It’s Another Saturday (Episode One)
She lighted four candles and places them at different compass points. A green candle in the north, a red in the south, a blue in the west and a yellow in the east. They rested on a red piece of cloth she has placed on her bedroom floor. She lighted two more candles and held them in her hands, both of them pink. Then she faced the red candle in the south, clad in nothing but her Jigida.
“Powerful one, hear my prayer!” she called out with emotion in her voice. “Lords of fire, burn my desire, three times over!”
She breaks, lifts her head upwards and shuts her eyes. Tears slide to the sides of her face. She continued with unsteady lips.“Bring Jideofor back to me. Restore his passion for me. May the strange women in his life bring him nothing but pain. The same pain I have known. He will search for love but will never find it until he searches for me and finds me.”She lowers the pink candles gently and picks a wedding gown spread across the floor. She slips into it.
The gown has red blotches but she doesn’t seem to notice as she picks a surgical blade from a table nearby. The blade swiftly sliced into her palm with one smooth motion, drawing instant blood. Maneuvering her way through spaces between the candles, she killed the burning flames with her blood as she chants on.“Come back home, Jideofor. Come back to me. Home is here with me. Come back.”
The last flame went out and so did the light in the room. She sits down and slips her feet into a pair of yellow heels. She will wait for him and she doesn’t care for how long but she must wait. Jideofor must come to her.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
It’s another Saturday…
And I’m immersed in a lady’s reproductive parts. This is life, I tell you. And it’s the one thing I do the best. The woman whose legs are spread open before me moaned and told me she can’t take it any longer. I told her to hold on. We are almost there. If only she’ll just let me do my thing. She moaned again and gripped the bed sheet she’s lying on. Her legs shake irrepressibly. She’s swearing, saying things I can’t understand, speaking in tongues. Why do they all speak strange things?“Oh god!” she screamed. I smiled. We are almost there. Just one more…
The door flung in and this Goliath-like creäture charges into the room with a fire in his eyes.“My husband,” she gasped. Without realizing, I pulled away from her. The man looks like he’s about to pick me from where I stoodd and pluck my head off the rest of my body. Maybe this is the best time to recite the Hail Mary my mother had wanted me to recite for years.“Who you be?!” the man growls, pouncing towards me. “I say who you be?!”Ah, Baba Patrick!” his wife replied as I searched for my voice. “Na midwife be dis. ”Mid wife?!”Abeg allow am, make him finish his work before I die for here.”
“Mid wife?” Goliath looked at me from top to bottom and back again. “Man dey do mid wife?”Ooh-oh-oh! Baba Patrick!” His wife cried. “Dis pikin wan comot o! Leave the man be!”Goliath still doesn’t trust me or his wife as he glower at both of us, but because it is unimaginable for us to be doing something immoral when a baby is on its way out of her vagina, he lets me be.
I took my former position between her legs and I was glad to see that all on its own, the baby is making its way into the world. All it needs is a little help.“Okay, madam, one last push.”Mama Patrick gave it all she’s got and a beautiful, little girl slipped quietly into this world. Usually, I don’t immediately sever the umbilical cord until the blood has balanced between the placenta and the newborn, so I placed baby on her mother’s chest for warmth, throwing a clean cloth over them.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw the look of sheer in credulity still impressed on the father’s face. I know that expression too well. The ‘why would any man want to do a woman’s job?’ look. Well, the answer to that question is because of all the places in a woman’s body, the vagina is my favorite. Lord knows how many lady parts I’ve seen in this life but let’s not dwell on that. The second reason I’m doing a woman’s job is simply that I can, so give it a rest, dude.
I eventually clamped the umbilical cord, severed it and took the baby away from her mother. The little thing protested with a “Waah! Waah!” and breaks into a full cry. I placed her on a table in a corner, which I previously made sterile as best I could, and cleared mucous from her nose and mouth. I don’t believe in washing off the vernix that comes with a newborn until after twenty-four hours. It’s the best natural moisturizer for babies and it doesn’t stink.
I patted her dry and wrapped her in a fresh, warm blanket and handed her back to her mother.
“Madam, I’d love to stay around and take care of you two but unfortunately I can’t. You’ll have to go to a nearby hospital to make sure all is well.”The grateful woman nods. “How much do I owe you?”I laughed. “Nothing, madam.”She was touched. “Thank you very much, sir. God bless you, sir.” She gave her husband a stern look and he muttered off a cheerless thanks but continues to stare at me as though he really caught me screwing his wife. Funny how people reason. If I had told him I was a doctor, his attitude towards me would have been different.
