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20/06/2018 8:55

Hi everyone. It’s another beautiful day. Another day to aspire to greatness. A day to look at life from a positive view point. A day to appreciate life and what you have.

Life is a mystery as long as we exist. There are questions flying all around in the air and so little answers. Although we keep scavenging for any iota of meaning to our existence, we humans seem kinda lost, formulating different ways of expressing ourselves and depicting the creator of all things; God.

The real question is; are we lost or are we beautiful? It depends on how you wish to look at it. Just imagine that everyone on Earth thought the same things in the same ways, I imagine that life would be boring that way. So I dare to say we are all beautifully lost. But there’s more to life than meets the eye. There’s hope, there love, there’s family. And through each of these we express our love for the universe and what lies beyond.

Have a wonderful day.

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19/06/2018 7:50

Hello world! It’s a Tuesday, and we are alive to observe this day. We breathe yet again. We feel the sun yet again. We think and wish yet again. We look to the skies yet again. We hope yet again. We doubt yet again. We work yet again. We struggle, for it’s our daily efforts that sum up our lives.

Life is as we know it full of mysteries. Maybe not exactly full of mysteries, but we like to think of it that way. Personally, I think life is simple enough, or could be. But for so many reasons we make it complicated, with out beliefs, our wants, our expectations. Well, no one has all the answers, so let’s keep complicating things. After all, we come, we see, and someday we go.

It’s morning here and I thought to write before I get started for work. It’s a beautiful feeling when I write, no matter who reads me. Sometimes I think I should write more, sometimes I write less, depending on my mood. Sometimes I think I’d make a great writer, sometimes I think it’s all fantasy. But isn’t fiction fantasy? Maybe I haven’t got the grasp of it. But definitely, I think way more than I write. And what do I think of? I always think of life, of death, of love, of existence, of God, and of best-selling books written by yours truly. Best-selling books… when will I ever be truly calm to pen any of those, I wonder. Or is it calmness I need, or madness, a touch of it. Maybe I care too much how my lines look, maybe I don’t even know what to write about. You see, it’s all in the air, and that could be a problem. I could be anybody; a scientist, a billionaire, a best-selling author, an inventor, just name it, I’ve dreamed it. Maybe I dream of characters that will appear in my future books. I got the words, that I know, and sometimes too do they flow like honey from the rock. Maybe I could be all the things I dream about. Maybe that’s life; come, dream, love, die. Maybe we’re not actually meant to live our dreams. Or maybe I’m writing too much. You see, that’s my problem, I always feel I’m oversharing. I think I have to break out from this cocoon of caution. I always feel people would feel I’m crazy or different in an asocial way. Not that I don’t like being different, I do, but it’s lonely, believe me. When your immediate society thinks you’re nuts each time you express yourself. I mean, I might be nuts, but the most important thing is that I’m writing and the words are counting. Whether I write about me, or about the characters in my head, or about politics, or about philosophy or technology or religion, I still write. I think writing is what’s most important, just write, even if it’s crap, even if it makes you vulnerable, even if it’s about you and not some fantasy you think people want to read. One thing I’m sure of is that someone would read this and appreciate me for it. And I appreciate that someone too. I’d like to write more, but duty calls. Some other time, then. Peace.

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17/06/2018 23:06

Power outage doesn’t make it easy to compose my thoughts online, but well, some parts of the world are still grasping with electrons and what they can do.

There’s an idea on my mind. One I think could fathom out well depending on how I tackle it. It appears as a classical idea, but with its uniqueness in the telling. It’s sci-fi, my kinda thing. The theme is love. And the plan is keep writing about it until the nail’s head is well into the slab.

This great story involves a mad scientist. Or let’s just say a scientist. He’s a bit mad at times though. He’s super smart, gifted. For the most part, I’m still thinking about his characteristics. This is why I decided to pen my thoughts out, so that readers can offer their perspectives and also for the inspiration. I get a lot of positive vibe when I air my thoughts out to potential readers here on WordPress. It’s a feeling akin to that of a footballer in a fully packed stadium — you just want to do your best but at the time be you.

So I decided to name my protagonist Bernard (No, not an idea from Westworld). The name Bernard seems to be balanced in pronunciation. The consonant B (for balance) and the ‘ard’ just give the name that succulence. Well, a name is a name, and truth is I haven’t fully decided on what it is. For all I care, it could be Richard (hell no) or Gabriel (too childish) or Thomas (too complicated). Well, I’m going to go back to researching English names.

Why English, you may ask. For one, my protagonist, Bernard, is a Nigerian. I think he schooled abroad (yes, I’m thinking because I honestly don’t know). Maybe MIT (for the hype) or maybe he schooled in Nigeria (I haven’t decided either). Bottom line is, he’s gifted, he’s a cheeky genius, humorous, and he’s in love (I’d get to that part). But if this story is to get anywhere, I really would want to create a link outside Nigeria. You know, to give it that global vibe.

The truth is, everything is in the air right now where whirlwinds are molding it to something magical. The most important part of my outburst is that YOU get to read me. That is the whole point of I AM A BOOK; that you get to read me as the book.

So, Bernard (for the sake of naming) is getting married. Yea, even mad scientists get married. He’s in love, crazy in love. With… well, in my mind I named her Rachael. I’m just not sure if that’d stick. Rachael loves Bernard for all he is; crazy, socially weird… I think Bernard met Rachael in his time abroad. He loved her from the word go. It was like she lit up his world. What Bernard loved most about her was her high spirits. She had this playful demeanor that made the world look like a kitten’s yarn. And when he yapped about Einstein’s law of relativity and warmholes, she just listened even though he couldn’t tell if she understood or not. She was literally the missing piece to his god formula. Love.

And in a matter of hours, Bernard would be getting married to Rachael. Maybe they’d get married in Nigeria, maybe in the U.S. But I’ve always pictured Nigeria. But it is again Nigerian culture to marry where the girl is from. Well, bottom line is they’re getting married with the full shebang. I thought about giving Bernard a professorship, you know, so that the whole mad scientist chatter would be more than mere hype. So how does Professor Bernard sound? Yea, the surname. About the surname, I decided to give him a name from my tribe, Ebira. The Ebira people are an ethnic group of central Nigeria, Kogi State, aka Confluence State. Yea, that’s where Rivers Niger and Benue meet. As you may or may not know, Nigeria is made up of more than 300 tribes and over 500 languages. What a mix-up, right? A colorful but sometimes calamitous one. It is quite convenient alone that English is the official language. Imagine if everyone went about speaking their different languages. Well, we still know where we’re from. We still remember our history.

How does Bernard Ataba sound? For the record, Ataba in Ebira means mountain in English. Actually the tribal name of my brother (it’s funny how his name got into my story). Initially, I used the name, Adavize, meaning father of wealth. But I just felt Bernard Adavize didn’t sound harmonious. Anyways, Bernard Ataba, sounds just all right with all the b’s. So I can say I have that part cleared.

How Bernard? He’s a Christian, so at baptism he was given Bernard. Of course he has a middle tribal name but that’s not of interest right now. So, yea, Professor Bernard Ataba. I think the name sounds too corporate. Maybe the b’s are too many. But it’s just two b’s. Whatever mehn. I’m actually looking for something that sounds sleazy. I mean, this guy is a crazy dude, a young professor in Physics, the youngest, in fact. He isn’t that bulky. He isn’t rigid in his gesticulations. In fact, he’s a slim dude, like me (but hey, this isn’t about me, not directly). Maybe a bit taller, not too tall to be mistaken for a basketballer, but tall enough.

Rachael could just as easily be Sarah. Hmm… I think Rachael is more of a standalone name than Sarah. Or maybe I just don’t know enough names. I still haven’t figured out a surname for Rachael. Maybe Rachael Smith (sounds too celeb-like) or Rachael Cummins. I know where you minds are darting to at the sound of Cummins, but hey, talk about humor. At least that last name will give many readers a good laugh plus it goes with her personality as a carefree person.

So professor Bernard Ataba from Nigeria is getting married to Rachael Cummins from the United States of A. It should be grandiose or maybe just a humble one. Maybe Rachael isn’t in for all the luxuries that weddings come with. Maybe she doesn’t mind if it’s a big one or a humble one. Or maybe Bernard’s lifestyle as a scientist would just dictate how the wedding would turn out. Scientists tend to move in cliques, so maybe it’d just be his colleagues, classmates, you know, people in his social core. But then again, he’s a Nigerian, and his family might want to blow the trumpet on this one. But then Rachael calls the shots, she’s the one he’s getting married to. It’s just that I have a lot of storylines for a Nigerian wedding. But unfortunately, it’s gonna be an American wedding, in America. Well, we could make that work, I guess.

 

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17/06/2018 9:02

Hello readers, how have you been? How is your day and how are things turning up?

This post is to update you on the title of the blog/site. It has changed. From Victor Enesi Writes to I AM A BOOK.

What warranted the change?

I just felt finished products wasn’t it. A writer goes through so much thinking and deliberation in writing a book, and an editor puts in hours upon hours in finetuning the book to make it that finished product we pick up on the shelf in bookshops.

But what if we could know a writer’s thoughts and not just the finished product? Isn’t that a story on its own?

Which begs my description, The story behind the story.

Most books are not complete stories. Readers don’t know the pain and torture writers go through to dole out best-selling novels.

My mind snaps to Andy Weir, author of The Martian, at 39. What a book. What a story behind the book. What a person behind the book. Yea. Andy Weir is the real story; his thoughts, his doubts, his deliberations, his magical moments, his drought.

The author is the real story.

So the correct expression is not ‘have you read The Martian’ but ‘have you read Andy Weir’.

Well, I hope that my little gesture would shed light on the billions of unsaid words. And that someday a writer’s life will be more important than his products.

 

 

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Do words matter

Do words matter?

construed symbols plated
on cold stone etched in
meaning telling tales of
feelings ripe and faded

Do words matter?

Mama crying, boy singing
pain inscribed in the mind
self expression yearning
for aperture to others’souls

Do words matter?

History fading, worlds warring
people forgetting deeds mistaken
caveman hieroglyphs retarding
from a world without meaning

Do words matter?

Internet’s awaken
words pixelating
people drifting
world ending

Do words matter?

Mind yearning
for meaning beyond meaning
worlds destroying
man’s undertaking

Do words matter?

Symbols adrift
meaning interlaced
Comparison unfound
Senseless sensations

Do words matter?

Writer’s dilemma
warping the mind
in madness storylines
vying for existence

Do words matter?

Spider’s web
crocheting
slinging minds
stagnating

Do words matter?

Writer’s pain
raining brain drain
Inspiration
at knife’s tip

Do words matter?

yearning stretching
hands of reason
blessing heads of
washing

Do words matter?

At moment when words
don’t matter then
death shall come for
the brain in the matter

Do words matter?

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Harry and Megan: The royal wedding

His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex… Hold on a minute. Remove Sus from Sussex, what do you have left? Don’t judge me, cos that was the only thing I saw in that eternally long title. Sex, lots of sex. Isn’t that what’s meant to happen after marriage? Sex leading to kids and more sex leading to even more kids (the latter a beautiful thing, but the process… phew!).

So let’s talk about the wedding proper.

There’s talk about how the invitation was made (all the boring processes). Also talk about the venue and history and all the other boring stuff. But let’s talk about the center of attraction here; Meghan Markle. Isn’t she a beauty? From her days in Suits, I just knew there was something about her that made her different (lying!). But hey, we gotta say nice things about the bride, right? But she’s got that kinda balanced face, epitome of beauty, not wide, not too slim. Prince Harry (oops.. HRHDOS) on the other hand is just my kinda guy, normal, not trying to impress.

What is the take-home for spinsters around the world? I can tell you how the spinsters in Nigeria are reacting. But give me a moment to pity them first (that elusive husband garnished in the cloak of wishful thinking, that husband that would never come). Okay, pity party over. They’re saying stuff like, “It doesn’t matter the age,” and “Patient dog eats the fattest bone (sounds like doggy to me), and “Marriage isn’t about tribe or class,” you know, stuff like that. Oops… I almost forgot. And “Every divorcee deserves a second shot at a happy union.” I would say that every single mother deserves a chance at a happy union.

Now, back to reality. I wanna ask a philosophical question: what is the difference between Harry-Meagan’s wedding and any other wedding in the world? No, take a moment to think it through. I mean, if they were in my horror stories and I tore them down to bare bones, that’s what they’d be, bones (calcium), and we are all made of bones. So, what makes Prince Harry’s bones any different from mine? LOL! I bet mine are even harder in some areas (not that bone, dummy, the real bone. Ugh!)

(and sorry, no pictures. I prefer to write the thousand words than show them in pixels)

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Movies that didn’t meet the hype

So I saw Deadpool 2 yesterday and it was full of hay and funny moments. And of course the movie is breaking the charts in the Box Office. But hold up a minute, let’s talk about movies that didn’t survive the hype.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

This movie comes to mind, more like The City of a Thousand Flops hehe. On a serious note, I watched this movie and I was totally wowed, but I guess there are other factors as to how a movie fares financially. But this one, definitely a flop in the books.

The Mummy

Oh, poor Tom. I bet he rues this one every now and then. If I’m a star (I sometimes am in my dreams hehe) I wouldn’t wanna act in a flop. And damn right this one flopped. But not to worry, mummy is always there to hear your life problems.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

So much hype for this one, adverts, push push push, but still flopped. Maybe the sword wasn’t sharp enough.

Power Rangers

Let’s not even go there.

Blade Runner 2049

Sometimes I think movie writers just do too much, and that is why movie flopped. I can’t even remember what it was like.

There are so many other Box Office flops out there, but I think I’ve made my point. Obviously, a lot has to go into making a movie a blockbuster. Maybe a movie titled Blockbuster would actually cut it (just kidding!).

 

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Almond Tree

The dry leaves of the almond tree front of the house are blown by fleeting winds into the compound. Sometimes I just sit and watch as the leaves flutter. I watch as the sun scorches the green into golden brown. I watch as the rains take over and the same bereft leaves happen upon their beauty. I watch through the season because I have nowhere else to go. I watch because I can’t walk, so I have to be good for something. I also watch the neighbor’s kids play and blabber. I wish I could walk. I wish I could touch the tree anytime I wanted without the help of someone.

I can pick the dry leaves and crack them. The sound is soothing. I wish I could match on them, but I can’t. I am tired of this compound though. I am tired of listening to Mrs. Ibinabo’s children blabber all day about sweet nonsenses. Why do I even come out to the open? I could be indoors all day and no one would expect more from me. But because of the tree, the almond tree, it soothes me. When the winds blow the tree dances, and sometimes I get to see a fruit fall. I imagine how they hit the ground, the blemish. Would the kids still eat a fallen fruit that has been on the ground for hours?

