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Fiction

TRUE CONFESSION

 

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I used to be an extreme moralist. You know what it means. Having a personal moral code. I used to be so sure that if I should meet my maker whenever fate decided, I was confidently going to gain access into heaven or paradise, whatever you call it, a place of bliss. Then something happened to me. Something changed in me and then I realized that I was nowhere gaining that pass. I had died before I knew better.

Before my death I was so sure that everything I did, said, or thought was in tandem with being right with God and man. I was sinless and could not be accused of a fault. People always have faults but I didn’t, and I was unapologetic about it because I had no reason to be. Even the devil couldn’t accuse me of a particular fault. Yes that was who I was. I was a moralist who practiced morality to a degree.

The afternoon died I was not afraid even when the sensation of the hand of death tickled me. I think I had been sick a long time. My mind was sick, people made me sick. I wondered how and why I deserved my suffering. Where did I go wrong? I just finished college with the budding zest for life in me. I have always fancied the idea of being in love and having a standard family. I wasn’t asking for too much from life.

So I passed away on the sick bed in an ill furnished, smelly sick bay. The doctor told my grandmother whom I’m sure wept hopefully that I was at peace with my self and the world. When I died, it felt as though I was asleep. A man came to me in my dream and asked me to remove my filthy rag like clothing. As I did, he removed his garment and exchanged it with mine. As we did so, he kept his gaze on me smiling. I was confused but somewhat obedient. He acted so kind as if I had known him.

I couldn’t understand what was happening. After wearing this strange mans garment I heard my grandfather calling out to me from behind. I turned and began to weep. I missed him so much. He died when I was ten, a few days after my birthday. I was so happy I wanted to jump on him but he refused and said to me to go home. As I wondered why we couldn’t establish a connection, it felt as though a whirlwind threw me into a room. I saw my self in a room weeping on a desk. I am amused as I remember this scene. It was the second day after my grand fathers funeral. We weren’t so rich to afford a glamorous “befitting” kind of burial like it’s done in the southern part of Nigeria. My grand father was a Christian in its realest sense. Our community did not regard him as one of them ever since he renounced traditional worship. The church couldn’t do much about handling the whole commotion of what tradition expects.

It hurt to see my grandmother painfully arrange his funeral alone without sympathy or support. I remember I wept on his desk wondering what wrong he had committed before he passed away. I thought he was a good man and people would have been good to him. From that moment, I decided that I had to have my moral codes set for myself and the way I lived and how people were going to treat me. I mingled with only those who shared my ideology. My grandmother never took all those hard times personal. I could never understand why she still loved our relatives and community members as if she wasn’t betrayed.

So In this dream I wanted to touch the younger me crying on the black desk to comfort me but she abruptly turned and pointed an accusing finger at me. I wanted to run when the strange man caught hold of me. I felt safe and warm. I could hear what he was saying from his eyes. Yes his mouth didn’t move but I heard him clearly. He told me that he is my friend. He has been and will always be my friend. I felt like i needed to re-establish a lost connection with this man. Was it me, or someone or something or a memory. I felt a strange kind of love for him and for myself at that moment. I opened my eyes with the urge on my mind to know who he was.

I woke up to the beeping noise of the machine I was apparently disconnected from. My weary grandma was awake looking directly into my eyes. Her breast all in my face. She wanted to be sure before she screamed for the nurses that I have suddenly woken up. I was told that I was comatose for almost six hour. I couldn’t believe it.

Now as I gradually recover quietly in my home, I realize that I had lost a part of me as a result of pain and grief I accumulated ever since my grandfather took ill to his death. Right now I don’t feel vengeful to be better than my neighbor, friends and society so that I can be justified in pointing out faults I used to be alert in noticing in others . I feel at peace knowing that I can’t do everything perfectly on my own except I have someone higher than I am whom I can rely on without judgment, prejudice or condemnation . I feel at peace with the fact that I know better now my grandfather is happy wherever he is.

In my strife to be perfect I was fueled by sentiments. Striving to be perfect is not my strength I realize that vengeance was my fuel even when it produced good deeds. Honestly, I don’t mind if you reading this would judge me. But there was no much gain at the end of being a moralist. I though when I died I merited eternity but I was asked to change my garment and go back. I am made to believe that I can only be saved by grace through Christ and I am in need of God’s forgiveness. I didn’t have the power to heal my self. Rather I hurt my self. Self righteousness couldn’t make me holy enough. I confess, I have no power of my own.

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Poetry

WHEN PEACE TOOK FLIGHT

In loving memory of S. Mshelia

I grieve for a lost soul dearest to me.
Some say its fate, but I am convinced it was perfect timing.
I look at the grave and wonder what it feels like be there.

I go to church the following day and the preacher says “God controls everything”.
Why do the good people suffer for the wrongs of others? I ask.
I look up and wonder if God is responsible for the stabbing pain in my heart.
Pain, not only mine, but of those who suffer same grief in parts.

I pray for peace, for my country that her arrival may be quick.
For when peace took flight,
That which we once considered as harmony turned to be sour calamity.

My sisters left home hoping to arrive before dusk. We waited but they never came back.
I watched on TV that they will never return for a while knowing it will never be the same

I go to church to find solace, the preacher says we would always find comfort here.
And so in my heart, I hope they come back even though I secretly despair.

