“Mama, mummy,mummy help pleaseeee” – The sound of my son calling for help grew fainter and fainter as the battery in my hearing aides
The Yahoo Yahoo Series – Her Side
Heartbreak comes to you irrespective of size, status or faith. It breaks you apart from the seams and stands aside to watch you as every iota of your You-ness dissipates. “We are so sorry for your loss”- Agatha and her husband said. I nodded but I couldn’t remember what else they said.
I was scanning the room, watching people as they laughed, eating the pie some of my neighbours brought. My eyes caught John’s sister in the corner, she sat on a chair close to some of Johnny’s colleagues, she looked twenty years older, I guess pain does that to you.
I turned my face as I saw Zach running across the room with his best friend, oblivious of what had befallen us.
Suddenly the room fell quiet… Even Zach had stopped running, I turned to look at the door to see if someone just walked in but there was nobody there.
It had dawned on everyone amidst the food and laughter, the reason why we gathered. The solemn look on their faces showed that my husband Johnny was loved by many. “I am so sorry for your loss” – sandy my neighbour said, a fake smile on her face. I wondered if she ever cried, she seemed to have it together all the god damn time. “He was such a sweet man Liz, may his soul rest in peace” – Anne said, she was a sweet lady and at one point, I felt she was coming onto John.
As they walked away, all I felt in my heart was anger, I was angry at John; I had begged the bastard to not leave me alone with our children. We were in our 50’s and we recently adopted Zach (6) and Emily (5) after many years of trying. How would I cope without him? A tear escaped my eyes and Emily stretched her hands to wipe it off. “Don’t cry mama, I love you”. All these time, she was seated there, somehow sharing my pain but I didn’t even know. I couldn’t remember anything, pain and heartbreak had torn me apart and I wasn’t, couldn’t think straight. “I love you too” – I said.
“Would you like some tea” – Anne asked. Since john’s passing three years ago, we had gotten close. At every time when I had thought to take my life, she was always at the door, ringing the doorbell persistently and asking me to taste some new recipe she just made. It got to a point; I had to ask her if she had a camera in my house. “I just don’t want you to be alone” – she would say “I know what it feels like to lose a partner, I have been here, where you are right now, I know the things I thought about, I gave up, life meant nothing anymore to me” – Anne said, she sought to bring me calm but I just wasn’t in for it.
I was stressed half the time; before john passed away, I didn’t have a job. With his passing, I needed to get one to cover our mortgage payments and the children’s fees. It was hard, really hard without John and many times, I thought to just end it all.
Anne was a big help, she helped watch my children and never complained, she could somehow tell when I needed to rest and she would show up at my door, candy in hand, ready to whisk the children away to her place. She was truly God- sent.
Eight months after I fully paid off our house mortgage, Anne introduced me to a phrasebook page she was on. She was so into the social media scene and was always going out on dates, I, on the other hand, felt old and rusty, which is why a couple of months later when Daniel a Soldier stationed in Africa began to pay close attention to me, I fell hopelessly in love with him.
He would write to me every morning before setting out for work, he was very good looking and I always wondered what he saw in me. He was very caring, very kind, and would always ask about my kids, something I knew would make most men his age uncomfortable.
Daniel was just 38 but we shared a very close bond, he would send me pictures of his you know what and he would request that I send mine. He was so in love with me, he would tell me “I love you very much Liz, I don’t want to cheat on you, you are so beautiful, you have a great body” – I knew I didn’t have a great body, I was 55, I’m white, my boobs are saggy and barely have any fat left in them, my vagina… ooh that’s a story for another day. Every time I finished speaking to Daniel, I always felt great, it was like the world revolved around me, it was usually a brief call because he was such a busy man, he would say “I just called to tell you how much I love you, I have to go now babe, Duty calls”
I was so proud of him; he was the best thing to ever happen to me. I laughed more now; I would go out to the salon just to get my hair done, so I could send him more sexy pictures of me. Even Anne and my children could see that I was happy. “Hi babe” – Daniel said, one day.
“Hey” – I replied, Daniel, had a deep middle eastern accent and one time I asked him, he said it was because that’s where he had worked all his life.
“I want to ask you a question” – Daniel said, he sounded serious and my heart began to race, was he about to break up with me, I thought.
