By Rufus Somkenechukwu Ezechukwu

Olisaemeka, A boy of barely 18 narrates….

It all started on a Friday morning. Fridays have always been my worst days since I was ten, and it kicks off with flashes of melodic hysteria and lands me into an unending end of long trivial sorrows. It was on a Friday that I had lost mother, the only woman on earth whose love am sure of, she was said to have been poisoned by Uncle Akanye. My greatest sorrow is not the death of my mom Obidiya, nor the appraised rumor of my favorite uncle being responsible for her death, but my failure to mourn her, my failure to cry loudly, throw aggressive fists to the innocent air and shout threats to the bemoaning clouds, my failure to allow tears blur my eyes and stare with reddened eyes suggestive of anger and revenge. I failed, my emotions failed me, I could feel but to express it was numb. How can I appear normal even with the knowledge of the departure of my Mom Obidiya? This was a question that I, and all present that very day could not answer.

Every Friday, with all its airy fairy happiness, I make some reservations for the tragedy of the day. I get ready for disappointments, false accusations, maltreatments, misunderstandings and love, Yeah! Love is a tragedy.

                                                                                      Friday, Feb 12 2021

“Hello dear, Can I come in, wanna talk with you”. Her voice rang through my ears like a celestial jingle sprouted from the royal paradise of Solomon. I stood, trying to conjoin her imagery with her voice, this have been my hobby since I knew Kamsiyochukwu. I cannot formulate to myself any substantial reason for my interest in this fictitious friend of mine, but do what I would, the interest remained and increased each time I saw her or listened to her high pitched voice. Kamsi hardly visits me in the morning, what must have brought her here this early hour of the day? She noticed my uneasy stare and returned it with a smile, she was even more attractive when she smiled, her face softened and my weariness momentarily disappeared, though her face still looked vulnerable. She began. “Olisaemeka, I can’t bear you telling people am your best friend, how can I handle that? You are not good, Olisa. You are dull to a fault and since we became friends you don’t understand easily. When I wink, twist my lips, momentarily acquire a deep voice and stare emotionally into your eyes, you seem not to understand what to do, or you lack courage? You rarely catch up with the modern fashion, you refused to attend the gym, you waste time reading and care less for outing, you….”She went on and on. Ahh, I can’t dare to visualize her very words, her looks when she spoke, the fire that was in her eyes or the shadows it created in my soul. This moment Marie Corelli would say ‘was a moment when if ever good and evil angels play a game of chance for a man’s soul, they were surely throwing the dice on the last wager for mine.’ Standing before me is a Lady I revere so much after my mother, saying words I can hardly understand. Before Obidiya died, these were the things she loved me for, my ability to understand clearly, to dress properly with shirts tucked in, my penchant for novels and mastery in Literature and now I am hated for these same thing. I have never undergone the follies of love for another person but now I am lost, lost without remains, lost even vaguely in the shadows that I didn’t realize when she left, left and never to return.

Mom never told me I had to dress fashionably in order to be loved, that I had to be muscular in order to be a good man, that reading was inferior to outing. Mum loved me unconditionally irrespective of my ill looks and imperfections, but Kamsi could not. Could love be two sided? Just like a sea that could drown and as well transport passersby. Now, tears filed my eyes and I realized I wept not for Kamsi, but for Obidiya who loved and left me at a very tender age and whose death am yet to mourn.

‘In moments like this, Olisaemeka would gently reach out for his music player and retire to the melodic ecstasy of Enya’s ‘May it be’ while hoping that tomorrow turns out better.’

#I am not young – I am old in heart in feeling.

                                                                   Rufus Somkenechukwu Ezechukwu.




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