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Author • Oyebisi Oyelami --- 💥💥💥BEST READ FROM TWITTER COMMUNITY --- 9th December 2022

Stephen pretty much seems like he has his life sorted out. Young, cool, outgoing, comfortable, and an eligible bachelor at twenty-eight years of age, who has had no experience of the dreaded part of life.

But if you ever thought about or made the mistake of asking Stephen about a bittersweet experience, he will tell you this. Seventeen-year-old Stephen had been a final year student in secondary school and he was what people referred to as an outcast

He wasn’t what the Igbo tribe of Nigeria called Osu(outcasts no member of the society should interact with as they had been dedicated to the gods), no he wasn’t. He was an outcast because many people dreaded him, not so many people wanted to be his friend.

After all, he would never smile at you, one look from him can make you shiver in your pants, and even if you try(which most often than not you don’t even) to extend the hand of friendship to him, you would soon wish you had not and so the whole school had left him alone.

In truth, Stephen will tell you that he was not a sadist, he just felt it necessary to protect himself because he had one day when he was thirteen heard his father and stepmother discussing how his mother and stepmother had been best of friends and how his stepmother had moved in just days after his mother died (until then, he had no idea his stepmother was not his mother). He was filled with rage as to why he had not been told about his mother and why his stepmother moved in just days after the death of his mother, had she been waiting for his mother to die? This had made him decide it’s safe to trust no one or let anyone get close to him and so he had been living until Jessica happened. 

Jessica Smith had been popular in school, not only for her intelligence and beauty but because she was the sister of Jason Smith who till his graduation from the school was the school’s football team captain. Contrary to Stephen’s belief, Jessica believed friends are important and necessary to have in life and with this belief, she kept extending her hand of friendship to Stephen, unfazed by his seemingly cold demeanor and unkindness. The breakthrough for Jessica had come when their science teacher had grouped her with Stephen for a project. Stephen being Stephen had offered to do the project alone and asked Jessica ‘to not bother about it,’ but his offer was ignored and rejected by her. On their first day of working together, Jessica had drawn a smile from him when she commented on his never smiling face and called him king of the vampires or zombies.

The second day, she was bringing him snacks and ignoring her table filled with her friends at lunch to sit with him who was lonely. She had also gone on to wait for him after school hours so they could go home together and found a way of having her number saved into his phone, ‘for urgent reasons relating to the project she had said.’ The breaking point was when she had stood up for him when her friends and minions were advising her about associating herself with an outcast. It wasn’t that he could not stand up for himself, on the contrary, he could do that well, he was not a coward. It was just that it felt good to see that he had someone who would stand up for him, he had never experienced that. He found himself drawing closer and closer to Jessica.

One faithful day, they were working on the project and it got late and he knew he couldn’t let Jessica go home alone. He followed her home and Jessica’s parents in turn would not let him go home alone, they drove him home.

Then the next day, Jessica had said her parents would like to see him again and invited him to dinner. He had met her whole family and it was his first experience at seeing a family so closely knitted, a family that joked together and shared things.

He watched as every member of the family talked about their days over dinner and there he knew it would be a beautiful thing to have. Jessica’s friends became his friends because Jessica would not hear that he was an outcast or he would not make friends, her family became his family and he could go to them at any time.

A beautiful story with a beautiful ending, except it, was not totally beautiful. It was like life wanted him to know not everything always ends well.her family became his family and he could go to them at any time.

A beautiful story with a beautiful ending, except it, was not totally beautiful. It was like life wanted him to know not everything always ends well.

Jessica was supposed to meet up with him for their project and she never turned up. He was annoyed that she didn’t text him to let him know she would not be turning up at first, then his annoyance turned to worry when he found out that even her friends had no idea where she was.

He made his way to her house and was met with silence, the house was locked. Did her family go on a vacation? And again when school was in session? His worries heightened when it was a week and Jessica wasn’t back in school and even her friends had no idea what was wrong, her number wasn’t going through and her house remained locked. He made his way to her house every day after school and was happy when one day he finally found her house open. He knocked on the door with relief and even smiled when her mother opened the door.

He smiled and after exchanging pleasantries, asked about Jessica and that was when he got to know. Jessica had been a cardiovascular patient and all the weeks he had not seen her in school or met them at home, she had been at the hospital.

The family came back home only after she died. She had not told him, not told anyone because she didn’t want pity or to be treated differently or put a burden on anyone.

Like that, the first love he had known had gone away and he didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to her or tell her how much he loved her and that was one pain he had not been able to forget. had not been able to forget. 

Find the Writer on twitter:@queenitee

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