Tag Archive: love


Mameh


Hey!
Today’s post is courtesy of yours truly and a deviation from the norm.
Enjoy!

MAMEH

I suddenly remember the little oval scar at my mum’s shoulder. I remember it dark, larvae-like, and memories of how fascinated I had been as a child, of that little oddity makes me smile. When Mameh tied her wrapper to her chest, I’d climb in her laps and sit down, my little hands straying to the scar. I would prod it, pinch it, even attempt to open it which made my mum laugh even though it hurt her. She’d prise my fingers away and tell me to stop touching.

I never could bring myself to ask her the question, intent on discovering for myself the secret of the atypical scar.
One day, I couldn’t hold it in any longer and with the seriousness only a six year old child could muster, I blurted out the question. “Mameh what happened here?”
I remember the small smile that tugged at the corner of her dark, full lips as she  removed my prying fingers for the umpteenth time.
“A nail entered into my back” she said simply and I remember how wide my eyes had gone. I didn’t ask the obvious questions of “How or When?” even though I was burning to.
I was that kind of child.
All I did was absorb this new piece of information in silence as my mind tried to picture the nail Papa had once shown me during one of his DIY repairs, doing the damage.

After minutes of ruminating, my little mind got tired.
“Did it hurt?” I asked finally.
“Of course!” she exclaimed, laughing at the memory as her fingers played with my tough black hair that seemed to tangle at the slightest opportunity.
“Very bad?” I asked again.
“Very bad. It bled a lot.”
Again, I absorbed this new piece of information. The idea of blood gushing out like a fountain I had seen at the amusement park Mameh took me to once made me smile. Again, I had been that kind of child; fascinated with the bizarre.
I inferred at that moment that my mum had cried when she had that injury. I suddenly giggled and my mum looked at me in askance.
I was wondering what her face must have been like when she cried. Did she have catarrh dripping down her nose like I did when I cried as I begged Papa to take me with him on his journey to Yola or when Mameh put vegetables in front of me and forced me to eat the vile greenies?
“You cried mummy!”

Note, this hadn’t been a question. Was it the excitement in my voice or the look of absolute triumph in my fce? She laughed long and hard! I remember her laugh now; unrestrained and full, as if coming from the very pits of her rotund stomach. Her breasts would jiggle against me with the force of exhalation like it did that day.
“No o! I did not cry! Big girls don’t cry!”
Now, I laughed too. She was obviously lying. I didn’t know how I knew this. I just did. It was the glint in her eyes; the glint she had whenever she wanted me to help her ask Papa for money. I was an astute child; Mameh always said I had an uncanny way of ‘knowing’ things. She’d later chide my ‘knowing’ as I got older. “Ask questions! Don’t assume!” Not that I ever see the need to; my assumptions are always right.

My fascination with her scar lessened as I got older. In fact, up until now, I hadn’t thought about that oval scar in years.

I stare at her impassive face now and suddenly, the urge to feel that little mark fills my head. I lick my lips, fighting for control of my fingers. I fight the urge to stretch my hand and push the starched white shirt they’ve put on her and feel her scar like a doctor feels for a tumour. It had been our bonding point.
I giggle as hysteria tries to take chunks out of my mind and I feel my elder brother’s worried stare beside me.
I smile at him. ‘I am fine’ my smile says even though my eyes tell a different story.
I stroke her cool face, marvelling at the mortician’s skills in making her look presentable. She looks almost…alive.
For a second, I thought I saw her lips twitch, the beginning of a smile. I blink quickly and it’s gone.
It is when I feel my brother’s arms around that I realise I had been in tears.
“Big girl don’t cry” I whisper to the woman I loved since the day I ‘knew’ her. “But I am not a big girl… I still want my mummy…”

I hold her hands for a second and feeling the insistent tug from my brother, I decide to move away from the casket, making space for other viewers.
A small song she used to sing comes unbidden to my head and I murmur softly.

