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The Pastor’s Secret 3 (Short Story)

Ogedengbe regarded the bible which lay on the table before him. The rays of the sun streaming through the window bounced off its gold rimmed edges making it look like the open jaws of a predator. He shook his head slightly to clear his mind and dislodge the apparition which hovered before him. He reached forward to push the holy book aside but changed his mind and held back his hand. He thought it best not to touch it just in case the apparition was real. After all he was a man of the cloth who understood spiritual realities. This could be a sign or a warning for him not to go ahead with his plan. The book lay on the table like a barrier between him and his guest. He shifted his gaze away from the holy book which suddenly looked menacing and regarded the woman who sat before him.
Her perfume caressed his senses taking him on a fantasy which was unlawful for him to engage in.
‘He said I have to stop attending church. He said if I don’t stop he would be forced to leave me for that whore he is having an affair with,’ Susan said.
His heart leapt for joy like the cripple at the Beautiful Gate who received a miracle of healing through the hands of Peter and John but he kept an impassive face. This was the best news he had received all week. His plans were going better than he anticipated.

As he regarded her he wanted to confess to her what he felt for her. He wanted her so much that it gave him a headache when he thought about how to get her away from Bassey. But now he didn’t have to do anything. Bassey Akpabio was doing his work for him. Continue reading

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The Pastor’s Secret (Short Story)

 

This was her third visit. On her previous visits he had gone through the boring motions of pretending to listen to her issues and offering her conventionally acceptable, properly worded platitudes. However, today was different. He was done with the charade. She wore a blue dress and black pumps. Her natural hair stood proudly on her head like a piece of sculpture. What was different about her today, he wondered. Her perfume wafted through the office like an invading army, entering every nook and cranny, smearing its presence on every object in its path, marking the space as her territory like a brazen mutt, colonizing the enclosure with her presence, owning it. His breath jumped as he contemplated the possibilities of today’s meeting.

She reached for a glass of water on the table. As she drank the water he studied her features. He hadn’t noticed how beautiful she was before now. He had been so focused on trying to help her resolve her marital issues. Up till her last visit, he hadn’t thought of her as anything but a distraught member of his flock. But during her last visit, the scales covering his eyes fell off.
She dabbed the tears from her eyes with a white handkerchief, making sure not to smear her makeup. She reached for the glass of water and took another sip. Her lips clung sensuously to the glass and left behind a thin film of red lipstick. She put down the glass delicately as if she didn’t want to break it. Her tears stirred up compassion from a source he had long forgotten existed within him. He reached across the desk to give her a comforting touch on the hand but changed his mind and moved the glass instead. He barely restrained himself.

Susan continued. ‘He says I am fat. I just don’t get it. This was the way I was when we met. How come I have suddenly become too fat for him?’ She asked.
A dark cloud creased his face as he thought about his wife. She was as thin as dried stock fish. Her slimming craze had left her with barely any breasts on her chest. But here was a woman before him with everything still intact. A woman indeed!
Susan was still talking. ‘He complains bitterly about my job. Yet I bring in a lot of money for the family. Pastor, I don’t understand.’
Neither did he.
What man in his right mind would reject such a woman? Such a man is an ingrate, undeserving of such a blessing.
He saw her lips moving but he was lost in his thoughts, touching her hair, his fingers caressing the spotless skin on her exposed arms.
‘What should I do?’ she asked the pastor.

That same question haunted him. His wife had become a burden.
She was not the same woman he married. She had become overly concerned with her body and her looks. She was no longer interested in spiritual matters. She spent more time selecting the vegetables she ate for breakfast than she spent in prayer. When he met her she was deeply spiritual but since her mother died suddenly of heart failure, she had become obsessed with her health. He liked the fact that she paid attention  to her health but she seemed to have gone overboard with her zeal. He didn’t know what to do with her.
Ogedengbe dreaded the question oscillating in his mind. He wanted to get to the bottom of things as fast as he could.
‘How is your sex life?’ He tried to keep his face expressionless but his anxiety betrayed him.
‘We haven’t had sex in a while.’
The pastor bit the insides of his bottom lip to stop himself in time from blurting out his real thoughts. Her husband must be totally crazy, he thought. Who would have such a beautiful specimen of a woman and not ravage her as often as humanly possible? If he had her as wife, he would ensure that he satisfied her every desire. He licked his lips slightly as his mind wondered how many ways he would discharge his conjugal responsibilities to Susan if they were married.
‘A few months ago, I found out that my husband was involved with…with some girl.’
‘Are you sure about this?’ he asked.

