February 28, 2013

Abide with me

It is the last day in February.

I wanted so much to happen this month and it didn't.

And then I saw my friend today. He is my classmate; young and sweet. Classmate and friend and yet we barely ever see these days. So imagine the shock on my face when he told me he broken up with the girl he was going to marry.

Only a few weeks back we talked about wedding traditions and how they differed from place to place. Only last month, his eyes couldn't stop shining, his lips couldn't stop turning up in a  smile; when I teased him about her.

He says he is alright but I could see the pain and disappointment in his eyes. I wanted to hold him for much longer than I did. I wanted to tell him everything is going to be okay.

But who am I to make promises that I cannot keep? 

So much I wanted to happen this month. So much that was hoped for, prayed for...I woke up this morning thinking '24 hours more; surely this is enough?'

The day is almost over and all I am reminded of is the hymn 'Abide with me'. 
I am gonna hum it and be thankful for all that He has done. I am gonna close my sleep deprived eyes and tell myself that everything is going to be okay. Maybe when it is morning, I will believe again.

Song of the day: Abide With Me

February 26, 2013

Many Ways to Love You

Poetry isn't my strong suit. Even though I am in love with a poet and love his poetry and that of so many others. 

This is me trying to be amazing like the man in my life. If I have failed, I am glad that there are so many other ways to love him...

There are so many ways to love you.

By kissing your eyelids while you snore softly
By holding your hand when your world's turned upside down
By tracing the stubbornness that lines your jaw 
By cooking meals that you never eat and end up in the trash
By listening to the beat of your heart when you have forgotten the words to our love song
By saying goodbye even though my heart is breaking and it is the last thing I want to do 
By knowing that it is what you need, right now, more than you need me

There are so many ways to love you
It turns out that the best way is the hardest.

Song of the day: The Script- Six Degrees of Separation

February 23, 2013

Diary Entries: For Love

There are days that I wake up so full of love; and then there are days I look everywhere for proof... This diary entry hits a little bit too close to home. 

When was the last time you told that amazing person in your life how much you really love them...Pick up that phone already! 

Maybe I am in love with Segun after all.

These days, I am more confused than any human being is allowed to be. 

I told him just this morning that I would rather he slept at his apartment for the next few days. He had looked at me for a few moments before picking a few of his things, kissing my forehead and walking out without saying a single word.

Last night, he had come home so excited, a wrapped box in tow. In it were two return tickets to Lagos. I had thrown a fit big enough to end the world. He said nothing through it all and slept on the couch. This morning, I found him in the kitchen humming while he calmly made me breakfast.

It is Saturday and normally, we would have spent it sitting together on the window ledge of my apartment, feeding the birds. I went shopping to drown my misery instead. I am back home now. The sun has found its way home too and with the darkness that it left behind, is a overwhelming loneliness that threatens to suffocate me.

Everywhere I look, I am reminded of the man who loves me like no man in my life has ever loved me. His jar of shaving cream stands on my bathroom sink. The blue 'I love NYC' t-shirt he bought me on our trip to Times Square eyes me angrily from the bedside chair. On the dining table are two plates of eggs and pancakes, cold, unwanted, pathetic; just like me.

They say you never know how much you love something till you lose it. 

Maybe I love this man after all.

The tickets are on the coffee table. The departure date is only a week away. I will dig out my favorite suitcase in a few minutes and start to pack. Right now though, I need to let a certain young man how much I love him and how willing I am to follow him to the ends of the earth.

Song of the day: Goapele - For Love

February 17, 2013

Diary Entries: Songs of Childhood

I apologize folks...I just haven't figured out what to do with Solape...what kind of ending she needs and so on. I have been too lazy to try. But if you guys encourage me in the comment box ....   :)

Blogger is so boring. Where are all my fave people gone? I miss Bros T most of all :(
Anyways, have a great week people. God bless you in ways you haven't even imagined.

I can't sleep.

I am reminded of how my mother loves to quote the Bible and tell me how there is no rest for the wicked. Segun is snoring softly beside me; he is definitely not wicked. 

I miss my mother. She has been gone exactly two weeks today.

She came home from grocery shopping the other day to find Marcus yelling curses at me. I have never been so thankful to hear my mother's voice. From the other side of the door where i hid like a coward, I thanked heaven for bringing her home before I could open the door for Marcus.

'You stupid uselses boy with no home training.Ti won ba bi e da, you break the door and see. Ma je wo Ilorin fun e. My daughter does not have time for useless boys like you. In case you don't know, where we come from in Nigeria, she is a princess. She has royal blood in her and she is not meant for commoners like you...'

