i liED, i cHEatED… “tHe tEll iT aLL”

It’s gonna be a long read try sticking to the end… And I’m gonna be blunt on this one!

I grew up in the ghettos of Jos, a good kid with core values (yeah I was raised by my mother). I used to be so shy chicks were like neon lights, I had to stop and stare from a distance before putting away my face whenever I saw one. But along the line something dramatic happened and all that changed, how I got  transformed still remains a clueless journey to my brain but all of a sudden I grew from that reserved, shy, not so talking kid to this outgoing, funny, and goofing around kid that sometimes had to be called to order by my cousins… Lol. 

So here’s my story… 

Now I have a Girlfriend, everything I ever needed in a woman is buried like gold in this supernatural being, and thinking back now I’d say, love found us. I didn’t fight much like I always had to do to convince her to stay, but she’d been around ever since I made that commitment to keep her by my side. She’s beautiful, funny, smart, goofy, intelligent, listens to everything I ever have to say and it doesn’t matter the time or place or what kind of mood she’s in, she just listens. She’s been there when those tears ran, when I felt ashamed of letting water come out my eyes while she watched; she’d say “It’s OK just let them, you don’t have to worry about that; I got you,” squeezing me tightly to herself. 

My highest moments came and the first person I wanted to tell was her, good or bad she’d always had words that made me feel safe; she’d never cheated on me to this day, she’d been true and sincere, and she always tells a brother those words that we love to hear “I love you babe,” and says it until those words fall gently on the skin penetrating deeply beneath, hitting the bones before finally dying in a brother’s heart, she held nothing back! 

But did I stab her in the back, did I take all of her trust for granted? Maybe I did, maybe I thought this day would never come, but my telltale blushes sold me out; I was helpless when it all started. From one, to another, and another, then another until now I have about four side chicks… I feel so ashamed of myself saying this in front of the world but if that helps me put off my guilty face, then I’m ready to be the author of “the tell it all” story.

I met her while I was in Remedials, young, beautiful she was a jewel and a fair one, nothing serious we were just friends. I thought I could keep her only as that, in those sack clothings, but she wanted more so she drifted. I hadn’t any skills of taming a wild horse so instead, I got tamed by the wild horse. She opened up the door to my cheating and by my first year things got intense. It came with a tornado kind of force, I didn’t have the strength to push it back but I didn’t get out of the way either. I stood still when I could’ve ran, and when I should’ve said no I said yes, and that’s where it all began.

I told her about my Girlfriend in a bid to put her off but to my amazement she was cool; she was OK with being the second class citizen so we kept every shit under the radar, never got caught. She knows how much I loved being innovative and would see me through every thought process. She helped me crest a title to my name. I’ve invested time, energy and money into our secret relationship but for every kobo spent, I got a double, and every once in a while, my flat wallet gets puffed up. She tells me “As long as I’m here, you’ll never miss a thing even when your job doesn’t pay.” I’ve told you this before, “l’ll always be here.” She is open and lovely and knows just exactly how to treat a man. She was the first of them all, my first fling, the first of my guilty nightmares.

Now my second side chick, we share a love-hate kind of relationship. The type you’d refer to as the “It’s complicated” type. We fight all the time for no darn reason and fall back in love again, she knows the things I hate but still does them anyway, she won’t stop not even when I want her to, but then again on the flip side, she knows how to love me more than anyone else, she’s Bae… She’s that complexity that defines a woman. And just when I think I’ve had her all figured out like a Rubik’s cube, a new coloured cube just pops up open and I’m left to deal with it all over again. She’s an enigma and from what planet she fell? I really don’t know, but as alien-like as she is, I still keep her close… Making love to this sensual being is like one made in paradise, not of this world. I can’t leave her even when I want to, her lips are like poison to my soul, and at the brush of it, the salve runs through my veins faster than a vipers venom, until my brain shuts down completely. 

