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Fiction

Ada’s Diary

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“It’s 5 am. Father is usually up at this time stroking his meat before the rooster crows- you know, that time in the morning where the sky is a ripe mixture of blue and moonlight. That’s when my father’s tone changes, 5 am. His curses are new in the morning, people snore horribly, my father is up at 5 am watching pornography. 

Sometimes, I model for my father. Sometimes in blood red just like the first time and other times in blue, yellow, purple, orange and yellow. My innocence was reduced to his liquor, he picked on me during holidays. We were a simple family. This writing is estranged. You must summarize the details of your pain otherwise it might seem like you’re delighted with it? 

He thrived on aggression but he liked to show remorse when he was done with me. Tears of shame and despicable disgrace lubricated my sore and tender asshole as he defiled me. I cried. The thing is when your father touches you like the way he touches himself when he touches himself looking at you, pain becomes a thing for mortals, not me. I am a woman of rainbows and divine color- my own Daddy likes to fuck me. “Ada!”, he cried sometimes as he staggered to my room when alcohol had overcome blood, and flesh had overcome faith, he’d look at me like I was light. I reminded him of my mother-  He’d say “Ada your fruit is much sweeter than I remember” but by the time he remembered, I had become unripe. My mother got sicker as the moon glimmered on Sundays, and when she used to hear me wail she’d let out a soft cry, only one I could hear. It was much too peaceful for the drunkard, soon my mother didn’t have enough energy to withstand – I’m sorry my story is all over the place.   
(Alcohol is a remedy for sickness, he drank my mother’s life away, he forgot that his precious Ada existed. He slept through the day and woke at night, and he woke with hunger and desire.) 

At this point, I became infatuated with death. Death spoke to me and replaced the little girl called pain. Death was a bad bitch and she was about the shit she pitched. I took his alcohol, masculinity, and shame. Death gave me control of my false reality, so as I jerked in pain while he had his way with me… I’d dream of tomorrow, free of pain and sperm. The sun finally shined and I didn’t need to not feel pain. I could cry and cry until I was content with my disposition as my father’s daughter. Death taught me to dream, things weren’t as they seemed and I was free.”

 

by David Oluwayinka

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Ore

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I never got tired of watching Ore take off her clothes in front of me. It was enough to make me go crazy every time I was ushered into her beauty. To think there was no more to her than just physical beauty and big brown eyes, every part of her that took me in, made me feel a whole lot empty when I’m left alone in the open.

Ore never made me remember who I was, I mean, half the day I don’t even know who I’m supposed to be, but with Ore, I didn’t even have to bother with the thought. There was no analysis of good, bad, right or wrong; she had a way of making the world a whole lot simpler, and she had the right words to ensure that too.

“Harder.” “No, I said harder.”

“Choke me gently.” “Be firm.”

“Good, now put it in.” “Don’t stop!”

“Lay still.” “Kiss me like that again.”

“Don’t.You.Dare.Burst.” “Stay longer Daddy, you can.”

I could tell what I was doing right, everything I did was always right. With Ore I didn’t have to be somebody else, I had no use for my glasses and my nerdy ways. She took off my glasses and called me innocent with a smile whenever I said ‘wow’ to the things she did.

Last night was no different, only she refused to talk after sucking the paste out my tube. I lay there, smitten and defeated while she poured herself a generous amount of vodka.

“You still don’t drink yeah?” I thought for a minute and decided to be spontaneous as she suggested once.

“Nah, once a while now.”  She turned, surprised and pleased, then she handed me a cup and lay beside me, lost in thought, drink in hand.

I know I should have asked her what was wrong, but she made me agree never to ask about her personal life. I was not the only one she was seeing. Obviously, I can’t even afford her. But she keeps coming back, says I’m the only one who reminds her how much she misses her past. Whatever that means.

She turned to me and smiled. I smiled back but my smile faded as I noticed her teary eyes. I was about to ask what was wrong but she hushed me with a kiss, closed her eyes and let the tears drop. She looked at me again, concentrating on my eyes like there was so much she could understand just by looking, yet I was the one who needed understanding. She brushed my cheeks and said faintly

“I’m really going to miss you.”

I paused, startled, all the while thinking to myself if this was the breakup my insecure self had been awaiting for months now.

She smiled, “Relax. The old man thinks we should spend the weekend abroad. I know I said I’d be around for your mum’s birthday, but a girl has to hustle.” I never complain, she’s done a lot by just being around me. Nerds have the reputation of not being desirable at first, until a taste of our innocence is had. I see us as the modern forbidden fruit.

