part 3: Lost Diamond

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I dashed to her place later that evening. When I got there I asked her younger brother to call her for me. He told me she wasn’t at home that she went out since afternoon and hadn’t returned yet. I was livid. So she actually went elsewhere despite our plans to see at my place. The thought pierced my heart like a sharpened dagger.

I waited for her till it was dark. Not too long I spotted a pretty slim figure from afar. I didn’t need to be told it was her. I just know. In the greyness of the night, her fair skin still had that peculiar sunshine sparkle.

“Nkem,” I called out fiercely with a hoarse voice from the corner I had been sitting waiting for her. “’Where are you coming from?” I demanded harshly.

“I’m sorry –“

“Keep your sorry, I asked where are you coming from?”

Nkem’s mien was apologetic. I could see it written all over her. If it were any other day my anger would have quenched almost immediately. But not today. Not after she deliberately decided to go out instead of dropping by at my place like we agreed. I shot her a firm gaze prompting her to speak up.

“Erm… I was actually on my way to your place when I received a call,” she swallowed hard. “It was very urgent I had to go.” She stared at me with pleading eyes. “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your place as planned. I’m reeeeealllly sorry.”

“So who is the person that called you, eh?”

Nkem coughed. She averted her gaze from mine. I could sense her nervousness. It made me to believe she’s actually not being entirely truthful.

“Let’s just forget about this, please. I promise to make it up to you. Cross my heart.”

“NO!” I bellowed emphatically. “I need to know who called you and come to think of it I called your line countless times without you picking up. How do you explain that?”

“I’m sorry my phone entered silent mode, you know how these android phones behave sometimes.”

“So didn’t you see my missed calls later to call back.”

“I didn’t have airtime.”

“Give me your phone,” I stretched my hand to collect it.

She hesitated before giving the phone to me. I checked through her phone like a CID detective looking for evidence in a crime scene. It was there on her phone’s call list. Jeremiah. He’s the one that called. He’s the one Nkem went to see. I couldn’t believe my goodness. I raised my head slowly, like they do in the movies for dramatic effect, our eyes intersected. There was a knowing in the way we stared each other in the eyes silently. I know and she knows that I know. Jeremiah was the reason she forfeited seeing me.

“So it’s actually Jeremiah you went to see abi?”I felt my stomach become taut. My head was pounding severely. I caught an instant headache. I was no longer myself, it was as if I had drifted away leaving only my body behind. I heard a distant faint voice, it sounded familiar.

“I can explain…”

Craig David’s song begun to play in my aching head.

I’m walking away …

I walked away from the faint voice. In the distance I could still hear the faint voice calling my name.

I’m walking away…           

I kept walking until the faint voice diminished into thin air.

I was heartbroken. Nkem had betrayed my trust. Why? That night while I laid teary on my bed I picked up my phone and sent her a vicious breakup text. I was ruthless and careless with my words, I wanted to hurt her the same way she had hurt me. I wanted a pound of flesh. Her flesh. She didn’t reply or called. I waited all night if she’d reply or call. She didn’t still. The next day, she didn’t call or text either. After about a week of waiting for her to text or call in vain I couldn’t bear it anymore. I took the plunge, I went looking for her.

It was night. From where I was a few meters away I could make out the two familiar figures sitted at the back seat of Papa Onome’s keke, packed in front of Nkem’s compound. Papa Onome’s blue and white commercial tricycle used to be our special rendezvous spot every night. As I sauntered closer, my doubts were confirmed true.  My worst fear had befallen me. It was Nkem and Jeremiah together, gisting carefreely. They didn’t even notice my presence until I called Nkem by name.

“Nkem, so it’s true…” my voice was broken. I felt my cheeks moisten. It was tears from my very eyes. “So all these while you had been deceiving me all along, what a fool I had been.”

“I never deceived you, I really  loved you but you kept pushing me away at the slightest provocation. Any little misunderstanding we have, the next thing from you is breakup. I got fed up…” I willed my tongue to say something in defense but they were too weary to do my bidding.

“That night you saw me, I didn’t tell you it was Jeremiah because I knew you’d lose your cool at the mention of his name notwithstanding the circumstances at hand. Well, so you know, Jeremiah was involved in an accident. It was the clinic he was taken to that called my line, it was an emergency. I rushed right away to his family house to inform his parents and we dashed to the clinic together. It was from the clinic I was coming from when you saw me.” It dawned on me that moment that I had been quite hasty in concluding she was actually playing foul. I bowed my head in shame. Jeremiah was silent all through, he didn’t mutter a word.

“I’m sorry I doubted you Nkem.” I began to mumble.

