Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My First Condom


I will always remember my first condom.

A primary school classmate, who I will call XYZ, took me to a corner of the school playground and showed me an unusually clear balloon. It was shaped differently than all other balloons I had ever seen, so I was immediately fascinated. I thought it was awkwardly shaped for a balloon, and wondered if it would bounce around after we inflated it.

He started to hand it over, but stopped short of giving it to me. He told me he no longer wanted it, but would sell it to me for five naira. I was devastated. Why would he show me such a nice balloon, but demand my entire allowance for the day to let me play with it? My feelings were hurt. I quickly reminded him of the days when I bought him puff puff and choco milo when he came to school without any money.

He relented, and agreed to sell it at three naira. I grudgingly handed over three coins to him, and took the balloon in return.

He started to walk away in the direction of the food court, then he stopped and turned to me. “Don’t play with it in school, or Uncle Body Grooming will seize it and use it for practicals”.

Ah. Why would Uncle Body Grooming seize my balloon? I quickly folded it away into my pocket. There was no way I was sharing this with Uncle Body Grooming!

I don’t think I learnt anything through the rest of that day. Once school closed, I bounded out of the school compound, leaving my motley band of friends behind. After I had put sufficient distance between myself and the school, I put my new balloon to my lips and blew.

It didn’t inflate as quickly as I had expected, and definitely not as much as a normal balloon would. I wasn’t surprised. I already thought it was awkwardly shaped anyway, and wasn’t expecting it to get very big. I threw it in the air and it wobbled. Yes! I was right! It wouldn’t bounce well because of its weird shape. I still thought it was a nice balloon, despite its shortcomings. It was the first transparent balloon I had ever seen. I had something none of my friends had.

Adults stared at me as I waved my balloon in the air while skipping through the streets. As I passed Iya Kemi’s house, her son wanted to play with it, so I handed it to him. Moments after the boy took it from me, a man snatched it from him and flung it at me, then disappeared into the house with him.

Boy, I thought the world was going bonkers! What was wrong with these adults? Why couldn’t two little boys share a nice balloon on the dusty streets of Ibadan?

I got home, and got lost in whatever it was that caught my eight year old fancy. I put the balloon away in my stash, and forgot about it.

I must have looked like the little boy on the right in this picture

*****

I don’t know for sure if it was the day after or two days after – but I returned from school to meet my mom with a scowl on her face. The balloon was displayed in front of her, held between a pair of tweezers.

Where did you get this from?

“I bought it.”

Are you sure?

“Yes.”

Gbeke. Don't lie to me! You’re sure you didn’t take it from our room?

“No. I didn’t.”

Jesu! Ta ló tàá fún e? [Jesus! Who sold it to you]?

“My friend.”

Òré wo? Níbo? Okùnrin àbí obìnrin? Kí lorúko òré ná? [Which friend? Boy or girl? What is the friend’s name]?

“XYZ in my school. He’s in my class.”

Gbeke, are you sure?

“Yes.”

I will come to your school o!

“Yes na.”

*****

My mom burnt the balloon without an explanation, pleading the blood of Jesus at intervals. Yes, really - the blood of Jesus.

I did not sleep well that night.

I suddenly remembered XYZ’s statements that Uncle Body Grooming would seize the balloon for practicals, the stares from the adults I passed on the streets, and the angry man who stopped Iya Kemi’s son from playing with me.

The next day at school, I pulled XYZ back after the assembly and demanded to know what kind of balloon he had sold me that got everybody so riled up. He started to tell me it was a special balloon from ‘abroad’, but never got a chance to complete the story before we were interrupted by summons.

Aunty Ife, a strict teacher at my school who my mom had reported the incident to, wanted to see us both.

XYZ disappeared.

*****



Later that day, a female classmate taunted me.

I heard you brought a condom to school.

“Oh. Condom!!! That was a condom???” My jaw dropped so low, it probably touched the ground! I had heard lots about condoms while walking home from school with my friends, but had never seen one.

Ah. Gbeke. All liars shall burn in hell. You mean you didn’t know it was a condom?

“Ahm, erm, ehm. It was a balloon jor. XYZ said so.”

Hahahahahaha. You’re going to hell. You’re stammering. You stammer when you’re lying! You’re lying!!!

I ran.

I didn’t stop running till I got home.

*****

I never spoke to XYZ again. If you're out there reading this, please reach out. Let's connect. I forgave you a long time ago.

I don’t lie. I just withhold the truth sometimes. When I withhold the truth, I don’t stammer.

Children are introduced to sex and sexuality much earlier than you think. Control the narrative, or your children’s peers will. Find resources here and here.

Cheers to the rest of the week!

11 comments:

  1. Nice. What an experience you had there. How come I didn't get to know about this? Oh, we met in secondary school. Probably years after then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOOOOL
      We met not too long after it happened actually :). This was Primary Six, and we met in JS 1. I thought it very embarrassing though, and haven't spoken much about it since then.

      Delete
  2. Good message...well delivered. #GoodRead (y)

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  3. I went to visit my uncle dis particular day. While i was dere my phone rang . An old frnd (a lady) called and we were on call for more than five mins. After d call, my uncle asked who was dt.... and I told him jst a frnd and he smiled. When I was abt to take my leave, my uncle gave me a bag with clothes inside. I got home, I opened d bag...... I was surprised. He also droped condom inside d bag

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOOOOL
      You must have been much older when this happened though... :)
      Your Uncle must have been sending you a message ;) ;)

      Delete
  4. Cool writeup my honourable classrep...More grace

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  5. Haha... quite a read.
    Like when at 11 in pre-teens Sunday school, I heard a word from AUNTY that sounded so magnificent, but she didn't explain, so I had to ask mom when I got home.
    What is masturbation mom?
    Where did you hear that?
    At Sunday school.
    Mom never explained. I couldn't understand why she made a great deal out of such a magnificent word at the next PTA meeting.
    It took me 10 years to understand. Really, I was that naive. I still am. At least I'm still waiting to touch my first BALLOON. ;-)

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  6. I got a good laugh from reading this.😂😂😂
    You are an excellent writer.

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  7. I finally got around to reading this. Nice one and well written. I guess we all have those moments growing up.

    ReplyDelete