It’s Boxing Day and as I wake up, I pray that there’ll be no literal boxing in this house but somehow, I wished I could see Jeff and box some sense into his legal head. Of all the things he claimed to know about me, he had gotten the chocolate gift wrong and that is completely unacceptable. Five more days to go and I’ll see him then, I’ll give him what he deserves.
You see; about Jeff, I like him. Yeah, I’ll admit I do but not to the extent of letting myself go all for him. It will take a whole army to make me stoop that low for a man. I met Jeff five years ago at a board meeting. He had attended as the legal officer representing another major organisation to read through a contract that was to be finalized that day between both companies. I had noticed that he was stealing glances at me all through the meeting but had his full attention on the procedure at hand. After the meeting, he had walked up to me to introduce himself. I laugh every time I remember our conversation that day. I was walking to my car as he was talking.
“Hello. Excuse me… Hi, I’m Jeff Oku. May I have the pleasure of meeting you?”
I had looked at him, head to toe to see if he was worth talking to. I was impressed by what I saw. He was tall and tall as I was, he was still taller than me by an inch. For a lawyer, he looked well built like he took his fitness routines serious. He had a handsome face with low cropped hair and a neatly shaved mustache. He looked well groomed and expensive but I wasn’t interested. I still had Terry, my six months old bed mate and I was thinking of dumping him cos I was already tired of him complaining of not seeing me as often as he wanted. I had answered Jeff, “No.” and kept on walking but he didn’t stop following me.
“Okay. I don’t mind getting to know you in the nearest future but I like what I see… beauty and brains”
I stopped and fully turned to face him before saying, “Now cut the chase Jeff or whatever. I noticed you looking at me in there. What do you want? To fuck me? Cos if that’s what you want, I’ve got a fuck buddy already so, no thanks” I had started walking away feeling triumphant but he said things that stopped me in my tracks.
“On the question of if I want to fuck you, yes but, I’m not in a hurry. I’ve got other plans. Meanwhile, tell your fuck buddy to step down cos by the time we begin, three will definitely become a crowd”
That said, he put his card in my hand and said “That’s my card, memorize my number so that when I call, you’ll know it’s me” then he walked away
I was again impressed. This time, not because of his looks but because of the way he handled the conversation. I’m used to being in charge and on the norm, I go after my own men. I select the ones I want and when I’m done with them, I move on but this time, Jeff took control of not just the conversation that day, but he went through the pains of chasing me. I gave him a hard time for six months but he didn’t give up. Then on my thirtieth birthday; the first of July, he booked an all expense paid trip for me to go shopping in Paris for a week, alone. I was shocked. There and then, I knew he was my match. But, I had to warn him about commitments. I gave him my rules, I told him I didn’t like clingy, intrusive men and he shouldn’t expect that our friendship would lead to anything else. He agreed.
However, as the years passed, Jeff kept breaking the rules but somehow, I haven’t been able to dump him cos, unlike the other men, there was nothing routine about us. We saw each other like four times in a month because of our busy schedules and we go on vacation together once in a year. He fit into the role perfectly and sometimes, I wonder if I really need him. I ended up allowing myself to let him stick around for a while longer but this year, I think we’ve been together far too long. We need to take a break.
I was at the dinning having lunch. Mom had prepared fresh fried rice and shrimps for me cos she knows I hate left over food. Tinu had gone to the movies with her family, Bayo had accompanied Mummy Leke to her house so that he could assist her pack up for her trip to the US. She would be spending the New Year there with her son and his family. So that left Mom and I in the house alone. She joined me with her own food and halfway through our meal, Mom started the dreaded “Talk” that comes whenever we have the opportunity to be alone.
“Lola” she paused wanting to be sure she had my full attention
“Why don’t you want to settle down?” her eyes were pleading
I didn’t say anything, I continued eating.
“Lola, you know I’m your mother and I’ll be the first person to tell you the truth”
I continued eating but nodded in agreement
“You’re not getting younger Ife mi. You’re accomplished. In fact, you have it all but my dear, you need a family of your own to complete you”
“Mami, I don’t need anything more. I’m okay the way I am” I answered her
”Lola, you’re not okay. Ever since you returned from Lebanon, you’ve changed. You’re not my sweet loving, soft spoken daughter anymore. Everyone’s afraid of you, I am sometimes even scared of stepping on your toes and I’m sure you’ve been chasing men away with that attitude. What happened to you Lola?”
“Life happened Mom. There’s nothing wrong with me. I just choose to make my own choices and live by them” I said losing appetite for my food
“There’s definitely something wrong somewhere Lola. You’ve never ever introduced any man as your boyfriend or fiance to me. Or, is it that you don’t like men?”
I was surprised that she would think that way and it made me laugh as I replied, “Of course I like men Mami!”
“Then what’s the problem?!” she looked and sounded exasperated
“There’s no problem Mami, trust me. When I’m ready, I’ll get married. Okay?”
“Oh Lola …” she started crying.
Oh no! I don’t need this right now. But she continued amidst tears.
“Look at your sister, she’s happily married with three kids. But you, you don’t even want to try. Ejo, ni tori olorun (please, in the name of God), at least show me a man and let me be assured that you really want to settle down”
“Okay. Mo ti gbo.” I said feeling guilty but if only she knew.
Nothing happened this evening. So as I lay on my bed, I reflect on all what Mom had said. This isn’t the first time we’re having this kind of conversation so I’m not really bothered. It’ll pass as usual like we never talked. That’s Mom for you.
Day 7’s been a bit emotional kudos to Mom, I better gird up and wear my amour against tomorrow else, I’ll allow more wins against me.