Some years ago my sister succumbed to the crisis of being a sickle cell sufferer. She was 26, the family’s brightest, the doctor in the house, my late mum’s incarnation and my world went dim.
Everyday after that I asked every girl her genotype the first day I met them. If we had a conversation for more than twenty minutes and I liked you a weeny bit you were bound to part with that information.
There was this girl I liked a lot but she was skinny and she didn’t know her genotype.
How can you not know, you fool? I had hissed
“I just don’t, you that know, use it to go and buy land in Lekki” She quipped.
That was what I liked about this fiery, cheery jambito. 21 going on 35, she seemed like she had her entire life figured out. Like she had never had any disappointments. She was fun and smart, sweet and decent and my hostility never got to her but today, I just hated her.
Let me give you money to find out, fool. I was fuming
“Oshey! Money bag,
“You just learnt the word, fool abi?
“You are tempting hell fire” She was laughing now and walking away.
I’m serious. I yelled. I didn’t know whether to be angry or sad.
“I am Bertha, nice to meet you but my lunch break expired 10 minutes ago” she was running now.
I went back to my office which was two blocks away but couldn’t think, I knew Bertha didn’t take personal calls during work time but I couldn’t wait till 4:30, she didn’t respond. I sent her a text.
“You need to do the test, please”
When my phone buzzed, she had responded.
“Relax hon, you are not the father. The holy spirit is. Lol”
I let her go. Our conversation went from pleasantries to nonexistent. She got admission into the university that year and we didn’t speak again.
I saw Bertha yesterday, a little flesh here and there but no curves. She was healthy and beautiful, her smile radiant and her eyes still glowed with mischief.
I recounted that last “real” conversation.
Do you know your genotype now? I couldn’t resist it. She buckled with laughter.
“Yes.” She said when she could manage words
“But since you are legend of the seeker, you should give me the money now” We both laughed and talked about our lives.
The sense of peace I felt with this girl, the way she laughed, her interest intrigued me, her goodness, damn! The life of her. She was still the girl I would love to spend the rest of my life with but she was engaged, happy and I was happy for her, I wanted to be.
Only if I had waited. I couldn’t
Only if she had said this, “I’m a bloody AA jare” 5 years ago.