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Sunday, 21 October 2018


Chapter Eight.


Jerome sat opposite me, sipping down a bottle of coke. His legs were crossed and his red headset blasted loudly even as it covered his ear. Over the past ten minutes, I've been in the old music class, he hadn't even noticed. He was apparently busy with the music. Suddenly, the harmonic voice of Ciara blasted from the phone. I bet.

I bet you start loving me, soon as you see me with.......

He finally noticed me. His eyes flew open and he looked up. He creased his brows and removed the headset. He kept it safely on his lap then looked up, looking smug.

"Doll face," he sighed, reclining back on the seat. "Without sense."

I narrowed my eyes. "Spongebob, we have practice."

He sat up instantly and stood up from the chair. In one swift motion, he popped the buttons of his shirt and raised his singlet.

I panicked.
"What the fück! What are you -"

"See this?" He pointed at the six abs that layered his stomach. "Spongebob ain't as hot as this."

I hissed. Seriously he was drool worthy but I couldn't drool over him.

"Abeg wear shirt. The both of us are presenting and we need to know what to say." I walked over and took a seat opposite him.

He turned and sat down.

"So, the Amoeba." I went further to explain the amoeba. We engaged in little conversation.

"amoeba. A genus of unicellular protozoa that moves by means of temporary projections called pseudopodia....." he explained what he had on so far.

He started jotting down on a book in front of him. My eyes suddenly drifted to his head.

"Ewo!" I gasped.

I hadn't noticed it before though and I wondered why. Jerome looked up instantly, creasing his brows. With the shock registered on my face, it wasn't hard for him to pick up that I had exclaimed because of his hair.

He scowled. "And here i was thinking only dollface seemed indifferent about the hair."

He seemed embarrassed. Suddenly he was packing his things in his bag. He packed up and stood up.

He was about to walk out when my hands suddenly stretched out and grasped his forearm. For some reason I felt bad for him. His head had no hair on it. It was scodo extraordinary.

His jaw was clenched and his other hand was in his pocket.

"Hey, why are you all vexed." I asked softly, trying to stiffle my laughter.

This was Jerome and I had no idea why I wanted to be nice. The guy was a major asshole.

He looked up at me. His jaw hardened. "Wow. You can just laugh you know."

I caught something unfamiliar flash in his eyes. He was ashamed and angry. And it was as though i knew what was wrong with him. Half the time with Jerome, he was always feeling himself, talking about his body and his fine face. He was cocky asf. I quickly understood that he hated being laughed at or been looked down on. He was always so confident. And seeing the Almighty Jerome so insecure wasn't something to laugh about. I suddenly felt bad. He must have loved his hair.

"Hey, it's just a hair." I spoke softly. "It'll grow back."

He snorted, looking away.

"Jerome you're still fine so what's there. Don't let the hair thing allow people think they can look down on you. If worse comes to worse you'll be like this is the reigning stuff. 2baba and Banky rock it with pride."

Jerome snapped his gaze to mine, as slowly as ever. I felt uneasy as his eyes settled on mine. He looked deep in awe. Like he was suddenly caught up in something.

"You have light brown eyes." He whispered softly. "Not the normal dark brown ones most Africans have."

I nodded, suddenly unable to talk. His dark brown orbs were on mine, studying me, as though trying to figure out something.

He clenched his jaw. "They are beau-"

He stopped talking. His eyes moved to settle on my now rough cornrows. He closed his eyes, as if realizing something, he stepped back, making my hand drop. I forgot i had been holding him.

"Read your book oh. We have practice tomorrow again. Same place." He smirked.

The moment was gone. My hands dropped to the side. Jerome turned away from me and headed to the door. He stopped.

He didn't turn. "Dollface?" He called.

I looked up but I didn't answer.


With that, he walked out.


"How come we are the only ones here today. Everyone is supposed to be here." I stated, already tired.

Jerome and I had been waiting in the old music room for the rest of our group members. Jacqueline had gone to phone her father, but I had no idea what the rest were doing. Jerome sat there, with his headset over his head, music blasting loudly from it. It was as though he didn't have a care in the world. On his arrival today, he'd gone back to annoying zone. He simply ignored my existence as though the day before never happened. And here I was, thinking we'd actually moved past that.

"Quavo! I'm the one that hit the same spot.."

And that was his response to my initial question. I slumped back on the chair, exhausted asf and too nonchalant to care about the way he behaved towards me.

The notebook infront of me was suddenly lifted. It was Jerome, he was looking at the information box right at the book cover. I watched as he pulled his headset from his head.

"What's your English name?" He asked.

"I don't have."

He raised a brow. "So what does the K in your initial stand for?"


I excepted him to exclaim at how long and mouthful my name was, instead he smirked.

"Obih Chizaram Kambilinabusonma." He chuckled. "Wow. Your name is so so Nigerian, you really need an English name to make it....smooth."

I groaned. I hated telling people my second name, although there was a short form of it. The name wasn't so hard to pronounce, I mean, Chimamanda Adichie used the name in her book purple hibiscus.

"But the one I've heard is Kambilinansochukwu. It means let me live in the holiness of God. Yours is Kambilinabusonma. Does it mean let me live and keep being beautiful."

I cracked a smile. He did get it.

