Salem

salem

Additional Information

Your Brief Bio: David G. David is a young writer whose principles border on love, which remains the primary reason for our existence. He lives in a house on a hill, overlooking a street of struggling dreams. He has appeared on several personal blogs and websites. He can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/Adewusi.gbollex
Submission Category: -The-Power-of-Writing
Tweet-Style Story Summary: A short, powerful tale of love, identity and a quest to escape the magnetic hands of the past.
Full Story: It is the road you walk; long, dusty and filled with potholes that shake cars of their miseries. It is the clothes you wear, that covers the scars that are lined on your body, like tattoos. It is the songs you sing, the songs you have allowed sink into you, the songs of redemption; songs of freedom. But maybe it's all in your head. Or perhaps you are trapped, and there's no way out of the misery you webbed yourself in. Do you remember Kola? Your first boyfriend? Do you remember the things you told me about him and the way you said he kissed you? Or the shouts of your mother when she saw you wrapped in his arm? Were you not just sixteen? Or was I? But do you think you deserved the beating you got that day? Didn't it break your heart? That your parents were supposed to be happy for you? Or probably delighted that you had found love? Wasn't the beating supposed to show you he didn't really care? Or did you ever see him after that day? Did his parents not tell the whole village when they were leaving? Didn't they? Or you just chose to ignore? Did he tell you? Or did you imagine he did like you always did? What exactly did you make of the whole situation? Did it heighten your love for him? Or only expanded the void that had formed in your heart? What? What, Anike? What exactly did you make of him and what happened? You were this slender, dark beauty blessed with brilliance and an outstanding wit. Your eyes were glassy things — diamonds in the mud; brown, tiny things overshadowed by thick, black eyelashes — on your perfectly rounded face, above a nose that stood like an arrow. And your lips, they were so thin I used to think you didn't have a mouth. That stood for years as one of the many jabs we took at each other. "Show me your mouth," I would say. "But you can see it now. I'm talking." "There's nothing there. But I see your nose moving." And then we would burst into laughter, letting our shoulders rub each other, and letting our gaze wander endlessly into the air. I wasn't ugly if I was placed beside any other girl. I had a beauty that made boys whistle while I walked with a pot of water on my head, on the lonely grass paths. I had buttocks that made heads turn at the market square, and return to its initial position to tell others of how moderate it was. Oh yes! I had breasts. I had tiny, perky things that pointed like a hunter's rifle when the day had just broken. I also sang, like the birds we even wished to be like. But it was you. You were the sun that outshined anything that stood in its path. You were the diamond that lived in a mine of gold. You, Anike, were Sirius, the Dog star. You were the bright ray of hope that shone in the nights. You were Helen, trapped in a mortal frame. The guys always called me first, so they could have a chance to talk to you. If I liked them, yes. But if I didn't, the case was closed. But you picked only Kola. Your love story began blindly; like every other. You were two young, inexperienced teenagers whose quest for love made you find each other. He was handsome, or you just made me believe he was. He wasn't. He had this enormous nose on a long face; a long body too. I always felt he had too much of everything, ranging from his pride to the size of his lips; including your love for him. That night, how did you say it? How did you tell me about the rumors? You had a look disheveled, rough — everything not you. Your voice was a shadow of its old self, breaking at every word, punctuated by tears you were trying so hard to hold back. Do you remember? How did you tell me he left for Kaduna with his parents? And you, the brightest star in the mortal system, had become an outcast in your own home? That night, do you recall how you kept pointing to your stomach? How did you keep nudging my shoulders to think? To think of the enormous pit of despair your love for him had thrown you in? How, like a fool, I had stared at you, unsure of what you meant? Or was I afraid of what it said? It didn't mean your stomach held him, or a reflection of him? Did it? That night was the last time I saw you. But here you are, unconscious. There are tubes breathing life into you, the life machine beating in a signal that life still passed through your body; like a weak conducting wire. Your eyes; they still have the same glow. Only now, they are punctuated by brown bags of depression. Your hands — the one you used to let Kola hold and caress; they are thin now, and longer than they used to be. Your brown skin isn't brown anymore; patches of black have found their way to the once perfect land that your skin was. People, at times, can be our doom. They are usually beautiful, like Lucifer, and have eyes that see into our deepest secrets. They are usually quiet, eating into your soul while making you smile at every word. But maybe Kola wasn't any of these. He... he was merely your beginning, and now is your end. You grow never to find love because you kept finding him. You looked for his white teeth in every man that called you. You searched for his tall, muscular self in the ones who had the teeth. In finding broken pieces of him, you fell, and lost yourself, while dismantling into tiny, uneven pieces. You died. Your baby became a regret because in him was your beginning. In him, you could see the road that you walked that brought you to your present situation. You look at your past. Every morning, it wakes you, reminding you of the mistakes and pains it tortured you with. Maybe that is why you named your baby Kola, again. Just like his father.   