Your Stories. My Stories. Our Stories. Please forward all enquiries to seunodukoyaofficial@gmail.com.

Posts tagged “romance

“…and of these three…Love”

 

 

I’m at one bus stop in Lagos; along Ikorodu Road to be exact. The clock on my dashboard shows 6:09. There’s a spot of traffic, even though it’s so early. I resist the urge to slam a tired fist into the steering wheel and instead, look outside the window on the far side of the car.

 

It’s after six on a weekday morning after all; the streets are awake. All sorts of people bustle back and forth, most having left the warm comfort of their beds for the pre-sunlight cold morning, chasing the more-elusive-than-ever naira. My stare lingers on…and stops on a woman standing on the curb a few meters away from me.

 

In the light from several headlights she’s easy to see, but there’s something about her that makes her easy to watch. She’s light-skinned, petite, well-built, nothing excessive, comfortably round in the right places. She looks like Elsie before Elsie looked like Elsie.

 

The thing that makes me stare; however is her smile. It’s bright without being blinding; effusive without being superficial. She wears it with style, as naturally as armpits wear hair. It’s the kind of smile Beyonce smiles when she and Jay hug. The kind of smile J Lo had in those pictures with Drake. The kind the girls in pictures with Deoye always have on…

 

You know; that smile.

 

Her lips are moving; for a second it looks like she’s saying something to me (even though she isn’t looking at me). And then, I realize; she’s on the phone.

 

I lip-read to a small extent; snatches of her conversation come to me. Words like ‘tonight’ ‘eat out’ ‘later’ ‘stress’ ‘office palaver’ are beautifully formed by her mouth, she talks rapidly so it’s hard enough already. Ambient noise fades away, along with the honking of horns and humming of restrained vehicles. It’s almost too easy to imagine who’s on the other end of the phone; the husband on his way to his own point of commerce sharing an intimate moment with the wife he can’t seem to get enough of, the faraway boyfriend who goes to sleep when she goes to work, or maybe she’s sleeping with her sister’s husband –

 

My mind wanders into a few ‘darker’ possibilities; consciously I restrain and tell it to leave well enough alone. I like the idea of the faraway boyfriend best; I start to toy with –

 

Loud honking and yells alert me to the fact that vehicles are moving. Calmly, I take my foot off the brake and allow the car surge forward, waving my apologies to the danfo behind me. I drive away from that spot but her face – or rather, the look on her face stays with me. It’s a look I want to put on the face of the woman I love for the rest of her life, a look I want for everyone I care about. It’s a look that makes my chest full, and I have to sigh to relieve the pressure. It’s a look that makes me believe in something other than myself; a look I’m sure makes Sango sit on his fiery throne and call to the other gods; “Abeg una go fit help? Dis one pass me o.”

 

It’s a look that, for the moment takes my mind away from my cold and lonely bed in a grim, humorless apartment in a light-less neighborhood, off the 145 naira price of fuel – and makes me think; instead of the warmth another human being carries on the inside, a warmth that blesses you if you’re fortunate enough to find someone willing to share theirs with you. It’s a look that makes light of darkness and makes a joke of time, of death, of sickness and sadness.

 

It’s a look that tells me; as loudly as the thoughts in my head; “You are not alone.”

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

#WeInTheKitchen #WeStayChefing #SomethingWarmYourWayComes

 

 

Advertisements

How FRSC Helped Me Get The Girl

 

How FRSC Helped Me Get The Girl

 

I mean, who would have thought?

 

I had a date a few hours ago, so I cleaned up and freshened. It’s been a while I have been on any of those, so I might have applied too much cologne. A few minutes in the car and I knew I smelt like a corpse.

 

But I looked good and I knew it.

 

Besides, I was desperate to make an impression. The person I had a date with had reason to not like me – I had stood her up twice already.

 

Yeah yeah, I’m an asshole. Is it today?

 

But it wasn’t intentional. I just have this unpleasant habit of forgetting things like that – because I was committed to not being involved with anyone emotionally. So I would enjoy the company, smile politely, makes plans to meet –

 

And promptly forget about it.

 

I didn’t want a repeat. And I like her.

 

Kubura, I mean.