Then my third, the cool headed one, she gives me peace. Whenever I have a problem I run to her, always has ears for me. She reminds me of my Girlfriend sort of, but she barely speaks and even when I talk from now till the next morning, she’s always ready to hear me out. She might not have all the solutions to my problems, but, at least she let’s me figure it out myself. She makes me think outside the box. Gives me course to research until I got to the root of it, she helps me be a man of my own all by myself. It was her idea, but she’d rather I take the center stage while she lurks in the shadows. It was always all about me. 

And lastly, my fourth, my behind the counter chick. I don’t do much alcohol, I only drink when I’m around friends, just a bottle or two and I’m out, next will be in a couple of months so this, she only comes around when I drink. But then anytime she comes around, she leaves memories that last for eons. She knows how to perfectly connect. And I’m not just talking me, you’d have to notice her ethereal beauty and charisma, she has this persona that is so revealing with a wonderful panache to match. She’s the life of the party like it as not, and each time we’re together, I almost never exist, and it’s like I’m invisible cos you only see her, maybe after a while you just notice this creepy little guy beside her who you wonder how the heck in the world these two got together and came to be in the first place, and the worst part… She’s my side chick! 

I’d gotten frisky with these women, had and shared beautiful moments together, but this is just another day in the life of Snowball, a day “I chose to let it all out.” For those of you who are so disappointed in me (I know a whole lot are), I’m sorry but I’m not perfect, (I know you’re probably reading this Girly but I couldn’t tell it to your face), sorry I let you down, but it’s who I am and I can’t change that.

To the most beautiful Girlfriend in the world (music), you know I love you to the moon baBe, you’re irreplaceable and you know it. Now I’m not trying to be manipulative but what we share is one that cannot be measured, we are invincible and nothing can stop us, we’re heading for the stars. We’d be the fist couple to ever live in it… And I just wanna say “I’m sorry!”

And to my side chicks ARcHiteCtuRe, POetRy, wRiTinG, and paiNtinG in that order, I love you beautiful ladies too, but only as side chicks and conques. I’d do anything for you, take you to the Caribbeans, buy you all the good stuff; diamonds and pearls just about anything, but then again truth is, I can never leave her for you… Music? She’s my life! And it’s like we’re married already, so I can’t sign the divorce papers, I’m sorry!!!

lOvE mE, lOvE mE nOt…

I don’t know much about hyenas 

but I know much about love…

Not because I’d been in it for too long

But beause I’d been in captivity 

the most times alone . . . 

They say there’s nothing worse than that

and I believe them

I’ve seen my eyes pierce a heart

made of the hardest of steel,

yet I couldn’t make it bleed

my heart has melted the purest of gold

and yet still, 

none I could turn into riches 

Have I been so wrong the whole time

about love? 

OR is my fragile heart too perky and sublime

for it to harbor? 

A sublimity that’s better off alone.

Or maybe nothing fits

And my size 10 sneakers

are too large for you to sit

Or maybe I have too small a heart,

too little to have you live in it;

you for whom the heart tolls.

But what happens 

when the curtains open?

would you be there to hold my hand? 

Would you lOvE mE still,

or would you lOvE mE nOt?

But I know that smile already, 

and you’re just gonna leave anyway… 

Oh My Mother: retfa eht llac… 

… Emma… Mama’s gone… 

Eight hours earlier… 

I’d just returned back from work cos though it was a Saturday, my boss called for me to come help out with some office work (think the call made me change my mind from traveling). 

I took with me my sound card and headphones (of course I had my laptop in my backpack) since I was gonna be alone and a day before, I ran into this beat on my laptop which I’d started and abandoned. But that Friday I couldn’t cos the piano sounded great and the bass too was awesome so I got hooked on it soon as I played it from my Fruity Loops (FL) Studio. Just when I was about done with the beat my sister called in since she’d been at the hospital with mom to update me about her health condition; it didn’t sound good, and in that trice, something in me just took over and I began laying words on that beat. That part of me that was inclined to singing other than the usual rap showed up and took the center stage and so verse by verse I wrote until the song was almost done, electricity went off and in a short while I shutdown. 

