Edward Sekyi ShowBoy Jnr.

Junior you promise me

You say together ;;

Together tomorrow, tomorrow forever.

Where you dey?

Junior you look ma eye

You put the ghc5 kantamanto ring on ma han’

You say ‘ma sweetie, ma wife’, talk true

Where you dey?

Junior you go buy taxi

You write ma name for back

You writing ‘Still Ama Tweneboa’

Junior, where you dey ?

Junior 2016 pass

I stand where your taxi use park

Eve-ly night 6:00pm, I pack my bag

Where you dey ?

ShowBoy say he go take me go ‘Amelica’

He buy me beauriful brine new hair

He buy me ‘obroni’ shoe

ShowBoy who take you from me ?

Junior,, is because I no fine girl?

I go chop for you

Junior I go better for you

Junior I see you

I see Facebook, you plus some ‘pikin’, you look verly verly like pikin

Junior, you kill me finish

Send me A New Body

We tried to build a body

We melted for it //

We wept, we collapsed

To create it ;

To become a body.

You know it didn’t come out well

Bones askew, mismatched skins

And too many broken hearts.

It’s 9:54pm

And we can’t sleep

Because you’ll dream and call me Mary,

And I’ll tell you I’m not her

Now it’s 9:58pm

Our body wears nothing but naked silence and see-through thoughts /

You can hear my dreams

Breaking with our many hearts:

You can hear my pen scribbling on paper

You know no one will read it’’

I can hear you clawing quietly under our flesh

Treading lightly over tired muscles

And jumping over bruised intertwined veins

Hoping for an escape,

Looking for a tiny crack

I know this body will break’

Don’t you remember when we were 9

We were young, we had an old body

We met soul to soul

Running to each other, sole by sole

But this old body was spacial

We constructed it from time and memories

As we tripped during races

And fetched water in the rain with metal buckets

We did not have dreams then

Except catching an airplane one day in mid flight

We did not even have names then

You called me girl.

I bought a wedding dress and burned it

You found ‘the one’ and buried her

We were just looking for a new home

We were looking for new bodies.

We are not ready.

Send me a new body.

Beau Crime

Do you know how to make a body grow cold?

I’m gathering yellow dust on the shelf;

And yes, I have tried to neatly wrap myself around my neck;;

And bow tie my skin neatly on my kidneys

My angel hid behind me// So I choked him

Now he is lying lifeless, bleeding gold

I have plucked his wings

I am new, I am glory

I too will see Heaven

I put the corpse in a body bag filled with lilacs and thorns

Down on my knees with detergent and my new wings I scrub the moment away

;I wonder what my wings will become

like Luna’s??/pure pure sun light

Like Ariel’s? ///solid diamond dust

Like Ruba’s? //soft clouds and sky

i felt the wings stretch behind me,

then, a roar-

the wings closed around me,

and all that was left of me was my polytene skin.

Purple bruised skin.

The Skins

“They have stolen Mara’s skin! Run everyone, the Colour Seekers are here”, Jojo shouts. The remains of the Darks Skin scatter. A fading girl stumbles into the camp, her body slowing losing colour; she turns from yellow to red to orange till she becomes pale. Jojo gathers what he can find from the burning camp: a shirt, two arrows, and a half-eaten pawpaw fruit. He holds the cowry necklace tightly in his hand. Things have been bad since the Colour Seekers came back. All five factions: Dark Skins, Light Skins, Brown Skins, Vitiligo, and Albino were in chaos. He can’t believe a few weeks ago, he and his friends sat around the fire and told Anansi stories. Everything had changed.

The Colour Seekers have been stealing melanin and hair, leaving the victims faded till they become non-existent. When they started, Jojo’s mother, a warrior, begged the factions to forget their feud and unite to fight but none of the factions listened. The Colour Seekers grew stronger and made an attack on the Brown Skins whose big afro hair; defying gravity could make them fly. They cut their hair off and stole their skin too. The black skin is magical, in the way it heals itself after a wound but don’t tell anyone. It is the most expensive thing on the market.

