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The Digger

He walked in like a stranger to the funeral. He wore black like everyone else. He walked at a slow pace, keeping up with the little distance that separated him from the men and women who sat at a far end. Someone, perhaps the deceased father was giving a tearful speech. He stood from afar watching. A picture of the deceased spread wide apart on the podium. He could hear loud sobs, people where hugging each other, women, going into the embrace of men, some others going into each other embrace. Others leaning on the shoulders of others. He saw women holding up a handkerchief to their nose as they sniffed or cried.

The old man who spoke at the podium starred at the casket which laid in the middle, separating him from the crowd. He cried so much as he starred, he couldn’t hold himself any longer. Everyone joined in. The loud sobbing continued. It was as though everyone there needed this refreshing grief. Everyone there cried, save the tall shrewish stranger, dressed in black like everyone else.

**

He sat at the last row, looking at the garden like podium. It was the kind of podium that was used for a wedding. Lots of thoughts tore up in him as he looked at the deceased picture. He knew the deceased so well yet he didn’t fell any iota of commiseration for the deceased. He was filled with sadness, not the sympathy like sadness, it was the sadness that he wasn’t the one who killed the deceased. It was the sadness that the deceased won him forever and he just gonna leave with that. He envied the deceased. He wished he was the one who died triumphantly like the deceased and the deceased were him, alive. He would laugh at the deceased always but then he remembered that the deceased, if alive won’t be able to see him mocking. He wondered if the deceased would forgive him or even not remember that they had an issue. He wondered if the deceased would have been at his funeral and cry for him. Death was supposed to make the deceased missed, loved, forgiven, but it wasn’t so for him. He hatted the deceased even more than when the deceased was alive. He forever wished he was the one who killed the deceased and hated himself strangely for not being the one. He wouldn’t have minded if the cops caught him and threw him into prison and he was executed by the states. Nothing was compared to him watching Alex Delc splattered in his own pool of blood and he shooting him in the caps again and again. He fantasied about it always and it refueled his hate for Alex.

***

The funeral was finally over. He watched as the deceased casket was lay 6 feet. Everyone stood up, with umbrellas turned open, shielding them from the rays of the sun, as they watched the casket lay 6 feet. He didn’t get up.

He sat down watching people troll forward where he had been buried, dropping flowers and pictures of him. He sat still as he watched everyone leave. Alex Delc mother was really devastated. She was times without number pulled up from the ground where she crumbled unto at different intervals but was picked up. She looked all messed up when she turned to leave. He watched other grown ups, old men and women, teenager leave, even the priest left. Nobody came to ask him to leave. He didn’t leave. He couldn’t leave. He had one duty to perform to Alex Delc.

When everywhere was completely silent and empty, He went over to where Alex was buried. A shovel was by it’s side and so he grabs it and start digging. He doesn’t know how long he will keep digging but he keeps digging. At first his work looked futile as he scooped off handful of sand, yet he didn’t stop. Then there was a cloud burst. It happened suddenly, the heavy rain.

He kept digging. The rain blinded him, turning the earth around him to looked mangled. The rain kept pouring and yet he kept digging. He began levelling down into the grave as he used an axe to break the sticky earth around him and used the shovel to dig out the earth. When his shovel knocked hard against the casket, he looked surreal. He’d dig the last earth and walah, the casket.

He was standing on the brightly brown coloured casket. He went to the end of the casket and used his axe to break it open, hitting the casket with all his might. The part where he kept hitting broke open and in it, there lay Alex Delc, his nemesis. He smiled wickedly as he looked at the corpse. He wanted to throw the corpse upward but he didn’t want to waste time. He broke the cover of the casket completely, giving him enough room.

He looked at Alex delc. He dropped his axe and starts shoving the dead body. As he does this, Memories starts stacking up in his brain , earth sicking memories. With each memory came with a savage blow on the deceased.

He stared at Alex delc, remembering how Alex delc raped his sister, Mara, and he did nothing to save her. He and Mara were returning from a night party in his pick up truck when some gongs rode in front of them. He didn’t see them early so he crashed into them. He was so drunk that he couldn’t make out what was going on. Mara was smiling drunkenly too.

A guy came to the driver side and pulled him out through the door. He’d hear voices around him. A finger was pointed in his direction. He shoved the finger away. He could hear voices murmuring slowly but he couldn’t make out what they were saying.

Laughter rang out in his head. It was accompanied with shouting and moaning. He looked back and saw Mara yanked out from the car. He went over and punched the dude who held her for which he was shot and stabbed. He became unconscious.

By the time he got himself, he was still on the floor but this time he was tied. Something was stuffed in his mouth. Everything was clear. He saw Alex delc, the street crook. His shenanigans and escapades were all over town. His name was on every one lips. He always got in and out of prison. Whenever he did a crime, he always got away with it. Those who reported him to the cops always ended up dead. He always found out those who rattled him out to the cops. No one could pin him with any crime.

****

He lay there defenselessly all tied up as he watched Alex delc slid into his sister.

Her screams still rang in his ears even as he looked at the dead Alex delc. He was punching the deceased face with each pangs of screams that roared in his head. His mud smeared hands left some of the mud on the deceased face. He was chocking him, watching his head limp backward and forward like a leaf. He noticed how weightless the deceased was. Alex delc fine face had disappeared and what was left of it was bleakness.

****

He looked up as Alex delc got up from his sister, Mara. Alex delc motioned to the other gongs and they dragged her away. He squirmed as he watched her dragged on the floor lifeless. He was screaming but the clothes stuffed in his mouth made his voice incoherent. Alex delc came and stood over him smiling. Soon someone from his back knocked him out.

Few days later his parents and he were at the hospital. His parents had looked for him and found him there. He had just recuperated when the cops came over to the hospital and arrested him. He saw the death look his dad gave.

His parents came over to the police station with him dressed up in prison uniforms, handcuffed. He didn’t remember a thing that happened that night. The cops played a video that was sent to him from someone who preferred to remain anonymous. The person said that he heard some loud noise as he walked down the road. He followed the noise and he saw a girl held on by different guys. After saying this, they played the video.

He watched the video of the rape, only this time, he was the one who rapped his sister. He saw how his mum and dad starred into nothingness and he hatted himself for making them feel this way. He saw his father look at him as he was taking away by the cops after long series of conversation of which his parents said little. He was taken into prison and there he got mocking calls from Alex delc. He knew the line couldn’t be traced. He got to know the real truth from Alex delc and then his memory of that night returned. He never told anyone the real truth. Who would believe him? He didn’t even want to be set free. He had come to accept fate. But he was later exonerated. He didn’t know how, neither was he happy that he was cleared. He went into the streets after that. He didn’t report back to his parents. He knew they won’t want him back. They never called or visited him in prison. For them, he was the one who killed Mara. He took her to the party. He should have stayed with her, which he did. But still he shouldn’t be alive while she was dead. He had no right to. He could have killed himself and died in honor, that could’ve been better but he didn’t. He looked out for Alex delc but never found him again till the day the deceased died.

****

He smiled painfully as he looked at Alex delc. He had scattered Alex’s bone all over the casket. He felt victorious, happy, and sad too. Anger kept swirling through his nerve. It was a self righteous vindicative yet unfulfilled anger. He was angry that Alex didn’t get to see his bones smashed. He was angry that Alex got to die peacefully in his sleep while his sister got to die in a horrible manner. The custodians of fate were mean. Most of all he was angered because even though he smashed Alex delc bones and punched him serval times, he knew he hadn’t won, at least he felt that way. He kept starring as he heard a voice, a mocking voice. It was Alex’s voice. He starred at his broken mangled body. Loud and clear the voice rang out;

” You may have broken me in half, you may have punched me all you can. You may have won the battle little dude but you lost the war.”

He flared angrily but smiled, knowing that somehow, Alex delc felt all the blows and punches he threw at him

Fathom part 7

Emma lay on the couch waiting for Dr. Lawrence to return. Her mind reverberated back to the sensation she felt as he walked out the door. She cradled in fear as she saw shadows moving in front of the door. She tried calming her nerves down with the thought that the shadows were humans, not some creepy monsters. Japanese language hummed in her ears like the buzzing of bees.

Emma closed her eyes, wrapping herself with the throw pillows on the couch, when a voice echoed loudly in her ears. She jumped up, flung all the throw pillows in the process, trying to catch her breathe when the voice called out again, this time from outside the door. She wanted to scream;

” Go away you bloody bastard.”

But all she could feel were pangs of painful relief.

Emma lay on the couch again, leaving the pillows on the floor, smiling ludicrously as the loud noise from the door echoed in her ears, only this time, it was no noise but melody. A melody that made her fears subtle.

Emma woke up the next morning. Dr. Lawrence shadow stacked before her. He was just done with the last button when she got up.

” Had a good sleep.” Dr. Lawrence asked.

” Sure.” Emma said with a grin.

” I just saw an envelop with my mail inside. It lay on the rug.” Emma followed Dr. Lawrence gaze and saw the only small circled round rug which lay by the door.

” Looks like the mail man came with my mail and you were probably sleeping.” Dr. Lawrence said.

Emma nodded in freight. Her nodding made Dr. Lawrence stare at her, as though she needed some explaining to do.

The light above her flickered in its tentative brightness.

Dr. Lawrence soon began telling her about last night when he walked out the door. He told her about the swimming pool, about the great food he ate at spitz restaurant, about the cute Japanese women he hung out with.

The thought of Dr. Lawrence with another woman nauseated her but she kept her cool. She starred at him in clenched anger. How could he walk out the door with some other lady leaving her like some old sick fool ? She didn’t want to think about what Dr. Lawrence did with the other lady but her mind kept plunging on. She knew she had no right to be jealous, same way Marcus shouldn’t get jealous if she hung out with other guys. They weren’t married, neither was she and Dr. Lawrence.

Emma got up from the couch;

” I should get going. It was a lovely time spent with you. We should catch up sometime.” She said as she flung her hair backward.

Dr. Lawrence smiled back. Later he called a cab for her and as the cab drove, Emma could see Dr. Lawrence from the front mirror. She gazed at him until his image zoomed off.

**

Emma stopped at Marcus apartment. Thankfully it was by the road. The building was high walled, nothing compared to Hikaru apartment. She could smell the moist scent of Noddle soup. She couldn’t make out the smell; was it good or was it putrid? Well hell yeah it didn’t matter.

As Emma approached Marcus house, she turned round and saw the railing, the railing she almost threw herself from when Riley left.

Emma held a sigh of relief as she turned forward towards the door, about knocking when Marcus opened the door. He starred at her, few seconds before he pulled away from the door.

Emma strolled in subconsciously. She avoided Marcus gaze. Her children at the dinning, sitting apart, still hatting each other.

