Forgive the typos.
Sisi was lying down on her bed, face down, muffling winces. It hurt. Not everywhere, but where it ought to. Every time she heard footsteps outside her closed door, she panicked a little bit. She forgot her worries long enough to fade into a very light sleep.
Two sharp knocks. Curt as the man. Papa.
She kept quiet. Maybe he would go away. She knew he wouldn’t. Or would he?
Two sharp knocks. Again.
“Please come in,” she groaned.
“Sisi the first. What’s happening? You haven’t surfaced downstairs all day on a Saturday. Are we safety?” He joked, deliberately ignoring basic rules of grammar.
“You are in obvious pain and you are curled up in a way rarely associated with the cheeriest people on earth. So, let me guess, did you lose a tooth in a fist fight?”
“No sir. And I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Thanks for making me more curious. Okay, so you have a boil in a no-sunshine zone?”
“No dad. And I am still not interested in having this conversation,” Sisi’s weakness came across. He cracked the case.
“Oh my God. The worst has happened.”
“What sir?” Oblivious to her question, he called out for his best buddy.
“Honey!!!” Mama was not that far away to begin with so she answered as she approached.
“It has happened, my dear!”
“What happened?” Her voice, muffled by the wall between, could be heard outside the door. Papa opened it and let her in. Sisi groaned, Mama looked worried.
“You remember that thing we prayed wouldn’t happen till our daughter turned 45?”
“Yeah?” Realization hit her speedily as she recalled the events of a fortnight ago: Sisi’s 19th birthday. Then: “Nooooo. Our daughter is getting dick?”
“Nobody said that,” Sisi defended.
“Your father did. Therefore, ’tis true mi’daught.”
“Oh dearie me,” Papa said and plonked himself on Sisi’s bed. The sudden motion jarred Sisi and she winced. Mama noticed.
“You really lost your virginity last night didn’t you?”
There was no logical basis for this sequence of deductions. Sisi had always given her parents the image of a level-headed girl who had it all completely figured out. Sisi had imagined the truth would never be known. She had prepared a lie in case anyone pressed her to talk about it: aggressive menstrual pain. She hadn’t even gotten the chance to use that angle and here her folks were, spilling truth.
“So you’ve taken your first classes in the course known as MAN 101: Introduction to Organic Chemistry,” Papa said drily. Sisi couldn’t understand him at first.
“Did you score an A?” Papa continued.
“More importantly, did she score an ‘O’?” Mama caught on quicker. Papa perked up having discovered a new angle to investigate.
“Yeah. How was it?”
“How was what?” Sisi was finally on the same page but was happy to feign ignorance as long as possible.
“You know, your first oil change. Your first foreign invasion. Your first ride on the toothpick. Why are my analogies getting more disturbing?”
“Why do you want to know?” she shrieked.
“Look, I don’t want a blow by…” Papa paused and closed his eyes for a second. He reopened them and resumed talking. “…I’m sorry. I just blacked out after the image those words conjured. Let me rephrase: was it any good?”
“Oh dear it was terrible,” he sighed,
“Don’t judge the guy or our daughter too badly. Our first time was crap too and we weren’t even virgins,” Mama added.
“This is true. I believe I sucked that night.”
“Honey, in some ways, I wish you had,”
“I don’t believe I’m having this conversation with my folks!!!” Sisi yelled. In response, both her parents stared at her intently, wordlessly. They wore very stern expressions. And now it really hit home that they knew. Sisi started sobbing.
“I’m sorry,” she wept while waiting for the reprimand and possible consequences of her actions. Her parents, while jovial, never hesitated to bring the hammer down. She expected some deprivation: rights or pleasures taken away. More restrictions. Angry words.
What she heard instead was:
“What’s wrong with this one. Sweetie, why is this one crying? Did he force himself on you?” her mother asked.
“No,” she was still sobbing. Memories of how underwhelmed last night had left her washed over her anew. She sobbed harder.
“I don’t understand. You applied for and were supplied with pipe. Why are you in tears? Did your plumbing fall out?”
“No sir! Aren’t you guys mad at me for having sex?”
“Unhappy is a word I’d prefer,” Papa responded
“Yeah, we aren’t mad. What good would that do?” her mother said
“So I’m not grounded for life?”
“Oh please. You watch too much Disney. We live in Alagbado. If you piss me off, I will quietly kill you and dump your body in the canal. Simple solutions,” the smile in Mama’s eyes contradicted her words.
“Anyway, we are not particularly pleased but at the same time, we aren’t mad at you. Quick question: the dude who did… the deed: has he called today?” Papa wanted to know.
“So your first lay was a douche?”
“Well I wouldn’t call him that,”
“What would you call him then? A bastard?”
“So just Jovita then?” Mama concluded,
“How did you know his name?” Sisi was shocked.
“Abeg abeg,” Mama dismissed, “you think we are blind, deaf and stupid yeah?”
“I was kind of hoping your first lay would be called Kane though,” Papa said.
