After Sorry, What Next?

sorry-construction

 

“Busyness is a myth. It’s a weapon that people who no longer love each other use against each other.”

“My schedule has been crazy—”

“Babes, I’m busy too, but I create time—”

“But I’ve been really busy you can ask—”

“Ok. Fine. The question is, ‘Do you still love me?’”

“Hmmm. That’s really not the point . . .”

“That’s not an answer.”

“It’s just that I cannot cross that line . . . Like when I was young and I had this dream . . . like I was going on an adventure. My friends and I would be running through a meadow. The grass was warm underneath my bare feet but the sun was never too hot . . .strange . . . but anyway, some kids would stop to pick wild flowers, others to rest, but I was always excited and focused on getting to . . . anyway, I would come to a stream that I could not cross because I could not swim. The other children would jump in and call out to me to follow suit, saying the stream was not deep. I woke up at the edge of the stream . . . every time!”

“You’ve never told me about that dream. It’s interesting.”

“I cannot just forget that you . . . that—”

“I’m not asking you to suddenly develop amnesia, but our memories should serve us not hinder us. Babes, haven’t you forgiven me?”

“Of course, I have. It’s just that—”

“Look, I don’t even think that we really really forget, but I think we can remember without the sting of pain . . . When my brother died—”

“Ah ah, are you trying to compare your brother’s death with—”

“No, I was just trying to illustrate . . . Never mind . . .”

“Well I don’t know. I’m not there yet.”

“Babes, it’s been nine months. Nine months with the sword of Damocles hanging of over my head—”

“You betrayed me!”

“I did. I am sorry.”

“I know and I just need time. I don’t think it’s fair for you to rush me. You hurt me deeply.”

“I’m so sorry, babes. I’ve done all you asked of me to make us work. I’ve done all I know to do.”

“Yes I know and now I’m asking you for time.”

“Do you still love me? Look at me . . . Do you?”

“You hurt me.”

“Babes, you don’t have to allow the picture of what I did blind you to all the good I did in the past and all the good I’m doing now—”

“That’s the problem you always prescribe how I should act! It’s not your prerogative, it’s mine!”

“I’m sorry. I just miss you so much.”

“Well, I hope you can understand. I just need time. Just give me time.”

“Can I hold you? Come here . . . sit . . . just relax . . . Babes, I’m not doing anything, I just want to hold you . . . that’s better . . . relax. I want to share a poem with you.”

“Sure. Whatever. You know I don’t do poetry.”

“It’s a short one, don’t worry.

And still, after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe Me.’
Look what happens with
A love like that
It lights the Whole Sky
.

Well? . . . well . . . what do you think?”

“Hmmmm. The dream . . . hmmmm. I never made the connection. Maybe that’s the reason I never learnt how to swim.”

 

 

© Timi Yeseibo 2017

 

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/site-website-under-construction-1561769/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Love is a Beautiful Thing

love-beautiful

As I grew up, it sometimes seemed that my parents would throw invisible daggers at each other and the knives would miss, hit the wall, rebound, and lacerate my heart. I thought they might do better apart rather than together, but my mother was adamant that she stick things through, as if she were glue.

Close to thirty years have elapsed since those turbulent times. In war more than elsewhere things do not turn out as we expect. Nearby they do not appear as they did from a distance (Carl von Clausewitz, On War). Perhaps because my parents now speak of their departure like something imminent in the distance, they invite my sisters and me closer, and I see what I did not see then.

My parents tell us about their lives, the things we do not know that they think we should.

We ask my father how he met my mother. His story is like him, adorned with few words. He says that when he met my mother, she was suitably impressed with his house; he had a very nice house in Sapele. When he left Sapele for Lagos, my mother followed him there.

My mother protests and interrupts. She admits that although he had a fine house, she never ventured inside, did not even heed the catcalls of the boys in the area, who said, “Lady, notu you we dey call?”

We shush her gently and assure her that her turn will come. When it does, she counters his story. She says that on her way to school, my father and his friends would peep at her from their house. “I used to be very pretty,” she is matter-of-fact, “everybody struggled to talk to me, but I would just ignore them.”

When my father came to look for her, he was always well turned out in a suit and tie. Because she was afraid of her mother finding out, she met him at the corner and it was, “Hello, hello, by the window side.” A shy smile creeps at the corners of her mouth at this recollection. “But,” she says, “I did not give in for a moment.”

At this, my sisters and I laugh. We make jokes about standing at the corner. My mother laughs. My father laughs. It is a while before we collect ourselves to continue, lost as we are in our memories of teenage love and desire.

“I left for Lagos because I had a strong urge to succeed in life; Sapele was too small for my dreams. I did not leave because of your dad, but to find greener pastures,” my mother says.

“Okay,” my sister smiles knowingly and says, “he was your greener pastures.”

My father chuckles, “She pursued me to Lagos.”

My mother rolls her eyes in exasperation, “I said I went to find greener pastures!”

They bicker over the details of their romance, each wanting to come up tops, but it is playful, weighted by tenderness processed and matured over time. I do not point out that both their stories have holes they have not filled. Maybe they want to bring my sisters and me close enough and no further.

Young people often imagine, as I did, that the fires of romance in older people die out, their candles burnt and spent somewhere in their twenties. In my forties, I know this to be untrue. Watching my parents, I know that it will still be untrue in my sixties, seventies, and way beyond.

Love is a beautiful thing. 

©Timi Yeseibo 2017

 

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/tic-tac-toe-love-heart-play-1777859/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Music, Love, and the Occasional Heartbreak

music-headphones

1.
This is how I know I have fallen in love; I listen to Toxic over and over without grimacing, I croon …with the taste of your lips, I’m on a ride…, with feeling and his picture on my mind, then I flip my imaginary blonde locks the way Britney Spears does in the video. Sometimes, Rihanna reflects the true state of my jumbled emotions—those surges of oxytocin we call falling in love. I find myself hunting for, the only girl in the world, and singing along with the gusto of a drunken man. I know then that it is futile to deny that my feet are wet while the waves carry me from shore to pulsing sea.

 

2.
I was born to two Lionel Richie fans, although one was more passionate than the other was. My earliest memories are of my younger brother and me boogying on the sofa and table to Dancing On The Ceiling and of longing to be grown-up and independent as I listened to Easy. Now I wish I’d stayed a child for longer. Adulthood is not the easy ride it seemed to be in the days when I longed to do everything by myself, to be free to make decisions that affect my life, and to marry Lionel Richie or Daniel Wilson if I could not land Lionel. Daniel Wilson’s Raggamuffin made me think of swashbuckling adventures. I do not know why I thought that as a five-year old, I am just glad I did not develop a thing for bad boys.

 

3.
The first time I fell in love, I was eleven years old. It was at a Cowbell Maths Competition Gala and he was singing Careless Whisper. I could have followed him to Jupiter if he’d asked, however my father and his stern look would have frozen my legs and stopped me from following the summons of my achy-breaky heart. I have never forgotten him. Today when I listen to jazz, I wonder who he was and where the tides of life have tossed him. When I listen to either version of Careless Whisper (George Michael’s or Dave Koz’s), I can’t help wondering if his voice was as good as I remember.

 

4.
I broke up with my first boyfriend in a mostly deserted lecture hall at 4 a.m. after listening to James Blunt’s, Goodbye My Lover. I knew as I listened to the song for the first time that what we had was no longer viable. I do not for a minute regret ending that relationship and when I hear the song, I smile and think of him. I fell in love with my next boyfriend two years after we’d started dating. Bob Marley’s Is this love, blared from the speakers of the bus taking us to the park where I’d board a Lagos-bound bus. He sang along, his husky voice breaking and his eyes closed. He wasn’t singing to me but my foolish heart somersaulted as he sang and when my love meter clanged in warning, it was too late.

 

5.
Cher and Gloria Gaynor held me close and wiped my tears when he shattered my heart with spectacular precision. Believe and I will survive saved my sanity and even my life. When people say a song is just a mixture of words and rhythm, I want to punch them so bad. Music is spirit and pain and life and joy and all the things in between.

 

6.
Neither Josh Groban nor Aloe Blacc thought of me when they wrote Brave and Wake Me Up respectively. However, I wouldn’t have started a blog if I hadn’t listened to those songs as though they were water in the barren desert that was my soul. The lyrics inspired me to take this writing thing seriously and to trust the voices in my head and heart to lead me right across computer or phone screens and through life.