Saturday afternoon I opened the door, flung my back pack on the couch and laid on the rug, in a little over thirty minutes electricity was back (oh sweet Jesus I could almost hear me yell). I set up my studio and was ready to roll, I was done with the lyrics and was trying to master the track, I finished up but kept on with it, I was singing to the headphones playing in my head, I sang until the lights went out but I was done so no worries. All that remains now is the voice over, that would either be in Jos or Abuja so I went outside the room to get some air cos all of a sudden, the room was overly hot again. 

I got out and Reuben my friend and neighbor was out already, we talked you know as guys would, talked about different things before delving into soccer which was his favorite, and as we did I was like an open drain cos I was jittery, I could barely hear myself speak, I kept thinking about my mom and any call on my phone gave me a jump in my heart, I hadn’t eaten lunch and it was dinner time already and the sad part is I hadn’t prepared any food and didn’t even have the appetite for any but I knew I had to eat. 

My phone rang, I looked and it was my sister, how far I asked?  Fine! Mama’s not breathing well so I’m going downstairs to go fetch the doctors, OK I said. I told Reuben I was gonna go get some groceries but soon as I stepped out that gate, all I wanted to do was sit… On the road; on the sidewalk just anywhere… I was restless and sweaty. I found a spot beside a hotel that had the grocery shop and I sat on the pavement… A minute passed and it felt like I’d been there the whole day, I got up went to the shop and bought all that I needed to buy and headed straight home, I was outside with Reuben again. Vick my sister called while I was out and in just about five minutes after the call she called back again… I knew it was it… And the words ran…

OK! I didn’t know where I was in the next couple of minutes that came, my friend had noticed my silence and didn’t utter a word either. I waited for the tears but they wouldn’t roll, so I picked up the courage and I told him Mama ta tafi… (Mama’s gone)… He followed me quietly to my room trying to strengthen me asking that I’d be strong. All of a sudden all the pain I’d felt and the perplexity just vanished in an instant and I felt that lump drop; I was calm. The time was 21:35 I looked, April 22nd, I’d never forget.

Mama had passed an hour earlier 8 pm 8:30 pm there about, so all that five minutes between calls I’d been saying all the while was only five minutes in my head; more than an hour had passed, I was that restless and so out of sync with time. But after I’d regained myself, I began sending news to my friends who’d been there for me throughout the journey (thank you so much guys, I couldn’t ask for better friends than you; you are my family). 

May the heavens and angels receive your gentle soul Mama, I’ll miss you; that dance we always had, but I’m happy cos now you’re resting, you don’t have to feel no pain no more. Your time here’s done and that’s why you had to leave, don’t worry I’m strong now, I have an army of people who’d take care of me while you’re away… I have a friend I can always bug, she even asked me to share her mom too… Lol! So bye now Mama… 

Here’s a link https://soundcloud.com/user-750998328 you can download the song I made for her for free titled “Inen Le” meaning “Oh My Mother” (in my local language Alago) . Please enjoy and share with your friends. Thanks for always stopping by… 

Oh My Mother – erofeb eht llac… 

You don’t now but eventually you will, you’re not gonna know it but it will come maybe not today but soon, you’ll see! 
My cousin’s words ran as we sat on the couch chitty chatting. My mother passed on after battling first arthritis for so many years, but it was recently (two years ago) that everything intensified taking different dimensions from two of her discs crashing to having multiple fractures on her arm and femur. 

My mom had two surgeries within a year and for her age (approximately 75-85) you can tell what effect that would have on her. But anyways my mom fought hard like a soldier after the first major surgery (lumbar laminectomy and disectomy). Her Physio therapist (McMillian)  was amazing and mom picked up pretty fast using a walker and within a few months could move herself round the spacious living room without help, she could stand herself and even go to her bedroom alone. But all that came to an end when she fractured her arm. She became scared and that slowed her recovery and even when the arm eventually healed she could barely rely on them. 

