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 →

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 →

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 →

Into God’s Kingdom

Into God’s kingdom © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   It is a decision no man should have to make.   Twenty minutes seems so trivial in the detritus of daily life. It is all that is required to take a bath, finish a meal, make a phone call.   It was also all that was needed to... 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 →

Losing myself

Losing myself © Folakemi Emem-Akpan As I do every morning, I leave the little boy behind in bed. He is a persistent little bugger, the little dude is, and would come in to me every night, climb into bed beside me, wrap around me those long-forgotten dreams, aspirations, and hopes. He would talk to me... Continue Reading →

Early

Early © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   Four weeks doesn’t seem like much. For heaven’s sake, it is only but a full moon. You can’t build a house in four weeks. You cannot sow and reap in four weeks. You don’t grow much in the space of four weeks.   But your life can take a dip... 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 →

Natural surrogates

(c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan I stepped into the cool foyer, glad to be home, yet wary of the conversation that was bound to be. The pit-pat of soft shoes from the staircase made me look up. There she was, her eyes shining with something that was between gladness and sadness. For as long as I’d known... Continue Reading →

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