She was a runs girl and we met at a joint
I knew the kind of things that she did but I was hoping she would stop the job and do something else, something that would help her earn more respect, the type of work where everybody would not just come and use her like that.
So, when I became her boyfriend, I found out that she had learned sewing but because that one was not bringing quick money she abandoned it to do runs.
But I told her I would support her to open a shop, so that she could start sewing again and selling other things in the shop like minerals, and provisions, you know, to be doing something for herself and she herself told me she would like to do that and I believed her.
I was also working seriously hard so that I could help her settle to get the shop and start business because if she was to become my woman, I cannot be sharing her with everybody.
That is how we’ve been doing since. I helped her to get a sewing machine, so she could start to sew clothes. I helped her to get one or two customers so as to encourage her. And I used to talk to her a lot to encourage her since she stopped her runs business.
I did not know she was just deceiving me. She was taking my money and deceiving me by still doing her runs business.
She told me she stopped. She even moved out of that ashawo house and moved in with her aunty. When I heard the rumours, I said, ‘Girl, why are you deceiving me, telling me you are no longer doing runs but you are still doing it?’
She said, ‘Which runs? I am no longer doing that, I am doing my sewing business, the men that come are my customers.’
I said, ‘So you now know how to sew men’s clothes?’
She said, ‘yes,’ that it isn’t different from sewing women’s clothes. I knew she was lying. Even though I can’t sew, I know people specialize in one type of sewing, they don’t do both.
But when you like somebody, you say, ok, maybe this is even a difficult thing for her; she has been doing this runs for how many years now, so maybe she is finding it difficult to adjust to a new life; no runs, no smoking, no quick money from men. So I tried to understand. I also knew that the small change I gave to her would not be enough for someone used to getting more. I sometimes give her N1,500 sometimes N3,000. I know it is small but that was all I had to give her.
But I kept hearing she was back to runs, back to runs, back to runs and every time I asked her, it would be one story. So, one day, me and one of my friends that had been telling me she was back to the runs business set her up. He approached her and told her he wanted action, she agreed, after he finished, he did not pay her and he was about to go, that’s how my girl started shouting. She was dragging him to come and pay her.
When all the commotion became loud, I came from where I was hiding. I waited for long because I was just hoping that this was a mistake, that she would not fall for the set up. but she did, it meant she was a liar!
I came from where I was hiding and I told her that I knew she had been lying to me.
See, instead of my girl to agree that she did a wrong thing, she was busy arguing with me that it was my friend who took her money in the room.
What kind of stupid talk is that?
You know, I was angry, I was ashamed because you know guys, now? Your friends are just ‘nacking’ your girl anyhow…what man will take that from any woman?
I was angry and I began to beat her.
It was later I found that she was pregnant for me. I just saw that the blood coming out was plenty. It was too much. So, at that time people came and took her away and they called police to come and arrest me.
I am sorry but she caused it.
(series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)