The First Time We… Fell In Love

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THE FIRST TIME WE… FELL IN LOVE

First time

“Imole”

by @Kiahs_

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There is this girl I know.
She likes to linger at the movies.She is the type for whom endings are only a reason to start afresh, the type of girl for whom closing credits are mere justifications to begin a new story.
The next time you go to cinemas, if you are patient and quiet enough, you will see her. She will be sitting quietly in one of the back rows, waiting patiently for everyone else to leave, before bringing out the yellow note book that goes everywhere with her, before writing new endings to tales that just played out on the screens before her.
Green is her favorite color because it helps her blend in with the trees. Yellow is another favorite. She tells me it is the color of dawn, the color of beginnings. Some days she tries on black. These are the days when new endings are hard to come by. We all have such days; some people just choose not to wear them as clothes.

Her name is Imole, a five lettered word.

Back when we first met, I played the popular name game with her name. It was a game that every child knew. It involved crossing out the alphabets in the name of someone you liked that were the same as yours in order to determine if you were destined to be Friends, Lovers, Admirers, Married or Enemies.

It was a simple test really and as children we had more faith in it than we did in anything else. Whenever a new girl showed up in our lives, my friends and I would bring out little pieces of paper and use the test to determine which one of us was meant to end up with her.

If your name and some girl’s name fell under ‘Enemies’, well that was that then. You couldn’t date her unless you wanted to jinx your future. We only dated girls whose names had passed the test and promised a future as ‘Lovers’ or ‘Married’.

‘Friends’ were boring and a no go area. As for ‘Admirers’, we were nine year olds and really didn’t know what the word meant.

The first time I fell in love with Imole was the first time I laid eyes on her as she got in the way of the movers that had ferried her family’s belongings to our street. She was wearing a green lace dress and skipping happily, unable to contain her excitement at her new surroundings. She saw me staring and waved a hello at me. I knew right there and then that it was love.

But rules were rules and my love had to first come under the test of the FLAME before I could act on it.
I didn’t know her name then but I should have guessed.

Imole. For light. For new beginnings.

It took me two weeks and many scraped knees from peeping into the compound of our new next door neighbor to learn it.

I tried it out immediately with the FLAME test.

Imole and Efe.

The FLAME pronounced us mere ‘Friends’ and the pain I felt was worse than any beating the drinking bouts of my mother usually resulted in.
‘Efe, there are plenty other girls at school.’ My best friend, Ike said to me, pointing out the obvious, after I told him about my dilemma.

‘But I want this one. I am in love with her.’ My dramatic nine year old self replied.

‘Well you can’t have her. Remember the rules? We only ask ‘Lovers’ or ‘Marrieds’ to be our girlfriends. Anyway, please spell her name; let me see if she can be my girlfriend.’

He stopped being my best friend after that. I gave up on my love for Imole and asked Adaobi from the next street to be my girlfriend instead. The FLAME test pronounced us headed straight for the altar even though we were only nine and she smelled like the Fufu her mother sold to the residents of Satellite Town.

I dated Adaobi and other girls with suitable names but it was Imole who held my hand as I watched my mother pack her things and leave my father and Ifor another man when I was twelve.

It was Imole whose mother became my mother, packing me lunches, scolding me when I needed scolding, dancing when I got admitted into the university…

It was Imole whose eyes watered while she applied Aboniki to the bruises I suffered from the relentless bullies during my first week at Learning Field Secondary School.

She was the ‘almost’ woman with tiny breasts that hung onto my every word and laughed at my dry jokes at an age when I needed reassurance that my pimply face and scarecrow body were good enough for any woman.

It was Imole that I looked to for advice on buying an engagement ring for the woman who would become my wife…

Imole’s father once told me he had named her for that first light that heralds dawn. I have always known that when God said ‘Let there be light’, in the life of a sometimes unhappy little boy, he meant let there be Imole.

Still, it takes me 22 years, one failed marriage, another set of packed suitcases, the pieces of my broken heart and two tear-filled eyes, to finally see what was there all along.

It was the suitcases that did it. I watched the woman I married two years before, pick up suitcases that looked strangely like my mother’s and walk out the front door. I had married a woman who only felt good when she was abusing those that loved her. I had married my mother. As I watched my wife walk out the door, it felt like I had walked back in time. Only Imole’s hand on mine had kept me from running after the taxi that took my mother away. Only the thought of Imole kept me from running after the Jeep my wife drove off in.
Imole.

