Categories
Mini-Series

Power Couple #7 – The Devil You Don’t See

Coming to the end of this, and it’s time to see what happens to Caris and Carol…

TEN YEARS AGO

“It is done, Carol. Kane is taken care of.”

“Tembo, did you make sure?”

“His absence is certainty enough, as is the fact that I did the job myself.”

“Good. I’m sending you an address now. Go there and wait for me.”

“Going now.”

Carol hung up, then looked again at the document Kane had texted her. He’d completed the will and put her name down as sole beneficiary. He didn’t sign it though, cos he didn’t want her getting ideas of playing with his life. If only he knew that she didn’t want him getting ideas of messing with her life. She could find a forger to do the job, so it wasn’t too big a deal.

She looked at Caris, who was in the passenger seat beside her, and cradled his face. “It is done, my love. We are free.”

He kissed her passionately and was only interrupted by the loud honk from the car when they accidentally hit it. Both burst out laughing.

Once they’d calmed down, Caris said, “I can never go back home again.”

“Why? Cos of me?”

“My father hates you, and he thinks I chose you over God and him.”

“Yeah, didn’t help that Lady Monslant was there when I arrived.”

“Yeah, what was that all about?”

“My boss was either going to expose you and I or set up the good bishop to get his son to leave his business alone.”

“I know Parker is a degenerate, but why did you need to frame his dad? You guys just broke a perfect home.”

“I know. Funny thing is, we didn’t even get to frame the guy. He was this close to fighting me when his wife walked in. I guess people see what they want to see. Anyway, I need a forger. Someone who can get Kane’s signature on the original document.”

“I know a guy. He used to come to our church, but he quit cos ‘Christianity is not for me.’ Everyone found out that he was one of those fake visa boys, and they hated him.”

“You sure he’s good? Cos if anyone finds out, there will be bad consequences.”

“Yeah, he’s good. The only reason he got caught is that his partner sold him out. But that’s not the biggest problem you have right now.”

“Oh?”

“How do you intend to get the original?”

“Oh. Well, the lawyer likes to watch two people enjoy each other. I’m pretty sure if he were distracted at the right time, we could find a way to get the document for a little bit so that your guy can do his thing.”

“I’ve never had an audience before. Somehow, that really excites me.”

Carol smiled. “This is why I can love no other man but you. Let’s go.”

*****

PRESENT DAY

Caris was almost done with breakfast. He’d woken up early to make his lover breakfast. It had been a month since they fled the country, and their timing had been perfect. The police swarmed their house minutes after they left, and they barely managed to get out of the country unscathed.

They’d released much of their tension on the plane and in their house when they landed, but Carol was still reeling from the madness of it all. So, he figured he’d make her one of the two things he knew how to make: Tea and Bread with Egg.

He turned on the news while cooking and saw the headlines about Tembo’s confession. He flipped the channel to sports. He was just about to go serve her when someone knocked at the door. He opened it, and the last thing he saw was a foot coming a little too close to his face.

***

When he finally woke up, he found himself tied to Carol, who was still in her morning robe. He saw the men watching over then and tried to ask what was going on, but no one said a word.

After five hours, someone walked in. Caris and Carol saw her face, and they felt dread immediately.

Karla had transformed from drug-head erotic cougar to no-nonsense boss, and this was her doing. She squatted down to their level, and licked each of their cheeks slowly, like they were prey about to be eaten. She stood back up, and said the words they knew she’d come to say, “We have two choices here. Either I give you over to the people looking for you, or you give me back what’s mine. So, which would you prefer?”

Caris did not understand. “Karla? What the hell is this?”

“Hello, Caris. I see you need some help waking up.” One of the men slapped him into next week, and then she continued. “You still want to ask questions, you motherfucker?”

Carol spoke up and hoped to God she wouldn’t get slapped, “What did we do to you, Karla? I thought you loved us! I thought we were good to you! Why are you doing this to us?”

Karla thought to slap Carol herself, but she figured she was too pretty for that. “Remember I told you, when I made the deal with you for the shares in my company, that they were my late brother’s shares?”

Caris and Carol both nodded.

“I was a normal girl. I was freaky, but I was a normal girl. I took care of business, I went home, I got fucked. My father had left the restaurants to my brother, and I got the oil, just like we’d wanted it. My brother and I had an excellent relationship; we made money and we had orgies. Then one day, I hear my brother’s missing. Next thing I know, everything he owns has been willed to some girl no one’s even heard of. Now, that boy was a crazy motherfucker, but to will his stuff to a random? So I look into it, and then I find Thomas Gardner, his personal thug, also got a pay day and disappeared.”

“There was no trace of my brother or his body, and all the people who could tell me anything were gone. So, I fell into drugs and I needed more and more sex. I was fucking half this town, but then I remembered that AIDS was a thing. So I decided, one last random, then I make a list of regulars. That last random was a girl named Trista. She was good. That girl sent me to damn near heaven with her tongue. So we were pillow-talking, then she tells me about this girl who was even better than her. Even better? Who could this be? So I ask her, and then she mentions a name I’d heard before. A name I’d seen before. The same name that was on my brother’s fucking will!”

At this point, they knew what was happening, and there was no way out.

Karla said the last words that were the nails in their coffins, “My brother was Marcus Malcolm Glazer. You knew him as Kane. So, I ask again, do you want me to hand you over to the authorities, or would you give me back what’s mine?”

Bruh, what an insane end to this story!! So Karla the nympho is Kane’s sister? Herhhh!!!

Categories
Mini-Series

Power Couple #6 – You May Go

PRESENT DAY

“Mr. Minister, get your man to lay off. He’s already questioned my wife for the last six days in a row. At this point, it’s pure harassment. Get him to lay off, or I’ll tell your wife about your trysts with my girl and I. Good day, sir.”

Caris hung up, pretty frustrated. He’d called half the ministers he knew and they all said the same thing: national attention to the case meant that they couldn’t intervene without catching heat.

Carol came out of the bathroom. “That man’s going to cave.”

“He just said he wouldn’t.”

“Oh, the effects of ignorance. He’ll cave. I just sent his wife a case of wine and a picture of the three of us together, and it’s not the appropriate kind.”

“Oh, I guess he’ll cave, then. Only, if he doesn’t, then we become wanted people.”

“Well, do you have a better alternative? Or is it the deal with Karla where you gave away the store?”

“Not the store, Carol. The way I see it, this is a pretty low price to pay. We’re already set for life. Besides, the money’s already being moved as we speak.”

“Was this your plan?”

“Yeah. In two days, you and I will be in the Maldives, enjoying our lives forever.”

“Oooh, I love the Maldives.” Carol came and sat by him as she put on her lotion for the night. “Nice plan. But why would we need to leave if we can fight this? To lose all this power and influence over something no one’s accused us of is kinda silly to me.”

Caris found it hard to speak as he looked at her massaging lotion on her leg. You’d think ten years would take out his hunger for her, but time never stood a chance. “I spoke with the Interior Minister yesternight. You’re their prime suspect, but they’re keeping it on the low for now.”

Carol was immediately alarmed. “Prime suspect? Based on what?”

Caris replied, “Based on Julius Kpodo’s infallible word.”

Carol tried to throw the lotion bottle in frustration, but Caris stopped her. “Well goddamn! I’m already sick of that guy! I never even heard of him before this happened.”

“The poor lotion bottle didn’t know about him either, so ease up. Also, one of my guys in the force told me that Kpodo is the last surviving member of the team tasked to find Kane the first time.”

“Wait, really? Oh! We left before all that started, so we never knew what went on.”

“Yeah. They said is was Kpodo, Amenuve, Quarshie, Kodjovi and Goosman. That last guy’s kid had been in jail twice before, but the man was a brilliant officer.”

That last statement triggered something in Carol. “Goosman. Where have I heard that name before?” She pondered over it some more as Caris said, “Man, based on everything I’ve heard, if Tembo handled this one himself, he did a real crappy job.”

Carol jumped up. “That’s it! Goosman was a guy who used to roll with Tembo. He was kind of an apprentice to Tembo. Crazy guy. Really freaky too.”

“If that’s the guy, then we have a problem. My contact said Tembo’s been suspected to have killed his father when the investigation got too close.”

“I need to warn him, then. The guy could’ve found out and talked to Kpodo if he knew something!”

Just then, Caris got a call.

“Hello? Uh huh… uh huh… uh huh… WHAT?! Are you sure? … Yes, we can bring up the timeline. … Please tell me he didn’t… DAMN IT! … Alright. We’ll be there. … We will, Karla. A whole week’s worth, I promise you. Appreciate the heads up. Bye.”

If Carol wasn’t worried before, she was definitely worried now. Caris spared her the effort of asking the question with her voice; her face had done the job already. “Tembo was arrested an hour ago.”

Carol had to slowly move her body in order to get it to sit again. What she was feeling right now had too many things in it to be one thing. Caris continued, “Goosman sold him out. He had one of his girls record Tembo at his hotel after he’d screwed her. He confessed to the crime.”

Carol took a pillow and buried her face in it. “F***********CK!!!!!!! He was talking to me! That was the day I called him after we’d found out that Kane’s body was found.”

“I know, cos they’re coming for you next. That’s what Karla just told me. We need to pack. Karla will have us in the air within a half hour. We’re going to our place in Kenya. We’ll lay low for a week, then we go to the Maldives.”

“Caris, this feels wrong. If we’re caught trying to fly the coop, it’ll look worse than it is.”

“Carol, it is as bad as can be. Tembo also talked. You’re not going to get questioned; you’re going to get arrested. It’s just a matter of time. Now, pack an overnight bag. Let’s not make it look like we fled. You already have stuff in all our houses, so you’re good.”

“Listen, I know it’s a tight situation and all, but the nympho in me is going to need a release for all this built up frustration once we’re safe in the air.”

Caris shook his head. He slid his hand down her back and grabbed her butt inside the dress. “You’ll get all the release you want once we’re in the air. Right now, focus.”

“Okay, then let’s go. No need to pack. As you said, I got stuff in every house.”

“Carol, seriously-“

“Caris, I used to be an escort for Kane Glazer. You never knew the day nor the hour you’d get called, so you never made permanent plans. I’m ready. Let’s go.”

*****

TEN YEARS AGO

Caris left his room and was about to step out when his father stopped him. “Caris, listen to me. I am your father, and I forbid you from seeing that girl ever again.”

“Why, dad?”

“Do you know her line of work, son?”

Caris looked at his dad, not wanting to lie but not wanting to admit either.

“Do you, know her line of work?”

Caris was sick of hiding her. She was his nympho freak, and he loved her. “Yes dad, I know.”

“Yet you kept company with her? Do you even care about the family you’re from? Do you care what this could do to us and the church if it came out?”

“It won’t, dad. We’ve been together this long and it’s never come out.”

“Tell that to Bishop Monslant. His wife just found your girlfriend straddling her husband!”

“Carol tried to get with Uncle? Wow, that’s bold as hell.”

The slap that followed was one not even a ghost could’ve seen coming. “Hear me, son. Never see that girl again. Whatever you two have is now over!”

The Archbishop started walking away when Caris decided enough’s enough. “Well, that’s too bad cos we’re getting married, dad.”

His father stopped. “What?”

Caris’ inhibitions and fears were dying as he spoke. “I love her, she loves me, and the only impediment to our marrying has been you. I don’t think we’ll have that problem anymore.”

“Why, because I’m about to kick you out of my house?”

“No, because you will no longer force me into any decisions anymore.”

“Son, she has been a distraction from your calling all these years. She was sent from hell to take you away from your destiny. You cannot possibly fall for that trap. Now, stop talking nonsense and break it off with her!”

“Your belief, dad, not mine. She has been the one thing that’s kept me sane. All these by force deliverances, all these ridiculous all nights, as if God doesn’t like for His children to sleep. My best friend died and all you could tell me to do was pray? Then you went on to try to make me fast for 21 days to mourn him? Man was I glad I ate and went out all that time, cos I would never have met the love of my life. And now, I am going to make her my wife. I like God, but you have stopped me from loving Him like I want to. Goodbye, dad.”

Right before Caris got to the door, his father spoke. “Caris!”

Caris stopped, and his father walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. “My son, you have successfully disappointed me. Since you have chosen to go against the ways of the spirit, harbor no surprise when God successfully disappoints you too. You will go very far, all the way to the top of the ladder, but you will fall drastically. No one will ever remember that you came, and no one will miss you when you’re gone. As for that corruptor of godly men, may God have mercy upon her soul. Never return to my presence or my church; you have lost all the rights, privileges, and properties of a son. You may bear my name, but you no longer bear my blood. You may go.”

Hmmmm, the curse of a parent. Not a pleasant thing at all…

Categories
Mini-Series

Power Couple #5 – Terms of A Setup

PRESENT DAY

“You ever wish we’d never gone through with it, Carol?” Caris lay on the bed, staring absent-mindedly at the 75-inch TV on the wall, across from their bed. Carol lay on his bare chest, watching Family Feud with him.

“Which of the its do you mean, baby?”

“The it that’s now becoming a thorn in our flesh.”

Carol turned to him. “You were spared the agony of the details, man. All you did was wait with me. What exactly did you go through with?”

“Wow, Carol. You’re gonna lay there and tell that to my face like I didn’t lose something that day?”

Carol sat up, still facing him. “Mr. Benton, were you called to the police station earlier this week? Did you have to fend off unusual questions from one of the most respected officers in the country? Did you have to listen to the IGP tell you that the national attention to the case is so high that he cannot intervene? Do they even know what your involvement in any of this is?”

Caris just stared at the TV while Carol lay back down. She wasn’t actually mad at him, but he was the only target available for her frustrations.

Caris turned the TV off and looked at her. “Carol, I’m a great punching bag, but do well to remember that I’m your sparring partner, not your opponent.”

Carol backed down. “I’m sorry, my love. I’m just terribly frustrated.”

“I know, baby. Did the police guy ask about the signature?”

“Yup. He seems to think something’s off about it, but he can’t figure out what.”

“Well, if my guy did his job right, we should be fine.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just wait for it, baby. Meanwhile, I’ll call Karla. We need a foreign contact for the plan I’ve come up with.”

“Karla? You sure she’s not seething from the deal we just did with her? I know I would if I sold 50% of a company just for a ride to an orgasm.”

Caris frowned. “Correction: an epic ride to an epic orgasm. We’re that good, Carol.”

“Yes, we are.” Carol gave him that very familiar look. She turned around, gently pushed him back down, and then said right to his face, “Now, I’m not saying I want anything. But, if my husband just happens to give me an epic ride to an epic orgasm, I will have to oblige.” Caris shook his head and spun her around and she laughed and gave him the view between her legs.

*****

TEN YEARS AGO

Carol ran out of the bedroom, her heart racing, and her mind in shock. She’d known that Bishop Charles would be an extremely difficult target, but he proved way tougher than she’d thought.

She’d picked Trista, an old friend and a girl she’d worked with a few times, as her partner for the mission. Trista was bad, but her type was powerful men. She liked to be bossed around, and she’d been an old favorite of his son’s, Parker. Trista was the daughter of an imam and had made it her mission to corrupt any religious leader she could get close to, so this challenge excited her. But she was already out of the gate by the time Carol finally fled through the front door. They’d been trying so hard to seduce the Bishop and they’d been failing, but his wife walked in unexpectedly and the sight was enough to convince her.

First, she threw her shoes, then she started throwing anything in sight, then she shouted something about a gun. At that point, it was over. They didn’t even need the bodycams; Carol overheard the woman calling the Archbishop right as she was getting to the door.

Once they were away from the house and Trista had left in her cab, Carol called Kane. “Boss, it’s done…Yes, Tuesday at ten is good…Thank you, boss.” Now, time to put her plan in motion.

“Tembo, I’m cashing in that favor. If you come through, I’ll give you a payday that will set you up for life. Meet me at Lexie’s Bar in two hours and let’s talk.”

