Think Like a Man, End up Without One [2]

couple

 

The Guy’s Girl

When Yetunde asked me where to meet up the following day, I didn’t hesitate before suggesting Babs, a sports bar. Calling Babs a ‘sports bar’ was dignifying the seedy, open-air joint in a backstreet in Surulere that sold cheap beer but also screened live football matches. I knew Yetunde wouldn’t have any qualms about hanging out at a beer parlour, surrounded by a crowd of raucous, sweaty, beer-guzzling men. I’d started giving her directions, when she cut in. She knew the place. I wasn’t surprised.

Yetunde was the quintessential guy’s girl. She loved video games, argued about politics and football and drank Guinness Extra Stout. But it was more than that. She understood men in a way that was uncanny. Whenever my girlfriend and I had a bust-up, Yetunde was my go-to-person. Majority of the time, she sided with me. I don’t think it was because we were friends. She would subject me to a grilling; she only wanted to hear the facts but didn’t want any important detail omitted. She would analyze the issues—a painstaking process that usually ended with her concluding that my girlfriend, Funmi was at fault.

Then she would laugh and say, “But you better go and apologize to Funmi. Forget about my analysis o; all that is English. I’m sorry, that’s what women want to hear.”

It was easier to apologize to Funmi after my conversations with Yetunde; that Yetunde agreed with me was enough vindication.

We had to raise our voices to hear each other above the din at Babs, but there was no lull in our conversation over the ninety minutes of the game. I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. I asked her, half-teasingly, if she now had a boyfriend.

“How can?” she laughed. “If I had a boyfriend, would I be here with you?”

“Come on, be serious. How about that tall, skinny dude I saw you with a couple of times at the cinema?”

“It’s always the same,” Yetunde replied, her voice dropping a notch. “He didn’t want a relationship.” The expression on her face suddenly became serious. She went on, “It doesn’t look like it would ever happen, Akin. I’ve started preparing myself for a lifetime of singleness.”

I faltered, unable to come up with an appropriate remark.

“Why are you looking so concerned?” Yetunde quipped. “Are you my father?”

I doubled over with laughter.

As I drove back home that night, light-headed from the beer and the euphoria of Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea, Yetunde’s remark about bracing up for a lifetime of singleness came back to me. It made no sense why a girl who got along so well with guys, shared our interests, and reasoned the way we did, seemed incapable of being more than just friends with any guy. Would I date her myself, I wondered, as I turned into my street. I chuckled. The thought was ludicrous. It was a question I had never considered, not even fleetingly.

It wasn’t that Yetunde wasn’t attractive. Far from it; boy, she nearly caught me staring at her behind on our way out of Babs that evening! I was also certain it had nothing to do with being friend-zoned or any such nonsense. Then why did the idea of dating Yetunde seem so incongruous? This was a girl I loved to hang out with, a girl who always cracked me up. Why would I not want to be with her?

Then it struck me with sudden clarity that defied the wooziness in my head, as I arrived at the entrance to my house: was it because Yetunde was too much like men that successful romantic relationships with them continued to elude her?

I haven’t been able to answer that question; neither that night nor in the six years that have passed. I am now married and I have two daughters. Yetunde is still single.

 

© Olutola Bella @ Bellanchi

 

 

Photo credit: SnapwireSnaps/ http://pixabay.com/en/couple-laughing-happy-people-598315/

 

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