TYPING: In sex, love, relationships, there are games we all play. Dart, chess, twister, strip-poker. All these games to strengthen the bonds we share with whoever is on the other end of the table…
Coated with grimy apprehension, I trudged up the stairs of the Faculty of Social Sciences. I was heading towards the examination officer’s office, with an intention that was scaring the bejesus out of me.
That sure explained why upon meeting the Students of English’s notice board, I crouched down and sat knee-legged on the mat that had been laid by Rabbi, a course mate of mine known to be a Buddhist.
She sensed company on her mat. A welcoming smile lit up her serene features and she held out her hand invitingly. My grip on her arm was frigid, and sweaty but she didn’t recoil. She just held on and together, as if in synchrony, we looked up to our opponent: the notice board.
The Big, Bad Notice Board who to us had grown bushy eyebrows knitted in menace and could be glaring at us. The Big, Bad notice board which held all the answers to our schooling career: our Last Semester results.
Rabbi closed her eyes and her lips moved in endless whisper, chanting I supposed. I wasn’t the least spiritual, but hell, if the cleverest girl in our class was drawing nearer to her god before she saw her results, I too could chant too.
I closed my eyes, imitating her. My lips moved. But no familiar chant came to mind. Or should I just pray? I said a prayer which lasted——tops——a minute. I wasn’t the kind to go all hours communicating with the greatest deity of all. But looking at Rabbi, it just felt so wrong to just stand and go look at my results. Not after we’d taken stance for being on the same team.
So I sat, and took the time to cross off ‘taking the whole day in retrospect’ off my daily to-do.————
TYPING: … but sometimes not all games sought to strengthen.
It was another bright, sunny Saturday. I was at the Parade Grounds, seated on one of the ringed benches surrounded by trees and an amazing breeze. My laptop was companion, and though Word’s cursor was blinking annoyingly prompting me to put something down, my eyes were focused elsewhere.
A girl who sat on an adjacent bench was on her phone. And she was being ridiculously charming and (in some circles referred to as) sexy to whoever was on the other end.
“Tony, really,” giggle, giggle, “you are so full of yourself,” giggle, giggle, “I am not that in love with you.” A cacophony of laughter, “Seriously, I would soon be putting a halt on those gifts you’ve been sending me——“ giggle, giggle.
“She might as well say, ‘Keep exceeding your credit limit, you do not know how happy that makes me.’”
I turned to look at the intruding company. “Hey, Celeste.” I smiled awkwardly at my self-imposed personal-shopper. I had long since put away the idea Celeste was trying to get my roommate, the ex she still held a grudge against, expelled since the Raymond-Dean of Students debacle last week. But I still found it hard facing her. Um, something to do with guilt? It was shameful I had these bad thoughts about her, when the only harm she caused to society was being pro-fur.
She didn’t bother responding to my greeting. “That girl,” she chin-pointed the object of my interest, “she’s playing the game.”
“The game?” I asked, curious.
TYPING: …Like take for example, the game of playing hard-to-get.
——She answered, her phone vibrated, alerting her of an incoming call. A snort was produced and the call disconnected before I could read Caller ID. “You know the game, don’t you?”
I swatted a bee that was buzzing behind my ear. “I do know it. But just so our ideas are on the same page, elaborate.”———
TYPING: … does it really sought to strengthen a relationship or break it apart?
———“Oh, come on, Kobs. I have to oversee the couriering of outfits of designers overseas for the university’s fashion week.” She snapped impatiently. “She’s actually telling the guy to piss off even when she’s completely besotted. It’s a strategy, we all use in relationships.”
“You see, that’s what I do not quite grasp.” I asked, “Why all the fuss when it’s clear you both have the same objective: getting to know each other more.”
“We girls do it so we are not pictured ‘easy’ in guys’ eyes. Imagine making the guy aware you are keen on him on a first date, you might as well have bedded him to put it subtly.” Another call blasted her phone to life but it was quickly quietened again. “But, Kobby, hon, your blog is Sex And The City Campus dot blogspot dot com, isn’t it?”
“You think I should change to Wordpress?”
“I think you should learn more about playing hard-to-get. In sex.” She yanked me up from my seat before I could respond.
