Strangers in Nightgowns: by corneliusItepu

Photo credit: Konstantin Stepanov via Flickr

The room was in a complete mess, I had turned it upside down as I was searching for a pencil. I was strokes away from completing a portrait and my pencils were beginning to vanish in their numbers. It was my drawing of Biwom’s sister, Eyare, and it was coincidentally her birthday. I wanted to finish soon so I could share it with her. I was finishing off her lips, taking my time to convey their tenderness.

Mother had walked into the room and was throwing epileptic glances at my work. I turned and caught her admiring it like the Lenten practice of silently venerating the crucifix. I could tell she was quite impressed, but I couldn’t care less. Her opinion didn’t matter to me. She had come to pick something from the wardrobe and was now making for the door. We made eye contact but I looked away before she could say anything.

“Eghosa!” Father’s voice permeated the early morning silence, setting in motion a process that would surely soil my mood. What could he want from me again? I made no attempt to answer him and in a split second he was standing over me. He inspected my work and in an instant I saw a million reactions adorn his face. The dominant was surprise. He looked at the drawing like he hadn’t seen anything like it before. How could he be this surprised?

“This one…” he began, pointing at the drawing “is it a hobby or schoolwork?” I felt my spirit burn with rage. So much for twenty years of living together.


corneliusItepu (@corneliusItepu) is a creative writer with a first degree in Economics. He has worked as a copywriter and has unfinished works in both prose and poetry. His works are reflections of his ideas, thoughts, and perspectives on life, and are a wide window into his subconscious. Asides telling his story, he loves to take the place of others who can’t tell their stories. He enjoys traveling, listening to good music, teaching, drawing and painting, and lots of solitude. He is currently working on his first novel and poetry collection.

Related country: Nigeria

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