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BN Prose: Vintage Teapot By Pemi Aguda



Have you met someone you believe does not belong to our world? Someone so pure and innocent and happy? When I met her, I was affronted. I disbelieved her honesty and doubted the stars in her eyes. But even the misanthrope that is me was bowled over. I fell for this young vivacious woman who lived to curl the corners of others’ lips. Whose bright eyes and consistent craving of knowledge caused my stony heart to quiver and warm over.

And like a treasure hunter protecting his find, I wanted no harm to come to her. I wanted to protect her from the ills and evil of men; from the unsavoury deeds of humans like me. I didn’t want her to see the things my very eyes had at first flinched from then become accustomed to. I wanted her to remain in her form; untainted, pure, wholesome.

Then you came along with the strut in your steps and the lies on your tongue. The arrogance in your shoulders and the wisdom in your eyes. Her eyes widened and her belly clenched. Her young heart had found a person to tick the boxes the long list on her pink flowered paper. She was enchanted. Ensnared. As you were. Surprised that there was still some good in the world; you were as smitten as she. Wanting rest for your weary feet, you laid at hers. Pulled out your well-used flute and she danced and danced.

Then she came to me. Her dainty feet tucked underneath her laps on my couch, asked for my advice. And I told her. “Men are evil. Men are cruel. Hurt is inevitable.” But her eyes were unfocused and a small smile played around her lips. Then she said to me, “but if you don’t try then you’ll never know”… And I recognized it as not her words but the words from a song but their import was no less on me. So, I bid her risk. Gave her anklets and oiled her feet; showed her how to dance.

But you did what you know to do. It is harder to unlearn than to learn. Though you had encountered a pearl; you were only comfortable in a life of games and lust. So, you stood abruptly and walked away. Leaving her staring after you in shock and surprise and disbelief.

You have etched the first scratch on my pearl. You bruised the vintage tea pot. Now, she sees soldiers of grey marching into her picture of black and white. The bird now limps; the rambunctious puppy now whimpers.
I make a joke and she laughs. Not because what I have said is funny but because she sees through my attempts to make her laugh. She sniffs and rubs a handkerchief against her red nose. I look for words of consolation in the rolling fan; for platitudes in the prints of the curtains. And find none. She looks up at me and shrugs and I can swear the light in her eyes has dimmed several watts.

You will meet someone that does not belong to our world. Someone pure and honest and untainted. A fresh breeze in your stale life. And you will want to raise your mother-hen feathers and try to protect her from the injustices of life. But you can’t. You can only hold a hand and make tea and send funny pictures and hope that this event, this jolting would fade quickly into a scar.


'Pemi Aguda is an architect during the day; and a writer always. When she has finished a good book, she holds it to her chest and weeps. She writes a fiction column called Betty Tuesdays at


  1. S

    September 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Fantastic. Phenominally delivered. Reality…

  2. chinco

    September 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Wow! I think I can honestly say this is one of the most beautiful articles iv read on BN. Pemi u are truly talented and in ur words, ‘I’m bowled over’.

  3. daarrmmm

    September 4, 2012 at 9:43 am

    bn a wyl we read any prose *whew

  4. ada

    September 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

    simply beautiful

  5. Raliah

    September 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Nicely put. Sort of intense

  6. A

    September 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Very well written, i love it

  7. Lue

    September 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

    wow……….perfectly written.
    theres only much we can do, we have to leave them to take risks and learn from them.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      No we don’t, I just don’t agree with you. We do not have to take risks… And nice prose by the way, Pemi.

      One of the most profound things I’ve ever heard is this – “We should do all we can to not learn from our mistakes but should instead strive harder to learn from other people’s mistakes”. I’ve paraphrased but you get the picture. Taking risks and saying to yourself, “well I’ll learn from them, anyway” when there’s ample opportunities for you to look around and learn from the same mistakes which others have made is… well, foolhardy.

  8. lolypop

    September 4, 2012 at 10:44 am


  9. cathy

    September 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Trying to get a grip

  10. telvin

    September 4, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Very articulated,wow I love every word been spoken,ur really a genius

  11. LMS

    September 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

    This article is not just ok.its funny how I imagined myself being in all situations; Heart breaker, heart “breakee”, adviser, comforter, friend to the one who is blinded, protector of the good, the untainted…can totally relate.nicely delivered

  12. saphyah

    September 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Very nice

  13. tomeloma

    September 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Simply beautiful, read as a poem…good job.

  14. Seun

    September 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    thumbs up

  15. filigee

    September 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    highly imaginative, definitely love. bellanaija pls how do I get to feature in your BNprose? Here is one of mine… pls visit

    • Atoke

      September 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Hiya Filigee,
      Please send an email to [email protected]. Cheers!

  16. oyin

    September 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    deep and nice

  17. dunni

    September 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    …sweet, lovely peice

  18. Nomy

    September 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Gbam! Pemi you too good, i feel you completely! You will meet someone that does not belong to our scarred world, it will speak well of you if you are not the first to put the scar!

  19. ayorinde

    September 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    We cannot protect everyone. We cannot escape everything in this life and it’s in this sad reality that I’ve learnt to abandon and cherish experiences.

  20. X factor

    September 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    whooo whoo whoo….clap clap clap

  21. Bee

    September 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    YES!!! I AM THAT ANGEL,THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR… I smiled in the end, not sure why, imean…it’s not a happy ending per se, lol…but it’s a wonderfully written piece.

  22. Olori

    September 5, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Wow! Wow again! This is easily the best piece I’v read in years. So poetic and yet so simple. Doesn’t feel laboured at all. Kudos!

  23. Priscy

    September 5, 2012 at 9:09 am


  24. amischa

    September 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Very brilliant peice, i absolutely love it, every word, phrase, his articulation sounded so right and in place, big ups to u pemi, am so awed in the writing, not commenting on the topic+ Bella how do i feature in BN PROSE, PLS REPLY

  25. TEE

    October 5, 2012 at 11:40 am

    You know what I so relate to this. At 30 unscarred, I thought it was time to take risk and got really bitten. Its so true-its hard to unlearn what you learn
    Thanks this is a fantastic piece…..Big Hug

    • Debo

      February 20, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      So, How are you now? How’s the bite? Have you recovered from it?

  26. K!

    November 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Wow! This is deep! Thumbs up Pemi

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