Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

Decades II – The second decade (11-20) September 20, 2011

Filed under: Decades,Scenic — Betty @ 10:00 am
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The Decades project II.

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here so you know what to expect. If you’re not sure what Decades is about, kindly check the preview out.

Decades II – very much like the original Decade project – explores the wholesomeness of womanhood as lived in ten-year intervals; Girls; Ladies; Women; Mothers; grand and great-grand mothers all. They live the same life we live, experience the same joys and pains unique to their decades and maybe we can learn a thing or two from them. Find the subtle connections that link their lives together and get lost in stories told. Decades II.

Please do subscribe to the blog to follow the project. (Column to the right for PC browsers or in the comment section). Also, we hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

The Second Decade (11-20) by @UcheAnne


ENTER @tecknicoleurgrl
They call it life.

Freedom, that’s what they say.

And now, their eyes can see,

Their minds now comprehend,

Their hearts are compromised,

Innocence is lost.

ENTER @UcheAnne
“Close your eyes and count to ten.”
I looked at his blank face and wondered if they taught it in medical school. I almost grabbed the collar of his lab coat, to choke a reaction from him. I closed my eyes instead.
July one 1998. There was no pain, and if Labake hadn’t screamed, “Diuto, you’re stained!” I would never have known. Thankfully, we were around the hostels by then. My friends celebrated with me that night. I was thirteen, and the last among them to ‘become a woman’. They made Tasty Time for all six of us, in celebration. Mine was diluted till it tasted like water; they said sugar increased the blood flow. I drank it with pride as my friends repeated the period stories they’d already told me a thousand times. It might seem like fun now, they said, but months from now I would find myself wishing it away. They were right, but I couldn’t have known it then. The next day when I made my morning soak I put in three cubes more of sugar than I’d normally have, but was disappointed to find the flow ebbing by that evening anyway.
Two was the number of times Bella asked me before I said okay. It was the first time a boy would ask to be his ‘friend’; it didn’t matter that he’d done it through Bella. When my friends gisted about the boys that constantly disturbed them, I wondered why boys never came to me. Was it because I still went for food, in SS 2? No. Queen went for food, but they still scoped her. Maybe somebody had told them that I still bed wetted, once in a while. That day when Bella had come to meet me that Peter said he liked me, I’d felt a sense of validation, and it was out of relief that I said okay the second time. Biola said to be careful; she knew boys and it wasn’t friendship Peter wanted. I knew, but I pretended not to.
After a week of awkward meetings and hurried conversations at Tuck Shop, where Peter would do the buying and Bella the arranging, the social prefect announced that Dangerous Twins would be showing that weekend. Peter bought the tickets, of course, for me and my five friends and, by tacit agreement, I was to sit beside him during the film. In the darkened hall, right at the part where Ramsey Nouah’s daughter was shot, I felt the hand slide under my skirt, up my thigh. The girl went down; the audience went up; I went to the hostel. It was Biola that told me how the film ended.
Three seventy-one was the score that got me into Uniport. When I told people I was in education I’d see the horror on their faces. “With 371 they put you in Education? These Uniport people sha!” Me, I was just happy to have gotten admission at my first attempt; I didn’t want to be one of those that got the JAMB frequent writer t-shirt. Besides, I would be choosing English as my teaching course, so it couldn’t be that bad. I was seventeen, the youngest in my class; and anyone could tell just by looking at me. I became the baby; the class pet. But with time I also became recognized as the go-to girl for many of the English courses, especially after I got the only B in Okoh’s course.
Four p.m. was the time when he first came to my room. I remember because I was just settling down to listen to Belema’s Cool Drive on Rhythm FM, and was pissed to see him shining his teeth through my net door. I had first met him at Choba Market, when he came over to greet my friend at our meat customer’s stand. He was wearing a shirt of many colours, and when he asked where I stayed I told him just to be polite, since he was my friend’s friend. I had hoped he was lying when he said he would come check on me sometime. Even as I opened the door to him that day, with a forced smile, I knew what he would ask of me eventually. I knew what my answer would be.
Five months after we started going out, we kissed. It was my first time. Just like with Peter, it was the second time Tari asked me out that I agreed. After that first visit to my room he had put me on his weekly schedule: no less than three visits a week, no less than four hours per visit. After a few months he asked me out. He had, while I had been busy trying to figure out his oddness, started to build a nest in my heart; but the nest must not have been completed then because I gave my answer and wondered, over the weeks that followed, why he still would not leave me alone. By the second time he asked me out his nest was good and ready.
Six weeks passed before I became worried. School was closed for another ASUU strike, so I was at home the day I confirmed it. I don’t remember what lie I told my parents to allow me return to school; they must have been very preoccupied with their other children and the new, bigger house we had just moved into. I rushed back to school and into Tari’s arms with the news, and he told me he would stand by me no matter what I decided.
We went together to the big pharmacy at Rumuokwuta to buy the drugs; he did the talking, I avoided the pharmacist’s eyes. I sweated and cried and bled and died for days, but even that was easier to bear than the thought of being a mother at eighteen. I was not one of those brave people. The bleeding continued longer than the drugs had promised, and we went and did a scan, to find out why you would not die properly. They said that pieces of you were still inside me; I would need a suction procedure.
Seven was when I gave in to the anaesthetic and my eyelids fell.
Two years after, I can finally admit it: my name is Diuto Ibekwe and I am a murderer.