 

7.
I am the woman who goes to work with Phyno on both sides of my ears. His song, Oringo, transports me to a party for one, the rhythms from the east of the Niger River—my ancestral tom-toms—call the wild spirit I have restrained for too long. This is how I know I am free; I am on stage and the crowd is humming a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Be Wild. No, I am dancing to work and inviting interested stares although I have no blond locks to flick. My headphones trap the sound that come from Phyno’s heart. Maybe today, you will finally tap my shoulder and say, “Hello, it’s me.”

© Adaeze Ezenwa 2016

Adaeze Ezenwa lives in Lagos where she dodges traffic and fantasizes about becoming a billionaire before turning 35 and eating dodo daily without gaining weight. She rents a patch from WordPress at Emporium of Words, and her door is always open for conversation.

 

Photo credit: Spinheike/ https://pixabay.com/en/london-oxford-street-headphones-116018/

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Close A Series [2]

love-is

A friend called me after reading one of the episodes of the Fly series to say that the dialogue reminded him of the way we were, making me want to sing only this line from Adele’s Hello, hello from the other side! Instead tongue-in-cheek, I quoted William Faulkner in no particular order.

A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.

Are you writing about yourself, is the question I was often asked while the series continued. I have mostly reconciled myself to the downside of writing a personal blog, which is that readers assume consciously or subconsciously that the stories on your blog are about you. No longer so uptight about being vulnerable, I took this question and its variants cloaked in concern, to mean that the dialogues were relatable and believable. Their questions were in fact a roundabout compliment.

I have never previously dragged out a story on my blog as I did this series. What began as a one-off fun post, a bull’s eye response to a dear friend’s endless matchmaking, grew to ten articles spread over two-and-half months because you asked for more.

I told Ife Nihinlola, my partner in the Fly series and a talented writer whose essays I enjoy reading, that the best stories are woven around love and relationships; throw in a moral dilemma to achieve transcendence. After the badass protagonist has destroyed the villains and saved the planet, we will him to kiss the beautiful woman he fought for as they walk into the sunset. Nothing touches our core like what we are wired for, love.

As the series continued, we had to be deliberate about the twists we would introduce and the manner in which they would be resolved. Ife and I resorted to using readers’ feedback as a guide because we realized we had sparked something in our readers, we had connected. I was humbled and tickled when I read something to this effect: Timi, please don’t spoil it now that they are happy.

We tossed ideas about what felt natural and what felt as though we were trying too hard and all the while, the plot was challenging my own ideas about love and relationships too. The decision to conclude the series was bittersweet.

“What if in the next episode, I make the happy couple, twenty-nine-year-old Junior and thirty-five-year-old Old Woman, bump into one of Junior’s flirtatious younger female friends at the mall?”

I agreed with Ife when he said that he wasn’t so sure. I had thoroughly enjoyed my stint as a Shonda Rhimes scriptwriter wannabe.

In the end, this is what I aimed to do all along; make you rethink your ideas about love, sex, romance, relationships, and friendships while entertaining you. You tell us if we succeeded.

On Facebook, I noticed that a friend shared one of my posts on her Timeline. Underneath the article was a comment from one of her friends asking her to share my post on their WhatsApp group for further discussion. My brain thought about copyright issues, my heart saw so clearly, why I write.

On this blog, I don’t write for myself although I write for people like me. Big difference. Small difference. If you stopped reading, I would stop writing—what would be the point? I cannot thank you enough for believing in Livelytwist.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

To Close A Series [1]

shakespeare-quote

As someone who steers clear of romantic love, I seldom write love stories to avoid sounding like a fraud. Writing this series has therefore been a learning experience, both in the art of collaborations and writing love stories. The process was easy because Timi called the shots, setting the premise and plot points, while I simply reacted to the elements of the story she threw up from the conversations. This also freed me to focus more on the personality of the characters than the plot points, because if left to my whims, all love stories would end as tragedies.

In writing the series, I tried to pose questions to myself and find answers in the conversations of the characters. What hope does a guy who isn’t assertive have in a relationship? How do men talk about the things they are accused of avoiding in conversation? Readers’ responses to the characters’ conversations were illuminating, showing how we gauge romantic relationships we observe close-up. No question was as instructive for me as this: at what point, and because of what traits, do we declare someone unworthy of another’s love?

Love, like a drug high, pushes people to act in ways that appear insane to outside observers, but carry a fierce internal logic to the people in love—the ones shooting up. So, when we proclaim that an observed trait in someone renders them unlovable, it sometimes turns out that that very trait is the reason their lover has chosen them. The more we criticize their lover, the less sense we make, and the more they are disposed to ignoring us.

In spite of the insulation by romance that the above suggests, couples rarely escape the influence of the times they live in, including their cultures and upbringing. We are products of our interaction with other humans, whether we acknowledge their influence or not.

Without discounting personal responsibility, you and I are more culpable in the actions of people we berate than we think. In the series, a twenty-nine-year-old man contemplates dating a thirty-five-year-old woman and confides in his friend, his worries about her fertility. What would have happened if his friend responded by telling the story of his aunt who married at forty and now agonizes over not having a child or having a baby with down syndrome, which made her husband marry a second wife?

In the past year, I’ve fielded more questions from friends and family about my romantic life than the two decades before it. Why are you not in a relationship? Is something wrong? Ife, are you keeping her way from us? I often tell people I don’t have time to think about these questions, but whom am I kidding? I cannibalized some of my experiences from answering questions like these in drafting the dialogues.

We should stop blaming fairy tales and Hollywood for love fantasies being absent of reason, or people doing stupid things in the name of love. That is how all lovers look to people like me who are too scared to be enchanted by it. It is not reasonable for the Beauty to love the Beast, but she does, and we root for them. Jack should have stayed away from Rose, but he didn’t and the Titanic sank.

A character from the movie Hellboy said, “You like people for their qualities, but love them for their defects.” And while I think this is the loophole that serial killers exploit to find lovers, it’s also the premise of our greatest love stories: Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, Ifemelu and Obinze, and so on.

Stories, when done right, should make us more empathetic, more open to possibilities in the human experience that are outside our imagination. So, perhaps we should reassess the conditions we set for finding people desirable and worthy of love. Not just when the potential lovers are ours, but when they are of people close to us, too. This isn’t a call to remove all relationship standards, but only that these standards—be they age, class, or temperament—be filtered through lenses coloured with kindness. After all, a wise man once said, the law was made for man, and not man for the law.

I still believe fairy-tale endings are an exception in this fly-catching business, but I’m all for lives suffused with kindness that give way to love.

 

©Ife Nihinlola 2016 @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

To Commit To A Fly

to-commit

 

Does the saga continue or does it end? Can these two find love and make it work? It all started with To Catch A Fly.

To Commit To A Fly

“Junior, the fish tastes really good, mmmm.”

“You like? Fresh from the Atlantic—”

“Fish pepper soup, just the way I like it.”

“I’m glad. Nothing pretentious about this place; it’s clean, decent, and very affordable in this Buhari economy.”

“I like trying out new places. Thanks for bringing me here. So, what’s on your mind?”

“What’s on yours?”

“I asked first—”

“I know . . . ladies first . . . please.”

“I don’t know, we seem to take one step forward and then two steps back . . .”

“Yeah?”

“I’m not a virgin like you, I have been with other men, deal with it!”

“I’m coming to terms with it. It’s not as big a deal anymore.”

“I like how they serve the pepper soup on wooden fish trays instead of on a rectangular mat . . . do you come here often?”

“What? Yes, yes. May I please hold your hand? Thanks. Your hands are dainty and so soft . . . right now, it’s as if I put my heart in your hands and you have the power to squeeze life out. I haven’t been here before. I didn’t think I would be here . . .”

“Hmmm.”

“You look really beautiful tonight.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ve missed your smile, the way your face comes alive when you talk about something that matters to you . . .”

“Don’t look at me like that—”

“Like how?”

“Like that . . . that . . . you’re doing it again—”

“Isn’t it a good thing?”

“It’s too good. That’s the problem!”

“Ha ha ha!”

“But seriously, being with you has made me rethink what I thought I wanted in a man. I wonder about patterns of attraction and this thing we call ‘my spec’, like how I could be drawn to someone not-so-my-spec, you know? Like if we look beyond the externals—”

“You are my spec.”

“Now you’re making me blush.”

“Girl, I don’t think we should give up. We share the same fundamental values, although our expressions may differ . . . we have the right building blocks—”

“There’s so much to navigate, though . . .”

“If two people are committed—”

“Still love does not conquer all . . .”

