It was another glorious day at the office “Good morning pastor” everyone in the office greeted, like they rehearsed the previous day. It was another beautiful day at the office, he walked down the hall of the office with a smile as he took long strides like a royal horse, “Good Morning Sir” his secretary greeted while pulling down her very tight short skirt, “You have a letter sir”, bag in hand, Kunle paused as he opened the door to his office and smiled “this must be from Bosco, I haven’t received letters in a while, my main man”. As he entered the office, Kunle put the letter on his shiny mahogany table and settled down quickly like he was about to have a good meal after a long day, he ripped open the envelope and smiled warmly.
First of all, I have good news for you, my new name is Mathew and will no more be addressed as Bosco, hope this letter meets you well? Sorry I have not written you in a longtime; I am really trying to…
The office intercom rang and Kunle dropped Bosco’s letter, picked up the phone “YES?” Kunle snapped at the secretary “Sorry sir, Pastor Emeka from zone 2 is here to see you” she said apologetically. “These people again! Arrggh! No money jor!” he yelled within himself “Ok, tell them to come on in” as he banged the phone on the hook angrily.
“Morning Pastor Kunle! Hope you good a powerful and impactful Sunday service yesterday? Wonders are taking place in your church, people from far and wide, give testimonies and sing praises of the glory of God in this place.” If eye service was a degree, Emeka had a PH.D in it. Kunle saw right through Emeka’s act and played along like a trained spy on espionage. “Yes my brother, the Lord has been performing signs and wonders in his house”. Pastor Emeka looked around Kunle’s office in admiration from the ceiling to the tiles to the little tapestry in front of the couch, he was a sheep in the big city, lost and clueless in his own awe of kunle’s little palace. Kunle was agitated, he wanted to let go of the man as soon as possible so in his diplomatic lingo he asked “So what do I owe this friendly visit my man, can I be of any help to you sir?” as Emeka heard the words, his face lightened up “in the book of Galatians 6:2 the lord said ‘Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfil the law of Christ.’ Also in the book of Hebrew chapter 13, verse 16 the lord commands that ‘and do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased, to further buttress my point the book of Colossians says”...already irritated he snapped nicely “pastor please go straight to the point, I don’t have all day as you can see I am a very busy man” as he smiled. Emeka was embarrassed but was quick to brush it off, he looked down to the tapestry on the floor scratching his head “It’s not much of a big deal is just that, I need a little help from you sir” nodding in approval, kunle gestured with his fingers to speed the point he was trying to make. “Sorry pastor, is just that ii-i-i-ii-i-i-i need some financial help, as our parish is in dire need of money” Kunle relaxed on this shiny Italian leather office chair, reached for his top drawer, brought out his cheque book and wrote a cheque for five hundred thousand on the spot and handed it over to pastor Emeka “PRAISE GOD!!!! God is wonderful, he is ever faithful, you planted a seed and will yield in a bountiful harvest that will overflow your silos of joy” Kunle reluctantly said “Amen” as he could not wait for the man to exit his building and never come back.
Kunle noticed how unsettled the man was after he collected the cheque as he scrambled to hide the cheque in some chamber inside his bag, his bag was a maze, many pockets and places, he spent 5 minutes deciding where he wanted to hide the cheque, when he finally did, he looked up smiling “So Pastor, I have to be on my way to Cotonou now, I have a strong spiritual assignment in one of our Diaspora parishes, I will be back soon” Kunle, not interested in what he had to say, got up and stretched his hand in a compulsory goodbye handshake “Ok Pastor Emeka. I guess I won’t be seeing you for a while will surely miss your spiritual presence, thank you and have a safe trip”. Emeka swiftly disappeared through the door like a ninja.
Kunle shook his head as he closed the door overzealous pastor Emeka left ajar “All this ass-kissing pastors” he mumbled to himself, he picked up the phone and told his secretary to bring in his coffee and biscuits, this was a daily ritual, which he performed more righteously than his pastoral duties. As kunle sat back he remembered his recent past, his time in prison and then Bosco “Ehen! Where is that letter sef?” he asked himself, the letter was at far corner of his table, he stretched out to pick it when the intercom on the table rang “ARGHH!” kunle groaned “cant a black man rest after slavery?” Kunle picked “what again? Becky?!”