Marcus head boiled in anger. He wanted to snap her, throttle her. Emma noticed his furious eyes and then she got angry;

Who was he to correct her? Sure she had ran to him for help but that didn’t give him leverage over her. If he wanted her gone, then she will, taking her kids along.

Marcus couldn’t hold himself any longer and so he bursted out;

” What the hell where you doing out there with Dr. Lawrence. You fucked him didn’t you?.”

Marcus suddenly calmed down on the realization of what he had just done. Why did he just have to blow it all in her face in front of her kids.

Emma was stunned at what Marcus said. How did he know? Soon she became angry;

” So you’re spying on me ? ”

” I wasn’t spying, someone, perhaps him, sent a video of you two. You lay on the couch while he lay on you kissing you senseless.”

Emma didn’t believe him. He’d send someone who made this video all up. But why? She asked. She knew she and Dr. Lawrence didn’t have sex, at least he didn’t give her the chance to do so but why the lies?

Emma saw Riley eyes shot through her. It came with it a gripping fear that scorched Emma.

” Riley’s seizures sprung up again and i ran over to the hospital to get some drugs from Dr. Lawrence but he wasn’t around, guess you guys were ogling together.” He said sarcastically.

Emma sighed at the rapt smile on his face.

” His nurse gave me some drugs in a wrapped piece.”

Emma noticed Caleb presence for the first time. He was nodding to a beat. She wanted to yank his headset off his ears. He didn’t seem to notice what was going on.

” How long has he been playing on that?. ” Emma asked.

” All day I guess.” Marcus replied.

” Did you take Riley along when you went to the hospital ? ”

” When did I all of a sudden become your concern mum?.” Riley asked.

Both Marcus and Emma turned to stare at her, watching her stare into nothingness.

” Hey what’s trailing out from the bag ?.” Caleb called out.

” What do you mea…”

Marcus voice was interrupted by voices he heard coming downstairs.

” Wait! isn’t that marijuana?” Emma voice echoed loudly.

” Where did you get that from.?” She asked.

” From the hospital.”

” Which hos… ” Emma voice was silenced by Marcus’ look. Why was she asking a question with an obvious answer? Off course Marcus bought it from Temple medical center where Dr. Lawrence worked. Perhaps there was a mix up or someone in the hospital was trying to frame him up. Emma didn’t think Dr. Lawrence smart enough to pull this stunt on them.

” What are we going to do ?.” Marcus called.

“May…” Emma’s voice was cut off by the hurling of the door.

Emma threw herself on the floor on seeing a band of cops trooping in. They shone brightly in their blue uniform and black vest with the aid of the sun.

They spoke Japanese, loud earth sickening Japanese. Emma stayed, looking back, seeing Caleb and Riley hurled too on the floor. Emma turned forward, only to be pushed sideways by Marcus with loud gun shots accompanying it.

Emma looked up and saw Nashua walking in. He went forward to where Riley was. He wanted to grab her when Emma jumped on him, scratching his face with her fingers. He turned around and sent her landing on the floor. She wanted to get up but was stopped by a bullet which was at an inch distance from where she lay.

As Nashua proceeded further, Emma grabbed his ankle weakly, and he shook off her hands and stomped on them vehemently.

Nashua saw Riley cry as he approached her, making a face at Caleb like he caused it and he became angered by this and shot Caleb on the shoulder and came and to grabbed Riley who looked lost, only for him to be tripped down and as soon as he looked back, he saw a man running, holding Riley on his arm. The police began shooting but Nashua ordered them to stop.

***

It’s been 2 hours and everywhere was silent. Only the wheezing breath of Emma floated in the air.

Marcus lay underneath the cupboard with Riley. He looked at her often. She was pale. He saw blood stains all around her. He was sacred that she was shot but then he saw her coughing out blood, he knew it was her allergies.

Marcus lay low underneath the cupboard. He would see legs moving in all directions, swift Japanese languages rang in his ears. He would hear shattering and slamming of things.

Marcus heard Emma moans. He remembered her and Caleb. He knew he had to get them before things turn ugly. He looked up and saw Riley sleeping. He held a sigh of relief as he yanked out from his hiding spot.

***

Emma lay on the floor helplessly. Nashua was moving in the empty space that separated her from Caleb. Caleb lay on the floor, wallowing in his own blood. Emma wanted to get up but the gruesome pain she felt on her head didn’t let her.

Nashua kept walking in the middle of Emma and Caleb. He turned around and looked at his son, then turned and looked at Emma. He smiled mischievously on seeing her. He turned to the cops and nodded and immediately, two of the cops carried Caleb in an awkward position.

” You’ve got 3 minutes Marcus. Give up Riley and turn yourself in, or I’m gonna put a bullet in Emma’s brain.” Nashua said, signaling the cops who positioned at a spot waiting for Marcus to come out.

” You’ve got 2 minutes ! Give up Riley or y’all die.” Nashua roared, putting a gun on Caleb’s head.

Soon a siren was heard from outside. It was from one of the cops car.

Marcus came forward on hearing the siren. He saw Emma thrown haphazardly on the floor. Caleb was on the floor, at a far end from where Emma lay. A pool of blood was formed around him. The living room was empty. Marcus feared that it was some trap. As he went forward to grab Emma, Nashua appeared from no direction with 2 men with. He starred at Marcus laughing , then he shot Marcus something which made him unconscious.

Marcus woke up hours later, Emma was lying on the same spot. His head did swirl. He went underneath the cupboard where he kept Riley but she was gone. He went back to the living room it was empty expect Emma who lay unconscious on the floor. He came out to stand by the railings and looked outside, the cops cars were gone. Everyone in the apartment walked normally as though nothing happened but they knew damn well what went down. Nashua then scratched his head at the realization that Nashua was gone and so were Riley and Caleb.

****

3 hours later, someone knocked on the door, Emma, who was terrified after Marcus told her all that happened while she was unconscious, got up to open the door. Marcus had gone out to look for Riley and Caleb. Emma had refused joining him. She knew he wasn’t gonna find them. Nashua couldn’t be found expect he turned himself in.

Emma sighed at the thought of Marcus telling her that she was right that there was no use searching. She wished and prayed that she wasn’t right. She would smack Marcus on the face if he didn’t come back with her kids even though she didn’t expect to see him with them.

The knock on the door sounded again, Emma pushed back the bolts and opened the door. No one was there. She immediately pushed back in and shut the door at the thought of someone holding a sniper and targeting her. Emma bolted the door back, and used her body to wage the door. The silence outside terrified her. She stayed there until she heard Marcus yell;

” Holy shit.”

Emma quickly unbolted the door and opened it. She looked at him and saw him starring at something on the floor near her. She followed his gaze and saw Riley on the floor. Emma jerked and pushed her to make sure it was Riley and lo and it was really her. A note was pasted on her back and it was written thus;

” I’ve got your son, don’t call the police.”

Emma starred at Riley. It didn’t make sense to Emma.

Riley had woken up. She got up and starred at her mother.

So many thought rattled inside Emma’s mind;

Why did Nashua give Riley back, wasn’t she the one he always wanted?

Was this really Riley or was it someone else who had mask herself to look like her?

Was Riley an accomplice?

Emma freaked out on seeing Riley and she knew that Caleb was gone..

Life in Nigeria..

The first time Nicole came to Nigeria, he wasn’t happy. His dad had told him to go spend summer holidays with his uncle Cain in Nigeria. He had never seen his uncle Cain before neither had he seen his kids before. The only image he saw of his uncle was a portrait in a frame hung on the wall in the living room. It was the photo of his uncle Cain’s wedding. It was a church wedding in Abuja. The priest was about joining his uncle and his wife. Nicole’s dad stood by his uncle as the best man. Uncle Cain and Aunty Esther were holding hands, chin up as they starred at each other.

Nicole sometimes wondered if his dad and uncle Cain were not brothers cause that was the only photo that he ever saw of them. Maybe they were other pictures which his dad hide.

Uncle Cain spoke often and briefly with him whenever he called his dad. Often times, Nicole would be in his room and he would hear;

” Come greet uncle Cain. ”

Uncle Cain would sound brief, asking same questions; how he was holding on, how the weather was in Boston, would joke about storm or earthquake happening then he would give Nicole a piece of advice and then tell him to give the phone to his dad. He never asked Nicole of his mum because she was a white woman and he had this sick idea of white women overpowering their husbands and becoming undutiful. Nicole’s mum hated him too. She called him a psychotic mediocre.

Nicole wished his mum were here, she wouldn’t had let him go to Nigeria but she was in prison for possession of drugs after which she had to go through series of rehabilitation, so Nicole had to stay with his dad. His mum and dad were divorced. She got up one morning and left, no reason, no explanation, at least that’s what Nicole thought. Few months later she went to court asking for a divorce. It dragged on for a long time but finally it happened. Nicole was put in the custody of his Dad. His mum came visiting often. She loved the idea of him being in the custody of his father. Even when he had private conversation with his mum, she never asked him how his dad treated him. She didn’t care or perhaps it didn’t cross her mind to ask. Nicole did think that she was looking for something, anything to pin his dad’s ass down but later on, when she told him in their last conversation that she was getting married to Hart, he then understood that she wanted a new life, a life that neither he nor his dad were part off. 3 weeks after their conversation, she was imprisoned. Nicole watched it on the news with his dad. His dad phone rang as they watched the news and loud sobs was heard. His dad was acting so calm like nothing ever happened.

**

Nicole’s trip to Nigeria didn’t exhilarate him. Nothing of what his father said to him on their way to the airport could he recall, the only thing he could remember was a phrase that his father said repeatedly ;

When you get to Lagos, take another flight to Port- Harcourt. Uncle Cain is waiting for you at the Lagos airport, so once you land, look out for him.”

Everything about the journey irked Nicole. He had to deal with flight delays and all of the other hassles of summer travel. His dad didn’t seem to mind. He sat still talking with different white folks. He wouldn’t talk to a black flock. Nicole’s dad and this white folks talked about everything there is to talk about. They talked about politics, hair, marriage, feminism, job openings, Racism, Love stories, the weather and even about animated series..

One of the white flocks, Hank, a divorcee was sitting close by with his ex- wife. Nicole wondered why white Americans were so cold hearted. Nicole didn’t expect them to sit close by as he expected them to be emotionally frustrated, but they weren’t. Hank even said that they’ve agreed to keep up as best friends.

‘What a scratch coincidence lie?’

A white lady by the name Nora in a long blonde was smoking a pipe. Her eyes were burning red. She was a single mum before her children were taken to foster homes after a neighbor called the cops for her after her rattled her out. He came over to her house after she had gone out. He always heard loud sobs but didn’t know what was wrong. Finally when he came over, the children, after series of persuasion, opened up. He would numerous bruises and cuts on their bodies. Her oldest daughter, 11 yrs old, told the neighbor how their mum was a drug addict and how she beat them up for no reason and how she threw them ( her kids) downwards from the stair railings and how she put her younger brother in an oven, and how their mum beat them with a clog and how their mum poured boiling hot water on their feet.

