POSTED 08/10/2018 14:39
I didn’t seem to grasp into my reasonably sized head any logical reason why God didn’t make me like Ogenna. The fact that she was so perfect baffled me and above all, I knew I was stupidly jealous of her but I couldn’t help it. I tried so many countless and unfruitful times and even used abortive measures to convince myself that it wasn’t worth the chase but I found myself always dreaming and wishing that I was like Ogenna. One word; perfect.
During break, I went to canteen with Bukkie and Chidimma; my best friends. We bought some sausage rolls and Cokes and sat on the concrete sit-outs eating and discussing. Ogenna was standing in front of the canteen with Ugochi and Chidera; her two best friends and a numerous number of the popular boys in my set. Her friends were sexy and beautiful no doubt. Ogenna laughed at something that Ekemobong Damidele had said. Dami; the cutest boy in SS1, my crush since I started at Foresyth Academy four year years ago.
Ogenna was not that tall but more on the petite side. She always had her full, natural halo of hair in micro cornrows that ran down her head and ended in skillfully plaited twists that crawled down her shoulders. Her eyes looked like they had been slightly pulled at their corners. What my mother called anya agwo or anya buusu. Snake or Cat eyes. She always wore a wide, immaculate, toothful smile that accentuated a pair of full pink lips and her flawlessly fair complexion. She waved her beautiful hands with perfectly manicured nails at someone and laughed. Her silver swan earrings shun.
I was older than her by a month but she looked so mature in our school's white shirt and blue pleated skirt uniform. Her shirt was pushed forward by a set of full and ample bosoms with the two top buttons that just wouldn’t budge close. I looked down at my paper flat chest and even flatter buttocks, quite another story. Her skirt rode up her legs as she walked being carried by a perfectly rounded set of buttocks with the most beautiful and slender legs attached to them.
In all, Ogenna was BEAUTIFUL! All the boys in our set were drawn to her like bees to honey. I really should admit, I really liked her because she was beautiful and popular and above all she was a star student. She made straight A's all the time and sometimes led her class. I know that now you must think that I’m insecure and inordinately envious of her or a stalking psychopath and that I should love me for me and all that bull shit about being your own self but it wasn’t all that easy having Ogenna around.
I always wished I could talk to her. At least, maybe if she was my friend, I’d have a chance. Everybody I knew who talked to her claimed that she was really affable and wasn’t proud nor did she look down on anyone. She had a father based abroad, a dentist mother and a university elder sister who was a slightly more improved version of her and a younger brother. She even…
“Chichiba, are you even here or are we on this Ogenna issue again?” Chidimma snapped me back to reality.
“I’m so sorry, it’s just that the girl is so perfect and am not,” I sulked taking a huge slurp of my Coke. “Chiba, don’t say that biko, you’re beginning to sound irrational, you are perfect for us abeg. We’ve been on this Ogenna agenda for what? Four years now. This is really beginning to sound like a broken gramophone record. Please something new,” Bukkie complemented “And she’s not even that fine, if you look at her closely that her pointed nose is not original,” we all burst into fits of laughter and I knew Bukkie only said that to make me feel better.
Ogenna was really fiiiiinneee. The mood however lightened, and our discussion took a turn as we talked about the SS3 boy that was fine and Chidimma stated that Ogenna had made out with most of the SS3 boys which we already knew and we delved back to Ogenna and then we talked about Corper Jibrin that couldn’t balance chemical equations but gave extra marks to the girls he liked.
School over came faster than I imagined and the good Lord seated on his throne in heaven, caring for his children knows that I didn’t understand a speck of “calculating relative molecular mass” that Corper Jibrin; my Chemistry teacher was babbling on about in class but I was immensely grateful to God because I was having an excruciating one sided head ache. As I walked to the bus stop with Chidimma and Bukkie and we chewed on some fried ground nuts, we saw Ogenna and friends taking Snapchat selfies.
I swore to God who made me, that I detested many things in my life, but one that incensed me, tore at my insides, boiled my blood and had me on my feet was seeing pictures of boys with the Snapchat floral crown filters on their heads but the one of Damidele that Bukkie practically pushed into words and opposites, standing next to voluptuous Bukkie and I began to feel that the planks lying in front of the biology lab we’re even shapelier.