"My grandfather named me. He said that's the meaning of the name, in mere translation, that is, it's the literal meaning, but what he means is As I grow, let me keep being more beautiful. That is with each passing age, my beauty instead of fading would blossom. Both internal beauty and external."

Jerome turned, facing me. "Woah. Why would he name you something so deep."

I shrugged, actually i really had no idea. "He said it's because that was the first prayer he said when he saw me. So he just turned his prayer to a name for me."

Jerome nodded. "Cool. So after that no one gave you an English name?"

"Nope. My mom just named me Chizaram-"

"God answered me." Jerome stated the meaning.

I nodded, a small smile playing across my lips.

He kept staring at the name box, a small smile playing on his lips.

"What's yours? I mean your traditional name?"

He looked up instantly. With a proud smile, he replied. "Obimefuna."

I furrowed my brows. In our tradition, people who bore names like Obimefuna, Afamefuna, Ikemefuna and Obiajulu often had stories behind them. It was often given to males who were the only sons or had some sort of tough situation during their birth.

"What's the story behind yours?" I questioned.

Jerome bit his lower lip for a second then spoke up. "I'm the fifth born, we are six actually. My mother kept trying 'cause she was looking for a son. Although my dad was quite content with just girls. So during her labour for me, I refused to come out."

He smirked before he continued "Something about my shoulder being too broad. I've always had the abs since infantry."

I laughed loud. "Puhlease! Go and sit down."

He laughed too. "Ok. So back to the story, she was in labour for seventy two hours."

I inhaled sharply.

Fuck! Three days!

"Three days." He breathed, a sad look casting his features. "On the final day, they prayed and she finally pushed me out."

"Why didn't they conduct a CS?" I blurted.

Jerome shrugged. "Momcy was too scared, she thought she'd die."

Silence stretched after that. It was as though I'd tampered with his most private story.

But he broke it. "After I'd finally come out, she'd held me despite her weakness and refused to let go. My father said he had tears in his eyes when he saw us. Then all the cheesy crap happened sha. My mother looked up, looked into my father's eyes and according to her oh! She saw that I had his eyes and nose and mouth and he was her heart and I too was her world and heart and she was just thinking what if she died, then she'd never get to see both of us again, that she'd loose us."

He put on a smile again. "So she named me Obimefuna. Meaning May I never loose my heart or may my heart never go missing. My father too said he had a name already, with all that had transpired for those three days. He named me Chinualumogu, May God fight my battle."

"So you have two igbo names. Which do you now use."

He snorted. "My sisters don't like the story about me being my mother's world." He laughed fondly, as though in nostalgia. "It's a joke though but everyone except mom calls me Chinua. My calls me Obim. But when she vex, it's Obimefuna."

I smiled. Obim. My heart.

"But you like Obimefuna better?"

He nodded. "Mm hmm. Love it sef. But I've never told anyone that's my name."

I creased my brows.

"You're the first, well the second. One time I told Afam. He was na like taa! He can't be calling me Obim cause it means my heart and they'll think he is gay."

I threw my head back and laughed out loud.

"But mehn. That's what my future wife will call me sha."

I smiled. "So I'm like the second person aside from your family that knows?"

He nodded. "Yeah."

He spoke again. "Afam and I bonded over our names sef. He is Afamefuna, I'm Obimefuna."

"His own means may my name never go missing."

Jerome suddenly turned gloomy. "His own mother died, after having seven miscarriages, she finally succeeded in giving birth to Afam before giving up the ghost."

My throat closed up. I never knew, Afam, the funny, super sarcastic friend that always sort me out. I never knew his story.

"Oh. My-"

"Don't tell anyone I told you." Jerome muttered.

I nodded. "Sure."

We lasped into silence. My mind pondered on Afam. I felt pity, but it was wrong. He didn't deserve pity. I for one hated the look of pity people often gave me once I mentioned my father's death.

"Kamby doll..."

I turned. "What?!"

Jerome smirked at me. "Barbie doll rhymes with Kamby Doll."

I glared at him. "Don't you even dare."

He let out a throaty chuckle. "Kambili."

I smirked. "You like the name abi? You wanna name your daughter."

Jesus. Where did that one come from?

He moved foward, closer to me. His headset hung around the collar of his blue check wear. "Only if you'll be her mama,"

My mouth fell open. "Wha-"

He looked at me slyly as he moved back and relaxed on the seat. "Don't think too much about it oh, Dollface. I was only joking."

Ignoring the stupid way my heart just hammered, I put on a sly look. "I know that. Idiot."

He chuckled. "Obim would be better abeg. Idiot sounds too cliche."

I glared at him. "Obim ko. Obey ni."

He smirked. "Hmmp. You can call me Obim you know? So long as I get to call you Dollface. It's only the beginning of our love story. Shebi everyone wants us to stop bickering seriously. We can always tell them we fell in love in the process." He winked.

He was flirting. But why?.

"Pft. That's totally impossible." I snorted. Although as a girl, I did feel a little twitch with the way he was winking and all.

He is a play boy! Besides, I still had Toby to fall for.

Finally, he replied. "I know right, Me you, not a good combo. I'd probably strangle you to death. You are still so annoying. And by the way, the Dollface stays," with a loud sigh and smug look, he put on his headset and went back to ignoring my existence.



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