“So you don’t believe that you should be settling down ehn?” my mother asked from over the phone. I hated this conversation. Ever since I turned 30 it was this over and over again. My mother had called to tell me her travel itinerary but somehow it had veered into my most dreaded conversation...again.

“Mummy, I am just not ready and I haven’t found the right guy. These things just don’t happen like that,” I said. I tried not to raise my voice but I was so frustrated.

“You know your clock is ticking. You are not getting any younger. Your mates have already married. Your younger sister is on her second child and you, you are just there going to to school. Ah Ah. Ohun ti o tọ si pẹlu yi ọmọ?” she asked worried.

“Mummy, there is nothing wrong with me. I am just not ready to settle down with anyone right now,” I said in a snappy tone. This time I couldn’t help myself.

“Ohhh no need to get angry with me o. I am just doing it for your own good. All this book you are reading, yes I am proud of you but I want to see my grand babies. I want to carry my grand babies from you Tosan ah,” she exclaimed.

I hated that she thought so little of what I was doing. I had been busting my ass everyday. I was finishing up my residency program at Harvard in Neurosurgery. This “book that I was reading” or whatever she called it was saving people’s lives. I hated having this conversation with my mother because it only stressed me out more. I just wanted to have a peaceful day on my day off and I was being bombarded with this. She wasn’t even here. What was going to happen when she came. I sighed.

“Mummy, I understand but I just want to focus on finishing this program first before I start worrying about any man. If one drops in my lap, I’ll be happy but I can’t go and be looking for one while trying to survive residency. I just can’t do that,” I said hoping that that would be the end of it.

“Ok oo. I won’t say anything again but please give someone a chance. Especially that my friend’s son. Tunde. Doesn’t he go to school around you? That would be a lovely match,” she said giggling.

I rolled my eyes. Tunde?? Could he even see me? That irritant that thought he was God’s gift to women. Abeg. Every single time I saw Tunde, he had a different girl on his arm. Plus he didn’t even date Nigerian girls. The last time I had a conversation with him, he had explained the reason why he didn’t date Nigerian girls. I didn’t even ask the idiot but he excitedly told me anyhow. Some stupid reason that only he could fathom. If he had just said he wasn’t attracted to us, I would have understood.

“Mummy, that is never going to happen,” I said.

“What is wrong with him? He is a handsome boy, comes from a good prayerful family, is also a doctor like you ah ah tabi ni o funfun awọn ọkunrin ti o ba wa ni nife ninu?”

“No mummy. I don’t only date white men,” I answered again. Just because the last guy I dated was white, everyone in my family now thinks I strictly date white men. No I just date whoever I want to date because I can.

“Ok oo. So I am coming on the 25th till the 10th. I hope that I will be able to see you then sha. Since I am traveling with Mama Tunde, Tunde will be picking us up from the airport. If you are not too busy, maybe you can come with him abi?” she asked.

“Sure mum,” I said resigned and tired. These two women had been plotting to get us together since the beginning of time. The problem was that we both hated each other.

“Alright, bye. Send me your list of what you want from Lagos o,” she said and dropped the phone.

I didn’t even get the chance to say bye. I stared at my phone for a second and dropped it on my side table. Then turned over to see Mark looking at me and smiling.

“What is it?” I asked laughing.

“So you don’t only date white men?” he said smiling.

“No, I don’t,” I chuckled. “I date all colors. Equal opportunity baby,” I added.

“Right now, this white man doesn’t want you to date anyone other colors or anybody else for that matter,” he said seriously, putting his fingers through his hair. He did this when he was nervous.

“Really,” I said to him seriously as well. We had only been dating for 3 months. I had known him since college. It was going good but I did not think we were at this point yet.

“Yes really Tos,” he said and pulled me back to the bed. Looking deep in my eyes, he said, “I think I’m starting to fall in love with you.”

Damn. Was I ready to be in a serious relationship? I really liked him but my workload was super crazy right now. Fuck.




-Joan Caven