Eight months after my failed relationship with Segun, I start to put the pieces of my life’s puzzle and I’m still on the single train; I’m starting to get bothered now because I’m a little lonely, I miss Segun so much but he is married now with a child. It’s amazing how I can still bear to talk to him after his betrayal but I loved him though.
At this moment I get a call from Tamuno, my bestie; there was a party. I wasn’t thrilled at the news, this girl knew I had an early curfew but always wanted me conscious of everything I was missing out on, meanie! I try to hush her but she is so excited and keeps feeding me with unwanted details, I love her so much and official is going to be there”, I hear her scream from the phone, this brought me out of my thoughts, “yaay!” I shout back while rolling my eyes.
“You know I can’t come, so what’s the relevance of this information biko?
“L-O-L, I know. You want me to talk to daddy on your behalf sweetie?” She asked her voice laced with sarcasm.
For a second I wished she was standing right in front of me so I could spank her tiny bottom. She was such an idiot, never seen an individual who used L-O-L while talking. She was silly but I loved her anyway.
“Have a great time love, kisses to Tekno official, tell him Mimi says hi”, I say this hoping she’d get the message, I wasn’t in the best mood tonight, I had a lot on my mind and Tamuno wasn’t serious enough to have a serious conversation. With this I hang up and put my phone down on the dresser. I hear my phone ring twice, it was definitely Tamuno again. I ignore it and went on to write my to-do list for Saturday.
What was the time? I look at my bedroom clock, the stupid thing had packed up again, I hiss and pick up my phone. Unconsciously, I open to see my missed calls. It wasn’t Tamuno, it was Desmond!!! Desmond my crush for a year, six months and fifteen days, yeah I’m good with figures. I jumped up and started shoki-ing, the only dance I wasn’t so terrible at. I met him last year, on my sisters’ birthday at a store, I was very upset that day but meeting him changed that. He was tall, dark, fresh and very handsome.

I dialed his number, smiling and dancing to the ringer. From the way I was dancing, one would think “shoki” were his caller tune. He picks up at the fifth ring and said, “Hi, let me call you back” then hung up before I could stop him.
“Such a considerate fellow”, I say wistfully.
His call comes in and I dance to my ringtone for ten seconds before clearing my throat and answering it.
“Hi”, I say with a frown, hoping it would reflect in my voice.

“Hey, good afternoon”
“Afternoon, what’s up with you?”
“I’m alright, you?”
“I’m good”
Truth be told, Des as I called him didn’t sound as good as he looked. Sometimes he talked like he was a straight dummy. But his looks made up for his empty head, or so I thought. I liked my men smart though, but with his looks, I was ready to make an exception.
We talked for approximately four minutes, there wasn’t much to say though, and it wasn’t so easy talking to him without rolling my eyes and stifling laughter. He sounded confused a lot. Anyway, I had a date the next day with Des. I started to picture a kiss already, “oh Mirabel, get your mind out of the gutter!” I caution myself. My to-do list! I pick up my diary; there were a lot of corrections I had to make. I blow a kiss to my broken clock and looked at the time on my phone before sitting back to work on my list. Tomorrow is going to be great indeed…
Saturday morning, I rush to the salon to get my hair done; Desmond had never seen me on weaves, just braids. Braids didn’t fit me well enough, so I decided to fix a weave on.
I was done before noon after which I went home to prepare my outfit for my “date”.
1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, it was now 4:30pm and I gave up and called him. He didn’t take the call, I sigh; So much for all my joy huh? Yeah whatever. My phone battery was so low; I turned it off and placed it on charge.I had developed a cold already, it was the stress. 30 minutes later, it had worsened; I changed my outfit, wiped my make up off and head out for the pharmacy. On my way, I keep hoping I’d see Desmond’s car or something but I didn’t.
When I got home, I switch on my phone and first thing I got was a message from Des. He was apologizing and asking if we could see at that moment, shit! That was 30 minutes ago. I hit myself, why did I turn the stupid phone off? Just then his call came in, I pick it up and he starts apologizing, saying he was busy and asking if we could still see each other. I explain I have an early curfew and he asks for a reschedule, we plan on meeting the next week after which he gives another apology. Mad as I was, I gave him the benefit of doubt, maybe he was indeed busy. I sigh and lay in bed, feeling less enthusiasm. I take the pills and in no time I was off….



