THE EXCHANGE (Episode 20)
So I gathered all the money in my bank accounts, got the apartment, furnished it and strategized my move. The day we moved, I waited for Baba T to leave the house…it had been weeks since we said a single word to each other. Then I took my children and we moved to the new place. I had arranged for a van to come get us because I didn’t want to use our driver. I actually sent him to go get something for me so he wouldn’t see us leave. I also packed some of the things in the house but I didn’t take any of the cars as I did not want Baba T to track us with that. The maid and the gateman were wondering what we were doing but they couldn’t ask me any questions. That was how I left Baba T’s house.
I didn’t go to the Salon, neither did I contact anyone. My kids did not get it and they were not happy. They kept asking for their dad. I told them we would be going home soon but we had to be at the new place for a while. This fell within the long vacation period and I had believed that the issue would be resolved before the kids went back to school. The thought of how troubled Baba T would be, gave me some form of good “gotcha! Deal with that! In your face!” feeling…it was nothing compared to the pains I had endured but it felt good fighting back in my own little way. It was a totally different experience, my kids were not used to it at all and it wasn’t long before Junior caught Malaria. We couldn’t go to our family doctor so we treated it in house…it spiraled and he had to be admitted at a hospital in the area. At a point; I was so scared that I thought of going back home. Resources were dwindling but I held the fort. After about 5 weeks, someone rang our door bell and it was Baba T, he had some police officers with him. He had reported an abduction/kidnap incident with them and they had been on our tail all the while. The way the officers handled it, I could tell he had ‘settled’ them because they did not care to hear my side of the story. Baba T was able to track down the van that took us, because somehow, the gateman remembered the Licence plate number. The kids ran to him and hugged him…they were so happy to see him. The officers asked what they should do with me, he told them not to worry about me as he had gotten what he came for. The Officers took the kids to the car they brought. Baba T stayed behind, he looked at me with so much disgust in his eyes and said… “ This is the life you deserve, continue to live it… but if you dare touch my kids again, I will use everything I have to fight you and your wretched family ” as he walked out. It felt like transient paralysis, because I couldn’t say anything, I didn’t even move…I could hear my last child crying and asking for me but they drove away. I must not have thought this through; this was not the outcome I had envisaged. Lots of thoughts flashed in my head. How would I fix this?
How would I get my children back? Who would help me?
The following morning, I went to Laide’s place…I hadn’t taken a ‘Danfo’ (commercial bus) in a long time but I couldn’t really afford a Taxi. Laide was visibly mad at me; she said there was no justification for what I did because there were better ways of handling it. She said I could have come to their house instead of absconding with the kids and getting everybody worked up. She told me of the showdown between my mum and Baba T and how my mum accused him of kidnap and murder and that he was only pretending not to know our whereabouts. How Brother Dipo and Baba T got physical and made a huge scene at Abeokuta. How my mum had been worried sick, running from pillar to post to find us. How I got brother Kola (my eldest brother) fired because Baba T would not buy the story that nobody knew where I was. How all the drama had caused a considerable amount of friction between her and Bola because Bola found it hard to believe that she didn’t know where I was either. I tried to defend my action but Laide made it sound like I killed a fly with cannon…
“ Are you kidding me? Moving my children away from a house where drug is abused openly is
wrong? What would you have done if you were in my shoes? ” I snapped back. Laide kept trying to rationalize it “ After all they are his children, you can’t just take them away like that…baba ọmọ ló l’ọmó. Even your mother-in-law is not very happy with what you did. Her state of health cannot handle that. When I spoke with her; she said you didn’t inform her of what was happening”
“ I didn’t inform her? She knew about all of this even before I found out. She hid he truth from me just to get grandkids… ” I went on and on about the things I had heard and seen and how they begged me not to tell anyone. All the dirty secrets I did not divulge earlier…even what happened in London the
first time. Laide was speechless, she asked me to wait for her husband to return. She was mad at me for hiding the most important part of the issue. She scolded me for not making adequate preparation for this.
“ When you knew you were going to do this, you should have informed me. We could have executed it better. We would have waited for you to gather enough money. Maybe you could have travelled abroad with your children…we could have done a lot of things differently ”
” Did you even remember to take your passport when you left the house? ” Laide asked.
That was when I realized I didn’t.
… There is fire on the mountain, as things are turning pretty bad.
Looking for Episode 1? CLICK HERE
Looking for The Final Episode? CLICK HERE