I tweeted yesterday that I’d begin posting short series by new and established writers from today and every Thursday going forward, as long as there are submissions. It’s to give the opportunity of expression for gifts that might not have a platform as this, and to bring even more varied writing to you, the reader. The song is fading in… hope we can all hear it. The first of these is HUSH from Femi. It’s a three part series and this is the 1st part. Enjoy and please comment to encourage and critique the writers.
I loved watching him sleep. He looked extremely handsome when he slept. He lay there, breathing softly. I could see every elegant eyelash, his strong arms, his kind face, his full lips… God I loved this man! We were the cutest couple ever!
I was quite beautiful myself. I had won the beauty pageant in my university, I was 21 then. I was a coveted girl in school and could have any guy I wanted and have them I did. I was a bit of a party girl and a flirt, I had done drugs and had countless hangovers, I was heading down the path of destruction before my parents decided to send me the U.S., to do my masters’ program they said.
If they thought that that would deter me, they were wrong. It wasn’t long before I got pregnant; I wasn’t even sure who the father was. Some white bloke I guess. My parents were livid and threatened to get me back home.
I gave birth to the most beautiful girl ever, she was beyond pretty. She looked like a chubby little angel with the cutest smile. I named her Zoë because she was like new life to me. Thank God she looked like me and that gave me extreme pride. It also saddened me because I was alone. My parents didn’t want to see me anymore, they said I was a waste and did not deserve any support from them. I had disappointed them gravely and there was just no coming back for me. Proud, rich Yoruba parents tend to do that. The birth of my baby girl changed me, I loved my daughter, I loved her deeply and at that moment when I held her for the first time, I promised myself that I would be with her forever. I had to stop school and look for a job. Despite my party ways, I had good grades. I found a part time program for mass communication and also found a part time job with a reasonable weekly wage; I got a crap apartment to live in while I juggled motherhood, school and work. Then I met him. I met Daniel.
He had come for a program at the school. He looked lost as he wandered around looking for where he had his classes. He was my age but he smelt of success. He had asked for directions as to where his class was and God knows I stammered a bit. I had met a lot of good looking guys but, he was different. He had a classy look to him. He had thanked me profusely before getting my number for what he said was a thank-you date. I had been skeptical, but the allure was just too much to ignore, I hadn’t been on a date in ages and he just looked too damn good! We had gone out, I had fallen in love almost immediately and the rest as they say is history.
We dated. He was delighted to meet my daughter and she took to him and they became almost inseparable. He loved her fiercely and I could only imagine how he’d treat his own kids. He was successfully running his own consulting firm that found solutions for network and cable stations. I was the happiest I had ever been. I told him all my secrets and he accepted me just like that. He usually joked that I was lucky that I was hot and that was what diluted everything for him. My life was perfect.
Then I got sick.
It was cancer. It was a slow degenerative disease that was killing me. Daniel was distraught. He spent a lot of money caring for me. I felt guilty, I was convinced that the cancer was as a result of my past life and not once did Daniel comment about it or blame me. He was too good to be true. As the disease progressed, I decided to go home and reconcile with my parents. If a little cancer couldn’t soften them up, I didn’t know what would. Daniel had not laughed at that joke; he had scowled and said I shouldn’t laugh at that.
We had come to Nigeria and met with my parents. It was a bitter sweet experience. It was a shame that it took me being sick to bring us back together. They had taken a liking to Daniel. He was courteous, successful and yes, Yoruba. That kept my strict parents happy. Daniel had bought a house for us to live in while we were in the country; it was a quaint little place that was at the quiet side of an already quiet estate. We had a nanny for Zoë and the house was spacious enough with everything for my comfort while Daniel ran a little business for the period we were to be here. I had the drugs to keep me going and a nurse that was close by. Daniel commented that he hated seeing me this way and that it tore him up inside, he had never been religious but, he started taking God seriously and was praying fervently for my healing.
And then a miracle happened.
I woke up one morning and everything was fine, I felt great, the sickness seemed to have left me and I felt as good as new. Daniel shed tears of joy to see me as well as did Zoë. I was happy again.
