Category Archives: Short story

What Made Your Day Today?

I drove myself to the get a new Hairdo today.
I know it’s nothing new or noteworthy, but for three years I made my hair at home or by myself.
Last year I started going to the salon once in a while, driven by my Dad or my brother accompanied by one or two of my sisters.
Today, I drove myself without escorts and it was fun.
I have formed the habit of taking notes of how far I’ve come and how far I go each day. It has given me the strength to keep moving and to be thankful for all I had taken for granted before now.

Everyday I learn to do a new thing fills my heart with joy. Either finding an easier way to use the stairs, the bathroom, even to cook in the kitchen, it all makes the journey interesting and smoother.

Whatever difficult situation you find yourself today, remember it gets better, might be hard and uncomfortable at first but you get there eventually.
Keep moving, and never stop believing.

These make my day everyday.
What makes your day…?

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The Scream 1 (Excerpt From South West 1)

I am cursed. I am not sure of much for now but of this one fact; I am cursed. And by the time you finished reading my story, you would believe me.

This was my first thought when I came to, I was not sure of that too. All I knew at first was the sun was bright, and fierce, intending to scorch. It was searing, everything was hot my body was ready to combust. However, I was cold too, somewhere within I could feel a weird chill clutching my heart.

The noise was too much, too loud; so many people speaking, screaming in one voice but different tongues. I couldn’t get up, couldn’t move anything, save my right hand. Some parts of me were missing, numb or malfunctioned. The first on my list was my waist downward. I couldn’t feel it.

Later, I was with my sisters; we were sitting outside, chatting and laughing. I do not understand what we were laughing about. Then I was in our backyard arguing with my brother. He became upset walked in and banged the door after him. I hissed and stormed into the kitchen.

The kitchen transported me back to the street, I looked up and saw Taiwo. He was my childhood friend, I hadn’t seen him in six years. The last time I saw him I hadn’t seen him in ten years. The Six years ago was in Ife at Adventist School of Nursing. I was standing at the gate and then I saw him, but I only waved at him because I couldn’t stop to talk to him.

I was heartbroken. I felt dumped all over again by the guy who disappeared with my heart three years before. He called me that day to tell me why he broke up with me. I had spent those years thinking it was all my fault. I should be relieved that it was not my fault after all but I wasn’t. My heart was being smashed all over again.

That was the last time I saw Taiwo until that day on the street where I wanted to buy Daniel Defoe “Robinson Crusoe”. We hugged and exchanged pleasantries. Then I was back home with my younger sister. She wanted to come with me to the campus to print her project work. It would be cheaper there. And then everything was bright again, and hot.

Then I had a bizarre thought; something had sliced me into two. Everything froze at that moment. I felt something warm trickling out of somewhere between my thighs; it was oozing in a strange beat, the same with my heart as if it was being pumped by my heart beat. A nightmare was my next thought, I needed to wake up, but I couldn’t move, every breath was like the last. Something terrible is wrong with me; I had no idea what. I wanted to cry but I had no tears, I was as dry as clay soil in the harmattan.

Maybe I died and landed in hell that would explain the noise and the absence of anybody to help or tell me where I was. Nobody came, there were so many people, voices everywhere but no one to help. I felt so tired, thirsty and feeble.

“I’m going to die or I’m dead already, and in hell. But why is my mouth filled with sand and stones?” I felt like I was hit or pinned by something. A strong cold hand gripped my throat and clutched my heart; it was fear. The night was beckoning fast though the sun was still shining so bright and fiercely hot; I was not ready for its embrace.

 

 

 

 

The Scream is an excerpt from “South West 1 – A True Tale of Loss, Family, Fate, and Faith. “I would appreciate your honest comment. Thank you.

 

Looking Back

Kierk Gaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward”.

Like a baby, I was sensitive to people’s emotions during my convalescence at the hospital. Those who came with tears filled eyes made me feel I was worse than I felt, while those with long faces made me silently wish I were dead.

On my third day in the ward, I demanded for a mirror because I thought they had lied to me about my face and head. But when I looked in the mirror there was no scratch.

