Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

For the heck of it August 30, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — afrosays @ 10:59 am


I AfroSays,
The goddess caresses my soul… she plucks the chords that travel in soul space and share these vibrations I feel right now.
These vibrations are an artsy high. Do you ever get there?
Flow.

A gypsy. With his harem pants, his lyre and his starry eyes.
No shirt so the winds caress his being.

Nature is for us all.

He sits on that hill that overlooks the city.
The air around him is cool. It’s water. It’s sea. It’s peace.
Breathe slowly. Breeze.

The sky is the language of colours.
Violet speaks. Yellow laughs. Pink weeps.
Black sexes.
White runs wild and free.
These children of gloom and glee.

He smiles.
Silence and lyre and sad, happy words.
He sings of love and living.
Of pain and living.
Of living.

Let the wind dance.
Let the colours be.
If often, you find yourself beside me, you’d know what I mean.
This is the place where we’re truly alive.
I soak in these emotions that pulse through me in overwhelming waves and waves.

Usually, I just smile and close my eyes.
I live for these times.

Maybe she just hurt me.
Maybe it’s been a tough day.
Maybe money just found me.

I’d come here on this hill.
And play,
Or listen to others play.

And the art of it, I’d be soaked in it. For the heck of it.
Ahhhhhh…

Inspired by heavy doses of The Weeknd, Lupe and Bon Iver. And by you. PyroKinetic.

 

The Making of Widow-Maker August 26, 2011

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 8:41 am
Tags: ,

I AfroSays.
I believe in the diversity of art.
The Muse speaks to me, through everything. I listened to her say this from the television box and from Wikipedia’s scrolls on The African Buffalo.
We don’t always have to recycle. Rather, we should create.
Listen.

...Surefoot...

Surefoot.
That’s not what mother called me but she was gone too soon – the wilderness took her while she nursed me in the tall grasses as it was custom. The tall grasses usually served as a safe nursery but that day, as the sun climbed down to sleep, we were found by an unfamiliar predator, a two-legged demon of some kind. He took mother from me.
That day there was a loud noise such like I had never heard before and then mother fell over me. Usually the herd would assemble to fight off hunters of wild kind like us but this load roar was foreign to most. The older ones who recognized it called it the demon’s roar. They knew there was no protection against it so they called for the herd to retreat. I alone stayed with mother but with some of her last strength, she sent me away. I retreated not-so-hurriedly, looking back at mother writhe in pain and then I saw the demon. He was not like anything that dwelled under the savanna sun. He steadily approached mother and roared again. This time her stubborn legs stopped kicking in protest and I learned of the wakeless sleep for the first time. That day, I earned the name Surefoot.
The wilderness took many others after her. I would not call them family for one does not claim ties here in the wild, and although we look out for each other, we do not keep relations. The hierarchy of strength prevails amongst our ranks and one as young as I am does not enjoy the perks of such a large bovine gathering of which I am member. There is however a beneficial order, beneficial to all. The calves are kept in the center of the group, close to their mothers who keep together, probably to gossip about mundane things such as the timing of this season’s rain or the taste of last year’s green. The bulls only share their presence in time of child-making. They are in two competing groups depending on how many rains they have seen, the younger ones who call themselves The Black Death and the older ones, the insufferable elders, The Kings.
After seeing two rains, a bull must leave his mother and join the ranks of the Black Death and find his place there, learn the ways of the wild there for as many as ten rains before he may join the elders. I hope to join the ranks of this rambunctious lot this coming rain and join them in gallivanting the wild for in the company of these mothers, I have no companionship. I look forward to the child-making dance too when the rains come although I know I am not yet of enough strength to guard a cow I choose against other bulls that might want to dance with her. I would not be foolhardy.
The day mother slept, the day I outran many a buffalo from the rear from the fear in my small heart, that day, the mothers found a new nursery and the demon found us again. That season, only the strongest were felled, again and again, and there were no bulls to take up courage for us. Mother had been the strongest so she went first and in an uncanny selection process, many others like mother were taken. The demons seemed to knowingly expose our ranks for as a consequence, the many hunting packs of blood eaters in the wild found it easier to pick off many as young as I in the dead of the night. That season, we suffered a great loss and the mothers took a vote whether to abandon the ritual of nursing and start out in search of the bachelor groups. Wisdom prevailed and the mothers chose to suffer the losses for in the open savannah, outside the protection of the tall grasses, more of us would be lost.
In the early rains, the bulls returned in a fervor rushing blood and heat that needed extinguishing only to find the numbers of their companions decimated. The strongest of them was Widow-Maker. It was said that he only had recently joined The Kings two rains before and he ruled them now. The competitions for partners were fierce and in the sparring many were hurt. Some of the wounded were lost to the wild in the night. It seemed that a depression of some sort had surmounted our kind. I managed somehow to survive, by keeping out of the way but ill-luck did not escape me altogether. I once trespassed in Widow-Maker’s circle and although I made good my escape, he did not forgive me. When the season ended, I and a few other male calves joined the riotous party of The Black Deaths and journeyed to explore the wild, away from gossiping mothers and testy calves.
In the ranks of my new companions, for the first few climbs of sun, the issue of the two-legged demons was discussed and many a bull vowed violence. I regarded them with a curious pity for it seemed that they did not know the way of these demons, how they hunt from distant shadows and roar like the end of the world. My companions thought to spar with these demons and destroy them, head-to-head they would say, bull-to-bull. I would smirk inside.
With the climbing of many suns, they soon forgot about the demons and the usual order of our society began. I quickly found myself at the near bottom of the hierarchy for I did not care much for sparring. The journey was not as excitable as I had hoped; it seemed that I had only traded one irritation for another. In this brotherhood, food was scarce and fights were plentiful, maybe in excess as each bull tried to assert his male dominance. Out here in the wild too, our blood-eating enemies were more numerous and more determined, it seemed that only a few of them had knowledge of the nursery for here we were currently under attack. Our luck however was our nature – we were big beasts of ill repute, ergo, the smaller green eaters suffered more losses than we did. We continued in this manner for the sun season and waited for the rains to come. The rains did not come, at least, not in the time we expected, and none remembered the demons but I and a few other bereaved.
Then the rains came, late, but they did come and my brothers made journey as fast as they could to spar for the companions of willing cows before The Kings arrived to challenge our good fortune. We were only a sun ahead of The Kings and our speed in arriving did not amount to much for it seemed that they had the same thing in mind. I found it curious that there had been no news of the demons and chose to stay wary. No other bull seemed to care. My only other concern was Widow-Maker.