After the Browns, the Colour Seekers came after the Vitiligo who had patches of black on light or brown skin. Every Vitiligo could take any animal with their eyes. The Colour Seekers stole most of their irises to be able to have that control. The Colour Seekers took their melanin skin too. Then they hit the Darks, who’s black skin captures the solar power so they can create shocks and electric. This special melanin is gathered by the Colour Seekers to generate energy. Now they were headed for the Light Skins.

Jojo had lost his father to the Colour Seekers with no idea where his mother is. He packs the items he finds into his sack and decides to go to the Light Faction even though it has been years since different factions set foot on one another’s land. Jojo decides to risk it. He must save whoever he can. He leaves camp now, a determined look in his eye, legs marching straight forward. 

A stone hits Jojo from the side. He turns around, he sees no one. He starts to walk cautiously. Another stone hits him. He starts running. Just then, several more pebbles fly in his direction. Jojo runs for cover behind a tree. Two boys step out-one flying with his hair- from the bush where the stones were being thrown from. Jojo is taken back by how much alike they look. From the looks of it, one was a Brown Skinwith a big afro and the other a Vitiligo with dreadlocks. 

“Hey, what was all that about?”, Jojo says, frowning. He finally comes out from behind the tree to face the culprits.

“I told you it’ll be fun”, the Brown said, laughing. He throws another stone at Jojo. “My name is Rema and this is Remi, my twin brother.”

“Okay, Rema, has anyone never taught you not to throw rocks at strangers?” Jojo asks.

“Not really, our parents separated us after birth and then they left with all the other adults to finish the Colour Seekers”, Rema says.

“Well, they haven’t done much have they?”, Jojo replies, staring Rema in the eye.

“Don’t you dare insult my parents” Rema shouts, shaking with anger. His brother Remi holds him back. “Take that back”, Rema shouts whiles his brother holds him tight.

“No. now get out of my way. I’m going to save people”, Jojo says matter-of-factly.

“You? You couldn’t even dodge a couple of stones”, Rema sneers.

“I would have been able to if I had seen them”, Jojo says. He rushes towards Rema and knocks him down. Remi just steps back to leave the two of them at it. Rema kicks Jojo in the thigh and Jojo strikes back with an uppercut to his jaw. The two of them continue like that for two minutes till Rema says, “I just want everything to go back to normal.”

“Me too”, Jojo admits. He gets up and helps Rema up too. “I’m going to the Light Skin’s camp. That is where the Colour Seekers are headed. I’m going to help however I can”, he continues.

“We will come along”, Rema says excitedly. 

“No. I can do it all by myself”, Jojo says sharply.

“Okay, then we have decided to go to Light Skins too. To help anyone we can. Isn’t that true brother?”, Remi nods.

“Copycat. I will save more people than both of you put together.” 

“Sure. We will see”, Rema remarks.

Jojo leaves the boys behind. In a hurry to get to the Light Skins and a bit annoyed at the interruption.

Jojo arrives at the camp of the Light Skins but it is too late. The Colour Seekers have destroyed the place. Several people have had their skin stolen. They move around slowly, changing colours, fading off. Jojo drops to his knees and lets out a loud wail.

“There he is”, Rema says. Jojo looks over to see the twins with a Light Skin girl wearing red waist beads under her kente cloth dress. “We saved one and you saved zero. So do the maths and tell me who won?”, Rema says.

“This is not a game”, the Light Skins girl says in a high-pitched voice. Rema rolls his eyes.

“Fine”, Rema says.

“We are going to look for Sanka and finish him”, she says to Jojo. “You can join us; we will not allow him to take our black.”

“So, you three are going to kill the head of the Colour Seekers? Alone?”, Jojo says laughing bitterly.

“Are you coming or not”, the girl asks flaunting her long Rasta braids. “We don’t have all day you know,” she continues.

“If I’m coming, then I must lead you, that is the only way this will work”, Jojo says, standing upright, chest out.

“No way. We won’t let a Dark Skin lead us” Rema argues.

“But you’ll let a Light Skin?” Jojo says laughing.

“Hey, I have a name bullhead. I’m Dante and we can do this without you. Let’s go twins”, Rema sticks out his tongue and they walk away, leaving Jojo behind.

“Fine, fine, I’m coming but only because you won’t survive this without me”, Jojo shouts chasing after them.

Dante rolls her eyes.

“Sure, if that makes you sleep at night”, she says as Jojo joins them.

