Mothers’ day

Happy new year!!!!! Yeah I know it’s March but this is the first post of the year so happy new year to you! LOL…

It’s mothers’ day!

 

I’d like to use this medium to declare my undying love for my mother. We may not be very close and we may annoy eachother a lot but I love her to bits. Happy mothers’ day mummy! God bless you exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask for or imagine! I love you!

 Happy mothers’ day to all the lovely mothers around the world and all those filling in as mothers. God bless you!

This post is very short. I hope you like it. Please read the dates carefully so you don’t get confused. This post is dedicated to Dorothy and Dupe, the lovely people who told me they had been waiting for a new post; enjoy!

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March 18th 2012

Dear diary, display Pictures changing on BlackBerry Messenger, avatars changing on Twitter, “I love you mummy” written on every Facebook status. It’s mothers’ day and I feel sick. My phone vibrates and I look down at it. It’s my sister, Ruke. “PING!!! Ahn ahn Rumie why didn’t you use mum’s pic as your DP na? Or you don’t have any nice one? Chill let me send you one.” In two seconds, a picture of her pops up on my screen. I almost throw my phone at the wall. Looking at her makes me even sicker. It doesn’t help that she looks exactly like me. I hate my mother…

June 10th 2011

Dear diary, today is mummy’s birthday! Yay! I made her the most beautiful card. It reads: “you’re the best mum in the whole wide world. I looooooove you mummy,love Rumie. Xoxo”. I hope she likes it

August 30th 2011

Dear diary, today is daddy’s funeral. My heart is in pieces. I’m sorry your pages are so wet, I can’t stop the tears. I don’t know if I should tell Ruke that I saw mummy putting something in daddy’s dinner after I overheard him shouting at her for sleeping with uncle Eugene.

October 2nd 2011

Dear diary, more wet pages. I’m sorry. I should never have told mummy I saw her poison daddy’s food. Uncle Tare beat me again today because I fought him off last night when he got into my bed. Mummy knew he was a monster that’s why she sent me to live with him. Ruke called today to ask how school was going. I can’t believe mummy told her I was in school

January 15th 2012

Dear diary, I finally did it! I finally ran away. I don’t know where to go or what to do. I’m just glad I’m free

Feb 28th 2012

Dear diary, it’s my birthday and I miss daddy. I miss daddy so much it hurts. The customer I had today looked so much like him. I had to make a conscious effort not to call him “daddy” when he was on top of me.

March 18th 2012

Dear diary, I hate my life. My only consolation is that it will soon be over. The drugs are starting to kick in. All the pretty drugs I took to take this pain away forever. As I drift into permanent sleep, only one thing is on my mind. I hate my mother

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Hey guys! Sorry there hasn’t been any post in a while 😦 Been busy with life + I had/have a severe case of writer’s block. I’ve got exams soon too so don’t expect any post soon. For now, I have something small for you guys. A blogger asked to me write a story for him and he gave me the story line. All credit for the story itself goes to him. I only take credit for the actual writing. (You can check out his blog-> http://coolprincee.wordpress.com )
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“I’m sorry Carol but it’s over”
“Hello?”
She hung up
As he sat under the tree in front of his compound relishing the cool of the evening, he couldn’t even be bothered. He’d finally ended it.
“Teacher John”
He looked up and saw her. The girl with the big brown eyes that seemed to search one’s soul. He’d noticed her the very first day he stepped into Federal government girls’ college Calabar. He was fresh out of the University of Lagos and had just been posted to Calabar for his NYSC. He’d never left Lagos and so Calabar was new to him,different. She was different. She was nothing like the stuck up,superficial,materialistic girls he’d known all his life. Nothing like Carol. And eventhough he fought the attraction with all his might, his chiselled face still gave way to a smile whenever he saw her. There was something about her. The way she smiled,the way her big brown eyes lit up whenever he taught the class something new,the way she said his name with her accent and always with the prefix “teacher”.
“Teacher John good evening”
“Good evening Koko”
She had a tray of groundnuts sitting on her head.
For the past eleven months,he’d waited in front of the compound everyday to buy groundnuts from her. As she set the tray down on the ground and he reached into his back pocket, he realised that in his hurry to get outside where there was reception so he could call Carol, he’d forgotten his wallet on his bed.
“Koko follow me inside. I forgot my wallet”
She looked hesitant at first.
“Should I follow him inside? He’s teacher John. He’s not a stranger. Besides,I need to sit down” Koko thought to herself.
Before Koko could even make up her mind, she found herself already following him.
Teacher John’s house was simple but clean.
“Sit down and have some water”
She obeyed. She was too tired to even argue.
Sitting led to eating and eating led to chatting and chatting led to laughing. Before she knew it, it was dark outside.
As Koko walked back home and John cleared the dishes, they both thought about their time together. One thing reigned in both minds, they’d both found a friend in each other.
And so after school everyday for the next month, Koko would go to teacher John’s house after selling most of her groundnuts and they would have lunch and talk for hours.
The days of that month seemed to breeze by and before they knew it,it was his last evening in Calabar.
“I’m leaving at 5 am with the first bus” He said with his hand on her lap.
He was sitting so close that he was whispering.
“I’ll miss you Koko” and then he kissed her
She didn’t kiss back but she didn’t stop him.
She could feel his hands moving all over her body.
Clothes came off.
She wanted to say no but she wanted this.
She wanted him to have her pride. Pride; that’s what her mother called it when she told her to keep it for her husband.
He wasn’t her husband but she loved him. She knew she couldn’t give him anything but herself.
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“Take care of yourself oh! Call us everyday! Make sure you don’t follow all those useless London girls oh!”

