THE EXCHANGE (Episode 13)

I snapped back to my senses later but there wasn’t much I could do. I started to cry because I was a virgin and had promised to make that a wedding gift to Tunji.

Baba T started to apologize…he said he needed to let me know that it was not an ‘arranged’ thing; that it just happened and that he never knew I was a virgin…which was a good thing because I had just cemented my place in his heart and he would go to any lengths to marry me.

I told him about my chastity vow with Tunji and how I felt like a betrayer.

“Well, if I had been in your life for as long as this Tunji guy, I would have closed the deal a long time ago to avoid something like this. You are a very beautiful and intelligent girl, why would anyone leave you for so long and not expect more serious suitors to take over? ” he said, trying to justify what happened.

“If you want me to, I can tell my folks to come see your family as soon as possible and we will make it official. I told you I was not here to play…I want you for keeps ” he continued as he knelt next to me.

All the sweet words from Baba T wasn’t really ‘do it’ for me anymore, as I felt really bad and sad. He took me to Laide’s place after breakfast but I just wanted to go back home at that point. He wanted to take me to Abeokuta but I rejected the offer…I just wanted to be by myself.

I told him I would see him but I had to go take care of a lot of things back home.

I got to Abeokuta and the moment my mum saw me, she knew something had happened. She kept asking if I was okay but I told him I was not feeling too good and I needed to just rest. She said Tunji had been coming every day since I left and had even begged her to help talk to me. Tunji had said something about taking out his frustrations on me and getting me angry…I told my mum I couldn’t deal with that at the moment and she let me be.

As soon as I got in my room, I just started crying…the fact that Tunji had been trying to find me to fix things between us even made it worse. After about an hour in the room, someone knocked on my door…I hurriedly wiped my tears and cleaned my face. I asked the person to come in and it was Tunji…before I could say anything, he went on his knees and started begging me.

He said it was because I never bothered to ask about his follow-up interview with the Oil Company that he had been acting up lately. He continued that he never shared it with anyone except me and he specifically told me the date of the interview; but when that day came, I never said anything…I didn’t even wish him luck and it was obvious I had completely forgotten (apparently, the interview had fallen on one of those days that I visited Lagos to go see Baba T).

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Tunji said he was sorry for not communicating and for acting like a child.

“I could have just asked you or told you why I was angry but I chose to be immature about the whole thing ”

“I just can’t imagine my life without you, fighting you was like intentionally choosing not to breathe. I tried but couldn’t do it…I felt like I was fighting myself” Tunji said, as he looked straight into my eyes.

He paused for a moment…he could tell that I had been crying. He held me and told me he was really sorry for making me cry. It was as if he flung open the floodgates of tears with that statement. In my mind, I knew I was the one that should be apologizing, and here was this guy begging the person that should be begging him. The fact that I couldn’t tell him what had happened made me cry even more.

“I’m so sorry for hurting you…I’m really sorry” he continued as he held me. After a while, I calmed down and asked how his interview went. He said it was really great and they told him to come back in about 6 weeks to find out. Tunji was with me for the rest of that day as he was doing everything to make me comfortable and happy…I think he even made me lunch at some point.

He asked how my investment opportunity in Lagos was going and I told him I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue it…as it required moving to Lagos. Tunji said it was okay to move to Lagos if that was what I wanted to do. He explained how Lagos had more to offer than Abeokuta and how he saw himself moving there as well. He told me he moved to Abeokuta solely because of me, he added that if he got the new job, it could require moving to Lagos after the training in Germany.

I had a lot on my mind and I finally decided not to tell Tunji what happened in Lagos…at least, not yet. I would have to think of a way around this, as I was still torn between the two of them but Tunji’ s approach to issue he had with me (which was totally justified by the way) made me feel very guilty and the guilt, somehow bought some soft spot for him.

I was still nursing my conscience but would pretend to be fine anytime Tunji came around…things were a little awkward between us and Tunji would apologize again and again, every time he noticed this.

Because of the weight of the guilt, I finally decided I would tell Baba T that I didn’t want to date him, and everything that happened was a big mistake. I had thought he would come over that weekend, as usual, but he didn’t.

I was a little worried and angry that I had not heard from Baba T, it made me feel very cheap and used and I had rehearsed how I would give him a piece of my mind, and some more, anytime I saw him. I had a little something for Laide as well.

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About a week after this, Brother Kola came home to introduce his girlfriend to us and told me Baba T had to travel out of the country for some kind of emergency but he did not have the details

A couple of weeks after that, I woke up with a terrible headache and was feeling nauseous. My mum had to come check on me in the bathroom as she could hear me throwing up. She asked jokingly if I was pregnant…

”How could I be? ” I answered scornfully; my period started 2 days before then and she was the one that bought me sanitary towels.

My mum gave me some medicine and advised me to stay at home for the day and rest. Tunji also came around when he checked on me at the Salon and was told I didn’t come. I wasn’t getting better so about three days later, I decided to go to the hospital…Tunji couldn’t come with me because of work and thank God he didn’t. The Doctor asked a couple of questions and decided to run some tests…after all said and done, it was confirmed that I was pregnant.

I still did not want to believe it and I showed the doctor the extra sanitary towels in my bag. “My period started 5 days ago and should end today…I can’t be pregnant. I am not even sure if I have really had sex before” I protested

The Doctor laughed at the latter part of my statement and gave me a lecture on the basics of sex education. She also told me that it’s not uncommon to confuse bleeding during pregnancy for menstrual period. She advised me against terminating the pregnancy as she could tell I was not very happy about it.

I left the hospital totally confused…what would I tell Tunji?

I had not even seen Baba T for weeks, what if he denied the pregnancy?

I wasn’t sure if I should tell my mum or not.

As sick as I was, I decided to leave for Lagos the following morning. I figured Laide would be the best person to talk to at this time. I told my mum and Tunji that the doctor diagnosed Malaria and gave me some anti-malarial medicine. My mum did not look convinced but I went straight to my room to avoid more questions. Tunji wanted to stay but I told him I needed to rest and I would see him the following day. I couldn’t tell my mum I was going to Lagos because she would have kicked against it so I had to wait until she left the house and I took off…

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Looking for Episode 14? CLICK HERE

WINTER ⚔

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