It was 2008, in the second of three terms in a year, a Monday morning at 10:35AM.
She was called Brenda and she stunned me like a wraith.
When she walked in front of me, I got so nervous and couldn’t look at her. I couldn’t even talk, My whole body quavered. I just ended up staring at my shoes and wondering if my mom made the right choice of buying leather for a rainy season.
Some spots in the compound of that school had water oozing from the ground and that was an open field where we used to hang out and my shoes were a little muddy. I was sitting under a lemon tree when I spotted her, she was new and I could tell she didn’t perhaps know anyone in the school and that was why she was sitting alone while leafing through the pages of a small book I later learnt was a novel. I was excited and yet scared at the same time. After suffering an embarrassing defeat to a one Daniel in a somewhat competition to win the heart of the cutest girl in class back then, I had finally seen another more precious one. Daniel could have Salume for all I cared, there was a new target and I had to set my mind to it.
“She must be in Form 2 or 1, I have to get this one this time.” I said to myself as I stared in her direction.
She kind of heard something and just when she raised her eyes to look towards me, I quickly looked down like I was searching for something while murmuring and even stood up and left the place immediately.
“She is in this school after all, I will be seeing her daily.” I said as I made way to class, it was almost time for a mid-morning lesson.
I was sitting with my friend Etadu, waiting for a tall dark-skinned English language teacher to come in when I saw her glide through the door. She peered through the many stunned ‘ugly’ male faces looking at her from desks, Okello the tallest guy was behind and his neck was abnormally long,-there was nothing good to like about him except maybe the Rich Boy behavior he exhibited. She finally settled on the one infront of me and I felt like heaven had just come down to pay me a visit. That particular desk had another cute Indian girl on the other end and I could tell Brenda had seen a familiar face in me. Like the norm always, she turned to say HI to me, her new neighbor and I immediately began shaking. Etadu, oh Etadu my desk mate; he was afraid for me. He ran to one of the teachers and told her I was having seizures, I will never forget; the methylated balm in the school first aid kit finished in my eyes that day.
I once overheard mom tell my aunt Alice that if he makes you happy, then he is the one.
I had decided that after she had settled in, I would express my feelings to her, after all, she was the one. I would tell her that her smile kept the world together on my end, and that I was ready to buy her “sumbis” for breakfast everyday, and do a million of her assignments to prove it, learn better English accents to match up to her standards and do a lot of other stupid things first time lovers do thinking they are being romantic.
She was the one, and the thought of having her was enough for me to keep smiling for the rest of my school days. Sadly, I left without even succeeding, there was another hunter in the same jungle and I guess he was a more serious sharpshooter than I was.
I had hidden feelings for her that couldn’t be expressed, and no one could even understand.
She was always on my mind, and I felt so shy, I guess that’s why I lost Salume too to Daniel too.
I had never broken a tear for a girl, but every day I felt sad at just the thought of knowing she was not mine. It was a contrasting feeling of happiness and a little tears, the sweetness of oranges and the sourness of raw wild berries.
Brenda was worth more than a sack of gold dust, the only reason the stars in the sky above my mother’s hut shined for me at night. Like the moon rising from Gweri, her smile illuminated my world and it was enough to keep me at peace.
Even as I think about her now, something sweet happens to me, and I start blushing all over again. I feel happy. My heart loses weight, I can feel it floating in my chest.
I could love someone like her over and over again but sometimes the ones we love are the ones we can’t be with
She was, is, and will remain my love but only in my dreams. I feel so happy when I see her pictures popping up on my news feed.