She giggled and downed the vodka in one swift gulp. Placing her head on my chest, she gently played with the scattered strands of hair. “Is it okay if I’m falling in love with you?”

I try not to sound excited, playing cool like she always suggested, “Good, because it wouldn’t be okay if I was the only one doing the loving.” She bit my nipple and laughed aloud and then whispered with a smile.

“Boyfriend.”

 

It was official, I had a girlfriend.

***

This morning, Kenechukwu came to my room, collected my phone and left. My other flat mate, Dairo was overtly nice to me, insisting I watched cartoons before going to work. Kene returned with my phone but kept avoiding my eyes. I know he’s always had a thing for my sister, but he was beginning to act weird because of it.

Work was quiet, everyone seemed normal, until I received a mail about the sudden death of my boss. I went numb, that was the old man Ore was talking about. I scrolled through my contacts for her number but it wasn’t there.

“Is this some kind of a joke?”

I dialed the number but the network seems too crappy. After several attempts, I decided to send a text.

Work closed earlier than expected due to the news so I rushed home. Kene welcomed me with a hug and teary eyes. Something was definitely wrong, Kene never hugs anyone. He didn’t let go and started to sob quietly. Dairo kept avoiding my eyes, shifting his gaze from the TV to the remote control.

Just then did I see the picture in front of me clearly. With my hands gripping at Kene’s shirt, I pulled hard but he held on tighter, repeating the words “I’m sorry”. I was speechless, but an unrhythmic dirge came from my mouth, accompanied by endless tears.

She looked perfect in death. Not even the bullet holes and crimson blush could take that.

But why did the thieves have to shoot more than once?

 

Only the good die old, that’s what they told me but you’re an exception…

 

Written By Oriaku Stephanas

First posted on https://oriakustephanas.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/nerdy-adventures-specials/

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Love Lost

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Three years ago, my husband stopped calling me beautiful. One day, he had come home from work later than usual. Usually when he came home, he would plant a kiss on my forehead and say “Hey beautiful. How was your day?” but on this day, he embraced me fully and whispered “I love you” in my ear. I knew something was off but I said nothing. Instead I stayed in his arms, stiff as a board, and allowed his hot breath to assault my neck while we shared probably the tensest hug known to man. Those few minutes felt like hours.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into a year. Before I knew it, one year had turned into three and in all that time, he never called me beautiful again. Not even once. Instead he told me he loved me every day and every time he said it, a feeling of unease washed over me. I know my husband; when he called me beautiful, he said it with so much love and affection and I could feel that love. Now when he professed his love to me, it sounded like he was trying to convince himself of that love for me. Just like his declaration, our marriage now felt like a pit of disillusionment in which two people now-strangers try to rekindle a fire that died a long time ago.

Nowadays, I find myself reminiscing about our golden days in college. We had met at orientation and stayed together throughout college. We took classes together, went to parties together; we basically did everything together. Very often, I find myself thinking about the irony that all our friends who wanted to be like us are happily married with fulfilling careers. I used to feel so superior to them- I knew what I wanted from life and I had already found my partner. Now I find myself feeling desolate, realizing that I wasted over a decade of my life with a man that I no longer love.

One night while he was watching television, I asked him if he still wanted to continue our marriage. He stared at me for minutes and said nothing as the television droned on in the background. I wanted to scream and tear him limb from limb. Instead I threw divorce papers in his face and went to pack my bags. He didn’t say anything to me in the weeks that led up to my leaving the house and his life. On the day I left, he stood at the doorframe while I hurled my bags through the door and into the car trunk. As I stood by the car and waited for him to say something, I felt the sadness that I had previously felt turn into anger. In the moment, I had no idea why I was angry but now that I look back, I realize that I was angry at myself for pulling dead weight all these years and at him for waiting for me to make the hard decisions. As my anger turned to rage, I threw my ring at him and watched him as he slammed the front door shut.

 

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A dysfunctional love

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She held his hand and he held hers.
Felt the warmth of her fingers
but the piercing cold in her heart
for she had never loved
and never would

Or so he thought till he placed his head on her protruding belly
hearing vividly the heartbeat of the being in her
sensing the expectant kicks of her unborn child
His unborn child
His good half since she had refused to be his

He looked into her eyes for the umpteenth time and pleaded with his
that she save the life of the unsuspecting one in her
pure and untouched by this vile world
Evidence of their fleeting love, a miracle
He knew she would love this one, love it as hers
man or woman, black or white
for it was hers and always would be
It would feed with her and from her

It would laugh at her smile, look deep into her eyes
learn her scent and the size of her index finger that fits perfectly in its tiny palm
And it would fall in love, true and unconditional.