 

Anyways, there I was o, driving along Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Usher crooning from the speakers, traffic free and all of that. In fact, I was shouting along to Usher’s ‘My Boo’ when I noticed an FRSC vehicle had cut into the lane in front of me. Before you could say ‘Road Safety’ I was flagged down.

 

I stopped, smiling confidently. I had all my particulars, I was wearing my safety belt (very unusual, but then women can make me do unusual things) – in fact I was grinning. When the marshal came up to my window, he was taken aback.

 

“Hello, officer. You want to see my papers, right?”

 

He smiled back (I have a charming smile; I’ve been told) and shook his head. “No o – not really. Your left side rear tire is wobbling, and at the speed you were going – “ He shook his head. “I just need to examine your tire expiration dates.”

 

Immediately I knew I was in trouble.

 

He turned and went to the rear of the car. Hastily I unbuckled my seat belt and exited the vehicle at the same time another marshal, a Kingpin-looking woman came out of their vehicle. I must have looked like her runaway husband because she snapped; “Oga! Let me see your particulars!”

 

I squeezed my mouth but said nothing; I just leaned into the car, opened the pigeonhole and handed the folder to her. Before she asked, I took out my cardholder and gave her my license.

 

And then, I went to look for the other guy.

 

He was crouched beside the front passenger tire, shaking his head. When he saw me approach he said; “This tire expired last year June. You should have changed it since.”

 

I was just about to express my ignorance when the woman bellowed; “Oga! Come here o, you’re driving with an expired license!”

 

Indeed it was – 23-06-2016.

 

She handed everything back to me but held on to the license. “Oya, enter his car,” she said to the tire-detector guy. “Alausa, straight!”

 

We were at Ogudu.

 

They had me. As I made to climb inside my car, I remembered my date. Kubura!

 

Quickly I pulled out my phone and dialed her number. It was Ngozi who answered; “We’re sorry, the number you’re calling is not able to receive calls…”

 

Impatiently I disconnected and tried again. Same Ngozi.

 

At the third try I got so incensed I yelled into the phone; “Don’t you have anything better to do?!”

 

The man beside me spoke dryly, “Oga, ah, ashually I do o. Plenty sef.”

 

I smiled half-heartedly. “Ashually, I wasn’t talking to you.” Gunning the engine, I started to put the car and in drive. And then I remembered what Kubura said to me when I called her the day yesterday;

 

“Shey you know third time’s the charm? If you like, don’t come.”

 

I looked at the man beside me and turned off the engine. He looked at me curiously.

 

“Bros, I cannot lie to you, there’s somewhere important I need to be. While I cannot ask you not to do your job – especially since madam is the one giving orders, I don’t know if you can help me.”

 

I started to explain my predicament to him – and then his phone rang.

 

He took the call and started speaking. “No o ma, he’s cooperating o. It’s just – maybe you should come, ma.”

 

There was some more talking and then he hung up. At the same time, the shotgun door of their car opened and out she climbed. I couldn’t hold back a chuckle as the car rose several inches. And then she was barreling towards me so I swallowed it.

 

“Yes, oga what is the problem?” She asked, frowning heavily. I wanted to point out that the frown didn’t help her looks at all – but I need her on my side. So quickly I explained the situation to her. The more I explained, the heavier her frown got. When I finished, she looked at me, sniffed and said;

 

“So it is because you want to go and meet gehl, that’s why you baff in perfume? You’re now gentle now. Anyway, are you suggesting that we let you go?”

 

I shook my head and smiled my most charming. “At all ma,” I said. “I’m just saying you can allow Officer..” I looked at his name tag. “…Officer Jimi follow me so I can make my excuses to the girl. And then, I will surrender the car and myself.”

 

She wrinkled her nose. “And where is this place?”

 

“Yaba ma.”

 

“Ehn? Yaba! You think you’re sharp, shebi? Or is it that you think we’re jobless?”

 

“I think nothing of the sort, ma. I was just – “

 

“Oga, leave story with that your ashawo smile. Don’t worry – we will follow you. And if there is no gehl – “ She shook her head and I could see she was already feeling sorry for me. “…if there is no gehl, you will be sadder than Hilary Clinton.”

