hurt, Inspired, love, Silence

Silence 2. Rukkaya.

A mix of fiction and reality. Welcome to the stories of the unheard.

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I remember it like it was yesterday. The day everything I knew ended. Who knew that just when I was learning to play house with friends I’d have to play it for real; with a stranger.

The house would be real, the babies real and so would the responsibilities.

Who knew real babies were so much more different from my stuffed dolls? That they’d require this much constant attention?

Why wasn’t I told I’d have to entertain my husband’s guest and also look after the kids and the house?

That day still feels surreal. I was called by my mother and calmly told I was going to be married and how thankful and happy I should be that he had chosen me and the honor he was placing on my family.

I was ecstatic. What did I know about marriage and all it entailed? All I knew was that a couple months ago my friend     Amina  got married and we were all jealous of the gifts and attention she got. It was beautiful and oh so colorful. I had never seen that much clothes in one place.

So of course I was happy I would have the same. The new clothes and my own room. It was getting pretty crowded in my father’s house with the yearly births that was like a silent competition between my mom and step-moms.

I was in a daze as everything about my new life was planned out without a question posed to me as to what I wanted or how I wanted it, after all they knew best.

But I quickly got yanked out of that dream the day I met the groom and plunged into a fantasy. It was a year later. The wedding day was approaching and I guess I was finally old enough. I was fourteen. He was twenty years older. He’s handsome this husband of mine. So don’t get me wrong and think I was complaining, far from it actually because unlike my friend whose husband was quite ancient, mine was handsome and just thirty-four. A man in his prime I thought. I couldn’t stop staring at him. He was my first real crush and he spoke English fluently which I always wanted to do, I had fantasies of him teaching me how to speak properly and read.

He promised my parents I’d go to school and my future home was going to be in the city.

Fast forward a couple months later. I’m all draped out and lying timidly on the bed. The celebration over and I am in a strange room shivering like a wet dog and trying to remember the advice my mom gave me.

Was it lie still and it will pass quickly or was it encourage him and it will hurt less. What was she babbling about? I am not ignorant, my father raises animals so I know how it works. But it doesn’t mean that what my mom said made any sense to me.

The door creaks open and is gently shut. But in the state I was in, everything sounded loud and thunderous.

I won’t bore you with the details of my initiation into womanhood. Suffice it to say I learned a lot of things in the hours that followed.

  1. I was the 3rd of my husband’s wives.
  2. I wasn’t cutout for coitus if that’s how much it hurt and I had never prayed so hard he’d fall deeper in love with his other wives so as to forget my room and the consequent visits.
  3. My mother lied or maybe he’s different. It didn’t pass quickly by lying still nor hurt less by encouraging him.
  4. I could cry for hour’s non-stop.
  5. It was possible to feel shame even in marriage.

Other lessons were learned but everything in small doses even my story right?

Fast forward several months later to the present and why I am telling you this. My friend Amina lost her life in child birth and that was a wakeup call for me and prompted me to have a serious discussion with my husband about my future and how I didn’t want to end up like her. She was just thirteen and her baby girl is back home with her grandparents probably doomed to the same fate as her mom.

I am a bit lucky that my husband kept his word about my education and has promised to wait before I start having kids of my own. His first wife died a couple months after our wedding and her and the baby didn’t make it. He and the second wife got into a row and are now divorced. So it’s just the two of us. We talk more than we did when we first got married. And I have come to love and respect him in my own way especially since he now listens to me.

We currently sleep in the same room and I don’t break into a cold sweat like I used to. But not everyone’s story is like mine.

Break the silence!

 

Guest posts, Guests posts, LDR, love

Soul Mates By Kehinde.

AuthorGuestPost1

SOULMATES

He…the love of my life.

The tingling sweetness of my insides.

One man, one amongst ten who got,

Got in me a treasure valued like gold.

He, this one, the one who holds,

Holds so tight I rest in love.

That one…his presence my smile

Him whom I never learnt to love…

The pounding of my chest,

The tightness of my tummy. But wait,

Is he my soulmate?

I always thought I believed in soulmates, well I did, until recently. Love the world’s way will have you believe that it’s an emotion that cannot be helped. In love you’re supposed to be helpless, drunk, needy of your partner, see the world through your love for your partner, no one ever says that but that’s the unspoken expectation. And it’s beautiful, absolutely something to be privileged to experience, but does it really exist?

I’ve always been something of a romantic – blame it on my love for all things romance. I love love and the idea of it, but you see, as a Christian my view on certain subjects will change, not because I force them to but because I take on a renewed view via the word of God that I take in… besides my influence is different now. I don’t claim to have gotten my view from the bible, but I’ll say that I am talking from a Christian point of view, as is my understanding.

When I used to read a lot of romance literature, I used to spend my time dreaming up my prince charming. I imagined that he was taller than me, was all muscled up, had fire in his eyes every time he looked at me, all those wonderful things like that, and I looked forward to romance. I longed for my own 6-packed hulk who was going to be my hero. I longed for this near perfect guy – because the protagonists in any romance story always fought only once. As I grew though I got to understand that there’s really more to romance than all the beautiful feeling. Most enlightening is my understanding of romance from the love chapter of the bible: I Cor 13.

