“I am going in to the office” I hear in a hushed tone whispered into my ears and I know it is Tunji. With my eyes closed, I give a grumpy response saying “Ok. Have a good day”.
It’s around 10am when I finally wake up and I don’t remember the last time I slept in this late. You would think I should feel more refreshed with over 12 hours of sleep, instead I feel much worse than I felt yesterday – jaded to the bone. First I smell something good and then I hear her voice – it is my mother is shouting at Hauwa, her longest-serving maid but I cannot make out what exactly she is shouting about. I get out of bed and head downstairs to join them.
I go on my knees and say “ekaaro ma, e se ana ma”. “Good morning to you too. We thank God. I hope you are feeling much better, pele Omo mi” my mum replies. “I am a little tired but we thank God”I say. “Why don’t you have breakfast, take your medicine and then you can go back upstairs to rest” she says. After a steaming plate of moi-moi and pap, I take my medicine and head to my bedroom to get some rest.
“Wonu” I hear my mum call. I open my eyes and sit up to find her sitting next to her. I look at the desk clock beside me and Wow!, it’s already 4pm. It did not feel like I was asleep for that long. My mum signals for Hauwa, who is standing behind her, to set the tray of food she is carrying on my duvet clad thighs. She does this and then leaves my room. I lift up the lid to find a bowl of boiled plantain sliced in small pieces into a bowl of goat meat pepper soup – my favorite food in the world. “Thank you mummy” I say and she replies telling me to eat whilst she seats watching me. Mid way through my meal she says “Wonu, I need to talk to you”.
“Se ko si”I say
“Nothing really. It’s about Dapo. His mother called me.” she says and I know there is no way my mum knows what really happened between us else she would be angry not apologising on his behalf. “you know these men, they can be very silly at times and they mature much slower than we women. So irrespective of what he did, you should forgive him. Please my dear. His mother said that you have refused to see him and so he can explain himself, just let him see you” she says.
“Mummy, it hurts me so much that you would intervene in my relationship with Dapo and it hurts even more that you would ask me to forgive him. Mummy, e ma se mi” I say
“Ok, ma binu, lets stop talking about Dapo so you can eat your food. That reminds me your dad and brother want to talk to you. They both called but your phone is switched off and so it didn’t go through.” she says
“I turned it off because I did not want anyone to disturb me but I will turn it on later and give both of them a call back” I say and then I continue eating my food.
When I am done, my mum calls for Hauwa to take the tray away. “I have cooked some sweet potato porridge for you and Tunji for dinner. Tunji is on his way home. Make sure you get enough rest and I will come back to see you tomorrow”my mum says and I am secretly glad that she will be back tomorrow. I see her off to the car and then tip Hauwa with a sum of two thousand naira for her efforts.
It’s Sunday, I feel 200% and I return to work tomorrow, the world could not be more perfect now- except for my broken heart. Tunji and I are on the way to lunch with our parents at my parent’s house. Kabiyesi, my father, has expressed his desire to see his beautiful daughter, Wonu, today and that makes me very happy. We arrive at my parent a couple of minutes past 1 and so Tunji and I help my mum and his mum get the table ready.
I go up to my mum’s room to grab her phone per her request. I open the door and walk in to the room and guess who is sitting on the stool by my mum’s dresser – Dapo. My heart skips, I have not seen him in four days and I realise that I have missed him but my anger over shadows that. I turn around to go back to the door and he reaches out and grabs me . “Please Wonu, give me a chance to explain myself” he says on his knees. I rid myself of him and go straight to the door but when I try to open the door, I find its locked and I smile to myself. “what is the meaning of this?” I ask looking in his direction.
“I will open the door to let you out after you might have listened to all I have to say”he says
“YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEMAND ANYTHING FROM ME” I yell and before I can stop myself, I start to cry.”You…..hurt …… me …..Dapo” I say in between sobs and raise my hands to cover my face. He walks over to me and removes my hand and walks me over to the bed for me to sit.
“I am sorry for everything I did to hurt you, Wonu” he says on his knees. “the baby is not mine, she lied. I took a DNA test on Wednesday and the baby is not mine” he says looking intently into my eyes as I stare at him crying.
