Eteh: immigrant tales with Peter Ademu

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Text From Miss Amazing Girl: “Why did you leave”?

Ms. Amazing girl was back, asking for answers. I didn’t know what to say to her. One month of silence and she’s asking ME why I left? She didn’t reply my text messages or answer my calls since the day I left Abuja! How dare she? How dare she! After all she put me through? The sleepless nights jerking awake with her name on my lips? All the times I zoned out in the middle of conversations because sometimes I felt like she was laughing along with me?

These days, I understand the complex emotions she must have been suffering at that time. We’d known for barely four months and JUST as the love was starting to blossom, I had to leave the country. That’s one reason Ms Amazing girl never agreed to be my girlfriend.

What happens when you leave? How will you cope? How will I cope? What if you meet someone you like better? I can’t promise you that I’ll still be here when you come back.

You know all the Nollywood stereotypes – guy meets girl, they fall in love, guy travels abroad, he meets one white girl that turns his brain inside out and then he forgets his True Love back home. True Love will reject all her suitors and one by one all her friends will get married, only for Lover Boy to suddenly return with White girl and 2 biracial children who think yams grow on trees and okra soup is made of rubber.

But, I was determined to be different. I’d held out, shut myself indoors, ignored every fine girl I’d met, and JUST when I was ready to move on, Miss Amazing Girl brought herself back to my life. Which kind of monitoring spirit is this one?

In my entire life, I’m pretty sure I’d never loved anybody like I loved her. That girl got me. How do I put it? I NEVER had to be anything other than myself. To those of you reading this who have had people like that in your life, forgive me for repeating a cliche you’re tired of.

See, I’d been unlucky with girls. I’ve always liked people I clearly had no chance with, as one of my friends elegantly put it. It was always the people who didn’t feel ANYTHING for me at all, that I ended up stuck on. People always only wanted to be my friend. Because I was nice, and sweet and whatever. King peter, Lord of the Friendzone. In fact, they called me St. Peter, Patron Saint of the Friendzone. 24 years old and single as the day I popped out of my mother’s womb.

With Ms Amazing Girl though, I felt completely different. She treated me like a person. She checked up on me without any prompting. I never really had to guess what she was feeling because she’d just tell me if i asked. It seemed we were always thinking the same things so at a point I didn’t really need to ask before I knew how she felt about a particular thing. One thing I appreciated most about her? She was an unrelenting critic of my writing. If I was writing nonsense, she would cheerfully tell me about it.

If you’re creative and you’re reading this, you’ll appreciate honesty. A time will come when all your friends will say “this is amazing! You write so good! Why don’t you write a book!?” when they’re really thinking: “oh come on, e don do. Na only you sabi write? D ting no even sweet sef”

I was stuck between chasing Nafi down, and between just sticking with who I knew. So, in spite of all the dark memories, I stuck with Ms. Amazing Girl. I became excited again, my grades in school shot up like the Dollar rate. I was happy again. Everybody KNEW something was up. Even the teenagers at my church had to ask what had changed about me – I was no longer sulky and withdrawn.

Well, I’m talking to Ms Amazing girl again!”

“Oooooohhh!!!!! reaaalllyyy”

“Yeah!”

“Show us what she looks like!”

I did.

“No wayyy!!! Peter you’re lyyyiiingggg!

“What do you mean?” I asked them.

“she’s pretty!!”

“So?”

“Oh puh-lease. There’s no way you’re with a girl that hot!”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re you.”

Chai, see my life.
This is why Nigerian kids are better. You can simply reset them with a stern look. These ones, not even a slap can help. And technically it’s illegal to beat people’s children. I’ve seen people flog their children in church oh, but generally no black person is going to report another black person for disciplining their children.

“When you grow up, you’ll understand better. The world looks a lot different when you’re 23. Give it another 10 years and you’ll see that your idea of what’s cool/hot/fleek/lit has changed too many times”

***
Text from Ms Amazing girl

“Come home”

That crushed my heart. I still had another 9 months to go in my studies. There’s no way I’m leaving halfway. My return ticket isn’t till October and we’re in February. I tried to change the dates; you know, see if I could return early and then go home. But it would be pointless. How would I spend 1 week in Abuja without running into someone I know? What would my parents think If I came home just because of a girl who they don’t know yet?

“Why don’t YOU come over here?” I asked.

“ARE you crazy, Mr. Man?”

“No, really. You have a passport right?”

“Yes”

“So come spend the summer”

“No I can’t do that”

“Even If I buy you the ticket?”

“It’s not that”

“Then what is it? Your folks wouldn’t approve?”

“Peter…”

“Look, you don’t have to stay WITH me. I have friends you could stay with if that’s what you’re worried about. I could talk with your mom”

“PETER!”

“Yes…?”

“My mom doesn’t think I’m old enough to travel alone”

‘What are you talking about? You were 19 when we met last year right? So you’re almost 21 now”

“About that…”

“I’m sorry…”

“Sorry that….?”

“I lied. I wasn’t 19”

Silence. Deafening silence. Just imagine you were on the beach and a giant wave rose and everything just froze in the air -except you- that kind of silence.

“How old ARE you?”
“Don’t hate me for this… I was 17 when we first met. Not 19. It was 3 months to my 18th birthday. Once I told you that lie, I couldn’t take it back because you’d never trust me again”

You mean I looked at a 17 year old and felt the attraction?

Dear God, am I a pedophile?

“Are you there?” she asked me.

***

Shout out to everybody who keeps coming back. Ruby, Deltageh, ChangingMonikers…and the faithfuls too numerous to mention. Sorry I was silent for so long.

I’ve been working on work (and my Website). Ohpeter.com is now available in French! We’re currently testing the Yoruba translations but at the moment it’s like eating a plate of rice full of stones. So if you want to help us translate to your language, shoot an email to editor@ohpeter.com ?

Source:www.bellanaija.com