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More headache!

– the funloving, but hardworking single parent

By Treena Kwenta
Hi readers! Sometimes I can’t understand myself. Ade, Tayo’s ex toy-boy has never been one of my favourite persons. He’s always known this, just like everyone in my circle, including Tayo herself. My resentful feelings towards him has always been open.

Yet, after he took his leave of Liz and me that Sunday, I felt so saddened by his wretched and dejected look and misery, that for a mad minute I toyed with the idea of reconciling him with Tayo. Silly romantic me! I always long for a loving ending for those who are in love.

“Careful there!” cautioned Liz, when I sounded her out on the idea, as we were being driven back to the guest house. “I feel sorry for Ade because he’s fallen on hard times, but let’s not get carried away by that and decide to bring him and Tayo together again.”

“I see your point, but they loved each other, yes?”

“In the past, yes, they did love each other very much. I suspect that love has not totally died down on either part, but if they’ve lived without each other for several years now. it means they can stay parted forever.”

“Sure, but will it be the right thing, Liz dear? Look at how Ade has aged prematurely! His clothes were threadbare too. He can easily be counted among the poor, and the down and out.”

“I don’t think so. He’s still riding a car.”

“A battered one! Can you imagine him going near such an ugly jalopy when he and Tayo were an item? God forbid. She ensured that he not only wore the best outfits available, he rode the best cars in town. She kept him in luxury. I’m sure Tayo would weep if she were to see the Ade that we saw today.”

“I don’t think she would weep. The guy, his wife and ex-wife milked poor Tayo dry!   You know all the malpractice they were engaged in, on both farms. Being in love with him then, she was extremely patient and allowed them to get away with all that rubbish, which almost ruined her financially.”

“She said Ade wasn’t cheating her, but his people were.”

“Same thing. He was the one who provided those his dependants with the opportunity to defraud Tayo, the lady he claimed was the love of his life, for so long.   His people would pocket the money from the sale of farm and poultry products, and he would travel down to Lagos to get money from Tayo to pay the workers; many of whom were his own people too. Talk of double cheating.”

“I know. Luckily, mama came along with Tayo to sort things out and Peter was available to take over and turn the business around.”

“Also, have you forgotten the row Ade kicked when Tayo wanted to sell the Offa farm? He was bent on buying it, for free!   I’ve never heard of such a transaction. He told Tayo that he was entitled to it since he had been managing it for so long. He didn’t talk of the non-profitability. He said it was a question of honour as the community where the farm was sited had come to know him as the owner. How can you claim another person’s property and business simply because you were sleeping with her? Was she buying his wretched body or what? He kept insisting that he the business was rightly his.”

“Really? What nonsense! I wasn’t aware of all that.”

“He said that and more. Peter had to get a lawyer to write to him to keep his distance from the business, otherwise he would be disgraced with prosecution. That was what stopped the fellow. Don’t waste your emotions on him. He isn’t worth it.”

“I believe you’re right, Liz dear. For all we know, he probably trailed us today so that he could tell us of his plight, and we would be moved to pleading with Tayo to take him back.”

“Would any woman want him in the state he is in at present?”

“Well, some might. His looks aren’t too bad and if a woman is desperate for a man, to marry as a second wife and have his children, she could …”

“But his pocket is empty. Treena dear. No lady these days wants a liability of a man, especially a married man who hasn’t a kobo.   I think we should leave Ade to take his punishment calmly. He probably deserves it. If he had managed his finances well while the going between him and Tayo was great, he would be a rich man today. She helped him build his house here in Ilorin, and buy the middle-income one in Isolo.”

“Ah, hasn’t he sold all those to meet his financial obligations? He must have by now.”

“Maybe. However, if he’s still able to keep his nine children, a wife, and an ex-wife, then life’s not so bad for him. If he didn’t allow himself to carry such a weight, he would be living a passably comfortable life. He’s an experienced accountant, for goodness’ sake. He’s a foolish man. His three graduate children can go all out to get themselves temporary jobs, even if it isn’t in their line. There are all sorts of things that young graduates can do to earn legitimate money until they hit the big times! Two of my kids did that for a while.”

