You were 20 and he was 25,you were igbo but he was not,at first you didn’t want to get too attached to him because you knew igbo people especially parents were tribalistic;you were tribalistic too. He was a staunch Deeper Life member by birth and you were an Anglican by naturalization but you didn’t like the whole Deeper Life stuff because you see most of them claim to be “too self righteous “. You disliked everything about Deeper life because of the way your classmate Akuabia in your Jss class used to look at you disgustingly because you wore earrings and this irritated you then,and you’ve sworn never to marry any deeper life member or even the likes of its sister churches because that was exactly what tore your family apart -your father’s siblings. It all happened in your presence and you made decisions like,any church that is capable to tear up a family is not worth associating with. But you loved him anyway,you looked beyond his flaws and saw a different person and most times you wished he wasn’t a Deeper Life member -that alone gave you sleepless nights. You loved the way he looked into your eyes and those butterflies in his eyes made your heart beat too fast. You always stole a glance when he wasn’t looking and avoided him catching you stealing a glance,sometimes he caught you and you never looked at his face for too long to avoid initiating a kiss. Maybe,you were shy or was just acting all female. You loved the way he held your hands with so much strength and you felt safe at the same time felt the fear of someone that didn’t want to loose you. His hold was always too tight but passionate and you pretended like it hurt you just to draw his attention like the last time you told him it hurts,he said sorry and you replied saying sorry wasn’t enough,he asked you if you needed more than the sorry and you said no; you knew you needed more than the sorry but you wanted to keep cool so as not to act all demanding or like you wanted him more. After all,you are a girl and he should know what to do and not ask questions,you thought out loud.
You were in the same University but different departments. You met him in one of the most unexpected places and what used to seem like a normal friendship between two acquaintances sprung into emotional feelings. At first you would see his calls and ignore them but soon you started keeping tracks to know when he called. When he eventually called,first your heart skips and goes on a feasting journey and you wished the call never ended. On one of those days you sensed the call was about to end,you popped “so do you eat Afang Soup?”,he laughed over the phone and reminded you it was the specialty of his people. You didn’t know whether he bursted into a boisterous laughter because you asked the question or because he sensed you were fighting to keep the conversation going but you didn’t mind anyway because what mattered was that the conversation was going on.
You were different from him in so many ways but alike in most ways. Maybe that was what ignited the flame of what you shared with him. You were igbo,he was Efik. You were an Anglican but he wasn’t, much more a Deeper Life member. He was in his mid twenties while you were just kicking off 20 but he loved stories,he told lots of stories,read them and loved writing them just like you did. You exchanged stories and laughed at characters in the stories,sometimes you became quiet while he read these stories because you thought you were the character in the story,you were the character. The story that had so much effect on you was the one titled “Cold Night”. The first night he read this story to you during one of those cold nights you visited on weekends,it made you quiet the whole weekend. It made you wet you panties. For the first time you wanted him. You were quiet because you didn’t know whether the story was his own modest way of saying,”I want to get in between your legs”. You were quiet, you hated his thought but same time you loved it but that night you just wanted to sleep.
It was the weekend that changed you countenance over him,you were a church girl and you wondered how Papa will feel if he knew you slept outside the school and more in a “non igbo ” guy’s house. You left him because making out was not in your belief of a relationship. You were a virtuous woman before you left that weekend,you didn’t know anymore because your monthly visitor hasn’t come in three consecutive months.
Maybe,your Deeper Life brother boyfriend touched you and you didn’t know. You kept telling yourself nothing happened but maybe nothing happened and your hormones were just toiling with you. You couldn’t eat those months,you only stayed up in your room,rolled the bed cover over your legs and tried to recollect papa’s warning,”you can not bring in pre-marital pregnancy into my house “.
Last week,you told mama and with tears and anger in her eyes took you to the family doctor. You only got over that weekend when the doctor said, “Nenye,you have an irregular menstrual cycle”.