Do You Love Me?

I had just taken this picture when she asked me that question.

Had to distort her image… Sorry. Privacy policies…

Yes, that question.

We were in a popular frozen yogurt franchise. We were sitting around a table meant for four people.

She was seated by my left hand side. ‘Mrs’ (not mine, but another’s) was seated by my right hand side. Her husband was still at the toilets.

My angel had ‘to go’ and I had taken her to the female side. Handed her over to a vivacious looking female employee who benevolently escorted her in and out. I had waited outside (of course) trying to look busy and non-creepy loitering around the female half of the toilets.

Mrs’ husband had also felt the burden to unburden. And so we three had left her, (Mrs) guarding our frozen delights, and table.

‘Vivacious’ returned my angel safe and sound, but she was suddenly flirty and inquisitive… Sigh… At the risk of being immodest, I am compelled to inform you that women find me attractive.

That is all I have to say about that… No, no, that is a story for another day.

Anyways…

I diplomatically defused Vivacious and turned just in time to see my angel walking back toward me. She had a look in her eyes that reminded me of me. She and I share DNA… A lot of DNA I think. Like me, she is territorial. Not jealous, territorial. I immediately assumed that she did not like Vivacious.

By the time we got back, my frozen yogurt was now a complex mixture of atrocious flavors and color. Undeterred I raised my cup to sip…

Out of my peripheral, I saw Mrs visibly inhale in near ecstasy as I opened my (rather small) mouth.

‘Mrs Johnson’…

Hmmm…

Where do I begin with her?

She refers to me as ‘the one that got away’.

She has liked me for years!

She was (in my opinion) one of those misguided people… Those rebels without a cause. She seemed determined to live life on her own terms and made sure that we all knew this.

Interestingly, no one cared what she did with her life or vagina.

I was part of a small ad hoc committee she once assembled. She had slept with all seven of the eight men there. And with two of the women too. Her agenda was ‘career advice’. I was glad that I could not make that meeting.

I do not suffer fools lightly.

Without regard for my personal code of ethics, she did not just overtly convey her feelings for me, she proceeded to hint that I marry her.

Me!? Marry… Her?

Haaaa!!?? (in a Yoruba accent)

Anyways…

A few years ago, this young man bravely walked up to me and requested that I introduce him to her… He said that he wanted to marry her.

And Shazam!

He did.

All is well that ended well…

My contract with the United Nations had me in Nigeria for a year at this time and I had another year to go.

In light of recent kidnappings, rape of children and other such abuse, I had established a ‘safe word’ with my seven year old angel.

An innocuous phrase. To be used when, and if she was ever molested in any way. Especially if the perpetuator was within proximity. Or it was urgent but I had company.

The phrase was the question, “DO YOU LOVE ME?”

I slowly lowered the cup and dropped it on the table without sipping.

My mind went nuclear… Then I channeled the rage in seconds to a single laser beam.

“I love you baby” I replied softly looking deep into her eyes. Searching for the hurt… The pain… A sign… Anything!

Nada.

It was like looking into my own eyes… No dice.

The abuser(s) was / were definitely on our table. Mr and / or Mrs.

But how?

When?

Why?

Were they mad? Did they not know what I would do to them? The lengths I would go to kill them painfully?

Then ‘Mr’ re-joined us.

The atmosphere had suddenly changed. The tension though intangible, was palpable.

“What did I miss?” He quipped eyes roving from his wife, to me and then my angel.

“Nothing bruh… Just some love between my baby and me…” I rhymed sing-song like lightly punching my daughter’s shoulder.

My angel’s eyes were like laser beams boring through the back of my head.

Something was wrong… Dear Lord, what was she trying to show me!?

Her eyes wandered toward the entrance and all our eyes followed hers…

“Is that your car driving away Papa?”

We all craned our necks and established that it was not my SLS AMG.

“Let’s finish up…, bottoms up!” I suggested.

We all quaffed the contents of our cups and dropped the cups simultaneously.

My angel looked downright distressed at this point. Her curiously beautiful features further enhanced by tears in both big innocent eyes.