The neighbor called the cops and after few examinations and questioning, they waited till Nora came home and then they took her children away and they arrested her, giving her 10 yes, after which she went for rehabilitation for 2 yrs before she was released. She was never the same after that and she never saw her kids again.

When Mr. Hank began to talk about high rates of suicide in America, she got up an left, as though she could sense malevolence and nobody there could sense her need and comfort her.

Finally it was time to journey back to Nigeria, goodbyes were hurriedly said as everyone began to head for the airplane.

Nicole’s dad waved to him as he entered the plane.

Nicole sat near a Nigerian who was being deported. The man smelt like weed. His eyes were red. He was one of those whose life was frustrated in America. He had just been released from prison and was deported immediately.

The Nigerian was talking with another Nigerian and Nicole listened keenly. He wondered if they were speaking Yoruba or Hausa but they weren’t. They spoke English but their English was unpalatable.

” Oga wetin you dey tell me. American no be place wey you go mumu your life. Abi I dey tell you but you no dey listen. See how your oyibo wife put you for trouble, Emeka!!.”

” Guy shut up. Me self better pass you! I no dey do drugs. You come go prison for drug issue nonsense. God don punish you. Ode!!.” Emeka said.

” Guy America be racist country oh. I no know.. You no say na police man over there wey I dey trade with before they catch me.” Tobi, Emeka’s friend said.

” Mumu na trap they set for you.. They know you’re a drug dealer but they just needed evidence against you when they charge you to court.” Emeka said

” But sha me and you no dey different. You wan do shabby marriage so you go be citizen of America. For your mind you sharp! See how your so called America wife put you for trouble.. I know say you pay her well for it but she just dey use you as mugu. She don arrange your arrest with the cops.” Tobi said.

” Seriously that girl plan me scatter.. I think say she be naive person. I know no say na me be the fool. That her useless brother, Mike, God go punish him. ” Emeka said

” Wetin her brother do you! ” Tobi asked.

” Na he make me not to escape. I for escape them. As I dey run, I saw the fool who told me to follow him. I did because he was fellow Nigerian. He led me back to the cops. As I turn to run after noticing the trap, he shot me on my leg. ”

” E be like that Mike was a cop too.” Tobi said.

Nicole sat down listening to the 2 Nigerians who sat by him, amused by their fanti language and their angry expressions.

” Na true.” Emeka spoke out.

” Yes! It was exactly what they did to my cousin. The police set him up. They set trap for him. One of the cops pretend like he be drug dealer too and that’s how my cousin was caught. He was given 15 yrs sentence under probation but he never made it out. He was killed by his inmate who’s a racist. The psychotic fellow was later transferred to solitary.. ” Tobi said sobbing a little.

” Guy na God’s hand we dey.” Another Nigerian who was deported said.

” Me self I just happy say I dey come back home. America no be place to live in.” Emeka repiled.

Nicole listened with keen interest as many deported Nigerians recounted their stay in America. He wished he too was a deported fellow too. He wanted to be part of them. He loved the way they could create happiness out of a hideous situation. Nicole laughed as they called Americans olodo, ode, white fools.

When an American hostess, a white lady in a blue jacket and a strapped trouser came over to say that they were at Lagos Nigeria, about landing the plane, sniffed her nose irritably like she couldn’t breathe and said that they all smelt like garbage, smiling as though she didn’t expect them to understand what garbage was, Emeka farted loudly. Everyone laughed as they covered their nose, as though it was the hostess who farted,

” This na American mess!!” Someone yelled from the back in between his laugh.

Others threw their food given to them on the plane at her. Nicole watched excitedly as the hostess kept raising her hands as if to block it. Her clothes were soiled so was her hair which was ruined. She ran away mortified and someone shouted ” America white fool, ode!!”
***

The landing of the plane frightened everyone. Nicole laughed when he saw some Nigerians confessing their sins to God, making the sign of the cross, some others raised native songs which everyone on the plane joined in. Nicole wanted to join them. He wanted to believe in God, in rapture but he wasn’t convinced that it was real. He grew up in a home where both his dad and mum were atheist. That was the only thing they ever agreed on, in the nonexistence of a supernatural being. His dad openly called it crap but his mum didn’t ever say a word when an argument about the existence of God was raised but he knew she agreed with dad.

Uncle Cain was standing close by the airplane as it landed. He wasn’t the only person there so many people were gathered there. Nicole didn’t see him but then he heard his name loudly called out as he came out from the plane. He turned back and saw a stranger in an oversized dress. Uncle Cain had to raise some of his dress which trailed on the ground and passed some of it under his right armpit.

Nicole could hardly recognise his uncle. He tried to picture this man standing with the man in the wedding picture that hung in the living room of his house.

Nicole watched his uncle run and hug him like he was missing or he had been kidnapped before. Nicole, in his uncle’s embrace watched as others who gathered around when the plane landed, running to hug their families who came out from the plane. Nicole looked out for Emeka and Tobi and other Nigerians whose face he’d capture but he wouldn’t see them.

Uncle Cain put his hands right across Nicole’s shoulder as they headed for another flight to Port- Harcourt.

Nicole didn’t see much of Lagos and for that he felt a dissatisfaction that came with a longing. He had been told by his dad, his friends and even by goggle that Lagos and Abuja were the best places in Nigeria. He’d long to see lekki and banana island and Victoria island in Lagos but he wouldn’t get to see them. He so wished he could disappear and join the likes of Emeka and Tobi.

” This flight is only for 45 minutes. Don’t worry we will soon land in Port Harcourt shortly. ” Uncle Cain said.

Nicole was angry at his statement. Didn’t he know that he didn’t want the flight to ever end? Nicole didn’t reply instead he asked ;

” How did you know that am gonna be on that plane cause I ain’t supposed to be on that plane. It’s for People who were deported and hell no was I deported. I just pray that it won’t in anyway hinder me when am gonna go back to America. ” Nicole asked.

” No it won’t. By the way it was God that made me see you when you came out from the plane. It was just God, just God.”

Nicole saw his uncle looking upward and waving his hands. Nicole wondered why he attributed everything to an invisible deity that he couldn’t see. Nicole believed it was luck and fate that made his uncle to see him. But somehow he knew that there was an invisible force and deity in whose power and will the earth and heaven are in place.

” Your cousins Can’t wait to see you oh. They want to see oyibo pepper. You’ve become a celebrity in my house. ” Uncle Cain as the plane finally landed.

***

The drive to Uncle Cain’s house was a bumpy ride. Uncle Cain’s Car was parked at the Port Harcourt airport So it was easy to go back home. Nicole sat still as he looked at the window trying to take in as much as he could. The road was tarred with bill boards erected at different Corners. Heaps of thrash were situated at different Corners. He would see hawkers on the road selling stuffs he didn’t know off. It got worse when a go slow had occurred in Rumibo, Nicole would see small children standing by the front seats of Car begging for money, mostly no one gave them. When one of them came by Uncle Cain’s Car, resting his hands on the Car Close by where Nicole sat, immediately he saw Nicole, he began chanting loudly;

” Oyibo pepper!! Oyibo has come to Nigeria!! ” flinging his hands upward as he tried to touch Nicole’s hair but Nicole pushed back and turned up the glass and soon the go slow ceased and Cars were moving again. Nicole felt relieved.

Nicole looked out the window and saw some cars following one way, he’d see some men unzipping their trouser and urinating at corners. In America, such persons would be arrested and fined.

Nicole looked up at so many buildings. The color of the buildings were wearing away. The buildings were old as though they were eaten by a moth.

As uncle Cain drove forward, he stopped at a police checkpoint. Immediately he saw the police man, he began speaking Igbo to the man, saying “abeg” to the man, and squeezing out a hundred naira note to the man who smiled mischievously at Nicole who didn’t look in his direction. After a short chatting he drove off.

” Didn’t you have your papers? ” Nicole asked

Uncle Cain was taken aback.

” Yes I did. ” uncle Cain managed to say, peering into Nicole’s eyes, afraid and feeling guilty.

” So why did you have to bribe that officer?”

Uncle Cain looked up at him, starring at him with that impulsiveness that made him look like he had an idea but in reality got nothing. Nicole knew he didn’t know what to say. He knew kids in his class with his uncle’s look, kids who raised their hands up high with shrilled excitement on their faces. Their excitement also showed in their waving, only to be picked up by the teacher to answer a question or solve an equation and then their reply was always;

I’m not sure.”

Nicole often wondered whenever this happened in class;

Did they really know the answer or had the answer drowned off in the heat of their excitement?

Uncle Cain looked up at Nicole wondering if he felt like he was in a hot seat right now. Off course Nicole wouldn’t share the same nervousness he had. Uncle Cain looked up wondering how he could explain to Nicole that it was the way things were done in Nigeria; bribing. Bribing was more like the actual currency in Nigeria and things like money, promotions, high offers were means and modes by which this currency was displayed.

How could Uncle Cain explain to Nicole that one had to bribe his way out of problems even when he didn’t deserve it and also one had to bribe his way into fortune even when he didn’t earn it? How could he explain that was how it worked in all sectors in Nigeria, from the political sector to the Academic sector, even in offices and companies. Nobody wants to know what you have in your head or they care about is how much of the bribe you’re ready to give. Money is the major measure source of bribing in Nigeria and perhaps all over the world.

Uncle Cain was sprung up to consciousness after someone came by his door window and was shouting loudly, urging him to drive faster. Uncle Cain was driving so slowly in his subconscious stare at Nicole. The highway was free. Uncle Cain soon speed up and drove. Nicole sat still wondering why the other man at his uncle’s back was shouting. The road was big enough for him to outrun his uncle.

” Nigeria too love trouble. ” was all uncle Cain said.

****

Uncle Cain’s house was at Rumudara in Artillery. His house was located in an estate. His house was a duplex. His gate was very big and gigantic with high walls. Nicole hadn’t ever seen a building with gates and high walls in America. Dog barks could be heard from inside the compound. The building was colored with shredded white and the louvres were darkened with dust. The building looked damp as though it rained on it. Nicole saw all these when they drive inside the compound. For now, Uncle Cain was horning loudly. Nicole wanted to tell him to stop but he didn’t. He wondered if the cops would come out and tell him to stop or give him a ticket for disturbing the peace of the environment but none of such happened. Nicole was breathing heavily. Uncle Cain and he stood outside for 10 minutes before his son came over to open the gate. His eyes were wet with tears. Uncle Cain drove impatiently into the compound.

A shrilled voice greeted Uncle Cain as he came out from the car. It was his wife;

” Oga welcome oh.” She said bowing a little while he patted her back. She stood up and then looked at her son and began raining abuses on him, calling him a fool, a goat, a dog, a brainless fool. The boy stood watching in regret, bowing his head down. His mum even spat on him.

