A Succession of Wrong Rights
I write this smoking poorly hand rolled weed, listening to Avicii.
WHO THE GODS CHOOSE TO DESTROY THEY FIRST MAKE FALL IN LOVE
The year is 2013 and you're 16. On the wall clock a few minutes has strolled past 6. We early birds sit at the front pew for Sunday morning mass as your hand found asylum on my right knee, breaking my concentration from Reverend Mother Theresa's sermon. I feel no discomfort until your hand adopts a suggestive nature, spreading and caressing my skin subtly, begins to graze and snake a route to territories yet uncharted, making me giddy. My spirit freezes and my thought melts, the last vestige of sanity desert me, but with deliberation I halt the movement of your fingers and take them off my thighs. For a brief moment we listen to the day's teaching until your hand return again, burrowing through my skirt and inching up my thighs. I say slowly, “Mmesoma”, a long pause, “stop”. The frown on my face betrays the joy in my heart. I fell in love with the wandering deadlicious hands and in this brief moment the virus of love finds a breeding ground in me.
UNDER THE BOUGAINVILLEAS
It's 10pm. On your request I tread the darkness to meet you under the purple bougainvilleas. I don't know why I am here. You press your lips to mine and I taste the reason I risk coming. Feeling titillated and becoming numb as one hypnotized I'm wanting more of it, but as it were in church I try to halt things, I try to fight the warmth of your naked breasts, which are taut and firm and fuller than I imagined, probing against my trembling skin. Your gathered cowl sits atop your breasts and you guide my hands to feel your gravity defying nipples, my hands obliges helplessly, they awkwardly grope around. Feeling the rosary dangling loose between your chest I come to my senses. I tell you it's bad enough we are seeking forbidden pleasures as Sisters but it's even worse we're seeking it in other women. Culturally, as an African this isn't something we should be doing. You place a finger to shush me and speak softly, “I'm seeking no pleasures in other women, only you”. I remind you of what Mother Superior calls this woman and woman pleasure thing: Inordinate Affections. She says the Holy See frowns at it. I am hawking the abbey's views when you cut in. You speak with that calming lilt in your voice, lyrical as a bedtime story; Avese, you call my name—a name I never liked—in a manner I've never heard, in a way I'll never forget. While you speak, your hands on their own accord snake the length of my robe to beat a path up my thighs radiating warmth in the cold. My fingers imitating yours scout your waistline, darting, they find hips soft as a hummingbird's cheekbone. Mindful of sending moans into the night so as not to disrupt the sisters solemn vespers, perhaps the breeze might whisper it to someone, so we're careful, gulping the pleasures as they come, observing the vow of silence.
GO YE INTO THE WORLD
Before the Abbess we stand. Mother Superior ignores our presence for several minutes, kneeling in prayer until she's done. In a manner Jesus might not approve she tells us we're no longer needed in the convent but instead of being sober we are happy to leave, young adults free from the bounds of the church, saying fuck you to the law. We break out in watermelon smiles, joyed as one promised a wrap of marijuana. We board a bike against the wind, and are heading home to find new career paths when your hands, always busy, begin to nurse my thighs surreptitiously and travel unrestrained to untold regions. The sleeping hairs on my skin stand to attention and bumps of goose rose to their feet as the wind wet us with our first taste of freedom. The rider with a knowing smile hands us our change as we alighted.
THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE
2014 is many of our firsts. It is the first time we climbed the roof top to watch the sun set and wait till the moon rises from behind the clouds and shoot silver lights at us. It is the first time we tasted unprocessed leaves wrapped in white papers and felt liquid enthusiasm roll through our veins. It is the first time I felt the sensations of tongue slither through me. Strength escapes my knees and my thighs giggle strangely while you eat me the way you eat free cake. It is also the first time you let me taste you down there and I cherish the moment as one tastes the first bite of roast meat. I have always tasted your lips, it's full of secrecy and has this faint smell of sativa lingering. I have always tasted your breasts in their bloom, pink in colour and has the fleshiness of a ripened guava but I have never tasted anything like it. I will not lie to you it's taste isn't that of freshly tapped palmwine. It doesn't taste like heaven, or the sun, or the earth after gulping rain or cassava pulp or any metaphor the poets might say in describing it. It taste like dried sweat and smells of the ocean, wave beaten sands on the beach has it's taste, so does potash. It taste liketoilet soap and has the smell of newly bought secondhand lingerie. I don't re ally enjoy the taste but waves awash your body leaving you in pleasurable pain, egging me on to graze around the pubis, to scour and probe with teeth gently and forget my tongue in a canoe of sloshing waters. The first time you guided me to taste you, we had a feast. A feast where we are the only invited guest, enjoying the party by ourselves. On your directions I go on my knees and tongue my way through layers of soft tissue, your legs spread awkwardly, both of your hands on my head imitating sister Samantha exorcising demons from one possessed. Your fluttering eyes are fixed heavenwards and your mouth speak in groaning and strange tongues while your body shuddered uncontrollably. Spilled juice trickled down the corner of my mouth and you help me to my feet wanting a share in the taste of your own nectar. Time slow to our beating hearts as we kiss and search our bodies dedicatedly in the dark. The alarm clock blare and I rip out of sleep to find a bed without you. You left me with the ghosts of the previous night. What is love if your heart is not here with me? What is love if you shut me from your affections and enjoy the freedom to love another? What is love if you can't see the invisible strings with which I'm bound to you? To neglect to hear from you is killing so I write to you many times, and more, silence brought the reply. Though I'm heartbroken, your silence made me understand the opposite of love is not hate but total disregard for someone.
WHEN THERE'S NO OPTION TO FORGET
President Buhari's change mantra is negatively sweeping through the nation. Nationwide protests is just around the corner. The year is 2016, you are back for a brief vacation. I'm at your house to visit when I learn of your feelings for another. Worse for a man, my heart breaks and my ego is bruised. You tell me it's nothing, that it's just a façade to escape the jaws of society, that though you have to share our love with him you love me more. More than you love yourself. Repeatedly you echo your love for me, you make me believe your love beyond words, beyond doubt, beyond reasoning. I believe you, faith in a loved one removes all fears. The day grows dark as we talk, strolling to my abode. You tell my ears with peak sultriness your secret desires as we walk into the dimly lit room. There's fluency in your lips as you speak of the unforeseeable future and how I share in them. Bed-bound you continue preaching the sermon but your velvety hands assume action. They, skilled in vagrancy wanders thoughtfully beneath the layer of my gown, grabs my breasts clumsily, skirts along the elastic waist band of my briefs and touch me where I'm softest. From sunset till sunrise the next day, we remain locked in embrace, entangled between sheets, battling sleep, and creating beautiful memories. It cannot be expunged from memory the meditative ministrations of your suede lips on my tangerine breasts, the accent with which you caress me, never lacking invention or enthusiasm. Breasts jiggle about as our pubis, freshly hewn, scratch against the other—scissoring—we surf the pleasures together in steady cadence until we tire out. At dawn you slip away. Again! Your absence is marked by spending quality hours looking out the window and conferencing with myself, hoping you will return home like your other school peers, but this time you didn't come back, you never return my calls or send a message. In the coming days I survive the looming depression caused by the void you created, I learn to live in a shifted reality by trying to laugh and make a joke out of it because sometimes, many times, joking about a tragedy is the only way we can find to cope with trauma.
