Month: June 2016
I know you hurt. I hurt too.
It’s a stabbing pain I can’t explain.
Like I’m drowning in the Atlantic Ocean
With no lifeguard in sight
Gasping for air
I’m afraid this pain is too much
For my feeble shoulders to bear
Shoulders slumped from the confidence that has been blown away.
I used to be the happy one
With the cheerful smiles
And big brown eyes
Now I’m the dark girl
Hiding in the shadows
Afraid to see my reflection
Because it just may reflect my heart
Oh the pain! It rips me apart!
The tears! They’ve formed an ocean
Salty waters, I shed
Salty waters I drown in
I know what it means to be depressed
I almost know it as I do my middle name
I still feel its slithery fingers
Wrapped around my cold skin
I’ve been that way too long.
Hurts do heal.
Hearts do mend
Nights do end
Joy comes in the morning
So what makes your hurt more special?
Or any less?
Hurt is hurt.
The heart bleeds too-
It’s an organ after all!
Hurts do heal
Tears get dried up
The sun shines after the rain
This weary heart of mine
Someday shall dance again
To the tune of love
These patched lips will crack a smile
For this storm isn’t to drown you
But to make you stronger
To make you grow
So pick up the pieces of what’s left
Give it back to the Fixer
Rise up and live
Today isn’t the death of you
Hurts do heal, my love.
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds- Psalm 147:3
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.- Psalm 34:18
Come away with me. Let’s dance in the rain. There’s something so peaceful about the weather. The rain drumming on the zinc roofs and the grasses looking greener outside the window. It’s so picturesque. India was good. It was an eat, pray, love journey for me. I found what I had been missing- me. I met with an old lady who most people referred to as the ‘Seer’. I guess you can somewhat compare her with the psychics we have around.
‘What defines you?’ Was the first thing she asked me. I began to express proudly how I was the best in my field and the awards I had gotten for my artistic skills. She smiled gently. And told me ‘wrong answer’ in that obvious Indian accent. I was distracted by the strong stench of garlic that fell out with every word uttered. Gee! Why do people eat that?
‘Think again.’ She said with a crooked smile that exposed her missing teeth. I don’t know what I expected, coming into this little dark room with incense all up in the air. Some moving thing caught the corner of my eye. ‘Is that a live snake?’ I asked, bewildered.
She smiled and calmed me with her hand gestures. Apparently her English was limited and I couldn’t speak her language either. So how’s this reading going to be? I wondered.
‘What defines you?’ She repeated. I gave her another long list of my abilities. I was quite proud of my achievements, my skills, my trips, my possessions and my life as a whole. She shook her head, unimpressed.
‘You are not alive till you have lived’. Was what she said with clenched teeth. What does that even mean? I have lived, I have traveled, I have loved… oh please, what did she even know? Maybe she was just a one eyed woman leading the blind in that community. I was agitated and picked my things to leave. I had just wasted money for nothing.
‘Look outside you and you find life’ was what she said as she stroked her pet snake. I felt as though the slithery animal was crawling on me. I really hate creepy crawling animals!
The sun hit me as I stepped outside. I quickly wore my aviator shades and began the stroll to the cuisine I had discovered earlier. Oh my! The food was so good. It had this sort of pepper that hurts but tastes so good. Pain and pleasure. The two are inseparable. They taught me how to complete the meal before drinking water.
As I slowed down on the food, my mind went back to the Seer. What does it mean to look outside yourself and find life? You are not alive till you have lived? I knew my curiosity was going to take me back. So there I was sitting on the red pillow facing her.
‘I knew you would come back’ she said with that crooked smile. Sure you did, I said under my breath.
‘You are not alive until you have looked outside yourself to help people around. You are not here for yourself. You won’t find love if you do not look outside.’ She continued.
These were simple sentences that seemed to confuse me further.
‘Are you saying I’ve been selfish?’ I asked with undisguised contempt. How dare she call me selfish?
‘We see life as we are, not as it is’ was her response. My time was far spent again and I didn’t want to pay any more money for another session. It felt as though she deliberately picked her words just so she could keep her customers coming back to know more. Besides, I never really believed in the whole psychic nonsense.
I should be on my way. But my legs refused to move.
‘Look outside you and find love’ She said. This time the snake was all coiled up on her laps. I couldn’t spend an extra minute.
I’ve spent the last three weeks trying to decipher what she meant. I’ve read books and biographies of people who have lived life and helped others. I always had this somewhat limited view that when you help someone, you’re cashing into your ‘IOU’ account and it can be withdrawn at will. But these guys just helped others for the sake of helping. How possible is that? Are humans capable of being unselfish? Can our corrupt nature allow us love truly? Is there any purity in our love? The more I thought of it, the more confused I was. The focus had shifted from them who left to me who remained constant.
