The House of Morality

The House of Morality - elsieisy blog

By Esomnofu Ebelenna

Mr. and Mrs. Tony’s house in the Government Residential Area, Onitsha, is tagged The House of Morality by myriad residents of this commercial city, and even people in the neighbouring city of Asaba frequently herald this mansion. TheHouse of Morality is famed for the unparalleled rectitude of all its inhabitants. There are certain words you don’t use in this house. There are certain movies you don’t see in this house. And, of course, there are certain clothes you don’t wear in this house.And so when Nneka, the naive girl-child from Mr. and Mrs. Tony’s remote village, came to The House of Morality in a flimsy short skirt, the colour of avocado, to be this moral couple’s house girl, Mrs Tony’s eyes popped out in horror and Mr. Tony’s wineglass slipped from his unsteady grip and shattered on the Persian rug. Then he leaned back inthe sofa in sheer disappointment and asked Brother Silas, thechauffeur, who brought this lass with no moral compass from the village, to take her out of this house of morality and drive her back to the village. But Mrs Tony interfered: she gestured to the shivering Nneka to settle down on the cushion. The villager sat down, after some hesitation, her slanting eyes riveted on Brother Silas, who was now sweeping out the pieces of the wineglass with a trembling hand.Mrs. Tony walked up and down praying against transgressions and temptations. Then lowered herself down in the sofa and filled Nneka to the brim with the dangers of laxity prior to offering her a salver of hot rice and ushering her into Maid’s Bedroom.In the morning, when the sky was like a quiet sea, Mr Tony drove to the new Onitsha Mall, purchased elegant, decent gowns and, when he returned he handed the garments to Nneka and, from the balcony, he watched his wife watch the gatemen and gardeners as they set fire to the village girl’s old clothes, clothes that made God frown.And, at night, when the moon’s brilliance was competing with the innumerable stars, the couple invited Nneka to the parlour. Mr. Tony, as usual, let his garrulous wife do the talking.”Nneka, the reason why we brought you to this city is apparent,” she said, “but I’ll say what I’ve to say. Do you know that I am the pastor of Refined Christian Church?””Yes, madam.””Do you know my husband is the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism?””Yes, madam.””My husband is always in the Government House, Awka, and I in the church. We are busy people, you see. Busier than bees. ” She hiccupped, scratched her large head and shifted in the sofa.”Our two little daughters need maximum attention. Maximum attention, Nneka.Now, listen attentively and note your duties.”* * * * * * * * *Nneka has stayed in The House of Morality for only two months and Mr Tony’s wife has not made love to him for two months. She was habitually praying and singing in the church with Nneka lately .In fact, his wife has put their two daughters into the boarding school in order to bring Nneka to Christ. And to Christ she did bring her. And the angels must be dancing in heaven. But Mr Tony was perturbed; he wanted his wife to stop sleeping in the church. He wanted his wife to sleep at home, resurrect their perfunctory, albeit satisfactory love-making, pray with him, eat with him, laugh with him. But his wife and Nneka were drawn to Jesus. This continued for another two months.Then one evening, Mr Tony stumbled home and found Nneka cooking in the kitchen. He was drunk for the first time in twenty-five years. He did not expect to see Nneka because she’s always in the church with his wife. She scrutinized his face, wished him good evening, scrutinized his face again when no response came. He stood before her like a tree, his eyes scanning her anatomy. The girl-child was thin with big breasts and her hips were curvaceous. Why hadn’t he noticed these alluring features before? With his eyes on her chest, he asked her, Where’s your madam? Madam went to a crusade in Asaba, Nneka told him, she left with Sister Christiana and she asked me not to follow her.This news stripped him of his humanity and he found himselfunbottoning his crisp white shirt quickly, found himself yanking off the cloth. And, approaching the amazed girl, he said, “I’ve never been unfaithful to my wife since I married her fifteen years ago, but I’ll be today. I will fuck you, Nneka. Fuck you till the cocks crow in the morning.” Then he laughed, seized her hands and carried her into his room amidst struggles. In the bed, she struggled violently like a snake in a hawk’s grasp before she capitulated. He tore off her slouchy yellowing pantie and his boxer shorts, avoiding the unblinking eyes of Jesus on the wall. The wind roared outside and then rain began to