Ogun Girls || Ikechukwu Chisimdi Miracle



by Ikechukwu Chisimdi Miracle


An alarm will ring at 5:30 in the morning—because you have two children to wake up and your husband will not be bothered to wake himself up unless you perform the early morning ritual of shaking him with the ferocity of a tiger. You’ll spend the next 50 minutes bathing your kids, all the while wishing they were teenagers so that they could do it themselves. Your first son, Yadiri, will spend most of those minutes staring at his reflection in the wall mirror, trying to swipe what you hoped was one of the softer toothbrushes across his teeth. Your second son, Oluwagozie, will babble and pull on your hair with his surprisingly strong hands, and you’ll wince and smile weakly because he is a year and half old and needed to get through the bath without waking up the neighborhood.

By 6:30, you’ll be sitting at the breakfast table. You’ll have bags under your eyes and you’ll swear you have what your sister calls ‘stress lines’ all over your face. Your maid will walk around the table with food for everybody. She’ll serve cereal to the kids, bole and akamu to you and tea with buttered bread to your husband. When she bends to serve your husband’s breakfast, you’ll wonder if you just saw—out of the corner of your eye—your husband’s eyes stray to her breasts and you’ll wonder why the thought didn’t bother you.

A battery radio will sit on the table, and your husband will fiddle with its knob, a slice of buttered bread stuck between his lips, brows furrowed deeply and he’ll relax back into his seat when Patriots FM comes blaring out. The topic of discussion on the station will be ‘ogun girls’— because it is a Monday and everybody likes stressing out the failures of the Nigerian government on Mondays. The radio presenter will call the tragedy chibok girls 2.0 and he will chuckle in that uncomfortable way one does when trying to make light of a situation that clearly requires heaves and sighs and tears.

“Nigeria is not trying at all,” your husband will say, his mouth still full of bread, “three weeks and they have not found those girls.

You will clench your fists in disgust and ignore the urge to tell him to shut up or chew before he talks. Instead you will turn to your first son who will proceed to pour milk on his brother.

“Yadiri!” You’ll call and you’ll hear your maid giggle slightly, and whether because she found the sight funny or she liked how tired you sound, you’ll not know.

“You will trek with your kids the distance from your house to their bus stop, and while on the way, when Yadiri will call the neighborhood newspaper vendor ‘’aboki!”, you will laugh an awkward laugh and whisper to Yadiri that his name was Usman, not aboki. You will buy a copy of Golden News as an apology, even though the headlines will be OGUN GIRLS in bright bold italics and you could easily get a copy at work, so as not to be seen as the neighborhood racist and you will wonder where Yadiri learnt the slur.

You will get to work by 8:15 but you will write down 7:55 on the duty log. 50 minutes will be spent sorting through Saturday’s leftover files and at 10:30, when your boss will walk into her office, you will make sure that there is a cup of hot coffee waiting for her. She will give you a field job, because Golden News, the company you work for, is understaffed and you have a degree in journalism and before you walk out, she’ll say, “It’s really a pity about those girls.”

By 2:30, you’ll be sitting with a woman and two men, and you’ll want to bring out a handkerchief from your purse and throw it to the woman, because her tears are snotty and ugly.

“My daughter’s name is Simidele,” she’ll say, “she goes to both church and mosque. I don’t know why the government doesn’t want to bring my daughter back.”

She’ll ask if you have a child, you’ll say yes. She’ll repeat the names of your children, lingering on Oluwagozie, rolling it on her tongue and if she found it weird—forming a name from two different languages, you’ll not know. You’ll not ask.

You’ll be on the bus back to work by 4:09. The passengers will talk about how the policemen they just passed are adept at collecting bribes and how corruption is eating Nigeria. You’ll keep silent, choosing to wonder if your maid has gotten the children back from school and if the meal for the night has been prepared. You’ll not notice the hand in your handbag until the man beside you slaps the culprit. The culprit will get down from the bus in shame and the bus will be abuzz about thieves and thugs and agberos. You will say thank you and your neck will redden with embarrassment.

Your boss will beam at you by 5:30. She’d have finished reading your report. She’ll say your story is the cover story for tomorrow, “Christian and Muslim: Ogun girls kidnappers not after religion” she’ll call it and she’ll hand you a stack of today’s files to sort, because you are still her secretary, irrespective of field work.

You’ll get home back at 7:40, just in time to see your children off to bed. You’ll take a piece of toast that was left in the oven and drag yourself to bed. Your husband will be snoring in his work clothes. You’ll take a look at his collar and wonder if the lipstick stain there was the same shade as the one your maid wore. You’ll decide to think about it tomorrow. You’ll pull out your laptop and login to your blog. "Your Monday will go like this:” you’ll write.

IKECHUKWU CHISIMDI MIRACLE is a student of The Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State. He is an unpublished writer, an aspiring Author and Biochemist. The second of four children born to a Christian family, Chisimdi alternates between writing and reading as hobbies during his spare time. He hopes to spread awareness about the beauty of the african culture through his writings. He is twenty. He can be reached on facebook @Íkéchụkwụ Chịsịmdị Miracle.

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  1. Beautiful. Jisike.

  2. I look forward to seeing your work. Kudos. This is beautiful!

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