“Can I trust you”- Daniel asked
“Yes my love, you can” – I said. “So a couple of my fellow soldiers stationed here with me, we have been doing some work on the side, it’s totally cool and we are allowed to. Africa has a lot of ornaments and precious stones and during some of our work; we pick them up from the floor and ship it out when the supplies chopper leaves to get more supplies. I love you Liz and I was thinking instead of receiving the payments while I am still in Africa and not being able to access it, I want all my payments to be sent to you. You will be my wife soon, and I want to know I can trust you with everything I have” – He said.
I was shocked, how can one man be so loving, I finally found the strength to ask “did you just say, I’ll be your wife soon? “Yes babe, send me your full details and I will have them reroute my payments directly to you, if I need anything I will let you know”. During the year, I received over six million dollars on behalf of Daniel, I was happy he was such a hard worker and knew not to just rely on military benefits, his entrepreneurial spirit made me love him all the more. Whenever I received and sent money to Daniel, he was always so appreciative, such a humble spirit he had, always showering me with new gifts, even when I refused, he would say, babe, take this money, use that to make your hair, I want you to look beautiful all the time or I saw this bag on Amazon, take some money out of what is left with you and buy it, I want to make your friends jealous.
We were supposed to finally meet one December and while Daniel was at the airport, his platoon commander asked him to come back immediately and they left for another country, he was distraught, he spoke to me for over ten minutes and all he did was cry, we both did. We were looking forward to this trip; I had about three hundred thousand dollars I received on his behalf that we planned that we would use when he arrives in the US.
I didn’t speak to Daniel for over two weeks after then, I still had his money with me and then one day he writes me that they had been fighting African terrorists and he had lost some of his mates. Things went back to normal for about three months and then Daniel tells me he has an opportunity, he said he found an African trader who was ready to sell him a large number of ornaments and precious stones and that he needed a loan of four hundred and fifty thousand, he was my man and up till that moment, he had never asked me for a dime but had showered me with gifts and even helped me change my car at some point.
I went to the bank and I took out a mortgage and I added it to the money Daniel left for me and I wired it to him in Africa. A couple of days later, he sent me pictures of lots of precious stones, he mentioned he had gotten a better deal and bought way more than he anticipated and that the payment for shipping was incomplete. Again I went to the bank and took out a second mortgage at a hundred thousand dollars. I wanted to so much to support him as he had done for me.
I took out fifteen thousand to settle some renovation work I needed to do and I sent the remaining eighty five thousand dollars to him. We had a real connection, Daniel and I. it was so real and even though we were yet to physically meet, our love was true.
About two months later, Daniel said he was going on a tour to a different country and that our communication would be limited, I didn’t mind as this had happened before and he would usually write me once he returned. Three days into Daniel’s new tour, the blares of police sirens woke me, I looked out through the window and there was scores of police vehicles lining up outside my house, I was confused and I felt something had happened to Anne. “Police open the door” – I heard a cop say; oh gosh, they were at my door, there must be some kind of mistake I thought.
I rushed down the stairs, my daughter Emily calling out to me “mama”, “go back in honey” – I said, I had barely opened the door when a group of cops burst into the house
“On the ground, on the ground now” – They screamed, the flashlights almost blinding my eyes. “what’s going on? You have the wrong house, my name is Elizabeth Howard” – I was yelling “is anyone else here, is anyone else here” – some cop was asking.
Shouts of “CLEAR” rendered the air, I was confused, Zach was walking down the stairs, he was crying, Emily was with him. “don’t come down here honey, stay there” – I said. “Mama, I’m scared” – Emily said. A female cop walked the stairs to meet both of them, and she took them upstairs. “Hands behind your head, You are under arrest Elizabeth Howard for Fraud” – One of the police officers said, “Fraud?? You have the wrong person, I have never defrauded anyone in my life” – I was screaming, hot tears gathering on my face, I didn’t know what was going on? “Hands behind your head ma’am” – the cop said as he put the cuffs on me and began to lead me outside.
“you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, you have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you…..” this cop was reading out my rights, I was so embarrassed, Anne was standing outside, the look of shock and bewilderment on all my neighbours face. “Anne, please help me care for Emily and Zach, there has been a mistake” – I yelled out before getting into the police vehicle.
I did three years in the state’s minimum facility for aiding and abetting fraud, I only got that because I had no criminal record.