Nicole watched still, looking at Ginka, uncle Cain’s son with a little bit of resentment. Why did he let his mum talk to him that way and even spit on him all because he didn’t open the gate on time? The abuse was bad enough but the spitting was way out of the line. He should have done something, perhaps talk back at her in defiance or better still, walk away. That’s what he or any of his mates would have done. Nicole too wondered too why Nigerian children called their parents mummy and daddy. Couldn’t they call them mum and Dad? It sounded more cool. He had heard someone from inside shouting;

” Mummy, tell Tayo to stop looking for my trouble.” A boy of about 11years old called out but his mum didn’t respond. She was too angry to respond.

” Get out fool! Let me see your hands on that your game if I don’t smash it this afternoon. Your father was outside blowing horn and you’re inside waiting for your ancestors to come and open gate for him.” She sighed as she snapped her fingers at him before holding it and entering inside.

” Daddy has come, daddy has come” The eleven year old girls chanted, pushing Nicole aside to welcome her father

” Omalachiwama ( beautiful) ” was what the father always used to describe her.

She fell in his embrace.

” NEPA has come. ” a boy called out loudly.

” Tayo come greet your old man and help Nicole carry his box.”

” Binka come and greet your cousin, uncle Nicole. His the white oyibo have been telling you about.” Uncle Cain said to the eleven year old girl.

Binka starred at Nicole, looking at how light skinned he was, with his light brown color, he didn’t squint his nose more often, neither did he breathe slowly, choosing what he should breathe and what not to breathe in. He seemed used to Nigeria air. He wasn’t inquisitive and seemed to be able to relate with everyone even though he would seem withdrawn at first, starring and observing to know how to relate with everyone. He didn’t carry the air of superiority around him. He didn’t look the type who said his mind often. Yes he was a black American, not the real white American.

Nicole loved how Binka observed so much but didn’t say anything. After much starring, they took his luggage’s to the visitor’s bedroom downstairs. Uncle Cain’s wife came out from the kitchen, wearing an apron, drenched in sweat, and smelt of spices blended with the smell of sweat. Nicole wanted to close his nose because of how bad the air was around her. He wanted to ask her why She stayed at home to Cook and didn’t have a real job but he didn’t. Nicole’s mum and most women he knew in America weren’t full time house wives. They left home at 6am in the morning and came home by 10pm like their male counterparts, leaving their kids to fend for themselves. Most women in America earn more than their husbands.

In fact in America, most women didn’t give birth to many kids because of their jobs. Most times they might just have just one kid, at most two, if by persuasion, the husband is able to convince her to have three kids, then it was fine. Some women tied up their tubes so they won’t be able to have kids again. Women in America owned their bodies and they decided when and when not to have sex.

As if Binka’s mum knew what Nicole was thinking, she immediately frowned at him. Nicole looked up in despair, trying not to look at her, but then he knew that the anger wasn’t meant for him. She complained of being left alone to do the whole work in the house while everyone else lingered lazily.

” Darling, you and everyone else knows that even we tried to help you, you would nudge us away because we can’t cook and clean like you. You do things wells” uncle Cain said, pecking her on her cheek and then she smiled. He turned over to his eleven year old daughter, Binka and said;

” Oya go and help your mother. Go! Go!!” He said.

Nicole’s room was near the laundry room where washing machine and ironing boards were kept.

A stale smell greeted Nicole as he entered the room. The bed was neatly made. The room was well arranged and neatly swept. The tiles were brightly yellow in color. His things were hurriedly kept by the cupboard and the door was shut leaving him alone in the room and he lay on the bed.

Nicole was awakened by a loud knocking on the door. He was drenched in his own sweat. saliva was on the pillow. He got up quickly and scrambled to the door, opening it with the agility of a superhero, perhaps Superman. Ginka was standing with angry impatience.

” Come and eat, food is ready.” He said running away quickly before Nicole could ask him what’s up for dinner. It was evening already.

Nicole wondered what was up for dinner. In his home in America, dinner was very light. More of snacks and light food was eaten. Things like roasted chicken, cheese jerky, Taco salad, meatloaf, and macaroni and cheese. He sat down remembering the wonderful smell of roasted chicken, the wonderful taste of cheese jerky. He sniffed his nose in the air, his mouth was watery as though he were an hungry dog.

An offensive smell from nowhere filled his nose. He thought he was imagining it, but when he opened his eyes, he noticed that it came from the living room of his uncle’s house. The smell churned his stomach, making him wanna puke. He had an immediate belly ache. He dashed to the living room where the smell persisted the most. The smell was like that of feces smell.

” Wow! Gross, what’s that smell?” He asked covering his nose.

” Americanah oyibo is not used to our foo- foo.” Tayo yelled out

Everyone starred at him and then went back to eating but his uncle’s wife starred angrily at him, watching him with contempt as he sat down on an empty seat. 2 covered round plates were before him. At first he thought it was an error but as he looked each, person had 2 uncovered plates before them.

Nicole took forever to uncover his plates. He observed, watching as people used hands to cut from their moulded foo- foo, dipping it in a soup, chunked with fishes and meats of different sizes. He starred at the moulded foo- foo. It was as thick as anything he could imagine. The smell of the foo- foo was nauseating, and he couldn’t pretend this time. He pushed the plate aside, pushed his seat backward and got up

” Thanks everyone for the meal but I’ve got to pass on this one. ” he hurriedly said, before turning to leave. Everyone turned, starring at him, looking at each other with their mouths opened in a big “O”.

Nicole entered his room, closing the door , trying to breathe away the smell but it followed him inside his room.

Nicole held his rumbling stomach. It was gonna be a hell of a night. How could he go to sleep on an empty stomach especially when he hadn’t eaten so well since morning. It’s been few hours since he landed in Nigeria and he had eaten nothing save the pina butter sandwiches, cut in triangular sizes. He had fixed breakfast himself this morning, before his dad took him to the airport. And worse still, his dad didn’t call to check up on him. He got no call from his dad on the plane, neither did his dad call when he landed. Perhaps his dad called uncle Cain secretly. But Nicole didn’t think so. He had been alone with his uncle all day, and his uncle’s phone beeped once. It was his wife who had sent him a text message. He knew because the sender’s name was saved as ” Baby.” And one didn’t just call any person “baby.” save the actual toddler.

The word ” Baby” was a pet name used by couples or people engaged. Nicole often wondered why people loved to be called baby. Did it make them remember their childhood? Did it bring out the kid in them? Why couldn’t they just stick with pet names like; Darling, honey, Sugar and the likes. What is so great about being called a baby?

Nicole rumbling stomach got him out of his thought. He had the urge to go back and eat the “Foo- foo.” but then the thought about his uncle’s wife thinking that he had come back to eat because of her, to please her, restrained him. He could now hear loud chatting from the dining.

Nicole opened the window for ventilation. There hadn’t been light. There was light when he arrived at his uncle’s house. He knew because he heard a loud happy chant of children from another compound shouting;

” NEPA has brought light. ”

He raised his eyebrow in query. ” Nepa.” He repeated outrightly, but not loudly. Why were people so excited about light? He asked himself. He had grown up in America where there was always light. Light there never went off expect when there was an earthquake, a flood or a tornado, or where the light was damaged and needed to be repaired.

Nicole sighed as he lay on the bed shirtless. He hadn’t been used to heat before. He tasted his own sweat as he lay on the bed, turning back and front.

Nicole lay helplessly on the bed when a mosquito flew pass his ear. He hit his ear, hoping that he killed it but more flying insects flew in from the window. Nicole had to wrap himself completely with the long blanket that lay on the bed. He covered himself, even to his head. Nicole lay in the blanket like a bag of rice. His sweat stank so badly because there was little or no air passing in and out from underneath the blanket.

Nicole thought about his life. He understood then that there was so much good things in his life that he took for granted. He always dreamed of a perfect life, with his mum in it. True he didn’t have that but he had his dad who was like a mum to him, his dad and himself were alive. He didn’t get to beg on the streets like some of the people in America, who he always sees begging. He would watch them from the side mirror of his dad’s car. He always grumbled whenever his dad dropped him and picked him up from school as this led him to being picked on by his principal. His dad always gave him a dollar whenever he came by to pick Nicole and he was in detention for little misbehaviors that was pardonable when others did it, but not when he did it. Nicole was forced to attend classes, something he disliked. His friends didn’t attend classes often. Some others were planning not to go to college. Kids in America managed to stick around high school, not college. Most of them instead of going to college, go into other things such as wrapping, Hollywood, singing, and most of the times, they end up doing drugs and finally they either end up in the prison or in the grave.

Nicole’s reputation at school faded rapidly and he was always called a tone deaf twin. Whenever he came to school, he was always pranked hideously, and if he should report, he would be put in detention.

Nicole sighed as he remembered those days but he knew the good outweighed the bad. His dad could pay the bills, and his dad had finally changed his school after much confrontations. Beside he had a dad. He could wake up everyday knowing he had a real dad, not some foster parents who could dump him or maltreat him. Nicole smiled as he slept off.

****

Nicole was woken by an abrupt knock on the door. He jumped up, shoving off the blanket he had used to cover himself. He scratched his thigh. He stretched himself, arms wide apart. He yawned profusely. His stomach growled in hunger. He stank in his sweat which had dried up on him. He wondered how he made it through the night. The knock on the door continued and Nicole had to grab his shirt and trouser, wearing them before opening the door. It was Tayo.

” Father said I should wake you up so you can come join us for prayers. ” Tayo said, before leaving.

Nicole didn’t believe in God but he just had to join, just to please his uncle.

The living room was filled with loud clapping and songs sung in native dialects. He starred, watching as they sang and dance. He was furious. Why did they have to act as though they have no problems? Why did they choose to live in delusion? He wanted to storm away in anger, but on seeing his uncle’s wife scolding face, he sat on the long couch close to Binka and Tayo.

The song finished and then prayers were made. Everyone, excluding Nicole took turns to pray. Nicole held a great sigh as he wasn’t called out to pray. And it wasn’t just because he didn’t know how to pray, it was mainly because he was a shy person. He was intimidated by their boldness. Little Binka’s boldness terrified him the most. The way she was binding the devil, wriggling her fingers as she called forth the thunder of God to strike the devil. Nicole watched his uncle’s wife, the way she shook her head, shouting Amen as though she was chanting an incantation freaked him out. Soon everyone began screaming ;

” Die by fire” accompanied with speaking in tongues. Nicole wondered if a spirit or a demon was lurking around nearby. He wanted to take cover.

