Lappa, mama and us

Mama is awesome we can all agree 

She has carried the world in her bowels

On her back and still in her prayers

Her deeds are well known and praised

But it is not mama I speak on today

I speak on something as devoted to us and mama

As mama has been to us 

Something we never extol

Nor is any day set aside to praise

It is like mama’s very right hand 

It is mama’s lappa

Not wrapper. Lappa.

Do you ever remember when mama 

Bore us on her back before our feet

Learned to navigate in walk

It was lappa that held us firmly 

Bound to mama’s back 

So we did not fall as mama carried things 

On head and in hand

Or after mama tucked us in for sleep 

And laid down to sleep off her busy busy day

Lappa stayed and covered us 

Throughout the night shielding us

From the cold and vampire mosquitoes

Lappa wiped the sweat on mama’s brow 

Under the arrogantly hot sun

While mama pounded the yam that fed us all

Lappa wiped the mucus and kept us from licking it 

As we would do while playing with our friends

Lappa faithfully wrapped around mama

Giving her a covering fancy clothing 

Could not afford to give everyday

Where bottom box clothing feared to tread

Lappa matched into, gallantly 

Lappa held the notes that paid our school fees

Accountably folded and tucked at mama’s hips

So that we can now read and write

And even do some sums

And at days end when no one is watching

Lappa fell obediently to the ground

As papa tugged at it eagerly

Because papa wanted only mama 

He did not want nor did he care for lappa

Raised glasses are in order 

To mama’s lappa our silent companion

Forgotten, left behind

~keziah chimerenkekamma Umeh



This impossible relationship

This is the longest relationship of my lifetime

From the earliest days of my consciousness

It has been you and I

When my days were blissful and carefree

We were there together

When  my younger heart first knew how it could break

It was just you and me

But something happened somewhere on our path together 

And I turned to find you far behind

They pulled me to keep moving as I tried to reach out to you

I did try, believe me, I did

But I was torn between preparing dinner 

Making money, making the ones who looked up to me for their smiles 

To smile and keep smiling, 

Between all that and finding you

I thought about you on some days 

But I shook of the thoughts and left them in 

My box of childhood

I thought I did not need you anymore

And I tried to forget you with all my might

We lost each other in the market place, the rat race 

In existing and doing what they called right and proper

And There are now many lonely nights

Many moments I want to share with you

I thought it would be easy to pick up where we left off 

But time has taken you too far from me

I no longer am able to see you when I look in the mirror

Somewhere beneath these premature wrinkles

These extra flesh 

These forgotten dreams and lost hopes

 I buried you alive

Now I am empty and I need you desparately

Many days I need to see you

There are still those places we should go together

And I fear we may never go again

It was an impossible distance relationship that could not go the distance 

It is what we had

Now my energy is low and I am feeble from trying to dig you up

I fear that I might have suffocated you to death when I buried you 

As I tried to fit into the picture they created for me

So please I’m screaming, begging that if you hear me even this moment

Come back to me where you belong

Let me look in the mirror and see you tomorrow 

And I promise that I shall never ever leave you again.

Lifetimes and living

“Good morning Kenny” Sylvia said as she sipped her tea. Kenny looked at her oddly

” well good morning to you. Why  are you calling me Kenny this morning?”

Kenny had to ask. 

” everyone calls you Kenny around here so I’m testing it out to see how it is on my tongue”

“Right. You can go back to calling me kene”

” don’t you like Kenny?” Sylvia asked innocently enough

” Sylvia I don’t know what you’re up to, but please stop” 

Sylvia smiled

“Alright sister I much rather prefer calling you kene actually.” 

“Suit yourself.” Kenny replied heading to the kitchen. 

“You will find that I have prepared breakfast. Don’t you just love having me around, making your life easier since I moved in? ” Sylvia said as Kenny walked towards the kitchen.

” you wish. But it is a decent meal. Its funny that in all our lives as sisters I have only now during this period,  been able to taste your cooking. That is weird . ” Kenny commented as she returned with a mouthful of fried plaintain and scrambled eggs.Sylvia sighed.

” You know well how much I am not a fan of being in the kitchen. Its all hot and sweaty in there.But funny enough I  used to actually cook for Patrick when we initially got married. Those days seem so far away now.” She said almost  wistfully. Kenny watched her briefly

” do you think you love him still” Kenny asked

” I don’t care for the beast” Sylvia respond venomously making Kenny regret asking the question immediately. 

