I just want to be normal. II

So, today we have Gbemisola, with the sequel of her short-story.

If you missed out on the yesterday’s post, you should read it here: I just want to be normal. by @Gbemisola_A before continuing with today’s post.



Pakistani weddings are so different. It all went so fast yet I went through it all in slow motion. First there was the proposal party which held at my ‘rented family’s’ house with my rented parents and siblings. Then came the engagement, I can’t even remember what happened or how it happened. After that was the Dholki, I liked this one, I got Henna all over my hands and legs and I thought it was pretty. After that was the Mehndi which I got even more Henna. Finally came the Shaadi, the wedding itself. Here I was, a young girl in her second year marrying a man who had overnight become a stranger to her and of course £500,000 richer than I was before it all. I guess this is pretty normal. I am now Mrs Vanessa Tauseef, my names don’t complement each other.
Now I spend most days just talking to myself in my room. ‘My husband’ hardly comes home. Spends most of his time with his true bride. The power of a British passport. Shahid Tauseef never loved me, he never even liked me, but he needed me, he needed me so desperately, I was the gateway to a better British life. I thought I was more to him but I was merely a pawn in his large game of chess. I was the ticket for his family and bride to come into the UK and be citizens as well. I would never forget the day he texted me to come out, I never should have gone, I remember clearly the words he said to me as we sat on the bench just outside my apartment building. “Vanessa, I know you care for me, and I need a favour. My student visa would run out and I have not been using it, I have been working, I need you to marry me so I can stay in the country, I know you’re a citizen and I know you care for me that much, you can’t afford to see me go, do you really want to lose me?’. I was so naive, so gullible, I saw the pain in his eyes and I was so utterly in love with this normal man that I agreed to do it. I didn’t want the money but his father insisted. It is a lot of money, I just couldn’t say no.
It’s been almost a year now, sadly the rules have changed in the UK, not only do you have to have proof of the whole marriage shenanigans, you also have to remain married for at least 10 years, remaining in the UK. ‘My husband’ wasn’t aware of all the rules but now that he knows he is terribly bitter. He carries out his anger on me, he blames me for all of it, he beats me, insults me, deprives me of dignity and altogether demeans me. The one person in my life I thought was normal was one of the most abnormal people I had ever met in my life, this was why I knew I had to do something.
It felt good returning all the money to Shahid’s father. It felt even better turning myself in to the police and telling them all I had done, I knew deep down somewhere in me that purchasing a gun and doing what I had in mind wouldn’t have helped me,I felt liberated and at peace this way and I could move on with my life. What I didn’t expect was ending up in the same mental clinic with my mother for severe bipolar disorder and Major depression disorder. 
Well here I am now, again on a search for normalcy, but what exactly is normal? Is it perfection or is it a word made up in our minds that makes us somehow part of a wider vast system, and gives us a feeling of involvement? Is it that thing that differentiates a functional family from one that isn’t? What exactly is it? I ask myself everyday. All I wanted was a mother to love, a father to look up to and a life to look forward to.
Well I guess I’ll never know what ‘normal’ is.

I just want to be normal. by @Gbemisola_A

My name is Gbemi and I write short stories and not-so-short stories among many other things, I’ve been given a chance to write for Obafuntaydotcom and here’s a little something I finally found time to come up with.
Hope you like it.
My name is Vanessa Folusaye and I believe I’m normal. To be honest I can’t exactly determine what normal really is neither can I explain it. You see, I didn’t really grow up like the rest; I didn’t have a loving father who was affectionate with his kids, neither did I have a mother who was quick to discipline or offer any sort of reprimand. I lived through complete opposites. My father had ‘tough love’, what he saw as befitting compassion was rewarding us with two single hard sweets and sometimes a pat on the head with a straight face and a look that said, you’re worth nothing to me (I think I was the only one that saw that though). No special ceremony. Nothing. I had 2 brothers, one above and one below, you would think with three kids we would at least be a conventional family. My mother on the other hand was different, she would shower us with gifts, spoil us beyond our wildest thoughts and not once would she condemn anything we did. 
Here I am completely disillusioned with the world in general. I don’t know about my brothers, we all got sent away to different boarding schools after my mum was diagnosed with raging Schizophrenia. We should have known, no normal human being would hug and kiss a child for breaking sliding glass doors. My father would rather have his head cut off than look after teenage children, so we had no choice, we had to separate. I wasn’t bothered, I never knew my brothers. We all had the same problem, I was convinced that boys weren’t meant to show emotions of any sort and girls were meant to be overly loving and compassionate to everything, things got worse when they became the overly compassionate ones and I became the introverted disconnected one. I was sent to a school in the UK and that was where I spent my formative years.
My first year in university was just as you would expect a first year in university to be. I rarely got talked to because I didn’t seem approachable, I went for classes regularly, went out when I felt like and was starting to acquire a greater sense of normalcy. Then it finally came.
His name was Shahid Tauseef. He was the most good-looking man I had ever seen and he was so different from my father, he was sweet and compassionate, but not as extreme as my brothers. He came up to me in the café and just sat there for a while, before I could place my thoughts together we were conversing like old friends who hadn’t seen in years. It was very refreshing and that was the moment I finally felt normal, I felt human, I felt like a girl. 
Shad as I called him would take me around school, around the town where our school was located, soon it was to neighboring towns and cities and then we were travelling together, seeing the world together. I had fallen for this Pakistani boy who one day decided to sit next to me. It felt so wonderful. I knew he was feeling the same way, he just had to, from the light kisses on my cheek ‘by accident’ to holding my hands when visiting the chateau de Chambord in France or pulling me close when walking through Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome.
I knew, or thought I knew what was coming when he asked me to meet his family. His mum kept saying how I looked the part with my fair skin and long hair with big beautiful eyes and sweet pouty lips. His dad would say I acted just right and he was glad, I never understood what they were saying, I thought they were complements. I was none the wiser.
On this beautiful Sunday morning, I woke up with a start as I felt my phone vibrate beside my pillow, it was a text from Shad saying I should meet him downstairs in 30 minutes. I thought this was it, he was going to ask me to date him and have a relationship.
Boy was I in for a shock…
Second half of this story, continues tomorrow: 4pm


