My blog became two years old a couple of days ago! Yay us!!
As a celebratory post, I decided to share a special story with you lovely people.
This is a very short piece I wrote in May. It was my entry story for The Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop which I got into. This story is special to me because it’s the story that got me into my Fave’s workshop (duh). I wrote this story within an hour. It was the day of the deadline for submissions of applications into the workshop. I had been too nervous to apply all along and on the last day, a dear friend pushed me to write something quickly and apply. I’m glad he did. It’s certainly not the best story I’ve ever written, but I love it anyway.
I hope you enjoy reading this. Don’t forget to leave comments and share with your friends.
Love and hugs xx
Ese sat at her desk staring at her computer absently. She knew what she ought to do, she had known for over a week, but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. She had visited a prophetess last month, who told her she hadn’t conceived yet because she’d offended some people in the past who hadn’t forgiven her, and their anger had formed a knot which tied up her womb. Ese, a university graduate, would normally not believe such nonsense, especially coming from an uneducated prophetess.
However, after six years post-marriage of being unable to conceive, the collective desperation of her mother-in-law, her husband, and her own mother had driven her to the point where she spent her weekends running from one fertility doctor, pastor or prophet to the other. The doctors all said the same thing; that nothing was wrong and that she should exercise patience. Ese would smile sadly at them, forgiving them for not knowing that patience was a scarce commodity in her home. This particular prophetess had insisted that She find the people she had wronged and beg their forgiveness, so on this day Ese sat in front of her computer at her work desk, staring at the Facebook profile of Rhoda, a girl who had been her best friend in secondary school, and whom she hadn’t spoken to in over twelve years.
Ese recalled how she and Rhoda had done everything together and shared everything with each other. In their fourth year of secondary school, Rhoda had started spending a lot of time with a boy who was Ese’s crush. Ese had confronted Rhoda, who insisted they were just friends. When Ese kept seeing Rhoda and the boy together, she became consumed in a jealous rage and plotted revenge against her best friend. She wanted to cause a public disgrace for Rhoda, which would kill the boy’s interest in her. She remembered clearly how she had sneaked into the housemistress’ lodge, stolen a bundle of money from her purse, and planted it in Rhoda’s bag.
On realizing money was missing, the housemistress conducted a search and found the money in Rhoda’s luggage. To Ese’s shock, the authorities took the issue more seriously than she had expected, and after parading Rhoda at the morning assembly as a thief, announced that she would be expelled from the institution. She had watched helplessly as Rhoda was flogged publicly and expelled, too scared to say anything to anyone. She had hidden in the toilet to avoid saying goodbye to Rhoda as she packed her things and entered the school bus to be taken home. She had never spoken to her since then. She had never even told anybody about this episode.
Finally, she picked up her phone from the desk, typed in the number on Rhoda’s Facebook profile, dialled it and pressed the phone to her ear. A lump grew in her throat when it began to ring, and she started wishing Rhoda wouldn’t pick up. As she was about to end the call, she heard Rhoda’s chirpy voice from the other side.
Ese swallowed hard, cleared her throat and replied,
“Hi, Rhoda? It’s Ese.”
“Ese Ojeabu, from Stella Maria College.”
She looked down at her feet, making a mental note to get a pedicure.
“Oh!” Rhoda exclaimed, “Ese! Oh my God, it has been forever! Wow! How are you?”
“I’m fine, and you?” Ese replied lacking the enthusiasm that Rhoda was showing.
“I’m great! Wow, this is unbelievable, it has been like what? Fifteen years?”
Laughing uneasily, Ese transferred her phone to her other hand, it had started to feel really heavy and warm against her face.
“Listen,” she said, “I called to tell you something really important. Remember that time in SS1? When you were expelled …”
Rhoda interrupted her, laughing,
“See babe, I didn’t take that money, for real. Someone set me up.”
Ese paused for a second and then blurted,
“I know. It was me.”
“Jesus Christ” Rhoda exclaimed quietly.
“I was angry about Mike, and I was stupid. I didn’t mean for it to go so far. Please forgive me, Rhoda,” Ese sobbed.
“Please. I need you to forgive me,” Ese cried desperately.
She heard the dial tone and knew Rhoda had hung up. She sighed and dropped the warm phone. Her mouth tasted dry and bitter, like desperation. Her palms were sweaty. It had never occurred to her that one day she would be apologizing and begging forgiveness for old sins. Another sigh.
Returning her attention to her computer, she clicked on another profile and picked up her phone again.