Sincere

It is the first day of the month and she is feeling really positive, so she set out as usual by herself looking for money

she was only nine, but she had mastered the trade quite well. She will stand at the road side and wait for the traffic lights to turn red.That was how her mother did. ‘Just watch the cars, aim for the shinny ones’ she’ll say.

Amina saw the lights turn yellow then red and she made her way to the first car, it was a shinny red car, she walked to the drivers side trying to peer into it. She found that making eye contact often helped, on this occasion however she was nervous because this car had tinted windows.

‘Please give me some money, I don’t have any money, Please, Please’ she spoke to the Driver leaning against the car, she was sure he could see her. She could see her reflection on the window; her brown curly hair flying wildly from an old pony tail, her top was torn at the sleeves, and her face was covered in filth.

The driver moved forward, he was trying to get her off his car.

She stepped back spontaneously and walked away, ‘what a waste of time’ she thought. She  looked at the next car, it was an old raggedy van. The driver seemed old and poor, she could not decide whether it was worth the effort begging this man. She looked back at the traffic light and saw that she only had about 30 seconds till it turned green. So she gave the van a chance, ‘please give me some…’ the driver stopped her mid way into her chant and threw two green notes at her. There were twenty Naira notes. She jumped at them like a hungry dog. ‘Thank you sir’ she said with excitement in her voice. ‘God bless madam and the family’ she kept thanking him as he drove off.

In that moment Amina learned a weird lesson, it was not about the car as mother had taught her, but it was about whether the giver was sincere or not.

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This is a response to today’s one-word prompt ‘sincere’, make sure you participate before the day runs out.

I failed to tell

He doesn’t hold my hand as tightly as he did before.
I know why, I just cannot believe that he would be so affected by it.
He found out that I had lied to him. I had failed to share with him a vital part about my past, I kept him in the dark all those years to protect him. At least that is how I wanted to rationalise it.
10 years ago I found out that I had fibroids. I was shocked, ashamed and confused. I was not married then. The doctors ran me through my options. The option I picked then is what separates me from him.

We are waiting at the bus stop on a cold Monday morning about to board the 61 to town.
We chose to get rid of our cars a few months ago because of Kola’s new found green love. He wanted to save the planet so badly that our life style changed with each new conservation idea. I loved seeing him passionate about something and I welcomed each innovation by complying.
We have two cats and a small house. We were living the life for three years. No external family, no comments. We were a perfect fit in this society.

Sitting in my dressing room taking off my make makeup after work, I wonder what sort of woman I had become. I lied to my husband, and now he does not look at me like he did before.
Was it really a lie, or had I just failed to tell him. Was an omission a lie?
I remember when we met we had dreams of travelling and living in a foreign country. He never once mentioned children. He was not a big fan. But I couldn’t tell whether he was just selfish being an only child, or he was kidding. At least now I know he wasn’t kidding. I mean what man knows what he wants at 23?

I resented what I had done. I was afraid, I did not know what telling him would do to us. I was sure he would still love me, but I was not certain. Especially because Anika was in the picture, it was too risky. So I kept my secret to my self and looked at him everyday wondering if he would love me the same way if I told him what I had done.

He walked into the room and ignored my existence. It was already a month since I told him, he was not over it. I deserved it, I did not blame him. I was selfish, and anything that would result from this I decided to accept.

‘You cannot keep ignoring me like this, I’m sorry, I don’t know how many times I need to tell you this’ I said almost in a whisper.
‘I’ll stop ignoring you when I am ready June. I mean how could you, how could you do this to me, to us?’
‘I had no choice, it was spreading, I was going to die. I decided to have a hysterectomy to save my life!’
‘Why didn’t you tell me? We dated for three years, yet you kept it from me. What am I going to tell my mum, that you are barren?’ That word rang in to the air louder than the bells of a cathedral.
‘You don’t have to tell her anything, we can adopt, there are other ways out of this…’ I tried to save the situation.

He had one hand up with his eyes shut as if trying to block my words. ‘I can’t do this’ he mumbled storming out of the room. I stood up and held his arm. There was so much anger tied up in his muscles that I let go immediately.

‘Are u ending us?’ I said.
He paused, sighed heavily and shut the door angrily.
I knew it was over.

I had ended us not him by failing to share my secret with him. There are few things in this world that hurt a man, and I know now that concealing secrets is one of them.

