Going to a university wasn’t about the good grades, it also required money which we didn’t have. My 10,000# naira monthly pay as a sales girl was not enough to feed and pay our bills talkless of going to a university. I implored my father to let me look for my mom or his family members, maybe they would be able to assist me. But he vehemently refused. What was I to do?
The camel’s back broke the day I saw my dad at the corner of a bustop begging alms. I wept. I wasn’t supposed to see him because that’s not my route home, but my oga sent me on an errand which required me to go to that place. I wept profusely as I wheeled him back home against his will. I had forgot my Oga’s errand. I quizzed him when we got home.
“Daddy mi ki le n see nibeyen?” ( Daddy what were you doing there?”)
“Mo fe ki o lo school. Mi o fe ki o da bi emi abi iya e. Tori e ni” (I want you to be educated. I don’t want you to be like me or your mom. That’s why)
I made up my mind to do what I had to do. Either I go to school or not, I vowed never to let my father suffer for me again. I couldn’t go back to my sales girl job as my boss sacked me because I didn’t go on the errand he sent me the day I saw Daddy at the bus stop.
I went to meet Broda Mojeed my Dad’s partner at the former mechanic workshop. He was able to get another workshop in another part of town. He agreed to help me but I have to prove how much I needed the money…the rest is history.
Broda mojeed seemed to have gotten tired of me or maybe he didn’t have more money. So I met Alhaji. He was into the bureau de change business and was ready to spend money on me. I agreed and we started a relationship which really flourished until his death along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway on his way back to Lagos from the Sallah festivity. I had to find another person to help with my predicament. Daddy started suspecting that I was using my body to get money but I continually told him that I have a better job with a generous boss. He would nod his head in disbelief constantly telling me “Bimpe, rora o. So Ara e o. Ile nyo” (Bimpe be careful. Watch yourself. The ground is slippery” When he asked how far with my plans for school, I told him that since I could not go and write the other exam in Ife which made me lose out, I’ll rewrite it again.
Then I met Broda Tunde. Elderly but loving and caring. He treated me like his own daughter and met my needs. I knew he was married but I didn’t care. Marriage was the last thing on my mind. All that I was doing is majorly because of my Daddy. He said I should call him Tunde but it took a while before i could do that. He was really crazy about me and took me to different parties with him. I felt pampered and grateful to him. Infact I became so used to him that I stopped using a condom or contraceptives.
“When you go tell am?”
“Tell who what?”
“Tell this your knew mugu about your Belle”
“Which Belle? You well so Clara?”
“Ok o. Sha go test yourself”
I told Tunde about my pregnancy. He was surprisingly elated. He wanted me to keep it and promised to take care of the baby, myself and my Daddy. I was shocked at what my life was turning out to become at 18 years. I couldn’t bring myself to telling my dad but he kept asking me questions about changes in my body and life. He used proverbs on the rare occasions that he talked to me.
“So ibi ni omo osi to fun loyun ngbe? O ro pe mi o ni mu e? Asewo! Bo si ita” (So this is where the useless girl you impregnated is living. You thought I would not catch you? Asewo! Come out)
My Dad wondered who was screaming outside the compound. I wasn’t really bothered. I was waiting for Tunde’s call. He wanted to take me to see the apartment that he got for me. I offered to go and check who was screaming down the house. And lo and behold it was Tunde’s wife. Apparently she followed him to my house unnoticed and decided to meet who was occupying her husband body and cash. She shouted at me and called me names. When I couldn’t take the insult anymore I opened my mouth and rained abuses on her too. It was this rain of abuse that led my Dad out into the compound.
“Bimpe kilosele?” (Bimpe what is the matter?)
I am 6 months pregnant for my mother’s fifth husband. Tunde said she is just a figure head in his house as the child she had for him died years ago. He claimed to love me. My father has refused to talk to me. He cries and wishes for death daily. My mother has left Tunde’s house. And everyone claps over my head calling a wayward girl.
What were my options?