“Hello, Mummy. How are you?” Sope said into the phone as she forced herself to sound cheerful. She didn’t want her mother to worry about her. Ever since the passing of her father, she and every one of her siblings always makes sure she never had to worry herself about anything, but she still always gets to think about a lot of things.
So if her mother sensed any kind of oddness in her voice, there will be a lot of questions to answer and she wasn’t ready for that. More so, she has to get to the office early and her Uber driver had already called to announce his arrival.
“How is Lagos, my dear?”, her Mum asked over the phone.
“Lagos is fine as usual” she replied
“How is your work? And I hope you’ve been going to church. You know how important it is to serve God.
“Yes mum, i do. How is everyone at home?”She looked her wristwatch her saw that she was running out of time already.”I will have to call you back ma, I’m almost late for work” she snapped.
“Ok dear. Have a wonderful day at work today and don’t forget to call me when you get back”
Sope had to quickly end the call if not, she trusts mama Sope (as her mum was fondly called) to continue the conversation forever.
She got to her office on time; thanks to her Uber driver turned friend who knows practically all the short-cuts in Lagos that lead to her office. She thanked him hurriedly and ran inside; she can’t afford to be seen by her boss coming in by this time, not after the stunt she pulled the day other. She was so sure that he had her under his watch and she couldn’t afford to disappoint him again. Anyway, she had promised to attend the conference he told her about, that should keep him off her back for now.
For now she had to work on getting back on her financially. She had decided to deal with this financial situation the same way she will deal with a task at work which is to be Logical. As she went through the contents in her bag, she puzzled over where exactly all her money had gone. She earned about eight hundred thousand naira a month, which frankly was a lot of money and way above the Nigerian salary. So, where was it all going? What was she spending it on?
As she rifled through the bag she noticed that most of her bank statements were unopened. Then it dawned on her that she’d been supremely careless with her money for an incredibly long time. There had been months at a stretch she hadn’t even checked her bank account.
She sorted through the statements, arranged them according to dates and used her highlights pens to categorize her spending. Blue for meals, pink for accessories, green for her car, and so on and so forth.
As she pored over her financial life, she came to an even more depressing realization; she had always been afraid of her bank statements and she hadn’t wanted to admit to herself how precarious her life really was. Subconsciously, she’d always known she was spending mindlessly but never wanted to confront her spending habits because it made her uncomfortable.
She had always told herself that she works hard and earned good money so she deserved to ostentatiously display this once in a while. Damn! She couldn’t believe how much she spent alone on dinner and cocktails with the girls every month!
Back at home, an exhausted Sope sat back and stared at the now neat stacks of paper on her dining table. She’d spent most of her time at the office trying to analyze the statements, trying to make sense of the numbers. It was a painful one but definitely an eye-opener. In fact, she had a new philosophy: if you truly want to know a person, look at their bank statement. Apparently, the picture her bank statements pictured was that she was obsessed with having all the luxuries to herself. And looking at all the bags, shoes and the so-called ‘aso-ebi’ she had amassed, they were enough for her to own a mall!
How far do you think Sope can go with her new decision? Get to find out in the next episode.