“Good night. Good night.
Close your eyes, Keep them safe.
For soon will be morning…”

My voice threatens to break as emotions well up in me, clogging my throat.  I cannot complete the song.
“And you would need them healthy then…” my brother murmurs, finishing the song.
I smile up at him.
“ I’m fine” I tell him again, trembling smile in place.
He pulls me into his arms and hugs  me tight as sudden powerful sobs rack my body.
He murmurs the song over and over again to me, rocking me like a child; just like the way Mameh did when she sang the song to us as children.

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Saving Ruth


Hello!
A damsel brought an interesting story as an offering and today, we feast.
Warm welcome to Oluchi as she takes the helm today!
Enjoy.

SAVING RUTH

I knew that something bad had happened when Melissa barged into our chemistry class agitated, trying to control her stammering as incomprehensible words came pouring out of her mouth. She was trembling and tried to hold herself up, gripping with her left hand a rusty bar handle connected to the wall by the door. Mrs Aide looked up at me, and then at Melissa when her words started to make sense.

“It’s Ru.. Ruth. Sh.. She’s g-g-going to jump! She’s at the roof top and sh-sh-she’s going t-t-to jump!”

It felt like I would have a bowel movement the moment I stood up from the wooden chair I had been plastered to for the past hour, but I fought the urge to run into the restroom for fear of letting another delicate moment slip by. I could feel everybody’s reaction in the room, how their roaming eyes finally came to find solace on me. It’s obvious what I must do, I thought as I made my way quickly through the jam-packed chairs, avoiding the barrage of scouring curious eyes that followed my movement. I fought surprisingly for air which seemed to be lacking in the classroom all of a sudden. It was yet another day, another hour to allow my thoughts be completely overshadowed by Ruth’s being.

I did not bother to catch a glimpse of anyone staring or solicit their help because I knew they would only avoid my gaze like shrinking cowards. Our classmates had become accustomed a caitiff lifestyle when it came to dealing with Ruth, who could now be identified as the girl with “many problems”. They were so completely void of the mental bravery it took to read her foreign character so because it was easier, they avoided her like a deadly taboo instead. Had Ruth not been the type to sit at the back of the class and pay attention to no one but the lines in the books she studied so profoundly, maybe she would have more friends. Had she not been so obsessed with her solitude and launched a safe spot at the very end of the cafeteria to eat quietly like a little mouse, had she been like every other normal girl in class – then maybe they would have embraced her. She was still the smartest girl I had ever met and had a mind so easy to get lost in because it went on forever. After years of having to deal with listening to contents of her suicidal thoughts, I could not believe It was finally coming to reality. (Actually I could, I would be crazy to act surprised). It almost felt like I had waited and primed myself for this day.

The whole class was right behind me as I ran down the hall way and it was certainly not because they cared. Our blue checkered dresses flapped quietly behind us as we made our way down the corridor, shoes click-clacking noisily against the hard concrete floors. I went up the stairs as fast as I could, hoping over extra steps to increase my pace and simultaneously trying to null out the queasy whispering voices behind me. I would have turned around to ask that everyone shut their mouth up had it not been for the way my heart banged with worry and my head spun with confusion. Why would Ruth do this to me today?

I got to the top of the roof and pushed the door open. A generous puff of dust rose and clouded my vision along with that of the twenty other girls behind me. I heard a couple of people cough lightly as I walked right through the wall of dust that stood as a barrier between me and the girl whose body outline I could now make out. Her hair that was neatly cornrowed to the back in five sections glistened against the sunlight and her glasses sat uncomfortable on her nose like an unbalanced see-saw  Her slender neck grew an inch longer when she exhaled nervously and turned around carefully on the constricting cement ridge that created a barrier between the roof and the open 10 feet below us. I studied her skinny body, the way her arms folded across her chest as if she were cold or in want of a hug. Her eyes caught my attention and I remembered the disconcerting nickname she had gotten from our classmates, “the frog princess”. They were an oval bulging of irrevocable beauty that could see past the physical, and so they sat gracefully beneath her dark scruffy eyebrows. I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t come to recognize how unnaturally beautiful her perceived ugly was.

