Musings: When will boys grow up?

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I think that when people are genuinely interested in you, they will go the extra mile; and their efforts will have nothing to do with how worthy or unworthy you are of their attention. Because they are INTERESTED IN YOU. No excuses, nothing. You will know, because they will be active about it. If for any reason you have to question their interest, then maybe there really is no interest to be questioned in the first place.

I was chatting with M earlier in the day and we talked about boys– their back and forth, here and there, dillying and dallying. And then I saw this quote that got me thinking “amen somebody!

If you like a girl, tell her. If you want to be with her, tell her. If you don’t like her, don’t be in her face. If you don’t want her, why drop hints? I am a fan of setting things straight from the go-go and maybe that is my flaw. I like to know where I stand and I like my friends to know where they stand too. If I like you but can’t date you, I let you know upfront; and if we decide to stick it through the friend’s zone, we both know it is what we signed up for. If I like you and can date you, I give you my time and attention, not because I don’t have a life, but because I have chosen to make you a part of the life I have. I do not understand people that are undecided about how they feel. This moment, their interest is obvious; the next, they are off into thin air… claiming to be either busy or just very-very-busy. Really?

Now, I don’t expect that everyone would care to do things right, but I think we should respect people enough to let them know where they stand, really. Tell them, point blank, what you want from them. Let them let you know if it is what they can offer: Is it sex? Is it a relationship? Is it a get-to-know-you-better-and-see-what-gives thing? Is it ‘just-friends’? Spill! And act it! Everyone is busy, but we all manage to make time for the things that count. So, you decide what counts!

I think that when people matter to us, they matter to us. And that is that. If we have to doubt it, then maybe they don’t matter and maybe it is time to leave them the hell alone.

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© The Short Black Girl, 2017.
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Conversations with Marvin: The deal about honesty.

Me: I think honesty is the most important thing in a relationship.

Marvin: No, I think it is Love and Respect. You love someone, you want to forgive them quickly even before they apologize. You love someone, you find it hard to get mad at them. You respect someone, you consider them and their feelings even though you are only responsible for what you do, not how they feel. You love someone, you spend your living days having their back, trying not to hurt them. You love someone, you believe in them until there is a reason to stop believing. I think we lie to ourselves when we say we want honesty. Because we can handle love and respect, but we can never truly handle honesty. We don’t know how. The world we live in is not made for honesty.

Me: I don’t agree with you. I do not kid when I tell you I want honesty. I want to know every grain of truth that there is: about the past, about everything. When I love you, I give you the whole damn truth and I expect the same. I want to know about the girl you kissed, the girl you almost cheated with, the atrocities of your past, everything. When there is honesty, we give ourselves a chance at forgiveness. A chance at new beginnings.

Marvin: Would you really want to know how I kissed that hot girl in my office because you and I were not on talking terms? Would you have the patience to hear about how she kissed me more than I kissed her because the man in me wanted it but the soul in me knew it belonged with you and no other? Would you want to know my loins stirred with lust after I saw some thick set woman walk by? Would you want to know my ex visited and although we didn’t revisit the bed-times, I had wet dreams about her? Would you want to know? Can you handle it?

Me: Yes, I would want to know. And it should not be your business if I can handle it or not. Your responsibility is to be honest, and my responsibility is to make do with that information however best I can process it. If I resolve to forgive you, it will be my prerogative. If I resolve to leave because it is too much for me, then maybe we shouldn’t have been together in the first place. I think people who feel self-righteous about their ability to hide the truth are in fact selfish egoistic bastards. You are not afraid to tell the truth because you are concerned about my well-being, rather you are afraid because you worry about how I will begin to see you and how my feelings for you might change; how you might stop being the guy I love and dote on and start being the one who hurt me, the one who cheated.

Marvin: That is not true… and I am not saying I would not be honest with you, all I am saying is that I think beyond honesty, love and respect are the most important things in a relationship.

Me: All I am saying is if you love me, you will respect me enough to be honest with me; or even better, respect me enough to not do those things you would not have the heart or humor to be honest about.

*

Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure

-James Altucher

Honesty is a double-edged sword, and I think that in all sincerity, there will be times in each person’s life when we will contemplate on the perks of being honest and the perks of keeping our mouths tight shut– because we are humans, and more often than we may wish it happened, we are not always in control of our bodies or the things we do and/or say. We have “wants and desires” and then there is “the way that things should be”, but the path of life is not all rights and lefts, or rights and wrongs, or blacks and whites. Some days don’t come with choices, they impose their will on us and leave us with the torment of whom to tell the story to.

And this is not just about romantic relationships…

Recently, I was honest about something to someone very dear, and (surprisingly or unsurprisingly) I expected to get a certain kind of reaction, which I did not immediately get. I was thinking (quite self-righteously) to myself “I could have lied! I damn well could have lied but I chose to say the truth, so I deserve to be cut some slack” but really? Now, I see that thinking the way I thought then would amount to me trying to rationalize dishonesty, like everyone does it, so why not me?! But of course as we already know, the ubiquitousness of a thing doesn’t redeem it from savagery. It remains what it is!

What do you think? About the role of honesty in romantic relationships, or other relationships for that matter? In light of the abundant ways that people can now cheat (it gets as bad as you cheating and not even knowing that you are), or the fact that, increasingly, it seems as though there is no reward for or gain in being honest. Should we even expect a reward for being honest? Should we spread the dirty linen wide and clear in front of our partner’s eyes, unthinking, uncaring? I think yes, despite the consequences.

But then, it is easier said than done.

____

© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

About Caution: “When trouble sleeps…”

Mariam is furious. She sits, stands, paces the small room, claps her hands together, hisses, then sits again… the cycle has continued interestingly for the past 30 minutes.

“But shouldn’t he have called? Not even one damn call. In fact, it is over!” Mariam fumes.

Lara is livid too. “Wait, and he didn’t say anything yesterday? Not even ‘sorry’. Not ‘let me explain’, or ‘it is not what you think’?”  She questions, rhetorically. “What insolence!” She spits. The look on her face! You would think she is the one hurting.

You. You are just there, indifferent. Confused. Pitiful.