Throughout my trial, Anne tried to reach Daniel but he was gone, just like that, completely disappeared from the face of the earth. Turns out the pictures he sent were not even of him. I HAD BEEN SCAMMED! Two years of my life wasted on a person that wasn’t real, I tried to prove to the court that I was a pawn and I was also scammed but that only fuelled the prosecution as they maintained that I spent some parts of the monies I received on personal expenses.
I’m out of prison now, I am 60 years old, I am a dishwasher at the only restaurant that would accept ex-felons, I have lost my kids and my home had long gone into foreclosure, I also owe the state over four hundred thousand dollars in legal fees and part of the money Daniel reportedly gave to me.
Tell me what did I do wrong to deserve this?
Tell me who I raped and pillaged to deserve this?
Is it wrong to love? Was I wrong?
The Yahoo Yahoo Series – His Side
“I don’t love you anymore” – she said. “Amaka’s boyfriend just bought her an iPhone and the person I’m seeing right now, it will take one million years before you can use an iPhone not to mention the time it will take before you buy one for me, I’m beginning to look like a laughing stock, all my friends are always hanging out, you wear the same shirt every day, you don’t take me out, all we do is sit at home, the other day I asked for common 20k, just 20k ooo, you refused to send, you flash me instead of calling, if I ask you for airtime now, you will start with – babe, you know I don’t have it. Oga abeg shift, that’s how the other day, you were….. I drowned out her voice, my eyes fixed on the wall in front of me, I could see her pacing but I wasn’t looking at her. She was tired, she had mentioned it 100 times, but I was in love, I had invested too much time, too much money, every dime I had saved, I gave to her but nothing would satisfy her. “I’m done” – she said. I have heard this so many times in the last few months. “I regret wasting my time with you’ – she continued.
Every artery in my body said get up and beg, just like you used to but I was tired just like she was. I heaved – “aren’t you going to say anything?” she asked, poking my shoulder. “I knew it, I knew you were cheating on me, you can’t wait to get rid of me… anyways I’m dumping you before you dump me” – she said, grabbed her bag and left.
Hand over head, the pain suppressed all these months slowly rising to the top like bubbles on beer. ‘AAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH” – I screamed. “Calm yourself, be a man, men don’t cry” – I said to myself. My mind raced, fists clenched, anger surged, headbanged and only the ringing of my phone brought me back to reality. “Hello mama” – I said into the receiver “Daniel, your father is in the hospital, they said we must deposit 350,000 naira before they can treat him, they are saying he might have a stroke, a brain haemorrhage….” I burst into laughter, laughing so loudly, you would think I had just won a million dollars “Hello, Daniel, my son, what is funny?
“Hello, Daniel, my son, what is funny? Are you ok? You are scaring me, please come to the hospital now, we need to help your father.” – my mother said.
I ended the call but the laughter didn’t stop, it came from a place of pain, it was the last straw that preceded tears, tears so hot, it burned my skin.
I sat on the floor crying. My sick father had spent all his life working for the government only to end up with 5 graduate children who can’t get jobs and no pension money because some government official decided to forcibly use (insert steal) people’s pension money for his personal business. My mother worked at a primary school just to earn a salary that could barely feed all 7 of us. As a graduate, I have done every type of menial job in the book, my last job as a waste disposal temp staff ended abruptly when the supervisor’s brother was in need of a job, I was the only one that was of a different tribe so I was sacked. “Get up, be a man” – I thought but then spoke out loud “be a man? How? A broke man? A nothing man? What kind of man?
I remembered the friends I went to university with, and how everyone had built their own homes. I couldn’t even afford to buy a new phone, the current one was held together by a rubber band.
The laughter came again before I said “I wonder what Tonia saw in me in the first place? I can fuck though, I’m sure the sex kept her. Dude, don’t deceive yourself, you always knew this girl was way above your league, you fucked her into loving you” – I was speaking to no-one, just busy confronting my truth.
“All the tongue swipes up and down her clit, her head pinned to the bed, ass in your face while you ate every bit of her pussy and ass up, staying there with wetness gushing down your beard, forcing every emotion she owned to want you, for her to never forget you, every thrust was manipulative, you wanted her to stay more than anything because to you she was the first thing you got right”
I laughed some more as my truth stared me in my face, It was true, you can fuck a woman into submission, into love, but you cannot force her to stay, then the tears flowed again. My phone rang again: “Hello, guy. How far na? – eddy said “Haa Eddy, wow, how did you get my number? – I asked “Guy wetin dey go on, Your mumsi just call my mum, she been dey tell her, your dad dey sick, and they need 350k. She say she call you say you just dey laugh, so I asked her to send me your number” – Eddy said.
