A Naive Lovestory

This story isn’t worth any attention, not from this world anyway. Perhaps it might matter in mars or Saturn, some planet that treasures in-betweens and mediocre love in which both partners survive, or maybe someday in the future an omniscient would watch them with mouth agape, confused and thrilled by their simplicity.

Her deep-brown empty eyes was constantly overwhelmed by her weightlessness, her insignificance, casting dark shadows in them; she would spend every second of her life grasping at passing fads, clutching every weave, every book or any man that could assure her concrete feet. She was after all just a clueless girl in a significant world with an insignificant story.

His arms bulked and hardened from countless gym sessions, stretching towards some unknown anchor.  He had the help of three elder brothers more experienced on life’s battlefield, they would teach him to press his feet firmly to the earth. With wild shoulders, toned abs and easy laughter, he came to the world fully equipped. He naturally grew an air of confidence that didn’t even require any intelligence.

The story however begins when they first met, on the noisy corridor with old railings. In their memories, the corridor would always carry significance; the murky skies and the crowds’ noise would become beautiful harmonic chatter.

 

Weeks later they would hold hands, never really understanding what love means but attempt to grasp it anyway, like they’ve done all their lives.

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Wife Material

Simi carefully thought about which strong skill she had left out, application was a after all a long stressful process. Application began from refinement, she was raw gold again like her mother always said. She spent hours relearning the basics, proper use of cutlery, gourmet cooking, traditional dishes, how to make mushrooms in beer batter, how to slice afang leaves perfectly. She was convinced her vast knowledge would give her an edge over other applicants, she also attached her certificate from the local cleaning school just in case. Scanning through once more, she added that she had helped her mother raise her 5 siblings extremely well; her younger brother was even admitted into an ivy league.

 She answered all the application questions except one hesitating at first

  • State your view towards alcoholics

She had searched for a suitable answer for days to no avail. It gave her a strange sensation, some sort of déjà vu, how she would eventually become her mother and how her daughter and granddaughter will in turn become her. A generation of women who would love unconditionally. She had to answer anyway

“My father was an alcoholic, I loved him intensely”.

 

She printed the application with the realization that If she failed in this dream there would be nothing left for her, this has been all she ever wanted to be, all she would ever be. A good wife.

 

She put the final full stop on her application. This was her last application; she felt it in her gut, the one. Sealing the envelope she planted kisses on the address, she would be chosen and litter kisses on the face of her new husband.

Reception Heroes

Hotel receptionists are hardly ever acknowledged. This is a hole in the universe no one cares to fill, we could have a receptionist’s day sometime in between thanksgiving and christmas but no, the world cannot recognize all heroes. It is the way things have always been and will be.

Inem, the receptionist works diligently behind her concrete desk in Cranium Hotel. She begins her day by cross checking registered guest and spends the day accurately entering the names and information provided by new guests on her white desktop. Today begins like any other, the checking out of hungover girls still in yesterday’s clothes and new reservations made by horny young men.

11:30am is filled with lots of guests pulling out their luggages before the 12pm daily count, their determination to use the room completely at last fulfilled. This is when Inem hears the strange chanting. A young lady with unkempt weave and tired eyes has her hands down her pant, eyes closed, itching and chanting. Inem immediately recognizes the problem, it is after all another election season. She takes the girl by the hand and leads her to the inner office
“Where is the man you checked in with?” Inem asks
The lady continues itching, mutters inaudibly then laughs
“Can I get you anything?” Inem tries again the lady smiles “two bottles of beer and fried egg”.
Inem leaves the room, takes out money from her purse and pays for the 2 beers.
The waiter delivered it to the inner room as Inem picked up the telephone and dialed the number of their policemen (it is important for all reliable hotels to privately own policemen). She told them there was a mad girl who had to be taken off the hotel premises, they responded that they would be there soon.

Inem went back to her concrete desk, the situation was not uncommon after all. Her employer wouldn’t take that as an excuse, it was after all the fault of the many young ladies who wanted easy money from old politicians. The politician ended up using dark magic to steal the young girl’s sanity and promote his campaign instead. It was the way things were. Laws didn’t apply to dark magic.

The policemen arrived and hailed a taxi for the lady. She muttered some address, no one cared if she knew the place or not. She simply needed to leave. Inem paid the cab fare and watched the unaware cabman start the engine. There was nowhere to send mad people in their country. That was the way things were.

Elixir

Kike learned early in life how to stop horrible emotions. Loud arguments and yelling could be silenced. The Loud voices could fade. A glass of gin in her mothers hand. An elixir for heartbreak.

Her mother would shove the gin down her daughter’s throat. A mother’s love. She would do anything to teach her daughter numbness. Indifference. That the world would love her, hate her then leave her wounded. The world would occasionally visit and pierce open old wounds. No one was worth her heart.

 

Kike learnt too well. She learnt to light cigarettes with scented candles. To take shots of vodka that led straight to a stranger’s bed. Mostly married. Men with happy little families who wanted a taste of despair.

 

A girl wounded, heart still bleeding.

An unhappy girl, numb with scarlet lips.

Soft scarlet lips.

Forbidden fruit too sweet.

 

She would kiss each man with a different story. She became whoever they wanted her to be. This was her happiness, an actress in despair.