She had found her true love and he had lost his.

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A lover’s contentment

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She sat stark naked at the corner of that dingy dark room, her only source of light being the lit cigarette her lover held. She swore she’d never let a cigarette stick touch her lips… until she met him. Now she was going through 2 packs of Bensons each day which was a small price to pay to keep him. Besides, he was the ultimate poison. Like a shot of cocaine in her veins, leaving her with an empty feeling when she was without him. What sort of love possesses you utterly and completely, throwing you at the feet of your lover’s altar, ever ready to pull sword from stone? She had only ever read about this love, now she was seeing it. No, she was living it and it wasn’t such a bad thing after all. 

The only source of light in the room came from the lit cigarette he held between his middle finger and thumb, each drag intensifying the light which cause a glow that framed his beautiful face. That face that brought much unneeded attention and was the cause of almost all their fights, if not all. Brown eyes that seemed to call you, a nose too slender for a black man with lips that kept its presence, all held my a slender face with structured jaws that commanded its own attention. Oh, what a being. But that was as far as his beauty was, the cheating lying bastard. How she hated him! 

He uncrossed his legs and her eyes  fed on his glorious form and an equally glorious erection. She felt it all at once between her legs too. How could someone who hurt her still draw this overwhelming refueling from her body and mind? She got up with a loud creak and walked towards him with an exaggerated slowness, allowing him to take in every inch of her body, giving him permission to claim it again and again as she knew he would. She also knew she’d be dressing to leave an hour from now, wanting him as soon as he stepped out the door. But that was okay. 

Bending to his eye level, she let him have one last drag and pulled the cigarette from his lips, putting her lips on his and breathing in the smoke. He was her undoing and that was okay too.

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Picturesque Memories

Aerial view of Lagos | by Gregor Samsa

You arrive at the airport with so much anticipation. You envision your next uploads to your snap story; they will capture the best parts of being Nigerian. Your geotag will make you smile; the accented English will be a balm for your westernized ears. You will finally be home.

You haven’t been away for long anyway. You spent your year in England defending your country’s honor, wearing your flag with pride. You remembered your mother’s cooking but forgot the smoke from the generator that laced your every breath. You longed for the thump of your people’s music but had let their frustrations fade from your memory. Nostalgia had given you rose colored glasses. She had blurred and edited the portrait of your nation you left with until it was nothing more than an airbrushed magazine centre-spread.
Your plane lands in Murtala Mohammed airport and you clutch your green passport with pride. Subconsciously, you know that reality is going to snatch away your illusion the moment you leave the aircraft. So you remain seated. You close your eyes, savoring your distorted perception of your motherland.
Not yet, you beg. Not yet.

by Lewechi Nkata

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The Mad Woman

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 The mad woman is what they call me

I don’t think I’m mad, at least not to myself, it seems.

I was deemed mad because I could often be seen laughing without known motivation.

Many had often wondered how to this place I came to be

But if they knew my oh my how they would scream!

My story began long ago in a land far away from the under bridge

In a town a flight away from the famous oil ridge.

Before the madness took over, I went by a name called Abeni.

The one I loved shared with me a private joke since his name was Benjamin.

From the east and from the west did our love come to be.

Ignoring the haters and naysayers, we settled down with ease.

Like people in love, we made love and soon the fruit of the womb was revealed!

And unto us a son was given and unto us a daughter was born

And unto us such happiness that nothing could ever destroy!

On the fateful day, the arsonist was loose

And to flames he set the homes with good views.

I had been driving home when the call came in.

“Abeni, Abeni! There is cause to weep!”

And so on the bridge, I sped out of control like a drunken bird

And flew straight into the net of the Lord Death.

Unlike my husband and twin children, I escaped an untimely death

Only to enter a fate that all would dread.

I began my walk home after from the hospital being released.

I walked and walked with a strange peace.

Entering my estate, my home was nowhere to be found

Then I remembered what memory the doctors had bound.

I laughed so hard so as to push away the tears.

I chuckled away all the memories that were far from dear!

I take myself to the bridge where the news was delivered.

Sitting there, the memories come back and I quiver.

I am all alone now

Gone are the days when my husband’s smile used to be just a mile away.

With such thoughts, I fall asleep.

