The First

I was cleaning out my wardrobe. I had just gone out and acquired a whole lot of clothes from my trip. One of the compromises I had had to make with my husband was that every time I bought new stuff I would clean out my wardrobe and decide what I wanted to keep and what I would give out, it gave me something to do and at the same time kept our rooms and home sane.

I started with the drawers at the bottom of my wardrobe. I hadn’t worn anything in the drawer for five years now. Five years since I got married. Five years better than what I deserved. I pulled out all the clothes in the drawers and dumped them in the away pile. They would surely fit someone with a huge frame.

As I arranged my new clothes in the drawer my hand hit the bottom of the drawer and I remembered that I had a false bottom made for that drawer. I opened it up and pulled out my diaries I had hidden there; they were diaries I had kept up until the year I got married.

One in particular caught my eye. It was a pearl blue leather bound diary I had received on my 21st birthday, the last diary I kept. A tear slid down my face as I opened the book and felt the pages, crisp from lack of use and age.

It happened five years ago. I had been dating my husband for 3 years at the time and the only reason we were together was because my best friend pushed me and he pushed harder for a relationship with me, and because there was no other person in the picture; my best friend said it was because I was a lot intimidating.

Frankly I didn’t see what was intimidating about me, I was tall but I had a petite frame. Maybe it was because of the way I moved like someone on a mission, but then I just couldn’t stand to be still for too long, or maybe it was the intensity of which I looked into people with my dark eyes, I could never really tell.

I was headed home from work. I had been having one of the worst days of my life. I had woken up late, gotten to work late and missed an important meeting to which my boss sanctioned me, someone had tripped and spilled a bottle of coke on me – which is what you’d get when you try to drink and walk at the same time – and worst of all the heel of my favorite pair of shoes had broken and I had fallen face flat in the office, simply put – or according to my horoscope – I was out of sync with the universe but something would pull me back to my orbit.

Whatever it was had better find its way soon. I decided to branch for some comfort food on my way home – maybe that was what I needed to pull me back to my universe and my number one comfort food was ice cream and pizza – so I headed out for ice cream and pizza and I went in and out without any incidence and I was grateful for that.

Balancing the box of pizza on my left hand and holding onto the nylon containing my ice cream I fished for my car keys from my pocket with my right hand. I was trying to open my car door but I kept missing the key hole and the key fell out of my tired sweaty hand, I tried catching it in mid-air but then I let go of my ice-cream.

I managed to catch my ice cream before it hit the ground – without letting go of my pizza – but my key hit the ground and bounced a few feet in front of me, landing in front of someone’s shoe.

He picked it up and walked over to hand it to me. And I saw the most handsome man ever. He was dressed in black leather – motorcycle gear- holding his helmet in the other hand. He was sporting a few days’ growth of beards but it was perfect on his tall frame with dark eyes that matched my intense stare. His wavy hair was just perfect and all I wanted to do was kiss his pink lips and fall into his muscular arms and lay my head on his perfect chest – the leather didn’t leave anything to the imagination.

We stood there for a while and then we went in and talked for hours. My parents asked if anything came up when I got home because I was never home that late. We exchanged contact details and no day went by without a funny, flirty conversation with him. I told him everything, about the boyfriend but he then told me he was willing to fight for me.

I would sneak around to hang with him and leave work at my earliest chance to spend extra time with him. My boyfriend was the last thing on my mind. He asked if we were okay once in a while but I told him we were fine. He called and we talked but it was always awkward and boring and I knew deep down that it was over but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him those words knowing my family wouldn’t want to hear them too – My mother had already started planning our wedding in her mind.

Two months after we met, we were having dinner in a romantic restaurant on the island. The atmosphere was charged and I smiled every time I looked at him and I blushed every time he “mistakenly” touched my leg under the table. He looked into my eyes and asked me to marry him. He told me to leave everything and run off with him to some other country where we would start over without all the drama. I said yes and rushed to kiss him; I didn’t care if anyone was looking at us.

We pulled apart – after what seemed like moments – and he looked me straight in the eyes and I felt it too and he pulled out his wallet and dropped a whole bunch of notes on the table and we sped off to his house on his bike. We couldn’t get home any slower. We weren’t through the door when I ripped off his shirt and witnessed the body of a god on a man. I knew at that point I’m totally and wholeheartedly in love with him.

That night was – is still – the best night of my life. I gave myself wholly to him and he gave himself to me. It was the first time I had sex. The first time I had sex with a man. The first time I had sex with the first man I had ever loved. There were no barriers between us and no distance, we were one and one was us, everything was beautiful at that time and there was no curbing his enthusiasm and mine too.

