It was a fleeting impulse. Plus it was dark and cold too. One of those nights when having someone to hold a brilliant literary conversation with would make a golden moment. Adetutu lay in her bed, headphones on, listening to this ‘meet up’ show on radio; at first, with mock interest. She had never really been a fan of those shows, because they just didn’t seem well planned enough to yield something worthwhile.
There were two presenters on there, one male, one female. The man kept pronouncing ‘really’ as ‘re-ally’ stressing the name like you would pronounce it in ‘reality’, and the woman just seemed to be trying too hard. But Mr Re- ally had a lovely voice.
Adetutu had always wondered if it was okay to meet up with a total stranger through a radio program. Safety issues aside, there was ego to worry about. What would it look like if she sent in a message asking for a Tall Black Handsome dude, with enough cash and kissable lips, only to have her number read out to listeners that knew her at work? Gah! It would be embarrassing and ego shattering. Plus, it was just pointless, low- meaning, desperate, and cheap, she concluded! But again, it was a fleeting impulse on a cold dark night, and so, she picked up her phone and sent a message to the radio station.
“Gargantuan: Hello presenters! ‘m a female writer, and ‘m in Ogun State for a while. I could use some witty, intellectual, humorous and fun company. Preferably, working class male and a writer too (she thought to include female but what if they thought she was a lesbian? So she settled for male, even though all she really needed was some fun company either way). He should be eloquent and almost as talkative as me. He can call Tutu on 08055926255. No night calls please.”
As she lay in wait for her message to be read, she realised she had sent the message to the wrong code. And under yet another impulsive push, she resent the message; this time, to the right code.
Thirty minutes after, her text was read, startling her from her half- sleep mode. In a second, her eyes flew wide open, as a smile crossed her lips. She liked being read.
“Hello Presenters…” he began, “I am a female writer, and…” he seemed to struggle there for a second. Common! She urged, “and I have been in Ogun State for a while…” what?! Quickly, she went in search of her text and fumed at his attempt to rape her text! I meant I’ll be in Ogun for a while, not I have been, Stupid! she thought to herself. He continued reading anyway. “I could use some witty, intellectual, humorous and fun company. Preferably working class male, and a writer too. Should be eloquent and almost as talkative as me…” they both laughed at that.
“Whao! Tutu will sure make one hell of an interesting personality,” he said, and that warmed her heart as she broke into a chuckle herself, momentarily forgetting his earlier blunder. “Okay, Tutu is a writer and she re-ally needs…”
Oh dang, not again Mr Re-ally mhan! I don’t need, she thought in disgust, that’s the height of desperation!
“… a witty, intellectual, talkative as herself. You can call her on 08055926255.”
He had barely read the number out when her phone started buzzing with rage. Call after call, number after number, message after message. She checked her wristwatch, it was 11:30pm. So this is what it feels like with this radio thing? she thought in surprise. Gah! Impulsively, she picked one of the random calls.
“‘ello” came the h- factored voice on the other end, from where she could hear the gentle hum of Mr Re-ally’s voice on a radio set. He sounded like an Emeka, with a funkified Yoruba accent.
“Hi.” she managed. He couldn’t be the writer friend she craved, she concluded in her mind unexcitedly but held on with thoughts that he might prove her wrong.
“Hiyam Tunji, and hiyam hay writer.” Nur way! She cut the call in a swift move.
More calls. She picked another random one.
“Hi. Please, am I on to Tutu?” hm! A breath of fresh air, she thought, and a possible prospect too. His voice was errrm, sexy.
“Hi again. So Errr, ‘m based in Lagos…”
Damn! Did these people ever listen at all? She mused angrily. Little wonder they started calling even before Mr Re-ally finished reading the message. “Surely, you failed to listen to the requirements,” she responded, clearly disgusted.
“Err… Okay, so you want someone based in Ogun ba?” Tschhhew! She clicked the phone off a second time. So he needed her to give him her specifications again, when he could have just taken his sweet time to listen.
A text message followed. “Are you bewaring of my own loquacity and garulousness lady? Let see if u are surpassed me.” It looked more Spanish than Chinese, but that so could not be English, she thought in disgust. Damn!
It was sad. She hated that the process had proven her right, and more, that her privacy would most likely, henceforth be invaded by unscrupulous, impatient, desperate creatures who could not even abide by simple well- defined instructions as much as keep a relationship.
In the midst of her thoughts, she realised, that the failure of the radio meet-ups weren’t as much a problem of the organisers as of the listeners themselves, who failed to listen, but only heard. Indeed, the process could be worthwhile, and even fairer, with even chances of success if everyone took their time to listen to each person’s needs and responded to only those that synced with theirs, rather than choose to muddle fate with their own ill attitude to life and basic things like love. It was sad.
Her phone had been on silent for a while. She picked it then, to check the time again. While she noted it was just fifteen minutes downside midnight, she couldn’t miss the 55 missed calls that plagued the screen of her phone. Another one was coming in now. She stared at the number hard, and thought to give fate and common sense one more chance that night before resigning to sleep, so she picked it with an impatient and tired sigh.
“Hey. The day is barely over and you’re sighing like that?” hm! Humour. She liked. She smiled a bit.
“Lovely voice, but not as talkative as promised. Tiredness must be an asshole.” She almost asked that he caution his words, but jeez, he was funny. She laughed then.
“Okay, so for starters, ‘re you working class?”
“Yup. A fashionable, and sassy one too.”
She laughed again. “Good point, but barely needed. You stay in Ogun?”
“Yup to that too. Err, can I…?”
“One more thing,” she cut in “do you write?”
“Errr… not re-ally…” No way! Re- ally? Like Mr Re-ally?
“Hold up! Is this…” she hummed a bit as she tried to remember the name his co-presenter called him… “Yes! Is this Subomi from Gargantuan?”
“Errr… Hopefully, it isn’t a crime yet, to use your own product for yourself?”
Now, she really laughed. “I guess not. No wonder. Too much fresh air, I was certain someone must have left the loovers open.” she teased.
And he laughed. The chat went on a little much longer, after which they bade their farewells and promised to talk better the next day.
That was a really sexy chance, too much breath of fresh air, and maybe a sign of hope, that some people did listen rather than just hear, the needs of people out there; and made sure to only follow up on those ones that they could meet and were sure would meet theirs too. Something about double coincidence of needs? It is only fair, she thought. Because in the end of it all, the winner is never the one that fought most, but the one that paid the most attention to the minutest details.