I wake up with such thoughts

And with such thoughts, I repeat the actions of yesterday for an eternity.

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I Saw It Happen

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​I’ve been quiet ever since I saw it happen, that’s the only way I’m ever going to stay sane. It didn’t happen fast; I wish it did, so I’d be having a fit with my mind right now, debating on who wills the other to experience and understand. But it happened, and it took all the time in the world.

It’s hard for me to close my eyes now, I’d rather walk the oceans and seas, fall down endless skies, and crawl through Earth’s every crust. I’ll watch fires burn warmth into cold, and watch ice freeze the soul of heat to moulded rock. I’ll do anything but lay my eyes to rest; I saw it all.

Trust is death, being thrown willingly into oblivion and dimensions of insignificant emotional ties powered with one lifeline, the ego. I saw it all.

I sit quietly, listening to muffled sounds as people try to inquire, to empathise and be a part of my suffering. I just start back in disbelieve. Were they all drugged? What sort of opium were they served? Is this how suppressed memories come to play, hiding the despicable realities we cannot shed off, replaced with renowned but staged artefacts of glory, all to help us live another day? But I saw it all.

I can’t let anyone brush their skin against mine, wink at me seductively, or plant a kiss on my lips? I’d rather be robed in sadness, and buried in the tomb of self-righteousness filled with flesh eating beetles, for sins unanswered for.

My eyes close for only a moment and I’m taken back. Not to what I saw, no, but I saw it all. To my days of transient joy; I’d say happiness, but it means nothing to me, it’s more of a feeling in my distant mind, reminding me of the sweetness of honey and the allergic trauma of the bee sting. I’m taken back to how I let myself be flirted with and lured. Men, women, what they’d give to see me pleasured. I’d dance in ecstasy to beats that reiterate my doom; the music will change and the dancers clash, the words and rhythm of the drums do not tell who we are individually. The flute will begin to play and we’ll be fixated on them – the men, they smile at me and I let them kiss me. A tiny diamond for every tongue twist, we fondle till I stand firm and unashamed, then I’m passed on to other men and praised for my vitality and a heavy sack of potentials. The women, I give in to, putting my vitality to work, for every bloomed thrust, my petals are promised enchanted tomorrows placed in leg chains made of black holes.

I wake, and I feel tears stream down my face. Drip! Drop! But it’s blood I see. I wipe it off, I look around like I expect it all to begin again like I saw it happen before; I know better now, they’ll always come back surreptitiously. They’re the bedbugs that multiply and survive very harsh weathers, they’ll feed and infest until I burn them all. After what I saw last night, I’d surround myself with wildfire and watch the world burn. So like the Phoenix, we’ll rise.

They crept in yesterday while I lay awake in deep thoughts of regrets and forecast. They selected us one after the other, and while they had their way, they filled the protesting mouths with salt. I saw it all. They marked bodies with tattoos to differentiate us from another, the empty and the bountiful. They shaved the hairs of those they were not done with, they broke the bones of those they felt had no potentials. I crept deeper into the darkness and I watched, I saw it all. When they were done, they built walls of hatred to separate us and left with our torches, leaving us in total darkness. I saw it all.

Now, I wonder, where do I really belong? I feel my head to know if I’ve been shaven, but then again, how many times would I have been shaven for me to notice this once. I lick my lips in search of the salty taste, but I can’t tell if it’s not the beady sweat of my hard work or my fear that I taste. I search my body for tattoos, but I’ve lived the hard life and the scars on my body are my evidence to show for it; how will I differentiate it from the tattoo?

I see what they have all become, the people with the tattoos, how they are lost and indifferent; how they live on, with no memory of the dark nights and the things taken from them. So I fear tomorrow, for I’ll have to live through all what I saw for another day; I fear today, how will I survive another night? Will I watch it all happen again, will I be the one watched. Or will I burn this earth to life and watch the best of us rise again like the Pheonix we are; I’ll see it happen.

 

by Stephen Oriaku

Stephen Oriaku is a graduate of philosophy, and a graduate fellow at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He’s daily plagued by new ways to inspire his students and watch great minds bloom in glory; he considers the University his Hogwarts since words and imagination will always bring magic.