I want to dance in the rain.
Forget my pain
Wash away the stain
Let the tears go down the drain.
I thought this was the end. But is there ever an end? Or are endings just beginnings?
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
Why do we fight with God?
Now that’s a question I find hard to comprehend
Mortals constantly striving with immortality
Pointing our stubby little fingers at the Almighty
Blaming Him for the woes
As though He owes us
Why do we fight with God?
Refusing to go to His presence
Because He didn’t give us what we wanted
Oh if you could see
That He had something better for you
You would run to Him with thanks
Why do we fight with God?
Little creatures pissed at their creator
Does that even make any sense?
It is He who created you,
Not you yourself
He gives life and takes as He please
Why do we fight with God?
How dare we call Him to court
To question Him for what He has done?
Have you forgotten the earth is His?
And everything in it
He does as He pleases!
Mortals die but He doesn’t
Humans get estranged
But His love for you remains unchanged
He keeps saying ‘Come…’
When you turn your back and run
He still waits for you with arms open wide
God is ever merciful
He is love personified
He loves little dusty us
So what charges do you have to raise
Against the one who deserves your praise?
Why do you fight with God?
© Mfon Etuk, 2016
Fiction Friday! #TGIF
*Plays an oldies track*
This post is gonna take you back to the good ol’ days! (I hope)
So, I slumped into the bus seat in exhaustion. All I could think of was my rumpled bed and my favourite spot in front of the TV. I interchange both places. As the traffic dragged along like a snail race, I took note of the secondary school guys who were playing music and singing along on the other side of the bus. I could immediately tell the social group they belonged to, one I’d call the ‘cool crew’. The guys who would probably be tagged the ‘jocks’ in a high school setting. It quickly took me down memory lane.
Needless to say I was one of the nerdy kids who would probably fall head over heels for the cool crew. They were sorta the bad gang who were daring enough while in school. I was more nose deep in books and did little or no daring adventure. But I couldn’t help admiring these guys who seemed to have some out of this world confidence. They’d seat in a group and I’d dread having to walk pass them. I was that shy!
That’s not the sweet part of the memory though. The sweet part was having that guy who liked you. You know, that your buddy in science class, the brilliant one with impeccable manners. He’d be by your side even after you made a complete fool of yourself in front of the cool crew. 😊
Secondary school was an interesting part of my life. Growing with total strangers, making some inseparable friends and playing the immature card way too many times. I remember how senior girls would make up for dinner at the dining hall, which was just a block away! And by make up, I mean white loose powder and cheap, oily lip gloss. Then the body sprays! Gee! You’d think we were trying to bring all the bees together 😂
The guys were also pretty aware puberty had kicked in. They’d starch and iron their light cotton shirts to impress the girls. Clean their shoes hourly as though they took a walk in the Sahara Desert. It was pure, undiluted admiration and attraction!
Though most people tag secondary school love as child’s play, in retrospect I think it was real love. I may be naive, but I don’t think the guys wanted to be baby daddy’s then. They just felt this thing they couldn’t define. They’d make a total fool of themselves in front of the girls- who were pretty impressed by the gimmicks!
Ah! The love letters.
I still long for handwritten love notes. Technology has taken that away from me. But I still have some hand written cards that I cherish till date. So yes, I think the secondary school love was beautiful, innocent and pure. Come on, you were not expecting much- receiving a pack of biscuits, juice and sweets were like receiving a box of Louis Vuitton shoes!
Ah yes! Valentines days were the best in school…that’s if you had someone that cared enough to send you stuffs. I think I was pretty lucky in that regard. I still say my final year valentines was the best! I got bottles of wine and an adorable teddy bunny and handwritten cards. I smiled as though I received a medal! Of course, I played the whole ‘he’s my friend’ card to everyone who tried to tease me. But some 7 years down the line I still ‘blush’ at that very fond memory. I can’t remember being that young and giddy anymore.
Whatever happened to that childlike love?
I think we should love each other as we did when we were young and innocent. Not caring so much about the oversized shirts or the non-fitting hairstyles. Laughing at every not so funny joke. Passing notes between classes because we just wanted to say hi.
Can we go back to a time where love doesn’t make high demands on the other? A time where love is as sweet as unprocessed honey? I wish we could.
I just discovered I was smiling all through as I tapped away on my phone and some passengers are giving me the look. *Chuckles* Gotta stop now.
Thanks for reading!
Lots of love,
So what are your fond secondary school/ high school stories? Please share in the comment section. Feel free to write tons of paragraphs! I’d love to read em! 😉
Pause. I’m moving too fast. I’m trying to beat the clock and still have a perfect piece… impossible right? Yeah, I know. I don’t know what to write about… this isn’t the first time my mind is going blkank on me. Haha, I just saw that error and it’s talking all of me to stop muself from going to correct it. Dang! Another error. I hate them! I wish I could correct every error in my life. Every mistake I’ve made. Coulcnt there be a big eraser somewhere? These errors are driving me nuts. I hear I’ve got OCDs but is this one of them? Trying to make sure everything is perfect. Including the people I meet. I mean, don’t laugh so loud. Be courteous. Why are you always talking? Can’t you just be… perfect?
