Titi was seventeen and in her own words she was playful, impulsive, fun-loving and adventurous. Her mum felt otherwise. To her, Titi was stubborn, silly and destined for trouble. Mum would say to Titi “Slow down child, you have your whole life ahead of you”. Titi laughed it off. In Titi’s mind she was in the prime of her life. This was her youth. She was Indestructible! She was a super hero and youth was her cape. Titi was a straight A student, which was weird because she was not a nerd. Titi was blessed; her mind was like a sponge it took in everything she heard, saw or read.
It was no surprise to her mum that Titi graduated high school at fifteen. Titi was her mother’s pride and joy. You see, Titi’s father was not her dad. Like most men his age, he had denied paternity of the beautiful full haired baby. Titi’s mum was distraught; her folks said it was her fault. How dare she take in for a man that had not paid her dowry? Titi’s mum had several rough patches but she was determined to right her wrong. Seventeen years later, Titi’s mum could say she had made it. She had a comfortable house, a fantastic job and a daughter who wanted to be an engineer.
Titi was all for going straight to university after graduation, but her mum said “wait child, you will get your A-levels first“. Titi was mildly annoyed. To her, her mum was delaying her entry to the “real world of higher education”. Titi loved her mum so she didn’t argue, A-levels it was.What Titi didn’t understand was that, her mum had started saving the day she got into high school and was determined to give Titi a foreign education. There was no way her pride and joy was going to waste away in any Nigerian university. She needed the two years of Titi’s A-levels to reach her target figure.
August 15 2010, Titi completed A-levels. Her mum’s nest egg was ready. Titi made all A’s and her mum could not wait to tell Titi that Jamb was not her portion. Her mum drove Titi home from the graduation ceremony. She had planned an elaborate dinner at one of the most exclusive restaurants in town. Tonight she’d tell Titi. Her mum was very excited. All the way home, Titi wondered how to tell her mum she’d been invited to a “night party”. Her A-levels mates were going to paint the town red.
Titi knew mum had a soft spot for her and would not say no. Besides, this was #Her1stTime making such a request.
As soon as they got to the well furnished apartment they called home, buoyed by her youth, Titi made her request. Her mum’s 1st instinct was to say no, but then she thought, “this is Titi, this is my future and we can always do dinner tomorrow, I’ll tell her tomorrow night”. Titi could’ve sworn her mum was going to say no and was shocked when she said yes. She rushed into her mum’s arms and said “I Love You”, it was not #Her1stTime. At 9.15pm on August 15, 2010 Nnamdi, Funke, Aubrey and Tade arrived at Titi’s house. The plan was, pick up Titi and then meet up with the others at the club. After exchanging pleasantries with her mum, they took Titi away.
Nnamdi was a decent driver and they got to the club without incident. Titi was in awe! This was #Her1stTime in a bonafide “Night Club”. The drinks flowed like she was swimming in the nile. Titi’s friends were big spenders. Nnamdi had a thing for her and tonight he was out to impress. At first Titi turned down the drinks but Aubrey pointed out that this was #Her1stTime and she should enjoy it, so she did. Titi drank, no she guzzled, with each new drink mum’s voice of reasoning became cloudy, and soon all Titi could hear was the incessant buzzing in her head. As the night wore on the Party of 11 had dispersed into different recesses of the club.
Nnamdi stuck to Titi, tonight he was not going to dull. In the beginning they had actual conversations but Nnamdi was drunk and Titi was wasted. By 11.45pm it was all grunts, smiles and laughter. Titi had never noticed how cute Nnamdi was and as she heard “Jamie Foxx’s Blame it on the Alcohol” playing in the background all she could think was “how ironic?” Titi had always had a thing for Nnamdi but Funke declared her interest in him from the firstst day of school and so she never revealed her feelings.
Tonight, Titi was positive Nnamdi had the hots for her, as his hands had not left her waist all night…then again he was drunk but so was she. Nnamdi knew it was now or never, the alcohol in his system had given him the Courage of Zeus. “Speak now” said his heart, he did. Titi saw his lips move and could’ve sworn he said “Will you go out with me?” but she wasn’t sure. It was either the loud music or the alcohol so she said “what did you say?” He almost didn’t say again, but Nnamdi thought “well I already jumped into the pool I might as well swim”. He grabbed her palms and held on tight.
Nnamdi said “Titi I’ve liked you since the first day of class, for two years now and I’ve never stopped, will you please do me the honour of being my girlfriend? This time Titi heard clearly, funny how the euphoria counteracted the alcohol induced slowness “yes Nnamdi” she gushed. He smiled, she giggled. For all of Titi’s gra gra she was the proud owner of her cherry and Nnamdi was #Her1stBoyfriend. As of 12.03am March 16, 2010 Nnamdi and Titi were an Item. Nnamdi was no longer “dulling”.
His hands moved to her face and he pulled her close. Romantic, no? Well not really. His eyes were spinning and he didn’t want to kiss her nose in error. He kissed her, she kissed him, they kissed. It tasted like Henessey. Titi’s first thought was “I can’t wait to tell Mum”. Titi told mum everything. The kiss ended, light skinned Nnamdi blushed. Two years later, he would no longer need to resort to wet dreams when he wanted her close to him. The thought of telling mum she now had a boyfriend reminded Titi of her 1am curfew. She told her boyfriend she had to get home and he obliged.
He guided her through the sea of “Party animals” to the door marked exit. She asked of the others and Nnamdi said “They are not important“. Alcohol made Nnamdi super romantic, Titi was ecstatic. Seventeen year old Titi could only think of her future make out sessions with her new boyfriend. Nineteen year old Nnamdi could not wait to tell everyone the beautiful Titi was HIS! The teenagers did not think of how drunk they were. Nnamdi found his car and like the fairy tales he opened Titi’s side and ushered her in. Lagos at midnight was so beautiful.
They left the windows wound down and didn’t turn on the air-conditioning. Nnamdi’s right hand was intertwined with Titi’s left. He was a decent driver; all he needed was one hand. One more bend and Nnamdi would deliver his girlfriend safe and sound to her mother. He had passed this way a million times; he lived ten minutes away from Titi. Nnamdi was pushing 160km/hr, he knew he was flying but he assumed it was the “Bliss” from knowing Titi was his. Titi was oblivious…alcohol does that to you.
He saw the roundabout and started to make the turn. Nnamdi always timed it to perfection or didn’t he? He had exactly four seconds to make the bend. Nnamdi did not factor in the alcohol or the speedometer. He started to make the turn…something was wrong. The structure Fashola built in tribute to some fallen Hero was unusually close. He had only a split second to register this anomaly. Titi was no longer oblivious; she saw the concrete and realized tonight she would celebrate another first. #Her1stTime dying
Nnamdi crashed his father’s 2009 Passat into the concrete structure in the middle of the road. Titi died instantly but alas she was not alone. On March 16, 2010 at 12.45 am, Nnamdi escorted his girlfriend of forty-two minutes to the great beyond. Titi’s mum would also register a first; #Her1stTime burying her promising seventeen year old daughter.