Alone

You often wonder what people will think while scrolling down your tweets, the words that remain on the screen after your suicide. Will they feel pity? Sadness? Will they be irritated that you chose the football season? Will they pretend to know what you wanted or comment on how they just passed you by the market a year ago?

You think about these things. You try not to.

I try to forget the truth. I’d never leave this place alive.

Life happens when we don’t realize it, the days pass as we remain ignorant of what time steals from us, every second, every minute dragging our souls deeper into debt. A debt death always collects. I’ve seen death come around before, unannounced but focused. She’s always in our stories, gossip, the papers, and her weakness for the spotlight possesses her. The headlines. The news. The drama.

Shola says you think of death too much. How do you ignore someone so loud?

You think of you elder brother, who started shrinking, not like granma whose back curved as she celebrated her 80th year but in a way a teenage boy shouldn’t. Fat cheeks gave way to jaw lines. You grew tired of the endless days by his bedside. The thick smell of disinfectant, the white tiles, the nurses you knew by name who offered church pamphlets and unsolicited prayers. You just wanted to be free. Didn’t you? You wanted to leave that place. You loved him though, like no one else. The guilt.

The guilt will never leave you. Even when you pack a black bag and move 10,000 miles, it remains like smoke on your hair, the dark on your skin. The dirt on the coffin. Thick sand and the only reason you didn’t want to leave is so he wouldn’t be alone.

So you wouldn’t be alone.

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Asiko

It’s best to know when you’ve crossed the finish line. Although recognizing defeat is considered necessary for survival it has eluded generations. For mama Biola it was her sixth daughter, she could have stopped at two. She heard the whispers, knew it too well.

“A womb barren of sons”,

“Mama Biola’s poor poor husband. Who would carry on his legacy?”

The gossips omit that his legacy consisted of a dingy bungalow and millions in debt.

Mama Biola went on her knees every night for vindication. Mercy from god, for a fertile womb. Strong sons.

The third she named Asikooluwaloju; the ‘Timing of God is best’, her name a prayer. A useless prayer which meant thank you but this isn’t enough. A plea for more.

Asiko grew filled with bile, suckled on her mother’s disappointment and grew into puberty like an unfulfilled promise. Drawn to weary men who could never satisfy her.

Undeterred by gossip

“Asiko Ashawo”

“Asiko never keeps her legs closed”

“Asiko who sleeps around like a man”

Asiko, unsatisfied as they come, Asiko searching for the right moment. Asiko who never stays.