Beauty, they say is in the eye of the beholder, beauty caused the greatest wars in history, beauty fuels greed, desire and rage, the same rage that filled Menelaus, the king of Sparta to wage the war of a thousand ships against troy because a thing of beauty was taken from him, the beholder is everyone of us, we marvel, desire and fall at the sight of beauty, it makes go any length to get. Kunle thought he had seen it all, tasted the best fruits, plucked the brightest and purest of flowers, stolen the most chaste virtues, so what next? Can we really see it all?
Her beauty was a myth, it didn’t exist until Kunle saw it, when she entered his office and sat on the chair in front, he could see his downfall, deep down he knew he was going to fight to very last till he got her, the room suddenly became small, a spasm of claustrophobia gripped Kunle, the air conditioner suddenly became a heater, as he unknotted his tie, his fore head was moist and cold, his hands were shaky and wet “Kunle! What the hell is wrong with you, come on man-up” he soliloquised. Kunle had never felt this way about any girl, she was not the tallest or the slimmest, being the beholder of beauty, that was the most beautiful thing kunle had ever seen, not the Victoria falls or the Taj-mahal in India, it was her. “You are so beautiful, my heart sinks” with a shocking and embarrassed look on her face Imabong, lowered her head, as she got a rush of emotion, she blushed and felt shyness at its peak. Kunle was lost in Imabong, the next level of a trance. He had no control of his thoughts and actions, for that split second Imabong took his mind away like a coup d’état and overthrew him in his own head.
Suddenly he woke up, he sat up like nothing happened and coughed “Morning Sister...” as he stretched out his hand out to shake her “Imabong, my name is Imabong,” kunle was lost again, the feel of her skin on his palm was orgasmic, some part of him wondered why he was so sprung, another part of him didn’t care, the handshake took so long that Imabong got so embarrassed, she withdrew her hand, Kunle snapped out of his trance again. “So Imabong, what can I do for you today” Kunle stared at Imabong so hard, she couldn’t look him in the face, his eyes tore her apart like laser beams, she felt like a guinea pig during a biology practical class, dissected and open, at the same time she felt wanted and in control, she knew he wanted her, she was ready to give herself to him. Kunle on the other hand didn’t hear a word of what she was saying, all he wanted to listen to was sound of her cleavage rubbing against each other, her hips perfectly curved on the chair, he anticipated greatly the size of her buttocks, all that lust aside, she was perfect for him, she was all he ever wanted in a woman.
Imabong went on and on and on, but kunle didn’t hear "shit!" Suddenly! he heard “So pastor, I will be leaving now, thank you for listening to me, hope I will get a reply soon?” Kunle with slightly confused look on his face “oh yes Imabong! surely, please drop your number with my secretary” as soon as its ready I will call you” Imabong looked puzzled “ready for what sir?” “Ready to collect the form” kunle was dabbling and Imabong knew he didn’t hear anything he had told her “pastor I didn’t say anything about any form” Kunle knew he had messed up so he quickly discharged Imabong with some funny excuse.
It was a beautiful night, the sky was blue, the beach was almost crystal, kunle and Imabong walked hand in hand on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, the wind blew her hair like she was in a supermodel in a magazine photo shoot, as she walked by the moonlit waters of the ocean her silhouette formed the shape of a goddess on the beach, Kunle was in ecstasy, almost like dream, he finally got what he was looking for at long last, he rested on the sand, the feeling of the sand on his back was beautiful, as the particles picked their spots on his back perfectly, she rested on him and whispered “ I love you Kunle...but” he cut her short “but what darling?” she couldn’t resist the urge any more as his lips where pink and shiny like pink camellia flower, she longed for him to shut up and just kiss her, her blood was boiling, her body wanting and longing, then she kissed him.
“SHIT! This Imabong won’t be last of me” as he woke up from his beautiful lie “why do I keep dreaming about this girl sef? All those i have dumped, payback is a bitch. ” he sat on his king size bed, a whole extended family could sleep and roll in kunle’s bed, his room was like the sitting in a parking lot, kunle loved the king’s life. It was 4o’clock in the morning, he got up from his bed and went to balcony to clear his head “hope this girl is not a witch oh, when did I start thinking about women like this?” he paced and paced his balcony, thinking trying to distract himself from the constant mental flashes her face brought, she had turn his mind to a funnel, everything he tried to think about, every thin he tried to calculate, all tunnelled down to Imabong. he resisted the urge not to call the number she left with the secretary, firstly because he couldn’t remember anything she said, another reason because she was much younger than he was, all these reason were just ways to escape the fact that he couldn’t call because he wanted her like air. Kunle was shy for the first time in his life. Kunle was intimidated by beauty, by desire.
