As I walked to the bin with blood trickling down my thighs; I thought, even broken bottle must have a use. In boarding school, I heard if grinded and swallowed, it could kill unwanted babies. And I know if you had no knife to fight it could slice the throat of an opponent. Yet my broken bottles were useless to me, for nothing like a baby grew in me and the only opponent left to fight was me; broken bottles had no use to me.
I drove the mouth of the bottle into me till I bled. It was the only way I could get my mind off the mess I had created. Each drop of blood that stained my sheet was a sacrifice. I hoped the gods would prefer my blood to a fowl’s. I couldn’t afford a fowl. I couldn’t afford a ball of kenkey, I could afford nothing but the metallic salty taste of blood, in my mouth. Moaning, “lord! looord! looooord! take me! dear lord, take me”, l spilled blood as prayer, my blood.
And maybe the metallic smell shall rise as incense until it finds a blessing that would afford me a bar of soap to wash off the stains on my sheet. I drove the bottle deep into me and fed on blood like a tick.
As pangs in my stomach worsened, I intensified the pulse and depth of the beer bottle going in and out of me. The condom I wore the green bottle was not to save me from an STI or unwanted embryos, it was to keep the bottle from eating my blood. Tears followed each orgasm. I got satisfied; the sight and smell of my blood overpowered my hunger, my anger, it was that kind of satisfaction that left you wanting the unusual.
I began to sing; “she who made the bottle put a little joy in it; she who made my fingers put a little joy in it, she who made the lord also made my blood. I am not alone; I have little joys and fingers and the lord”. I shoved the green bottle in me; I drove it deep till it hit my cervix. It fetched pain and a gush of blood, and then I screamed, “loooooord! take me, take….”
A force pulled the green bottle out of me and on my bed room floor was a bottle so green broken and scattered.
“Except love, everything that is anything is also nothing”; my grandmother would say anytime I lost something I cherished and cried when I was a child.
I had escaped from my parents to Grandma in the village after three months of being locked up in a room that continued to stink up from my urine and excrement. Nana, didn’t ask why I had come to her barefooted; perhaps she didn’t see my feet as she was left-eye blind and could hardly see with the right. Grandma pulled me into a hug when I got to her hut; “Abena, welcome, welcome, welcome, I am so happy to see, how are you, how are my grandchildren?”, she asked.
Tears filled my eyes as hers were clouded with joy. “Come, come lay on my lapses” Grandma beckoned. With my dirty body, I bent to rest my head on my grandmother wobbling body. She ran her hands in my hair, she started a song my mother used to sing to me; only now the name in the song had changed, “Abena, Abena, my precious child, would you grow to be a doctor, a banker or a lawyer… Abena, Abena my beautiful child, would I be here when you are old, wealthy and powerful?...”
My grandma, thinking I was my mother; her daughter, “Abena”, stroke her hand from my forehead through my unkempt hair. I realized just how badly my Nana’s memory had gotten. In the first three day of living with Grandma, I bore the discomfort of having to respond to a name not mine. Yet, I felt a strange gratitude for being held, for being stroked with love. After a very long while, I again felt, there was a place to call home.
I didn’t care that my Grandma didn’t remember my name; she would hold my arm and lean her cheek on it. I would carry her chair to the bathroom and stand by her till she was done with her shower. After her shower, she puts powder around her neck and in her armpits, she would put some put some powder on my face as well and then she would sing, “Abena, Abena, my precious child, would you grow to be a doctor, a banker or a lawyer… Abena, Abena my beautiful child, would I be here when you are old, wealthy and powerful?...”
As, I carried the broken bottles to the bin, I met, coming from the bathroom, my grandma with an empty bucket in hand. “Nana, why didn’t you call me”, I asked running to her.
“Brema, my granddaughter, how are you?” she asked. My grandma wore a smile that made me cry. I carried her to her room and put some power around her and in her armpit. I threw some powered on my face and stroke her grey soft hair with my fingers.
Just like my mother used to, my grandmother began to sing, “Brema, Brema, my precious child, would you grow to be a doctor, a banker or a lawyer… Brema, Bream my beautiful child, would I be here when you are old, wealthy and powerful?...”