December 22, 2012


I love Adele's song daydreamer. It makes me want to fall in love with the boy next door, the who has stars in his eyes, the one who dreams and makes you want to live out his dreams, the one who will try his darndest and hardest to make all those amazing dreams come true for you. Boys like these are too few and far between. 

This story does not in anyway support the marriage fraud that too many Nigerians engage in. This story does not judge either. This story is pure fiction and is just my imagination running away with me. This story is for all those boys with stars in their eyes and dreams everyone else says will never be nothing more than dreams; keep those dreams alive!

The world he woke up to was pure and devoid of color. There were no sounds except for the breathing of the woman beside him and the croaking of the pipes that heated the tiny apartment. He stared out of the window, seeking a sign that the world did not end last night.

His vigil was soon rewarded as children poured out from the other apartments in droves, like ants drawn to a world of pure white cane sugar. Chaos reigned supreme as they engaged in all kinds of play. It was Ibe’s first time seeing snow and he wondered if that was enough of an excuse to join the children in their play. He thought about the story a teacher had once read out loud to him and his Primary 2 classmates. The story was about a snow man that had come to life at night, after the children who made him had gone to sleep. The snowman had walked away that very night and was never seen again. The story had left Ibe feeling sad but as he watched the children play in the snow, he thought he knew exactly what that snowman had gone in search of.

The woman he called wife was awake. They had been married for five months now, yet this was only the 3rd  week they had lived together. She tumbled out of bed and smiled a hello. She was beautiful in ways he could not appreciate. Her skin burnt when she was out long in the sun and turned the color of the clay his grandmother used to make her water pots. Her eyes were green like the waters of the river he bathed in as a child. Her accent was soft and missing the rich timbres of the Igbo dialect that was familiar and soothing.

'What do you want for breakfast?' She asked as she stretched.

His stomach turned at the thought of bland eggs and rubbery pancakes, the limit of her culinary expertise. Usually, he did all of the cooking, even when they were together and she was supposed to be pretending to be his wife. This past week though, she had been especially nice and had gone out of her way to do things for him that they both knew were unnecessary in their charade of a marriage. There were little things any wife would ordinarily be expected to do for her husband; things like sewing his torn work shirt or ordering for pizza when he got home too tired to cook. But she was not really his wife and he was not really her husband and so the little things were really big things.

'I am ok.' He answered. 'I have to go in a few minutes anyway. I will grab something from Popeyes.'
She smiled knowingly and said. ‘Maybe for Christmas we can go to the Nigerian restaurant we went to with your friends after court the other day.’
She was referring to the 'little reception' they had had for a few guests, mostly his friends, after signing the marriage certificate five months back. The agency that had helped him file for his papers had said everything had to look as real as possible to prevent the immigration people from being suspicious. And so they had a reception, cake included, for a marriage that was never even true.

'It is a little expensive.' He replied, his palms sweaty at the memory of the hundreds of dollars he had had to cough up for that.
'My treat.' She said as she walked away from the bedroom.

America was supposed to be the place where his dreams came true. The dreams he had of sending his brothers to school, the ones of buying his mother a new wrapper every other day and not only at Christmas, and lastly, those of showing Ugomma, the only woman he had ever loved, the world. Dreams that would never see the light of day in Onitsha, had a fighting chance in that wonderful place called America, everyone else assured him. All he had to do was dream about going to America and make that one dream came true. Everything else would fall into place.

No one told him that in America, just like in Onitsha, dreams died every day. No one, not even him, with his 2nd Class Upper degree in Sociology, considered that maybe the dreams that came true in America were of a different kind from the ones homegrown in Onitsha.

Her name was Francesca and yesterday they had made love for the first time. Ibe would have loved to blame it on the fact that sharing sleeping space with someone of the opposite sex was never a good idea. He would have also loved to believe that it would never happen again but deep in his belly, he knew something had changed forever. 

She was making breakfast in the kitchen; a space that was 1/5th of his mother’s backyard kitchen in Onitsha. He was yet to pay her the monthly installment that was payment for helping him acquire a green card. She had not brought it up even though he was 10 days late and now she wanted to buy him food, real, expensive Nigerian food for that matter. He thought of Ugomma, the woman he had dreamed of showing the world. She had never been one to miss an opportunity to remind him of when the monthly allowance he paid into her account was due. He could not imagine her offering to pay for any of the stuff they had done together.

