Towards the end of June this year, being of troubled mind and weary body, I decided to take a trip home to draw strength from the soil in which my umbilical cord is buried, so to speak. And so I set off home. For those who don’t know, “home” for me is Jos; since it is the city of my birth and the bulk of my life adventures. The journey was a long and bumpy road trip filled with self-doubt, a stressed bladder and drowsiness. Eventually I was welcomed into the bosom of my family with no mishaps. The process of drawing strength consisted, for the most part, of me moping around my sister’s house, eating, watching TV and coercing her children into playing with me every now and again. Continue reading “Calming my Restless Heart, or Something Similar”
It was two weeks before her wedding and she was depressed as hell.
It was so hard putting up a smile, so hard concentrating on the last minute arrangements, so hard keeping it together.
It had all started the day she went to pick up her gown. They’d had to make some minor adjustments and fix a tear in the veil, so she went back to the shop to check if it was perfect and take it home with her.
She got into the changing room, put it on and stepped out, feeling every inch a bride to be. Staring at her reflection, she knew she’d made the right choice because the dress looked like it had been made for her, and crowning it all was the cathedral-style veil. Her smile cracked a little, and it was all she could do to keep the tears in until she was back in the changing room, safely hidden from the concerned shop girl’s eyes. It was difficult to cry quietly with a broken heart, but she had no choice because these tears couldn’t wait .
She cried, that kind of release where you’re conscious of nothing else, save how to get the writhing ball of hurt out your body, through your eyes.
She cried till her eyes were swollen shut.
She cried till her chest ached.
She cried till she was wheezing like one in the throes of an asthma attack.
She cried till she couldn’t breathe and the panic pushed all the blood to her head till it roared in her ears.
She realized that she was on the floor some minutes later, and hoped to God that she hadn’t torn the veil again. She carefully stepped out of the dress and hung the veil over the door. She felt miserable.
She had everything. Her friends and family were super psyched that her big day was coming up, and the excitement in her mom’s house was palpable. The man she was going to promise forever to? Honestly, she could never have imagined a better man on this earth. She loved him so much that when he proposed, her girlfriends had to beg her to cancel the thanksgiving mass she had planned. He was everything. The kind of man she knew would help her be the best person she could possibly become. The kind of man who loved and accepted her as she was. The connection between them was such that he seemed to know when she wanted space and when she needed his arms around her. He was a flawed mortal in all the perfect ways.
And she didn’t want to tell him what was eating at her inside, for fear she’d see that look of hurt helplessness in his eyes. Because there was nothing he could do to change things. Because this time, he couldn’t give her what she craved.
She wanted her dad to walk her down the aisle.
She wanted him to walk in on her getting her makeup done the morning of her wedding, and hear what affectionate, teasing thing he’d say to express how beautiful she looked.
She wanted to look up at him through her veil, and see the love and pride and poorly concealed tears glazing in his eyes as he handed her over to the love of her life.
She wanted him to assure her, as she tried to control the tears, “You’ll always be my little girl.”
She wanted to dance with him.
But she couldn’t.
And she’d never hear him say all those things.
Because he was dead. And nothing could bring him back.
This year, we “celebrate” twenty years of life without the head of our family. You can read more here.
May his soul continue to rest in peace.
May God continue to keep my family united in love, and may His favour help us hold on to laughter, even in the face of tears.
Once upon a very weird Christmas time, an uncle of mine came over, and took me and a couple of my siblings to the zoo. It was a cheesy stab at “family fun”, but it exposed me to…well, the zoo.
So after then, I would go to the zoo from time to time, stare at the animals, give them names in my head and imagine them doing rather Dr. Seuss-like things.
It was a great idea (on paper), because I got to be on my own, cultivate some kind of a personal habit, and just be on my own and think.
It worked only once. Second time I went, I was accosted by this young chap. Senegalese, abi from Niger Republic, I can’t for the life of me remember. He stuck to me like a cow tick in a well fed dog’s fur, and wouldn’t let go.
How I was so beautiful, he was sure I could sing because I had such a lovely voice… Dude sang a couple bars of a song from an album he was allegedly working to drop real soon.
My girlfriend’s bf was competing in that Maltina Dance All show one year, and we all went to cheer the guy on. Seemed like a legit enough thing to do. During a break, I moved away from the “pack” to make a phone call, turned, and there he was. This wet-eyed Igbo boy, offering me a hanky because I was sweating from the heat and excitement inside the hall.
Toh, feeling a large drop of sweat on the cusp of splashing dramatically into my eye, I accepted the hanky and pushed aside thoughts of how weird it all was. And that was how I accepted a major stalker into my life.
There is nothing I didn’t do to shake off that guy, but even at that, it took a few months.
