Written By Temi Akintade
“You cannot get married to Busayo.” Joy hinted. She was currently seated in our sitting room, in my father’s two-bedroom apartment. The one he built before he retired. Mummy loved to call it his only achievement after 35 years of service.
“Why? I love Busayo and he is an honest man.” Busayo was my writer’s boyfriend the one who proposed to me without a ring. He is a sociology graduate who has graduated from the school for the past five years now with nothing to show for it but his dedication to writing and impacting his Facebook fans daily as though he was paid for it.
“Honesty no be wetin you go chop! Babe shine your eyes! Busayo is a nice guy and a fine to run a guy! But Ebube is also a nice guy. You can see that his future is very bright from the kind of job he is doing. He is a Managing director at Dangote and he is paid well. He has two cars and a house what else do you want? Abi you want to be trekking about when you marry that broke writer?” Joy shifted her weight in the leather sofa. She was currently pregnant for her first child after three years of being married to a wealthy Chief she met when we were serving as a youth corner in Enugu State.
“See I know. It’s just that, I feel homely when I’m with Busayo. We are friends and there is nothing I can’t tell him or do with me. But when I’m with Ebube I feel locked up like I’m in the cage, and we hardly even gist, unlike Busayo. Ebube is caring but-” I rose to stand beside the window. I was confused.
“My dear. After school for a woman, the next thing is marriage. That is arithmetic. Now, look at your family situation just look around.” She paused.
I looked around to behold the obvious poverty in my family. Torn leather chairs, dirty brown walls, the small kitchen was nothing to write home about. Loose clothing hanging here and there in the sitting room and that was because my two younger brothers slept in the parlor leaving the room for the girls to have some privacy.
“Do you like what you see?” Joy’s voice pierced into my heart and broke a resolve within me.
“Do you like the fact that your mother slaves herself in her little cassava farm with your retired father? Is that what you want?”
I shook my head. It was as if the veil in my eyes suddenly cleared off. Joy was right. I needed to marry a rich man to help me not a poor man again.
“This is not the kind of life I want,” I replied and sat beside my friend.
“Look, you are a pretty brown-skinned girl. If you end up marrying Busayo. I’m sorry to say, but all these your beauty and lovely curves will all be wasted in poverty. Open your eyes, my friend.” That was the last advice she gave me before she drove out of our compound.
That night, I couldn’t sleep a wink. I kept thinking of what Joy had told me until my head ached.
IMASUEN’S PLIGHT : CHAPTER 1 – THE END
The following day after I closed from the school where I worked as a teacher, I entered a taxi to Kubwa to see Busayo. My heart skipped repeatedly when I approached his house. On getting there, I met him typing on his laptop as usual.
“Babe, you didn’t tell me you were coming today. Guess what?” He grinned.
My heart almost exploded with joy. I thought he must have gotten a contract or a job. “What?”
“The recent story I wrote about. People have been commenting about how God has encountered them through this story. I mean, when God told me to share this story with my viewers, I was in doubt about it at first now look- someone even sent me one thousand naira recharge card to appreciate my effort.” He continued.
But I was less interested in what he was saying. I was angry instead. “I want to ask a question,” I said with all the seriousness in my eyes.
His smile slid off instantly and he faced me fully.
“What if we get married, and you are still writing like this. Are we going to be depending on the recharge card money your fans send to you to feed?”
“What do you mean?” His voice was calm but I was sure that he was pained by my words but I cared less my mind was made up. “Since when did you start speaking this way babe? We both know that I’m a freelance writer and-”
“Freelance writer my foot! Who does writing in Nigeria! Writing doesn’t pay Busayo to look for something else to do! Only lazy people do writing as a full-time job can’t you see? The price of tomatoes is now one thousand five hundred naira the last time I checked. The price of pampers for kids is now three thousand five hundred naira! Get a real job if you want to marry me!” I stamped my feet on the ground and rose to pick my bag.
“Babe please calm down. Okay, I bought you Fanta but I kept it in my neighbour’s fridge. Let me get it for you, then I will buy a plate of the from the woman outside our gate. After which we will sit and talk is that okay?” His voice shook.
“No, it’s not okay. Promise me you will quit writing and get a job as a teacher or something. I don’t want to read poor as my parents please. ” tears rolled down my face.
He held my hand and pressed his lips to mine but I drew away almost as quickly as he did. He was as shocked as I was. He had told me that we wouldn’t even share a kss not have sx until we were married. But now I wasn’t sure if I understood what had just happened.
“Wait! What did you just do Busayo?”
“I’m sorry it was an unplanned kss. I didn’t mean to.”
“Look we are done with this relationship! We were never going to get married anyway.”
He grabbed my hand as I made it to leave.
“Don’t do this to me Imasuen. We’ve been dating for 5 years and you know I have a vision for us. I have a plan.” He begged.
I laughed and wiped my tear-stained face. “What plan? To be a Facebook writer? Joy was right. You have no future Busayo.”
He released my hand as though hit by a thunderbolt. “Imasuen don’t say that! I have a future and I know where I’m headed. It is you who doesn’t have a purpose. All you think about is school then marriage. There is something called the discovery of purpose and you, my dear, need to discover that so stop saying my future isn’t bright or I don’t have one cause I do.” He said.
I shook my head. What rubbish was he even saying? I graduated as a first-class in biology and now here I was working as a teacher in a secondary school.
I should blame the government for that but what was he trying to say about purpose? “It’s clear that all the books you have been reading have turned your thinking upside down.” I hissed and opened his door to leave.
“I accept. But do not ever think that after school is marriage immediately. There is more than you are supposed to know before getting married.”
“You are crazy Busayo. No wonder you didn’t want to get married. Meanwhile, for your information, this relationship is over don’t you ever call my line again!”
I ignored his pleadings and left his house. I was still thinking about our conversation when I got home. Just then, my phone beeped. It was Ebube’s message.
‘I would like you to attend my end of the year dinner with me and spend the new year in my family house.’
It was December 22nd, I had officially ended my five-year-old relationship with my first love.
That same day, I opened my heart to another.
IMASUEN’S PLIGHT : CHAPTER 1 – THE END
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