He waited outside while she did that. He kept thinking of how good she looked. When she came out and locked the door, he took her hand, kissed it and they walked to the car outside the gate where the driver was waiting for them. The gate man bade them goodbye.
Eric’s parents were equally not at home. They had traveled to Lagos the previous day for a relative’s wedding. Eric had informed them about the party and had taken permission for their driver to take them to the venue even though it was in an exclusive hotel at the end of the estate since they had refused him driving until he was eighteen. His mother had refused at first. She didn’t want her son to be exposed to alcohol, hard drugs and sex which was the order of the day at such parties. It had been his dad who had convinced her to let him go, vouching for Eric that he wouldn’t engage in such and for her to also remember that it would be like prom night for them.
Eric had also reminded his parents that this would be the last time he would see his school mates. His mother had eventually agreed, however she warned him to come back home early and stay out of trouble. He had been told to abandon the party at the slightest sign of trouble. He doubted there would be trouble because his classmates were mature in that area and attendance was strictly by invitation.
When they got to the grey Audi A6 car, he opened the door for her and closed it before going to open his own. The driver drove at a sedate pace. Oleng couldn’t say a word because she was so nervous. This was her very first party and she didn’t know what to expect. Eric clasped her hand in his and smiled at her when he noticed her nervous countenance.
The party was already in full swing when they got to the venue. It had been slated for 12pm but they had decided to go there late knowing the party wouldn’t begin then because of African time. They got there some minutes after 4pm. Eric showed his invitation card to the bouncer at the door of the big club where the party was being held. Tuxedoes or blazers were the dress code for the guys while evening gown for the girls.
All eyes were on them as they entered the club holding hands. Eddy and Dave walked up to them with their dates, Zinny and Marvy respectively.
“Do I know any of you?” Eric questioned when they had finished shaking hands and hugging. They laughed. “You’re all looking good.” he commented.
“You’re not looking bad yourself. Oleng, better watch him all evening because you see those girls who are already eating him up with their eyes, they’ll try to make sure you don’t leave here with him.” Zinny teased.
“You’re talking of Eric, what about Oleng? I’m ready to have a duel with Eric to get her off his hands and into mine.” Eddy jibed with lustful glances at her.
“Just name the time and place.” Eric informed him calmly and they all laughed.
“You girls should never wear those uniforms again. You’re all looking good. I never knew you’re all so beautiful.” Dave complimented also and the girls shyly smiled.
They all stayed together and talked. Food and drinks flowed but Eric refused to take anything. He didn’t feel like it. Oleng took a can of malt. They sat together and watched as people danced. It was a joyous occasion. Eric excused himself and came back, drinking from a canned beer.
“Eric!” Oleng exclaimed. “You’re drinking beer!”
“So?” He shrugged nonchalantly as he sat down beside her.
“You told me you wouldn’t drink beer until you are twenty one.”
“Really?” He shrugged again carelessly.
“Ricky, are you drinking beer because your mates are drinking? Because you want to belong and don’t want to be called a weakling?”
“Nope.” he quietly countered.
“Why Ricky? Why?”
He gulped down the last drop of beer and dropped the empty can on the floor before he turned to look at her.
“I’ve been with these people for the past six years. We’ve been together since JSS1. We’ve seen each other five times a week for the past six years except during hols and suddenly, I’ll never see them again. They can go on seeing each other but I, Eric will never see them again. Some might be for just the four years I’d be away while others might be for the rest of my life. I had to take that beer to block that fact out of my head since alcohol dulls one’s senses because the whole thing was getting to me.”
Oleng was dumb founded. Not minding the people looking at them, she hugged him.
“It’s okay. I understand. Just try to be happy. Today is your day.” she encouraged him smiling.
He smiled back at her and told her he would be right back. He came back with two cans of beer, opened one and gave it to her.
“Ricky, you know I’ve never tasted beer before.” she protested.
“Well, there is always a first time.” He opened his own and took a gulp. He prompted her to sip from hers. She did and made a face. He laughed. He told her to try again and she made a face again as if she was taking a bitter pill. He laughed again.
