Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Wail Of The Siren


I sat in the corner of the room listening to Yetunde as she told her story. I was angry at what she had had to suffer and was infuriated that I and others around her have being unfair in our judgement of her. I am not one for emotions but tears rolled down my eyes as I listened to her pathetic story.

Yetunde was some girl I was intrigued by. She was a very pretty girl. She was always cheerful and had a smile for everyone. Though I didn't know that beneath that smile was a disturbed child. Yetunde was in her twenties. What attracted me to her was that she roamed the street as if she had no destination. I was very curious about her. Boys and men alike hung around her because of her beauty. I felt a need to advise her about what I perceived as her waywardness. She was also the topic of discussion for all the middle aged women in the neighbourhood. Though, these women greeted her and always seemed friendly, they were wary of her.

I met her at the salon. I came in to wash my hair. There were a lot of customers present and I was uncomfortable hanging around for my turn. I had contemplated leaving and coming back another time but I knew I may find it difficult to come back. As if she sensed my discomfort, Yetunde decided to allow me to take her place while she waited. I was surprised at her gesture and wanted to turn her down but she insisted. I felt grateful for this act and I expressed this to her. We started a conversation after this and long after the salon incident she would always stop to greet me. I was very fascinated with her and secretly wondered about her. One day, she saw me walking down the street and she approached me.

“Good evening Aunty” she greeted curtsying as she did.

“How are you?” I greeted back.

“I am fine.” She responded. I made to continue on my stroll when she held my hand. “Aunty, I hope you don’t mind. I want to see you” she said nervously. I stopped to look at her wondering why she wanted to see me.

”What is it about?” I asked still wondering.

“I need an advice” she replied.

“Ok then, let’s go to my house” I replied her. We walked the short distance to my house in silence. I kept on wondering if I was doing the right thing by taking someone I hardly knew to my house. We got to my place and I invited her in. She sat on the sofa while I sat on the single chair. I waited for her to tell me what the problem was.

“Aunty,” she said clearing her throat. I could see she was uncomfortable and I wondered again what she wanted.

I hope she didn’t want to beg for money. I thought to myself. I waited patiently though lots of thoughts were going on in my head.

“I need your advice, men always want to have sex with me.” She blurted out.

I kept a straight face since this was no news at all. She is a pretty girl and appeared unusually friendly with the opposite sex.

“The point is that I don’t how to refuse them. Sometimes, I would have told myself that I wouldn’t do it but I just find myself having sex with them.” I kept quiet pondering how I would manage this.

“I am helpless all the time. I don’t even enjoy sex.” She said.

“So why do you do it?” I asked puzzled.

“Aunty, I really don’t know.” She replied.

“Do they offer you money or buy stuff for you? Do you think that’s why you do it” I asked.

“I will never sell my body for anything” she responded harshly.

“Well, I am sorry if that sound offensive but I am just trying to find out why you find it difficult to refuse sex if you don’t enjoy it.” I replied taking aback by her response.

“I am sorry Aunty. It’s just that I am aware people call me a slut in the area and I don’t want you to see me that way” she replied. I was surprised that she was aware of how people perceived her. “Aunty, I am no slut. I really want to be a good girl but…”she said hesitant.

Her voice shook slightly and I could see tears in her eyes. She bent her head and tried to avoid looking at me. “I was raped at ten years old” she said barely audible.

“What?” I shouted.

“It was not my fault. I didn’t lure him into it. He would come into my bedroom and caress me. He promised to give me beautiful things. The first time he did it, it was painful and I tried to scream but he covered my mouth. After he finished, he told me not to tell my Aunty that he would buy chocolate for me. He did the following day but I knew what he was doing was wrong and I told him but he said he loved me. I didn’t want to do it I swear but he made me.” She said crying.

Her eyes looked wild and she was eager to convince me of her innocence. I was glued to my chair wondering who the “he” was.

“I tried telling my Aunty but she was too hostile, she would not listen to me. She said if she should catch me with her husband she would kill me. I wanted to tell her that he sneaked to my room but I was afraid as I had nowhere to go.” She continued crying.