We decided in the morning that I would go to work and we’d meet up after and we would go to the airport together. We were going to start afresh somewhere – he wouldn’t tell me where. He was paying for everything. I ran home to get my passport and I hugged my mom goodbye. She had no idea what was happening but if she did she would have stopped me.

I peeked at my horoscope before I stepped out for work – your old life ends today and you will start your life anew was what it said – and I thought to myself that the universe was finally smiling upon me. I was giddy and happy throughout the day. Everybody kept asking why I was so happy but I couldn’t tell a single soul why and it was the hardest thing I had to do. Work ended and I was so excited but there was no sign of my husband to be. 2 hours later I was a wreck and I started to think that all he wanted was to get into my box, and that maybe I was a fool. I was crazy with worry because his phone wasn’t going through and I couldn’t reach him.

I headed into my car with a broken heart and I turned on the radio and I stopped at a news flash. There had been an accident on the bridge over 2 hours ago involving a fuel tanker, a motorcycle and some other cars and among the causalities that had died on the sport was the rider of a blue motorcycle. I heard the news and my heart broke even further. I was all tears as I drove to the accident site, which was still being evacuated and I moved as close as I could get without getting burned by the flames. I saw his body mangled and burnt beyond recognition, with pieces of his jacket burnt to his skin. I knelt down and cried at the life that I would never have now. In a sense my old life had ended.

Two weeks later, I crawled out of isolation, took my bath for the first time in weeks and headed out to see my former boyfriend – even though we never broke up. I told him I was sorry for my behavior for the past few weeks and I told him I wanted us to get married. It wasn’t too hard to convince him with the offer of sex on the table, even though all I thought about was how I was betraying the memory of the only man I would ever love as deep. I got a letter two weeks later saying I had inherited a ton of money and I kept it in a trust.

My five year old daughter walks into the room and asks why her mother is crying. I look at my watch and realize I spent the day reminiscing. I tell her it’s nothing and that grown-ups cry sometimes and she asks what I’m holding. It’s the diary I was saving for her but I don’t tell her that, instead I walk to the kitchen and set the diary on fire with a lighter. I dump what’s left in the bin and air the kitchen out. I look at her and smile. She looks just like her father; my first everything.

Crazier

(This is the sequel to the “Crazy” post, which you should read first.)

He spotted me as I aimed the gun and as I fired he positioned my sister in front of him to protect himself. I watched as my sister’s body slumped on the bed and he ran from the room. Of course I hadn’t meant to kill her, maybe injure her but he had been my target all along. I didn’t need any ringing in my ears to push me. I was fueled with rage.

Rage from all the years he had stolen from me, Rage that he had now stolen my only sister from me. Rage that he had stolen the only family I had left. I threw the gun to the floor and picked up a piece of wood, heavy enough to do enough damage, light enough for me to swing with some element of freedom. The ringing started again.

I marched into the house, adrenaline fueling my movements. I expected him to be ready for me; he had seen me kill my own sister. He had seen the look in my eyes, the look that said I was ready to kill. It was a situation of impasse. It was kill or be killed. And I intended to be the killer here.

I took off my heels. I didn’t want to draw attention to where I was and I didn’t want to be slowed by my shoe. I pushed open the door and threw my heels in. No reaction. He wasn’t there. I stalked in through the kitchen, keeping my back to the walls.

I moved in, making my way to his bedroom which was at the end of the house. I would have to cross the space between the living room and the passage way leading to the bedroom to get there. He had turned off the lights. He was somewhere around. Probably lying in wait for me. Hoping to stab me in the back again.

I turned on the lights and made my way to the bedroom. Light reflected on a surface in front of me. In an instant I realized what it was. I turned round swinging the plank of wood I was holding. He was coming at me with a knife and he raised his hands to deflect the blow. The knife flew out of his hand and clattered to the floor a few meters away from us.

He rushed at me, grabbing me and knocking the wood away from my hand. We both tumbled to the floor and I hit the floor hard. He grabbed at my throat and began choking the life out of me. I guess a slow death was what he had planned for me. The world was spinning and the lights were dimming. I couldn’t breathe and my vision was blurring with polka dots in the every corner.

And with my last amount of strength I raised my knee to his groin. He doubled over in pain. Gasping for air, I spotted the knife a few feet away, I crawled toward it. He spotted where I was headed and grabbed my leg. I kicked him in the face. He had recovered quicker than I imagined and he grabbed me, ready to go in for the kill. And I plunged the knife into his side.

