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Finding Claire 7
Finding Claire 7

Finding Claire Ep.7 – Pause

“Why are you so unforgiving?”

The words hit Claire like a slap. She flinched. Looked up from doodling to find a female corper eyeballing her five feet away. Hands akimbo, she was the latest in a posse of emissaries in the two weeks since Claire had walked into Fola having sex with his neighbour. 

Claire assessed the other woman in a lazy head to toe. It was reflexive behaviour since Sewa had proclaimed that fuglies do fugly. It was hilarious to think, but they had realised there was truth to it. Fugly people were conventionally not-beautiful, poor, or lacking self love. They had low self-worth, had little to lose, and acted out. The specimen brimming with aggressive energy opposite Claire was beautiful. She also had curves that announced themselves despite the straight white tshirt and khaki trousers. That left…

“You can have him”


The other corper’s glabella furrowed and she blinked too many times.  

“What did you just say?”

“You can have Fola. That’s what this is really about; isn’t it?”

“I didn’t say I want to date your boyfriend. I only asked why you’re so unforgiving!”

“Okay. What’s your business with how I don’t forgive… my boyfriend?

Claire was patronising. Voice low. Words pronounced slowly. There were few things she disliked more than stupid people butting into her business or acting like everyone else was stupid. 

“I just…”

Claire’s brows and cheeks raised in faux smile, encouraging that the lady express whatever silliness had prompted her attack.

“See, we are women. Men will be men. If you don’t give him sex, what did you expect?”

Claire laughed. 

“Men will be…”

Trying to repeat the words emphasised their hilarity. Till she was clutching her stomach and her eyes were leaking. 

“I’m sorry… Naah. I’m not sorry.”

She rose. Approached the other lady. 

“Help me understand. Men need sex; yes?”

“YES! It’s like food for them”

“Okay. So, if a man is starving and there are places to eat; why is he begging to stay where he is starved?”

The other lady looked confused, so Claire elaborated.

“Let’s imagine you come to eat in my restaurant. I say there’s no food, and you should go somewhere else. Will you sit and starve, or go somewhere else?” 

“But you did not say he should go from your real mind”

Claire chuckled.

“I did. I don’t keep people whose timing and mine don’t align.”

The other woman frowned. Gaped like she was confronted with an alien. 

Fola was handsome. Generous. From a rich family. Why was this girl unwilling to stick with such a prime guy? Did she think herself better than other girls?

“You realise not every guy is Fola; right? You might not get one like him again”

Claire’s lips pursed. Tilted left and upwards. 

“I’m banking on exactly that”

She held the other lady’s eyes as she said the words. Cocked her head in mock salute. 

“I hope you know…”

“You can have him. Please. It’s not by force and I don’t want!”

Claire slid her tab into her rucksack. Walked past the other woman and towards the road. Her human-o-meter was depleted. 

Not for the first time, she pondered the propaganda of incompetent, undisciplined masculinity. The irony that males were declared leaders while expected to lack integrity, and virtuous submission imposed on females. 

“All this attitude, just because I haven’t told our parents. See you in Lagos, Mrs. Claire Adenifuja to-be!”

Fola’s announcement froze Claire- and the entire NYSC secretariat. 

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