When a sister is depressed and angry, it affects the other. Lily has been in Lucinda's shadow all her life. Their relationship is one of love and hate. When Lucinda falls to alcohol, Lily bears the hurt the most. And when Lucinda dies, Lily is heartbroken. Lucinda was hiding a great secret from Lily before her death and now, Lily is harbouring a terrible secret about Lucinda's death from everyone. As the story unfolds, the truth about Lucinda's alcoholism and death comes to light.View More
THE DAYLily"Are we there yet?" I asked. My butt is burning for sitting in one place for too long. I am sandwiched between Precious and James. Joseph and Jacob are sitting behind while Luc is sitting in front with the driver.When Luc had announced she would be throwing me a birthday party at Ibeno beach resort, my first instinct was to laugh, sure that Luc will not go out of her way like that. When I saw the invitation cards she was printing and giving out to people I went to school with, go to school with and don't talk to anymore. I was even more shocked when she told me that she would hiring a DJ and a caterer. She later told me that the party was an apology to me, for all the bad things she had been doing to me. I sobbed on her shoulder."Here," James said handing a banana and a cone of roasted groundnut over to me."We will get there soon!" The driver told me. Lily is paying him t
AFTERDear Luc,Today is your birthday. You would have turned nineteen today. We would have thrown a party for you. The love of your life would have been invited, Jacob and James would have come, Precious would have worn something sexy and I would have snuck Esther in.Dad would have bought vanilla cake with resins and cherries. The icing would be thick and so sweet it would be almost bitter, just the way you liked it. Mum would have cooked fried rice and fried chicken for the party. We would have been allowed to take lite beer and diluted sips of vodka and whiskey. Cartons of fruit juice and soft drinks would have been in abundance. And our parents would have excused us and retired to their rooms.We would have played music from the stereo. Not too loud to wake Krystal from sleep but loud enough to get ourselves hyped.I might had danced. Let myself go and get tipsy. I
BEFORELucIt has been one month since I last spoke to my soulmate. He would not take my calls. And neither will be reply my messages. He is never at home when I go to check on him. His sister would give me some excuse like he went for basketball practice or went shopping with his mother or sleeping at a friend's house.I become more and more frustrated and desperate as the days turn into weeks. I have no one to talk to about this. Lily will not understand. What the hell does she know about love? And Precious will ask him to forget him and move on but how can I when he is the only boy I truly love?I drank more often, draining my flask quickly in big, gulps. I could barely sleep at night, staring at the ceiling until daybreak. I rarely went for my lectures, staying back home after my parents, Lily and Krystal had left for school.When I told Precious how lowly I had sank, she
AFTERLilyI am still trying to recover from the shock from discovering that my parent's relationship was not as rosy as it seemed. It is weird that they almost did not build a family together and after three kids and eighteen years together, they are still not at peace with each other. I am not sure what I would have done if I was in their shoes. Call it quits and try co-parenting? Or to couples counselling and try to iron things out for the sake of the children and the almost-two-decades of relationship. Maybe even go further and get married?I try to forgive Mum. I don't leave the living room whenever she enters and I do not cough up an excuse when she wakes me up for Mass on Sunday morning. In church, I kneel down and gaze at the statue of Jesus Christ at the altar and pray for the Josephle to forgive my Mum. And for God's forgiveness.I do not talk to her either, I just nod or shake my head wh
BEFORE Lily"Lily, Lily—"Someone was shaking me gently, interrupting the walk I was taking down an unwinding road. Birds were gossiping from sickly tree branches, cocking their heads from head to side as if they are warning me. Tell me 'do not go any further! Stop!'I opened my eyes a bit, peering through the cracks. Dad was bare-chested, shorts ridding low on his hips. His eyes were bloodshot, his face marred with deep lines of fatigue."Dad," I said in a yawn, "what's wrong?""Do you know where your sister when to?" He asked me, staring pointedly at me.His words did not make sense to. Gibberish floating around, bumping against themselves. Until I arrange them, absorb them. "She is in her room." Is that not where she should be at night?"She is not there," Dad said, frowning like I should know that, "did she
AFTERLilyI wake up at six AM. Groggy and damp with sweat. I had another nightmare featuring Luc. We were arguing on a shore, foamy waves lapping at our ankles. Strong winds hoisted us up in the air, somehow when we were flung at the middle of the ocean Luc could swim perfectly, floating weightlessly on the dark, angry waters. But I was sinking fast like a heavy boulder. My mouth like an open cave, calling out for Luc, water infiltrated my lungs and the wiry hands of the ocean pulled me into its belly.A cock crowed at a distance, making me sit up with a start. The mattress in Dad's house is much firmer than the one at home. It is almost uncomfortable to sleep on.I reach for Luc's flask in my backpack and take a dainty, tentative sip. It tastes sharp like a combustion in my mouth, sliding down my throat igniting as it goes. It is clear why Luc is addicted to this stuff, I see stars behind my eyes, form
BEFORELilyEverytime I closed my eyes, I saw the vivid image of Jacob kissing Luc and grabbing her round derriere in his hands. Her long, slim henna-tattoed arms were snaked around his neck and their mouths were joined, drinking ravenously from each other.I was not angry, not really. I was incredulous that Jacob would kiss my sister in public, in broad daylight. And that my sister would kiss Jacob in broad daylight, in public. Did he not know how I felt about him? Did he really care? Did he really like me or was it all in my head? Had I read the signs wrong?I sat outside in the evening, ignoring the whining of mosquitoes and the biting breeze, pondering on why Luc would kiss Jacob. Did she not know how I felt about him? Did she not care? Had she liked him all these while?When Dad asked me to come in for dinner, I declined. My stomach hurt, I did not trust it to hold down food.
AFTERLilyThe day James and I became a couple, I sent Esther a message telling her the good news. She called me minutes later hooting and cheering like I had won a trophy."I always knew you two had the hots for each other!" She said on the phone.Today, one week later, I am waiting on her doorstep for our trip to the salon. I am ready to part with my red hair and get cornrows instead. Esther wants to get a weave-on fixed. And James has been forced to tag along.He stands by the Mercedes, surveying the compound with an unreadable expression on his face.Finally, the door open and Esther hopped out wearing all black. Black sweater for defense against the biting wind, black trousers and black flats."You took ages!" I said, bounding off the steps to the car."Sorry," she apologised, "I was searching for my flats."&
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