Susan placed her jewelled fingers delicately on the table, then she slowly lifted her head. ‘I discovered that he had something to do with this girl who works at a fast food restaurant. I wanted to be sure what was going on so…I…’ she trailed off.
Ogedengbe leaned forward. This wasn’t the time for her to hold anything back. ‘You did what?’ he asked.
‘I found where she worked and I went there. I had to know for myself why my husband wasn’t interested in me. What was it about this girl that fascinated and attracted him? Was it her complexion, her height or was it her size? I just had to know.
‘I entered the eatery and asked for the girl. Some lady pointed her out to me. When I saw her, I was overwhelmed by anger. I wanted to hit her or mark her viciously so that no man would ever look at her face again.  To know that my husband preferred this woman to me filled me with anger.’
Ogedengbe waited for her to continue.
She wiped some tears from the corner of her eyes. ‘I looked at this skinny girl and I was enraged. I don’t know what came over me but I walked up to her and told her that Akpabio was my husband and warned her never to see him again. Then I walked out of the restaurant.’
‘What happened after this?’ Ogedengbe asked.

She bowed her head in thought. ‘That night I confronted him. I accused him of having an affair. He denied everything. He said the girl meant nothing to him, that I was exaggerating and blowing things out of proportion. I suspected he was lying but there was nothing I could do.’ She paused and looked at her jewelled fingers. ‘Pastor, I am an unhappy woman. I feel rejected by my husband. In spite of all I have done in the marriage he still runs after useless girls.’
He looked at his watch. The session was almost up. Looking at her as she wiped a tear with a white handkerchief, Ogedengbe decided to extend the counselling sessions for as long as he could. He gave her more platitudes to make her feel good about coming for the counselling session. ‘God will resolve this situation for you, in Jesus name,’ he concluded. He dreaded the thought of not seeing her again. This was one prayer he didn’t want answered. How would he live with himself if God answered this prayer?

She stood up to leave. ‘Pastor, here is something for you,’ she extended her hand holding an envelope. He reached for the envelope and their fingers touched. She didn’t remove her hand. She held on to the envelope for a moment longer than he thought necessary. He didn’t want to believe what her eyes told him. Susan was a married woman and she wanted her marriage issues resolved, or did she? He didn’t want to believe that she wanted him. He didn’t want to think about the possibilities wrapped in the moment.

He struggled to keep his thoughts pastoral but his emotions slipped out of his control like an eel in oily hands. Her touch ignited the passion that had been hiding beneath his camouflaged spiritual mien. His thoughts meandered like a crooked river out of the straight path of the ethical into the sensuous path of the amorous. She smiled at him and he felt his face flush. There was a flicker in her eyes. It lasted for barely a second but it was all he needed to realise that she suspected what was happening to him.

He didn’t know what to say. His fingers were still clutched in her hand. ‘When will I see…’ he caught himself on time. ‘God bless you,’ he managed to say.
She held his gaze. ‘I will see you next Tuesday,’ she answered the uncompleted question in his mind.
He swallowed hard as she walked out of his office. He sat down heavily on his chair like a depressed tire. His mind was trying to process what was happening between them but he was distracted by her scent which held sway in his office like fragrant incense offered to a pagan fertility goddess. He drew back the curtains on the window facing the street and watched as she drove out of the premises. He placed his left hand on his temple and felt a vein throbbing. That was not a good sign. He made a mental note to check his blood pressure before he left the office. He touched a button on the table. ‘Please bring me some water with lots of ice.’
The water did nothing to quench his thirst. His throat still felt parched, as if he had eaten dry, uncooked rice.
Things were moving too fast for him. Way too fast.

 

To be continued…

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Broom 2

 

Changu hesitated at the entrance then she bent low and looked at the ng’anga who sat before a fire fuelled by small sticks, muttering some incantations, looking around the hut as if having conversations with some invisible visitors. Changu entered the hut with trepidation. The old man looked into the small fire that burnt before him. The burning sticks made crackling noises and small sparks jumped out of the conflagration like insects.
Why are you here, the witch doctor asked in an angry tone. He lifted his head and her heart jumped as she looked into his bloodshot eyes. She felt her legs buckling under her and she fell on her knees. The broom has disappeared, she cried. I kept it well hidden but I don’t know how it was stolen from my house.
You say the broom was stolen, the ng’anga asked. Are you sure that was what happened, the man inquired looking sternly at the woman. The broom must be found and brought to this shrine for the muti to be done on it again.
Baba, how will I find it? I’ve looked everywhere in my home but it is not there. If I ask my friends about it they may discover my secret and hate me because of it. Please help me. What should I do to find the broom, she asked.
The witch doctor made some incantations while Changu looked on. He stopped and raised his head. You must find the broom in the next three days. If you don’t find it and return it to me in three days something terrible will happen, the man said, shaking his head.
A cold chill descended on her as she listened to the witch doctor.
Long after after Changu had left his lair, the ng’anga was still looking into the burning embers of the small fire before him lost in thought. Continue reading

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Caught In The Light.

