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9 am, Saturday 14th March. I had just stepped out of the bathroom when my phone rang. It was Joy. “Please sir, I have a serious concern I would like to share with you. Can I have a few minutes of your time? I am not getting any younger, sir. This is the 4th guy who has walked out on me in 2 months. I don’t know if I am cursed, sir. I just don’t understand. I have prayed all the prayers I could, I have fasted, but I don’t understand why men are running away from me.”

I paused for a second. “Joy, you are not cursed, but I can’t tell if you are the cause. I would like to meet with you in my office on Thursday.” I knew Joy very well and I knew exactly what the issues were, but I wanted to be sure if my concerns about her were the same as those of some of the men I had seen her with. So I gave her an appointment for Thursday, giving me a few days to track down one or two of the men I had seen her with and have a chat with them.

I quickly picked up my phone to call Philip. Philip was a programmer who had worked on one of my projects, and he was one of the young men Joy had been complaining about

“Hi Philip, are you free for lunch today?” “Yes, sir,” replied Philip. “Do you want us to meet, sir? Any new project?” “Yes, let’s have lunch. I have some things I would like to discuss with you, not a new project though.”

“Alright, sir. Where shall I meet you?” “Let’s meet at the restaurant near my office at 2 pm. I will be there by 2, sir.”

I was eager to meet with Philip. I wanted to know exactly what the issues were. I knew Joy from a man’s perspective. Joy had a terrible temper and could say very hurtful things when she was angry.

But I wanted to be sure if this was the only issue from another man’s perspective. So I set out to meet Philip at 2 pm.

We got talking over a few things as we enjoyed a well-made Okro Soup with Ugba (oil bean seed).

“Philip, I know you have been seeing Joy. What happened? It looks like you two are no longer together.”

Oh, sir, Joy is a closed chapter in my life. You know I was serious when I met her. I had hopes that our relationship was heading towards marriage.