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 →

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 →


© Folakemi Emem-Akpan It is a letter no one would ever read. Not your wife. Not your son. And especially not your daughter.   There are tears in your eyes that you do not know how to shed and the tear in your heart will take all of eternity to mend.   In your study,... Continue Reading →

A love story

A love story © Folakemi Emem-Akpan Once upon a time, I loved only one woman. These days, I love four. And I do this with an all-consuming passion, a burning ferocity and an unwavering knowledge that I can, would kill for any or all of them. At the threshold to the living room, I pause... Continue Reading →

His father’s son

His father’s son © Folakemi Emem-Akpan   It is not his intention to hurt his son; all he wants to do is teach him a lesson. So he raps his knuckles gently but firmly across the length of the little boy’s head. When the boy sniffles, he raps again. Harder. This brings about another round... Continue Reading →

Two times over

Two times over © Folakemi Emem-Akpan Her heart is a giant vise in her chest, pumping so hard she will not be surprised if it caves a hole through her stomach. Her mouth is dry, her breath coming in puffs that evaporate right in front of her. Julie holds the home kit up, counting off... Continue Reading →


(c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan You were thirteen when you learned your family’s dark secret, and it just about tore you apart. That hot August afternoon, as you filled forms for the secondary school you would start the next month, you were dismayed when your mother carefully printed your sister’s name where her name should have been.... Continue Reading →

Garlic Breath

Garlic breath (c) Folakemi Emem-Akpan I remember too clearly. The day he left was not the kind of day anyone should leave his family. The sun was directly overhead, and I remember our throats being parched beyond redemption. By the time Mama got us ice-cream, I’d already developed sores on my lips. We were hot,... Continue Reading →

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