I’ve often thought the general definition of love faulty. Like the love songs today, they focus on ephemeral things like desire and feelings. I worry when I see my niece listening to Tekno’s Pana on repeat—”

“♫ Love is a wonderful tender feeling, you dey give me ginger . . . baby pana . . . you like cassava, I get big cassava ♫. Hahaha! Ah ah, but there’s nothing wrong with feelings and desire—”

“Love endures, desire ebbs and flows . . . that’s why I was talking about commitment. You know my parents would be married sixty years this November. My father says an irrevocable commitment to one another is the secret of their longevity. I want that.”

“As do I. My parents divorced when I was nine. I didn’t want to get married for a long time . . .”

“I’m sorry to hear that. That must have been tough.”

“Yeah, thanks . . . but I’ve healed.”

“Old woman, since you persist in calling me Junior, would you like to have more fish?”

“Hahaha! . . . No o, is it because I deboned this one?”

“Deboned? Deboned is an understatement; there is nothing left! Here, have some of mine . . .”

“Are you sure?”

“Sure. So where are we?”

“We’re navigating this ship.”

“That’s not enough for me.”

“What—”

“What I mean is that I’m not doing trial and error. This is it, baby.”

“Neither am I. Sometimes I feel bad about . . . like, I should have waited, kept myself as you have . . .”

“What’s done is done. What matters is how we go from here. I think, and I may be wrong, that you also have to come to terms with it. We’ve all got a lot to learn—”

“True. True. Speaking of learning, how well do you take instructions?”

“Meaning?”

“To the left, to the left; to the right . . .”

“Silly woman. I’m good at football. How hard can it be? Oya give me back my fish!”

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Riposte: To Call A Fly

riposte-to-call-a-fly

Should a person’s past sexual history matter in their current relationship?Last week and the week before, it would seem that shame made our main character defensive. This week, Ife Nihinlola delves into the mind of her boyfriend.

 

Riposte: To Call A Fly

 

“Dude, somehow, we’ve not had lunch together this week. Is this office making us slave that much or you’ve been avoiding me?”

“Avoiding you? When you’re not my landlady who wants to hook me up with her niece?”

“Look at you. Hot cake! Mr. Loverman! Anyway sha, how is the madam?”

“What madam?”

“You want to start playing word games again? You know who I’m talking about. How is she?”

“She dey.”

Wetin? Trouble in paradise?”

“You must think life is a Mexican telenovela, with these your corny lines.”

“Just answer my question. Or are you guys fighting already?”

“Not really. We are probably just not compatible after all.”

“That is what men say when they find out the woman they like already has a daughter approaching puberty. Suddenly, compatibility becomes an issue like Windows 97.”

“You must think this is a joke.”

“No, really. Tell me—”

“Tell you what?”

“Or is it her body count?”

“Why do you have to mention that now?”

“So it is body count. You children of nowadays.”

“I didn’t mention body count.”

“But you’re not saying I’m wrong.”

“You can’t understand.”

“Can’t understand what? See, what a woman did before she met you, all the lives she lived, all the people she’s been with, only matters as much as you allow it.”

“Okay. It’s not about body count. Are you happy now? It’s about other things in our lives… you know… ermm… experience and all that jazz.”

“All that jazz? Now who has the corny lines? See, the past doesn’t matter. It’s all gone, and nothing can be done about it. That’s why we call it the past.”

“Wow! All you need is a shiny suit, oxford shoes, a haircut shaped by a calligrapher, and you’ll be a perfect motivational speaker!”

“You think this is funny abi? It’s your love life you’re joking with. Not mine. And see, it’s about to evaporate in your very before. You’ll grow old and little girls will end up using pictures of your unmarried big head with grey hair for bae goals on Instagram.”

“I already told you. You can’t understand.”

“Can’t understand what now?”

“Okay. Let’s put it this way. How… how much upper hand did you allow your wife have when you guys were courting?”

“Upper hand? What is this? Table tennis? Hehehehe! See, someone is always going to have to be the mumu in a relationship. Too bad you’re the one in this case.”

“That’s not what I asked you?”

“So? What is my own? Better come to terms with how you feel about this lady and be a man.”

“Be a man, seriously?”

“Nah. Not in the way you’re about to think. I’m saying you should stop worrying about things you can’t change, and take charge of your emotions. Show this woman you love her if you do, not all this past nonsense you’re talking about.”

“I don’t know. I already said you wouldn’t understand.”

“Can’t understand what exactly? This woman doesn’t deserve this indecisive nonsense you’re doing. Either commit or commot, but please, don’t waste her time.”

“I hear you. I’ll call her.”

“I’m not asking you to call her. But if you want to, better make up your mind. See lunch is almost over. Are you eating or not?”

______________

Hey
23.20

Hey
23.50

Asleep yet?
23.55

What do you think?
23.56

I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking.
23.57

I have some work to do before sleeping.
00.00

I actually thought you’d dumped the old lady and gone after a good virgin.
00.05

Smh. You know we have to talk, right?
00.05

Really? You think so?
00.06

Yeah.
00.08

So is this going to be like a confession where you’re the priest and I’m the sinner?
00.14

Smh. Who said anything about sins?
00.15

Okay. I don’t know o. Can we do it now?
00.18

Not really. We’ll have to fix a date or something.
I’m already feeling sleepy
00.19

Okay.
00.21

Can I call you tomorrow?
00.21

Sure
00.22

I’ll also be the one to choose the place,
somewhere I don’t have to lose my
teeth trying to read the menu.
00.23

Whatever makes you happy… Junior 🙂
00.24

Really?!!!
00.25

*lips sealed*
00.26

Hope you’re good sha?
00.27

Yes I am. Thank you for asking.
00.27

You’re welcome. I’ll call tomorrow
afternoon, old lady.
00.28

Don’t call me that! 😦
00.28

 

Call you what? 😉
00.29

You there?
00.35

Good night.
00.40

Good night. Till tomorrow.
00.45

 


Mumu in vernacular means, a fool.
Commot: to move away
Wetin: what

 

 

©Ife Nihinlola 2016 @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Call A Fly

call-a-fly

 

“Has he called yet?”

“No o!”

“Hmmm. Girl, what have you been up to?”

“Toni Braxton, another sad love song . . .  Lauren Hill, ex-factor . . . John Legend, ordinary people . . .”

“Ah, the break-up playlist. Drama queen, did you forget Adele? But seriously, is that what you should be listening to?”

“I never imagined I would miss him so much . . . all those middle-of-the-night WhatsApp chats . . .”

“So, call him—”

“No way! He should call first.”

“Selective 21st-century woman. You can call him to ask him out, but you cannot call—”

“Whatever!”

“But I don’t understand, what really happened?”

“I don’t know again. I mean one minute we were having a romantic dinner . . . okay, we fought at dinner, but we made up . . .”

“Uh huh?”

“Then next thing on the way home he’s attacking me. So naturally, I got defensive—”

“About your sex life? But why?”

“I’m thirry-five, I’ve had . . . relationships, you know? Come to find out he’s still a virgin—”

“So?”

“So, obviously he’s been saving himself for another virgin or he’s gay.”

“He’s principled. Says something about his values and level of self-control—”

“And about mine? What are you saying?”

“You’re so sensitive, I’m not saying anything. Come to think of it, my husband and I were both virgins—”

“For real? I didn’t know that . . . You?”

“Yes o.”

“All those—”

Nothing nothing. A few kisses, none below the neck.”

“You tried sha.”

“I have five big sisters. I heard the good the bad and the ugly and decided sex was worth waiting for.”

“Hmmm . . .”

“Yes o. And Hollywood and romance novels, deceiving people since time immemorial! I mean, they don’t show that you need to clean up after or that—”

“Hahaha! But I want someone experienced—”

“Why? My husband and I fumbled all the way to the finish line. Now we know the best ways to get there.”

“Doesn’t sound very romantic; hit and miss—”

“We weren’t that naïve—”

“Look look, there’s a difference between everybody bring what you have to the table and share knowledge, and A is for apple, B is for boy!”

“Hahaha! You’re so full of sh*t!”

“No, think about it. I’m experienced. When I start ‘guiding’ him, won’t he wonder how I know that much?”

“Or if he’s doing as well as the others before him. Hahaha!”

“Stop laughing, I’m serious!”

“See ehn, if you really like him, you guys have to talk about it.”

“So that he’ll shine torchlight on my sexual history? I don’t know joor. I’m just wrapping my mind around the age thing. The money thing still hanging, and then sex—”

“Total honesty, but not full disclosure yet . . .”

“Meaning?”

“That’s why people who want to get married go for counselling—”

Abeg, I don’t have time.”

“You better make time. From what I’ve heard neither of you have the skills to cross minefields without blowing your limbs.”

