The SIXTEENTH (When the Table Turns)
I was always on my phone, trading text messages with Mandy. Since we’d already known so much about each other in that short period of time, there was soon little or nothing left unsaid.
Mandy already knew I was, at that time, jobless, even after having amassed multiple college degrees. She knew that I was from a family that was the true definition of “living under the Grace of God”. She knew I was not lazy and was very open to doing any kind of legit job, as long as it’d primarily put food on my table.
Mandy knew that, just like most Nigerians, I had uncles in high places. Uncles who would rather help “outsiders” and get praised for it, than impact positively in the lives of us, their immediate family members.
Mandy felt very saddened by my tale. She told me not to worry, that it was all going to be “a story” in no time.
Mandy was so certain that my situation would change; turn around very soon. So much so, that I began to wonder if she knew something I didn’t.
On countless occasions, I’ve invited Mandy over. You know, from the way we connected so well in that short period of time, I’m sure you would understand the hunger in my anticipation to finally put a face to her beautiful voice; to this beautiful soul.
Mandy lived in a neighboring state. She is an only child and her parents are “late”.
Mandy was brought up by a “family friend” because her father and mother were also “an only child” and their parents (Mandy’s grandparents) were also deceased.
Mandy lived alone and was always at home. Because of these mental pictures about Mandy that I already have in my head, I assumed that, coming over to see me in my state of residence; in my place shouldn’t be so big a deal.
Surprisingly, Mandy was not on any social media platform. Well, none that I knew of. If she had, or I’d known of any, maybe I could have found solace in the pictures she would have uploaded.
Up until the five months after Mandy and I first started talking, all I had keeping me going was a mental picture; a picture I’d painted of “my Mandy” in my head.
I pictured a slim, averagely tall, chocolate complexioned lady with a small bow leg.
I’d envisioned that Mandy would have a very nice behind, too. One that pronounced her slender waist in a manner that turned necks.
I’d envisioned Mandy to be a hugger. I’d envisioned her, a little clingy.
“Baby, I don’t like to travel”. Was always the response I got, for the first two months of “Baby, when are you coming over to see me. You know I can’t wait to see you, yeah?”
We’d been going back and forth with these for a while before Mandy finally changed the anthem of her response to something I thought was even “worse”.
“Baby, I think you should come over instead. There is nowhere in the books of lovers, where it is written that a lady have to always make that trip over to see her man, is there?” Mandy asked, one day.
I knew very well that that question was rhetorical, but I still made an attempt to rebut it. Even when I knew very well that I wasn’t making sense, even to myself, I kept talking.
I tried to let Mandy know that it is usually more convenient for ladies to make such trips, than it is for men, especially putting financial constraints into consideration.
“A guy can at least, easily give you the money he would have spent for hotel booking, when you are heading back, as transport fare, you know. It’ll put a smile on everyone’s face upon departure. Men like their space and feel a sense of control when they have to play the host to a lover. Besides, I wouldn’t want you to be on the receiving end of a neighbor’s wagging tongue.”
“A neighbor’s wagging, what?” Mandy asked, in a manner I couldn’t completely deduce, if it was out of curiosity or displeasure of me, having uttered such a word.
“… Fred!” Mandy called out; interjecting a response I wasn’t even sure of. “Do you have any idea how special, I rate you? Do you think coming over to see me; to be with me would be one of many guys I’ve had over, at my house before? Why do you have to worry about neighbors that don’t even know you, when I, the owner of my apartment, care less about whatever they’d think?”
Again, I tried to rebut it. I tried to say something; anything at all that could just eliminate the idea of me, making this trip over to see Mandy, but before I even finished that thought, Mandy continued…
“…trust me, babe. It’ll be better for both of us, if you came.”
“Ha! How na?”
To be continued…