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On The Edge

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I became the wave, or at least that’s what I want you to think because you lot don’t seem to see as I see even with eyes that big.
I had to sit and stare at the knife’s edge daring myself! Screaming to myself, and my words were, “c’mon motherfucker don’t be scared!” I lost my mind, I had worked on my mind but I have broken it worse than before because now I live in the trances and have lost my way to reality.
I see my nightmares come alive, full flesh and hellish vibes. Dancing on my bedroom floor like a 70’s disco while I lay in bed wishing I was dead.
What do you think you see? Who do you think you are to label me? I have seen the teeth of Cerberus it snarls at me, taunting me by day and by night. I have moved past fear, what else is there for me to fear, when in the dungeon that is my mind I look the devil in the eye each day with a gun pointed to my head and bones of children on the devil’s plate. I let this madness I write control me, it feeds on my humanity, I’m holding onto hope but my grip is loosening.

by Marvelous Ikpea

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An Odd Love Story

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14th February, 2014.
Valentine’s day, The sun shone boldly, showing off it’s nakedness with pride; for all to look away and be resentful. It was a highly anticipated day, the euphoria of the people promised everyone that this was to be a day of smiles, laughter, togetherness, fun, kisses, gliding and sliding. Every body walked in groups, a bland mixture of both female and male counterparts. Love was in the air, you couldn’t help but inhale. As if to add to the romance of the day, it was Joyo and Boa’s 2 year anniversary- an occasion Boa spent the previous month preparing for. Then they canceled all plans for the day and ended up agreeing to spend the holiday together at home, watching movies, eating, gliding and sliding.


During the day, it turned out to be very mundane. The movies were boring and the excitement that surrounded the day died faster than Sean Bean in every movie he has been in. While scrambling around the internet, Boa stumbled on a story in a blog(quite cliché really), it was a story of a man whose wife filed for a divorce after he lost his eyesight. The story failed to fascinate Boa too, until, she began to linger in thought. She was in thought for a while and then, she asked with a sharp voice, “Joyo, why do you smile whenever I talk to you? why am I special to you? why do you never say no?” Joyo, understandably caught off-guard, mumbled gibberish words Boa could not make out.

“Why do you love me?” She asked frustratedly.

He paused again, his eyes looking straight at her, squinting.

A sudden chill in the atmosphere. Joyo looked to be in search for words to say, particular letters to answer Boa’s question. Then he made a sigh of relief because finally, the words had come.

“He must have captured the right sentences to use,” Boa thought.
He began, “your eyes, your smile, your hair, your posture, your scent, your voice, your lips-” He went on, naming every single body part he could see on Boa as Ed sheeran’s thinking out loud played in the background.

Soothing words, lovely words, like he was reading them off a pre-written manuscript. Boa couldn’t help but smile; she liked the words, they tasted sweet. Hearing those words come out of Joyo’s mouth created a warmth in Boa’s chest.

She could feel the spread of goosebumps from her head to her feet as he ended his recitals with, “I just love you.” as he reached for  her hands.

Boa could feel warm tears assemble in her eyes. At that moment, she was ready to do anything for her Joyo, anything to the limit of her strength. Boa kissed Joyo and returned to her phone. Joyo smiled, he always had the right answers.

All seemed good for sometime, until a thought visited Boa again. It wasn’t sudden, more like processed because it went through a journey before it got here, inspired from that haunting story- The blind man. “I can’t Blame his wife, I was actually impressed she could stay with him for 12 years after his accident.” She thought to herself. The thought of the Man’s situation led to another and to another and to another, until she ended up at this thought that asked a question she could no longer answer herself, something she was scared to ask.

This question was based on probabilities.

She decided to ask Joyo, he would know the answer, he always has an answer. She asked again,
“What if hypothetically, I had been involved in a serious accident, an accident that severely injured me-” She stopped to look into his eyes.
“The eyes I have that you say could be mistaken for rubies being blinded, the smile you love being hindered by my deformity, the long dark hair being burnt off, the posture being dissembled by crutches and a loss of balance; the sweet scent being masked by the stench of medicines and ointments, the voice being obliterated by moans and whines of pain. My lips blotted with unappealing colours, and I look pitiful and sad.”

“With all these destroyed and gone, would you still hold my hand proudly? would you still smile at me whenever our eyes meet each other? would you still call me lovely nicknames?would you still show my pictures off proudly? would you still try to make me laugh, even, if the jokes are corny? would you still tickle me when i refuse to laugh? would you still listen to me? would you still care? would you still love me? would I still love me?”

Joyo looked stunned. He kept mute, what could he say? he couldn’t lie. He didn’t want to lie. What could he say?

Joyo didn’t reply, leaving Boa anticipating. He turned to his phone. Joyo finally didn’t have an answer for the first time.
Boa never got an answer, and She never asked the question ever again.

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