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 →

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 →

Fourteen

FOURTEEN (c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan Fourteen, bedecked with jewellery borrowed from sisters, aunts and cousins; made up with dark kohl and pink lipstick; grim-faced from lack of sleep; my heart everywhere but here. But I kneel as I have been asked to, kneel in front of my brand newly-minted husband, offering him a drink from the... Continue Reading →

Ablaze

Ablaze © Folakemi Emem-Akpan You knew you were going to die that day, and you were okay with it. In fact, you revelled in that knowledge. Your heart soared within its cage, your eyes were alight with a new kind of fire, and there was delight colliding with joy in your heart. It will all... Continue Reading →

A legacy of unremoved shoes

A legacy of unremoved shoes © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   The day had begun to shorten, the sun slipping behind the mountains of Sopot. Yet, the mourners would not leave. To one side, Djordje and Jovana held hands, forgotten by all.   The previous year, they’d lost their father and their lives had suddenly shrunk to... Continue Reading →

Choorile

  Choorile © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   Sanil sits at the entrance of his home, his eyes turned towards the sky which is dark and low, a sure sign of rain. Absent-mindedly, he wonders if it would actually rain, how long such a rain might last, and he is grateful for the stilts on which his... Continue Reading →

Preparations

Preparations © Folakemi Emem-Akpan “A woman that can master the tea pouring ceremony has proven herself to be a good wife. You will learn to pour, even if it kills you.” For the past year, this has been the mantra in Nagomi’s home. It is not enough that she cooks perfect meals, that she has... Continue Reading →

A white day

A white day © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   I should have known, should have prepared myself for the happenings of the day.   Yi never wore white, yet he went to work that morning wearing white shoes, a white cap pulled low over his head.   I stood at the doorway, fought the melancholic pull in... Continue Reading →

Not anymore

Not anymore © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   I stepped into the cool foyer, relieved to be home after a very long day of negotiations and tantrums. I could hear the faint whisper of a TV set, the dull roar of a toilet flushing, and Melinda’s snores.   These were the sounds of home, the sounds that... Continue Reading →

Healing

Healing (c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan Smells and sounds. The cloying odour of disinfectant just applied. The mewling sound that starts from the throat of one canine until it is repeated, echoed, chanted from every dog in the enclosure, until the sound is a boomerang in my ears. “They know we’ve got visitors. That’s how they behave... Continue Reading →

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