Kenny quietly returned to savoring her breakfast. Sylvia had been wondering all night about Juliet’s “condition” , trying to figure out how to get any information from her sister about the condition.But she knew she could not ask about it without giving away the fact that she had been eavesdropping on her sister’s conversation. She was never one to care how others felt about her actions but she was cautious because her relationship with her sister was still on the mend. She would ask Charles so that he could ask Juliet about it himself. 

Later that day after Kenny had gone to Juliet’s house, Sylvia called Charles. 

“Hello you” Sylvia said coolly

” good evening madam. What do you want today?”

” I want a lot of things I can’t say over the phone..” Sylvia said flirtatiously. But Charles cut her off before she could say anymore

” oh come on Sylvia I’m kind of busy here. Is there a real reason you called?” He asked pointedly. Sylvia managed to put a lid on her rising anger

” look I just need to see you and talk”

” I think we already saw and talked about everything” 

” well its about Julie-whose voice is that?” Sylvia cut off what she was going to say and asked as she heard the voice of a young girl. she could not explain the leap the sound made her heart do. 

” I’ll talk to you later. ” Charles said about to hang up

” please Charles I beg you let me meet her. I beg you” Sylvia begged

” I can’t talk about this now. Its really complicated because people who are dead don’t just pop up and say they are alive.”

” you really told her I’m dead?! You told my daughter I’m dead?!” Sylvia said almost screaming. 

” please not now Sylvia she just came in today. We can talk later” Charles said and hung up. Sylvia sat still for a few moments thinking that he really told her daughter she was dead. She changed her dress and grabbed her handbag. In a matter of a few minutes she was ready and out the door, headed straight to Charles apartment. 



Mad People part 2


“Lily who be this?” Ochuko asked Lilian as she passed her phone to Lilian. Lilian stared at the phone screen in disbelief.

“Eric?!” Lilian gasped in shock.

” na wah oo. So he marries this smallie 3 weeks after he breaks it off with you. Do you know her?”

” no I don’t. Eric did this to me. Oh my God!”

” Dearie just let the idiot be. Like I’ve said before he isn’t worth it. But this one he married na white woman oh. I go like see her childhood pictures. I hope say no be upgrade from blacky to whitie she be.”

Lilian continued to stare at the pictures. She scrolled up and down Eric’s timeline looking for something she did not even know she was looking for. She was distraught. She had some hope that somehow she would get back with Eric after their fight. But while she was hoping Eric was preparing for a wedding, the proceedings of which clearly started way before their so-called big fight. Now it was all clear to her that the fight was merely an opportunity for Eric to officially break free of her to marry his young sweet thing. Just like that she saw years of her life right in the trash. She had no motivation for living anymore. She promised Eric that she would take care of him almost a decade ago while he pursued his music career that did not eventually take off. Then she sponsored his computer studies afterwards. She took all kinds of jobs to make sure Eric got to chase his dreams unhindered. She remembered the tears she shed after the first night she spent in a guest house with a man old enough to be her father just because he had the money she so desperately needed. But Eric got used to the money and the lifestyle. He conveniently looked the other way while she continued to spend quality time with Honorable, Alhaji, senator and Engineer. Then when it suited him, he simply dumped her like a rotten fruit. She felt the bitterness growing within her. Ochuko got up from the floor where she was sitting and snatched her phone from Lilian’s hands.

” stop torturing yourself lily. Eric will get what is coming to him. You need to get over it.” Ochuko said looking her friend in the eye briefly  before walking off with her phone.

It was 2am and the only light in the room was coming from the phone in susans hands as she typed with great expertise. She was typing and smiling clearly very engaged in her chatting. He sent her another message.

He: what are you wearing?

Susan: I’m in my pyjamas. About to                  sleep.

He: I wanna call. Need to hear your             voice.

Susan: not tonight. You’re keeping me              up. And I need to sleep. Right                 now.

“Wifey?” Eric said rubbing his sleepy eyes as he looked at the time on his phone

” hubby?” Susan responded smiling.

” why are you still up?” He asked with a slight frown on his sleepy face.

” I’m just chatting with Eva.”

” at 2am in the morning?”

