Alpha Series – C’s Catastrophe

You can read my previous post here on Alpha Series – ‘A’s story  and Alpha Series – B’s Beast. You can also check out similar posts on the Alpha-series on Kofo’s blog here , herehere, and here . Enjoy!

“To first control a people, you must first control what they think about themselves and how they regard their history and culture, and when your conqueror makes you ashamed of your history and culture, he no longer needs prison walls or chains to hold you – John Henrik Clarke”

“To colonize people’s minds, you must first demonize their cultures, then their traditions…”

Cold heartless stories always began here at my community under the mango tree by the moonlight with stacks of fire-woods built like an army raving mad, shinning red and yellow, providing warmth.

Crouching my old heavy weight towards the small mat on the wet floor, I settled before the youths lingering around, waiting for my weekly night tale especially the ones I told after today’s festival.

Carefully, I looked around them hoping to find Berema seated somewhere in the crowd, she always avoided my weekly tales. I could see Awusa sitting with the drums, waiting patiently for the time he would have to beat us a rhythm in between my tales. I smile at him. Such a handsome, promising young man.

Casting my mind back to when I was younger, I decided to tell a tale of myself. So I forged names and locations, obviously the youths will be too engrossed to even think it is real and so I began…

Callistus was his name…very odd! The white men had named him Callistus saying he would one day be a priest of his people; even though the white men spoke funny languages, people still looked up to them like some sort of gods.” I hear Awusa as he beats his drum in a thundering rhythm. I continued smiling…”his mother laughed after she was explained to, saying the white men gods have chosen her son as his beloved. She gladly handed him over to them to train him in the way of their most high god.”

Considering the path his son was chosen for, Callistus father hated the white men and their funny language the more. He revered the gods at Bonny island. He revered the gods of his people. His son would never bear Callistus. His son will never be a priest. His son will speak his native tongue. The white men tried to deceive him by buying him fancy items…but Callistus father never agreed. He fought to keep his son from the claws of the white men. He fought to keep their language.”

Callistus father was unfortunately killed in the dead of the night. No trace on who did, no clue. Callistus mother gave him up the very next day to the white men, saying Uba n’uwena…uba funie wulu puena. He hated his mother for that, and he swore never to become a priest.”

“Colonization became a fun game. The white men had taken over the shores of their island, teaching the people in Bonny island the language of the Queen; English language, threatening to shoot when the people antagonized. It became an arrogant form of patriotism. The Britain were seen as great people. Their god was the one true god irrespective of the people’s gods.”

Captain Hart was appointed a chief, right after Callistus father passed on and he agreed to send off some of his youths to the British consul for special training and empowerment. Of course, the community was greatly rewarded for the exchange and that was the day Callistus forgot what it meant to smile.” I stretch my tired back as I let Awusa sing a sad song, beating his drum at intervals.

Curiously, I look around again for Berema. This time I sight Finima and hope that Berema will be somewhere around. I continue. “Callistus was taken with some other youths out of the Bight of Bonny and straight to England. Somewhere along the line, they were divided and he was sent to live with an old priest…Reverend Father Pepple.”

Constantly, Callistus tried to find the greatness in the England that he found himself. Every day, he would attend the mass with the priest and constantly be reminded that Jesus loved him. Callistus did not know about this Jesus. He had heard that the Queen’s god was superior to all the gods at Bonny Island. He was trying to understand that…now Rev. Fr. Pepple was talking about Jesus.”

Clueless about Jesus and mass, Callistus approached Rev. Fr. Pepple one night and said…Father, I not a knowing your Jesus but if you are take me back to my people-ing, maybe your Jesus will be understand. Rev. Fr Pepple had replied saying, do you not know that Jesus loves you?”

Callistus responded saying…I not know this thing you have say all the time but maybe if I go back to my people-ing and I tell them about your Jesus, we and I can coming to love him too in our village?How dare you say you want to go back to that evil forest of yours? You will stay here and be my server and learn the way of the Lord, else I will hand you to the Queen.” I waited for Awusa to beat the drum, but boy was long lost in my tale waiting on my next line. I sighed as I continued…

Capable of being killed just like his father, Callistus stayed and endured. One night, he sat up, ran to Rev. Fr. Pepple and spoke of marriage and when he realized priests don’t get married, his resolve of running away from the prison became stronger. How would they choose him for a life of suffering without his people, without a wife, without children? All for who? Some Jesus that he did not know. He began to wonder, is Jesus a woman?”

Casually, Callistus would take a long stroll at the water port when Rev. Fr. Pepple went to say mass for the sailors at sea and hoped that someone would come to rescue him. He hated his life here in England. He missed the water crabs, the fishing games and the people. He wondered what his mates would be doing. Some would have married. He missed the Kalabari dish and spices. The British people ate too many rubbish, he could not understand. They fried their fish and baked their beans. Nonsense cooking style. He kicked a stone.” I stretched for ease…I was tired of my story.

Continue grand Perekule, the youths all murmured. Don’t cut the story short today please.” I look at the tale starving youths all looking like me back then…I wonder what they will do if the white men came now to gather them away. I stand to full height watching Tamuno as he clasped his hands in desperation “I will continue next week…my weak bones are tired and need some rest.”

Composing myself regardless of the burning sensation I felt in my chest, I strode calmly towards my hut. The night was cold and almost over. Today was a busy day. The children needed sleep. I hear footsteps running after me, I know it is Awusa. “Grand Perekule, should we come to your hut? We could give you a massage as well while you tell us the remaining story…”

Craving the need to succumb to his request, I swallow a nudging smile. I turn back to see him surrounded by the other youths, all with pleading eyes. I know I need the massage but I do not want to continue the story tonight. Taking a deep sigh I respond “Grand Perekule will continue the story tomorrow…we all have had a long day, let us take a good rest, dreaming of our fore-fathers while we return afresh in the sunrise for the first time, to complete Callistus story…Aba nu’punella lolo.”

Catching my stick which was about to fall, I continue to my hut “Nu’punella Grand Perekule…Sleep well” the youths shouted after me. I reach my hut. It is dark. I reach out for the side lamp. Where is Berema?

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007: The Man with The Golden Gun…

“My name is James…James Bond! – Roger Moore [1974]”

So yesterday while on twitter, I read that my favorite ‘James Bond’ character died of cancer. At first, I thought it was some sort of new movie in the Bond series, so I went straight to Sahara Reporters site and lo and behold, the man with the golden gun had truly died. I was devastated! When I told my mum about it, she screamed! I can imagine why, we loved the guy.

Roger Moore was my dad’s favorite James Bond character and my siblings and I grew to love him the same. We had a stack full of James Bond movies when I was younger. I remember my dad would buy us toy guns and nice suits and say, ‘now you can look like 007 – James Bond!’ It was such a thrill in my little days when my dad would drive in a sudden way during our travels making us yelp and he would suddenly shout ‘get ready…James Bond 007 is on the move!’ I remember how my dad would race cars on the road whilst we were travelling and my siblings and I would keep count of all the cars my dad drove faster than. We would even encourage him with constant shout of ‘daddy, go faster…the blue Benz is catching up with you! We cannot disappoint James Bond.’

My siblings and I would grab our seat belts and glasses and get ready for the worst kind of action from my dad, all in the name of playing like Roger Moore. I remember my siblings and I would dress up in suits, pour water into our guns and act like James Bond and M. We would create secret codes and behave like foolish spies, all in the name of acting as James Bond, lol.

It’s a pity I did not get to see the real Roger Moore as I claimed I would have. May God rest his soul.

So in his honor, I will tell you all the James Bond movies I watched as a kid featuring Roger Moore and maybe you could try to see them too. Though the movies were acted a long long time before I was born, my dad kept a box of these movies, so we got to enjoy them as well, when we came alive. My dad made sure we saw all the movies…well, I haven’t seen ‘SPECTRE’, the last James Bond movie by Daniel Craig, acted in 2015.

The first I saw of Roger Moore as James Bond was… ‘THE SPY WHO LOVED ME‘. I remember I used to refer to it as Russian spy because the lady spy was Russian who later fell in love with James and one of her lines that made James Bond like her after he realized that she knew him well was… “Waiter, give James some Martini, shaken not stirred.” I also remember when he drove his car underwater and came out on an Island beach and stuck out a baby fish to the onlookers. Ah!

the spy

The second one I saw was ‘THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN’. I can still remember the song from the movie and the horrible looking man with metal teeth named ‘Jaw‘. He was so tall I thought it was a joke! My dad later told me he was made like that.

the man

The third one I saw was ‘OCTOPUS‘. I browsed it out today and found out that the real name of the movie was ‘Octopussy‘. All I knew it as then was Octopus and I remember it was a lady who was very deceitful and wanted to obtain information about M16 and thought that James would get confused by her body to reveal the sensitive information which he almost did. Jamie sha ended up loving the octopussy. #smh. I wish I could do a review on each movie though but I will have to re-watch.