It all started yesterday when Mariam had stumbled upon her boyfriend’s phone, unlocked, lying carelessly in the sitting room almost as soon as he stepped out for a boy’s hangout. He had forgotten it in his haste. What bliss! She had dutifully grabbed the phone… And what she found thereafter had left her a mad black woman. Different pictures of half-naked girls whom he claimed were just friends, text messages from girls asking for money, recharge cards, and the likes; names like sugar, honey, bobbylicious and stuff in his contact list… in fact, she had recounted so much more you refuse to remember. Unexpectedly, Dotun had returned to retrieve his phone about 10 minutes after only to find a weeping Mariam in charge of it. She had pounced on him at once accusing him of being a cheat and a lowly lying scum of a man. But he had been too much of a gentleman (or an arse, as Mariam put it) to exchange words with her. He only picked his phone up and headed out of the house.

He didn’t return home last night.

You want to pack her in your arms, or be a girl and tell her to move on because she deserves better, but you know you wouldn’t mean any of those things, if you did or said it. Because maybe she shouldn’t have snooped around in the first place- ignorance is bliss, and what you don’t know can’t kill you, right? Because for all you know, trouble dey sleep, na yanga go wake am. Besides, what did she expect to find (or not find)?!

“There is a hand behind every curtain… and a knife in every hand.”

-Raymond Feist

___

©The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Perks of being a girl?

Perks of being a girl? Really? I have had to broach on this topic, albeit subtly, on more than one occasion, and I am yet to fully submit to the notion that girls are having it any easier than guys in life. There are many dimensions to this argument, but i’ll focus more on the relationship angle. The first jarring moment on this issue had been at a girl’s hang out, where we launched on the discussion of relationships, and it was only natural that we moved on to weigh in on who suffered the toughest moments, the guys or girls?

For centuries, the male folk have been known to do the ‘wooing, asking, and chyking‘; and the female folk have had the liberty to ‘tune in’ or ‘turn smack down’ on their advances. Money would be spent, time will be made, words will be exhausted– but in the end, if sisi doesn’t think bobo is the one, no show. And that sucks! And if bobo doesn’t back down, sometimes, sisi will play the acceptee to drain bobo’s money. There goes the Maga, abi? Believe me when I say I know how much of a heart-smart that can be. So let’s say 1- 0.

Moving on, imagine that sisi actually thought bobo was the one, and they got things on. First date, first kiss. Sisi is a good girl, so she doesn’t want to have sex– but bobo can’t deal. He says it means she doesn’t love him. He says he wants to marry her, so kini big deal? Sisi thinks about this. She prays about it too. A few weeks down the line, Sisi gives in and bobo smashes. Sisi is head over heels– the boy is good, but the sex is better. Bobo sticks around too because sisi gives good head and knows a couple of magic tricks in bed; plus hey, sisi can coooook! So, yes, bobo sticks around. It is looking like happily ever after, until something stupid happens– like cheating, like lying, like bobo just being a guy. So 1-1 abi?

But hey, really, is it that simple? The way I see it, we all have our moments. Girls are more poised to being cared for, protected, fought for, granted concessions; but it doesn’t always happen that way. Guys are more poised to being feared, respected, pleased; but it doesn’t always happen that way. Why? Because life! An average guy would do as much to get in a lady’s pants, as an average lady would to help a guy spend his money. An average guy would do as much to win a girls heart, as an average lady would to make a guy stay in love with her. I mean, it goes both ways, right? Girls are cheated on, guys are cheated on. There are just as many ‘yoruba male demons’ as there are ‘yoruba female demons’. Equation solved, no?

I don’t know all there is to be known about being human, talk more of being in a relationship; but I can talk about the little I have heard, read and seen. So, in the end, I think that trying to analyse who has it easier, is like trying to put joy and suffering on a linear scale of some sort. We are who we are. We have our joys, and sugar-moments. People love us, we love some back, others we can’t. And we love people too, some of whom love us back; others who don’t, because they can’t. And it is simply what it is. There are perks of being a girl, yes! But we are human, so we hurt, break, fail, and fall. Life doesn’t exempt us from its woes. And no, you don’t even want to get me started on how colourful our pains can be. No, you don’t. But these are just my thoughts…

What do you think? Do girls have it any easier than guys? What are the perks of being a girl? What are the perks of being a guy? Please share!

_____

PS: Yesterday, Miniscule Diary turned TWO years old. Yayyy! Thank you all so much for sticking around, for believing in me, and for reading my almost-touche-cliched posts. You all are beyond amazing. Thank you. For yesterday. For now. For everyday.

_____

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Secrets of a Virgin Girl (6).

See here for previous episode.

**

This is a long post. I am sorry I couldn’t make it shorter. I hope you grab a bottle of whatever feels good, settle into a comfortable seat, and enjoy the read. Thank you.

____

Visiting for The Weekend.

You must meet Pastor Johnson, at least, hear him out; mama emphasises over the next few days, recounting how often he has been to visit her with gifts and provisions since the weekend party. Who e epp? She impresses upon you, how she is certain that he is interested in you, and would make a good and caring husband. At the same time, she bombards you with questions about “this new man” that has happened upon you like a Miracle. “Is he AS or AA?”, “What does he do for a living?”, “What tribe is he? You cannot marry Igbo or Hausa o!”, “What qualification does he have?”, “Where are his parents?”, “Is he ready for marriage?”, “Can he afford your bride price?”, “What is his religion sef?!” Many more questions like this that mama has asked you about Sogo, but you have chosen not to say any more, telling Mama she would meet him soon and find out for herself.

You visit Sogo for the weekend, a month after his visit to Lagos. You have missed him terribly. You arrive at his apartment something around 2:00pm on Saturday. He welcomes you with the cheeriest smile your eyes have ever seen, his apartment bursting with the smell of freshly made Vegetable soup, and the heady feeling of James Morrison’s “you give me something”. You melt inside a little; as you fall into his arms for a good number of seconds, allowing the ambience of everything around him abide with everything inside you. He is wearing those pair of jeans that you like like sin, but thankfully, his chest is enclosed in a blue round-neck tee shirt. He heaves your small box up, into a room beside the kitchen, and soon returns with two glasses of wine.

“How have you been my love?” he asks.

