Sometimes you have to take a moment and just appreciate the craziness of my gender because on more occasions than not we are braver than men. I did not say we are stronger just foolhardy bravado. I have seen girls talk to fully armed fidelity guards without a worry in the world. Ask any guy and they will tell you that when they see those money vehicles they walk as far away as possible. Not my gender. I have seen girls stand in between two big fighting guys or even simply cheat on abusive boyfriends knowing what could happen to them. It’s absolutely insane. Here I was with a man who could crush my skull with one hand who was possibly justified in doing so.
He did not come out which i found to be a relief as i did not want to be seen in broad day light with him. You know it’s weird. With the fact that i had conned this man i should have been very afraid of him but there was not that kind of fear in me.
“I cannot go far because i am studying and i have a test tomorrow!”
I told him that. It was not a lie i really had work to do.
“I also have things to do so don’t worry will have you back in a bit! I just want a more private place than this where not everyone who walks past is looking at us!”
He said without looking up.
“You are acting funny are you angry at me?”
I asked him.
“No, I am sorry. It’s not about you nwa Lewa. I am angry at the meeting I coming from. Sorry to come in a foul mood. I would have cancelled but I had to check on you after the incident you experienced. Abisola told me and I was worried for you!”
He said. It’s so hard not to compare him to the guys I grew up with. He was genuinely so thoughtful and it’s rare to get that.
“I am sorry you had to come to see me when you are going through something yourself. I am much better now.”
I reassured him as we went for a drive.
“Its fine. I will fix the problem don’t worry. I got your message last night and i wanted to apologize.”
He said without taking his eye off the road.
“Why would you even apologize it’s not like you did anything wrong. I am the one who lied about my birthday and I should not hold it on my friends as I allowed them to do so. I really am sorry!”
I told him.
“It’s ok i understand bit i have bad news for you…”
He told me and for a second there i panicked.
“What do you mean?”
I asked him.
“In my culture, we can’t take back gifts it’s a bad omen!”
He told me. For a moment there i was perplexed,
“Are you for real?”
I asked him.
“Yes if you are l a man and you gift a woman then try taking it back its really bad juju. We believe you won’t be able to make kids!”
He said sternly.
“But I am the one giving it back how does that work?”
I asked him very confusedly by this culture of theirs.
“Then the omen falls on you and you will be barren. It’s very tough this curse!”
He said. That was crazy but not entirely foreign to me as in Zulu we had similar sayings. Ungasinyeli isihlahla esikupha umthunzi, which means never shit under a tree that gives you shade. Just imagine the following day when you want to sit under it ah.
“I am just kidding!”
He said and he burst out laughing. He had actually found this funny.
“You almost had me there!”
I told him as I found humour in his joke laughing with him.
“I do understand but unfortunately for it will now always be the date of your birthday because that’s how we met. I do agree that money as a birthday gift was a bad idea so yes i will take it back!”
He told me. I immediately handed the present back and then he said,
“I am still going to get you a birthday gift because as I have stated as far as i am concerned this is it and this time you won’t give it back!”
He said with a smile in his face. I was not sure what to say now because he was making it clear.
“I know i am not your type, truth be told i am no bodies type. I make a good boyfriend though and that’s saying a lot when i look at what you girls have to put up with!”
He told me and that got under my skin immediately. I am sure somewhere out there a girl exists who wants a man built njengo gandaganda but because I did not know any such big men to start with I knew not of such a girl.
“Are we going somewhere in particular or we just going to drive around? I am asking because Katlego and I are arguing so I want to buy her a pizza to make peace between us!”
I told him trying to change a conversation that was awkward enough as is. I know to some it might appear rude but I did not know what to say.
“We just driving but let’s find a Debonairs so we can buy!”
He told me. His voice did not betray whether or not my response had disappointed him.
“I have a question for you…”
I told him.
“Tell me something about you that you would never tell a girl on the first date?”
I asked him.
“Goodness, I didn’t expect something that deep but because you said it’s our first date I am going to respond.”
He said. Hold up. It’s not what i had said though.
“I don’t drink and it’s not because I don’t like it but because of my size I feel it’s a gateway to diabetes!”
He said. Ok, I also had not expected something that deep. I was too young to date someone with diabetes. Isn’t it supposed to be an old people’s disease first of all? What business did I have had to worry about such things at my age?
“Wow, I actually did not expect something so serious. I thought you would tell me that you are a father of 7 back in Nigeria!”
I told him and i laughed out loud.
“Nah I only have 6.”
He responded. The joke was over.
I asked him shocked. It was his turn to burst out laughing.
“I am just kidding. No. I am only 29 i can’t be having kids everywhere!”
He said and again he had dropped a bombshell. He was only 29? Ube qamba manga. There was no way in hell he was that age. Dude aged like a banana ah.
“Definitely I was shocked for a second there!”
What’s the appropriate age difference a girl must have between her and a guy? I mean if he was 29 he was a full ten years older than an emphasis on the if. When he was 20 I was 10. I didn’t even have breasts yet and he already long passed his matric or whatever their equivalent is.
“Your friend Zamo is a bit crazy isn’t she?”
He asked me.
“She is not my friend. She is Katlego’s friend.”
I did not even hesitate in my response and the ferocity of my response made him say,
“I take it you don’t like her?”.
He asked me.
“You got that right. She has been on my case for as long as I have known her and its only because of Katlego that we end up in the same circle.”
“I will drop it. She really gets to you. I can see that much.”
With the pizza ready i wanted to go back to my residence. Its only nice hot right?
“We have to go home I have work remember!”
I paid for my own pizza even though he offered. I don’t know how others experience this back home but for me, this was probably the longest conversation I had ever had with a guy in English. It’s not even funny back home I am only exposed to one language and am not about to mess with Indian guys. Needless to say, my tongue was tired and my ancestors did not fight white people for me to talk like this.
“No problem I am also running behind time. I am glad we had this conversation. Seeing you makes me happy!”
He said. I don’t think I had ever had someone that completely smitten with me and it’s not even because of my looks. I just had that don’t mess with me face back home well because I grew up there. I had no intention of getting pregnant and marrying there either so boys were never really my thing. When we got back to my place we sat in the car for another ten minutes.
“I will call you during the week!”
He said before i got out of the car.
I told him as I left. This time he did not wait for me to get in as he drove off immediately. I walked towards the gate and I heard,
I knew that voice way to well. Every bone and hair on my body froze.
I turned to look. It was my father. He did not look happy at all.