Prayers ended soon and everyone became normal again. It was on a Saturday morning, so the house was hurriedly clean. Binka swept the floor with a broom. Nicole noticed how she bent down, kneeling down in the process. Nicole was terrified for the happy girl who swept, humming to a song. When Binka got to the center table, she swept off the dust from the dining then proceeded to sweep the rug, on which the center table was placed. Nicole was stunned at the numerous dust which was raised in the air. Binka rubbed her nose irritably as she swept. She was sweating big time. Her mum came to the living room, nodding her head in approval, saying;

” God bless you my daughter. You try you hear.. Oya hurry up.” Then her mother went from the living room, calling Tayo who was playing game on his phone. She seized the game, calling him olodo, comparing him with all his classmates, especially their neighbor son who took first position in his class. Tayo attended same school and was in the same class but was coming last in his class.

” But mummy, I’ve been telling you and Daddy from my Jss 1 that I don’t want to go to school. Me, I want to be a footballer like Messi..”

His mother gave him a thud on his face. It was so sudden.

Nicole watched them from a distance.

” This boy has killed me o! My good God! You want to end up like all those riff raff’s out there?. Chimo! The devil is a liar.” She said, tugging at his ear.

” Wait! What is it?” Uncle Cain called out. He was clean shaved. He wore shorts and was bare chested.

” Tell your son. Your son wants to kill me! ”

” Calm down!” Uncle Cain yelled out in authority.

Nicole watched his uncle’s wife stop shouting. She instead gave out silent sobs, watching her son with great perturbation.

” Tayo what did you say to your mother?. Uncle Cain asked with a silent dread.

” I told mother that I don’t want to go to school anymore. I want to become a footballer.”

” Ha ha ha” Uncle Cain laughed, watching Tayo, looking out, as though to check if the person standing nearby was his son, or his look like.

” Look son, you have to go to school. It’s no more like the days of bill gates. Even he had to go back to college after dropping out. Look at me, I love you my son and I want the best for you. I know what’s best for you. If education wasn’t the best thing for you, I won’t give it to you to you. See here, let’s make a deal if you finish your secondary school and finish your university, I will let you become a footballer. In fact, what am I saying? By then you must have grown into a big man, I can’t tell you what to do at then.” Uncle Cain tugged at the cheek of Tayo who frowned.

” What’s wrong, tell me?. ” uncle Cain asked

Tayo looked downwards at his palms. Urging words heaped in his throats, but the bubbles in his throats was able to hold them.

” What is it ?” Uncle Cain asked again. This time it more like a command.

Tayo looked up at his father. He was so irritated by his smile, the smile that always reminded Tayo that his dad was the adult here and he was just a kid and he just had to be naive. He couldn’t be defiant. He just had to accept the norm that his dad was always right and he was just a silly kid in his care. He flared up when he saw his dad sniff his nose. It meant something. It had to mean something.

” You lie daddy, you lie. You just using me to accomplish the goals and dreams you couldn’t accomplish. I’m just a fool in your eyes that you can easily lie to. You just want me to give up on my dreams so you can achieve yours.”

Nicole how paused everyone was. It has never happened before, this defiance. Nicole closed his eyes to avoid his uncle wife’s gaze. And as he opened his eyes, a hand swopped up in the air, and before he could say, ” jack”, the hand, accompanied with a earsplitting sound descended. By the time Nicole looked up, Tayo’s eyes were gleaming with tears, but he still stood up in defiance, whereupon his uncle’s wife dragged him into a room. Tayo was crying loudly.

Nicole heard the shredding of things. Tayo was shouting loudly. Nicole was stunned. He had never been beaten like that before, not in America although he’d hear that some blacks do beat up their kids in a basement.

Ginka came over where Nicole stood. He wore his shorts and singlet. His white was stained. His arms were lean like a shrub. He was really thin. His cheekbone and neck bone started out.

” I know in America, people don’t beat their kids so that they don’t call the police for them.” He said smiling broadly. Nicole couldn’t see his dimples and there was no flesh in his cheek. He looked sick, like one suffering from malnutrition. Nicole didn’t respond, instead he smiled.

Later, Uncle Cain’s wife came out from the room. Her hair was all messed up. She went straight to the kitchen.

” Binka ! Binka!!.” Uncle Cain called out. Binka came out from her room. She was exhausted from the sweeping.

” Go and help mother prepare breakfast. ” Uncle Cain.

Binka nudged her head grudgingly as she walked slowly to the kitchen.

” Go and help your mother and sister. ” uncle Cain said.

” Daddy, am a guy and guys don’t cook.”

“Not in today’s world.” Uncle Cain said

” Men don’t cook, cooking is for ladies. Guys like me wash cars, split fire woods, weed the compound, take out the trash, and drive their dad’s car, not cook.”

Uncle Cain wanted to say something but kept quiet. Nicole looked up at Ginka. His eyes brightened at the thought that he was being a man, that he was performing manly duties. Nicole wondered why duties where shared in Nigeria. Men in America did cook. His dad was a great cook, so were the dads of other of his friends. Even women in America worked in an office or at a construction site. Nicole for the first time noticed how blackened, Ginka’s lip were. He wondered if he smoked, or if rubbed charcoal on his lips. He wanted to ask but he didn’t. He swallowed the thought.

As Nicole shifted himself in an odd position, he heard someone grunt. It was Ginka. Ginka looked at him in curiosity and despair.

” Did you rub lipstick?. ” he asked. Nicole wanted to ask him if he was alright but he didn’t. The next question made him understand why Ginka asked the previous question.

” why are your lips glowing red.” Nicole didn’t respond. Instead he laughed, watching the suspicion that grew in Ginka’s eyes. How could he explain to Ginka that his reddish lips were natural, and he and other Americans, especially the whites did grow up having red lips, and that neither he nor some of them were gays as Ginka earlier suspected?

****

Breakfast was finally ready. The great smell oozing out of the kitchen reminded Nicole that he was hungry. His stomach rumbled. Breakfast was the usual tea and bread with fried eggs.

Uncle Cain’s wife came out from the kitchen with a saucer on which a cup was placed on with 2 slice of bread sandwiched with slices of cucumber, onions, tomatoes, greens and carrots.

As soon as the children spotted her, they all ran madly Into the kitchen, sliding on the marble floor which made a gnashing noise, causing Nicole to gnash his teeth. Nicole got up on seeing his uncle’s wife angry glance, , , he went to the kitchen and carried his bland tea. It was lipton with no milk or sugar. There were slices of bread on his plate. He starred at how fumbled the bread was. It was too soft, as though air entered it. It looked nothing like the garnished bread he ate back he at home with pina butter. He quickly carried his food back to the dinning on hearing his uncle wife’s voice;

” Go and call that useless tayo to come out and carry his food before i give him a dirty slap.”

Nicole came out, just in time for Binka to gently brush pass him.

Nicole sat on the dining chair , placing the saucer gently on the table. Laughter rang out and died down almost immediately. Arguments rose up and died down in quick succession. Arguments on Nigerian Politics lasted the longest. Uncle Cain chipped in the arguments and nobody ever supported him on many occasions. It was as though he willingly supported views that everyone else opposed sub consciously. Like when he said that Abacha was the best president Nigeria in a mocking tune that reverberated irony

” Yeba” was what Ginka Shouted immediately his dad said that.

Uncle Cain kept raising arguments, supporting military rule, saying that military dictatorship is what Nigeria needed since the citizens in the country behaved like qualified goats. Ginka laughed at that. But uncle Cain kept a serious face which hushed Ginka’s laughter.

Uncle Cain vehemently spoke about how Nigerians needed policeman to carry sticks in their hands to control traffic as Nigerians refused to obey traffic lights. He spoke of how Nigerians do urinate on private properties even if they were to see the sign on the wall which says;

” Don’t urinate here.”

” The only thing Nigerians ever and will ever adhere to is cohesion. We lack common sense in this country.” Uncle Cain sipping his tea.

Tayo appearance was followed by a hushed silence. It was humored. He held on to his saucer like it was some trophy. His eyes were bulging and red. He starred before taking a seat at the dining. Binka followed suit. She too carried her saucer.

” Mummy this food is very sweet.” Ginka said

” Glutton! I know if you want more, you will say yes.” Uncle Cain’s wife said, savouring the compliment.

” Mummy , me, am a bread eater o. Today you gave me only 8 slices. The last time you gave me the whole loaf of bread and i ate 14 slices with the bottled coke you bought for me. ”

Nicole starred at Ginka , controlling himself not to open his mouth. He never ate so much like that. No matter how hungry he was, if he munched 4 slices of pina butter sandwiched bread, he would be filled. He understood then that in Nigeria, being fat was a good thing, especially among the women. In America, fat was a bad word. It is a bad thing. Everyone over there want to look lean or thin.

Nicole sighed loudly as he took a bite from his bread. He didn’t know why and when he sighed. Everyone turned to look at him. Uncle Cain’s wife turned to look at him . She starred furiously remembering the previous night.

” Nkem that’s enough.” He said to his wife. It was the first time in a long while since he called her by her real name.

Turning over to Nicole, he asked him if the food was nice. Nicole looked over at Mrs. Nkem face. He knew he had to say something nice about the food just to please her and avoid himself getting into trouble.

Nicole knew that it was the way things worked in Nigeria Everyone needed to be sycophants . No one wants to hear the truth. Speaking the truth made one a threat to those who are superior to him and thus he had to be eliminated or removed from such positions. Nicole had overhead uncle Cain over the phone telling his dad about how unbearable things are in Nigeria. He overhead his uncle on the phone recounting how he had to call his boss daddy so he don’t get fired. He also recounts how his boss slept with all his male employees wives in order to promote them. Uncle Cain also recounts how delegiwa, a man who had on serval occasions rightly criticised the Nigeria government.

” He was the only Nigerian who publicly voiced out the truth without fear durning the Abacha regime even after serval threats made by the then Nigerian government. He was often put away in prison but was always released afterward, yet that didn’t stop him from voicing out the truth and so the government decided that he was a threat and decided to eliminate him. They killed him by a letter bomb. His daughter who was there miraculously survived and didn’t die. I know i feel that Delegiwa guy was stupid but if we all stoop low in cowardice who will speak up for justice.” Uncle Cain said on the phone.

” Lol a letter bomb. Didn’t know Nigeria was that sophisticated.” Nicole’s dad said with a chuckle.

The scrapping of plates brought Nicole back to himself. His bread was finished. He drank the lipton tea and belched loudly, covering his mouth and saying excuse me.

Breakfast was finally over. Tayo cleared the place while Binka washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.

Nicole went into the visitor’s bathroom to brush his teeth before bathing when the room door opened wide ajar. It was Ginka.

” So Americans don’t brush before eating.”

Nicole smiled mischievously. How could he tell Ginka that in America they brush their teeth before and after eating or that they bathe twice a day?

After bathing, Nicole followed Uncle Cain out to go and fetch water and buy bread. They stopped at a filing station to buy fuel for the generator and to refuel the car.

