December

It was not only the strange blue bird that came tapping on the window in December. There was also harmattan dust pouring in through the mosquito net covering everything. Dust left undisturbed.

December was the month your mother woke up with a prophecy, the picture frame in the living room breaking open and spilling acid on the tiled floor. She had premonitions nearly every week, but this one was an attack on the family. She knew it wasn’t literal, God was never literal, working through strange but easily deduced metaphors since creation.

December was the month mother fired the cleaner who told the driver that father followed “small small yellow girls”. You did not ask how she heard this, you said a prayer because that was what she wanted. The month mother started buying night creams, her skin whitening with the season, growing pale because that is what older women do, fade.

December was when you met Amina at the pool, someone called her dolphin, you liked the way her body curved and dipped underwater. Amina borrowed your goggles to see what the bottom of the pool looked like, you had a racing competition and became fast friends. Later in December, you heart raced while you placed your hands on her curves in her dark, sparsely furnished room, eyes closed like some kind of prayer, her lips warm and soft. It felt different from Osiye, tender and strange. You will later pretend like it never happened.

December is the month you turn 25, when your boyfriend, Osiye, tells you he needs more time. Osiye’s face lights up when trying to explain vastness, he believes there are some hundred billion galaxies. Osiye knows everything but what he wants or maybe he doesn’t really want you.

December is a prayer filled with sentiments, hope for a new year with rain.

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