My First Love
I have come to the conclusion that Aunty has my father under a very powerful spell. There is no doubt in my mind about that. And not just my father but also Nmaa, my grandmother.
In short, I do believe she and her daughter, Daniella, are using that spell together.
I can almost hear your scornful snort. Well, you may doubt and scorn all you want but I have years of experience and evidence to prove this.
Well, let us fast forward our story to four years later. By this time Mummy, as I have now been mandated to call her by the Almighty Chief Igwe Onuorah himself, has fulfilled my father’s lifelong dream by giving him the much desired heir apparent. And this bundle of joy meant my father’s attention was now divided into four parts, the lion share going of course to Afamefuna.
While I was smarting under these terrible times, Daniella the ever-smiling yellow pawpaw was busy stealing my grandmother’s attention from me too. From the day they’d moved in, a week before the wedding, she’d latched onto Nmaa like she never had a grandmother before. If it wasn’t orange she was peeling, it would be picking out grey hairs or even playing Ludo just to entertain the old woman. And soon, all I was hearing from the old woman was—Daniella this, Daniella that. And the worse constant comment, ‘Ada, you should try to emulate Daniella’.
Chei! A girl comes into my home and steals my entire family from me and I’m supposed to emulate her?
You see what I mean about spells? Mother is on one side keeping daddy to herself and daughter is on the other side snatching Nmaa from me.
Anyway back to the four years later gist. We were in SS2 at this time. I hope I don’t need to tell you that immediately after the wedding, even before that term had ended, daddy had whisked Daniella from her miserable local school to come join me in my high-class private school. But not just in my school, also in my class. So that soon I was not only tortured and tormented at home, I was also suffering in school—your sister is so brilliant… your sister is so hardworking… your sister is so innovative and blah blah blah.
But thanks to senior secondary classes, we soon separated and she of course took her brilliant self to the Science class while I, much more artistic and literary minded, was in the Art class.
This separation suited me. If na you, nko? It meant I had my own friends and my own admirers. It was a mixed school.
But no matter how many admirers I had, my heart was set on getting the Senior Prefect who was in SS3 as my boyfriend. His name was Adekunle Oyelola, a very good-looking, dark complexioned boy. To top it all, he was very intelligent and also the captain of the school’s football team.
Hey, don’t any of you go all holier-than-thou on me here. We were all teenagers once with wild raging hormones charging through us. So, please spare me that self-righteous this-girl-is-really-spoilt look.
Anyway, every senior girl wanted Kunle to toast her but it was me who got the chance… or so I thought.
I was lurking around the field one break period, drooling dreamily all over Kunle, on the pretext of watching the school football team play a friendly match with another school, when my chance came. After the match, Kunle had walked straight to me.
“Hello, excuse me please, may I talk to you?” He asked courteously.
I could see the envious looks from those silly loose girls who’d left their classes to while away their time at the field staring at boys.
“Okay. How may I help you?” I asked hiding my joyous smile behind a serious look. Who wants to be termed easy?
“You are Adaeze Onuorah, right? And you are in SS 2D?” Kunle inquired. Despite his sweat-drenched body and slight heat-odour, he still looked so gorgeous.
“Yes, I am.” So he’d taken the time to find out who I was, my heart soared. “Hope there’s no problem?”
“No. Please don’t be alarmed.” He smiled.
Me, alarmed kè? When my heart was doing a break dance out of excitement and joy already.
“Okay, no problem. Just get straight to the point, I’d like to get back to my class, break is almost over.” As serious student concerned now.
“Sorry to delay you but I need your help.” Just then the bell rang. “Oh there goes the bell… please can I come over to your house this evening?”
“You know my house?” Kai, this boy is serious o.
“Yes I do. Please permit me to come over to your house and explain my dilemma to you, please?” Kunle pleaded urgently.
“Okay, no problem. But ask the gate man to call me when you get to our gate.” I instructed. “My father might be around.”
With a grateful smile and wave Kunle hurried back to his class and I, to mine.
His dilemma? What a matured and brilliant way to begin his toasting.
That evening I forgave readily every sneaky thing Daniella and her dear mother did against me. I even allowed little Afam to come and play in my room and scatter all my valuables everywhere.
I was in such a happy, carefree state that nothing and no one could offend me.
My attention was fixated on the window overlooking the front courtyard, so once I saw Adamu, our gateman, heading towards the house, I made straight for the door.
“Where are you going to, Ada?” Nmaa asked as I opened the French door.
Chei! This woman and her hidden eyes sef. “Nmaa, I’m just going to sit outside for a little while, I’m feeling a little stifled here.” I lied.
“Stifled in here? With the AC on?” Nmaa eyed me suspiciously.
“Maybe she just wants natural air.” Daniella quipped, raising her head from the pineapple she was slicing in tiny cubic form, just the way Nmaa liked it.
Over sabi, who asked you? But I grabbed at that life-line. “Yes, Nmaa, I need fresh, natural air. It’s quite different from the air emitted by the AC, you know.” I smiled like I knew what I was talking about. Who cared what kind of air came from the AC as long as it was cool.
Nmaa snorted, not believing my excuse. But I knew I was free to go. I practically ran to the gate.
As soon as I stepped outside the gate I saw Kunle in mufti, jeans and polo shirt. He looked even more handsome. After our initial greetings and exchange of pleasantries, his first question nearly shocked the life out of me.
“Daniella is your sister, right?”