Friday, September 26, 2008

Short Story: Tomorrow is too Far by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Tomorrow is too Far by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a short story I read in Prospect online.

Only your cousin Dozie knows who killed your brother Nonso

Here a girl is reminishing about something which happened 13 years ago. It was the summer her brother
Nonso died. She has gone bask to that plae, where her brother had died. She again meets her ousin Dozie. She has alway been in love with him. Their granmother had preferred her brother over them. He being, her daughter's son, and she being a mere girl. Even when grandmama was dying, she thought of Nonso, talked of Nonso, even though Dozie was her all this while..

You turn away. There is a long silence while you watch the column of black ants making its way up the trunk, each ant carrying a bit of white fluff, creating a black-white pattern. You feel a rush of gratitude and pity and love and contempt for Dozie for not wanting more, for accepting so little. And you wonder about destiny - if Nonso was destined always to be loved more, if love on the whole is always predestined, if it is ever possible to earn love, or to obtain love that was not originally portioned out for you.

It strikes you too - the illogic of missing something you never had.

Even after his death, Nonso won. In the eyes of her mother too, he was the coveted one, not she. How did he die? Who is responsible for his death? The secret is safe with Dozie. However, forgetting is not easy. Not even after 13 long years.

Thirteen years is long enough to forget, long enough to choose what to remember.

This is the irony of the story.