Friday, December 28, 2007
Her heart felt tighter....she felt like she was suffocating, she curled herself on the bed and waited...perhaps there were no tears left? she slowly got up and looked at herself in the mirror. The begining of a laugh was starting to form at the corners of her lips...slowly, she let it out, she laughed and laughed until she could laugh no more. She shook her head and thought of that call, that had changed it all, he had finally answered she had thought...finally...it took her a second to realize that it was not his voice on the other end of the line...it was "her" voice... whoever she was.
Maria looked up from the couch where she was lying, "have you checked your gym bag"?
"It is not there, I tell you! I can never find anything in this bloody house. Just look at the kitchen, it’s a mess. Must I do everything in this house?"
Maria sighed and turned up the volume of the TV
"I mean, why can't you clean this place up? Instead of watching TV?"
"I am tired, Jonathan"
"You are always tired! You are so lazy! Where the fuck is my water bottle? And why don't you help me find it? That’s what I don't understand, instead of helping out, you just pretend like you don't understand what is happening"
Maria got up, she put on her slippers and slowly walked around, it was obvious she was not looking for anything; her eyes were still fixed on the TV screen.
"Why don't you buy another one when you get there?"
"That’s what I don't understand with you! Why should I buy another one when I have one already? Women! All you know how to do is waste money...if only I can find that water bottle..."
"Better to waste money that have a heart attack, have you checked the bag?"
"How many times will I tell you? It is not there!"
Maria waited until Jonathan went upstairs, she opened the bag, and there, beneath his gym clothes was the water bottle.
"I have found it!"
"In your gym bag of course, where else?, you must have put it in and forgot, you are beginning to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s ... you should go and check yourself"
"Its because I never get any help in this bloody house, I have to do everything myself!"
Jonathan took his bag and walked out of the house, banging the door as he left.
Maria lay down on the couch, and the phone rang. She let it ring for a couple of minutes before she picked it up
"I am sorry"
"You are a difficult man"
"I did not mean all those things I said, I am just tired and stressed"
"You are difficult"
"I am sorry"
"You will never change. I am going off to bed now; don't forget to put on the alarm when you come in, Good night"
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
He had been young then, life was full of promises and then he had met her...Pamela. Life with Pamela...it had been...glorious. That was the only word he could use to describe it, glorious. Breakfasts in bed, sex in the middle of the day, late night outings, vacations to the most amazing places, dinners and shopping sprees. It had been glorious. He did not remember when he first started hating going home. He could not remember when her perfect teeth began to look like fangs, he did not remember when that oval face he loved to kiss became shapeless and her hair that he once lovingly put his fingers through became barbed wire, tearing at the skin of his fingers...he could not remember when she became ugly. He had come home one day, and instead of Pamela, stood this person, an imitation of Pamela. His days and nights became hell but he tried, to live with her...the imitation of Pamela, until that night when he came home and the barbed wire had turned to snakes....then he knew he had to let her go.
"Why won't you let me love you?" Sandra stood at the door of the balcony, asking him with those intense eyes of hers...
"Go back to bed Sandra, I'll be in a minute, it’s a bit nippy out here"
He did not answer the question, he had no answer.
"John, why won't you let me love you?"
Again, he was silent.
He stood out on the balcony and watched her put her bag in her car, he watched her get in and watched her drive off.
“Do you know why you are being punished again?”
If you would only tell me, I will be forever grateful, pray, tell me why? Because I know for sure something you all don’t know...
“Do you realize you are the only one left here, again?”
I realize, dear young adult, but I also realize that I know something that you don’t...
“Why can you not, like all the other juniors say “forgive me?” why can’t you?”
Because I know something you don’t, that my world is bigger than those two words and bigger than you...
“I don’t know why senior”
“You don’t know why? Do you admit you have done something wrong?”
Something wrong, something right, who is the judge? My world is bigger than right and wrong, bigger than this space, this time...
“Once again, you will stay here, while others are sleeping, you will kneel down all night since you cannot say “forgive me”
All through the night...reminds me of a song, all night long, all night long....
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
December 9th is UN International Anti-Corruption Day and Nigerian Lighthouse seeks to commemorate this day with a small but pertinent project.
The goal is to get as many people to write a 50 word (or less) message on how to eradicate corruption in Nigeria. All submitted messages will be posted at the website - nigerianlighthouse.org Most Nigerians have an opinion on how to stop corruption. Here is a chance to share that idea with the world! So, simply write a message of 50 (or less) words and send it to NigerianLighthouse@gmail.com. Then send another message to your friends encouraging them to participate as well. This will only take 5 minutes of your time and the rewards - sharing ideas that will definitely improve Nigeria - is more than worth it.
Hope to hear from you all!
