THE EXCHANGE (Episode 11)
I told her everything and how I didn’t know what to do…to my surprise, my mum did not flip out. She told me to get myself together and that I needed to know what I wanted in life and in a husband. She told me not to make my decisions based on money because “ money does not guarantee happiness ”. “You are the one that will live with the consequences of your choice. That’s why you have to choose wisely and not allow unnecessary sentiments cloud your judgement. Tunji has been with us through thick and thin…this new guy also seems to like you. Look deeper, look beyond the surface, and beware of ‘Greek gifts’…hopefully that will help you. I will keep you in my prayers but you have to make this decision on your own. I also want to be ‘àna olówó’ (A wealthy man’s in-law) but not at the expense of your peace and happiness ” my mum added as she hugged me and said she had to go out.
I was home for 3 straight days, trying to figure out what to do…Tunji didn’t even know I was around, likewise the people working at my Salon. Bro. Dipo was also around and he tried to encourage me in his true, but harsh way.
On the 3rd day, Tunji came over…I tried my best to look like there was nothing wrong. He however was acting strange. He wore a frown and snapped at everything. I had to ask what was wrong with him. He said it was nothing…he didn’t stay for too long. After he left, I started to wonder what could be wrong with him. The following day, I decided to let things be and play themselves out… So I went back to work. The thought of the Salon I saw in Lagos, the mental picture made my shop undesirable. It was like comparing sleep with death…my heart wanted to own the Lagos Salon; especially since Baba T said he would give it to me without any strings attached.
“ But would that be possible? Would he really hand that kind of investment over to me without a motive or with nothing to benefit ?” I kept questioning myself. I was so uninterested in my immediate surrounding that one of my customers actually said I looked “detached”. She asked if everything was fine …I laughed it off and told her I was just going through a rough patch.
Tunji came over later that day and his demeanour had not changed. He said a quick hello, stayed for a while and said he had to go. He didn’t even ask how my Lagos trip went or what the business proposal was about.
“ Could it be that he was being suspicious? Or was he just trying to make this decision easier for me ?” I was beginning to get angry at Tunji. The following day was a Friday I had only been at my salon for a few hours when Laide walked in. I was surprised to see her…she said she did not like the way I left Lagos and just wanted to come check on me. Besides, Baba T had been bothering her to come come find me. I asked where she parked and she said Baba T drove her down…he was waiting in the car and didn’t want to come in because of my ‘boyfriend’. I didn’t want him to come in either so I picked my bag and quickly followed Laide to the car. Baba T said he was sorry if he scared me with all the things he said back in Lagos…that maybe he said too much too soon and he just wanted to come clarify that he meant everything but would give me time to work it out if I needed to.
He begged me to come back to Lagos on Monday to check out the Salon as it would be completed over the weekend. I could see Laide in the rear view mirror smiling mischievously. After the brief discussion, Baba T drove to our house to see my mum, but she wasn’t home. He had brought her a lot of ‘provisions’ (Milk, Milo, Corn Flakes, Corned Beef, Titus and the likes) and dropped them off with an envelope that I could tell had money in it. He left for Lagos after making me promise I would come on Monday. As at that time, I wasn’t sure if I would go to Lagos but I didn’t see Tunji for two days. I went to his house and he wasn’t there, he finally showed up on Sunday evening and when I asked where he had been, he got angry and said I didn’t care about him or his future. I was shocked at his reaction “ You are the one acting up since I got back from Lagos…you are the one that did not ask what became of the business proposal that took me to Lagos you are the one that has been
incommunicado and unreachable unreachable and you dare say that I don’t care about you” I yelled at him.
Tunji got up and started to walk away “ When you know what you did, you know where to find me ” he said and walked out I was so angry that I almost ran after him to make a scene but my parents taught me better than that. I could think of a thousand and one things to say to him as he walked out on me. “ Ęni tí à ń’to rí ę gbàwę…tó ń’jǫ sán ” (the irony of someone you’re fasting for but was caught eating like a glutton). In annoyance, I left for Lagos as early as possible the following morning and went straight to Laide’s house. My mum was wondering why I couldn’t wait till it was daybreak. I didn’t want to tell her what happened between Tunji and I. She would have wanted to intervene and I didn’t want that. I knew it couldn’t be because of Baba T, there’s no way Tunji could have known. Even if he had any concerns or I did something, I would have expected him to be more mature and just tell me what it was…not even after I asked if anything was bothering him. Laide called Baba T from their home telephone and he said he would come get me on his way to work…he got there in about 30 minutes. He said he was dedicating the whole day to me. He drove me to the Salon and my god! It was breathtaking. It had the exact name of my salon
back at home but in lights and with grandeur. Laide came with us, although she kept saying “ three’s a crowd ”…she hugged me and was jumping up and down as we toured the completed project. The interior was something else, I thought it was beautiful from outside until we stepped inside. I didn’t know whether to cry or scream…I didn’t know when I jumped at Baba T and hugged him real tight. “ I guess that means you are moving to Lagos? ” He said. I wasn’t sure how to respond
“ She doesn’t have a choice o…when she is not stupid.
Hmmm…. I smell something
Argh!!!!!!! What next?
Until next time
Looking for Episode 1? CLICK HERE
Looking for Episode 12? CLICK HERE