BABY GONE You walked around, looking in confusion as the university students and other onlookers were so busy taking pictures of the body on the road floor. It was your body, but this time not the usual reflection on the mirror. Your other body had a head that had been crushed, a were-white pulpy brain substance, and a face and school uniform smeared with blood. Your other body had been crushed by a runaway lorry and now it lay limp and lifeless on the road. The students began to disperse after Aunty Chiaku, a professor of Sociology and also your Mum’s friend, carried you into her car. You would be confirmed dead at the hospital, and you will become very frightened seeing other bodies in the mortuary. On your way outside, you will hear Aunty Chiaku say to the doctor, ‘he would have survived but no one helped, they were only busy taking pictures for the social media. Facebook, twitter, instagram, have dehumanized them.’ Mum had not yet heard the story of your death. She was busy reading at home and listening to Asa’s Baby Gone. It was February 14 and your classmates exchanged gifts and carnations and letters. Mum had promised you a laptop for your stories. You had applied for the prefectship post as the school library prefect and you were getting ready to contest in the elections. Life is made of dreams. Now you dream a greater dream, you are faster than flash and you can pass through physical barriers, even people. You heard: MY BABY IS GONE FROM ME HAVE YOU SEEN MY BABY FOR ME? #Roughly_edited.


Rolling ( Easter Retreat )

The prayer began and I could see the same people who could have snapped ‘You don’t clap or rejoice during lent. It is a sorrowful season.’ They danced and danced and clapped as though they were at a pentecostal party.

A boy who looked so young; I knew he was either a year or so older than me was seating on the pew before mine. My eyes watched him as the dancing was done. He didn’t dance, he only clapped. He didn’t make noise like others.

The prayer started. People began to walk around praying. The pioneer Principal of my school began to shiver. Her scarf danced sort of jigi-jigi on her head. A boy was lifting his bible as though he was in a combat with a quarrelsome enemy. On the other church wing a little boy was moving about, jumping and raising his arm in a total mimicry of what he saw.

The boy who stood before me fell. First on the seat then on the floor. I can’t say it was the spirit but the force swept him off the floor. He battled to stand. He was rolling on the dust-dirty floor. The prayer minister had already commanded that all eyes be shut, but mine were widely open. People were walking about, lifting their hands and speaking in tongues. I heard a woman who was like an Ave-Marian — she was so slim though tall also, she was shouting some words which sounded like: la-la-bo-bo-bo-sa-sa-ta-ta-ta. The instrumentals kept playing as though the sound-makers — instrumentalists — wanted to spice up the prayers or was that their own prayer? Would God answer the prayers faster if the instrumentals kept playing? Two men — apart the minister — were with microphones, scream-speaking in tongues so loudly as though their God could never hear if they prayed in solitude and tranquility.

While all these were going on the Reverend Father and me and one other lady were the only ones who did not take part in all the prayer routines, postures and procedures.

The congregation was asked to shout ‘holy ghost fire’ seven times. Every palm was directed towards the Eucharistic Jesus as the congregation shouted the holy ghost fires. I felt sympathy for Jesus. Some minutes later, the prayer was over.

The boy who stood before me was Solomon Igwe.

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Nothing could have happened if he had not died. He was shot by a hired killer after a thanksgiving reception.

I listened to the tunes of Onyeka Onwenu. My heart felt the melody of an Igbo song, the voice of a lady — woman, the mother of contemporary Igbo music — to me. My hairs danced like ropes running up and down in the air and tree branches reaching out to touch my face.

I heard the voices in my head, they were putting in words as though the roots of my hairs were adding water to my head instead of absorbing. I couldn’t decipher what they said but I heard words like: death, life, gun, love, wealth and car. The breeze was much and the air flowed into my head, it was December and the Harmattan season, so the wind blowed like a madwoman moving swiftly, walking about and dancing.

That was the afternoon of that cursed Sunday. In the evening Papa died. No. He didn’t die, he was killed. Papa was killed.

It was this morning that I felt some cool, slippery and scented substance on my underpants. I knew it was, sperm, it wasn’t my first time of having wet dreams but I had sex with a girl — in my dream. A beautiful girl; only providence knew who she was and where she came from. Or, do I call her succubus? She was extremely beautiful.
It made me to remember the boarding house, when it happened after my first experience of a wet dream. It was with a boy, my friend who I’d just met in the hostel, he was a new student. He fucked me and I fucked him. And in the morning I found out it was all a dream, and the white snot-like liquid or do I call it gel appeared on my boxer shorts. It dried before it was bath time.

Sometimes I feel that I’m a gay. I know that I am quite effeminate, and that is a bit alright. I also call myself a feminist because I uphold the rights of girls especially in relationship to the fact that they are no lesser beings compared to boys.

That day in the boarding school’s bath place, it came to my recollection: the first day I did bathe in this bath place. It was with my classmates and the students of the class ahead of us. My dick got erect as I began to bath, because as I looked about there was a hormonal circulation and excitement — I thought so. There were some haired pubic, haired underarms, dark and fair cute dicks, et cetera.

It was before I became a poet. Before I could imaginatively put life unto paper. Before I travelled to the village for summer holidays. I began using abuba-eke — python’s fat — mixed with some herbs as my body and hair cream. Grandmama was very good and she was more beautiful compared to her age. It was before Papa was killed.

