Janet gave so much thoughts to the small box her mother in-law gave her, but could not decide if it would be wrong not to go ahead with what she told her to do. Though it bothered her, she just could not see how Mrs. Asibong would want to harm her own son. “Emanuel is her son, perhaps she is right about his having issues with performing well in bed,” she mumbled under her breath. Much to her surprise, Emanuel was standing next to her. “What were you saying to yourself?” he asked, startling her. “Oh God! You had me scared! Why did you sneak up on me?” she asked, hitting him lamely with both hands. Emanuel took her in his hands and kissed her passionately. She melted in his hands and whispered, “I can’t wait for us to get to our hotel.” “Neither can I,” replied Emanuel. “I think at this moment; I am happy we decided to wait till marriage. It suddenly looks awesome,” she said in-between planting several kisses all over his face.
“I am glad we waited. It was worth it,” Emanuel said as he led her back into the bar. A few hours later, they left the bar and were driven to their hotel. With much anticipation, both of them looked forward to the night. In the heat of the sizzling passion between them in their hotel room, Janet found a good reason to slip the ribbon on Emanuel’s male organ. She had done it expertly, leaving Emanuel thinking it was all part of their foreplay. “What was that? It felt magical. Could you do it again?” Emanuel requested. She was happy to hear the ribbon left a pleasurable feeling on him and so was glad to put it back on him and left it on him as they went on with foreplay.
When she finally took it off and placed it back in the small box, Emanuel felt a pulsating strength surge through him. “I don’t know what it is, but I feel different. I feel like I can take a thousand women at once right now,” he said breathlessly. “You have to take me first before you can think of a thousand women,” Janet protested. With that, Emanuel took her on and left her in cloud nine all night long. Before morning, they took a break and dozed off. By dawn, Janet could not tell what happened to the ribbon. While they slept after consummating their marriage, something had stealthily entered the room and left with the ribbon. She was certain that she dropped it on the floor, just a little under the bed. She did not like the idea of the ribbon taking wings and flying away by night. A million and one thoughts went through her mind about the ribbon.
However, when Emanuel finally found the small black box in her bag, she relaxed a bit. Sadly, for them, the box was empty. “You know what baby; I don’t remember placing the box in my hand bag. How did it get in there and where is the ribbon?” “I don’t have a clue honey. The last I saw of it was you removing it from my body and…maybe dropping it on the floor. Don’t bother about the ribbon, we don’t need it, do we? Well, it felt good when we used it, but I think we can do without it…okay if it is important to you, we can order another one.” He had thought she bought it for their honeymoon. The fear of explaining to him how she got it made her give him the impression that it was no big deal it went missing.
By this time, she was a bit uncomfortable. “What if he doesn’t perform well? Was I meant to use it twice. What if I buy a new one and it doesn’t give him the same pleasure?” Her multiple worries were finally put to rest when Emanuel blew her away once again that morning. “I doubt anyone has ever enjoyed their honeymoon like we have so far! You are something else, baby,” Janet said gasping for breath. “I feel like I am only just beginning. Are you ready for more?” “Give me a few minutes,” Janet replied, happy her mother in-law had given her the ribbon.
All the days of their honeymoon were filled with fireworks when they were together on the bed. They had left the hotel three days later and flew to Monaco where they spent the rest of their honeymoon. The pleasures of those days would be completely forgotten when their problems would begin…
Gold Bank, Mrs. Asibong’s office
“Have you received the gift?” Mrs. Asibong asked Udo. “Yes Eme, the lords are grateful you obeyed them.” “I would be happy if my son is allowed to enjoy his new wife for some time before his strength begins to fail him.” “Your requests are becoming too much Eme. I think you should spend some time with the lords and make them realize how you feel about this. As for me, you are not going to hear from me or even see me for the next fourteen years. My job is done here.” And that was it. Udo dropped the call. Mrs. Asibong was not happy the way he left and so tried to call him back, but was told the number she dialed was not in existence. Udo had been using one of their magic spells to speak with her over the phone.
She ran to one of the drawers in her office, unlocked it and removed a small plastic container. She uncorked the container and poured out some white powder from it into her hand. For a few minutes she held her breath to concentrate. Then her lips began to move irregularly until her words became faintly audible. She was making some incantations. Above head, from the air conditioner vent, foggy mist began to waft into her office, then she blew the powder into the air and was gone from her office in that instant.