“Good; even better now that ‘m with you.” You respond, honestly. He smiles and raises his glass to cheer to that. You chuckle. “Your apartment is…” you pause, scouting for the best word your head can provide “…your apartment is beautiful.” You eventually say, settling for the most simple word.

He smiles again. “Gracias mi amor! So I have just prepared Rice and Vegetable soup. Eat first, or take a shower first?” You decide to take a shower first. He shows you to the room where he dropped your bag earlier—the spare room—and plants a kiss on your forehead before leaving you by yourself. You melt inside again.

In thirty minutes, you are all freshened up, and changed into a flared polka-dot knee-length gown. You join him in the kitchen, where he is cleaning up. You help him serve the food and take it out onto the dining table, where you eat in companionable silence. The food is exquisite, and you fall in love with him, even much deeper. When you are done, you both wash up the dishes, and move to the sitting room—your head on his lap, his hands in your hair. You tell him about Pastor Johnson, and mama’s insistence on you meeting him. You talk about mama’s concerns for marriage; and how she is infinitely eager to see if he, Sogo, really exists.

You do not mean to scare him, but these issues are weighing too heavy upon your mind, and you feel the need to let out your steam. He listens, patiently, un-disturbing-ly; and you reckon again, for the umpteenth time that that is what you love most about him. He listens, unlike Pastor Johnson, the supposed “right choice”. By the time you are done, you are seated upright facing him. You put your face in your hands and sigh heavily, apologising for talking so much, so long, so soon; then you ask him to tell you about him—his week, his toasters, and admirers. He smiles and takes your lips in response. You did not see it coming.

His kiss is gentle, assuring. You are getting more used to this, as you pull closer to him and press into his firm ribs. His hardness scrapes your thigh, as your nipples tickle his chest. You know at that moment, that the inevitable is about to happen. You stiffen a little as thoughts shuffle in your head. You do not know how to do this, but you do not think too long about it; you cannot even think. Mama’s voice floats in your head now. You know you should not be doing this. This temple, your body; do not do it. You forcefully take your mind off the voice; off everything except the heat, his heat. You stay in the moment—and watch fate unfold.

He stops then, for a heartbeat, and you wish he had not. He looks into your eyes as if asking for permission to see into your soul. Your eyes glisten with a shade of emotions even you cannot completely decipher. “I—I have not done this before” You announce, almost in a shade of whisper; as if needing to explain the undecided expression in your eyes. His eyes soften, he does not say a thing; rather he pulls you into a long tight embrace, that says so much yet so little.

“I don’t know what you’ve done to me Omolara, but whatever it is, please don’t stop.” You smile into his neck. “I love you Omolara. And I want you in every way, but this can wait… until you are ready.” You nod your response, but it is at times like this that you wish he were not that sensitive to your unspoken thoughts.

Just then, you catch a glimpse of what seems like a pack of cigarettes lying recklessly on the side stool. You stiffen and pull out of his embrace. “Is that Benson? Do you smoke?” you ask him without ceremony.

“Yes. You didn’t know?”

You are a little angry. “I didn’t know? You fucking didn’t say!”

“Omolara,” he shrugs “you didn’t ask. I had no idea that it mattered to you. Besides…”

“Don’t excuse yourself Sogo. We have been talking for months now, and you never saw it fit to tell me about it. Were you hiding it from me?”

“Hide? What? No!” he sighs. “Omolara, I am sorry. I swear it probably just skipped my mind. I have no issue telling people I smoke, I just don’t say it without being prompted. It’s a habit I have grown used to.” He tries to touch you. You flinch. You hate smokers. You cannot stand the smell of cigarette puffs. It irks you. You only know the name of the cigarette because mama used to sell it in her supermarket when you were younger. “Omolarami,” he continues “if it matters to you, I don’t do it too often, I really only smoke when I am stressed.” And then you remember that he had told you he had been working on a particularly rigorous case the past week, one he just finished and won (as usual) the previous day. You know that had been one very stressful week…

“How many packets did you have this past week?”

He clearly did not see the question coming, so he hitches.

“Don’t attempt to lie to me Sogo, or I’ll be gone for good. I cannot stand a lying smoker!”

“Two…”

“Sticks or packets?” you prompt.

“Packs” Your heart beats in blues. You do not know how much that is, but it is much!

“Two? Two packets?” You are angry. He is silent. You both seat at opposite ends of the small sofa, recoiled. You are angry because you are worried for his health; because he did not tell you about it ever- not the first day you told him to tell you everything about him, or the subsequent days when you asked him about his habits and must-dos. If you had known earlier, you would not be here playing love with him.

You break. You are breaking. Sogo is everything you should not be doing, but you love him. He lied to you! He did not lie, he just never said! Not saying is lying! But you have not told him you watch Pornography and touch yourself! I used to! You still have not told him.

“I used to watch Pornography and touch myself.” You blurt out your confession before you change your mind.

“What?!” comes his response. You are ashamed and even angrier.

“Sorry I never mentioned. I think I should get going now.” You stand up to leave, because you do not know how to look him in the eye after what just ensued. You wish he would pull you back like they do in movies, but he does not. And each second takes you farther from him and into the room; where you begin to pack up and change in tears. You are fucking angry! This is not how this was supposed to end. But maybe it is for the best. Maybe this is goodbye.

He comes in without announcing, five minutes later. You are half-dressed, half-naked.

“Shit! Get out Sogo! You could have at least knocked!”

“I still love you.” He says. Arms and legs crossed as he leans against the door in defiance of your last order. You back down on your rage and make yourself sit. He joins you and repeats himself “I still love you, habits and mistakes inclusive.” And then, he hugs you tightly. “I would not promise the smoking would go away, but I would try to work on it. At least, stay and watch me try…”

You stay.

The rest of the weekend seems to fly, and on Sunday afternoon when you are about to leave, he promises he would be in Lagos to visit your parents the next weekend if that is okay with you. You jump into his arms, and scream that it is! You return home excited. Finally! At least, maybe mama will let you rest.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Secrets of a Virgin Girl (4).

See previous episode here.

