The problem with Báyọ̀

The problem with Bayo – Fiction

Dear Morónfólú,

I know you say that Báyọ̀ doesn’t show love but, you don’t notice his deep longing gaze when you are not looking? The way his eyes linger at the back of your head after you have just accused him of not being romantic is endearing. Only a man in love will look at you that way.   

Báyọ̀ may not shower you with flowers or observe valentine’s day like the westernised Nigerians do, but he comes home to you every night and has never cheated. He allows you to manage his hard-earned money; you already made it no secret that he is the one earning more. Month after month, upon collecting his salary, you dictate where the money is spent. He does not deny you when you waste money on things you don’t even need.

Báyọ̀ supports your dreams. He prays for you and spends time working on your small business even on top of his own demanding job.

Báyọ̀ may not say it, but his love language is acts of service. That is why love is in the scrumptious jollof rice that he makes when you are too tired to cook. It’s also in the way he puts the warm blanket over you after you have fallen asleep on the couch. I witnessed it the last time I stayed over at your house, and it warmed my heart because even up til now, your father doesn’t do that for me.  

Morónfólú, I trained you better than this. How can you open your mouth to say that Bayo doesn’t show love? Love is Báyọ̀ secretly reprimanding me after I have shouted a few choice words at you. He actually came to my house last week to explain why I was in the wrong for yelling at you. That is the only reason I apologised to you; you already know I don’t like to say sorry.

When you call him boring because he does not like to try new things, it hurts him, so he tries to come out of his comfort zone. When you were upset because he didn’t want to take you to the new Italian restaurant that opened on your street. Then, the following month he took you there for your anniversary. The man just lives to please you; if that isn’t showing love, what is?    

Morónfólú, do you think I would have allowed you to marry a man that doesn’t show love? Love is in the way Bayo holds your hand when you’re wobbling along in the shoes with the tiny high heels that I always warn you against wearing because of your weight. On the night of Mama Tabitha’s fiftieth birthday party, Báyọ̀ was the one who gently guided you through the car park whilst you leaned heavily on him because you could not walk well in those tiny heels. Have I not warned you about the extra weight you have been piling on since you got married? Anyway, I know that Báyọ̀ never complains about it but, as your mother, I will always tell you the truth.

Báyọ̀ may not surprise you with big lavish things; trust me, he is working on it. He has heard your complaints, and I am also helping him to understand you better. After all, it is the least I can do for spoiling you.   

With love, 

Your mother

Báyọ̀  — a Nigerian name from the language of Yoruba that means: with joy

Morónfólú — a Nigerian name from the language of Yoruba that means: I found something to give to the Lord. 

Enjoyed reading this fictional letter? There’s also a part 2: The Problem with Mama Morónfólú.

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