Raised in a violent environment, they pressed on for survival. The insecurity within the family was taking a negative toll on them all but they suffered and smiled, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst daily, referees in their home they separated fights and suffered injuries. They didn’t mind, maami mustn’t get hurt, she was all they had. Her brother was the oldest, chief referee. He loved maami most, he was her shield, he played this role without relent like a soldier at war. Papa would curse, “Worthless son! I’d rather not have a son” he pushed him away, as a tyrant in his house he scared them all away. Made him watch the football match from the window and her watch the kiddies show from the passage, they tried to adapt to the prison they called home, constantly guiding their cell mate who was being picked on by the warden.

Her little brother grew up in fear, timid as a mouse he couldn’t socialise, having a voice he couldn’t use, he tiptoed around the house afraid to be seen, for the fear of being beaten at the smallest mistake or provocation to papa. Her sister regarded as a failure studied and worked hard, trying to please papa in his chosen field for her. It wasn’t her choice, it was her weak point, but she tried to the life of her to make it her strength till she lost physical strength, all she got from papa were discouraging words that pierced like a dagger. She was the strongest at heart, open about what went through her mind and not afraid to speak up. She tried to be the glue, the bonding glue. Trying to bring everyone together to avoid a next fight, but all efforts proved abortive, the glue didn’t seem to hold rather it tore them apart.Her big brother was killed in school, it could have been prevented. The war at home led to his negligence and they lost him. Papa assured them it was God’s will, he wanted it to happen or he wouldn’t have allowed it, unsure if it was said out of guilt or nonchalance they let it go, for a life lost could never be gotten back.

She grew up beautiful but barely noticed, almost never. She went from social to loner, from glue to water. She was more or less a shadow, barely noticed by people. She got out of school with only a handful of friends, the lowest self-esteem one could think of, she wore like a batch. Years after big brothers death the fighting started again, mammi’s shield was gone, and her replacement was also being beaten. Papa hit little brother so hard his skin turned purple,the courage came from within, though her voice came in gasps she said, “Leave him alone! Do you want to kill him?” Papa turned to her, grateful for the distraction she received the merciless beating with a welcome heart, she could take it, and maami was too old to be treated that way. She never knew love, papa made money available but never his presence. He had a burning flame on the crown of his head, a roaring hot flame. Maami and her siblings were the center of her world, the few friends she had were all so far away. She didn’t mind, it was her given part and she was going to tread on it with courage.

She met him in her street on a Friday evening, she had been running away from a giant turkey when he ran into her, he was handsome and confident. She let him in without thinking twice, he made her feel like a queen; breakfast in bed, kisses on her forehead and he listened. She threw caution to the wind and fell in love, he was her best friend. It wasn’t just about how she felt about him, but how he made her feel about herself. She got it back; her self-esteem built up like a tower, her water thickened and became adhesive, she became a pleasant soul and one could see it from a distance. Then he broke her heart, she realized he never loved her, she was just company for he had a wife and a kid; a beautiful kid.

Dumping her puzzle in a jar, she picked up grass and puffed, made the bottle her best friend and started a journal. She had been misused and abused and she wanted the world to know that love was a myth; at least she had proven it. “Fuck love”and  “fuck life” were her opening words, she had seen the worst of life. Consumed with anger and pain, she pushed everyone away, maami and her siblings; she locked everyone out and raised her voice at the slightest provocation. She was alone, in love with the solitude. She overhead maami apprehend her little brother, “don’t do that, you’ll make her shout and beat you”. She was hurt; she was becoming papa, the tyrant, the prison warden troubling the cell mates. She got up, took the jar for it was time to put the pieces of her lives jigsaw, she was going to start from the corners, till she got it done and lover herself till true love comes chasing.

Written by: Ehi-Sulaiman Miriam