She could hear his voice, it was there, faint beneath all the other sounds, music, laughter, clicking of glasses. She dropped the phone. She stood alone at the bus stop and imagined he had picked and said
"Hi love! so lovely you called, I was just thinking about you!"
But he had not said that, he had been too busy to think about her...she looked across the road, a shop was opened, she walked across the road as fast as she could, for some reason she felt a need for urgency, perhaps it was the cold air. She bought a pack of cigarettes and lit one, her lungs sucked in the poison hungrily as her thoughts floated away again. She remembered his face as vividly as if he was standing before her, his gentle eyes, his chin...that had left her own chin bruised that night as he kissed her...she could see him now...the way he walked... She looked at the phone again, she wanted to ask him if he remembered when he had bruised her chin. The bus came and went and she was still standing there, thinking of him. She did not see it when it happened, she did not know, she had been lost in her own world, but she could hear them talking...
"Its bad, really bad"
"Poor girl and she is so pretty too!"
"Stabbed like that, probably for her phone"
"I wonder what this world is coming to"
She tried to tell them that she could hear them, she could hear them very clearly, they looked like angels, all dressed in white.
"Did she have anything on her? we should call somebody"
"I found a picture, in her wallet, but nothing else, I wonder who it is"
She wanted to tell them that it was him, the man that made her happy, the one that brought a smile back to her face but she could not, their voices were drowning out and she felt like she was floating, she closed her eyes...time to sleep.
"This world is a terrible place"
The boy ran all the way home. He had not meant to stab her but he had. He just wanted her phone, he had asked her twice to give it to him, why didn't she? why didn't she? when he got close to her, she had turned around so fast, it was only then that he had realized that she had not heard him. Her fast movement shocked him...the knife was in front of him...he had not meant to stab her.
"Danny, are you home?"
"Don't let your father hear you were out again, when you are 18 you can do what you want,until then, you know the rules in this house"
He put the phone under the pillow at first, he could not bear to look at it. A strange sound was coming from the phone...he slowly looked at it, there was a message....
"Sorry dear, I am out with a couple of friends drinking, it is very noisy, I'll call you later. Miss you"
Friday, December 7, 2007
The birthday party: When I was in Nigeria, I found out an old childhood friend who I have not seen in more than 15 years now, lives here. We got in touch and it has been fun gisting with him occasionally, yes... occasionally. The man has an obsession and its called : WOMAN. In his head, he is convinced that his whole life will be perfect once he finds that "woman", that's how he talks, "if say i get woman, everything for just settle" , "ah! see as my walls dey jump for joy cos woman enter my house today" "the Bible says to find a woman is to find a good thing" "Imagine if I had a woman, I would be so happy", etc, etc. Most of the times, I listen and then by the time he says the word "woman" for the up tenth time, I am ready to explode! He knows I find the whole topic very irritating and I think this just gets him going anyway.
So, it was his birthday party, he asked if I could help him with some dishes, it was my pleasure, I was bored anyway. I had asked him earlier in the week about how many guests he was expecting, he said 15. 15? I have lived in this country for 5 years and if I had to invite 15 people, it will probably have to include people I see in the gym plus the Arab guy that does my hair. 15 people indeed! I thought perhaps it was his church people, he is an ardent church goer, but no, he tells me he has invited the other students on his corridor(He is a student and lives in one of those student buildings). I asked him if he actually knew them, he said no, but he just thought they would be happy to come as per free booze and food. I did not want to spoil his optimism but I had my doubts. In this country? It would never happen! I lived in the same building for five years and the only time I spoke to my neighbours was when I was moving out! 15 people indeed!
Anyway, we made food for 15 people,rice, chicken, salad, different pies, etc. He bought about two cartons of beer and I arrived with two bottles of wine, just in case. An hour later, and we are the only two.... I had already started drinking and we had eaten enough jollof rice. Finally an Egyptian student came down... he had been here for three months and hated it. He was so happy to be with us, in fact, we were all "Africans" that night! Apparently his big memory of Nigeria was when Nigeria won the world cup or something in Egypt(I am sure the guys here will know), he was just a kid then and used to sit at the Nigerian side cos they were colourful and there was music etc. In fact, he had ended up in one of the newspapers, all painted with Naija green white green. He was a very nice guy, not used to hard life, when I shook his hands, I was so ashamed of mine, his hands were so soft...so so soft. Anyway, so he tells us of how miserable he was, first time away from home, (he is 27 heheheeh) how he was having problems fitting in. I told him it was the place, it was new, he'll soon adjust and get over it. He told me a splendid proverb (I am sure we all know different versions of this in different languages), he said "If you are on the way to paradise and the company of people with you is horrible, you will be miserable even if you know paradise is waiting for you. If on the other hand, you are on the way to hell, and the company of people with you is great, you will enjoy the journey even if you know your destination is hell". According to him, the reason why he was so miserable had nothing to do with the place but the people residing in it.