DI-Octopussy-9

The fourth one I saw was ‘FOR YOUR EYES ONLY‘. I remember the video CD had legs of a girl and James Bond standing in between with his gun, the legs looked so high I wondered what was happening. Most days I’d study the Video paper to understand the illustrations and how exactly legs were taller than Jamie. I am not exactly sure the plot of this movie before I mistake it with ‘THE LIVING DAYLIGHT’ or ‘DIE ANOTHER DAY‘. They all seem to have mostly the same girls so I am a bit confused. I think I need to re-watch these movies but the problem is where to buy the CD from.

for your eyes only

The fifth one I saw was ‘A VIEW TO KILL’. I loved the cars he rode in this movie and his suave attitude. I remember the ski scene and the incessant shootings. Nobody dies, yeah…I don’t even know if the song is for this movie, lol.

a view to kill

The last one I saw featuring Roger Moore as James Bond was ‘MOONRAKER’. I remember I kept on telling my dad I was going to be an astronaut after this movie. I even said I was going to be a Russian spy so that I could travel anywhere and be anybody just so I can get information for the government. The job of a spy seemed so cool, I just wanted to be a spy already but fast forward to some sixteen years later and here I am, a tiny blogger, no spy, no astronaut, no nada!

moon raker

I realized yesterday that I missed out from watching one of his James Bond series titled ‘LIVE AND LET DIE‘. I kept seeing the hashtag #LALD on twitter following his name and I was wondering what that meant. Only to browse it out and saw the movie. I was heartbroken. Yes, this is how much I feel about him.

By the way when I was much younger, I always thought Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan were the same people. I just felt that James Bond grew from Timothy, to Roger and then Pierce. I later realized sometime in life [I think I was in Junior High], that they were different people.

I also thought Sean Connery was Roger Moore’s brother because they had the same nose and they had the same poise as Bond men. So when I saw Sean Connery in ‘FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE‘ and then saw Roger Moore in ‘THE SPY WHO LOVED ME [Russian spy]’, I thought “ah why are these two brothers acting the same character in different movies? Why not just pick one and stop confusing people?”

Well, now I know better.

the man with the golden gun

ROGER MOORE

from russia

SEAN CONNERY.

At that point…they looked the same. Now they don’t. Oh well! Rest in peace Roger Moore. I will miss you.

PS: I had always thought Ian Fleming was also one of the James Bond actors. Later found out that he is actually the character creator/Novel writer of the Bond series.

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Bloody Savages: Our Father

If you oh Lord should mark our iniquities, Lord who could stand? – Psalm 130 : 3″

PS: So we had been given a task about Domestic Violence on the TLC [The-Literary-Cafe] whatsapp platform and I had drawn up several ideas. I tried to reduce it in bits to make a poem but the  more I tried, the longer it got. So I gave up and decided to do a story instead. Fortunately, my story coincides with the Lenten celebration and season of Easter. Maybe I can finally use my Talent in a way that praises God. Enjoy!

Preye darts her eyes across the end of the room as daddy’s belt swifts the air landing on her back for the seventeenth time. She gnashes her teeth, recoiling in pain as another stroke hit her. Jero, Uye and I stand still at the naughty corner as we watch Preye shrink in pain from daddy’s constant beating. We know too well than to interfere, after all we had just received our share of the spanking. Mummy stands at the kitchen door shouting and crying at the same time.

“Don’t kill her for me oo, leave her, I beg of you. You have beaten her enough. Preye, can’t you run?”

“You will tell me if I was the one that gave birth to you...” Daddy states in anger as he hit her another lashing round “Ask your mother who your father is!” He finishes as he instructs her to join us at the naughty corner and walks into his room.

Uye wipes the tears from her eyes as Preye joins us with a stiff face. She never cries when daddy beat her. Mummy says she has a heart of stone and I seem to agree as well.

Everyday daddy will be beating us as if we are sticks because of a common mistake. Is it our fault that Uye broke the glass painting of Jesus on the wall?” He hisses as he finishes, sniffing back catarrh from his nostrils and examining the welts on his arms.

I look away not wanting to be dragged into any side murmuring because daddy could just spring out from nowhere and hit someone based on incessant murmuring. I pout my lips as I begin to scan my arms and legs for any bruises or red marks. There is none. I am lucky today.

I look up at Preye, my elder sister. She keeps tapping her foot on the floor. I wonder what she is thinking at the moment. Her face holds no emotions, no remorse. I want to sleep, my body is tired from all the beating and standing. My stomach growls of hunger pangs. I look at Uye who is still crying like drops of rain.

Mummy comes out with a big tray and looks at us…”next time, you all will be careful in this house. Don’t you kids know that that painting was very expensive? You people keep annoying your father all the time. Do you like the way he spanks you constantly?

She looks at Preye and I as she continues “You two, why do you keep standing in one place when your father is beating you? Do you want to injure yourselves? Can’t you run or beg? Standing like a statute! I don’t know what is wrong with the both of you.”

She hisses as she set out daddy’s food on the dining. I silently prayed the food to choke him and hand him a share of our pain. A while later, daddy comes out smelling fresh from Extract soap and water. Jero who is squatting for ease quickly rise up to full standing height. Daddy looks at us before he proceeds to sit on the dining chair.

He sits mute for a while before he beckons on us all to come over. I move grudgingly as I watch Uye scamper to him. He asks us to sit, which we did and then he carries Uye on his laps. He looks at us individually and asks, “Do you know why I spanked you today?”

Nobody makes a move to reply the rhetorical question. He looks on at Jero and continues “Jero, you are the first son and I expect everything to be right when you are around. I cannot have you around and still come home to little mistakes here and there. Preye is a girl and will always move away to another man. You on the other hand, will continue this family when I am gone. Forget the fact that she is your elder sister. I will continue to beat you and Preye for any mistake more than the others, till things get steady in this house. Don’t expect me to overlook anything…do you hear me?”

Yes daddy.” Jero replies looking up

Daddy looks at Preye and continues “Preye?”

“Sir…” She murmurs without totally opening her mouth

I don’t expect you to notice some mistakes but I believe that there are some that should not be overlooked. Example is today’s mistake. Where were you when your little brother was playing with that painting that he had to finally break it? Are you not supposed to take care of your junior ones? One day, you will have children, is this how you intend to supervise them? Do not let this repeat itself again. Do you hear me?”

Yes daddy.”

He looks at me with a warm smile and asks “Do you have a headache?”

Yes sir…” I reply still pouting

Come let me touch your head.”

I rush over to where daddy is sitting and bend my head. Daddy touches my forehead and Yelps. “Ouch, your head is hot. Go to my drawer and bring the pack of Alabukun.”

I slide away as I head to daddy’s room and bring out the pack of Alabukun. I start to smile because I know that daddy will offer me food after I take the Alabukun. I come back to the dining and hand over the pack of Alabukun to daddy. He looks at Uye on his lap and queries “Small man, why did you break the glass Painting?”

Uye starts to cry without saying anything. Daddy looks at him “I will beat you again if you do not tell me how you managed to break the glass painting. Will you stop crying and behave like a man.”

Uye wipes off his face with his left palm and starts “I was playing with the computer in the study and then I heard Jero shout my name downstairs. I was now afraid that he will beat me if I don’t come out fast fast, so as I was rushing out, I use my back to hit the Altar table. The painting now fell, after I looked at it a little, I now wanted to carry it and put it back up on the Altar table but it was very heavy so It fell again and broke.”

Daddy shakes his head “So why didn’t you tell anyone?”

Because Preye and Jero will spank  me if I did and Preye will lock me inside the fridge and Uncle Amos and Auntie Glory will not give me food.” He shouts. Daddy shoots a glance at Preye who looks away.

How come you ran close to the Altar table, Uye? Did I not tell you people not to touch the Altar when I am not around? Next time you make such a mistake, make sure to tell people around you. Whether your brother or sisters or house-helps or mummy. Do you hear me?”

Yes daddy…” he replies sniffing back a tear “but Preye will lock me in the fridge.”

“Preye why do you lock Uye in the fridge? Are you okay?”

“I’m sorry daddy. I will not do it again. He just keeps misbehaving all the time.” Preye responds.

