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Bayo George

This house is really big. My room is very big too. Mummy says if I behave myself that Mr. Kareem is going to buy me a lot of toys and chocolates when he gets back from his travels. I will wait for him till he gets back. He always keeps his promise and I can’t wait to show my toys to my friends when I get back to school after this holiday.

I wish we can stay here forever; I don’t want to go back to our house again. Mummy says heaven is finer than this place but I am yet to see heaven because it is high up in the sky. One day I will tell Mr. Kareem to take me inside a plane and we will go up and see the place. I know he knows the way because he says he has been there before with a woman named Rose but I have not seen her yet.

He called my mummy yesterday. Mummy was very excited, she was just laughing on the phone. Mummy use to laugh like a baby sometimes, she will just be laughing anyhow. Anyway, it is good to laugh; she says it makes people look younger. But I don’t laugh too much and I am still very young. Maybe when I grow up, I will be laughing very well, so that I can be small again.

Mummy is rushing to the toilet sink to vomit and spit again, something is wrong with her but she is telling me that everything is fine. She thinks I’m still a small boy. Whenever I vomit, she says I’m sick and takes me to the hospital. Why is she not doing the same? She is sick too and it is obvious.

Very soon she will come into my room and ask me if I am awake. I will pretend as if I am still sleeping, and then she will tease me and carry me to the bathroom. I will call Mr. Kareem today when mummy is not in the house and I will tell him that my mummy is not feeling fine. My mummy likes to hide things from people and I really don’t know why.

Mrs. George walked into her son’s room a few moments later, just as the little boy had predicted. She called his name and teased him, then proceeded to carry him to the bathroom.

“Mummy wait… wait, please put me down,” Bayo said.

“No, I am not putting you down, it’s late already, and you need to bathe.”

“But I’m on holiday and there’s no school today,” he challenged.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s late already,” she retorted.

“Mummy wait first, I will, I will, but we need to talk,” he sang and swung his legs.

“What is the matter?” His mum asked and put him down in front of the bathroom door. “Is it about your missing tooth again?” she asked.

Bayo folded his arms and pouted, then signaled with his little finger to his mum to get down to his height level.

Mrs. George smiled and squatted beside his son.

“What is it little man? I’m all ears, tell me,” she smiled.

“You are the one who is supposed to be telling me something,” he challenged while pointing his fingers towards her face.

“Really?” his mother asked.

“Yes” he said with his arms now akimbo.

“Ok, what do you want to know?”

“Do you have a headache?” he asked.

“No I don’t, is anything the matter Bayo?” she grinned.

“Do you have stomach pain?” he continued.

“No, nothing is wrong with me sweetheart, I am fine.”

“You are not fine… I know that you are not fine.” He countered.

“Hmmn, doctor Bayo… How do you know I am not fine?” her mother enquired and smiled.

“I saw you vomiting yesterday and today again, you rushed to the sink to vomit again,” he pointed and said.

“So, you had woken up already before I came into your room but pretended to be asleep?” she playfully challenged and tickled him. He smiled and held his mother’s hands “mummy wait, mummy stop…” he giggled and laughed.

“Do you know hell fire is real and all liars shall go to hell?” his mother enquired.

“I only pretended mum, I did not lie,” he defended. “It is you that is lying…” he challenged, “…go and pray now so you don’t go to hell,” he quietly retorted.

“But you didn’t ask if I was vomiting baby, you only asked if I had stomach pains or a headache, which I do not have,” she smiled.

“You see sometimes mothers vomit for no…” she paused then continued. “…mothers vomit sometimes when they are sick or pregnant…” she said. ”…but I am not sick” she added.

“So, are you pregnant? He asked.

“I think so,” she said.

“Is the baby a boy or a girl?”

“Bayo, Bayo…” she sighed. “I …don’t know and I’m not God.” she replied.

She opened the bathroom door and ushered him inside. “Can we bathe now sir?” she sarcastically remarked.

While she bathed her son, she smiled at the thought of him growing more inquisitive with each passing day. He was already showcasing the abrasive traits of his lawyer father and although he did not trouble her much, a part of her wished the foetus inside her ovary was female but it would delight her more to have another boy and guarantee a stake in the Karim mega fortune.

