She was 15, two weeks away to 16. Smart. Intelligent. Courageous.
Fully grown to an hour glass shape, she carries it like the treasure it was. She rues. Dropped face. Wilted shoulders.
" I hate my mum" she blurted. My fingers halted on the keyboard. I turned to her and queried her about where that statement came from with a bit of harsh voice.
She kept her gaze down and breathe heavily. It was a downpour of tears, rushing out without a sound. Just like a leaking pipe. I sighed and held her by the shoulder, she looked into my eyes and the tears kept coming profusely.
"What is the matter, you know you can tell me everything" I assured her. She dried her tears and spoke up.
Her voice toggled. Shaking with her tears. " I told my mum I am in love with someone, she stood up and yelled at me which rounds of slaps followed.
As if that wasn't enough, she called my dad over the phone and reported me, she shamed me in front of my siblings and cousins, I was so ashamed of my self" she explained and wept along.
" oh, I am so sorry about that but that shouldn't make you hate her, she's just protecting you in her own way" I said. Her reaction negated my words.
She shrugged. " No uncle, she supposed to listen to me and hear me out, she's my mother, if I can't talk to her, who will I talk to, she should understand it is not my fault, I needed her guidance, I needed her to tell me what to do, but she reacted otherwise" she exclaimed. Her words struck me, I reminisced over her explanation.
" okay, tell me about him" I said. A nibble of smile crawled on her lips. A bit of excitement set in. " he is older than me but he's not aware I love him, he makes me laugh and I am always free with him" she explained. With a bright smile.
" what you feel is normal but you should also know you are still a teen, you shouldn't engage in a relationship now, you might lose focus" I advised.
She held my hand and smiled. " thank you uncle Taiwo, that's why I love you" she said and left the ICT lab. It was closing hour, I was about leaving when a junior student ran after me and dropped a note in my hand without a word and ran back before I say a word. A wrinkled paper, shrewd in an egg shape.
I unfolded it as I took my leave and in there goes " Thank you uncle for today's advice, I am relieved, truth be told, you are the guy I fell in love with, I know its wrong at my age but as you said, it is not my fault. You made me know when the right time comes I will love for real, thank you once again, please pardon my ignorance I am just a little girl.
I will always love you" an unconscious smile eroded my lips. Mixed feeling set in. I felt fulfilled. She wrote her exams with my supervision and support, I made her my friend, we laugh and joke together.
Finally her results came in. They were excellently cleared. My phone rang many times with a strange number, I picked. "Uncle Taiwo! Guess what, I cleared everything, I am so excited, thank you, thanks for your support, I really appreciate you" she exclaimed over the phone. Time flies like a dragon fly. No news of her, no means to reach her, I missed her.
An evening with teary cloud, a message came in from an international number. Captioned. " Hello Uncle T, its me....., I am sorry I left without telling you, I am now in US, schooling. I miss you so much, you can reach me with this number, God bless the day you walked into our school, Bye".
" I miss you too" I said into the tin air, wishing it could travel to her ears. Moment of truth. " I loved her but she must not know, maybe the story would have been the other way round.