“So, what’s the plan here?”, Jojo asks.

“We are going to look for a Black Albino”, Dante says absent-mindedly whiles looking over at her map. “This way”, she says, starting to her right at the junction they had come across.

“Why would you be looking for a Black Albino?” Jojo inquires as to if it is the most absurd thing he’s ever heard.

“Because the Colour Seekers can’t steal their skins, they don’t have melanin”, Dante says.

“But that is exactly why the tribe has gone into hiding. Because They don’t want to wait around for Sanka and his Colour Seekers to find a way of robbing their skin.”

“Still, we need one, their immune for now. You know they’re skin gives of white light in the darkest places. I think you should be able to reason that might come in handy since Sanka and his goons live in the dark.”

“How do you plan to find one then?”, Jojo questions Dante, “since you seem to know everything.”

“Hey guys”, Rema says

“I can tell you that….”.

“Guys!!!!”

“What?!”, Jojo and Dante shout breaking off what was about to be world war III.

“Look”, he says pointing at something.

A great lion had cornered a girl. It circled her, saliva drooping from the sides of its mouth. The girl was tearing off her anklet beads and throwing them at it. This only seemed to make the creature angry.

“Okay, here is the plan,” Jojo whispers, “I will go and save her whiles you wait here…”

Remi ignores this and steps out from the group and stands between the lion and the girl. He looks into its eyes and stretches out his hand. The creature looks at him, curiously, almost as if it is under a spell. It sits on its belly. Rema flies in, his hair flapping wildly. He holds the girl by the sides of her arms and carries her to where Jojo and Dante stand in shock.

“Hey, you were supposed to listen to the plan”, Jojo rebukes the twins.

“What is wrong with you? They just saved the girl. If they had waited for you to finish your plan which by the way was already sounding very weak to me, she would have been dead”, Dante says, holding the girl in her arms.

“Well done Remi”, Rema says, clapping his twin brother on the back.

“He doesn’t talk much, does he? You brother Remi”, Dante remarks.

“No, he doesn’t talk much”, Rema says, looking fondly at his brother, “We just found each other because you know, the Colour Seekers separated the tribe. We just sort of found each other”, Rema announces.

“Very touching story whiles we are here, going to kill the Almighty King of thieves. Touching indeed. In fact, why don’t I also talk about my own experience too and waste time” Jojo sneers.

“Where am I?”, the pretty girl wakes up her orange-brown hair tightly plaited into cornrows as bright as her pale skin.

“We just saved you”, Rema says. 

“Oh yes, the lion. Thank you. I had left my tribe to pick oranges around and I lost my way. I’m Aayla by the way. Nice to meet you all. Thank you for saving me.”

“Welcome, well then, you can go back now…,” Dante says.

“Go back, what do you mean go back, we need a black albino and we just happen to miraculously find one and you said she can go?” Jojo exasperates. 

“What does that mean”, Aayla asks.

“We are going to find Sanka and we need a black albino”, Rema says, rolling his eyes.

“Hey, I’ll be glad to come along. Home is boring anyway. Everyone is worrying about that Colour Seekers hunting us down, we are the last tribe left standing”, she cries.

“We will get rid of Sanka and restore all the tribes back to how they were”, Dante promises. “It’s night, I will build a camp for everyone. Tomorrow, we go on”, she continues.

Dante goes into the woods and returns with a stack of wood and leaves. She quickly builds three shelters.

“We will rotate a shift so two stands on guard while three sleep. That way we have no surprises”, Dante says.

“Those shelters look mean. Well done Dante”, Rema congratulates.

“Yeah, yeah”, Jojo brushes it off. “I will stand guard since of course; I am the strongest.”

“Whatever. I will stand with you. Aayla, you rest. Twins you too. Then in a few hours, we switch.”

Aayla and the twins go into the shelters while Jojo and Dante stand on guard. 

“This is going to be a long night”, Dante says.

“I wish all this never happened,” Jojo quietly confides, “Sanka and his Colour Seekers. We heard so much about him back on camp, before his army rose up. They told stories of his facelessness. How he had no colour. They say he sold his own skin for power. After finding out the worth of melanin skin, he started stealing others to sell.”