The Chapel, Ogun State
Mrs. Asibong appeared on the doorstep of the chapel, her face contorted with anger. For fractions of minutes, she stood on the step and looked around, there were over fifty worshipers outside the chapel. Then she stormed into the chapel, and went straight to the altar. Kneeling down, she said some prayers. At her right hand, a door creaked open and a man, dressed like a monk waved at her and she stood to her feet and hurried toward him. “All your requests have been deposited here, and the lords have read them. You must wait for their reply,” the man said. “I am glad they listened quickly,” she said as the man led her to a seat. This section of the chapel was dimly lit up and was filled with smokes. The man sat next to her and intently looked into her eyes. “Your soul is drifting from us; you are no longer zealous as you once were. Why is it so?” the man asked.
“I was made an offer of blessings, riches and peace to join you, but all I have received since that day have been losses. Tell me priest, why should I be happy with something which takes away what I have?” “This was all a test. And you brought it upon yourself in the first place. The lords had cut you some slack for the much sacrifices you had made. However, when they saw your heart had become bitter, and that you no longer visited the chapel, they asked for your son’s strength. Much to everyone’s surprise, you gave it like in old times…” Mrs. Asibong took a sigh of relief and asked, “So my son’s strength will be returned to him?”
“After you passed the test, you became rebellious. You should have waited to hear from the lords before seeking other means to help your son.” “I was not rebellious! I am a mother! Do you know what it means to give away your son’s future? When I gave you his strength, I gave away all the seeds in him!” she shot back angrily. The man regarded her for a moment and shook his head unhappily. “Do you remember that Udo told you there would be a way for your son to please his wife and have babies?” As she paused to recall that, the knowledge of it came rushing back to her. She raised her head to say something and the man touched her forehead and said, “Go back home, the lords are not happy with you. Your heart has become bitter and dark against us.” “No!!!!” she screamed as she faded away from the man’s presence. In an instant, she found herself back in her office.
Monaco, the Honeymoon
“I don’t feel like going back home yet, baby,” Janet said, resting her head on his chest as they lay on the beach. “Back home we can still have as much fun as we want, we can’t spend much longer time here.” “I know, but don’t forget we waited for this moment for a long time.” “Yes, we did. However, I feel like going home. I don’t know why, but that is how I feel. “Okay, if you feel strongly about it, we had better start going home.”
Muri Okunola Park, 8: 45 pm
Mrs. Asibong could not wait to hear from Janet about how things went down at their honeymoon. As soon as Emanuel and Janet were back to the country, she placed a call to have a meeting with her. Their usual joint, Muri Okunola Park, was their rendezvous point. A day after their return to Nigeria, sex was still great between the two of them, Janet could not help but whisper thanks for the ribbon her mother in-law gave her.
To be stealth about their regular meeting to the park, Janet used a taxi, while Mrs. Asibong used a rented car. Janet was all smiles when she saw her mother in-law. With a half run, she advanced toward her and embraced her happily. There was some look of dejection and discontent on Mrs. Asibong’s face, but Janet was too enraptured to spare a thought for that. “How did it go in Monaco?” Mrs. Asibong asked impatiently. “He was a tiger in bed!” an enthralled Janet replied. She was almost air borne as she spoke. Her eyes emitted joy and her tongue let out living breaths of peace. “He was something else, mommy. I don’t know what he was like before the ribbon, but I like what he is now. I look forward to night time with great expectation!”
Mrs. Asibong flashed a plastic smile, afraid to tell Janet what would soon follow. “I am happy for you Janet. Such performance in the bedroom is very important to us ladies in marriage… So, how is he? Has he complained about his health since then.” “No ma, he is healthy and strong as a stallion.” “I am glad it all worked out well, Janet… If he gets to complain about anything, do not hesitate to let me know. I will make sure I find a solution to whatever the problem may be, okay?” “Thanks a lot ma. You are one in a million mother in-law… I got you a gift in Paris. I couldn’t pass up the chance to buy you this,” Janet said rummaging in her handbag. From her handbag, she removed a wrapped gift and handed it to her mother in-law.
“What’s in the gift pack?” Mrs. Asibong asked, smiling. She could not wait, she had to unwrap the gift pack. What the torn gift wrapper revealed was a bottle of ‘Tom Ford’ deodorant. “How did you know Janet? I just exhausted my last bottle! You are such a darling.” She took Janet in her hands for a warm embrace. “I am glad you like it. At some point I was caught in-between Tom Ford and Valentino Uomo…” Mrs. Asibong lowered her head in palpable grief as soon as Janet mentioned Valentino Uomo. “Mommy what is it? Is it something I said?” Janet asked, looking very concerned.
