She was 16 when she fell in love for the first time
That silly giggly girly childish feeling
of "I want to get lost"
He was a 24-year-old guy
It was odd really
He ought not to be her classmate
In what universe do 24-year-olds and
16-year-olds share a classroom
He was the most brilliant boy in their class
The one the lecturers count on for a "sane" head
He had a story
A very serious story
He was a student in another university once
upon a time
He was sharing a room with some
He was rusticated over a very serious
He took the University to court
His parents sued and made a
case for him
The University accepted that he was not involved
in the case at hand
The court ordered that he should be
reinstated in school at once
The judge berated the school for not carrying
out their due diligence
His parents cheered, he cheered
He got back to school and the
school authority told him they will be appealing the case
He cannot resume and the judgement
was not binding as long as they had filed an appeal
He wasted three years on the court case
Eventually, his Father told him to face reality
They will continue to waste your time
and your life
Write JAMB again and seek admission
Your name had been struck out of the list
of blacklisted students
You are free to seek admission elsewhere
He was twenty-four by the time he got
He found himself sharing a class
with "little children"
He was determined to do well for himself
He had wasted too many years
His mates were getting jobs and moving on with life
His youngest sister was about to graduate
in another school
And there he was!
The head had become the tail
He was the only one with issues and hitches
It was a bitter dose of reality
He tried as much as possible to keep to himself
He kept his head down and minded his business
There were different faces to different stories
Every individual had a story
Unnecessary complications result in relationships
His story at his previous school was a tough lesson
He was in the library when whatever
One of his roommates was celebrating
at the poolside of a nearby hotel
He didn't go with them because he had a difficult test
the next day
The test was about the History of the Newspaper
They were required to memorize Names of
newspaper publications, founding date and life span
from the 1800s till the present time
It was a very difficult course for someone like him
He hated having to memorize anything
The birthday celebrant jumped into the pool
He was dead within thirty minutes
All his roommates were hastily penned down as
being at the scene
The other roommates left the dead one at the
scene and returned to school pretending all
He returned to the room later in the evening to
hush and whispers
He was still wondering what was going on
when campus security arrived
They were all taken into custody
His pleas fell on deaf ears
By the time his roommates would clarify that
he was not at the party
They had all been rusticated
He learnt a bitter lesson from that experience
People can change your story if you don't own
He was determined to own his story and his reality
this time around
That was when the little brat came along
She was too young, far too young and so much of
She was determined to get his attention
She would reserve a seat for him in class before
he got there
Se would ask him to explain certain things to her
She would "mistakenly" go to her hostel with
one of his notebooks
She was flagrant about her need to be with him
He was very careful not to hurt her
He laughed at her silly jokes and paid attention to her
When their classmates were whispering about
She was defiant
She would say "Am I not the girl? Is the girl not
supposed to be the one that
is worried about her reputation? Do I look worried
It wasn't as if they did anything untoward or
But girls can be dangerous whenever they were
nursing an agenda guided by envy
One lady in the class whispered something in
the ears of a lecturer
The lecturer called him and said "What are
you doing, So and So, that girl is too small
He explained to the lecturer that it was nothing
He had never nursed any amorous feeling
He said he had studied her and he could see
that she needed the interaction
"If I am not her friend, she would make friends
with someone else
And if she makes friends with someone else
I cannot control or guarantee that she wouldn't get hurt!
If she is with me, I know she will not get hurt
at least until she had
grown old enough to take her scars and learn
The lecturer let the matter rest
They remained close
She wanted more but he seemed only to see her as
a small girl
She hated it
The fact that he wouldn't treat her like a grown up
He wouldn't let her come into his room when he
was in the room
If she insisted on reading in his room
He would give her the key and keep far away from
She thought he would get the message
A girl insisting on being alone in a guy's room was
much more than an invitation
She bought him a lot of suggestive cards
"I love you more than anything"
"You are the A and I am the Apple"
She sent him text messages, she did so very often
He was the centre of her world
They took a lot of pictures together on campus
She flaunted him to everybody
Her friends teased her with his name
They called her his babe, his love, his wife
Whenever he was walking past their hostel,
some of her "wicked" roommates would
"Our husband is passing by",
"So and So's DADDY is passing by"
He didn't seem to mind
Whenever she wanted to make her hair
She would ask him what style she should make
He would follow her to the Hairdressing Saloon
He would sometimes sit down with her
She wanted to kiss him several times,
he would laugh her off and call her "chick pecker"
She hated it when he did that
It wasn't her fault that she was so young
She was sure he really didn't mind, he treated
her like his babe
They got to 300 Level
Throughout the Holidays, it was all she could
Being 18 years old, being old enough to cuddle
and kiss and have sex
The very day she celebrated her 18th Birthday
He sent her a message! "To you and the world,
you are now a woman
But always you will be my little friend!
