From the way Ada hand washed her clothes it was obvious to see she had lived in luxury all her life. Bimpe on the other hand did it with the kind of effortless ease that could only come from habit, having never known a washing machine or maid to help.
‘This one you are quiet today, is everything okay with you and Sam?’ Ada asked.
Bimpe said nothing.
‘So you won’t talk to me? We would just be out here in the courtyard washing clothes like quarreling husband and wife abi distant neighbors?’
Bimpe said nothing.
‘If it was me now you will not let me rest in peace. You must say something.’ She flicked a splash of water towards Bimpe’s direction.
‘Ada, abeg leave me alone. You don’t know what I’m going through.’
‘Haba, person die?’ Ada managed in her shaky pidgin.
‘Well, I met this guy…’
‘So it is even man matter? See me here thinking you had a real problem. Like family trouble or maybe pregnancy. In fact I don’t even want to hear again.’ Ada hissed and faced her washing.
‘It is a lie, you must hear. Shebi I was on my own and you started disturbing me. You must play therapist today.’
Ada smiled on the inside, her tactics was working.
‘Oya, be talking. I don’t have your power.’
‘Well, I met this guy. I didn’t really think much of it to start with, but then he kinda took me by surprise.’
‘Ermm, isn’t it still early days for you and Sam. I thought you would be all cuckoo for him at the moment. Are you sure you even like him, this one your eyes are already wandering?’
Bimpe was quiet for a few seconds. She had never really asked herself why she liked Sam or why she had agreed to date him. Was it a matter of him being the best of out a bunch of half-baked men, or was he actually in line with her ideal. The fact that she could even consider another guy so early into their relationship definitely raised some kind of alarm bell. She could understand if she liked this new man in a physical sense, but on the contrary, it was his mind that attracted her.
‘I don’t even know. I tried to keep it causal but this guy is something else. It’s like he is using juju.’
‘Na wa oh, what is this boy telling you? Is this Bimpe? He has found your mumu button. So you even have one.’
‘So it’s me you are using to catch trips abi? Your time will come.’
‘But I don’t understand why this is making you upset like this?’
‘Who knows?’ Ada asked.
‘The new guy.’ Bimpe replied.
‘What? You told him? Are you crazy? If it was a long-term thing maybe, no guy wants to compete with a new boo.’
‘Do you think I’m stupid? I didn’t tell him. He just figured it out. I don’t even know how. Maybe he caught a text out the side of his eye or something.’
‘Hmm, na wa. So he left or what?’ Ada asked with eyes filled with interest.
‘Not really, but I think it has limited something in him. I get the feeling he won’t be as open with me. He said he can’t be investing emotionally while some other guy is enjoying the benefits he wants. He doesn’t want to be “the other man”. I just wish the matter never came up.’
‘Ehen na, so you will have both of them and pick one when you are ready. Na this guy fit you sef. You can’t eat your cake and have it. Think of it like opportunity cost in business.’
Bimpe pondered on her friend’s insight. Ada was not generally the go-to girl for relationship matters, but she did have an honesty about her that could never be overstated. It was normal to meet people with the promise of a great relationship in the course of our dating and even marital life. But our intuition was not always right about these things. For all she knew, it was only the excitement of something new that made this new man appear worth her time. There was also the option that he was what she was looking for or at least closer to it than Sam. If she would ever know was entirely up to her. It wasn’t a question of doing the right thing. There was no ‘right thing’. It was a matter of doing what was best for her and as much as she hated to admit it, at this moment in time, she just did not know what that was. How long till this new man got sick of waiting in the wings? What if Sam was a better choice all this time and she was just being a brat looking for more? She just wished she knew how to be more content or had divine intervention to choose for her.
Such was the battle of monogamy. A constant war between contentment in commitment. A trade of ‘what ifs’ for ‘what is’ and believing that the greener grass on other sides was more often than not an illusion from the shadow of fences.
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