Chidimma was on the track and we had promised that we would come over to cheer her with bandanas securely tied over our nostrils to avoid that toxic brouhaha, after hearing part one of the latest gist in class. Insects buzzed around the red ixora plants that hedged our classroom block. I vividly remembered when we used to pluck them and suck out the nectar in them when we were in JSS1 till Bolaji in SS1D got sick. Trust me, an ant could conquer that boy’s immune system.
“What are you wearing to Kunle's party” Bukkie asked me.
Kunle was the boy in SS1B that Bukkie had finally settled on that he was “correct boyfriend material”. He had been asking her out since JSS3 and she finally agreed last term. Well, Chidimma and I convinced her…okay…well, practically forced her and now she could tell us every single detail of their make out sessions.
Don’t think I’m petty or over obsessed about having a boyfriend but I just looooove details. Don’t you? I was the only one of my friends yet to have her first kiss so would you blame me?
“Just normal o, like that one I wore to your house on Saturday,” I replied.
“God forbid! Don’t wear that nonsense o!” she laughed. “Maybe if you wore something like that, Dami will finally notice you,” she laughed, pointing up ahead.
I strained my eyes and saw Ogenna and pals approaching the class. Ogenna wore a grey crop top and I think it said “SPORT” in pink glittery words, revealing a fair complexioned flat stomach with pink microshorts that almost revealed the bottoms of her bottoms and grey classy laceups that were the rage right then. Bukkie and I entered the class and I caught a glimpse of Ogenna staring at me, when our eyes met, she looked away. I was puzzled. Ogenna was the big girl. I was just, and always had been. Plain Jane.
I really didn’t understand what my best friend; Owojirin Adenike Sylvia Bukola also known to the general public as Bukkie could be talking about with Adekunle Michaels for up to an hour, at the far end of the class. I was at the other and Ogenna and friends at the only other corner in the class. Seats and lockers we’re scattered about and the class littered and I was thinking that Mrs. Okeke; my form teacher should have made me class prefect instead of that lazy little Okonji Bella that I detested with all my might, feeling over perfect in her cat eyed glasses and short hair. Trust me, I was feeling lonely and lost at that end, immensely uncomfortable and feeling like a fool. I felt like claiming custody of my class immediately.
“Shoo! You rebels and infidels. This is SS1A and not B. I felt like saying, so I could talk to Bukkie. Guess what? ALONE!!!
“Oya Ugochi finish my edge control, you can even use it to cook soup” Ogenna laughed as she snatched the jar from Ugochi's well clasped hands.
“COMMAND!!! COMMAND!!!!” Chidera yelled, startling everyone including me who was lost in a labyrinth of thoughts where Dami and I strolled the beach. I was jolted back to the human race.
“Ugochi, you see what you have caused, now Chidera has to command me” Ogenna slapped Ugochi across her shoulder in mock annoyance and Ugochi returned a full deserved dose back or even worse that sent Ogenna squealing in pain.
“I want your maroon lipstain” Chidera said.
“That was my favorite!! Why are you so wicked, Abi we use it together?” Ogenna sulked but Chidera would here none of it and Ogenna handed it over.
“I’ll still get you and I’ll collect your new white gold hoops–”
“Hello! Before I count to five, I don’t want to see a single soul in this class!” that was the next booming voice I heard from our masculine female looking sports captain.
I swore she had a moustache and hair dotted her chin too. We all trudged out from the class and I was sure the immense and seething hatred I had for Chidera at that exact moment for blubbering out and yelling COMMAND and attracting the beast of a captain was a mutual one.
“This Funke can spoil show eeh,” Bukkie nudged me as we left the class.
Kunle winked at her, waved and ran off. Bukkie smiled and waved back. I caught her bite her lip.
“You and Kunle are the–” I was saying when I bumped straight into no other person but Ekemobong Damidele Victor.
“Sorry,” I mumbled as my knees got weak staring into his beautiful Yoruba and Calabar mixed enraged eyes.
“Next time, watch where you’re going or get yourself a pair of glasses,” he hissed and brushed past me.
Bukkie stared mouth agape.
“The obnoxious little pig!” she screamed as he scoffed from a distance.
“I will…” Bukkie was walking up to him but I held her back. “I don’t even know why you like that bastard!” my already double severed half healed heart burst at its seams never to repair and my eyes moistened.
“Let me get my bag from class,” I lied to Bukkie trying to hide my eyes to avoid doses of; “Chichiba, I’m disappointed that you’re in tears about this” in different ways and mediums.