I stood up and watched as he bled. I grabbed the piece of wood and raised it down on his head. Again and again and again and again. Till I couldn’t raise my arms again. And then I blacked out.

There was a pounding somewhere. I opened my eyes to see I was in my bed. I was cleaned, bathed and in my pajamas. I moved to open the door and saw that my en suite bathroom had been cleaned spotless and there was the faint scent of bleach.

“Yes, who is it?” I asked, sounding groggy.

“It’s the police”

I opened the door to see two policemen in their black uniforms, eyes cold and mouths thin.

“Yes, how may I help you officers?” I asked with a yawn

“We’re here about your boyfriend. It seems he was killed.”

“Why would you think that?” I ask.

“Because his gate man returned late this evening to find the house and gate unlocked and the house spotless with a faint smell of bleach. Not many gate men can speak proper English, so we decided to investigate. And his claims were correct so we’re looking into what might be his murder.”

“One other thing.” The second officer chirped in. “It seems your sister might have been killed as well. The gate man also said he saw someone who we’ve identified as your sister going in today, right before his oga asked him to leave. So whatever or whoever got to him might have gotten to her as well. ”

With that, I fell on the floor, bursting into tears.

“We made plans today,” I wailed “We were supposed to go out and have fun and cheer me up. I called her but she didn’t show so I thought maybe she was busy.”

With that I wailed even louder.

“We’re sorry ma’am to have disturbed you” The officers left like there was a dog napping at their heels.

The ringing started and I smiled to myself. Maybe I was crazy after all.

Guest Post: Musings

(This is our first post from a guest author who wishes to be identified as A. Do enjoy, your feed-backs would be greatly appreciated)

Battling a battle alone isn’t the easiest thing there is to do. Trying your possible best to let no one know about it so that nobody has to worry — especially with our recent loss. But sometimes we need to just talk I guess; it doesn’t solve anything but it provides some kind of comfort, a sense of relief.
In addition, always thinking of tomorrow and never living in today has been an issue. Trying to impress the world but not looking for self-satisfaction. Really looking forward to pursuing a degree in the arts… But you know, I would be regarded as an irresponsible somebody.
And then sometimes, I think turning off my emotions is the best thing; pretending I don’t give damn about anybody; but people down that lane know its all a lie. Everybody is looking for -– attention isn’t the right word but I’d use it anyway– looking for someone to pour their hearts to.
Then you begin to bother about the fact that very little results come out from the very much effort you put into something. That hurts a lot. You feel disappointed, you know you can do much better, matter of fact you were so sure that much better would be achieved… But as fate would have it, you end up a disappointment to yourself. People try to console you by saying “it’s not that bad” but you know your standard, you know your worth. And then, you ask yourself that question that all parents ask while growing up, “but does that person have two heads?”
In your subconscious you’re comparing yourself to other people, knowing fully well that the bible refers to such people as fools. Then…. You work harder, then an obstacle comes in the way again. Ill health, the loss of a loved one, depression. But you know you’re not going to give these excuses when you’re looking for a job.
But who said you’re going to look for a job? Is it because that is what society expects? Or because you actually want to do it. And then have a masters degree in whatever. When you know that’s not what you want to do.
Matter of fact, you don’t know what you want to do. You’re confused, you’re at crossed roads. You feel you are good at something but you think that it’s not accepted. Then you see someone excelling in that thing you want to do; then you are gingered again. But just when you are about to take that bold step… You remember that it’s still not acceptable. Then you try to console yourself by making believe that the person is better than you, and even of you went into that line, you wouldn’t succeed. Who said so?
But you’re still lonely on the inside. For a moment, you try to forget about the tomorrow and live in the now. Then that fight you’ve been fighting comes up again; you are trying so hard but you are slowly losing. Then you think of that bright future…. Sometimes it cheers you up, sometimes it doesn’t.
Then you wonder why you have to go through so much. A while passes, and then you thank God because you just find out there’s someone whose life is worse than yours. Yes. That doesn’t make your life any better, but that feeling from within, that lets you know that millions are depending on you. That’s even far fetched. When you picture the smile on your momma’s face… That’s a lot.
But you still don’t know what to do though. And now, material things don’t mean a thing to you anymore. You could do without them, they don’t make you a bit happier. At this point you’re willing to trade your money for happiness. Not possible I guess. Happiness isn’t sold anywhere.
Gradually, you find yourself motivating people, helping that helpless kid who, if not for you, wouldn’t have eaten, giving tips to that cleaner, being a source of hope to your mother… Most importantly forgetting about the problems you MIGHT face tomorrow. Then there’s this warmth from within, this joy. You can’t explain it… But there’s just so much joy. And enough is never too much of it.
Then you finally realize its the little things that do count. Your helping made you realize that no matter what you MIGHT be, there’s a lot of people who depend on you. It makes you feel important. Your self worth is unimaginable. You’re finally doing you. The joy on the inside is totally unexplainable, but somehow, it’s overshadowed the pains, the darkness. It makes you want to fight. But wait….. You’re already a fighter. And you’ve won so many battles like the depression, there’s finally a smile again. Joy! That was the magic.
But life isn’t a fairy tale, no happily ever afters. That one thing you’ve been fighting and can’t tell nobody is still there. You know it isn’t a battle that joy can win – not to be pessimistic, just factual.  It’s probably just part of those things you might have to live with until it takes your life away.

