“Sotonye…let me explain a few things”.
She looked at me, straight in the eye.
“guys are attracted to what they can see”
“well they see me but no one stops long enough to even say hi or anything”
“that’s what I’m saying. They are attracted to what they can see. Technically, they see can’t see you at all”
“Soso listen! You sag your jeans, wear no earrings, wear baggy football jerseys and sneakers half the time. God saved you that you didn’t cut off all your hair. Nobody will tell the difference between you and other boys with the way you bounce sef”
“Are they blind?”Soso started teasing.
She was particularly touchy when you discussed her dressing. It had been a lifestyle choice- in fact since she was in JSS2 (8th Grade) she started dressing as a boy. Teachers seized her uniforms, only for her to return the very next week in male trousers.
“They’re not, but you’ve got to show them what they want. Give them a reason to say ‘wow, that girl is…’”
She paused for a moment, thinking fast.
“Think of it as advertising…you’ve gotta display your femininity if you want anyone to notice you”.
She still didn’t answer me. Her eyes darted back and forth and finally glazed over. Hope this girl hasn’t fainted o…after crying, tackling me twice in one day…I didn’t put anything dramatic beyond her. I waved my hand in front of her face and she slapped them away with a surprising reflex.
“Ekene…doesn’t it sound shallow even to you? To just put myself out there and advertise myself”
“hey, you asked me why people don’t even notice you’re a girl and I’ve told you”
She sighed and kept shut.
“you’re welome” I said, turning sarcastic now. Soso never ever said “please” or “thank you”. Sometimes I wonder how we ever become close.
“Ekene…can I ask you a favour?”
“And this between us. Mano-a-mano”
“you mean mano-a-girlo. You’re a girl now, remember?”
Soso smiled and slapped herself.
“right. And you cannot say NO? no matter what!”
“If it involves playing Resident Evil at night…I’m sorry”
“It’s worse than that”
“What on earth can be worse than that!”
“you’re a crybaby Ekene. Lots of things are worse than that.”
“Guy, I need to you to be focused right now!”
“I am focused.”
“promise me you won’t refuse my request”
“Okay, I promise”
Sotonye got up and started doing the cripwalk.
“why do I get the feeling I’m going to regret this for the rest of my life?” I asked wearily.
“because you will”
“so what is it you want? You can have it, even up to half of the kingdom”
SOso opened her mouth to say something. Then she thought better of it, and instead turned to the door.
“hey, where are you going?”
“right in the middle of telling me what favours my Royal Authority may grant you”
“Actually, your highness, I dare not mention such travesties in your presence. I am not worthy to stand before thee. Wilt thou accept a text message instead?”
“As thou wishest.”
I tossed her the key and she let herself out. I returned to my onions that had since wilted whilst she displayed her morning drama. Too bad I wouldn’t go out with my sexy breath today. I mixed in the tomatoes and peppers I’d chopped earlier, and watched them sizzle in the nonstick pan.
At 7:45, my phone buzzed. Text Message From “Baddest Guy” (A.k.a, Sotonye Briggs).
“ I just need you to do this one thing for me…
Teach me how to be a girl. A HOT, sizzling, irresistible girl”
I replied immediately
“That’s gonna cost you”
“anything, including half my World-of-warcraft points”
I fired back,
“In your dreams, nigga”.
“I’ll take that. Come by my place this evening. Me and you have a LOOOOT of work to do”
And that was how I found myself with a long shopping list that morning.