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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Wandering
By Folakemi Emem-Akpan



Fat laps. Fat, white disgusting laps. And is that a network of stretch marks I’m seeing? Oh God, can’t someone just tell Zizi that she’s not what she used to be? If I were her, I’d never wear shorts again for the rest of my life. I’d spend life sentenced to trousers.

Okay, okay. So now you’re telling me I should be the truth teller. Tell my wife she looks like a fat round pig? No way. But why can’t she just keep trim and fit, if not sexy like that smart chick that just moved in next door. I will be the first person to admit that having twins especially after a difficult pregnancy is kinda hard to deal with. And she does insists on breastfeeding them, overeating in compensation.

“Hey Tom.”

Now she’s calling. What does she want? Help with diapers or warm milk or what, even though I have to admit she doesn’t really force me to help out. She just loves doing this, being a wife and a mother.


“Can you just believe this?”


“I think the twins are starting to recognize me. Willie smiled at me.”

Oh my God! Where is that slim, pretty thing I married? I can’t believe she’s hiding somewhere in that hunk of flesh. And my, oh my…that’s that pretty girl next door. Whoa, I don’t believe God still makes women with legs that long. And is she coming this way or something?

“Hey Zee. I think our new neighbor needs something. I’ll go see to it. You stay here with the kids and have fun, okay?”

Good thing I’m wearing these shorts that show off my calves. And isn’t my T-Shirt too loose. I shouldn’t have allowed Zizi talk me into buying this. Why, she’s trying to age me prematurely, and I’m not even thirty-five yet.

“Hi Miss…”

She has this kind of white dazzling smile, and she isn’t afraid to use it. “Actually it’s Mrs. Fisher, but you can call me Barbara. May I come in?”

Why is it that all of them good ones are married?

“I met your wife and the twins yesterday. Lovely children. So adorable. By the way, is Zizi in?”

I watch as the two women hug. Why is it that women are so sloppy with kisses? Wet, tongue-snapping, mind-numbing kisses. But I sure wish I am the one Barbara is exchanging such kisses with.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you, honey…” Zizi is saying. “I met Barbara yesterday. She just totally fell in love with Willie and Jack. She and her husband have been trying to kids for the past five years, and they just got lucky. In eight months, they should have their own adorable kid. Isn’t that right?”

Why on earth would a good looking woman like Barbara want a child for? Spoil her shape, explode her waistline, ruin her face just for the thrill of having someone call her mom.

“You’ve got two great kids, mister.” Barbara’s holding Jack close to her chest, and is that a smile on his face? “But better still, you’ve got a pretty amazing woman. After twins, one would expect her to be three times this size. Why, my sister blew up to size 20 after her first kid. What size do you wear now, Zizi?”

A hint of blush creeps to my wife’s face. “Sixteen, but I used to wear twelve. I guess I’m still fat. Too fat, I mean.”

“No you’re not. And tell me, how does a nursing mother with two three-month-old babies manage to keep the house spotlessly clean, the kitchen always filled with a heavenly aroma, and still finds time to work on her novel?”

Obviously, the women had a real long talk yesterday. That must have been the time I went to the store for milk and ran into Mike.

“…amazing huh?”

I come back to the room with an imperceptible shake of the head. Barbara is near me now and is asking me a question.

“Pardon me. I didn’t get that.”

“I said your wife is one in a million. Don’t you think?”

“Oh…oh yes.”

Someone is backing a huge moving van into one of the garages. How come these apartments that have been open for almost six months without tenants are suddenly filling up? See who’s getting out of the van. Look at that shape, and those legs, and that hair. Whoa, Blondie. Are you chic or something?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 01/18/08
Boy, this guy is just falling all over himself to "wander". He seems bent on doing it no matter what and I don't like him at all. You certainly gave the reader a character to strongly dislike. You were able to illustrate this topic with a totally loathsome husband!
Peter Stone01/19/08
Go Mrs. Fisher - she is saying all the things about Zizi that the husband should be saying. Sad to see that he completely missed everything she said to him.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/19/08
You certainly succeeded in creating an obnoxious character, as well as an excellent contrast with his wonderful wife.
Joanne Sher 01/20/08
Perfect title - this one practically broke my heart. You really hope he'll get a clue at some point, eh? You made your point expertly.