Who will console you well enough (part 1) by Victor Ola-Matthew


Maybe not everyone, but most people, like you, want, after losing somebody really dear to themselves, their consolers to sit still in the parlour and say nothing because everything they utter will never come out right in the moment. You want them to be people you really love, people whose cologne or mere skin smells you know because your nose has once sunk into their flesh the time they made you laugh. You want only your lovers, family or something more, or those with equal importance to you as the deceased to sit there, right beside you, holding your hand in theirs as they stroke their thumb soothingly on the back of your hand. You want your head on their shoulders so you can sulk away from existence.

     But what you don’t want is Sister Patricia, head of evangelism, and Brother Samson, head of the choir your deceased had forced you to join at sixteen, bringing half the church population, or what you feel is, to your small parlour that seemed to be closing on you when they enter because they feel it is a good gesture. ‘After all, it is the best we can do’, you imagine them saying before leaving the church that hot Sunday afternoon for your house.

      You don’t want Sister Patricia saying, ‘Peace be unto this house’, as she enters because there is no peace right now. There is death. You don’t want her and the other women to offer to prepare you food in your kitchen because you don’t want them dropping your kitchen utensils in new places you are yet to discover in your clogged cooking space. Besides, you are mourning not handicapped. 

     They all sit quiet, but it’s not the kind you want. Why should twenty five people who have never shown up at your house be here and now quiet? You eye them rudely, because you know once they get home they will forget about the deceased while you have further apparitions and interactions in your dreams, but they don’t see your eyes move because your black turban’s tip falls and hovers your face.

      It all seems bearable until Brother Samson, with his dark fat lips that covers years of developed decaying dentition, says, ‘God gives and God takes. Brethren let us rise up and pray’. You wish him death of a loved one, maybe his wife. And even though you shouldn’t, you do and you could not care any less. You did not want to hear any religious teaching. Not now, not ever. Even if, just not now.

      What you don’t want are your friends saying, ‘Sorry’ or whatever statement they will say, even though you know how conscious and calculated they are about the way they should speak around you. Sorry? Did you fall? You lost somebody,  so why would they give you the condolences given to somebody who kicked a bucket and tripped. You don’t want them, or anybody at all, calling you and when you eventually pick, you don’t want them starting with the rhetoric, ‘Is it true?’ You’re not possibly pulling a joke. 

     ‘They must be mad’, you say to yourself when you drop the call. You’re enraged. Everything irks you and you just don’t know why….

The rest of this short story will posted next week Friday subscribe to with your email to stay updated.

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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.