Suddenly, a ring.

December 1st.
 
You are not the type of woman a man marries, not even if he is gay. You are the one he sits beside at a dimly lit bar, talking about Beverly or Vanessa or Sandra as you lovingly send shots of whisky to warm your stomach. He will tell you about the tiny frictions and abrasions of the love net she has woven around him, and tell you in full detail about the same things she desperately tries to pry out of him and fails without intermission.
 
“Why can’t she be more like you?” he would ask as he hiccups through his third drink while you think about your bed and the holiday you have been putting off for five years. You mutter three sentences of comfort, never more than three. It is pointless to waste your words on the vagaries of romance, it is one of the first things you’d learn when you become one of the guys.
 
The words are handy, even crucial, in a viewing centre- for cursing Arsene Wenger for beautiful games without fruit and for screaming offside! When you finally understood what it meant. They are important on the morning another friend gets married and he calls you at 5am with voice patchy with doubt and fear. Your words will warm his feet and propel him to the ceremony where his wings are snipped. Your life had just enough sauce and you intended to keep it simmering, and then, you met Kachi.
 
When you left your tiny flat that morning to the store, to get eggs, milk and flour for the pancakes you had craved for weeks, you selected your Whitney Houston playlist and hooked up your headphones. Headphones discourage stupid conversations; you had learned over the years. You were swaying to “I wanna dance with somebody” when an arm attached to a face with big eyes shielded by glasses and full lips curved upward with an aspiring lush beard as frame, tapped your shoulder.
 
He was still smiling when you slid your headphones down your head and neck to rest on your shoulders and the smile did not falter when he told you he loved the song you were listening to and he looked forward to dancing to the song with you on your wedding day. You were instantly frightened of him and scanned the floor for a quick escape route.
 
You were still looking around when he called your name, your ears warmed and burst into invisible flames while you desperately wished you could spray the contents of the bottle of holy water, carrying a label with the image of Father Oku Eligwe with his arms spread heavenwards, on the almost handsome face of this stranger. But it was resting at the top of your wardrobe when you left the house- the green plastic bottle and its contents would have given you enough confidence to leave him there- after wetting his body with it, of course. Your mother had pressed it into your hand at the park as you prayed for the bus to fill up quickly and give you respite from the nightmare that had been dancing around your mother’s questions about a man, the diminishing returns of a woman’s eggs, dying ovaries, and about marriage. My mother must have been psychic and known I would need protection from two-legged demons, you thought.
 
He told you where he had first seen you, at the house-warming party of your former friend- former, because his wife could not understand the friendship between a man and a woman that did not end on a bed. He had tried to get your number but you left the party too early. You remembered him at that point and even allowed a small smile wiggle through the wall of your face, he latched on that smile and by the time you were leaving the store with him beside you, carrying your items and the bottle of wine he had bought, you were laughing.
 
If anyone had told you that two months after meeting a man, you would be considering marrying him, your reply to them would have been- become a stand-up comedian. Kachi had decided he was going to marry you and you were faced with the relentless force that was his desire for you. At night however, in your room where you and your thoughts roamed free, you knew it wasn’t solely about his persistence, you had begun to like him too.
 
We’re going to see my mother next week,” he shouted above the noise buffeting the tiny nkwobi joint he’d insisted on taking you to that evening.
 
I don’t do mothers” you muttered before opening your mouth to swallow the chunk of meat dripping with sauce that he put just in front of your lips.
 
“And the next weekend, we shall go and see your own mother. I can’t wait to see her dance for joy when she sees the handsome man who is willing to marry her stubborn daughter.” You hit his shoulder and bit your cheek to keep yourself from laughing with him even as the accuracy of his words continued to wiggle your funny bone.
 
His mother turned out to be as restrained as her son was open, his father was a quiet man who’d shown you his precious collection of old stamps, ten minutes after you walked in. You had begun to relax slightly after lunch, even allowed yourself the luxury of enjoying the conversation when a voice that had always made your hands ball into fists, drifted into your ears.
 
Victor’s snicker on recognising you warned you that this was a battle you were ill-equipped to win. His evil delight reminding you of all the times he had tried to sabotage you just because you’d said no to his advances. Not even time and your leaving the company you had both worked at, reduced his fearsome menace
 
Are you here for counselling with my aunty? She’s a brilliant psychologist and that your sex addiction seemed rather serious to me” was his first shot after getting welcoming hugs from everyone in the room, except you and Kachi- who was on the phone with a supplier in Australia. He continued to yak, saying things that were technically true but were twisted so horrifically that you couldn’t even react as he’d punctuated each crazy story with “am I lying?”
 
Your hosts looked extremely confused and you soon mumbled goodbye and left before Kachi finished his call, you switched off your phone when you left the gate, your heart twisting with every step. You were flinging clothes into the leather bag Kachi had bought you when you heard a knock on your front door. You ignored it and packed even more feverishly but when you heard the clang of keys and the opening of the door, you were strongly tempted to jump through the window.
 
“It’s a good thing you gave me spare keys, I would remained outside, banging at the door uselessly.” He said as he stood beneath the door frame, looking handsomer than you’d ever seen him.
 
So you ran away because of Victor? My parents told me all he’d said. You know, he has always been evil but it took his performance this afternoon to convince my parents of my claims of over thirty years. He is the devil’s twin brother.
 
