John Tekle must die

Continued from earlier…………

I hate anything sour, bitter and acidic. I don’t really delight in sweets either. But on any given day, I would gladly choose sweets over bitter, sour or the likes. I think this is the main reason I befriended John Tekle, because I know that rotten apples taste sweeter -it was mainly a question of my taste buds, nothing more or less. If I may say so, John Tekle is a pathetic excuse for a human being and needs to be avoided at all costs-not to be befriended under any circumstances- even if your taste buds can’t stand sour and bitter.

What amused me most was the fact that all the other girls agreed to discuss ‘John Tekle’ including any other issues of men in general out in the open. Have I gone mad or is this just insane? Since when do Habesha exes team up against a man, who obviously was playing dirty games and tricks? For me it was like watching a Habesha version of  the Hollywood movie “John Tucker must die” all over again, R-rated and unabridged. Only this time with a slight change in context here and there, and surely the last name is ‘Tekle’ not the famous ,’Tucker’, but regardless it is still a John.

“I want to know how John operates so that I and others can avoid being a victim of another Tekle or Tucker in the future.” She told me between her lunch bites, I had forgotten all about the time difference between the two states.

“Let it go. Forget and forgive. He isn’t worthy of your time and effort. Focus on your new boyfriend.”  I advised her. I was trying to sound cool and composed to the guy who was walking so close by and doing the worst attempt of eavesdropping.

She giggled and asked me if I have a company around. What I like about this girl is that she is so quick and witty. I have no idea how she would fall for a Tekle or a Tucker.

“We decided to be good friends. He is my friend. I have forgiven him but I can’t let him continue on his mission to play with others’ emotions. That is why I am making a fool of myself by trying to reach out to the others who are also involved with him and openly talking about the nature of our relationships with him.  I believe there is a healing, a cure and preventive methods in conversing.”  Her determination deserves a standing ovation but the little selfish me still thinks that forgetting him and moving on is the best remedy for this little situation. Let the other girls who would meet him in the future know him for who he truly is on their own without any sort of guidance from the exes. It is their lives, choices, preferences and matter of taste to be associated with such a person.  We should respect their choices and rights.

“Do you know why I hate breakup songs or songs that are sung to express one’s dying feeling over the other?” I asked her randomly. She giggled and said she doesn’t know the reason. “It is because it is a waste of time, effort and emotion. If you are over someone, then it is over. Why would anyone sing a song of breakup with ridiculous lyrics that goes like….’your smile,I am over it. Your touch, I am over it. I am over it…..bla bla’?”  She couldn’t help but laugh.

“You are one tough cookie, Fiammetta.” She was still laughing as she dropped me a compliment.

In her attempt to write the yellow directory, the new weirdo in my life, is trying to bring together all the women in this man’s life; both his friends, his lovers and a third section of  what he usually refers to as his ‘cousins’. According to her, Habesha men think that Habesha women don’t confide in friends or relatives or exes about their  affairs with a man thus giving the man the freedom to play his amateur Don Juan games while he strings along many women at once.  Habesha men are at liberty to do whatever they want because they know that Habesha exes lack the tradition of maintaining a civil relationship among themselves. One thing that intrigued me most when I came to the United States was the experience I had in sharing a table with two women who had a deep relationship with the same man. One was his high school sweetheart and the other his wife. I remember having an indigestion from the shock of the whole experience and the novelty of the norm of discussing a certain man and the nature of the relationship openly with other women who have had shared his life with him at one time in life. I have prided myself in being unconventional and yet I couldn’t comprehend this concept nor were I able to accept it.   It is still hard for me to picture Habesha exes sitting together and conversing the nature of their relationship openly with the other women in a certain man’s love life. Can you?

This girl, however,  wants to challenge this custom and  wants to talk about it openly and honestly.  Well, I really feel sorry for John Tekle for he seems to have a taste in weird and smart women, but can a woman be smart and actively dating at the same time?  I have lived in a foggy hypnosis till now, hypnotizing myself to believe that I am a smart woman. But sometimes I think that smart woman is just another oxymoron- they can’t both exist as an adjective and a noun together. I mean every woman ceases to be smart when she meets a man. It is like men feed on our smartness and as women, we,  can’t be smart and be in love at the same time. It is like we have to choose one. I have never seen a smart woman in love to this day, if anyone claims they have or they are, I suggest they be honest to themselves just for a split second’s moment and smell the coffee. In the end we all are fools when it comes to love, at least those section of us who blindly and blissfully believe that love is a blind, sarcastic dictator who plays dark jokes on its victims.  Once too many times I have heard love being referred to as a disease, often I have been asked what the symptoms of love are, I neglected to provide the persons with an answer for the fear that I might murder their already sick, weak and bedridden image of love in their heads. I should have advised them to get an antibiotic or vaccine shot against the pink fever of love. I have always assumed that if love is indeed a disease, its fever would be referred to as ‘a pink fever’.

