Growing up in a culture where everyone had to ‘toughen up’ meant that negative emotions of anger, pain, hurt, depression etc. had to be hidden or suppressed. It was (and still is) a culture founded on the misconception that emotions make you weak. Those who have read Chinua Achebe’s famous ‘Things Fall Apart’ will understand how crazy it gets when one begins to prove a point of being strong rather than weak. It’s a survivor’s race. Continue reading “How to Deal with the Broken”
2:65 pm; Exactly one month since Eno’s death. ‘One day at a time, one day at a time’ Ani whispered her new found mantra over and over and over again. She had said it to herself so much that it stopped making sense to her but she had to keep saying it because it kept the silence away and she couldn’t stand the silence. The silence gave way to memories, the day she found out she was pregnant, all the fun she and Gabe had fixing up Eno’s nursery, the day they brought her home from the hospital, her first smile, first tooth, her first…no, she didn’t want the silence so she continued to mutter; ‘one day at a time, one day at a time’. She had given up driving entirely after she hit a pole twice in two days so she just took the bus and walked the rest of the way home. She was so tired, tired especially of all the pity that was being piled on her, everyone walked on tip toes around her and treated her as if she were breakable and she was so sick of it. She was already steeped in grief and she didn’t need the constant reminders of the child she had lost, she and Gabe just wanted… she and Gabe, sigh…
Gabe hadn’t said two words to her since the day the buried their daughter. It was almost alarming how much they had grown apart in the space of a month. The tragedy that was meant to bring them together had driven them apart like the earth from the sky. That first night that they spent without Eno, Ani tried to cry with Gabe or talk to him even so they could grieve and mourn together but he wouldn’t say a word to her. He had shut her out completely. One night she was jerked awake from her fitful sleep by the sound of Gabe dismantling Eno’s crib, she heard him sobbing and when she went to put her arms around him, he got up to leave the room but he turned around and walked back in and yelled. He yelled at her with such viciousness that she nearly passed out. He blamed her for being negligent and that if she had paid more attention, Eno would still be here and when he couldn’t yell anymore, he turned around and walked out, leaving her with the broken pieces of the beautiful white crib, broken pieces of their dreams.
Gabe walked out of the manager’s office looking deflated. He had just been issued a warning for throwing an object at his secretary. He couldn’t even remember what the poor lady said to him that made him so mad; all he knew was that he was suddenly taken over by a red hot rage that he couldn’t even comprehend. He got back to his office and after apologizing to his scared secretary he shut his office door and sat on the floor with his head in his hands. He was so mad, all the time; mad that his baby girl, his angel died and he wasn’t even there, mad that he was so busy rushing to work that he didn’t even kiss her goodbye like he always did and that he made Ani do it for him, mad that she was all alone in a dark cold grave but above all, he was mad at his wife and it was eating him alive. What was she doing? Where was she? Why didn’t she check up on Eno? Why??? he asked and asked but got no answers so he stopped asking and just swallowed his grief. It was way past close of business but he didn’t want to go home, home didn’t feel like home anymore. Home was just a sad, quiet and empty place. Every night, Ani left dinner for him on the dining table, every night he ignored it and went straight to the guest room to sleep. Every morning she packed his lunch for him, and every morning he ignored the purple lunch bag on the table as he stormed off to work, because in his twisted mind that was just another way of punishing her, of making her as miserable as he was. He finally got up and went home but as he walked past the dining room, he did a double take. There was no dinner waiting on the table, Ani had given up.
Written by Adaugo from Adaugo Diary.
I remember the day as though it was yesterday- but it’s already five years down the line. To be specific, it was in the year 2011. I was standing in front of her hostel in O.A.U wearing my favorite red Tees and ripped jeans. I had informed her the day before of my proposed visit but she tersely warned me not to bother. I went ahead anyway because I wanted to resolve the unending conflicts between us. I picked up my phone which was already beeping a warning red light because my battery was low and called her. My ears ached from her outburst “I thought I asked you not to come over? What the hell what are you doing here?” she hung up immediately and refused to pick my calls. I looked up at the pink drapes that lined the window of her room. She was on the 5th floor and I couldn’t risk taking the stairs without confirming her presence. I called her sister and she immediately hung up when she heard my name.
