He walked up to my side and asked “how much is a wrap of ‘semo’?”, “#50” I said, as I paid for mine-two wraps of ‘semo’ and one goat meat. At first I was surprised at the man’s humility to hold such conversation with a boy old enough to probably be his last child; I could only guess hunger has a way of uniting both the young and old. This was a man who was probably in his fifties. What could have led him to a canteen on such a night like this?
As a young bachelor, I had come back from church that day at about 7pm tired, exhausted and hungry; having nothing to cook and not willing to fall for the ‘indomie or bread’ trap, I began my hunt for ‘semo’, ‘pounded yam’ or ‘amala’, and if it comes to the worst, ‘eba’. After parading Tipper Garage, Tanke, I finally found a place. Now, I understand that. But here was a man who looks nothing more than an average surviving Nigerian who should probably be enjoying a meal with his wife and children in their three-bedroom flat apartment, or at least, a self-contained apartment.
Could it have been that he had a fight with his wife and had to come out to eat? For he didn’t look like someone who eats out regularly, because if he did, he should have known the price of a wrap of ‘semo’. Or was he new in town, perhaps on a job? Where was his wife and kids?
I just couldn’t help but wonder.
As these questions wavered along my mind’s path, I felt pity for the man, and thoughts of the many times my dad had had to eat outside like that filled my mind, especially the times the woman he loved could only have been several miles away from him-his heart and mind.
What is this evil that makes our men turn bachelors at 40? What is responsible for suddenly turning our men to perpetual customers of ‘buka joints’ and eateries at 50 when not on a date with their wives or daughters?
Just then, light showed on the beauty that had began to fill my heart, Adeola-mi, the lady I had pledged to love the rest of my life, and I remembered bits of our discussion the previous evening about ageing together, and I said to myself, “I’ll do all I can to ensure I eat dinner with my family every day of my life”. At that, I knew I had shot for the stars for it is not a matter of mere words, but I knew even if I missed, I’ll, at least, land on the moon, and that will still be out of this world.
To become a man is not a days job, neither is it bread and butter. It is a great deal of responsibility and sacrifice and it starts now, when the woman of one’s dream is just walking in from the horizon.
Like I heard in the movie, ‘Baggage Claim’, “the magic is not in getting married but in staying married.”
The magic is not in starting or having a relationship, or sweeping and getting swept off one’s feet, or in dating the best dressed guy or the most attractive girl around…the magic is in preserving the love that we have found, laying our lives daily for the one that we have so chosen, seeking ways to be a contribution, an addition, helping each other achieve our dreams and be better….adding, daily, to our level of Responsibility, more responsibility, to our willingness to Understand and Sacrifice, more willingness, and to our Commitment, more commitment.
If she just gave you a ‘Yes’, or if you just gave him a ‘yes’, remember that the journey hasn’t ended, but in fact just beginning, keep letting the seed of Agape grow in you.
If you’re still waiting for who to ask for a ‘yes’, or who to give your ‘yes’, then rejoice, for you have more time to grow your capacity to Love.
#IamImisioluwa, and I dedicate this to every young man and woman out there like me, who wants to make a difference in and with their own family.
For me, I have gotten my ‘yes’, and I’m so going to let my self grow to make a difference with that Love.
Adeola-mi, I will love you crazy. So help me God.
Enjoy your evening.
I love you plenty