Toke is 29 years old and the last of six children from a well-respected family. Well-read and well bred, she obtained her first degree from Plymouth University, and her master’s in economics from the University of Aberdeen, after which she returned to Nigeria for NYSC.
Toke was born with a deformity — a bent leg and hand — and is a little on the big side. While her five siblings are all married, in all her 29 years no man has ever as much as said “hello” to her, much less asked her out on a date.
During her NYSC year, her father’s mechanic Akin came to the house to fix their car, and when Toke came out to give him the keys, they started talking. He asked if he could take her out that evening, and she said yes. So he took her to a local bar where he introduced her to his friends. Toke couldn’t quite fit in because they spoke mostly Yoruba and very poor English, whereas she wasn’t fluent in Yoruba. Still, they managed to have a good time and when the evening ended, Akin paid for the drinks and they started talking. As they talked, she perceived his mouth and body odour, but decided to ignore it because this was the first man to ever show interest in her.
Soon they were seeing each other every day. After a few weeks, she decided to spend a weekend at Akin’s house. She told her parents she was going to spend the weekend with a girlfriend of hers. That weekend turned out to be the best weekend of Toke’s life. Akin made love to her and she loved very moment of it. In fact, it was fantastic, beyond anything she could ever have imagined. She had no sexual experience before that day, apart from touching herself in the privacy of her bedroom.
They talked and made love all weekend, and they didn’t want Sunday to end. Toke felt totally comfortable with Akin. They shared intimate stories about their lives, and when Toke told Akin how her condition made her feel, he made her understand that she was beautiful the way she was.
A few months later, Toke finds out she is pregnant. Her parents and siblings are happy about the development, and her father asks her to bring her husband-to-be home. This is where the problem begins. On finding out that it was his mechanic Akin who had impregnated his daughter Toke, the old man nearly had a heart attack. He not only gave Akin a dirty slap and walked him out of the house, he went a step further to harass Akin’s family and have him arrested.
Toke lost her pregnancy due to the stress, and the pain nearly killed her. She did not have a job and so she could not stand on her own, and this hurt her deeply. Her hatred for her father grew by the day. All efforts by her mother to make her see that they were just looking out for her were futile, and countless times she contemplated suicide.
Suddenly, luck smiled on Toke. An auditing company in the UK where she had applied for a job called her and offered her the position, with fantastic remuneration.
Right now, she is not sure what to do. Should she go to London and take Akin along with her? Her eldest sister, the only sibling she has on her side, thinks it is too risky. She is considering going to start work and then afterwards inviting Akin afterwards. Her only other options are to forfeit the job, move in with Akin’s family in their face-me-I-face-you house and find another job, or elope with him to another town. The former would mean her father coming to Akin’s house to cause more trouble.
She feels there’s no guarantee that a long distance relationship with her in London and Akin in Nigeria would work, since even people with two hands and two legs find it difficult.
This is the first and only love Toke has ever known. What should she do? Please advise her.