Hey buff folks!
My short story ‘Many Faced Gods’ is on the Kalahari Review. Read and be blessed lol.
For this Sunday service, I know the exact number of people wearing red. I do not like the colour red because my Father says it represents witchcraft. My brother is sitting beside me, but is too busy typing instant messages on his phone. He is the only one who dares to do this in my family: use a phone in church.
I allow my eyes search the crowd for my mother, even though I know exactly where she is sitting. The small church is built in a semi-circle and there are many partitions and seating arrangements to allow everybody see the preacher well. From the angle where Ibinabo and I are sitting, we could see almost all the church clearly. I now see my mother sitting at the second row of the church where she always sits.
Even though she is a Pastor’s wife, she still isn’t allowed to sit at the front row. Father says front row seats are for the men. Her hands are clasped tightly between her laps and she looks like she is squinting at the preacher. I don’t know if she is listening to the message, because she is just sitting like a statue. Her skin is the colour of dark chocolate and the kernel oil she rubs every morning, gives her a clean glow— even though it gives her a weird smell. Her long, black hair is now thinning. I can clearly see the purplish bruising on her neck, even though she tries to cover it with her scarf. I heard her telling Mama Tobi, the busybody, earlier, that it is an allergic reaction to a fake gold necklace. I don’t think Mama Tobi believes her though. I think my mother doesn’t know how to lie.
I hate lies.
Father says that all liars have a special place in hell fire. I don’t like to lie because I don’t want to go to hell fire. My mother lies a lot, mostly to me, but never to Father.
When I told her that I didn’t like pepper in my food, she told me pepper is the reason for blood in our bodies. When I didn’t wash my hand after eating, she told me that rats and ants would eat me up at night. When I told her that I didn’t like eating fish, she told me that only ‘mami-water’ mermaids didn’t eat fish because it meant they were eating their kind. When I picked up fallen food, she said that the devil had already eaten the food. When I asked her for a puppy, she said that people from her village did not like having dogs because dogs betrayed them during the Civil war.
Those were happier days, many years ago.
My mother doesn’t lie as much anymore— in fact, she hardly talks anymore. She just sits and…
Hope you’ve enjoyed the story so far?