2011: The Back Story

Author’s Note:
This is the back story to the poem 2011. If you haven’t read it, click here
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person or place is purely coincidental.

 

DAY 90
0500 GMT

My eyes flicked open suddenly. In the semi-darkness I groped for my earphones. Then I lurched towards the table where the extension board lay. The amber lights glowed insidiously. I unplugged my phone and pitched back into bed. I slid the phone up and started my music player. Then I hugged my pillow tight as the hot tears streaked down my cheeks. I bit into it, muffling my sobs.

 

0800 GMT

I made my way towards my department. Head bowed, listening to music. I passed by Baffour and the gang at the carpark where they usually ogled the girls and catcalled them. I went through the gate and winced. The studio was in a mess again. The lecturer was certainly going to lay into me again. “Why did I even volunteer to be course rep?” I muttered to myself. I went and dumped my bag in my usual spot at the front of the class and grabbed a broom. Quickly I started sweeping. The talkative girls in the class hushed up at the sweeping strokes. I paused briefly to adjust the earphones.

“Hi.” I turned around. It was Mavis again. She flashed her gap-toothed smile at me. I grimaced. “Hey.” I replied. “Need a hand?”  she motioned towards the part of the studio still unswept. I shrugged. “As for you di3.” She came for the broom and punched me playfully. Meanwhile the chatter had gone back up again. I stepped back as Mavis sashayed across the space. For a few minutes I watched her apple bottom going through the motions then I went back into the lecture hall.

A few minutes later she plonked into the seat right beside mine. Looking a bit disheveled but still beaming a wide smile at me. Mavis had big eyes and a snub nose. Her smile was electric though. She wore an orange t shirt with the inscription “Pinch me I’m cute”. I smiled, or tried to.

The lecturer curtly walked into class and I snapped forward, before Mavis could try to make any conversation.

1100 GMT

I milled through the sea of students pouring out of the small department gate. I heard someone call my name. I turned. It was Mavis, all five foot-two of her pear figure swept underfoot in the rush. There was only one lecture on Fridays, so most people usually rushed to the bus station to catch the bus to Accra. I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend though. My immediate concern was brunch. I hadn’t had anything to eat. I went straight to the car park to wait for Mavis. I don’t know why she was calling me.

“Who you de chok, ma guy?” queried Baffour. He was seated on the short wall with his cronies. I looked him in the eye and shrugged. Baffour scratched his aquiline nose and glared back. He had a hawkish feel about him. His gold necklace glinted in the sunlight as he bobbed his head to some hip-hop music one of his friends was playing. “I sure say he de chok Mavis.” Frosty, one of his buds replied.  I gave him the once over.
“That girl de feel you charle. If you no like a, tell me make I handle am cos the dull things you de do di3. The way she de bee san so get body, everybody en eye dey top.” I sighed. Not this again. “I no know what I go tell you sef.” I looked at him again. I towered over him. Presently I felt an arm wrap round my waist. I knew who it was without even looking. “Let’s go.” She whispered.
“Mavis.” Baffour called out. “Yes, Baffour. How can I help you.” Her shrill voice pitched almost musically. “You for come visit me sometime o. This jon boy you de follow no go help you. The way I de feel you, you for come make I show you some one-two bi like that.” Baffour made to hold her free hand. Mavis giggled, and side stepped. “No thank you Baffour. Besides aren’t you dating Mawusi? You know she’s my friend.” “Oh, abi you too you be ma friend. If you come visit me what go happen? You de do like I be some distin. You di3 e chill.”
“Mavis let’s go. I’m hungry.” I pulled her away from the car park and walked away. “Aww.” She rubbed my stomach. “Let’s go to my hostel. I cooked some food.” I nodded and let her lead me away.

As we made through the path to her hostel behind campus, we spoke. Mavis is my best friend’s girlfriend. He happened to be in another school. So I was kinda in charge of her wellbeing here. You’d never know, from the way she looked out for me. Not that I cared. Nothing really moved me.

I absentmindedly flicked my phone up. The love of my life beamed back at me. Penny. It had been ninety days since the incident. I reached for my earphones from my pocket almost immediately. Mavis smacked my hand. “I told you. When you’re walking with me no earphones.” She punched me in the shoulder again.

We reached the ruins of a wall which corralled her hostel. I reached across. “Help me over.” Mavis beckoned. Don’t look at me funny. It was either the wall or the main gate. The hostel manager didn’t like boys coming to the hostel for any reason. Everyone avoided him by using the ruined wall route. I picked her up like a child. There are advantages to being six foot-six. She snuggled right on my shoulder and I carried her to her room. It was an unspoken rule we had. I caught a whiff of her perfume. She smelled like frangipani blossoms.

Wordlessly we went right into the meal. Rice and gravy. Not like I was going to eat anything better if I had gone to my room. Mavis had no roommate. Who would? If their room was a cramped cubicle only twice as big as I was tall. Somehow though it seemed spacious. Maybe it was the way she arranged her stuff in the room. There was one window with twin shutters which filtered in rays of light. We never bother to turn the lights on. I went to her porch to do the dishes while she went to take a shower. I took the plates back inside. The curtain separating her bathroom from the rest of the room rustled. I looked up and saw Mavis.

Mavis had her towel wrapped around her. The ceiling fan creaked noisily in the silence that followed. A bead of sweat trickled down my temple. It was steamy all of a sudden. “Come here.” I croaked. Wordlessly she waltzed to me and unbuckled my trousers none too gently as I sat on her cot. She straddled me and I felt the hairy warmth between her legs. Her lips were slightly parted. We kissed furiously as her towel fell to the floor.

 

1500 GMT

I picked up my clothes from the floor and put them on. Mavis was still sleeping. In the half light, she looked childlike. Her small breasts heaved rhythmically. I touched her cheek and she murmured her boyfriend’s name. I grabbed my bag and stole out of the room. I went to the bus stop and hailed a taxi headed to the shore. I needed to get my mind off this.

About half a kilometre from the beach, I got out and trekked. The sea gleamed turquoise today. The sea spray was cooling as it buffeted my clothes. I walked out to the waves. There was a cluster of rocks which showed at low tide. I perched atop it and looked into the great expanse. I pulled out my phone and flicked it open. I went to messages and immediately dialed in a familiar number. Message one hundred and seventy-eight. “I slept with Mavis again today. I don’t think its her fault. Maybe she misses her boyfriend that’s why she gets with me. She’s a good girl though. She’s funny and has a beautiful smile. But she got nothing on you. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. She’s my best friend’s girl. I miss you. I miss talking to you. Hearing your voice going loco over some stuff you really like. Please text me back.” My finger hovered over the send button. I pressed the “save as draft” button and pushed my phone back into my pocket. The breakers swirled at the bottom of the rock. It was a quiet beach day though. No one else was here. I grabbed my phone in my pocket and squeezed. I felt the plastic splinter a little. I wanted to throw something. I looked at the horizon and screamed.

