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 →

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 →

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 →

A patch and a hope

A patch and a hope © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   My back groans in protest as I heave myself to my feet. It’s been a grueling two hours, weeding, trimming, planting. Yet, the sorry excuse of a garden looks forlorn. Actually, it mirrors the despair in my heart, the terrifying loneliness, the pain.   “Mom, haven’t... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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