Sisters Not Needed

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Oron, Akwa Ibom State, 2014.

The lights in the room were turned off, but then they were not exactly needed, not this breezy late Tuesday evening. The moderate brightness from Mark’s laptop was deemed to be enough for the room, and besides, the low lighting created a cinema effect. Yes, it was another movie night in Flat C, the bubbliest flat in this lodge designated to the corps members deployed to this old town, where fish had a swollen population and ladies were fluent in the language of love.

Mark’s room was a beehive that evening, and not without good reason. Five of the seven occupants of Flat C were females, and all five of them were glued to the screen of Mark’s laptop as they negotiated scene after scene of yet another Bollywood movie, “Kai Hoo Na Ho” (Mark loved those, pretty unusual for a guy). Clara, Ruth, Kehinde, Akpevwe and Chika all flanked Mark and his roommate Fred, stretching across two mattresses. There was so much body contact, giggling, pinching and teasing, a great atmosphere in many respects….but Mark had a little burden on his mind.

It felt good, how these ladies made his life as a corps member a lot more interesting, how he didn’t have to worry about cooking, how he never had to feel alone. They were beautiful, each one of them, and every time spent with them was smile-worthy, but whenever any of their faces graced his Blackberry Display Picture, he always struggled to come up with a response whenever his male friends asked him, “which of these girls you dey kpansh sef? You nor fit get all these assets and appurtenances for your domot, kon leave bush to lie fallow like that na.”

They were comfortable with him, maybe too comfortable. The friendship with these ladies worried him, as it seemed that nothing could develop between him and any of these ladies further than what existed. Other male corps members, out of a little jealousy, would address him as a “ladies’ man”, but he knew better. At this rate, chances of intimacy in its most basic form with any of these girls were next to none. He began to feel a sense of déjà vu. He had seen this all before.

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*****************************

Benin City, 2012.

It had been the final session of Mark’s undergraduate days. He had been a pretty bright student, with the added reputation of being a nice guy, and along the line, he had got acquainted with a trio of ladies. Alexi, Sarah and Kate were a close-knit set of friends in the same faculty with Mark, though in a class below. Mark had been friends with Sarah long before, and in time he got closer to the other two.

Eager to preserve his reputation, Mark would spend time with these three, assisting them when it came to assignments, footing their bills at restaurants, and staying late to watch “Family Guy” with them whenever they camped at Sarah’s room. Each used him as an “emotional scarecrow” whenever they wanted a random guy off their trail, he was pretty much their escort whenever they needed to return home after reading at night, and at dangerous periods when robberies and cult killings seemed to be on the rise, he would even spend nights with them, albeit on the floor like a watchman.

They became so familiar with him that one evening after hanging out, all four decided to relax at Sarah’s room, and Kate began to undress, apparently oblivious of Mark’s presence. She had gone topless, and while Mark had seen that, he turned his head away, pretending not to notice. The other two ladies were pretty absent-minded as well, and it was not until Kate proceeded to her underpants that Sarah regained mental consciousness and screamed “Mark is in the room!” They forced him out temporarily, and Kate felt a little embarrassed. When he got back in, Alexi made a joke about how they had not noticed Mark’s presence because he had become like one of them. He had not taken any offence, but he perceived it as a red flag to any future amorous endeavours.

Mark’s fears were confirmed soon enough. Not too long after his graduation, he found himself drawn to Alexi, and decided to make his feelings known over a meal of chicken and chips. Her facial expression was one of shock, and she promptly turned him down.

“Ah ahn! Mark, you can’t be liking me, or either of my other two friends, in that way na.”

“Well, Alexi, that’s how I feel about you.”

“No, no, Mark, that’s not right. I should be the one trying to hook you up, not you hooking up with me.”

“Alexi, I like to think that every romantic relationship is built from an existing friendship, and…”

“Not in this case. How do you think it will look like? Guy, going out with you will feel like incest.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Yeah, incest. You see, Mark, you are just like a brother to us, that is, Sarah, Kate and I. We love you, we really do, but not in that way.”

The look on Mark’s face was priceless. He had seen the door of Alexi’s heart slammed to his face, and to add salt to the wound, he had been brother-zoned! He knew what that meant. Not in the present life, or in the world thereafter would he get so much as a kiss from any of those three ladies, not even in a state of intoxication. A guy stuck in the Friend Zone could still get bailed out, but it would take divine intervention to climb out of the steep walls of the Brother Zone.

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He blamed himself. He should have seen it from their responses whenever he used them as his profile picture, or when he sent one of those his sugary text messages. He should have had a stronger perception of the vibes he was getting from them. He should have diluted his niceness, his chivalry, his eagerness to please. His fate had been totally avoidable.

“‘He is so nice, I should date him’, said no girl ever.”

**************************************

Mark smiled as Clara and the other ladies danced around him, imitating the moves from the Indian film, but his head was a traffic jam of thoughts. Ruth and Akpevwe had worn wrappers to his room, and they had been so comfortable adjusting it every now and then. Maybe they had begun to see him as a brother as well, or maybe they had even begun to see him as “one of the girls”.