 

2348 GMT

The music blared across the hall floor. My vision swam, as I cradled a cup full of punch in my hand. Cup number twenty-six. The room was humid with the sweaty bodies of boys and girls dancing and groping. I withdrew into the inner room. It was dark. I reached out of support as I tottered in. I touched flesh and a girl squealed. “Charle you for make steady o.” a gruff voice intoned. “Boss sorry wai.” I apologized and sat on the floor.

I was holding Marvin’s room phone. He had a landline in the room. Perks of being an SRC rep. I dialed in the familiar number using my backlit phone as illumination. The dial tone buzzed in my ears.

“Hello?” her voice came through on the other end. “Penny.” I breathed, my tongue slurred. “Russell?” she sounded panicky. “Penny. I- I – I messed up again.” I spoke again. I heard her breathing at the other end. “I slept with my best friend’s girlfriend. I don’t even feel bad about it.”

Penny said nothing. “Penny!” I bawled into the phone. “I miss you. Talk to me. Say something please.” Penny’s breath quickened. “Please. I still love you. I need you. My life is empty without you.”

The couple making out in the room said something. I ignored them. “Russell. You can’t keep doing this to yourself.” Penny’s voice cracked. “I know. I’m lucky you picked up. I’m lucky we’re still talking. Please don’t go.” My voice suddenly pitched. I took a swig of the punch. “You had two Russells and you chose the wrong one, Penny. Can’t you see that I love you?”

“I have never had any feelings for you. I’m happy with Russ. I don’t understand why you can’t be happy for me. I just can’t” her voice broke. “Penny was sobbing. “Does it matter? I know he treats you like crap. Sleeping with other girls and other things. You know I’d never do that to you.”

Penny fell silent. “Penny? PENNY!” I screamed. “I gotta go. I’m sorry. I can’t keep talking to you if you’re just going to be like this.” She sounded hushed. “Penny. Please don’t go. I’m sorry. I’m- “the line clicked, and the phone went dead in my sweat slicked hand. I let the receiver go. It clacked to the floor.

I started laughing. It rose in crescendo, a raucous guffaw that unsettled the couple and they finally left the room; raining curses at me.

I laughed harder.

 

Drake – Marvin’s Room

image courtesy google images

© Sena Frost ‘17

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The Yawa of Leonidas

Featured Image: Leonidas from Meet the Spartans, 2008

Image courtesy Google Images

 

“Leonidas”
I froze. “Leonidas” the voice spoke again. I gulped. I swiveled away from my friends in the direction of the voice. I looked up into her eyes. For a moment, she looked into mine and then she blinked and looked away. I smiled sheepishly. “Yes, Lorlor.” “Mr. Somuah said I should tell you we should bring the Pre-Tech drawings to the workshop after second break.” I scanned her face again. She held her gaze this time and the edges of her lips curled. “Okay. I will tell the class.” I told her. She turned away from me without a word and went back to her desk.

I watched her go and sighed. A loud harrumph from the boys alerted me to my surroundings. I rose quickly and went to the front of the class. It was free period so everyone was just chatting and playing. Kwame Obeng and his friends were huddled at the end of one of the rows. They were playing paper ball. Kesewa and her girls sat nearby oblivious to the boys’ little grunts below them. Goodness knows who they were talking about this time.

“Excuse me!” I yelled. The chatter muted. “Yes Leonidas, what is it?” shouted Kofi Kumi. “Mr. Somuah said we should bring the pre-tech drawings after second break. If you have finished please put it on the teacher’s table.” I wiggled my ears as a small gasp arose from the paper ball boys. The energetic talk before was replaced with nervous murmurs. There was a collective clatter as people placed their drawing boards on their desks. Mr. Somuah never hesitated to use his cane if we did not submit our drawings. Woe betide us if one person failed to submit his or her work. The whole class would pay for it.

I glanced around the classroom again as it suddenly went quiet. She sat in the front row, black jacket pulled over her blue check uniform. Her auburn hair was cut in a close crop as per school rules. I let out an audible sigh. Kesewa, ever so nosy raised her head quickly. I shuffled away but she had already caught me staring at Lorlor. I quickly went back to my seat dreading the stories she was going to cook up. Quickly I looked at my drawing again. The borderlines were crooked. I loathe drawing borderlines.

Presently the bell for second break rang. A plaintive wail rose from the back. I knew it was Kwame Obeng and his squad. They should know better. We play paper ball after school, behind the form 1 block; not when we had unfinished drawings. I hurriedly drew my borderlines again. I had double lines but I would take a minus 2 over 2 canes any day.

I sat in my desk and looked around the class again. Apart from the boys who were playing paper ball everyone else had gone out for break. Everyone except Lorlor. She was writing something in a big book. I swallowed. Lorlor Owusu Debrah was the assistant class prefect. I remember when Madam Kuvie selected her. It was the first day of JSS one. We had come with our new uniforms and sat anywhere we liked. Those of us who knew each other from class 6 sat together. Madam Kuvie changed all of that. “In my class, you will sit boy and girl.” There was a collective giggle. Madam Kuvie frowned. “Who laughed?” she asked. The whole class erupted in laughter. Now Madam Kuvie had a high voice and she was not helped by the fact that she was very short. Her face turned red and she promptly took out a cane from the cupboard and proceeded row by row yelling “All heads on the table.” The crack of the cane went 52 times; a stroke per person. “Next time you will learn not to laugh at your class teacher.” She brought her chair in front of the blackboard and started barking orders.

We went around the class massaging our backs as we found our new places. After all was done, she stood up and announced. “Now we are going to select a new class prefect. I’m sure you think I will ask you to bring names so we vote for them.” She paced among the rows. “You are wrong. I will choose for you since you think I am carrying a dead monkey on my head.”

Right behind her I sniggered. She whirled around, cane in hand. I looked at her face. Madam Kuvie was slim but had a lot of pimples. Even the badly done make up couldn’t hide it. There was a wild look in her eyes and she smiled at me. It was not a friendly smile. “You! What is your name?” she asked. Kesewa with her big mouth just shouted. “Please madam his name is Leonidas” I grimaced. “Ehh? Like the movie 300 eh.” Madam Kuvie pulled me up by the ear none too gently. “Go and stand in front of the class.” I hurried to the front. “Look at him too, he’s fat and he’s laughing at me.” The class giggled again. Clutching my ear, I glowered at Kesewa. She stuck her tongue out at me.

