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By Chinedu W. Achebe

Tuesday, April 9, 2013.

Editor's Note:
Blunted on Reality follows the life of Obi Ifeanyi, a Nigerian born American who is coming of age after the historic election of Barack Obama. As Obi confronts challenges that impact his family, career, and romantic interests, he is forced to examine his past and present choices to define his future.

While they enjoyed a late breakfast, they began to discuss the history of Obama’s election. Obi started the conversation saying, “I still can’t believe this racist ass country elected a black man named Barack Hussein Obama to be the President. I guess Bush fucked this country up so much that Americans were ready for a dramatic change. Regardless of the matter, it is all good with me. Tamika, you wouldn’t imagine the electricity that was at the spot we were watching the election results at yesterday. It was like everybody knew he was going to win, but when CNN reported that Barack Obama would be the President-elect on the screen; the crowd erupted in a euphoria that I have never seen in my life. I was embracing everybody at the place, including people I didn’t know. I can’t even lie to you; I got real emotional and shed a few tears. It was one of those moments that everybody will be able to tell their kids and grandkids about.”

Tamika also indicated the feeling was the same at the place she was at with her friends. She posed a question to Obi, “So how does it feel to be 29 and one year closer to the big 30?” Obi responded, “I guess I am just embracing it. I think sometimes people get caught up in reaching a particular age as needing to have reached a certain level of accomplishments. I now see that in life everything comes with time. But it does make me more introspective that I am not getting younger and that I need to start prioritizing what is important for the rest of my life as well.” Tamika responded, “So are you ready to settle down, get married, and start a family?” Obi said, “At this point of my life I know I am ready for the right woman to come into my life. I guess it depends on if that woman is ready for a man like me.”

The comment was not intended for Tamika, but she took it like it was. “Well everybody isn’t ready to settle down at the same time, we all got our own time.” Tamika said. “That’s cool, but I am not going to hang around while someone decides if I am a good enough man or not. If that person doesn’t recognize what she has in front of her, then maybe I am not the guy for her.” Obi responded. Tamika started pondering a lot of thoughts in her mind. She really loved being around Obi and wanted to be with him one day, but even though she just turned 30-yearsold; she was just getting into her advertising career and wasn’t sure if she wanted to make a sacrifice for any man, including Obi. The other thing is she couldn’t imagine giving up Obi to another woman. It was funny how life turns out. In college she would never worry about competing for the affection and attention of a man. She held all the cards and decided who she wanted to date. But in the world outside of college, the odds of meeting a tall, smart, and conversational man like Obi were very slim.

Tamika’s dating experiences after breaking up with Obi were not very successful. She didn’t want the Obi type of guy, so she reverted back to the type of guys she dated before Obi. Even though in her early to mid 20s, the roughneck niggas were her thing, lately she finally realized that those weren’t the type of guys to build a future with. The problem with Tamika was that she never fully appreciated Obi’s scope of knowledge on political and social issues. She wasn’t a very engaging conversational person beyond discussing the entertainment industry.

Tamika thought Obi’s knowledge consisted of a wide variety of things like fluff which didn’t amount to anything. She would always wonder why he liked to know what was going on in the world. Obi would be upset with Tamika’s lack on intellectual curiosity. He would tell her, “I don’t understand how you know almost everything about these damn reality shows, but you can’t take 20 minutes to read the headline news from CNN on TV or the Internet.” Tamika had never been asked to do much in her life but to smile and look beautiful. Most men never demanded her to challenge them mentally. But with Obi things were different. He was a very strong willed, outspoken, and opinionated man. He came from a family growing up where his father would have him read the New York Times by the time Obi was 10-years-old. Obi would have to write a thorough analysis of what he read. Both of his parents challenged their kids to be critical thinkers and not just memorize things or just regurgitate them. Tamika and Obi grew silent for awhile as they watched TV. “Well Obi I know you are a good man and I hope we can someday make this thing work out between us; if not you will get yourself a great woman.” Obi looked at Tamika with a sign of disappointment. Just when he thought she would make her appeal to really want to get back with him; she reverted back to grandstanding. In Obi’s mind, this wasn’t undergrad and his days of chasing and trying to make a woman want to be with him were over. He responded back to her, “I guess we will just see want happens.”

After about another 30 minutes, Tamika started to get ready to head back home. As the both of them walked outside toward Tamika’s car, they caught themselves holding each other’s hands. “I really enjoyed you coming over, fixing breakfast, and the birthday shower,” Obi said laughingly. Tamika said, “No problem. I don’t mind doing anything for you. I know you, Chike, and Lamar are going to be in the streets tonight. Call me when you guys are done partying so you can come over to my place and we can pick up where we left off.” “Well I am going to have to take a quick nap to get ready for all of that,” Obi responded.

They embraced and Tamika gave him a big kiss on the lips and started towards his ears. Once, Tamika pulled off; Obi went inside and fell asleep.

Later the phone rang and it was Obi’s cousin, Chike Ifeanyi. “My president is African, my Toyota is blue, and I’ll be Goddamn if my rims ain’t too. What the fuck is going on man?” Chike yelled that into the phone after singing his own remixed lyrics from Young Jeezy’s song, ‘My President is Black’. “Hey, Obi what have you been doing today? I know we had a long night yesterday, but I hope you are ready for your birthday celebration.” Obi responded to him, “Well Chike, I have been good. I just had a long morning and you won’t guess who stopped by my place.” Chike responded, “Obi, I ain’t into this guessing game shit. Who was it?”

The novel is available on Amazon at - http://www.amazon.com/Blunted-Reality-Chinedu-Achebe/dp/0615629253

Chinedu W. Achebe is a Nigerian of Igbo descent who was born in Richmond, Virginia. He received his bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Houston and currently resides in Houston,Texas. He is the oldest of three siblings.

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