I am happy to announce Today’s Guest is a very talented fiction writer, poet, author and good friend, Anyadu. He is a patriot to the point of being an ardent culturalist. In fact,
He just got back from this year’s installment of the Ake festival some days ago, and he must have been re-ignited over there or something, because
He returned to bless us with this fire of a heartfelt short story called LOVING ANWULI
With only a few lines, he is able to present love in its deepest, innocent and most precious form.
As Anyadu boasts of numerous literary publications already, we are priviledged to give you this story, LOVING ANWULI as an exclusive
We pretend we do not see each other. That we do not like each other. Occasionally, when our eyes meet… and hold, I am the one to flutter. There’s always this fearless energy in hers, like she’s daring me to come at her. Like she’s daring me to say something. I cannot confront it. And this is almost funny, because she’s never been the audacious one.
If anything, Anwuli is the class’ loner. Or she was this. For the better part of four years, she came to school shrouded in woollen sweaters. Her thick medicated spectacles bold upon the oval of her face like a giant billboard on an idle street. She was the girl who perused over old novels during free periods rather than chat about TV shows like everyone else.
But last term, when we came into SS2, she lost those glasses. And those awful sweaters. And began using a lip gloss. And started talking with Munachi and Daisy. About Kim Kardashian.
That was when I noticed the boys noticing her. And I noticed I noticed her. And she noticed me doing so.
There is no one to tell that I like Anwuli. Sometimes, I cannot even tell myself. When we talk, which is often rarely, I go home and think about her all day. Our conversations are always in sync. Like we are wired or something. Like we’ve known each other from a previous life.
Sometimes, I cringe when I think that she might say yes to some boy. Especially now that all the boys at school have their eyes on her. And then I wish things were simpler. I wish it wasn’t at all odd for girls who like each other to act on their feelings.
My aunty Dora is married, but she is also in a relationship with her friend. Mum knows about this and regularly chastises her over the phone. It shouldn’t be so, mum says. What is a woman giving you that your husband cannot give you? she asks.
I wonder if this will be I and Anwuli’s story someday. Groomed to conform; afraid to become anything other than society’s approximation of normal. And then from the comfort of our matrimonial homes, when we cannot anymore deceive ourselves, we would sneak into bed… and love… with one another. And have our sisters complain about it over the phone.