The radio in his tiny kitchen was blaring out a song about dreams and white Christmases and Francesca was singing along. Most of the dreams that had followed him from Onitsha were long dead and new ones had sprung up in their place.

Instead of school, he now dreamed of setting his brothers up in the lucrative Tokunbo car importation business. Instead of expensive George wrappers that his mother stored up for the moths, Ibe dreamed of the day she would come to America and join the mothers of his Nigerian friends who had taken to jeans and trainers like they were born to it.  Ugomma’s dream, he could do nothing about as she had stopped taking his calls once his promises of Moneygram had proved inconsistent.

But here was a new dream staring him in the face after last night, one that threatened to take up the empty space Ugomma had left in his heart. One that he had slept with and was still there when he opened his eyes. He stared out the ice crusted windows and replaced the children playing in the snow with his own. He turned away from the window, closed his eyes and relieved kissing her. Her thin lips had been softer than he could have ever dreamed. He took a deep breath and imagined the scent of the cheap shampoo he had bought her for Christmas. The cosmetics store salesperson had assured him that every woman would want to smell like that. He opened his eyes and found himself staring into her green eyes. It was everything he could do not to kiss her.

She smiled and held out a plate of steaming eggs and he could see the little slices of pepper and onions in them.

‘Are you daydreaming again?' She asked, the smile never leaving her face. 'I made the eggs a little spicy. Maybe you could eat these instead of Popeyes.’
'Maybe I could take you out on a proper date when I get back to night.’ He replied, daring to say his dreams out loud for the first time since he got to America.

She leaned in to kiss him and to open the door for one dream. 

Song of the day: Adele- Daydreamer (Well of course)

December 16, 2012

The Last Time

I tell myself that this is the last time. I move in sync with his rhythm, I moan when he stops, I shudder when he resumes, I cry joyful tears in his arms when it is over. These are things I never do with the one at home. The one who will be waiting with dinner ready, the one who would have tucked in the kids, the one whose diamonds adorn my finger.

I make to leave and he pulls me back into bed.
‘We need to stop’ I tell him the same thing I tell him every other time.
‘I know.’ He replies. ‘After this one last time.’
He takes one nipple in his mouth and we are back where we started.

I watch him watching me; the mirror reflects the desire in his eyes and it is everything I can do not to get back into the bed I just left.
I do not kiss him goodbye. I know better than that.
The drive home is shorter than it seems. He is waiting for me in the dark, wine glass in hand.

‘Hello.’ he says as I walk in.
‘Hi! Did you have a good day?’ I say as I take off the jacket, remembering how the lover almost tore it off me a few hours ago.

My husband does not respond. The room is silent except for his breathing but I hear the words loud and clear. I hear the pleas in his inhalations. He exhales and the sadness I have soaked him in is a loud cymbal clanging against the ears of my heart. I stand and watch him take another sip of wine. The bottle in front of him is almost empty. This is what I have done to the man I swore to love and protect. He sits there, sprawled on the couch where my lover once took me. I want to take him in my arms. I want to promise him that this is the last time and mean it. I want to make it better.

‘I am sorry.’ I say.
He says nothing still.
‘It won’t happen again. This is the last time.’ I say even louder.
He continues to breathe.
‘I promise.’ I whisper.

We stay like that for I do not know how long. The clock chimes and reminds us of how time stops for no one; not even when we need it to.

He gets up and stumbles towards me. I catch him before he can fall. This is who I am meant to be, the one who breaks his fall, and not the one who trips him.

He takes me there on the floor. I do not move in sync with his rhythm. I do not moan when he stops to catch his breath. I do not shudder when he resumes. I do not cry joyful or sad tears when it is over. He does the crying  and I just lay there and hold him, whispering promises that I cannot keep.

Song of the day: Matt Nathanson-Faster

December 3, 2012

Watering Holes

The first time I saw her was at the well. My mother had sent me to fetch water for my father’s evening bath and I had grumbled my way to a slap. I was still sniffing when I reached the well.