She read the message several times to see
if there was a code hidden in it somewhere
She was in love with him and that was all he
could say to her
That was all he had in his imagination to write
They were law students and he was a very
He didn't write a poem, he didn't pay her
a surprise visit, he just sent a text
It hurt her but she took it in stride
School resumed, she went straight to his hostel
the very day she arrived on campus
She was going to give him his cake, his specially
kept piece of her birthday cake
She had had that all important discussion with
The sex talk and attraction and infatuation thing
She didn't understand anything her mother told her
She was in love and she had been able to keep
herself all these years
Even though she really didn't keep herself by design
The guy she loved was not interested in "babies"
but she had grown up now
She found him in his room, reading a novel
For the first time, he didn't stand up and adjust
when she came into the room
He had left the door open because she called
him earlier that she was on her way
All the signs she wanted to see were there
She ignored the chair and sat on the edge of the
bed beside him
He ignored her and continued to read his novel
She told him about the cake and the party
He responded very well
But what she wanted was a birthday gift from him,
a token of his affection
He didn't say anything about it
So she asked him! Where is my birthday gift?
He smiled, stood up, locked the door, held out his
hands towards her
She took his hand, he pulled her up
(She was barely as tall as his shoulder)
He hugged her tight, her heart started racing
He kissed her, Ha! Ye! It was exactly how it
ought to be
The kiss lasted for a while because she held
on to his head and drowned in him
Eventually, she released him!
Tears streaming down her face
She had dreamt of kissing him for almost
She loved him with her heart and soul and
She felt exactly as anyone whose dream
came true would feel
She pulled him towards the bed
She wanted more!
He smiled and pulled her towards the chair
Then the lecture started
"I will have to let our friendship go today
I don't have anybody I am dating or anything
But I cannot in all honesty date you
I will only date someone who is not more
than two years younger than myself
I have wasted a lot of time getting my first degree
I am getting married as a soon as I graduate
You will be twenty years old then and I will be
If I wait until after the youth service or thereabout
I will not marry a month later than my thirtieth birthday
I have a lot of plans for my future
You will be twenty-two when I am thirty!
You wouldn't have seen enough of the world to
know your left hand from your right
We have to part ways now!
I have protected you from the wolves
and you are ready
You have also been a sister, a friend, a
reading partner and a lover I will never have
The one that got away! I will always love
and cherish you
We have to end it now so that we don't nurse
false hope in each other
and make mistakes that will be too irreparable
for our future!
After today, this friendship is over
I will no longer be this close with you
I will give you some room to grow, make your
own decisions and make new friends
You might hurt now and feel horrible but you
will thank me one day
and I hope you will also remember that I did
this rather than take advantage of you"
That was it!
The lecture was over!
They were over!
His words didn't only dry the water in her eyes,
it dried her mouth and even the moistness
She thought he was joking but he was not
She was still gathering her thought when he
told her it was time for her to leave
She walked back to the hostel in a daze
He was with her but she felt so alone and cold
When she got to her room she told herself
he was joking
He couldn't throw her away like that!
He would soon return to her, telling her he couldn't
do without her
It didn't happen!
She kept a seat for him in class as usual
but he ignored it
He would sit at the back of the class and
sometimes at the other end of the class
Everybody noticed! She hated that!
She hated being exposed like that!
He went to the cafeteria on his own!
He went to the library on his own
She sent him several text messages
with several juicy offers
"I will not be childish around you again"
"I will not fall in love with you"
"I will not marry you or make you marry me"
"I will do whatever you want"
"I love you"
"I hate you"
She cried herself to sleep several nights
He didn't waver
When they got to final year
He started talking to her again
From a distance and always with a kind smile
She had made other friends and "moved on" on
He was careful not to engage her emotionally in
She went off to the United Kingdom for her Masters
She was in her second year when she saw his
wedding pictures on Facebook
He had married at 30 as he promised
He didn't even give her a thought, not even a
She forgot all about him and moved on with life
She got her Masters Degree and returned home
It took her a while but she got a job
after five years of working, she got her own bookstore
It had always been her dream to open a book store
and partition it into two sections
One for old and rare books from great authors and
the other for new and contemporary books
She raised enough money and made it happen
She had been managing her book store with
the help of two staff
members for four years when he wandered in
She recognised him immediately
One of her staff members was talking to him
Her legs were trembling, her heart racing, wow!
She stood up on her feet and walked towards him
She said "Do you know me from somewhere?"
He said "Your face looks familiar"
Kai! She couldn't ever forget him
He was her first love, her eternal crush!
She said "I was twenty when you last saw me,
so I forgive you"
He said " Jesus, so and so"
She laughed and hugged him
"How is your family?" She asked him
He said: You didn't hear? My wife was a victim
of one of the plane crashes that happened
some years back
I have two lovely children, they live with me!
I am a single parent, a widower!
Her heart stopped!
They talked some more
He bought some books and they exchanged
When she got home she prayed
"Father, please bring him back tomorrow,
let him come for me"
By lunchtime the following day, he came
He said "I was bored and I said to myself
"Let me come and take her to lunch"
Will you like to have lunch with me
He kept coming back, until he started
picking her at the bookstore in the evenings
when she closed
Until he took her home to meet his two
Until she took him home to meet her family
Until she took him to her church to meet
Until he took her to the registry and married her
Until they got to the room that night after
He kissed her passionately
She looked into his eyes and said
"Mr Lecturer, I hope I am not too young today"
He laughed and said "You are just the right age"
The river she was practically begging him to
skinny dip in years before
became his to fish and swim in anytime
She had tried several times before he came
back to move on with somebody else
But nothing worked out beyond
the "Hello", "Hi" level
It was in his arms that she found
the true expression of life
This story happened in Lagos Nigeria
They have three children