E4enterprises

Excerpt from my novel yet to be published.

 

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Taylor

His boss’ daughter comes to the office one day and they both have a chat, it was awesome, he felt she was fantastic, she thought he was cool and then the chats proceeded to e-mails, phone calls and messages on whatsapp.

For most part of his childhood at Ibadan, he’d endured a hard-knock life. His father was a short tempered and ferocious man, who also drank and shouted a lot. His mother sold Shea butter and local cosmetic products and sometimes in a week would make no sales at all. They mostly managed on daddy’s meager income from his skills with the sewing machine.
While in primary four, a teacher constructed a sentence in an English language class and used his name.
“Taylor’s father is a very good tailor who sews many clothes.” The woman had said.
Whether it was for grammar’s sake or subtle sarcasm, his young brain couldn’t tell but he found it neither exciting nor funny when some of his colleagues giggled and laughed as well.
“Taylor, omo baba tailor.” they jested and jeered. It hurt him up to the point where he couldn’t utter a word.
Some of these boys’ parents sewed their clothes at his father’s shop, he thought. How mean? How cruel? How disrespectful of them to laugh at his father’s job?
Someday he’ll make tons of money and keep these fools quiet he vowed.
Then his father died a few years later and his life turned really worse. The poverty that struck his home had a big club and a lulling balm too. It hit him hard with academics and school but heated and mildly soothed his pains with the one semi-balanced meal he ate on each and every day.
Through sheer hard work and a willingness to be in charge money-wise, he took up all sorts of jobs, got himself through higher institution and was exceptionally good at what he did.
There he discovered he had another endowment apart from his brain and strength, when he won the contest for the most handsome in school. This also brought the attention of the opposite sex too.
One of them was Naomi, a prospective accountant who topped her class in the same institution as well. He fell in love and felt really loved for the first time in his life.
He couldn’t get a job after graduating for about two years. In that same period Naomi was with the Government and doing very well. He left Ibadan for Lagos later on, to seek a better life.

One day a man saw him while he was addressing a group of students during a presentation on Global Warming and its Effects. He gave him his card and his story changed; the man became his boss.
His boss’ daughter comes to the office one day and they both have a chat, it was awesome, he felt she was fantastic, she thought he was cool and then the chats proceeded to e-mails, phone calls and messages on whatsapp.
He loved Naomi still but feared a looming dump because he couldn’t explain why she cancelled several dates and sometimes wouldn’t pick up or return his calls.
Kike was falling in love with him, a blind man could see and a dumb one could also tell but he never felt a connection with the olive skinned and ravishingly beautiful girl.
Soon they started seeing each other however and to his surprise, her father supported the affair. Then one thing led to another, he played ball for the first time with a virgin damsel and a very good footballer he was because after the panting, prowling, twisting and turning, the whispers, squeals, tackling and moaning, eventually he scored.
Naomi reached out to him two weeks after Kike had told him the supposed bad news. They arranged to meet and meet they did and he promised himself to lift the lid but he couldn’t bring himself to tell her the situation of things with him, the instant he set his eyes on her.
Ooh God! She looked radiant and more beautiful than ever, he thought.
He played along with the hope that Kike; a career oriented lady would in good faith terminate the pregnancy but got a stinker when his boss inquired about his plans for his pregnant daughter.
Introductions were done and a date was fixed for a clandestine wedding far away.
He should have said something; he really should have but preferred not to see Naomi lose her smile, not while he was now aware that she’d been very busy all the while and her feelings for him were very true.

As he stared at his daughter, who was quietly sleeping beside his wife, he remembered his first love and his lips slowly widened from side to side.
The small diamond shaped dimple on Naomi’s cheeks were the last images that constantly flashed in his mind, from the last night they were together before he left to marry his baby’s mother.
He had subsequently called and apologized for his errors; he knew he had hurt her deeply. If he had only done something differently, something like, not getting drunk with Kike or slipping on a condom that night but it was useless when a knife is dropped after it had made a cut.
Some nights still, his thoughts hover around Naomi and the true love they both felt for each other but sadly, it wasn’t the kind of love he shared with Kike, his wife.

Excerpt from my book (WHAT NEXT?) yet to be published.