“Uye the next time I hear that you misbehaved or acted funny, I will not take it lightly with you.”

Uye nods in affirmation after which daddy gives us all Alabukun to drink and thereafter, asks us to join him in his dinner. Mummy had been so gracious to add extra meat and soup in daddy’s meal. Preye declines daddy’s offer and goes off to bed.

I, Uye and Jero join daddy in his meal. Preye only agrees before going away, to take a chunk of daddy’s meat after daddy asks her to smile.

NB: Somehow, I am tempted to liken the ‘daddy’ in this story to God. When we do something wrong, He punishes us as well as those around us who were aware of our mistakes. Later, He forgives us and uses His right arm to gather us back to Himself by showing us His mercy and love. Most times, we act like ‘Preye‘ and refuse to acknowledge His mercy because to us, we have suffered unjustly and at that moment of His mercy, we just want to be angry at God. Other times, we act like ‘mummy‘ and blame people around us. We even go ahead to suggest easier illegitimate ways to avoid any sufferings that we feel are “Devil-inclined’. Some of us act like ‘Uye‘ and hide all our bad habit, thinking that God will not know or find out and when He eventually does, we blame the Devil.

How many times have we remained angry at God because of our sufferings?

How many times did we neglect to acknowledge by praise, a blessing because we feel that our sufferings are not commensurate?

How many times did we blame others for sins we ourselves committed?

Do we not feel it the right time to kneel before ‘Our Father’ and ask for his Divine mercy? At this season of lent, we should come before God in reverence and repentance. Remember, the Lord Listens and forgive those who are willing to submit.

Have a great day!

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ONE DAY…

BAD ABG...Cockroach comedy

One day, you shall be an old person. An ancient human being with a back bent from severe arthritis. You will be hard of both hearing and sight, as most ninety year olds normally are. Anything more than three feet away from you will appear as a shadowy haze. Anything more than two metres away will be invisible, the scales in your eyes having rendered it so. Your eighteen year old grandson will have to shout a statement several times into your ear for you to get what he is saying (that’s if you are lucky enough to have gotten married early). Even then, it will be shouted only into the right ear, for the left would have completely died by then.

You will have only your incisors left in your mouth, the joys of eating “Goat meat or Isi ewu” as it’s called, will be gone, having been extinguished by your losing your canines roughly say like ten years earlier. You will only have the pleasures of still been able to take fresh fish pepper soup and whatever they make with it at that time.

You will be living alone in your house, save for your eleven year old dog(That’s around a million in dog years), if you even decided to have one earlier, you know Nigerians can be a bit funny about pets and your man/Woman-servant (I’ve always wanted to use that word), who will be completing his/her thirty-second year of service to you (That is if you have money to pay for the services or if your grown up kids are extremely nice to afford you one).

He/she will be called Itseme, not because an angel revealed that name to his/her mother, but because the mother’s first boyfriend was called Itseme, though she had lied to her husband that she had gotten the name from the Bible. Your dog will simply be called “Captain”, as your mind will be too tired to name it properly and also because it refused to respond when you called it “Malcolm”. Arrogant dog that.

You will be living in a duplex or maybe a mansion (if you had a lot of money back in your days to build one) somewhere on the Island. Somewhere far enough from town as to provide a delusion of peace and tranquillity, but at the same time close enough that you do not feel out of the loop. You are an urbane, old person, so there is no way you are going to punish yourself to the boring rigidness of rural life. Most of your friends will have been long dead by then. The few that remain will either be comatose in an ICU somewhere or too loopy for you to have a decent conversation with.

Your sole companion, apart from your dog, Captain, shall be your man/woman-servant (That word again) Itseme. Sometimes you will forget the story of his/her mother’s first boyfriend and call him/her “Ogbeni” instead. This is because, in your head, you will deem it unfair that you have never known anybody called OGBENI but have an uncle, a son, a grandson and a great-grandson all called Itseme. 4 Itseme’s’ in your direct line; 3 sired from your loins. Now, your man/woman-servant.

Haha! No, the bastard shall be called “Ogbeni”. Maybe the dog should be called Itseme…

Ogbeni (the one formerly known as Itseme) will cook all your meals for you. Your diet shall consist of mashed foods, Wheetabix, Cerelac and Golden Morn (that’s if they still exist by then); because that is the only thing the mouths of toothless bastards can muster.

Ogbeni will also be in charge of your hygiene (Read that he/she will bathe you.) You will be vexed that a fellow (wo)man has to wash you, and will once in a while stubbornly insist on showering by yourself. Only when you are slumped on the clod bathroom tiles after your legs have given up on you, will you then call Ogbeni for help. Ogbeni will refuse to come saying that that is not his/her name. You will be forced to call the bastard Itseme, and instead of the man/woman-servant coming, your grandson called Itseme will come running, see you on the floor and then run back to tell his father, also called Itseme, that he has seen Granny’s Pee Pee Thing.

Once in your while, your grand-kids will ask you to tell them how life was like in the early part of the 21st century. You will regale them with stories of your early years; you’ll tell them all about whatsapp, bbm, Instagram and Facebook. You will tell them how everybody with a phone/tab and an internet access had a blog. They will look at you with shock, wonder and ask you what a phone/tab is. You will shake your head and pray to God to take you away because you would have been tired of everything new.

By that time, you will be an old respected citizen of Nigeria and you will feel like “Ken Saro-Wiwa” felt in his days. You will be one of those rare people who existed when Justin Bieber & Wole Soyinka was still alive. By that time, Bieber will have been dead for 50 years, having died of a drug overdose, as every other person in his type of business does and Wole Soyinka will have died even before you became 50 out of a severe heart attack. Fortunately, he will have a statue to himself placed somewhere at the outskirts of Lagos and a plaque of him in every theatrical house in Nigeria.

There will be a new type of music people will be dancing to, a music genre which you cannot fathom, with artistes bearing names such as Abu the Cockroach and Ekuns the pregnant Butterfly. Some sort of translating device will have been invented, and people will stick mini versions of it in their ears at night, so as to have those pristine night-time conversations with mosquitoes and all sorts of squirming, frillings insects.

You will stay in your house all day long, because the environment outside would be too harsh for you to bear. There will be flying cars all over, which at the press of a button, turn into easily portable briefcases. People will communicate with their minds, because some sort of thought transmitter will have been created. You will be an old fogey, or as is called in our times, an analog bastard.

You will reminisce about your earlier life when you could eat Goat meat/Isi ewu, because all of your teeth were still intact. You will remember the drinking binges of “Alomo bitters & Origin”(which will no longer exist at this time) when you were in the University campus, when you got hang-over for days on end. You will remember Walter, Ama, Nnamdi and Tuoyo, your drinking buddy, those people who could drink a whole bar by themselves. You will start to take out your phone to call them, but then remember that phones no longer exist, and that they are already dead anyway. Walter died of liver cirrhosis in his late fifties, Ama had Alzheimer and got hit by a moving car, Nnamdi had died on a plane coming back from Tokyo and Tuoyo, you remember the last time had Cancer and was supposed to die a while back but because you couldn’t keep in touch, you don’t know much about her life anymore.

You will remember Anita or maybe Michael (if you are female), hot Anita/sexy Michael; the one who made your blood boil like mad in your youth. The first girl/boy you ever truly loved. The girl in the yellow umbrella, the boy in the gorgeous three-piece suit. Yes, that one. You will start crying because his/her funeral was five years ago and also because your eldest grand-kid looks so much like that person.

Captain will come into your room and find you crying. She will climb up onto your shoulders and start licking you. You will be comforted, but only for a bit, because you will realize that dog is very old in dog years, and will die very soon. Your great-granddaughter will come suddenly into the room to show you a ladybug she caught outside.

“Look at it, it’s so pretty.” she’ll say

You will see her lips moving and smile sheepishly at her. She will flash a pretty smile at you, oblivious of the fact that her great granny is ninety years old and cannot hear what she has said.

By this time the sun will be setting. The sun’s rays will cast their shine over the hills in the horizon, lingering, almost daring you to believe that it will stay. The whole place will be a pale red, as the sun casts its last gaze over the land. Captain will still be perched on your shoulder. Your great-granddaughter will still be showcasing the wonders of the ladybird to you. You will think that now the time is ripe for you to pen your memoirs, write about your childhood, your friends, your life. You will lie grossly about events as the people who would have called out your falsehoods are all dead. You will start crying again at this thought. Captain will lick you as she wag her tail.

One day you will write about this place and time.

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Double Jeopardy 3

If you haven’t been following this story, you can read previous posts here Double Jeopardy 1 and here Double Jeopardy 2. Enjoy this one!

