She still wore her hair in a ‘fro… still wore only lip gloss… still wore a yellow shirt and black pants….still followed Liverpool… still had the dimple on her left cheek…. still wrote with her left hand… still kept a big jar of peanut butter in her fridge….still laughed at my inane jokes…still hummed whilst making her mean stew!
I could be forgiven for thinking that time had stood still…. and it was the first day again….. only she was more grown up… More alluring.. more woman less girl…
The first time … was one Monday in April.. She was….barely sixteen… had just made the jump from her secondary school to her first year Economics class… and she needed help with calculus. I fit the bill – top of my class, supposedly the calculus guru complete with bushy hair … and I was a cousin to her best friend. I think did my bit… Not sure how much input I had.. but she nailed an alpha on the course…. and I kept up my big brother paroles for a couple of years before I quit school, served the nation and vanished into the belly of the south south… eking out a living in the swamps..
The next time was five years later.. I was up to Lagos all week on work, she was working on the Island….We stole lunch every day.. Thirty minutes of pure bliss – she, Fred, Di and I….. Fred was the buddy of mine who was her knight in shining armour.. Di was my best friend of twenty years and counting…..
The last time.. was that day…She heard I was in town… She called me.. I knew I would never be forgiven if I didn’t see her. Five years down the road… She and Fred are history.. I blew my big chance with Di.. and the-one-after-Di….. Fred is my buddy and has been for nearly ten years….. She and the-one-after-Di are still close friends…..
Life’s complicated good, innit?