THE EXCHANGE : 11 – 20


Episode 17

When Tunji & I got home, my mum tried to encourage him “W?n ká ?ní w?n ni, ?l?run á t? Rug (they merely removed a mat, God can replace it with a luxury carpet)” my mum told him. She also added that Tunji did not need to get a job at an Oil company to start living his life.
She told him stories of people that did not start moving forward in life until they got married. It was as if their marriages opened doors that were hitherto shut. She spoke consoling words to him until Tunji managed to pull himself together. We sat outside for a while talking until he finally left for home. Some days later Tunji decided he had to go see his friend in Ibadan about another job; he said he would be back in about a week’s time.

My mum was getting really suspicious of my morning sickness but luckily for me, Laide & Baba T came over that weekend. I was in the room when my mum called my name & said I had visitors.
Baba T really looked like someone who was recuperating… I greeted them but he went for a hug & said he had missed me. He talked a little about his medical emergency & why he had to travel but did not give details. He said he had been dying to see me & Laide also said there’s an important issue that we needed to talk about.
I told him we couldn’t discuss it there & he advised we could go somewhere to talk.
I didn’t want to leave the house so we chose to sit & talk in the car. Laide went inside to meet my mum while we stepped outside to talk. I didn’t mince words at all, I just told him I was pregnant. He looked at me like someone who had just won a jackpot & smiled. He quickly put his arms around me & said I had just given him the best news.
He told me he decided on his medical trip that he would ask me to marry him the moment he got back…and was hoping I would say yes. He started to promise all sorts & how he would take good care of me & ensure I do not regret carrying his child.
I told him it didn’t feel right & I was not sure of what to say or do because of Tunji.
“Give me some time to figure this out; I can’t just leave Tunji like that. Not this way… nobody does that” Baba T agreed but said “the pampering had begun” & that I would hear from him soon. He also said he would have to tell his
mum. We went back inside & he tried to make small talk with my mum but she only giving him mono syllable answers; after a while, he left with Laide.

After they left, my mum came to the sitting room & asked if I was pregnant… I didn’t answer, I just stared at the floor.
“I’m a mother, I’m your mother… I have watched your malaria for some days but now I have come to conclusion when ur visitors came. You are pregnant
for the Lagos boy abi? This has been your dilemma since you returned from Lagos…tell me I’m lying” my mum said. I was now looking at her but couldn’t still say a word.
“Kò dáa o (it’s not fair o)…what are you going to do about Tunji? ”
“I warned you when this started…olójú kòkòrò ni ? (you are a greedy person)” my mum just went all out to show her dissatisfaction at the turn of events.
I started to cry & her motherly love wouldn’t let her scold me any further. She held me & cried with me. She assured me that we would find a way to resolve this. I now
tried to explain how it all happened & she told me not to worry. She said ab0rtion was not an option; we would just have to find a way to break it to Tunji & not break him in the process. “Rírò ni t’ènìyàn,a j? pé b’?l?run se f? nìy?n(Man proposes, God disposes…this must be how God wants it)” my mum said & she started asking me about the pregnancy & how I was doing. She also asked what Baba T was planning to do…I told her he was asking me to marry him.
“T’?l? n’k?? (Does he have a choice?) If he’s man enough to cause the trouble he must be man enough to handle it.”

We were still working on what to tell Tunji when he returned but Baba T showed up two days after his visit with Laide..He said his mum was outside. So I stepped out to welcome her. It was more of an entourage. They must have come in like 5 or 6 cars because they brought gifts & things that made it look like they came for a traditional engagement ceremony. I noticed a brand new car(a 1982 subaru GL) the only person in it was the driver. Baba T’s mum almost swelled me as she hugged me & kept showering prayers on me. “Emi lo se yi fun tan?(you considered me worthy of such a wonderful gift?) waa gba dun mi(you will be glad you did this for me). Don’t worry o.. You know I have always considered you as my daughter, & Babatunde’s dad feels the same, your husband is our only child & now you have added to our joy. Anything you need, just let us know” Baba T’s mum said. I was too dumbfounded to reply or respond. She said her husband was out of the country but she already called to inform him & he was very glad. She said couldn’t wait for him to return because she didn’t know what I would be going through, that was why she made sure they came over to see us as soon as possible. She curtsied to greet my mom, while my mom did likewise as it’s the tradition of the Yorubas; she said they would have come the day before, but they had to get some things as they couldn’t come to their ‘in-laws’ empty-handed. My mum welcomed them into our house & Baba T’s mum was obviously very happy with the turn of events, her joy could not be contained. She hugged my mum & called her ‘Ana mi'(my in-law) as she sat beside her on the small sofa, not minding how shabby our parlour must have seemed to her. She just went on thanking her for having raised me properly, holding unto my mom’s hand as she talked earnestly…..

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