Nevertheless, there was one countenance I couldn’t understand, the faraway gaze of some elderly visitors. They seemed to be staring at my face but they weren’t; and sometimes they would be gaping so long into some spot above my head. It was disturbing. I couldn’t fathom their unspoken words then. Now, I do.

What I couldn’t see then or didn’t want to see, they could perceive. They weren’t thinking about my present agony because they knew it would pass. They were taking a peek into my future, a life filled with disappointments, solitude, hardship, despair, resentment, and misery. All I had lost forever, all I would lose and the acceptance of the uncanny truth that life would never be the same again.

The day I left the hospital after four months was the biggest day of my life. I had yearned to see my home again. I longed to be in my bed after several nights in the hospital. I was finally getting a break from the choking routines. However, on my first night home, I wanted to run back to the hospital. My bed was too soft. There were no rails on the sides to grip onto for support. There was no chain to grasp to get up. It was frustrating, I couldn’t get up by myself. I didn’t know it was easier because of the gadgets attached to the beds at the hospital.

I should have known it was not over when on our way home I couldn’t open my eyes. I was gripping the car seats like a lifeline. I screamed when a truck took a turn ahead, almost facing our car. My mother held my hand and kept telling me it would be fine, we would soon be home. But I was not fine, not for a very long time. And I never made it home. I was frozen in time on the street that sunny day where my journey began. It was then I understood the distant stares of my elderly visitors.

Since then, every day is a new day for me. Each day a different way of living it, of doing things, a brand new experience. So I learnt not to live them before they arrive because they fill me with dread and anxious of what else life has in stock for me. I found new ways of doing old things. I found strength and pride in my yesterday accomplishments. They gave me the courage and determination to face tomorrow, to never give up, and to never stop believing.

My journey so far have taught me to look back once in a while to see how far I have come. If you are always looking ahead like an athlete, you only see how far you have to go and all you need to overcome. But a glance backward once in a while buoys the spirit, ignites the heart and reminds you why you are on that road in the first place, not how you get to the end of the road. It fills you with pride of all you have accomplished and reminds you why you can’t give up. Most importantly it fills your heart with praises for all you have, all you had and to look forward to all you can have.

After my accident, I had nothing to look forward to. The future was cloaked in a fog of vagueness, terror and uncertainty. All I could see was pain, sleepless nights, pity and sympathy. A future that has no relationship with my past, where my past is severed from my present. Where I would always have to compensate for my lost, make up for it, explain and defend it. It was scary and infuriating.

All I had was the present, where I could trip and fall, where I could barely move unaided, endless therapy, shamelessly depending on others, something totally different from who I used to be. I didn’t want to peek or think. I started with the present, taking it one step at a time, not thinking about the future; one day after the other.

From it, I built a new past, recording my recoveries and progresses. And each time I got to a point of despair, I would picture how far I had come and what a waste it would be to throw it away. I would remind myself how I didn’t give up when my wounds were fresh, when I couldn’t sit, when I couldn’t walk. All the times I fell, got up and kept going.

Looking forward demands more prayers for the will, the strength and courage to keep moving. Looking back is appreciating the Lord for His goodness. It opens doors for more blessings and gives meaning to life. It fuels and propels the spirit to harbour; looking forward keeps living the life.

Thinking back fills my heart with praises and gratitude; I am not where I was yesterday, and if I am here today, I would be somewhere farther tomorrow. I am looking back with gratitude, and moving forward with grace.

A Gift in the Dark

My first novel, “A Gift in the Dark” is now live and available for purchase on amazon.com and Kindle Store.
Buy and write a Review on my book at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gift-Dark-Olufunke-Kolapo/dp/1520196636/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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amazon.com/author/olufunkekolapo

“A Gift in the Dark” is the tale of the lives and love of some teens in high school in Nigeria, who are from well-to-do-homes. They are sent to boarding school for their education and purportedly for their protection.

Rita is the female star student of Diamond International High school. She crawled out of her shell and books to join the elite students group in her school. She becomes their leader through her charm and generosity and would do anything to make it permanent.

She is an obedient and well behaved girl. But when she learns the truth about her friends, especially her teachers, her principles and beliefs falter. Her teachers are not what they appear to be or what they should be.

