|This is a story of skipped heartbeats|
First, we were afraid of passing in front of her; she could make a comment about the multiple ironing lines on your school uniform and that would automatically put a label on you for which you would become a laughing stock. Chinyereugo made jest of him last week! Everybody could make jest of you, but if Chinyereugo did, it s.t.u.c.k! It could be very humiliating. Conversely, if she as much as smiled back at you, you are made. You are the envy of all the boys in school.
Second, we really liked to admire her from the back, where she wouldn’t ask you:
‘Why are you staring at me? Do you want to eat me?’
She did that a lot.
There’s this other thing she often said, I would never forget it. She would say, in vernacular, ‘A hubeghi m ndi kwu oto, ya buru ndi nodi ala’ (meaning: ‘I have not seen those standing, let alone those sitting).
Thirdly, we liked to form a protective wall around her to keep away the seniors who loved taking her attention from us.
Exhales. Boy, it feels good getting all these off my chest!
Well, that done, let me attempt capturing Chinyereugo’s beauty with words. I’m not good at this but I will try. For a girl in junior secondary, Chinyereugo looked so mature for her age. The curves were there, she filled up her skin well enough, no wrinkles or sagginess. Her skin shone. She was very fair, of good height and walked with poise. If you know that yellow pawpaw beauty commonly seen among Anambra girls, you are close to it. In fact, she was just beautiful, and she was aware of it!
Like many boys, and maybe girls, at OTS in those days, I loved Chinyereugo. When I saw her, my heart skipped a beat. It was consistent. If I saw her hundred times in a day, my heart skipped…you guessed it… a hundred times.
I paid a lot of attention to Chinyereugo as a young boy. Sometimes, school didn’t feel like it if I didn’t see her at all in school. On a number of occasions I can’t on my fingers and toes, I actually went out looking for her, taking a peek into class A, just to see her, to have my heart skip a beat…to make the day complete.
Our seniors at OTS paid attention to her too. I remember when the seniors came to issue blanket punishments to our class then, they would spare her. They would come when we are not having any lessons – of course, then they would catch us making a hell of noise.
...to be continued.