BN Prose: Tall, Dark & Affordable by Bobosteke

dreamstime_l_60446437I watched him as he sat in my living room; the crossed legs, the erect bearing and his aloof mien spoke of breeding that appealed to my heart. I used to think you had to have been born with those carefully distilled aristocratic genes to be able to achieve that look. His long fingers drummed on the arm rest of the settee, looking for the entire world like he owned the place. He had that kind of self-confidence: The sort that immediately commanded his environment but put you at ease with him at the same time. I looked up. His languid look was upon me and I felt that flutter as it slowly warmed my belly. I wondered again for the umpteenth time how someone who-
“I don’t want a sex from you.”
Had he read my mind?
I had stopped flinching long ago. I was used to the way he spoke by now.
“It’s “I don’t want sex from you”. I corrected.
He paused. “Thank you.” He said. “Miss. Yemi, he continued, I don’t want sex from you. Listen up; I studied you for many months so that I can know what’s up. I mean, it doesn’t matter to me if you are dating someone or you are engaged. Until I see say you go church and they put ring on ya finger I can still speak my mind to you. But you don’t want to give me a chance and you know this thing will work. You know.”

I turned away from the tortured look on his face and gave an exasperated chuckle.
I had found someone I wanted to be with only he had come in a very funny looking box.
I met Nnamdi at my Office. He was one of the new Corps Members who had been attached to service our unit. Yes, a Corps Member. One day I looked up from what I was doing and found him staring at me. From hs relaxed pose, I could tell he had been at it for a while. I looked at him askance but his look remained bold and unflinching. I turned away first, feeling a little harassed and confused. This Corps Member that went out of his way to avoid me; that mumbled when I spoke to him; that acted oblivious when we happened to work together. Little did I know that that was the day he had decided he was ready to make his feelings known.

To say that I was shocked is putting it mildly. I spluttered and blinked so many times, it took remembering all I had read in “How to Be a Lady” (by Candace Simpson–Giles) in school not to burst out in hysterical laughter. Of course I was just waiting for him to finish so I could tell him a flat out “No”. I had three professional qualifications, two Master’s Degree, was fluent in 3 languages and had graduated from one of the best Finishing Schools in Belgium. And him, a bloody Corper with the shirt of many colors/patterns’ shirts he liked to wear? Let’s not even go into the two years age difference. But the fervency and self-confidence with which he spoke dared me to. I held his steady gaze and heard myself say, “I would think about it”.

Nnamdi kept up the silent vigil and not so silent ones. Like when I was ill and for some reason he found a way to be stationed in my office throughout the day, watching over me. Like when my Unit decided to go for lunch together and my earring gave way and fell into a puddle of water. Nnamdi bent without pausing to search it out for me. Or when on the day of his CD he called to tell me he made egusi soup and was bringing some over to the office after work for me.

Untill one day, I caught myself thinking about it. I began to look at the man; beyond the badly spoken English, the blinding shirts and the lack of pedigree. It was now my turn to observe him. I watched the way he interacted with other people. The way the motherly ones would light up with smiles when he came around, the way my Unit Head depended on him more and more, often forgetting he was a Corps Member. How the females would preen when he was around; the way the security men would hail and shake his hands. But most of all, I began to observe, how he made me feel and what I learnt humbled me.

I had been of the mistaken thought that my pedigree made me flawless; but all I had to do was to look at Nnamdi for them to shine in glorious impudence.

I sat here now, thinking about the social implications of the decision I had made. He is Igbo and a born hustler. His father was dead and his mom was in the village but very well taken care of. I was well known in my Office and our branches. My solitary life had provided enough fodder for office gossip for years. I wondered what my colleagues would think. Yemi is marrying a Corper?! I could just hear the Head Cleaner Iya Fawaz saying “Ase Corper loma fe gbehin”, making it sound like an act of desperation.

My parents were dead but I was not short of family. My cousins would never recover from the shock. Aunt Anna, who had married into a defunct Russian Aristocracy would surely never invite us for dinner; simply because for her, there was nothing to brag about. Not a Hedge Fund Manager like Susie had; not a Nigerian Senator like Kike. Just a regular hardworking man with Mandilas and Alaba affiliates.

Being Yoruba, there were cultural implications I had to deal with personally. Would I have to tie wrapper and go for women meetings? I once saw him eating eba. The way Nnamdi practically molested the mound had made me want to throw up. If he predeceased me, and I ask this with every sense of responsibility, would I have to cut this natural hair that had taken me years to finally find a rhythm to grow? Then, this habit of bringing “cousins” to live in the house. Hmm…

What happens when corrections begin to wear thin, what happens when we go out in public and he commits some monumental social gaffe? Would my carefree spiritedness be enough to save face? Afurumginaya may not be as potent then.

