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Hi guys, Well this is becoming quite regular, enjoy it (It might not last). With a little help from Panda, here’s a little story that has been playing around in my head for a while. Enjoy guys 🙂

“… AND I SHALL VISIT MY DIVINE WRATH UPON THIS HEATHEN PLACE! REPENT! FOR YOUR LORD WALKS AMONGST YOU! …”

My eyes flutter as I regain consciousness and realize the screams were not from my nightmares but from my roommate, Patrick, who is experiencing another episode of schizophrenia today. *sigh* I get up and try to make my way to the bathroom without Patrick noticing me. I’m not in the mood to worship him today, his episodes make him think he’s Ra; the Egyptian god of the Sun. Maybe I should worship him; at least he’s a much more accessible god than the one I’m supposed to be serving.

“… REPENT, LEST I GAZE DOWN UPON YOU WITH THE WRATH OF THE SUN! REPENT AND PAY HOMAGE TO YOUR SUN LORD! …”

*sigh*

This was not where I pictured I’d be a week after I walked into Boots pharmacy and bought ten packets of ibuprofen. I had researched extensively and I knew the correct dose to take to ensure hospitalization, but not death.

Why? You may ask.

Attention.

That’s right, I wanted, no needed everyone to fawn over me for once. I wanted my parents to finally realize that money was not a substitute for their time or attention. Oh, I enjoyed the money, a whole lot. It’s what made sure I had all the better things of life, but I craved more, I wanted Mr. and Mrs. Ogunja to want to spend time with me. So I worked up the courage, and executed my plan.

I failed.

After swallowing about 10 tablets of ibuprofen with vodka, I picked up my phone, dialed 199 and told them what I had done. I laid back and waited for the ambulance and all the attention. The only drama I got was my flat mates and hostel manager watching as the medics wheeled me into the ambulance. No one came with me to the hospital.

After pumping my tummy, the doctor said: Mr. Ogunja, we have cause to believe you’re suicidal, for this reason, we are referring you immediately to a facility that caters to suicidal patients like you, your parents have wired us enough money to cater to your every whim”. I felt the blood drain from my face as I was transported from the hospital to my new home.

And here I am.

This place, which I have called home for the past month, has been hell. I thought I had it bad, but… now I know what hell is like. See, what the doctor failed to tell me is that the facility also serves as a recovery center for different kinds of people- recovering drug addicts trying to become clean, beautiful ladies suffering from chronic eating disorders, people with mental health issues like my roommate… and then me. I have not come across any other person like me in this place, no one.

My nights are filled with screams from the guys with the withdrawal symptoms, daytime is filled with stories of how people got here, lame exercises like coloring or meditation practice and meal times (my favorite) are highlighted by dramatic refusals to take drugs, puking sounds from the loo and desperate attempts to catch the attention of the girls eating on the other side.

Anyways, the point is that I have failed. Throughout my one month here, my parents have only called once. ONCE, and that was to say they had sent more money. I wish I could have money adopt me officially or something. I’m really, really confused. But in the midst of this confusion, I have come up with a plan. You see, when Patrick is not thinking he is God, he’s quite the intelligent guy. We have formulated a plan to get out of this place. And I have an extra plan to ditch him with enough money as soon as we’re out.

The plan has come together very nicely and although I can’t tell you when it will happen, it is really soon. Someday soon, you shall have a suicidal, attention seeking brat and an intelligent, schizophrenic lovable guy on the loose. You have been warned.

My name is Emmanuel Ogunja and I promise I’m not crazy.

I’m coming home.


NOT ENOUGH

He walked into the flat he shared with Kiki, his girlfriend of four years. She was asleep, as he had expected. It was 2:30 am. He smiled as he walked to the amazingly beautiful woman lying on the bed. He was glad he had the privilege of calling her his.

He went to the bed and kissed her forehead, just the way she liked it. As he walked back to drag his suitcase from the kitchen into the room, he thought of what he was about to do. He winced physically from all the emotional and mental pain, it was going to be hard. He had thought long and hard about this decision on his flight back from Sydney, where he had travelled for business. He had to break up with her.