This one time, I was innocently walking from the house to the junction to get a keke. Suddenly I catch sight of a guy and girl standing outside a shop. The girl goes, “Ah, see this fine geh!” and in no time, the guy is coming up after me. Long story short (I never learn, I know this) I give him my number because it’s embarrassing; he has my bag and won’t let go, so passionate is his pleading.
That guy once gave me thirty – something missed calls and like four text messages ranging from “Why won’t you pick up, hope you’re ok” to “I’m very disappointed in you, why would you treat me like this, I’m never calling you again “.
Then he left some more missed calls.
What about when they fixed traffic lights at this roundabout in town here? There I was one bright Saturday morning, perched rather youthfully on a bike, heading to the tailor’s. Now, the light turned red so I was there o, only for me to hear, “Hello, baby, long time.” A slimy smile accompanied this fond greeting, after which the MAN in question proceeded to tell me how I was “his colour”. Mehn, I was Ray Charles to that guy and his teeth until that light changed and I moved on with normal life.
Right from secondary school, there was the (older) guy who’d show up in the mornings with cards and other related love-practices.
Same thing in Uni. The only time I was safe was when I hid in a particular corner of the library…
NYSC camp? Oh God. It was annoying, because I couldn’t be rude to the ones I didn’t like just so I could hang out with the interesting ones, like I would have wanted to 😦
Only last weekend, I asked an electrician to come fix a faulty outlet in my house. Now, I hate having handymen around because, small talk. I will never get the hang of talking for the sake of it, and to strangers, no less. So I hid somewhere with a Charles Dickens and waited for the guy to finish, abegs. I should mention that right when he came in, I was holding a half – finished pure water sachet in my hand. I asked if I should get him some water and your man smoothly took the one in my hand, wordlessly putting the edge I’d been drinking from to his mouth, like a promise… the chills, guys. The chills!
Anyway, your guy finished and I paid him off only for him to ask, just before I closed the gate:
“So… you living in this area, ba?”
I was all like, hell nah, nicca, and closed the gate behind him.
So far, I’m still waiting for the type I see in Nollywood; that will sweep into my life, wash away my financial and material sins, expose my skin to the best creams and polish me, generally. And all this without thinking to ask for any kind of gratification in return.
In the meantime, though, this one guy said he loves me and he buys me pens from time to time…
That counts, no? 😦
this away business here to stay?
8:14 AMJohnny Q
9:46 AMJohnny Q
this away business here to stay?
was ACTUALLY away
10:23 AMJohnny Q
been in za loo
was there for like 30mins
10:28 AMJohnny Q
10:31 AMJohnny Q
Continue reading “The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life”
You said you’d never make me cry.
But this water pouring down
My face; it’s nothing, really.
It’s only salty ‘cos it comes from
Inside my body, like sweat. Continue reading “Love, Ex”
There has been an eerie silence on the blog for a while… I’ll try to explain that.
First of all, an uncertain number of girls went on an unplanned excursion with a handful of deranged bad guys, and the Nigerian government did fuck all about it.
Pardon my French; it’s a bit rusty.
Now, it was terrible seeing mothers cry over their missing girls, an agony trying to imagine how sleepless the nights of such mothers probably are, and unthinkable trying to picture just what said deranged fellows would get up to with those girls. Anyways, I chose to remain silent on that topic, as is usual with me whenever my country breaks my heart…
Continue reading “Why I’m a Coward”
First off, pardon my French. I mean the title in THE most literal way.
Now, I’ve always loved Marian Keyes for being an honest, down to earth and REAL writer. Of course, it helps immensely that she’s got a great sense of humor as well. Anyways, I remember how she talked about guys and their need to beg, negotiate and struggle for sex from a woman simply because she’s there. There’s the slightest possibility that they’ll get lucky, so they absolutely MUST make the best of it.
She went so far as to say that she has a very visible penis-shaped indentation in the small of her back from all the times she’s had to ward off randy guys. When I read this all those years ago, I laughed. Now I don’t think it’s so funny anymore 😐
Lemme paint you a scenario or two.
You go out with a guy, and either have to spend the night at his, or he at yours. Ok. Fine. You are both adults and he has given his word. You won’t even know he’s there, on his honour. So sleeping positions are assumed, all proper and correct, if you please. You on the bed and he on the couch/ floor/ leaning against the wall / in the neighbour’s garage five miles away. You are relaxed, poor simple creature that you are, and the sleep comes swiftly and intensely.
At some point, you awaken groggily, feeling the way Jonah must have felt going down the gullet of the whale; constricted and… ah-ahn, where did all your personal space go?! You drowsily realize that oga has speed walked five miles and is trying to get you to show how much you missed him. The battle is twofold. On the one hand, you’re just an innocent sleepy girl who suddenly has to give up that dream about kissing Lynxxx and wake the hell up. While doing all this, you’re faced with shaking off boda Kola as permanently as possible.
