On a Monday Afternoon

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man woman blackloveforum comThe fear of my friend Hetty won’t allow me break this post in two, so please bear with the length!

They say disasters happen in threes but I was on my fourth and counting that Monday afternoon.  What a day.  I had called a prospective client an agbaya for inviting me to his hotel room even though he was old enough to be my father, that of course had led to the bank losing his multi-million Naira account and that, as you well know, had led to the boss bringing down the roof and threatening to sack me.  I didn’t see his daughters doing corporate ashewo work o, but who was I to bring that up?  Then as I was waiting for a cab my mum called and ended the conversation with her now familiar “se okunrin kan kan o ti ko enu si e ni?” I was 23 years old for goodness sake, what was the find-a-husband-or-die-trying rush about? And then just as I was hissing my end to the call (she had already dropped, I’m not suicidal) and turning around to face the road I got my face and body sprayed full of mud by this idiot speeding past in his BMW.

That was the last straw, I sat down on a culvert and began to cry.  It wasn’t his fault, it certainly wasn’t.  If not for Mama Folake would he see Folake here to paint with mud? Daddy had wanted to give me the Honda when I got this job but my mum had snatched the keys from me and said it would only happen over her dead body.

“Don’t you want to marry, Afolake? Because of your selfishness you want to leave me without grandchildren, Afolake? Did I do wrong by having one child, Afolake?”  And she went on to explain, no rant, about how all men are intimidated by women with cars or houses or any property at all for that matter, and how I should basically play the dumb church rat till this almighty husband came calling.  And that was the reason I found myself soaked in mud and tears on this Monday afternoon.

I was so absorbed in my self-pity that it took me about a minute to notice that someone was squatting in front of me, touching my knee tentatively.  The animal from the BMW.  I was drawing in breath for a proper berating when he placed his hands in front of my face to plug the tirade, said how sorry he was and offered to give me a ride to wherever I wanted.  I paused mid-breath, looked at him and made up my mind.  Clouds were gathering and there were no taxis to be seen so though he wasn’t the most handsome man on the block or even basket-baller tall I decided to accept the ride, I’d simply decline to give him my number when he inevitably asked.

The drive went better than I’d expected and he turned out to be very good company.  I found out his name was Obinna (please call me Obi) and that he worked in IT somewhere not too far from my bank.  By the time he was pulling into my drive way I’d relented and decided to give him my number since he’d been so much fun, and as he pulled up in front of my flat I stepped out of the car and began to search my handbag for a pen so I’d be ready when he asked.

“Folake…,” he began.

“Mm?” I answered smiling coyly; I’d refuse to give him the number on the first and second asking and then relent on the third.  Normal protocol.

“Folake, I’m really sorry for ruining your suit, again please forgive me,” he continued.  “It’s been nice meeting you, have a good evening.”

And then he drove off.  Just like that.

After spending the greater part of five minutes checking for breath and body odour and convincing myself that he hadn’t run off because I was smelly I wandered indoors in a bit of a daze to discuss the runaway would-be toaster with Amina my flat mate.

Ah yes, Amina.  She was another one of Mama Folake’s doings.  My mum had woken up one afternoon and decided that being a single girl living alone somehow reduced one’s wife potential so she’d gotten a friend’s niece to share my two-bedroom with me.  I can’t say I minded really, it was fun having the older girl around to discuss these kinds of issues with.

In typical Amina fashion, once she’d heard my story she had an answer – Obi was either gay or married.  Either way, she said, I shouldn’t bother about him anymore. And even though I agreed with her Obi was now etched in my mind and I really hoped I’d run into him again.  I didn’t.

Well, I didn’t, not until one Monday afternoon three weeks later when I decided to disobey my mum a little.  She’d told me that good decent girls didn’t go out to restaurants and fast food places alone because 1) it showed the eligible bachelors that they couldn’t cook and 2) it looked like they were putting themselves on display.  But that day I was willing to die a spinster if it meant I could be fed after another rough Monday.

