Ep 2 - STRIKE 1
The first few weeks at Lariba were quite enjoyable; I felt normal, accepted, maybe even liked, but all that changed before I could say “Jack Robinson.” I guess you can’t hide a lamp under a blanket. It was elementary school all over again; girls talking behind my back, boys making up rumors that were clearly not true. They saw me as a “kiss ass,” just because teachers absolutely loved me. How could I help that. Call me an overachiever but I think teachers like to feel that they are actually teaching someone when they have a student that excels exceptionally. After a while I accepted my fate and settled to be the mean person people made me out to be. I had only a few friends whom I could relate with on a normal level and I was just fine with that.
I was a jack of all trade, and best believe I was a master of them all. I was a member of the debate club with plans of running for office the next semester; I joined the school junior choir and was fast climbing the ladder to become lead singer; I was learning to play the violin, and had my sights on the flute and cello; of course I was appointed by my class teacher to be the prefect, which meant I got certain privileges over my class mates, and had the authority to appoint anyone to do certain chores. I think listing things out like that I would understand why some people saw me as a threat, but I just couldn’t help it. I could deal with all the negativity as long as I could keep my mind as occupied as I could.
All this while I had been careful to avoid the little terror – Obioma. His reputation as a vicious fellow was fully blown and everyone knew best to just leave him be. Then one beautiful day during an English class I felt a bump on my head. Being the rational, level headed girl that I am, I simply turned to look at the perpetrator of the act and picked up the pencil that was thrown on my head. It turned out that Obioma was indeed the culprit even though it was just an accident. You could hear crickets in the class with the silence that followed in anticipation what would happen next between mean girl and bad boy. I wasn’t about to interrupt the class so I simply put the pencil in my locker, locked it up, and faced the teacher who was still teaching totally oblivious to what was going on behind her.
Next thing I know I fell a sharp jab on my shoulder. Obioma was standing next to me rudely asking for his pencil. I totally ignored him of course, and then he said, “Hey Nkem, or whatever your name is give me my pencil or…”
I was already getting irritated and I snapped back at him, “or what?”
“Or I would slap you,” was his comeback.
Now I have found myself in different situations with guys but no matter what they threatened, none of them ever actually went through with it. So I called his bluff.
“Go ahead and do what y0u want.”
It could have been about 5 seconds after that I felt a sharp sting on my left cheek; yes, I remember what cheek it was because I sometimes feel that sting when I think back on that day.
My blood turned hot instantly but again as the rational, level headed girl that I am, I knew that it would be senseless getting into a physical fight with a boy. No matter how skinny or little they look, they usually turn out to be stronger. Sonia, and Olamide could testify to this after they tried to fight with boys.
I simply took the pencil out of my locker and threw it out of the window. “Fine, there you go.”
That incident marked a turning point for both our lives. Even though Obioma enjoyed the limelight for about a week following his slapping me, I knew that my lack of action came to him as a surprise and set the ball rolling for what was to come.
Don’t get me wrong though. I was silent that day but that was just to give me time to think, time to plan how I would get him back in a way that would hurt him most. I was going to be patient and wait for the perfect time when I would finally get my revenge. In the mean time I was going to ignore what had happened as embarrassing as it was. My time would come, and Obioma would not even know what hit him when it did. I too would have my moment, or would I?
(To be continued next week)
Catch up on episode 1 here
Ep 1 – THE BEGINNING
How did I get to this point in my life? When did things get so out of hand that I can no longer get a grip of my emotions? NO! This isn’t me. This isn’t Sylvia Nkemjika Agu. I would like to explain to you why I’m ranting so, but it might not make sense so I’d have to tell you the whole story.
I’ve heard that the most difficult part of a story is the beginning. I would understand why anyone would think that now. Where do I start? What do I say? What do I not say? I need to start writing soon despite my confusion because some of the precious things I would love to remember are slowly but very surely fading away. I have had a long memory for too long; it’s time to start putting it down in black and white before it’s all gone and forgotten.
It all started in September 1996; I can remember that much because for the first time in my life I felt “grown up.” In retrospect that was a really funny thought considering the fact that I was only 12 years old. Having been born the last in a family of 4, I lived a very sheltered life. My father worked as an oil contractor and my mother an independent business woman. The nature of my dad’s work caused him to constantly move from place to place, but in order to maintain a stable household, he opted to move alone while we stayed home with my mom. She didn’t have a problem because she was her boss and her business headquarters was in the house anyway. Every holiday we would visit my dad wherever his base was or we would vacation outside the country. On his path, my dad did his best to make sure he came home to visit as much as he could. As kids we weren’t able to just go out and play in the streets like kids our age did. Whenever we had visitors, it was always supervised. There was no wanting for help in my house because there were 4 maids, a chef, and a security guard on the payroll. What a charmed life I’m sure you think.
