Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"I Want to Hear More!"

“We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don’t care for”
Maria Ebner-Eschenbach

Judgemental. Critical of others. Considers Self better than others just because.
Why is it so easy for us to feel this way, especially when we claim to “know that we are not perfect”, to “know we are not without sin”? Could it be that we do not necessarily believe what we say so piously…
…Or could it be something even more sinister??? (Horror music ensues).

“Hallo, I’m back!” Sarah announced, heading straight to Larai’s bed.
“Are you just waking up?” She inquired, after noting Larai’s dull expression. She certainly looked like she had been out-of-this-atmosphere for at least two hours. She sat up slowly. Sarah joined her shortly, still studying her closely.
They had become good friends two weeks after their registration. (Gory details have been kindly omitted).
“Yeah, kind of…” she answered, fanning herself tiredly. The heat was something else.
“Kind of?” Sarah pressed, slightly perplexed. Her face cleared as she said, “You’ve had another headache again, shebi? Aya… sorry!”
Larai had been having recurring headaches for the past three months but was totally against going to the school clinic. (It's like I'm not interested in getting an illness free of charge, she had once responded).

“Mm,” was the vague response. She shrugged, but in a livelier tone, announced that she had cooked their favorite: beans and yam! Sarah broke out laughing.
“Honestly Larai, we are the only two chics I know that love beans so much!!”
“Well… I’m not sure about that. My roommates can eat beans zallah 24/6 – on the seventh day they rest.” She giggled for the first time that evening.
“Okay, granted, your roommates and most Yoruba girls love beans, but there’s a big difference between them and us. They’d never admit their love for beans, while we, the repless sistas do!”

Larai looked skeptical.
“Are you sure? You’ve never been there when guys are asking them if they eat beans.”
“No I haven’t,” she agreed, “but how else can you explain the fact that guys are always embarrassed for us when we tell them we like beans? And how do you explain their next statement: ‘But girls don’t like beans now,’ mm?”
“It’s true sha, but I’m still not sure that the girls pretend to hate something they really, desperately like.”
“Not everyone’s like you, shey you know? In fact, you’ll be amazed at some girls. Which reminds me…” As she warmed to a new topic, Larai dished out the lovely grub from their special “Beans-Pot”, (dearly loved because of its generous dimensions).

“I was just talking with Agbe – he said to say hi, by the way- and he was like, ‘why are chics so gullible?’ I dismissed his question as one of those guy-feeling-superior comments, but it’s really a reasonable question. As in, why do girls just meeelt when guys flatter them, lie to them… and all that?”
Larai thought it was a rhetorical question until she looked up from her plate to find her friend staring at her intently.
“Well, maybe they’re insecure.”
This answer was unsatisfactory to both, but there didn’t seem to be any other reasonable answer, so they ate on in silence, with Sarah thinking, I know I’m not Wonder Woman, but I don’t think I’m easily lied to. I’m no chicken brain.

After a long moment, Larai asked, “The question is, how does a girl know when she’s being flattered or lied to? Flattered, especially?”
“Ha-ah! You’ll know now!” Sarah quickly replied. “You’ll know when a guy is sweet-talking you. You can’t tell me that you won’t know. Haba!”
“You’ll be surprised sha,” Larai said.


“Ghgvjfhfhgjhggjhghghjfgkhfkgfk,” was all Sarah was hearing that evening, and it wasn’t that she had become a partially deaf young woman.
She had become quite adept at tuning out, especially when she was cornered by a guy she was just not that into; one who wasn’t getting the hint. He just kept talking and talking. At a point she couldn’t even smile anymore. As she shifted her weight from one foot to the other, she remembered a funny conversation she once had with one of her roommates:

‘Sarah, I’m so tired! Some guys just never grab that you’re not in the mood! And to crown it all, their jist is dry! Kai, God forbid!’
The girl had been talking to a guy for about 30 minutes, with a five-minute interval. Actually, she’d have chatted with him for just 10 minutes had she not uttered a fatal word…
He had come over to say hi, and as his 10 minute hi came to an end, he said something like, ‘Tomi, it’s been nice talking to you but I have to give this Material Science photocopy to one of my friends, so I’ll come back LATER.”
She then said ‘Okay’. Tsk tsk.
Five minutes LATER he was back, and the rest is history. An honest mistake on her part, no doubt.
‘But why didn’t you tell him that you needed to sleep or something? It’d have been more honest that way,’ Sarah had asked.

