Cute is

When someone just wakes from sleep.

Disoriented about reality.

Not sure.

What is reality?

The one they just stepped into.

The one they just stepped out from.

Tabula Rasa

I love the blank screen, that empty piece of paper. I’m not afraid of square one’s. What scares me is the act of continuing. I don’t want to get too comfortable, it makes me itch. Still, is not for me, I need to move. So, I don’t mind if I move back to Genesis, I’m at home in it.

A new start, another chance, but we only get this one life.

Flatlined

It was a beautiful evening yesterday, but this morning, I still couldn’t like him. I would have pushed a pillow to his face, after all these years, he still didn’t snore, bore. Without questioning my thoughts, I threw the covers off me and checked the bedside clock. Midday. With a deep breath, I got up and went to the bathroom.

That had become my habit since I turned 25, seven years later I got married to the man on my bed. The bathroom had become my shrine because water calms me like no other, not today, I didn’t want to be calm.

Dark circles around my eyes, lines around my mouth. I could hardly recognize myself, what had happened, I thought I was happy. Friday was our 10th year wedding anniversary and the weekend was supposed to be ‘ours’. Our children, Anie and Eromi were at their cousins in Lekki. What is happening. I closed my eyes and the thoughts in my head, they didn’t go away. I picked up my toothbrush and suddenly felt dizzy. Steadying myself by putting my left hand on the wash bowl, I looked at the mirror. 10years of fatigue and pain came down my cheeks, it was all too clear now, the end had come.

The Schism of The Night

I had seen the hair before, dark, wiry and tied at the nape, falling down his back. The glasses too. Even the songs he danced to, I felt like I knew him. This time we stood close together. I had only two stops from the station, and I remembered his stop from the opposite direction was the one before mine but not tonight. I still don’t know why I was stood facing him. I usually looked at the back doors of the bus, getting ready to step out at any moment but here I was, facing him and trying to pretend. It was a sort of visual enjoyment, so personal that I didn’t know what to do when he smiled at me.

The bus stopped and I got into the cold night, fumbling with my gloves to prove I was concerned about the weather but I was very warm indeed. I heard footsteps, I didn’t dare to look back. I knew his stop was the next one, he couldn’t be…

I heard the steps quicken and I responded, quickening mine. I turned right, into the street that led to my house and then I saw myself turn. He stopped and smiled. There was no one about except the big yellow moon and the little ‘ol fox going through people’s trash. There were no words either but I came apart that moment. Only in that moment was I able to follow and I did.

The Robber

It was cold as usual but sunny and I was wearing my new hat. When we walked into the shop, it was empty except for the man behind the till who was preoccuppied with a newspaper. I asked him for tape so I could secure the contents of the package I was about to send. My friend kept perusing the goody racks.

While waiting for my receipt, someone walked into the shop but all I was thinking was not to miss the next bus. My hat fell. Bending to reach for it, time slowed. The side of my left eye caught the woman crouched down rummaging through her bag, her frame and grey hair, spare .  I saw the glint of metal but it never registered.

It didn’t happen fast. The moments stood in the shop, our hands above our heads were the slowest I’d ever experienced. She took the money and walked away. We were traumatized, but that’s to put it lightly, no one wants to be killed on a sunny Saturday morning and by an old lady.

Empathy

I was in pain, she was looking at me. Anyone would have looked at me; I was doubled over touching my stomach and we were the only ones in the carriage. She tried to smile, I smiled back and then she mumbled something. ‘I’m sorry?’ I asked ‘Are you ok?’ she said, louder. I smiled, and shook my head, ‘No’, ‘Something you eat?’ Not a native English speaker, I thought. ‘No’ I replied, gritting my teeth then I sat up. ‘You’ll be fine’ she muttered and I immediately thought ‘I hope you will be, I hope you will be fine’

The Birthday Song

I was barely a teenager when my parents left me with my uncle and his family. At the time, I thought my holiday had just been extended. When my uncle told me I was going to start school, I asked for my parents. It was the only thing I had thought to say but they had crossed the ocean and I wouldn’t see them for 10years.

They missed a lot in my life. My first day in secondary school, high school they call it here, my first girlfriend and ‘the talk’. My high school graduation, my freshman years, my college graduation. When I won scholarships, when I played football games…but they never missed one thing.

My parents  will call tomorrow to sing Happy Birthday for the 20th time.

Quiet

‘Quiet’ surely cannot exist in Nigeria. Not where generators rent the air, turning every square meter pandemonious but I had never been inside a Hammam. The idea, all the things I had read…I was looking forward to the experience.

My friend and I registered ourselves at the front desk and waited for a chaperon to the dressing quarters. We were then offered robes and a key for lockers to put all our belongings in. While waiting for my friend in my robe I took to observing all the details of the space. On the locker doors were white sheets of paper with various instructions. While reading, it mentioned severally how serene the place was. Oh how lovely, I thought, should be amazing.

50mins later we were sat in the lounge, resting with cups of ginger tea. I turned to my friend, Serene? I shouted, the generators drowning the sound of her laughter.

One Pound.

Metropolitan line, 9:21am. I was reading the Metro Newspaper on my iPad, already settled in and glad that my transfer time had been less than 5 mins. Then came a boy or a young man, depending on where you are standing, down the aisle of the train. I looked up briefly wondering what he was doing walking up and down on the moving train.

Next thing I know, he sets down a note and a pack of pocket handkerchiefs. The note went “I am a poor man” I looked at the boy as he went past me, again “I have no father and I have two brothers to take care of” it continued. Many moons ago, I would have paid this no mind “He’s probably going to use the money to buy drugs or something” I would have thought, glad that I hardly carried cash on me. This time, I had very different thoughts and I had a pound.

Automatic

Grasses and green foxes stumble upon the sky, to patch a tree and bring us figs. Flesh and stone is still alive. Wild skies and summer fruits bring to the fore a still long breeze, fresh and clean.

You will be clean.

You need this.