This is a long one but worth the read.
Bayo was my first love…the very first guy that I gave my heart to. I was raised in a very strict home, boyfriends were not allowed while you were in High School, so I never really dated anyone till I got into the University.I had been warned of the “Jambite’s rush”, this was the slogan then and it meant, returning students (boys) coming all out to get the fresh ones (girls) before they (the girls) would know who was who. It was a common thing to get 5, 7, even a dozen guys asking you out in a single day. It was a Wednesday and I must have had half a dozen “toasters” (guys asking me out on dates)…at this point I was so angry and was being very snobbish because I wasn’t having a good day. I was supposed to sign these course forms with a lecturer. It was a long queue and in the middle of signing the forms, the lecturer got up and left without a word.
We thought he took a break and would soon be back but after two hours of waiting, we realized he had gone for the day. I almost cried and just wanted to go home and pour water on my head…I took an “okada” (commercial motorcycle) in front of the school gate and as the guy pulled out to leave, the motorcycle fell…my clothes were all dirty, my top was torn, I had this cut on my left leg and I just started crying. Some people came over to help, some were laughing, some guys were about to lynch the “okada” rider. I sat on the curb and couldn’t stop the tears from flowing…my mum had warned me earlier, never to take commercial motorcycles because they were unsafe but they were so quick, convenient and they dropped you right in front of your hostel. In the middle of this, I noticed this guy as he pulled over, right next to me and got out of his car…he helped me up and got some sachets of “pure water” to wash my legs and my face. He also told me not to worry about getting another “okada”…that he would drop me off, anywhere I wanted to go. “My name is Bayo…by the way”, he said, as he opened the passenger side door of his car for me to get in. “I’m Bidemi” I responded. “It’s nice to meet you…the ‘not so’ nice circumstance notwithstanding” he said again. There was this sincerity in his eyes and I could tell he genuinely felt for me. I wasn’t in a chatty mood so I just smiled. He dropped me off at my hostel and told me to take care of myself. “See you around” he said as he drove off.I was still sleeping later that evening when I heard a knock on my door…I got up, opened the door and there was Bayo. He smiled and asked how I was doing. “I think I’ll survive and pull through” I replied.
He found a way to bring out the jokes in what had happened to me and we laughed until my tummy was hurting. He was very articulate, eloquent and funny…I didn’t know he had spent four hours in my room. He told me he didn’t really own a car but was driving his dad’s car because his dad had travelled for about a month and didn’t want the car sitting in the garage for that long. “As soon as my old man returns, we’ll be floating okada together…but I promise not to let you fall again, ever” was the last thing he said as he left that night. It was almost 12 midnight; we talked for another half hour or thereabout before he drove away. Something in me just wanted to see him again. He was different from those other annoying guys…he was real.We went from there and we became very good friends. We would talk for hours…we had so much in common and he was such a sweet guy, down to earth and very confident. We talked about our families; he told me how he had lost his mom while in Elementary school and how his dad refused to remarry and had been there for him all along. There were three of them, a sister and an elder brother…I could tell his dad was his hero. He told me how he had learnt devotion, integrity, sacrifice and hard work from his dad. How hard it was when he lost his mom and how his dad was a rock for all of them during those trying periods. He was just so easy to talk to and he had a word of wisdom for every situation. He was such a smart guy…he was a 2nd year student of Geology and he said he hoped to work with an oil company in the future.We never really defined our relationship at first but the feeling was mutual and we loved each other’s company. He was very good in Mathematics and would organize tutorial classes for me and some of the girls in my hostel. They really liked him…I remember this girl in my hostel, Bimpe, she used to call him “a rare combination of good looks, exquisite fashion sense and brains”. We had this break in school then, I think it was a strike by our lecturers and it was on for a couple of months…I had missed Bayo so much. Although he would call me on the landline like every evening. I lived in Ibadan but he lived in Lagos. He paid me a surprise visit after about a month…I was really surprised because we had talked a night before the visit and he never said anything about visiting. This was a guy that had never really been to Ibadan but he was able to find his way. He said he found my address through the Telephone Directory. I introduced him to my sisters (I had told them a lot about him and they were already dying to meet him), he also met my mom but my dad wasn’t home ( I wouldn’t have introduced him to my dad though. “the love no shack me reach that level”).