Just then a girl with red hair and freckles just entered the classroom. She was plump and wore a black jacket over her blue check uniform. She looked at me and smiled. “Who are you?” Madam Kuvie’s shrill voice cut the connection. “My name is Lorlor Owusu Debrah. I’m a new student.” She replied, her voice like the wind chimes tinkling at the chapel. I sighed. “Okay. Hurry up and sit down.” Madam snapped at her. She went and sat in my seat.

The class went “Ei!” “Lorlor!” Madam Kuvie yelled. “I’ve changed my mind. Come and stand by this boy here.” Wordlessly she got up and walked up to stand by me. I could feel her warmth by me. If I wasn’t so dark my face would have been as red as Madam Kuvie’s when we laughed at her voice. “These are your class prefects.” I grimaced again. I really didn’t want to be class prefect. All I did was laugh at the wrong time and here I am now.

I stood by the teacher’s table. No one was allowed to sit in the teacher’s chair. Madam Kuvie took delight in beating us. I have never been able to take her canes raw before. The break over bell rang and people came in and submitted their papers in 2 stacks. I helped Lorlor pick up one stack then took the other one. We walked to the Pre-Tech workshop in silence. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I turned to try to say something. Then Lorlor stubbed her toe against a stone and stumbled. Sheets of paper flew everywhere as she sat on the red earth, “Oh!” was all I could say. I carefully put down my stack on a clump of grass and went over to help her up. ” Are you hurt?” I croaked. She shook her head. “Sorry okay. Give me your hands.” I said and put out mine. She reached for my hands. I felt a current pass through my hands as we clasped them. Her hands were so soft! I gasped and let go. She giggled and started picking up the drawing sheets. I helped her. Mr. Somuah didn’t like the idea of being kept waiting. I watched her as she stooped, my gaze affixed to her bosom. Usually the girls put a handkerchief to cover their chests or used a hand when they swept or had to stoop.

The globules of pale flesh peeking through the top of her singlet got me suddenly excited. I felt unexpectedly warm in my groin as I went hard. I didn’t want to pee. I quickly picked up my stack of papers and lowered them. I had rooted. “How can this be happening to me at this time?” Beads of sweat trickled down my brow. “Let’s go.” Lorlor spoke. Her tingly voice was dreamy. I broke into step beside her as we quickened the pace.

We snuck into the workshop. It was empty. “Thank God!” Lorlor exclaimed. I let out a sigh of relief. We put down the drawing sheets on the big worktable in the corner. Lorlor went looking for our class marker. She found it and placed it on top of the sheets. I turned to go. Suddenly I felt a warm soft hand slip into mine. “I wanted to say thank you for helping me when I fell down.” She said. I froze and my warm discomfort grew. “It’s fine it’s fine.” I managed to blurt out. “I think I’m hurt though.” She put her leg on one of the benches and lifted the hem of her uniform to her knee. My eyes followed the movement. I saw a little scrape on her knee. “Oh, this sore will die right now.” I blurted out, paralyzed. “Okay.” She started to lower the dress. A sudden wind blew through the windows of the class and pushed her uniform hem further down. I suddenly saw her whole thigh and her underwear. She was wearing pink Hello Kitty undies. A hot wave went through my body and I felt sticky in my underwear. I was confused. “What is happening to me?”

In that moment Mr. Somuah strode into the workshop and saw everything. “Herh!” his voice boomed across the room. “Naughty children! I ask you to bring me your drawing sheets and this is what you are doing because I’m not around.” He came closer, his baritone voice sounding menacing. He had a cane in his hand and flicked it casually in his hand. He marched us out of the workshop and took us to the headmistress’s office. I tried to cover the stain with my hands as I walked sideways beside Lorlor. She had gone unearthly quiet since the incident began. Neither Lorlor nor Mr. Somuah had seen the stain. I prayed fervently to reach the office without any extra fuss. As we passed by the class, Kesewa noticed us and ran to the door. “Herh Leonidas what is that on your shorts? Raise your hand!” she shouted. The sudden sound got teachers and students coming out of their classrooms. Mr. Somuah stopped and motioned for me to take my hands off. “Sir please I beg.” Lorlor stared ahead. She had been very quiet since the beginning of the incident. “Take your hand off boy!” he roared. I resisted. He rapped my wrists with the cane and I let go. He took a look and started guffawing. “Waa see. He has piipi on his shorts.” My face burned with shame as everybody burst into laughter. I could hear Kesewa hooting “Oh Leonidas has done yawa.”

Lorlor could not stifle her giggles and laughed, looking away. I stared at her dumbfounded. The tears began to flow.

 

© Sena Frost ‘17

Dog Days are Shitty Days

Every day is the same. I wake up in the darkness. I debate whether I truly want to be at work today. I then go to the underground tank in the middle of the compound house where I live and draw water. Sometimes it took longer than normal because the rope was too frayed to hold up the bucket we used to draw the water. It meant fetching a big napkin to use as a makeshift rope. Woe betide whoever’s bucket fell inside the underground tank. It would take forever to get it back. When I finally make it to the shared bathhouse I like to take my time, continuing my mental argument. Even in the shower, I am lost in thought as the cold water rains down my belly, puckering up every pore. I’m developing a pot belly. Weird considering how I barely eat these days. I throw on whatever clothes my hands touch first then I sling my bag over my shoulder and head out.

Sometimes I lope to the railway which is a few hundred metres away. When I’m late I take my time to walk to the bus stop, if you can even call it that. The taxis have taken over the place and forced the tro-tro drivers to park in the middle of the road. I like to call them troskies after the parlance of us millennial pidgin speakers. The police who come there sometimes sack them, most other times they just look on; their pallid reflective shirts making them look awkward in the fray. It was a different prospect getting a trosky. I work at Circle, and the troskies going there were regularly irregular. It didn’t matter how early you rose; there is no telling when one would show up or if it was full or not. We’d line up at the roadside, peering expectantly for any sign of a trosky with the swivelling arm of a mate.

I try to keep to myself a lot. Most of the time, I listen to music. Anything to distract me from the gnawing pain in my heart. It’s like an unsettling itch. Like something has moved from its rightful position. Yeah something has. My girlfriend just left me for another guy. A photographer who had promised to make her famous. “You’ve become so distant lately. You don’t even do the stuff you used to anymore.” She had wailed over the phone. The stuff she referred to was “gifts”; little wads of cash every other week for her to do her nails and look pretty and stuff. That was the last time we spoke. I could barely tell her anything at all. If I wasn’t talking about her in our conversations she wasn’t interested. I even wonder how we met. I think it was at a party when we were still in school. It was one of those nights where I had had a little too much to drink. She is a looker though. Five foot two, pear shaped with boobs like wild mangoes and a behind like wobbled like water balloons. She was smart, but wasn’t interested in anything intellectual. She’d rather talk about the latest fashion trends and whatever. After a couple of one night stands we hooked up and that was it.

