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There was a time I used to be-guided against watching movies rated 18 when we have family time. It was a family tradition that had started when my parents got married. My dad said that he regretted that there was no bond in his family, and that developed into issues that resulted in heartbreak. However, he doesn't want it to happen to the family he heads. I was only nine years old. But sometimes, when I hang out with my friends, we talk about different interests such as puberty, lifestyle, gossip, education, trends, and entertainment. Frequently, I did not connect with what they say because I, was bounded by strict rules from home, school, church, and everywhere I found myself with my family. I became ten years old, and waiting to become 18 years old was more like another decade. It was frustrating.
The next day was Monday which was also a day for general assembly lecture. Mr Smith stepped to the podium to begin as he said, 'Our topic for today is Sex Education'. All the students marvelled. Some teachers started murmuring, and the whole assembly was in disorder supported by several voices saying different things simultaneously. Mrs Florence; the School Director, called his attention quietly and they headed off from the assembly.
A few minutes later, Mr Kunle, the School's Vice Principal for academics, stepped in front of us and said, 'Hello students! Your classes today will commence shortly because your general lecture for today, is cancelled. Do have a great day'. We sang a matching song in unison, as the School band played the drum set in unison. The thought of Sex Education kept on ringing in my head like an alarm. I have never heard of it, and what could it be? I said to myself. I realized that some of my girlfriends had grown faster than I. Sometimes, when they talk about their new bra and shaving cream, it felt awkward for me because I didn't understand what it felt like to wear a bra!. The day passed, the time flew, and school was over. As I stood up to pick my bag pack, I got a tap from someone behind me. I became nervous but looked back to see who it was, and it was Josh; my classmate and the most handsome student in my school. Josh is an African American born in the USA to an American mother and a Nigerian father; a native of Lagos, Nigeria. I am Fola, and I am a graduate of Climax High School. I was precisely the youngest and smallest in my class. My school for short is known as 'CHS or Climax High'. Climax High is one of the most expensive schools in Lagos and owned by Mr Churchill, a citizen of the USA. Mr Churchill is married to an elegant woman. She is a tribe of the Eastern part of Nigeria. I felt shy to look up at him. It was the beginning of my senior school. I was in SS1. I felt like I was on the Moon because he was staring at me. Then he said, 'I like your hair. It reminds me of my baby sister'. I felt marvelled because it was the first time someone will compliment me for my hair. Josh is not just anyone but the most handsome student. It was a big deal for me. I felt like I just got the attention of a prince charming. 'Thank you!' I replied. He smiled and walked away. I smiled as I watched him go while every female student in my class called his name for one reason or the other. The school bus was outside, waiting to pick up students, while his dad's driver was parked outside.
As I walked to the door of my house at Clauda Gardens Estate, Ibeju-Lekki Lagos, the alarm of Sex Education rang again. I headed to my room, pulled off my uniform and spent 15 minutes in the bathroom having a shower. The weather was hot as usual. I always feel drained out every time I came back from school. My mum called out for me to ask me how my day went at school. She calls me her Baby girl. 'How was school today my baby girl' immediately I heard baby, it reminded me of Josh, and I started smiling. I couldn't control it in front of my mum then she asked again, 'It seems like school was great today compared to every other day you either come back crying, sleeping, complaining and angry, how was school?' I couldn't help it but lie because she must not find out I was crushing on Josh. 'It was great mom'. she hugged me warmly and said, ' I am so proud of you, darling. Do promise me that from now on, every day will be like today or better than today'. 'Ok, mom, I will try my best to be consistent'. My previous school frustrated me. I disliked everything about the school, but it's history now. 'I know Mr Churchill never gives less than quality', she said. My mom met Mr Churchill one faithful Sunday at the Church car park where he parked wrongly while my mum was in haste. She stepped out of the car, and all I could see was a woman yelling at a car. However, someone was inside the car - it was Mr Churchill. The security guard came by to sort it out. After service, they exchanged pleasantries and business cards. Then, I assumed the misunderstanding they had earlier; was settled. There was silence for a few minutes because my mom was busy with her phone. I broke the silence with a question, 'what is sex?'. 'What did you just say?’ She quickly looked at me as she asked me to repeat what I said. 'what is sex?' I asked again. 'Where did you hear this?' she asked furiously. 'From school today, mom', I replied. 'Oh! So this is how they spoil people's kids at school, she thought out loud. She didn't answer my question, and I wondered who else to ask without a finger pointed at me for asking about; sex.
