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 →

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 →

This wish

This one wish (c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan An achingly cold night. The Harmattan wind buffets my face, stings at the frozen line of tears there. I hurry on, my slippers plat-platting on the sidewalk, my heart beating at the frantic pace it almost always does these days. Mrs. Brown next door had called thirty minutes ago,... 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 →

Unprepared

(c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan Who knew life could be so chaotic, so fun-filled, so unpredictable, a veritable stretch of parties, of alcohol, of wild boys; of unbridled freedom. Before now, your life had been extremely sheltered. You were raised on DSTV, chauffeured drives, and overseas summer holidays. There was always a chaperone; at home the house... Continue Reading →

Feyikemi

Feyikemi (c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan 2020 Arms folded across my chest, seated in a locked and rigid position because my back wouldn’t budge, my heart beating in a pit-a-pat music of anticipation, I await the birth of my seventh child. I am seated on the rock at the far edge of the compound, away and removed... Continue Reading →

Saving the family

SAVING THE FAMILY (c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan You’d always known that this day would come. Yet, your knowledge does not equal acceptance, and your knowledge doesn’t stop your heart from threatening to beat out of your chest, neither does it stop you from breaking out in a hard, cold sweat even though the weather is bitingly... Continue Reading →

Posterity

Posterity (c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan My womb has never cooked babies right. Three times, it spat them out before they were ready to breathe. They would come, slick with blood, perfect little things, all ten fingers and toes complete, only that they were unable to take a first breath. They would present them to me from... 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 →

For her sake

For her sake © Folakemi Emem-Akpan I am amazed at the radical change in my thought process, at the swiftness with which I cross the moral dilemma that has plagued me for years. Yes, I could kill. And yes, I would kill if I had to. There is something about newborns; that soft mewling sound... 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 →

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