Lila: Broken but Free

Lila: Broken but Free
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I couldn’t have screamed even if I wanted to. My hands were bound behind my back, a gag stuffed in my mouth, and a switch-knife that he brandished happily swung way too close to my eyes. I flinched back to avoid that same knife ending up in my eyes but he only came closer.

I felt the fear wetting my pants; the sudden chills shaking me as hard as a house being tossed by a hurricane but I know what any sudden movements will cost me. Continue reading

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Memoirs Of An African Woman

Memoirs Of An African Woman
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I am an African woman. Is it because I was born in Africa or is it because of the color of my skin?

Pray, do tell me what makes me an African woman. Is it my springy kinky hair that just won’t grow as long as I would want it to or is it because of my rather large behind?  Maybe I am an African woman because of my knack to cook large meals that could feed nations or perhaps the idea that I can scrub and clean all day and still look after a dozen children? Oh, and lest I forget, I could most probably be an African woman because my husband is yet to “officially” marry me because he cannot afford to raise my bride-price as per tradition.

My mind wanders to my unfulfilled dreams. Do they make me an African woman or am I an African woman because I am only alive in my dreams? I know what I want but cannot do because I should not. I would bring shame to my people. I am an African woman. Continue reading

The Lie Called Love

The Lie Called Love
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Caine,

This is me baring my heart to you for the last time. This email about the lie I lived with you is just for closure and my peace of mind.

You used to be everything to me. I couldn’t imagine spending what’s left of my life with anyone else but if pigs had wings…but then they don’t.

The lie I lived was believing you actually care about me. It was feeling that I wasn’t just one of your conquests but your one true love.

The lie I lived was in hoping that I mattered to you; that you couldn’t live or breathe without me. Continue reading

My Run-In With Infidelity: A Short Story

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He loved me. He really did. And I loved him too but I didn’t know what I was doing was wrong. I had fallen into a trap that was hard for me to get out of. It was more than a trap. It was a pit. A version of hell that I fell into. But I didn’t intend to.

I didn’t want to come to this marriage counsellor’s office. We aren’t even married yet. But I am not willing to give up on him. He isn’t willing to give up on me. Although he’s really hurt. He’s been quieter than dew falling on the ground. That is not a good sign.

But I don’t know how to fix this. I didn’t intend to hurt him. But I have.

I know I’m rambling but there is a point to all this.

I met Adam 4 years ago. He was tall, cute, dimpled and simply amazing. The first son of his parents, Adam was well-brought up. And I am proud of that. He knew (still knows) how to treat a woman right. Out of all the guys I had dated, Adam was and still is the only one I could imagine spending the rest of my life with. Too cliché? Nah. We started as friends…everyone always starts as friends. But, we clicked…just like that. It was like I had known him all my life. We talked about any and everything. From music to food, politics, sports (not that I understood a lot about it) and every other subject that was boring. Yeah, he always found a way to make boring topics not boring.

Adam, to me, was the perfect guy. We started dating about a year after we met. Everything was perfect. We had our hot moments. We had our beefing moments. He could make me really angry, especially when we were supposed to meet up. Did I tell you Adam owns a shipping and cargo company? Yeah. He was always travelling but the times he was around were the happiest times of my life. Adam knew exactly what to say to calm me down, help me sort out my headaches. He could also give a really good massage (had the perfect pair of hands).

Adam was the love of my life. So when he proposed 2 years later, I was on cloud9. It’s been 8 months since then. I thought Adam would be around more for me. Don’t get me wrong, I understood the nature of his work. But, I also wanted more for me. I wanted some more “us time” but it seemed Adam traveled more after he proposed. I was happy …for about 5 months. Then, I got cold feet.

We’re supposed to be getting married in February. That’s 2 months from now. But, Adam…I hurt Adam badly.  I didn’t intend to.

I work at an Advertising firm as their Chief Accountant. One of the biggest around here. Karen, my closest friend, had been instrumental in helping me get that job. I love my work but I had already made up on my mind that family and Adam came first. So, I made sure I left work early…no overtime for me. But I was one of the best.

I went home alone, ate alone, danced alone and talked to myself. Because Adam wasn’t there. He had been on one of his long trips again. I didn’t mind. Or I thought I didn’t.

I remember the day Gary came into the building. Karen said he was the new head of the Copywriting Department. I was okay with that. It really wasn’t any of my concern. But I met Gary during our lunch break. He weirdly reminded me of Adam but he wasn’t as tall…or as cute…or as funny. We had a short conversation and that was it. I had no encounters with Gary until 3 days later when we had an executive meeting.

Gary was well-spoken, attractive and polite. I have a thing for guys who are true gentlemen. We became friends. I didn’t realize I was gradually replacing Adam with him. Gary was fun to be with. We spoke for hours even beyond work. He would walk me to the garage and open the door for me. I’d drive off and look into my side mirror to see Gary standing and waving at me. It felt really good to have a man who paid attention to me. It felt good to know that there was someone who was truly looking out for me.  

