Momma don’t cry

The police say we have to wait forty-eight hours before we can report him as missing. Momma is miserable, he’s never not come back home. He kept very late nights but he always came back home, always. She asks for my laptop to design a missing person’s poster. She needs my help to do that. Momma’s eyes are swollen and I can’t tell if it’s from the crying or from the last time he hit her. There is a knock at the door and then a paper slides through from under it. I open the door but there’s no one there. “Who is that?” momma asks, her voice laced with hope that it is him. “No one,” I reply. I show her the paper. “That’s his handwriting!” she exclaims on seeing the words written on the paper. “Go on with your life. Don’t look for me,” the words read. Momma stared at the piece of paper in disbelief, and then as if something changed she made for the door. She made it out of the yard looking left and right along the road. She was looking for the delivery man. It must have been him, I am sure she thought. “He’s gone, come back inside,” I said to her. She obliged, tracking in fresh sand from the yard into the sitting room as she did. I comforted her until she fell asleep. The police phoned asking if we’d found him and I said we had. But the truth is he was never lost, just sleeping in the ground of the yard, and momma would have noticed the freshly upturned soil she walked across if she wasn’t too busy looking for the wife-beater. At least now he’s always home.
Momma is sleeping so peacefully. The plan worked, but I still need to pay the delivery man. He’s a loose end; I should kill him too.

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Timeline

It’s 1983 and there’s talk on the television about a new disease that’s wiping out the homosexuals. “Finally, God decides to punish them,” you say. But what do you know about God or punishment? You’d just lain with your seventh girl that month; in fact she still lay under the covers of your bed as you listened intently to the reporter. “Gay Related Immunodeficiency Disease aka GRID” the reporter says the disease is called. You smile as you get ready for work knowing that there is a living God and you worship him.
It is a Monday morning and you get to the office right on time, but Clarice is already on her seat. You wonder for the hundredth time how she does it; she’d never missed a day of work and she’s never late. Then there is the fact that she’s turned you down, repeatedly. You hate her, and yet you love her. Today she wore her blue skirt, the one that fits better than her skin does, and so you spend every spare minute you get stealing glances at her, knowing that you will never know her the way you want to. After work you drive by the bar looking to find company to warm your sheets. If you couldn’t have Clarice you might as well have all the other women in the world, you figure.
It’s 1990 and you’re the regional manager of the firm and you’re getting old. Old enough to know that you want someone to come home to, old enough to know that you want kids. But old habits die hard, and you wake up every morning with a girl whose name you didn’t bother to ask still lying in your bed. “I need to settle down,” you mutter to yourself like you do every other morning.
It is a Tuesday and you arrive work by twelve noon because you’re your own boss. You could’ve just taken the day off if you wanted to, but you needed to see Clarice. You had finally made up your mind. She was on the top floor now, in her own office. You ask her out again, the seventh time by your reckoning. But this time it’s different, you have long term plans and she sees that. She says yes.
It’s the year 1995 and you just moved into your recently completed house. You, your wife – Clarice – and all three children of yours are very happy. Clarice is worried, you seem to have lost a lot of weight in the past months. “It’s probably nothing,” you say to her. Soon after, the cough starts and when you see blood on your handkerchief you realise that it’s not nothing.
The doctor must be a quack, you think to yourself. He says you have AIDS, that’s what they are calling GRID these days. You visit five more hospitals and quacks seem to have infiltrated the entire healthcare system. You leave the country in search of real doctors, but even they have the same thing to say. Your family is tested and they all have the disease. You buy the medicines; you read that with proper medication you can live a normal life.
It’s 1996 and as you draw your last breath you curse God. How could he be so cruel? If only he’d given you a sign, if only you’d known. You look at your youngest child and you know that she’s going to die before she even lives. “ I hate you,” you say to God just before you meet him.

Karma

“Madam na weekend we dey. No bail. Come back on Monday.” The metal bars of the prison cell shook with the deputy’s voice. I saw the dissapointment on my mother’s face, but it was background to the real emotion that played on her features – fear. Her son was going to spend two nights in a prison cell, and she would not sleep or eat for as many nights. Suddenly, my own fear lessened in comparison and I felt shame wash over me.

