ENIOLA

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You will pay for your sins! Eniola shouted in a quavering voice to her husband. They just finished fighting in the compound over an issue that they have for the past 12 years. Eniola stands up from the ground and tied her wrapper. Her whole body is covered in dirt, her shirt torn and her hair covered with dust. She is weeping, her eyes are red. Some neighbours are trying to console her.

Oluwaaa! She shouted at the peak of her voice. What have I done to deserve this? What evil have I done? Tell me! Is it in my youths? Reveal it to me, so I can repent and get the peace I desire in my heart, so this burning hatred for my husband will die and then love and joy be restored to my home. She is still weeping; the neighbours are still trying to console her. A woman is looking for a pair of Eniola’s slippers.

7 hours later, Eniola is sitting outside her hut. She is preparing amala. She fixes her gaze on the moon. Tears gushed down her cheek. She enters a bitter-sweet mode, reflecting the early age of her marriage, how it was laid on a foundation of love, and how true love turned into pure hatred.

Evil man! She said to her husband, who always returns late. He is drunk with emu (palmwine). He staggers into the hut with a grin on his face revealing the tribal marks on his cheek. He falls on a bamboo bed and is talking gibberish because he’s drunk.

Eniola brings down the Amala, which has burnt a little; she simmers a remnant of the ewedu soup she prepared a day before. She dishes out the meal into two plates, one for her husband and the other for her and her 4 children. After eating, she slept in her children’s hut, as she has sworn to her mother’s grave that she’ll never sleep on the same bed with a husband who is a womanizer.

Eniola rises before the sun and wakes her children to help her cook. She sells food at the market. Her children also helps her in the market. While she was in the market, her husband walks into the children’s hut and began to search. “This woman has changed where she use to keep her money”, he said, giggling. He thought of every possible place she could have hidden the money. After a 30 minutes search, he finds it. He is going to gamble the money. This and the following of other women was the reason for the unhappiness and hatred in their marriage. Seldom do Balogun, Eniola’s husband win. And even if he does, he spends it on other women and on alcohol.

That day, Eniola returns home with five other women. They’ve come to collect their own share of the 12 months Ajor (savings) they did together, which Eniola held. They were all radiating happiness; they can’t wait to collect their money. Eniola screams and ran out of the house. The money is gone oo, the money is gone! My husband has killed me. There was a hullabaloo by all the women. You must produce that money today!, said one of the women. Eniola begs for a 3 weeks grace to raise the money, promising to fulfill her words, and she was granted. 2 weeks passed and she couldn’t raise 20% of the money. She became confused. She thoughts of how cruel life has been to her. She remembered all her suffering, how only her raised the children. She also remembered how her husband betrayed her, he didn’t keep to his marriage vows – vows of love, faithfulness and care. All hope to raise the money was gone.

At the middle of one night, Eniola sat in her children’s hut, with her hands cupped around her mouth. She tries to brainstorm on how to raise the money but couldn’t, then she gave a cry of despair.

Evil then whispered to Eniola’s heart to commit a terrible crime - murder. She wanted to end her sorrow. At this time, many thoughts on how to kill her husband flooded into her mind. She have lost it, she couldn’t control herself, she have endured for 12 solid years. Eniola, now in beast mode, stands up, runs into the kitchen, took a big axe used for cutting firewood, ran into her husband’s hut and hit him hard on the head. Blood splits out of his head, poured Eniola on her face, her wrapper, and some entered her mouth. She have killed him.

Immediately, she came back to her senses, she have killed her husband. The tears in her eyes were revealed by the light from the lamp. “I have killed my husband oo, egbami oo”, she screamed at the top of her voice. Her loud cry woke everyone in the neighbourhood. They all came and saw Balogun lying dead in his hut. They understood why she killed him, but she still have to face the laws of the land – an eye for an eye. She is to be hanged at noon.

3 hours after dawn, she stopped crying, knowing she’ll have to face the law. She became fearless to die. The villagers dragged her to the village square. Everything has been set. Crowds gathered to watch. Normally, according to their tradition, before someone is hanged, he or she is given the opportunity to say their last words.

These where that of Eniola:

My life is more bitter than gall, this is my fate, today, when I die, I will ask Oluwa, why I was designed for this, and what was his purpose for creating me. Then she said to her younger sister: Fumi, please watch after my sons, and let not my daughters get married!

O life! She shouted, at the top of her voice, (with sweats all over her body), why were you partial to me?

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WHILE I WAIT.

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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.

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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.