DUNNI has been a sort of little â€˜brotherâ€™ for years now and he freely comes to me any time he wants any advice. Not that much was happening in his life, not for a long time at least.
An only child, he schooled in Britain and only came home when his mum had a mild stroke and could no longer run the family furniture business. His dad had passed on long before then and he confessed he couldnâ€™t cope. â€œIâ€™m not the businessman typeâ€, he moaned the first time he discussed the business with me.
â€œIâ€™ve noticed how firm mum deals withÂ the workers but I donâ€™t really have the bottle. For a start, I know little or nothing about the staff, and for another I canâ€™t really be shouting the whole place down when things go wrong. Iâ€™m not the aggressive type.â€
I told him to keep his ears on the ground, look for one or two allies amongst the staff and tap their brain. It seemed to work for a while until one of the â€˜alliesâ€™ started giving him the eye. Handsome is hardly a word to describe Dunni, but he is intelligent and kind.
In his early thirties, he could count the number of girlfriends heâ€™s had on the finger of his right hand. His idea of a wild night was having a good meal at a decent restaurant and topping that up with choice wine. So when he started going out with Fareedah, his mumâ€™s personal assistant, I was happy for him. When he brought her to the house however, my enthusiasm dipped.
The girl was very pretty and extremely extroverted. She was considerably younger too. What would she want with drab Dunni when she could have her pick of men? But then, I chided myself, she could have had her heartbroken by a few cassanovas and wanted to give Mr. Nice Man a chance. Dunni admitted he was a bit wary of falling in love with her when we next met.
â€œBut she is very caring auntie C,â€ he said â€œYou know I didnâ€™t have that much experience with dating women but sheâ€™d since taken care of that. The shyness I usually feel when I was near women disappeared when I went out with her the first time and she kissed me, I could hardly contain myself.
As a result, our first experience at lovemaking was almost disastrous, I had no confidence because it had been such a long time I was with a woman that it was over almost before it started. But she was patient with me and the next time was better. Now we have the sort of sex Iâ€™d only ever dreamt of…â€
When I asked if heâ€™d met any of her friends and family he/told me her parents were dead. â€œIâ€™ve met her friends and they are really nice.â€ he assured me. â€œIf they thought it was odd she was pretty and younger, they didnâ€™t show it.
Anyway, Iâ€™ve changed so much since I met her. Sheâ€™s overhauled my wardrobe and made me buy a sexier car. I might be shy and not good at socializing but sheâ€™s bringing the best out of me. Mum is my problem really. She thinks she could have her pick of men, so why would she want me if not for the family fortune?
She resents the idea that I buy her expensive presents and wasnâ€™t very happy when we both travelled out to Dubai, But I can afford all these things.
The girl has given me much more than I could hope and mum needs to really look at me to see how happy I really am. Can you have a word with her aunty C? Tell her to leave me alone and concentrate on getting better.â€
When I eventually had time to talk to Dunniâ€™s mum, she told me she employed Fareedah because she was a go-getter. â€œShe had ways of coaxing late payments from difficult customers. I didnâ€™t ask questions as to how she did it so successfully, but your guess is as good as mine.
Now she has her claws into my son. She knows how much the business is worth and sheâ€™s happy helping him spend the money. Just look at all the expensive things she now has! Even the smart car she talked Dunni into buying is driven by her most of the time as he hasnâ€™t really gotten used to driving on Lagos roads.
Sure, sheâ€™s brought out the best in my son and heâ€™s besotted with her, but would she have so much patients with a pauperâ€™s son?â€ I told her to leave them be and let time take its course. â€œTime is what I havenâ€™t got,â€ she snapped.
â€œWhat if she gets pregnant and he wants to marry her? What if IÂ even died before all that happened? Sheâ€™s not the type of woman I want as a daughter-in-law.â€ I reminded her of the fact that her son was not a little boy. He didnâ€™t need his consent to marry anybody.
Dunni could do worse than what he has now and she should just pray and leave the rest to fate! Not long after, her worst nightmare came true. Fareedah was pregnant. Dunni was ecstatic but his mother wasnâ€™t.
What if the pregnancy wasnâ€™t his sonâ€™s? But that didnâ€™t stop the couple from having a show-stopping wedding.
â€œSensing her new mother-in-lawâ€™s hostility, Fareedah refused to live with her until I pleaded with her to give the poor woman a chance.
They both tolerated each other until she had a beautiful son. When I visited, Dunniâ€™s mother wouldnâ€™t have her grandchild out of her sight. â€˜Heâ€™s an image of his granddad,â€™ she gushed. She said she didnâ€™t give a hoot if Fareedah was bunking the whole estate – the gift of a grandson has more than made up for her shortcomings!
And I was pleased for Fareedah. I mean, how lucky can one person get? At the wedding, you could see the few members of her family that attended werenâ€™t actually rolling of the laps of luxury.
Now sheâ€™s been transformed into the upper crust just because of a simple ceremony that cost her nothing but her sharp brain! And sheâ€™s done nothing new.
Women have always married for moneyÂ and now men are joining in. A few weeks ago, a friend moaned that her son had turned into an errand boy for his wife of five years.
â€œHe helps with the two children of the marriage,â€ she fumed, â€œtheir two children seem to prefer he takes care of them. His bird-brain wife canâ€™t cook to save her life. But my son says he enjoys cooking.