“Mummy! I’m not going to primary school. I’m going for my Masters. I’m no longer a child ma. I’ll be fine!”
John gave his mother a hug, put his luggage in the trunk and got in the car.
As they drove out of the gate, he suddenly remembered that he’d left his phone in his room.
“Daddy, stop the car please. I left my phone in my room”
“Hurry up or you’ll miss your flight”
He got out of the car and ran into the house, running up the stairs in twos.
He got to his room panting. His phone was ringing,unknown caller.
“Hello”
“Teacher John” said the small voice on the other end.
He froze.
He hadn’t heard her voice since that night before he left Calabar 6 months ago. He could see the tears on her face and hear her soft sobs as she went home that night as if it was yesterday.
“Koko” he whispered
“Teacher John, I’m pregnant”
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Ironically,my friends are currently at their NYSC camps in Ebonyi, Kwara, Kogi and Lagos. Guys, here’s wishing you a wonderful camp experience. Don’t impregnate anybody or get pregnant oh!(Unless of course you want to. LOL!). I pray that God watches over you and keeps you safe! All the best boos!!! You’ll be fine! *group hug*

Jammed

“Lord God,Lord God,Lord God this is not happening again!!!”
I’ve stared at the computer screen so long that my brain seems to be hurting.
Still, clear as crystal, that number remains on the screen.
150…150?! How the hell did this happen?!
Let me be sure this is my result! I rub my eyes and look again. Same number! D’uh!! Like rubbing eyes ever works!
I log out and log in again…

JOINT ADMISSIONS AND MATRICULATION BOARD.
Candidate Name: Salami, Adetoun Mary
Gender: Female
State Of Origin: Ondo
Local Govt: Owo
Registration Number: 1563485655
Examination Number: 9635444482
Examination Centre: Yaba College of Technology Secondary School G.R.A. Yabatech Quaters,Yaba.

EXAMINATION RESULT
Use of English:33; Government= 27; Lit in Eng= 30; Christian Rel. = 60; Aggregate= 150

It’s still the same!!! It’s really my result!!!
What in God’s name am I going to do now?! How will I even tell my parents?!
This is the 6th year in a row that I’ve written JAMB! 6th!!!
The first time, I got 220. My mum said I had to do it again the next year because we are known for great results in my family. She said my sister had 303 and my brother had 290 and that they didn’t have two heads. My dad said I didn’t have to do it again if I didn’t want to because the result was good enough to enter Unilag,my first choice. But I like a challenge! And I hate it when my mum compares me to my siblings so I waited and did it again the next year only to score 200. And then I did it again the next year and the next and on and on… The results just got worse year after year! 220 then 200 then 190 then 185 then 170 and now 150?!?!

The computer beeps indicating that I have five minutes of internet time left. “Can’t you see I’m in the middle of a crisis?!” I hiss at the computer before I remember that I’m in public. Everyone is looking at me like I have a leprechaun dancing on my head. I hurriedly log out and practically run out of the cyber cafe.