Afolabi Oluwaseun Johnson

E4 enterprises

 

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Why this blog?

This is the post excerpt.

I read and sang in my dreams so many times and back then it meant nothing to me. Now i understand better as i put words together, as sentences turn into paragraphs and paragraphs into songs or stories from one day to another.

I intend taking you through my imaginary world as well as a little bit of the real deal and also hope to pass my messages across via music, a language i know you understand very well.

IMG_20160429_123332
Afolabi Oluwaseun Johnson

DO NOT READ “THIS” CONFESSION

This is banal, this is blank
It is without a lesson for the moral human mind
This is a very long Confession
One I feel reluctant to begin even as I relax and pretend to unwind

Before you get to the next line, I must quickly warn
This is going to be very long
Long enough to make you pause and ponder…
The kind of influence I may seem to be momentarily under

This is nude, it is annoyingly rude
You might never want to again associate with this dude
Here, are shocking acknowledgements, sinister, graphic and crude
Like Arsenal (0) on Sunday, getting her Liver pulled (4)

This is evil, this is vile
Malicious and way bitter than the human bile
Malevolent, nigh horrific, with many regrets and sorrows
A quintessence of thoughts and actions, near vague and somewhat shallow

This is dark, very… very dark
Darkness unfazed by light’s imminent presence
Shining and unyielding even in extreme brightness
Blackness in its purest form, intense blackness of darkness

This is hell, so very unwell
Your heart is racing, keep it steady,
From over here I can feel it, I can tell
Wait for it; let it hit you like the alarm or that sound from a jingle bell

I’m sure you’ll hate its conclusion
The plot, its twist and shitty bend
But I already warned you not to read THIS
Its aftermath is yours and yours alone to deal with

My fingers are playing around on this keyboard
What if I told you there was no confession at all
Return to this moment; let’s get back to earth my good friend
Tell me it worked… tell me I got you wanting a revelation

This is the end of THIS piece please…
I guess it wasn’t that long after all
I’ve got no concession or declarations
Just smile and walk away, let’s pretend you obeyed the title instruction
Hahahahaha.

Afolabi Oluwaseun Johnson
E4 enterprises.

KEEP BELIEVING

I wanted to become a pilot as a child

I loved planes and eagerly wanted to fly.

As I grew older, my love for planes waned

because of what I could do with a ball at my feet.

And then, I saw a professional do an amazing skill.

I vowed I was going to do the same

But broke my leg while attempting to

For months I was in pains

And later found comfort in a girl who came around at that time

Her name was May

She was so fine, she made me smile

She was like ice cream, slowly cooling me down

She was the matchbox and I the match stick

And whenever our paths crossed,

There was always a kind of fire

Someone once said

“All things end badly, otherwise they’ll never end”

That was so true in our case because

Our fire never really burnt big

Its flames were reduced to sparks and then smokes

And as time went by, we slowly drifted apart

Young love, young aspirations and passions became memories past

Naivety and childhood fantasies were

Driven away by life’s harsh realities

I lost my innocence over the years

Couldn’t judge my actions by rights or wrongs

Only evaluated them by the most appropriate approach for a particular moment

At a point, it felt like I was chasing shadows

Like the world, at me was shooting arrows

My frustrations made me close my eyes to the misfortune of others.

I even trained my heart to be still in adversity,

Forgetting quickly that a quiet conscience

Gives strength and clarity.

Then I saw this line in a book I read

“He, who has courage and faith, never die in misery”

So I decided in my heart to acquire courage

To search for beauty, discover happiness and regain my balance

To have faith in every step I take

And increase my quest for knowledge

To get a grip on my flaws and be my best in every way

I observed and learned, studied from every of my defeat

I also had petite celebrations in the few battles I won

I never surrendered, never lost sight of what I desired

I took the bull by the horn, faced my challenges, never ran

I was opened and filled with the desire to succeed

Focused and persistent, knowing at the end I’ll win

Without the plane or the ball or that girl I dearly loved

I never gave up in my pursuit of happiness

I now utilize my power of imagination to the fullest,

Evident in what you can now see.

Jack of all trade, master of none

Sounds more like a pre-conceived notion to me

Do diligently whatever your hands find

Quit complaining, be cheerful and don’t be mean.

