In my life-long study of guys, I have realized that’s there are only two approaches when we want to impress a pretty bird. But it all depends on your looks. First, there are the cool guys. The ones that shave their head bald and leave a side burn that trickles down from the side of their ear to their chin. The Don Draper ones that ooze of masculinity and ego. The ones that wear tight suits. Not fitting. Tight. Indecent even. The narcissists that spend hours in the mirror doing their hair (beard). Debonair chaps that have gel and shampoo and moisturizer for their hairless head. You know them. You wouldn’t find them dead in sweatpants. These ones always play it cool with them ladies. A lady walks up to them and they’ll act nonchalant. And somehow, the girl will be intrigued and not leave. It’s not that they’re rude. Aiii, no. It’s just their tactic. And it almost ever works because they have that Idris Elba stubble.
Then there is us. The normal guy next door. We are everywhere.
In clubs, the former will be sipping cognac at the bar. While us, us we’ll be all over your ass for a good grind. Story of our lives. We drink beer and the occasional whisky while they drink cognacs and bourbon. You will not find us in tight suits or suits for that matter. Maybe when there’s a morning meeting with the bosses. We like khakis and a nice shirt. No tie.
With the ladies, it’s an entirely different story. They never walk up to us. We walk up to them. Sometimes even run after them. In the rare offset chance that they approach us, we struggle to keep them around by being chirpy and saying corny things. We get away with our humor and loquaciousness. And that’s why after scrutinizing the scoreboard, you will find we have a higher success rate than our former colleagues.
So being the normal guy I am, I was excited when she came towards me. Terrified but excited. And when she came closer, my mind went to overdrive from thinking of a something witty and wicked to open with.
“Is this seat taken?”
And it still failed me. I had nothing. Not even a stupid line from a meme. Or that shifty line by shortmanbigworld. Just an empty mind.
“No.” I said before I’d come off as a rude prick.
Another of those pretty smile was thrown.
Through the class , I couldn’t listen or even misuse the good wifi. I mean, how could you? She smelled like vanilla and raspberries. And from how keenly she was listening, I couldn’t just pick my phone and start stalking exes lest I look like an unfocused guy. Si you know first impressions. So I just sat there, tossing subtle side eye and hoped she didn’t notice.
Her name was Abby. With a ‘y’ not ‘ie’. She clarified that with everyone, said that Abbie was slutty. I agreed. I once knew an Abbie that screwed me over. Story for another day. We got closer over time. Talked for hours in class. She didn’t have a phone then. Something about her phone at the repairers’ over a cracked screen. Infinix. Has to be an Infinix. I thought. So all we had was school to bond. I liked that, the archaic acquaintance, because I’ve never been a fan of texting. I prefer seeing facial reactions in person because I like to say edgy things. I don’t want emojis to show me that. I think they’re not accurate. So I secretly hoped her phone never got better.
The long walk to her place after class became a thing. So did the tight hugs when I said bye at her gate. She loved J. Cole. I adored him too. She preferred weed to alcohol. So did I. She thought there was nothing better than Breaking Bad that would ever be made. I thought Breaking Bad was the epitome of TV shows. She liked her guys funny. I thought I could host a stand-up show. She was a virgin. And so was I.
We’d had profound conversations in these walks with even more intimate dalliance sessions. But we never went all the way. Not for the lack opportunity, apana, there was always something stalling this shit. And we (I) hated it. It was either me shooting myself in the foot by not having contraceptives (the first time). Or her mother coming home earlier than anticipated. Or one of my personal favourites, the one liner, “I’m not ready.” I couldn’t blame her though. How could I? We hadn’t put a title to what we are. She wanted a title, tag, something. But I couldn’t give her that. At least not until I was sure.
When I finally did at her place one evening her parents had travelled to shagz, she was elated. The type of elation that makes you even more exultant. You even wonder why you didn’t say it earlier. She hugs you tighter than ever. You can feel her soft perky breasts pressed against your chest. It’s never felt this good before. Even her fragrance seems sweeter. It will not be long before she pulls away from the hug slowly and kisses you. A slow kiss that gets your khakis hot like hell’s furnace. Belts are unbuckled. Bras are tapped open (not intended). Jackets and t-shirts are juxtaposed on the floor feeling deserted and lonely. Hands are roaming all over. Skins are hotter than the khakis. Music playing in the background are muffled by soft moans and heaving. You take your business to her room, bloomers are left somewhere along the way.
With the right person, it’s never awkward after kurakana the first time. That’s how you know she’s the right one. You even listen to that J. Cole hit, Wet Dreamz because you can finally relate.
A few days later, you’re in class. Nothing’s changed between the two of you. Actually, things are better. Life is better. You both can’t imagine life without each other. Declarations of love are more now. It’s amazing.
At the top of the screen, a text flashes before it disappears.
Abby: We need to talk
Usually, you would respond with something wicked like, “Surely woman, we just talked yesterday. Can’t I have some me time?” And she would respond with, ”Me time? You’re nasty.” Followed by those laughing emojis I like. Then you’d smile because you got the joke. This time you just ask why. She responds with a time and place you’d meet the following day.
Such cryptic messages make me keep time. I arrive half an hour earlier, even skipped class that day. I don’t know what to expect so when she arrives and barely smiles, my insides churn violently. After small talk she says she’s late. I’m tempted to say something silly. I overcome the temptation. There’s a silence that follows. A silence that would laugh hysterically if it saw my face. I suggest we seek a doctor’s opinion.
The clinic is small. A lab, doctor’s office, pharmacy, a small ward and that’s it. Loans are borrowed to foot the bill. It’s finally her turn to see the white robe. I have never been so scared in my life. Short deep prayers are made to the Almighty. Promises are made too. A few minutes later she emerges and heads to the lab. Prayers grow more intense, more vehement. Like the churning of your insides. There’s an urge to shit. She stays in there for what seems like a lifetime. Until she finally walks out with wet teary eyes. You can almost bet what she said.