She realises that no one really cares if you are good or not as long as you are not caught in the bad act. In her desire to be liked and accepted by all she forgets her upbringing. She finally allows her friend to completely lure her into their world. Her decision leaves her in a dangerous path. And in order to protect her love from his father’s wrath and not to implicate him further she keeps her secret to herself and destroys herself in the process.

Richard is the dark, brooding son of one of the most powerful lawyer in the country. He is the male star student of his school, intelligent and easy going. He loves his family and adores his mother. He constantly wishes that she would really be a mother to him and protects him from his father.

He respects his father and gives him all that he expects from him, while he provides all their needs. But he wants more than his wealth and name. Now, he is ready to be more than ordinary brilliant in order to get his attention. He wants to give him something that would dazzle him.

Rita and Richard sneak out of school with their friends one night to attend a party. But Rita’s one night adventure is cut short when she meets a stranger who gives her a gift she couldn’t reject or tell anyone about until it’s too late for her, and her loved ones. A stranger whose face she can’t recollect. Her life and her parent’s marriage is about to be shattered because of her secret. She has to do one more thing to keep the pieces of her life from falling apart.

Will she be able to fix her mistake and her parent’s marriage?
Get a copy of ” A Gift in the Dark” and find out more.

An Amputee’s Prayer (2)

I have prayed for so many things. I have cried for a lot of things as well but not for my leg to grow back. That sound like a scene from a sci-fi movie.

I had imagined it though. I imagined what it would be like. Then I think, I wouldn’t really want it. All I had been through would be like a dream, like they never happened. But I prayed that my pelvis would join like the dry bones in Ezekiel.

I did pray for the strength, courage and the will to live this life. You need a lot of those as an amputee.

I asked to be able to bear the pain, to be stronger than it, and to smile through it.

I asked to never be hungry or lack anything good. That the Lord would bless me with all I need to sustain my new life. That I would never have any reason to cry again.

I asked Him to take care of my family, my love ones, that I wouldn’t have any reason to run because of them, as He knows that I can’t run. That whenever they need me but I can’t be there, He stands in my place.

I told Him, since He has taken my leg, He would have to be my legs and go all the places I wouldn’t be able to go. He would walk it for me and with me.

Sometimes, when I wonder how I’m able to bear it. I remember I had asked Him to give me the grace to.
A man once asked me after staring at me for a very uncomfortable several minutes.

“How do you endure it? I really can’t imagine, how you cope, with your daily activities, work, everything?”

I said, “You find new ways of doing old things. It seems uncomfortable or strange at first, and then it becomes you.”

“But what about the ones you can’t do, what about in the future?”

“I take it one day at a time. I leave the next day and the next step to Him. He handles them. He takes care of me today and prepares me for tomorrow. Whatever tomorrow brings, He is there to guide and walk me through it.

An Amputee’s Prayer (1)

What would an amputee pray about?
What would be their major prayer request?
A new leg?
That the limb or limbs would miraculously grow back? I don’t know what it was supposed to be. But I do know I have never asked for it before. Not ever.

My niece was reading the story of the Shunamite woman of 2Kings Chapter 4 to me few days ago. It was the story of the woman who took pity on Elisha the prophet and made a chamber for him in their house, so he could rest whenever he comes around. Elisha in turn asked what could be done for her for her generosity. So he prophesied to her that by the following season she would embrace a son.

And it was so.

Then the child died.

The woman took him to the prophet’s chamber and laid him on his bed. And then she went in search of the man of God. When she found him, she took hold of his feet and asked why he would give her a child and then take him away. The prophet sent his servant Gehazi to lay his staff on the child’s face, but the Shunamite woman refused. She would not leave unless the man of God came with her.

He did. He went in to the child, prayed to the Lord and did his prophet thing. The child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

Before that, there is the story of the poor widow and his two sons whom the man of God saved from her creditors. And after it, there is the account of dearth in Gil-gal and how the man of God made the poisonous pottage safe for the sons of the prophets. He also fed hundred men with twenty loaves of barley.

“There are no more miracles”, my niece said simply at the end of the chapter. They don’t exist anymore like in the Bible. I opened my eyes, looked at her and closed them again, hoping she would close the Bible and let it rest.

