Archive - October 2012

1
Unassumed
2
Unpublished
3
Unscheduled
4
Unplugged
5
The Bet
6
The Smack of Love
7
Do you know what today is?

Unassumed

The conversation started out as friendly banter. Then it turned serious as the man still refused to pay for all the drinks he had consumed. The woman seller looked like her patience was running thin. She attempted one last time to reason with a customer past the normal reasoning level due to intoxication. Dragging on a fresh stick of cigarette, Rasheed watched the unfolding drama from his corner in the dingy makeshift bar. It would not be the first time he was witnessing such. As a regular and a likeable one too, occurrences like this were all in a day’s work in the bar. He blew out a tiny cloud of smoke as he settled comfortably into the white plastic chair he occupied. He could almost predict the outcome of the scene in front of him. By now, the drunken customer was riling against the bar and its seemingly expensive drinks. The woman had summoned two men to her side; she was always prepared for moments like this. They were occupational hazards she had grown accustomed to. A smile was forming on Rasheed’s lips as the drunk rose unsteadily to meet the two men who now approached him. Fleetingly, Rasheed looked away to knock off some ash on the tray in front of him. The presence of another male seated quietly at the table he occupied startled him momentarily. He dropped his cigarette stick onto the ashtray instead. A frown marred Rasheed’s otherwise smooth forehead once recognition set in. “Man, you scared me!” He retrieved the stick, and popped it back into his mouth. The other male was smiling. “It was intentional.” His very dark skin colour contrasted nicely with the spotless white djellabah he had on. An equally white hausa cap completed his outfit. The entire ensemble did little to add to his seventeen years and his petite stature. “What are you doing here?” Rasheed expertly exhaled smoke rings before answering his friend. “Thinking.” “Of your life or of emptying the pack?” His friend’s gaze bounced off the opened pack of cigarettes that lay on the table between them.”more

Read More

Unpublished

Jan. 1st Happy New Year, diary! I ended last year on a sad note. Pere and I broke up. I’m so unhappy. Jan. 9th Haven’t seen or heard from Pere in more than a week. Not that I expected to. After all the horrible things I said to him! Jan. 11th Diary, Seah was here today. She asked about Pere. Rumour has it that he was posted to Port – Harcourt for his NYSC. Jan. 14th Pere came today. He wanted to make up. I didn’t let him in. I told him off through the window. Practically shouted at him to leave before I sent the dogs after him. As I watched him leave, I wondered why I said those things to him. What is wrong with me? Jan. 22nd Seah said Pere left for Port – Harcourt yesterday. This is what she said and I quote: “Esi, you’re a total and complete fool for letting a good thing pass you by.” Jan. 24th I miss Pere. I love him. And I hate him too! Jan. 30th School’s a week away. Can’t wait! It would help take my mind off thoughts of Pere at least. Feb. 4th Diary, I’m finished! I’m done for! I’m ruined! I’m pregnant! March 5th I can’t help wondering about Pere frequently these days. As his body grows inside of me, so does my concern for him. How is he doing? And what is he up to? How is his NYSC coming? Is he coping well? Does he like…? And why am I concerned? For all I know I may never go through the NYSC programme. Thanks to him! Here I am, a single, unwed, drop –out with a two-month-old pregnancy wondering about the father, who has his whole life ahead of him. While mine ended before it begun! April 10th I hate being pregnant! I hate being unable to do anything for myself! I hate Pere for doing this to me! And I hate the cold in this county! I’m yet to adjust to the weather conditions of this country. Doesn’t the heater work any”more

Read More

Unscheduled

The prospects of the day looked bleak. It was barely 9am and her back hurt intermittently already. Didi stretched slightly, placing a hand on the small of her back in a vain attempt to kill the pain. Her shoes were off and lost somewhere beneath the row of tables she worked on. She wished she could shed the red jacket she had on as well. If only she were at home she would have, but in the office? That was pushing it, she thought, as she looked at the red miniature camisole she had underneath the jacket. Small beads of sweat on her forehead gave testimony to the amount of effort put into the task at hand. The room she worked in was cool, constantly being made so by two air conditioners which were on full-blast. She stretched again, this time arching her back to an almost bowed angle. She not only looked tired but also felt the effect of fatigue rake her small, slim frame. And the day had only just begun. Her list of ‘things to do’ was endlessly intimidating. Not desirous of dwelling on them to increase her gloomy perspective of the day, she massaged her neck gently for a bit before turning back to the table in front of her. Papers arranged neatly in about fifteen stacks stared back at her. They contained the necessary information for the much – needed exposure the organization she worked for sought. In addition to these were publications explaining the organization’s operations and its reason for existence. All of these she put into a sky-blue file, thus making an informative pack about the organization She had a hundred of these to make! She had been on her feet since 7.30am that morning! She had been hard at it for the last hour and a half! At her last count, she had forty down and sixty to go. Earlier on, a colleague of hers had put in five minutes of assistance time before leaving to her work station and Didi was back on her own. She heaved a sigh. And this”more

