Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

Decades II – The Seventh Decade (61-70) September 25, 2011

Filed under: Decades — 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.

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

...ongoing...

ENTER @BoukkieO
I sit on my bed, facing the mirror, looking intently at the carefully made-up woman staring back at me. Amanda’s make-up artist did a wonderful job. I look beautiful, everything looks alright; my wrinkles are almost completely concealed, my eyes are alert as always, my skin is radiant, and my hands are steady. Nothing gives away the wave of sadness that threatens to swallow me. The dress is lovely, purple has always suited me. Amanda gently places my special pearls around my neck, and when the clasp is done, she helps me up and gives me a once-over. “Your hair is fabulous, your make-up is flawless, and that dress! The dress brings out your curves”. I look at my visible love handles and laugh; that is probably the only real laugh I’ll have today. I turn and place my hand on Amanda’s cheek, and she holds it in place. She looks into my eyes, and says:
“I love you, Mom and I’m proud of you. You deserve today and every good thing that comes your way”
“Thank you, I love you too, darling” I say, holding back the tears at the back of my throat.
She smiles and says: “It’s time, are you ready?” I turn to take a final look in the mirror, take a deep, steadying breath and say: “I was born for this”.
Amanda walks me into the hall, from a back door, I take my seat on a beautiful, golden chair at the head of the room and take a look around; my! So many people! Didn’t Amanda say that just a few people had been invited? I smile at them all anyway, as my eyes slowly move around the room in silent appreciation. I catch my son-in-law staring at me with an approving smile; He whispered in my ears earlier how radiant I look; he doesn’t know, he can’t tell. But how can he? My eyes find my daughter, Amanda Davids-Cole, my precious Mandy. She’s one of a kind, that girl. Something moves in my heart every time I set eyes on her; she doesn’t know either. My eyes move past Mandy and continue their round of acknowledgment and thanks, and they finally come to rest on him… Tomiwa understands, he knows. As the event begins, I fix a smile on my face, and let my mind wander, I let it think of the things that were, the things that should have been, and the things that are…
My name is Eniye Davids, I am an only child and I am adopted. I was raised by mostly my adoptive father; my adoptive mother died when I was very little. I have always loved to write; it has been my only obsession for as long as I can remember. I dreamt night and day of writing novels and owning my own magazine, and everything I did was geared towards that goal. I met Tunji Davids when I was 27 years old, at a black and white ball organized by the magazine I was working with at the time. He was 6 ft of pure chocolatey goodness. We didn’t fall in love immediately, at least that’s what I had him believe; we were friends first, and three years later, we got married. We loved each other very much and he was the only person who understood my obsession. Even when I didn’t want to have kids for a while because it would interfere with my career plans, it was alright with T.J and his mom. When we finally had Mandy, she was a bundle of joy, with eyes exactly like her father’s. And like me, Mandy has no siblings, but she grew to be a fine woman, even if I say so myself.
My sixty-second birthday was a double celebration; after working for other people for so many years, I was finally launching my own lifestyle magazine: Belle. The launch was a huge success, in fact, so much more than I expected. I first met Tomiwa Coker at the after party. He greeted me warmly although I had no clue who he was. I remember him from the party; the memory stands out because of the slight limp in his walk. He was very young, maybe just a few years older than my Mandy, and he was good looking. He introduced himself as a great fan of my work and we started talking about my pieces. Suddenly, he said: “Mrs Davids, I would love to work with you.” I was taken aback by his “straight to the point” manner but really, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Nothing less should be expected of one with a mind as brilliant as his. I told him to see me later in the week in my office. He did show up, and he walked out that day being so much more than the Senoir Editor of Belle; from then on, we formed a bond so strong that he was like the son I never had.
Three years later, Belle was on the fly, family was great, life was generally good, until I started having severe abdominal pain. I went to the hospital, some tests were run and I was diagnosed of pancreatic cancer, with a life expectancy of six months. Of course my world was rocked; no one likes to hear the date of their own demise. There were so many things I still had to do, I couldn’t die, I wasn’t ready to die. I shared the news with only T.J. And Tomiwa. I couldn’t bring myself to tell Mandy; not just yet. T.J didn’t take the news well though; He changed remarkably, he didn’t eat much, didn’t talk much either, and it was as though he couldn’t stand to look at me for too long. I did my best to re-assure him that somehow, we would be alright, but he wasn’t assured. One afternoon, I was talking to T.J about some things that I wanted done if I died. If, yes. My tenacity has seen me through a lot. And even if I was going to die, I didn’t want to die hopeless; I wanted to die believing.
“Babe,” T.J still called me that after all these years
“There’s something I need to tell you.” “Ok, I’m listening”
“First, I want to apologize for not telling you until now, there really is no excuse for what happened, or how I handled it, but I have to tell you, so that if, if you..”
He couldn’t get himself to say “die”. I was getting apprehensive now, but I sat still
“I have a son. And his name is Tomiwa Coker, yes, the same one. He wasn’t aware until today; I spoke to him earlier”, he rushed on. He finally stopped talking, and it felt like the wind just got knocked out of me. So I got up, stood for some seconds to make sure I was steady, and I walked into my room. That was the last time we would speak, for two years. Tomiwa sent in a letter at work, asking for some time off work, he took time off, and resigned soon after. At first, I didn’t get it, it just didn’t seem real. The more I thought about it, the more furious I became. I just couldn’t fathom how it happened; did he have the child before we got married or after? How could he lie to me for so long?
Five weeks after the big reveal, our Doctor called to tell me that I didn’t have cancer, only pancreatitis – a non-life- threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Apparently there had been a mix-up with the tests. I was thankful that I wasn’t going to die, but I didn’t tell T.J. I felt betrayed and wounded beyond words.
At sixty seven, my magazine was the top in the country and a great favorite outside, business was going good, but my family was in shambles. I didn’t give T.J the chance to tell me more than he did; I didn’t want to hear it. One evening, I got a call from Tomiwa; he wanted us to meet someplace. He brought a woman with him. Even before we were introduced, I knew she was his mother and just out of courtesy, I decided to listen to what she had to say. It was a bachelor eve gone wrong, and T.J hadn’t known about Tomiwa until two weeks before my cancer scare. I didn’t have anything to say to the woman, I just thanked her and left. I decided I would let T.J tell me his side of the story, when I got home, but it was Tunji’s turn not to speak to me. I found him on the floor in the room, dead.
Today, I turn 70, and my publishing house has just been commissioned. I would give anything to turn back time, to speak to him again. I wish I forgave him sooner, I wish I had listened. He always believed in me and it would have meant the world if he was here with me now. I blame myself for holding on to anger for so long. All that happened doesn’t seem so important now. The program comes to an end, and I smile gratefully as Mandy and Tomiwa come to link their arms with mine and walk me away from the applauding crowd; they can’t tell. At least I got my dream, and I have people to share it with; that much I’m thankful for. As I step out of the room, I let the tears fall.
ENTER @d3ola

