Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thinking in scenes

My heart sank a loud thud that only I could hear. Sounds of twin Nigerian hip hop singers dissolved from the loud speakers and faded away. Fear settled on my being with a coldness that brought goosebumps to my skin. What the f*%k was he doing here?

"I am sorry...I did not know you were coming." Moji was immediately at my side, her hand on my arm, her eyes a pool of apologies.
I tried to calm my breathing as I felt the walls around me begin to spin. She must have taken my expression to mean my upset was directed at her.
"But you said you were not coming now?" she whispered harshly, exasperation evident in her demeanor.
It was true that she had cajoled and cajoled for days that I come for her party and when that did not work, she resorted to threats and when she saw that I was not going to budge, she let me. She knew I was avoiding HIM. What she did not know was why.

I closed my eyes and took a breath.
"I am sorry. I am over reacting. Please, don't mind me. It must be the smoke."
Someone was indeed smoking.
Moji looked at me skeptically. I saw her steal a glance at him.
"You are sure?"
I nodded and gave her a weak smile.
"Sebi you told me there was going to be food. please don't tell me I burst out my payless shoes for nothing..." I joked.
She chuckled, "Payless ko, Payfull ni. there is food but me, I will not advise you to put it in your mouth."
"Haba," I laughed, "why?"
"Jide cooked it."
"Ewo". We both burst into laughter.Mine had alot of effort behind it even though what she had told me was hilarious. Her boyfriend was a great cook whose power ingredient was pepper.
"Se you are okay. Seriously he just showed up. How can I tell him to leave? He is Jide's friend. You guys need to talk to each other. Since you will not tell me what happened...ehn, please abeg. Why do the two of you hate each other so much?" Moji asked me, her smile disappearing.

"He said he hated me?" I was surprised.
"No, but the way you guys are always fighting. I mean, after that last time, I was afraid for the two of you. I suppose you go and pray over the issue what ever it is. How could you draw a knife on him? Omo, you are crazy o."
"No ooo," I sneered, "I will wait so he can rearrange my face with a slap abi. That useless waste of..."
"ehn, ehn, ehn..." she cut me off, "we are here to party. See," she made a wide gesture with her hands, "this place is big enough. If you don't want to see him or his ancestry, there are so many corners that you can hide yourself. he is over there, you can go upstairs. I will come and join you." she cocked her left brow at me, "you better not leave."

I really wanted to. It had taken all of me to get up and decide to come to her party. I had to. How could I not? After all she had helped me through. The least I could do was to drag my self, slap on some courage and come watch half drunk colleagues gyrate to raunchy dance numbers. After all, she had promised me over the phone that there would be no repeat of the last time I was at her face when he and I flew into each other's face. Granted I flew at him and most of what he was doingwas trying to deflect my blows and get me off him but the hostility that had been simmering between us for over two years just reached its peak. It had been a long time coming.

I sighed. I knew that even if I wanted to, I could not leave. He had seen me. Him freezing half way through taking a sip from his drink told me that he had. His nod of greeting had been cold and mocking. I had shuddered with disgust. I wanted to rip his eyes out so bad, I could taste it.
"No, I am not leaving." I promised her. I could not. I knew everyone was watching the two of us. If I left, it would only fuel the rumors even more.

When I was ready to let the world know, I would let them know. Until then, I needed to preserve my sanity by avoiding Jubril Keffi.
I made my way upstairs to the food. I made my way past some female making a spectacle of herself as she tried to execute the dutty wind; her drunken self grinning stupidly as even more drunken males cheered her on. Some couples were two inches from turning their dance moves into a possible opportunity for procreation. I smiled and shook my head. Some people were not going to like what ended up on youtube in the morning.

I got to the food. It was all there, displayed in all its excess. My guess was that the first people who had descended on the food had quickly spread the word that it was a no-go area. I had always had this theory that Jide secretly did not want anyone eating his food so he made it near poisonous. Fortunately for me, my mother and Jide had learned from the same culinary school so pepper was never an issue for mr. But I was not hungry. And I was not in the mood to dance. I went upstairs to the bedrooms in search of one that was empty and had not been recently used to exorcise the horniness of anyone at the party that night.

The Master bedroom was a mess. Moji's clothes were all over the place. And I knew it was not because she had been getting ready for her party. It was always like this. I did not know how she and her boyfriend could stand the disarray. I suddenly felt fatigued. All the bravado with which I had walked into the party was gone and I felt hollow and cold. So I began to clear the bed. Then I began to clear the floor. Then I moved to the dressing table. I was not in the mood to fold clothes so I just dumped the items in the closet and closed the door.