“I don’t know. We haven’t reached that stage.”

“Okay when you get there, remember, love isn’t shawarma.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Love is hard work.”

“I wish he’d just call or WhatsApp already and apologize.”

“For?”

“For whatever! He said he would call me.”

“But you basically told him to go to hell—”

“I was pissed.”

“This is a good time to learn how to fight, you know?”

“Hmmm . . .”

“People argue, they say stuff, people hurt, pride gets in the way. Things get overblown. They part ways and later don’t remember what the fuss was about.”

“♫ ♬ Maybe we should take it slow . . . Take it slow oh oh ohh ♫ ♬”

“You want slow-coach back? Hahaha—”

“♫ ♬ We’re just ordinary people ♫ ♬ . . . do you want to karaoke?”

“To sing break-up playlist, no I don’t think so . . .”

“Please, please?”

“Girl, just call him and apologize. Be the bigger person and take it from there.”

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Riposte: To Date A Fly

riposte to date a fly

They went on a date. Ife Nihinlola tells us what happens while the guy is taking her home …

Riposte: To Date A Fly

“So, madam how did you find that restaurant? Is that the place where big babes like you go on the reg, or you’ve just always gone there for birthdays? Like, your twenty-first with the ladies eating plantain and coconut fritters, hashtag living?”

“Very funny Mister. Just face the road and drive. You almost hit that keke.”

“No I didn’t . . . I know what I’m doing.”

“If you say so—”

“I really want to know. Their food was good, so I want to know if you found the place after sampling other exotic restaurants or, you know . . . just tell me.”

“One of my boyfriends actually took me there for our first date . . . hmmm and now that I think about it, he probably knew the best spots for everything in this city. From night clubs to restaurants to the asun guy that can give you a peppery mouthgasm.”

“Cool. So, what happened? What happened with this guy?”

“Now you’re asking too many questions, and we’re not going to talk about my exes today.”

“But I want to know. I really do. I want to know how a beautiful woman like you made it to your thirties without a man putting a ring on your finger.”

“You do realize that’s not a nice question to ask me, right?”

“Why? What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s not exactly fair to ask me that particular question in that manner.”

“How is it not fair?”

“How is it not fair? Well, let me see. What if I asked you about all the exciting twenty-something-year-olds you’ve been seeing and why one of them isn’t sitting next to you in this car, right now? Why run after a thirty-six-year-old woman when you have the money and charm to get any young sexy babe fresh out of uni? Are you open to discussing that with me? Is it that you have a dark side? Is it the sex? Are you that bad in bed?”

“What?”

“Exactly my thought!”

“No, no. Not that. How did this become about sex? What sex?”

“Aha! Don’t even start the church-boy act. We both know none of us is exactly celibate so we might as well add that to the conversation we’re having, right along with age and money and—”

“But I am—”

“You’re what?”

“Celibate.”

“Like temporarily? Hmmm. That’s cute. How many months now?”

“No. Not months. I’ve actually never, you know . . .”

“Oh. Oh! Oh my god! You mean you’re a virgin?”

“Well . . . Y . . . ye . . . ahem, yes—”

“Wait. For real, if we’re actually going to start going out, you mean sex is off the table?”

“Don’t even laugh. How about we don’t make this about that? How about—”

“Hahahaha! What else can we make this about? This is unbelievable! Junior, are you joking right? You’re celibate at twenty-nine and you had the guts to talk about my eggs? Do you even have any idea what that does to your prostrate glands? Are you actually sure those things can swim?”

“W . . . what are you even saying?”

“Am I going to have to give you sex education . . . along with everything else?”

“I . . . I  . . . I don’t even know what you’re going on about.”

“Wow! This is a little too much for me. You know what? Let’s just forget about this whole ride.”

“F . . . forget what?”

“See, it’s a good thing we’re finally at my place. Thank you for the ride and the evening.”

“Thank you too . . . f . . . for the food. We’ll see on Sunday?”

“Sunday? Really? Is that how it is?”

“Well, yeah. Sunday. Or I’ll call you . . .”

“Hmmm. Do whatever you want Junior. It’s been great getting to know you. Bye.”

 

————————————————————————————

Keke (keke napep) – a covered tricycle used as taxis in some major cities.
Asun – spicy smoked goat meat

 

 

©Ife Nihinlola 2016 @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

To Date A Fly

to date a fly

Follow the story, read: To Not Catch A Fly

 

To Date A Fly

“Is there something wrong?”

“No, eh nothing.”

“You’ve been frowning . . .”

“I’m just looking at the menu that’s all.”

“Oh? I think you’ll like the plantain and coconut fritters served with peppered ginger sauce and sautéed prawns with herbs and seasonal vegetables. You could do a side order of—”

“Well I don’t see why they have to decorate fried plantain and stew and call it by a fancy name. Dodo is just fine.”

“It’s fine dining cuisine. It’s not just about frying plantain, it’s about the textures and flavours—”

“Are those codes for the food? Those numbers on the side of the menu?”

“Ha ha ha! You’re joking right? Duh, that’s the Naira code, the price.”

“Whew! Wow that’s one expensive plantain. Did they import it from the Amazon rain forest?”

“What’s the problem? This is my treat. They should have given you the menu without—”

“I’m taking you out. There’s no way I’ll let you pay—”

“Point of correction. I am the one who asked you out—”

“Okay, it doesn’t really matter who invited who. We’re here now and I’ll be handling the bill—”

“Then stop moaning please . . .”

“Sorry about that.”

“Shall we order? Are you ready to order drinks now?”

“Y . . . yes.”

“The wine selection is excellent. This special occasion calls for a—”

“Th . . .Tho . . . Those begin from N13,500 for a bottle?”

“Actually that’s like. . . what’s today’s exchange rate . . . $13 for a glass, if we just go for two glasses, which is why . . . anyway, what do you fancy?”

“I think I’ll have water. Whew! Em . . . this water, is it from a mountain in Israel?”

“You’re joking right? You’ve started again . . .”

“It’s it’s—”

“What is the matter now?”

“Look let me just be honest. I don’t spent this kind of money on meals. It can feed many starving kids in Ethiopia!”

“Your car . . . You have a car, right?”

“Of course!”

“Why haven’t you sold it and used the money to buy bicycles for the suffering in India?”

“B . . . But—”

“And for your information, don’t buy into that poverty porn narrative. What Africa needs is solid capital inflow to the real sectors—”

“Okay. Okay already! I’m just not used to places like this . . .”

“Well I don’t come here everyday either. Since it’s the first time we’re going somewhere other than a seminar, I just thought . . .”

“I’m not blaming you or anything. But I don’t want to disappoint you because what if I can’t keep up . . .?”

“Can I ask a personal question? Don’t you work in oil and gas? How much do you earn?”

“Em, that’s a bit invasive don’t you think? On a first date?”

“After eight seminars, no I don’t think so. In fact let’s even address the elephant in the room.”

“Sigh! The age thing is tricky—”

“That’s like the second elephant—”

“Oh?”

“What are we doing? I mean where’s this thing headed?”

“Well we are getting to know each other better—”

“Is that it? Is that all?”

“I . . .I . . .I  have an undeniable need to stare at your DP on WhatsApp ever so often and I lie awake wondering if midnight is too late to chat with you. I want to call you first thing in the morning because I wonder how you are but also because I like the way you sound and the memory of what you sounded like the day before is no longer enough. I want to lace my fingers with yours and watch you add color to my world as you laugh at something silly I said . . . When I’m with you, I feel ten feet tall—”

“Oh . . .”

“Say something. Have you fallen for me like I’ve fallen for you?”

“I’m six years older! By the time I started developing breasts you were learning that one plus one equals two!”

“And I grew up to be excellent at maths—”

“Be serious!”

“I’m serious. I’ve thought of nothing else . . . I even watched a programme on Al Jazeera about the viability of eggs in older women—”

“Excuse me? What did u say? Thirty-six is not menopause!”

“I didn’t mean it like that—”

“We don’t even know if your sperm can swim!”

“Ah-ah is this how it’s going to be?”

“How can you say something like that?”

“Do you want me to be lying to you?”

“At least you could have been diplomatic . . .”

“I’m sorry that my honesty is unbecoming. I promise to lie through my teeth to satisfy your vanity, so help me God!”

“Ha ha ha!”

“I worry that I need to make more money to satisfy your taste for this exotic plantain—”

“Ha ha ha! That’s it! I’m paying for dinner!”

“Give me your hand—”

“Why?”