I wear a mask
To cover the pain
I wear a smile
To hide my tears
I speak the words
But its just too late

SO THANKS FOR READING. LET’S TALK ABOUT FORGIVENESS AND THE EASE OF IT.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

FIND THE ART OF @BoukkieO here and the art of @d3ola here
N.B. The project still goes on for the following two days. Watch out for something different by @Aeda_ later today.
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column or in the comments section) to follow the project.
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36 Responses to “Decades II – The Seventh Decade (61-70)”

  1. Moh Says:

    1st
    Goin bak up to read den will b bak 2comment

  2. Pha't Says:

    Touching story…. We always wait until its too late…

  3. Moh Says:

    Found this blog yesterday and just read all the decades this mornin and I’m blown away this is amazing stuff I swear. Kudos to all the babes who wrote on this yall deserv an award.

  4. papyrusczar Says:

    Thumbs up! I need not say more than that.

  5. phantompages Says:

    Forgiveness can be quite hard especially when it comes to things like betrayal! This would sound odd but I do think this story had a happy ending contrary to what the writer thought! Then again, my idea of happy is another’s idea of depression. Love the last two lines of the poem!

  6. jessica Says:

    I have to agree with phantom pages, although in this case both parties are ‘seemingly’ blameless. The sad part is the companionship she has lost, which she will crave more and more as she gets older and the guilt she would always feel at the thought of her husbands death. Poor guy, he sounded like such a nice guy…

  7. OOkpoechi Says:

    Wow this was really nice and the poem at the end was great!

  8. Funmibi Says:

    Brilliant story!!!

  9. PreyingMantis Says:

    1st paragraph: Forgive my ignorance but is there any phrase like ‘once-over’? I know about ‘look-over’. If there is, then I just learnt something new.
    3rd paragraph: “I was raised by mostly my adoptive father”. This sentence is incorrect. ‘I was raised mostly by my adoptive father’.
    4th paragraph: “Senoir Editor of Belle”. It’s ‘Senior’.
    5th paragraph: “I was talking to T.J about some things that I wanted done if I died. If, yes.”. This sentence isn’t clear. If you have to emphasise on a word, in this case ‘if’, you should italicise it to make the sentence understandable to the reader.

    I think most of the writers have a phobia for Apostrophe.
    “I speak the words
    But its just too late”. But it’s just too late.

  10. damisola Says:

    Is Tomiwa her son-in-law? Who is the son-in-law? Does Mandy know yet?

  11. dhamyhan Says:

    I wouldn’t spare a drop of Pity for the woman,she was successful,had a wonderful family and got a man as good as d best she could find out there,a man who loved her and she couldn’t even give him a chance to explain himself……it saddened me coz of the way the story ended for TJ(not coz of her of course),the grief might av been what killed him.

