Maria Ocheja, our latest contributor in her short story series– Meet Girls exposes us to the world of girls; their hopes, dreams, joys and troubles. Are you a writer and wish to be published? email your short stories, poems, opinion pieces, NYSC experience to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.
"Are we in search of real love; are we here for the money? Or is it that we do not know sef!!!"
There are three girls I would love you to meet right now. The beauty with some class wanna-be debutante/socialite, Gloria. She can be liken to a cat, she wants a guy to take her out, she doesn’t want to stress too much in life- N to the O she doesn’t want to hustle at all. Her motto about love: when love comes, it comes and in whatever form, she really doesn’t care.
Meet Turrayah, the girl with the brains, beauty and bourgeoisie parents. Harvard graduate whose life is too good to be true but it’s true and to think that she thinks she is struggling is innocent and rather cute.
Lastly, meet Sophie, the Miss Duck; hustling and striving hard enough, taking care of herself and in search of true love. Sophie presently has a boyfriend but still in doubt if he is the one or not and this leads her to emit attitudes that chase her adorable semi-hustling boo away sometimes and most times, he finds his way back to her life…sometimes, I think he is too nice for her (a bit jealous).
Gloria is a graduate and as the Nigerian or African culture would have it, she should automatically be married or have a fiancé and since Gloria is Igbo, you should know her parents expectation of her to-be husband. This pressurised Gloria to become who she really deserve to be - DESPERATE! She is jeered at by her younger brothers and reminded by her Mother’s wiles on how her feminity’s clock is ticking. These things make her wear a wry expression and she truly isn’t bothered probably because she has a plan-B and she’s got pseudo-class as well so she’ll find her way through it all.
After some months after graduation, Gloria was posted to Abuja for her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) but she’s always off to Imo and Enugu state to see her parents and siblings. Gloria has seen many boys, guys, men… you-name-it! She goes for her Community Development Service (CDS) once a week and goes to hang out with her friends afterwards so she has seen men of all classes. Her job at Kimberly Ryan is no small job for her age or life stage, She earns such good money that she could buy herself a house in Maitama or Asokoro in 3 years… maybe. Gloria is never the life of any party, she doesn’t love to talk, instead she loves being entertained and noticed probably because she imagines that she is classy.
Gloria has morphed so quick in less than 10 months and feels young guys have no love for her. She consoles herself with a conclusive premonition that they are not right or good enough for her. Unluckily for her, she was not retained at her place of primary assignment and has to hop on to bigger and mighty things or else her dream of being the Queen of Class may die fast. She envisions living a young madam life trust me, she does. Gloria in her imagination sees the need to drive a Ferrari even though her Father may not be buoyant enough to afford it; she also thinks that she should own a Butler, a Cook and a Nurse (professional house girl or corporate maid) to be at her beck and call. She doesn’t see hardwork as a must-do. Gloria must be fortunate to think such an effortless life and I wish I could admire her.
Living life without a job can be frustrating but definitely not for Gloria. She got lucky quickly enough to hang on to a job at Chiromee Collection; a conglomerate for media, oil and textile owned by one man. Gloria got so lucky or if you would, blessed to become the Assistant Human Resource Manager of the oil company at Chiromee Collection. Luck really does fall on some people. Months and months pass and Gloria’s account adds more weight than a Sumo wrestler. She is the center stage for envy of many unfortunate girls, she checks up on old friends and hears new things about herself everyday; Gloria is beginning to feel like a celeb now. She gets this slight disturbance sometimes but she is rather bemused by news about her being an Aristo (a girl who sleeps with Rich Men for money), a runs geh (a girl who sleeps with any man at all just to get some money) and an Ashewo (a girl who gives sexual pleasures just to survive, most closely likened to a prostitute).
Gloria’s job as an Assistant Human Resource Manager is effortless, she doesn’t have much to do and when she travels with her Boss, the Human Resource Manager, she probably lounges in hotels, eating exotic dishes and watching TV all day. In her workplace, there is an annual staff appraisal where salary is checked and qualifications with many other fields are checked in case the company needs to send staff on training or on job exchange with other booming companies.