In a little over two months after the arm, she again had a broken thigh bone and well complications set in after the second surgery to repair the femur and on 22nd April this year, she passed. God rest her soul. 

In these two years I watched my mother’s health deteriorate and it was like I could see her vanishing into the dunes, sometimes you think the blurry image is becoming clearer until you realize it’s just one from your head; your wishful image of her hoping she gets better.

In the first month of her illness, I got so scared and the thought of not coming back home to meet my mom only brought tears to my eyes and I could barely hold them back. I cried as soon as I got back to Lafia, I couldn’t be a man that day sitting alone in my room. I never saw my mom on a sick bed in all my years and suddenly loosing her? The thought of it I couldn’t bear, and somehow I began to get used to it and all I resolved to was prayer which soon took away all the depression I felt at the time and with that I thought it wise to spend more time with her instead (and I’m glad I did that). 

I got news from my sister about three days before her passing that mom was spinning and couldn’t recognize her again, her condition was declining fast and asked for me to come home… I couldn’t face it, I was home just the weekend before and I was at the hospital with her the whole time and it was such a beautiful moment; we had a great time together, but I wasn’t ready to ruin all that so I stayed back. It was like I saw it coming though you know that feeling of it might or it mightn’t? I had that for some inexplicable reason as I gazed at my mom, it was a strange feeling this time; it was different. I could tell it was our final moments but didn’t know how to come to terms with it, didn’t know whether or not to believe it I was confused really, so I said my rosary just like she’d tought me. 

That evening I was outside talking soccer with my neighbor but all I thought about was my mom, I tried to calm myself down but all that would go south and in just about five minutes, a call came through… Emma… Mama’s gone… 

Oh Stubborn Heart!!! 

Oh stubborn heart

Why do you cause me so much pain? 

You troll the entire city of hopelessness 

only to leave me in anguish and disdain.

You’ve relegated me to the flangs.

And even when I want out,

your persistence keeps me locked in the deep.

Wallowing in addiction I’ve become your slave,

my feet’s too heavy and unable to move.

And I understand your strength comes

from the ray of sunlight,

straining through that bright tiny hole;

That illume you say is your victory song,

but what you keep forgetting is the darkness.

Darkness that will soon consume you to itself

until there’s nothing left…

I’m weak, tired, and inundated.

For everything I ever owned

no longer belongs to me,

and all I’d been trying to reach

keeps going far-off farther away from me.

You clinch your fist

and cling to that wand you hold.

Your resilience is second to non,

you’ve got me all worked up in your delusional fairytale.

And I’ve seen great kings fall to your mellow.

Albeit I made a vow to not be like them,

what do I do

when all of me you own?
Oh stubborn heart!

Let me saddle this horse of freedom.

My soul yearns

but you keep me bounded at both ends.

And your holding on for too long drains me,

it saps every cell in me until I’m all dried up.

Let that first drop of rain touch me on my black skin,

let it turn my leaves green;

let it revive me.

Let my troubled soul come out that jar,

set this genie free.

For I’m ready to let go;

ready to fly away.

Yes!

I’m ready to find my lost sheep!! 

The Client

Three weeks ago I was in this popular eatery (everyone knows that eatery but I ain’t saying…) I knew they’d have light cos yeah NEPA just did damage and I couldn’t spend another minute sitting over the house doing nothing. So I picked up my bag and my lil mobile office (laptop) and I zoomed off.

I got there and it was a bit rowdy upstairs, a couple of guys like myself who had stuff hanging around their necks like bounties were also there before me, well of course I found myself a spot and ordered the drink, it was Chapman for sure… Oh I love that drink.

So I kicked off, my studio design needed to get done soonest and while on that table, this man in his late 40s walked up to me and asked if he could join me. Why not I answered tis a public place after all, so he sat and since he wasn’t one to shush for 2 minutes he kept throwing the questions, finally he said “this world is a small place” he grabbed my clutch pencil and began to sketch horribly just after I told him what I studied in the university.