 

I wanted to ask if it was her daughter that told her about Hilary losing the election because I’m sure she couldn’t have found out for herself; I was that upset. But caution overcame my recklessness; caution and the need to see Kubura. I watched as she walked off, got into the car and signaled me to follow.

 

It was surreal; me driving to a date escorted by the FRSC – but there was no way around it. I persisted trying Kubura’s number while Officer Jimi did his best to look sympathetic. A couple of times I could see he wanted to ask me questions so I frowned heavily and mumbled underneath my breath.

 

That discouraged him alright.

 

We were at Jibowu when my phone started ringing. I looked at the caller ID, it was Kubura. Quickly I connected the call.

 

“Hello?” I said. Fortunately, my phone is connected to my car speakers so my companion was as much a part of the conversation as I was.

 

“Where are you? Have you stood me up again? I swear – “

 

“Excuse me ma, calm down,” Officer Jimi interrupted her. “He got in some trouble with the FRSC, that’s what delayed him. But we’re on our way to you now.”

 

There was silence from the other end of the phone – and then, a subdued Kubura spoke; “’We’? Who is that with you?” And then, her voice became heavy with worry. “Are you in trouble, babe?”

 

She called me babe.

 

“Nothing I can’t handle. Can you do me a small favor?”

 

“Anything,” she said.

 

We were now driving into Yaba proper. “I am about three minutes away. Would you mind terribly waiting outside? I don’t want to walk in there looking for you alongside three marshals. I just want to see you – and then go with them.”

 

“Oh – Okay, I will.”

 

“Thank you,” I said. “See you shortly.” And hung up.

 

From the corner of my eye I looked at Officer Jimi. His face was just as unconcerned as a corpse at a burial- I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. Sighing softly, I followed the blue and white car into the street that would take me to the e-centre.

 

There was space out in front, and so as I was easing in line behind the car, I spotted my date, Kubura, looking like Agbani Darego when she became Ms. World. She wore a black dress that clung to her without being form-fitted, and I wondered if I was in my right mind all this while, standing up someone like that.

 

I had barely opened the door before she hugged me. “Are you okay?” she asked breathlessly. “Shey they didn’t – they didn’t do anything to you, did they?” She was peering at my face and body.

 

I smiled. “I think you’re mistaking them for another uniform-wearing agency,” I said. “Such is not their way.”

 

I didn’t know madam had gotten out of their car and was standing beside us till she spoke; “So you’re the one he’s coming to meet, ehn?” She looked Kubura over critically. “I can see why he would forget his license has expired. Make sure he renews it before you marry him.”

 

“Ye…yes ma,” Kubura stuttered as Madam shoved my license at me. “Take and take care of her! Jimi!”

 

Jimi hurried up. “Yes ma?”

 

“Move out!”

 

Jimi smiled at me. “Buy a new tire too, bros.”

 

And I swear, just like a military something, they marched after each other, got back in their car and drove off. Kubura and I stood there for a minute staring after them.

 

And then, she took my hand.

 

“So you came to see me despite…” She let her words trail off.

 

“Well, I was determined to correct my last two impressions – and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.”

 

She held my hand tightly and leaned her head on my shoulder as we started to walk into the E-centre. “Ehen, mummy told me not to like a writer o. They can sweet talk for Nigeria,” she said, smiling.

 

“Well, there is hope for both of us now. You see, just before I left the house I stopped writing. Right now, I am a storyteller.” I looked down at her. “Shey you want me to tell you the story of your beauty?”

 

She replied – but it wasn’t with words.

 

You might have seen us – if you were around Ozone to see Dr. Strange today, you would have seen a couple behaving as though they were the only ones in the country. And honestly, I felt like that, and I have no doubt she did too.

 

And I have the FRSC to thank for that.


Tuesday Talk: The Hardest 9 – 5 Ever: Part I

 

 

I know what you’re thinking.

 

always-be-together

 

That’s the ‘perfect’ relationship, right? That’s what plenty people want, no? Someone to love, cherish and be with – for always.

 

Right?

 

At least, I know that’s what I want.

So I ask myself; ‘Seun, do you have ANY IDEA what it takes to build a relationship like that?’

 

‘I don’t know, honestly. Should I google it?’