Just perfect!!! Just perfect!!! After I paid that foolish lesson teacher a whole 20k to get me dubs,I still got 150?!

Who have I offended now?! Am I possessed or something?! God but why?! I promised to join the choir if I had a good score; that deal is definitely off now!
Chai! What will I do now?!
My mum told me that this year will be the last time she’ll register me for JAMB. Even LASU or Lagos State Polytechnic won’t accept me now! I know exactly what my mother will say; it’s the same thing she has said every year, “Toun,JAMB has jammed you!”

Hot tears are threatening to roll down my cheeks when suddenly,a chalkboard in front of a small store catches my eye. It reads:
“Sale girl with secondry school certificate wanting. Good salary”

I take a good look at the store. “NO KING LIKE GOD INTERNATIONAL SPARE PART SHOP. 3 OLOWU STREET IKEJA. We deals in original imported parts for Mercedes,Honda,Toyota e.t.c”

I walk in.
Fate has decided. Maybe this is my destiny.

***** P.S I did NOT write JAMB oh! Abeg! No be true life story be dis! And if by any chance this actually applies to you,do take heart; Aal iz well! *****

Love scenes

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As I stand here, I start to remember my fantasies. They start to dance before my eyes the way they had always done: Slides and fragments of beautiful pictures, beautiful scenes; not memories but haunting hopes, taunting dreams, painful fantasies.
I have always been an ardent lover of romance. When I was little, I stumbled across my parents’ wedding photos. I stared at them for hours. So much love in their eyes; I wanted that. I kept that album under my bed and every night I would pull it out and stare at the pictures until sleep took me to a land of blissful love. As I grew, I became an avid reader. I only read romance; if it wasn’t romance, I wouldn’t read it. Ever since I could remember, I’d read like 5 romance novels a week. I didn’t just read them, i shaped my goals, my hopes around them. I made pretty pictures, beautiful love scenes in my head. I was in love with love. I knew that one day, no matter how cliché it was, I would meet my prince charming, my own talk, dark and handsome hunk who would sweep me off my feet and leave butterflies in belly.
And so I waited patiently for my one true love. I rejected all substandard men who dared make advances at me. I was not going to settle for anything less than perfect. I watched all my friends get married but I remained unperturbed because I knew that when my time came, they would regret ever laughing when I told them prince charming was coming. My mother made things so much worse. She made it a point of duty to call me several times a week feigning tears and screaming “Ngozi!! Ngozika!!! I did not let my mother go to our ancestors without seeing her grandchild. Why do you now want me to die without letting my hands carry my own grandbabies?!?! Your father’s relatives did not let me rest because I only had one child and it was a girl. Now that you have refused to marry and have kids, what will they say?! “. I did not let her constant pestering get to me. After all, it was her and dad’s love that inspired me to seek my own happily-ever-after romance.
Just when my hope in a fairytale ending started to dwindle a bit, I met him. He was a tall drink of water, dark and richly chocolaty, so handsome that Idris Elba or Borris kodjoe or whoever else could not even nearly compare. He was my Adonis. Nonso was and still is the most beautiful creature to walk the face of the earth. Within a month, we were engaged and in three months, we were married. Surprisingly, my mum was not in support; she said something about Nonso irked her. I didn’t mind her because I knew that once the babies started to roll in, she’d be too elated to dislike Nonso. My wedding was exactly how I had always dreamt it would be, it was perfect. I marked it off my mental checklist of fantasies as I had marked off ‘finding the perfect man’ and ‘falling hopelessly in love’. Finally, I was going to have my own beautiful love story; all the many love scenes I had hoped for were finally going to become a real life play.
And now, i’m standing here looking down at a lifeless body lying in a pool of blood. Dead hopes, dead dreams, dead fantasies. Nonso is sitting in a corner with a cigarette in one hand and his phone in the other dialling ‘911’.
‘hello’ he says in a distressed voice
‘my wife just slipped in the bathroom. I need help!’ he says in tears
After the call ends. He chuckles; the same devilish chuckle i’ve heard a million times. He has that look in his eyes. The same look he had each time he beat me, the same look he had when he hit my head against the wall for the millionth time until my body could take it no more and I finally fell to the floor for the millionth time, the final time.
I’m staring down at my own body. Nonso is now weeping because the police has arrived. They are taking my body away. All my attempts to explain to the police, to hit Nonso are in vain. No one can see me, no one can hear me. I’m just a trapped soul in a loveless world.