“Woman stop fighting me at every turn! Give . . .  yeah, that’s better. Listen, six can be the number that conquers us or it can be our special number. I don’t have all the answers, but neither do you. I’m willing to work with you to check all the boxes. And when we come to a difficult one we’ll work on it together. Deal?”

“Hmmm. Okay.”

***

“The food wasn’t bad was it?”

“Plantain from the Amazon rain forest, prawns from Gambia, virgin cocktails from Mars . . . no, no, it could not be bad at all. It had to be good!”

“Ha ha ha! Please pass the dessert menu.”

“You … You’re having dessert?”

“Geez! Junior you look like you’re going to faint.”

“I am!”

“Ha ha ha! There are going to be many boxes to check under finances—”

“I can see that already . . .”

“Okay let’s skip dessert. I know this great ice cream place—”

“Ice cream from Jupiter?”

“Ha ha ha! From Earth, so pretty affordable—”

“What are you doing? Pass the bill—”

“No, it’s okay, I’m the one that brought you to Venus—”

“Stop! What are you doing? Stop! Waiter! Don’t do this—”

“Done. Paid with my card. That’s settled then. Ready?”

“You shouldn’t have—”

“Let’s not make a big deal out of this please?”

“Babes, two of us can’t wear the pants in this relationship—”

“Meaning?”

“Let me be the man.”

________________________________________

Dodo: Deep-fried ripe plantain

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Not Catch A Fly

To not catch a fly

You’re interested in a serious relationship that ends in marriage, would you date a man six years younger than you are or a woman six years older than you are?

Read the backstories: To Catch A Fly & The Riposte;
To Catch A Fly . . . Again & The Riposte

 

To Not Catch A Fly

“It’s not the way I pictured it . . . you know, I always saw myself with someone older. . . I don’t know if I want to catch this fly.”

“I know—”

“I mean, my dad is older than my mum . . . my sister’s husband is older than her . . . the man is always older . . .”

“Well there was Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher—”

Puhleeze! Let’s talk about real peopl—”

“Gabriel Union and Dwayne—”

“I so love Gabriel Union! She’s so cool! Bad choice though . . . Anyway, I can wrap my mind around one or two years, but six!”

“Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are six years apart—”

“Can you blame her? If Ryan Gosling was knocking on my door—”

“Keeping it real please! I can’t think of any real couples right now, but I’m sure many people must have done it successfully—”

“I need a man not a baby to look after for crying out loud!”

“Funny, eh, stop being dramatic. Before you knew his age, he was okay. He didn’t seem immature. He has a good job, rents his own place, car . . . you never said he behaved like a baby—”

“But maybe that explains his slow coach. Don’t you see? He’s young, maybe he’s not ready for marriage . . . you know, he’s just checking out the field—”

“So he didn’t react when he found out your age?”

“I don’t know o! I was busy having tantrum like a drama queen while he was cracking jokes.”

“Hmmm . . . you guys sound right for each other—”

“I watched this movie once . . . em, I’ve forgotten the name. Older woman, younger guy. So, they’re like lying in bed. She’s reading something serious like The Economist, he’s playing Nintendo—”

“Hmmm Hisssss! In your case more like he’s reviewing seminar materials and you’re eating shawarma!”

“Ha ha ha! Your head is not correct! But what will people say? What will my family say? Abeg joor, I can’t.”

“People will always say, it’s your family that counts. To convince your family, you must first convince yourself. Last time I checked, he met your specs—”

“No, no, no. Oh no, last time you checked he was a seminar-inviting slow coach!”

“But you like him?”

“Yeah, I do. I like talking to him and I enjoy his company. . . a couple of his shirts need to be donated to Red Cross, but he’s not bad . . . there’s good chemistry in the works . . .”

“You see . . .”

“Yeah, I mean I was going to just ask him point blank where all this is headed you know, and then bam! The age thing. Maybe it’s a sign?”

“Sign of what?”

“That it isn’t meant to be . . .”

“Nonsense. I’ve learnt that love can come when we least expect it from unexpected people and from unexpected places. Don’t blow your chance at love. Give him a chance—”

“And can you imagine I’ll start greying first. Oh dear, I’ll grey down there first and look like his mother!”

“Nonsense! A brazillian can fix that. Did you hear anything I said?”

“Is this dude paying you to do PR for him?”

“I just want you to not let conventions limit your chances. This guy may be younger but he has potential and he is solid.”

“Let me just call him—”

“W . . . What are you going to say?”

“Listen, I’ll put it on speaker.”

 

***

“Hello? Hello? Junior, it’s me.”

“Ah Senior, how are you? I ate my vegetables and brushed my teeth before going to bed.”

“Ha ha ha! Seriously, I’d like to ask you out—”

“A date?”

“Yes, like dinner and a movie . . . no seminar . . .”

“Of course I know what a date is. I wanted to ask you out—”

“That’s okay, I’m asking you. So shall we do dinner this Friday say around seven-thirty-ish?”

“Yes, that’s well before my curfew, I can swing that—”

“Ha ha ha. This boy, you’ve started o.”

“No o, you started it.”

“I’ll whatsapp you details ok?”

“Ok.”

“Bye now.”

“Wait!”

“What?”

“You have a lovely smile and rich laughter.”

“Thanks. Did your English teacher teach you that at school today?”

“No, actually it was my literature teacher . . . today we did poetry . . .”

“Touché! See you Friday.”

“Can’t wait.”

“Bye bye.”

“Bye.”

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Riposte: To Catch A Fly . . . Again

aging

 

Ife Nihinlola’s article follows from last week’s dialogue. The question is: when it comes to romance, does age really matter?

 

Riposte: To Catch A Fly . . . Again

“Hey, someone did not sleep well today. So are we celebrating?”

“Celebrating what? See, we have work to do this morning, let’s just focus on that.”

“Wow. Did she curve you that badly?”

“No one curved anyone, okay? I’ve not even asked her anything yet.”

“Okay. This is becoming a problem. Talk to me. Is this psychological?”

“How do you feel about marrying someone older than you?”

“I see what is happening here. How old is she?”

“Answer my question first. Would you have married your wife if she was older than you?”

“Of course I would. She’s a great woman. Age is just a number, you know?”

“What if that number is thirty-five?”

“Ermmm, are we talking about the same person you showed me her picture on your phone?”

“Yes. And this universe is a cruel one. Just last week, I watched this thing on Al Jazeera about women who tried to get pregnant later in life . . .”

“Slow down, slow down. Now you’re thinking of kids.”

“My friend, focus. I’m talking about something I watched and how that was all I could think of when I heard her age. Do you know women are often advised to freeze their eggs when they’re young so they can have better chances of conception later in life?”

“What are you talking about? Who wants to freeze eggs in Nigeria? All I want to know is what went down between you two yesterday.”

“There’s actually nothing to know. All that happened is that I heard her age and my brain hasn’t stopped doing calculations ever since. Do you know she actually thought I was thirty-eight?”

“You’ll soon be thirty-eight and single at this rate. So what did you guys do when you found out your ages? This is actually good you know—knowing this early so you can get the awkwardness out-of-the-way?”

“How is this a good thing? I’m actually trying to move on right now. That’s the goal of the next two weeks.”

“But she has great genes sha o. That is how I want my wife to look at thirty-five. You know, one of my aunties gave birth to her first son at forty last year, and he’s a very healthy boy. Very healthy.”

“What are you saying, this man? You think I should go ahead?”

“I’m not saying anything, but at least take her out on a date, just one date to make up for all the seminars you’ve made her endure.”

“Isn’t that stringing her along? Because I don’t see how she is even interested in me anymore. You should have seen her face when she realized I was twenty-nine. It was like she wanted to faint.”

“Doesn’t mean she still won’t appreciate you making an effort. Let me tell you something about women: no matter how old they get, they still appreciate a guy treating them decently.”

“So you get married now and suddenly become a girl whisperer?”

“Trust me on this one. I know it because I read my wife’s WhatsApp. You should see how much they rate young men who know how old they are and still pay them attention like they’re twenty-one year olds.”

“It won’t be bad to take her out on a date sha. You know she likes Sade too.”

“What is my own with whether she likes Sade or Emile Sande. All I know is that you should call her now and ask her out on the way you should have done yesterday.”

“Okay Sensei.”

“And put it on speaker; there’s no one in this office yet.”

“Yes Sensei.”

***

 “Hello. Hello? Hello?”

“Hello, can you hear me? It’s me.”

“Of course Junior, I know it’s you. Ha ha ha! I hope you made it home before your curfew last ni—”

 ***

 “Why did you cut the call?”