He brought a bowl of ice cream which gave him the nickname “Ice-cream Guy”. The strike was over and I went back to school…Bayo didn’t come until after a week. Nothing made sense until he came. I had missed and wanted to see him so badly.He came finally; it was on a Tuesday evening. I was in my room when I heard my hostel friends laughing and shouting “won ti de o” (he is here). Before I could get to the door, Bayo was already knocking. I opened the door, saw him and just jumped at him. I broke a lot of rules that day but Bayo was a gentleman, he didn’t go all the way. He said I was letting my emotions cloud my better judgment. I was just too happy to see him and was ready to show it. I almost cried when he was about to leave and he said “I’m here now…will see you tomorrow”. I believe that was how we started dating…we both felt it and went with the flow. We were inseparable and like the best couple on campus. Bayo was either in my room or I was in his…he lived like five kilometers away.
There was a day he looked in my eyes and said “I’ll never hurt you…I’m sure I can’t even try” and that statement melted my heart. He didn’t even have to say it; he had proven it time after time. I threw caution to the wind and broke those rules again but Bayo had more self-control and we ended up not doing “it”.In my 2nd year…middle of 2nd semester, Bayo had travelled home that weekend and on arrival, came straight to my hostel. The look on his face could freeze the sun. He said we had to talk and we went to his house. He told me that his dad had secured admission for him in a school at the United Kingdom and would be travelling very soon. He said it came as a shock to him too because his dad wanted it to be a surprise. I was blank and didn’t know what to say for almost thirty minutes…the thought of Bayo not being there just couldn’t find a place in my head. When I finally opened my mouth to talk, I cried instead. Bayo held me very tight and comforted me…he was crying too. I’m not even sure what happened next but before I knew it, one thing led to the other and we went from holding each other to sleeping with each other. Right there with tears in our eyes, Bayo deflowered me as we held on to each other. It was his first time too…I slept in his house that day. I stared at the ceiling all night…my mind was busy with probabilities and statistics. How could something so perfect be ending right before my eyes? I have heard different stories about boyfriends that traveled abroad, making all the promises in the world, but it was just a matter of time before distance killed the feeling. My eldest sister had had a similar experience…her first boyfriend traveled to the United Stated and promised to come back for her. After a few letters and phone calls, the relationship fizzled out. It was as if Bayo was reading my mind because the next morning, he sat me down and we talked and talked for hours. “You know I love you with all my heart…you know I wouldn’t allow this, if it was within my power…when my dad told me about this, I was more of confused than excited and it’s because of you. As he broke the news, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘us’. I’ll do my best to make this work but if you are scared of waiting, I’ll understand” he said. He went on and on but I didn’t say much. When I got back to my hostel, everyone knew something was wrong. They started asking all sorts of questions…I didn’t even bother answering them. I could only confide in Bukky, my course mate/roommate. She told me to follow my heart but warned me to be cautious.Bayo had three weeks before traveling…we spent it together. It was like spending time with a close relative that was dying from a terminal disease.
It was a blend of joy and sorrow, I enjoyed every moment spent with him but my heart broke with every passing second because it drew me close to the inevitable. Bayo wanted me to come to the airport with him but I couldn’t handle it…I cried for a whole week after he left. By this time, my hostel friends had known what was happening and they were there to support me. Different stories of how love conquers everything including distance…from fictitious to ridiculous. I just nodded along and silently prayed in my heart that God should help me.I got a letter from Bayo in about 3 weeks and it was like a letter from God Himself, hand delivered by an angel…I read it over and over and over again. There were lots of promises and declaration of love in the letter…he also sent his phone number. I called him once in a while through the NITEL payphone on campus. My first day at home, after my 2nd semester exams, Bayo called me and we talked for over 3 hours. It was so nice to hear his voice again…he had a lot of gist for me. How the University system was totally different from the Nigerian system. How he had problems with his Ghanaian roommate who in his words “just couldn’t stand Nigerians and their arrogance”. There was a time that Bayo even sent me gifts (lots of gifts) and cards through a friend that went to the UK for vacationWe went on for about a year, then the frequency of the calls and letters started waning…I would call and get Bayo’s answering machine. I left him messages severally…I’d tell him when I’d be home so he could call but no calls came. It was beginning to look like what my sister experienced but I just didn’t wanna believe that my Bayo could do that. Nine months later, I got a letter from Bayo…he explained why he had been incommunicado and how he had gotten into some kind of trouble and had to sort himself out. He also told me about the electronic mail…that it would make communication easier and how to open an account at a cyber cafe. The e-mail thing made it easy to reach him and once in a while we would even chat on yahoo messenger. There was a day he asked if I was still waiting for him…I was shocked at the question and got very angry; because I had not dated any other guy. I had a lot of guys disturbing me but it was as if Bayo took my heart with him and this was in my final year. I got so angry; I stopped chatting and left the cafe.
