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BN Prose: Crack in the Glass by Atoke



Perfect. He was the personification of perfection- well buffed nails; carefully laid out, colour-coded wardrobe; impeccable table manners and etiquette.
Many times Fola would look at her husband and ask herself how she found Adam, and even more baffling was the subject of why he had asked to spend the rest of his life with her.
Her friends described her look as ‘The Glow of Basking Under Perfection’. She bit her lip every time she felt the urge to mention how burdensome it was living with Jesus.

Baby, you forgot to hang your towel on the rack when you finished your soak. I’ve done it now
She gritted her teeth. Maybe she wanted to leave the damn towel on the floor. Had he stopped to think about that?

Even his lovemaking was perfect – “Let me know if you need me to stop. Oh does it hurt? Ok, I’ll be gentle”. No you muppet. Fuck me hard dammit!
When their daughter came, Adam spent the first few hours of her life inspecting her toes and digits. “Oh look, Fola. She’s got an inverted navel. She must have gotten that from my Grandmother. Oh well. It only means she won’t be able to wear crop tops“. He smiled at her, and when she didn’t smile back, he walked over to her bed side and rubbed her hands in a sweet avuncular way, “You’re still clearly distressed from the delivery. Do you need something?”
The words formed in her head – ‘Yes, I need you to stop talking about our new daughter’s inverted navel as if that’s what defines her’; instead she said “Sweetie, can you get me some water? I’m terribly parched”.

Three weeks after they got home from the hospital, Adam was the doting father and husband. Sometimes, Fola felt he would run himself ragged from trying to make sure everything was perfect. He would change the baby’s diaper the minute he felt it was soiled, rock her if she so much as whimpered in her cot. It was exhausting to watch and it made Fola wonder if she was such a terrible mother.

She said as much to her sister when she called to catch up. “God! He never does anything wrong.”

Many people would kill for what you have, you know?”
I know” Fola said, as she randomly tore bits of kitchen paper on the floor, looking for some sense of distortion any way she could get it.

Anyway, I can’t wait to see you two at the dedication tomorrow.”

Fola rang off the phone, and went into their room to see what Adam was up to. She caught a reflection of herself in the mirror. There was a long crack that ran from one end of the mirror to the other. But she loved it. It was the one thing she’d fought vehemently to keep. Adam had bought a replacement mirror because he just couldn’t bear to see his reflection so terribly marred. She didn’t mind. She saw her hair, tousled from having no brush run through it in a couple of days. Her post-baby bulge did nothing for her previously perfect body form, but she didn’t care. Someone had described her face as having the unique structures of a Kenyan, with the skin tone of an Ethiopian – it was a scout from her days as a public relations consultant. He wondered why her job was getting publicity for models when she could have made a career in modelling.

By the time she woke up the following morning, Adam had laid out what he thought they should wear for the dedication – A white skirt suit for her, a white Kaftan for him and a little white dress for baby Dara. As she got ready for the service, she made a mental note that everything had been arranged. It was going to be another perfect day in their perfect life.

At 8.48 am she picked up the house keys and watched as her husband pushed the baby in her stroller towards the driveway. Holding the baby bag in one hand and the handle of the stroller in another, he struggled to open the back door of the car.
Hold on a second, when I lock the door I’ll come and carry her.”

He frowned at her, “We’ll be late. We can’t afford to be late to our baby’s dedication.”
Ah! She had promised to give her sister a copy of Kite Runner at church. She remembered she had left it on the table in the living room, so she ran inside to get it. Pearls. The pearls, mummy had loaned her for the naming ceremony. Those too. She had to get them. Opportunities to have family in one spot were rare.

As she scurried into her room, she heard it – the loud screech of wheels from a vehicle and Adam howling in agony. Then silence.

She sped out to the front yard, her pounding heart deafening. The clatter of the book and the jewelry case filled the air – shattering the silence from the horror of seeing her baby, mangled beneath a truck.

Her perfect husband had refused to hit the brakes of the stroller; and away it had rolled.

Away and away.

Photo Credit:

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. ad

    March 4, 2014 at 8:38 am


  2. Narnia

    March 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

    My heart, my heart!!!

  3. Narnia

    March 4, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Beautiful write up though

  4. Sexxie

    March 4, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Oh my God!

  5. buky

    March 4, 2014 at 8:55 am

    lobatan!! uhmm… still searching for words to say……. speechless

  6. Grown Woman

    March 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

    What….noooooo it can’t be….Truly sad.

  7. Motun

    March 4, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Oh my…


    March 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

    terrible, sad, bad, agonizing, just TOO BAD!

  9. D'drim

    March 4, 2014 at 9:09 am

    the end of this writeup had my heart in my mouth! Infact i cant imagine what happens next.

  10. Beht why

    March 4, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Jesus I threw my phone away.. I’m still shaking

  11. Bella

    March 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Wow. sobering ending but this is what happens when the pilot undermines the co-pilot.

    • Ready

      March 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      I assume you’re using Omotola’s analogy, if I am wrong, please correct me. If I’m right, that was a dumb statement. I know it’s fiction…but the idea that she went back into the house to pick a book against her husband’s advice DOES NOT equal undermining. I wonder what type of person reasons like that.