She hung up, and then went to the last person she needed to speak with, the only person who could make this work. She wasn’t going to wait for him to introduce her to his dad; she couldn’t bear the potential embarrassment she’d have to go through if the man figured out what she did for a living. She’d trusted that he’d handle it, but now it was taking too long. Time to end this, once and for all.

She dialed the number. “Caris, you home? … Great, I’m coming over. … No, just a really good day today. Imma come pick you up, then we’ll go to Ziba’s lounge, and then we’ll spend the night at my favorite lodge. … You sure you want to pass this up for an all-night, darling? The clothes I’m wearing right now are sheer, silky, and easily ripped. … There’s my boy. I’m on my way. Meet me out front.” This man, what a pervert! And she loved every bit of it. She hoped dearly that he’d understand her actions once she’d done it.

***

PRESENT DAY

Karla sat on Caris after he’d just finished turning her into a feral tigress, barely breathing as she stared at him in awe. Caris lay back and looked at her chest, still wondering how she had firm breasts at that age. Kids really do a number on women.

“Caris damn Benton! You are my kryptonite. No one ever hustles me in any deal and succeeds but you somehow did. You better thank God I’m a dick addict.”

“Karla Beest, no one like you, woman.”

“The way you just cracked my back and blew me out, oh my god! How do you know how to do all that! You have to teach me all that sometime, you know.”

“I’ll give you all the notes and lessons you want if you can help me out with a little something.”

Karla leaned down and fed him, an indication she wasn’t quite done with him yet. She pulled back up. “You know the terms, what’s your need?”

Caris smiled. He only needed one night with her, but he’d booked the hotel for two nights because Karla tended to be gluttonous, something he counted on using in his favor. “I know you have secret locations scattered around the world as a contingency, in case government trouble ever shows up at your office.”

“That may or may not be true.”

“I need you to disappear Carol and I to one of those places.”

“Oh? Did she really end Glazer’s life?”

“No, but the national attention means none of our friends in key places would touch the case, and the officer is already being extra.”

“It’s going to take more than our terms to do this one, Caris.”

“Even if it means you get unlimited access to this dick? Carol and I do enjoy taking care of you, and you know that there’s no one like us. No one.”

“Hmm. Let’s see. How about we leave that as a pleasure thing and not a business thing? If I do this for you, I’m gonna need 10% of your steel holdings and 5% of your cocoa. Oh, and you give me back 10% of my company.”

“Karla, you know you don’t have to worry about control of your company, right? We never intend to challenge you for any of it.”

While Karla fed him again, she said “No one ever intends to challenge the boss from the start, but temptation is one tough bitch to resist. Just like my breasts; they started off on my chest, but they couldn’t resist your mouth.” She pressed them against his face, then she pulled back. “I’m a drug addict who’s also a sex addict, Caris. I will do just about anything for drugs or sex, even sell control of my company.”

Caris sat up. He’d known this was who she was, but he always thought she was just a nympho, not an addict. “Oh man, that’s why you offered that deal like it was nothing.”

“Right.”

Caris felt bad. He’d much prefer to finesse a freak than an addict; one of them had control and the other didn’t.

Karla continued, “I’ve quietly been in and out of rehab and thankfully, I can control my drug urges. While I don’t have to control my sexual urges, I can at least stop them from controlling me. Which is why I don’t want to put our trysts on the table. I genuinely love you and Carol. What you do to me… I just don’t want to think about checks while I’m being mind-blown.”

Caris looked at her as he thought about her terms. He and Carol wouldn’t lose anything by giving those shares away. They already had more than enough money to last three lifetimes. If that was the price of freedom, it was even too low. He shifted Karla’s hips towards him and pushed her down.

“Oh, you made up your mind already?”

“I don’t like leaving our favorite lay raw about a deal she made with us before. I’ll take your new deal. Now, take this tongue.”

Karla laughed as Caris went to work on her. “We’ll work out the details after…ooooh!”

Lawd, this is some real freaky stuff! Anyways, they’re looking to get out of the country. Is it gonna work?

Categories
Mini-Series

Power Couple #4 – On Some Personal Business

More information coming our way!!

PRESENT DAY

Inspector Julius Kpodo was known as a nice guy who somehow always got his man. He was a most unusual figure, not imposing yet unflappable, with average height and no outstanding features yet with a presence that was inexplicably commanding. He was one of those guys who bucked every trend so admirably that it was easy to respect him. His unusual ability to solve the unsolvable meant that he was the one the police went to when a case got cold. So naturally, he was woken up from his sleep when the body of Marcus Malcolm Glazer was found. He was one of the case officers on this when Kane went missing at his island getaway ten years ago, and he was the only one left today.

 Julius’ assistant, Mary, brought in the envelope he’d requested. He opened it and started reading through the eight papers it contained. When he got to the last page, he frowned. Something looked off. He’d spent all morning reading through the old case files and had been bored to death with memos, contracts, pay stubs and every other document on Kane’s dealings. He’d read every last word, seen every last figure and had mocked Kane’s signature each time he saw it.

Kane signed using his middle name, Malcolm, and it looked like some scribble off a chicken’s claw. The signature on this new document was too clean, too nice. It looked just like the others, but something was off about it.

Mary came back in. “Sir, there’s a Mrs. Benton here to see you.”

“Ah, yes, send her in please, Mary.”

“Sir, you have that frown you get when you’re stuck on something.”

“Yes, something looks off about the signature on this document.”

“Mind if I look, sir?”

Julius handed her the document. This wasn’t normal procedure, but Mary had worked with him long enough to earn his trust. She took a look, scanned over it for a bit, and then gave it back to him and shook her head. “It looks normal to me, but then again I’m just a secretary. I don’t know much about signature designs. I’ll send Mrs. Benton in now.”

****

TEN YEARS AGO

Carol could never get used to Marvel Mansion but then again, no one could. No one built homes like that nowadays, but this one was like none other no matter what period of time you were in. It conjured the image of an art museum, but it had the feel of an island getaway. She thought it reminded her of Stark’s home in Iron Man 2. He may have had the humble look of a monk, but he was an opulent man.

 As she walked through the main hall, with its ridiculously high ceiling and walls of white that flowed into each other like a giant tent, she heard Kane mumbling close by. She knew the rules, so she stood in her exact spot and waited for him to come to her. Kane had gotten someone’s job offer at a food factory rescinded because they went into his kitchen uninvited, and she was not about to suffer a worse fate. Her plan hinged on being in his good graces. She listened, waiting for another voice to speak so she’d guess who the client was, but only Kane’s voice came through. That was odd. Kane was a creature of habit, and he always had the client over to his house when the consort was this private. What was going on?

As she passed by the huge, roundtable right in the centre of the hall, a document on the table caught her attention. She picked it up to read.

“Last Will and Testament of Marcus Malcom Glazer…”

Why would he leave this in such an open place? She kept reading and noticed that he never indicated a next of kin, and he hadn’t signed it. While she wondered about the will, she heard footsteps approaching and put it back as she’d found it. Kane walked in and motioned to her to follow him.

They went into the study and once they’d gotten some food, Kane got to business. She’d never heard of a man in this line of work who treated his workers as equals, and this quality of his blew each of his workers away every time.

“I’ve got business for you, and I think you’re going to like it. A threesome with a special client, and you get to pick the girl.”

“Wait a second. Since when do you allow your treats to pick their partners?”

“Carol, you’re my favorite girl. Everyone knows that. But I’ve kept you in a box too long. It’s time for you to come out. I’ll go one step further and let you inside. The client technically didn’t make the request, but he’s threatening to bring our whole sweet operation down and I need to take him out.”

“Kane, you know I don’t do personal bullshit.”

“Yeah, but I also know that you love the perks that this life affords you. The money, the contacts, the parties you get to go to. Didn’t you get to go to Dubai like three times in a month at some point? You’re less than thirty, making in a week what many make in six months. Do you want it all to go away?”

“Boss, you mean to tell me that with all your contacts, you can’t get this guy off your back?”

“I’ve tried, Carol. But it’s a little tricky. His father is Bishop Charles Monslant.”

“The right hand to Archbishop Benton?”

“Same guy.”

“And let me guess, you don’t want to go against the Oracle of God?”

“Exactly, Carol. Exactly.”

Carol stood up and paced the room. Kane could easily have ordered her and she’d have no choice, but here he was, asking her instead. This wasn’t the first time they’d smeared someone, but she hadn’t known the previous times and she’d hated that. Now she knew and she wasn’t sure.

Kane knew it was time to go for the kill. “I know about your relationship with the Archbishop’s son.”

Carol spun around.

“You know I monitor all my treats. Did you really think I wouldn’t find out? You’re not exactly discrete, by the way. Or moral. You screwed him under a cross in his father’s church? Bad move, girl.”

Carol sat back down, and Kane went for the jugular. “Now, with all your sneaking around, I suppose that the boy wants you and you want him, but you’re trying to figure his father out. The way he’s careful with his reputation, it would be a travesty if he were to find out about his son’s trysts before you could officially be introduced.”

This was the first time that Carol truly resented Kane. She’d seen his bad side, even his cruel sides, but she’d always explained them away as business decisions. This time, it was aimed at her and she wasn’t a fan.

She was about to call his bluff when an idea formed in her head. She knew that Kane was meticulous about his study, his bedroom and his hall. But the roundtable was usually for mail from the post office and other deliveries, things that Kane never dealt with. Kane never looked at that table, so he never knew what was on it. What if she could use this against him?

“You know what, Kane, no need to tell the Archbishop. Tell me when and where.”

“Good girl. I knew you’d see things my way. I’m leaving the entire operation to you. Use your relationship with the boy to figure out the Bishop, then use that against him. You have two weeks to get it done.”

“I’ll take the two weeks, but I might need only one.” Carol stood up to leave.

“Carol, one more thing.” Kane pulled out a small box from his desk drawer, “The box has two small cams in it, so you two can record the affair.”

“You know, I won’t let you down, Kane.”

“I know, cos your heart’s at stake. Call me when it’s done.”

Categories
Mini-Series

Power Couple #3 – Sin Beneath The Cross

The story of Caris and Carol and the late Kane continues to unfold…

TEN YEARS AGO

“Oh God, you’re good! I am your prey. Finish me! End me! Yes! Take me down! YESSSS!!!!!”

Carol had zero control over herself whatsoever, and she could not care less. The cold wall behind her had been the perfect balance for the heat this man had bathed her in, which made her climb enjoyable and her climax all the more satisfying. Her man was about to pull away, but she held on to him. “Carol, we’re going to get caught if we don’t dress up.”

“Speak for yourself, I just need to button up and pull my skirt down.”

“Tell that to your hair, you insatiable tigress.”

“Oh, now you’re just asking for another round.”

“Hell no, girl. Someone’s going to be here any minute and I’m not about to get caught with my pants down.”

“Bruh, did no one tell you not to curse in church? Now I have a higher chance of being sent to hell on account of your blasphemy.”

When she said that, Caris gave her the most confused look he could muster in the moment, and they both burst into laughter. She finally let him go, and they quickly put their clothes on, each one doing everything in their power not to backslide yet again. They’d already spent most of the afternoon ‘communing’ with each other in the main temple, and service was due to start in about an hour. Another round would be a bad idea.

 Once Carol finally got her hair together, she took another look at the sanctuary. It looked like an old school Catholic church, with the high ceilings and the beautiful art on the stained glass. There was a cross placed high on the wall behind the pulpit, right above the spot of their just ended ‘communion.’ The natural light did wonders for the view, and the echo of her voice through the empty room made it sound like they were being cheered on in their tryst. It’s like she once heard in Caris’ father’s sermon on faith, “A great cloud of witnesses.” Those biblical figures may not have approved, but she loved living on the edge, and she made sure to find that thrill in everything.

In Caris, she’d found the perfect partner. He was barely tall and without a muscular build, but he had a babyface and his features were naturally attractive. He was also super freaky and a daredevil yet unusual in that he still had some morality about him. That complicated things, but love made it possible for them to figure it out. He was her balance and she was his.

“I love you, Caris. I truly do.”

“I love you too, Carol.”

“No, you don’t get it. I love the hell out of you. If we don’t make it, I can’t be with anyone else.”

“Carol, I’m neither the best lay you’ve had in your life, nor the richest. I’m sure there’s someone who matches with you better than I do.”

“They may be a better match, but they will never be you.”

Caris just stared at her. This woman, this delectable woman with the beautiful mind he admired and the craziness that complemented his. This woman was telling him the same thing he’d felt for her since their first encounter. But how could he make her his with the father that he had? Only those who dealt with girls like her knew her true occupation, but his father had a way of knowing things about people, especially things they didn’t want known. How could he sneak her extracurricular activities past him and get him to approve her? As he wondered all these things, the look in her eyes and the touch of her palm on his chest settled him down. When they got there, they’d figure it out.

“I’m not going anywhere, bunny. You have me. If you can find a way out, I’ll find a way past dad.”

Carol beamed at him and leaned in for a kiss when her phone beeped. She looked and saw the text, “Meet up at Marvel Mansion ASAP. Boss has a job.

Her face fell and Caris knew what that meant. “Where?”

“Boss’ house.”

“Okay. I’ll drive you.”

“No, baby, it’s fine. Take me home, I’ll drive myself.” She saw the look of hurt in his eyes, the same hurt she’d felt every time she had to sleep with a client since the day she fell for Caris. “It won’t be much longer, love. I’m this close to figuring out my exit. Soon, it’ll all be over.”

“I know, darling, but you tell me you’re one of his favorite girls. How can you escape from under a man this powerful and live to tell the tale?”

“I have all the motivation I need right here.” They kissed, and right before they left, Caris got a text: “COME HOME THIS MINUTE!” Carol tried not to laugh as Caris looked at her, irritated that she found it funny. She kissed him on his closed lips and said, “Godspeed, man.”

***

When Caris walked into the house that evening, everything seemed normal. The text he’d gotten was from his sister, and she’d sounded like the roof was on fire. “This girl paa. How do you text in all caps for nothing? I will get her eh.”

He walked past the kitchen on his way to his room, but then a voice called out of the kitchen, “Caris, come here. I’m in the kitchen.”

Caris turned and walked into the kitchen to meet his father. “Good afternoon, Daddy.”

“Sit down, boy.”

Caris pulled a stool and sat.

“Caris, I was preparing for church when I got the most curious revelation. The Lord asked me to cancel service tonight, and then go with the warriors at midnight. Not only that, He instructed that I anoint the altar and the area around it, stretching all the way to the backwall.”

“That’s a very curious revelation, dad,” Caris said as he focused all his strength on not squirming in his seat.

The Archbishop continued, “You were at church before you came home just now, weren’t you?”

“Yes, dad, I was.”

“And you know nothing about what the Lord is saying? Why he would need me to anoint basically the entire stage out of nowhere like that?”

“Nope, I don’t know anything about it, sir.”

“Okay. You can go.”

Caris heaved such a huge sigh of relief in his head as he got up, and he was sure he’d gotten away with his lying, but then, “Son.”

Whatever dread Caris had sighed away returned instantly. His father continued, “You may persist in treading down the wrong path you’ve been on since the day I caught you watching perverted, unsavory videos in your room. It’s one thing to be immoral in your father’s house, and it’s another thing entirely to be immoral in God’s house. You can go.”

Caris didn’t even know how to act after that. Someone definitely revealed his afternoon activities at the church to his dad. As to whether the source was natural or divine was another matter. His only hope, once he left the kitchen, was that his dad didn’t know who he was with, cos that could be the difference between eternal joy and perpetual agony for him.

