Mide was a puppy. Olamide. A baby, my baby. She knew this, liked it so much. The Sugar Daddy-Baby tag. “Sweetened milk” she always called it.
Mide was a poor sweet little confused soul when we first met way back in her premedical year, on the main campus. The fellowship had sent a team I was part of to go have a small interactive session and orientation program for the pre-medical students, bound for the college of medicine. (the small thing ended up blowing over into some massive stuff –they came in their multitudes).
I had facilitated a session, and after we were done with the program, she had approached me shyly, hiding behind her fingers, and asked, or rather blurted out :”Sir, can you be my mentor?”. It was a weird moment. Couldn’t figure why and what drove her straight to me in particular. Why me? I wasn’t the finest facilitator, and definitely not the one with the most remarkable success story (I was just rounding off pre-clinicals then).
I doubt she would be able to proffer the answers to the questions as well. Let’s just say as humans (in this part of this world) would say when they’ve got no explanations for a phenomenon, it was just destiny. Fate. We hit it off almost immediately.
The 2nd semester exams were approaching for them. She had had a perfect 5.0GP in the first semester. And there she was, serving me a fast-paced treatise on the why, what and how she might probably never scale the hurdle of a quite average requirement to cross over to the college, as a ‘real’ medical student.
She looked so scared. Like genuinely scared o. Poor thing. I shoved my initial idea of spanking her to sense, and rather sat her down, asked her to take deep breaths, and took her through the ‘aspire to desire to acquire and expire’ routine.
It worked like always. Magical. With a CGPA of 4.86, she earned a first class ticket to the college. And the real journey began. She officially became my responsibility. Fixed her up with a friend to squat with. And practically babysat her all the way. I’d be the one to hear her rant most evenings after a long day, having to bear the yoke of hearing every single boring detail of her day in the cadaver lab, and sit through her gist about what seemed to be the very essence of life to her: Boys, Sharwarma, and K-drama.
In the real sense of it, and in the reality of things as they were, Mide was a constant reminder of me. And that was a major factor that made me very fond of her. Our Handwritings were quite similar. She’s beautiful writer, pretty much like me in style. And we’ve got very similar interests and unpopular taste.
Right in the midst of a generation that live, thrive and owe their destinies and very being to pasta, I had me a girl who hates noodles and Spaghetti, and whose idea of heaven is a steaming bowl of Amala and Gbegiri. Paradise in a bowl. And she’d do this justice to this with her F I N G E R S! Damn.
The day I knew this, I became a proud father.
Mide had a spark of interest in leadership, but dreaded the ‘dirt’ of politics. I cleared her doubts, doused her fears, and urged her to take up the senatorial form for her class. She ran unopposed, and represented her class constituency in the Medical students association’s senate. From there she went on to serve on various committees and directorates in the association, stopping short of taking a big shot at a major elective seat in the medical students’ association – the post of financial secretary. She backed down the last minute. The pressure was much. She wasn’t ready. And she never got to be ready. Not with fellowship commitments and school work taking her over. Turned out the big stage wasn’t really her thing, she preferred the low-keyed behind-the-scenes stuff- all of the planning, organizing, strategy and editorial thingy. That to her was bae.
That time it was looking like I was going to run for the Association President yeah?, she had told me severally over and over she was my undisputed campaign manager already. Like?! That was her kinda thing. Scheming, scamming kind of thing. It’s her forte, her fortress. Just, just give it to her, okay?
Quite funny how Mide had been present in every major phase and milestone in my (love) life. She was “fully” there before Gbemi and I hooked up. She was there “in the Spirit” through the time our relationship lasted. And of course, bodily present as my “Nurse” when Gbemi jilted my stupid ass.
Mide helped me heal.
Mide was such a darling. Like just so easy to love. Happy-go-lucky, free-spirited, playful pesky little bully. She could be such a painful boil in my ass, especially when it’s her time of the month! *eyes rolling*.
And that shouldn’t be any of my business for pete’s sake. Am I her father?!