Sometimes the kids drop by to say say their hi’s. I make up a smile for them, they mustn’t know how deceiving life is. The kids always smile, they smile while I’m rooted to this wheelchair. What’s so happy about life? What if they could feel what I feel right now? Why if they couldn’t use their legs like me? What if each time they tried to stand, they fall? What if they knew my pain? What if I could make them know my pain?

No. I’m thinking silly thoughts. ‘Look to the almond tree, let it dance for you, let it make you forget your pain,’ I say in my thoughts, ‘Look to the almond tree, let it save your soul.’

Bobo’s coming home soon from work. He’s my helper and my brother. He has always been there for me. He carries me wherever I want to go, especially to the almond tree in front of the house. Bobo always asks, “What’s so gluey about the almond tree? It’s the most common tree in Nigeria.” And I reply, “It is common, but this one is different.”

I don’t know what the future holds for me. Bobo has to start a life soon. Who would help me? Would I have to start a life too? Would any girl like me this way? Or would I have to get a girl like me? These thoughts depress my mind. Why can’t I walk like Bobo? Why me? Why am I the one that deserves useless legs? What if it were Bobo? What if we both had useless legs?

No. I’m thinking silly thoughts. ‘Look to the almond tree, let it dance for you, let it make you forget your pain,’ I say in my thoughts, ‘Look to the almond tree, let it save your soul.’

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What are we?

So chick is like, “Babe, what are we?”

And dude is bemused like, “Uh… you’re my girlfriend?”

Chick: You see? That’s the problem. I would never stop being your girlfriend.

Dude: Babe, where is this coming from?

Chick: Dave, we’ve been together for three years now. Where are we heading to?

Dude: Babe, I totally don’t understand you.

Chick: You see that’s your problem, you’re so scared of commitment that you don’t even think about a family at all.

Dude: Whoa! Family? Babe we’ve been over this, I told you, I’m not ready.

Chick: But what’s stopping us?

Dude: Babe, we’re good like this. I love you and you love me too. What more do you want?

Chick: Look, Dave, I can’t keep doing this forever. I want more, I want a family.

Dude: Wow! Have you been thinking about this? Because we were having a nice time and then you came pouring down on me like the Mississippi.

Chick: You know what, Dave, I can’t deal. You’ve proven to me that you’re scared of commitment. What are you so scared about? Don’t you like kids?

Dude: You know I like kids, Rache, so don’t even go there.

Chick: Then have some of your own!

Dude: Whoa! Some. Where did some come from?

Chick: Damn, you’re such a pussy.

Dude: Yea, I have a good time fucking it.

Chick: You know what, it’s over between us. You’re not the man for my future.

Dude: Babe, I think you’re taking this overboard, just calm down and let’s talk.

Chick: I’m done talking, David. Goodbye.

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forgetting

Have you ever thought it’s a Sunday when it’s a Saturday? This shit has been happening to me today, all day.

Tunde had an interview for Tuesday the following week. It was Sunday, and he was looking up to the next day because he thought Monday was Tuesday.

He got to the venue of the interview and he walked into the office.

“Good morning. My name is Tunde and I have an interview here today for 10 pm.”

“Uh…,” hummed the receptionist, “Let me clarify that, you just have a seat.”

“Thanks.”

The receptionist entered into another room and was out in a minute.

“Tunde, I’m sorry your interview is not scheduled today.”

“What do you mean?” poor Tunde asked.

“Your interview is scheduled for 10 pm on Tuesday. That would be tomorrow.”

‘Shit,’ Tunde thought in his mind, ‘you didn’t! What the fuck is wrong with you?’

Long story short, poor dude had to go home and return the following day.

Morale of the story; it’s human to forget. But how hard are we on ourselves when we forget? Do you nag all day or just accept your human nature?

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My pen

My pen bleeds for laden thoughts
My pen bleeds for unanswered questions
My pen bleeds and doesn’t stop
My pen is my word, my mouth, my fingers

My pen doubts itself
My pen doubts its worth
My pen doubts the people around it
My pen doubts its world

My pen wants to write
My pen wants to bite
My pen wants to bleed
My pen wants to need

My pen reminisces
of days when words mattered
days when words filled the sky
days when words soared so high

My pen is hungry
hungry for the blood of reason
My pen is hungry
Hungry for more

My pen won’t stop bleeding
till I bleed out
My pen is mad
clad with secrets of the gods

My pen longs for you
to give it credit
My pen longs for you
to save your soul

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What if

What if the words were just to flow
from my fingertips like honey from the comb?

What if writing were a curse
and not a blessing?

What if people misunderstood writers?

What if there’s no such thing as writer?

What if What if What if

What if writing had different forms?

What if writing has a shape, a name?

What if writers are untrue to themselves?

What is writing?

Is there writing without freedom?

Is writing more than mere words?

Is writing life?

Are writers weak or strong?

What do people think about writers?

What do you think about writers?

Do writers waste their time writing?

And what had they better do else?

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Hi again

Hello guys, I’m back again.

You know there’s something about writing that eases tensions in the body. I mean, writing doesn’t always have to be grand stories and whatnot. What if I just write how I feel, like a journal?

Anyways…

Quick question: have you ever thought about the shape of paragraphs? Do you think there might be some hidden meaning to them? Look at my ‘Anyways…’ up there and compare it with the ones before, it’s kinda lonely, like it needs friends around. But I don’t care, anyways.

So let’s tell each other a story.

There’s a girl, on her bed right now. It’s dark, somewhere on the planet, like here in Nigeria. She’s not so happy, no specific reason though. She’s on her phone, of course, I mean, what else would she be doing. She’s hoping for love, for something deeper than the mundanity of life. She longs for more, whatever more means, anything but this, her life. Not that her life is so bad, but she just longs, she doesn’t even know why she longs, maybe it’s just sexy to long for things.

So back to reality. You know how I do this? I just let my heart out, feel everybody’s happiness and sorry and joy and fatigue. There’s more to people than meets the eye.

“I’m going to teach you a lesson you’d never forget!”

He whips his son over and over as he repeats the words.

“Ouch!” his son screams.

“Dad, you’re so wicked, you’re always beating me,” the son says amid the all too familiar whips.

“You dare tell me I’m wicked? You will die today. You will tell me if you have another father somewhere else.”

And the whipping continues.

That’s someone’s story up there. But as a writer I ask myself, ‘How much can I really tell if not in bits and pieces?’ Because there’s A LOT to tell. Pain, sorrow, joy, love, agony, name it. It’s all there.

If you ever wondered your place in life, just look to the evening sky and know that there’s a star up there for you. Uh… not so sure, but just follow the words.

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Hi

Okay, guys, what am I gonna write about this time?

First, how do I feel? I feel a bit messed up. Something happened I can’t tell you about. Sorry. But, you know, how’s you at your end? I hope all is fine with you, reader. Just keep in mind that life is not a bed of roses (I hate talking quotes, sounds like preaching).

What else should I say? Okay, let me tell you a little story.

There’s this grumpy guy about to board a bus. He’s the unhappy kind, the kind that never goes to work happy, always grumpy and sad.

So he boards this bus, and inevitably gets into an argument with a passenger.

“You can’t talk to me that way. Are you mad?” he says.

“Do you have a problem? Big fool,” the other passenger defends.

And on and on they go. And I’m in that bus, and I’m like;

“Can’t you guys just shut it?”

And on cue, they descend on me.

“Who begged you to interrupt?”

And I’m like, “Sorry, didn’t mean to, but if you guys could just bring it down a bit, some of us are trying to get into work mode here.”

“What is this one saying?” in a harsh tone…

I just knew they couldn’t help themselves, so I let them rant. And when it was time to get off the bus, off I went. And life was good. And that is the end of the story.

Oops, sorry if it wasn’t what you were expecting. But as I said, bad mood.

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Uncle Pat, finale

When Patricia got into the guest room, to her utter disarray, she saw Aunt Lucy by the bedside, crying.

“Aunt Lucy, what happened, why are you crying?”

“Don’t worry, dear, it’s nothing,” she said, sobbingly.

“Aunt Lucy you can tell me,” Patricia pressured.

“It’s your Uncle.”

“What did he do to you? Did he hit you again?”

Aunt Lucy looked at Patricia with surprise that spoke volumes as to how she knew.

“Don’t worry, Aunt, I know he hits you.”

Patricia used her pyjamas sleeve to clean Aunt Lucy’s tears.

“He has to pay this time, more than you’ve made him pay before. This time we have to make sure we cure him of this evil. He has to hurt the same way he hurts you.”

“No, Patricia,” Aunt Lucy’s sobs increased. “You don’t understand. He’s working on it, he’s changing, he’s trying.”

“Aunt Lucy, he’s going to kill you if you don’t realise the demon that he is. Look at your face, what are you going to tell Mum and Dad happened to your face?”

“I don’t know. I’d use makeup or something,” Aunt Lucy said, wiping off tears from her cheek.

“That’s not going to do, Aunt Lucy,” Patricia pressed. “You tried to change him before. You used scare tactics on him. I know this, because I’ve been in this room before at night. I watched Uncle Pat sleep. I guess you played the witch role quite effectively, but as we both can see, it hasn’t worked. People like Uncle Pat, wife beaters, they only respond to one thing. Pain.”

Aunt Lucy stopped crying for a moment in awe of Patricia. ‘How could a child conceive of these things?’ was what she asked in her mind. Patricia huged her around her waist.

“We can do this, trust me. He will never hit you again.”

It was dinner time and the family gathered around the table, food was served and everybody jollied. Uncle Pat had the now-and-then smile each time he gazed at his wife, and it hurt Patricia to her bones. ‘Wife beater, has the guts to smile at his wife after committing such atrocity. He has to pay,’ she thought.

In the middle of the night when everyone was fast asleep, it was time for Patricia and Aunt Lucy to carry out their plan. They just had to teach Uncle Pat a lesson. Uncle Pat was fast asleep, but his wife wasn’t. And so Patricia tiptoed in the room and together they woke Uncle Pat up.

“What is this? Patricia–” Uncle Pat made to say.

“Shh,” Patricia whispered.

“Lucy, what’s going on?” Uncle Pat asked, confused.

“You’re not going to touch me anymore, Patrick, we’d make sure of that.” Aunt Lucy replied.

Uncle Pat chuckled for a while and then said, “Have you lost your damn mind? She’s a child,” gesturing to Patricia.

“I’m no child, wife beater. Oops, should a child be holding this?” Patricia brought out a kitchen knife from the back of her pyjamas.

“Jesus!” Uncle Pat exclaimed. “Patricia, what are you doing with that?”

“Just what you did to Aunt Lucy.”

She drew close to him and he recoiled. She used the tip of the knife to travel his skin slowly.

“Now, wife beater, where do I start?”

“Patricia, you don’t know what you’re doing, drop that thing.”

“Shh,” she whispered as she moved the knife up his belly.

“Why do people always think I’m a child, I wonder. Can a child do this?”

She pricked his chest with the edge of the knife.

“Ouch!” he uttered as blood eased out of his chest.

“Look at that, the wife beater bleeds,” Patricia chuckled, looking to Aunt Lucy.

“Do it, Patricia, teach him a lesson,” Aunt Lucy said.

Uncle Pat began to mumble words like “You-you-you just a kid, you don’t know what you’re doing” and “We can talk about this. Lucy, we can talk about this.”

“It’s too late for all that now, Uncle Pat. You should have talked about it before you hit her,” Patricia said as she moved the knife toward his face.

Uncle Pat knew he had to do something quick, so he tried yanking her hand away and the knife got a bit of his neck, a red bloody line on his neck. Patricia fell back.

“Argh!” he grumbled, “Stupid kid, look what you’ve done.”

He walked toward Aunt Lucy.

“Did you put her up to this? You psycho bitch.”

He slapped her and she fell to the ground. Patricia held the knife out.

“You can’t do this, you can’t hit her. I’ll stop you.”

“Watch me.”

He dragged Aunt Lucy around the other bed in the room and jerked her against the wood work so that she hit her head and made a loud cry.

“I’m going to teach you a lesson, after which I’m coming for you, kid.”

“You. Can’t. Hit. Her!” Patricia cried.

She ran, full force, knife outward. And before Uncle Pat could look her direction, she met him. And everything was still for a moment.

“What. The. Fuck…” Uncle Pat counted in total shock.

A red map spread on his singlet, just the way an artist dapples a canvas with red paint. He looked at Patricia, weary, then he fell to his knees amid distant cries from his wife. He gazed at his wife and then at Patricia, and fell on his face.

Patricia knocked the guest room door after travelling chilling storylines of possibilities.

“Come in,” Aunt Lucy’s friendly voice said.

When she got in, Uncle Pat was in the bathroom prepping for work and Aunt Lucy was sitting on the other bed in the room.

“How was your night, dear?”

“Uh… fine. You said we were going to talk,” Patricia said.

“Yes dear. Your Uncle told me you came to the room in the night…”

‘What the fuck,’ was what ran through Patricia’s mind, ‘he knew?’

Aunt Lucy smiled at Patricia’s displacement.

“You see dear, I know you’re a smart girl, so you’d understand. Your Uncle and I have been through our ups and downs. Some things he did that he isn’t proud of, but we have worked it out. There are scars, yes, but these scars are not objects of torture but of a reminder of our mistakes. Maybe soon enough you’d understand fully what I mean. But you can’t play on his mind, Patricia, it’s wrong. Okay?”

“Okay, Aunt Lucy.”

Patricia was still flummoxed at what she just heard. Funny thing when you think you’re on top of the world with your moves.

When she got downstairs to her room, Georgina looked at her like she had just come out from an interrogation room. Patricia was not herself after hearing Aunt Lucy’s meltdown. ‘They knew all this while.’

Her phone rang, it was Vanessa, her classmate.

“Hello Vanessa, I’m not really in the mood to–”

“Patricia, you would not believe what I just saw,” Vanessa cut her short.

“What is it, Vanessa?”

“I just saw Thomas in the football field close to my house. He was with Abigail. Patricia, they kissed.”

 


Thank you all for following my series, Uncle Pat. It’s been a wonderful ride with you. Writing sometimes has its challenges, but knowing that people read my work out there is just gratifying to say the least. Be on the look out for more engaging series. Cheers.

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Uncle Pat, 9

So that night, when the short and long hands eclipsed, Patricia promised herself to do some snooping around. Not only to figure out what was up between her Uncle and his wife, but also to figure out how t’was like between couples when it’s up. Call it youthful exuberance, or curiosity, the kind that killed the cat everyone talks about.

