26143259686_cd7656c96b_k

“I, reeking of grief and sex, will be waiting”

***

I saw my future husband today in a petrol station seven miles from my house.

He is filling up the 2007 Hyundai Sedan that his wife is still embarrassed about. Which makes him hold on to it even more. He doesn’t know it yet, but when he comes home tonight and opens the door to the smell of that house that suffocates him, he will enter the bed with his cold toes first and try to grope his wife for affection or attention (it no longer matters which one). She will shriek much louder than she had expected and blurt out that she no longer wants him. The toddler next door will stir in bed and ask to be taken to the bathroom. The baby in her womb releasing nausea into the air. He will then put the same sweat-filled socks back on, get dressed and head down the hallway. He will look back at the sitting room one last time as the man of the house. This is what his father must have looked like (he was the little toddler in the bathroom, being taught to pee like a man by his mother). Into the night he will stumble into the nearest bar, desperate for liquor-filled soft thighs, where I, reeking of grief and sex, will be waiting with the too-tight dress and a face painted on that says I am exotic and for the taking. This is what my mother must have looked like: broken women feast on broken homes. This will be our love story.

 

 

**************

Post image by hans-johnson via Flickr.

About the Author:

portrait-aliHanna Ali is a writer, poet and PhD Candidate at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where her research specialises in African Identity, a notion that also features heavily in her creative writing.

Tags: , ,

4 Responses to “Broken | by Hanna Ali | African Fiction” Subscribe

  1. Joe Aito 2017/01/27 at 00:14 #

    Beautiful and Succinct.

  2. Madina 2017/01/30 at 11:02 #

    This was powerful. Gorgeous writing.

  3. GB 2017/02/02 at 03:45 #

    Wow! Laconic and profound. The last line will stay with me.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Published in Brittle Paper – Hanna Ali - 2017/01/31

    […] – an awesome African literary blog which is very exciting to announce.  You read the story here (opens in a new […]

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

Is Fiston Mujila’s Tram 83 Misogynist Poverty Porn? Zukiswa Wanner and Richard Oduku Lead Strong Reaction to Ikhide Ikheloa’s Damning Criticism

tram_83

In August 2014, Congolese author Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s debut French-language novel, Tram 83, was released to rapturous acclaim in France. By […]

Roses and War | By Jonathan Otamere Endurance | Poetry

33431786922_b8bf038321_o

Prayers are symphonies of lamentation That begin from my mother’s lips, Like a bird beginning a day’s death, With a […]

Fear Woman | By Immanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu | Fiction

6107639393_8c8dff097c_o

  Irritated by our presence, the guard swatted us off the entrance gate with his baton, his face ugly with […]

An Ecofeminist Drawing New Language from Nature and His Anima | Q&A with Saddiq Dzukogi, 2017 Brunel International Poetry Prize Shortlistee

SaddiqDZUKOGI

Saddiq Dzukogi was recently shortlisted for the 2017 Brunel International Poetry Prize. We published his poem, “Collect Rainwater,” in February. Saddiq […]

Chimamanda Adichie’s Best Looks from the Dear Ijeawele Book Tour

adichie fashion (4)

Over the last two months, Chimamanda Adichie has been on the road publicizing her new book Dear Ijeawele. She’s spoken […]

#BlackGirlMagic: Sisonke Msimang’s Essay on Adichie Is a Brilliant Dissection of How Black Female Celebs Are Praised and Criticized

sisonke

In the last five years, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has come to occupy a unique place in the pop culture conversation: […]