“You wanted your daughter’s first guy to be a foreigner?” Mama asked,
“No. let’s just say there’s a comprehensive list of Have-You-Been-Kaned-Recently jokes that will now be going to waste,” Mama guffawed and Papa turned to his daughter.
“Thanks a lot guys. Nothing to cheer a girl up like some witty banter from her parents.”
“Hehe. E say witty banter. Sounds like the name of a really pricey British hooker,” Papa then proceeded to do an awful British accent.
“For three thousand naira, you can get with Evelyn and Alexis. For five thousand, you can get with Tyra and Angel but if you have really deep pockets, fingers crossed, gentlemen – you might get you some Witty Banter.”
“Oh dad, you’re a horrible person,”
“You say it like it’s a bad thing,” Mama retorted,
“Yeah. What’s wrong with that?” Papa asked,
“Your daughter is strange. I am curious though: how do you know so many hooker names?”
“Errrm,” he stammered, ” I’m not giving too much away but I did have a Bachelor’s Eve you know,”
“Ugh. Remind me to poison your friends,”
“You know what, I just might. They fixed our house as the venue for our next hangout without even telling me.”
“What? Well that’s not so bad.”
“They didn’t know I overheard, but Tayo’s wife called you fat,”
“I know. I should totally call them and insult them,”
“You know what? Don’t bother. Let them come over,” Mama reached for her phone and started tapping.
“What are you doing? You seem excited already. Who are you texting?”
“I’m not texting… I want to see how much arsenic goes for on Jumia.”
Without warning, Papa switched his attention back to his daughter.
“So was Jovita a virgin then?” he demanded. She thought he had backed off.
“Not at all sir,” she answered.
“How unromantic is that? Today’s youths no longer like to lose their virginity in pairs. You guys look for sex partners as if it’s a managerial position at Nestle: ‘twelve years experience needed.’ Well, here’s the thing: there is a reason why some women like to wait for someone special. Sex is a great thing but look at you. Less than a day after your first time and you aren’t snuggling into your man’s arms while he promises to build the family house in your name,” Papa said.
“Well it’s not my fault that I was a sexual dynamo!” Mama defended.
“Shut up!” Her parents chorused.
“Stop gloating, honey. Anyway, rather than basking in the overrated glory of the morning after, you are stuck with Nigeria’s strangest parents nudging your thighs deliberately so it hurts you more,” as if to buttress Papa’s words, Mama nudged Sisi in the thighs slightly.
“Be quiet,” Mama spat again.
“Look, we could get mad and throw you out or give you a well-deserved beat down but what would that solve? You’d get even more rebellious and next thing we know, you are the star of Bodacious Black Girls volume 27: Lagos Invasion. What I will say is that we love you and we might get mad, but we won’t slaughter you even though we really want to. Like really, really want to,” Papa ended his speech but Mama was strangely fixated on something else.
“Bodacious Black Girls have only just released Volume 20. Why would our daughter not be able to whore her way into say… Volume 22?”
“You make a valid point dear but I figured it would take them at least six maybe even seven years to properly invade Lagos. Don’t you think so?”
“True, true.” Mama concurred.
“You guys are making me uncomfortable,” Sisi wailed.
“You don’t know discomfort yet,” Papa stood up, “Now we issue your punishment,”
“Yes sir,” Sisi also sat up. The mood in the room had changed instantly.
“Surely you didn’t think this would go over that smoothly did you? Remember those awkward sex talks? They are henceforth reinstated. You’re 19 so fewer diagrams will be employed but there will be much more extensive tutoring on consequences. You will listen and you will take notes. Note that if you get pregnant, you are moving out. If you end up at that stage of the program, we will call it a field trip. Do you understand?”
“Also, Jovita has to come here and see us. We’ll plan a lunch or something,” Mama said. She’d also risen, “If he’s a decent guy, he’ll show up. If he runs away, you’ll be rid. Clear?” she said sternly.
“Great,” Papa said
They were at the door now.
“Alright Sisi. See you downstairs in a few, okay?”
Sisi was relieved. The sex talks were an ordeal but things could have been much worse. “Okay Dad. I love you guys.”
Her father wrinkled his face in disgust.”Oh, you had sex. Eat shit!” As he slammed the door, Sisi burst out laughing then “Ow.”
It still hurt.
“…happy birthday to you!!!!!” They finished the song.
“Happy birthday!!!” They all yelled.
“Thanks everyone,” Sisi said, “I love you all so darn much. Thank you so much.”
“Stop story abeg. Blow out your candles,” from within the crowd, one person spoke.
“So,” her father began, “what are you gonna do for your forty-third birthday?”
“Well, I’ve been waiting so long but I think now is the time. For my birthday, I have decided to have sex for only the second time!”
Her father, so overcome with joy, turned to the crowd and screamed “Hip! Hip!! Hip!!!”
“Honey stop yelling,” she shook him.
“Mmmm,” he rolled onto his side.
“Hip! H…” he started again. She interrupted him with a firm punch on the arm. He started awake and looked around, then at her. She saw his euphoria turn into disappointment.”
“Good dream aye?” she asked.