A letter to Her, from Me

Lying on my bed with so much I could do; notes to study for tests, novels to read for leisure, food to cook for lunch, I am not lost for what to do and even the time I think I have, might not be enough to accomplish all these. I could blab on and on about more things I could be doing this afternoon, but sometimes, the mind only has one thing it would rather be doing asides which, nothing else can satisfy.
Yesterday, as I sat on that chair staring at you, I was captivated by your smile; the way your lips curved, like Cupid’s bow, shooting a quiver at my heart; the upper lip marked with a beauty mark on each half, the faint on the left and the evident, that one on the right. I stared into your eyes, drowning in their power to stop time. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
I marvelled at your intellect, I can’t outright say how, but I saw your willingness to learn and amass information. Few things, only few things attract me more to ladies, and that’s not all.
I remember the first day I actually came to see you, that day your cohort studied on what not to give in a relationship. Now, I’m not in any way as innocent as I should be. I have known women, maybe more than a few, and I wasn’t planning for a ‘sexless-ba-touching’ relationship when next I dated. Somehow, I had given up on finding a woman who still held on to such ageless morals and virtues. Maybe I felt undeserving of such a woman but you guys brought back to my attention; there are those set apart – who refuse to eat of the ‘King’s table’ but are better nourished.
This is still not all but it touches the three things I look out for in people, In women; The Body, The Mind, and The Spirit… In no particular order.
I don’t believe there is one person fashioned by the creator for each and everyone of us, or to have success in a relationship, a family, we must find and connect to that one. I don’t believe people fall in love or out of love, God is not an accident. I do believe though, that we Love, a decision we can make or not. I believe we are created thus.
I can’t describe sufficiently how I long to hear your voice, that tiny treble musical in every note. Your captivating voice.

I’d love to kiss you. Whatever follows should be fun and I can’t say I never thought of the various possibilities, but I will respect you, whatever your decision – the best wine takes time and I am willing to wait for that perfection –  this is assuming I am lucky enough to have the conversation go that far.

I decided that first day I came to see you. I want to open up my heart to you, to give you my all if you welcome me. I would like to date you, and hope it doesn’t end there if you are willing… Only if you are willing.
I decide to Love you.
I realise opening our hearts to Love is a hard task. It opens us up, makes us feel vulnerable with neither armour nor shield, yet, that I would like to dare ask of you. “Open up your heart, welcome me.
You’ve said you want to take your time, that I respect. You don’t want to go into yet another mistake, that I understand. You believe you’d know the one when you see him, so I’m tempted to just be cowed and probably never show you this writing, wait for that love angel to show you a picture of me as I pretend I’m contented being your friend, wanting nothing more. That may save my head from another No, the two alphabets of rejection that makes some feel ‘Not Good Enough’ as maybe, just maybe you feel nothing for me…

…. But I won’t, I didn’t, I just showed you.

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HANG IN

Dear sons,
I have missed chances and overlooked privileges, I have failed attempts and successful outcomes, and all of them have shaped me to the man writing this letter.

Please find love in your teenage hood, don’t wait till everything is grey and stale, careful and unadventurous. Don’t wait till all the pulse is collapsed.
Find love and don’t clog your heart; let her in and walk you through your dark corridors. Your heart thumb loud, and she’d make your lips say funny words. Don’t forget to tell her how beautiful her nose is, mimic how she throws her head from side to side when she smiles. Tell her how her gait reminds you of a childhood dream, how her scent seduces.

Tell her also how angry she makes you, and if ever be a moment to be jealous, shut your lips.

Love is beautiful, and don’t you mind what anybody will tell you, it is the best of things. So when she finally breaks your heart, and she will; don’t hate love for it, don’t forget love is beautiful still. That the sharpest knives cut deepest and the most beautiful things hurt most. But you should still fall in love and don’t clog your heart, the scars of heartbreak will strengthen you more than any whip on naked back can. Think less about her and let her stay in the history she choose. If you ever have the might, forgive her, remember she is just lost in the world like you, or your sisters.

I’d beg you, fall in love again. Find a woman you love and loves you back and stay faithful to her, yet do not waste energy on a love that wants to leave; it’s sign post for the blind and music for the deaf.

As your teenage peak and the hormones rage, and the girls don’t give more than kisses, you’d be tempted, first in the shower, to stimulate your erection and stroke it back to flaccidity.
Neither I nor your mother will be there, and I cannot promise you that it will feel bad or you will try to stop, the urge will surge, and crack you at late lonely nights. It is additive, it weakens the bones and toxic to the brain, it will attack your self-image, and soon it will be awkward to stare at your mother’s beautiful iris comfortably. But your mother, do not stop to behold her beauty please, allow your brains to evolve and your bones, concrete.

