I have been well. My English teacher would shoot me if I used the Twenty First Century word “Good”. He said it has been misused. “Its original meaning has been thrown away!” He would bark like a dog, making sure I understood him. A lot happens. So many words have been held hostage around here by several groups of people. Can you recall the word “Gay” – its original meaning being happiness? Yeah. You know what has happened to it right? You can barely write in a book that you feel gay and people wouldn’t look at you with some contempt. I like everyone. But taking away the original meaning of words to sooth some crazy ‘culture’ is pathetic! And I must narrate here that I feel gay! Shoot me!
All that concerns me has been good. My girlfriend, ND, has been at ease with me. She had told me how she disliked my documented experiences with women. She had told me in her usual soft tone. Even if I had earplugs I was sure to hear her. I could not miss a word of what she had said if I wanted to remain In-A-Relationship on Facebook. Life is too short. I obeyed faster than anyone could figure.
Someone had written somewhere that men who listened to their wives – In my case, my girlfriend, lived longer. I can write about her anywhere – especially the good stuff. She never does anything bad. No lady does anything bad. Men are the suckers. We don’t know anything. We get everything wrong. And women are the saints – they would eventually inherit the earth, I know.
I used to document my interaction with the women I meet on Facebook. A lot of them are crazy, really. If you told them you were a student, you would be better dead than have them visit you. But when they know you work, it doesn’t matter the job, they would send you mobile phone numbers and tell you when to call. And a lot of them would display fat stupidity when they arrived your house and discovered that the flat, bedbug stricken mattress on the floor and the gallon of water placed somewhere at a corner of the house are all you have to offer. One almost killed me with her hands on my neck. She had chatted with me. We later met at a lounge somewhere in town. After she visited my apartment she warned me never to dream about her. I sure heeded. I never dreamed of her. I knotted my loosed screws and behaved. I turned a celibate for the period and regained my senses, somehow. Bloody Zuckerberg!
I can write about my girlfriend. But not those women I meet on Facebook. But I have a problem with her request. If I wrote about her, people would know much. But if stuff is written about the countless women I meet on Facebook, you can only keep the guess-list going forever. I learned faster than she could imagine. I started walking with closed eyes when on the streets to make sure I remained well-behaved, that way I could walk past a beautiful woman and not turn around. And I ignore requests from female admirers too. You know those beautiful women who find profile pictures cute? It has been successful. At least 24 hours elapsed and I didn’t turn at another woman.
I maintained ND’s picture in my head. Each time a temptation approached with both thighs spread at me, I shook my head and repeated some mantra I had been taught by men who have been in my shoes. But the women do not trust me. They think someday I would come to my sense and pick up again, again? I mean pick up and love them like any man would. A lot of them sure think I am a joker when it comes to abstaining from their demons.
The weekend started on a sad note. A friend fell sick and I had to watch over him. I received a call from ND, my muse – as I call her. She was sick. I knew the call was to get me to sit in a vehicle for some hours, heading to Abia State University. It was confirmed. I was truly needed. I told a couple of lies to friends about my trip and picked up just a cloth, some under-wears, and a bottle of antiperspirant, “the rest could be bought at the park” I nodded and walked. I slept a night to the trip with my alarm clock set for 6am. Silly me, I slept on my phone and it turned off. When I woke up, it was about seven in the morning. And it was sanitation, which starts at seven. I rushed to the bus stop, hoped the heavens would not remember my sins and choose to punish me with a scanty road. I think they did. They punished me. I could not get a vehicle. And when I finally got one, it dropped me at some distance from the park. The gate of the park was being rolled for closure. I struggled to pass through it, headed to the counter where tickets are sold. The place was empty. There was no one selling tickets. Someone told me they would not sell until sanitation was over. Pathetic!
I stood watching the drizzling rain like it was hurting me. Of course, it was. The entire place meant for seat was wet and I could not find anywhere to set my butt. I tore a piece of paper from my travel note and sat on it. I sat next to a lady, unconsciously. But I ignored her. The picture of my lady hung over my head like it was a police officer screening my conduct. I behaved. We didn’t talk. But something happened in the split seconds I sat and we spoke.
She smiled. I knew the smile and its place. I smiled too and we spoke all there could ever be said. I discovered she was a corp member – you know that one-year-death-sentence every Nigerian youth is forced to undergo before acquainting self with the labour market? She had studied Accounting in school. She had a shop somewhere around the city. She told me she had noticed me typing on my phone. I type pretty fast. She saw all that and smiled again. Each time she smiled and I smiled back, I felt a knock from outer-space on my head. I quickly reiterated. That’s what every woman wants, a man who would get a subconscious knock each time he approached another woman. But this woman was different. She wanted me to teach her writing. And she was fair and pretty. You could pay to see her walk. The hips could bring out your heart, rip it off and sit on it with some mischievous smiles. And her legs too – awesome!
I always tell wannabe writers, document every piece of detail in your life, and make it interesting. That’s the best way to write or to start the boring career of writing. She heard a lot even with my few words. Each time she stared at my lips as I spoke, I knew I would either spend the entire day with her or become useless, somehow. I motivated her to writing the ICAN examinations. She promised she was going to sit for it. I enquired about her destination and she told me she was travelling to Cross River State. She made a call and I could guess she was visiting a man as I was visiting a woman too.
I like Rivers women. She was about telling me some more stuff when the vehicle I had spent hours waiting for started loading. I ran to grab a seat and forgot to get her mobile phone numbers. It hurt me like a sharp pain in my chest. I turned around to see what I was missing – the nice dimples, the smiles and the gorgeous lips! And each time I turned I felt uneasy. I felt a force pushing me for a hug. But ND’s photo serenaded my memory like flies on a rotten meat, humming thanksgiving hymn.
The driver of my vehicle started collecting money from passengers. I paid. He gave change to the people he owed. And the lady sat there, maybe waiting for me to get her numbers. The driver took his seat and asked those that were privileged to have seatbelts to pull them. I knew I had to be brave to get what I wanted. As he turned the key of the ignition, I excused him. I told him I needed to ease myself. I heard the murmur from the rear of the bus. Some of the people could not speak their anger. But they were mad at my excuse. I pretended to have my zip pulled down. I picked my phone, ran to the lady who sat there, patiently. I apologised for not collecting her numbers earlier or recalling her name. She told me “Chioma”. I like the name. I smiled and promised to give her a call when I returned to Port Harcourt. She smiled. When I returned to the bus I received a beep on my phone. I checked the message. It was from my newly found friend, Chioma, wishing me a safe journey. I knew I would be safe, somehow, with her picture added to my memory-library. Despicable me!