Now I’m reminded of that vlog post by Toke Makinwa (I don’t know her new, secret surname) . It was called Just The Tip and was really entertaining, but held so many truths. It is at this point that you’ll hear wonders:
“Baby, I don’t really want to have sex with you, I just want to feel your warmth“
“Honestly, I won’t move at all. Lemme just put it inside only”
What makes it worse is the realization that he believes his own lies and is totally focused on achieving his dreams. No amount of firm “No” and “Stop!” seems to pierce through the thick blue konji haze he’s enshrouded in. A part of your brain wanders off as you struggle to pry his hands off you. All you can think of are the daftest things.
– Why didn’t you start working out? If you had, you wouldn’t be panting by now. You’d be stronger, better equipped to fling this guy into the far wall.
– You wonder how far this will go, and the headlines flash before your eyes. Girl, 25, Raped to Death. “I Told Him to Stop!” – Rape Victim. It Was Self Defence, I Don’t Regret It.
– Your mom’s face flashes before your eyes screeching stuff like, ” You see?! And I warned her o!”
– You stifle the urge to yawn and scratch your belly. It’s like hunger has set in, sef. Maybe a little j-rice when this is over? With lots of onions and some sexy, golden dodo on the side?
Another scenario is:
True to his word, Man Friday remains a loyal and honourable companion through the night. But when joy (morning wood) comes in the morning, as it is want to, out roars the Incredible Hulk. Scroll back up to see how things play out.
Now, IT IS A LIE if you say you’re a girl over twenty and this has never happened to you, at least to some small degree. All I can say is, pay extra attention to all those kungfu movies ‘cos those fancy hand chop movements could save you some day.
And guys? Sigh. Dear, dear guys. When will the majority of you start having sense?
I manage to drag myself out of bed about 30 minutes after turning off the annoying alarm. As my feet make contact with the cold floor, I say a few words of prayer.
-I am alive yet again. Grumpy, lazy, sleepy as hell, but alive.
Stumbling through my scattered flat, I stand at the kitchen door for a while to have a stare down with last night’s dishes swimming quietly in the sink. After taking several factors into consideration, (I’m running late and it’s a cold morning), I eye the dishes one last time and let them win, walking away. The house will look terrible when I get back home tonight, but my laziness will be the sole cause of that.
Continue reading “Glass Half Full”
Once upon a time,
when I used to read,
I’d stick myself in a book
and not come out till I’d caressed the back cover
and lovingly hugged the front to my bosom.
Once upon a time,
when I used to laugh
with my head flung back;
my entire being carrying the effervescent joy carefully,
in a bottle of contentment.
Once upon a time,
when I’d cry with my whole soul;
whatever I cried for meant the world to me,
and the tears were meaningful,
Once upon a time,
when I had friends whom I loved fiercely,
and dosed myself with their company regularly.
Once upon a time,
when I believed in trust,
and the power of tender emotions,
and gave of myself as best I knew how.
Once upon a time,
when life was just a string of adventures to be had,
and the world was a safe, beautiful place.
Once upon a time, darling,
I was me.
I’m throwing my bouquet of experience behind me,
knowing that my future self will catch it;
a sign of newness to come.
DISCLAIMER: This is another post straight from head to blog. You have been warned.
So sometime in the recent past, I was invited to a party going on not too far from my house. In true Joy fashion, I promptly resolved not to go: I would rather lay curled up in a warm shape in bed, intermittently pressing my phone and watching some sitcom or other. This was my grand design. Continue reading “Adventures of MissMeddle: Toad Eyes and I”
as a moth…
Fly out of me
as I, too,
yearn for release.
like the dead…
Call out to heaven
as my soul, too,
calls out to be rescued.
Stain the page
as my blood, too,
For many years now, since I was in Uni, I have told myself to enter writing competitions. It’s the done thing; I’d get a little more exposure, lots of productive criticism, much needed practice and almost guaranteed improvement… Not to mention, if the judges were, say, celebrating New Year, they could be properly intoxicated by all the right substances and actually allow me win!
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For quite a while now, I have bookmarked competition sites and told myself I’d enter… Check my phones and see; its a wonder I still have space to add new bookmarks.
The thing is, I always, but always have one flimsy excuse or other to give myself. The result of this is that I have NEVER participated in any kind of writing contest. Well, since I recently survived the end of the world, and have just a few days to the end of the year, I decided to bite the bullet, jump the gun, take the bull by the horns, weather the storm, peg the hole…and what have you.
So I finally entered one. Special thanks to Jaywriter, who egged me on and stayed up till about 11:30pm to ensure I posted it.
You can read the story here
Shards of Love
It’s not entirely fiction *wink wink*
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