Monday, 21 April 2008

On......my penance to past loves

To Hauwa:

With the unique embellishment of nostalgia, the Samco orange drink that you shared with me that break time, retains, to this moment, the immortal sweetness of ambrosia. That feeling of victory, attained in spite of a clutch of suitors, was as gratifying a moment as any significant landmark I have achieved since. I remember how you used to watch me playing football – from a distance. With little tactical acumen and with even less consideration of my teammates, I would seek to impress you by picking the ball and dribbling as many players as I could. Scoring a goal was merely an incidental bonus. I would often beat no more than five players before being rugby tackled by Obiajulu who I could never get past. On the one occasion I shimmied left and feinted right, sending him sprawling to the ground and tackling air, you had already returned to the classroom.

I apologise now for the lack of manifestation of my heart’s true intentions. The eight year old boy is poorly acquainted with grandiose displays of affection. In the event, you left school convinced that I hated you. I remember one incident where in a fit of overflowing, uncontrollable love, I threw a blackboard duster at you. Even as I knelt down outside as punishment for my transgression, I swear that I have never been more sure of my love for another person. If only I loved you older, my love would surely have exhibited itself as love and not cloaked itself in explicit abhorrence.

To Jackie:

Remember Ikoyi Club 1938? Men we haunted those grounds like the spirits of old lovers. I still remember that first wet, awkward kiss in the rotunda that tasted like suya and onions. You giigled and ran off to tell your girls. You had a secret nickname for me – MJ. You said I looked like a pre-pubescent, pre-cosmetically altered, pre-white Michael Jackson. In the 1980s, MJ was the epitome of fineness so it is a nickname I cherished. Remember Friday night movie club? Our wet kisses soon became the main feature.

Yours was the first love that hurt. It is a most traumatic day when you learn that love is bittersweet. In retrospect I should have spotted the signs. You were the older woman. You were at least a head taller than me. You already wore a bra. Those two small mounds on your chest sparked a carnal curiosity in me but it was one which I never dared to explore. Perhaps a sneaky hand during a rerun of Herbie goes bananas would have cemented our union.

I remember the day I saw you with Basil. At Ikoyi Club. In the Rotunda. On a Friday. My haunted soul fled from purgatory and descended into hell. It would be a while before I glimpsed heaven again.

To Farida:

The entirety of our love was spent in non communication. It was a crush of gargantuan proportions and I repressed it, coward that I was. My crush actually preceded our initial acquaintance by at least three years. The affair began on celluloid when you starred in that Ogbanje film I used to tease you about. What was it called again? Ah yes.....The Reign of Abiku. I think your name was Motara in it. That NTA Channel 5 production scared the bejesus out of me and I spent the majority of the time watching it from behind the couch, emerging only when you appeared on the screen. Years later I confessed this to you and my proclamation sent you in to alluring, melodic hysterics. By that time our relationship was firmly in the realms of Plato and I had long since crossed the dreaded threshold of “Too friendly to be a boyfriend”.

Even as you complained about the quality of boyfriends in the periods of plenty and lamented about a lack of them in the times of drought, I would playfully entertain thoughts of a time when I could call you my girl. It is not true what they say about lasting friendships not budding from early romance. You remain one of my best friends to this day.

To Tinuke:

My bow legged Lou. My queen of indescribable perfection. Our love was never meant to be. My best friend and blood brother was crazy about you and it is the unwritten code between men that “Thou shall not cock block thy best friend”. To further complicate matters, you had dated my other good friend and therein lay another rule in the code of men.

But we could not help the way we felt could we? I saw those covetous glances during Thursday lunchtime. I perceived the stolen looks as we passed each other in the hallways on the way to Chemistry. I ignored all these pleasing portents until that dream. It was not a wet dream o. No, it was far more innocent than that. We merely held hands and it was as if the cumulative tension of repressed desire congregated in such a simple act. I awoke from slumber in love with you.
But how could I betray my friend? It soon became obvious that your interests lay with me and not he but I could not jeopardise my friendship. We had our moments though. Remember after school that day when we made out behind the SS3 boys’ toilet? You allowed me to squeeze your breasts as we kissed and your hand explored some parts of my body. I have never had such a guilty erection in my life.

My emotional maturity had begun to develop and I eventually had to explain to you that because of the ongoing attentions of my friend, no good could ever come out of our feelings. I made the audacious offer of quietly cutting shows on the side without the ceremony of an open relationship. We called it UnderG in those days. You were a lady of honour and rejected such an arrangement.

To Monica:

My sister yellow with your skin like paw-paw in the wet season. I ignored your overtures for three years barely even throwing a careless word in your direction. And then one summer, school resumed and you had bloomed. It was too late, boys started taking notice, no longer were you the quiet hibiscus that resides in the corner of the garden; you had blossomed into the bold bougainvillea that sprawls with undeniable beauty beyond its limited confines. Even boys from Kings College, ISL and St Gregs were alerted to your beauty. They would travel from far and wide to gaze and to toast. However in spite of the newfound attention, you still retained some residue of emotion for a blind fool and I capitalised in those moments we had together sitting private SSCE.