  12. 1 + The One

    March 4, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Oh no! I didn’t see that coming!

  13. HoneyDame

    March 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Hei!!!!!!!!!! I’m sure I heard my heart pound against my chest…..
    Oro buruku t’oun t’erin!

  14. Logical

    March 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

    It is not his fault.

  15. ayobami

    March 4, 2014 at 9:46 am


  16. valgirl

    March 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Too much of everything is bad.

  17. Aibee

    March 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

    The one time he needed to be perfect … and he wasn’t.

  18. Neo

    March 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Hmmn! Atoke does it again. Totally did not see that one coming. Thought she’d go back in and see his phone with pics of him having gay sex or other form of distorted bestiality. And I’m usually good at decoding these things oh so well done, u got me.

    • Angel

      March 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Lol same here dear, had same exact thought that she was gonna find out that he’s been cheating or something worst, Atoke is really good…..

  19. wanday

    March 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

    The ending was too heart wrenching. It was too extreme. Yea d guy was a perfectionist but his one mistake shouldn’t have been so costly. Would have preferred a light hearted ending

  20. Dbabe

    March 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Very well written, but the ending was alittle “hmm” can’t explain it. As a mum pushing a stroller, you don’t refuse to hit the break, it’s sometimes easy to forget while at the same time trying to get the baby into the car. And like the author said, the man was carrying too many things to remember to hit the break. Really enjoyed the post, but would have been better for me, if it ended that her huband in his busyness to get everything done forgot to hit the break. Costly mistake. I for one, will make sure my breaks are on, regardless of all the load I’m carrying 🙂

  21. Toluwalope

    March 4, 2014 at 10:17 am


  22. lilz

    March 4, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Jesu Christi!!!!

  23. whocares

    March 4, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Maybe I should stop reading the comments before the articles..lool. Scrolling down all I kept seeing was -” too bad, horrible, oh my, sobering”.. My first thought was what has Atoke written here for goodness sake, and then I read it…”Ye” rapidly followed by “Modaran” made its way into my head. This is dreadful. A fantastic narrative piece, and the imagery and emotion you have evoked in me lends credence to this fact, but my goodness.. Jesu!

  24. Omolade Remilekun

    March 4, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I couldn’t help shouting, oh my God! what next?

  25. Tru

    March 4, 2014 at 10:23 am

    ATOKE MIIIIII!!!!!!! Why now??? I’m so heartbroken. Kai

  26. DOO

    March 4, 2014 at 10:28 am


  27. Lolly

    March 4, 2014 at 10:59 am


  28. Tinkerbell

    March 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

    This will be the end of their marriage…that perfectionist guy will never forgive himself and she will be frustrated with the guy and marriage

  29. giggy

    March 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

    CHUKWU EEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

  30. Ayreal

    March 4, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Oh my days…..!

  31. tolu

    March 4, 2014 at 11:17 am


  32. ajay

    March 4, 2014 at 11:30 am

    she wanted an imperfect guy n she got it at the cost of her child. I wonder what this incident teaches the man now? by the way why was he parked outside? they should be living in a fenced house? why did she not stay to help him unload his hands with all the things he was carrying? its sad the baby had to be the one to go.

  33. Lecker

    March 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

    No one is perfect after-all. wpheew!

  34. Mz Socially Awkward...

    March 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Atoks, I see the creative juices are finding their outlet 🙂 You brutally found a way to punish your antagonist at the end, sha but it had to have a twist and that was an unexpected twist. I liked the “perfect marriage” setting, very interesting background to choose for your prose (especially for tatafos like me who like to peek behind the curtains). Looking forward to more, well done!


    March 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    IKU!! It wount be well with you!! Still Think There’s More To This, abi is this the End??

    >Comment Moderation Disabled<

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      March 4, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Who are these people and where have they emanated from?

    • Tru

      March 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Nne help me ask them oooooo…awon Ed Dreamz wit Currently in d Sun/ Jupiter and now this one. Free world sha

    • Ready

      March 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      I ask with you…I ask right alongside you. What the deuce?

    • Ife Love

      March 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      They are newly birthed BellaNaijarians o…. Hhehehehehehe

    • Sunshine

      March 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Please ask with me.

  36. kelz

    March 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Although I know this is fiction and all but I’ve learnt in my young lifetime that seemingly perfect people tend to make the worst mistakes….its almost like God makes them so perfect so that they are allowed major blunders; a regular joe making the same mistake wont be forgiven…lol

  37. Sere

    March 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I knew he had to drop the ball sometime but that was too ghastly. What the fudge??? Now the ‘glass’ is shattered, it is a humpty-dumpty situation. There’s just no fixing this. Who’d need more therapy though? the wife or the ‘stepford husband gone wrong’?

    Aside: You actually mean ‘everted’ navel.

