THE EXCHANGE : Episode 31 – The End


Episode 34

I had just parked my Lexus Jeep
and about to enter into my Salon when I noticed a Prado Jeep parked next to mine. I couldn’t see the person driving but since it wasn’t a public parking slot, the person in the vehicle must be a customer; what caught my attention was the fact that Prado was very new in Lagos so the owner must be well to do and that would mean good business for me. I walked upstairs to my office to put finishing touches to my schedule. My secretary buzzed to inform me a gentleman wanted to see me, he said he was old friend and a surprise. I was expecting Segun later for lunch so it couldn’t be him and I did not have male friends or any friend for that matter so out of curiosity, I asked her to send him in. I new it couldn’t be BabaT because I had a restraining order against him and my security guards were well paid trained bouncers, all courtesy of Segun. As he walked in, I sreamed as I rushed from behind my office table to hug him; I could never forget that face…It was Tunji.

He was still as handsome as the first time I saw him. I could see a couple of grey hair strands at his temple, which made him look distinguished and more handsome. He said he could tell it was me when he saw me step out of the Jeep but he didn’t want to believe it. He asked when I would be chance so that we could talk, I couldn’t believe he wanted to see me or talk to me and in my excitement, I asked if right now was okay..

I desperately wanted to know what’s been happening to him and to my delight he said it was okay. I told my secretary that she should cancel all my appointments and if anything serious came up she should direct it to Agatha, the representative of the agency overseeing the business. As I stepped out of my office with Tunji, she reminded me that I had a lunch meeting with my lawyer, I had quite forgotten about that so I told her to call him and cancel also because something very important had come up.

We went to the newly opened restaurant on Allen so we could eat and talk. We ordered an early lunch, some drinks in tall glasses with lots of ice. I really did not know what it was but sitting there with Tunji brought a whole lot of thoughts tumbling down into my mind. He was looking so good and I wanted to know all that had happened to him these past years. As I was about to voice out my thoughts, the waiter brought our orders. As we ate, we talked about Abeokuta, I told him about the renovation we had made to the family house though everyone had moved out since all my brothers were now married; I also complained on how I had been trying to get my mum to come leave with me here in Lagos but she had declined. At this point, he laughed and said these old women never wanted to leave their roots.

After we were done with the meal, we retired to the terrace where we could listen to music and talk. I asked him how he found me, he said a little birdie told him, I laughed then asked him to be serious because I remembered how funny he could be when he wanted to; then he said he had been in touch with with brother Dipo all these years and they had remained good friends, he then looked directly into my eyes and said my brother had told him everything that happened to me. For a while, I did not know what to say so he broke the ice by telling me his own story. He told me that he had to leave Abeokuta after our breakup but about a month after he got a job in Ibadan, the Oil Company reached out to him about an opening they believed was suitable for someone with his qualification. He had another brief interview and
got the job; he was sent to Germany for the training. He told me how the breakup made him bitter and resentful to women. He said he drifted through relationships for about three years before he met a lady who helped him to start the
healing process. The lady showed him the path of righteousness and brought him to know Jesus.
He told me how God favored him within the organization and he’s currently the Regional Head of Business Development, West Africa. At that point, I started to cry, as I pleaded with him to forgive me for causing him so much pain but he consoled me and said he already forgave me.

I also opened up and told him all the gory details of my marriage and divorce. I told him how my father in-law stood by me and ensured that I was well taken of and how my mother in-law took me as her daughter and took the necessary steps to keep my children safe from their father. How she helped me get everything my father in-law willed to me and my children. At the end he said destiny can never be changed. He said whenever he looked back his major regrets were the day my mum begged him to give her grandchildren and the day I begged him to marry me; he said his focus was on a better life forgetting that sometimes, it’s better for a man and his wife to start their life together and build their lives together. That was my greatest mistake in our relationship and it took fate to make me see and own up to my faults. He said he would have wanted me to meet his wife and he was sure I would have loved her. I asked when I could meet her but Tunji’s eyes filled with tears as he told me she passed on 2 years ago. His wife had cancer and they battled with it for 2 years before she finally gave up. They had no children because she couldn’t get pregnant with all the trauma her body was going through. At this time, Tunji was crying and I cried with him, life was so unfair. He said he would be travelling to Ghana immediately after Christmas but I told I was travelling to London that day to see my children and I would return by the end of January after my birthday and the birthday of my daughter Oluwafunmike. We promised to keep in touch and we will see each other again when I return home to Nigeria so he dropped me at the Salon, where we exchanged phone number, watched me get into my car and blew me a kiss. My heart almost stopped beating as I thought “Tunji still cared for me?” I left for London with high hopes and joy in my heart…..

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