She was the first person he saw after buying his ticket and proceeding to the waiting area.   His sense pricked up on high alert the moment he laid eyes on her and the first thing that came to his mind was -soft. She looked so soft and fragile like a delicate cluster of cloud or cotton candy.

It seemed like she wasn’t walking, she was gliding through and she had a meek demeanour but exuded confidence.  She looked like a no-nonsense lamb. He couldn’t help but stare at her, eyes filled with wondrous confusion.

She softly landed on a seat almost opposite his, looked around disinterestingly before whipping out her phone.  He was holding his phone too but it was only so that it wouldn’t be too obvious to her or anyone the fact that he was staring at her from above the phone

Then it was time to board. He watched her struggle with a medium sized box, a small luggage and her hand bag over the flight of stairs that led to the platform where the train awaited them.

His gentlemanly instincts which was otherwise dormant but for the sights of damsels in distress and a few choice moments kicked in and he approached her. He was nervous.  He had never been that nervous to approach a girl. Not even the fiery ones. But he had sweaty palms in anticipation of talking to a lamb.

‘Do you need help with that’?   He asked her, his faint British accent becoming more accentuated by the lob-dob of his heart.

She turned to him, a sweet smile already plastered on her face.

‘Don’t worry, I’m good. Thanks though’. Her voice was like he imagined.  Cottony. Soft and melodious like she was singing softly in speech.

How modest, he thought. The baggage was obviously dragging her back. He had to help. He wondered why she didn’t take the elevator instead but he wasn’t complaining, it was his grand opening.

‘I know you are.  But it seems unfair, I have just a laptop bag and you have three bags. It’s just fair to share’. He flashed her his most charming smile.

She looked at the bags as if in contemplation, turned her gaze to him, then wordlessly extended the big box to him. He collected it, thought fleetingly of how he just acted like a bellboy and hoped she won’t attempt to give him some change after they reach their seats.

‘I can help you with that one too’. He motioned at the smaller hand luggage. Her eyes widened in an emotion he couldn’t decipher, she stared down at it and shook her head.

‘I’m fine really. Thanks’ another smile.

They were both in first class. Good. First class tends to have empty seats so even of they weren’t seat mates, he hoped the seat near hers will be vacant. The connection he felt with her couldn’t just be lost on the train.

‘What’s your seat number?’ He asked, he willed her to say seat 31, the one near his.

’54’ she replied. Dang!

He hauled her box up the rack. She smiled in appreciation.
‘Thank you. Where’s your seat’. She was just being polite.

’32’ he said motioning with his head to the rows of seats behind.

She nodded, he stood still for a  bit waiting for an invitation from her to join the seat but she had already settled on her seat and was rummaging through her handbag. The hand luggage was wedged between her leg and the seat in front of her and it looked uncomfortable.

He bent to help her put it up also on the rack but was cut off by an alarmed sound the moment his hand touched the bag.

‘Don’t touch that!’ She exclaimed.  Then realised her voice was a notch higher than cottony. She lowered her eyes in shyness and looked away. ‘I want this one beside me’ she explained further.

He nodded and left wondering about the very sudden outburst. His mother had always warned him to never open a lady’s bag, he may be surprised at the things he might find. His mother never said anything about touching it.

He settled on his seat but his mind was restless and soon enough, his body grew restless too. Something was enigmatic about her. He wanted to find out.

He stood up and pretended he was going to buy something in the corner canteen . He wanted to see if the seat near her was like his, empty.  But there was an elderly man seated there struggling to settle his laptop on the small fold-in table attached to the back of the seat in front of them.

He passed by them. She was still typing on her phone. He bought two meatpies and two drinks them came back beside the man who sat beside ‘his lady’.

‘ Sir if you want to work on your laptop you could have my seat. It’s that one in the middle by the charging  point.  If the lady assents of course’.

Both he and the man turned to look at her, both with pleading eyes. She smiled for a fraction of a second then shrugged.  The man thanked him, carried his bag and headed to the table spot. With the charging point near him, he could finish his preparing his presentation long enough to have time to hack into his girlfriend’s instagram account.  He had a feeling she’s doing something fishy over there.