That was the second time I would visit her while in school. The first was a little bit weird because it was our first meeting ever since we started dating a few months ago. I was shy and so was she. We sat under a tree and ate the snacks and yoghurt she bought. I was smiling like a little schoolboy the whole time. Don’t blame me, I was in love.
She finally came out after leaving me to the mercies of the cold harmattan wind for some forty-five minutes.
“What do you want?” She asked with a stone hard face. “You’ve just a few minutes and as you can see I was making my hair before you came.”
That’s when I noticed her puffy hair tied in a red scarf. She still looked beautiful with her oily face and half-done hair.
“Can we at least sit down?” I asked while gesturing to the same tree we had sat the first day we met. Then, the flowers were lush and red but now, the harmattan breeze had shriveled their lushness and all that was left was a skeleton of what was once a beautiful tree. Just like our love.
“No” she curtly replied.
At that point, I didn’t know what else to say. All the words I had previously rehearsed grew wings and flew away at the sight of her cold countenance. I fumbled with words that didn’t seem to make any sense. I have no idea how she had such a hold on me.
“We can make it work” I finally said.
“Don’t you get it? We are not compatible”
I shifted my weight from one foot to another while looking at those brown eyes that held no warmth as they used to. Who had she become? The song ‘You’re not the girl I used to know’ by Darey began to play in my mind.
In about ten minutes, she said she wanted to leave and I pleaded, “Would you at least walk me down to where I will get a bike?” This, she vehemently refused and turned her back to me.
Without a doubt, I knew it was really over.
We were not always like this. We used to be best of friends. I still remember how we would stay up every night talking on MTN extra cool for long hours. Such days of bliss! The fun didn’t last so long as she got admitted to the ivy league university and little things I did began to irritate her. We would quibble and quarrel consistently until we grew apart.
Why do relationships get sour after ‘I love you’ is involved? Why do things that meant nothing when we were just friends become objects of irritation as soon as we start dating?
The ride from her hostel to the school gate was short. I remember shedding a few tears. I don’t know if it was because of the official break-up or because of the cold breeze, either way, I shed tears. I was sad because I gave it my best. I did everything humanly possible. I went the extra mile to make it work and used my last money to pay her the visit but it all ended with four words; ‘we are not compatible’.
That faithful day marked the day she died to me. I slowly got over her afterwards and have since moved on with my life. Her mum is still my good friend and we talk nonetheless. While her sister refers to me as ‘the guy without a dull moment’ because of how bubbly I was around them and her younger brother calls me Chief Owonikoko because of my baritone voice. I will never forget the memories she left, but as for Mimi- she is dead to me.
Written by Emar Ogar.
Hey guys, I hope you enjoyed this interesting post by a friend of mine. If you’ve got any interesting stories to share, please send me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
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
This story isn’t over, was the last thing I said and meant. It rained again today. But this time I was too weary to write. I ponder on a lot of things. And this time the difference between love and hate. I’m a hopeless romantic- you probably knew that already. Even though I constantly conceal that with a tough exterior. But I can’t lie to myself- even if I lie to others.
So yes I took the trip. And I met someone. We connected within a couple of days and just couldn’t get by without talking. He was eccentric- like me- and I liked him. He is an artiste. Sings for a living. To be honest, I don’t see the job security in that as there are a million other artistes around. Well, who am I to judge? I travel for a living. That’s as insecure as a job can get. Not a job, more like my life. But that’s okay.
He was sweet. His smile was full of radiance like the sun rising from the East over soft blue skies. He was spontaneous. He had this cheerful demeanor and his eyes pierced through the soul.Oh and yes he writes songs. He wrote one for me while we were in Greece and I loved it.
