”
He only smiled.
“When do you want us to meet? I can’t wait to see you, too.”
It was the next day.
He was scared though, that morning was in an uproar as he left for Eko Hotels where she was lodging.
He got there, called her, Porter escorted him to the elevator.
He found himself knocking on her door.
She took a deep breath in excitement as she opened the door.
To see his handsome, tall self, staring at her tenderly with a smile.
They paused for a moment, gazing at each other.
He admiring her beauty and height that was nothing to compare with her pictures.
It was a hug, then a kiss, and having breakfast together.
It was as though a dream for both of them and finally when she mentioned seeing her building.
He frowned and brought another discussion to cover it.
She insisted and at the same time, the discussion she had with her friends started to play in her head.
“He scammed you. He didn’t build any house. He has used the money for something else.”
But he simply said.
“We will visit the site in four days.”
Four days came.
He said three days.
And that was when she started to think he never did anything.
There was no house.
And she persisted, it was becoming an issue between them.
So, he took her to the site.
And when they got there and he pointed at it and behold it was no longer a site.
It was a well-furnished mansion.
More beautiful and enhanced than the pictures and videos of it he had been sending to her.
She was overwhelmed.
As she walked around it and even more overwhelmed and stunned when she stepped into the house.
It was well furnished and sparkling, behind it was a large swimming pool.
She couldn’t remember sending him money to furnish the house.
When she asked, he said.
“I wanted to surprise you with the furnishing, and all. That was why I was delaying for you to see it. Fortunately, my plan worked.”
She couldn’t believe her ears and her eyes.
All she could do was hug him with tears in her eyes.
And she said.
“You made everything possible. When charges were too much as I was sending money to you from the U.K. to build this house, you suggested Switch and since I started using it to send money it has been stress-free and it was free. When I thought it was all a scam, here is my house.”
She walked to the entrance door, picked the key, and handed it over to him.
“For coming into my life and making it beautiful. This house is all yours.”
He was shocked.
“Come on. It’s yours. I can always build another one as an investment.”
Tears slid down his cheek.
As he knelt and proposed to her.
Which was what he had in mind doing even before she handed the house over to him as true gratitude.
And today they are happily married with kids.