Thursday, 18 March 2010

Excerpt 'Memories Recalled: HerStory'

This is just a short excerpt on the story that I am still writing and developing.

She hated Sundays with a passion. Hated being paraded in front of the audience who always whispered behind large paper fans that her voice was angelic and heavenly, but was a pity that her father consistently played the field, kicking many home goals with some of the women parishioners.

She hated shivering in her vest and knickers in front of the parrafin heater after her hair had been preened and meticulously styled for the church audience. She detested the ritual of dressing up and being placed on a stage in front of the church audience, whose virture of attendance was due to their perceived social standing within the community. Religion was just a pause, an afterthought. Whispers on sacred lips on Sabbath and the rest of the week, with obscenities sprouting from the same pursed mouths.

They carried their leather bound Bibles as beacons of respectability and materialism. Discreetly checking for designer labels out of hoodwinked eyes, feigning innocence with their stares. With their Bibles, they turned the pages to quote relevant passages, which they thought integrated into their perfect, comfortable yet stagnant lives. She wasn't aware of the term 'hypocrite' until she became much wiser to it later on in life.

So, her hair became a foundation on how she would look like on Sundays. Slick and shiny like a motorcycle helmet. She often asked herself why she couldn't have straight and flowing hair so that she could bypass this weekly humilation. Why couldn't she voice her own valid opinions on how her hair and clothes were to look. She dreaded the way that her mother expressions quickly switched just like the UK weather, whenever she timidly questioned her overall authority. Surely, she had a voice, didn't she?

Some Sundays, she just wanted to run wild in the street, without hearing the mournful strainings of Jim Reeves. She wanted to run wild in the street with her hair uncombed and play 'house' with the Dermott children who lived two streets away. Her mother always told her that they had a satanical influence over her, in as much that they had no respect for their elders and the constant slip of curse words from their pouty mouths that could be heard in the next street. Each time when her mother came wearily dragging her feet down the street, she would just give her daughter that LOOK. Her expressions was ingrained and programmed into the girl's young mind and that was her signal to go home, where a hot bath waited for her, with home made herbs imported all the way from Nigeria. She hated standing there trembling and naked, whilst her mother poured scalding water - spiked with dettol -from the top of her head to cleanse away all her sins, as she used a rough straw scrubber, speaking in guttural tones that she didn't understand and which ultimately, frightened her. After this ritual, her mother would use this funny smelling black soap telling her that this would keep away the demons that always followed her after her playing with the Dermott children.
Her mother hated her playing with the Dermott children. In fact she wanted her to stay inside where she could study her Bible and recite them in a way which would bring a solitary smile to her tired face. But the girl had no choice. She was a latchkey chid, and her key hang stubbornly around her neck like a talisman. She had to make up her own entertainment, whilst her mother was on her hands and knees cleaning up the mess in corporate offices in the city.

Taiwo Ogunnaike

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