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Fix My Eyes

The world around felt cold and lonely as the wave rolled up, crashed against the shore and swept grit off his feet. His shirt and shorts flapped in all directions while he stood akimbo and stared at the horizon and did not care if the wave washed him into the deep. 

He blamed the beach and women in his mind for what happened between him and his fiancée, now his ex- It’s hard to think she had gone by his weakness. 

Two weeks ago, their shadows had grown to their actual length under the golden sun as their feet burrowed the loose sand along the coast, lost in each other’s company, fascinated by the romantic beach; the sand was clean and near golden, and the cool breeze made the leaves of the many coconut trees in its vicinity flutter to his pleasure. Voices sounded like symphonies, and lovely women were everywhere.  

He had cringed when her arms clasped his body In a possessive way, forcing him to suck in his stomach so she could wrap them around his rotund trunk, and lock him in with her index fingers. 

He knew why she did that, she needed to save him from a head-turner, who walked as if she drifted towards them. She was more than pretty. 

Even though he sensed his fiancée’s countenance screaming; ‘He is my man, so, back off!’ he went ahead and said,

‘I think I have seen that girl somewhere. Can’t remember where.’ Her eyes had gone up to the sky as if she did not hear him.

   ‘Can you see that?’ she  pointed at the sky like a little girl, ‘The sky is as blue as the ocean!’  That sounded like fascinating scenery, but he was already a mess – hooked by the sight of the young lady before them.

 His eyes had followed her as she passed them and even though she did not return his smile, she did well to hypnotise him. That’s why he got carried away by her silk hair, which danced mirthfully in the ocean breeze, and every other thing, including her ankle-length silk skirt. 

His fiancée might have caught the sight of his drool, for she pulled off her engagement ring without a buzz. The gorgeous ring hit the back of his head, bounced off and hit the sand beside a boy who admired his sandcastle. 

His belly had heaved as he jerked back to sensibility. But when he turned, he saw her prancing away like a bruised snake. 

   ‘What a volatile emotion this girl has! ’ he whispered to the ocean when he managed to come out of his head. ‘She pulled a diamond ring off her finger as if it’s made of cheap wood,’ he glided his head from side to side and strode to the raffia beach stretcher and as usual waited for a miracle even though she made it clear to him that she had moved on, with a serious man.

He had always thought that the charm of a man was tied to his riches. In other words, a rich man was always got what he wanted with his money. If this was true, why then was he still single? ‘Why did she leave me?’ He repeated the question to the hearing of his driver. His driver looked over his shoulder and did not try to answer. He too did not know. 

At  2: 55 am, he rolled from one side of his luxury bed to another and smothered the pillow pinned down on his chest with his fleshy arms, the thought of how to start afresh hunt for a young lady to make his wife was about to kill him. When he knelt and asked God to help him, he also promised to close his eyes against pretty women if he would ever look beyond his shortcomings and get him married.

 Afterwards, he lay awake and wondered if he could fulfil his promise to God. But a tiny voice crept into his mind and he heard what it said vividly, You know your problem. You know what the solution is.

That’s right. If he could only go blind–.

‘Fix my eyes,’ he whispered.


Maimed

Fiez

My Best Wedding Ruiner #5

As they all worshipped and adored Ukadi, I retired to my room, slumped on my bed face down and thought of what to do. From all indications, I was losing ground with a rocket speed. Not one person from my whole family saw things my own way.

Shortly, my brother walked to me with a swollen pocket which he dipped his hand into to bring out the money Ukadi gave to him.

“You must return it.”

“You joking right?”

“I’m serious Ugo.”

“What are you? Insane? You know I’m not that foolish. It’s free money. Cool twenty thousand naira. You know I won’t.” he said.

“I said you must return it because I’m not going to marry him.”

“You’re just being childish. You’re not a child Amaka. You’re almost seventeen.”

“I know how old I am. And I know also I’m wiser than all of you chasing his money.”

“I didn’t ask him for it. He handed it over to me. What was I supposed to do? Rebuff his kind gesture?”

“It’s because you didn’t know what he did to me.”

“What did he do?”

“He bundled me into his car on my way back from school on Friday, took me to his house and locked me up all through the night.”

“Mother said he saw you with a boy and you know you did the wrong thing. You’re betrothed to him. You shouldn’t be keeping a boyfriend,” he said still looking at the money.

“Ukadi told you he saw me with my boyfriend?”

” He told mother so she could advise you.”

“When?”

“Just now, and mother told me,” he said as he returned the money into his pocket and after held his pocket as if the money was going to vanish if he didn’t.

“And you believed the boy was my boyfriend?”

“What else could a girl and a boy be doing walking home on a Friday with hands on the shoulders?”

“Emeka is just a walk home friend of mine and my school mate,” I almost shouted. ”

Put a girl in his place. You have many girls going in the same direction as you every day. Get rid of Emeka.” he stood to say this and I saw his seriousness.

“Can’t understand why all of you believed him without hearing my own side of the story. I feel so bad right now.” I sighed.

