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.



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

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October 24th


Shine lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling. She stared at it for so long that if she was asked, she could draw its exact replica; taking note of the places that had cracks and the places that had turned brown and mouldy, due to the incessant downpour of rain over the past weeks, making it look like polka dots on a white easel. In a way, the polka dot infested easel fascinated her. She was intrigued by its strength and ability to withstand the harsh elements of nature; more importantly, how it was able to protect her from Mother Nature’s wrath. Mama had come to her room twice now to talk to her, but she only heard bits of what she was saying, she was too busy staring at the ceiling, hoping that if she stared long enough, it would protect her from the hurtful words like stone slicing through her heart.
“Sitting down here and staring into space won’t do you any good” Mama said without a hint of warmth in her tone, “The deed has already been done and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. You have brought so much shame on me your mother. Tell me, is this how I trained you? Is this how you decide to repay me? Só fun mì,” she screamed, this time grabbing Shina by the shoulders and shaking her, her curvy, plump figure struggling to maintain its balance on the small bed before finally leaving her and bursting into tears.
Shina wanted to reach out and console her; to tell her she was sorry, but she couldn’t. Her lips refused to move, her eyes remained transfixed on the ceiling. Ever since their visit to the hospital five days ago, this had become a routine with Mama. “Your food is on the floor, Okada” mama said finally, slamming the door shut as she left her room. Although Shina didn’t see her mama’s face, she knew her eyes were red and puffy like ripe mangoes, she knew catarrh came out of her nose the way water rushed out of the tap behind her house; and as she pictured mama’s bereaved face, it felt as if someone was slowly twisting a knot in her stomach. That was how much it hurt, to know that she was the one responsible for the ugly state of mama’s beautiful face, she made the most important person in her life ugly.
Dr Ifemelu’s words still rang in her head. She tried all she could to forget the words; to forget his rich baritone voice and the way his lips curled in sympathy as he delivered the results of the test. She tried to forget the horror in mama’s eyes and how her features rearranged when she heard the news. Disgust. That was the only adjective she could use to qualify the way mama looked at her. She tried to forget all of that, but she couldn’t, so instead she blocked out all her emotions, she blocked out all her thoughts; and here she was now, five days later, staring at the ceiling, wishing she had waited five minutes longer in the library, wishing she had taken the Okada instead of walking back home, wishing she had never met Segun. She lay in her bed and stared at the ceiling and wished that the 24th of October never happened.


An excerpt from Faridah Amao’s flash fiction, October 24th.

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