THE EXCHANGE : Episode 21 – 30


Episode 21

The doctor said I should have felt better after the first three months, so he recommended that I should not do anything stressful.

My Mother-in-law was very helpful…she would always come home to stay with me when Baba T was at work. We had maids and house helps in the house but she would personally make my food, bring it to me then made sure I ate the food in her presence to stay healthy. She treated me like an egg and I started to feel better right around the seventh month. My husband asked if we should go ahead and open the Salon. It had been sitting there for months…I didn’t see why not, so he put things in motion to get it ready.

The Salon was opened on my birthday and it was an eventful ceremony with friends and family…it even made the evening news and I was so happy.

The clientele in the first week alone was almost ten times what I did in a whole month back in Abeokuta. I had people working for me; I had access to all sorts of cars. I even had my own driver… life was good.

When I was 8 months gone, Baba T sprung another surprise…I never knew he was planning for me to have the baby in the United Kingdom. He came home with flight tickets and said we would be travelling that weekend. His mum also came with us; she said she couldn’t miss the birth of her first grandchild.

When we arrived in London, I got to know that Baba T’s family owned a huge house there. On our first night, I got to know that it was the house Baba T lived in while schooling in the UK… he told me stories of his escapades; some of the things that happened in that house. I think he felt he was saying too much because he suddenly changed the topic. When I asked to tell me more about the lady he almost married, he just said “some other time” and started talking about something else. I learnt some new things about him that day because he really spoke about his past with the lady he almost married. He said
something about “getting arrested” and “blood everywhere” but that was when he stopped. I was a little scared and it was as if he read my mind “Don’t worry sweetheart, that’s all in the past…” he said sweetly.

I had the baby about a month and 10 days after we got to the UK. My water broke in the middle of the night then Baba T drove us to the hospital; his mum and I.
It was a baby boy and Baba T was ecstatic, he kept jumping up and down, he couldn’t hide his joy. My mother-in-law was just kissing me and the baby repeatedly. Thanking God and thanking me for making her dream came true. Baba T said he had to make some calls and get some things from home, so he left the hospital and promised to be back shortly.

I did not see Baba T for 3 days… I was really scared and thought something bad had happened to him but his mum kept assuring that everything was fine. She said she already reported to the police and there was a search party looking for him. She kept telling me to remain calm because of the baby, that Baba T would be fine…When he finally showed up, he looked really unkempt and gave a cock-and bull story about where he was for 3 days. I noticed that he came with another guy; his mum knew the guy and thanked him profusely. I also noticed that his mum didn’t talk to him; she did not even look at him. Something smell funny but nobody was saying anything. Baba T reached for the baby, his mum didn’t hand him over. She said he should clean up if he wanted to carry his child. When he had bathed and tidied up, she reluctantly allowed him though she ‘eyeballing’ Baba T all the while. We left the hospital later that evening.

A week later, my mother-in-law said we would be leaving for Nigeria. The tickets had been changed for us because we were supposed to stay in the United Kingdom for another 6 weeks. I was still recuperating and was not happy with decision. She promised that we would come back with the baby, to spend some time but we needed to leave now. I thought maybe Baba T would say something but he didn’t..he had been very quiet since we got back from the hospital. We had not even had any real conversation; he would only come in the room, play with the baby, hold my hand and smile at us.

When we got to Nigeria, my father-in-law was at the airport. He was very happy to see us. He quickly took the baby but when he looked at Baba T, he just shook his head and said ‘how I wish upbringing was all it took to mold a child’s character’. I was surprised by this statement and couldn’t wait to be with Baba T alone so he could help shed more light on what was happening. My father-in-law made Baba T ride with him while we got in another car as we drove to their house.

I had thought we would be going to our house but we ended up at my parents-in-law. Baba T’s dad literally dragged him upstairs and was yelling at him. My mother-in-law must have sensed that i was confused ‘Iru irin kurin wo niyen?(who leaves his family like that?) let his dad deal with him. Who leaves a wife that just delivered and goes away for 3 days? He is married now, he should show that he is a responsible man” my mother-in-law said.

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