I did not care much for finding a mate so I wandered listlessly through our crowd, avoiding trouble. Need I say that trouble found me? My attraction to her was destruction in itself and I found myself drawn to the folly of guarding her. My bones peeked through my hides as I stood at alert, half-heartedly daring any bull to approach my newfound prize and hoping none would care enough to notice. She was a young cow, like I was and sweet too. I found my blood rushing in disobedience. I hoped to have her to myself.
As the sun climbed down that day, I heard a call to spar. Widow-Maker’s call. I looked back at my prize and determined in my heart that was she worth it. I did not care for any consequences although she called for me to quit this malady and let the bully have her. I declined. My mind was made. I seemed to have forgotten the sheer banality of the brute before me, how he had earned his name many rains ago destroying the demon that had roared at him. The attack had broken off a part of his crown but the attacker had paid dearly for it. I heard that despite repeated roars, this brute had charged into the shadows where the demon hid and sent him high up near the sun.
I lowered my virgin horns to oppose Widow-Maker’s disfigured, hardy crown, a show of naïve, love-struck neophyte versus veteran. We clawed the floor and raised the dust of a thousand stampedes. Well I didn’t, he did. I had never seen him this angry before. He devil charged at me with all the rage of seven sandstorms and set me on my back, several distances, with one blow. He shouted at the skies, “The fuck! Insolent kid!” and reversed to deal me another round. Usually the brute would dig his only horn that wasn’t stumped into his opponent’s hides and tear out his bowels almost immediately but he seemed to want to show me a good time.
I rolled off my side with all dignity gone. I was dizzy but my thoughts were lucid. My illusions of love were fast-fled and I did not once consider the object of my affection anymore, even enough to spare her a glance. I wanted to survive and I knew how to; the knowledge lay in escaping this death match. I returned my own insult at the ugly beast, “Widow-Maker! You mother’s udders taste of zebra milk!” I could not see the fury of my enemy as he made for me with all the force of seven thousand stampedes. Of course, he could not see me too. Did the fool think I would set my horns at him waiting for a spar? I was long gone!
He charged at empty space and then collided with kind air where I was supposed to be. As I fled, I turned back in time to see an angry beast roaring behind me. Of course, Surefoot was my appellation but my enemy deserved an even better sobriquet, for he was fast gaining. All of the herd, I suppose stood at attention now, waiting to see what would become of me. Even those in the process of mating, I suppose, gave their attention. The horde of beasts I had to navigate through slowed me down so I turned onto the open, out of the multitude of my kind and headed for the shadows. I moved as fast as my legs could afford, looking back at intervals to see how soon my doom would happen upon me.
I returned my gaze to my destination and saw another evil sight. Straight ahead in the shadows were two demons. These ones did not seem as composed as the one from our last encounter. The panic on their faces was probably the same fear I suffered from. A crazy charging bull, maybe they thought two. In an instant, they lifted their mouths to roar.
Roar. Roar.
I could not deviate from my path. I charged straight ahead and sent the one directly in my path into the sun. I guessed that the evil behind me was greater than the evil before me. I kept making distance under the trees until I heard the sound of death no more, not that of a crazed beast, not that of the hunting demons.
Under the trees, there was the smell of water. I wandered around and found it; I needed to calm my soul from the urgencies of survival which had only recently overtaken me. As I drank, I was at first terrified that Widow-Maker, the evil beast had found me for a portion of my crown was missing but I then realized that I had become as Widow-Maker himself; the roar of demons had almost killed me but had claimed only a portion of my horn instead.
With trepidation, I found my way back to the plains from whence I had come. The old Widow-Maker had been killed this time, I assume, by second demon who was nowhere to be found.
As I emerged from the trees, the herd regarded me with a peculiarity I could not quite define. I ignored the crowd of gawkers and gaily made my way to the one who had captured my affection and she let me have her.
She called me Widow-Maker.
“Known as one of the “big five”, “Black Death” or “widowmaker” in Africa, the African buffalo is widely regarded as a very dangerous animal, as it gores and kills over 200 people every year. Buffalo are sometimes reported to kill more people in Africa than any other animal, although the same claim is also made of hippos and crocodiles. Buffalo are notorious among big game hunters as very dangerous animals, with wounded animals reported to ambush and attack pursuers.”

The above quote and other biological patterns that form ideas in this story were solicited from Wikipedia

 

When the lights go off August 19, 2011

Filed under: Poetry — afrosays @ 9:22 pm
Tags:

AfroSays here.
The Quixotic.
Have some brew, smile at a pretty girl. Or guy. Let your heart dream tonight as the lights go off.


I bring you the art of @FreshPrinzVick and @NappyhairedPoet
ENJOY.

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OFF by @FreshPrinzVick
When the lights go off you turn me on.
We shut out the world
It’s problems gone.
It’s your one special magic trick
No hands, no hats, no magic sticks.
When the lights go off you break me down.
The walls I built no longer surround
My heart, my body come alive
No wine, no spliff, that natural high
The transition swift yet so sublime
When the lights go off I lose control.
My mind, my heart, my body, my soul
Lost in your touch, in you I’m whole
With silent lips you tell it all
You open up, tear down my walls
When the lights go off there’s no pretense
No words, no reason, just lust….just flesh
When Robin sings I’m lost in your thickeness
Your soft lips, my hardness, your warm wetness
My heart stops, you leave me…..breathless
NIGHT TIME RHYTHYMS by @NappyhairedPoet
‘Night time rhythms
Sing with me
When the lights go off
My body is like a mannequin
Smooth
No flaws
Barbie doll perfection
At night, we love like thieves
Silent with so much determination
Red light district sex
Dirty
Drunken
Stumbling
I bet the neighbors come knocking moans…
Day time blues
Sing like me
When the sun comes up
I hide beneath rumpled sheets
He seeks me
He wants to love me
But the perfection is gone
He tells me my stretch marks
Are road maps that lead him
To my curves
My full hips
My round belly
Muffin top he loves to eat
In the morning
We love like newlyweds
And I’m the shy bride
Only bold at night….
These rhythms
These blues
Open your ears
Listen to her voice
Listen to her body
Open your eyes
And sing with her. ‘
AGAIN @FreshPrinzVick
When the lights come on I am strong
So u don’t have to be, as long
as u are next to me, the life of me.
Lights on or off, I will be
YOURS

@FreshPrinzVick? His art is here : http://freshprinz.wordpress.com/
@NappyhairedPoet? Her art is here : http://creamandcoffee.wordpress.com/
I hope you do get it? Read closely. There’s meaning. Share your thoughts?
BY THE WAY,
I keep on about my love for making music and writing songs. I’m still learning how to sound like I want and I think improving. (I am not quite a Mayer)
This is me fooling around. Quixotic Me. Here
 

Decades – The Final Decade (71-80) August 17, 2011

Filed under: Decades — afrosays @ 10:25 am
Tags:


The Decades project I.

Thanks for following! In case you missed the preview, find it here so you know what to expect. Decades is a beautiful project that was worked on by a team of eight talented bloggers, some of which you’re familiar with. (The details are in the preview)

The project attempts to take you on a journey that is planned around how the life of a man is at different stages of his life. We use the lives of different men, some of which are intertwined to paint this picture. The stages are in ten-year intervals, hence the name project name.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.


The Final Decade (71-80) by @tomboxe
Ethelbert, Samuel Osifor’s father-in-law ( The Fourth Decade ) and Leke Coker’s friend ( The Fifth Decade ).

The start, the noise, the calm… the still. Read. Reflect.

...ongoing...