Thankfully, another of his friends arrived, one naija guy and his wife.They both were not drinking cos he was driving and I think she was breast feeding, the Egyptian guy was not drinking and my friend insisted on drinking his beer. I ended up drinking two bottles of wine, convinced them to play naija music "Ohhhh Christianaaaaaa", and got totally wasted. The good part of the party was everybody got enough food to last them that week. At about 1 or so, the party was over, my friend went to the city to find "woman", the couple left with many thanks for the extra food, the Egyptian guy left happy with phone numbers and I stumbled home drunk and full.
The bazaar: I went to the city for breakfast the next day. I was bored, it was Sunday and there was nothing to do. After roaming the streets with no particular destination, I ended up on the street where the Catholic church is situated. This is a protestant country, so the Catholic church is normally for the immigrants/foreigners, whatever. Anyway, so I get there, and they are having a bazaar. I think church and weddings is the only place where you see different generations together. Old people, young couples, kids every where. I had nothing to do, so I took up a perfect observation post by the food stalls....
The Spanish stall: The rice looked good, but after the jollof rice of the day before.... mba
The Albanian stall: Some sort of bread... the man manning the store was old and looked sour...like the bread.
The Croatian stall: The usual assortment of sweet stuff... at first nobody was buying anything from them, this worried me cos I know the Croatians are fierce loyalists...where were their people? Ah! but I did not have to wait for long, they were apparently having their own service about the time I arrived... anyway, after the service, they cleared up that stall like a wave of ants. I tell you! They ignored all the other stalls and just bought everything their own stall had on display. They never disappoint.
The Indian stall: Bought a plate of rice and chicken. I regretted it.
The Korean "mission" stall: The liveliest of them all! They persuaded me into buying packets of noodles and some strange Korean sweets. I also got a plate of free sushi, but with meat instead of fish, does that make it sushi?
I ate at a table with an Italian father and son. He was so loving but firm, the father I mean... anyway, all in all, it was a good day.
Friendship:Through out my adult life, I can almost pin point the exact moment a friendship began. Yeah, I am one of those people, I could tell you with accuracy how many friendships in my adult life started. Take Catherine for example, I remember that day in class more than 5 years a go when she was taking part in a heated debate about immigration. She was the only person of a particular view in class, and the whole class was slicing her up like raw meat at a butchers shop....they seemed to be enjoying it too much so I decided to tip the scale a bit. Together, we managed to totally shred them to bits, much to the amusement of the teacher who seemed to understand what was going on. I met up with her after the class....
"Hey, you know, I did not believe in any of your arguments, I just joined in cos it was unfair....the whole class against you"
"Ha! I did not believe in my arguments either, I just wanted them to look at things from another angle, how can a whole class have only one point of view?
I always knew she was destined for politics...not me...too much of a dreamer to be a realist. I hardly see her these days, she is often caught up championing one cause or another, but she has been there when it mattered, and for that, I am always grateful. Yes, but why am I digressing from the story at hand? I was going to talk about the beginning of a friendship.....
He was waiting for me when I arrived, we often nod to each other, he had introduced himself one day to me, someone had told him we were "in the same profession". Since then, we had not spoken and I had since forgotten his name.
"Hi, I was looking for you, you've not been around"
"Oh, I have been very ill"
"I was wondering.... so how are you?
"I am fine now, thanks"
"Yeah... just the usual"
He is looking intensely at me now....
"So how's life...in general?"
We both laugh...
"I feel this thing...hanging over my head... I have..."
"Yeah, thats probably the word...I have so many unfinished stuff, I just wish I could do everything I want...I don't know"
"You know, don't worry about it too much, you "ll be okay"
"Yeah, so what about you? how's life?"
"Well, this is life"
"What do you mean?"
"This is my life, pathetic huh? I am 35 years old, and this is all I have"
"Wife? girlfriend? hobbies?"
"Nothing. I have nothing. This is all I do...so you see, don't worry, its the same for everybody"
"I am not a "misery loves company" kind of person, I'll just feel bad for myself and then worse for you"
"I did not think you were that kind... Just don't beat yourself up about it...it will be okay, you'll be fine.
I turned to go, I was already feeling better....
"Hey, about hobbies....I could probably hook you up, I am a good hobby finder...what's your name?
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Brief history: When I was in Warri last summer, I was invited to one of those comedy shows, and these guys performed. Okay, so the highlight of the whole show, was their mum, (dressed in serious traditional wear) who kept on running back and forth taking their pictures, clapping, hailing etc. The whole crowd kept cheering her on... hehehehe, anyway, when their number ended, the comedian who came on after them said: "abeg, make una clap for the mama, she born talent!"
Monday, December 3, 2007
N.b: My wish for you all this week is to find lots of love and happiness in your family, family is beautiful... respect yours and respect the families of others as well. Take care people!