I could see it in my mind's eye and imagining my mother, all of 5ft 2' , standing up to Marcus who had once played college basketball, was all I needed. All my fear disappeared and I ran to open the door. 

Lets just say, Marcus will stay away from every and anything Nigerian for a while.

Segun is, well, he is Segun.

He keeps dropping hints about moving back to Lagos and settling down. Elsa tells me I would be a fool not to go with him. Elsa needs to start minding her own business. It is no wonder my hair always looks like a serial killer went through it every time she is done cutting. If she paid more attention to my hair than to what goes on in my bed, this would not be the case. I have no clue why I keep going back to her shop. 

I am not in love with Segun. I know this now. And it is alright. 

I want to spend the rest of my life with him...in New York that is. All these talk about Lagos is driving a wedge between us. This is how I know I am not in love with him. If I were, I would follow him half way around the world, abi?

Maami's memorial is in a few weeks. I want to go so bad. I want to breathe in the dusty humid air of Lagos nights. I want to sit under our mango tree and imagine Maami singing in God's choir. I want to hear the songs of my childhood... 'Ki le o le she, Olorun mi.' 

I dreamed of my father. It is why I am wide awake while the rest of the world slumbers on. 

'What should I wear Baba?'
'Anything you want, Solape. Just hurry up so we can get out f here before Maami gets back and tries to stop us from going.'

And so I had worn my favorite red gap shorts and the t-shirt my mother had gotten for me from her last trip to Dubai. It read ' Daddy's Best Girl'.
'I am ready, Baba.' I announced to my father as I closed the door of my bedroom.
'Where are your bags?' My father asked smiling.
'Why do we need bags, Baba?'
'I thought I told you we were going to spend a couple of days at the resort with your stepmother and brothers. In fact I am sure you won't want to leave once we are there. Now go and bring your things and bring your passport too. We will need some identification for you.'

The drive was long and tiring but my father bought me as many Fan Yoghurts as I demanded. It wasn't until I saw the signs for Ikeja that I knew something was wrong. 

'You are taking me to the airport, aren't you Baba?' I had asked the man in a voice smaller than my skinny body.

My father ignored me but I had all the answer I needed in the knuckles that gripped the steering wheel tightly.

I started to cry.
'Shut up. Just stop your useless crying. You are not my child and if your mother thinks that by forcing someone else's bastard child down my throat she will ever get anything from me or my family, then she has another think coming. Because of you, my wife is threatening to leave me. Because of you, she wants to take away my sons, my heirs, the only rights I have to kingship. Because of you and your cursed mother!'

His eyes were red and flecks of his saliva were flying everywhere. Veins lined his face and I could barely make out the eyes that everyone else were exactly like mine.

In my dream, my father dissolved and a monster took his place. I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out; and so I watched quietly, mouth wide open in a silent scream as he made to swallow me.

What really happened was not too far from the truth.

I would wake up in a hospital four days later, to find my mother at my bedside and Maami on her knees, crying softly, hands raised to heaven singing...

'Ki le o le she, Olorun mi, Ki le o le she...'

Songs of my lost childhood...

Song of the day: Owl City - Fireflies

February 13, 2013

The girl who ran down the stairs

I never ever take one step at a time; I take two, I race up and down steps. Life is too short to waste time taking those stairs ever so slowly and carefully...one day though I will have to learn...I look forward to it :)

I miss the girl who used to run down the stairs.

She is in there somewhere. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her when the woman smiles at me. It is in the woman's eyes when they crinkle with laughter. I can feel it in her hands when she holds me during our ritual Sunday evening slow dance. 

I wonder what it will take to bring her back. I wonder if my heart will again beat faster at the sound of her running; pounding in anticipation of the joy that will enfold it once she bounds down that last step and into my arms.

The woman walks slowly and there is nothing in her gait to remind me of the girl who used to run down the stairs. When she climbs the stairs now, it is with a precise carefulness that scares me. Any minute now, I am afraid she will fall. Worse still, I fear that I will not be there to catch her.

It is sometime in the night when she wakes me from my dreams, dreams that are filled with the girl who used to run down the stairs. In my dreams, she is breathless, beautiful, perfect and unencumbered by anything. 

The woman I awaken to couldn't be more different.

'What is it?' I ask even though I already know.
'It is time.' She says as she glances at me from where she stands, holding her soaked nightgown.