“When they steal skin, it’s scary because our skin is who we are. It is what tells of us. If the twins hadn’t saved me, the Colour Seeker would have taken all my skin”, Dante confesses, showing a patch of healing skin where there is no melanin, “it felt so scary, when it touched me, taking my skin. I had the strangest feeling of being lost.”

“We will take Sanka on, no matter how stupid this idea may seem. We will prove that the Skins need to unite. All of us”, Jojo stresses.

In the night Remi stands nearby listening to their conversation. He goes back into his shelter.

The next morning, the odd group set out in their search for Sanka. The twins walk with Dante whiles Jojo follows Aayla like a lost puppy.

“We should be there soon,” Dante says aloud. 

“So what? We’re just going to walk in there? There will be several Colour Seekers”, Jojo notes sarcastically.

“I think we should get into groups when we get there. So that each group will distract Colour Seekers whiles one person faces Sanka?”

“That should be me”, Jojo says hitting his chest. 

“I think it should be Dante,” Rema counters.

“What will she do? Build a contraption to kill Sanka?”, Jojo says

“Maybe”, Dante says offhandedly. 

“I don’t trust the twins, especially the quiet one. He seems so weird”, Jojo mentions to Aayla.

“I haven’t realized but I won’t be surprised the Vitiligos would have joined the Colour Seekers if they let them, I hear”, Aayla whispers back to Jojo.

All of a sudden, the sky darkens.  

“It’s the Colour Seekers, only means one thing. We are here” Jojo shouts.

Aayla’s skin lights up. The Colour Seekers come into view. They look like people yet they have no colour. They are fully clothes with masks but when the wind blows, the light from Aayla’s shows that washed out exposed colour. Like an old pair of cream coloured jeans.

“Separate and distract them”, Aayla shouts. 

The group breaks off with at least three Colour Seekers paired with each of them.

“Remember not to let them touch your skin for long”, Dante shouts as she removes a shield and dagger, she built herself. “Aim for any exposed skin. They cannot heal like we can but their clothes have a protective juju on them.”

Remi summons an eagle and rhino forward. The animals attack the Colour Seekers. The eagle rips the suit of one and the rhino spears through him. Rema is in the air, with a slingshot Dante gave to him. He shoots tiny sharp metals at the Colour Seekers and kills two immediately. He laughs and almost falls when a Colour Seeker throws an arrow at him. Dante and Jojo stand back to back.

“I’ll save you, Dante”, Jojo says.

“When will you realize you can’t do this alone? You can’t do anything alone. It is how we all got here. I know your mother begged the tribes to come together. Why don’t you think like that? You want to help everyone alone”, Dante says.

Before Jojo could respond, they are surrounded by ten Colour Seekers. Jojo lights a fire on the exposed arm of one. He lights up and burns

“Where is Aayla? The place is going dim”, Jojo says.

“Maybe they’ve captured her”, Dante says.

“Captured me?”, Aayla says.

She allows her skin to glow again. Standing beside Aayla is Sanka. The Colour Seekers have cornered the twins, Dante and Jojo.

“You think when you needed to find a black Albino, just happened to find one?” Aayla laughs. “We have been waiting for you. You four.”

“Why”, Jojo says in a betrayed voice.

“There was a prophecy you see, from the gods through the oracle my love, Sanka has captured. He said four children would bring down the empire. When we sighted you four close by, we just knew it was you. We were ready.”

“Why”, Rema says.

“I thought I just explained that, this is the stupid one Sanka”, Aayla points at Rema.

“No, I mean why would you turn your back on your own people?”

“My own people? Do you know why the Albinos went into hiding even though we had no melanin for the Colour Seekers to steal?”

“Because you were afraid, they will find a way to start stealing more than our colours? Maybe our spirits.”

“Of course not. It is because like the four of you, the other black tribes started hunting us down to save themselves. To use us as a sort of immunity. They betrayed us.”

“I didn’t know that”, Rema admits.

“It still doesn’t give you a right to hurt us. We are your people. Sanka has no colour. He will use you when he can”, Remi says quietly. Dante and Jojo stare at him in shock

“So, you can talk”, Aayla says.

“How can you fall in love with a man who has no face and skin? He has nothing to be loyal to. He will betray you. we saved you Aayla”, Dante pleads.