 

And I do google it. And the ever-helpful Google comes up with over 30 million responses, detailing ways I can have a beautiful relationship.

 

And I’m sure you can guess some of what would appear on a lot of those lists. Trust. Openness. Honestly. Consideration. Support. Romance. Thoughtfulness. Affection.

 

The list goes on.

What a lot of those lists wouldn’t tell, however, is just how difficult it is to fit all of those things into a relationship.

 

 

What I mean is this: we all have issues. And if relationships were as easy as checking off a list, we would almost all be living ‘happily-ever-after’ lives right now.

 

But it isn’t. And we’re not.

 

However, I believe strongly that a beautiful, strong relationship is possible – as long as there are two people who believe the same, want the same and are willing to work for it no matter what. Anything is possible when you believe.

 

Now, how do you find someone who believes with you?

 

I doubt that’s a question for Google. Looking inward always help, looking inward and knowing one’s self as well as is possible is a huge step in the right direction. They say ‘when the student is ready, the master appears’ and I strongly believe that.

zen

 

I don’t think we suddenly decide to make friends; we open ourselves up to life, experiences and friends come along by way of that. A romantic relationship shouldn’t be the same way, I believe if you do the things you love, enjoy living, have fun with yourself and friends, you’ll attract that kind of person who may just be your ‘forever and ever’.

 

As I once saw on a T-Shirt; ‘GET A LIFE!’

 

 

Everything good will follow.

 

 


Stop Me If You’ve Read This Before

 

 

 

A man picks his son up from school. “We’re going home,” he says. The boy nods.

 

The man is unusually excited. As they drive home through afternoon Ikorodu Road traffic, he cannot stop talking. The boy doesn’t respond; he just keeps looking outside the window.

 

After a while the man notices and stops talking. “What is it?” he asks, somewhat impatiently. There are times he doesn’t understand this nine year old of his.

 

The boy looks away from the world outside and faces his father. “Why do you and mummy fight so much?” he asks. “Why can you not stop yelling at each other?”

 

The man opens his mouth – and then closes it. “You won’t understand,” he says with an air of finality.

 

The car is silent; even the air is stiff and still.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty-nine years later. A man picks his son up from school.

 

They get into a car and drive towards home; this time both of them are lost in thoughts as different as their ages.

 

“Dad,” the boy suddenly asks. “Why do you and mummy hate each other?”

 

The car suddenly jerks to the right, throwing the boy against his father in spite of the seatbelt. The man curses softly and rights the car, waving through the window at the shouting motorist he almost hit.

 

And then, he looks at his son.

 

“You won’t understand – “ he begins to say, and he remembers a question similar to that, in a car similar to this, asked by a boy similar to his own

 

He exhales softly. “I don’t hate your mother. In fact, I think she hates me. And I don’t blame her. Things are just not what I promised her they would be.”

 

The boy shook his head. “But mummy doesn’t hate you – unless you pray for people you hate. She cries a lot but she still prays for you.”

 

The man is struck dumb. “How do you know that?” he finally manages to get out.

 

The boy’s look says I thought you knew everything!

 

“Pa, I’m her son. Of course I know.”

 

A danfo swerves suddenly into his path and cuts him off; the okada man to his left starts swearing his way and waving angrily.

 

The man doesn’t notice any of these things.

 

Instead he’s thinking about a small woman; thinking about a light that used to make her brown eyes look like refined gold. He’s thinking about that and trying to figure out exactly when that light went out.

 

Of course it’s his fault. There’s no other explanation.

 

The leather of the steering wheel creaked as he unconsciously tightens his grip around it. He remembers a man too short of temper to explain to his son why two of the most important people in his life were always yelling at each other. He remembers a woman too tired to do anything except yell at her husband, cry with her children and smoke cigarettes. He remembers a boy too angry and confused to care; he remembers hearing that boy promising to be different with his own children.

 

What happened to that boy?

 

The man looks at the boy beside him now, at the confused, sad and yet hopeful look on the young, upturned face. “Don’t worry Dapo,” the man says, taking his right hand from the steering wheel and rubbing the boy’s head. “I will fix it. Everything is my fault, and I will make it right again.”

