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Cruising Single Episode 3:The Sweetheart

Fateemah Abubakar

Fatima Zahra Umar

You can’t tell me of all the women in the world, I’m the only one who’s been with a guy and had to ask myself “babe, how did you get yourself into this?” No. I can’t be convinced I’m alone in this “mind-disrupting” type situation.

So here goes my story:

You see, it’s not about downgrading anyone or anything, but the bitter truth is that there exists such a thing as ‘the hierarchy of social class”; in other words, as ‘shoe get size’; women have sizes, men aren’t left out here too. There’s a way, some way to tell that you and someone are compatible, one way or another could be intellectually, physically, emotionally (let’s be real, even financially! ). And since that has been established, one has no business dealing with someone you has nothing in common with, except you’re like me, who begs to differ even when it’s dangerous, especially to your mental health.

Yes! It’s that serious!

Personally, my first point of attraction to any kind of man is sapioromantic; i am what scientists call Sapiosexual: someone who is attracted to intelligence and intellect. Yep that’s me!

I love a man who knows to cross his t’s and dot his i’s, even in speech. A proper intelligent gentleman. See those tidy snappy dressers? Yes, those ones too. Maybe, just maybe it was his kaftan and cap that got my attention, or maybe it’s the fact that he found his way to me through my aunt. I felt obliged to entertain him, because of her first, then because he was much older than I was, and of course, as the certified perfume junky I am, the man had some really nice scents, so turare da shadda got me into that hot mess!

An fara!

First of all, we always always had to talk in Hausa, which was a bit of a chore for me, because my Hausa is never pure, always adulterated with English. Yace na cika rigima! I let that slide, until my guy started trying to speak English to me too! It was lethal! Because I had to do the very tasking job of asking questions, that I made sure wouldn’t deflate his ego just to ascertain that the ‘kettle’ he said actually meant ‘ketchup’, or another time he said ‘subdaliya’ when he meant to say ‘souvenir’. It was hard!

As if that wasn’t trial enough, his wife heard about me from only God knows who! And she took it upon herself to start a cordial relationship with me before I marry her husband. (I don’t know who decided I was going to marry him o) When I knew it was her, I told him o, and he said, “rabu da ita, wai ku kulla kawance dan ki koya mata shafa janbaki. Ance matan jami’a akwai gayu!”

My jaw dropped, in annoyance or amazement or both. I still can’t tell which emotion took the better part of me! But I couldn’t talk again, and perhaps in my silence he got the message because she never called me again.

See ba, he wasn’t totally a bad catch. I mean, he doesn’t smell, that’s not the worst a man could be, but it’s terribly uncouth! Maybe I could have married him, maybe we could have met at the middle of some ‘not-so-common-ground’. He was funny and engaging, I’d laugh with him and talk about several nothings and relevant somethings. It was during one of such talks that he said things to me just what translated to “back your bags and run for your life”.

YOU CAN’T SERIOUSLY WANT TO MARRY ME, AND THEN FILL MY GUTS WITH FEAR saying things like “ai kasawa ne hada daki daya da mace, sai ta raina ka”. RED FLAG! RED FLAG! RED FLAG!

I tried to make him see the importance of that singular act and he dismissed it as one of the unrealistic expectations of educated girls. This same man made it mandatory on himself to sit at the “majalisa”. Though he did mention to me that as the “Amarya” he could try and be flexible enough and come home at 10pm.

“No, run, go, far as your short legs can carry you!” was what I kept telling myself. I can’t knowingly walk into this death trap now… Haba! The last straw that broke the camel’s back and had me put a final capital X on him was the fact that he eats out! Always! Breakfast, lunch and dinner….” zan ci abinci na a gari, bani da purobulen” he always says.

Ai kuwa malam purobulen ta samu.

I’m a culinary enthusiast! Your girl can throw down in the kitchen. If I have to give my hubby super appetite to make him eat, I will. How then was I going to deal with a man who thinks eating in-house meals wasn’t fair on his guys? He said “inna koshi a gida, na majalisa fa?”

Fam, I tapped out o! Literally, technically, mentally!! I did. Three hefty taps on the “relationship”.

To be fair,his tenacity was admirable. All my kora da hali didn’t shake him, not one tiny bit! He started pressuring me unduly about marriage, and I kept posting him because once, when I tried the simple and outright method of saying just ‘no’, he schooled me about destiny for nearly 3 hours. Instead of popcorn and soda, I had sugarcane. The sweetness was pacifying! After the lecture, he asked me to choose a house from one of his, so that they’ll renovate to my taste, in his words, “amare yan boko basa zama da kishiya gida guda!” I laughed and my simple innocent laughter got him angry!

“na lura dai kin maida ni tututu, ban san me nake ba” wallahi I burst into a bigger laugh, because I couldn’t remember the last time I heard “tututu”. He was fuming, and in a bid to calm him down, I said “yi hakuri sweetheart”. The response was epic! A resounding “Allaaaaaahu Akbar” prolonged, and 20k. I was lost….shine tuntuni bana cewa sweetheart?

That was how ordinary “sweetheart”, that people are calling up and down almost had me done for. The man was having none of my wayo anymore, according to him “ko George Bush yayi boko ya gama, jami’ar ku daban take?” this was because I said “sai na gama karatu za a min aure!” The next time he saw me, of course I’d graduated, but I didn’t tell him, he knew sha, kamar mai allan musuru! Well, he came with kolanuts and cartons of sweet, smiling molar to molar. After pleasantries, he said “toh yarinya! Karyar ki dai ta kare, tunda ina da tabbas kin gama karatu yanzu, saura aure. Da goro na na taho!”

There are a few times you will see me completely speechless in life, that day was surely one! To cut the long story short I told him “an fa yi min miji a gida”.  His reaction scared me. He looked like he was about to beat me up. Ga shi kato! Of course, after accusing me of being the cause of his restlessness for three years. He said “sai Allah ya saka min” so much that it made me feel like na cuce shi da gaske. “Sweetheart” drove off o, I texted him, “Drive safely sweetheart  in ka isa dai, almajirai na kofar fada sai a basu sadakar goro da minti.” I’m just wondering if he heeded my advice.

That was the last time I heard from sweetheart.

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