“What you see is what you get…when life hands you a rock, make a sculpture out of it…Be careful where you step your foot into, you may never be able to come out of it.”

******

You smile haphazardly as your thought races back to before you were married, when you tried to broach the issue to Raymond. You remember how you were disarmed by the gentle smile that appeared on his face when you got to his house that afternoon.

“You know, when you called me to say you were coming over today, I decided to go to the market. I want to cook for you.”

You looked at him lovingly as you smiled weakly. “But Raymond, you can’t even cook…”

That is why you are here. You will be my teacher.” He looked so excited, like a kid with a new toy. So you could not tell him you were getting married to a jelly. You let his joy wash over you as he led you to his small kitchen. You began to instruct him on what to do, and when he succeeded in doing one thing right, he made sure you had a taste of it.

Here” he would say and spoon into your mouth the broth from the beef or an under-cooked chunk of the red beef or a tangy tomato sauce that was under-fried.

Hmmm…tasty” you respond to his vibrant enthusiasm of wanting to please you.

He did it with so much care, his face alive. Beaming. You laughed until the stupid tears stood in your eyes. Your heart melted at his every desire to do right by you. And in the evening, when the food was finally ready and you had said you were not ready because you knew that you would still end up marrying the jelly Nelson, he had told you to shut up.

Tell me Ovie…why you are not hungry,” he said as he playfully spooned some of the garnished rice into your mouth and sealed it with a tiny kiss.

You chewed and said, “because I have no appetite Ray.”

He looked at you and laughed, “or is it that I have added too much spice to the food and it tastes awfully wrong?” He takes another spoonful and puts it into his mouth, “I think you taught me well, it tastes so nice! So tell me what I can do to help you regain your appetite.”

You smile weakly because you are just a liar and a she-devil not to let him know what is going on, but you cannot afford to break his heart too. You look at him tastefully, sinfully, “you can kiss me…”

“Hmmm…that sounds delicious.”

He pushed the food aside, took your hands and placed them on his face. He looked down at you from the angle he was standing, his eyes intimidating, his gaze strong you had to close your eyes for just a minute to regain your breath. Before you could open your eyes, his lips enveloped yours. You could taste his craving. Something like liquid fire traveled through your veins. He pulled you up to standing height. His face lowered to your bosom. You feel his warm breathe.  Electrifying sparks shot through your skin, jabbed at your sides. You breathed helplessly.

There was no way you were going to break this man’s heart by telling him about Nelson. You forget about Nelson. You focus on Raymond’s tiny kisses on your neck. You want more. You hold his face and demand a kiss. He kisses you right back. Softly. Gently. Carefully. You allowed him carry you to his room. He does so with ease. He looked into your eyes as he lowered you on the bed. You both smile. There is synergy. There is love here. There is peace. You don’t understand it. Your breath catches as he placed his warm lips at the middle of your thighs. You wiggled and moaned. He giggled at you. He knows just what you like. Your excitement was burning too hot. Your head was expanding and shrinking at the same time. Ray was working magic on you. Your breathing was loud. Too loud for comfort. Your gasping was uncontrolled. You tried to restrain yourself. Ray’s tongue was moving swiftly. Every nerve in your body was tingling. You think you will have a nerve condition. You giggled at the thought. Ray stopped. “Don’t!” You whispered. He smiled at you as he bent to nuzzle you by the belly. He found your navel area with his nose. He licked on it. He knows he was tickling you. He knows you like it. He knows you. You cry in pain of what you will miss. You know he is the one you want. You cry some more.

He moved upward. He was looking at you. “It’s all right Ovie. I will love you no matter what. We will be fine.”

You smiled at him as he reached to wipe the tears falling from your eyes. You reached to fondle his side beards. He does not understand. You cannot tell him. He will hate you. You do not want him to hate you. You do not want him to break. You pull him down and kiss him again. This time you demand for more. He gives you more. You allow him to take you. You realized your nose and mouth are no longer enough to breath with. You clinged so hard to Ray’s back. He paused. He waited for you to catch up. You swallowed. You trembled. He held you tight. You smiled. He continued as you catch up meeting his pace. He dug his face into your shoulder. You both reach your peak. You let out your breath.  His breathing is gentle. You kissed the edge of his shoulder. A soft breeze swept across the room. The sky rumbled. It rained. He kissed your forehead. You nuzzled in his chest. You don’t want to let go. This is love. You can’t explain it. You both fell asleep.

Two hours later when you woke up, the sky was a berry blue. The room was cool. You liked the smell of the rain on the curtains. You whiff it in. You look for Ray. He is seated by his window, looking at you.  He was naked. His long legs rearing up powerfully. His feet planted firmly on the floor. You knew then that you will never be able to bring yourself to tell him about your wedding. About Nelson. Stupid jelly man! Tears pressed against the back of your eyes. You turned around on the bed and sobbed quietly. His arms are around you. You lie. You say you hurt from loving him too much. You say you are hungry. He goes out to warm the food. You eat together. You know you will miss him. You hate your parents. You hate your life. You sigh.

Throughout the wedding preparation, you knew that Ray suspected something. The distance. The hostility from your family towards him. His sad smile. You felt sad.

“Babes, I know I do not have anything for you or anything to give you now, but all I’m asking is for you to give me some time, everything will gradually fall into place.” This was one of the evenings when you strolled along his street together. He faced you with clenched fists and pleaded. “Please…” his dark handsome face tightened. His gaze intensified. You nodded and swallowed back what you should have said. Instead you hugged him.

“Thank you Ovie…” he breathed, his body warm against yours. He trembled helplessly. He felt so vulnerable, so helpless. The breeze moved around you both. Like a circle of spectators. Rain drizzle touched you both. As if encouragingly. You remember the rain. And you knew that you will never be the one to tell him.

You picture his face again as the curtain in your matrimonial home rises and falls in response to the impact of the light breeze from the AC. Your jelly husband is still outside. Your phone rings. You look at the screen. Ray’s face appear but you do not pick! You grit your teeth as you stab the fruit in your tray.

NB: To all women who had to marry men they do not want because of the economy and who are living through it, smiling everyday and trying so hard to fit into their plastic lives. It is well!

 

I Fell in Love…

So Banky W and Adesua got engaged sometime in February, announced it on Instagram by wednesday, May 3rd 2017 and the internet has been shaking since then. They literally took over the Nigerian internet space, they broke the internet.

However, this post is not about the two love birds [even though I still find it hard to believe], this post is rather inspired by Banky W’s comment to his ‘susu’ [I first heard this word in uni where a friend of mine calls another friend of mine his susu’m].

The comment is “I fell in love with an actress, now my life is a movie” and when I visited twitter, I saw a thread of I fell in love with’s. Later again this afternoon, I visited Instagram and the same thread was everywhere. So I thought, why not collate this and make a poem? I do not know who to actually give credit to but I give it to all who made a comment here and there on this topic and the initial commentator “Banky W”. Thank You. So here goes…

*******

“I fell in love with a Banker, and now my life is a worthy investment! I thank God I did not fall in love with the wrong Banker, my life would have lost interest!

I wonder what it would have been if I fell in love with a manager, my life would have been a’LOAN.

I fell in love with an Accountant/Auditor, and now my life is well balanced!

If I had fallen in love with an Economist, my life would have been a monopoly or even on high-demand.”

 

“I fell in love with an Engineer, and now my life is well-drilled, perfectly constructed!

If I had fallen in love with an Architect, my life would have been a design.

I fell in love with a Programmer, and now my life is in Codes!

If I had fallen in love with a Scientist, hmmm, my life would have just been a research.”

 

“I fell in love with a Medical Doctor, and now my life has been healed!

If I had fallen in love with a Pharmacist, my life would have been on drugs and if I had fallen in love with a Nurse, my life would have been full of procedures, given shots, in fact been on constant shifts.

I fell in love with a Surgeon, and now my life is in Surgery!

If I had fallen in love with a Soldier/Militant, my life would have been a war [I wonder which is better off].”

 

 

“I fell in love with a SAN, and now my life is silky and smooth!

I ponder on what my life would have been if I fell in love with a Lawyer, my life would have been a mouthful of lies or maybe a case…bad or good, I am not sure.

I fell in love with a Judge, and now my life is in order!

If I had fallen in love with a Cleaner, maybe my life would not have been a mess in the first place.”

 

“I fell in love with a Pilot, and now my life is flying amazingly high!

If I had fallen in love with a Model, my life would have been in series of poses.

I fell in love with a Sailor, and now my life is sailing smooth!

