At the reception in the hospital, Emmanuel looked around for Janet; but she was not there. At first his thought was that she had left for home in anger. He stepped out of the reception, redialing her phone number, it was still busy. He was worried. He stood scanning around, he spotted a feminine figure near where their car was parked, and so he went to see if she was the one. On a closer look, she wasn’t the one. With his arms akimbo, he stood in the morning sun looking forlorn.
Far across the street, in a restaurant, was Janet. She was seated by the glass with her eyes glued to the street. She wanted to know when Emmanuel would drive out of the hospital so they could go home together. On her right ear was her phone, she had been talking with her mother in-law. “No, you didn’t get all I said mommy. He told me that it started with a cold sensation which spread from his abdomen down to his male organ…” “Okay, I get it now. I thought you people woke up and found it dead. That was what I understood…I know this must be hard for the both of you, but do not despair, I will seek a solution for it before the day is over okay… One more thing Janet, when I mentioned to you that my husband died in vain, I did not mean for you to go divulging that to Emmanuel. I am a widow; I know the pains of living every day without my husband. There are just some things neither you nor Emmanuel will understand. I think you were careless there and it has become an issue between my son and I. Really, I am not happy with you,” Mrs. Asibong said, venting her displeasure with Janet. “I am sorry mommy, actually I thought I was helping by telling him that. When we were together at the park, you seemed very flustered. I feared for you ma,” Janet said, explaining herself.
“Let it go. Emmanuel is my son; I know how to handle him. I think you should go back to the hospital and be with him. This is a tough time for him. Stay close to him no matter how grumpy he gets. Giving him some distance is not ideal.” “Okay ma. Let me be going back to him.” “Okay.” Just as her call with her mother in-law ended, Emmanuel’s call crashed in, “Hello baby! Where are you?” Emmanuel asked. From where Janet stood, she saw him step out of the hospital premises. “I am looking at you right now. I am across the street.” “Please come over to the hospital. You shouldn’t have gone far. I am sorry I snapped at you.” “I am sorry baby. I should have shown more understanding. The present situation is hard for you.”
Janet dropped the call and dashed out of the restaurant. Across the street was Emmanuel looking her way. When she crossed the road and reached him, they hugged like they had been away from each other for a while. Emmanuel kissed her and sustained it a bit longer than usual. Janet understood that act. He was asking her not to leave him again. With a gentle pat on his back, she whispered, “I won’t leave you again, no matter what happens.” He nodded and led her back to the doctor’s office.
“Your husband mentioned to me that you people made use of a certain ribbon on your wedding night,” the doctor began. “I want to know; how did you use it?” he asked. Janet moved uncertainly on her seat. From the time Mrs. Asibong had given her the ribbon, she had not felt good about it. The only reason she used it was just to make sure what her mother in-law said could happen did not happen. “I put it around his male organ and he liked it,” she said, her throat feeling extremely dry. “I want to know if it was tied firmly around his organ while you people made love?” “No, it was not. I merely touched his organ with it. It was like dropping it on him. It was nothing more than that. He wasn’t wearing it when we made love, right baby?” Janet asked, slowly regaining her composure. “Yes, I wasn’t,” replied Emmanuel.
“Okay, if you say so. His problem has to be something else. I hope that the tests we will conduct now will reveal what it is,” said the doctor. “Would it be possible for us to get the results today?” Emmanuel asked. “No, the best we can do is tomorrow afternoon. We need time to do proper diagnosis. This is a unique case and has to be handled with professionalism,” replied the doctor. “We will wait, thought tomorrow afternoon seems like eternity,” Janet chipped in. The doctor chuckled, prompting Emmanuel and Janet to laugh in spite of themselves.