‘I’m sorry. I hope I’m not imposing myself’ he said, he didn’t sound sorry.

‘I don’t mind’ she replied. He extended the snack and drink to her, she shook her head. He insisted,  she collected it and kept it near him. Then they started talking.

Because her speech is soft, one will hardly notice how much of a conversationalist she was. But he noticed,  as he noticed everything about her. Like the way her gze kept gliding by the bag.

They spoke about plenty things, their family, their early life, University.  She didn’t go into depth,  she avoided some aspects, he noticed that too.

Before he knew it, they had arrived. Ut was the shortest Abuja -Kaduna train ride he had ever been on.

He helped her with her bag. They went down the stairs and stood at the end waiting for their rides.  Hers came first and he was ad to say goodbye. At least he had her number. Our love story started on the train. It was a classic one. That was what he’ll tell their kids and grandkids,  he thought.

It was only when he heard a phone ring beside him that ge realised in horror,  she had forgotten her lady bad.

He picked it up. Moved forward trying to see whether they were still in view or had turned back to get it but the cars and people where fewer then. It was already past 8:00 pm. Last train for the day.

He decided to open it and answer. No doubt it was she trying to get her phone back.

He opened the bag, reached for the phone, froze. It was no lady bad, it was a death bag. There was a sleek metallic gun, some bottles, three fingers wrapped in something like cling film, some clothes stained with blood and by the side, huddled between the clothes, a human skull stared at him with empty hollowed out sockets.

He dropped the bag in fear and turned around in confusion hoping no one had seen him but he saw her. She smiled,  itbwas everything but warm and fluffy.

‘It’s quite unfortunate.  I really liked you. Didn’t your mother teach you not to open a lady’s bag?’.

Before he could move, a car stopped behind him. He heard the door open and all in a split second with shock rendering him immobile, someone covered his face with a cloth heavy with chloroform and he sunk into it’s intoxicating lure all the while staring into her eyes. Her hardened, lifeless, scary eyes.

He should have heeded his mother’s advice.

Keeping Up With Social Media

Social media is the greatest most destructive millennial development. It has turned the whole world into a global street so that you can access information and people with no fuss. Now while that’s mostly a good thing, you stumble on things that make you question your choices.

One of the very first platforms to reach Nigeria was Hi-5. I didn’t know about the Hi-5 craze until it was almost over and almost all my friends were on it. I wasn’t particularly crazed about the prospect of meeting strangers I couldn’t actually meet.

Then came Facebook, then 2go, then BBM now these I actively participated in. So I watched the metamorphosis of those platforms from media of connecting with people to a means of corrupting people. 2go was the worst.

People thought the most they could do was chat up friends and family, make new friends, try to lure people of the opposite gender into a flirting spree, exchange phone numbers etc. When I’d log on 2go and see the nonsense going on in different groups, I’d think that is the height of it. Little did I know that it was a saintly arena compared to the future decay.

Now many of those social media platforms are just mine fields of indecency, insecurity, narcissism, immorality and many mental ills.

People utilize it for social harm and gratification out of that than for social good and a free conscience.

The timelines of Facebook are marred with lies and time-wasting stories rather than important news and socializing.

The pages of Instagram are riddled with gossip and name-calling rather than sharing and catching up.

The streets of 2go are deconsecrated by immoral ideals and vapid talk.

Even LinkedIn, a professional networking site has more love and immoral proposals in the message sectionthan work proposals.

Youtube content helps you waste hours and plenty data watching people spew useless stuff which you won’t remember in a few hours time.

Snapchat affords you a chance to watch small children ‘live there best lives’ according to social aesthetics even if they aren’t necessarily happy about that and yes, you can follow everyone’s lives right up to the colour of their underwear because that’s the whole point. Then after that, gossip about what you watched in the Dms.

And then when they have adulterated the true use of the platforms, they meet on WhatsApp.

If you wish to maintain your dignity as a person do not be caught dead roaming the streets of some platforms because they are a one-chance street.

And to maintain your sanity in others do not believe a word posted or a smile splayed or a story said or a life displayed because anyone can take a happy picture, but only a few are truly happy after the shot.

