ANA

dropping ink

20201204_061812_0000.png

Aunt Inayo laughed so hard, wondering why her niece had suddenly become so lazy. It was harmattan and the winds laughed harder than aunt Inayo. She rushed to the other end of the room to help Ana close her window.

"Who knows if she has not caught a cold, this girl will never look out for herself. The next minute, she'll be shivering like a kitten in a bowl of water." Aunt Inayo said to herself.

Ana slowly walked back into her room, her aunt's eyes followed her every step. "How are you?" She asked a troubled Ana, who will rather choke on okra soup than answer that question.

"I am okay, it is probably fever or some reaction to what I ate the night before."

"You should tidy up If you must take your bath before we set out for shopping."

"Aunt I can't, I really don't feel so well."

"You just said you are okay, what is it?" Aunt Inayo asked with so much concern in her eyes, it looked like she was going to cry.

"Where's mother?" Ana asked, looking around her as if her mother was a mice that can fit into a corner.

"Ana, you haven't answered my question. What is wrong with you?"

"Aunt I don't know. You just go to the market, I will tidy up and I will be fine. So where's mother?"

"She left for work early, she said there are some documents she needs to print out as early as possible." Aunt Inayo finally answered but Ana's mind was in a distant place.

"Ana, Ana, Ana!"

"Oh sorry aunt, I didn't get that. What did you say?"

"You need to rest your head. Stay away from your phone if you must. I will just go out now before the sun gets too hot. I don't like bargaining under the scourging sun, the market women who are use to it, may trick me into buying at more expensive prices than I should.

"Ah, go o. You can't be buying all of those listed items when it is noon. Please don't forget to get the blender, we can't use that broken one anymore."

"Hahaha, it is the first thing on this list. Have you forgotten that we took our time to write out everything? I will even be back home before you know it." Aunt Inayo said as she shut the door behind her.

Ana heaved a sigh of relief, and buried her face in her blue pillow. It seemed like an invitation for all the thoughts she'll have to deal with. Her mother had gotten married to her father at the age of twenty two because she was pregnant for him, and not because they were in love. Her mother went for her friend's birthday party, only to have found herself in bed with her friend's boyfriend who wouldn't take his eyes off her the whole time.

According to the story she was told by aunt Inayo, her mother was just trying to find herself and was influenced by friends who had really gone wild at that time. So when he came to her and made advances, she didn't even realize he was only after her body. She just wanted to start living like her friends, not minding if it was her friend's boyfriend or not. As soon as Ana came into the world, he left little Ana and her mother.

Ana who had never felt the love of a father, was often carried away by male attention. Indeed Ana was honey skinned, her long attractive legs carried her perfect shape so well that she always got a free ride to wherever. Her white teeth casted a spell when she smiled. She was too pretty to be ignored by male folks.

Like her mother, Ana went to Lizzy's birthday party. A friend she met in her second year at the University. Lizzy was born into a wealthy family so she happened to have friends of the same social class.

When Lizzy introduced Ana to the senator's son, he had winked at her and asked her out on a date. Ana saw nothing wrong with the fact that he wanted their outings kept a secret from Lizzy. For whatever reason, it felt good that her friend wasn't in her business. The last time she had sex with him was the other night she lied to her mother that the driver was stopped by the policemen, luckily for all the passengers they were asked to run, so she trekked home. That was a lie; if only her mother knew that on that very night she was in a man's car moaning and calling out his name, her mother would have committed suicide.

Miji had refused using protective. He said he wanted to feel her and she was so dumb to have let him. Her dream came to mind again, she almost screamed. She remembered the pharmacy where Lizzy had gotten pregnancy test slip from. She looked at the wall clock in her room, it was just 10am. Should she get going immediatly, she'll get back before aunt Inayo returns. She jumped out of bed, to hell with her other thoughts.

Her last year in the university and this happens? "Oh God, oh God, no!" She was restless. Especially when the doctor had said: "you are three months pregnant, and you don't look it! You do have a great body my dear." The pregnancy test slip showed a negative test result, so Doctor Afan was her only option and looking at him now, she felt shackles tighten around her knees. She only had sex with Miji once, and that was a month ago. Three months pregnant?!

™Joy Okwori.

Return to list of stories

Featured Stories


WHILE I WAIT.

by Joy Okwori, published 1 month ago

0001-1635125620_20210520_192921_0000.png

I was once imprisoned by words whose aura is darkness. I was held down in this prison by unfriendly forces, so I sat on a stool of uncertainty as I held the moon.

I crawled through the night with gritted teeth, like one with no hope. And I couldn't dance because shackles held my feet.

Yesterday was once, today doesn't make it twice. I breakout, I don't belong to prison; the Judge said so. I smelt like rotten tomatoes, frail from tireless torture.

The Judge beckoned with open arms, and I ran with the speed of light. My accusers didn't know what crime to nail me with. The Judge knew what currency to bail me with; the blood.

