When she she showed up at my door, I knew something was up. She hardly ever came to my house- that was one of her many “Because-I-Don’t-want-To”s
“do you think I’m stubborn?“ she asked. No good morning, no how-was-your-night…nothing.
“of course you are” I said.
“you didn’t even think about what I asked you“ she said as she walked right by me through the open door and plonked her plump self onto my bed.
“you’re welcome to come in, Sotonye“ I said.
“ha-ha“ she replied and rolled her eyes once again. What is it with girls rolling their eyes? She helped herself to my copy of TELL magazine, opened straight to the only page that mattered, Dele Omotunde’s “OPILOGUE”
“well?” I stared at her the way she would stare at me- arms Akimbo, lips smirking.
“well what?” she answered, eyes glued to the page.
“what do you want?”
“what do I want? I want peace to reign in the whole world; I want a Ferrari with my name on the License plates to be parked in front of my apartment…Do you think ‘SoSo’ will be better than Sotonye? You pay per letter you know?”
Typical Sotonye. Changing the topic if it ever swerved in her direction.
“well, seeing you never come here, showing up at 6am is a bit unnerving don’t you think?”
“Ekene…please tell me when It became wrong to visit my friend when I choose to”
“you could have called you know. One has to prepare for these things. I could have been in the arms of some ravishing woman you know? How would I explain you coming by that time? Everyone will think…“
She temporarily looked up from the magazine. “Think what Ekene? That I spent the night here? That’s hardly a problem. What do you think my neighbours say when YOU spend the night playing Fifa14?”
She flipped the page she’d been on. Surely Soso wasn’t going to read the back page adverts! Nobody in their right minds would read adverts about block-making machines.
“That’s different” I offered.
“Different how?” she questioned
“well, they know you’re my guy. You have a roommate so it’s not like anything’s going to happen”.
I returned to the onions I was chopping for my breakfast. Sotonye swears Onions on a man’s breath is the sexiest smell in the morning.
“Trust me, roommate or not, If I want something to happen it will…forget roommates. The real power lies with the woman…and If you haven’t noticed lately, I am a woman. I don’t need you calling me your ‘guy'”.
She had a point, you know? She was short, plump, wearing her natural hair, no earrings, no fancy purses, no dangerously heeled shoes, no piercings to speak of. She always wore Jeans and sometimes you could swear you saw her sagging…bouncing with a masculine swagger.
“but you ARE my guy. Since when do you care what I call you?”
“Since I noticed that I’m 24 and no one’s knocking”.
The air grew still- the particles of dust that were swirling in the mild sunrise seemed to fall back to earth. My knife stopped mid-chop and my breath caught in my throat. I was sure SoSo didn’t just say something about marriage. Rather, I wished I did not just hear that. This same SoSo that had sworn to me and anyone who cared to listen that she would NEVER have anything to do with men. That marriage was a burden; that children were a drag.
This same Soso that I crushed on throughout first year but kept my mouth shut- a girl that was more of a man than I was- walking through dark streets alone, bumping knuckles with the School security guards who never smiled with anyone. This same Soso that challenged me to a 1-week FIFA14 marathon and thoroughly thrashed me. This same Soso that knew more about v6 and v12 Engines than many mechanics would care to know.
I turned to look at her. And I saw that she wasn’t kidding at all.