For me, growing up was fun all the way.
I had many versions too; neighbourhood, school, church, the part that I spent staying with an aunt in FESTAC etc.
I remember vividly a part of the church version sometimes and not only laugh but shiver as well.
For a brief while back then, a middle aged man showed up in church.
He would come every Sunday, not alone, but with his two daughters.
I really liked one of these girls but getting close to them was totally out of the way.
They sat with Daddy at every Mass and once over he bundled them into his car and drove away.
Looking at him, he was obviously very loaded.
His mien, the girls and the way they dressed as well as their Daddy’s car all showed and said a huge lot about them.
Summer came that year and the church organised summer school for students from forms 1 to 5.
I had just finished form 5 and expecting my results so I took a class as a teacher back then and lo and behold, my target and her younger sis attended the sessions.
As a teacher, I was very confident, so it wasn’t too difficult for me hobnobbing with ‘target’ – I found out they lived in the other side of town and we became unbelievably good friends.
Everything happened so fast, we started dating. Everything went so well and she was at my house practically every evening (With her younger, much more naive sister in tow). What she told her strict Dad, I never found out.
From afar, we all FEARED their Dad. Speculation was rife that he worked for the ‘mafia’.
His face was stern. We never saw him smile and he never had friends we saw him with in church.
It was therefore with trepidation that I took his daughter’s invitation to come to their house.
Twas like, you want to kill me, I screamed inside of me. But you bet I was as extremely happy as a kid receiving his Christmas gifts from Santa.
At that time, it was practically impossible for me to even bring in a girl to my place.
For where ?
My Mum would’ve skinned me alive.
Girl in her house ?
I didn’t even try it, however I dodged girlfy at the back of the house a couple of times when she came around.
Sorry about the digression.
So, one evening, I embarked on my journey, ALONE to girlfy’s house, scared of course but at the same time excited about the possibilities.
I asked around after getting down from the last bus stop for the location.
After several strides I got to a turn that led down the house – A CLOSE, untarred but with a gateman at the entrance.
What if I had to bolt away I thought ?
I took up courage and went further down. T’was the last house. The finest too and you won’t believe the inscription on it.
“The Italian House”.
Was this a coincidence ?
I was about taking to my heels when girlfy miraculously turned up.
‘Come in’ she said.
My attitude was like, “Don’t gerrit” inside of me while also thinking, ‘O boy, you probably might not get this chance ever again’.
I took the bull by the horn and got in.
The inside was heaven, at least by my own innocent assessment at that time.
Details of what happened inside ?
The koko – I entered a lion’s den and came out unscathed.
Sometimes though, I think what if the man had come home unexpectedly and found me there ?
Anyway, summer was over and everyone went back to school.
We didn’t see the man in church again after awhile and of course that meant the daughters too were gone with the wind.
I checked the house a few times but had no guts to go in.
Later we heard the girls had been relocated abroad.
Then, we heard the man died.
About 3 decades later, I found old girlfy and her sis on fcbk – Sis in London.
Guess where she’s based ?
@ O’Shine ORIGINAL