So I plugged in my trusty Azure (she’s a solid black HP, not blue like her name says), booted her up and opened a new page in MS Word.
My story was quite a simple one. A love story. A heroine. A hero. Boy meets girl. Crisis. Attraction. Love. Marriage. The End. Your typical M&B. Only Nigerian.
My heroine was called Edel. Short for Edelokun. Edelokun means The river can’t ever be greater than the sea. A typical Ishan name. Wantonly boastful. I liked the name Edel, still do. It sounds exotic, doesn’t it? I mean, a girl called Edel, what would she look like? You see?
Edel, however, did not like her name.
“It sounds French, Osemhen. I prefer Elokun. It’s a more appropriate name for a proud, black, African woman.”
And just like that she went from being a slightly light-skinned, tall, slim, size 6 chick with a fantastic Brazilian weave to being the colour of burnt sugar, with a size 14 figure and a full head of beaded dreadlocks tied up in a yellow turban. Her clothes changed from jeans and a deep green satin blouse to an adire jumpsuit. She looked herself in the mirror and cussed.
“Yes?” I replied. I might’ve been irritated. “Is there a problem?”
“No man will take me seriously with a pretty face! I’ll be Hey, Pretty! Everyone will assume I slept my way to success and that I’m a brainless bimbo!”
“Okay…so you’d like…”
“To be not so pretty.”
So I flattened her nose, and thickened her lips and broadened her forehead. I left her dimples though. Couldn’t find it in me to let those go. She was happy enough with the result.
“Now, I’d like an aura of mystery.”
So I wrote, Elokun had an aura of mystery.
“You can’t write it like that now. What sort of writer are you? You’re telling too much! You should SHOW. Show not tell, remember?”
I was losing my patience. “Hey! I’m the creator here…Your god….”
“Whatever! The point is I make the rules. I’m the writer here…”
“Well then, what am I?”
“No, I mean, what do I do for a living?”
“Well..before, when you were Edel, you were a kindergarten teacher who modeled on the side. Now…” I glanced pointedly at her hairy legs and unpainted toenails.
“I’d like to be a painter. Of pictures. Not houses.”
“Okay.” That was the excuse for the crazy hair and clothes then. She was “bohemian.”
“And I still want my aura of mystery.”
“A haunted house? A cat? A pet boa constrictor?”
“A dark light in my eyes that winks in and out, hiding the many secrets of my unhappy childhood…”
“There is nothing like a dark light, Edel and you had a happy, suburban childhood, singularly characterized by boredom.”
“Tragic childhood,” she continued as if I hadn’t spoken. “I’d also like an enigmatic smile to play on my lips from time to time. And my name is Elokun.”
She looked over my shoulder as I typed, Elokun’s dark eyes had a mysterious light, as mysterious as the half smile that curled her lips from time to time. This was Timi’s first impression of her.
“Your love interest.”
“Why is his name Timi?”
To Be Continued.