“I . . .I—”

“Never mind, Did she just call you junior? My God. Wife this woman abeg.”

“I can’t do this.”

“Of course you can, and you will. You’re going to call her again and ask her out properly and live happily ever after. That’s a fact. I’m going to my cubicle.”

 

©Ife Nihinlola 2016 @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Catch A Fly . . . Again

To catch a fly again

 

Part 1: boy meets girl; two girlfriends dissect the relationship – To Catch A Fly
Part 2: the male perspective; boy and his mate dissect the meeting – Riposte: To Catch A Fly

 

To Catch A Fly . . . Again

“I—”

“Can—”

“Sorry, please, you were saying?”

“I interrupted you, please go ahead.”

“Ladies first—”

“I insist. I know you’re trying to be a gentleman, but I insist . . . please go ahead.”

“Ahem! Excuse me.”

“Bless you dear. Oh sorry, that’s not the right thing to say, is it?”

“Than— ahem!”

“Are you okay?”

“Ahem! Yes, yes. Er, I wanted to ask you if—”

“Sorry. I have to take this call . . . it’s important . . . Hello? Hello?”

“No worries.”

****

“Hi, I’m back. Really sorry—”

“That’s okay . . .”

“You wanted to ask . . .”

“Oh, yes, that . . .  what did you think of the seminar?”

“Well, this is the best one so far. I thoroughly subscribe to the professor’s argument about the lack of succession planning. How many Nigerian businesses have outlived their founders abi owners?”

“True, true. And the proliferation of techpreneurs . . . that one caught my attention. Guys just learn how to code and next thing want to launch out  . . . no experience—”

“Yes o. Don’t you just hate it when people use Mark Zuckerberg as an example? I mean since when does an outlier experience become mainstream?”

“Yeah yeah, if the model cannot be replicated, it isn’t applicable. But the problem with Nigeria, no feasibility studies, no business plan . . . one person starts Pure Water business, next thing all the neighbours are digging their own boreholes! Copy, copy!”

Ha ha ha! I had a good time tonight. Thanks for inviting me.”

“My pleasure. Me too!”

“I’ve been meaning to ask—”

“Ahem . . . Ahem! Ahem! I—”

“Are you okay?”

“Yes. I—”

“Hold that thought, I have to take this please. It’s an important call. Hello? Hello? You can’t see my date of birth? What—”

***

“So sorry, I needed to sort that out—”

“That’s okay . . . but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation—”

“No biggie, my medical forms should have been submitted yesterday—”

“D . . . di . . . did you say you were born in 1981?”

Ah ah, a lady doesn’t reveal her age, but since the cat is out of the bag—”

“Yo . . . you’re thirty-five?”

“Technically, thirty-four years and seven months. My birthday is in a few—”

“Thirty-five?”

“Well, I guess you’re one of those people who always round up num—”

“Thirty-five? How?”

“Ha ha, my mum and dad did it in ’80. I don’t look it right? People always think I’m like twenty-five, twenty-six-ish.”

“You certainly had me fooled . . . with that face and body!”

“I hope that’s a good thing . . . you look sick . . . is everything—”

“I . . . I’m . . . I’m fine. Do you mind if we go sit in the car?”

“No not at all. Lead the way . . . so how old are you?”

“Er . . . old. I mean old enough.”

“Let me guess . . . come to think of it, you went to school with Lola’s brother right?

“Yes . . .”

“Andy is three years older than us. Mehn, you wear thirty-eight well! I’ve always thought we were age mates—”

“I . . . I—”

Ah ah you’re so sweet and thoughtful . . . you don’t have to open the car door for me all the time jare.”

“I aim to please.”

“Is that Sade? Do you mind increasing the volume? I looove Sade! Hmm . . . this is no ordinary love, no ordinary love, baby . . .”

“I . . . I . . . I was saying I went to school with Bobby.”

“Bobby? Which Bobby? How can? Bobby! Wait . . . wait . . .”

“Yes—”

“Bobby? Lola their last born?”

“Yeah, that Bobby—”

“Please lower the music. Lower the music!

“Is this okay?”

Haba! Just turn it off abeg!”

“Sorry. Okay.”

“I can’t breathe! Wind down—”

“But the AC is on—”

“I said, ‘Wind down!’ Wind down now!”

“Okay, okay . . . cooli temper!”

“Hisssss!”

“Is this better? Please say something . . .”

“Hmmmm!”

“Look, this is awkward for me too . . .”

“Hmmmm!”

“Okay, em . . . em . . . the next track is . . . drum roll . . . Age ain’t nothing but a number—”

“Hisssss! Ye ye boy! And my name is R. Kelly! Ha ha ha!”

“Ha ha ha! At least I made you laugh abi?”

“Juvenile delinquent! Please take me home before it’s time for your curfew!”

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016


For Afi, Ayo, Busola, and everyone who wanted a sequel to To Catch A Fly & Riposte: To Catch A Fly. Thank you for helping me improve my dialogue writing skills.

 

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Riposte: To Catch A Fly

quote men

Ife Nihinlola’s article follows from last week’s dialogue between two girlfriends about the ‘elusive’ boyfriend. He creatively presents the viewpoint of the said boyfriend. Read last week’s post here.

 

Riposte: To Catch A Fly

 

“So, talk to me. How did it go?”

“Fine.”

“What is fine? I said how did it go?”

“Fine na. What else do you want me to say?”

“Don’t even start. I didn’t cover for you so you can come back here with fine. Abeg, tell me the full story. What did you guys do?”

“We didn’t do anything, really. I headed to her place after leaving work and called her when I was close to their estate, telling her I was in their area.”

“Hmmm, smooth . . .”

“Not smooth anything. I just didn’t want her to think I’m desperate. You know how, at a certain age, a single guy in church is the symbol of desperation.”

Oga Christian, na you know that one. So were you telling her all these grammar, or did you ask her the main thing?”

“Well, her brother and I were discussing Messi and his tax, and it took a while before he finally left the living room. Then she offered me semo and edikang ikong.”

Chai! See better wife material.”

“But she didn’t cook the soup o. I asked and she started laughing, and I thought I really blew it by asking a stupid question. Then she continued to laugh and I joined her. It was a little weird sha . . .”

“After that?”

“We talked about everything and then nothing. Again, I didn’t want to appear too desperate.”

Oga, after inviting her to, how many seminars now, six, seven? You’re saying you don’t want to be too desperate? Have you even asked her out properly?”

“It’s not like that? The question is not whether I’ve asked her out properly. It’s if I’m ready to ask her out.”

“Are you kidding me? At twenty-nine, you’re not sure if you want to ask her out? Do you think she’s ugly? Are you preserving yourself for Agbani Darego?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“So what are you waiting for?”

“Remember the last time I went out with that girl from the 45th floor and she suddenly started to talk about children and houses and family?”

“Hahahaha!”

“There must be something about candlelight and soft music and wine that makes people think it’s okay to share everything. She doesn’t even greet me at lunch anymore, so that means I must have said something stupid that night.”

“True. Your mouth can be a loose canon.”

“I’m trying to avoid that, so let’s hope I’ll be able to invite her for a date at the seminar.”

“Another seminar?”

“Yes na. That’s my excuse to see her again before the week runs out. I don’t even know if I’m doing this because my mother is always reminding me that she’s seventy-eight and life expectancy is fifty-three and I’m her only son . . . What do you think?”

“Me? What’s my own in this matter? I already have a pregnant wife, and I’m just three months older than you. What do you think I think?”

“You’re not being of help right now.”

“My friend, ask the lady out properly and go and marry.”

“You’re assuming she won’t say no.”

“If you can’t tell that a lady who has survived seven seminars and a silly visit already likes you, maybe your case is just hopeless. I’m going to my cubicle!”

 

©Ife Nihinlola 2016 @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Catch a Fly

to catch a fly

 

“So, tell me, what happened?”

“Nothing.”

“What do you mean nothing?”

“My dear, nothing happened o.”

“So you mean to tell me that he stopped over at six, left at midnight, and nothing happened?”

“Well my brother was in the living room. All of us talked about general stuff, then he and my brother started talking about football—”

“Oh no—”

“They talked and talked. I left them and came back. They were still talking. So I cut eye for my brother—”

“Okay—”

“Then he left us alone.”

“Finally! And then?”

“I asked him if he was hungry abi if he wanted to eat, I don’t know again. He said yes. So I went and warmed some edikang ikong and made semo for him.”

“Did he like it?”

“Yeah, I mean he asked who made it, and we both started laughing.”

