Theirs was a love that had existed since their childhood. As far back as she could remember, Kunle Odemuyiwa had always been there for her. They were both products of broken homes and Kunle was the one male figure that she had as a role model. After Kunle's father absconded, he was sent to a boarding school and she saw him infrequently. Her adoration never waned. The holidays were spent almost entirely with each other and they would spend several hours playing, fighting and talking. He always seemed very assured and this only added to the high esteem in which she placed him.
Their relationship had not been without tribulations along the way. The dynamics of their association undulated with time as two young people came to terms with their feelings for each other and the new sensations that arrived with each metamorphosis.
The love affair proper had begun in their early teens and it was kept quiet for fear of the unwelcome scrutiny. The first time they had sex was a culmination of several failed attempts in which trepidation, shame and nerves had hitherto combined to ruin the occasion. Here were two young people, barely a year apart, who were going through the entire gamut of emotions of the adolescent who has yet to experience sexual intercourse. The first time, as is usually the case, had been no less clumsy and awkward than their earlier attempts. Kunle laboured long and hard before judging the exact location of the desired orifice. Even then, the job was barely half done. His next task was insertion; and he had to do this with the right amount of force to penetrate yet avoid hurting either of them in the process. She, as ever, lay in rigid silence, offering neither encouragement nor dissuasion. The truth be told, she could have lived to her end of days without yearning for the physical consummation of their relationship. On each failed occasion, it had been Kunle's hormonal urges that instigated the attempt. Loving him too much, she had been only too willing to relinquish to him her most sacred of treasures. She secretly abhorred the idea of sex. She considered herself abnormal for feeling this way and her silence was an apology of sorts.
There would be many more sexual encounters but they felt no less illicit and unnatural to her. Their relationship suffered as a result of this. The openness and joy they shared as children had been replaced by hollowness and muted exchanges. By the time Kunle had started university, they were hardly on speaking terms. They avoided each other and spent very little time in each other’s company.
Her mother died shortly after she started university and Kunle attended the funeral. She was happy to see him and they both cried in each other’s arms. The awkwardness of the past few years temporarily lifted by the tragic event. Kunle introduced her to his girlfriend and they promised to stay in touch. They did not.
Many years passed and she was now in her late twenties and a married woman. Her and her husband, Alan, had just bought a house and he was in the attic storing up the miscellany of her old apartment. He descended with a tattered looking photo album which he had bookmarked in the middle with his index finger.
“Look what I found love. An old album of yours”
“My goodness I honestly thought I had left that in Nigeria. They are mostly old pics Alan.”
“Excellent! Now I can find out more about the life that you never talk about”
“I like this picture here, looks like some sort of birthday party. Is that your mum on the right?”
“Yes o! I still can’t believe that you never met my mum. She would have really liked you even though you are an oyinbo pepper”
“How about this brooding looking chap on the left next to you?”
“Oh that’s just Kunle”
“Kunle? Hmm....don’t think you ever mentioned him. Childhood friend?”
“No. Kunle is my senior brother”
This is loosely based on a story I know to be true. Names and events have obviously been altered. I did not remember it until a ridiculous article I read a few months ago. It is, arguably, the last great taboo but how long before laws are being passed to make it acceptable? I fear o.