Frankly speaking the stories she has gathered so far have shocked me a bit, apparently he seemed to be copy-pasting the same messages to all the women in his life, including those close and distant ‘cousins’ of his. And what he confided in me as a secret naturally was not a secret anymore, for he has told every other woman in his life the same stories swearing each and every one of us for secrecy  and making us feel somehow special. The story of the first ex was just mind-blowing and nothing like it was reported to me by him. Clever of him to omit some important details and incidents that eventually led to their breakup.

I got to give it to him though, he is really good. In fact very good that he made me want to recruit him into the 007 mission and make him the Habesha version of James Bond. But again I shouldn’t admire him that much for he was beat by the very girl he deceived.  Apparently, he was no match for her. He is playing the game she wants him to play, he is her puppet and she is his master. He is her guinea pig and she is the scientist. He is no longer the master of the game, just one of the players. I salute this girl. Another big check. It is about time John Tekle must die. So as I declined her offer to join the Exes Club, I threw my empty cup in the trash bin with one hand while I checked my beeping phone on the other hand. It was a message from John Tekle,  as I started to read it to her, her phone also buzzed carrying the same message, including the exact typo comma before a full stop at the end of his message.

We laughed a lot, but I know it didn’t reach our hearts. No woman easily comes into terms with betrayal, big or small, but we accepted it with grace this time. As we exchanged our byes for that moment we promised to continue the conversation when she gets off work.

Late in the evening, however shed a different light on my decision to join the girls in the conference call they had prepared. The last thing I want to do is waste my time on a sleazy creature like him, and after examining my heart I found out that I was never emotionally involved while talking to ‘Wedi Tekle’, I am not about to get involved now. I texted her back saying I am not one of his exes for I never was in relationship with him to begin with. We were just friends. I advised her to collect her data as soon as possible without wasting her precious time and effort on him and to rush on writing her book or manual. I reminded her that I would always be her cheerleader and number one fan at the front row of her book signing event when she publishes a manual that exposes the dirty tricks and works of the Habesha John Tekle and his American cousin John Tucker. I concluded my message with a promise to write an article about her, the others and the fateful get together concluding my message with emoji of a hug and kisses.

I sat down at my favorite bistro in Harlem that overlooks a metro station entrance and opened my laptop. I love the atmosphere, the vibe and the activities near the entrance. I could feel my hands shaking with excitement to jot down the strange things that has unfolded earlier,  for a moment there, I thought my whole body was shaking with excitement but it was only from the effect of the vibration of the number 2 or 3 trains that was passing by.

I knew what I wanted to name the article, so I typed the headline  with bold, Georgia font and eighteen font size.

“John Tekle must die…..”

John Tekle must die

I am not easily impressed. However, anyone or anything for that matter, that possesses a strange, weird, unique or perhaps eccentric qualities intrigue and hook me without trying so much. I often fall in love with the ugly ducklings and befriend the outcasts, cheer the underdogs and read all the unpopular books in the shelves covered with dust. Strange occurrences, adventures and dramas unfolding in my life are almost an everyday happening. Perhaps because I welcome them with open hands. So getting the most strangest text from a strange woman one morning was not an epic incident to marvel about in my life.

The text goes like this:

“Fiammetta, you don’t know me but I do. This is my Facebook profile and I have sent you a request but please don’t add me yet. I want to tell you something before we become friends.”

All my curious cells were rushing and scrambling over like the rush on a Black Friday Sale when all the crazy shoppers abandon all the rules and senses of civility and bring forth their boorish human nature from the days of the jungles.  I was in a middle of a deadline but I couldn’t contain myself anymore and succumbed to the temptation of  a prospect of juicy gossip. Her profile picture was not unfamiliar to me,  I remembered hearing a story about her from someone and something told me it was the moment of truth and that she was about to drop a bomb and leave. I like a woman of such courage.

