The Visit

Ruth had coal in her eyes; a speck of white in an ocean of black.

“Oh, please, not another sad story! If I want to cry my eyes out I can watch the news. Write about something great!”

“Tragedy is the greatest gift of life!”

“Oh, shut up! This is not Greece, and you are not writing myths. Think of something happy.”

“But, I’m getting there, what.”

flowers nature blossoms chrysanthemum bretagne pink bouquet petals arrangement glass beverage leaves table setting book pink

“Hurry up! I cannot cry anymore and no characters in pink! I hate pink dresses, pink clothes, and pink ribbons! October is here and every woman is going to be wearing some form of pink thinking that such a color can wipe out cancer! Makes me want to vomit, and I’m not even on medication! I hate it!”

“Okay, no pink it is then.”

“No long hair too, in fact she should be bald! The kind that you can see veins when she is eating, sleeping, or having a headache. Make her have lots of migraines, enough to cause her to sleep on the cold tiled floor…”

“Tiled floor?”

“Yes, migraines are expensive parasites and besides, who would want to go to a dispensary in this country? In fact who has the health insurance to pay for such unwanted guests?”



“But, isn’t that a tragedy?”

“No, it is humor. A bald woman who hates pink sleeping on the cold tiled floor is precious. You do not have to tell me what is wrong with her. You throw in the words and you let me see the picture, isn’t that what all those books have been telling you about writing? So, tell me, and let me see what your words show me, go ahead.”

“Okay, but first I have to finish what I had started, you know…”

“Would you just get on with it? My ears are burning and what is that perfume you are wearing? I thought we agreed, no more scents! It smells like vomit in here and you come trying to hide your own scent using something you bought? What about Team Natural? Wait; tell me, are you still using those hashtags on Instagram? Or is it still #OnFleek?”

“Can I please continue reading you the story I wrote?”

“Fine, hand me some water please, and throw those flowers in the dustbin.”

“But, you love red roses, and they are from Matthew.”

“And that is why you need to throw them.”

“What’s up Rose? What happened?”

“Please, can you read me that story you wrote before those nurses come here with their trays of needles, you’d think I was in a torture chamber.”

“Okay, so where was I?”

“Something about everything being black.”

“Okay here goes: When she smiled you could see the glint, a flicker, like a star in the night, in the sea of blackness. Sometimes she would look outside her window and wave at the children; Felix from house number thirteen whose mother smiled at everyone; Diana from house number sixteen who had just changed schools; Mabel who cried every morning and had to be dragged into the school bus by that plump maid. She would leave the house every morning at ten o’clock. Her first stop would be at the kiosk where she bought a fruit and then the main gate where she waved at the watchman before disappearing down the street.”


“I am not yet done!”

“If I hear one more sentence, I am going to go into a coma. Where is the laughter or the surprise?”

“I am getting there!”

“You are crawling there. I would rather read a story on Wattpad than listen to you bore me to death. Wait; are there women who live like that in this time and age? Women who wake up and wave at other people’s children? Women who buy fruits and wave at watchmen? Worse off are there women who leave their houses at ten o’clock, what? The world has already moved miles by that hour. Come on, give me life. Give me some music, you know like a party. Is she going to a party?”

“It is ten o’clock in the morning and on a week day, who throws parties at such a time?”

“Exactly, there’s your surprise. Who would throw a party at ten o’clock on a Monday in a third world country?”

“You are making my story tragic by the minute.”

“Well, aren’t you the one who said that life is a tragedy? Besides you are not the one who has to lie in bed all day with tubes poking at her unable to wear perfume or moisturize her skin with Nivea.”

“That’s not what I mean…”

“That’s your problem; you do not know what you are saying. Where is this story going?”

“It was going somewhere until you started adding commas and striking out phrases.”

“Your English Teacher should be ashamed! Didn’t you ever hear of a beginning, middle and conclusion?”

“Yes I did. I had a beginning before you brought in your stupid rules and what is it with Wattpad? Why would you even prefer those stories to mine?”

“I don’t know the Writers and if a story is boring I can switch off the tablet. But, you are here and you are reading me the story and I have to listen to your voice, watch your face and imagine your characters and these tubes are clearly not helping. You’d think I was in an Eagles’ nest with all those thorns facing me.”

“Can I continue reading my story? Please do not interrupt me.”

“Fine, but if she’s not going to a party, then you had better shut up!”


“Fine, it is your story, you should tell it.”

“Thank you, so where was I?”

“Can’t you even place an imaginary bookmark on your own story? What kind of Writer are you to be so unconscious of your own story?”

“Rose, please…”

“Okay, I’m listening.”






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