**this story might seem somewhat cliché but seriously, don’t let your love for romance land you in trouble. Be realistic, be wise, SHINE YOUR EYES ‘cos not all that glitters is gold…Thank you for reading!**

The prude

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She was chastity personified, the ultimate prude.
She didn’t talk to boys, she didn’t talk about boys, she didn’t have male friends, infact, she never even looked at any male human for more than a few seconds. Whenever a boy touched her by mistake, she literally squirmed.
One time in the 7th grade, the science teacher made John her lab partner against her will and she didn’t show up for any science class until they changed her lab partner to a girl. You could just say she hated boys. Yes, it was that bad. Some thought she was a lesbian but had no proof.
It didn’t help that her name was Mary. Everybody called her ‘immaculate Mary’ or worse still, ‘virgin Mary’.
Her friends thought she would get over it eventually so they tried to hook her up many times but up until senior year, she remained unchanged so they just gave up.
She started behaving that way when she was about 10 years old and her mother ignored it thinking she would outgrow it but now she was 18, it was a source of major concern. Her mother was seriously worried but her father didn’t seem to care. Anytime her mum said anything about it, her dad would just shrug. Her mum had actually forced her to see a therapist but after two months, even a man with a masters degree in psychology gave up.
Mary never explained herself or gave excuses for her behaviour.
One day it all ended. Her mum came home from work one afternoon to find a note on the kitchen table.
“Mum please come to my room. Mary” it read.
Confused,her mother made her way upstairs to Mary’s room.
As she opened the door, she froze for a minute or so. She turned around,went back downstairs to the kitchen, took a knife from the cupboard and stabbed herself. For upstairs in Mary’s room, Mary’s dad lay dead on the floor in a pool of his own blood with a gun beside him. Mary was hanging from the ceiling fan with a rope around her neck.
On the white wall was a message written in blood.
“Dad has raped me everyday since I turned 10. I’m sorry mum.I love you”

Behind her smile

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Everyone who had ever met Dolapo would tell you the same thing about her: She loved to smile.That was what defined her,her signature. And she had the most beautiful smile. When she smiled, everything seemed better. She loved to smile and there was only one thing she loved more in the world, Dotun.
Dolapo and Dotun had been friends for as long as they could remember. Their parents were friends, they were neighbours all their lives, they went to the same schools, they did everything together. They had been inseperable since childhood. Their mothers liked to tease them by saying they were friends since conception because Dotun was born barely a week before Dolapo. As a matter of fact, in order for their parents to save money, they had celebrated many birthdays together. They were closer than bestfriends, closer than siblings, closer than twins. She knew every little detail about him. She knew even things his parents didn’t know. Her love for him was fiery, incomprehensible, undying. Over the years their friendship had blossomed despite the odds. Against everyone’s assumptions and expectations they remained friends. No two humans had been closer, could be closer. They were like one soul living in two bodies.
They went on vacation together once every year. Despite their busy schedules, they always met for lunch three times a week and had dinner together at either one’s house on sundays. It was their custom. They spoke on the phone, they texted, they pinged, the skyped every single day.
He had had a good number of girlfriends over the years. Each time he would talk about them or introduce them to her, she would just smile. They never lasted . Each time he called her after being dumped, she would smile. Each time he told her of his plan to dump his current babe,she would smile. She never had any boyfriends. He tried to talk to her,to hook her up with his friends but she would just smile and say they were a waste of her time.
On this wednesday afternoon, they met for their usual lunch. She got there before him and waited for 15 minutes before he showed up.
‘Dotun you are always late! Would it kill you to be early?!’
‘Oh please Deedee I didn’t waste that much time. Besides,I was doing something really important’
He was the only one who called her Deedee.
‘What in God’s name could have been so important now ehn?!’
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a little black box. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. She had seen it in movies so she knew exactly what it was.
‘Oh my God! Dotun what is this?!’ She gasped
‘It’s an engagement ring…I’m going to ask Amina to marry me tonight’
She smiled.
‘Let me practise with you’ he said as he got down on one knee in front of her and said ‘will you marry me?’
She just smiled
‘I’m sure she’ll be happy. You guys are great together’
‘Thanks Deedee’ he said as he gave her a quick hug.
She smiled.
**********************
‘Do you Amina Lucy Mohammed take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband,to have and to hold for better for worse,for richer for poorer,in sickness and in health till death do you part?’
‘I do’
Everyone claps.
Dolapo smiles.
It’s Dotun’s turn. Dolapo is right behind him as his ‘best man’.
‘Do you Adedotun John Lawuyi take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife,to have and to hold for better for worse,for richer for poorer,in sickness and in health till death do you part?’
‘I do’
Dolapo is smiling so hard that her face is red.
‘Is there anyone here who feels that these two should not be joined?’
The silence is deafening.
All of a sudden, Dolapo steps foward and pulls out a gun from the pocket of her dress. People are gasping and screaming.
‘Dotun,all these years I stood beside you. I was there for you. I loved you but you didn’t love me back’ she says inbetween tears as she points the gun at Dotun.
‘No Deedee don’t. I love you very much’
‘You love me but you are marrying some random bimbo? Where the hell was this stupid bitch when you broke your leg in primary school? Where was she when you lost your first job? Where was she when you started your company? Where was she when your father died? I was there!’
‘I love you Deedee,please don’t do anything foolish’
‘You are the one who is doing something foolish. You love me but not enough to marry me’
She smiles through the tears and steps back.
There are three ear piercing bangs and after all the commotion and screaming die down, the ambulance leaves with three dead people: Amina, Dotun and Dolapo.

