Search

fkregieblog

syc'more

Category

SHORT STORY

this too shall pass

       “if i had a hundred of you sitting in front of me right now, i’d say, in three months, thirty will be gone. by six months, sixty will be gone.” ezequiel looks straight at the doctor, smiles at him and adjusts his glasses. they’ve always examined scans together, with the doctor explaining everything as he rolls through the images, this time, the monitor is facing the doctor.

          “you see, we have run out of options. we have used all the better alternatives. i’m afraid, the best thing right now, is to drain the water in the left lung to help you with the pain. but it will fill up again. so, after we drain it, we will put something in that space where the water was, and see what happens.” ezequiel smiles again, adjusts himself on the seat.

        “that’s why you are having problems breathing. you’re virtually using only one lung.” ezequiel feels absolutely no fear. by nature, death is not an outcome but a transition – so, he has no fear of death.  the doctor is looking at him to pick up any signs of what he is feeling, but ezequiel keeps looking straight at him, with a smile on his face.

            “and the liver?”

         “i am afraid there’s nothing we can do about that.” the doctor looks at his monitor again. whatever is on the monitor has strained him.

        “i didn’t mean treating it. i meant, what’s going to happen as it deteriorates?”

            “oh. you’re going to get more tired, and eventually slip into coma.”

           “oh, ok.” silence. then they discuss the procedure of draining the water from the left lung. “can we go get that morphine shot now?” they both get up. the pain on his left side and lower back intensify. for the first time since he has been treating him, the doctor catches a slight change in his expression.

         “i know you are not the type to complain, so for you to talk about this pain you must really be in severe pain.” ezequiel laughs. they walk out of the doctor’s office to the room where the morphine injection will be administered.

           “i know it’s just april, but i will see you next year. i am one of the ten percent that will still be sitting in front of you when the ninety are gone.”

the doctor looks straight into his eyes. gives him a hug. the doctor is trembling.

          “i believe you.” he knew from the moment they first met, and throughout the times they met, that he had torn out the page in his dictionary, where defeat is defined.

fkregie 2017.

Advertisements

hooked

like the oarfish, his sighting is a harbinger of a tremor. he lives in the deep-waters of her happiness – a deep-lying reminder good things come in waves. but it’s the tides between the waves that rock her skerry. so, you can imagine her feelings when, sitting in her living room on a cloudy saturday morning mid-april, he knocks and walks in. she gets up, hugs and invites him to sit down. as they dispense of courtesies, she is texting. he has an uncanny precognition of her texting habits – he knows she wouldn’t be texting a woman at seven-thirty-six in the morning. she prefers calling her close friends.  as she responds to a text, he looks around the living room – new photos of their three-year-old daughter, new healthy potted plants, new hand-made artifacts in dark hues of orange to match the new sofas, two used glasses of wine on the center table – no lipstick mark on either, a turquoise pair of shoes beside the sofa she is sitting on, a whiff of a male oud perfume … a text comes in, she checks it, smiles and responds. she hasn’t seen or heard from him in three months except for sporadic texts about their child. when he left three months ago, he had told her he couldn’t give her what she wanted immediately. she told him she couldn’t wait any longer – four years was a long time. she knew he had a new flame, but she was tired of fighting fires. another text comes in, she checks it, smiles and responds. she looks at him. he pats the space besides him, she gets up to sit beside him. he seems to have lost a few pounds, but he still looks in good shape in his navy-blue under armour storm rival tracksuit.

            “so.” she turns slightly to face him. from his angle, her resemblance to whoopi is striking. he unzips his tracksuit top. she notices he is wearing an engagement ring – on a gold herringbone necklace. he touches the ring.

            “depends where you would want to wear it. i agree, four years is a long time.” a text comes in, she looks at it, puts the phone aside. she closes the space between them on the sofa, he leans forward, she puts her hands round his neck – to undo the hook.

fkregie 2017.

betcha never

there comes a time in every relationship when, like a cat sliding down the algaed wall of a well, leaving talon trails, you know you’ve lost all traction – but you try to hang on as you slide into abyss. then you start to hear the voices … she walks out of the ensuite bathroom in a stunning red dress to find him sitting on the couch in the bedroom – the remote control to the sound system in his hand. she thought he was in the living room watching orlando pirates get slaughtered again. as she opens her jewelry box to take out a pair of stud earrings, she is thinking, ‘why does he keep watching that team with players that cannot even pass urine. isn’t it frustrating watching your beloved team fall in love with losing?’ she is gyrating to the song that has just started playing, unawares he is trying to shut moneoa up as she sings, “… my poor pride she feel so hurt and so betrayed/it’s alright you’ll never feel my love again/silly me, silly me,/how could i, how could i,/fall in love, fall in love,/silly girl, heh, ey, heh!/silly me, silly me,/how could i, how could i,/fall in love, fall in love,/silly girl, heh, ey, heh!”[1]

silence.