Crazy, chale, crazy!! Sex in the church? This couple is definitely something else, and clearly the Lord was less than pleased with that. Well, what else is in store for us? Let’s continue to find out…

Categories
Mini-Series

Power Couple #2 – Kane Glazer

So the Benton couple have quite an albatross around their necks. We need to know what happened many years ago, though, as we follow how they’re gonna try and get out of this issue…

TEN YEARS AGO

 Marcus Malcolm Glazer was a model citizen who owned a chain of chop bars and high-end restaurants. He was a big believer in catering to both ends of the scale; why leave any money on the table when it’s all there for the taking?

But that was Marcus Glazer, the side he showed during the day. At night, he went from model citizen Marcus to no good Kane Glazer, high society swinger and purveyor of lustful treats for men and women with little morals and a lot of money. If you were a spoilt, entitled brat who liked to be rough, he had just the girl for you. If you were a classy lady with a ravenous appetite, he had the perfect gentleman for you. He did not care who you were as long as you had money.

Image, quality and class were the only things that meant anything to him, and he made sure that his girls and guys were top of the line, going as far as giving them beauty treatments, massages and fitness sessions just to make sure they could satisfy every type of client. He had slim ones and he had thick ones, he had tall ones and petite ones, he had them all. You could have multiple girls or guys at once and you could do whatever you wanted as long as you didn’t disrespect or endanger them, but Kane had one rule: no personal relationships.

If a client fell for one of his treats, they’d lose their place on his list. If a treat fell for a client, they’d no longer work for him. Most importantly, if a treat fell for a treat, not only would they lose their jobs with him, but they’d never work anywhere. Kane’s client list included politicians, religious leaders, military leaders, the who’s who of society. If he chose to blackball someone, they’d best move to another country.

Right now, he was in his study at home, having to deal with an unsatisfied client who’d tried to make one of his girls put stuff inside of her that simply put, didn’t belong there. The guy was the son of some big-deal deacon at King’s Court Chapel, and his father’s reputation carried a lot of weight. He was a former police officer turned right-hand to the Oracle of God, a prophet whom everyone equally loved and feared.

When some men kidnapped the finance minister’s daughter, this man prayed that they would break out with lesions and vomit until they die unless they returned her unharmed in three days. Everyone, from the media to the court of public opinion, ridiculed him and questioned whether God’s name should be used in such manner. Surely enough, the minister’s cook died four days after that prayer, his deputy died another day later, and a man appeared at the minister’s house two days later, visibly losing his life as he moved. Pale and barely breathing, he told the story of how six men plotted to kidnap the minister’s daughter in an attempt to make him resign so his deputy would be promoted. He gave the girl’s location and promptly proceeded to die.

Kane did not want any part of the prophet, but he couldn’t let the son of his right-hand threaten his business and get away with it. The boy could not be allowed to use the good deacon’s name to cover his bad habits. As he sat, figuring out what to do, a thought came to him. When he used to be a man with scruples, he’d heard a sermon about sons following the patterns of their fathers, something about bloodline traits that needed to be dealt with. The deacon’s son was clearly a bad apple, but how much better was his father? It was time to test the good word. He picked up the landline and called his assistant. “Stella, how are you? Would you be a dear and ask Carol to come over to the mansion?”

***

PRESENT DAY

Thomas “Tembo” Gardner was living his best life, laying down with three girls he’d had the pleasure of taking down the night before. He wasn’t really into orgies, but this was different. He’d lost a bet to an old apprentice of his, Seth Goosman, and his punishment was to sleep with three girls in the same night without being the first to tap out. He felt quite confident that he’d win the bet, but he lost. So, here he was in a hotel with three girls who were still snoring from all the activity from last night.

Thomas got up to go order some room service when his phone rang. It was way too early to be talking to anyone at all, but it could be an old client looking for a referral. He picked up the phone and was terribly unprepared for the blitz that came from the other side.

“Tembo, how did this happen?! You were supposed to have taken care of this ten years ago, now I gotta deal with this shit?!”

It was Carol Swanson, now Carol Benton, the woman who had made him rich enough to retire from his life of thuggery. “Good day to you too, Carol. I’m well. Retirement’s treated me awesome. How have you been, woman?”

“You choose now to be dramatic, you asshat? Haven’t you seen the news?”

Thomas lazily walked over to the TV and turned it on. His cocky demeanor quickly gave way to an “aww hell naw” manner. This was bad. This could end his life out of the game and put him in jail. There were a lot of guys he’d crossed who were there, waiting on his ass to mess up and join them.

 “I knew I should’ve put his slippery behind in a barrel of acid. Do you still have people in the police force?”

“Yeah, but none of them will touch this. It’s too hot and too heavy; the whole country’s looking. One mistake and it could be their careers on the line. You need to finish the job, Tembo!”

“Woman, what the hell am I meant to do, re-kill him? I’m retired. You need to get one of your boys with the force to take care of it.”

“Tembo, you may be enjoying retirement, but if I end up having to deal with this myself, I’ll use you as the fall guy. Don’t test me.”

Now Thomas was just mad. He hated getting threats, especially from a woman. How dare the weaker species threaten his very dominant male self! Except, she’d threatened him before and made good on it, so he didn’t want to cross her. “Fine. There’s no need to panic for now; everything I used to off him is destroyed. All they have now is the body of Kane Glazer, but they have nothing that leads them to his dispatcher. So, I’ll just keep tabs on it until there’s something to worry about.”

“You better, cos I’m not going down for this!”

Rude bitch hung up on him, goddamn.

Thomas stared at the innocent-looking picture of Kane on the TV, the “Marcus Glazer” side on full display with the caption “BODY OF MISSING GHANAIAN BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST FOUND.”

“Kane, oh Kane, why’d you have to be a son of a bitch yet again?”

***

Carol screamed in frustration.

Goddamn it! Everything was going great and then this fool had to come and threaten it. Bloody son of a bitch still affected her life even in his death. She sat down in her kitchen, staring at a vase Tembo bought her as thanks for the pay day. Cheap man, buying a vase for someone after they’d just made you a millionaire. Silly her too for accepting it, even going as far as putting flowers in it for her kitchen counter.

She knew him when he was Kane’s fixer, and he’d tried to ‘take care of her’ one time when Kane thought she’d fallen for a client. She had, but she wasn’t about to lose the good life this line of work afforded her. Of course, she turned the tables on him and got him fired, but why she retained affection for his two-timing ass, she didn’t even know. “Must be the biceps,” she murmured.

She thought of the many different ways she could break that vase with his face if she ever saw him, but her thoughts were interrupted by a call.

“Yes? … Oh, hello Inspector Kpodo. How are you today, sir? … Very well, thank you. … Yes, I just saw it on the news. … Yes, we worked together, but I didn’t see him for a while before the…incident. … You want me to come down to the station? … Sure, I’ll be there later this afternoon. … Yes sir. Thank you. See you soon.”

Not even a day had passed, and they were already calling her for questioning. F*ck!

Interesting stuff! I wonder what the questioning is gonna be about, and of course, those flashbacks. So critical…

Categories
Mini-Series

Power Couple #1 – Blissful Sexcapades

It’s been really long, I know. Apologies, y’all! The site got hacked briefly, and work got in the way. But yeah, the State is back! And here’s a new story for y’all.

Makafui had this in the works for y’all a long time ago, but the issues came up. Thankfully, we can now share this new one with the world.

A tiny little spoiler here, though. If you thought the likes of Options N Upshots and Jay Ayima were wild, this blows them out of the park. And I think the title for this episode makes it clear. Get ready to be blown away!!

PRESENT DAY

The moaning got intense in a hurry. Karla Beest was getting the business like she’d never gotten it before. As she writhed and wriggled in pure pleasure, the giver of the business plowed on, upping the tempo and mixing the strokes. Karla’s crawl towards her peak became a rapid ascent, a speedy climb over which she was losing control by the stroke. The gyrations of her hips only served to inform her benefactor that it was time to seal the deal.

With each stroke of the tongue, her supplier of pleasure had her grabbing the edge of the bed for dear life and her screams of joy could not be contained. With swift, precise movements, her supplier massaged her in all the right places while still using that tongue to whip her up that mountain towards ecstasy. Her mind was one big, overloaded circuit of lust and gratification, and it was about to explode. Karla’s body tried to pull away to calm down a bit, but this supplier denied her, chasing her into submission. Karla started to ride her gratifier’s face, knowing she didn’t have much more resistance left in her. Maybe three more thrusts and she’d be done, over the edge and needing to catch her breath. The anticipation only made it sweeter.

One…two…BANG!

Everything just stopped. The door to room 116 was opened and slammed almost at the same time. Karla’s happy ending had been put on hold, and she was having none of it.

“WHAT THE HELL!” she screamed in pure frustration.

Caris Benton stood over them, surveying the room, and this is what he saw: No clothes, so they must’ve started in the shower. Karla still had panties on, although they were crotchless. Who said female oil company CEO’s didn’t know how to be freaky? Oddly enough, there was all this moaning and groaning and purring barely five seconds ago, and now nothing. It’s as if Caris walked in and someone hit mute.

Karla just stared, shocked at what was happening but trying her best to stay on this mountain, even if it meant that she would have to take herself to the top. She paid for the room and had every intent on staying there that night. Once she managed to get some of her mind back, she noticed that while she was genuinely shocked that they’d been barged in on, Caris didn’t seem surprised. He was too composed, too calm. She would’ve been losing her mind by now, but he just stood pat. As more of her mind cleared from all the delirium, she saw the bulge in his pants. Was he turned on by this? Something was very off about all of this.

“Well now, babe, I see you found my hideout.” Carol looked hungrily at Caris, whose eyes remained on Karla Beest, the oil company CEO with whom they were about to partner. Caris turned his attention to his wife.

“I see you chose to have all the fun without me, love.” Carol rose from her place in between Karla’s legs and went up to her husband, taking his hand, putting it on her cheek and slowly dragging it all the way down. What Caris found once she led him there was a hot spring, ready for him to bathe in. A confused Karla managed to mutter, “Wait a minute, you knew he was coming here?”

Caris looked at Carol, knowing all too well what was about to happen. “She kept you a secret, but I knew about you all along. I hear that your freaky does not discriminate, as long as it leads to good business. Is this true?”

Karla smiled. Her fantasy was about to come true, and it’d taken her fifty-seven years to see this day. Whatever feeling of pleasure she had was about to be doubled. At this point, she was ready to sign away this company for free if need be. “If I can look at your chest while Carol devours me like a pizza, you’ll go from buying 25% to buying 50%. My late younger brother’s shares remain unallocated, but I’m supposed to be finding a buyer for them. We need the influx of investment for the expansion.”

Caris looked at Carol, she looked back at him, and the answer was clear: it was time to whirlwind the heck out of the bitch. “You take the chest. I got the booty.”

****

 Caris lay in bed that night, thinking how lucky he was to have found Carol. He was a straight up pervert, and she was exactly the kind of freak that complemented him. He’d grown up in a conservative home and heard all the railing against people like him. “God never blesses people like that!”

Well, so far, they’d managed to buy big shares in an aluminum company, and they now owned half of an oil company while running a major construction firm and a cybersecurity firm, both with government contracts. Take that for a curse, old broke preacher. He looked at Carol as she turned in her sleep and smiled. Boy did he have it made.

As he turned to cuddle her, a memory flashed in his mind, the same one that had been showing up every night for the last seven nights. A memory he’d rather forget because he didn’t believe in any of it.

A memory of his father walking up to him, staring him down and declaring in the sternest possible tone, “My son, you have successfully disappointed me. Since you have chosen to go against the ways of the Spirit, harbor no surprise when God successfully disappoints you too. You will go very far, all the way to the top of the ladder, but you will fall drastically. No one will ever remember that you came, and no one will miss you when you’re gone. As for that corruptor of godly men, may God have mercy upon her soul.”

He didn’t believe anything his father, the Archbishop of King’s Court Chapel, had said on that fateful day when he found out that his son wanted to marry the same girl responsible for his senior deacon’s indiscretions. Yet the memory had haunted him for the ten years he was with his beloved.

His father had been a feared prophet whose accuracy was deadly enough that people called him “The Oracle of God.” When his father predicted an airplane crash, every last local airline on the continent grounded their fleet. The only planes that flew that week were international ones, and three of them had mass casualty incidents. He didn’t believe the words, but he knew that the speaker had a track record of being right. When will this day come? How will it happen?

His thoughts were interrupted by the vibration of his phone on the bedside table. Everyone who knew him knew better than to try to reach him at this time, so whatever it was had to be serious. He picked it up to look, and his face immediately fell once he saw the text he’d just received.

It was a picture he’d never wanted to see again, the one image that could make his father right, a picture of the beginning of the end. He resisted the urge to throw his phone, and instead muttered forcefully under his breath, “Goddammit!”

****

 Carol woke up earlier than normal. She took the sleep mask off her eyes and was ready to peck her man awake, but he wasn’t there. She got up, put on her sheer robe, and went to the one place she knew he’d be.

As she tiptoed into the kitchen, looking at Caris staring out the window, her heart went out to him. She knew that something had been keeping him awake every night this past week, but he hadn’t told her what. This was the first time in ten years that he’d kept something like that from her. She loved that he was as freaky as her, but she knew it was a mask; he’d been in deep pain since the day he chose to marry her against his father’s wishes. She’d played along and they’d become like Bonnie and Clyde, finding the less than righteous people in power and bending them to their will using their considerable sexual talents. All along, she’d hoped that he’d somehow get past the pain once they became rich and powerful themselves, but the pain only seemed to deepen with every conquest and every gain. They had just toppled Mount Karla and gotten 50% of an oil company that was nowhere near being for sale yet there he was, staring out the window like they’d lost their entire net worth. Still, she hoped that she’d be enough and that one day he’d truly be happy. In this moment, however, her sheer robe and absence of a bra would have to do.

 Carol walked up to her man and hugged him in the back, making sure her firm nipples met him at his lats, close to his spine on either side. Normally, he’d turn and show proper appreciation for the tease, but this time he didn’t move. “Caris, what’s wrong?”

No response. She turned him towards her. “Caris, talk to me, baby. What’s wrong?”

Caris just kept staring. “Caris, you’re getting me worried. What’s wrong?”

Caris looked around the expansive kitchen and the hall that it blended into, the spiral staircase that flowed up and down the three-story house, the beautiful décor, the lawn chairs outside, the swimming pool he only made love to Carol in, and then brought his eyes right back to her. He held her, gazed at her for a good minute, then uttered the words that would start them off to hell.

“Kane Glazer’s dead body has been found.”

Carol’s face fell. “Bullshit.”

“Nope. Our guy confirmed. It’s him.”

“Are you sure? Are you absolutely sure?”

“See for yourself.” Caris showed her the picture that his medical examiner friend had sent him.

“Fuck! Now? At this time? This asshat pops up yet again to threaten our lives?”

Silence. They both knew what this meant. They just hated that they had to do this again, but well, tough beat. After a moment, Carol looked up at Caris and parted the robe just enough to tease him with her cleavage. Caris looked at her, “You freaky bitch.”

 As he and his wife partook of each other, Caris felt the hole in his gut deepen. Kane Glazer was the one name that could bring them down, that could take all this away, that could make his father’s words dead accurate yet again. Kane Glazer was the owner of this house, the owner of their bank accounts, the owner of everything they’d used to get to where they were now.

Kane Glazer was the name of the man whose life they’d stolen.

Whoa! What a beginning that was. From freaky threesomes to a hidden murder incident. This should be good!

Categories
Meet The Dolphynes

Meet The Dolphynes S4 EP1 – What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Boy oh boy! After such a long break in May, the Dolphynes are back!!

Unfortunately, though, this is our final season with them. Sigh. I’ve done my share of crying, chale. It’s been quite a journey, and unfortunately, this is the last round of episodes with the squad, but I trust y’all have enjoyed yourselves.

Well, let’s get back into the story! So what happened after the grand opening’s events?

“Okay, guys, one last shot at this before you two leave!” Toby ordered, wiping his face with his towel as he signalled Anasah to wait. Taking his position in front of Serwaah and his cousins, twelve year-old Ethan and fourteen year-old Afrakuma as they stood in formation in the middle of the living room, he nodded to his younger brother after shaking his arms a bit.