I’m not ungrateful for the life I had, but I did not care so much for it. I liked to work and feel that sense of achievement after having completed a task; I still do till this day. I loved to challenge myself, and push my limits just to see how far I could go before breaking. This probably didn’t sit well with some of the kids that went to my elementary school. They saw me as a privileged kid who just got whatever she wanted; I’m not quite sure if they just never took note of how much work I put in to achieving my goals. I just could not accept anything less than perfect. Maybe it’s my blessing, but many times it has been my curse. For this reason I didn’t have many friends. They were either intimidated by me and my size I should add, or they outright hated me. For a young child this could be emotionally draining but all I could look forward to was finally being done with those shallow minded people and start afresh. I was admitted into Lariba International Secondary School in 1996. New place, new faces, new people, new start. For the first time in my life I was going to be away from home, by myself. I opted to go to boarding school just so I could feel that sense of independence. I just knew from the first day I stepped foot there that it was going to be a memorable journey, and it was.
I met Obioma Okorocha on the first day of school. He was a small, lanky, dark skinned kid with a mouth that spat fire. It was hard to imagine why such a fragile looking individual could be so rude and obnoxious. Sometimes I would look at him and think to myself, “Nkem you probably could beat this boy up oh,” reasons being I was taller than him and maybe had 20 pounds over him too. He argued over everything, and he just had to have the last word. I tried my best to ignore him in class just so I wouldn’t have to get into any arguments with him, but that did not work for very long. The events that followed were to shape my life in Lariba and beyond. There was no way for me to know that meeting this boy would affect my life so drastically. There was no way for me to see that my life was going to be irrevocably intertwined with this skinny little boy. This marked the beginning of a whole new turn in my life indeed…
(To be continued)
Read the next episode here
The process of finally getting to “The One” can be very tidious; but how do you know when you find the person that he is “The One?” Ladies you would agree with me that we ask ourselves this age old question when we are still in the puppy love stage of things, and even more so as we start to hear the tormenting sound of that biological clock as it strikes louder and louder with the years.
I have thought about this for a while and have come to this conclusion: “The One” is that man who sparks the fire in you; someone you love beyond the question “why?” He is the person whom you share the same world view with, and you fall in love with every time you lay your eyes on him. So now you know, are you settling for a “just nice” relationship, or have you indeed found “The One?”
Just to be sure, ask yourself the following questions and let’s discuss:
1. Can you consider your man as your bestfriend?
He has to be someone you can open up to completely. You feel comfortable in his company with no inhibitions. You’re not scared of stating just how you feel.
2. What would you rate him in terms of what your idea of a perfect man for you is?
Without being superficial or unreasonable, if he scored low in your charts then you are most likely settling. He has to have at least 90% of what you are looking for in a man; so that you don’t wake up one beautiful day thinking you made a mistake.
3. Can you take him home to meet the parents?
You’re African, so you know this is very important. People may say these days that the parents don’t matter, but believe me, if you are looking to have a lasting relationship, then the old folks at home should give you their support.
4. Does he stimulate both your body and mind?
Come on now! It’s not all about the sex (but that’s important too). He has to engage you in more ways than just your G spot.
5. What endeared him to you in the first place?
We know with time the puppy love wears away, but does he still possess that quality that attracted you to him to begin with. If he doesn’t, he was most likely pretending. Not a good start to any long lasting relationship.
6. Can you imagine waking up to him for the rest of your life?
I know this can sound a little scary, but this is what the fact is if you are shooting to get that life partner (emphasis on LIFE). In fact, what should scare you is that thought of NOT waking up to him for the rest of your life.
Well ladies I wish you the best in the search of this very elusive man who would sweep you off your feet; make sure he is someone whom you want not just for a minute thrill, but for a relationship that should last two lifetimes.
And when you do find “The One,” please hold on to him. Cheers.
A beautiful, young girl (name is still yet to be ascertained) was found in a pool of her own blood, butchered to death by her boyfriend. The details of what led to this very gruesome sight is still sketchy, but it is believed the boyfriend brutally killed her for allegedly cheating on him. The girl was said to have started a close online relationship on facebook with a man in the USA. Their relationship became more intimate and he came back to Nigerian to visit her. The Nigerian boyfriend found out about the relationship and confronted the couple when they met at a hotel. The unfortunate girl met her doom when she went to see the boyfriend later on. We would keep you posted as more details emerge on this case. We hope that justice be met in this case, but share with us your take on the situation.