RSS

Category Archives: Literature/Writing

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: , , ,

SERENITY

Tola can hear the megaphones of the church down the street blaring.
She hisses and draws her blankets up. She pops in her earphones and presses play on her Ed Sheeran playlist.
At least she can still sleep in peace.
Subconsciously she reaches out to the other side of the bed, Niyi’s side.
It is cold and empty. The way she felt the rainy evening he left. The day he found out about the abortion.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Niyi is spitting furious as he clutches the receipt from the nondescript clinic where she had the D&C.
His cold words and disdain sting even as she struggles to explain herself.
How could you do this to us,Tola!“, he thunders
She is mute.
Soft spoken to a fault,Niyi has never raised his voice at her in all their years together.
Still furious,he continues: “it was our child! Our child! How could you kill it with no qualms? No fear! You had an abortion without telling me! How could you?
His voice drops to a broken whisper
How could you?

Tola can’t find any answer.
All her reasons at the time seem to have evaporated. She can’t say anything justifiable, not with the naked hurt on his face.
Niyi looks at her as if seeing her for the first time.
Then with a look of distaste,he turns and stalks into their bedroom where he begins to toss his things into one of his duffel bags.
Tola finally finds her voice.
Niyi,please. Don’t leave. I can explain.
He laughs ,a mirthless sound.
Explain what?”
His voice is as cool as ice.He is still tossing his things into the bag,his back turned to her.
When we first met,we both agreed that our careers came first. We didn’t plan for this. This was a mistake.I couldn’t put this on you!

How thoughtful“, he says coldly.He whirls around to face her,his face furious.
You should have told me,damn it!“, he rages.” It was a part of me too! I was entitled to know,Tola! You call it a mistake?How could you be so selfish?
I’m sorry “,she whispers in a cracked voice” .
Please don’t leave“.
He stares at her but his eyes are those of a stranger,cold and impassive.
I can’t talk to you now, Tola. I don’t want to. I have to go“.
With that ,he zips his duffel closed and leaves without a backward glance.

The apartment door slams shut.
Alone,Tola sinks to the floor and gives in to her tears. She has never been able to cry daintily and her sobs are loud and throaty,racking her petite frame.
She has never felt this alone.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

It’s been a month now and Niyi hasn’t still picked her calls and her trips to his office have been futile.
She has called his brother,Deji to inquire about his whereabouts but Deji’s hasty denial confirms that he knows. Niyi must have told him about it.
Tola has left endless remorseful messages on his answering machine and sent him emails and texts.
His only response is to mail back his own keys to their shared apartment.
Tola, finally coming to terms with this,the end of what they had, is an emotional mess.
And it starts to reflect,even at work.
Finally,she takes two weeks off to regain herself,whatever that means. It is what her boss suggested in that no nonsense manner of hers after she burst into tears in the middle of a meeting.
Now,on this Sunday morning,the last day of her forced leave, this church people are putting paid to her plans of sleeping in till twelve.
As she burrows in deeper,the megaphones seem to get louder as if reprimanding her.
She can’t recall when last she went to church.
Niyi wasn’t the churchgoing type and neither is she.
This church which is two blocks from her apartment is one of the new generation churches. Its enthusiastic members are always showering her with pamphlets,inviting her to this progamme or that.
Niyi used to tease her about actually honouring one of their invites.
Tola suddenly hit by an unshakeable resolve rolls out of bed and hits the shower. Then she hunts up an appropriate dress and heads out.
She walks the short distance to the church and is ushered in by a smiling usher.
She takes a tentative step in and hears the melodious peals of the singing choir.
Tola is struck instantly by an indescribable feeling,one that she hasn’t felt in a long time.
It is one that calms the turbulent emotions swirling inside her.
She feels a weightless sensation,as if she is floating in the air.
Her remorse seems to fade away.
She is at peace.

Written By Miracle Eme

Published by Great Opara

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 18, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: , ,

QUEENS’ AVENUE

What do you call a boy who stands up to his bullies? An Ambulance!