In church you’ll usually hear that love is not a feeling, that to get a true understanding of love is to understand love God’s way: love is kind, love is patient, love does not boast, is not envious, etc. As a Christian it’s easy to quote this afterall we keep hearing it. But as much as I heard love to be this way, I never really was convinced that that was love, I mean love is fire, love is love and really it’s about two people in love. I had head knowledge of God’s kind of love and even practised the easy parts of it without referring to it as love. In my mind giving na giving, patience is only because I don’t want to look stupid – or I know I can’t fight the conductor. Tolerance is until I can’t take it any longer, long suffering has never really been appealing. Like that I went on, waiting on love because love was supposed to happen with a guy. I love my family and love God but the ‘love’ I was waiting on was special… the real one.

After reading through my favourite literature and noting the way the protagonist studied I Cor 13, I decided that it was time to find out what it was about that part of the scripture that everyone keeps going on about. I’ve read that portion before, in a group setting and personally, it wasn’t until recently that I really understood the gravity of real love.

The first thing that grated my nerve this time around when I read that portion is ‘love cares more for others than for self.’ I was shaking my head in disapproval when I saw ‘love puts up with anything, that spoiled it. Put up with anything? Like any-thing? Even when I’m being nice and the other party is being nasty? Like even when I’m being shoved rudely? Even when I’m without any fault? That’s tough! And that continues to be the most resounding part of that portion for me, maybe because it’s tougher to accept for me. I just can’t come to terms with the fact that I have to put up with anything.

There’s no way to explain I Cor 13 and dwell on romance, at least for me, because the focus is not on romance. The focus is on loving any and everyone like that. I concluded that having a soulmate is not God’s design simply for the fact that the idea of having a soulmate promotes selfishness and I don’t mean that in terms of self as it is that the focus of the love is just on the two parties involved. Having a soulmate connotes that our world revolves around our lover, that we see them, breathe them, etc. God’s kind of love extends beyond the two to everyone the parties come in contact with.

I’ve also concluded that having a soulmate connotes that the parties involved have attained an unreasonable standard of perfection. With a soulmate we insinuate that our lover can do no wrong, that he/she is without responsibilities, and even if, that they exist in a world without problems: sickness, financial situations, family responsibilities, etc. The whole idea of having a soulmate says one way or another that the parties involved are perfect and exist in a perfect world. If it was true, God’s love wouldn’t require us to put up with anything, wouldn’t ask us to be patient, long suffering (the dreaded word). It wouldn’t ask us to not keep score of the sins of others.

The relationship of soulmates is a relationship of exclusion. It excludes everyone apart from the parties involved, there is a horizontal expression of love that benefits only two people. Imagine if that love was actually ideal, how many people will be loveless? How many people will be denied the joy of experiencing true love. If God’s love was based on whether we deserve it or not, a lot of us will be without love. And that’s the beauty of I Cor 13, it tells us to love everyone, even when they haven’t done anything to be loved; the consistent practice of this kind of love is what even strengthens a romantic relationship because what will you do when you find that the one you’re smitten by is just as human as you and just as prone to be annoying?

The question is if soulmates truly exists and my answer is that it only exists in an ideal world made up of ideal people. Soulmates can’t exist because it’s exclusive – God doesn’t want only a few to experience love. It can’t exist because it’s idealistic – it wants something that can’t be (except of course all men were perfect). It can’t exist because people still find love (sometimes with a bigger intensity) after they’ve lost their spouse whom they were very much in love with. It can’t exist if love truly is a choice.

It’ll be too fickle if it existed because at the first sign of a challenge the parties involved will chicken out. I’m not negating the use of the word itself, I’m only against people looking for love in terms of finding their soulmate… I guess it’s whatever works for everyone but really it’ll only be disappointing. I rather prefer being married to my best friend. As friends we’ll acknowledge our humanity but as soulmates hold each other to impossible standards.

 

Guest posts, Guests posts

LIFE LESSONS: LESSONS FROM MY HAIR by Kehinde.

I’d like to bring out a lesson from the most unlikeliest place: my hair. I’m not particularly obsessed with my hair but like most women I could be finicky about it. I want my hair to look like a million bucks. I want to be comfortable with my hair. I have to say though that I belong to the group of women who don’t like adding extensions on. Gosh I love how other women look with them, they’re usually very beautiful and in my mind’s eyes I even look beautiful with them but in reality I don’t have the courage for them. You know how strands from them start sticking on your skin on extremely hot days…horror! It was with one of such experiences, after deciding that I’d had enough that I decided never to sew them in again. And the hairdressers don’t even help with the way they keep yanking at one’s scalp in the name of braiding, so it was a combination of the hairdresser’s ‘hard’ hand, the heat that comes with extensions, and my inability to maintain them that made me decide to stop them altogether. Even better was I wasn’t going to make my hair ever again, I was going to lock it. In my mind it was a better option than cutting off my hair or enduring the hairdresser’s hand. Three years later and I’m on a low cut. I’ve cut my hair twice in the last three years and not once in that space did I even mistakenly lock my hair. Then this morning someone suggested that I should cut my hair again, I could’ve laughed in Spanish!

