Segun pursued me for at least two years. I met him one hot Saturday afternoon as I was waiting for a taxi on Grogner Street in Iwaya, Onike. He pulled over and asked where I was heading and if I needed a ride. I don’t ever talk to strangers on the road, but this day, the look of the mist on the window of his air-conditioned car made it difficult for me to ignore him, given the extreme heat I was exposed to. I stepped into his car, grateful for the ride, yet determined to let him know I was no cheap girl that jumps into available vehicles.
“Thank you so much, Sir, for the ride. I normally wouldn't do this, but I have been standing outside in the sun for at least 30 minutes. The cabs come in trickles and are either taken or too expensive and no one is interested in going my way.”
“Where might that be?” He asked, totally ignoring every other thing I had said. “I’m going to Ikota, but I'll drop off once we get to any major road where I can find a cab," I answered back. “You're in luck. I'm actually going to VGC, but I need to get to Surulere first. So I can either drop you off at a taxi park, or you can accompany me to Surulere, and then I drop you off at your doorstep.”
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Although I didn’t want to abuse the help being rendered, I opted for the latter option. I was in no hurry whatsoever to get to my empty home. My parents were on their way to Ikene for a week-long engagement, and my younger siblings were all in school. My best friend, Mololu had volunteered to spend the week with me, but she wasn’t going to get to my house until Sunday night. So that meant I was going to spend Saturday night in the house alone, with Larry, the dog, and Mustafa, the security man, guarding the gate. I looked at my wristwatch, with its recently cracked screen and said— “Well, it’s just 1pm, and I'm not in a hurry, so I'll go with you”.
I got to meet him adequately. His name was Segun, a businessman who worked in the oil and gas industry. He had been working for himself in Libya before moving to Nigeria earlier on in the year. The Nigerian side of his business was only just growing and was already facing significant challenges. But a meeting set up in Abuja, two weeks from our initial introduction, was going to be a determining factor for if a major stumbling block would be removed and his license granted, for him to carry on with business as usual. He saw an RCCG (Redeemed Christian Church of God) band on my wrist and asked me to pray along with him so all will go well at his meeting in Abuja, and I promised to do so.
As he dropped me off at 4pm that Saturday evening, I felt like I knew him already. Segun was very chatty, disclosing a lot so quickly. During those hours we spent together, I found out that he had a five-year-old daughter with a white French girl he dated while he was in university in France. The lady had gone on to marry another Nigerian, and they lived in Port-Harcourt with his daughter, Amélie.
He also revealed to me that his dad was deceased and his mom had raised him and his siblings by herself. After our conversation, I felt compelled to give him my phone numbers and BBM pin, even if I never really gave people my information within hours of meeting them. From that day forward we became friends.
The only problem I had with Segun was his way of showing love. My primary love language is Quality Time, and I'm not really the type to get all mushy too early.
So it came as a bit of a rude shock to me when I received my first "love you baby," just two weeks after the day we met. I really didn't know what to make of the message, and it abruptly ended our chat as I did not respond. To be fair to him, I assumed he was merely thrilled as he was granted all necessary permits, to carry on with his business, he had told me to pray about when I was in the car with him. So I felt he was merely speaking from that place of joy and gratitude because his prayers were answered.
About four hours later, at 1 am, I got another message from him telling me how much he was interested in me and how he felt he had finally found what he had been looking for. He then went ahead to ask, if I would be okay being a second mom to his daughter, and he also wanted me to meet his mother. I read the message and responded with brb (be right back). Later in the day, we met up for a meal and I expressed to him that although I appreciated his feelings for me, I felt it was all too soon. I asked that more time should be given to me, so I could get on the same page with him.
But in the meantime, I suggested that we remained friends. He looked a bit disappointed but accepted all that I had said. He also responded saying, that he was in no hurry and would wait for however long it took for me to realize my feelings for him. Segun was extremely generous to me that it got me worried sometimes. There was a time he traveled out of the country and bought me an orange Hermès’ Birkin 40cm bag which retailed for about $2000. I was surprised at his kind gesture but had to curb my appetite for beautiful things. I did not feel it was right for him to spend so much money on me; I needed him to focus more on growing his business. But with much convincing, I accepted the gift.
