RSS

Category Archives: Literature/Writing

DÈNOUEMENT

DÈNOUEMENT

She is staring at the woman in front of her. Her face is a rainbow of mottled blue and purple.

She is spotting a black swollen eye that feels painful to look out.

Amaka rotates her neck and the woman does the same.

She touches her face as the woman in the mirror does the same.

The woman staring back with a blackish purple eye the vivid hue of those native pears, ube, is her.
✨◾   ◾    ◾   ◾    ◾  

Last night Dayo had flown into one of his customary rages and punched her in the face.

The argument was a harmless one or had at least started off as one until he snapped and proceeded to pummel her like a pugilist in a KO match.

Then after his fit had ended,he had come back to beg and enclose her in his arms.

She had wept in his arms while he had stroked her hair and promised for the umpteenth time he wouldn’t do it, he was sorry, he wouldn’t hurt her again.

He had gently tended to the bruises he had inflicted himself and drawn a hot bubble bath for her.

This morning he had continued in the role of perfect husband and brought her breakfast in bed, with a side of painkillers. He had stroked her sore face tenderly and promised never to lay a finger on her again. 

She had lain in bed long after he left, fingering the lank strands of her braids, remembering that this wasn’t the first time he had made this promise.

◾   ◾  ◾   ◾    ◾    ◾ 

Now he is off to work while she hides inside, like a vampire afraid of the sun. 

She doesn’t want the prying pitiful looks the neighbours will give her and the stammering excuses she will have to give them.

She stands up and winces as she attempts to stretch her sore joints.

She has to use the toilet and hobbles painfully to the Italian tiled room with its antique shower head and clawed foot bathtub.

 Her husband has always liked luxurious living.

She washes her hands when she is done and stares at her reflection in the mirror for a moment.

She touches her bruised face and winces.

Suddenly she is fed up of this…this craziness.

Amaka looks back at the woman in the mirror, touches her swollen eye and split lip and makes a decision.

She opens her wardrobe and searches for the burgundy handbag she took to church last Sunday.

Last Sunday was thanksgiving and Dayo had insisted on their attending the service ,even though his fists had met her face the night before after a drinking bout with his friends.

She had woken up early to prepare and don the mask of makeup required to hide her bruises.

She had tried her best but some bruises stubbornly refused to be hidden. Subsequently, she had worn a big hat and kept her face down during the service.

The woman in the navy blue suit, the one with the puffed up shoulders, the kind she and her sisters had often sniggered at, calling them “choir mistress suits“, kept on staring at her during the service. She had stared until Amaka began to feel uncomfortable and pulled her hat down lower.

After the service, when Amaka had rushed to relieve her bladder, the woman had waited for her outside the restroom.

Amaka had started walking away when the woman tapped her. She turned and the woman had smiled kindly at her before stuffing a pamphlet and complimentary card into her hand.

Before Amaka could ask her anything, she turned away and melted into the crowd milling around the front doors of the church.

Amaka didn’t read the pamphlet that day or even the next.

She had forgotten about it until Wednesday when she stumbled upon it when she opened the bag to pay for her groceries at the supermarket.

She had read the pamphlet in the car before driving home. It was for a NGO advocating against domestic violence. The woman in the navy suit was it’s director apparently. The NGO’s website was listed and when she got home,she had immediately looked it up.

She had read stories of women like her who had suffered violence in their relationships silently and had finally spoken up and left such abusive relationships. The NGO had aided these women by way of counselling, rehabilitation and providing legal services for those who required it. The director’s number was listed on the complimentary card and Amaka had stared at it for a long time, toying with the idea of dialling the number before dropping the card back in her bag.

Today, there was no debate as to calling the NGO.

This camel’s back has already been broken by the final straw.

She reaches into the bag and takes the card out. 

With suddenly shaky fingers, she dials the number.

The call is picked and a warm female voice says softly :” Hello”

With her breath catching in her throat, she begins to speak.
Written by Miracle Eme

Published by Great Opara

 

Tags: ,

A SMOKY TALE

I am dozing on my bed this hot afternoon,halfway to the land of sleep, when I hear one of the cleaners yell. She has a loud speaking voice normally but her yells,my goodness,are of the earsplitting sort.

I turn to the other side of my bed and wonder who or what wants to cause this hearing loss for all of us.

She yells again and I decipher the word she is yelling.

She is yelling:”Baba!”

Now, I’m wondering who this Baba is and why his name is being yelled.

She yells again in Yoruba that he shouldn’t kill us.

At this stage,I’m wondering fuzzily, if I remembered to lock the door after my roomie left.

There is a bout of silence and I heave a sigh of relief. I turn again and continue my nap.

Then she continues,screaming at the unseen Baba,asking him if he wants to ruin people’s clothes.