          “are you going out again?” she says nothing. she opens the wardrobe again and brings out a bottle of chanel’s chance. she sprays it on her neck, down her cleavage, and then she lifts her dress and sprays it between her legs. his heart is thumping hard against his throat.

           “are you going with mary-anne?” she looks at him, snorts. she walks to the mirror in the passage and pirouettes in front of it. satisfied, she comes back into the bedroom, picks up her red clutch-bag and the car keys from the bed. he gets up.

          “you didn’t answer me.” she looks at her watch, looks at him, then sits on the bed. she picks up the remote control, puts the sound system on and skips to track three. moments later vanessa williams is speaking her mind. he knows the song, he has heard it all evening as she prepared to go out. in fact, there are only three songs on the cd. he almost switched off the sound system when he came into the room and heard gladys knight singing, “neither one of us.”[2] he grabs the remote control and switches off the system as vanessa williams sings: “tonight i give you my surprise/i hope that you won’t mind/i’m giving you an eye for an eye/baby, i’ve found another/and he is my lover/and i’m going out for the rest of your life.”[3]

              “if you’re not going to answer me, then you’re going nowhere.” she looks at him, picks up the clutch bag and car keys and gets up. he pushes her back on the bed – knocking her windless. she knows what would follow. so, she says nothing. she grabs the car keys from the floor next to the clutch-bag. as she gathers the spilled content of the clutch-bag, he storms out of the room. as he settles into the sofa in the living room his phone vibrates. it’s a message from her. his first instinct is not to read it, but the first words displayed on the lock-screen catch his attention. he opens the message:

          “men who think a woman’s place is in the kitchen, should know that’s where the knives are kept.”

[1] Moneoa. (2013). Is’xbhanxa. Mokoya Mix Vol. 2, Superbly Mixed by DJ Sabza.

[2] Knight, Gladys. (1972). Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye). Neither One of Us. Soul.

[3] Williams, Vanessa. (1995). Betcha Never. The Sweetest Days. Wing . Mercury.

the reunion

when i got here god asked me, “what did you do with your life?” i answered: i stole a thousand sunsets. i said a million prayers. i drunk tea by the veranda. i lost my eyesight to the unending road. i knew what it meant to hope, even on days when i felt like i had none. i listened to big drums talk and little church bells chorus. i saw rains come and go. i watched stray dogs cross over the gravel road ahead of our house. i saw eagles soar in the bluest sky. i heard owls sing at night. i saw wolves try to pass through our gate. i heard hyenas circling our compound. through it all, i did not waver or fear. in truth, i could not hear or see anything besides the loneliness of the dirt road that curves right before it gets to the market. i enjoyed listening to nothing more than its whispers about its journey and where it was headed – quite a fascinating tale, i might add. many times, i watched my man take steps away from me on the very same road. i had no doubt that he would come back to me. i had no doubt he would come back to my heart – where he belongs. but you called me up – and the years turned.

***

your old radio ran out of batteries and i became too overwhelmed to buy new batteries. but i did. i bought new batteries. i kept the radio on because when i get there we’d need to dance. and we’d need the music for something else but first – we shall dance. i love how you dance. we used to dance like our feet were on the sun. you – jazz and jam. remember the name i gave you? you’re both smooth and sweet. you danced right into my heart. danced right to the beat of it. in your absence, my heart still beats. my heart still beats with your smooth steps and the loud pounding of your feet. my heart still gets electrified like the day you serenaded me with marvin gaye’s “you’re all i need to get by.”[1] i laugh. 

