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Okolo Chinua – “Tomorrows here are wells within”

Madarame takes his pen to write, he still has mixed feelings. Earlier that morning he had met a roadside beggar, an elderly man with hands the size of a well. When he stretched them forth it didn’t look like he was asking, it looked like he wanted to collect what he had given like a God upset with the lives of his people and forcefully taking them back. Madarame had taken to him and when he said, ‘my son’ he felt he could open up to him, like the story of his entire life was meant for him to tell this man. 


“You have age on your side and yet you sound like one with ages way beyond mine. How old are you son” 


“Sixteen? You shouldn’t run into conclusions early, my child. You see this life is just like the air, sometimes its breeze cools your nerves and helps you see a better tomorrow, other times it just heats you up and makes you feel like you’re incomplete. It’s at times like this that most people consider relieving themselves by ending it.”

“Have you ever been depressed, Sir”

“That’s like asking if I’ve ever taken a breath, son.” His eyes were deep, like a veil that held something beneath but the old man had refused to reveal himself rather he kept a smile on his face. When he spoke with that smile he sounded like he had known him all his life. “We all have personal legends. You, son, have one and when you decide to pursue it the universe conspires to help you”

“What’s that Sir?”

“The Alchemist, you should read it sometime later.”

A woman passes, turns around and drops a coin into his opened palm. He nods as he mutters words of gratitude to her. “You see my son, what’s bothering you is that you want to take the path of other people but you are unable to. Those paths are for them, for other people. Try your own path son.”

“What if mine doesn’t work out?”

“Well son, you can never know until you try, can you?”


At home he lets the conversation run through his mind again and again. ‘His path was different’ That single thought stuck to his head. He began to write, 


“My life is a story, I just have to make it worth reading. I’m not touched when people do bad to me, it’s entirely normal for me but I’m thrown off balance if they suddenly do good. I forgot my pain, it’s what brought me to where I am now. I am not known to pleasure as I am the last son of pain. I draw my inspiration from pain for she is my long time lover, her kisses have turned my body into chapped pieces blown around by the wind. I am me, the man forged from steel. I’m a living definition of hatred, anger, pain, pride, and unending ‘whys.’  Most people call it happiness, I call it a puzzle. 


There’s nothing like the real or fake you, they’re all you. We react based on the circumstances at hand. So this night again I’ve buried myself in the grave of my thoughts, my emotions have become the casket that keeps me trapped beneath myself. The feeling of love has left me adrift, like a man on a fool’s errand…maybe it’s true what they say that some are chosen for love while some are not. Sometimes I’m the devil dressed in God’s sleeves and other times I’m the other way round. 


But what if we were all characters in someone’s story, and that all we thought was real was a lie, every mistake we thought we made was as a result of his making… What if the story creator wasn’t God, that your beliefs were the beliefs he made you have as characters…will you be happy to learn that? Some things are better off left unknown. 


A lot can be hidden beneath a smile. Maybe the one who smiles the most might have a huge hole in their heart, a void they long to fill, a void that can only be filled by love. Will it be too much for them to ask for it? Some go into writing, some go into music all in attempts to fill this void, and most times they end up unable to do so. Maybe it’s because they’ll be vulnerable if they actually acknowledge their true feelings. The best comedians are those who went through a lot of pain but decided to make jokes out of it. Writing is to emotions what drugs are to the body. 


Listen to my voice, read my writings, embrace my lips, and sink deeply into my verses. There are times when you pick up your pen to write, to pour out your feelings but you end up unable to write anything, it’s because your feelings are so vast that words alone cannot envelop them all. I’m a man with feelings in my pen, feelings I can only write down but cannot speak out, so listen to the words inscribed on my paper and know that I’ll carry you with me forever. You’re my dream, my Queen.


The bones you call people I call artifacts, the things you call artifacts I call people, the puzzles you call mysteries I call games. So here in this birdbox I’ve trapped the silence of my mind and the echoes of my thoughts… I’ve put them here, in a quiet place.”

He stops, places the pen in the center of the book as he closes it. He was done. Tomorrow he might wake up to see something else but he didn’t mind anymore, his path was different and the universe was certainly going to help him attain his personal legend, to walk his path. That had now become to him a firm belief. 


Photo by dwi Pradhika on Unsplash


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

May 26, 2020 at 7:11 pm

Wow this is so beautiful chinua mike💕💕.
Nice one

March 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

Such depth of feeling expressed in words! Reading this left me breathless.
‘Deep’ is not enough to describehow this piece feels.

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