03 September 2020, Ladyba
“You see my beauty, the problems are starting. It would really hurt me if you were in pain, you are an angel that God sent to me, you are so kind, so simple. I love you and I promise that whatever may happen, I will do the impossible just for your happiness.”
They decided to live their love but were in hiding for the moment. Amadou no longer came to work on the plateau, he did odd jobs (mason, moving help, ...) he took everything that came to his hands but he had stopped washing cars in front of Binta’s company, he was not ashamed of his job but he didn't want to embarrass Binta. He knew that in Senegal (which was nevertheless a poor country) they attached a lot of importance to work and they considered that the only “noble” job was the one where you were in an office. How many young people preferred to twiddle their thumbs while waiting for a “decent” job? But good for him there were no stupid professions.
One Friday evening, they had decided to have an ice cream in the evening. They were in an ice cream parlor in the city when Binta recognized one of her colleagues, Lala. This Lala was the shrew of the service and did everything to put a spoke in the wheels of Binta, they had had the same training and therefore she felt threatened by Binta who was admired by all the chiefs. It must be said that Binta was crazy about work; she was rigorous, always arrived before everyone else and only returned when her work was finished. And above all she was rarely absent for a wedding, a baptism or other ceremony (Ndeyeulé, Rakkalé, Djeukkeuké, Khariteulé, Ndokkeulé or other splendor of Senegalese society she was not in these deliriums. Moreover she was always reproached by mother) since her arrival in the club. She was therefore admired by all chiefs and in addition she was beautiful. Lala was jealous, especially since until now it was she who was approached for a position of responsibility which was going to be released soon. But it was said everywhere that Binta was going to be appointed to this position. She approached them:
Lala: Binta? How are you?
Binta: I'm fine casually; (She barely spoke to him at the office…)
Lala turned to Amadou: Hello Mr… (She was going to kiss Amadou… - Yes it was Lala, she was extravagant. When she recognized him, she stopped her movement and stared at him.
Lala: Am I dreaming or what? Amadou? Amadou the cleaner who washed my Touareg car. Loool… Binta you are so low...
Amadou ignored her remark and stood up, but Binta remained seated.
Amadou: are we going Binta?
Binta: No baby I haven't finished. Lala yes it's Amadou the cleaner, do you have a problem with that? (She was unfazed…)
Amadou looked at her surprised and he realized at that moment how extraordinary his Binta was; he resumed his place.
Lala: Ah… I am just stuned. How can you agree to go out with a scrubber, plus you flaunt yourself?
Binta looked at her and put her hand on Amadou's which was on the table and looked him in the eyes: Babe, what were we even talking about? Yes, I remember. Tomorrow, when and where are going to meet to go to the baptism?
Amadou laughed and replied: At a time that suits you my princess
Lala was embarrassed to be ignored but she couldn't help but start when she left: I cannot believe that a cleaner could speak and dare to say “My princess…”
Amadou was so hurt by this remark but did not show it to Binta who also showed complete disinterest. She was touched that we could attack the man she loved, yet he did not react, attack or lie, he just took the first job that had fallen to his hands. She displayed her best smile and spoke of the baptism, it was that of Demba's son and which will take place the next day.
They each came back on their home and Amadou sent him a message like every night: “You see my beauty, the problems are starting. It would really hurt me if you were in pain, you are an angel that God sent to me, you are so kind, so simple. I love you and I promise that whatever may happen, I will do the impossible just for your happiness.”
Binta: Stop worrying, I believe in both of us and love you even more, kisses. Good night. See you tomorrow.
The next day they went to the baptism together. They were so cute in their traditional outfits the ceremony was taking place at Demba's parents. They arrived very early just before the naming cereony.
The imam pronouce the baby's name and Demba had chosen Amadou as the namesake. He was so happy and so was Binta, it was a very nice tribute. After lunch, Binta approached her darling:
Binta: Babe, let’s go
Amadou: Wait a minute, you don't want to stay and participate in woman's things there
Binta: What, the cooking? No, no thanks. Do you want to stay again?
Amadou: No, I am good. I'll come back tomorrow to spend the day. There are too many people there.
Binta: Ah ok so let's go. I'm not into their money wasting stuffs.
Am: LOL… my “toubab…” Let’s go say bye to Demba and my little champion
Binta still did not understand Senegalese traditions, she was born here had grown up here but she still did not understand these customs. Her mom often called her a black doctor, but she couldn't understand how much money could be spent on clothing, jewelry just for a baptism. She had often wanted to tell parents “you can't keep this money for the newborn baby? For his studies?” Besides, among the rich, she did not understand but then among the poor kids it was worse than ridiculous.
They took their taxi back and went to Amadou's, Binta was now known to everyone in the house. They arrived and found Mama Astou who was in front of her table where she sold lots of things according to the seasons. She occupied one of the bedrooms in the house with her children. She was single and lived there with her 3 very young children (3, 5 and 8 years old). The father had left them a year ago without leaving a penny and she was doing as best she could.
Mom astou: My daughter, are you back… (She said, pulling Binta by the hand while the latter held out her hand to say hello), I missed you…
Amadou: Aunty, is Binta your daughter now? I love Senegal...
Mom Astou: Well, I don’t need you anymore. Binta is now my daughter...
Binta: Yes, I am your daughter. Amadou is now out of the game…
Mom Astou: Indeed… just let him dream
Binta: Loooool… Aunt you are killing me...
They talked for hours. Binta admired these kinds of poor but worthy people, sure they had no money but they had so much love to share. Mom Astou often gave them merchandise from her table when she had nothing and when she paid she always refused by teasing her.
Then Binta followed Amadou to his room and there they could finally talk about the baptism and the beautiful gesture Demba had done.
Amadou: No I assure you I am so moved, giving my name to his eldest son, Demba was not even aware of what he did.
Binta: Ah that's a nice kid, he could have given the name of his father or his brothers
Amadou: Yes, yes, this is a victory for me, in fact I always felt inferior to others, useless for society. The only person who has truly shown me his love is Marietou. But now Demba has also just proved to me that he really loves me as if I were his blood.
Binta: Babe, every time you talk about Marietou, you scare me, you are so sad in your voice, what happened
Amadou: Babe Marietou and I had a really sick, inexplicable relationship. In fact…
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