  12. ibetapassmynebo Says:

    Nice. .looking forward to d next decade

  13. ThinkTank Says:

    Nice

    What did Tunji die of? The story left me wondering. Sometimes the fates play a cruel hand for I really cannot see what the poor man did wrong but the pain of perceived betrayal can render one incapable of rational thought. Poor woman. To approach the end of such a blessed life on a bittersweet note.

    The poem was pretty awesome too. Simple and effective. I knew having them at the end would deliver more of a punch.

    Well done people.
    Carry on…Carry on…

  14. This seems like an edit of yesterday’s story right? Like an alternative ending, continuation. More like a mixture of both.
    Anyway, this story… Life and it’s conundrums. Just when she achieved her dream of being a writer, the hydra headed monster, conflict rears it’s ugly head! A sad ending. I wish she had given T.J a chance to talk though. Now she’s gonna live the rest of her life in regret. I wish the end was happier. 70 is a golden age.

    The poem is not as good as yesterday’s but a very concise summary as well. Great job, who’s next?

  15. @Lady_corrs Says:

    Is Tomiwa her son-in-law? And is he getting married/already married to Mandy? :s

  16. @Lady_corrs Says:

    I don’t think its a continuation from yesterday. This is a different lady. The one of yesterday had 3 children while this one has a single child. So I think they’re both different people.

  17. awizii Says:

    Interesting story, it’s as real as can be too. It’s only human to find it hard to forgive someone for something as serious as betrayal. Difficult as it is one needs to firmly decide to let it all go. Almost impossible perhaps but then fate plays a cruel part in making one regret it for the rest of ones life if one decides not to.

    I like the poem…simple and effective. Well, maybe a little too simple……Well done ladies. 🙂

  18. FreshPrinz Says:

    Absolutely loved this story. Well done boukkie. Classic tale, sometimes when we think we have it all life comes & rips us a new asshole.
    Loved how the poem was perfectly complimented the story. Simple & straight to the point.
    Good job ladies.

  19. deb Says:

    Lovely writing!

  20. BoukkieO Says:

    @Papyrusczar: thank you.
    @Phantompages: :)true. Those who are close to us are the one who can truly hurt us. thank you for reading.
    @Jessica: thank you for reading, ma’am 🙂

  21. BoukkieO Says:

    @OOkpoechi: thank you!
    @Funmibi: thank you! 😀
    @PreyingMantis: All except the “once-over” were typos. Thank you for stopping by.
    @dhamyan: I hear you, but forgiving hurt is not always easy. Thank you for reading

  22. BoukkieO Says:

    @Ibeta: Thanks!
    @Thinkthank: thank you for reading
    @Slevin: yea.like Pha’t said, sometimes we wait until it’s too late.thank you for reading
    @Lady_corrs: thank you

  23. BoukkieO Says:

    @Awiizi: true. Forgiving is difficult, but it needs to be done; not so much for the other person, mostly for us. thank you for reading 🙂
    @FreshPrinZ: 😀 Danke sire. *curtsies*
    @deb: thank you, glad you like it 🙂
    @Moh: 🙂 thank you.
    @Pha’t: I totally agree. Thank you for reading

  24. BoukkieO Says:

    @Betty and Afro: thanks for letting me share your space!

  25. Tim Konyehi Says:

    A powerful lesson illustrated with nice story told with pure creativity. Had fun reading this one!

  26. Ekwe Says:

    *sigh* i grow tired of saying these things are nice. ayam sure betty and banxman would not have put them up if there werent. i really wish she hadn’t cried at the end. i thot she was gonna go feed herself a poisoned cake out of guilt or just go hang herself on the fan. wud have been nicer! crying is for *insert alternate name for vagina(plural) here*

    good work…but really could have been better.

  27. afrosays Says:

    Yo Bukky,
    Thanks for teaching us a different lesson today. I know sometimes it’s hard for us to let go of a hurt especially when it bites deep but we kinda have too, and we just hope that it’s not too late to mend all that’s gone wrong.

    We need to learn, that.
    Yesterday is less than forever.

  28. BoukkieO Says:

    I agree. Thanks, Afro

  29. MizB Says:

    Lmao.. Ekwe! Feed herself wat?!! I appreciate the message of this story n truly wish I could paste it in some people’s faces! And the poem, summed it up succintly. Thanks guys for the wonderful read.
    @ afrosays, have u considered employing preyingmantis? I don’t b undastnding d dude’s fixations with spelling n what-have-yous.*smh*

  30. you know who Says:

    While you guys stay hating on Preymantis, you have to admit that his criticisms aims to make y’all better writers, look beyond the sarcasm and take the corrections he delivers.
    You can’t be dropping all sort of typos and syntax and grammatical errors and expect everyone to congratulate you.
    Take the corrections and stop sulking.
    Personally, I feel this story lacked much substance. The poem makes up for it though.

  31. Kemmiiii Says:

    Really Nice.
    Touching story.
    Big ups to you Bukky and Betty 🙂

  32. Too rushed??
    Lessons well noted tho-life is too short to live with unforgiveness and bitterness…


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