***

the day you left earth my heart sank. how is it that you could leave earth without my being there? i remember looking at the road as if it had betrayed me. they think i’m a fool to think you’ll come back. they’ve talked about me until they couldn’t. said i’m a fool to keep on hoping. that hard judgement eventually turned to a soft sympathy. poor man, they’d say while they shake their heads … the news of your passing made it here fast and left quick. but in our house, i pickled it in a jar and saved it in my kitchen cabinet. i stowed some in the clay pot with drinking water by the stove. i stashed it with some of our best memories on the top shelf of our closet. when grief dragged me to sleep earlier i thought it was you with me in bed only to find i have slept next to the talk of your never coming home to me in heaven. treacherous and painful – i know you’d disagree with my loss of hope and my madness when you get here. i always thought you were too happy and too positive until i realized the world needed more love and hope than it did judgment and hate – until i realized there’s really nobody else i’d rather be with … they told me to remarry when you left earth. they told me to mourn when you passed. i couldn’t find it in me to. we’ve had moments of intimacy – moments when our souls consummated their love and gave birth to us. i cannot explain this enough to them. after such an act, there’s never been a you or me. there has only been an us … ever since i got here this us makes me rush from the market because i want to get dinner started before you get home. then i realize you’re still over there. though i eat alone, i don’t feel alone. this us makes it hard for my soul to yearn for anyone but you. they say my leaving you on earth made me lose my mind. yet others do say no great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness and they go on to say it is the mark of an intelligent mind to entertain a thought without accepting it. i let them vent their sentiments in between our sips of tea and scones or when they pass by the passage by the house and i so happen to be by the fence. i let them talk about me in my absence too. 

***

it’s the night of the day you passed, and i dreamt of you. i am taking down the washing from the fence. the omega radio, with its aerial pointing to earth, is by the veranda on top of the garden table joseph made for me. as i return to the fence, i see a frame at the corner post, right where there are some dresses and petticoats shining in the presence of the sun. i walk over. he takes his hat off as i get nearer. my feet carry me toward the fence. your eyes meet mine. i have forgotten the clothes on the fence. we take slow uncertain steps towards the gate. until we are only separated by the fence – a fence i put up to keep others out. gabriel said god doesn’t allow fences here, i told him to wait until he meets you. we take steps forward. steps we have taken together before with better limber and with youthful carelessness. now the steps we take are … we take steps again and again and again and again. nothing sounds but the beat of our hearts. nothing else is worth seeing but our eyes. we want to blink but we both know a blink could be a lifetime as far as you and i are concerned. i hear your breathing which sounds like the flapping of owl wings and you hear mine. it smells like guavas. they’re your favorite and they are in season. my hands grip loosely and territorially at the fence as i take each step. i wish i had on something better than my overall dress and flip flops. i wish i had undone my head-scarf and did my hair just the way you like it. but all these thoughts don’t deter my or your steps. i berated myself for thinking that for i know, to you, the only important thing is me. by the time we get to the small gate, we stand before each other. my tears pour and yours moisten your face. you’ve changed so much and you’ve stayed the same. oh, that mischievous smile. i want to say as an apology for the times we’ve been apart physically but does it matter when now my chest touches yours? does it matter when you take me into your arms and twirl with me? does it matter when you have that mischievous smile on your face? a cry, a laugh, a dance. i don’t ever want to let go of you. we stay in each other’s arms for a moment. as if we’re reintroducing our souls. as if dusting out an old photo and remembering the time it was taken … that’s when your knock woke me.

            “you’re just in time for our afternoon tea.”

            “i know. i brought biscuits. your favorite.”

a few days ago, a friend of mine passed by to offer her commiserations on the passing of my dad. we wrote a collection of short stories together, so she has an idea of what my parents shared through my depiction of their lives together in some of the stories in that volume. as we talked, we thought it would be nice to write a piece that captures the love my parents shared, and how they will feel when they meet again. this story is the result of that brainstorm. thanks wame gwafila for the inspiration.

[1] Gaye, Marvin. (1968). You’re All I Need To Get By. You’re All I Need. Tamla. This was my parents’ favorite song. I heard it so many times, by the time I was six I knew the lyrics by heart.

wame gwafila & fkregie 2017.

brother.father.friend.

warm day in june. i walk into my parents’ room at seven in the morning. i need their opinion on what to wear to church. i know they are up – they wake up every day at 5. mom is pacing on dad’s side of the bed. even though her ‘pissed-off mood’ usually lasts a few minutes, this is not a good sight, especially early this sunday morning. so, here i am watching this woman – well over six feet, dressed in a black nightdress, and muttering words that would make a sailor blush. it’s like watching a vexed bear in an enclosed space.

            “are you ok?”

