How she said it by Raphael Francis


When asked, 

she will say she first noticed the bulging breast one evening after a shower, that even though the gnawing thoughts kept lodging in her head like a stubborn tenant refusing to budge, she had refused to pay heed. How could it be it? Wasn’t she the calm and well-behaved daughter of a Bible-carrying, demon-casting, blood of Jesus binding pastor? A girl well versed in the unspoken language of her parent’s eyes, knowing when to leave the room when adults are speaking, and to decline meals  offered outside. 

 It wasn’t it, she would say. 

She would go on to say that she was sixteen, and that bulging breast, hellacious cramps, morning sicknesses and gnawing pimples were common. She would say, you know, it was May and thick in the heart of the rainy season, where lives consisted of heavy sweaters and broken umbrellas, shutting louvres and jumping puddles. She will count the many times she stood in the front of the mirror, countless of times, staring at her own face. Nothing is changed. She would say, except the pimples splattered across her face like a badly planted maize farm, She looks just the same. Maybe she is over thinking, maybe it’s the weather. Maybe if she stops staring at the mirror, maybe,maybe, just maybe. 

Then one evening, she will say, She reaches a hand under her shirt, touches her swollen, tender breasts. No, she thinks. It’s true. Then came the waves of nausea with slimy spit filling her mouth. But she doesn’t throw up like they do in the movies. No it’s not. Yes it is. She would say, her mind kept plunging into numerous races.

She will now say she remembers. Yes she does. Yes, she knows who. Yes, she knows where. Who doesn’t know Michael? Mike for short. Slender Mike with a large head and an obvious features, who walks gingerly with his hands in his pockets 

Mike with the melodious alto who made people cry, their mouths open like a bracket anytime he held the microphone to sing solos on Sunday. It was him. Him who told her it won’t be painful as he crept his hands under her short. Him who said it was just the tip he wanted to rub. Just the tip, he swore. Till he kept entering, and entering, and entering, and she didn’t care wether someone walked in and saw them, her dress hiked up around her waist, her teeth buried on his neck. 

She’ll say Mike did it. Yes, he did it!

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.