Fiction, Short Stories

Like Daughter, Unlike Mother

Rains beat soft on the aluminium sheets that provided the roofing for her house, like most of the houses in her part of town. She was curled up against her pillow listening. It may be about 3am now; she thought out the time. She has been expecting this rain. On her way from work, the journalists had assured her it would come. As the rickety Trotro fought its way to a halt at her bus stop she could only think about the rain, how it would be a staying companion, dripping continually. And even though it never touched her, she felt it’s cleansing, it’s washing away of herself. She yawned and few tears trickled unto her cheeks lazily. She brushed them aside and smiled. How many situations has this nature of hers not brought her into? This person she has not been able to completely shed. Yes she’s now in church. Yes she’s met the Saviour. Yet her demons persisted–this person she has been, the she who led her into his arms one sunny Sunday afternoon. She yawned again, and determined not to be cheated by sleep sat up against the almost broken head of the bed. The creak of the wood as her back found it was the reminder always–he was never coming back. She closed her eyes readying to do what she’s been advised by her single ladies’ group not to over and over again; always being her own nemesis. Now he was glued before her, grinning.

You sure are the only one who cries when they’re sleepy.”

He had laughed and his voice had felt like a warm bath after rain has beat the body.

“There should be many like me.”

“I have my doubts.”

He had laughed again and after a few pleasantries casually walked away; with half of her heart and her mind. She would not stop thinking about him. She could not. Is it not true that the heart never obeys the mind? That conversation became her favorite music. Because if the heart obeyed the mind, she had never loved music anyway to have a favorite one. She would be with her father discussing her application to Harvard and her favorite line from her favorite playlist from her favorite artist will be on repeat endlessly.

You sure are the only one…

And she would never even know his name; this musician. When she does, she would never be certain it is his. The heart is an endless trap; her heart, leading her into the arms of a love she would only know for ninety days.

“No woman has ever made me feel this way.”

“No woman?”

“No woman.”

It didn’t matter how they ended there. They were slowly making their way into his bedroom and he stopped short on the way, pinning her to the wall somewhere and feeling her all over like the police searches in movies. No woman will ever make him feel this way. She told herself over and over again. After he had plunged into her and made her say things she never knew could escape her lips. After he had stood her before a mirror and let her see all the wonders another naked body could make yours feel. After he had turned her over and told her that it was okay. While the pain surged through her she still could not tell herself not to believe that no woman will ever make him feel this way.

“No man will ever make you feel this way.”

“No man?”

“No man.”

The blood came but she knew no man will ever make her feel the way he did. And no woman will ever make him feel the way she made him.

“I’m doing this only because you will feel like you never have.”

“Like I never have?”

“Like you never have.”

She was laying in between the two of them. The new one had her front and he had her back. She was not sure of all this but she knew she will feel like she never has. Six weeks later, she was expecting to be a mother, thrown out of the only home she’s known, cut off financial support, he had stuck to his word and showed up. He had hurried her into this town, into this little room, made her feel the way only he could, broke the head of the bed somehow and he had not come back. He never would. It was always about the feeling with him. She was sure she did not give him enough of what he wanted to feel. She smirked, a smile line breaking apart her pressed lips.

When her eyes opened, they were wet. She cleaned them. They were merely part of the nostalgia. She sighed and smiled. But soon, she hugged her pillow and wept. She knew indeed that no man will ever again make her feel this way – the way he’s left her feeling. Only she wished her father did not leave his own feeling in her, the way he had stood there silent, shedding tears for the death of a daughter he will have to bury alive in his throat – never naming her. If he had hit her, if only he had touched her. Now she had to live with the touch of a foreign man. She felt her stomach, climbed down unto her knees and clasped her shivering palms, please make her not allow any man ever make her feel this way. The rain still beat the aluminium roof, continually staying.

Hope you did enjoy this short story. Also we’re a quarter into the year and these are what I’ve been reading so far. Check them out and comment on the post with what you are reading. Feel free to leave any book recommendations for me. Have a lovely weekend.

©Awo Twumwaah 2019.

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Poetry, Standalone Poems

beyond epidermis

I do not hug mother. Often.
Mother loves me.
My bag hugs me. My bag does not love me. My bag cannot love me.
I have seen hugs last years between enemies. A love
that should not be. That is not. There is love that does not
have to need to touch. And it is love.
God hugged me. On the day I should have one: there were no hands.
How do you see hands that are Spirit and Body and Spirit?
How do you feel hands that fold around the world sunshine on a rainy day?
I have known it cannot be felt like I have skins staying on mine.
A divine hug from arms that spread continents and have some loose would
make me lost in burning love.
There is a love that does not touch skins. It holds souls, carries spirits.
I want a love that leaves me lost
and found. Like God’s.
Like mother’s –
While we do not hug not often.

And that’s this week’s post. Also, find the books I read in 2018. I am working on a 2019 reading list that I’d be updating live on this blog. Find it in the menu under Books and Reading.
XoXo,
Awo.

©Awo Twumwaah 2019

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Fiction, Short Stories

This Thing In Our Chests

They are friends again; now that the traffic has turned that sleepy green, allowing cars pass and there are no customers on the pedestrian walk to juggle over.

“How much did you make?”

He smiles into her face.

