While I was driving to wherever I was driving to two days ago, I remembered my friend, Bianca – not her real name, but close enough – and how we rapidly became close. Both of her parents were half Nigerian and half Lebanese, so I don’t know what that made her – quarter cast? – but she looked like a very light-skinned black girl. Her hair was the same texture as mine, except longer. She was beautiful. She had big eyeballs, pink lips, and big breasts. They weren’t that big really, but next to mine, almost any pair of breasts were bigger. She wore a 36C, while I was still in a training bra (and I was a year older than her). If she could see me now.
Anyway, Bianca had a boyfriend. She always had one anyway. I, on the other hand, I was shy of all boys, even those that were related to me. I think my cousin, Nachi, was the only one I was not shy to be around. I grew up as an only child’ I was mommy’s and daddy’s baby, and I went to an all-girls high school. I never stood a chance. But not Bianca.
I was in SSI – 10th grade for the Americans – when Bianca was dating a governor’s son. He attended Air Force Boys Military School, Jos, and that was supposed to be hot. Truthfully, they looked smart. A bunch of young, good-looking boys in soldier uniforms. Heck yeah. Anyway, so she was dating this governor’s son, don’t remember his name. He always came over – more like sneaked over – and brought her expensive gifts: designer watches, perfumes, bags. Ah, e don tey since government dey chop our money.
I didn’t have all of those things, nor did I know anyone who could buy me those things. Bianca always shared though. I remember my first designer perfume: Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger. Then Romance by Ralph Lauren. I loved them. Since I couldn’t afford any of them, I took the time to write their names down. E also don tey since my eye dey up. I was determined to use them one day. Now that I think of it, that might explain why I once owned 38 bottles of perfumes.
One day, Bianca sneaked out of school — and I went with her – the mumu accomplice. Her boyfriend had rented a hotel room close to her house and was apparently dying to see her. I went with her because her aunt trusted me to be the good girl and knew that her niece was the bad girl. Because of that, Bianca was always safe whenever she said she was with me. So off we went to this hotel to see her boyfriend.
He came with two of his friends, and all five of us were in one little hotel room that barely had enough leg room for all of us. And this was supposed to be a good hotel. While Bianca and her boyfriend engaged in a heavy make-out session which included tongue-kissing and boob-squeezing, the rest of us pretended not to know what was going on. Awkward. Being the shy girl that I was, you cannot imagine the hell that was burning inside me.
In the middle of pretending not to know what Bianca was doing with her boy, one of the boyfriend’s friends – an Igbo boy whose name I cannot remember now … Iyke? Nnamdi? Ifeanyi? – came over to me and started rubbing my back. Ah, I ran away oh! Shy girl from St. Louis College, and you’re rubbing my back. No, oh. But apart from my shyness, there was another reason why I did not want him touching me.
It was Muyiwa. I was madly in love with him. Muyiwa was the other friend was who just sitting there, pretending not to know what was going on. Unlike me, however, he did not have an unwelcome distraction. I loved Muyiwa for one reason alone. It was not his looks (I don’t remember what he looked like); it was not for his money (I don’t know if he had any); it was not for his intelligence or charisma (I knew nothing of that). It was his name. Muyiwa. I did not know what it meant. At that time, I did not even know it was a Yoruba name. Something about the sound of it just felt at home. Muyiwa.
Strangely, we never talked. But I secretly loved him … until I couldn’t remember his name anymore. But it was great while it lasted. And it is only now – while typing this post – that I have learned the meaning of the name. Full name: Oluwamuyiwa = God brought this / God has given this / God’s gift.
I wonder how Muyiwa is doing.
P.S. In case you’re wondering, I no longer own 38 bottles of perfume. I now own 14, and I have no intention of buying another one, until I use up every last drop of these ones.