“That’s enough”, Sanka says in a still chilling voice, “kill them.” His face is covered with a black mask. No part of him is showing. His head is bald, not even a single piece of hair showing.

“Gladly”, Aayla says.

“All of them”, Sanka replies talking to his Colour Seekers.

“What?”, Aayla says, stammering on the word, “my loveeee…loooveee?”, she cries out.

The Colour Seekers circle around the five of them.

Remi grabs the hand of his brother. Rema grabs Dante’s hand who grabs Jojo’s who in turn grabs Aayla. The five of them close their eyes and channel their inner powers. A beautiful black spirit arises from their circle, from all their powers. It has flowing kinky black hair that reaches its waist, with different kinds of skin. It has a dark skin chest, a light skin face, vitiligo legs, brown skin hands, and the remaining was albino.  It makes the Colour Seekers run. The spirit chases after them and passes through them, with her sword. The Colour Seekers fade away. 

Sanka disappears from where he stood, leaving nothing behind.

“How could you sell us out?”, Rema demands from Aayla.

“More importantly where is Sanka?” Dante wonders.

“I thought I could do this alone but what we create, all of us was beautiful. We need to find the tribe and tell them. It is the only way to defeat Sanka. He is gone now but he will find more Colour Seekers and return but now we know how to beat him”, Jojo says.

“And Aayla, we forgive you”, Dante says. She moves forward to hug her and the whole group closes around the two of them.

“Now come one, we have a miracle to preach”, Jojo says, “together”.

Remains

I have invented a new skin

This one you can’t peel back

This one you can’t take off

/I birthed it from a infertile womb

;at the crime scene of my heartbreak

Bloody emotions spilling everywhere

Thick veins of madness exposed and seared

A production of murdered love.

I sewed this new skin

With miles of metallic wires and every needle you poked me with

Trying to diagnose this, trying to give it a name

I named the old skin after her; in the dark corner of my shared skin

No, I won’t braid your hair like she did

No, I can’t wear that,

Like she did

Yes, this new skin comes with a new heart

I stole it from a wandering spirit.

There is more to write but I must push these phantoms back.

My friends gather in glory to propound theories;

About where I disappear to

I tell my thoughts as I stand amongst them in my new skin.

“Maybe..”

Almost Home

My souls followed the moon

To the dark place it goes at 5:07am/

The first soul: rusty and rickety

From bending this way and that// for love

And still being left out; alone; wasted

Let’s call him Fragments.

Migrant is walking close by

A soul with with no soles

She’s walked oceans and clouds

Somewhere between unwanted and lost

Finding herself in tiny cubicles where her thoughts,

Wander too, maybe also desperate;

To get away from her.

Gun was not always my soul

She was desire/// dreams

She murdered every one of them

In secret corners where passions loaded bullets

She did not devise blood

But they shot at her first.

We have journeyed here

But the stars don’t want us

My souls tried/, hard to shine like that

We didn’t make it

Ruins.

I disappear.

The first time was at Dansoman, when I was ten

Awkward teeth and eerily quiet

They had a small ceremony & they nicknamed my body,

It is no longer mine.

I disappear

Second time I was fifteen with the boy behind the wall

bold red fire running barefoot in my veins-from watching a telenovela

Rehearsing different ways to say, “I love you”

You formed a hundred kisses & told your friends<<<<<<

I disappear

-At nineteen

But here, I go with my fears.

Teasing winds whispering regrets along the way

We will just say we did it wrong and try again.

At thirty

I will disappear

After I’ve grown enough hearts for others to break them.

We are together

What I mean is everywhere else is ruined. & we are only scared of being alone.

To Love and Never to Hold

Till death do us apart. And it did.

Akos has been waiting on his porch for hours. The angry grey clouds have been watching, plotting, conspiring to storm down at any moment. She’s on her phone, pretending to be on a call, hoping it’ll send the landlord a message. He’s been sitting outside too; in front of his own two-bedroom eyeing her. Up and down. Up, up and down again. Akos should have greeted when she came in. The ripped shorts and tight crop top probably worsened the situation too. She looked over at his dogs. Six of them. They looked just like the landlord; lean and hungry but this wasn’t the type of hunger that made you angry. This was a hunger they have known for too long, making them too lazy to bother. She remembered a time when she was just like that till she met Elikem. The gate opened and he sauntered in just in time, before the senile landlord and his dogs could make a feast out of her.