“It’s sweet at first but later on, it becomes bitter.” she remarked and he laughed. He urged her to continue sipping. She tried again but gave it to him. He finished his and drank hers also. He later went to get them a pack of Don Simeon alcoholic drink. It was so sweet, they drank it all.
Then they took to the dance floor. They danced so much that people left the dance floor for both of them. No one knew they were both tipsy. Later on, they exchanged partners. Girls tried to smooch with Eric but failed. He was tipsy not foolish, he thought to himself. When he saw Uche and Eddy trying to do the same with Oleng at different intervals, he yanked her off their arms.
The party got heated. Boys and girls could be seen smooching. Oleng was appalled to see Zinny and Eddy kissing. Dave and Marvy were holding hands and talking. Eric finally decided it was time for them to go home at about 9pm after his mum had called to check up on him. They bade goodbye to all of them with Oge and her friends still sending daggers with their eyes at her because Eric had hardly spared them a glance.
Though Eric was tipsy, he managed to call the driver to take them to Oleng’s house. He dismissed the driver telling him he would walk home instead. He had paid the driver to cover up for him incase his mother called him to ask about Eric’s whereabouts because he had already told his mother on their way there that he was already on his bed about to go to sleep.
He needed to pee badly because he hadn’t wanted to use the rest room at the hotel. Oleng had barely opened the door before he rushed to her room and went straight to the toilet. She dropped her bag, his coat and tie he had taken off before they entered the car home and went to the door of the toilet to wait for him because she needed to pee too. He came out and they both laughed as she rushed in. He stared at his huge portrait on her wall and smiled. That was how Oleng met him, standing in the middle of her room, grinning like an idiot.
“You still have it.” he stated as a matter of fact.
“Sure. Don’t you have mine?”
“I do.” he replied and went to sit on the bed.
They had both gone to the photo studio though it was quite far from their residence. They had snapped a lot of pictures together before going to an artist’s shop to have a huge portrait of each other painted, so they would never forget each other and look at it every day.
His mum had protested when she had first seen it in his room but he had pleaded profusely with her to let him keep it. Oleng didn’t have such problem because her mother never came to her room. Oleng went to sit beside him on the bed and they discussed the party. Oleng told him how shocked she was to see Eddy and Zinny kissing. Eric laughed.
“Eddy has always had a thing for Zinny but had been afraid she would laugh in his face if he told her.”
“But Eddy is a womanizer.”
“Yes, but he’s crazy about her and I think she has a soft spot for him too else she would never have allowed him to kiss her.”
“Well, she didn’t tell me anything like that. Imagine Eddy really liking a girl. It’s hard to believe when all he wants to do is get down with them” Oleng laughed.
“Yeah, I know it’s hard to believe but he’s crazy about her.” he insisted then added quietly, “Like how I’m crazy about you.”
Oleng’s eyes widened. Eric didn’t know if it was the alcohol that loosened his tongue but he felt like barring his mind to her. He took her hands in his.
“I don’t know how or when but I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with you. I’ve been hiding it for quite a while because I didn’t want it to spoil our friendship but now that I am leaving, I can’t hide it anymore. Oleng, I love you.”
When the shock wore off, Oleng found herself smiling. “O Eric! We’ve been playing games. I have asked myself continuously what this strange feeling I have for you is. I know that the way I feel about you now is not the same way I felt when our friendship began. You’ve finally given it a name. I love you too.” she declared, smiling brightly.
Eric was so happy he didn’t know when he kissed her.
They were both surprised and ended the kiss. She looked away but he continued staring at her. They were like that for a while before he gently held her chin and turned her to face him. They slowly came closer. They kissed again. The kiss was slow and passionate. Soon they were in each other’s arms kissing passionately.
Oleng felt as if her lungs would burst out of her body. She was feeling tingling sensations all over her body. Eric drew her closer and began unzipping her sexy dress. She sat rigid for a moment and broke the kiss. Eric paused also to look at her with lust ridden eyes.
“What are we doing?” she whispered, her voice heavy with desire.