Now all of these realisations took time and change to register. And according to the true nature of the platforms, it is a duty upon you to keep up with trends, literally follow the lives of the people you are following(because you have nothing better to do), suck up all the idealogies and propaganda they subtly release because that is about the aim of the apps and be a merry smartphone puppet.

Now all that notwithstanding, social media is an absolutely amazing tool for those who actually know how to use it for the best and that’s those who know how to develop themselves, network, form meaningful relationships or strengthen existing ones, be productive, impact others, source for jobs or further their businesses and generally positively develop themselves.

Just know that it should be more for keeping in touch than gossiping and stalking. It should be more for linking up with like minded people than negative ones, it should be more for putting your capabilities out their than putting your life and beauty none of which are your achievements.

The Season Of Moral Decay

Life’s not meant to make sense all the time.

Sometimes we don’t make sense and life has no sense and nothing makes sense.

It’s a topsy turvy world. An hourglass kind  of place, today you are high up the contentment scale and tomorrow, rock bottom.

I won’t tell you that you can do it and you’ll be fine and you should pick up the fallen senses and build a six story mansion in the sky because then I’ll just be like a con-artist motivational speaker.

I’ll tell you that in my years on earth (which might seem not that much) I figured that you are entitled to your plenty ‘life is not making sense periods’.

It’s not necessarily teenage years or mid-life crises, everything in between counts and should not be downplayed.

If life makes sense 24/7/4/12 then I doubt life will even be any fun or interesting. I mean you’ve figured everything out, move on to the next level.

There’s a reason why we need God , there’s a reason why we need to confide and seek His guidance, if everything is spelt out then I hardly think we will.

The figuring out part, the contemplation on direction, the part where you are trying to reconcile who you really are, who you thought you were and who you’d like to be , the confusing part (who should I be with, what’s best for me), the unraveling part, the puzzle-solving part of life is actually 80% of it and eventually it gives life meaning and keeps you on your toes and growing.

So life doesn’t make sense? Yup, mine too most times is jumbled up but las las, we go dey alright.

My heart is throwing tantrums today

Telling me to make it stop

Make her stop feeling the varying dark emotions

Which cease her at random moments

Like many different cards slotted in the same money machine.

 

 

My heart is sulking today

She said I didn’t swipe away

From the photos of dead bodies that lay

Strewn everywhere on the streets of Israel.

 

My heart has gotten herself a pair of muffs 

To shut her ears to all the stories told

About pain and struggle and torment children face 

My heart looked at my lifestyle and said ‘theirs is no way to live’

What my heart fails to get is that it touches me too

It shakes my soul the stinks of this world too

But I can barely do anything to alleviate it

And that makes my heart agitated.  

She said she can’t believe I can be so heartless.

 

 

Today my heart is shedding uncontrollable tears

A small girl, barely an infant tore her life to an end

A baby who can not say Mama has been raped 

A man was told it isn’t his place to feel any pain

And try as I may

To calm her down

Tell her that I just can not scream for them stop

My heart has a mind of her own

So she cries some more

And I wonder

Who is a bigger coward

I, who’d watch sorrow play

And do nothing thinking I can’t stop it

Or my heart,  who’d shut her ears 

To the cries of the world

Believing she can do nothing to make it stop.