Akos run to him, pushing through wind and sand, through the cold stares from the half-dead landlord. Elikem caught her breathless, tiny rivers of sweat running down her back, glistening her yellow-brown skin.

“I’ve been waiting for so long. What kept you now?” Akos whined, taking his briefcase from his hands.

“You won’t believe the traffic and heat I was stuck in. half of the people in the trotro got down before they even got to their destination. It was really bad.”

“Well, I’m here now. Change and bath. I will prepare something for you to eat.”

“You know my favourite”, he winked.

“I know, I know.”

Elikem rarely chewed so all you would hear is hearty swallows of carefully boiled pieces of yam generously dipped into garden stew. He didn’t notice the way Akos kept her hand on her belly the entire time. He didn’t notice how her breasts threatened to burst out of the seams of the tight yellow top she was wearing.

He reached out for a chilled pure water sachet sitting in a bowl. He tore lightly through it and belched loudly.

“I’m pregnant.”

The silence in the room fell quiet in in itself. Dead. That’s how it felt, like nothing as there.

“Won’t you say something Eli?”, she pleaded.

“Wow!!!! I’m so excited and very surprised. Why didn’t you mention the earlier?”, Elikem asked

“I wanted to be sure. I checked twice already and I’ve already seen some changes”, she smiled, “Here, feel it. I’m so happy?”, her smile dropping as she went on.

“No, no, no, of course I’m happy. How far along are you?”, he asked, smiling.

“It’s been a month and two weeks.”

“Have you told your parents?”

“Why do you think I am here? My dad ignored me and Maa threw me out. So…. well, we can’t say we didn’t see that coming. It’s how it always goes in the movies and local real life.”

Elikem stroked his beard, a cocktail of emotions in his barely brown eyes. Tiny hairs on his arms and legs stood up, his lips went dry but he kept the smile plastered permanently on his lips.

“From now on, leave all the cooking to me. The heavy work as well.”

“Oh, it’s not even time to start that yet”, she laughed nervously, relief dawning on her face.

“Doesn’t matter. Anything for my queen.”

There was blood everywhere. Tears too. Both cold and warm. Akos, lay on the floor, writhing in pain. She couldn’t shout, it would do nothing for her. She crawled into the kitchen, the blood following her in a crooked queue. Even though she was the only one in the room, she could her the screams of death. She grabbed a bottle from the table. She placed it beneath her and fetched the blood from under. The child that was not meant to be apparently but she couldn’t let her go. Her. It would have been a girl. She knew, mother’s instinct.

Elikem couldn’t stop shaking. Akos wouldn’t talk. It’s been three days. She wouldn’t eat. She just sat in bed with the bottle of blood tucked awkwardly in her arms. She would raise her hand occasionally to adjust the cloth she had placed around the ‘baby’. Elikem remembered the way they both cried for a child they never got to see. He didn’t sleep that night. The eerie sounds of harmattan winds felt like haunting baby cries.

“Akos, you can’t keep going like this. How are we going to make a new child if you keep doing this?”

It feels like centuries before she replies.

“I don’t know what you are talking about. Our baby is here. She is here,” she whispered, patting the top of the bottle.

Elikem got up from the bed, hopeless, tired. He headed for the bathroom with his phone. He propped his phone on the sink top, whiles he sat on the toilet. He grabs himself the woman from the phone moans. He rubs and strokes knowing nothing would happen, but hopeful anything is possible. He pours out a little oil and keeps stroking, faster, faster even faster. He keeps his thoughts in the gutter, purely dirty but when he looks down, there is nothing hard. Nothing. He would try again. He would have to keep trying, so that this time, the child would be his. He knew Akos would want him tonight. Angry and sad, he grabbed the thick plastic toy hidden deep under a pile of his shaving sticks and creams. He puts the lights off in the bedroom before going in with the vibrating stick. He shouldn’t have drugged her water. He should have given that baby a chance, even if it couldn’t possibly have been his.

“Are you ready baby, I’m ready.”

“I’ve put the baby to sleep.”

“Akos, you know…….”