Anasah hit the play button on the phone, and the sounds of DJ Flex filled the living room.

“Alright, five, six, seven, eight!”

For the next minute and a half, the quartet performed the choreography they had practiced for almost two hours beautifully, to the delight of those who watched. Namely, Anasah, Daniel and the father of the cousins, who recorded that particular take.

“Ahhhh, lovely, lovely! Ei, Toby no be small choreography teacher oo!” Daniel teased as he clapped his hands once they had ended.

Toby grinned as he shrugged. “I do what I can, Daddy. Uncle James, will you send the video?”

“Yes, yes, lemme do that through WhatsApp.”

“Great. Nice work, guys! All those two hours bore some fruit!” Toby cheered as he turned to his little sister and cousins, giving them high fives as they wiped their faces with their towels, looking tired but pleased with the work done. “Alright, so Ethan, Afrakuma, just keep practicing as often as you can… “

He was interrupted by the ringtone of his phone. Anasah walked over to him. “Here you go.”

Looking at the name, his heart sank.

Yet again, she was calling.

Silencing the tone, he quickly debated within himself whether or not to answer. A question he had been asking himself every time her name appeared on his phone’s screen.

Nah, I think I’ve ignored her enough. Time to hear her out.

“Guys, gimme a moment, eh. Let me answer this call,” he said to the others as he quickly walked to his room.

***

“Look here, gentleman. I don’t know what it is that’s gotten into your head, but it is not amusing in the least! How do you just tell me that what we’re doing is wrong and that you want out? Want out for what reason? Huh?”

Toby sighed as he held the phone to his ear. Just what he had feared: an angry Delphine. 

Since he sent that message at the grand opening of Diamond and Maabena’s business, he had not heard from her. Truth was, he had been dreading the moment they would talk again. She obviously had no regrets about their intimate encounters, and was pining for more, unlike him, who had now regretted giving in to his passions.

“Delphine… I know it’s not good news, but… I just don’t feel good about this anymore. I know… I was high on emotions, coz your body is just so irresistible, but… I can’t continue this. My conscience has been hitting hard, and I… I just feel this is wrong, and it has to end,” he reiterated as he sat on his bed.

“Gentleman, this your conscience excuse, that’s my back case, honestly. We just started having fun, and you want to chicken out? Are you kidding me? We’ve had just 2 insanely sweet encounters, and suddenly you’re turning into one of those anti-sex pastors? And you do it over a f**king text? Please, you better tell me something different, coz I’m not accepting this rubbish!”

Toby winced. This was harder than he thought. “Delphine, I’m sorry. I really am. I mean, I still find you insanely attractive; you’re still the hottest girl I know. And yes, I know the message thing may have been a bastard move. But… this just isn’t right. I can’t violate what my inner man is telling me. Please. Let’s talk this out properly once school starts. Please. I promise you, we can have a good, proper talk about this.”

There was silence over the phone. He prayed silently that she would agree to give in.

“You know what?” she said after a while. “I’m just going to end this call, forget I ever received any dumb message like that one you sent, and assume that the last time I was in touch with you was that incredible Sunday morning where you ate me out so damn good, I still get goosebumps from the thoughts of your tongue doing such an amazing job. And I’ll believe that when we meet the next time, you’re gonna surprise my coochie with more of that spine-tingling goodness. Goodbye, Toby.”

The line went dead.

Toby tossed the phone aside and put his head in his hands. This was not going well at all. She was undoubtedly proving to be the nightmare Diamond predicted she’d become after wrapping him around her finger. She clearly wanted to be the one in control, and was getting nasty.

Oh, God, what have I gotten myself into?

***

“Really?” Adelaide asked, a look of horror on her face as Oscar nodded.

“Yep. Not only did she bounce me, she teamed up with her idiot friend to come and say all sorts of horrible things to me. Herh, the thing really pained me. I mean, you don’t like me. Fine. Abi love no be by force. But the way she went so far as to make me feel like a fool for simply liking her…”

“Hmmmm. That’s just terrible. Some girls eh, you just don’t understand what’s wrong with them,” Adelaide sighed. 

“You just don’t, chale. I still remember when Kwame told me. I didn’t want to believe it, coz he naaa, he didn’t seem to like her very much. If only I had followed his instincts… but chale, it’s in the past.”

“Yes, it is,” Adelaide said, reaching over to give his hand a little squeeze.

Ever since the grand reopening of Smooth Wrapz, the two had been conversing literally every single day, with Adelaide seemingly looking to make up for lost time. After being restrained from getting close to him due to orders from above, she was grabbing every opportunity to spend time with him with both hands.

That evening, they were seated in the KFC restaurant at Haatso Agbogba, engaging each other about diverse issues. One of the questions Adelaide had for him was his worst romantic experience, which led to him giving her the tale of his ultimately disastrous pursuit of Barbara.

Needless to say, she was not impressed with Barbara’s behaviour one single bit.

“So you’ve not heard from her since?” she continued to probe.

Oscar shrugged. “I saw her a while back at Tasmin’s Express, with her now-ex and that toke she calls a friend. They did some really stupid stuff and later, Anasah came to tell Kwame and I that the guy brutally dumped her afterwards.”

“Oh chale. And uh, she’s not been in touch with you after that?”

“Never. As if I’d even want to begin to consider minding her.”

“Hmmm. Well, at least that’s over.”

“Oh yeah. And now that another complex chapter is over, hopefully it can only get better from here,” Oscar murmured, giving her a pleased look.

She put a hand over her face, looking just a little bit flushed. “Oh yeah, it most definitely is going to get better.”

His eyes darting from left to right to left, he grinned. “Want me to go all dramatic right now?”

“Noooo!” she laughed. “You know I’m not into those things.”

“Hahaha, I know.” A brief moment of silence followed. “But honestly, it’s been pretty awesome since we reconnected, and uh… I guess I’m fully convinced now that I… really like you, and I’d love for us to go beyond where we are now.”

The brightest of smiles quickly formed on her face. She sighed as she reached for his hand again. “I like you too, Oscar, and you can bet I want us to go beyond where we are now. It’s what I’ve wanted for so long.”

Oscar smiled. “So… that’s a yes, then?”

Adelaide laughed softly. “Well, the question didn’t come out as it should, but… yes, Oscar, issa yes. Let’s begin this new level together.”

***

Edem sighed as he leaned back in the sofa in the Amenu household. “Yeah, so… that was it.”

Before him sat Jackson and Selasi, concern etched on their faces. “And she didn’t say much?” Jackson asked.

Edem shook his head. “Nah. She just said no, that this isn’t what she wants, then she walked away. Arrgh, I feel like such an idiot! See me falling in love when it’s just friendship she wanted!”

“Easy, baby boy, easy,” Selasi calmed him down. “Don’t beat yourself up over it. You did what you needed to do. The answer might not have been what you wanted to hear, but… hmmm, well, such is life.”

“Yeah. Chale, don’t dwell on it for too long. It’s already been a couple of days since it happened, right?” Jackson asked.

Edem nodded. “And we haven’t spoken since then.”

“Hmmm. Yeah, the whole awkwardness thing, I’m sure,” Selasi said. “It’s always quite tough saying no to a friend who likes you. Unless you’re just plain immature and entitled, you’ll know he’s hurting and will want to keep a little distance.”

“I agree. Ed, just let her be for now. Don’t push anything. You should hear from her eventually,” Jackson urged. “Whatever happens after that, just remember that you’ll be fine. These things happen, chale. Feel free to nurse your broken heart for a while. Then get yourself back together and locomote to the future. Simple as that.”


***

As Diamond waved to her partner from the departing Uber in which she sat, that old tug at the heart came rushing back.

The Smooth Wrapz trailer out of sight after a few minutes, she leaned back in her seat and sighed.

Business was okay. Of course, people were taking their time in warming up to the brand. Considering how busy she and Maabena had been throughout the day, she could be proud of the baby steps taken so far. “Treasure those humble beginnings”, as Pastor Lois had told her.

But there was something else on her mind.

That proposal from Edem at the grand opening.

The memory of that excited spark in her belly that his touch ignited when he held her chin was an indelible mark on her brain. Those brown eyes piercing hers as he officially proposed could not be easily erased. That moment was something else.

But… in the midst of all that, doubt whispered into her ear and sent waves of unease down her spine.

Remember Maabena? How in love she was, only for her man to go behind her back and marry another woman? Remember your favourite YouTube Couple? Valdo and Loya? Didn’t they just break up and cancel the channel altogether? Do you honestly think it’s worth saying yes? What if he breaks your heart and you guys become enemies?

Swayed by those fears, she had shaken her head, claimed that a relationship wasn’t what she wanted with him, and walked away, leaving him with what she was sure was a face burning with humiliation and disappointment.

It had been a few days, though, and she constantly did her best to tell herself that she made the right choice. After all, she had seen firsthand how hard it was on a person when a breakup occurred. And heartbreak was the last thing she needed to experience. Better not to put yourself in front of cocked muskets ready to fire.

Yet… there was this deep dissatisfaction within. This inkling that kept her feeling like this was a bad decision. This deep impression that that proposal should have received a positive response.

Because the reality was, deep down within her soul, burned a raging flame of passion for Edem.

Her eyes focused on the lit up buildings they sped past, she sighed again and rubbed her forehead.

I’ve made the right choice. I know I have feelings for him and all, but… it’s not worth getting hurt over… yeah, yeah, I made the right choice haven’t I?

So Diamond said no? Ah! And Toby too has really gotten himself in trouble, hasn’t he? Let’s see what happens as the season unfolds…

Categories
Emunah

Emunah Ep 4: There’s No Place Called Home

When I finally looked at him, I saw the relief pour across his face. I smiled inside for a brief second, and then I steeled myself for the utter chaos that was to come, the heartbreaking disappointment he would face right before he left this earth.

As I dragged him up, I saw the look of confusion on his face.

As I bound his hands, I felt him resist internally. I felt him collapse emotionally. But I never felt him try to resist physically. I taught him well. Maybe too well. Resist, son! Make this harder for me! I need you to make me have to do it! Are you not a man? Do you not realize that you are the lamb? Resist! Fight to live! Fight for your right to breathe! Why won’t you resist!

It was when I carried him and laid him on the altar that the shock of it all finally crushed him. I could see it in his face that he knew he was about to die. He was bound like a ram and laid down like a future carcass. He knew his fate was sealed. I cannot tell you how much that broke me. I cannot explain just how defeating that sight was for me. I cannot begin to describe how much of my insides had turned right into pudding, how much I wished to God this wasn’t happening. The only thing worse than watching your son go through agony because of you is knowing that he may never understand that you went through even more agony to put him through his agony.

When you step on a worm, it first wriggles like crazy. When you step on it again, it keeps wriggling, but not as vigorously as before. By the time you step on it a third time, it has barely any wriggle left. I guess it accepts that there’s no living left for it to do and even if it survived, its life would have no meaning. When I got the knife, Isaac’s eyes expanded into massive orbs. That was the first wriggle. When he saw it go up, his eyes looked like they were sinking into their sockets. That was the second wriggle. His eyes immediately shut when the knife stopped ascending. That was the third wriggle, the lifeless one. He couldn’t stop what was about to happen, but he didn’t want to see himself die.

*****

I saw this sword of a knife go up, and it loomed larger and larger with each rise. Father’s hands went up very slowly, like he was conserving all his energy for the swift descent that would end it all. I saw that knife, and all I could think about was how mother called me Miracle whenever she didn’t want to call me Isaac. How she kept talking about the angels she refused to believe when they said she would have me. How she and father waited so long for me, and how that should teach me to be patient with God. The memories crossed my eyes like racecars, the jokes and the scoldings flooded my mind, and I was certain that she would never forgive father for this, even if it was because God told him to. Her son was bound and laid on an altar like a lamb, then murdered by her husband, and then burned as a sacrifice to God. I’m not sure even God would be forgiven for this.

My head was pounding, my entire body was pulsing, my armpits were sweaty, my wrists were numb because the rope was so tight, my legs felt like two big, lifeless logs, and my voice was no longer operational. When the knife reached its peak and hung over me like a guillotine, I closed my eyes. Moments passed, then minutes passed, and then I wondered whether I had died without knowing it. My eyes were still working. I’ve seen dead people before. Their eyes never work. Somehow, mine still work. Was I dead or not dead?

I opened one eye, very slowly, and the sunlight that met it immediately made it unstable.

But wait, if my eye saw sunlight, I must not be dead. I opened the other eye, and after a few moments, I wasn’t blinking anymore. It took me a few more seconds to realize that all my limbs were intact, and I was alone. I was so scared that I didn’t even hear father’s footsteps when he left. What does any of that matter? I am alive! I didn’t die!

But if I didn’t die, then what’s the sacrifice?

BAAAAAAAHHH!

*****

I was ready to strike.

I had finally come to the place where I was okay with killing my son. I prayed that the Lord would find this sacrifice worthy, and that He would send me another.

I was ready to strike.

My hands started descending. And then…

“Abraham!”

My hands kept descending.

 Abraham!”

My hands froze. Midway through the stab of death, a familiar voice had stopped me. Was this torture not enough? Was I going to have to repeat this whole process? A man can only be pushed so far!

“Here I am.”

“Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!

This was a test? This whole time, God was testing me? I know God does some extremely unbelievable things, but this?

WHAT THE ACTUAL-

BAAAAAH!

I looked up, and right there in the thicket was a ram. Here’s the problem with that: rams NEVER come up here. There’s no grass, the bushes are thorny, it is the worst place for a ram to graze. Also, rams just don’t climb this high for food. And I am highly certain that I didn’t bring a ram. So how did it get up here?

“The Lord will provide.”

That’s what I told Isaac when he asked about the animal for the sacrifice, wasn’t it?

God was never going to depart from his nature. God never accepts human sacrifice. God never takes back the gifts He gives to anyone.

God was never going to let me kill Isaac.

Still in utter confusion, I went to the thicket, untied the ram and brought it back with me. And this ram was the opposite of Isaac. It fought and clawed and resisted every way it could.

BAAAAAH!! BAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

BAAAAH!

*****

This was one altar I was never going to take down.

I took a very shaken Isaac off the altar and untied him. I then tied the ram, laid it on the altar, and wasted no time ending its life. Then I set it on fire, and then I worshipped God for rescuing my son from death. I thanked Him for the ram.

Oh, how I thanked Him for that ram.

And then the Voice spoke up one more time.

“I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

He was keeping his promise, and He was giving me even more! This was not for nothing! He wanted to give me more, but He wanted to trust me with more!

Right now, in this moment, that promise more than compensates me for all the tribulation I just put my son through. I’m naming this place The Lord Will Provide. I’m going to mark it so that no one ever forgets that on this mountain, the Lord provided for me. This name will remain until the end of time.

*****

I could still smell the burning ram while Isaac and I went back down. We didn’t have anything to carry, so it was just us. I didn’t know what to say to him. Who would? What do you tell your son after something like that? “God wanted you dead but not really. Oops?” I was still getting over the fact that God really went as far as making me think I was going to kill my son just so He could know whether I valued Him more than I valued the son He gave me. Yes, I was in pain, yes, I was in turmoil, but I know for sure that Isaac would be dead if God hadn’t stopped me. But did He really need to put us through this just to prove that?

I know for sure that Isaac will one day tell his mother what happened today, and I don’t know if I have it in me to face her once she knows. Sarah is a very calm, very loving woman, but she’s also very fierce and she’s not one anyone wants to go up against. How do I explain to her that I went to sacrifice Isaac because God said so, but in the end, He didn’t want Isaac’s blood? She understands sacrifice, she understands God asking for a sacrifice, but God rejecting the sacrifice He asked for even before it’s been offered?