Way forward: Signs and Pacts

It is certain that you feel something for Sogo. Not just any kind of something, but a strong something—mentally, physically, emotionally, bodily; yet you cannot decide if all of it is a product of love or lust. Pastor Johnson on the other hand, you think that he is a fine man by all standards, and he is a man of God, so maybe he can help you quiet your wanton sexual desires and bring you closer to God. But you don’t know, you just don’t know.

You cannot possibly see both men for Lunch at the same time tomorrow, so you desperately ask God to your rescue. You make a pact with Him: that if He would just decide for you, you promise to abide truthfully, completely, and faithfully—whatever the outcome; and you promise not to touch yourself again. You know it is going to be hard, but you promise. You ask for a sign then that something holds Sogo back from travelling to see you tomorrow, if he is not the one for you; so that you see Pastor Johnson instead. You say this prayer with half a heart, because the other half of your heart, and indeed your body, is rooting for Sogo; but that is that. You pick yourself up from the bathroom floor now. Cleaned up, feeling a little brand new. You do not think any further about tomorrow. You just go to sleep and decide that you would let fate take its course.

The day after the day after

You wake up to no messages or calls from Sogo, which is a tad weird and disappointing. Mama has sent you a message, though, asking you to remember to look your best for your lunch date with Pastor John. She even suggests a dress, saying: “remember that blue gown you wore to Sola’s wedding? It looks good on you. I think you should put it on. And find some nice shoes to match. Don’t wear gbemiga o (Don’t wear stilettos!). LOL! Talk to you soon darling. Love you! XoXo.” LOL? XoXo? Who is teaching Mama these things?! You shake your head and sigh deeply, in suppressed amusement. You shrug the message and its content off and get ready for Church with half-a-praying, and half-a-wishing heart, as you don one of your favourite Sunday wears. An ivory pleated dress with a short elbow- length jacket, and your black and white stripped Manolo Pumps.

Traffic is light, as you course through to Church, listening to some Kirk Franklin and Kenny K’ore and Hillsong. Service itself is great; well, almost great. The Pastor, Pastor Johnson, talks about finding Soul mates and Marriages. He talks about many things you do not listen to, because somehow you think he could not have chosen a better day to market himself to you, or indirectly pose reasons why he thinks you both could not be any more compatible. Time ticks away and you grow a little impatient. It is some minutes past 11:00am, nearing the end of Service, and you have not heard from Sogo. You remember your pact with God, but you remain hopeful. Watchful. Wait-full.

Something around 11:30, Sogo’s first message drops in, as he informs you that he has begun his one hour plus drive to Lagos to see you. You smile your first real smile then, with purpose; and let out a loud sigh in reverence of the longest wait of your life yet. You notice how awkward you look with the silly lone grin plastered on your face, when you begin to feel the stare of the elderly woman beside you bore holes into your temple. You ignore her, and shut Pastor Johnson’s voice out even farther, as you begin fervent prayers that Sogo arrives safely to Lagos. Once Service is done, you wait outside to see Pastor Johnson– analysing the various ways to turn a man of God down, in the most polite way. He joins you in five minutes.

“Omolara,” he beams at you, his eyes full of Sunday cheer and light; his square face hosting a massive one- sided dimple you failed to notice yesterday. You smile back. He is gorgeous actually, you reckon again. He is wearing a black Shirt in a fitted Grey suit, with its matching snug pants. His black shoes mirror the glow of the afternoon Sun. You admire his gait, the way he appears in control of his steps and everything around him. He looks quality. He reeks of control. He would definitely fit into someone’s prospects of a perfect man, but maybe not yours. For you, he seems a little too perfect in ways that do not matter as much.

“Err Pas– Johnson, about Lunch. I–“

“Oh that. Yes, I was going to give you a call to ask if you have any preferences but–“

You hate when a man does that; cuts you short. So you cut him short too, this one time. His has been too un-few, too soon. “Johnson, please allow me finish.”

“Oh, I– I am sorry” You reckon his embarrassment. You are sorry you cannot be sorry too. A man who is ready for marriage, should be readier to listen; to “his” woman, and any woman for that matter.

“No problem Johnson. I was going to tell you I cannot do Lunch today. Something came up. I am sorry about that. Maybe–“

“That’s fine.” he cuts in, curtly. You notice a flicker of what seems like anger in his eyes. You would have thought it was disappointment; but it seemed a shade darker, a tinge more forceful. His brows have furrowed together now, leaving a distinct squeeze a-bare on his forehead.

“I’m not done, Johnson” you reply, getting thoroughly impatient with his rudeness! “If you want, maybe we could fix another date. If I have a few days notice, I would be able to work it into my Schedule nicely.”

He wears a bored expression now; the light in his eyes, far gone. “Let me know when you are ready Omolara, since you are the busy one.” You are not sure what you feel towards him anymore, but it is something a little too unpleasant for someone you have not known too well, too long.

“No problem then. Again, ‘m sorry for any inconveniences” you finish off. He does not say anything in reply, so you bid him farewell and head to your car, resuming your prayers for Sogo’s safe arrival. You forget about Pastor Johnson and his shenanigans just as soon as you walk away from him. No memory space in your head for people with uncouth behaviour!

You head back home now, to change into something less Churchy, and more relaxing. You settle for a blue sleeveless Eva dress, and black Gladiators. You make your hair into a bun, add a touch of Mascara to your eyes, and a film of red lipstick to your cupid-shaped lips. Your excitement builds with each second, as you await Sogo’s call.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Secrets of a Virgin Girl (3).

See here for the previous episode.

‘m dedicating this post and the subsequent ones to Joel Jemba and my darling Zoe Du. Thank you for bringing this on. And thank you to everyone else that’s been following this story so far… you are the inspiration. I hope you enjoy this episode and leave some feedback too. 😍😘😉😊

**

Retrospection: How you got there.

You have never been in a relationship. Men had come, or more precisely, boys– during your University days; but the ones you liked never liked you enough, and the ones that liked you did not come close to impressive. So, you had worked hard to make your A’s without blemishes or excuses instead. It soon became your only goal– winning. And you had won all the winnables, the Scholarships, and Awards… and even now, you’re still winning; an Assistant Professor at 25– the only single lecturer at your Institution. But it soon began to dawn on you, every moment of every day, as you stared at the sparkly plaques, and the shiny certificates, while browsing through your closet, or walking around your exquisitely furnished two-bedroom Ajah apartment in your favourite Cashmere T-shirt and woolen socks, that maybe you had spent all that time amassing volume, in place of Substance. Love is substance. Substance is Love.

