I sat quietly in the rickety, jerky cab.
“Ugh!” My friend Denise said irritably to the driver. “This car is so slow-and dirty as well.”
She turned to me. “Efua, sit straight now, you’re looking dead.” Denise put away her shades into her bag as she strapped the seat belt across her chest.
I ignored her knowing it would irritate her further as I pouted my lips. I wasn’t exactly the happiest person at the moment so I might as well be dead. I stared out the window as the cab sped off.
My fear that I would still be girl-like even at 25 had finally happened. I was so sad earlier this morning that I made up my mind to go to the hospital first before heading back to Lagos. I didn’t like Denise seeing me in such a state. I was usually the stronger one of both of us; always the shoulder to cry on. I hated the idea of people seeing me in my weak state, I always denied any form of weakness. I needed to blow off steam and I didn’t want to do so in front of Denise.
I had initially wanted to go to the hospital myself but Denise wouldn’t hear of it. She didn’t want me to get missing again like I did the other night. I tried to convince her that it wouldn’t happen like that again but she just blatantly refused to let me go on my own. I was going to frustrate her till we get home and then imma be all nice and stuff.
At some point, my bag began to vibrate and I knew my phone was ringing. I was in no mood to pick any calls so I just ignored my phone. I noticed the way Denise kept looking at me troubled but only I understood just how I felt. At least, everyone is allowed to have their crazy moments so stop looking at me, I thought. I closed my eyes wishing I could be 18 again.
I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my breasts – it just won’t behave, and damn this fake push-up for not being my size and subjecting me to this ordeal. I should be studying for my final exams of my second year session, which are next week, yet here I am trying to push my breasts into submission all because of a foolish dinner.
It must not look so small. It must not look so small. Reciting this mantra several times, I attempt, once more, to bring it under control with my hands. I roll my eyes in exasperation and gaze at the pale, brown-haired girl with hazel brown eyes too big for her face staring back at me, and give up. My only option is to wear my wayward breasts without a bra and hope that I look semi presentable.
Gathering my clutch, I smile wryly at Denise and a couple of my other friends who had come to get me, then head out the tiny apartment I shared with Ehis to the car. I cannot believe I have let Denise & Ehis talk me into dressing this way. But then Denise can talk anyone into anything.
Date: 6th December, 2015
Location: creek waterhouse, Asaba
Mood: Tired much
So the boys and I just got back from the hospital after seeing Omomoh and he at least smiled at us, so we know all he is well and fine. The doctor says he’ll be in there for a couple of days…3 days maybe or 4? Can’t be so sure of his recovery status. Oh well, that’s by the way. So I have a gut feeling that the strange number that called earlier today was the ass lady.
I had thought that she’d call back by now but she hasn’t and I’m so anxious to have a meet-up with her. Damming all the consequences, I picked up my BB Passport and dialed the strange number, praying silently that whoever would pick at the other end would be the ass lady. I dialed the number twice but I got no response and I’m getting worried. Whoever that was must have been a freak-ass! I tossed aside my phone aside and clasped both my hands over my face.
I’m tired of this shithole mess, I definitely can’t be in love with that darn ass…this must be some ass-love!
Just then, I hear Denise tap me. “Efua…come down, we’re home.”
I look around and realize I had slept throughout the journey home. “What a relief to be back home”, I thought, “Where I can lie on the bed and forget that I ever even existed!”
I checked my phone and saw that I had missed calls from my brother, Francis and a strange number. I began to debate on whom to call first when I suddenly remembered I had called the strange number earlier, which belonged to the guy I had met the other night. Strangely enough, I had seen him today at St. Luke and it got me jerking off the bed. I mean…what’s up with me and guys? One moment, I’m void of men in my life, the next I’m having lots of them zooming in all at once!
Don’t get me wrong, I think I like the guy but somehow I feel this guy is trouble. I mean when guys give you their cards just so you could get their number, I feel they are also selling off themselves as the kind of guy you need. I mean, what stopped him from just calling out his number to my hearing so that I could just dial it up on my phone? But no…he had to give me his business card, so now I know his full name, I know where he works and his position and I got his cell phone number, his office line and his fax…I didn’t ask for all those information sha.