Adam was back from his trip. I realized how much I had missed him. Within a few minutes, it was like he had never left. But, he had to travel again. And this time, he wouldn’t be back for 3 weeks. 3 weeks sounded like 3 years to me. I was sad, I was hurt. I told him we couldn’t continue like this. What would happen when we got married and had kids? Would they even know what their father looked like? He said it was just for a while, and that I shouldn’t worry about things that hadn’t happened yet. But, I knew that if we continued like this, we wouldn’t have a happy marriage.

I told him all this but he dismissed my fears. Adam traveled the very next morning. I wore sadness and hurt as a dress to the office that day. I didn’t know when I began crying into Gary’s arms. He comforted me and made me feel better. Gary became my best friend. I didn’t even know when I began to rely on Gary more than Adam. Adam would call and I would act all impatient and cranky with him. It wasn’t because I didn’t love him. It was because Gary had begun to do for me the things that Adam was supposed to do for me as my man.

Within the 3 weeks that Adam was gone, which was about 3 months to our wedding, Gary became a friend in need and in deed. I didn’t know that I had veered from the “just friends” territory into uncharted waters. I invited Gary over for dinner several times. We went to the movies and the beach. In fact, I began dating Gary without intending to. I was emotionally cheating on Adam. I almost physically cheated on him.

Adam came to my house out of the blue. He had obviously been worried that I wasn’t picking his calls or talking to him the way I used to. He cut his trip short and came home. I had just finished having dinner with Gary when he got all romantic. I was caught up in the moment and accepted his kiss. Adam came in without knocking. He had his own key to my house.

I didn’t even know Adam had been standing by the door to the kitchen in shock. It was Gary that first took note that there was someone in the house. I jumped back when I heard a smug “hello” from Gary. I pulled back in shock to see Adam with tears in his eyes.

I swallowed and tried to call Adam’s name but I croaked instead. He turned around and walked out of the house. I tried running after him but Gary held me back. He said that I didn’t need to run after Adam. He said Adam didn’t deserve me. He said he (Gary) loved me but I felt hurt and didn’t register that initially. When I did, I told Gary I didn’t love him. That kissing him had been a huge mistake. I left Gary in my house, picked up my car keys and drove to Adam’s house. He wasn’t there.

I called Adam for days, he wouldn’t pick up. I camped outside his house and his parents’ house but I didn’t see him. I explained to his parents what had happened. They were disappointed in me but said they understood that I would have been feeling lonely.

I felt sick and looked sick at hurting Adam. It was then I realized that only Adam was everything to me.

I didn’t hear from Adam for 2 weeks. When I did hear from him, it was to see him waiting for me in my house when I got back from work. He looked so thin and haggard and broken. I didn’t know when I fell on my knees before him, telling him how sorry I was. He joined me on the floor and wrapped his arms around me. It felt like home. It was home.

But, Adam is still hurt. Which is why we’re in this marriage counsellor’s office. He said he has forgiven me but that he still can’t get over seeing me in another man’s arms.

I love Adam with all my heart and soul. But, what do I do now?

I cheated on him emotionally but I want my Adam back. What do I do?

 

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Caged…(2)

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My father made it big, received several entrepreneurship awards in and outside the country. Everyone knew Mr Amaechi, even had pet names for him like “the jaguar”, “the money man”…and so on like that. He never let it get to his head because he never wanted to make the same mistakes his parents had made with him and his siblings- dying without securing their futures.

“Desmond, when are you coming back to the office?” My father had asked on several occasions. And my uncle always smiled and said “When the time is right”. I never understood what he meant, my parents never did too. We just assumed he needed a break. A break that was quite a break.

My mother had another child when I was ten. She and my father had been trying so it truly was a wonderful event. I was happy I now had a younger brother to play with and care for like I did my dolls. My brother was a gift. A gift I will always be grateful for even if we only had a short time together. He was always happy, even when everyone else wasn’t. Well, what else could you expect from a child?
We were very happy. Daddy would make time for all of us so we could have a family day; no matter how busy his week had been; my mother always cooked and I would always help. Those were happy times.
Until the accident…

We were on our way back from church. Daddy had decided to drive, like he always did on Sundays, nothing had seemed wrong with the car when we left for church. But on our way back from church, things went haywire. We had been singing along with the radio. My dad had had a thing for old gospel and blues and he passed that love to us. The road had been quite traffic free but the oncoming trailer had probably forgotten that that particular road was one way. I was fifteen, and I knew that.

Daddy tried stopping the car and letting the truck pass but the brakes would not work. Not even the wheel worked. And the road was narrow. My mom kept praying, my brother began to cry as if he knew something was wrong. My father, even in shock, kept pressing the horn of the car, it was out of commission, he looked at me and my brother in the frontal mirror with tears in his eyes, looked at his wife, left the wheel of the car and hugged her. The last thing I heard was “I’m sorry” and then there was blankness…