Crucifix – 2

Crucifix - fiction - elsieisy blog

Click HERE for episode 1

It’s 5:00 am and I’m staring into dark, thinking wild thoughts, when his hands will touch my body, if his hands will touch my body. How do I get close to him? Isn’t this the sort of thing Jezebels are familiar for?  I shake off the thought and scroll through my phone.

Twitter is on fire again, another pretty girl with huge boobs on her AVI has said men are scum. Arguments for and against fill my timeline, it gets more boring with each tweet. I open my Facebook app, they haven’t caught the fever, they always come late to the social media parties. But two girls are throwing shades on each other over a loan that wasn’t paid. I find it stunning, read through the comments and log off.

It gets brighter earlier than I think it will, 6:35 am. I update my WhatsApp status “Just Do It”, Murphy’s reply comes in almost immediately. “I love you Rita, why do you keep pushing me away?”

I don’t know, I really don’t know. I ignore the message and get out of bed.

I hear movements, in the corridor it has to be my mother. I step out and genuflect to greet her, she pulls me into a warm hug.

 “How are you my Darling?”

“Fine Mummy”

“Did you sleep at all? Your face doesn’t look like someone who has been asleep.”

“I woke up earlier and had some work to finish.”

“Which work again na? I thought you came here for a break from that crazy life you and your father chose? See your Father’s company can wait, it will work whether you are there or not.”

I smile and open my mouth to talk but she obstructs me before I say anything.

 “Go and brush and come and help me fry some plantains for us.”

“OK mum” I turn to leave and she stops me. “Have you prayed this morning?”

“Prayed. Mum! I am…”

“I’m sure you haven’t forgotten how to say the rosary. Try eh.”

I nod out of exhaustion, head for my room and close the door. I feel her behind my door eavesdropping. After brushing my teeth, I kneel beside my bed to pray but I find myself saying

“I’ll believe in you again if you make him love me.”

It was the only prayer I prayed before going to the kitchen to fry plantains, my favorite meal of all time.

****

“I love the sauce, it’s so delicious, what did you put inside?” she doesn’t wait for my response before going on.

“So this is all your father has been enjoying eh. No wonder, he never allows you visit.”

I want to tell her we hardly ever cook in Lagos, I want to tell her its office, eateries and traffic, but I suppress the urge to do that. Instead I ask her to be careful so she doesn’t choke.

“Mummy don’t choke o, you know it has a lot of pepper.”

“Eh you learned the pepper thing from those yoruba people. I heard the put pepper in tea as well.”

“Mummy! Hahahaha that’s a big lie.”

“No, it’s you who isn’t telling me the truth.”

“About dad, when are you people planning to reconcile mum? You’ve been separated for years. I’m tired of everything being this way.”

“Your father wouldn’t let me practice my religion in peace. I don’t want issues.”

“You people should have rectified this years ago ma… I think “

“You are a child Rita, my last child. Stop thinking and eat.”

“I’m 25 mum, I’m not a child.”

“25 and no husband, or a sign of him” My mind flashes back to Murphy’s message, what is love? Screwing the one you claim to adore and then realizing you really don’t want them later? Falling in love with someone else while you’re with them or beating them up? I’m not ready for a husband, I’m too damaged for that.

I want to tell her about all the pain I’ve experienced dating men but I didn’t want the conversation to go in that direction so I begin to talk about the priest instead.

“Ehen, mummy. That priest from your church, he seems to be a very nice person.”

She smiles.

“Father Preston, he is a new priest in our parish, with him, everything is better. He doesn’t collect multiple Sunday offerings except when truly necessary.”

“That’s strange o, in this generation where everyone is looking to enrich themselves.”

“No o, this one will only collect when he wants to give to the poor.”

“That’s really great.” I smile, mummy studies my face for a few seconds.

“You want to talk to him about something?”

 I nod “Yes, ermmm… something a bit personal though mum.”

“I didn’t ask you to tell me na. Maybe you go for confession this Saturday?”

“Yes, yes, I think I need to confess a whole lot.” We both laugh and I feel my heart jump in my chest, anything to see him again, anything.

……

by Farida Adamu

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