The sound of the car was getting nearer, Funke could recognise the clinking sounds of the metal box her husband called a car. She got up from the chair she was sitting and looked through the window. A girl was crossing the road by the side of the house. She had a tray on her head, balanced on a fold of wrapped cloth. She saw her husband stop his car and call out to the girl. She saw him buy two mangoes and then quickly squeeze the supple buttocks of the young girl as she turned around. For a second, it looked as if the young girl would shout but her opened mouth formed a smile instead as she saw the two hundred naira thrown by her husband at the side of the road. Funke hissed and walked into the kitchen where water was boiling on the stove. It was not long before she heard him dragging his calloused feet on the floor. She heard the TV being turned on and the sound of his heavy feet on the table. She quickly made the eba, put it on a plate and heaped a generous amount of vegetable stew beside it. There was no meat or fish in it. She walked in and placed the food on top of a stool.
"You are welcome"
"Eba again?" he asked, ignoring the greeting of his wife and washing his hands in a bowl that she had placed beside the stool.
"That is all we have at home"
"Didn't you get salary this month? don't tell me you have already used it all up"
Funke thought about asking him about the salary that he never had, the one that never came in every month, but instead she said
"Don't forget you borrowed half of it for your latest project"
"Why did you say "borrowed" in that way? this project, let me tell you,it will be greater than anything. You are laughing at me now, but you will see, very soon, my name will be on the lips on everyone"
Funke did not say anything. She took the remote control and absent mindedly began flipping the channels. She had heard it all before. He had been involved with numerous projects, one after the other for more than twenty years now. She looked at her forty something year old husband and studied him carefully. His face was oval shaped, a wide nose and thick lips. She looked at his flabby arms and his round stomach which was in full view as he had taken off his shirt in the heat. It heaved with every swallow he took. She was repulsed. She got up to leave and was at the door when he called her
"By the way is there any money left in this house?"
"I just told you there is nothing, why?"
"We need some more money for the printing"
"I don't have any more money"