        “your dad, i’m going to kill that –” then we hear the noise. a loud clatter, coming from their bathroom. one moment mom is talking to me, the next moment she in the bathroom. then i hear them laughing. moments later they appear through the bathroom door, mom has dad in a head-lock with her left arm, and is ruffling his hair with his hair-brush with her right hand. they are both laughing. i leave the room. we’ll learn later at breakfast that he had said he would stay at home and pray like he did last week, mom didn’t want him setting a bad example for us about the need to worship with others, then he said something about the pastor and an argument ensued. he went into the bathroom (just about the time i walked in) and deliberately dropped his hair-brush in the bathtub to make my mom think he had fallen. when she entered the bathroom, he was sitting on the edge of the bathtub laughing. just like that, their fight was over.

dedicated to my dad, Chief M.O. Omoregie, who passed away early this morning. a brother, a father and a friend from whom i learnt many subtle non-violent ways of resolving misunderstandings with your lover. a man who thought me to see life in images and metaphors, and to always see the positive in any situation. a man, to whom laughter was more than medicine. i guess, wherever you are right now, you see the funny side in your own passing. may your soul rest in perfect peace.

fkregie 2017.

mirrors

she sees his reflection in the mirrors that surround the inside of the restaurant. for a moment she thinks she is hallucinating. she turns. her eyes roam the restaurant, she can’t see him. it’s a saturday evening, he wouldn’t be in town, she muses. she remembers he told her that before they met he traveled out of gaborone every weekend because, as he would say, “i cannot stand this city for more than a week.” since they broke up, just over three months ago, every time life threatens to pull her under, she would come to the restaurant and carry out her special ritual. by the time she was done eating, she would feel calm and regenerated. like she was for him, his presence was calming. they have spoken by phone a few times since the break up, but it was nothing, compared to the calmness she felt carrying out her ritual in what was their favorite restaurant.

***

then she sees him again through the mirrors – walking towards her. she turns around and he is standing beside her – smiling his infectious smile. smelling of soul. he hears natalie imbruglia sing, “i’m cold and i am shamed/lying naked on the floor/illusion never changed/into something real/i’m wide awake and i can see/the perfect sky is torn …”[1] the song that was playing the day they broke up. her eyes follow his to the source of the music. she picks up the phone.

      “oh, sorry, didn’t know you were with someone.” he is looking at the jacket draped over the chair opposite her, and the bottle of bruce cost ginger ale original – placed on a serviette as is his habit. he knows they don’t sell it in the restaurant.

      “it was good to see you.” the song still playing in his head. she busies herself with switching off the music, pretending not to hear him.

       “let me go.” he squeezes her shoulder lightly. and starts to walk off.

       “hun, wait!” he stops. “would you like to join me?”

       “and your date.” he looks around the full restaurant.

      “i’m not with anyone. that’s your jacket.” his heart skips a bit, and his hands start to shake. he thrusts them in his pants’ pockets, and hunches his shoulders. his heart is choking him.

     “and the drink.” she doesn’t respond. they stare at each other. both hearts threatening to burst open their chests. she is wondering how he saw her from the reception. he had looked to their favorite table and saw her. he pulls the chair with the jacket draped over it and sits down. he smells soul off the jacket. he says nothing – the lump in his throat, the size of a tennis ball. he looks at her. she smiles awkwardly, her lips and chin start to tremble and she starts to sob gently. he pushes the chair back and gets up, but realizes if he goes to stand beside her the other diners will know something is wrong. he sits back down, takes her hands and squeezes them. she squeezes his hands – her hands are vibrating. he withdraws his right hand and brings out a handkerchief from his pocket. he offers it to her, she takes it and dabs gently at her face. he waits for her to calm down. he takes her phone, looks up at her, she nods. he presses the home button and inputs his year of birth. he types, then presses “your library”. seconds later he taps the screen and they listen as justin timberlake sings, aren’t you somethin’ to admire?/’cause your shine is somethin’ like a mirror/and i can’t help but notice/you reflect in this heart of mine.”[2] just then, the waitress arrives with her order, two dishes – hers and his.

       “you were always here.” she indicates her heart. his heart …

[1] Imbruglia, Natalie. (1997). Torn. Left of the Middle.  RCA/Brightside/Island/Portrait. 

[2] Timberlake, Justin. (2013). Mirrors. The 20/20 Experience. RCA.

fkregie 2017.

deja vu

he has not slept a wink all night trying to block his ears to her snoring. he can’t raise the volume of the tv any louder for fear of annoying the other guests. so, he resorts to a fitful wakeful sleep. every time he nudges her, she adjusts her position and slips into a higher decibel. he is getting worried the other guests may come knocking after all. he recalls reading in high school, how okonkwo’s snoring could be heard by his wife and children in their out-houses. he makes a mental note to get his earphones from the car in the morning. but who would have thought, he muses, a beautiful girl who snores like a warrior. they had met at his friend’s party the week before, like him, she is in-between relationships. he had mentioned that he would be traveling over the weekend and she had joked that he should put her in his suitcase. here they are – for the weekend.