” baby you know how Eva can be. She is asking dirty questions about life after the wedding.” Susan said and giggled. Eric smiled

” ok. Put the phone down and come lay in my arms wife”

” ok sugar sugar. Lemme send Eva off to bed quickly” Susan typed quickly

Susan: le hubs just woke up. I gotta                  go. Technically I’m still on my                honeymoon so…but dream of                me doing naughty things to                    you, tonight. I’ll call you                          tomorrow.

He: sh*”t. For the life of me I don’t               know why you had to marry                 him.

Susan: He asked me to and I said yes.                I love you. Kiss kiss

Susan put down her phone and went off to sleep in the arms of her husband.

Lifetimes and living


Charles parked his car in front of the gate to Juliet’s home and she was ready to go in. It was refreshing to spend time with him after the short time of no communication between them. But they sat quietly in the car for a few minutes preparing to say goodnight to each other. Charles spoke first
“Jules I know we haven’t known each other too long but I feel like we’ve known each other a very long time. And no matter how unoriginal that sounds, it’s really how I feel.”
Juliet felt funny in the pit of her stomach at his words. She was scared of what might follow.
“That’s a nice thing to say. Thank you. But alas I need to go in take a shower and rest” she said smiling and hoping to get away before any damage is done
” you’ve been really great and I’ve really been unnecessarily nasty to you. I can’t apologize enough for that. ”
” it’s fine. I figured that you were dealing with something and needed your space. I mean I have no right to make any demands on your time and attention. ”
Charles stared at her with a slight frown on his face for a brief moment.
” Jules, I think I need to tell you something very important. Something no one knows about me, apart from the persons involved. ”
Now she felt the dread growing even more within her. Charles had been so nice to her she started to wish he would return to not speaking to her especially as she played over her conversation with Kenny about keeping her health status a secret from Charles. She did not want to feel the guilt his words were making her feel. She did not need to tell him.The worst part of it all was that she was starting to like him a little too much.
” look Charles are you sure you want to share this with me now? I mean, it’s clearly a huge deal and you would want to think it over before you tell me about it”
“You are trying to do something Jules. You’ve been doing this all evening, Like you’re trying to build some kind of wall. It’s all so confusing ’cause one minute you’re warm next minute you are literally trying to stack up the bricks between us. Is something the matter?” He had to ask. She cursed in her head, he was unto her and she had to get away sooner rather than later.
” look I just…I’m really really stressed and exhausted. I’d really like to go in now. ” she said without looking at him as she rubbed her temple. It was throbbing from all the thoughts in her head. Charles seemed surprised at her behavior
” ok..” He said, feeling a need for some answers as he was at a loss and did not know what to make of the scenario that had played out.
” goodnight Charles” Juliet said as she stepped out of the car before he could say goodnight to her.
On his way back home he pondered on a lot things . He thought about Sylvia, Juliet and his daughter Sarah. He had decided that her trip to visit with him would go on as planned. He would call his mother about it at his house. He had wanted to tell Juliet about Sarah but she was rather distant earlier. He had been nervous enough about dating as a single father because he was not quite the catch for a pretty, single, independent woman with a lot of options and no children. Still Sarah was his only daughter and she was part of his life and any woman he was considering seriously to be his life partner had to know about her sooner rather than later. But when he called Juliet several times later that night ,she did not pick his calls. He started to feel somewhat concerned.

Juliet finally settled to sleep after bathing and preparing for bed. But she could not sleep as she silently watched her phone ring four times without touching it. It was best if the whole relationship did not take any deep root. Charles was funny,kind and so easy for her to talk to about so many things. But she sensed he was trying to get too serious with her and she could imagine life with him would be so wonderful if she was whole. He deserved better than her. So she would wait and watch what could have been, while her heart breaks all over again.
She got a message in her phone from Kenny.

Kenny: sweedie how are you doing
tonight? From the sound of
things I hear you’ve had
yourself quite the evening. If
you’re not yet sleeping call me
with the low down. Blow by
Ha ha ha
That doesn’t sound right

Juliet found herself shedding tears as she read the message. She did not reply the message.

Kenny: I see you read my message.

Juliet remembered that the instant messaging application was designed to let the sender of a message know instantly when the message is read. She had to say something before Kenny would start to worry about her.

Juliet: what are you doing up by now?

Kenny: I’m an adult and I can stay up as late as I so desire.

Juliet: not when you’re a responsible one.

Kenny: ok mom.
For some reason I sense you’re
not as pleased as I was expecting you to be after seeing Charles.Sylvia made it sound like you guys were set to have a great time. Did something go wrong?

