‘One day at a time’, Laila said to herself as she turned off the alarm she had snoozed three times already. She felt the weight of the world on her shoulders as she sat up on the disheveled bed. She couldn’t remember sleeping. There had been a lot of crying and drinking to drown her fears and she fell asleep somewhere in the middle. The pain still gnawed at her heart while she silently whispered ‘Help me God’ Read the rest of this entry »
The thunder roared and her metal windows gave a loud clanging sound which caused her to curl up closer to the wall. It was her first night away from home and the storms were raging. Nevertheless, the storms in her heart raged fiercer than the northern wind elements. Read the rest of this entry »
Three long months. Three months of silence, of sleeping apart, of slamming doors and empty stove tops. Ani had lost so much weight that her hair was starting to fall out in clumps. Gabe had still not spoken to her and she was so tired, her bones were weary. She felt like she had lost her husband along with her child. 7: 55 am; Saturday morning. I have to at least make my hair, she thought to herself and she managed to get dressed and gather her hair products for the salon.
She wore her over sized shades to hide the bags under her eyes so she couldn’t see Gabe walking into the kitchen and she walked smack into him. Her first reaction was to apologize to him and walk away but she was tired and oh Lord she had missed her husband. So she stood right where she was. Gabe apparently was as tired as Ani because he didn’t move away either. And for the first time in three months he put his arms around his wife and they stood together, clinging to each other for what felt like forever. Finally, the tears came and for the first time they cried about their daughter and talked about her. Ani finally had a chance to explain to Gabe that Eno’s death was nobody’s fault, that she had checked on her before going downstairs to pack his lunch and she was sound asleep. ‘These things happen’, the Doctor said. They were just unfortunate it happened to them.
After what felt like an eternity, their house started to feel like home again. Gabe ate his dinner and he carried his lunch to work. He was still sleeping in the guest room but it wasn’t radio silence anymore. They talked, watched the news together and life was gradually returning to normal. Ani smiled at herself in the mirror, it felt so good be laughing instead of crying. Her cheeks were rounder and her eyes had regained their sparkle. She turned off the light and went to bed but she couldn’t sleep, she missed Gabe sleeping beside her so she got up, gathered all her courage, went down stairs to the guest bedroom to meet her husband, and that was the last time Gabe slept in the guest room. All her prayers were being answered, one by one. Her little angel was definitely looking out from heaven. Gabe and Ani could walk into Eno’s nursery without falling apart, they started going to church again and the laughter had returned to their home.
It was Gabe’s thirty-fifth birthday and their fifth wedding anniversary. Ani was in the mood to celebrate and throw a party, but Gabe didn’t want any noise, he just wanted a quiet evening at home with no fuss and that was fine. Ani smiled to herself with a twinkle in her eyes because she had the perfect birthday/ anniversary gift for her darling husband. When Gabe walked in from work on his birthday, he had one thought. The house smelled amazing. Ani had gone all out; she baked him his favorite coconut cake and made his favorite meal and she had colorful balloons and a giant birthday card. In that moment, Gabe was so grateful for this second chance that God so graciously gave to them as he kissed his wife hello.
So they ate, and they drank, and he read his card and they ate some more and then she handed him a white sheet of paper that was wrapped around two sticks. Gabe opened the paper and the two blue sticks fell out, with pink plus signs on them, she was pregnant! Gabe fell on his knees and cried and Ani knelt with him and cried with him, and through their tears they managed to say a deep prayer of gratitude to the God that had healed their broken hearts, restored their marriage and bestowed upon them a new beginning, a new child, a new dream. You see, God is a fixer of broken dreams…
Written by Adaugo from Adaugo Diary.
PS: I hope you enjoyed this amazing series by the gorgeous Adaugo. She writes beautifully on every aspect of life, love, God and everything in between. You’ve gotta check out her blog! 😀 Thank you again Adaugo for making our August fabulous with this!
PPS: Please remember you can still submit stories or articles in line with the vision of this blog. Submissions can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. Gracias! God bless!
Have a fruity weekend! 🙂
5:39am; Ani sighed deeply as she tried for the umpteenth time to find a more comfortable spot to fall asleep on. She had tossed and turned all night and she could only sleep through short uncomfortable stretches of time. She could already feel an intense headache coming and she was tired and oh so exhausted even before she got out of bed. She finally gave up the struggle and felt her way through the dark room until she got to the bathroom and switched on the light. The intensity of the light hurt her eyes and she closed them till she adjusted to the brightness.
