An Unusual Life

(c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan I do not speak English; neither do I speak Spanish or Italian or German or Yoruba. In fact, I do not speak at all. Born with every organ functioning but my ears and throat, I spent my formative years away from home, sequestered in a school with children that suffered from the... Continue Reading →

BECAUSE OF HIM

Because of him © Folakemi Emem-Akpan My legs almost give way under me when I hear the blare of my name from the speakers. The announcer has made a mistake in the pronunciation and my name sounds unlike my name but this is the least of my worries right now. The three speakers before me... Continue Reading →

Reversals

© Folakemi Emem-Akpan Against the noonday chill that only I seem to be feeling, I hunch my shoulders and pull my cardigan tighter. Inside of me, there are swivels and churns and pirouetting. And panic. For the past two hours, as I wandered around my neighbourhood, the world around me seemed surreal. I shouldn’t be... Continue Reading →

QUAKE

© Folakemi Emem-Akpan The day the sun refused to shine began like all other days, seemingly just one more uneventful one in a roll call of them. But things would change soon enough. In the tub, soap suds up to my chin, luxuriating in the swathe of time that was mine and mine only before... Continue Reading →

Consequences

Consequences © October 2020 Folakemi Emem-Akpan She spoons the mashed potatoes into the baby’s mouth, watches in fascination as the little one grabs for the spoon, upends it, breaks out in a chortle. For a brief moment, Joy forgets herself, forgets the direness of her circumstances. There is nothing like a baby’s pure delight to... Continue Reading →

A girl named Melody

© Folakemi Emem-Akpan After four boys, I was tired, fed-up, sick of maleness. It screamed at me from every corner of our home; toy trucks, smelly boots, and discarded car projects. All of me ached for a baby with long dark hair, curly eyelashes, and pink gowns. She was a surprise. The scan prepared our... Continue Reading →

Tick Tock

Tick tock © Folakemi Emem-Akpan Tick tock. You can hear your biological clock ticking. And it’s going so fast the sound almost deafens you, so you do what most desperate women do. You go clubbing. The first night, there are more women than men, women who are in the exact same shoes as you’re in.... Continue Reading →

Saving Dipo

SAVING DIPO © August 2020 Folakemi Emem-Akpan This time, you could not save him from himself. You couldn’t save him from the law, like you had done a thousand times in the past. The first time you rescued him, you hadn’t known that he needed rescuing, that he was anything like your father had been.... Continue Reading →

Of losses and opportunities

Of losses and opportunities (c) July 2020 Folakemi Emem-Akpan He lost him to the land of opportunities. It is a thirty year long pain that still hurts, that still throbs and sears whenever he allows himself the luxury of remembering.   He had been four, that tremulous age when one is too young to remember... Continue Reading →

Fool’s gold

Fool’s gold                 © Folakemi Emem-Akpan Barbara stood in their ultra-modern garage and admired her glistening car. Today, she’d had one of the office boys take the red Ford Kuga for detailing, and it shone like new. Going through the door that connected the garage to their kitchen, she couldn’t stop smiling. Life was good. She... Continue Reading →

From the lips of babes

From the lips of babes © Folakemi Emem-Akpan Ahmad holds his younger sister by one hand, drags his school bag behind him with the other. The sun is high up in the sky and relentless in its heat. Beads of sweat line the ten-year-old’s face, and the skull cap sitting atop his head doesn’t help... Continue Reading →

Still searching

  Still searching © Folakemi Emem-Akpan The first man stole my money and dignity and left me with an unwanted baby. The second drove all my friends away and turned me into a recluse. The third…well, the third man put my daughter in the family way and made me an untimely grandmother. I have stopped... Continue Reading →

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