“I hope you told him it was you—”

“Why should I lie? You know it was my sister who made it—”

“Jesus! For crying out loud, the guy was checking if you know how to cook! If you’d be good wife material!”

“But I know how to cook—”

“How will he know when you invite him to your house and give him your sister’s food to eat?”

“I didn’t invite him! He said he was in the area and asked if he could stop—”

“Same difference! Then what happened?”

“I don’t appreciate your tone. Quite frankly, I am getting tired of all these your matchmaking schemes. I’m not desperate—”

“Who said anything about desperation? See yourself? This is a nice church boy—”

“Maybe that’s the problem . . .”

“Come again?”

“Nothing. I didn’t say anything.”

“So?”

“So what?”

“After he ate . . . did you eat too?”

“Well I wasn’t hungry . . . but I ate a little so he wouldn’t think I jazzed the food.”

“Good move.”

“Then we sha talked.”

“About?”

“You know, police shootings in America, coup in Turkey, gunman in Nice, Dino Melaye and Tinubu, church, you know . . .”

“So you were just talking until midnight?”

“Well it wasn’t midnight, after eleven.”

“Same difference. The gist must have been sweet . . .”

“Well he’s an interesting conversationalist.”

“At least he will know you have brains.”

“You make me laugh.”

“I’m serious. I overhead him saying that most girls nowadays can’t even hold a decent conversation.”

“Well, I’m not most girls—”

“I know na. So when are you seeing him again?”

“I don’t know . . . He invited me for another seminar—”

“Great! When? What are you wearing?”

“I’m not going—”

“Ah ah! Why not?”

“He keeps inviting me for these seminars. I’ve gone for seven joor, I’m tired. This one is during the week. I won’t close early enough—”

“What’s wrong with you sef? Can’t you even make small sacrifices for love?”

“Love my foot! The guy can’t even take me out for dinner! Common shawarma, he can’t even buy!”

“Shawarma? So shawarma is your problem? If you want to eat shawarma, can you not buy shawarma for yourself?”

“You don’t get it—”

“Wait, wait, wait, is there no food in the seminar?”

“You’re not getting—”

“Here we are trying to catch a fly and you’re talking about shawarma! Common shawa—”

“For your information, I am not trying to catch anything!”

“Ok sorry. I know he’s operating like slow coach. You just have to encourage him a little. He’s spoilt—”

“I think I’m just going to ask him straight up what his game plan is.”

“No o! I heard him saying he doesn’t like girls who are too direct—”

“Direct my foot! So I will just be following him to seminar?”

“Ah ah, is it because of shawa—”

“No! The problem is that if you even catch him now, you’ll be chasing him for the rest of your life. Do I look like a fly swatter?”

“Look let’s just catch the fly first—”

“Hmmm! I’m so done!”

“Ok calm down. You hear? Just calm down . . . and get ready, I’m coming over.”

“Why?”

“To buy you the shawarma . . . and strategize.”

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bluetooth Lottery

Bluetrooth Lottery

As the intercity train from Schiphol arrives at Leiden Central, we shuffle and readjust positions until we are standing on either side of the train doors. The twin doors heave and open with a sigh, letting rush-hour passengers out via the narrow aisle we’ve created. Once the last passenger gets off, we dash for the two cabins on the right. Each passenger holds the swinging glass cabin door for the next to catch as though passing the baton in a relay race, a perfunctory smile or nod in place.

I always sit in the upper deck. After I settle into my seat, my phone beeps. Martijn wants to share a song via Bluetooth. I crane forward and backward, rising from my chair, to catch a view of Martijn. Most people in the thirty-two-seater cabin have their eyes glued to the Metro newspaper, a tablet, or a smart phone. A few chat while one sips coffee from a paper cup. Our eyes meet and he smiles first.

This tall man with close-cut hair wearing blue jeans and brown lace-up shoes is a regular who waits for the train in outlier territory, at the end of Platform 4, way past the Kiosk shop. His glasses add seriousness to his good looks and he always has earplugs on. So, Martijn is his name.

I pair my phone with his and accept the song. Roy Orbison’s Oh Pretty Woman, fills my ears. I contain my laughter, cupping my lips with my hands and sneak another peek at Martijn. He is busy with his phone.

At Den Haag, passengers crowd the stairs leading down the doors. We sway left and right, holding the banister or resting on walls, as the train changes tracks to rest on Platform 8. On the platform and in the main hall, passengers move like a colony of soldier ants defending capitalism. I walk with unhurried steps to give Martijn a chance, but his long strides overtake mine as he rushes to chip out with his card.

On Tuesday, I check my phone several times and my disappointment mounts as we approach Den Haag. Since Martijn is sitting on the left side of the train like me, it is fruitless desperation to peep through the aisle. When we disembark, his long strides overtake mine just like yesterday.

On Wednesday, I arrive Platform 4 early, but he does not. He slips into the train seconds before the doors close and walks past our cabin to the next because it is full. I sigh and continue looking out the window. My phone startles me. Martijn has sent me 3 Doors Down’s, Here Without You. I smile and wonder about the range of Bluetooth technology before losing myself in the lyrics.

 

“Which song today?” my coworkers ask after I arrive at the office.

It is our game. Martijn has been serenading me for six days. The day I wore my red coat, they guessed, Chris de Burgh’s Lady in Red. My burgeoning romance story doesn’t impress all.

“Aren’t you afraid of viruses and him stealing your information?”

“If you have the latest Android update, you’re safe,” another colleague counters.

We google the answer and I continue accepting songs from Martijn.

 

Martijn’s ritual is unchanged. He gives a perfunctory nod at the cabin door if I am behind him and hurries away after we disembark.

 

“This is maddening!” a coworker declares.

“What kind of clown doesn’t speak to a girl?” another shakes his head.

“A shy one; a Dutch guy,” I reply.

 

One evening, after I get off the train on my return journey, someone calls my name, “Angela.”

I turn, “Do I know you?”

“I’m Martijn.”

I leave his hand hanging as my mind struggles to do the math. I feel as if all but the last number of my lottery ticket has been called and when the last number is announced, it is a two instead of my three.

“Martijn?”

“Yes.” He smiles, revealing gap teeth. He is a couple of inches taller than I am, a blur on our section of the platform.

“It w . . . was you?” Disappointment makes my voice husky.

“May I buy you coffee?” He points to the Kiosk shop.

It is the least I can do. “Sure,” I say still subtracting, adding, and rewinding the lottery winner announcement.

We sit on a bench outside the shop, letting the paper cups warm our hands and watching people chip out or in. The sum doesn’t make sense.

“But . . . how did you know my name . . . my phone?”

“I checked for discoverable devices, took a stab in the dark, and watched you plug your headphones.”

He laughs. His chest and belly join his face. I do not.

“Life is funny,” he begins.

Yes, and here I am sitting with the real Martijn. I almost won the lottery!

“We spend so much time chasing what’s ahead, when we could just look back.”

I don’t have time for pop psychology. I take a sip of my coffee and calculate the number of sips it will take to finish. Lottery is a game of chance, a thrill-seeker’s fantasy.

“Like you,” he gestures with his cup, “You’re reaching for someone; meanwhile, he’s probably reaching for someone else—”

“Pardon?”

“Tall, handsome guy on the train . . .”

My cheeks burn. I dislike his tone and express it with mine. “Your point being?”

“Turn around and take a chance on who’s pursuing you instead of pursuing elusive happiness.” His eyes dance like flames.

Does he think life is like Lotto? Maybe it is. A search for, which lottery numbers come up the most, fetches 50 million results under one minute.

I sigh. “You shouldn’t send stuff to strangers.”

“But you liked my songs—”

“I was curious . . .” I look at my boots. “You invaded my privacy.”

“No, you let me in; you accepted my songs.”

I watch the sky exchange hues, blue for pale orange and then reddish-orange. Streetlights come on and trains whizz past. On the train platforms, crowds thin out. The probability of picking a single correct number in Lotto depends on how many balls have already been chosen.

“Angela? Angela . . . here’s a free tip, turn off your Bluetooth and people will leave you alone!” He gets up and throws his coffee in the bin. “Ready?”

I look ahead until I hear his footfalls fade.

In the morning, I turn off my Bluetooth and then turn it on just before I enter the train. People play the lottery in the irrational hope of winning something. Nothing suspends logic and inspires hope and dreams like the love lottery.

I look around, but Martijn is not in my cabin. I want to go to the next cabin to check, but I’m afraid of losing my seat.