Today shall be a ceremony of words. I’d be introducing ‘Laconics’ – terse wisdom from some of my favorite word-artists to usher us into this conclusion.
@OLATOXIC‘s Laconic:

“These imprints my wrinkled sole(soul) has left in the grains of this draining hourglass… should they be cast in stone? Should they be blown away?…”

muse return @TOMBOXE :
Age is just a number, they say. Don’t believe it. My joints ache with every movement. I can’t see anything without glasses the thickness of bulletproof windows, and about the same weight. I can’t grasp anything without the willpower of an infant determined to suckle. I fall asleep at the most un-serendipitous moments, and then lie in bed for hours unable to close my eyes. I want it to end.
I was happy once, and the memories haunt me. I had left Nigeria with my girlfriend when I was in my thirties, all high hopes and big dreams. She was hardly out of her teens, but she loved me dearly, and I her. I was a bright young man, my hair a splendiferous afro to match my sweetheart’s. I called myself Ethelbert, and her Dorothy. Those weren’t our real names of course, but strangely they felt more real than the names our parents had given us. I see her face in my mind’s eye, and I fall asleep again.
I can’t escape her. I dream, a continuation of my memory. Sydney is a growing city, and skilled labour is in high demand. A structural engineer is wanted to join Arup in working on the Sydney Opera House. I apply, and I’m not surprised when I get the job – my head is full of crazy notions of my indestructibility.
I work hard, and play harder. I become popular in Sydney, and go on to work with Arup full time, making a whopping great fortune. My Dorothy feels like she’s travelled the Yellow Brick Road, met the Wizard and had all her dreams come true.
Our joy is complete when we have a little girl, many years after we settle in Sydney. I am 48, but I have the disposition of a Clooney. Nobody believes I’m that old, even when they see the lines on my face and flecks of grey in my afro. She’s as beautiful as her mother, and as dashing as her father. She grows and we love her dearly. We get married soon after she is born – many of our friends are amazed we weren’t already. It’s a wonderful day, and a representative of the prime minister gives a marvellous speech – all is tremendously well with the world.
I meet the prime minister a few minutes later. He wants to personally congratulate me on my daughter and my marriage. He invites me to play, and my life takes a decisive turn for the worse.
Casinos are mesmerising places – the noise, the adrenaline, the girls, and the sheer exuberance of it all. The prime minister’s entourage are shown in by a side door, out of the public glare. We’re in a private room. I am taught how to play poker, and I fall in love with it. I start to gamble. I become an expert in Poker and Blackjack. I learn to love Russian Roulette. It starts off slowly, but within a year I’m completely addicted.
I awake with tears in my eyes as I remember what happens next. I’m at the casino, at the roulette table. I’m making a rather large loss. A woman walks up, engages me in conversation and we have drinks. Before I know we’re in a hotel room having wild sex. I wake up to the sight of my wife. She doesn’t know I have a gambling addiction, as I’ve been lying to her for years. It’s a triple whammy for her as she discovers I’ve plunged us into debt, my job lost a few months ago and carefully hidden from her. As she stands over a hungover me, shots ring out. I’m hit twice, and she freaks out. The next few moments are quite honestly the very worst I live through. The pain, the tears, the sense of despair, the knowledge that I have single-handedly destroyed everything I’d spent years working to build.
She tends me lovingly as I recover in hospital, care etched into every line of her face. She looks older, and seldom smiles except to encourage me. I feel miserable, apologising again and again. She always says I should gather my strength in the same quiet, dead, dull voice. I recover rather quicker than I’d like to, as I’ve been enjoying my wife’s attention. I get home to a small pile of packed bags. My daughter has tears in her eyes, and so does my Dorothy. She tells me she’s leaving, that she can’t believe I spent so long lying to her. She gets in a cab and goes to the airport. I get in my car and try to drive after her, but the stress and the fact I’m still convalescing make me collapse at the wheel. It’s a miracle I’m pulled from the totalled vehicle alive. I spend another period in hospital, alone this time. My misery knows no bounds.
I return to Nigeria when I recover, a broken and contrite man. I determine to find my wife and daughter and win back their love. My hair, which had been carefully coiffed while life was good, has grown out into an afro again, but this time it isn’t luxurious, just rough.
I spend years searching for Dorothy but my efforts are in vain. Her parents resent me for my actions, and they are right to do so. I am made aware when they die one after the other. They hear my apologies before they pass, but they rebuff all my efforts to see my Dorothy. Her other relatives are similarly, and understandably, cold. I feel like an actor in a corny Nollywood movie, and the irony doesn’t make me smile.
I get a new job in government and start to rebuild my fortune. I meet a promising young lawyer and think I’ve found a friend. I share my life story with him, and it helps him get his life in order. He promises to help me in my search for Dorothy and Yewande. Eventually we lose touch, and I don’t see him again. I work until I’m sixty, and retire a rich, respected but friendless man.
I fall asleep again, and this time I’m well and truly exhausted. No dreams disturb my slumber, no memories show themselves. I should rest. My subconscious must be glad of a moment without regret.
I awake in hospital. The maid found me unconscious in my easy chair and phoned the hospital. I had a cerebral infarction due to an arterial embolism – a stroke. I’m not smart – I just overhear the doctor saying that. They say I’m lucky to be alive. Lucky? Hmph! I lost luck decades ago. I wish I could see Dorothy again. I’m in pain. Well I’ve been in pain for years. It’s worse now. Every part of me hurts every time I move. There’s a television in my room. I ask them to leave it on CNN. It’s not that I like watching TV, but perchance I might see my Dorothy’s face some day. It’s a long shot, even by long shot standards, but I don’t have any regular shots left.
The hours pass into days, then weeks, then I’m not sure what time means anymore. By some twist of fate I make a good recovery, rehabilitating better than the doctors had expected. I don’t bother to go home, I like the way days pass in the hospital. My maid comes every day. I’m rather fond of her; she’s the closest thing to family I’ve got.
@FRESHPRINZVICK‘s Laconic:

“…Inspired by failure, motivated by greed;
Yet all u see is a man driven by honor & duty…”