Thing is, I wouldn’t have even remembered to call him up if I hadn’t set eyes on him today. Oh yeah, I know right…girls can like to misbehave but I really did want to call him when I got home that night to say thank you. However, when I got home that night, Denise practically had her eyeballs all set on me when I told her I had missed my way and I had to do lots of explaining that finally got me mad, and I ended up sleeping like that, not wanting to talk to anyone. I didn’t think I would ever set foot in any hospital in a long while but my situation had gotten worse Denise advised I go.
I had initially wanted to go to Nordica Fertility Centre, but I was told the specialist that would have attended to me had moved to St. Luke’s Hospital. You see, I have a rare condition which makes me think sometimes I might be masculine. Thing is, I hardly see my period…I’d be lucky if I even saw it once in 3 months. I could stay all year and see my period just twice, sometimes once. At first, I thought it was cool like I don’t need to bother about them blood and pads but as I got older, I began to have this nudge feeling that I was maybe infertile. There was this time I even thought I should have been a male…I had beards sprouting out of my chin and I had this deep masculine voice. Worse thing was I even had little or no breasts!!! What other thing to tell how manly I had become?
Another convincing factor was I loved been in control and somehow I thought I hated the idea of having sex because somehow, I just couldn’t get through with it. I started going for therapy and all, not because I wasn’t having sex but because I just loved to be in control and I had full trust issues-I needed to work on that. Been a virgin was never a problem for me, in fact anyone who saw that as a problem was either the devil incarnate or the devil himself! I had always been taught from childhood that pre-marital sex was wrong and that keeping myself celibate till I was married was the right thing.
However, depression set in when I realized I wasn’t even seeing my period, I wanted to be in control, I had serious trust issues and I didn’t know shit about how to turn a guy on. So it got me thinking, if ever I got married today, just how would I cope? I may end up not even having kids, my husband may cheat on me, I may be a boring wife and because I couldn’t let that shit happen to me, I decided it was high time I visited a doctor. I needed to know what the hell was going on inside my body and after today’s hospital visit, I felt more depressed than ever. I was to wait 3 more days for the report and I felt so sad because I hated the thought of having to hear that after all this while, I was barren. I waited all my 25 years for the perfect man and the perfect time and finding out that I may be barren was about to ruin my perfect little plan.
I stared at my Infinix zero after calling my brother and Francis, and wondered if calling It’soyha; that was him name right, I searched for his card in my purse and looked at his name one more time, yeah, I was correct; was the right thing to do at the moment. I was in no mood to sound cheerful neither was I in any mood to laugh with or appreciate anyone but then I started wondering just why he had been at the hospital this afternoon. “Was he sick? He didn’t look sick to me…” I thought
I punched on my phone and waited for the guy at the other end to pick up. Somehow, I was anxious and I didn’t know why.
As I sit at the dining with my cousins, I hear my phone ring in the background. I’m less concerned at the moment about whoever may be at the other end but as I keep hearing my ringtone…“you say keep on business on the low low, I’m just tryna get you out of friend zone, ‘cuz you look even better than the photos…” I remember the ass-lady. “Oh my word…” I say as I run out of the dining to get my phone to the amazement of my cousins
“Hello?” I whisper into the phone praying silently that it’d be the ass-lady
“Hey, hello…” I hear her say “Sorry, Am I on to Utibe It’soya?” she sounded not so sure. This was def the ass-lady, my name is written exactly like this on my card…I smile
“Yes, this is It’soyha. Who am I speaking with” I smile half hazardly as if I already didn’t know
“Erm…well, I don’t know if you can remember me. You took me to the garage about some days back. The girl who was heading to Free Town? At the ATM? Remember?”
“Erm…” I say trying to sound like I was thinking “I really don’t remember you”
“Oh! Well, I wanted to say thank you although it’s belated now but it’s a pity you don’t remember me.”
“Oh…Not a problem” I shrug my shoulders trying to behave like it didn’t matter that she was just calling after a period of six days…of course, it mattered!
“Alright then, I’ll let you be…Thanks again” she said sounding distant. This can’t be happening, soon she’ll drop the call and then it hit me…her name!
“Sorry, what’s the name again?”
“Oh…that’s true. I never did tell you my name, I’m Efua.”
“Efua…” I repeat, so that’s the ass-lady’s name “A great name you have there, what does it mean?
