So, my gentleman toaster saw me kissing my bad boy and came over to say hello to us. And that was it. My bad boy, Mike. Tall Mike he was called. He was probably the tallest guy in school at that time. Not Mike Esiri o. Mike Esiri was also tall but Mike Esiri and I got into Uni the same year. Mike O, the other tall guy was in final year when I was a Jambite. I heard Tall Mike O is dead and I know tall Mike Esiri is dead. Mike Esiri died thanks to the Nigerian Police that was NOT his friend.
Mike O, he was arrogant. Oh my God! With hindsight, I don’t even know what he had to be arrogant about because apart from his good looks, he had nothing to offer me. He did not treat me nice the way my other gentleman toaster did. He did not take me out for meals like my gentleman. He was always skint and would come to my room to eat. But I craved his attention and would be like a lost puppy around him. Funny thing was that the relationship was not even that physical. I guarded my virginity and fiercely too. So, we would be kissing but whenever his hands started straying to my cleavage, I would get agitated and jump up or move away fast. But in my mind, he was my boyfriend so, when others were talking about their boyfriends, ode emi na, idiot of me too would be talking about Mike. Mike talked down on me. Mike complained about me. But he was my bad boy wasn’t he?
My ‘relationship’ with Mike did not last 6 weeks. One day, he invited me and my friends to a party. So, we were all dressed up. At the designated time that he said he would come and pick us up, he arrived and promptly told me that my make-up was garish. That my blusher needed to be toned down. I love blusher you see. I love blusher on people but whenever I apply it for myself, it always looks… odd. So, I would keep applying more in the hope that it would eventually look ok. But I always ended up looking like a clown. So, Mike told me my blusher needed to be toned down. How long does it to clean blusher my people that Mike said he could not wait for? He said he could not wait and he would come back in about 10 mins. He never came back. I heard that at the party, he was all over another Jambite. We slept off, Me, Nike, Ninma, Uju, Lillian in our party clothes and woke up in the morning in our party clothes and make up. What a let down. Kmt. This was supposed to be my boyfriend taking us to a party. That was my first of several heartbreaks. That was my intro to the world of dating and heartbreaks. Back to Mike. I would see him and the new girlfriend in the dark as she was also in village but in another compound. Village was laid out like a village. The rooms were all bungalows. Each compound would have I think 4 bungalows bordering a quadrangle. The communal tap would be in the middle and here it was that we would queue in the morning with our buckets to fetch the water that we would go and have our baths with in the bathrooms.
I made lifelong friends in that my first year of innocence. The next room to mine was Juanita Durin’s room. She passed away a few years ago. Then in the next block but still the same compound, was Dare Martins and Ninma Ndalugi. Those two schooled in England and they were the posh ones of my friends, with their posh British accent. Lol. On the other side of the compound were Lillian Pwajok and Uju Nwanmeze. Room mates both of then and next door to then were Uduak Akpan and Yemisi Oyafemi.
One day, Grace, my room mate’s toaster came to visit her and she was around but not in the room. Emeka, the guy, said he would come back but I did not want him to go. I liked him and I did not want Grace to miss out on seeing him. It was Emeka that took Grace and I to this restaurant to eat this kind of food that I had never eaten before. It was delicious! What type of food is this? I asked in wonder. Chinese, he said. And that was how I was introduced to Chinese food. Anyway, I did not want Emeka to leave. He was a nice guy. He might take us to go and eat suya at the suya joint. He let me tag along them. So, I told him to wait. He said he would be back in about 5 minutes so, in order that Grace would be back in the room before he came back, I ran to the middle of the compound and shouted GRACE!!! GRACE!!! EMEKA BLABLABLA IS WAITING FOR YOU IN THE ROOM O! I did not know that Emeka had a girlfriend in that our same compound and he was in his girlfriend’s room when I shouted his name. And he could not deny it because I shouted his full name. Emeka never came back. Again.
It was around this time that I had my first taste of alcohol. Only a sip of some punch and suddenly, shy, introverted me became the life and soul of the party. I was flying!!!! Actually, now that I am writing this, I am beginning to think that punch had cannabis in it. Mixalot, our resident punch maker was known to soak igbo – cannabis in the alcohol from maybe the day before. Of course, I did not know that then. It is actually now that I think that is what most likely happened. I have had alcohol since then and I have never felt the way I felt that day. That day, I was flying! I was a butterfly! I was beautiful! I was a bird! I wanted to fly higher! I needed to take my clothes off to fly higher! Anyway, I don’t know how it ended. I saw myself in my room later. And decided NEVER to touch alcohol again. What was I even thinking of doing alcohol? My dad was teetotal. And I had never followed my sisters in the illicit drinking of the bottles of gin and brandy that Daddy kept in his room when he would have been given them as gifts. I did not touch alcohol again till I got to London years later and fell into depression and would need alcohol to take the edge of things in order to be able to sleep.
To be cont