“Kachi, I cannot marry you, not with Victor being your cousin,” you whispered softly, closing your eyes to trap your tears.
He ignored you and brought out his phone and in seconds, you heard his mother’s voice calling your name. She laughed at your flight and wondered why you didn’t wait for her to handle her errant nephew. I have cut him off from our lives, she said, he will never bother you again and her husbands voice in the background grunting his agreement, dismantled the last brick walls around your heart and you began to sob, letting out joy and relief from your throat and eyes as he pulled you to him.
“I am not going to marry you, Kachi. I am marrying your parents and you will be my stepson” you whispered as you pressed your face on his chest.
As long as you’re keeping it in the family, I don’t mind,” he replied, just before kissing your hair and tilting your head to find your lips.

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By Force Mrs- a rejoinder.

I got a response to my previous post from a lady on Facebook and her story- her sister’s story actually, was so sad that I shed a few tears, before getting angry at her for being foolish. The story was shared with me so I would write about it and advise young women to look before they leap. I don’t know how to advise anyone, especially here on social media. Plus I am not sharing details of the story before somebody sues me, I don’t have money to give anyone for what I know nothing about, I am too broke for nonsense spending. Continue reading →

Nonsense and Ingredient

Yesterday someone at work told me a story that made me rather sad.
An army officer was about to be deployed to a war zone, he gave his wife his atm card to withdraw money when his salary is paid. His salary was about 80k and his wife had full access to everything so she could take care of herself and their two children. Continue reading →

Entangled.

 

Her memories of him always gripped her throat until she choked on the bursts of pain that flowed from her heart to her lips. At those times she’d wished she didn’t burn up all his pictures when he left her, she wanted to burn them again after sprinkling Cameroon pepper on his still form so he’d writhe in agony wherever he was and if he was with her, maybe the pain would scorch her too.

 

When he first left her, she cried daily, calling his name and phone, begging him to fill her arms again. At first he laughed at her when she called, his voice swollen with something that reminded her of pride. Sometimes she heard her laughter in the background, she longed for ten minutes alone with her and a pair of pliers strong enough to uproot her brown and scattered teeth, maybe he would be so disgusted by the witch that he’d run back to her. He soon started ignoring her calls and eventually blocked her number. She wept and made up silly revenge plots while her friends and family watched her closely and prayed for her. He never called, not once. She immersed herself in work, making more sacrifices than anyone and had the scars and plaques and hefty account balance to prove it.

 

But years were born and they died, with each one rolling her heart in a new layer of bitterness. News of him still percolated into her life, they were still together, he still laughed at everything she said just as he’d done when he first met her but she’d been too secure in his love to realise how dangerous that was. Their house was still quiet even though they’d filled it with art from far flung places and redecorated every quarter, it was just as quiet as hers.

 

Then she spotted two grey hairs, one at her temple, the other near her nape. She sighed and got her scissors, taking care to cut off only the offenders. She saw five more, two weeks later, she’d turned thirty nine the previous day and it had been seven years since her husband and the witch walked out of her living room with linked arms.

 

She played Jimmy Cliff’s Wild World on replay loop on her car’s mp3 player as she drove to the fertility clinic. Minutes later, the cracked voice singing Wild World in the car startled her. It saddened her that she’d let her voice die, that she didn’t know her own voice anymore. She dabbed at the tears collecting at the edges of her eyes and blew her nose with the pink handkerchief a prophet had given her in the past that would help bring him home, two years had passed and her husband was still married to the devil’s chief priestess.

 

Walking into the clinic was difficult, her legs felt like concrete boulders and her heart seemed to be playing a rock song as she walked into the doctor’s office. Her mouth dried when she saw him, even though they’d spoken five times on the phone and each phone call lasted at least twenty minutes as he reassured her that their sperm donors were all healthy, intelligent and kind men. He hummed Lagbaja’s Cool Temper while he reviewed her scan results and hormonal profile.
“We will start the first cycle next week”. He said just before squeezing her shoulder gently.
She smiled and nodded while she continued to battle doubt.

 

When her period didn’t show up for business after two months, she gingerly bought pregnancy test strips. She danced after each one changed from one line to two, then she called her sisters to tell them the news.

 

She’d barely began to show when she abandoned all her clothes for maternity gowns. People stopped her on the road to rejoice with her while she saw her story on certain gossip blogs and on social media.

 

She was drinking a mango and pineapple smoothie when her phone rang. His voice crackled with animosity on the phone as he launched into a tirade about her morals and accused her of faking the pregnancy.

 

“You’re so very funny”, she snorted as she cut into his diatribe. “You left me- the barren idiot, hooked up with Queen who would give birth to your football team. You did this nearly eight years ago and you have the brazen effrontery to call me and say dust about my morals? Get the fuck off my phone, you expired piece of shit”

 

She ended the call, switched off her phone, settled deeper in her chair, sipped her smoothie and said a prayer of thanksgiving. In a room across town, her ex-husband buried his face in his hands and sobbed, with the test result his wife threw at him just before she left with all her possessions, still on his lap.

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Friday Fiction-Dear Itohan.

My dearest sister,
I can hear your laughter in my mind as I write this, I can see you gently wrinkling your nose as you remind me that you are my only sister, just before you ask what I have done wrong or if I want money. I wish I could hug you now, even if you would wiggle your shoulders out of my grip and mutter in your froggy voice about my softness. Continue reading →

I am not Wife Material… And It’s ok.

This post has been sitting pretty in my drafts since June 30th, I wrote it at a time I found myself writing about marriage a whole lot. I decided to shelve it until another time and I guess that time is now…

 

Recently, I was having a conversation with a much older man about marriage and a woman’s place in the home. If you know me well- or at least read my blog regularly, you’d know that I do not believe in having specific gender roles in a marriage.
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