About an hour later, Emmanuel was through with the tests. To make himself feel better, he hurried out of the hospital with Janet and drove home. On the drive home, he asked, “What will we be doing from now till tomorrow afternoon when the tests result will come out?” “I will try my best to wake it…” Janet was saying. “No! Please don’t,” Emmanuel interjected pleadingly. Janet was stunned by that. “Why did you say that? Don’t you want it up again?” “How do you think I would feel, if you fail again?” he paused for his meaning to sink in. “My ego is already in tatters. If you try again and it fails to rise, what do you think I will do? How do you think I will feel? Let us just pretend this never happened, can we do that?” “Yes baby, we can…is there a football game today?” she asked. Her question pulled Emmanuel from the abyss of dejection and sorrowful thoughts. “I think there is one…a big one. Chelsea has a game with Arsenal!” “I will watch it with you. I think it is time to activate your other lover – football.”
Emmanuel looked her thoughtfully, leaned toward her and planted a kiss on her lips. “I didn’t miss it when I asked you to marry me. You are something else.” “I am glad I said yes. Not even this crash will pull me away from you.” “Aah!! Eeeh!!!” Emmanuel shouted bouncing up on his seat. Janet was startled. “What is it?!” “I just felt a tingling sensation down my g—n…” “Let me see! Let me see!” Janet shouted, unzipping his trouser. With a loud screeching noise, Emmanuel pulled their car off the road and ground it to a halt under a tree nearby. She was working on his male organ with frenzy. “Can you feel anything baby?” she asked. “Yes, but it is too faint.” “That is better than nothing!” Janet said aloud, her voice filled with hope. Bending over him again, she began to work on him.
The Spiritual Home
“My son’s virility has gone from him completely. I want it restored. You said you can do all things. What do I offer for that?” Mrs. Asibong asked. Her voice was filled with determination and sternness. Beside her was Ibinabo her friend. “I have already told you, madam. What you did with the boy was only for protection and it will last only for three months. You need an altar to retake what was taken from your son,” said the priest. “Go ahead and raise the altar,” she said with utter determination. “That is not how it is done. We will need you to drop a cheque of five million in that aluminum basin and then proceed to give us a life which must be offered to our gods,” explained the priest.
“Earlier you told me I can offer the life of an unborn child, right?” “Yes, I did. We accept that.” “If I give you this life, and you raise an altar for me, would my son’s virility be restored soon and would he be able to have children?” “Yes, he will be able to have children…but there is something you must know, when you offered your fellowship your son’s male strength, you offered along with it all the seeds in his loins. Even his unborn children are now under the chains of your fellowship. It was a mighty sacrifice you offered to the fellowship, woman. By that act of yours, you have destroyed generations of men and women.” The priest paused, watching as his words sunk into Mrs. Asibong with greater clarity.
“Are you saying that I can’t offer you any of Emmanuel’s unborn children?” “That is not exactly my meaning; but this is what I meant. You cannot offer your fellowship generations of men and women locked in your son’s g—n and offer us only one unborn child to break them out.” “How many of my son’s unborn children do you want?” “Through my mirror, I can see he will have four children, we want three out of the four. Let one be his.” “No! You can’t have three! I will give you only one child!” “Then we will not help you, except you offer us more lives.” Mrs. Asibong turned to look at her friend with hot tears streaming from her eyes. Ibinabo drew closer to her and squeezed her hand firmly. “Don’t you have another live to offer?” asked Ibinabo. “No, I only have my daughter, Arit and her family, and they are untouchable…wait!” A thought had occurred to her. Turning toward the priest, she asked, “Can I offer my son’s wife, Janet?” “Of course! By marriage covenant, she has become part of your family…”
Forlornly, Janet raised her head and asked, “The feeling is gone, right? You don’t feel a thing anymore, do you?” “There might be hope. It seems to be coming alive a bit,” Emmanuel said, trying to sound courageous. “But it is still looking limp,” Janet pointed out. Emmanuel wrapped his arms around her and they held each other for a few minutes. Silently the two of them cried as tears flowed freely. “Let us go home and try a bit more. If I have begun to feel some semblance of life down there, then there is hope,” Emmanuel said.