If I had fallen in love with an Entrepreneur, my life would have been a Business Plan.”

 

 

“I fell in love with a designer, and now my life is in perfect shape!

If I had opted to fall in love with a BET Naija player or a Hunter, my life would have been a game.”

 

 

“I fell in love with an Actress, and now my life is a movie!

I fell in love with a Photographer, and now my life is a perfect picture!

I can’t even display the entire album for fear that my good life will be stolen.

If I had fallen in love with a Liar, my life’s entire existence would have been a lie.

I fell in love with an Actor/Producer, and now my life is a movie, full of drama!

If I had fallen in love with a Comedian, my life would have been a joke.”

 

“I fell in love with a blogger/Journalist/Writer, and now my life is a beautiful story!

If I had fallen in love with a Teacher, my life would have been an assignment, a lesson, more of a learning experience.

I fell in love with a Traveler, and now my life is an Adventure!

If I had fallen in love with a Lagos bus Driver, my life would have been stuck in traffic [mmph].”

 

“I fell in love with an Archaeologist, and now my life is history, a  fact!

If I had fallen in love with a Politician, my life would have been a lie.

I fell in love with a Fire-fighter, and now my life is a Spark!

If I had fallen in love with a Mathematician, my life interest wouldn’t work out.”

 

“I fell in love with a Make-up Artist, and now my life is on fleek yo!

If I had fallen in love with a Tailor, my life would have been a material or a pack of thread.”

 

 

“I fell in love with a Ghost, and now my life is Haunted!

If I had fallen in love with a Ghanaian, maybe my life would have been in darkness.”

 

“I fell in love with a Dancer, and now my life is a ballroom, full of grace!

If I had fallen in love with a Musician, my life would have been a beautiful song or a Rapper, then my life would have been a hit.

I fell in love with an Artist, and now my life is an Artwork!

If I had fallen in love with a Painter, my life would have been colorful too.

I fell in love with an Opera singer/a Stage play Artist, and now my life is a Theatre!

If I had fallen in love with a Dreamer, my life would have been asleep.”

 

“I fell in love with a Chef, and now my life is Tasty, spicy, all forms of delicious!

If I had fallen in love with a Nutritionist, my life would have been a diet.”

 

“I fell in love with a Prostitute/Stripper, and now my life is Wayward!

If I had fallen in love with a Terrorist, my life would have still been a terror or would my life have been the bomb?”

 

 

“I fell in love with a Footballer, and now my life is well-dribbled, in fact my life is balling!

If I had fallen in love with a Basket-baller, my life would have been a dunk.

 

I fell in love with myself [lol], and now my life is a Selfie!

If I had fallen in love with my Fantasies, my life would have just been a dream.”

 

“I fell in love with a Pastor, and now my life is a Miracle!

If I had fallen in love with a Yahoo-boy, my life would have been a Scam.

I fell in love with Jesus Christ, and now my life is a Testimony!

If I had fallen in love with the Devil, my life would have been hell.”

PS: Do you have any other to add? I know I left out some professions, I just couldn’t get the right pun for them. Do you have any pun words for an Estate Manager? A Professor? A Disc Jockey [DJ], a Bartender? They both create mixes, yes?

If you can help out, do drop a comment or two.

Thank you!

Double Jeopardy 2

If you are just joining us, welcome! If you missed out on the first part of this story, you can read the previous story here . Enjoy your read.

“They say Marriages are made in heaven…but so is thunder and lightning.

It is not lack of love but lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages – Friedrich Nietzsche”

Despite your husband’s protest at the knock on the door, his PA insists he must open to receive the business call on hold.

When he steps out of the room, you look around. The room is lush, comfortable and speaks volume of Nelson’s money but it lacks something. You try hard to figure what it is and then you realize – Ray is missing in the picture. You remember his chiseled face, his bright lips, the aura of masculinity that exudes from him, his firm thighs, his muscled arms, the abs and the ‘V’ outlined down his torso…

You allow your thoughts to drift back to that cramped room of his, located around bunkery road, Effurun, a less expensive part of Warri. You picture him again sitting close to his window, penning down poetic words, his forehead furrowed.

When your husband comes back in, he is apologetic.

“Hunnay…” he starts as he reaches out to touch your arm. You flinch unconsciously and you are somewhat surprised at your body’s behaviour. You make a mental note to try to accommodate at least his touch.

He looks at you with a small smile as he settles besides you. You wonder what he is about to say that makes him look unsettled.

Hunnay…we may have to reschedule our honeymoon to Barbados? I have an urgent business meeting to attend to…” He grits his teeth. His words resembles a request rather than a statement and if you say no, you are sure he would budge to cancel the meeting. He will do anything to please you.

“It’s fine.” You say “We can always fix it for some other convenient time.” You exhale.

Are you sure?” He looks surprised.

You nod in affirmation as you pick at your breakfast.

He looks down at the tray “I don’t like your eating habits hunnay. You need to add some more weight.” Add some weight indeed and become a jelly bah…you laugh at him inside your head.

He reaches to touch your cheek. This time you close your eyes and try not to flinch. “Be right back.” He winks at you and you feel nauseous. Contrary to mama’s advice, you doubt you will grow to love this man with jelly like fat.

*******

Marry Nelson and deliver your family from shame. Raymond is still young, he will definitely find another girl. He is not ready and your time is ripe.” Mama had reasoned when Nelson first showed up at your house unannounced.

You roll your eyes at Mama’s statement. Ray will find another girl your foot! Did it look like you wanted him to find another girl? You are already his girl! And this Nelson, wanting what he cannot have. “I cannot stand him mama. He looks like doughnut.”

“He is not a doughnut Ovie, he is a well to do man and it shows on him.”

“Did I say he was a doughnut mama? He just looks like them!” You retort back. You do not understand why papa is quiet about all this, looking at the TV like some magic will appear from inside. You do not like the man, how hard is it to understand?

Ovie, a woman’s mind is flexible. You will grow to love him. How long do you think it will take before Raymond finds his feet? That is if he ever will. This is Nigeria not America.” She continues to handpick the particles from the beans.

Papa looks up from the TV and looks at you. “Ovie…” he starts “are you not happy God has brought Nelson your way? We keep asking Him to help us daily in our prayers and now he has sent a helper through this man, you want to reject his offer? You better start to think of what you want to do with your life. Do you like the way I am here waiting for my pension payment from our so-called government? Do you want us to keep relying on your mother’s petty business? Why do you want to be an unfortunate child? You better marry the man we chose for you or you are dead to us!”

You stare hard at papa and wonder what has made him talk. Mama is nodding. “Ovie, you have heard your father.”

You look around your environment, at the copious stains on the wall, the untiled cement floor, the old gas cylinder and the rusted green stove. You admit you want a better life for yourself and your family. You admit that you need money to solve the problem. You admit that you need a good money paying job but you refuse to admit that you have to leave Raymond to achieve that. You refuse. Then several thoughts gather up in your head like traffic. You are unsure what to do with your parents demand.

This was many months ago.

Double Jeopardy 1

“They say Marriages are made in heaven…but so is thunder and lightning.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get. Where there is no ventilation, fresh air is declared unwholesome! – George Bernard Shaw”

‘Marry the man we chose for you…or you are dead to us!’

********

You frown. You did not tell your boyfriend you were getting married. So when your phone rings on your wedding night and his name and picture appear on your Samsung phone screen, you do not pick the call. It continues to ring, this Samsung edge with its delicate features, with his face on the screen; his lips glowing. You do not pick.

Your new husband stands up from the bed, his slightly protruded belly hanging low, as if tired. He walks into the restroom. The sound of his footsteps against the cool, mirrored tiles is like the sound of a person’s palm beating the surface of water. When you are sure that he is out of earshot, You pick up your phone to call Ray back, but then there appears a text from him.

“One day, our dreams will come through. We will both be the people we want to be. Happy and of course, blessed. Then I will have my heart’s one desire – coming back every day to see my baby on the sofa, with those hot legs crossed. I will kiss you and then we would talk about our day and what to do about our kids performances in school and sometimes maybe, their naughty behaviors. Till then, sleep well, My Queen.”

You feel a movement in your chest. A warm sensation wraps around you, like a small cuddle. Your new husband walks back into the room. He does not see the tears you are blinking back. He will never know that your eyes burn on the inside. He smiles at you, a suggestive smile, and you force a smile back.

“I am coming Nelson…” you say as you enter into the restroom too.

He nods quickly. As you close the door to the restroom, your back leaned against its smooth surface, you exhale softly, slowly, feverishly. You take off your top bra and panties and climb into the tub, your phone still in your right hand. You swipe open the screen and reread the sms from Ray again. This time around, there is a rhythm in your heart, a vibration of some sort.