Guest Posts.

So i know I’ve been AWOL (Away without official leave) and people keep asking me hows your blog and i just go “it’s fine” but it has been absent a real post for a while and i apologize. i could say its work but its really just me being lazy. So starting today I’m starting a series of guest postings, meaning that other people who have something they want to share can share it on my blog. So our very first guest post is from A. (For Anonymous, they want to keep their identity a secret). So sit back and enjoy.

Crazy

Am I crazy? I don’t think so. I just get this loud ringing in my ears and then I do shit that I wouldn’t normally do. Like the time I got the gun. All I remember is the loud ringing in my ears started and I went out and got a gun. I woke up the next morning and saw a gun in my bag. I didn’t have the courage to remove it.
Or like the time I walked all the way to work. I know I walked out of the house and the ringing started and I was at work. I’ve accepted the ringing and I have the good sense to put an earpiece on – even though I’m not listening to music – so that I can feign that the music i was listening to was loud when someone talks to me and I don’t reply.
The ringing started when my boyfriend of 6 – I know, who dates a guy for six years – years broke up with me. We had started dating from our third year in school and then all of a sudden he broke up with me, over a candlelight dinner just when I thought he was going to propose. He didn’t even give me a reason and he left me with the check.
I calmly paid for the meal, got into my car and then the loud ringing started and I drove through traffic like a crazy bitch on heat. After that the ringing continued. It’s been a month now. A month since the ringing started and a month since my boyfriend of – but seriously – 6 years broke up with me.
I was home alone today in my apartment. The ringing started and I got into the shower, shaved, bathed and oiled myself. I sprayed my most seductive perfume, put on my tightest gown that showed off my curves in all the right places and got into my car. By the time the ringing stopped I was right in front of his house.
I let myself into the main gate. I still had all his keys. The one thing he didn’t take from me. I crossed the distance between the gate and the house in a couple of steps – which wasn’t easy in the heels I was wearing – and knocked on his door. I didn’t want to just barge into someone’s house.
After a couple of knocks he didn’t answer, and so I walked round to the window of his bedroom. His drapes were put apart and I could see into the room. There was a girl on his bed – naked – bouncing up and down. I spotted the tattoo on her back and I recognized it instantly.
“Joy”, three letters, the only thing that marred her light skin, the one tattoo that was familiar to me like my right hand. The one tattoo on my sister’s back – the only sister I had and who was supposed to come over today and keep me company.
And then I spotted him. His dark skin in contrast to hers. He was naked too. He sat up and hugged her close, the both of them moving to a single rhythm.
The ringing started and I pulled out the gun and fired.