He dashed into the office quickly and ignored the normal rehearsed good morning greetings from his staff, his secretary in her normal skimpy clothes greeted and he answered with “please give me the number of the young fair lady that came the other day, what’s her name again?” she looked up to the ceiling and then she snapped “IMABONG!” Kunle acting like he didn’t remember the name “yes Imabong please mail her number to me” he wanted to cover his tracks and make it look official. He sat in the office couldn’t do anything for 30mins as he waited for the secretary to e-mail the number to his box, he didn’t want to ask her for it so he won’t appear desperate, he was sweating in anticipation and anger, he wondered what took the secretary so long “I will soon fire this foolish woman, Lord knows, idiot” he said to himself. Finally the number came in after he refreshed his email box like 1000times, he saw the mail, with the digits to his heart and happiness, it was like a mother seeing her child after many hours in labour and pain. Kunle felt thirty pounds lighter. He quickly copied the number to his phone, but he couldn’t press the green to put the call through, he felt an overwhelming shyness inside him, he finally swallowed his timidity and hit it, his heart beating like a battle drum “Hello! This is pastor kunle Ajao, am I speaking with Imabong please? Hello! Hello!” the connection was lost, “this damned network!” then he called the number again and spoke in a more macho voice “Hello, my name is Kunle, sorry Pastor Kunle Ajao, am I speaking to Imabong please?” her sonorous voice oozed through the speakers and made Kunle’s head feather light, it was an undulating feeling like music, bass notes to the high notes intertwining, making love and birthing beautiful music. Once again kunle wasn’t listening, he was lost in the aura of her voice, then he just blurred out “We should have dinner, I will pick you up by eight, send your address to this number” Imabong on the other side of the phone was shocked at the sternness of the request like a private in the marine she answered the call of duty and swiftly said “Yes pastor”.
It was 6:00pm on Wednesday, fresh out the shower, Kunle turns the music to the loudest, blasting and rapping along to hip hop beats like he was performing for a crazed audience, the security guards wondered what was going inside the house, they never heard the pastor play secular music and even blast it without a worry in the world, Kunle didn’t care at that point in time, he didn’t give a damn about what the neighbours would think, even if he had slept with his neighbour’s wife, twice, Or anyone else for that matter, he wanted to enjoy himself to the fullest that night. It was going to be a night of all nights.
As he came out of the house his musk filled the air, his smile bright and wide, Kunle shook his guards and placed money in their hands, they jeered and praised him as he shook them like an NBA player entering the arena.
Kunle was humming and singing along to every song on the radio, he had dismissed his driver because he wanted some alone time with Imabong. He drove into her street, popped his head out the window of the car to look at her. She looked like something only his facial expression could explain; words could not explain her beauty that night “pastor! You are late, I have been standing here for the past...” Kunle stared at Imabong and once again wasn’t listening to a word she said all he wanted was to rip off her clothes and take her like a hungry savage beast
“Are you even listening to me? What are you staring at? Man of God” she smiled as she noticed the blank look on Kunle’s face as he stared at her cleavage. What was it about this girl? kunle wondered why he was so caught up in her world, his level of lust and love was at its peak like a thermometer at boiling point, she confused him, she made him marvel and wonder, he felt a sense of completion at that moment, he didn’t want to let go of this mad feeling. “Are we going for this dinner or what pastor?” Kunle stared on “pastor you're making me shy with your ungodly assessment of my body” Kunle was lost in lust, his loins swollen, his blood hot, he was sick, he needed her divine sexual healing. Then he made his move and kissed her...”PASTOR!” she rushed back and placed her hand on his face, Kunle snapped out of trance and felt embarrassed “Even after everything I told you about me, you still want me” Kunle was confused and lost, he never listened to anything she said most of the time, he decided to play along “Imabong, I don’t care, I love you” Imabong saw the look in his eyes, he looked lost and in dire need of someone, despite everything she told him he still didn’t care, so she thought. She wondered what the outcome of their relationship will yield; she wondered what “HE” would think about it. Kunle pressed on “The day you walked into my office, was the day my life started, I haven't looked forward to anything in a long time, you are a brand new feeling, lets pray God forgives me of my sins, if my sin is love, then I will rather be Hell-bound than not commit it” Imabong was shocked to her bone marrow, her brain cells sparked so much electricity it could power a moving train, she had never no one willing to sacrifice so much, even so his eternity, she fell into an abyss of love at that moment, her body calm like a deflated tire, as kunle broke through the firewall guarding her heart like a virus and infected her with his words.
