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.

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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.

Secrets of a Virgin Girl (2).

In case you got the memo late, here’s the link to the first part! And be darlings enough to give some feedback; and yes, tell a friend to tell a friend too! 😍😘😉😊

**

“So how is it coming Omolarami? What about those accounts we discussed the other day?” Papa starts on you without further ado, as you settle to your plate of Akara and Tea. You are thankful, because mama rolls her eyes just then as she heads to the kitchen to supervise last minute details. Denrele arrives about an hour later.

You squeal in delight as you jump at him. He looks grown and handsome, fresh, raffish! He has come with his girlfriend too– an equally stunning Carribean lady. What catches your eye most about her though, are the soles that grace her feet. Are those Manolos?! If yes, you both ‘ll make a great team! The house is filled with warmth and chatter, as everyone talks about everything. And soon, the guests start to arrive, bit by trickle. Fancy bags, fancy hats, fancy shoes. You smile. You love the feel of grandeur. You love beautiful. You chat with a few of the elderly women, most of whom are mama’s friends.

“Omolara my darling! How are you? The last time I saw you, you were just as high as my knee…” rather unnecessary, but well accepted. You smile at Mrs Tinubu, as you respond courteously. She asks if you remember her son, the one with whom you attended junior school. You remember him, of course you do. The nerd with whom you seemed to always compete. She tells you he now lives in Paris, with his wife and twins. You manage to chuckle, unsure of where the discussion is leading– even though you damn right know, but just hope against hopes that she has grown past her childish ways. “So what about you darling? Married? Engaged?” you sigh. She’s an unrepentant cliché. You wonder why mother still insists on keeping the lousy thing on her friends list. Thankfully, before you can respond, mother beckons. Ah, what a lifesaver!

“Omolara,” mama begins once you join her– “meet Pastor Johnson Adebowale; Pastor Johnson, this is my darling daughter Lara; the one I told you about. I’ll leave you two to the rest.” Pastor?! For what? Deliverance? You know Pastor Johnson from your Church. You stare from him to mama blankly at first, then mama winks; and you remember– this certainly must be her friends’ daughters’ cousin. The Virgin man, and he just had to be your Pastor too. You make a smile, and extend your hand for a shake.

“Hello Jo– Pastor Johnson, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. We worship at the same Church. The Wayside Church..”

“I know. You normally sit on the second row, on Sunday mornings.” he replies taking your hand. You blush. He recognises you. His voice is deep, sounding something like bass. You are seeing him up-close for the first time and you think he is a sterling looking man for a Pastor. No, you don’t mean it in that way, but– he is just not the kind of picture you have in mind when you hear that word. No matter that you are an ardent Church-goer. “It’s quite a coincidence. When my Aunt told me about you, I had no idea I was coming to meet a familiar face– one I appreciate for a number of things also” he continues, smiling. You smile too.

Mama must think so much of you. Talking about you like that to people. Despite your short dress and Stiletto heels, she must still feel your body is that same temple of God she once knew it as. The one she once helped you to build. Yes, you still say your prayers and you go to church– but the thoughts in your mind… like how delicious Pastor John’s eyes look, and how kissable his lips are. Never mind that you’ve never even been kissed. You dart your eyes off his body, and back to his words now.

“…on Sundays” he finishes what he had been saying. He is 30, a Gynaecologist, but also teaches the word of God on Sundays. You faint inside. A Gynaecologist, and a Pastor. How does that even work?

“Whao. Thats– that’s a lot on your hands, i’ll say.” You manage to respond after a long full second. He smiles. “Err… so mama tells me you are ready to settle down.” you continue, unsure of the right way to hold a conversation as this with a man of God.

“Correct.”

“And you’re a virgin” you prompt needlessly, without thought.

He smiles, and pauses before answering. “You’ve heard quite a lot about me.”

You smile too, and avert his gaze for a second. “And I hear same of you too. Correct?” he eyes you, a tad curiously. His eyes, seeking and probing.

You smile your response.

“You see, I have always liked you…” he continues– “because of how you connect with God, and make contributions in Church… and adding to that now, the other core quality I seek to find in a lady– purity, I think maybe i’ve found what ‘ve been looking for in you.”

You blush. “Pastor I–“

“Please call me John.” he offers

“John, I–“

“Lara, I know this is quite a lot to take in for a first meeting.” he cuts in again, rudely– but timely. “How about I invite you to Lunch tomorrow, after Church?” his eyes are pleading.

You give him a side-way glance. You want to say no. You want to lambaste him for even being rude, cutting you short like that everytime! Then, you want to tell him he doesn’t know you. That you are dirty, and he’s clean. That you touch yourself at night. That you are not a virgin on purpose. That if Sogo had waltzed into your life ten years ago, that thing that has drawn him to you now would have been long gone. That if Sogo asked you even now, you’ll give yourself to him. Completely. Abandon-ly. But you look into his eyes and they remind you of how you feel in Church on Sundays, in the presence of the Almighty. Forgiven. Owned. Known. So you say instead “I’ll think about it Pas– John.”

He smiles and tells you he is looking forward to it. In fact, counting on it. You smile your thanks, as you join your family. The party ends just as soon, and your family thanks everyone for coming around. Your brother and his girlfriend leave at once, and you follow suit– not until after you had told mama your meeting with Johnson went well, and he has invited you to lunch tomorrow. You don’t tell her you are yet to accept his invite. She is beyond elated when she bids you farewell.