I love her. Or I think I do. Over time she became more and more about the glam and less about us. I think she saw me as a rich kid who had so much money to blow. That was hard to deny. I mean I did live the good life on campus; always stepping everywhere in style, hitting club after club and sorting out any money issues that came with it. I think I was just scared to let her know it wasn’t like that. In making it all about the money, I suppose I had this coming. The sex barely made up for anything. If anything it became less and less till she finally dumped me. I’d miss her rump though. A memory of me stabbing away as she bounced up and down in my dingy room when she came over flitted through my mind. I switched playlists. I’ve developed a taste for loud electronic music. The more tingly the sound, the better.

I probably have the worst of luck. I hardly ever get a good enough trosky to work. Between being perched on the spare tyre or cramped up in the back seat while a stout old lady or cantankerous man spread themselves in the desired edge seat. In the trains, I’d most often stand throughout the journey to my stop. I shouldn’t complain about that but it gets to me every time. I loathe it when the trosky drivers decide to take the untarred shortcuts in a bid to outrace other troskies for more passengers. They jarred my bones and made my cramped plight even more pitiful. I’d dream of owning a car but I don’t even know how to drive. All the potential driving license money going down one frizzy haired drain. Or used to.

The morning traffic on the ride to work could be interesting. Coupled with the music banging on my ear drums I’d see things and imagine them as pictures or poems in my mind’s eye. Even when my eyes watered from the pain from the metal frames pressing against my shins or kneecaps I’d look out the window. I try to keep as much change as possible because the thieving mates never lost an opportunity to increase the fare or withhold small change any chance they got. Never mind the unwashed bodies and smelly armpits, I needed those coins. Their unpredictability was the one thing predictable about them. Looking out sometimes gave away the newest trends in town. Big shiny billboards with all sorts of nonsense scrawled on them; the religious ones anyway. The new buildings with their colourful alucobond frames looking like something out of a Lego movie were particularly interesting. Most of them had the ubiquitous “Space to let” sign draped over their sides. Space which I’d have to sell my kidney to rent for a couple of months.

The new apartment signs rankle me the most. Shiny building blocks with nice views and astronomical prices. Certainly not worth me busting a spleen. I take careful note to see my favourite hated billboard. Hers. Yeah, she modelled for this herbal toothpaste thingy and they loved her for it. For me it was the beginning of the end. Her dimpled smile winked at me, reminding me of how her overnight popularity and need to look the part took her further away. She wasn’t even paid a dime for the billboard; or so she claimed. I sighed heavily and thought of work. Work was in a cramped office space in downtown Accra. I worked as head of outdoor services. It’s just a fancy name for delivery boy. We delivered sanitary items to hotels and corporate offices all over. I’m only the head because I can’t drive. Too smart to let go and too desperate to demand a higher wage, I feel stuck here often. All I did was stamp and verify, stamp and verify.

My boss is an asshole. She was a portly woman in her late forties. Never married and always had a scowl on her face. She strung insults from her thin lips like toothpaste being squeezed dry. Every conversation with her had a dollop of biblical quotes in them. I suspect she really hopes to get married. We break every Wednesday because she goes to midweek service at one of the churches in the neighbourhood. Every third Friday of the month was a half-day because she had to go to Kasoa for a special deliverance session from some new-fangled pastor there. She would be pretty if she smiled. I don’t remember ever seeing her smile. Her attitude bordered on outright hostility though.  I always wonder how she kept getting clients. News through the grapevine said she got her best clients from gay people and regularly gave them all sorts of jobs if they came around. All I had to do was listen when the godawful music from the radio in her office went very high. Judging by its frequency when we had female clients visiting, I think it’s true.

The pay stinks. I’ve come close to quitting so many time but my mom tells me to stay “because there are no jobs anymore.” The ex-girlfriend used to take up half the amount every month. I remember having to deal with money launderers because she wanted an iPhone 7 for her birthday. I still haven’t been able to pay off that debt. The scars crisscrossing my potbelly remind me every time it gets cold. Rent and food and transportation take up the rest. I don’t remember the last time I saw my friends or went to the movies or had a drink. It’s virtually impossible to. I subsist every single month. Most of the time I look good so my poverty hardly shows on my face. My mom (bless her soul) brings me new clothes every month from when she goes shopping for things for her boutique. I haven’t been to church in forever. I’m just too tired from working six days a week. I need money. Trouble is I need money to make money

I have a dream. My dream is to be a photographer. Not because of her or the fact that her new boyfriend is one. My friends who are into it are making some serious dough I think. I see the posts on Instagram sometimes. Seeing the smiling pretty girls I’m hardly ever going to talk to was nice sometimes.

Going on social media drains whatever credit I manage to buy on my phone so I keep it to a minimum. It’s also a good check so I don’t see the ex’s smiling visage splattered everywhere. I hate those motivational WhatsApp BCs which circulate round. They remind me of a time when I had tried to be very religious and tried the supposed straight and narrow path. I just turn off my data so I hardly ever see all that BS. I think she’s blocked me on WhatsApp. My messages don’t go through anymore. I miss sexting her and the nudes she used to send me in. Those moments were the only true distraction I had. The nudes always preceded her coming over for a booty call. I’d let go as we drummed away, sweaty palms tracing her curves and tickling her back. I remember the taste of her mouth and the way she wound her waist as we congressed on the wall. She rose pale in the light streaming in from the streetlight as we wordlessly made love over and over again. We never used any protection even when she was cheating on me. Forgive me. It’s the only thing I have any appetite for. I would never eat my toffee in its wrapper. I pushed the door to the office open and set my bag down.

Stamp and verify. Stamp and verify. Ten hours later I picked up my bag and stole out of the office. If you don’t leave quietly my boss would make you stay in and pray with her till she was ready to go home. She usually leaves at nine pm.

Travelling back home is my favourite part of my shitty routine. There’s a tranquil beauty that sets in the city after five pm. The orange hues reflected on the fancy buildings and silhouetted others. Mentally I’d frame them in pictures ready to be shot. I remember I used to take pictures with my phone until I was mugged while doing that. It was funny. I felt a knife between my ribs and a hand pulling the phone away. I didn’t bother to resist. I haven’t attempted taking photos since. Sometimes the beauty is lost on me while I’m waiting in a queue at the station. I wonder what keeps the troskies so long. It gets annoying when people try to cut the queue or when the silly station masters break it up on the premise of double queueing. It never fails to throw me back to secondary school. Another negative collection of memories I would rather not recollect. When the trosky comes in though I try my best to get a window seat.

