Thursday, October 8, 2009


Edna and I have been going out, officially, for three years now. But before then, we have been an item for… like forever. Well, since our university days, that is. Before I was finally ‘convinced’ to get my own mobile phone, I used the land line at home as my contact phone. Since my folks were not always at home, I gave father’s number out as well, but only to a few friends – the ones I could really trust. Of course, Edna was one. She always called home, at weekends, whenever we were on holidays or ASUU was on strike.

Those days, there was a running joke in my house. I could always hide the identity of my other ‘girl friends’ from the rest of the house whenever anyone of them calls. But, if it was Edna on the line, my emotions always gave me out. “Edna!” I always answered her call with the excitement of a besotted toddler. So, the joke was, whenever the phone rings for me, everybody in the house goes “…Edna!” Or sometimes, when they want to be mischievous, they just scream “Edna!” to my face, for no reason at all. Most times, I made a face back, especially if it was my sisters that were the pranksters. But I relished it silently. Everybody in my family had always known this particular girl friend of mine was ‘special’ to me. Not only that, even before they met her, they fell for her voice. It was the same thing for me. Okay, I admit I am a sucker for beautiful voices. But, Edna’s… was different. It was poetry in motion. Hers felt like ice cream on a stick or a refreshing drink after a long thirst. Edna’s voice was so full of music and soul. You would feel the same way if you had met her. Okay, I would tell you how I met Edna; but, not today.

“What do you mean, father,” I asked.

“Son, have you decided on Edna yet?” he asked. We had talked about Edna recently and father wanted to know the latest. “There are so many things involved,” I told him then. “For now, I’m not so sure about how to fix it.”

“So, have you,” he asked again.


“That’s good,” father smiled. He had developed a fondness for Edna, almost like she was already his adopted daughter from the cradle.

“But I still have butterflies in my stomach,” I said. He put his arm around me and looked at me in that sort of fatherly-like assurance.

“Son, listen to your heart. But, let the Lord lead you,” said father. “It matters how and when you say it, do you understand me?” he searched my eyes as if they were running away from the obvious.

“I understand, but….”

“No ‘buts’. Be decisive. Pick your favourite spot. Or better still, give her a surprise. But make sure you do it right. Seize the moment and make her yours. You have to take a chance to stand the chance,” father said.

“Aye, Aye, sir!” I stood up and made a mock salute to him while he sat down.

He waved me off with a smile. “Life is full of bogus things, but never lose your focus, son. Choosing whom you would spend the rest of your life with needs all the concentration of your mind, body and spirit, a hundred percent.” Every successful relationship, he noted, was built on as much careful planning as any other successful business enterprise. There goes father, the consummate business man and relationship/marriage counselor. “Sometimes, love is not enough. Both of you must be compatible. Be certain about your road map for the future, and how you truly feel about her. If she fits into it, then she fits. The rest will naturally fall into place. Just trust God.”

“Don’t always trust your feelings. Instead, learn to understand your instincts.” As father stood up from the sofa, he did the unexpected.

“I can sell fire in hell and water to a well. Put me anywhere on God’s green earth and I will triple my worth,” he said, gesticulating like a hip-hop artiste would do. I thought I didn’t hear clearly, but my father actually rapped those famous lines.

“Father, that’s Jay Z!” I said incredulously.

“I know,” father laughed. “Just because you think I’m ‘old school’ doesn’t mean I don’t have to learn the new school,” he said.

“Hmmn,” I remarked. “I could sell condom to a eunuch or a priest too,” I replied him.

“Don’t. It would corrupt the whole monastery,” We both laughed.

“Thank you, father,” I said as I hugged him. His words were just the necessary prompting I needed to make the next big decision of my life.

I made a mental note to call Edna as soon as I got home. Just then, my phone rang.

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