Well, yeah. Scratch that. School father. Just ordinary school father o, and she’d rub her period in my face. I’d have to be ultrasensitive, ever be in touch, most caring, and take the hit for her mood flips. And of course, never forgetting her period care package. All of ‘em chocolates, painkillers, gift cards, scented candles. Mehn! I wondered what the actual role of a boyfriend was again. I didn’t know anymore man.
I guess I was being D(z)addy with a difference. That girl Mide made me serve time in an intensive “the making of a gentleman” school. I became an alumnus by force.
Mide is many good things really. My attention to details will suffer me to mention a few. Mide is one of those girls I’d fondly describe as a “Maltonic bottle”. Petite, but loaded. Bulked up in the couple of places that matters most, and the rest: well, tiny. Not so tiny really. Her build was made stout enough to carry the hilly mound of a backside she got mounted on her curvy hips. Yeah, I said that. She’s Hipsilaterally curvy. God’s good.
Mide is a pretty girl actually. And I say this with all of my chest, maybe because I’d seen the most of her without makeup, and I can say confidently, babes fine die. Her dentition, pink lips, and goosh her eyes! Everything set. Her face has got these hidden innocent babyish contours she conjures out anytime she was about getting manipulative. And it worked every single time. It would just be like she ‘d cry any moment, and in no time “Hard guy, Hard guy”, man’s melting away.
Mide kept nothing back from me. (Well, not unexpected for a man who doubled as her Cycle beads).
I knew her crushes, and the several naughty boys and Zaddies on her tiny case. We’d read their messages, have a good laugh and reply them together. I had a major stake in determining whoever it was she was gonna gree for eventually. And they paid my father-in-law tributes according. And ‘they’ was very many.
Gbemi’s security issues made it pretty difficult to maintain status quo with Mide. I had to keep the distance. Mide understood, kept a respectable distance, and just hung around. She was still my baby, but the bigger baby – the madam, no go gree. So, Mide laid low. The swiftness of her adaptation wowed me. Such maturity. Mide is a good girl.
When Gbemi left me out to dry, Mide was fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the breakup. And she stepped in good, making the ordeal less unbearable.
But when her relationship crashed mysteriously less than 2 weeks after. Relationship that was going so fine o. (Sudden-onset) irreconcilable differences as ‘they’ call it, I had serious cause to worry.
But in many of our discussions about ‘us’, she’d over and over brushed aside the notion of anything ever happening between us. In her words: “You’re my Dad…won’t it be rather incestual to develop feelings for you?” And that night, we had a good hearty laugh over it.
Thing is, I’d always been scared of that point when myself and any of my (female) mentees start catching feelings. I dread and avoid it at any costs. I’d always feared I was never going to handle it well enough. I was scared I’d be made to choose between continuing the mentoring relationship, fall into an unplanned relationship, or lose everything altogether. The very thought of that drove me crazy.
It was worse in Mide’s case. Because she was quite special to me. Losing what we had was very scary. The reason I’d rather risk overthinking she had feelings for me(when she didn’t, and talk it out) than be caught unawares in the web.
And really, dating my mentee was the last thing I would wanna do. It’s nothing bad. Just a matter of principle for me. Though it was fairly common in school. Infact time had revealed the ‘mentorship’ relationship to be a cover for the real intention of the mentor: a taste of the new young vine. And I was averse to such. These were in most cases vulnerable and naïve 15 year olds, fresh in school. And your crowding, intimidating big brother influence is already putting them under a compulsion to feel something for you. So that when you do finally open your aged mouth to ask her out, she says “YES SIR” in absolute reverence. The whole package didn’t just look fresh to me. It looked like taking advantage of some poor innocent soul. But of course. That was just me, and the way I saw things.
Mide was 15 in 200level(though looked far mature for her age). She is a month younger than my baby sis. Whenever I think of her, I think of my baby sister. And that made any feeling whatsoever fail to thrive. But there would always be that voice of perdition lurking somewhere in the recesses of my mind, always whispering, rather loudly: ‘WE….SHALL…. SEE’.
(to be continued)