Am I perfect? Probably…not. It’s no surprise I push myself to insatiable points. Beaying myself up about every mistake. These things drive me crazy. Perfection. No one really attains that in a world that seeks to constantly remind us of our imperefections.
I’m grinding my teeth oover every red line on the screen which indicates a word spelt wrongly. I could take my time- but I’ve got only ten minutes. This is ridiculous! I should probably quite this. I quit trying to spell ‘quit’ correctly. I’ve quit a lot of things. Things I just wasn’t perfect in. like really, why do it when you wouldn’t do it perfectly?
Haha, reminds me of school. I’d cry my eyes put (out0 for…aarrrgh! I missed the sepelling of ‘out’ and a freaking bracket sign. Just three minutes left ion the clock, I bet I haven’t made any senese. Haha, welcome to my mind.
It’s an incredible web of loose thoughts flung around, some tied in knots and others- just wild and free. I hate that this piece isn’t perfect. I hate that life isn’t perfect. I hate that you’re not perfect. I hate that I’m not perfect.
But there’s beauty in it all. There’s beauty in an incomplete and somewhat uncoordinated piece. There’s beauty in that smile that seems feign and in that laugh that drives me insane. Theres beauty in imperfections. I’m driving myself to the point where I’m fine with my imperfections and not so crazy. It’s time. Don’t I have a few seconds left? Maybe one..two.. dang!
Time: 10 minutes. Word count: 392
This post was written in response to a blog I read where writers are challenged to come up with a post of about 500 words in 10 minutes.
PS: It took everything within me to publish this with all its mistakes. I’m sorry it’s messy and imperfect! 😦 But that’s the ‘fun’ part of this challenge 🙂
- You are to time yourself in 10 minutes
- place a stopwatch by your side as you type
- backspace or delete button is a no no
- You must not edit what you type
Anybody want to try? 😀
I watched as her demeanour changed when she picked up the phone to see the caller. She didn’t answer. Neither did she put the phone on silence. She just looked away. Her features looked distressed. Who could the caller have been? I wondered. My friend who had just been laughing some minutes back now looked as though she partook of the ice bucket challenge. Her face was completely flustered.
I’m not one to dig into personal concerns except people willingly share them with me. Well, that’s why I get paid for my listening and confidentiality as a therapist. But I still couldn’t help but ask her.
“Who was the caller?” She looked a little shocked as though she wasn’t expecting me to notice.
“It’s him.” She swallowed hard. Fighting the tears that soon began to stain her artificially blushed cheeks.
What is it about men that made women cry? Why do they wield such power to open the floodgates of tears for even the strongest of all women? That I would never know.
As I tried to console her, she freely opened up as to how they had been having issues in the relationship. He’d beat her and later buy her some expensive gift as an appeasement. My one night of having fun away from work got ruined as it turned out to be another therapy session.
By the time we were done, she was happy and empowered. While I looked drained and ordered another drink.
“He’s here to pick me up.” She said after taking his call. I could see the asking-for-permission look on her face.
“Oh please don’t worry about me. Go have fun!” I encouraged. She scampered away with a lot of thank yous.
I was back to being alone. The way I had always been. Lately being alone scared me. Lately- that’s because prior to this period, I had always savoured my aloneness. I’d say being a custodian of other people’s secrets isn’t so good after all. It keeps me up at night, tossing and turning.
Now I was taking some drinks because I was down. I just had to cover up my own heartbreak and be there for my friend. But now that I needed someone to be there for me, there was no one in sight.
It’s funny how some people are always seen as rocks. So solid they don’t have weak moments. So people never really bother to find out how they are. I’m one of such rocks. And men, I must say this rock is breaking.
I’ve been having a lot of strange dreams lately; dreams that I can’t seem to figure; dreams that keep me away from sleep.
I can’t bear to go back home now, even though my friend bailed on me. It’s grave back there.
Now that I think of it, was I right to tell her she could still go back to her man who beats her? Or was I too carried away by my problems to actually think things through. That’s why therapy sessions should be saved for my couch, not a bar stool. Sighs.
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
Hey guys, sorry there’s no Rachel’s musings this week, please bear with me. Plus, you might be seeing a lot of unrelated fiction stories like this, just enjoy it and stop tryna piece them together 😉 Remember the purpose of the Friday fiction is for entertainment and to help my fiction writing skills. Please feel free to share improvement tips or topics you’d like me to write about. Thanks and God bless! ❤