She laughed so hard the drink in her mouth came out of her nose. She loved his jokes. The simplicity and the lack of effort in the jokes were the real punchline. But he didn’t know. He thought he was funny. She smirked every time he smiled confidently after telling his joke but his charm never gave her the courage to tell him he was no Chris Rock. His smile would always confuse her and she would forget anything bad about him she knew was obvious. She was in love. She had to be. After all this was how they described it in the movies. She knew there was something special about him when she met him on that cold evening on Queens’ Avenue. She was walking home alone which was a stupid idea to begin with when a man came out of nowhere and pointed a gun at her and asked her for her purse. She hesitated at first but he rose his voice and his demeanor rather than the gun frightened her and she gave him the purse. He had a terrible look in his eyes, scarier than looking down the barrel of any gun. He was turning around to leave when out of nowhere an elbow swung into his face and he went crashing down, unconscious. He had come to her rescue. He was her knight in shining armor. He was Kevin. He was her protector and her own personal comedian.

She asked Kevin to tell her another joke but he didn’t reply. Something was wrong. He wasn’t moving. “Hey Kevin. C’mon tell me another joke” but he wouldn’t say anything. In fact he wasn’t even moving he just sat there staring at her. “Kevin? Kevin answer me. Kevin!” She started screaming his name at the top her lungs till the Psychiatric doctor and two nurses came in. “What’s the matter Sophie? Are you alright?” the female doctor asked her as she instructed the nurses to inject Sophie with something. “Kevin won’t tell me anymore jokes” she said pointing to the empty space in front of her bed. The Doctor looked at her with pity and nodded her head sympathetically as the nurses injected her again. It was a daily routine.

Written By Martin Achimugu

Published By Great Opara

 
 

Tags: , ,

CIRCLE OF LOVE

Chigozie walked past him, swaying her hips as she walked. Exaggeratedly, of course. ‘I mean if you don’t teach these boys a lesson, who will?‘, She thought. Fancy Godson, of all boys, turning her down. He definitely didn’t know what he was missing. She huffed and puffed.

With his eyes and especially, his heart, Kenneth followed her every move. She was like a stubborn child, annoying but so precious. When would she realise that boys like Godson weren’t worth her attention? All hype and definitely no flavour. ‘He would never treat her right‘, he muttered to himself. ‘Not like I would‘. He continued walking happily, daydreaming and said a quick hello to a classmate. 

Calm down, Bisola. It’s only a hello!‘. Maybe she was over thinking things. Damn! But the way he smiled at her when he was saying the hello. It had to be it! She had been in love with Kenneth for a million years but she wasn’t sure if he felt the same way. But that smile, it had a hidden meaning, like a code she had to decipher. ‘It’s a sign. He’s probably shy. Or waiting for me to make the first move‘, she thought. 
Her friend Ola, ‘You know what they say, go big or go home‘. 
She pressed the Send button.

Audu entered and looked around. Same old, same old class. He rolled his eyes at the clearly smitten Bisola, running after Kenneth when he had eyes only for Chigozie. How trifling! The only love he would ever have was crack. She never failed, never cheated, never love lost and most importantly, she would never leave. Like a sexy arabian seductress, she entered his body and took over the reins of his soul and mind. That to him, was the only true love. However, this morning, she was harsh. She was never gentle but today, she was like something out of a masochist picture. Maybe he took too much, his mind debated. ‘Whenever is it too much?‘, he asked himself. That was before his body hit the floor.

Written By Titilope Adedokun

Published By Great Opara

 
 

