The gambler

They found her body in a squalid room; dingy, dirty and dusty. She’d been dead for a few hours. She hadn’t paid her rent for the last month and the landlord got antsy. He did not brook late payment in his buildings, he dealt the dregs of society and knew how to deal with them. In a former life he’d been Chibuko Osakwe, the heir apparent to a huge business conglomerate. Until Lucifer’s favourite daughter destroyed his fortune seemingly in one day.
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The days

Last Saturday I was standing in my crowded NYSC room in Iyana-Ipaja and trying to arrange my bed (a chore I do not particularly like). I was thinking about the paths I’d taken, roads not travelled and how I wasn’t where I’d planned to be in November 2014. I felt a little maudlin and was tilting towards self pity.

Suddenly I heard a song coming from the orientation broadcasting service, and was transfixed. I didn’t think I’d heard it before but it called me to dance…

And I danced.

In the three minutes I danced, I was transported to the days of my childhood when my brothers and I would dance to rock songs. We’d shake our “hair” and move our little bodies. We didn’t care if we were dancing properly or had no rhythm, we danced because our rock songs (my mother’s actually) were playing on the cassette player and dancing was great fun.

The song ended, I came back to the “real” world. Somehow everything seemed much better and less dreary. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the right lyrics and searching for it was futile, until yesterday. I was under one of the tents in the parade ground when OBS played the song again, I ran to their stand and got the title of the song. A few minutes later I’d downloaded the song and was jamming to it.

Avicii “The Days” lyrics
[Verse 1]
Under the tree where the grass don’t
grow
We made a promise to never get old
You had a chance and you took it on me
And I made a promise that I couldn’t
keep
Heart ache, heart break
All over town
But something flipped like a switch when
you came around
And I’m in pieces, pick me up, and put me together

[Chorus]
These are the days we’ve been waiting for
And days like these who couldn’t ask for more
Keep them coming
Cause we’re not done yet
These are the days we won’t regret
These are the days we won’t forget
These are the days we’ve been waiting for
Rattle the cage and slam that door
And the world is calling us but not just yet
These are the days we won’t regret
These are the days we won’t forget

[Verse 2]
Out on the midnight
The wild ones howl
The last of the lost boys have thrown in
the towel
We used to believe we were stars
aligned
You made wish and I fell out of time
Curfew, cut through
All over town
You make me bleed when I look up
And you’re not around
But I’m in pieces, pick me up, and put me together

[Chorus]
These are the days we’ve been waiting for
And days like these who couldn’t ask for more
Keep them coming
Cause we’re not done yet
These are the days we won’t regret
These are the days we won’t forget
These are the days we’ve been waiting for
Neither of us knows what’s in store
You just roll your window down and place your bets
These are the days we won’t regret
These are the days we’ll never forget
And these are the days
And these are the days
[Instrumental]

Somehow God used a “secular” song to lift me from that depth on that beautiful and sunny Saturday. He also gave me the gift of a special person who came into my life this camp period, he brought calm and peace to my days here and I’m so grateful I met him.

He’s a rock music lover (aren’t all my friends?), exceptional artist and painter (I’m going to be his manager, he doesn’t know that yet) and an all round great guy.

John this post is for you… Thanks for “the days”, hours of beauty, minutes of translucent lustre and seconds of magic. Knowing you has been an experience of the sublime and yes, the memories will always shine like that Saturday morning.

Friendship

Friendship first began with a pesky brother, he was and is partner in crime, accomplice, cheerleader and most importantly the person who knows most of my faults and has never judged me.

Friendship was another little boy… another brother. He was and is my baby, friend and pastor. He makes me angry with lightening speed but can make things better with a smile. He’s probably the smartest person I know and he taught me that friendship can make you made

Friendship was one Muslim girl from Kogi who was the fattest girl in Primary two who taught me that friendship had no tribe or religion
Friendship was an SS1 girl when I was in JSS2, her corner was my oasis and a shield in the terrible wasteland of northern Nigeria. She taught me that friendship had no age

Friendship was a talkative classmate in SS1, I was adrift in a new school. Not only was I in a new school I was also a teacher’s kid. Double reasons to be an outcast. She stuck to me and chattered away despite my extreme rectitude and anger at being stuck in an inferior school.
She was also there for me when I “offended” the most popular girl and was shunned by all the popular girls in class, even though she was at the heart of the social circle. She taught me that friendship had X-ray vision and was more adhesive than aradite.

Friendship was a young man in Jamb class who was wise and kind. He remained my friend despite my mother’s fierce unwarranted dislike for him. He’ll be thirty on Saturday and he’s still that friend that distance and time can’t dim our camaraderie. He taught me that friendship can thrive in hatred.