That gets my attention and I open my eyes,fully alert.

Today is Saturday and the clothing lines in the backyard are full of clothes in varying colours and sizes spread out or hung up.

I happen to be one of the people whose clothing is spread out on that line by the dint of hard work,being that I woke up early,8am precisely( Yes. 8am on a Saturday is early for me), to wash and spread them.

She yells again and I sit up fuzzily.

As I rub my bleary eyes ,I smell the smoke.Warning bells go off in my head.

The man who has a plot at the back of our building farms it and occasionally he indulges in bush burning to our detriment.

I mean,isn’t bush burning in residential areas illegal? If it isn’t,it should be.Without any apology to his neighbours too!

I peep out my window and see the spirals of smoke and ashes descending upon the backyard and our hard washed clothes.All traces of sleep vanish from my eyes instantly.

I hear doors opening and people shouting in outrage at the sight of the unwelcome smoke spiraling over the fence.

The cleaner is still yelling and cursing as she packs away the clothes she spread out this morning. She has a murderous glare on her face as she stuffs the clothes into a large basin.

She keeps on cursing as the smoke spirals down. 

I feel the tickle of laughter in my throat and am tempted to laugh. I really am.That is, until I realize I have clothes outside too.

Snapping back to attention,I put on my slippers to go and rescue my clothes,before they start smelling like those of  an “asun” seller.( Not that they smell particularly unpleasant or anything)

Like grasscutters being smoked out of their lair ,we rush out with one quest in mind: rescue your clothes.
Written by Miracle Eme

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 31, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: , ,

THE BIG BEANS THEORY

Isn’t it funny how you probably can’t stand beans but you would jump on the first Moin Moin wrap you see?

Any fellow beanlievers, say ayy! 

Well, provided it’s the right one.

There are few other things I believe in. 

Besides God, love, family, myself and John Legend, of course. But I sure know and believe that Moin Moin is only ever two things; good or bad. No in betweens.

It’s either you love it or you don’t!

It’s either it’s lit or a mess.

A hit or a miss.

No in betweens.

I’ve had too many misses. 

So, I tend to avoid it all together.

Now, I’m not a connoisseur on beans and it’s produce, products and by-products. Notwithstanding the fact that I enjoy and can make a mean Gbegiri stew, I think. But I can’t even stand Ewa Ayogin

Hi. I live in Lagos. I can’t stand Ewa Agoyin. No, I’m not abnormal. No, I wasn’t dropped on the head as a baby. No, not even with extra ‘oyel‘.

Yes, I said it. Ewa Agoyin is just not my specs. And yes, I said specs.

Give me Akara instead! 

Fresh, hot, steaming oil bean cakes, fried crisp to it’s utmost destruction. 

But it’s a good type of destruction, if you know what I mean. 

Growing up, there were two types of Akara. The ‘normal’ soft ones, with no crunch whatsoever and tiny. So tiny, it finished and you wonder how that happened. Then, the other one.

Little ol’ me, I couldn’t stand it. Those palm-oil bean cakes with the little peppers, red and green and absolutely not my favourite. Mum never made them, even though I bet she knew how. We bought them from our trusted customer, every Tuesday and we took them with homemade Ogi. I loved the crunch but couldn’t stand the heat. You couldn’t even beat that heat, not even if you pulled out all the mini peppers.

It was torture and perfection at the same time. 

I haven’t touched that type of Akara in years. Now, it’s that torture and perfection I desperately seek.

Beans and Maize. What a maze! Lol. It’s a horrible rhyme, I know. My infamous Adalu story happened in Ss2, also known as Grade 11, Year 5, whatever. I had never made it in my life but it was my exam and I wanted to impress the ‘convalescent’ who in real life was just two scary teachers anyway! My mashed potatoes and poached egg was an absolute flop so this was my one chance.

Oh and impress, I did. With my hard corn and beans that took forever to cook. Complaints flying left and right. Tears threatening and a lot of pressure. 

The teachers would watch your every move and taste your every move.

The end result was however, worth it but bye, Adalu. Till we meet again.

Beans.

Beans, love it or hate it. 

I should have probably titled this piece that but what I couldn’t decide was which was more cliché. 

Beans.

So unpredictable, could be absolutely pain-ish today, comfort food tomorrow.

Too many variations and so much diversity. 

Reminds me of a place I know, Nig… Can I get help with that?

But the great thing is, like our dear country, Nigeria, there’s really something for everyone. 