But who was I kidding? Here was a game I’d clap my hands in glee to play, and yay to: Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!———
“We have a guest, ladies.” Celeste spoke as we entered Evandi Hostel’s cafeteria area packed with about twenty ladies lounging on puffed couches and sipping from plastic bottles of coke.
“A guest, you say?” One of the girls eyed me leeringly. Delighted ‘mm…’s buzzed around the gathering. Shameful.
Here was a game these ladies loved to play: Name That Visible Penis Line.
Celeste shoved a timid me on an empty space on a couch. “Ladies, this Kobby…” I lost attention when——
A voice behind me whispered, “Some male company is very much appreciated.” and nipped my ear so hard.
I spun back to see who might have almost sawed my hearing off.
There was Maya, giving me a thumbs-up. Grannie-Grandma seated next to her, sending me a lecherous wink.
Now whoever had done that, between the two, I wouldn’t want to know as there was a possibility of such information scarring me for life. Albeit it wouldn’t be so bad if it had been the constant booty-call girl of my roommate, than the grandma who’d not quite gotten the hang of campus life yet and didn’t want to retire home. I turned my attention to the leader of the pact.
“How exactly do you play hard-to-get during sex?” Celeste started off the discussion. Then off went the ladies discussing all their secret tricks.
Lady 1: Wear your best lingerie, climb into the bed and tell him you are having the mother of headaches.
Lady 2: Give him the most insane hand job of his life, with loads of Vaseline. Then leave him hanging when he wants to cum in your mouth.
Lady 3: Let him perform a strip tease, then tell him his dick isn’t that impressive. That sure would get him turned off.
Grannie-Grandma: Oh, I’d skip. At my age what exactly do you have to play hard-to-get for?
All the ladies switched attention to Grannie-Grandma in horror.
“Really?” Celeste barked questioningly. “You do not play hard-to-get during sex?”
I could punch Celeste where it hurt the most for using that deprecating tone on my (badly-behaving) granny. But here was a game Celeste loved to play: Toss the Salami; where she’d surgically removed that part of her body that could hurt the most when kicked. (There was a reason some ladies were called ballsy after all).
“Yes, ladies, really, what’s all this point of playing hard-to-get?” I could kiss Maya for lunging to granny’s defence. “You want the cock, just take it.”
Except, however low your opinion of me, I would never kiss a girl that vulgar. Bleurgh. Here was a game Maya couldn’t be bothered joining in: ‘Hell-ooo, Mind Your
Fucking Language, please! We insist!’
“Who are you and what the hell are you doing in my Women’s Empowerment group?” Celeste growled at Maya.
“Slash We Hate Raymond Obeng Fan club, you should add.” Maya put in with derision.
Recognition lit Celeste’s features. “Ladies, this is the tart who’s been offering sex on a silver platter to Raymond.” My roommate’s name was voiced like he was the devil. All the ladies sent Maya the evil eye.
“Really, ladies, is it necessary to put off a guy just because you both want to grind on his dick?” Maya fired challengingly.
“And possibly because the only time he could ever get his jig on is when he doesn’t see you completely naked?” Granny lifted up her saggy boobs as if to prove this. I flinched sympathetically.
“Ladies, beware, the voice of the non-feminist!” Celeste was just being absurd. “The girl who finds it necessary to strip in front of any guy——“
“And leave on the Come Fuck-me heels, do not forget.”
All the ladies scrunched up their features in disgust as though seconds ago they weren’t filling my vocabulary with the nastiest of dictions.
“The perfect example of a girl who doesn’t have a ten-date rule, she just goes by the no-date rule. The girl who sleeps with just about anyone——oh, I heard about the guy with the crutches. The girl who demeans the essence of feminism.” Celeste accused so blatantly for a second I thought she was going to order Maya hanged.
“Oh, you want to know what the men think of you prissy, pathetic pussies?” Maya never kept her eyes off her main adversary. “Keep playing hard-to-get and you’d be all withered up like granny here.”
“No offence.” Granny said too quickly, then thought, “Wait, a second, shouldn’t you have said that?”
Everyone ignored her. I ignored the whole din which was being a battle between Maya and Celeste, two opposing schools of thought on the topic of the essence of playing hard-to-get. It was Maya’s question I found hard to ignore.