Read More

Unplugged

Besides the monotonous ticking of the clock at the far end of the room, the only other sound was soft moans in response to the pressure of hands. Hands – feminine, soft, delicate yet firm – moved with precision and expertise in rhythmic motions on a large expanse of dark, smooth, muscular and masculine back which bore no signs of its tensed condition. Expert fingers found tensed and displaced muscles and strained ones as well, exerting pressure on them and massaging them into relaxed positions. Just then the clock struck mid–day, and she sighed deeply. As though a signal he had been waiting for, Safona flexed his muscles abruptly, interrupting her work. She stared at him in silence, expressionless, as he manoeuvred himself into a sitting position. A wall of chest just as dark, as large, as expansive as his back came into breathtaking view. Besides a white towel knotted at his waist, his upper body was bare. ‘You’re distracted, Enae.’ His voice was husky, matching his somewhat brutally attractive facial features and heavily – built stature. Big, brown, brilliant eyes set in a round, babyish face met his black piercing ones for a while before falling away. ‘I’m not. And how would you know anyway?’ Hers was a low- toned voice, laced with dullness. She began to walk away from him and the rows of little white beds arranged horizontally. He let out a little smile that she missed. ‘Not only have you been my professional masseuse way before your degree…’ He didn’t see the small sad smile that chased briefly across her mouth before it disappeared. ‘…but also my best friend for the last decade and a half. So how wouldn’t I know?’ There was absolute certainty in his voice; he flexed his muscles some more. ‘Talk to me Enae, I’m listening.’ She was by the wash hand basins now, and the sound of rushing water filled the room for a while as she washed her hands, partially drowning some of his words. Above it, she spoke a pitch higher, still maintaining the dull tone. ‘I’ll be fine,”more

Read More

The Bet

‘He won’t!’ ‘He will!’ ‘He can’t!’ ‘He can!’ ‘You want to put your money where your mouth is?’ ‘Do you?’ ‘How much?’ ‘Enough’. ‘You’re on’.   She walked into the room with a slight frown on her brows, shortening the distance between them. The room was buzzing quietly with activity as people moved leisurely from one side of it to the other – garbed up in all sorts of attires that did or did not befit the occasion. Music, low and soft, emanated from an electronic device barely visible. It was complimented by the human voices that were hardly above the sound. All of this she noticed in one slow turn of her head as she walked further into the room. A waiter bearing a tray appeared at her elbow and a slight shake of her head answered his unspoken question. He hovered around hoping she’d change her mind but she calmly walked away and positioned herself at the bar, leaning an arm against it. She looked around again, as though in search of someone, and wondered what she was doing here. She hardly knew any of the smiling faces in the crowd except her friend,Ese, who had invited her – and she was nowhere in sight. She had come with the intention of spending just a few minutes, making certain Ese was aware of her presence, and leaving to return home. Home! That cold, three –bedroom apartment of hers that had lost all its warmth, security and happiness a week ago. That which had all the memories of a once beautiful relationship gone sour. That domain she had holed herself in for the past week, continually filling up her cup of sorrows. Home! No, she couldn’t go back there just now! She’d spend the rest of the evening somewhere else before returning late enough to sleep off immediately. Ese had had good intentions towards her when she had extended the invitation to her – no one had liked the recluse sort of life she had been living for the past week. But she hadn’t been able to help it”more

Read More

The Smack of Love

First, she’d grab your ear and twist it. The pain from this made you bend forward and downwards, involuntarily, giving her uninterrupted access to your back where her elbow came crashing down, WWF – style, seconds later. One minute you were standing beside her, the next you were in a fighting ring prone on the floor; your ear ringing, your back on fire and birds circling your head. My eldest brother had a different approach. Pretty much consistent like his mother. Once, I described it to a friend and his remark was: ‘Sounds like someone who attended a federal secondary school.’ He did. And his was a unique brand imported from Federal Government College, Kano. One sharp, unexpected slap on one cheek began the process. Instinctively, you covered the stinging cheek with your hand. The second slap hits the next cheek before you get over the first. Of course, totally unexpected too, and stunning you with its impact. It is with shock that you cover the second cheek with your other hand and, depending on how strong you are, tears are either running down your cheeks or clouding your vision; your face downcast. The third and final slap tilts your face up (because it arrives from beneath your chin) forcing you to acknowledge this slap merchant or perhaps telling you to ‘keep your head up even when you feel like breaking down.’ The entire process unfolds with lightning speed, almost like a boko haram bomb attack – no sooner had it started than it ended, complete with its explosive results. By the time, my siblings and I became acquainted with the triple – slap technique, we wished we had three hands instead of the standard two. My father’s was no long thing; a backhanded slap was his signature style. He, long ago, stopped using a cane, belt or any other form of assistance to pass his message across. And like the Williams sisters‘ swing, his back hand was just as deft. The effect, however, was another ball game all together. All of these flashed through my mind as I watched”more

Read More

Do you know what today is?

I haven’t slept properly in six years. Through no fault of mine, though. Then again, maybe it is. I decided to go down this route of companion and carer, consequently losing sight of what a good (night’s), sound sleep felt like. Meanwhile all around me, peaceful, uninterrupted, shut – eye take place. I hear the rhythmic rise and fall of it when I make certain, in the middle of the night, that one of my bedfellows is not kicking the other, unconsciously. Their snooze positions are comic material; think a labourer after a very hard day’s work. I’m a wide – eyed witness to it in the loud, broken – down- trucklike version from my beau which keeps me awake most times. And I can’t help stopping by some yellow -faced relative of mine, on my way to a late night bathroom run, as he sleeps sprawled on the sofa in the sitting room. He looks so serene in repose, and what the heck happened to his room? Enough sleep -dropping already. I didn’t sign up for this. And while I’m well aware of what this institution entails, I just don’t think lack of consistent, required, renewable, standard sleep hours is part of the parcel. And for only me. It takes two, you know. Of course, there have been good memories of less sleep times. Waiting for a new year to roll in quickly comes to mind. Keeping vigil over one of the children with a bit of a fever or a vomiting bout always provides space for long talks. Then just staying up because my beau’s working late or pushing bedtime further so that I could spend time with him without the children’s presence are part of our lives. I don’t mind any of these at all. They come with the institution’s territory. I just didn’t think my two – three hours max. snooze time at night would drag into this six – year drought I’m currently writing about. I thought it was a phase. Maybe I was wrong. One of my favourite supervisors once said, after grueling work”more

Read More

Copyright © 2013. Idolors domain