Written By Titilope Adedokun

Published By Great Opara

 
 

Tags: , , ,

HOMECOMING

Neto sat comfortably in the back seat of the SUV as it breezed to church; it was a bleak Sunday morning. Turning his head to the left, he couldn’t help but notice how the landscape, the feel of the vehicle and the cloudy weather of the day threw him back to a fateful Sunday morning in August, five years prior. Then, an Indomie-branded bus transported him and forty-plus weary, homesick souls back to church after a week-long teens camp. He couldn’t exactly call it a camp, but a mass gathering in a not-so-secluded posh school which felt like home in every way, only that it wasn’t. The night before his return was camp fire night. It was supposed to be an epic conclusion- not just to the undeniably eventful camp, but possibly to his seventeen years of living and studying in Nigeria. Like Batman v Superman, it fell below his expectations.

Yes, the food and snacks were good. The open-air performances next to the camp fire had a primal feel to them. He had a decent time with his friends. But when he gazed up at the silver-dotted indigo sky that night, after his ‘good’ bye, he knew it just wasn’t it.

The ride back to church that bleak Sunday morning was almost wordless. His phone was long dead, so he couldn’t listen to music or play games or chat with his friends after being AWOL for seven long days. And he wasn’t much of a reader. He could barely talk to the pretty girl seated next to him. There was no point starting anything transient, as transient as what he and Ebiere had. At least, what he thought he and Ebiere had. The very impetus behind his embarking on a final camping experience became the very one behind his desire to depart. Stripped of his companions, with an undesirable weather, Neto’s thoughts revolved around the uncertain life ahead and the painful one behind. He was indeed kissed by a rose. The only problem was that its thorns sunk in deep, so deep that its petals fell helplessly to their demise, leaving Neto to reel from the searing pain.
The same pain he bottled up within and corked so tightly for so many months.

Neto remembered how everyone was told to drop penned-down prayer requests into a set of boxes, before that night. He remembered his parents were on the brink of a divorce, prior to the commencement of camp. He didn’t even care if they still loved each other or not. All he wanted was for them to not separate. He penned down the request. Neto also desperately wanted New York University to consider his application and admit him. He wasn’t considering his Nigerian option in CU. He knew what he wanted and he had faith in the possibility of success. He penned it down. Having stood to submit it, Neto remembered Ebiere. Inasmuch as he wanted to be with her, to spend the rest of his life with her, his ambition was also important. He wasn’t even sure if she still felt the same love, like or whatever it was she felt. If indeed she ever felt anything.

Nevertheless, he got back down and wrote that he did not want to be separated from Ebiere. It contradicted his second request, but he didn’t care. It was very kamikaze, since only one of his final two requests could logically be fulfilled, or even none. But he wrapped it, went to the platform and dropped it in one of the boxes.
The day after that, he watched as the numerous boxes rose up to the heavens and Heaven in flames after being prayed over. He turned to his left. He saw her standing alone, in the dark. At that moment, Neto had his own camp fire burning within him. He approached her. He made to ensure a most satisfactory goodbye, with a most memorable parting gift. But the rest as they say is history.
Neto got down from the SUV as his eyes ran through the church building. God had granted his second camp request. And his first, too. He hadn’t returned to the country ever since he left. He hadn’t been to the church since that bleak Sunday morning. Basking in the spirit of homecoming, a wave of nostalgic feelings swept through him. The grey clouds still hadn’t ceased, similar to the way they didn’t cease when he got down from the bus five years prior. He had returned then, as well. He said his goodbyes to everyone he could see, to every soul he could salvage. Five years on, on another bleak Sunday morning, none of those faces could be seen. Apparently, everyone had their respective five years to change, to evolve and for some, to conclude.

As the clouds began to drop snippets for the upcoming blockbuster, Neto made it to the spot he and Ebiere last saw before they parted ways. As expected, she was already standing there, her back turned to him. She was facing the same iconic landscape he faced five years prior. The blockbuster loomed even greater; neither he nor Ebiere moved an inch. He remembered how, at that same spot five years ago, she placed her hand on his shoulder and changed everything. The look in her eyes that day could have meant anything. What she said could have meant anything. What they actually meant, Neto still didn’t know. He would never know.

The blockbuster began in earnest. Inevitably, slowly, she finally turned back to face him. The same gap between them as they stood five years ago repeated itself as lightning streaked well above their heads. Lightning could strike the same spot twice, after all. He saw the same look in her eyes. He saw the same hand making it towards his shoulder, but he caught it gently. As he grasped it, lost in her eyes, an avalanche of memories came crashing down; memories of a not-so-distant life that felt like an eternity prior, memories that could never be re-experienced. But he let go.
Slowly, he turned back and made his way to the interior without looking back at her as the blockbuster neared its climax. Nothing had changed. Nothing would.
Written by Clinton Durueke
Published by Great Opara

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: ,

THOUGHTS OF A SUICIDAL

BrokenSeparated into parts or pieces by being hit, damaged or altered

Something is wrong with me. 

