Vera Ezimora: Let me tell you about the man who tried to buy me with his money & HIV status

by Vera Ezimora

I once met a man who swore he was the one for me. I met him at the Nigerian church I used to attend. Let’s call him Tunde. Tunde was a regular member of the church, and I knew nothing about him until we met. I don’t remember all the details now, but I know he got my number from a mutual friend.

I cannot say that we were “talking” per se because that would inaccurately describe what we were doing. I think when you say you’re talking to a guy, it means there’s at least some kind of interest or potential, right? That was not at all the case for me and Tunde. He expressed his feelings and I immediately said no. In fact, I lied and said I had a boyfriend. I was single at the time.

From the beginning, one thing was clear: Tunde had money, and he was sure he could buy me with it. I think he felt this way because (1) He was used to using his money to attract women, and (2) I was Igbo, and you know how some people feel about Igbo people. Apparently, we’re the only ones who like money. Everyone else just hates it and wishes it would depart from them.

Anyway, Tunde once offered to give me a car.  I don’t know how many cars he owned, but I guess he owned enough to just dash me one. Tempting as the offer was, I turned it down. I had two concerns: (1) One day, he will realize I really wasn’t interested and he’ll vex and collect his car back and then I’d have no car at all because I would have probably sold my Corolla, and (2) How would I have explained the car to my mommy?

Over and over and over, Tunde tried to get me with his money. He would boastfully tell me how much he made on a particular day or how much he was sending to Nigeria or how much he paid in tithe or how much he gifted the pastor (by the way, reason number 7952061438 why I left this church).

According to him, he had the pastor and his wife in his pocket. He even threatened to report me to the pastor and his wife because apparently, they had told him that whenever he was ready to be married, all he had to do was point to the girl he wanted (because you know we’re puff-puff in a showcase), and they would see to it that she agreed. I laughed out loud when he told me that one. Even my parents could not make me marry anyone I was not interested in.

Although at the time I thought it was crazy what he was saying, now that I’m older, I’m thinking back and realizing he was possibly crazier than I thought. He gave me names of other “rich” members of the church and how they gifted the pastor and how they were not required to abide by the rules because of the money they spent. He did not tell me these people’s names because he was trying to divulge some deep, dark secret, but to let me know that he was a member of the exclusive club of people who had money (and I suppose he thought I stood to benefit from his membership). I never considered him a rich man. I did not have his type of money, but my dream money was far beyond what he had.

He also told me names of girls in the church who wanted him. He told me this while he threatened to “leave” me for one of them. Sometimes, I’d put Funmie on the phone and she would silently listen to him talk nonsense. It was entertaining to us both. One time she was on the phone and he decided to tell me all the naughty things he wanted to do to me. Things that should have excited me made me want to barf and take a hot shower and scrub my body with bleach and an iron sponge. I’d fuck a horse before his face finds the inside of my thighs. Disgusting. But when he was off the phone, Funmie and I laughed till our bellies ached.

Once, I lied and said I was going on vacation with my boyfriend, His response was that when I returned, he, too, wanted to take me somewhere. Tufia kwa. He talked about me AND my mother moving into HIS house. He would take care of us both, he said, and we would never have to work again. I was not looking to stop working and be taken care of. Not like that anyway. And my mommy was definitely not looking to be taken care of. She did not expect that from her husband, my father, so she definitely was not going to be accepting it from some random boy who thought himself a man. Chronologically, he was a man. Otherwise, he was a boy.

One day, he handed me a piece of paper. I opened it and did not understand what exactly I was reading until he explained it to me. It was a lab result that said he was HIV negative. He said he figured that I did not want to have sex with him because I did not know his HIV status, so he was putting my mind at ease. Again, barf. Tunde was cocky. With or without money, I did not find him visually appealing. I especially did not find him intellectually appealing.

His last attempt at buying me was when he offered me $10,000. He literally told me that it was money he did not need and did not know what to do with it, so I should help him by taking it. Temptation!! I can’t lie, I considered it greatly. I figured since he wanted to throw money away, I could help him. But I did not follow through. My instinct told me I would regret taking his money for a long time. So I didn’t.

I don’t know if Tunde still goes to the same church. I stopped being a member of that church four years ago. I want to give you the update I heard about him, but that would be too specific. My former church members are lurking. I know this.

P.S. I cannot verify the veracity of the things he told me about the pastor and other members of the church, but I do know that there is no smoke without fire. Except for those e-cigarette things. And even then, there’s technically fire because the atomizer has to heat the liquid to turn it into vapor.

P.P.S. This talk of the atomizer and vapor is a classic example of me talking OP (off point).

P.P.P.S. I am a professional OP-Talker. Hire me for all your OP-talking needs.

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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