Rita’s cousin was equally one of the village beauties back then, and we were classmates even though she studied in a different secondary school, and each time we come across each other, she do stare at me in an inviting manner or so i thought, which really gave me the courage to make a pass at her, one fateful saturday morning, “ezinne how far” i had said to her that morning, when i ran into her at afor-ibeme market, and she looked at me and smiled, which encouraged me further, “i do admire you each time i see you pass bye” i said to her in igbo language and she looked down without saying anything, “there is something i want to tell you, but i don’t know when you will have the time” i added further and she looked up at me in surprise, “can’t you say it here?” she asked me and i swallowed hard as i reasoned within myself on whether to open up to her, that moment or not, cos we were in a less busy part of the market, infact we were actually in front of a closed shop that morning, and i shruggled “okay give me your phone number nah” i pleaded to her, but she looked at me in surprise again, “phone number kwa? I don’t have a phone oo” she said to me, and i smiled, “ok nne no problem, should i wait for you on that big udara tree close to your house around 4pm tomorrow?” i asked her and she nodded in agreement. “yea i think i can come out by that time” she said to me before moving on, and i almost danced inside the market in excitement, “cos not only was i bleeping rita, i’m equally now in the process of bleeping her cousin ezinne”, i reasoned within myself in happiness, “choi ogu must here this” i said to myself……

Ogu was my best friend that period and also my senior in age, and we do challange each other on who will mount the highest number of girls, that period and getting ezinne will really put me ahead of him…..”chia good old days”……

4pm on the dot, sunday evening i was already under the udara tree with my beautiful and well maintained white horse bicycle, and i played with my small siemens phone as i waited for ezinne, and it wasn’t long before i saw rita, ezinne and four other girls coming in my direction, but then, they had already seen me first, and so i stood my ground swallowed hard and waited for them……

“did i keep you waiting?” ezinne asked me with a smile, when they approached me, while rita and the other girls looked on very stunned and angry, and i reasoned very fast for a suitable word, like a big boy which i was claiming to be, but however, before i could reply her, one of the girls with them couldn’t hold back her disgust any longer, and i heard her shout, “otuocha mu eeh so this is true ooo!” she exclaimed as she clapped her hands in disgust, and my mind flew away as i searched with my eyes whether other people overheard her outburst.{otuocha is a very dirty slang for white k---y-cat and it is a very bad or dangerous slang which some people use when they are angry, happy, disgusted or looking for trouble especially in mbano back then, not now ooo}…….

“Chika! Tufiakwa” the other girls said in chorus when they heard her out burst, and faced her, while i merely stood and watched cos i knew not what to do…… “hmmm my teenage life”

to be continued…..

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