by - June 02, 2018

chronicles of Paulinus

Tonight, I am a ghost. I am a ghost eavesdropping on the singsong whisper of your rotten heart. I am the invisible hand holding you from hitting Mama back. I am the tangled voice whispering “no” to your ears.  

You don’t have ears for me. O yes, you never had before. So you tear away my hand, your anger stuffs your ear. And you slap Mama direct in the middle of her face. She slumps to the ground and shakes with terror. You don’t flinch. You don’t move. You straddle atop her, your fists clench, ready to land a blow should she attempt to rise. But she is not standing; she is convulsing, seriously.

You hiss, stamp into the house, sit on the couch and count your money: twenty thousand naira. That’s it? So you spent three days outside just for this change? You didn’t even think of me, your child. Oh, I forgot I was the bastard one, son of a rapist. You called me that many times. Maybe you thought I was too small to understand the meanings words carry. And you forgot that bitter words scowl the face. You’ve never spoken to me with a smooth face, it was always creased tight. Every time I saw your scowled face, I read hatred and deep-seated intention to throw me to River Niger. I understood hatred more than love, evil more than good, fear more than courage, bitterness more than sweetness.

So, on that very night when you left, I left also. We went our separate ways. You walked and I crawled. You went to quench the fire that burns between men’s laps; I went to set fire on myself. Since you glory in quenching fire, I thought I should draw your attention to me when I set myself on fire. But you never returned because there were too many men. And when Mama returned, she found me charred.

Mama is dying. Her heart is burning and breaking. You pretend you don’t hear her whimpering. You sit here counting your sin in gory naira notes. You sit here, this same place you were raped, this same place you wanted to bleed me out, and all you are thinking is how to continue spreading your virus because the sin of one man must go round all men. 

You May Also Like


  1. It is simply good

  2. It is handsomely beautiful. I bled when I read slapped the mom, but I was convinced of the slap when I saw "mama" which literarily translates grandma. Abeg add another slap worth 30k for me okay!!! I would never stop reading your works Pauli... More inspirations bro.