We usually don’t get the best of Flash Fiction but this is one very special flash fiction written by the Muslim writer Nana Sule. It explains a scene of heart break and pain, using vivid words and relatable scenarios in a style that sends home the message. Nana sule has a fabulous writing style!
IT HAS NO NAME
There is something that starts walking inside your throat. It drags with it, all the emotions that you own. Except that it forgets to pull along the happy ones. That is why you hold on to the smile on your lips, you hold on because there isn’t much to do. This thing, eating at your heart, it must have a name.
Outside, there is rain. It drums violently on the roof and crawls through the small leak in the ceiling, just on the right side of the kitchen. When the rain first came, Samira and yourself had pushed the cooker a bit to the side. Then an orange bucket was placed beside the cooker. Now the insides had dark rings from where water had overstayed. Kind of like your heart, from where doubt had overstayed and have now become clarity. Dark clarity.
It is on this rainy day that you fold all the senses you own in a neat pile, lock them somewhere behind your head where you wouldn’t reach. It is on this night that you make what you know she loves. The kitchen is dressed in goat meat scent. This scent is shared by the dinning where the pepper soup nestles in a warmer. You throw in an extra with the candles and a juice. Glasses set, spoon set, and you, set in waiting.
You check your phone again. Even as your eyes dance to the door and back. There is no call missed, no message unread. So you send another one.
You: Waiting for you baby
A minute goes by, you tell yourself how she might not have seen it. Perhaps she is packing her things and getting to the car in the rain. It is why five minutes later, you tell yourself how she must be driving, how she would be more bothered about concentrating than her phone.
Some twenty minutes later, lest the pepper soup get cold, you send another.
You: Where are you.
Then you call.
You call again because, she just might not have heard the first ring.
From behind your head, the images you have locked away start to escape. One would be your Samira. It would be at a time when, excited about a watch some colleague sold to you, you had driven all the way to the hospital. You had not bothered to knock, why ruin the surprise. So when you saw Dr. Samira inscribed on the door, you pushed it open, never minding that you may have met a naked patient. Now that you try not to think of it, it would have been better than seeing her lips locked on another’s. Although at that time, you were screaming, you could not be heard. Because somewhere in you was a shattered heart, one that hurt so bad, its pain was stuck in silence. So you did not ask who he was, or why there was a them. You left, lest they heard how your heart beat had turned uneven and louder.
That night, you cuddled next to her. You tried not to think about the slight red on the fair of her neck. You did not believe it could be a love bite.
You: Hey, I am getting worried
Not worried, scared.
Perhaps he was more than you could be. Perhaps you are just not enough.
Her: Sorry, just seeing these.
I won’t make it today, there’s an emergency surgery.
Don’t stay up for me.
You stare at this message. And you are suddenly unsure if you saw her wear that red bra or not. If she put on a little bit of make up or not. And because you have now laid yourself on the cold tile, you wonder how he is keeping her warm. You wonder if she would moan like that, if he would be for her, what you are. Or if he will be more.
There, as you lay on those tiles, you argue with your senses. There must be a thing you are doing wrong to deserve this. It must be your fault. There must be a name for this thing that you are feeling. For the way that you are dying. It must have a name.
Credits to The Arts-Muse Fair.
About the Author
Nana sule is a Muslim writer, chocolate chaser, environmental enthusiast and a children author. She graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Minna with a degree in Estate Management. She works with AMAB; and is a moderator at the Minna book club. She is also a contributing writer to the Art-Muse Fair blog. Her most recent work is ‘A New Name’.