FIND THE ART OF @UcheAnne here
N.B. The project still goes on for the following six days. Tomorrow we have The third Decade by @JadenTM.
Decades so far.
The first Decade
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column or in the comments section) to follow the project.

144 Responses to “Decades II – The second decade (11-20)”

  1. Uncle Amowi Says:


  2. Uncle Amowi Says:


  3. Uncle Amowi Says:

    I’ve wanted to have a daughter since I was 15

  4. phantompages Says:

    WoW…love the progression of the story! Well done!

  5. raihanah Says:

    This is beautiful. Simple and very very emotional. I felt it…every word!! Uche speaks for most of us!!

  6. Mz_Shadee Says:

    I like I like I like.

    It keeps getting better. Big up ladies. Hmmm…d issue of abortion tho, a sensitive subject I try not to talk about. My own is ‘whatever helps u sleep at night’ I became a mum at 21, (I guess I cld live with that) I don’t judge anyone dat decides not to keep her pregnancy tho, these things can be really complicated!

  7. TheresTwoOfMee Says:

    There’s just something about this story, I love it, its a beautiful relay of what girls go through at this age, to your question, yes I would have a baby at 18, if I’m foolish enough to have unprotected sex, or neglect morning after pills, then I should be able to carry the responsibility that follows on my shoulders.

  8. amina Says:


    I woulda done the same if I were in her shoes! Mother at 18… Nah!!

    love the story progression

  9. dhamilola Says:

    I ♡ the poem

  10. papyrusczar Says:

    Wow, that was flawless! Very impressive work.

  11. dipti (@barbie_deezy) Says:

    Loved the poem. Liked the story. But I prefer yesterday’s post!

  12. Mo Says:

    oh my….I have this really huge smile on my face….I loved the story…never been in a situation of pro choice or prolife.
    I just believe that you should be mature and able to face the consequences of having sex…shikena

  13. @bule_jr Says:

    If this isn’t quality writing, I don’t know what is. A familiar storyline but I loved the progression and how it all panned out. Love eeeeet (Y)

  14. Jumie Says:

    OMG, yet anoda fantastic read :-).
    Well…I dnt fit in much. Was a ‘good girl’ pretty much, neva had cause to consider an abortion. I honestly can’t say what I would have done if I was pregnant @ 18 tho. I guess this is one of those cases of ‘u-can’t-know-what-it-feels-like-till-u-experience-it.

  15. i love dis….and it just keeps getting better…woooop!

  16. Wow!!! These girls are bringing the roof down on us yo!!!
    Can’t remember the last time a series got me this excited for real. In this girl’s case, will you say she wasn’t well brought up or what? Even though the story doesn’t tell, it sheds a little credence to my belief. Sometimes good people do bad things. A bad deed doesn’t make you evil, just misled.
    Good good piece…. RAISE THE BAR!

  17. OOkpoechi Says:

    Loved the story, loved the poem even more. (Y)

  18. I hope y’all know the link to the second decade is broken? Can you guys kindly fix please. Thanks!

  19. dhistorian Says:

    very good writing, i particularly

    enjoyed the count down

  20. dhistorian Says:

    poem was awesome to, very fluid

  21. niyoola Says:

    Fabulous stuff, so much crammed into this space, but I don’t feel like too much info was dumped me, it’s so on-point.
    I feel like I know the girl, seems like the friendly girl with the a hint of sadness I her eyes. No over the top behaviour, just a normal girl that got preggers.This story is narrated in a matter-of-fact way, devoid of emotion from the narrator’s stance, but draws you in as you find you like the girl.
    So much pressure on the next post!!!

