STORY – ONYINYE’S TALE 3

 

She obviously loved James with all her heart and couldn’t wait to get married to him but the uncertainties of life wouldn’t let her mind rest. Something inside her head kept telling her that maybe her parents had a point.


It was Friday finally and the week actually ended better than it started. Mr. Femi had been going for site jobs for the whole week so there was no yelling or insulting in the office and her mum hadn’t called her again. At around 12 o’ clock, Onyinye was about to step out of the office for lunch when her phone rang and she checked her phone screen and it read “Tari the b*tch”. She picked,

“Tari the bitch!”

“Onyinye the whore!”

The two bestfriends greeted themselves in their usual manner and laughed their heads off for about three seconds. Onyinye met Tari two years ago during her NYSC camp at Delta state and ever since they haven’t let go of each other.

“Babes where have you been oo, you have replaced me abi?” Tari teased

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STORY – ONYINYE’S TALE 2

 

She got home at around 7 pm and performed her daily evening routine. She first unlocked her door, slammed it shut behind her, took off her heels and put them by the door and then hung her keys on the ‘key nail’ as she liked to call it. After that, she dropped her hand bag which also contained her laptop on her reading desk, and then headed for the kitchen to make sure there was food to eat before she took of her clothes.

 

“Phew, this beans didn’t spoil, thank God!” she said in relief.

 

She then took off her clothes and stuffed them into the laundry basket.

 

“How can someone mess up so many clothes in one weekend?” she said to herself as the struggled with the clothes in the rubber basket.

 

When she won the war between man and fabric, she finally stepped into the bathroom for the warm shower she had been dreaming of all day. The harmattan had dealt with her today and her studio partners refused to put off the AC. She always wondered if they had skins of leather. Especially David, he always had the sleeves of his pure cotton shirt rolled up while she on the other hand, had a vest, a jacket and neck tie on and she still felt  cold.

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STORY – ONYINYE’S TALE

She rushed out of her apartment, half-greeted Mrs. Okon her neighbour and didn’t even double-check to see if she actually slammed her door shut. The compound where she lived wasn’t exactly by the main road so she had to pull off her heels and run towards the road to flag down a bus on time. Her boss had already warned her about her lateness, especially on Monday mornings. She never understood why she always made it late to work on Mondays. Maybe it was simply because she hated Mondays, I mean who didn’t?!

When she got to the main road, she walked to the nearest bus stop and stood in line to wait for the next bus.

“Excuse me” someone said from behind her. “Excuse me, hey, I’m talking to you” he said again.

“Not this morning” she muttered to herself. She always expected this every morning and before she turned around to reply such, she said a little prayer to God: “Please let him have sense, please”.

“Yes?” she finally replied

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STORY- I ASKED FOR FUN 2

Later that night while we were having dinner, I decided to share my new discovery with everyone.

“Daddy, why didn’t you tell us that papa had a second wife?” I asked


 

“Second wife kwa? Who told you that?” he asked

“Ahn ahn, the boy that lives in that small house behind nau. The last son of papa’s second wife” I continued.

“Hian. There is nobody living in that house. You have come again with your mischief. Please don’t scare your siblings. First you were complaining about the food, now you’re coming up with scary stories” he replied in dismissal.

“But-”

“Ekene will you shut up and stop being stubborn. Eat your food and stop scaring your siblings” my mum interrupted.

My parents never gave me a chance to talk. I felt adopted at this point. It was almost as if they hated me. I didn’t care anyway because I had someone to talk with now.

The next two days went very well for me. I wasn’t bothered about the food or the prayers anymore because I always looked forward to gisting with Peter. I would go there and stay for hours and then leave when I suspected that my mum was looking for me. The best thing about it all was that nobody ever noticed I was gone. I guess they were too bored or something. On the fourth day, during our conversations, I decided to ask about the old man I saw twice at the window and in front of the house. He told me that it was his sick uncle who was always asleep. After I asked this question, Peter suddenly became distant and quiet and I became uncomfortable and so I decided to leave earlier than usual and probably come back another time.