Money is funny, and not even I understands it well. It is a concubine, visiting when all is dark and dead, and leaving before the torch behind the skies light. It’s a concubine whose naked skin and back-door acrobatics will leave you insatiable. I hope this will be easy for you, but like all skillful concubines, they will snap your spine if you let them. They are best gifted to the bachelor with no woman and much need for a cozy skin; give out money as soon as you’ve earned it– and yes, you must earn all your money, it will fetch you honour and loyalty. You will find out how cheap people are, and your spine will stay by you till old age.

You will get to school and it will be hostile there from the first day. You’d cry and find someone who will make you cry, but please, stay in school. Do your assignments yourself, that way you won’t feel out of place when you sneak pornography between your notebooks, you won’t feel like an empty head when you’re chased out of class. Stay in school and learn fancy English, and calculus and relativity of matter. Read books twice as you sleep, tell your mother when school becomes difficult; I might not understand you well enough.

Just stay in school and keep learning daily, and one day, just when you’ve learnt enough, money will find you. Nobody finds it, it finds us. And you will know when it has found you, it might propel you to finish the degree or compel you to stop in your track, but like all matters of the heart, you’ll know when it’s your call.

Church and religion is difficult to talk about, it is mostly political and limiting. Find a religion that reads a book, has order, respects the neighbours and has flaws historically. Bow to their god and meditate a lot, until you can obtain absolute solitude, do not call yourself a god, solidarity with your brothers and worship of your creator is your best strength. You must not inherit my church, but respect the rosary, make the sign-of-the-cross when you are out on options, say “My help is in the name of the Lord” when you’re troubled, and “Glory be to the father” when you’re grateful. Fast and forgive trespassers, other than these, stay away from the drunken argument of religion and its sickening politics.

Emotions will rush afore you like dust in the Sahara, but be calm and strong. Fear and anger are bilious, do not taste them, do not serve them. Gratitude and love can bloat, do not hold them to yourself.

Finally, family is a gift. I speak of your uncles and cousins and grandparents also; the inseparable sheath that feeds and protects you, even the days you doubt these, they love you endlessly. Open your worries to them and let them see your intent. Success or failures must not break the bridges between you, shed-off your garment of pride or sorrow whenever you smell your blood. Family is all you’d ever truly have.

Nel Ibuola lives in Jos, where he studies medicine. He has just finished work on his first book- Things Easily Lost, which he published free electronically on OkadaBooks. This letter is an extract from the short fiction. He tweets from @n_ibuola, and blogs on nelibuola.wordpress.com.

Thanks for the time spared to read this. Please endeavor to leave your thoughts, views and/or comments behind. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Iyim-Eli

Talk about her

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I do not remember how it all started but there she was. A little shy of 6 feet, she stood. She loves the braids, a fro or low cuts. With every style she looks like the inventor. A look into her eyes is colourful. Her smile; a genre of music. The way she walks makes the Queen a learner. With those steps she walked into my life. My lady is beauty. She is the template.

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She speaks to me. We talk. The world stands still. Her voice is soothing, like the Angels on high. Maybe, she is one come to me. Her speech is faultless. No cynicism comes from her; she is an optimist. Her words carry power, authority, yet, she is gentle, never rude. Wisdom gathered from ages of insatiable quest for knowledge flows from her lips; from her actions. She believes in my dream, I believe in hers; we share a dream, what she wants I want, What I want, she wants. My lady reads my mind, I read hers. We understand each other. We are together.

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She is my music and I am hers. I love it when she raps along me, even though missing words from my favourite rap songs. I cherish when she writes love songs about us. We tango, salsa, we cha cha. The ever changing Nigerian dance steps, she teaches me. She loves to dance and I’m ever ready to waltz her. When I let go of her –  she is confident, proud, strong, courageous, she is intimidating; yet meek, humble, kind hearted, she is patient –  she always dances her way back to me. Even though capable on our own, we are complete with each other.

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I can be annoying, sometimes. She isn’t perfect either. We have our fights, the pillows and sometimes the silent treatment. she sometimes says she hates me but her dreamy eyes always tells the truth. I tease her, she teases me. The fights always end before its even noticed. The make-up is always sexy. She is perfect for me.

