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“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
Mother Theresa couldn’t possibly be wrong. No way!
I sat at the back of the cab remembering how I felt terrible and asked myself why I couldn’t answer a simple “NO!” when Lizzy asked me if I still loved my ex.
“Do I still love her?” Maybe just a little, more of a fling. She had said she wanted to see me, and I still couldn’t guess what for.
I flipped the cover off the face of my S4, navigated my way to the gallery and smiled as I swiped through the pictures I, Tammy and Lizzy took a couple of days ago at The Palms.
“Oh boy… I look really old. Already like a family man. Especially this one where I had Tammy sitting on my neck and Lizzy was making faces from behind us” I thought to myself “these two are really good company”.
Already I was having a soft spot for Lizzy but I kept on and will keep on questioning myself for germinating feelings for someone people from where I grew up would call “after one”. I never really understood what after one or after whatever number that comes after meant for a very long time, all thanks to my assumption that it was probably an ‘Eye’ thing. Not until a friend put to bed while I was still an undergraduate and other crazy friends started calling her “after one” that was when I understood what it really meant.
“Are ‘after ones’ outcasts in anything going in line with love and relationships?” This is the exact question I kept asking myself.
“Oga shebi you go tell me if we don reach the place abi?” the cool driver I had ordered through the ‘Easy Taxi’ service app asked looking at me through the rear view mirror.
“Yea. Sure my man. Just let me know when we’ve passed Tantalizers” I replied with my gaze fixed on my phone screen.
My thumbs were warming up for the resumption of the scribbling exercise.
“No wahala oga. Ehm…”
I knew he wanted to say something, probably start a conversation but he was smart enough to grab that I was not going to be available so he made an early closure to the sermon.
I continued my article from where I stopped.
…. In other societies, there’s no stigmatization of any kind on single mums. In fact, they’re respected and supported. Not all single mums choose to be one; in fact, ninety percent of ladies accidentally become single mums. They are often ladies who gave all in a relationship. Body, soul and spirit (and money for those who have it) for guys who aren’t ready to be tied to the stake of commitment and responsibility. These set of women are those I refer to as “The Unlucky Set”.
Guys dread the word “pregnant” like the devil dreads the name “Jesus”.
Foolish is the middle name of any girl who thinks within herself that the best way to tie her man down is to get herself pregnant for him.
I deleted that paragraph cos that was exactly Lizzy case. An abusive relationship where she was brainwashed by amazingly dumb pals into believing that when she has his child in her belly, every act of abuse and wrong doing was going to be made right. Like seriously? How will a foetus in your womb miraculously turn a new page in the life of a man you aren’t even legally married to and who probably would go on destruction mode if he gets to know you are pregnant. That should be rated the poorest decision ever.
…Single mums normally have many problems to face already and to top it up, the struggle to get a man that will take them the way they are and by that I mean a man who is willing to love them and take the child in as his. That is a very difficult spoil to come by especially in an african society. Some society even sees it as a taboo for a man to father another man’s child. Some society also makes it a choiceless situation for the woman to marry someone else. She must marry the man she has a child for; abusive or not. Even if it was the devil himself. What nonsense! Then what lies the fate of the woman who can’t but bring in her flesh and blood into wedlock? Doesn’t she deserve to be happy? How many men are willing to take an ‘after one’ home to meet mama? What is the possibility that the man won’t love the woman and be nonchalant about the daughter or child?
I said daughter because eighty-something percent of children born out of wedlock are females. Then you can’t possibly brush aside the role of broken homes in the widespread of single parenthood. Around ninety percent of pregnant girls are girls from a broken home. The combined fear of both the father and the mother is the only hurdle left for some unintentionally aspiring single mothers and thanks to that, we have one less two legged pot on fire. In a society where there is supposed to be the standard tripod stand consisting of the father, mother and the children, the rampant modification you see all over is the father and the children or mother and the children. This is so sad because the psychological, emotional and even physical effect of this on the innocent kid is almost immeasurable. Needless it is for me to say the mere fact of one growing up without the presence of either parent is not going to just pass by, without in one way or the other defining the kind of child or I’ll rather say the victim of poor decisions that would be brought up and passed into the society. One of the dark corners of the society today is the “Product of broken home association” No offence to such people, the straight arrow of question and accompanying blame is shot at the two immature couple, most especially the guy who can’t wrap his device up in its pouch or be sensible enough to protect himself and the girl or thinks she’s woman enough to stand the consequences of bringing an innocent child into the world.
