“Undying Love” by Jesse Jojo Johnson.

When Matilda and I got married, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into. Ewuramma had just left me. I’d lost my job too.  Akwesi warned me about this; “too soon chale”, he often said when I started talking about Matilda. He’d listen anyway; who doesn’t love sizzling descriptions of a friend’s passionate side? Oh, I went into detail when it came to Akwesi, and he too he won’t stop me, that foolish guy. But after everything, he’ll tell me that he’s been there before, and it doesn’t help at all. Especially when she wants to move things quickly, get married, the kids, settle, that’s how they put it.
It’s not that I was careless – I was desperate at that time. I didn’t want to be alone. I’d been left stranded. I wasn’t myself. And she was sweet, my goodness!

We started dating after three months. This went on for another six. She’s the motherly type; petite, her skin a little lighter than mine, with a laugh that tickles. It was her half-smile and those big bright eyes that first caught my attention. Her body did the rest. Our marriage is stable. A second daughter is on her way. I have a better job too. I should be happy, but I’m not. I know I love Matilda; I said the vows. But something isn’t right. I can’t break her dreams and ruin a family I’ve just started. That will be cruel. She’s a good woman, Matilda. She has her issues, but she doesn’t deserve this.

I’ve tried several times to stifle the thoughts, kill the memories – I’ve deleted all the emails, burned as many letters and pictures as we shared, but Ewuramma just won’t leave me alone. I miss her. I still love her, two years after she walked out that door. I can’t be blamed – she was my first proper one. We’d been together for so long, life looked unfamiliar when she wasn’t around. Ewuramma was – is my life. I’m a father with a good wife, but I cannot live without my ex girlfriend. There, I said it!

I love my wife, but when Matilda makes me angry or sad – when she gets into those her moods – I drive nearly 13 kilometers to see Ewuramma. When I’m with her, I break down and cry and tell her how much I’ve missed her. That she was wicked to leave me alone, that I want her back. I usually spend the rest of the afternoon with Ewuramma, talking until I’m tired. Then I’ll trace her name on the headstone, dust myself and drive back home, wondering if she even heard.

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“Love Me,Love My God” by Nii Moi Thompson

Shaibu’s car was just like his father; an old, wobbly art of welded hardness which fumes when provoked beyond elastic limit. The 1998 Mazda was expelling thick smoke when it finally arrived at Diana’s, moving at snail’s speed, jerking off suddenly and spurting intermittently along the way. He needed to kill his worse enemy, stress; and thank God Diana’s parents had left for Men’s and Women’s Fellowship.

He combed his afro hair, tossed a mint into his mouth, rolled some deodorant under his pits and clutched the pack of fried yam and tsofi Diana had requested. He smelt fine. As he locked up, he spotted the Quran from the dashboard glaring guiltily at him. He slammed the door quickly, and slapped his back-pocket to make sure his condoms were safely stashed. A grin lit up his face.

He found Diana at the door with an outstretched arm. Guess she was used to the deafening roar of that old engine. Her outfit was inviting; a see-through blouse, with one of its straps hanging lazily down her arm, out-dooring a breasted chest. Her blue jeans shorts barely covered her flawless thighs. Shaibu gulped.

“You still keep those bears on the bed instead of me,” he joked, slapping a pair of stuffed bears positioned on the right side of Diana’s bed.
“Be glad my father is not here, Shai.” She reminded.
Shaibu inched closer. He knew he had little time till her parents arrived. He felt Diana’s lips subtly, and she responded.
“We have to talk…” she said. It felt like a stick in the spokes of Shaibu’s wheel. Not when his blood was simmering, and his members nodding.
“That can wait, dear,” he responded, and slipped an arm into her blouse, searching for whatever. She pushed him away gently. “Don’t be naughty.”

“My father does not wish I marry a Muslim!”
Shaibu sighed. “I know that man doesn’t like my kind. Why can’t I marry you?”
“Well, I will love my children to be Christians, and my husband to come to church with me,” one could realize from her tone that she had nursed this dream since childhood.
“Allah forbid,” Shaibu retorted. “I am the man. My children have to be Muslims.”
“Then I guess my father was right…maybe Christians should just marry Christians!”
The ensuing silence was long. Then Shaibu broke it, not with words, but with a dash for his shirt, and subsequent angry shuffling to the door.

Diana blocked the entrance before he could storm out. She loved him, but did not wish they will part angry at themselves. Words would just spoil the ambience at this point. She slid her straps further down, stood on her toes and offered her lips. Shaibu’s anger melted and the scene moved from the doorway unto the bed.

Before they could self-actualize, the door flung open.
“Young man!” the voice sounded like her father’s, albeit in an angrier tone. Shaibu turned to make sure.
“Walahi, trouble!”