“They don’t happen anymore, even when you believe they would”

I sighed, I could feel my hope dissipating in the heat.

“I prayed for you”. I pray for you every day but it never happened”.

I opened my eyes again and stared at the ceiling. I watched as my hope that she would let go of the dearth and death of miracle ascended into it.

I didn’t have to ask what the prayer was. I knew it. And then I wondered why I never asked for it myself.

Maybe my faith is not strong enough. Maybe I don’t believe it is possible. Or I was just contented with walking unaided with my legs in my dreams.

I don’t know that too. But one thing is sure; I have to give the young lady an answer.

Black And White

My eyes wouldn’t open. Maybe they were. I sensed someone behind me. “Bolu.” I think I said it out loud. Now I’m not very sure. I could hear voices, though they seem very far away. I couldn’t understand any of the words. They were getting closer. Louder. Someone was shouting in my ears. I wanted the noise to stop, I wanted to cover my ears, but my hands were not where they should be. They were bound together, at the wrists by some cold steel!  I opened my mouth to scream but a roar silenced me before I could.

 

“Why did you kill him?”

Everything in me went still. “Him who? I didn’t kill anybody.” I felt my lips open as I tried to speak louder. I tried to turn my neck to look at his face but it was stiff like my father’s old table fan. I couldn’t see him or anything else.

“Let me explain the situation to you,” he whispered fiercely into my ears, his hot breath fanned my throbbing neck. “You got up in the middle of the night on the 20th of November, 2015 and stabbed your husband ten times in the chest.”

My chest heaved and collided with my stomach. Is he talking to me? Where am I? There were different thoughts whirring round and round in my head. “I didn’t kill anybody.”

“You killed Adewale.”

“I don’t know who that is?”

“Was. He was your husband.”

“I am not married.” I screamed and mucus trickled into my mouth. A giant hand grabbed a handful of my hair and yanked my head backward.  I saw white, bright white light.

“Why did you kill him?” Panic clutched my chest, making it hard to breathe. Every breath I took scraped my side like a blunt razor.

“I didn’t kill–” His palm collided with my face and something horrible happened to me. I don’t know what it was but the humming started from my right cheek and its vibration spread all the way to my right ear and eyes. The voices were getting far away but the ringing in my ears kept echoing at the centre of my head. I heard someone weeping and then realised it was me.

My heart was racing. I tried to calm my breath. Where am I? How did I get here? I knew I was not the person they were talking about, but I had no idea who I was either. The memory was there somewhere; I just needed to find it. What was the last thing I remember?

My mind travelled back. I was sitting at my table, typing. I was having trouble with my heroine, so I closed the laptop and picked my pen and notepad instead. I lay on my bed and closed my eyes. Thinking.

I tried to hold on to the images but they were fading away, slipping out of my reach. I had to remember before I slipped into the darkness again, before the voices returned.

Something else was there, in the corner of my mind, out of my reach. A wish? Then I remembered. I had made a wish for my lead character. I wished I could feel her pain and betrayal. Her anger. I wished I could be there with her when she walked in on her husband and daughter. My heroine! I am my heroine!

My head started whirling, taking everything else in its mad gyration. Oh God, please not again, I can’t be in the story again. And then everything went still. I was being sucked into the darkness.

My eyes snapped open, to a bright light. I blinked. Before my eyes could adjust to the light I was yanked off the hard wood and thrown on the cold floor.

“Confess, now!”

My elbow landed hard on the floor and my lips broke open again when it collided with the cold steel on my wrist. My joints and muscles screamed in agony but I managed to ask just one question.

“May I have a pen?”

I knew what I had to do.

“You are ready to confess?”

I nodded.

“I knew you would, heartless woman”, he said.  A hand landed heavily on my left shoulder, pulled me off the floor and shoved me back in the chair. Then it slapped a notepad on the desk and placed a pen on it. It pulled my wrists roughly; I winced at the impact on my shoulders. And then I heard a clink and the cold steel broke loose. I wished I could see their faces. I knew there were two of them but my eyelids had formed a shade over my eyes.