You had felt even lonelier every day since you can remember now– because soon after your Doctorate degree, Mama– every time she called, would never cease to ask you about your marriage plans, while gently reminding you of someone– maybe your childhood friend, or her neighbour, or best friend’s daughter, or your cousin, or her niece, who got married a week before, or had fixed a date for Introduction two months after. You had become fed up, and in want, and in need. And you would watch those Hollywood movies like Titanic, and series like Mary Jane, or Grey’s Anatomy or Fifty Shades of Grey– and your emptiness will widen, your curiosity will stretch, your yearning will deepen.

It had been that need that drove you to the brink of desperation at the beginning of the New Year, when you created accounts on all the dating forums you ever heard of– Badoo, Twoo, Meet your Partner– every one of them. And you had put up your best photo, and promptly received lots of messages– from the raunchy, to the sane, to the profane! It had been around that time that you met Sogo, on one of the Dating Websites. You do not remember which of the Platforms exactly, but you remember it was only Four months ago. His first chat had been something like “Hello there. Can I get your number? I don’t come on here too often, but i’d like to chat with you, and keep in touch; if you don’t mind.”

There had been something about that chat. It was different from the others where people would send you their numbers and ask you to call them (what guts!), or even worse, call you something like Baby, or Sexy, or Sugar (how dare they?!). You had been too tired to think too deeply that night, so you gave him the number to your least accessible line, and that had been that. A part of you had been eager to talk to him. Another part of you liked to think you were indifferent. In the end, you had waited consciously, making sure to take your phone everywhere– even to the bathroom, lest you missed his call. You had been curious and desperate. You had almost given up on ever hearing from him, when his call came in, that evening– exactly five days after. His voice. His voice was all it took for you to fall in love with him.

You had talked again, after that day. He had promised he would call back soon. You had counted down, again because you remember he had called you another five days after. Then, you had returned his call the next five days– and it soon became a routine at the end of the First month.  Towards the middle of your Friendshipy affair in the Second month, he had asked for a Skype Call. You had been hesitant about it for a second or so because you hated Video calls, but seeing as you were eager to see what he really looked like, you agreed just as soon.

Sogo. Sogo is beautifully made. You quickly surmised after that first video call, that his pictures did him no justice. His facial features beckoned boldly through your Laptop screen; his bald shiny head, his little eyes that squeezed sweetly together at the edges when he smiled, and his full promising lips. You had talked at length, with lulls in between, after which he had told you repeatedly, how beautiful he thought you were. You had blushed that first night, as many times as he had said something nice about you. It felt good. He felt good.

So you would Skype every other day, and soon, it became every night. He would put his Laptop on the Kitchen Counter, bare-chested, with only a pair of blue Jeans swaying deliciously down his hips; as he chopped Onions, or cleansed the Stock he needed to make his soup, while he talked to you. Even though you could never perceive the aroma, or taste from what he cooked, the way he owned the kitchen space assured you he owned top notch Culinary skills too– one you couldn’t even dream of competing with. The other day, he had taught you how to prepare Oha soup, which he said he learnt during his Service years in Imo State. And the day after that, you had been the one with the Laptop on the Kitchen Counter, donning a pair of Shorts and your favourite Cashmere t-shirt, as you made the soup he taught you, while he watched with eager eyes. You could not not fall in love with him, even more.

You began to talk every day in the third month– like best friends who had known each other for ages. He works as a Lawyer in a big Law Firm at Abeokuta, so you would ask about his work, his Cases and everything in- between. He would ask about your Lectures, your students, and everything else too. He is the last of four children, from four different women, he had once told you. His father was one accomplished polygamist, he had emphasised, humorously; after mentioning that both his parents had passed on. You had told him it was just you and your brother from the same mother and father. And that really had been that.

You would watch movies together sometimes, through his Laptop or yours. On one of such days, just after you had finished watching Heartfelt, he had caught you unawares when he said “you know on some days, all I can think about is kissing you like that”, referring to the lead characters in the movie you had just seen; and you had blushed, thoroughly. That had been the first day. The first day that your body had yearned to be touched; the way it does these days. And he had looked deeply into your eyes, and you into his, through the Camera on your laptops, as if you had been sitting just in front of each other. “If you were here”, he had continued, “if you were here Lara, the things I would have done to you…” You had looked away then, biting your lower lips until they hurt. Your nipples had peaked at that point; thoroughly embarrassed, you had hoped he did not see it. You do not know if he did. Then he had finished off “… one day Omolara. One day, I promise you, if you let me, I would. And if you don’t, if you don’t, we would both wish you did.”

You do not remember much else of what had been said that night before you had both bid each other farewell; but you remember that you had stylishly reverted to Voice Calls only, with hopes to lock away the part of you he had opened up that day; but you had failed, terribly. It was as though he had suddenly made you aware of the things a man could do to a woman’s body, and not just any woman’s body, your body; and you had found yourself delving even deeper– wanting to know, and understand; seeking and exploring, testing the limits. And all the spark it took, all the motivation you ever needed, was as much as his voice; or as little as a flicking passing thought of him– bare-chested, with those jeans swaying down his hips deliciously, as he tended to his cooking, like an artist to a piece of his creation. No more. No less.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

A perfect stranger.

You had not wanted to date John Chucks. He had been everything from compulsive to unbelievable. You remember that you had first made his acquaintance on a call to the Bank where you work as a customer agent, and he had had that nice, collected and well-put-together voice of someone who was too relaxed for his own good. You had admired his voice, and his calmness, but that had been that. And then, he had called you on your private number on an unsuspecting Sunday, asking how you were and if you had been to Church and what you had been doing before he called. Your face had paled at his attempt at familiarising with you on such level. Who the hell did he think he was?! You had lambasted him, and told him never to call your line again. You had been irate.

