Friday, September 22, 2017

Poison


 

“Am I just a fool? Blind and stupid for loving you?”

Nicki Minaj’s Grand Piano plays inside your ears. You increase the volume and fix the earphones perfectly to fit your ears. The beat hits your heart. The climax shreds you. Nicki sang this just for you, you conclude.

“The people are saying that you have been playing my heart. Like a grand piano”.

The chorus continues and somewhere inside your heart, a string is struck. Your eyes, already a reservoir of unshed tears turns red. Red with water. Like blood, saturated. You begin to remember. Days unspent. Words unspoken. You flashback to those moments. Months ago. When your hands were held in hers. When she waltzed with you on the marble floors of this same sitting room. As a mirage, your brain welcomes her image, dancing to Ed Sheeran’s “Kiss Me” with the candles lit. Red and white candles. You reach out to touch her but she goes. Disappears into thin air. Your breath comes in instalments. Short gasps you struggle with. The memories you shared chokes you.

“Have I been a fool? Wrapped up in lies and foolish truths”

The next verse comes on and the tears hidden beside your ducts freely flow down. You were in love, but, now, you know not what you feel.

Beautiful Rebecca. The one you would die for. You remember the last time you saw her and more tears escape your eyes. You remember. It all comes to you. How you found the remainder of your life, clothless as Eve, sweaty, gripping hard to and clawing with her nails at the fellow. The bastard. You hear her moans then her screams. High pitched screaming all over again. You see her under your twin brother. Your identical twin brother. She wasn’t confused. She knew. It was intentional. She said she was a virgin and on your matrimonial bed, she will give her body to you. Same body your twin brother was furiously banging. You hear her moan one last time in your head. Her pleasure, your pain.

“Cold hearted shame, you remain just a frame in the dark”

The knife goes into your heart

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ayomide Babaleye

Dusk to dawn and dawn back to dusk, my round buttocks resides in this chair. This white, plastic chair whose hands have both been removed by small, firm legs that jump on it for play. The white is gradually becoming a pale grey colour and though it still has its four legs, it wobbles and almost always throws me down. I know because I bought it myself. Tunde and Temitayo, his twin sister I have warned severally to play with the other toys that abound everywhere in the house but, no, they choose my personal hang out, my own chair as their ferris wheel and swing. Tell me, how wont it break?
I like to sit close to the window while it rains. The comforting smell of nature mixed with the fragrance of pure heavenly water always figures how to beckon on me. I am lucky I live upstairs where the rain hits hard on the roof and that sound, which I move my legs to remind me of my Tope whose drum sticks broke my pot. I refused to buy him a drum set and he went AWOL. What manner of child that is, I have no idea. But, its not his fault. Its Enitan, his mother's fault. Spoiling this trio anyhow and bringing them to me to spend the holidays with. I am the only one who can tolerate mad children, she thinks. She thinks because they went to America, common America, they had the right to turn their children into wild animals.
Oladayo, my assistant has even gotten tired of this children and whenever she has the time, she will lock them in the "cell" for inappropriate behaviour while she walks down the road with me to have a feel of the atmosphere. She has done that today again and now, I'm walking down the road with her. The beautiful Dayo. She is the only thing I once had that I still have. Since my sister left me and taught that these her rascals were a consolation for her never visiting and my husband, long disappeared from the surface of my life never giving my a call, Dayo has stuck to me like glue on paper. The way I love the girl.
She says all roses are red but, no, I know they aren't. Why argue with a scholar like me? I read about all those things. Biochemistry in the University of Ibadan and she still has the mind to argue with me?
I can keep on talking and talking and talking because well, that's the only thing I can do now. Rant on and on and on about everything I used to know which I'm no longer sure of.
I don't have kids. They are all dead. Dayo is my only child. Well, apparently. I only have my mouth and my years of experience as my defence.
Life is not easy for a lady like me. You would think my life is just like yours but, really, it isn't.
I cant see anything but, I know when I'm done, Dayo, would come and edit my work and send to the magazine where she got me a job as a freelancer.
This is me, Ayomide Babaleye, the blind thirty year old lady that lives down Olatunbosun Close, Isolo, Lagos.

