I was fourteen and I had just gotten into Senior Secondary School, the first time a man told me I was beautiful. I was ecstatic; nothing else mattered in the world. I began to make efforts to make myself look more beautiful for him. I remember using excessive amount of white powder on my face and lip gloss that were so thick that it was difficult for me to talk, because my lips kept sticking together. But, after all my trouble, I never got another compliment from the man who happened to be my mathematics teacher and he was not even good looking.
Now that I think about it, I didn’t even like Maths, yet I was always eager for the maths period because maybe there would be a chance that he would complement me again. But the only thing I got from this man, whom I did everything for, was punishment because, I always failed maths. And he wasn’t even fine sef, can you just imagine me getting beat up by a teacher I had a crush on for failing a stupid subject like maths. Well, I couldn’t blame myself, I was what you would call the most unattractive girl in school, I was the fat girl who was always sweating for no reason and who always said the wrong things at the wrong time. I didn’t have a lot of friends not to mention having a boyfriend. So, an off-hand compliment made by my teacher while he was trying to explain something to the class meant a lot to me. I mean, it was like someone finally saw my potential. Come to think of it, I still can’t see how me being beautiful has anything to do geometry. I probably even imagined the whole thing sef. Hmmm…Wow… a girl was really desperate back then.
Anyways, fast forward to ten years later, my make-up game has improved so much that, I am now a make-up artist, a beauty and fashion blogger. Me, the girl who used to look like a geisha with sticky lips, now one of the most sought after make-up artists in this same Nigeria; there is nothing God cannot do. I am still a plus-sized black woman with caramel skin. I have shed the unnecessary fat that used to make me look like a waddling seal. I now have all the curves in the right places although, some people still think it’s their place to determine what size I should be, they will now pretend as if they are giving me a compliment. They will say something like “Na wa o Maina see your cheeks, what are you eating?” or “Maina you never lose weight sha, where some of us are looking for small flesh you just taking everything.” Or the most annoying one, “Maina come and tell me what you are eating, no matter what I eat I don’t gain any fat.” Using style to tell me that you will never be fat, I feel sorry for you. But fortunately, just like my make-up game improved, so did my self-esteem. Unfortunately, while everything else in my life took a positive step forward, my love life remained stagnant.
By the way, my name is Muthmaina Abubakar but you can call Maina, like my friends and non-friends do. And don’t get me wrong, when I said stagnant, I did not mean that I still have a crush on my very unattractive maths teacher. I meant that I always meet up with the wrong men. I have never joined people to say that there is no such thing as the right man and that we have to make do with what is available. Hmmm…This is where you turn up your noses and call me a picky woman. Well, yes I am picky! I don’t even try to deny it.
Imagine one time I went on a date with a guy and he was really cool, he had all the right table manners, said all the right things to make me laugh, he knew when to talk and when to listen. I had a really enjoyable date and by the end of the night, my slutty side had turned on and I was ready to give him third base. We chose his place, we couldn’t keep our hands and mouths of each other and we almost didn’t make it to the door of his apartment. We didn’t even have to open the door, because it swung open while we were making out on the porch.
A grey haired petite woman in her fifties stared at us in horror, as if she was not enough audience, two women who looked like the younger version of her, also came to the door and stared at us with the same horror. I immediately began to feel like a slut, with my short and tight black dress.
“Mom, I thought you would be asleep” he said. Although, he didn’t really look surprised.
“You thought, I would be asleep.” The older woman, who happened to be ‘mom’, repeated. “The principal called that you had skipped school again. I have been worried sick about you and you are here with this. You even had the guts to bring this prostitute to my house.” The woman looked at me like I was trash as she spoke through clenched teeth. I did not need to be told that she was mad. But, I was lost at the word’ principal’. Did she mean like principal of a secondary school or was she talking about some principality and powers, some kind of evil spirit. And while I was still standing there like an idiot expecting it to be the latter, the foolish boy confirmed my fears by saying.
“It’s not like I didn’t go to school, I just got tired after biology class, so I split.” He said it as if he did not realize how big the situation on ground was.
It was a ‘mogbe, moku, modaran’ moment for me because I had almost slept with a child who was still in secondary school. What do they give children to eat these days? If you see this boy enh…you will think you have found perfect husband material. Wait o, so secondary school students now go to the gym…. Eeeh, na wa o what my eyes has seen in this lagos…chai. Before the woman and her daughters, will pour hot water on me, since they have already called me a prostitute, I carried my two left legs away from there.
Another date, I went on with a guy I met at a wedding, and you know, since I did the bride’s make up, I got free aso-ebi and gele. Okay, that was not part of the story; I just wanted to throw it in. So, I met this guy, he’s not really what I’d call my type. He was short; he had bulging stomach and a receding hair line, in other words, he was going bald. Even though I knew nothing was going to come out of it, I agreed to go a date with him, just to know what it would feel like to go out on a date with a man shorter than me. We went to a very nice and decent not too expensive restaurant which was fine by me because, I don’t understand all those expensive restaurants and their small food. Halfway into the date…wait, it was not halfway sef because, they had not even brought the food we ordered yet. That’s how Oga started talking about marriage. Me, I was still there looking at him like ah, what did I carry, what is this Oga throwing. Marriage ke! But, I kept my opinions to myself just to hear what he had to say. That’s how Oga said, he already has a wife and that he would like to make me his second wife and I should think about it well because if I say no, there won’t be another chance because women are always rushing him since he is very handsome.
Immediately he said the word ‘handsome’ I just burst out laughing, handsome, really…like…reeaally. See me see trouble o, someone that I was just managing. I wasn’t even mad, I knew I wasn’t mad because I was still laughing when I picked up my purse and walked out of the restaurant without saying a word to him, I literally had nothing to say to the cocky bastard. The only thing that pained me was that I did not wait for my food.
That’s not all o, I have been on dates with men who talk with their mouths full, with men who think it’s cool not to shower before a date, with men who don’t know what’s on the menu but order it anyway just to impress me but end up embarrassing themselves, with men who don’t even know what dental hygiene means, with men who think they own you just after one date. In short, I have seen the bad and the ugly, but I have not yet seen the good not to mention the excellent.
With all these, you’d think that I’d stop going on random dates but, here I am again standing in front of my mirror trying on an outfit for a date with this hot guy I just met on Instagram. Hmm…This one may turn out to be psychopath, a serial killer, or he may turn out to be the one I have been looking for.
If he turns out to be none of the above, then I am going on yet another date because I know the right man is out there searching for me, sooner or later we are going to meet.
Thank you for reading, this is the end of the story, there won’t be a next episode because it is not a series. If you like this story, please share so that other people can like it too.
Mogbe: I am finished
Moku: I am finished
Modaran: I am in trouble
Thank you for reading my story and I hope you will learn one or two things from this.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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