”You do not fall for your best friend. They are a cake you can neither have nor eat.”
Like a mass of beautiful darkness, it stood on her head like a defiant soldier. Its strands stubborn and deliberate. Her hair. It was my favorite thing about her. Jael’s hair was a statement by itself. The kind of hair that you patent. However, do not dwell on that. Men are drawn by different things to a woman. It can even be her toe nails. For me, it was those soft and silky strands on her head.
I could explicitly describe how firm and upright the mangoes on her chest were and how the future behind her shone with blinding brightness but I run the risk of being branded a pervert. I was supposed to be her best friend. But here is the truth. At the end of the day, I am but flesh and bone. A simple man who likes to indulge his baser senses. And so, when a girl is fine, she is fine. Thank you. That much I can notice, and acknowledge. And I noticed that Jael was curvy. A real girl with sufficient meat in her bones. Temptation on two functional legs waiting to happen.
I thought I was playing my cards well. That I would strike when the iron is hot. I convinced myself that those other men were having a momentary laugh but I, my mother’s son, would have the last laugh. And when that moment came, I’d make it loud enough- the laughter. Thunderous even. But here is the painful truth. When you make the grave mistake of falling in love with your best friend, there never is a time when the iron is hot enough to be stricken. Or even, there is no fire to heat the iron in some instances. Take a good look at me, a living testimony of all that is impossible when it comes to loving your best friend. (self-deprecating laugh)
I bet we are all aware of the kind of influence those parliament blue suits have on our ladies. Aren’t we? So, you would understand me when I tell you that every time I got close, so very close to asking her out, another fellow with a parliament blue suit would waltz in and snatch the meat right off my mouth. Won’t you? And I… well, I’d be left feeling a little less of a man each time. Yet, as you might have heard my praises being sang in the hills; I truly am a patient man. Resilience is my maiden name. Therefore, I could stand in this queue for as long as a century to get my laugh with this perfect girl.
At this point, I should probably clarify one thing. I am not that woyee guy most of you are envisioning in your minds. If my mother’s compliments are anything to go buy, I am a male model whose talent is yet to be tapped. But then again, every mother thinks their son is very handsome. So, let us simply agree that I am a man well-endowed in every aspect that your imagination chooses to cover. How else could we explain the once-overs I get from women when walking down the street? As for my pockets, leave them alone. I am a work in progress. Why don’t we just let the good God keep fighting for me?
There are many of us out there. Silent, tortured souls who have been forced to fold their limbs and fit in the friend zone. These wonderful women do not seem to understand that every other time they call us bro, we die a little more on the inside. Our bones rot within us. Our intestines shrivel from constantly having to swallow back our lines before they can get to see the light of day. Just like me, you probably are a grown ass man with a good number of siblings and hell lot of brothers and sisters in and outside Christ. So really, one thing you’ve got in plenty is brotherly love. But she never sees that. Girls never see that.
Then again, that girl Jael is complicated. She goes from calling me the marking scheme when it comes to men in one breath and reduces me to a mere brother in her next. ‘Whoever will marry you Tom will be lucky.’ She often says. Tom is my name, by the way. I did not mention that earlier because I tend to imagine that my parents gave me that name as a joke. A horrible joke that is stuck with me for life. I digress. When Jael says that whoever will marry me will be lucky, what does she mean? I know she probably says it as a compliment but it sure doesn’t feel so to me. Why can’t she see that I want her to be that woman? My woman. Not some family friend whose kids will be playing with mine during the weekend outs somewhere in the unforeseeable future.
Sometimes she says stuff. Annoying stuff like, ‘I wish all men were like you.’ Tell me, is it me who never understands Jael or does she just go from calling me the damn marking scheme to blatantly rejecting my advances? I just wish she’d look at me as a man; Strong. African. and Desirable. I just want her to look at my shoulders the same way she looks at those others. With that raw, hungry look in her eyes. I want to be desirable to her. Not just a miserable bro who keeps her company as she waits for her dates to arrive. Her dates who are ever running late.
Over time, I am accepting that the iron will never be hot enough for me to strike. So, you can understand when I tell you that I have a girlfriend at the moment. And today, on this slow evening, I sit on a swing watching the sunset with a her. The girl who with the mass of beard on my face still calls me ‘baby’. Maybe I should educate you folks a little. There is a difference when your girl calls you ‘baby’ and when she calls you ‘babe’. ‘baby’ sounds really good to my adult ears. Or maybe the difference just exists in my mind. Whatever the case, life has put me through a lot, kindly let me be baby-ied by Teryl in peace.
Teryl is a simple girl. Easy to please and loves to watch the sunset. I always accompany her to watch the sunset even though I’ve never understood what she finds so mesmerizing about it. Frankly, unless I am taking pictures, I’d rather cuddle on the couch in the evenings than spend the whole time slapping away mosquitoes as I seem to be doing right now. But I care about Teryl, and that care extends to her love for sunsets. And her hair smells so good. Something like lavender. Or orchids. Therefore, I let her watch the sunset and I sniff her hair in return. As you can see, I am not totally clueless in matters-boyfriend. I am trying.
Really, I am.
However, every time this girl looks up and smiles at me, I cannot help but feel like a jerk all over again. I mean, look at her. She really is a beautiful girl. Perfection personified. This girl is any man’s dream. And much as you might hate me for saying this, if paraded before most men, Jael would easily pale in comparison to this beauty called Teryl. If only I could get Jael out of my mind. Jael with the good hair. Jael who loves men in parliament blue suits. Jael who calls me bro.
Jael who does not see that I can also slay in those parliament blue suits. Jael who does not see a lot of things in me.
She is a cake I can’t have.