I
It came wrapped in ribbons
Bright red ribbons and cheap glossy paper wraps
The first time it came
My mom beat me up blue
She said you are only in primary 5
What do you know about love
I still hate that boy till today
His unsolicited attention caused me pain
I remember it was on a valentines day.
II
It came wrapped in spiky ribbons
This time it had a face
And a very beautiful face I must say
It placed itself in my way all day
Till I took notice of it and called it bae
And bae made sure he left my heart a wreck
III
It came wrapped in a brown sheet
With a tie hanging from it’s square neck
And it had a voice of authority
Which affected me like a placebo
It was time, they said
To accept the gift that came
But they didn’t know I had already accepted me.
IV
We are to ourselves, gifts
Others, a bonus
Large bonuses
Negative bonuses
Beautiful bonuses
Life-changing bonuses
But first, you are the gift
And without them, you still exist
But with them, life has a much deeper meaning
IG- escribbler_
Wattapad- Hansatuu
She was in a rush.  She was in an extreme hurry trying to unmangle the mixed up chatter of instructions in her head of what to buy and what to do and who to call and what to say and what to cook and… long what to’s.
She hardly slept the night before and had to leave home early the next day because the curtains are not in the right colour and the carpet which was purchased months ago had the wrong pattern and it could be overlooked but that was the same pattern for the custom-made sofa fabrics so… Oh and the gown for the second dinner was an inch too lose on the top and an inch too tight by the knees, bride could fall while walking. Somehow, brooms and packers for the brides house had been conveniently forgotten and oh!  Match sticks and ingniters, with coals please, you know, for incense.
Her brain was buzzing with a long list of instructions as she manuovered through the market with the expertise of one who went only once in about 4 months. She hadn’t taken her bath, she felt uncomfortably sweaty, she hadn’t even brushed and the long hijab was whooshing all over her. She cut through lanes and somehow always ended up in the vegetable place. She sighed in frustration and turned back through the same place she came from. Her sister was in full bridezilla mode. The ugly kind.
She finally located the place where the nuts and screw people where. She needed screws because some screws for the bag hanger were missing. She opened her wallet and got a wink by emptiness, no cash.
She sighed in frustration and opened her mouth to ask to transfer, but how could they, they barely have a standard wheelbarrow.  She decided to try her luck still.
“Please um!. Please do you accept transfers?”. She asked in a small voice. She felt suddenly so nervous
 and stupid.
The old man with the screws turned to his counterpart,  a young man selling shoe polish and brushes. ‘Ka gane me take nema?”. Old man had no idea what she was proposing.
‘Transfer? As in can I transfer to your bank account?’.
Young man caught the word ‘bank’ and hissed. “
You want me to keep my money in the bank so they can use it to fund Buhari’s election?” He said in Hausa. ” You people think you are wise but you are the ones being fooled”.
She left without the screws, afraid that maybe a screw in her head was loose.
She quickly hurried to the ATM ignoring 30 missed calls from her sister, mother, her Aunt and her sisters friend.
She waited on the line for ages before it was her turn. And then the card decided it was comfortable inside the ATM so it stayed in. Frustrated,  she left the card inside noting to file a complain after her self-promised 24 days of hibernation after the wedding.
She had just exited the bank gates when she caught sight of him. She had just concluded that her day could only get worse when she saw him, she couldn’t have been more wrong. Her sister had always said she’ll meet her ‘the one’ during her wedding. She was right but not in her wedding.
He was standing on the opposite side of the road looking all shades of manly gorgeousness. She knew it then, in the marrow of her bones she knew she had to look no further because if the way he reacted to the sizzle of tension that sparked for those seconds their eyes clashed was any indication, he was also suckered. Then she felt the pull.
It was an unexplainable force of attraction like a hand slowly luring her forward towards the half of her soul. She was oblivious to the world around, to the people passing and life moving- they all were mere blurred edges in her story. The light was his smile as he edged nearer to her too, the moth was she, both to each other.
And then it hit her, from nowhere. The car tried to screech to a halt but it was going too fast and the lady in long hijab was deaf to it’s honks.
She felt nothing but a sense of somethings presence.  Or someone.  She tried to pry her eyes open, she knew he was beside her where he was meant to be but caught only a glimpse of those dark intense and very familiar eyes before the pain took over racking her every sense and she could feel her soul depart.
She got up all bleary eyed and puff faced when she heard the locks turn. He was back.
He stepped and shut the door behind him before looking at her. He almost sighed in welcome frustration. It was going to be the same routine again. A routine he enjoyed because of the sheer rush of power it gave him.
‘Are you okay?’ She asked. She was torn between reaching out to touch him and staying within the invisible boundaries he had put up which only he could cross. Maybe if she didn’t push it, he will start staying with her.
She wrung her gown with unstill hands and waited for him to reply. She wasn’t sure when she became nervous near her husband, he never beats her, he doesn’t even raise his voice not to mention a finger. But that made her more nervous , the calm.  The roaring thunder is always more peaceful than the silent lightening.
‘Come come here. I’m fine. Of course I’m fine’. She moved slowly towards him and he embraced her. She was feeling the tears lodge in her throat, when he was affectionate, which was most times, she always felt the tears. But she never let them fall, he may think her a weak woman who is being too clingy and needy, she didn’t want that. She knew that he married her for a certain appeal in her independent spirit and a thrill in the long chase she made him do. What went wrong -what made her so shrunk in size and spirit, so dull and slow, and so frail in ego was beyond her. Love probably.
