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”
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.”
Hey beautiful people! I know, I know, I just disappeared like that with zero warning. I’ve been busy with school (I’m trying to get that degree). But I’m back with another piece for you guys. Don’t be scared to leave comments by the way. I won’t bite you. Really, I’m pescatarian (for this month at least).
I wrote this piece for a competition Arts and Africa held a while ago and it actually made it to the shortlist. I was super excited and shocked that I made it that far. Firstly because I literally wrote it hours before the competition closed and secondly, because I made like three grammatical errors. Shout out to Ope Adedeji (an amazing writer that I look up to) for encouraging me to do it.
I’m not sure if this is plagiarizing my own work as I submitted it to the competition but hopefully it doesn’t get flagged. Anyway, enough with the rant, you came for a quality experience with the fictional. So here it is. I hope you enjoy!
I put all my body’s weight on his chest with my hands where he had been shot like I had seen in the movies. I could still see the blood seeping through my hands like a punctured sachet of pure water. ‘Ibrahim! Ibrahim! Stay with me!’ I screamed as loud as I could without damaging my larynx. Continue reading “11:48”
“Fola! Is this how to pound amala?” Papa glared at me, his hands shivering underneath the table.
I knew what the look meant. It was his frustrated expression. His pupils contracted, his eyebrows looked like they were fighting to touch each other and his lips, usually full and plump went flat into a snarl. He was going to beat me until I was swollen and no longer had a voice to cry. Continue reading “Folakemi”