We’re at the foot of the mountain now. The servants think we’re going home.

One of the stops we have to make on our way back is in a town called Beersheba. I could stay there. I could just stay there until I figure something out and time passes.

I can’t go home. Not yet. Not for a while.

I may never see my Sarah ever again.

Well, that was a trip back in time, wasn’t it? Seeing things through the eyes and minds of Abraham and Isaac. Quite an intense experience. If you were ever like me, thinking Abraham wasn’t moved by that command, this will prove you wrong. Obeying God was not the least bit easy, but it was worth it for the father of faith. Thanks to Makafui for this journey he took us on!!

Categories
Emunah

Emunah Ep 3: Father?!

It’s been two days.

These have been two of the longest days of my life.

For two days, I have not been able to look at my son.

On the first day, we went much faster than we should’ve simply because I would not stop moving. The servants spoke and Isaac spoke, but it was only when the ass started to rebel that I realized that we needed to stop. We’d travelled a day and a half and the only times we stopped were for water. I expected Isaac to come to my makeshift tent and bother me with all kinds of questions about the desert. You know, teenager questions.

“How is it that God chose for nothing to grow here except cactus?”

Strangely enough, after he asked where we were going, he said nothing more for the rest of the journey. When we found a place to rest, he immediately set about helping the servants to build a fire and set up shelters for the night. Not one question from him to me, not one word from him to anybody. He just went about his business. I wonder if it’s because he noticed that I haven’t looked at him since we left home.

One of the servants brought me a small rock I could lay my head on, and a mat to lay on the floor. As he left, I noticed Isaac sitting in front of his shelter. The other servant was chattering about elk and how he needed to groom the mules when we got back; his voice was that loud. Isaac just sat and nodded his head appropriately like he was listening, but I knew he was far away from this room. I saw it, but what could I do about it? I’m his father, not his closest friend. The boy has to learn to resolve whatever bothers him on his own, like any man would.

Who am I kidding? I know why he’s acting this way. I know why, but I cannot tell him what he needs to know. Not just yet.

I cannot tell him that I have to return him to his true owner.

*****

Morning came, but it could not have made less of a difference to me. I turned in early, woke up to every hissing of the wind, and tried everything not to be anxious. I don’t know what my father knows, and it makes no sense to be worried about it.

Yet worried is all I’ve been since yesterday.

By the time the servants knew it, I had packed up pretty much everything. Again, father would not let us load anything onto the animals, preferring to do this alone and in solitude. He also continued not to look at me, but I guess I just have to live with it until he finally does. Anyway, as soon as he was done, we got to moving again. This was day three. I have no idea where Moriah is, but judging by how quickly father’s moving, it must be a good distance away.

*****

I know that the sacrifice will happen today. I know this because I know that we will get to Moriah today. I know that because I know that Moriah is about a day and a half away by mule, so it must be twice as long on foot. I also know that there’s a certain point at which I’m going to have to start acting normal, otherwise Isaac might start asking questions I have no idea how to answer. At this point, I’m even questioning if that’s a good idea, because if I go back to normal, he will be even more confused. Nonetheless, I am still his father and I have to be the one to cure the anxiety.

We are almost at Moriah. I am not sure how best to explain this, but as I look at it, I can see a mark, a signal of some kind hovering over a very specific spot. I can see the path to this place, and I know what must be done.

I know that it is time.

*****

So, we were moving, and everything was looking normal, and then we just stopped. I was burning to ask if we’d arrived, but father was looking ahead at a mountain range. For a minute, we all just stood there in the dust and heat, and no one said a word. And then the next thing I knew, my shoulder was loaded with the logs we brought, and my father was holding this knife that looked bigger than it really was in my eyes. He took a pot from the load on the ass, the first time I’d even seen the pot since I woke up three days ago. I didn’t even know he’d brought a pot. He filled it with coals, made a fire, and then came back to stand in front of us. He still hadn’t looked at me yet, but he did look at the servants, and his next words had a taste of pain like I’d never known.

“Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

We left them and eventually got to this point where it looked like the path was leading upward, but in a way so gentle that it wasn’t even noticeable. I knew it wasn’t going to be long before we got to the destination, and was still not sure what this sacrifice had to do with me or why father refused to look at me. That I was anxious about his refusal to look at me was confusing in itself, but if he was going to kill some poor animal because of something I did or didn’t do, I needed to know this. I needed to know so I wouldn’t repeat the error. But I knew I wasn’t going to get that answer, because I would have had that info on the very first day if he wanted me to. I did know, however, that sacrifices can’t work without an animal; blood was necessary. So, let me at least have that question answered.

“Father?”

“Yes, my son?”

“The fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

The classic answer non-answer. Help me, Lord.

*****

We got pretty high up, very close to the ridgeline of the mountain, and then we stopped. Father took the logs off my shoulder and asked me to sit on some rock. I tried to help but he had that stern “get out of my way” look on his face, so I did what he said. He still hadn’t looked at me yet, but I was much easier about that. After he said God will provide, I figured that God must have asked him not to bring an animal. This is probably one of those random instructions he gets from God that make no sense at the start. If that’s the case, then this has nothing to do with me at all. Maybe he brought me along just for me to witness how this works.

Maybe God will deal with me in the same manner, and father just wants me to see it firsthand so that I’m ready when it’s my turn. Maybe I’ve been anxious about him not looking at me for absolutely no reason. Then again, can you blame a child for not adulting? If your father sat with you in the same location, and never looked at you even when he was talking to you, you’d be waiting for the list of charges and offences and a court date with him. Mine didn’t look at me for three whole days! Anyway, I probably let anxiety get the best of me and make me paranoid. So, I’m relaxed about it for now. At some point, he’ll explain himself. Or at the end of this, I’ll see why he acted the way he did. He’s finished building the altar now, and he’s done arranging the wood on it. Now, all we need is-

Wait a minute. He’s looking at me! Finally! Yes!!

Hold on. He’s looking at me. There’s a rope in his hand I never saw before, and he’s looking at me. He’s walking towards me now. There’s a rope in his hand I never saw before, and he’s looking at me, and he looks like he’s holding back tears, and he’s now standing in front of me. Why is he just looking at me? All I wanted these last few days was for him to look at me, and now all I want is for him to get away from me. Did he just drag me up? Why is he tying my hands? What is… oh no!

Oh no! Oh my God, no!

God was supposed to provide the lamb! He said God would provide the lamb! He said God never accepts human sacrifice!

Father, what are you doing? I am your son! You cannot kill me! Father! Father!

Oh my God, he’s laying me on the altar now. He’s over a hundred years old! How is he so strong? Father! Father!!

FATHER?!!

(It probably helps to remember the first thing I told you in the beginning: no son defies their father in my time, not even at the point of death. I could not resist the man because the man is never to be resisted.)

Categories
Emunah

Emunah Ep 2: Let’s Talk About Trust, Shall We?

 “Isaac! Come yonder! The mountaintop is calling! Come, let’s jump together! One! Two! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH…”

OUCH!

“Son, get up.”

“Father, tis earlier than the normal time we go out into the field. Is something awry?”

“No, son. Nothing is awry, but something is afoot, and we must go early.”

“Yes father. If the hour is to be a reference, I surmise that a sacrifice must be made.”

“You have assumed correctly, son. The word of the Lord came to me, and a sacrifice shall be made this day.”

“Shall I wake the shepherds?”

“What for?”

“To choose the animal for the sacrifice. I assume that the Lord desires a very specific animal with very specific attributes. The shepherds are best suited to pick the animal, are they not?”

“Not this time, son. Indeed, the Lord gave very specific instructions concerning the sacrifice, but we will not need the shepherd. Now, arise. We are going with two of the servants.”

“Yes, father.”

*****

So, here’s the thing: I really don’t want to go with father to make this sacrifice. It has nothing to do with the sacrifice itself; I’ve seen enough of them not to be squeamish about them. It’s not about the hour, although I’d much rather continue to get my beauty rest. It’s not even about the fact that dad woke me up from this very dramatic dream I was having inasmuch as I really wanted to see how it would end. (I know that the other person jumped off the mountain, I don’t know if I was dumb enough to follow. That scream was not mine, people.)

It’s about the whole thing.

Father Abraham, son of Terah, was never one to explain any of his actions to me. He’d usually say something, then maybe answer the first question I had, and then I’d have to find out the rest as we go. He’s the kind of dad that would tell me to do the most insane thing, only for the most insane thing to turn out to be the most awesome thing ever. Mum told me about a day when he just packed everyone up and just moved them all, and he didn’t even know where he was moving them to! You really have to trust a guy an awful lot to leave a stable place without knowing where you’re headed. But I digress. The point is, this man never goes past question 1a on any quiz I give him when he gives me an instruction. And then today he answers every question I have without complaint?

Something is very, very wrong with this picture.

*****

                Okay, so here’s what our living arrangements looked like at the time: Father’s tent was in the middle of the camp. Mother’s tent was right next to it. That’s where I used to sleep until I was old enough to have my own tent, which was close to where the servants lived. Father and mother didn’t regularly sleep in the same tent. They only shared the same tent when mother went in to father’s tent to care for him when he fell ill, or when father went in to mother’s tent to know her. There were other reasons, but these were the two big ones. The servants stayed far enough from father’s tent to allow privacy, but close enough for him to reach them whenever he needed them. The men and women did not share tents. The women’s tents were surrounded on the outside by the men’s tents. The idea here was that in the event of any attack, the menservants would be able to protect the women while giving them time to flee to safety. The stables were on the outskirts of the camp in a large pasture area. The animals we killed to eat were left to graze in the open air, while the ones we needed for labour were kept in the stables.

It’s still dark outside, but there’s evidence that sunrise is almost here. Father and the two servants were already at the stables when I got there. I figured father would want to saddle an ass, so I went to help. When I got there, I saw another unusual sight: the servants were just standing about. Now, for the sake of context, let me point out that even though I am a son, my rank is still the same as that of a servant. The only thing that’s different about me is my future; I will run all of this one day. Anyway, there was this banging sound like someone was cutting wood behind the stables. I went around to look and saw father cutting the wood as though each log had insulted his father. When you see a man who is well past a hundred years old laying an axe to a log like he’s fifteen years old, you know that peace is not with him in any possible way. I tried to help him, but he simply refused. Try as I did, he would not let me help him. He wouldn’t even let me load up the donkey for him.

“I do not think I have ever seen Master Abraham like this before. He refuses to let us be servants this day, choosing to cut his own wood and load up his own donkey. Tis as though he fears to err before he makes this sacrifice.”

“No, tis as though he desires that the materials for the sacrifice be perfect, in like manner as a man does when the sacrifice is a thing dear to his heart and precious in his sight.”

“Fearest he that his favorite animal is the one the Lord had chosen?”

“Has he even a favorite animal?”

“Shh, here comes he.”

Servants stay gossips and these ones are no different! But in all their chattering, they made one good point. The way father is acting is the way someone acts when their sacrifice is so precious to them that they don’t want to make even the smallest mistake lest God hits them. What could possibly be the sacrifice? He’s loaded up the donkey with wood and he has a knife, but what exactly are we going to offer?

*****

“Alright. You all know what to do. Isaac, you will be with me in front. The Lord has gone ahead of us and is ready for us, so let’s go meet him.”

And with that, we left home. I didn’t get to see mother before we left, and I wasn’t even sure that if I’d seen her, she’d be able to tell me why father was acting strange. While the servants kept their discussion going, father just walked in silence. I was a couple of steps behind him, caught up in my own thoughts. I replayed the dawn in my head over and over. He came in, woke me up, answered my every question. I went to the stables, he refused my help and any other help, he loaded up his own donkey. There was no rush, there was no tension, he just wasn’t talking. I played it again. Wake up. Stables. No help. Wake up. Stables. No help. Wake up. Stables. No help. Wake up. Stables. No help. Wake up. Stables. No… Wait a minute. That’s not normal. Throughout the whole thing, from the waking up to the right now, he has looked at everyone as he spoke to them. He has looked at the servants, he has looked at the wood, he has even looked at the ass as he loaded it. He has looked at everybody.

Everybody except me.

Is the sacrifice because of me? Does it have something to do with me? Am I the reason he’s been so alarmingly different? Did I sin somewhere along the line without knowing? No, that can’t be. If he was making the sacrifice because of my sin, he would need a specific animal. Only blood can be used for this kind of atonement, he taught me that. He can’t possibly think that there’s going to be an animal at the altar just ready for him to kill and offer up. That’s not impossible, but it is downright crazy. Who sacrifices a wild animal? But why hasn’t he looked at me? Why isn’t he looking at me now? What did I do?

Am I reading too much into this? Clearly he’s got a lot on his mind, and he probably didn’t do it on purpose. But I’ve gone over every detail of this and I’m sure I’m not crazy; he’s not looking at me. Okay, let’s test the theory and see.

“Dad, where exactly are we going?”

“Moriah.”

“I’m sorry?”

“We’re going to Moriah, son.”

He answered the question. He answered the follow-up. He didn’t look at me.

He just kept moving forward. He didn’t look back even once. I stopped to ask those questions, but he kept moving while he answered, like a man in a trance!

This definitely has something to do with me, right? Who doesn’t look back to answer someone who’s speaking to them from behind? Am I being paranoid? Do I just assume that this is one of his crazy things which ends up being awesome? Was that dream just a dream or a warning? Am I really jumping off a mountain today?

What am I trusting right now?

Categories
Emunah

Emunah Ep 1: Faith Is…

“Abraham!”

“Here am I.”

“Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall tell you.”

****

This is why I can’t sleep.

I am not a man that is prone to moments of panic. I understand authority, I understand God’s authority, and I know enough to know that what God wants is what God wants.

But this one? This particular ask?

Let me point out something you may not know. Human sacrifice wasn’t uncommon in my day. The blood of humans has always been a premium commodity in a lot of spiritual actions, so it’s not unusual to hear of firstborns getting placed on altars.

The thing that wasn’t common about the request was that this God was the one making it.

This God has always been more of an animal sacrifice kind of God. You know, sheep, doves, other specific ones depending on His taste. He’s usually highly particular about the animal for the sacrifice, and very detailed on all the specifics. Believe it or not, he cares about the age, the size, even the hair color of the animal. Yes, God does see color. He made it all, after all.

But a human sacrifice? And this particular human being sacrificed?

Listen, spanking a child is hard enough, not to talk of KILLING one! But this hurt for an even bigger reason. This hurt because this was my legacy, this was my promise, this was my impossible! How am I losing my promise to the one who gave it in the first place? How much more do I need to prove!

How do I even tell his mother?

*****

“Abe, what ails you?”

I was in my tent, laying on the mat that was my only separator from the cold dirt floor, when Sarah came in. Sarah was one of those women who never screamed, but always got the point across.

“Nothing, Sarah. I just cannot sleep.”

“Did something happen? Are the servants of Abimelech giving you problems again?”

“No, woman, this is not about them.” I did not know it, but I had just pinned myself with that statement.

“What is not about them, my husband?” Yeah, that was a rookie mistake.

“Sarah, I just can’t sleep. Go back to your tent with your son.” At this point, the cold air of the desert was blowing in, and the thick goat hair that was my blanket was starting to fail at keeping me warm. “Do not worry about me, Sarah. I am well.”

A definitely unconvinced Sarah proceeded to come lie by me under the blanket that barely covered me, and she said, “Abraham, something is bothering you. While you may choose to keep it from me, you cannot deny me the chance to care for you.” And with that, she lay right by me and made it clear that she was going nowhere tonight.

As I lay there a few hours later, listening to her soft breath even as I felt it on my chest, I looked at her. Sarah. Mother of my child. You have no idea how crazy that sounded, how impossible that should have been. You have to understand, it’s not a natural occurrence, giving birth at 90 years old. Why do you think she made me sleep with the maid? Even she didn’t believe it when the angels told her she would bear a child, but here we are. And now I’m supposed to throw all that away?