February 2019. It has been nearly three years since you left. For the 937th day in a row I secretly hope to meet you, to stumble upon you and your new lover. Before take off I see the giant size rust plastered on the wing of the bird I'm flying. A sorry state depicting the current state of the country. Crossing my self I say a short prayer. My eyes open to find you, the real mahogany-skinned you, not the mildly popular Instagram you whose skin turns milk from filters. You are doing what I would never be surprised at seeing you do—take series of selfie in the first class compartment and return back to the economy class you actually paid for. I halt your advance, you shoot a practiced smile at me, and call my name even better than the woman who named me. I recognize your new eyes, they are hazel and match your outfit. We take a selfie and you post on Instagram with hashtag bestie. I'm not really your friend anymore, I like to think we're ex-fuck buddies with the emotions not fully locked away. We share more selfies, lips pouting to touching cheeks as the camera goes click click click. We share a little time on random things before the boarding announcement prompts you back to your compartment. On arrival, while we talk on our way to the baggage claim I discover you're travelling home with a man, you tell me he's your friend, just friends, but I see love in his eyes, ownership in the way he looks at you, tenderness when his fingers locks with yours. He looks comely, baby faced, no strands of facial hair, gap toothed and has revealing legs the shape of freshly dug Onitsha yam. I have come to understand that you're an emotional paradox, one who likes to sit at the edge and enjoy a panoramic view of the same coin. Simply put, you love varieties. You love to mix different things. You always mix food—Egusi and Okra, Jollof rice and Fried rice—you combine different body creams and different perfumes for desirable effects. Your playlist isn't left out in this gamut of varieties, right next to a collection of Jon Bellion is Terry G's. You also love to score men and women, no favourites. Spice is part of your genetic make-up, I understand, and that's cool but I don't envy you, I love my fanta with no ice.
Healing will not come from exhuming past wounds and licking them. So I board a cab to your hotel. On the way I take in the beauty of this ancient city, this city of black and colonial history, this city set in between sun bleached mountains, home to some of the most enchanting and geographically diverse landscapes, this city I'll never come to visit after tomorrow. So I breathe in the city in more than large gulps. A festival of dust clouds the sky, somewhere by the roadside a boy is smoking raw unadulterated cannabis under the thought melting sun, half eaten bread in his other hand. Beside him another hungrily dips hot yam into a bowl of gravy, two girls no more than 15, wearing sweeping hijabs stands a safe distance from the duo, giggling like fornicating toddlers. The car races past Buka Delish, the spot we eat catfish and drink cheap beer until our tummies are well rounded. At the hotel I stumble on you sitting by the poolside with a glass of wine, sunning a toothy grin at some waiter. I confess you look beautiful in the red floral dress adorning your body, it shapely highlights your proportion reminding me of times when your body was home. You really look beautiful and I don't know if you went all out to prettify yourself just for me, it seems fitting that you could. Sitting across you I find your eyes stew with red from behind your bifocals, a result not from drinking wine but from fingering illegal chalk. Illegal chalk has always been the bane of you, I never joined you to indulge in the act except it's weed and that too occasionally. “Another Valentine's day is in the books”, you say raising your glass, “here's to meeting old friends”. Our glasses clinked, “and making new lovers”, I say afterwards. The glasses kissed again. We sit as strangers, have small talks and try to pry information off the other, about work, career and the beautiful past. I don't really know how we got here but I know it's not how a story starts that it ends but now isn't a time for talking about what we had and lost, it isn't a time for trekking down the corridors of the past, it's a time to get our bodies oily. You suggest we go to your room and share our collective nostalgia but I know that you know that I know, in that room there'd be less time on dwelling on the past and more on creating moments. Your ass sashay before me invitingly as we climb the stairs to your room. The room though constricted in size is very quaint, adorned with drawings and paintings. Gregorian curtains drapes the wall. The bedsheets are love patterned with heart shape prints, inline with the theme of the day. A single candlelight burns at the centre table. Drake plays in the background. “I'm sorry for the past but i still love you Nguavese”, you say my name in full, perhaps trying to lull me into thinking you really do or maybe you did rub your mouth with expired jazz and decides to test it's potency. I tell you to stop perpetuating such substantial lies that you keep on regurgitating. Actually, it breaks my heart to think what we had never meant more than sport to you but still I appreciate the dreadfulness of the heartache. I don't resist the hold of your dainty hands grabbing me by the waist, I don't resist the gift of your lips scouring my neck, for I, Avese have series of gifts to offer you tonight. I don't remember our clothes peeling of our bodies but I find us naked and the clothes on the ground in a crumpled heap. I see the hunger in your eyes. On your skin I smell readiness mixed with the piquancy of pheromones. I myself, wet on my juices like moist biscuit is ready as you'd ever be. At the edge of the bed my legs splay out before you giggling, inviting you to join me in sexual commerce, inviting you to come in, feed and be fed. Your fingers found stew and things begin to simmer, your tongue follows your fingers, flicking to taste me down there as one checks the salt content in a soup. Is it me or is it you but someone kicks the bedspread away to herald the beginning of an unforgettable rendezvous.