Perched at the window, I’d listen to my heartbreak music while letting my mind drift in the kilometres being eaten away. I would not have that pleasure this evening. My phone buzzed and I lifted it to my face. In the quasi darkness of the trosky a single text message notification illuminated my face. “I think I’m HIV positive.”

I screamed.

 

© Sena Frost ‘17

image courtesy google images

 

Mental Blues

“Cudjoe! Cudjoe! Wake up!” I heard the voice from far away. Then I felt my body rising and my feet planted to the ground. Half asleep I was marched to the bathroom. Still groggy I was placed on the toilet seat. I did my thing. Next up the bath. Now that got me wide awake. I blinked as my body was washed down. “Today I don’t have a sore anywhere.” Bath over I was shunted back to the bathroom and mama was waiting for me. Pomade slathered and school shorts worn. My breakfast singlet was on in case I soiled myself.

I hurried back to the hall and waited. Mama finished up and set the table for me. Oats! Bleh. I don’t like oats because if you don’t eat it fast it becomes runny and cold. Daddy was done dressing for work and swiftly he was out of sight. I looked out the window. The sun was just rising.

It never failed to confuse me; in my English textbook little boys and girls woke up when the sun rose and always when the cock crowed. Daddy always woke me up while it was still dark, rarely ever being gentle. I frowned. Mama yelled at me. “Hurry up and finish eating.” I dug in.

A few moments later I was hopping down the stairs out the front door. Joe and co were just around the corner. We quickly walked the way to school. Daniel broke it first. “Cudjoe did you learn the times table?” My expression changed. “Ms. Sowah said today we will do mental.” The others nodded in approval. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s be saying it.” As we turned down the street to the toy store the refrain could be heard. “Two-One-Two! Two-Two-Four! Two-Three-Six!” by the time we reached the store we were on the six times table. After six we stopped because seven was hard. If only we knew what lay in store for us.

We raced across the zebra crossing in front of the school. We greeted the watchman who let us in. His nickname was xylophone because rumours had it he couldn’t spell xylophone. We clambered up the stairs to class three. No one else in the class had come. I fingered the five hundred coin in my pocket. “Let’s go and buy chips eh.” Roland suggested. I shook my head. He always brought thousand to school. He could buy anything he wanted before school started, first break and second break.

Daniel and Joe were already looking through their bags. It was time for races. I fished around my bag. Daniel had found his races car by then. It was a beauty. Blue and silver and with all four tyres still intact. I emptied my bag. Nothing! I sat on my table. Mama must have taken it out. I could only sit and watch as they ran around the classroom with their cars. The girls started coming into the class. Awurakua and her friends. They were loud and could beat you if you got into trouble with them.

Bored I leaned closer as they sat a few chairs away from me. They were saying the times table. And it wasn’t the six times table, it was nine! Nine times table! Amazed I shouted at them. “Ms. Sowah hasn’t taught us that one. Why are you learning it?” Dorcas, a tall girl (tallest in the class actually) looked directly at me. “Be there and be saying Ms. Sowah hasn’t taught us. She will beat you if you can’t say it.” The girls chimed in. There was something unpleasant about the way they sounded.

I looked at my friends busy with their cars. I sat with the girls and listened. A few minutes later the bell rang for assembly. We gathered round the front of the school. Assembly was long. I looked over at the girls standing in front of us. They were smiling. I turned around to look at my friends and the rest of the boys. They were talking about a film one of them had seen earlier.

Assembly ended and we walked back to class. I got to my seat and sat down. I took out my exercise book with the times table at the back. I looked beyond the six times table. I might as well have been watching a Chinese film.

Ms. Sowah walked into the class. She was fair and tall and hardly ever smiled. I didn’t like her. I remember the first time she taught us English. She told us that the baby duck is called a cygnet. I had read a book titled The Ugly Duckling so I knew that a baby duck is called a duckling. She called me to the front of the class and beat me. There was another time during dictation when I had written down all the words while we were reading the passage. While going around during dictation I was not writing. She beat me again. It was like I was always upsetting her. I looked at her and frowned. The class rose and chorused. “Good Morning madam.” We went through the greeting. She took a piece of chalk and wrote the dreaded word on the blackboard. Mental.

A collective hush went across the back of the classroom when the chalk stopped moving. I turned over to look at Ebo in the next row. His ears were wiggling. His shorts were wet from wee weeing on himself and he looked frightened. “Today,” Ms. Sowah announced. “We are starting the times table from six times table.” She picked up her cane from the cupboard. A lump formed in my throat.

We stumbled through the six, seven, eight and nine times table. Ms. Sowah paced up and down the rows. “Row one!” she barked. “Seven times table.” I was in row three. I pulled my exercise book out again. She caught the movement out of the corner of her eye and quickly walked up to me. “Cudjoe!” she was smiling. I rose and looked her in the eye. “Say the nine times table.” There was an ugly look in her eyes. I looked up at the cane hovering over my head and gulped.

I began. “Nine- One…”

 

THE END

Image courtesy Getty Images

The Day The World Stood Still

This is a fictious story inspired by true events.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I present