I stopped crying to take a brief pause to digest all he said. The tears dry on my face and after a couple of minutes he says “Wonu, please say something. I can show you the test if you want proof. But please, stop being mad at me. I have gone crazy these past few days. It is the longest I have gone without talking to you in about 4 years”
After a couple of minutes, I finally speak”But you thought the baby was yours initially, why? and who is she by the way”.
“I don’t know her real name, I know her as Sandra. Do you remember that night when you told me about your celibacy and I stormed out angry? I picked her up on my way home”he says looking down at everywhere but at me. “I was drunk and angry that night Wonu. Please forgive me. I promise you that I have taken this celibacy journey with you since that day. I am so sorry I hurt you. I have never deserved you and now I truly know it, but please prove to me that you are a much better person than I am by forgiving me” he says.
I laugh and even when I felt like stopping the confused look on his face kept me going.”better person? I don’t mind being the same person as you” he opens his mouth like he is about to speak but I shut him up saying “Wait! what would have happened if the child was actually yours?, how am I meant to trust you again?, how do I know that you will not go cheating on me again the next time you are angry, drunk and horny? Now that I have heard all you have to say can I have the keys”
Dumbfounded, he brings the key out of his pocket and hands it to me. Immediately, I take the keys from him, run out of the my mum’s room and into mine. I lock the door behind me and grab my phone out of my bag. I text Tunji to come upstairs to my room and to call me as soon as he is at the door. He does exactly as he is told, I open the door and lock it behind him again. I sit on the bed and he sits beside me and then I start to rant ,to him, how I really feel.
“I think you still love him but you don’t think you should forgive him for what he has done”he says when he is done. I think about it for a while and then I say “You know what, I think you are right but I need him to see that what he has done is unacceptable. If I take that kind of behavior from him now, I have to be ready to take the same or worse if I get married to him. And then, how am I meant to trust him after this?”. “You are right and you will have to make him work hard to earn your trust. Pause on loving him till he proves he is trustworthy because there is no love without trust. I will say give him another chance and let him earn it”Tunji says. “I have a plan”I think to myself and we go down to lunch to find Dapo is gone but his parents are joining us.
“I have a text from Dapo…..Should I open it or ignore it” I say to Tunji in the car on our way home, it is the first opportunity I have had to check my phone since we got to my parents. “whatever you want”he says to me. I decide to open it and I read it content and it says;
‘I am glad I had a chance to explain myself to you today but I have one more request(you made it clear already that I don’t deserve to take anything from you again but I beg you with our four-year old friendship and one year plus relationship to please give me an answer). Please let me know if you still have any feelings for me, if there is still a chance that we can make this work’
I read the text again as soon as I tuck myself in bed. I am glad that Tunji is sleeping in the guest room so he does not see how happy this text makes me. I type out my first reply,’yes’, but then I decide against it remembering my plan to make him work hard to get me back. So I go with ‘maybe’ and then I send it. Almost immediately, I get a text from him saying;
‘That is good enough for me. I love you very much and I will make it my mission to show you just how much from today. As for answers for your questions from earlier, how about the following; 1. If that child was mine, I would have accepted responsibility for it but it would not change how much I LOVE YOU. 2. You will trust me again, I will show you just how much I deserve it because I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH. 3. I have learnt my lesson, I promise you anger, drunkenness and horny are three things I will never experience at the same time again besides I LOVE YOU and I plan to keep my promise to be celibate till we get married(oh yes, I will find a more perfect time to ask after I prove 1 & 2 above to you).
How am I meant to stay mad at him when he says things like this.
Oladapo (Dapo) – A Nigerian Name that means- a mix of wealth
Tunji (Babatunji) – A Nigerian name that means – Father has returned
‘ekaaro ma, e se ana ma’ – Good morning ma, thank you for yesterday.
‘pele omo mi’ – Sorry(take care) my child
‘e ma se mi’ – Don’t upset me
‘ma binu’ – Don’t get angry – an appology
Kabiyesi – Literal meaning is Unquestionable used to refer to a King