• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Between Ebere and Ebele – A gentle war of the sexes

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 Women are just trying to free themselves from the tight grip of men and for me; that sooner will be achieved.’

‘Aren’t you skating close to a dangerous path, Ebere?’ I asked, feeling a bit uncomfortable and a bit concerned, especially with the presence of a lady. I thought such discussion was for men’s roundtable. Not with a single woman around.

‘That’s what we have been at for the past five minutes,’ Ebere informed. ‘Meanwhile, feel free to make your contribution to the discussion, Tony, and maybe I should say Ebele has been my friend since childhood; we both pulled out of the gutter together through consistency of efforts and determination and have remained friends.’ I didn’t realise I gave him a look that spelt doubt. ‘Yes, I know you won’t believe me but all the same you are like the others… you all think we do things between the sheets. Some relationships are better platonic.’

‘Oh, shut up, Ebere.’ It was an ounce less than a scream. ‘Besides, he likes taking backward glances and I have often reminded him that the journey ahead is more important.’

‘Methinks past journeys only prepare us for the future ones, sort of steeling us up for them,’ I contributed.

‘I don’t believe that women are under the clutching grip of any man but rather it’s the other way for the guiles of women are of the best sort – they constantly win whilst wearing the losers face,’ Ebere informed, looking at the glass of lager in front of him.

‘We are in it but it would soon be in the past,’ Ebele stressed.

‘The hardest task on earth is getting or making the money and that one is reserved for the men, see,’ Ebere pointed out.

‘Women are walking up that ladder and it’s with much ease these days,’ Ebele contributed. ‘And, I hope more men will take up the thankless task of keeping the home front sane.’

‘In the office, they get all the promotions but they do less of the tasks, all to their cunning – manipulating those skirt-sniffing bosses,’ Ebere pointed out.

‘That isn’t true,’ Ebele countered. ‘They do their fair bit all the time.’

‘I made up my mind about half a decade ago to stay off the wooing or “toasting” game for it dawned on me that I do all the job of getting her in and spending my hard-earned cash on her,’ Ebere said, sipping from his glass of beer. ‘I am even asked to do more when we are between the sheets and then be made to part with my money in the end,’ he added. A huge mischievous laugh escaped his lips.

A few words were traded. Some uncharitable, maybe unprintable. I had gone off the vicinity. My mind was nesting on the next task for me. A smile wrestled off the worry that previously sat on my face. I felt my next assignment would fetch for me some happiness – the real and only essence of our lives in this world.

‘Oh, you shut up.’ It was from Ebele.

I did not know what was exchanged between both of them, friends, but her raised voice was enough to give me a ride back to that moment. I looked bemused. The fun would have left if not for the fact that I caught a smile on Ebere’s face.

‘Tony, I am sorry,’ Ebele offered me. I felt a bit queasy, honestly. ‘Ebere is my best friend, not my clones, and as such both of us are allowed to have some differences in opinions, you know.’

‘I know, but I was thinking it should never get to this extent,’ I called.

‘Never mind, everything is ok,’ Ebere assured, patting Ebele on her back. ‘And, you, Tony, what do you really think about women?’ he threw at me.

‘Hmmm,’ I droned. A few seconds flew by. Ebele seemed more interested in my thought. A few more seconds went by. Suspense reigned but it was short. ‘Well, I think both of the sexes are different sides of the same coin… In fact, your names remind me of the difference, minute but significant, and I have my doubt if any of the sexes is a bit part player in this movie-theatre called life,’ I answered.

 

Great,’ Ebele urged me on, smiling.

‘Both are lead-characters in it and they need each other.’

‘You haven’t changed a bit,’ Ebere pointed out. ‘Saying so much with so little,’ he added. Ebele sat, chuckling, covering her mouth.

‘That’s what I think of the sexes…this war didn’t start at this table and it won’t end here… it was before us and it would remain even after us.’

‘Wait a minute!’ Ebere screamed. ‘We are in soup, we are in the press!’ he shouted.

‘How do you mean?’ Ebele asked.

‘Oh, my God! This conversation will be read by all in the paper on Friday,’ he announced. He seemed a bit bothered. Genuinely.

‘Really?’ Ebele let out a soft scream, looking at me.

‘Tony runs a column with a newspaper,’ Ebere informed.

‘Please, don’t include our names, our surnames,’ Ebele pleaded. ‘There are many Ebeles in this world.’

‘There are many Eberes too,’ my friend added, before he offered to pay for my malt drink.

Minutes later, they left. I wondered who came off worse in this history-steeped battle. Honest communication between the sexes might help and a bit of trade-off, as in exchange.

I recalled what one of my numerous teachers once told me: ‘It is not the sex that makes the individual; it is the individual that makes the sex.’ In many ways, I thought he was right. The individual in us can help us with definition. Humans are not entirely biological. There’s more. What do you think? 

 

Tony Monye