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She loves to pray. My own loves God. She is spiritual, she is not spooky. She is a believer, she is not religious. She is disciplined, a great mother. Our children adore her, my mother loves her. She is an awesome home keeper, she is hardworking. My lady is beautiful, smart, she is funny and kind. She is worth more than rubies, diamonds and pearls. She is worthy of my love. She means the world to me. She is with me what ever may be, she changes my world, forever.

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She makes me love every day as it’s sure she is by me.  She is my high. She is my Ecstasy. She is my head cheerleader. My swimsuit model. I trust her. She brings me good. No harm.

I love my lady, my lady loves me.

I open my eyes, my love is no where to be found. I worry not. She is on her way. Won’t be a moment late. But while I wait, I build myself, to a gentleman. A man worthy of her, My love.

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Uncertainty

A couple of days back, on Friday to be precise, three friends of mine and i left the Gym and were on our way home when I suggested we visit the market so i could get something to cook. At the market, I started to buy random things, things not consistent with any particular soup. I hadn’t made my mind up on what I was going to cook, but I knew I wanted to cook and I was going to.
Thinking about that incident today, i realise that sometimes in my life I act as though I do not care about what comes out of what I do (as a matter of fact at such times I care most but just choose to be unmindful no matter what the outcome may be). I just go about my business perching where I find fit. At such times I find myself almost always getting the most favourable results. Even when I don’t get favourable results I find myself happy anyways.
On the other hand, sometimes I find myself really serious, so concerned about what the outcome of my actions may be that I get jittery, nervous and as flexible as an iron bar. On many of those instances, I’ve gotten unfavourable results and i end up sad with gloom spelt perfectly on my face.
This is my first original post this year and I’ll like to use this medium to send a pretty simple message; its a new year and we know not exactly what lies ahead, thus the title of my post. I believe a lot of people like myself are hopeful of a year better than the last and we all will experience different things daily, though sometimes, life will try to force us to get too serious and worry about the uncertainties, I’ll like to say “Certainty is relieving, but uncertainty isn’t always bad. Sometimes, there is more fun in going with the flow. Don’t take life too serious, enjoy it”.

Here is a picture of what I ended up with on Saturday by the way.

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Spontaneity got me this.

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The Walk Out…

He walks down the street observing, he hasn’t walked this long in a while. He notices two men about his age sitting on a bench just long enough for two of them to sit comfortably, under the enormous mango tree. He has history with that tree. He had broken his lower left canine after he fell from that same tree when he was seven, about twenty-three years earlier in his hunger for a mango fruit that turned out unripe, coincidentally the two young men are sitting just at the spot he had fallen long ago. He walked to the two young men.
“Guys what’s up? How wuna dey?” He asked, stretching his right hand towards the darker fellow of the two whose build alleged he was a manual worker.
“Baba we fine oh. Men just dey chill small after man hustle”, replied the other fellow, trying to avoid an awkward moment of silence as his companion seems dazed and just gone dumb as though hit by an imaginary tranquilizer. He returned the hand shake.
“I just wan know if any place dey wey I fit watch arsenal match around here”, Inquired Uche.
“No wahala. Just walk down this road till you reach one container wey dem dey sell recharge card, you go see one lungu by the left side, follow am go till you reach one zinc house after one small field. Dem de show football there”, Hamza answered with every of his word associated with a gesture.
“Thank you”, Uche said and left.
“No be that rich man wey dey drive hummer pass be that?” Emeka, who seemed to have awoken from his trance asked with a puzzled look on his face. His face always looked puzzled anyways.
Hamza burst into a throaty laugh. Just when it seemed he was about to get serious he burst into another phase of laughter until this time, his stomach couldn’t hold any longer and felt like it was going to explode.
“How you go even think like that? Na wetin you been dey think wey make you look like imbecile when him wan shake you?” Hamza asked, still laughing. “How that chief go leave him house wey get all kind satellite and twenty-four hour light comot with three-quarter jeans and T-shirt come waka alone to find where to watch match?”
“Ahn ahn! Na him you come dey laugh me like say I be fool? Him really look like the chief sha. E fit be him younger brother”, Emeka replied.
“Even sef, him younger brother no go comot to find where to watch match. Na just look alike”. Hamza replied, and after a short pause continued; “maybe him get that new sickness wey the cure na to sit for heat for two hours with dorty boys”. Hamza burst into another round of laughter.
Emeka looked at him with an eye that seemed to say; “how on earth is what you just said funny?”
Uche brought out his phone from the right knee pocket of his shorts but looked back as he made to unlock it and wondered why the less built of the two was laughing so heartily. He then thought on the excuse he had given to end his planed but failed attempt to hang out with the two when he noticed the bigger guy’s unwelcoming demeanour as he arrived. He could have cracked a joke to loosen the guy up and assuage his insecurity towards talking to a millionaire his own age. Anyways, he wouldn’t let anything hamper his mood. His favourite Mark Wahlberg’s line from “the other guys” popped in his head; “I’m a peacock, let me fly”. He continued walking down the road admiring the surrounding. He saw beauty in the uncut grass, a sight that on another day might have been an eyesore. The bleached blue colour of the sky seemed unusually attractive making him wish he took a picture with his Samsung note three. The smell of wet dust from the heavy rain, the day before, refreshed him. He took a lung full and gave out a heavy sigh of relief. Deja vu. He remembers this feeling from before.