You remember that he had not stopped calling after that time, and soon, you had saved his number as “Don’t pick”, and ignored his messages; but nothing would stop him. You remember that on one Monday, he had popped into your office. As a stranger, he had looked gorgeous and perfect. 6ft tall, bald shiny head, well-gatored shirt, on a pair of Chinos. He had been too close for you to see the make of his shoes, but the click they made on the tiled Bank floor as his feet kissed the ground assured you they were just as fine as the rest of him– until he put a name to the face and identified himself as John Chucks. The John Chucks. You had turned into a mad black woman at once and bolted to the Ladies, while you asked your colleague Sandra to attend to him. You could not believe his audacity.

You remember that you had mentioned him to Amaka, your ‘sister from another mother‘ and live-in-mate, who had eventually persuaded you to give him a listen, if even once; because to her he did not sound half as bad. You had pointed to her that he gave off the sheer signs of a stalker. She had rebuked you for being paranoid, and blamed your unfounded scepticism on the numerous Hollywood movies you were always keen on watching in the confines of your room. You shrugged her off, but her words stayed with you. You had put his name away for a tinny bit of a second, and thought of him as the guy whose voice and appearance you had tripped smack down for. And he had started to look just half as good to you too. Amaka had cajoled you to have a date with him. You had feigned resistance, but deep down within you, you knew you wanted to know what it was about you that drove him to such persistence. More, you wanted to know if it would last. And so, you saw him.

He had been good to you, shrugging your profuse apologies away with an easy smile. The same smile he had been carrying towards you the first day he came to visit you at your office. His face held the most colourful smile, like a canvas splattered with a rainbow arc. You had talked easy with him, about every possible thing. He had a good sense of humour. You had teased him about how you had thought he had to be jobless reaching out to you every time as he did, and even popping at your office in the middle of the busiest day of the week. What had he been thinking?! He had laughed, like a music box. He had then told you he was a Freelance Writer. He said it didn’t mean he was never busy, it just meant he made time for the things that mattered to him. Your heart had melted at the sound of that. You had always wanted to date a writer. A lot more had been said, and he had placed a gentle kiss on the side of your lips as he walked you to your car. That night, everything had changed. Well, almost everything. You still thought he was too good to be true, but then you had changed his name to “Just Maybe” on your phone.

Only weeks later, you had started dating. And he would send you love notes every morning. He made it easy to fall in love with him. He became less persistent, but remained consistent in his efforts to let you know you still meant as much to him as you did the very first time. You would fight, and argue about how you hated to meet his friends because you were not much of a social person, or how he rarely bought you gifts and only sent you love notes that you were sincerely beginning to get tired of. And you would almost go days without talking, but you wouldn’t mind; because despite loving him, you are hell-bent on frustrating his coy intentions out of him. You still think the devil has sent him to make a mockery of you. To your dismay, he would always be the first one to call a truce, one day after or so, meeting you halfway. And after every make up, you would love him better and deeper, against your will.

It is your first year anniversary today, and he has bought you a stunning necklace and a book bracelet. He has organised a little surprise party for you, in the company of his friends and your friends, where he reads you a poem he had written for you. You smile, and cry at the same time. You can’t believe you’ve come this far with him; yet, as each second ticks on, you keep waiting for him to make that mistake, or that stupid move; or confess it’s all a stupid prank, or a silly game… you keep waiting for something, anything. Because he is just too good to be true.

“If it is too good to be true, it probably is.”- Unknown

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Tuesday musings: I smell a rat!

smell

Yesterday, I was on a call with a friend and we got talking about pseudo- relationships and signals. Here is the gist– sometimes, we meet people we feel really free with and very much endeared to, that we would get carried away to calling, texting and chatting that person up often- friendly and innocently too, you see-, until it gets to that stage, where someone realises that he/she can’t do without having a feel of the other person in a day. Dang! Love? Or more subtly, liiiiiiiikkkkkkkkkeeeeee? Worse still, the feeling is not always very mutual; because it turns out the lady was just being a friend, or the man was just being a gentleman. And at that point, it maybe gets too late to turn back the hands of time. Now, this is no lazy romance story plot, it is really how most of these relationships start out. And then heartbreak follows…

To prevent this kind of things, I believe a lot of us have grown to be able to detect the tell-tale signs from the very beginning, where we then launch out to slay any growing intentions– and pray peace to remain still. It is at such times we start to employ tactics like zoning; calling the man brother/brother-in-the-lord or the lady sister/sister-in-christ. But the game gets old, and sometimes, people don’t get the message; as then is when they even come on stronger, undettered.

I am a fan of not sampling things you don’t have intentions of eating; more, don’t even let it appear that you are checking it out, lest it gets the wrong signals. Understandably, you would imagine how strong an advocate of cutting unwanted fangs off at the very beginning that I am. So there are three ways people of old have gone about it–

1) Be forthright with your thoughts and say “I see you appear to really like me, but I can’t date you”, where you might turn out throughly embarrassed if he/she doesn’t even like you in that manner.

2) Zone the brother/sister; where to your dismay, an un-suspecting brother or sister will not even be able to read the subtle signals.

3) Claim to have a boyfriend/girlfriend; where you’ll so be on your own… because a 21st Century man or woman takes that as a challenge to win you over by hook or crook.

Here then lies the dilemma! How do you successfully ward off suspected unwanted advances?

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.

About Friday Night.

Hello guys! So HEADS UP, this is a very long story. But I love you guys so, that I hate to keep you in suspense over this Tuesday confession, so i’ll let you have it all at once. Be sure to thank me later, and leave some feedback. Me loves you. And many thanks to the ladies that made this piece rock! You bad! <3!

**

girlfriends

Friday’s are my favourite. There’s the let your hair down mood, and there’s the stretch of weekend ahead. Well, more than that, if i’ll totally be honest with you is the fact that i’ll yet again be spending an otherwise boring mini- holiday with Mark. The guy.

I have just finished a meeting and ‘m marching back to my office to prep for next week and chat with the love of my life when a call comes through. It’s Dolapo, one of my closest friends!

“Heyyyyy Dolls honey! How are ya?! How are the autumn days coming for ya!”

“Hello honey. Well, well. As cold as you care to think.”

“Hahah! Right. ‘m sure you’ll be fine. So tell me what brought this on? You were sipping a cup of coffee that tasted as good as I sound, or you saw some Bitch sashaying around in my Signature Armani bag?”

