You would think though she had made that commitment to marry someone with the number of objections she got when she shared the news of the upcoming date–again if she could call it that–with those she considered friend and family.
It started with Nkechi, and as was her nature, her objections were decisive.
“No way. You can’t go out with that man. He’s not the type of man you need.”
Anya turned from the gas cooker she was cleaning and slowly lifted her brows. “He’s not the type man I need? So what type of man do I need? Tell me please.”
“Stop using that tone like you don’t know what I’m talking about.” Bowls, pans and trays clanged as Nkechi shoved them in their places. “You need a man who wants a serious relationship, not a cheap affair to satisfy his needs. All that man is after is sex, and you know it.”
“Nke, most men are after sex, and we know it.”
“Most men, not all men. You wait until you find a man who wants more than sex, then go out with him.”
“That would be wise, if I wanted more than sex with any man,” Anya agreed as she turned back to the cooker. “But I don’t. Not at the moment. Maybe never again, I don’t know. I didn’t say it before because I didn’t want you worrying, but that’s the fact: I want nothing serious now myself.”
“Well, you were right to think that I’d worry, because I am worried, especially as you think you want nothing more than sex at the moment, or even ever. A woman always wants more. That’s how we are made.”
“Not all women want more. We shouldn’t say that because we’ve been brought up to believe all women are homely and family inclined. In any case, I don’t want that now. And there’s no guarantee I will later either.”
“Stop with the words of wisdom just to avoid taking this seriously,” Nkechi chided impatiently, snatched the cloth out of her hand and took over cleaning the cooker with more speed. “You are not the kind of woman who will be satisfied with a physical relationship, Anya. You have a heart, not just a body pulsing with lust.”
“Right now my body pulsing with lust is all I recognise,” Anya said teasingly, checking the back door to make sure it’s locked. “I’m attracted to him, Nke. The truth is that I want sex with him too.”
“You’ve been celibate for too long, you will want sex with any good looking man.”
“Now who’s trying to avoid taking this seriously? I’ve met with good looking men before him, have I not? This is not about men in general, Nke, but about him. I am attracted to him. To him, not to just any good looking man.”
“Why? Because he likes coming around and ogling at you with those hungry eyes of his like he wants to snatch you up and feast on you?”
“Oh, Nke.” Anya let out a soft moan and leaned her back on the wall. “The way you say it, the way you say it. Snatch me up and feast on me… Ah, I want that. Him to have me in slow bites and long swallows. Our hands desperate and eager, our bodies heated and boiling with need, our mouths…”
“Oh, shut up, you slutty woman!” Nkechi muttered. Then she glared at her. And then, she laughed.
Anya laughed with her. “I see you remember what passion is. I was starting to think that after two children, you have lost your memory.”
“Nothing wrong with my memory,” Nke said, and sighed. “I admit he’s one hot looking man, and the kind of man that makes a woman think of heat on cold nights.”
“Or more heat on hot nights,” Anya murmured with a lusty sigh.
“Get a grip on yourself,” Nke chided, hanging up the kitchen cloth before she sat on a high stool. “You’re not the kind of woman to just have sex with a man and walk away, Anya.”
“I wasn’t before, but I might be now.”
“You are not, before, now, always,” Nke insisted. “I know I’ve been encouraging you to put yourself out there again, but let it be with someone you have real feelings for.”
“Lust is a real feeling. Besides, I like him.” Because Nkechi gave a snort, Anya slowly repeated, “I like him. It’s not just lust or a teenage girl’s crush… don’t ask me about that, please. What I’m saying is that I like him.”
“You don’t know enough about him to like him.”
“That is true, but I like the little I know. Nke, I told him about Okey and you know what he did? He went over to Iloba’s house on Sunday morning, washed clothes with Okey. Washed Iloba and his family’s clothes with him, I mean.
“Then he made food, which they ate together. And for the last few days, he’s been dropping him off at school and handing him breakfast. Just because I mentioned they weren’t treating him right at home.”
“Any well-balanced adult will treat a child kindly, he’s not doing anything out of the ordinary.”
“Fine. He’s doing something wonderful.” Nkechi let out a deep sigh and shook her head. “I don’t want to like that man. I don’t you to like him.”
“I like him already.”
