“Hi, are you the new girl here, the new adult?”
“My name is Kamsi not the new girl or new adult and besides I am not new here.”
“My name is Philly, Philadelphia. I was thinking you were new. I always hand in this handbook to anyone who is new, I guess I mix up faces sometimes, sorry to bother you. And if I may ask, what’s the meaning of Kemsy.”
“It is Kamsi, Kamsiyochukwu not Kemsy. I don’t like people calling my name with an English accent, it’s an Igbo name.”
“Oh sorry, Kamsi. So what does it mean?”
“Hahaha”. He laughed “You are just like my sister! Now you are making me believe my meeting you wasn’t a mistake afterall. What do you think?”
Kamsi’s eyes ran through the guy standing before her. He was a complete stranger yet acted nice despite her rudeness. He appeared to have a lot of time on his hands to engage her. Kamsi was known for her verbal skills, she could talk for hours without getting tired or running out of words. But not today, this was not a good time.
“Is Philadelphia not the name of a city in the US?” She simply asked visibly fighting the urge to give him a piece of her mind.
“Oh yes, there’s a city by that name but it also means brotherly love. You can call me Philly. I guess you will be more comfortable with that.”
Kamsi wondered why this guy was engaging her in a conversation. She wasn’t in the best of moods today and besides it was that time of the month.
She had just come out from listening to a monthly pep talk. She did that a lot. Today it was her favourite Motivational speaker Fela Durotoye and as usual he had succeeded in whipping up her emotions. She wondered how these guys were able to consistently sell the world of make-believe to them. They would speak and bring their listeners into a world of fantasy where you could imagine anything, name it and claim it instantly. But once they left the hall and got into the real world, none of all that worked. She always remembered her favorite quote:
“Paint a picture of the future you want to feature for you cannot feature in a future you cannot picture. Always aspire to acquire what you desire and even when it backfires, never retire for you have a Messiah who never gets tired.”
She had been naming and claiming her dream job, she even wrote it and pasted on her wall as they advised and looked at it everyday. The picture of her dream man was well drawn and pasted just beside her dream job with all her specs well written down beside it as well as some positive confessions.
All these she began doing since the very day she left school-that was three years ago! She was neither married nor working at her dream job. She wasn’t even in a relationship.
Despite all these, she still wondered why she came around to listen to them. Perhaps, there was something else she wasn’t doing right or maybe she needed more push. So she consoled herself that she needed to try harder and that it was a good way to burn some of the excess time she had on her hands and still feel good. She was lonely and didn’t have much friends to visit, hence pep talk was a perfect distraction.
“Mi Lady, you aren’t going to tell me the meaning of your name, are you?” Philly asked, jolting her back from her thoughts.
“I am not your lady biko“, Kamsi replied quickly. She was getting irritated by this strangers audacity.
Was he trying to woo her? Do guys still use all those lame lines these days? She wondered as she dismissed the thought. She would never fall for it.
He was nothing like her dream man and besides she already imagined that her dream man would not ask her out on their first meeting. It would be a normal ‘Hello-Hi’ meeting after which they would part and then by what she likes to call ‘divine coincedence’, they would meet again after a week or two and a spark would fly through her stomach. He would offer to give her a lift crack jokes with her on their way and still not ask for her contact. That way, he would get to know her house and then bump in two days later to ask for her contact on his way to work.
He would say “I can’t stop thinking of you, please can I call to check on you?” Then she would play hard to get and ask him to come back in the evening: “Let me think about it to be sure I will be safe.”
She would knowingly leave the house so he would sit in his car and wait for her for about 45 minutes or less, but not more. Then she would show up and apologize for being late. She will be like:
“I am so sorry, I had an important meeting to keep up with and it lasted longer than I anticipated.” And he would reply
“You see why we need to have each others contact, so we could always communicate.”
“OK, you win.” Then She would hand him her phone. “Dial your number on my phone.”
This would be the beginning of her beautiful love story that will end in Happily ever after.
“Hellooo, you seem to be lost in thoughts.” Philly said with his usual patient, good-guy face. “I just asked google and it’s not giving me the meaning of Kamsi.”
Wait, he actually asked google? She smiled to herself.
“I will tell you next time, if we ever get to see.”
“Wow! You are more dramatic than I thought. Can I call you some other time?”
Whew… He failed the test. She secretly thanked God this wasn’t her Prince Charming and instantly dished out her default response.
“Oh no… That wouldn’t be necessary. Thank you.”
Kamsi got an average of two ‘chykers’ per week. At 24, She was at her prime and every good guy wanted her so she devised this simple test to screen out the never-to-be-dated guys: anyone who asked for her contact on their first meeting wasn’t ‘The one’. With this filter, she had screened out a lot of guys and termed them “too desperate.” She would have nothing to do with them, and so far it had worked.
“This is exactly what my sister would say. ” Philly replied.
The way Philly kept comparing her to his sister, she was very certain he was a mama’s boy- too attached to his family and for her, this was a red flag.
Give him two weeks and I would be sounding like his mum already. She thought.
“Well, just so you can go, Kamsiyochukwu is an abridged version of a longer name that means God did it for me the way I asked him to.”
“Oh Wow! Beautiful name I must say. I thought it was only people from the west that bore long names with deep meanings. I mean the Yoruba people.”
“Now you know better.”
“Thanks for teaching me, I enjoyed talking with you this evening.”
“I get that a lot, everyone who talks with me enjoys it.” She replied with an air of pride. “So, what’s it with this new adult thingy you mentioned earlier?”
“Ask google.” Philly smiled, happy he had his chance.
Kamsi couldn’t hide the surprise. One minute he was at her mercy, the next minute the tables were turned.
“Okay, fine. But I finally told you my name didn’t I?”
“Sure, you did. After making me ask google. Anyways, there’s this little handbook I wrote for young adults, just a few tips that are helping me navigate this phase of life.”
“I doubt if I will be interested but I could keep a copy. You never can tell, I might know someone that knows someone that needs it.”
They both laughed as he handed her a piece of paper.
It wasn’t a handbook at all, it was a mere piece of paper, handwritten. She couldnt believe what she saw…