The Marriage Counsellor Series: Weld-lock (1)

  Weld Lock   Episode 1 

In all sincerity, I never knew I would for real end up with Funke as wife. Though she looked ‘it’ for the many years she was my secret crush in High school, I never thought my boyhood fantasies then could ever materialize. As I take a nostalgic look back at those days several years ago, I can remember vividly that very sunny afternoon, sitting it out with my clique on our self-made bamboo benches, furnishing ‘the base’ -our crib and hangout spot. ‘The base‘ was a patch of ground we cleared beneath a hefty Iroko tree, in the thick bush that vegetated our very large school compound. We were all merry and relaxed, and all faces were in my direction waiting on me to make the ‘ultimate announcement’. The ‘ultimate announcement’ was my promise to reveal the girl of my heart, out of the many maidens across the 5 arms of my class. Having earlier  put them through the torture of suspense for several weeks, hazarding guesses at who it could possibly  be, I had promised to reveal her name at the end of our third term exams in SSS one, that very afternoon.  Following the announcement of Funke as ‘the one’, I had looked from face to face, and read off the mix of dismay and disappointment, legibly scripted on their previously expectant faces. They were remarkably let down. She was a least expected choice, an inferior one.
It was simply unbelievable I had kept them waiting that long for Funke, and then ditched all the pretty, well –endowed and buxom girls all at my beck and call for the skinny one. I understood their disappointment. Funke was skinny, so skinny the skinny ones called her skinny. She was of course bereft of the vital head-spinning assets. She was just there. Myself couldn’t place what exactly I was attracted to. Her face though smooth and oblong in outline wasn’t much of pretty. It was thankfully less pimples-ridden though, compared to most of the other girls. She was fairly fair and quite tall, and did some athletics – tracks. And when she did run, her gait would make her legs mimic the stirring action of a pair of turning sticks. Funke was quite brilliant though, and did seal her place in the Science class’ top 5, a class of three arms.  I being sapiosexual found this a big plus to her.
Funke was in the ‘A’ arm of the science class. I was in ‘B’. Back then, I was my class’ arm most valuable person. Everything revolved round me. Asides being second best in all three arms of the science, I was the winger for the school football team for the years I was in high school. My coveted Number 7 jersey only found a close to worthy replacement, after almost a decade I left school. I was a member of the Press club and the literary and debating society. Loud, bold, an undisputable seasoned orator, and a brilliant essayist , I was a little celebrity. My performance in the school’s outside engagements was stellar, winning many laurels. I did represent the school regularly at the state level as debater, once at the Nationals. Folks liked me a lot, girls especially. I could palpate it through their gestures. I was popular among our teachers, being a ‘good boy’, though quite naughty.
My close friends and I formed a clique back then, and we did carve out and christen what was to be our hangout spot- ‘the base’. It wasn’t for the bad stuffs boys do.  We just wanted the secluded, airy atmosphere to gist and jest, while we snack on pastries and cold ‘kunnu’.The big boys. All we talked were girls, football, and girls. I turned out to be uninterested in getting intimate with girls even though they flocked me. In fact, I was about the only one without a covert date in our clique. “Covert” because ours was a mission school, and a leak of such information to the authorities was a ticket to life from a hellish perspective.
I had often wondered why I never tripped for any of the pretty girls in class though, despite a ‘free access’ to the best of them. Tolani for one was a pure breed of the yellow clan, and her fan base stretched wide to the neighboring schools. She was portable and hot. Tobi was another, with her scary, terrible assets even some of our male teachers struggled with. It was something we often caught them discuss in the staff room. Even Tina, the best student in the Arts class, as at the onset of puberty back then already had a massive bosom, large enough to consume two big heads without trace. I still recall vividly our Yoruba language tutor being roped in a scandalous case of victimization, consequent to her rebuffing his amorous advances. The man was subsequently sacked.
I was always my jovial and jolly-good-fellow self. I did play with and teased girls alike, settling for none in particular. There was nothing more. I had an appreciable level of moral standing back then. Though not flawless, compared to most boys, I was ‘Pastor’. It was therefore not shocking seeing the wild frenzy that greeted my declaration that someone had ‘stolen’ my heart. An announcement I made amidst belches of garlic-stenched gas, from ‘kunnu’. We were having a timeout at ‘the base ‘during breaktime that morning, about 3 weeks to the promotion exams. I had left them to make frantic efforts over the subsequent weeks taking wild guesses at the identity of the ‘thief’.
 It was little wonder my choice of Funke was an unfair blow to their short-lived relief of suspense. Funke wasn’t hot like the other girls.  She was in fact icing cold, cockily withdrawn and reserved. . She left no room for patronage. No one I knew even ever attempted. Frank, my very close friend had had a confrontation with her once, and it went all bloody. She washed my guy in a clean solution of battery-water insults. She sized him up, gave him the flicking-winking eye language, and hissed out. It was finished. Frank never recovered in time. It took several days of committed ego-reviving therapy at ‘the base’, to resuscitate his comatose self-esteem.
Interestingly, Funke and I never talked, not even for once throughout our high school days, we only exchanged knowing glances from a distance. Sometimes our eyes would lock in gaze, and then one of us would quickly disengage, and look away. I guessed we had a voiceless understanding. I wouldn’t have taken the opportunity to date her back then though, even if offered on a golden platter. Mother was always on my neck, making me swear by the Bible every time I didn’t and wouldn’t have a girlfriend in High school. Moreover I felt she was an atypical girl, more suitable for keeps. Something like a wife material. Her snobbish and cold attitude did ironically make me like her more. She reminded me of Mum, tough in outlook, but beautiful at heart. I had reasoned that her being withdrawn would even ensure she was off ‘market’, and would leave me with few competitors in case I decided to marry her in future.
Though I could be very outspoken, funny and loud, I would get all calm, composed and meek whenever I was around her. She had what folks these days would call my ‘mumu button’. It was serious.  I couldn’t even approach her to say ‘Hi’. I would get all jittery. The mere mention of her name did make me quake from within. I wasn’t being timid, it was just what I had for her.
Funke was one S.U like that, at least she acted it well. She was daughter to one of the most highly revered Baptist Reverend Minister in our town- Rev’d Okanlawon. He pastored the First Baptist church, about the oldest church in Nigeria’s Southwestern region. He was as at then one clergy who did spit fire literally on the pulpit. He was personally committed to a crusade of preaching young girls out of slacks, and a slack promiscuous life, and to preach young boys into common sense. Volkswagen was still very much in vogue as at then, and Baptist pastors weren’t faring badly. He would bring her himself in the morning and be waiting to pick her up immediately after school. There was no time for frivolities.
It was said she rarely ever stepped out of the parsonage except to church or school. She had very few selected friends, mostly church- based. Andrew was an exception though. He was our best student in science. He never allowed me come close to smelling the first position throughout my secondary school career. It was his birthright. Though Andrew was catholic, he was close friends with Funke, apparently for strictly academic-related reasons…(to be continued)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Godwin Oyewumi is a final year medical student at the College of medicine, University of Lagos. Having a strong penchant for history and storytelling,  he believes narrating our often neglected and undertold stories in daily life is our key to Utopia.
He loves brains, beauty, books, beans and blue. The MARRIAGE COUNSELOR series is his  current project. He is a member of the Orators’ gavel club, Medilag, an affiliate of the Toastmasters international.  He can be reached via drogi94@gmail.com.

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