Sometimes life and providence is not just fair for all.
You hope that you have happiness and peace most days of your life,
Then one day it’s different.

I am made to leave a place I always considered to be home.
A place that once tolerated my difference and accommodated my lifestyle.
I turn back and shake my head in despair, in my mind I wonder if it will ever be the same.
Can I forgive and forget the scar seared on my heart?

What have I done wrong that I am punished so badly?
My territory taken over for a cause I am ignorant of.
I am stripped naked and battered but luckily, I escape with air in my nostrils
I cry to myself and realized when peace took flight she boarded with justice.

The preacher is no more on the pulpit to give console.
He gave up on what he once taught and preached
Age and despair made his heart frail and sore
Though he lived long enough to see the irony of his faith.

Now I stand from the pew as a Preacher teaching that
Those who seek for peace shall find it for she shall someday return
And then we shall be consoled for she alone can tell why she took off
For when that tranquil joy returns back to your soul, you realize nothing lasts forever
“Amen” I think, looking at the crucifix ahead of me.
 

 

Fiction

REMEMBERING

Let me tell you a story. It is about my school mate back in the days. Mad I tell you. You see, Adebayo and I are friends, more like used to be friends . He had a weakness but the strength of his weakness was a curse. He had a sizeable penis. I must say he is or was, per say, endowed.

I am seated by his grave side with a bottle of his favorite beer. I recall an incident that happened few years before he passed away. Anyway, there’s something peculiar about a grave yard. I wonder about things like, do these dead people tell themselves stories about their lives in the past. Like waking up when the world is asleep then open the grave and call out to themselves and gist.

So Bayo had been telling me really exciting stories about a girl called Nneka. She was an art piece. So he said. She was so kind Bayo would always thoughtfully recall, usually after a session of sensual frolicking. This particular night I came back to our shared apartment half drunk. Bayo and I had a minor fight over which team player was the best in Manchester. I was a bit disgusted with Bayo’s confidence in his argument so I just went out. Actually, I was jealous of the attention he got from out not so enlightened audience of three guys from the block. Thinking about that particular night makes me reflexively shudder.

This particular night back in our neighborhood, there was no light it was more of a noisy competition of who’s generator better pass him neighbor. I walked home a bit high not even noticing a group of weed smokers quietly doing their business in the ally. I had my keys so I shabbily opened the door knowing that Bayo would either be out late without me or sleeping soundly. I wished he was out late because I was in the mood to disturb his peace. I did like Bayo not just as a friend but as a flat mate. Neat guy I must tell you. Sensitive too.

So I bring out my keys to unlock the front door. As I opened it, strangely a lady’s hand bag laid on the ground close to the stool that served as our priced furniture. There and then I knew Bayo wasn’t alone. The smirk on my face had it all. I could have just gone to my room and acted like a gentleman but the liquor in me pushed me to do something unusual. What is the worst you could think I would do?
I was practically bent Over peeking through the crack of the door. Thank Goodness there was a crack. I know you may be thinking I’m a pervert but that night was the first and last time I did something as clumsy as that. Under the influence of liquor, a man may be many things but of all of them I was really watching my homie working out with his kind girl.

The gentle moans from the yet unknown lady was exhilarating. Thank God I didn’t missed much. As I strained my eye to watch I saw something like crisscrossed legs humping which to me was much more like a duel.
“I couldn’t be confused na”.
I saw the lady’s breasts all jiggly and Bayo, sucking the mercy of them for a second I thought I recognized the lady’s face since it seemed like I caught a glimpse at her face. For the sake of being a guy and for Bayo, I would have told you how Bayo’s male thing was working. I was having a hard on. All my sane sense asked me to leave but unfortunately, I was just glued to the sneak peak. Suddenly they paused for a while looking perpelexed and Bayo reassuring her probably to continue or change style or maybe for another round. They did continue till they came one after the other. A part of me felt weird and another part of me was horny. I gently half crawled and half walked back to my room. I unlocked my door and out of paranoia, securely looked for gaps on my room door in case Bayo decides a revenge. I didn’t even undress or look at myself in the mirror . I just slept off.

The following morning was a Saturday. I came out to look for something to eat just I did I saw Bayo having breakfast so I joined him. Neither of us had a conversation about the previous evening or about hanging out alone because of the argument. The flimsy one I told you about. Then all of a sudden Bayo speaks up from his phone.

“Bro you no try. Where you been go where person no fain you make we chill eh. That Nneka babe was kind enough to keep me company. She was so sweet to …”

There we go again his definition of a ladies niceness or kindness to him.

He was done eating. As he stood from the rickety table he paused to say something.

“Bro that thing wey you do last night was not brotherly. You for buy porn watch. You no even hush up say e sweet you for body”.

His face was disgusted. At that point I realized that both of them paused because they noticed they weren’t alone. I had already been noticed all along their “sexcapade” mehn I felt guilty.

I am laughing alone now. In my head though. Wondering if Bayo ever thought about it again. That was the only time we ever spoke about something queer like that. It wasn’t even something we should talk about I’m just saying. I remember that’s all.