We toured the beautiful streets of Greece hands entwined. He made me laugh a lot more than I can remember doing. maybe I just needed a reason to laugh away my pain. He wasn’t into food and would pass on the traditional meals I was crazy about. I should probably write on the confessions of a foodie as I am one myself.
Greece was a time of refreshing and he definitely made it worth it.
So are we together? You may ask.
He is married.
Found his ring in his guitar case. Of course I asked about it and then he stuttered a bit before explaining how he was having issues with his wife and needed to take a break. Sighs.
Isn’t it crazy how two people who couldn’t get their hands off each other while dating turn out to be two strangers who can’t stand being together in the same room?
Love and hate, such a thin line in between! One day you’re professing your deep undying love for her. The next, you shout hate words and stomp away never to look back.
It’s mind boggling! I once had someone declare his affectionate love for me. Called me all the sweet names in the book. But in the blink of an eye it was all over, and it was like nothing ever happened. The love words were gone. The sweet names, gone. It was as though nothing ever existed. Call me disillusioned.
How thin is the line between love and hate that people easily drift in and out of? Where does the passion all go to?
Love for me is a dream. It’s either I sleep on till death or I wake up and it’s gone. But not everyone likes sleep. Some people just have to wake us back to reality. Rather unfortunate, if you ask me. I wish we could love and not hate. But in reality, I believe more in hate than love. It surprises me when people say they are in love. Maybe I’m just being cynical. But it works fine for me.
Greece was great. His name was George. And no he didn’t use the second ticket I had. I’ll probably use it some other time. But for now, I’m all set to go back home.
The weather is beautiful. The birds are chirping away. I waved at him one last time from the window of the cab, heading towards the airport. My heart is still a mess. But I’ll be fine. This story isn’t over yet. Stay with me.
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
‘It’s over’ she screamed as she banged her bag on the coffee table right in between her boyfriend and the girl whose hands he was previously holding.
‘Babe…’ he tried to start explaining. Shock and fear registered across his face. ‘It’s not what you think it is’
‘Oh really?’ Elizabeth glared down at the other girl who seemed more interested in sipping her cup of coffee than in the ruckus ensuing.
‘She’s just my friend’ he blatantly lied to her face without blinking.
Elizabeth couldn’t believe it. The relationship had been going through ups and downs; a little more downs than ups but she was naive enough to trust him. To believe every lie he told. Until the truth broke out.
The truth, they say, sets one free. But she felt more bound than free. She desperately wanted to believe him. To forgive him. But for how long? How long would she keep patching it up before finally accepting the hard truth?
‘It’s over Sam.’
Tears stung her face as the sun tortured her on her way out of the restaurant. The little teardrops glistened as she walked briskly.
‘Lizzy, wait! It’s not over until we say it is.’
She stopped in her tracks and turned to see him on his knees with a ring in his hand. All her friends were holding up placards with the question ‘Will you marry me?’
Hope you enjoyed the little piece of fiction. I intend to play around with this a bit more before the end of the challenge. Watch this space! 😉
15 down, 11 to go!
Shivers run down my spine like fingers on a dead winter’s night,
My lips frozen, skin shut tight like epileptic teeth-
Words buried, unspoken,
“Its zero degrees in here
Or am I just dreaming?
The sun is still overhead,
Why am I freezing?”
Feet can’t move,
Heart stops beating.
I watch a part of me leave.
My soul weeps at the loss of a memory.
No one in sight, empty plains,
Tears no one can wipe away stream down my soaking cheeks;
My screams are mere whispers, no more than soundless echoes,
Whispers no one can hear,
“I reach out but can’t feel a thing.”
My enemy, stuck like a brother,
The ghost keeps me awake at night, blanket to my chin,
Too frightened to fight-
I know that word only too familiarly,
A well of torment well unleashed.
Flowing in its torrents, swiftly running currents,
I float along, log of body wood-
“I lost me in you.”
Mfon Etuk, 2015