A Tale of Two ‘Sade’s

It was a strange month. The Harmattan winds flung mangoes into our laboratory and Sade had begun to fall in love with Sade. Like the school year, that love was strange too. It was nothing like a feminine love, the familiar kind that transpired between two happy girls. No. Sade loved Sade – a girl who bullied the back of our class loved our Head Girl. And she did so like a boy.
Sade, our Head Girl hated this; for Sade did not only love like a boy – she also spoke like one, walked like one, ate, screamed and laughed like one. She was boyish. She was wild. And although, all of these translated into distant favours and red cards with pleasantly handwritten ‘I love you’s, Sade bore an insular disgust for Sade. It left both full of thin breaths.
Silent chemistry class. Mr. Olagbaju is also disgusted, but by sandy mangoes that invade our laboratory every morning. They are everywhere again today. He stares at them, his teeth firmly clenched.
‘Did I not instruct her?!’ he shouts and grabs his cane. ‘Did I not instruct the head girl to make sure that I see these no more?’
She is rising with fear when we hear a voice from the back of the class, ‘She told me to do it. I am responsible, sir’.
It was Sade. She lied
Two lashes.
Two PM. I hear Sade told Sade off, ‘But I do not love you’.
Two AM. I can see a boyish shadow strutting around our corridor.
‘Sade, what are you doing?’ I asked.
The sad voice came, ‘I can learn to walk like a girl.’
… It is a strange month.

Oyin Oludipe is a Nigerian writer whose works have appeared in Magma Magazine, Kalamu Review, Ijagun Poetry Journal, The Guardian and other national dailies. He listens to Asa when he is not writing ad copies or curating Hairy Diary, his blog of poetry and photography.www.oyinoludipe.blogspot.com
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