The Scratch On Your Shoulder

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #8

Cheta saw the emails and ignored them. Some of them came directly from intending buyers while the others were through Laja’s lawyer. Aunty Gbemi had also called to inform her about the Adeyanjus being approached over the same issue. Investors were falling over themselves in a bid to acquire Laja Towers and the offers were staggering. Everyone felt it was a good idea to sell now that demand was high. Everyone, except Cheta. “How could you?” She was mad at Nero this evening, after he had tried to get her to see why the towers needed to be sold off to the person with the best offer. “Do you have any idea the sentimental worth of this place?” “Chichetaram, Laja is gone.” The words felt like a stab in Cheta’s chest, but they were not so painful that she couldn’t take them. “I knew him,” Nero continued. “Maybe not as…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #7

Laja was in bed with her this morning. She was dreaming about him, about the time she came back to Nigeria after being away for six years. He was waiting at the airport, holding a placard that had her name on it. She laughed when she saw him and asked if he was crazy. “Just in case you’ve forgotten me and I don’t recognize you.” “I can never forget you, Large.” Lying in her bed this morning, she felt guilty for not keeping him to memory, as she ought to have done. She had had a chaotic workweek and a weekend that wasn’t any better. It was now Thursday, and she was finally getting the chance to take an entire day off. Yet, she had gotten up early, as it was her habit. She felt it was best to stay in bed and speak to Laja. “You can never forget…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #6

Cheta’s visit to Ransome’s house had been a bootless errand. In three hours, she was back home, cussing herself for being vulnerable in front of a man and swearing that it would never happen again. The house was quiet when she got in. She peeped into the living room and kitchen but didn’t find anyone. Quietly, she went up the stairs. She dropped her overnight bag in her bedroom and stopped at Obi’s door. She heard him talking to someone as she knocked. He came to the door seconds later, taking his phone away from his ear. He had been on a call. “You’re back,” he muttered. “Yeah.” She stared at the mess that was his bedroom. “Everything okay?” “Yup.” “Good. Clean your room before breakfast tomorrow. And please, let in some fresh air…” “He called.” “Who?” “Dad.” “He called? Why?” “Said you weren’t picking your phone. Said you should…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #5

Her thoughts were not fully with him this evening. They were somewhere in Abuja, with Cheta. They had been there all day, as were her emotions. Her friend was mad at her, and understandably so. She had been incalculably stupid today. “What’s wrong?” Basim was looking at her through the etched mirror that was above his dressing table where she was seated. He moved closer and rested his chin on her shoulder. She loved his scent this evening. It was masculine and had that superior musk oil he sometimes used, with its unusual sexual magnetism that drove her wild. But she didn’t want him tonight. She thought it would be better if she went home. “I’m good,” Gold responded to his question. She picked her phone from the table and moved her body, making him lift his frame off her shoulder. “I have to go home.” “Any reason you’re moody?”…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #4

“I don’t understand how one would have a child, and then go ahead to treat them like shit all their lives. It makes no sense.” “Well, not everyone is your darling mother.” “I know.” Hadiza smiled at her son and placed a hand on his to stop him from his present activity. “The pepper is soft enough, Nero.” He let go of the pestle in his hand, realizing that he had been aggressive with it. This was all Cheta’s fault—she and her sad life’s story. He hadn’t been the same since she opened up to him about herself. He hadn’t spoken to her since then either. An entire month had passed. He was certain that this whole time, she might have thought him angry with her, maybe even insensitive, considering all that she had told him. But that wasn’t the case. Nero was buying time, trying to kill the resurrected…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #3

Read previous episodes of The Scratch on Your Shoulder It felt like he was going on a date with her for the first time. He was nervous, and he must have taken more than a thousand steps in his living room as he walked in circles, rehearsing the words he would say to her. “Why are you talking to yourself?” He stopped moving, just realizing that his six-year-old granddaughter was in the room with him. She was seated on the floor, legs crossed, elbows resting on her knees as round eyes stared up at him in curiosity. She was Fajr’s daughter. Fajr had become his favorite child after his marriage to Hadiza crashed, for the reason that she had been the most hit by the divorce and had chosen to stay with and comfort him. Basim, and the lastborn, Hajara, had not cared as much as Fajr did. Fajr had…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #2

Read the previous episode of The Scratch On Your Shoulder here Nero hated funerals. They were all the same to him. Slow and depressing.  Just like this one. Almost everyone had something to say about the person who had passed away; even though he had made it known repeatedly that he didn’t want anybody washing him with head-swelling words. “Dance in remembrance of me. Meet new people. Eat, drink, and get drunk. Then have one-night stands. All on me!” The video was out there on Twitter. It had over a million views and was massively shared on Facebook and Instagram too. Yet, people showed up for the occasion with long faces and saggy shoulders.  “Who are all these people for fuck’s sake?” Nero asked his fiancée, Joy, who was standing beside him. She hushed him. So, he chose to stare at the coffin, instead. It was black, perfectly furnished. Nero…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #1

Abuja 2004 She would have married him all over again on their twenty-first wedding anniversary had he not gone and cheated on her. A manila envelope containing pictures of him and a family friend that could ruin her political career was delivered to her office as proof of his infidelity. She blamed herself for this. Sometimes, it was better not to go digging for dirt on one’s enemy. You might uncover what you might not be able to handle. Now, here was how this happened. Two days ago, while at work, Hadiza received a phone call from an anonymous person, informing her that her first son had been kidnapped. She listened to the caller without expressing the sort of emotions that might come with receiving such news. This threw the man off, and he asked, “Aren’t you sad about what I just told you? I said that your son has…

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