She couldn’t remember the answer she had given, and she was just asking herself why she couldn’t tell this guy she needed to get into the hostel now-now when she heard something sweet:

“I’ve noticed your level-headedness. You’re always so composed.”
Ermm, say again?
He probably noticed that she was looking in his direction for the first time, for he really began to put a lot of life into it.
“What do you mean, ‘composed’?” She smiled very warmly.
“I study girls that come into Uni. Some are determined to be popular, and they know they can achieve this goal. They have the money and looks, and nobody will rest until their desires have been satisfied. Then there are the plain, not-rich girls who know they can’t be in that kind of clique, and for a while you see them walking past you limply with hunched shoulders, till they focus their energy in the church, where they can finally shine…
Her mouth fell open. What?! You mean people think like this? It… makes sense sha, but still…harsh men!
“…but you, you’re different – you’re in neither category. You’re confident on your own…”

By the time he was through though, she was gone - as in, she had fallen hard.
I never noticed this… okay part of him. I guess he’s really a deep person. He gets me. People hardly get me, so that’s – but wait first - is that really me he’s describing? I know I’m not so level-headed… or am I?

“Are you busy tomorrow?” the Deep Guy asked.
“Em… no. Not really,” she smiled self-consciously.
“Then I can check on you?”
“Good night.”

And that was how it began.

As she lay in her bed that night, she found herself recalling the conversation she’d had with Larai two days earlier. One statement, in particular, was swirling through her head continuously: ‘How does a girl know when she’s being flattered or lied to? Flattered, especially?’
Surely it’s not so bad to believe a compliment, after all, there’s no definite line between being complimented and being flattered. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a little flattery if it doesn’t get to your head. Or heart. Or liver, as Moroccans say. ‘Oh sweetheart, you’ve stolen my liver!’ Ha-ha!!
In all, it took one week exactly for her to discover the truth about Deep Guy...

(Erm... this is the thing: I dunno what happens next!!
I was just itching to post something new, you know... but I WILL get it finished before you read your Bible from cover-to-cover :-)
Seriously though, what do you think about the story so far??
Better yet, how d'you think she should learn her lesson?


Saturday, May 19, 2007


This here is one of the posts where I get to 'feature myself' (By this I mean, write about a real experience I had).
It's an odd one, sha (but I'll leave you to be the judge of that)

It was a Wednesday afternoon and we had arrived at our destination, dusty and a bit hungry. I was in … a mood (I wasn’t depressed or weepy, I was just sad in this sluggish way… or maybe I was depressed…)
There was nothing that’d make me smile -not even food- but I got out of the car, and alongside my mother and Big sis, we headed for the modest eatery, where I was to laugh uncontrollably for many minutes… and even now, as I recall the incident.

We surveyed the place. Not too bad, I thought. Definitely better than the place we went to the last time we came here. Memories of smelly tables and what-nots glided through my sad-at-the-moment mind.
I noticed a shabby looking man by the entrance of the eatery as I was getting seated, but I didn’t observe him like Sherlock Holmes would have. The man glanced about and left, bored with what he had seen (so you see, there really wasn’t much to observe).

Images of Shabby Man were discarded as the meal was brought. Not too bad, I thought, idly remembering a neat-freak woman from a film who took out a wad of tissue paper from her designer purse in a classy restaurant to sterilize her cutlery.
I ate slowly (not necessarily because I was sad; I eat slowly, I’m told). My big sis was doing her regular ‘efficient’ eating – cutting good bits and eating rapidly. (I tried to emulate her style of eating once but I got tired after a while). Mama was eating at a casual pace, so naturally, Big sis finished first, followed by Mama, and then me. (Once again, not because I was slow; the meat was the tough issue. It’d have been easier to pick it up with a fork, and not with the spoon I’d been given, but I was too tired to ask for that, so I kept at it).
Suddenly, Shabby Man came back and stared at us hard. I was too dull to be worried. Then with three long strides he made it to our table and just grabbed the meat that Mama left untouched. One, two, he swallowed it and was gone. The funny thing was that Mama didn’t even bat an eye. I was stunned, and Big sis just kept staring at the now-meatless plate in shock, irritation, a bit of horror, humour, and… something else I couldn’t pick. The rest of the clientele saw the exchange from plate to palate but didn’t say one word. This struck me as odd. I began to laugh as my mind played over the scene.

“Kai!! Peter! Ka dena wannan hali mana!!” (“Peter, stop this habit now!”) the ladies in charge of the eatery yelled almost immediately. Hm... so obviously, Peter, the Mad Man, was an odd sort of regular.
I was still trying to whip up a composed face when Peter showed up again. This time I knew where he was headed… my plate. I had long since yafe’d my meat as lost cause; I really didn’t need the stress.
He came along and snatched the meat and gobbled it up before the ladies could say "Peter!" My Big sis (could-her-eyes-get-any-bigger) was stunned part two, and I suddenly couldn’t see the humour again. (Ooh! I was just getting happy!)
I looked around self-consciously, as though I was ashamed of the part I played in having a plate in front of me. What I observed made me laugh. The customers were silently chewing their food, glancing at the man, and glancing at us with this Ya labai, ka gani abin da na gani kuwa? (Bros, did you see what I just saw?) expression.

“Amma you had finished your meal, ko?” Mama asked, to which I said yes.
“Then let’s go” she said, still looking unfazed and all. Big sis? Well her eyes were still saucer-like, but she was recovering.

Me? I’m still cracking.