Friday, October 20, 2006

The Deceit that led me back to Biafra

I was looking through my hotmail inbox today and found this 500 word narrative that I’d done in 2004 for my grade 12 creative writing class. Have you ever written something, gone back to it and was like damn!?!?!?!... I wrote this?!?!?!?!... no? well I have… lol. I hope y’all have as much fun reading this as I had writing it. This is one of the reason’s my English teachers urged me to become a journalist (oh but that plan got fucked somewhere along the way… but oh well… I’ll always have this!)

Did you ever wonder what it’s like to have your heart torn into so many little pieces that you doubt you could ever find and fix up the pieces again? To feel as though your life has no more meaning? Is it possible to gaze upon the very eyes that inspired the essence of love in your heart with only hatred and disgust? Is it possible to see love as the enemy when only months before it had been your greatest ally? When you had prior believed that-

Without love, there would be no reason to live and life is just an endless misery. Love is that feeling you get when you wake up in the morning next to someone you dreamt about. Love is when you feel warm and safe in the middle of a perilous snowstorm just thinking of someone you care about. Amidst all the turbulence and trauma of the 1967 Biafran war, these thoughts and feelings kept me alive, and gave me the will to resist the mind- numbing nature of my environment. I have seen countless comrades give up hope for lack of anything to live for, but I sustained my strength to survive this ordeal for the sake of love. I believed in love, lived in loved and lived for love; a love I thought to be based on trust and truth. Now I understand what a certain wise woman meant when she said “Absolute trust is the greatest illusion of all.”

Love is morphine; when addicted; you would rather not live with it, but you almost can’t live without it. With the passing of time, you get more dependent until you wake up one day and realize that while the happiness from either source is fleeting, its’ aftereffects live with you and taunt you for the rest of your life. You see love in every word, every action and every gesture until one day reality comes knocking on your door. Reality could be anything from a letter, a stranger, a loved one, or in my case coming home after nine months of war to find the most shocking surprise of my life.

I was happy that I had a two- week break from the war, but I was worried about the birth of my baby, who was about a week overdue. I had decided to pay a visit to our family doctor, and after we exchanged pleasantries, I told him the purpose of my visit:

“Well, Dr.” I said, “The reason for my visit is that I’m concerned about my unborn child who’s due about a week now. I want you to tell me honestly if anything’s wrong.”

The Dr. had stared at me blankly, then smiled and said “ Oh, Obiora, being a man, I understand that you’re very worried about the birth of your first child, but she isn’t due for another two months, so I think you should relax a little”

“Relax? Oh, no, Dr., I’m relaxed. Actually, I believe there’s a mix- up here. My wife is nine months and one week pregnant, and you’re saying she’s two months shy… seven months pregnant? You’ve got it all wrong here.” I told him

“I’m not really sure what’s going on here, Obiora.” The Dr. looked at me a bit oddly and said, “But, here, you can look at Chinwe’s ultrasound results for the baby’s birth date.

“Speaking as a doctor, I think the constant shooting and bombing from the war must have really taken a toll on you, so I suggest you go home, take some sleeping pills and have a lot of rest.” The Dr. advised

I had looked at the results, thanked the Doctor and let myself out of his office. I walked home, contemplating what the Doctor had just told me.

Then suddenly, it hit me like a bullet in the kneecap from an AK 47; I couldn’t possibly be responsible for Chinwe’s pregnancy because I’d been away two months longer than she was pregnant. It was just too much of a stretch. A muscle started throbbing in my head, and this soon turned into a full-blown headache. I began to see red, I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t believe that she had done this to me, but I had just seen the evidence myself. My wife, my queen, my love, my life, and my all... she had just betrayed me, she had just turned my world upside down. I blindly stumbled home, packed up all my stuff and came back to the Biafran war zone; at least I knew I could take refuge in the monotony of the shooting, bullet dodging and despair around me. I wanted to bury myself in that monotony because otherwise, I would begin to pay attention to the searing and scorching pain I felt in my heart, which branded me forever a fool.

I had nothing else to offer Chinwe but my love, and she had assured me it was all she needed; I guess it wasn’t. Love is an exceedingly cheap commodity to those receiving it but enormously expensive to those giving it. I have tasted the sweets of love only to have them turn to dirt in my mouth. I have looked into the eyes of love only to have my sight taken away from me. I have beheld paradise only to have it blown to smithereens right before me.

