League Day 3, Round 1 – LOW18
Welcome to the maiden round of league Day 3.
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, Adeniran Simisoluwa, and Iteoluwa Adesina slugging things out for the prize.
Theme For This Round is: FILLING THE GAP
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 Poem 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.
TAKING MOTHER’S PLACE
My father is mad at me again. I do everything he asks me to do, but it’s never enough. When my siblings cry, he complains.
He always complains.
I know he is angry that I am like my mother. He misses her and every little thing I do reminds him of her. When she was alive, he loved to tell me how much I looked like her.
Now, all these things just make him bitter. A little part of me thinks he wishes I had died instead of her. And that part yearns to tell him that he was the one who got her pregnant and that she died giving birth to their baby.
I want to remind him about the times he used to grumble when mum was pregnant. I understand that he’s hurting, but I am too, so he shouldn’t let his frustration out at me.
I want to tell him that I am doing more than he has ever done. I bottle-feed the baby and wake up in the middle of the night to rock him back to sleep. I get up at the crack of dawn to prepare food for everyone, and I have to get dressed in time so he won’t leave me behind. I barely get myself out of the house with everything in order and he’s at the gate complaining about how I’m “ good for nothing”.
I hate it so much! I wish I had died instead. I know mum was a great multi-tasker . I wish she was around to teach me how to manage everything.
Her death has taken a toll on all of us. I hear it in the baby’s cry for care in the middle of the night. I hear it in my sister’s cry for her early in the morning. I see it in the empty space by my father on their bed.
They’re hurting and I’m the only one who can make it better, sadly I can’t ease all their pain. I can’t take her place when there’s also a gaping hole in my heart.
FILLING THE GAP
We are in one of the best hotels in Lagos. He’s lying on the bed, tangled in the satin sheets. I’m Sitting in front of the large vanity mirror, mouth slightly open as Iadda second coat of mascara To my false lashes. I fluff my curls up and force my red-painted lips to stretch into a false smile.
I’ve become a master at this.
Through the mirror, I stare at the man lying on the bed. His swollen stomach facing the ceiling, His left hand unconsciously caressing it. His wedding band glares at me accusingly, telling me the truth about who I am. I smirk back at It and tell it “I don’t care”. I constantly hear it from them.
It goes ahead to ask me, “Why do you do this?”
The anger overshadows the pain when I answer, “I’m only filling the gap.” Only filling the hole he Left that night, the night he tore through my childhood and ripped away my innocence.
FILLING THE GAP
I did it again. I know I promised I wouldn’t. And I swear, I was keeping that promise .Up until today at least. Letting out an exhausted sigh, I grab aa tissue from my bed table and blow my nose, trying to get rid of the mucus that’s already been trying to escape, as I let my mind wandering the hopes of forgetting everything.
I had been randomly scrolling through my messages when the notification popped. It was simple, as it always was. “Mark Adetola’s birthday today. “My heart skipped a beat. I hadn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since my wedding day, when I waited for him at the altar, and he never showed. The guy who I was supposed to marry but jilted me. The guy I was crazily in love with, but shattered my heart.
I felt a tight pang in my chest and willed myself not to cry. It didn’t work. I collapsed on the floor, as tears streamed down my face. I stared at the phone, fighting more tears as I mentally debated for a few seconds before I clicked on the notification. I shouldn’t have. It took me to his page. Regret washed over me. I should have blocked him since. But I didn’t. I just couldn’t. Even after leaving me at the altar, I was still in love with him.
It was hard not hard not to My mom left me when I was 2 years. My dad waited till I was 10, and just disappeared one da. Everyone I ever loved always ended up leaving. So don’t crucify me for still loving him. I held my chest as I cried harder.
That was the last ounce of love left in me. And he drained it all. He was supposed to be “the one. “I thought he could fill the gap. The gap created by a deficiency of love. I was wrong. He made it wider. In a way that no one could ever fix. I blame myself for even trying. I should’ve known. Love wasn’t for losers like me.