I was in Primary 3 or was it 4, can’t remember, I was really cute, not small…lol, I was the youngest in my class and the few friends I had were at least one year older than I was. They were more aware than I was, I’ve always been very naïve till recently. I digress, that’s not the point of this post.
So I was in primary 3 and Iyabo was one of my friends, we weren’t too close but we were friends. I used to get to school early because my mum taught in the school I went to, remember I said I was underage, she had to register me in her school when I was going to start because all the private schools said to come back the following year, she took me to her school, I was in primary 1 and I aced the exams, I got promoted and there was no looking back. Public schools were much better in those days anyway….i digress again
Iyabo always had something to say, there was always gist. This morning, we were early to school so a few of us gathered around before the assembly and she told of how a boy was hitting on her, yes, we were in Primary 4 and Iyabo knew what it meant to be hit on, they all had stories of a boy or the other, I had none. I thought of something to say quickly and then I remembered my friend, let’s call his name M, I liked him and he liked me, we just used to say hi and smile at each other sheepishly. So I said ‘can you imagine what M did a few days ago when I went to the bathroom? He was also coming out and he kissed me lightly’. I made her swear she wouldn’t tell anyone and she did. I didn’t even know what being kissed meant but I needed something to say. It was a lie and I felt very guilty afterwards, asking God to forgive me and that was the end of it or so I thought.
We were making a lot of noise in the class, I think it was a few days later, and our teacher said to put our heads on our table and hold our lips, of course, we’d still whisper underneath. Some gist was flying around and then it got to my partner who said ‘you got kissed by Muyiwa’. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Nap time was over, everyone wanted to ask me how it was, I burst into tears and ran to my mum’s class.
My mum’s partner; her friend, asked me what the tears were for. I said ‘where is my mummy?’ My mum was right there and they both wanted to know what was wrong. With the tears running down, I said ‘Iyabo said Muyiwa kissed me’. Of course, I couldn’t tell what story I cooked up. My mum’s friend made matters worse when she said ‘so is that why you’re crying? How many women has your dad kissed?’ That made me cry the more!
My mum gave me a hug and thankfully it was already closing time. I couldn’t face my classmates’ humiliation anymore. I know,it was my fault. I lied, I wanted to belong but my friend betrayed me. She promised not to tell anyone. Every time I hear the name Iyabo, it takes me down memory lane. I hate the name Iyabo (please pardon me if you happen to have that name). Till date, I don’t think I’ve ever had any other friend called Iyabo. When I hear Iyabo, my head goes ‘olofofo’*. I know that’s not true but it scarred my innocent mind…lol
I don’t know why but in recent times, memories from my childhood keep flashing in my head…I don’t like the name Iyabo, maybe hate is too strong a word!