She got home at around 7 pm and performed her daily evening routine. She first unlocked her door, slammed it shut behind her, took off her heels and put them by the door and then hung her keys on the ‘key nail’ as she liked to call it. After that, she dropped her hand bag which also contained her laptop on her reading desk, and then headed for the kitchen to make sure there was food to eat before she took of her clothes.
“Phew, this beans didn’t spoil, thank God!” she said in relief.
She then took off her clothes and stuffed them into the laundry basket.
“How can someone mess up so many clothes in one weekend?” she said to herself as the struggled with the clothes in the rubber basket.
When she won the war between man and fabric, she finally stepped into the bathroom for the warm shower she had been dreaming of all day. The harmattan had dealt with her today and her studio partners refused to put off the AC. She always wondered if they had skins of leather. Especially David, he always had the sleeves of his pure cotton shirt rolled up while she on the other hand, had a vest, a jacket and neck tie on and she still felt cold.
When she was done with her shower at about 7:30 p.m, she had dinner while she watched her favourite show on FOOD network. James had not texted her all day today, even now when she checked her phone, all she got was a “hi” and a paragraph full of apologies for not calling or texting the whole day. James and Onyi had been together since she was 19 and until after she graduated from university. She was gradually getting tired of the long-distance relationship. It had been two years since they both left school and she had seen him only on four occasions. Each time she complained to him, he kept telling her the same thing over and over again.
“Baby, one day at a time please, one day at a time” He usually sent this with a cute smiley that always made her laugh.
While she was checking her texts, her mum called. Her mum always called her kids every evening to check on them. Onyi knew it was going to be a long conversation so she reduced the volume of her TV and picked the call.
“Hello Mummy?” she said into the receiver
“Hello Onyii bekee, kedu?!” her mum replied
“Odimma. How are you?” Chinwe asked.
Her mum proceeded to tell her about her day at the boutique and how her dad had been watching news since and wouldn’t let her watch Telemundo. The conversation continued on a light note until her mum brought up and issue that she had been avoiding.
“Ehen Onyii what about that young man whom we gave your number to. Has he called you?” her mum asked.
“Yes ma. He called me yesterday afternoon demanding to see me but I could not because I was at work. Besides he was too rude and authoritative. Mama, I am not ready for marriage yet oh. I wonder why you keep encouraging all these men and giving out my-“ she started explaining until her mum cut her short.
“My friend will you keep kwayet! You are just a child, you don’t know anything. I have told you severally that there is no such thing as being ready for marriage. You attack marriage with an open mind-“ her mum rebuked.
“But mummy-“ she protested.
“Will you shut up! I am not done. This is how you will be saying this nonsense and end up unmarried by 30 like Adaeze’s daughter. Kill that mindset of yours before you infect your sisters with it. I want grandchildren please.” Her mother continued.
Onyinye’s parents had been hooking her up with different men for the past two years. The first time it happened she had just turned 20 and was about to round up her masters programme. She was so confused and thought it was a joke until she was sitting in a bar trying to convince a 35-year-old man that she was not ready to get married. She had learnt to ignore her parents and play by their rules to avoid starting a war that she was evidently going to lose.
“Yes ma. I have heard you. Goodnight” Onyinye replied without emotion.
“Goodnight. Make sure you call your sister tomorrow to wish her goodluck on the interview.” Her mum concluded.
“Okay. Greet daddy for me. Bye” she said and ended the call.
Calls with her mother usually ended this way and she was getting sick of it. On some evenings, when she had a bad day like today, she usually switched off her phone and put it on later in the night to speak with James.
James was 26 now and lived in Calabar with his parents while he worked at a Building construction company. They both planned on getting married in two years after they must have saved enough to sustain a family. This however was probably not going to sit well with Onyinye’s parents. You see, both her parents had already started pressurising her about getting married. Her bthis December for her Introduction and traditional wedding. Although she never wanted to admit it, this particular issue bothered her a whole lot. She obviously loved James with all her heart and couldn’t wait to get married to him but the uncertainties of life wouldn’t let her mind rest. Something inside her head kept telling her that maybe her parents had a point.