Not all that glitters is gold…whenever she had to deal with a man, this was her watchword, and indeed it was one that had never failed to protect her. That men had elastic hearts devoid of elastic limits and breaking points was a well-known fact to her, their hearts could only be stretched, it could never be broken. The females got the breakable hearts from God. Men were thespians, subject them to tests, stand aloof for some time, do not yield to their advances, and they are bound to move on. They seldom wait; those that do must have found other amusements while waiting for you to make up your mind. Stay objective, remain watchful and you are bound to see them for what they really are. This is all you need do to avoid heartbreak. It was just so simple and she never quite understood why females still got their hearts broken like a piece of Chinese porcelain. Her friends never quite appreciated her too; some labeled her crazy, while the others thought she was just plain childish. However, whenever any of them had to nurse a piece of broken china, which was what she called their shattered hearts, they agreed with her wholeheartedly, albeit temporarily. At such periods, she was their pillar of support. A role she got to play ever so frequently. A few weeks later though, they would heal, and were ready to give “love” another chance. She never could understand those friends of hers!
Like her father she had exceptional looks, and like her mother she was intelligent. Perhaps this was the cause of her hard stance on men. Perhaps this made it difficult for most men to sweep her off her feet. She could match most of them looks for looks, brain for brain and wallet for wallet. She was quite a handful for any man, any day. She had so many suitors, but separating the wheat from the chaff wasn’t tedious at all, given that, to her, virtually all men were chaff. Operating on the same frequency with most of them was an idiosyncratic problem. Some bored her stiff with dry jokes, with nothing to talk of except their favourite soccer players, clubs or their new acquisitions. Most tried to make impressions with ephemerals. Some others painted pictures of a rosy future, of weddings where she was of course the bride. One of them went as far as saying he dreamt she was his wife and they had three kids. That same guy got married two months later. Men! How on earth did they come by those sugar-coated tongues of theirs? She never took them serious, and never allowed any of them too close for comfort. With men, she never used her heart. It was head over heart all the way. Undeniably, none of her numerous suitors made any impression on her, none except one.
They lived on the same street. He moved into their neighborhood less than two years ago. Like in the movies, he was dark and tall. Also like in the movies, the first time they ever talked, she had had a flat tyre just outside her flat on her way to work. He drove by, saw the car boot opened, parked his car and offered to help. In no time, she was on her way to work again. From there, they became acquaintances. He was a senior lecturer at the university in town, an enviable achievement for his age. He had a good sense of humour and a strong awareness of purpose. He would always regal her with tales of his postgraduate years abroad, he had studied human nutrition and dietetics in Tokyo. He would always say “I am a Tokyo man” And for a man well short of thirty, he was much-travelled. In his company, she was very comfortable; he was one man with whom she could have a rational conversation with her guards down, or so she thought.
One evening however, he had come to her house and professed his love for her. Initially, she thought he was at one of his many jokes. And so she tagged along. By now they had become well acquainted, but she never saw him as a friend, simply because she didn’t know any member of his family. She was that practical. But with every passing moment, she became deeply involved with him. He looked and acted sincere enough. His routine was quite predictable, unlike most men. He was devoted and committed to her, and was never quite successful in hiding anything from her. All of a sudden he became shy and many times, she had to encourage him to speak his mind. He would continually say he was a novice in matters of love, and it seemed like he truly was. Gradually, she began to look forward to his calls and his crazily compiled texts which weren’t spaced. But she couldn’t bear to put her heart on the line. For all she knew it could be a grand scheme, after all he was a man.
Sometimes later, she got angry when he didn’t call to say good night. At that moment she realized something was wrong. She was falling for the cheapest trick in the book, and she hadn’t even put him to the test. She was becoming attached and possessive, this was a negative sign. Her friends would surely taunt her if they heard of this. She was supposed to be their Margaret Thatcher. Explicitly, she decided to change gear. She became cold and unreceptive to him, refused to pick his calls or reply his texts. She didn’t laugh at his jokes anymore. These did not in any way deter him, he remained steadfast. He stressed the subject of love, his unflinching love, to which she just laughed before reminding him of what his previous opinion of love was. He asked to be considered on the basis of their previous friendship. She scolded him for thinking that by changing her car tyre and their having a few conversations they had become friends. She offered to pay for his service so all would be square. That obviously hurt him, yet he remained relentless. He continually articulated that she was his jewel of inestimable value; it was either her or nothing. She went as far as accusing him of trying to con her into his bed with the well mastered skill he used on his female students. He had a distinct ready smile for her scathing remarks; he appeared to have it all figured out. It didn’t look like he would be so easily dispirited.
The manner in which he handled it all uncovered a specific and vital statistic, he may be a rookie in matters of love, but he absolutely wasn’t one without game or experience when it came to women. She knew was walking on thin ice. Enlisting the help of her friends, she took the game to him. They were so willing to help her ridicule him. And like the men in her seemingly infallible theory, he had moved on. Only if he had waited, only if he had lingered.
Whatever it was she said or did that finally made him back off she didn’t know for sure, but in the end she had achieved the most important thing; she had protected her heart. Now, many weeks after, she admits she misses him, and maybe she could have handled it better. But there is no way for her to know whether she was right or wrong.