I told him I was leaving and he followed me and closed the door behind. I was walking out of the porch when I saw my dad.

“Ekene! What did I tell you about that building? Do you want to wound yourself? Are you stupid?” he said as he walked towards me. “What were you doing in that house?”

“Papa, I told you that grandpa’s son lives there, you refused to listen to me.” I replied “One fair tall guy stays there. His name is Peter. How come you don’t know him?”

“Peter? This girl are you sure you are okay? Come and show me the person” he said as we walked back to the house.

When we got there, I knocked on the door the first time.

“Peter!”

I knocked the second time and to my surprise, the door fell off it’s hinges to the floor inside the house. This was odd, we stepped inside the house and it was like a dream.

The sitting room was full of logs of wood piled up at a corner, there were thick cobwebs everywhere. The floors made a squeaky sound every time we moved around. The furniture looked very old and worn out. There were rodents everywhere. I looked up and a part of the ceiling had fallen off leaving a gaping hole there. It was like the house had gone about 100 years into the future all of a sudden.

“B-but, I sat here, right here” I said pointing to the smaller couch. “Peter sat here. W-we were talking and eating. Just here.” I was confused.

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STORY- I ASKED FOR FUN 1

When my mum announced to us a week ago that we were going to the village for our Christmas holiday, I felt like slapping the excitement off her face because I didn’t understand it. In plain terms, I hated my village. There was no network to chat, no electricity during the day, and I had no friends to talk to there. My dad is the eldest in the family and so he has the oldest kids, all we had was ourselves and smaller cousins who couldn’t understand or speak English. It was terrifying.

For the past one week, we had been having the same daily routine. We would wake up at six to pray with the other families in the compound. I never understood the songs they sang or the prayers they said because it was all in my native dialect. My mum usually gave me the stare during these prayers because I simply kept mute and looked around like I was in a museum. After prayers, breakfast would be served from the communal local kitchen that always made my eyes water with all the smoke from burning firewood. It was either fried plantain with pap or tea and bread. No indomie, no eggs, nothing!

The last time I complained to my mother about the food and my father overheard it, I got the shouting of my life.

“You are still 16 and under my roof! What I have, you eat! If you do not like the food, go hungry or get a job. Nonsense!”

Oh lord, when was it going to end?!

The worst part of my day was taking my bath. The bathroom was about six meters away from the main house and not only was it untiled and slippery, you had to walk all the way back to the house with the harmattan breeze drying you up, making you cold and cracking your already cracked lips. This happened to me on the first four days of our stay until I devised a means to manage it: early baths.

I woke up as early as 5 o’clock and took my bath behind our house before it was time for prayers and that solved it all for me. Or did it?

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CHINWE’S TALE

“My name is Chinwendu Okezie and I am in Primary One andI am here to present a rhyme titled ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’”. She looked so cute in her pink dress that her mother patiently made for her in preparation for her school’s prize giving day ceremony. Her mum looked at her from the crowd as she looked so cute with the pretty pink bow on her fluffy afro hair and suddenly remembered how difficult it was to get Chinwendu to stay still. At the end of her rendition, little Chinwendu was overwhelmed with the applause she got from the crowd as she tried hard to gracefully step down from the stage with the help of Miss Martha her class teacher.
“And second position goes to Chinwendu Okezie!” Mr.Martin said almost screaming on the microphone. “Clap for her, clap for her!”
“Go and collect your gift now! Stand up osiso!” Ogonna said to her daughter who, for reasons unknown to her, seemed disappointed. Chinwendu sighed deeply, stood up and walked slowly to the miniature stage in front to collect her gift.

