Events highlighted are real (for the most part), but all characters in this piece are fictitious. Any reference to persons living or dead (or undead) is purely coincidental.
“Guy, how far you na? So with all these plenty fine girls wey dey your phone, wey you always dey snap with, plus the ones wey you dey use as DP every day, you still dey cook this bachelor concoction as food? You never see the one wey go just be your major ‘control’, wey go just dey stammer your name for night? Guy, you nor just dey try!” – Random buddy, going through my phone after a meal at my house.
Yeah, I get that a lot. Over the years, I have got myself acquainted with many ladies (really beautiful ones too, if I may add), but 98% of these friendships and interactions never lead to anything ‘serious’, in that sense of the word. It’s no accident though. When it comes to converting hi’s and hello’s into ‘I love you’s, there’s a lot I consider beyond mere ease on the eye. There are those who have suggested that I am just scared of commitment, I was recently harassed by a lady (good-looking too) on a social network for being ‘ultra-demanding’ when it comes to the specifications for my kind of girl, and not too long ago, another female friend called me out for “never being serious with women”. (That one really hurt). Not like I owe any explanations, but there are reasons why ‘like’ didn’t develop into ‘love’ with many of the ladies I’ve been attracted to. Some of these reasons are genuine, others are just lame excuses, and I wish to apologise to those good girls I may have led on, but eventually left high and dry. Not to kiss and tell, but I can’t help but use certain persons I’ve met to illustrate why attraction couldn’t lead to a real romantic ride, and equally spell out what a young man should consider when he goes in search of true value in a woman. (This doesn’t apply to those friendships which only existed on the phone, where I put my smooth talk and my “Sexy Voice Mode” to waste.)
*Switches on music player, puts Kendrick Lamar’s “Don’t Kill My Vibe” on repeat*
1. Kemi, You Need Anger Management Classes
Petite, easy on the eye, fun to have around, but you had a temper difficult to cope with. You got offended at every little thing, and while I was hardly ever at the receiving end of your verbal fireballs, I couldn’t help but imagine what might happen if I took our friendship one step further. Your display on my birthday was legendary; yes, the service was terrible, but I expected a lot better from you than exchanging vulgar words with that waitress, and worse still was the fact that you wouldn’t listen when I tried to calm the storm. I wouldn’t want you to fling a kitchen knife or a boiling kettle in my face one day out of anger, so I applied the brakes.
2. Justina, Sleep In The Shower!
I blame the booze, yes, I blame Harp, for making me feel any attraction in the first place. Not that you are particularly ugly, no, but I wouldn’t have been so drawn as to ask for those eleven digits. I was sober on our next rendezvous, and all five senses (especially my nose) were alert. I know the economy is hard, but basic cosmetics aren’t too expensive now, are they? I had to practice holding my breath for extended periods while I sat close to you, and thank God kissing wasn’t in the agenda, because it would have been disastrous. I only just stopped short of asking you when your next birthday was, but then I was left in no doubt as to the right gifts to buy.
3. Harriet, Was All The Drama Necessary?
A little drama is good to heat up the place, I know, but that doesn’t mean I would want my life to play out like one of those soaps that air on Telemundo. Harriet, your nagging was top notch, and nothing passed without a complaint from you; from the state of the hotel room (which was a cheap one, by the way), to the fact that I “didn’t introduce you properly”, to your requests for food and in-betweens every other hour (Lord knows what part of your tiny frame the meal would go), to the two occasions where I ‘delayed’ in sending that recharge card I promised, to the insistence on the cinema and a fast food joint at the same time (which caused me to miss half of the action from that movie). I don’t read the Bible as much as I used to, but I still remember that part in Proverbs which talks about staying on the roof being better off than living with a nagging woman. I hope you are not surprised as to why I stopped calling.
4. Chinenye, Your Opinion Of Me? *Sigh*
Some liken Friendship to an essential meal in this world of ours, and if that is the case, then I’d love to think that Trust is an essential ingredient in that meal, and when that ingredient is absent, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the taste of the meal. We’d been friends for a while, so you can understand why I was disappointed at your reaction to James’ false statements. Someone desperate to get you lies to you that I bragged to him about shagging you, and the best line of action you could think of was storm my flat on a Monday morning and create a scene? Whatever happened to “benefit of a doubt”, huh? I don’t know how you felt when you discovered that you had been deceived, but if I were you I’d hate myself for reacting like that, and having such a low opinion of someone I call a friend. I accepted your half-hearted apology, but that was as far as we could go.
