She remembers it like it was yesterday, that day in the scorching heat of the Lagos sun as she walked down the street just by the stall of that Hausa man; the one who sold sweets and cigarettes, they called him papa Sule.
Do you remember him now? You saw her from a distance and ran across the street to meet her, and in that ever happy and excited tone you asked where she was heading. She used to think you were annoying and bothersome, but she still liked you and she reluctantly replied that she had to run an errand for her mom.
You offered to go with her but she said no, even though she secretly hoped that you would insist because she did not like going by the next street alone. Some local boys usually hung around there, and their wolf whistles would scare the hell out of her. Just as she hoped, you insisted and together you both walked along the edge of the road side gutters, stepping left or right in alternation in order to avoid a pothole or an open street gutter.
She remembers it like it was yesterday, her thinking as they walked along, “what does this boy want from me?
Why does he linger like a festering sore? Why? Especially since all she does is pick at the scabs.Why does he smile all the time, and laugh at the silliest of things she does or says? He must be retarded, mad or both. She believed that one day soon, he would pick another thing to obsess about and go away.
She remembers it like yesterday, the day he told her that she was the love in his life and of his life. She laughed nervously and asked if all was okay with him. Surely he was delirious or confused, what would a boy his age know about love?
Love of his life indeed, it’s the same old story; teenage boy after a quick make out or sex perhaps? She had heard from her friends about such declarations and how the particular offender was often laughed to scorn. This they did after teasing and leading him on and even sharing a kiss or two; but here she was, never been kissed or shared any form of passion, either physically or in imagination and yet she’s being pursued and told by some moronic boy that she was the love of his life.
That was some twenty odd years ago, and yet she remembers it like it was yesterday. As she looked back, a smile creeps up on her lips and lights up her face.She looks up and stares at a picture of her yesterdays thoughts; and just as all those years ago, he looks back at her.Eyes still glittering and smiling as if the years had stood still; and in that moment her eyes are filled with tears. She realizes that her yesterdays love and face still stares boldly at her, and as he had told her all those years ago, she also realizes that she looks into the eyes and face of the love in her life, and of her life….her husband, who knew even before time wore out it’s space; that his love would stand the test and it would win.