No, he could not allow himself to be brother-zoned yet again. It had hurt with Alexi, and if it happened again, it would be a long service year for him. Moreover, being in the company of Clara and friends had a way of “scaring off” other ladies who just might have been interested in him, and if that trend continued, he would end up not getting any. He thought deeply, in full realization of the fact that something had to be done.

Two weeks later, Mark moved out of the lodge and got an apartment with Femi, an old friend of his. The ladies were sad, and Kehinde was particularly mad at his decision. He wept as he took out his belongings, and he promised to visit them regularly. He knew he would miss being with them more frequently, but he was convinced that his decision was all for the best, besides, absence had a way of making the heart grow fonder. He had emotional needs, and he had to resort to drastic steps such as this, or face a long year of involuntary celibacy.

**************************

Laura’s Cubicle (her place was too small to be called an apartment),

Delta State, 2015.

 

“I like you, Laura.”

“Yeah, I like you too.”

“L, you know what I mean.”

“Mark, we’ve talked about this before. I can’t get intimate with you….let’s just be friends, please.”

Mark, through with serving his fatherland, had returned home, and had got acquainted with Laura, a light-complexioned lady from the East, who had been deployed to his home state for her service year. They had got close, and enjoyed each other’s company, but Mark wanted more, and Laura was giving him a hard time.

“Err, I can’t be just friends with you Laura”, he suddenly blurted, his face expressionless.

“What do you mean? Are you issuing me with an ultimatum?” Laura replied, the pitch in her voice considerably higher.

“You see, baby, when you love someone, you cannot settle for being ‘just friends’ with them. I am for All or Nothing, sweetheart, and if I can’t get the full package, then it’s best that we leave it at nothing.”

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Mark left the cubicle after Laura served him with a bottle of hot Pepsi Cola and a plate of Indomie Noodles without the dignity of an egg. He would end up not picking her calls that evening, and when she sent a text quizzing him as to why, he responded with a lukewarm apology. For him, there was really no need. He knew what he wanted from each lady he came across, and he would not settle for less. The maturity of his actions would be an issue for another day, but he was of the view that Life was too short to waste time on fruitless ventures. He had many female friends with whom he had non-romantic ties, and he did not feel the need to add another to the collection. Sisters in the form of friends existed for him all over the place, and no new ones were needed.

He hasn’t communicated with Laura again, to this day.

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59 responses to “Sisters Not Needed

  1. Wow!
    Spellbinding!
    I feel for Mark. I really do.
    Being friendzoned still has remedy.
    But brotherzoned and it’s finished! 😀
    Lols. Nice piece. Great read.

      • But truth be told, some guys didn’t truly made their intentions known to the concerned lady. They just assume she know how they feel.
        It has happened to me. Until the guy started chasing my intended suitors away did I ask him whether he smoked igbo.
        And he was like didn’t I read all the signs? And I’m like, what sign?
        Better to make your intentions known early enough.

  2. This is beyond Frienddzoning
    It’s. Brotherzone!

    Had a friend who I took as my brother and one day, he made us fight. We never settled. He told people that he had to do something, because I wouldn’t date him and I was scaring other girls off him.

    Guys should. Just learn to make known their stand from the word “go”.

    I like how Lynda is being treated. You really can’t be friends with someone you have feelings for. That emotional suicide.

    Jerry, welcome back.

    • Communication is an art, and it’s not always easy for us guys to say how we feel, especially when what we feel is really strong. So we stall, giving other subtle signals that the girl will deliberately ignore, and then we get zoned. But we learn everyday….we do

  3. If I like a girl, I give her an IOI immediately. I don’t believe in the friend-first bull dung. It’s total crap. Spending too much time with ladies can sometimes get them confused. Nice write-up. I love it

  4. Okay, that was something.
    Kindness spiced with cruelty is a nice dish to be served some females though. My own thoughts. You can’t be thinking me ‘one of the girls’ and counting on my protection, then you come back and tell me of your love, yuck! Nansenze han hingredients.

  5. Nna eh! Mark tho, as in, it’s like the guy just have luck of being friend zoned. Great composition as always

  6. Lmao!. Guys are really miffed about dis friendzoning of a topic sha. Its being discussed on virtually every platform. E be like say d thing just begin dey chook una. After subjecting millions of ladies to the friendzone, now the tables have turned and guys can’t take the heat. Boys are no more smiling.
    Sorry guys, “I fee ur pain” , but really, ladies get friend/sister zoned all the time and believe me, whenever it happens to a lady, she’s in a worse situation than a friendzoned guy. So y’all should “cam dan” and rather than sulk, strategise about how to play your cards right and cast & bind the friendzoning demon dat has been assigned to ur case. #my2kobo. LOL
    Lovely read as usual Jerry.

    • Let’s not even go into the issue of ratios….you say strategise abi? How about, girls be more honest with us and save us from needlessly expending emotional energy.

