She had two choices, technically.
But really, she only had one.
Everything she thought she was, everything she would have told you she believed in was being made void by what she had chosen to do. She was making herself a hypocrite, she thought, as she sat with her knees drawn up to her chest in the waiting room.
Two semesters ago, she had written a twenty page paper for her Women's Studies class; it was a research paper discussing pro-life feminism and all the reasons the need for a pro-choice movement was actually a reflection of the sexism in society that forced women to choose.
None of that mattered now.
She would not think of her mother, or of Eniola, or of her body.
She was separating herself from her body, becasue what was about to happen was not happening to her. It couldn't be happening to her. It was not her.
It was a story of a girl, a stupid girl and she was only watching it, sitting on the couch in her flat while Eniola made Indomie in the kitchen.
She could smell it, already she knew it would be delicious, because Eniola always made it with onions and peppers and a little bit of dried crayfish.
She could't wait to eat it; she would lean back in the couch with the hot bowl of spicy noodles in her lap and a bottle of ice cold coke. A glass bottle, like in Lagos.
And she and Eniola would shake their heads in sympathy and sigh 'eeyah' as they watched the stupid girl make another stupid choice.


"I did it." She whispered into the phone, she was sitting on the carpeted floor of her bedroom, her back leaning against her bed. She had been sitting that way for almost two hours before she decided to call Eniola.
"Did what?...wait, you didn't," Eniola's soft voice floated back to her through the receiver. She couldn't make out what the tone in her voice meant.
"Why do you sound like that?" She meant it as a sincere question, but it came out sounding a blittle like an accusation.
"I'm so sorry, I don't know, I just didn't know what..." her voice was cracking and she sounded like she was beginning to cry. "Banke I'm so sorry. How are you? I mean how are you feeling?"
"I don't know." Banke's tone was flat, she didn't mean to sound mechanical, but she couldn't seem to help it. "Flat." she said.
"Flat?" Eniola repeated"What do you mean? Do you want me to come and see you? I'll come, I'll go online now and buy a tick-"
"No," Banke said cutting her off "I'd rather come to your end if you don't mind."
"Of course I don't mind! Please come!"


It was true, she felt flat. Flat and void. The doctor had given her a small orange container of painkillers but that was it.
She went in, they gave her a white paper gown to change into, aneasthized her and did what they did. And it was gone.
And she felt flat.
She thought she'd be relieved, but the weight that had found its way into her chest when she found out she was pregnant seemed to have invited all its cousins. It didn't go like she hoped, the fear and anxiety only seemed to morph into one unidentifiable flat heavy thing in her chest.
The four hour train ride to Eniola's end of the state was spent staring out of the window at the trees that seemed to be rushing passed.
She couldn't eat anything, she had tried, but nothing stayed down.
So all she had had in the last three days was water and the last botle of Ribena; which she had been saving.

She spotted Eniola as soon as she stepped out of the station, she was leaning against an old looking white car talking to a tall white boy who Banke recognized as her boyfriend Ephraim.
As soon as she spotted her, Banke saw her mouth unfurl into a tentative smile, she rushed towards her and Banke saw that her eyes oozed concern. And Banke couldn't take it.
"How was the train?" Eniola asked taking Banke's heavy Duffle bag which Ephraim took from her and lugged over his shoulder.
"Alright, I guess." She responded, she managed a small smile and shrugged.
"Hey," Ephraim said with a smile.
"Ephraim, how far, how've you been?" She asked him
"Good, good just school and stuff. You?"
"Same." She knew that he most likely knew why she was coming to visit in the middle of the semester, less than three weeks after Eniola had gone to see her.
He was just being a gentleman and not letting her know that he knew. He probably knew, Eniola probably told him. She didn't really care.


Lagos is a wild animal.
And Banji has missed everything about it.
But he would leave in a heartbeat.
He would have taken that contract too, the architectural contract for a greenspace on his old college campus in Ottawa. A good acquintance he had made; an old college professor from his first year Structural Systems class, had hooked up his firm with the contract specifically mentioning that Banji's expertise would be highly apreciated. But he had to turn it down, allowing his partners in Canada captain the project instead.
Because of Mumsie, after all the woman had been through with that bastard of a husband; his father. The useless man had finally died and now she had to deal with property disputes with his three other wives. So he was staying to make sure that she got her fair share of the Banjoko estate, he had hired his friend Junior as their lawyer.

He had been back almost two months and had been consumed almost completely with work. He figured that while he was in Lagos indefinitley, he might as well try to set up shop, meeting up with and talking to different pontential investors interested in setting up a Lagos branch of the architectural firm of which he was a partner. He had quickly fallen into a routine; wake up, eat, drive Mumsie to check up on her shops in Island Mall, work, eat, meet with one of his many half siblings or Junior for drinks, work, eat with Mumsie, sleep, wake up.
He would have been bored, if it had not being for the unreliability of everything in Lagos. Lagos is a wild animal, hungry and unpredictable and if it isn't NEPA or obscene dieseil and petrol prices, or maddening traffic, or housegirl and gateman palava, it is his mother harrasing him about being to thin.

Ofcourse he was thin, he was already stressed, but he wouldn't have it anyother way, he was a bit of a workaholic.

