‘Nosa, it’s not what you think, I don’t actually like you,’ Amaka said.
“Damn, why so blunt?” Nosa asked.
“Men are scum. All of you…scum! Yoruba demons, Igbo wizards and Hausa beasts. You men can’t be trusted.”
Speechless but determined to prove a point, Nosa glanced through the bus. To his left was a seemingly happy family – a father and mother laughing while their kids played games on an iPad. To his right was the window, he looked through it as he thought hard about the best way to convey his feelings to Amaka.
Turning back to Amaka, he said, “Well thank God I am an Edo boy, so I’m safe and can be given a chance to prove myself.”
“Leave story. You are all the same. You all specialize in breaking hearts. PhD holders of the act in fact,” She replied.
“But that’s an unfair judgment. You haven’t even dated every man in the world to arrive at such conclusions. At least allow me to prove myself and don’t let me suffer for the mistakes of previous men in your life.”
“Mistakes? No way. He knew what he was doing abeg! I am done with men.”
“What? He? So it was just one man? Haba Amaka.”
The thought of what happened flashed across her mind. Then she contemplated if it was worth sharing. If it was necessary to replay the hurtful scenes of her ex-fiancé in bed with another woman. She really loved Ebuka and had given up a lot for him and their relationship. She invested so much – her time, money and trust – into what they had. How she had skipped lectures in order to spend time with him. How she had saved some of her money to help support his music career. He was initially so loving and trustworthy. She wasn’t planning on being so vulnerable again.
“Yes, one man…and the others I read about on Twitter. Just forget about it, Nosa. We will remain friends and nothing more, okay?”
“Okay,” Nosa said, in a depressed tone.
The journey ended and they both went their separate ways.
Two weeks later after the launch of her hair cream product, she was at the salon getting her hair done. One gossip led to another. From talking about the absence of the President to how their kids are doing in school to their husbands’ latest accomplishments and then to their hair problems. Amaka had been silent throughout, but she couldn’t let this discussion elude her without maximizing it.
“Ehen my people, I have the solution to your hair problems o. My new hair cream product can – “
“Wait, made in where?” a woman asked.
“Nigeria, of course,” Amaka replied.
They all laughed. “Don’t you know that Nigerian products can’t be trusted? Didn’t you hear about what happened to Abike’s scalp when she tried that Nigerian-made product last year?”
“Yes, but this one is different. You haven’t even tried mine and you are already jumping to conclusions.”
They laughed again. “Our sister, they are all the same. Forget it; we are okay with the products we are using.”
Saddened by their response but still eager to market her product, a déjà vu feeling hit her. She remembered the bus journey two weeks ago. She remembered Nosa.