I gently called her name, “Sarah.”

No response. “Sarah.”

Maybe it’s for the best that she’s asleep now, because God knows she would flip if she knew. If you think she will accept it just because God said it, please try telling any 90-year-old woman who just got pregnant after decades of trying that God wants her to abort the baby. See how well that works for you. And that’s in your generation, where guns and knives and hands abound. Even sandals are lethal in your day. I am in a real predicament, and the crazy thing is that I’m not as worried about the guy I have to sacrifice as I am about his mother.

“Did you call me, my lord?”

I genuinely thought she was asleep. “No, Sarah. Go back to sleep.”

“What is it, Abraham?”

I don’t know what, but something about how she said that made me want to open up. She’s my wife, after all, and after the crazy things we’ve been through…

“Sarah, I think… I talked to… The Lord called me late last night, before I came home.”

I fully expected her to sit up, but she just gave me an “Uh huh…” She wasn’t as interested as I thought she would be. “The Lord wants me to uh, He wants me to sacrifice…” Oh, help me Lord. You’re the one who said this, please let her accept it. “The Lord asked me to sacrifice our son in the morning.”

 Nothing.

Oh dear, that is not a good sign. She can’t do anything about it and she knows, so she’s keeping her anger to herself. Or she’s processing what I said. Or maybe-

 *Snore.*

 You cannot be serious. I mustered up all that courage, went through all that turmoil, and all that sounded like a lullaby? I would not be wrong to wake her up and just finish her. Your husband is talking to you, and you proceed to sleep? I was about to turn away and will myself to sleep on this floor when I felt movement. Oh Lord, maybe she heard me?

Sarah didn’t sit up, but she did inch closer to me. She’d rolled a bit off my body while she slept. “My lord. Sorry, I was overcome with sleep. What was it you wanted to say?”

I wanted to shake my head, but I’m a bigger man than that. “Sarah, is there anything God would ask of you that you would decline?”

Silence. Then, “Do I have the option to decline?”

“Does one need an option to decline the Lord’s instructions?”

“Yeah, unless one has every intention of being smitten.”

“Well, I guess…”

“Abraham. What did the Lord ask you to do?”

“Sarah, believe me, tis for the best that you do not know.”

“Abraham-“

“Sarah, believe me.”

Silence. Well, this is going great so far. If the question didn’t startle her, my last response definitely did. Sarah may be a great companion, but she certainly knows how to get me to respond how she wants. Now would be a good time for sleep to hit me as hard as it can.

“Well, I remember that we came to this land without knowing what it was or where it was. You were led directly by God, who said ‘Go to the land I will show you.’ I also know that the Lord promised me Isaac, and I have him now. Would I defy him because He spoke something I could not comprehend? Not one of the Lord’s instructions to us thus far have been comprehensible. So, I suppose I would believe that He knows the end from the beginning, and it will all make sense in time. Faith in God has to be its own evidence, as does His history with us thus far.”

****

Nothing was said after that. Sarah slept at my side, and I just lay there thinking. There was no way I was going to say no to God. I just couldn’t come to terms with His ask, even if it was less “I’m asking you to” and more “I’m telling you to.” Sacrifice my legacy? Sacrifice my only son? Sacrifice my promise?

My promise. The promise that was made to me. The promise God Himself fulfilled. Now I see it. None of this has anything to do with me. God was the one who made the covenant, God is the one who has to see it through. I am just the guy who He chose to partner with on earth. So if He sees fit to take Isaac away, surely He has to have another way to fulfill his promise. I really hope that at some point, He tells me not to go through with this, but if He doesn’t, then this blood’s not on my hands. I pray for you, Isaac. I pray you survive this. For the sake of my love for you, I pray you do.

It’s dawn. It’s very close to morning. Sarah’s warmth can no longer be my respite, and her breath no longer soothes me. Even as I get up off the mat quietly, I know that whatever she and I have will forever be changed after this day. But, the Lord has asked. Who am I to say no?

Who am I to deny the Lord my God anything, even the life of my promised son?

Categories
Emunah

Emunah Intro: Why?

It’s been so long, but the break is over now!! So many cobwebs around here… looool. Well, your man has been tied down with academics, and now that he’s sorta done, it’s time to get back to the State!

So before we prepare to say farewell to our beloved Dolphyne family later on this month (yeah, I know it sucks, but all good things, minus eternal life, must come to an end), here’s an opener. Makafui is back, and he’s got quite a retelling for us. Based on a Bible story we all know so very well. Enjoy!!

It’s dawn.

I don’t have a clock to prove it, but it’s dawn. It looks very dark outside, but sun rays always creep in before they streak the room, and I’m a master at catching them as they creep.

It shouldn’t be dawn. Day doesn’t need to rush in like this. Not this day. Especially not this day. I tried to sleep. My bride tried to make me sleep. Granted, her tired self couldn’t actually do anything to put me to bed, but her efforts usually inspire change.

Today’s different.

Today’s troubling.

Today’s where we find out a heck of a lot starting with the question, “What kind of man are you?”

Today’s the day where I choose between my promise and my Provider.

Today’s when I sacrifice my only son.

****

I know I’m extra.

Let me rephrase that: I know you THINK I’m extra.

Not extra as in excessive or bratty or anything like that. More like you think I’m really weak or excessively submissive.

Most of you know that I was a child when it happened, so you imagine that I was like five or six or even a baby. The smart ones among you probably found out that I was actually about seventeen. You may be right, you may be wrong, but surely you can’t be far off. And if you’re not far off, then your next question’s probably something like, “WHAT TEENAGER DOESN’T STAND UP FOR HIMSELF WHEN HIS FATHER TRIES SOMETHING LIKE THIS?”

It’s a fair question, maybe even a good one.

You may even get cocky enough to follow that with, “IF MY FATHER TRIED SOMETHING LIKE THAT, I WOULD FIGHT HIM!” Or it’s distant cousin, “I WILL CALL THE POLICE!”

But before we proceed, allow me to ask you something.

You know how you all have this inherent desire to, uh, PLEASE, your fathers? How you all have this need to not defy your dad even if he looks like a lunatic, and you will only traverse that need once you’re sure he really is a lunatic?

You don’t even want to obey him half the time, but you typically don’t want to defy him.

In your case, it’s because you fear that roast or maybe that butt-whooping that follows when you say no for ego reasons. In my case, it’s a little bit trickier than that. You see, we don’t fear fathers around here.

We REVERE them.

In these times, your father’s name is literally your ticket. You’re only as valuable as your father’s opinion of you, and people treat you differently based on who your father is. First, we depend on our dads for food and covering, then we help them get the food and covering. Even with all that, they could decide not to leave us any part of the family business when they’re no more. Also, and this is key, the blessings or curses they speak over us will follow us until we die. They usually make these pronouncements based on what we did or didn’t do for them before they passed. Your whole life is decided by how your father feels about you on one day, and he doesn’t get to take back what he says.

Keep in mind that grace wasn’t a thing yet, and mothers had to resort to extraordinary measures to get any mercy for their kids. So, your mum really couldn’t do much for you if you went against your dad for any reason. This is not the 21st Century. This is not 2000 A.D. This is as B.C. as B.C. gets. Going against your dad is only topped by going against God on the list of no-nos for kids.

Now that you know all of that, are you sure you would still fight that man if you were in my shoes in this time period?

You’re what’s going to happen after me and mine improve upon my father’s methods, and then my kids improve upon my methods, and on and on until Israel’s kings and Rome’s emperors, and world wars and car seat laws, and then social media. (Somewhere in there will be Paul the Apostle, who will try to help by saying, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger.” Be advised, that part of the text will forever be skipped until you become a parent. If you have the memory of a fly, you’ll skip it too.)

By now, either you know who I am or you’re mad confused and losing your bearings. Let me help you out a little bit. You know how people talk about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? We’re those guys. At least, we’re two of them; Jacob’s another subject. (I haven’t even known his mother yet, and I don’t mean that in a friendly manner.) Anyway, the point is, these are not the times in which sons get to talk back to their fathers, even if they mean absolutely no harm, which is most often the case. So no, I wasn’t weak or excessively submissive, and I certainly wasn’t a robot who just took orders.

I was simply the son of a very crazy man in a very wild time.

Interesting intro. Now we get into the deep end of this familiar tale from the first episode!

Categories
Stalling For A Fool

Stalling For A Fool #3

Maverick came out and although I was dreading what was to come, I was grateful that he was fully dressed.

Winnie’s face went from smiley to completely blank. The dead silence of the room was deafening and I was ready for the earth to swallow me. Maverick stood in front of the bathroom for a full minute, then went back inside.

Winnie looked at me, then looked at the shower, then looked at me again, saying absolutely nothing in the process. The look on her face wasn’t one of pure anger; it was more like a mix of disbelief, irritation and confusion. I hoped that she’d remember that I’d told her that I was not in when he left and she would declare me innocent in her mind.

I opened my mouth to speak when Maverick opened the shower door again and came out, this time standing at the side of the door while Maame came out and marched straight for the main door. Winnie now looked shocked. The confusion had left her face and in its place was anger. Even worse, Maverick followed Maame like a happy hound after its master, and they both left without a word. The paranoia came back with full force.

Oh Dear God, now I have to deal with the blowback! Please don’t let me die today from all the punching, I thought to myself.

A very angry Winnie looked me in the face. “Carl, did you know all along that he was in there?” The question came at me hard and I was sure that I could still be absolved of any possible crimes.

No, I did not.

“Carl, did you know all along that he was in there?”

“No, I really didn’t. Since Bill told me he’d left, I assumed he really had left.”

“When is Bill coming back?”

I shrugged.

For the next five minutes, I watched the most polite, most courteous woman Maverick had ever brought into this room cuss him out as if she was quoting lines from a Samuel Jackson character. I’d never heard that many expletives used by anyone like her in the same context or even at the same moment. From all the cussing, I learned that somewhere in her, she was glad she didn’t let him touch her but she was mad about the fact that she’d felt bad about that and considered bending just for him. She was also mad because she came so they could talk things out. Their relationship had gone sour from the lack of intimate contact and she was going to let him have her today. She’d had a whole evening planned and it was going to end in my suffering to sleep.

At that moment, I was glad that this happened. Maame and Maverick had made my nights very unpleasant with their shaking of the bed and if Winnie had let him have her, his bed would no doubt have been broken and the supports along with it, and that would have given us all a date with the ER doctors.

She had barely calmed down when he returned. At that moment, I gave her a hug and told her to calm down. The return hug came with a message that suggested that I had better hoped that my room was intact by the time she left. I left and hurriedly went to see my friend across campus. I had no interest in staying to watch the drama that ensued.

I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I came back the next morning and found the room intact and Maverick’s bones still in place. I almost punched him when he attempted to accuse me of sabotage but I made him realize his folly.

He later told me that he and Winnie broke up that night and Maame slept over and they “celebrated.” I pitied the poor girl but I knew she would learn her lesson the hard way if she hadn’t learned anything from last night. I was glad to be in my bed again.

I closed my eyes, this time knowing that no creaking sounds would wake me up, and drifted off into the arms of the beautiful damsel whose face I never saw.

THE END

Well, the title never lied. Maverick certainly is one heck of a fool. Winnie should consider it a bullet dodged. Or what do you think?

Thank you for visiting this little side of the State, and all gratitude to Makafui for yet another riveting story!!

Categories
Stalling For A Fool

Stalling For A Fool #2

My stalling and diversion was the major reason why the two had never met. So this day, when no part of me wanted to talk to anyone, was arguably the worst possible day karma could pick to visit Maverick.

“Carl, did you hear me?”

I turned and realized that somewhere between the times I opened the door and composed myself, Winnie had made her way to Maverick’s bed. “What did you say, sweetie?” I asked.

“I forgot to bring my pen drive. Can you give me your laptop so I could copy the movies at my hostel?”

“Yeah. I’d have to charge you; my services aren’t free.”

“Yeah, right! Carl, are you alright?”

I realized that she probably noticed how nervous I was. As much as I hated Maverick and his little game, I wasn’t about to witness a showdown that could leave one person with a broken wrist, another in an ER and the third possibly in a morgue. I had to get her to leave as quickly as possible.

“Your boyfriend isn’t here.”

“Really? I told him I was going to come here today.”

“Well, he left about thirty minutes ago with OB and said he’d be back in about 2 hours.”

I had hoped that that would be reason enough, but this was one determined girl. “There’s no one in my room right now and I’d rather just sit here and wait. Plus, I really want a reason to be fussy today,” she said.

I walked casually and stood in front of the bathroom wall and made sure to scream “Winnie! You can’t be that mean!” just so the idiots in the bathroom would know that we had company. Thankfully, she had yet to figure out what was happening, so she just said, “I can and I am going to be.”

Realizing that they still weren’t making any sounds that suggested that they were going to come out, I screamed again, “Winnie, that’s just mean. I know he’s a royal ass and all but come on, just be nice. Do it for me.”

Still no responses.

“Carl, really? You want me to come after you if he acts like an ass when he gets back?” At this point, I decided that acting normal was probably a better idea. I got her some iced water and chatted with her for the next thirty minutes. These rabbits were still in there and any ear could hear them. I wasn’t sure whether Winnie was simply ignoring the obnoxious noises from the shower or she was simply deaf. In her defense, the water was running and so the noises were dampened; my paranoia just amplified them.

 It had been two hours, my last two boxes of grape juice, and some really delicious banana cake from an otherwise very crappy café which made pastries, and still no sign of them making plans to come out. Winnie was enjoying my company but she had no intention of staying for more than two hours.

“Carl, I thought you said he’d be back in two hours.”

“That’s what he said.”

“So where is he, then?”

“Call him or text him or something, he’s your boyfriend.”

“Jealous? Sure you don’t want it to be you instead?” That last sentence was made up in my head but I half-expected her to say something like that in the cockiest of manners.

She texted him but he didn’t reply and then she turned to me with an all too familiar look. Maverick never knew this, but she had this look whenever she thought or felt that something was off and like a bloodhound, she would search and pry until she found blood.

“What exactly did he say?” I wanted to defend Maverick but I was not going to be his fall guy.

“I’m not entirely sure but Bill relayed the message to me.”

“So you have no idea if he’s really not here?”

I almost panicked because that question was laced with an unholy cocktail of emotions, and I knew that lying to her could be fatal. “No, I don’t but I haven’t seen him since I got back.” She looked back at her phone, a cue for me to feel relieved.

I tried to suggest the option of leaving to her but she brushed it aside again. Being a good staller involved having a sensible person to stall for and this guy was proving to be extremely good at being a fool. Why would he forget his appointment times? How the hell could he be so damn deaf? I had to continue to stall but I knew Winnie and I didn’t really have much left to discuss; the girl was already impatient.

As a last-ditch attempt to keep her from snooping around, I stared her right in the eyes. She arched her eyebrows. “What are you doing?”

I said nothing and continued to stare.

“What’s going on? What are you doing?” Her discomfort started to show. She frowned.“What on earth is going on with you?”

Finally, I said, “Will you…”

“Will I what?”

“Will you…”

“Oh no, please don’t do this. Don’t finish the sentence…Wait, what?” Her last reaction was because while she was begging me not to say what she thought I was going to say, I asked if she would sing me a song.

The push she gave me sent me onto the ground. I feigned injury while she laughed and acted as though she were sorry. I asked for her help to pull me up but she just sat there and made faces at me.

I got up and pretended to be mad just so I could get her to sing and it would have worked if we didn’t hear the creaking sound of the shower door.

Ei, so Maverick is about to expose himself? Oh well, let’s see how this ends…

Categories
Stalling For A Fool

Stalling For A Fool #1

Soooooo, Makafui is back with another brief series! This is a 3-part one, so.. enjoy the first episode!

