Family, Sex & Sexuality | Short Stories | Short story & Flash Fiction

A Passage For Nnenne (3)

Mid-age has come; almost lost is the brags and security that goes with the beauty of youth. Will the colors of a peahen be for its survival or pleasantries? Nnenne dared for answers.
A non-conformist – Nnenne nurtured her confidence in the free-to-be-you household she grew up in with her mom – a teacher by profession yet a feminist at heart – and her father, a lifelong government worker in Port Harcourt. They named their little girl Nnenne because both her maternal and paternal grandmother bore a hint of Nne in their first names – Nneanyi and Nnebundu. Encouraged by her parents, she embraced medical sciences acquiring a doctorate in Virology. Constrained by male-obliging Ibo customs, her be-true-to-yourself ethos in matters of romantic relationships hasn’t paid off. Disparagers pained that a lady of sound upbringing and endowment would approach a man for a date vent their venom:
“She’s possessed; a pit stop for men in need a place to rest, a vacant vessel for guests, but nobody comes eager for a permanent stay.”
As far as she is concerned, such discernment smack of a lack of sophistication and envy.
“Jealousy is the last hurdle a snoop scale before becoming a witch.” She once lashed out at a male workmate who shared a table with her and Lolo at launch break.
“A lady shouldn’t put herself on the shelf.”
“Ibo custom frowns at harlotry; such isn’t the lot of a virtuous woman.”
“But announcing to the world, you’re ready to settle down and trying out three or five women as a prerequisite to finding a suitable wife is the prerogative of virtuous men,” Nnenne retorted.
“H’m, male-privilege doesn’t reckon – in picking one end of a stick, you also pick the other,” Lolo muttered.
“Getting married and raising a family is a desire dear to my heart. I am 43. Should I be resented? By society, for airing such opinion to a man, I feel eligible to fulfill such a role?
“Should I be branded a ‘Whore’ because I tendered a legitimate solicitation same as a man? Nnenne asked.
“How rude and condescending.” Lolo cut in.
“They way to go or should I say the norm is to sit tight for a ‘nice’ man instead of padding the cannon yourself.”
“What if Mr. Nice doesn’t knock at my door?” Nnenne asked.
“Patience! Without Patience, a palm wine tapper can’t make wine.”
As he excused himself and left their company, an ominous silence descended, in a bid to counter the quiet Lolo enquired: “What of your Bobo? Her voice startled Nnenne nibbling at her tapioca while lost in thought.
“You mean Arinze?”
“Yes.”
“Um, promises, promises, promises. Arinze is an unsteady but faithful ship; maybe he needs to be anchored.”
“At least he’s not a skirt chaser like that numbskull. But how do you intend to get him clipped?”
“DIY is now the fad,” Nnenne answered.

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©Ugo Nkwoala |2020| All rights reserved.

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