Friday, August 11, 2017

SCARED

Two weeks had passed since the last attack, yet, Adaure fidgeted at every sound she heard or thought she had heard. That morning, she had woken up with hot lines of perspiration running down her face at a sound she thought were footsteps. These weren't thoughts, she concluded, after hearing similar sounds again closing in on her. She opened her eyes and with the nonrhythmic beat playing in her head, a combo of her pulsating heartbeat, the drum rolling in her head and the incessant pounds in her ears, she managed to get a grip of herself and felt her way in the pitch darkness to where her switches were to find light which would guide her to a spot she could find her newly purchased ruger.  On second thought, she decided to find her way to the guest room in the darkness, after all, it was her house. Hands on either side of the wall, she moved her legs. Her right leg led the way and as the left leg accompanied it, she began to count her steps. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...her hands touched wood and she digested the thought that she was definitely touching a door. She felt for the knob and opened it. luckily for her, the shoes she had earlier flung during her romp with the dandy random man from the bar down the road were still on the floor and of course, that was her guest room. Moving her hands side by side, left and right, up and down, she finally got to her small box which was hidden somewhere behind the bed. She opened it, brought out her ruger and smiled.
However, as she began to retrace her steps back to her room to await whatever fate would befall her, she hit the box and it fell down, making a clattering noise as it was a stainless steel box, specially customized for her. At that moment, she heard the footsteps coming closer. She picked up the box and placed it back in its former location. Standing back to arrange herself, she stood face to body with a structure that she quickly acknowledged was a man.
Before she could open her mouth to shout for help, something slim and cold was placed on her neck...
TO BE CONTINUED... 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

African Daughters

I am walking home from school now. I decided to take the long road today because I feel like walking and I do not want to go the market to grind beans for moin-moin. My trick is to walk very slowly and follow an impossibly long road so that mummy will get tired of waiting for me and send my sister to grind the beans instead. Haha!😏😏
I have begun te long walk. Today, I wrote my final papers for the term and come September, I will be in SS3. Big Girl!
On the other side of the road, a boy is looking at me, one very weird kind of look. Now, he is licking his lips and winking at me. Ehn! I give him a look that would surely give him a daymare and he runs along like a squirrel that he is. Rubbish. Somebody else is coming behind me, walking as if the ground is rejecting his legs. Now, he has walked past me. Its even a guy, cat walking like a girl. "Nneka must hear this", I say to myself and laugh out loud. He turns back at me and I turn back at empty space as if I don't know he is looking at me. Now, a car is coming down the road, a Mercedes. Kai! I will drive that car one day. Now the car is struggling for space to drive on the road. Of all places to use, its my side of the road! I should hang on the air because one useless, ugly car wants to pass. Thunder fire the car and its owner too. Nonsense! I'm passing an old house now and its the only house on this street. One hen is on a mound of sand. It stands like a king and the next thing, it opens its buttocks and defecates. Stupid thing. The clouds have become grey as if its going to rain. I dont care. The cloud has been doing that this whole week and it has never rained. I keep counting my steps. A drop falls on my hand. Then another, another three falls then, the heavens begin to rain upon the earth. I begin to run. The rain gets worse. There's no shop or shelter on this stupid road. I increase my pace and the rain increases in momentum. Now, I'm faster than Ussain Bolt. I curse the rain. I get home. Mummy is standing outside the gate and in her hands are the bucket of beans, an umbrella and some money for grinding. She takes my school bag from me and transfers the contents of  her hands to my hands. I want to cry but I cant.
I'm on my way now and I'm going to grind the beans for moin-moin.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

DIARY OF A BLACK SLAVE



Held back by the chains that fastened his hands to his legs and created a synchronisation between his feet and head, Gugulethu, moved in slow, painful and agonizing steps. Every time he brought his leg forward, he felt a force push it backward. Soon, he was toppling over himself. Left and right he looked and saw his counterparts, called something like “kolig” by the coloured men that held them and even in his misery, he felt their pains.Melissa, the thirteen year old daughter of uncle Sabo was taken along with them for “pleasures” as the masters had said when she reeled out in pain at the feel of the long wire on her father’s skin. Yes, he shouted and screamed and in his beating, he yelled and struggled for them not to take his beautiful Melissa. As if taking her was not enough, she was stripped naked and raped turn by turn by the two masters sent to take us. At that point, her father, uncle Sabo stood up and forced himself towards one of the white men. He killed him of course but, Uncle Sabo was finally shot to death. People will say it in later years that one black slave had the guts to fight a white man and his name will be recorded in history. That’s if they even spell his name correctly.