In the words of Jane Austen

“If one scheme of happiness fails,

Human nature turns to another

If the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better.

We find comfort somewhere.”

Do not quit on yourself, you can do better

Go for it. Keep believing.

 

Afolabi Oluwaseun Johnson

E4 enterprises

Johnsonafolabi62@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bastards

…we were so far apart, like my earth was much farther from his sun but he was my father and I his son. What other attributes were needed aside from surname and blood for a Father and his son to communicate and completely bond?

My mother said I was more of a trouble maker as a child. She said I fought anywhere with anyone for toys or objects that weren’t most times mine. I’d abuse, bite, kick, scratch and throw tantrums which disquieted her a lot. I once hit a boy on his face with the sharp prongs of a rake. I needn’t be told this because I took the worst of beatings on that day from my father after he saw the lacerations on the boy’s face. I was six, maybe seven and on that day, I nearly saw heaven. “I won’t stop until I peel your skin with my belt, I won’t stop until your body weeps blood,” I remember him say and the scars on my back, especially the black one at the base of my neck are evidences of the veracity of those words. He’d thrown me up towards the ceiling of the living room once and made me pay for the damaged asbestos by deducting from my lunch money for school.
Sometimes my mother out of pity made me run unnecessary errands in order to save me from his belt but I’d somehow manage to get the beating irrespective of what she’d done to salvage my plight.
Whenever she pounded yam and made melon soup, whatever trouble I had caused or punishment I was to receive that day got carried over to the next.
“The best way to enjoy pounded yam is for you to eat it, relax and sleep” my father always said. He believed so much in his “eat pounded yam and sleep” theory and would make sure he slept every time he ate that meal. I had less to worry about most weekends because we ate my father’s favourite on one or both days.
I once begged my mum to prepare the same dish on a Thursday because I had returned from school with a report card which almost had none of my scores written in blue. I got the beating I had delayed with that food when he finished his garri and bean cake meal the following afternoon.
He loved my sister. He practically worshiped her. “Lade, what should I buy for you on my way back from work today?” “Lade my baby girl, what did you do at school today?” “Lade let us take a stroll” “Lade leave that idiot alone and help me get water from the fridge.” Yes. I was that idiot. He dissed me a lot and it still hurts every time I remember.
He never asked me what I wanted, we never strolled anywhere…not that I wanted to anyway but then it was like he derived utmost pleasure in treating me like a retard. He’d ridicule me in the presence of my sister and make her laugh at me. He never heard my own side of the story and would mercilessly hit me anytime Lade complained or reported me. Everything goes with her but nothing clicked with me. She got whatever she wanted without hassle and I on the other hand couldn’t even ask for a thing because he always had this kind of look, like that of an angry dog waiting to attack and most probably bite.
I cannot remember shaking his hands, we never hugged, we were so far apart, like my earth was much farther from his sun but he was my father and I his son. What other attributes were needed aside from surname and blood for a Father and his son to communicate and completely bond? I struggled with this and many other questions for a while until an elderly neighbour hit me with a prayer bead on my head.
I had poured dirty water in a drainage channel one Sunday afternoon when a voice from behind asked me to stop. Alfa Saka as we used to call him was tall, huge and heavily built with his muscles always bulging with veins, especially his arms which always looked as if it housed a batch of earthworms. He also had a deep baritone, one which sort of shook the ground every time he spoke. I was confused because it wasn’t my first time of doing such as it was the common norm for tenants downstairs to do their laundry and pour water in that area of the house where he’d asked me to stop the pouring.
“I don’t understand sir” I retorted, “Where do you want me to pour it?”