“I still don’t want you to like him,” Nkechi grumbled. Then she sighed again. “He actually did that for Okey?”
“So Okey himself told me.”
Nkechi smiled. She couldn’t have stopped the smile even if she wanted to. And she couldn’t stop the stirrings of likeness, although she very much wanted to. “That man is trouble, I know it like I know my name. Men who know how to flirt and entice a woman usually are trouble. But…but what he did…what he’s been doing for Okey is kind.”
“Yes, it is kind.”
“I just said so.”
Anya’s mouth twitched at her testy tone. “I’m just agreeing.”
“Fine. But you don’t reward a man with sex because he’s kind.”
“Who said I want to reward him with sex?” Anya countered. “I want to have sex with him, whether he’s kind to Okey or not. I can’t help but like him a little bit more though after hearing of his kindness.”
“So like him, be his friend, flirt with him, but don’t sleep with him,” Nkechi said.
“Why? Because if I sleep with him I will want happily ever after with him? Is that what you’re afraid of?”
“Yes, it is what I’m afraid of, and it is what’s going to happen if you do it.”
Anya thought about it, then shrugged. “Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Meanwhile, I’m going out with him on Sunday, and since I’m certain I won’t have sex with him on that day, we need not worry over that yet.”
“What’s the difference between one day or the next, if it’s going to happen eventually?” Nkechi said with a glare.
“Christ! How does Kene put up with your sunny nature? All this positivity and sweet smiles must be a trial for him.” Laughing at her glower, Anya took her hand and pulled her towards the door. “Let’s head home. It’s been a hectic day and we both need rest.”
“You know, if you and Peter would only…”
“Don’t talk about Peter. It’s a lost cause for us, and you know it.” Anya broke in. “Stop worrying, Nke. I can take care of myself.”
“I know. But I want marriage, children, a happy life for you, not a couple of hot nights.”
“It probably will happen during the day. Hot sex on a sunny, hot day.”
“Shut up, Anya.”
“But you can have the hot nights with Kene, after you send the kids early to bed.”
“I said shut up.”
But Anya didn’t shut up, she went on with her tantalising description and they were both laughing by the time she dropped her off at home.
She was still in that cheerful mood when she shared the news with her mother, and the second act of objections began–much to her exasperation.
“Isn’t it happening a little too fast? I mean, you said you’ve only known him two weeks.”
“How long again do you wait to know someone before you go on a date with them, two years?”
“Don’t be smart with your mother. Besides, you don’t know him very well.”
“Which is why we are going on this date.”
“I thought they said he’s based in Benin City.”
“Well, he’s back home and have reopened his father’s business. Now, his business.”
“Hmm. He’s the illegitimate son, you know.”
“Mama, don’t start that.”
“Yes, you’re right. I’m sorry. That was uncalled for, and so silly, and unkind. But…Oh well, I don’t know. What does he want with you?”
To have her naked and under him. Or above, who bothered about positions?
To her dear, sweet mother, Anya said gently, “I’m sure he just wants to get to know me better too.”
But of course, she was also a wise mother, so she snorted, “I just bet. Be careful. Or, maybe you shouldn’t go. Call him right now and tell him you’ve changed your mind.”
Anya refrained from rolling her eyes. “I don’t have his number.”
“Why should she change her mind even if she had her number?” Ifedinma demanded.
They both threw a glance at her corner. They’d forgotten she was there, listening, not entirely engrossed in her TV series.
“Because she has a man like Peter interested in her already.”
“Maybe she’s not interested in Peter. Sorry, Uncle Peter. That a person is interested in you doesn’t mean you have to be interested in them.”
“What do you know about such matters?” Loretta Malokwu glared.
“Mama, I know what I know. And I know if Aunty Anya was interested in Uncle Peter, she would have gone out with him longest time. Or can’t you see how quickly she accepted to go out with this man?”
“No, I can’t see, smart-mouthed miss.”
They both laughed at their mother’s hiss.
“Relax, Mama,” Anya soothed, slipping an arm around her to hug her close. “It’s just a friendly outing really.”
“All right. But don’t let him talk you into anything.”
He wouldn’t have to talk much, Anya mused, thinking of those hot eyes. “I promise I won’t let him do anything I don’t want to do.”
When her mother snorted this time, Anya laughed merrily. It definitely was fun to date again…if she could call it a date.