Juliet just stared at the phone not sure what to say. She did not feel like chatting. She finally typed a response

Juliet: I’m so so (x100) tired. Typing is such a chore right now

Kenny: ok

Juliet sighed relieved but sad that Kenny was going to leave her alone in her misery. Then her phone started to ring. It was Kenny calling. She had to take the call or Kenny would keep calling till her battery ran out.
Kenny was never one to beat about the bush so she went straight to the point
” what is the problem?”
Juliet swallowed and quickly tried to compose herself before speaking.
” I’m fine. Just very tired.”
” mhmm I hear you. so is it Charles? ” Kenny asked. She sighed. Kenny knew her too well and she did not appreciate it in that moment.

” I’m just really… really angry right now. I am up wondering who I hurt so badly in my life to deserve all the things happening to me? I am really tired and wondering why I would wake up in the morning and start to struggle again just to stay alive and well? Why don’t I just end it all. I have nothing to look forward to Kenny. No husband, no children.I don’t even have parents or siblings. Only a lot of horrible memories , pain and fear. Why should I try to live?” Juliet shook with sobs as she spoke. Kenny had broken into tears herself feeling helpless in attempting to comfort Juliet. But she spoke still barely able to get her words our through her own crying
” but you have to fight. That’s what we all do everyday. You can’t leave me all by myself. Don’t even contemplate it. Don’t. You are such a beautiful person and everyone who gets close enough gets to see it. Charles must’ve seen it too”
” what difference does it make Kenny? I have HIV and he’ll never ever stay with me if he finds out. I doubt he will even speak to me again. I will still be alone at the end of the day!!!” Juliet found herself scream
” stop it Juliet!!! Stop giving this evil thoughts any room. You have not told him yet so stop judging him ahead of that time. Maybe God brought him into your life because he is the one that will have you with your condition”
Juliet sighed

“That’s mere wishful thinking and I can’t even indulge in a fantasyat this moment Kenny. I can’t anymore. I really I’m tired.” She said painfully. She did not want to see what would happen if Charles learned of her status. Kenny continued trying to encourage Juliet while Sylvia pretended to be asleep as she listened to her sister speak to Juliet.






Mad people part 1


The girl in the thoroughly shredded jeans and slogan T shirt which read ” crazy bitch” under a black blazer inched away from the loud dirty looking man who was heading in her direction. She gave him a dirty look as she attempted to move faster and away from the approaching disaster. She hoped to achieve this feat in her six inch heels no less. This proved understandably challenging on the uneven interlocked brick side walk for her. All that effort under the mid morning sun made her break a sweat. She wound up with a fore head full of sweat beads which made her heavy make up start to look like a layer of her face was giving way and it was anything but a pretty sight. She persevered with her awkward looking movements away from the man who suddenly changed his direction. He started moving towards a suited young man on the other side of the street. The dirty man was shouting at the man in the suit saying ” you’re mad” repeatedly. Every stride of the young man held a strong promise of a wardrobe malfunction but his heroic tight trousers would not budge thus it succeeded in cleaving to his thighs as he avoided the dirty man and went his own way. A red car drove past the man as he continued to harass all the passersby who all avoided him. Ochuko observed the man from her rear view mirror after driving past him and sighed.

” na wa oh. This sun ain’t nice today sha and this mad man is still here constituting a nuisance. Why haven’t the authorities done something about it?” she hissed and cast a quick glance at her friend in the passenger seat. But Lilian did not care about the mad man in the street as her own challenges were threatening to drive her to madness. If only Eric had not been holding her phone when Engineer had called, she would not have to be dealing with the questions and the insults from her boyfriend. Ochuko knew right where her friend’s mind had wondered.

“I hope you’ re not still thinking about that nonentity called Eric?” Ochuko asked knowing that was exactly what she was thinking about

” Ha! Eric tore me to pieces last night” Lilian said feeling all the pain of his hurtful words afresh. Ochuko sighed.