So, she tiptoed that Monday night, up the stairs, and landed on her summit at the guest room door. She was hoping to hear noises. Noises of Uncle Pat being haunted by that mysterious being and also other kind of noises, couple noises.

‘What could they be doing in there, and why’s it so silent?’ she thought. Could her hands be in his pants as she sometimes saw on TV? Couples do that when they’re not in the mood for sex. ‘Shut up!’ she yelled in her mind, ‘you shouldn’t be thinking that, your mind isn’t ready for that.’

‘Why shouldn’t I be thinking that?’ her other mind questioned, ‘Because the so-called adults told me so. Sex is sacred blah blah blah? It’s even yucky. I mean, why would humans want to get into their dirtiest parts so bad? Humanity is indeed fucked up. Shh! You shouldn’t say the f word.’

Patricia soon snapped back into reality, and still she heard nothing from the door of the guest room. What was she hoping to hear?

Aunt Lucy: I’m the demon in your nightmares, I’m the devil in your afterlife.

Uncle Pat: Please don’t hurt me, I’m eternally sorry for hitting you.

Aunt lucy: Are you? But I can’t see any repentance. You’re still a monster inside, and you will suffer in my hell. You will pay for all the torture you put me through. You will suffer a millions times over. You will beg for mercy. No, you will beg for death. You will–

‘Okay, focus!’ she yelled in her brain. ‘Nothing is obviously going on in there. Just go downstairs and sleep.’

So Patricia turned back slowly and continued her creeping session.

“What are you looking for?” said a voice from behind.

Patricia peed her pants. Then she thought of washing later in the morning. Then she peed again. ‘I’m done for’ was all  that the tiny neurons in her brain could comprehend.

It was Aunt Lucy’s voice.

“Uh.. I just– uh.. you know, I was–”

Pathetic. She was obviously searching for words, just the way writers search for words when the juice is out.

“It’s okay honey, go to bed now. We’d talk later in the morning,” Aunt Lucy said.

Patricia was eased, although it was ironical given the fact that she just eased on herself. Something bothered her mind though, she hoped Aunt Lucy wouldn’t make mention of their encounter the next day to Mum or Dad.

‘But what did she mean by “We’d talk later in the morning”?’

For some reason, those last words felt so good to Patricia. What were they going to talk about? Would they plan together on how to torture her monster wife-beating husband together? Would she be the perfect apprentice to the witch, like a mother-and-daughter relationship?

Patricia slept that night with these laden thoughts in her mind. She even had a nightmare; her boyfriend cheated on her.

“How could you do this to me?” she said.

“Patricia… I mean, you’re kind of weird, you weirded me out. What was I suppose to do? You never talk teenage stuff, you always want to be smart and it’s kinda boring.”

“I’m smart, dummy, not wanting to be smart. If only your cheating ass neurons could move a tad faster then you will understand what smartness is. How did we even fall in love? Now I’m going to be fucking heartbroken.”

A knife was in the pocket of her jeans. How it got there is the stuff of dreams. Nobody knows how anything gets anywhere in dreams, we just know that when we need something it comes around.

Patricia drew the knife from its scabbard and plunged it into his chest.

“What are they fuck are you doing, Patricia? You’re mad! You’ve gone mad!” Thomas, her about-to-be-killed boyfriend, yelled in apparent pain.

“You broke my heart, Thomas, and now I’m going to break yours, literally,” she sobbed with a hint of a chuckle.

She held the knife in his chest and used her other palm to jerk it in.

“Argh!!!”

She tore into his chest. Saliva, reddish, began bubbling from the side of his clenched lips. He tried to muffle something Patricia couldn’t get.

The knife in his chest made her feel so good she was actually scared in real life. But even though she knew she was dreaming, she still felt heartbroken and didn’t stop there.

She juiced his heart so that he felt the last pain of his life, and he fell to the ground just the way logs used to fall off the back of prehistoric fathers that arrived their huts. Those days when cutting down a tree into chunks meant a man was responsible and his wife would let him… you know, later that night.

Patricia almost woke up with a scream, but Georgina was there and she mustn’t know even beings like Patricia were capable of having nightmares. She picked up her voice teleportation device and rang Thomas.

“Hello, babe, what’s up?”

“Thomas, I want you to promise me that you’d never cheat on me.”

The poor boy felt like his future self where his wife would wake him up in an unholy hour and make him promise something totally unrelated to their lives.

“Uh… Patricia? Where’s this coming from?”

“Just promise, Thomas.”

He obviously wasn’t ready for that level of drama.

“Uh… I promise.”

“Why did you say ‘Uh…’?”

Thomas felt like being swallowed by the ground. What the hell was she on about? He kept silent.

“Thomas, are you already cheating on me?”

For a moment Thomas wondered where all of Patricia’s smarts evaporated to. This was the same girl always talking technical stuff and now she’s all ‘promise me this promise me that’. He couldn’t deal.

“Look, babe, I’m not cheating on you, okay?” he said briskly.

“I believe you, honey.”

That was the first time she called him honey, well, not exactly the first, but the sweetest first. Thomas felt like a man again.

When Patricia was done with her call, she headed for the guest room. At least it was broad daylight now, and she was, of course, welcome into the room. But she didn’t go for a welcome, she went for the “We’d talk later in the morning”.

 


Victor is an Engineer and a Writer (horror). He’s open to all kinds and types of freelance jobs (he has a day job, but he’d squeeze time for this. Such is his passion for the craft). If you want him featured on your blog or paper or magazine or any material or mode of self-expression, then hit him via victor.enesi@gmail.com, and let it hurt!

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Uncle Pat, 8

Over dinner later that Saturday, Patricia raised a topic.

“Dad, why can’t Aunt Lucy, Georgina and Paul be here with us? I mean, this is holiday time and we won’t have this opportunity soon again.”

Uncle Pat almost puked in his chair.

“Uncle, are you alright?” Patricia asked with a smirk.

“Yea,” I’m good, he said, as he dabbed his mouth with a towel.

Uncle Pat felt like tossing his plate at her face and flinging the dining table on her so she shut up once and for all.

“Uh… I think it’s up to them, Patricia. You could call to ask if they can come. Right, Pat?” Dad said.

“Uh… yea, of course,” Uncle Pat answered, unconvinced.

“That settles it then. Patricia, give Aunt Lucy a call asking if your cousins could come over.”

Patricia was so delighted, she could almost see rainbow coloured bubbles everywhere. She excused herself. In no time, Uncle Pat followed.

“What is wrong with you?” Uncle Pat stormed.

Patricia jerked as she wasn’t expecting anyone after her. Her phone dropped.

“Uncle, you scared me.”

“Why would you bring such a topic up in front of everyone? I told you in the car, they are busy with lessons.”

“I remember, Uncle, but there’s no harm in asking.”

Unlce Pat felt like kicking her where she stood. Stupid girl that won’t shut her mouth. He stormed out of her room and up to the guest room.

“Aunt Lucy, it’s me, Patricia.”

“My sweetheart, how are you?” Aunt Lucy replied.

“I’m fine. I called to ask you if Georgina and Paul could come spend some days with us.”

“Uh… that’s a big one, Patricia.”

Georgina and Paul were roaring in the background. “Mum, say yes,” they said.

“I’m sure you can hear your cousins, they are ecstatic over the idea of paying a visit. Let’s get back to you, dear. Do take care.”

Patricia felt victorious. Now she was going to see why Uncle Pat was so scared of Aunt Lucy. It made her feel good. She knew something was amiss with Uncle Pat and his wife, and now she was going to figure it out for herself.

“Patricia, have you called them?” James asked as he came into the room.

“I think they are going to come, James. Aunt Lucy said to wait on her.”

“So now we are going to know what’s making Uncle Pat so scared.”

“Indeed,” Patricia said with a smile.

“So are we going back in today?” James asked.

“There’s no need for that. Last night’s success lives on. Right now, the fat fool is too rattled and unsettled, and if we go back in we could be caught for real this time. Can you imagine that he came to confront me, asking why I asked that Aunt Lucy come?”

“For real? Wow, he’s really losing it.”

The next morning, Sunday, over breakfast, Dad had something important to tell everyone.

“Aunt Lucy called me called me this morning to say she’d be coming with your cousins on Monday.”

It was like Patricia had been taken to a trip to Mars and back. The happiness that coursed her body was pulsating her veins. She knew deeply that this was the opposite of what her Uncle was feeling.

Uncle Pat wasn’t himself. If someone came to him that moment with a teleportation device with a fifty percent accuracy, he would take his chances even if he could be sliced halfway on reaching his destination, bloody intestine dangling beneath his upper half, his lower half lost to space and time.

Monday came with the speed of light. Aunt Lucy, Georgina and Paul arrived to the delight of all except Uncle Pat. He couldn’t even mask his discontent. And no one cared.

That night, Aunt Lucy was to sleep in the guest room with her husband while Patricia, James and John shared rooms with their cousins, which was good for bonding.

That night, Patricia asked her cousin Georgina a question.

“Is everything alright at home?”

“Yes, why do you ask?” Georgina replied.

Patricia could see that Georgina suppressed some emotions.

“Georgina,” Patricia called and paused, “You know you can tell me anything, right?”

Georgina’s face suddenly became sullen.

“All I know is Mum tells us to go to our rooms and soon after I hear sobs, dad’s sobs.”

Patricia was lost for words.

“Sobs?”

“Hmm.”

“Your dad cries? Uncle Pat cries?”

“It all started when–” she paused.

“Common, Gina, you know you can tell me.”

A tear wrinkled out of Georgina’s eyes. Patricia drew her close and put an arm around her.

“You don’t need to cry, just tell me.”

“It all started when dad used to hit mum, then I think she had enough and she fought back, and now everything is just bad-bad-bad.”

“Why bad?”

“The house isn’t as it was before. I think she over did it and now dad has lost his mind. It’s never going to be the same for us, I just know it.”

She broke into proper tears this time, and Patricia had to console her.

“It will get better. It’s marriage stuff.” Patricia said.

But in her mind she knew this was more than marriage stuff. What she just heard reeked of sadness. The type that destroys families. For a moment, Patricia didn’t know what to think. ‘He hit her,” that’s bad enough, ‘Then she fought back,’ that’s unexpected. But how did she fight back that turned Uncle Pat into a sissy? That was what she had to figure out, and nothing could stop her.

 


Victor Enesi is an Engineer and Creative Writer that loves telling organic stories. He might even enjoy imagining them more. If you want his organic stories on your blog, paper or magazine, you can always reach him via victor.enesi@gmail.com

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Uncle Pat, 7

When they got to the room downstairs, Patricia removed all their wearings and threw them to the bed.

“Tell me that didn’t just happen,” James freaked. “Patricia, are you like a mind reader or something?”

“You almost ratted us out there,” Patricia said.

“I know… I know, but that’s past. I mean, look at what we did there. We completely freaked him out!”

“Keep your voice low, it’s midnight,” Patricia cautioned.

“Common, you can’t tell me you’re not impressed by what we did.”

“Did you hear what he said?” Patricia asked.

“Yea, something like, ‘I promise I won’t hit her again’.”

“What does that mean?” Patricia quizzed.

“I don’t know, maybe he beats someone at home or something.”

“Hold that thought,” Patricia said, “He hasn’t talked about Aunt Lucy or Georgina or Paul since he came over.”

“What are you trying to say?”

“I smell trouble at home?” Patricia said, “I think we might be on to something.”

Aunt Lucy was Uncle Pat’s wife, and Georgina and Paul his children. And truly, he hadn’t talked about any of them, not even in passing, since he came over. And this made Patricia suspicious, especially with all that happened tonight.

“Let’s reconvene in the morning,” Patricia said, “I need to sleep now.”

When James got to his room, he was too freaked out to think of sleep. He played the events of the night over and over in his mind. He didn’t understand how Patricia could get into Uncle Pat’s head so easily. Or maybe it was the night she boldly watched him as he slept, he thought. James recycled this thought in his mind until it was almost morning, then he slept off.

“James,” Patricia called the first time, but there was no reply.

“James.”

James woke up with an avalanche of déjà vu. It was the same manner Patricia called him the night before. But this time she wasn’t wearing any latex mask or wig.

“What?” he said, grudgingly, as he sat up

“I have a plan,” Patricia said.

James was thinking, ‘Not again.’

“Patricia, we barely made it out the last time, don’t tell me we’re going in tonight again.”

“Barely? You call our success barely? You’re such a sissy. I bet you’re still peeing your pants. Well, the plan isn’t about going back into the room, not yet. I think we should question Uncle Pat about Aunt Lucy. I just have this gut feeling that something is wrong back at home.”

“We can do that,” James replied.

Uncle Pat had made a promise when he came to always take the children out on weekends. So Patricia, James and John gone ready and in no time they were out to Wonder Land for some fun. James loved the bouncing castle, he’d jump on all sides and even climb up to the top, and everywhere was bouncy.

While Uncle Pat was driving in Dad’s car, Patricia made the move to ask him about his wife, Aunt Lucy.

“Uncle Pat, how’s Aunt Lucy?”

Instantly the car swerved so bad that Uncle Pat struggled to keep it control. It was a close one, just at the mention of Aunty Lucy. Uncle Pat cleared his throat.

“Uh… children, look, we’re almost close to Wonder Land where you’re going to have lots of fun, all of you. We’re going to have lots of ice cream, and–” Uncle Pat said.

“Uncle Pat,” Patricia cut him off, “I said how is Aunt Lucy.”

“You know, Georgina and Paul called today, they said to say hi to you guys. They said they wanted to come over but I don’t know if,” he paused. “If, you know, she’d let them come.”

Patricia noticed some strains in Uncle Pat’s voice. And he didn’t call his wife’s name, he only said she. ‘Why is he so scared of his wife?’ Patricia pondered. Some must really be wrong back home.

“Why wouldn’t Aunt Lucy let them come over?” Patricia asked.

“Maybe because of their lessons and all of that,” Uncle Pat replied.

“Then maybe I’d convince her to come over with them,” Patricia said.

Uncle Pat lost control of the steering again and this time he brushed a car on the side. Both drivers had to come out and soon there was little pandemonium by the roadside.

“What is wrong with you?” the other driver asked.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you coming,” Uncle Pat pleaded.

“Is that why you should swerve for no reason? Look, my car is brushed. How do I fix this?”

“I’m so sorry, we can get this fixed.”

“You better. Now I have to be late, I have sports by eleven.”

“I’m so sorry sir. Let me get your number, I’d foot the bill.”