sunflowers and daisies

>
“Daddy come and see butterflies!come!” I hear Onyinye and Otito shout.

With a smile on my face,I jog over to where they are staring in fascination at the butterflies flapping their wings softly and sucking up nectar as they perch on the sunflowers and the daisies.

“Daddy they are so beautiful!” Otito says.
“Indeed they are sweetie” I say and watch the beautiful patterned wings and the tiny legs covered in pollen as the butterflies carry on their task.Nneoma,my beautiful wife,walks over and gives each of us a soft hug.

I am content.

The sky is wide,unending and vividly blue and the sun is shining bright and fair,the meadow all around us is full of green grass and a wide variety of different brightly coloured flowers.it feels like we are engulfed in a rainbow.

It all looks like a picture,a perfect picture.

There is no house or person except us in sight,the only sounds to be heard are the soft flapping of the butterflies wings and our laughter.This is pure bliss,this is heaven.We are happy,I am happy.

All of a sudden a strong force like a wind is dragging me backward.I’m being pulled away from Nneoma,Onyinye and Otito.I’m trying to reach out to them but I can’t.I can see them smiling and waving as the distance between us grows.Just before they disappear,I hear Nneoma’s voice as clear as crystal “be happy”…

And then I’m falling from a mountain top;my eyes are shut and I’m screaming but my voice can’t get past my throat..

I hit the ground and open my eyes slowly.Everything is a blur but I can see the image of someone sitting next to me.

“Chima!Chima!thank God you are awake!Doctor!Doctor!”…It’s Nneoma’s mother…

I look around but I can’t recognise anything.

“Where am I?” I croak

“You are in the hospital Chima” the doctor and mama Nneoma say in unison

Then the pain hits me like a hundred elephants stampeding on top of me.I try to get up but I can’t move any part of my body.

“Don’t move.You have 3 broken ribs and a broken leg.You also had a minor concussion for the accident” says the doctor

“What accident?And where is Nneoma and my kids?” I think loudly

Mama Nneoma is now crying too much to even reply

I’m so confused.One minute ago I was in paradise and now I’m in the hospital.

“You were in an accident last week with your wife and kids…”

My head is hurting.I can remember..It was raining and I was driving them to the movies when I suddenly saw the bright lights of a trailer approaching and I lost control of the car.That’s all I can remember

“You’ve been in a coma since last week sir”

“I would like to see my wife and kids.Are they okay?Can I be wheeled over to their wards?”

Mama Nneoma is wailing louder and the doctor has a strange look on his face and pity in his eyes.