Janet nodded a ‘yes’, like a little girl. Emmanuel zipped up and brought the car to life. On the drive home, not much was said between them. They were content to be left alone to their reveries. If Emmanuel said that in the past he had sex with other women and was fine, what then could have crashed his male organ? For God sake, what does he actually mean by something leaving his body on our wedding night? God I am confused! From our wedding night, we have been having great sex until the morning after the night his dead father showed up in our house. It has to be his father who crashed his male organ! It is him! He must have come to destroy the power of the ribbon my mother in-law gave me. After all my mother in-law mentioned such problem already exists in their family. The dead man brought this on my husband! He did it! Janet thought in her head.
I have been fine all my life until the night of our wedding. God, I did everything right. In honour to your word, I kept myself from premarital sex. Why would this happen to me? God, I prayed with fasting for weeks, seeking your face about Janet before I married her. Why would something leave my body on the night of our wedding? I believe that thing was my male strength. It is just manifesting now. I was not in sin or error when I made love to my wife. God she is my wife! I did not commit fornication with her! Why then would something leave my body …” He paused. An ugly thought had flashed through his mind.
He turned and stared coldly at Janet who was looking out through the window lost in her own thoughts. The visage of his face was marred with disdain for her. The only way that could have happened is if Janet is dedicated to a shrine or a member of an evil cult…wait! She might even be jinxed. Jesus! How could I have been this blind?! She must have a spiritual husband. He must be the man I saw taking something from our matrimonial bed… Emmanuel paused again. This time he was 100% certain he had nailed it. He had finally found the root of his problem. I think she knows. Could it be the reason she never allowed me to touch her before we got married? This now explains how she was able to keep to our purity vow. Without her strength, I could have violated the vow many times. Huh… I have got to talk to someone about this. I am living with a woman joined to spiritual entity in the water world. It must be him who took my virility , Emmanuel concluded his dark thoughts.
When they got home, Emmanuel went straight to the bedroom, pulled off his clothes and went into the bathroom. Janet suspected nothing, she was slow in removing her clothes, her mind was still filled with much thoughts. When she was done removing her clothes, when went to the bathroom door and tried to push it open. Much to her shock, it was locked from inside. They never lock their bathroom door; they just close it. She put it down to Emmanuel being sad over the crashing of his male organ. She knocked gently on the door and said, “Baby open the door, let me join you.” There was no response. Janet got angry and banged harder on the door. “Baby, open the door!!!” she yelled, yet there was no response from Emmanuel. She could hear the crashing sound of water, so Emmanuel was fine. While she was still standing before the door, the sound of running water stopped and after a brief moment, Emmanuel stepped out and mumbled, “I am done, you can go in and use the bathroom now.”
“What has come over you? I wanted us to play in the bathroom. Please understand that this is not easier on me. It is not at all!” Emmanuel stood and looked at her with his eyes filled with hatred. He opened his mouth to say something, but decided against it. Janet saw the look in his eyes and understood it for what it was. Her heart sunk into her stomach. “Baby what did I do? Why did you look at me that way?” Janet cried out. Her legs shook and could hardly hold up her body. She lowered herself to the floor and sat on it, still naked. Emmanuel walked over to the wardrobe and began to dress up.
With deep groans, Janet began to cry. She had not had to cry much since they began to date. However, her cries were usually too hard for Emmanuel to deal with. Emmanuel resisted it all he could, and when he was about to leave the bedroom, he walked over to her, tapped her on the back and said tacitly, “It is all going to be fine. I think I have figured it out.” Janet was eager to hear what he figured out. “Okay can you let me in on it? What is responsible for your male organ crashing?” she asked. Emmanuel ignored her and left the room, banging the door behind him as loud as he could. Janet shook terribly where she sat, clutching her chest.