So the other driver gave Uncle Pat his number. When they got back into the car Uncle Pat just wasn’t himself. He looked worked up.

“Uh… guys, I think we have to turn back. I have to get that man’s car fixed,” Uncle Pat said.

“But Uncle you promised,” John said.

“I know, John, let’s leave it till next week. Okay?”

When they got home, Uncle Pat and the kids narrated their ordeal to Dad and Mum, although they were a bit confused by the slight differences in the narrations.

“But I serviced the car earlier this week, and it’s been fine,” Dad said.

“I really don’t know what happened, I was on the steering, and next thing it swerved.”

“Hmm… I guess the mechanic would have to take a look at it,” Dad said.

Patricia knew in her mind that the way Uncle Pat told it wasn’t the way it went. For some reason, the name Lucy meant something horrible to him. And she had to figure it out.

 

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Uncle Pat, 6

James and Patricia didn’t talk the rest of the day, and James was fine with it. His sister had to learn to be wrong sometimes and to stop insulting him. James and Patricia have kept silent spells before. They fought one fine morning, and when Dad returned home, Patricia twisted the story in her favour. Dad was cross with James. “You don’t hit a girl, never!” he said. James couldn’t believe Patricia would lie in broad daylight, so he kept his distance. And though they went to school together, they didn’t talk to each other for months. He hoped this time it won’t take as long, but still he had to keep his distance. And so they went to bed on no-talking terms.

“James, wake up,” a feint voice spoke into his ears.

James could barely hear, for he was somewhere between life and peaceful death, a place called sleep.

“Wake up, James,” the sweet voice spoke again.

This time, James was beginning to grow some consciousness. He managed to open his eyes.

“Ahh!!” he screamed, but a hand held his mouth before for his voice travelled any distance.

“It’s me,” the now crooked voice said.

“P-P-P-Patricia?” James stuttered.

“Yesss,” it cackled.

The face before him was the face of nightmares. A ramshackle face James was sure had NEVER seen younger days. The hair an ominous white, so uniform, even the oldest of the old didn’t possess. The hideous creature hauled its face together with the wig away and lo and behold it was Patricia. She grinned from ear to ear.

“Not funny, Patricia. Not funny,” James uttered in vexation.

“Keep your voice low,” Patricia cautioned. “At least it worked with you. You should have seen your face, so terrified. That, my friend, is how our shameless Uncle must feel tonight.”

“Where did you even get– you know what, never mind.”

“Good. Now that we got all that sorted out, can we move to the next stage?”

James carried Patricia on his neck. She wore the latex mask and put on the white wig. They were ready for action. Patricia put her arms into the sleeves of the cloak and buttoned the top while James buttoned the bottom. Patricia put James through some movement training because he could barely see from inside the cloak. She nudged her legs to the side to signal side movements and clenched her legs to signal no motion. Soon after, they were good to go.

“Are you sure about this, Patricia? We could still turn back, you know,” James whispered, on getting to the door of the guest room where Uncle Pat slept.

“Quiet,” Patricia whispered back.

She held the handle, and with some torque they were in. The room was dark and it appeared Uncle Pat was sleeping just fine.

“What if he shouts?” James whispered from inside the cloak with as a tune as possible.

“Quiet,” Patricia said as she kicked him.

They went closer to the bed.

“Ouch!” James almost uttered audibly. He hit let against the bed and it hurt.

Patricia kicked him from inside, signalling him to behave.

James bent enough to give Patricia room to bend too and inspect Uncle Pat who was snoring in his sleep.

“Patrick,” she whispered in an unrecognisable way.

“Patrick,” she whispered again.

James almost peed his pants. He imagined all the horrible things that could happen to them if Uncle Pat wakes up and maybe turns on the light and catches them both in the childish act.

Uncle Pat turned on the second call of his name.

Patricia whispered his name a third time, and he made a discomforting sound.

“Wake up,” she whispered.

Uncle Pat made a sobbing sound, like he was in fear in his sleep.

Then Patricia nudged James to different corners of the room as she whispered his name.

“What do you want from me?” Uncle Pat responded sobbingly from his pillow.

James couldn’t believe it. It was like there was something he was missing. What he expected was that Uncle Pat put on the lights or something and figure them out. But for some reason, Patricia was speaking into his mind, so it seemed.

“I promised you, I won’t hit her again,” he continued, so much fright in his voice.

Patricia herself was confused. ‘Hit who?’ she thought. All she was aiming at was to scare the crap out of him. But now he confused her and she didn’t quite know her next words.

“And what will happen if you do?” Patricia played along.

Instantly Uncle Pat’s sobbing increased. Even with his eyes closed the fear he demonstrated was almost palpable. He pressed his face to the pillow and began reciting the Our Father amid other things Patricia or James couldn’t make out.

Patricia figured now was the right time to leave the room, and so they crept out.

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The Fall of Man

Adam did well to ponder on God’s warning, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For when you eat of it, you will certainly die.” God said to him.

It was like a tablet in Adam’s mind with deeply etched inscriptions of do’s and don’ts. Each time he looked at the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God’s words echoed in his mind. It was as if God’s warning was stitched to the very core of his mind. In fact, he had formed a territory around God’s warning. The very land on which the forbidden tree grew seemed to repulse his being. Any time he was so close to the tree, his body just knew to move aside.

Adam just knew what he should do and what he shouldn’t. He didn’t have to think it, like he didn’t have to think the names he gave to the animals of the ground and the birds in the sky. It was like God had stored in his being all he needed to know so that he didn’t have to think.

But Adam was lonely. He didn’t know why he was lonely, but he just knew as he did everything else that he was lonely. Even when he tended to the animals and the garden, he just knew something was missing. But this didn’t bother him as long as God was happy.

Then one day Adam woke up to find a surprise. God had made another man. Adam looked at this other man closely and marked some differences. Just by looking at this creature that looked like him, Adam felt whole. The feeling was so much in his being that he spoke.

“This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.”

Adam was always accompanied by the woman, Eve. It felt like she was a part of him he just knew should be there, such that being without her was impossible.

Eve knew of God’s warning and she recited it in her mind just the way Adam did. But Adam noticed something about Eve, like an instinct. She had bigger bosoms than he did, which he knew meant she was warmer, more receptive than he was. Adam knew that was the way she was, and that made him happy.

Every now and then, Adam would see Eve talking with the serpent. Such was her capacity.

Adam had talked to the serpent before, but he didn’t talk much. Although he didn’t know why the serpent was unlike him, why the serpent did the things he didn’t do.

One day, when Adam and Eve were at the tree of life, the serpent called Eve.

“Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” the serpent asked Eve.

“We may eat fruits from the trees in the garden, but God did say we must not eat from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and we must not touch it, or we will die.” Eve replied the serpent.

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to Eve. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Eve didn’t understand what the serpent was saying, and this was not the first time the serpent spoke to Eve in this way. But she felt a force within her, for if the serpent speaks about this all the time, then part of it must be true. For some reason, this force was greater than the warning of God in her mind. So Eve decided to try the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

When Eve took the first bite, she noticed that the taste wasn’t much different from the fruits of the other trees. As she ate, she noticed something different about her body. There was a sweetness in her bosoms that spread to her base. She clenched her legs and made a sound.

“See, do you not feel it?” the serpent said.

Eve never knew a feeling this strong. It was like the sweetness of a thousand trees put together. Instantly, she knew that Adam must feel the way she felt, that Adam must share in this newly found sweetness.

Adam was close by, but his attention was carried away by the animals, for he often looked around to make sure all was in order.

“Adam,” Eve called, “You must taste of this, for it is sweeter than anything there is, sweeter than any fruit we have ever tasted.”

Instantly Adam recognised the fruit, for it was glamorous and it shone.

“Isn’t this the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?” Adam lamented. “God said we are not to eat from the tree, for when we eat of it we will certainly die.”

“But I am not dead,” Eve said. “Try it for yourself, Adam, and feel what I feel.”

Adam retreated from Eve, for he felt something different about her. But the farther he stepped away, the closer Eve moved to him.

“Try it, Adam. You must.” Eve said.

But Adam retreated further. As Adam stepped back, he stumbled on a rock in his path and fell. Still he dragged himself backward with his arms, for he didn’t understand what was happening. Eve had the same essense as God, and this was impossible to Adam. But Adam wasn’t fast enough, and Eve came upon him. She moved in a way he had never seen her move, and for some reason her movement called to him.

“Eat, Adam. Eat,” she said.

Eve’s words spoke to Adam’s being just the way God spoke to them. And this he couldn’t resist. So Adam ate of the apple. And immediately he felt a sweetness in his base, like nothing he had felt before.

‘Eve was right,’ he thought. ‘Such sweetness.’

The feeling spread to his being and beyond. Adam looked at Eve, and it was like he felt her. She was sweet.

For some reason, Adam and Eve ran away from each other into the woods. When they came back out to the plains they were both covered in leaves.

“Why are you covered?” Adam asked.

“I do not know,” Eve replied. “Why are you covered?” she asked.

“I do not want you to see me,” Adam replied.

The wind blew and they felt God’s presence. They took flight to hide among the trees.

“Where are you?” God called out.

“I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid,” Adam replied.

“Who told you that you were naked?” God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded not to eat from?”

“The woman you put here with me gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it,” Adam replied.

“What is this you have done?” God said to Eve.

“The serpent deceived me and I ate,” Eve replied.

God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

Instantly, the serpent lost its arms, fell to the ground and struggled away.

God said to Eve, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”

Instantly Eve felt a sharp pain in her base, equal in magnitude to the feeling of sweetness she felt from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She made a harsh sound.

God said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you. Through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”

When God left the garden of Eden, he called a meeting with the angels.

“The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. God then placed angels with flaming swords on the path to the tree of life to guard it. Adam and Eve were never to return to the Garden of Eden.

When God visited Adam and Eve where they now lived, they were full of questions now that they had realised their deed.

“Did you know that we were going to eat of the tree of knowledge?” Adam asked God.

“From the day I made you, Adam, I knew that it was possible. But I also gave you the will to fight any temptation,” God replied.

“But why didn’t you make it impossible for us to eat of the tree of knowledge?” Adam asked.

“Adam, when you become God then you will understand why,” God replied.

“Man become God, Is it possible?” Adam asked.

“I made you in my image, Adam. What keeps you from becoming God is the tree of life which I have instructed my angels to guard from you.”

“Why don’t you want us to eat from the tree of life? Why must we die?” Adam asked.

“Your eyes have opened. You have known good and evil, but man is not ready to be God. Until man is ready, man will die and return to dust,” God said.

 

 

 

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Uncle Pat, 5

‘What is a crucifix doing under Uncle Pat’s pillow?’ was all that filled James’s mind, ‘Patricia has to see this.’

James hastened downstairs to alert Patricia of what he had seen. When he got to her room, she was still on the phone talking to someone.

“Patricia, come with me, you have to see this,” James uttered, but she kept talking.

“Patricia, now!” he enthused.

“Jeez! What is your problem? Can’t you see I’m on a call?” she yelled back as she blocked the phone’s mic with her palm.

“Who are you talking to?” James asked.

“Uhg… for real?” she broke off again, “my boyfriend.”

James almost choked. “You have a boyfriend?” James asked, stupefied.

“Yea, dummy.” Patricia put the phone to her ears once more and said, “Uh… can I call you back, something just came up.” She hung up.

“This had better be important, if not, trust me, I will personally drive the bread knife down your heart and juice it till the blood thickens.”

James grew perplexed, he knew his sister was raw, but sometimes she scared him with her utterings.

“But seriously, Patricia, a boyfriend? How did that happen? Is he like from this planet or is he like a Martian?”

Patricia pushed James so hard that he almost fell down the stairs, thanks to the railing.

“Okay-okay,” he chuckled out, with a hint of fright, “you must really love him that much. All I’m saying is I’d like to meet him, just to make sure he’s from around.”

Patricia threw him a sinister glance.

“What did you want to show me?” Patricia asked as they closed the guest room door shut.

“Moment of truth,” James quipped, “raise the pillow.”

“James, are you kidding me right now? I swear I will stab you if this is a joke.”

“Just raise the pillow,” James insisted.

Patricia reluctantly raised the pillow and there it was, the crucifix. Immediately, she picked it up and started inspecting it. James stood, flummoxed.

“Aren’t you the least bit surprised?” James asked, expecting a reaction from Patricia.

“Hmm… this definitely buttresses my point. Uncle Pat is haunted, so much so that he had to plant a crucifix under his pillow.”

“Exactly how I felt. It’s just weird if you ask me.”

Patricia eyed James. “I’ve got to say, nice catch. Now I have concrete evidence to back up my plan. We are going to be exactly the reason why he puts this cross under his pillow.”

“I don’t understand.”

“We are going to be the demon in his sleep.”

“How?”

“Bend over,” Patricia ordered.

She began inspecting his shoulder, pinching and punching.

“Ouch!” James uttered in mild pain, “what are you on about?”

“I have to see if your shoulders are strong enough to lift me,” Patricia replied.

“Lift you? Where?”

“That’s part of the plan, dummy. We need height for the plan to work, and I just made sure you’re up to the task. In fact, let’s give it a try.”

James bent low and Patricia climbed his neck, and with a push he was up and going. They did a couple of sitting and standing exercises, and he kept his part.

“At least what you lack in sense you make up in muscle. It would be a pity if you lacked both,” Patricia said.

James threw her on the bed in anger.

“I hope that isn’t how you talk to your Martian boyfriend.”

Instantly, Patricia’s face became a ball.

John barged into the guest room as he does every other room. He couldn’t hide his shock seeing them so comfy in Uncle Pat’s room.

“Mummy has been calling you for a century!” he took another look around before storming out.

“Does he even know what a century is?” Patricia uttered as she and James left the room.

Mum was all set to go out as they arrived downstairs.

“I want to get a few things from the market for the weekend. So please take care of yourselves. James, take care of your sister and brother, I’d be back in no time.” she said.

“Like he can even take care of himself,” Patricia said.

“Why do you like saying mean things?” James exploded.

“It’s okay,” mum calmed, “you all should take care of yourselves. So can I go now?”

Dad and Uncle Pat returned home together. They were definitely looking cheerful. Dad looked more cheerful on Fridays because it meant little or no work the day after and next.

“Welcome dad. Welcome Uncle Pat.”

“My bubbles! I’ve missed you all. Come give me a hug.”

Patricia reluctantly hugged Uncle Pat. He pressed her so hard she could scent the sweat from his long-sleeved shirt. On the other side he hugged James equally hard he could hardly breathe. Soon after, Uncle Pat came to the living room to be with them.