I lay down, my whole body sighing with exhaustion. I could feel the thud of music emanating from the surround sound pulsating through the walls and floors. I closed my eyes and silently questioned the wisdom of me coming. The sobs rose suddenly and before I could check them, I was weeping into the pillow.

I did not hear the door open nor hear the footsteps approach. Strong arms turned me over and lifted me into an embrace. Cologne and the scent of clean man enveloped my senses. I clutched at the fabric of the shirt encasing a hard chest and gave vent to my sorrows. It was a good cry. I felt as helpless as a baby and I cried like one.

Hiccupping as I expelled mucus into the handkerchief that was proferred to me, I pulled away and looked up,
"You know I hate you right?"

Jubrila's expression was blank. "Sure."

"And we are not going to be friends. Never."

"Mmn hmn."

I began to cry again. He let me. I crawled into his lap and curled there. He bore my weight and just held me. We said not a word.

"You know he does not deserve you. You are too good for all this shit." his voice rumbled through his chest to my ears. I sighed. Why wouldn't he just leave me alone.

"It's over." I said. More to myself than to him.

"Are you sure?"

I tilted my head back against his arm to look at him. His eyes were worried. sad even.
I nodded.

"Yes."

"He is no good." he said as he drew me close. " I should know. He is my father."

36 comments:

Mocha said...

fantastic..I love the twist at the end..you can almost always tell that when a man & a woman HATE each other, there's almost always something there cos its too deep an emotion..

do a spellcheck tho, you misplaced some "him"s where there should have been "me"s..

Great flow..

Naapali said...

1. I like the way you create your characters; they are always real people, people one can readily and easily identify with.

2. You have mastery over the short story, you start midstream and proceed leaving us with a sense that we know what has happened before. You also always conclude with a good twist or cliffhanger.
This one though makes me wonder: (i) did she know she this other man was Jubril's father or has she just found out?

3. Suggestions:
a). My heart sank, a loud thud that only I could hear. Or; My heart sank. A loud thud that only I could hear. The added punctuation puts more drama to the sinking heart.

b). Fear settled on my being with a chill that brought goosebumps... (chill flows better than coldness IMO)

c). fuck. we are grown up now and we can say it, write it, think it, even do it.

d). "But you said you were not coming now": The Naija in me knows the word now in that line does not mean imminently but is a turn of phrase in Nigerian English that suggests pleading. It can be confusing for a non-Nigerian readership (I assume your target audience extends beyond we your people) as it gives the sentence a completely different meaning for them.

e.)"After all, she had promised me over the phone that there would be no repeat of the last time I was at her face when he and I flew into each other's face.": The first face should be place and the second face, faces.

f.) "Granted I flew at him and most of what he was doingwas trying to deflect my blows and get me off him but the hostility that had been simmering between us for over two years just reached its peak." : doing was (missing space between both words). just reached its peak; how about just peaked?

In summary I enjoyed your story as usual. I found us some land in Utah and if u let me know when we can go tour the site together.

Jaycee said...

Woahhhhhhhhhh!!!! You have a way of bringing suspense into your stories...this was beautiful.

The twist at the end was really deep. So she has something with Jubril's father...and Jubril is in love with her and does not want to let her go. There was prob a time when she loved Jubril back, well not until she met his father (who she didn't know was his father).

Something is quite fishy...I need to read all over again to see if I can put the pieces together...

I like Naapali's corrections...

Waffarian said...

I no even fit write wetin i be wan write...naapali just confuse me finish...wetin i be wan say again? I swear everything don fly comot my head...I'll be back(in arnold's voice)

tobenna said...

Nice.
Got me lost about halfway.
Started agin.
Finished.
Still a bit confused.
Read it agin.
Clearer now.
Way to go.

gishungwa said...

Love this piece, the drama. Pray continue...

naijalines said...

nice piece.

N.I.M.M.O said...

Confused. That's me.

Will be back.

darkelcee said...

reading it again to get the unwritten piece out.


bueatiful!

princesa said...

It's cool.
I love it but naapali's got some valid points too.

Queen of My Castle said...

I loved it, and as usual I was confused as heck in the beginning and gained clarity as I read on. I was FORCED to read on. LOL. I co-sign the others...Naapali has great pointer.