She stood before room 624 and looked at her wristwatch. She was early.

Two months ago she had a conversation with her father.
“What do you need the money for?” He asked.
“I need to buy clothes and some other things. I shouldn’t be asking you for money all the time.”
“What is wrong with your clothes?”
“They are all faded.” She didn’t bother to tell him that they were also old fashion. She wore long skirts while her class mates wore the latest dresses. She didn’t want to look out of place among her friends.
“Feyi, you must learn to live within your means, with contentment,” her dad said and returned to his dinner of pounded yam and egusi soup.

She pulled down the black dress she wore as a maid walked down the narrow hall. Continue reading

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The Woman With The Orange Bag.

 

The car crawled along in the lazy traffic.
Akeem looked at his watch. It was 10:45am. Dark clouds threatened to ruin the beauty of the morning sun. If it rained, the traffic would be unbearable and he would be late for his business meeting. He prayed silently that things would work out for him. He mentally calculated how much he would make from the deal and smiled to himself. He rose up in his seat and stretched his neck to investigate the cause of the slow traffic, that was when he saw her.

First he saw the big orange bag she carried, then he saw her grey dress. She was pretty, dark and full bodied. Her hair was done in braids which poured over her shoulders. She stood apart from the large crowd waiting at the bus stop.
Akeem’s eyes settled on the woman and their eyes met.
In an instant he made a decision.
His car came to a halt in front of her. She opened the door and got into the car without saying a word. As he moved his car forward, an old woman in a blue wrapper and a white blouse crossed the road. He pressed hard on the brakes and the car leaped forward like a drunk man doing the Abiriba war dance. The old woman, with completely white hair cut into an Afro, stood in front of his car and looked directly at him.
Horns blared furiously behind him like the deliberations of a congress of angry baboons. His eyes were fixed on the old woman who crossed to the other side of the road and disappeared into the crowd at the bus stop.
The woman sitting beside him hissed under her breath. His eyes searched for the old woman but he couldn’t find her.
What was that all about? Akeem wondered as he drove on in the lazy morning traffic.

He turned his attention to the pretty woman sitting beside him. Her dress rolled a few inches up her legs, exposing her thighs but she didn’t bother to cover it. Akeem looked at her legs, his eyes filled with lust.
“Hi. What is your name?” he asked, still looking at her legs.
“Joy.”
“Where are you going?”
“Where do you want it to be?” Joy smiled.
Akeem licked his dry lips.

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Gold Digger 5

Gold Digger 5

Tina entered the hotel room, threw her handbag on the bed and ran into the bathroom. She came out minutes later and sat on the bed. She brought out the money Dayo gave her and threw the bundles of Naira notes on the bed.
She got up and stood before the mirror and looked at her reflection. She rubbed her stomach in slow round motions.
Her phone rang. She answered it.
It was her childhood friend Shade.
“Yes, you can come up to my room.”
Moments later Shade joined her in the hotel room. Shade had forced her wide hips into a very tight pair of jeans and wore a large top. Tina wondered how her body could breathe in those jeans.
“What did he do when you told him?” Shade asked before she sat down.
“I couldn’t say anything. The first time his stupid sister was there.”
“You could have pulled him into a room,” Shade said.
“I wanted to have his full attention.”

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The Other Side Of Love 5

The Other Side Of Love 5

“Anita, Edward Osagie is your brother.”
“Noooooo!” Anita screamed.
This was insane!
She held her head in her hands and wept in anguish.
Her voice reverberated in the house. The dogs started barking loudly.
This couldn’t be happening to her. It only happened in the movies or to other people. Surely what she heard from her father just now was either a mistake or a cruel joke.
A security guard burst into the living room and stopped when he found Anita kneeling on the floor and crying.
“Is everything okay sir?” He asked with a concerned look on his face.
Chief Batubo turned him away with an impatient wave of his hand. The guard stayed for a few seconds before he left the room.
“Anita, please listen to me,” Gogo touched her hand.
“Don’t touch me!” Anita shoved his hand away.
Chief Batubo raised his voice at his daughter.”Do you want to hear what happened or do you want to keep crying like a child?” he asked.
Anita managed to stop crying and looked at her father through tear stained eyes. She had to listen and try to make some sense out of this madness.

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