I was alive
Until the struggle to remain ended
Then I slipped into nothingness
Death has pangs
Never believed until my soul bore them
The tussle begun
Light and darkness contended
To have a bargain with my soul
How I prayed for a halt
So my spirit could rest in peace
“Your parents let you use your left hand? They did not flog you? No child of mine will try it. I go beat am comot for em body. ”
“Wait O! Na that hand you go take cook for your husband?” “If I marry u eeeh, I will break that hand and tie it to your back!”
“Are any of your parents left -handed? No? Then who come take am resemble?”
“Them still they talk say you be Lawyer, u come they use left hand on top. This girl u sure say u wan marry?”
It is 2016 and when some people find out I am left handed, they look at me as if I am a creature from outer space or a hydra headed monster they have not come across before. There are those who like it and want me to teach them how to use theirs, there are those who admire it, there are those who want to marry me because of it. These people as few as they are, are not the problem.
31st July, 1990.
Warri, Bendel State.
“Isn’t the food here yet? ”
“Nna’m, calm down, it’s almost ready. ”
Nna’m. That was how she addressed her husband. No sugary nouns, no shallow sweet-nothings, no expressions whose paper-thin weight you could even feel from the voice pitch. She loved him (dutifully at the very least), he protected her, she knew what she had to do around the house, he knew when to reach for his wallet, and that was it: the vintage West African couple, none of that Hollywood reality show faux gloss.