We were both 15 and in high school. She was everything that I wasn’t and that was okay. I had been willing to accept her that way so I wondered for a minute why she would resort to this. Was I not good enough?

I walked up to her and in a bold step of faith raised my arm up, my hand extended as I beckoned for hers with pleading eyes. There was no rue in hers like there usually would be when she talked about self-destruction and made me upset. This time, it was dark and completely flushed. And I could not read it.

“Come down. Please. We can work this out. Whatever it is, we can talk about it. I am here for you.”

“No.” she shook her head slowly and then unfolded her arm, letting them fall to her side before lifting her right arm to show me her wrist. On it were little horizontal scrapes heavy with concealed stories from her past, days when she found comfort in hurting and healing under the cuts of her razor blade. There was a new bruise and I could tell it was barely a day old. The effect of seeing it again made my body feel like it was being pulled down to the earth by gravity.

“Please..” my voice trailed off all of a sudden and I was short of words. It was unusual and very unlikely that something like this would happen to me but I had truly not had anything else to say. Somehow I had managed to use up all the little tricks (I shouldn’t call them tricks) in my books and I was left with nothing. My mind had become a hollow land for little unwanted demons to dance in and I felt like they were mocking me. I felt defeated but I knew that I had to save Ruth again, from herself and from the rest of the world. She would one day prove to them that she was more than just a displaced eldritch; she was smart and funny and could make beautiful rainbows out of skittles.

And so I did what most people would not have expected me to do. I heard Mrs Aide’s midget outcry when I made to climb onto the ridge and stand with Ruth. It was so narrow that I wondered how I would manage to get on there and still maintain a calm conduct. Ruth looked panic-stricken as she watched me mount steadily, my whole body a spiral of trembles. She told me to stop, urged me to go back down. I told her no. I was assertive or at least I tried to sound like it.

“What’s it going to be Ruth? If you’re sure this is what you want, I am one hundred percent on your side. But you gotta be sure. And I’ll do this with you. Like I always promised. I’ll always be here for you.”

“Why are you doing this?” her eyes welled up. “Don’t do this.”

“I would do this, and a whole lot more. I would do anything for you.”

I held on to her for support and hoped the steady physical bond we had now created would grant me some sort of mental stability as well. I was now swimming in a well of trepidation and imagined my classmates to be little starved alligators waiting to devour me. Devour us. Give up now Ruth, i thought to myself. You have to save us now.

I was waiting for her to give in. The whole class was in a bubble of chaos now. I saw a girl, Sarah, fall lazily unto the ground and remain there motionless. It took me a minute to realize she had just fainted. Timid Lara went to the corner of the worn out wall that led back into the school and sat on the floor to cry. There seemed to be a lot of disarray and sensed anxiety from this group that once treated my friend like an unwanted pariah. I wanted to blame them for this and for everything. Mrs Aide was now shouting on the phone, supposedly to a man that identified himself as the head of security. I couldn’t make out her words, I couldn’t make out anyone’s thoughts. I didn’t want to care about anyone of them at that point. I just wanted my friend down and safe.

“I’m tired. I’m tired of it all. I don’t want to live in this world anymore. Please”

The way she begged me to let her do as she pleased, to let her die at the hands of these monsters made me angry. I wanted her to know I was worth staying back for, no matter how selfish that sounded, I wanted her to love me enough to want to be alive for me.

“Then we go together. You and I. We go now. We jump now and all this is over. But you can’t go without me. Do as you please but take me with you.”

Good. I saw her shaking her head and I knew that this would all be over soon. A gentle breeze blew across our faces, and then a little stronger but I clung tight to her and tried not to look down. I could now hear the sound of obnoxious distracting voices from the bottom. I could make out a woman’s deep-chested screaming like a mother hen who just lost her babies. There was a lot of racket around us now from different angles – from every corner that surrounded us. The security guards had arrived, three lousy looking scrawny men charred from the burning rays of our hot sun and sweating like labouring African slaves. They sounded so barbaric that I could not make out a word of what they were saying. My eyes were fixed on Ruth.