I kept quiet not knowing what to say. I could see she was badly damaged.

“Shortly after, my Auntie’s brother-in-law started fondling me at night. I suspected he had seen his brother having sex with me. I tried to refuse him but he threatened to tell my Aunty. I suffered in silence because I had nowhere to go. When I was thirteen, I got pregnant. I didn’t know I was pregnant at that time. I thought I had malaria. My Aunty took me to the hospital where I was told I was pregnant. She beat me blue and black. She accused me of luring her husband into sleeping with me. She beat me until I fainted. I woke up the following day in the hospital. I was told I lost the pregnancy but I am sure she aborted it.” She said sobbing quietly

I sat there with tears rolling down my cheek listening to her story. I felt like reaching out to her but I was glued to my chair and really did not have any words of consolation for her.

“Yetunde,” I called out tentatively. “You need professional help. This is beyond me. You need to seek for professional help.”

“Where?” she asked still sobbing

“I believe you need a psychological evaluation. I believe what those two animals did to you have affected you.” She sat there sobbing. I got up and held her. This could have being my daughter. I said to myself.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Wedding


It was Jessica and Stanley’s wedding. People all agreed: it was a good wedding to remember.

Jessica was very beautiful on that special day; many guests couldn’t take their eyes off her. Her spotless white wedding dress flew elegantly from her body to the ground like a waterfall of cream. People took a breath when she walked by with such a pleasant fragrance. A swallowtail butterfly was circling right above her brown hair.

“Look at you.” Her mother held her hands. “Just look at you!”

Jessica tried to force a smile, but her hands were icy cold and trembling. She finally uttered: “Mom, I…”

“What’s wrong?” Her mother asked in great concern.

Jessica looked into her eyes. “Nothing.” She shook her head.

Jessica’s father came along extending his arm to her. “It’s time now. Shall we?”

She bit her lip, reluctantly held her father’s arm. They walked together up the aisle.

The wedding music started playing. At the other end of the aisle stood Stanley. He was smiling. All the quests were smiling too.

The voice of the priest became muffled. Jessica had a hard time to concentrate. Suddenly Stanley said: “I do.” She held her breath and closed her eyes.

Now everybody was looking at her in great anticipation.

“I do.”

In the wedding reception, the photographer took some pictures of the newlywed couple. Stanley grinned to the camera, held Jessica into his arms, and pressed a kiss on her lips. People chuckled and sighed: “What a lovely couple.”

The band started the music. It was country music. “How do you like it?” Stanley asked. “It was nice,” Jessica forged a smile then looked away.

“Jess, I thought you wanted Josh Groban’s songs?” Jessica’s sister Linda asked.

“She doesn’t like Josh Groban, does she?” Stanley frowned.

“Are you kidding?” Linda scowled, “Jess loves Josh Groban. I love Josh Groban.”

“That’s ok, I really don’t mind.” Jessica said.

Linda was distracted, looking ahead: “Wait, is that Jason? What is he doing on the stage?”

Jessica was looking at Jason. Stanley shrugged. “He asked me if he could sing us a song, I figured it wouldn’t hurt. After all, he and Jess are such good friends. Right?”

“Jason singing? Really?”

“What?” Stanley smirked.

“Well, let’s just say he wasn’t the best singer last time I checked. Why don’t you sing to my sister? It’s your wedding.”

Stanley laughed. “Me singing? C’mon. And who would care anyway? Nobody’s paying attention.”

Jason stood quietly on the stage like a lonely shadow. The music started flowing from under the pianist’s fingers. Linda shook her head in disapproval: “What? Josh Groban!? Can he pull it off?” People continued their chats, some walked around to get drinks. Stanley started a conversation with one of the bridesmaids.

Only Jessica was gazing at Jason. He raised his head and looked at her; their eyes locked together.

Jason started singing:

Like the sound of silence calling,

I hear your voice and suddenly

I'm falling, lost in a dream.

