There are some arguments about the sentimentality attached to the first of January; some believe it’s a day like any other, no big difference, while others believe the ‘new year, new beginning’ mantra. I’m not sure I care which group is right, but I do know this shouldn’t be the way to begin the year.
I returned home from church past one am this morning, and had immediately gone to bed. I was driven from the comfort of my bed in the late morning by hunger. I made myself some sandwiches, poured a glass of juice, and moved to the sitting room to eat in front of the TV.
The card was conspicuously placed on the centre table and I picked it up.
“Aaaaarrrggghhh!” I screamed as I read through the card.
Dupe, my friend and flatmate ran out from her room, also in her pyjamas, clutching her phone to her chest.
“What?” She asked. Her eyes darting around, searching the sitting room for the cause of my scream.
I passed the card to her, and hastily sipped some juice. I choked.
“Sorry.” Dupe said, coming closer. She perched on the arm of the chair. “What’s the problem, why did you scream like that?” She asked after reading through.
“Charles is getting married!” I said hoarsely when I could talk.
“So?” Dupe asked flippantly tossing the card on the side stool.
“Just last month, he was here telling me how much he loved me. He’s getting married?” I repeated.
Dupe laughed. “I don’t understand your pain, I thought you said you aren’t interested?”
“Yes, but?” I picked up the card and re-read again. “Ha, I’ve always said it, people named Charles are evil.”
“Don’t start.” Dupe chided. “Please, is that why you disturbed my beauty sleep?” She yawned as she got up. “I’m going back to bed.”
“Don’t forget Nifemi is bringing his girlfriend over at two.” I reminded her.
“Wake me when they get here.” She replied from the door.
“How did the card get here?” I asked.
“Jubril gave it to me last night after you left for church.” She shouted from her room.
My appetite gone, I threw the offending card behind the sofa and picked the remote to browse through channels.
I couldn’t concentrate, how could Charles be getting married? Just like Olumide, Festus, Chukwuma,…. Everyone of my exes or toasters had either gotten married or was about to.
What was wrong with me? A little background on me, I’m Keji (Morenikeji George), Twenty-five, no job, no boyfriend, orphan, no siblings.
My parents died in a plane crash last year. I almost fell apart, but for about my friends; Dupe and Nifemi.
Dupe and I met in university during our registration, we discovered we were birthday mates; same day, same year. We became fast friends and have remained friends since, and when my parents died, she moved in with aunt Mabel and I.
Aunt Mabel is my mother’s distant relation. She was our maid, my nanny and has remained with the family ever since. She was presently in her forties and had never been married, nor have children. After my parents died, she stayed on to take care of me. She was more like a second mother to me. She was presently in her village to celebrate the. Christmas and new year holidays.
Nifemi has been my life-long friend, the boy next door. I am an adopted child, and in the nineties when I grew up, people weren’t so accepting of adopted children. I was either avoided or taunted. Not Nifemi, my earliest memory was of him calling me ‘Baby’, and treating me like his little sister. An only child himself, he was my friend and big brother, older by eight years.
In my early teens, while walking home from school, I walked past Nifemi and his friends, said hi to him. Next I heard, a fight broke out. I turned around to see Nifemi pummelling one of the guys on the floor while the other guys tried to separate them.
“Nifemi! Stop!” I screamed, and he did. Later, he told me, the guy had made a joke about my parentage and he had immediately set him straight. That cemented my adoration, Nifemi became; ‘My hero!’ My go to guy, the one I could call at any hour… You get my drift.
Nifemi; who studied and practices corporate law, immediately donned the wig and gown in my defence when my parents died and I needed a lawyer (my father’s family wanted to claim the insurance money). It was him I called when a date got shitty, Nifemi was all round wonderful. He was bringing his girlfriend to the house later today, I hope she’s nice, I hope she lasts.
So, back to me. Why couldn’t I keep a guy, or find a job for that matter. Dupe thinks I am too picky on both issues, I don’t think so. I am pretty, even if I say so myself. I’m five feet- six inches, chocolate complexioned, with all the right curves in the right place (like an african woman). I’m nice to be with, and have no problem attracting guys. So how come they never stay (in fairness to them, I ended most relationships). But why can’t I get my own ‘Prince Charming’? Is it too much to ask for a certain kind of man? Someone like, Nifemi?
Also, I have an MBA, graduated with a distinction, so why can’t I get a job with a blue chip company?
You will agree with me this shouldn’t be first of January thoughts, they are more suited to thirty-first December, to go with the old year. Now, that Charles had to bring it up, trying to make nonsense of my prayers last night. I hissed.
“Lai lai! The devil is a liar!”
I reduced the TV volume and got down on my knees to pray; my own man must come, my own job must come! 2014 is my year! Can I get an; Amen?