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African Flash Fiction: 'Heaven' by Nana Sule

Father is about to leave for mosque. I want to ask him about the things that bother my mind.

Father says that I must wear my veil to the floor. It would show that I am clean and pure and that everyone would respect the woman I am yet to become. Father says to never argue with his words.

All he says must be law and that if ever I do not understand what he asks of me, I must know it is only for the best. Father loves me a lot; it is clear when he gives me a part of his meal. He does not say it but I know, it is why he watches over me so. Father says I must not stay out long; a girl should always be at home, it is the safe place to grow. And so not a second out is spared, it is from school to home and back again.

Father says he does not see what the use of school is to me, but he must send me there, lest people think that he is not enlightened. I know he is, because he is father and father knows everything.

The world is a very mean place, at least so father says. One must be careful how one goes about, else evil would court one without ones knowledge. Father speaks in riddles like that; Father is smart and wants the best for us. He is good like that. He does not say things that are untrue, like uncle in school who says things that he does not know.

I want to tell father about uncle. I am scared I may annoy father and he may stop me from school. If that happens, I will not see the boys in my class again and I will be sad. Father does not know, if he did I would be dead meat. How would I tell him what I feel when they look at me? He would say Shaitan has invaded me and I have been courted by evil, No! Father doesn’t have to know.

Everyone likes father a lot. Father is smart, everyone knows that. He has a big farm and he prays in the mosque. Everybody meets him for their own prayers and he teaches them words from the Quran and Hadith when he is not away in the farm. He teaches them well into the night and comes home when sleep has descended on us. Father teaches me too sometimes, when he has the time.

There is a hadith that says that paradise is at the feet of our mothers. Father taught me some time ago, now I want to ask him if it is really true. If it is then I must forget uncle and the boys. Mother says they are keys to hell. Father says to obey mother, but mother says father is weak and is the reason she would go to hell.

These things are confusing, because father looks strong and father does not look like he knows the way to hell. Father says to obey mother, and so I must do.

Mother says all men lead to hell. She says to me, “they would never satisfy you. They only take care of themselves”. She keeps saying that every time, but only when father is away. Father goes out a lot; men must go out and find food for women. I am always at home with Mother.

She does things to me; she says she is giving me what no one else can give me. But what do I know? Father says to obey mother and that mother would only lead me right.

Yes, father is on his feet. He is leaving for mosque to teach everyone. The questions are sitting on my tongue, but I cannot ask him. He pats my head and tells me to be a good girl and obey my Mother. He then quietly walks away towards the Mosque. He would return only in the dead of the night.

I hear mother calling me now and I rush to her. The sun is low now but it still peeks into her room. She slowly draws the curtains and locks the doors. Mother does not need to tell me, I already undress because I do not want her angry. Mother smiles at me sweetly and she starts to pull at my small nipples.

Her eyes are closed and she reaches for her breast from under her blouse. Mine are not as big as hers but she says they would grow with time. I feel the familiar fire between my legs, just like the ones I feel when Uncle starts to touch me down there in his office.

It is the same fire I feel when the boys start to look at me. But Mother says men cannot make you feel like that, I think she doesn’t know everything after all. Mother’s cloths drop too and she starts to touch me like uncle.

She is also breathing like uncle, and sounding like she wants to scream. Mother is like me, she does not have Uncle’s pee-pee. She likes me to suck her breasts; I am not a baby and I do not like it but Father says I must always obey Mother, so I do it.

Uncle does not make me suck his pee-pee but he allows me to rub it up and down, it reminds me of Mother’s turning stick for tuwo, it also makes him happy and he gives me sweet when we are done .He says no one can make me feel like that, and that is not true.

Mother takes longer time. I do not really enjoy how mother touches me, how can she say men cannot give me what she is giving me when Uncle does it better.

I want to ask Father if Mother is right. But Mother says I must not tell father about what we do. I don’t want to disobey Mother; I don’t want to go to hell.


Nana Sule, is a TED fellow, writer and environment activist. She coordinates the Minna Book Club in Minna, Niger State. She is a 400lvl student of Estate Management and Valuation at the Federal University of Technology, Minna. She resides in Zaria and also enjoys Public Speaking and Events Management. You can follow her on facebook: Nana Sule and Twitter: @izesule.

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African Flash Fiction: 'Heaven' by Nana Sule
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