I winked at her…

She sat up blinking and cleaning her eyes hopeful…

“I wish we had a child together Dan…”

Mrs Johnson gravely intoned. Eyes dreamy.

Sweeeeeeetttt Jeeeeeeessuuuss!!!!! The shock almost killed three of us.

Her husband viciously spat out her name in lieu of a dire warning.

“I imagine your girth in my tightness Danny – love …”

“inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un…”

(PLEASE ask Wikipedia for the meaning)

I jumped up like a bullet and bodily picked up my kid and ran for the front door.

“I’m sorry, but I love you…”

I heard her shout at me as I fled into my automobile and fled the vicinity like a banshee exorcized.

I pulled over a few minutes later and parked. Engine idling.

“I saw her pour something in your yogurt Papa… I didn’t know what else to do”

“Thank you baby. You did good. I am proud of you. Using my car as a distraction… Epic” I remember saying, nodding in approval.

Her face scrunched up… “Distraction… I was not…” Her voice trailed off.

“Papa… No! How…?”

“I switched cups with hers” I replied laughing.

“Why was she trying to kill you Papa?”

Mmmmmmm…

The blissful wonder of innocence and its attendant peace.

In rare moments like this, the true essence of kids beam forth. Bathing their listeners in righteousness.

Where would I begin? The devil? Demons? Witchcraft? Hexes? Love potions? Love charms to enslave? Kayan Mata?

Naaah…

“She is a very, very naughty aunty… She is no longer our friend.” I (parent-ally) informed my ward.

Mrs Johnson suffered a mental breakdown from that instant. She deteriorated in mental health until she passed.

I hear that it was not pleasant way to go. She died in pain and agony.

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Remember?

Remember?

How my eyes could caress your soul

How our minds became one being

How we did not need to guess

Remember?

How I would touch you there

How I would set you on fire

How I was all you needed ad infinitum

Remember?

How your zeniths were like life!

How your body craved mine

How we would simultaneously soar

Remember?

Our plans for us?

Our faith when we looked at us?

Those loving, unspoken vows?

Remember?

Missing Us

What happened to us?!

Why do we still bother?

Nothing is as it was.

………

Now we have nothing to talk about

We used to jabber and babble

These days it’s like we hurt our mouth

Tiny issues typically erupt in trouble.

……….

Lo hearts; now calcified into stone

Are we trapped, or fighting for ‘us’?

Sex and passion… Long gone

Politeness used to conceal animus

Unfaithfulness is not sex alone.

Prophet (Dr.) Abi’ Samuel

(Thank you R. O for letting me do this. May you always have parables to tell.)

I have never deceived myself. I think that that is the worst sort of deception, when you lie to yourself.

My name is Prophet (Dr.) Abi’ Samuel. I shepherd a flock of about three hundred and fifty souls in the capital city of Abuja.My ministry is called, “See His Glory International Ministry”.

I am not your regular pastor. I was not ‘called’ into the ministry, I chose the ‘call’.

Why?

Simple… It was either this or the Nigerian police. Jobs were scarce back then. I was raised by liberal catholics. I was always religious.

My decision was ordained. (trying to keep things Biblical hehehe…)

As with any entrepreneurial venture, I encountered teething problems. I was in dire need of parishioners. Unfortunately for me, they were all in other people’s churches.

I was stranded around the same time in a popular north-central state. I was passing through the state on a journey. Car problems arose and the driver practically bailed on us.

One of my fellow passengers was a middle-aged gentleman who was from that state. He was helpful but hard up. By the time he got me to a motel, it was midnight and I knew that he had nowhere to go.

Contrary to my nature, I shared my room with a total stranger. In a strange land.

He was appreciative in the morning. He told me that he was a priest. His lineage were those chosen by a river goddess to serve. They were the oracles, diviners, servants and custodians of that marine deity.

I told him that I was a struggling pastor. I was honest. It was only a business for me. But at least I would not be a menace to society.

I was actually going to preach and encourage holiness, but get rich in the process.

He nodded objectively and suggested that I visit his shrine. He said that the only way he could thank me was to help me see ‘his mother’.

There was something deep about that man. And so I went with him.