The water rises around you, the white foam covering your thighs looking like snow. You read the part where he has written, “…with those legs crossed” and you laugh, tears streaming down your face without restraint.

You do not know how long you stay like that crossing your legs under the spell of a fairy tale, until you hear your new husband knocking on the door and saying; “is everything alright with you?”

You jerk back into reality and, almost in a slow motion, stand up from the tub. You put on the shower and wash away the foam from your skin. You like the feel of the water. When you come out, your husband looks at you from hair to toe.

“Hunnay, is everything alright?”

You nod quickly, smiling weakly. If only this jelly of a man will stop calling you ‘Hunnay’.

He looks unconvinced as you place your phone on the dresser and dry your legs. He stands up and walks out of the room giving you some privacy that you need. His buttocks, his belly, his flesh, every part of him is shaking, as if he is made of jelly and water. You remember Ray’s firm body.

Different thoughts start to contest for space in your mind. You wonder what Ray is doing at the moment. How he will stare at his phone and then mutter aloud, “Why isn’t my baby picking up?”

Your husband returns with a mischievous smile, and sees you lying on the bed. He claps his chubby hands together. Each of his fingers looks swollen, as if he suffered from whitlow. Then he climbs into the bed beside you. The mattress reduces, drowning in his weight.

You look up to the ceiling as a means to evade his eyes. You can feel them on you, those bulgy eyes peeping out of their sockets.

“Hunnay, I don’t like this. You don’t look happy.”

You turn to face him. His appearance is newly repulsive. His saggy breasts lie on his chest, as if they were sleepy and his stomach tilts sideways, as if about to fall.

“I am fine” You say hysterically. Your eyes looks like they will soon betray you, so you stretch your arms upwards to turn off the bedside lights.

No hunnay, I want to see your face.”

You do not even protest as he turns the lights back on from his angle and stares moronically at you. You lay back down and take a deep breath to hold back the tears.

“I am just too tired from the wedding…” is all you manage to breathe out.

The rest of the night is a catalogue of mishaps. First, this jelly husband climbs on top of you after a feeble attempt he makes at touching, his weight crushing you. You feel him thrust in and out of you, after spreading your legs apart with his jelly sized thighs. His thing feel like the size of your pinky finger. You roll your eyes in exasperation. No foreplay, no proper romance. You sigh. The look of contentment in his eyes makes your stomach knot and when you feel the sticky warm fluid inside you, you feel soaked up in mire. He rolls away from you. It brings to mind the way the angels rolled away the heavy stone on Jesus’s tomb.

He keeps on panting as he slides away from your body and lay next to yours. You stretch again this time, determined to keep the lights off, as you flick off the bedside lights. Then as you lay back down, you feel his hand, the hand that is as rubbery as sachet water, cuddle you. Tears drop from your eyes and you bite your teeth into your lower lip to avoid crying out. You fall asleep but remember several amount of touching and his hands turning you to spread apart your legs for another round and yet another. You sigh in your sleep as you let him pound on. After all, he will only be there three to four [3 – 4] minutes.

In the morning when you awake, you see him approach you with breakfast in bed. You stretch to see the tray content, it is a healthy meal with a delicious aroma. Your stomach growls. You sigh as you look away.

“What is it? Do you need anything?” He is troubled by your indifference towards him.

“No…” you shake your head and almost immediately you add “please, stop calling me hunnay.”

He shakes his head “No, hunnay, I can’t stop from calling you that. Why? Don’t you like me calling you that?” He leans forward to wrap you in his arms.

You feel irritated from his somewhat-soft-grasp. You feel like strangling him as he chuckles into your face, looking like he is going to kiss you. You push him away slightly. “I just don’t like how it sounds in your mouth!” You respond.

“Do I call you ‘honey’ or ‘huni’?” He looks perturbed.

You wonder why he is acting foolish when they all sound the same. You shake your head and resign to fate. “It’s alright…” you say “I think I just need to get used to it.”

He smiles as he kisses you by your forehead and moves to drag the tray closer to you. You are grateful when you hear a knock on the door from his PA.

Alpha Series – B’s Beast

PS: So we were given a task by Kofo on TLC [The Literary Cafe] whatsapp page and I thought it would be a good idea to do a story of it as well. You can check out similar posts on the Alpha-series on Kofo’s blog here . Enjoy!

You can read previous post here on Alpha Series – ‘A’s story .

You hurt me more than what I deserve because I loved you more than what you deserve…”

“The saddest kind of sad is when your tears can’t even drop and you feel nothing. It’s like the world has just ended. You feel nothing. You don’t cry. You don’t hear. You don’t see. You stay. For a second, the heart dies!”

Before I begin to intimate you of how I have managed to live my life up to this point, let me start by telling you how not so happy my story will end – so this is me saying, it is not a happy-ever-ending tale.

By and Large, I have an ugly past, an ugly present and possibly an ugly future. I hate to sugarcoat my words so I will tell you all plainly my bitter experiences.

Born and bred in the suburb of Bonny Island, Rivers sometime in the late 80’s, I did not get exposed to much and thus I did not need or require much. All that I needed – that my people needed was shelter, food, water and basic friendship and we had all that – I think. I was not born in a home of plenty but I was thought to learn to manage the basic things that nature could naturally provide.

Basic things such as water – we had surplus from the river close to the island, Food – well, we had lots of crabs and fish, fruits and legumes, and we had where to lay our heads. We did not need to go to school, neither was the idea thought up in our heads – it did not make sense to think of education at the time. We were taught how to fish and make nets. We learnt how to swim and wade the waves that come with the river tides. We learnt how to hide from the strange red looking people who always came by our river facing the Bight of Bonny – I think they were called tourists.

Biannually, we would usually have a mini-festival for Virgins – both male and female category. It was celebrated for adolescents from the ages of ten [10] to Nineteen [19]. People who had attained the ages of Twenty and above were usually supposed to have been married. If not, by twenty-two [22], they become ostracized and sent out of the island so as not to beguile others into their way of life. The girls would during the festival, usually cover their breasts with two mound sized empty oysters and wear below their waist, animal skinned wrappers. The males would cover their area with Palm tree wraps and wear on their neck beaded crabs ornaments. This was done in reverence to the river as well as the earth that kept the children of the community till the festival period – so it was believed and so it was practised.

Bemused as I was at this process, I still had to participate to avoid any form of being ostracized. I had nowhere to go and I did not think I was brave enough to venture out on my own.

Besides, It was hardly unheard of that anyone would want to be ostracized from the community. Several girls ended up with one man to avoid been called names or leaving the community.

Barefooted on the eve of the festival, I had ran towards the river bank to seek the coolness of the water and wonder what lay ahead of me now that I had turned Eighteen [18]. Very soon, I would be required to get married and start-up my own family. How possible would that even be, seeing that I was not even ready or mature to nurture my own self?

“Berema…” I heard someone call from a distance. I looked behind me to catch Awusa and Finima running towards my direction. I was in no mood for a chit-chat so I looked back at the water and continued throwing back the crabs I had caught back into the water.

“Berema…” Finima continued when she got to where I was seated, “Did you not hear the announcement that was made earlier today?” I ignored her comments and continued my throwing “Why are you here like you are not meant to be a part of us? Are you not going to participate in tomorrow’s festival?” I stopped throwing and stood up still looking straight at the water.

Baptizing my legs in the river’s warmth, I let the waters flow back and forth, caressing the sole of my feet and my ankles, as I moved in deeper. I did not like to be disturbed in moments like this, I did not understand why Finima could not just go away on her own in peace. Awusa watched in silence as Finima proceeded to drag me back from the water.

Bereft of strength, I splashed back to the floor and picked the nearest possible crab to fling at her. Awusa caught my hand from behind. He was stronger than both of us, so it was a given that I could not have fought back totally.

Belligerent as I was, he held me captive in his bosom.

“Berema…” he started. All I could hear was his baritone and nothing more. I was confused. Was he calling my name? “Berema, what has been going on with you for the past few days? Why have you been so distant?” he asked. I looked away as I refused to answer his looming question with Finima looking at me like I was some theif.

Bizzare as it sounded, I could not trust my friends to tell them anything. I mean, I do not think any one cared about anything apart from themselves. How was I to tell them about the beast I faced every night on weekdays – weekends are for family, booze and friends? How was I to tell them I was never a virgin ever since I started attending the festivals? How was I to tell them how I had been constantly raped by my Father since I was five [5]? How was I to tell them that the self-acclaimed Virgin festival was just a mockery to the gods we served? How was I to tell them that I was not ready to marry anyone from our Island? How was I to tell them that I wanted to see what lies beyond our Rivers? How was I to tell them that I had liked Awusa ever since I was old enough to know what it meant to like and touch?

