A Twenty Naira Goodbye

Ikulu. Kaduna State.

Dinner at home is uneventful. We eat in the quad, under the sky, in silence. We fill our bellies, say goodnight and go to sleep – simple, no rituals. I wash the plates, and then lie in the quad for a while before I go to sleep too. Tonight, however, the silence was like a crowded space, filled with words unspoken. Godiya, my sister, had refused to eat her Gwote because she and father had a big fight. Throughout dinner father kept making grunts like words were seething under the surface.


Earlier, he had had his fill of words:
‘…that pagan, whose grandfather’s house has not been completed. His family is cursed. Or what do you say when each time a house reaches the roof, rain pulls it down? Answer me.’

Godiya was silent, allowing her silence, feigned ignorance, do the talking. It was loud, defiant. It made father mad. Godiya simply went to her room and locked the door behind her when she had enough. One who wins a fight is one who decides when it ends. This made father madder – he yelled, cursed, made ‘promises’ till he fell silent.


After dinner, I lay on my mat, looking into the heavens. The sun was blind, the sky carpeted with stars. My eyes were heavy, but my ears were alert. I heard the latch on Godiya’s window and sprang up. Scurrying out of the quad, I found her outside.
She saw me, put twenty naira in my hands, and hugged me; I felt her protruding belly.

‘Sai sannu, Awa’ she said as she snuck away into the horizon.

I waved at her, and, remembering father’s words, I smiled.

‘I promise you, no pagan will marry my daughter, even if he puts something in her belly. Kajiko?’

15 thoughts on “A Twenty Naira Goodbye” by Damilola Yakubu (@IdiAce)

  1. Folakemi (@Folakemi)

    loved loved this. I like stories where the vivid descriptions speak for themselves. Well done

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you liked it.

  2. Farafina Boy. (@H-Rated)

    I love this story. Strong stuff.

  3. SuyiDavies (@suyidavies)

    Nice. This is a real simple story and I like it.

    1. i’m pleased it’s simplicity appealed to you. Thanks.

  4. Thrilling work.
    Well written @IDIACE.
    It reminded me of the lyrical narrative of Stained Sheets.

    1. Thanks. It warms my heart that you still remember ‘Stained Sheets’. :D. Thanks for reading.

  5. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

    Awww so godiya ran off to meet her lover… but I don’t think that’s a great idea as cute as it may sound. Let’s hope she doesn’t run back.home with regrets.

    Sweet story.

    1. Hahaha. Let’s hope! I am thrilled that you found it sweet :D. Thanks for reading.

  6. Wow! Now I know wht u mean by ‘no story’ in No Way Home.
    Otebele, hw she turns out should b life. Even if she returns, it is about livin wit d cncquences of our decisions.
    My grouse is d (lack of) morals in did work.
    Yakubu, can I get a link to Stained Sheets?

    1. @agbonkhese Thanks. The ‘no story’ ba… :D. Yeah, living with her consequences is unavoidable regardless of what the future holds for her. Perhaps next time I’d infuse some morals for those who need a glaring one. Here’s Stained Sheets: http://www.naijastories.com/2012/12/stained-sheets-and-porcelain/ enjoy. :D. Thanks for reading.

  7. ‘…no pagan will marry my daughter, even if he puts something in her belly. Kajiko?’ lol. I love it. Good job man! This is the kind of story I could pay to read. Do keep it up.

    1. Thanks a lot. You could pay to read this? Wow. :D. Thanks. I will.

  8. Hahahaha: “One who wins a fight is one who decides when it ends.” I love that line and connect with it. Just imagining the father’s rage when she walked away dumb. lol. Nice piece. Though, it would have been really super if some traditional imagery was infused.
    Nice piece all the same.

Leave a Reply