Suddenly, the audience fell into dead silence. Everyone turned to the stage.

Like the echoes of our souls are meeting,

You say those words and my heart stops beating.

I wonder what it means.

What could it be that comes over me?

At times I can't move.

At times I can hardly breathe.

“Who is he?” Some asked. People slowly gathered around.

Tears came into Jessica’s eyes. She remembered the first time Jason sang this song to her. He was smiling then; his hazel eyes were glowing. It was right after she said those words to him that sent him to ecstasy.

When you say you love me

The world goes still, so still inside and

When you say you love me

For a moment, there's no one else alive

The girl next to Linda nudged her: “I didn’t know he can sing like this! Remember…” “Shh…” Linda stopped her, locked her eyes on the stage.

You're the one I've always thought of.

I don't know how, but I feel sheltered in your love.

You're where I belong.

And when you're with me if I close my eyes,

There are times I swear I feel like I can fly

For a moment in time.

Somewhere between the Heavens and Earth,

And frozen in time, oh when you say those words.

Images from the past flashed before Jessica’s eyes: Jason looked at her in admiration while she made a canary come to life on canvas; his mischievous smile when they were preparing a surprise party for a friend’s birthday together; they shared a sandwich together on a raining day; they performed a musical together, he played piano, she played flute; they walked in the falling snow together; the way he looked at her when he was listening to her…

And this journey that we're on.

How far we've come and I celebrate every moment…

When you say you love me

In that moment, I know why I'm alive

A teardrop fell. Jessica quickly wiped her face. She remembered the moment she left him standing on the street. He stood there motionless, his face distorted, his eyes darkened. She never turned back; she couldn’t bear to see him like that.

She clenched her trembling fists. The knuckles turned white.

The music paused. The world was so silent one could almost hear leaves fall.

Then came the coda:

When you say you love me.

Do you know how I love you?

For a while nobody moved. Then the audience burst into applause and cheers, people surrounded Jason, enthusiastically buried him with compliments and questions. “I’ve found myself a keeper,” Linda said.

Jason didn’t respond to anyone around him. He was looking at Jessica. “Awwh, look at what you did to our Jess; she’s in tears!” One of the bridesmaids said to Stanley while hugging her. “I’m fine,” Jessica said. “I didn’t do nothing,” Stanley joked.

Jason left.

“Didn’t I say this is the best wedding or what?” Stanley gave a toast, everyone laughed and said: “Cheers!”

And people all agreed: it was a good wedding to remember.

Monday, March 3, 2014

How to Choose a Party Dress


It’s sometimes a little difficult to choose a right party dress. But if you consider several essential factors, this problem will be solved.

After learning several rules, you will not have to face any problem with choosing your party dress. Have a look at these easy tricks and learn how to choose a party dress.



White Tie Party Dress

If you have to participate at a white tie party, it’s enough to have a look at your attire. Choose your favorite evening dress and pair it with a stylish jewelry. You may also wear a pair of gloves to look great at the white tie party. Go for a little makeup and apply French nail polish. Create simple hairstyles, such as delicate updos.

Black Tie Party Dress

If you are invited to a formal party, such as a black tie one, here is a great way to choose your dress. Stay away from long dresses and opt for separate items to get an elegant look for your black tie party. Clutch is the best option with your outfit. As for the jewelry, wear a pretty necklace, and chic earrings.

Black Tie Party for Men and Women

Men may substitute tuxedos for dark-shaded suits. Women may wear knee-length dresses for a black tie party. If you are more inclined to a short gown, consider that it should be too astounding.

Creative Black Tie Party

The good thing about the creative type of black tie party is that you don’t have to follow special rules. Choose hems at any length and wear stylish pants. A chic sweater will look great with a dress. Opt for a clutch and stay away from updo hairstyles.

Cocktail Party Dress

 If you are invited to a cocktail party, the short black gown is the perfect choice. This choice of the part dress gives you a great opportunity to wear shimmery makeup. You may apply glossy lipsticks on your lips. Braided or ponytail hairstyles will be great for the cocktail party.

