Forums Coolval (series) Abebi – short story

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    Abebi was old. Abebi was tired. Abebi was
    weak. Abebi was sad. Abebi was bitter. And
    she was pregnant. Again. Unlike her first
    two pregnancies, Abebi was unethusiastic
    about this one. She held no hopes, no
    excitements about motherhood. She didn’t
    think of beautiful names for her baby, she
    didn’t think of pretty clothes to dress her
    child in. In fact, she tried not to think about
    the baby at all.
    12 years earlier, Abebi was a young, vibrant,
    strong, happy and cheerful 18 year old. She
    was full of love and life, and she was head
    over heels in love with Akinwande her
    husband. Their wedding ceremony was a
    joyous affair, a two day carnival where
    there was plenty to eat and the whole town
    made merry.
    Exactly nine months later, she was delivered
    of a bouncing baby boy. He didn’t live for
    more than three days. Family and friends
    consoled her, “you’ll have another, many
    more even. The water spilled, but the pot
    isn’t broken” they said. And have another
    did she. She had a beautiful girl with the
    cutest nose ever, the child lived long
    enough to die during the naming
    ceremony. Once again she was consoled.
    Once there’s life there’s hope…
    There was hope and Abebi had another
    child. And another. And another. And
    another. And they all died in infancy. Abebi
    was plagued by the Abiku. A spirit child
    who had no mercy for his mother. He
    would be born only to die and be reborn to
    die yet again in a vicious cycle of blood,
    pain, sweat and tears.
    Abebi’s breast milk was sour. She had aged
    more than her years. Her v----a was
    already slack from pushing out children
    year after year. Children who didn’t stay.
    Children? No, the same child who had
    chosen to torment her. Abebi had stopped
    hoping for a child to send on errands, to
    look after her when she was old with each
    pregnancy. Instead, she was resigned to
    the fate that she was going to more likely
    than not bury the child.
    “In vain your bangles cast. Charmed circles
    at my feet. I am Abiku, calling for the first.
    And the repeated time.”
    They had tried to appease the spirit child,
    sacrifices of palm oil, cowries, corn meal
    and chicken were made. Yet Abiku did not
    stay. Why did he keep coming and going.
    Why? Abebi didn’t understand why this was
    happening to her. If Abiku liked the real
    world, he should stay, if not then he
    shouldn’t even bother to come!
    “Follow where you please your kindred
    spirits if indoors is not enough for you. No
    longer then bestride the threshold”
    Then Abebi met The Shepherd who told her
    to leave the Babalawo. “Come to church” he
    said, “and all your problems will be solved”.
    The people in the church wore long white
    robes and colourful belts and sashes of
    shiny material, they rang bells and they
    spoke in strange languages. They danced
    and sang with infectious vigour and
    passion. They stamped their feet as they
    prayed in a circle while Abebi knelt down in
    the middle.
    They were not going to beg Abiku to stay,
    they were going to force him to. So when
    Abebi was delivered of her previous
    pregnancy and the baby died again as
    usual, his feet were burnt with fire upon
    which incense had been sprinkled. His ears
    were nicked, and they drew crisscross lines
    with a fresh razor on his back. Mutilated
    and scarred, Abiku would not want to come
    back again, for if he was reborn, he would
    be born with those scars again. The shame
    of looking hideous would make him not
    come again.
    Therefore this pregnancy Abebi was
    carrying was expected to be a new baby.
    Not the same child she’d been giving birth
    to over and over for the past 12 years.
    When she put to bed, if it was a baby with
    those same scars, then Abiku had come
    back yet again. If not, she had finally
    overcome him and had a real child. For the
    first time in about a decade, Abebi saw a
    glimmer of home, a tiny ray of light, but she
    was reluctant to hold on to it strongly.
    She didn’t need much help, she knew how
    to open her legs wide and push. Abebi
    didn’t scream with terror and panic like
    new mothers. The midwife in the church
    widened her parted thighs “one more
    push”. With sweat beaded on her forehead,
    face masked with pain, Abebi heaved and
    the baby slipped out.
    She was scared to look at it. Did she dare
    hope that Abiku had finally left her. She
    gestured at the midwife to bring the
    squirming bundle close. Abebi moved the
    shawl aside and looked at the tiny creature
    wrapped inside. One look was enough.
    “So when the snail is burnt in it’s shell. With
    it’s heated fragments, brand me deeply on
    the breast. You must know him when Abiku
    calls again”
    Abebi was too tired to display any emotion,
    she just sank back into the pillows and
    closed her eyes.

    #1266543 Reply
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    #1266544 Reply
    • "Posts"3968
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    Poor Abebi

    Now, Abiku stays, Abeba goes.

    #1266624 Reply
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    #1266638 Reply
    • "Posts"1873
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    hmmmmm abiku

    #1266658 Reply
    • "Posts"8318
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    I can’t imagine that feelings of having ABIKU as a child

    #1266689 Reply
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    Is it a sequence?

    #1266728 Reply
    • "Posts"454
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    Such a devasting time 4 her

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 15 total)
Reply To: Abebi – short story
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