“Dont mind him. It’s their way. all these broke fools will turn around and bite the finger once they feel like they’ve got some extra change in their pockets ”

“The one that pained me the most was that he called me the A word, Ochuko ”

” Wetin be A word?! abegi. who no be ashawo for these streets. ” Ochuko said, chuckling. Lilian grimaced

“After all I’ve done for him this is how he repays me?” Lilian said staring for a moment at Ochuko with a pained expression on her face.
” forget the idiot. Him no know anything when you dey arrange him life with designer this and that. Nothing do you when you buy am car. Him no get problem when you pay him house rent for lekki. Shey na from sky all the money dey fall? Are you not age mates? No be him mate dey marry and build house for this town? No be man him be. No worry when him rent expire he go come find you.”
” But I don’t want to lose him. I’m talking 9 years of my life. We started from the bottom together ”
“You started from the bottom. Only you. He chilled on the sofa with the laptop and ate what you gave him. You sef hold ear, hear wetin I dey talk: forget that guy. Na liability be that. Ha! Lily! As you hot reach so . Free am as him done free you” Ochuko said and took a right turn that led unto the highway. Lilian sighed.

Lifetimes and living


Charles did not expect to find Sylvia at Juliet’s store. He was not too pleased to see her either.
” Mrs Onuora ” he didn’t know what to say
” good evening stranger” Juliet said a little surprised to see him.
” hello” Sylvia greeted Charles as well. She noticed his uneasiness. His reaction was not lost on Juliet as well but she thought it was as a result of the awkward situation between them. It was in fact all his doing. She cringed as she remembered all the calls that went unanswered and unreturned. She had found herself feeling like a needy girlfriend and worst of all, unwanted. Thankfully she had put things in perspective and realized she was not Charles’ girlfriend and it was even better things stayed platonic between them. But it still hurt to be ignored by him.
” oh wow, I didn’t expect to find you here Mrs Onuora” Charles finally said.
” call me Sylvia ” Sylvia said a little flirtatiously. Juliet’s brows raised as she glanced at Sylvia briefly.
” you have a great memory to still remember her since you too only met the other day at the garden lounge where I recall you left hurriedly and sort of forgot that I existed. But I’m good. How are you these days?” Juliet’s words were dripping heavy with sarcasm.
” you have every right to be mad at me and I’m sorry. That’s why I’m here. Please forgive me” Charles said as he approached Juliet. Sylvia watched them as she looked from Charles to Juliet.
” I feel like I should give you two, room to trash out your love issues.” She said feeling jealous. Juliet laughed lightly.
“That will not be necessary Sylvia. Don’t mind my drama Charles . I do hope you’re fine. ”
” all is well with me” Charles replied
” so I take it that you’ll be heading home soon. If not I’ll just kindly ask mr Charles here for a ride home. ” Sylvia said her eyes fixed on Charles. He glared at her. Juliet caught the looks and felt a little odd about it.
” I’m sorry Sylvia that I’ve kept you here till now. Let me get you a cab. Charles I’ll be right back ” Juliet said going out to find a cab. Charles and Sylvia heard her call out to someone downstairs. It was likely one of the helpful young men that hung around the plaza that she was calling out to. She was friendly with them and often had them come into her store to fix electricals and things like that. She was asking one of them to help her hail a cab for Sylvia. Sylvia turned to Charles as soon as Juliet was out the door
“Do you really like her?” She asked. He sighed
” she’s a good person” he simply said
” Hmmm”Sylvia said studying his facial expression.
” I didn’t realize you were so chummy with each other” he said going through his phone without looking at Sylvia. He was trying to understand the nature of this friendship between Sylvia and Juliet
” it was a natural attraction you could say, seeing that we have things in common” Charles frowned at her words
” what things?” He couldn’t imagine what Sylvia could have in common with Juliet . Sylvia answered his question
” our complexion and… You.” Charles looked up from his phone at her . He looked at her as if studying her through squinted eyes. He was feeling in the mood to be mean
” but that’s not right. She’s definitely lighter than you and I’m not part of this thing you’re talking about” he said casually as he returned his attention to his phone, completely ignoring her presence
” wait…I’m sorry but do I detect correctly that you’re hating on me in some way. I thought somehow that we had gone way past this stage”
” I have no business with you Sylvia. You’re someone’s wife” he said staring her straight in the eyes
” I’m pretty sure that you are dying to have me in your arms again. You still remember us together. The magic we made” Sylvia watched his expressions go rather dark as she spoke. She noticed the movement in his jawline as his expression darkened a little
” let’s be clear about this once and for all. Your are mrs Sylvia onuora. I’m sorry about all the things you’ve been through honestly. Now let’s forget about the past. You and I can never happen. This fictitious triangle you’re triangle to bring to life is not happening. So you should go home now.” He said coolly.
” I’m not here because of you a****hole. Matter of fact I didn’t know I’d run into you. So Stop being all smug. You’re really a none factor right now in my life.” Sylvia said as she walked past Charles to meet Juliet outside. Charles did not turn to watch her walk away like she had secretly hoped he would. Shortly afterwards Charles saw her walk down the stairs towards her taxi as he came to join Juliet who was leaning on the rails in front of her store.
” what do you think about her?” He asked Juliet
” She’s alright.She’s not an open book like Kenny . I guess it’s because of all the stuff she’s dealing with in her life. ”
” hmmm stuff huh. Well alright. so back to you. I really thought you’d make me suffer before you forgive me.”
” nah. I don’t hold grudges. ”
“Is that so?interesting”
“You see it’s because life can be surprisingly short.why waste time you could use for making great memories over a grudge”
” hmm. pretty profound. I knew I liked you before I met you”
Juliet laughed lightly at his statement. Charles proceeded to ask her out on a date
“So you want to talk about it over Ice cream? ”
” oh charley I’m still working .”
” all work and no play makes Jules a dull girl. Sorry”
” All of you forces against my work, have succeed tonight, but never again.”
” alright beautiful Let me help you clear out right away so you don’t go in and get back to work.”Charles said smiling
” don’t worry about that. I can’t stay out late though”
“Well you need not worry as I have to get to work early tomorrow as well. So you’ll be home, well before your curfew.” Juliet glared at him playful as she went in to retrieve her hand bag and shut down her store for the night.


