The second series of Meet Girls by Maria Ocheja was posted few months ago. In this week's series, Maria Ocheja exposes us to Sophie and Xavier's love life. 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? Or are we here for the money? Or is it that we do not know sef!!! You have met Gloria and Turrayah right? So I needed to get my facts right about Sophie. I summarily gave an insight as to who Sophie was when I described her as: ‘the Miss Duck’ a diva (female version of a hustler) one who is striving hard and taking care of life and is in search of very true love. Sophie has a boyfriend presently, but still in doubt if he is THE ONE or not and this leads her to emit attitudes that chase her adorable semi-hustling boyfriend away sometimes. Her attitude drives him nuts from time to time and most times, he finds his way back to her life. Sometimes, I believe he is too nice for her (a bit jealous).
Sophie might be one of the most confused girls I know. The illusion and fantasy that the world of movies and novels launches us into can be overwhelming and Sophie is definitely suffering from that syndrome; the thin line between confusion and stupidity. She is an executive assistant in one of the biggest malls in Africa, Mallrite and even the youngest person to earn this job in the international history of Mallrite. Sophie’s job is very routine and most perfectly, she is on the morning shift, works just six hours of the day, finds her way outside work and at the end of the month, gets more than a quarter of a million as salary but it never used to be like this when she started. She had started from her school days as a Cashier and sometimes, a sales girl of different brands. She had taken a series of exams and probably gone through barracks of training to get to the position of Executive Assistant over time and fortunately after graduation and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), she was promoted.
Sophie and her boyfriend Xavier have been in love for close to five years now: Back then in school, Sophie studied Business Administration and Accounting services and graduated in four years, but Xavier was studying Information and Communication Technology and had to stay an extra year in school because his course was five years. Even at this, the distance between our school and where Sophie lived was more than a five-hour journey, but Xavier was one of those guys that could possibly catch a bullet for a lady he is in-love with. He had more prestige than the statue of liberty, who wouldn't want to stare at this boy, fall into a deep sleep dreaming about him and wake up still staring at the awesomeness of God’s creation. He looked flawless and so was his character; his attitude was beautiful. This boy was that Yoruba boy in every sense; he was that good. Everything about him was very good or maybe he was one of those people God created on the 7th day because he is the synonym of perfection. I can still remember the second time some acquaintance told me about Xavier, he entered my prayers and I begged God that I wanted a man just like that! I did not want more or less and I did not want Xavier himself so that I would not be tagged the ultimate boyfriend snatcher. I just wanted a Xavier but with another name. Ridiculous!
Sophie and Xavier’s love was surreal; a rare fantasy. Many girls wanted Xavier, even when he was with Sophie, many Girls didn't respect her presence, and they would come and flaunt their bodies and faces all over Xavier and make advances at him. Girls were ready to bear his Baby in a snap, he was loved! Girls lusted after him too much, but even with all of the attention, Xavier was not carried away. His heart throbbed day and night for the love and respect he had for Sophie. He imagined how she would have their babies and how her belly would have an advanced parabola curve when she was pregnant with his first son who would possibly have a head as big as his. Xavier had a good sense of humor, maybe this was why many girls loved him as well and he couldn't help laughing at how these other girls would never have him- No! Not even a peck on the cheek. If Sophie is not having him or something as slight as a peck, then no one is having it, not even his Mom.
Xavier’s right hand man, Patrick is the ‘anti-ginger’ behind their relationship. He keeps warning Xavier not to put his all in this relationship if he is not sure of marriage. I personally think that ‘elements’ like Patrick should not be seen close to love birds like Xavier and Sophie. I mean what a bad belle! (Someone who really does not want the happiness of others). When Patrick sights Sophie from a distance, he could scream “Our Wife!” from at least a hundred yards away, but when he is alone with Xavier, he becomes Xavier’s future-wife-material-advisor. Patrick claims that he and Sophie were in the same high school and knows what she is capable of doing, but you cannot really blame Patrick; he has never dated anyone, neither has anyone dated him, he doesn't have all those fantasy-filled features of Xavier’s though he is not ugly but at the same time, he is not dreamy. Little wonder why he is a “woman-eater”.
When Sophie was on the wings of becoming an Executive at Mallrite, she had to relocate from where she lived with Xavier but no!, don’t conclude, their love did not shake, instead it was rekindled, it was unquenchable. These birds made the rest of us feel they were in the movies, they were made us feel we didn't know what we were doing: they had their mature fights from time to time but that did not shake anything: Sophie and Xavier were inseparable. Patrick should put his beak to rest, accept his loveless life and let these hearts flock!!! These people did not miss any of their life events; Birthdays, Valentine’s days, Christmas, New Year, and Anniversaries.They found their ways back to each other’s lives on those special days. Xavier’s Mom was developing this uncanny fondness for her last born son and was noticing the man he was becoming with his love-filled relationship. She was the push and Chief Financier of her son’s travels, she nicknamed herself the Head, of his logistics.
There was once a plane crash on one of the Sundays that Xavier travelled. His Mom dialled his number severally when she heard the news, but there was no response and so did his Sophie. Neighbours at both ends were already trooping in to comfort and mourn with the supposed-bereaved; intending mourners came and were asking for cold coke and pounded yam with their preferred soups. A huge dark woman who had a wrapper begging for the intervention of soup and water loosely tied to her sagging arms and breasts was on the forefront in giving advice on the soups that were easier to cook and the ones enough to serve the guests or mourners.