Then there was Anu, he had thought about her a few times in the last five years, but they were passing thougts, memories of alnighters they had pulled in the library together or parties they had crashed triggered by old songs or pictures. He hadn't actually thought of her face or the way she looked, just the things she said, or colors and scents he asociated with her, But then he had seen her at Junior's father's thing and she even though she looked a bit different- she was rounder, thicker, that dress she wore; she filled very nicely- the way her smile unfurled when she saw him, the feeling he got, the way the air around her carried her scent, the same scent, the look on her face. Exactly the same as he remembered.

The had talked, leaning against the fence, while she and Junior shared a cigarette. They had talked baout nothing really, just the usual what have you been up to? You haven't changed at all. So you're back to LasGidi abi? Welcome home, welcome home.

Eniola and Ephraim

"So what are you guys watching?" Jules asked, her voice much louder than it needed to be at two am on a wednesday morning. She tripped over the chair by the suite door, but caught herself before falling. She was drunk. Her boyfriend person, Andy, walked in after her "You're so wasted." he said laughing so hard he hiccuped. He was also drunk. They stumbled into the room and fell on to the dirty orange futon.
"What are you guys watching?" she asked again.
"Family guy" Eniola responded without taking her eyes off the television screen. Ephraim who had been dozing off with his head on her lap jerked up suddenly "Wha...?" he asked, confused.
She always thought it was funny how he could sleep through loud obnxoious music or even loud obnoxious Jules, but all she had to do was hum and he would wake up.
"Nothing." she said and he laid back down mumbling something about the time.
"Oh yeah? Wait I've seen this episode, its hilarious." Andy said, also much louder than he needed to.
"Dude all Family Guy episodes are hilarious" Jules yelled back "Eni, Eni do you know what we should watch? Futurama! Lets watch Futurama!"
"Actually, I think we're just going to go to bed." Eniola said gently getting up to stretch so that Ephraim's head rolled off her lap and he woke up again.
"Ok, we'll be out here then."

Everyone seemed to be bent on annoying her today, Eniola thought as she undressed for bed. Ephraim was already knocked out with his head tucked under a pillow; he had gotten high with some old freinds before coming to get her from the train station that evening. Camille, one of Ephraim's friends had come with him, and as soon as he opened his mouth after Ephraim introduced him, Eniola knew she wouldn't like him.
"Eni Ola," he had broken her names into two syllables and everything he said after that, in Eniola's opinion, was one; a clear indicator that he was high out of his mand and two; horse shit.
"There is no distance between," he started to say as they walked towards the bus stop "I mean, we have distance between us in corporeal existance; but in, but temporally we are one singular entity travelling through time." Ephraim was almost doubled over laughing, sputtering something about Camille being an experimental physicist. That was him when he smoked, ticklish and tired; he laughed at every little thing and fell asleep wherever he llaid his head.
"So in that entity," Camille continued and Eniola wanted to slap his scruffy bearded face. " that forced non spacial dimension there is no distance between us, we are all one singular time travelling vessel no matter whta distance between us in three dimensions may be. So therefore ultimately we are all one comglomerate piece."

When he got off the stop before theirs' Eniola was grateful that there was finally distance bewteen them, but she couldn't hide her annoyance at Ephraim whose head was resting on her shoulder and it fell forward everytime the bus stopped.

She had just crawled into narrow standard dorm sized bed, careful not to wake him up when he suddenly popped his head out from under th pillow.
"How's Banke?" he asked
"Pregnant." Eniola responded without turning to face him
"Yup, goodnight."
"You're upset with me." he said placing his hand around her waist and pulling her close to mold his body against hers.
"Yeah, but you're high so I can't really talk to you."
"Sure you can," he mumbled and pleaded "don't be mad at me."
"Please just go to sleep."
"What is she going to do?"
"I don't know."

"I smoke," he had said cocking his head to his left side and smiling nervously. It had been the first time they were out alone.
"Aren't you learning anything in med school?" Eniola had asked, half in jest, half seriously "Cigarettes will kill you,"
"No, I don't smoke cigarettes..." he raised his eyebrows so that lines formed on his forehead. He was trying not to make the conversation heavier than necessary, but he wanted to tell her everything, in little bits, but everything eventually. He wanted to start out honest.
"I don't know," he said "I just wanted you to know, I know its kinds random but, I just thought, you know, I don't want you to think I'm this straight edge type guy, a lot of people seem to have that idea and...I don't know..." he was trying to read her expression, she was frowning a little and chewing on her bottom lip, she met his eyes
"Wait, so what do you smoke?" she put her palm up as if to stop him "wait, like crack?"
"Yes, exactly.No."he started laughing, he has his spread open and facing upwards and he was shaking his head "What the hell kind of person do you think I am?"
"I don't know," Eniola said laughing with him, his laughter was contagious "I don't know what you do" She was playing, they were laughing, it was good.
"Pot," he finally said "I occasionally smoke a little pot." Eniola was silent. She was eating and she looked as him while she chewed; considering what he said, considering him.
"I just wanted you to know, I know its random...but I like you, I just...I don't know."
"Well I haven't told you mine."
"Your what?"
"You know, my thing, you told me you're a pothead-"
"I am not a pothead"
"Whatever, you told me your own thing, so I have to tell you mine before you can decide that you like me."
"I don't care,"
"Let me say it,"
"Okay what?"
"I've never dated anyone before"
"So I'll be your first boyfriend?"
"What? No one said you were my boyfriend"
"Whatever. you know you want me."
"You wish."
"Seriously though,"
"I really do like you."
"Okay?" he shook his head "Okay what?"
"Okay, I hear you."