Valentine is in two days, and I know mom and dad make this day special, for themselves every year. My school teacher once told us that Valentine is not for Children, but Tade had started wearing a bra and using Lipgloss like my class teacher, Miss Betty. We were only 15 years old, and we were in SS2. It gave a reason to ask why it is not for children. Although, Tade told me she was using Lipgloss to get Josh's attention. The bell rang. This time, it was not for another class but for break time. And here is Josh again, standing in front of me. I was short of words for a few minutes till he broke the silence. 'Can I invite you over for a party at my house on Valentine's day?. I started stammering, and the words were not coming. I felt like the universe was wicked! I smiled, and responded 'I will think about it and give you feedback tomorrow'. 'Great!' he replied. He dropped a folded paper on my table and walked away. The whole students in my class watched me as I opened the paper to unveil the unknown message. The note read 'Will you be my Valentine?' my expression could not hide it. The girls hurriedly walked to my table to see what message was in the paper. They were not just the girls; they were the classic teen of Climax High. They sat together, ate together, mocked other people together, including our school teachers. Other students wonder why I'm in the clique. Maybe it's because Tade is my friend and the other girls and I live in few kilometres away from each other's houses which is a distance away from Climax High but within Clauda Gardens. Tade's expression changed and It didn't seem pleasant. She left our midst quietly. Suddenly I noticed her attitude towards me changed. Every day after the day she saw the message in the note; had several dramas. I didn't want to ask her if it was because of the message she saw in the paper because it will raise the fire. Instead, I held my silence for peace.
Meanwhile, Josh and I became fond of ourselves. He told me that he told his mom about me and she said that she knows my mom. He further said that his mom met my mom at Eko Hotels and Suites for a business purpose. And after the meeting, his mom became my mom's client. They found out they lived in the same Estate - Clauda Gardens, and since then, they became good friends. ‘However, she told me she had called your mom, and she requested to see you’. He said. Oh my goodness, I'm I going home with Josh! I asked myself because I was super excited. It felt like I won a lottery. He also said that his mom promised my mom that she would drop me off at my doorstep. The news spread around the students of Climax High like thin air. The hatred for me from Tade became worse, and I started getting popular because everyone thought I was dating the most handsome boy of Climax High. Tade ignored me every time I tried to talk to her. I felt unhappy because we had come a long way in our friendship. Hours passed, and it was Valentine's day!
