Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

J ust before I die, I would like to say many things. This thing I am writing, whatever this is, does not have a beginning or end or middle. I plan to write until my final second and wherever I get to, so be it. The doctor has assured me that my laptop battery will always be charged and connected to my bedside which is my number one concern. It’s best I just begin…

 “Your family is concerned, very concerned”  

“Is the General here?”

“God bless the General.  Only God can bless such a man. You are a very lucky wife. So many women can only dream of such a man. It saddens him that you do not want to see anybody. Nobody can understand this decision of yours, especially on your last days”

“I would like to be alone now, if that’s okay with you, doctor”
Where was I? Yes, first of all, God punish the General and his useless family. All the years I suffered in the hands of that family. “Mama needs this”, “Mama needs that”. My life was reduced to the market place. Somebody in the village always needed something. “Mama has run out of Vaseline”. And in that whole village, nobody could buy Vaseline for mama? But no, I should run like a mad woman to the market because “mama” needs Vaseline. I am glad she died. Yes, I said it. My quality of life improved after her death.“Yes, of course”

As for my spoilt daughter, I am ashamed I gave birth to such an unreasonable cow. All the years I spent making sure she had everything. All the years I was awake in the night because of her asthma, only God knows. And now, now that she is grown, who does she take care of?  She does not take care of her own mother. No. Instead, she is there, running about from market place to market place for her mother in-law. Going about as if her entire life revolves around that old cricket…

“Sorry, I don’t mean to disturb you but your daughter is here. She is crying…”

“Doctor, if you insist on disregarding my wishes, I will simply go to another hospital. I told you when I checked in about my conditions and you have been paid handsomely for it”

“I am sorry”

Now, the General. I do not want to waste your time or mine. He is simply an ugly asshole.

Now that I think about it, there is a face I would like to spend my last minutes with, a face that always met mine with love…

“You called madam?”

“Tell the General I would like to see Baba”

“Of course Ma, right away! I am so happy you have changed your mind Madam, it’s a good thing that you at least would like to see someone before you die”

Yes, Baba always made me happ…

“Madam? The General asks if you meant Baba the dog? Madam? Madam?”

 

 

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Before I Die…” Subscribe

  1. Lesley 2012/03/27 at 05:13 #

    Nice twist

  2. Nonye 2016/05/13 at 11:01 #

    Just pure truth. Who says we’d always be sober and forgiving if we knew that the end was in sight? I like this!

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.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

“What Keeps Girls from Knowing the Power in Them?”: Mona Eltahawy on the Importance of Female Rage

Mona ELTAHAWY

Egyptian writer and outspoken feminist Mona Eltahawy is asking important questions about the necessity and possibilities of female anger. In […]

Safia Elhillo’s Poem Used for Under Armour’s PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Campaign | Watch Video

safia-elhillo

American sports- and footwear company Under Armour is using a poem by Sudanese Safia Elhillo, titled “Kintsugi,” for its “Unlike […]

Fundraising in Progress for Onyeka Nwelue’s $27,000 Spine and Hip Dislocation Treatment Following Vehicle Accident

27867091_10155878379480937_8977074959532754883_n

Nigerian writer Onyeka Nwelue is currently hospitalised following spine and hip dislocations in a vehicle accident. It happened in Abuja on […]

Edited by Chris Abani, “Lagos Noir” Anthology Features Nnedi Okorafor, Igoni Barrett, Chika Unigwe, E.C. Osondu

LagosNoir

Award-winning novelist and poet Chris Abani is editing a 224-page anthology called Lagos Noir. Set to published by Akashic Books in […]

Long-time Director Lizzy Attree Leaves the Caine Prize

lizzy attree - caine prize

After seven years as its Director, Lizzy Attree has left the Caine Prize. A mainstay on the literary scene, the industrious […]

The Brittle Paper Digest: 79 Notable Pieces of 2017

St Mark's Bookshop - Image architectural office

It isn’t that time of the year when we look back on what happened in it—that time is December, and […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.