“What are you bubbles watching?” he asked.

“Henry Danger,” said John.

“You guys don’t know the good stuff. Let’s put some sport to show you some real action,” he said.

Uncle Pat made for the remote and changed it to Super Sport 3 where football was showing. Patricia couldn’t believe her eyes. How could he just change the channel when he knew they were watching something? She was boiling inside. James’s mouth was ajar, he couldn’t believe it. Patricia stood and left the sitting room, James followed.

“How can he just do whatever he likes? There has to be a limit!” Patricia fumed.

“Calm down, Patricia. You’re the same person that said we shouldn’t get angry,” James said.

“I’m not angry, dummy, I’m reacting.”

“You just want to be right always and it’s not a good quality.”

“Look, I won’t take lectures from you, so get out if you can’t shut it!”

James nodded gloomily and left the room.

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Uncle Pat, 4

James walked out of the room like a soldier that survived a failed mission. He was not man enough. He pondered how he would see the plan through if he couldn’t even accommodate the sight of Patricia observing Uncle Pat while he slept. He laid down on his bed with a heavy mind and eyes. Somehow he must get himself to swallow the plan, but he didn’t know how.

James woke up the next morning with a heavy mind. He had slept on his thoughts about the plan overnight. Now that he was awake, he wasn’t still sure how he felt about the plan. Tormenting Uncle Pat in his sleep didn’t seem quite right, not to talk about possible. ‘How could a grown up man be tormented in his sleep?’ James thought. He knew his twin sister was smart about most things, but maybe she’s taking a rather simple plan overboard. But was there any simple plan in kicking Uncle Pat out of the house? Could a rat or spider or anything for that matter scare Uncle Pat out of the house? Uncle Pat worked for a construction firm, so he must have seen a lot of scary things, and spiders and rats don’t measure. James kept ruminating. But if he has seen a lot of scary things, then why and how should he get haunted in his sleep?

When James eventually got out of the room, mum knew something was off.

“Jamey boy, is everything alright? You look like you had a bad dream,’ mum asked.

“I’m fine, mum, I just have a heavy head,” James replied.

“Okay then, we are having pancakes for breakfast, so go dish some for yourself.”

“Alright, mum, thanks.”

“Are you sure you’re okay, Jamey boy?” mum quizzed once more.

“I promise, mum, I’m fine.”

While James scarcely munched his breakfast, he wondered what Patricia was still doing indoors. Had she already decided to go on without him? Was she practicing her scare tactics? Was she still angry with him from their conversation the night before? James decided to drop the slab of pancake and go check out Patricia for himself. When he opened the door, he saw her on the bed with her phone relaxing. She didn’t pay heed to who was at the door, she just continued with her phone. James stood backing the door and was moping at Patricia for a statement. Still she said nothing. He felt like he was in a maze full of dead ends. He left the room but stood behind the door contemplating what to do next. Seconds later, he opened the door with heightened pace and walked straight to Patricia.

“Okay! I’m in, whatever you want, I’m in,” he gushed.

Still Patricia didn’t pay him heed.

“Patricia!” he called out, “I said I’m in!” he yelled.

“I’m not deaf, James, I’m busy.”

“Whatever,” James replied, “by the way, breakfast is ready.”

James stepped out of the room still unresolved. He had thought Patricia was going to light up at hearing he had changed his mind. Sometimes he even doubts she’s his sister, the way she behaves, so cold at times. John was sitting on the long couch watching SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon. Mum had covered the remains of his breakfast before she went upstairs. He had lost interesting in eating. For a moment James didn’t know what to do with himself, then he decided to go check out the guest room. Uncle Pat had stepped out while they were still in bed, so no one was in the guest room.

When James got to the guest room, he didn’t exactly know what he was looking for. In fact, he wasn’t supposed to be there. He felt like he was snooping on Uncle Pat. But the guest room had pestered his mind for days since Uncle Pat arrived. Now he was in the guest room, the much talked about guest room. There were two beds in the guest room, a couple of feet from each other. James sat in the unused one facing the bed Uncle Pat slept on. The room had a dark hue caused by the closed curtains. James thought of turning the lights on, but he liked it just the way it was, it added an air of mystery to the room. James compelled himself to feel what it was like sleeping on the other bed, Uncle Pat’s bed. It was just as Patricia observed, except hers was real. He felt like this was the only opportunity he had to be in the room before Uncle Pat arrives or mum figures he’s in there. In no time he started searching, nothing specific, he just felt the need to snoop around. He bent low to look under the bed, there was nothing. He opened the wardrobe and all he saw were office clothes hanging on one side, casuals on the other, and shoes below among other accessories. Still he felt compelled to keep searching. He roughed the bed covering for something, anything, but there was nothing. He made the bad back just the way it was to cover his tracks. He moved the pillow to tuck in that side. Then he saw something that left him transfixed. A crucifix.

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Uncle Pat, 3

No sooner had she finished talking than John stormed into the room, panting.

“Daddy is calling you for dinner,” he jumbled.

“What has come over him?” Patricia asked as he stormed back out of the room.

“I don’t know,” James replied.

They both arrived at the dining for dinner to meet dad, mum, John and Uncle Pat seated. Patricia felt like a stranger was at the table with the family. James outright hated Uncle Pat’s presence at the dining table. Dad said the prayer before meal as usual, and everyone began digging in.

“Everyone, I have good news,” dad said with a reclining smile, “maybe your Uncle should let you in on it.”

Their eyes were agape. Anything good from Uncle Pat was definitely bad for them. Patricia and James glanced at each other in dreadful anticipation.

“Well, I like when your dada puts it like that, but it’s nothing that serious. I am just so happy I will be spending more time with you my precious bubbles,” Uncle Pat said.

Patricia looked at her dad as if summoning meaning out of his face. James suddenly grew pale.

“What your Uncle means is that he will no longer be spending a month with us…”

Patricia’s spirit suddenly lifted, she almost smile at dad’s statement but couldn’t for fear of what was to come. John’s eyes became wet with anticipation.

“Because his stay has been extended to three months. His company called back and…”

Patricia grew terminably deaf, she just couldn’t hear the rest of what dad was rolling out. James instantly fell ill, while Uncle Pat wore an exposing smile. It looked like a resounding win for Uncle Pat, and he basked in it.

“Aren’t you happy, children?” dad repeated as they failed to answer the first time.

It took time for Patricia and James to notice they were being asked a question, but they had no words still.

“They are so happy they can’t even express it!” Uncle Pat exclaimed with a painful grin.

Patricia felt like striking his gritted teeth with a pestle and watch them fall off. James wanted to stab his Uncle in the neck and watch that annoying smile fade into intense worry.

After dinner, Patricia and James retired to the room.

“Patricia, we have to do something quick. I can’t survive with that absurdity for three months in this house. Now is the time to let the cat out of the bag on your plan,” James uttered in distress.

“You’re right on this one, James, things have really gone out of hand. Just look at the fat pig smile, so annoying! I felt like smashing those yellow teeth with a power saw and watch him bleed out of the cracks,” she sighed, “but we mustn’t let our emotions get the better of us, at least not yet, and not like this.”

John barged into the room smiling.

“Uncle Pat has promised to take us to the cinema and bouncing castles on weekends,” he uttered in unrestrained joy.

His siblings hissed.

“Are you that cheap?” Patricia asked John, “he’s buying you with movies and inflatable castles. Such a pity.”

“Look, if you don’t have anything to say then get out of the room,” James added.

John looked confused for a moment, then he found his smile, “You people are just jealous that it’s me he told.”

Patricia and James shared glances and then laughed so hard that their bellies hurt.

“John, if you don’t get out of my room I will jam the door on your little fingers and you will never hold a pen in your life again,” Patricia suddenly became stern.

John abruptly removed his fingers from the doorframe as if Patricia’s threat had come to life.

“Jealous… jealous…” he hushed as he left the room.

“What’s wrong with John, I thought he was on our side?” James asked morosely.

“He has always been the weak link. It’s like each time Uncle Pat rubs his head he loses his tentacles,” Patricia replied.

Patricia walked to her wardrobe and brought out a pitch-black cloak. She threw it at James.

“What’s this?” James asked with a face.

“It’s the plan!” Patricia scuffed.

“You’re joking right?”

Patricia didn’t reply, instead she looked as serious as she could ever be.

“No way!” James exclaimed, “You’re serious. What are we going to use a cloak for? Don’t tell me you’re a witch now with some supernatural powers you plan to use to scare Uncle Pat out of the house.”

“There’s no such thing, James, and you know it. You wouldn’t be so shocked if you slept less and paid more attention. You see, while you and little Johnny were busy snoring away, I took it upon myself to watch Uncle Pat as he slept.”

“Wait, you did what?” James asked puzzledly.

“Yes, James, you heard right. I watched Uncle Pat while he snored and turned and made noises.”

“I don’t believe you, there’s no way you won’t have been caught.”

“Tell me, James, who would have caught me? You?” she gestured, “Or is it little Johnny, or mum, or dad?”

“What if he opened his eyes, what if he saw you?” James stressed.

“Well he didn’t,” she replied, “because I studied him. First off, he’s fat. How many fat people do you think wake up at night? I knew he wasn’t going to wake or even as much as blink because fat people tend to sleep and eat too much. He turned a couple of times but was too lazy to open ‘em eyes. But that’s not the intriguing part.”

“Patricia, you got balls!” exclaimed James.

“Said the one with balls,” she chuckled, “now do you want to know what was so intriguing about our dear dear Uncle Pat or not?”

“Tell me,” James said, still looking puzzled.

“He was making noises, James, in his sleep! Not work noises or baby noises, sentences! At one point he was begging for his life, soon after he promising never to be naughty again. I think Uncle Pat is scared of something, I think he’s haunted, and we are going to use that weakness to drive him out of the house.”

“I’m not so sure about this, Patricia,” James fidgeted.

“Are you going to sissy out on me after we’ve come this far?” Patricia reprimanded, “Do you want him out of the house or not?”

“I do,” James uttered in discomfort, “but isn’t there another way? Maybe we put a rat in his box, maybe he’s scared of spiders, maybe–”

“Quiet!” Patricia commanded, “even John can come up with something better that the rubbish you just spewed out of your mouth. Obviously, you’re not ready for the plan. If you’re not ready by tomorrow night I’d do it alone. Good night.”

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Uncle Pat, 2

“Where are we going to start from?” John asked, flinging his arms. Everything was so confusing to him; the cobwebs, the layers of dust, he just felt like he was in a different planet. James felt like kicking everything in his path, ‘Stupid room,’ he thought, and now they had to clean it for the most detestable person in the world. Patricia was quiet, calculating, and her indifference irked her brothers.

“Patricia!” they exclaimed in unison, “You aren’t going to say anything?”

“quiet!” Patricia proclaimed, “I’m thinking.”

“You’re always thinking,” said John, “and it’s boring.”

“Think, guys, think,” Patricia continued, “it’s obvious we all don’t like him. I mean, he’s despicable. So think, how do we make his life a living hell in this house? Are we going to actually clean the room for him to come have a nice time? Think, how can we cause real damage?”

John and James nodded in unison as though the spirit of sense had finally descended upon them.

“So what’s on your mind, Patricia?” James asked.

“Ugh,” she sighed, “it always has to be me.”

“Okay–okay, guys, I have an idea,” John interjected. Everyone turned heads to him. “Uhm… what if we put a syringe under his bed so that when he’s about to lie down we get a big scream from him.”

“That’s not quite smart,” Patricia rebutted, “what if they find the syringe and figure it was us who put it there?”

“Everyone is always wrong but you!” John blurted.

“Calm your horses, John, I didn’t say your idea was totally bad,” a resistive smile erupted on John’s face, “you just failed to state explicitly how we put the syringe in the bed and how we leave no traces,” she paused, “except for his blood,” she chuckled.

“Eww!” John rebuffed.

“Shut up, sissy, always whining like a crybaby.”

“I’m not a cry baby, you are the–!”

“Quiet!” James cut him short, “she right, we have to think this through. Patricia, we would back you up, any idea you come up with.”

Patricia smile wryly.

They set out cleaning the room. James did the dusting of the cobwebs as he was taller than John. The disjointed webs fell on his head, and it disgusted him but amused his siblings. John was asked to mop and clean the furniture. Patricia supervised them, pointing to parts they missed while she plotted.

Soon they were through, and it was time to implement all the ominous ideas they had brooding. James’s body was coated in dust while John was sodden and dripping water.

“Oh my, John,” Patricia pondered, “are you sure you mopped the floor or yourself?” she chuckled, “not bad. Now it’s time to make our dear dear Uncle pay. He is going to come thinking it’s home as usual, but we are going to make him think twice even if it gets bloody,” their eyes popped, “oh no, guys, not so bloody, just teeny weeny bloody,” she chuckled once more, “let’s reconvene at nightfall for the details.”

It was time for dinner and dad asked about the cleaning of the room. They narrated how they dusted the cobwebs, cleaned the cupboards, among others. Dad was impressed.

“Remember, your Uncle is coming tomorrow, so no one should enter the room, it must remain sparkling. Your Uncle would be so pleased to see you guys again.”

‘But are we pleased to see him?’ Patricia thought.

The next day, as told, Uncle Patrick arrived with his box. Patricia, James, and John stood sullen across the door looking broodily.

“My bubbles! So nice to see you!” Uncle Pat exclaimed, “Look at them, so pleased to see me they can’t move. I totally get you, even I would be pleased to see myself.”

Patricia pouted and uttered a low-toned ‘narcissist’.

Uncle Pat patted her hair and said, “My namesake! You’ve grown!”

Patricia felt like jumping on him and stabbing his yes with a fork continuously until the insides were a red pot of darkness.

“John, you still the naughty boy?”

John just wanted his Uncle’s hand to disappear from his head. How dare you pat his head like he were still a little boy?

“James, look at you,” Uncle Pat wore a tasteless smirk on his face. He didn’t pat James.

James hated that his Uncle thought he was the odd one out. He felt like biting his Uncle all over his stomach until he bled out.

“Guys, give your Uncle a hug,” dad instructed.

But it was over their dead bodies. In fact, the thought of giving Uncle Patrick a hug made Patricia’s stomach turn upside down. James almost uttered ‘never’, and John just followed suit.

“Nah, don’t bother them. They are so pleased to see me they can’t even move a muscle.”

Uncle Pat settled into the guest room with ease. The bed felt fluffy as ever. He relished the number of days he had to spend at his brother’s and the fun times he would have with the kids. He was in town for a construction project that would take a month. After a cold bath, all he wanted to do was rest.