“I don’t know but I don’t want to stop.” he huskily told her as he made to unzip her again.
“Me neither.” she acknowledged him and started unbuttoning his shirt.
They slowly stripped each other off their remaining clothing with no thought of what they were doing as the alcohol they had consumed and their love for each other dulled their senses. No one had informed Eric the ecstasy he would feel at his first orgasm. Oleng couldn’t comprehend the intense joy she felt at becoming a woman. They slept in each other’s arms.
Eric woke up the following morning with a headache. He turned on the bed and stared at the sleeping Oleng. She was beautiful even in sleep. He remembered what happened the night before and smiled. He sat up and groaned as he waited for the world to become still again.
He removed the sheets to get up but was surprised to see blood on him and on the bed. He wondered why until he remembered a book he had read about it and Eddy bragging about how he got down with one of their classmates in one of the abandoned classrooms and she had been a virgin. It was a thing of a conquest to him to have deflowered her but Eric didn’t feel that way. He felt a strong emotion towards her. She had given him this priceless gift. He had given her a priceless gift too because she was his first also. He knew they would never forget each other no matter what.
He carefully got up and went to the bathroom to clean up a bit before getting dressed. He checked his phone and saw no missed call from his mother. He smiled knowing Boma had covered up for him too. He gave Oleng a peck on the head and covered her up properly before tip toeing out of the room in order not to wake her up. He knew she would die of embarrassment if she woke up to meet him there.
He prayed she wouldn’t regret their night together. Though unplanned, it had been the best night in his life. He hadn’t intended kissing her not to talk of making love to her but he hadn’t been able to stop himself what with the alcohol and his declaration of love.
He got outside and had to wake up the gateman to open the gate because it was around 6am. The latter was surprised to see him. He didn’t say anything though. When he was about to leave the compound, he stopped and brought out some naira notes from his wallet and gave it to the smiling gateman who bade him goodbye and a safe journey home. The gateman shook his head as he closed the gate.
“Which one concern me? Since her mama no send am, anything wey happen to the girl go be her fault. Dis oyibo no know say e no need to bribe me make I no talk. After all, nobody dey ask me question.” he said to himself, sighed and went to the small house by the gate to resume his sleep.
Oleng woke up with a headache also. She tried getting up but groaned at the pain she felt between her thighs. She slowly sat up. She looked at the blood stains on her thighs and the bed and wondered why until memories of the previous night flooded her. Was she supposed to bleed?
Then she remembered a romance novel she had read a while back of how the heroine of the book had bled also when she was deflowered. Oleng had to admit that she didn’t know much about sex or womanhood or puberty apart from what she read in books. The time a seminar was organized in the school to talk about everything to do with females, she had been very sick so she had been unable to attend for the whole week the seminar was held.
When she had gone back to school and asked her friends, they had told her flippantly but not in details. They had told her the things Eric’s mum had already told her when she came to talk to her about menstruation.
If someone had told her that she and Eric would go as far as making love, she wouldn’t have believed the person. She didn’t regret it though. She felt she would die of embarrassment if she saw Eric again. Just then her phone started ringing. She knew he was the one. She kept thinking of what she would say until the phone stopped ringing. He called twice before she decided to answer.
“Good morning, my love.” he pronounced cheerfully, making her lose her breath for some seconds.
“Hi.” she replied in a small voice.
“How you doing?”
There was silence.
“Any regrets?” he questioned holding his breath.
Silence greeted him for a few minutes before she responded with calm, “Certainly not.”
He heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank you very much for that. When you didn’t answer my call at first, I was scared you had started regretting what happened between us and didn’t want to talk to me.”
“I was shy. I didn’t know what to say to you.”
“I thought you hated me.”
“I can’t and will never hate you.”
“It wasn’t just alcohol talking last night. I really do love you. I love you very much.”
She smiled. “I love you too.”
He laughed joyfully, and then sobered up.
“Are you alright? I mean, did I hurt you?” he demanded with tenderness.
“No, I’m just a bit sore. A warm bath will take care of it.”
“What are you apologizing for? Are you regretting what happened?”