‘Have you eaten?’ He asked. She shook her head. She hadn’t eaten since the hour he left home.  Never seemed to be able to eat or sleep when he wasn’t home. He left three days ago.
‘But why? You look starved.  Let’s get you something to eat, have your bath and rest okay?’ She nodded.
I’ve told you, whenever I am not home, it’s because I’m working and the network in the office is bad, I never seem to connect with your line. Don’t worry about me okay?’.  He said as he laid her to sleep after she was full and refreshed.
‘Now let’s give you your shots. Less worry, more healthy. Okay?’ She nodded again her eyes wide in anticipation. She had a disease too complicated for her to comprehend and he took care of her, only he was willing to stay with her and give her her shots of injection. After that, the whole world seems alright again and she honestly never cared about what he did. She was always in a state of unexplainable euphoria and to the outside world,  she was a perfectly happy housewife.
‘There there’ he said and patted her arm where the needle was just pulled out  ‘You’ll be alright. I’ll be right here’
He waited for her to sleep then pulled out a box from the top of the dresser, the shots were about to finish,  he needed a larger dose to keep her high and off his case. He loved his wife, at least he loved knowing he had a wife, it made him more appealing to other girls and the fact that he had tamed such a wild shrew to become his personal powerless pet was a mighty boost to his ego.
Besides, he was sure that was the only way she could ever remained married to him. She wouldn’t have it that he was a man for many women and he had vowed never to be divorced, it was sign of failure.
He packed up some fresh sets of clothes, some wads of cash dropping a bundle of hundred thousand naira beside her and dropped two tablets of rophynol into a bottle of water beside her. Then as a second thought,  added three more.
They were doing it. They were finally doing it!.
She didn’t look at her husband all through the journey. He didn’t look at her either and none of them turned to look at the backseat where she lay knocked out.
She cracked her knuckles, she was nervous, not scared, not anxious, nervous. They couldn’t be seen doing it.
It could be a bad idea, but never a bad decision. When she remembered the hell they had to put up for four years, she was sure they had to get rid of …it / she whatever it was.
Oh but she was a pure angel during birth.  Her daughter, Afwa, was a serene one. People never got tired of commenting on her peacefulness.
 ‘What a peaceful baby’ they’d say ‘she sleeps all through the night and wakes up only a few times for some refreshment. She never fusses. Not at all’.
And she will beam in pride and tell them another tale to corroborate Afwas peacefulness.
Second year, Afwa learnt to walk then talk, she was a pretty fast learner,  super smart kid. They used to banter, she and her husband on who she got her smartness from. That was before she started becoming something else.
 First it was complains from the neighbours kids and her sisters kids about Afwa hurting them, even the older ones. She used to discoutenance it as play-gone-wrong.
Then the girl started hurting her and her husband. A prick with a blade, paper blazing with fire dubbed from the gas cooker on her hand, a stab to the leg. Each time she will stand before them and laugh. She never ran, they never beat her. They couldn’t.  She started getting really worried.
She got the Mallam, her daughter had to be possessed. It was the only explanation. But after the Mallam was chased away from the room where the exorcism was taking place like a wild man and without a proper explanation, they decided it was really beyond minor ‘possession’.
A string of Mallams came and where sent away never to return through year three, four and five. In those years, Afwa had burnt down the house, cost her father his job, and smothered her baby sister to death. She always laughed in a monotonous high pitched voice while at it. It was too much for them, she was the devils incarnate in the form of a 5 year old.
The last straw. Her mother dreamt of them- she and her husband- tied by Afwa by the fireside with other children as sacrifice to whichever thing they served, she prayed so hard until she felt  herself zoom back to the land of consciousness.  She found Afwa straddling her, her face right in front of her, a wicked smile playing on her lips. Then she jumped off laughing and walked out to cause some more grief.
Her husband had the same dream too. The next Mallam told them that she was ‘Yar ruwa. She belonged to the river. They had to take her to riverside at the break of dawn so her people could fetch her, else, she will sacrifice them both.
‘Hold her arms, I’ll hold  her legs’ she suggested to her husband. She didn’t want to touch the girls hands even though she was heavily sedated. The hands looked like something extremely sinister.
They carried her out of the car. She was so much heavier than a five year old child. They  dropped her by the riverside as per the instructions and her husband threw in three stones into the river.
‘Good Morning People of the river. We are here with one of you. We have brought her back in peace. Please let us be’.
They turned and walked back. Afwa’s father wiped the tears pooling in his eyes before they fell . Afwa’s mom felt nothing.
They could feel something different the moment they stepped back into the house. It felt light, airy and brighter. Like the demonic presence has been lifted. No regrets.
‘Mama’. She heard the voice say before she felt a tap on her knees. ‘Mama I’m hungry’.
Her heart skipped a beat. It couldn’t be.  But it was her voice. But she was gone. She slowly opened her eyes.
Afwa stood before her looking all innocent, every inch a five year old.
‘Mama I’m hungry’ Afwa repeated.
‘How did you get here?’ She asked. Her voice was shaking badly. She tried to get off the sofa where she was enjoying her post-Afwa rest but couldn’t.
 ‘How did you?’.
‘Mama I’m hungry too’.
Afwas mother knew, as sure as she knew herself, that she had given birth to only one child when she gave birth to Afwa. But there standing by the kitchen door, holding a knife, was a girl exactly like Afwa, she could be her clone.
‘Mama I’m hungry’ they said in unison. Then burst out laughing