So watching this man, who was ready to give up everything for me, was breathtaking. He looked so sexy. My main attraction to him was the fact that he didn’t seem to notice the effect he had on women everywhere. I saw the way they eyed him when we went on strolls round the estate or when he went grocery shopping. But he seemed oblivious to it all. I frowned a little. Daniel was sweating and had a disturbed look on his handsome face. Maybe he was dreaming. It didn’t look like a good dream, he didn’t look too happy.
He awoke with a start with my name on his lips. I was startled, he looked towards me and then around the room. He was probably still getting used to the new surroundings, he was breathing heavily as he tried to calm himself down.
“Honey, are you okay?” I asked.
He kept breathing heavily for a bit and slowly but surely his breathing returned to normal. He hugged his knees and sat with his back against the headboard. He was unshaven, just the way I liked him. He was shirtless and I could see his broad chest and rippling muscles, they looked quite appealing. He had on a pair of long johns and he was playing with his toes, the way he did when he was nervous about something. I decided to try again.
“Honey, are you okay?”
He took a deep breath.
“I dreamt about you again.” He said quietly.
“Oh honey. I hate it when you have those dreams”
“I saw you, you know.” He was speaking in a low measured voice, slowly, quietly. That’s what he did when he was masking an emotion. Anger, pain, fear. He always did that. I just wanted him to feel better.
“But I’m fine now.”
“I really hated seeing you in that state. Weak, scared and brave. You were always brave.” I blushed slightly.
“That was because you gave me the strength to be brave.” I hugged him. It must have been cold because he shivered slightly. These were the moments I loved him the most, the vulnerable ones, the times where I had the chance to be there for him and not the other way round.
“Go back to bed honey.” I said. He lay down quietly and I held him until he fell asleep.
It was night again. Daniel was asleep. It had been an uneventful day. I had lain in bed for the most of it. I watched Chi Chi the house help care for Zoë giving her instructions on what to do. She didn’t seem to be listening, but she did as she was bid. I hated Chi Chi. Call me paranoid but I think she has eyes for Daniel. My biggest issue with her was that, she was hot. She had luscious black hair quiet seductive eyes, full lips and a huge bosom. I didn’t like that. Behind the barely comprehensible English and the tattered clothes, lay a beautiful girl and that worried me. I was against hiring her, but Daniel said she was good with Zoë. I had seen the way she looks at him sometimes and I could see the desire in her eyes. I had spoken to Daniel about it. He had smiled and mumbled ‘silly’. I did feel silly. I had no reason to suspect Daniel of any wrongdoing, but the hatred remained and now every time I saw her, my temperature just went up and I would have loved nothing more than to throttle her. Due to this, I had decided to spend more time with Zoë. So I watched her play dollhouse, have fake tea parties and teach an imaginary class. Zoë was beautiful. She was 5 now and said the funniest things. I considered getting her into the little miss sunshine contest when we got back home, I smiled to myself. My baby was too beautiful for words. She had flowing long jet black hair. She also had a chocolate effect to her, the only reminder of the mistake that was her father. Most of the baby fat was gone and what was left was a fit and healthy girl. I sat and watched as she her pour nonexistent tea out of her small china pot for (ironically) Mrs. Potts while playing pretend. I frowned. She had a little black coloring under her eyes, maybe she wasn’t sleeping well. But she was smiling and fawning over her guests so I thought nothing more of it.
Now Daniel and I lay in bed together, my hatred for Chi Chi still burning strongly. He had his back to me as he hugged himself to sleep. What a baby! I smiled. I nudged him. He turned slowly in bed and faced me. He opened his eyes slowly. I took in his perfect face and I beamed, then frowned at the thought of that bitch, Chi Chi, getting her hands on him. I couldn’t wait for us to get married, that’ll teach the bitch. I leaned forward to kiss him, my lips were about to meet his when I heard it. It was a blood curdling scream.
“DAADDDDDDDDDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!” My blood froze.