“Don’t be Amaka.” he lay next to me. “Nothing is ruined yet. You still have an opportunity to be nice to your husband to be.”

I thought about the phrase ‘husband-to-be’ and flinched at its reality.

“You’re not listening to me….”

“Amaka! Amaka!” My mum called and judging by the sound of her voice, she had been given a fat sum too, fatter than Ugo’s sum.

“Yes, mama!”

“Your husband is about to go! Come see him to the car,” she said.

Wrong.

First off, Ukadi is not yet my husband and my father knows because he had not collected my dowry from him. Secondly, it’s not right for me to see him off after all he did to me.

I got up to show respect to my mum but by the time I reached there and saw them all laughing at his jokes, with my father throwing his legs up and clapping as he laughed, I sighed and withdrew

“Go see him off! Now!”

And I went. Obeying my mum was a must.

When he handed me a bag full of items, I felt like kicking his flashy car in disgust but I didn’t. It would look very childish. The child in me wanted to do certain things.

I threw up a thank you as if I must, stormed to the visitors receiving area, where my father was sitting smiling as if everything was okay. I sat forcefully and watched Ukadi smile at everyone and everyone waved him bye with smiles. He beeped his horn stylishly and my brother hailed and praised him.

“Amaka my daughter, ” my mother began when Ukadi had gone out of sight. “that man that just left is a good man. If you miss marrying him, I don’t know if you’ll ever get someone like him again.”

“Mama Ugo don’t talk like that. He’s not the only good man on earth. There are better men than him. Don’t think the future of our daughter depends on him. He is human and humans can fail. I want you to always remember this.” my fathers finished with her and turned to me, “Amaka my daughter listen,” I looked up sharply at him hoping he would say something different and pleasant.

“Ukadi and his people will be coming next week to fix a date for the paying of dowry.” My father said and I stood up to confront him.

“Father, I’m not going to marry him.”

My mother folded her hands on her head out of anxiety brought them down before saying to me, “You won’t disgrace me before my fellow women who are already thanking God for giving me such a good son-in-law.”

“Keep quiet woman!” Father said to her. “Allow your daughter to say her mind.”

“Why my daughter. Why don’t you want to marry him again after one year of accepting him?”

“I never wanted him. You people have always pushed me to him. I don’t like him.”

“Forget about likeness and love. It will come when you start living together as husband and wife.” my father said.

“Father! I don’t want to marry him.”

My mum stood up and stormed into the house. Took her head-tie and stormed out as she was tying it around her head.

My father called her back.

“Where are you going?”

“Oh, I’m going to buy foodstuff for cooking.” I knew she was going to see mama Nkechi, her closest friend. To tell her about the new development so they could join hands to talk me into changing my mind.

“Isn’t it too early?” father asked

“Not really, there is nothing in the house.”

“You have any money left on you?”

“I’m going to use the money Ukadi gave to me.”

“Do not insult me, ” fathers eyes were red, ” go keep his money you purse, go inside my room and take some money from my wallet.”

I was amused. The problem with my father is that he had no courage to stand before Ukadi and say his mind as a man. He would be saying one thing behind but once he saw Ukadi, he would be thrown off balance by his charm and turn to the exact opposite. If only he could stand like a brave man.

“I want you to think about what you just said now, my daughter. In the next four days, we will sit again to talk about this. Whatever you say, will be final. I can’t force you to marry someone you don’t like.”

“Thank you, father,” I said got up, genuflected and joined my siblings who were itching to see what was in the bag Ukadi handed to me.

My Mistakes In Series #2

I felt something coming up my throat. It brought a very unpleasant feeling. I tried to resist the urge to spew but it came all the way up to my mouth.

I ran, to the bathroom adjacent to my room before it reached my clenched teeth, put my face in the basin and threw it all up and felt better. My mum was at the door waiting.

I walked past her as fast as my legs could so she won’t have the chance to ask questions but it didn’t work. She followed me to my door and asked why I had been hiding in my room lately.

“Is everything alright?”

“Yes, Mum. Please give me some few minutes. I will join you.,” I said abruptly without looking into her eyes and hastened to my room.

I closed my door once my whole frame managed to get in and the sleeve of my top got stuck in the door. I yanked it out and got a torn sleeve, walked to my bed and lay on my back.

I felt the bump in my lower abdomen, It’s a small bump like a quarter of my fist. I looked up the roof and searched as though the solution to my problem had been embedded therein and then went into a serious battle with my conscience.

“Tell your mother, you can’t do this alone,” said the tiny gentle voice. “She’ll always be the one who would slap you with her right hand and cuddle you with her left. She won’t kill you if you do, And she’ll also be the one who will know how to talk to your dad about it.”

I turned to lie on my right side.

