Welcome to the second round of league Day 15 – final round for LOW18.
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 Adeniran Simisoluwa, Ahmad Adedimeji, and Hussani Abdulrahim 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.
I’m sitting at the dressing table in our room, pen in hand, writing a letter to her, my precious one. A small smile tugs at the corner of my mouth as I think of her laughter. It is beautiful; starting out silent before turning into the most beautiful sound ever.
I write a letter once every week. Sometimes, she watches as I write. The letters carry different emotions. Sometimes pain, sometimes anger, sometimes, not very often, acceptance. Today, I write with hope. Hope that one day, I would hear that silent laughter again.
I started this writing ritual 5 months ago. A ritual because a part of me believes that my letters would be the breadcrumbs that lead her back home. The police and my parents do not think it is possible, my love returning, that is. It has been too long, they say.
I do not blame them, for they do not know the secrets she has whispered in my ear when the darkness allows her. That one day, she would return and we would all have massive tearful smiles, smiles that would last forever.
For all the ladies in my class, I was the most unlikeable one. Boys do not talk to me and girls too make mockery of me. Just because I was poor and I do not look gorgeous as other girls. They called me ‘wench’ as though I was a slave.
Years went and the notion of every lady on campus was to find a good guy to marry on campus. I saw myself then as the only lady who had not a guy to call as friend not even to call ‘boyfriend’. That’s the common name every lady gives to her fiance. I was lonely for years. Sometimes, when I get home. I would ask my mother if there was a particular rite she ought to have done but she didn’t. Alone in my room, I would stand before the mirror, just to make myself happy, wooing myself as guy. I would refer myself as a guy and the one standing in mirror was myself. But the mirror repeats what I say.
I did pity myself. The day I was coming out of the school library and I jerked my side with John’s, that was the first day a guy would talk to me beautifully on campus. He said “I’m so so sorry”. The “ sorry” seemed strange as many guys, instead, would just look at me and go. As if I was nothing. That day, I had a smile on my lip.
The smile got multiplied days and days. John became my single friend on campus after we later met at library and he collected my number. We started talking and I started smiling. He fills my heart with joy and everyday I think about him, I sense a lasting smile that can never end on my lips. John gave me the joy I had never imagined.
You’re here in Pretoria, trying to breathe, walking the burdensome path of self rediscovery. So many awful things have happened in your life: your father’s death; your uncle’s nasty motor accident which left him with a broken spine.
The opportunity came. You wanted to forget. But nothing changed. You were still you. You didn’t leave anything behind. You carried everything inside you like a sturdy boat filled with granite. Your inside was dark. You felt static.
Then one bright Saturday morning, your Kenyan neighbour knocked on your door. She said she’d be taking her kids to the park and wished you’d join them. The two kids were very fond of you. You’re a superb story teller who weaved magic into words that overwhelmed them. You hesitated.
You moved around your apartment like a sleep-walker, as though you were unsure of yourself. You took your bath, pulled on a deep blue jean that made you the more skinny accompanied by a white top with kind wrinkles. You added a bright denim jacket to thwart the lingering morning chill. And at ten, you were looking through the window of your neighbour’s car, at the bright shops and the bustle of Saturday life.
The park was peopled with children and adults alike. Everyone came armed with laughter and happiness except you. You felt odd. There was noise everywhere. Your neighbour’s children dragged their mother away. You were alone now, stranded in the beautiful mess of hippy noise. You sighed, drew up to a bench and served your bulk. You felt colder than usual. You were impressed. For a long time now, you’ve not seen such joy beaming on the face of the earth. There was light everywhere. The laughter of the kids soothed your heart. You noticed a young man walking towards you. He must’ve borrowed from the children’s happiness. He simply beamed. And his warm face made you remember a guy you met at Tade’s Bay. You smiled at him. He waved. You waved back even though you’re unsure if he were someone you knew. You smiled.