“Patricia, what do you have planned? Tell us,” James barged into her room and asked.

“Next time when I say we meet at nightfall, we meet at nightfall.”

“What does that mean?” James asked impatiently.

“Whoa! Tempers rising in here. James, you really have to calm down.”

“I’m calm, but I need to know what you planted in the guest room.”

“Planted? Do you think this is one of those ridiculous movies you watch where obstinate children go planting spiders and whatnot in their stepmother’s room?” she paused, “I have something else planned for our dear dear Uncle Pat.”

“Share it with me, you know you must.”

“Hmm,” she hummed, and then she began circling James as if inspecting him, “that decision rests with me. You must show me that you have it takes.”

“You can’t talk to me like that, I’m still your older brother,” James uttered, Patricia behind him.

“You are no such thing, mum said you came out first, that’s it. We could argue how the fact that I was born minutes after you doesn’t make you older or we could do some actual planning on how to make that fat pig of an Uncle’s life miserable!”

James cowered in shock. He thought for a moment he saw someone very unlike his twin sister.

“Chill out!” James exclaimed, worried at his sister, “we just want to scare him, that’s all. I think you are taking this too far calling Uncle Pat names and all.”

“I knew you didn’t have the grit for this, you talk big but act small. Maybe John will be a better accomplice.”

“You would do no such thing,” James fumed, “all he does is play and jump on everything he sees. You will get ratted out in no time.”

“Then I’m left with you, it seems. I just hope you don’t let me down.”

“I won’t.”

“You better.”

Patricia began pacing up and down her room as James watched avidly for her to let him in on the plan.

“Not now!” she uttered in amazement, “dinner’s in like ten minutes, we can’t plan effectively before then. I think we should be our normal selves for now, tomorrow when they’re at work we will plan.”

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Uncle Pat, 1

Dad opened the mahogany door leading to the sitting room. It made its signature moan that reminded his all too well of the struggles of being a father and also of abandoned dreams. The sitting room was rowdy, he knew this even while in his room. In fact, he left his room for the purpose of arresting their restlessness, and also for dinner. As he came in, he saw John, one of his sons, bouncing on the sofa as though it were an inflatable castle. He had felt it for a while that taking John to the bouncing castle the weekend before was a big mistake because everything in John’s path was to become a bouncing castle afterwards. From where he stood, dad felt like giving John a dirty slap. ‘How dare he ruin the sofa so, does he have an idea how much I bought it?’ dad thought. For some reason, James was at the foot of the sofa, rather dour, but dad couldn’t care less. Their sister, Patricia was sitting comfortably and watching her favourite show on Disney. She was always the smartest, taking the spoils while her brothers wreaked havoc.

“John! Would you get down from there?” dad cautioned. John trampled and fell on the prickly carpet. “I have warned you never to bounce on everything you see,” dad paused, “the next time I catch you bouncing on the sofa, I will bounce on you, and I mean it.”

Patricia giggled. Dad turned his attention to her. “What’s funny?” she fell silent instantly.

“Honey, is the food ready? I’m famished,” father called to mother. The aroma from the kitchen had filled the sitting room and caused mouths to salivate.

“Just a moment, dear,” mum replied.

“James,” dad called. It was now that dad had time for him. “Yes dad,” he replied.

“What is wrong with you, is everything alright?”

“John pushed him and he fell!” Patricia chipped in, rather fussily.

“Hmm, I see,” dad retorted, “Come to the table, all,” dad ordered.

On cue, mother came in with two ceramic bowls of simmering food.

“Sorry to have kept you waiting, my lovelies,” she uttered.

She placed the bowls at the center of the table and everyone took their seats.

“Let’s pray,” dad said, “God we bless you for this food given to us out of your merciful love, we pray that this food nourishes our body, and we hunger always for the food that will nourish our souls. Amen,” everyone at the table opened their eyes, “Please let’s eat. James,” father called.

“Yes, dad,” James replied.

“You must eat. Now wipe that frown off your face. John,” dad called.

“Yes, dad,” John replied.

“Let this be the last time you push your elder brother. Now let’s eat, please.”

The family began digging in. Half into the meal, dad had something enticing he had to tell his children.

“I have great and exciting news to tell you all,” dad broke the routine.

Everyone looked up to dad. It was unlike him to break meals for anything. In fact, if anyone dared talk during a meal, dad would preach to the person on table etiquettes for hours while meal was suspended, and nobody wanted that.

“Uncle Pat is coming to spend a month with us. He has a project around here that will take about a month, which means he will be coming in two days.”

The whole house fell silent. If a pin were to drop, one could hear the sound.

“I’m so happy and delighted!” dad exclaimed, “it has been ages since I saw your Uncle, Pat.”

James wondered in what planet ages measured to mere months. John went pallid. Patricia’s spoon fell and made a distasteful clanking sound. That is what the mere mention of Uncle Pat’s name could do to them.

Uncle Pat looked nothing like his elder brother, John’s father. His face was rotund, fatter, and so was the rest of his body. His stomach was so big that Patricia feared on many occasions the sheer size would uproot the buttons of his shirt. ‘Why did he even bother suiting up for work?’ was one of the unsolved mysteries about Uncle Pat. Besides the fact that Uncle Pat was always getting into conversations that didn’t invite him, James hated that he panted at every little form of exercise, and he detested the sound. John just hated Uncle Pat for no exact reason, probably because his siblings did. Patricia’s hatred for her Uncle was the worst because their names bore similarity, and her brothers taunted her with it.

“I know you guys are too excited to say something,” dad continued, “You’re busy imagining how much swell time you’d have with your Uncle.”

Patricia looked at dad in disbelief. She felt like jumping on his head, tying his hair and pooping on it like a rocket, however that felt. John was agape, lost in space and time at all that ensued at the table. James was fixated at the glass top of the table, he felt like breaking it with one swoop of his hand and stabbing everything with the shards.

“Okay guys, enough excitement. I need you guys to go arrange the guest room, make sure all is set for Uncle Pat.”

This was the part that they loved, setting the guest room for Uncle Pat, not because they actually loved it, but because they could make the room a living hell for him.

Night came and morning came the next day. It was time to clean up the guest room after breakfast.

The guest room was very dusty, it had not been used for months. In fact, the last person that lived in it was the despicable Uncle Pat. Patricia remembered the last time Uncle Pat visited all too well. He came in with a box that had seen better days, looking haggard and unkempt. She despised him instantly, especially so when he patted her hair in familiarity. “Just look at my bubbles, growing so fast!” he exclaimed. Patricia wondered if she and her brothers looked anything like bubbles.

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Rat

She looked into its eyes, and it looked right back at her.

Some minutes earlier, Mary had gone into the kitchen hoping to eat the wrap of semolina she left over from the night before. She was hungry as hell. The wrap of semolina was sitting atop the kitchen slab. Mary knew something was not right about everything. She picked up the wrap and inspected it with trepidation. Her doubt had been ascertained, the dubious rat had visited the kitchen overnight and done what it was best known for, eating. Mary hated the way the rat ate into the wrap of semolina.

“If they can’t eat everything, then why even try!” she yelled in anger.

She was so hungry. She looked at the wrap and though, ‘Can I at least salvage some part of this food?’ but she knew better than to eat what had been tasted by a rat, lassa fever among her fears. That hollow space of missing semovita kept poking at her, infuriating her the more.

“I must kill this rat today,” she said.

But she wanted to do it in a way that won’t wake mum and dad, because today the rat must die. Enough of the eatings, enough of trespassing the line between the world of rodents and humans. It had to die.

She picked up a broom, which was the closest thing she could grab in anger.

“Where are you, bloody thing? You must die today,” she uttered once more.

Angrily but silently, she started shifting kitchen items away from the wall to give her room to fish the stubborn rat out. Once in a while, something cranked, but not enough to wake sleeping mum and dad.

She saw it. Something moved, so fast, but she saw it.

“Time to die, you’re running, but time to eat you won’t run. Today is the day,” she gasped.

She could ear it clamber against the cartons of electrical appliances that were on the floor. She knew she was close to it. It had little or no space to run or hide.

As soon as she heard it leave the kitchen, she ran out and bolted the door. The sitting room was a cozy area with exposed corners. This was her turf, the rat would have to face its impending doom here, she was sure of it.

Just as she thought, the rat indeed had no place to hide. It scuttled to the center of the sitting room and stood there, confused, as Mary jerked left and right to reduce its options.

“Now you have no place to hide. Why fight it? Death is inevitable,” she smirked.

With her broom held high, she looked into its eyes, and it looked right back at her. They held gazes for awkward seconds. And as she stepped closer to strike the rat, it jumped at her, scurrying up her dress with it’s pincer-ly claws. Mary started making unrestrained movements, beating her hands allover her body in a bid to get the rat off her. She didn’t want to shout, but she made a squeak when the rat boldly jumped at her, a squeak she hoped didn’t wake mum and dad.

The rat made to her ear, poked its nose as if trying to get into her skull. She slapped, but she missed, and instead heard ringing bells in her brain.

“Get off me,” she harshed.

She felt the rat at her back, and flung one had hoping to get a piece of it. And she did. But just as she hit the rat, it plunged its molars into her back. She yelped.

“Mummy! Da–”

Before she could say Daddy the rat had made its way into her mouth and down her throat into her belly. Mum and dad sprung up from the bed and into the sitting room. They could see her writhing uncontrollably and hiting her stomach.

“What’s wrong with her?” dad uttered.

“I don’t know,” mum replied, “Honey what’s wrong?” mum asked.

“My stomach, it’s in my stomach,” Mary managed to utter.

“What’s in your stomach?” dad quizzed.

And just as dad asked that question, he noticed some movements inside her dress.

“Honey, something is moving inside her,” dad uttered to mum.

“Do something!” mum cried.

Dad lurched forward and gave Mary’s stomach a thunderous slap. Mary shouted, and as her mouth was wide open, the rat showed its bloody face. Mum fainted. Dad retched. The rat hurried back into her stomach.

“Honey, wake up!” dad shook mum.

Mum sat up, and as they both looked at Mary they noticed something. The hair on her body were growing longer. Her nose became a round pink ball. Long and rigid strands of hair began growing from her nose like whiskers. Her head began wobbling shapes. Her bones cracked. Her neck stiffled. Her back potted. Her teeth tapered. Her fingers clawed. Her eyes darkened. She squeaked.

Mum and dad ran, It followed.

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Hey, Chapter 2 (excerpt 1)

CHAPTER 2

I needed to do something. I needed to talk to someone, go somewhere, anywhere but here.

As I was thinking where to go, Fluffy tiptoed into the room, stared at me for a second and hopped onto the bed just beside me. That’s one thing I love about Fluffy, she always knows when something is wrong.

I grease her furs a little and she ducks, head flat on the bed. Suddenly I find myself talking to her.

“She’s gone,” I say, “She’s left us, buddy. She didn’t even think of you when she said This has to end. All those days she pretended to care, all the food she brought for you… I’m sorry, Fluff, that I let her into our lives, that I let a stranger into our lives.”

I have come to see Fluffy as more than just a pet, she’s a companion of sorts. Often I just talk to her for minutes on end, as though she could understand me. I really think she understands me most times, maybe the tone of my voice, she can always tell when I’m relaxed or edgy.

Fluffy didn’t nudge or hum when I talked to her. For some reason that consoled me a bit. At that moment she was good as a shrink. She’s a good listener like that.

I still wanted to step out despite the little respite Fluffy’s presence granted me. Most importantly, I wanted to talk to someone about everything, someone that understood me well enough, not for the person to be bias towards me, but for the truth. I needed to hear that I did something wrong, that it was all my fault, that I could still salvage the situation, turn things around.

I knew the right person to call for that kind of feedback, Abdul.

Abdul and I have been friends since university. I can’t remember exactly when our friendship thickened, but I know exactly how. A coursemate who also resided in the same dormitory as I wanted to borrow a textbook from a particular friend of his. Although this friend belonged to a different department, he was taking an elective course from his department. I accompanied my coursemate to his friend’s just to kill time (50% of school is killing time). When we got there, I was introduced to no other than Abdul.

We met Abdul in a rather hazy state, and he began to tell my coursemate what happened. There was this girl he approached by the supermarket, just to talk, and she blew him away in such a way that he couldn’t believe his eyes. We sat and began analysing the matter. Why did she tell him off? Did he say something wrong? Did he not put on the right clothes? Did he walk in an inappropriate manner?

Abdul and I talked interminably about his experience. We talked deep, about his body language, facial expressions, tone, game play, to the astonishment of my coursemate. That was how we clicked, and over time the bond grew stronger.

I picked my phone and dialed Abdul.

“Tobistic Tobi!” He exclaimed as he picked.

We often use such extolments when we talk.

“Mehn, Abdul…”

I could tell he quickly noticed something was wrong.

“My man, are you okay? You sound like something died.”

“Yes, Abdul, something died.”

“Tobi… what happened? Is Fluffy okay?”

“Fluffy is okay,” I replied.

“Then talk now, what’s happening?” He pressures.

“Mehn, Abdul…” I still couldn’t seem to mutter it out.

“Talk now, Tobs, is it Jenny? Is she messing up again?”

When it comes to Abdul, Jennifer is almost always causing trouble. Let’s be practical, he’s not that far off. He had come to know Jennifer, and her narcissistic nature.

“It’s Jennifer o.” I drawl.

“Tobi, I warned you now, I told you to get out before she hurt you, I told you.”

Yea, Tobi had warned me countless times to be wary of Jennifer and her vices, but I was in love. I’m still in love.

“What did she do this time?” He asks.

“Mehn, she broke up with me o.”

I just put it there like that, I didn’t want to drawl any longer before it began to look like I lost somebody.

“What?!”

“Yea.” I said briskly.

“Wow,” he sighed, as if taking it all in, as if feeling my pain.

I was happy that I was talking with Abdul about my breakup, because he’s one person that understands things in-depth. Before the recent development, Abdul and I would analyse my relationship in great extent; things I could do to make it better, things I should try to change about Jennifer, things I should beware of.

After a script-like silence, Abdul finally asked the much anticipated question, “How did it happen?” His voice devoid of life.

I told Abdul about Sunday evening. I told him how I went to Jennifer’s for dinner. I told him how I got hold of her phone. I told him about how I went to her Whatsapp. I told him about Patrick, about the kiss, about the three dreaded words, and about her message earlier in the day.

“…and what’s painful is that she tried to change the topic, Abdul. She tried to make it about how I snooped on her phone and not about how she cheated on me.”

“Of course now, she’s a girl, she would always have an angle on these kind of things. You did not expect her to just admit guilt, did you?”