Kunle got down from the car and dragged Imabong into her house; she opened the door hurriedly like her house was on fire. the volcano of love was about to erupt, their bodies were on fire, as Imabong open the door, kunle pushed her into the house with a sexual force, she gasped with shock, as her back landed on the wall, kunle walked towards her like an assassin ready to take out his target, she wanted him so much and she touched herself like her body ached and took her clothes off like it burned her, kunle walked towards her with the force of a rhino and the face of gazette. He crushed his lips into hers with so much passion, as their tongues fought a battle of supremacy, their bodies glued to each other like they were Siamese twins. They made love all night, Imabong screamed so loud the neighbours heard her scream “PASTOR! PASTOR! PASTOR! Take me there!” they ignored the screams thinking she was praying.
He took her everywhere, he was in love, “finally, I don turn Mugu, with all my mouth now am in love” he often told himself, his league of “sure” pastor often laughed at him and teased him about Imabong, they joked that she had stolen kunle’s manhood “very soon, kunle will start washing her g-string” Pastor Jerry commonly joked. She was everything to him. He often asked God why he blessed him with such a thing, with all the sins he had committed against him, maybe it was God giving him a clean slate or maybe it was a trap set for him and he had taken bait, all these thoughts and speculations crossed through kunle’s mind as he assessed his emotion status on a daily basis.
“I once had a dream that we went to a beach in Rio, Brazil together.” Imabong laughed “Really?! Hmmm, that’s a nice dream, heaven would have been a nicer dream, Pastor!” she joked with sarcasm “I am serious baby, anyway here you go” Kunle opened his bag and brought out plane tickets to Brazil “PASTOR!!!!” they kissed and embraced “We are going to have a blast baby” Kunle screamed as he fell off the bed “PASTOR! Don’t break your back oh, I still need it to work” Kunle laughed as he clutched his back “what kind of work are you talking about? God forgive you sister Imabong” Imabong laughed “come here PASTOR! Sister Imabong needs deliverance” Kunle, all fired up jumped on his feet like cat and hooped on the bed.
Just like Kunle dreamt about and saw on the internet Rio was a beautiful city. The beach water was crystal clear, blue like it was overdosed on chlorine almost drinkable, the sand was shiny like little diamonds cuts, the beach was paradise, people walking on the sand, lovers, friends. Kunle noted especially the Brazilian women and how beautiful they were “Brazilian women are fine oh, finer than you sef” with a whack on Kunle’s butt she said “better close your eyes, Pastor! Or look at the boys instead” kunle laughed “please I'm not gay” then he paused “Speaking of gay” Imabong paid more attention “my friend went to prison and became gay” Imabong laughed “hahahahaha! Ewwww! Really? What’s his name?” “I call him Bosco, he sent a letter telling me his name is Matthew now, didn’t even finish reading it” Imabong paused for a moment “Bosco? matthew?” Kunle looked sternly at Imabong as she turned his eyes away from him “do you know him?” Imabong looked straight into Kunle’s eyes and said “he is my dad”.
The walk to the hotel was silent and sober, like the soberness after a funeral. Kunle , in that moment felt like Judas Iscariot, he had betrayed the one person that loved and trusted him, all because he never paid attention. Imabong visited her dad in jail because her mother told her that her real father was in jail, she had always longed to see him, no mother is proud to tell her offspring that the father is in jail, but she had to after imabong persistent rain of fire and brimstone. She felt in-complete and really wanted to see her father. Her mother never mentioned him.
it was a cloudy day in April. The warden announced “Miss Imabong Peters here to see Bosco aka Presido!, please report to visitor’s room now!” Bosco was asleep when this announcement was made. A prison guard walking through the prison hall hit his staff on the prison cell “Presido wake up! You have a visitor” stunned!? Bosco replied “Visitor ke? From where, Na police?” the guard laughed “No Presido, just one very fineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee girl” Bosco’s face brightened up like a circus “really??? I am coming, open this cage sharp!! Sharp!”
