THE EXCHANGE (Episode 8)
In the middle of our argument, Brother Kola…who had stayed outside to discuss with Baba T, said he had some good news. He said he had a chat with Baba T during the wedding and he promised him a job at their company. The job was in Lagos, paid like four times what he currently earned, and came with an official car and some other benefits. He was to come over in a week to have a formality-type interview as Baba T already offered him the job. “Now I can finally get married” my brother screamed as he jumped up and clenched his fist in celebration like someone that won a race. I could tell that my mum was confused and happy at the same time. “How? When?” those where my questions for Brother Kola. He said Baba T asked what he studied, when they met at the wedding and said he would be a good fit for their company. “He confirmed it just now when I saw him to the car” my brother continued.
There was another brother of mine at home (brother Dipo); he rushed out to check what the noise was all about…he wasn’t really impressed when we told him. “So what? Do they think we are their charity project?” he said. That statement almost turned to a physical brawl between my two brothers but my mum was able to quell it. She said we had to be thankful for every blessing; as God could use anyone to deliver answers to a man’s prayers. Brother Dipo apologized to our eldest brother but said “I know there’s more to this sudden ’no strings attached’ philantropism and I will remind all of you when it’s time to pay back” Brother Dipo took after my dad; he’s not easily swayed or impressed by anything and had trust issues with strangers. We forgot about the whole thing and I settled in for the night.
Tunji came the following day…it was really nice seeing him again; I didn’t know I had missed him that much as we almost broke our chastity vow. When he was about to leave, he told me the real reason he couldn’t attend my cousin’s wedding. He said he had applied for a job with a multinational company a while back but they finally reached out to him and scheduled the interview for Friday and Saturday, same days as the traditional and church weddings. The interview was in Ibadan and it went really well. He was really certain that they would consider him for the position. The job required a 3-month new employee orientation training in Germany and there were just two of them left in the process. He said he didn’t want to tell me earlier, so as not to get my hopes up unnecessarily since he wasn’t sure if he would scale through the initial qualification. “If I get this job, I am going to marry you right away” he added.
I was excited for him…howbeit, angry that he did not keep me in the loop. He said he was sorry and asked how the wedding went. I had to give an edited version of the story and cut Baba T out of it. Life was back to normal, my customers had missed me as I went back to work. I also gave my salon a facelift from the money I made in Lagos and it looked really beautiful. Brother Kola got the job as promised and had to move to Lagos…he came back the following weekend with his official car. It was a brand new Citroen CX 2500 and it was really beautiful. All my other siblings were home that day and they all wanted to take the car for a spin. Brother Dipo congratulated Brother Kola but you could tell he was just being civil. My mum got in the kitchen and cooked like it was Christmas, just to ‘wash’ the car.
Before my brother left for Lagos, he handed me a little note from Baba T and said “This guy must really like you, he is always talking about you and asking questions”. The note was just to let me know that he (Baba T) was out of the country and would be back in about a week. He also said he would try and come over to Abeokuta to see me once he got back. After reading the note, I began to wonder what Baba T really wanted from me. The wedding was over and I had thought parting ways would put an end to his infatuation. I found myself thinking about this all day…I let my imagination run wild, playing all the different scenarios in my head and I decided I was going to stay with Tunji. He deserved it, he had been a good boyfriend and I had never regretted dating him. Baba T was nice too but he was a little arrogant (although he liked to call it confidence).
Two weeks after my brother came home, Baba T showed up at my salon. It was a Saturday afternoon, he had gone to our house and my mum told him I was at the Salon, so he drove straight to my salon. What a surprise visit.
Hmmm… Isn’t it obvious or is she pretending she doesn’t understand what’s going on?
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