I sighed and opened my eyes to return his look before looking down and thinking of the way to avoid this discussion again.
“But…Bassey, you know I love you too, but I can’t.” I replied, looking out through the car window.
“Why?” he shot the single word at me.
“Because, I’m afraid now. Why are you bringing up this subject again.” I asked, turning back to look at him.
“I don’t want to get pregnant. My mother will kill me and besides, my exams are soon coming up and I have to be busy to read for it.” I finished.
He said nothing for a moment and the silent become heavy.
“Chioma, I’ve said I will marry you if that situation should arise and I don’t even see why you should be worried about exams since you will not be working when we get married anyway.” He said.
“I know you said so but…” I replied.
“But nothing Chioma”, he cut me off. “If you really love me, I believe you will agree, as it is, I don’t really believe you love me at all.” He said putting his hand back on the steering wheel.
I sighed again, not knowing what to say since we’d already treated this ground before. I know if I start insisting I loved him, he wouldn’t believe me.
“Okay Bassey I agree.” I said into the silence that had developed.
“You agree, really? You are not trying to trick me, are you?” Bassey stammered, his eyes quickly leaving the road to stare at me.
“Yes! But not tonight please since it’s already late.” I told him.
“When, when do you want…in fact, let’s make it on Saturday, that will give you two whole days to get used to the idea. Bassey said jumping up and down for joy in the car.
“Okay”, I agreed closing my eyes again and thinking of what I was letting myself in for.
“You won’t regret it darling, I promise you” he said, touching my cheek with his palm.
He turned the corner of my street and stopped the car at that junction. I got down after making a date with him for Saturday morning at 10 o’clock.
Throughout the next day, I was restless, from what I’d agreed to and how I was going to explain my Saturday morning absence to my parents since that day was the only day I spent to help my mother in her shop at the market from morning onwards. I was the eldest child in my family and therefore Mum depended on me for help at the shop where she sold provisions.
On Friday evening, I told my mum that I would not be going to the market with her the next day.
“Why?” she asked.
“Our Biology teacher asked us to come for some practicals around 10 in the morning.” I replied.
“So, Monday to Friday is not enough for school again ehn” Mum replied angrily.
“Look, forget that practical and come to help me at the shop, you hear,” Mum further said.
“Noo, mum, he said it is very important for us to come oo.” I said, afraid I would really not be able to get away.
“Let the girl go her class and let her be,”
Dad said, coming into the kitchen where my mother and I were.
I heaved a sigh of relief, thanking God that he was around and had heard us.
“Okay”, mum agreed. “But make sure you come and meet me at the market immediately you come back home, you hear?”
“Yes mum,” I replied before turning away to continue what I was doing.
Throughout the night, I was awake thinking of the ordeal in front of me. Some girls in school were discussing sex one day and I overheard them saying the first time is the only painful time and I definitely was not looking forward to mine.
By 10 o’clock on Saturday morning, I was waiting with trepidation, at our arranged meeting place, for Bassey. He came on time and I entered the car. He drove at a fast rate to his home – a flat located somewhere in Tejuosho area in Yaba. We were both silent throughout the ride to his house after initial greetings. I, on my part, didn’t know what to say and couldn’t even say anything since my heart was beating tattoo in my chest.
I had been to his flat before but I entered now like a lamb led to slaughter and sat down quickly on the nearest chair.
Bassey brought me a coke which he kept beside me before sitting down himself. I sipped at my drink a little before looking at him.
“Chioma”, he called softly.
“Yes Bassey,” I answered equally quietly.
“There is nothing to be frightened of you know.”
“I’m not frightened.” I replied trembling.
He came near me and sat down. I was positively shaking by this time. Bassey kissed me gently and drew me nearer.
I never knew when I actually lost my fear but the next thing I knew was that I was naked and in his bed watching him undressing himself. At that moment, I felt fear tugs at my heart again, but I quickly shook away the feeling, thinking I might as well get it over with.
That day was one of the happiest days of my life for I never knew sex could be that wonderful. Bassey was very gentle as he initiated me into the sexual act. After that, I could never get enough of it; in fact, I hungered for it to the extent that we always managed to get together at least three times every week.
By then, my mother has started suspecting my movements, but because of the fact that she was almost always at the market till around 7.00p.m. I got away with most of my lies to my junior ones and always made sure I was at home before my mum or my Dad got home from their businesses.
About 12 months after we became intimate, I missed my period. At first, I was not perturbed since Bassey had bought some little white pills for me to be using which he told me prevents pregnancies. But after a week without my period, I became frightened and decided to tell Bassey about it.
He took it quite calmly, telling me to prepare myself for the hospital the next day for a check-up instead of going to school.
To be continued…