      Some guys’ case need divine intervention sha

      • Bros Jerry, I hear this “How about, girls be more honest with us and save us from needlessly expending emotional energy” all the time. Guys don’t know wot exactly it is dat they want. When you tell a guy upfront that “hey, don’t get the wrong ideas, I can’t date you” then they begin to work tirelessly on ur case cos they can’t handle “rejection”. I tell u upfront, u say I rejected you, I don’t tell you anything, u say I friend/brother zoned you. What exactly do you want then?
        Take for example a guy I met and liked in d 1st instance then I spent some time with him and I realised, ok, it won’t work with this guy, we are two totally different pple. And as a sharp guy, dude decides not to waste time and asks me out shortly after and cos I don’t want to mince words and waste time as well, I tell him no, and all he says is, haba, you can’t say no now, u can’t mean it, I’d give you time to think about it. Everytime dis guy asks how far, he gets the same response. He was on my case for quite a while and later started complaining of being friendzoned, abeg, how was dat my fault?
        U Guys should just decide wot u want already joo, y’all av no defence. Man up and declare ur mens rea upfront and be ready to deal with whatever answer you get. Its Either its a no or a yes.

    • I agree with you 💯 % my Lady Vicky!
      Sometimes, all these guys are so confused they don’t even know what they want.

  7. Friend-zoned, brother-zoned… All a catastrophe. But sometimes, the guys lose out because they acted sluggishly. There are times some ladies wait for the dude to express himself but ditch the feeling because of his seeming indifference.

    Hmmm… Sister-zone, baby-zone… I hate all the zones.

  8. LMFAO! Poor Mark, but did he just refer to his female friends as a collection? Good thing he’s a fictional character, or feminists could have had a field day with him. Doesn’t take much to be misogynistic.

  9. And there are other ladies that read all the signs and know that a guy is unto them, but will be waiting to hear it in black and white, rather than give him green light. Worse still are the ones that see the guy’s signs and know that they don’t want him, yet give him a false sense of hope with their ambivalence

  10. Lool… If they love you, you’d know it.

    I know it in the first five minutes of meeting and if it isn’t there, I just end it so fast.

    Back then, I could walk up to a lady and say ‘hi’. The look on her face, the tone and pitch of her voice, her body language and her choice of words when she replies will tell me whether or not to walk away. It’s that fast for me…

    But then, for most ladies, I’d rather remain in the friend zone.

    P.S: This is what happens when I’m summoned to a story, I discuss.

  11. You see me, ehn? I nor get time for this friend-zoning fuckery. Girl friend-zone me? Kai, it’s impossible na.

    *shakes head* e nor fit happun lai lai.

  12. Of course, we should discuss….that’s the essence.

    The problem is that girls forget that us guys have feelings too, so they’ll just be using our emotions to play Whot and Ludo….that being said, it’s best to just make your intentions known from the very beginning. And yes, perception and studying of her responses, body language and general disposition is pretty important.

  13. It’s sad how the actions of some girls turn good guys to mean guys (and vice versa). But some guys could be sluggish sha. I ‘had’ a friend who I liked immediately we met and I was willing to give it a shot then. I was pretty sure he liked me too. But this dude never said anything. We were friends through uni days and then when I was serving he ‘remembered’ he liked me! Biko ask me how that dude won’t be ‘friendzoned’ or even ‘brotherzoned’?

    • And you, seeing that he liked you but was sluggish, didnt give him any green light or strong hints, then ultimately left him to languish…

      You cant blame him too much. Its not you ladies who make the move, it’s the guys, and it’s not that easy to summon courage to tell a girl how you really feel; fear of rejection, shattering of a fragile confidence, etc. Some of us are just so shy, i’d know about that

  14. Jerry, this is great. Every guy in this situation should get to read this. Still some guys will need a step by step way to come out of zoning.
    I think it’s time we help educate other guys

  15. I know of this guy who has built his whole life centred on one girl for the past 5 years,he’s deeply in love with her but sends her messages like “goodevening how was your day? Hope all is well? Take care”. He gets no reply of course,. The guy has minimal contact with other girls. The guy has not been brother zoned,he is literally now her brother,the girl dey look other side self. As for me and my household,we shall never be friendzoned,i meet,i like you,i tell you,you say no,we become distant aquaintances,you say yes,we marry. Shi ke nan.

    • That guy….needs the intervention of a pastor. Truth be told, ladies these days dont care about signals, they feel that if you cant come out with it expressly, then you probably dont feel strongly enough. They dont take chances.

  16. The story flowed quite smoothly. I could feel the frustration of the major character being brother-zoned. In the long run, he did become his own man, in my opinion: Understanding the toll the friendship would have taken had he remained just a friend after conveying his feelings. Not many guys can stomach sticking around after their advances have been turned down.

    • Long, hard, painful road….but he eventually grew a pair, refusing to settle for scraps from the table of emotions. No way the friendship would remain the same after such a bold move had met with disappointment.

  17. Smoothly penned. The good- no, great- thing is Mark got his “grove” back. It’s a phenomenon experienced on both sides of the divide. And no, it doesn’t feel good.

  18. Brother-zoned, never thought of this before. Alexi was too harsh o. Not only did she burn Mark’s cable with herself. She went on to spoil the potential market with the other girls. This is broad day witchcraft… Lol

  19. Poor mark. I guess last guys do finish last.

    I like your writing I think we can share ideas… I write at shadtherackster.wordpress.com

    What do you say?

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