Great story, but what else would I expect?!

Pink-satin said...

love it!

guerreiranigeriana said...

you always inspire me to pull out old stories i started and never finished and revisit them...you are...*searches for new word to describe your literary prowes*...gifted!...i haven't used that one yet, right?...i would sooooo love to read your short stories collection!!...or collection of short stories...

guerreiranigeriana said...

wow...*raised eyebrow*...naapali advocating for fucking?!...i'm impressed;)...

יש (Yosh) said...

WOW!

I'll clap s'more when I drop these loaves in my hand!

xx

יש (Yosh) said...

p.s. typing with one hand...





....

Zena said...

yekpa!

u always do that, give this huge fantastic ending then leave us hi and dry, I'm not even going to bother asking if there's part2(it's usually a no anyway)

but is there a part 2?

Nwanyi Ocha said...

ms catwalqqqqq , u've come again abi

where do i even start to decipher this one now ehhh?

LOVED IT!

ps: anxiously waiting for p2.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Aunty catwalq: I liked this very much! Got your email, we should talk when you have the time. Hope all is well...

Smaragd said...

brilliant writing miss Catwalq! i almost didnt want the story to end, so pls update with a sequel.

lol @ dancing being an opportunity for procreation.

me likey!

Smaragd said...

so just read other comments and discovered their wont be a part 2*sob sob*
okay o, u've got a fan sha

Allied said...

i took a break from work and boy am i glad.

Great as always... did you get my email?

Queen of My Castle said...

Ms. Kitty Cat...will we be blessed with an update soon? I need something to distract me from working. LOL

Ms. Catwalq said...

mocha: have fixed it all. sometimes when two people hate each other, they all really do...but in this case, their underlying story is different...

Naapali: U r on Atutu's faculty? And oh, I do fuck and I know alot of people who do. I just can't write it like that...
I want the master bedroom in Utah....need space for my whips and other fuck machines

Jaycee: i see u have some theories of ur own...a bit different from where I was coming from but hey...it's your story to read and mine to write

Waffyyyy!!!: Go and sleep

Tobenna: happy you could figure it out

Gishungwa: Thanks. The story can continue in your mind

naijalines: thanks

Nimmo: read again. slowly. paint the pictures in your mind

princessa: thanks....

queen of my castle: i seem to always start out confusing readers....

pink-satin: and how r u pink lady

g-nigeriana: i am working on something like that...in a bit...in a bit
With three lil Naapalis running around, how can't u imagine that he does

Yosh: baby, u r selling bread now? u better have started a bakery or something?

Zena: u poor baby. will oblige you with a longer concept soon

Nwanyi: nope sorry. no part II...

Iya Oko: ehn-ehn...will HOLLAH at you...

smaragd: what does ur name mean? and haven't you seen people who dance like that? I have. I have.

Allied: yeah I did. thanks and will be getting back to you as soon as I can

Q.O.M.C: sis, be brave....am coming.

archiwiz said...

WOW! Powerful and nice!

And omo spell checkers and grammarians biko jee ya brake there. Make d giel write joo.

TaureanMinx said...

Great piece!

ablackjamesbond said...

*clapping*

pamela said...

Wow!!!

classybabe said...

wow!lovely,the flow was so real especially from where J entered the room till the last sentence.Cool

Smaragd said...

"Smaragd" is german for emerald which is my birthstone. i have seen pple dance lyk that, just never put into words like that...lol

soupasexy said...

ok i guess me too have to go back and read it, since it's just a story.

good job tho. i like creative minds.

Zephi Fahrenheit said...

brilliant, absolutely brilliant..

im kind of lost though, can someone help me out

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Lagbajess! I have lefvt a message for you at the Shotmusinz blog here
and at my boy Yosh'd recent post (bjmatix.blogspot.com).

Oya, go read those messages and report back at the ..>Easier... blog.

hahaha

Free-flowing Florida said...

dis chick, u alway confuse me wit ur stories

i think i'm flowing, den @ d end am conpletely thrown off balance

ur short-stories writing skils r truly enviable

@ naapali: u be editor?

eFJay said...

This babe mehnn!!!! Only you! Your writing always has my undivided attention, that's why if i'm pressed for time, i dnt even start reading, i wait till i have more time!

Beautiful as always!

'ef babe'

TinTin said...

mehn all this deepeness makes me feel like a real amature writer..chei!!!

good twist!