Fish Brain Clan

Fish Brain Clan (13) Amaka

AMAKA  I made sure I shifted my chair far away from James and used my left hand to block my face. I didn’t want to see or hear him. How dare he crash my counseling session with Pastor Ishi? So he is following me everywhere now? I told Pastor Ishi I wanted to meet with him to unburden but the truth was I wanted to report James to him. Was it a bad thing I did to protect Eric from Watzhername by setting the dogs on her? Why did James have to give me hard time over it? Good thing I refused to speak to him for days. “Maxy, it’s not that bad nau. Sit close to your man,” said Pastor Ishi and I shook my head. He laughed. “So what’s the problem? Why are you angry like this, my dear?” “I’m not the one you should be asking. Ask him why he’s here.”…

Fish Brain Clan (12) Onagite

ONAGITE Pastor Ishi’s Redemption List to me. Tell the truth. Serve God faithfully. Regularly come for counseling. Leave James alone to live his life with Amaka. Stay away from men. Wait, back up. Is he serious? Leave James to be with Amaka? How? She’s not the mother of his child; I am! Wait, is it wrong to want a man all to myself? Wrong to go after the father of my child so passionately and possessively, that Pastor Ishi will be giving me this type of rubbish bucket list? “You can come in, Sister Onagite.” I looked up at the senior pastor’s secretary whose head was poked out of her boss’ office. She was looking at me offensively. Who cares? I clutched my purse and walked into the office. The moment I entered I sensed trouble. James was there, Pastor Ishi was there and so was Pastor Francis (the senior…

Fish Brain Clan (11) James

JAMES Nigerian mothers. They are as sweet as they are bitter. They can do anything to see you happy and successful; yet the moment you say no to them, your backside will see red. I am thirty-five years old and I can swear that I still am risk of having my backside whooped by my mother. How do I describe her? Mehn, I can’t. She’s just a woman who raised four children all on her own with no outside help and got really thick-skinned doing it. Not the type of woman anyone should be messing with. As her only son, she had high expectations for me from my childhood and I seemed to meet every one of them. I did well in school, kept out of trouble, graduated with a good result and finally, turned myself into a successful business man. Yet it was not enough. She wanted me to…

Fish Brain Clan (10) Loretta

LORETTA The red cab parked before a residential building that had a high fence and a shiny, red gate. Nothing about the house’s exterior indicated that it was a hospital; not even a post. “Oga, you sure say na dis place?” I asked the cab driver and he nodded with conviction. “I don carry plenty customer come here well-well,” he said and honked his horn. A gateman came out from the building and walked to us. “Oga good evening,” I said to him. “Dem carry any man wen break hand come here now-now?” The gateman nodded. I paid the cab driver our fare and dragged drunken Monica out of the cab. Fiyin had stepped out already and was on her way in. The gateman must have thought Monica was a patient needing help as he half-carried her in. He led us into the reception area and my antennae went up.…

Fish Brain Clan (9) Habeeba

HABEEBA Tuesday Evening. Kaduna I walked into Baba’s room. He was seated on his bed, counting the beads on his Tesbi, praying silently. I turned away and walked back to the sitting room. It had been a long day and a very bad one. After what I went through with Kabir, all I wanted to do was remember the opulence I saw in his family’s mansion. It was a sad reminder of the kind of life I didn’t have, the kind of life I desperately desired. From the polished marble floors to the lavish walls and furniture, everything overwhelmed me. I wanted very much to get a tour of the whole mansion but Kabir was more interested in getting me into his room. I had been drawn in by deep, exotic fragrances of the orient and had my eyes being caressed by thick, rich curtains with shimmering gold trimmings. That…

Fish Brain Clan (8) Amaka

AMAKA Did somebody make me a shrink without my knowing? Abi did I suddenly become an agony aunt while I was sleeping? Ha-ahn! Throughout the day, all the women around me cried on my shoulders as if I gave a damn. The first was Miss Monica, my boss in the office. She did not mind the fact that I was five years younger than her and was barely three months in the job as she called me into her office and started sharing her man problems with me. Mind you, she had a bottle of red wine under her table which she was using style to drink. “Can you imagine my fiancé telling me that he can’t make me a signatory to his account? How dare he? After dating him for straight eight years, he wants to die and leave me with nothing?” “He’s dying?” “God forbid! But what if…

Fish Brain Clan (7) Bem

BEM I’m out of juice. Today I nicked an artery and almost killed my patient, almost got myself into trouble. Standing in the theatre, scalpel in hand, I lose track of time until the consultant calls my name. I look at him. I’m sweating. I can’t think clearly. “Bem?” the consultant calls again and I give him a glance, still distantly. A nurse swipes at my sweaty forehead and some kind of cool takes over. I know I must continue. Four hours later, I step out of the theater. I’m done for the day; I’m headed home. I don’t even change clothes. I just head straight for my car in my scrubs. Loretta is on my mind. I haven’t seen her in six days and I’m beginning to worry. The last I saw her was at Accident and Emergency on Sunday after our fight. She avoided my eyes as she…

Fish Brain Clan (6) Loretta

LORETTA Odd one out, black sheep, ugly duckling—all names used to describe me during my childhood. I was the darkest and the fattest amongst my sisters and I had an IQ that alienated me from them because they were just too dumb to understand I was a genius. Before I turned ten, rejection became a language I knew so well and I wore it like a dark shroud everywhere I went. My mother always made sure she reminded me that I delayed her transition from mistress to wife (I think she secretly wished, before she went to sleep each night, that she’d wake up the next morning and find that I’d miraculously grown a penis). My elder sisters, on the other hand, saw me as the reason their mother was driven out of the house, and took it out on me; and finally, my father looked at me as a…

Fish Brain Clan (5) Kyenpia

KYENPIA My name is Kyenpia and I am Amaka’s friend. My friends call me Kyen or fondly, Kay. Amaka and I are very close, more like sisters. You know that type of friendship that has seen tough times and is destined to last till death? Yeah, that’s the type we share. We’ve had our rough moments and times when we had vowed never to speak to each other again but hey, we’re girls and that’s what we do—fight, never speak to each other and make up. And do it all over again. Then there’s Fiyin….. She’s our friend too and we love her but she has issues that I will not share. So my life is pretty busy. I joggle three jobs and in the off-chance that I have any time for myself, I spend it with my friends. But there’s this guy who is taking up my time…

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