I Was Dumbfounded…
Hello everybody… Today, I’m doing a sort of throwback thingy thing. One of the earliest times I got to know that I was any good at writing was while I was in JS2. An SS1 boy made me write his essay for him and the essay killed. Absolutely killed. I had a fairly steady stream of writing ‘jobs’ then though. The Igbo gene hadn’t kicked in by then. I could have made a 90s-style fortune from all the writing I did.
I remember what that essay-writing assignment was: “Write an essay that starts or ends with the words ‘I was dumbfounded…'”
I cannot remember what Nollywood epic I penned back then but I decided to retry that now.
To keep this going, y’all gotta suggest the words to start or end the next entry in the series.
I don’t even know what to call the series sef. Y’all can also help with that.
I’ll choose episode titles by whim (or popular demand) and we get to do it all over again. Okay? So here goes nothing.
WARNING: a few swear words!
Before that encounter, I thought Trudy was a phony. First of all, what Nigerian parents named their daughter ‘Trudy’? I didn’t even know what ‘Trudy’ was short for. All I knew was that I didn’t like the girl and I thought she was a fraud.
This is the story of how she proved me wrong. Well… sort of…
We were in our first year at the University and I was still a virgin. ‘Screw’ was still a word I only thought appeared in ‘Intro Tech’ textbooks, ’69’ was just like any other number and pussies only went ‘meow’. Really. I had grown up sheltered and, by Nigerian standards, fairly rich. Even when I got dressed for classes and looked in the mirror, I could tell that I looked spoiled.
I didn’t care.
I had my clique of friends back then. In hindsight, the only thing we all had in common was that we were either spoiled or got a real kick out of pretending we were. Mobile phones were like a bourgeois badge of honour in those days and we all had one. Except the pretenders who lied that though they had one, their parents seized them because either:
a) said parents were borrowing them to use;
b) said phones were too ostentatious and hence too awesome to be in the presence of other less ostentatious mobile devices; or
c) any other proper bullshit story the pretenders were smart enough to concoct and we were gullible enough to believe.
Outside my clique, I didn’t really mingle. I was pampered and spoiled but surprisingly untainted. I really didn’t think anybody else was worth having a conversation with. You tried to start one up and I’d turn my nose up at you. My way of saying “Kindly stop talking and get away from me, vermin.”
Trudy was in my class. I’d seen her around. Always smiling. She dressed really well but never tried to mix with any member of my group. I told myself that she had a complex. That she liked our crew but was jealous of our awesomeness.
Then one day, I saw Trudy exchanging heated words with one of my friends.
“You’re a prostitute!” yelled Yewande.
“Yes. So you should tell your mom that your Dad is a lousy tipper!” Trudy yelled back.
“Like you could handle it if I gave it to you. Look at this child! Do you know me?!”
I was walking towards our lecture hall when I saw that really terrible soap opera unfolding in the parking lot. I ran towards the action.
“You’re just a bastard!” Yewande was still trying to go on the offensive.
“Yeah, I don’t know my father. But tell your mother I know yours more than she does!” Dang. Trudy hit harder with her words than you’d expect from the average first year student. Matured evil. There were already a few of our friends at the scene trying to quell the storm. I immediately helped to yank Yewande away. We rich kids stuck together. I managed to steal a glance at Trudy as we walked away. She was tall for a girl and really did look a lot more mature than most of us managed. However, I’d been raised not to feel intimidated by anyone. Quasi-amazon or no. And I’d also been taught that family and friends were everything. I considered Yewande a friend. Without asking what had actually caused the altercation, I resolved to stick up for her. This must never happen again.
I left the gang and walked back to where Trudy stood. She was still seething.
I pointed to her as I approached. “You! Don’t you ever mess with my friends again. Okay? Or else…”
She seemed taken aback.
“Or else what?”
“Or else you’ll have to answer to me!!!”
“To you???” And she broke out in wild laughter. Annoying me in the process. “Look at this stupid virgin talking to me,” she spat. My solar plexus felt that dig. Especially as it was true. But I didn’t let it show.
“Me? A virgin?”
“Let me tell you, I fuck girls all the time!” I lied with gusto while shivering inside. I’d gotten pretty good at bragging about these things. I think I also tried to act fierce. I think.
