She sat smiling consciously at her mates from primary school trying to hide her panic. She hadn’t seen some of them in almost twenty years, since junior high graduation. Yet it felt like nothing had changed. She still felt they were better than her.
She was still the odd ball, only this time it wasn’t her dorky, oversized eyeglasses and ill-fitting jeans suspended under the oversized Hawaiian shirt mom had sent by DHL. “I guarantee you’ll love it mom had practically squealed over the phone. It’s all the rage with teens over here,” she had added. She wanted to be cool so badly and she knew she’d be cooler if her clothes were exactly what were being worn abroad. When the clothes finally arrived, her 80-pound body barely filled out the size six clothing, creating a scarecrow figure complete with glasses.
This time she was the odd ball because she wore her natural hair in a combination of cornrows and twists, held up with a head tie that matched her dress. Everyone else sported their newly-relaxed perms and calculatingly implanted weaves. They all wore jeans with flimsy silky tops meant to be sexy, or store-bought Western dresses that were a tad bit too tight. She wore a Batik-cloth flowing dress, complete with the usual puffy sleeves and elastic waist, handmade by her favorite seamstress.
Of the eight of them who were gathered at Oheneba’s party, only three were married. Yet it didn’t stop the conversation from being centered on marriage, men and babies. Whose wedding would they gather at next? Who needed to have another baby. The four other single ladies seemed to be waiting for something, someone to come rescue them from their holding pattern. A man, some babies, and running a household would do! Honestly, if people didn’t have enough to do, they could volunteer, she thought. Anyway, who was she to tell them what to expect from life? She felt a little out of place…ok a lot. They were all driving comfortable cars, working respectable jobs, and living at home, according to conventions. She still took local transport, hadn’t found her calling as far as careers went, and wouldn’t touch the subject of living at home with a ten-foot pole.
She wondered if she had turned out like they expected. She should have interviewed each of them.