One of my best memories was of a time when I was 10 years old, and Mr. A and his wife had come to visit us in Abeokuta. Mr. A and I took a drive, he needed to go get something from town (I can't remember exactly what now). We got talking (note that Mr A was a classmate of my dads and so was in his mid thirties at this time), and I had this weird feeling even then that Mr. A got me even more than my parents did at that time. He asked me questions about what I wanted to do, what interested me, got to know me as an individual, made me think about stuff I normally wouldnt have thought about. As the years have gone by, Mr A and I have had dwindling contact. The last time I saw him was in 2003, when I specially sought him out. He looked really washed out, the hustle of Nigeria had gotten to him. But his smile, his smile remained the same. he was really glad to see me. I went to his wife's office and she took me home. Afterwards I went to work with him and we continued talking. I have since lost contact with him, and google searches have not brought any Information up. Mr A., your kids are lucky to have you as a father.
The second man in my life was Prof. He was a friend and colleague of my parents. I was a stubborn child - I like to think I was just misunderstood by my folks(naijaspeak for parents). Anyway, I'm not sure but I think it is likely that my parents mentioned that I was giving them some grief and so maybe he decided to help out. We also clicked, funny since he was also mid thirties to forty and I was about 10 or 11 at the time that I remember meeting him. The funny thing was that Prof. had a daughter who was a junior of mine in school and we both had almost nothing in common and never really became friends. I remember once he picked me up from home and we drove to his house. Once we got there, he tried to get me to "play with his kids" . It was okay, but I missed talking to him all by my self, lol. For some weird reason, I was even less able to warm up to Mrs. Prof than I was to her kids. She was an academic type, and pretty cool. I lost touch with Prof. after 2001, but thanks to Google, I am now not only in possesion of a picture of him and madam at someone's wedding, I also managed to get back in touch by email!!!!!
Triple A doesn't really belong to the category of the men above, but he did have an enormous impact on my life. Triple A was a student who was under my parents care when I first met him. He has since become a sort of older brother to my siblings and I, and my parents regularly call him to report us to him. Se o ri n kan ti Marin tun ti se (see what Marin has done this time) kind of calls.
The reason why I say Triple A doesn't belong to the category above is because he and I had a romatic relationship. Well sort of. Triple A is about 7 years older than me. I was 10 when I first met him, and I totally worshipped him. When I became born again, he became my mentor in a way. It was great to have him on my side, because my parents, who were christians themselves gave me a lot of grief. My no earrings, no trousers stance was too much for them(I debated the no relaxer, no braids position, but with the texture of my hair, it was really no option for me, lol).
I can't remember exactly what the progression was, but A and I fell in love. Since I was about 14 or 15 at the time, that wasn't really very practical. He wrote me so many deep letters and poems - many of which I have saved somewhere. We almost made love a few times, it just didn't work out too well as I was too scared. We planned on getting married, shared our dreams etc. HE tutored me in Physics to my most "well earned" A - I say well earned because it was purely due to hard work; Physics is not really my kettle of fish, even though I got high grades at University in Physics again, oh well. Anyway, I finally got into Uni and had a bit of a distance between Triple A and myself, and I started to feel like he had taken advantage of me. This was because he refused to acknowledge our attachment in public(I was always "my guardian's daughter). There were some SU sisters who were chasing him and he even discussed them with me, but I knew he was in love with me, but couldn't face the wrath of my parents, and any scandal. Years have passed and I have forgiven him for preying on my innocence, while publicly being a bro who didn't believe in wearing jeans or shaking sisters hands. I have to admit that in many aspects, he is still my ideal man - in the aspect of making a home together etc. But, he always admits it even to his wife(who by the way doesn't know about the romantic part of our relationship), that he became who he is in many ways due to my "lessons" on etiquette. He only proposed to her when he knew I was getting married. Previously in my early twenties, he had asked me out, and I declined. I had overgrown him at the time I guess.
When dear hubby and I were having serious problems, I deliberately kept away from him as I knew the danger. I would not want two broken homes on my neck.
I still love him, albeit in a different way than I did all those years before. He gets me so much, he can calm me down in a way many people cannot, he can also infuriate me and disgust me more than many people. I am glad we didn't get married as we once dreamt all those years. I think hubby and I are better suited. And I love my husband - warts and all. My husband does know about what was between Triple A and I.
Bro A was a youth corper who also doubled as youth leader at the local RCCG during his service year. The year that I was fourteen. I had such a huge cruch on him, and he had a huge impact on my life spiritually. He eventually became an RCCG pastor, a youth pastor and funnily in the same church we attended in a different city. He is a real mighty man of valour and really had an influence on my life.
There are many other men who have contributed in positive ways to me becoming whom I have become. I dedicate this post to them all and I will hold them dear in my heart for eternity.