To her, it was a dream. Emmanuel was not capable of that. She could not believe her eyes. Weakly she picked herself up from the floor 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 b—-t 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?”
The man made effort to rest on his one good leg, raising his frame like an orator about to address the Greek parliament in old times, he began, “You see, madam, the loss in death has for ages been misconstrued. Those who suffer the real loss in death are not the living. Though the living cry the loudest, it is the dead who suffer the real loss. They are the ones who can’t taste good wine ever again or wear new clothe fashion. They are the ones who can’t spend time with their wives, husbands or loved ones. They see us giggle and laugh, but they sit quiet in loneliness. They see us use modern technology, but they only wonder what the use is like to us…” he paused and searched Janet’s eyes. Janet clearly could not make out where he was headed with his lecture about the loss of the dead. He saw that, and so made his last point which drove home his meaning. “…the dead would be glad for anything you do to let them know they are remembered. I have often heard them wailing by night over the torture of their loneliness, particularly the lost souls amongst them.”
“So your point is that my father in-law will be glad to return what he took?” Janet asked with an edge of impatience to her voice. “Yes, he will be glad to. After all, he has finally got someone’s attention.” “I like this!” Janet echoed, completely surprised she said that.
For the next twenty minutes she sat under that mango tree and waited for the man to clean the grave and drop the perfumed flowers so she could read her dead father in-law the poem which would make him glad. A few times she tried Emmanuel’s phone number but he did not pick up. She was worried about his attitude, but hoped all that would change for the better by the time she persuaded her father in-law to return what he supposedly took.
Emmanuel and his Friend
“I hate to admit it. I am afraid to tell anyone this, but the truth is, right now, I can’t afford an erection or even have any feelings in my male organ,” Emmanuel said to his friend, Samson. Samson shifted uncertainly in his chair wondering if he heard Emmanuel well. “How…how did you come to this? How… I mean what happened, Emma?” Samson asked, almost choking on his words. “It is my wife! I suspect my wife. It all began on our wedding night. While we made love…our first love since we knew each other, something left my body. Ever since then, I have not felt the same. The height of it now is that my male organ is as good as dead. I know there is something down there only because I have this weird occasional jolts down there as if my male organ was battling to come back to life…” Emmanuel paused and wiped at a bead of tear in the corners of his left eye. Samson drew closer to him and tapped gently on his right thigh. “It is okay, Emma. All hope is not lost. The same gods who afflicted a child with itches, also gave him fingernails to scratch them… Tell me why you think your wife is responsible for the crash of your male organ?”
“I think she is jinxed. I believe she has a spiritual husband. Come to think of it, why else would I lose my pride as man when I began to have formal relations with her as my wife? Why didn’t I lose my strength before I had sex with her? Why didn’t I have this experience those days I slept with other girls? Whatever happened to my male organ is connected to my wife, I am certain of it!” “Phew!! Spiritual husbands can be stubborn and jealous; they are one problem you don’t want to have. If indeed, a spiritual husband is responsible for what happened to you, there is a way to find out.” “How? Tell me please,” Emmanuel asked, shifting to the edge of his seat. “You have to give your attention to another woman…” “What! I can’t do that! I don’t want to go back to my sins!” “Wait! Wait, Emmanuel! I am not saying you should embrace infidelity… This is my meaning, spiritual husbands are proud and jealous evil spirits. If you make them think they have won, they will leave you alone. The way out is to use their pride against them. You have to give your wife some distance and turn your attention to another woman. If your male strength returns, then your wife is your problem…”
“And if it doesn’t?” “Then something else took your male strength.” Emmanuel stood up and paced about the living room, wondering how he could do what Samson had suggested. He returned to his seat and asked, “How do I find a woman that will not expose me to the world?” “I will take care of that for you. I have a lady friend whose mere appearance will cause your male organ to riot back to life. That is if a spiritual husband is responsible for what happened to you. You must treat this lady like you treat your wife. The idea is to fool the spiritual husband into thinking you have left your wife for him.” “Wait, Sammy, how did you learn all this?” “My grandmother served water spirits. While growing up I saw unbelievable things. I saw barren women, get pregnant after they pacified their spiritual husbands. I saw men regain their libido when they appeased their spiritual wives or warded off their wives’ spiritual husbands. The spiritual world is as real as this one, or maybe even much more real.”
