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(LGBT SHORT STORY) "Becoming Zuri" - PT 1 - Romance - Nairaland

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(LGBT SHORT STORY) "Becoming Zuri" - PT 1 by SunehriLasgidi(f): 3:49pm On Nov 26, 2015
Author's Note: This story is a work of fiction. Any semblance to a real person or people is sheer coincidence. It contains incidences of same-sex relations. If you are prejudiced against this, please move on.

At her mother’s insistence, she had gone on vacation to her uncle’s home in Osogbo for part of the holidays.

When Uncle Eddie visited them the last time (that was in August), he had asked her ma to allow her visit him in Osogbo. He had said it would be a good experience for a 14-year-old. At the time, she was wallowing in melancholy. She had learnt that her favourite R n B singer, Aaliyah, had died in an air crash. She had felt a connection to Aaliyah in a way. She knew all of Aaliyah’s song by heart. People in her school even said she looked like her. One of her teenage dreams was to grow up and meet the music sensation. Now that it wouldn’t happen anymore, she was devastated. It was as if her big sister had died.

She felt that going to Osogbo would be a good idea since she hadn’t seen her cousins in a while. The last time she had seen them was at her grandma’s funeral in Auchi, Edo State. That was about eight years ago. Her mother had assured her that Uncle Eddie was a nice man. Her mother had told her a whole lot of good things about him. He had seen her mother through nursing school. In fact, he seemed to be the only one who stood by her mother when her father kicked the bucket. She was four years old at the time.

She was to spend two weeks with her uncle and his family before coming back to Lagos to celebrate Christmas with her mother. Then, her mother didn’t own a mobile phone. They agreed that since they'd spent time apart from each other for longer periods, it wouldn’t be so bad. (Zuri attended Command Secondary School, Lagos. It is a boarding school.)

On getting to Uncle Eddie’s home, her cousins (three boys who were older than she was) and aunt gave her a warm reception. At moments like these, she wished she had a “real” family. Sometimes, she missed her dad. He passed on in an air crash. She had developed a phobia for aeroplanes. It made matters worse when she heard that Aaliyah died in an air crash.

That evening, they had shared stories about their lives. She told them about her school. She narrated how the seniors were very mean. She went on to tell them about how they jogged to the assembly ground after having breakfast. She told them that it was strange that even after doing labour on Friday, they still had another labour day on Saturday. She’d told them that now she had become a senior, she wasn’t be mean to the juniors under her.

Her cousins also told her about their schools. Only the eldest was waiting to be admitted into the university. They attended a day school close to their home. According to their father, it was good in order to keep an eye on the boys.

They went on and on with their chattathon.

It was almost midnight when Uncle Eddie and his wife asked the children to kneel for the night prayer. Auntie Amaka had prayed against the witches and wizards who flew at night looking for whose blood to suck. She repeated several times that her flesh was tough and her blood was bitter: no harm could come her way because of that. Her family chanted that with her. Zuri opened one eye to catch a glimpse at them. They were were on their knees. With each prophetic declaration, they shook and nodded their heads. It was like they were on their knees trying to please Jesus. They needed his goodness and mercy to come and pour on them. It seemed like they nodded faster and harder. They ended the powerful prayer session reading Psalms 23 and 91.

That was her first night at Osogbo. Moses, her eldest cousin, had put off the generator. She embraced Silence like a long, lost lover. The December night was cold and she knew that she needed extra covering. Luckily for her, there was a duvet in the guest room. She was happy to have a room to herself. This wasn’t like the small one-bedroom apartment she shared with her mother in Lagos. She wondered why Lagos, the Centre of Excellence, still had homes that were almost inhabitable in the new millennium. But then, she reasoned maybe this was because her mother wasn’t as rich as Uncle Eddie.

In the silence of the guest room, she shed some tears. She missed her mother. If only she could just go home the next day. She didn’t have a female cousin here to talk with. Her mind wandered to her friends in school. She played back some memories she had with her close gal pal, Miriam.

Miriam Meyer-Asaolu had a Nigerian father and South African mother. Miriam was what the students called a “feeler” because she paid extra care to how she looked. Her uniform was always “standing”. (That was the slang used by the students referring to well ironed). She was precocious and sophisticated. Many students in the school liked Miriam but Miriam liked just her. This made her feel flattered. They had met two years back in the school’s sick bay which the students called MI Room. They just clicked. They were both in JSS 3 but different arms.

During break, they swapped visits to each other’s class. They would talk about boys, who said what, the teachers that got them angry, the seniors in their hostels, boys, boys, and boys.

On Weekends, Zuri would go over to Flying Horse House to stay with Miriam. Miriam didn’t have a school mother. But then, no one dared to touch her because it was said that she was the commandant's niece. Who would want to get into trouble? They would do everything together: wash, go to the dining hall, read, do their home work, and sleep on Miriam’s bed. It was much comfortable being at Miriam’s dormitory.

They would lie in bed and talk about their future. Miriam wanted to be a model. The first time she told Zuri, Zuri had laughed thinking it was one of Miriam’s jokes. When she saw her friend was serious, she was mortified. Miriam had told her that her father had insisted that she schooled in Nigeria in order to know the culture of her people. As soon as she was done, she would go back home. South Africa was home to her. Sometimes, Zuri felt sad. She wasn’t going to be around after their secondary school education. Miriam too was sad at such times. Then, they’d tell themselves that they might not be friends the next day and just laugh it off.

Thinking about Miriam this night made her break down. Miriam had travelled to the US to spend her vacation. She had promised to buy her things from New Orleans. She had hugged Miriam so tight that morning after getting their results for the term. That hug said so many things their hearts felt but their lips couldn’t say. She wished Miriam a safe trip. She asked her to think of her. Miriam had laughed and said, “Don’t I always have you in my heart? If you could see my heart right now…”


Re: (LGBT SHORT STORY) "Becoming Zuri" - PT 1 by mheey(f): 3:51pm On Nov 26, 2015
Too long

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