  38. Lamie

    March 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Holy Moses!!! haaaaaaaa

  39. Changing Faces

    March 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Just didn’t like the story. The guy was made to look bad because he tried to be perfect. He was a good husband, a good father, thoughtful, considerate…but no, he had to be punished for being soo good! that perfection obviously attracted her, but now it irritates her, and I ask why? Is it bad to strive to be the best human being you can be? If she leaves him, someone who’d appreciate him for who he is will find him! I know it’s fiction, but just ticked me the wrong way

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      March 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      I had the same feeling, I just wondered if it was wrong to be the best, if a perfect person just had to make a grave mistake to become normal?. I didnt like the tone of the article, it rubbed me in a wrong way shaa. But the delivery was good.

  40. BN lover

    March 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    My heart oooooooooooo. Atoke haff kelt me!!!

  41. eesha

    March 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    ATOKE! Do you want to kill somebody? OMG! The ending was totally unexpected, the perfect husband wasn’t so perfect afterall. #StorytellerOfLife

  42. Jiejom

    March 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Very interesting read. #Note to self: enjoy every moment cos life as you know it can change in a flash.

  43. Ibukun

    March 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Changing faces I get you, you know what really bothered me is the line “Her perfect husband had refused to hit the brakes of the stroller” it sounds like “look what the idiot has done”. Really really nice worrisome piece Atoke, it has left me unsettled and unsure about what I really want.

  44. portable

    March 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    hmmmm, this is story telling at its peak. Not even Soyinka, Achebe or Chimamanda could have seen that coming. That said, my partner is almost perfect too, and its crazy annoying. particularly because everything he does almost always leaves one feeling inadequate. It would really help if he was more normal. This kind of mistake tho, its chief among those one never recovers from.

  45. portable

    March 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Hmmmm, this is story telling at its peak! Not even Soyinka, Achebe or Chimamanda could have seen that coming. That said, my partner is almost perfect too, and its crazy annoying. particularly because everything he does almost always leaves one feeling inadequate. It would really help if he was more normal. This kind of mistake tho, its chief among those one never recovers from.

  46. Agatha

    March 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Very nice prose Atoke….that’s why I like me some imperfectly perfect sumbori! Meanwhile, nice piece on style…was upset there wasn’t a comment section….more grease to your elbow.

    • Agatha

      March 4, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      *thisday style

  47. Chinma Eke

    March 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    We should be careful what we wish for; she wanted some imperfection, there it is.

  48. debs

    March 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Oh No, Atoke, My hands are on my head.

  49. Teni

    March 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Hmmm, just goes to to show that indeed nobody is perfect! Nice story line Atoke,welldone!!!

  50. her royal majesty

    March 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    like really? didn’t see it coming.. sad though

  51. Feyi

    March 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Oh my days! ! I’m in shock, I didn’t see that coming.
    Nice piece Atoke!

  52. Zayt

    March 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm


  53. birdieblue

    March 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I know this is just a story but…. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! of all the possible ways to die?! wallahi my heart stopped for a milli second. that said… chai to heart broken to respond sef.

  54. D'Mamma

    March 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Atoke why nau?

  55. Sunshine

    March 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Atoke please be my friend and tell me these stories yourself. I prefer listening to reading. This was wow!!!!!!!

  56. holla

    March 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Shockin twist!nice piece atoke.

  57. Abimbola

    March 4, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    awwwwwwwwww your writing!! awesomeee! Well done sweetiexx

  58. Mrs Nwosu

    March 5, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Biko tell me this is not real?

  59. you

    March 5, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I decide to re-write the end of the story,please pardon me.Now The baby fell of the stroller and she’s perfectly ok after several checkups,Adam felt really bad, Fola fainted initially because she thought the baby was in the stroller and dedication service was conducted the following Sunday. Now i’m happy. yippy!!!

    • Chiamaka

      March 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      hahahhah nice one! i beg choose ending wey ei sweet you. hahha

  60. Dr. N

    March 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I wont be sad. It’s just a story! Sticks tongue out n runs away.

  61. amina sanni

    March 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

    lovely piece!still reliving the story in my head

  62. Chiamaka

    March 5, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    No it didn’t happen!!!
    As Portable said these are the kind of mistakes pple hardly recover from. If this was a real life situation and this couple do not have a strong base for their relationship and marriage. na bye bye be that to the marriage.

  63. Chiamaka

    March 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    hahahhah nice one! i beg choose ending wey ei sweet you. hahha

  64. Deeee

    March 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    This story could be real. It happened to a family friend few weeks ago. They just moved to their new house with their three beautiful daughters. They got home around 11 pm. The driver of the truck their moved their stuffs didn’t know their first daughter was asleep in their baby cot. Her little sister tried to wake her, pull her off the cot but it was too late, the truck crushed her. Very very sad.

  65. Deeee

    March 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    *that moved their stuffs

  66. frances

    March 8, 2014 at 12:10 am

    my heart stopped at the end and beat so loudly against my chest. I felt fear. truly.

  67. Jaennie Walker

    March 8, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I can’t even say anything.. My head feels blank… soo SAD!

  68. X- Factor

    March 11, 2014 at 9:22 pm


  69. Beaver

    March 14, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    God forbid

  70. Grace

    September 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Dear Atoke,
    You cannot end this story here o! Where is the concluding part or part 2 of the 10-part series

  71. Mzlinked

    December 15, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Beautiful write up…the ending got me sad though…

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