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.

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.

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?

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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