” You just have to shine your eyes well unless these people are going to cheat you.” Uncle Cain said as they drove into a line. They were at the back of a jeep waiting for their turn.

Soon the man paid the lady who filled up his car. He entered the driver seat and turned on the ignition, only to turn off his car to start yelling. It was so sudden. He grabbed the lady by the collar, calling her names, screaming in her face. The lady closed her eyes as though the man’s saliva was dropping on her face. The man pushed her away trying to snatch the money which she hid in her bra. He grabbed her dress, whereupon she screamed, and another guy came over and punched the man severally, pushing him on the floor. Soon another came from nowhere and punched this other guy who had punched the old man , pushing him on the ground . The lady who had been shoved by the old man earlier , had ran to a corner, gossiping with serval ladies in excitement.

Uncle Cain came out from his car to settle the argument involving the old man and the two men. The argument was heated with abuses. Uncle Cain kept standing in the middle of the old man and the other guy, perhaps his brother, who defended him earlier with the other man who had punched the old man earlier standing the other side. Uncle Cain kept using his hands to withhold the three men from fighting. After a long while, another man comes in and begs the old man who threatens to report all that happened, claiming to be the brother of the owner of the filling station. Soon the man who punched the old man on hearing this, growled in cowardice. The way he changed his disposition was so pathetic. Nicole watched as he begged the old man on his kneels, tugging the ends of his dress. He told the old man about his sick mother whom he had to cater for through this job, his blind father who was a very poor farmer who resided in the village and lived in a thatch house, his siblings who hawked pure water on the street to make ends meet. Everyone around including the man who defended the old man earlier, begged the old man to forgive.

Nicole sat in his car watching. He didn’t feel sympathy for the guy who punched the old man. He knew the guy was apologizing because of the stake of his job.

After all said and done, the old man’s car was refueled and he drove off with the guy who had punished him earlier waving, shouting at the top of his voice;

” Oga thank you, Oga God bless you.”

Later, uncle Cain came to the car. He turned on the car and went forward to buy fuel. Ginka stood outside with Nicole while the car was refilled.

Nicole had earlier tried refueling the car himself. He had grabbed the fuel nozzle to put it into the car tank. When a voice yelled out;

” Ole ( thief. ”

Nicole was frightened by the man’s appearance. It was the same man who was pleading with the old man minutes ago. Soon uncle Cain came out. Nicole was shoved into the car by his uncle. The man was shouting. Uncle Cain kept telling him to calm down, using his hands to gesture to him to calm down but the man was a hot head. He pushed uncle Cain away and opened the front door of the car to drag Nicole out whereupon uncle Cain dragged him away and he fell down. The man got angry and punched uncle Cain on his face twice whereupon Ginka punched the man serval times, angry severe punches, pushing him on the floor, kicking and punching.

Later another man comes and break up the fight. Ginka looked on his unconscious victim. He got up and entered the car. Uncle Cain too entered the car and drove away without buying the fuel.

Heavy silence enveloped the Car as they drove. Nicole looked up at his Uncle and Cousin’s face, it was crisped with anger. Nicole could hear Ginka’s loud panting.

Soon, uncle Cain’s laughter rang out like an alarm. Both Nicole and Ginka starred at their uncle.

Uncle Cain to stifled his laughter and mumbled something in igbo language. Ginka spoke back in igbo mumbling his laughter in a strenuous voice. Soon both of them started laughing. It was so much that Uncle Cain had to park by the roadside. The laughter continued with Uncle Cain hitting the steering wheel as he laughed and Ginka hitting the back seat of the Car.

Uncle Cain observing Nicole’s Confused face, spoke in English why they were laughing.

Nicole joined the laughter, slowly, then fully.

They laughed recalling the fight at the filing station, at the way the man was begging when the old man revealed that he was the brother of the owner of the filing station.

” Mumu man he for fight na. He too de ginger for fight.” Ginka said pausing, before continuing in a more serious tone;

” Nigeria won’t treat you well expect you have connection and backing. The corruption in Nigeria is too glaring and that’s why people think that countries like the USA are not corrupt, because theirs is coded.”

Nicole knew that connection was needed in the US, as for the corruption aspect, he was unsure.

The thought that the old man was Lying when he said he was the brother to the owner of the filing station, floated in his head and he couldn’t get the thought out of his mind. He laughed the most, imagining the guy who was begging finding out that he was lying to him. He couldn’t but fathom his face expression.

Nicole laughed so loudly at this thought. He laughed so much that both his uncle and Ginka stared. They’ve never heard him laugh this much.

” He’s becoming a Nigerian by the minute.” Ginka said with glaring concern.

Later, as Uncle Cain hit the road again, he received an SMS from his dad writing;

” How’s life in Nigeria like?. ”

Nicole starred at the message. He couldn’t believe that his dad texted him. He could imagine his dad sitting in his study or in his office, placing both legs on the table, sitting in an comfy arm chair that could swing in all directions, pushing his eye glasses to the ridges of his nose as he texted him. Nicole wondered what made his dad remember him. Perhaps he had seen a dad and son together in a bus or cab, having the time of their lives and he felt guilty. Nicole envied the relationship that his uncle had with his children. His dad and he never had it. He never thought dads should have time to lay around and play with the kids. He was too damn busy working his ass day and night. His mum who would have built that relationship with him was in prison and she didn’t have much chances of coming out any time soon. Nicole always felt his dad was not trying hard to get his mum out of prison , perhaps he was right about that or maybe he was wrong. Nicole never held it against his dad for not building that relationship. He excused his dad with the thought that his dad did too much.

Nicole stared at his phone. He didn’t know how to reply his dads text. He heard Ginka talking about people who were lynched by an angry mob because they were believed to have stolen something. It was too brutal in his ears. He heard that such people where burnt with tyre after they’ve been stripped naked. He heard uncle Cain say something but he couldn’t make out what he said.

Nicole was so terrified by the news that he saw himself replying his dad thus;

” life in Nigeria is hideous, brutal, dreadful, sickening, obnoxious, nasty, and ugly.”

He saw his fingers press send. He shook and looked up at his phone screen there was nothing there save the SMS sent by his dad. He shook in fear at the thought of doing the obvious. He had no right to infer that about Nigeria. He had been in Nigeria for just 2 days and didn’t get a chance to explore , save today.

Nicole shut his phone off, leaving his dad’s text unattended to and looked ahead as his uncle drove down the lane.

Baby Mama

Kelly sat up in the living room in their home in Manhattan. She lived at 66th street. She looked out the window and saw the great views of skyscrapers and big buildings. It surprised her as always, the massiveness of the buildings.

Kelly heard her baby squint. She held onto her tightly. She carried the baby, walking towards every corner of the house.

Kelly walked towards the kitchen, placing the baby on the brightly silver coloured dining table. She bent down leaning on the table, holding the blue eye yellow baby.

She carried the baby from the dining and moved over to the living room. She sat on a couch nearby, surprising looking at a shelve nearby, stacked with piles of books.

Kelly wondered why she didn’t feel excited about her newly born baby. She could remember 3 days ago how she was rushed into Lenox hill hospital after she went into labour. She could recall being carried into a room on a stretcher bed. Her eyes were blurred, screams everywhere. She constantly felt strange delicate pangs of pain as the baby was trying to come out. She was told to push serval times. The pain was severe, gruesome. She didn’t know why she felt such pain. She was already a mother of a youngster in college, in New York University.

Kelly looked up at her baby. His head was bald and he was crying severely. She brought out the feeding bottle which contained breast milk. She tilted the baby in a relaxing position and put the end of the bottle into the baby’s mouth, watching the baby suck the milk.

As she held on to the baby, she looked  up at the family portraits that hung on the walls at different positions.

She looked up at her 20 year old Seth in one of the pictures. His image appeared in all the portraits both family portraits and personal portraits, but this image caught her attention. He took a picture with his girlfriend, Nelly.

Kelly couldn’t help herself from being jealous. She was jealous of the keen affection that enveloped between the both of them. It was a small jealousy, perhaps minuend. But it was still there. It laid deeply underneath her; something she alone could feel.

Kelly looked up studying Nelly. She looked flawlessly perfect in the portrait. 

Nelly and Seth both attended school of arts and science in New York university. They were at a high school reunion party in Midtown Gastro when they took that picture together, and still it didn’t occur to Kelly at then that Nelly was stealing her boy away.

Kelly looked downwards on hearing the baby crying. She didn’t feel any sympathy for the baby, all she could feel were pangs of resentment which scrouched her. She flared at the crying baby who stopped crying and looked at her as if telling her to do her worst. She felt this resentment at the baby because she’s always gonna be hunted by the fear of him growing up, becoming different, stop giving her first place for other ladies. She practically knew that it was selfish for her to think that way. She was all grown up, started hanging out with guys, smoking, staying out late, yelling at her parents, especially her mum for being too pushy, often told her parents off whenever her friends were at their house; using similar phrases like Seth;

Mum you’re embarrassing me!”

” Mum you’re so unbelievable, can’t believe you could be so stupid. “

And when her mum gave her house chores to do, or when she was asked to babysit her younger brother Dike, it was then that she remembered that she had a homework to do, an experiment to carry out, a friend she needed to visit to help her on a project, to walk molly the dog, and other stuffs. Her mum being more persuasive because she was 18…. Yeah it was a big deal that she was 18…. 

Kelly often dreamed to turn 18.. It was her dream. She could remember once when she felt a smoke of ragging fury puffing out from her head. It was a hexed cloud, like the one formed in animated series. It was on her 17th birthday. She had a dream when she was 18, and could get whatever she wished for. In one of her wishes, Tyler the richest, coolest dude in her high school was riding with her in a G- wagon. Shawn and Kim the 2 bullys were in the car too, giving her real cool expensive dresses, which she kept trying on, making funny faces as if to turn down the dress offers soon she saw a trunk filled with clothes. Starred at them only for her to find herself in Queen Elizabeth’s palace. It was so weird how she got there, but she saw Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, smiling at her while she sat on a throne with a specter in her hands. She was the Queen of England. Beyonce performed live for her. Oprah Winfrey showed up along side important personalities waiting for her. They all escorted her outside.

Tyler was waiting outside, riding the G- wagon and soon he changed suddenly to Zac Efron. She always had a devastating crush on Zac Efron. She never saw him live before in reality but after seeing his movies, she feel in love with him.. It was weird. She often pics mixed his pictures with hers whenever she wanted to post on Facebook or Snapchat. She often updated her Facebook with his dp. It was a strange love which she felt always. Perhaps she liked the idea of loving from a far wide distance. Not seeing him in reality expect on T.v. shows gave her soul a longing desire. She wouldn’t cheat even though he obviously was in a relationship. She hoped he didn’t cheat. She hoped he did spot her out one day.

As she faced him, wanting to kiss him, and he wanting to kiss back, Kelly was woken up by a loud;

surprise!!!.”

