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When he came, it was not a soft, hesitant, indecisive knock on my door, but a very assured pounding.


I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I hurry to the door, and I hesitate. Almost instinctively I reach for my headscarf and wrap it round my head. I am tempted to put on something more. But the pounding on the door gets me moving again. I feel an attack of shyness as I opened the door to let him in. I can only manage a wry smile. He looked at me and laughs softly. My hand goes to my scarf and my smile widened, but I can’t meet his eyes. He sees too much.

I turn around and start walking to the bed. I need this distance to collect myself. He pushes the door shut and grabs my waist from behind. I didn’t expect that. But what did I expect? \

I almost fall over. He rights me and pulls me to him. He secures me with one arm while the other unwraps my scarf. I feel the scorching heat and unyielding hardness of him on my back reminding me why I opened the door in the first place.

The scarf falls off, and I feel different. He starts to massage my scalp with one hand and the other along with his lips learn my earlobes. When my knees hit the edge of the bed, I realize I had closed my eyes. He comes around me and sits on the bed. He pulls me to him and pushes his knees between my legs spreading them, he keeps pulling till I sit on his knees. He pulls me some more till my forehead is resting on his. We grin at each other like fools till he slips his hands under my t-shirt and finds my breasts.

Little fizzy bubbles start to travel from the tips of my breasts and radiates outward, to my chest, my stomach, my neck, my scalp, my spine and my legs. They start me laughing softly at first and a bit harder. They are bubbles of joy journeying to my heart. But my heart has moved on. The waves of bubbles have pushed it into my pelvis. Now I feel my heartbeat between my legs. The bubbles are joining each other, getting bigger since he replaced his hand with his mouth.  And then he touched me in the new place my heart had taken residence. I start to spin. I pull his face up, and I see his smile then a big bubble explodes behind my eyes, then it’s all dark.

When I open my eyes, his forehead on mine, he is still smiling at me. With him I knew it would be different. I would be different. Smiling with his head slightly bowed forward, as though he is enjoying a private joke. And when he looked at me I knew it was not a joke that gets him almost laughing. It’s the secrets that I try to hide. He knows them.

He lifts me up and lays me down on the pillows. I am smiling also. My eyes are almost closed. I watch him completely undress. There is no shyness or coyness with him. He has no reason to be. He was what a man should be—lean, sculpted and powerful. He kneels on the bed and undresses me too, top then shorts, throwing them somewhere at the foot of the bed where he threw his. Then he lies down on top of me.

He looks in my eyes, smiling. He asks no permission and touches me everywhere. He pinches experimentally. He caresses. He pulls and pushes. He is sure of his touch because he listens with his eyes. He sees what I need. He sees my sighs, my smile, my laugh, my groan, my moan, my need. My body tells him how much, how long, how hard, how deep, how soon. I hear his groans, his moans, his sighs, his smiles, his laughs. I listen in that rhythm he has created.

There is no “yes baby!”

“Keep it right there!”

“Oh God baby!”

“I am coming.”

“I love you.”

“Yes! yes! yes!”

None of the true lies we have perfected since we learnt to love. And I didn’t have to tell them too.

I didn’t have to scream ‘yes, yes, yes!,

or say ‘Baby that is soooo good!’

‘More, more!’

‘I love you!’

And I certainly did not answer, ‘yes, I came’ to his ‘did you come?’ when all I came close to doing was pushing him out of me — violently.


He has loved me with his eyes open, a smile in his eyes and on his lips, and we both laughed when we came. He did not kiss me, not once. And afterwards, he did not attempt to cuddle me or feel duty bound and keep me caged in his arms with my head resting uncomfortably and unnaturally on his chest. He laid back on the other pillow till he recovered and caught his breath still laughing, softly. He turned and smiled at me, and I smiled back almost asleep. I felt him more than I saw him get up and gather his clothes. He sat on the edge of the bed and wore them. I felt his weight shift off the bed, then he covered me with the duvet and let himself out.

When I came down to breakfast he was already there. I could feel his smile, and I was hesitant to meet his eye. The morning after was always full of spoken lies. I so wanted to remember it unspoilt. So I filled my plate and found the only empty seat—happened to be facing him. I looked up and our eyes met. His smile widened. I smiled back, and we both laughed.



Image by torbakhopper via Flickr

About the Author:

95e56a276157e14cddcc5449f1f2aa6bDjarabi Al-Misaawi is Nigerian and new to writing, she writes mainly short stories and is still experimenting with what fits. When she is not daydreaming, she is people watching and asking them many questions she thinks they would rather not answer. You can reach her at

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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.

2 Responses to “Unspeakable Joy | Djarabi Al-Misaawi | African Erotica” Subscribe

  1. chineal 2016/01/20 at 01:18 #

    More of that eroticness baby… Nice one dear. If you are still searching for what fits, am certain this is one of it. Keep writing

  2. Fatima 2016/01/25 at 10:39 #


    The fact that I am breathing hard and smiling along with them is a testament to your writing.

    Don’t stop…..writing.

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