“You first”

She chooses their normal route of conversation. He twitches his lips. His almost empty blue bowl begins to dance on his head. He tips it, reaches for and bites the corner off one of the two unsold sachets, showing his half broken front tooth. As he downs the water, he studies her, like he does every morning before their goodbyes. Her small beautiful feet in the charlewote meant for a girl a year older, her rounded lips, freshly licked.
He would remember every line, skin texture, even into his oldest age; he can swear. His watching her doesn’t end, even as she faces him with her own empty bowl beating lightly on her hips, rhythm to the words she only can hear.

“I said you first.”

She teases. She enjoys how he suddenly stops looking and truly struggles with keeping this truth from her. She understands. The decision to tell or not to tell is a hard one. She sees it, in her own truth she’s keeping from him. This afternoon, her Aunt says she must be sent for the cutting; a mark of all the women she comes from. She, her Aunt, says it will pain her but she cannot stop her going. She knows it too. She heard the loud barking from the clan messengers when her Aunt mentioned rescheduling, the need for her not missing her first exams. That hasn’t bothered her like the gnawing dreams she’s woken from each night. The present knowing that her goodbyes said today will be the last she’d ever say.

She sees now that they are only a few feet from her turn. She steps in front of him, kisses her palms and places it on his budding chest. The two lovers said goodbye this way, in the Korean series she watched last night. Only he doesn’t understand. He once said he only watches the fight in the rings like boxing. That is for men. He looks silent at her, knowing nothing of the sand storm she’s holding in her own chest, afraid to let free against their always finding each other here. Especially on days like this, days with less sun. She remembers how he whispered you are beautiful their second walk down together. It was a soft ball rolling gently from his tongue into her heart. Then always caged. She will always remember. This kind of love does not die with a goodbye.
Before she can be sad, she smiles, watching the sun rise.

PS. I’d like to make this story more complicated. Add some more layers to it later. So, feel free to suggest any. For now, I hope you liked it. 

 

© Awo Twumwaah 2019

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Essays, Non-Fiction

The Way Home

I.

The time on the road is the best part when traveling between Accra and Suhum most Friday evenings, as I do. They are full of cars trying to find their way home. Like me.

II.

The sun sets about this time and leaves the earth an orange dream – nothing is more magical. And yet it’s unknown to the sun, maybe, of what this break in the monotone darkness and light means; what this tinge of both worlds do for us.

III

Midway through the journey, it’s getting darker. The chatter of street hawkers fill the air, travels with the wind to your ears. You’re left wondering about their loud laughter – about what could feed a tongue so much it bursts into such joy. After this is the silent travel along settlements too tiny to be visible from the thick forests that shroud them. But soon, with most of these forests being predated by various industries for various reasons, I suspect you can see them; a family of five perhaps, with their small concrete house hoping tomorrow will bring better yield from the travelers their wares are made for. If it was morning, you’d have understood this better; you’d find by these forests that are lone and abandoned at night women, children and men with their wares.

IV

When I see the lights of the first homes bordering the town I grew up in and the last of the towns with names I’ve never mastered to name, I sigh. I’ve come home alive on this dreary night road I’m beginning to love.

PS. Sharing with you the draft of my first creative non-fiction work I submitted for a free IOWA University course I took part in. I hope you liked it.

©Awo Twumwaah 2019

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Poetry, Standalone Poems

love in body parts

brother’s foot is in my face.
we smell the stinky foot. we laugh. we are drank.
we drink laughter this minute. that minute.
we have not yet said I love you.
we do not say. we never say.
the news man says there’s been shooting.
election violence, he says and
i pray for brother’s feet for tomorrow.
for the day he walks for governance
we do not listen to the news man
we still are drank.

© Awo Twumwaah 2019.

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Poetry, Standalone Poems

The Name I Still Call

God,
it’s been three
years of floating, groping
for a cloud to hold on to, to stand on
to catch a glimpse of you

God, its been three
long days of wanting, praying stretching
for a rope to hang on, to gasp on
to catch a glimpse of you

God, you must be tired God
of all the names I’ve called you crouched
making myself invisible enough for your invisibility
you aren’t? tired? of my yelling
God. my crying. God. my stamping. God. my
God.

i have vowed i will not call your name any longer
that it weighs too heavy on my tongue
that it breathes too much of my little air
yet here i am. breaking vows.
God.

A Happy New Year. Whatever your plans are this year, no matter what you want, may it not be a farther feet from God. Keep stretching.

And thanks for keeping me stretching. Your views and comments made my last year.

©Awo Twumwaah 2019.

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Poetry, Standalone Poems

labor

i have birthed nothing
that did not cut
that did not take away
a part of me

my thighs are tearing apart
(they say push)

head falls back, unwilling
my teeth sink into my livers
(they say push)

i want to tell them the story
of when my first love laid cradled in my arms
of when love made me feel like a woman
(they say push)

i want to tell them
i know how to birth by myself
three men have already come out of me
each bearing their part of my soul on their plates
(a slap on my thigh. wait. it’s the pain of a new life)

(they say well done)
my head remains
still. I want to tell them
i do not know how to keep what I birth
i want to tell them God must
ride the seas and find my arms
teach them to form in a way this baby does not drop

PS. Christmas is here already. And hi, how’s living?

© Awo Twumwaah 2018

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