Broad smiles.

Heartfelt laughter.

I dance.

Subscribe to Joy Okwori to access their premium contents


Leah

by eli-smooth, published 2 months, 4 weeks ago

The ride down the empty hill felt like a deluge. Five people cramped into an old Peugeot 504. The car jolted its way down the rough terrain and with each sharp turn, their eyes narrowed with despair.

The driver was Kelechi, a 22 year old medical student who had joined the fraternity about a month ago. His low hanging beard chiseled into his sharp jaw-line. The scar that was above his eye gave him a menacing look.

“How could this happen?” He wondered as he drove through the rickety slope. His eyes squinted a little as he swerved to avoid a goat that had moved into their path. The sudden swerve forced the engine to quake mildly and shut down.

They all moved out into the open space.

Silence lingered for a while.

“What do we do now?” Simi asked. Her dark skin glistening under the low light of orange setting sun. She was a psychology student. Brilliant but edgy; unwilling to succumb to the wild stereotypes that followed the other women in her life.

“We do nothing; we just bury the body where no one can find it” Sam whispered coldly.

Leah winced and paced the space around them, sobbing gently as she walked from side to side. She seemed the most distraught of the five. She wondered how different the day before had been and wondered if her life would ever be the same.

But it was the fifth person who seemed the most odd.

His tattoos were visible under the sleeveless shirt he had on. A nose piercing marked him out from the rest of them. He barely talked as the others encircled the empty bushes around. He just leaned on the car and peacefully disappeared into his thoughts.

“We were only supposed to scare him” Simi lamented. Her voice seemed to echo a distant regret.

“I keep asking what happened and no one wants to tell me. We were all on the same plan but as soon as I turn to take a leak, I return and find a fucking dead body on the floor. What happened while I was gone?” Kelechi asked. He seemed to be screaming at everyone else.

“Is it that important? Would you rather not have the truth be a little subdued from your conscience now?” Goni, the boy with the tattoos whispered back at Kelechi. His voice was cold, almost haunting.

“I don’t know. I didn’t sign up for this.” Kelechi confessed.

“Oh, so you think we all woke up and planned a murder and you were the only person out of the loop?” Simi asked angrily.

Kelechi looked away. His hands shaking under the weight of his deepest thoughts.

Sam chuckled slyly as he watched Leah’s wandering theatrics. He seemed calmer than he was a few minutes ago.

“The truth is right here. Whatever we say it is” Sam cuts in. The others looked at him. He nodded. They all nod back except for Goni.

“We still haven’t answered the most pertinent question though. Who poisoned the little old chap?” He asked calmly.

“Does it matter, we all know he was a dwindling, two faced monster” Leah said.

She had stopped pacing and sobbing. She seemed calmer and her big round eyes cut into her beautiful face. Sam looked at her in admiration

“We all knew that, but we also knew that the idea was to scare him and not to murder. So who amongst us had the most reasons to murder him?” Goni asked.

They all went quiet. The few seconds left between their breaths built up a reckless angst. Leah stared at each of their faces. She wondered who amongst them fits the murder type best..

Sam was a nerd.

It was odd that the frat boys loved him but underneath his queer humor and deep lingering eyes, there was no reason to suspect that he could be a killer. Leah thought. Simi was mostly indifferent; capable of the mundane but also the awe inspiring moments. Her calculative mind set her apart as the most logical of the group.

Kelechi was by matter of chance, the only one that was unavailable when they witnessed the death.

Goni was the one who seemed the most vulnerable to accusations. He had fought with the dead boy just a few minutes before the boy broke into a fit. He seemed more dangerous than anyone else and he also seemed to be nonchalant about the corpse that lay in the trunk of the car that had just stopped.

  • Simi looked at Leah from the corner of her eye. Their eyes meet and for a few seconds, they lingered on in their sanctified space. Simi felt a rush of casual emotions rushing within. She remembered their nights underneath the moon when the boys were away. She remembered every feeling and it made her question her every truth. But she also knew the other truth.

The five of them stood in an arc as the trunk was slowly being opened. The three boys straddle the body and move it towards the empty path that led one into the bushes. The rustling of the leaves just in front of them stopped them in their tracks.

A Park ranger had his gun pointed at them. The boys surrendered and raised their hands. The Ranger looked on in surprise.

“Who killed him?” He asked as he nudged the safety of the gun; turning it off.

The group stood, staring at him in silence.

“Who killed my partner?” The Ranger asked again.

This time his gun was pointed at a visibly distraught Simi.

She was overcome with fear.

“Leah, Leaaah,

She poisoned him because he raped her” Simi confessed.

The boys look back at Leah, stunned.

Leah’s face bore a look of resignation.

“Thanks so much for having my back; Lover” she said in disgust.

They boys all stood stunned. Processing both news that had crept into their ears.