I cleaned my tears and snot away as soon I realized I had company. I knew almost everyone that came to the well and the child setting her pail down did not seem familiar.

‘Hello.’ She called out to me noticing my hesitance to come any further than I had done.
‘Hello.’ I said. Or rather, I croaked, the effect of my recent crying. I cleared my throat and tried again.
‘Hello. Who are you?’ I said in a stronger voice.
‘My name is Boma and I just turned 8 years old.’

So that was how it was going to be; I was not yet 8 and I could already feel her stamping her authority over our relationship based on her seniority in age. I had to do something quickly if i wanted to be friends with her. I looked her over and debated if she was worth it. She was wearing a yellow Superman shirt. He was my favorite super hero character and that was the end of my debate.

‘My name is Belema and I am 8 years and four months old’ I lied.
‘You don’t look older than 6 years old. Are you stunted in growth?’
‘Maybe. My mum always says I am small for my age but that if I eat my beans instead of throwing it out when she isn’t looking, I will grow more.’
‘My mother says the same too.’  She said in sympathy. ‘Bring your bucket nearer and I can fill it for you. I am almost done filling mine.’
‘Are you new here? I have never seen you by the well.’ I asked as she filled my bucket.
‘I live in the next house but my brother who always fetched water has gone to boarding school. My mum says it is my turn to be a big girl and help her out. I don’t like being a big girl as much as I thought I would.’
‘What is your brother’s name?’ I asked, my heart fluttering. 

The boy who always gave me sweets had stopped showing up to the well a little while back. Many times, he had helped me carry my bucket home while I skipped along the way. Everyone, even my mother, called him my husband and I would blush till my fair skin turned redder than an agbalumo fruit. I never asked his name and he never asked mine. Names were not necessary where we had love.

‘Ok.’ I said making a note to follow my new friend home one of these days and look at her family photos.

We spent the rest of the evening trading stories. I told her the best times to come to the well; when the sun was setting so it was neither too hot nor too dark to find your way back home. She told me how she missed her brother and how she really preferred Spiderman but she was wearing Ikechukwu's Superman t-shirt so she wouldn't miss him as much. I nodded my head and told her she didn't need to miss him so much since I was only a few houses away. The mosquitoes sang in our ears, telling us to go home but we ignored them and went on with building the foundation of our friendship.

By the time my mother found us and delivered another stinging slap on my buttocks, we were best friends. Day after day, we watered our friendship by the waters of the well. We went to boarding school and wrote each other letters. In one of those letters, I told her my true age and she replied with ready forgiveness. She never found out about my crush on her brother. He came home that first holiday and had new, sophisticated friends. There was no space for little sisters or their brokenhearted friends.

I haven’t seen her in ten years. Then I got an email last night;

 Hey B,
It is me Boma, your friend from the well. I met Somto, your brother yesterday at the train station. He recognized me and I am so glad he did. He tells me you are in London as well. I have the perfect meeting place if you have the time…

Of course I did not have time but I found it somehow. It is what good friends do; they make time, they find time. Like magicians, they wring it out of nothing. 5 minutes there, 30 minutes here...oil to keep the engine of friendship going. In this case, to revive it altogether.

I recognize her immediately. She is taller than I remember and I hear my mother’s voice again telling me to eat more beans. There is a small scar that I do not recognize on her cheek and her wrinkles mirror mine, telling tales of all the time that has passed. Still, it is easy to tell who she is. There is no mistaking her for someone else. With arms open wide and a smile brighter than the sun, I have had more difficult assignments than picking out my friend from all the people milling by Ceasar’s well.  

After all, a friend always, always stands out from the crowd.

Song of the day: Alicia Keys: Girl on fire

December 1, 2012

I Do Not 'Knock On Wood'

'Knock on wood'. 

A popular American phrase that irritates me to no end. It is representative of how skeptical we are about the good things in our lives. We 'knock on wood' when we talk about our hopes and good stuff happening presently in our lives. We 'knock on wood' hoping wood will prevent the bad from happening from us. Mere wood is now what we base our hopes on. 

The human race never ceases to amaze me. 