Let the battle begin: Hard covers Versus ebooks

books

 

 

 

 

When I got the alert for this week’s writing challenge I grinned. I tried not to look too awkward because the alert had come in while conversing with a friend and I didn’t want to change the subject. So I put a pause on my trepidation (don’t ask me how) and I came back to write on it. So why am I so excited on writing about “the hard covers versus eBooks” debate? The truth is I just love books especially hard backs and let me just say I am an advocate for them. I find this debate very tricky because as much as I advocate for hard covers, most of my daily reading is from my phone! What is it with our love for hard backs and our less commitment to them? The answer is all too easy isn’t it? The internet and technology. Honestly speaking, having information in soft copies/eBooks is the fastest and most efficient medium of disseminating, assessing and consuming information. I mean when was the last time I picked up a newspaper? I don’t even remember because there is little or no need to. I could go on and on about the benefits of soft copies and ebooks without repeating a point. Sometimes I begin to second guess myself; are hard covers any good?

I got a hard copy of Chinua Achebe’s “There was a country” over the weekend and let me just say- it was a beautiful experience. I admired the hard back underneath the paper back, I ran my fingers through its thick pages and I finally smelt it- the fresh warm ink welcomed me to start reading. The font size was a tart too small but the experience with this beautiful hard back jolted me to read over a hundred pages in no time. What is it with hard copies though? There is this emotional attachment I dare say we form with hard covers than with ebooks or soft copies. It is such an episodic moment each time I read a hard cover that even when I forget the name of the book I never forget the colour! It is almost like our brains connect the information in the book with its physical characteristics and creates some strong emotional connection (I really should research on this), it is such a complex feeling with hard covers!

In summary I believe that an individual’s preference for ebooks and hard covers is mostly dependent on the individual himself, the genre of literature and of course the purpose of reading. Individuals differ a lot in terms of preferences, and from experience I have noticed that these preferences are contingent on the mood of the individual and other factors. So for instance, I might be in the mood to read a hard cover today because I am staying indoors but tomorrow I might be travelling and I wouldn’t want any extra item, so I might purchase an ebook. So with the individual factor, I think it is more an issue of convenience really.

Then there is the genre of literature. Personally, I prefer to read academic literature in hard copy than soft copy. For me,  if I have to memorise a lot of information at a time, there is no way I would want a lecture note for instance on my laptop or on my phone, I’ll rather have them in loose sheets and have a coloured pen handy for notes. So the genre or literature and the purpose of reading are much the same really. If I was reading for pleasure I might find myself at a cross road deciding how I want to read a book, but if I was perhaps reading for an exam I’ll definitely pick a hard cover over an ebook or a soft copy.

Bottom line, whether it is hard or soft copy you read, never forget a common but true fact: A good writer is one that reads.

If you enjoyed my take on the debate and would love to share in the conversation, feel free to comment and like this post. If you have a blog, you can write a post on this issue like I have done and share your link with me and DPchallenge

Writing Challenge: The Devil is in the details

Sitting on the marble cold step, I try to balance my laptop on one lap while reaching for my phone on the top step which contained the details of the writing challenge. I enjoy sitting on the middle of the three steps that lead into the living room. It is one of the only locations I find myself writing my best. One reason perhaps is because I can admire the living room area just in front of me. It is a rectangular room having paintings and sculptures hanging on each side of the wall graced with a huge red Persian rug in the middle and four leather couches on either sides of it. There is a huge brown clock hanging on the wall facing me, it is slightly higher than rest of the paintings. On the same side of the wall is an air condition and opposite it- where I sat is a white standing fan. The living room area was never warm provided one of those two was switched on.

I’m staring at my laptop screen and trying to type every detail from my visual focus, when I hear a mosquito. The buzzing gets louder with every second, and I get upset. “SWAT”. I missed. The buzzing continued. This insect was determined to derail my train of thoughts. I turned on the standing fan to ward it off. It worked! I sat back down to write some more, but I didn’t know what next to write.The clock kept ticking loudly.

The lights from the chandelier just above the rug suddenly seemed deem, I couldn’t tell whether it was the electricity or my eyes. Sleep was setting in and the fan wasn’t helping. I took my slipper off, and felt the cool floor with the sole of my feet; it woke me up a little. My right feet absently stepped on an object; it was small and hard. I picked it up with my toes. Holding it in my hands now, i could see It was the missing letter ‘d’ the kids had been looking for earlier in the day to complete a puzzle. I tucked it into my bag, hoping to give it to them tomorrow. I looked at the wall clock and decided my writing time was over. Then, I hit the ‘publish’ button .