“I’m sorry sir but…I’m sorry sir but the kids died before they were brought to the hospital.We did our possible best to save your wife but she didn’t make it..I’m so sorry sir”

“What?!” I stammer.I must be in a dream,a terrible nightmare.

Everything becomes dark and I lose conciousness.
****************
‘Nneoma Jay-Chikezie.1979-2008’ the first reads
‘Onyinyechi Jay-Chikezie.2001-2008’ the second reads
‘Otitodilichukwu Jay-Chikezie.2003-2008’ the third reads

I stare at the tombstones in confusion.I thought I had cried all the water in my body but I was wrong.The more I stare,the more tears roll down my cheeks.

The pain is still fresh..today is the 1st of January 2009;exactly three months since my world shattered.I haven’t gone anywhere except the cemetary since I left the hospital.I haven’t been to work for the past three months but I don’t care.I have no reason to care or to live.

I’m kneeling before the graves of the people I loved the most in the world.How could life be so cruel?How?

“I can’t move on.Nneoma,Otito,Onyinye you were my life” I cry

I get up and wipe the tears from my face.
I place a bunch on sunflowers and daisies on each grave as I have done each day since I left the hospital.

As I turn to walk away to return again tomorrow I hear Nneoma’s voice

“Chima”

I turn around in astonishment and there she is,there they are smiling and waving.

“Daddy I love you” says Otito

“Daddy I love you” says Onyinye

“Chima I love you” says Nneoma

“I love you!please stay with me” I say in tears

“No Chima.Our time is over but yours isn’t.Stay and be happy” says Nneoma

“Please don’t go”

“We have to Chima.We are in a better place but we are always in your heart.Don’t be sad,we will meet again”

They are disappearing now but I have a new found joy.As they smile and wave,I smile and wave back through my tears.
*****************
It’s been two years now since the day I saw my wife and kids at the cemetary.I still take flowers there once a week.My wife and kids may be dead but they live on in my heart.

Anytime I feel sad I hear Nneoma’s voice as clear as crystal telling me “be happy”

Eko Ile

>
I run hurriedly towards the bustop.I can see the conductors pointing towards their yellow and black painted buses.As I approach the bustop I can hear their croaky voices shouting
“CMS,CMS,CMS!”
“Ketu,Ojota!”
“Yaba,Onipan,Palmgroove!”
“Maryland”
When I first came to Lagos everything the conductors said sounded like Greek to my untrained and Lagos inappropriate ears but now I can make out the places they mention like a pro.I struggle through the tens of people all rushing into the bus heading for Maryland.Successfully seated,I wipe the sweat off my brow with the back of my palm as I listen to the conductor’s familiar call
“make una hold your thirty thirty naira oh,me no get change!”.Inspite of the stink of fish and sweat filling the bus and the loud groaning sound of the engine,my mind drifts back to a day just like this;the day I came to Lagos.

I had just gotten my admission letter to the University of Lagos which was no surprise since my JAMB and WASSCE results were the best in the whole of Orumba South local government.Eventhough it was obvious that it was the end of my educational journey since my parents,a poor farmer and a petty trader were too poor to pay for even the cheapest tertiary institution in Anambra state,I was hopeful.I had written severally to my mother’s brother,uncle Chima in Lagos concerning the possibility of me coming to stay with him and of him sponsoring my university education and he finally replied with a letter saying that he would be coming to the village that weekend.After waiting all week with baited breath,I watched his car pull up in front of our practically destroyed house and my heart leaped for joy when he told me I would be leaving for Lagos with him the very next day.The next day bright and early,after my parents hugged me and prayed for me for what seemed to be like eternity,we were off.Uncle Chima was a quick driver and we arrived in Lagos just before the sun went down.I remember staring out of the window in awe as I watched a seemingly impossible amount of people and cars breeze by.As the hawkers shouted ‘gala’,’pure water’,’la casera’,I shook my head and smiled at each one in amazement and they all peered at me suspiciously and said things to me in Yoruba which sounded so foreign,so magical to my ears.The bright lights,the voices,the people,the buildings;Lagos seemed like heaven to me that day,the place where dreams came true!If only it had turned out to be so…
I am brought back to reality as I see with my peripheral vision that the bus is about to pass my bustop.
‘Mr Biggs bustop o wa oh!’ I scream.
‘You dey sleep before?’ the conductor hisses at me as the bus slows but does not come to a stop.I jump out of the moving vehicle,this is a skill I have perfected in my 6 month stay in Lagos.I begin to walk briskly down the street to the house fully aware of the area boys lurking in the corners.