I do not 'knock on wood'.

And it isn't because i am in better moral standing than anyone else. Or because I know better. Or because bad things don't happen to me that cause me to be pessimistic or afraid of what tomorrow might bring. I am human too, as faulty and as flawed as the next; but I 'do not knock on wood'. I will NEVER 'knock on wood'.

Psalm 40 talks about waiting on God. I am not sure how much harder the people of the Psalms had it but I am sure they didn't have a lot of stuff we take for granted today. They didn't 'knock on wood'. They waited on the Lord. 

This month, let us wait on God, trusting that even when bad things happen they will turn out for our good. I am no preacher (the poorness of this post could have told you that) , no saint either but I do not 'knock on wood'. I knock on the door of heaven, on the doors of He that made wood. My hope and faith is in God.

Celebrate Jesus everyday. Don't wait for Christmas.

Song of the day: Aslan - Too late for Halleluyah

November 21, 2012

Strawberry Ice-cream

It is the season for giving thanks. 

There is so much I am looking up to God for...but they are far less than what He has already done or given me. This season, I give thanks for life, family, friends, grades, school, the ability to write, the yellow and red leaves that line my walkway, the future...

Whatever it is, no matter how terrible it seems like right now, there are reasons to be thankful and there will be even more as the day goes by.

I wrote this a few days ago...I hate strawberry ice-cream.

It is a long walk from where we parked the car and the strain of the journey is already beginning to take its toll on her. I want to pick her up like I used to but I do not.
‘Zik?’ She calls to me.
I grunt out an answer.
‘You haven’t looked at me since we got out of the car.’ She says
There are no right words to say in response and so I squeeze the hand I have been holding onto a little tighter and hope it is enough.
The sun is setting when we finally make it to the place. Nothing seems to have changed and yet we both know that everything is different. It is the same stone where we sat and shared our first kiss. It is the same green grass on which I knelt to propose. Nothing has changed and yet everything is different.
I find our spot and lay my jacket on it so she can sit. There are tears in her eyes and so I wipe them away as I hold her in my arms. We stay that way for as long as it takes. We talk about the good times; we cry over the bad; we watch the sun set as we contemplate the future.
There is more gray in her hair than I remember and I wonder if when he holds her, she finds peace as she once found in my arms. Her hair smells like the strawberries in the ice cream melting in the trunk of my car.
It will be time to leave soon. So much to say and yet so little time to say it.

‘Lola.’ I whisper into the graying hair
‘Hmmm…’ She answers.
‘You should have said ‘yes’. I say.
‘I say ‘yes’ every night in my dreams. I say ‘yes’ every time I hear a Luther Vandross song. I say ‘yes’ every day, watching my healthy children grow, knowing that I would have loved our sickle cell babies the same. I would give everything I have now to go back in time and say ‘Yes’. I would give everything I have now to have been as strong and as unafraid of the future as you were. But I was not; and that ‘No’ haunts my every waking hour. ’ She tells me.

I glance upwards, looking towards the approaching dusk. Our families will be waiting; her husband and children, my wife and child.  They will be looking at clocks and watches. They will be worried, afraid to face a future without a mother, a wife, a father, a husband. 

The stars are starting to twinkle their way through the dusk.
‘We could start all over again.’ I say to her.
She holds my face and says ‘There are some beginnings that are best ended before they begun. Too many people will suffer, Azikiwe.’

We finally pack it up, dusting the regrets and the memories of this place off our bodies and our hearts. She hands me my jacket and I take her hand. We take a few steps back up the road we came before I stop to look into her eyes one last time.

They are no more tears in them.

‘Yes.’ She says to me.

There is always an answer for this question

‘Always Lola...’ I say in reply.

The journey back is much shorter than I would have liked. We get back to the parking lot of the grocery store too soon. She gets out of the car and waves a sad goodbye. I wonder if I will ever see her again or if it will take another 20 years for me to run across the past.  
I drive home slowly, keeping one eye on the road and another on the stars. My wife’s name is Adanma. She is waiting in the living room when I get back. I hand her the melted strawberry ice-cream she sent me to the store for. I hold her in an embrace before she can ask any questions. She lets the ice-cream fall to the ground and holds on tightly.
‘I love you.’ I say.
I do not tell her ‘Yes’.
I do not tell her that whilst I did her bidding and walked the aisles of the grocery store, I found my past.
‘I love you’ I say, over and over again.

