Seyii Tolof –Tolof Part 23 (Difficult Marriages)

By Amie Sillah

“I was mad when I found out that you betrayed Jonsi, but how could you?”

“I was stupid, gullible and moreover remote controlled by my elder brother who has the philosophy that to make it, one has to marry a ‘rich spouse’ who would lift you from poverty to affluence and I believe him and dumped my fiancée. But look at me back to square one, I still love her but where should I start from now. Will she ever find it in her heart to forgive my betrayal?”

“Do you still love her?”
Burang nodded his head.
“Go ahead! Love conquers all!” Bysenty advised.

Barrow – Barrow Business
Baa has fallen from grace to grass and is therefore hiding away from all the people he knows, he hides his identity. He makes little money after retiring the money to his cousin at least he can make ends meet.” Baa squats with Aiyoumero, his cousin.

He deals with many importers and exporters who advised him to set a Clearing and Forwarding Enterprises to ease their transactions. He took their advice and set one.

Alhajj Banta
He is one of the Importers who patronises Burang and he decided to take him to the Bank Manager to help him secure a loan to set up his company.

At the Bank
Alhajj took him to Mr. Andrews who welcomed them nicely as Alhajj Banta said nice things about Burang.
“He is an ambitious young man, very productive; he is also an achiever and also an employer. If you help him, you are helping the nation as well as the youth trying to dissuade them from the risky back way journey.”

Mr. Andrews
He thought hard and said;
“I know, I have perused his file and am very satisfied with his achievements and work experience. The bank will help him with a soft loan and we will start from there and see how it works. Your file will be with the Branch Manager and you can see her tomorrow after she processed it for a loan.” The duo thanked him and left.

He came back to check on the progress of his loan. He was asked to see the secretary of the Branch Manager. He did and she asked him to wait for his turn to go in for an interview.

The big surprise
As he stood waiting for his turn to enter, the Branch Manager came out asking for something and he saw her.

He stared with eyes wide open.
“Jonsi! What are you doing here? Are you the Branch Manager?”

“Burang! So you are the one applying for the loan? I saw the name I thought it was you but cannot figure it out.”

He opportunistically wanted to have an entry point but Jonsi blocked him by being very formal.
“Am sorry but we have to talk.” He said.

“Wait for your turn to talk business and nothing else, excuse me!” He was rudely shut up.
His turn came and he went in.

He started to explain but Jonsi shut him up.

“Let us talk business and nothing else. I have perused through your application and guarantor and congratulations everything is in order. Come back next week to get your Certificate and receive your liquid cash. Next!” She called the next customer in the queue. Dejectedly, he left with a heavy heart. Jonsi laughed inside knowing that now is the time to fight back for her honour and dignity.

He sat at his barrow waiting for a customer, and whom did he see?
Jaha drove into the catchment supermarket and masked his face for her not to recognise him. He stayed like that until she left.

He felt insignificant and a failure in life. Life of glory invaded his mind and he enjoyed his dream. When he first met his attractive damsel with sterling qualities, she gave him courage and decided to follow her heart despite all odds and gave him life of privilege. But what did he do? He lived a life of disgrace and dishonour to his family until his father in-law had to take the drastic action of expelling him from his matrimonial home. Now he is in self pity from grace to grass.
Images of his happy wedding, the wedding gifts of a house, a car and a heavy cheque from his father in-law, after the honey moon recklessness and irresponsibility set in, battering, flirting, smoking Indian Hemm (jamba), getting drunk to stupor. He was sad and wanted to erase those negative thoughts and concentrate on positive ones. He smiled but before he could complete the cycle, Mustapha woke him up.

“Wake up, day dreaming? You are smiling? it must be a sweet dream. Let us discuss and strategize.”

“That fair lady who entered the supermarket few minutes ago is my estranged wife. I messed up and therefore my father in- law, Sir Gaa, called security and I was dejected and thrown out.”

He laughed heartily and mocked at him.
“Which Sir Gaa are you talking about, Sir Gaa and Associates? And the fair lady driving the jeep?”

“Yes she is the very one and Sir Gaa is her father and, in fact, she is the only daughter.”

He mocked at him as he eyed him up and down.
You a Barrow Pusher here sweating and smelly as shit! How can you be connected with such a powerful family and such a sophisticated lady? I don’t believe your cock and bull story. If I believe you then I can believe anything.”

“Believe anything but I know what I said is the truth and you’ll soon find out.”

“Aha! I was thinking very hard, one of my customers, Mrs. Betty Koita, asked me to get her some labourers to offload her husband’s store and carry the goods to the supermarket, and she promised to pay me handsomely because she is my good customer and her family home and mine were neighbours in Banjul. Surely what we will get at the end of the process will be more than what we will get from the Barrow. Can you join me?”

He laughed and said;
“Are you asking me? Do I have a choice? Let us go and give our barrows to the ‘siru boys’ so that we will be able to give my cousin his daily due and the boys would also get something to take home.

“You are a man with a big heart and surely Allah will see you through; I only think for myself and surely not for others. Let us go.”
The boys were very happy with the arrangement and thanked and prayed for them.
“Our poor families will be happy today, we will be able to take ‘kopari ndawal’ (fish money) home.
To be Cont.