“Let’s come down.” she said.

I had agreed. I mean, I remember nodding my head in agreement as a pool of tears finally let loose across my cheeks. I remember squeezing her hands tightly like I would on a sweet juicy orange, trying to relish as much of it as possible. I remember looking right into her eyes, appreciating the love that she had shown me and in return loving my sister more. I remember reaching across to put my hands around her neck — but you see, I shouldn’t have done that. I got lost in the surreality of my our accomplishment that I forgot about the one little detail that should have had me at my toes. Had I not so desperately tried to tune it all out, I wouldn’t have completely disregarded how narrow that ridge had been – how unbelievably hairlike the line between life and death was.

I did lose my balance but I made sure Ruth stayed standing, living. I was fast enough to give her an unfaltering push onto safe grounds when I realized what was happening. As luck would have it, the event seemed to take place in slow motion which gave me enough time to think and realize that every thing happening and yet to happen was as a result of chance. I hadn’t been sure I would fall over the roof to the ground and have my body shattered like a fumbled bowl of overripe tomatoes but I had promised as I shoved Ruth that I would make it in time to save myself before the dilatory period was over. I knew it might or might not happen.

I let myself believe it didn’t matter as I staggered in utter apprehension to regain my balance. I let myself believe that the goal had always been to save Ruth, and it had been accomplished. The last thing I heard was her screeching bawl and my thin outcry. What must have followed when I drifted into complete oblivion were the cries of the hundreds of people that met my body as it landed on the rocky granite with a loud earth-shaking thud.

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And there you have it!
Please the writer has requested for feedbacks on the story so do endeavour to leave comments letting her know what you liked (and didn’t like maybe?).
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Jana!

Day 7 -Black Widow // Erotica


Hey! Today, decided to hand the floor over to @Tarhyel.
Second time here; another beautiful bouquet of poetry.

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Black Widow

She mourns forever, she’s a black widow.

Cursed by Selene the moon goddess herself,

Cast down to earth a plague amongst men.

Beauty divine, reincarnation of an angel;

Heart as black as the flames of hell.

Lecherous appetite for men,

Looks so seductive yet sinister.

She possesses whomever she wants.

A vortex of forbidden pleasures she promises you.

All she asks is your soul in return;

Such a small price to pay for a night with a goddess.

It is but of course not aleatory that her beauty is peaked during the full lunar. nights

She knows Selene sets out to retrieve what rightfully belongs to her,

The soul of a fallen man.

Such agony she feels for she falls in love with every man she lays with,

Listening to the cadence of his last breath.

Eyes sparkle as tears depart from them.

A new day approaches, a curse rekindled

She mourns forever, she’s a black widow.

Erotica

Eyes of burning desire,

 An Angel’s face with a bed devil’s grin.

 As the night swallows the day, thus a tingling sensation engulfs the body.

 I lust for her, I’m in love with my lust.

 Willingly I give in, and let nature take its rightful place.

Fingers run through hair full of lustre,

 Her skin is soft, and her grasp is strong.

 Pleasure finds pain and together they resonate in harmony,

 Ever so luxuriant are her silent screams of ecstasy.

 She is my Erotica, Reason for my Eroticism.

 Intertwined strings of life’s fate has brought us together.

 Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste and Sound of her;

 All five senses elevated to a higher state.

The Uncanny fusion between Man and Woman,

 Two souls have acquired Oneness,

 A higher Consciousness is attained.

 The realm of the physical is no more.

 The essence of free spirit ascending to the heavens,

 Welcomed by the Cosmos,

 And for a split second, I touch the hand of GOD,

 For this feeling of purity can only be Evanescent,

Hence I marvel at her powers,

 And lie in Awe at her unveiled world of enigmatic Beauties.

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And that is it from @Tarhyel for today! A fantastic writer if I might say so myself.
Do leave your comments, we’d appreciate that.
Have a lovely end to the weekday!
Cheers!