***

         “you look really beautiful, when you are not asleep.” he is staring at her nose-ring and red matt lipstick. god, she has such natural smooth skin, he muses. he is seating across from her at the dining table talking endlessly with food in his mouth. she smiles and picks up a bit of scrambled egg with a prong on her fork.

            “why are you eating like that. it’s like you are scared of hurting the egg.” he laughs raucously, and masticated particles fly in all direction. at 6’3” he didn’t need to shout to make a point. but he speaks in lispy capital letters. she is watching him like you’d watch a comedian telling sex jokes in a seminary. he has an opinion on everything including the fact that she is eating her breakfast with just a fork. who eats eggs and toast with knife and fork, she muses. she tries refocusing as he slurps and smacks his lips chewing and talking endlessly – but she is slipping into a sound-rage.

         “please pass me the salt, tebby.” she slides the white rabbit-shaped salt dispenser across the table to him, and gets up.

             “are you done?” as response, she picks up her hardly touched breakfast and points toward the bedroom of the hotel suite. he nods and laughs raucously. his phone rings for the umpteenth time. she notices he has changed his ring-tone to miguel & j. cole’s “all i want is you.”[1]

              “sure, tebby.”

***

she sits in the bedroom wondering how she got here. he is handsome, a sharp dresser, a successful lawyer, lives in a decent house and drives a beautiful car. she smells her hardly touched breakfast, and the room starts to close in on her. she takes out her gold-plated cigarette case and a lighter from her bag, picks up the plate of food and goes out of the bedroom. he is still on the phone talking politics and doesn’t pay attention to her scraping the food into the dustbin in the kitchenette and dropping the plate into the sink. she walks through the living room and steps out onto the balcony itching for a smoke and fresh air.

***

                  “you smoke?” lost in thoughts, she didn’t hear him join her.

            “yea.” he looks at her, she looks at him. she takes a drag and smiles – smoke streaming through her nostrils. she sees his hand tighten on the phone in his right hand. in his left hand, he is holding a copy of james redfield’s the celestine prophecy.[2] he walks to the end of the balcony and starts to tap the book on the rail. he stares blankly at the slow early morning traffic to avoid saying something. she flicks the unfinished cigarette away and walks up to him. he turns to face her.

                  “i understand. you’re not my type too.”

[1] Miguel & Cole, J. (2010). All I Want is You. All I Want is You. Bystorm/Jive.

[2] Redfield, James. (1993). New York. Grand Central Publishing.

fkregie 2017.

other lives matter

they are sat in front of the lighting booth at the back of the dimly-lit theatre – it’s opening night of his latest play. she looks exquisite in a green dress and pale yellow cardigan. she smells nicely different – jasmine. he is dressed casually in a roll-neck sweater, chinos, and ankle-length sneakers – all black. his hair, she notices, is growing into a well-groomed afro. he smells his usual self – cool water. she is going through the program note with the light from the lighting booth. he is playing the opening line repeatedly in his head. both are quiet. nervous. they are not lovers, they are more than lovers. recently though, they’ve been jousting by texts …

          “glad you could come”

          “i almost couldn’t come.”

silence.

the theatre has filled up quite suddenly while they sat in silence. there is a sudden flurry of activity back-stage. it’s three minutes before the play begins. the incidental music floats in and they hear sting sing, “if blood will flow when flesh and steel are one/drying in the color of the evening sun/tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away/but something in our minds will always stay.”[1]

          “i –”

          “why –”

the lights in the auditorium dip, and the curtains come apart.

        “why did you do it?” she looks around to make sure no one heard her above the music.

          “do what?”

          “thought you said you’ll always be there for me.”

          “did i say or do otherwise?”

          “i read the preview of your play – you were literally slaughtering me.”

          “i didn’t know this play is about you.”

          “don’t play games with me, damn you!”

silence as sting sings:

          perhaps this final act was meant

          to clinch a lifetime’s argument

          that nothing comes from violence …

         “everything doesn’t have to be about you, you know.” he turns away from her, “slaughtering! more like laughtering.” he smiles.

            “are you mocking me?”

