Hello Everyone, it’s been so long! Wow and have I missed y’all!! Had to take a short hiatus inorder to…
Anyways, henceforth I’d try not to stay away for too long. Thoughts of Eden is back and better and Here’s a lil something for the weekend.
Cheers to the weekend to y’all!!
For the past two days, people have been looking at me with sympathetic eyes and asking if I had been in an accident and in response, I kept smiling in that endearingly painful way that just ended the barrage of questions that were sure to follow. They all assumed I had been in some sort of accident…well, technically it wasn’t an accident but how could I explain to people the circumstances surrounding my nouveau neck piece?
A few days ago, I decided to begin my leave by visiting my mother. Looking back, I absolutely regret doing that. I had made numerous plans concerning my leave and I was going to visit Ibiza just after spending some days with my mother.
‘You look anemic!’ mother exclaimed immediately she saw me.
‘Hello Mum’, I smiled kissing her proffered cheek.
‘What happened to you?’ she asked standing to embrace me. ‘You look like a stiff wind could blow you over.’
‘I’m fine mum… I was sick last week though’, I quickly added slipping away from her embrace.
‘Why don’t you go freshen up and meet me…your aunt Zinny is on her way’.
I smiled and headed to my room. A couple of minutes later, I walked into the sitting room.
‘Obara Jesus!’ exclaimed Aunt Zinny immediately she saw me.
‘Hello Ma’, I greeted with feigned enthusiasm. ‘You look good.’
‘Well you don’t…’ she snapped. ‘You look like somebody is sucking your blood. I keep having this recurring dream of you lying in a coffin…I prayed about it but it won’t stop so when your mother told me you were coming back I decided to come see you.’
I was just about to defend myself when a woman from my mother’s office walked in and her reaction made it clear to me that I had really lost weight. I did notice that my clothes hung loosely on me but I hadn’t thought it was that bad. My mother’s co-worker had reacted so dramatically that my mother decided to listen to her sister and do something about the weight loss.
‘When last did you check your H.I.V status?’ she asked with a very serious face.
I blushed shamefacedly. ‘Mummy!’
‘O gini?’ she asked turning sharply. ‘Did I do anything wrong in asking? At twenty six you won’t tell me that you haven’t been having sex!’
‘Mummy!’ I repeated insistently. ‘I was sick twice just last month and I did all the necessary medical tests. Really Mum, I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong with me. Besides, it’s not like I’ve ever been fat…I have always been skinny.’
‘Yes…but not this’, Aunty Zinny replied looking mournful as she looked me from head to toe. ‘We have to do something about it…a stitch in time they say saves nine.’
I put up a good argument but in the end, I found myself agreeing to follow them to where ever.
The next morning, Aunty Zinny took us to some guy who claimed to be a ‘Man of God’. We were welcomed by an attendant who led us to what he referred to as the ‘holy land’. The so called ‘holy land’ reminded me of a glorified shrine, everything was in shades of red, there was a little table covered with red cloth and a small bell tied with a piece of red material lay on top of a huge Bible, the biggest I have ever seen. The man of God wore a red flowing gown and carried a crooked staff reminiscent of Moses’ staff I had seen in the book of children’s Bible stories. Immediately he saw me, he shuddered dramatically and started speaking in tongues, then he screamed. ‘Nwanyi mmiri!’
‘What?’ I blurted out. I knew what nwanyi mmiri was but I needed clarification.
‘Nwanyi mmiri’, he repeated in between outbursts of strange tongues. ‘She’s from the water…a mammi water.’
‘Really?’ I snorted. What was it about fair pretty girls that caused them to be often labeled as being possessed by the marine spirit?
It was no fault of mine that I was beautifully and wonderfully made by God. That morning, I had not even the slightest dab of makeup on my face asides a dash of lip gloss and white powder still my beauty didn’t diminish. Maybe it was the bra-length Peruvian weave that added to whatever he was seeing… I knew for sure that I wasn’t possessed by any marine spirit.
‘Hush’, my aunt whispered. ‘Man of God please continue’, she added reverently, while eyeing me with disdain.
He appeared not to have heard my snort because he was still speaking in tongues and shaking his body like a wet dog. ‘There are some sacrifices needed to save her from her marine family.’ He began and went ahead to list a number of outlandish items more suited to a native doctor.
I watched as aunt Zinny’s maestro like fingers flew over her ipad as she struggled to get down everything he was mentioning. All through the exchange, my mother sat silently, listening to us.
‘A sum of two hundred and fifty thousand has to be paid’ he added. ‘That’s what I’m charging for the deliverance I will be conducting. You have to hurry because they really want to kill her… you are lucky your sister brought you here…hmmm, she doesn’t even have up to one week to live’, he added with a self important smirk on his pock marked face.
‘I curse that statement in Jesus name!’ my mother exclaimed snapping out of her mute state. ‘I know my child doesn’t belong to any marine family but if paying the money is going to help the situation I don’t mind paying it. I just need to be sure that you are a real man of God’, she said.
My mother the cynic! And people wonder why I am entrenched in cynicism.
‘When Gideon had doubts, he asked God to give him confirmation’, she plodded on. ‘I need a confirmation from God… ask him to reveal to you who I am. If God can show you who I am then I will know that he has sent you.’
In any other situation, my sides would have been in stitches from laughing but since I was actively involved, I fought to maintain a straight face.
‘Is that all?’ he asked.
‘That’s nothing’, he boasted. ‘My God is an all seeing God…he knows the end from the beginning’, he said shutting his eyes tightly and speaking in tongues. He spoke for almost fifteen minutes but no revelation came.
‘Visions don’t work like that’, Aunt Zinny said leaning sideways to whisper to mother. ‘You don’t expect him to summon visions at will.’
‘If he’s truly a man of God then God will reveal it to him’, my mother responded in a fierce whisper.
Meanwhile, the prophet was still speaking in tongues which surprisingly sounded like a mixture of Igbo, Efik and Hausa. ‘Baba talk to me’, he pleaded in English. ‘Don’t hide it from me…speak to the hearing of your servant.’
For the next twenty minutes, we watched him plead and beg God to reveal who my mother was to him. It kind of reminded me of the contest between Elijah and the prophets of baal…in this farce, my mother was Elijah.
He kept pleading and cajoling God not to fail him. Sweat ran in rivulets down his jaw and his robe was almost sticking to his skin, the room was hot but just looking at him perform made me forget the hot weather.
‘Mum,’ I called softly. ‘Please can we go, God doesn’t seem to want to speak to him today.’
She turned to her sister. ‘Zinny let’s go.’
‘I will meet you outside’, aunt Zinny replied tonelessly without removing her eyes from the performing prophet.
She joined us in the car a few minutes later, looking like she just wanted the ground to open up and swallow her.
‘So what next?’ I asked with hopes that there was actually nothing next.
‘We are going to see Pastor Hope’, my mother replied.
I shrugged resignedly. ‘Cool’.
I could remember my mother mentioning Pastor Hope a couple of times and she seemed to think the woman walked on water, I couldn’t wait to go check her out.