 

Dapo’s smile is doubtful – but it’s there. “You promise?”

 

The man frowns playfully. “Does daddy lie?”

 

Dapo’s face assumes a mischievous look – and at that moment he is; at least physically, the younger version of his dad. “Sometimes,” he says.

 

The man’s frown deepens – and then, the boy suddenly shrieks in laughter as the man’s darting hand tickles underneath his arm. “Stop it dad!”

 

“Apologize!”

 

“Never – hahahahahahahahaha!”

 

And the two of them drive home, in car carrying happiness.


No Time

 

 

 

Deoye opens the door, takes a look at me and sighs. “This man,” he says as he turns away, leading the way into the house and scratching somewhere below all the while, “Wetin carry you reach here now – man or dog?”

 

I intend to laugh – to show some sort of commiseration with his humor. What comes out of my mouth however; is a croak. My friend looks over his shoulder at me – and seeing something on my face, disappears into the corridor while I stare patterns into the black and red Persian rug on his living room floor.

 

I see movement in the corner of my eye and turn in that direction to see Deoye returning with a bottle of – a bottle of something I don’t think I want to know. He hastily pours a healthy draught into one of the glasses he’s carrying and hands it over, spilling some of it. I calmly take it and sniff the contents.

 

Vodka.

 

I empty the cup in one swallow and grimace as the cold-and-bitter liquid hits my chest rudely. My eyes water, but I do not cough. Silently I hold out the glass to him and just as wordlessly he fills it. This time I drink till it’s halfway empty – and then I sigh.

 

My back finds the sofa and I fold into it, leaning my head back and closing my eyes. I hear my friend puttering around; his desire to ask what the matter is a palpable presence, but I know he won’t. He will wait for me to start talking in my time. It’s why I came here in the first place.

 

He does not have long to wait.

 

“It’s over, bro. It ended – in the worst way possible.”

 

My eyes are still closed but I hear him stop moving. I can hear the questions burning up his throat – he so dearly wants to ask what I’m talking about but he knows I am not to be hurried. I will speak in my time.

 

“It cannot be a relationship, can it?” he ventures to ask after my silence stretches for longer than he can bear.

 

I do not say anything but the smile that stretches my stiff lips is as good as an answer. My eyes open in time to see him smack his knee in frustration. “Seun! Shebi you said no romance this year! You said that!”

 

I lean forward. “Put yourself in my shoes bruh…”

 

*********************************************************************************************

 

“I know – I mean you know what you said…”

 

You know what you said. ‘No romance’, you said to any and every one who cared to listen. ‘I’m just going to focus on my career’. And focus on your career you did, and the changes started to appear in the physical plane. One of such changes is the thickness that suddenly invaded your midsection. But it didn’t bother you.

 

You are as fit as a fiddle.

 

So life continues with you taking everything in stride. You keep moving and working, the only time(s) you allow yourself any kind of social life is when you see a movie with Deoye and Banky – or when you go eat fish pepper-soup with Uduak, and a little stolen moment with my daughter.

 

Moments that have become few and far between.

 

But you tell yourself everything is fine, and since you actually look better than ever nobody minds. Nobody notices anything – least of all you.

 

And so it is, you walked into that store that afternoon to get some Fruit and Fiber; stuff you like to chew on as you write. But you’re detached, the active part of your mind is caught up in scripting scenes for the TV series you’re working on. You handed the box to someone you thought was the store attendant and turned back to the shelf for milk when a deep, cultured voice colored with mild amusement asked; “How long am I supposed to hold this for?”

 

You turned around to answer and found yourself staring at the most beautiful mouth you have ever seen – and you have seen your fair share. Movies, TV commercials, newspapers, models, billboards – name it.

 

Still…

 

“Ah – I’m sorry. I thought – “

 

She was smiling – and that smile somehow made you stumble and stutter for words. You were tongue-tied in the presence of a female, and because that was a new experience for you, you became irritated.

 

“Sorry,” you said again, snatched the box out of her hand and stomped past towards the cashier’s desk. You felt some kind of heat underneath your collar – you kept sneaking looks over your shoulder, hoping you would be done before she came up to the payout area. When the salesgirl handed you your receipt you exhaled with relief and hurried out of the store – only to stop outside, stumped.

