PROSE BY EKPO EZECHINYERE (@EZEDAKING)
POEM BY JOSEPH ADEDEJI (@dami_maverick)
And suddenly love creeps in unexpectedly
On the wings of reverie and what seems like happenstance
While men lay, fiddling with their dreams in bed
And women wander the streets in search of bread
Pastor Dele also known as PD, walked wearily through the reception of a hospital on Allen Avenue. Time was 12.30am. It was unusual for him to be out so late; however, a member of the church where he was an associate Pastor had an accident on Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, and was in dire need of a blood transfusion. He had heeded the call to donate some blood then hung around to ensure that the victim got all the necessary assistance. PD had run out of credit keeping his Pastor and other people in the loop. Now, he was quite hungry and wearied to the bone.
“Excuse me, Sir, is there any where I can get some credit and food around here” He asked one of the hospital cleaners.
The cleaner looked at him with a querulous look brimming with incredulity and replied in pidgin English “Oga, se, u no sabi say e be like afternoon for outside, u go fit get anything, anything at all. You don forget say this naa Allen.”
In a topsy-turvy world made of gold bricks and lace,
Can a wanton soul find the elixir of grace?
One whose pain is etched on her face
Scorned by men, clad in sin’s scarlet lace.
PD could have sworn that the cleaner concluded his reply with a look of mischief and a suppressed smile. He paid him no mind and made towards the exit, humming Israel Houghton’s “who am I that you are mindful of me…..” He wore an Abercrombie and Fitch multicoloured Polo T-shirt and a dark blue True Religion pair of jeans. A pair of brown timberland boots completed the whole ensemble and the silver buckle of his Berluti belt sparkled like a lone star. The brother looked mouth watering good! PD was the first son of a very rich business magnate who had mineral concessions and real estate all over the globe but the Pastor had decided to give everything up for The Lord’s work. He usually said all the wealth in the world could not satiate his passion for ministry. This made most people think he was mad!
And so the Phantom of Pentecost weaves and hums along
Behind the scenes He schemes and plots
Threading a tapestry of grace so divine,
Two souls entwined in the Father’s view.
As he walked outside the doors, he was amazed at the sight before him; the place was swarming with life, more than any day time. The air pulsated and throbbed with living excitement. There were food vendors and hawkers, night clubbers and lines and lines of call girls. He could not believe his eyes. He had never been one for staying out at night and the sight of the long chain of call girls toppled his spirit. He decided to get his business done in a hurry and go back inside.
While buying his credit, biscuits and drinks, he heard a lady saying, “…afterwards, you will drop me off at Moremi hall, University of Lagos.” He got through his business in a flash and was headed back to the hospital when a voice broke through the ocean of his consciousness with the magnitude of a blue whale, the gentleness of a butterfly and the sweetness of a nightingale.
“Pastor Dele!” He looked back and there she was! A slim cigarette dangled from her exquisitely manicured fingers and she blew rings of smoke into the cool night air. Flashing a wallet before him, her smile was teasing, mocking and coy. He felt the back of his pocket and noticed it must have fallen in his hurry to get back to the hospital. She must have read the complimentary card that spilled from his wallet to know his name.
He stepped forward to take his card and tried not to look because of the sheer and abominably revealing things she was wearing. He got his wallet and mumbled a quick thank you.
Go to her,
He hears the Spirit say…
Take her in…
Be to her a husband, a friend
He retorts… Can one who twerks find favour with you?
See her plastered with filth from her weave-on to her shoes
Sin has demolished her like a wrecking ball!
But the Spirit says
“with you, her withered soul shall breath again”
She answered with a wink and smiled, “You are welcome Pastor, anytime…”The “anytime” was drawn out mischievously. Her smile was like a flashlight in the dark and that was what did it. He had never seen a more even set of white teeth, they were pearls arranged in an orderly row with a gap in between. Only an omniscient God could have carved such a stunning doorway in the beautiful sequence of white gems. His eyes drank in the sweetened wine of her remarkable features, long and deep.
He saw beyond her enticing dressing, deliberately donned to tantalize. She was the most beautiful thing! The scriptures that God made man in his image took root in his heart like never before. His heart melted with the softness of butter over the flames of her beauty. Her eyes were lined to the edges like kohl accentuating the eyes of Cleopatra. Pupils were light brown sitting in the whitest sclera he had ever seen. They made him think of pots of honey pouring into a white, sugary ocean. Long legs stretching into eternity, she was elegantly tall and graceful. Such carriage in ancient Greece would have confused people into venerating her with a temple.
PD almost crashed into the doors of the Hospital in his haste to run inside. He was quite disappointed in himself. He, a Pastor admiring a prostitute but for the next few days, he could not get her out of his mind. He was almost disgusted with himself. What would people say? Darkness and light never mixes. However, his heart chugged away like a derailed train seeking for traction. Banishing her from his mind was an exercise in futility. He was so mindful of her that he could not sleep.
He knew he had to see her again. Since, he did not know anything about her, PD decided to stake out Moremi hall, University of Lagos based on the discussion she had been having with a potential customer the first night they met. For three days, he got to Moremi early in the morning before the students went out for lectures until about 8pm at night. It was on the third day that he struck gold! She walked by his car late in the evening when the sun was yawning and spreading a multicoloured bedspread to settle in for the night.
