WS 5: Single by Nkem Awachie


Probably, in your first relationship, you’ll be idealistic, fresh from secondary school, a virgin, and determined to remain one till you wed. Unfortunately, your first love keeps asking for a bite of the golden fruit. You stick to your hymen, sure that in time he’ll realise what a rare gem you are, pop the question, sweep you to marital bliss and cherish you till death. He won’t. After a calculated period of begging, he’ll write you off as impossible and dump you for the closest piece of ass available.
You’ll be heartbroken, but confident that the next man will be smart enough to see what a treasure you are. After two more eligible bachelors have come and gone, you’ll think to yourself,
‘Ah! Heck! What’s life without a little compromise?’

So you give in to the next guy who asks, then you fall madly in love with him, dreaming of a wonderful future together. When you tell him your dreams, he’ll vanish, taking your hymen with him.

You’ll feel robbed, remorseful, used. You’ll try to retrace your steps, seeking your lost innocence. Confession, penance, abstinence. You’ll probably take on a new activity to keep your mind off flashing memories of hot sex scenes starring you. It’ll work at first, but soon you’ll need more to fend off the memories. Eventually, you’ll stop struggling and admit that you actually like those sinful memories. You’ll drop your extra activities and go hunting.

Then you’ll meet him. He who’s just got to be the one. You start a mature relationship, spending weekends at his house, cooking for him, sleeping in his shirt. You even meet some of his family. You date for two solid years, then he drops the bombshell- he’s getting married. You pick up the closest sharp object and he flees, then you explain that you only wanted to pinch yourself. You never dreamt he was cheating.

‘I wasn’t cheating.’ He explains, ‘She’s a virgin.’
‘Ha! Don’t tell me that’s why you’re thinking of marrying her.’
‘Come on. You didn’t think I was going to marry you?’ he asks, ‘I mean, you came with a broken seal and all, you’re second-hand wife material.’

You slap him. A sharp, resounding slap straight from the heart to his cheek. Then you leave. You spend two weeks waiting for him to come begging at your door, then the next two weeks praying that he’ll call so that you can hang up on him. He doesn’t.  You turn bitter, hate men and treat the ones around you like scum. You tell yourself you don’t need them. You pour yourself into your career, secretly hoping that someday you’ll be a phenomenal success and they all will regret ever losing you. Till then, you’re a nobody. A single, sour nobody with a ticking clock.

After months of men-hating, you’ll date this sweet but boring guy who’s long been infatuated with you. At first, you’ll love the affair because it’ll soothe your battered ego. You’ll throw a stick and he’ll fetch. You tell him to sit and he sits, roll over and he does.
‘Anything for you, dear.’

He’s even a bit nervous around you because he’s itching to please. Your friends who earlier nicknamed him ‘Mr. Perfect’ have renamed him ‘The Pet’. Worried that he’ll soon become ‘The Rug’, you dump him.
You conclude that Mr. Right must live with Santa and the Tooth Fairy. You spend the next few years in casual relationships with men, single, married, tall, short, fat, all with chubby bank accounts. They’ll buy you Gucci bags, Givenchy, Bvlgari, Victoria ’s Secret…  shopping in Dubai , weekends in Obudu, summers in Paris . You see your married friends in their blouses stained with baby vomit, tired eyes, saggy boobs, love handles and fat thighs and you think, ‘Being single rocks!’

Then one day you run into Mr. Hymen, the guy who took it from you and disappeared, shopping with his wife and kids. Family. Beautiful as a dream, laughing. She catches you staring and you smile, halfway, then you realise that you hate her.  It could have been you, there with him and your kids, glowing with love, exchanging looks with him and laughing at the children’s antics. You march up to them and slap him. Shocked silence.
‘That’s for taking it from me.’
You leave as recognition dawns on him.

Later, in your apartment, soaking in a warm bath with a glass of red wine and a box of Belgian chocolates, soft music drifting in from your sitting room, you realise you don’t hate her. She’s with the man who was meant for her. He wasn’t meant for you, neither were the others. Maybe you were meant to be single, maybe not. You take a sip, and close your eyes.

6 responses »

  1. So true, almost like my story! You try to retrace your steps and wonder where you went wrong, afterall the girls who did ‘it’ before you are happily married. Surely it can’t be because you had sex with mr hymen that you’re still single?

  2. Pingback: WS 5: Single by Nkem Awachie « Linguistic Playfulness « Scribbles

  3. Reblogged this on Scribbles and commented:

    Linguistic Playfulness is a blog run by the participants in Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop 2011. You’ll find a lot of amazing stories there. Here is one of mine.

  4. Nkem,
    your work is not just ‘art for art’s sake’,but a great ‘gift in art world.’ It feels good to have ur piece of work beside one.

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