“It’s okay. I hold no grudge against you. I’ve only decided to move on and expect same from you too.”

Nkem’s words came to me as if I had just received a tragic news. I was grieved sore to the soul. Like Jesus, I wept.

“Nkem, you leaving  me?”

“I’m sorry, I pray you find someone better than me…”

***

Gbam! Gbam! Gbam! Rings the vigilante’s bell. It is then it dawns on me that it is already dawn. I had been up all night keeping watch just like them. Mama’s voice would soon ring from the sitting room anytime soon for us to assemble as family for morning devotion. While singing and clapping and praying, my mind drifts far away to the cemetery of the past where I shall forever mourn my loss.

I should never have let her go.

THE END

Photo credit: loversofsadness.com

Book Review: “Yann Martel’s LIFE OF PI: Surviving Against all Odds” by Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy

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Wait! I can guess what you want to say. Do not say it yet… I know. Ehm…you want to say you have seen the movie, right? Got ya! Well, I have just read the novel itself and come to think of it, why do people always prefer the movie version of novels to the actual books? I remember my university days when William Shakespeare’s MACBETH was recommended for study and how most of my mates went looking for the movie version to watch, has it become so difficult to read books? My special thanks goes to the lecturer who rewarded most of them with an F in the exams haha!

Well, I have seen the movie versions of Nelson Mandela’s LONG WALK TO FREEDOM and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s HALF OF A YELLOW SUN and I must admit that the stories died in the hands of motion pictures, the stories were rushed and I could not flow with the emotional sensation that came with reading the actual stories (I caught myself almost crying while reading LONG WALK TO FREEDOM and celebrated Mandela’s freedom). What the movie does is to take the action and leave the philosophy behind. I must however stand fast to salute whoever produced the movie version of JRR Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS, the movie is impressive. As for the movie LIFE OF PI, much of the action were lifted from the novel and the philosophy was left aside. Nonetheless, they movie also cut out the unnecessary lectures on seafaring which almost marred the novel. I think one of the major impediment the movie world will keep having when turning a novel into a movie is in the aspect of characterisation. While both movies and novels might through different means make us see a character physical make up for instance, the movie can not provide us with an in-depth analysis of the character’s mind and thinking the way a writer would spell them out on paper. Well, enough of the comparison before you think I am trying to put down the movie world so books can reign supreme.

Now think of waking up suddenly in a sinking ship and next you know is that you are bundled off into a life boat not because the sailors were thinking of saving your life but as an offering to an hyena which had somehow found its way into the life boat. And as if this is not enough, you are joined by a rat, a Zebra, an orangutan, and a royal Bengal Tiger! Okay, that is scary right? Now, the hyena gets hungry and you are just a small guy with no weapon to face it, but the hyena goes first for the Zebra, saving you for worse days ahead. Zebra gone and the hyena goes for the orangutan and you know immediately that you are next. But Tiger comes and saves the day by killing hyena yet you know Tiger is a bigger threat than even an hyena for without food, it will surely come for you and it would be more vicious than the hyena. You look around and find out that you are alone with Tiger in the middle of nowhere on the Pacific ocean and your last thoughts are that of how to survive the ocean in a small boat while ensuring that the Tiger does not make you its dinner. Hardly a palatable situation for one to find himself in right? Yet, this is the story of Piscine Molitel Patel (aka Pi), a young Indian boy, who finds himself stranded on the Pacific ocean with a royal Bengal Tiger as the only companion. How he survives for over two hundred days (with the Tiger) is a miracle. The tale tells of how we need each other in solitary moments, how man can relate with his environment and its other inhabitants (animals), each going and coming without hurting each other, and most importantly, it tells of how we need each other to survive without knowing it for strangely enough, it is the  tiger’s will to kill at any moment that keeps Pi alive till the very end of the ordeal. While the story might not have had the same effect of uniting three different religions; as Pi did and became a Christian, Muslim, and Hindu, all at the same time; it certainly had the effect of reaffirming the soul sustaining and magical power of fiction.

I must say that I love the framed narrative technique employed by the writer who begins the story and then hands over to Pi to relate his experience to us, very much like that of Joseph Conrad’s HEART OF DARKNESS. The interlude employed to show how many days was consumed in telling the story is also a nice idea but towards the end the story ran on and on without the interludes coming in as frequently as it appeared at the beginning. Maybe I do not also like the authorial intrusion I came across in the story. You see, the interludes I can understand as still part of the story and still flow with them but there are times when the narrator leaves his story to lecture us about animal behaviour or survival tactics on the sea, those to me are unacceptable. There are several books on sea-faring should I want them, they are example of authorial intrusion that would have better been Incorporated into the story by action and not mere talk like the pact when the older Pi left the story and began giving advice on how to survive on the sea.