THE DAY THE WORLD STOOD STILL

‘’ Dear Diary,
Today has to be possibly the worst day of my life.’’
I shook my head once more. The day’s events had thrown me into utter disbelief. As I sat in the massive cavern that is my classroom, directly under one of two working fluorescent lights I smiled ironically. This has to be the most yawa thing which could happen to anyone. Imagine what would happen if anyone caught wind of this. In a big school. You wanna know how big? Motown big. I let out a deep sigh. Presently a mosquito hovered near my nose. A thunderclap later and there were bits of mosquito exoskeleton and goo plastered in my palms. The sound rapped sharply in the cool evening air. It seemed to reverberate as murmurs around the class. A back seat boy snarled ‘’ Ah you too what that?’’ I suppose he was interrupted in the middle of getting under a girl’s dress in the dimly lit rear of the room. I shrugged. I stared at the rest of the not so blank page and squinted. Through my half lidded eyes the world seemed to rewind.
‘’ Warning for juniors leave the annex!’’ the din of the brass bell and the hoarse bark of the bell boy cut through my sleep like a hot knife through butter. Someone muttered ‘’ This bell boy kraa ede like ring the bell hard too much.’’ ‘’ Make you no mind am. E be like say play dey en eye top.’’ Rising bell was always a cause for grief. Even though I could afford an extra ten minutes of sleep, the whiplash caused by the bell is not so easily forgotten. The house came to life raucously. I trudged out of bed. I checked whether my school uniform was safe nestled behind the thicket of coat hangers. Satisfied I made a beeline for the tubes. In the dank toilet stall a mix of relief and worry creased my face. I was constipated for three days straight. Relief because I had more time to bath and worried because I felt like I was carrying a pack of C-4 explosive in my rectum and I didn’t know when it was going to explode. I trundled through the rest of the morning ritual. No chores because of my semi-senior status. Form two third term meant we were at the top of the hierarchy. While some of my mates were busy being apex predators; having few natural enemies and plenty of prey to choose from I was largely invisible. Due to my melancholy and (enforced) solitary habits I wasn’t part of a clique. If I was part of an ecosystem I would be the seventeen year cicada sleeping under the soil. I lived a largely lonely existence.
I wasn’t looking forward to the morning. Breakfast was foregone because it wasn’t my week to eat. Empty wallet (I left it under my pillow) and empty chopbox (the padlock was stashed away in my trunk) meant I was going to have to wing it. Visiting can’t come quick enough. But it was Thursday and a gloomy one as that. Foreboding grey skies over a grey hill. ‘’ Funny.’’ I thought. The first warning started on my way to class from morning assembly. I was tall and skinny and it showed in my gait; an awkward ambling stride. I feel like a giraffe sometimes. So I was walking on the lover’s lane when I felt it. A knife twisting pain in my gut. I winced and soldiered on. Gladly I had just one paper today. Unfortunately it was in the afternoon. Around 12. It was gloomy and cold. Just great. I had left my cardigan in the house. Cardigans are ubiquitous in Motown. In hot or cold weather you were definitely going to find students wearing them. I cursed myself silently. I made it to class. Word going round was that we were going to write the paper at the Art School. Nice. If it rained we were going to be trapped. No access to the snack square or the school annex.
I sat down in silence. Everything was a bit blurry. Hunger necessitated a reduction of activities. No energy wasted on extraneous things. I avoided the group discussions. No talking. Not even to the girls. I slept away the hours. Everyone in class was accustomed to my quirky ways so I wasn’t disturbed, not till it was time to go to the Art School. GKA wasn’t ordinarily a difficult paper. The history made revising for it a chore. It could be overwhelming. Hunger pangs tore at my stomach but my concern was the slow turning of my bowels. I positioned myself in the middle of the class. It was much harder to cheat from there and I really just wanted to be left alone. The paper looked easy on the eye. I set to work. I was done in half an hour. Yeah yeah I know. I liked to finish my papers as quickly as possible and daydream or sleep the rest of the allotted time out. I felt the urge to fart and I positioned myself; one buttock up. Almost immediately I held it in.
Second warning. My eyes watered. The knife twisting gut pain was back. I wasn’t going to wing this one. I had to get to the school annex asap. I looked up at the invigilator and raised my hand. Without waiting for him to get to me I darted out of the classroom. How the art school lacks toilet facilities I have no frigging idea. I set out in my mile eating stride to cover the fifty plus metres to the school annex. Ten seconds into it and it was already a bad idea. I doubled over in pain. I started hobbling. I was in a dilemma. Holding in three days’ worth of crap was a herculean task. I was facing off nature and gravity and they were winning. I could hear the churning of my colon’s contents like an organic cement mixer. I burst out on to the road between the dining hall and the co-op shop. Then wham! It hit me again. My lumbar region screeched in pain. Tears welled up in my eyes. Mercifully there were no students in the form three block (their previous occupants were busy regaining the fat lost in three years of their academic travails). I half imagined how this situation would have panned out if they were there. Some of the boys would have been lounging out of the window waiting for unsuspecting juniors to pass by and send. One would have bawled ‘’ Yo! Form two boy. Drop.’’ I would have given them an incredulous ‘’WTF’’ look and continued my meandering on. ‘’Herh! E no be you we de call? In fact clock for there. Why are you loitering around during school hours?’’ I would have stuck my fingers in my ears. Fortunately this was never going to happen. Ultimately the delay would cause outright disgrace to me. It wasn’t worth obeying a senior for.
I laughed manically. I felt my coccyx sway. The school annex was just up ahead. I tried to increase my hobbling speed. Home straight. I veered into the hedge right beside it attempting a shortcut. The school annex was little loved. Despoiled and desecrated on a daily basis by the Anumle boys it was a place of darkness and unspeakable terrors. My need however trumped this. It was just too great for me to care. Then I heard a sound like a balloon deflating or cattle groaning. I felt the warm stickiness in the seat of my shorts. I lurched in horror. ‘’ Oh God, why now?’’ I whispered. Too late. How I tore off the shorts without a fleck of human excreta on it was mind boggling. It was bye bye boxers though. A tremor ran down my spine. A sharp cry of relief, tears of joy streaking my cheeks and the human sewer chugging its waste to the ground. A blissful idyll.
While I had the forbidden pleasure of relieving myself I wondered ‘’ What if Kasa saw me?’’ I was not about to be lulled into serendipity. He had the nasty habit of jumping students in the most undesirable areas. As I wrapped up there was still no show. I cleaned myself up by the tap which was most fortunately stationed a few feet away.
I snapped back into the present. I crossed out the opening sentence and scrawled again. I just had to record today better. The weirdest of the weird I know. It now read ‘’ Today is the day the world stood still.’’

Singularity

Just for the record I am a heterosexual man.
I however believe that homosexual people also have basic human rights.
Homophobia is a canker worse than racism.
Please enjoy the read.

