Babs stood where she left him, her rejection ringing in his ears. When it was obvious she wasn’t coming back out, he walked back to where his friend waited, thinking over their discussion. He still found it hard to believe that she would actually go on to accept the arranged marriage her parents were planning. Even though he’d only met her just over a week ago, it appeared out of character that she would follow through with it; her personality just screamed independence. In fact, it was that very independent and outspoken personality that made him think she was the ideal person for a holiday fling.
He considered if it were possible she was leading him on, creating an elaborate plot to get him even more interested in her, but for what? He already desired Dunni, and had made it plain to her. So it was either she felt the same or she did not. He couldn’t believe she was trying to trap him into a situation where he might be forced to marry her. He wanted to say again that she didn’t look the type, but he had to keep in mind that he barely knew her. That they had seemed to connect on a physical level might not really mean anything in the long run.
“So, who is she?” Kingsley asked when he got back to him.
“I met her during the hike to Erin-Ijesha last week.” Babs replied, beginning the short walk back to the vicarage where he was staying with his family.
“Now I know why you were in such a hurry to spend your entire annual leave here in Ilesha,” Kingsley smirked.
“To see my family?”
Kingsley guffawed. “To see more of that fine ass, you mean.”
“You’re an engaged man, keep your eyes to yourself.”
“I’m not a dead man.” Kingsley retorted. “And it seems you have a thing for her.”
“What do you mean by, thing?”
“Well, I saw that you were really keen for her to join us at the Suya place.”
Babs shrugged. Yes, he did have a thing for Dunni, and there was no need giving his friend a hard time over it.
“When are you seeing her again?” Kingley laughed, slapping him on the shoulder.
“I’m not sure.”
“She’s playing hard to get.” Babs kicked a stone as they turned a corner.
Kingsley laughed again. “That’s not very usual for you, is it? Most women would be falling over you by now. Hmmm…she lives in America, right?”
Babs nodded, an eyebrow raised as he wondered where Kingsley’s thoughts led to.
“Maybe that’s why she’s not playing ball.”
“How are those related in any way?”
“Don’t be daft, Babs. Not many women want to go into one night stands.”
“Who said anything about a one night stand? Not that I won’t take that if it was the only thing on the table, but we could have several weeks together if she wasn’t so stubborn.”
“Listen to yourself, Babs.” Kingsley shook his head.
“What? I’ve had girlfriends who were very happy with the arrangement.”
“Are you sure?”
“Definitely. You’ve seen some of the girls.”
“Are we talking about those your affairs with Lagos big girls that come to our office with their company branded cars? You call those one night stands?”
“OK, not that. But the longest only lasted for three months. Isn’t that short enough?”
“It’s long enough for the women to imagine they would change your mind sooner or later. I’m sure you didn’t tell them at the starting whistle that you just wanted to use them and dump them. I have seen your wooing style, I’m sure the women appreciate the chase. Too bad I can’t use them anymore myself or my fiancée will kill me.”
Babs kept silent as Kingsley rambled about his own relationship. To be honest, it was only with Dunni that he’d come out plainly to suggest a fling, because he’d thought the circumstances of her vacation warranted haste. With his previous girlfriends, he wooed them slowly and they’d just happened to fall quickly into bed with him. But there had been incidents with past break-ups where some of the women had claimed he deceived them. They said that by dating them exclusively, and being very attentive while it lasted, he’d made them think the relationship was more serious than what he said. He’d always found that funny. Why would they discount what he’d plainly said for fantasies in their head?
“If you ask me,” Kingley continued as their destination came into sight, “not only are most women unlikely to take up your offer of a short fling, at a certain age, they’ll slap you for even daring to make that suggestion.”
Babs laughed. “Hmmm…maybe Dunni did come close to doing that once or twice.”
“You see? It’s because she doesn’t live in Lagos or even in Nigeria. Like my girlfriend will say, women need easy and steady access to a man to keep hopes of marriage alive.”
Babs had never thought of it like that. Only with the last girlfriend had he remotely thought of marriage. Shade had been introduced to him by his sister and at first, she had appeared like the type of woman he wished to marry. To all intents and purposes, she was a tame woman that would not give him trouble or interfere in his business ambitions - a wife that would give him children, while he embraced the staid life of a respectably married man. Before long however, she had became too clingy and nagging, trying to monitor all his movements and how he related and behaved with the people around him. And while he considered that marriage was some years away, she had begun to plan the ceremony immediately they slept together for the first time.
After a few months of dealing with her paranoia, he’d changed his mind and walked out of the relationship amidst her tears and tantrums. In fact, it was only this last month that she hadn’t called him to take her back. At the end of it all, he’d decided that when he settled down, it would be with a confident woman who understood his out-going personality. One part of his mind pointed out that Dunni matched those specifications but he shushed it.
“Just as well, as I have no intentions of getting married yet,” he said to Kingsley.