But whose fault is it? Young girls hungry for money and success or old people who paid for these apartments? Saly was a wonderful girl, with a heart on her hands, and it was a pity that she was wasting her youth and her beauty like that.
Saly left a few minutes after Binta, and Amadou was left all alone with a great pain, having hurt Binta, certainly but also and above all because of the words she had spoken to him. It was as if his ploy had worked, Binta no longer called him over the next few days, nor did she send him any more messages. He found himself checking his phone, every 5 minutes, looking for a missed call or text. He felt very lonely without Binta, she was now part of his life and was everything to him.
A lot of times he would talk to Saly on the phone and she would try to comfort him as best she could. She could see that Amadou was very depressed. One day, she invited him to lunch, two weeks after the famous altercation:
Saly: Amadou, are you coming on Monday?
We were on the eve of the invitation and she had called him to make sure he will be there.
Amadou:Sure, I will be there. I have to come by see your nice place at Mermoz. It’s true that since we met I haven’t had time; but I promise I will be there.
Saly: Lol, why are you so amazed of my place at Mermoz?
Amadou: No… But you don't work, so I don't understand how you can pay yourself such an expensive rent. It is a big equation to me.
Saly: Well, in this country it’s all about unlocking potentials. Stop bothering me with all of your questions.
Amadou: Well, I am just amazed. And you know that I don’t talk behind your back. So I have to ask you directly.
Saly: Woooooo… leave me alone. OK, see you tomorrow. I also asked Tapha to be there, he almost lives here but, he is always wandering around.
Amadou: Ah that would be cool; it will be like in the good old days. Ok, bye.
The next day, he put on a very simple white clothe “Boubou” (Senegalese dress) and walked towards Mermoz. He called Saly who showed him the building; it was a beautiful 4 story building with several apartments. He smiled and shook his head. Saly was a friend, important to him, and he was going to tell her everything he thought about all of this even if he knew she didn't care. “How can a young woman afford an apartment like this, all alone when she's not even working.” Some people, even with a good salary, could never afford the luxury of living in this neighborhood. Besides, her excuse is that she wanted to be closer to the city when her parents moved to a distant suburb in Keur Massar. Amadou had asked her: “get closer to what?” “And why?” “You don't study anymore and you don't work so why the hell would you want to get closer to Dakar?” So she had told him she was running a business and Amadou had restrained himself to avoid hurting her. He did not say anything, be he thinks Saly was “trading” her body.
But whose fault is it? Young girls hungry for money and success or old people who paid for these apartments? Saly was a wonderful girl, with a heart on her hands, and it was a pity that she was wasting her youth and her beauty like that. He stopped his thoughts when Saly came to open the front door for him:
Saly: Noo… you look good with this white.
Amadou: Lol… how are you?
Saly: I am good, come in.
She led him into the very well decorated living room
Saly: Sit down; I think we're going to eat. Tapha will arrive later; he is always fixing stuffs.
Amadou: Tapha willl never change. I thought he would be different after his life in France.
Saly: No, he will never change. There is nothing we can do.
Tapha had gone to France when they had started their first school year, his uncle was living there and his parents had seen fit to send him there to finish his studies. His uncle had French citizenship and sponsored him so that he could benefit from a residence permit. He could have waited until he graduated from high school to go, but his parents had been in a hurry to have their only son abroad, so he could help them.
When he arrived in France, Tapha quickly got bored at school and life was expensive there, his uncle accommodated him but he asked him to work on weekends in order to contribute a little to the rent costs. But the money he earned, around € 300 per month part-time, did not allow him to dress chic with big brands, invite his girlfriends or send money and gifts to his parents and family.
One day while walking in the HLM housing estate where his uncle was renting an apartment, he was accosted by a man older than himself. He was very well known in the city, he dressed too well and drove a nice Porsche Cayenne not to mention that he always drove around with a lot of money. It turned out that he too was of Senegalese origin and often went to the country for “Business” as he called it. They became friends and one thing led to another, he put him in the drug trade circuit, at first he was just selling weed, but then he went up and sold hard drugs.