It’s Friday evening in Legon, the school where sleeping on Friday night means you’re either single or you have a morning exam on Saturday. (As uncommon as the latter sounds, it’s true.) If you live in any of the three blocks at Pentagon Hostels and you still manage to sleep in your own bed on Friday nights, either your level of shyness is really severe or your girlfriend is mad at you over something petty enough to make her not want to see you. Being mad at you for something legitimate will warrant an explanation activity, usually dinner, and that would require their laying eyes on you in the flesh.

And though not every Friday night home body was extremely shy, or gifted with an irked significant other, or had a Saturday morning Academic writing exam, it seemed to be the predominant assumption throughout the building block I lived in. (No, I won’t tell you which one it is. What kind of mental konkonsa is that!)

I’m lying down, staring at the ceiling, and wondering whether the rabbits in the shower will ever come out so I can go in and hide, at least until they decide where to hang out for the night and leave. They’ve been in there for over five hours now, my need to get out of this awkwardness is getting even more desperate and the squeaky noises coming out of the shower aren’t exactly helping matters.

Ordinarily, I would be far away from them and this hostel, but man is a special kind of broke. I can’t even go from my room to Okponglo, which is literally a walking distance! I also just woke up, and walking anywhere isn’t on my list of things to do, especially when walking would cause hunger and tell my stomach the truth I’ve been trying so hard to keep from it.

I’m trying my hardest not to get down from my bed when someone decides that the best time to knock on my door would be now. My prayer while I drag myself down the ladder of my bunk bed is simple: “Dear God, please let it be Bill. He said he’d be back in an hour and that was seven hours ago!” With the last bit of hope left in me, I open the door and the high-pitched but normally soothing alto voice that greets me immediately makes me anxious.

Winnie, Maverick’s girlfriend, is here while Maame, Maverick’s other girlfriend, is in the shower with him.

Maverick’s case was a rather complex one. He came to Legon off the reputation of his secondary school and the fact that his major was a fairly easy one to qualify for. He was not exactly the brightest person but was observant enough to get into a girl’s good graces. His fashion sense was high, his ability to hold conversations was adequate and he possessed almost all the qualities of a playboy except he was short, had an almost frog-like look (minus the warts and the springing hind legs, of course), was extremely dark and had really huge eyes which stood out.

Everyone’s best guess as to how he was able to date the pretty ones was that his dress sense was very good but, in truth, it was because Maverick knew how to make a girl feel wanted. Even if she knew of his reputation as a playboy, she somehow felt like she could make him stay.

His taste in women was exquisite and his range was pretty wide, usually preferring women who were anywhere between slim and “thick”, not “fat”. When I asked him what the difference was, he said that a thick woman wasn’t fat or even in between but she had enough “to play with” whereas a fat woman couldn’t see south of her own tummy. Make of that what you will, I guess.

Maverick had one major flaw: he had no idea what to do when a woman was being difficult and he was especially clueless as to how to get a woman to open up to him about her personal life. None of our other three room mates were even remotely concerned that his friends tended to swarm the room most of the time, or that he was very inconsistent with his girlfriends. They did get mad at his apparent disrespect for the value of women but they blamed it on his youth, claiming that he would outgrow it.

Maverick happened to be fresh out of a relationship with the girl he’d been dating since the latter years of secondary school when he met Winnie in his psychology class. He happened to be sitting in between a mutual friend and her, so he got the mutual friend to introduce them and he worked his magic from there.

His advantage was that she had no idea who he was; she was a clean slate. Her advantage was that she was the type who liked to commit, so she made the chase seem easy although it was hella hard, which made it easier to sift the chaff out of the pool of men who wanted her.

When my man asked her out on a date after talking with her for 2 weeks, she immediately said yes… and then she stood him up date after date for half a semester.

She was a girl with morals and a strong devotion to her religion, a fact which always frustrated him because he had to work extremely hard to get her to cuddle with him, yet she never let him fondle her; the most he got was a brief kiss. She kept him on a tight leash and he was determined to break her because it made leaving her for the next one even sweeter.

It so happened that he went to a party and met Maame, who was nowhere near as pretty as Winnie, yet somehow caught his attention. Wooing her was a breeze; he made her laugh and just like that, she let him in. He eventually went all the way with her in his friend’s room just a few days after they met.

I ended up having to entertain Winnie more times than I wanted to while he was with Maame, a fact that really irked me. My roommates were no help either. Manfred was too macho to talk to her, Joe was almost never in the room and Bill was a busy man. I entertained her mainly because I liked the fact that Maverick could not get this girl to open up in half a semester while I did it in a week. The more we talked, the more trusting she became of me.

We would talk for hours about a million things while Maverick was out and when he came, they would talk for minutes and then go somewhere else. I was indifferent towards Maame because Maverick didn’t give her credit for anything except the fact that she allowed him to have his way with her while Winnie was a tough cookie.

Plus, she ended up being a very unwanted fifth roommate for the rest of the school year.

Categories
Superhero Down

Superhero Down Pt 5

This brief tale of a supposed superhero’s low periods comes to an end with this…

That paper was what I had just flung across the room. The same paper was the very reason for the state I was in now. Today had been too much for me. It was one thing to have close shaves and still get the job done and it was another to fail completely while you thought you were on a roll.

I used to be untouchable and flawless. Everything I did was perfect; I was a work of God that no one even thought was possible. I beat all kinds of odds, broke records, survived my father’s irresponsible behavior and finally managed to kick him out of the house at age ten! I gave my mum her life back and I became an awesome person! I’m awesome, dammit I’m a hero! So why the hell is this tripping me up so badly?

Better question: why did Chris have to do this to me? I never even knew about the stupid models before he showed up! I was a pure, innocent person, living my life in the purest way possible. I never broke any laws, I never even cussed! I didn’t even know what erotica was until this fool called Chris got caught watching it and curiosity got the best of me. Why did this boy have to come into my life and bring me this hell?

It finally hit me; this must be what happens to people who everyone relies on, people who are a source of inspiration to others. I could not talk to anyone about this, not even mum, especially not mum! I’d much rather be burnt at the stake than have an earful of righteous talk which I am all-too familiar with, being a member of a church that welcomes everyone until they know what the everyone has done and where the everyone has been.

I couldn’t afford to make a mistake; I’m supposed to be superhuman for crying out loud! People have bigger problems: drug and/or alcohol addictions, marital issues, struggles in their walks with God and I’m the go-to guy for advice, like I’m some soothsayer with problem-solving skills! I’m not even the damn church counselor! Why did I have to be the one everyone held in high regard? Why couldn’t I just be the young man trying to find his way in life like everyone else, as human as I possibly could be?

Chris had nothing to do with this; this was me. This was me unable to pass a simple test. This was me not noticing when each ounce of my self-control was lost. This was me telling everyone else how to deal with this and yet taking no time to figure out how to deal with this for myself, with or without help. This was me living out a case of Stockholm’s Syndrome where my captors were not even near me!

Maybe I could keep the computer outside my room; then I wouldn’t have to look at it till I need it. Bailey, don’t be silly. You dragged the laptop from the study table across the room. What makes you think you would not take it from wherever you put it just so you could watch partake in the unholy bump and grind? Is my cloud of perfection just a case of hidden pride or ego or just a desperate attempt to remain loved by everyone?

Then Martha popped up in my head. She did say she was there if I wanted to talk. Bet she had no idea what was really going on and if I told her, she would most likely use the word I did not want to hear, that stupid, sad, degrading A word that people called themselves to admit they had a problem! I’m not one of them; I do not have a problem.

My eyes were already closing because today had drained me of all my strength. The physical effects of constantly watching the lust birds did more harm to me than good after all.

I woke up with a resolve: I was going to talk to Martha. I couldn’t continue to kid myself that I was superhuman. Something had to give for me to finally have the peace of mind I so longed for. If I was going to have any chance of being free, this was the only way.

I sat up on my bed and was just about to pick up my phone and call Martha when my mum barged in with a look that was a cross between confusion, pure anger and total shock.

“Bailey, what is this?”

I sat there in complete shock, unable to open my mouth or to hear anything else that flowed out of hers. I knew it was over; there was no one else to pin this on. Chris had been at camp for three weeks and mum had left her phone at home while she went with a group of friends to a fasting retreat last week. The only one who could have done this was me.

I sat and watched as she launched her missiles at me, not knowing what to say about how my favorite video of the finest of unclad bodies landed on her phone along with fifteen others.

Ouch! Quite an unfortunate ending to that. As to whether Bailey will get the help he needs, or will sink into depression, it’s open to interpretation.

But one thing is for sure: the best of us aren’t superheroes, and we’ll always need help. If you’ve got an addiction, don’t keep it to yourself, and don’t avoid the truth of admitting it. That’s a step towards recovery. Remember, those things you’re addicted to will always over-promise and under-deliver.

Big gratitude to Makafui for this telling tale!!

Categories
Superhero Down

Superhero Down Pt 4

Uh-oh. Bailey’s annoying stepbrother has caught him! What’s next?

“Wow, man, I didn’t realize you had joined the bandwagon; I would’ve hooked you up with better stuff eons ago. We could have been shotgun buddies; firing rounds to the finest ones God made.”

Stupid Chris actually thought I was as perverted as he was. “I didn’t join your bandwagon.”

“Really? Could’ve fooled me.”

“Okay, look, it was an ad, I did not go there willingly, you can stop blushing now; I don’t like you and your pervy stuff anymore than I did when you first showed up in my life.”

“Uh huh, uh huh, and that was why you just closed a video player which is installed on your computer and not a web browser, right? Come on, Bailey. Accept it; you like this stuff, you love this stuff! Why do you have to be so prim and proper all the time?”

“At least I’m not failing classes and changing schools every three months because half the girls in my school are complaining of sexual harassment. I’m not the one who’s out selling Angelic Lust magazines to people and telling the bishop that I’m helping to spread the message of admiring the beauty of God’s creation. You’re over there being a pervert and I’m here working hard to try to make something out of myself. I’m prim and proper because I want to be somebody and not a failure, not like you.”

Chris just smiled. “I saw you, B. When Martha knocked at the door, you rushed out and ran into the bathroom and then rushed back out soon after. I have to hand it to you, man, you’re very smart. If I had half your brains, I would never have been caught by my dad. But you see, you wear your boxers based on a schedule.

“Every single day has a specific color and you even pile them up in the laundry basket in the order of the days you wore them. You’ve never deviated from the schedule since I got to know you. So I got curious when I went to use the bathroom and right there on the top of the dirty clothes were blue boxers; today’s color was green. So I picked them up, thinking they must have already been washed and mum probably mistakenly dropped them into the dirty laundry basket. Boy, I wish I had thought that decision through. I couldn’t get the sticky stuff off my fingers with soap; that was some unusually thick stuff! My goodness, that must have been residue from about five rounds of natural ammo!

“So I walked in and took a look on your computer and I have to say, your stash is very impressive; I can’t even get some of those videos and I haven’t even seen some of those beauties before. Your video player was closed; I opened it, hoping Martha would see it too and know who you really are but she never quite made it inside, so your life was spared.”

I had been so meticulous over the last ten years, making sure that every last trace of my problem was hidden or erased and it had worked until now. And the one thing I didn’t even imagine would give me up was the exact thing that did. Nosey Chris! Why did he always have to be the one who was never charmed or fooled by me!

“Leave my room, Chris. Leave, before I make you leave.”

He turned around, and then turned back. “Look Bailey, I know you’re not a fan of mine and I know that my personality and preferences severely offend you and mum, even my own dad. But I have peace. Believe it or not, even though you and everyone else thinks that whatever bad thing anyone else says concerning me is true although a large majority of them are not, I sleep like a baby at night. I’m not living a lie, I don’t have to pretend to be someone else to be liked or respected and I’m very sure that no one will be disappointed if they caught me firing rounds in my bed.

“I have peace, Bailey, I am a free man and no one’s opinion of me controls my perceptions or actions. You are the poster boy for all things holy and righteous and yet you’re in the same boat as me. So hate it or like it, you are very much like me; you just do a great job at hiding it. And by the way, if you don’t want to be a member, just stop. Unless…wait. Bailey, are you…”

“It is your fault that I even know about this stuff. I was a normal person until you got caught watching it. I had never even seen an unclad woman, let alone imagined one but thanks to you, now I do and I’ve had to live with the consequences ever since. Get out! Get the hell out! Get your foolish self and your stupid opinions out of my room! This is my room, you are not welcome on this side of the house!”

The adrenaline from being so angry at Chris left me trembling and very weak once he left my room, his smug, irritating smile still on his face. Too weak to think, I had fallen onto my bed to sleep and right before I dozed off, Martha’s text asking me whether I had completed my written thesis jolted me out of bed and into the chair.

I scrambled to find sensible things to say; missing a month of class had left me handicapped and for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. I had forty-five minutes to write a thesis that should take at least three hours to write and another two hours to thoroughly review.

I submitted it a minute to the deadline and forgot all about it because I was too busy figuring out how to apologize to Martha and keep her from talking to Chris so she wouldn’t find out about this. It was bad enough that he knew but if she found out, I would be better off being a hermit than watching her break down in shock and denounce me from her life completely.

Categories
Superhero Down

Superhero Down Pt 3

Well, this addiction is having a pretty bad impact on Bailey (although he refuses to acknowledge it). Is Martha gonna find out soon?

“You’re a very confusing person, Bailey.”

Martha took me out for lunch. I had no idea why but I liked being with Martha, the only woman I ever allowed into my room. Wait, that’s a lie. There was Michelle, then Janie, then Rose, this is getting sad now. Okay, Martha was the only woman who had been able to walk into my room and leave without me losing control and doing things I would rather not disclose.

This habit must really be getting to me except it’s not a habit; just a slip that happens a lot more than I’d like. If it’s any consolation at all, Martha was worth way more than any of the other girls; they were so bad that I could easily put their faces on any of the models I watched and I would be fine but doing that with Martha was like unplugging a game console right in the middle of a tournament.

“…yet you still live with your mum…are you even listening to me right now?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, go on.”

“Bailey, seriously, what is going on with you?”

“Martha, why do you keep thinking something is wrong with me?”

“Because you’ve been acting very weird lately!”

At this point, I was this close to barking at her but this was Martha; it was way too hard. “Martha, nothing is wrong. Drop it.”

“Bailey, everything is wrong! You’re morbidly scared of leading bible study, you’re always late to class or outright absent these days and you have not stopped staring at my chest since you got here! Bailey!” The light slap she gave me woke me out of yet another trance I fell in.

“Martha, for the love of everything that is holy, stop this madness! I’m fine! If you called me here to insult me or insinuate that I’m in some trouble, please keep your self-righteous crap to yourself! I have to go!”

Everyone at the restaurant stared at me for some minutes after that outburst. Why was I even angry? Oh no, I hope she didn’t…

“And you have become increasingly irritable,” her voice calmly spoke. Great, she noticed. Now I had to hope I didn’t get calls every ten minutes asking me if I wanted to talk about my ‘anger issues’ and their causes.

“We’re done here. I have to go.” I got up and walked five steps and then she called out, “Bailey, your written thesis was rejected.”

That froze me. I turned and walked back to her rather quickly. “What do you mean rejected? No one ever rejects Bailey Mowbry’s paper.”

“Your entire paper was sub-par. I read it myself. Your technical definitions were mixed up, your examples were completely off-topic; nothing about that paper had the Bailey Mowbry feel. Luckily, the professor has a soft spot for you and so he decided to give you a chance to rewrite it. Everyone else who ever made these mistakes had to retake the entire course.”

I just stood there with my mouth wide open, surprise filling every crevice in my body. I could not believe what was happening. True, I had missed a couple of classes because I woke up late but to the point where my technical definitions were completely wrong?

“Look, you may not want to tell me what’s going on, and that’s totally fine with me, but Bailey, people are talking. Your behavior these days has been nothing short of erratic and it won’t be long before people start to take action. Get your act together man, and fast. Like I’ve always said, I’m here if you want to talk. I still care about you in spite of everything.” She picked up her bag, left the envelope with my thesis on the table and walked away.