I helped the woman birth out the placenta and then cleaned out her uterus. At this time, neighbours were already waiting in the sitting room, most of them women. I wonder where they were when she was shouting the entire neighborhood down in agony. Even Papa Patrick, where was he? Walking out, I picked my suit hanging off the door and stared at the Armani shirt I have on, stained with blood and what not.
Bobby will kill me for showing up late for his wedding. I walked through a group of women on my way out of Papa and Mama Patrick’s home. I got approving stares. One or two of them recognized me.“Oh, it’s the new neighbour,” I heard a fat one say in a whisper that is clearly not a whisper.
“The one that packed in the day before yesterday? ”Yes. That lives in Baba’s compound.”So he’s a doctor.”I’m almost at the door now. I should leave them to their little gossip and be on my way to my friend’s wedding but I can’t help it. I stopped and turned. “Midwife, not doctor. I’m a midwife.”I left them in the wake of my stunning revelation and kissed the fresh air outside. My sharp ears pick out another statement by the fat lady.“Ha! Midwife key. He should just kuku call himself mid-husband.”
The story of my life. I laughed as I walked away.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
I arrive at the wedding midway. My friend, Bobby and his wife were making their way out of the church hall when I slip in. I picked a chair in the last row, skirted by two Christian mothers that smell of camphor and talcum powder. With their heavy head gear and shimmery attires, I pray I am well hidden from Bobby’s bespectacled eyes. And he is not the only one I’m hiding from; friends that I abandoned for a long time are on the premises.
Most of them are mad at me. After some heart breaking event in my life five years ago, I packed a box in the middle of the night and moved to a smaller town where nobody knew me. I cut off communication for the first three years and when I finally reconnected with everyone, I did so eagerly. Social media were off-limits for me and when any of my friends popped into town and suggested visiting me, I often gave one silly excuse or the other.
Now I am back, quietly, as I had left. I am not expecting a hero’s welcome. Only Bobby would be glad to see me. After all, he is still my best friend and the only one I kept the line open with. He is going to be upset about my showing up late and would think I opted out of wearing the Armani shirt he bought for me. I have chosen a Ralph Lauren in its place and it shades of the yellow and grey theme of the wedding. I lowered my head as Bobby and his wife approached. Bobby, the ever-jovial fatso delights the crowd with his clownish dance moves.
I am missing the show but I dare not raise my head. As I count the seconds, waiting for the procession to be over quickly, I felt a heavy knock at the back of my head that sends shooting pain down my spine. I jolted up. It was Bobby. He has stopped in his tracks and was staring at me with the heaviest of frowns.
Hey, Bobby…” He didn’t let me finish as he picked up where he left off and danced past me with his wife. Following closely behind them were my friends. They have all seen me. Their reaction surprised me as all I got were smiles.
Looks like it’s going to be a good day after all.
I waited for the bridal procession and a good number of people to leave the church before I find my way out. It’s fine weather outside. No sunshine, no rainfall. Just a cool draft of air blowing in all directions. The crowd that has just exited the church were scattered around the premises in clusters of yellow and grey. The place looked lively and I am affected by the contagious spirit of happiness. I heard laughter behind me and I turned.
A group of bridesmaids were smitten by some dude who has just announced his coming with a G-wagon. He is the playboy type and going by his looks I can understand why they would be struck. I smiled at the scene and breathe in the air. This is my town; I have missed this place. It feels good to be home.
Wait till my mother finds out her favorite son has returned. Surely she’ll slaughter the fattened calf. I’m glad she’s not in town presently. I can use the short time fixing up my new apartment before she returns and my freedom will be taken away.
“Jide!” a familiar female voice called and I turned, only to be smothered with a hug from one of my closest friends. I held her and warm memories filled my head. I used to love this girl to death and I still do.“Mary. ”You came,” she said, looking into my eyes. I knew she was about to get emotional. “Don’t,” I warned her with a finger but I was too late. Tears have filled her eyes.“I didn’t just come for the wedding. I’m back for good.”My statement had a positive effect on her. Round chicks blushed up by makeup glow as a smile filled them. “For real?”I nod. She hughug me again. This time, she lingered.
“Mary, I’m sorry.”It was my first sorry for the day. More are to come. She freed me and hits me weakly. “Don’t ever leave me again.” I won’t.”Our moment was broken by the appearance of a couple of my friends’ wives and their kids. There were hugs and introduction to children I’m meeting for the first time. They left after I promised to visit them. More people recognized me and stopped by with their “longest time!” “where have you been?” “you dey so?” greetings. So much for slipping back into town quietly.
“Bobby and the guys are looking for you.” Mary took my hand after everyone is gone. “Come.”