“Hahha! Almost a genius darling. So ‘m at the airport and yes, I did see some lady wearing your exact kind of Armani bag and oh she’s a beauty.”

I laugh. “Crazy girl! So whatchu doing up at the airport? Some official trip to Hawaii? Girl, when I grow up, lemme be like you o! Not stuck between meetings and desk-files, wearing myself off.”

“Ah! I wish. Coming to Naija! And you had better be there to pick me for say 6:00.”

“Wh– Na– oh no girl! You’re kidding right? It’s been eight fucking years, and one day, out the blues, you wake and say it’s time to come back home?”

“Hahah! Wish I was. And oh, what? Come back home? No honey, it’s called a Vacation. Just a while. It’s why I had to call you this early. Shudda called you earlier this week but I had to get through work with my eyes literally shut and my fists clenched. Was a total war! Glad I could get away. Taking about two weeks off.”

“Get out of here! That’s great news darling. I’ll be there. Don’t worry.”

“Thanks pal! And we’ll get to spend the weekend together aye?.”

“Gr– oh no! Weekend? Err…”

“Oh! Had plans? I could.. I could..”

What Harley?! So what if you can’t be at Marks’ one weekend? Where’s your self- esteem? Let him miss you this one time and come get you, if he’s manned up enough to show his face to your girls! Besides, bitches over dick!

“No darling. Weekend is fabulous! We’ll stay at mine. Have you called Babs?”

“Nah! She won’t pick. Just tell her for me darling. See you guys soon. Cheers to the freaking weekend!”

“Cheers darling.”

***

“Betsy, i’ve got ta run now, aye? Sorry I can’t wait to give you a ride, told ya ‘ve got to pick my friend up from the airport by 6:00. Mwaahs!”

“Okay darling! No worries. You take care and have yourself a wonderful weekend! Cha Cha hunnay!”

“Cha Cha!… Felix, Raymond, Nat… see y’all on Monday guys.”

“Bye Harley.” they all coo.

I leave the office by 4:00pm so I can beat the Island traffic. I make a quick call to Babs and she says she’ll meet me at the airport. I am on phone with Mark, the rest of the time. He’s keeping me company through the inevitable Third Mainland Bridge traffic. Bless his heart.

“But i’m so going to miss you, you know that? I had made plans for dinner. I was going to cook you dinner this one time. Honest.”

I laugh. “Yeah right Mark! The last time you tried to, you almost razed the house down!”

“Common girl! It’s cos you were all up in my face, distracting me… that smell of yours! Damn, I swear it drives me crazy everytime! I had you in the house, and your sexy butt was roaming everywhere… those eggs could rot on fire for all I cared! I am a man baby.”

I laugh again. I love Mark. “But don’t worry…” he continues “…next time will be different. I mean, what’ll happen when we… we get married and ‘ve got you around like every second of everyday? I’ll have to do you dinner sometime and quiet my libido … if just that one time. I care about you. Deeply.”

“I know Mark. And me, you.” I am almost close to tears. I am so wishing I could be with him tonight!

“So you’ll get to send me photos though. Of what you’d have been in tonight if you’d been here. Make my night still baby. Make my night.”

“Bad boo!” I laugh. “I’ll try. But… but you know you could always come over to mine. The girls won’t mind.”

“What? No, baby. Remember we said we’ll take this thing slowly? I don’t want your girls fussing all over about us which could really mess things up. Just you and me now baby. You. Me. No others yet… for now. Let’s work things out first, and surprise them with the rest. I promise you it’s best.”

My mood is dampened. Same story, different days, and it never makes sense to me! What do you mean by just you and me?

“Baby, no words?”

“It’s fine. Erm, I actually just made the turn into the airport road. I’ll chat with you later honey.”

“You are not happy.” he sighs, as though he’s helpless. I hate the sound of that. Makes me want to gather him in my arms and tell him i’m sorry for not understanding him. But am I?

“Okay darling. Please let me know when you get to the airport. Okay? I love you.”

“Cheers Mark.” the call is off in no time. I am sure we will fight over me not telling him ‘I LOVE YOU TOO’, but I cannot be bothered! How can you take up so much space in my heart and ask me not to share that joy of having you with friends and family? What’s the worst that could happen? A break-up, and we’ll go our separate ways! Hasta la vista! Big deal? Men and their ways though.

I Ctrl Save thoughts of my love life upon sighting Barbara. I just realise I arrived late, because she’s with Dolapo when I join them.

“Yayyyyy!” we all squeal as we exchange hugs for what seems like eternity. Afterwards, we drive through Domino’s for some Pizza, and off to my place for a girl’s night in! My place is home to them. Well, atleast to Babs who stays over very often… but for Dolapo, ‘m sure she’ll make herself comfortable! We’ve been friends for too long to bother about niceties on how to be a lovable guest. I leave the girls for a while to take a warm shower and fight with my head on whether to call Mark or not, to tell him ‘m home. I have tried so hard to stay off my phone since I last spoke to him just because I know I want him around, hook or crook, and I hate that that can’t happen. I get over myself eventually, and place a call to him after stepping out of the shower.

“Hey.”

“Hey.” there goes the anger in him, but damn him!

“I’m home. I just called to tell you.”

“Okay.”

I smirk in my head. Okay? No, I can’t deal with attitude tonight, I should be the angry one!

“Cheers.” I get off the phone, and make to my girls before I wallow in tears of self righteousness.

***

“Hey girls!” there’s so much strewn over my sitting room rug. Chocolates, make-up, clothes and some more clothes! “Baby. Just two weeks and you packed like you were coming to get married.” I poke playfully at Dolapo, while joining Babs to rape the pile because we are certain we’ll find something to steal for keeps.

“Na you sabi! Whatever you do, just don’t touch those!” she points to a shimmering dare- devil thigh-high dress. And Babs and I gasp at our friend.

“Get out of here!” I exclaim. “What’s got into our friend here? The ‘Let’s dress modestly’ campaign manager. What ch– changed?”

She smiles, shyly and sweetly. And I nod at Barbara who understands that there must be a guy involved.

“Spill!” Barbara orders.