In the middle of the year, individuals from the oil, media and textile companies are sent on these exchanges to China, Australia, the United States and many other countries. Gloria is not looking forward to this because she is getting acclimatized with the Abuja way of life and probably has something coming for her.
The following week, a list is out with the names of 50 people (without Gloria’s) going to 7 different countries and their reservations have been fully paid for (accommodation, feeding and transportation). This list gives Gloria a foreboding and to think that she didn’t want to go at first; I wonder why she was bothered.
The following day, her oil company became a grave; 11 seem to be a lot of people. Gloria is bored and there is not much work to be done in the office these days. It’s lunch break, all Gloria wants is to get a quick lunch at KFC but the phone in her office rings like the rumbling of rusted iron. “Hello” says the voice at the other end and not waiting to hear another Hello as a response the voice mumbles “If Gloria is there; tell her Oga is calling her”. Gloria is in Oga’s office trembling and showing all the weakness in her nerves and nearly panicky. The secretary appears to be rather malicious with a stern look and snooty commands: “Open the door and enter now this girl”, Gloria is still trying to be cute about things when the woman pulls a hiss under her breath.
The opening of this door becomes the first of many other openings of doors. In 6 months, Gloria takes the CEO of Chiromee Collections to her parents… Did I just call him CEO? Okay, Yes CEO who is about to marry his ‘daughter’. This meet-and-greet has Gloria carrying something else that is not wine in a calabash, she is with child! Her CEO husband-to-be is known in the entire region as wealthy. Gloria’s parents are taken to the moon and back and have a weighty sense of importance and achievement all of a sudden. Within days, plans for the traditional and white wedding are effectively carried out. Gloria is married with a child for the CEO of a Conglomerate! I wonder how else blessings can come. Gloria is indeed living her life like its golden…right? I don’t think so too…
Gloria’s wish of having a house in either Maitama or Asokoro has come to what I call a glorious pass and she now has a male child. She can go beyond and above borders and get whatever she wants or needs in life. Her wears and toys are designers. Remember the Ferrari she dreamed of having? Yes, she has it now with every single thing money can get. Gloria is rich, she is wealthy. She seems happy, joy-filled; her life everyday is worth living. Her house is under renovation and she might possibly have a home-size cinema, an 8-feet swimming pool, a basketball and tennis court in her compound. She has a Nurse, a Butler, a Chauffeur, a Cook and her Baby even has a Phillipino Nanny. How Utopian is her life going to get. Tell me why we all shouldn’t be jealous?
Anyways, Gloria rings me and friends of friends as often as possible that I begin to ask: Don’t you have things to do than to call us? She is in dismay, she feels like a prisoner in her own flesh, she might probably go crazy but I never pray she does. She doesn’t feel like a wife or a woman in charge of a home as she tells me. She feels like running away without a trace. Since her house is under renovation, she is living in the Presidential suite in Transcorp Hilton by the way but still doesn’t see this luxury as anything now. This really beats me considering the fact that this same Gloria doesn’t really care how love comes besides, she is more bent on the Utopia she once dreamed of living in. Now she is there and what could be causing this sudden hatred of self and life?
Gloria’s CEO husband is never always around; he has three other wives and tours the world every now and then. He is a grounded business man and has always been. He needs to make more money and see different exotics especially women. Her CEO husband holds a career in womanizing and he is neither timid nor afraid of it; besides didn’t G-Baby know that about him? She claims she knew he had three wives before her 23rd birthday which was the same year they got married. She thinks she should give her child to someone random to cater for and runaway with the money she has gathered. She is more confused now that she has ever been all 24 years of her life. Her complains do not stop. Should I be tired of being the shoulder she cries on? Or should she have known what she wanted from the word ‘go’?
"Are we in search of real love; are here for the money? Or is it that we do not know sef!!!"
Watch out for the next series of Meet Girls.
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