The school mock in preparation for WASSCE was fast approaching, another series of test was conducted which I topped it all. My face beamed when I saw the results. Okon hit me on the shoulder, “Man! You’re so ready to slay that mock.”
“Not just the mock, Okon.” I smirked.
“The almighty WASSCE will bow to me.”
“My Lord…” Okon bowed mockingly.
“… Guy, your pride no be for here.”
“I’m serious, Okon.”
“I know you are, that’s why you topped the table in all the subjects for this round of test.” He patted my shoulders. “Well, we’d see the stuff you’re really made of when the mock comes. The mock is the next real deal.”
“The mock is nothing.”
As we conversed, a junior high student came around and delivered a message from Mr. Frank, the school principal. He sent for me.
“Good evening sir.”
“Young man, sit down.” He said smiling at me.
“Michael, I’ve seen your recent test results and I am really impressed. I’m sure you’re ready for the examination.”
“I can’t be more ready, sir.”
” I love the sound of that.”
Mr. Frank wasn’t really concerned about me, he just wanted to make sure that I’m doing well because I’m one of the three students he was hoping would bring the honor to the school by having the best results in the whole country or at worse, the state. I wanted that too, but the reputation I had in school was the drive.
Okon would not let me be as we journeyed home, asking me the reason the principal demanded to see me.
“Guy, he only commended me for my test results. Your problem is too much.” I said frustrated.
“You must be kidding me, just that?”
“I’m not kidding you alone, I’m goating you too” I replied laughing.
Okon caught the joke, and started chasing me. I ran till I reached the front gate of my house. “Guy, e don do. E don do.” I was breathing heavily, and sat on the empty tarred road as Okon walked close.
“Guy, I wanted to ask you.”
“What?” I looked up.
“Margaret. Have you guys been intimate?”
“Why are you this serious? One, you’re not speaking pidgin which signifies your seriousness and then this your look is making me feel awkward.”
“Biko, just answer the questions.”
“We are quite intimate now, we are very close.”
“Not that,” he slapped me on the head. “Sex. That’s what I mean.”
I was startled at first, the memories of all I did with aunt Gloria came rushing to my head. All she made me do to her. I wondered why I was not addicted to sex yet, but there was little or no difference. I was addicted to pornography and masturbation. I wanted to lie to Okon, because I know he was going to make fun of me but I admitted it to him.
“Yeah,” I wiped off the sweat on my forehead.
“why? She doesn’t want it?” I was already getting uncomfortable at this point.
“I guess no chance yet.” I stuttered.
I thought about it, Margaret would never say no to it. She was always trying to chat with me dirty, which I had to play along. As Okon talked about it, I thought to give it a try.
“But how can it happen? Definitely not school, then where?”
“Why not here?”
“Here where?” I raised my brows.
“Chill, you can use my house. My parents, as you know are barely home.”
He shook my hands vigorously, and screamed. “The boy I used to know is becoming a man.”
Really, was I? A part of me felt what I wanted to do was wrong. But I looked on the other side that pointed out to me that I was already a pornography and masturbation addict, it mattered less.
Okon planned it all so well, Margaret was to come over to his place. I’d be there to wait for her. It was easy talking to her to come over. Even though, she was morally and academically strong, I guess I was her weakness. Probably, she was even sexually active, I never knew.
The D-day came, Margaret was there standing in front of door knocking the door. She looked so beautiful, I had never seen her wear make-up.
“Your babe is so fine mehn!” Okon shook me. “Go open door for her, now”. I sprang up, dusted my head with my hands and checked myself out.
“You’re good, man.”
I opened the door. “I’m so sorry it took me a while to opened the door.”
“It’s fine.” She smiled.
She made herself so comfortable but really, it was all weird for me. Okon kept her engaged in a discussion for a while before he excused us. Even with all the tension, it happened that day. The deed got done.
I thought I’d feel great after it all. Okon hyped it all up before that. The pleasure that towed my body during the act could not amount the darkness that clouded my soul after it all. Just like with aunt Gloria, I was left with guilt when we were done. I left Okon’s place immediately Margaret left, before Okon would notice a change in my mood.
It was already getting late. Mother queried me for coming home late, she bothered less when I told her I was with Okon. While talking with her, my father came out of the room. I didn’t want to look into his eyes, the hatred I had for him was becoming a full blown one.
“Are you just coming in?”
“I was with a friend.” I said, looking down.
“That is not the answer to the question I asked, you know.” He sat down.
My mind strayed away from all he was saying. I was just staring at my feet. Mother’s scream called my attention.
“What? Cervical cancer? Ah! HPV! Oh God!” Mum sprang up, picked up her car keys in a rush.
“Baba Michael, I need to be at UCH right now.”
“Calm down, what happened?”
“It’s Gloria o! Ah God! She’s been diagnosed with cervical cancer, and they were saying something like HPV, I don’t even understand. I don’t know where she got all these from.” Mum couldn’t get a hold of herself, she was restive. “I have to go.”
My father was lost in thoughts for few seconds before he regained his consciousness and ran out to follow mum to go see aunt Gloria. Everything didn’t make sense to me at all. HPV. Cervical cancer.
I decided to use Google, in no time I found out HPV means Human papillomavirus and that it actually can cause cervical cancer. Cold shivers ran through my spine. My throat went dry. HPV can be transmitted by sexual contact. I knew what that meant.
“Do I have HPV now? How can I ever know?” I thought.
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