Olajumoke Omisore

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Olajumoke Omisore lives in Lancashire. She grew up in London and Abeokuta. Her writing has appeared in The Kalahari Review, African Writer, Naija Stories, Tales from the Other Side anthology, TNC and elsewhere. Her flash story, Ochuga’s Girl was longlisted for the Minority Contest. You can read her other series Playing the Game and Losing Hope on Aideyarn.com

Say You Will Stay #19

It wasn’t light streaking into the room that woke Biba up. It was the familiar voice of the woman by the door. She winced as she woke completely. Realising that the taut body next to her had not been imagined. That the time when he pinned her hands to the bed and he teased her with his tongue had not been induced by the copious amount of wine she consumed. He was next to her and she was sure the voice she heard belonged to his wife. “Wake up,” she slapped his chest. “Anu is here.” She did not wait for him to open his eyes. She jumped out of bed taking the duvet with her. The dress she had on last night, her double-strapped, jewelled sandals and her underwear were strewn all over the room. She was bent double extracting her clutch bag from underneath the bed when the…

Say You Will Stay #18

Anu’s house was the biggest Isio had even seen in the UK. It was bigger than Funmi Lawal’s. With sprawling rooms that were decked in luxurious furniture and walls washed in vibrant magnolia. Outer buildings that were big enough to house families and a beautiful garden with stunning flowers, an apple tree and a magnificent treehouse for the children. The living room was painted in pale purple. It housed a few paintings and Isio gawked at one of them with batik patterns whilst Kanyin fetched drinks. Biba had rushed outside to take a call when they arrived. “The house belongs to my stepmother,” Kanyin had sneaked back in with a tray of drinks. “Daddy bought it for her as a birthday present three years ago.” “Really?” Isio did not think Kanyin’s father was that generous. Or perhaps he had to be generous to cover his affairs. It reminded her of…

Say You Will Stay #17

*** Isio did not tell Obinna she had been discharged from the hospital. She didn’t tell him either, she was going to Ribble with Kanyin and Austin. They had decided to spend the rest of the festive period with Kanyin’s family. The last time she saw him, his neck carried his head like it was a weighty load. It was the day after she blamed him for the baby. The day he told her what she expected to hear. “I’m not walking away, Issy. I will wait for you to forgive me.” When she went to see Annabel, he wasn’t there. Kelly was rearranging books and magazines on a table. “She is asleep.” Kelly did not take her eyes off the books and magazines. Isio shifted from one foot to the other. The books and magazines were familiar to her. Annabel carried a few at a time with her when…

Say You Will Stay #16

*** *** *** “Issy-sweetie, you are scaring me. We’re all worried about you. Mum hasn’t stopped crying. Lotachi has called twice. She wants me to go on my knees when you wake up. She wants you to know she will be the best sister-in-law ever. Trust me, that girl loves you. Just like Ifeanyi and Daddy.” Obinna stopped to avoid mentioning Chibuzor’s name. Isio looked like she had simply gone to sleep. If he just looked at parts of her face. Around her forehead, cheeks and the bridge of her nose. She looked fine. Not like the unconscious body he found beside his daughter’s at the bank of the river. Her dress was muddy. Just like his daughter’s. Her hair, wet. Drenched in soil that clung to strands of her twists. Strands that had come apart. The way he came apart when he saw their bodies. When Chibuzor called him…

Say You Will Stay #15

Obinna’s stomach groaned. The strain of Isio’s feeding had gotten to it. He had to abandon his belt after she served him two heaped plates of Nigerian Chinese rice. Last night, it was pounded yam with a bowl of afang stew. Another bowl of egusi stew with the kind of meat that tasted like game meat. Right after, she knelt before him and unzipped his pants. He would have enjoyed himself more if a tooth had not come dangerously close. Afterwards he had held her and reassured her. It had started on Tuesday evening. When he came back from work and found Chibuzor in his room. He was showing Isio the new tattoo on his lower rib cage. A scorpion tattoo. It wouldn’t have bothered him that she was bent double looking at it, if she didn’t seem so comfortable. On their first night together, she hadn’t been that comfortable…

Say You Will Stay #14

Isio paced the floor of Obinna’s room, looked out of the window for a while and straightened the beddings before scrolling down to Ifeanyi’s phone number on her contact list. It was the other phone number Obinna gave her. Just in case, his number wasn’t going through, he had said. She had been like this at the hospital. Staring at the oncologist’s thin lips and hairy face and not really listening. It had taken Mrs Okadigbo’s sighs of relief and thank you Jesus for her to take in what the oncologist was saying. She was trying to listen. She even nodded to the oncologist’s prodding gaze and gesturing hand motions. But everything she saw and heard reminded her they had not spoken in twenty four hours. That her friends’ voices when they told her not to worry did not sound convincing. Mrs Okadigbo had to pull her back when she…

Say Will Stay #13

he smelt his aftershave before she had opened her eyes. It was intoxicating and yet calming. Vaguely familiar. “Have you got something to share, sweetheart?” His eyes were gleamy bright. Joy had settled in them, around his eyes, forehead and chin. “Are you pregnant?” “No, I’m not.” She was thinking that the morning he proposed would not matter that much. It was just that morning. “Mum said you came to look after her. Here you are sprawled on my settee like you’re the patient.” He was grinning, “Mum is currently making you catfish stew in the kitchen.” She could smell the tempting, peppery aroma from the kitchen. But what she wanted to ask him was how he got back so quickly from his board meeting. “I thought you were at work?” His tie was a blue patterned one. Paired with his grey suit, one of his favourites, she guessed his…

Say You Will Stay #12

The bed was warm. Warmer than it had ever been. Sleep inducing. Comforting. She wanted to stay like this forever. In this picture-perfect moment with him. She wanted to turn to him and kiss him until his eyes fluttered open. Until the gleam she saw in his eyes occupied them again and he stopped being aware of everything else but her. The way he was last night when she asked him if he would call his mother to tell her he wouldn’t be home. And he told her he had never forgotten to call his mother and daughter to say goodnight before. In fact, he had never stayed out at night except when it was for work. He was right, when during the night, lips on her stomach, he told her they were not going too fast. That they were meant to be. That was his argument after she questioned…

Say You Will Stay #11

*** *** *** His mother was in the kitchen when he came back from work. Balanced on one of the dining chairs, the white, laundry basket on the table beside her. “Nno, my son,” she greeted and placed the kitchen rolls she was folding on the pile of folded beddings and towels on the table. “Did you go to see Isio?” “I went to Aspire, Mama.” He dropped his bag on the table, walked over to the fridge and picked up a bottle of Lucozade from it. “I have to work.” “So, you could not go and see her from your office.” His mother was not letting go. She held on sometimes with such stubborn rigidness. “Chibuzor said she lives near your office.” “Did Chibuzor also tell you I went to see her last night. And her flatmate, Habiba threatened to pour dirty water on my head from the…

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