Festive Dress

To choose a right festive dress, you should consider the importance of color. You may opt for glowy shoes and wear glittery clutches. You may also wear a cardigan for an astounding look.

Party Dress for Casual Chic

For Casual Chic you may try jeans in a dark shade. You may wear lightweight jackets and chic jumpsuits. Create your casual look by wearing hairstyles like at a job interview.

Create Casual Look

To choose an outfit for a casual look doesn’t mean that you should wear gym outfits. Capris and jeans may be a great option. Don’t care much about your makeup and hair. Just use mascara and apply gloss on your lips.

What to Choose if There is No Special Party?

If you are not going to a special party, you may choose your dress, taking into account the time. Wear casual outfits, if the party is before 5 o’clock. If the part is celebrated after 5, you had better create an elegant look. Consider also the place of the party.

We hope you found how to choose a party dress for any occasion.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Telephone Banking

I rang my Bank this morning - for an account enquiry. I dialed with trepidation and I was hoping for some human contact. The machine voice asked me to press ‘one’ for English. Then the # button. I was then instructed to input my sixteen-digit account number. Sixteen digits! Then the # button. The machine lady then asked me to input my six-digit telephone banking code. Then the # button.

I was prepared.

I did what I was told.

The next few minutes were frantic. They were electric.

I was then sent into a number selecting frenzy. I picked option three. Internet Banking enquiry. Then the # button. Option two. Overseas transfers. Then the # button. Option four. Payment not recorded. Then the # button. Then I waited.

I persevered.

I was patient.

Music then played. Dreadful music. I intermittently received a recorded message. The voice was male.

It was commanding.

It was soothing.

It said “Your call important to us. All of our customer services officers are currently busy at the moment. Please hold and we will transfer your call as soon as one is available”.

I persisted. Every three minutes the recorded message was repeated. I know this because I timed it. One hundred and eighty seconds. Eleven times. Thirty-three minutes. My patience had eroded. I was riled.

Annoyed.

Vexed

Eventually I heard a human voice and I was momentarily elated.

“How can I address you?” was the opening line.

“I am Peter” I replied.

“May I call you Mr. Peter?” was the next polite enquiry.

“You may” I responded.

“It is my name”.

“May I ask for yours?” I requested.

There was a pause. A deliberation. There was some palpable hesitation.

Eventually, “My name is Rajesh” was uttered.

“Before we proceed,” said Rajesh,

“I will be needing to ask you some security questions”.

‘I understand” I retorted.

“I will need to be asking some myself”.

“May I have your full name Mr. Peter?”

“May I have yours first please Mr. Rajesh?”

Remember, I had been waiting for thirty-three minutes. I was lost in the machine and I craved communication. There was a silence.

It was deafening.

“Are you there Mr. Rajesh?” I enquired.

“Can you hear me?”

Rajesh’s voice was hesitant. He replied “My name is Rajesh Adapa Ailani Polhuru”

I asked him to spell it as I wrote it down. I then gave him my name. He asked me to spell it. I assume he entered it into a computer. I could hear the keyboard clicking.

Clacking.

Data was being entered.

“Now I will be needing your date of birth,” asked Rajesh.

“But first I will be needing yours” I rebutted.

“But why” Rajesh asked. I could hear the anxiety in his voice.

“Security” I responded.

“I need to know that you are who you say you are”

We swapped dates of birth. Rajesh did so less willingly than me. For the record, he is a Virgo - I am an Aries.

“I have one more question Mr. Peter,” said Rajesh.

There was a tremor in his voice. I could feel his distress. I could taste his fear.

“Me too. Mr. Rajesh”. I asserted.

“Me too.”

“I am needing the maiden name of your mother Mr. Peter”, he whispered.

“Please sir. Do not be asking mine”

“But I must Mr. Rajesh” I demanded.

“I simply must”

I thought I heard a wail before I was disconnected. Despite my enquiry going unanswered I felt a perverse sense of satisfaction.

Propitiation.

Whimsical elation