The Leaking Tap

The Leaking Tap

I came in from the meeting and couldn’t get past the sound from the leaking tap, the constant dripping grated on my nerves. I dropped my bag and membership card on the kitchen table, tied a cloth around it like a sore thumb and went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. Not with my daughter, Derin’s question running wild in my head, mocking my good intentions.

We had been watching our ancient TV in the living room some days ago when a campaign came on screen. A ‘big man’ was contesting for chairmanship of our little local government. Why had he come? Will he live in our little village now? Or will he stay high up in urban town and give directives from his blackberry?

“Does anyone with no connections even have a chance?” Derin had asked, “He’ll win. I know he will!” and she stuck out her tongue at the TV.

I swallowed past the lump in my throat. “Of course there’s a chance,” I said, willing myself to believe the words. I was contesting too.

I had been chosen by the women to represent the interest of the community. To these women, governance was sacrifice, development and joint effort at making things work. It was a rare and unwelcome definition. We had given scholarship money, renovated classrooms and donated mosquito nets. We were just wives, widows and mothers, but we wanted to do all we could.

Philip, my husband, had laughed at me. “You, chairman? What would you do? Cook rice and chicken for the whole community? Listen Rachael, you are a good cook, a very good cook. Be content.” And he chuckled wickedly. I didn’t believe what he said; not because I was confident of my abilities but he had been staggering, waving his bottle of gin in my face as he spoke.

Two weeks later, after all their closed door meetings and empty pledges, we sat in front of our pre-historic TV to watch snippets of the elections on the evening news. My heart sank with each vote to the opposition; it finally dropped into my stomach when the results were announced.

How could I have won? I had no fancy car, no money to throw around at campaigns, a leaking tap and a black and white TV that had seen better days. Surely I overestimated my chances.

Derin paced the floor, muttering gibberish. Angela, my secretary was riled. Phillip had passed out on his easy chair, drooling and snoring.

“It was rigged!” Angela bellowed. “I visited some centres, clearly the youths voted in our favour. Arrggh…the rascals!” She struggled to calm herself.

“All is not lost,” I said, trying to believe my own words. “We have too many dreams, plans and ideas in the offing; I won’t just fold up and die… Do you have a pen and paper?” I asked.

Derin stopped pacing. Angela nodded and reached for her purse, a puzzled look on her face. I leaned forward on my chair, a finger on my chin.

“We will arrange one more scholarship for the next quarter. The school needs to equip the science laboratory and we should arrange some funding for the VVF clinic…”

I paused and looked around; Angela had been scribbling as fast as she could.

“You know, my mother used to say that you don’t need the title to do the work. It had never made more sense,” I said, nodding slowly.

Derin sighed and looked at me, her expression a mixture of pity and mild irritation. “The tap still leaks,” she said before walking away.

25 thoughts on “The Leaking Tap” by RemiRoy (@RemiRoy)

  1. Hmmmmmnn..the travails of a deserving leader in the face of corruption.ot so for our real life politicians.They would have fixed not only their leaking taps with the funds but the whole plumbing system or perhaps the house.a very inspiring piece Roy.

    1. Thanks! Larazworld.

  2. This is really nice!
    Message well received…

    1. Thanks a lot Ada.

  3. I enjoyed this! Very realitic and depictive of what those who have good intentions go through. Then some nice slices of humour here and there. My favourite would be her husband’s retort – “You, chairman? What would you do? Cook rice and chicken for the whole community?”

    Then it ends with a ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ – thats a loaded message.

    RemiRoy…where’ve you been? I don miss your stories oh…

    1. Thanks Afronuts.
      How you doing? I’ve been around o! Tryna get my life together, so to speak.
      About the title. It’s very literal. I guess i decided to go random with it.

  4. Oh…one thing…I kept wondering about the title…is it symbolic ? I was wondering where it fits in…

  5. Welcome back. Haven’t seen your stuff in a while. Now, to the story:

    This thing had a lot of potential. I see that it’s a flash, but the potential energy laid in the meeting/confrontation between the protagonist and corrupt politician. How do they actually do it? Buy a town to vote for them, that is. I know that you told it, or hinted at it but wanted to see it. Our heroine should have fought like the Dickens, even if she lost. Passion.

    As usual, your piece was well edited. Good job.

    1. Thank you for the comment, Howyoudey. Point well taken.

  6. I enjoyed this. Succint and hammered right on the point. Well done!

    1. Thank you Ife. I like your description. Exactly what i had in mind.

  7. This is what a story should be.
    It is excellent.

  8. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

    Missed you Remi. But na wa o…you go tell me the fight wey we fight…the why. How. Where. and When.

    ‘tied a cloth around it like a sore thumb’…is in reference to what? Her bag or membership card?


    1. Reference to the leaking tap o!

    2. Ha! Seun, we no fight o. Life has been happening ni.
      Trust you doung great :)

      Yes, like Shai has said, ‘Reference to the leaking tap o!’ lol

  9. Remi o!
    It’s been a while.
    What’s with the TV that you couldnt pass-up any opportunity to remind us of its archaic technology? ‘ancient’, ‘pre-historic’; ‘black and white’… Na so the TV dey important to the story reach?
    Just saying.
    A good story with a distinct moral slant.

  10. Hey, Banky.
    Yeah been a while, you good?
    Yes o, the TV important o, plus the leaking tap sef! :)

  11. I have a few technical issues with the realism of the story. Who is Rachel? Is she educated, how does she know what a blackberry is? Is she poor, rich, middle class? What kind of house is she living in the village that has indoor plumbing? Must her husband be a drunk? And she still married to him, conscious political woman that she is? How old is Derin? And sticking out her tongue at the ancient TV?

    Good writing though…

  12. Hmm, spent a long time on your blog learning the bible anew. Started having some puzzles in my head…as in, hmm, from titles I would guess teh bible story. Then, I saw ‘Leaking Tap’ and wondered ‘Na wa o! Which one…?’ Thought I would see something that related to the bible again ;)
    I enjoyed the tale. Very interesting and like said, deep. Well done on the good craft, editing and all rounded sweetness.

  13. Welcome back, @Remiroy. I certainly know the “so much work, so little time” feeling. :)

    I loved the theme of the story – how you don’t have to be voted in to serve your community, and I loved the way it was told. I agree with @Myne, this would have been better set in the suburb of a city rather than a village.

    I can’t let you go without giving 15 points.

  14. Sisi, Aunty (or is it Mummy? lol) Remi Roy, wlecome back to NS oh. Nice story, very well-written though I agree with Myne on the issues she raised. It’s a nice story with a nice message but I just thought it lacked some atmosphere somehow…and I also agree with Mr. Banky too about the TV. And is the leaking tap some sort of metaphor, like for our broken Naija system or something? Just wanted to know that.
    Still, I liked this well enough. Good one.

  15. Thanks @Myne.
    @Tola. Thanks and for the points too :)

    @Gboyega. Mummy ke? Abeg o. :)

  16. Welcome back Remi! You just did it again.This is how a flash story should be: short, sharp andsweet.

    Well done!!!

  17. Short and nice piece that doesn’t bother itself with eating too much detail–and rightly so.

    And the reference to the leaking tap at the end just rounded the story up perfectly.

    Nice work.

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