“And why should Ade be keeping his ex-wife?”

“Exactly! They’re divorced, according to him.So, why is she still one of his dependants?”

“Maybe it’s to compensate her for not re-marrying.” I suggested.

“Of what use is her single status to him?”

“You don’t know these men. They may still be sleeping together. That’s the bond. Otherwise, once he takes care of his kids by her, he shouldn’t feel obliged to do more. Also, it seems this sort of attitude is acceptable to some men. Didn’t Shola tell us that he still takes financial care of his children who are married?”

“Yes. Not only that, he takes care of their mothers too, who he never married. They think that if you live and work in Lagos, you’re wallowing in money and wealth. See how they came to beat Shola up just because his first son’s wedding is more lavish than the ones they had! An abomination! I’m sure they knew that he didn’t fund everything. Hey, do you think Shola is really held in the bondage of endless womanizing?”

“He definitely is, if after his terrible ordeal, and while still in bandages and pain, he’s expressing interest in the nurse at the guest house. He needs serious deliverance. No kidding. I shall speak to Ify and Joe about it. He’s a nice person. I feel concerned about his reckless love life.”

Liz snorted, but said nothing.

As we alighted from the bus at the guest house, we heard the sound of praise and worship coming from the garden. We headed for the garden. Chairs had been arranged in a semi-circle and a table with two chairs were placed in front. There was a large Bible on the table and Becky had her head bent in prayer while Boma was leading the praise worship. That meant Becky was shortly going to give a sermon.

“This is something!” whispered Liz. “Shall we join? All the seats are taken, though.”

“I can’t join in the state I’m in! I’m starving!   Of what use is praise worship when one’s stomach is rumbling? God will understand.   I’ll just nip over to the restaurant and get fed.   If they’re still here when I’m done, then I’ll happily join the throng.”

“I’m hungry too. Pity to miss this, but then, we’ve attended Mass already, so one shouldn’t feel guilty.”

“Exactly!” I said as I began to head for the restaurant.

We weren’t the only ones having a late breakfast. Tayo and Shola were at a table, ending their meal. Tayo looked relaxed, her eyes lit up when she saw us. Shola looked sober and pensive. We went over to greet them, then sat at an adjacent table. Tayo left us alone until we were through with our food.

“Hey, my dears!” she called out, as we sipped our coffee. “Hope you prayed for me at Mass.”

“Of course,” I told her. “We prayed for everyone, especially Shola.”

“Oh thanks. I do feel better today, but a big problem has cropped up.”

“Oh no!” said Liz. “Not so soon! You haven’t got Risi pregnant, have you?”

“No,” answered Tayo. “I’ve just told him that Risi is Ade’s first daughter, by his ex-wife.”

I was so startled that I dropped my coffee cup. A waiter rushed forward with a brush and pan.

“I got the information early this morning from one of the workers, so, I rang Shola up and told him to get the girl off my premises at once. I don’t want anything that will link Ade with a property of mine.”

“Tayo, you spoilsport!” I accused her jokingly. “So, you interrupted their sleep; leaving Shola alone in a cold bed. How did she take it?” I asked Shola. He mumbled something.

“Well, at least he hasn’t got her pregnant,” said Liz. “That reduces the problem. So. she’s Ade’s daughter? Wao! Shola, didn’t you know?”

“At all. One doesn’t go asking a girl who the parents are just like that. I’ve only just met her. I was hanging around a hostel, and I saw her. She appealed to me and we took off from there.”

“How old is the relationship?” Liz asked.

‘Two months or so. Since I began coming down here for the wedding preparations. There’s been no time to find out about her background.”

See Shola? And the girl’s been warming his bed and dancing after him. Also, he had told us he might marry her. It didn’t occur to him to research a girl he may marry. Apparently, he was interested in only one thing, isn’t it?

Tara.


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