With a huge smile on his face, the cemetery keeper walked to Janet where she was sitting under the mango tree and announced he was done with his work of weeding her father in-law’s grave, and had presented him with perfumed flowers. “So, can I go read him the poem now, right?” she asked. “Yes, I believe he can’t wait to hear those words,” said the man.
Staggering on his bad limbs, he followed Janet back to the grave. Janet was not sure, but somewhere in the recesses of her mind was the knowledge that what she was doing bothered on necromancy. To lighten her mind, heavily burdened with guilt, she mumbled a short prayer to God. “Dear God, please forgive me. I am not sure about this, but in my current dire situation, this is the only solution I can get my hands on.” That prayer did not lighten her heavy heart, but it afforded her some pseudo comfort, for having condemned the act of communicating with the dead before she embarked on it.
For the next ten minutes, Janet summoned her intellectual astuteness and read the words of the poem as though she was reading the wordings of a holy poem in the church. Her mind was so focused on the words of the poem that she did not see any of the rather paranormal activities happening around the grave. The cemetery keeper was mesmerized. He was almost delirious by what he saw. As Janet read the words, the sand on the grave seemed to bounce up and down in a rhythmic fashion. It was at the point she finished reading the poem that she turned her gaze back to the man next to her. The man was literally jazzed.
“What is it sir?” she asked. The man looked up, his face wrapped up in Elysium. With stuttering lips, he replied, “I… I… Saw the grave… The grave danced! I saw the grave dance! The dead in it is happy!” That was not something to say to a lady totally naïve about spiritual things and the dead. Janet felt her heart beat irregularly with pungent twinge of pain. She stepped away from the grave, afraid it might open up and swallow her whole. Then a blast of wind blew in-between them and a voice like the voice of the wind whispered, “Find my killer and you will have found your oppressor.”
The effect of the voice was so staggering that her feet could not hold her up any longer. Irrespective of her class, she sat on the ground, wishing she was home. I don’t get it. Why did he not tell me who killed him, instead of sending me to find the person? Janet thought. As if her father in-law was in her head, a voice spoke to her again, “In my death I was forbidden to speak of what happened to me. I want to, but I can’t. If you don’t find who killed me, you will be next.” That was it for Janet. She could not take any more of that paranormal conversation. She stood to her feet and bolted away, trying very hard not to scream her head off.
Because of his deformity, the cemetery keeper could not keep up with Janet. All he could do was shout at her to stop running, but Janet would have none of that. She was done with seeking help from the dead.
Emmanuel was home by now and very much bothered by what his friend had told him to do. “As much as I am afraid Janet might be jinxed, I cannot bear to cheat on her. What if it turns out I am wrong?” Emmanuel whispered to himself as he paced about his living room. While he walked about his living room restlessly, his eyes rested on a picture of his father on the wall and a thought seized his mind. “What on earth was my father here for the other night?” he asked aloud to no one. Before he could process that thought, another one hit him, “What did mom mean by daddy ‘died in vain’?” Like a prey being hypnotized by a serpent, he sunk into the closest sofa to him. “God please help me! I don’t know how we came to this… Look at me trying to cheat on my wife… My mother saying my father died in vain… My male strength gone mysteriously and the dead showing up in my house… and there is even a remote possibility that my wife might have a spiritual husband. How can a happy life turn so sour in a short time?” he wondered as he prayed.