Mrs. Asibong reached for her handkerchief and wiped off a few beads of tears in the corners of her eyes. Janet was really bothered; she could not fathom why her mother in-law suddenly became flustered. “Mommy, are you okay? What is wrong?” “It’s nothing, my child. Valentino Uomo was my husband’s favourite when he was alive. I am glad you did not buy it. It would have made me remember he died for nothing…” She stopped suddenly and looked at Janet cautiously. She had just told her a bit of what no one knew about her husband’s mysterious death. “Mommy, what do you mean by your husband dying for nothing? I thought he died in his sleep? Emmanuel told me all about it.”
Mrs. Asibong toughened the look of her face and stared at Janet for a few seconds. Janet felt her heart miss a few beats. Mrs. Asibong saw the look of fear in her eyes and relaxed. “It is nothing my child. Don’t bother with it. When you will have spent over twenties years with Emanuel and you wake up one morning to find him cold in the hands of death, you will understand… These days I miss him a lot. I feel empty without him…” Mrs. Asibong paused and began to cry. Janet took her in her arms and tried to comfort her. Her sobs were deep and rocked her entire body. Janet held her as firmly as she could. “Mommy I have got to take you home now. Please come with me,” Janet said and tried to lead her out of the park. “No Janet, I have a few things to do tonight before I leave for home. Go back home to your husband. I am happy it all worked out well in Monaco,” Mrs. Asibong said and left hurriedly…
Lekki, 10:15 PM
“I was lied to from the beginning! They deceived me! Do you know the amount of sacrifices I have made for the fellowship? They have bled me dry in all respects. I think I would have had a better life without them. Look at me! Look at me Ibinabo! My hands are stained with blood. I have done things I would never have thought I could do. Just when I had thought it was all over, they came looking for my son’s virility. That boy’s marriage is going to break as soon as his strength begins to fail him. How is his wife going to cope? What have I done to myself? Jesus! Look at me…” Mrs. Asibong was saying.
“Stop Eme! Stop! Just stop!” Ibinabo shouted at her. “But I told you years ago to find a backup brotherhood for days such as these. Let us not lie to ourselves, we knew these fellowships deal in diabolical powers. They have deals with powers beyond us. Once you are in, you become a pawn in their grand scheme of mysteries. I am not blaming you. I know life failed us and we had to look for sources to get back what we lost or could not have. So the truth is we brought this on ourselves. I have lost stuffs which you know quite well. It got to a drastic point and I decided to stop losing things and that is what you are going to do right now! You are done losing stuffs, Eme!” Ibinabo shouted.
“Yes, I am! I am done with this life of pains and sorrows. I am done! But first I want my son’s virility back. He deserves to enjoy his marriage. I have made enough sacrifices for my son to enjoy that; and he is going to. I just don’t care what it takes!” Mrs. Asibong yelled as she stood to her feet. “That is the spirit my sister! Now let’s go see what we can reclaim.” “Where are we going to, Ibinabo?” “You will find out just yet. Follow me.”
The two ladies hurried out of Ibinabo’s palatial home, got into her car and drove off into the dark night. Ibinabo’s driver had offered to drive them out, but she had turned his offer down. The business they had to do that night was not the type he should be aware of. Mrs. Asibong’s phone rang several times and she did not pick up. The calls were from Emmanuel. Emmanuel had been seething in anger, waiting for her at her home. He just could not wait to find out what she meant by his father ‘dying in vain’.
Back at Emmanuel’s house, when Janet could not bear waiting for Emmanuel to return home, she began to call him frantically. “Baby, please you have to come home. You can’t wait all night to see her. I am lonely here,” Janet cried over the phone. Emmanuel was minded to wait it out, but had to leave for his house when Janet would not stop calling and crying.
