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Dearest Sister,

Sifon how have you been? It’s been a while, you didn’t give enough details about university life in your last letter, I need more. A lot has happened since I last wrote you. The cat that lives on the street has not been seen for weeks, mama said her prayers chased the demon feline away, papa insisted the cat is not evil, which led into another argument and papa later complaining about only getting one meat in his soup. Adaeze the lgbo girl across the street that walks like she has needles in her shoes has gotten pregnant. Her boyfriend said he didn’t do it and her father beat her until she confessed it was Ali, the fine Algerian looking boy at the gate of the rich people’s estate that impregnated her. The same Ali you used to play around with in secret in your own time. Ali has not appeared for questioning. And best of all, a fine boy with eyes the colour of sunset came to eat at mama’s canteen two weeks ago.

Fine young man with a face that screamed ajebutter. He didn’t look like he was from around here so I was surprised when he ordered for fufu and afang. This guy was fine Sifon, he looked like the son of a politician. I already started to imagine how we will go to that lounge rich people go to in Tropicana with his father’s money. He called me shawty, he wanted to pay his bill and instead of calling me aunty or sister like those useless boys that will use their eyes to undress their relative, he calked me shawty. That was the same thing that dreamy basketball player in that Hollywood movie called his girl, the one in that romantic film collection you love so much, by the way Uduak has not returned it, I’ll ask her again when next I see her. The rich fine ajebutter boy started to come around often, every time I heard  ‘Shawty’ my heart quivered and I felt weak at the knees(not weak enough to drop mommy s dishes, love understands self preservation and the perils of breaking mommy s things) .

A week after sunset eyes (didn’t know his name at the time) started frequenting our canteen daddy did it again. He was visibly buzzed when we got home that day, he got angry mommy and I came back late from church and didn’t cook his food, she brought up the fact that he used to cook his own food before they met and should be able to do the same now, he bellowed about how her new pastor was filling her head with jargon and that’s why she now has the guts to defy her husband. That was the last straw for mommy, she told daddy that if he faced his mechanic work and stopped chasing skirts and drinking crates of beer we would be better off, that’s when daddy began to beat her, I could not bear to watch but would not dare interfere after they punished you for disrespect a day after you knocked daddy out with a stool while he was beating mommy the other time. The atmosphere at the kitchen was sad the next day and just then Sunset eyes asked me if i was alright, i was shocked he noticed i was sad, the love wasn’t one sided after-all i thought, i was instantly lifted. We exchanged glances and a few words like the time he complimented me for being able to wait on everyone alone. He’s so sweet.

He came with his friend on Monday, his name is Tayo. That’s all i could get from eavesdropping on their conversation. I’ve already begun to picture our beautiful Yoruba demon babies and picking out their names. We exchanged a few glances and that’s how i knew our love was true. Chidi your ex boyfriend, the one that is one bleach cream away from being albino also came over, he brought more letters, find them attached in a different envelope, can’t have his porous English contaminating my beautiful words to my beloved sister.

I miss you a lot, send more old african novels if you can. Say hello to that your Ontisha big boy of a boyfriend, Ebuka or Emeka, I keep forgetting. Also send me money if you can, need new clothes to give Tayo the courage to talk. We’re soulmates I tell you.

With love greater than that I have for plantain,

 Emem

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