Guest Post

The Music From The Other Room!

Moving on with my ‘Liebster Award’ Nominees, I present to y’all, the very dynamic Su’eddie Vershima Agema! An award winning, very prolific writer cum poet, and a sage of sorts! Dude’s extremely deep as can be deduced from the masterpieces he churns out on his glorious site! He writes the most ‘ah-mazing’ flash fictions, short stories and composes such abstract, intensely divine unsafe pieces of poetic writings, that will tug at your heartstrings by their very compelling nature! He’s an absolute  romantic at heart, incurable and plenty unapologetic! He adores nature and music but his all time favorite pastime’s reading! Is it any wonder then that he’s pretty knowledgeable?! A very cool nerd I find him, without a single ounce of doubt!

Please do take a sneak peek of his glorious space and get a taste of his world here, and you’ll see just how easily this ‘Grand Crusader of the Written and Published Works of Literature’, as I like to call him is an award-worthy, pretty talented gentleman! Did I mention that he’s also funny?! Well then, I just did!

Thanks for coming two times through for me ‘Viashima’, may Aondo bless and keep you and all of yours! You DO rock and its been a great pleasure knowing and rolling with you! Thanks again, I’m deeply humbled! Cheers Sire! 

 I hear the sound come in. It is one I have heard before. I had danced several times to its many renditions. They hadn’t been mine. They were those of my friends and recently, the very last of my sisters. It reminded me of all those days, when we were little. It was like the rain dropping. I have always been fascinated by that too—tap, tap, tap. It is a sound that has kept me company many times. Music now has come to be like that for me. Music playing, twisting through and through, they define it all: the sol-fa notes on and on punctuating heartbeats through pulsating notes of varying tempos. I am a music connoisseur and I can tell all the sounds individually. I can tell even where voices become mechanised or harmonised with some instrument or machine.

I am that good.

Music has come to define every life experience for me. It is and was always one song or the other—mostly beautiful tunes, especially those from the other sides, the other rooms. They were the blistering songs of the dance rooms where recklessness hit the floor as couples danced at first meets, the ease of casual relationships energising their bones in abandon. The dances were often but many times, devoted. There grew the different types of music, mainly that of the ballroom, many times of two hearts flowing step by step in many styles—tangos and simple waltz, they were always perfect when it stayed two. Sometimes, it moved differently and seized with the intrusion of one more. Yes, I knew all the songs and I knew the dances. I have been there. I had been there.

You made most of it. I remember your genesis. Of course, I can tell the future from sound. But let us not lose rhythm. You. Yes, you. Your voice was surely the last thing to hold me or anyone. Your behaviour was something out from some savage place. You were in every sense of the word, unbred—and I didn’t think it would be through to all the meanings of the word. I had placed you in the composition where you belonged—a tuneless song. You were rough and all but it didn’t mean you didn’t have brains. You were one of those silently brilliant ones.

We had come to be acquaintances and I took it you weren’t too bad a person. Rough and gruff but okay. I noticed the moves and started to think of a concert—that of a duo. It was the 12th of February, two days to the toast of Siamese heartbeats. The lonely winds were all that were going to play for me that time. I steeled myself to watch on as others waltzed their evenings away. Many friends had come to tell me about who their partner would be. I sighed. The classics came to my aid drifting me away. It took me by surprise then when you said those words, out of nowhere:

“What will you say if I asked you out?”

There was noise everywhere but I answered immediately without thinking it over: “Yes. Okay.” In that second, I thought of how to change your chords and make you fall into tune. I looked at you in that second and discovered it would take so much work but I would try. In that very second, I thought all these and a new song started to play. It was one I had heard in the lives of many. It was finally going to be mine. Then, you blurted as immediate as my answer:

“I was joking.”

The song went flat—cut. Reflex? I simply changed the song back to the one playing before. Silence screamed as everyone turned to look at us. A few turned away after a while embarrassed on my behalf, perhaps. I ignored these people who heard you shatter the melody that had started building for me. Those who would see me in a whole new light of wrong. You couldn’t have known at that time but I had built a concert in that second for you, the concert had started from the time we became acquaintances.

It really was reflex, as you pointed out later but you don’t just cancel a concert in session, or one about to be started, one newly created—ahh! Whatever. You don’t just do that and expect to have everything come back together in one breath! No.