Tunde was passed out on the floor. His parents didn’t even know he was in a prison cell. I tried to rouse him. We had to keep our wits about us, especially now that it was almost night. He didn’t wake.

The metal bars shook again, “Tobi I will be here first thing Monday morning,” my mother called out as two officers forcefully escorted her from the counter. With my mother gone, and with her any hope of bail, reality dawned on me. I gripped the prison bars and pulled, half hoping that I would pull them free from the ground, but all I got for my trouble were sore palms. I fell to the ground, drained of hope. Tunde stirred and I turned to see if he was awake, but he wasn’t. He’d had too much to drink. I scanned the rest of the cell for the other inmates but darkness answered my enquiry. It was night and they had retreated to the recesses of the cell, hiding in the dark like the evil men I had no doubt they were. I could remember quite a few of them from before it got dark. There was a fat one whose neck seemed to pour from under his head, and he sat on a stool near the back of the cell. A boy, no younger than Tunde and I, stood next to him. There was also a muscular one with a tattoo on his arm.

I sat by the bars, with Tunde on the floor next to me, and tried to recall what had happened. I had also had some alcohol and my memory was foggy. The past kept coming to me in patches. I remembered I was in the car when Tunde brought in Angela to the backseat. That was all. The next thing I remembered was Tunde and I being arrested.

I heard a grunt, and then another. The sounds emerged from the darkness and soon the cell filled with a foul stench. My guess was one of the inmates was taking a shit. The smell replaced the air in my lungs and my breath smelled of shit. My eyes even watered. I turned, facing outside of the cell, with my head between two iron bars. The air was fresher on that side. I closed my eyes and I remembered a little more.

Tunde was beginning to force himself on Angela when I left the car.

What was I thinking? I should have stopped him, or at least not let him do it in my car. I tried to remember some more, but I got nothing. Tunde stirred again and I turned to look, but he wasn’t awake. It was the fat man and the boy. The boy put a finger across his lips and mouthed, “shush.” My muscles froze. The fat man turned Tunde onto his stomach and stooped over him. He pulled down Tunde’s trousers revealing his buttocks, and then he started to pull down his own when he turned to me and smiled showing blood red teeth. “You’re next,” he said.

Quicksand

Your love is quicksand
Swallowing all that falls into it
I am knee high into you
Still your your fingers reach for my head

Your love is quicksand
Never letting go
I hate you
Still you love me

Your love is quicksand
Trapping all that steps into it
My shoes were Gucci
But one wrong step, and they became yours.

Your love is quicksand
For better, for worse
I’ve had enough
But until death do us part

Beast

I sink my teeth into your skin soft
Claw your hair from your scalp
Taste your sweat on my tongue
Feel your heat on my skin
Swim in the eddies of your blood
And drink your soul
Because I am a beast and you you’re my lair.

My eyes are crimson with lust
A sin I gladly indulge
The savage awakens in me
To kill and destroy
Its sole purpose

Sparks fly at your touch
Currents flow from your lips
Your fullness a sickness I crave
And your bosom a cradle I desire

Sink your teeth into me
Claw my hair from its roots
Taste my sweat on your tongue
Feel my heat on your skin
Swim in the eddies of my blood
And drink my soul
For you are a beast and I am your lair.

LONLINESS

Loneliness cut a wound into my soul.
It festered and killed me further.
But there’s only so much eating away that can be done before everything gets exhausted, even eternity.
So, I laid here, without a soul. A masterpiece of lonliness’
And who would find me but you, a goddess, promising to revitalise my non – existent soul.
I warned that even you in all your glory couldn’t save me.
But you would have none of that. And so you proceeded to make a new soul for me. Forming it with kindness and love.
Sadly, your patience ran out. Turns out it takes longer to create a soul than you thought.
And like that, without even as much as a goodbye note, you abandoned me.
And now lonliness eats at my fragmental soul with even more fury than it did my original one.

Thoughts on a Low Day.

On Love
Love is weakness,
The kind only the strong know.
Just ask God, surely he knows.

When I feel how I feel
Anger, simmering and caustic
Sadness, deep and low
Both mixed in the brew that afflicts my soul.

