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

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©The Short Black Girl, 2016.

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Musings: “I trust you but…”

You never imagined your life will turn out this beautifully. Yeah, you always knew you’d choose career over much else, but the fancy husband, and fancy family… You never dreamed of those. Yet, you got lucky.

Seguñ is the most perfect miracle that ever happened to you. He loves you, you love him… And he caters to your every need. He is not one of those ‘yeye‘ men that will ask you to ditch your years of study at the university, accolades, degrees, certificates and all– just so you can serve his household better as a full housewife. He has the money to cater for you both, and a part of you thinks a part of him wouldn’t mind having you all to himself, but he respects you and respects your desire to be and feel responsible for yourself. That is a man that knows how to love and keep a woman.

And you… You are a good wife that wants to be kept. You are not one of those ‘yeye‘ ladies that will turn chance into chances. You plan your weekdays ahead. You cook your stews and soups during the weekends and preserve them in the Freezer, so that meal times are almost stress free for you and as quick as can be. You wake up early enough to serve him breakfast of sandwich and tea (after sex, of course, that’s the first course). And he is very understanding, and supportive… sometimes, he helps out in the kitchen and even when he doesn’t, he never makes excruciating demands. But you, you know what your man likes and you go to great lengths to satisfy him. The way to a man’s heart is kuku through his stomach, abi?

And now, you are pregnant. Seguñ would not have you work your butt off at work and then come home to make those almost daunting meals after which you service his wanton desires in bed. No, you need a helping hand. So he suggests to you that you get a house help– just someone to clean the house, make the meals and maybe if they get lucky, stay long enough to help take care of the baby. It sounds like an interesting idea, because this pregnancy is getting you in all sorts of testy moods… You hug and kiss him and transfer a dozen and one hormones into his body after a hot steaming thank you sex. When you both get back to your senses, you discuss more about what got you excited in the first place…

He would rather you hired a female help. They are very resourceful, homely, and can well take care of Junior when he comes along. Plus, there won’t be dangers of them keeping bad gangs and inviting criminals into your home… but you can’t stand the thought of a female help! You have watched too many movies of how they seduced the men of the homes and displaced the women. It is not that you don’t trust Seguñ, you tell him so, but there is only so much temptation a hot-blooded man can take. In fact, you tell him, there is no man than any woman with breasts, and buttocks cannot tame. No such man! Add to that the fact that she will be in charge of meals, what if she decides to put some love potion in it? You trust him but can’t take that risk! He can be vulnerable. You love him too much to even take the risk.

You would rather you hired a male help. Males are stronger, easier to maintain and manage, no worries about shopping for bra, pants and sanitary towels, no fear of the girl sleeping around and bringing some uncensored pregnancy into your abode, he would be able to wash the cars and help move heavy objects around when the need arises. Some men can cook, you would just have to find one of such. Plus a man can be taught how to take care of a baby. Besides, you can take care of Junior when he comes. You want to take care of him yourself… But Seguñ can’t stand the thought of a male help either. He wants to protect you– from rape, seduction, and the insolence and excessiveness of the male folk. You are a woman, fragile and vulnerable by nature. He trusts you, but it’s just too great a risk to take.

So, thirty minutes after, you sit face to face… unable to reach a decision, spent and exhausted, throats parched, hormones stretched. You both are not sure, but it appears maybe you don’t trust each other enough. But no, you do! You trust each other, it’s just… it’s just what it is.

“You don’t throw a compass overboard, just because the ocean is calm”.

Matshona Dhliwayo

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  • Do you think men are more vulnerable to sex and promiscuity than women?
  • Which do you think is the lesser of two evils? A male or female help? Or is the mere contemplation of this an acute sign of paranoia?

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Do be kind to talk to me. Have a great Monday and week ahead family… and Happy December! ♡♡

**

©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.