” Happy birthday Kelly. ” her mum said.

Her dad took a photograph of her right on the bed. Kelly wouldn’t have noticed it hadn’t it not been for the flash lights of the camera. When her dad showed her the picture, she couldn’t help but yell. Her hair was ruined, her eyes were sleepy, saliva was seen drooling off her mouth, and her eyes were red.

Her dad had video her the first time. She was asleep, hugging a baby bear as though she was scared. She farted serval times in her sleep. Her fart were loud, not the silent ones and her mum was videoed covering her nose.

Kelly was shocked when her dad told her that he uploaded the video on his Facebook timeline and her tagged her in the post. She was doomed as half of her classmates including Shawn and Kim the bullies in her class followed her on Facebook. She was doomed. 

Dad how can you be this stupid was what she heard herself. She couldn’t tell whether she outrightly said it or she thought it. Her parents expression were always the same; smiling. It never changed. They often never scolded her. Her dad never did but her mum did on rare occasions. Her mum and dad were divorced and each of them wanted to take custody of her. Her dad lived in 57th street in Manhattan while she lived with her mum in maiden lane.

When she asked how old she was and she was told She was 17, she got so hazed. She broke the camera, smashing it on the floor. She also threw the birthday cake that mum made on her ( her mum). Her dad’s eyes were peering as if half smiling. He gave her the ” I told you so look. ” 

And as if she noticed it, she turned on her dad, ordering him to delete the post on his Facebook. Her dad’s expression changed. He was sad. He was super excited about his daughters’ Birthday. None of what he did was intended to harm her but he did. He did see it clearly through her eyes, through her rage. He quickly deleted the post. He gave out a sad face, looking up to see if she would stop being angry but she was hell mad. She was mad because she wasn’t 18. Her mum didn’t care, didn’t apologize. Her dad took her to his place the next day and they drove her to Tiffany and Co. an American luxury jewelry and speciality retailer headquartered in New York.She would see glistering coloured silver tea pot,white house China, Diamond necklace which her dad bought her as a birthday gift. She loved that about him, he always remembered her birthday.. Her mum often forgot her birthday, even Dike’s own, even hers. Her mum was always busy with work..

When she got pregnant in college, she ran away from school and went over to leave with her boyfriend, Dave. He wanted her to keep the baby. She did stay away from school all through that period.

When she finally gathered up courage to call her mum after 3 weeks of silence, her mum sounded shaky on the phone. She didn’t care no more. Her mum gave her the piece of her mind. She gathered up every anger welded up in her and exploded herself like a bomb on Kelly. After that day, Kelly moved her things over to her dad’s place, only for him to be killed that night. He died of drug overdose. She came over back to her mum’s house and begged her. Dike was already 13 years old as at then. Her mum found great solace in her suffering, in her begging, in her dad’s death. She would finally help her through college. Dave and her separated. He gave her the child and left.

When later Dave came back durning her final year in college, her mum told her to make him suffer before she forgave him, but she wouldn’t. He was a rare gold and he proved thus. He didn’t cry when he apologized. He stood there like a man. Kelly knew that he was deeply remorseful. She could sense her mum’s resentment waving at her. Her mum was standing behind, really angry. Dike wasn’t around when this happened. She wondered what he would make of this. Would he think her stupid? Did he believe in true love? Did he ever think? She couldn’t guess cause Dike rarely ever talked. He was a listener, an observer. Sometimes she thought him a mad genius other times she felt he was over hyped cause he didn’t do so well in his grades. He didn’t fail but neither did he pass so well. He was somewhere in the middle. He was an average kid. Yet he seemed kicked up by hope. He looked really smart, perhaps like they say, looks don’t matter.

When Dave brought out his engagement ring, Kelly hurriedly told him that she wanted to marry him. It was weird, the desperation. Finally they got married after she graduated from college. She named her kid Seth. Her mum later died. Kelly could feel some form of happiness in her death. She always feared that mum would intrigue in the whole thing and spoil it all for her. Her mum was very good in getting her way even from her hard tough dad.. Seth was 2 years old when they got married. They moved over to 66th street in Manhattan. Sometimes she wondered if some forces were holding her in Manhattan. She was born in Manhattan, did her education in Manhattan, and now married a Manhattan guy and still married in Manhattan and lived in Manhattan. Kelly could never forget how shocked she was when she found out that Dave was from Manhattan.

  • *

Kelly looked up at Nelly’s photograph. She could remember once when Seth brought her to the house. She tried so hard with the fake accent. Kelly could tell. But it wasn’t enough reason to resent her and Kelly didn’t really notice it until now.  But Nelly wasn’t just faking accent, she was white and he was black. She was sad because she knew that Nelly would befriend him for the time being and dump him. Seth wouldn’t turn out a billionaire. He didn’t want to be a billionaire. And most white girls married blacks for their money. Their money covered their weakness. It was their weapon and Seth didn’t have so much of it neither was he trying to have so much of it. She wondered why her mind went to this. Perhaps it was jealously. It had to be jealously.. And Kelly didn’t want to admit it;  she could see good in Nelly.. Perhaps Nelly wouldn’t leave Seth. She hated thinking that anything good could come out of their relationship. She wanted them to spilt up.. She wanted to have Seth only to herself but she knew it ain’t  gonna happen.

Kelly kept grieving as she held on to the baby. She grieved because her baby would turn out to be same monster that Seth is; he was soon gonna be a strong willed macho man and whatever she told him was gonna be persuasive, he would grow up making all kinds of friends and sometimes they would come to her house and throw a wild party inviting and having sex with all manner of girls, he was gonna learn ponography  and masturbation from his dad, Dave and from his brother, Seth.

Kelly grieved mostly because sooner she’s gonna just turn into his maid and he would always make fuses about her food, saying that it smells rancid, calling it stale, nasty, sour, bland and acrid. Off course he would openly say this whenever his friends would be at the house. He would often compare her food with their mum’s food saying that their mum’s food was splendid and hers tasted like garb.. Off course she would smile, she gonna have to smile. It was the way he was gonna develop into manhood. Seth did her same, perhaps her new born baby was gonna do her worse. Her baby was gonna grow up like Seth who believed that the world owed him something. Her baby was gonna grow up fighting on the streets or in school and always coming home with a black eye. She would always be called to school by his principal for one complaint or the other. Dave too would be called also, and his response to the principal would always be;

Kids are kids. You just gonna let them explore the world.”

And later in the car, Dave would give him a knuckle chukio and later stop by a joint and buy him an ice- cream. He would take him at 16 to the gym and he would become a monster with large abs and muscles. He would learn how to fuck girls. Seth learnt all that from his dad.. His baby brother was gonna go on that ride. He would grow up littering his things all over the house and she would be the one to clean it up. He would never clean up, not even when she demanded that he did so. And if Dave should hear her yelling, he would come out, calling her a nag and saying that all women were nags and too predictable and too decent. Men weren’t meant to be like that. 

“If they didn’t learn to scatter and litter when will they do it?” He would always ask her. Her baby would just turn out irresponsible as his brother, Seth. He would get up late  every saturday morning all dressed up. He would mumble ” Hey mum.” Wearing his helmet and holding his scooter or skate board. She didn’t know the name. He would run to Dave and give him a handshake and say ” Hey dad.” And they would make a fist with their hands and give each other knuckle chuckio, behaving like young dudes and And when Kelly would ask him if he is not eating breakfast, he would say no, and if she ask him about his whereabouts, he would say ” it’s none of your business mum” and while she would mumble complaints about his staying out late or not coming home till the next day, he would just zoom off and while Kelly would stare in shock as if she couldn’t just believe her eyes,Dave would say;

Ain’t you just gonna love teenagers.” And she would stare at him and he would tell her that she’s behaving like a parent from the late nineties and he would climb the stairs laughing. 

Kelly remembers countless number of times this had happened; Seth  staying out late. On most nights, he never came home till the next day and Kelly would stay up all night worried and Dave would tell her that he’s fine. Sometimes Kelly would call Seth in the middle of the night, sounding worried. Seth would sound tired, indifferent and sometimes he would end the call on her without any warning. Sometimes he would sleep off and the call would continue and Kelly wouldn’t notice it as every time they had a conversation, she did the talking while he listened, bored and whenever she stopped talking, he would ask her if she was done and she would nod approvingly and get up and leave. Kelly knew her baby would do same to her.. She wondered if the baby will do well in his grades like Seth or if he would just be like her brother, Dike..

The baby would grow up resentful of her and any adult that reasoned like her. He would love adults that were like his dad just like Seth. 

But still whenever the baby would become sick, he would become her child again. He would need her, depend on her, and she would lovingly attend to him. She could remember once when Seth had fever, he was permanently at home through out that period. Dave worked so he always came home late. His friends would often visit but sometimes she would turn them away lying that he went to the hospital, saying it slowly and in a low key so that Seth wouldn’t hear it from upstairs. She wondered what his friends might think of her if they found out that she lied to them about his whereabouts. After all it was her house. She knew they never called him to ask if he were at home otherwise Seth would have really gone mad at her and ruin her in front of his friends. 
Kelly wished then that Seth was forever sick but not dead. She wouldn’t have minded a potion or anything. She wished too Dave didn’t come home too often. She wished he slept around with other ladies or something close to that but she didn’t want a divorce. She wished also that she didn’t wish what she wished.

As the baby began crying loudly, Kelly went by the window, opened the louvers, holding the baby out the window, wishing she could just throw the baby downward. She wasn’t prepared to go through what she went with Seth. She knew she wasn’t gonna do it. She didn’t abort the baby when he was in her womb, she joyfully carried him for 9 months. Perhaps it was because it never dawned on her then  She always wished for company since Seth went to college. 

The door bell rang. Kelly moved distractedly, holding the baby in one hand. She knew it was Dave yet she wished that he or someone else had seen her and had known what felt like doing and had called the cops for her and she was forever locked up in jail for ever thinking of throwing her baby out the window..

 

Bible study

Bible study time out with Kaycee

Friends, I decided to go on studying the scriptures… Don’t get me wrong, am not a  ‘ religious freak.’
I just thought this would be a great blessing to you so I decided to share it with you..

Do have fun studying and be blessed..

So let’s enjoy Jesus together,  shall we

Love;

Kaycee!!!

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Shared via Bible KJV http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gyc.ace.kjv

Fathom part 6

Emma rode with Dr. Lawrence in his car. The solemn silence was enchanting. She took a look at the small black case containing the different varieties of wagashi.

She looked at them with admiration. Each of those wagashi reminded her of something. She picked one. It looked like a small round moulded snowball. It reminded her of winter. She wondered if snow ever fell in Little Tokyo. Because it looked different, wholly absorbed in it’s search for hope.

” It’s dafiku.”

” What? ” Emma asked, taking aback in surprise. The voice floated in her head, like a knock for a loop.