“I have heard about you. I hope all is well with you. Anything I can help with?” I typed back real quick; hoping, wishing and praying she would be free to talk and would sate my thirst for breaking news.  Sure enough, I can see her typing back.

“Can I call you now? May I have your number?” She texted back. I noticed her politeness, another check alongside her name.

I released a sigh of relief. Decided to take my coffee break as I typed down my number for her and headed to the door. But even the curious me had to count to three before I picked up the phone, I didn’t want to come off as desperate loony who welcomes talking to strangers.

She is a bundle of surprises, that woman, and a bit too friendly for my taste. Nevertheless, it seems that my weirdness has actually found a match. Another check mark.

She greeted me as if I were her best friend she just talked last night before she went to bed. Her nonchalance approach towards breaking the ice threw me off guard. I blinked several times before I could find my voice again. After filling me in about her day and the guy she is dating these days, which I thought was something you would talk about in an about two-months acquaintance or over, she jumped to the main subject of her call and the reason behind that weird and secretive message she sent me on my FB account.

I smiled.

I tried to frown for a second but I smiled. I kept on smiling till the guy behind the counter at the Starbucks thinks I am hitting on him. But he also would  be smiling if he were on the phone with this girl.

After narrating a helluva story that belittles one of the Danielle Steel’s books, no offense here, but I don’t read Danielle Steel. Well, in all fairness, I tried to read her books at one time as it seemed that every girl from Asmara has to read her book or she is un-dateble  or not considered a girl. I tried really hard to finish one of her books and proceeded to a second one but it felt like I was rereading the first book. It was too predictable and smells like a fiction. I mean I love books that make me forget their fictional nature and at the same time remind me of the reality in my nature. I almost gave up my passion for books because of this woman, not to mention my hope of dating. Dating wasn’t worth the hassle of reading Danielle Steel. Fiammetta, having a thin-layered patience,  gave up.

Getting back to the nitty-gritty,  I think I attract only the weirdos. No offense dear friends and acquaintances but it also has been said that ‘it takes one to know one’ and by deductive reasoning, you all are weirdos for befriending the epitome of weirdness-yours truly me; but I treasure your friendships with all the weirdness in me. After filling me  in with all the stories she heard from him about his previous relationships and the recent ones,  this newest weirdo in my life wants to meet all the women who have dated this guy and come up with a yellow page directory on how to avoid being one of his preys if I may choose the correct word.

Wait a minute. Did I hear her right? Did she propose to open ‘The Exes Club’? I choked on my Caramel Ribbon. I could feel all those crazy cells rushing back to their places, now that the Black Friday Sale is over they are getting ready for the Cyber Monday Sale.

She was giggling. I wiped my nose and mouth with a napkin as I tried to hold my drink with my left hand and sit on the stool in front of me.  She was still giggling. Maybe her ultimate dark goal is to kill me and erase everyone else who has dated this guy. They say love makes you do all the crazy things, like drinking a poison that is supposed to make you go into a deep sleep till your lover gallops over from the nearest city, or kill yourself with your sword because your lover is supposedly dead from a poison that sent her to a dreamland and conveniently the priest who orchestrated this whole drama was stuck in a traffic jam and forgot to text you or leave you a note that says, ‘Romeo, Juliet isn’t dead. She is actually sleeping. I will fill you in when we meet later on. So for now just wait by her side till she wakes up.”  This stupid love makes you jump into a conclusion and you end up doing all these things that are conceptually crazy.

I cleared my throat, to clear my head from the train of thoughts it was following and to stop her from her silly giggles. She apologized but I could tell she wasn’t really sorry. I smiled, this girl reminds me of someone from a very long time. I see my old self in her; not my future self but my past self……maybe she saw her future self in me.

“I have contacted two other girls, one from his previous relationship and one from his recent…..” She trailed in her sentence, I think she was contemplating her next words or questioning her unplanned and impulsive idea. “He used to tell me about you. Of course, he would omit some things and say you are a close friend.” Suddenly the cheerful girl was gone and she sounded a woman with deep scars.

It was my time to giggle now. Not because she was hurting but because I was very much close to becoming one of his preys. I giggled in thankfulness mingled with relief.  This caged bird has learned to soar and fly high.

“I was never his girl and I will never be his. I dislike men without any essence and sincerity.” I said between sips of my frappuccino. I have to finish my drink real quick and jump back to work. I had forgotten all about my work and stayed out longer than advisable.

To be continued……