I rolled the pen over and over between my thumb and index finger. How does this work? Do I need a wand or wave the pen around? I closed my eyes tightly. Nothing. How did I get myself into this? When did it start? My head was a mass of sticky cobwebs. I picked the pen and closed my eyes again. I saw a street, a very busy street; there was a restaurant and I was famished. I saw a signpost. It seemed familiar. I was walking home, but I had no idea where home was. One thing was clear, I had to make a wish and write something that would take me far from the madhouse. So, I did.

*******

The sun had just disappeared below the horizon when my feet touch the street inside my head. My cloth is bloody and ragged; my joints groan with every step and my feet are no longer mine, but all I can think of is the pen and paper. I would need a picture of my house or a five-star hotel for a hot bath; or maybe I could write in a vacation at the Presidential Villa, something rich and exciting this time… But the pen and paper first.

The Other Woman (1)

Prompt: Three children are sitting on a log near a stream. One of them looks up at the sky and says…

“It ends today”, he said, his eyes fixed on the shadow he had been chasing for ten years. His heart was thumping madly in his chest but he kept running. He tripped and grabbed the nearest tree for support. And then he heard the laughter, like the sound of water flowing from a bottle. It was so disturbingly familiar. It was all he could hear in the silence of the night when sleep took its flight and during the day when he was alone in his thought.

He was on a gentle rise with trees closing in around it from all sides. He turned around, straining his ears for any sound that would tell him where it might be, nothing except the gentle flow of a stream down the slope on his right. He had lost it again. His legs wobbled slightly as he trudged toward the stream. “Strange,” he muttered. “I have been here before.” He frowned as he searched his mind for when. He just knew he had been there with someone but who? He kept walking toward the stream, he had to get closer, even though he felt faint he had to. There was a log by the stream, it wasn’t there before. It was as if he conjured it up himself when he thought of resting. He sat on it, he just knew he should. The sky was grey, but the sun was still there fighting to take control.

He was rocking to the steady flow of the stream when he heard something. He turned and saw her standing about ten feet from him. The gentle breeze gave life to her powder blue gown, swaying to its beat. He got up and walked toward her. Her hair, woven in thick braids was tied at the nape of her neck with a white ribbon. Her eyes were huge and dark. “You are a woman” he said.
She cackled “And you’re always so slow. I see nothing has changed.”

His eyes hardened, “Why have you been tormenting me? Slowly she turned and melted into the breeze. He blinked, and she was perched on the log, staring at the sky. He frowned and followed her gaze. There was a very bright star in the sky, sparkling and beside it another one pale and fading. When he looked down at her again, she was a child of about eight years. She had the same face but her eyes were sad. Her face was glistening in the dark and when he peered at them, they were tears. She got up and started to walk away.

“Stop! Who are you? Why have you been haunting me?” She turned and resumed her pose on the log. He didn’t want to move closer to her, she might disappear again. He had to put an end to his misery and solve this mystery “for ten years you have tormented me, why?

“You are still slow, I have been teasing you all your lifetime.”
“What does that mean?
“It means it’s what I do, dreams notwithstanding”.
“This is a dream?
“Of course, Bablo, otherwise I wouldn’t be here”.
His eyes grew round and their brows went up. “How do you know that name? She smiled. “Speak now …”
“Or what? You are always all barks, Tade. And teasing you is my pleasure. It’s all I have now, unless you tell me to leave,” she said sashaying toward him with each word.
“Who are you”?
“What! I can’t believe you ask me that, she said, pouting. It hurts.
“Who are you”!
She shook her head “You have to remember me, Bablo. You have to.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You have to remember me, before it’s too late.”

“I can’t believe you lured me here for this child’s play. I had hoped baba was right about me having a woman in another realm, and I almost believed him for a while. Leave me alone, woman. Go, and never come back.” She shrank back, her dark eyes turned green and glowed. The little girl vanished and in her place was the beautiful woman with pink lips and fiery red eyes.

The pink lips opened and she spoke in a hoarse voice “There will be a time when you would need me. You would seek me but will never find me” there was rustling of leaves and trees and she was gone. The log sank into the ground and disappeared as well as the stream. When he looked at the sky there was only one star and then it was gone and so was the night.

