League Day 15, Round 1 – LOW18
Welcome to the first round of league Day 15.
League Of Wordsmiths is an initiative of Whyke Anthology which began last year. Serving as a means of promoting poetry, story writing…and art as a whole, across Africa, whilst also serving as an aid for young, budding, aspiring…writers in the African diaspora.
This round is for the Short story category and would see Iqmat Gbemisola, Adeshina Ajala, and Nwaezuoke Chisom slugging things out for the prize.
Theme For This Round is: LASTING SMILES
1) Judges Decision takes 80% of the total decision, while votes recorded from voters takes 20% of the total decision.
2) Under no circumstance should you guess the owner of the individual stories.
3) Voting lasts for 24hours.
4) Only Votes recorded in the comment section of this post remains valid.
5) Vote using “I Vote story 1”, or “I Vote story 2” or “I Vote story 3”…
6) A voter is allowed to vote maximum of 2 stories out of the 3 contesting stories .
7) The contestants are urged to invite friends to vote for them. No rule exempts you from canvassing for votes.
Let The Game Begin!… May the best story win.
“Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today…” the priest said as my eyes looked earnestly into that of the guy standing before me. Finally, we were to be together forever.
I remember when it all started when we were little; I was the little girl of eight being playfully proposed to by her best friend of ten. We couldn’t care less of whatever happened.
But, war struck a few years later, and he was conscripted.
All through the years that passed, my heart had prayed earnestly for him. God did answer, and he returned to me, strong and fit in his uniform.
“I’ve been allowed to come home after these years, to fulfil the promise I made to you when we were younger” he’d said, his boyish unease still oozing from him.
Although we were much older, he still held my heart; and I, his. And so we fixed the date for the succeeding weekend, notifying the priest who was more than happy to oblige us.
“Do you, Shoetan Atilola, take Adeniji Ifeoluwa to be your lawfully wedded husband, for better for worse, till death do you part?” the priest asked me
“Yes, I do.”
The priest turned to Ife repeating the vows, but I was already lost in the moment to listen. His eyes held all the answer I needed.
“Yes, I do,” his voice solemnly rang out. I could have kissed him at that moment, but I had to restrain myself for the final words. And just as the words flowed, we were already wrapped into each other, leaning in for the kiss.
A shot was heard, Ife jerked suddenly, I felt a sharp sting. Pandemonium started.
Although the world around us was in chaos, we couldn’t see it as we smiled at each other, laughing at the irony of the priest’s word. Death wasn’t going to part us; it was giving us its own special gift of an eternity together.
That was all that mattered as we both closed our eyes, hand in hand with smiles on our faces as we walked on to our eternity.
Scented candles, rose petals in her bath water, jazz music; tonight was perfect. She made roasted chicken for dinner being extra generous with spices. She sipped red wine along with dinner; Rome’s finest,gotten last year during her maternity trip. Maternity. She put her hands on her stomach and thought of Shalewa. Hold on. Mommy is coming.
She put on a silk dress and watched it cling to her body. This was Paul’s gift to her on their anniversary. It was brown
In colour and blended nicely with her caramel skin. She adorned her neck and earlobes with pearls, powered her face and put on red lipstick. Paul would be pleased. Paul. She closed her eyes as remembering his kisses. Hold on. I’m coming.
She climbed into bed, glass of wine in her hand. Reaching out into the bedside drawer, she withdrew a small container and emptied it’s content into her wine. She drank it all at once. She lay down, closed her eyes and with a smile on her face, went to sleep.
The woman next door had not come out to jog this morning. She never missed a day. He liked her; not in a romantic way. She reminded him of his daughter. He knew she suffered two major losses last year; losing her husband then her unborn baby.But she had moved on well; jogging every morning and managing a jewelry store. He would check up on her.
He walked to her doorstep and knocked. Silence. He knocked again. Silence. One broken door later, he rushed in, afraid of what he’d find.
He found her in the bedroom lying peacefully in bed. Her face wore light makeup and jazz music filled the room.
He knew immediately that she was dead. She wore a beautiful smile as if making a fool of death .
She didn’t leave a note. Didn’t have to. She’d gone to see her husband and daughter. She wouldn’t need to smile at the neighbors or pretend to be happy anymore. On her face, was a smile that would last forever
“Honey, are you still crying?”
“It’s past three.”
“You can’t continue to cry like this, Honey, you can’t.” I came close to tears myself.
Since the week began, Chinyere has been crying every night.
“Allow me to cry, dear.”
“This is the sixth pregnancy and our third year in marriage.”
“How can we continue like this, how?” She began to whimper now.
Each time she loss a pregnancy, the doctors congratulate us. They tell us pregnancies lost at this stage are good losses. They would say such babies would be severely malformed.
“Bayo, I don’t get it when we get congratulated on our pains.”
“Can you make me understand?”
“I’ve not carried pregnancy beyond two months, and that was supposed to mean a feat?
“ Bayo, say something.”
I drew her to my chest. She wailed. I’m pained too, but I need to be strong for her.
“We’ll be fine,” I reiterated countlessly.
Weeks stretched into months. I prepared to sleep four nights ago, when Chinyere thrilled me to the news of another pregnancy.
“Dear, the scan said I’m six weeks pregnant!”
“It’s over two months.”
“I would’ve delayed telling you because I don’t want to break your heart again.”
I yelled. I cried for joy. We bet on the sex of the baby. I wanted a female.
This night we are broken to scary ebb. Another miscarriage. Our wound was refreshed. It hurts sorely. We wailed through the night. We cried at the morning devotion. I whimpered at work.
Chinyere nursed my heart to health. It was amusing how she got the grace. I’ve known her to be a graceful soul. That was one thing that glued me to her then in school.
Faster than we had thought, she became pregnant again. We watched the pregnancy survived the third month with a mix of fear, faith and suspense. Then the months seemed to skip. Laughter, our adorable girl, cruised into our life at nine month.
Today is my 78th birthday, her Skype video call made Chinyere and I smile.