Let me tell you a bit about bayo before I tell you about myself. We go way back, like University days, and when i met him, I was a freshman, him- a finalist.
Bayo was a disaster bound to happen… I knew this, from the way he looked, the way he talked, the ways he boasted of his prowess,all the girls he’d been with, the ones he’d made do things they said they’ll never do – the drinking, the drugs and all those shenanigans.
You see,boys like this didn’t talk to girls like me,it violated the status quo – the entire class system. I wish you knew me back then,flat as the back of a frying pan,unattractive and pretty much basic. The only thing I had going for me was that I was top of my class.
I had one boyfriend I was managing then Sha, a trader in that Yaba side – did I hear you say ‘bend down’? It’s you that Sabi.
Anyway, my boyfriend was the mushy type, like small thing, guy man don begin cry. I was just, what? 17? I needed to try other people, experience school life on the low.
I didn’t consider my self for two seconds as naive, given the surroundings of my growing up, the kind of mother I had, I knew a lot about men and their tricky ways, but when Bayo told me I was beautiful, I knew he was lying just to get laid, but I believed it anyway.
To him, everything came easy – women,money and all the good stuff. So,when i didn’t play into those lines,he thought I was just being difficult, abi hard to get sef. You see,I’m not proud, I was not even beautiful, I just believed that women needed to be wooed. For someone like bayo who was used to getting girls with just a hello, it made no sense. Call me old fashioned, but I believed – still believe in dates, visits,morning calls ‘just to hear your voice’,long romantic text messages and all that 19th century stuff.
He was the type to say, “Mumsi brought soup o, it’s in the fridge. Are you coming to make eba?”
No hello, no how are you? Just, come and make eba, whether he’s called you in a week, or a month,regardless. He’d expect you to dress up, hop the nearest Okada and come running. Chivalry died with Bayo.
You see,there are smart girls, and then there’s me. I mean,I knew all these and I still stuck around, color me stupid. Maybe i wanted to be the girl that changed the bad boy, or I just loved the attention that came with being the new fling of a popular boy in school. He took me places, the clubs, the parties outside school – lekki, VGC, everywhere. The first time I knew what Brazilian hair was, he got it for me, he had the money to spend and was surprised i wasn’t one of those girls that came for the money, never asked him for a dime, so he gave me everything.
I loved him, with all his ways. He said he was polygamous in nature so I turned the other way and ignored the rumors even if I knew they were true. He said he was suprised I kept myself, given the history of unilag girls. After we had sex, he acted like I gave him the world – but then, I did infact give him the world i promised mother I would keep till marriage.
He spent more time with me, was more attentive, stopped hanging out with other girls, for a while it was all about me, no mystery calls at night he claimed was his cousin disturbing him. For once, the universe was in my favour. I thought I’d kept him for good. I was a good girl, I was faithful,I did everything he wanted,I was the 100 yards and more. I thought that was enough.
Why does Wahala follow me about? Like, I don’t understand why my query had to come with a salary cut. Everything else is going to landlady – I don’t need her embarrassment in my life.
No money for flexing this month. I don’t even understand my life. Bayo’s divorce better pull through quickly, I need money.
Faweh sef has billed me for her Uber and the ‘stress i caused her this week’. Imagine,she highlighted it in the memo she sent. This girl na wa sef. She cannot just forgive and forget.
My house is dark as I let myself in after the day’s work – had to close after midnight to convince oga I’m taking the job seriously.
This woman has turned off the electricity coming to my apartment,Landlady from hell. I see she plans to frustrate me out of this house, that one is not even possible. Tomorrow, I’ll apply for an advance and pay her off.
The smells wafting from the kitchen is heaven. I wonder if mama decided to surprise me – Han! There’s no money to give her when going back to the village o. She should kuku get ready for Lagos suffering.
I toss my briefcase on the couch and recline to press my phone. Time to catch up on all the jists I missed on Instagram because of work. Aisha Dan-Ali even left me four missed calls and series of messages on whatsapp. Man, no be me cause the divorce na, I’m just a hungry lawyer.
Sha, I’ll handle her later before she settles with Bayo and I lose my meal ticket. Mbok!
The clatter of pots and pans in the kitchen has stopped. I guess food is ready,mama would be surprised to see me back so late, she probably didn’t hear me come in. I begin to hum in anticipation. It’s been long I ate home made food.
“Chike, is that you? I didn’t hear you come in. Imma be a minute! ”
You know how it is when you’re doused cold water on a cold morning? Ice bucket challenge got nothing on how I feel now. First, that is not my mother’s voice. Second, I don’t know who’s in my kitchen by some minutes after midnight.