Song of the day: Kirk Franklin & Mary Mary - Thank You

November 10, 2012

Until Today becomes Yesterday

When today becomes yesterday
I will fall to pieces in your arms
And let you put me back together

When today becomes yesterday
I will hold your hand in mine
And follow wherever you lead

When today becomes yesterday
I will look forward to the tomorrow
That you can't seem to stop talking about

But until today becomes yesterday
Let me sit in these ashes
Let me lie in this despair
Let me revel in this pain

Let me be... 

Love can wait 
Until today becomes yesterday

So Seyeblogs saw this and wrote a response...find here... i think mine is much better :)

Song of the day: B.o.B - So Good

November 2, 2012


Sweet November my lovelies...

The child was awake already, Uju could tell. She wanted to awaken and bring him into bed with her but her body wouldn't move. He wasn't crying, just making cooing noises to himself. He never cried, this one, so unlike the ones that had come before him. They said a mother always loved her children equally. The people that said that obviously had never been mothers. She couldn't even hide it and she didn't try-this was ‘her child’.

The man besides her stirred and she thought of their conversation the night before.

‘You aren't helping him. Coddling him will not help him. Sooner or later you will have to face the fact that he is special and needs more than you can give him.’

She had said nothing in response but the look in her eyes had stopped the man for going any further. Who was he to say what she could give or couldn’t? Who was he to talk about the limits of her motherhood? Who was he to make her feel like she wasn't enough for a child she had nurtured within her own body for 8 months and 10 days. She had looked at him without saying a word and her husband had hissed out loud in frustration and dumped the brochures he had been holding onto her laps. She didn't even look at them before dumping them into the trash.

She reached out for the man now. She held on tight, hoping he could tell that this was her way of trying to make peace. He turned to her and she opened her eyes. It was then she saw that he had been awake for a while. There were tears in the brown eyes that were the exact same ones on the child that continued to coo.

She knew then that she wasn't the only one that loved the child in this way. She knew then that loving him the way they did would consume them and leave nothing for anyone else, not even themselves, if she let it. She knew then that she had only one choice.

There were still ears in the man’s eyes so she cleaned them with the sleeve of her nightdress. She took off the dress and gave of herself to him.  She left him fast asleep and found the other children. They slept on peacefully and her heart swelled with love for children that were just like her; ten fingers, ten toes, and full mental capacities.

The child was still cooing when she finally got to him. He turned his eyes to her and smiled that smile that must have been what the smiles of angels looked like. She smiled back.

‘Maaa- Ma’
That was the limit of his speech and she had always secretly been pleased it was her that his tongue chose.

She picked him up, her four year old, her baby, her failures and her successes rolled into one. Together, they found the trash bag and weeded out the brochures of the St. Nicholas Home for Special Children.

Song of the day: Enya- Only Time

October 25, 2012

Through the Looking Glass

There are many things she sees when she looks in the mirror. 

The child who lost a parent and disappeared in the grief that followed. 
The 11 year old who noone else saw except to wonder how she miraculously appeared at mealtimes.
The teenager who stuffed her mouth with sweets to drown the bitter taste that flooded her tongue everytime her father looked past her.
The young lady who rebelled against everything her father held dear just to get his attention; tattoos, minis, piercings, dyed hair, see-through clothes, nightclubs...

There are many things she sees when she looks in the mirror.

She has tried to show them to him but he pays her no mind. He sees none of it even though she has painstakingly taken the time to point them out to him. She has tried a few times to tell him the story behind each of the people that stare back at her fom the mirror. Each time, he has succummbed to sleep before she was finished with her tale.

At first, it annoyed her that the stories that had held so many spellbound bored him to sleep. Soon she had fallen in love with the man who slept through the retelling of her past but was awake for every second of her present.

'Zome' He calls to her from the bedroom where he is seated, reading a newspaper and drinking his coffee. She can see him from where he sits at the edge of the bed. He is more beautiful than anything she has ever seen.