However, it is quite a scintillating and amusing story, one which I shall place among great travel and adventure novels as Daniel Defoe’s ROBINSON CRUSOE and Jonathan Swift’s GULLIVER TRAVELS, and of course William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES.

Photo credit: https://booksandrandomthoughts.wordpress.com

About the Author

eazy

Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Language and Literary Studies. He is a literary critic and reviewer, poet, story writer and copy editor. He currently serves as the Chief Editor at literarycriticsandwriters.simdif.com.

Part 2: Lost Diamond

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Jemine was my rival. Eventhough Nkem told me from the outset that he was just a ‘harmless friend’ who works close to her, I was still threatened by his ‘harmlessness’. Maybe it’s because I know he once asked Nkem out before I even came into the picture. Nkem might have turned him down but that doesn’t mean his feelings for her has been turned off. Another reason for my concern was also that they work in the same shopping complex. Inevitably, they must see everyday. I fear in time he might be able to woo her from me given the proximity they share at work. When I voice my worries to Nkem she would tell me to relax.

“You don’t have to worry about anything,” she said to me one Sunday afternoon. “Trust me I know who I want and that’s the one I said yes to.” She took my hand in hers affectionately, “let not your heart be troubled my love.” She caressed my lips with hers. “I love you.” She meant it. I could see it in her eyes. She’s very much in love with me as I am with her. “I love you too,” I confessed. “It’s just that I feel threatened by your friendship with Jemine, I just can’t help it.”

“Why do you feel threatened?” she asked.

“Erm… the thing is that I’m scared he might get to sway you someday and you’d leave me…”

Nkem hushed me.

“Don’t say such things, please don’t. I have already told you you’re the one I want, so you have nothing to fear or worry about, or don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I do but —“

“No buts. Change the topic please.”

I didn’t want to drag the issue any longer since she was already slightly irritated. I do trust Nkem, but it’s myself I don’t trust enough. Given my regular mood swings and obnoxious insecurities, I feared I might drift her into my rival’s waiting arms wide open like a trap awaiting its most prized catch patiently.

***

I gape into my phone’s screen to check for time. 2.15am. I’ve been awake all night, keeping wake like the vigilante guys who watch the streets at night. Not that I don’t want to sleep. I just can’t, try as I may. My emotions haunt me with memories of the past. The past which I so crave to forget for my sanity’s sake. But how can I forget when anytime I close my eyes I have nightmares. Nkem would appear smiling, bidding me to come get her but whenever I try to reach her she dissolves into empty space. More frightening is the thunderous guffaw that echoes in the background. It’s Jemine’s. I look around but see no one but a monstrous shadow pacing towards me. I take to my heels. Running. Until I jerk off from sleep, panting and sweating like an athlete who just sprinted a marathon. Tonight I wish I can sleep, I really wish I can. It’s as if I’m being ambushed; sleep is the Judas preying to betray me into the hands of my captors. Nightmares.  I shouldn’t have called it quits. I shouldn’t have sent that text. If only I knew it wouldn’t be like other times. If only I knew that would be the last straw.

***

Two days after our one year anniversary, I asked Nkem to come over to my place. It was in the evening and the coast was kind of clear of any possible distraction. The house was empty save my little sister who was sleeping in the room. After waiting for over a year, Nkem finally made up her mind to let me have her most priced asset. Her virginity. In the past she would only allow me touch and she me. She would stiffen up whenever I attempted to take our foreplay to the next level. “I’m not ready yet,” she would say when I ask what’s putting her off. We could smooch, cuddle and everything in between but that between. I could explore elsewhere except down there. It was sacred ground no one had ever trod. As a man with active libido I had to find some other way to let out steam especially on cold nights when the hormones get in control. My Blue Seal Vaseline always comes to the rescue. I would lie down on my bed, my lubricated palm firm on my erection, and imagine Nkem were on top of me piloting us to the moon and back.

So I waited, patiently, till she would be ready. Alas the day has come when we shall traverse the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. The day I cease to be Moses who only could see The Promised Land without stepping foot on it.

I was more than prepared for the action that was about to go down. I bought a pack of Love Sensation which has about three condoms in the pack. Those would surely do. I checked the clock hanging on the wall in the sitting room. It was already past 4pm. Anytime soon my mom would be back from her outing. We had agreed on 2pm and I was very specific about timing. I was already furious. I dialed her number. She didn’t pick. I dial again. No response. Again and again. Still no response. I was livid. She knows how much I hated being stood up and yet it’s today of all days she has decided to get under my skin. At least she could of texted if there was any delay, no she wouldn’t. She’s just fond of getting on my nerves. And she sure has succeeded this time round. The last time I complained about things like this, she wouldn’t have it.