TYPING: What do guys think of ladies who play hard-to-get during sex?
Well, I did find out Maya was wrong——
“We luurrve It.” Fetish Priest Husband to my granny said, lounging by the university’s pool. I would have shielded myself from the image of his sliver chest and the g-string he wore——a risky fashion choice considering all the guys around were in decent shorts, except it was one of those views too disturbing to miss. And you couldn’t possibly guess where he’d picked up ‘lurrve’ from.
I had been heading to my hostel when I gave Raymond a call to ask of his whereabouts. He’d led me here. Ladies in skimpy bikinis, guys showing off their torsos.
I threw quizzing gaze towards Raymond who shrugged in answer to my telepathic question: What the hell is my step-grandfather doing with you in a thong?
Here was a game my granny’s husband loved to play: Dress-up.
I turned to Raymond. “Really, what do you think of girls who play hard-to-get during sex?”
“It’s annoying, really.” Raymond confided. “But when done well, it’s damn sexy. Like Maya has this thing, when you are about to come, she rolls you over and begins topping you instead knowing at that moment you have no desire for a woman-on-top. Breath-taking!”
“Your girlfriend does that to you?” All the colour had disappeared from the old man’s face. I guessed just imagining the scene was breath-taking for him. Well, he was not alone there, I thought as I tried to hold back the series of coughs.
TYPING: Do guys play hard-to-get during sex too?
“All the time!” Raymond answered with a reminiscent smile. “It’s during those times girls are begging us to just make them orgasm, and we’re like, ‘Easy, Maya, we’re taking it slow today’”
“Oh, don’t I know?” Fetish Priest Husband pounded my roommate’s fist amicably.
“Though these days you can’t afford going slow when it takes less than sixty seconds to go soft in a woman’s bushes.”
It’s really not valuable information finding out your granny’s vagina hadn’t seen a razor since Independence.
“Look, Kobs, I have been meaning to contact Celeste all day. But she keeps ignoring my calls. Have you seen her today?”
“No.” I said too quickly. Raymond needn’t really know I’d been seeing Celeste despite his warnings that I should stay away, she was a viper. “Why do you want to speak to her anyway?”
He shrugged. “Hey,” I sensed he was being evasive, “do you mind getting back to the hostel to get me that Dashiki thing for that rave going on?”
As I walked back to the hostel, my phone pinged as a result of a text message. It was Celeste.
Sometimes, people play hard-to-get to avoid thank-you sex.
The text seemed strange at first. But it didn’t take long for realization to hit.
My heart became dense. Celeste was also playing hard-to-get with Raymond. Only because she didn’t want him to just have sex with her for saving his ass with the Dean the other time. Tried as Celeste did to hide her feelings, it was clear she still held a torch for my man-ho roommate and there was the possibility she was only playing hard-to-get because she wanted him to want her enough to have a relationship with her. Another reason girls played hard-to-get.
As I continued on my way to my hostel, passing the offices of the departmental heads of the Faculty of Social Sciences, another text came in. It was a text from the Student’s Representative Council. The text that sent apprehension bubbling in me like lava beneath the surface of the earth.
I too was being played hard-to-get on. By my GPA.
TYPING: We all have reasons we play games. But ‘Keeping Score’ is the only assessment of these games…
I crouched next to Rabbi and shut my eyes.
TYPING: Keeping score tells us if playing all these games are necessary. It tells us if these games are helping our relationships, it tells us if we are winning, are these winnings going to be short-lived?, or are they going to be long-lasting?
Rabbi and I stared at each other, as we were ready to face the moment-of-truth. The only moment-of-truth that would determine if we’d played our cards well last semester.
We rose and headed for the notice board, our eyes scanning for our names.
TYPING: After keeping score and realizing we’ve all played our games well, there’s only one thing we should do…
Rabbi and I were boogying in circles around each other, laughing so hard we could almost cry.
We’d played the game well.
TYPING: … The victory dance. And keep on playing the games well.
Author’s Note: Catch Sex And The City Campus blogisodes every Saturday on this blog. Grateful there are people out there who read my blog and comment. Love you all. Feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org is also welcome. Oh, and Happy Valentine's!