“Common, Abdul, you know this girl, you know Jennifer, you know how she never takes blame for her own actions. I just needed her once in her f–,” I paused, “–once in her life to just take blame for this one thing, to just admit that she was wrong.”

“Easy, guy, I know how you feel. You know what happened with me and Aisha now, you know how she was. I’ve been in your shoes, bro, I’ve been there. The drama, the blame game, I’ve been there, bro.”

A little silence ensued.

“Damn,” he continued, “You mean she just ended it just like that? But wait o, This has to end isn’t exactly breaking up. She–”

I cut him short, “Common, man, this is Jennifer we’re talking about. I know her. This is her way out of an impossible situation. I caught her dead in her tracks, and this is the only way she gets out, by actually getting out.”

“You’re right, I think you’re right.”

Another brief silence ensued.

“So what are you going to do now?”

“Mehn, I don’t know, bro, I’m so confused right now. Maybe I’d just take a stroll or something.”

“I know you, Tobi, you’re going to go after her, you’re going to try to get her back.”

“Get who back, that narcissistic mistake for a girlfriend?” I reply, but in my heart I know he’s right, I know I’m going to go after her in a bid to make sense of her actions. She still has some explaining to do.

“No issues though,” he said, “Just take care of yourself. How’s Fluffy?”

“Fluffy is Fluffy, man, just doing her thing.”

“Aiit, we’d talk soon. Be safe, man.”

And the call ends.

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Hey, Chapter 1 (excerpt 2)

I wanted to be angry after that, but I was too mesmerised to be choleric. I closed Whatsapp and put her phone back at exactly the spot I picked it. “Who was that?” She asked, walking in from the kitchen. I told her I didn’t look, I just picked it instantly. But I lied. The actually truth was that I was too angry to remember who called her. She shrugged, picked her phone, and headed back to the kitchen.

When she brought the fried rice garnished with prawns, green beans and salad, I just couldn’t eat, my appetite wouldn’t let me. She looked at me, flummoxed, as if wondering where the new temperament came from. I didn’t do too well either hiding my expression from her. I excused myself and told her I had to leave. “Who’s going to eat all these food?” She said, but I couldn’t care less.

She called me about ten times before I got home but I didn’t pick. I didn’t care if she knew we were getting into a quarrel. I couldn’t pretend after what I saw; a kiss, a freaking kiss! And then the three unspoken words. I was so pained that I could feel my veins pulsing. I just didn’t want to unleash it on her, not yet. I tried to keep myself together until I got home. I didn’t even smile when a very cute baby looked at me in the bus with those innocent eyes that told the tales of worlds unknown.

Later at night, hours after the incident, she called. I was calmer then, calm enough to have a structured conversation with her.

“Hello, Tobi,” she said.

“Yes,” I replied, “What is it?”

“What is wrong with you?” she starts, “You just walked out and you don’t care to explain why.”

Silence fell for a few seconds. Anger was brewing and I was doing all in my power not let it out, because we both knew I was a mess when angry.

“See, you have started again. This is what you do, picking issues from the air. I have no time for this. I’ve got work tomorrow, so just spit it out.”

She has no time for this. She cheated on me for crying out fucking loud! And she has no time for this? I just couldn’t hold it, so I came in.

“Who is Patrick?” is all I could muster.

She gave a long laugh. She laughed, as if nothing was wrong. And I thought, you can’t deceive me on this one, you can’t turn the table around. She laughs when she’s about to turn the table around, like she’s mocking you.

“I know you have no brother or cousin that is Patrick, so again, who is Patrick?”

Silence fell, the sound of guilt.

“Did you snoop on my phone?” She asked, in a defensive tone.

“Who is Patrick,” I retorted, “Don’t deviate from the question.”

“Jesus, Tobi, have you descended that low?”

“Answer the fucking question,” I blurted.

“Hey, when you’re ready to talk to me with respect call me back.”

And she cut the call.

I tried getting my tentacles in place after that call. She’s trying to turn this around I thought. It’s what she always does whenever she feels attacked.

Jennifer is one person that’s never wrong, an archetypical narcissist. If the sun shone too brightly on her face it was someone else’s fault. If she stubbed a toe, it was the stupid stone’s fault. It was that bad. She never took blame for anything. And on the countable days that she did, it wasn’t clean, because she was going to turn around and put it all on you.

I sent her a series of facebook messages in anguish which she didn’t reply. She was planning an attack, I was sure of it. That kind of narcissistic attack you had no defense against. I longed for her case, I longed for what she had to say, how she’d get out of this one.

Two days after the incident, she texted me on Whatsapp. That was on a Tuesday. The same Whatsapp I caught her cheating on me on.

Hi Tobi. I saw your missed calls. As you well know, I can’t pick, because right now you’re not stable and I can’t talk to you that way.

What?! I thought. I’m not stable? Wow. I replied immediately as she was still typing.

Wow, Jenny, so fucking low of you to suggest I’m not stable even when you’re flat out wrong. You cheated on me Jennifer. Don’t try to meander your way out of this one. Just admit it. Gosh! Why is it so fucking hard for you to admit your own wrong?

I  tapped send. Immediately another message came in.

See, Tobi, we don’t have to do this, we’re not kids. Besides, I’m at work, I can’t be exchanging insults with you, I don’t have that time. I texted you to let you know that I’m tired of going back and forth. This has to end.

I was caught in my tracks. This has to end. What did she mean? I’m tired of going back and forth. What again did she mean? I was so confused after reading her last message. Would she do the unbelievable, opt out as a way of winning an argument? Was her narcissism that deep? WOW. This has to end… she’s breaking up with me! She’s breaking up with me because for once I have her and this is the only way she can escape.

I needed a drink after our chat ended, but it was too early in the day to start drinking, the sun hadn’t even reached its peak. She can’t break up with me, not when she has some explaining to do, I kept thinking as I sat on my bed, motionless.

 

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Hey, Chapter 1 (excerpt 1)

CHAPTER 1

 

My room is a colossal mess. There are three Heineken bottles that form a triangle on the mahogany computer table, and two just beside the foot of the table. I have been drinking, obviously. There are unwashed cups and plates surrounding my half-open laptop on the table. There are clothes lying askew on the bed, dirty clothes, pressed in a manner that suggests I have been sleeping on them a while. My room reeks of the pungent smell of alcohol and everything else. The carpet is tainted with bread crumbs all the way to the sitting room.

I am sitting in front of the table on an armless wooden chair facing the blue painted wall. I have a fountain pen in my hand, a gift from dad on my 23rd birthday. There’s a blank sheet of A4 paper clamped down by the inside of my upper right arm. I want to write to her, I wish to write to her, but my trembling fingers deny me such mercy. I am heartbroken, anyone can tell. I am also in disbelief. My world is literally breaking down in from of me. I am in pain, immense pain, and all these anticlimactic emotions prevent him from expressing himself.

She broke up with him. I’m tired of going back and forth, she said. A part of me wishes that this is like all the other episodes where I apologise for being a jerk and she brings me back into her arms. But deep inside, I know, I know this might be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back. But still I can’t believe it, I would have any other emotion but this. How did it come to this? How am I here, on this rigid chair, trembling and sobbing?

A tear drops on the still empty sheet of paper. Why am I crying? Would she be crying right now? Why am I always the one on the defensive? Well, that’s not exactly true, she begs too when she admits she’s at fault, which is very rare, as rare as a solar eclipse.

But I must write, because that’s the pact we made. We swore to always write to each other, not on Facebook or Whatsapp, but old-school, just the way it was done in the old days before technology came and swept the art away. It was our thing, it was how we differentiated ourselves from the multitude of other stereotypical relationships.

But should I be writing on this rainy Sunday evening or running off to her place and screaming her name from the balcony, prophesying my undying love for her, just the way Romeo did with Juliet in the balcony scene?

Except that flat 9, Block D, Moore Road, Yaba, has no balcony, and screaming her name from downstairs would attract other tenants who would think I’m mad. Madly in love, yes.

But why does love have to be accompanied by hate? Why is every moment in love so fragile as an egg? A wrong word and what has taken eternity to build is on the butcher’s table ready to be slaughtered precisely.

Jennifer and I haven’t always been at crosshairs, you know. There have been moments of intense joy and fun. Like the day at the mall when I was so engulfed with her, I planted a kiss on her succulent lips to the amusement of everyone that watched. She was blushed, and I could tell she loved it. Or the day I did a phony proposal; I went on my knees and brought out a black velvet box. I opened it. It wasn’t a ring inside, it was a wrapped note, with the words I LOVE YOU written in it. Maybe I was too full of myself that day, because though she was flattered, she was also embarrassed. And that led to one of our serious breakups.

Yea, we’ve broken up like two times before, this one making three. There’s something about the number three that signals finality. The first time we broke up was because I choked her, or so she claimed. To me though, I was just showing love, expressing myself. But to her it was too much and I needed to slow the pace. I think she said, the candle is burning too fast. What candle? Is she happy now that it’s all wax? So she told me she needed a break to breathe. It was hell for me, nothing compared to now though, but after a week I went back and demanded we fix things, like a real man.

The second time was the ring, or the ring cum note. She accused me of being childish, banal. She said I embarrassed her in front of onlookers. She said everything didn’t have to be about words and writing and that she could never take me seriously after that.

Two days later I appeared at her doorstep with five packs of Hollandia Yoghurt, vanilla flavour, and a sombre face. She pulled me in with tears and gave me a long kiss that ended blissfully.

Things went smoothly after that, until last week. I was at her place, her phone rang, but she was in the kitchen so I picked the call but it cut just after I did. I decided to look through her phone, okay, I admit, I was snooping. But I realised that I had never really looked through her phone before and the opportunity was quite seducing. So I opened Whatsapp and saw this conversation between her and one Patrick dude. Patrick… such an ugly name. What I saw that day made my body cold instantly, I could feel the life retreating from my face. In one text, she kissed him or sent him a kiss with love at the lips smiley. And in another part he kind of cajoled her into tell him she loved him. And she did!

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Tobi, Monday, 9 October. Evening

 TOBI
. . .

MONDAY, 9 OCTOBER, 2017

EVENING

I’m reading Vivian’s last letter to me, again. She’s always telling me to get some help. I don’t know what she means by that, like I’m the worst human being on earth. I fold back the letter, open the drawer under the tabletop and toss it in. I can imagine what she must think of me. She must think I’m a spoilt brat that’s got no clue about life. She must think I’m over-pampered. She must think we’re so never getting back together. 

I’m hearing sizzling sounds outside; the sound of impatient winds, the sound of pregnant skies. I can tell through the curtain that daylight has taken cover. It’s dark outside, a sweet kind of darkness. I can imagine commuters on the streets, they are taking shelter under bus stop shades, dreading what is to come. What is heaven for me is hell for them. But such is life, I guess.

I’m wondering what to do now. Sleep or write? The bed looks so very convenient right now, it’s like it’s calling at me, Come to me, come over and enjoy this weather with me. I don’t fall so easy. I wish to write. Every part of me wishes to write. There’s so much in my mind, I just want to pour it all out. I just want to get some ease, some peace. But I can’t write. Not because I have writer’s block or whatever, but because I don’t know how to continue. Everything is changing so rapidly. Names are changing, settings are changing… looks are changing! Like what the hell! I hate myself right now, even more than Vee hates me. Does she really hate me or pity me? I can’t tell the difference anymore.

I think of Vivian again. I imagine what her life must be. She’s working class now. She dresses up early in the morning and zooms off to work, some branch in the State capital, Ikeja. I imagine what transportation must be like for her daily; the bustle and wrestle just to get on a bus. Thank God for BRT buses, now people line up like normal human beings. But sometimes the BRTs are too slow and you have no choice but to board the conventional danfo: yellow Volkswagen vans that have conductors shouting at the peak of their voices in search for passengers.

It’s raining now, alternating between drizzling and downpour, just the way it did yesterday. Makes me think if the rainy season will ever come to an end. Also makes me think of global warming.

I finally yield to the bed’s call. I move my laptop from the table unto the bed. It feels convenient. Maybe I’d actually write here. But I still don’t feel like writing, and the more I think of writing the more my head hurts. I hop up and pull open the fridge. There’s one last bottle of Heineken left. I pop it open and take a long sip… heavenly. Maybe this will open me up and bring me some fresh ideas. Or maybe this will send me off to bed.

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Vivian, Monday, 9 October

VIVIAN
. . .

MONDAY, 9 OCTOBER, 2017

MORNING

 

This is around the time the alarm rings, I think in my sleep. I wake up just before my phone blares off. I scurry for my phone in the dark and check the time. It’s 4:59 a.m. Wow, my mental clock is spot on again. Does this mean it’s going to be a wonderful day?

It’s Monday. Work is usually crazy today; all the work we lazily left in anticipation of the weekend. A stream of my boss in action comes to mind. I don’t let it weigh me down. I have to prepare for work.

I get out of my nighties and hop into the bath. I’m all done in mere minutes.

Skirt or pants? I catch myself tinkering. Pants, I decide. I want to look smart today as I don’t know what to expect.

I dart to the kitchen and fry me some eggs. There’s a quarter loaf of bread on the slab. I fetch 3 slices. I look at my watch for the time. It’s 5:30 a.m. I really need to speed things up. I quickly empty my plate, more like gobble.

I’m out. The streets are usually empty this early in the morning except for bag snatchers that draw at your bag if you’re not holding it tightly. I clench the handle at the thought. A danfo pulls over at my front. The conductor doesn’t need to shout this early. The madness hasn’t begun yet. He says almost in a whisper ‘Ikeja’, and I board.

I’m at work. It’s crazy; customers keep calling and appearing with all sorts of worries. The fear of marketing is the beginning of healthy living. But I asked for this, I trained for this, for months.

A message buzzes in. I check. It’s Tobi. I wince. What does he want to say this time? I read the message:

You had the whole weekend
to write back to me. Are you
chickening out of our pact?

You got to be kidding me.

I’m so not replying this.

 

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Tobi, Monday, 9 October

 TOBI
. . .

MONDAY, 9 OCTOBER, 2017

MORNING

 

Blaring horns and raucous babble seep into my sleep. It’s the usual, but it gets me thinking, Can’t anyone get some sleep in this freaking city?!

I trundle up. Today I want to do things fast, or at least start the day with precision. I make for the bathroom and quickly brush my teeth. I put some water on the fire for bathing. I want to be brisk, but it doesn’t mean I must bathe cold water.

Puppy, my fast growing bulldog is flat on the other side of the bed. I signal for him to follow me and he springs up. We both stroll to the kitchen where I unroll his bag of dog food and poor him some in his bowl.

