My friends and I and our love portion

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We were four friends, Osita, Ebuka, Onyeka and myself. Primary school was fun and we all enjoyed it. There was Adaeze whose Dad was a top civil servant and Mum just like mine was a primary school teacher. My friends considered Adaeze to be the most beautiful person ever created by God, unfortunately for me I have beauty “blindness”. I hardly indentify someone as beautiful and besides being a daughter of a primary school teacher, I considered her a rival. We all attended the same school, Station Urban Primary School, Abakaliki.

Let me tell you a little bit about my friends. Ebuka and Osita were cool headed and take their studies very serious. Onyeka on the other hand was not only hot headed but could hardly spell his name. What you considered trivial was always a big issue for him. He fought me for a week for daring to call my father Daddy. For him, it was an unforgivable sacrilege to call someone who has no car, Daddy rather than Papa. The fight was intense but I refuse to revert to Papa. The title Daddy which I learnt from him (Onyeka) was very exoteric to me and I loved the roll of it in my tongue. Later we became friends and my father continued to bear the new title.

One day Onyeka summoned us to our “small council meeting” and told us that he has discovered a way of forcing Adaeze to fall in love with all of us. Then, we were all in the age bracket of 9-10 years and in primary 4. Osita was the only one who was in primary 5. Our notion of Adaeze falling in love with all of us was lost on me and I was not interested, neither were Ebuka and Osita. But Onyeka convinced us that Adaeze would start smiling at us, giving us some of the plantains her mother fry almost every evening which we normally perceive oozing out of their flat. At the mention of plantain, we became interested. Then Onyeka told us that we only need to capture a red head (Male) Lizard, dry it and mix it with Adaeze’s urine and voila, evening plantains would become ours.

That was not the first time we experimented with lizard. We once hunted lizard eggs for our goal post to prevent our opponents from scoring any goal against us. The first and only time I placed the egg at my goal post, I was beaten silly, 6-1 and I stopped associating lizard with success. But somehow, Onyeka managed to convince us and hunt for male lizard started. We were able to capture one the next day, dissected it and spread it to dry. Other “yard” members were wondering why the poor lizard suffered such cruelty in our hands but we kept mum. On the fifth day or so, the thing dried up and we pounded it into dust form. The big question, How are we going to gain access to Adaeze’s urine? Adaeze’s family lived in second floor directly opposite our compound. The shame of not even thinking of how we were going “to bell the cat” before going for the lizard hunt was just annoying. Are we going to climb the stairs in the night and scoop any urine from their water closet and hope that the urine would be Adaeze’s own? Our small council meeting ended and we all went home disappointed, annoyed and hurt. For me, that was the end of the road.

Four days later, Onyeka summoned the meeting of our small council and informed us that he had the solution to our problem. We sat down and listened to him. The complexity and complicated nature of what Onyeka suggested not only left us bewildered and frightened but 2 decades later whenever I remember the sort of idea that can run through the head of a 9 years old, I shudder.

Years later after the incident, Osita, Ebuka and I went to university for further studies while Onyeka managed to finish secondary school education. Ebuka and Osita secured jobs with new generation banks and are doing well in their chosen profession. Onyeka delved into business world and is living a life most of us are still dreaming of; Chains of hotels, bungalows here and there and rides the latest automobiles. I am sincerely happy for the way it’s going for all of us and as I remember this past incident, I really wish myself a happy birthday.

N/B: While this story is true, I deliberately changed the names of my friends. This post was posted on my Facebook wall on 30th May, 2019

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