He was lost in his searing thoughts of sorrow, when Janet barged into the house. She was almost beside herself. When Emmanuel saw the look of her face, he was shocked. He could not bear to ignore her. Janet was happy to meet him at home. She ran toward him and threw herself on him and began to sob deeply. Emmanuel was full of thoughts as to why she was crying. He assumed that perhaps she was about to confess to him what she knew about his condition. Patiently he waited for her to speak up. “Baby we are in trouble,” she said as if Emmanuel did not know that much.
“We have been in trouble since our wedding night, that much is clear to me,” Emmanuel said with sarcasm. “I spoke with your father; he said…” Janet was saying. She was stopped by the look on Emmanuel’s face. “You spoke with my father!” he wondered. Emmanuel could hear his own heartbeat. “Yes, I did. I went to his grave to plead with him to return your male strength which I supposed he took from you…” “And he spoke to you?” “It wasn’t that straightforward. I did some things to please him.” Emmanuel became much more afraid of her. He shifted away from her. His thoughts were, “So you are not just jinxed, you practice witchcraft too?”
Janet could see he was a bit distracted and so she asked. “Are you listening to me, baby?” “Yes, what did you do to make my father speak to you?” He was beginning to give his worries away in the manner he spoke. “You, your mother and Arit neglected him for long. His grave was not weeded and no one brought him flowers. I was told by the cemetery keeper that most nights he was seen sitting on his grave crying.” “Crying? My father was crying?” “Yes he was. He told me he was killed…” That was the clincher. Instead of shifting away from Janet, he moved closer. “Did he tell you who killed him?” he asked with a whisper. “No he did not. But he warned me that if we do not find his killer, I will be killed soon.” The thought of Janet dying made Emmanuel realize how much he really loved her.
Taking her into his hands warmly and his eyes locked with hers, he said with frightening cold voice, “I will kill a whole nation than let any harm come upon you.” The sound of that was very reassuring to Janet. She nodded, happy that his cold attitude toward her was thawing. “But my father should have told you who killed him,” Emmanuel thought aloud. “I wanted him to tell me, but he said he was forbidden in his death to reveal the person’s identity or the things he knows. I am afraid to admit that he sounded as though he was killed by an occult power. You can’t kill a man and shut his mouth from speaking what he knew, except you are using occult powers,” Janet said.
Emmanuel picked his phone to call his friend who suggested he find another woman to show love to prove if Janet was jinxed and in that instance, he felt his male organ swing back to life as if it broke out from under a ceiling. With both hands he grabbed his private part, looking embarrassed. “It is back to life! Baby I can feel it like before! My male organ is back to life!” Emmanuel shouted. Janet could not move. Her mouth hung wide open in shock as she looked spaced out. “Your father has done it. He has fought for us,” she whispered. Emmanuel stood up, lifted her in his arms and made a dash toward the bedroom.
Mrs. Asibong’s Office
She was giving her personal assistant some instructions when her phone rang. It was not her regular ring tone. She knew who was calling and it had been eleven long years since they spoke last. She had carried his number and assigned a special tone to it in each of her new phones, those long years. “I am sorry, that is an important call and I have to take it in privacy,” she said to her personal; assistant. Hastily she walked her assistant to the door and shut it. She went back to her table and picked the call, “Hello, you are not meant to call me except something goes wrong. So, tell me, what has gone wrong?” “Your daughter in-law visited your husband’s grave today. I heard she had his grave weeded, gave him perfumed flowers and read him a poem,” a male voice said. “And…?” “Nothing more,” replied the male voice.
Her breathing became strong and beads of sweat appeared on her forehead. “I looked into that girl before I allowed her to come into my home. Why didn’t I see all this? This is the second time she would set beyond her bounds… Have you looked at the chains, are they still in place?” “You have nothing to worry about. The chains are in place.” “But the other night, he was seen in my son’s house. How did that happen?” “If there was trouble, I would have told him. It was not him that they saw, he sent another to appear like him. I knew about that and there was no way I could stop it.” “I thought as much,” Mrs. Asibong said with a sigh of relief. “I would have you watch him closely tonight, find out how he fares. You know if he breaks out, the rest will come with him,” she added. “Yes I know.” “Thanks for the information, I will deal ruthlessly with my daughter in-law.”
