It was a cold afternoon during winter in Ajegunle sometime last year. Femi Olabode, a blonde lanky dude strolled into the Pawnshop along Wall Street road looking pale. The shop attendant, a fat chubby-cheeked man smiled at him, his teeth looking like the contents of a call girl’s handbag – rough and scattered.
“What can I do you for,Sire?” the attendant said.
Femi sighed,pulled out a cuban cigar from his breast pocket,lit same and took a heavy puff. After a while, he pulled out a picture from his pant pocket. “Know her? he said.
The shop attendant took a long look.
“Ummm, looks like Halima Usman, the daughter of the village goldsmith. What about her?”
“How much is her love?”
There was a short silence.
“But Sire,” said the attendant. “I thought you were engaged to Miss Funmi-Rice?”
Femi took a long and hard stare at the man, his eyes bloodshot red.
“Her love was fake. It expired yesterday. And I had just bought it!” He slammed at the counter.
The attendant shivered and fumbled with a bottle with red content. “Err err, am sorry sire. Here is Halimat’s love,” he said handing over the bottle to Femi.
Femi snatched the bottle from him and looked at it, scrutinising it. “How am I sure this is the original?”
“Its the last of her love left. We bought it from the last person she had given her love to – Mr Roland Azikiwe. Here is the receipt of purchase.”
Femi scrutinised the receipt. “Looks original,” he said.
“It is,” the attendant concurred. “Miss Halimat has sold all her love over the years and they have all been lost or crushed by her past lovers. We were lucky to get this one – the last of her love.”
“Umm, Sire you see, since its a very special love, being that it’s the last of its kind…..”
Femi interrupted with a roar. “I said how much is her love?!!”
“Oh oh, it will only cost you L5 (Five Love)…”
“Five Love? Whose and whose love?”
“We don’t want you to pay with the love of people you already know. These five loves are loves you will have in the future. Since you are yet to have them, we will just acquire the future loving rights from you.”
Femi took another puff at his cigarette.
“That’s too expensive. I can only offer L2 (Two Love)..”
The attendant produced a document from underneath his desk.
“Here is the Deed of Love,transferring all your reversionary three loves in the future to us…. You can sign here…..”
In no time, the contract was signed and Femi made his way out of the shop. He felt accomplished having just bought Halimat’s love. He didn’t care whose future love he had just traded for Halimat’s love. He wants to love Halimat so much. He had been wooing her in the last six months,begging for her to disclose how much her love would cost and where he could get it. She had remained non-compliant and difficult. Last week, he was ‘jonzing’ on the web when he came across the advert on http://www.love.com that her love was on sale at City People’s Love PawnShop in Ajegunle. He made his way from Ohafia in Abia State to Lagos, just for her love. He couldn’t wait to have her to himself. He couldn’t wait to her love before it expired.
There is a popular saying that everyone has a price. Does that include their love? Personally, I think any love that comes with a material price is as fake as the settings,plot and character in this piece.
But then,let’s just imagine love had a price, how much would your love cost?