Meenah writes ✍️
and threw herself on the bed. She must have cried for close to an hour before she decided to act on a thought on her mind. With the energy offered by the thought on her mind, she went into the bathroom, had her bath and dressed up quickly. She was going to pay a visit to Emmanuel’s father’s grave. Her intention was to plead with him to release her husband’s virility. She had convinced herself he was the one who took it.
The Spiritual House
“There is however, something you must know about your son’s wife, Janet,” the priest added. “What is it?” Mrs. Asibong asked. “She is very pure and your son is going to have his best seeds with her. Thanks for offering us such a soul. This is how it will be done, we will let her have three children for your son, but during the time she will have her fourth child, we will slay her and the new born child. You don’t know what you have offered us. The fourth child that shall come from Janet shall be no ordinary child!” the priest said elatedly.
“What did you mean when you said Janet is pure and that my son shall have his best seeds with her?” Mrs. Asibong asked. “Your son can remarry and even have children by his second wife, but both his wife and the children from her shall all be a big mistake. They are not ordained to be part of Emmanuel’s life. Janet is part of his star… I can see you have been told about your son’s star.” “Yes, I have, but I didn’t know Janet was part of it.”
“It is time to start madam Asibong! Drop five million naira in that basin and give us Janet’s picture,” the priest announced with the sound of bliss in his voice. “I will need to go out and print her picture. I have it here in my phone,” explained Mrs. Asibong. “You will do that later, let us proceed with the rest for now.” “Okay, if you say so.”
For a moment, Mrs. Asibong was thoughtful. She was wondering if her decision to offer Janet’s life was the right decision. Ibinabo pulled her aside and asked, “Are you sure you want to offer Janet’s life? Young women like her are hard to find. Look at how excited the priest is about taking her life. Something is off here, Eme. I feel it strongly. I think that girl should live.” “I have no one else to give. I hate to do this, but the girl has already begun to turn my son against me. I told her something no one knows, and she foolishly told my son.” “What did she tell your son?” “I mistakenly let it slip that my husband died for nothing, only for her to tell Emmanuel. Now Emmanuel is suspecting me of having something to do with his father’s death.”
“That is bad, if it hurts you that much, and if you don’t want the girl in your son’s life anymore, then offer her life. The choice is yours.” “My mind is made up,” Mrs. Asibong said as she rummaged in her bag for her cheque book. She found it and without delay wrote the priest a five million naira cheque and tossed it into the aluminum basin. “Good! That is good. Now strip down and stand before this altar. I will need you to make a binding confession here that you are offering to this altar the life of your fourth grandchild by Emmanuel and Janet, along with Janet’s life.”
Mrs. Asibong stripped down frenziedly like a woman striping off her clothes to join her husband in bed. Standing stark naked before the altar with her hands raised high, she began, “I Eme Asibong offer this altar the life of my fourth grand child who shall be born by Emmanuel my son and Janet his wife. I also offer the life of my son’s wife Janet. Both lives shall be taken after she delivers her fourth child. I offer them to you, o great altar, for you to break and terminate all curses and afflictions placed upon me and my family by the fellowship. Most of all I want my son’s virility to be returned to him this day.”
“Step closer to the altar,” the priest instructed. Mrs. Asibong moved closer. “Stretch forth your hand toward the altar,” said the priest. Mrs. Asibong did so. Without warning, the priest pulled out a knife and slashed her palm and held it over the altar as her blood dropped over it. Mrs. Asibong cried out in much pain, struggling to break free from the priest, but she could not. When the priest was satisfied, he released his grip on her hand and let her go.
At Emmanuel’s father’s grave, Janet stood. She had brought with her a flower bouquet to make the dead happy. A cursory look around revealed to her that the grave before which she stood had been neglected for quite a long time. The other graves had fresh flowers on them and were not overgrown with grass. For a moment, she wanted to walk away. She felt guilty for having come to the grave only because she needed the help of the one who lay dead inside it.
While she pondered how much the grave had been neglected, and how she might proceed with the request for which she had come, a stocky man with a bowed out leg, approached her. The man was seemingly in his mid-fifties. He had bristly beard and looked unkempt. With difficulty, he staggered on his feet, bouncing up and down as his legs were unequal in length. “Good day madam. Does the grave belong to your family?” he asked, making much effort to smile. “Yes, it does,” replied Janet. “The dead can be pacified; they can be shown love. I have often wondered what heinous life the person in this grave committed in his lifetime that his relatives have thought it wise to neglect him. I know he is a man because I have often seen him sitting on his grave at nights looking forlorn and his eye filled with tears…”
“Have you?” Janet asked, her voice filled with fear and trepidation. The man was happy to gain her attention. “Yes, I have. For more than eighteen years I have worked here. By now some of the dead here know me and I know them…” he paused. “So you know the man in this grave then?” asked Janet. “No, I don’t. He prefers to keep his distance and is always in tears. My guess is that he died suddenly. He did not die a good death.” “You might be right. I am his daughter in-law. I have seen enough lately to know he might not have died a good death…” “Don’t worry; however he died, he can be pacified. You can have me weed his grave, bring perfumed flowers for his grave and you can read him words of love. Look at this…” He dug into his breast pocket and dragged out a rumpled piece of paper.
“…this is a poem for the dead. It was written by a celebrated Ghana witch doctor…” the man continued. Janet shrank back at the mention of witch doctor. “…do not fear, you will not be harmed. This poem in my hand, works wonders with the dead. I will do all I mentioned just for a token. I am afraid to go home to my wife and children tonight,” the man concluded, almost pleading. “Why are you afraid to go home, sir?” “I can’t not bear to watch my wife and children go to bed yet another night without food. The government doesn’t care about those who watch the dead anymore. My wife who often helped me out with the responsibilities at home had her shop destroyed in the name of city beautification. As I speak, hunger and lack have made my home their camp. For three months now, I have not been paid my salary…”
Janet raised her hand and hushed the man. She could not bear to listen anymore to the man’s gory tale about his lack. She rummaged in her purse and removed a wad of one thousand naira notes and gave it to the man. “You must go home to night! Make sure your wife and children get something to eat please,” Janet said.
The man went down on his knees to thank her, but she hurriedly pulled him to his feet. “Don’t do that please! All I need from you right now, is to weed this grave and place the perfumed flowers you mentioned on it.” “I will be most glad to do that madam. Please, come over here and sit down,” he said, motioning Janet to a wooden seat under a mango tree some distance away. “Don’t call me madam, you are old enough to be my father. My name is Janet,” she cautioned. “Okay, madam, I will not call you madam again.” Janet had to chuckle at his reply in spite of herself. “Can I ask you a question sir?” Janet asked. “Yes madam, you can.” “I am afraid the man in that grave, took something from me…not exactly from me, though, but from my husband. Do you think if I pacify him he would return it?”
To be continued……..