He moved closer on the couch and I turned to look at him again.
All that is gold does not glitter.

The line came to my mind unbidden and hit me with such truth that I shut my eyes against it. I reached out blindly and laced our fingers together. When I opened my eyes, there were visible tears in the corners of his eyes. “My darling” he murmured as he brought our joined hands to his lips and kissed them tenderly.
I drew in closer and held him tightly. “I’m going to visit my Aunt Anna tomorrow, I started, I want you to come with me”.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

64 Comments on BN Prose: Tall, Dark & Affordable by Bobosteke
  • papermoon February 9, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Yessoooo I know you and i ve enjoyed this…..

  • Doxa February 9, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Bobosteke! I knew you had it in you.
    But err, is this fact or fiction?
    Ahn ahn, this is so touching. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a male colleague and he asked me if I could date a guy with an accent. I said I had dated 2 of such, 1 igbo and 1 yoruba and the accent didn’t bother me.
    Half the guys I have dated were not excellent spellers (ok, that bothered me a bit). But mehn… the heart loves who it loves.
    Kudos Bobosteke & Lara bian

  • Taiwo February 9, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Amazing!!! Good one Bobosteke! Really good.

  • jinkelele February 9, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Nice one.
    Well its prose though….cos in real life that’s a tough one the ‘stunted english’ that is. I wouldn’t mind if we at least had one language we both spoke fluently.

    ‘Sides that character has always melted my heart first, all the rest are just nice accessories.

  • winnie February 9, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Amazing! I really enjoyed it.

  • Wow! February 9, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Wow! Bobosteke! you need to continue this piece, Please! I was enthralled!!

  • Kelechi February 9, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Don’t really know why people looked down on corp members. When I was serving, I already had sth going on, and the way I was ordered around at NIMC office was nothing short of disrespectful. Also there was a lady I wanted to get involved with, but I was just a struggling corp to her. Few weeks later, I met her outside the work zone, I was able to make the much needed impression which she was oblivious to because I wore NYSC uniform. It two about 3 weeks of painstakingly effort to get her on my side, and when she became emotionally intertwine, the tension between us in the work place became conspicuous. The adrenaline rush and cosmo biege riled up. I had a discussion with her on the need to slow down, but her precautious mind believe it was my plan all along to hit and fall back. I guess the point am trying to make is that you will always find reason why he is inadequate because of your pre conditioned fissation on immaterial attributes.

    • Tamedun February 9, 2016 at 10:21 am

      I read the story and enjoyed it, but couldn’t help being baffled at why a Nigerian graduate (which you have to be to undergo NYSC, abi?) had such a poor command of the English language with which he must have received all of his formal education…….
      And sadly, you find this true and common in everyday naija life now.

      Then I read your comment, which I’m guessing you must have written in a hurry and so overlooked some errors, “when she became emotionally intertwine”, “painstakingly effort”, “her precautious mind believe”, “the point am trying”, and you seemed to inadvertently emphasize the problem I had with the story.

      • Dexy February 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

        @Tamedun, you left out “preconditioned fissation” LOL

      • whocares February 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm

        @ Kelechi – Edakun, semi ni mo mo oyinbo so ni? Cosmo biege bi ti bawo? (literally: am I the one that does not hear English again? loool) @Kelechi is what happens when your phone does that red underline thing and makes “helpful” suggestions. Lesson from this? If you don’t know the meaning of the English word biko steer clear of it and just insert your cultural language or use the English you sabi speak. Just #maintainyoureverlastingchampion daz all. looool.

      • Ready February 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm

        You people have no chill. Let the guy flourish na…#JeSuisKelechi

    • February 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Kelechi nwanne m ooooooo. I was just going to ask why a corper would say I don’t want a sex, and then i saw your comment. Lool. After reading your comment my verdict is that your colleague’s reluctance was not solely because you’re a corp member. It is ‘intertwine’ with other things, your grammar for instance. LOL. Just pulling your legs K.

      Beautiful read Bobosteke, I was enthralled!

    • Ada Nnewi February 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      Did she also have an abortion for you?

      • lola February 9, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        Don’t mind that Kelechi speaking rotten English. We will never forget he made a young lady have an abortion. I wonder why he won’t just stay away from BN.

      • The real D February 9, 2016 at 4:56 pm

        BNers no dey forget things ooo…Note to self: you need to be careful what you post on BN. See Kelechi being called out….

