African Roar 2013 – My short story – Green Eyes and an Old Photo

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African Roar 2013

Edited by Emmanuel Sigauke.

Table of Contents

Home – Alison S. Erlwanger
Business as Usual – Jayne Bauling
Salvation in Odd Places – Aba Amissah Asibon
The Faces of Fate – Abdulghani Sheikh Hassan
In Bramble Bushes – Dipita Kwa
Transitions – Barbara Ruwende-Mhangami
A Yoke for Companionship – Andiswa Maqutu
The Puppets of Maramudhu – Dilman Dila
Through The Same Gate – Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire
The Spaces in-between – A.B. Doh
Anti Natal – Mike Ekunno
Green Eyes and an Old Photo – Ola Nubi
Cut It Off – Lydia Matata

Cover painting by Charles Nkomo.

Release in September.

Published by StoryTime.

The Girl who loved too much – continued


Chris was a funny guy. We had gone to University together and dated briefly. It hadn’t worked out but I had introduced him to Sandra – the love of his life with whom he had 2 beautiful children. Sadly he lost Sandra to cancer and was widowed 7 years into the marriage.
It was a funny thing. Chris fancied Betty and Betty liked and respected Chris. They worked in the same office. Now where things could go after that I wasn’t too sure but it was worth a try. Anything was worth a try. Betty was a sweet sensitive girl who loved kids and Chris was a now a middle – aged workaholic with two confused hurting children below the age of 7. His heart was in the right place and for a man who had been through quite a few things in life, he had still remained his sense of humour, optimism and sense of fun. I liked that. I felt that Betty needed someone who did not take life too seriously, loved children and wanted more.
What I wasn’t too sure of was whether Chris fit into the ideal man image that her parents had embedded into her subsconscious.
They wanted a young professional who spoke Twi and knew the culture – I didn’t know how they would cope with a tall, fair English gentleman with two children who didn’t speak any other language but English and whose only contact with Africa had been a package holiday to Egypt in his teens.
How would it all turn out. I guess we would find out after my get together.

Upstairs and Downstairs

I fill my lungs with air and expel – enjoying the tranquillity of a second, that turns to a minute, and then another and I close my eyes willing myself to sleep before the next onslaught, that shatters another night as I see sleep elude me again and I reach for the ear plugs and stick them as far as I can into my tymphanic membrane.

I think of James. We work together. He told me how he ended up in A&E one night because he rammed the ear plugs he brought to drown out the nocturnal noises of his neighbours, so far into his ears that he burst an ear drum.

I fiddle about with the thing in my ear, and catch the fraction of a moan followed by another and hear a deep voice that echoes and echoes round my room and pierces through my defences and my patience, already hanging by a sheer thread of resignation backed up by two years of silent embedded fury.

I went out and got myself a diary to record for posterity, for myself and for the officer at the housing, the different sounds and noises I had complained about. They wanted proof you see, just in case they needed to go to court.

I was so happy when I moved in here. I had been on the council waiting list for fifthteen years because I couldn’t find anyone that I liked enough to want to live with or have a baby with me. Besides Ive always been strange like that, wanting my own space, the ability to know exactly where I will find my toilet seat when I plonk myself onto it in the morning, that my toothpaste will not be strangled out of shape and my controls are exactly where I left them in the morning.

Don’t come visiting without telling me.

You see, I keep a mattress in my sitting room. I usually keep it under my bed for visitors but when the action gets going downstairs I set it up, so I can sleep. Sometimes the noise gets so much that it travels all the way upstairs, through the wooden doors and boards and the wall with the slightly peeling wallpaper that I have been meaning to change since I moved in. So I know when they are frying plantain, cooking a stew with garlic, or smoking weed.

I know when they wake up, when they go to the toilet, when they cook, wash clothes or mate. That is was what led me to take the course of action I did. I mean what would you do if your neighbour constantly put the washing machine on at 2am every day?

It’s these old houses. You hear everything, smell everything, and see everything about your neighbours. A lot of things you would rather not know. A lot of things they would rather you did not know.