“No. I’m sorry I hurt you. As for regretting, not in a million years because if given the opportunity, I’d do it again.” he spelt out bluntly and took her breath away again. She didn’t know what to say because she would do it again also.
“When are your parents coming back?” She changed the topic.
“Either today or tomorrow.”
There was silence again.
“Do you want me to come over later on in the day?”
“No!” she protested sharply before catching herself. “I mean….I’m not ready to see you just yet…I’m still vulnerable…still shy…I….”she trailed off, embarrassed.
“Don’t worry sunshine, I understand.” he drawled softly.
“Thanks…maybe tomorrow or next.”
“Sure. I love you very much.”
“I love you too.”
“Alright. Take care. I’ll call you later.”
When she ended the call, she laid on her bed and thought of everything that happened between them. She wished he wasn’t going away. This would have made them closer. Funny enough, she felt like making love with him again. She asked herself if that was how sex was. Would she always feel like doing it? What would happen to her now that Eric wouldn’t be around and she felt like doing it? Was that why people were unfaithful to their partners?
She thought of her mother. Was her the woman living without sex? She had never brought a man home before. Or was that why she traveled so much? Did she have men friends everywhere? Oleng continued asking herself rhetorical questions before she decided to go and take her bath. She got up slowly and went to have a warm bath. The pain was still there so she decided to take some pain killers. She left her room and went to the kitchen to get some water from the fridge. She was surprised to see Tessy there.
“Good morning. I didn’t know you were back.” She smiled faintly at her.
“Good morning. Why didn’t you go to church?” The former asked in an unconcerned manner as she drank tea from her cup.
“I…I’m not feeling fine.” she lied. She hadn’t even realized it was Sunday.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“I…i’m feeling pains.”
Oleng shifted uneasily. Was Tessy aware of what she had done the night before?
“Everywhere.” she lied again.
“You should take panadol or something.”
“Yes, that is what I came to take.” She opened her palm for her to see the dual drugs. “When did you come back?”
“Thirty minutes ago. I didn’t travel again. I went to stay with some friends in town.”
“Okay.” Oleng walked slowly to the fridge. She walked awkwardly because of the pains she felt between her legs.
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you walking like that?” Tessy enquired as she surveyed her steadily.
Oleng didn’t look at her as she opened the fridge and brought out a bottle of water.
“I told you I’m having pains all over my body.”
“I’m going to sleep.” she informed her relative who just nodded as she walked away slowly.
She didn’t know if Tessy was lying about coming in thirty minutes earlier or if she knew she and Eric had made love the night before. Funny enough, she didn’t care if she knew or if she would report to her mother. The worst the woman could do was ban Eric from coming there. It wouldn’t matter because he was going away anyway. She went to her room and slept till evening. Eric called her again in the evening and before she slept that night.
The following day being Monday, Oleng had to go back to school. Her third term promotion exams were the following week but she couldn’t read. She kept remembering that night and that Eric was leaving in two days. She couldn’t tell Zinny and Marvy what transpired between Eric and her that night. It seemed too private and sacred to be shared with anyone.
Great was her joy when Eric called her to inform her that he would be leaving on Sunday instead of the proposed Wednesday because his parents had decided to go with him. His dad’s leave was going to begin the following week and his mum had taken permission from the ministry where she worked to see him off too. They were both joyous.
They spent their evenings together after school where Eric always put her through with her studies. She was able to study with him around though sometimes their love got in the way and they would end up kissing before catching themselves.
On his last day in Nigeria, Eric persuaded his parents to allow him spend the whole day with Oleng. His mother protested as usual but his dad made her see reason with him. Oleng was his best friend and they wouldn’t see each other in a long while. Moreover, didn’t she trust her son anymore? Mrs. Sokipirim Conrad had agreed then. She told him before he left that she trusted him and knew Oleng’s mum wouldn’t bring Oleng to come and live with them some months from now saying she was expecting her first grandchild. Eric had chuckled then. If only his mum knew what had happened the previous Saturday, she would have chained him to his bed. She didn’t, so he joyfully went to his girlfriend’s place. That was what she was now and he loved her dearly.