muse return @TOMBOXE :
I’m 75. I bet you thought I was older. I’m sure I look it. Everyone says I don’t look a day over 60. I definitely feel at least twice that. But I have to perk up. I have a visitor. It’s Leke, my lawyer friend. I’m rather pleased to see him. He’s with another man, and… Dorothy? It can’t be! I try to sit up on my bed, but it’s still rather difficult. The nurse notices my agitation and tries to make them leave. I stop her. I want to see these people.
They approach my bed, and my eyes are fixed on… oh… now I see it’s not her. There are differences. This girl is much too young. Leke speaks.
“Hello Ethelbert,” he says.
“My old friend,” I say with a sneer, even though my heart is beating wildly. I’ve had to relearn mobility due to my stroke, and I often have to overdo AND exaggerate actions to make them happen. My sneer may not even show on my face. I realise this, and sigh.
He tells me he’s moved up in the world. He’s now a judge, a highly respected one at that. He tells me that he found my daughter, completely by chance. She’s marrying his former driver – the man I don’t recognise. My hearing stops when I hear the word daughter.
“Yewande?” I say, hardly daring to believe it’s true, but knowing it in my heart. Her resemblance to Dorothy is uncanny, but I sense a worldly-wisdom in her eyes that Dorothy never had. Dorothy had been as straight as a rule, and far more loving. This girl, my daughter, my Yewande, has obviously learnt a few things. I try to talk to her, to explain why I went so horribly astray, but the words are stuck in my throat. She tells me not to stress myself and sits down beside me. She’s extremely graceful, and tells me about her childhood, about her mother’s death from a broken heart, living with her grandparents until they died, and being abandoned after that. She tells me she finally found a home in a private school whose proprietress had compassion on her. She tells me about selling snacks to students to make ends meet, of wearing clothes till they were full of holes, becoming a teacher through sheer determination and hardwork, of dreams of happiness and playing with a man who must be her father in a strange and beautiful house.
I’ve been silently weeping for minutes, knowing it’s my lack self-control that’s led to this. I still have a fortune and I’m determined to put it right. She tells me she’s getting married to Samuel. He’s the former driver, now teacher that’s been standing quietly by all day. He comes forward and speaks eloquently as he tells me he wishes we could have met under better circumstances. I’m impressed by his manner and hastily beckon Leke closer.
“Can you draft a will right now?” I ask.
“Of course,” he says, and I smile.
“Better make your fee extortionate, I’m pretty loaded.” He chuckles but says nothing. I leave everything to my daughter and her progeny. I’m truly happy for the first time in so many years.
All I’ve said so far I’ve recited from memory, but here we are today. I am 80. White haired (it’s still an afro, but now it looks amazing), fully recovered from my stroke, living with my daughter and her husband. They named their twins Ethelbert and Dorothy, and I love them like no grandparent ever loved a child. I spoil them rotten. They love me back, and I’ve completely changed. No longer am I sad, and now when I think of Dorothy I only regret that she’s not here to see them as well.
Samuel is hard working and with a little help is making his own way up in the world. I’m glad he’s with my daughter. He’s totally honest, something I should have been all those years ago.
It’s a harmattan morning, and I call them all up to my room early, before the sun lights up the sky. I pray, something I haven’t done in public in a long long time. I’m fading, and I know it. They all sense it; even Leke’s here, dropping by on his way to court. My daughter cradles my head in her arms, and I look up and I see Dorothy. I tell her I love her, and that I’m sorry. She tells me there’s nothing to be sorry about, and that she loves me too. The littler Dorothy and Ethelbert crawl on to my bed and lay their little heads on my chest. Samuel and Leke are solemn, each lost in their own thoughts.
The light fades; I smile wide as Yewande kisses my forehead, tears glistening on her cheeks. I remember the first day I met Dorothy. She’d been hit by a runner on her morning jog and I had helped her to her feet and made her smile before jogging briskly by.
I see her in her short shorts and tank top, her Pam Grier afro laced with sweat where it meets her forehead, her hips marvellously proportioned. I look at myself wondering why I was thinking about her sexiness at this kind of time. I am young again, all smooth flesh and rippling muscles – a fine boy in every respect. I can see my family gathered around my body, tears flowing freely. It hits me – I am dead. I look up again, and Dorothy is still standing there looking an absolute treat. She reaches out her hand to me and I take it, no words exchanged, none needed. We walk off down the path, out of this love and into the next.
@KEVINWITHANL‘s Laconic:

“…We are all pencil in the hands of the creator..”

muse transfer @_THINKTHANK_ && @AWIZII :
YOU MADE DECADES A SUCCESS THANK YOU!
WE DON’T HAVE ANY SOUND TRACKS, BUT WE’D LOVE TO SHARE MORE ART HERE. ENJOY

“Au bord de l’existence” (“at the edge of existence”).

Standing at the edge of my life, peering over the cliffs of existence
Unsure where I would take up eternal residence
Meaningless nothing or endless bliss, perhaps pain everlasting
At least I could smile for the fragments of my humanity I had retrieved
I made my peace. Apologized to the people I had hurt and despised.
Some laughed, some rejoiced at my perceived senility, some actually cried.
But it mattered not, It was for me, my soul was weary with the burden of a thousand sins.
I had finally let go. I could no longer hold on to all the regret.
Regret for the golden jubilee that should have been marked with celebration
But was laced with so much pain my soul shook in convulsion
Mistakes of years past staring back at me in the mirror
When did love and beauty degenerate into such horror?
I know I hurt the ones I love,
And I had to right my wrongs no matter what happened
Wrong decisions that set me on a path of self-destruction
Like the decision to do whatever it took to rise above my peers
Shouldering responsibilities beyond what was possible, in spite of the tears
And so I forsook my many blessings to pursue the mirage of more
Faith made me move mountains,wisdom made me stronger
Opportunities in the midst of distress made me tougher
A worthy sacrifice of pleasure, to secure a legacy of achievements in torrents
Desperately trying to hold on to the success I had once shared with a family
The family she gave me…
She whose inner beauty money could not buy
Flesh of my flesh, I had worn my heart on my sleeves and sold it for the charm of an angel
The romance of youth in love fused with dreams woven from a spell
Never had I felt such passion that overshadowed early years of mistakes
Reproduction was necessary, raising our offspring was fraught with agony
The vices of a first son brought back painful memories
A broken home displayed the shards mirrored by my broken heart
What really did tear us apart?
And so my thoughts made me weary, as I walked along memory lane
past my inner mind’s city streets, dim-lit, they were so shadowed with grief
I shook with tears when I recalled the early days of youth
The challenges of life dealing me blow after blow, ever so rough
My tears mixed with my dreams, an elixir with a bittersweet taste
But it made me strong with a confidence that little could shake
I was once a naïve young man looking forward to a life of pure bliss
I had a plan for my life, a map, drawn with ink of good intentions
I had mapped out a plan of action, a map with an unknown destination
Yet with every obstruction, came small deviations
And still I carried on, wondering what indeed lay yonder?
The teenage years had been filled with confusion and wonder
The mysteries of my own body and others I did ponder
Drawn to explore everything by a strange and powerful curiosity
Constantly trying to live responsibly when irresponsibly called to me so sweetly
The will to succeed, to please those who mattered, to live a good life
wrestled daily with the consuming fires of lust, the green fangs of envy
The germinating seeds of careless character planted early
As then confused, soon to be consolidated
But there was then no consolidation in the mind of a child
the harbinger of both sorrow and joy.
The seeds that would yield a harvest of emotions for me were sown early.
The seemingly benign acts of parents that lived fearfully
The rod and the staff that did not comfort me but dealt harsh retribution
for every perceived transgression.
At least I was not alone then…
I was surrounded by friends with whom I shared the joys of discovery
We stole kisses from girls, Morsels of meat from pots.
Learnt to reason, absorb information and thoughts.
Such benign beginnings, I remember when we played together, smiling.
But into this world we each came alone
Escaping from the ocean that did not drown
Breaking the chain that did not bind
Coming to seek that which we did not know how to find.
Alone we came.
Alone I came.
And now, alone, empty-handed and naked,
Liberated from the weight of my world, I must return.
And so I stand here smiling, at the edge of my life waiting to fall off the cliffs of existence.
MANY THANKY-YOUs
FIND THE ART OF @tomboxe here
CREDITS:
– The AfroSays team (thatAfroSays, thatDarkBetty)
– All the decade writers: @kevinwithanl, @thetoolsman, @ekwem, @qurr, @capoeirapanda, @jibolal, @tomboxe
– Special contribution (“Au bord de l’existence”) : @_thinkthank_, @awizii
– All the laconic writers: @olatoxic, @freshprinzvick, @kevinwithanl
– The banner designs (thatAfroSays, IXart)
– the twitter RT team (We love all of you!)
– @bule_jr (ad-hoc project team member)
THE END!
The Decades Project II (for women) coming soon…
 

Decades – The Seventh Decade (61-70) August 16, 2011

Filed under: Decades,Scenic — afrosays @ 10:33 am
Tags:


The Decades project I.

