Month by Eze Ndidiamaka Vera

The love I have for Doremi is a watermark, not a pencil line. I tell her this often but she wants diamonds on her fingers and gold beneath her feet. She says she doesn’t want a vacation in Dubai but that if she could get a house in Banana Island, a Bugatti and a Samsung Galaxy S23, perhaps she could then think of accepting me. I want to give her all the nicest things I can think of but I am still an SSCE holder aspiring to study Medicine in a federal university. I will surely graduate within six years (If ASUU permits), secure a Job and give her all the world’s finest things, but she does not want to agree with me. She says it’s either now or never.

I walk down two streets to where Patrick, my well-to-do childhood friend, lives. Patrick had only returned from Malaysia two weeks ago so I pleaded with him to show me the way. Patrick agreed to help me. He said all I needed to do was bring a live chicken, a black laptop and a little grace. Since I believe in grace, I accepted. Now that I have gotten the items, Patrick takes me to a lone building where we meet a priest fully adorned in red and white clothes.

The Ifa priest welcomes me happily as though he had known me for a long time. The process has me repeating several unfamiliar chants that make me feel like I am speaking in tongues. The Ifa priest tells me that after the last process, I would become the biggest thing in town but even that does not interest me. I just want to be able to afford all the precious things in the world for Doremi. He instructs me to pick up the knife beside a strange basket filled with water and to strike whatever I see in it.  As I take up the knife to strike, I pause, turning to the priest.

“Excuse me, sir. I can’t find the face of the chicken in the basket. I think there is a problem”.

“No, whatever you see there is what you shall strike. You lose to gain. It’s either you strike or you run mad”.

I look at Patrick, he urges me on. I look in again to find the face of Doremi in the basket. I wonder how I would strike the only face my heart admires.

“Please sir, for how long will I be mad”.

Silence ensues. I see the shock on their faces. Patrick rushes over to my side, pleading with me to take the strike. I insist that my love for Doremi is not a pencil line that can so easily be erased or redrawn. It is the watermark of the artist himself.

Adigwe, Mary Chisom is a graduate of the English and Literary Studies Department. She hails from Ihiala in Anambra state. She is a researcher, critic and writer of prose and play works. She is also interested in politics and blogging.