Bethrothed he was already to Finima and I had no choice than to be happy for them. Awusa was already Twenty and tomorrow would be Finima’s last Virgin festival rite before she married Awusa. Finima is Eighteen [18] like me too and happy to be getting married. Would I blame her? It is all we live for and hope for here at Bonny Island. After all, Finima would join the successful others since Awusa was a bonafied fisherman and a rider of ferries for the ‘red-looking-people’.

Blotches were all over my legs but I had to keep them hidden in wrappers to avoid raised eyebrows and several questioning. My three [3] brothers hardly stay home so they are not aware of what father keeps doing to me. I cannot tell them for fear that someone might strike someone and somebody may die. I cannot handle another death. Mother’s departure still frightens me. I cannot seem to get over it. I do not want to get over it. I want to join her.

Blinded I was by hope. Hope that something would change and liberation would fall upon us. Hope that the ban of marriage would be lifted from the age of Twenty and moved to maybe twenty-eight [28]? Hope that someone would come to save me from the clawing hands of my black impish father. Hope that I would maybe die and go to a peaceful place.

Blatantly, I look at my two friends and smile aloof. There was nothing I wanted to say. There was nothing to say. Tomorrow is just going to be another lie, clothed in wrappers and oyster covered breasts and a virtual walk of shamelessness.

Bickering about the issue was pointless. Talking about the beast I faced every night on the weekdays between my legs was pointless as well. I had grown used to it. I no longer had feelings. I just wanted to leave Bonny Island.

Blimpish as my father was, it was hard to tell the truth about him. I stretch my legs into the water as I feel the sands rush with the water and settle beneath the back of my knee. Awusa is caressing my face and looking at me worriedly. Finima is holding my hand and smiling at me. I want to tell her. I look at Awusa. I can not bear to let him hear my ordeal.

Bracing up myself, I make to stand as I pull away from Awusa’s hold. I fall upon Finima as I hear her laugh at me. I join her in laughing too. Her laughter is throaty and husky. It is easy to sway someone to join her in her laughter. It is mesmerizing.

Baroque music is the next thing I hear. I turn and see Awusa singing for us both. It is hard not to smile. His words are choicy and touchy. I feel the need to cry. My throat is heavy. I gasp for breathe. My bones become brittle.

Breathing hoarsely, I quickly move away. I may explode if I stayed there much longer. Somebody grabs me from behind… “Leave me please.” I surrender “I need to fix my attire for tomorrow’s festival” I reply without turning to face him. I know it is Awusa that has held me back. I hope he does not feel the pain in my voice.

Bruising in pain, I hear Finima’s feeble reply “Let her go, Awusa…Come, let’s go and join the others at the Kongo house.” I feel Awusa letting his hands off me as I run away in shame.

Bloody Savages: Thy Will Be Done

“When the righteous cries for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles – Psalm 34:17”

PS: So we had been given a task about Domestic Violence on the TLC [The-Literary-Cafe] whatsapp platform and I had drawn up several ideas. I tried to reduce it in bits to make a poem but the  more I tried, the longer it got. So I gave up and decided to do a story instead. Fortunately, my story coincides with the Lenten celebration and season of Easter. Maybe I can finally use my Talent in a way that praises God. Enjoy!

NB: You can read previous post here Bloody Savages: Our Father and here Bloody Savages: Thy Kingdom Come .

Tuoyo blocked her ears with her ear piece and pretended not to hear anything Irikefe was asking. She wasn’t in any mood for quarrels or shouting. In fact she wasn’t in any mood for anything.

“Tuoyo?” Irikefe beckoned the second time “Tuoyo…” he moved closer to where she was sitting pressing her iPad as he nudged her lightly by her elbows

Tuoyo, are you not the one I am talking to?”

She ignored him and continued as if he was not before her. Irikefe looked at her and walked out of the room, pissed. She pulled off her ear plugs and hurried towards the door locking it. She knew what he was going to talk about. She knew from the moment she had walked in through the sitting room last night after seeing him with Boma. That child just doesn’t know how to keep a secret. She laid down to take a short nap when she heard someone pulling at the door. She dived under her duvet and closed her eyes. Please go away, viko iyharhen tis…she prayed silently.

Irikefe stood outside the door wondering why she had locked him out. What was wrong with this woman eh? He knocked thrice hoping she’d stand up to open but he knew his woman, her will must always be done. She was just going to pretend that she was asleep and didn’t hear his knocking. He let out a sigh and walked backed down the stairs to meet his mother.

Where is Tuoyo, Kefe?”

“Migwo mama, she is sleeping.”

“Vrendoh. I thought you said she was going to come down soon?”

Well, she suddenly developed a migraine and you know how stressed she has been lately. Let’s just leave without her.”

Ah ah ‘Kefe, this children wanted to go out with their parents. Will you now use me as a substitute mother instead of your wife? Can’t she just  manage it?”

Mama, you worry too much. We are just going to see a movie. It’s fine if Tuoyo stays behind, she needs this rest. Boma, Tuoyo, Wiobowe, stand up, Vren…let’s go.”

Does mummy know we are going to see a movie? She loves watching movies…” Tuoyo junior queried. “May I try to go call her?”

Well hunnie, yes you may try.”

Irikefe watched as Tuoyo junior ran up the stairs to get her mum. He did not want to disappoint her by telling her that mummy had refused to open the door and that he could not have informed her about the movie because mummy just loves to do things at her spurn. Minutes later, Tuoyo junior came down with her mum fully dressed to go. Irikefe was not surprised, his wife was just unpredictable!

“Migwo Mama” Tuoyo greeted her mother-in-law

Vrendoh my dear” Mama responded smiling “Sorry about your migraine, Kefe said you could not make it for the movie. Are you okay now?”

Tuoyo looked at Irikefe and half-smiled knowing what he had done “Well mama, I have to do this for the kids else Tuoyo baby will start to cry. I will be fine, I have taken some medications in my room.”

My daughter, try to get enough rest oo. This your job doesn’t even give you time for anything anymore.”

“Migwo Mama, thank you. I will be having my vacation soon. Hopefully I will rest my tired bones.” She let go of Tuoyo Junior’s hands and moved to embrace her mother-in-law.

***********

While at the movies, Irikefe looked at Tuoyo wondering how and when best to ask her the throbbing question. He liked how they all looked happy at the moment as if there was nothing wrong and he wished it were really so. Just then Tuoyo caught his eyes on her and changed seats with Boma.

“What is it ‘kefe? Why are you watching me instead of the movie?”

“I have missed watching you or is it now a crime to watch my wife?”

Tuoyo blushed and hissed mockingly “Keep on watching me oo. When your kids asks you some difficult part in the movie, let me hear what you will have to tell them.” She smiled as she started to switch seats again. Irikefe held her back. She looked at him again

Dyeee ruwe, ‘kefe? What is wrong?” 

Nothing darling. I just want you close.”

“Don’t tell me nothing ‘kefe with that look in your eyes. When did we start hiding things from each other?”

“Talk about hiding things? Really?” He looked at her and smiled  “Darling, let’s just enjoy the movie while I hold you close.”

Tuoyo rolled her eyes in the dark cinema room and wondered why he could not ask her the silently roaming question. She heaved a sigh as she looked at the screen.

“Stop rolling your eyes at me Tee girl, I can feel it rolling.” He said as he pinched her lightly by her side butt.

She wanted to laugh; to tell him how much she enjoyed his company, loved playing with him but this was not the time to laugh.

She wanted to scream at him and jerk him back and forth; to tell him how angry and hurt she was with him leaving her alone with the kids but this was neither the place to do either or both.

She wanted to cuddle with him, spoon him in and nuzzle on his hair; to tell him how much she would love to be in his warm embrace forever but this was absolutely not the spot for that.

She wanted to cry; to tell him how much she missed his presence constantly, how much she gets tired everyday and needed someone to always talk to, let out steam and hoped he was around to give her a foot rub but this was not the time or spot to tell feelings.

She wanted to be upset; to tell him how much she missed their drinking palm wine together and eating antelope, how much she missed cooking for him and watching him eat as he praised her skilled hands, how much she wanted and missed his breakfast in bed [only to find 2 slices of bread, 1 baby banana, a bowl of his handmade ukodo, a long mug full of alcohol and one perfectly rolled out blunt], how much she wanted so badly to lie with him every night after work but hell no! this was not the arena to do that.

