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I checked my phone for the fifth time in less than two
      minutes for a reply from Dennis on bbm, still, Nothing, it
      was still marked "D". This was becoming annoying, really, he
      knew he owed me money and I wanted my money back. "Ah ah,
      which kin nonsense come be this one now?" I said, not even
      angry at the sight of the rat that ran pass to the other
      corner of my room as I sat on my 8 spring mattress thinking. I wasn't even angry that PHCN had denied
      our street of electricity for weeks in a row. No, I was angry
      that Dennis owed me and knowing who he was, it would take
      awhile before he paid me back. But I didn't care anymore,
      yesterday was 25th December and I was not feeling the season.
      I ate the leftover beans from Tuesday with the little Ijebu
      garri I had left  for lunch yesterday and that was very
      annoying, for Christs' sake I should have gone out to Ozone
      and had fun with my guys plus I would have had a fantastic meal of rice
      and salad with drinks man, not the cold funny smelling beans I had for lunch. That idiot Dennis had the guts to
      upload photos of himself,Hammer,Kings, Femi and some Unilag
      guys I barely knew in Calabar. He was having fun when he owed me money?!
      "omo I no fit take am joh", I said out loud. "50k no be
      beans" Yes, I lent him #50,000 when school resumed in
      October, I remember warning him that my tuition fee of 35k
      was inclusive in the money I was lending him and that it
      should be ready by December 5th. He had agreed and even gone
      ahead to say something like, "guy e no go even reach December
      sef, i dey more than sure." Now what?, for three days he was
      ignoring my messages both on whatsapp and bbm. And when I
      called, he never picked up. To make things worse,he wasn't in
      Lagos presently, he and some Unilag guys had gone to Calabar
      for the after carnival and christmas season celebration. My
      Nokia torch rang disrupting my thoughts, "Seline" and her
      caller ID was on the screen, "Mtcheeew yawa don come". You
      see, I love Seline, my girlfriend of seven months, she's average
      (not so pretty but not ugly either), she's the kind of girl
      that looks very pretty with make-up on. It wasn't weird that she was calling at that time, it was just that she
      was calling to nag about my failure to take her out yesterday
      and take her shopping. I know this because I had promised to
      take her shopping two weeks back but that was because I
      thought I'd have gotten my money from Dennis by now. The only
      wise thing I could do was ignore her calls, which I did.
      After the fourth call, Seline stopped calling and started
      sending me bbm messages which I also ignored (i felt really
      guilty though and I hoped that this was how guilty Dennis
      felt in that Calabar as he was having fun_ or even more
      guilty..). She pinged me thrice and sent "hi bae y aint u
      pickin up huh", the other messages flew in and then she
      started using the angry smileys. I smiled, because I pictured
      her round face angry_ she looked cute whenever she was
      angry. Still smiling, I scrolled down and opened my younger
      sisters' messages and it turned out from her messages that
      she was curious about my reasons for not being home for
      Christmas. I explained to her that I had alot to do before
      school resumed. As I waited for her reply, I decided to check
      my Feeds, "Roxzer is listening to x-videos", was the first
      update that caught my eye; I laughed out, this stupid guy was
      always watching porn,even on Sunday mornings when other
      people were in church, Nawa o. I glanced through the other
      feeds as I scrolled down, I scrolled back up again slowly so
      I could see the photo of one pretty face I had passed too
      swiftly. Hmn, nice braids, nice lips, nice complexion,
      entirely pretty face. I held down the photo update and tapped
      on, "open chat" and typed, "hello cutey" while waiting for
      her reply, this would sure make Seline mad of she where here.
      A new update notification popped up and when I scrolled up,
      it was a photo of Seline and one guy I didn't recognize from
      school or anywhere for that matter and to make matters worse, she updated, "my always attentive boo" on her pm. I guess she felt so mad
      at me that she wanted to make me jealous? I ignored that for
      now but I knew I'd address that later. I looked at my phone
      clock, it read 16:06. Damm! I had to buy fuel for my "I pass
      my neighbour" gen and the nearest filling station was two bus
      stops from where I stay, of I didn't go now I'd be late for Arsenals' match by 5:30pm. I quickly pulled on a pair of black
      pant,my sky blue Lacoste t-shirt, made sure to put my wallet
      in my right pocket, put on my fake Gucci slippers and headed
      out. I was almost at the gate when I realized I had
      forgotten to lock my door and take the 12litre jerrycan. I went back to my room for the jerrycan and locked the
      door behind me. As I was walked out of the gate, I plugged in
      my earphone and Olamides' voice filled my ears as he sang his
      "story for the gods". My Nokia torch was on silent mode and
      was desperately ringing in my right pocket_the same pocket
      that had my wallet in it. Guess whose missed calls I saw when I
      looked at the screen of my phone an hour later when I got
      back home?


      Seasons' Greetings from Grace Okogwu


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my eyes are
brilliant: a firework of events.
my thoughts are
weakened; how come it took
this long to realize?
my screams are
crippled: hence the irony,
suiting this madness.
my heart is
consumed: inclined to a seul,
the imperfect affair.
my life was
still is: when will it fully blossom?
some lies are
a sign: love's very true own
my eyes are
not for seeing,
but feeling,
all these other lives
i dare not intrude
or touch,
for the better part of
this dreadful