Racing to the Rescue
Kevin blared his car horn impatiently and cursed underneath his breath. He told himself it was impossible to be a gentleman, let alone a Christian, in this kind of traffic. He also assured himself he would leave Nigeria the first chance he got. He had been weaving in and out of lanes, sometimes endangering himself and his new Toyota Avalon, but it hadn’t done him much good. It would still be two hours at least before he made it home to Ejigbo from Ikeja.
He wondered what his wife had been up to all day. Marrying a creative person could be a very exciting experience, what with the spontaneity, the surprises and originality of what they do for you. But it also had its downside – the mood swings, the depression that follows a lack of inspiration, the frustration when a work lovingly and painstakingly produced lacks an outlet or fails to receive critical acclaim or bring commercial success. And he’d been seeing more of the downside lately.
Convincing Diane to relocate to Nigeria had certainly been a mistake. Trying to break into the musical market here has been a struggle. Her brand of pop which was loved in Europe sounded childish to the locals and his position as a music company executive did not open all the doors he had hoped it would for her.
At first, Diane felt she would most definitely be a hit here because as she put it, she was bringing “a new sound and freshness” to the musical output in the country. But she found that producers and artistes, rather than being impressed with her songwriting and vocal skills, expected her to drop what they called her “been to” ways and acculturate in order to make her person and her music saleable. She was advised to collaborate with local artistes to get a feel of the industry before making any solo effort.
This seemed like a slap in the face to her who held a degree in contemporary music from the University of Birmingham and had a respectable career before her current adventure to Africa. If anything, these people she was being directed to should be taking lessons from her, she felt. So with the assistance of her husband’s music company, she put out a single. But in spite of broadcast interviews and other efforts to promote the song, it wasn’t receiving airplay on radio and the video was only featured occasionally as a filler in late night TV.
The disappointment had thrown up issues that Kevin had never anticipated – Diane began to drink hard and use drugs. When he came home once in the middle of the day, she was nowhere to be found. He decided to skip work for the rest of the day and she returned three hours later, slightly inebriated. She put it down to the excitement of seeing some old friends on a business trip to Nigeria and apologised.
That was two weeks ago but the situation had gone downhill from there. Not a day passed without her getting drunk or high on something. Yet, she refused to say where she got the drinks or the drugs. She had even stopped apologising, insisting that she was an artiste and that these things came with the terrain. Wanting to save her life and their marriage, Kevin felt that the best option would be to seek transfer to their head office in Abuja. He intended to check her into a rehab facility there and do what he should have done from day one: share the gospel with her.
In fact, he was going to do the latter right away because with Christ in her, she would find the strength to fight her addictions. But he needed to get home to do that. And with that thought, he blared his horn again and mopped the sweat on his brow.
Do you think that Kevin’s plan will be enough to save Diane?
Postscript: This is the first draft of this story. The expanded version is called “Saving Diana”. Which of the two do you prefer?