Lifetimes and living


Juliet’s phone rang as she worked hard at her sewing machine. She paused in surprise at the identity of the incoming call on her phone screen. The phone rang through till the end as she watched it undecided about whether to take the call. After the second time the phone rang through it did not ring again. She decided she would return the call at a later time and returned to her sewing.
Charles put down his phone. He could not blame Juliet for refusing to pick his calls. He had not returned her calls. He had been completely ignoring her existence. His phone rang out and he quickly took the call without seeing the caller identity. But when he heard Sylvia’s voice on the other end of the called he was disappointed that it was not Juliet calling. He felt inclined to hang up the call because he really did not feel like speaking to anyone especially Sylvia.
” Sylvia could I call you later, kind of in the middle of something now.” He said and hung up immediately. Sylvia suspected that it was only because he did not wish to speak to her. She put on Kenny’s favorite jean trousers and a fitted white top. She wore a black leather Snapback hat and her designer shades. Then she snatched up her expensive hand bag and headed out the door. Staying in the house was pretty depressing for her. She took a taxi straight to Juliet’s store.
Juliet was glad to have her around and ensured that she was a great hostess. Sylvia found herself buying fabric and getting measured for a custom Ankara blouse and skirt. She genuinely enjoyed Juliet’s company. She saw why her sister was such great friends with Juliet. She observed Juliet and found her to be a very warm person. Juliet also was apparently very funny as her tummy hurt from laughing at Juliet’s jokes. She wondered if Charles was really in love with Juliet. But she sensed that Charles still had some feelings for her. Juliet had watched Sylvia herself. She seemed a little more accessible today. Maybe it was wearing Kenny’s jeans and the tshirt that created the effect. Sylvia was not much of a talker but she was clearly obsessed with fashion. Juliet felt that she could really succeed at a fashion business. In this she shared a passion with her best friend’s sister. One of the girls at Juliet’s store brought a delivery she had just received for her boss. Juliet accepted the big package excited. She had been expecting it. Sylvia was curious. Juliet opened the package to reveal 3 of some of the most stylish and beautiful fascinators Sylvia had ever seen in her life. She had never really been keen on fascinators but she fell in love in that moment. Juliet noticed how taken she was with the fascinators and gave her one of them. Sylvia was so grateful. No one had actually given her anything in a long time.
” you know you could pursue a career in fashion. I do believe you could succeed at it ” Juliet said at a point to which Sylvia laughed.
” what could I possibly do in fashion? I don’t have the energy or patience to be bent over at a sewing machine , sewing away like you do” Sylvia responded
” there are many things you could do in fashion apart from sewing. You could be a stylist , or make and sell fascinators. “Juliet said laughing lightly as she tried on the fascinators.
“I don’t know about all of that to be honest. ” Sylvia said thoughtfully . She needed to start giving more thought to a lot of things.
” well think about. You seem to have a flair for these things. Meanwhile you do look stunning in jeans. Never seen you in jeans before” Juliet said suddenly realizing she had never really seen Sylvia in Jeans. Sylvia sighed
” Patrick doesn’t like to see me in jeans or red lipstick or blonde hair or short hair- it’s a long list. And somehow I found myself morphing into his little remote controlled doll. This pair actually belongs to kene.”
” I know. I’ve wanted to collect it for a while now but I know it won’t fit me as nicely as it fits you. You sisters are bountifully endowed. ”
” we get it from our mama” Sylvia said smiling at the compliment.
” no doubt.” Juliet said but she was thinking about all the things Sylvia’s husband had made her not to do. She could not imagine what kind of person he was and she had never really met him though she had seen the photos from Sylvia’s wedding. But he did not sound like a sweet dream.
” I’ll be with you till the end of today. ” Sylvia said relaxing on the chair as she took some magazines and started browsing through.
” you are welcome to stick around for as long as you desire but I’ve got a lot of work still left to do. ” Juliet left her to return to work. The hours passed and soon it was dusk. One after the other all the sewing trainees and Juliet’s employees began to leave. Chika was the last person to leave behind Juliet and Sylvia.
” so are you going home tonight or what?” Sylvia had to ask Juliet who was showing no signs of leaving for home. Juliet burst into laughter. Just then the door to the entrance of Juliet’s store opened. Juliet. Stepped out of her office to see who had come in. Sylvia followed her yawning from exhaustion.
“Hello” Charles said walking towards Juliet when he also sighted Sylvia.
” well, hello” Sylvia said as she stood beside Juliet. Charles was taken aback.