On my right side was Boubou, the 20year old village bully. Somehow, I am very pleased that he was taken. The way he picks on children quarter his size is disgusting and well, nothing has been able to stop him all these years. When he was brought out, he tried to show he could wrestle but, one hit on his back with that big, fat cane got him sprawling on the ground. I laughed at him and pointed my finger at him in mockery. I didn’t know I would be next because, well, we weren’t told that 8year olds would be taken too.

It was my turn and this time, because I wanted to be brave like Uncle Sabo, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. I wouldn’t give up without a fight. No! Even if they finally caught me, I thought it would be nice for my name to appear in historical records that I made the white men run after me. That would be something very nice, right? However, they caught me and beat me till I fainted.

It’s been five weeks now and somehow I wish none of us were taken. I want to go home to my mummy. I want to eat kenke, prepared by the woman they say is from Ghana, Maame Mensah and maybe I could get to taste that Igbo woman from Nigeria’s “ofe oha


 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Love

 
Somewhere inside the jungle of my heart, you have a pride.
Roaming aimlessly, yet carefully,
You trod on beats that keep me alive.
A pun wouldn’t describe with effect how effectively
Your being makes my being a being but,
Your being brings a being inside of me that has never been.

From seconds till the ends of the earth,
And all the zillion other numbers coined by numerical enthusiasts,
You still manage to come first in my life;
And even so, maintain that position.
My heart doesn’t beat for you, it can’t beat without you.

Incomplete and void, are how I feel when there's no you.
And though my surface is demure, my spirit is at a far end;
Separated from me, yanked from my being.
Because you have left the foot prints of your gallivanting in my heart,
 It hurts to watch you go, So bad, it burns.
But, I will leave you to find peace where peace has called you.

Sleep on my beloved, for my heart will go on that door...

Writers Block



Monday morning and it was the twenty fifth day of the month. Zoba had planned the month to go real straight and smooth for her. Basically, she would have enough time to finish up her book which she had started since the beginning of the year and couldnt continue because of exams and school. Of course, her ideas were still as fresh as ever because she was writing her own autobiography. She wanted to start it when she was still very yong so that everyday, she would add something new to it but, due to lack of time, she couldnt.
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Cold as the morning, fresh breeze waltzed into Carmela's room. The sun, a beautiful orange with some hues of yellow, welcoming the day and the dew that fell on the flowers reminded one of tears that roll down a cheek...
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The rainbow ushered in a new smile on her face and she accepted that she was through with all the clumsiness and sadness she had taught herself to feel. She embraced what looked like a good life after all the hurtful experiences she had had. Her relationships were'nt working and her job was no longer paying. Who eevn said that crap about V-logging again?
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On and on and on and on I go everyday when something strikes me on the way to school, with my first spoon o rice travelling down my throat, during choir rehearsals, when Im about to put off the lights of the house and go to sleep. All these things come to me as sizzling and hot as they are but, some times, they just come around my head and do some little barbie dances and waltz out again. This is the life of a writer and this is what is known as the writer's block. 
Dont ever insult a writer. You read something you dont like, say it as nicely as you can because it really is not easy to make people read what you wrote and even enjoy it.
Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 21, 2017

RIA

Blue skies, green grasses, calm wind, sunny skies; a perfect weather for two. Sky scrappers, ferris wheels, spas, studios, eateries, hotels and every place else in the world and she chose the beach. The one place where the sun and skies and sea come together to play. She said she wanted to feel close to nature and off we went.
I loved Ria with everything I had. She was my peace, my hope, my joy, my life. She made life perfect for me and whether I liked it or not, she called the shots in my heart and everything I needed in life, I found in her. 
Her smile made the world stop and her laugh. Oh! The melody in my heart when that music begins. 
Ria made me want to be complete again. She reminded me of beauty and of life and of everything good. I wanted to have this feeling for ever. I wanted us to last for ever and moreover with her, I felt I had found my missing rib.
At the beach, we laughed and played and ran around and became babies again.
I loved Ria and Ria loved me too.
Our love was complete and on the same day, she said "yes" to me.

