Home could be a strange place with familiar faces and distant memories. For a while I’ll need you to forget all that talk about having your heart at home, and imagine that you are capable of venturing far away and also forgetting bits of yourself in different places- like phone chargers, toothbrushes, and underwear- each becoming a sort of hocrux. Finally without planning or realizing, our hearts are spread across continents, across families, across friends and we return home with empty ribcages that would exhaust themselves from relearning how to love.

Amaka moved back home a week after graduation, she had spent  10 years without permanence (6 years in boarding school and 4 in university), she had spent Christmases at home- where the heart is -with her lovely family, never fighting or stepping on each other. There was always enough calculated love to last 30 days, trying to pick up from last year’s fond memories.

Moving back was different as she brought home souvenirs of expectations and experiences which couldn’t fit with that of the lovely family. Too much was expected from both sides- respect, responsibility, maturity, -same word with different meanings.  Amaka noticed the nag in her father’s voice, the injustice of being expected to cook all the meals and do the dishes. Amaka’s father discovered his daughter would never make a good wife; he should have kept his daughter close to home.

All stories have a moment of inception; these are the moments that would someday explain why Amaka ended up in the stranger’s parlor in Amsterdam.


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