Long vacations were always the best time of my life. I was either at my Aunt Chinelo’s house in Port Harcourt, or making money by selling water in my compound in the village, or just strolling the streets of UNN with my friends – forming one thing or the other.
I looked forward to this particular holidays because my uncle told my dad that he wanted my sister and I to visit them in Lagos. I was so excited, I didn’t care whether I got promoted or not; my only concern was the Lagos trip.
Less than a week later, I was in Ikoyi chilling with my cousins, in a beautiful house – with an even more beautiful view of the ocean.
I thought I was living the life till my uncle announced that my cousin Chidinma and I were going for a holiday camp at British International School. Fiam! My bags were packed and ready to go, as ‘onye actii’ a.k.a madam activity. I actually feel Flavour sang that “asi oringo gbu o gi kenechukwu ka ma I ga ato na China” for me. Sorry for digressing and apologies to my non-Igbo readers.
We got to the camp, got registered and I was already on my merry way, trying to make new friends. The first activity involved getting paired with someone of the opposite sex, so we picked numbers. I was paired with Mohammed. He and I grew close but he later left me for another girl. I was pained shaa, but now when I look back using my worldly eyes, I can’t blame him. The girl set die, I won’t lie.
That marked the beginning of heartbreaks from Hausa guys. Ban gane ba.
I bounced back quickly (Thank You, Next) thanks to Ifeanyi Okeke. I don’t remember his middle name which he preferred to be called. I had no business falling in love at that age but boy… I was smitten. We jogged together, went for classes together and took walks in the evenings to the supermarket at the gas station to buy Mcvities digestives and shortbread. It was bliss. I didn’t want camp to end, and I definitely wished my school would burn down, so I could stay in Lagos forever.
Every good thing comes to an end they say, so camp ended and it was time to go back home. I had his number and he had mine so we spent hours chatting and talking to each other on the phone. He couldn’t come visiting because my folks would skin me alive for bringing a boy to the house, so we agreed I will come to visit him at Lekki Peninsula. So I went to Chidinma and told her everything about Ifeanyi and I assuming she didn’t see the chemistry in camp and how I needed to see him again before I left, and she agreed to help me. I don’t remember the exact lie we cooked up, but my uncle’s driver uncle T (God bless his soul) accepted to help us. I guess cupid whispered something in his ears.
The next day we set out to visit Ifeanyi. I was so excited I didn’t sleep the night before. Now, this is where the almighty traffic comes in. The road to Lekki was blocked. The traffic was so bad we exhausted the hours we were supposed to spend at his place on the road. To make matters worse, the car started overheating. I was still on the phone with him telling him that he would see me soon when uncle T broke my heart in tiny pieces with a phone call to another of my uncle’s driver, asking him to find a way to come pick us up. This was right in front of 1004 estate. I called Ifeanyi with tears in my ears to tell him what happened and we promised to stay in touch, since I was leaving in two days as my wicked school refused to burn down.
School resumed and all I could talk and think about was Ifeanyi Okeke. I would rush home to call him on the phone or return his calls depending on who got home first. After about a year, we lost contact. I didn’t have his number anymore and I lost that line. I wished he and Chidinma were friends; at least they would have stayed in touch.
As soon I joined Facebook, guess the first person I searched for. Obvious right? Sadly all the Ifeanyi Okekes I saw were definitely not the one I risked my uncle’s wrath for. I had forgotten his middle name and he told me he didn’t like to be called Ifeanyi. It was also possible he succeeded in calling himself something foreign like ‘Santa Pablo de Lord’. After all, I tried calling myself ‘Danna Glam Sucre’ but my Facebook was more intelligent than I was and stuck with Adanna Elechi.
I know some good people here would like to help me find him and heal my broken heart, but the truth is that I don’t remember the name of that camp, but it was in 2005 thanks to Bobby Valentino’s slow down and we were at BIS. Just look at somebody’s first daughter.
Do you guys know the most painful thing in all of this? That wicked car is still around, travelling from Lagos to Enugu to the village like no man’s business, but common to go from Ikoyi to Lekki the nonsense couldn’t make the trip. Also the small money my uncle gave me I used it to buy diamond bank shares that never appreciates. Villagers, I greet you people, take this bottle of Remy Martins and wash down the wickedness inside of you.
In other news, my mother must not read this article o! I am not too old to be slapped for falling in love at that age. If I find him, I will be happy sha. Maybe he is the reason I am still walking around more single than a singlet.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime