First Love (The Women I Love)
When do we humans first become aware of ourselves? When do we take note of our environment? When is the first time we recognize others? At what age do we start having friends? When do we first fall in love?
Recently, I saw a compilation video of toddlers of varying ages arguing, crying and begging their parents that they wanted a boyfriend or girlfriend. A tiny girl was even packed up and ready to leave the house cos her dad won’t let her have a boyfriend. This reminded me of my childhood.
As a child in primary school, I had just two friends, Junior and MB. Junior was a boy like me and MB was easily the most beautiful girl in the world. Everyone else I knew was just an acquaintance.
I, Junior and MB can best be described as triple-pea-in-a-pod. Wherever you see one of us, before you counted one to five, the remaining two of us would show up. All of this started right from our kindergarten days, cos we all started our education at that school, and despite trying really hard to look further behind, I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know them and we weren’t already friends.
Looking back as an adult then, I can only imagine how funny, silly and cute we looked walking around hand-in-hand. It was practically impossible to separate us.
A couple of years into my primary education, I changed schools. For the first time in my life, I was without Junior and MB. I didn’t find it difficult getting settled in at my new school, but I found it impossible to replace my best friends. I actually ached, remembering them and wishing I could see them every week. I never got close to anyone else like I was with them. Some people will argue that’s why I find it difficult to commit to one person.
Fast forward a couple of years later, I was returning early from school during our Junior High School Leaving Exam. Guess who I met on the road. Junior.
I was shocked to see him walking with some guys. They were coming across from me. I called his name, he stopped in his tracks. His face lighted up with acknowledgment, but there was still a tinge of doubt there too.
It seems he recognized me, but couldn’t figure out from where. My tongue meanwhile was too tied to roll out words. His friends meanwhile stood by watching us. Neither of us uttered any more words. Finally one of his friends said they had to keep going. He fell back into stride with them and they walked off. I was rooted to the spot watching them walk away. He did turn around a couple of times before they got far.
I collected myself and my thoughts, recovered my tongue too and finally walked on home.
MB meanwhile, when I did see her again… Let me just say she had grown to perfection. Not one inch out of proportion, nor a gram of fat out of place.
Join me next week and I’ll tell you how I and MB reunited.