Losing love

losing love is the hardest thing that can ever happen to any living being. The sexiest thing I ever saw was her in jean shorts, a black tank top, headphones on and dancing to the hottest tunes of the day as she chopped ugu with my baby tied securely on her back in a wrapper. When she turned and saw me she smiled playfully, a little embarrassed I had seen her enjoying herself in joyful abandon. Though she was the mother of my baby, my wife, my lover, my personal chef, my laundry manager and housekeeper, in that moment she was just a girl. I loved her so much that day and I showed her how much that night. But I will never have her again. I came home one day and she was not there. She was always there so it was very strange. I called her but it did not ring. As the minutes dragged into hours my heart pounded and feared all my worst imaginations had come to pass. I always knew she was too good for me. I did not care to entertain the thoughts after she became mine. I never sent her the nice messages I used to send her before anymore. Much like a well in the hill city of Enugu dries up in harmattan, my affectionate displays dried up with time. She busied herself with our baby and her job. She morphed into a mom and a woman with many cares. She no longer cared to be my woman. The fires of our bodies seemed to have burned out for each other, except on occasional nights when we went out to events or parties and were merry from drink. But we were so young, too young to be that way. I know I caused her tears some days, but I never bothered to check how she was really doing. They say a marriage came with it’s rainy days and I figured mine was not any different than any other marriage.we were growing up. When we disagreed, we never went at each other with knives at our throats. Afterwards We were still able to sit down and talk about important things like financies and obligations required of us as members of civil society and parents. Life was not supposed to be a fairy tale and we understood this, yet I caught glimpses of disappointment in her eyes or her posture . I knew then that she would not have minded if I was Prince Charming or her knight in shining armor on occasion. But I loved her and had married her. Was that not enough?i now came to believe truly that Women are indeed insatiable. So that day I thought she had grown tired of me and simply left. After my anger passed then I knew panic. But what woman in her right mind would give up her marriage just like that I wondered. I never cheated on her even though I noticed more than a few enticing waists on most days. I never entertained the thought because drama was not something I craved. It was best left in super stories . I never hit her, ever. Even on days when my usually cool and collected wife launched some venomous content from her beautiful lips, making me wonder how such words could have come out of her. I still restrained myself. The most I did was walk away nay-stride away from temptation. What would possibly make her leave me? I wondered as many scenes right out of our lives together played out in my head answering my questions and disheartening me even more.Now as I look back I know that I loved her dearly and still do I even now. I wish I brought her flowers and stayed with her right where she was, kissed away her tears and loved away her fears. I wished I touched her some more, touched her heart. I wish she was right beside me today, still all mine. I wish they never called me, I wish it never happened. Alas the accident happened and it took my Ife away from me with my baby, forever. It was such a long day without her today. I spend my days very busy, working, getting by and counting the kisses that I am missing.