He suddenly felt lonely. He placed his right palm on the left side of his chest and rubbed gently. “I didn’t mean it,” he said to the wind and the sky. He felt as sad as the woman and was surprised when tears dropped onto his chest. “Please, come back”.

He looked up to see his wife hovering over him her hands on his shoulders. “Wake up, Tade. Are you alright”?
“I think so”. She called me Bablo. How did she know my childhood pet-name?
“The dream again”? He nodded and rubbed his eyes.
“Did you dream too?” She shook her head

She swallowed hard and blinked back the tears. If Baba was right then she would never know the joy of motherhood. The woman in her husband’s shadow would never allow her to conceive. Her offspring would be limited to the three children playing by the stream in her dream. If only she could share his dreams.

“You must find out who she is and what she wants.” He nodded as he pulled her closer. For the first time in their seven years of marriage, he hid the dream from her.
“Do you think baba is right”? she asked after a while.
“No. We don’t need to worry about that now.” She rested her head on his chest, wondering who she was.

 

 

*******

This post is part of the East Africa Friday Feature entry.

 

Read Other Stories from Participating Bloggers


Alien Abduction

The Hyena’s Marriage – Day 12

 

 

I Remember (1)

I remember her eyes. There was something eerie about them. I can almost see her now like I did four years ago. She was dark and thin, but there was strength in those eyes, in their depth. The way she blinked and widened them….I still get goose bumps whenever I remember them. She was feeble but her upper arms were strong; thin, but steady like her icy eyes.
I was about to jump into the waiting cab when they flung opened and our eyes met. Mine held, even when hers dropped to straighten her floral skirt. I hardly stare or take much notice of strangers but for some reasons I was glued to that spot. I was frozen. Now, when I think of it, I still have no idea why I paused.
When she looked up, I looked away, embarrassed like a child caught peeping through a key hole. Then I saw a young man, maybe her brother judging from the same set of full upper lips and oversized nose. He looked worn out in a dirty jeans and faded t-shirt holding her wheel chair. I stepped back to give him room, just realising then that I was blocking the way. I couldn’t stop myself from watching their well mastered performance of moving her from the car to the chair. How she folded and shrank her body into a ball, her hands hugging her chest to make it easier for him to lift her into the wheelchair. I was enthralled. Then our eyes met again. I turned and hurried on to get another cab even as the driver was calling me to come back. As I was about to to step onto the cab, I glanced back and our eyes met, again. Hers hardened and then widened, with contempt? I have no idea. I wondered why at first, then I realised she must find it irritating. I wished then that I could show her my thoughts. Or maybe she was offended that I didn’t take the cab? I sighed and closed the door.
I tried not to look to my right as I rode to lecture. But I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering to her. I pictured her bathing, dressing, growing from girlhood to womanhood. I wondered if she had a boyfriend. Will she have children, know the joy of motherhood? Then I saw another boy hopping on one leg and a wooden crutch. I wondered what happened to him too, was he born that way, or an accident? How does he survive every day knowing tomorrow would be the same? What does he do when in danger? Who looks out for him? Who takes care of them all? I didn’t have to wait for long to find out. As I didn’t return to my home or bed until four months later. I spent those months in a surgical ward with a front row view watching “Behind the Scene of an Amputee Life”.
Now, I know.

The Woman in the Mirror (1)

I saw her today, this morning. I have seen her every day for as long as I can remember. But today, I really saw her, the woman in the mirror, when she told me her story.
When she was a young girl, she would only look in the mirror to check if her hair was well brushed. To see if her appearance was modest enough for the church. She couldn’t stay too long because it was vain. When she became a lady, she would sit in front of the mirror to admire her beauty. She would stare just to revel in her freedom to do so for as long as she could. She would squint, then widen her eyes, pout and pucker her lips, roll her tongue and finally gently applied her make-up. She would take extra care on her big black eyes and sumptuous lips. And then she would stare some more to admire her handiwork.
Today, she looked nothing like the girl or the lady. She is a woman. A woman who stared long and hard in the mirror but saw nothing of her exquisite beauty. A woman who now looked into the face in the mirror, beyond the face, into the woman to see her soul, her heart, her journey. A woman who bears no resemblance to the girl or the lady.