I have always known that to find her, I must search at the cusp of dawn, a place where the lines between endings and beginnings are blurred. It is to this place that I go when I finally know what it is I have been searching for all my life.

I fall in love with her for the second time as I watch her chew on the pencil she is using to write new endings. I wait till she notices me in my dark corner before going to sit beside her. She is wearing a green t-shirt and no bra. The air conditioning in the theater pose a threat to her body that her nipples are well aware of and so they stand ready in her defense. The yellow note book is on her lap and there are one or two lines on an otherwise empty page.

‘Hey.’
‘Hey you!’ She says, looking not even the least bit surprised that I have found my way here.
‘The movie is over, you know,’ I tell her.
‘There is always room for a sequel,’ She answers.

I take her hand in mine and we stare at the dark screen together.

‘Maybe you can write a sequel for us, something with a happy ending,’ I finally say.

She squeezes my hand a little.

‘I thought you would never ask.’ She says and reaches out to kiss me.

Someone should have told nine year olds that the best people to be ‘Married’ to are ‘Friends’.

****

For Satellite Town and its wealth of childhood memories…

****

The First Time…We special is proudly sponsored by SureGifts.com.ng

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Comments
  • Avatar
    Douye

    first

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      thetoolsman

      <[_] .. there you go..

      February 12, 2014
      • Avatar
        babe

        cant u just have a 'like' button where i can 'like' the story and move on instead of writing this my almost 'twenty-five words' sentence? lol..nice work..

        May 27, 2014
    • Avatar
      Yinka

      Olodo!!! instead of you to face your work!

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    flicka

    First??

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      tommiegal

      No! Better luck next time though!

      February 17, 2014
  • Avatar
    flicka

    Sigh!! When will it happen 🙁

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    @Flicka Oya gba Hug.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    Some days she tries on black. These are the days when new endings are hard to come by. We all have such days; some people just choose not to wear them as clothes. #WINNING

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    Awwwwwwn ………………..*Sniff Sniff*

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    nkonyeasua

    Awwwwww! I loved it! I love it *blubber*

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    I enjoyed many parts of this.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    zbajah

    Awww. Yea, d best pple to be married to are ur friends. Dat line…..

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    that9jageh

    My best so far. Like by farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      @Sirkastiq

      that's not so far..

      February 12, 2014
      • Avatar
        that9jageh

        I been wondering how to get your attention in this world. Finally!

        February 12, 2014
        • Avatar
          @Sirkastiq

          I'm all yours now. Use me as you please.

          February 12, 2014
          • Avatar
            terdoh

            Not like you're a heaux or anything.

            February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    @JeSuisVivian

    This the first time we… Series ehn…. Ok o!!!
    Lovely, beautiful, sweet, "awww" inspiring. Love it!

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Yewande

    This was amazing, Dami

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    larz

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

    I think I am going to read it again

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      @Sirkastiq

      aii

      February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Ene

    This is soooo cute. Loooveeee.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    @Sirkastiq

    I swear, I said the "awwwww" out loud

    …at work

    …I just lost some bad nigga points.

    This is worth it 🙂

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar

      Unku Saka why did you liff twitter 🙁

      February 12, 2014
      • Avatar
        @Sirkastiq

        Twitter left me bro…

        February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    chaka khan

    Lovely piece……….@thetoolsman this could be us but you don't love me *crying* 🙁 🙁 🙁

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      thetoolsman

      Ah.. biko don't cry o…

      February 12, 2014
      • Avatar
        chaka Khan

        I will cry……..

        February 12, 2014
        • Avatar
          Adekemisola

          Again? Wale please give her the D.

          February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    PseudoImole

    Such love. Very feel. Too tears :')

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    ronnieotega

    Thank you for this! Repping Satellite Town! Awww-ed out loud too while reading this! ^.^

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    heartstringsandkeynotes

    Beautiful. I loved the last line. Kiah is a rare breed.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    hannymok

    Awwww…I remember the FLAME test…lol. Did it for almost every boy I liked back then…and maybe girls. Lovely, lovely piece.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    shangytee

    Awwwww. So nice. And apt. Sometimes, what we are looking for in Sokoto state is in our Sokoto (trousers).

    Nah, that wasn't me. Bye.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    folkeezy

    What @heartstringsandkeynotes said! I love you Kiah!

