04 October 2020, Ladyba
“Make love to me... I love you and it is you that I want. I am a virgin and…”
Between Binta and her mother, it had been tense since Amadou's visit. Moreover, the day after that visit, she had heard her mother call Khalil and ask her to come by. She didn't know what was going on between these two, but Khalil sometimes spent the evening, after work and very often left an envelope for her parents. That’s why she insisted that Amadou come and introduce herself to her father. Knowing his rigor, if khalil sent her parents he would marry her straight away.
The next day, they met on the lodge. Amadou did not work on Mondays and Binta told him the story with Khalil.
Binta: Amadou, sorry, I'm just telling you now
Amadou: No worries, I know there are men out there who would like to marry you. Why would I be with someone that nobody wants? Lol. But the Khalil you're telling me about is a “loser” and I am more a gentleman then him, LOL.
Binta: Lol that's true
Amadou: He combines lots of bad stuffs. He is ugly, he is a beast, he is rude… On the other hand, he has a lot of money and it's true that pennies that open a lot of doors and that I don't have any of it. But I trust you and the love you have for me. Who am I coming to see your daddy?
Binta: He leaves on Sunday evening, come Friday after the last prayer, he will be there.
Amadou: Shiii… I am stressed out. If he rejects me, frankly, I don't know what will become of us.
Binta: He's not going to reject you; just come.
Amadou: ok if you say so, after all you know him better than I do.
D-Day arrived, too quickly for Amadou. For a moment he thought about coming with Demba, but held back for fear of being too formal. He just wanted to say hello to his girlfriend's dad, no need for a delegation to do that. He arrived around 9 p.m. Binta had confirmed that his daddy was there. She opened the door for him, she also seemed very stressed, especially since she hadn't said anything to her mother. Her parents were in the living room, they had just finished dinner.
Binta: Papa here is Amadou, he is my friend (She would never have dared to introduce Amadou as her boyfriend, it was not done in Senegal even if the parents are far from being naive and they know very well that their daughters have lovers. But Shut we must not talk about it)
Amadou: Salam Aleikoum, uncle, tata. He held out his hand to them.
Papa Cheikh: “Maleikoum salam,” how are you? Sit down.
Amadou: I am doing good, thank God.
Papa Cheikh: How is your family?
Am always had a twinge in his heart when we asked him this question: The family is doing well.
Binta's mother, who had barely greeted him when she came back, left them in the living room. She threw “Tchipatou” (disdain) to Binta when leaving. She knew that she had organized all this without her knowing. At the same time, on TV, there was a program in politics and Binta's dad started the discussion on the subject. He was pleasantly surprised by the answers of this young boy, he even said to himself that finally an intelligent man came to see his girl, the only one he had seen so far was Khalil and he found him too stupid. But it was nice chatting with Amadou, he knew that if Binta had dared to introduce him it was because she had feelings for him.
Am did not stay long and took left a few hours later. He had been happy about this meeting and realized that he had been wrong to have been afraid.
Binta had barely walked Amadou home and joined her daddy in the living room when her mom walked in, pretending to be busy when Amadou wanted to say goodbye:
Mom Sokhna to Binta: You’ll understand that I am your mother.
Binta: Mom, what did I do? These day, you yell on any occasion and keep threatening me?
Papa Cheikh: Sokhna, what is going on? She's right, these days I don't know what's going on but, you making Binta leave in misery.
Maman Sokhna: Baby, Binta is trying to be smarter than me, making deals under my roof. She forgets that I was born before her and I am her mother.
Binta: Mom what deals are you talking about?
Mama Sokhna: You didn't plot for Amadou to come here tonight and find your daddy? And you didn't even tell me about it? Didn't I tell you that he won't set a foot here again?
Binta: Ah mom I also told you that I want him to meet dad.
Papa Cheikh: Sokhna, your daughter is of marrying age, I will even say that she is long past that age. So you should be glad that she wanted to bring us her friend? That means that, they are not fooling around, they are serious. Isn't it Binta?
Binta: Yes daddy.
Pappa Cheikh: Is it true that people do not come in the house for no reasons? So I guess if you brought this young man here because he wants to marry you?
Binta: Yes daddy.
Papa Cheikh: Well, in that case “Alhamdoulilah” (thank god). He is a muslim and he looks very smart and correct to me. Tell him he can send his family whenever he wants.
Binta refrained from jumping for joy, she was so happy, her plan had worked.
Maman Sokhna: I will never accept it, maybe if I am dead. But as long as I live, you Binta you will never marry this one.
