Relationships had never favoured him. It was always one terrible heartbreak after the other. And all for what? Flimsy excuses or stupid demands. That’s what he called them. And so when his eyes fell on the couple holding hands and almost making out at the corner of his neighbour’s house, he ignored them and kept his face straight ahead before making a turn into his own compound.
Living alone is bliss. He thought while padlocking the gate. It had been a long day for him and getting home to some relaxation was all he needed.
It was evening already. 7:34 PM precisely. Andy Eguavoen turned the key in the locks lazily, before pushing the door slightly. It squeaked open.
The terrible smell of decaying fish hit his nose and it was then he realized he had left the intestines from the fish he cleaned out last evening, in the waste bin.
“Oh Jesus,” he muttered as his side bag landed heavily on the couch and he headed for the kitchen.
Andy pulled up the nylon arranged over the waste bin, opened the kitchen door and headed out to dispose of it.
He returned a few minutes later and started to wash up the plates and pots he used in the morning. He had rushed out of the house in other to beat his appointment in time, hence forgetting to wash them.
Being a full-time writer was not an easy business as some people liked to think. Clients were easy to come by. But a good number of them priced the job like it was crayfish in the marketplace.
Finding a well-paying client like Mr Bamidele meant he wouldn’t even be joking with the job. It was one of the reasons he ran out early to discuss the progress of the movie scripts he was writing for Bamidele’s movie production, with the director and some other members of the cast and crew.
He already had plans to resume writing his new book after the meeting, before moving to complete the movie script. But then, the chance didn’t come. They had only finished the meeting when he received a call from his mother, asking him to come over as there was an urgent matter on the ground.
The urgency in her voice got him worried and he decided not to delay.
3:15 PM dot met him at his father’s house. You can imagine his disappointment when he realized his mother had invited him over so as to introduce him to her friend’s daughter.
Mrs Eguavoen vouched the lady was decent, well raised and would make a great wife. Andy had ignored her then and excused himself.
He wouldn’t forget in a hurry the confusion that took over the girl’s expression. He would have sympathised with her, but not when his mother had a determined look on her face. It wasn’t the first time, and it might not be the last time she would be trying to do matchmaking with him and some random girls.
There was no day he didn’t receive a text message from her, or a prayer, stating how she was in need of grandchildren, and how since he was her only child, he was the only one who could give them to her.
His father didn’t seem bothered. Well, why should he? His former wife had 3 kids for him. All three of them were married now and with kids who occasionally came to spend time with him. It was, maybe, the reason why his mother was thinking too much about grandkids.
He couldn’t believe she still felt the need to live up to expectations at her age. She was dragging him into it too and making his life unbearable.
Her prayers and talks and cries had pushed him to jump into several relationships in the past, just so he could find a girl to marry and be at peace. But the heartbreak that followed each relationship was enough to sink him.
Some of the ladies leave the relationship, saying they couldn’t marry a guy who wrote for a living. They didn’t think his income could sustain him, let alone a family.
He laughed at their reasoning because he knew how hard he worked. He knew how many jobs he got per week, and he knew he usually outsourced them so as to keep up with deadlines.
No. He wasn’t a multi-millionaire. But he made just enough money to give him a decent life, and to care for his family if he eventually had one. His major goal was to become a best selling author; not just in Nigeria, but in the world.
Not like he couldn’t just go out there and get someone pregnant, and then pay her to have the child. But, who baby mam help sef? He thought.
However, it was due to his mother’s disturbance he started his new book. It was about his terrible experiences in relationships, his mother’s demand for a child, and how he was going to find the wife that would give him that child.
But, well, who said writing a book was easy. The characters always had a way of leading the story, making it almost difficult for him to stick with his original outline.
The twists in the story made him look forward to his writing sessions. He loved where he was being led to, as he found himself writing a story about the kind of wife he’d so much love to have, how they’d meet, what would transpire before she eventually accepts him.
In fact, just thinking about how far he had gone and the new ideas pouring in, made him want to rush to his desk. Sure, he had 2 scenes in the script to rework for Mr Bamidele. But he’d work on his book first; even if he is able to add only five hundred or a thousand words. He had to see where the new ideas pouring in his head would lead to.
Done with washing up, he picked up a small tuber of yam; the leftover from 2 mornings ago. He took two eggs from the refrigerator and a small bowl of already washed vegetables.
Less than an hour later, having a plate of yam and spicy vegetable egg source on a tray in front of him, Andy sat at his work table. Thank God for NEPA. There was electricity. He connected his laptop. The battery was low already and he needed to work.
Waje’s “I wish” came up on his phone as a call came in. Andy reached for it and looked at the caller ID before answering it.
“My personal person,” he grinned.
“How far bros?” Tina’s voice came through the speaker. She was his razz cousin from his mother’s only brother. And being an only child too, they were like brother and sister to each other.
“I’m not far jor. Just too much work.”
“Too much work means plenty money nau,” she chuckled.
“How’s NYSC coming?” his grin broadened. He knew he had touched a core.
“Bros, why do you seriously think it necessary to remind me that I am in camp?”
Andy burst out laughing. Tina hated camp. She hated anything that had to do with it and if she had her way, she’d rather not serve.
“Come on! Don’t tell me you’re still grumpy after a week plus there. You’re almost out nah,” Andy tried to encourage her. He could already picture her rolling her eyes.
“Andy, let’s just leave NYSC out of our talk. Biko. Momsy called me. How far nau? What happened today?”
Andy sighed. “She called me to come over. I did. And it turned out she was at her matchmaking game again.”
It was Time’s turn to laugh. “Which one is matching making game again bros. She only wants the best for you.”
“See ehn, if you people really want the best for me, biko, allow me to be on my own nah.”
“Come on. 39 years is no joke. By August this year, you’d be 40. Give the woman a grandchild,” Tina laughed out loud.
Andy wished he could stretch his hands through the phone and shut her mouth once and for all.
“Here is the deal. If you volunteer that your friend I met during Christmas, I’ll impregnate her. We’ll have kids and all will be well. Agreed?” He shot his brows up to accentuate the mocking expression on his face.
“You want me to give you Ofure. Seriously, bros. Ofure is a dragon,” she laughed, “even Khaleesi’s dragons have never seen Ofure’s kind of dragonessism.”
Andy burst out laughing. “Is that even a word?”
“Of course. Add it to your vocabulary. As a writer, you’ll need it.”
It was Andy’s turn to roll his eyes.
“But seriously, bros, you need a wife. I will only pray for you to get a good one.”
“I’m actually fine on my own. I don’t think I was created to enjoy companionship,” he winced at his own words.
“Stop the self-pity jor and go get a wife. I need to go now. All these stupid soldiers are screaming at us to come out for parade this night. Can you imagine?”
“Please go o. So they don’t come and attack you,” Andy advice.
“Sure. Will talk to you tomorrow.” Tina cut the call.
Andy stared at the phone screen until it went blank. His reflection came up on the blank screens and for the first time in a long while, he inspected his features and wondered if he was truly getting old.
“And even at that, can’t I just have peace of mind?” He asked as he placed the phone on the table.
It took him a while, but he shook the thought out of his head and faced his computer screen again. He didn’t have a wife or girlfriend in real life, but he had a book to write. And in this book, he was mapping out ways he’d meet and fall in love with the woman of his dreams. He didn’t care if it was just a book.
To be continued…
This is a Pelleura story.
Idea and write-up by Karo Oforofuo. Read the next chapter here
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