I heaved. “Guy Talk to me, daniel what’s happening? Ok, you know what, send me your account number make I send the money for you, first go attend to your pops, then call me make we link up” – eddy said and hung up.
5 months have passed, my father was now an invalid, couldn’t eat, shit or piss on his own. Eddy was sending monthly upkeep money to help out with some of the expenses, but my family was in so much debt, we were going to drown in it.
I called eddy “Please help me” – I said and continued “Whatever it is you want, I will do” – I was desperate, I didn’t even say hello or wait to hear his. I had nothing left, I was the first child and everyone looked up to me. “Come house make we reason” – eddy said and hung up.
I moved in with eddy, we were about 13 boys, he rented a duplex where we all lived out of, he ensured we were well fed and there was always lots of girls, my high libido was satisfied by a different woman every week, everything we wanted we got. I had threesomes and tag teams and fucked any girl I wanted in any position I wanted.
We each got a laptop and we had different segments, everyone had what they did, we had boys who hacked company accounts, those who pretended to be gay, those who went on BDSM sites looking for cash pigs, those who pretended to be soldiers in Africa fighting the insurgents and looking for love. I was one of such soldiers, I would go on popular social media platforms and search for older women, we targeted widow groups, Eddy taught us everything, whatever money you got from your victim was shared in 75:25 ratio, eddy kept 75. Nobody complained we were all desperate young men, we needed the money, we had mothers, wives, children, siblings to feed. Our country had failed us, there were no jobs, you were rubbished by everyone including the police if you were broke. Eddy moved around in a convoy of policemen, no-one dared to talk to him disrespectfully, policemen bowed till their heads touched their knees when they greet him, girls wanted to be around him all the time, his mother drove the choicest car and didn’t have to wonder where her next meal was coming from.
All 13 of us were going to work under eddy for 2 years, learn the ropes of the trade and then we would be free of him, Eddy was our hero, many men I respected, paid homage to eddy, he broke the shackles of poverty in their families. To everyone, Eddy was God.
He would say ‘don’t let anybody deceive you that what you are doing is bad, we are the white people’s karma, even the bible said, the sins of the father would be visited upon the children up to the fourth generation. We are their punishment for the crimes committed by their fathers, when they pillage the homes of our ancestor, raped our mothers and young girls and forced our fathers to watch. when..
When they forced us to do what they wanted or die, they left their land, seeing that we were ignorant and did not think – ohh let’s go help these people, instead, they stole every and any resource we had and killed those who stood in their way”
For someone leading this mob of fraudsters, eddy was very religious, we never missed church and we never failed to pay our tithe. The church even appointed him as a deacon, he declined because he didn’t want to be forced to sit in front of the church every Sunday.
When eddy spoke, you could hear that this was something he had thought about in detail, he would continue with: “they came to corrupt, steal and destroy because after they left, the self-appointed leaders saw it fit to follow in the white man’s footsteps because they didn’t see the white man suffer for his crimes. We are their Karma, we will pillage their women and children just like they did to us because God said, not even a fig of leaf falls from the tree, that I do not know about. You have been appointed by God himself to carry out vengeance for the African slaves, the ones who cried in the dark afraid of her white man rapist, the Igbo slaves who forced themselves to drown when they couldn’t let go of their dignity. Over 400 years they did this without any consequences. They taught our leaders how to steal and now that is all these ones know, they pushed us so far back to the wall, forgetting that when you get to the wall, you have nowhere else to go but forward. RIP THEM ALL, 70% of white people have generational wealth which they stole off the back of our ancestors, Take it back my brothers. Take that wealth back, it belongs to you not them. I schooled in the US, you guys know right? – eddy would ask, it was a rhetorical question. Sometimes we wondered why he did this type of business, he was a rich kid, his father was a businessman but they didn’t see eye to eye. “White people are inherent racists, they do everything they can to hide it, but they do not like your black skin, they don’t want you to succeed, they need to keep that divide to ensure they are a more superior race.
Take It jor, collect everything they have, let them cry. Our ancestors cried too only to be whipped further into submission. Take everything they’ve got until they bleed. Their fathers are the ones to blame.
