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Amadou, Amadou (5): Binta and the arrogance of Khalil…, by Ladyba

29 July 2020, Ladyba

“Didn't you have any principles at the time? The cleaner had better principles than you. He works with his own sweat and tries to get out of it in an honest way.”

December 14, Dakar…
Amadou was discussing with his friend Demba at Georges Pompidou Ave, ex Ponty:

Demba: Dude, it's time to look for a wife ahhh!
Amadou: Wife? Are you kidding? I am not ready, it’s too soon. I must be financially and psychologically be stable too.
Demba: But she will help you in that
Amadou: Eh? On the contrary, she will make my life miserable and at this time I am not ready for stress.
Demba: you have to think about it you're approaching thirty…
Amadou: Um it's because you're married now, that’s you are showing it to me.
Demba: Well, I just want the best for you, you know that I have always considered you as my little brother. Think about it, it can only be a great thing for you... Take care, I am leaving now.
Amadou: Ok I will stay a little longer. It’s almost month-end and I don’t have enough money for rent.
Demba: Ah, good luck brother. Everything will be fine.
Amadou: No Demba sometimes I'm too demotivated. All day long I went to restaurants and hotels but none of them needs someone weirdly.
Demba: Don't worry, if you look at my life, you will know that you were luckier than me.
Amadou: Ok, that’s fine. I will come late. There are still a few cars here I will try to make some money
Demba: Ok, see you later.

Amadou had leaned against a car and was thinking about his life. He had been so happy to come to this city, he had thought of staying there for a maximum of 3 months and he had stayed there for 19 and a half years. Fortunately, God had put adorable people in his path like Demba and his mother, Marietou. Without them it could have turned out very badly.

At the same time, in the restaurant opposite side of the street, Binta's birthday dinner was drawing to a close. She turned 26 today and was just happy. She was surrounded by her family, her friends, had just turned 26, had found a very good job, it just lacked a lover to be happy. But she said to herself that it will happen one day, there was indeed Khalil, who was also sitting by her side. He loved her madly and had tried several times to hit on her but she had always refused. They were all singing a happy birthday when the cake arrived and Binta was about to bend down to blow on the cake when her sister Nabou who was sitting on her right prevented her from doing so by pulling it:

Nabou: Wait Binata, please wait, I beg you. Wait before blowing the candle. Please, pray for yourself to finally have a boyfriend this year. I beg you (LOL).

Nabou was her big sister; they were 3 years apart and were like twins. She also had an outspokenness that everyone reproached her for. She said she was a “Roots,” she had been married for 4 years and already had a 3 year old daughter.

Binta: LOL… Leave me alone, Nabou!
Nabou: No, I am not going to leave you alone that easy. Just ask God to open your heart, so you can finaly find love.
Khalil: I’d love that wish, it would be good for me.

And there Binta burst out laughing when she noticed how Nabou was looking at khalil. She didn't like Khalil, she found him too pretentious. Khalil was a daddy's boy in every sense of the word; he had been at the same business school as Binta and had joined his daddy's very successful business right after.

Binta: Nooo… My candles are going to blow off… (She blew directly on these candles.)
Nabou: You spoiled it Nabou… you even did not make a wish.
Binta: I don’t time for that…
Nabou: Pfffff

Her friends applauded and confirmed what Nabou had said. There were Khalil, Nabou, Aminata and Claudia (her 2 best friends) as well as their respective husbands. She was the only bachelor in the group, she had had a few encounters with boys but not many and all these relationships ended very early. The evening ends early since it was a weekday; they were leaving the restaurant and all heading to their cars after hugging her. Khalil was to drop her off at her parents:

Khalil: let's go honey
Binta: I already told you to stop calling me like that ah!
Khalil: Ah Binta, it's not because I call you honey that I think you're my girlfriend, I think you've always been very clear on this point. Please, no arguing tonight
Binta: ...

The last few months she had been trying to get used to Khalil as everyone except Nabou was telling her to give him a chance but she really didn't like him even a little bit. Yes, he had everything to be a “good” husband financially and socially speaking, but…there was no love. She was lost in thought as she approached Khalil's car.

“Did I ask you to do it?” She heard Khalil talking with a windshield cleaner

The cleaner: No… I just saw your windshield was dirty and I wanted just to help.
Khalil: But I'm not going to pay you eh I have no money…
The cleaner: Ok grand, not a big deal!

Khalil looked at the cleaner for a moment, then took a small coin from his pocket and gave it to him. He was so pissed off probably more by the fact that Binta had rejected him again than by the mere fact that the cleaner had taken the initiative to wash his car windows. As he gave her the coin, he made a sudden movement and the coin fell.

Binta watched all this as she stood in front of the passenger door. She finally saw the arrogance of Khalil, yet he had a lot of money in his wallet. She had seen him when he was paying earlier in the restaurant.

Binta was very touched by this scene, the coin was on the floor and the washer did not bend down to pick it up. She walked around the car, even though Khalil was already ready to start, picked up the coin, smiled realizing that it was a vulgar 50 CFA coin.

Binta: Hey, my friend, my friend…

She was running towards the cleaner who had already turned his back

The cleaner: Yes…
Binta: Forgive us, my friend here is not feeling well. Maybe that is why he is so in a hurry.
The cleaner: Ah… It’s not a big deal! I am used to that
Binta: Here… take this…

She gave him a 1000 FCFA bill very discreetly…

The cleaner: Ah… you didn’t have to. But thank you very much really. God bless you.
Binta: It’s my pleasure. Keep up, everything will be good.
The cleaner: Thank you…

She did not return to Khalil's car and was about to take a taxi home. It was without counting on Khalil who started his car, after observing the whole scene, and parked at his feet.

Khalil: Have you finished making your “Mother Theresa?” Ok, get in and let’s go…
Binta: Now I really think that you are sick. It's not a “Mother Theresa” thing. It’s just paying someone for his work.
Khalil: Work that we did not ask him to do
Binta: No, but you're a really bad guy. I don't fit in your car… Go! I will take a taxi.
Khalil: Binta I promised your mother to bring you back.
Binta: So? I'm not 16. I'm 26.
Khalil: But you are still with mom and dad, and therefore under their responsibility.

Binta hesitated and remained standing, but cars were already behind Khalil's and were starting to honk. She made a bad fortune and got into the car.

Khalil: There you go, you like making whims too much.
Binta: Hey, please, shut it up… I am not in the mood for talking.
Khalil: I don’t care.
Binta: I know, you don’t care about anything.
Khalil: Listen what happened, it's a matter of principles.
Binta: What?
Khalil: Of course… In principle I will not pay someone to whom I have not asked anything.
Binta: Yet your father paid for a long time and bribed lots of teachers so that you can move on to the next year. Didn't you have any principles at the time? The cleaner had better principles than you. He works with his own sweat and tries to get out of it in an honest way. Yet when you threw the coin at him he didn't stop to get it back. However, I am sure and certain that if he is working at this hour, it is precisely due to the fact that he needs money.
Khalil: Ok, it’s over. You’re stepping out of the boundaries.
Binta: Well, you have nothing more to say…
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