For Uloma Uwadoka and Gloria Lancelot.
We are not settling at all, inugo?
Uloma looked at the boy on her friend’s status. Such an ugly child. He was a man but he was somebody’s child abi? So yea, that qualified. Such an ugly man. My baby boo, the caption read. This man was neither baby (she knew that he was definitely in his late 30s) nor boo, look at his face!
He was far from handsome and even with the photo filter, his skin looken ashen. The hair on his head was cropped close and his eyebrows were bushy. His eyes were dull and unexcited as if he would rather be anywhere else in the world than when he was right now. There was no excitement. She couldn’t imagine these eyes lighting up with love or darkening with passion. They were just there. His nose was ok. At least that one worked out in his favour. His lips were dark as if he smoked 2 packs a day. Did he smoke? She had to find out. He smiled with his lips together, no teeth. That’s if you could call what he had on his face a smile. It was more like he had been caught on a wince. He had a scraggly goatee and moustache. Typical Igbo business man. His stomach bulged in front of him, as if leading the way like a forerunner. He must be the type that drank beer with the guys everyday. Uncle had a double chin, no strenght there.
Why were his eyes so dull?
“Uloma stop it!”
“You have that look on your face that says you are either criticizing someone or their boyfriend. Plus you are staring at your phone so the odds are in my favour, yes?”
Uloma smiled, Gloria knew her so well. She had known Gloria forever (ignoring her majorly even though she liked her some) but of recent, they had become best friends. With her natural hair and acne prone face, most people would say they looked alike. They had gone to the same schools, studied the same course and attended the same church. She remembered the specific day and moment she has realized that Gloria was actually the only friend that had stuck around. That day she had determined in her heart that she would treat her better.
“Gloria, come and see his face. Why do girls do this to themselves?”
“He has money?”
“And so? I’m not saying physical features are everything but haba!”
“And you wonder why you are still single.” Gloria shook her head with a sigh. “This is why you are still single, you this judgemental human being. Your standards are too high. You too, haba! One of these days, you would have to settle for…”
“Se what? I’m not settling ooh. Why should I? Am I dust? It’s OK to want a reasonably good looking person I can be attracted to. Contrary to what you or any other other person may think, my standards are not high. And so what if they are? I am not offering a less than stellar package in return.”
Gloria laughed. “You do know that we were made from dust abi? Dust to dust, bla bla bla. Are you sure you are not dust?”
“You know what I mean joor!”
“Picky human being.”
“Careful. I just don’t think she should have settled. And I know her, this is settling. The guy is ugly and he has loads of money. I’ve heard him speak. Gloria, she settled.”
“OK. But you need to loosen up. Or you will end up still single at 42 and then you will be looking for anybody.”
“I won’t. I’m just 25. Look at Adesua. Look at Simi. I’ll be fine.”
Even as she said this, she knew she was a little scared. She wasn’t going to deceive herself any more than absolutely necessary but she really deserved a love that would sweep her off her feet and take her breath away. What if she had to settle? What if he never came? What if he didn’t exist?
But what if he did? What if he was on his way? No, settling was not in the picture. She was not dust. Made from it maybe, but not it.