5. Lola, FBI Agent
There is a line between care and insecurity, between affection and suffocation. You, Lola, obviously don’t recognize such lines. No matter how strongly you feel for someone, it becomes creepy when you always want to know what their Facebook updates mean, or what their Blackberry Personal Messages are about, or who the person on their Display Picture is, or why they didn’t adore you on your birthday like they do to others. Baby, I know you meant well, but your penchant for interrogation (and possibly investigation) was a little too much to handle.
6. Chidinma, What Do You Really Want?
We’ve been friends for over five years now. I love the fact that you are intelligent, that you can dance, and that you’ve got a mind for God (to an extent). Hanging out with you however is usually tortuous; one minute you want chicken n’ chips, the next minute you want Sharwama instead, a minute later it’s Pizza you’d rather go for. There was also that day we went hunting for a dinner gown – and returned five hours later without any because you just couldn’t make a choice as to what colour, what texture, or how thin the straps could be. Indecisiveness for me is a deal-breaker; if you can’t make a simple choice like your preference on the restaurant menu, how can you cope in a relationship, where firm decision-making is key? I guess that pretty much explains why you had three boyfriends in ten months.
7. Funmi Broadcasting Network
I really can’t place a finger on how we got to know each other, but I won’t forget the fact that on the very first day we sat down to talk, you told me some deep secrets about your family without regard to the fact that we’d only just met, and also fed me with lurid details of your (then) six-year relationship (which you elected to break two days later). It was nice to see a lady who was honest and down to earth, not ashamed to discuss her monthly cycle, but when you began to talk about your roommates and their sex habits, as well as unpleasant personal details involving your best friend, I began to get concerned. You loved me to bits (or at least that’s what you thought), and I appreciate that, but I’m very private when it comes to my romantic ties, and I wasn’t quite sure that you wouldn’t spill details of our intimate moments in one of your regular gossip sessions, so I nipped the budding romance in the bud.
8. Ugochi, The Paper Doll(?)
Dark, slim, great bust, naughty. I was so drawn to you that I (temporarily) went back on my values. The attraction wore off soon enough though; I found that there was little beneath the surface. We couldn’t really have any meaningful conversations on sport, politics, music, movies or even academics. Then again, it became a waste of time composing texts to you or sending you links to my writings. It would have been too much trying to make a Muse out of a lady who didn’t pretend to show the slightest bit of interest in my craft. For me, dating is a lot more than swimming in a sea of bedsheets, and even keeping up with the friendship would have been detrimental, how much more stepping into the Sea of Love.
9. Tessy…… What Do You Believe In?
Tess, I won’t judge you on your love for threesomes, or your habit of “swallowing babies”, but at least try to think of your Maker from time to time. You always sounded evasive whenever the topic drifted to religion, and on Sundays you were too eager to change the topic whenever I asked “how was service?” over the phone. No, I wasn’t hoping that you’d become a neo-Nun or mini-Deaconess (even though I won’t mind being around someone like Mrs. Kay Onuoha), but I love the ones who try to make out even the shortest possible time for the Saviour. I am no angel, but I believe that unless it’s just a fling, God should be brought into the matter, never mind whether he approves of all that you both do. Yeah, why can’t we pray together after all the naughtiness? Your neo-agnosticism gave me cause to worry, so I changed my mind about swinging with you.
10. Vivian, The Walking Diary
St. Paul wasn’t drunk when he said that “love keeps no record of wrongdoing”. Vee, it became annoying when you frequently made reference to things that were done months before (which I had repeatedly apologised for), or dishing out word-for-word reminders of statements that were uttered in jest, sometimes even screen-munching our chats to use as a verbal weapon in the future. Ok, I get it, you’ve got a good memory, why don’t you apply that memory more appropriately and work towards improving your G.P.A at school?
Sure enough, there is the question of how strong these reasons really were, and there is also the issue of my tolerance level, but I like to think that it’s no use pretending about what you can’t put up with. No one is perfect, it’s true, but there are certain traits a lady must get rid of if she’s going to keep any man, or at least a man who’s up for something “seriously serious”. To the ladies, let your beauty transcend your skin, and to the guys, here’s hoping you hunt right.
Many thanks to the ladies whom I’ve had cause to get acquainted with over the years, and who have directly or indirectly influenced the theme of what I’ve done here. You all are beautiful, be sure of that.
No hearts were broken during the compilation of this piece.