Mazi Ngada


Mazi Ngada was a nonsense man. The whole village knew him to be a drunk and a talkative. Most times, his tongue reeled out insults and unncessary chants to people in form of greetings and at other times, well, there really isnt any other time. He was always seen clutching a bottle of beer and oh, the odour that jumped out of his dirty mouth when he spoke to you was over whelming. Enough for you to fly into a nearby gutter. He was never sober although maybe, on rare occassions, you could find him sober but, he was clearly indistinguishable. He would rant on and on and on about nonsense and would gladly eplain to you that his nonsense was much more sense than all the sense you thought you had. A ttending social functions was a big problem because he would disgrace himself and everything he represented even before the evnt started. His life began and ended in the bottles he carried about like babies in diapers. 
He was also an ugly man. People likened him to orangutans and really, taking a closer look at him would assure you of that. His nose took a dive and almost fought desperately for space close to his already protruding upper lip. He was bald but, still made sure he stuck to his punk hairstyle. He also had marks all over his face. People concluded easily that there were scars that were left on his face courtesy all the gutters he had fallen into while drunk and his ears were like those of the hobbits in the movie, THE HOBBITS. I pitied his wife and son so much that sometimes, I said daily prayers for them. It wasnt easy for such a nuisance to be associated with you. Especially in this part of the world and especially when the person is as close as a husband or a father. The embarrassment he could cause by just appearing at a place was disheartening...
You would think your life was a disaster until you become the child of son a disgrace to manhood.
Yes, my name is Nduka and Mazi Ngada is my father.

Friday, July 7, 2017

My Journey into Short Natural Hair



          ...and then, Adegbite Olasumbo, that big ugly girl that had stretch marks in place of tribal marks came again that Friday morning after the devotion to hold that her ear and warn us about the consequences of not making the hairstyle she was going to call. I didn’t like her and this was a feeling that was mutually shared by all of us in pry 5. I didn’t even know the post she held in school but every Friday, she would gingerly come out after the headmistress had spoken to us and call out nonsense hairstyles for us. My best friend, Chioma said she was the “hair prefect”. Disgusting thing. The annoying part was, she didn’t care about the others like me who had hair that was still growing. No! Because she had brown long hair that could make all hairstyles, the rest of us could go and die for all she cared. “The hairstyle for next week is suku. I repeat it is suku oh. I did not tell anybody to add base to the hair for all of you that like to add to the hairstyle. If you do not do the hairstyle, you will be flogged before the assembly begins on Monday morning.” After her usual ranting to which all the pry 5 girls paid no heed because it seemed like our ears were set by default to filter the rest of the information, everybody went to their various classes and after the day’s work at school, we all went home.
          On Saturday afternoon, daddy dropped us off at the salon where mama Sikirat would make our hair, my sisters and I. He paid her and took the boys with him to the barbing salon two streets away. Mama Sikirat was the only hair dresser who I allowed to touch my hair, practically because when she combed my hair, I didn’t jump up with the hair stashed inside the big hand comb. Normally, I would make my hair first because my baby sister would cry when her hair was being made so I went to sit down on the small stool in the shop while she sat on the big, long bench. “wetin una wan plait?” Mama Sikirat asked and I told her it was suku. She began to remind me that she didn’t want me to give her problems because the last time she made suku for me, I gave her headache with my turning and shifting and all. I hate the hairstyle. A kind of passionate hatred.  Suku was the only hairstyle that put me in the position where I had to place my head in the middle of a woman’s legs. I was practically giving her a head and the kind of smell that oozed out from there was just not it. I promised to stay calm and she started. Immediately I had to put my head inside her legs with that her wrapper that had gone through everything life could do to it, my stomach churned. I tried my best but after the first one, then the second and the third one was done, I stood up and told her to do my sister’s own. She couldn’t understand me so I lied that I was having a serious stomach upset. That wasn’t really a lie though because my stomach was going to release all I had eaten that day in her shop because the smell from that place where my head was was killing me....
An hour later, daddy came to pick us and I jumped inside his car with my half done hair alongside my sisters and told him I was going to the barbing salon to scrape my hair off, after all, the hair I had didn’t even qualify as hair to me...
Long story cut short. I cut my hair beautifully well and I was happy, knowing full well that Snr Olasumbo’s nonsense hairstyle will not have any effect on me any longer. And that began my journey into keeping natural short hair.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Primary School


