“A marriage is like a long trip in a tiny rowboat; if one passenger starts to rock the boat, the other has to steady it. Otherwise, they will go to the bottom together” – David Reuben

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning. Your love paints a beautiful picture of what love really means” – Unknown

“It is so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life” – Rita Rudner

 

The day started just like any other day in the life of a brother called Me.

Alarm rings by 5 minutes past 5 a.m. and I wake up to peruse through the Holy Book before I get the makeshift mini-gym ready. In spite of my Agnostic beliefs, I still do my best to go through the Holy Book every morning. Not because of the fear of the unknown. Naa, Noo, Neigh! In all honesty, I decided I had to be well versed in some passages of the Holy Book. So that if peradventure I decide to switch careers from a hustling doctor to a flamboyant man of God, the transition would be an easy one.

After getting the makeshift mini-gym ready, I took a quick shit. Well, not so quick sha. Most times, the heavy stuff takes time to get off my behind. I struggle and strain but the stubborn shit still insists to spend some time before letting go of my anal canal. Poor Anus! And when it eventually gets off, the workout commences.

Fourty-five minutes go by and a brother called Me is done with the workout. Then a quick bath. And then I get dressed. And ultimately, off to the clinic to hustle. Now, that’s my kind of normal day.

But on this glorious day, a few days after the full moon receded, I sat on the chair swinging left and right, my literary planets surrounding me and keeping me company. I had just gotten The Weeknd’s Echoes of Silence and was listening to the harmonious notes emanating from my phone. Damn, Adele has nothing on The Weeknd, aswear!

Two hours later, there were no patients yet. Na wa o…is this how the day would be, I asked myself. And then I thought for a second, what if the Almighty decides to cure the world of every single ailment that existed, what would become of hustling doctors and their careers? In all honesty, that would be a tragic situation. Olorun maje! So I said a quick prayer: “Gracious Lord, have mercy on your dear son and send some sick folks to us today”.

And the Lord heard my prayers. A couple of minutes later, a middle aged woman walked into the clinic in the company of her three children, all looking weak and ill. I smile gleefully as I beckoned on them to sit down. Now who said the Lord doesn’t work wonders!

A few minutes later and I am done with them. I tell them they’d be fine when they take the medications. The youngest needed an Incision & Drainage so they would have to wait behind, I said. The middle aged woman nodded in agreement. All of a sudden, I get a call on my Intercom from the female medical ward.

“Please, am I speaking with Dr. Ba’Ruu”, the nurse asked.

I recognized her voice; those soothing tones that caressed my pinnae whenever I walked into the ward. A voice so silky yet ethereal.

“Yeah, Jessica, na Ba’Ruu. Hafa? Any leelee?” I replied.

“OK, gud’afta’noon Sir. Please, your attention is needed urgently at the female ward”, she said.

“OK, I dey show now”. And I left for the ward.

I walked past the receptionist and said a quick ‘Hi”. And then into the alley. The alley looked different today. The receptionist looked different today. Everything looked different today. When I talked to mother in the morning, her voice sounded different over the phone. Well, maybe something different would happen today, I hoped. And it had better be a positive one. Probably my girl would eventually accept my proposal, I wished.

I saw her when I walked into the ward. She was frail and worn-out, like oversized lingerie hung on a clothes line. When she saw me, she struggled so hard to act tough. But her eyes betrayed her [those eyes, Chico, they never lie]. They were sunken and dry and bereft of any tears to shed. Her daughter was beside her, stroking her right hand and reading a passage from the Scriptures for her. It’s been five weeks since the hospital became her temporary abode. But I wasn’t sure she would have the chance to go back to the permanent one she used to live in. A new one was being prepared for her by destiny. Providence has willed her to go. Very soon, she would have to go to an abode six feet below the ground beneath her feet. She knew her fate already. She has accepted it. But secretly, her children hoped for a miracle to happen.

After attending to her immediate medical needs – the pain that ate deep into her – I made to leave. Sporadically, I asked her daughter: “Nne, what about your husband. All the while Mama has been in this hospital, I’ve not seen him at all. Your kids come around to visit. Your siblings and their spouses do come around also. But I’ve never see your Boo. Hope all is well?”

She placed her head deep into the palms of her hands, heaved a sigh of gloom and told me we needed to talk. Not in the ward. Most definitely in my office.

And so there we were, seated in the office. My chair wasn’t rotating anymore, and the literary planets had deserted me. My eyes were fixated on hers as she told a melancholic tale to me; a tale she had never told anyone. I didn’t know why she chose to tell me the sad tale. Maybe, she hoped I could proffer a solution.

She said she was separated from her husband and was working towards getting a divorce. She was fed up with the whole situation. Their romance started off on a lovely note. And progressed over time to marriage. Three years after getting married, she caught her husband with another man in their bedroom, fucking each other. Her close relatives had told her to go back to the husband and beg him to come back. Every marriage has setbacks, they told her. And hers wouldn’t be the first or the last. But she had made up her mind. She would definitely get the divorce.

Over time, there has been an increasing pressure on young women to get married. That Tag ‘Married Woman’ is what many women aim for. It has become the Holy Grail for a lot of women. One is made to realize that she is not complete until she has a man to call her husband. And in a bid to conform to these hackneyed societal dictates, many women get married by any means necessary. And they stick to the marriages, no matter the amount and type of bullshits that are thrown at them.

On the other hand, homosexuality is frowned at in this part of the world. Did I just say frown? C’mon, Ba’Ruu…frown is an understatement. Homosexuality is an anathema and an unforgivable abomination. Folks accused of the so-called crime of homosexuality are humiliated and the unlucky ones, lynched. A couple of months ago, some young boys were rounded up at Asaba and paraded as gays by the Police. What crime did they commit? Did they steal yam meant for Amadioha? Or did they dip hand into the offering meant for Chi Okike Abiama? No, they didn’t. They were prosecuted for having consensual copulation with other consenting adults.

The argument for/against recognizing and legalizing gay unions would forever be debatable in this part of the world. But it is essential we bring a most important creed of humanity on the table while arguing: Do no harm to anyone. Our species has a higher chance of survival if we abide by this humanist creed. Why lynch a man caught with his dick inside another’s behind? Why murder the person in cold blood?

Let the Almighty fight his wars for himself. He never sanctioned his followers to go on a rampage and start murdering unbelievers. Or did he send bible-wielding zealous mercenaries to drop bombs on the heads of skeptics? Let God fight his wars. There are a thousand and one issues we need to get right. Issues such as interdenominational squabbles are more pertinent than whose anus a gay man sticks his dick in. Or who a lesbian fucks. Heck, you could as well lynch a politician accused of embezzling funds, would you? Of course not!

We should lend support to these victims of this horrible persecution. They should be encouraged to identify themselves and come out of the closet. It would do everyone good in the long run instead of persecuting them to the extent that they are afraid of being who they are. Out of fear, most of these victims go into pretentious marital unions with people they share no feelings for and in turn, cause emotional harm to their heterosexual partners coerced into marrying them because of fear of discrimination.

Let them be free to live their lives without fear of attacks and reprisal.

Do. No. Harm. To. Anyone.

For this is the whole duty of man. Capisce!

 

Now Playing: Equalisation of Trouser and Pant by Fela Kuti

Word to Mutha: This work is STRICTLY the opinion of the writer. No Love Lost; No Love Found…It is what it is!

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