Today, Monday, he packs up his belongings and places them on top of a bench in the middle of their compound. Nwanyimma hands him a polythene bag that contains a bottle of red oil, unripe avocadoes, and other perishable goods.
So, on and on it reels, the wheel of time, churning out plot twists of a beautiful mosaic of everything good, bad, ugly – Aba!
“Close your eyes, what do you see?” I ask but the girl does not see me anymore.
A gust of wind splashes over me. I feel your presence; the sweet smell of strawberry that often steamed from your body caresses my nostrils and wets my taste buds. But it’s only a while until you leave with the wind, I think. The smell lingers. Strongly.
Mama has always known pain. She had lost every battle in life, battles she fought armed with only love. As her accusers’ words stung her, she looked up and recounted her losses in loud wails punctuated by weeping bouts.
I was tired. I took a pillow over its face, its blind innocent face, and did not give a second thought. I killed it and by the next minute, murder had become my surname.
He dashed into the street; it was empty and cold, just the streetlights beaming orange in the distance. He cocked his ear in many directions in the dark for a voice or a footstep, but all that returned to him was bland silence.
Kene’s heart was thumping. After over an hour, they had not moved even a quarter of a mile. He prayed in desperation, ‘Lord, please don’t let me miss this flight. What will I do… Let the traffic move… Let the plane be delayed. Flights are delayed all the time, and sometimes, cancelled…’
My bags are packed and ready to go. It has been eight months and I still live out of my suitcase. Today would have been sixty-one days from the day I started checking off the dead days. The days I dreamt of home, of warm embraces and bright faces. I practice my reaction for when I will see you again.
Kunle lets the phone fall off his ear. He leaves his mother’s voice vibrating on the mattress. He goes to the fridge but he doesn’t take anything. He rests his head on it instead.