I was dragged to one side of the building where my guys were. Bobby and his wife are seated in a limo. Bobby had his legs out of the car, talking to our mutual friends. I heard a round of laughter that breaks off when they spotted me.
“Judo!” Ibro greeted me first. He is the coolest guy in our clique, and the richest too. A northerner with a taste for southern women. He is married to two of them.
“Mutumina!” I greeted back with a slap on his palm that passed for a handshake and a pat on the back for a hug. I faced the others—Shadrach, Reno, and Bright. They were actually glad to see me. All beef squashed. They threw in some light questions about my welfare and the town I’d just left. I told them all was well.
“But Judo, the Bridemaker gist na true Abi na just scopes you dey use enter chicks?”A smile crumpled my lips at the edges when Reno’s question hits me. I looked at their faces and realized it’s a question they all want an answer to, a question I was hoping no one would bring up. “Answer no.” Mary nudged me.“Come on, guys,” I spoke up, “on this blessed of days? Haba mana? At least let Bobby introduce his wife to me first.”
And that is how I escape the Bridemaker gist. But I’ll share it with you.
Fable had it that any girl who sleeps with me ends up getting married shortly afterward. To be frank, I don’t know how it started or who started it but I can swear on my life that it is real. I didn’t believe it at first but when a colleague at work pointed it out to me and we sat down and took inventory of the girls I had bedded and how all of them were married, I knew it was no longer a joke. I was ecstatic at first.
More chicks to screw for absolutely free. No commitments, no hassles. Just go in, hit it and get out. It was fun for a while until the lonely nights became so hollow and scary. I’d be in bed with a woman and yet it would feel like lying on a deserted highway in the middle of the night. In addition, I met crazy women who lost it if they didn’t get married as quickly as they wanted.
They’d haunt me and fight me or whoever I was dating at that moment. It was at that point I was dubbed the Bridemaker. Guys envied me, girls just wanted to sleep with me. And there I was in the center of it all, unable to stop myself from engaging in carnal pleasures. It felt as though I had been cursed.
Nobody had to tell me to leave that town and go back to family and friends. I’m turning a new leaf now. I have buried the Bridemaker.
“Kate, meet Jideofor,” Bobby introduced me to his wife. I bent my tall frame into the limo and extend a hand to Kate as Bobby stood and gave me some space.
“Our wife,” I address her as she placed her hand in mine and I kiss it with a bit of theatrical flair.
“Ehn-ehn o!” Bobby objected. “Not our wife. My wife.”
“Okay, sorry. My wife,” I correct myself. The bride smiled. Her face lights up shyly. I have just discovered she is a virgin. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do.
“Nice to meet you, ma’am,” I told her and straightened up. “You have a good man here.” I tapped my best friend’s shoulder. “Have no fears. You’re in good hands. But if he misbehaves, just give me a call and I’ll set him right. A left uppercut always sets his brain in order.”She smiled again. That virgin smile that makes me look at Bobby with a question in my eyes. He read me well and laughed.
“After all the rivers you went dipping.”
“No mind am,” Shady comments.
We teased Bobby for a while, using terms the virgin wife cannot decipher. She simply sat there with her maid of honor, smiling politely at us. A crowd that has just discovered where the bride and groom were hidden is making there way to us. It’s time to leave; I faced Bobby’s wife.
“Nice to meet you, Kate.”
“Kate, mummy is here,” Bobby announced the coming of his mother and launched off into Yoruba with the old woman. When I turned and saw her, I fell prostrate to the ground.
“Ah, Olajide!” she called me. “You are back.”
“Yes, ma.” I rose up and hugged her. My friends snigger behind us. After all these years, the old woman still doesn’t know I’m Igbo. I don’t blame her. She has never met my parents before and secondly, I come off more Yoruba than her son.
With a concerned expression, she asked me why my parents are not at the wedding. I told her my mother is out of the country and my dad was recuperating from a stroke. The second part is a lie. The old man is just being the grouch that he is. He actually made it clear to me over the phone that he won’t show up for Bobby’s wedding because he will be disgraced, seeing that his own son is yet unmarried and has no plans to do so. I tire for the man. He has an older son that is married. Wetin come concern him with my life
And it’s not as if I don’t want to get married. I desperately do. But I haven’t found the one yet. Cliché as that may sound, it’s the plain truth as you would come to find out. All of my close friends are married, Bobby being the last to walk down the aisle.
My life is going to be shitty from now on. I will be the butt-end of their jokes. They and their wives are going to pair me with all sorts of women, left, right and center. I’ll be left out of family oriented outings and such. When they’re talking about school fees, sexless wives and family planning, I’ll be brooding in a corner like an idiot. Like I said, a pot of beans life.
Originally written by sally Kenneth