Leaving the vices and other negativity of single parenthood and broken homes aside, the life of a single mom shouldn’t come to an end just because she’s a single mum. A kid with a run-away dad deserves the joy of being able to scream “daddy!” And run into wide open arms. Now, when no one wants to marry our ‘After ones’, don’t we automatically confine them to the jail of exclusion and neglect?
I would rather all single mums get a husband who would love them and their child unconditionally and sincerely. A far fetched wish maybe, but the society would really benefit from this. The absence of a father figure is one of the medium of propagating the gospel of societal misdemeanor in teenagers and youths and annoyingly, the horrible habit is formed and like the popular saying, old habits die hard.
“We all have issues…but how we manage them is really what makes the difference.”
In conclusion, the way these issues are handled in the modern world are…
“Oga we don pass Tantalizers oh”
I jerked up. Looked around and covered my phone. That was me – Always engrossed when it comes to reading or writing.
I let out a deep sigh. “1:47 PM”.
“Howfar guy” I said into the mouthpiece as I hit the green touch space on the screen of my phone.
“I’m not alright Bro. My conscience won’t let me be”
“I’ve been thinking about what you told me, and believe me I need to come plain to my fiancé and face the worst. It can break us up but I’ll know I have a clear conscience and that will feel so much better than living with her, with a skeleton in my cupboard. Suspicion and the fear of revelation won’t even allow me enjoy us. Believe me, you’re right bro. I think that’s what I’m going to do. The burden of secrecy isn’t one I think I’m ready to bear”
“Now you’re seeing things from my vintage point I guess” I said with a sigh of relief.
“Yes boss. I’ll ask her what her plans are tomorrow take her somewhere, The Stepp maybe and break the news to her. Man, believe me she’s gonna claw my skin off my body”
“You’re just exaggerating. I know your madam, she’ll get mad and being realistic, who wouldn’t?… Face the music, man. Real men don’t hide behind a finger, they gather their issues and handle it. And like I use to say, prepare for the worst while you hope for the best” “I just hope I wouldn’t…”
“Just do it man. If you don’t take care of your mess, who will?”
“This dettol advert though… I’ll give it what it takes. Cheers!”
“I’m even on my way to… Oh”. The line went dead before I could finish telling Believe I was meeting up with Titi somewhere around her place.
“Oga na here be the place wey you describe give me” the cab man said like I didn’t know already.
I got out, paid the transport fare and did a quick eye scan of the parking lot. Titi’s Toyota Camry was nowhere to be found and my morale kind of dropped. I just wasn’t in the mood for playing the waiting game. Not today… Not now. I brought out my phone.
“Hello Titi. When will you ever keep to time?”
“What?!… I’ve been waiting for you for like quater of an hour now and you ask me when I’ll keep to time “
“When did you start using cabs. Is that me influencing you?” I said with a smile cos I was relieved there would be no waiting today.
“No. I didn’t come in a cab and that means you’re around. Now get in!”
The line went dead and I stopped for a second. Something was fishy and what hit me was “I just spoke to Dave” so he couldn’t have brought Titi. Then anytime Titi uses that straight voice, she wasn’t in the mood to be messed with.
I walked into the pub and made for our regular spot. There she was, in a sky blue polo shirt a black trousers sitting opposite someone. I moved close enough and stop beside the table. A fair skinned lady sat opposite Titi. She wore a light green gown and a black jean on a pair of low tops. She looked very pretty and must be in her late twenties. She was very engrossed with whatever she was doing on her phone.
“Hey ladies” I said to particularly draw her attention.
“Whatsup with you” Titi replied hitting me slightly in the stomach.
I gave her a questioning look to signal “who is this?”
“And yea. June here’s Jay. Jay, meet June”.
“The world is so small, even the mind of a new born is bigger”