Harlots and hard knocks,
Under the tutelage of life’s heavy fists…
She had to make ends meet,
Even if it meant trading her body on the streets.
All they wanted was her waist!
Though they screamed “No one can love you like I do”
Preachers, paupers, pimps and more
They all saw her as a whore.
He scrambled out of his car, slipped, got up again and ran after her, shouting frantically “Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse Me!” She looked back surprised, stunned to see that it was him.
“How may I help you, em…PD…yes?” She asked as she shook his outstretched hand.
“I would like to have dinner with you,” He replied.
She looked him up and down, kept mum for some seconds then shrugged her shoulders and acquiesced.
He took her out to a restaurant and got to know she came from a dysfunctional home where her dad had left her mum after years of battering and abuse. To boot, she had joined the lane of the fast and furious from her boarding school days. On the fast lane, drugs, sex, alcohol, money, and fashion where all that mattered. He got to know that behind her flashy and amorous facade was a soul lost in the thickets life and needed to be rescued. Some of the things she told him were enough to make him retch. She was an exotic rose with torn petals but he was beginning to realize he loved her anyway.
Don’t think I don’t see you
Eyes rolling over my supple frame
You say you love me but you don’t even know my name
That’s how we roll…
That is the game we play.
With no hint of regret
I play along.
Hiding my tears…
Flashing soft skin…
Battling my fears.
Though I barter my skin for wads of cash.
A quickie or less.
I still pray … that perhaps today, tonight
I will find my way out.
Perhaps I will be blessed.
He spoke to her, took her to church where she surrendered her life and joined the choir. Her lifestyle changed and she became more and more committed to the things of God. The months rolled by as gentle hills and the pair got closer and closer. Until one day….
One evening, he did not see her in church for the midweek service and also during the next Sunday service. Ripples of concern coursed across his soul especially when, he couldn’t reach her by phone despite innumerable texts and calls. That evening, he drove crazily to University of Lagos in search of her. She was not in her room and her room mates said they hadn’t seen “sister” (which was the moniker they had attached to her new personality) in a couple of days. They said this snickering and as he left the room, titters of amusement erupted behind him. He felt so cold by their mocking overtones and could only think of one more place after visiting the reading rooms and lecture theatres.
He set out for Allen about 1am at night regardless of the dangers that swarmed at that time of the day. He could not believe it when he saw her at the first spot they met months ago. She was wearing the most revealing clothes he had ever seen and was negotiating with two men in a Mercedes Benz Coupe. His heart dropped! He was so stunned; he sat paralyzed in the cool confines of his car. She had betrayed his love, thrown everything back at him. Anger suffused his being but beyond the anger was a greater emotion.
He came out of his car, calling “Kiki”. She turned and became motionless as she saw him.
“PD, go back and get someone more your type. I am too worthless for you. It won’t work. You can get a better deal. I am a broken mess! Go away from me!” she said, walking away.
He ran after her shouting “Kiki, come back! I LOVE YOU!!!”
His thoughts swooned….
Neurons bristling with energy!
Heart like fire…
More than a gaze!
What would the council of elders say?
Surely tabloids and bloggers would wag their tongues!
YOUTH PASTOR MARRIES PROSTITUTE
FIERY PREACHER HOOKS UP WITH HARLOT
Ms Ikeji would have her day.
Out of the dark, a thick frame rammed into him and knocked him to the floor. He stood up dazed and confused. Before, he could orient himself; the man knocked him down with a murderous fist splitting his lip like an overripe melon.
“Leaf am make im do im work. Na you go pay the money wey im dey owe me?” The dark shape shouted at him irately.
“Mutiu, leave him alone, I will pay you your money, just leave him!” Kiki said running and shielding PD with her body. Her tears so heavy they baptized the preacher.
Apparently, she owed a ring of pimps some huge sum of money which she never told PD about.
PD sat up, lip ruptured, gingerly feeling a loose tooth with his tongue. Blood blended with saliva dribbled on his white shirt as he said “How much?”
She murmured the amount in a whisper. He brought out his cheque book and made out a cheque, emptying his account for her. The pimp pocketed the cheque and merged into the shadows with his bouncy gait.
Still sitting, he gazed at her. Mascara had mixed with tears to form dark streams which streaked down without restraint. The moon oblivious to her pain caressed her face softly with its radiant fingers. As he looked at that illumined face, he knew he would never love another like this! She was the zenith, the perfection of creation!!
Hosea sees Gomer,
His heart longs for her
For even on her stripper pole,
She is more than a broken soul…
Right on the streets of Allen, watched by hawkers, food vendors, call girls and their customers, he gently knelt on one knee, probed in his pocket and brought out a small box. A tiny shining object was extricated and he proposed… “Kiki, please, marry me……..”
Hosea sees Gomer,
As Emmanuel beholds Ecclesia,
As Papa sees you!
From the icy North to the South Pole,
He yearns for every soul…
God loves us madly even in our broken sorry states. Even when we make mockery of his sacrifice and runs from his extravagant affection, He keeps chasing, giving and loving!.
For God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…
The above story is a present day rendition of the story of Hosea and Gomer set in Lagos, Nigeria. Valentine has nothing on this!!!
Images from Google
©2015 Ekpo Ezechinyere