My Lost Honeymoon
Instead of dinner for two, we have one more joining our new marriage!
Suya and garri may not sound like the most romantic meal but with my newly married husband of barely 24 hours having this basic meal in candlelight (we cannot afford a generator), it beats dinner in a five-star restaurant. I was looking to many more of this domestic interlude in our modest two bedroom flat in Ogba, a suburb close to Ikeja, when fate dealt me a wicked hand in the shape of Tolu, my husband’s first cousin.
After good six years of looking for employment, this first class graduate of Economics finally managed to get a job as a teller in a microfinance bank in Surulere. The salary was a paltry N20, 000 a month but the consensus was that he needed to put some form of employment on his CV and so everyone saw the job as a kind of answer to prayers. There was only one problem – because his salary was so paltry and Tolu needed to get to his job very early in the morning, he could not possibly cope if he continued living in his parents’ house in Sango Ota.
The solution was obvious. He had to ‘squat’ with someone who lives relatively close to his new place of work as renting a place was completely out of the question. It took my husband two hours of fidgeting
before he finally blurted out the news that our place was deemed the most suitable. I resisted not because I didn’t want a relative living with us but because I didn’t want anyone, not even house helps, to stay, period! I was looking forward to days and weeks of us being alone in our space enjoying our togetherness. Three was definitely going to be a crowd. I had no choice but to give in.
To give our squatter his due, he was very tactful and did his very best to give my husband and I all the space he could but it was never again like the idyllic two nights we spent alone as a couple in our house. As the days spread into weeks and then months, it was clear that those days will never come back. Now, when we have suya and garri, it is not on the floor sprawled before the TV as we once did but on the table with our co-resident. Call it what you will, it can never be mistaken for being romantic.
Have you been in the position of the squatter in the story above or our disillusioned newly-wed wife? We would love to hear your story.