Happy Short story day Africa! In honor of today’s celebrations, I decided to try a challenge, I put my phone of shuffle and wrote flash fiction around the themes of the first four songs that played. (Scout’s honor, I didn’t cheat, lol). So here are the stories, 120 words or less.

Come Away With Me – Norah Jones

I’ll sit by the last stoop, and wait. I won’t mind the rain that trickles and turns my hair into droopy strings or the cold that makes my bones chatter, and wait. I’ll keep my eyes away from the beautiful horizon filled with grey clouds that glow and flash with lightning and keep my eyes on the muddy path, and wait. I’ll notice the shoes that splatters mud on the other travellers and then the pants, glued to beautiful legs by the rivulets of rain water, the outline of shoulders and your frantic eyes looking out for me, and I’ll smile. I will elope, with no one but you.

Love Will Tear Us Apart – Nerina Pallot.

Our bed holds no warmth, my pillow is soaked with tears. You sleep so soundly, I’m a little envious. How do you sleep through my crying every night? The baby’s sniffling in the other room but I can’t hear him. What have you done to me? What have you turned me into? I clutch my pillow over my face and sob. You stir and turn towards me, and then you sigh when you see me crying. You leave the bed and walk to the other room to comfort your child. Your child, because post-partum depression has robbed me of the joy of being a mother.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday – Paramore

They’re all running, left, right, jumping across the gutters away from the tarred road. I want to follow but my legs are too short. Mama always used to help me across but now I can’t find her. I start to run along the street, there’s a plank down the road that I can use to cross. I can hear sirens but I don’t know where its coming from. Where’s mama? Mama oh, where are you? Boom! Gun! Oh God! Mama? Mama? I’m almost at the plank. Thank God! I start crossing and stop when I see it. Not an it, a him, inside the gutter, bent over with blood all over his shirt. I scream!

There for you – Flyleaf

What is she doing here? How did this happen under our noses? The nurse leading us to the room whispers that we shouldn’t be afraid, everyone here is under the appropriate drugs, they won’t harm us. She looks so knowledgable in her white shift, not like our check pinafores that single us out as amateur nursing students. Still I can’t help shuddering when they look at me from the small windows in their doors, and feeling bad that I think of them as less than human. She opens the door and points to the bald thing curled up in the corner of the room.
“That’s your friend.” She says.

X for Ada


I watch her approach and stand up immediately, even though I know she hasn’t noticed me yet. I watch her meander her way past children playing on the field, laughing as she clumsily kicks a ball that made its way to her. I can’t help but smile.
Big baby.
She finally sees me and waves in excitement, almost stumbling as she runs with her black shoes on uneven grass.
“Hey!” She says, laughing and falling into the wooden seat, trying to catch her breath.
“Still as unfit as ever eh?” I taunt, chuckling as she sticks out her tongue at me in petulance.
“Sit down jo meanie!” She says as she pats the wooden bench, smiling. I sit back down, maintaining a little distance between us. It is only appropriate. She busies herself with unclipping her grey scarf and I take the time to admire her profile. Her long ‘British’ nose as I used to call it, dark pink lips pursed in concentration as she unveils her lovely black hair tied roughly into a bun. Memories of our make-out sessions come unbidden and her murmuring brings me back to the present.
“Weather’s too hot for this thing you know!”
I smile as she sighs in satisfaction, draping the scarf on the bench.
She smiles at me.
“Long time no see! You look great!”
It hasn’t been that long; just over 5 months.
“You too. Beautiful as ever.”
She laughs out loud in her usual asinine fashion. We always joked about how her donkey laugh would earn her a place in a barn. I smile.
“How are you? Work? How’s Ada!”
Work’s good. Got a promotion. My sister’s great. Still asks after you. I watch her brown eyes dance in interest at all I have to say. She had always been a good listener.