Friendship was again another talkative girl who had the sharpest mouth in uniben, who dragged me to buka and bought me food worth fifty naira even when I was too proud to admit that I’d gone without breakfast and lunch. Much later I learnt that her financial condition was worse than mine. We eventually became roomates for over five years and sisters. She taught me that friendship had no pride and is thicker than water.

Friendship was a young man who was boyfriend, rant listener, pillow, sage, many things. He made sure he saw me daily despite many odds. He’s the most loyal and caring person I know. He taught me that friendship is sacrifice.

Friendship was a snarky and sarcastic young man who didn’t suffer fools gladly, yet he consistently shared his lunch with me during lean times. He taught me that friendship was a diamond in the rough but no less precious.

Friendship was a young man with the boldest writing in class. Eventually he became a brother and he was there for me day and night in every way during my darkest days. He taught me that friendship is a rock in the raging seas of life.

Friendship was one of my bosses at work, I’d admired his work ethic and liked to work with him. He was friendly and fair, he’d NEVER try to make you feel inadequate when you made the stupidest mistakes. How we became friends I don’t understand, we’re opposite in almost everything. He’s shy where I’m fearless, order to my entropy and stubborn to my yieldy nature :-p. He taught me that friendship can be illogical and crazy and still be diamond strong.

Friendship is a young man I’ve never seen or touched yet who knows my darkest secrets and doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile. He cuts through my bullshit and false walls everytime and gives me the advice I’d give myself if I wasn’t being so neurotic. He’d stay awake at 1am despite the fact that he has to leave home by 5am to analyse the murky waters that my life has become. He taught me that friendship transcends time, distance, sight and touch.

Finally friendship is the nephew of an ex-boyfriend, who’s become my nephew too. He’d call me and tell me he misses me and I’d leave whatever I’m doing to see him. He thinks I’m awesome and I think he’s fabulous.
Again I’ve learned that friendship has no age.

Friendship is a blogger who visits my blog and gives me advice and encouragement everytime. This my corn and pear loving blogger taught me that friendship lifts you to places you cannot imagine.

Friendship is yet another blogger who makes the world a beautiful place with her inspiring reality blog. She makes everyone of her readers feel like they are the best of the best… Beautiful inside and out she is. She taught me that friendship is sacred.

And I think I’ve come full circle.

I meant to write yesterday

Oh yes!
I had so many things to write yesterday
From NYSC camp to my new found love for Simon Baker
I have a good number of posts to complete
Series to continue
New stories to write

Unfortunately that place called Facebook kept pulling me in.
My favourite bloggers lured me with their new, beautiful posts.
The latest scandals were too interesting to ignore
So I didn’t get to write yesterday.

Today I have too much planned already
I guess I’ll write tomorrow

You and me…

                                                      Hold
Let me hold your waist she says
Mischief glinting in her brown eyes
“No” he sternly replies
“Please” she says simply
The mischief a little subdued
“I’m the guy, you shouldn’t hold my waist”
“I like holding your waist” she tells him
“Its sharp angles delight my hands”
“You like it when I hold your waist, it makes you feel loved”
He laughs, his laughter is tinged with exasperation.
“I don’t like it oooooo” his voice rises.
She smiles now, she knows he likes it
When he’s angry about something his voice lowers
He’ll express his feelings very calmly

She tries to hold his waist
He pins her hand with his larger hand
She wiggles impotently
Eventually they talk about other things as they walk on the dusty road
He lets go of her hand
She slyly puts it on his waist and rests her head on his shoulder
This is her favourite position
Time passes
He pinches her back and looks at the hand on his waist
Her triumphant smirk makes him chuckle
They continue talking until her bus comes
About everything and nothing
It is their ritual
The thing they call love.

                                                             You and me is US
The thing called us
How can I describe it?
Is it like the snake I saw when I was eleven
Shiny, silvery and shimmery
Or the Imo river in my hometown
Quiet, green and deep
Is it diamond hard with a fire that burns the eye?
Cognac smooth with a flame that scorches the belly?
Or as beautiful as vodka on a cold morning, with its welcome mouth burning heat.
Perhaps it’s a phoenix that is reborn in flame
Rising from its ashes
We’ve tried to kill it
We starved it and kicked it like a sick dog
It only hibernates and springs renewed.
We’ve walked away with our faces set like flint
Swearing never to return
Yet the winding paths of life bring us back to…..
It’s not you
Neither is it me
It’s a beautiful thing that transcends you and me
It’s carbon and heat making the most precious gem
It’s you and me
You and me is us.

For Tee Zagira and the memories…