“Ok. Let me escort you,” she said.
“Don’t worry I’ll be fast, go to the field and cheer Chidimma,” I said, biting my lower lip and staring intently at an Ash coloured, shiny pebble that stood out from the others. An Ogenna.
I made a mental note to tell Bukkie that I had made a mistake when she would eventually find the same Chidimma with my bag. I rushed past quickly back into my class and let off the water works. I couldn’t believe Damidele had scolded me like a child and then shoved me away. I was literally heart bro… Okay, I’ve said that countless times before. Triple times heart severed, as you already know. When I had cried to my fill and made to leave, I caught a glimpse of something glistering at the corner of the class. I walked over and discovered it was Ogenna's black, glittery or is it wetlook snake skin bag that I heard her father had got her from Italy.
I sighed and made to leave but a huge surge of curiosity overtook my being and I felt like the rightest thing to do at that moment was to pry just a little. It didn’t really matter. Did it? It wasn’t like anybody would know. I unzipped the bag carefully, there lay her half used jar of edge control, maroon lipstain, some make up, her iPhone six with the lilac phone casing that had a picture of Minnie mouse behind it. I opened it to reveal the lock screen picture of she, Chidera and Ugochi in a sefie but I didn’t know her password so I moved on. Then, there was a small, pink pocket journal with her name written in cursive letters in front. I flipped through the pages absent mindedly through the rows of beautifully and neatly arranged cursive script where she dotted her I's and J’s with hearts and flowers that irked the devils out of some people, including me sha. My handwriting was what my mother liked to call “Ebe okuko gwotolo agwoto” A place scattered by a hen. Then I sat down and read through it.
Tues, 18th July.
I am sick and tired of pretending that I like Kayode and Damidele and all the others when only I know the truth. I cannot tell anyone cos I will not be accepted. Chidera and Ugochi will go beserk if they know. I truly know how it feels to be in love and not loved back…
Wait! Ogenna not loved back by someone? It must be a joke. I thought the person was insane or blind but I thanked God that at least someone wasn’t looking at Ogenna and the boy would maybe spare some time of the day with girls like me and this fueled my curiosity. The person must be delirious. This wasn’t humanly feasible. I thought yet again…
It sucks having a different lifestyle choice. The one I’m in love with doesn’t even know I exist. Even though it’s not being shown. All I know is that one day, I’ll finally be loved back. Chichiba Gabriella Nzubechukwu Okoye. I love you and no one can stop it. I dream of our kisses every ni…
I reread the page like eighty times before I realized it was actually my name on the page. Chichiba Gabriella Nzubechukwu Okoye. I love… She knew my native name that even Bukkie and Chidimma knew of only recently and never called me because I hated the name. But that was not the case. Fear gripped me at once. Ogenna - A LESBIAN!!!! In love with meeee!!
I turned the back if the book and it was full of my name in different forms, hearts and lipstick kisses like a teenager hit with a huge douse of estrogen. I could not believe what I saw it was as though my head was spinning out of rotation and I would soon black out. Tiny green circles hovered before my eyes. The book dropped from my shaking hands. My heart pounded so loudly, I could hear it. I was jealous of Ogenna yet she was in love with me. What sense did that make all of a sudden? NONE!!!! At all.
But how was Ogenna a lesbian, she had numerous boyfriends! But I had heard tales of lesbians. I never knew I would see any in Nigeria. Or even Forsyth Academy. I tried to work out the whole situation in my head but it was causing a system overload, then, I tried to walk out of the class but I was frozen to the ground until I heard Ogenna’s voice outside say “I’m coming!! I forgot my bag.”
Fear gripped me the more and before I could say Jabber… She swung into the class and stared dead at me mouth agape and her dirty secret in pink journal form on the ground and then back to me and my mouth went dry. Now she looked flushed and pale, shaking and quivering like a mango leaf in the wind or someone hit with an instant surge of celebral malaria.
Now we were together, one on one. I didn’t know what to do or what to say because the whole situation was seriously freaking me out and also very oddly a tad amusing but just a tad not much or not even amusing at all. Something straight out of a suspense novel. I thought but there was no use staying in this position for both parties now visibly scared out of our skins. I had to face it headlong because it was just she and I now. Chichiba Gabriella Nzubechukwu Okoye and Ogenna Kendra Ewulu. Plain Jane versus Big Girl
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