The fire is back in her eyes and I know it is my turn to run down those stairs.

It takes 17 hours of labor to get my girl back. When it is over, I am reminded of the cycle of life. I now have, not one, but two girls running down my stairs to look forward to.

Song of the day: Miguel Adorn

February 7, 2013

A Cure for Trembling

I woke up last night to find my hands shaking.

I tried to still them by holding them in each other but the tremors continued no matter what I did.

I found Mark's hoodie in the living room closet where I kept the hand warmers. It gave me an idea so I put it on, found my running shoes and pushed open the front door.

I stood on the stairs leading out of my town house for a few moments. It was 2 am and nothing moved. It was summer yet the chill in the air made me want to run back inside the house for warmth. But I have never turned away from anything in my life, and so I put on my cap and started to run.

I had no idea where I was going so I let my heart and feet work it out. Soon sweat ran down my back and my knees began to hurt from all the pounding on tarred roads. I stopped to catch my breath and when I raised my head I was standing in front of his house.

I waited until my heart stopped racing and my breathing returned to normal. I had given him his keys back but I hoped he was still the same man I showed the door out of my life a few months ago.

The key in the rose bush showed that he still was and I let myself breathe. I cleaned the dirt off my hands and the memories of all the times we had gotten down and dirty to plant his beloved seeds flashed before my eyes.

I let myself in. The house was the same. It felt like I had stepped back in time. The only thing that had changed was the pot of Aloe Vera that sat on his coffee table. It used to sit on my coffee table until four months ago when I had thrown it at the man I loved. It was the same pot, patched up with some kind of material whose source I didn't want to fathom. It made me smile. And hope. That maybe he could patch up my broken heart too.

I climbed the stairs but I took my shoes off first so he wouldn't hear. He always slept with a light on and I silently blessed his dear heart for it. I would probably have fallen over Linda if he didn't.

'Hi, you old lady.' I whispered to the dog. She gave me a look that I read to be 'don't mess this up' and so I giggled, patted her 11 year old head, took off the hoodie, got into bed and waited for dawn.

My hands stopped trembling somewhere between when I got into bed and when I woke up to find him staring at me, tears in his eyes.

Song of the day: Ed Sheeran - Wake up

February 1, 2013

Diary Entries: Ghosts

Happy February people.

Sorry for the hiatus but I have had other stories that have refused to stay unwritten. I hope you enjoy this installment of Solape's life. It is getting rather boring though without yall's input.

One of these days I am going to end up in jail. For murder!

The victim will be either my stupidly stupid boss or my equally brainless landlord.

I need a new job.
I need a new place.
I need a new life. 

Full stop!

My favorite U2 song is 'Walk On'. I need to take Bono's advice and somehow get rid of all of the crap that I can't seem to leave behind.

Segun...I still don't know how I got lucky. We finally did the dirty. And it was so good that we did it 4 more times that night. Now we are like rabbits that just discovered Viagra.
Today, I called him from the office to vent about my boss. Next thing I know he was at the parking lot of my office and we were making it rain in his tinted glass car.

Yikes...I am wet even talking about it.

Mom is still around so our escapades are limited to his bedroom, his dining room, his study, his bathroom, his car... I am sure you get the idea.

Maami's memorial is in two months time. My father emailed me again. It has been too long since I was in Nigeria. I am afraid that if I go, I will never leave.
Too many memories of Maami lurk in the shadows, all of them, ready to take a hold of me and never let go.

The darkest shadow of all, the man I called father.

I fear that to go home will mean to forgive him for the ruins that was my early teenage years.

And then there is Segun.

He tells me how much he longs to go home. When we have sex, he puts his hand on my womb and names our unconceived children. He dreams aloud about their childhood. Dreams that  are set in Lagos with patches of holidays all around the world. He puts his head on my belly and bids his unborn children show up quickly so he can show them the Lagos he grew up in. 

Mom says if I go to Nigeria, I would get a better job and and command a better salary. She also says the money I spend on rent here would see me live in Victoria Island with the elite. She tells me I can start my life again in Lagos.

She loved her flowers by the way and cried when I handed them over. She cries too much.

So many odds are against me wherever I am.

Lagos, New York, Mars... The ghosts of my past need no visas. They find me too easily. 

Mom went for groceries. The doorbell is ringing. I am curled up in the corner of my kitchen, willing myself not to open up for Marcus.

Song of the day: A Yoruba Praise Song that has these words 'Oba to fi imole sha sho bora'