I am a masterpiece, I am 

Beauty to behold but please be told,

Don’t open the ornamented doors, lift the embroidered carpet, remove the wig

Never look beneath for my broken is not to be seen. 

Yes, open your eyes and look

But don’t far. Don’t go deep. Don’t search wide.

Let me hide

Behind the façade

Why decide

Decide you need to know me better

Better watch out 

Think again 

Again I beseech 

Let me hide.

 No! you don’t have the right to right my wrongs. 

What is wrong with you? 

No! what is wrong with me? 

E-motionless
Unable to find my way 

I want to find joy 

I want my troubles to go away 

I want to know peace as I know my name 

I want true happiness

I want genuine love 

I want to feel!

I feel stuck

I want to move!

What is wrong with me?
Desperate

What am I not doing right?

Why this much pain?

I cry myself to sleep at night 

Hoping my morning would be bright

Open my curtains to the light 

But as hard as I fight with all might

I cannot quite feel alright… 

What is wrong with me?
Alone

Why am I this way? 

I want to scream 

I have nightmares 

Of when I was little

And my cupboard was my close companion

And the cobwebs weren’t nuisance

And I could block the whole world 

My daddy didn’t love me 

My mummy shouldn’t have had me

I’m certain God hates me

What is wrong with me?
Written by Olamide Davis

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: , ,

ADRONITIS

Only a phrase resounds in my head, “I’m sorry “ .If you ask me, I don’t know for what exactly. No, I don’t particularly have any regrets, but I definitely feel the absence of your youthful presence.Your courage, I immediately admired, saying you loved me , investing so much time to that effectgave so much to know me , and you still had all for loss.
If only I knew me, I’ve never quite deciphered what this creature “Me” is about. When you ask me , who exactly I am, what I want, what my spec is, or what captivates me; All these questions, lead me to a door, that may lead to a possible answer, walking through this door with all excitement to find you these answers, I am only welcomed by the barricade of yet another door and another.
Forgive me, forgive my inability to love you back, I do not know how to. I do not know what “ Right” is right or might be wrong.
Pardon me for shutting the door against any acknowledgement of your love, I’m just skeptical, reality in itself might not be real, and the word “ Love” in itself might be synonymous to hurt, deceit and hate.
I see your back now, walking away with all determination, because you finally see, the things I couldn’t bring myself to tell you; that I’m not that one, I’m not worthy of this love of yours and you cannot discern my complexities , you never will, I can’t myself.
I replay your last words to me and the coldness with which they were relayed , I replay the words you first blurted out and the gleaming passion in your eyes. The story wouldn’t have been any different , I am still a puzzle , laid back, not able to fix itself. So let me be, that lone warrior, whose appearance is as a dove, but whose rigours is as the troubled sea’s.
You have shown me that I am not without any emotions, a cold heart .I feel my heart’ s hurt in every word I scribble down. You have opened yet another door, I thought was lost in oblivion, and for this, I pledge my gratitude from the other side.
Written by Folasade Edun

 

Tags: ,

A LETTER TO THE DIFFERENT

Hi,
You’re amazing. 
I hope you know that.

Our world is so weird, you know. It’s funny how we are continuously rebuked for being set apart. Somehow, we are the weird ones. Somehow, we don’t fit in. 

Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve never wanted to fit in. Standing out is more daring! Think about it. To be the one whose values still stand in the face of mediocrity. The one who keeps promises, the one to whom the little things matter the most. Some people call it weird, I call it insightfulness and intellectual separateness, in a good way.

It’s amazing how people get so much flack for not being a certain way, or doing certain things. Think about it, you’ve probably hated on a girl because of her weird fashion choice or a boy because he stuck out like a sore thumb. You’ve made fun of people because they don’t do things the regular way. We all have but the question remains, why should we even be regular? 

I find it intellectually daunting that people care so much about what others are doing, in their lives. One time, I overheard people talking about someone, complaining about what she did, in her own life and I wondered, why does someone’s actions that do not affect you in any way, why does it bother you so much? Why is his thinking odd because he does things a certain different way to come about one result? 

My darling different, yes you are different. Yes, you are weird, odd or some other adjective they’ve come up with again. They never run out of these things! Yes, maybe you’re too ‘deep’ and stand out like neon in a field of neutrals! Or you’re just carefree, happy as a breeze! 
It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re doing you. Be different because you want to, because that’s what you are. You’re amazing just the way you are. Maybe they don’t understand it, at least not yet. But don’t let it change you. 
Keep being different.
Spread your wings and fly!
Even if your wings are made of gold, not feathers.

Yours,
Titilope.

Written By Titilope Adedokun

 
 

Tags: , , ,