Thanks for following! In case you missed the preview, find it here so you know what to expect. Decades is a beautiful project that was worked on by a team of eight talented bloggers, some of which you’re familiar with. (The details are in the preview)

The project attempts to take you on a journey that is planned around how the life of a man is at different stages of his life. We use the lives of different men, some of which are intertwined to paint this picture. The stages are in ten-year intervals, hence the name project name.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.


The Seventh Decade (61-70) by @JibolaL
Enjoy

This and the following Decade are very dear Decades to me. The rush finally slows… eventually to a still. Read. Reflect.

...ongoing...

70
Pa Segun Jones lay back in his reclined lounger, on the verandah of his bungalow house — a building which cement block upon cement block had been laid with his very sweat and blood. He let the copy of City People he had been reading flutter to the ground at his side. He was not one for gossip at his 70 strong years, but the name Ajifolawe had jumped out to him from the random page that Morenike must have been reading the last time she was around. Ajifolawe had been one of those new entrants that got bullied the most, while Segun had worked briefly as a fresh faced teacher at The King’s College. He found it funny that he could remember young Ruben Ajifolawe after so many years. He had been quiet, unsure but precocious young man. Under different circumstances, he would have been interested in what the years had done with his former pupil.
His attention was drawn to the present as he looked out at the little boy making his way beyond the gates and running toward him with such joy. His heart swelled at the sight. The boy skipped and avoided the puddles with a fervor and energy spurred by his youth. The man looked on and beamed with joy beyond explanation, and as swiftly as the joy filled his heart, his gut was filled with bile of sadness. Pain seared through him, reality had a way of doing that to him. He looked at the little boy again and forced a smile, the little joys of life made it all worth it in the end of the day. And then as quickly as it began, his joy got deflated by the bile of sadness. The pain seared through his chest and he felt it squeeze the air around it.
Oluwasegun the little boy had been named. He named after his granddad, and true to type, he was the spitting image of Oluwasegun Sr. He had the strong nose and thin spindly legs that Yorubas believe are a portend of a tall man. The boy was barely 3 years old and he had already started to manifest the Jones gene – lightheartedness. Oh, if he could bottle some of the boy’s carefree happiness.
“Gwanpa!” he shouted.
Pa Jones only looked on with tear stained eyes. Little Segun jumped in his lap without regard for his creaking bones.
“Segun! What have I told you about jumping in Grandpa’s lap?” His mother shouted from across the big compound, as she herself had only come through the gates.
Morenike.
He and Ashake, his wife had given birth to Morenike in their early forties after living without children for 20 years. One year had turned to two, two to ten, ten to fifteen. On and on, until they had given up all hope of any child to complete their unit. . They made a conscious effort to love each other irrespective of whether they had a child. They were content to take their blooming love as the only offspring they’d have. Then like the heavens chose to smile on them, Ashake conceived, his heart soared every time he looked at her. She was his “Sarah” and he playfully teased her all the time.
He sighed as he had many times before.
Ah Ashake!
The tears flowed freely.
60
“Papa mi!” Segun groaned as he was awoken by his daughter’s shout of joy as she jumped in between himself and his wife in her usual manner. Being their only child, they didn’t find it odd that she was very playful. She would always be that little girl in their eyes. He woke up with a wide smile on his face. “Morenike….” He tried to make his face up into a mock frown, but it wasn’t working. His two favorite women in the entire world were in the same space and time as he was and he couldn’t have been happier. He rested his weight on his elbows and he smiled at both his women with happiness he could not hide.
“Happy Birthday Daddy” Morenike and Ashake both chorused as if on cue.
“I cannot be happier and more grateful for the two of you” The smiles his face seemed unending.
“I know something that can make you happier o, Papa mi” Morenike perked up as if suddenly having an idea.
“That doesn’t sound good” He said as he looked over to Ashake for some kind of hint, but got none. Sometimes he felt like they were sisters rather than his wife and his daughter.
As if to further complicate things, she added:
“I have a boyfriend” Morenike said.
“Ehn?”
“Ahnahn, Segun”
“But, how old is she now?”
“How old were we, when we married?”
“That was a different time now, Ashake!”
“But, how old is she now?”
“Mama, I told you he wasn’t ready” Morenike chimed in, as both women laughed at his obvious discomfort.
“Morenike, he’ll never be ready. Somewhere in his head you’re still his little girl skipping puddles in the yard when the rain falls.”
“…and the little girl that jumps in my bed to wake me up” Both women laughed again.
“So who is this boy?”
“He’s a man o, Baba Morenike. A fine young man. His name is Bolaji”
“Ah so you even know his name? You these women will not plot the coup of my death o. Se gbo?”
“He’s coming to dinner tonight gan”
“Ok o. Mo ti gbo o” I’ve heard
65
He had woken up without his wife leaning into his shoulder. He knew because her spot on the bed was cool, the sheets bore the evidence that she had lain right next to him.. Panic washed over him for no reason in particular. Worry quickly niggled at his insides, habit dictated that she’d always be by his side when he woke up in the morning.
“Ashake!” Jumping out of bed with the as much purposefulness as his limbs would permit him he called out to her..
“Daddy, kilode o?”
“Who is your father?” He retorted, only slightly beginning to calm down.
“Well since the day you married me, Baba Morenike, you became my father”
He walked into the bathroom to find her in front of the mirror with her wrapper around her hips. She had left arm raised and right massaging her aged breast in circles.
“Ahnahn, Ashake ko de le to yii o. O ba de ti ji mi. Okunrin meta mi oi tii ku o” Ahnahn, Ashake it’s not this serious. You could have woken me up. My youthful strength is not totally gone, you know?
She cackled in the way he found soothingly familiar.
“It’s not that Oluwasegun mi” She said, as her smile slowly became strained.
“Then, what is wrong?” Concern began to cloud his face.
“You know, since we went for Fadeke’s burial , it has been on my mind ever since…”
“Ah soro, ye ja mi l’aya bayii” Talk and quit scaring me like this
“You know it’s breast cancer that killed Fadeke; apparently the other women check their breasts regularly like this, and I hadn’t the foggiest of ideas.”
“Ka ma ri! God forbid it Breast cancer is not your portion!”
“I know, but one is never too careful”
“Three scores and ten, Fadeke mi… That’s the minimum”
She sighed heavily in response.
He pulled her close to his bare chest in a bid to hide the apparent concern on his face.
“Come, let’s move on to other things. Have you wished your husband a happy birthday today?”
“Ma binu olowo ori mi. Happy Birthday” Don’t be angry, my husband
“Thank you, jare”
“Have Morenike and Bolaji called?”
“Ani, I didn’t even check my phone before I came looking for you”
70
With his grandson in his lap, his eyes misted with tears. Tears of loss.
“Aaah Papa mi” Morenike cooed as she came within a few feet of him and knelt down in greeting on the cold tiles. Then she rushed over, and she held her dear father close to himself
“Ashake” he continued to chant like it was a mantra that kept him alive.
The little boy was confused but was still content to be in the middle of the group hug between granpa and momma. Soon he began to cry as well, without understanding why.
“But Segun, if you call my name one more time, I will sneeze”
All three of them looked up in surprise, to see Ashake at the door. The combination of the mastectomy and radiation had taken a toll on her already aging body. The mastectomy had left a space where her left breast used to be. And it made her already gaunt frame even worse. Only a few wisps of white hair were on her scalp where she once had a full head of hair. She had not been able to get up from her bed in weeks. The doctor had given her 3 weeks left to live, 3 months before. But as if by some sheer determination, she had stayed alive through the pain every day.
“Happy Birthday Oluwasegun mi” She said as she made an effort to walk from the door. Somehow, as a group they had gotten off the lounger and each held her close. Even the little boy saw some significance and held close to his grandmother’s leg.
With a sigh, she took her last breath.
She loved him. She had waited.
SO THANKS FOR READING AGAIN. THERE WOULD BE TRYING TIMES ON LIFE, WE ALL KNOW THAT, AND GROWING OLD IS ONE OF SUCH TIMES. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THAT GOLDEN TIME OF LIFE?