Nothing intimidated me except my father’s belt and contrary to the Yoruba norm which encourages head bowing when speaking or being spoken to by elders; I loved staring at them whenever we talked. While most attributed this to belligerence, pride and a lack of respect, my father never saw it that way. He claimed that the same elders who say “the weight of words can only be found in a person’s eyes” are also the ones who’ll see a person as defiant and rude when he looks elsewhere while a talk is being made.
“If you stare and subconsciously roll your eyes. You are disrespectful. If you look elsewhere, they’d say you aren’t listening. If you stare and don’t blink, they’d ask why you’re staring and all these makes you wonder. What on earth do these priggish elders want from the generation they procreated?” I heard this while he was discussing with some of his friends some years back.
Alfa Saka charged at me and hit me with his prayer bead. “You are disrespectful” he said in vernacular “I told you to pour your dirty water elsewhere and you are asking me foolish questions.”
“Let it be the last time you hit my boy like that,” my father fumed. Standing beside the window of another tenant’s room adjacent the backyard, he pouted and folded his arms as if he was waiting for a fight. He had heard Alfa Saka’s ranting from inside the house and hurried down to check the situation.
Honestly, that was the first time I got his support in public. Alfa Saka tried to talk lightly of the issue but was sharply rebuffed. Of course! Most of the tenants revered my father, more for his military affiliation than the way he carried himself publicly.
“Please Mr. Saka, irrespective of whatever he has done, do not touch him ever again,” he warned.
I was hurt from the pain the beads had caused but relieved of it because of my father’s support and the way he had defended me.
Other times, I wouldn’t dare talk about my confrontations with anyone as he was fond of accusing me of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe it was because he saw the man hit me or because he had a bias for his religion but then it didn’t matter. He had my back covered and when he put his arm around my shoulders and led me into the house without a word, I had the feeling that he had changed towards me for the better.
I made the conscious decision to change my ways that day and overtime things got better between my father and I. There were more shoulder holdings and few back pat for rightly done chores and courses.
Except for the mathematics exam where I copied a friend of mine and passed, I did fairly well in other tests I had studied for and wrote on my own. This impressed him a lot, most especially the math score. He’d have beaten me if I told him I cheated. He was mean, sometimes wicked but was also honest, disciplined and dignified.
So much for days gone by, that troublesome boy I used to be has been reincarnated somehow as I see a lot of myself in my first born son. He never listens, gets beaten by my wife every now and then and yet never learns.
I have taken the mean African and mild Western approaches of child correction and discipline and none has produced the desired change I had expected. How I wish he was like my wife. His sister is well behaved, just like my sister was and I, in all honesty love her more, the same way my father had loved my sister. While I have hesitated in letting him have most of the same treatments my father gave me, I might resolve into going that same rout if I run out of a patience I don’t seem to have anymore. He hates math too and I’m hurt because he has inherited every one of my not too pleasant sides.
Maybe God is punishing me for punishing my parents or trying to make me have a feel of what my father felt in my rapid growing years. It may also be as a result of a bad family trend, a disease common among the males. I got my secondary school sweet heart pregnant and that produced Biola my son. My grandfather and father had pre-marital issues too as both were first born sons who also had kids with step mothers. We all have a history of bad behaviour while we were teenagers and maybe Biola is not to blame after all. I mean, all first born sons in my family are somewhat evil, troublesome in their growing years and are also bastards till their dying days. However much still needs to be done with Biola as I fear he might send me to an early grave.
Afolabi Oluwaseun Johnson
E4 enterprises