Emmanuel’s House 11: 55 PM
Janet was glad to see Emmanuel return home. He was still a tad angry. “I don’t mean to pry into her life, she is my mother after all, but what in God’s world is she crawling around at such wee hours of the night? The worst part is that she did not go out with any of her cars and would not take my calls. I want to know, what was she acting like when you were with her?” Emmanuel asked as he sunk into a sofa in his living room. “She seemed worked up. I could tell something was troubling her. She didn’t let me in on what it was. She only mentioned that she was missing your father and that he died in vain,” Janet replied while removing Emmanuel’s clothes. “You need to go have your bath and have something to eat,” she added…
“Sorry babe, I have lost appetite…” “What! Did you say you lost what? Are you aware I have been laboring in the kitchen to make you a nice meal? You have to find your appetite somehow,” Janet retorted. Emmanuel could see his wife was not happy. Refusing to eat her food would be one too many troubles to handle in a night, so he agreed to nibble at some of whatever she had cooked for him. “For all I care, my father died peacefully in his sleep, but what you have told me has left me wondering if there was much more than I have known.” “Let it go baby,” Janet pleaded. “You are making me regret telling you that. Just let it got. Your dad died in peace and that is how it is. Come and have your bath…I will bathe you, if that will make you cool off,” she concluded.
Emmanuel exhaled to let out some of the steam inside of him. Not even the offer to be bathed by Janet could make him relax. Receiving a bath from Janet was one of his favourite romantic moments together with her. However, in spite of that offer, his mind remained fixated on his father’s death and her mother’s reported comment. A foreboding feeling had been swooshing over him from the time they were on their honeymoon in Monaco. By now Janet had succeeded in peeling off all his clothes, except for his boxer shorts. Holding him by the hand, she led the way to their king size bath. “By the time I am done with you, you won’t remember who your mother or father are, nor your middle name,” she said as they stepped into their bath. Emmanuel chuckled in spite of himself. Turning to face him, she pulled off his boxer shorts, and pressed her body into his and whispered, “Undress me, baby.”
As Emmanuel’s hands worked to remove her clothes, he recalled a dream his brother had before he died some years back. “My brother Jeffery had a weird dream a night before his death.” Janet made a face, indicating she did not want him to spoil their romantic moment. Nonetheless, she gave him attention, “What did he see?” she asked. “He saw my father walk into his hospital room and said to him, “come and see Jeffery.” According to Jeffrey, he did not want to go, but in spite of himself, he followed him to a garden filled with only white flowers. As soon as they stepped into the garden, my father touched one of the flower petals in the garden and suddenly, all the beautiful flowers began to die, bleeding streams of blood. Jeffery said he was afraid and turned to ask my father why the beautiful garden was dying, only to see my father chained to a metal pole and bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. He screamed and woke up. By seven am the next morning, Jeffery was dead.”
Janet did not like the sound of that. Though he was there with her, she felt fear seizing at her heart. It was as though a third unseen person had joined them in the bath. Janet took hold of him firmly, looking around fearfully. “What is it babe?” Emmanuel asked. “I don’t like the way I feel. It is as though someone else is here with us,” she replied. Emmanuel looked around and just in time, he saw the reflection of a figure in a white shirt on the glass panel of their Jacuzzi. Taking hold of Janet firmly, he whispered, “You just might be right, babe. I think I saw a reflection on that glass.” “You did?” Janet asked, her eyes widening in absolute fear. “Yes,” he whispered. “The problem is that I know the shirt the figure was wearing. I remember it clearly…” “Whose shirt is that?” “My father’s shirt.” “Your father?!” she asked, swallowing hard.
Mrs. Asibong and Ibinabo, 12:35 AM
“I have heard your plight madam. We have the solution to your problems right here. We have the power to change what has been done to your son and to stop you from suffering further losses,” a burly, potbellied man, with an unkempt look, said to Mrs. Asibong. The man was probably in his mid-fifties. He worked from his large house. One could tell that his shrine, which was a large room in his house was custom made. It must have been designed when the house plan was being drawn. It was very clear that his customers were politicians and top business moguls.
“I have heard that before. What is the price I have to pay for you to help me?” Mrs. Asibong asked. The man smiled and said as softly as he could, “Cash is a compulsory first payment here, but it is in most cases not the price people pay for what they want. What you want determines what you pay, and in this case, yours requires an altar to be raised for you and your family, to keep the fellowship from bringing you down. For that to happen, life will be required. That is the real price.”
“Never! I am done spilling blood! Eme Asibong will never do that again!” Mrs. Asibong spat. “Okay, if you won’t do that, can you give us a part of your body or any of your unborn grandchildren?” the man asked. Mrs. Asibong sighed regretfully and lowered her head to ponder the new option.
To be continued…
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