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Bee

    Gosh, I love this. I love the whole thing. The colours, the picturesque descriptions, Imole… "the cusp of dawn, a place where the lines between endings and beginnings are blurred" *sigh* and FLAME! Lol, My God. Awesome, just very awesome. I WILL read it again.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Tola

    Holy shit the FLAME test!!!! I don't even remember how that children's oracle worked anymore, but man, I must have consulted it many times.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Mma

    Awwww…..
    This is my favorite so far….definitely going to read this again

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    thetoolsman

    Sigh.. It just had to be you Kiah… Green, Yellow, Imole… awesome!

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    azariah

    “The flame test pronounced us headed straight for the altar even though we were only nine and she smelled like the fufu her mother sold to the residents of satellite town’ :’)

    And yeah the marrying your friend thing is true. At a point in your marriage/relationship, love won’t be the bond holding you two together.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    kophojomo

    awwww

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    nijezie

    *Continues Chilling in Friendzone* there is hope apparently.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Georgia

    This was nice …lol
    I still do the FLAME test !!!
    Infact I'm going to do it now

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    *crumples up paper with FLAME test* 🙂
    Really loved this story…… except for the typos it was art…

    February 12, 2014
    • Avatar
      tommiegal

      Crumpling kini? I just tried it now now! 😀

      February 17, 2014
  • Avatar

    You had me at FLAME… lovely story! Very fitting!

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Chisom.

    ‘Someone should have told nine year olds that the best people to be ‘Married’ to are ‘Friends’.’

    That got me + I rep Satellite Town too.
    Beautiful read guys. God bless.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    janusaneni

    Wow..my favourite so far. Awesome. Awesome. It was soulful, well told. The imagery. I liked the little pun when Ike and Imole gives Married.
    Good one Kiahs..

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar

    This. was. Bliss. Fam.

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    feyisayofunmi

    The oracle of Flame test!!!Days of innocent solace

    February 12, 2014
  • Avatar
    Her Magical Musings

    Omg this is the best.

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    The Eccentric Imp

    *sniffs* *sniffs* no, no I won’t cry. I won’t cry. Oh gahd!!! *weeps*

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    terdoh

    This was beautiful.

    And I couldn't possibly think of a better concluding statement than the one in the post.

    Amazing. Kiah, amazing.

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    Bukola

    awwww mehn… this is too cute … :')

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    ijebuPrincess

    the best so far! absolutely ahmayzeen. running off to do FLAME test for my boyfriend, if it doesn't land on friends eh…I"ll do what is used to as a child…use the middle names!

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    Chinedov

    I would've squirted all over this if i were a lady. But then again, I'm a man, a lady would have to cum and take it.

    That was lovely.

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar

    Make una no vex o, but what is this FLAME test you all speak of?

    In my defence, I grew up with Toolsman in Iju

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    haych

    Awwwwwwwww! *sniff sniff* this story… Too Beautiful, amazing, wonderful… I could go on. We'll done to the writer. I rep satellite town!

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    Mimsy

    This is beautiful. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    debloww

    Read this with a smile all through…. Awesome read!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    MsBraimah

    Someone should have told nine year olds that the best people to be ‘Married’ to are ‘Friends’.'. Winning… aswear last nyt me and my sis did this flame thing with virtually every guy we know…hahaha

    February 13, 2014
  • Avatar
    topazo

    *sigh
    just beautiful…..the ending was perfect

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    irebowale

    Lovely, perfect. Sniffs

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    musingsofagidimallam

    THIS!!!! *sigh*

    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!!!

    February 14, 2014
  • Avatar
    ayoade

    Awwww *sniffs* lovely

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar

    Wowzer!!!
    Amazing!

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    Yve

    Beautiful

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    oke

    who ever wrote this is amazing………. thumbs up! could quote my fav lines, buh i just myt end up rewriting almost the whole story.

    February 15, 2014
  • Avatar
    wonu

    Wooow beautiful all parts of it

    February 16, 2014
  • Avatar
    tommiegal

    Okay, I had goose pimples when I was done reading…and I swear I'm soooooo not going to cry!!

    February 17, 2014
  • Avatar
    Nancii

    Just seeing this after over a year. .was introduced to TNC by a friend. .ya'll bring tears to my eyes every other time but this..am in aweof the writter..beware, #NewAddict gained!!

    May 28, 2014
  • Avatar
    Wura

    Beautiful.

    June 27, 2014
  • Avatar
    @sociallyawkward

    #reallylreallygood.
    .

    August 29, 2014
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