I was just finishing my burger when a movement at the door caught my eye and I looked up.  I and Obi saw each other at the same time and he held my stare for a heartbeat before quickly turning to leave. “Married or gay,” I thought as my heart sank and I reached down to get my handbag from the opposite chair.  And then another movement caught my eye as Obi came back in and sat at my table.  And somewhere in Ibadan Mama Folake must have been bursting into song because for once in my short life I looked at a man and knew I could marry him.

—-

I’d been dating Obi for about six months when I started getting worried.  I mean, I was used to fighting guys off my body six days after a first date, and here was Obi still not demanding more than a kiss after six full months.   In fact, now you mention it, I was the one who instigated that first kiss about 5 weeks into the relationship when it was clear he wasn’t going to make the first move.  In our six months together I had never been to his house and I realized that we’d never been completely alone for any of our dates.  What was the problem? Was I not attractive enough?  Wasn’t I his type? What could it be?

As usual I confided in Amina and after a long drawn out cackle she repeated her first assessment – married or gay.  She didn’t think he was married, though, because he’d taken me along to a number of family functions so she decided he was gay and using me as a buffer to keep the family off his back.

It was difficult to admit it but I could see her point.  I remembered the day I’d finally kissed him, he’d looked at me like he had something to say and then shook his head at the last second and kept silent.  Yes, Amina was right, I had a gay boyfriend and I had already told Mama Folake about him.  What was I going to do?  The woman was probably already arranging the aso-ebi for her friends and if I gave her this new information she would probably tell me marriages weren’t built on sex alone and beat me into a wedding dress.  So I asked my flat mate for advice.

“Well,” she instructed “there are two types of gay guys – the type that were born gay and no amount of female flesh can change, and those who had taken the wrong path sometime in secondary school and just need to be reset to default.”

Now which was he? I reckoned that if I never tried I’d never know.  So I asked Amina to teach me the art of seduction and decided that if I couldn’t claim Obi back with a peek at what she liked to call my “double D boobs of life” I would accept defeat and bow out gracefully.  I’d have to be careful though, I hadn’t remained a virgin for 23 years to come and lose it all for the sake of science.  I’d have to watch him closely and know when to drop the curtain.

And so I invited Obi over to ours late in the afternoon on Easter Monday.  When he arrived Amina said hello, manufactured an aunt she had to visit in Gwarimpa and promptly left us alone.  I could sense Obi’s nervousness the minute she stepped out, he sat forward on the edge of the seat and began tapping his feet and rubbing his palms and my heart sank a little.  The poor man could see the trap we’d set, he looked like a cornered rodent and I began to feel sorry for him.  But I remembered what was at stake, recalled Amina’s tutelage and brought out the Jack Daniels, ice and coke that I knew he couldn’t resist.  He had always been extra careful when we went out not to get drunk but today I had him at my mercy and even if I had to pinch his nose and force feed him this alcohol Obi was going to get tipsy.

I fixed him a tall glass of whiskey and coke and topped up every sip he took with a little more whiskey as we talked.  About an hour later he realized he was getting drunk and made to get up and leave.  He was going! I panicked and even though it wasn’t time yet according to Amina’s timetable I jumped on him, held his face in my hands and began to kiss him.  He returned the kiss a little hesitantly and so I guided his hand inside my house coat to my naked breast and he quickly snatched it out like my boob had bitten him.  That was it, I was now royally tired of it all.

“Obi, if you don’t like women just say it abeg and stop wasting my time,” I said knotting my housecoat tighter around me and fighting back tears, I’d had enough of the rejection.  He looked at me strangely for a minute and then hung his head.

“I’m sorry, Folake, really sorry.”

I could almost feel the shame radiating from him as he walked towards the door head still down and for a minute I wanted to hug him tight and tell him there was nothing to be ashamed of.  And then I remembered the split second of passion I felt from him before he snatched his hand out of my gown and I knew for certain that he was one of Amina’s secondary school cases.  Somewhere inside this not-too-tall, dark and ok-looking gay man was a horny straight boy and I calculated quickly and came to a conclusion.  I wasn’t going to sell this virginity of mine in the market and this was the man I was planning to marry someday soon anyway.  I would sacrifice my ‘flower’ on the altar of straightening a misguided soul which I loved.

