I didn't want to but Nifemi said no one would find out. So i did. And we got caught. Nifemi started to cry. I didn't. Papa would have killed me if i cried before a beating. I was a big boy. Big boys don't cry. So Mr Amuche stripped us to our shorts and whipped us in front of everybody.
That was the first time i saw her. In my shorts. They were the white ones that had turned brown and had holes in them. While Amuche whipped us with all his fury, i forgot where i was and the pain, the jeers and everything else. I had eyes for only her. Her skin was the color of the anthills we played upon. She had a gap in her milky white teeth. Just like mine. Only mine was caused by the loss of my incisors. Hers was crafted by hands unseen. Later Nifemi asked me why i had not yelled out like he did. ' Because Amuche flogs like a woman' I said and winked. Nifemi eyed me and rubbed his bottom harder.
I was seven and in love. Alas, Amuche had eroded all hope of my ever winning her heart.
Everyday, i searched for her with my eyes. I stopped looking forward to the holidays because it meant my eyes would be starved of her. Whenever my eyes found her, my heart did ponponpon like Amuche's bicycle horn.
I told Nifemi. We made a plan. One day, as she walked home from school, an 'egwugwu' attacked her. The 'egwugwu' mask looked similar to the one we used in school for the last play. She ran and squealed and i was there to save her. Less than 5-foot tall, with nothing but my books to protect her. Her knight in shining armor. She clung to me as i threw sand at my best friend. 'Egwugwu' took to his heels.
She became my girl friend. I saw less and less of Nifemi. Every time i did, she was always with me. He would smile at me and wink. I would smile back. I couldn't bring myself to wink. Keeping secrets are what makes best friends out of us.
When we make love, she whispers my name and climaxes with 'egwugwu' on her lips. 22 years later and Nifemi still has my gratitude. I named our first son after him.
Song of the day: White Houses- Vanessa Carlton