      • Mz Socially Awkward… February 9, 2016 at 11:20 pm

        No chill, ohhhhhhhh. ???

        BN’ers!! Abeg, na, pity this bros small… ?

    • Lizzy February 10, 2016 at 11:02 am

      It’s hard to take the comment of someone who casually wrote about making a corper commit abortion last year serious. The lady probably didn’t want to end up like the corper.

  • Dr. N February 9, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I’m just here reeling with laughter
    Meeen! Na my Nna bros u finish so? These yoruba gals, take ya time. Hehehehe

  • Jezebel February 9, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Errr no, just no! This article will just serve to encourage that short, not quite chocolate skin toned, jaga jaga brother in my church to persist in his quest to ask me out! Good luck to all the settlers but that is NOT me.

  • ENIOLA February 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Sweet! 😀

  • LEM February 9, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This was a very good piece! Enjoyed reading it. For me the age gap would have been more of a setback than any other issue.

  • Krasavitsa February 9, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I gave up reading romance novels eons ago but this piece is just wow! Oya do and make it a series already. Can’t wait to see what Aunt Anna will say.

  • Dream on girl February 9, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Dream on girl, it is allowed!

    It is all these fantasiy that keeps a girl from getting married.

    2. Many men go down to marry ladies of no background. Why is it an eish when it is vice versa (very rare though) ?

    Dream on

  • Jojononz February 9, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I totally enjoyed this………..Great job.

  • Layo February 9, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Bobsteke! Great story here, but will I be a wet blanket if I asked you to please get a proof reader before you submit to BN?
    Yes I will be a wet blanket but at least a constructive wet blanket.

  • bgreat February 9, 2016 at 10:29 am

    the heart wants what it wants

  • Magz February 9, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Bobosteke!!!! Nice one… good

  • whocares February 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

    B-steke toh bad. I haven’t read this yet, but I wanted to send some love your way all the same. I will be back to read, and comment in all my prose-like, ‘articuley’ glory (be afraid. lool)

  • Kei February 9, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Great piece!

  • Martinson Oluwaseun February 9, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    well constructed…I think!

  • Kender February 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Lovely piece

  • missChyka February 9, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    This made my morning! The heart loves who it loves. Errrm @Tamedun $ Dexy, please stop. I’m in a class and these kids could think I’m crazy if I continue laughing like this.

  • thechic February 9, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Bobosteke,I could totally relate with the story. well done!!I’m hoping we get to read more from you.I recently met someone i liked,and I badly needed to know our age difference because I suspected I was older and that would be a dealbreaker for me,even though we had just started to talk and nothing more.I found out he is a year my senior and I’m subconsciously baeblocking myself,and this guy hasn’t even asked me out. because according to me,I need an older person.I don’t get what my problem is at all! I’ll need to kick this to the curb,if i would want to be with him. And i’ll need to master some strength to ignore my subconscience. Secondly, how do i get my prose published on bellanaija. i have some work,i would like my bellanaijarians to peruse.

  • Tolu February 9, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Well written!

  • Onyie February 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Bobsteke! This was a very captivating read. I hope you make it into a series so we can find out if she ends up with him or not!

  • Person February 9, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Very well written. I’m currently living this. Not the badly spoken English & the terrible sense of style but someone I out earn 6 to 1. You need patience, lots of it. The male ego thing is real. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

  • Eve February 9, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I love love love this!!! The heart wants what it wants jor… but we are always pressured by our environment. Live, laugh and love life for it is beautiful if we consciously try not to complicate it.
    We should teach our kids same … life is truly beautiful y’all!!!!!

  • Menoword February 9, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Loved this piece Bobosteke…even though my inner cynic is shouting that in 5 years she will send an Aunty Bella letter with the heading “He embarrasses me in public with his poor English and multicoloured shirts”. It was a sweet and very insightful piece. Thank you for sharing

    • Missy February 9, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      On the contrary, I think if he’s as great a man as she puts him out to be and she indeed falls in love with him, she can refine him. Diction and dress sense are far easier to refine in an adult than behaviour. Me thinks she stands a better chance than a Christian sister who wants to ‘convert’ her bad boy.
      Well done Bobosteke. I enjoyed reading this. Not the usual angle. Can’t believe you even got the guy to comment on your post LOL

  • Sisi February 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Love it, brilliant piece

  • nnennaya February 9, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Bobosteke pls do me a favor let me a series plssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss! btw Nnamdi loves this woman he can learn how to speak better its a matter of interest.