Tags: , , ,

BUS RIDE

The yellow and black bus lurches from side to side like a drunk returning home in the morning. This bus could probably do a billboard ad for Titus sardines with the way we are packed in its cramped space. As I sit uncomfortably on the edge of one of the seats, I begin to reason again why I am heading home on this hot Friday afternoon.
Already my left ankle has been assaulted by one of the buss rickety seats which collapsed when one very endowed aunty sat on it. I am squeezed in by three other passengers on my right hand side and my legs are already becoming numb.
Back to my reasons for heading home:
Mums birthday. Jollof rice. The extra cash is also a motivation cos a sister is broke.
I am jolted from my thoughts when the bus lurches to a stop and evacuates some of its human content and new passengers get on.
To my relief, two people on my row of seats get off and I savour the temporary respite of sitting comfortably.
Too quickly for comfort, one of the new passengers squeezes in next to me.
He is a dark muscular guy with darting eyes that seem to rove all over the bus. He keeps glancing in my direction and continues to furtively glance all over the bus. At this point, I begin to feel suspicious as I notice his black tee shirt and bloodshot eyes. He notices my gaze and glares at me.
I mutter a silent prayer under my breath as I avert my gaze and look out the window.
Dark Guy thankfully gets down at the next bus stop and a wizened old man gets on and occupies his former position.
The old man looks like the average white haired grandfather and I relax. I plug in my earphones and start to doze. The man then brings out a tattered Ghana must go bag from under the seat .Wait a second. I didnt notice that when he got on. The slightly dirty bag has a weird bulge protruding from the bottom as well as a strange smell.
My sleep vanishes as my mind travels to all the stories I have heard about ritualists and their modus operandi on public buses. I begin to feel uncomfortable.
Then the man brings out a bottle with a dark liquid and pours out from it onto his palm and licks it.
Now I am legit afraid.
I say another silent prayer.
Then he begins to doze and as if sleep can be transferred I begin to feel sleepy too.
I quickly sit up and turn up my music to the highest volume I can without suffering hearing problems in the future.
Not today, village people.
Now, unfortunately, a traffic jam has brewed up and the bus comes to a jerky stop amidst grumbling and hisses from everyone. The LASTMA checkpoint in front is conspicuously empty.
I look out my window and happen to lock eyes with a trader who has spread her wares on the roadside. The woman is picking her nose and she is digging in so vehemently as if shes trying to find gold in there. I look away quickly.
The traffic finally clears up, owing mostly to the efforts of two belt-welding soldiers and some reappearing LASTMA officials.
A woman with a little boy gets on at the next stop and sits directly behind me. The little boy begins to fidget and she reprimands him sharply in Igbo asking him if his father has even a bicycle tire. Wow. Such savagery. There are some snickers from the back of the bus.
The boy quiets down. Strangely I think he understands the insult.
The portly woman in front of me begins a convo with the driver on money ritualists and the likes and how they spend money anyhow. Gist started when driver began to talk about a guy with no visible source of income giving his side chick 200k just for one small something. I didnt hear what. They soon move on to discussing which politicians have stolen money and their current net worth.
The woman keeps looking at me as if inviting me to join in. Me, ke! i just smile at her and plug in my earphones.
Not today, bus parliamentarians.
Thankfully my stop is at the next bus stop. As the conductor yells out my bus stop, my “owa” is so loud and relieved.
As we get to my stop, the driver moves past it. Anger propels my pidgin in that moment.
Wetin happen nah? Why you pass my bustop? Abi u no hear me when I shout owa?Shuo..
The conductor looks shocked.
I dont look like the pidgin speaking type. I glare at him for good measure.
He apologizes claiming that it was because of the touts at the bus stop.
Pacified, I get down and begin the walk back to my bus stop where the next okada will take me home.