In my mind I was thinking oh no not now you don’t want me to design your house Sir? But then again I need the pay cos it sure would fill up some loopholes I already have in my wallet. Whatever mehn i’mma hustler I again told myself. In as much as time isn’t my friend right now, I guess I’m about to make him one. He gave me his brief and said I’d see you in… two weeks I sealed his big mouth with. OK then he said.
Two weeks came faster than a bullet and before I said jack! Tomorrow was our meeting and I had studio submission just a day before, of course I couldn’t touch his design and neither did I finish my studio. And on Saturday I found myself trying to burst a plan to show this client who buzzed my phone for close to 10 times within those two weeks. He called me up at 5pm and asked to meet in 30 mins, no p man, I’d be ready.
I was pleased with self and was optimistic he was gonna like what I had for him, I wasn’t wrong either. He came with his beautiful wife and yeah jury went on just fine…lol. We meet up in two weeks again young man.

Its two weeks and here I am trapped in this cab a hundred and thirty kilometres away from Jos and the worst part, I ain’t ready!!! How’d this happen? Last night I just couldn’t do anything, was it fatigue I really don’t know but mehn my brain was too weak for any fresh ideas as I lay on the rug in my room with a mouse in my hand while listening to Cold Play… I listened until I slept off, forced myself back up, still couldn’t do a thing and went back to Venus; Mars? Wherever I can’t remember…

My bulgy eyes flipped open and it was 5:42 am, I gotta be in church by 6:30 after which I’d begin my trip to go meet Mr. Magnus. In my head everything was gonna be fine, I’d leave Lafia by 9:30 tops, I reach Jos at say uhmmm 2 in case of traffic and in 4 hours I should be ready for my Client.
Church went well and we came out just in time, I strolled to the ATM and my darn money refused me vision claiming to be in my pocket already, but how what!!!! I yelled no way!!! That’s my…. Shit!!!
Now everyone I know was in church and now I can’t get on that bus without cash, now I’m stranded and will have to wait 2-3 hours before I could reach someone. I called but no one’s picking, they’re in church mehn just like I insinuated. A few minutes before 2pm my phone rang, it was my man to the rescue. I left for the park asap and it’s been an hour thirty minutes since we commenced the short trip. Just half way down, and it’ll be almost 6pm before we hit town. I might reach early enough for me to meet my client but the question is, can I show him something or simply put, is that 3D presentable??? It would have been if only i had the house painted just like he suggested the last time. And yes the road just got blurry… the rains are here…Darn!!!

One Day We’d All Turn Dust, But Before Then…

Its no news again to hear the death of a friend or family member, hasn’t been a cease fire for some time now and the list just keeps going… Endless. This year’s just half way down and it has the highest number of people i know now dead. I lost a couple of childhood friends, and this year i lost another.

Andy was ma hommie, we hung and played together in the sun and in the rain, riding on bikes and tires rolling into the fields and back home with black engine oil all over our black skin, don’t even know where we got the oil from. But there was this thing about Andy, while we were kids you couldn’t tell if he was crying or laughing cos they sound just the same and after a few tears, we’d start making fun of him…

He left Jos for Lagos on a hustle trying to find a better life, just like me Andy also had dreams of being a rapper, I remember him at my house spitting a few rhymes he’d just written or recorded, thusly, the trip to Lagos was in line with that. Don’t know if that dream still stuck before he passed but last time we spoke it seems so and while scrolling down my phone i saw his name and i was like yo, haven’t heard from this dude in a while so i dialed his number and we spoke and he talked about the music thing still. But that was the last time i heard from Andy…. Andy died my age, he couldn’t see thirty three just a few months away – September. He slipped in the bathroom and cracked his skull, and his life was cut short.

In all of these, I realise how short our lives could be and how quick we could vanish and be forgotten, i ain’t perfect just like the popular cliche but still i live, but again its by God’s grace, the priest said the other day in Mass, if you wake up every morning, open your eyes and find yourself alive, know that God isn’t done with you yet.

I guess he’s not finished with me yet cos today, this morning I opened my eyes and yet again I live, but again by grace…