Our love did not last because of my jealousy. I grew wary of the unwelcome gifts and the unsolicited telephone calls. I felt inferior because some of these toasters were richer and more attractive than me. My behaviour towards you became despicable and I grew aloof. You implored all my friends for an insight into the genesis of my mood change. I felt I was letting myself down easily for the inevitable moment when your head would be turned by some governor’s son. I should have had greater faith in your unwavering love.

Our love was tragically brief but was one that endured and I am grateful that we managed an encore performance in subsequent years. However distance intervened and served to fizzle out the promise of a lasting romance.

To Evie:

My Waffy girl. My amazon. Why was I so unfair to you when all you ever did was care about me? Was it because of Monica? Was I still getting over her? I was selfish and un-gentlemanly to you many times and yet you persevered. How many times did I call you? It is not that I did not care about you Evie. It was just that my heart had not yet been completely returned to me and the part that had was capable only of yielding a diminished output.

We had potential with your big brains and my big ideas. We worked so well together and your Waffy blood ensured that sexual relations were always very charged. I wasted too many years dithering and holding you back. By the time you ended it I had become a bitter person. I respectably befriended you on more favourable terms and I am pleased to call you a friend once more.

My darling Scholastica:

My brother has recently written you a very public note. And I will always remain sworn to secrecy. After all as they say - what happens in Warri stays in Warri. Let us leave it at that...........

Yours


Atutu

45 comments:

30+ said...

"I threw a blackboard duster at you. Even as I knelt down outside as punishment for my transgression, I swear that I have never been more sure of my love for another person".

Even as I read the passion of the writer jumps at me and leaves me in no doubt that this can only be called one thing....MAD LOVE.

30+ said...

But why I am first and about to be second, this is by all means a feat worthy of applause.

30+ said...

Why have two when you can have three.

Gold, Silver, Bronze all mine.

The applause is now at it's loudest and so I take my bow.

Jeff Corbin said...

To Atutu.

Lovely penance.

Lovely post.
Another lovely day in Blogsville begins.

Is the trip over yet?

Jaycee said...

Top 5...pat on my back...brb!

Jaycee said...

Hauwa must have really suffered in ur hands...a blackboard duster? Poor child!

With Jackie u learnt that love was not a bed of roses, but a bittersweet experience. I guess at some stage we all have to learn that.

Abt Farida...maybe u just weren't destined to dissolve the great friendship and make it a relationship. A best friend is better than a relationship that never made it...lol.

As for Tinuke...I'm hoping that's not her name in "real life."

Abt Monica, I couldn't help but feel extremely sorry for u...maybe if u had trusted her just for one extra mile...

Abt Ur waffy babe, Evie...no comment.

Hmmm...tell us more abt Scholastica...

@30+...I'm sorry to say this but u can only get the gold. The bronze belongs to urs truly...lol. I humbly accept it!

Ms. Catwalq said...

dang!
am not even top five
will be back

Ms. Catwalq said...

U were SQUEEZING boobs in the toilet?
1. That sounds painful...

2. Knowing Naija toilets, that sounds stinky

So now all that is said and done, where is your ode to me?

darkelcee said...

hmmm

maybe only maybe if u had done the underG sturves with Tinuke, something nice could have happened.

but we can never know.

lol@catwalq's comment

Lighty said...

ha ha ha ha ha. lololol. now i want to know about scholastica. he he he. lol.

is there something we should know?

reading u. i found myself comaparing u to jaja.
as u are brothers, i can only say it runs in the family.

interesting read. very very interesting.
umm back of sss3 block shea? now i know wot u got up to in school.
say, how many people did u underG with?
lol.

Lighty said...

and did u say. West yorks...??? interesting.

allyurz said...

Oh my! very well written! Why did I just discover your blog?

Ms Sula said...

Great read...

Poor Hauwa! But I actually feel more for Evie for some reasons...

But dang!That Scholastica must really be something... ;)

Naapali said...

If only this was penance enough but ha.. the road to true love is littered with foetid hearts and it looks like you contributed to the spoilage.

Of all these women, my heart bleeds for Hauwa the most.

guerreiranigeriana said...

you're related to jaja?...hmmmnnn...interesting indeed...if true...based on lighty's comment...

...beautifully written...you're amazing!!!...but ehn, where is my own letter?...produce it quickly...

...sidenote: got your email...had to scrap what i was working on...working on something new...thanks for the info...

uknaija said...

This is beautiful, bringing back many memories. You should publish it more widely

Nonesuch said...

I remember the Reign of Abiku. Very spooky.I also like Motara.. the character.

I also remember my mega crush on Kola Masha. He was on TV also. Anyone remember him?

curvyice said...

Only you how many you get.....lol. as usual you have managed to make 1938 look alike 2008....lol
nice job!!!!

Afrobabe said...

hmmmm before I read I have counted the names and I very much doubt if they are complete...there should be a "to be continued" sign at the end...lemme go and read...

Afrobabe said...

Lmao…you threw duster at Hauwa as a sign of love???

