Choose your adventure
Write a story or post with an open ending, and let your readers invent the conclusion.
I am writing a story with an open ending but I do not even know where it starts. It’s sort of how life is. We can’t say, ‘Oh, here’s the beginning of this story’ neither can we say, ‘Oh, here’s the end’. But we know that everything has a beginning and an end. Someone once told me, ‘If something bad starts to happen to you, rejoice! Because you know it would have an end’. In my heart, I asked, ‘What should I do when something really good starts’. But an answer just came to me right now, ‘Well, rejoice! Because it too shall end and something greater would begin’. But if I use this equation for the first instruction, then should I rethink rejoicing because if something bad ends, something badder may begin?
I’m obviously just reeling off at this point.
(I just spent 5 minutes staring at my blinking cursor)
I’ll tell you a story…
I once fell in love – thoroughly. It was not the ‘Oh, I might like this person’ kind of love. It was more like, ‘I almost got killed today while crossing the road because I literally was walking on sunshine’ kind of love. It was consuming. In retrospect, it was too silly. Everything centred around this human being.
Yes, he was a he. No, it is not what you are thinking. He was a little child; my cousin’s husband’s nephew (I know).
The first day I met him, he was only 3 years old but he captured my heart. I had visited my cousin (I think it was my cousin’s 40th birthday or so) and as I stepped into the house, he ran to me and grabbed my legs in tight embrace. I was so moved. I carried him, threw him up in the air and laughed as he laughed. That was the beginning of my love relationship with this young man. But that was about 17 years ago.
I kept in touch with his family because of him. His father would call me and tell me that his son wanted to speak with me. He had his first phone at the age of 13 and I was the first person he called. We became best friends. We would talk on and on for hours about school, girls, God, life, parties, the future, his career, his parents, his struggles, his temptations and so on. I know it sounds creepy but it was a very healthy relationship. We were best of friends. I gleaned from his youthfulness, insights on slangs and social media and he gleaned from my adulthood, insights on experiences.
The last time we spoke was two weeks ago. As I sat across him, I realised he had grown so big. He had beards and kept running his hands under his nose. He did not cry, but he wanted to. He laughed but kept stopping mid-laugh. I shook my head at him and told him to eat some of the chicken I had brought. He said, ‘Aunty, I wish I could.’ I asked him if he did it, he said he did not. Before I left my apartment that morning, I told myself that if I looked into his face, I’d be able to tell if he did it. But as I stared at him in that room, I could not tell, whether he was lying to not.
I shifted in my seat and tilted my head. ‘Kunle, I’m not in this room because the Nigerian police system works. I’m here because I know people. Tell me if you did this thing’ I said. He smiled and buried his face in his palms for a while, looking up seconds after, he said, ‘I did not rape her.’ But his eyes were cold cold and dark dark. I wanted to believe him; heck, I know he couldn’t have done it. This was still my 3 year old excited boy. But the more I looked at him, the more my faith in him shook…’
His first trial is tomorrow. I want to see him and tell him, ‘Rejoice. Because if something bad happens to you, then it has an end’ But what would that end be for him? A beginning of pointed fingers and the stigma of accusation? Or the beginning of a jail term?