VNB FICTION – THE Exchange (Episode 10)
Baba T started to talk about how he liked me from the first day he saw me.
How he had pestered my cousin, Laide, to help talk to me but she kept saying that I had a fiancé.
How no girl had ever been acceptable to his mum, but somehow she was crazy about me.
How his mum would always tell him “I don’t know why, but I just like that girl. You better don’t let her slip out of your hands”
How his mum suggested the new salon move, just to get me out of Abeokuta
How after he told his mum that I was already engaged to another guy she said “B’ómǫdé bá r’óyin a s’àkàrà s’ígbó” meaning when a kid tastes honey, he/she has to let go of the bean cake
How I deserved a beautiful and comfortable life and how he would see to it that I got it.
How he was not looking for a girlfriend but a wife…because his mum was on his case to get married.
How he would never hurt me and how he would take care of not just me but my entire family.
We must have talked for hours…I was doing more of the listening though because I really didn’t know what to say.
It was already evening and Baba T suggested that we went to my cousin’s place to chill and talk some more.
I agreed because I seriously needed to talk to Laide about this.
As soon as we got to Laide’s place, I dragged her to a corner to talk. She confirmed everything that Baba T said.
“Na serious matter o” Laide said.
She told me how Baba T’s mum had actually asked to be brought to Abeokuta to come see my mum.
“But I have a fiancé” I said, trying to put up some kind of protest
“I know, but you are not married. They have not broken any laws. They are simply trying to get a seemingly ‘available commodity’.
If Tunji had already married you, I wouldn’t even be part of this.
Until a woman is officially married, she is not off the market o” Laide responded, as she told me the story of the guy she was dating back in the University.
Their relationship started in secondary school and they attended the same University. It was a serious relationship but the guy was always saying he would never settle down until he had made a certain amount of money.
Laide said the guy was her first love but in their 3rd year, he said he would need like 5 to 7 years to sort things out.
She was actually willing to wait for him until Bola came into the picture. She was snubbing Bola until the day the other guy told her she didn’t have to wait for him.
That was what made her decide to go with Bola.
“Do I need to tell you that you are coming into comfort, if you consider Baba T?
Can’t you see it already?
I know that money is not everything but it is the main thing…It makes life easier and makes the marriage sweeter.
I know you like Tunji, he’s handsome and promising but Baba T is also handsome and he’s got more than promises to offer.
Don’t forget the wise saying of our people ‘bà ò r’ęni b’álà, ọlà kìí yá’ (it’s easier to make it, when connected to those that have made it).
Maybe God is trying to pay your family back for the good deeds of your father…I cannot lie to you, you can never regret choosing Baba T” Laide continued.
I was more confused after my chat with Laide. I had to tell Baba T that I needed time to think and figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
He said it was okay and regardless of what I decided, I would still get the Salon, if I wanted it. He left and promised to see me the following day.
For the most part of that evening, Laide kept trying to convince me…her husband stayed out of it though.
All he said was “She’s old enough to make her own decisions”.
I couldn’t sleep all night as I weighed my options…the thought of being Baba T’s wife sounded interesting and enticing but I had my fears and reservations.
What would Tunji do?
How would I tell him?
Would my mum support it?
I also thought of staying with Tunji…but what if he didn’t marry me at the end of everything?
What if he got that job, travelled to Germany and never came back?
Something in me knew he could never do that and I sensed I was just trying to paint him black.
But every woman wants and deserves comfort…everyone deserves a shot at affluence and prosperity.
Opportunities usually knock just once, what if this was it?
What if this was my one and only shot?
What if God truly sent Baba T my way to turn my life around?
What if this was my own fairytale come true?
Something in me wanted to be with Tunji but another thing in me kept questioning if he’s worth giving up everything Baba T was offering
I finally slept off around 3:30 am and when I woke up I knew I had to leave Lagos.
I knew I had to be somewhere neutral where I could clear my head and apply sound judgment.
I told Laide I had to go and that she should tell Baba T I would let him know my decision about everything.
I got to Abeokuta and went straight to my mum’s room
“Maami, I think I’m in trouble…” was my opening line