That boy, Abdul-Waheed, the one who had black lips and his face was as black as charcoal. The one who always stretched his useless black Yoruba legs out from under his desk in class. The one who derived great jot from watching me fall or cry. He was a bully and in as much as I hated him, I couldn't do anything because I was very tiny and could only cry. I don’t know if his problem with me sprouted from the fact that I had continuously come 1st in class from nursery classes till our present class, pry 3. Or, is it because I have never been removed from the post of the class captain? Every time I saw him, my heart skipped from my body. I hated him with a burning passion and his blackness, akin to the sort of darkness that was talked about in Genesis 1 verse 2 was not even encouraging. I felt like if our skins ever met, he would smear me a little of his stupid dye like black colour. Everyday my eyes looked upon him, hatred was stirred in me. He could hardly survive a day without bullying the day light out of me. When I went to the head mistress to report him, he would get flogged like an animal but that didn't stop him one bit. He would come back and threaten me because I reported him and he would beat me up and run home. One day, this rubbish got to me so much. We were going home from school and unfortunately for me, he joined the school bus with his friends and the bully became worse. I got crazy mad when Lateef, Abdul-Waheed’s elder brother hit my sister. We began to cry and amidst tears, I swore to him to deal with him and that, I did.

The next day at school, Abdul-Waheed went out of the class immediately it was break time. The unserious idiot! My best friend and I set to work immediately. Oh, I didn't tell you. Abdul-Waheed had become my seat mate, five days before when I flogged him for failing a question we were to solve on the board, well, as instructed by my teacher. We got into a fight and my teacher said we would only settle out differences when we sit together. Imagine the nonsense!
My best friend, Verity, with the help of one other savage girl, Blessing who was a talented cat ( she could scratch away your soul) arranged a set of compasses and took out the divider. Blessing fixed the divider directly under Abdul-Waheed's side of the desk so that the pointy part would directly face him. This was meant to pierce his ass and maybe even divide it into two when he sat down. Immediately we were done, we packed and left for the play ground. 
Minutes after break, I walked into the class with Verity and Blessing and I went to sit with Verity so it would look like I didn't see the weapon waiting for my seat mate. 
Long story cut short. Abdul-Waheed who was extremely playful ran into the class when he saw my class teacher walking in and ran directly to sit down. He sat directly on the divider and the rest they say is history...
Up till today, nobody has been able to figure out who did that to him because my class teacher concluded that his playfulness made him sit on his own divider which he carelessly left on the chair while he ran out for break...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