    *the poem is good, but I don’t think it correlates with the girl’s story. The poem alludes to girls who seem determined to be IT girls or somethn like dt. Probably those that live hard, party harder …. but end up regretting their decisions. Can’t connect both writings

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Ummm… I was actually going for the idea young girls get as they’re growing up. That they’re becoming teenagers/adults & they can make their own choices. But then they realize that it’s a lot more complex than that. Just how we lose our innocence as we grow up. IT girls were the furthest thing from my mind. Hope u can see where I’m coming from now, anyway. 🙂

    • Uche Says:

      Thanks, Niyoola. I like you 🙂

  22. damisola Says:

    Abortion is too sensitive a topic and calling someone a murderer is very harsh. I understand it’s your opinion, so it’s fine. Good story. My problem with all the female themed stories I have seen is the element of pain & abuse I always see. Are you people not happy being women? Would there ever be a story of pride and a relatively good life. It’s one thing to talk about topical issues but these issues are over played. I hope the next few stories would celebrate the joy of being a woman and triumphing.

    • awizii Says:

      I feel your passion Damisola.

      My two cents. People make mistakes. This was simply a normal girl who made a mistake and got pregnant. I’m proudly pro-life, but it’s also true to say it’s hard to know what to do when faced with such a situation as she was. I believe if she voluntarily decided to have sex and she got pregnant as a consequence of that, the child shouldn’t be made to pay. I don’t know, it’s such a touchy subject, and now I wish I didn’t drop a comment.

    • Uche Says:

      Don’t worry. Not all the decades stories are like mine and Coco’s.

      And I’m happy to be a woman, by the way.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Betty Says:

      But I hope you also realize that it is the fictional character that referred to herself as a murderer. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the author.

      Thanks for reading.

  23. jennyphar Says:

    Loved this! Loved the way she told it with the numbers!Great stuff (Y)

  24. @yadesesan Says:

    Both poem and story are simply exquisite. I love the progression of the story very much. Kudos to the writer!!!

  25. Adaora Says:

    This is just beautiful!!i almost shed a tear.

  26. chisom Says:

    You are definitely a uniport babe. Okoh – Ges 100, choba market……
    The writing is excellent as well. Is this the same girl from the 1st decade? The male version was twisted. I liked having to figure it out

    • Uche Says:

      You a Uniport gal? That’s sweet. You’re right, I am.

      I’m feeling nostalgic now 😦

      I’m not the girl from the first decade. Thanks for reading, Chisom.

  27. Xbone Says:

    Mad nice post!!! What even realy tripped me was the references to uniport- choba market, nkem okoh’s english(ges100), even the fact that wid three sumfinnin jamb uniport wee still give u education!!!….love it uche..nice progression too…culd picture it almost vividly..

  28. freshprinz Says:

    *standing ovation* no words Uche. You surpassed even your own high standards on this one. Loved the story & the way you moved back & forth in time with such ease. Genius.

  29. Pha't Says:

    I love the progression along wit every1 else. I can actually imagine her counting a number n having a flasback of sorts. Great writing skills.

  30. At least 70% of women undergo abuse one way or the other. The only time issues facing women would stop being “over played” is when they stop happening. Until then…
    Now back to the post: Today’s post is also beautiful ( I won’t even try to compare posts) and I like that it deals with another vital issue. If I were pregnant and 18, I would not keep it. Knowing how to straf and knowing how to take care of a baby are as different as night and day. I’m pro choice all the way and won’t agree for any lady to keep a pregnancy if she isn’t capable of taking care of the baby.

  31. J Says:

    Imagine u’re an ‘SS’ girl engaged to an ‘AS’ guy… And u’re determined to get married, if the girl gets pregnant out of wedlock…and they find out the baby is ‘AS’by some stroke of luck! Trust me, the baby shall be kept!… That’s the kind of mindset I have…sorta.

  32. Didi Says:

    Loved the progression.. Loved it. I’m fully pro-choice. You never know what situation you may be in. People have had to abort cos of fibroid and what not… Well, I believe our situation determines our decisions.
    Keen poem too.