HEART IN MOUTH
The air is crisp yet we sweat volumes; lie spent and naked on the bed as at the moment of our birth. Hot doesn't cover it, I cannot pigeonhole it in any category even, it was beautiful, adventurous and feisty. The wind has been taken out from our sails, I feel like everyone needs a lie down after that steamy session but you add salt to sour the beautiful moment we are having. You start to talk about him, the one I met you with yesterday at the baggage claim. How could you suggest we indulge in a threesome with him? I can't believe what my ears tells me but I say no nonetheless. In your defence you yap about he being a transgender and technically has no dick yet so a ménage à trois would…I cut you short from continuing spewing gibberish and warned you to perish every of such thought. Trying to breach my resistance, you touch me where I'm softest as you always do, like the times you touched me in church, in the dark under the umbrella of bougainvillea trees, or on those times in the dead of the night after a quarrel at your touch I become stiffened, forever arrested in motion. Not anymore I’m no longer responsive to your stimulus, budging no more than my standpoint. The fact that you mentioned him dents any vestige of emotion I have left for you. I know it's fakery when you turn your back at me feigning annoyance but two can play the game. We sit apart under the garment of darkness, talking to our phones and listening to a wistful, whiskey soaked ode playing at the background. You get weary and go to sleep livid. Moments later I hear you snoring, so loud it rattles the windows. Dawn is upon us but without the accompanying crack of light, you’re deep in sleep and I slip from beneath the sheets to stare at you. You remain arced in your sleep as I touch my hands to your face and feel the rough of the pimples that are hidden under make-up. Even in your sleep I could tell of your confusion and a yearning to be found. You look like someone who has lost her way and knows she is lost but doesn't know how to find her way home. As I turn to disappear through the door I take a last glance at you, perhaps the last glance I'll ever take at you. I regard the sagging swell of chest, the stomach curvy as a crescent, the flowing mane of thick hair, those full lips and the innocent kind of beauty staring back at me. I slip away; into the crack of dawn, without a care in the world, just as you left when I suffered a bust appendix.
I do not have a fancy to be and engage in sexual commerce with you anymore, in fact if I can, I wish to have amnesia so I could forget you but then the memories we share remains eternal and buried in the bed of my heart. But I hope you feel the pain of losing a loved one and the accompanying emptiness too, I hope, like I do, in loneliness you stare at the walls in partial denial and weep. I hope you feel lost like homeless seeds blown into far away lands. I hope when you lie on the crook of his arm you think of me and feel a quenchless craving. I wish someday the taste of me burns in your heart like sour cherries until the hatred smoulders into flames and consumes you. Above all I pray, tears clog in your heart when you tell our stories beginning with once upon a night. This is not the end, only because the end has been in progress for a while now, this is goodbye. I look forward to the day I'll look back at these days with fondness. That day may never come, the doctors tells me my kidneys are already ticking to their conclusion.
Marshmello and Bastille's Happier is now playing.