And so I thanked Mama Folake inwardly for teaching me to keep shaven and shorn at all times even though no one was meant to see, called his name just as he got to the door and let my housecoat drop as he turned around.  I watched Obi’s face go from the shame of before to surprise to plain old lust at the sight of my large breasted, narrow waisted nakedness as he cleared the entire length of the living room in two long strides and had me in his arms all in less than a second.  I relaxed in his arms ready for a night of passion.

You know all that sweetness and romance the love novels talk about?  It’s all rubbish.  He didn’t even seem to notice it was my first time, one second I was in sharp screaming pain and the next he had collapsed over me in a sweaty heap all spent.  Was this what all the noise was about?  While I was contemplating the anti-climax of it all Obi quietly stood up, he seemed totally sober now, wore the bits of clothing he’d discarded and walked out of my house without saying a word.  I sat up on the carpet where he’d left me wondering whether to cry for myself or run out and whack him over the head with the JD bottle.

EPILOGUE:

Obinna unlocked his car doors as he walked out of the house.  He got into the car but couldn’t drive away immediately, he was in a daze.  He had betrayed the one he loved and it was made even worse by the fact that he knew he didn’t have the courage to make it right.  His phone rang, Folake was calling.  He took the SIM card out mid-ring and threw it out of the window as he was finally able to drive off, knowing he was leaving her life forever.  He loved her but knew he would never have the courage to tell her now what he should have told her right at the start – that he had avoided women just like he had tried so hard to avoid her, had been celibate for over two years now, since that Monday afternoon in 2011 when the doctors had called him back to discuss his HIV test.

Translations

Agbaya – ‘big for nothing’, used to describe people who act immature

“Se okunrin kan kan o ti ko enu si e ni” – “Has a man come yet (to ask for your hand in marriage)”… I think…

Ashewo – Prostitute

Aso-ebi – Uniform outfits worn by friends and family during occasions.

Photo credit: blackloveforum.com

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66 responses »

  1. Sigh. Oh sigh.

    Love, ehn.

    What a story to read on a Monday morning.

    If you could look outside my window now – you would understand why this makes me feel like.

    Like.

    Well done.

  2. WOW!! Just WOW!!.. My people say, the head that will “chop” knock, even if u tie turban on it, you’ll still leave space for the knock.. enuff said

  3. Thanks for this write up. So much lesson for naïve girls who believe junks about guys who out of situations like this or personal CHOICE of remaining celibate decide to abstain from sex.

    Btw, if she had been patient and decide to communicate more, she would have known who she was dating and what was wrong with him. There are a lot of things wrong with their relationship.

    Also its a big lessons for all those who like to have sex outside of marriage. If she had waited, they would have had their HIV/AIDS test done before marriage and things would have been revealed to her.

    I can go on and on, but it I will leave it here.

    God bless you, my very own ELIZABETH.
    I will join you in this genre soon.

    *Winks*

    • Pastor IK!!! Thank you for leaving it here, oh, or we would have needed to get you your own blog post. But you’ve found some lessons there that I didn’t even realize were in the story. You try. Thanks so much for everything and God bless you too, my very own Pastor IK 🙂

  4. Oh, well…..HIV isn’t always transmitted immediately, but since she was a virgin and there definitely would’ve been some degree of bruising and bleeding, she don enter be that oo…still on still, he woulda done well to marry her. What’s done is done. She’d be pissed, but eventually they’d only have to bother about not passing it to their kids. Good story, Mama Folake is a typical Yoruba mum. I’d shoot Amina, though….

    • Exactly!!! To me Amina was the main villain in this story, gaskiya. That’s why I don’t like it when young girls have friends that are too much older than them. Sometimes it can turn out well, but many times they just get bad advice.
      Thanks so much for reading.

  5. You started by apologizing for the length of the story. I didnt even notice that. The length, I mean.

    Sigh. If I say you are good, that would be a tautology. Zeenike is good is equivalent to Zeenike is Zeenike.

    I wouldnt even pretend to have predicted the twist.

    Salaam, Liz!!