Baobab

Many lifeless afternoons we spent time carving out initials into baobab trees. We would pierce them with sticks, nails, and our fingers if we had to. We understood this was the way of the world. Love grew out of hurt. Different kinds of pain. Like how we came forth from the screams of our mothers. The foreclosure on her womb a symbol of love.

Today we would collect the sap of this tree and rub them against each other’s skin. We never spoke much. He in fact didn’t need to. He didn’t need the hearing aid with me. We were each other’s private rooms. The walls painted white splattered with the scarlet of our secrets. We didn’t need to reveal them or explain our pasts. We were comfortable just sitting there, in the mess of each other.

We constantly laid old blankets on the withering glass and just held hands. He would look at me with a wide toothed grin. Gestures could really be enough.

Utopia

In Year 2010, a secret government experiment was initiated. The creation of an “utopia” was attempted at the heart of Konhill, the forgotten 37th state sealed away from the rest of the country.

 

The utopia was to create the God-fearing leaders that Nigeria obviously required. The head of state promised this to the Nigerian people at his inauguration. He climbed the podium swollen with pride and announced he was God’s elect. The civil war was the test of a father. He would deliver them. He would raise perfect leaders during his term. He was a man of his words.

 

The current problem was that the experiment had gone sour; infants brought into the utopia over 20 years ago had evolved. They begun exhibiting traits they were not exposed to. They had begun creating experiments of their own. Two months ago a female subject GFL 16, with fiery hair and a sharp tongue was confirmed pregnant. This came as a surprise as there was nothing domestic in her nature.

 

The head of the state had visited a scientist years before the coup d’état with wild intentions. He held the notion that men could overcome the small things life. That if all their physical needs were met they would be able to overcome love and greed.

 

The scientist obviously knew his request was impractical but the military leader was a man to whom you could only answer in the affirmative.

The scientist agreed to the lunatic experiment. He would conduct with a weekly cleanse of the subjects minds; they were to be exposed only to religious texts and would make no contact with the outside world. This could however only buy the scientist time.

 

A drastic end was inevitable. His findings contradicted the state of nature, survival of the fittest and man’s basic instincts. He would flip over his notes in confusion, double check his records since inception. 20 years of his life had gone into this research.  The end came in form of a graveyard protest; a hundred and sixty one souls took their own lives for their freedom.

 

The scientist’s conclusion will double as his death note

“Imprisoned bodies do not equal imprisoned souls”

A Poem With Unrelated Stanzas

We tried to define love for too long

We got tired of the routine

Your hands under my shirt

“Do you feel loved yet?”

 

We’ve lost too much

We couldn’t lose this too

We swallowed the stars

The earth could keep its emptiness

 

Like old grandfathers, obsessions die

I had worn you out in my mind

You became my old song on repeat

An old book with dog-eared pages

 

I would never tire of waiting

Your third daughter looks like me

Reasons Why We Failed at Love

1)      I needed someone else to validate my self-worth.

2)      Love is war. My father died at war.

3)      You laugh too easily, I’m full of despair.

4)      Aunty Hauwa said men are scarce, someone better deserves you.

5)      My hands are too dark; I couldn’t touch you without tainting you.

6)      I am not a joke

7)      I’ve been around a while and I’ve never met a survivor of love.

8)      Hope is a terrible disease, you are a carrier.

9)      My body is stained with the hands of other men.

10)   You were looking for someone to save. I want to be the hero in my own story.

11)   You were sweeter than my solitude, and that’s too great a change.

12)   You wanted to make love with the lights on.

13)   I showed you all my scars and you kissed them.

14)   The hermit in me hates competition. I’m tired of being a consolation prize.

15)   You are a masochist

16)   You’ve loved too many women; its an instinct now, you’ve forgotten how to love.

17)   Loss runs in my blood.

18)   My mother still sees all her past lovers in her sleep.

19)   We tried too hard to prove the world wrong.

20)   I was drunk, he said I loved it. I wish I remember.

21)   I was obsessed with the idea of you. The real you was ugly.

22)   Life never gave me second chances.

23)   She was prettier with the lights on.

24)   My ex-boyfriend said I smelled of dust and mildew, like an abandoned house.

25)   Forgive me; I wanted your happiness.

26)   My grand-aunt didn’t blink the afternoon she set her husband on fire.

27)   The men in my family always leave.

28)   You wanted too much, I was just learning to love.

29)   The memories of you are heavy.

30)   You said you loved me too many times.

31)   You said you could make me happy. I hate liars.

32)   The masochist in me couldn’t stand you. You reeked of happiness.

33)   You were my idol, our love was a sin.

34)   I belong deeply to myself.

Inspired by Warsan Shire’s 34 Excuses For Why We Failed at Love https://thenigerianstoryteller.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/34-excuses-for-why-we-failed-at-love-warsan-shire/

Nigerian Girl Problem

I skimmed through the pages of several books hoping to find someone like me. I’d pick them off the shelf and dump them there. Disappointed by today. Disappointed by life. The slit on my black dress was a bit too high. I could tell because of several stares of fascinated men and irritated women. Italian gold heels, also too high. My weave left strands of hair on my body. Discomfort tried to choke me to tears.
I missed carefree days, just wished I could breathe back all that life into me. My college dorm. My ex boyfriend with the tattoo.
Why does life happen?