The day is promising, hot. I guess the heat signals the end of the wet season. But it’s camouflage, because in mere hours heavy rain is going to be pelting down.

After taking my bath, I head downstairs to my mailbox half expecting to see a letter from Vivian. Puppy follows. In my heart I’m happy that she’s kept to our pact thus far, that she hasn’t damned the consequences, that’s if there are any. I open the lid and the box is empty. I’m sad. She had the whole weekend to write back to me. Could it be that she’s double thinking about the pact? Maybe she thinks it was childish after all. But we made the pact in love. People do childish things in love.

I take out my phone from my pocket and open Facebook Messenger. I write her a message:

You had the whole weekend
to write back to me. Are you
chickening out of our pact?

I know she hasn’t seen it because her tiny picture hasn’t dropped under the message. But it’s blue and sent. She’d probably read it after work.

I feel childish, I feel like I’m distracting her from something more serious. But the pact is serious to me too, to us. We made an agreement to always write each other letters, no matter what happens, to preserve the age-old art of letterwriting. My mind darts to the times we were still together; we would write letters to each other and bring it along to a date. It was our thing, it was one of the things that set us apart from thousands of other lovers around.

I head back upstairs, past the floors of flats. Today I imagine I’m going to write something. I must write something. Everyone is at work doing something, right? So naturally I must be doing something too. Writing is more than just art, it’s a job.

I do some push-ups to heat my body and soul for the task at hand. I flip open my laptop and launch Word. First thing I see is the cursor blinking at the end of the last word. I blink back. Empty.

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Reply to Hey 40

Hey,

Don’t you feel you should be telling all that to a shrink? As you figured, I really have no time to indulge in your ricochets. Work is crazy. And it’s getting crazier. Everyone’s got problems, you know? So think about this. Putting yours on me is unfair. So I say to you again, get some help. Before things get worse. Because they will.

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Hey 40

1

 

Hey,

Today is just bleh. Just there. I don’t feel like stepping out today. I have enough food for Puppy and I to last days. So I don’t need to step out anytime soon. Puppy is gradually becoming a monster. I don’t think my room would be able to house us both in some months time. Imagine two monsters in an enclosed space. What else could go wrong? But I don’t feel like a monster today. Instead, my thoughts are darting about the room like stray bullets. And I’m in the crosshairs. I feel small. But powerful. Half the time I’m confused about everything. Why am I here? Why do I exist? Why is existence so painful and pointless? And why does no one care to ask these questions? I feel lost. Then found. Then lost again. I’m sorry, it sounds like I’m asking you these questions that have all sorts of obscure answers. Or no answers at all. I just feel I can share these things with you. I know you have no time to indulge such luxury thoughts. But sometimes I feel you’re like this wall I can talk to. No offence. You’re strong. Focused. And practical. And I’m just idealistic and metaphysical. Maybe I’m not meant for this world. Maybe death is the answer. Maybe death brings the peace that life can’t afford. But then why is it so fucking hard to take your own life? I mean, I’m so smart to know that death is the answer, right? But I can’t take that pill. Why?

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Hey 39

1

 

Hey,

You’re wrong. I didn’t force love on you. Love is a choice, and you had your choice to make. You made a choice to fall in love with me. I didn’t force you. So let’s get that straight, please. And I’m getting tired of the insults. I need a clear head now more than ever. You’ve made your point. You don’t love me anymore. And I think I can live with that. I will try to live with that. But please, no more insults. That I can’t live with. You’ve always been better at throwing tantrums than me. All I want to do is live a peaceful life. I don’t want drama. All I want to do is love and be loved. Is that too much to ask? Why is life so freaking difficult? Why can’t we just love? Why is the girl in the busy walkway so sad? Why has the guy in the lonely subway been rejected over and over again? I guess love makes us sad in the end. You said I just kept going deep and deep. But really, is there any depth to love? Is there a limit on love?

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Reply to Hey 38

1

 

Hey,

Let’s get one thing straight. I didn’t beg for your love. Okay? Remember how we met? You were buzzing me on Facebook, telling me how you understand how I feel about not landing a job yet, talking about how the system is flawed and all that. You came to me. Not the other way around. So stop bantering about how I can’t love and how you love me. I didn’t ask for it. We got together, and I tried my best to love you. But over time I just realized that you were one impossible person to love. Love wasn’t okay for you. You just kept going deep and deep comparing love to things that had nothing to do with love. I had to breathe, okay? That is why we’re not together, because you fuck everything up. It’s you. It’s what you do. And now we’re broken up and you still want to fuck it up. Common! Is there any limit to your fucked up state?

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Hey 38

1

 

Hey,

I know what you expect me to do right now is to beg again and promise not to get you angry next time. Have you realized how many ‘last warnings’ you’ve given me recently? You’re good at this. No. You’re great at this. Torturing me. You know the things to say to get me kneeling at your feet. But not this time. Do your worst. I won’t beg you to be human. What have I done to you? Is it a crime to love you? Yea! I love you! I know that looks like the biggest mistake of all time, but I do. You can make me regret it all you want, but I love you, because I still think of you, of us. I just don’t know why you can’t love me back. Why is it so hard for you to love me back. Am I not loveable? Am I not deserving of love? Why is your heart stony toward me? You’re like this wall that just won’t crack. But then you’re not a wall, you’re a human being that wants so badly to be a wall. A heart of stone. I think it’s better for me to be in my bubble and be sensitive than for me to be out there and be walking dead.

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Reply to Hey 37

1

 

Hey,

This is the kind of thing I hate. You make me regret making that pact with you. What part of it’s over don’t you understand? WE ARE DONE. And there’s nothing you can say to change that. I didn’t understand your love or whatever. I don’t fucking care. What good has your love done to you? You just come up with these bullshit and think you’re making sense. Well, think again! Because only you exists in that shrinking bubble of yours. And no one wants to join you there. Telling me that I don’t understand love is one of your pitiful attempts at making sense. But it’s all senseless. What has the mind’s eye got to do with it. You think I don’t know of the mind’s eye? What has all these things got to do with love?! You make up trash and expect the world to digest it. You know what I think your problem is? You got too much time on your hands! If you were actually working, then you won’t put so much thought into something as simple and instinctive as love. Get a job. I’ve told you before. Get a life. And remember that the pact didn’t include reading the letters. I’ve told you before, I could decide not to read your letters anymore. I’ve been pitying you and you’ve been stretching it. Consider this your last warning.

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Hey 37

1

 

Hey,

Okay, I get it, you can’t care more than you can care. I’ve observed this restraint in you, during our elongated time together. You always had love in your eyes but your body spoke a different language. It’s like a part you tries not to show what’s in your heart. Maybe you think it’s a weakness. I remember when I’d kiss you on the forehead and you’d wonder what it was all for. To me it was a deep show of affection, a blessing of sort. But to you it was extravagant. A normal kiss will do. I tried to explain to you how every kiss meant something different, but I’m sure to you my explanation was writer’s exuberance. Thinking back, I think I loved you too hard for nothing. You just didn’t understand my love. Or maybe you don’t understand love at all. You don’t understand what it means to place my forehead on yours. The forehead is like the seat of the mind, and placing mine on yours meant that I wanted our minds to bond on a mind-blowing level. Do you even know about the mind’s eye? I tried to educate you once but you blew it off. Exuberance, right?

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Reply to Hey 36

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Hey,

You needn’t remind me that I made a pact. I know. But I’m busy. And writing you all the time is a luxury I can’t afford. You said I can care more? But in what capacity is that? A friend? Or what? You have to state things clearly. I will write to you when I have the chance, but caring more? That’s not a factor. You’d have to do with whatever I write to you. That’s the way this is.

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Hey 36

1

 

Hey,

Puppy fell ill. I took him to the vet. He’s doing just fine too. It’s strange how having a dog around forces me to go outside and mingle. I think it’s a good sign. Hey, you don’t check up anymore. Not that you often do though. But I feel a tad good when you reply my letter. We made a pact, you know? And you have to keep your end of the pact. I remember how we would write letters to each other, envelop them and put them under the pillow. I’d find mine and suddenly become flattered. Reading your letters to me was always a delight. They were more vibrant and filled with love than now. I know things have change, but I’m just saying. I don’t expect you to love me like you did while we were still together. But I guess you can care more.

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Hey 35

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Hey,

You haven’t replied my last two letters. What’s wrong? Well, for what it’s worth, Puppy is doing well, growing well too. I took a walk with him yesterday and people just kept gazing at us like what a wonderful pair. I think he misses his mum. I don’t think puppies should be away from their mothers at this stage. I mean, he’s so little. Can you imagine a baby of a few months taken from his mother? How do you think that baby would feel? Why do we humans do to animals what we don’t want done to us? Well, besides all the philosophical ramblings, I’m trying my best to take care of Puppy. He likes milk. I could watch him beat a bowl of milk with his tongue all day. I can imagine what he’d look like in a few months time. All grown up. They say they become less admirable when they’re grown. Well, you can say the same of human children too. I bet I was mum and dad’s delight when I was a baby. I can’t tell about now. I guess I’m a concern now. Funny but true.

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Hey 34

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Hey,

I woke up today on the wrong side of the planet. Sometimes I get this feeling. I wake up and my mood is very unlike the day before. And it’s a scary feeling too. It reminds me that change is constant. But I need mood swings right now, I need focus. I need consistency. How should I write when I can’t even control my mood? Plus it takes a hell of a time for me to get back on track. I think it was a dream that caused it. I don’t understand my dreams anymore. Many years ago my dreams were vivid. But now, they are just poundings. I just get pounded at night. I wake up and I can’t tell the meaning of it all. All I can tell is that my head becomes fucked up. I think I’m still going to try writing. It is at these moments that writing becomes more than just a hobby and more of a need. I need to write the bad feelings away.

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Hey 33

1

 

Hey,

I can imagine what your workplace is like, the drama that ensues. I think it’s giving me an idea for a particular scene in my book. You know I’m writing again, right? Well, it’s not fun, but I’m progressing. I remember I told you that the antagonist of my book might just die after all. But I think she’s putting up a fight. It’s her next kill that scares me most. Do you think there could be a book where the protagonist dies and the antagonist lives on? Would it make for an interesting book? You see, I’m a fan of ‘let the story lead you’, but I think I might just cut her short if she’s proving to be a diehard. Readers still need to believe that good prevails. Right? The bad guy lives on and the good guy dies and readers are lost on the moral of the story. So I think I might just kill her myself. I mean, I’m the writer, right? I have the power to do that. I have the power to kill any character. Let’s watch and see.

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Reply to Hey 32

1

 

Hey,

Congrats on the new dog. You asked about my work. Well, same old. My boss is forever a pain in my ass. I think he’s projecting his personal issues on us somehow. He literally takes the job personally, and he’s not even the owner of the company. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to involve yourself to that level, just that his own is too much. He gets on about how we’re not meeting up targets and then he deviates and just goes on and on. Totally unrelated. And what’s worse is that my colleagues and I must listen to him. It’s sickening. Well, thanks for asking though. So take good care of yourself and the puppy. And whether there’s someone in my life, I’m sorry I can’t disclose. Take care.

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Hey 32

1

 

Hey,

Great news. I got a puppy bulldog, courtesy of dad. He’s brown with splashes of white. And he’s got skin too! Lots of skin. Dad called in some days ago and asked what kind of dog I like, and I told him. I’m so happy. I mean, it’s captivating taking care of a dog once more. Plus this means I get to go out often. Puppy needs to eat, right? I think that’s what I’d name him. Puppy. I was deliberating on the name, but now that I’m writing to you it’s all clear. So how have you been? I noticed I talk more about myself when I write to you. Not so nice. So tell me about your job and the new someone in your life if there’s any.

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Hey 31

1

 

Hey,

Thanks for coming through. I really appreciate. I found a website that showcases dogs for sale. But their prices are just too absurd. I still imagine fluffy sometimes. She liked cushy surfaces. Sometimes I try to imagine what her killer looks like. I think he’s bald, and calculating. The kind that rarely talks. I then try to imagine why he hates dogs. Maybe he had a cute little daughter, the kind everybody wants to say hello to. And then a dog killed her. And since then he has made it his life’s purpose to kill dogs. Not just any dog, but the dog he connects with. Do you think she struggled? For how long? I can imagine how painful it is to die by drowning. I remember when I was little. Dad would bath us and when it reached my turn I’d wish I could just disappear from the surface of the earth. I hated water touching my face. When he poured some over my head, I’d suddenly feel as though I were drowning. My breath would suddenly cease as I wrestled for the downpour to be over so I could get a chance to breathe again. Poor Fluffy. She must have gone through worse. I hope somehow her killer is brought to justice.

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Hey 30

1

 

Hey,

I need your help. My meter reading is low. I think I’m going to run out of watts in a day or two. Could you buy me some units? I’d send you the money via internet banking. I just can’t imagine myself in darkness. Trust me, I’d have gone myself, but I’m not in any shape to be outside right now. I tried sending the bike guy but his plate is full. I know you’re going to judge me again. You’re going to think I’m weak for being trapped indoors. I just wish someday you understand. I must say that this letter is a bit unconventional. And no, I’m not coming up with yet another stunt to get your attention. I heard that you can recharge your meter online and all that, but I haven’t given it much thought. I’d be really grateful if you can do this for me. Thanks. Really.

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Hey 29

1

 

Hey,

You think I’ve not tried going out? You think I’ve not tried being out? I am an introvert! Do you know what that means? It means I have difficulties socialising. You know what I’m just realising? It’s not only me that doesn’t understand you. You too do not understand me. Three years and you’re still talking to me this way. You think I’m in this ‘shell’ by choice? Remember the day I called you to meet me at the bus station because I was too panicked to board a bus? You actually showed more sensitivity then. Or you were just blinded by love. This is me. I panic when I’m in a crowd. I was born this way. Do I wish I was different? Hell fucking yea! But there are just some things we can’t change.

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Reply to Hey 28

1

 

Hey,

You think I’m treating you badly? Life is going to treat you worse if you don’t get out of your shell. What is there to make sense of? We were together for three years thereabout, and now we are no longer together. You think I don’t have memories of us together, that I’ve forgotten everything? If I’m truly what you think I am then why am I still writing you? Because we made a pact? If I’m truly blunt as you say then I would have forgotten the pact altogether. I’m just being realistic with life. If I sit at home only thinking of every moment I had with you, who would pay the bills? You see, unlike you, I have a real job, real needs to attend to. It’s easy for you to call names from the confines of your room. Why not come out and get a taste of the real world?