We are thrilled to share this creative fiction by Tolu Dara with you. The story tells itself. You will be fascinated by how it overpowers the writer, meanders carefreely and knots itself into a ribbon of creativity. Just like us, you will wonder why a great story ended so soon but first, enjoy!

-Editorial Team

M.A.N (Melodies. Art. Nature.)

I have an odd fascination for: 1) role-playing handpicked seashells as soldiers guarding sandcastles 2) tabby cats with big heterochromatic eyes 3) the anorexic kid who lives in a small bungalow at the farther end of the street. I really wish someone could counsel him, make him positively see himself in a different light; enough for him to eat some much-needed carbs without feeling the irresistible urge to throw it up in the toilet. But I do not like to talk. I just love to sing. I am a wooden dresser full of paranoia. I do not miss a thing.

My second name should have been Trippie. My feet always have an unhealthy romance with the ground, subconsciously meeting at inappropriate spots to rendezvous. And poor me, sadly, have to bear the brunt of the pain and discomfort it brings, knowing there is nothing I can do to break the forbidden bond. At least for now. Sometimes, I forget my heart is a panic zone and I do irrational things to push its unlock buttons. Like navigating my way through a toxic relationship or popping a piece of vanilla extract cake into my mouth WHICH IS NOT A GOOD THING TO DO because I am lactose-intolerant. Re-read the capital words with a nasal voice over and over again. There, you have imitated my mother.

My mother is an African but she says the ethnicity claim is simply a card she can play to the mothers of my classmates “for the love of show” and “for the sake of kicks.” Truly, she is an African but only through indirect genealogical descent and she dryly says they don’t matter these days. My mother and I came to England through the help of her brother who we live with. Uncle Remi, a rotund cheapskate who claim to have met Eddie Murphy once, works as a store manager at the downtown sprawling supermarket called Bazaar For All. He has a weird fetish for ketchup, eating it with anything and everything– from buttered bread to unheated vegetable soup.

I do not know my father but I am certain he exists around me. He tells me there is nothing more enthralling than the deafening sound of silence. They say my laughter is occupied with a lot of mirth, so infectious that the dark days in history wish they had a quality like that to ease away the gloominess they dwell in. Furthermore, there is no blood on the street. No hovering tribulations in the air. The wars of yesterday yielded the peace treaty we have today. My mother calls my name. She says it’s time for dinner. I wish I could go down the street and knock on the anorexic boy’s door. I wish I could… I wish I could open my mouth to say, “Hey, my name is Tolani DaSilva and I live up the block and I was just wondering if you would like to come to my house with me and have some spaghetti.”

Contributor’s Bio

Tolu Dara is a creative writer and content creator from Lagos, Nigeria. She has an imagistic flair for monochromatic art and spends her spare time binge-stalking contemporary visual art works. You can connect with her through her e-mail at daratoluwani@gmail.com