First Love is like Mother’s Cooking. It’s the first you knew and you’ll always think, ‘this food is good or bad’ based on what you first knew. – Yoruba Bini Storyteller
Image culled from geekeryonline.com
My first love was a geek. A handsome geek, as far as I was concerned. My roommates couldn’t understand what I saw in him.
“He laughs like a hyena,” Ranti said that Friday night. We’d all been sitting idly in our packed room meant for six that housed fourteen girls, waiting for the rain pelting the roof to stop.
“How does a hyena laugh?” I’d asked, curious.
“Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw,” Yemi chipped in and all the girls doubled up in shared amusement, except me.
“He laughs nice,” I’d replied, my tone defensive.
“Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw,” Yemi crowed again while the girls erupted into hysterical laughter.
“You are the ones laughing like hyenas,” I’d muttered, holding my duvet close to me, my knees hunched to my chin.
Yes, he laughed like a hyena, but I loved that about him. I liked the way his glasses bounced on the bridge of his nose; loved the way he grabbed my hand when we were out on our long walks; but most importantly loved the way he hugged me. No one could hug like my geek. He made me feel a million times safe – his arms wrapped around me as I snuggled close to the warmth of his body.
Our relationship was simple, yet complex because not once did he officially ask me to be his girlfriend. In my heart though, I belonged to him. Our relationship was never cemented with the words “I do” to him asking me, “Will you be my girlfriend?” so, it was inevitable that our relationship would end without a lovers’ tiff.
He graduated school, never looked back and our relationship ended.
I had to move on and when I did, I moved on to another geek, trying to find my first geek who never really said he was mine even though I felt I was his.
My second geek, God bless his soul, shared the geeky features of my first: Lanky, his head bobbling up and down like a puppet. He too had glasses – big frames that almost swallowed up his whole face. He asked me to be his girl and I was enthusiastic to say yes. I rushed to tell my roommates.
“At least, he doesn’t laugh like a hyena,” Ranti had said with a chuckle.
That was when I realized I had a problem. No, I couldn’t be his girlfriend. Yes, he hugged well; and yes, he held my hands real nice, but with him not laughing like a hyena…it was just too much for me to handle.
I went through a bunch of geeks in University by the time I graduated. None of them was ever like my first geek. There was always something wrong. If they laughed like hyenas, they couldn’t hug like my first geek did. And if they could hug, they couldn’t hold my hand like he did. And if they could do all three, then they didn’t have glasses that bobbed on the bridge of their nose.
With all my friends getting married, and me remaining dead-on-arrival in my love life, I sought out my first geek whom I’d heard worked for a software company.
I turned to the pretty receptionist at the front desk. “Can I talk to –?” I started, but before I could call the name of the man I came to see, I heard a peculiar titter behind me.
I turned around, knowing it had to be him. It was. He hadn’t changed a bit.
He stared hard at me; a dazed look on his face…one that I knew was also on mine. He called my name, to assure himself that it was really me. When I nodded, he laughed.
I froze, refusing to take the hand he reached out to hold mine. Nodding in the direction of the receptionist, I walked out the door.
“What in God’s name did I ever find in him?” I muttered to myself as soon as I reached my apartment. “My God! He sure as hell laughs like a hyena.”