“Don’t talk, can we put the lights on tonight? We always do it in the dark.”

“I like it better in the light. Now just lie down. Let’s make another baby.

“I love you.”

Grown

Abel was surprised to hear of lockdown. That it was something new to people. He’s been in it his whole life, except for when he goes to school and church, plus the occasional visit to some family member somewhere. His ma says the whole world is going mad.

Today is Saturday, Ma would soon be outside with her pestle and mortar, pounding furiously on boiled plantain and cassava. Abel loved Saturdays. On these days, he could come outside and play with the children next door. They’d bring empty tins of Ideal Milk and sardines; fasten them with bottle covers which were secured through holes punctured at four points in the tins-usually with his school compass.  Then, they’d put a roughly estimated length of broomsticks through the hole and attach it to the bottle tops. Everyone would make their own car and then they’d have a race on the compound. The girls would sit by the women, picking pieces of the pounded food that landed on the ground and scurrying off to make their own special meals.

In the middle of their car game today, Abel remembered something. He dusts the sand off his shorts and runs to his Ma.

“Ma, last night, I saw Uncle Attah in his bed and he was sleeping on top of one girl. what is the meaning of that?”

“Shut up! You didn’t see anything. Bad boy. Bad boy. Go back into the house.”

Abel’s shoulders drop as he walks away from his Ma. One of the older girls who were playing on their phones called when he was out of the sight of the adults. She pulled him into a corner.

“I can show you what they were doing. It is a very good good thing. It is called ‘Mama ne Dada.”

The girl puts her hand in his shorts and plays around. Abel looks at her, not understanding but yet, enjoying the moment.

“Don’t you like it?”

“Y….ye..yesss”, Abel stammers.

“Keep your mouth shut and it will be our little secret. Okay?”, the girl says and Abel and nods in response. She takes his hand and slips it under her skirt.

These days, all Abel looks forward to are Saturdays with the older girls. It’s those feelings he likes even more than playing with the other boys. Last week, he didn’t join his friends when they tied the ends of clothes around their waist and held the other two ends up high, in raised hands. Soaring with the wind in their back.

Today, he wasn’t even paying attention to the game they were playing. Araba, stole the tin from his hands. Abel chased her about. Jumping over the lazy cat, running into the bucket queue. He finally tripped over a stone. Abel fell with on his face with a loud thud and immediately run to his father whose muscles were bulging as he hit the pestle against the mortar.

“Da, Araba has taken my tin from me”, he wailed.

“Be a man. Wipe those tears boy. What do you think you’re doing coming to report to me? Go back there and make sure she knows who is macho. Hurry up before I slap you. Never ever let a girl beat you in anything” his father retorts.

Abel looks at his mother, hoping she’ll be more comforting but Ma ignores him and keeps turning the fufu this way and that, wetting it with water when she needed to.

“Are you still standing here?!”, his father screams. Able rans away before his father had the chance to throw anything at him. He notices the girls in the corner waiting for him. He shuffles towards them.

               ************************18 Years Later************************

“Why can’t you just love me Abel? You’re always busy moving around with one girl after another. It’s too much. You’re never at home, always out chilling and playing with the boys”, Abel’s girlfriend, Louisa shouts.

“Just go already Louisa, I was just having some fun. It was nothing serious but since you’re making such a big deal out of it, why don’t you just leave?”

“Women are not just things you can take and throw away when you’re done Abel. We are people. We are gods.”

“Yeah well, then just go destroy somewhere else, ‘god’” he sniggers, air-quoting with index and middle fingers on each had.

“You’re messed up and I hope you never find love.”

Louisa storms out only to return with two eggs.

“Wow, hold on there girl. should I bring you some pepper for those eggs?”
Louisa stands in the middle of the room and drops the egg to the ground after shouting that Abel will be miserable all his life. Abel just stares at her passively sends a text.

“Hey Hannah, come over tonight?

Eve.

I was the first woman

I was, I was, I was

I have been running on water

I am, I am, I am

Whispers, screams, silence

You were, you were, we were

You were the first god

Power, Eden , power

Till you made the second woman

Her, her, her.

I have not come to ruin

Chaos, burn, debris

Creation story two

I will make myself from dust

With, without, forgetting

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