I was excited as I have never been before. It was my first time. Tade and the other girls used to tell me how they kissed their prince charming and had fun on Valentine's day. They use to get loads of gifts, money and visited several fun locations to chill out. But I never understood what it felt like to do all those things they mentioned. 'Fola!!!!' It was my mom calling out for my attention. 'You need to hurry up because we are running late', she concluded. I felt like the luckiest person on earth because I got invited to Josh's family home by Josh. It was beautiful. The party had started, and everything looked exciting. As I came down from the car, Josh and his family were pleased to welcome my family and me to their home. The Abimbola's were pleasant to us. Josh's mom asked him to show me around the house while they have lunch with my parents. At first, I was scared his mom would tell my parents that Josh and I were interested in each other's feelings. But, on second thought, maybe Josh sees me as his close friend only and nothing more. I was 16 years old and becoming 18 was still in 2 years while Josh was 18 years old. Suddenly, there was a blackout. I was so scared that I held Josh tightly at that moment then he hugged me, and I was sure he felt my flat chest. I felt a bit embarrassed about that. Then, the light came up, and to my surprise, I saw Tade looking at us in anger. 'I didn't expect to see you here, but I'm glad to see you'. I said. We walked away, and Josh told me his mom invited the whole neighbourhood for the party. While we walked, I asked Josh, 'What is sex?' He told me a lot of things about sex. He reminded me that this was similar to what Mr Smith wanted to teach us while we were in SS1. I remembered I was just 14 years old. It felt like yesterday, and I understood how time flies. I further asked Josh how he knew about all these things he told me. He said his mom educated him about it. I felt jealous. I wondered why African mothers are just different. Suddenly, a grown man with a little moustache and a full beards showed up in front of Josh and I. 'Are you Miss Fola?' he asked. 'Yes! Of course'. I replied confidently. He continued, 'Your mom asked me to call your attention because she and your dad are taking off to go home at the moment'. 'Ok, thank you so much. I will be with them shortly.' Josh started starring at me longer than he had done before. I wondered why he was not ready to ask me to be his girlfriend. He pecked me and said, 'I had a wonderful time with you. I'd love to have this often'. In my fantasy, my wings grew, and I started flying swiftly. 'Of course, I would love to share more time like this with you', I replied. Immediately, he was about to kiss me on my lips but, his phone interrupted. It was his mom calling for his attention. 'let's hurry dear'. I said. 'ok then, let's go'. He replied. It was half-past 7 pm, and we thanked the Abimbola's for the invite as we headed to the car. The only thing I was doing on my way back home was smiling. My mom saw me with my girlfriends, so she asked, 'it seems like it's been a while you girls have had such fun? because you have been smiling.' 'Yes, mom'. I lied again. 'Good to know, my baby girl'. She kept on talking, I was nodding my head, but the moment of Josh kiss that almost happened was the new alarm ringing in my head. Now I wished I had a phone! I only took some selfies with him, but I'm sure he would post it on Instagram and tag me because he asked me for my username. I couldn't wait to see him at school the next day. I think I have found my prince charming! I know Tade is freaking out right now because of what she saw earlier and then she would freak out the more when she sees the post.
It was Monday, we all looked stressed out. The school teachers noticed it and threatened to call our parents, but we were not bothered because we all went to the party together. It was a few weeks our final exam which is also our last moment at Climax High. Tade never spoke to me, and every day, Josh and I became more than Best friends. Well, Josh apologized for trying to kiss me the other day at his party. He told me it wasn't the right thing to do and it if he did it, he would destabilize my emotions which will not help me pass my upcoming exams.
Times passed by, we wrote our exams, and the results came out. Josh and I graduated as the best students, and our parents were proud of us. I got a gift from my mum. It was the latest iPhone, and I told her about Josh and me. She smiled and said, ' My darling, I knew all this while. But I didn't want to support you, and at the same time, I didn't want to discourage you from making your decision of who you choose to be with, in a relationship. The truth is, there is time for everything, and I'm sure you like the way I handled the matter based on the fact that I knew about it'. I was short of words. I didn't know what to say, but I hugged her immediately, and she said, 'you will always be my baby girl, but be careful. Don't be scared to talk to me about anything'. 'Sure mom'. I replied. The last days of Climax High was the best I ever experienced. I use to have very low self-esteem, but since I met Josh, he helped me build my confidence. We could talk to each other on the phone now because I have a phone. We mostly spoke about our plans to further our education in the University. My girlfriends and I became more than Best friends. They were happy for Josh and I. Tade, and I reconciled, and she eventually confessed to Josh about her intentions back in Climax High, and he laughed over it.
I am 17 years old, and my friends are 18. But Josh is 19. It is a few months before my birthday in March. Finally, the 18 years old adulthood will soon begin! I waited for so long, and now it's almost here. I thought.
What do you think about this story based on your experience either as a School Teacher, or a student, or a parent, or a young married couple? Kindly drop your comments below.