It was my first attendance at the meeting. We converged at a certain woman’s flat, whom I later discovered to be the founder of the association. It was a Saturday, I was free and curious enough to let Merlin talk me into coming with her to experience first hand the liberation she had once talked about. I had been hesitant at first– seeing as Merlin was a church-girl, and the acclaimed liberation was yet to make her any more un-single than I was.
It began last Friday when we closed from work and decided to take a stroll rather than board the bus. It took roughly twenty minutes, give or take. We had been good friends for a long time, but had never broached the topic of relationships so it took me by surprise when she asked “so what’s for Valentines?” once I could reply, I didn’t waste any time to tell her what I had spent years preaching to myself “love is not for people like me girl!” she smiled a knowing smile, to my relief. Someone seemed to understand me, finally. I had had my fair share of being asked “how can a pretty/smart/classy girl like you be single?” you know, right! I was curious too, about her. But I was certain she was seeing someone. There’s a brother Samson or brother Ezekiel for every other Church girl, no? “I used to feel the same way too–” she began, breaking through my rationalisations. “– I would think to myself I wasn’t enough, that love doesn’t live here, that I was missing the special thing that made people the type that other people fell in love with…”
“So what changed?” It was interesting to know I wasn’t alone, to know someone feels/felt what I felt. It didn’t happen everyday.
“I changed. I grew, and learned the day I joined TFS.”
I broke into a silly laughing spiel. “Whatever is that?”
“Come with me, and see for yourself…” She looked up to me with a dare-devil grin.
“WTH, what the hell! My life is perfect like this babe.”
“You think. Common! WUGTL, what have you got to lose?”
I laughed. I had nothing to lose, but– “Wait, so you mean to tell me this Feeling Station found you a boyfriend to cruise with next weekend abi?”
“I don’t have a MAN-friend yet, and it is not a match-making forum.”
“So… what’s in it for me?”
“We’ll find out next week Saturday, won’t we? I’ll come get you. It’s a date. Goodnight darling.” She splashed a cherry flavoured kiss on my cheek and sashayed to her apartment which is a few blocks from mine.
And that’s how I found myself here–
We were ten in total, quite sizeable, seated on plastic seats in a circle beneath a funnel shaped chanderliar. Cakes and light drinks were offered and the meeting began in earnest. Barbara introduced herself, a lady in her thirties, managing a senior position in one of the famous banks. Then there was Betty, 25, the Lawyer; Annabel, 25, the Artist; Lowell, 29, the Guitarist; Muna, 30, the Chef; Foluke, 27, the Wedding Planner; Taylor, 25, the Fashion Designer; Andrew, 28, the Accountant; Jackie, 29, the Freelance Writer; Merlin, 28, the Graphic Designer; and Kate, 25, the Editor in Chief- you guessed right, that’s me.
An eclectic group, TFS- The Feeling Station. About a couple months old, and rippling with ripe energy and motivation.
After introductions were made, I started to breathe easy. Surrounding me, were people with otherwise great lives– dream jobs, dream looks, dream bodies and the works. And that was not all, they bursted with energy and life. Great, lovable people. So why were they single? Point of correction, why are we single? Shortly after, we traded relationship stories. Some were single because they felt mis-understood most of the time; others, like me, had just never got past friendship. We were the kind that made good friends, but no one ever thought would make good partners. Just Wright eh? We shared the worst perfect break-up lines, and lamest zoning skits over rounds of wine. Bottom line, we were tired, exhausted and done. We had reached that point where pain humoured us, because tears were no longer enough. My heart bled for a second, then picked up pace again– I am not alone. I am like them, different from everyone else, but I am not different because I don’t have what others have; I am different because I am not the same. Success, beauty, talent does not guarantee love; in fact, maybe nothing does. Love happens to whom it will, when it will. And it is okay if it hasn’t happened yet. It is okay if it never happens. It is okay because you are not alone, you are not the first to feel that way, and you certainly won’t be the last. So WTH, right?!
It was thirty minutes to finish, Barbara announced. Muna dished lunch of Fried Rice, and Peppered Chicken- made by him of course and my highlight of the meeting. Merlin helped Barbara pack up to the kitchen, while the guys helped carry empty coolers and what-nots back to Muna’s car. Then, Lowell flicked the strings to Adele’s Hello, for me. Apparently, a little too late, and maybe-just-not the perfect welcome song, but atleast it says hello… and I thought that was just so sweet of him. We dispersed in groups of twos and threes, some hitching rides with some. I had not felt that perfect in days. Some might think nothing changed, seeing as I returned home that night as single as I had left that morning, but I think this is one of those few times when beyond healing, the knowledge that you are not alone sets you free.
If you have not read Seun Odukoya’s Feeling Station, you really should. And know, whatever it is, you are not alone! Happy Sunday family. ❤
© The Short Black Girl, 2016.