 

You couldn’t remember where you parked your car.

 

You stood there, looking around and wondering if someone was playing a joke. Putting down your purchases, you stretched to rest your arms and then bend your brains to the problem.

 

“Excuse me – is everything okay?”

 

You couldn’t help it. You jumped a foot in the air before you realized it was the same voice. Barely restraining yourself, you turned towards her and barked; “Of course I’m fine! Thank you!”

 

She recoiled – and then, in eyes that were suddenly as clear as the sky on a sunny day you saw a myriad of emotions – fear, terror, guilt, shame – and before you could react to any of that she stepped away. You barely heard the ‘Sorry’ she mumbled as she hurried away, nylon bags bumping against her legs, and you felt a familiar sensation.

 

Guilt.

 

Without thinking too much you stepped after her and caught up with her just as she opened the trunk of the red Camry and dumped the bags unceremoniously. She turned away from the trunk, fingers impatiently brushing hair out of her face – and then she collided with you full on. She was so surprised she staggered backwards, saved from falling only by the car.

 

You stepped away to allow her recover, and then slowly, to not startle her, you step close and lightly touch her arm. “I’m – I’m sorry I spoke to you the way I did,” you said, somehow better self-possessed then. “I was just – there’s a lot on my mind is all.”

 

That gorgeous mouth smiled at you – smiled; not that lip-twisting grimace Lagos girls have perfected – and she spoke, “It’s okay. I was wondering why you were so grumpy. I thought you had a headache.”

 

You cocked your head to the side, trying to guess her meaning, but her smile didn’t dim so you figured she was joking.

 

She joked a lot, as you came to find out.

 

Later that day, as you laughed and talked over drinks at Yemi’s Bar and you told her how you stood outside the store trying to remember where you’d parked your car – meanwhile you left it at home, she asked how old you were and you answered.

 

“That’s too early for Alzheimer’s,” she said, looking serious as she sucked Orijin Zero through a straw from its can. You almost snorted Smirnoff Ice through your nose; laughing gustily as you were. She was beautiful; beautiful like you had never known and somehow it seemed the hardest thing for you to let her go. You were fawning over her, preening as your neighborhood friends came over over and over again, stumbling over themselves to say hi.

 

You laughed and smiled and soaked it in and tried not to think of when you would have to tell her goodnight.

 

But all good things…

 

And even though you were expecting it, the look that jumped in her eyes when she asked what the time was and you said, “Almost ten” put a frown on your face. It was the same look she had earlier, and you intended to ask her what the matter was but she shrugged it off and said goodnight to you reluctantly – or maybe that was just wishful thinking on your part. Whatever the case, she stood and held her arms open to you – and as she ended the hug she brushed her lips against yours lightly.

 

She said her name was Nike.

 

 

*********************************************************************************************

 

 

Three weeks later and you allowed yourself accept that the life is good you have been telling your friends since was nothing but a lie; a joke, a lame attempt to color something that soaked up all the paint you applied. Nike was a light in the dark world you inhabited, and in spite of your reluctance to open up to her because of your fear that just like everything else, this too was going to wait till you couldn’t do without it – and then disappear into that valley happy memories disappear into. But she was real and in 3D and you dared to hope.

 

And contrary to your excuses, your career did not suffer a setback. In fact you wrote as though your fingers were alive and they were working in synch with your brain. You wrote some of the best work of your entire career in that short time – and you particularly liked the look that came into her eyes when you read some stuff you just wrote to her.

 

She listened to you, following your words with the patience you have come to associate with her – and when you were done, she mouthed her favorite parts of what you’d read and kissed you.

 

You were alive.

 

So when she called you that night sounding like no Nike you knew, fear stole your voice and replaced it with frog-like croaks, freezing your brain at the same time.

 

“….he’s going to kill…me…”

 

After clearing your terror-stuck throat like nine times, you were able to get some words out. “Who? Who is going to kill you, Nike?”

 

And then, you heard a heavy object smashing into something solid – something that sounded like a wall…or a door.

 

“Nike?!” You yelled, fear giving strength to your vocal chords. “Who is going to kill you?! What’s going on?! Where are you?”