“Well… it’s nothing really. I guess, people change, you know? I just sort of thought that there was so much in me I wanted… needed to express and set free, and I really was never myself before. Just merely a reflection of what my parents asked that I see in my eldest sister. They made me feel that to be successful, I HAD TO BE HER. Which somehow I realised was not key. I could be successful. I wanted to be successful. I thought success had a specific definition… like you had to be a particular person or thing to be successful, but I found out eventually that happiness is success! And if it makes you tremendously happy, it is your breakthrough! I mean look at me, I… I love my job, I love my body, I love art, I am freaking living, and I am happy. That is success. I miss home, but… but I am happy.”

Uh oh. No one saw that coming. We have tears in our eyes before we think to stop it. We’ve never really broached the topic of how Dolapo’s folks kicked her out of the house because she chose to be a model. They cut her off, totally, from everything… but she’s kept strong so far, and she’s had us. We close in on her for a warm hug now and cool off on the tears a bit before talking again, more in a bid to recognise and share her moment of epiphany, than the loss of words to say!

“Okay, so that was a touching story! But you missed the point. The gown, the guy. Spill babe! No 419!”

We break into a bout of laughter, and watch Dolapo’s eyes light up instantly. Oh, such a joy to see.

“Okay… err, so! You know it’s the 21st Century, and it’s the E-age, so don’t kill me before I die! I met him on Instagram. You know how it’s kind of hard to filter through perverts and fans with the kind of job I do, but this one guy… he cut across to me somehow. He’s a writer, a badass writer. So he came on my writing page first, where I don’t even post pictures of me at all, he liked my works, we did some collaborations together, and we just synced. I have never before seen such chemistry in my whole entire life!”

“Uh oh! She’s sure smitten! How can a writer use ‘whole and entire’ in one sentence if shit is not real?!” I laugh. Barbara is crazy.

“Shut up bitch, and let’s hear word!” I poke my tongue at her and blow her a kiss before turning back to Dolapo “Please continue Dolls.”

“So… we got right on. Started talking. And I added him to my modelling page. That was when SHIT got really real. He would call me everyday! Mbok, he would call my Local number everyday and skype me often for video chats! I used to think all your Naija guys be brokeass people’s until I met him.”

“No way darling. So he’s Nigerian?! How long you been on?” that’s me fetching for information. I love guys that know what they want and hustle for it however they have to!

“Yes way. Nigerian. From Oyo. Bad ass IT Tech that found his way through the doors of NNPC. We been on for about 3 months now.”

“What?! Three months and we been chatting all that time you didn’t tell us? That’s bad babe!” Barbara yells. I can’t get mad because they don’t know about Mark either. So I just keep mute.

“He said he wants us to take things slow kinda. He’s got a thing for not letting out stuff until they fully materialise. Typical Nigerian mentality. This is the 21st Century kwa! But i’m not too bothered cos of my career. You know how them bitches hustle for gossip on your love- life and what-nots.”

Something about those words about Dolapo’s friend got to me, I had to speak out. “What’s it with these guys anyway?” Barbara and Dolapo turn to me.

“What guys?” they question in unison.

“All these boyfriends and husband materials kwanu! You know Mark says the same thing to me. Every goddamn time!”

“Mark?” Barbara questions.

“What same thing?” Dolapo adds.

Only then do I realise I have spilled the bean before I meant to, and Barbara might just have my head for it too. So I tell them about Mark and how i’ve been on with him for a little over Four months as well.

“Shut the front door!” Barbara exclaims in her typical slang which she stole off “Ibukun Donald’s Style Vitae post” but won’t admit to. “Four months babe? And na this same Naija we dey so o!” I laugh, she scowls. Then I laugh some more, I can’t help myself. But Dolapo looks at me with such sympathy and understanding in her eyes. We’re wearing the same gaddamn shoes now, and it’s very ill-fitting, but we don’t know whether to pinch or scratch or just fucking pull the shoes off.

“Well,…” Barbara continues. “Guess we’re rocking the same boat hunnays. I have been seeing Mex for Two months now and I stay at his place during weekdays… I only go to my parents’ on some weekends. Never told you guys cos he said about the same thing to me the one time I asked him about telling my friends about him and stuff. Bury me now or never!”

“What?!” That’s all we can manage. Me and Dolapo. And before we know it, we are throwing pillows at Barbara for being such a bitch about our confessions even when she was just as guilty as us.

“But really, what’s wrong with these men?” Dolapo revisits my question now. I keep mum. I am clueless. I help myself to a glass of wine and reach out for my phone this one time to indulge myself a little. As expected, there’s tons of texts from Mark. From angry cussing words, to apologies, to pleas, to loving cooing words. I am amazed at how he swaps temperaments so fast. I feel like ‘m dealing with a psycho most times. I just ignore his messages all together, once I catch what the girls are discussing about.

“… so I kind of planned my vacay this early because of him. I want to meet him. We’ve got a date tomorrow night.”

“Yayy!” we squeal together like high school girls who’ve just been asked out to Prom!

“It’s been crazy doing the long- distance thing. On some days, I just want to be with him. Kissing, cuddling and stuff… but the most we get to do is phone sex. Video…”

“No way! Shut the front door!” we roll over in laughter at how almost- gross yet surprisingly sexy that sounds. “Who stole our Dolapo Anifowose?! Girl, this ain’t you!” She laughs with us, bowing her head shyly, like she’s a budding flower afraid of the morning sun.

“Way to go girl! I spend my weekends with Mark. I miss him… somehow.”

“Awwn. ‘m so lovestruck right now!” Barbara cooes. She’s a devil! We sip some more wine, and indulge in our private lives a bit, scrolling and tapping on phones and tablets, until Dolapo dares the devil. She decides to show us a picture of Mr Hot and Spicy!

“Here guys. Damn ‘taking things slow’. My bitches gotta know what’s up with me! Bitches over dick.”

“Yeah girl!” we squeal, as we gather around her to see who Mystery guy is.

“Mex?!”

“Mark?!”

This is not happening. But it appears Dolapo’s Oyo State hottie, is my Mark, and Barbara’s Mex. Someone tell me what happens next, because I think I am about to faint.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.