I did say I’d love you forever
but forever ended the day you
raised your hand and left a bruise.
That day, you died to me.
I didn’t see it coming
I’ll give you that
You lasted a long time
under those sheep clothes
You’ve been stripped, Arthur
there’s no longer a veil
of majesty in your presence.
Just the weak frame of a
lying man. A fraud.
That’s what he called me before he banged the door and left for work.
We haven’t spoken in three days. Well, I haven’t spoken to him. He’s done a lot of speaking. The voice notes, the texts, the DMs, the emails, and when none of those worked – the flowers. He could always get me back with flowers. You know those green and white ones with purple streaks. I forget what they’re called. I wasn’t a flower person until I met him. Anyway, it’s not going to work this time. I have to let him know what being unteachable really means because I’m not that. Far from it.
Continue reading “Unteachable”
One last embrace
One last smell of your sweet smelling perfume
One last kiss on the softest of lips
Before your heart stops
As I hold your head
Rocking to the music we first danced to.
As I catch your last breathe,
And see your eyes open
With that famous crooked smile
One last time.
One last touch
One last hope
One last chance
To say 'I love you'
Before your soul leaves
And I'm left with only what held your essence
And a shattered heart.
Do you remember the promises -
the ones we made as we lay
counting the squares on my ceiling?
Do you remember the words you spoke -
the ones that were so gentle
and soft it made my ears tingle?
Do you remember the tears -
the ones that we shed because our love
was too intense for us to handle
Do you remember the day -
the one where I left
in hope of greener pastures
I remember those moments -
the ones where I'm happy
and without worries
I like me better when I'm with you
When my heart is close to yours
and I can feel its rhythm with ease.
This story is available in an audio version on iTunes Podcast.
We lived in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, where my husband owned a thriving manufacturing business. I was a stay at home mother of one – my Oriade. We were stinkingly rich, wealthy, affluent – whatever word you could use to describe two people who lived in a seven-bedroom house with a gym, basketball court, two playrooms and a swimming pool.
Well, my husband was. He always liked to remind me that it was his money, and I was only sharing in it. He didn’t want me to work though, never. Whenever I brought up the topic his brows would do a wiggle dance and his nostrils opened up as he threw a fit.
Didn’t he give me everything I asked for? I obviously didn’t appreciate his hard work. Why was I such a thankless wife?
“Nike, the Bible says to train young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, kind, working at home. Please, let’s not anger the Holy Spirit.”
So I just stopped asking.
Continue reading “Time to leave.”
I was able to put this together after months of being under a creative dry spell. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any tips for me to get over this block don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments, please.
A lone tear rolled down my left cheek as my mother ignored my nagging and struggled to pull the comb through my thick, afro hair. I shuddered, imagining little blobs of blood forming on my scalp.
‘Maami, it hurts!’
We were outside in the hut-like building where the bicycles and hula hoops slept at night. It was the place maami made us stay because she knew that if baami saw my tears, he would rescue me from her smooth, long, shaven legs that were tightly wrapped around my torso.
I wondered if I would ever grow up to be like her. She was beauty in itself. Speaking with purpose and eloquence. When she walked, her hips swayed from side to side with force. It was her big bum-bum that caused it to move that way. “Shine-shine baby!” The Igbo man selling shirts on the corner of the house always hailed her with his two hands raised to the sides of his face in salutation.
As she weaved my hair into a neat Shuku Ologede, her hands pressed my head closer between her thighs and her index finger lightly tapped my head in rhythm. I didn’t mind it. She didn’t smell like Iya Yewande, who oozed an unpleasant rotten fishy smell when she pushed my head between her fat thighs, almost in a bid to push me in and give me a rebirth.
Continue reading “Home.”
I had my first kiss when I was twelve years old. It was from my uncle Kareem. His lips were soft and plump like the pillows on my bed. His upper lip was dark like that of a chronic smoker and the bottom was deep pink, like the colour of the cotton underwear I was wearing. He had his hands cupped around my face and had the look of love in his eyes. I knew this wasn’t supposed to happen but he had promised to help me with the Math homework I had at school.
‘Don’t tell your mummy oh. Don’t you like it?’
I could feel the heat of his breath very close to my skin. It was obvious what he had had for dinner – Two scoops of fried rice, three deep-fried turkey breasts and a cold bottle of Fanta; just the way he liked it. And yes, I did like it. I liked the way his moustache tickled my face, but my head shook side to side in disagreement. He pulled back and sat on the rim of the bed with an offended look.
‘Ehn, your teacher will give you zero and mummy will beat you.’
So I let him carry me on his lap and kiss me – His tongue wagging in my mouth with too much force than I had expected.
Continue reading “Uncle Kareem.”