Monday, 19 May 2014

@ 30; Single and a Pariah?

Posted by Oyinlola Sobowale on Monday, May 19, 2014 in , | 4 comments


Incoming Call

‘Grrrrrrrrrhhhhh,’ ‘Grrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhh’

Tick. Tick. Five seconds gone…



Incoming Call

‘Grrrrrrrrrhhhhh,’ ‘Grrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhh’

And so her phone rang for the umpteenth time, vibrating against her already tensed body that wet morning; yet another reminder of everything that keeps a record of how you are aging - time, date, month, and viola your age!

Today she is 30; the last day of the ninth month.

It was supposed to be a beautiful day. A cheerful and thankful albeit a reflective one, but all feelings are lost to brooding, no thanks to her tormentors in ‘friend’ clothing. The many reminders of her state and status of singlehood.

Her phones are purposely kept on permanent silent mode.

“Let them call till they tire,” she thought out aloud

In no mood to entertain neither calls nor visitors nor stares from her colleagues at First Central, she placed the all-important call to her supervisor and friend at exactly 6.30 a.m. on that Monday morning, in the hopes to beg for the day off after a lonely night of crying jags.
Eyes red-rimmed. Nose clogged. Her best gift today would be to face no one. She had no plans of stepping out even at the sound of the buzzer.
Dara grudgingly opened her mouth to utter her only prayer all morning, “Heaven please let Austin give me time off” as she picked up her official phone to cajole her friendboss-friendship facilitated and strengthened by her demonstration of competencies over the 2-year period at First Central. Besides, her report wasn’t so critical and there was no decision to be made at the weekly Monday Morning meeting with Ralph, the Head of Communications.

Dara called Austin’s telephone line let the phone ring. Over and over it rang, only there was no response at the other end of the line.

Frustrated and confused, unsure of how long to wait before trying to connect again, she decided to pass the time by following through on her morning ritual only this time without her morning prayer. Her silent anger at her maker simmering, unconsciously pushed to the surface by Adaobi’s comments two days before...

“Babe, are you in a relationship?” Adaobi started her questioning assuming the stance of an interrogator. She had the same excited look as always only her words didn’t hold any sweetness this time.

The topic is sore, especially now, the timing is all wrong!

“I know the question is funny but babe I just feel I need to ask o. You have concluded your certifications now and looking forward to a promotion, what is next?”… She continued without pause for an answer.

“You know you aren’t a baby and it’s not only about career. See, Toun just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday I don’t know if anyone told you”.

“Me I’m just saying my own o. I have this guy who works with one of these oil servicing firms, I know you are not materialistic but at least he will fit the part for you. He is caring and humble, career driven and ambitious like you so you guys may click just fine. I can give you his mobile number and him yours” a wide smile on her face as she lunged at her bag on the small table placed centrally on the monochrome rug.

Still Dara sat at the opposite end, clammed up thinking of the right retort to Adaobi’s poser. She looked to her chirpy friend again, whose 14 months old baby was at the moment momentarily fixated on her Samsung Galaxy S5 and the only words she could mutter were, “Thank you, I’ll find my own man”.
Her voice surprisingly strong for someone at the verge of cussing and crying. She stormed out to the kitchen angrily, looking for what to do; just anything to get her out of sight.

“Dara, haba…no vex” Ada’s voice came from behind, too close for any form of comfort.

A quick mop and a slight shake of her head to hold back the welling tears.

“I know say na me pass my boundary by asking and I didn’t mean to bring you to the verge of tears o, only that all our friends are married with one or two kids ehn. Don’t you feel awkward when we gather during festivities and everyone is with spouse and kids except you?”

“Ada…stop it” Dara’s voice took on a high-pitched tone. “Let’s drop this please and focus on something else”

She chose that moment to forcefully break out of Ada’s persistent whining about her current, somewhat shameful’ state of singlehood- according to her as the cries of the baby reached them in the kitchen.

The afternoon ended on a sad note. All hopes of a good weekend gone!

Church on Sunday was a drag, with a fervent prayer on her lips that no one would remember her 30th birth date was just a day away.

Monday Morning wasn’t better either. The calls and texts haven’t stopped pouring in since 12 a.m. No one understands why she’s not picking her calls. Text messages filled with expressions of worry. Messages filled with prayers and prayers, same prayer point for a husband and scores of children surrounding her table. It’s been repeated for years, it’s almost like a chant now.

Ritual continued.

2 glasses of water. Brisk walk thrice round her 400 square feet room followed by an emptying of bowels in a visit to the ‘white house’.

After good time expended on dillydallying, she picked up the phone again to call Austin.

Still no response. Does that mean she has to go to work today, she thought.


“Austin please pick up now. I can’t possibly face the world looking like this” she cried out in exasperation, falling headlong into her sofa...

**To be continued…**


  1. Now, I'm curious! So what happens?

  2. nooooooo....u can't do dat, wat happens next....curious is an understatement...

  3. Be patient my beautiful shall soon see :-)

  4. Nice one- I think every woman worries at that age, hmmmm.