SINGULARITY
The dictionaries say one of the meanings of singularity is “a trait marking one as distinct from others; a peculiarity.” I snorted in derision. I don’t believe I’m peculiar or otherwise remarkable. I looked at my reflection in the broken mirror adorning one of my walls. Bloodshot eyes rimmed in baggy sockets, sunken cheeks, cracked hairline and bedraggled hair, the slightly twisted features of my gaunt visage looked back. I smiled. The reflection grimaced. The best you can get out of a broken jaw. The jarring pain accompanying it was bliss.
I looked round my cell of a one room apartment. A single incandescent bulb glowed overhead in the otherwise dim-lit room. I was hemmed in by four dingy yellow walls stained black by dirty hands. A furniture set from the 80’s; plainly retro took up a corner. Gift from daddy’s garage junk. No TV. I don’t remember the last time I watched TV. My twitter feed was a rostrum of blow by blow news. Across from the sofa was my refrigerator. It was the same colour as the wall and even nastier inside. It was a breeding ground for cockroaches. It was another throwback to university days. The fading stickers a sad reminder of hey days long gone. In another corner was my pallet and wardrobe. Clothes strewn everywhere, the faded straw of the thin mattress barely peeking through.
I listened keenly. It was high noon. The neighbourhood music was sure to start soon. I could hear the roaches scuttling about in the fridge.the soft plinking of water from the standpipe in the compound. Presently I heard the flare of raised voices. Mr and Mrs Osei-Danquah were at it again. A janitor with gambling issues, and a wife with delusions of a Hollywood life in the ghetto. I went to the window. I had removed the mosquito netting and chicken wire ages ago. I hated it. It made my cramped apartment a boiler room. I’d rather suffer the ignominy of a thousand mosquito bites than the maddening heat of a stuffy room. I turned and looked at the center of the room. A coffee table atop the center table. A bible and my phone side by side on the center table. The bible was a throwback to more religious days and a wannabe lifestyle. The cheap piece of plastic and metal was a knock down I got from a secondhand dealer at Circle. I picked it up and caressed the spider webbed screen. A faint motion caught my eye. I almost forgot. The rope. It swung idly. I smiled.
Then I began the step up. I closed my eyes and listened again. High noon is my favourite time of day. I could hear the tinny blare of speakers from a neighbour’s room across the compound. The shrill voice of Mr Osei-Danquah and the more dulcet tones of his wife. The loud screech of a taxi with worn out brake discs and the stream of putrid insults from a pedestrian who just cheated death. The effluvium of Ga from the kenkey seller around the corner. The rangy cries of children playing “alikoto” in the shade of the Neem tree in the middle of the compound. The Osei-Danquahs had quieted down. I listened more keenly. I could hear the soft slapping sounds of lovemaking, the grunts and low moans. Just like the Osei-Danquahs to make love after war. I rubbed my wrists. The sting of half healed cuts crisscrossing my forearms brought me back from my idyll. I breathed in and out. Then I prayed. I hadn’t done that in a long time ago. “God I thank you for the gift of my life. I thank you for making me who I am. May be I am strong so you gave me a weakness to mock me. May be I am a weakness you are using to mock a strong person. I have tried living in this world. I have failed. Living has become too much of a chore. I know I am hell bound, but it is to prevent more grief and judgment. I thank you once again. Amen.” The words rang hollow in my head.
A lifetime ago I was a staunch Christian. I loved the Word. I sung in church, I gave my tithes and I enjoyed going on missions. I tried to do no wrong. To be a good child of God. Everything changed when I met him. We met on a tro tro going to Circle. I was going to buy a phone, (my cheap piece of plastic I mentioned earlier.) and he was going to fix a friend’s phone. He was streetwise and helped me get my phone. I took his number and boom, fireworks! He is the sweetest man I have ever known. Then the church got wind of my relationship. I was kicked out of the choir. My volunteer services were revoked. Even my tithing was stopped. The head pastor advised me vehemently against such a “harmful” relationship. How could I? Oh Richmond. I have never known love to exist in such a pure form before. We had no sex. I don’t believe in pre-marital sex. I loved his calm demeanor and easy going outlook to life. He loved music, sports and video games. He could score me for hours on end during his so called FIFA tutorials.
Everything went down the drain. Somehow my colleagues at the ad company where I worked as a photographer were poisoned against me. I lost everything. My job, my faith and now my love flushed away. I had been avoiding his calls for a week now. He didn’t know where I lived. I never showed him. I was going to hurt him. I was doing it because I love him. I had to spare him the disgrace I was living through. I felt tears burn down my cheeks. I faced the noose. Dying terrified me but the thought of Richmond suffering in the bigotry of the society we live in was bone chilling to no end. I put the noose around my neck and tightened it. I made sure the knot held. My previous attempt resulted in my fractured jaw. How thoughtful of the previous occupant of the room to install fan hooks.
Slowly I swung forward. I did not fight the choking. The cheap nylon bit into my neck. I always figured dying would be painful. I was acutely aware of my diminishing oxygen supply and the nerve receptors ringing alarm bells. The stars grew larger and brighter. I was dying because I loved a man. I was dying because I did not want a forbidden love to cause any more pain. I was losing consciousness. My last thoughts went to the note in my bible. “I am gay.”
© Sena Kodjokuma 2015

FALLOUT

 

“Sena.” I saw the whatsapp message. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the familiar sequence of numbers. Deleted but not forgotten. I shook my head and blinked. I then put the phone away. I swiveled away to look at the laptop screen. The cursor blinked like a metronome at me. It was eerie. Eerie because one of the characters in the screenplay I had just written was loosely based on her. Her being Dziedzorm “Dzidzi” Mensa. She was a ghost. A ghost from a past I made for myself. i turned to look at Louise’s sleeping form. The light from the laptop screen illuminated her soft curves. Her prepubescent breasts heaved rhythmically. I suppressed the urge to just reach out and cup one in my hand. I got up and went to the toilet. Sitting back on the porcelain bowl I looked back into the past.

It had been seven months, two weeks and twenty two hours and forty seven minutes since I last heard from Dzidzi. Yeah I remember stupid stuff like that. Taking note of elapsed time was barely scratching the surface. Dzidzi was a longtime friend you see. About five foot five, caramel skin and those eyes which I call princess Jasmine eyes. My favorite part was her lips. They look like they were sculpted by some ancient Greek sculptor or a Renaissance artist. That was how striking they were. Busty and fiercely intelligent, Dzidzi was a one of a kind love. The kind of love which inflames you and consumes you and you don’t really care what happens next. We met through another longtime friend, Akpene. I have always been a little scared of Dzidzi. She gave me such a dressing down in our first conversation. I was slightly cowed by her. And her run down as given by Akpene was that of a fighter. An amazon.

The next time we spoke was a year after. I was getting over Akpene. It’s not what you think. I wasn’t wooing her. I did like her an awful lot but she didn’t feel the same way. Back to Dzidzi now. We became fast friends. I must admit I rather enjoyed chatting with Dzidzi. She was funny and intensely emotional. Her moods could be frightening but she was very cool. She’s that kind of person who you could just let your hair down around. We flirted sometimes too, just for the fun of it. Touch and go stuff really. I was growing on her. Then like a bolt out of the blue she travelled outside. She’d won a scholarship to go study in Russia. “Damn!” I told myself. At that moment I guess I had caught feelings for her. A couple of months passed. Occasionally she’d hit me up on Facebook. Then three months passed without a word from her.

“Sena.” I received that whatsapp message on a low battery. I was on a class trip then. We spoke till my battery gave out. When I got back we spoke some more. Dzidzi had bloomed even if she was struggling to settle into a new country. We were limited by her hostel wifi. It went off at eleven pm her time. A nuisance then. There was a lot to catch up on. There were a few weeks of silence. When I next heard from Dzidzi she had a boyfriend. I was elated. Happy for her even.