He called me that weekend and explained himself…how the trouble he got into wouldn’t let him come to Nigeria anytime soon and how he didn’t wanna make me wait indefinitely. How it was a very hard decision but he didn’t wanna be selfish and how he loved me too much to waste my time and life by making me wait without a clearly defined time frame. He sounded like he was gonna cry as he talked and kept asking if I understood his standpoint. It was as if something sharp pierced my heart…I didn’t have any answer for him. He was on the phone for hours…he talked on and on and I later told him not to worry about it; that I’ll be fine. “If and when I finally come back, I’ll be sure to check if you are taken before I decide on what to do regarding marriage” he said, as I hung up. I didn’t totally get over Bayo…he was that good. I tried dating this guy in my class but the moment he mentioned his plans to travel abroad, I broke up with him. I gave done flimsy excuse and just dumped him. I graduated and proceeded on Youth Service.
I was posted to Rivers State and didn’t really date anybody during the program. I was being very careful…although my mum kept pressuring me. “You’re not getting any younger…if one Bayo will not do, a thousand and one others will” she would tell me. GSM phones had started operations in some parts of Nigeria by the time I was done with my youth service. I was lucky to get a job in Lagos and I moved there. Bayo would call once in a while and we’d catch up. I started attending this Church that introduced me to a different kind of Christianity…we were just nominal Christians in my family but the moral standards were very high . I gave my life to Christ and became a worker at the Church. It was during my workers’ training that I met Seun. He was the president of that class. I noticed his smile because it reminded me of Bayo. He walked up to me after the class and introduced himself…we talked for a while and he asked for my number, which I gladly gave to him. There was this thing about him that made me wanna see him again. He called later that evening and that was it. It was as if, God sent me another Bayo. All the qualities I loved in Bayo was in him, plus some more…a complete gentleman and a genuine child of God. We started dating and I could tell he was serious and knew what he wanted. We courted for about a year and Seun popped the question…it was such a romantic proposal that I just couldn’t say no. He had arranged with my boss (they’re friends) to schedule a fake meeting at a high brow hotel on the island. It was supposed to be a dinner/meeting with some of our big clients so my boss told me to be dressed for the occasion. I had spoken with Seun before leaving for the meeting…I wanted to know where he would be later in the evening. He told me he was headed for the mainland because he had to meet with the president of Working Class Singles (the youth group) at the church. I promised to call him after the meeting. I got to the hotel and as I entered the room for the supposed meeting, I saw my friends, Seun’s friends, my boss, my immediate elder sister, our marriage counselor and some people from the church. They all dressed formal and as I was wondering what was happening, Seun stepped out of another room, went on his knees and asked if I would marry him right in the presence of friends and family. “Yes I will” I responded with tears in my eyes…and the party began. It was a beautiful night and the engagement ring? Wow. Seun had planned a secret/surprise engagement party and had invited all our friends…how he was able to keep this from me kinda baffled me because he never kept any secrets. There’s nothing about his life that he hid from me…even all his past relationships (when he was still a bad boy). I also told him about Bayo but I noticed that anytime I got an SMS or a mail from Bayo (we were still friends) Seun’s countenance changed, so I stopped talking about Bayo altogether. I had also told Bayo about Seun and he would ask about him anytime we talked or in his messages. He even told me he was happy I found love again. We fixed a date for the wedding and we started preparing…about a month to the wedding, I got a message from Bayo that he was coming to Nigeria for about a week and would be in Lagos. I didn’t know what to make of it. So I replied by wishing him a safe trip. A few days later, he asked if he would see me…I thought about this for a while and confided in my sister who told me I could go since we are friends but I should only meet with him at a public place like an eatery or restaurant. I wanted to tell Seun, but his past reactions to anything Bayo discouraged me.
