Loss

This is a guest post from a StoryCrafting Alumni, Rachael Onuigbo.

I run through the hospital. Everything is moving too slow and too fast at once. I run, the room numbers blurring. 201…202…203…204 and then finally, 205. Doctors are outside the room. A doctor moves out of the group when he sees me running towards them. He is saying something but I can’t hear him. I shrug out of his grip and push through to get in but I don’t have to.

Nurses roll out a stretcher. A body lies unmoving on it, completely covered. I refuse to believe till I see it. I struggle against the hands that hold me and pull the covering back then I see the evidence I need. The world becomes a roar. My husband is dead. The face that had smiled at me, the mouth that had kissed me goodbye this morning. Gone.

I start screaming and crying, begging the doctors to do something. To save the man that meant everything to me. My pleas and screams fall on deaf ears as someone pulls me away so the nurses can roll out the stretcher.

Day 1

I feel like I’m in a haze, going through the motions but not really going through them. The accident is on the news and the phone rings non-stop but I don’t pick it. Pictures of both of us together are everywhere. Our wedding, our honeymoon in Paris, the impulsive vacation to Hawaii. Memories move as if in a slideshow and I know that I can’t survive without him. I can’t find the will to. Visitors come pouring in, offering their condolences and asking me if I’m okay. What can I tell them? I will never be okay. I am told that I have to eat. My husband will never eat again so why should I? Nobody understands how I feel and I doubt anyone ever will.

Week 1

I stand in front of the mirror and cannot recognise the woman staring back. I have lost weight and my clothes hang off me in unflattering angles. My face is pale, my hair a messy bun. Before, I wouldn’t be caught dead with messy hair. Everything is now categorized as ‘before’ and ‘after’. Before my husband died. After my husband died. I can’t do this, I whisper to my reflection. I can’t do this. I give in and cry.

Month 1

Today is the burial. I tune out what the priest is saying and look at the closed coffin at the altar. Everybody tells me that God knows best and He has a reason. To me, that means that God likes to see people suffer because why would he take away what was most important to me? The burial ends and we drive to the cemetery. I am quiet throughout. After the priest blesses the coffin, the pallbearers lower it to the ground. I feel like someone is cutting off my oxygen supply as I watch. Tears fill my eyes as I realise, yet again, how much I’ve lost. People come over and in a robotic voice, I thank them for coming. They offer words of encouragement that do nothing to help me and tell me I’ll be okay but I don’t believe them.

Month 3

By now, I’m numb. I have locked my grief deep inside me because I’ve realised that sometimes, it is easier to bear your pain alone. People ask me if I’m okay. I nod and give a fake smile, knowing that they wouldn’t want to hear how I reach out on the bed for someone that isn’t there. Or how I wake up every morning thinking it is all a bad dream and break apart again when I realize that it isn’t. I cry myself to sleep every night, holding on to his things and inhaling his scent. I rage at God and ask questions that are never answered. My life is a big question mark and I wonder if the hole in my heart will ever fill.

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Month 7

I haven’t dreamt of him since he died and I am yet to decide if that is a good or bad thing. I push myself out of the bed and in front of the mirror and cringe at what I see. There are shadows in my eyes and hollows under them. I look like I have aged thirty years and I feel that way too. I put my hand on my chest. I can feel my heart’s steady beat. Even though my world has been torn apart and has lost its axis, I’m still alive.  I decide to stay that way for him. I have to put all his things in a box and take them out. Oh God, I can’t do this. I want to crawl back into bed again but something in me refuses to keep drowning in the pain. I’ve been drowning for so long, maybe it’s time I learnt how to swim and for the first time in a long while, I have hope.

