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True Confession: My First Love 

By Fred*

I feel obliged to begin by thanking Cameroon Postline for starting such a marvelous initiative. We all do have some shady sides that we have never found the courage to recount to anyone else. Such secrets have resided for long deep inside our consciences pulling up guilt from time to time. But thanks to this initiative, I can no longer afford to be prisoner to my own conscience. I have waited too long for an opportunity to get a couple of experiences off my chest. But I choose to use this occasion to make a true confession about the day a woman pricked my heart.

My story goes back to a lowly CDC camp outside Limbe where I was brought up as a boy. Unlike the rowdy pack of camp boys who were akin to all sorts of mischief, I was more of the decent child every mother pointed out as an example. I was never among those who went swimming in the Limbe River commonly called njembe on days like 11 February. I was never among the daring lot that crossed town to steal mangoes near the cemetery at New Town.

More importantly I was never one of those ‘devilish’ kids caught doing ‘bad fashion’ with a camp girl in the bush behind our primary school. So, for very obvious reasons, I did not grow with the necessary experience required to withstand the pressures that set in later in life when I became an adolescent in GHS Limbe. When I turned 17, I was a brilliant high school student who was the pride of the school. But I had very serious emotional issues burning deep inside me.

While my academic bravery got all the finest ladies calling around me in class for assistance, my inexperience and naivety could not provide the tact and skill to handle the emotional pressure that went with such meddling with beautiful girls. With GCE fast approaching, every single lady wanted me to be part of their night study group. My more experienced desk mate, Dan saw it as an opportunity for me to grab and go exploring through some of the finest material available in school. Shy as I was, I insisted on limiting my interaction to just school work.

With more and more girls becoming aware of my study group at Gardens, the emotional pressure kept growing. I managed to resist the growing sensation burning inside me only for a short while. This was thanks to an unusual encounter with Senge (not her real name) at the study group one evening. Senge was particularly pretty but unlike the other girls her type, she was a bit more on the responsible side and rich too.

I remember having one of those wet dreams on her account but I never found the courage to ask her for a date. I shared the secret with Dan who swore that he would do everything to make it happen. So when Senge started coming for study group meetings with fancy gifts for me, I suspected Dan’s hidden hand was at work. Dan denied my accusations but insisted it was not a bad idea accepting the biscuits, chin chin and groundnut sweets Senge never forgot to bring. He even joined me in munching the crunches often.

Although my passions kept burning inside, I tried to avoid any occasion to be alone with Senge for fear that I may lack the courage to stand her charming looks. Too bad for me, I never knew that day would come.

So on this fateful night, Dan was conspicuously absent from the study group. To my utter surprise, Senge also came without her regular company. All the same, she came with a gift as usual but insisted that we have it together. With the three other group members returning home prematurely leaving the two of us in the poorly lit classroom, Senge summoned the courage to sit right on the table in front of me before I could even object. She tore the wrapping of the creamy biscuits and pulled out a piece. She held it out towards me.

“I want to feed you,” she announced not even allowing me a second to think. Deep inside me I knew this was the moment yet it caught me off guard. Not wanting to be seen as a novice, I timidly opened my mouth and bit the biscuit looking around for any peeping eyes. She smiled generously and pulled another piece from the pack. “Is it not sweeter receiving it from my hand?” She teased. I shrugged hoping that another difficult question was not in gestation. She bit a chuck from the piece in her hand and offered me to finish the rest. Then the most unexpected happened. “It’s you’re your turn to feed me,” she whispered.

I felt cold sweat run down my back. I childishly pulled back, but eventually mustered the courage to pull a piece from the wrapping. With trembling hands, I held it out towards her hoping that no one was watching. Her beautiful lips tore apart and grabbed the biscuit including my fingers. She licked away invitingly and told me to get another one for her. “Your fingers added a lot to the taste,” she said.

As I hesitantly obeyed the order not expecting the next act in the episode, Senge reached out for the biscuit in my hand and slotted it halfway through my mouth. In one quick movement, her lips bit the other end of the biscuit coming a few millimeters of mine. The fragrance of her sweet smelling perfume hit me as she stayed close for a few seconds. “You are sweeter than ordinary biscuit,” she said, “and I think you deserve sweeter than just this biscuit.” It seemed to be the final straw. I knew I wanted her.

Before she could even withdraw her glossy lips from mine, I found the courage and threw my hands around her. She responded so generously. As one episode led to another, the passion grew. “What if we are caught?” I expressed my worry. “Don’t mind, no one else is coming to read tonight,” she said reaching for the switch just above my head. Then it happened. I found myself doing what I had longed for all my high school life – thanks to Senge.

Senge became my girlfriend and best study partner from that day. We had a great time together through the GCE period until I left for Nigeria to study engineering. I have since lost contact with Senge. Chances of meeting her vanished when I eventually left for further studies in Germany. Today I am back in Cameroon. More than ever before, I just have a longing to relish that first magic moment again.

I gathered from an old pal that Senge got married to a Francophone guy while attending university in Yaounde and later moved with him abroad only to divorce a few years later. Efforts to find her contact have been vain since her family moved to the village.  As I share this experience, it is my fervent prayer that somehow, somewhere, Senge is equally waiting, hopefully, to be in my arms again.

* Name withheld on request

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