THE EXCHANGE (Episode 15)

He said his mum was outside…so I stepped out to welcome her. It was more of an entourage. They must have come in like 5 or 6 cars because they brought gifts and things that made it look like they came for a traditional engagement ceremony. I noticed a brand new car (a 1982 Subaru GL) the only person in it was the driver. Baba T’s mum almost swallowed me as she hugged me and kept showering prayers on me. “Èmi lo sè yí fún tán? (You considered me worthy of such a wonderful gift?) Wàá gbá dùn mi (You will be glad you did this for me). Don’t worry o… consider us, Babatunde’s dad and me, your husband and the father of this child…anything you need, just let us know ” Baba T’s mum said. I was too dumbfounded to reply or respond. She said her husband was out of the country but she already called and informed him. She just couldn’t wait for him to return and that was why she made sure they came over to see us as soon as
possible. She said they would have come the day before, but they had to get some things as they. couldn’t come to their ‘in-laws’ empty-handed. They came into our house and met my mum. Baba T’s mum was obviously very happy with the turn of events, her joy could not be contained. She hugged my mum and called her ‘Àna mi’ (my in-law). Brother Dipo was also at home; he came to get some money for his final year project and was really confused at what was going on. He excused himself and went inside. Baba T’s mum was already talking to my mum about ‘the wedding’ and how they would make it memorable. My mum was as confounded as I was,. at what was happening. She had to tell Baba T’s mum that she didn’t have much say in this and would have to contact my dad’s relatives to set something up. “ No problem ma, just let us know what you want us to do and when you want us to. come…tí isę ò bá pę ni, A ò kí ńpę isę (We are ready whenever you are)” she said in response to what my mum said. My mum promised to get in touch with members of my dad’s family and that she would send me to. Baba T’s mum once something concrete was agreed on. My mum offered them food and to my surprise, they stayed and ate. Baba T’s mum said we’re family now and although she wasn’t really hungry, she would eat the food all the same. I went with my mum to prepare the food, she didn’t say anything but I could tell she had lots of questions.

When it was time for our visitors to leave, Baba T said the new car was for me and that he wanted me to be comfortable and not have to walk around or stand at bus stops in the scorching sun. I reminded him that I once told him I couldn’t drive, he asked if I could get a driver in Abeokuta and would pay the salary because it wouldn’t be sensible getting a driver from Lagos. He promised to come back in a few days to see me, so we could arrange how to go about the ante-natal care. I was really startled and couldn’t say much because of how fast everything was happening. The moment I got back in the house, it was a torrent of questions. My mum wanted to know what was happening. She said it looked like someone already planned everything out and was merely following the scripts. It took a while to convince her that my story was true and that the pregnancy was a result of one reckless night. I told her that Baba T was an only child and that his parents almost lost him some years back. I also told her what Laide told me about how Baba T’s parents could not wait for him to get married so they could have grandchildren. My mum responded with “ Okay o, if you say so. Ǫlọrun òní ję a kábàmọ (I pray God will not let us regret this)” “ You sure will regret this…it’s not a matter ofprayer ” Brother Dipo yelled as he stepped out of his room. Apparently, he had been listening to our conversation and had been trying to make sense of what was happening since the visitors came. “ I reject it in Jesus’ name…none of my children will regret in life” my mum fired back. It became a heated argument between them… Brother Dipo was never the sentimental type. He said things the way he saw them without caring. whose ox was gored. My mum told him that the role of family was to support one other especially when options were few. “ That’s sentiment Maami, what if Tunji was your son…would you have said the same thing? You don’t do that to people…Karma has a way of coming back to get you… Nítorí owó?” (Because of money?) I knew this was going to happen…I said it when the ‘Father Christmas’ era started” My brother was really angry and he promised not to be part of it in any way. He even threatened not to attend any ceremony or gathering for the cause. He left the house in anger… I could tell that my mum didn’t like what was happening but she kept encouraging me that everything would be alright. My mum decided to go talk to members of our family (both paternal and maternal). She said there was no point wasting time as we needed to come to a conclusion and reach out to Baba T’s family with definite answers and dates. I couldn’t go to work because I was avoiding Aunty Betty (Tunji’s aunt who trained me as a beautician)…also because the morning sickness had gotten worse; I would throw up till there was nothing left in me. Brother Dipo was not talking to me and he would just walk by when he saw me throwing up. My mum said he would come round and I should not make a fuss about it. I was wondering why I had not seen Tunji (since he said he would be back in about a week) but deep down was hoping he would just walk away. May God forgive me for this, I almost wished he got involved in an accident so that I would not have to face him and explain myself. I wasn’t sure how my mum did it but that weekend, all my brothers came home. After being brought up to speed, Brother Kola couldn’t hide his excitement…it was obvious he was on Baba T’s side (Can you blame him?). My other two brothers had some questions but still showed their support…however, Brother Dipo would not He lambasted everyone for supporting an evil plot and reminded them that my dad would never have supported something like this, if he was alive. My mum argued back that she knew her husband would not have supported having an abortion either. “ Tí ędá ò bá gba kádàrà à gba kodoro (people that struggle with the tide of fate, end up drowning)” my mum argued.