He was grateful for the umpteenth time for the fact that his parents weren’t the conventional Nigerian parents and allowed him to get away with a lot of things society would frown at. He believed it was because his parents had spent so many years abroad before settling in Nigeria. They didn’t see anything wrong in a girl being his best friend and for them to be so close.
He got to her place and as usual to his joy; Tessy had finally traveled home while her mum wasn’t back from Dubai. As he expected, Oleng wasn’t in a happy mood. He tried making her happy but she kept bringing up his going away. He finally told her to dress up because he wanted them to go to that photo studio in Waterlines again so he could get her recent pictures to show to Damian and guys over there that his girlfriend was an African queen. She had smiled then.
They both went to the place and snapped some intimate pictures together. They stopped by Chicken Republic and bought some snacks. They devoured them when they got back to her place. They sat on the rugged floor listening to cool music and holding hands. As she usually did, Oleng dug her hands in his pockets to check what he had in them and as usual he struggled for her not to get to them. She ended up on top of him. They looked into each other’s eyes and started kissing. Oleng broke the passionate kiss.
“We shouldn’t.” she stressed in an undertone.
“I know but that doesn’t stop me from wanting you.” he drawled huskily, touching the nose he was so fond of.
“Me too but we shouldn’t.”
“Okay.” he conceded grudgingly but yelled, “No!” when she playfully thrust her hand in his pockets. She quickly got up and he did the same. When she realized what she was holding, she immediately dropped it. Eric quickly picked up the pack of condoms and put it in his pocket again. An awkward silence ensued. They couldn’t look at each other.
“Where did you get it from?” she demanded curtly. He kept her quiet. “Don’t tell me you got it from Eddy!”
“Of course not. I got it from Damian.”
“Damian? Is he back?”
“No. He told me where to get it in his room.”
“That means you actually told him what happened between us. How could you? I thought it was sacred.” she launched back furiously at him in disbelief. Eric went closer to her.
“It was sacred but I couldn’t handle it alone. I had to tell someone because the beautiful experience was almost driving me crazy. I had to confide in my brother on how to get self-control because I felt like making love to you every day.
Desiring you was driving me crazy. I had to do something and who could I tell but my elder brother who is experienced in such things? It wasn’t as if I wanted to brag about it like Eddy. I just needed help. Besides, Damian won’t tell anyone.” he explained drily.
Oleng was silent for a while. She sent him a frowning appraisal before quietly admitting, “I felt like sharing it with someone too but there was no one to share it with. I don’t think Zinny and Marvy will understand and I don’t trust Tessy enough to tell her.” She shyly smiled. “I have wanted a repeat performance of what happened on Saturday but I thought it was abnormal for me. As you know, I’m not experienced in such areas.”
“Neither am I. Sunshine…if it’s any consolation to you, you are my first.” he asserted with coolness. Her jaw dropped.
“You thought I was experienced?” His mouth quirked.
“With friends like Edd…and…and…the way you touched me and made…” she trailed off and shrugged.
“I watched a pornographic movie I found in Damian’s box a while back. Eddy is the only experienced one among us. How could I go fooling around when I had my missing rib?”
“It didn’t stop Eddy from fooling around even though he had feelings for Zinny.”
“If you haven’t noticed honey, I’m not Eddy.” he drawled seductively and moved closer to her. She raised her head to look at him and tears rolled down her eyes.
“I’m going to miss you.”
“Me too, my love.” He assured her and took her in his arms. Soon they were kissing again and later on went to her room to make love there. Eric made sure he didn’t allow lust to carry him away again by using the condom his brother told him to search for in his room.
Damian had been mad at him at first when he had told him. Eric had thought it was because he had had sex early in life but later discovered it was because he had slept with Oleng without protection. His brother had said he knew boys would be boys but did he want to ruin Oleng’s future by getting her pregnant? Eric hadn’t thought of that then. He said he felt Oleng getting pregnant was unlikely since it was her first time but Damian had called him a fool and told him to pray she didn’t. So he had prayed. He didn’t want to alarm her so he kept everything to himself.