They stood together on the rooftop terrace of his grandmother’s house. Tomorrow, he would be off to Port Harcourt. He didn’t know when he would return, she didn’t know if she’d survive if he didn’t.
“That’s Orion.” He whispered as he pointed to the sky.
“Orion. In Greek mythology, he’s a huntsman. You can see his outline traced by that star, this one, this one…”
She squinted at the stars. “I can’t see it.”
“Why are you whispering?”
“Because it’s romantic.” He whispered.
She laughed. He took her right hand and brought it to his lips.
“I’ll come back, Adesua. I don’t know when but I’ll come back for you.”
Today, the 3rd of September, 2011, I wake up unable to breathe. The alarm goes off, and I register the birds singing outside my window, the greyness that is 6 am, and the fact that my heart hammers in my chest.
It takes me a moment to remember. For panic to claw at my throat. I reach for the Ventolin on the bedside table. Each heave is painful, but not as painful as the lump of sorrow in my chest. It’s a selfish thought but you should be here with me. Not somewhere uptown, preparing to marry Her. Read the rest of this entry
In 2007, only 4% of students reported being bullied.
The statistic is an earworm in his head. Over and over. The words chase each other. Indicting him. How does he explain it to his son’s mother? He can not, he will not go home with this.
Perhaps if he stands just so, close enough to the queue so that he looks like he too is waiting for a bus and far enough that others can join the queue in front of him, he will not draw attention. No one will notice. That he’s been standing on the same spot for thirty five minutes, and that seven LAMATA buses, three of them completely empty, have come and gone and he still stands there.
Waiting. For the sheer normalcy of the world to crack.
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You, you and Lara, you had decided when you got married that every time you had friends over, you would feed them pasta. It was quick, it was easy and it was a crowd favourite. She understood that you were a writer, not a cook. She was like that in the beginning, understanding and supportive. She understood when you said you hated fish, she understood when you didn’t go with her to social functions, when you spent whole days at your computer, powered by caffeine and the insane craving for the perfect, perfect sentence. She understood, she let you work. Didn’t bug, didn’t fuss. But that was then. Read the rest of this entry
His name was Yusuf and, in a symbolic act of national cleansing, he was supposed to assassinate the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Independence Day.
The hiss of radio static from the walkie-talkie was his only company as he stood in the shadows of the amphitheatre waiting for a signal from the man he called General. He assembled his gun, the tripod and the scope with the ease that came from practicing this exact routine sixteen hours of every day for the past six months. Six months since the General had confidently walked up to him in a men’s room at the Transcorp, signed him a cheque and tabled plans for a coup that could only succeed if Yusuf played his part.
One shot only. Read the rest of this entry