Yes! Six years ago was the last time he remembers being this happy and optimistic about the future. He was so happy and optimistic all he saw was the positive and good. He walked into a muddy pool ankle length as he was blind to negatives and couldn’t see the “bad” puddle. He was walking home from an interview that had gone really well, or so he thought, that day.
He had walked in tall, shoulders square and chin raised. His gait showed confidence and was in longer strides than he normally took, he couldn’t have been sloppy. He was well dressed, to the “T”. A female interviewer had complimented him on walking in.
“Thank you. I learnt from your workers. If I hadn’t known other important facts about your company like hard work and diligence, my first reply will be your workers dress well, if asked what I know about your company.”
“That is flattering” she had replied.
“Good day sir!”, “Good day ma!” he had greeted each of the interviewers accordingly on the other side of the conference table shaking them all firmly with a strong yet gentle eye contact. A smile never unglued from his face. There was six of them, two beautiful ladies. He remembers vividly
As the interview went on he remembered thinking, wondering actually how he had suddenly gained all the confidence he exuded. Just moments before then he had been overly dosing himself with Wikipedia articles-“how to develop confidence”, “how to talk in front of an audience”, “how to look charismatic”, “how to this”, “how to that”- whatever “how to” he felt could help with his interview. Some he had read trice, some five times as he sometimes felt he wasn’t comprehending. He was too cautious to read any just once. Now all he had read play themselves out in his actions as though he authored them, all hail the Mighty Guru Subconscious mind.
He had gotten an email three days after the interview from the company and the five or so minutes from the notification to reading the mail had been the longest in his memorable life. His heart had galloped like a thousand horses, his hands shook like a millet grain on the aged local grinding engine his mum always sent him to grind beans for the family Wednesday night “Alele”(moin-moin) when she was alive. If it weren’t for his tremors the anxiety moment would have lasted longer. In his tremor he had pressed a button on his third-hand Blackberry Curve revealing the message;
“We appreciate your time in making yourself
available for the company’s interview.
We regret to inform you though that the
vacancy has been occupied by a more qualified
applicant. Please try us again some other time.”
His initial thought as the dust raised by a thousand horses prevented lucid thinking was to slam the phone on the floor. No, get a sledge hammer and smash the phone then pick the pieces and flush down the toilet. Luckily for him he was able to wade through the dust and realize that action wouldn’t hurt the company in any way.
He found out later that by “more qualified” they meant the other guy has the same second class upper degree on his certificate but from a foreign university. The name of which he heard for the first time with that gist, hasn’t come across ever since and can’t even remember. He had been bitter. Would he have gotten that job if he had a first class? If his lecturers hadn’t called him and a few others in his class just before they graduated to tell them “you all merited a first class but wouldn’t be given one as we your lecturers graduated with second classes, and you will disrespect us if we give you a first class and you return for post graduate” but instead gave each of the students what they deserved, would he have gotten the job? Some questions never get answered. Those didn’t.

Uche was jacked back into the present as a reckless driver drove too wide into the pedestrian area and almost hit him. He was startled and dropped his phone. The driver made no effort to stop and inquire if all was well his narrowly escaped victims as he accelerated more. Uche made to pick his phone and smiled at the site of his lock screen photo. Executives of a company at their five year anniversary with the company’s Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O). The company he had started five years ago, about a year after that faithful interview. The C.E.O Uche Okadigbo Mbamalu. The picture was taken earlier on that faithful day he decided to leave the comfort of his air-conditioned house and hummer jeep to spend the evening how he usually spent it in his early twenties.

Thanks for the time spared to read this. Please check out my other post Taking a leap