My phone rang again
“Jeez! I’m trying to finish my work!” I muttered staring at the pile of reports that my company’s managing Director had just heaped up on my desk. It was a Friday morning and I was praying in my mind that God would punish her for not waiting till Monday to give me all this nonsense work.
As the phone went off again I finally decided to put it on vibrate when I noticed that the missed calls were coming from my Auntie Eghe, my father’s eldest sister. I started shouting in my mind coming to the worst possible conclusions as the phone had rang several times while I ignored it. Somebody had died! I was very sure of it, why else would she hammer my phone like this? I started a feverish prayer in my mind praying that the news of whomever was dead would not in turn kill me thus causing the family to plan a double burial.
I picked up my phone to dial her and saw that I had 9 missed calls! Chei! I’m finished! Someone has definitely died. I finally dialed her number and the phone rang once, twice, three times it seemed like forever, my anticipation was building up, at this point I was frantic. Finally she answered.
“Hello? Aunty what has happened? What is it?!”
She laughed calmly so I’m thinking that the news of the death has made her go mad. I question her again.
“Oh nothing dear I just said let me call and see how my beautiful intelligent successful and single niece is doing today”
Rage poured over me my body tightened and I started to pray again that God would hold my tongue and help me remember that she was my senior by many many decades. By the content of her words I knew she was at it again. She was probably gallivanting around her church again with my picture and reading my CV to the desperate mothers of single and ‘eligible’ bachelors at her church.
Still I was fighting with myself not to hang up my phone on her.
“Aunty I thought somebody died! You called me so many times.”
She replied “ehn?? Who died noooo oh I rebuke it in the mighty name of Jesus!”
By now the frustration had reached new heights. At this point after she finished calling upon the Holy Ghost fire to come and rebuke the death that my words had falsely predicted she finally told me that her sister at the church Sister Eghiator, permanent secretary of our local government and wife of the Chief Finance officer of Dalton Oils limited had a son in my age group who just moved back from New york after studying Finance at Columbia University after 3 short years as apparently he was some sort of genius. I rolled my eyes Nigerians too like titles. She should have just told me in short that she had a blind date for me. I needed to finish my reports and had no time for this.
I sweetly replied that I would have no problems calling him, just to get her off my phone. In my opinion if a guy that titled couldn’t find his own woman then there was probably something wrong with him. I paused that thought because I realized I couldn’t find a mate either so what did that say about me?
After I Finally left the office I decided to go to my best friend Bose’s house she wasn’t much better than my aunty, she was a typical Benin woman who had the morality of a woman twice her age. I knew telling her about the call would be a huge mistake but the gist was tearing me up from the inside so I had to let it out
“Yes” she replied as her eye brows lifted in anticipation as she had noticed that I used my gisting tone of voice to address her. Yes gisting tone any Benin woman knows when a good story is coming her way just by the tone of the story teller. I laughed heartily at her.
“Aunty Eghe called me to one thousand times today to tell me that sister Eghiators son has returned from New york to Join his Father at Dalton Oil”. Bose’s face became even more attentive.
“She also says he’s looking for a wife and my aunty gave me his number to call him”.
At this point she dramatically started waving her hand in the air and holding her chest with her other hand shouting that I had hit the Jackpot. I stared at her like she was a mad woman because frankly she was.
“Babes! He is a Big boy! Do you know how lucky you would be to have him!
I frowned at her and asked “Does he know how lucky HE would be to have ME?”
I said it! She’s a mad woman its official.
“My dear I’m not calling him I’m busy I’m trying to get a promotion at work I don’t really have time for distractions I just came to give you the gist.” I had decided to go home as I was exhausted and did not want to get talked into a situation that I wasn’t ready for.
She instantly calmed down as she saw me ready myself to leave
“is this about Seyi ?“she asked “That Yoruba woman wrapper?” so now she’s tribal too? I muttered to myself she was truly an old Benin woman at heart.
“Please don’t let that thing you called a relationship with him mess up your life! Will you marry your work?” she asked.
” It is only a fool with a hole in his bucket that ventures to the stream to fetch water.”
Wait what?! What is she even talking about I’m sure she just made up that Proverb. Even if she hadnt I felt pretty sure she was using it wrong. Then again most Native proverbs confused be to no end.
I tried to be serious considering the serious turn our conversation had taken but I burst out laughing hysterically fell onto the couch and proceeded to laugh till tears rolled down my face. I shouldn’t have come here I shouldn’t have told her and most of all I should have known better.
I muttered to myself later on that night. I wasn’t still in love with Seyi or anything. I just had been through a lot I didn’t feel like I could handle the neediness of another man in my life. My goodness that man was needy. At 27 I felt I was in my prime and didn’t need to start looking for a man to marry yet. For what? I had my work. I’m saying you can not eat love. I have things to do and a career to attend to.
As time passed I pondered and I realized I had a good amount of excuses and none of the seemed good enough to pass up a meeting with the Eghiators brilliant son. Who was I even trying to convince? I do love intelligent men so I decided to give him a chance. I’d finally decided to call him in the morning.