It was not before I began to love Asa’s and TY Bello’s songs. It was not before I began to perform my poems, that happened about one year later. It was not before I found out I was not a gay. It was also not before I learnt how to cook jollof rice and sauce and stew.

It was not before I travelled to America and on entering a church, an usherette told me where to sit away from the whites. That was when I knew that I was black and different from the white rabbits. It was not before I won a scholarship to study creative writing up till my doctorate without paying a pierced anini. It was not before I realized why Papa was not a Christian instead he was a reformed traditionalist which I am proud to have taken after.

Papa was still alive when girls started coming my way, I didn’t ask for friendship rather, they asked if we could be friends. I had begun visiting a hair saloon on Saturdays to wash my hair. I had received a slip from a Senator’s daughter which read thus:

Dearest Dike,
Ever since I knew you from school, I’ve always loved you. Your dark skin and your dada (dread) locks, your pink lips, your lovely eyes and your arms and legs are so cute and I really feel and wish to be with you all my life. To hold your hands all my life.

Papa was shot in the evening of that cursed Sunday as he was about entering the car. There was blood, blood everywhere. He died a day later and I became mad with everybody except Grandmama. I instructed the gatekeeper not to let anyone into the compound apart from Grandmama.

It was after Papa’s death that I noticed that I never thought about my late mother because Papa was more than enough, he was twice a mum and dad to me. Mum died immediately I left the birth canal. Papa raised me all on his own. Though we had many house helps and also relatives who were helped by Papa. They sometimes visited and stayed with us for some days.

After Papa’s death I received condolences with words like: irreparable loss, irreplaceable loss, hard-to-fill-vacuum. The police has not found Papa’s assassin. They will never find him, may be her.

It was after the death of Papa that I learnt he willed all he ever had to me and begged I should be well behaved. He had mansions in Britain, America and some other countries. He also owned biscuit, juice and wine companies. He had a fashion industry the leading one in the country and a gigantic well structured shopping mall.

It was after Papa’s death that I found his journal, where he kept records of his love for me, and how he wished to see his wife (Mum) physically once again, and not always only in the dream, his dreams.

It was after the death of Papa that I began to love the ways of Ugochi and wished to love her forever. We became friends but we wished to become a married couple someday.

I was only seventeen years then, when Papa heaved a sigh of relief and physically died. But I’m sure Papa will come back again through my son whose name shall be ‘Nnanna’. Papa lives in and through me.

About the author:
Agwu Christopher is a Nigerian teenage writer. He lives in Abakaliki. He is also an unpublished poet, short story writer and blogger. He once said, ‘how I wish I could write a complete and uncensored story about teenagers in Nigeria, no matter their sexuality, tribe, personality, et cetera.

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Once you’re gone

‘Tis not in my power
Not my mind’s doing it
Not my word, but
My faith, the fate you gave me
The belief you always had
The joy of life is nothing
‘Tis like an ice which
Soon melts away
But, your hands hold me strong
Your happiness keeps me aglow
Your life is the best thing to me
Because you live, I hope with faith
But death I fear, may await me
Once you’re gone

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I see greenlight everywhere
Even on the love buttons
No redlights anywhere
So no need to draw curtains

My heart is glorified in you
We have been glued together
So, whatever I do
I know that we can never be apart, nor be put asunder

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Child Soldier

The grasses were so dry that it seemed the whole forest moved with our noisy steps. Uche was the squad leader while I assisted. The rebel soldiers were advancing toward us, we heard that from the grapevine.

Boom! The bomb exploded some distance away. Our little bottles were filled with petrol all we had to do was to get to their camp and get it burned.

Boom! The bomb exploded again and fear gripped us. Everyone ran for cover. No one wanted to die before Christmas.

The enemies were a few yards ahead. We succeeded in clearing the whole camp in the night while they were asleep after much liquor intake.

We returned to our camp to celebrate our victory and have some shaving. We would go home to see our families and celebrate Christmas with them. I won’t shave because I loved the forest below my waist though I will shave my underarm hair. I don’t have moustache yet.

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You Died

We heard your voice
Though it was not your choice
It came so fast
Like lightening and thunder blast
You couldn’t stop it
The pills couldn’t hold it

You died
We cried

I’m so sad
It’s so bad
But I’m consoled
We are controlled
‘Cause before we could say RIP
The gods and the whole world call you a VIP

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The school was a very beautiful place, as many say, with lots of flower gardens. Students were banned from using their mobile phones in the school but that was a law always to be disobeyed,

In this school you see the beautiful, the cute and the handsome but be sure to meet the ugly. You meet intelligent students and dummies.

A school respected everywhere but a prison yard for students.

A school existing in the developing town of Abakaliki. A staff secondary school formed from the university.

* * *

Chike and Ujunwa walked into an uncompleted hostel beside the laboratories with full hope to read without distraction from classmates or from the library attendant. Reading swivelled into a conundrumatic romance act. Hands were held, eyes were locking with each other, the tongue and the whole mouth longed for a kiss, kisses.

Inside the library at the extreme were no eyes could reach. Two boys were writing stories and reading — viewing — adult magazine.
Some students were busy playing in the Biology Laboratory.

Chike and Ujunwa were caught in the act by the school’s ex principal. And a fate they do not know is what they will soon face: punishment or suspension or expulsion.

Umuakwukwo ka ha bu.

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