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS? YOU! YES YOU!! YOU OWE ME CHANGE FROM YESTERDAY!

FIND THE ART OF @JibolaL here
N.B. The project still goes on for one more day. Tomorrow we have The Eight Decade by @tomboxe and a surprise feature by @_thinkthank_ and @awizii.
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project or in the comments section).
The Decades Project II (for women) coming soon…
 

Decades – The Sixth Decade (51-60) August 15, 2011

Filed under: Decades,Scenic — afrosays @ 10:00 am
Tags:


The Decades project I.

Thanks for following! In case you missed the preview, find it here so you know what to expect. Decades is a beautiful project that was worked on by a team of eight talented bloggers, some of which you’re familiar with. (The details are in the preview)

The project attempts to take you on a journey that is planned around how the life of a man is at different stages of his life. We use the lives of different men, some of which are intertwined to paint this picture. The stages are in ten-year intervals, hence the name project name.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.


The Sixth Decade (51-60) by @Capoeirapanda
Chief Ajifolawe, David’s grandfather ( The First Decade ) and Benjamin Williams’ mentor and father-in-law ( The Third Decade ).
Such an old rascal, you should give him a chance, eh? Listen.

...ongoing...

Two days before my sixtieth birthday, I’m the CEO of a massive 168 million dollar business enterprise. Most people would expect me to review the most recent decade I’ve surmounted and some of you would think I would be making plans for a thanksgiving service in one church or the other. Right? Well screw you and your expectations! If there is a God, he either has a massively cruel sense of humor, or he just hates me. The last 10 years and the fact that my pride and joy has been trod on have been proof enough.
I am Ruben Ajifolawe, and this is but a part of my life.
The last decade began with victory. On my 51st birthday, my main competitor in the industry: Otumba Jide Arawosafe unknowingly provided me with my birthday gift; a threesome on a yacht off the coast of the Cayman Islands with a set of beautiful, half-Fulani, half-Yoruba twin girls called Radeyo and Hauwa Arawosafe. Yes, his 23 year old daughters. What I would have given to have seen his face as he watched the little ‘movie’ I sent him as a show of my appreciation.
Why? You ask why? Well, to prove a point. His ‘well brought up’ daughters were just as useless as the rest of womankind. But this isn’t about the accursed progeny of Eve, or the fools that get entangled with them without guarding their minds and placing their hearts deep within stone chests as I learned to do early on in life. This is about my life. The many regrets, the many silly things I’ve done, and how Life decided to get back at me in the last ten years.
Money is everything. Success is everything. I wasn’t happy as a struggling young man. So I made many sacrifices to succeed and end my struggle. I hurt many people; I even destroyed some on my way to the top. “Destroy your enemy completely.” Isn’t that what it says in that book ‘The 48 Laws of Power’? Well I did and I made my way up. By 35 I was a wealthy man by any Nigerian standard, and by the time I hit 50 I was the CEO of one of the biggest firms in the country. One of the other ‘big’ firms was Jide Arawosafe’s. Jide and I have always had our differences. Our companies always went head to head. But why didn’t I like him? He had the air of a self-righteous romantic prat that I just couldn’t stand. He was always very “believing” in the good sides of people, especially women. And he would always tell me with a smug smile that his daughters were not like all the women that flocked around me. But I knew better.
Women are all the same. They may be fantastic pretenders but given the right conditions, they’ll eventually break your sorry excuse of a heart. Heed my words. At 23 those words were etched into my soul with the knife the one and only love of my life plunged into my heart when I found her doing the reverse cowgirl astride my closest friend at the time. Her reason? He drove a better car… I would have given her the world, but he had a better car. Imagine that. So what did Jide know about the evil in the hearts of women? I decided to teach him a lesson. I think I made quite the fantastic professor… or at least Radeyo thought so. I would have slept with his wife but at 47 she wasn’t exactly appealing, and in all honesty, even though in 25 years, I’d been with women from all over the world, half Yoruba, half Fulani girls was a bench mark for me. If that wasn’t winning, I don’t know what was.
But I deviate.
Knowing my sincere disdain for the female specie and the tears of the many women I had left biting the dust before they could attempt to do the same to me, Life decided to team up with Karma and get back at me. My last daughter, Elizabeth, was only named that because I was called away for business the day before her naming ceremony. My other daughters: Nefertiti, Venus and Athena were named as testament to the beauty and cunning of women, which always ends up as a source of trouble for men.
Yes, I had four daughters, from three different women. I thought I would despise them as I despised the owners of the wombs that brought them into existence, but something happened whenever the doctor placed each of them in my arms for the first time. I looked in their eyes, and that was it. They were my children, and I adored them. No. I loved them. Anything otherwise felt like I was breaking my own heart. I gave them all the love I could find and I taught them everything I knew about life and more importantly, about men. They were my pride and joy, because I had taught them not to be like the other daughters of perdition walking the earth.
My ‘lesson’ to Jide started a war that lasted three long years. But I was prepared. He tried to get at me in every way possible. He sabotaged my company, attempted slander; everything. He had no chance. I deflected every attempt to ruin me with ease, and in return, crashed one of his companies and forcefully took over another. To top it all off, I made sure I was at every function he would take his daughters to. The smirk on my face was unmistakable every time. In desperation, he then tried going after my daughters by baiting them with several young men. Now that was a laugh and a half.
By the time Elizabeth, my youngest daughter was 20, I had crafted four of the most beautiful, intelligent, and extremely focused women in existence. With their training and the fact that they were my daughters, very few men had the brass balls needed to go after or keep up with them. Those dimwits Jide sent to try to woo them? My girls chewed them up like they were breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning. Jide eventually gave up.
54 years old, with nothing to challenge me, life began to get boring. I started looking for new challenges. I travelled again, slept with women of different ethnicities and basically spent about a year doing nothing. I was almost 55, but thanks to 35 years of Ju-Jitsu and a strict diet regiment, I had the body of a 35 year old. Imagine how confused I was when I went in for a routine checkup and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Right there. That bitch called Life bent me over and once again reminded me who was boss. On my 55th birthday, I was castrated to keep the cancer from spreading. I would never have sex again.
I spent the next year recovering and burying myself in my work but I had lost my taste for life completely. It was then I met Benjamin. At 26, the boy was more focused than anyone I had ever met at that age, including myself. He had done quite well for himself too. Still struggling a little bit, but his work had brought him to a meeting with me so he wasn’t half bad. We began to talk less and less on official terms, and over time I recognized so much of myself in him; a fearlessness that was needed to survive, the realist nature I had, discipline, and of course, a way with women. My oh my! Did that boy know how to get them. He got me so engaged that I started to demand information about his conquests. We would talk, and plan out strategies. For those young girls that were out of his league, I was there to give him a little push in the right direction.
I spent the next three years with Benjamin teaching him everything I knew, advising him on his business decisions, and secretly grooming him to be my successor (maybe it had to do with me literally lacking balls, but I was quickly getting tired of work).
Through Benjamin I lived vicariously. He was the one that continued my triumph over women. His milestones were mine. Every new challenge he conquered was my victory as well. Unfortunately, by taking up Ben, I began to neglect my princesses, and they were far from happy about it. How were they to understand that this boy was the son I had never had? I never expected them to be so bitter about it that we would grow so distant. Nefertiti moved out of the house, Venus decided to get back at me by becoming the talk of the town in every negative way possible. I thought I had raised them better, but there it was. I spent my 59th birthday without them… the very girls I had worked so hard on and for… Life could not be crueler. Or so I thought.
“Daddy, I’m 3 months pregnant”.
Three
Months
Pregnant
As if to further complicate things, she added:
“The baby is Benjamin’s and I’m not killing it”
That was Elizabeth. Seven months ago. That bastard… He stole my pride and joy… Right under my nose.
Now I sit here two days before I’m sixty, the CEO of a $168 million business enterprise, father to four gorgeous daughters but empty; I am empty because my daughters decided to hate me for something as trivial as not giving them my attention, because I am grandfather to David, a child from the ‘son’ I took in and showered with the attention my daughters wanted.
I should give Karma a fucking standing ovation.
SO THANKS FOR READING AGAIN. TO WHICH DEGREE DO YOU SHARE CHIEF’S OPINION OF WOMEN AND TRUSTING PEOPLE? WOULD YOU FIND IT EASY TO LOVE A CHILD YOU DON’T WANT AND DIDN’T PLAN FOR? IS MONEY AND SUCCESS EVERYTHING?