He got us to a secluded bank by a river. He had me follow him across waist-deep water into a sandy enclosure. It was like a tiny island hidden from view.

I noticed artifacts and effigies that depicted the image of the river goddess.

The place was clustered with sacrifices of fresh food and fruit.

Dead and dying livestock and premium aromatic schnapps.

He changed into a white wrapper and donned his regalia.

He had me wrap one of those white cotton wrappers about my loins and then he showed me a chest-high lake of brackish water.

His mother was waiting for me he said.

As of that point in my life, I had nothing. Fortune they say, favors the brave. And so I stepped into the rather ominous-looking pool.

I saw and heard things. The deity is real. She told me when I was going to die. She told me my entire life story. She was not wrong about anything she said to me.

She offered me power. She offered me charisma, wealth and fame.

All I had to do was to have sex with her regularly. She said that she was not jealous, but I could never tell another woman that I loved her. She said that would visit me at least once a week. Wherever I was in the world.

I was tired of poverty. Besides I had heard that most men of God got power from the devil. They were rumored to use juju to perform miracles.

I made love to the goddess.

She was pleased.

Over time I learned more about my goddess. For one thing, no woman was allowed to spend the night in any bed I was in. Even my wife. We had separate bedrooms.

Those unfortunate to have been caught in bed with me were tormented with nightmares, bloody scratch marks and sometimes suffered a supernatural beat down.

My church grew. Top government ministers started attending my services. Within a few years, I had branches all over the world.

God’s work spread through my ministry. I am on television and radio everyday. I am revered and respected. Life is good and the ministry is doing well.

Part of what the water goddess wanted was for me have sex with as many women as I could. She helped me understand that that was the best way to keep my powers. The more sex I had, the easier it was to perform the miraculous.

I heal many people. Hundreds in fact. I have raised the dead. Opened blind eyes. I really do these things. People ‘sow’ millions of Naira in appreciation for the miracles I perform.

Part of what the river goddess told me is that I would not only die old, but severely diseased and blind. This is not how I want to die.So I agreed to transition at the age of forty one years old.

I would die suddenly at the height of my ministry. I was set to go out when the ovation was loudest.

The only way to ensure that I died at that age was to pass the disease and blindness to other people by way of oral sex.

Though I lost a few years, but those are years of sickness and suffering. These women would either die early and their destinies used to propel mine upward and forward.

They usually died soon after or passed the scourge on in fractions to other sex partners. Extending their lives by a few months or years.

I like it when they give me oral sex.

I like it when they swallow.

Whoever she is…

Swallow my child…

Palava…

Why man and woman matter serious?

Na just one habit dey bring problem,

When you operate ‘me’ instead of ‘us’

Na there love dey begin condemn.

°°°°°°°°°°

Reason this man and woman matter

Na selfishness dey bring palava

If you no dey involve ya partner

E no go tay, una go soon scatter.

°°°°°°°°°°

Man and woman hear my voice

Love na conscious decision

Loyalty and fidelity na ya choice

You go choose friction abi passion?

Status Quo

Your words were lies

Consequently mine be silent hereafter

As I wade the streams of your untruth

I drown, bogged down by silence.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now shall I begin to lie to you

In words, deeds and intent

Your stream doth birth a deluge

You will drown, deep into my abyss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Their bodies were recovered

Both aphyxiated by untruths

In resuscitation they did cough up lies

Their saviors fortunately knew truths.

Hey Baby…

It has come to my attention that we have outlived any usefulness between us.

It would seem that anytime you withheld sex or I money, we became bereft of agenda. And activity.

I am far from perfect, I know. But it is my opinion that there are things that you need to hear. Things concerning your character that have brought us to this point in our journey.

These words that you need to hear however, shall not be heard through my lips. I transfer the burden to any other man. One who is braver than I.

We were a glaring miracle. Then we had beautiful magic. But it is my prayer that we part without excitement.

I feel… Nothing…

So the usual deluge of your tears, manipulations, aggression and threats… will not…

You. Killed. Us.

I know…, I know… “men are scum!” aye?

Sigh…

I wish you the best.

Goodbye ma’am.