Creative Corner: “This is Only Temporary”

By Manyi Eno

I lay quietly as I listen to the throes of ecstasy happen above me. 

I drown out my thoughts saying to myself that this is only temporary. 

We’ll move again—soon. I hope. I don’t know how much longer I can take listening to the sounds of prostitutes pleasing their customers one by one.

I would always hear the sound of heels clicking on the concrete outside, thinking that it was people coming back to their rooms from a long day of work. 

When I mentioned it to my mother, she told me I was heavily mistaken. 

“That’s the sound of the women coming here to start work.” 

We laughed hard that day.

The two places before weren’t as bad, but they weren’t as good either. 

There were more nicotine lovers there and the smell was painstakingly disgusting. But, it was a place to sleep. 

We never complained, my mother and I, we just went about our days like it was any other. 

We would part ways at the bus station, she heading to work, me school. 

She would always say a prayer, holding my hands like it was the last time she would see me. 

We would always meet back up by 5 p.m. and embrace in a hug. I would ask her how her day was and she I. 

Then we would head back to the place we called home.

This was only temporary I would keep saying to myself. Soon we would have the place where peace and love was most important. 

We never complained; each place was somewhere to lay our heads for the night. 

It may sound ironic to say we were not happy, but we were. I cannot think of a dull moment. 

We smiled every day, cried when it got tough, and laughed when it felt right. 

How was it that we were so happy? I cannot clearly explain it, but we were. 

We changed places almost every six months. 

I cried and packed my belongings, drying my tears on the back of my hands. This was only temporary.

Once again we were somewhere new, somewhere no better than the other. But we were still happy. 

This was only temporary.