Written By Miracle Eme

Published By Great Opara

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: , ,

HER OWN SMALL DANCE

Ni Ojuelegba Oh, They know my story”
The Music blared from an unknown source, filling the air in the Ojota Motor Park. She wasn’t particularly a fan of the indigenous music but this song just knew how to flip her switch. She nodded her head to the rhythm of the song, her own small dance. Annabelle continued to nod her head as she boarded the bus going from Lagos to Ibadan. She hated traveling by road. She hated traveling all together. It meant movement. It meant change. She didn’t like either but she was not going to get paid from the comfort of her living room. She was a reporter. She had gotten word that something was going down with the big shots in Ibadan and she wanted to be the first to get the scoop. Her father had started her down the path of journalism and now she was working a job that was full of traveling even though she hated traveling. The irony.
The bus took almost an hour before it started to move. This aggravated her even more. She didn’t like waiting. Patience was never one of her strong suits. She was already upset. The man beside kept trying to make conversation with her. He introduced himself as Fred. She didn’t want to continue the conversation and continued to give him one word replies, like a boring Whatsapp conversation, hoping he’d shut up and pay attention to the trip. She wasn’t an unfriendly person but the situation was less than ideal for her. But he didn’t. He kept talking to her and slowly she began to show interest in the conversation. He was persistent. She liked that. At least he was a worthwhile distraction from the driving of the man behind the wheel. The driver was a maniac. She wasn’t sure how fast he was going but she was sure it was faster than any established speed limit there was, if there were speed limits in Nigeria anyway. She fixated herself on her conversation with Fred, shutting out her fear of the driver’s speed, the Afro-pop song playing in the background that wasn’t worthy of her small dance and the numerous complaints by the passengers, especially the two men in front who looked like they would throw up.
To everyone’s surprise, the bus came to a complete halt in the middle of nowhere. It jerked her from her conversation with Fred. She didn’t recognize the place. It was not a known stop and it was not their destination. Something was wrong. Apparently she wasn’t the only one who sensed that something was amiss. The man by the front passenger’s seat came down and began to run straight ahead. Then there was the sudden sound of gunfire and then a lifeless body in a rapidly increasing pool of blood was all that was left. The driver held the gun. Some women screamed in absolute terror while the rest were stunned speechless. Annabelle included. The two men who looked like they would throw up during the drive suddenly get up and pull out guns and command everyone to come out and lay beside the bus. Everyone does as their told. Nothing compels man more than fear of death. Everyone has obvious signs of fear on their face except Fred. Fred is calm. Too calm.

Written By Martin Achimugu

Published By Great Opara

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 25, 2017 in Literature/Writing

 

Tags: , ,

KARAOKE DANFO

Ever had days when you enter some commercial vehicles especially danfo, and moments after you step in, you wish you didn’t but it’s too late to get off? I guess this is one of such unfortunate days for me.
“wizzy boy make me dance, daddy yo ma…” blares in my eardrums through my earpiece, as I step into this danfo heading to Ikeja. With the several stupid emotional vibes coming from all around (but then, today is Feb 14. What do I expect?) I need to block them out with something loud.
If only I knew Baba Nla couldn’t save me today.
Valentine day is a one-time thing where people show love, feel love and share gifts of all… sorts. Wonderful. Nothing wrong with that. But please what’s with using your own to disturb other people edakun? Because right now I don’t understand why this bus driver is playing All Of Me by “Uncle Legend”. Doesn’t he know that I’m heartbroken and don’t need this at the moment. Like oga, try again later. Sigh.
“I’ll just increase the volume of the music on my phone and hope this nuisance ends soon.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t but gets louder instead.
INFACT,
“I know you love me; I know you care…” was next on his playlist.
Is all over! I’m finally going to cry and embarrass myself in public. I sincerely hope my village people are content now!
At this point, I decide to ditch my earpiece, since it has become as useless as Vic O. Igbo boys and counterfeit creations. Smh. Please my friend reading this, be careful of all these “omonna people”. I mean, take a good look at me, grumbling inside about valentine and love songs. Why?
1. one good-looking Chima broke up with me on the eve of valentine
2. some Igbo bros did not think to make original earpiece that’ll have saved me now from this present predicament.
In other words, Igbo boys will ruin your life. Run.
Shortly after the next track comes on on from the bus stereo, people literally begin to sing along. I turn to look at the “culprits” and see young happy chaps, one elderly woman and our beloved conductor nodding to the rhythm. One out of style lad (who wears sandals when suited up?) beside me is even whistling
Mstchewwwwwwww
Rubbish and nonsense
“I cannot wait to get off this bus”, I think to myself as I stare out the window.

Passing by Maryland, I notice a quote on a billboard saying “Always look out for the sunshine after the rain.” It is at this point that things become clear to me.
There’ll always be rainy seasons as one journeys through life, seemingly lasting for ages. Gloomy and melancholic times. However, there’s the sunshine just right behind, waiting for its turn, to turn gloomy to glorious and melancholy to merry.
This is my sunshine. This is my new beginning Alas; I knew what I had to do

I join into the joyous sappy mood because my brother, eyan le ku at any point in time. I’m alive and hopeful. I will sing love songs. I will count my blessings.

Written By Olamide Davis

Published By Great Opara

 

Tags: , , ,