***

I sat on my bed with my rejected thesis in my hand. Making sense of this massive failure was the hardest thing I’d ever done; I had never been rejected before. My papers were one of the few to be published without review and whatever came out of my mouth was never disputed; I was that good. I read it before I left the restaurant and again in the car once I got home. I did not recognize it and I didn’t remember anything about it; I couldn’t even tell if I did write it and exactly when I wrote it. I flung it across the room and got up to turn my lights off. I noticed my door was slightly ajar and given the mood I was in, I’m just grateful it didn’t break when I kicked it shut.

The loud bang from kicking the door triggered something in my mind and everything came rushing back so fast that I had to sit down to regain control after I turned the lights off.

***

I had just been blasted by Martha of all people. I had missed classes for a month, she had covered for me and everything would have been fine if I hadn’t told the professor an entirely different story from what she told him. He docked her two letter grades for lying but to be honest, it was because Martha let him have it in public a week earlier when he tried to use her grades as leverage to have his way with her. Still, she hated being called a liar and she especially detested being called a liar when it was actually the case. I had told her that the only one who cared about her image was her and that no one really noticed her at all, so she was fine. I was really trying to calm her but my mind was still recovering from the intense episode she almost walked in on, so my good intentions rode on the wings of the worst possible choice of words and she got badly hurt.

This was the day I finally found out that Martha really did care about me more than a friend would but she wanted to be proper; I had to ask her out before she would say anything. She came at me, guns blazing and by the time she left, I was everything between depressed and hurt because I had lost the one person I genuinely cared about enough not to drag into my mental mess. One thought of Martha was enough to immediately end an episode, no matter the lustful bird I was watching. I respected her way too much; I couldn’t mess her up with my madness.

I lay on my bed, overwhelmed with darkness and threw my hand to the side, not realizing that I hadn’t closed the video player. My hand hit the play button and the sounds of enjoyment were so loud! I slammed the keypad to close the player but I was too late.

Chris was standing at my door.

Oh, dear…

Categories
Superhero Down

Superhero Down Pt 2

Well, I don’t think it’s a secret that Bailey has a serious issue. I wonder what’s going to happen with him in the coming days…

“Bailey, why do your sheets smell weird?”

Oh God, my mum would not hesitate to embarrass me in front of guests, hers or mine. “Mum, why are you doing my laundry?” I called out from my room in response.

 “I wasn’t; your step-brother was.”

Oh yeah, because Chris was the most responsible person in the world! When mum remarried a few years after I kicked my father out, I was happy for her. I did not realize that her new marriage came with a brother from hell; my episodes started right after Chris became family. Bailey, she has no idea. Wanna tell her? End this secret once and for all? You won’t lose any cred…except with the church leadership; they will actively suspend you until you’re treated but at least you’ll have a reason to push harder to end this habit. But this is not a habit; just a slip.

“I don’t know, Mum. Must be because I forgot to change them. Thanks for the new ones.”

No response, thank goodness.

I started to feel uneasily good. I first mistook it for some random thing but then I started to stare at my laptop and the images started to form in my mind again. Oh no, not again! I turned and faced the wall. My bed was too comfortable and my willpower was getting weaker. Must Get Up! Must Get up! Must get up! Must…get…up. Must…get…up…must…get…oh what the hell; those models are insanely hot anyway; totally out of my league. No, that was not what I wanted to say!

I lay there with a world of guilt and a mind controlled by reflex while the whimpers and erotic screams streamed through my headset. My right hand slowly disappeared under the sheets and found its way to my thigh. Here we go again, this will take a while. The seemingly guilty feeling I had about feeling good about a thing I hated soon turned into pure yet routine pleasure. There was nothing new about this place. I got here and left here the exact same way, all the time!

Soon my right hand went inward and my left hand increased the volume. Yes, go on, make me happy. Man, how I would pound a lot harder if that was me. Come on, be a man; put in the work and stop being lazy!

Just when I’d settled in, the lights came on out of nowhere.

”Bailey? What are you doing lying in bed this early? And why was your room so dark?”

Oh crap, close shave again! My left hand had already hit the pause button and removed my headset before my consciousness kicked in. “Nothing mum, just reading my bible.”

“In the dark with your headset on? And why read your bible on your laptop? You know how I feel about that. How will you hear God speaking with your headset on? And I’ve told you time and again that your bible must be in your hand when you read it if you want to actually feel something from reading it.” My right hand quickly slid back up and grabbed the sheet from under, just in case my aunts, who were standing in the doorway right beside my mum with a very unusual look, decided to act like themselves and pull it off me. “Look, your aunts and I have an errand to run. Get out of bed and make yourself useful.” Right before she slammed the door behind her, I caught my aunts looking at each other and nodding with what seemed like a giggle.

Now, do I get back to business and the multitude of tabs which I’ve opened but I know damn well I will not be able to get to? Or do I just…wait, what are they saying?

“Bailey? No. Chris maybe but Bailey? No way. He’s too good and too smart for that. He is basically a matured man in a young man’s body, why would you think that about him?”

“Did you see anything that happened at all? His hand was nowhere in sight and his face looked flushed. Hell, he was this close to jumping up when you opened the door! What, you think he was watching Passion of the Christ?”

“What are you trying to imply? It’s one thing for you to think my son was doing something bad but to insinuate what I think you’re insinuating is just wrong.”

“Think about it. Your son either has a very colorful bible on his laptop or he just really loves staring at things that will make you take showers in holy water for a year. You really should check on him a lot more.” My aunties laughed but my mum sounded mad at this point.

“Take your mouth off my son! He’s single and a grown man and cannot be doing what you think he’s doing! Now, are we going or not?”

The further their footsteps got from my door, the lower my heart sunk. Poor mum, defending my honor and integrity as if I had any left at all. Those witches! How did they figure out what was happening? Why do I even care? This is not an addiction like they’re suggesting! I’m not an addict; this is just a temporary problem. Here comes that buzz again. Time to watch the unholy bump and grind.

***

“Bailey, your girl is here! Are you going to step out or does she have to come in?” Chris was not the person I wanted to announce the arrival of a woman whose name he was grossly unfit to mention. I walked out and as soon as she saw me, Martha turned around.

Chris teased, “Oops, I’m guessing she’s never seen you in boxers before. Come on, Marty, he’s wearing boxers; his syringe is well-hidden.”

“Get your nasty mouth away from me! And Bailey, please go back in and put on some shorts.”

I laughed silently, knowing that if I laughed out loud, she would leave. “Come on, Martha, its fine; I’m not causing you to think unhealthy thoughts, am I?”

For a brief moment, a smile started to form on her face but, in classic Martha fashion, that smile was quickly replaced by a blank face with a deadly blank stare. “I turned around. Happy? Now go put on some shorts.” She turned back around and faced away from me. I went inside to put shorts on and Chris spotted an opportunity to meddle.

“You like him, tell him. God knows he’s an extremely miserable man and I’m honestly tired of him hounding me around.”

“What, so I’m supposed to be your buffer? Who says I like him like that?”

“That smile you have on your face right now says you do.”

“If it makes any difference to your severely warped mind, I’m not interested in guys until my Ph. D. is done. So try not to fill his head with ideas because he’s been off lately, not that you would notice.”

“Martha, how can you be a nice person to Bailey and then just be completely mean to me?”

“Because you tried to do things to my sister and I don’t appreciate young men acting like adolescents because of tail. I actually tried to get Bailey to be nicer to you but after that, you lost my support.”

Classic Martha, serving it straight. I really liked this woman but I was too messed up to tell her that; I would really have hated to destroy the great relationship we had going and I wasn’t sure she could handle my huge secret.

“You two are the funniest people in the world. You like each other so much, yet you act like dating is an abomination or something. If Bailey’s not being a man about it, you be the man about it and tell him how you feel!”

“Chris, not everyone’s mind is screwed up like yours. People can be extremely close friends without dating each other; it’s called brotherly love.”

“Brotherly love. That’s how they all start and then by the time they realize, it’s become sleepover love, then move-in-together love, then kid-forming love and then they start to wonder how things happened so fast. I’m just saying that you two should be honest with each other for once. It is alright to be attracted to each other and I’m all for the two of you becoming a thing because everyone knows that Bailey Mowbry and Martha Barrons are attracted to each other except Bailey Mowbry and Martha Barrons.”

“Chris, get out of my face now.”

“Yes ma’am, Mrs. Martha Mowbry.” The footsteps that followed implied that Martha almost chased him to slap him after he made that last comment.

Martha wasn’t one to end an argument like that; she wouldn’t even give you the time to have a point to argue with. She was very quick to shut arguments down with style, yet somehow Chris had managed to throw her off her game completely. There had to be some element of truth in what he said, otherwise she would have finished him off by now. Bailey, this is Chris; when has he ever been the good guy? Yet you think he may be right? You sure you don’t have any feelings for Martha at all?

“Bailey, how long does it take to put on shorts? Hurry.” I had already put the shorts on, so I stepped out. “You look handsome,” she said, with a big smile on her face. Another abnormality.

“Martha, is everything alright? You’re smiling.”

“What, I’ve never smiled at you before?”

“Uh…no…” She kept her menacing stare fixed on my face from my room door till we got out of the house.

Categories
Superhero Down

Superhero Down Pt 1

So, we’re kicking off the month of March with a new story! And what I like the most about it is, it’s not my story! As you’ve already seen from the title, this is a special from Makafui, who is an avid fan of the State, and it’s an honour to have his work featured here. Get ready for this involving and engaging journey!!

A million thoughts ran through my head.

“Bailey, your grades have been falling. What’s happening?”

“Bailey, what is happening to you? You did not receive any awards for the first time in a long time!”

“I’m beginning to lose confidence in you, man. You need to step it up.”

“Bailey, we recommended you for Student Congress Leader but a few faculty members have expressed their reservations. They say you’re not the golden boy you used to be.”

“Bailey, I’m really sorry. You’re a great guy, an amazing guy even, but your best friend is just more of a man than you are. Please understand. I hope we can still be friends.”

“I am your father, you useless fool and I say that as long as you’re my son, you will never amount to anything! You can be the smartest person in the world but you will always be a nobody!”

My actions after that last thought, words which were spoken right before my foot landed in my father’s ass and my palms pushed him out the house for good years ago, were completely out of my control. Reflex had taken over; time to spiral again. The darkness I felt and the darkness in my room made me feel less alone, after all. I’ll probably wake up in a few hours and scream at myself again.

“Goddammit! Again?” Well, there it is. Do calm your hooves; I did not say that out loud. But Goddammit! Again? Why do I keep doing this when I clearly hate it?

“Mowbry. Bailey Mowbry.”

Oh hell, she’s coming. Quick, cover up before she gets here, you idiot! Her footsteps are getting closer, this is no time to lie in bed and mope. Wanna get busted or nah? I dragged myself out of my bed and draped myself with a towel before Martha opened the door.

“Why is this room always so dark?” She brought back the lights just after I’d hidden my face. “Bailey, Why are you still in a towel? We have bible study to go for.”

Oh hell no, this could not be happening. I’d been kicking myself over having an episode without realizing that what I should really have been mad about was the fact that I’d had an episode right before bible study! How do I go in front of God now?

“Bailey, why are you still standing there? You’re leading today; you have to be the earliest one,” Martha said, as she rummaged through my closet to find something for me to wear. Oh, now I really wanted to slide back under my sheets and pretend this day hadn’t happened at all. Ironically, I’d been preparing for today for two weeks; it meant so much to me. Plus, I hated the idea of teaching the same tired stuff as everyone else. I wanted to be different, to be practical, and to be real. How was I going to be any of that if unclad bodies were the last things I saw before going to tell people about my thoughts on what the bible said about how we were meant to live?

“I have to go take a shower.”

“Bailey,” she started, walking towards me slowly, “I know we have bible study today but I kinda want to stay here with you.” In five seconds, her hands had cupped my cheeks and I was not sure how to fend her off. I held her waist, followed her lead as she slowly backed towards the door while I held her gaze, moved in swiftly to meet her halfway and then…

Bam! The pain snapped me out of that trance just in time for me to notice that Martha had been staring at me while I acted out a two-person romance all by myself and wasn’t sure how to react until I walked straight into the door, my hands out at waist level and my mouth partially opened, and slammed my face into it.

“Bailey, stop being silly and go take your shower now.” Funny thing was, it wasn’t even her face I saw during the trance; it was the face of one of the unclad bodies. Needless to say, I’d lost interest in teaching today. “Martha, could you please cover for me today? I don’t feel too well.”

 Martha just gave me the blankest possible stare, then shot, “Hey, get your head out of the armpit of fear and get ready! You’re doing this today; the Lord says so.” Martha could not be outgunned when she pulled out that card and she knew this. Oh well, I guess I’m going to have to do this. Sorry God, I really hope I didn’t piss you off for being a walking lie, having episodes before bible study and all.

******************************************************************************

All I could remember from that service was me constantly fighting the images that frequently popped up in my head while I was teaching, and trying not to quote some inappropriate line from the episode before, but it was finally over and everyone had nothing but kind words for me, so I thought it went well. Martha had elected to walk me home. I had no say in the matter because she was super persistent. I’m not sure what got into her but the company couldn’t hurt, could it?

It was pretty uneventful until five minutes to my house, when Martha stopped. I went a few steps forward without realizing that she’d stopped and being occupied with my thoughts, I would have gone on if she hadn’t said in her super calm voice, “That was amazing today, Bailey. I’ve never heard anyone teach about grace the way you did today. The way you used Romans 3:20-24 to talk about how our goodness was not enough but God’s goodness made us good, and then you reminded us that our righteousness is not enough and that we needed God to save us. And how you reminded us to get up quickly when we slipped, remind ourselves that we were forgiven before we were born and then try not to repeat the mistake again: that was spot on.

“Even better, your warning at the end where you quoted Paul and then asked if we were meant to continue making mistakes and sinning just because grace covered us. That got people thinking. No one fell asleep and everyone followed your train of thought from start to finish. Beautifully done, Bailey. As perfect as usual and you exceeded all expectations. I’m proud of you.”

Was Martha just drunk or was she kite-high? I could not stand still the entire time because I was so damn nervous and guilty about the episode before service! I did not even hear, let alone remember, a word I said yet here she was, giving me props for a job well done!

“Thank you, Martha. I’m surprised I was actually able to pull that off. Thank God for everything, right?” Martha wasn’t one to ever give compliments on bible teachings and she just gave me a bunch! Maybe the episode didn’t do as much damage as I thought.

“Bailey, is there something you’re struggling with?”

Where did that come from? “What do you mean?”

“It’s just that the way you spoke today felt a little too personal to me. Of course, everyone else thought you spoke under divine inspiration and they were so excited to learn that Jesus loved them no matter what they did but to me, it felt like you were speaking to yourself more than to any of us in the room. Plus before we left for bible study, you acted as if you were trying to kiss me and walked straight into the door; it was like you had been possessed. Is there something you’re struggling with? An addiction or a behavioral anomaly maybe?”

Wow, mind readers really are a thing! This woman just read the pages out of me without even trying and my longer-than-expected silence was not helping at all.

“No, Martha, I’m not. I’ve seen people go through a lot with guilt and that has impacted me. It was personal and that’s why it felt personal to you. I thank God you felt that way.”

“Are you sure, Bailey? You know you can talk to me.”

“Yes, Martha. Look, I’ve to go. I have to take care of something at home. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Martha’s perplexed look made me know that she was going to chase after this feeling she had until she found the truth, which she was bound to find anyway. My secret had to remain hidden if any part of my world was to remain intact. I was a model youth and the one who everyone wanted their children to become; this could not get out! I would be fine. I just had to move my computer away from my bed and try my hardest never to bring it back. That would do it.

Or so I hoped…