“Acha, those romance novels lied to us o”

My friend said to me, days ago. Then today, I found a colleague immersed in a novel, smiling dreamily. I snatched the book from her and took a shot.

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A page from the book

When I clocked my teens, I had classmates passing around mills and boons novel, it was hip back then. One person’s novel could have a long queue waiting to read it, some got impatient and we had cases of missing novels.

I read a bit, but in all honesty, not very much. I didn’t have the energy to play hide and seek at home with my mom, who had a very close marking on the kind of books I read. Also, I was called oke library* at home, because on many afternoons, my mother would comb the nooks and crannies of my school, ask all my guardians and school mothers and none would have seen me. I would saunter out of the library later, floating on cloud nine from the well crafted words of Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Mabel, and dearest Buchi Emecheta. I doubt there is a work of african fiction in the library of Queens College that I didn’t read.

I digressed.

But you see, african fiction probably saved me from the heartbreaks of expectations which these romance novels built.

Sometimes, you would travel and return and no, there won’t be one hot sexy half naked husband waiting to kiss you at the door and take off your clothes ever so slowly and gently, moving from your neck, to breasts, to navel, to… Sometimes, there would be a man who will open the door and scream

“Ope o!* ehen, TheBoss, 100watts, Container, come and jump on your mommy, she has come back”

And send you right back into your routine of diaper sniffing and changing, homework perusing, fingernails grooming, etc.

This flower business.

It is not bad and absolutely romantic in everyway, but there will be evenings of superior romance, if that man comes in with Ugu or Nchuanwu* when you are fretting over a pot of soup and realise you bought too little, and that is all that would matter.

I’m switching back to love making, that’s the crux of this, I just used that Ugu to pretend small.

What are your love making goals?

There are couples who this thing have become mere routine to, some women feel like stress relievers to their spouses. People who are expected to part their legs for two minutes without any consideration for their own satisfaction.

This is a far cry from what some of them have read in these books, those handsome strong stallions of a prince, who exude unrivalled expertise at using their mouths, fingers and waists to wreck pleasurable havoc on these women, in some novels, ten times a day.

It becomes unsurprising to find a disconnect between wants, needs, satisfaction and reality.

I read a lovely book years back, with more sex scenes than a story. One thing I took away from the book, was that it was possible to reach orgasm together. Years after, after an internal struggle to, I realised that the writer was simply exploring her ability to craft romance, sex and fiction and I had unconsciously taken some bit of it and kept for reality. The day(s) it happened, it had been amazing, but most importantly,  absolutely without a conscious effort to.

Sometimes, everyone is truly tired and it’s alright to hold hands and sleep. Sometimes, one person is tired or sleepy and gets up in understanding for the other, and sometimes you keep your needs aside and simply love the company. Sometimes, you both tear the sheets apart and raise the roof.  

These things are not a one way street, and the curves are part of the journey, the need to balance those dreamy eyed imaginations with the realities of married living.

Yours,
Achalugo

*oke library – literally, library rat
*ope o- a shout of relief that is masked as thanksgiving, but whoever can decode, knows
*ugu, nchuanwu- Pumpkin leaves, Scent leaves

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