 

She moaned – and only then did you realize the love of your life was in pain.

 

“My husband…my husband is going to kill me…”

 

Husband.

 

Everything suddenly made sense in the worst way possible. You understood why she was terrified of staying out later than nine sometimes, or why she had bruises and discolorations on some parts of her, or why she told you where she lived but begged you stridently to not visit.

 

A scream jerked you out of your pointless woolgathering and you jumped out of your house and into your car. Surulere is just twenty minutes away; you thought, and it’s Saturday. There shouldn’t be any traffic. With trembling hands you connected your phone to the car speakers and tried to keep her on the phone.

 

“Nike,” you said, “Isn’t there some way you can get out of the house? Don’t you have neighbors – aren’t people hearing you screaming?”

 

There was something in her voice when she answered – something that had you slamming the brakes though you were in the middle of the road and had vehicles behind you.

 

It was an air of finality.

 

“There’s no point…I cannot…I cannot run….I’m trapped here…Seun….” She says your name with some kind of whisper. “Seun…I love…”

 

“Don’t tell me that over the phone!” You screamed into the air-conditioned interior of your car, screaming just as loudly as your tires as you whipped the wheel around. “I’m on my way – I’ll be there in a few…”

 

Her laughter – the same laughter that put many a shiver in your loins chilled them now like they were doused with cold water. “Oh…I love your stubborn nature…it’s too late…I’m dead…”

 

Over her voice you could hear something finally give way – the door; I think – smashing into pieces. You heard the scream of flying wood as pieces hit walls, furniture…

 

And flesh.

 

“Ni – “ you began – and then suddenly had to hit your brakes again because you had been driving without looking and suddenly there was traffic up ahead.

 

Traffic. On Ikorodu Road on a Saturday night.

 

You cannot believe your luck. Tears started their patient journey down your face as, over the blaring of horns and the screaming and cursing of aggrieved drivers, you heard heavy breathing and the whimpering of a scared woman. “Nike! Nike!!” you screamed desperately – as though that could slow down what was about to happen by a second.

 

Suddenly she screamed – a loud, keening cry that had you covering your ears – and fell silence as you heard the sound of something heavy smashing into something yielding – like a car tire squashing an overripe watermelon. You could hear the snap and crackle of bones breaking, the putt putt putt as blood and organic matter turned into paste.

 

You couldn’t disconnect the call so you heard every bit of it…

 

 

*********************************************************************************************

 

“…you – sorry, I mean I got there just as the police were taking him away. He had killed her…Deoye, he pounded her head into the floor with a pestle. He…”

I close my eyes again and let my head sag wearily against the back of the chair. But that does not stop the tears.

 

From the end of a tunnel I hear Deoye speak, “Come on Seun. What…what is this, ehn? Another of those your crazy stories that will have people asking if it really happened? Okay, you try. It worked. I almost believed…”

 

His voice trails off and I open my eyes to see what interrupted him. He’s staring at my feet – and my eyes follow his. My left Converse sneaker is covered in blood from the previously-white sole to the ankle.

 

I nod sadly. “That’s all that’s left of her, man. Blood and an unrecognizable mess – all that remains of someone I – “ I choke, and to my horror start sobbing.

 

“She…she said her name was Nike…”

 

Nike.

 

Oh God…


Beaching…

 

Can I show you life; As I see it?

The world thru my eyes; In a minute?

Can I love you once more? I mean it…

 

I really mean it.

 

Beachling


Goodbyes Are Forever

 

 

Don’t be mad

 

I just didn’t remember

 

But how could I forget?

 

Goodbyes are forever

 

 

We made promises

 

You said you would come back

 

And I would sail seven seas

 

Just to keep track

 

 

How could I not remember!

 

Too much too soon

 

Too soon too gone

 

Gone – till November

 

 

No – not this one; so close

 

Like the thorn from a rose

 

But that one that’ll never come

 

Like distant memories; far gone

 

 

Should have been more of a lover,

 

Should have kissed you tender,

 

Held your hand;

 

And allowed you go no further.

 

 

Oh; dear me!

 

How can I not remember!

 

How dare I forget;

 

That goodbyes are forever?!

 

 

 

 

How?

PROMO