I previously viewed love as the answer to all my questions in life. Only after this betrayal did I begin to see love for the poison it really is, a poison, which seeps through your body into your soul, infecting every part of you with its venom. You become so enamoured that you lose sight of what it really is- a merge of dissension, disharmony, darkness and discord. Love is a trap, which lures you in for promised sweets, but ultimately leads to your destruction. With all the bullets, bombs and body parts flying everywhere, I feel nothing but numbness and desolation. All my hope is gone.

Sergeant Amechi A. Aturuocha sighed in pity as he read the letter found in the pocket of the almost unrecognizable remains of Lieutenant Obiora Ogbonna, whose body was found mantled and distorted in the battlefield A of the Biafran war zone. “What a waste, such a fine, brilliant and earnest young man. He’ll definitely be missed” he muttered to himself. Sergeant Aturuocha believed this was a deliberate suicide, but he had to cover that up for the sake of his men on the field who still believed in love. He couldn’t have them giving up hope; there was just too much at stake.

38 comments:

Funmi said...

This was a beautiful piece.......i really enjoyed reading it. I can totally relate to "going back to the archives and getting stunned". Recently went through my old journals and i was quite impressed with my write-ups (who knows they might go for millions of kobo some day!)

TP said...

You wrote this? You do write very well, and it shows you have been good at writing ever since. Are you sure you want to bury that talent... you have a nice flow with words and a sparkling imagination.

NaijaBloke said...

Nice piece right there,but Obiora is just a stupid man if u will permit me to say.

U have a lovely weekend

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Funmi: Awww… thanks babe! I saw this and some other stuff I wrote and was impressed… I think I’m gonna get back into creative writing and see what I can come up with… maybe I could write a book(actually I’ve started a couple but I always get bored and end it so as a result I have tons of unfinished books lying around)… lmao@millions of kobo.. babe lets aim higher small… millions of EURO’s abi POUNDS (which one value pass self) but kobo is better than cedi’s sha so no problem.

@Tp: Yes ma’am… thanks for the compliment. Yea I started writing when I was 13 or something. I went through some things a little while later and gave up writing for years… but I started again now and I just wanna get better and hopefully be able to do something with it in the future.

@NaijaBloke: Lol… I’m glad you like it… Obiora is heartbroken oh …his wife has done ‘supe’ with another man. I guess he figured there was nothing left to live for. Have a great weekend yourself.

Discombobulated Diva said...

Wow... that was such a good piece... i must commend you, you got some really skills... I'm glad that you've decided to start writing again, don't want to waste that talent of your...
so, hmmm... when is the next piece of writing come up :-)...
~DD

Reen said...

wow that was deep and beautifully written.Overwhelmed u really a good writter am sooo jealous...wish i could put words together the way u do....

Noni Moss said...

Damn! You wrote this??

:-D just kidding. I'm jealous - i wish i could be as narative as this.

P.S - you tagged me for what?

Calabar Gal said...

Girl, U r good!! Very creative imagination and it all flows so well. Intriguing, Captivating, spell binding in either direction u decide u want the story to take.
More! More!! More!!

Oh and u had better get in touch with Monday books. They just might be ecstatic hearing from you and those manuscripts you've got hidden away.

nosa101 said...

I still can't believe stuff i write even the stuff i post on my blog.
This is some lovely stuff here

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Discombobulated: Thanks babe… you’re far too kind… I’m glad I started writing again… Next piece coming right up with a ‘soda on the side’… lol… what can I say… that chicken noodle song GOT TO ME!!!.. lol

@Reen: Thanks babe… I’ve noticed that you always stop by and always have something really nice to say on my blog…. I think you should start one too… you never know what you’re capable of until you try!

@Noni Moss: Yes ma’am I did… lol… you are narrative... babe ur poems are just the shiznit… very readable… entertaining and ‘user friendly’(lol… as in even ppl that aren’t fans of poetry could totally relate!). you know I’m always on your blog… like always… I tagged you to do the four meme thing… so you copy the text and just replace your answers with me. It’s the post I put up right before this one called “TAGGED”. No excuses oh…. DO IT OH!!! And have a great wkend babe


@Calabar Gal: Thanks babe… I really appreciate your comments… y’all are giving me so much encouragement… maybe I should find those old stories and polish them up or better still… start afresh!!!... U ROCK!!!