         “no. just reminding you there’s a difference between writing to teach, and mockery. life isn’t always about negatives.”

           “i am leaving.” she gets up and starts tapping the program note against the theatre seat in front of her – non-rhythmically. he touches her hand and she sits back down.

          “i had thought we’d be what we are tonight.” he sits looking straight ahead at nothing specifically – responding the only way he knows how to deal with her moods. some things will never change, she muses.

silence as the incidental music fades out and lights come on on stage.

his words roll around in her head. she looks at him with the misunderstanding of a text message recipient who lacks information about the sender. in that moment, she realizes all the while that they have been friends, she has relied on stereotypes to fill in the gaps when she couldn’t read his emotions.

silence. the play begins:

                “are you saying you still care?”

         “i never stopped caring. i gave you a promise of friendship, that won’t change. but i didn’t ask you here today to ask you to stay, that’s your decision to make. i just need you to see – if all i write about is you, my writing will lose its essence. i’m a writer – i have many inspirations. other lives, that matter.

fkregie 2017.

[1] Sting. Fragile. … Nothing Like the Sun. A&M. 1988.

house next door

real life story

at sunrise today the third tenant died in the house next door – less than six months after i almost chose it, but chose, instead, the house next door. early in october 2016 i went house-hunting. first, i went into the house next door – beautiful, compact and innocent-looking house in redwood travertine face brick with manicured grounds and a swimming pool. but it felt cold and smelt like a disused morgue. i left and went into the house next door – spacious house in plastered walls, with well-groomed grounds but no swimming pool. it was new, smelt of fresh honey-suckle paint and had a certain airiness about it. i chose it without hesitation – love at first smell, if you like. i will, however, find out in early november why it looked new and smelt fresh – it had almost burnt down six months earlier. so, it was redone and repainted – mint but flint. i wished i had chosen the house next door. then the rains came, and i felt like i was in noah’s ark. growing up, i was told santa comes down chimneys. this november, grown up – victoria falls was coming down my chimney. in less than thirty minutes the first rains shut down the power in my house. called an electrician who went through the ceiling to check the wiring, a few minutes later he put his head through the hole in the ceiling he had gone through, “please come up, sir.” what i saw looked like a sooty disused classroom for bomb-making students who didn’t graduate. the electrician was surprised the house hadn’t gone up in flames again – “the rains saved your house, sir.” hearing that, i really wished i had taken the house next door. then, mid-november, the first death occurred. it started with a wail in the wee hours of the morning, and then the neighborhood dogs took over in sequence. i went outside and through the gates noticed the commotion building up in the compound of the house next door. i went to the house next door and saw the woman of the house wailing and writhing on the manicured lawn – she was inconsolable. she screamed in quick bursts like somebody was stabbing her repeatedly with a blunt knife. i thought they had been robbed – it was “christmas time” and this neighborhood was like the training academy for all thieves in the city. after what seemed an eternity, we managed to take the sobbing woman into the house. as we got into the house she pointed towards an inner room, and then collapsed onto a sofa – wailing and writhing. with some people tending the woman, the rest of us went into the room. her husband, with eyes open, was lying in bed – dead. even with so many people inside, the house felt cold and still smelt like a disused morgue. by november’s end the woman had moved out of the house. three weeks later a new couple moved into the house. a couple with a child who wasn’t walking yet, but could crawl. a week passed uneventfully. then one afternoon, as i was having lunch in late december, i heard wails from the house next door. i went across and found the couple by the swimming pool – the woman was wailing, the man, wet, looked like he had just seen a ghost. lying on the ground in front of them beside the swimming pool was the body of their child – wet and dead. by the first week of january the couple had moved out of the house. as february rolled in, a bachelor moved in. an international freelance photographer. he was hardly home. but i’ll find out today that he had a live-in maid. today, i returned home early from work because the students had gone on rampage, vandalized the campus, burnt one of the zebra sculptures in the circle by the university and burnt the national flag. as a result, the university was shut down. as i approached my house i noticed an unusual traffic in front of the house next door. this street wasn’t famous for parties. in fact, only one thing brought a crowd to any of the houses on this street. to one house, really. through the open gate, i could see the gardener gesticulating to a small crowd near him. there was human traffic all around. there was no wailing – just people walking in and out of the compound with somber expressions. when you’re used to death, you can tell when someone has seen death. “what’s going on?” the young woman i asked, was sitting in a car, door open and trying to control herself. she looked at me and barely spoke the words, “the maid.”

fkregie 2017.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