She wanted to breathe fresh air again, be young again, remove stale air and just be happy but this life will not let her.

Her eyes misty from tears that threatened to fall off, she immediately stood up without warning and left the cinema hall.

NOTE: We humans neglect to see that constantly ignoring our own needs and voicing out how we feel is a form of domestic inner violence, a form of self-neglect. We then hurt ourselves and the people around us by not caring anymore and becoming immune to other people’s feelings. Suffering comes from living in the pain/joy of the past and/ or the fear of the future. Put your attention on the present moment and be at peace. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll always hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.

To overcome this, become conscious of your choices. Ask yourself several times throughout the day, “Does this choice honor me?” Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be loved. Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-I-see).  Breathe, relax, and let go. You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different. Your plan may be different from your soul’s intentions.

Enjoy your day bunnies!

Bloody Savages: Thy Kingdom Come

“Come Lord Jesus and establish your kingdom in my heart today.

So is the word that goes out of my mouth, it will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it – Isaiah 55:10″

PS: So we had been given a task about Domestic Violence on the TLC [The-Literary-Cafe] whatsapp platform and I had drawn up several ideas. I tried to reduce it in bits to make a poem but the  more I tried, the longer it got. So I gave up and decided to do a story instead. Fortunately, my story coincides with the Lenten celebration and season of Easter. Maybe I can finally use my Talent in a way that praises God. Enjoy!

NB: You can read previous post here Bloody Savages: Our Father

Irikefe looked at the Banga and starch seated steaming hot before him, as he waited patiently for his bowl of water to arrive so that he could pounce on his favorite dish.

He watched as she swayed her hips left to right in an orderly fashion, kneeling before him to place the bowl of water by his side. He mirrored back her smile, waiting for her to leave before he dipped his hands into the bowl and washed his hands thoroughly.

He flapped his hands to shake off the water as he proceeded to finger-cut his starch with both his thumb and index finger. After two dips of starch into the Banga and into his mouth, he let out an overdue sigh and moaned in content. He shook his head as he continued eating.

Here he was, at a local canteen, eating a long lost satisfactory meal by 10.15pm when he had a wife at home. He shook his head again and wondered how things got this bad. His wife no longer had the time or luxury to prepare him a decent meal. The kids were badly fed. He continued eating as he looked at the three kids before him, his kids. They were not even eating well anymore.

Look at how they are picking on the fresh fish and starch...he thought. What a shame!

He remembered when he first met Tuoyo, his wife. He had fallen in love with her food, her tasty meals and her generous soups filled with edible animals. Boy, was she a great cook? Her meals were far the best of all he had tasted and all his friends admitted, even his sisters. Her perfect Ogwo soup, her spicy Ukodo, her soft mouldable starch, her pepper-stew, he could go on and on. She was great in the kitchen, very great and she was intelligent and  smart as well. So it was not a surprise that two years after they got married, she secured a job at a multi-national company as a sales manager.

Their marriage was doing just fine and the kids were all right. Tuoyo did not nag nor complain. She was able to combine her wifely duties with her office work and still have spill over time for family hang outs. Nine years into their marriage, the home grew both in wealth and number. They had more mouths to feed with the emergence of a new child, he was promoted and transferred to Ghana, and she bagged a new position at the office as the Regional Manager.

He thought nothing could be better than what they had. Subsequently, he moved from Warri to Ghana and came back during vacations to see the family. As time went on, he noticed a deterioration in the home. The fridge hardly housed any cooked food nor fresh supplies to suggest a possible cooking. The store cabinet gradually got empty of rice, beans, yams or wheat except for the constant bag of garri and sugar.

At first, he overlooked it thinking Tuoyo had a reason. After-all, it was her kitchen, she had the duty to take care of it. More over, at his every vacation, he traveled with the family and during those trips, they ate out, laughed a lot, caught up on old gists and visited friends. Vacation by vacation – before he returns back to Ghana, he realized he had to keep buying food supplies and meat on his kids demand and he was worried. Everyone in the house seemed to be used to the idea of no food, no one complained. When he bought supplies, it just lays there.

It was during one of this vacations he had to ask his eldest kid what the problem was in the home.

Boma, come and sit with daddy. Let’s talk man to man.” Irikefe invited his eleven [11] year old son.

Yes Dad?” Boma responded “What would you like to talk about?”

Irikefe loved the sound of confidence his son’s voice carried “How have you and your siblings been in my absence?”

Very fine Dad.” Boma smiled as he fiddled with his nails.

Boma look at me and talk to me, okay. Is there any problem you would like daddy to know?”

Boma looked up and smiled sheepishly “No Dad. we are fine. It’s just that we get to miss you a lot but mummy says there is nothing we can do about it.” His countenance fell.

Irikefe looked at him sarcastically “Nobody told me how greatly I was missed! When I call, why don’t you tell me that you want me back here with you in Nigeria? I thought you said you and your siblings were happy?”

Boma looked at his toes as he replied “I always want to say it but Mum warns us all the time never to spoil your mood and sound cherry on the phone to make you happy, and I want to make you happy Dad.”

Irikefe brought Boma closer as he hugged him whispering “You can never make me unhappy Boma. I also want to see you happy so that I can be happy in turn. You just have to let me know what makes you unhappy so that I can amend and make us all happy, okay?”

But Mum says that we have to do all our best to make you happy whenever you call and whenever you are around…”

“At your expense? Boma, listen. It is my duty as your daddy to first make sure that you are happy not the other way round. When I satisfy myself that I have done all I need to make sure you and your siblings are genuinely happy, then you can reciprocate as my baby boy to do the things that will make me smile and be happy with you.”

Boma smiled as he hugged Irikefe warmly. “Now, will you tell me why you miss me and what makes you sad?” Irikefe queried

Mum is always so busy we don’t get to see her and you are always away at Ghana throughout the year except during your 2 months vacation. It really makes me sad especially when your vacation comes around when we are still in school session and we get to see you just half the day. My siblings and I wish you and mum spend more time with us.”

“Hmmm…now I see why you want me back. Is that all?”

Not exactly. You see I also miss eating mum’s Banga soup and starch. For the past two years and half since you moved to Ghana, we haven’t eaten mum’s food.”

Irikefe looked startled “I do not understand Boma. What do you mean by you have not eaten mum’s food for the past two years and half?”

Boma sighed as he wiggled his butt on Irikefe’s lap looking directly at Irikefe “Since you left to Ghana, and mum got promoted, things have changed.”

Okay?”

Mum is always very busy and comes home late. When she comes she is too tired to do any thing else. I see it in her eyes. She looks too tired and I do not know what to say because I don’t want to stress her.  I remember that making Banga is stressful and I always want that but I don’t mind other food like plantain or egg or rice but when I ask mum, she always shush me away, saying she is tired and that I should go and fetch garri and make myself some. Tuoyo junior and Wiobowe like drinking garri but I don’t.”

This is not clear Boma. Mum says directly to you that she is tired and that she cannot cook for you and your siblings and asks you to soak garri?”

“Yes Dad. You can ask Tuoyo Junior. She will tell you. Mum only buys us tasty biscuits on Fridays and Saturdays and then on Sundays, she buys us Jollof rice from outside.”

Unbelievable! Your mother buys you food from outside when she is around?”

“Yes dad. You cannot notice it now. When you come for vacation we always travel and eat out or if we don’t, grandma comes and cooks for you because she says you have been away for a long time. Don’t you see that it is grandma’s food we eat when you are around?” 

Irikefe looked distraught. Now he understood why the kids always suggested that he buys food stuffs and why they want him back. Why would Tuoyo behave in such a manner? Boma cannot possibly be lying to him about his mother. He was ashamed of himself for having not noticed. How can this have been going on for two years and a half without his noticing it. What kind of a father was he already becoming?

He looked at five year old Wiobowe as he tried to break the crab in his Banga without spilling oil on his shirt. He smiled at his son.

NOTE: Most times we neglect to see that constantly ignoring our kids needs is some sort of ‘indirect’ domestic violence without the actual physical violence. This entails a mental violence, psychological/emotional abuse and inner weakness. The kid is left with no choice but to make do with what is before him/her without actually been aware that he/she is being abused. When parents claim too busy in their built ‘kingdoms’ as a means to escape proper feeding of their wards, they let the child grow up with the mentality that he/she is more of a burden than a blessing, leaving these kids chronically depressed and in despair.

In this Lenten season, May we find an avenue to help someone out of despair or give hope to the ones that need it?

Have a great day!

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