1 Year

I’m at the cemetery, in front of my husband’s grave with a bouquet of white roses in my hand. I can’t believe a year has passed. I’m not the woman I was before or the woman I have become. I am something else entirely and I am trying to make that something good. My heart hurts in a million places as I drop the bouquet and kiss the headstone. I wonder if he is watching me, if he knows how much I miss him, if he knows that I will love him forever and will keep him safe in my heart so that death does not become what defines our time together. As I leave, I accept that maybe God had his reasons. It is time for me to live again. I cry a little in my car as I feel my heart go lighter and maybe I’m being paranoid but I feel someone-maybe God or my husband-smile at me from above.

 

Onuigbo Rachael is a writer, natural skin-care enthusiast and fitness coach. She won the 2015/2016 My Rainbow Books writing competition and is currently writing a book based on her life experiences. She is an ardent reader and loves romance, young adult fiction and thrillers and is usually found with her head in a book- or her phone- depending on where she’s reading from. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found at the gym, sweating it out and coaching other people wanting to loose weight too or making tutorial videos to show how you can use natural products to treat a lot of skin issues
She uses social media to share her works and you can connect with her on Instagram or on Twitter @_lilaurora or Facebook.

 

Who Will Bell The Cat?

Hi there, this is a guest post by Bunmi Dayo-Ayeni and Chukwu Obumneme. It’s a story about oppression and helplessness, and I particularly like it because to me it’s ​reminiscent of the happenings in our country. Please share your thoughts about it in the comments. 

P.S: A new series will begin soon, don’t despair!

 

 

The ants all agree on one thing, albeit secretly, that the ant-king Po Ti, must leave the throne. This particular meeting of the Ants Parliamentary Chamber (APC), the top decision making body of the communist Anthill, has all its members attending in consternation. The action of the Ant-king the previous day had gone too far. The mood is all the same, he simply had to go.

“How could he?” bellowed the general, while sharpening his fangs and claws. The other ant, Tu Wa, chairman of the workers’ union and fellow parliamentarian, was scouting the undergrowth in vain for food and dry leaves for nest building.

“No regards for the queen and traditions. He has turned my lady soldiers to his chambermaids yet he isn’t content. Every morning, half of my working troupe goes to clean his chambers and spray their juices all round him”. Tu Wa added dishearteningly.

“What!” screamed the general, “That means they are useless for the rest of the day”.

Cu Zi, the general, looked around cautiously, his senses at full alert, no ant could hear this discussion. “How well are we progressing with operation Eswama?” He whispered, referring to their plan to oust the king.

“Si Fe has refused to cooperate. All modes of inducement have failed”. Si Fe was a very popular lad with a talent for rousing speeches.

“What of the soldiers I sent to guard his hole?” Cu Zi asked with amazement.

“He dug out another hole and moved his family,” Tu Wa answered despondently.

“Si Fe must be brought on board….we need to find a way around it.”

**********

King Po Ti sat in his Chamber, he reported only to queen Kon Li and served Her Majesty’s needs. He was one of the trusted kings who served the most royal goddess of the ant Kingdom as the queen never went out, and spent most of her moments indoors due to old age.

She had trusted him and made him king of the seven colonies of which she was the progenitor. Reporting to him were the ministers, junior kings actually, that took care of the daily running of each colony. So far so good, he was her trusted right hand man until recently when he started hearing of attempts to see the queen by members of his ruling council behind his back. Of course, he had thwarted all such attempts and increased the number of the royal guards to ensure that such a move never saw the light of day.

Right now, he had a parliamentary meeting to prepare for. He smiled mischievously as the memory of his trusted, inner caucus of soldier ants, the KariKari unit of the ants warmed his cold soul. They were dreaded and would be his guards for the meeting.

He stepped off his throne and called on his stylist, Ant Si Si to put finishing touches to his crown and red royal robe. His orderly then picked his horn from the right hand of his throne and blew for the Karikari unit, the royal order to join him.

One…
One Two…..
One Two Three…..

Well-armed with weapons fit for battle, they marched in front of the king and straight on into the parliamentary meeting.

“All rise for King Po Ti..” Ant Chuan, the clerk, bellowed.
The whole parliament rose in amazement, wondering what the royal order was doing at a parliamentary meeting.

