And we went to church. The twins cuddled to my hand and Chinaza strapping all the baby kits, we went to church together, the first after a long while now. We had loved going to church together when we first started our love story but had stopped when we saw how much of a barrier it was to some certain things we loved doing at the church. Like for example, Naza loved committing to God entirely whenever she was at the church, a thing so impossible if I was around to distract her with stupid talks. I loved to ogle at the girls around. Chinaza knew that and would never let me have a moment peep at any cute chic. To her, my attention should be at the altar at all times but I do get bored looking at something that hardly changes. The altar is always the same design and it’s always the same priest and the same method of worship but the chics around? Mehn, they are always coming in different shapes and sizes and designs too.
But today, we went together. I needed to help Naza hold the babies. She had disagreed with every reason why she should just put them to sleep and come to the church. After all, it was a 2 hours affair and she would soon be home to them.
We sat together, side by side, like couples. I didn’t complain. Naza was cute so I was cool with it. Everything worked out just fine, Naza held Chinecherem while I held Chinaza. She spent more time trying not to make him remember he would be needing a suck of the breast so I was able to sneak a look at different girls at a time. Most of them had their eyes on us. We were one hell of a cinema, prolly the youngest couple in the church at that moment.
Like I said, everything went just fine until the door was opened to latecomers, that was before the sermon took place. A lot of them latecomers flooded into the church. Then my eyes locked with this very pretty girl. She flashed me a pretty smile and I flashed her one back. I turned to ensure Naza wasn’t aware of the mild eye romance happening between us. I turned and met her, face to face, eyeball to eyeball. She wasn’t smiling and her teeth dug into her natural pink lips.
“Are you still talking with Freda?” she asked me. I shook my head rigorously.
“Why were you staring at each other then?” she asked me again. I shrugged.
“Nothing. Our eyes just met besides I haven’t even seen in over a hundred years and I told you I don’t like her name.”
“You don’t like her name or you don’t like her?”
“I don’t know again, let’s not start arguing about a girl right here in the church. Besides, you are far better looking than she is so you have no need to be jealous or complain,” I said and turned to face the altar. I wasn’t lying.
“I am better looking than all of those girls you are always running after,” she said. I turned to her with a smile at the corner of my face. She had one on hers too.
“Don’t brag,” I whispered. She struck my laps.
“Face the altar,” she commanded. I did just that, with one of my eyes though. The other was on Freda and she had all her attention on me.
Freda wasn’t just a girl I wanted a mere fling with, I had loved her, like so genuinely and she had loved me back. I thought I could manage her with Naza but I soon came to realize that it was easier managing five estates than managing two magnificent beauties.
Freda had wanted me and everything about me, she didn’t want to leave any part of me for Naza. That was so impossible because Naza was the Queen. Freda could easily be likened to a princess. She was sweet in her own ways but she gave me no space to run my extra package. She spent more time in my house than she spent in hers and when Naza had come back from school to catch her in my room with her top off and her bra on the way to going off too, the devil had his laugh.
Naza was just herself then and there. She had tapped Freda on the laps and pointed at my door.
“Get out,” she had said calmly but her eyes were brimstones. Freda had opened and closed her mouth, sharing quick glances between the door, Naza and I. I swallowed hard. Naza was obviously fidgeting for a fight and it sure wouldn’t be a fight between them. Naza would beat her silly. Don’t ask how I knew, I just know.
“Naza,” I started but she held her finger to her lips, gesturing me to keep my mouth closed.
“Shut up!” she had snapped at me and turned to Freda. “I said get out!” she had yelled it this time around.
I got lucky, my door opened and Willie walked in. We made eye contact and he turned to Freda.
“Frey come,” he had said to her. She didn’t waste a breath. She had grabbed her top and ran to Willie and they bounced out of my room. Naza turned to me. I opened my mouth and closed them again and then opened them again.
“I was helping her stitch her top,” I stammered. She had pushed me to the bed and walked out on me.
I sacrificed the bunch of flowers on our dining to win her back to me again and when it was over, only the flower vase was left. Freda did try to take me away from her but she hit a rock at it. I loved her though and she loved me too but she didn’t want to share me and I didn’t want to lose Naza. We were just 17 then and I was in my Ss3 class.
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Now we were at the church and a bell inside of me kept ringing. The bell that always rang each time I was going to kick it off with a girl. Naza happens to hear that bell most times whenever we were together and when it was offering time, she made us change seat to a totally different section of the church. The married people section. Like I said, I can never eye a married woman and Naza knew that.
From my house to her house. That was our new circle of life. None of those circles led us into a bed though. She was uptight about that part of our affair, again.
So I have really learnt a lot about taking care of babies, the only part I still have a problem with is breastfeeding them. I have never tried that though, I don’t have big boobs like their mom. That’s the only part Naza would never invite me to help her out with. We did every other thing together. From changing their diapers to singing them to sleep.
We finally gave them a name. It was on a bright sunny day and their 2 months birthday. Chinaza was feeling happy with herself and every other person else. Reason was she had a very nice sleep that night, at my expense though. I had dealt with the babies midnight cries while she slept away on her bed with an earplug to her ear.
“See how beautiful she is looking,” she had chirped while adjusting baby girl’s hair ribbon.
“So do we call her beautiful?” I asked.
“No, what kind of name is that?”
“Then pretty?” I asked again. She shook her head.
“Call them Bonnie and Clyde,” Willie suggested.
“God forbid,” we shouted in unison.
“Benedict and Scholastica,” her mother suggested.
“Too churchy,” I moaned.
“Call them John and Bull abeg. These foods and drinks are getting old,” Willie complained, eyeing the food on the table.
“Fine, we will think about it,” Naza said. Willie got up from the sopha and made for the steaming food and drinks.
“Let’s eat first,” he said. Naza moved the table further from him.
“No, we will eat after we had thought out a name for the babies.”
Everyone grumbled. Then we sat there, for over 15 minutes, searching for sexy names for our beautiful babies. Naza had allowed nobody else to suggest a name for them, she would do it herself. Apparently, it wasn’t that easy. 2 months gone and she was still at it. We were so naive at that parenting of a thing and worse still, they came in twos.
“We will give you two 10 more minutes to say something or we will give them whatever names we like,” My father said finally.
“Yes, 10 minutes,” Willie supported, spinning a bottle of Heineken in his hands.
“Chinecherem, you name the girl and your wife will name the boy,” my father finalized.
The time started ticking. We had our eyes on each other. Who would have thought that an ordinary task of naming babies could put one in so much a hot seat.
“Tick- tock” “Tick-tock” “Tick- tock” the time ticked and then 12 minutes gone, we had 2 minutes grace.
“So, are you ready?” he asked again. The ladies around were laughing out at our anxiety. We nodded.
“1 – 2 – 3 – Go!” Willie called.
“Chinaza,” I snapped and Naza followed it up with “Chinecherem.”
“Good, now we can eat, ” Willie said and reached for the table. Everyone followed suit. I and Naza kept staring at each other, like we needed to verify if we had chosen the right names. Willie took a long drag of the green bottle and smirked his lips.
“Ehe, what did you say their names were again?” he asked.
“Star and lager,” Chinaza answered with a hiss.