Hmmm Tinuke, the rule says thou shall not cock block ur friend but no rules about boob squeezing in the toilets huh…yuck…why the toilet of all places??
I am more than curios to know Scholastica’s story…pls pls plsssssssssss..the amebo in me cannot rest till I know.

Afrobabe said...

come oh...u and jaja ermmmmm did the same babe?????

Atutupoyoyo said...

@ 30+: You are right it puts the phrase "madly in love" in a brand new context. Fortunately I have since learned new ways to express my passion.

@ Jeff Corbin: Long time dude. Sadly the trip is over....for now

@ Jaycee: You break it down with the same clarity that you use in your blog. There is a lot that one can learn from old flames. And yes you win bronze.

@ Catwalq: LOL. Our toilets were very posh thank you very much. Besides it was behind and not quite inside. It was also more of a playful caress than a SQUEEZE. That sounds painful.
This is a penance to past loves my dear....not present ones

@ darkelcee: Tinuke was not having any of it. She wanted a public romance without the subterfuge. Sadly I felt too guilty

@ lighty: Yes Jaja is my brother from another mother. He is far more talented and any comparison is entirely to my credit and to his discredit.
How many UnderGs? A gentleman never tells.......
Yes o West Yorks but not for long. I done tire for the place and people.


@ allyurz: Thank you. Exactly. Why just now?

@ Ms. Sula: I know I was very bad to Evie in particular because then I could no longer blame the petulance of youth. I have learnt from it though and that is all one can hope for from any failed relationship.

@ Naapali: Bros I know the penance can never really end can it? It was your superb Aunty Biodun post and our subsequent conversation that reminded me of some of my young loves, particularly one's inability as a young boy to articulate those feelings. Hauwa was perhaps the most painful because after primary school I never saw or spoke to her again. The letter is my partial atonement.

P.S I owe you a call or is it the other way round? Search your heart

@ guerreira: Yes Jaja is my brother in name alone. All bloodlines and family ties are completely fictional.

Your own letter will be written when you become a past love. May that day never come.

Glad to see that you have started work. Overhwelmed by entries at the moment but keen to hear from you.

@ UK: Thanks men. As always you are far too kind with your compliments.

@ nonesuch: Ah so you remember Motara and Reign of Abiku. Yes that is where I first saw my friend o.

Kola Masha hmmmm.... The name is familiar. Was he a light skinned brother?

@ Curvyice: LOL. Thanks o. It is a modest number no be so? And the list is complete apart from one or two names for whom I will pay penance forever.

@ Afrobabe: Tchhhw. See this Benue girl. U think say I be like you? Make I no expose you here o. LOL

What can I say? Tinuke and I needed some privacy. And as I told Cat our toilets smelled of lilac and roses.

You too like gist. I have already said too much.

Today's ranting said...

Hmmmm I love th way you write. Very interesting post.

Lighty said...

hey! check ur email.

Lighty said...

i cant message u, i beg u send mi a message via email.

Zephi Fahrenheit said...

duster ke?
lmao..boys

what about monica? why did you not talk about her

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

hahahaha!

let me go read the scholastica piece

Lighty said...

well u've been tagged. sorry my bad!!!

Babatunde said...

My bow legged Lou. My queen of indescribable perfection...now that is funny!

Charizard said...

huh? samco? dude did u go to grace???

UnNaked Soul said...

I though we was suppose to have one true love per lifetime? *scratching my head - the one above my neck*

p.s. to reply your comment:
It took you so long to figure out? what were you doing? oh don't tell...

Ms. Catwalq said...

don't know why A Penny is doing you strong thing...but still I love you lots.
So here is a cache of kisses to last you till you figure out how to crack the code and access my blog cos I love my new template and have no plans to let it go for a while....MUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

soupasexy said...

i didnt see my name on there.
after all we went thru,no appreciation for me abi.ok o!

bumight said...

underG on the side? hmnn....

and poor Hauwa, she shared her Samco and u threw a blackboard duster at her!

Nonesuch said...

yes Kola Masha was light skinned. His mum was british i think.

J Adamthwaite said...

I wonder, will any of them read this? I would be warmed if I was one of these women and read this.

Barbarella123 said...

Yet another great post.

"I threw a blackboard duster at you. Even as I knelt down outside as punishment for my transgression, I swear that I have never been more sure of my love for another person".

This has to be my fav part of it... Made me giggle...

V well written

LemonadeGirl said...

Completely enamored with the way you write...

I'll def be back to read it all!

Xxx

Baroque said...

where the hell is my comment?
...4kin blogger...
brb

Queen of My Castle said...

Awwwww, to say this was cute would be a dishonorable thing to say, but words escape me. You are such a writer. Gosh, I think I both envy and admire that about you.

tobenna said...

You actually knew Abiku????
Dang!
I had a crush on that chick for like - forever! And the soundtrack to that movie still goves me the shivers

Adekunle Shobowale said...

Is that everyone?

You're sure you didn't omit any names Son?

elusivekate said...

very original and creative to turn what otherwise was sincere and perhaps misguided childish affections to a hilarious piece.thanks. i am now looking back on some of my past loves; it is fun.

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