hammer on the zink. And when he slid into her, he could not see the disturbing eyes of Jesus again, and the angry voice of the rain receded, the noise of the commercial city receded, the Jim Reeves music on the CD receded, and all his worries receded. Then, quite suddenly, he gasped and then let out a savage moan atop Nneka and, in a flash, the girl’s face was covered with his semen. He rolled aside, limp and spent. The epiphany of this forbidden fuck always returned him to this maid of theirs when his wife was away, far away in the church, praying and singing worship songs to Jesus.One night, after fucking the child, he asked her to put on her clothes and she said no. She sat there on the bed, her head bowed. “I am being treated like…like a disposable cup,” she said in her halting Igbo. ” Is it because I have no parents. You and madam tell me about Jesus, but…Oh, Sah, why are you doing this to me? Oga, why? ” She stood up and went to the window. “I will never sing praise songs to God again because He was in heaven with His angels when my father fell down from the palm tree in the village and died . God was in heaven when my mother died while giving birth to Ada my only sister who also died a minute after. God was in heaven when my brother Joseph was caught stealing a loaf of bread in the market. He wanted only me to eat the bread so that I won’t die of hunger, but he was caught and burnt to ashes. Now I have nobody to call Daddy, nobody to call Mummy. I have no brother and I have no sister. I’m lonely. Jesus, I will never sing songs to you again.” She had begun to cry softly. Mr Tony–naked andshivering with guilt–lumbered to the window and took her into his arms. Her words had melted his heart. He resolved never to ravish the orphan again. And he must confess to his wife and implore forgiveness.This is The House of Morality for Christ’s sake, he thoughtshudderingly. And he’s the Commissioner for Culture. Culture! Fucking a twelve-year old  orphan from the village is not our culture. He must lead by example. As he used to do. He must tell his wife. This poor girl’s words have weakened all the bones in his body and he found himself shivering and perspiring. He must tell his wife before Nneka confessed to her or before Nneka hanged herself on the orange tree. The child looked like someone who could hang herself and leave thisgloomy world behind. He imagined his wifes watching them with unblinking eyes, then hitting him over the head with a handbag. He flinched. But he would tell his wife. He had made up his mind. Perhaps she would plummet to the ground and cry, but she would forgive him and three of them would pray and the Holy Ghost would come down and cleanse The House of Morality. A dog growled outside and he jumped, startled.Then he wiped the housegirl’s tears with a towel andsearched his boxer shorts. In the parlour, he dialled his wife,inquired why she had not returned, told her that she had become incomprehensible . Her reply was puzzle: “Darling, I am sorry…I am sor–I know they must have told you about…I will be back tomorrow…Oh, darling. In fact, I am on my way.”It had stopped raining when his wife returned. And he was praying to God in the store for forgiveness and confidence and then stumbled into their room. She was crying. Oh my God, Mr Tony thought and shivered. She had been told, no doubt. But who told her? Nneka? No, no, no. It can’t possible be the maid because she’s afraid. Perhaps God revealed it to her, as He always revealed secret things to her and many other women of God in her church. He breathed in, out, in, out, and then he crawled to her. He lifed her face with his shaking handsand dried her tear-filled eyes with his hanky. She looked into his eyes, her lips quivering and her hair ruffling in the breeze sneaking in through the open window. He cleared his throat, swallowed, cleared his throat again. He was about to kneel down, confess and entreat forgiveness when his sobbing wife abruptly dropped at his feet.Mr. Tony was mystified. Why is she on her knees? He, not his wife, should be kneeling. Oh Lord, what’s wrong in The House of Morality?”Darling, please forgive me for what I had been doing for years with some women who attend my church,” his wife said, tears trickling down her cheeks. “For instance–Oh forgive me– for the past three months I had been forcing Nneka our housegirl to finger me, suck my breasts and litoris in hotels at nights.”

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  1. He who must come to equity must come with clean hands in the irony called house of moralityThey should forgive each other and start on a clean slate.

  2. This story is so trueYou b thinking you’re d worst sinner until you hear other sins………Iyaf well

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