Papa Cheikh: Sokhna, since when you dare? I tell you I'm going to marry my daughter to the man she chooses and you say no? Why?
Mom Sokhna: Baby, I know why I'm telling you no. This is the second time she's brought this Amadou here, and the last time I told her to leave him. But she is stubborn.
Papa Cheikh: But I do not understand anything and it is me who decides here. And I have only one word, don’t make me angry.
Maman Sokhna: Babe, you don’t know what is behind this Amadou. You know Adji, don't you?
Papa Cheikh: Yes, and?
Maman Sokhna: Baby, Amadou lived at home with her co-wife and in addition to having no parents or family, she is a big thief.
Binta yelled: Oh mom, I won't let you say that kind of thing.
Papa Cheikh: Binta let her talk.
Maman Sokhna explained everything Adji had told her. Binta discovered certain details including the reason why Amadou had left Marietou’s house and she herself was surprised. It's crazy how Adji had the time to explain everything to her, from the day Amadou had been ill, and Marietou had driven him to the hospital until the day he left the house. She had even told her that the last time one of his daughters had seen Amadou, he was a car washer.
Papa Cheikh: Ok thank you Sokhna. I see that you find out about the people who frequent your daughter and I can only congratulate you for that.
Binta felt it was going to get tough now.
Papa Cheikh: when it comes to you Binta, I didn't give birth to you, put you in one of the best schools in Dakar, invested millions in your secondary studies, fed you so that you end up with a poor person and more that poor even, who does not have the baccalaureate. Moreover, at least, if he had diplomas, I could have found him a job somewhere. And who does what for a job? Car washer? Washer? So he probably washed my friends' cars? With my position? Frankly Binta you exaggerate.
Binta: But daddy he was a washer just because he had no other solutions, and now he is a waiter in a big restaurant.
Binta's mother laughed: Nooo am I getting crazy? Is that social success? Before he reaches an office, he may retire. A waiter? It's the same. Imagine he marries you, then your dad or I go to this restaurant with friends, is he the one who will serve us? Oh Binta, you have no grace...
Papa sheikh: On top of all that, he's a thief. Oh no, my daughter. No, no, I'm sorry but I can't give you in marriage like that.
Binta: Daddy, he's a muslim and he loves me.
Mom Sokhna: Of course, he loves you, he wants to rise through the ranks faster and he knows that if he marries you, he will be rich too.
Binta: Mom, Amadou never asked me for anything and even when I give him gifts he doesn't accept.
Papa Cheikh: Good, enough talking. I agree with your mom on this point that he no longer step his feet at home.
Binta: But dady… (She was already starting to cry.)
Maman Sokhna: Hey, shut up! If you are looking for a husband, you should be looking for someone who can afford at least a good bed if you don't have a nice luxury bedroom. But, this guy is sleeping on a mattress. So you are going to give up your good bed for a mattress thrown on the floor? No, I can’t believe I can be the mother of someone with no ambition.
Papa Cheikh: Sokhna, enough talking. I don't want to hear about this story anymore.
Binta went to her room, she threw herself on her bed and cried all the tears in her body. Amadou sent him a message
“Glad I agreed to meet your dad, he looks cool and I think he likes me. Good night, I’m out of credit and haven’t had time to top up, but I’ll call you tomorrow. Kisses darling, love you.”
Binta called Nabou, it was late but she never slept before midnight and always answered her calls. She told her what had happened and Nabou was very surprised. She had always thought that their father had instilled in them values other than the bait of money. She asked her to come spend the weekend with her so that she could change her mind a bit.
Amadou, on his side, was ten thousand places to suspect what was happening. For him everything was rolling and that Binta's dad had accepted him. They talked to each other the next day for just a few minutes and she promised to come see him on Sunday when she leaves Nabou's house before he takes his evening shift.
As expected, she had dropped by to see him without telling him what her father was thinking, they were flirting and fondling each other when Binta tried to take his belt off, Amadou was surprised and stopped her:
Amadou: hey hey are you doing this?
Binta: Make love to me.
Amadou: Eh? Loooool… no Senegal is amazing. What?
Binta: Please am I love you and it is you that I want. I am a virgin and I have always wanted to save myself for my husband, and with all these problems I tell myself that we should do it.
Amadou: Stop, what problems?
Binta: My father doesn't want you to marry me, when you left he was happy at first but my mother came to tell him that
Binta: I am serious. If we have a baby we...
Amadou: Wooooohhhhhhhh, what a year...
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