'Yes!' she answers.

'How many more minutes till the pancakes are ready?'

She laughs at the joke; their joke. He teases her about the time she spends applying her 'pancake' and how it would have been better spent making real pancakes for breakfast.

She is still smiling when she turns her attention back to the mirror. There is someone new staring back at her; someone who outshines all the others and blurs their images into near nothingness. Through the looking glass,  a woman whose smile reaches her heart smiles back at Zome.

She places her hand on her belly and the woman mimics her. They both look down at the same time and smile even wider at the unseen child kicking his way into the present.

I wrote this for my friend Asiya...she is beautiful, she is strong and  she is a mom! :)

Song of the day: Mae- Breakdown

October 17, 2012

May the appetite sicken and so die...

Love is a two way thing.

And yet too many times we are caught in situations when love is the loneliest thing in the world.

 My favorite Shakespeare book is The Twelfth Night and for those of you who haven't read it, the prominent theme is unrequited love. (Kindly go and read it. You will laugh your socks off) Almost all the lovers in the play loved someone they could not have.

It is the play that has this famous quote...

'If music be the food of love , play on
Give me excess of it
That surfeiting the appetite may sicken and so die'

Unlike most Shakespearean plays, it ends happily and everyone finds love at the end of the day. Well almost everyone. Poor Malvolio. I even recited Viola's longest speech in front of the whole school one time.

I have never felt what it means to like someone and not have that person like you back. Everyone I have wanted, I have ended up being with even if it was for a short time.

There is always a first time for everything. 

Here is to all you unrequited lovers out there.... 'may the appetite sicken and so die'

Song of the day: Mary J Blige & Patti Labelle- Aint No Way ( the original was by Aretha Franklin by the way)

October 6, 2012

Right direction

These past few weeks, I have been James Bonding around the US. 
DC, Baltimore, Richmond, Orlando and now Chicago and soon off to California. life.

Don't get me wrong; I love travelling and seeing new places. Its just that every time I get on a plane/bus or whatever, I feel like I am going in the wrong direction. 

It makes me long for the things I do not have, all these traveling does. I stand in line at TSA and babies smile at me and my womb literally contracts. Older men open doors for me and I miss my father. Young men wearing their multicolored Nikes make me wish my brothers were right beside me to see all the amazing things the world has to offer. Lovers holding onto each...sigh, lets not even explore the multifaceted feelings seeing them bring. 

I just want to stop. In the midst of all these crowds racing to make sure they don't miss out on their destinations, I just want to stop. Stop and breathe. Stop and close my eyes. Stop and remember why I was going that way in the first place.

It has been a minute in this space. Life continues to happen. I miss blogosphere. All my favorite bloggers are MIA. It is maddening. I find myself going back to their blogs, reading their last posts and looking for hints of where/how they might be. I am a storyteller. Believe me when I say I have made up stories about the lives of each one of these bloggers. T-Notes is really a pervert(duh) in real life but some girl finally  has him on the path of change. Muse is in his early forties and experiencing a mid-life crisis. Rethots is still rethinking everything and is a PHD type guy.

Christmas will be here soon. All I want is to finally be on the right plane, the right bus, the right whatever it is...I just need to know I going in the direction of home. 

Heaven only knows where that is...

Song of the day: Oleta Adams - Get here if you can

September 22, 2012


Forgetfulness should be a sin.

There are times when I think that if it were, people(me inclusive) wouldn't find it so easy to complain, murmur, be mean etc.

I look over this past year of my life. My dreams are coming true, even much better than I dreamed. I am in a good place. People laud my writing everyday. My family is well, I am well. I have amazing people cheering for me in the stands, people I don't know why they even like me. I know people i can call up and they will come to my aid in a heartbeat. I wake up everyday in a comfortable bed, small but comfortable. On my wall are pictures of people I love that love me back. In my bank account is more money than some people dream of ever having (yes it dwindles everyday but what the heck). I get to live in a land that is free and rich. I can pay my bills. I speak and people stop to listen. I write and people hold their breath to read. I smile and the sun shines even brighter. I eat what I want. I can live, worship, dance, sing...all of it freely

A year and some months back, I would never have imagined I would be all this. I wasn't even sure I wanted to live. Today I am here and it is all by God's grace. Yet when something happens, do i remember whither i come from? Do I remember that the God who has brought me thus far is still alive? Do I remember to trust this God? Do I remember to smile even when my heart is heavy, knowing fully well that sorrow endures only for the night and my joy will show up as surely as the sun rises?

