I was only five years old when I first met my neighbour’s daughter.

It was attention at first sight.

Not the kind of attention that you were amazed by their beauty, but the attention that you were curious about their story.

My neighbour’s daughter was albino. Her parents were black. Her siblings were black too.

So where did she come from?

Her name was Oyinbo. According to what I heard people call her.

I was six years old the first time I talked to her. And the first thing I said to her was,

“Did your mother sleep with another man?”

Guess what came after?

A resounding slap.

Not from Oyinbo, but from her mother. I forgot to mention, her mother was standing next to her when I said that.

Funny part was that I was not the only one that thought about this. Words started spreading throughout our entire estate about whether Oyinbo was a child outside of wedlock. 

And ever since then, I never saw Oyinbo again.

Until… 10 years later.

She returned to the estate with her belongings like she had just come from a long journey. Her family house was just opposite mine, so it wasn’t hard for me to pay close attention to her.

I later found out she had gone to a boarding primary and secondary school all these years and she just graduated from secondary school.

The day she arrived was her 18th birthday. 

My beloved mother and enemy of peace sent me to deliver masa and chin chin to them. She still wasn’t aware of the resounding slap I received from Oyinbo’s mother 10 years ago.

I could still feel that slap on my face.

I rang the doorbell of Oyinbo’s house and the door opened. It was her. 


She had a frown on her face. Her eyes were squinted together like she was trying to see me clearly, before she moved them back to normal.

That was when I noticed it. Her eyes… a mixture of grey and blue. She was crossed eyes too.

On seeing me, she rubbed her hand over her white kinky hair, as if she were shy to see me. The same me that half-insulted her mother years ago.

“Good afternoon.” I greeted first.

She didn’t say anything, just stood there avoiding my eyes. Was she deaf?

“Who’s there?” Another presence came to the door. The professional slapper herself. 

“Oh,” Her mother looked at me in surprise, “that stupid small boy.”

I almost choked on my spit. She called me this the very few times she saw me pass their house from school. I thought I would have gotten used to her nickname by now, but hearing her say it in front of Oyinbo just made it more brutal.

“Good afternoon, ma.”

“You’re Haruna, abi?” She asked me. 

I nodded.

“Your mother told me you were here to deliver something for Dooshima.”

At first, I wanted to ask who Dooshima was. But then I realized that was Oyinbo’s real name. Of course, her real name was never Oyinbo.

I gave mama Oyinbo the tray with the two food warmers in my hand. She collected it and slammed the door in my face.

Yes. She still hates me.

I left their house compound and walked back to mine.

I stood by my house door and looked back at Oyinbo’s house. I saw her white figure standing behind their window, watching me. 

 I smiled and waved at her but she sharply closed the window and ran away.

“Dooshima.” I recalled her name to myself.

Hmm, I think I liked Oyinbo better.


I kept seeing more of Oyinbo now that she was back and awaiting admission to university. 

Every morning, I saw her sitting in front of her house washing her clothes. Then after school, she was still washing those clothes. She always wore this big brown hat to protect her skin from the sun.

The day I came back from school and discovered that she was still washing the same red sweater she was washing before I left for school was the day I discovered she wasn’t really washing for the sake of washing.

She had calculated the times I left for school and returned from school.

She was waiting for me.

Did she like me?

So one delicious hot afternoon, after my last SS2 exam papers, I decided to stop in front of her house, instead of passing by as usual.

The moment she saw me coming towards her, she left the two buckets and ran away into the house.

Was she scared of me?

The next day, I saw her washing outside her house early the next morning. She kept stretching her head to watch out for the front door of my house. But I wasn’t coming out. My exams were over, but she didn’t know about it yet.

I stood by the window to watch her patiently waiting for me as she washed and rewashed the clothes in her bucket. 

I laughed as I watched her. It was funny and cute at the same time.

Disappointment flooded her face as she got tired of washing. She just stood up and picked up the two buckets.

I could see her shoulders slump as she walked slowly back into her house.

I used that opportunity to open my house door and step out. On hearing the door sound, Oyinbo stopped walking and turned around in anticipation.

I jogged towards the front of her house as I stared right at her. She stared back at me with an amused smile plastered on her face.

Soon, she came back to her senses and quickly wiped that smile off her face. 

She wanted to run away again but I stopped her.

“Dooshima.” I called out to her.

She took little frightened steps backwards and muttered some things to herself that I couldn’t hear. 

“It’s okay, I’m not going to touch you.” I assured her, for whatever reason she was scared of.