My best friend Mololu usually saw a Harrods or a Neiman Marcus shopping bag in my house, she advised me to stop putting up a front and say yes to Segun before a sharp(smart) girl does. I guess because of the manner in which he approached me, it made me overly cautious, since him asking me to be his girlfriend, felt more like a proposal. I slowed things down a lot and out-rightly refused to meet his mother within the first three months of our meeting. I didn’t want to get carried away and I kept praying to God for direction and took things slow with him. Regardless of us living so close to each other, I hardly went to his house, and since I came from a relatively strict home, his visits were sparing as well.
About six months after we met, work commitments took him away from Nigeria for a long time. During that period, he visited Nigeria at least once a month, bombarding me with all manner of gifts. Even when he was not around, he randomly sent flowers to my office. He also sent handwritten letters by DHL, and whenever anyone was traveling to Nigeria from where he was, he would have them give something to me, however how small.
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There was a time he sent me a bottle of Lucozade boost because I had lamented that the Nigerian brand tasted different. When it came to generosity, Segun was without a fault. But in my opinion, there was more to consider in a relationship than how generous a man could be. While all of this was happening, Mololu was sent to England for training with her company, which lasted for three weeks. She used the opportunity to shop for a lot of stuff and ended up having two extra boxes. She complained over the phone, telling me the airline was overcharging her for excess luggage.
Because I also added to her excess luggage dilemma, since I had ordered some items through her as well, I decided to ask Segun if he could help. Segun was also in the UK at the time, and I knew he usually traveled light, and never uses the extra allowance granted to him. He accepted to carry the extra boxes, and I gave her his hotel address to drop them off a day before her flight. He was coming back to Nigeria about a week and a half after she left the UK.
My suspicion that something might be going on between Segun and my friend was aroused, upon his arrival, when he took the suitcases to Mololu’s home in Ogudu, instead of bringing them to me and having me and my friend sort ourselves out later. After all, I was the one who asked him for the favor. I went ahead and mentioned it to him that my stuff was included in the box, but to my surprise, he still went ahead to deliver the boxes to her and her house was quite a distance from where myself or Segun lived. When I asked him why he did that, he said the boxes were quite heavy and he was going in that direction and decided to drop them off for her.
I had more questions, but felt I had no right to ask them since I was not officially his girlfriend; there was a limit to the questions I could ask without looking funny. Then my pride got in the way, and I decided not to mention it anymore. All of a sudden the calls from Segun reduced, the texts became shorter and the usual “love you” after each phone call or message was nowhere to be found.
My best friend also reduced her communication with me. Then one day, she drove over to my house, and after we had lunch, she asked the most random question —“Are you and Segun in a relationship?” She looked like she had struggled to ask that question, but at the same time, it seemed that was her reason for coming over. I quickly responded, “Why do you ask?”
"Nothing at all oh. I was just wondering because you have known him for a while and you said you were praying for God to give you direction as to whether you should date him, and since you hadn’t said anything about it, I thought maybe God has said no, to both of you being in a relationship," she mumbled.
Omololu! I called out to her, “did I say we were not dating?” looking for her to retract all that she had just said, but she came back with; “Oh sorry. But I sort of know you are not.” At this point, I had an idea that she and Segun must have spoken about our relationship status and so I decided to cut to the chase. “Did Segun tell you anything about it?”
She looked down, playing with her perfectly manicured nails, and said yes! I had noticed she drove a brand new car to my house with a new license plate number. She also had the black of my Hermes bag! Wow! I didn’t want to believe what I knew could be the truth. It was written all over her face. Somehow I got the strength, not to utter a word after she replied yes, to my question.
Then awkwardly, she picked up her bag and car keys and made her way for the door. That was when I noticed it was a Hyundai car she cruised with for her visit. It must have been the Sonata she always wanted since it was released the previous year. She pointed out every 2011 Sonata she saw on the road and saying; one day, I will get one. To cut the very long tale short, my best friend Omololu, and my two-year-old suitor are now together. How could she?
Originally Published on Temiville.com
What do you guys think? Is this betrayal? Should the best friend have backed off, even if they weren’t officially in a relationship? For me I think the question should be—how could they? because it takes two to tango. Let us know your thoughts below!
About the author: Temi Adebayo is a thirty something year old lawyer, writer, wife and mom. She began blogging because she was always filled with opinions and thoughts, and also believed that writing was a great outlet and method for expressing herself, sharing her views, and helping others who might be going through the same issues. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter with @temiville and on her website—www.temiville.com.