Posted in FICTION


It is only 2:00 in the morning. You wake up restless after failed attempts to fall back asleep since Mama’s call woke you up from that fascinating dream where you had been having a sun tan on the beach in Miami (PS: she had called to ask you if you still remember to say your prayers and read the Holy Book!). You decide to put a sound track to your life and indulge in some cleaning. You vacuum clean the room carpet, and dust the tables, change the bed sheet and oust the dishes into the dishwasher; you wash the toilet, and scrub the tiles, and once you’re done, you smile, feeling a tad more relieved and humane than when you woke up.

You re-arrange your book shelf as you intend to storm the bookstore later that day for some new addiction(s). Then, you stumble upon your old photo album snugged up tightly amidst a bunch of forgotten memories. That photo album had been given to you by your favourite cousin as your first birthday gift at the age of sixteen. You smile as you remember the look on Nlerum’s face when you hugged him and painted his cheek with a pink thank-you kiss; that is a one-too-sweet memory that always leaves you smitten.

Curiosity, boredom and a little too much time on your hands kick in and find you plucking the album out, and seating on your newly made bed to flip through its pages of a piled-up-and-stashed-away past. Every picture of you holds a bright bold smile that is not your own anymore. You remember indeed that the album hosts some of the best days of your life– with or about Nlerum. He had either been the one taking the picture, or the one bombing it, or the reason behind the smile. Nlerum.

He was your second Cousin– the son of your mother’s first Cousin. You had met him occasionally at family parties (PS: Grammy’s birthdays were kind of made in Heaven) where he inspired your heart with his shy familiar smile, and afterwards, you had attended the “family school” and been entrusted to his care. You saw him as a big brother, although he was just three years older than yourself. And he loved you, oh he did. You had known; yet, you had thought it was just as a brother loved a sister– deeply, protectively, and that was that. But it had been more- a rippling-staggering-overfilling more. Nlerum had spoken love to you in all the languages that there were, but you had been too naive to hear it; or maybe you had just been an ardent ignoramus? It doesn’t matter. Hearts are made to be broken, and his had been broken by you.

“The heart was made to be broken” -Oscar Wilde.

You flip the old album cover close now, and rid your eyes of the droplets of water waiting to fall. Nlerum. You remember you had seen the last of him about ten years ago, during his final year in school. You had bathed him with a dozen more pink kisses as you wailed about how you would miss him. That much had been true. He had asked you not to worry, as he would come check on you as often as he could. You saw his eyes, squinted in that manner that said he was dead serious about what he had just said. You had believed him. A few weeks after, Mama had called to tell you he died in a ghastly accident on his way to your school. You had wept, bitterly. At the funeral, and even days long after that. But now, as you remember, your sorrow is deeper. Something unnamed, and immeasurable.

You stare into bright nothingness, wondering if perhaps, there was something you could have; and in fact, should have done differently. And as you wonder, you rock yourself to Birdy’s Skinny Love, as it plays in your head in Nlerum’s voice.




Me, the Short Black Girl blogs at Miniscule Diary



Some all-rounded writer with the wits to turn anything and everything to words with inspiration... cheering to glory and on...

16 thoughts on “OLD TIES by Me TSBG

  1. Just when I was starting to think that the Narrator had perhaps become something of ‘an unobtainable holy grail’ that Nlerum just had to have; the lines…’But now, as you remember, your sorrow is deeper. Something unnamed and immeasurable’ struck me! Will these lines by any means be an indication that the Narrator may have become malleable by inadvertently bending to Nlerum’s will and wish?! Could she have unconsciously developed amorous and romantic feelings towards her cousin???

    Plus, if my suppositions are anything to go by, then its quite plausible that fate’s given her an out afterall; by way of Nlerum’s ‘not-so-untimely’ passing by not just rocking this boat and tipping it right over; but also nipping those unholy feelings in the bud before they got the chance of tearing their entire fold and family apart forever by their indiscretion! *tsking

    The art of love…is largely the art of persistence surmises Albert Ellis! I feel like if Nlerum had made to her unhurt and in one piece; he’d have ultimately won her over and gotten together with her in a love affair that’s not only wrong but also forbidden and destructive on all levels!

    ‘We choose who we like, with those we love; we have no say in the matter says Mignon Mclaughlin; otherwise, how does one explain away feeling too strongly towards one’s own blood and kin; in a tryst that’d have been incestuous at best?! Now that’s one pretty bizarre phenomenon…twisted, and it rattles me silly! But then again; isn’t it said that every family tree has its own twisted twig ei?!😈😆 For Nlerum, his cousin was much more than a passing fancy! But for his demise, these ‘Kissing Cousins’ woulda given themselves over to their intense mutual attraction…a poisonous passion; that’d have sparked a murderous outrage amongst their family! Thank God for fate! Phew!😂😂😂

    ME churns out the finest tales with perfect plots and articulation to boot! Way to go gurl! 😎😄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am actually going to go in and read this again… ME does write well… Beautifully well. A sweet soul.

