January 30th, 2010
Even though the main reason for my trip had turned out to be a failure, I decided to enjoy the remaining days I have left with my sisters. That Thursday, Akwaugo followed Ogonna and I back to Fair Lawn, and we had gisted way into the night, catching up on everything, and gossiping about anything! The following day, we all returned to Manhattan, to spend the rest of the weekend, before my flight back to Nigeria on Monday. And it has been more gossiping and gisting. Akwaugo’s kids are spending the weekend with their Dad, so we have the whole apartment to ourselves…and it has been wonderful…and caustic at the same time.
Caustic because my sisters have spared no words to let me know that what I have done to myself is beyond appalling. Last night, they forced me to finally confront the scale, and it was even worse than I thought. There I was thinking that the worst possible scenario would be a gain of 10kg. But as I looked at the number 231.5 pounds, which is the same as 105kg, I knew I had truly failed myself! In less than 2 months, I have put on almost 20kg! In the snap of a finger, I have undone all my hard work.
At first, I was demoralized, but after the scolding, my sisters proceeded to encourage me, and have pledged to do all they can, to help me get back on track. Looking at Akwaugo, who now weighs 148 pounds (67 kg), and even Ogonna who, even with her 20 pound weight gain, isn’t even up to 80kg, I know I have no business being as heavy as I am. It’s definitely time to stop…and I am done killing myself slowly!
When we were done talking about weight, we forced Ogonna to spill more information about this whole Chiemela saga. He had recognized her in a Facebook picture, and had proceeded to send her a friend request. After exchanging a few messages, he had asked for her number, and had begun the first of many lengthy phone conversations, during which he admitted to having had a crush on her in those Nnsuka days, but hadn’t had the courage to do anything about it.
“As if you would have agreed if Chiemela had toasted you back then!” Akwaugo screamed in laughter, still very tickled by this Chiemela story.
“He is nothing like what you remember.” Ogonna said, the slight flare of her nose giving away the fact that Akwaugo’s amusement wasn’t amusing her.
“You’ve seem him?” I asked her.
She shrugged. “A few times. He drove over to Jersey to meet up with me a couple of times, and he’s been asking me to come to New York for a while…”
It was a no brainer. With Ogonna being in New York for the weekend, and Akwaugo and I dying to see the new and improved Chiemela, we were able to convince her to invite him over for lunch today.
I have to be honest. Even knowing that he had cleaned himself up in the 20 odd years since I’d seen him, I was still expecting a nerdy guy. Yes, he might have been in expensive clothes, and driving a Porsche, but in my mind’s eye, all I could see was an older version of the same Chiemela.
But when he walked into the living room, after being let in by Ogonna, Akwaugo and I were shocked into stunned silence. From the look on Ogonna’s face, she was enjoying having the last laugh.
Nooooooo! This could not be Chiemela! Where were the thick glasses and crooked teeth? The twisted takoko hair? The man standing in front of us could have been on a billboard at Times Square. So handsome and fetching was he! Chiemela has always been tall, so that was no surprise. But the skinny bony structure has given room to lean muscle (which has also benefitted from a few gym sessions, from the way his chest and upper arms defined the polo shirt he was wearing), the thick glasses have given room to the most beautiful eyes ever (who knew he had such gorgeous light brown eyes?!), and the twisted hair has given way to a neat low crop, with the hint of a natural curl, and a few sprinkles of grey.
“Wow! It’s so great to see you ladies again!” he said with a smile, as he stretched his hand to shake us.
Akwaugo and I let out a collective gasp, when he smiled. Not only did it totally light up his face, making him appear even more handsome, the brown and crooked teeth we remembered have been replaced by the most impeccable white and even teeth ever…obviously the product of very expensive dental work.
This Chiemela is a hunk, and then some.
And the icing on the cake was that he was as down to earth as ever. In no time at all, we were all gisting in Ibo and reminiscing about those fun days on campus, including how the rest of us had bullied him. Well, I guess he could find it amusing now, as he is definitely having the last laugh. As a Senior Vice President with Goldman Sachs, his efiko days have clearly paid off.
“How come you’re not married, Chiemela?! Fine guy like you!” Akwaugo asked.
He shrugged. “I just never met anyone who could understand me. But I was also to blame, as I didn’t prioritize well in the early days, and gave far too much time to work, and way too little time to nurture my relationships,” then looking at Ogonna. “But all that has changed now, and I’m definitely ready for something serious.”
Akwaugo and I exchanged a glance, and pinched each other under the table, whilst Ogonna blushed deeply. As she opened her mouth to speak, my phone rang.
Who was this person interrupting this very sweet moment??!!
Looking at my phone, I saw that it was JJ. I rolled my eyes. Na wa for this husband of mine, calling me round the clock.
“Are you stalking me, my darling husband?” I teased, as soon as I answered the phone. “Didn’t we speak an hour ago?”
“Ihunna, I just got a call from your sister.” he said, his voice somber. “She called me after trying to reach you.”
“My sister?! I’m here with my sisters!” I responded, wondering what the heck he was talking about.
“I mean Legachi” he clarified.
I immediately sat up. “Has anything happened to my Dad?”
At that, my sisters stopped talking, and turned to look at me.
“Not your Dad…” JJ answered “It’s your Stepmother. She died this morning.”
“What’s wrong?!” Ogonna demanded “Ihunna, what has happened?”
I looked at both my sisters in a daze. “It’s Felicia…Mama Legachi…”
“Daddy’s wife?” Akwaugo asked.
I nodded. “She…she’s dead.”
And just like that, the mood in Akwaugo’s apartment changed from happy camaraderie to a stunned silence.
Catch up on Ihunna’s story here:
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 1: Grubbido
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 2: Fragile
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 3: Defiant
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 4: Progress
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 5: The Gym
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 6: Killjoy
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 7: Pain
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 8: Frenemies
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 9: Exhilarated
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 10: Popcorn
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 11: Free-fall
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 12: Sunday Morning
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 13: Mission Reactivated
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 14: New Things
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 15: Bad Business
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 16: Luxury Items
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 17: The Solution
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 18: Magic Formula
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 19: Date Night
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 20: Quinoa
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 21: Perfect Fit
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 22: Keeping In Touch
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 23: Delete
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 24: Philosophical
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 25: Keep it Moving
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 26: My Co-Wife
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 27: Old Jeans & Old Friends
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 28: Prawn Stir Fry
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 29: Facebook Tagging
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 30: Detox Part 2
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 31: Abs & Crunches
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 32: Making Notes
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 33: Christmas Party
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 34: Ashiedu
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 35: Willpower
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 36: Packing…and TV
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 37: Last Minute
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 38: Body Image
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 39: Christmas Trip
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 40: Christmas in the Village
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 41: Daddy’s Girl
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 42: 2010
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 43: Uzoamaka
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 44: Sugar Binge
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 45: The E-mail
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 46: She whose name must not be repeated
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 47: Smokescreen
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 48: Running away
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 49: Fry-Up
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 50: The Only Solution
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 51: The Intervention
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 52: Tri-State Sisters
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 53: Manhattan
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 54: Daddy’s Girls