Words Are Heavy

Words are heavy - elsieisy blog - fiction


The anus is like a trumpet, but who will volunteer to blow it?

Whose lips will agree to linger at the tip of a hole, black from all the corruption the mouth has swallowed? But the anus brings release.

Uncle Tarfa says his daughters are not promiscuous like my father’s daughters. He sits in my father’s room all the time, like a peacock, talking achievements, talking money, talking about his daughters. Every other female in that community was too unfit.

He is just always talking and drinking like a fish. His stomach keeps protruding by the day. You’ll swear he had triplets in there.

But today he is sitting on my father’s bamboo chair, his hands clasped between his thighs, his head bent and his lips sealed.

“Tarfa, the mouth smells if silence persists”

“Words are heavy, Agema. Words are heavy”

He sips his palm wine and tests his head on his walking stick.

Silence persists for a moment and then Uncle Tarfa begins to speak in whispers but our ears are down for listening. My sister and I, we picked every word that dropped to the ground. There has to be some serious news for uncle to be this silent.

“Sese is pregnant”


“What do I tell world?” He laments.

“Nothing” Father says without hesitation.

“But they will ask questions”

“You are worried because you have always been judge over other people’s matters. Now the masquerade is dancing in your compound”

“Words are heavy Agema, words are heavy” He says again and bows his head in despair.

“But she is not the first woman in this community to get pregnant out of wedlock. This can easily be resolved without anyone noticing she has taken in. Let the owner of the pregnancy pay her bride price. You know these things. You shouldn’t despair”

“I wish it was that easy.”

Uncle Tarfa was mincing words, something was lurching in the dark, somewhere in his mind and our ears were itching to hear it. Behind the door, my sister and I, we couldn’t wait for the beans to spill”

“Hmmm! Tarfa the mouth smells with prolonged silence.”

“Agema, the father of the child she is carrying Aondohimba”

“Aya!” Father sprang out of his chair.

I almost screamed out loud too if not for Negeh’s quick coverage of my mouth with her hands.

“Yes” he bows his head again. His face squeezed into a grimace. Worry lines ran across his forehead.

“You don’t say!” Father’s calm countenance had converted to one of worry, mixed with rage and pity.


“What do I tell the world Agema?”

Father sat back on his chair and placed his hand over Uncle Tarfa’s shoulder and opened his mouth as if to speak something but he closed it. He opened his mouth, and then closed it again.

Words were heavy indeed.


It was his voice, the feel of his hands and the way my body arched in response to every stroke, it was the way he looked at me, it was the fire in his eyes, the passion in his voice, and the tightness between my legs. There are many silly but sweet excuses for this great sin I willed myself to commit.  Aondo is a man in every sense of it. I didn’t mean for it to happen. I mean, we didn’t plan for it but the rain is an aphrodisiac. His head was on my laps, we were talking about the forthcoming initiation to womanhood and how we thought it was needless when the rain began to fall in bits and then somehow managed to get heavy. He raised his face to mine and whispered the words again, as I loved to hear them. His voice too was an aphrodisiac.

“I want you”

I giggled, it was the perfect response. From that moment, all I did was close my eyes and receive every bit of pleasure Aondo was giving.  And so it happened, that he slid into me and he did it again and again and again. But now I’m carrying his child. How do I tell my child his father is his uncle, my brother, my lover? Where do I run to? How do I explain to the world that I didn’t mean for this to happen? That the rain was aphrodisiac? Even the devil, I can’t be blamed for this.


I swear by my Mother’s grave, I love Sese. It sounds like a silly thing to say. I don’t care if they burn me for incest, I will say it before I take my last breathe. You see these girls like that witch Iverem? You can’t trust any of them. Demons, all of them. But my Sese, I will take any kind of punishment for her. It’s her smiles, the warmness of her skin, the smoothness of it. It was the intensity of pleasure from her honeywell. I tell you, honey never tasted better and I’m ready, ready to die with the taste of that honey in my mouth. I’m here, waiting for the first person that will come and run his mouth. Then I will add murder to the list of crimes.


There’s nothing somebody will not see in this world. Just when you think you have seen enough, a weirder thing happens. Ha! Na wa o. Aondo and Sese, unimaginable. Who would have thought? But there’s nothing new under the heavens. So all the while I was throwing myself at the stupid fool, he was busy looking between his sister’s legs. Where does love start and stupidity end?


Uncle Tarfa is still with father in the sitting room, he has taken more than four cups of palm wine. Father is on his third cup.

“We should inform the others. There has to be a way to handle this.” Father suggested.

“We all know the penalty for incest Agema, even in more modernized climes, this kind of thing cannot be tolerated.” He begins to weep. Maybe at the thought of losing both his children or maybe because crying is the only sane thing to do. Whatever reason, the tears were justified.

“Who else have you told?” Father asks Uncle Tarfa.

“You and these walls that surround you.”

“Let it remain that way for now.” He takes another sip, raises his head and then thunders my name. I hesitate, so he wouldn’t perceive Negeh and I were eavesdropping.

I greet Uncle Tarfa and he responds with a wave of hand.

Father begins talking.

“I know your mouth runs like a river overflowing its banks. If I hear pim!….” He takes another sip, his eyes complete the warning. I wanted to deny hearing anything but my father knew his daughters well so, I genuflected and turned to leave.

“Come back here.” He ordered. I stop.

“Your sister too, cover her mouth.” I nod vigorously and scram off.

Negeh, the idiot is still hiding behind the curtain, listening to what does not concern her. “Shey you heard everything father said, if you like, go and run your mouth. Then you’ll explain how you washed Chaha’s baby out of your womb.”

“Did you have to blackmail me with that?”

“It’s a warning not blackmail, fool.”

“You will start explaining where you sneak out to every night as well.” I burst into a fit of laughter. Negeh too had learned the art. She wouldn’t dare speak on it. We are waiting, waiting to see how it unfolds with Sese and Aondo.

Words are heavy.

by Farida Adamu

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