So you’re 16, 17 or 18 when you finally have THE epiphany that will probably change your life forever. You realize that you need a companion. No, not your niggars or your “boys-boys” (sometimes it feels like they’ve been with you since before you were born) but a special person. Someone who laughs at your jokes and makes you feel like Kevin Hart; that person who makes you have this really weird but wonderful feeling of happiness and whose joie de vivre is infectious; someone who makes you want to use that most possessive of pronouns, “mine”.
You don’t know what triggered this epiphany. Was it seeing that nerd holding hands with Joyce, the class beauty queen, or being smiled at by that pretty girl who’s just moved into the neighborhood or being completely fascinated by someone you may never have even noticed before. The how doesn’t matter tho because all of a sudden you start to really notice people. You find out Ifeoma has a beautiful smile or that Millicent mesmerizes you or that Keziah is a really nice person to talk to.
But companions don’t just present themselves to you one morning. You have to go out looking for them. You have to make a move; tell them how you feel about them or at least drop Mt. Kilimanjaro-sized hints. Some people make it seem so easy. They like a person, they tell the person. They fall in mutual love and/or lust. They fall back out of love, never lust and then they break up and move on, or at least pretend to.
But you don’t want that. You really like Ifeoma, Millicent or Keziah. But does she(fix in appropriate name) like you back? And then you smile at her, and hope she smiles back; talk to her and hope her answers are not monosyllabic; tell her you like her and hope she doesn’t interpret it as “just friends”. If you’re lucky, you get to see and talk to her a lot more and every new thing you find out just confirms what you knew all along; she’s the one.
“When is the right time to ask her out?” becomes your foremost thought. Your friends tease you about her every day and you even begin to believe you’re a couple. But you know that until you ask her that question you dread to ask, she’s not truly yours. You have doubts too. Her face lights up when she sees you but so also when she sees Samuel and Bright and Ebo. Everyone says how cute you are together but she hugs Prince like she wants to melt into him and flirts with Nii. Until D-day arrives, whether by plan or by accident, and you pop the question (“Will you be my girl?” not “Will you marry me?” just in case you were getting carried away). She reacts with feigned surprise as if she didnt know all the late night calls, texts, drinks, food and listening to her talk about how sad her bestie’s sister’s cousin was when her pet rabbit died, were leading up to this. This is not the most important question she is going to answer in her life so she mercifully doesn’t leave you in suspense for too long. She smiles shyly, looks down at her fingers and says……………
A few years have passed and you’re no more 16, 17 or 18. You’re older, wiser, probably more confident. You’re sitting in a bar, talking with those niggars who have been with you since before you were born and somehow, your mind drifts back to when you were 16, 17 or 18 and you wonder if everything would have been different if her answer were…………..
P.S. This is written from a male’s perspective. Hopefully, I’ll tackle the female side……………