I’m talking too much about Dzidzi I know. But I warned you before. I like remembering silly stuff like that which wasn’t good for me. I moved over to the bed after washing my hands. I snuggled beside Lu-Lu on the narrow pallet and cuddled her close. She mumbled and backed into me. I could feel my manhood curling round her bottom. We lay there in a fetal position. That’s how we usually sleep. Louise. I prefer calling her “Lu-Lu”. Don’t ask why. What Lu-Lu and I have is complex in its simplicity. We have an open relationship. We are both free to do what we like and be with other people but I guess we enjoyed the security the other offers. There were no awkward questions or irrelevant fights and moral judgment. What there was, was a lot of lovemaking. Her cramped cubicle bore signs of it. Making art. Sweaty handprints long since converted into painted equivalents studded the walls. I love Lu-Lu in a different way. It’s one of those “we’ll know when we get there” kind of love. We are. If we had babies no p, but there was no talk of formal commitment. Louise just works for me. I guess I can go back to Dzidzi at this point.

“Sena.” Dzidzi whatsapped me. She added a teary faced image to it. Disaster had struck. Earlier on she had touched down, visiting for the summer holidays. We went on a movie date. It was the first time I met her face to face. I had a great time with her. But now trouble. Her boyfriend was being an ass. He had actually gone as far as breaking up with her. In the coming weeks I tried to be her friend. But you know how weird women can get. She went back to him as soon as she touched down.  I was angry but it really wasn’t my place to say. I had issues of my own. I was struggling with a near miss. A love triangle gone wrong. Dzidzi and her boyfriend didn’t last though. They broke up soon after. I think she sort of closed up to everyone after. Sometimes shit happens which changes you markedly. I understood her intimately in a way she probably misunderstood.

Sometime after I had an epiphany. To my horror I discovered I was in love with Dzidzi. She was single then. I tried to woo her despite her reservations. Things got heated and after I asked for her stand she told me someone else had succeeded. I had failed and a carefully structured friendship fell apart. It was all my fault. I had deviated from my own preservation plan. Ironically Dzidzi drew it up for me. Things fell apart

“Sena.” The message was still on my screen, unwavering. The spiral downward was an ugly one. I drifted from woman to woman. I didn’t seek permanence. Just the warmth of a breast and the salty tang of sex. I was a regular with the neighbourhood blue kiosk. If you could down a bottle of bitters faster than I could then you were out of this world. Dzidzi inflamed me. I missed her. I’d see her name everywhere I went. She’d whisper into my ear in the depths of my stupor. I had lost a friend when I tried to make her my woman. I couldn’t take it anymore. I lost my job. Turning up to teach drunk isn’t exactly role model behavior. I cycled round friends’ apartments, perching for a few nights at a time. A few months after the incident I stepped in front of a truck. I wanted to die. “Oh Dzidzi.” I loved her, in a way I barely understood and her absence was torture. There was an almighty crash. I saw red and white and I blacked out. When I came to I was swathed in bandages. I wasn’t dead. Apparently the truck was slowing to a stop when I stepped out in front of it. No bones broken but a lot of bruises. I wept. I stayed in hospital for a while, undergoing psychological rehabilitation.

That’s when I saw Louise. For the first time in a new way. The hospital was close to her work place so she’d pass by to jibe me a little. Louise wasn’t new. She was another longtime friend. One of those free spirits who had gotten a little lost. I helped her find her way and we’ve been friends since. She wasn’t especially beautiful but she had this glow and confidence about her and these wild eyes. She could stir up your thoughts in a moment. Frankly I’d always thought of doing Louise. Having a relationship without boundaries with her. If I was comfortable with Dzidzi I was alive with Lu-Lu. She was normal, with either a wild afro or flyaway perm and the body of a budding teenager. Louise is no angel. She’s had her own escapades, none for the fainthearted. She was a screenwriter who had to claw her way through film school. She’s a survivor.

I moved in with her after I was discharged from the hospital. She had a cramped chamber and hall apartment in town. I loved the intimacy of the place. It was awkward at first. I wasn’t used to seeing a woman undress and dress up every day in front of me. We made out a couple of times, when we came back from town tipsy and giddy. I loved watching her go about her stuff in her apartment. She loved to go nude. I’d watch the teenage body moving up and down, waist beads chinking with every careless movement of her hips. I jumped her in the bathroom and we had sex for the first time. It stayed that way. We’d do it when we woke up, in the shower right before work, when she got back. We tried a couple of things. I started moonlighting as her for her screenplays when she was caught up between work and school. I loved it. I was a writer; poetry and prose were my forte but dipping my hand in screenwriting was a new haven.  It was new to me but I learned fast. Lu-Lu knew about the whole incident. She wasn’t happy with how everything went down. She wasn’t one to talk for long. Not with her mouth anyway. To be honest a little bit of me was relieved the Dzidzi drama ended. I loved her, and I wasn’t having second thoughts. However I felt it was dragging on too long and I was beginning to wonder if there was ever going to be an ‘us’.

Back to Lu-Lu. She’s amazing. She has this raw energy she injects into everything she does. She’s one of those emotional people who are curiously deadpan about other people. Her passion for sex was only bettered by her passion for writing. She would be on her laptop typing away when I wasn’t thrusting into her. In that darkness she descended and slapped me on the cheek. She’s not so gentle with degenerate people. Perhaps it’s part of her pessimistic nature. We sort of walked into a relationship without a hard decision. I’ve been with other girls and she’s had a couple of other men, but Lu-Lu is “home” to Sena and vice versa. Lu-Lu woke up and walked to the bathroom to pee. There was an erotic pleasure about watching her pee. The nonchalant way she perched on the bowl half squatting and with a hand in her disheveled hair.

“Lu-Lu.” I called out to her. “What?” She groaned. ‘Guess who just texted me.” I babbled. “I dunno, the pope?” she replied. “No dummy. Guess again.” My voice had risen an octave higher. She turned to look at me. “That annoying tone you just took. Wait lemme think straight.” She frowned. “Right, it must be Russia.” “I know right?” I replied. Lu-Lu grimaced. “What are you gonna do about it?” I shrugged. “I dunno.” “See how excited you are. Look the fact that she’s texted you after all this while doesn’t mean anything. You are her go-to guy, the one who always has a solution. If you want to go fuck yourself up again be my guest. I told you. There’s a Brazilian waiting next in line.”

I looked at the dimmed screen again. The message was there, unwavering. “Sena”.

© Sena Kodjokuma, 2015