Bosco walked into the visitors lobby with the hope of seeing one of his many mistresses, deep down he was alone, dejected and in need of love. He walked gleefully like a school boy, not his regular slowly and oppressive way.
“Wow! You surely have the face to make a Gay man turn straight” Bosco remarked with his mouth ajar as he sat opposite Imabong. “Thanks dad, means Alot” as Imabong smiled “DAD?! I Am not that old baby, I can still float your boat” Imabong looked down to the worn out floor of the visitor’s lobby, then up to the ceiling which hadn’t been renovated since the colonial master’s and said “My name is Imabong, your daughter, Jane is my mother” Bosco almost fell off his chair on hearing this news, the energy from the news hit him like a billion joules. He suddenly became weak, the news was an electromagnetic pulse that smashed through his cerebellum, and shut down the grey matter in his central nervous system. “Dad, you don’t have to be sad or regretful, I understand and I forgive you, that is the life you chose, I think you should use this prison to reflect and change your life, so when you get out we can have a of relationship”. Amazed at the generosity and maturity of his daughter he burst into tears, the shock on the faces of fellow prisoners in the room and guards was petrifying, the lion had turned into a pussy cat, the dinosaur took a reverse in evolution and turned into a lizard, Bosco aka Presido was crying. The news will spread around the prison walls like wildfire, his presidential regime was in jeopardy, the words of his daughter that shone light and hope on the darkest places of his heart, he felt true love for the first time in his life, all that hardness and machismo he took off like a dirty robe. As he often said “payback is a bitch”
Bosco became sober and focused, he finally had a reason to live a normal life, a reason to leave the damned prison cells and be a free man with his daughter. She was all he thought about, he often imagined if things had turn out differently, if he had a normal family, a 9-5 job and a truck load of pure, undiluted happiness. He wished he had chosen a different path, he wondered who was protecting his daughter out there in the cold wicked world, where the powerful preyed on beautiful. He developed a burning desire to protect his child at all cost and any cost even if it meant taking his life. He decided to come clean and try to be normal, he had a few years left in his sentence so he made sure that he was going to come out earlier than planned, he resigned from the his presidential post before he got “impeached”, Impeachment in the prison most times means assassination, he was smart enough to hand over power and opt out.
Matthew was a name he always loved so he changed his name, Bosco never really had a real name to begin with, he was an orphan on the street and had no one to look after him, the name “BOSCO” was a nickname he got, a result of toughness and constant struggle to survive. He joined the prison educational programme and improved his reading and writing skills, special students will earn a “scholarship” as they popularly called it. This “Scholarship” was not the orthodox scholarship we all knew, but this special reduces the amount of years on the sentences.
Time flies and takes with it memories, love and loyalties. As time took full flight so did the relationship between Bosco and Kunle wear out. It was after this long silence that Bosco decided to write a letter to Kunle.
“I’m pregnant kunle” kunle looked at her like the situation could not get worse, “Imabong, what are we going to do, first you're Bosco’s daughter, and you're pregnant for me, how do you think bosco is going to take all this?” Imabong sighed “He sent you a letter didn’t he? What did he say about me there?” Kunle felt stupid “I didn’t even read it to the end, that’s the first thing I will do once we return.”
It was a foggy morning, Kunle’s headlights pierced through the fog like a sword in flesh. All he thought about was the letter Bosco sent him and what he had missed, he was furious with himself, in his anger he hit the steering wheel like a punching bag, taking out his anger on the poor non-living thing, the car soldiered on ignoring Kunle’s rants and harassments.
He got to the office, it was dawn, none of his workers were around, so he had to turn on the generator himself “Damn NEPA!” he snapped , he rushed into the hallway, left the door ajar, as he burst into his office like a police crew trying to catch a criminal unaware, dashed straight to his drawer, scattered it, didn’t find it, opened the next and saw the letter looking him, at that moment he didn’t see a piece of paper, he saw Bosco’s face.