Skit I am the bag, holding the last naira notes in her accounts, the pen she bought from the stalls beside her house, and the white sheet of paper she have managed to squeeze in. I am flung hard on the bed, making my contents fall to the ground. I am the pillow, soaking her tears, her every-night-tears, soaking in the sobs and what is left of her soul. I hide her eyes from her inquisitive son, who wants to know why she wouldn't say anything. She raises me to her face and let the hot tears fall into me, again. I am the bed in which she sinks in, holding her fragile body, lest she falls and breaks. She stands and walks to the bathroom. I am the mirror, showing a reflection of her battered self. I see the scars, the one inflicted by her new boyfriend. I look at the bags buried beneath her eyes, swollen like the rest of her face. Her skin. I am the skin covering the battle going on inside of her. I have turned colorless, from the endless dynamites blowing up beneath me. I am weak, and frail from the blows, the trauma, the motherly love, the fake smiles, the... Everything. I am her phone, flashing colorful lights in her eyes, but it wouldn’t brighten the gloomy soul inside. I am her. Confused. Broken. Lonely.   *** I sit beside you, watching and reminiscing about the time's life still reverberated in you. Of how you have failed to live your life, because his life is what you lived, and still living. How you have lost your heart, in a bid to mend its broken pieces. Your whole life was Kola because you made him so. Did you just move? Did you blink those eyes? Or did my words finally burn into your ears? Or did you see the secret I shielded away from while I talked? Will you ever forgive me? Or don't you think it is all meant to happen? Don't you think your blindness then by love pushed you out of you? It made you lose touch with everything, or isn't this true? Didn't you ever think that I could get jealous? And do things I wasn't supposed to? Did you just move again? Didn't you think that one of those nights while you stood under the shea butter tree with him, laughing loud against the whistling of the breeze, the chirping crickets and the croaking of the frogs, that I was dying to be you? What? Didn't you know I had a heart too? You never thought of that? Did you? That maybe I had shown him the treasures beneath the wrapper, and he had fallen for it, like Spanish miners? Or perhaps I had been the reason he changed towards you? Or the reason he moved? Did you ever ask how? Did you? You never did, or refresh my memory, did you? Did you think of how your parents knew you had a baby inside of you? How did they see Kola was breathing inside of you? You never asked because he had filled your heart with that poison he planted in mine. Tonight, you walk your Salem. You will walk with cold tearing at your ears, seeping into your skin. Come night, you fight your past. You will see him, dressed in robes of eternal damnation. He died weeks ago of a heart disease, or whatever I had told the doctor to tell his family or anyone who asked. Don't you think, perhaps, I had gotten tired of the acting? Of the pretense that I was you? Of the regret that stayed unmelted in my heart? Do you think it is easy? Or it was? Do you? To be regarded as Anike while he made love to me? To hear him mumbling your name as he thrusts harder into me? To find out all his passwords bore your name? To continually see his social media updates appear with an inkling of you? Did you think, for one day, I didn't go through double of the misery you have gone through? Do you ever think of how I felt whenever my little daughter ask of you? "Who is Anike Daddy likes talking about?" I suffer daily, or I don't? Don't you believe I am just trying to blame my mistakes on your childhood love? Your ignorant obsession you both have termed love? Maybe, one day, I had gone out of patience, and I had pushed life out of him? Or I had put powder — like that one your mother used at the village for the disturbing cats — in his food? Maybe? Just maybe? I pray you find him. I pray you reunite with your heartbeat. I pray the tears of joy escape the doors of your heart and pour into his. He looked — like you — for a piece of you in me, — who was his darling wife — in everything. In his children. In the various ladies, he fucked at the back seat of his car. In the multiple secretaries, he sacked. In the many prostitutes, he patronized at brothels. He, like you, never found what he looked for. I will be leaving, my friend. I can't stay. My kids... His kids will soon be closed from school. I have to go. Stay still... Sto— Allow me help y— You... Allow me to seep you of air so that you can find wha—. Shhh... Don't— Don't push— Hmmm. That's good, nice and slow... Slow. Rest now, dear. Rest... I will be leaving now. I hope you find him.
Author : David G. David

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5 comments

  • Anonymous

    October 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I sincerely hoped the judges believed in the power of a word. The kind of emotion that you experienced before you dropped it. Apparently, it’s a competition, so I don’t think it’s possible but I’ll still drop my word or rather emoji.
    “❤”
    That’s it. Ciao.

    Reply

  • Segun Michael

    October 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

    David, this is awesome!

    Reply

  • Mika Sotunbo

    October 17, 2017 at 7:36 am

    This is beautiful.
    Your description triggers one’s imaginations

    Reply

  • Okokon Emmanuel

    October 19, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    David, believe me this is awesome. You have never ceased to amuse me. Keep writing, bro. Keep writing about love.

    Reply

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