MARRIED TO AN ATHEIST – SIX

By Jessica-Ken:

All this slow ‘approval’ is making me not know where I am 😐 Admins!

Amos couldn’t stop pestering me, even after that day—to the extent mom called and sat me down: “We need to get this man to completely forget about you,” she said, “I know a man who can help.”

I followed her advice and walked with her. Mama had taken me to one Baba’s place. His name was ‘Baba Iyati’—a powerful man, as made known by her. His charms were known, and everyone who went to his refuge spoke of how he worked miracles. I, for one hoped, they were right.

“We have arrived,” Mom said, and pulled over in a narrow path. “This should lead us to Baba’s place.” she continued.

We got down and followed the narrow path, lined with bushes. The scorching sun was beating our necks, our feet sore after walking for something that seemed for hours, though it was some mimutes… if well checked.

Baba was doing some incantations when we arrived. He looked up with a grin on his face, and Mom asked me to wait before going to meet him. “I am coming, my daughter—” she said, and entered the tent. I wouldn’t exactly say it was a ‘tent’. It had some white nylons covering it to the very top. The skulls and the dolls—scary, creepy dolls—some without legs, showing it was really the place.

“You can come in now,” Mom’s voice led me in. I sat on the ground, with my legs placed on each other. Baba looked at me, then at Mama. He looked me to the clouds and hummed in a tone that sent shivers up my covered spine. Mom was busy staring at him, beaming with smiles. I knew what her smile told—my daughter was going to be finally free!

“Take this bottle,” Baba said. “Make sure you rub the content on your body at exactly 3.” He handed me a brown bottle as soon as he was done humming. He had taken the bottle out of the mortar beside. He took a chalk and asked me to come closer, made a circle on my head, and spat on my face—the grossest thing ever!

“Mom, this was never in the plan…”

“Just do as Baba says.” Mom said.

We stood up and thanked him, left the place, not looking back, as instructed. Baba had told us to follow a different path from the one we followed. Doing as we were told, we came upon a crossroad, where a man stood with his hand stretched out. “A path has been made for you,” he said. His eyes were rolled, and his lips visibly chapped. His left hand signaled for us to follow, and we did, though scared. We met some maidens on the road. Three. They were fully clothed in white and none talking to us. We said nothing… but passed, reaching a road where Mom’s car stood waiting. “Finally!”

××××

“Babe, I’m sorry. I mean it,” Amos had come at exactly the time I’d rubbed the substance.

The substance was smelly—and milky. It had mixed with my body to my surprise, turning brown at every rub.

I’ll see if he’s going to pester me further after this, I thought, and grinned on the outside. “Babe?” I called.

“I swear, I’ll do anything. Anything at all.”

I left the door and moved closer. “Anything?”

He replied speedily, “Yes, anything,”

I said, and hugged him. “It’s okay, baby. It’s fine.”

He pushed me roughly. “What-what am I doing here?”

I acted, though happy. “W-what are you doing here?”

“Where… where am I?”

Baba Iyati, you’re the best! I chuckled, and grinned inside.

“Where is everyone? Mom? Dad? Gabrielle?”

I stopped grinning and looked at him. “A-Amos?”

“Gabrielle!” he took off his clothes in seconds. “Gabrielle!”

Amos had gone mad. I was unable to hold him. He was out on the streets, loose and miserable. I shouted like never before, alerting everyone, including Mom. “Mom, you see what you’ve done? Amos has gone mad!”

“I did it for you, my daughter. I did it for you.” She said.

“Did it for me?” I asked, “how is making the man I love mad… ‘doing it for me’?”

“Habibat, calm down…”

I yelled: “Don’t tell me to calm down! Amos is outside!”

Dad came out. “What is happening here?”

I folded my arms and tried not to look at him.

“Is the kids’ noise not enough? Why do you two have to add to it?” he went mad with rage.

I was ready to explain what had happened from the beginning. Mom kept giving me sign. One to show that I shouldn’t talk. But I ignored and went right ahead in telling him. “Dad, just imagine what Mom did,”

“Habibat!” Mom called.

My face was drenched—”Mom had the guts to lie to me, daddy. She took me to one Baba’s place and deceived me into thinking I was going to get my husband off my back….”

“Habibat, shut up!” Mom yelled.

“No, Mom. I won’t shut up,” I said. “I won’t shut up until Dad knows everything that went on.” I wasn’t going to keep him in the dark. I was going to tell him everything from the very beginning.

“Latifah, so this is what you have been doing?” Dad was shocked when I was done narrating. He couldn’t believe Mom and I had gone to a native doctor’s house.