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS? HERE’S A POUND, GIMME CHANGE!

FIND THE ART OF @capoeirapanda here
N.B. The project still goes on for the following two days. Tomorrow we have The Seventh Decade by @JibolaL.
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project or in the comments section).
 

Decades – The Fifth Decade (41-50) August 14, 2011

Filed under: Decades,Scenic — afrosays @ 10:00 am
Tags:


The Decades project I.

Thanks for following! In case you missed the preview, find it here so you know what to expect. Decades is a beautiful project that was worked on by a team of eight talented bloggers, some of which you’re familiar with. (The details are in the preview)

The project attempts to take you on a journey that is planned around how the life of a man is at different stages of his life. We use the lives of different men, some of which are intertwined to paint this picture. The stages are in ten-year intervals, hence the name project name.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.


The Fifth Decade (41-50) by @Qurr
Olusola Olufemi Coker’s father ( The Second Decade ) and Samuel Osifor’s employer ( The Fourth Decade ), He has a story to tell

Err… Another lengthy and very exciting story, more relationships, more depth.

...ongoing...

I can hardly contain my excitement as I read the message on my blackberry phone for the third time in my usual obsessive compulsion. My handyman, Dapo Adeola, has finally found my long-lost friend Yemi Olopade, who would rather be known as Ethelbert – a great man I have not seen in 24 years. He is very ill and on a sickbed at a private hospital in Ikoyi. I would have actively sought him out myself but as Justice of the Nigerian Court of Appeal I cannot be tolerated to fraternize with the general public, to avoid any incidence of prejudice or legal subversion. Dapo has even managed to obtain the phone number of Khadijat, Ethelbert’s own waiting maid at the hospital. This might be the third happiest moment of my life since meeting Ethelbert for the first time, and then seeing my wife Chiamaka return to us a couple of weeks ago, stunning as always, quivering as she sobbed and pleaded while I hugged her and wiped her tears. I smile and move to dial Khadijat’s number and then the familiar buzz of the electric gate rings out. I have visitors.
My name is Leke Coker, 49 years old, stoic and antiseptic; but a man through whom karma weaves a story, embodying a dark past laden with evil, guilt, and sorrow. Apparently I am highly successful in my career but my own family suffers discommode. But I believe in justice and retribution; I was only getting what I deserved, and the moment that dawned on me, things began to take shape again. Now I am a changed man. I am a broken man.
My steward ushers them in. Inwardly I am shocked though I retain my composure. It is Samuel Osifor, his arms around some beautiful young lady, sweat gushing down his face in possible fear. They disentangle briskly and in a greeting chorus he prostrates while she kneels. I urge them both to please get up. I have not seen my former driver Samuel in two years, ever since the day he dropped me off at the court, left the keys in my pigeonhole and vanished.
That morning I had received a phone call from the Dean of students at the famous Nigerian Covenant University. My first born Adaora had been discovered pregnant and had been expelled from the school. I was insane with anger, but I could not get to the school quickly enough that day to pick her up, what with my driver’s disappearance on the very day I heard the report. This vanishing was not unrelated to her tearful confession via a phone call later that night – as well as I had tried to keep men’s fingers off her, Samuel had betrayed me by impregnating Adaora. I had kept my voice down and spoke calmly to her, asking for her whereabouts but she refused to tell me. She eventually aborted the child at a questionable clinic, and almost lost her life. I was pained and I ensured the doctor and clinic were cleaned out. Then I met with her and her boyfriend Uche, had a long talk to ensure he really loved her, and moved them to the UK where I settled her down with Uche in marriage, established him in business using some old contacts and helped 21-year old Adaora start school again.
I watch and listen as Samuel pleads for forgiveness. I need to let him pour it all out, because it is part of the therapy. I had actually forgiven Samuel already. After all, I have dark secrets too even though I am a changed man now.
I solemnly reassure him that it is alright, for I have also received inner peace since I found God, the Judge of all Judges, quite recently. I press further to find out who the beautiful young lady is. He beams and says she is his wife and colleague. Pure young scintillating love. I smile as I recall how I and Chiamaka used to be in love, before she derailed entirely.
Chiamaka had eloped to her lover’s – or pastor’s – or god’s – arms. Your pick. We always used to argue over the most nonsensical things. She would hit me, slap me and taunt me to fight back but I preferred wielding passive aggression by giving her the silent treatment that she so hated. And of course, my muscles would tremble and ripple in my heavily built body so she knew that I was only choosing not to lay hands on her. She said I was godless (in fairness I had basically no regard for God in those days) and she began to deny me of herself sexually, saying she was drawing closer to her God and maker seeing that her own husband is decidedly hell-bound. Her pastor “Godspower Efe” had an eye for her, though, and I employed private detectives who discovered they were already sexually involved. Apparently, Godspower was her own God and maker. In all, I kept mute. Many times I was glad that I had secret bank accounts that she did not know about, for Pastor Godspower also gradually siphoned my financial resources through Chiamaka while he did a lot of wonders in her life.
Besides not being a good enough husband, I have not been the best parent I possibly could have been: what with Adaora’s case and Olusola’s involvements with hard drugs, university cultism and a generally wasteful, reckless way of life. Only Ajoke appears to have always been a good child of the three, which makes it obvious that the gene pool’s joke is on me.
My dear wife had derailed long before she wanted me to think she had, for I knew as well as she did that our 15 year old daughter – our Ajoke – with a striking resemblance to her mother, was not my own daughter. I had taken the child for a private DNA test based on my suspicion when we discovered she was sickle cell anemic. Chiamaka tried to cover up by saying she has the AS genotype, as well as I did, but I knew she has the AA genotype so there was no way we could have offspring with sickle cell anemia. I am generally seen as a thorough individual. But a man can just really shut up for the sake of peace, and so I did and I still do. Besides I could not reject any child the joy of living with loving parents, not after my own childhood ordeal. I shudder as I remember those early dark days once again.
