That’s how it should go by Mimi Lola


This is how this thing goes. And I will call you as it settles, just as my toes sink into the wet sand and water recoils from me. I just hear you breathe cause you always wait for me to speak. I called first. I say, oh god, it’s coming. I feel it in my head this time and I think it’s going to kill me. You hum and I just know you are laying on your bed, back pressed flat to it with your eyes closed. Why this time? you are going to ask and I know before you do so I have my answer ready. It’s been months since we spoke. Because it will be July soon again and July will mean it’s been a year since my body felt something. It did all that growing but never felt anything. You hum again and I start to wish my head was pressed hard to your chest, so I can feel the rumble of your chest against my face so I can see if I could enter you. Be you.


Maybe you are thinking too much of everything again. It won’t do you any good. 


I miss you, I say, even before the last word leaves your mouth. I know things like this would shut you up, turn your stomach, rip your heart into shreds. I want you to feel these things, so you can be identical to me.


It’s raining all the time and it’s so cold. I say just because you say nothing back, my sweater is still in your bag, I haven’t gotten another one yet.


You should have 


Give it back


I can’t. Not ever


And I know it’s not a lie. You don’t like to tell them like that, it’s usually to my face, never over the phone.

You could be in my sweater right now and the thought of that twists my stomach painfully.


It’s cold here, the water is very cold.


Where are you?


You know.


Your silence makes my body shiver. I wonder why you are asking when you can hear how the water moves forward and backwards, forward and backwards, frothing against my ankles. I know you can hear it.


It’s too early


It’s always too early 


You shouldn’t have called me


But I feel it in my head. I know it’s going to kill me this time. 


Then take it with your chest. You are bigger than this.


I am?


You are and that’s why I left.


What time is it over there?


Two in the morning 


And you were awake?


I am never asleep. I am always too tired when I wake up.


I miss you




I miss every part of you 


Please stop.


xxxxx. and water crashes violently against the shore.


Don’t say my name like that


Your voice shakes and you sigh. Soon it will be the weekend and I will have to lay in bed all every single one of those days.


I hate it when you say it like that.


Let me see you.


We will hate that.


It’s been a year, you don’t know that.


I do. You haven’t changed. Even if you wanted to.


I added an extra six pounds, laying on you shouldn’t hurt as much any more.






I am being serious.


I give myself a moment, the harsh tone of your voice burning my ear and running down my neck to hunt for my chest. I suck in a deep breath of the salty air and look down at my feet.


It’s going to kill me


Then let it.


Are you going to miss me?


You pause for a moment and my throat tightens on me.


Do you want me to?


At least one person should remember me.


Yes or no?




Okay. I will send flowers to your grave every month


You won’t even visit me then? Even the next year when my body would have grown so big it would have burst into pieces


Don’t be gross


I wouldn’t even be alive to say a word. You wouldn’t even get to see my face and yet you still wouldn’t come?


I wouldn’t come for your funeral either.


Why? You would have been the only one attending 


And it would be a bore


Maybe I should get some friends


Maybe you should hire some. Ever heard of professional mourners? They have a packaged deal.


I chuckle into the phone, holding it up against my ear with my shoulder as I light a blunt. I take a long drag as soon as I succeed besides the strong wind.


Could I pay you instead


You chuckle too


I will be too expensive


How expensive?


Your entire whole estate.


I was going to give that to you anyway




I wrote my will last week.


You are joking


I put your name up for everything


Take it out 


Do whatever you want with it. Sell it out to anyone who would buy it, or donate it to some underdeveloped country or burn every penny to the ground. I don’t care. It’s yours now.


Are you stupid?


You didn’t think to ask that when you let me kiss you the first time


You are crazy


And I love you


Shut up. Take your shit back or I will block your number.


I die in a month.


Take my name out of your will


No, Say my name?


Take it out! you scream and it takes me somewhere else, back into our past together when we laid in bed all day with your hands always pulling through my hair. Those were a different type of scream. Something I would have loved to hear again.


Why are you angry?


Because I don’t want it.


You want to forget me




Don’t lie. I did this on purpose, you know that and I don’t need to hide that. So you don’t have to lie.


You are terrible


My lawyer will contact you


I hate you 


You don’t


I do


I wish you would lie about that for once. I flick what is left of my blunt into the ocean. My head is finally fuzzy, the cold seeping into my bone so much that I almost want to fall back against the sand hoping that it would swallow me whole.


Wouldn’t it be a funny story? You get everything she had worked so hard for without a struggle. Mother would roll in her grave.


I don’t want her disgusting property 


You deserve it. She put you through hell


I went through all of that because of you. 


No, but I am still sorry.


I should’ve never fallen in love with you 


You loved me?


You go quiet 


Tell a dying person the truth


You laugh, what difference does it make?


I could start to feel a little more warm. The world is so cold.


Then go home


I don’t have that.


Go home


Come and get me. I will send you the address.


You want me to fly over there?


I will pay for the trip, how much?


You laugh again. Definitely something you would say. I have a life, you know 


And I have none. 


That was your choice


Hmm. I pause. Ajoke is throwing a party this weekend. Will you come?


Why should I ? I hate that girl.


As much as you hate me? 


Do you want me to answer that?






xxxxx. The water crashes hard simultaneously.


Don’t say my name


I have to go.




The sun is coming up and I don’t want to see it.


Where are you heading?


To my bed. It’s new, helps me sleep.


Lucky you


If I call again…


I won’t pick 


Okay, But would you block me?


Should I?


Please, don’t. I will need to hear your voice one more time before I pass.


God. Your voice shakes why do you do these things to me?


You are all that I have.


Then you should have treated me that way.


I am sorry.


Sorry will never cut it.


Will you listen to me when I call next time?




Thank you.


Of course.


A long pause between us. It symbolizes all the things we are choosing not to say.


I have to go 




I am sorry


Don’t be. Just… just remember someone cares about you.




It’s such a stupid way to die.


It was going to happen anyway. I am just helping it.


I was going to lose you anyway you whisper to yourself.


Would it hurt if you came to see me?


It would make me want to kill myself whether you are dead or alive.




You should go.


I should.


I love you.


I press the phone harder to my ear, using all the will left in my body not to beg you to say those words again.


Thank you, I say because you are waiting for an answer I will try to always remember that.


You are welcome.


Good bye.


Good bye.


I will call you again.


You should.






And that’s how it should go. I take a deep breath and dial your number, pressing the phone so hard to my ear, I start to think I might break the screen. I wait patiently as it starts to call.


Sorry, the number you have called has been disconnected.


And that’s not how it’s meant to go.


I stare at my phone for a mo

Gyment in disbelief, your name in white letters hurting my eyes. Maybe I should have called sooner. Not when July is just around the corner and we are forced to remember. I squeeze my phone very hard then I chuck it into the sea. I wouldn’t miss the thing and as I walk away from the water I just know no one will miss me too.

About the author

Add Comment

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.