No! To my eternal shame, I don't. I forget so easily, every time, all the time. I can't even imagine how hurt i would be if i were in God's shoes and I had this ungrateful and forgetful child who shakes her fist at me whenever i guide her as carefully as i can over the rough patches and potholes in this road called life.

It is almost 10am here and my stomach is beginning to growl and complain. I silence it with promises of my pancake recipe. It stops immediately, trusting my skills in the kitchen.  

Today I am going to shut the hell up and stop whimpering. I am going to be still and know that my God is still in the business of turning plain water into wine. Batch after batch, the pancakes will turn out just right. I will sit still in the corner and sing His praises while He does what He does best. A couple of times I will stand up and dance for Him. I will tell thank Him for His mercies, His Love, His grace and everything in between. When the kitchen gets too hot, I will thank Him because the winds blow at His will and the heat is but temporary. When it gets too cold, I will lift my gloved hands in worship of the God that does not die. When the kitchen of life is just unbearable, I will bless His name for the good times that will be sure to return

I am done forgetting. This is my testimony.

Song of the day: Marvin Sapp - Never would have made it

September 12, 2012


She is the one that lingers at the theatres when everyone else is gone. She is sitting in those empty seats and dreaming up a new end to the movie she just saw.

She is the one who blends in with trees. You have to look a little harder to see that she is there.

She is the one who has been broken by life and yet stops to smell the thorny roses by the path.

She is the one you look at and can see through. And yet, you are all she sees, all she wants to see.

Her name is Mota.

Some people call her Daughter, some others, Sister.
She longs for when you will call her, Love.

She has been there all your life, waiting in the shadows, ready to break your fall.

The little girl holding your hand while your mother packs up and gets ready to leave your drunken father.
The teenager squinting through her glasses as she applies balm to the bruises you have suffered from the relentless bullies in high school.
The ‘almost’ woman with tiny breasts hanging onto your every word and laughing at your dry jokes.
The person you ask for advice on where best to buy an engagement ring for your current girlfriend…

Her name is Mota.

It takes you 32 years, one failed marriage, packed suitcases, the pieces of your broken heart, two tear-filled eyes, to finally see what has been there all along.


It was the packed suitcases that did it. You watched the woman you married pick up her suitcases and walk out the front door. It was like you had walked back in time; to a couple of years before when you had watched your mother walk away from you. Only Mota's hand on yours had kept you from running after the taxi that took your mother away. 


She is the one that lingers at the theatres when everyone else is gone. She is sitting in those empty seats and dreaming up a new end to the movie she just saw.

This is where you find her when you finally know what it is you have been searching for all your life.

You sit beside her.

‘Hey babe!’
‘The movie is over, you know.’
‘No it isn’t. There is always room for a sequel.’

You take her hand in yours and join her in staring at the dark screen.

‘Maybe we can be the major characters in that one.’ You finally say.

She squeezes your hand a little tighter.


© Damilola Ashaolu 2012

hahaha...i think of how as children, we used to laugh at that name 'Nimota'. i am older now and wiser and think it is a beautiful unique name. For all the Nimotas, Godswills, Rukayats, in the world that suffered from teasing kids, this one is for you :)

September 5, 2012

Beautiful Mess

I am probably Jason Mraz's long lost soul mate. I know this because he sings all the words i want to say, to write, to dream...

I have this song on replay. 

It makes me think of my life. I am really a beautiful mess. The beautiful is God, the mess is me-my mistakes, my scars, my past, the many, far too many dark days i have had in my few years here on earth.

I am a storyteller. I accept that title but there is one story I am fine not telling, one tale I am more than willing to let Someone else script. The blank sheaves of paper that will someday tell of my life...

