I sat on Pat’s lower bunk, and watched my crush throw the ball in the air and run after it. I was hopelessly attracted to him. He should be about 5 feet tall, and had very fair skin just like Stan my boyfriend., I guess that was why I was attracted to him, I was praticaly drooling. This had been going for a while, since I saw him on the parade ground, he was the only intertesting thing in nysc camp for me, i didnt even know his name. I dragged amina my bunkmate and tried to show her my crush but she annoyingly kept on saying that she couldn’t see him, after a lot of description she agreed she saw him, maybe just to get rid of my obstinacy i don’t know.
“The next time i see that guy i would tell him that my friend has a crush on him” Amina said, that got me in splits of laughter, not that I doubted Amina , that she would not live up to her word, but i was suddenly reminded of my very first crush, I decided to tell Amina all about it.
I was 12 yrs old when I discovered I had feelings for ogbonna our family doctor’s son, on Sundays after church we used to go there, that’s me and my parents,
“Good afternoon Anty good afternoon uncle”,he would greet my parents and leave, I would follow him with my eyes and ogle, he was perfect, and very decent,
After my junior WAEC, my Dad got unnecessarily involved in my affairs, he was insistent that I should go to science class, I was like “Ahh!” See me see wahala o”.
“Which one be this again” the more my dad insisted the more obstinate I was to study arts.
Then like a bomb shell, it came out in a conversion with my dad,
“Chidinma the reason I want to study sciences is that I want you to become a Nurse”
“A nurse , papa” I stifled a laugh because it was funny, “why” I asked,
“You know our family doctor, she wants you to marry her son ogbonna” my Dad said
My heart stopped ‘ogbonna’,”she wants me to marry ogbonna” i thought, but I had said it aloud, cos my dad answered me yes
“Well papa,I don’t think I can forfeit my dreams” I said.
“You re just fourteen, what do you know about dreams, am trying to shape your future, obgonna will further his studies in the UK, by then you would join him, and further there too” my dad said
I must say the offer was tempting, to marry ‘my ogbonna’ who invaded my dreams, both in the day and night and get to live and study in UK,
“I will think about it”. I told my dad.
After a very long thought, I decided not to study nursing, one thing was certain I liked ogbonna but that would not deprive me of the woman i wanted to become, I never saw myself as nurse no matter how hard i tried,I wanted to touch lives but not through packing poop. So the next time my dad asked me, i told my him but with a long speech of course.
“Papa” I began I was determined to win the argument, I think that every human can only be empowered by self acclamations, to grow in confidence in one self, one has to follow ones dreams, and not live someone else’s dream, that is Dr Acha’s dream not mine, my self confidence and actuality is not in marrying ogbonna but in becoming the woman I want to be.
My dad just kept looking at me,I don’t know if he figured I crammed that speech from a book, or if he thought I was actually smart enough to come up with that speech, any ways it worked cos no one ever disturbed me again,
Ogbonna and I were never close, in fact I wondered if he ever noticed me, well he left for the UK as my dad had said.
I was writing my senior waec, I got tired of reading so i dropped my book and started going through my Facebook when “gbam” like a fairytale, I saw ogbonna’s friend request, I sharply accepted it. Later we started chatting, the funny part was that he kept on saying that I looked like one Chidinma, as per my Facebook profile name was Victoria. He said he lived in the UK and would return in 3 weeks, my ogbonna was coming, that too in 3 weeks, we were going to meet up, LIKE going to meet up, ‘menn’ I was happy.
3weeks finally came by we met a week after he returned, in fact I was not expecting him to call that night but he did,
I was pretending to read on the dinning table when the horrible smell of ogili, a normal ingredient in native soup,came from the kitchen, “mama are you putting ogili in that soup”
“Yes”my mother answered,despite its bad smell I still took it in fact I relished it. Then my phone rang it was ogbonna, the alone moment I wanted so long ago was coming, in my haste I didn’t even drink water I just left.
It was a dream come true as I strolled with ogbonna hand in hand under the star lit sky, i was in cloud nine,we talked and talked then suddenly he stopped, then he said, IF YOU LOVE ME KISS ME, woa I had dreamed of kissing ogbonna since I was a kid, that opportunity, had presented itself on a platter of gold. Ogbonna leaned towards me I could hear my heartbeats, in fact I could feel my blood moving in my veins, I closed my eyes in anticipation, I felt ogbonna come closer to me, his breadth was on my face, he smelt so good, i bet he would have tasted good too but before he could kiss me, I remembered I had OGILI SOUP, gosh that thing gave bad breadth, what if ogbonna should perceive it, then he would never like me again so I quickly moved back. When I got home,I decided that next time I would be fully prepared, I would brush my mouth before coming. But there was never a next time.
That was my greatest regret because when he actually found out I was Chidinma he avoided me like a plaque, he said he didn’t want to get involved, and later he returned back to the uk,
I never got that opportunity again, ogili soup had cost me the kiss I dreamt of all my life.
I never got the opportunity to kiss ogbonna again, and I keep thinking even up till today as I sat watching the guy I didn’t even know his name, WHAT OGILI SOUP HAD COST ME.