If you care to know, I fell in love at a very tender age of 8 and the subject of my love was no other than the handsome bespectacled class captain Joseph Obayanju. I was a shy child and so when I tripped and fell head over heels with Joseph there was little I could do. Being a child with lots of writing paper, a pen and a good grasp of the English Language I decided to put my heart on paper and damn the consequences.
You see, it was quite unusual at the time for an 8 year old girl to declare her love for an 8 year old boy. It was an even stranger thing to see for a girl of that age to be so sure that she had found the one who she wanted to share her life with. It was therefore with this fear that I picked my pen that beautiful Tuesday during the 2nd term holidays and wrote down my feelings for the man…boy I loved.
I started out by asking him how the holiday had been then plunged right in and told him I loved him. Now that I look back I do not know what I expected from Joseph. But at that time it made a lot of sense to me and because it made sense to write the letter, it also made sense to send the letter to him, so when school resumed for the third term I was armed with my new school bag, new books and the love letter burning a hole in my bag.
I carried it like a weight, with butterflies dancing in my little belly I approached the classroom. Joseph and I lived in the same neighborhood but I felt it only made sense to give him the letter in school.
I lost my nerve to give him the letter directly when I got to school that day, but I had a brilliant idea! I would slip the letter into his desk before morning assembly. When all the students had rushed off to the assembly ground I lingered behind and without further ado slipped the letter into Joseph’s desk, unsatisfied with the exposure I quickly put the letter in his school bag and hurried off to join my peers.
During assembly I was suddenly overcome by fear, “what if Joseph didn’t like me too?”
I became impatient, I couldn’t wait for the assembly to be over. In good time we filed back to our various classes in tune to the drums and the marching song which I cannot readily recall. Joseph got to class before me because being the tall gangly thing I was in primary school, I always got to stand at the end of the line. I need not tell you that Joseph was shorter than I.
When I got to the classroom, almost all the students were in class already, I quietly(I was a quiet child) went to my desk and sat down(at the back of the class). A few minutes later, Joseph approached me. My heart has never beat as fast as it did that day as I set eyes on his beloved face. But “uh oh” he looked upset. He came right to my desk and said “did you write this”? I looked at his hand and saw my letter. No words came out. I nodded shyly, not sure whether to be happy or sad. I didn’t have to wait long to find out what my reaction ought to be as the next words from his black beautiful lips was “I will tell Aunty Tee”.
Now the fear of Aunty Tee is the beginning of wisdom. She I dreaded. Our class teacher. Mean Woman. I was shaking like a leaf as I clasped my long fingers in a plea and begged Joseph to keep my secret and love for him to himself.
And he did.
This was first published on Naijastories.com as The Curious Collections and Re-Call-Ections of Miss Bon LP by Emily Onikaba. And you can read the interesting comments there. If you love the work of the writers, support us by buying the first Anthology.
Naijastories.com is the leading community for Nigerian writers and book lovers, combining elements of a writing critique website and a social networking site. Of Tears and Kisses, Heroes and Villains is Volume 1 of the 'Best of NaijaStories' series. The 30 stories featured in this anthology were all originally published on this website between March 2010 and March 2011.
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