Later, much later, you made more moves, becoming a far better musician than I ever thought. I smiled at the efforts but never let it get to me till the big bangs of graduation came our way. You had taught me in your earlier instant action that one had to be patient to let the other know the right sets of notes to make it work. In love, there was no one hit wonder. You had to take time. All the way up to the wider world, you never stopped. You kept practicing and it seemed the tunes kept getting better. The thrill finally hit the spot and I knew I could say ‘No’ no more. You had learnt through the plays, teases and all. Even in my refusals, you had located the strings to my heart and now knew the exact chords – the way to play the tunes that were truly mine…

Yet…

I hear the sound now. I close my eyes and let my cardiac drums play the beats to my heart. I hear the music from the other room—I have heard it several times. This time, it plays in this room. I open my eyes and you are standing there, standing here, staring at me, hands proffered up, knees to the ground…

Su’eddie Vershima Agema blogs at http://sueddie.wordpress.com and can be reached at eddieagema@yahoo.com, @sueddieagema on Twitter. The author of the short story collection, Bottom of Another Tale, Su’eddie was Joint Winner, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA; Prize 2014.

Images courtesy of flickr.com

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Of Pageants & slip-UPS! Yikes!

Growing up amongst boys, my brothers; I was a tomboy of sorts for the most part of my very young adult life! I hung out mostly with them and their friends and pretty much liked what they liked…..the rap music culture, soccer, athletics and sports magazines! They were mighty protective of me and would not let any waltz all over their little sister! Oh, how that made me feel……..atop of the world!

At some point in Middle School, my female buddies in the neighborhood I resided, all practically moved house and I was left bereft of female companies save for the few friends I had in school, who didn’t exactly live in my hood! High School flew quickly by and I found myself in College, a Freshman! Wide, starry-eyed and looking forward to the adventures and misadventures that new terrain promised and offered! And of course, I rolled with the boys! Its true what they say after all….old habits do die hard! I DID see myself as one of the boys, and acted the part oh too well, down to the boot!

Being a tomboy and regardless, I’ve always been a HUGE fan of beauty pageants, totally suckers for ’em! Not as part of the contestants, nuh-uh; but a glorious, very casual bystander, taking in the magnificent sights and harmonious sounds! You know, as part and parcel of that teeming audience, looking on in awe, with such unmasked daze, in absolute, total delight and of course, marveling at the awesomeness of the Almighty’s wondrous works! I mean, just staring at a bevy of ‘easy on the eyes’ ‘hotties’, drop-dead gorgeous beauties all dolled and glammed up, lining and making the stage come alive in their stunning glories…..Be-deviling! Ahem, my bad; scratch that! I meant to say…..Bedazzling!

Added to that is my most favorite segment of the event: The Interview! This is where beauty and brawn’s matched with brains, boldness and bravado! This part’s the most anticipated for me! Any contestant who doesn’t bring on his/her ‘A’ game’s dropped so fast like something that’s piping, steaming and streaming HOT! By all accounts, any who hopes to emerge victorious, must really cash in and thrive above the rest with confidence at an all-time high, poise, grace, eloquence and articulation! And am talking ’bout high human intelligence, impeccably matched with top animal diligence! That’s the only way, otherwise; no dice! They can just kiss having the shot at wearing the coveted crown  goodbye as far as the contest goes!

And so it was on this day, I’d heard a pageant was going down to find and unveil the new Queen of one of the Female Halls of Residence!  Naturally, I was pretty giddy and excited, an excitement which only lasted as long as when the third contestant, put her best foot forward and stepped up to be interviewed! The dialogue that ensued went a little something like this:

Anchor: Hello there Miss Jayne, how do you do?

Miss Jayne: *batting eyelashes and oozing of sheer self confidence* Oh, hiya? I’m fine. Divine actually….. totally. Thank you.

Aside.

At this stage, Miss Jayne had become pretty unpopular in my book, cause most folks know that whenever the question ‘How do you do’?! is posed, the ideal thing to say in response oughta be ‘How do you do’?! Well yeah, its pretty lame I know like duh, but the English says that’s how its gotta be said, and so; who art thou to argue to the contrary and who would hold ’em  to it  and or apprehend ’em for it?! You?! And what army?! Psst!

So, back to the dialogue

Anchor: What’s your discipline, Miss Jayne?!