King Po Ti took his seat and proceeded to the agenda of the day.

“Welcome my subjects to this very important meeting. I have some few announcements to make before this meeting commences. According to section 20.0 of the laws of the parliament, by the power invested in me, I hereby make the following amendments to the constitution:

Amendment 1: Henceforth, the food storage will now be guarded and supervised by the legion of the royal order, nobody takes food without due authorization from the royal order KariKari. Anyone found with food not issued by the royal order, will be sentenced to death at the hands of humans”.

A horrified murmur rose up amongst the ants. That was the worst possible death sentence. Humans either slapped the soul out of you or crushed you with that sledgehammer foot of theirs. But King Po Ti was not done.

“Amendment 2: Henceforth, the General of the army ants will now report to the royal order KariKari who will report to the king. The military general can no longer give orders unless expressly approved by the royal order of the KariKari. Any such flouting of rules will lead to banishment”.

You could hear a pin drop in the parliamentary room as the king ordered these devastating changes in structure.
“Any questions?”, King Po Ti bellowed.

Who dared to raise his hands in the face of such menacing looks on the faces of the royal order; the king had just handed over their lives to the soldiers and these soldiers looked more than willing to snuff the life out of them if they as much as sneezed!

Gen Cu Zi knew he was being watched. He didn’t rise to his current rank by being stupid. Any misstep would mean instant, lethal death. He stood up, drew himself to his full height, facing the King. The tension in the chamber was tangible as the parliamentarians watched him and wondered what he was going to do. Cu Zi stared hard and long at the King, who returned the gaze with more fierceness, and a bit of amusement. The general’s face then dissolved into a very beautiful, heartwarming smile, and he started clapping. An applause. For the King. Tu Wa joined him and instantly, the whole parliament was up on its feet, applauding the King.
“Cowards”, Si Fe thought, as he too stood clapping.

 

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Bunmi can be reached at burbashus@gmail.com

 

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Obum can be reached at chukwu.obumneme@gmail.com

 

 

Showers of Blessing

This story for every woman who is struggling for her children, help is coming.

 

When Veronica woke up on cold, cloudy, morning, she had no idea how she would feed her children. It had been months since her husband, Ben, had left her and their three children without warning. She sat up on the soft mattress where her children also lay and stared at the empty pots that she’d piled up in a corner of the room where they all lived. She hadn’t cooked throughout the weekend. All they’d had to eat was garri. It was all that she had left, and as she felt her first child stir beside her, she wondered how she would explain to her children that she couldn’t afford to give them any food to eat at school. Continue reading “Showers of Blessing”

Today’s Special Part 4

Dear all, this is the last episode of this short series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Tomorrow, I’ll share another story with you, so please look out for it.

I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought I See You Through the Peephole, and also encourage you to get your own copy if you haven’t. You can do so here. I also want to share with you this news; the concluding seasons of The Blue House will be available for sale very soon, so watch out for it if you’ve been waiting for it!

Enjoy! Continue reading “Today’s Special Part 4”

Today’s Special Part 3

Ifeanyi saw the small woman two days later. This time, they met in a smaller restaurant, a good distance from the restaurant where he worked.

“What do you want ma’am?” he said as soon as he was seated.

“I’m glad you found out the truth.” The woman replied, smiling smugly. “I’m happy to see you again.”

“So where is my father?”

“He’s not relevant…”

“He is to me. Where is he?” Continue reading “Today’s Special Part 3”

Today’s Special Part 2

A few minutes after ten o’clock the woman tapped her driver’s shoulder.

“Drive up to the front of the restaurant, stop in front of that young man.”

At the front of the restaurant, she peeked out of the window and said to the young man, “Will you please come in?”

“I can’t,” the man said, shaking his head. “I don’t know you ma. Maybe you can come back tomorrow?” Continue reading “Today’s Special Part 2”