Saturday 10 July 2021


 Dear Ewatomi,

I must confess that along the way, I paused once or twice to wonder why I was telling this tragic story. What lesson could I possibly pontificate on from this story? Neither of us is a model, and I do not suppose that either of us intend to follow that path in the future, so why would I bring up the tragic end of a once promising young lady?

If you observed, over the next one month after the day you told me about your numerous suitors, the one thousand and one of them including Ali Baba and his forty thieves, Sinbad and the crew on his seven voyages, everyone of the soldiers packed in the Trojan horse, and the three hundred Spartans, I maintained a conspicuous silence with you made possible by a more conspicuous distance from you. The infrequent calls and chats were intentional. My mind and heart needed a new ecosystem in which my affection for you would not interrupt sound judgement. I thought about my place in the long term race for your love, and quickly convinced myself to seek out a new challenge which held less odds. This quick decision yielded the rest of the time for me to ponder on the quality of the men over whom you have mounted your love and marital future as a golden trophy. Now, out of the race myself, my bias did not accompany me on this reflection, if it did my recommendations obviously would be compromised, but I make bold to say that whatever I am saying here is purely based on the indifference of logic in which all emotions add up to zero, and of which one plus one would equal two. 

Mr. Harry of whom you have so well spoken is a fantastic lad, fantastic in the actual sense of fantasy;  something that is too good to be true. I would wonder if you are sure whether his 'Harry' is short for 'Henry' or short for 'Harold', but that would be to challenge your overall awareness which is a topic for another day, a day I intend to bypass. I would wonder if his oil company job is in an oil company or in an oil company, if the oil in question is crude oil or vegetable oil. Not that it would matter if love is truly unconditional. I would wonder if truly he lives in Malaysia, but was born in England and thus an Englishman of Nigerian descent. I would wonder how real his estates are and how true his huge pay is. Am I saying that he is not who he says he is? Not at all, ‘too good to be true’ is not necessarily ‘too good and therefore false'. Having considered the details of his story and put things in context, I dare say that some things if true make others quite unlikely. I may have met a Nigerian sailor in landlocked Mali  or a Nigerian chef in Italy, I might have also met a Nigerian firefighter in Antarctica, but a Nigerian oil worker in Malaysia? Well, you never can tell these days. And of course he is in Nigeria on leave, and has been on leave for the past three months. Do even maternity leaves last that long nowadays? I wonder if I intend to make any point with my skepticism here, maybe the point is that whether Harry is 'Harold’ or 'Henry’ he appears to be too enthusiastic to prove himself competent, and in my experience when people are too enthusiastic to prove unnecessary points quite often some things are either exaggerated or an outright falsehood. 

If my sentiments here are right then what I see here with his many claims about himself could be that he is desperate to come across as a man of legitimate means, and if that is the case the probability is high that his means are illegitimate. And if one detail is false, do we assume that some others cannot also be false? If a man would win you over with falsehood, how much falsehood would he employ to keep you?

Doctor Ben, as you fondly call him, appears to have a less suspicious profile. Faking one’s way to medical practice in a university teaching hospital is as rare as a rave in a monastery. As a medical doctor, I assume that his life would be as orderly as surgical procedure. Maybe he is not a heavy drinker, does not stay out late, watches his diet, and possesses all the details that make for a proper boring gentleman. I believe he is someone you can live with, but I doubt he is someone you cannot live without. He may have the things that can offer you a peaceful home but I am not convinced that he has what it takes to give you an exciting matrimony. It is good to know that a man does not shout at his wife, but it is not good enough that he has no sense of humour to make her shout in laughter. It is good to know that a man has a bright mind, but it is not good enough if his best idea of fun is the game of Monopoly. It is good enough that a man keeps to time but it is not good enough if he thinks that a romantic date is a waste of time. Again as with Harry’s ‘Henry’ and ‘Harold’, I would wonder if you know whether Ben is 'Benjamin' or 'Benedict'.

Age is just number, but I would be dishonest to pretend that the numbers between you and Kelvin are not too many. I admire his honesty in telling you his real age, it would appear rather more likely that in a matter as this a man of his age would rather lie about his age to come off as a younger man than say the truth and hurt his chances. He even has the looks to make a lie believable, and I have seen some men in their late twenties and early thirties who look older than he is. We must acknowledge his honesty. Honesty and good intentions aside, forty two and twenty two are even numbers but it would seem odd that a lady so young would settle for a man at the gates of midlife. If the love is there then I would admit that the next consideration is always about what people would say. You expect that typically younger girls do not get married to much older men without certain assurances. People believe that it is always motivated by money, and Ogá Kelvin is not deficient in that regard. If everything else is in order and public opinion does not fluster you, then I would say without holding back that yours is a match I would recommend. He is mature, urbane, a complete dose of humour, and not to mention that his importation business is as prosperous as stink to a warthog and as legitimate as the Obama administration.

While it is important to know how much you are loved by any of them, I want you to give as much attention to the profile or background of these suitors. I believe that I would be belabouring the point if I go ahead to write about Calistus the ex seminarian who claims to have found in you his new calling, or Mike the banker, or Odogwu the first of the two suitors in Dubai, or Martin his city rival. Look out for the silent and salient points beyond their fascinating stories. Check them out on their social media profiles, check their old pictures and posts. Get to know their philosophy of life and get to know who they are when they are not in love. Are they humble because they are humble or are they humble because they have nothing for which they can be proud? How do they speak to those they consider lower than themselves? Are they polite to you but rude to the waiter? These details slip out no matter how much one might want to hide them, and if you pay attention you would see them if they are there.

The world can be a dark and scary place. Sometimes grace is the illumination we need to go through dark alleys, and sometimes it is our wide open eyes. And It doesn’t get much darker than the choice of a life partner. Love, they say is blind, perhaps it is blinded by the darkness of these paths. But I like to think that love is not blind, it is drunk, it staggers, it trips, it falls, it belches, it gets up and it keeps moving. The blindness of love, to me, is but the blurriness of vision, a drunk driver seeing two steering wheels and four hands. It is at this point that you may be blind to obvious things, you may underrate his faults and overrate his strengths. When you are overpowered by emotion, your logic would be compromised. But as with drunkenness, you would eventually sober up and then see the things you could not see before. Maybe I am a timely voice of reason in these alcoholic times, and maybe mine are the sober eyes with which you should see clearly in this period.

I would call you ‘honey’, but you are meant for another man’s cup. Things are such that I can make recommendations on whose cup you pour into, so that in time I will be at ease knowing full well that you are not the honey that poured away.

Okwuchukwu Augustine Ndulue.

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