30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu banner


Broken Bottles


“‘Bestie’, ‘bestie’, ‘bestie’. That’s how pant will shift and you will not know “. Uluoma said to her sister, Nina. 

The latter smiled, fiddling with her phone. It was apparent the smile wasn’t for Uluoma but for the ‘bestie’ in question. 
“Am I not talking to you, Nina?”


Another smile. The chat was really intriguing. Anger got the better part of Uluoma and she made to snatch Nina’s cellphone. 

“Aahan, sister ‘Luoma!”Nina grumbled. 


“Shut up! What’s ‘Aahan’? You’re snubbing me”.


Another grumble, this time unintelligible. 
“You’re still chatting with that boy? Tell me, is he your boyfriend?”


“Sis ‘Luoma, he’s not. How many times will I tell you? He’s just my friend. It just happens that our friendship is the best of its kind.”

“Best of its kind? Okay. Keep up the friendship o. See the way he makes you smile.”

“Sister ‘Luoma, just say you’re jealous.” Nina retorted, turning her face sideways in a scowl. 

“Jealous kwa! Of what? Teenagers who are obviously in love but have decided to friendzone each other?”

“Sister, we’re not in love. I mean, we’re just friends. It is friendship, sister, not relationship”. Nina almost yelled, stressing the syllables of each word. 


Uluoma shook her head in amusement and said nothing again. She knew it was possible that the only thing between her sister and the supposed guy was friendship but she still couldn’t believe that. She knew she had a skewed view about keeping best friends of the opposite sex. Why wouldn’t she, after her experience with David?

David, she began narrating to her sister, used to be her best friend, confidant and teacher but they both refused to admit that they were lovers even when it was crystal clear to others. They walked, ate, read together and were always seen together. Irrespective of this, Uluoma would say to anyone who bothered about them that they were just best friends who couldn’t do without each other and besides, he never asked her out.

He never did ask her out but they smooched each time they were behind closed doors. He was the one who introduced her to her favourite drink, 33 Export Lager beer and they both were wont to drink it in times of celebration. The first time she went clubbing was with David, there and then he taught her how to take alcohol just as how he taught her difficult physics and chemistry practicals. Everyone thought they were dating. They were but denied it. They walked under the umbrella of ‘friendship’ and irrespective of all these ‘initial gragra’, as a typical Nigerian would say, they eventually parted ways. 

The day David made love to her was like every other day. Exams were over and every student was planning on returning to their various homes. Uluoma and David were together, getting all lovey-dovey under the moonlight, sipping from their favourite drink, 33 Export Larger beer. He would be travelling to Abuja the following day and it would take about four months before they saw each other again. This was a derring-do to them as they were inured to seeing each other six days a week. Uluoma couldn’t help but cry. She was sure going to miss him. 

David soothed her with his words, wiping the tears that flowed from her eyes, reminding her that it wasn’t the first time they would be parting for months.  He shoved a strand of hair that fell on her face and stared longingly into her eyes. She reached to kiss him. They did kiss, hands roamed and clothes went off. Before they could both find their lost guards, they were unclad, wrapped in each other’s arms, riding each other to cloud nine. 

Four months went by and school resumed. Uluoma couldn’t wait to see her ‘bestie’ again, although their friendship had taken another turn.  The day she went visiting with their drink of celebration, 33 Export Lager beer, she rushed in unannounced as she was wont to and not only did she see David, she also discovered something she never know about him. 

David was kneeling on the floor, grasping the window bars tightly as another man kept thrusting his rear. She couldn’t believe it. Her David certainly couldn’t be gay without her knowing it but there he was groaning in pleasure to every of his partner’s thrust. They were oblivious of her presence, thanks to the music blaring from the sound system and the ineffable pleasure derived. It was when David began to jerk intermittently as he approached his climax that she let go of the bag that contained four bottles of the 33 Export Lager Beer she came with. She was shattered like the bottles of 33 Export Lager Beer. 

The gay lovers stopped and looked at her direction for the first time with awe-struck faces. She didn’t let the guilt in David’s eyes stop her. She just stormed out tear eyed. 

“Aahan, sister Uluoma, you should have at least heard him out”. Nina said after paying rapt attention to her sister’s tale. 


“I did confront him. I asked him why he cheated with a man and not a lady.”

“Cheated?” Nina’s sarcasm was ostensible. “You were just friends with benefits. Anyways, what was his response?”


Uluoma stared into space and as she spoke in huskily. “Lulu, I’ve always been gay. You were just a shot at heterosexuality which never was my thing. I just wanted to see if I could be people’s definition of normal but I couldn’t.”

Nina was agape.

“Yes, I was just a shot at something and so could you, if you don’t retrace your steps now.”


Nina wanted to demur but stopped as Uluoma walked to the fridge and brought out a bottle of her favourite drink.

“33 export lager beer… My comfort, my solace, my ‘bestie’…the only friendship I’ll never break even if it goes shattering on the floor “.


Nina could only shake her head; wondering aloud if her sister had gone psycho.

– Victoria B. Willie


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Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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