Dafikumochi consists of small round mouchi and stuffed with red bean paste. “

” Wow it’s beautiful. ” Emma said.

” It looks like a small white pebble. ” Dr. Lawrence said, as he rubbed his little finger on it.

To Emma it was more than a white little pebble. It reminded her of something so pure, something untainted, something she could never have, yet she longed for with a strange desperation. A fidelity she shared with Nashua.

I love dafiku. ” Dr. Lawrence said.

Emma on hearing him say it looked at him. She saw herself kissing him but she didn’t let herself kiss him. Her lips were folded in crisps as she closed her eyes.

Dr. Lawrence drove her to his apartment in Hikari as she flung the seat backward in a relaxing position. It was terrifying even to her aftward, the way she easily trusted him.

Hikari apartment looked like a parking lot to her. She even thought that Dr. Lawrence would drive in there, but he would drive into an underground parking garage, beyond the apartment.

Emma would sit feeling this child like excitement. She was really thrilled by the garage. It was as though she was taking a ride in a roller coaster. Though it was nothing like a roller coaster ride.

After parking, they came out, and together they moved towards the apartment.

As he and her walked through the freeway into the hikari apartment, she looked at him, the way he smiled eagerly as though he was about to be rich, making quick phone calls, nodding in desperation and uneasiness, she imagined that perhaps he came to see his aunt or uncle, or perhaps he came to make a business deal, and so she asked;

” You have an aunt or uncle that lives around? ”

” What?” Dr. Lawrence replied, at first smiling, then the reality of what she said, how she said it; her tune mixed with every bit of sacarsm with something Cajoling in her eyes, he became very furious, not at her but at himself, because she did think that he could live in such a crackerjack environment. And so while they got pass the freeway into the building, he began to have doubts if where he was living was his. It was obvious that Emma’s opinion didn’t matter, but it had to. It was a strong connection, a weird companionship that fell between 2 strangers.

They entered into the building. Emma looked upwards in amazement at how big the building was. She was ready to mount the stairs. She wanted to see everything. She wanted to know all the opulent people living in this building. Off course everyone living in hiraku apartment must be goddam rich. She didn’t for a moment exclude Dr. Lawrence and so while they trooped the stairs, she said unto him;

” Hey, you must be a slick- stocker.”

Dr. Lawrence paused for a moment and looked at her. It made him believe that he truly owned an apartment here. His self confidence was immutable at that point, yet just her disbelieving him would crumble everything.

They were standing in front of a door Dr. Lawrence eyes were filled with sparkles. He looked at her, his face beaming.

Emma knocked on the door, forgetting that Dr. Lawrence owned a building here, and he felt stricken. His pride was wounded. He quickly brought out a key to open the door as if to prove a point to himself, when suddenly the door opened, and an American woman in her bra and pant, holding a cigarette in one hand, and a bottle of gourmet wine and a glass cup filled with the liquor.

Dr. Lawrence was dazzled and he starred. Emma saw him walk in through the door through the dim lights. Emma stood aside watching them stare at each other till a loud voice broke off the silence;

Am ready honey.”

Emma, Dr. Lawrence and the American lady turned together towards the direction of the voice and lo, it was a Japanese man, stack naked. It seemed so weird even to the American lady.

“Koka put your clothes on.” The American lady said devoid of emotions, as though he bored her.

” I should have known that you were chasing after other men.” Koka, the Japanese man said, holding his pants.

Emma looked at the Japanese man delusively. He had the grin expression of a frog. Most Japanese people she met in little Tokyo all looked like frogs but Japanese people were better looking than Asians

” Sorry for ruining your special night. ” Dr. Lawrence said, then looking up at Koka’s angry expression, he wished he hadn’t said it.

Emma turned to leave, so did Dr. Lawrence. When the American lady waved at Dr. Lawrence, Emma would see the rousing flare in koka’s face. This expression on Koka’s face reminded her of an animated series she onced watched in San Fransisco with her brother Collins. The name of the cartoon is

Angry birds.”

At first the name of the cartoon didn’t click, but then as Koka kept on flaring, She remembered Red, the leader of the Angry birds. He frowned the most amongst all the birds. She wanted to laugh but her lips wouldn’t let her. Finally they left.

Dr. Lawrence walked alongside Emma, pacing his feet fastly on the ground as though his 2 feet were trying to escape from his hold.

Emma saw different people flung up the stairs, some in a long robe, others holding a bottle of wine, some others, mostly couples kissing. She looked out if she would see any gay couples, off course she wouldn’t. Little Tokyo was totally different from America. Here were people filled with a great, self absorbed, annoying sense of modesty. Even the way the buildings in little Tokyo were structured said it all.

Finally they moved slowly, ignoring the sonorous Japanese language that filled the air.

Emma and Dr. Lawrence came, standing in front of a door. A family standing in the next door looked at her very weirdly, especially the smallest boy who held on to a dead frog. He kept on pointing behind her. A young woman, probably their mother who was turning the knob as she unlocked the door, looked at her, and at the same time looked at the door as she pushed back the door. Emma was terrified when she saw something that looked like an eye on the woman’s forehead. It was weirdly in shape. She wanted to scream, yet no sound came out. Her shock had overpowered her, incapacitated her. Perhaps it wasn’t her shock, perhaps it was the woman. She looked mysterious. Finally the woman and her children entered inside and as soon as the woman shut the door behind her, Emma was thrown back to the world of reality. It took seconds probably minutes before Emma recoiled.

Emma saw herself thrown haphazardly on the couch. She didn’t like the position She was placed in and she immediately threw up herself in a sitting position immediately she heard footsteps and Dr. Lawrence came out of the inner room almost the same time she was trying to arrange herself;

“Hey.” Emma said.

” Hey!” Dr. Lawrence replied.

” How long was I out? ”

” Probably an hour that’s if am correct. ”

” Probably more than an hour. Guess I starred too much. ”

” Yeah you’d stare too much.” Dr. Lawrence said reclining on the white couch.

Emma got up, did away with the white throw pillow that she placed on her laps and got up, plucked a small leave from a flower plant that was planted in a small cookie jar. She got up and headed towards a small white table surrounded with small chairs. She sat on one of the chairs, reclining the chair on a white silver Cabinet.

Emma got elated at seeing the bright lights that shone distinctively. The lights did sparkle. It reminded her of a shooting star, though it didn’t look anything like it.

She loved the luminosity of the light. It’s brightness was pure and golden. She loved it.

” Looks like the lady you starred at hypnotized you pretty…. ”

” Bad?” Emma asked gallantly, but putting up a worried look .

” Now try me baby.” Dr. Lawrence said, rolling out from the couch and moved closer to where she sat, pulling a small seat from under the small round white table.

Emma chuckled as Dr. Lawrence sat down on the small chair. There was nothing funny in the way he sat down. She was imagining something. She imagined the chair yanked off under him and he falling on the ground. She imagined the small chair breaking under him. It was what was supposed to happen. It was what she wanted to happen. Dr. Lawrence looked like a giant sitting on a tiny chair. She imagined him as a giant in a world where everything was small. His walking alone would shake the world. Soon he would be tied up by the dwarfs and his falling down caused a great rumbling and broke many houses in that world. Even the king’s castle was destroyed completely.

Everyone in that world would come out armed to the teeth and look upon the sleeping giant who was snoring and stirring at the same time. When a dwarf Pierce him with his spear, he could jump up, break up their chains, in the process stand up and fall down again, crushing some of the dwarfs and others running while he helplessly stretched out his hands for help.

” Are you alright ” Dr. Lawrence voice rang up in Emma’s ears and she became conscious again.

“Did you fall.” Emma asked

” Huh?”

” Dick head you didn’t fall. You never always fall.” Emma looked up with every dint of disappointment on her face.

” Are you Okay?”

” Don’t ask me that dumb question again you schmuck!” Emma spat out.

Dr. Lawrence looked at her, giving her that puppy face look, pushing sideways in a funny manner to fall but he didn’t. Emma laughed watching Dr. Lawrence shove sideways in a chair that was so small, so thight. His ass wasn’t’ fitted on the chair. His wasit barely made way into the chair, yet the chair still carried his weight. It didn’t fall or break and this fascinated her.

Dr. Lawrence kissed her. It was an unprepared, unprecedented kiss yet it was special because he kissed her. His mouth didn’t leave salavia bulbs on her face. His lips formed a perfect circle on her face.

Emma closed her eyes waiting for him to kiss her again, this time folding her lips like small balls..

As she closed her eyes, she imagining both of them at a tea party. He was the teddy bear and she was the doll and also the toddler who placed 2 small tea cups on 2 saucers in front of them in a small round table and small size chairs, exactly like the one she was sitting on. A tiny tea pot filled with imaginary tea was nearby. Emma saw herself, the toddler get up, lavishly tilting the small tea pot into the small teacups,smiling teasingly, hopping as she took turns pouring the imaginary tea into the teacups.

Emma as the doll was dressed up in little red riding hood. It freaked her in reality. Soon the toddler held on to both the doll and the teddy, squeezing them in a warm bear hug. Emma could see Dr. Lawrence face popping out from the Teddy bear. His eyes squinting in an uncomfortable manner, gasping for life as though the toddler wanted to suck the life out of him. Emma the doll was on the other hand comfortable. Her looks didn’t come out from the doll.

A kiss planted on her cheeks woke Emma out of her reverie. Emma looked up and saw Dr. Lawrence walking out the front door. She badly needed the kiss. This time she would be prepared, ready, all set. She didn’t call him back, and when she finally did he slammed the door in her face…



	

Look at me….

Look at me,

Tell me what you see

I know am worth nothing to you, cause if I did, you’d be standing with me right now, and we’d be starring at the world together.

Thank God, at least you looked at me. You didn’t roll your eyes at me. 

You looked at me, long enough to catch a glimpse of me, even though it was just for 5 minutes before you looked away.

You don’t have to talk to me, I could fantasies about that; sure I would.

I once imagined a world where you and I only existed. What am I thinking?, I have no right to equate the both of us together.

I’m so sure you would feel desecrated right now if you found out that am falling in love with you. 

I mean I would if I were you.

You’re too pretty, too famous. You’re the ” every guy’s favorite girl.” You’re a geek.

While me, I’m just a Coke out Attorney Market.

I’m not worth you. I’m not worth the guys you hangout with, so please don’t fall in love with me cause I can’t bear to see you humiliated and laughed at because of me.

Why am I giving myself so much hope? You could never fall in love with me. 

You looked in my direction because you saw Deji, the coolest guy in  school standing nearby..

Perhaps you never caught a glimpse of me cause having me in your memory would soil you, mar you.

When they call you every guy’s favorite girl, I know am not included, cause I’m not among the cool guys; I have no right to be among those cool guys.

I have no right to chase after you; 
 I have no right to think about loving you,

I have no right to love you…