IT was one of those parties at Christmas where you didn’t actually know the person throwing the party. However, you knew someone who knew someone else who knew the party-thrower, so that was basically an invitation. And of course you would bump into people you knew because everybody was at these parties.
Myma walked through the gate and saw a group of boys standing around talking and laughing. Going through the line-up she realised she knew some of them, so she went to say hi. She initially only said hi to Dennis, a friend of hers, but because her mother raised her properly, she extended a smiley hello to everyone else. Just as she was walking off, she was summoned back by Dennis because his friend wanted to talk to her. Apparently, said friend, Jason, found her attractive and as is usual with boys, Dennis thought it necessary to let Myma know immediately, in front of all his other friends.
A few days later, Dennis was asking Myma whether he could give her number to Jason because he had asked for it.
And so it began.
Myma was minding her own business when she got a phone call from Jason. He had a very calming tone and yet he was funny. Also, very courteous, as he had called while she was hosting and asked if Myma would have preferred him calling back at a more suitable time.
“No, this is a good time,” she said, while she excused herself to talk to him privately.
She would later find out he had waited a specific number of days before calling, because he didn’t want to seem too eager nor too nonchalant about reaching out. They were going to fit in a date before Myma had to leave the country. A few phone calls and messages later, they’d decided, rather quickly, on drinks on a Wednesday night.
Myma’s drink was alcohol laden, so Jason swapped it for his. It was a cute gesture, but she ordered a drink she was capable of drinking. She was going to let him have this one, though. Their date wasn’t awkward, but it was…quiet. They alternated between watching football and talking to each other. Quiet or not, there was an inexplicable chemistry, not quite like negative and positive magnets, but more like rice and stew in a pot, slowly becoming jollof. It wasn’t immediate, but when it did happen, it worked. The night went on and they ended up at this place with good music. The DJ played a song that warranted the gyration of hips, so, naturally, they danced the night away.
Well aware of the way guys operated, Myma was certain after Jay realised she lived so far away, he would begin to operate with the idea of “out of sight, out of mind.”
She was wrong. Jason was persistent. It began with Whatsapp conversations, which slowly became voice notes, which then became full-blown Skype marathons. Half of her didn’t understand why he was so persistent when she was hours and miles away.
It was too easy. She wasn’t the most open person, but being open with Jason was second nature to her. They talked about everything. Jason was the kind of guy Myma had prayed she could know. A guy who knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to pursue it. He was more than ready to put in the necessary effort, which in turn made her want to do the same for their budding friendship. This virtual relationship went on for a few months until they had to decide if it was something that transcended the ease of talking online. Myma wasn’t sure. She didn’t realise their friendship was going to be much of anything else until she was back home.
She was thrown into the deep end of his life. Meeting his friends and their families and going out with him on the weekends. She even met his mother. Getaway trips with the gang and tons of holding, hugging and general canoodling became the norm. This was all new to Myma, and beforehand, the idea of PDA was just eyebrow-raising. But with Jay, there was no reason to care who was looking or why.
Conversations went in circles until a specific one about relationships and long distance came up. Myma wasn’t sure they could make one work, from past experience. They didn’t have time to be together long enough, without the distance, to create the necessary foundation for a successful long-distance relationship. Jason thought otherwise, he was sure if there was enough commitment from both parties, it would be fine. He also thought Myma was terrified of commitment and waiting for perfection before taking the plunge.
One starry night after dinner, their recurring conversation about relationships arose. Except this time, there was resolution.
Jason was rather patient, but as Myma sat in his passenger seat, car parked outside her house, she could see the frustration build as they conversed.
“We always have this conversation. We have talked about it for so lo-…”
“I know, but it’s important to talk about it otherwise it doesn’t work.”
“Myma will you be my girlfriend? Eheh. I have asked. I’m done talking about it.”
And immediately surprise crept across her face, opening her mouth, dropping her jaw and furrowing her eyebrows. But along with the surprise came a certain sense of happiness. Maybe she was just waiting for him to ask and she didn’t know it, but his asking excited her.
“Can I think about it?” Myma asked, with a slow flutter of her eyelashes and just the right amount of honey in her voice.
So she “thought” about it. Myma had explicitly told Jason she’d reached a point in her life where big decisions, and this was one of them, were something she prayed about. She had gone ahead of God before, and if she was going down this road again, He was going to be leading her.
So she prayed. And prayed. And prayed. You know how sometimes God answers you immediately, and other times He just seems to take His sweet and darling time? God was just chilling and Myma had to leave home, and she still didn’t have an answer. Jason probably took her lengthy “thinking” as an answer of its own, but it wasn’t one. Then finally, it came.
“I’m sorry, what?” an astounded Myma asked God.
“No, not him,” God responded.
And after waiting for so long, for an answer she was sure was going to be a yes, all she could do was laugh.
“What do you mean not him, God? Are you joking?”
“Wait, what? I asked for this. I asked for someone good. We had this conversation before I even saw him. He’s perfect. He’s sweet and respectful. He’s communicative and honest. He goes out of his way to make me feel good. We have an amazing time together. He makes me laugh. I can talk to him about any and everything. What do you mean no, God? What do you mean? He has put in so much effort. So much time. Why not? Why, God? Why can’t I have the one example of goodness?”
“Not him, baby.”
Naturally, days worth of tears followed. This couldn’t be happening.
Myma was confused, frustrated and, honestly, very upset with God. How in the world was she going to tell a faultless, in her eyes, person that she couldn’t be with them? She could very well have decided to date him anyway, but if she truly wanted God to be the leader of her life and tell her where to go, she needed to be obedient to his direction, whether she liked or understood it or not.
It ate her up inside, but she eventually gathered the strength needed to tell him. The whole time thinking about how much he was going to hate her for wasting his time. She wasn’t exactly sure how to effectively explain something she barely understood herself, but she was going to have to. And because it was in his nature to, Jason took it as well as a person could take such news.
They never got to exclusively date each other, or so Myma says. Occasionally, she would tell me she got glimpses, but was still left largely baffled as to why. She’s insistent that it doesn’t negate the fact that they have one of the best platonic relationships two people can have.
Jason was Mr. Amazing, and yet he wasn’t the one for her. She didn’t have to like God’s direction, but she was resolved to trusting God. Every time she retells the story, she’s sure to highlight her confusion and her ignorance as to what God was saving Jay or her from. Jay may have been Mr. Amazing in the present, but there’s so much more a life together may have brought up.
Myma and Jay are like ebony vases filled with some liquid, beautiful on the outside and seemingly beautiful on the inside. The liquids have to be mixed at some point, but you can only really tell what is in each vase if you have a really bright light. It just so happened that neither of them had a bright enough light, so it was uncertain whether one liquid would make the other murkier or clearer. Just because he was wonderful didn’t mean she had to be with him.
In her reminiscing, Myma looks up and utters a stern, “heavenly father, you have seriously got to outdo yourself with my Baby. En3 l3 je shw3mɔ.
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