While he unbuttoned his shirt, he thought about everything that had happened in four years. Meeting at his favourite ice cream spot just in front of the building where he worked, taking her to an art gallery for their first date and finding out later (very embarrassingly), that her art was actually being exhibited at said gallery on said night. Finally, he remembered the point where it all started to go wrong, landing the job of his dreams.

He remembered the day he broke the news to her very vividly. The new software that had been designed under his supervision for the company had made the executives of the company very, very happy; so happy that they wanted to change the existing software of the company to his. But, there was a catch, he had to go around the world training the branches of the company in various countries how to use and implement the software.

They had ‘the talk’, he said he was not sure what was going to come out of this job and he wasn’t sure he was ready to juggle the job and her. She said she didn’t want to lose him, she was sure she could manage not being in constant contact with him all the time. Before he left, they bought the flat together so that whatever time he spent when he was in town was with her.

But it hadn’t exactly worked out that way. Time difference, jet lag and work had made it difficult for him to be reachable. Whatever time he spent in town was spent resting and recuperating, working on modifications to the software or attending some family event. From time to time, it felt like there was a stretch of a few days when he remembered he had a girlfriend and actually made the effort to ‘catch up’ with her.

He first started to notice there was a problem on her birthday two years ago. He had called the house to just talk to her and find out if she had got the dozen red roses he had sent her. She was nowhere to be found. Thinking maybe she was with her friends partying, he called her best friend, Kemi. ‘Kiki has been in hospital for two weeks now, she had to have a tumor taken out ofher tummy, I’m not supposed to be telling you this, but she just looks so lonely and tired on this bed, I thought maybe you could cheer her up’. He had talked to her about it, but she said since he was busy with work and she just wanted to spend his ‘catching up time’ listening to him, she didn’t consider it important enough for him to know and she didn’t think he cared anyways. If he did, he never showed it.

One thing held Kiki back from ending the whole thing. He was sure it was the promise she had made him when he was about to leave. She had said she would be comfortable with the distance. He was sure she didn’t want to seem like an ass, ending the relationship because of distance. She was considerate like that.

Kiki deserved more. She deserved someone who would dote on her. She deserved someone who would remind her everyday how beautiful, important and special she was. All the red roses in the world could not cuddle her when she had period pains, or taste the delicious dishes she cooked endlessly, admire her paintings, cater to her when she was in hospital, escort her to family events or be her plus one to one of those events.

He was not enough, he thought as he stepped out of the shower and into his boxer shorts. ‘I am not enough, I am not enough, I am not enough’ he kept repeating to himself. He turned out the bedside lamp, got into bed and snuggled close to her. Tonight, he was going to have to be enough. 


The Surprise

So in honour of Short Story Day, I decided to scribble something that had been clawing at my brain down. The story is actually imperfect, wrote it on the bus, but I’d appreciate comments on the quality and maybe a little discussion around some of the issues raised.
Here goes.

