On that note, I would like to apologize profusely for the delay in the continuation of the series. The muses of creativity broke up with me for awhile, but thankfully, we have reconciled and intend to live happily ever after from now henceforth. His jaw moved rhythmically as he savoured the taste, his eyes closed to shut out all other visual stimuli. It was Sunday, and the eight of us had come around to spend the afternoon together.
The pizzeria cum ice cream parlour was just a couple of weeks old on Toyin Street in Ikeja, and had quickly become a draw for everyone hankering for a sugar rush ever since they opened their doors for business. And because today was Sunday, there was a beehive of activity all over the place, with customers, adults and children alike, bustling in and out, and snagging at vacated seats both inside and outside the building.
We arrived quite early, before the lunch crowd descended, and so had been lucky to occupy two tables outside, shadowed by wood-carved umbrellas and encircled by the wicker chairs we sat on. The table tops were littered with the items of our repast — cardboard trays of pizza pieces, bottles of soft drinks, and large cups of the almighty Coldstone ice cream. Yinka was on his second cup.
Paschal grinned as he swept a glance over the rest of us. What is wrong with you sef? Does that your big mouth not know how to be appropriate? A cool October breeze had picked up, bearing with it a strong hint of Harmattan being on its way. The distinctive smell made me think about years ago, when I was still a child, and my family always travelled home in the East for the Christmas season. There was lots of vegetation in the East, leaves that would change colours, as everything without acquired films of dust.
I thought about the football games in the village, during which different clans played against each other. And then, I thought about the Christmases of my childhood. All that changed sometime in my teenage years. We stopped travelling to the East every year. Everything changes, the Voice said. I looked contemplatively at him. In fact, seated here, enjoying our boisterous camaraderie, he appeared relaxed, like a man who was ready to take that eventual walk down the aisle.
His eyes harboured no questions, and his expression held no doubts. Clearly, this was one gay man who actually welcomed the idea of his marriage. Yes, I do what I do. Eddie swivelled to face him. You see that guy? Seven pairs of eyes followed his direction, and fell on a middle-aged man standing on the other side of the road. He was average-height, rotund, with a sizeable gut that strained against his tight-fitting Tee-shirt and a badly-bleached light complexion.
He was speaking crossly into his phone, punctuating his diatribe with gesticulations of a limp-wristed left hand. Jonathan flinched at his words. Imagine being a flaming queen, middle-aged and unmarried in this country… Your own go don finish na. You think this sort of relationship dynamics only applies to gay relationships? Honestly, sometimes, I wonder if guys like you — you know, bisexual guys, are really this dense when it comes to gay issues, or simply playing at it.
Sometimes, I wonder if guys like you, biracial guys, are really this dense when it comes to French issues, or simply playing at it. For me, expecting to love a woman is probably like hoping for snow and ice in Lagos. It may happen someday, but the chances are one in a jillion. But then, how do you have a kid without a wife in this conservative clime? After all, he was married, and then his wife passed away or left him.
But a man who suddenly starts having children with no ring…well, that would raise more than a few eyebrows. And that sounds like a plan. At that, Jonathan turned a sharp look on him and opened his mouth. Remember Declan is just a learner with snappy retorts.
They have ticked the ultimate society box. That high-handedness simply pisses me off. And that decision is not for me. And I hope to battle it out. I simply just cannot get married. And I am not attracted to women. So yes, that option of marriage is out of the equation for me. Ekene, who was seated next to him, leaned toward him to peer into his phone.
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman… I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.
Many of these men do want to get married. For those who are exclusively French or are biracial but do not want to get married, their case is different. But considering the society we are drawn from, that life of being forever single can be a living hell. So it really boils down to what each person thinks is the lesser evil or more endurable hell. The fact that you and the future missis actually exchanged vows means nothing to you?
The two were close and shared a history that made it so that they never fought. Because how do you make a compromise on the issue of marriage. My folks know that, and have learned to leave me alone. He has found his good thing, you guys should go and find your own. Jonathan remained seated beside Paschal, who was staring on incredulously. Someone must be playing a very expensive joke. For a long moment, Paschal stared at the phone, occasionally swiping his thumb across the screen.
A muscle clenched and unclenched in his jaw as he took in the Badoo profile. But it is the handiwork or someone with an agenda. He started to answer the call, then stared at the Caller ID and hesitated.
Wetin married woman dey find for Badoo?