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Teenage Memories – Episode 1 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

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Teenage Memories – Episode 1 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

It was a very dark cold evening; the clouds had gone dark before 7PM. It was obvious we were going to have a very long night. One of those nights that hiding behind the door to scare a friend could lead to major quarrel. The person go first fear then hammer you better slap. By this time, number 21 had few people moving up and down. Most of them were indoors, watching movie or eating dinner. Lovett smiled as Alfred approached her. He had a black bag in his left hand. She knew no one was watching and her mischievous self flew at the opportunity. She drew him close and pushed her tall frame all over him. He didn’t flinch or make a run for the exit. She quickly found her way into his brown short and it was a quick touch and squeeze fun.

“Run go drop wetin dem send you, I dey wait for under staircase,” she said into his right ear before letting him go. He moved away and walked calmly like nothing had happened. She rushed to their spot and patiently waited for her prey to return. It was a long wait and finally there he was running towards her. “Oya, sleep for ground,” Alfred said.
“My clothe go dirty jor.”
“Oya, stand near that bag,” he said pointing towards Mama Ada’s bag of corns.
“Okay, but do quick o,” Lovett said turning to rest on the bag of corns.
It is no secret what they always do under the staircase but these days she has been the one setting the P. Could he just be the one waiting someday, she wondered. Days became weeks and weeks became months. No one knew this was going on until the new boy came around.

Teenage Memories – Episode 1 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

It was a three storey building and the place had more single room tenants than double rooms. The colour of the building was already losing its glory. No one could say if it was wine, red or brown. The number though is a popular one because people were always coming in and out of that building.
Number 21 had too many funny adults but more dangerous children. Parents were afraid to leave keys to the door for them when leaving the house. Parents would always take their key along and ask these kids to play outside. Adults would stand by their door and signal innocent kids to come inside. They always had an errand that they needed you to run inside their shorts.

That afternoon, as the taxi pulled up outside our building. Cecilia, Alfred and I, were waiting to know who they had come to visit. It was the Christmas holiday and we had all the time in the world to run around doing nothing but gossip and discover new sins. A tall slim cute fair boy stepped out and an elderly man followed.
“Cover your mouth,” Alfred said to Cecilia.
“Common shut up,” she replied.
“Who dem dey fine o?” I asked both of them.
The man walked up to Mama Ada, she sells bread outside my building and asked his questions. Patiently, we waited to see what room they would enter. As they approached the staircase, we followed. They finally got to brother Kelvin’s door and knocked.
That evening as we were going out to fetch drinking water, we saw the elderly man get in a cab and leave. That automatically meant pretty boy was staying for the holiday with Kelvin.
“Make we check whether dem Nonso tap dey rush,” I said as we walked pass Nonso’s gate.
“E be like say you want make dem flog that your thin leg, abi?” Cecilia replied.
“Come make we go where we dey fetch free o.” Alfred added.

The next morning, Cecilia and I were talking by the well when the pretty boy appeared. “Good morning,” he said. Almost immediately we rushed, “Good morning o”. He looked so cute this morning, I said to myself. Cecilia was already dying to get his attention. No time for rubbish, I picked my filled bucket and left her with pretty boy.
When I came down for the 3rd bucket, Cecilia was still there, chatting with him. I wanted to know what they were discussing but I didn’t want to waste my time at the well this morning, if not na cane go end am. After my chores, I showered and came down stairs. Immediately, Alfred stepped out of their room. We were sitting together when Cecilia appeared.
“How una talk go?” I asked.
“Him name na Odinaka.” Cece replied.
“Who?” asked Alfred.

Teenage Memories – Episode 1 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

Teenage Memories - Episode 1 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)That evening, Odinaka was invited to come play under the staircase with us. It was a new experience for Odinaka because he sat there and didn’t do anything but just stare.
“What do you guys enjoy under the staircase?” Odinaka asked.
“We actually come here to escape the world,” I answered.
“Cecilia, wetin you tell am?” Alfred asked.
“I just tell am say make him meet us here.”
“Ever touched a girl?” Alfred asked Odinaka.
“How?” Odinaka asked.
“As in, like this,” Alfred said, Pushing his hand under my top.
I could swear I saw Odinaka turn pale. This innocent boy was going to learn how to be hood-wise tonight. Cecilia quickly moved closer to him and raised her top over her head.
“Touch my own,” Cece said to Odinaka.
“Hmmm!” Odinaka’s soft sound only revealed he had never done this before.
“Don’t worry, just touch it.” Cece encouraged Odinaka.
As Odinaka sat still without raising his hand, Cecilia picked his right hand and placed it on her breast. He didn’t remove them. He began to squeeze gently and after a while Cecilia pushed his shorts down and returned the favour. That evening, Alfred and I watched them do their thing. The next evening, Odinaka initiated another under the staircase moment but he was begging to touch Lovett.
“Alfred, can I be with Lovett?”
“I like her eyes.”
“Only this night o.” Alfred reluctantly agreed.

Teenage Memories – Episode 1 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

It was fun watching Cecilia and Alfred all over themselves as Odinaka touched and squeezed every flesh he could find. His hunger grew, it blew up in my face, his breathe coming too heavy and fast.
“Turn your back,” Odinaka said.
I did and from nowhere he was inside me. It was different and I swear this was the best. After 20minutes, we all began to gist and laugh over what had happened. We were too young to realize that what we had done was going to inspire the writing of a book 10years later.

That morning, I got a call from Cecilia.
“Have you seen the book?”
“What book?”
“Odinaka’s book,” she said.
Odinaka! That’s an old gist na. Cecilia, should know better. I had few memories of him because after the holiday we never spoke again. So, why the sudden importance?
“Wetin dey inside the book?”
“Go buy o!” Cece was sounding all excited.
“Mumu girl, come my house. I get copy”

I rushed over to her apartment, her husband had gone out. She threw the book at me and I wondered why she was giving this book all these importance. As I flipped through, my jaw dropped.
We had a special spot, it was under the staircase. Parents would never know how much evil they committed there.” I took in some air and continued. “They could share at that age and I didn’t understand where they learnt that from. These kids were too exposed for their age and I remember the one with the cat eyes.” Another quick breath and I continued.
“I miss her and I wonder where she is?” He was wondering when he could have asked. My husband better not read this book o. He wrote about everything we all shared. From the names of adults who were molesting little kids in the building to what had happened under the staircase. I miss those teenage memories but life has gat to move on and that’s where we at.

Davido’s IF Remix with R Kelly best decribes this episode. “I go chuk you chuku chuku eh” just keep ringing in my head.

…to be continued. Episode 2 will be published Wednesday 26th July 2017. Stay put.

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Anna Abu

I am many things. A Writer, Producer, Publicity Manager, Blogger, Entrepreneur. I will be more as the year passes. I am a blunt realist coated with imperfection.

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