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

August 20, 2012

A City

I dream of Lagos mornings, 
rainy Lagos mornings, 
horns blowing, 
hawkers trading, 
my hand perfectly fitted in yours. 

I dream of Lagos afternoons, 
 stormy beaches, 
 palm trees swaying to a rhythm only they can hear, 
my smile reflected in your eyes. 

I dream of Lagos nights, 
a city gone to rest, 
its heartbeat calmed. 
Asleep in each other's arms
Dreaming of a city; 
buoyed by many waters, 
buoyed by love.

Song of the day: Ne-yo - Sexy Love

August 10, 2012

River of Love

My people...Una do oh!

The cobwebs in this space, while not as mighty as those on some other folks' blogs (T.Notes,BeeSir Farouk- take note) are getting annoying.

I have been writing...a lot...I am just putting them all up on Naijastories...

Today sha, i have written rubbish and i thought to myself who better than the members of blog world to share this with. I know you all love me regardless of whether I write better thing or not! So here kind in the comment box! Even Wole Soyinka doesn't write as much as I do. Better? Yes. More? No.

We walked to the river at our own pace
With only the birds of the air to witness our dedication.
We marched on resolutely
Determined to drink of the waters of love.

Laughter erupted from our bellies.
Tears of joy from our eyes.
Orgasms from our loins.
All of these, as we walked to the river.

We finally made it to the spot.
The place they said we could set out our roots and flourish.
But there was nothing to be found.
The waters had dried up.
The river had become a valley of bones.

'What is it that you seek?'
The bones asked us.
'Love, the end to sorrow.'
We answered.

'Then keep walking...
Love is a journey, ongoing.
But if it an end to sorrow you seek.
Then you are welcome to join us.'

We said our goodbyes by that dried up river.
Unable to see beyond those bones,
Unable to get past the end,
Unable to continue on the journey that is love.

We each took on different paths,
With only the birds to remind us
Of what it is that was left behind
At the river of love.

Song of the Day: Nelly Furtado- I'm like a bird

August 1, 2012

Sisi Eko

In Nigeria, it is my birthday already. 

The folks who are awake are scribbling on my wall already. I always say i don't like birthdays. That is not true. I love them; I just don't like the fact that I am older. This is the first birthday I am spending outside my country. People ask me all the time if i miss home. I wonder why they bother. 

Surely it must show in my smile or my forced American English or in the fact that I balk at the cuisine here or the fact that my real laughter echoes only when i am on the phone to Nigeria.

I recognize my country is plagued by numerous problems. Like me, it is far from perfect. Like me it suffers from its own handiwork and mistakes. Like me, it is unsure of what next. 

Like me, my country is hopeful. We both know we have no other place to go but up. My last birthday, i toasted to a future in a new country. This birthday, i look back and embrace my Nigerianess with all my heart. 

For all of you that have left your countries behind and think it is over, i have news for you. Some identities you can never leave behind. 

So this birthday, I celebrate my identity. I am more than just a color, more than just a gender, more than just a statistic. I am Kiah, I am ever so proudly Nigerian (even if Hilary Clinton refuses to acknowledge we exist), I am a Lagosian, I am a year older and I can't stop smiling.

Song of the day: Darey ft Flavour - Sisi Eko.