even weeds can be pretty #UGBlogWeek

You could have said that in an email, she said while glancing at her cup.

I could have, but I wanted to see you, is what I wanted to say. I really did, but that would not have been professional.

While in Aristoc, Bosco had insisted on me keeping it professional, going on and on about Paige’s status in the industry and about how she didn’t take crap from anyone. He was in the middle of the lecture when Paige had breezed in. From the stationaries stand, they quietly watched her hand her helmet to the guard and walk to the African Authors section.

Her blue jeans had me singing that Ginuwine song, they perfectly sculpted her lower body. She wore a plain tank top and a red and white checkered shirt unbuttoned on top of the jeans. The sleeves of her shirt were rolled up, revealing her arms. Her smooth arms.

I shifted my stance to get a better look from our concealed spot, and literally felt Bosco’s accusatory stare.

That is exactly what I am talking about, Jared!

Even though he spoke in an octave above a whisper, it was hard not to overlook the urgency in his voice. What did his friend think he was capable of doing?

It’s not like I was inviting her to a 3-day getaway on an island one minute south of the equator. It’s not like I had imagined exploring every single inch of her on said island. It’s not like I had imagined waking up to the scent of her lying next to me or imagined watching her walk, the way she swayed her…

Are you even listening to me? Bosco said as he grabbed me by the arm.

Yes. I am. I will not mess this up. I replied between breaths and made my way toward her.

My palms were a bit sweaty which was a little uncharacteristic for me. There were no books at the section near her that I could use as a ruse. I mean, really, grabbing a book on IT for Dummies would not make the best opening. Winging it was the next best option.

From that point on, every thing seemed to be going fine. Well, that is until about now. Now, it felt like someone had turned the air condition on in Bistro. I could have sworn that as soon as I mentioned the website, she had sat up straighter and her tone about the email sounded different. Bosco would say I am doing it again. Noticing things that are not even there.

Email is so impersonal, I prefer meeting all clients and partners face-to-face, you know? I say while smiling. Face to face interaction allows people to understand each other better, even from reading nonverbal cues, you know when to sell harder or back off. 

Jeez! I sound like I’m a lecturer at Makerere! What am I doing?!

So what are my nonverbal cues telling you? She asked while sipping her tea.

I suppress a smile, I wonder if she appreciated how her actions had meme material written all over them. Ice. That is what her current nonverbal cues were screaming at him. She was throwing daggers of ice at him and he had no clue why

Honestly, I do not know you well enough to gauge.

That was such a lie! Why am I spewing so many lies today?! I knew her well. I’d watched her at the front of the class for three years. The last two of them spent seriously infatuated with her.

However, what I do know is that you will absolutely love this project.

During those two years, I had learned that Paige loved to get involved in children’s causes. I had volunteered at one event, just because she had gone around class giving out flyers. I was the only one who had signed up that day. That was the same day she had turned, looked at me and smiled. The world had shifted slightly that day.

I leaned over and placed my hand on top of hers, We are trying to mobilise people to visit orphanages around the city on Christmas day. We would like a place where people can sign up, but more importantly be able to give to the cause on the website as well. 

She smiled.

That same smile that made her dimple show. That same smile that elicited a physical reaction from me. That same smile from that day in class. At least this counts to progress! Global warming was hitting the glaciers.

I glanced at our hands, noticing for the first time how soft her hands really were.

I really hope… 

JARED!

Came a shriek on my right. A shriek that I know very well. I’m trying not to groan out load. Sophia! What did she want? And NOW of all times!!

She waddled while panting toward their table, with a small suitcase in tow. The waiters looking slightly confused, slightly worried about the scene that was about to unfold before their eyes

My water. It just broke! Sophia gasped out of breath

***

This is part two in the dandelion series.

Dandelions or Satan’s Jajja as I used to call them in primary school are beautiful and almost have a certain ethereal quality. This, however, does not take away the reality that they are weeds, plain and simple.

There is a mini-poll going on amongst some about the identity of Sophia and who she is to Jared. Who do you ‘want’ her to be?

Part one can be found here

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Short Story Review: The List by Aito Osemegbe Joseph

This must be every parent’s nightmare… Well, actually almost every father’s nightmare.

That was my conclusion and I was only 85 words into the 3,465 worded piece. I giggled because I saw my late father written all over Aito’s introduction.

Aito spins a tale of old pride in cultures that are slowing dying. A reality that is seen in communities and countries that used to rely on certain traditions now making compromises and sometimes not for the better.

She was the stubborn fly that was following the corpse right into the grave.

A tale of parents’ expectations met with the very real reality of who they have raised and having to deal with the choices their children make.

As they slowly traverse the list, each member from either side coming to grips with the uncertainty that is about to enter their world.

“Eeeehhhhhhh, what is this? We asked for goats and you people are here with rabbits.” She struck her open mouth with her palm repeatedly, making mocking noises.

Two worlds, each from opposite ends of the spectrum and none of them about to back down.

In my opinion, this was a good read.

I especially like the detail with which Aito explores the thoughts running through Adaeze’s uncle’s head as well as the different emotions that surface through other key characters.

Aito also has the sneaky art of playing with emotions; as just when you are hopeful, he snatches the rug right from under you! Consider this your warning…

I think this story is easy to relate to because most of us know an Adaeze and sympathise with her uncle.

What would you have done, if you were Adaeze?
(Read the story here)

The List by Aito Osemegbe Joseph was announced as having been shortlisted for the Writivism 4th Annual Short Story Prize. It has now been published at Munyori Literary Journal head on over there to read it yourself

Short Story Review: SunDown by Acan Innocent Immaculate

Hmmm… I was left a little bit uncertain after reading this story. I almost want to persuade Acan to write an encore just to appease my uncertainty…**proceeds to cross fingers**

The setting is in apocalyptic earth, but Acan has a managed to spin the story way from the norm that is characterised by doom, gloom and we are all headed to hell… She takes on a certain wonder and almost playful voice that keeps your attention rapt and leaning in.

He must be the only human alive who’s happy to see the sun on her glorious deathbed

In the 3,460 worded story, we are introduced to Red – a little wonderer whose inquisitive nature draws you into the story of SunDown. His take and view of the world given his current state make you start to draw conclusions about what the ending will be like.

I credit Acan’s choice to include winter in this story. As bitter and bleak as winter can be, it also has the element of crisp & cleanness that it brings with it. The sense of starting a fresh or starting over, if you will. The white that washes over everything making it distinct and pristine…

Now the wind, he has always hated and will continue to do so. It is the snow’s bad tempered older cousin

Although, I was slightly amused by Red’s depiction of God, he reminded me so much of Gandalf. This leads me to mention the clever way in which Acan brought in the aspect of the ancient scriptures in moments that called for them. Now that, was brilliant!

In conclusion, this is not your usual apocalyptic themed story, this is one last-days story that you wouldn’t have too much of a hard time believing would happen.

SunDown by Acan Innocent Immaculate was announced as having been shortlisted for the Writivism 4th Annual Short Story Prize. It has now been published at Munyori Literary Journal head on over there to read it yourself