Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Little Birdie by Janelle Nichol

One of the things I love and hate about my job is that it allows me access to other people’s private lives. Not that I would have chosen this career path seven years ago, when I graduated from university. But after job hunting fruitlessly in the pharmaceutical sector for so long, I took up the offer to help an aunt with looking after her children for a short while. Two years later, I’m a full-time professional nanny.

I started working for the Odu family six months ago. I was meant to look after the baby while the wife started making plans to return to work. It didn’t take long to figure out that their marriage was a sham. Within three weeks, Mr Odu had called me privately and asked me to spy on his wife. He suspected that she was cheating on him. I was to eavesdrop on her phone conversations, monitor her movements, keep a note of her visitors and report back to him.

Today, he came back from work earlier than usual. I could hear them arguing upstairs, with accusations flying back and forth. I heard a door slam and Mr Odu came barging down the stairs.

“Where was my wife today?” he asked me.

“She was at home all day sir.”

“Are you sure? Did she have any visitors? Did you leave the house for any minute?”

“We both left the house briefly, to go and buy something from the pharmacy sir. That’s all.”

He looked unconvinced, but he let the matter go.

“Alright then.”

I looked at him expectantly.

“Oh, right…” he muttered. He brought out some notes from his pocket and counted five of them. “Here, for your trouble.”

“Thank you sir. I’ve fed Junior and he’s asleep. I’ll be leaving now. See you tomorrow.”

I put the money in the left pocket of my jeans, and left the compound.

On my way to the bus stop, I smiled to myself and patted my right pocket.

If only he knew madam was paying me double.

—————————————————————————

Tolulope Popoola is a Nigerian novelist. Her debut novel, titled Nothing Comes Close, is available on amazon. Ms. Popoola blogs at On Writing and Life.

Tolulope Popoola

Tags: , , , ,

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.

7 Responses to “FLASH FICTION: The Alibi by Tolulope Popoola” Subscribe

  1. Mary Ajayi June 7, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    wow…! This is cool. I love the double-crossing concept.

  2. Radical June 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Tolu Popoola is the queen of flash fiction

  3. Ainehi Edoro June 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Oh yes! She’s pretty awesome.

  4. Rotimi Orims July 31, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    This is fabulous.
    Grabs the attention, feeds the curiosity, ends with a unexpectedly.
    Nice. 🙂

  5. Rotimi Orims July 31, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    *sorry….ends unexpectedly.
    🙂

  6. Ireti October 16, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Beeyutiful!

  7. mariam sule February 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    Haha. I love how it ended.

Leave a Reply to Radical

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

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

Archives

Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans Longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize

Lalami_Laila-1

Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans has recently been longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize. Described on the Aspen Prize’s […]

Apply for SBMEN’s Workshop “Literary Criticism: Judging Dynamic Creative Writing in All Forms”| 23 November

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 8.57.48 PM

The Society for Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN) is calling for applications to its fourth (and last) editing […]

They Say There are Over 50 Translations of Things Fall Apart. Here are 61.

Achebe Translation Cover

How many times have you heard or read that Things Fall Apart has been translated into over 50 languages? And yet, […]

Vol. II of 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Guest-edited by Yasmyn Belkhyr & Kayo Chingonyi, Now Available Here

20.35 Africa Issue II - graph

In November 2018, we published the debut volume of the 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry series. The first […]

Oyinkan Braithwaite Wins the 2019 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Photo credit: CrimeReads

Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite has won the 2019 Anthony Award for her debut novel My Sister, the Serial Killer. Braithwaite […]

Winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards

nommo

On October 25, the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) announced the winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards. The award announcement […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.