Was He Really Dumb?

For the young boy, there was more to just holding the pastor’s hands. If the man’s prayers for him to regain his speech could get answered in that moment, he would tell him what his mother and the sisters had done.

“Congratulations Pastor, your wife delivered safely and it’s a baby girl”

Pastor Segun’s passive expression startled the prophetess. He had also said nothing but stare at her.

Alagba” said the woman, “Se ko si?” she enquired.

“Nothing” replied the pastor. “I am glad they are hale and hearty” he smiled. “Can I see her now?”

“Not yet,” she said. “She is resting, you will see her soon.” She beckoned on another sister who brought a small sac and handed it over.

“This is the placenta; I suggest you get rid of it before the day breaks.” She handed the sac over to him. “You can come back later in the day to see your wife.”

Pastor Segun thanked the prophetess and the other sisters and left the church premises with the sac in his hands.

His only happiness was the safety of his wife. He really did not care about the baby. “If only she had listened,” he muttered. “I warned her not to have another baby. Now it’s a girl again… Ko ki n gboran.”

He had three daughters already and was already past the number of children he had wanted to have; Just two. He was never particular about their gender, male or female, God gave them all and He alone knows best.

Before the birth of his third child, his wife had begged him to have another baby and gotten pregnant without his consent. He got upset at first but later on took it as God’s will and prayed for a male child. Now there was another female child after another pregnancy he yet again had no knowledge about until it was too late to do something…as if he could do anything.

Four daughters, four girls, five women in his life with the inclusion of his wife and somebody wanted him to jump for joy. How could he?

He got to his house and opened the door to his room, dropped the sac on the floor and decided to rest for an hour. He’d get up by six and go bury the placenta in an unused shed at his backyard.

His phone rang a few minutes later and he picked it up.

“Pastor please your attention is needed,” an agitated voice said. “Your wife seems to be talking in a disorderly manner; she seems to be garbling her words.”

He slipped on his sandals again, rushed down to the church and almost forgot to pay the motorcyclist who rode him there. By the time he got inside the church compound, the gloomy faces of the sisters said it all. He quietly walked into the room where his wife was, knelt beside her bed and wept.

“The Lord gives and also takes away. Take heart pastor Segun, your wife is no more” the prophetess said. She held him to her bosom as he cried and patted his head soothingly. The Prophetess’ son, a young six year old boy, walked into the room with a cup of water which his mother collected. “Thank you Joshua” she said and then asked him to leave.

“How could she do this to me? Ni bo ni mo fe gbe gba? “Who leaves four young girls and decides to die?” Pastor Segun asked with a very sad look.

“I have no answers Alagba. What has happened has happened. Please take heart, be courageous and be that strong man you’ve always been.” She poured some of the water in the cup on her hands and washed the pastor’s face.

“God will be your wife now pastor. He never leaves his own… never ever,” she said in a very confident tone.

The pastor wiped his face with a small towel on the table and checked his watch. “I’ll be on my way home now” he said.

Some of the sisters sympathised with him on his way out of the church and If Joshua could talk, the pastor was sure he would also have had one or two things to say because the boy held his hand and was quite moody too.

“Thank you Joshua,” pastor Segun said as he patted his back. “I’ll survive this, for God Almighty is my strength.”

For the young boy, there was more to just holding the pastor’s hands. If the man’s prayers for him to regain his speech could get answered in that moment, he would tell him what his mother and the sisters had done. They all were evil, they killed that woman. He was so convinced that they killed the pastor’s wife but all he could do was watch him leave without answers to a question he never asked. “Who killed my wife?”

“Baba…” One of the sisters beckoned. Everyone in the church excluding his mother called him by that name.

“Let’s go inside so I can brush your teeth for you,” she continued. He did not like Sister Rhoda because she was the one who bit the dead woman on her lips and beat her on her chest too. The others pulled the woman’s arms and screamed at her and his mother pressed the woman’s head with her palms with twitching closed eyes, screaming Jesus’ name in an attempt to let the woman die. He was very sure. They did not see him behind the curtain but he saw all of them and what they were doing.

They’ve been doing this to a lot of people, flogging some with sticks, tying others to poles, pulling hands and shouting at those who sleep but mostly seem to get up sometimes later in the day. He knew that the pastor’s wife was not going to get up again because he had heard her mother tell the man that his wife was dead and the woman’s face was now covered with a white sheet.

He heard a baby cry and was anxious to see the baby’s face. He knew he was not a boy like him but wished he was a boy all the same. He should be able to talk someday and he’ll tell her everything he saw. Both of them will run away from her mother and the evil sisters. They’ll run as fast as they can, far away from the church and will also cease to believe in the type of jesus they call.

Afolabi Oluwaseun Johnson

E4 enterprises

 

AFTER THE COMA

I can see clearly now, I cannot feel the pain, I see my attacker filled with rage and so much hate, I see myself lying in a pool of my own blood. I stare at my face and it does the same except that, from the floor, I stare blankly at me. I am standing in front of this evil man, peering into his dark soul and stoic face. He cannot see me. How odd…. the night is dark I suppose.

