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.

 

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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

 

 

 

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