Miss Jayne: Thank you! My disciplines are ahem…….honesty, loyalty, humility and hardworking

At this point, I  honestly thought Miss Jayne was either pulling a fast one on us all, by way of a joke gone bad! Perhaps, she’s giving us a run around and would probably retrace her steps and make right what we’d all considered a misunderstanding of sorts, but; there she was, flashing her teeth, in her best ever plastic smile! Beaming at an audience gone buckwild, and possibly thinking that she’d brought down the house and knocked everyone’s socks off! Only problem being that, she DID bring down the house as evidenced from the whirlwind of mirthful hysterics that rented the already electrically charged atmosphere! Unbelievably too, she didn’t understand that she’d just slipped up and boy was I dazed, in complete shock with jaws dropping down to the floor! I was more disappointed once I realized she REALLY was serious, like DEAD serious! Ugh!

Once I was able to recover from that, I picked up my jaw from whence it laid on the ground, and told myself I’d had ’bout enough of the contest anyway! It was beautiful while it lasted and I gotta get a move on! I couldn’t linger on cause some pesky guys were already taunting and mocking us females! ‘That does it’, I muttered to myself, I’m outta here! I just had to get away from that whole fiasco! It was so darnright distasteful, in too much of a bad taste I could almost taste it on my buds! Yuck!

Thinking back now, I can’t help but wonder that maybe if I’d just slugged it out and ‘endured’ till the end of that show, I’d have been better prepared for an event I didn’t know was gonna take place in my own life, pretty similar to this one at a much more later date and time! Perhaps, It’d have served as a sorta training ground and learning, to avert a future disaster or not?!  Who knows?!

I graduated from College and it was time for the mandatory National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, where all graduates of higher learning and institutions across the Federation are in fact mandated to serve the Fatherland for a year, in other parts of the country; to learn and internalize the ways and cultures of other tribes! This was put in place to foster some kinda togetherness and unity of sorts by the founding fathers, way back in the days! Failure to adhere might cost one any chance of gaining employment as the certificate given at the end of this period, is also as important as one’s credentials if not more! Every employer of labor demands to see it as a mandatory requirement during the recruitment process!

My posting was to one of the far up northern states! I wasn’t thrilled at this news for the mere reason that I hated traveling, still do! And this trip was gonna be a very long one! I had no choice but to go along anyhow! So, right before settling down eventually in my new home and abode, I made a new friend who I hung out with throughout the duration of my stay in that part! He goes by the name, Femi Toosh! I made his acquaintance while under the scorching sun, corps members were all queued up, trying to obtain kits, garbs and beddings! It was gruesome, with pushes and shovings here and there! I was totally exhausted having stood on my feet for a good number of long hours, on an empty stomach and with the sun shining brightly in its  hot, scorching glory!

He made for me and said ‘So. how ’bout we go grab a bite’? ‘You look just ’bout ready to pass out and girl, are your eyes RED’! I looked around to see who it was he was referring and at this point, he……..well, just grabbed me by the arm and pleaded with the guys around to safeguard our spaces on the queue, that we’d be back in a tick!  I was much too tired to argue or tell him to go sweep his own side of the street and mind his ‘beeswax’, that I just allowed for him to drag me along, hobbling right on! That was totally outta character for me, but I just felt really lifeless and needed some saving….from myself! We laughed ’bout that episode long afterwards, after becoming quite inseparable during all of the times we spent at the orientation camp!

It was during one of those fun times I hung out with Femi Toosh, just kickin’ it at one of the hotspots, that a group of guys accosted me and relayed to me that my Platoon Commandant asked to see me immediately as a matter of urgency! Plus, I was expected to follow after them so they could take me to where he was at! They just wouldn’t let on, on the reason why I was being summoned and I wasn’t having none of that! I knew I hadn’t flouted any rules, so why was I wanted?!These guys were really persistent and at some point I expected to hear the ‘Miranda Rights’  reeled out to me! You know, that ‘You’re hereby under arrest, anything you say may be used against you in the court of law’ infamous line! Yeah, that one! Except well, the military don’t do the court of law! I was being led away to be ‘court-martialed’!

Face to face with my Commandant,  he greeted me on arrival and announced, how he’s single-handedly decided and chosen me to represent my platoon at the much awaited Miss Camp Contest slated to take place in  what……less than five hours?! Who does this?! Whatever was he thinking?! Don’t I get to have a say in the matter?! Like I don’t get to say no, not interested; amma double nay, triple pass on the offer, thanks but NO thanks?!

And that folks, was how the stage was ’bout set for the ultimate showdown, even amidst my pleas, protests and tantrums! I felt like I was being unduly targeted for a shake down and I literally had a major meltdown! The horror, like boo…… freakin’ ……hoo!

All images courtesy of http://www.flickr.com

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