Time has passed!
Rain has fallen and I have kissed the sun more times than I would like
The years have stretched
The streets have changed
My smile has changed
And my laughter, that laughter of mine that used to come out like a thunderbolt has changed
But your face remains the same
I saw Nneka the other day and I couldn’t remember her
She tried to jog my memory and I pretended like I remembered her
I pretended like I had missed all the years that had passed between us
All the words that had been unspoken between us
Afterall she claimed we were good friends though I don’t think we were
She told me of the others: Enitan, Chioma…
She laughed and said Chioma is now following a rich senator
I laughed too though it didn’t reach my eyes
She didn’t ask me much about my life and I thanked God for that
She was too happy sharing details of her life with me like we talked the day before
Yet, with all these things, I didn’t remember her
Try as I did
But I remembered you.
As she spoke, I was smiling
Not because her story was interesting
I didn’t even hear half of it
I was smiling because I remembered you.
You, with that beautiful face of yours
That face that looked like that of the Angels
That face that was void of all boys your age cared about then
You in those check Khakis, with those geeky glasses
Your ‘getto’ was always sharp.
‘A boy has to be neat,’ you would say
And I would wonder why the other boys didn’t think like you did.
Mathematics! That was your weapon against the world
Your weapon against me as you never could beat me in other subjects
‘Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer,’ you once said to me when I called you a stalker.
She talked but I remembered you.
I remembered you were shy yet, you were so bold
I remembered you always believed in being different,
Not letting your life be lived for you by the crowd
You didn’t like most of the boys in our set, especially the ones that deceived girls
‘Girls are never to be deceived. You guys are too precious,’ you once said looking so serious when I teased you about dating that girl, lara.
You loved Jesus and he shone brightly through your honey like skin
I remember your smile; it was beautiful
It was genuine and it was filled with love
You always stood firm with your beliefs about the beauty in humans, Always
And through you, I would learn to feel comfortable in my skin
I would come to crave difference, not allow my originality be muffled in the need for uniformity
Your face still remains the same
I never thought I would see you again when we left the school gate
I always said you didn’t belong in our world
You belonged in the world of Angels
In the world of people that cannot see Evil because of how pure and sacred they are
Yet I still searched for you
I would beg the driver to take me to your neighborhood even when I was told your family had moved
I still hoped I might see you, maybe you would come back to get something
Has your face changed?
Do you still have a heart as gentle as a Dove?
Do you still starch your clothes so much it looks like it had never been worn?
Do you still have that hearty laugh of yours?
Do you still think Girls are precious or you have been pulled from your world to ours?
Faces have faded!
Memories have become blurred
We have moved on
Yet I still remember you
Exactly the same way
I still remember you never stealing a kiss from me though you knew my heart beat for you
I still remember you teaching me about self worth
Never treating me like I’m Inferior or a sex commodity because I’m female
I still remember you Sola , like I’m seeing you right now.
I still remember you!1