  33. thatifygirl Says:

    I really enjoyed this. Everything; both the poetry and the story. The poetry is simple and effective. I love it!
    The story, we’ve heard a million times and maybe even experienced, but the story-telling makes it seem fresh and exciting. I REALLY REALLY enjoyed this.
    About the abortion issue, well…
    Well done, ladies.

  34. PreyingMantis Says:

    Several ambiguous sentences in the story: Eg: ‘Meat customer’s stand’. What does this mean? You are the customer aren’t you?
    Inconsistent use of upper and lower cases: Eg: education and Education.

    • Uche Says:

      Thank you for correcting the education-Education one. That was a genuine mistake.

      But the meat customer one was me deliberately using Nigerian English, which I did consistently throughout the story, and which is completely valid as far as creative writing is concerned. In that sense, customer can be used both ways. But I’m sure from the story you can tell which one it is.

      Thanks for reading, PreyingMantis.

      • PreyingMantis Says:

        I might agree with your explanation concerning ‘meat customer stand’. However, you might consider italicizing words or phrases in Nigerian English. Understand that your readers might not be Nigerians & confusion isn’t required.

      • Uche Says:

        I disagree with that. But it’s fine.

  35. Intoxyka Says:

    Well well well, alot of this is familiar…being the last to be ‘a woman’ and not attracting the right kinda boys. This piece takes me back to being young, uncertain of who i was and being ‘ugly’. The first boyfriends request, the first kiss, the horror and the wonder of blossoming….*sigh*. Innocence is priceless, really.
    Nice one, i like!!!!

  36. ThinkTank Says:

    I like this one. To me, its mostly Style over Substance but still…sooooo much style…

    I might as well repeat my last comment from the 1st decade:
    “As for the story itself… its a well-trodden path but *Uche* walked it with new shoes. Mildly predictable… but thoroughly engaging story.”

    I should add that the poem at the beginning was quite nice this time. Ambigous enough to not be too rigid, yet theres enough there to give a hint as to what comes. (Y). I still maintain my opinion that it would be better at the end of the story, but hey, thats just me.

    Back to the story, I must admit that I was expecting something a little more unconventional and insightful into the life of a young woman but my little disappointment takes nothing away from the strength of the post and its excellent delivery.

    Excellent work. Afrosays stays winning.

    Carry on, Carry on…

  37. 'Dania Says:

    I absolutely loved this. Brilliant writing.

  38. Ekwe Says:

    i have just read the first two paragraphs..and the concept of the story made me say a little “Jesus”.

  39. Ekwe Says:

    i’m on paragraph four. i am overwhelmed.

  40. Ekwe Says:

    i have finished it. i am going to use a curse word today. it is possibly the only thing that can tell you how i feel about this awesome story.

  41. BoukkieO Says:

    Uche, this is brilliant. But of course you know you’re a bawse. 😀

  42. This was a very good read..this helps people who don’tknow what women go through to gain a better understanding..
    I schooled around Choba and most stuff here was familiar.. I know about Okoh, infact I’m good friends with his son and yes I’ve heard that its impossible to get an A in his course..
    Uniport.. Choba, Rumuokwuta, SAMMIES.. *Sigh* I miss PH sha..

  43. I simply love this! 😀 Flawless #IMO.

    Mostly because I can relate on some level.

    @tecknicoleurgrl and Anne (y)

  44. ibetapassmynebo Says:

    Anne (y)
    Sowri I’m late today 😦

  45. sheSays Says:

    The post was wonderful, it reflected the whole boarding school thing perfectly( and yes, I would know)..I especially loved the poem(not that it was better than the post or anything, I’m just a poetry person)…nice write up, both of you.

  46. niyoola Says:

    @TecknicoleurGrl: k, I see your point.

    I also love that I’m wondering what would be revealed by the time I get to 10, but I’m cut off at 7, yet I don’t feel like the story is incomplete.

    (Y) to the whole decades crew.
    Can’t wait 4 d drama that will come with the 3rd decade 🙂

  47. Nate Oblivion Says:

    I loved the way she used those numbers to explain the story. And how she touches on abortion which is rather controversial. (Y)

  48. OOkpoechi Says:

    Y haven’t I been thanked too? 😦

  49. afrosays Says:

    So I’m a late comer.
    Uche and Teki, you two. hugs.

    Teki! God punish you for scaring me! How dare you say you don’t know how to write poems and that you wrote nonsense? What else you wanna write?