I wish
I wish I was fearless
I wish I was bold
I wish I was courageous like the men in the stories I am told

Tell me it’s Okay
Tell me it’s okay to be weak
Tell me it’s okay to be vulnerable
Tell me it’s okay to be poor
Tell me it’s okay to want more
Tell me it’s beautiful that I cry, even though I am a man
Tell me it’s okay to be who I am

Baptism

Yay! Thank you for opeadedeji putting up my story on the 30writers blog.

30writers

#4

The fourth piece in this series is a short story brought to us by Kingsley Okpii. He is a fourth year medical student of the University of Nigeria. In between his ridiculously busy programme, he finds time to write. He writes about everything that crosses his mind. You can find these at www.kingsleysays.wordpress.com

In his short story called baptism, Kingsley relates the change in Nigeria’s governance to Spiritual Baptism.

Enjoy.

The night is chilly so I savour every moment the hot water spends slithering down my bare body. The school bathroom seems darker tonight; I’m not scared. Darkness does not scare us in this part of the world. Darkness is the paint we colour ourselves with, it is in our thoughts most of the time, and frequently it is in our houses thanks to NEPA.

The other bathroom stalls are empty, no one obviously likes to bathe late in…

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SCREAM

“That was your teacher,” he says before he drops the phone, she’s concerned that you haven’t been in school.” He chuckles at his use of good english and then continues, “all these busybody teachers of nowadays. Wetin be her business?” He laughs some more. “But you sef, why you no go school?” He asks as he pulls me by my hair. I let out a yelp; the bruise on my scalp begins to water. The liquid from my head mixed with my blood trickle down my face, and finds it’s way to the sides of my mouth, I taste it. He yanks harder and I let out another yelp, this time I make sure it’s loud enough for my madam to hear it from the kitchen. I am sure she does.

“You no fit talk?” He lands a slap on my cheek. I taste more blood. Still, I do not answer. I see his readied fist just before my madam walks into the room with a tray of food. She unintentionally saves me this one time – I see him drop his fist.

He leaves me to face his meal and I slither out of the room.

My madam walks in, my presence startles her.

“Your food is in the pot. Don’t tell him I fed you o!” She whispers.

I ignore her and head for the door that leads out of the kitchen.

I conceal what I have in my hands as she tries to see it and then I drop it into the sink.

“What was that?” She sounds angry. “Papa Chinelo come and see O!” She pushes me aside and attempts to pull open the door, but it doesn’t move. It’s locked and the key is somewhere in the piping system. She yanks and yanks at the knob some more. He joins her from the other side.

I manage to let out a “why?” Which doesn’t get her attention as much as the knife in my hands does. He continues banging on the door from the other side. It’s perfect, the noise drowns her screams.

We’re  all that’s left now, Papa Chinelo and I.

He’s stopped banging on the door, everything’s quiet. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks the door, but don’t worry. When it starts I won’t scream. I promise

To Embrace Permanence

“Come to me,” I think I heard it say. With wide spread arms it begs for an embrace every day from on high. I am tempted to ask if it will give me rest like Jesus promised he would. 
The book says test every spirit, so I am tempted to go to it, but I fear the permanence of that decision.
Drunk with knowledge and success I finally understand the words of the preacher – “All under the sun is vanity.” I tell you, there is no truer truth than this.
“I am not like the rest. Try me.” It murmurs ever so softly from on high.
“He speaks the truth,” she joins in, “we are not like the rest. Try us.”
I would heed their unearthly advice, but I am tethered to the earth by the feebly beating heart of the bone of my bones.
In my sleep she slithers around my neck and adorns it like a necklace and it picks her up like a jeweler would an expensive piece. All is set, but they tarry – my consent is the key.
The morning brings with it the troubles of the night.
“She gave up the ghost deep in the night,” the man draped in white skin says through the phone. The day melts into darkness and again she adorns my neck and he holds her up.
“You promise you will give me rest?” I ask.
“Indeed, we do,” comes the answer. All is set – my consent is the key – yet, I tarry.

Piiking.

All I need – a length of rope, a ceiling fan, and the courage to be free forever.

Lol, wickedly suicidal piece. I hope you enjoyed it.