Anu



"You knew."
It was not a question, so she did not need to lie; she would not have lied anyway.
But it was not a question, it was a statement and it did not require a response.
Roseline was sitting on the tall kitchen stool by the window, she was looking outside with her back turned to Anu. It was a small kitchen with a big window overlooking the palm trees that shaded the entrance to the boys quarters.
"Everybody knew abi?" she asked, her tone was flat, but her voice was cracked.
"Everybody didn't..." Anu responded "Rose." She called out, but her sister did not respond "I just found out, I just found out today."
"How?" Roseline asked, still looking out the window.
"It was random, I wa-"
"Is she beautiful?"
"No..." Toyosi; the woman they were talking about was not unattractive but Roseline did not need to know that "she's thin." Anu finally said with an over exaggerated frown.

Roseline looked down at herself, rubbed the sides of her jean clad thighs she gave a small smile "I'm not, maybe Emeka likes thin now, you know. Like models..." she looked back at her sister
"Why are you crying?"
"I'm not," Anu said wiping her eyes with the back of her wrist "its the onions."
"What's her name?"
"I don't think it matters Rose."
"Is she one of your... friends...?" She laughed all bitter, almost like it was funny.
"She's not my friend."
"Then why do you know her?" Roseline's tone changed and her voice was raised in anger "Why do you know that she is thin, why do you know and I don't?" she was not smiling any more and there was no trace of laughter left in her voice.
She had gotten up from the stool and she was standing, facing her sister with her arms crossed over her chest and her eyebrows raised.

Anu looked back at her for a moment, then she place the knife she was using down on the cutting board.
"Roseline," she began "I don't know what to tell you, except that you first need to figure out what you want. Then you and Emeka need to...figure out what you're going to do..." She looked down at her hands and looked up again "In the mean time, you can vent all you want, but don't take it out on me, okay?"

Roseline started to say something, but the shrill ringing of Anu's phone sounded before any words came out.

"Hello," Anu said into the shiny black receiver, she looked up at Roseline "Its Emeka," she said "do you want to take it?"
"No"
"Emeka, she doesn't want to talk to you." She hung up, ran some water over her hands and tossed the chopped onions in a hot pan on the stove top.
"Did you take the fish out to thaw?" She asked Rosleine.

---------

"So do you want to go?" Anu asked her sister Roseline. They were in the spacious parlor of the Anu's flat, Roseline was sprawled across the floor, her head resting on a kente covered throw pillow.
After Rosleine moved out, Anu had redecorated, covered all the florally printed throw pillows with colorful batik fabric, Kente cloth, Ankara, Adire. She replaced the generic flower pictures on the walls with mud clothe and Aso oke tapestries and paintings and sculptures from an artist that displayed his work by the side of the road in Ikoyi.
"You've turned this place into a shrine." Roseline had said.

"Go where?" Roseline asked in response, without looking away from the television screen where the characters of Papa Ajasco were being as idiotic as always.
"Uncle Femi, Daddy's partners sixtieth,"
"Oh...ok." she looked at Anu "I need to see daddy anyways, did you tell him?"
"At all, the party is tonight o,"
"Ok..." she said with no enthusiasm what so ever.
"Roseline, we don't have to go, I'll stay in with you."
"No no," she shook her head and tried to smile, she swallowed "I need to see daddy...plus I haven't left this flat in nearly two weeks."

---------

The evening was warm, the party was good. It was held outside, in big open courtyard of the Continental Hotel on the island. A green mesh wire fence separated the party from the ocean and the soft breeze carried the salty air passed Anu where she stood smoking. She was leaning against the fence and blowing smoke through the diamond shaped holes the green wires made as they linked.

She was keeping her eye on her father and sisters where they sat under the white canopy. Adeife her youngest sister, had her chin resting on her palm and she was looking intently at Roseline; who was trying too hard to seem happy, trying not to cry. Their father was completely distracted by the dancers that accompanied the live band; Anu was swaying where she stood, to the Afro beat.

"Miss Bakare has come again," she turned around quickly to see the owner of the voice.
"Junior," she smiled "you scared me jo." It was her old friend, their fathers worked together.
"Is your father enjoying his party?" she asked
*"It looks like it, he's already nice." he responded, Anu scanned the the cluster of small white canopies until she spotted his father in a gold embroidered white Agbada; he did look a little drunk.
"Babe, please loan me a fag." Junior said rubbing his forehead.
"Junior we're in Lagos, please don't call my cigarettes fags." She held the pack of Malboros open and he took one and lit it against the tip of hers.
"Jo file, let me blow on my fag in peace." She gave him a look of mock bewilderment and they both burst out in laughter.

They were still laughing when Junior motioned with his hand for someone to join them. "Banji!" he called out "Na here I dey."
A lean man in a green linen kaftan walked up to them, he was holding a half empty bottle of Guinness .He started to say something but then he looked towards Anu and blinked in surprise, he squinted and leaned back to get a better look.
"Bakare?" he asked, he started to smile then he stopped "Are you...?"
Anu looked at him for a brief moment, then her lips curved up in a big smile, she shouted "Na lie, Banji Ogunmoye, what are you doing here?"
"I take am say una sabi each other?" Junior said, amusedly looking from Anu to Banji and back
"I follow dis babe go uni for Toronto na," he threw his head back and laughed a deep stomach laugh "small world, small world." he said.
"Wait, how do you guys know each other?" she asked throwing her cigarette stub through a hole in the fence, into the ocean.
"Secondary school." Banji responded, still smiling "Wow, you were the last person I expected to see today Anu."

8 comments:

neefemi said...

u guys really take ur time abi....this is really good though- very good infact

Myne Whitman said...

It's been long o, I had to go re read the last. And then this one is so short. Nice one though and looking forward to the next.

Dragonfly said...

We hope its long enough now. :)

histreasure said...

first time here..cant believe it..am like , where have i have been?...u guys r amazing..gotta go catch up

Ms.Oreoluwa said...

u guys take forever:(
u know wat? im just gonna wait till u get published and buy the book or sthg. ahn ahn. *pout*

Feminism said...

Dude biko no vex, finals are killing me, but once I'm done we shall return. :)

KabiOsi Edumare said...

wow....i need it all.....the book..

2gig said...

Been a long time my dear, looking forward for some more.

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