She stared at herself in the mirror and she almost didn’t recognize the agonized person staring back at her. She splashed some water on her face and as she started to brush her teeth, the pain came crashing down on her all over again and she burst into tears and cried deep racking sobs until her tear ducts gave up on her and the tears stopped coming.
Ani was a blissfully happy wife and mother, up until two weeks ago when her sun set in the morning and her whole world went dark…
‘See you later darling’, Gabe said to his wife Ani as he kissed her goodbye on his way to work. She turned around to face him, wound her hand around his neck, stood on her toes and kissed him right back.
‘I love you honey, have a good day at work and don’t forget to carry your lunch downstairs.’
‘Ok babe, I love you too and give baby Eno a big kiss for me, bye!’ He hurried down the stairs to pick up his lunch and as he drove away, Ani stood at the window, with one hand on her chest and the other hand on her lips blowing him a kiss. She knew he couldn’t see her but she blew him the kiss any way and when she couldn’t see his car anymore she turned around, whistling a happy tune and was ready to start her day.
Still whistling and smiling, she made a mental note of all the things she wanted to do before noon and she walked into her baby girl’s room to pick her up and get her ready for day care; but as she got to the edge of the crib she stopped dead in her tracks. She suddenly couldn’t move or breathe and as she forcefully willed herself to look into the crib, her eyes confirmed what her heart already felt. Her baby girl, her precious little angel, lay dead in her crib. Ani’s heart thumped furiously as she stood there holding her cold, stiff baby. She finally let out an ear piercing scream that had the gate man racing upstairs to find her.
‘I’m terribly sorry Mrs Ime but Eno is dead and the cause of death is suffocation, for some reason her air supply was cut off in her sleep and her brain couldn’t survive the sudden lack of oxygen so her heart gave out and…’ Dr Thomas went on and on but Ani no longer heard a word that came out of his mouth and as the last of the adrenaline holding her up finally drained out of her, she passed out and fell right into her husband’s arms.
The rest of the day went by in a blur but mentally Ani had checked out. She was there, but she was gone in her head, she hadn’t shed a single tear and she moved as though she were a robot. The sun was setting as she walked back into her baby’s room to pick an outfit for her funeral. She picked the white and gold dress that baby Eno wore for her christening, it was only right that she wore it to go meet the Lord. Time seemed to go by in such a hurry. In less than ten hours, a plot at the cemetery had been paid for, a tiny little white coffin had been bought and as the last rays of the run reflected on the tiny coffin being let down into the tiny grave, Ani knew that her life as she knew it was over…
The shrill sound of her phone ringing brought her back to reality…she sighed deeply and left the bathroom to brace herself to face the day. One day at a time she said to herself, one day at a time…
Written by Adaugo from Adaugo Diary.
*** Hope you enjoyed the story! I was so excited to have my friend/blogger Adaugo agree to take on part of the Fiction Friday posts this month. She’s amazing and her words are so real! Gee! You could almost see yourself in her stories. Do check out her amazing blog Adaugo Diary Thanks for reading!
Cheers to a blissful weekend!
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.
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I pondered the frailty of man
As I trudged through each day
Weary from the burdens I bear
What more can I say?
This morning was the same
I careened down the street
With heavy designer bags weighing down my eyelids
The vanity of living in this world
Has weighed on my heart heavily
I’m fagged out of it all
Unbeknownst to me what was about to befall me
There she was, crossing the road
When in the twinkle of an eye
She was pushed down
And rolled over by the tricycle
It could have been worse
Say a truck or a pathfinder
I watched her unconscious body sprawled on the road
In total shock and dismay
Oh the frailty of man!
One minute you’re here and the next you’re gone
Why then do we pursue riches
Without regarding who would gather it when we’re gone?
Why do we live as though there is no end?
Why do we hate and tug at each other in order to be ahead in the rat race?
Why do we relegate our friends and family to the backseat while our insatiable search for wealth
Takes on front row?
We are like flowers,
We bloom, we blossom but we also wither and are no more,
Oh dear heart, be comforted
For this isn’t the end
Death is but a portal to a new life
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
Endings are always portals to new beginnings.
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