Emmanuel’s House, Bedroom
Breathing heavily, Janet stared rapturously at Emmanuel’s body. Every bit of muscle in his body was pulsating. With infectious smile and a happy heart, she whispered, “You are back baby. You took me on like a stallion. At some point, I could not breathe. You are back, my love. We can now make babies; what do you think?” “I have no issues with making babies, but we have to first take seriously what my father told you and find out who wants you dead. I think it will be foolhardy to relegate that and move on. On the other hand, we have not found out why my male organ crashed in the manner it did,” said Emmanuel thoughtfully. “You are right, but how do we go about finding the person who killed your father and wants me dead?” Janet concurred. “Going by what my mother said to you, she knows something about how my dad died. She might not want to let us in on it, but I am certain she knows what we don’t. I will find a way to make her tell me what she knows…” “What if she refuses?” Janet interjected. “Then I will look for alternative ways to find out what happened to my father.”
“I hope the alternative ways will not make things worse than they already are?” Janet asked. Emmanuel gently pulled her over to his body, planted several kisses all over her body and then replied her. “I will be very careful. Whichever means I choose to find out the truth will not put us in much more trouble than we already are. I will make sure of that, okay.” Janet kissed him and whispered seductively, “Okay baby… It feels like it was long time ago that we made love last…” “We just made love now,” Emmanuel interjected. “I know, but that was just a test. Now let’s do the real thing…” “I thought I heard you say you almost could not breathe…” “Stop talking and get down to business, baby. I know you understand my meaning. You are just being silly.” Smiling mischievously, Emmanuel said, “Yeah, I understand you actually…” Janet responded to that with a knock on his head. “Aw!! What was that for?” he asked, rubbing his hand on the spot Janet knocked on his head. “For making me explain too much… You were not done explaining before I gave you the knock, continue or I’ll give you more knocks.”
Acting like a little boy, trying not to offend his mother, Emmanuel continued, “The reason you felt that way was because of the fear we felt over the crash. To me, it seemed like my life was over. I can’t even imagine what must have gone on in your mind. Any chance I will hear them?” Janet began to laugh. “I see, they must have been very terrible to make you laugh this much,” Emmanuel pointed out. “They were bad, dark and evil. I could not imagine living for the rest of life without sex in my marriage. The fear of that killed me a thousand times.” “Was there a chance you would have left me or cheated on me?” Emmanuel asked, looking at her quizzically. “Those two thoughts made me mad. They kept coming at me like storms. I have to admit; I almost went nuts under their crushing blows.” “Did you get to make any of the decisions then? They were possibilities, right?” Janet regarded him for a while and with a smile replied, “I am not that easy to beat down. I did not. Your crash was not even up to a day long. How could I have made such grave decisions that soon? How about you? Were you going to run away from me or go to other ladies to see if they could wake it…? You know when such things happen, somehow, the woman becomes a suspect. Did you think I was a witch?”
A look of guilt took over Emmanuel’s face. He looked down on the bed, unable to look her in the eyes. “I know you baby. You thought I was a witch or perhaps jinxed. When you banged the door and left me, it felt like you banged the door of my heart. Even while we were with the doctor, you sounded like having sex with me on our wedding night was responsible for what left your body,” Janet carefully pointed out. “I am very sorry, baby. I thought that somehow my problem had something to do with you…” “Because it happened the first time we made love, right? Perhaps you thought I had a spiritual husband who took your male strength away for touching his wife,” she interjected. Emmanuel reacted with so much shock at what she said that Janet could see he thought all she mentioned.
