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CONTRIBUTORS

Akinlabi Peter
Amanda Sington-Williams
A M Gatward
Ayat Ghanem
Bobby Parker
Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.
Dike Okoro
E C Osondu
Katie Metcalfe
Laura Solomon
Mandy Pannett
Michael Larrain
Oge Anyahuru
Terri Ochiagha
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

 

fiction


 

A reply to E.C. Osonduís ďLetter from homeĒ

by OGE ANYAHURU

 

Dear mama,

 

I received your long letter with joy. It is always good to hear from you. It fills my heart with joy that at least, my mother still remembers me. You touched on so many vital issues in the letter which I know you wrote from your heart. Let me try to address them one by one.

 

About me not sending Western Union like others and not visiting home. The fact, Mama, is that since I came to America, I have virtually lived without any status as I am yet to get my papers. I have to be careful about where I go and what I do. Any little mistake could result in immediate deportation from America.  Imagine what all those your enemies will say if they hear that I was sent away from America and bundled home in disgrace!!! Tufia! Jehovah Rafah forbid it.! It will never happen to us.


Yes mama, I have married an American girl. She is a black woman. Donít worry, mama, it is just for Green Card. I will marry Ngozi, or any other wife you have chosen for me, once I get my papers. The akata wife I married has said she will kill herself if I ever travel out of the country.   So, I am just waiting. Mama, once I get that Green Card, 'kpam', I will enter the next plane, come home and marry my real wife, so that she can kill herself and leave me alone. That will save me the cost of divorcing her and the wahala that might follow.

 

Please tell Ngozi to try and slim down a little bit. I saw the picture and I thought, 'Why is mama sending me the picture of a fat cow with flower in his mouth'? I thought it was a bazaar cow for the reverend father. I did not know that was Ngozi. Please tell her to fast for me. Let her start fasting immediately. The fasting will aid my progress and help her to shed some of that excess weight. Yes, a man wants to touch ample flesh at night, but Ngozi's flesh has passed 'ample'. I know fattening room is going out of fashion, but is that why the old women decided to overdo it with their final customer?

 

Let me tell the truth, mama. It has not been rosy for me here. Initially, I could not get any job at all. Hell is living in America without a job. It is pure hell. So I went to hell for quite some time until I met one of my brothers. To be honest, I donít know exactly where he comes from, but he speaks our language, so he is my brother. This my brother, John, helped me get a job dressing people up. It is true that the people I was dressing were all dead and cold, but was not too bad. I was paid well. In fact, sometimes, we even bathed the people before we dressed them. That always ensured a few more dollars. Later on, as the devil will have it, I got a job inside a big supermarket. Loading and off loading many heavy things, but the Oga there was jealous of my progress. Would you believe that he fired me because, according to him, I broke one TV. I did not break any TV, mama, I was packing the TV when it suddenly thought it was a high jumper, and jumped out of my hands and broke a little. Everybody, except that my boss saw what happened and said I was not to blame. I was ready to go back to hell when brother John helped me get another job dressing people up Ė again, but this time around, the people are alive. They are bed-ridden but at least, they are still somehow alive. I clean them up and take care of everything inside this hospital. Thatís is about my work.

 

About joining the Nigeria meeting. I actually used to go to Nigeria meeting, but I have not been going, because I am afraid of some wicked people that go there. For example, I only borrowed small money from one of my brothers there and he has been after my life ever since. He has threatened to tell his mama who is a powerful witch to cast a spell on me if I donít pay him back. I have owed him for less than two years and he is threatening my life already. Sometimes I wonder what he would do had he been Chikwe, another one of my brothers in America. That one, I have owed for the past four years. Four good years! But he knows and understands what is happening to people like me in this great land of opportunities. Frankly, I donít know why some people cannot understand that the downfall of a man is not the end of his life. Not that I have fallen down, OK, maybe I am a little down right now, but I will rise again. My God does not sleep.


I will beg you not to keep thinking about the 'advice' of the native doctor. The way my pocket is at the moment, no amount of juju can bring me back to Nigeria. Unless the juju you want to conjure will vomit money for the ticket for me. If it vomits the money, I will first have to settle my akata wife before I can know the road to the airport. Mama, you should look for prayers that will help me to make it, to hammer well well as our people will say. Then I will come back and shower you with heaps of gold and wrapper. Hollandis, lace, your name it, I will buy them all for you. But for now, mama, please can you send me $1,000? I know you have already sold your shop, but you can still get a loan from the Womenís Fellowship in your church. I will settle all of them, and open a big supermarket for you as soon I make it. And I will make it in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

 

The End

 

 

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