Disclaimer

The stories in this blog are first draft stories with minimal editing, sort of like a practice blog.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Retroviral Chronicles 10- Behind the counter.



The hours she spent behind the police station counter were the worst in her entire life, the air was heavy with the scent of urine and sweat and the noise from the holding cells caused her stomach to rumble in fearful echo.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Mugs



It was the mugs that did me in, the mugs that shattered the dam that held my tears, the caramel, long and slender twin mugs that had Paris 1921 printed on them. They had belonged to my grandparents, my grandparents who have now departed this world. Those mugs were set on the table that looked like those hospital tables with the U-shaped legs. They’d sit on the veranda and watch the people on their way to and from the river, responding to the many greetings that were their due as old people while they’d give scraps of bread to the many children that sat around their feet.

 The mugs now sit on my father’s bed side table, he used one of them to drink tea when we came back yesterday. We got home at night even though we’d left Lagos before dawn, bad roads and impatient drivers conspired to make the journey last almost twice as long.

The compound was lit by our headlights as we drove in, it was only the second time we’d seen the house in pitch darkness on our return home. The first time it happened, my grandfather had been struggling for his life in a Lagos hospital and my mother travelled with us to the village without my father and my grandmother. This time is different, my grandmother died only four months ago.

 Going home for Christmas is a ritual that Igbos all over the world are known for, we’d shut down our homes and businesses and move eastward to our towns, villages and homes. Some people travel every year no matter where in the world they stay, it is unthinkable for them to miss the football matches, visits to friends and relatives and the downing of vats of palm wine and other alcoholic drinks that are hallmarks of the season.

 We didn’t go home every year, it was too much of a bother. The plotting, packing and the stressful journey by road, besides we also liked Christmas in Lagos too with its light-heartedness and the waking up at seven instead of five, the christmas lights that festooned on every corner, the carols that wafted to the ears from shop to shop. When we came home to Mbaise, it was very different. We would wake up at six with the wind whistling in our ears and to the rattling of our fragile bones, we’d shuffle our bodies to the parlour for prayers and then try very hard to escape from the little chores that our father liked to spring on us.

If we didn’t see steam rising from the bucket, we’d refuse to bathe with the tepid water because it would almost certainly freeze over before we finished bathing. We’d then apply thick layers of Blue seal Vaseline to our feet and legs, a thin layer of Vaseline would evaporate before noon. Breakfast would be waiting when we were finished, steaming cups of tea- except for mine, because I can’t tolerate hot food or drinks; and jagged masses of soft bread or thin slices (which was rare) of the same soft bread.

 Then we’d go to the veranda to watch my grandparents eat. When we were younger, they’d give us sips of their tea and give us tiny pieces of bread to soak, they still offered us sips of tea but we'd shake our heads and point at the nearly naked children at their feet who monitored every movement of my grandparents cups. My grandfather would drink only half of his tea before calling them to take their sips of tea, my grandmother wasn't as generous with her tea but she too would give them scraps of bread.

My grandparents always had tea at breakfast regardless of whatever else was on offer, rice and tea, yam and tea, beans and tea but never eba/fufu and tea- a tradition my parents maintained. Unlike us, they had actual tea and not the chocolate and milk mixture that we called tea, Their brand of choice was lipton and even though we thought it a horrid drink, our grandparents' tea never tasted horrible when they called us by the names they had given us and 
 My grandparents didn’t leave much behind, my parents and uncle and aunties can have everything if they like. I just want those mugs.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Retroviral Chronicles 9- Give me the night

I probably updated this series last, four months ago. I don't expect you to still remember everything, I certainly didn't- I had to read from the top to remember where I was going with the series! I promise to update this series faithfully (once a week at least) and I hope that you'd follow it with enthusiasm. To catch up on all the action just click on Retroviral Chronicles on the left corner of the screen and if you are using mobile view (my opera mini people say uhuh uhuh!) Here's the link to the first post



Martha wore a dazzling smile when she walked into the office, the euphoria from her evening with Peter still sparkled as it flowed in her blood and thinking of him even now, widened her smile. She was still getting her files from the cabinet when Patricia burst into her office with a fierce expression on her face.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Retroviral Chronicle part 8- Nightmares and Regrets



Shrill screams woke her up, she wasn’t surprised to realise that she was the one screaming. She was still panting heavily as she wiped out the beads of sweat on her neck and brow. The door opened and her mother rushed into the room.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Retroviral Chronicles part 7- Martha's rage.



I'm rather excited about this series, it's taking a very different form than I'd planned but I'm so loving this new path and all the unexpected bonuses. You can catch up on the older stories in this series if you click on the HIV/AIDS label on the right. Let's start today's episode shall we?


Anytime she saw the girl and her mother waiting to see Patricia and collect drugs from the pharmacy, she’d want to punch something or kill something just to assuage the feelings of rage and helplessness that coursed through her at the sight of them. She struggled to school her facial features to reflect cordiality even though her heart burned now and had been burning since Jesse called last night.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Retroviral Chronicles part 6- The Drunk and the Confused.



“O boy why you fuck up like that na?”

“Bros why you dey talk like that?”

“Jesse, I say you eff up anyhow” Osato’s rising voice attracted significant attention in the crowded bar.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Retroviral Chronicles part 5- Guilty as charged.



His wife was not the kind of woman who forgave easily in the best of times, she remembered the names and offenses of people who’d wronged her even when she was three years old. As she grew older, she got better at it, she’d remember the day, time, place and even the clothes that the offender had worn.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Retroviral Chronicles part 4- Virtue's reward



This shouldn’t be your reward, the payment for being a good wife. All the holy books are full of praises for the woman who is faithful to her husband, they call her blessed, honoured and virtuous.

 They do not say she should be waiting to collect antiretroviral medication in a hospital, imprisoned by a virus that has no cure and that will transform into a disease that will strip you of every dignity before it kills you. They are all silent on this matter, perhaps they did not foresee an idiot quite like the one you married.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Retroviral Chronicles part 3- A Heinous affair

I am a forty-five year old woman who has never been kissed, yet I’m sitting in the reception of a HIV testing clinc, legs pressed together as my vagina twangs from remembered anguish. How did I get here? It’s not a story that I like to tell. I’d rather tell you about the young man who fainted just before his result was announced.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Retroviral Chronicles part 2- The Sampler



The ceiling fan’s laconic twirling seemed to be holding the attention of the middle aged woman sitting on the red plastic chair, she’d probably been staring at it for at least ten minutes. It was clear that she didn’t want to initiate or receive eye contact from anyone, everyone in that room was happy to oblige her. The man with long and pointy beard was watching the ceiling too, his face seemed calm but his left foot was drawing an interesting pattern on the ground.