I am supposed to write a story for a blog series about not believing in God. I have written only five words and my deadline is in a few days. I almost want to tell the organisers that I cannot do this and how much of a mess I have made of every story line that has come to mind since i got assigned this job of telling what it must be like to not believe in God. I don't know why i am still hanging in there. I should just give up and let someone else write this.

But somehow, I am still holding on, looking at a blank screen and the five words on my otherwise blank Word document. I need God to fill this blankness, to make this mess and emptiness into something beautiful...

And through timeless words and priceless pictures

We'll fly like birds not of this earth
And tides they turn and hearts disfigure
But that's no concern when we're wounded together
And we tore our dresses and stained our shirts
But it's nice today, oh the wait was so worth it

Song of the day: Jason Mraz- A Beautiful Mess.

September 2, 2012

Trying too hard

I am intense. 

I know this.

Therefore I should know better.

But do I? Sadly not. 

This is my reality check. 

My wake up call

There are some stories I will never be able to write

Some lives i will never be able to live.

Some 'losses' i will never be able to find.

I need to stop trying.

Happy September people....too many people close to my heart were born this month. So it is my next favorite  month after August. It is only fitting that it follows August on the calendar.

Song of the day:  Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals Steal my Kisses

August 25, 2012

The Other Woman

He died on a Sunday. He chose the day of rest to rest his case. I found him in bed and without moving from the spot where I stood by the door, I could tell he was gone. 

You see, even in sleep, he was always in motion. His eyelids would flutter and I would watch him, wondering what images filled his dreams. His mouth would tremble and I would hope it was because somewhere in never never land, he was kissing me. His chest would move and I would wonder if it was to the rhythm of his love for me.

So that November morning, as I stood by the door that led to the bedroom we used to share until the pain of rheumatism had forced us apart, I immediately knew it was over.  I didn't have to take the next step to know love had taken flight. I stood by that door and watched for a while. I waited for those lips to tremble, I bid the eyelashes to flutter, I prayed his chest resume movement...all to no avail.  I walked back down the stairs not too long after, each step blinding me with the pain of age, each step, a goodbye to the man on the bed. 

I called his doctor first, some young upstart who reminded me of myself when I was young. And then I called the children. Again I waited. I waited till they were done with their crying and mourning. I waited till they had buried him. I waited till the noise of grandchildren, running around, oblivious to the sadness that hung like a cloud, had departed with the last car. I waited till it was just me and his ghost. It took a while for it to happen but it finally did.

I sent away the housekeeper. ‘You deserve a holiday and I will be fine for one day’. 

She took off and I made for the stairs. His address book was still on the bedside table where it always sat. I picked up the phone and called her.

‘He is dead.’ I said when she answered the phone.

A shrill wail pierced my ears and I allowed myself to cry for the first time since I found him. Finally, here was someone who shared my pain. Finally, here was someone who could share this burden of loving someone who had died. Finally.

I spoke first. The wailing had become cries and then sniffles and suddenly it was much too quiet.

‘Were there any children?’

‘No, no. He never wanted any with me. I had children before meeting him.’

The silence grew louder and I searched for the right thing to say to a woman who was  million of miles away, a woman with whom I had only one thing in common.

‘Maybe someday you can visit.’ I said.

‘We will see how it goes.' She answered after a few hesitant seconds.

I could hear the clinking of glasses in the background. Was she going to drink to dull the pain? Maybe it was time to say goodbye.There seemed to be nothing left to say.

‘He never stopped loving you.’ She said as if sensing I was about to put an end to her last connection to the man she loved. ‘Even when he was with me, it was your love that filled his life.’

I closed my eyes and saw him smile.

‘I know. And I am glad he had you for those days when my love was not enough. Some people are like that. They need more than just sunshine to flourish. They need the moon as well. So thank you for loving him even when you knew he couldn’t love you completely.’

We said our goodbyes with less ceremony than I had played out in my head. I extended the invitation to visit again even though I knew it would never happen.  I placed the phone receiver back in its place and tried to imagine her sitting by the phone, in a lonely house in faraway Brooklyn, surrounded by the cold of winter, and now sorrow.

I looked outside my window where the world was filled with sunshine and greenness. I smiled for the first time.

Song of the day: Train- Marry me