    Uche. Perspective. Perspective. Angle. Telling a story that’s been told many times from a brilliant angle? Now that’s lovely.

    Glad you guys are a part of the Decades team.

    And this is the biggest comment count ever! At least so far.

    Hugs again.

  50. Tahirah Says:

    Congratulations on the decades series thus far, thoroughly enjoying. Good one Uche. Well written as usual.

  51. Ngufy Says:

    Preyingmantis, ure kidding with with the upper case lower case criticism right? Totally unnecessary!

    Flawlessly written Uche! Loved d story tho. U made everyday issues seem interesting! Thot d count was to ten… This says i look forward to more of ur blogs!

    • Uche Says:

      The count was not supposed to get to ten actually. The doctor was using that to check that the anaesthetic was working. She went under before she could get to ten, as was the idea.

      Thanks for reading, Ngufy.

  52. gretel Says:

    woww,this is fab, the progression is lovely, the poem even though a great piece doesn’t sit well with the story maybe maybe maybe the depth or intensity. Great piece, you people too mush.
    please check out my blog thanks :*

  53. Winnie Says:

    This took me back to my 2nd year in the university…

  54. @edgothboy Says:

    I am fascinated with women and I have experimented with stories from a woman’s perspective but this is just reminscent of the brilliance with which Chimamanda Adichie writes. Bravo! Any story that makes me empathisize is a keeper!

  55. Beseech Says:

    Feel weird being the only one not impressed by this, maybe if it wasn’t part of the series and fleshed out more I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I don’t know what to make of the character, passive, and uninteresting. I would have liked more insight into the life of a maturing woman, what about the grand dreams we have before they are shattered by the realities of the next decade? Took nothing from this.
    Also too much liberty with ‘Nigerian English’ and contemporary cultural references, left me mostly irritated as I had no idea what the fuck you was on about “morning soak”???
    Pro Choice for the win! Life is too precious to bring to being without the full commitment to nurture, protect, and invest. Kid at 18? Nah, save everyone the trouble, not me.

    • Uche Says:

      It’s okay, Beseech. It’s not by force to be impressed.

      Nigerian English and ‘contemporary cultural references’ are very valid. We can’t not write life the way we live and speak it because a few people might not understand it. And this isn’t a story about ‘grand dreams’. You’re allowed to have your opinions, but please don’t try to tell me what stories I should tell.

      Thank you for reading. I’m glad you’re in the minority though, I won’t lie.

  56. ed, edd&eddy Says:

    nice one there. the issue of abortion is a very dicy one. Love the plot, good concept.

  57. @Qurr Says:

    This is really good stuff. Very well done, Uche!

  58. 0latoxic Says:

    Love what you did with this, Uche. I apologise for saying this late. This is the sort of great stuff I expected you must write the afternoon we were introduced. Hope to read more of you around… and soon too.

  59. Amy Dew Says:

    Nice writing…really nice…held me spellbound till the very end…and love the whole writing concept and refreshing!!…Well done!!

  60. […] four days. Tomorrow we have The Fifth Decade by @weird_oo. Decades so far. – The first Decade – The Second Decade – The Third Decade Also, Our dear AFROSAYS worked on a story in The Writer’s Roundabout, […]

  61. Nutella Says:

    And I carried a grand last! *sigh* I love this. I totally love this.

  62. […] three days. Tomorrow we have The Sixth Decade by @Ms_Dania. Decades so far. – The first Decade – The Second Decade – The Third Decade – The Fourth Decade You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column or […]

  63. Amy Nkanang Says:

    Good one gurl.
    Guess I’m the only one that doesn’t miss Uniport but tnx for taking me back there for a few seconds. *shudders*
    I too was excited to count to 10 and felt cheated when it stopped at 7.
    Maybe you can gimme 8-10 later on? *wink*

  64. Amy Nkanang Says:

    Good one gurl.
    Guess I’m the only one that doesn’t miss Uniport but tnx for taking me back there for a few seconds. *shudders*
    I too was excited to count to 10 and felt cheated when it stopped at 7.
    Maybe you can gimme 8-10 later on? *wink*

  65. Kemmiiii Says:

    I tolly’ loved this post. The poem . The story especially. I love the sequence. It was awsomeee!! Moving on.

  66. @edgothboy Here again. This story has stayed with me all through 2011, has taught me the power of simplicity in storytelling and helped me make sense of why a friend chose to go through an abortion. This is one of my top five stories of 2011.

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