“I have made up my mind to deal with Janet, and I have decided to do it now,” Mrs. Asibong said to her friend, Ibinabo. “What did she do this time?” asked Ibinabo. “She went to visit my dead husband. From what I gathered before I left work this evening, she managed to stir the spirit of my dead husband.” “This Janet must be very strong spiritually. Did her action weaken the chains you placed on your husband’s spirit?” “No, she did not. However, if I don’t serve her some bitter pills to swallow, she might break the chains.” “How are you going to do that seeing you have made a deal which somehow forbids you from inflicting damaging hurt on her? Don’t forget she is the major sacrifice you have offered to get the restoration and protection you want.”
“I know Ibinabo. My plan is to inflict her with a sickness. If she was not my daughter in-law, believe me, I would have shut her womb and thrown the key into the Atlantic Ocean. She is a pest! An annoying pest!” “I still have not figured out why you hate her this much. If she was my daughter in-law, I would have kept her far away from all this. I am certain you are making a mistake. Have you thought about it that if you inflict her with a sickness, it might affect her ability to bear you the grandchildren the priest spoke of and also the one you have offered to our lord?” “So are you suggesting I sit back and watch her destroy my life?” “She is not after you, Eme. I am certain she does not even know she is doing some things you don’t like. A couple of months ago, she was the best daughter in-law a mother in-law could have. Now she is a devil. Eme, please, be very careful with that girl.”
Mrs. Asibong’s phone began to ring. She checked to see who was calling. It turned out to be Janet. “Talk about the devil and he somehow shows up. The witch is the one calling me. What could she want to tell me?” “That your son’s male organ is back to life and that she has been rocking it all evening,” Ibinabo joked. “You know, you are right. I need to hear that,” Mrs. Asibong said and picked the call. “Hello Jenny girl! What good news have you got for me?” Mrs. Asibong asked as though she was not mad with Janet. “Mommy, the missing servant is back and is working at electric pace. I can’t get enough of as it is,” Janet said with the sound of joy in her heart. “I can’t be happier for you. I think the two of you should seriously give making babies a thought. I wouldn’t want that servant to pack up again without a grandchild for me. In fact, tell Emmanuel I ordered for grandchildren.” “Okay, mommy, I will pass your message across to him.” “Alright Jenny, enjoy the revived servant as much as you can. It is yours for the keeps,” Mrs. Asibong signed off.
Janet could not help giggling at her mother in-law’s comment.
At the bathroom from where she had made the call, she leaned on the wall and laughed hard after the call had ended. The imagination evoked by the comment, “… enjoy the revived servant as much as you can. It is yours for the keeps ” was so graphic that her thoughts went back to some things she had thought when Emmanuel’s male organ was still nonfunctional. At the living room, Emmanuel was on the phone with a man his friend, Samson, had helped him get in touch with. “How long will it take you to find out all I have told you about?” Emmanuel asked. “Give me three days. I sense a strong occult presence around you. I have to be careful with this case, it usually doesn’t end well,” the man at the other end of the call said. “Please sir, do it quickly. Whoever is after me, is also after my wife.” “Yes, you are right. I see covenants involving blood and graves with chains… You know what, Mr. Emmanuel, let us end this call. I need to look into your family now. So much has gone wrong for long.” “Okay, sir.”
All through that evening and late into the night, Emmanuel and Janet did their best to enjoy as much romantic moments as they could. Emmanuel even called the doctor handling his case to inform him that his male organ had come back and had been working very fine. So, that evening was filled with joy and no one was expecting what began about 1: 56 am in the morning. For Janet it was only a nightmare until she snapped out of her sleep with a scream and found her matrimonial bed soaked with blood. In the far corner of their bedroom were two human-like shadows holding in their hands bloody objects which Janet figured out to be some organs from her body. She turned to look at Emmanuel who was next to her only to find him sound asleep in spite of her ear-piercing screams.
To be continued…