“Send me a short story you’ve written recently”

“I do not write anymore”

“If you could write what would you write about?”


If I could write…

I would write about my neighbor. The one in Room 37, who is always in a hurry to wash, to cook, to do everything. Once, I got up around 1:00 am to study and walking to the reading room, I see neighbor hurrying to the kitchen with yam. Jesus! Who eats yam around 1am. I pretend I do not see her.
I would write about how I looked through my window one morning only to see neighbor washing her clothes. I turn to my friend “Do you know neighbour washes everyday?”

“Yes, she said she can’t wear a dress twice without washing it. Even handkerchiefs – one for ever day of the week. I think she would make a good mother” friend said.

“I think her efficiency level scares the life out of me.”

I do not talk to neighbour. Here is why. I greeted her once and never got a response so I made up by mind to stop greeting her. This was after a friend made me explain literature to her for her GES EXAMS. I’ld get angry when my friends would laugh with her.

But things changed when friend locked the door from outside one morning, forgetting I was inside. She does that a lot. I was pressed and was almost going to pee on my pyjamas – any other night wear but this one.” I begged Dear God in my moment of desperation. – A friend got it for me but we do not talk anymore.
I had no choice and so I began banging heavily on the door. BOOM! BOOM!! BOOM!!! BANG! BANG!! BANG!!! “Someone please help me” I screamed!

It was neighbour who came to open the door. She saved my life. And the greeting commenced.

You see in Nigeria, you can’t live in isolation. Neither can you mind your own business. You will need help one day. Someone will need help one day.
If I could write…

I would write about how I went to the kitchen one day to wash my plates, Just like neighbor, I do not pile up dirty plates. Neighbor was in the kitchen, telling others how she had seen a live labour (Child birth) that day. I cringed. She talked about the blades, the blood, the screams, the tears and then she talked about the head coming out of a tiny place.
There was a sensation down there, not the type that rises when you see the love of your life but the type that you feel when you think of one word – PUSH!!!
I do not like hearing these tales. I remind my self again, “You must have two children ONLY”

If I could write…

I would write about how I think neighbour is a nice person. But I’ll never understand why she hurries. I think neighbour would make a good mother.

Maybe neighbour sees something that we do not see…

When next she comes to take the dictionary, I’ll ask her :

What is it you see that we do not see?

Love xoxo