Thursday, 12 February 2015


Is there a particular moment we begin spiraling down the bottom? I used to wonder if life snapped in clean halves bending at the exact moment when we departed from who we could justify into something strange and inexcusable.
The question of when everything started to fall apart hunts me, sleepless nights spent weighing each memory with significance like a weary detective obsessing over a timeline. Trying to discover the exact moment the house in Shomolu started to collapse, how long had it been? Were the foundations trembling the day papa talked about his new wife? The day we discovered Eka, the help next door was pregnant?
Mama said she felt when it happened, the Sunday the walls of the apartment caved in. The things we left behind, my dark doll with the green shoes, the dress with pink flowers, the chance of goodbyes we didn’t have. My parents never let me visit the ruin.
Maybe it was the day thick strands of hair fell on the marble floor of my room. I stood staring in the mirror, gripping the scissors a little too tight. It started with what was maybe an inch, a little trim, and then a couple of inches till there was barely anything left. Staring in the mirror, then at the comb, at hair on the floor, it’s been 7 years since her last haircut and 7 hours since a steam. The scissors had always been lying there rarely ever used.

Sometimes I hoped just as people faded away, memories of them would leave too, but they keep hovering, mists of confusion, making you hold on to nothing, leaving you struggling to move on. Time had a way of transforming Jade from that geeky timid child in nursery school whom she shared her cakes with to six feet with lean muscles who she day dreamt of sharing more than her cakes with. If love was laughing at his jokes and looking to him for agreement in a delicate and unspoken way. If love was holding hands in public places and kissing in school corridors. If love was moaning his name while grabbing a fist full of his thick black afro hair while he kissed her breasts. If love was wriggling in pleasure with her dress rolled up and shifted aside while he touched her warm skin. If love was a confused girl giving into a new strange graveness, a weak imitation of what she imagined love making to be and the moment being just as wonderful because of the strong weakening feeling she had for him. Then love was what destroyed her, like her mother, she felt it happen,  the growing distance,  his muffled one word responses, the deafening silence till she saw him holding her and whispering intimately in her ears. It had been two months since then,  he didn't even say goodbye, and she lived everyday in a new pain, holding onto her pillow and crying and begging herself to forget him. Somehow her life had evolved around him that her life before him seemed like a blur of events. She looked at herself or what seemed to be the version of her that existed, gripping the bottle of Tylenol she had kept hidden under her clothes for the past 5 days. She swallowed the first red five pills first, she had read online that a mere overdose could damage the liver and lead to death. She poured out a handful this time, not bothering to count how many and swallowed them. Waves of nausea hit her, somehow she felt a certain peace,  she didn't feel her pain as she lid into unconsciousness.
There are events that demand a certain ritual, a rite where you lose yourself to your pain, where you float like the lifeless leaves that have been dried up in the heat of the sun.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Adulthood and Absences.

My youth held nothing but the relentless struggle to be accepted by society, to be loved by someone and to be approved by my parents and myself, for I set the highest expectations for myself not them. My youth held a certain emptiness of a vast space where excitement and passion used to be. Each day started with a deep longing for something different and an overwhelming sense of tiredness from being bored of my routine life. Growing up closed me off from the world and my fears multiplied their numbers because understanding how cruel people could be would do that to you. Because I missed being care free and ignorant, I missed trusting and loving people blindly, I missed the uncomplicated innocent life of my childhood.

Because when I think of my life and the time I had been most alive, I think of when I was 3, running around our family house butt naked with my sister, laughing and screaming.

Because when I think of my life and when I had been most alive, I think of when I was 5, playing hide and seek with my siblings and my cousins, hiding in the most obvious places and being genuinely surprised when we got found.

Because when I think of when I was most alive I think of when I was 7, and I wandered away from school, negligent of the danger of my actions, wandering curiously on unfamiliar streets and wandering away farther without worrying about the fact I didn't know how to retrace my steps back. Looking at my dad's teary eyes with my questioning ones when he found me later that evening, unaware of the nightmare I had caused my parents.

Because when I think of my life and when I had been most alive I think of when I was 13 and I had my first crush. Of how it didn't matter that he didn't know who I was and how I felt. But all that mattered was the dizzying flutter in my chest and the butterflies in my tummy whenever I saw him.

Because when I think of my life and when I had been most alive I think of my first kiss, from a guy I didn't even love, a guy that bullied me for my lunch cakes, a guy that teased me every chance he got. But he held me and took my lips with his and in those brief seconds,  the confusion,  the blood rush and the many other things I felt and didn't understand had me smiling to myself later that night while replaying the event in my head.

Because when I think of my life and when I had been most alive I remember being laid on his bed, stripped of my dress and lace panties,  having my legs spread apart and cold jelly poured around the lower part of my tummy down the vee of my legs. I remember his warm tongue loving me, kissing and licking. And how I couldn't breathe from the intoxicating feeling and the blinding pleasure. How my body kept convulsing, responding to his tongue.
I remember those years and I feel empty, how becoming an adult took all of that away. How growing up created one absence after another and all I'm doing is struggling to deal.