Your alarm rings. 3:30 am. It is time. You have effectively planned this surprise such that it would be fresh enough for your parents. Their flight from New York is scheduled to land Lagos at 4am. It would take them an hour to get to your family’s Lekki mansion. By 5, the surprise would be perfect. Audu, the maiguard is definitely still asleep and the neighbours are still clinging to whatever precious hours of sleep they have left.
You turn to your right, pick your towel. Everything had been properly laid out yesterday. You learnt how to prepare for the next day from those 4 weeks of counselling you took at uni. It was your first and only girlfriend- Jane who had recommended you see a counsellor. Your erratic behaviour was worrying her. After four weeks of counselling, the counsellor told you you were depressed and showing signs of anxiety disorder. She recommended that you see a better qualified therapist. You laughed.
3:45, you get up and walk somberly to the bathroom. The same manner in which you walked to your parent’s room the night you went to ask them for money, as you could not afford to pay for a specialist. Your father laughed and said:
“I’m a trained medical professional, Bobby; you can’t swindle me out of my money. If you’re depressed, I’d see the signs and tell you myself. You have nothing, absolutely nothing to be depressed about. Your family’s amazing, we support you, we provide for you. What of those orphans under the bridge. As for your claims of anxiety, you’ve always been very shy. Don’t worry, as soon as you get out of uni, I would personally work on that. Bobby, I was once a rascal like you oh. You can’t cheat a cheat.”
Your mum just looked at you and said “I’m going for Power must change hands tomorrow, come with me, you’ll be delivered”
Its not like you hadn’t expected it but it had hit you with so much venom, you never recovered from that blow.
4:10, that was a long shower. You have to ensure that every part of your body is clean and sparkling for the surprise. Jane had once told you she couldn’t hug you because you smelled after you gave her a gift on a birthday. None of that would be happening today.
4:15. You massage your skin with your mum’s strawberry body butter, the one she guarded like a hawk. *shrug* today is special. You wear the specially selected outfit for today- crisp white shirt, black trousers and the black skinny tie Jane bought you years ago that you simply couldn’t let go of. Baba Bobby would be proud, you were going to become a lawyer anyways.
4:30. Time is flying, but you are on schedule. You sit and write the note that would accompany the surprise. You explain to everyone why you are getting them this surprise, especially your friends who have played therapist one too many times; and Jane. Jane who had drawn your eyes to the problem, Jane who you had broken up with because she truly, truly deserved better.
4:42. Three minutes more. You place the stool in the appropriate place, step on it and put your neck through the loop in the rope. Yeah, none of that overdosing or bleeding for you. You can not take chances.
4:45. Your alarm rings. Game time. You kick the stool.
5:00am. You hear the cock crow. You smile through the pain. You breathe one last heavy breath.
5:35. Mr. and Mrs. Odufale find their surprise.


Me, Honestly…

Hi,

Ever since Panda planted the idea of writing my own version of an ‘honest thing’, I’ve been scared. Scared because I’ve never been good at directly telling my own story or things about me. Well I decided to take the plunge. Here goes…

*inhales*

I was born on the 6th of May, which should make me a Taurus. My parents say they were really excited to have me as they had been trying for a baby for a while.

It rained for three days after I was born. I love rain. A lot. Partly because I can cry freely under the rain without being asked why I’m crying. I cry more than I should.

I am 5 feet and no inches tall, bespectacled and I don’t know how much I currently weigh. I’m almost as dark as amala and I walk with a bounce that got me the nickname ‘smallboy’ in secondary school. People say I have intense eyes, that I can drill a hole in a person’s soul just by staring at said person. I guess I’ll never know how true it is.

I relate things in my present with things that happened in my past randomly. For example, I relate the fact that I act differently with different people with the fact that I have over 25 names. I don’t remember all of them so don’t ask.

I am a scientist by profession and association. I spend almost all of my time genetically altering microorganisms to produce plastics. This gives me a sense of pride and a false notion that I can fix anything.

I make a hobby out of people watching and eavesdropping snippets of conversations. I like making up stories about people or making them live out my life for me. Nothing excites me more than finishing conversations in my head or randomly giving people histories. This is also why I write. Every character I write about has an affiliation with an aspect of my life.

I am a story teller. I live my life like it is a story that I would tell to someone someday. I try not to do things that would not make for interesting stories sometime in the future.  Almost everything I own has a special memory attached to it. I love the look on people’s faces when I give them a tour of my room telling them the stories attached to everything in it. Whenever I lose anything, it feels like I have lost a close family member.

I listen to music for two reasons- to connect with something and to dance. So I will listen to any song that gives me either of the two. It is very common to find me crying while listening to a song just because I can relate to what is being sung.

I have spent the past one year trying to convince myself that I’m someone worthy of love. I’m attracted to sharp thinking, tall and easy-to-look at men. The problem is most of the men I’m attracted to are often damaged and I set about fixing them. I forget that most of them don’t even want to be fixed.

I have a very sensitive digestive system, so I either stay away from food or I stick to tried and tested food. I am not adventurous. This slips into my daily choices as well. I would rather wear what I’m sure looks good than try to be adventurous with what I wear.

Crowds or groups of people more than two scare me, so I’m never one to step up and assume a leadership role anywhere. I would much rather be the special assistant to the president than be the president.

