I told my parents I was going to school and indeed, I was at school…for a period even before Covid-19.
I left school before the lockdown, at that time, I went to visit a friend of mine whose ex-boyfriend had just returned from overs…I mean overseas. Belgium or one of those countries like that. The guy had been my friend’s old boyfriend when they were at secondary school but he went abroad before he finished secondary school, you know na, to hustle.
So. when they started talking about lockdown abroad, he was among the Nigerians who came back because he said Corona was serious abroad.
When we went to meet him at his hotel that day, some of his friends were already there and having a party for him, so that’s how we joined the party and some of us ended up spending the night there.
The following day, my friend told me the guy proposed to her, as in he was going to marry her! It was soooo cool. I mean, she already had a boyfriend at school but that one has no money, meanwhile, this guy who just came to town from abroad, had cool cash. He just proposed to her and she greed to marry him! Just like that. I was so happy for her.
Ok, that day at the party, there were four of us girls that went, all four of us slept there…at the hotel and that is how I met this current guy I am with.
At first, I did not know the type of person he was; they don’t write that kind of thing on your forehead but he was just spending money like water…I told myself…aha, this is one of those boys…ok…
That day, round maybe 3 am or so, he took me to his hotel room; when we got there, he asked me to dance for him …because, I am a good dancer, you know. He said he liked my dance and he wanted me to dance for him. So I did. He sprayed me cash! You know, cool cash! Nobody had every sprayed me so much money before in my life! In short, nobody had ever given me that kind of money ever! When I later counted it, it was more than N45,000! Just for dancing, o!
I didn’t go back with my friends that night. I stayed with him…yes, we had lots of you know, na. We did. When a guy spends for you like that, you know what he wants…He gave me plenty of cash and when he asked me to come and start living with him in the hotel, I just said yes.
So when Covid-19 came, we were in the hotel for a long time until special forces came and they said we had to leave because the government will close the place down. So we moved to the house of one of his friends. At that time too, I told my parents in the village that I caught Covid and so I had to remain in Lagos because of it…they were getting worried, so I told them I was being cared for in Lagos.
Anyway, it was while we were at that house that I really saw the kind of ‘business’ these guys did. Hmmn.
It is not clean business o! They are up all through the night on their laptops, smoking weed, eating, drinking, when girls come, they take them inside and…plenty of girls came.
Chai but there was nothing I could do. I was not even the only girl in that hosue, there were about three or four that lived there with our guys but other girls still came…they came to see some of the guys there as well.
Why did I not leave?
Oho, where would I go? ASUU was on strike. Government had announced lockdown. And if I go to the village it will be to no light.
Meanwhile, this guy spends on me, so I kukuma stayed, where would I go? Even after the lockdown…I stayed and that is how we began to spend money to buy food, to do a few things and you know, these guys just spend money like water…you know. All the money I got from him, at first, I was keeping them, then he would borrow from me and say he would return it, sometimes he would return the money, sometimes, he wouldn’t because he didn’t even have it.
That’s how money began to go down, down, down. It has got to the point that my guy and I went to the supermarket yesterday and we bought a carton of Indomie, soap and two bottles of Hennessy. That is the last money we have. He told me we will eat the indomie for Christmas, no eggs or chicken to go with it, o!
No money anywhere, everywhere is dry, it has been dry in the last one month now. Even to buy fuel for his car is wahala. We don’t even go out like before, we just stay in the house and quarrel all the time.
The truth of the matter is, even if I go home to my parents, what I will eat for Christmas may not be better than indomie even though we couldn’t afford to buy eggs because my guy is very broke.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)