THE EXCHANGE : Episode 31 – The End

THE EXCHANGE

Episode 31

The next morning, we reconvened at my late father in-law’s house for the reading of the will. I went with my aunt and one of brother Dipo’s lawyers friend, because brother Dipo was advised to stay away from BabaT because of their last encounter. The meeting was scheduled for 11am and we were all seated waiting for BabaT who walked in arrogantly at 11.30 in the company of 4 lawyers. He walked straight to his mum, greeted her but ignored everyone else. His team of lawyers sat beside him. The family lawyers began the proceedings by asking everyone present to introduce themselves, which we all did. When my lawyer introduced himself BabaT turned to looked at me with glassy eyes then turned away, a wicked smile playing on his lips. The family lawyer began to read the will. My mother in-law’s inheritance was the first to be read: all my father in-law’s stocks and bonds were left to her, with the houses in London and Nigeria. Then Babatunde was given the company and cars with the exception of the Mercedes Benz Jeep, the Lexus Jeep and the Toyota Camry, were exempted. I could see the arrogant look on BabaT’s face change to a frown and that gave me a little bit of pleasure, but when the lawyer called my name, he erupted: she’s not one of the family so what’s her business with the family? But his lawyers calmed him down, then the family lawyer continued. My Salon and every account or monies associated with it was mine, the house in Opebi is mine then BabaT erupted again, “why should my father give her a house?” He turned to his mother, “mum?” His mother looked at him calmly “because you became physically abusive”. His mum retorted. His lawyer whisper something to him and he became quiet but uncomfortable in his seat; he glared at me, his eyes red with fury but I just looked away from him. The lawyer continued the Lexus Jeep, Toyota Camry car and 10 million Naira in fixed deposit belonged to me. By this time, BabaT was on his feet, dashing towards me in burning fury but his lawyers quickly dashed after him and grabbed him before he could get to me; the rest of the team of family lawyers were also on their feet to apprehend him. His lawyers practically dragged him back to his seat to hold him down. There was a wild look in his eyes which reminded me of when he was looking for his drugs; for a moment I was afraid then I realised that everyone in the room would protect me and I was thankful that brother Dipo had not come. By the time the final part of the will was read, BabaT was just there with us in body but in his mind he was somewhere else. The Mercedes Benz Jeep was given to my mother in-law while every other property: 2 houses and 50 million Naira in fixed deposit, 30 million education trust fund were left for the children. The staff were all handsomely paid. When the family lawyer was done, he gave each benefactor a copy of the will and asked to take his leave. My mother in-law thanked them and said if their attention was needed they will be alerted.

Immediately after the lawyers left, BabaT left with his lawyers without saying goodbye to his mum. My aunt hugged her friend and thanked her for standing by me. “Our friendship will not end this way” she continued, “we will live to enjoy our grandchildren and see them becoming great, in the Name of Jesus,”she prayed. My lawyer took his leave so as to report to my brothers; Kola and Dipo. He had recorded everything that happened with the consent of the other lawyers but he needed it as evidence in case there was a divorce or custody battle in court.

After he left, we were served a huge lunch and refreshments after the lunch. My aunt commended my mother in-law because she was looking much better and I agreed with her. My mother in-law congratulated me for winning phase one of the battle, tomorrow, we are going into phase two. She turned to me and asked what I wanted to do about my marriage… “divorce ni o” my aunt was quick to say but my mother in-law said I should say it with my mouth so that tomorrow, I won’t accuse anyone for destroying your marriage so I said I wanted a divorce. She said good, the lawyers will serve BabaT first thing on Monday morning but she wanted a quietly dissolution in the Chief Judge’s office on Tuesday. It was like the sweetest music in my ears though I still dreaded the thought of giving up my children. My mother in-law said she had a lovely surprise for me; I was expecting one of her expensive gifts but when the maid came with the surprise my eyes were filled with tears. Olufunke screamed mummy, mummy as she jumped on my laps, Ayodeji also ran to me and held unto me to as if I was going to disappear again while Ayomide walked up to me looking sad; “what’s the matter” I asked him, he said “daddy said you did not want us so you have left us. “I looked at him, my eyes wide with tears now running down my face. “You children are my life”, I told him as I hugged the three of them but Ayomide I continued I am leaving your dad because we have been fighting and he beats me always. I don’t want to die now. I know he said, I saw him before you ran away with us. We were all shocked by how much these children had been exposed to. My mother in-law said they would be with her until she was ready to return to London and that I was welcome to stay. I said I didn’t come with clothes, she asked “what about all the clothes in the house, who owns them? “I knew she really loved me. My aunt later took her leave. My mother in-law gave me about a dozen new dresses, under wear, some shoes and accessories. She said she wanted me to look my best for next week.

On Sunday morning, we woke early and went to Church with my mother in-law, I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone to Church. I couldn’t thank God enough for His favour and for using my in-laws to be His channel of blessings to me because I would not have been able to fight the battle by myself.

After Service, everyone came around to greet my mother in-law on her recovery after the death of her husband offering prayers and thanking me for caring for her, which my mother in-law amplified by saying “I thank God o! If not for her, my life would have been empty. “Bola’s family and parents were also in Church but his mom just snubbed me and greeted my mother in-law who also responded in an off handed manner.

Today was the first time I’m seeing Laide after I left their house with her mother; she hugged me and whispered in my ear that was a lot to talk about but her mother in-law called her abd reminded her they had an outing so they had to leave. My aunt had come to Church with my brothers, brother Kola’s wife with their son. We all went home together for Sunday lunch…..

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