“You like picking on little things a lot and it’s getting annoying.”

“Little things you say?” I was flummoxed. “’To you they might be little things but to me these little things matters a lot.”

“Just accept it, you nag a lot.”

“How dare you say I nag a lot, how dare you?”

“The truth they say is bitter.”

“What truth are you talking about here, maybe you should take another look at the mirror.”

“What do you mean?”

“If I nag, then you’re the cause of it!”

“You like putting the blames on others, you never own up to your faults. Right now I don’t even feel like arguing with you. Goodnight.”

That said she walked out on me. I was taken aback. That she would walk out on me in the middle of an unfinished conversation. Or quarrel.

“Nkem come back here!” I barked.

She was headstrong. She didn’t come back.

When I got home that night I sent a caustic breakup text. In the text I remembered calling her ‘beautiful for nothing’. I was very sure that would get to her even if the breakup didn’t. Even after sending her the text she neither called nor texted back. That fuelled my anger the more. It means she wasn’t affected at all or probably she was only pretending not to be. Well maybe she’s good at pretending but not me. I was affected the most from the breakup I had instigated. Few days down I couldn’t hang on anymore. I went back to her, cap in hand. And she was there just as I had left her. Waiting for me to come to my senses and back to her.

Maybe it’s because she knows I couldn’t literally do without her that’s why she takes me for granted every now and then. Well I’m going to prove her wrong this time round. I’ll show her no one is indispensable, including her.

Photo credit: http://hd.wallpaperswide.com

If you missed the first part, click on the link below.

Part 1: Lost Diamond

Ifunanya

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Ifunanya m,

A blessing from my Chi

The only palm kernel

In the hearth of my heart

So fair to look upon

Like a full moon in its prime

My gold, my Ona

The wealth of my youth

The virility of my manhood

You’re the precious flower

Planted by the side of the river

Whose petal is as the plumage of the peahen

The very one I beheld on my way from the farm

That captivated me with its charm

A calabash of palm wine

And tubers of harvested yams

Will I bring as an in-law

To your father’s sacred obi

I will tell him of the flower I saw

That of which I intend to pluck

And when I do so

I would never let it go

We shall blossom as one

Fruitfully bearing fruits

The love of my life

In you I found a wife

Asa nwa

I mara mma

 

NOTE

  1. Asa nwa means ‘pretty child’
  2. I mara mma means ‘you’re very beautiful’

Photo credit: Eze’Chukwuma Ifeoma

Fire In My Loins

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There’s a stirring on my inside

stoking the embers of desires

inflammed by the need for warmth

of our bodies bonded like Siamese twins

to be set ablaze on the petrol of ecstasy

 

Heat,

crimson hot

brewing in my loins

 

I’m a volcano about to erupt

filled with steaming lava to the crater

awaiting the sway of your hips

to unleash torrents of orgasmic explosion

which will comsumate us to ashes

and like phoenixes we shall rise from the debris

our bodies to be cremated over again

 

Heat,

I’m burning

in the flame of your bod

 

Thirsty for a sensual drink

from the pool that flows

through the confluence of your thighs

Allow me drink to the full

till we thirst no more

 

Heat,

beads of sweats

to ornament our weary skin

 

Photo credit: marieisabelle.com

The Color of Love

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What’s the color of love?
Is it white as snow,
so pure like the waters of Niagara falls
cooling parched earth?

Is love red,
like the blood pulsating in my heart?

What’s the color of love?

Maybe it’s blue,
just like the azure sky
where lovebirds flap fledgling wings

Or it could be green,
just as nature
sprouting on the loamy soil
of fertile souls

Love is brilliant
so it should be yellow
like the half of the golden sun

What’s the color of love?

I think it’s orange,
for love is appealing and quaint

It could be violet
like a bouquet of precious hibiscuses

Nay,

Love is a rainbow
colorfully arched over the skies
of monochrome hearts
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Why Do Fools Fall In Love

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Why do fools fall in love
Is a conundrum dated age long
Let the birds sing a song
Tell the town crier to ding his gong

Love is like the sun
Always on the run
Awakes in the east
Sleeps in the west

It goes to the simple
Brings them dimples
Makes them glow
And won’t go slow

Open thy hearts
Let love hatch
You need not be wise
Love is on the rise

Photo credit: besthealthmag.ca