Exactly one week to my wedding, I got back from the bathroom and saw a missed call on my phone. I was still wondering who called, because it was an unknown number, when a text message came in. “Hi Bidemi, I’m around. Got in late last night but didn’t wanna disturb you. E ku ipalemo o…when will I see you? Can’t wait. Love, Bayo”. I was shocked and almost dropped the phone…because I thought Bayo was bluffing all the while. I wasn’t sure of what to do…should I call him? Should I tell Seun? Should I just ignore him till he leaves? I decided to call my sister but her phone was switched off. Bayo called about 3 times again but I didn’t pick up…I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see him. Then he sent two more messages “Bidemi, I’m sorry to barge into your life again…I just want to see you one more time even if it’s the last time. That’s my reason for coming to Nigeria. My family has no idea that I’m around”. “I’m sorry if I hurt you in anyway but I just want to see you one more time…is that too much to ask for?”After reading these messages, my mind went back to how nice Bayo was to me and how sweet and loving he was…besides, I had always said that he took a part of me with him. Maybe it won’t be a bad idea to see him again…I had seen a couple of pictures after he left; but to see him in person again? I had a lot of confusing thoughts in my head at the same time…emotions started running wild. I remembered the last time I saw Bayo and what happened that day. He was the only guy I had ever been with…Seun and I already decided that we’d wait till our wedding night.Bayo called a couple of times again but I just left the phone on the bed, to ring. I sat there confused and perplexed as it dawned on me that I was never really over Bayo.
I got up, picked up the phone and CALLED HIM BACK.He was very happy to hear my voice and we planned to meet at Tastee Fried Chicken at Opebi, just to catch up and talk for a while. Not long after that, Seun called to see if we could go see the hall decorator but I told him I had to take care of some other thing…that he should go ahead without me. I thought I would just dash down, see Bayo and come back…I got to TFC at 4pm and met Bayo there. He was looking so handsome and that smile…he hugged me and we sat down. We talked and talked and talked; he explained what had happened to him and how his roommate had set him up and gotten him in trouble. How his dad came to the UK and got him a lawyer and how he was almost expelled from that school. He told me how he never for once thought he would be alive to see someone else marry me…how he tried to but could not date anyone else since the time he traveled. I asked him why and he responded “because they’re just not Bidemi”. He said I should tell Seun that he’s such a lucky guy and that if he could turn back the hands of time, I wouldn’t be marrying him. I smiled and said some nice things about Seun…”you set the standard really high and for me to have chosen Seun, you should know that he’s a good guy” I told him. We talked about different things and he told me of his plans never to come back to Nigeria because of his experience at the airport and what the custom guys did to him…but above all, he would not want to visit a Nigeria where someone else was my husband. I laughed it off and told him that God will find him a good wife too. I didn’t know I had spent over four hours there. Seun had been trying to reach me but my phone was in my bag. Bayo told me he had a wedding present for me but it was in his hotel room; which was not too far away…unless I didn’t trust him enough to follow him. “Haba! I know you and I can trust you with my life” was my response as he flagged down a cab and we got in. I wanted to stay at the lobby for him to go get the gift but I wanted to spend some more time with him, since he said he would be leaving in a couple of days and wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding. I remember giving him an invitation card to the wedding, which he dropped on the table in his hotel room. I noticed he was wiping tears from his eyes…he had been doing that since we met at the eatery. He held my hand and said “I still can’t believe I’m not marrying you…when I’m sure nobody else on earth loves you as much as I do”. I told him that’s the way God wanted it and he broke down and started crying. “I should have just stayed and completed my course…I should have stood my ground and told my dad that I would rather go for my masters abroad. God sent me an angel and I let her fly away. When you told me about your fiancé, I thought you guys were just playing and that I would come and get you soon…I wanted to say something, but I remembered that I was the one who told you to stop waiting. I didn’t know the case would be resolved on time and I didn’t wanna keep you waiting indefinitely. When you told me you were getting married, I knew I had to see you again…even if it’s just for the last time” he went on and on and was sobbing like a baby. I felt for him and hugged him really tight…I started crying too. He knelt down and wrapped his arms around my waist and was crying…I could feel the tears dropping on my toes. I tried to pull him up and as he got up, our lips met…
