She wasn’t the most beautiful girl in the eyes of other boys, but to me she was my Sunset. She has the iconic Coca-Cola bottle contour shape. More importantly, she was friendly.

But I’m not sure what drew me to her.

It all began in primary school, when she transferred from her private school to my government-run school, where I was in class 4 when I was seven years old. She was admitted to my class, which had only six boys and dozens of girls.

Besides, I was such a nice guy who also liked to be at every desk chasing clout. Almost every girl knows me for that, despite the fact that I was filthy, and they think I’m brilliant.

So I developed a crush on the girl in my class who just came from a private school, and whenever I saw her, there was some kind of a spark in my mind, but since we were too young, no one could have suspected anything like that.

My school had a beautiful way of having fun during recess. At that time, all boys and girls are allowed to go out and play together. So one day, we were having an amazing time together. Luckily, I lifted this girl up and put her on my shoulder. We were both laughing and happy together.

It was a beautiful experience. Sometimes I go to the river just to admire her. That was how everything was rosy. We wrote the common entrance examination and moved to a government-owned secondary school.

But it was a significant disadvantage for me because we had students from various schools who came to join our class.

She made new friends who came from different schools. So the childhood memories were forgotten, but my love for her doubled. Most of the time, I smiled for no reason, like an idiot, flooded with happy and fun emotions when she walked into the class with her stylish green and white uniform.

I was deeply crushing on her, but she didn’t feel the spark because I didn’t tell her and I wasn’t taking it seriously enough in class. My mind became confused between her and my studies. It affected me and my behavior, and I became depressed as a teenager. 

I eventually found out from a close friend that she was dating some guys from the same neighborhood, which felt like the end of the world to me, and I became heartbroken and sad.

To worsen the injury in my heart, one of my classmates who was also crushing on her started getting close, and she kept on giving the boy attention, which I never got.

That was how she almost ruined my life as a teenager and gave me severe social anxiety.

Anytime my friends called me to say they saw her walking by the road, I would be running helter skelter just to see how she was dressed.

It got to the point where I didn’t feel like myself in school, and everything seemed like punishment to me. I don’t read. I don’t write. I just came to school to admire this girl, and she doesn’t even care. We wrote the last promotional exam, and to add to it, I didn’t pay the exam fee. I had to move to another school to continue my junior class 2.

After I wrote my promotional exam at my new school, I went back to my former school to join them in class 3. Everyone was so happy to see me again due to my personality. 

I’m back even though she gives more attention to the other guys and has a boyfriend who I know doesn’t love her as much as I do. I keep on dying in silence.

So one faithful morning, I summoned the courage and I wrote a long letter. I started by complimenting her, then I stated the reasons for the letter. I got ready for school. I went to my best friend’s house to iron my school dress. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the letter I wrote that I wanted to deliver when I got to school.

We got to school that day.

Immediately, we left the assembly ground for the class. This girl’s uncle, who was the labor prefect, came to drag me out of the class and told me who gave me the right to write a letter to her elder brother’s daughter.

It was at that moment that I knew that while we were ironing our dresses, someone in my class walked into the room, took the letter from my bag, and revealed it to several students, who later took it to the girl’s uncle.

He flogged me, humiliated me, and warned me never to talk to the girl or else he would kill me.

A few months later, I started waving a green light, hoping one day I would be able to tell her since the letter failed me, I’d do this face-to-face without the fear of the sun or Jupiter.

So it was a beautiful afternoon. I was hanging around the window. I recall she walked up to me when we were both smiling.

That day was like flames of fire from within a bush; I told her, “Do you know I love you?” and she replied, “Hmmmm.”I stood there for over an hour, imagining myself. My heart was beating so fast, like she had fed me caffeine.

Her reply became a nightmare that I replayed over and over again in my head. I joyfully told my friends what she told me, and I became the laughing stock of my friends.

I couldn’t get over her. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I stopped taking my studies seriously.

So in my school, there was an agricultural practical for junior students in class 3. One day, the art and culture teacher announced that he was going to release the names of the students shortlisted for the practical. I was hopefully praying not to be on the same list as this girl, but the universe had me docked among all the guys in the class, and I was merged with the girl.

The other guy who was crushing on her became jealous that I finally got what I wanted. We did everything together and it all went well. I still couldn’t be her man. 

Most times I’ll walk around the house where she lives with her mother in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night just to see her face.

That was how I continued to run after her until we got to senior class and we were to write an exam, which I couldn’t afford. I had to abandon my school and move to the city. 

All throughout my stay in the village, I never had a girlfriend. She was my first crush and the only person I had undying love for as a teenager.

To be continued…

PS: This is a true life story. I will rewrite it and publish it as a memoir later this year.