It is something around 8pm when you return home. Sogo has called twice already, and dropped a voice mail saying he just got a bit worried having not heard from you all day. You listen to it many times, and smile. His breathy voice and contagious cheer dispel all thoughts of Pastor Johnson from your mind. You call him back, and you talk for an hour. He tells you he loves you, for the first time. He tells you it only occurred to him, when you spoke of a family meeting and he found how much he wanted for you to invite him. You feel something surge, build, emerge– you can’t describe it in words. But you are excited. Finally. Your body throbs deliciously in response. He asks you to lunch tomorrow, and you accept; and after a few more sweet words, you bid him good night.

One of your hands have strayed to your nipples, feeling; and the other, scrolling through your phone to launch the browser for your usuals. You think about tomorrow. And you remember Church. And you remember Pastor Johnson. And you remember God. You run away from your phone, ashamed, and slip into the shower; dripping heavily between your legs, your nipples firm and burning feverishly. You turn the water on in full force, and break down in tears. This is not you. This wanting wanton girl is not you.

**

THE END?

____

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Secrets of a Virgin Girl (1).

You can’t sleep. You had said your prayers about an hour ago, and made to sleep when his call came in. You like him. He likes you. You talk about a lot of things– good, safe things. Like work, and plans for the weekend because it is Friday. You tell him you have a weekend meeting too, a small family party for your brothers return from the USA after ten years. You are eager to see him, but not so eager about the party. You have not been home in almost two months, so mama is equally keen on having you around. If not, you would have bailed on her, you told him. He laughed. You blushed. And after a while, he had said good night, and you had said good bye.

Fast forward to ten minutes after and all you can think of is sex. You have never done it before but you have seen people do it many times– at first, unconsciously, in late night movies; then, consciously, seeking-ly, your head filling with thoughts of naked bodies and your body brimming with delicious fire. Now is one of such moments, and you just can’t sleep. You shuffle on the bed, as you feel your loins tighten and your nipples strain; you turn and toss, refraining from touching yourself.

Your good mind tells you to pray to ward the sinful thoughts away; but your other mind, the not-so-good one, it launches you into routine without question. You seek your phone and type in the familiar key words, and you watch, curiously– bodies on bodies, bodies in bodies. Your heart races with excitement, your innards flourish with new life. You are still not touching yourself. You are just an ardent observer of something carnal. Forty minutes after, satisfied and spent, you stow your phone away; and then you begin to chant words of forgiveness as you drift into sleep. You could have conquered the devil, but you chose the easy path. Thoughts of shame wash over you anew. But you drown it with fitful snores and incessant chants– of forgiveness. It is part of the routine.

The day after
You wake up very early to make it to Mama’s house to help with preparations. Despite having helps at her service, she loves to have her kids around– more so she can show you off, than anything else. You always indulge her. She’s been nothing but a blessing in your life. When she sees you, she beckons on you with a loud cheer. You smile, you’ve certainly missed that. You kneel on both knees as you greet her and papa in the traditional Yoruba way. Even several years of study abroad and independent living would not take from you what mama spent her early years engraving in your heart– well, most of those things. She draws you into her bedroom to assess you, away from the prying eyes of the maids and their vehement smiles, and papa’s business-ready stare.

“So how have you been Oko mi? You look good, but when will you put on flesh in this your cleavage na?” she asks poking you in the Clavicles. You chuckle, and snort at the same time. Same old mama!

“Mama, I have been well. We thank God. Work is fine too, adupe. Shebi I told you about the promotion I got last week now?”

“Yes yes, Oko mi. You told me. How has it been eh? Hm. God will continue to be with you o. Shebi I told you that if you continue to listen to me, things will work out well with you? That’s what you are seeing now. It shall be well with you enh!”

“Amen mama. Amen.” you respond enthusiastically, all smiles and grins.

“Enh enh, bawo wa ni? Any show yet?”

You stare at mama wide-eyed. “Show bawo?”

“Ahn ahn. You don’t understand simple slang! Any man in the building?”

You laugh gaily. “Mama! Well, none yet o…” you respond, a little hesitantly; as thoughts of Sogo slip into your mind. Yes, you like him; and he appears to like you… but past experiences have taught you to not sow a seed where there is no promise of rain. What if he never asks you out? Better safe than sorry!

“O ti e da (that’s good news)! My friends daughters cousin is coming to today’s party. He is a fine young lad.”

You eyes bulge, echoing the “and-so-what” question on your mind. “Mama! You want to arrange marriage for me ni? Ko ti to yen now! (It has not got to that)

“Ah! Aijafara l’ewu my dear (you must leave no stones unturned). To succeed, you must jump at opportunities as fast as you jump at conclusions! Benjamin Franklin said that.”

“Toor! I have heard you mami.”

“He is a good man, I promise you. My friend told me he has been single all this time because he is looking for a virgin girl to marry. She said “All the girls of nowadays are spoilt rotten!” Once I heard that, I laughed and told her “well, not my own daughter. Not my Omolara” and I know it is difficult finding a virgin man too, so I told her we must introduce you two.”

Your eyes lower now, at the level of confidence mama has in you. Virgin? You are not even sure if you still pass for that term. What have eyes seen that you have not? What have bodies done that you don’t have engraved in your head? And marry a virgin man? Maybe not… you want skill, experience… You ask God for forgiveness, again.

“Oko mi, I hope you have not done anything to disappoint me? Is it still there?” mama asks, worry etched on her face.

You force a smile. “Yes mama. See, me I want to eat, I left the house without breakfast. What’s available?” you quickly change the topic before she notices how fast you mood has dipped.

“Oshey Oko mi. I asked them to make breakfast for you already…” So you both head to the living room to join papa while you eat, and gather some fresh air to regain your lost momentum.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.