  6. Niceeeee…..the writing not the story! When we catch that evil agbaya he will tell us if he has never heard of condoms yeye fowl wey dey lay yeye egg!

  7. And why are you painting me in a bad light now……do you like those movies where you have been held in suspense and almost cant stand it anymore then you see…….to be continued?

  8. WTF!!! Oh my God! That guy is a bastard! I can’t even swear for him cos he already has HIV. And then see what mother’s cause. Mtsheeew!
    Nice one, Zee but mtsheeew! Yeye human being!

  9. Jesu!!!

    The sorry is part is that Afolake hasn’t even found out why he bailed. So the full gist is 1. She is gonna suffer a terrible heart break for losing her virginity to a now-a-stranger. 2. By the time she finally realized she got the virus, she is doomed! 3. The heartbreak and the depression may kill the mother too. Sigh*

    • Thanks, thanks, thanks! Hehehe, I’m glad to have been of service. Now we have to make sure your boss never sees this. Thanks for coming, I’m checking out your blog as we speak…

  10. Jeez! You mean she actually did all this, I mean, she worked this hard for six months, just to get HIV?
    Cruel world!
    A big lesson. A wonderful story. A great writer.

  11. The lenght, I didn’t notice. But u are wicked o. If she was gonna get HIV u coulda at least made Obi give her awesome sex. Ur blog, U, ur writings, y’ll just got a fan

    • Yay, a fan!! Thanks so much for taking the time out to read, Omotola.
      Do you know, eh, it wasn’t supposed to be like this oh, I had no idea at the start that it would end up this wicked.

  12. Geeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! I don’t
    knw when I gasped WTF. Now who
    do we blame here? Society for
    encoding it into everyone’s dna that
    there’s something wrong with a man
    that doesn’t try to touch his girl?
    The girl for pushing? The guy for not
    telling her his status? Her mother for
    pushing her?
    I guess ultimately he shd hv told
    her. He has no excuse.

    • Her friend for bad advice? I think everyone was guilty in one way or the other, I can even manage to dig up a sliver of sympathy for the guy.
      Thank you so much for reading, and I love your writing too!

  13. But wait o. After reading the end again. The writer hasn’t said that Obi is HIV positive. All she said is he was called in discuss his HIV test. Docs always do that irrespective of the result. The Docs may hv advised him to remain celibate or use condoms. Don’t mind me, my mind races when I see stories like this.

    To the writer, I am in awe

    • Lol! Grasping at straws now, are we? Docs will usually just tell you it was negative on the phone, now, isn’t that how they do it everywhere?

      For the compliment, you’re far too kind. Thank you.

  14. O ma se ooooo….so a girl cannot even be nice to a brother again. Na wa ooo. Serious bad market. Bhet why didn’t the fool quickly rush down the street to get condom na? This thing pain me ooo. Thank God sey na fiction

    • Lol! I can feel your pain. Maybe if she hadn’t made him drunk he would have thought of it? Poor man, I kind of feel sorry for him, oh. Thanks so much for coming, Toyin.

  15. Your style of writing is both splendid and engaging…I did not even notice any ‘length’ till it was over…kai..you’re never afraid to bring a sad twist to your story.. a la Shakespeare style

  16. Pingback: Girl’s body found naked in front of church . | Cbcburke9's Blog

    • See, eh, I don’t know o. I often worry about my characters after a story and this was one character I worried about a lot. What would happen to a real-life girl in her shoes? Thank you for coming, and thanks for reading, and I’m sorry I’m just getting to reply.

  17. You see your life Folake? You see? All this could have been avoided by TALKING. Not ambushing, not speculating, plain ol’ talking! O di nma.

    Well done! I think your friend Hetty should chill small. I wouldn’t have minded a two-parter, just as a way to sharpen the hunger. But thank you (and Hetty) for giving us the whole thing!

    • Sorry I’m just getting to reply this, oh. And you’re right, talking would have saved so much trouble. But you know how people can like to allow themselves be influenced by people around, plus we women are taught at an early age that our bodies are the answer to all life’s problems. Very anger provoking something.
      Thank you so much for reading, jo. Do come again.

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