Have you ever written a love letter? If yes, do you remember your very first one?
Mine was many moons ago when being gay meant you were happy, and life was still pretty simple because there were only two genders, male and female.
So, there was this girl in the next class (primary 6B) that I was feeling that year. She was a fine specimen, with her close-cropped hair, pinhead earrings, well-ironed uniform and clean socks. She was brilliant too, never fell below the third position in her class (I was on to that brainiac vibe long before sapiosomething became a buzzword). Shorty had my small boy heart firmly in her grip and probably didn’t even know it. ‘Pairing’ was normal amongst my mates at that time especially as it was nothing physical (at least that I knew of), just boys and girls beginning to explore emotions and lay foundations for future relationships.
Now, I was a shy boy back then (I’m still a shy boy now sef). I don’t know if it had something to do with being the first son of a disciplinarian mother, but I have always found comfort inside my head. Sharing stuff with people would make my heart speed up, swell my tongue, and I’d suddenly start to converse in gibberish. I’d have all these beautiful thoughts fighting inside my cranium, but to open my mouth and talk, gobe!
Imagine my pain when I started growing an interest in girls and it was expected to ‘spin’ them. Bear in mind that back then one had to physically step up, none of this sliding into inboxes or DM shit. The lines could be corny or downright ridiculous, but a man (or boy) had to do what he had to do. I hear women even initiate contact these days. Jesus!
To digress a bit, people say life isn’t fair, but I disagree. Same me that couldn’t speak two words to save my life, life looked at and decided to give a fire pen. I have always been a ‘writer’, from aiye alalumole. Iya meji o le j’okugbe now. There is some justice in the world.
My guys told me to go for it. I told myself to go for it and tried a few times, but my mouth failed at every turn. So, I did the one thing I was good at. I wrote.
I can tell you for free that the letter was fire (by pre-teen standards). My feelings were well and truly laid out, as was why I thought she would be making the best decision of her then life by saying “yes.” I was going to drop the bomb in her laps on a Friday afternoon after our joint Yoruba class. God, however, had other plans.
Midway into the lesson, Mr. Abodunrin, my class teacher, walked into the class and called out one of my classmates, Fatai. As my guy stood in front of us like a lamb to be sacrificed, a love letter he had written to the same girl was read aloud. Not only did he get his ass mercilessly whooped, but he also had to bring either of his parents to see the Headteacher before he would be allowed to attend classes again. And the shocker, my intended had submitted the letter to Mr. Abodunrin herself.
Ase, God loved me. My romantic fire immediately died like a candle in the wind. My mother was a teacher in the same school, imagine if that had been me. Kia kia, I went and dumped my exhibit inside the school’s latrine.
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