“No!” She shouted and shook her head. “No! My mother did not sleep with another man!”

I looked at her in confusion.

“That is what I’ve been meaning to tell you.” She said lastly before running back inside her house.

Ever since that day, she stopped coming out of the house to wash clothes. 

I was now the one always waiting by the window for her to come out to wash, but she never did.

Until one evening… when I was home alone, I heard a knock on the front door.

I opened it. It was Oyinbo. Alone.

I don’t know why but I felt my pulses go up at the sight of her there. Alone.

“You’re- you’re not the only one that thought of it.” She started.

I was confused.

“You’re not the only one that thought my mother slept with another man. Everyone else did.” She spoke fast.

I was very very confused. She was weird. Like really weird.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” I rose my brows.

“I like you!” She blurted out. 

I paused for a moment before I said, “And I don’t like you, Dooshima.” 

Her face became red. She was embarrassed.

I felt bad, “No, it’s not like that-”

She ran away. Again. As usual. As always.

She did not get the memo. She did not know me. I did not know her. The only connection we shared was the awkward eye contact we made every time we passed each other.

Did she think this was Africa Magic?

She stopped running. She stood there for a long moment, like a statute. 

I was scared, hoping she would not turn around and strangle me for rejecting her love.

She turned around to look at me. A frown plastered on her face. She walked back to me. Actually, she stomped back. Like she was actually going to strangle me.

I took little steps, planning my escape before she finally came to stand in front of me.

Then she asked a strange question.

“How does a girl make a guy like her?” 

“You don’t make a guy like you. Because girls don’t chase guys. Guys chase girls.”


With that, she ran away. Does she ever walk?

I didn’t see her again. For months.

I never saw her outside her house or around the estate. I was beginning to get curious. Worried, actually. Did I push her too hard? Did she kill herself because I turned her down?

I kept pacing back and forth as to what was going on with Oyinbo. Like that, I kept thinking about her every day. I was worried about her.

But then, I began to question why I worried about her. 

From that questioning came the ultimate jamb question.

Did I like Oyinbo?

I shook my head. No. There was no way I would like her.

But when night came, all I could been thinking about were her piercing grey-blue eyes. Her tiny figure. Her flat bum bum that looks squeezable like agege bread.

God, what is wrong with me?

And before I knew it… I was standing in front of her house. The very spot she used to wash her clothes.

“Haruna?” I heard a sweet distant voice behind me.

I turned around. There she was. My Oyinbo. The one that couldn’t make me sleep at night.

Seeing her caused a sensation in my body. Something that made my man parts tingle.

Soon, everything began to make sense. The more distant she was, the more I longed for her. 

It was the paradox of the chase as a man. We didn’t have to chase and persuade her to know we liked her. It was her absence that brought longing into our souls. Into our bodies. Into our hormones.

“Haruna?” She called my name again.

“Yes? Sorry.” 

She moved the big nylon bag from her front and placed it on the ground beside her. 

And that was when I froze.

She was pregnant. How-

I saw her father come down from the car next to her with nylon bags too. I stared inside the nylon bags in his hand, they were baby items.

“Who’s this?” Her father asked her.

“Our neighbour, Haruna.” She said in a low tone, avoiding my eyes.

“Ah I see. I hope he’s not one of your sugar babies? I don’t have money to spare on any of those fools again.”

Sugar baby? Like sugar mummy’s side chick?

Oyinbo’s father walked to my side and patted my shoulder.

“Young man, concentrate on school and make something of yourself.” He glanced at Oyinbo and whispered to me, “Don’t let my wife fool you into thinking love is all there is in this world. You’re not the first boy and you won’t be the last.”

With that, he left for the house. I stood there, unable to move.

Wi- wife? 

Oyinbo was his… wife?

It made sense, but it didn’t make sense. It made sense that she wasn’t his daughter because of their skin differences. But it didn’t make sense that she was his wife all this while, his child-bride.

Oyinbo noticed the shock on my face. She couldn’t say anything. She did what she did best. She ran away. She ran pass me and back into her house.

And that was how our story ended. There was never destined to be a love story between us.

Between me and my neighbour’s daughter. Sorry. Wife.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters, locations, organizations and incidents appearing in this article are fictitious.

Follow my Instagram page @hjthestoryteller for more updates on my blog.


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  • Wendy
    Posted April 19, 2022 9:51 am 0Likes

    Very Nice🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted April 19, 2022 6:19 pm 0Likes

      Thank you!

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