I refer to him as a boy because all the while, he spoke like a boy and not a 'man'. For me, maturity isn't just about age but about one's mentality and emotional state.
To me, he is more like a boy, and I regretted agreeing to the date in the first place. It wasn't worth my time.
"So, tell me. Are you still a virgin?", he asked in between mouthful of food. A few grains of rice fell off the corner of his lips, and he didn't even bother to use the napkin to pick them up as they landed on his shirt collar.
It wasn't until I pointed out the eyesore to him that he simply picked the three grains with his fingers.
Instead of placing them on the tray right before him, he threw it lackadaisically into thin air, having them fall on the floor beside him. At that point, I gave up. I was on the verge of losing it.
"I hope you are still a virgin. You should be; I like you. You look like a good girl, and I know your parents very well. I'm sure they won't have brought up a daughter that opens her legs for men", he said with a silly smirk on his face.
I felt like slapping that silly crooked smile off his face.
I honestly don't blame him. I blame my parents, particularly my mum for doing this matchmaking, arranging for the date and pushing me to go for it.
"Go, he is only seeking a wife to marry and said he is interested in you. A man seeking you out for marriage is a good thing.
"Nke a iru gi di ka nsi, oge a dirozikwa. Marakwa n'oge nwaanyi n'aga aga". Your face looks shitty, you don't have time again, remember a woman's time flies, she said, reminding me for the umpteenth time that I am 27 years and still single.
Ejike, "Ome ego" as the town people call him is well known for his acts of charity in the town. His parents are influential. His dad belongs to the same men's club as my dad, and both are titled men. One could call our relationship with them a family friend relationship.
My mum started working hard to get me interested in the young man immediately he came back from China saying he's looking for a 'beautiful' wife.
"Ejike's mother met me herself. She said you will be good for her son. You are qualified my daughter", my mum said with a noticeable excitement in her voice.
I sighed to myself. What makes her think I'm interested in the whole deal? I'm qualified for what exactly? I was pissed, but I knew that my mum won't let me be. So I agreed to this hellish date.
I watched as this petite man rambled on talking about China and how it is the best place to be and how we Nigerians in Nigeria are suffering. He said we haven't seen the light. He has travelled places and has seen things.
He could have picked one of the beautiful girls out there and marry her, but most of the girls "don't have sense" and have no clue of what it means to be a good wife, he had said.
From all he said, I already knew what his idea of a "good wife" was – a house slave. I lost interest totally, but the part that triggered me more was the part where he asked questions about my virginity.
"Excuse me, but are you a virgin?" I asked him. I was livid but played it cool. I always do an excellent job of controlling my temper.
He laughed out loud. I wondered what was funny.
"What has virginity got...to...to.. to do with me?" he stuttered. "I am a man. We are not the ones that bleed when our purity and virtue is taken away from us".
"Okay, so to be clear, you are not a virgin, but one of your criteria for marrying is that your wife must still have her hymen intact?", I asked. I was sure the disappointment was starting to becloud my face, but for someone who cares less, I'm sure he won't notice.
"Look, I am a man. Sex isn't something we can control easily, and you shouldn't be comparing both genders in this case or asking these sort of questions.
"Today...In this...", he was still stuttering.
"Okay, here is the thing, the society greatly frowns at women having sex before marriage, we both know this", he ended up sputtering.
"No man would want to be associated with a woman who has been with another man and definitely not me".
"Oh, I see. It's nice to meet you. Mr…", I intentionally didn't complete it. It has to be clear to him that I don't give a damn about him.
I just knew my time with him was up; I can't deal anymore. I'd rather go back home and fight it out with my mum than continue sitting here.
"At this point, I have it to call it a day. Good luck with finding your virtues gooood wife", I said, stressing the "good" while picking up my car keys.
He watched with mouth wide open in dramatic surprise as I walked out on him.
That right there is one of the problems of the society, especially in this part of the world. It is a gender-biased society we have here.
Apparently, this and many other reasons is why a colleague wrote: "Being a female in a patriarchal and patrilineal country like Nigeria feels more like being in shackles, due to the ignominy the female gender suffers".
Why should a non-virgin boy demand for a virgin girl? And why is it that nobody asks a man of his virginity status?
For a start, I don't know why people attach much importance to the hymen issue.
It makes it worse that some are not even enlightened about it and have no idea that not all women have that hymen and not all bleed on their first nights. Some other strenuous activity asides sex can make the hymen to tear.
I have heard stories of that causing problem for new couples as the husbands get disappointed when their supposed virgin wives don't bleed on the first night together.
What if she was raped? What if the first time was a mistake? What if it wasn't a mistake either? Should we talk about some ladies that opt for anal sex just to keep the hymen intact?
But, let's not deviate. Let's say that it is a matter of choice, and I like to respect people's choice.
But, what will never make sense to me is demanding for a virgin lady when you are not a virgin yourself. Many men are like that. They go about with that lordish ego of "I am a male and can do whatever I like".
That is absolute nonsense. If you are all about the virginity thing, make sure you are a virgin yourself.
How is it that you can't control the 'thing' between you legs, but you are criticizing someone else for doing exactly the same thing you did? Talk of the height of hypocrisy.
Even the Bible wasn't referring to only one gender when it talked about keeping ourselves before marriage.
So, I don't get where the society and some people get this mentality that it is okay for men to groove around with ladies and then come back to demand virgins when it is time to settle down.
What about the lady you grooved around with? What happens to her?