In ANYTHING on November 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

As I stood transfixed before the glass window of my room, a flashback on my first appearance to play a role, on the scene of life, raced through my head like lightning. I had arrived this world with a tenor cry: mowa, mowa…mowa…That was two and a half decades ago. The flashback was a reflection of the beginning of my end. Or, so I thought.


Still standing, I heaved, sighed and gasped. I groaned within me in sheer pain as one preoccupation overwhelmed my soul. Like one struck with madness I was lost in time and space. There are some things one must do alone. My life suddenly seemed short. I must waste no time to narrate my tale. My tale is one set in the labyrinth of complexity and absurdity…


There I was before the window watching the weather as it changed. The blue sky had taken up the cumulus sackcloth of gloom. The air chilled to minus degrees. The stillness of my surrounding was suddenly torn apart by a burst of blinding light and deafening roar. With a gush the heaven opened, and like a curtain descending upon a theatre rain fell on the earth.


I stood still – with my face pasted to the window.


Then, something trickled my thought. Now I began to remember what it was that was eating my soul away. A preoccupation.



Could it have been Phoebe? I thought. Yes, I remember Phoebe. The cuddling and how I loved being enveloped in her warm embrace. The ecstasy of those smooching and petting.


I shook my head as the waterfall of this distant memory flooded my mind. That night is still clear as crystal. It was a night the moon had refused to smile. No glimmer of light- empty darkness pervaded the world; my world. It appeared some devil had lured the celestial bodies away. No eyes peeking and no ears eavesdropping. You could hear a pin’s drop. A pinch could rend the silence…


I could have known I was about dining with the devil. Dinner with the devil was ready. Or, who else holds sway in the dark? And it was this night Phoebe had become most adamant for what she called the “in-thing”.



“Bei, just for once let me feel you inside-out,” Phoebe pleaded with those innocent eyeballs, misty with tears. I held her face in my palms and feebly asked, “Why?”



“But you know it’s wrong…” I began to explain in faltering sentence. “…what you’re asking for.” No persuasion was strong enough to help see the light in the darkness that hovered over the two of us. She reached below my belt with her tender hand. I was silenced. I was enraptured.


She was determined. That night I forfeited my moral sense and strength. I was burning. Phoebe’s passion had engulfed me. Together we burnt in the scorching heat of desire. My heart froze in that heat. My pores were filled with glistening sweat of coital cravings. I stole a look at my one and only girl, she was literally enthralled and was oblivious to my mental state.


To please vice, I did away with virtue. Guilt of failure shot into me like poisoned arrows. I had failed to keep my virtue till the appropriate time. Phoebe had her way. I lost mine.


After we had made love to our sexual limit, we rolled apart and had some sleep.

Though it was a very short sleep, I have never had such sweet sleep before!



“Bei, I didn’t know you are this strong,” Phoebe whispered looking set for another love-making session. She held me to her naked bosom, caressing my neck and ears. “You know I love you, you know,” she began again trying to lift my spirit. I just lay helpless in her bosom.


“Young man, don’t you know this sexual thing will kind of make us bond the more,” she seemed to be reassuring me. “I could have given this opportunity to some other person. But, it’s you I love. It’s you I’ll always give my body. I’ve given it out in the past to those who never cared nor respected it. And I have vowed never to give to anyone except the one I shall love, live and die for.”


“I might have been wayward in the past. Today, I am no more. I love you. I sure do. Do you still love me?”


I was not prepared for that question. But I managed to mouth “yes”. Then I added: “Hurry up; you’ve got to leave before my guys come knocking”.


“Ok, love,” she said. “Fix the bra at the back for me.”



Phoebe left very early that morning – the morning after our coital night. That was the last time I saw her. We had met to part. I felt I could not love her again. Since we did not stay in the same vicinity – I was in schooling in Lagos, she was in Lokoja. I gave every excuse to explain my inability to visit her and gave every reason why she could not come to visit me again. It had come to that and I felt some respite. There was a long break between the two of us- at least, till a text message reached me: Phoebe is dead.




Phoebe dead? It can’t be true!


But it was true. Phoebe was dead and buried. Strange as it might seem, I found it almost impossible to cry over her death. It was like any emotion I had before the day we had sex was gone with that loss of innocence.


In no time friends started coming around to commiserate with me. Jerry was the first amongst the lot. Jerry it was who perfected the relationship between Phoebe and i.


She is the right damsel for you: intelligent, diligent and responsible. To top it up, she’s ravishingly cute. Those were the exact words of Jerry then. From then on, like one drunk with philtre, I grew in affection for Phoebe.


Jerry looking so sad began recalling how sweet she had been. For me, he was opening up a healing wound. His words cut through my heart like a brand new razor blade. He just went on speaking oblivious of my condition.


“Did you know,” Jerry was asking me. “That Phoebe died of –“he paused looking intently into my eyes. “Of what?” I asked impatiently, staring at him.


“She was HIV positive before her death!” By some reflex I stood up, mouth agape. I felt like a small rat caught in a gum-trap- the one you put in the some corners of your house.


“She couldn’t stand it, so she committed suicide by drinking some poisonous concoctions,” Jerry revealed like one reading a script. “She sent me a text message concerning this.”


“Get out of here, you’re lying!” I shouted more out of fear than disbelief. Have you ever seen a pack of cards collapsing before? My life had come to a collapse.


“In her message, she begged for your forgiveness, in the event that you contracted the disease,” my friend explained. “She also said even in death she loved you.”


“Balderdash!” I whimpered. “What are you talking about, Jerry?” I asked in a shaking, failing voice. I began sobbing as my heart began throbbing. I just stood there transfixed like a century-old sculptured image. Am I HIV positive? Am I a living-dead unburied in the soil of carnivorous worms?


I began imagining myself being lowered to the earth. There were the mourners: friends, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters and mom and dad. All of them weeping uncontrollably; I could see their faces contorted by granite hands of grief. Then, they began to turn away from my sinful body, one by one, leaving me to earth’s dust and its creeping creatures.



“No! Don’t leave me,” I screamed in the loudest decibel.


“Bei?” Jerry’s voice brought me back to the present. All I could see around me was darkness. Then, I passed out. After a week I came to.


At the onset you saw me standing before the window. Right now, I am in front of my computer concluding this flashback on my diary of darkness. Will you like to know if I am HIV positive? Will you like to know what I am going to do after now?


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