Guilty by Grace Abbah


My name is Effy and this is my story.My childhood was not normal. I remember moving across various states for one reason or the other. So making friends wasn’t really necessary because I know I might leave pretty soon.

But everything changed when we moved to Lagos.During one of the Christmas holiday, I boarded a bus going to Yaba to buy some Christmas wears and that’s where I met Emeka. Emeka was a typical Igbo boy who loves money. He kept reminding the conductor for his change so he wouldn’t forget. I laughed when he said “gaa washington ka ha washia nti gi” (meaning go to washington so your ear can be washed) cause the conductor didn’t even respond to him.

We conversed in Igbo throughout the journey and we alighted at the same bus stop. Emeka took me to his shop and I bought wears that I needed for the Christmas holiday. We exchanged numbers and he promised to treat me good next time cause I am his “brother”. We met on few occasions after that and I got to know him a little better. He had a wife and 2 children. His eyes twinkles anytime he talks about his family and I couldn’t help but admire him.

Few months later, I got a call from Emeka. He sounded different and chided me on how I’ve forgotten him. I decided to see him since I didn’t have anything doing that day. I went to his shop and I met Richie, his salesboy. I asked about his boss, Emeka, and I got the most shocking news ever. Emeka died a few weeks back. I was dumbfounded and also scared. I quickly pulled out my phone and dialed his number. It kept ringing but Emeka didn’t pick.

I asked Richie for Emeka’s home address but his wife and children moved to the village immediately after his funeral. I boarded a bus back home. That night my phone rang again. I picked the phone and the voice I heard at the other line shocked me. I jumped at the sound of his voice, shouting at the top of my lungs, “Emeka, where are you?”.

He was silent for a while then he started breathing heavily, then he bursted out crying, “I’m sorry brother, I’m sorry” and the line went dead. I looked at my phone and my hands started shaking. I didn’t understand what was going on. Those were the last words I said to Emeka when I stabbed him.

Emeka had a stable family. I wanted that. How do I tell people I’m talking to a dead person?How do I tell his family that I’m sorry or not?I guess I have to live with the guilt. My hands are stained with his blood.

About the author


Add Comment

By clarajack


Get in touch

Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.