First of all, I have good news for you, my new name is Mathew and will no more be addressed as Bosco, hope this letter meets you well? Sorry I have not written you in a longtime; I am really trying to get my life in perspective.
How is your ministry? Hope you are still raking in the cash, because when I get out you are going to take good care of me and my daughter…yes! Kunle, I said daughter, you remember Jane that beautiful woman, my best out of all my mistresses that suddenly went missing.
She bore my child, a beautiful creation in every right, God used her to jump start my brain, she made me realize that I have been sleeping all these years, she is all I want to live for, I will die to protect her and make sure she has a normal life and doesn’t end up with men like us Kunle. I want her to meet a nice young man and start a family so she can live the life we never had.
I am sure you are wondering why I am saying all this; I told her to come and meet you in your office, so u can see her and take her as your daughter. I am entrusting you to protect her from the evil world that we live in till I get out. God has given me a clean slate with Imabong.
Kunle, I will kill for her, anyone that tries to mess with her will kiss the sand. I am sure you’re also surprised that I can write too? I have been taking lessons, who knows? If I get the “scholarship” I will be out sooner than you think. Don’t mess up, you know payback can be a bitch.
I will always love you brother, I am sure you will do this favor for me.
Kunle could hear the fat cells frying in his body as sweat poured profusely from his glands, he was in a furnace of fire and confusion, all sorts of thoughts ran through his head, he wanted to run, he thought about facing Bosco and telling him the very person he was supposed to protect is going to bear his child.
“Imabong, we need to leave town now!” Kunle said hysterically over the phone “your dad is going to kill me, am very sure of that, he believes Payback is a bitch” Imabong laughed “Pastor Chicken! He can’t kill you, he will be upset, am sure we can figure something out” kunle with a straight and stern voice “baby am freaking out, think am going to just kill myself” Imabong stunned on the other side of the phone screamed “Kunle! Just hold on, am coming now now, please don’t do anything stupid, don’t hurt yourself, you are going to be a father, you child needs you alive, please.” Kunle was crying, weeping as he sat on the floor of his office lost and confused.
Before God came to the world, it was void and without form, pitch black, an endless pit of blackness, turmoil and destruction. Kunle’s world was a reflection of this pre-creation; his world was dark, in turmoil and endless. He needed God now more than ever, the same God he conned people over for.
“WHAT!!!! IMABONG IS DEAD???!!” Kunle screamed. Imabong died on her way to his office the day he completed Bosco’s letter, the fog had blurred her vision and she ran into a tree on the side of the road. News spread fast around town, ‘the pastor’s fiancée’ as sugar coated in the news was dead. Kunle had died inside him, his body organs seemed to function independent of his feelings and control. He knew the only thing he could do was runaway. Away from all the news and rumors, away, to a new place of fresh air and peace to clear his head and re-strategize.
Kunle sat on his king size bed, glancing through his pictures with Imabong and Rio as tears rolled down his face, his suitcase by his side, holding passport and ticket, he looked at the pictures and shook his head wandering why such a happy life went wrong, he consoled himself with the fact that she was too good to be true. He wiped his tears, picked up his shades and went down the staircase, tall and gallant taking long strides like the villain in a movie.
As he opened the front door of his house “BOOM!” a bullet went straight through Kunle Ajao’s head. He didn’t even have the chance to take his last his breath, he fell flat on his back, eyes open, his brains shiny on his perfectly marbled floor as the bullet crushed his cranium, his house looked like an abattoir “You bastard!” Bosco said panting frantically as he held the gun in the same position as he shot Kunle. Bosco, driven by the pain of a wounded warrior, shot Kunle on sight so he wouldn’t have second thoughts about ending his life. He turned his back on Kunle’s lifeless body and walked down the estate, through Kunle’s dead security guards, the maid; it was a scene of genocide, like an epidemic, bullets, stuck in the head of every worker as he wiped out everyone with the skill and precision of a CIA agent. He had taken his pound of flesh, with one last look at Kunle’s body the years rolled back and a tear came down his face. He looked away and walked down the road, his bag on one arm his gun in his shorts, “Payback is always a bitch” he muttered.