How could you do this? You knew I would be in a vulnerable positionYou knew how hard it would be for me to resist youOh my God…I shouldn’t have come. I was stupid to have returned your call…to have agreed to meet with you. I should have just walked away from TFC…Oh my God! These were the things I was saying twenty minutes later, as I ran out of the room with whatever dignity I had left. Bayo tried to run after me but he couldn’t…not with the way he was. He was still trying to pull up his pants and all that. I cried all the way home. Seun was waiting for me, he was so worried. It was past ten and he had called and called until my battery died. “What happened?” he asked, as I got in and headed straight for the shower. “You don’t wanna know” was my response…I must have been in the shower for about an hour. I felt so dirty and the water wasn’t doing anything to help. It was my time to sob and weep. I sat in the tub and cried bitterly.
Seun was out in the sitting room telling me to take it easy…that whatever the problem was, we were in it together. I came out later and made one request that he should stay with me that night and hold me all night. We sat on the couch as I laid my head on his laps…he was comforting me because I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. “Did anyone hurt you?” He asked…”No, not at all. I’ll be fine, I just have to let this out” I replied. We went into the bedroom and he stayed with me till the next day. I’m sure he didn’t blink for a second…he held me as I slept on his chest. This was the very first time Seun was this close to me since we had been dating. He felt something was wrong, at a time during the night, he even prayed for me. I got up in the morning, knelt down in front of him and told him that I love him so much and would never hurt him again…ever. He didn’t really get my message but he was just happy to see that I had stopped crying. He had to leave for church but I told him I’d rather stay at home. He left and I was home alone…I cried my eyes out and kept asking God to forgive me. I didn’t even bother to charge my phone because I knew who would be trying to reach me. Should I tell Seun? Should I share this with anyone? Should I call my sister? I later decided to keep this between myself and God. I didn’t wanna hurt Seun…he didn’t deserve that. I was stupid enough to do what I did and I already told him I wasn’t a virgin but I had only been with Bayo. I remember what he said the day I told him “those were the days of ignorance…God has forgiven you. If he has, who am I to judge you?”Anyone that was close to me knew something was wrong with me…even when I was pretending to smile, it was obvious something was wrong. My sister would look at me as if she was trying to figure it out but I did my best to confuse her. All through the wedding, Seun kept asking if I was alright…I couldn’t even look into his eyes. I was not just myself. I had this deep sorrow/burden within that I couldn’t share with anyone. I resolved that it would go away over time. On our wedding night, as we consummated our love, I just kept crying…Seun held me but didn’t know the fire that was burning in my heart.
This happened in year 2005; although it took a long time…I was finally able to forgive myself. I have not contacted Bayo since then and God has blessed my marriage with 3 kids, a boy and two girls. The boy (Junior) is the first child and Seun loves him to death. Junior took ill recently, became anemic and required blood transfusion. The Doctors asked for his genotype and I said AA (that’s how we say it in Nigeria) since I have the same genotype with Seun (we did the test during marriage counseling at the church) and one of the girls had been tested before, she’s also AA. The doctor said he would still have to test, they tested and when the result came back, it was AS.I am in a dilemma; I was told it’s not medically possible for two people with AA to have a child with AS genotype. My mind can only go back to Bayo because I am sure he is AS…he once told me when he was pestering me to know my genotype. He said he couldn’t marry another AS because of the chances of giving birth to a child with Sickle Cell Anemia. Junior was born exactly 8 months and 3 weeks after our wedding but Bayo wore protection that night. I also read on the Internet that condoms are only 98% effective. I don’t even wanna start thinking that Junior is not Seun’s son. What if…? I’m so confused
Let’s advice Bidemi please.