How inconsistent are you? Are you like me, better or worse?  Do you also start a project with soooo much energy and spirit you feel like a space ship running on a million gallons of fuel. Then the fuel level starts dropping, and you start eyeing Earth. Then it drops, and drops till the only thing keeping you up are mere drops and fume. You chute up but there’s no steam and down you come crashing to Earth… and reality. And there goes the tail of the project… away and onto the next.

It’s always a good idea till it becomes hard work and only very few things you are truly passionate about pass the test of time.

You went to a make up class all geared up, you learned the art, you feel like in 3 months time you’ll be Mamza effortlessly gliding your brush against peoples faces accentuating their beauty and making it bold. You are the real deal. Then three months come and you don’t even like the sight of an eye pencil. ‘Makeup might not be for me’, you say ‘I’ll open a website today’.

I know your likes, you are like me. A free spirit. A tester of everything. You crave newness, your soul needs refreshing so you jump from a tree to another never quite letting the last one to fully grow.

It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, sad in fact that we have focus yet what we lack most is focus.

Close in for a group hug… and a plate of cheesecake.

I live in phases. I phase in and phase out. 5 years ago, I started my blog. It was my not-secret diary. I write stuff that mattered to me. It was liberating… but that was just on one part because on the most rewarding part; people read.

People actually read my scribbled thoughts, my thrown-together muses, my detachable imaginations and they appreciated it. Some even sent DMs to express their appreciation for reading my diary (weird when I say it like that) but I was happy I wrote.

Then I stopped, I had phased out of open diary writing stage and moved on to the next ‘thing of interest’. Looney human.

Anyway my loyal and ever-willing blog hadn’t seen an update for 2 years plus and yet, it never gave up on me. Thank you blog bae, I’ll be more caring now In Sha Allah.

So after reading tnene.com, a blog kept by a fellow lawyer who had contacted me about liking my write ups some 4 years ago my motivation came back and I found myself DMing her about hers. Check out her blog, it’s insightful… very.

I just hope this is a phase I can maintain. I intend on making the posts short and sharp.

So, all my poems, short stories, worries, crazy thoughts, perspectives, humor, satirical writing and anything writing from now on (to the duration of this hopefully forever phase) will be on my blog.

Do keep up with the escribbler and let me know what you think always.

See you (more).