“My husband,” Mom made to explain. “I only did it for our daughter. Ọmọbinrin wa.”

“You did it for yourself, mother. Yourself!”

“That’s a lie!” Mom growled. “I told you to wait outside while I talked with Baba,” she said, “I was the one who told Baba to give you a different charm. Yes! I did!”

I shook my head in pain. “Mom, how could you?”

“That boy was so foolish to send me away…”

“So this is all about that day?” I replayed the time Mama had left Amos’s house.

“And yet you call yourself a Christian?” Dad listened with face twitching. “Ah! I am really disappointed.” he said, and left.

Mom made to touch me… and I pushed her away. “You and Baba better know what you did to Amos.” I thought after that, and made for the couch. I took up my leopard print bag, and made for where Mom kept her keys. It was on the table—in the middle of our medium-sized living room. I seized it and hurried out, got into the car, and zoomed off.

I was driving when my phone rang. I checked to see who the caller was, seeing an unknown number, as I made to pick. “Hello?”

“Where is my husband?” Gabrielle’s voice rang.

“G-Gabrielle?”

“Where is my husband, you b***h? What have you done to him?”

“Y-your husband?” I pretended not to know. “Um, h-how d-did you get my number?” I stammered.

“Amos’ diary has your fingerprints everywhere,” she said, “He hasn’t come home for days.”

“D-days?”

“Yes. Two days, actually. Have you seen him?”

My lips were dry. “N-no.”

“Alright. Will hang up now.”

My phone went beep. I breathed heavily where I was, keeping my eyes on the road. I could see the path clearly now; the place which had led to Baba’s house. “I’m going to set things right,” I said with all certainties. I was ready to confront Baba, determined to do anything just to have my husband back.

“Where are you going?!” A voice called behind. I was glued to my chair.

“Jesus!”

“That name cannot save you. You have soiled your hands and harmed the pure.”

“Take up your bible and confess your sins. Only God has the final say!” A voice echoed in my head, and I did as I was told. I remembered Mom had a bible she usually kept in the car. It was next to the brake; the perfect timing to have it grabbed. Jehovah has the final say. Lord, I am really sorry for my sins, I said in my mind, with all sincerity. It was never my intention to harm Amos. Mom had misled me, and now the innocent was suffering.

“Hahahaha! Hahahahaha!”

“You lie!” I raised the bible in the air, and turned to confront the devil. She was shining like the morning sun, completely different from the devil said to be black and with a long tail. She was beautiful; her face beautified with rings—and hands having bangles that dangled and made rhythmic sounds with every move. I wasn’t scared a bit looking at her. Not when I was in Christ. I’d confessed my sins and changed my mind of confronting Baba. This was a battle I needed to win. “Your words are no match for mine!”

Her words echoed all over; my lioness’ side activated, as I began speaking in tongues.

“Hahahahahaha! Hahahahaha!”

I continued praying. I’d prayed for what seemed like hours, though it was barely some minutes. I opened my eyes to find myself alone, and the place quiet.

“Now, go. Go and never come back here.” The voice came again.

I wasted no time starting the car, leaving pack of dust behind at the kick. I was back home again, contemplating whether to call our pastor. My phone jolted me… and I saw the same number that had called before. “Gabrielle?” My heart skipped; shaky thumb made to swipe, as a voice came in…

“You monster!” I was taken aback by the sound.

“What have you done to my husband?”

I wondered how she had found him. “You mean Amos? How-how did you…?”

“You did this to get back at us, didn’t you? What has my family done to you?”

“Gabrielle, calm down!” I yelled into the phone.

“You’re telling me to calm down?”

“Grrh!”

“My husband’s in a terrible condition and you’re telling me to calm down?”

Amos’ voice was echoing in the background.

“Where are you now?” …it was stupid to ask.

“At the mansion.”

I heaved a sigh, and looked at the heavens. “O-okay. I’m coming.”

“You can save that for God knows when. I’m done with this marriage!” she ended the call.

I was shaken a bit, hating myself, and wishing I had never listened to mama. I picked up my bag and walked back to the car, got inside—and drove off in a haste.

I went to Pastor Vincent, our area pastor; I told him everything—from how I had gone to Baba Iyati’s to how I’d applied the milky substance. I confessed my sins once again, and we prayed together. We drove to Amos’ house, with Sister Bisola and brother Jerome following in the church van. Pastor Vincent burst into tongues when we arrived: We hadn’t even gotten out of the van, when he said, “We need more people—”

I gave a loud swallow.

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Jessica-Ken

A student of the popular Nnamdi Azikiwe university. A Human Anatomy stud—and a passionate writer, with the hope of one day making the world a better place.
~Authoress Ciara

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