Soon enough, Pastor Godspower had become bolder and told her that she had to leave me because I was festering negative influences that would destroy her life in the end. She believed him but as tired as I was of her, I refused to grant her a divorce to avoid a scandal; what with the children and my office. Then Chiamaka was given a last warning by her pastor that I was doomed to die in 5 weeks, and she had to leave me or else we would be damned together. In fear, she moved in permanently with him in all love, fear, reverence and gullibility.
I don’t know if I was scared as I watched the deadline approach but I, previously agnostic, made a prayer. I said, “God… I honestly don’t know which one of them – just in case there are more than one –do not let any impostor receive these prayers; let it be the one at whose feet my heart cries out. I don’t know the right words to use, so please hear my heart and not my mere words. Keep me and if I do not die as I have been threatened, if you will bind my family back together and be our secure guide; I will seek you out and belong to you for the rest of my life.” Somehow I think the prayer worked because years have gone by and I’m still hale and hearty.
Then I hear Samuel ask, “How is everybody?”
“Oh, we’re living by the mercies of God. Chiamaka finally came back home three weeks ago but she’s not home now. She went to visit Adaora and her husband Uche at East Sussex. As for me, as you can see, I am fit, whole and hearty. But what man is healthy when two of his children are ill? Olusola, now 21, is still at the Igbogbi Orthopaedic Hospital, he’s been there for five months since his car accident but he should be discharged next month. Our precious Ajoke is in her room, taking a very necessary nap.”
This woman right here, her nose and lips look familiar, I think to myself. I rack my head and come up with no faces, so I give up. I call out to a steward to provide refreshments as I half-listen to Samuel’s wife talking about her background – in truth I am probably not even listening at all – while I ponder my own childhood.
I never knew my father, and my mother never knew him either. I was already a young teenager before my mother’s sister told me that mama had been a woman suffering from severe insanity, she had escaped care and gotten impregnated by an unknown person, was captured again by her family, and had died during childbirth. I had wept for almost 2 days after the revelation. Somehow, Andrew, the school bully, happened on this information – probably from some gossips in the town – and threatened to spread it in our high school. Andrew was older, but I was very well built and could fight back – having taken numerous private classes in the martial arts from the local gym instructor (in exchange for teaching his son Mathematics on weekends) – but I never wanted to be caught fighting in school because I was the esteemed school genius and I aspired to be Head Boy. So I let Andrew blackmail me for months until I devised a wicked plan to counter his blackmail. I was going to literally become the “motherfucker” he always used to call me whenever he seized my lunch, a daily ordeal.
Seducing Andrew’s single mother had proven easier than I anticipated. I had obviously over-planned. Everyone needs some love in their lives, even if by a 16 year old man like me who knew all the right things to do and say. On the D-day, she was riding me on our fifth round of steamy sex when Andrew unexpectedly walked into his mum’s bedroom. He yelled, crashed his fist into the glass window louvres, picked up a jagged splinter and ran at me. I heaved her off me, pulled my legs back and shot out at him, cracking his skull from the side with the left and simultaneously hooking his neck with the right. I made a full Nelson with my legs and snapped his neck; he collapsed as I rolled out of the way. His mother’s face was solidly frozen in horror – so I knew hers had to be less painful. I moved both corpses to the side and regained my breath before cursing out loud. Then I wore a pair of socks on my hands to eliminate fingerprints, got some bleach from the bathroom and neatly cleaned them both, leaving no traces of blood. Afterwards I carefully wore some clothes on her corpse, lay both of them on the bed and I fled.
The police had no clue what happened, and the case went unsolved although I wore the guilt like a second skin. My aunt, her husband and my cousins had no freaking idea about the horrible monster living in their house. In that final year at high school, I decided to study law at college in order to salve my own conscience. I graduated summa cum laude and rose very fast in the ranks. On my very first internship I had met Ethelbert, who came to our chambers to seek some legal advice. Thus began our 27 year old friendship. He was the only human I ever told my total history, as he told me his own. I look at the young lady again as she goes on and on. Sigh. Ethelbert.
“What did you say, sir?” asks the pretty young lady.
“Oh I apologize, I must have been thinking aloud. I just remembered a good friend of mine called Ethelbert. Amazingly, you quite resemble him a bit. Your nose, I think, and lips. Unless my mind is playing some pranks on me.”
“Ethelbert?” she asked.
“Yes, do you know him?”
“Err, no sir, but that name… I think that was the pet name my mother called my dad when I was little. Your mention of the name just brought back buried memories, sir”
I hold my breath. No, this cannot be, or can it be?
“..And your mother, did she answer to the name of Dorothy?”
“Yes sir! How did you know that, sir?”
“Oh God! Yewande, it’s you!” I yell as I burst into a rich and mirthful laughter. I laugh until the tears form in the corner of my eyes. Amidst the laughter I tell her how I met Ethelbert 27 years ago; how he was very kind to me when I was in distress, and gave me a free room to live in his 3-bedroom house; how we would discuss every topic under the sun and how Ethelbert had been searching for his lost wife and daughter.
My blackberry phone beeps, a message from Khadijat asking when I want to come and visit Ethelbert. I get up swiftly and announce to them both that we are going to see Ethelbert, who is dying. Then I place a call to my driver Charles to start the army green Land Rover 4. And another to Khadijat to confirm our visit within an hour. Finally I call Chiamaka – my precious, beloved wife – to tell her the good news.
Charles maneuvers the SUV into position as we step outside into the unforgiving sun and the dry harmattan wind swirls dust between us on the front porch. Karma’s circuit is finally complete, it appears.
SO THANKS FOR READING AGAIN. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON FORGIVENESS, KARMA, RELIGION vs AGNOSTICISM, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND GOD? WOULD YOU ACCEPT PAYMENT IN BAD COIN EVEN THOUGH YOU THINK YOU DESERVE IT? DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAKING ATONEMENT FOR OLD SINS?

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

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