When the party was over and Ogonna was done greeting Chinwe’s teachers with small envelopes of 300 naira as instructed by her husband, She led her daughter out of the school compound. When they had boarded a bus to Rumuola bus stop, Ogonna allowed her thoughts to drift while still clutching her daughter protectively on her lap and her purse under her armpit. She was so distracted that she didn’t notice that her baby had been quietly sobbing all the while.
“Ewo, Chinwe what is it? Why are you crying? Is the bus too tight?”
Chinwendu replied by slowly moving her head from side to side.
“Then what is it? Is it the second position?”
Chinwendu nodded.
“Mtchewwww! Is that why you are crying? You are my star! My Princess! You don’t need first position to make you feel special now. Ngwa come here” Ogonna said pulling her close. Continue reading

NECHE’S TALE

It was 3:00 p.m and I heard it again- Ariana Grande’s ‘Side to Side’ blasting from my nokia phone which was probably somewhere in the living room. I heard it the first time but it was faint as the shower was on and I was singing to myself.

I traced the sound to the sofa in the living room and saw it there vibrating on the couch. I looked at the phone screen.

‘Mum’

“Hello?” I said into the receiver knowing exactly what she was about to say.

“Bia Neche, okwa i ka no n’uno?” she asked in igbo. “What are you still waiting for? Madame Uju would soon leave and she is a very impatient woman! Do fast and get out of that house!”

Mrs. Uju. I remember the last time I had to go with her somewhere. I was supposed to go with her to Ozubulu on an errand. My mum called me an hour before hand telling me she was impatient and I took this piece of information for granted. It was until I had to board a bike in pursuit of her grey mazda wagon car that I understood exactly what the word ‘impatient’ meant.

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STORY – CHINDA’S TALE_4

I was so happy and couldn’t wait to tell grandma the good news. I ran into the compound and saw a police van. A police van? I stopped in my tracks, too scared to enter the house. What was a police van doing in grandma’s house?

“Mama? Mama?!” I said running into the house. When I got inside the living room, I saw grandma arms folded  and two police men standing and talking to her.
“Granny what is it? What is going on?!” I asked rushing to her side seeing that she was in distress.
“Nda your mother…your mother..your mother…” she said trailing off before hissing and shrugging.
“Ermmm madame,  we shall take our leave now. We suggest you go and see her as she named you as her next of kin. Good day” the policeman said before exiting the apartment.
When the police men had left the compound, I asked her again what the issue was.
“Wait…is mummy dead?” I asked expecting only one answer.
“My daughter is not dead. Tufiakwa. It’s not her time” granny said passing her hand over her head.
“Then what is it nau? What did the police say?” I continued impatiently.

STORY – CHINDA’S TALE_3

“…and so I stabbed him with the letter opener and ran out of…” I paused when her phone rang.
“It’s your mother” she said showing me the phone screen.

“Mama please don’t tell her that I am here. Please I don’t want to go back there. Please” I begged hopelessly.
“Hello” she said into the receiver. I couldn’t hear my mum on the other end but from what I could hear, there was something about a robbery, someone going to the hospital and a police report. When mama was done with the phone call, she looked me in the eye and asked me if I was telling the truth.
“Mama, I swear, that man is a monster! See my neck” I said, showing her the faded scars on my neck and thighs.
“Your mother just called me to tell me that armed robbers attacked her husband and stabbed him. She said that she has gone to file a missing person’s report for you because her husband thinks the robbers may have taken you” mama explained.
“Jesus! It’s a lie mama. He tried to do it again! He’s lying! He’s lying” I screamed with tears rolling down my cheeks “He’s a liar!”

…SO WE COOKED MY SON AND ATE HIM

“Speak woman! How may I help you?”

She fell to the floor exhausted, tears gushing down her eyes. She was tired. She lacked the words to explain what had just happened to her. What had she just done to herself? Would the king kill me? How was I to explain the inexplicable? Drowning in her own thoughts, she wailed again in the king’s palace,

“Help me, your majesty”

“Speak woman, what’s your trouble?” The king asked again as he obviously began to lose his patience

Trying to put herself together, she knelt before the king. I have to try. There is nothing left to lose

“Your majesty,” she said, taking a deep breath, “The other day a woman suggested that we eat my child and then eat her child the next day. I didn’t have a choice. Things went beyond my control. It was the only way out. So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day, I told her we had to eat her son but she hid him from me”

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