The first time my phone beeps, it’s an email notification. The second time, it’s a WhatsApp message. The third time, Martijn wants to share a song via Bluetooth. I wonder about the range of Bluetooth technology as strains of Lionel Richie’s, Hello is it me you’re looking for, fill my ears.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Conversation

 

The Conversation

“Stop! Wait, wait. Na wa. Which conversation are we having? This one or the one we had a few days ago?”

“This one!”

“Are you sure?”

“What do you mean are you sure? Am I a child? I hate it when you patronize me!”

“Sorry o . . . that was not my intention—”

“As I was saying, so what did you mean when you said what you said about Jimi’s—”

Ahn ahn, which conversation are we having now?”

“We’re having this one, the one we had a few days ago, and every single one we’ve ever had!”

Wahala dey—”

“What did you say?”

“I’m listening . . .”

“So what did you mean?”

“I . . . I meant what I said . . .”

“Meaning?”

“Ha, what I said na?”

“Please humour me, elaborate . . .”

Mehn, okay, I can’t remember what I said.”

“You said that what a woman brings to the table increases her value. That the assets Jimi’s wife brought to the table had diminished comparatively in the last several years. That for women, love and attractiveness were neither here nor there as they placed a higher premium on the combo—love and security but for men an inverse relationship holds—”

“Wow! I said all that?”

“Yes. I mean no . . . the magazine article put it that way, but yeah, in essence, it’s the same sentiment you shared, I guess . . .”

“Which magazine? I can’t remember saying—”

“How can you forget? That night we returned—”

“Okay, okay, if you say so.”

“So what did you mean?”

“Hmmm. Jimi loves his wife and he’s chosen to see other assets beyond what she first had to offer.”

“But she’s . . . she just . . . she doesn’t really take care. . .”

“She’s fat.”

“That’s not politically correct! She’s just on the big side!”

“Okay.”

“You were saying?”

“No, no. . . I’m done. Political correctness stifles conversation, don’t you think?”

“Just say what’s on your mind. It’s not as if you’re giving a TED Talk!”

“So, obviously, a man of his influence and means would be spoilt for options. Though people who’ve done business with him vouch for his integrity as well.”

“You didn’t say this part that day.”

“I’m not a parrot. These are just my thoughts—”

“But you said one of the things that put men off is unattractiveness. That after hooking the guy, some women just stop trying . . .”

“I did?”

“Yes! Remember? When we were dating?”

“That was like what? Years ago?”

“Three and two months to be precise.”

“Elephant mem— hey, where are you going? Why did you put on the light? Turn it off please!”

“I want you to see—”

“See what? Geez—”

“I knew it!”

“What?”

“You think my butt is too flabby!”

“But I didn’t say so!”

“You said geez!”

“Because of the light!”

“But when Patrick said that if he were married to Jimi’s wife, he would’ve taken off, you laughed.”

“Seriously? That’s just a guy thing. He didn’t mean it and we were joking.”

“A very mean joke about a woman who’s had kids. Do you know what having kids does to a woman’s body?”

“Em . . . em, which conversation are we having now?”

“What do you mean? We are just talking! Why do you keep saying, ‘which conversation are we having’?”

“Because—”

“Some women just manage to look great no matter what . . . like Angela. Four kids and she’s still tight. What do you think of Angela?”

“I haven’t thought of her. I have eyes for only you.”

“And Jimi’s wife obviously, since you noticed she’s fat! Are. . . are you listening?”

“Uhuh.”

“You’re sleeping?”

“No.”

“I think I’m pregnant.”

“That’s fantastic! We are pregnant! Come here!”

“Not sure . . . I’m late. I’ll buy a kit tomorrow . . .”

“We’ll do it together.”

“Okay, I’d like that.

“Good. Come to bed—”

“See? See? When I walk it just kinda wiggles all over the place!”

“Mmmm hmmm.”

“What?”

“Are you wearing anything under? Turn . . . walk again let me see . . .nice . . .very nice.”

“Gosh! Are you even looking?

“Oh yes! And even if your butt is as wide as Texas and lumpy like dough, I would still love you.”

“Lumpy like dough—”

“I didn’t mean it like that. Oya, please turn off the light and come back to bed.”

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bus 281

Bus 281

The bus driver did not look at me when I entered the bus. I spared him a glance as he sped away from the bus stop and grabbed a red pole to steady myself before I flopped into my seat.

“Sorry,” I apologized to the man on the window seat when I regained my balance and saw what my lipstick had done to his sleeve.

He shrugged and smiled.

Whenever we approached a bus stop, we lurched forward as the driver braked, and we fell backwards as he accelerated again. No one got on the bus.

At the intersection between Park and Jacob Street, a grey Toyota on the opposite lane anxious to beat the red light, navigated a left turn. But it was caught in the middle of the road, in the path of our angry bus. The bus driver brought the bus within scratching distance of the Toyota. The Toyota driver inched further left. The bus growled and heaved. I felt the faltering bravery of the Toyota driver. Chatter climbed a few decibels.

Vroom, vroom, vroom! The bus driver’s impatience bellowed from the engine.

“Go! Go! Go!” the passengers cheered and clapped, with necks extended.

The lights turned green, and the Toyota rolled into Jacob Street just as the bus charged forward. I fell back in my seat and began to breathe again.

Five hundred metres before my stop, I pressed the button. The buzz pierced the chatter and the display flashed, STOP, in the monitor overhead. Moments later, I stood and held a red pole to brace myself, but the driver rode past the bus stop.

The passenger sitting beside me called out, “Chauffeur!”

More passengers called, “Chauffeur!” and then chanted, “Chauffeur! Chauffeur! Chauffeur!” stamping their feet to match the two syllables in the word.

Eventually the driver swerved towards the kerb. Passengers rose and shambled to the door like zombies. The driver lowered the belly of the bus, and the door puffed before opening. Twilight had bowed to a moonless night, and we were in the middle of nowhere.

“The world is full of crazy people. Get out while you can,” called the driver.

My feet developed roots, and I watched all the passengers except the man I sat beside, file out of the bus. They wore pale blue tops and trousers. He nudged me, and we got off together.

The passengers in pale blue led the way. Their voices floated and filled the night. In the absence of buildings and street lamps, the tree branches were monsters looking on. Reprieve from the darkness came from a dim signpost where the passengers melted into the shadows. I read the sign, National Psychiatric Hospital, and we quickened our pace. His presence by my side, kept me from running. The next bus stop was still ahead.

The bus stop, a pole with a twisted metal sign, offered no protection from the night. I checked my phone. The battery was dead.

“Mine too,” he shrugged.

Darkness stretched time like fitted sheets that are too small. I stifled the urge to pee. The wind whistled through the leaves.

“Did you hear?”

“What?” I replied.

“I thought I heard my name,” he turned in a semi-circle.

“Me t . . . t . . .  too.”

We huddled closer. Then he started singing, “Love is like two dreamers dreamin the exact same dream . . .”

“Nightmoves, Michael Franks,” I mumbled.

“Marry me,” he whispered.

The leaves answered the wind, “Whooosh!” and fell to the ground.

But the wind whistled back in hot pursuit gathering leaves in its arms and spinning them round and round. Some leaves broke free and circled our feet. Something in the pit of my stomach churned.

The music begins and the titles fade in, starrin’ you and me. The hero is struggling to say that his lady is far away in her prison of wishes . . . ,” he continued singing.

Headlights appeared in the distance. I moved as far out to the edge of the road as I dared and waved.

“Marry me!” his voice was urgent.

The thing in my stomach grew. My chest rose and threatened to pop the buttons of my blouse. I darted to the middle of the road and waved my hands with all my might.

Two yellow eyes flashed twice, cutting through the darkness. The sound of the engine grew louder. I ran to the side just as the bus screeched to a stop, lowered her belly, and the doors swung open. I clambered in and willed the driver to read my eyes.

“Close the door!” I screamed.

“Aha, the world is full of crazy people, get in while you can,” he smiled and sped away.

I turned and watched the passenger singing and dancing as his pale blue form retreated into the darkness, then flopped into my seat. I closed my eyes and opened them when I started breathing through my nose again, grateful for street lamps. By now, the bus was ambling over the cobblestones of the deserted shopping district. I saw our reflection on the floor-to-ceiling windows and squinted to read the inscription on the side of the bus, Bus 281: Property of The National Psychiatric Hospital.

“Honey, just marry the idiot already. One of these days he’s gonna tire of the game and find someone else,” the bus driver caught my eye in the rearview mirror and winked.

I looked at his shirt, pale blue. I looked down at my blouse, pale blue. I fainted.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

——–

Michael Franks, Nightmoves, from the album, The Art of Tea.

Image credit: illustrations from Microsoft

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.