TTG Journal

The vice-chancellor was preaching this evening. I drowned out his voice. It was bad enough that i was tired from sitting down and listening to people preach about life values, but the program had been going on for 6 days in a row and it wasn’t stopping now, I still had eight more days of this to go.
The chapel (our new venue) was hot. I was hot too, the tie that was a compulsory fixture around my neck wasn’t helping either. I had been in the same blue and red checkered shirt all day, going back to the hall didn’t make any sense in light of the tight schedule. (7-12, 2-4, and 7-10).
The guy beside me wasn’t helping at all. He was oozing and oozing bad. He probably had to rush out in the morning and didn’t have time for deodorant and he had worn a suit (he probably defended today)
Some people thought it was coming from someone’s shoe but I knew better. I was tired from hearing a certain person’s voice, and the fact that I was getting barely any sleep. It was bad enough that they moved us from the lecture theater with its cold air conditioning that pulled you to sleep, with its bizarre arrangement that prevented all the gingered officers from moving as free as they wanted, meaning that we were free to play with our tabs, and browse as much as we wanted because the Internet was fast enough. Sleeping was encouraged because well the probability of you getting caught was low enough.
The light went off for a brief second and it was back on. The vc kept on talking. And the lights came back on with the speakers giving off a buzzing sound. The technical crew members had apparently slept off on their office high above in the gallery.
Apart from not getting sleep I wasn’t even eating well. My mother would probably wail if she knew my diet. I was living on noreos and a prayer. Most of the halls were closed except from Joseph and Daniel and the butteries were locked down for the better part of the period. The cafeteria served a limited variety of food. Most of the staff that worked there had been sent off. No pepper rice, or none of those foods that were sold outside cafe. 3 noreos cost 50 Naira, apparently niggas were taking advantage of the lack of food to nourish their pockets. A bootle of hot Pepsi or mirinda (personally hot mirinda was the better option) cost 150. I looked in my wallet today and thought if things went on like this I’d probably be skinner than I started with. (And trust me I was skinny enough)
Bankole and bimbo were behind me talking about love and stuff and bankole was calling her all the pet names he knew. 😥 rubbing it in a niggas face. I’m happy for them too. They look good together.
The only light in the tunnel was the iPad mini oluso had bought me. (Which someone tried to steal, but that is a story for another day, I’m still lamenting about TTG)
And so I’m sitting here, hot, sweaty, tired, typing on my iPad (which wasn’t all bad, and I’m going back to my games after I’m done typing this. 🙂 and they just took the light again 🙂 ) waiting for the program to end before someone to come and say something that would sound smart in his head and stupid after it leaves it.

TTG Journal: 06/22/13

I initially had plans to go home for the weekend, but apparently “the gods” had other plans in motion. Innocent guy thought TTG was starting Monday but then Thursday evening after exams had been done with and forgotten, they announced TTG for final year students while everyone else was going for departure service. I didn’t think too much about it till they announced that it would continue Saturday morning at 7 am.
All my plans had been scattered. I’d initially wanted to go home and drop my laptop because I felt that security would be lax during the period where only final year students would be in school alone, with all the other levels going home for their Long holiday. I would then pick up the iPad my brother had bought for me. But there was no way that would happen now.
I called the one person I knew would be able to help. Eni. I told her what had happened and how she should send my package to me. After a myriad of frantic calls, running around, it was settled.
A family friend was leaving school tomorrow and she would send my device before with the driver and I would send my laptop with my family friend. TTG started accordingly, I didn’t go early because I didn’t want anything to scatter the newly setup plan. I did go after a while, signed attendance and waited for a while before I decided I would leave. As I was about to leave the coordinator came in and announced that the bishop was coming.
The plans had been scattered again. My family friend had a sister in my course and they were going to wait to drop some things for her so I thought that all wasn’t lost. I could still rush out as soon as they were done, grab the device, sync my apps from my laptop and still give it to them to send home.
I did rush out as soon as they were gone, I did grab my device but it hadn’t been setup and it required an Internet connection to setup. There was none nearby and after trying every thing I could while waiting for my family friend to show up I still wasn’t ready. She was soon at the car and she didn’t even stay for long.

The driver had this cranky look in his eye after waiting for so long so I just thought “WTH!” And pulled my laptop down from the car with my iPad.
I set it up in the hall, and soon I was jolly holding my new iPad. My laptop was abandoned. Soon it was time for the evening session and I went with “le bestie”. Eventually the programme was over and we returned back to the hall and got noreos and a drink (living on noreos and a prayer)
Someone was shouting my name with desperation, “le bestie” and I came out and people were shouting “where is your laptop?”. Bobo was confused. I went up the stairs to my room. (Le bestie is on 200 and I’m on 400). Bestie followed soon after.
My wardrobe had been jacked, my iPad packaging was still there and so was every other thing except my laptop.
You know that look you give ur friend when the both of you know something other people don’t know. Well, that was the look I gave him, because my laptop wasn’t with me but with le bestie.
Apparently someone had heard the news and had decided to get lucky while we were away for TTG. I was blessed because I’d had a foreboding feeling about initially leaving my laptop in school and 400 floor was the most dangerous place because of the ceilings. The bandits had destroyed two of the toilets in their attempt and they had gotten away with stealing another laptop on the floor below.
Bestie and I were suprisingly cool about it. Some other people were taking panadol for a headache I didn’t even have.
But I wonder what would have happened if my laptop or iPad had been stolen?