      Love has so many things and sides to it that you just have to keep thinking… wondering, yet believing, in hope. And on some issues… 🙂
      Wait, am I even replying you directly and saying the right words?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What am REALLY happy ’bout….is the fact that you DO know; that you’re neither addressing me; nor responding to the questions I posed! Classic!!! 🙉😩

        On the strength of that, you aint exactly a lost cause! 😈😆

        Really Sueddie???😞 No kidding???😕Did you even read that tale up there??? 😯 I’d be sooo damned!!!!😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Grrrrr! I was jare. I was doing both and you know. Somebody cannot pull your leg small again, you must show yasef! Hee hee hee! Lemme catch you. #ScrollingUp

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Oh Wow! You never did read it did you Sueddie!😒😞
          ….aand that was how the cookie crumbled…Yikes! 😂Busted!!!!😈😆


        3. Ow-kay!!!! Don’t sweat it Sagely One, I ‘absotively’ and ‘posilutely’ believe you! I do! 😁I promise!😈😆


        4. Hee hee hee! I thank you for making me read the post once more, though. I read and did slight edits… Now, read again and the feel is different. Really nice write-up. ME did us well and proud here, really.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Now, I stopped at the ellipsis… Now, on some sides of love, you find some idiocy of emotions. You just don’t know what is happening and it gets all just so wrong. But you have to step away before you kill what small fibre of moral you should keep… Got it now? Yemz?

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Mami!! ‘ve missed you, you know Shebi? Hehe.

      The story is rather baffling to me too, yet it felt like a story that had to be told at the time. I think it is indeed a possibility that the narrator had begun to grow reckless feelings for Nlerum, long before he died; and that if he had indeed not passed on in such quick waste, they might have festered on to something magical, yet dangerous. That said, I think that it could also be a possibility that the narrator merely loved how he made her feel while he was alive. They had made so many memories together, and he had seen to her happiness the most he could. It could well be a case of deep appreciation. A case of unbidden hope that the universe had not thought to cast ruin upon something that could have just remained blissfully sweet as the love between a mother and her son, and that between a father and his daughter, and a sister and a brother. A case of guilt, that if per chance he had not loved her so much to want to keep a promise anyway, he would not have embarked on that travel, and he would not have met his death.

      In truth, I think the narrator’s grief could be a complex mix of many many things– ones perceived, and ones not perceived. In the end, I think that sometimes love can be a mind-blowing disaster. Very impressing. Very scathing. Very unsettling.

      Thank you so much for reading ma’am. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw! I did miss you too ME! ❤😇😄

        But for being pretty preoccupied, I’d love nothing more than be up to mine tired eyeballs in those enchanting tales you spin that keeps one reading till the very end! 😇😁

        Rest assured, whenever I do make it out a-piece; enough to come up for air, I’d try as best I can to make a stop over at yours and pick up from whence I left off! ❤😁

        Thanks for doing justice to those nagging questions of mine! Its more than I can say for ‘some people’! 😈😆

        Plus, I totally get what you mean! The Narrator may just be missing the affection, attention and devotion shown her by Nlerum! I mean, who wouldn’t???😂

        I just can’t shake off the feeling that down the line, had Nlerum lived long enough; to see this through, there’d have been a steeper price to pay than just a broken heart, especially if the Narrator’s unable to work up the affections hed definitely need for her to, towards him! ‘From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate’- Socrates. Little wonder why why its often said that the line between love and hate’s a fine one…a thin line! So, maybe its a ‘good omen’ he had to die; things may not have ended well in the long run…maybe! 😀

        Thanks again ME, you do great and best yourself each and every time! You were made for this and you do a pretty bang-up job of it too; without a shred of doubt! Mwah! ❤😇😄

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Some people, abi? Hmmm… I didn’t see it for more than a second so I will let it pass…

          I think there would have been epic disaster ahead though, truly. And the passion and power with which we were told of his desire is more than enough to make us know nothing would have changed his mind. But… life gave an excuse and ME took the easy route. Bleh!

          Makes us think deep on a lot of things, wonder, sigh, then think again, smile and say, oh well. A good tale, well told.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Nice one Sagely One, your line of thought’s an absolute beautof a wrap and summary of ‘Old Ties’!😁 See why I dubbed thee ‘Sage’?! 😈😆

          Nlerum’s love for his cousin runs too deep and his fixation with her’s total….all consuming! A love like that doesn’t just get to fizzle away into nothingness…it’d only get deeper with time, and that’s if the Narrator’s lucky enough not to have him become overly obssesed with her! She’d become unexpendable and he was willing to take his time and wait; however long, for her to come to! The Poor Dear! 😔

          Plus, more than half the time; death more or less, becomes the only feasible way out of a predicament such as this one! Something’s just really gotta give, to avert a grave disaster that’d have negative effects on many destinies as opposed to the loss of one soul, who was dealt a crushing and fatal blow by fate; the moment he started to like his kin; in a not so ‘appropriate’ manner! Life and the games it plays on us mortals! Pawns, are who we really are! Ugh! Hehehe

          I agree too that ME writes the sweetest, most delectable love tales and best still; they’re believable…not unlikely at all! Kudos to you two! 😁


        3. And in one swift move, she steals the end of the show. Maybe we should look towards writing something like this again, no? Kudos to us all. This has been some nice understanding to all of this…

          Liked by 1 person

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