Making the decision to go natural is a very huge one for me because with that I defiled conformity. Then with it came plenty of YouTube videos and hair articles, in truth the whole thing was draining, but not at first because I was still heady from the excitement of doing things my own way. I hadn’t told anyone before I cut my hair. A year later and I was VERY frustrated. Prior to going natural I wasn’t one to pay attention to my hair, I was pretty much a routine person, nothing extra, but with going natural I was now extra particular about my hair. For the first time I began to pay attention to what products I used, who did my hair, what kind of material I slept on, etc. I would for the first time ever come to say that I love my hair and actually mean it. I loved my hair absolutely. After going through the cycle of doubt, compromise and sometimes neglect, I decided to cut it again and I must say that I feel liberated from the need to have my hair a certain way.

As is with people, they’re wont to give unsolicited advice. Now I have people telling me what to do and not do with my hair. There’s this lady in particular who keeps implying -and she’s relentless- that I should subject myself to those hairdressers. I was just reflecting when it occured to me that this time around my resolve is much stronger than what everyone else thinks I should be doing with my hair. I’m no expert but I learnt this very clearly.

That listening to everyone on what i know i want for myself will frustrate me. I don’t know if it was that I trusted other people more than me or I was just being respectful of their opinion but I realised that I was listening to too many people, even five is a crowd. I’d decided on what I wanted so why did it suddenly not sound good enough in the face of other people’s opinion?…I learnt that defining what we want for ourselves CLEARLY is absolutely important. I’m not implying that we shouldn’t give ear to other people’s opinion, I’m simply saying that we should receive their opinion in the light of our own. There will be times when we need wisdom from other people’s experience, and that should count but have you realised how much we go to the wrong persons for advice? The people -whose advice I didn’t ask but were giving it- hadn’t gone natural like ever.

I also learnt that I have to be more confident of my choices. Because most of the people giving me advice were older, I assumed that they were right in telling me to ‘do my hair’ so I did my hair even after telling myself that I really didn’t want extensions. Many times I left the saloon wondering why I kept going back when I knew I didn’t like it, but you see my mum for one would not accept my hair as it was plus it didn’t help that I was not great at taking care of it. I don’t even know what she has against natural hair anyway.

This time around when everyone tells me what is best I just look at them with a smile on my face thinking ‘no way’. My resolve is much stronger having already failed myself once. Now I’ve clearly mapped out my goals and I intend to follow through, really though sometimes experience is the best teacher.

Inspired, LDR, love, poems, poetry

Breathless

My supply of creativity is emptying

You kissed me, sucked my words away.

It tingled as it left my fingers and sizzled with the loss in contact.

It licked through my pores and escaped through my mouth as I said the words back.

 

Dumb as a lamppost as I stand gazing at you with stars in my eyes

And the old me drooping through my lips and sense hanging out my dropped jaw.

 

I saw her you know; Sensibility

As she mournfully left me

A cold draft of air,

Many a shivers and the hold of doubts as they stare me down

questioning my sanity as I gaze at you with the moon on my lids.

You touch me and Mr. Doubt couldn’t run fast enough.

And warmth that swamped me to heal the frost resident on all vital organs.

 

You caught me

Broke my fall and wrapped me in your warm embrace.

Your lips are sore from kissing my tears away

Your arms cramped from hugging me in your embrace.

 

I am never at a loss for what to say

yet you leave me speechless. 

 

 

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Challenges and Awards., Impromptu

Treats.

Source: Treats.

LDR, love, Musings, poems, Uncategorized

MY BLUE CHRISTM…

 

‘’ I’m dreaming of a white Christmas’’.

Of course I am. Never had one, seen countless in movies and carols.

Yet I had the promise of one. Funny, it’s still mine if I want it. Given on a platter of gold, no strings attached.

This could be the year of something new, fresh, mysterious and all my own.

           Instead, I let the harmattan come in, bringing doubts and fear along with it. Freeing my snow at night and melting it with the morning dew.

 filling up my walkway with chips of ice, turning it to a deceptively beautiful scene, giving the illusion of a smooth, slippery, thin surface, solid and perfect enough for skating, just to break and cave in the moment you are gullible enough to step on.

So while you were building castles in the air, believing that I was right there floating on cloud nine, I was slowly drifting away, till I free fell. Landed on a concrete and broke my wings.

‘’ I ‘m wide awake!’’ aware of all you’re offering, wanting to believe in it. Wanting to let go, stick my tongue out and just taste the snow.

 Yet something holds me back. A wall so high blocking me, a hand  tightly gripping my arm.

           You see, I was comfortable just staying put, but you changed that.

Was happy watching you chip away at the wall piece by piece, brick by brick, just to replace those you dislodged or broke.

See!!!… I was content!

Yet you reminded me of my healed wings, coaxing me to trust and take flight again, to just believe and fly over the wall and break away, to leave the cold, blue world I had erected.

Leaving all my blue Christmases behind and looking forward to a white one with you.

Finally I am ready to stick out my tongue and taste the snow, knowing that even if the cold stings, I’ll be too warm to notice.

 Image

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