An extract from the book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size. She told him how she very much wanted God to exist but feared he did not, how she worried that she should know what she wanted to do with her life but did not even know what she wanted to study at university. It seemed so natural, to talk to him about odd things. She had never done that before. The trust, so sudden and yet so complete, and the intimacy, frightened her.

They had known nothing of each other only hours ago, and yet, there had been a knowledge shared between them in those moments before they danced, and now she could think only of all the things she yet wanted to tell him, wanted to do with him. The similarities in their lives became good omens: that they were both only children, their birthdays two days apart, and their hometowns in Anambra State. He was from Abba and she was from Umunnachi and the towns were minutes away from each other.

“But I bet I speak Igbo better than you.”
Impossible,” he said, and switched to Igbo. “Ama m atu inu. I even know proverbs.”
“Yes. The basic one everybody knows. A frog does not run in the afternoon for nothing.”
“No. I know serious proverbs.”

Akota ife ka ubi, e lee oba.
If something bigger than the farm is dug up, the barn is sold.

“Ah, you want to try me?” she asked, laughing.

Acho afuadi akon’akpa dibia The medicine man’s bag
has all kinds of things.

They traded proverbs. She could say only two more before she gave up, with him still raring to go.
“How do you know all that?” she asked, impressed. “Many guys won't even speak Igbo, not to mention knowing proverbs.”
“I just listen when my uncles talk. I think my dad would have liked that.”

They were silent.

Cigarette smoke wafted up from the entrance of the guesthouse, where some boys had gathered. Party noises hung in the air: loud music, the raised voices and high laughter of boys and girls, all of them looser and freer than they would be the next day.

“Aren’t we going to kiss?” she asked.