Darling Uloma Love Letters from a Secret Admirer - Episode 4 - Are you single?

Hello there! 🙂

Episode 4 of our ongoing Nigerian Romance Fiction series, Darling Uloma: Love Letters from a Secret Admirer, is titled Are You Single?  Read on to see the secret admirer’s answer to Uloma’s question.

Catch up on past episodes here.

Episode 1: I Like You

Episode 2: When a Man Likes a Woman

Episode 3: A Real Man Writes Letters

Now, for episode 4.  Enjoy! 😀

Darling Uloma Love Letters from a Secret Admirer - Book Cover

Episode 4: Are You Single?

12 Cupid Lane

Victoria Island, Lagos

 

May 2, 2017

 

Darling Uloma:

 

Bravo!  Again, bravo!  What a ride!

Reading your last letter was like riding a roller coaster through your mind, except that I was screaming for joy, not from sheer terror.

By the way, when we start dating officially and we’re riding roller coasters together, feel free to squeeze my hand.  You have my permission.  It would be my pleasure.

But first things first.  Let’s settle this issue of my profession.  I am not an obioma, a tailor, fashion designer or seamstress (what’s the male version of seamstress?  I am not that either).

What do I do for a living?  I solve problems.  And that, in a nutshell, is what I do.

Now to your question on singleness.

It was a real delight to read your detailed list of tell-tale signs that a man is not single.  I found your descriptions amusing.  You gave this a lot of thought, I imagine.

Uloma, calm down.  I understand your fear, worry, concern . . . whatever label you want to use.  I get it.

But please be rest assured that I am single.

I would have loved to say “Uloma, trust me”, but I know that trust is not automatic.  It is earned.  And I have enough real world experience to know that the people who ask you to trust them are the very ones who abuse that trust.

So, Uloma, I won’t be a cliché, and tell you to trust me.  It is my job, and frankly, part of my mission, to earn and keep your trust.

You are right to be cautious.  After all, I am a stranger.  What do you really know about me, other than the fact that ‘I like you,’ ‘I am single,’ and ‘I solve problems’?

Nothing, really.  Or perhaps, I should say, not much.

Uloma, I love your boldness, your upfrontness, your self-assuredness and your persistence in asking questions.

I admire that.  I really do.  These are qualities more women should possess.

I already know you are single.  I wouldn’t have embarked on this quest to win your heart if I knew you were otherwise entangled.

Oh, I would fight for you, if I had to, but “fighting for love” means different things to different people.  You are worth fighting for, Uloma.  If we ever get to that bridge, we will cross it.

Like I told you before, I’m a patient man.

But listing all those indicators that a man, especially a Nigerian man, or if I may expand it, an African man is not single, made me wonder if the same thing applies to women.

So, here’s my own version of your list:

One, if a man is still in love with his ex, and he is keeping her as a friend, he is not single.  Why?  His heart belongs to another.  You cannot give something you don’t have.  If a man’s heart belongs to another, his actions will give him away.

Two, if a woman is dating or otherwise in a relationship with more than one man, where each man satisfies a different need, she is not single.  Let us consider this hypothetical.

If a woman is dating Lanre because he pays her rent, dating Yusuf because he bought (or promised to buy) her a car, dating Tonye because he’s good looking, dresses well, and has swag, dating Nnamdi because he’s a stud, fun be to be with and takes her to the fanciest restaurants, and dating Taiwo because he makes her laugh and satisfies other needs, she is not single.  She is not single whether or not these men know each other.  She is not single whether or not each man believes he is in an exclusive relationship with her.

Uloma, I know that’s not who you are. You are not the sort of woman who outsources various needs to men of means or who sees love as a transaction, or who sees beauty as a bargaining tool, selling herself to the highest bidder.

Yes, these women exist, but that’s not who you are.

Three, if a woman is still spending hours chatting with, hanging out with or otherwise spending quality time with her ex or “male best friend who she’s not dating,” she is not single.

Which brings me to a very important question: Do you think a man and woman should be best friends before they marry?

I can’t wait to read your answer.

Till then, I remain . . .

Your Secret Admirer,

B.

 

Uloma’s Reply

14 Deinde Aliyu Street

Off Adeniran Ogunsanya Street

Surulere, Lagos

 

May 4, 2017

 

B:

 

You are single?  Wonderful.  If all men were truthful, honest and sincere, I wouldn’t even have to ask that question.

But as you know, some men say one thing, and mean something else. Sawdust has more value than the words of such men.  They should just change their first name to “liar” because that is the sum total of their character.

I find your question quite fascinating:  Do you think a man and woman should be best friends before they marry? But I won’t answer it.

Why? Let me borrow your own words: I think it’s too early.

Besides, I have more questions for you.  For starters, let’s talk about your job.

You see, when a woman asks what a man does for a living, and he gives her a vague answer like “I solve problems,” it sets off blaring alarms in her head.  Or if you prefer, it’s a red flag.

And right now, I am very concerned.

Do you know all the dubious, shady characters who, if asked what they did for a living, would answer (full of confidence and self-righteousness, mind you) that they solve problems?

An accountant cooking the books is solving a problem (never mind that he is creating a million other problems for himself and others.  I bet, he can justify his actions under the “I am solving a problem” umbrella.)

A policeman accepting a bribe or as Nigerians say, collecting egunje, is solving a problem (never mind that he’s also breaking the law.  Na who go catch am?)

A contractor completing a construction project with sub-par materials even though he was paid to use original, quality materials, is solving a problem (never mind that the building might collapse and kill innocent people, after he has pocketed the difference).

A university professor or lecturer who uses an unethical and illegal exchange system, i.e. sex for grades, is solving a problem (never mind that female students who actually studied and did the coursework will still fail his course).

An exam invigilator who hands out expo to students or otherwise facilitates cheating during an exam is solving a problem (never mind that students are learning that they can game the system with zero consequences, and that hard work does not pay.  Instead, they will learn that “smart” and “crooked” are synonyms; they mean the same thing.)

Whether hard work really pays is a debate for another day.  Another letter, maybe?  Let me not fill your head with silly ideas.

In case you are wondering, right now, I would rather know where you stand on certain issues rather than entertain any superficial declarations of love, or like.  Are the two not the same? Can we draw a straight line from like to love, or is it a crooked line, a dotted line, a zig-zag or just jaga-jaga?  Does this line even exist at all or does a person just leap from one point to the other, i.e. from like to love?

I want to know.  While you are crafting your answers to my questions, please answer this one too: are you the first born, last born or somewhere-in-the-middle child?

In your mind, you’re writing love letters.

In my mind, I’m assessing your character.

Choose your answers, carefully, Mister Man.

Sincerely,

Uloma the Inquisitive

 

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