I feel most comfortable in the midst of kids or in libraries. With kids I can just be myself and not be scared of being tagged ‘weird’ or ‘boring’; in libraries, I can escape to other worlds and not have to be myself.

Hi I’m Moyin, I am the shyest person I know, I keep a ring collection and I would like to live in a hug. Would you be my friend?

 

 

 


Free Verse

Well, hello guys, this is NerdyChique sneaking behind Panda to give you guys something I jostled up today. Please be kind and leave comments. I’m getting back in the groove gradually. 

Also, I think Panda may have a few surprises up his sleeve in the coming weeks. Be on the look out. 

So, here goes. 

#np- ‘Sunday Morning’ ~Maroon 5

 

You know how people say someone is easy like Sunday morning? I’ve always wondered, what is easy about Sunday? And what especially makes Sunday mornings easier than any other mornings in the week. Maybe because for me, Sunday mornings have been either of two extremes, but never easy. See its either I’m rushing off to church on a Sunday morning or I’m nursing a headache the size of Nigeria. So Sundays have never been easy. NEVER.

How shall I compare thee to a mere day of the week my darling?

You’re like a Monday morning, the hope and freshness you bring are sometimes annoying.

You’re like my weekly Tuesday hangouts with the crew. Constant. Relaxing.

Or shall I liken thee to a Wednesday afternoon, to which I have become accustomed? I know the exact words to say and the right steps to take at every second and minute.

Our passion is very much like a Thursday night at the bar, quietly screaming ‘its Friday tomorrow, its Friday tomorrow’. The anticipation reminding me of the build-up to meeting up with you, the passion building up in my loins months and months before we’re even sure of when we’ll meet up.

Then I think maybe you’re more like leaving the office on a Friday, exchanging my work shoes for my six inch stilettos. You excite me beyond compare. And like Friday nights in Soho, you dizzy me.

Being with you is like lying in my memory mattress on a Saturday morning, watching TV. Its comfortable, all our parts fit like a perfectly sized glove, remembering what we do to each other. And all of a sudden, its like brunch with the girls- full of laughter, exciting, informative and wild. Sometimes, its like the occasional date night, spontaneous, fun, steamy.

And then your presence is like the famous Sunday morning, healing, calming, rejuvenating. Oh, and you’re much like Church on Sunday. Inspirational, beautiful and exciting.

But having you here with me feels like a much awaited bank holiday. Long expected, everything I expected it would be and even more, and hard to recover from.

Shall I compare thee to a mere day of the week? No. You, my darling are more intense than that. And I love you.

Love,

Your Sunday morning. 


TWO

*ahem*
Hi guys,

I’m supposed to be standing in for Panda, but I have done a poor job ( I actually couldn’t figure out how to use the invite Panda sent me, I’m poor with computers like that).
Anyways, I have it all figured out now.
This is a mini-poem I wrote in response to Panda’s last post. I have asked NerdyChique to please tag you all on twitter. I haven’t made it down there.
Please enjoy.

Two.
That’s the number of times I thought about ending my life
One is the number of times I actually tried.
Two.
Is the number of times you talked me out of it.
So you can’t blame me for falling in love with you.
Ten.
That’s the number of months I waited.
After I one, two, three, four,
Fell.
Fell head first, heart following very quickly in love with you.
Three.
I tried to tell you three times.
But how could i?
That was never our arrangement.
Our arrangement did not include insurance for a broken heart.
No policies to prevent us developing a friendship,
And me falling.
But you did fall.
Just not in love with me.
This much you told me
When I eventually told of how deeply I’d fallen.
“A man must only give that which he has in his possession. Anything else would simply be a desperate pretense at capability and an insult to the one who would receive it.”
Innumerable,
Are the pieces my heart has broken into
And I have become this monster
Who collects hearts as well.
Four.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Never should have caught any feelings.
Five.
How do I get over the reason I’m alive.
Six.
My heart, it’s been punctured with sticks.
Eight.
I should hate you but I absolutely cannot.
So here’s wishing you have a good life
And all of that.
Still in love with you,
The one that could have been.

P.S: Happy birthday in arrears Panda, we love you!