After a good bath, when Xavier had charged his phone, he gave his Mom that metallic clash of urgency and from her end. I hear she was reluctant to pick the call, but she eventually did. “You sound like my son Oooooo, you sound like my son! Please can the aeroplane people find his body? Can you please bring his phone back for us?” Her words were throbbing with palpitations, she felt tired and her tears had dried up. She felt weak and at this time, was trying to even squeeze her eyes for tears to at least treacle down her cheeks, but the voice at the end of the phone was gasping for more air and getting weak with laughter of the audio drama that had greeted him but if only he knew how serious this thing was. “Mama, emi noni, kilon sele? Kilen so?” (Meaning: Mama, it is I, what happened and what are you saying?). How bewildering! This voice did not only sound like her son, it actually is his and he did not get involved in any plane crash in fact, the money that his Mom gave him to travel with was used for a road trip and he pocketed the rest of the money and his phone did not have that extra battery life to last the entire journey where he could apologize to his Mom or lover for being extra smart. There was shock on the faces of the mourners; the opportunists had their bellies disappointed with their silly cravings and gluttony. You could see that some of them felt broken. People claimed they were happy and grateful that nothing had happened to Xavier but they were definitely not grateful that they had walked away with nothing; not even a piece of meat.
Sophie sees her man and is confused on what gesture to greet him with: a slap? no, it would be disrespectful and show violence, a peck on his cheek with no hug would make him feel welcome and comfortable for the wrong he just committed; a frown with attitude would make him feel uncomfortable and she was not having any of her mood swings, not now. She greeted him coldly when she got to his lodge and showed no interest or excitement on seeing him, neither did she bother about asking how his journey was. How could he make her think like that? She was not going to show him any love and she meant it. At some point, she wanted to be lax and lay down her many rules and let it all go, but she felt all her actions would be ascribed to ‘showing-off’ and it would hold no water. She would have lost this short battle. She wanted to teach him a lesson, to make him feel pain. Before she was done constructing her thoughts, fingers were giving her a massage and caressing her tenderly, easing her out of that tight face and the next thing you know is: Sophie’s mouth is shifted to a wry pout as she spreads her arms wide open to receive all his lovingness. She had missed him and wouldn't allow her silly thoughts invade this savour-able moment. These love birds have had their time well spent on Xavier’s journey and he is ready to go but they break into tears. Nobody wants the other to leave, they think that they should settle and break these borders that distance is causing them.
Xavier is back and his Mother plans to have him for supper. She should beat him up and never speak to him again. When Xavier was driven into the neighbourhood, children are yelling, women are clapping and shouting; the lilt rising from the collection of decibels in these peoples’ voices wanes his Mother’s intended aggression and fixes her up with a smile. She giggles through that smile with her entire body moving like a truck that is getting an ignition test. She is happy to have her Baby back, her last son. Xavier explains his road trip and how he enjoyed his first and only road trip; his mother feels that her son is finally beginning to own his manhood and is ready to exploit many more opportunities. She is excited and feels the need to ask about the girl his heart is beating for but he pseudo-aggressively wards her off bringing up topics about politics and the economy. She feels bemused by her son’s coyness and stretches an arm out to tickle him on the neck slightly below his chin and he gently shifts and says he needs to take a bath. He smiles shyly away with his well-structured posterior counting his step with his attractive gusto. His mom smiles behind him with her heart full of pleasant rhythms that she cannot vocalize into a song. She is happy; at least she feels happy.
Sophie’s new débutante life bids her to attend weddings, meetings and entering into diversified realms of exploits and now she flaunts a new aura of eminence maybe because of the exposure her job reveals her to. Her whole world is changing so fast and her success ladder is fast approaching the stars. I love the way she carries herself; her love life is also carrying herself diligently but slowly behind her. The world could wish to own the kind of love that Sophie and Xavier had even with Patrick’s speeches and his loveless cautions. I totally love them. They should be the best, but Sophie doesn't feel this love any more. She feels that her life has grown and this ‘love-thing’ is goofy and appalling and my thoughts just like many friends in the circle are: “What did Xavier ever do wrong? Where did he falter? Or what did he say wrong that is unforgivable? Or what didn't he say or do?” We still wonder till today and nobody knows. Sophie was not bold enough like other girls to say that she wanted to opt out or was tired of the relationship instead she always spoke of their relationship in past tense, most times. Ppoor Xavier was love struck to remove the staples from his eyes and ears because when Sophie said something like: “When I loved you, I could take this rubbish and that nonsense” but I guess Xavier heard something like: “I am in love with you and I can take any nonsense and any rubbish”, sigh! What a love.
Did I tell you there was a time Xavier had called her for nearly five days and she had refused to return his calls or even send him messages? Did I tell you how she started loosing interest in him because she started looking down on him? Xavier was bitter and unfortunately for his Mother, she suffered from his son’s loss of appetite and his sudden weight loss. She could not understand why Sophie would not pick her calls nor why her son would not eat her food but I guess she eventually did anyways and was only trying to be a mother. Xavier was traumatized and didn't know why he was up to no good all of a sudden; maybe Patrick saw this end from the beginning, maybe he wasn't such a bad friend after all. Maybe Sophie started seeing someone else or maybe Xavier was not just the angel we all thought he was.
Sometimes, we actually know what we want and other times, we do not but in all, when you Meet us, respect us, treat us right and refuse to take many things that seem trivial for granted.
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