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Brother Kola stepped in and said as the eldest son and heir to my father, he gave his support and blessings. My other brothers had to hold Brother Dipo down as he was ready to fight our eldest brother.  In the middle of the brouhaha, my worst nightmare came true…Tunji walked in and I could tell that he knew what was happening. The look on his face said more than a thousand words could have said. Somehow, Brother Dipo in his anger had visited him (not knowing he was out of town) and left a note at his house telling him what happened and how he (Brother Dipo) wasn’t part of it. With the silence in the room, one could almost hear hearts beating…Tunji looked at me for a while and went down on his knees. He wrapped his arms around my waist with his face on my belly. “ Please tell me it’s a joke…tell me it’s a dream and that I would wake up at some point ” “ Tell me you are not leaving me for another man… tell me it’s all a figment of my imagination” “ Tell me we can go back in time and fix this…tell me there is a way around this ” “ Tell me this is not the end…it can’t be, it just can’t. I was told love conquers all; tell me Love
can conquer this ” “ Tell me life is worth living…tell me my ‘Ajike’ (a pet name Tunji called me) is not becoming
someone else’s ”
When I didn’t respond he said
“ Okay, tell me the pregnancy is mine…please do, nobody has to know it’s not. I promise never to
tell anyone ” He kept asking all these questions while crying…he would sob, hyperventilate like he was having a panic attack and continue. My cloth was drenched
in his tears…I couldn’t push him away, I couldn’t hold him either. I couldn’t help but cry with him
but I didn’t say a word. “ When I met you, I promised myself that life had taken enough of my loved ones and nothing would take you away from me. Please don’t leave me, I will do my best to also make it in life…I will take care of you. Àjíkę má se bá yĭ (Àjíkę, don’t be cruel)” He turned to my mum and started to plead “ Mummy, Ę bá mi bę (plead with her on my behalf) I know she listens to you. Tell her it’s me Tunji…tell her to say something, anything…tell her to talk to me. If it’s because I delayed marrying her, I will marry her. I can even marry her tomorrow ” My mum did not know what to say or how to respond to him. She was only able to say “ Tunji ní sùúrù (Tunji calm down)” “ Don’t let me calm down ma…this is where ‘calming down’ has led me. Ę kàn bá mi bę ni (just help me plead with her)” Tunji turned to my brothers too and started to beg them, promising to never make them regret supporting or vouching for him. They were equally stupefied while Brother Dipo stayed aloof from us all “ You just have to be a man ” Brother Kola said as he tried to pull him up “ Don’t let me be a man sir…I just want to be with Àjíkę. Let me stay like this…Ę má ję kí n’dìde sir (don’t let me get up sir)” Tunji responded…sobbing, slobbering and panting.  It was so sad watching him go through this but I didn’t have anything to say. I couldn’t even make a sound…I only had tears running down my cheeks. I knew this day would come but I didn’t expect it go like it did. My mum had said we would think of a way to break the news to him.

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What next?
What would become of Tunji?
Is Dapo not acting base on sentiment?
How come the mom could’nt do much?
Is she doing the wrong thing by standing by her daughter’s discussion?
Will Baba T and Adike make a good couple?

Make we yarn ?????????????????????????????

Looking for Episode 1? CLICK HERE

Looking for Episode 16? CLICK HERE

WINTER ⚔

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