We Best Friends

          Celine has always been my dream girl. she has always been the girl that makes my heart skip a beat. Forget the whole bestie thing. This is the 21st century and we know males and females cannot just be friends without something happening and in my case, it is so. Celine and I grew up together in the same neighbourhood and while her mother and mine were best of friends, our both fathers were colleagues at work. Our friendship started when my mum asked me to accompany her to visit a friend. I was six years old and she was four. On getting there, I figured out Celine was an only child and boredom was a usual comfort to her as sometimes, all her toys even made her cry. Mum asked me to go play with her after I had been given my Caprisone and we did play. Soon, we began visiting each other often and gradually, became best of friends. 
          Seventeen years after, I'm still here, falling in love with her as the day goes by. Drowning in the ocean of love whose current was quickly snuffing out life from me. I was sinking knee deep into the quicksand of the love I had for her. No other girl seemed to compare to her. Being around her was everything I needed and her laugh which resonated in my head hours after it had ended was the best kind of music I knew. I loved her smile as it coloured my day with the brightest hues and I felt like I had reached heaven when she gave me that big hug she called the "one and only 360 hug". I had watched her grow into a perfect shaped woman, inside out. Her perfect lips which I have always longed to enclose in mine and her beautiful eyes which took me on a journey to UPENDI. I was in love with Celine and I have always been in love with her. 
          However, I didn't know how to tell her. She would run home to me most times and give me all the gist about the day or about something and she would talk on and on and on and I would just be there loving her and going wacko for her. I didn't know if she felt the same way towards me or was just really bent on best-friend-zoning me forever. I knew how to woo any other thing on skirt and she knew how to change boyfriends like her lipstick colour. I could tell her anything but the words, "I love you" seized to come out of my mouth even in the most insane moments. I didn't know how to say it and the first time I tried, she replied that she loved me too as the best friend and only brother she knew. I was broken. She didn't know or just decided to choose not to know that I was mad over her. This whole best friend thing had killed me and today of all days when as she said "I should be the happiest guy on earth" I was the most heartbroken one. I couldn't help it. 
          "You may now kiss your bride", the officiating priest said to Celine and her Beau, Jackson as they had finished exchanging vows. At that point, I knew I had lost and was going to be a lonely man forever because I had lost the best thing in my life for fear of being rejected. Because I couldn't open up!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

We Have Nothing


It is another Tuesday afternoon and we have visitors again. Every Tuesday, it is a norm to see people trooping in and out of the home as if there is a circus going on or something. Big Mummy takes these flock of visitors from house to house and from room to room, showing them the facilities the home has and the ones it lacks. Every Tuesday, we are fed an hour earlier than our usual time for lunch so that we will get dressed and look all clean and pretty and handsome because "who knows, one of you beautiful children might be adopted today!" accordning to Big Mummy.  I have never been able to understand why she is always very excited during the visiting days when we are displayed to hundreds of people for them to make their choice as if we are some pieces of fine jewellery in the market up for sale. Maybe it reduces her burden or maybe she is just tired of seeing our faces. I cant even find something hurtful to say about her because she is a darling to all of us here and I bet you, my dear reader that you will not understand what I mean until you become orphaned, rejected or dumped by your original parents in a motherless babies home or an orphanage as it is called. I also never really loved the idea of getting adopted because heaven knows where you might get taken to! However, my mindset changed when my best friend in the home, Uju got adopted by a childless multi millionaire! 
One month later, Uju came back looking all beautiful and pimped. A driver even brought her to the home. Common Uju! You needed to see my surprise when I saw her looking all radiant. Infact, her English had improved and at that moment, I envied her and wanted to be adopted too. I suddenly put on my best behaviour during all the Tuesday visits, making sure I paid sweet comments to every good looking, rich looking female that came around. After all, that's how Uju got adopted. I even went the extra mile by helping them hold unto their bags or offer them seats when they came around. Sometimes, I got quite clingy to some who were amazingly pretty. I did all these just to the females because it was the same way Uju got adopted. 
Today, however, I have put on that beautiful pink dress that Uju got for me. The last time she came to see me, she told me that if I looked all girly, potential mothers will get attracted to me more and she also said I should smile and never sulk because it pisses them off and, the truly rich people are the ones that entered with only a designer purse, holding unto their husbands and looking regal. Plus, I must keep my eyes out for the women with car keys and car keys were only a set of two keys or just one. Uju told me that if the woman was flinging the key anyhow, she was going to be "wicked anyhow" but, if she wore the key on her small finger, it meant she wasn't a show off and she would be a good mother. 
Right now, I'm practising my new killer smile. I have already packed my hair to the back and I'm reading a book so that I will impress the visitors. I think Big Mummy is calling me now. Let me go and see if anybody wants to adopt me yet...
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This is for every orphan in the world. I do not know who you are or why you are an orphan, but I know that somehow I feel your pains and I pray that you get adopted by well meaning people.
Victoria Nelson.