Not in my wildest dream, I can never ask Pemi to the Valentine party, but I was pushed, the invitation was virtually dragged out of mouth, one minute Febi, my supposedly best friend was mocking me, the next minute his girlfriend went for Pemi, ‘I will tell her Ojo want to ask her to the Valentine party.’
It all happen so fast, Shade sprinted upstairs where Pemi lives with her parent, Shade was the girl Febi settled for after he had failed to win Pemi, I tried to run, to get away, just to preserve my dignity, not because I thought Pemi will answer such call, she had insulted guys for lesser request, she had insulted better off boys that I can only dream to be like, and if she can insult them why not me.
But Febi blocked all the route of escape, his mockery started growing per second like the MTN call rate, in that shocking state, Pemi came down behind Shade, it almost seems as if she was rushing. That I begin to wonder if she actually knows I was the one calling her.
Now I have to push all my strength behind my heels, I charge at Febi, to break through the barrier he has created on the only means of escape, but he was too strong. I finally have to stand timidly like a trapped animal to face Pemi.
‘Ojo you want to see me?’ Pemi sweet voice entranced me. She is the most beautiful girl in the whole school, out of my league, way beyond the reach of any of the boys at the Neighbourhood, she has a boyfriend that usually come to look for her from Ikoyi, the boy has a nice car. In the area where I grew up, car was a luxury, many of our parents don’t have one, not to talk of being able to spare one for a lousy son, Except for Pemi’s Dad and few others, and that is why She can drive, when the closest I have come to a wheel of a car, is a ride in the passenger’s seat of a taxi.
‘Ojo has been planning this big ball for Val, and he has been boasting to everyone that he will take you.’ Febi gave the most ridiculous explanation, I know he meant it to provoke Pemi so she can rain a very hard abuse on me.
Then I noticed she was given me a searching look, as if she desires to know if what Febi said was true, and slowly I said, ‘Can I take you to the party?’
I know her answer is a no, with a capital ‘N’ and a capital ‘O’, and a hiss, or something bitter stuff in between, then the scolding will begin, but she did none of that.
‘Okay let me informs Dad, let me get my cloth.’ She seems very excited about the idea, another twist to the story is that the rest of us were going to the party behind the back of our parents, but it never occurred to me to lecture her about the secrecy of the Party.
Febi frown, but my frown was worst, I wonder if she had actually agreed to go to the Party with me, and I almost shouted after Pemi that it was all a joke. I did not mean to invite her to the Party, Just like that, she rushed upstairs and return soon afterwards, well dressed in a smashing red gown, I was already dressed, and she took my jacket as if we have been dating for long.
Let me spare you the details, of how head turns, eyes roll among boys from and outside our school when we made our entrance into the Party, many of those boys and girls who never gave me a chance to win a girl, when all of the boys has started tasting from one girl to the other. It is the special performance at the party that I am writing about. At the time, I was obsessed with Usher, I stepped into the state to do one of Usher’s tracks, and nobody applauds me. I guess the boys were still angry that I come to the Party with the finest girl.
I returned to our corner with three bottles of beer, I was not suppose to drink before her, but I need it to calm my frustration, I have been feeling uneasy around her since we got to the Party, I took a drag at the first bottle before I apologize, ‘ I am sorry.’ I sound bold now.
Pemi only shrugged, ‘I am surprise.’
‘What?’ I wonder, ‘you are surprise for what?’
‘You are one of the best poets I know…’
She was going to ask why I chose to mime Usher while I could read one of my poems, but I quickly call her attention to an obvious fact, ‘nobody likes poem around here.’
‘You will never know if they will like your poem if you never try.’
‘I have written lots of poems, and I will not even remember which one to choose now.’ I want her to drop the discussion about my poem.
‘You can do ‘The Eye of The Moon,’ or ‘Our Kalakuta Republic,’ or ‘The Love Crime Police…’
In other circumstances, I should be asking her how she comes to know about my poem, but I was overcome by fear of rejection. Then she touched on my most passionate poem.
‘…The Lust Chronicle.’ As soon as the word left her mouth, I involuntarily begin to recite the poem, she joined me, and when we were through, she persuaded, ‘You see it is good.’ And she was right, it seems her voice has added the missing miracle to my poem, but when I still held back from going to present the poem, she dragged me to the center stage.
We dazzled everybody at the party with the poem, claps and cheers were interrupting us frequently, when we were done, Pemi hugged me, then she kissed me in the presence of the one hundred schoolmates and lots more from other schools.
That is it, we dated, Pemi and I, as a matter of fact, I knocked her rich boyfriend out of the way, and for what? Poetry!
Pemi’s Dad, Mr. Samuel is my literature teacher, though he is a retired Principal now, he helps me discover my writing talent, he gave my class a home work, to write a poem about Shakespeare, in my junior secondary school days, and my writing appealed to him, from that day, he took special interest in me, he made me cultivate the habit of writing till I cannot do without writing every day.
I have been submitting copies of all my writing to Mr. Samuel, he always commend me to his wife and only daughter Pemi, that is how Pemi usually go behind his back to read my poem too, Mr. Samuel had tried to published his collections of poet, but he did not succeed, he usually mention it to his wife, that he might give me the chance that he never had, and soon the wife begin to persuade him to do something. Now he had just gotten me a publishing deal without my knowledge, Pemi has seen the letter, requiring me signature, that is why when my classmates see me as rejected, she was secretly admiring me.
Submitted by By: Akeredolu Ojo oladimeji
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