“Erm…I really don’t know” I hear her smiling
“Now, that’s a shame…for a pretty lady like you, I’m disappointed” I chuckled. I hear her chuckling with me
“Oh well, I never bothered to ask.” She chuckled again “Sorry for asking this but I saw you at the hospital this afternoon, are you okay?”
“Me?” I asked and then I remembered the ass I saw today…so that was truly her, I see
“Yeah, I think I saw you and some people at St. Luke’s today”
“Oh right…my cousin had a small convulsion so we took him there.”
“Okay, I hope he’s fine now?”
“Yeah, he is. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome… Okay then, have an awesome night.” She said
And just like a fool, I blurt out…”Can we get to meet?”
“Oh…well, I don’t think that can be possible, I’m sorry”
“Well that’s because I’ll be going back home in 3 days’ time.”
“Where’s home?” I asked as I moved aside from Oshole who was looking intently at me wanting to know who I was talking to
“Er…home is where it is…why are you asking?”
I roll my eyes at her question. Is it not obvious that it’s because I want to see her that got me asking in the first place. Why are girls just so complicated? “Never mind my asking…What about tomorrow?”
“Yikes, my tomorrow is full…I can’t!”
“And the day after?” Now I was sounding desperate “You know so I could even see who it is I’m speaking with.”
“Oh…okay, I could do that.”
“So where do I meet you at?
“You tell me…you asked for a meet-up”
I smile at her sarcasm “Alright that’s how you wanna play, huh?” I hear her soft chuckle at the background “Okay…cool, I’ll text you soon”
“Alright then, till then” she mumbles as I hear her say something to someone else at the background.
“See you soon Stranger” I smile remembering she had told me her name. Fortunately, unlike other girls, she didn’t take offence instead she laughed
“Oh well stranger, see you soon too! Cheers” I hear a click at the other end and just like that she was gone.
I grin at my phone as I save her number and then it hit me…I had me the ass lady and I was meeting her up next tomorrow, I couldn’t wait.
I was as excited as a child who had gotten a new toy! Of course, I had just acquired a new toy…I chuckle hard.
I look down at my phone and smiled. “Stranger huh? So after I had told him my name, he still thought of me as strange…” I thought.
I would have thought that he’d remember me after describing to him where we met but oh well…he didn’t seem like someone who cared. “So why did he give me his card if he didn’t even remember that he gave it out? Men though, they like to make a woman look like she’s begging for attention!” I sigh remembering I had agreed to a meet-up with him. That was definitely not the plan.
I gaze up at Denise who was looking at me like I was crazy.
“What is it again Denise?” I questioned
“Are you okay?” she queried “Why did you lie about being busy tomorrow?”
“I didn’t lie now, I’m busy”
“Busy doing nothing. Tell me, what are you busy doing tomorrow? You keep giving nonsense excuses just to avoid going out and then you complain of not having a man. Do you think a man will just magically appear from heaven? Remember, Heaven help those who help themselves.”
“Yeah right…I hear you!” I smirk my lips to one side as I move to the living room. I continue to play candy crush on my phone as Denise sit close to me curling up her legs on the sofa. “So you really are going back to Lagos?” She questioned
“Yes!” I reply non-chalantly
“Can’t you just stay and leave after the holidays?”
“No Denise, I have other things to tidy up before I get back to work.”
“But work is till January, why the rush?”
“Denise, leave me alone jhoor…I’m playing candy crush!”
“How is that the answer to my question, foolish girl? You want to leave me here all by myself and run to Lagos because of what? It’s not as if you will even attend all the big parties they’ll be throwing or anything. You’ll still be stuck home all day…when you ought to stay here and build a strong connection with whomever it is you just called.” She hissed as she pushed my head
“Denise, I’m warning you oh, leave me.”
“So candy crush is more important than me bah?” She said as she playfully pulled away my phone from me and ran.
Truth is, I love candy crush and Denise knows better than to take away my candy crush but she obviously was looking for my trouble.
“Denise!!!” I screamed as I ran after her “You better give me my phone back!”
“No!” She retorted and flashed a tongue at me.
I shook my head in dismay. My friend just wanted to play and I obliged her as I ran to her, tickling her till she was erupting with laughter.