@Nosa: whao… I thought it was only me that felt like that about some previous work I’ve done (and I mean that in a totally non-conceited way). Thanks babe… you’re an amazing writer (irrespective of your age). Have a great wkend and keep blogging!

Miss Pearse said...

O dang!!! That was Harsh yet Beautiful. I wish my mind would just behave and come up with well thought up storys like such...Not in this life time...lol. My Two Thumbs are definately up.

p.s...Thanks for the props on my selfish rant babe.

Anonymous said...

Digression.

Viewed your prolfile and saw you like artists like Keith Urbam, Imogen Heap, Dixie Chicks...girl! I LOVE those artists as well! I think they are amazing especially Imogen Heap!! The more i read your posts, the more it seems to me that i know you from somewhere but can't remember where(or is it because we are of the same age?) I don't know but will figure it out very soon.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Miss Pearse: Thanks for stopping by here too… I appreciate it… UPDATE YOUR BLOG!!!!!! Lol

@Confessions: yes ma’am… Keith Urban, Dixie Chicks and Imogen Heap sing the music soundtrack of my life… lol… know me? hmmmm…. I don’t know… ur in England, I’m in Canada… I’m not in contact with anybody there… except I’m a friend of a friend? Keep me posted sha… I’d love to know if you really do know me

Beautifully Human said...

you have really been blessed with a talent; and I agree with tp. you should definitely not bury that talent.
a really good read, which left me wanting more....

Onya Baquebeich said...

that was a fantastic piece... really was. couldnt help but feel sorry for the man. not so much cos of his fate, but cos of the unresolvedness of it all. he loved totally; gave his all only to be betrayed by his woman who he doesnt confront and ends up dead. shame but thats the brilliance of it i guess. i love tragedy.

how much do you charge for editing? hehehe... seriously though. it wasnt just the content that got me; the wording, composition and general profesionalism of it also made it quite clear that you're trained. so how much again?

temmy said...

You are good.

Soul said...

I'm not going to say 'dang! you wrote this?'. Cos that would mean that I find it hard to believe that you did write it.

What I will say though is:
'Of course you wrote this!'. This is you. It's the way you do what you do, it's the way you spin out a story from a poem, or the way you portray an event.
it's you. like your signature.

Ahhh but I gotta ask the question, is love really that desperate, that be all and end all?. hmmm....
you got me thinking.

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Beautifully Human: Thanks babe… I’m trying to get back into the groove now… and since I’m getting so much encouragement… maybe I’ll try to dig up some more old stuff.

@Ai’hammed: Delot my brother… I like no LOVE tragedy. Lol@ charging for editing… e never reach me like that… I don’t have any training… doing biochemistry actually… but for you Delot no problem… I will edit for free (just supply me with enough palm wine and isi ewu and I’ll be a happy camper… lol… good luck finding that!) On the real… thanks though... I really appreciate… you know I look up to you… cos you’re beyond amazing… one of ‘bloggers that inspire me’.

@temmy: Thanks babe… so are you

@Soul: Awww… Thanks for having such faith in me… you’re one of the ‘bloggers that inspire me’ too… I absolutely love your style of writing. I’ve never been in love so I wouldn’t say it’s the be all and end all… I just wrote that in the perspective of someone who does. I think it is possible to love someone so much, so hard that you’d rather die than not be with them… would I kill myself? Nahhh… would some people? Yup

africanprincess said...

Fantastic stuff homie. Your writing is so easy to read and you're an extremely intresting person (I really need to come by more often but I also like cathcing up). Three Thumbs up!

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@africanprincess: yes ma’am you definitely need to stop by more often and UPDATE YOUR BLOG MORE OFTEN... don’t be leaving us without ‘nourishment’ like that. Lol… you rock babe… thanks thanks thanks… it really means a lot

Anonymous said...

fantastic fantastic FANTASTIC piece.. men babe that was amazing! ok not amazing, cuz i'm not amazed u wrote this. you are a brilliant writer and you should never stop writing.
you're honestly one of the best writers in the entire blogosphere.
definitely do a sequel to that story-chapter 2,whatever.
it's stuff like this that makes me want to whip out my pen and try to wake my creative side up. infact i'll do jus that- but neva put it up. u'v complexed me!! lol.
did i say fantastic?
LOVEd that.