He was right, we deserve to feed too, our father’s fathers were placed at a disadvantaged point, they stood no chance, which black family has wealth passed down to them from the days of old. They strategically wiped away every and any chance for black people to succeed. In cases where black people started thriving, they razed the neighbourhood with again, zero consequences. Go read about Tulsa, it was the most thriving black community in 1921 dubbed the Black Wall Street, eddy told us this story. Over 300 killed and an entire community destroyed just because, wait for it, just because white people couldn’t stand to have black rich people existing in the same day and age as them.
Eddy’s stories always left me pumped, I was ruthless and precise, I did everything and made eddy a shit ton of money. Its been 8 years now, the government introduced an arm that is meant to catch thieves and fraudsters, they call it FGDD, humour me please, How do thieves create an organization to catch thieves. Exactly, the same thing I thought.
In 6 years, I have removed at least forty-seven boys from the poverty quota, five of them, I know attempted suicide before I found them, I have built schools, a hospital named after my dad and my old mum doesn’t have to work another day. We share food and money every month to the widows and children, I can’t count the number of children i have paid school fees for. I have done way more than any government official has done for me or for anyone i know and yet you say I am bad, that i am scum and that i ruin people’s lives. What have I taken that didn’t belong to our ancestors. You clamour online requesting that I be hung, but forget so quickly the thieves that sit in your highest offices. You revere them, respect them, bow your heads till it touches your knees because of the peanuts they throw your way.
You forget, forget so quickly, that these people, in fact, one of them stole the money meant for paying the doctors in that hospital and that is why your father died when the hospital was on strike, another one of them stole the money meant for road repairs that caused the gridlock that made your wife lose her baby because you couldn’t get to the hospital on time “we are sorry, if you had been 20 minutes earlier, your son would be alive’ – That doctor told you as if it was your fault, but No, it wasn’t. It was that thief, yes the same political thief you stood at attention to greet, your hands raised above your head like you are praising God, Your shouts of baba agba and chairman louder than the alarm on my clock, It was his fault, if he had fixed the roads, you would be cradling your son, but no, you didn’t ask for his head. You want mine, I buy so much food from that restaurant you work in and that’s why your boss hasn’t shut down, I keep many of you in jobs with my contributions to society, I help your distant cousins with money, the ones you can’t be bothered to think about because you have too many problems of your own. I even help the women you break their hearts, I fuck them, give them good money then erase the hurt and pain you left them with, that is why you are walking around without a curse on your head.
What have you done for anyone?
Flash Fiction – Hemagglutination
“can I have 2 hot dogs to go please” – I said to the roadside vendor, he makes the best hot dogs in this district. I replied a few messages on my phone, bopping my head to no music at all.
“here, that will be 3.50” – he said, a big smile across his face as usual. I handed him $5 and walked towards the hospital, eating my hot dog Shamelessly.
1 down, 1 to go… I dipped my hand in the paper bag to get the second hot dog when I saw the bus stopped. I looked up and there was a boy standing a few yards away who was coughing, blood flowed from his eyes, mouth and ears as he struggled to ask for help. “I ca..can’t… Breathe… Help” – he said.
Another woman coming down the bus stairs missed her step and landed head first on the pavement, the blood pouring out of her eyes and mouth.
I dropped the food on the floor, my initial reaction was to go help them but this was unlike anything I had seen, I was only a few houses away from the hospital so I ran, as fast as my legs could take me. “We have a situation” I said to my colleague as I burst through the door. “contact disease control, notify them that this is code red”
I ran to our hazardous room, most of my colleagues were suiting up already. “Hispanic male, appears to have restriction breathing, blood flowing from eyes, mouth and ears, black female, same condition, doa” – I was yelling as as we ran out to the bus.
It took the police 20 minutes to cordon the area, the bus had 13 people who were already dead including the male and female patient I saw. “Help me, please help me” – A young man said from the backseat. He was struggling to breathe, the blood flowing from his eyes.
I walked towards him slowly , my colleague in tow. “what’s your name sir, tell me your name sir” – I said as I opened my first aid bag. “I can’t breathe, we couldn’t breathe, help me please” – he kept saying before he died. Nothing we gave him to help him breathe worked.
The Disease Control technician took samples of everyone’s blood to run tests. The HEMAGGLUTINATION Assay showed that this was influenza but someone had weaponized it.
We were under attack, This was a terrorist Attack.