  • babythug February 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I have realised now via the hard way(marriage) that it’s safer to stay within your pedigree*, especially as a lady! Believe me the crass part of his character will drive you absolutely mad if you do end up with the fellow!

  • Ready February 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Finish this story, Bobo! Finish it, please!

  • The real D February 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Now to the story at hand. First B & L I clicked on the article first because i saw your name on the article, it is always nice to read from a fellow BNer. The story “tosshhed” something inside of me. God has been working on me and my pride of recent and gosh as He been working.

    Yesterday i had an ah ah moment and then i read this and it buttressed the point even more. I have always believed in greeting the cleaners, the gate man/woman but i did it just to be nice and now i realizing that humility goes further than that, it is knowing the corper, the security man at my office gate and the cleaner are no better than me, I am only where i am because of grace and God’s favor. Same goes for the CEO or VPs of the company I work for, grace and favor has led them there.

    I have come to the realization that this reflects in my interaction/”greetings” i.e greeting to fulfill all niceness righteousness or greeting because i really do know and believe I am no better. God help me!!!

  • me February 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Great read Bobosteke. Many moons ago, my vain, petty self chose a smooth talker over the guy who speaks bad grammar, by the time he was done with me, I realized that there’s gold and there’s gold plated. While I am not asking anyone to settle, if there’s room for improvement and he is willing to learn and he makes you happy, then go for it.

  • Californiabawlar February 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I never read BN prose, but I shall bookmark this one from our very own bobo teke teke a mene ?

    • Lola February 10, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      Wow, you are really missing. The writers are so good.

  • Damseldami February 9, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Hmmmmmm it was as if I told the writter about my relationship wow! This is so me. I was even commenting about it on another article when some people were thinking I was full of my self kmt. The only difference is that my guy is yoruba and I cannot speak yoruba fluently. Damn it’s bloody cold in Greater Manchester! I can’t type well on my phone my hands are numbed!p.s pardon any errors awon monitoring spirits ?

  • Chinma Eke February 9, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Aaawww! This is so nice! Thumbs up bobosteke!

  • Honeycrown February 9, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Brilliant!!! I want more……..Why did you stop?!? Please tell us what happened next. Thank you in advance ?

  • Mz Socially Awkward… February 9, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Bobosteke! ??

    Well done, luv and it’s good to see you taking pen to paper. Hopefully, you’ll be doing more of this… ?

  • Mzphunby February 9, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Ds is soo ‘torsshing’.. I loveeeeeeeeeee it!

  • chi-e-z February 10, 2016 at 1:22 am

    aww 🙂

  • Nkem February 10, 2016 at 4:19 am


  • TeeTee February 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    What is with the disrespect to corpers? Why are they looked down on? Is every Nigerian who is a graduate not required to complete the program? Or is there a special corper program for those of esteemed backgrounds? I am asking ni o as I always hear of this disrespect. I’m seriously confused as to why being a corper is a bad thing? A corper with bad grammar is one thing but a corper in general…biko, why?

    BTW – Lovely read and I know a true life story with the general gist behind this story. She tushed her bobo up and he was receptive. He proudly tells anyone that will listen – she taught him to speak properly, chew without smacking and so much more. They’ve been married over 10 years.

  • el patron February 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    good job… funny piece was lmao especially the part about the Head Cleaner Iya Fawaz saying “Ase Corper loma fe gbehin….
    but she’s loving with her heart not her head. mehn the arrangement is great for the dude but bad for the babe..
    probably she’s going to be the best thing to happen to the guy’s life..i don’t know what she’s wants but I don’t think he’s the right one.
    and this write up brings to mind Williams last post about feminism..

  • ella cha cha February 10, 2016 at 11:10 pm


  • Lola February 10, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    THIS is an amazing piece, I enjoyed reading every bit of it. Well done

  • PIZZLE February 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Bobosteke you got my mind spinning with this piece. Nice write-up.

  • dex February 27, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    My dear, u read my mind, thus guy is always notorious for this kind of story…oga hit and run. Remember your other story dt revolved around the statement above, al in this same service year ….

  • dex February 27, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Wonderful story….bobosteke weldone, I look out for more writing from you

  • Martha Ako April 13, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I didn’t want it to end. I need the continuation oo. Poor English is a turn off for me. But u can help the person improve on their accent and English if u really love them. That should be no barrier. I enjoyed this well well

  • lulu April 28, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Interesting, I can totally relate – when you find yourself having reasons to reason someone you reason is not in your… lol
    In other news, I have stories I’ld love to share; how do I post on bn prose?

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