“So, how are you doing yourself?” I steer the conversation back to her. She was a talker so I let her ramble on.
I tune her out and watch her body language. I try comparing the new her to the old girl I fell in love with, time ago. Had there been any changes or is five months still too short a time?
Asides the attire and the lack of any trace of make up, nope…not really.
“Are you happy?” I suddenly blurt out, interrupting her lurid description of a particularly nasty boil she had on her behind .
“Of course I am Nino! What kind of question is that!”
She shifts her voluminous grey skirt, pretending to be upset but I can see her mischievous smile playing slowly across her lips.
Without any thoughts or warning, I bridge the gap between us, cup her face in my palms and drop a hard kiss on her lips.
This time, she’s really upset. She pushes at my chest slightly, taking her face away.
“You shouldn’t have done that you know. And we are in public as well!”
I should feel chastised but I don’t. I’m glad I kissed her. I apologise anyway and after a few minutes of cajoling and teasing, the frown lines that marred her smooth honey brown forehead disappears and she punches me playfully.
“Nonsense boy!”

Sins forgiven, we fill up the silence with banalities. She doesn’t have access to the television or internet so I regale her with the latest updates. I notice she hasn’t brought back the distance between us on the bench. I am glad. We are soon lulled into a comfortable silence. I stare out at two young children skipping. I can feel her eyes on me. I wonder what she sees. In what light does she view me now? Nino, the ex-lover or Nino, the friend.

She asks me a question and I turn to her. She’s staring down at her ugly black shoes, kicking at a clump of grass.
How are you?
How does she think I am? Broken, battered and sore from the heart ache. Of course I don’t tell her this.
I shrug, smiling a little. She looks up and smiles back, her beauty hits me anew. Her lopsided smile.
I reach forward and she instinctively draws back. Undeterred, I lean in and drop a kiss on her gorgeous full lips; a soft one this time. She hardens them but I continue probing slowly until she yields and softens up. She’s finally kissing me back. She sucks a little on my lower lip, sighing as I gently caress her upper lip with my tongue. She runs her fingers across my neck,eliciting a little groan from me.
That snaps her back to the present.
She jumps up in embarrassment.
“I’m sorry! Um I must be going now Nino. Mass.”
Without waiting for a reply, she beats a hasty retreat.
“Ada!” I jump up and shout.
She turns reluctantly.
“Your wimple” I say with a sad smile as I watch the comical expression of surprise and dismay on her face as she rushes back and collects it from me.
“Bye” she whispered as she turns her back and walks away.
“Bye” I mouth to myself.

I watch her meander her way past the soccer kids again, her iron cross dangling on her slightly creased white shirt, long skirt playing peek-a-boo with her ankles. I feel the little box poke my thigh and without breaking contact with her retreating back, I bring it out. My hands caress the familiar velvety box I bought five months ago.
I was going to propose that night. The night she told me she’d decided to join the convent; the night she left our little love nest without a backwards glance. For how long had she planned it? Why had I been blind?
I knew she had her personal demons and I was sure proposing to her was going to get her to open up to me, finally. I so wanted to offer her the peace she craved. Fate had other ideas though. I had my girlfriend snatched by God. ‘Who can battle with the Lord’ I ask whimsically in my head.
My fingers run expertly around the curved edges of my little companion. I carried my box everywhere with me since that night. A symbol of our love? Perhaps a symbol of love unrequited or just a stupid buoy for a drowning man.

It had taken a lot of letters to her Mother Superior, to bring her to the park today. Four months worth of correspondence. I wonder why she decided to finally see me today. I won’t be so conceited to think that she misses me even though I miss her terribly. The house has been too silent without her.

I watch her almost stumble and laugh out loud despite myself.
Big baby.
Crazy nun.
Just how were they coping with her?
She finally disappears and I sigh.
I’m not too sad though.
She isn’t happy; despite her outward bubbly character. She never was a good liar.
She said she was happy but her eyes begs to differ. They didn’t do their usual dance of excitement. They went still.
I smile a little, pocketing my little black, velvety, box friend.
There still might be hope.
I just have to be patient.
A ball sails towards me and I skillfully head it back to the rambunctious boys.
“You children better watch how you kick this thing!”

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Thank you Joey Parker for the inspiration 🙂 ({})

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