“But you know your mother quite well,” said the stronger commanding voice, “She won’t give you a pat on the back for opening your legs for someone you’re not married to. She’ll disown you, for getting pregnant in the process- at seventeen and your dad will shoot you in the head and go to jail.” The voice became stronger. “Think about your dad, who has laid down plans for your future. You are his only child. It matters a lot to him that you get a good education and a very good career and he’s ready to spend even out of his retirement to make sure it happened and now you spoilt it all. He doesn’t deserve to hear this, you’ll only break his heart and sicken him with the worst news ever.”

The gentle voice became tinier. “It’s very hard. It’s very hard to hide anything from family. Not this kind! Every secret might be hidden for a while but soon enough in a day you do not expect, it will somehow leak out from the secret box and everyone will be like, “What? Can’t believe you did that. And to even think that you hid it from your family! Your own family! But if you tell it now, they’ll be like, “why did you do this?” and once you cry for pardon, everyone let’s go. It’s a family. The family never forsakes you. Go now! Go tell your mum!”

Then came the big coarse voice. “Runaway! Run!”

I got up from my bed and walked downstairs. It came again, right before my mum, I couldn’t hold it back, threw up again in the hallway.

She moved closer and gave me such blade sharp look and nearly cut me to pieces.

“What is happening to you Chetachi? Are you pregnant?” she asked after putting my bottom carefully on the sofa.

“No mama!” I gave her a look that said, “how on earth do you think such. Hell no!” I shook my head vigorously and cleaned my lips with the back of my two hands to cover up my lies but I noticed she was not deceived. But you know, she didn’t want to push it further right away because she was sure to seek professional help.

“We need to see the doctor. Get dressed let’s get going. Right away. I can’t wait. I’ve been watching you for a week now. You’ve changed.” She said.

I went back to my room. I thought of what to do. I didn’t think of going to the doctor with her was a good idea. There was where the secret would be laid bare.

I had already found out what’s wrong with me and going there would reveal it to her. I quickly dressed up and packed a few of my things into a soft bag, sneaked down the stairs and sneaked out through the back yard.

I didn’t know where I was going nor what I would do when I get there, I only needed to move away and keep my secret from them.

I couldn’t face my parents with such news. I would likely send them a mail once I was far out of sight. I kept walking without stopping, praying that no one I knew surfaced. It was a three minutes walk to the bus station that seemed very long.

I thought about my friends, which one of them would be able to take me in. They all were still staying with their parents and it’s not wise going to stay with them – my agemates.

Money was not my problem, I had enough with me in addition to the one in my account, which could be enough to take me for months. I was sure my dad would not fail to send money to my account.

I thought about renting an apartment but wondered how living in it alone would feel like. It had to be somewhere far away from my town and hidden away. I had to adjust to the rough life that destiny had thrown my way.

~~~~~~

My Best Wedding Ruiner #6

As I walked home from school on Wednesday evening without my walk-home friend, Emeka, I was seriously disturbed that Ukadi paid my school fees again.

Why should he? To make his rope around me stronger?

I increased my stride to get home quick and see my father. We needed to talk. I needed to tell him my mind as he said I should after four days.

I was deep in thought when I heard a car beep.

I stood aside and waited for it to pass. It was a lonely narrow and untared road with thick shrubs on both sides.

He stopped in front of me instead.

Out of instinct, I made to run away, It’s hard to fathom what the ‘jeep men’ could do. A lot of stories had been told about kidnap and rape and all. I was somehow scared.

But I was brave enough to keep walking, calmly.

He followed slowly until I stopped to warn him to stop following me.

He rolled down his glass.

“Hello?”

“Hello,” I said with such coldness that made him grin.

“Where are you heading to?”

I started walking away. I thought he was missing his way and needed me to give him direction but since he wasn’t missing his way, I had no time to waste with a total stranger. I didn’t want to take any risk.

He followed.

“Do you realize you’re being rude?”

Silence ensued as we continued.

I wished Ukadi came around. He would have turned red with rage and jealousy.

When ‘we’ reached the junction before my house, I asked him where he was going.

“As you can see, I’m following you home.”

“I won’t do that if I were you.”

But he did.

He followed me to my house. No need to fret because my mum would tear him to pieces with the words of her mouth.

That’s exactly what she would do. No other man except Ukadi would be allowed near me. Her heart had been won over to forever cherish him as her son-in-law. An older son-in-law.

We reached our gate and he parked by the side of the road and stepped out. I didn’t bother to stop him.

He followed me into the compound.

Was he insane?

My mum was there. She stood up with hands on her hips – akimbo.

“Who’s that Amaka? Who is he looking for?”

I only gestured with both my hands and shrugged my shoulders that I didn’t know him.

Heavens was let loose and words rained.

“Young man, what brings you to my doorstep?”

“Good evening mama! I’m Dozie from..”

“From where? Past, present or future?” Didn’t anyone bring you up? Didn’t they teach you? Don’t you have common sense? Do you enter people’s compound just like that?” She vibrated. “Disappear this moment before I alert the neighbours.”

“Sorry, ma’am. I’m sorry.” he walked away fast without looking back. I laughed heartily and wished she did that to Ukadi.

~~~~~