Oche told Brume his plan. She didn’t like it and wanted to go back to Nigeria. He made her understand that he needed time with her and the baby, away from Nigeria. He told her that they needed to move out of her cousin’s house and get a small apartment. He said that they were in the land of opportunity and that he was certain things would step up, once he was able to get work. Many had left Nigeria, and quite a lot had made it big in America! Over the next few months, the funds Oche brought from Nigeria went into rent, food and his wife’s love for shopping. He couldn’t bring himself to tell her that money was dwindling, until all that was left was a $1,000 dollars.
Brume was mad when she found out! She thought it was most irresponsible for her husband to have been quiet as they ran out of money. She was lucky to get a job quickly, through her cousin. It was her belief that men should fend for themselves. Oche tried to get in touch with friends from school who were based in America for help with work. Most of them were based in far away states and couldn’t help. He tried to get menial jobs on his own, but couldn’t. He was becoming frustrated! He was penniless! Brume made it a point of duty to ensure that the house was well stocked with food and supplies for the baby, but she would not give him any money. He couldn’t make phone calls or go out if she wasn’t home. Brume told her husband that since he was the one that had insisted they stay back, she was not going to pay the bills and also give him pocket money.
Oche’s relationship with his wife got worse as the months went by. Their conversation had become more of one liners – it was “Yes”, “No” and “Okay. He tried to make life as stress-free as possible for his wife. He would make sure the house was clean and put the baby to bed before her return from work, but she didn’t seem to notice. She didn’t say much or appreciate his efforts. He tried to make conversation most of the time and just felt stupid. He felt like the wife.
Brume had become tight friends with a white lady. They seemed to be getting really close. The lady, Irene, was at their house a lot and sometimes the two women sat in Irene’s car in the driveway for almost an hour, talking. Brume, who he would have heard laughing heartily in Irene’s car, would often come back into the house with a straight face. It was hard for Oche’s mind not to wander. He didn’t like Irene. He and his wife had not talked enough for him to know whether Irene was single, married or divorced. She looked too easy to be married. She was usually scantily dressed. Brume seemed to love the American life by the day. She didn’t mention going back to Nigeria anymore.
Brume’s parents sent her money from time to time. Oche knew this because he went through her messages whenever he got the chance to. He knew that Brume no longer had any regard for him. He would have to bear her bad attitude until he got something doing.
It was one of those days that Irene came over. She and Brume whispered and laughed loudly. Oche called Brume aside and said their laughing might wake the baby up and that he didn’t particularly like Irene. Brume’s reply was that if he wanted to wear the “man pants”, then he should start paying the bills and stop whining like a Bitch” All the restraint Oche had, left him. He hit Brume on the face several times. Brume wailed and cried and in between said he’d regret laying a hand on her. Irene came to the rescue and told him he’d pay for being violent. Irene led Brume away and they left the house.