I started this story to tell a particular story but at the end, emerged a different one. Oyin, I hope this holds the forte for when that story comes…
My name na Paulina. You see, me na from a good home. Church every Sunday, Bible study Tuesdays and Thursdays, Evangelism on Fridays, that kain thing.
As the only girl of my parents, you go expect say dem go spoil me. For where? I dey work like Jacki. For my eye, my hands be like Ponmo wey don see sun. But my friends say I get fine hands. Anyway, that one na tori for another day. You see we get blender for house yet Mummy go send me grinding stone for pepper. Pounding machine dey o because as a correct Ondo man, Daddy no dey use Pounded Yam play, but every Sunday afternoon, na me, mortar and pestle go dey make tungba tungba for neighbourhood. Everybody don know me, ‘Lina the Pounding Girl.
Na so my life be till I enter University. As I enter Uni, I get boyfriend. The boy deflower me, wetin dey there? But to yarn truth, e pain o! One, Bobo come my room. Roommates no dey. On top bunk bed wey get iron spring wey sabi do prin prin every time pesin move, na on top that kain bed e take deflower me. The discomfort no be here. Two. Bobo no use condom. But as JJC wey I be, wetin I for do? Na so e begin beg me after. “Baby, sorry. Baby, maybe I should get you something. Let me call my friend, he should know. Is it still paining you? Maybe I should just go to a chemist or something. Are you okay?”
As e dey talk the sorry, dey talk all these things, I dey cry the more. For my mind, fear wan kill me. Jesuuu!! What if I get bele? How I for do? Wetin I go tell Mummy? Jesuuu!!! STD nko? To come top am, that day after Bobo go, to piss na issue!! What if trumpet blow? Wetin I go tell Baba God? Na so I begin fire prayer of forgiveness, against pregnancy, STD ati bee bee lo.
But as I begin get sense, I come realize say even if Baba God go help me, me sef go help myself. After that first time, I come talk to Shayo, one of my roommates, make she follow me go Pharmacy. When we reach, I beg her make she help me buy condom and contraceptives. I too shame. Abeg, how pesin for take ask for that kain thing? But Shayo get weyrey for head well well. The way she take ask ehn, you go think say na cloth she dey buy for Yaba.
Na so things be until that stupid Clara wey her room no far from my own for Block Two decide say she want my boyfriend. JJC wey I be na, I no see wetin dey happen until Clara don steal Bobo finish. E pain me o. when I ask Bobo, e say “You’re too much of a good girl. Every time Missionary. Every time Mummy” E jo! Ewo tun ni “too much of a good girl”? As we dey argue, I use style google “Missionary”, make I first know wetin e mean. Finally, I leave Bobo for Clara, after plenty weeks of crying and begging.
Anyways I come get am for mind say, I go do Clara back. Say I go find way learn all the things wey Bobo leave me for. After she collect Bobo from me, I collect 2 guys from her but this her current Bobo, I no want. Every night na him Clara dey fire my devil for prayer. I dey hear the prayer because she dey shout “Paulina Fire! Paulina Fire!” every night, come complete am with bell. Mumu girl, instead of make she dey fire her current boyfriend for prayer, na me she dey fire. Everybody for Block One and Two know say the guy dey panel beat Clara face well well and when we see am, ask wetin do her, she go say she fall from bike, or she waka enter door. Yinmu! We know say your boyfriend na Bash Ali.
Anyways, jungle don mature and time don reach wey I go close Clara and her boyfriends’ chapter. University don nearly finish and girls don dey become women.
This afternoon I get Lunch with one of my brothers’ friend, Michael. The kain question wey I ask Michael ehn, you go think say he wan contest for President; whether e don get STD before, whether e get pikin for somewhere (too many baby mama drama these days). When I wan come finish am, I ask whether he don experiment with another guy before. You sef talk “Ha!” Be there o. You never hear say side chicks don dey be guys now?
Now I dey go downstairs go meet Michael. Our lunch na this afternoon. E say make I suggest. E dey expect say I go mention Chinese restaurant. I just tell am, “I know a place in Marina, close to Union Bank. We can have Amala there.” Bros shock. Anyways, I don dey hostel car park. I see Michael as e stand near one black Toyota Corolla. I waka go the car. As I reach, “Hi, Michael”, I talk for correct English.