Lifetimes and living

imageCharles sat across the sofa from Sylvia who was using the tissue to wipe her tears that flowed freely as she spoke. Charles restrained himself from going over to her and taking her into his arms to reassure her somehow and end her crying. He heard everything she was saying about her time with her husband and his abuse. It turned his insides to imagine any man had hurt Sylvia so much, but he sat quietly still watching her speak. Her chest heaved as she spoke and he caught glimpses of her cleavage. He knew bringing her to his house was a very bad idea, he knew it even as he drove home with her from the restaurant. But there was no where else they could go where he would be able to hear everything she had to say without making any kind of spectacle. She was now starting to calm down. He had to ask her a few question he needed to ask since that evening at the garden lounge,
” do you love your….him? ” he couldn’t even get himself to say husband. Sylvia knew what he was asking. She came to kneel in front of him to his alarm
” there is only one man that stayed in my heart all these years. Believe me Charles, you are the only one that stayed in my heart” Sylvia said staring up into Charles eyes. She thought she saw something in his eyes that gave her hope that he cared more deeply than he wanted to let on. But whatever Sylvia saw was covered with a sardonic laugh that came from Charles. ” You really didn’t change much. You’re still as daring ever. That you dare to declared your undying love to me at this point in time is both laughable and disgusting. Now! After all that has happened in your life, after all these years!!” Charles eased himself out of the corner she had physically placed him in with her palms on his knees. Sylvia felt very ashamed. Charles poured himself cool water from the dispenser in the dining area . He was not even thirsty but he had to put some distance between them. He glanced over at Sylvia as she rose from her kneeling position and sat right where he had been sitting with her hands in her laps and her eyes looking down. The worst part of it all was he really wanted to have her in that moment and he did not understand how she made him feel this way. He wanted to ravage her, and make her cry , try to hurt her so she would feel how he felt. Then he remembered what she told him her husband had done to her. It was unbelievable that she was the same woman sitted in his own living room,
” do you really mean what you say about leaving him for good?” He asked
” I do. “she said quietly staring up at him with her big brown eyes.
” just like that?! And what about the children? ” he asked
” they are better off with him. ” Sylvia knew she had struck a sour note with her response
” Ofcourse. Why am I not surprised?!”
” you can judge me. You’ve earned the right to do so. ”
” do you remember what you said to me about wishing you never met me and killing our child?”
” I can’t make any excuses for my behavior back then. I wAs stupid and young and selfish”
” that’s the thing. How much of that has changed now? ”
” you’re going to insult me now?”
” I’m only just trying to understand how you were able to fool everyone and act like I never existed,like Sarah never existed; Why you never really came looking for us? ”
“I was scared and stupid. And I’m so so sorry” Sylvia said starting to cry again. Charles remained leaning on the dining table staring at her. No amount of apologies would erase the picture in his head of her ugliness the day she wished her daughter dead, and that she never met him. But life had seemed to pay her back for what she had done to him. He sighed and came over to where Sylvia was seated. He sat beside her.
” I don’t know what to do with you Sylvia, I really don’t ”
” you don’t have to do anything. But please find it in your heart to forgive me ” she pleaded. He looked at her face and it dawned on him that she had ruined her make up with her tears and she looked quite like a mess.
” you could use the bathroom in the guest room to clean up your face.”
“Ok ” she said feeling slightly confused. She was not sure how he would react to all she had to say from the start but she simply responded and stood not sure which way to go. Charles read her thoughts and gave her directions,
” walk down the hall and turn left you’ll see the room where you’ll find the bathroom.”
“Ok” Sylvia said and headed for the bathroom. Every moment he had with Sylvia so long ago started to fill his memories again. This time they were even more real than they had been on the many lonely nights when he thought about her, before her reemergence. He really missed her and had been looking for her all these years even when he felt he had put her behind him for good. He thought about Juliet and how she bore some physical resemblance to Sylvia yet there were worlds of differences between the two. He used to think he had a type but it turned out that he simply wanted a Sylvia. Just then Sylvia came out to the living room looking fresh faced and she was 16 years old again. He caught himself holding his breath.she was still so beautiful. What would he do with Sylvia ? What would he do with Juliet? He sighed feeling weary.