The night is so dark, no moon, no stars, the silence is overwhelming and the eerie sounds from the night crawlers which surrounds me are scary. My heart pounds, it has moved a little bit above my chest and my sweaty face continues to find its way into my dirty, blue dress. I run and take short stops to refill my lungs with so much precious air. I fall and mewl, I dare not scream, I stand and with a predatory stealth, creep into a bushy undergrowth ahead and follow this path I do not know. I am less concerned about my total well-being and if I get out of this with a scarred face or a missing limb, it’s worth the joy of seeing my mother and little sister again. I sit for a while, scared still and my feet are so tired. I feel something sticky on my left thigh; there is no telling I must be bleeding pretty badly, a result of one of the numerous tumbles I’ve had while fleeing my captor. If I had only listened and not go to that damned party, I’ll probably be in the comfort of my bed, sleeping or relaxing with a nice serenade from my Sony music player.

Jolted from my hopeful reverie by a bite from an ant I cannot see, I curse silently, wishing I could kill the damned insect. Hot tears roll down my cheeks and sob I uncontrollably did. The heart of a man is desperately wicked and I still cannot figure out the motive behind this horrific malevolence.

I have offended no one and Malik, my boyfriend is not the kind who’ll get into a scenario that’ll put his diamond (so he calls me) into a situation this sinister. My head tells me it’s not the right time for reflections and flash backs, my heart tells me the same and it dawns on me that one tends to loose every ounce of psychological reasoning when fear drives the motors of one’s joints into an abnormally impossible and out of this world motion.

There’s no point in moving forward now and tracing my way back shouldn’t be difficult since it’s just one undergrowth passage. Besides, i think I should be safe for the time being from that fellow chasing me as I have been hiding for over an hour I suppose.

I step out with leaves and spiky stems bruising my already bruised face and feeling thankful it’s not more than what it is; just a bruised face.

The terror that so blinded my eyes is gone now for I can see to some extent the flora about me. I look to the sky and mumble a few words of prayer and notice concurrently that the wind carries with it a force that’s unusual. I hear a whisper and in an instant pause to access my options but it is a weeny bit late as I feel the sharp pain of metal smashing through my skull and fall with my face to the floor.

I can see clearly now, I cannot feel the pain, I see my attacker filled with rage and so much hate, I see myself lying in a pool of my own blood. I stare at my face and it does the same except that, from the floor, I stare blankly at me. I am standing in front of this evil man, peering into his dark soul and stoic face. He cannot see me. How odd…. The night is dark I suppose.

Hold on a second! I am the one on the floor. How come? This is not happening, it can’t be real. Wake me from this nightmare, help me please! Save me from what I think this is because I do not want to die now. I want to see my mother and sister again. I’ll give anything to see the ones I love again. I cannot be dead! This cannot be!

I scream but doubt if anyone can hear me, not even the killer whose front I’m standing still.

He stares at the work of his hands for a while and taps my battered face with his cutlass. “That’s not nice” I whisper. He turns abruptly as if he heard what I said; I shiver again at the thought of being on the receiving end of another machete blow. ‘Am I not supposed to die once, why fear when I’m already dead?’ I ponder.

He spits as he removes the mask on his face and only God knows the rage I felt on recognizing the individual behind the covering.

While it felt good to deflate his ego in front of his colleagues and walk away hand in hand with a junior student who was also his very close friend; Karma now seems doubled and my share is worse. This was supposed to be our last party together as lovers. He never saw it coming. Unfortunately, I can as well say the same for myself. Malik is worse than hell itself.

I watch him dig up the earth and shove my body inside but the wailing sirens will not let him finish the job as he picked up his tools and ran away.

“I am here. I am here!” I screamed when i saw the uniformed men and although they couldn’t hear me, they still moved to where I was. Suddenly, I heard one of them scream… “She’s twitching! check her fingers!” and subsequently couldn’t remember a thing anymore. I opened my eyes in the hospital some weeks later with bandages woven around my head like a boxer’s helmet and only bits and pieces of the events that had gotten me there.

The doctor said I was lucky to be alive and that my pregnancy had stayed intact. I know Malik is the baby’s father as I have been with no other in sexual relationship matters.

As I watch my stomach grow each day and feel the baby’s activity inside of me, I still cannot help but wonder why I have decided to keep my unborn child but my greatest fear now is how I’ll explain to her why her father turned a prisoner when she’s all grown up.”

Afolabi Oluwaseun Johnson

E4 enterprises.

johnsonafolabi62@yahoo.com