I remember our first date. We were having coffee. I sat across from him, miles away. He didn’t even know me, but to me, he was an open book ready to be feasted upon by my ever curious eyes. I searched through depths of his mind- reading post after post. He was intriguing, I thought to myself. He became the muse and today, I’m borrowing his concept to bring DTM. Read the rest of this entry »
She, like anyone else had baggage. Admittedly, she was a hooker and everyone knew it. She’d hear the whispers whenever she passed by. But really, how was a pretty girl supposed to make money and get by? Of course she wasn’t happy about the turn her life had taken. She always wanted to marry and well, have kids. But who was she kidding; she was just a sex worker.
Something about him drew her close. He wasn’t like the others. He was- different. She observed him. His eyes were so transparent, she could see his heart. There was something there…something she had never seen. Was it love?
Sneaking into the elite party, she found her way to his seat. His eyes still held that thing for her. It thawed the ice inside of her as her tears began to fall in torrents. She knelt at his feet and cried some more, then pulled her silky hair loose to absorb the tears. With the one expensive Miss Dior bottle, she sprayed his feet till the entire room took up the beautiful scent.
He looked at her with compassion in his eyes. Saw all she had done but didn’t judge her. He forgave her despite the pile up of sins. He loved her and she in turn reflected his love like her eyes reflected his.
She loved much because she was forgiven much. –Luke 7:47
You know why some of us still have the time to judge others for their sins or place ours on a scale and see whose is the heaviest? Well, because we love little. Thanks to God who loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us. In so doing, He set an example of what love is. He was sinless and had every right to judge us but he didn’t.
Why then do we see others who sin and think it’s unforgivable? We put them on the stand and sentence them guilty. This, they’ve gotten used to. And for this reason, they won’t change. We will judge them anyway!
You can’t say you love and find it so hard to forgive.
We love much when we understand the gravity of our sins and the extent of His forgiveness. We love others when we realize we’ve all sinned and fallen short but God loves us anyway. This love, He expects us to extend to others.
It’s Valentine’s season and I couldn’t help dropping a message on love. Let’s love much because we know how much we’ve been forgiven.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends! ❤❤
Song of the week: You Love me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets.
The hair on her neck prickled, she got a feeling that there was something hovering, weighing on her. She shook it off-she was NOT superstitious, forget she grew up under a superstitious mother. Still doing the dishes, she began to whistle a happy tune and bob her head from side to side.
Instantly startled by the heavy pounding on her apartment door, just behind her, she dropped the dish she was holding. For some reason, her heart pounded and the banging on her door persisted, a tiny voice whimpering ‘please, please, help me!! He’s coming’
She turned, heart pounding, frozen. But a force pulled her towards the door-what if, what if she could actually help? What if she put herself in danger? As thoughts raced in her head, she heard it again, a sob, a whimper, just against the door, please help….
She just got into action and unbolted the door; a small, disheveled girl pushed past her but that wasn’t the scary part, she was covered in red. She turned to stare at her, to ask the questions if her lips could utter them and the girl cried ‘he’s coming, he’s coming’
If only she knew then, what she knew now, she would have bolted out the door, herself, leaving the girl behind. She wouldn’t be staring at the hard unforgiving lid of a coffin. The clawing certainty she was going to die.
‘Who-o-o?’ she asked. There wasn’t need for an answer, the hair on the back of her neck prickled. This time, she didn’t feel a presence hovering. This time, the hot, sticky, heavy breath behind her neck was real.
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Have a fabulous 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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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
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! ❤
Stay with me. That was the last thing I said. Stay with me, was the last song that played before the lights went off and the gloom returned. He couldn’t even fight for us. He called me today though- I should probably be happy. I mean, I’m in a good place aren’t I? Then why is my heart beating faster? Why am I sweating when the AC is down sixteen degrees?
He said I was still his love even though things weren’t working out well for us. All I could do was let out a wry smile. I mean, ‘yeah right!’
I haven’t had any success stories when it comes to love. Maybe I make a monster out of them. I don’t know. I think I’ve given up on trying to figure out these things. I don’t know the happy version of the love story. I only know the sad tales with the broken hearts that live happily never after. Now when I’m going into a relationship, I go with the thought of the end in mind. But it’s funny how no matter how prepared I am for the end, my heart still aches differently when it is over. I’m sure if it were possible, Dex would hand me the box of tissues and sad playlists whenever one ended. Because he knows this. His thick fur has absorbed most of my tears. But it’s fine.
I’m thinking of traveling again. Maybe a bit of Indian spiced dishes will give me a different reason for the tears that seamlessly fall down my made up face. Oh yes, I finally learnt the art of making up. I’m still too laid back to do it every day but oh well! I learnt something new. Thanks YouTube!
From the makeup, you probably guessed there’s something special about today. Yeah, it’s my birthday. Every birthday since we became friends, Austin sends shoes. Well the first order he tried got mixed up but soon it became a ritual. I was sure I would get a new pair of shoes every birthday. And a note with the address for our dinner date where I’d wear the shoe to, of course.
I’m a little anxious today though. Considering what happened a couple of months back. I had gotten into a relationship with this morning’s caller. His name? Call him Drake. Not because he is my favourite musician but because his beards are so well carved. I think I like guys in the beard gang. Focus. So yeah I started dating Drake and the awful day came when I had to tell Austin. I think it broke him. He withdrew and stayed for days without chatting with me. Funny though, I and Drake couldn’t work out.
How do you know those guys who should just be friends? I think Drake and I made for good friends with no romantic undertone. And Austin? He has always been my friend! I mean how do you lose a friend by festering feelings that may lead nowhere?
I don’t have many friends. Maybe because I am not friendly enough. Oh no, that’s not the case. I am friendly and make friends easily. Sustainability. Now that’s the issue. I don’t know how to sustain such friendships. No wonder why I can’t sustain romantic relationships either.
My musings come alive when it’s raining. I want some hot chocolate and waffles. Unfortunately, I can’t have that now. I would opt for some fries but the merchants are not out yet.
The weather is comforting. Well except the mud I have to paddle through. I pray my birthday turns out well. But these days I don’t care so much for birthdays. I’m 29 already. Getting old. I should have a kid by now. Chuckles.
They are cute when little and obedient. But soon they become little monsters running around the house. I would know this because I watched my niece grow. So adorable! Yet mischievous.
So back to the friendship thing. My mind finds it hard to understand it. I make friends with the hope that he’s the one. But soon enough I find out he isn’t and I stash them with the remaining trophies on the friendship shelf. More like a new pair of shoes to my already robust collection.
Is it wrong to date friends? Is it right to friend zone potentials? You can only have one ‘the one ‘ right? Sighs. I don’t want to be greedy. I’m known for eating my cake and having it. But I mean, I could just take a tiny bite and keep the rest.
So instead of hot chocolate for the weather, I’m having iced lemonade. At least the cold matches the cold in my heart. And the sour taste, that’s just the taste of all my broken relationships and sour friendships.
I hope Austin sends my birthday gift. Not like I need a new pair, but I just need to know he still values our friendship. It’s okay if he doesn’t. I will be fine. I never told him I broke up with Drake. Just so he wouldn’t ask me out and receive an inevitable no. If only friends will just be friends. Sighs.
It’s still raining. I need to go out. I hate being grounded. Hopefully I should be up in the air next week. India will do me good. I believe. Come away with me.
©Mfon Etuk, 2016.