Ever since the story of the man with twenty one million bucks hit the news, this country has never been the same. I doubt if it will ever be the same.
Everyone I meet claims to be pals with him but yet cannot produce his phone number. Unlike many impostors in town who claim to have grown up with him, I have never been acquainted with the multimillionaire. I have only seen pictures of him in the press. I must say he looks like a nice guy. That said I wonder how he copes. Ever since his windfall, I am sure his yard is heaving under the weight of relatives. They have arrived from all over the country. Many borrowed money to travel from the village to visit the millionaire. I can bet they are even fighting amongst themselves to get his attention. Those here already don’t want other relatives, still stranded in the village, and begging for transport money from their drinking mates to come. Very soon, the millionaire’s mansion will be visited by the police as the cousins and aunts fight for money they never thought their relative could ever make. The friends who have been with him for all these years are worried. They grumble about all these relatives they have never seen before. The friends are worried because they suspect the new arrivals want to elbow them out of action. It really is a hard time. I am sure the millionaire regrets making all this money. His life is upside down. The relatives are suffocating him. So are the old girlfriends. Former school mates have called to congratulate him. But in addition, they want to visit.
The uncles want to take over the show. They want to convene a family meeting at which he must formally inform them about the windfall. They say it is tradition. They don’t want to hear about such matters from the radio. In their dilapidated suits that have seen better days, the uncles also want the money to be blessed by a traditional doctor. They are even warning the millionaire that his friends are bad for him. These are the very uncles that always whispered the millionaire would never do anything useful in life. Because the millionaire has taken to visiting his money at the bank to view it, relaxed and breathing, the uncles want to accompany him. At school, the millionaire’s kids are the new celebrities. All of a sudden they are the favourite of their teachers. They get sent on nice errands by the teachers. Some of the teachers have even tried to call the millionaire to tell him how his kids are so brilliant. The kids are getting good marks. Whether the marks are deserved or not is neither here nor there. The teachers want a piece of the action. They are dishing out good marks to the millionaire kids. The bullies have now switched from aggressors to bodyguards for the kids. As for the missus, she is the envy of all her friends. Even those who once advised her to look for a new man claim they have always liked the millionaire. With all the madness going on, I have been quiet. The reason for my silence is because of something I noticed as I scrutinised pictures of the millionaire in the papers. Lately he is everywhere.
No paper worth its salt can go to print without his picture on the front page. The reason is simple. Everyone wants to read about the man with twenty one million bucks. Everyone wants to know what twenty one million in crisp bank notes looks like. Everyone wants to know how the money, sitting in its own vault without being bothered by other people’s money, behaves. Back to the pictures. They tell a story. Just to get confirmation, I spoke to a few trusted friends. They were actually quite surprised but did corroborate what I thought I saw.
The problem with friends is that sometimes they tell you what you want to hear. After their opinion, I met a foreign gentleman with whom I started a casual chat. I asked for his opinion. He basically reiterated what my friends told me. Everyone I have spoken to tells me that the millionaire and I bear a striking resemblance. They actually say we could be twins. We are apparently the same height. We smile in the same charming way. We keep our hair short. In fact, it is said we prefer the same drink. Truth be said, I even have noticed how when I am just minding my business, complete strangers greet me and whisper behind my back. My likeness to the millionaire has been such a grand revelation. Like I said, I have never met the millionaire. Neither has he ever set his eyes on me. But my friends say if we were to meet by chance in the street, some spark would light up between the two of us. I have been checking out the millionaire’s origins. Things like where he grew up and went to school. The information coming out is too good to be true. I think I need a chat with my father. I am now convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the millionaire and I are brothers. These things happen in life. Unlike the distant relatives and friends who just want to suck the millionaire dry, I am actually his real brother. As soon as my old man confirms the obvious; that the millionaire is indeed my brother, I will make a move. The moment I relocate to the mansion after the reunion, the dubious uncles and other dodgy relatives will be evicted.
The friends will go as well. But with the friends I might just ask my brother to compile a list of those he wants to keep. I don’t like what is going on. As a result I am determined to organise my brother’s life. I am going to help my brother take care of our money. I look forward to accompanying my brother to the bank to view our money, relaxed and breathing!