As I get to uncle Chima’s house,I open the gate and run quickly to our generator with the keg of fuel I’ve just bought.I pour in the fuel and pull the rope on the generator and after 3 or so energy draining tries,it jerks to life and I switch over from NEPA to generator and go in as I see signs of electricity.It used to take me longer to carry out this routine but NEPA’s consistency in depriving us of power has made me perfect in yet another ‘Lagosian’ skill.I run upstairs to our appartment of the 6th floor and as I step through the door,a heavy hand lands sharply on my face and I stagger a bit before I regain balance.my hand is now on my burning cheek as I look up and see that it is aunty Ify,uncle Chima’s wife who hit me accross the face.
“Where were you,ehn?!my friend where are you coming from?!” she screams.
“Aunty you know there is fuel scarcity so I had to go to 5 different filling stations before I got the little fuel I put in the gen” I say.
“Mcheeew!my friend get into the kitchen and start pounding the yam for dinner,take Nonso with you”..I take the screaming baby and as I start to walk to the kitchen,she shouts
“hey Ngozi where is my change”.I hand her the 200 naira.
“What is this?!why is it 200 naira?!” She inquires loudly like a cobra ready to attack.
“Aunty I took a bus because the place where I bought the fuel was very far” I say in mouse-like whispers.
“Idiot!Anu!onye ara!you could not walk gbo?!is it your foolish father that worked for the money?!go and pound that yam before I descend on you!mbeke!”.I sprint to the kitchen,strap Nonso on my back and pound as quickly and as perfectly as I can;I serve the food and take it to aunty Ify in her room.she takes one look at the food and says
“give it to the dog”.
I blink severally
“ehn?!” I manage to say.
“Idiot are you deaf,give it to Lucky.I am not hungry!better don’t eat it because if you do,I will kill you this night.go and pour it in Lucky’s bowl.I’ll be watching u from the window”.I give Lucky the food that took all my remaining energy to prepare and he turns his nose up at it and runs away.

All the lights in the house are turned off now and everyone is asleep even Nonso eventhough it took me 2 hours to get him to sleep but I know that my duties for the day are not over.There’s a brief,soft rap on my door;it’s my last duty for the day.uncle Chima comes in,takes off his wrapper and mounts me.I don’t make any sound or movement,I just lie there and let him have his way.when he is done he says his usual ending note
“don’t worry oh nne,you will go to school very soon’ and he leaves to return again tomorrow night.

I’m fully convinced that I will never go to school.I cannot go back to the village because my parents will never believe that their only child’s only uncle and his wife turned her into a sex slave and a domestic servant.I cannot run away because I cannot survive out there on the cold streets of Lagos without shelter or food.Yet,I know I cannot stay here.
I get out of bed,walk to the balcony of the appartment and look down.I used to cry but the well from which my tears were drawn has long dried,I no longer feel the hurt or the pain.my body is an emotionless,soul-less empty shell.

Lagos was my future,the place that seemed so distant and so magical to me back in the village.The successful people say “Eko ile!Lagos my home.Eko o ni baje oh” but those at the bottom know that Lagos is a jungle,a dog-eat-dog world,a place of survival only for the fittest.The beggers on the streets,the hawkers,the area boys,the pick pockets,the burglers,the house helps,the yahoo yahoo boys know that Lagos is no fantasy land,Lagos is a battle field.I am sure that every mad person on the street,contrary to the belief that black magic is the cause of their madness,has run mad because of the soul draining,heart wrenching horror of surviving in Lagos.Lagos is the most populated state because people in the villages,people in other states,like me,keep running to Lagos to fulfill their goals,to live their dreams of being rich,of going to school,of starting businesses,of getting jobs;If only they knew.Lagos is not heaven,Lagos is not shangrila.I now know that though life is hard,the universe has made it harder in Lagos.
My life flashes before my eyes,the times when I was happy in the village.My parents will forgive me eventually I think as I jump.My soul-less body hits the ground.

Goodbye cruel world,goodbye Lagos