“You don’t know anything, you this boy. I’ll just end you for nothing in this school.”
“End me? Who the hell do you think you are?” I’d been reliably informed that getting around in school with minimum fuss was all about posturing. Right then, I was making a mean ass attempt.
“Look here, I’m a gangsta on these streets yo. Don’t mess with me!” I yelled. I’d recently discovered 50 Cent back then so my faux-Americana had to be utilized.
“Oh you are?” I would later realize that the expression on her face was sarcasm.
“Yeah bitch! Don’t fuck with me or my friends.”
“Ok. We’ll see.” Without waiting to hear another word from me, Trudy, a wry smile on her face, turned smartly and began walking away. I thought of hurling abuses at her departing frame.
Instead, I ended up staring at her ass.
That was at about 3pm. The sun was still in view and I still had my balls about me.
Roughly six hours later, they would recede. ***
9pm. Or thereabouts.
I was walking out of my hostel. I was supposed to meet up with the rest of my crew so we could go study. Or as we were all good at doing, pretend to.
“Heyss! Ajebutter, come here.” The voice was gruff and large and grainy. I looked in the direction the voice was coming from and saw this monstrosity of a man. His demeanor couldn’t have screamed ‘Super violent cultist’ more if he’d been dripping with blood and wearing human intestines on his neck. My legs almost gave way.
“I said come here, bloody jambite!” My name was (and still is) Edward Okon – not Bloody Jambite – but I wasn’t about to correct him. The average life expectancy in my family was roughly 60 years. He looked like he could drive that figure down by a significant margin.
As I got within two feet of him, he pointed at a car parked in the shadows. “Madam is calling you,” from up close, his voice left me even more petrified.
There was a lone figure sat in the driver’s seat. Trudy.
She saw me approaching and rolled her eyes as she flicked and tossed away a cigarette stub. Filled with trepidation, my feet slowed.
I meekly obeyed, intimidated. I grabbed my crotch.
Stupid balls were nowhere in sight.
“So… big boy,” she started. “I heard you’re gangsta.” She chuckled; I swallowed audibly. I didn’t have the presence of mind to take in the model of the car but it had wood trimmings here and there plus the air-conditioning was bad-ass. Even though the windows were down, the car still felt like a small freezer especially since I was coming in from a humid evening. Then the sight of a woman smoking?! I bet she had a gun in there. What if she pulled it on me and I got shot? I’d been warned off bad eggs in school. It seemed I was about to be eaten up by a really bad chic.
“I said, I heard you’re gangsta,”
“I’m not. Really,”
“Yes you are.” She goaded.
“Me? No. Never. How do you know that guy?” I nodded in the direction of the assassin I just encountered.
She laughed. “Who? Samgun? He’s a friend. But he’s not as gangsta as you na, is he?”
“I repeat, I’m not a ggggangsta…” I stuttered. She was cracking up visibly.
“I also heard you’ve banged many girls.”
” I have?” I asked without thinking.
“Yes na. You said so yourself.” With her eyes still fixed on my face, her features contorted into a serious look as she pressed the button to bring up the windows. And once the windows were shut:
“Oya. Start banging me.”
My bladder instantly felt full. But something told me that if I emptied it on her seat, Samgun would have to shorten that life expectancy average anyway.
Then her right hand got lost in her shirt. Moments later, it emerged.
With her bra.
“Let me guess. You haven’t seen a bra before, have you?” My first instinct was to push the car door open and run fast. My breathing became heavier. As if on cue, I heard the door locks simultaneously click shut.
“If you’re shaking at the sight of a bra, how will you bang me senseless?” She hissed and swiftly pulled her tee-shirt over her head. Jello Monsters one and two bounced freely before my eyes. My jaw made contact with the floor.
“Come on, touch it. Touch it now!” I gulped audibly. Transfixed on the wondrous sight before my eyes, my hands stayed right where they were. I was sure I would not live to tell the tale if I touched those.
“Oh. You don see breast and you no fit talk again, abi?” They were a beautiful pair. I now know that the adjectives to describe them are ‘firm’ and ‘full’. Back then, two other contradictory words were up in lights in my head.
With her raised shirt went a decent chunk of my innocence and every discriminatory sinew in my body. I saw my first rack… while scared to death.
And I was dumbfounded.