Anonymous said...

fantastic fantastic FANTASTIC piece.. men babe that was amazing! ok not amazing, cuz i'm not amazed u wrote this. you are a brilliant writer and you should never stop writing.
you're honestly one of the best writers in the entire blogosphere.
definitely do a sequel to that story-chapter 2,whatever.
it's stuff like this that makes me want to whip out my pen and try to wake my creative side up. infact i'll do jus that- but neva put it up. u'v complexed me!! lol.
did i say fantastic?
LOVEd that.

Anonymous said...

fantastic fantastic FANTASTIC piece.. men babe that was amazing! ok not amazing, cuz i'm not amazed u wrote this. you are a brilliant writer and you should never stop writing.
you're honestly one of the best writers in the entire blogosphere.
definitely do a sequel to that story-chapter 2,whatever.
it's stuff like this that makes me want to whip out my pen and try to wake my creative side up. infact i'll do jus that- but neva put it up. u'v complexed me!! lol.
did i say fantastic?
LOVEd that.

Anonymous said...

fantastic fantastic FANTASTIC piece.. men babe that was amazing! ok not amazing, cuz i'm not amazed u wrote this. you are a brilliant writer and you should never stop writing.
you're honestly one of the best writers in the entire blogosphere.
definitely do a sequel to that story-chapter 2,whatever.
it's stuff like this that makes me want to whip out my pen and try to wake my creative side up. infact i'll do jus that- but neva put it up. u'v complexed me!! lol.
did i say fantastic?
LOVEd that.

Poetic Justice said...

Wow! Once again you have managed to leave me speachless and I hope you really consider publishing sooner than later!

Funmi said...

Talking of aiming higher i would suggest you look into getting some of the books completed. When the millions start rolling in (just make sure u holla!)U definately have a thing for creative writing (tap into it well well)

tiwalade said...

Really good stuff, you're very talented, you definitely have to use these talents.

To the story, it's so sad.How can a love so great be wasted on someone who didn't even appreciate it. Nyways. I guess that's life wrong man for the right woman or wrong woman for the right man

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@jadedKiss: thanks babe… I’m glad you like my writing… hehe… there was never a part 2 to it.. maybe I’ll finish one of my old stories and put it up here…. Can’t wait for your stuff.. u kno I’m a big fan of urs cyber sister mine!

@Poetic: Awww thanks chica… maybe I should look into it later… I just wanna get better and I really appreciate feedback esp. from the blog community and people who love to write/read in general.

@Funmi: lol@millions rolling in… I’d take all my blogfriends for dinner in Hawaii… cos y’all rock!!! thanks for the encouragement

@tiwalade: … I know… I don’t even want to imagine what it’d feel like to love that hard and be so betrayed… thanks for stopping by… I’ve never read your blog… so I’m going right now!!!

Boso said...

Hey, this is brilliant. Thanks for stopping by my blog, hope to see you around there again soon !!

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Boso: Thanks babe… I love your blog too so I’ll definitely be checking back… still trying to figure out how to put a link to my favorite blogs on my site!

Anonymous said...

oh and why cant i delete all my excess comments??!!

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

I have no clue cos i noticed that the message you sent showed up a few times.. but i guess its one of those computer things... but its no problema chica... the more the better (i think!..lol)

Ike said...

Biafra for life! Igbo Kwenu!

Surviving with Truth said...

beautiful!

Sweet Sag said...

that is really is a splendid piece. and like soul said...i'm not sure if love is that desperate...in the context of your piece, yes, i see it...but as i grow older..."love" changes...and it is not simply the drug we once thought it...

keep writing...surround yourself with your writing...and make time for it...then you'll have several great novels

Anonymous said...

I loved it....Fantastic...

laspapi said...

Storm, great short story. I'll give suggestions as to style when we see.

ablackjamesbond said...

Girl, you can write!

Great piece.