Tapha sent millions and millions of CFA francs to his parents, luxury gifts to his cousins and aunts, etc… For everyone, Tapha had finally made it and his family was keen to show off their wealth. However, the wheel turned and after a descent into the city, he did not escape the narcotics police and ended up in prison. After serving his sentence, he couldn't renew his papers and he was fed up and didn't want to be undocumented. He therefore returned to Dakar and his mentor from the city put him in touch with some of his contacts with whom he could continue to “work.” But Tapha's family did not understand that he could have returned, for them he was a coward and so things were not going well with them anymore, which is why he was often at Saly's when he was not in his “Business.”
Saly served a good rice and fish which Amadou enjoyed with pleasure.
Amadou: over the years I see that you have improved.
Saly: Lol, reall? You have been eating my meals for a while? And you said it was good…
Amadou: Yes, yes, but it has improved. And in the past, I was just angry. So I could not really focus on the taste.
Saly: Lol, OK, thank you then.
They had finished eating and were sipping tea, when they heard someone open the front door. Amadou thought it was Tapha since the person had the keys to the house, but he heard Saly greet the newcomer with a sweet voice.
Saly: Hello my Daddy darling is here.
The old man: Baby, I missed you. I was passing by I said to myself I'm going to say hi.
Saly: Ah that gives me too much pleasure, I miss you to. It's good that you're here; I have a childhood friend that I would like you to meet.
Amadou was looking at the old man all this time, he was surprised or worse shocked, disillusioned in short, when he recognized the so-called “Daddy darling...”
The old man seemed to recognize him but acted as if nothing had happened.
Saly: Amadou, here is my “Daddy darling.” Daddy that's Amadou, a friend who is very good to me, we had lost sight of each other for a long time but tank God, I met him, so I invited him to eat.
The old man: Ah ok, hello Amadou. Nice to meet you… I am not going to spend too much time there; I just wanted to say hi. He sat down next to Amadou who was still looking at him…
Then tapha entered and threw himself into Amadou's arms…
Tapha: Nooooo. Brother? Where were you? I missed you...
Amadou: Lol. I was around. I missed you too.
Tapha: When I came back I asked for your number everywhere, especially when I was informed of the death of aunt Marietou. She was a good woman for everyone.
Amadou: No brother, Marietou was good, no one can match her. That is why I often say to myself God prefers to have the bests next to him.
Tapha: Of course. May she rests in peace. Let’s pray for him.
Tapha: Oh Uncle! Sorry, I even did not have time to great you. I missed my friend. How are you? Early morning, I didn't see you when you were leaving; Saly told me that you woke up early.
The old man: Yes, I had an early morning meeting. So you know each other, you and Amadou?
Tapha: Yes of course, us three spent almost all of our college years together. We were inseparable
The old man: Ah ok, well I have to go. I know you have things to talk about. Amadou, delighted to have met you...
Amadou: Thanks, me too.
Saly: Ah Daddy, you can wait, I can make you some lunch.
The old man: No, that is fine. You know I don’t have too much time. I have an appointment.
Saly: Ah ok, so we'll call later.
As soon as he left, Amadou burst out laughing. Saly and Tapha looked at him strangely
Saly: What is going on Amadou?
Tapha: No Saly, your food was too good to make Amadou crazy.
Amadou: Looool… Let me just drink some water, after I will tell you. Give me a beat! Hahaha...
Saly: What are we going to laugh about if you laugh it all?
Amadou: Lol… If so, there will still be enough to laugh about. Saly do you know who it is?
Saly: Who? It's my “Daddy darling,” he's the one who rents this apartment for me. You know him?
Amadou: Of course I know him. You see, this world is crazy. Every day we see some crazy things...
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