Beneath The Smile, Continues.

Hello people,

Before we dive into today’s story, #BeneathTheSmile is back and would run in its category, every Friday.

You can view past stories, here. (Yes, just click ‘here’.)

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by an Anonymous reader.

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

As I walked through the pathway that leads to the library, I began to engage in a one-way communication with myself.  Oh how people seem to see an independent, intelligent, flawless girl. I smile, I raise my head high, I answer questions in class, people bring their assignments to me, people seek my opinion, and people call on me to intercede on their behalf.

They all seem to see a girl who posses so much strength and vigor, a girl who has little or no problem, a girl who has had it good. I smiled and said out loud unconsciously; engrossed in my thoughts “little do they know that it is all a façade of strength”. I let them see what they want to see.  The real truth is, beneath that smile, is a tear. A tear? No! TEARS! I carry so much hurt and pain in me; I was abused by my most trusted uncle. Till date, no one knows this, except of course till now that I’m writing about it.

How can I tell people, that my psyche has been tampered with? How can I bring myself to tell my parents that the person they have put so much trust in has lured me to his bedroom, had his way with me and took my innocence away from me. No! I cannot tell, I will not tell! I have bottled this up for a long time; I have learnt to smile through it.

I live in fear, fear of the unknown, fear of letting those who have put so much in me down, fear of living outside of me. At home, they see a perfect daughter and sister, one whose intellectual ability is highly commendable. Oh yes! I’m smart, I’m intelligent, I’m clever I’m… yes, I’m all of it.

But beneath that intelligent girl is a girl who struggles. Beneath that smart girl is a girl who feels dumb. Oh, beneath that girl that is full of life is a girl that is “dead”. Indeed I have succeeded in putting up this façade.

I have created a room within me, a cocoon that envelops me. I’m locked in. I have a built a wall, one that shields me, one that keeps the pain and hurt concealed. I sighed, raised my head high, put a smile on my face while ascending the steps that leads to the entrance of the library, there! I saw a friend, Jessica descending from the stairs and Jessica remarks calling my name
“Hello the ever smiling Betty, how are you doing?” … “I’m very well thank you”

I said showing my “32” sets of teeth Jessica remarked “of course you are, as ever” and she walked past. I shook my head and between breaths I muttered as I walked into the library “if only she knew that I’m not well, that I’m fighting a constant battle with me”.

• • •


N.B. The project goes on with next Friday’s story.

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

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The Edge


The beginning.

A story of boy meet girl.

Hold my hand, dance with me.
He said.
I don’t normally dance,
She said.

‘Come closer, hear my heartbeat.’
A brick fell, and yet another.

I’ll dance, she said. Let’s dance.
To the left, to the right.
Hands to her waist, hands across his neck.
Seems unreal, lost in a trance.

‘Let’s take a walk,’
‘Trust me’
Lol. I don’t trust anyone

‘Follow me’, I’ll follow you.
Brick by brick, he took them down.
An avalanche hit.
A fall, greater than Humpty Dumpty’s

But then,

A beast was born
One, no one ever saw.
See something good, destroy it.
This beast, voices within, had won.

How you take the one you love,
to the edge and not just leave her there,
but shoot her, right there, in the heart.
she never saw it coming.

Wide eyed, she fell, reaching out.

I’m sorry.

Dance again?