An interest in unavailable men was pretty much the story of her life. Ada could not understand why this was always the case, but somehow, every man she seemed to develop a strong interest in was outside of her reach. At least as far as social expectations go. There was Emeka, the married man with two kids. Then there was Fred, the only rich young man she had ever met with a manageable ego. No surprise that he had a long-term girlfriend. At first, she considered snatching him, but her conscience got the better of her. And oh, there was Mickey. For once there was not another woman in the picture, but then his workplace had to post him a continent away. Just her luck.
‘Ada Ada, this one you are just looking at your phone. Are you waiting for a message from Mr. Right or bank alert for credit?’ Bimpe asked in her usual jovial tone.
‘You know my story. If I like a man somebody else is probably fucking him.’
‘Ewwww, such vulgarity. Aren’t you supposed to be a lady?’ Bimpe teased.
‘Lady ni, lady ko. Abeg, I’m just tired jare. Look at this cute guy I met last night.’ She handed her phone over to Bimpe for examination. The roommate seal of approval was needed to make sure she wasn’t still drunk and staring with beer goggles.
‘Ooooo, this one is 100 yards boyfriend abi husband material. See the name sef. It’s better than your Mbachu.’ She mocked Ada’s last name, ‘and with this his yellow and your yellow, na oyibo or albino una go born.’
Ada kissed her teeth before snatching back her phone. ‘I think he has a girlfriend sha. A guy like this isn’t just floating around single. In this Lagos with girl shining eyes like torch light? No chance.’
Bimpe looked at Ada like a lost child then shook her head.
‘What is it?’ Ada asked.
‘You are here forming honest Nigerian abi? Don’t worry, you will be chief bridesmaid until you die. You think these girls you are allowing to hold these men play friendly? They are playing like it is World Cup finals and you’re here kicking ball like a learner.’
Ada had never really thought of it that way. Assuming everyone else thought about life the way we did was a common mistake. Even more common among the good intentioned demographic in any given society.
‘So are you saying I should snatch the boy from his girlfriend?’
‘See JAMB question. Do you think you mother was the only woman interested in your father before they got married?’
Ada said nothing.
‘Allow all this girl code abi whatever they call it. Mate selection has never been a fair process. You no see as lion dey fight for pride. If you like be there, waiting for perfect and available man. Don’t go and get proactive. You will end up with an arranged marriage in your village.’
Ada hated to admit it, but she could see Bimpe’s points. All too often the generation Y young adults treated dating relationships like marriages. In a world where the fight for the right companion was not getting any easier, it made sense that people tried to protect their finds with all sorts of rules. Before the days of the cell phone, courtship was accepted to be a matter of multiple partners. These days, sending the wrong emoticon to a friend was enough to drum up a charge on cheating.
‘Until he puts a ring on it, it’s all game oh. Don’t let all this Instagram activity fool you with the ‘loveofmylife’ hashtags. If a babe isn’t ready to fight for her man, na her loss be that. When a guy that likes you asks if you are single, do you think he wants to know if he will stop talking to you? ’
‘Chai, Ada Ada, biko no dey fall my hand like this. The guy just wants to know if there is competition or not, and how strong the competition is. If a guy feels like he can snatch you, believe it, he will do it. And they don’t get called home wreckers or boyfriend snatchers so they don’t even care. Where you will shine feminist eye you will be quite like wet towel. My sister shine your eye.’
30/30 is a collection of short stories covering a range of issues around the self, culture, society, sex, love and relationships. It is available for FREE download on Smashwords, Okadabooks, Lulu, iBooks and other ebook retailers.