I am writing this letter to you from somewhere you would not be able to come to, somewhere you won’t have access to see me again and from somewhere you wouldn’t have in your widest imagination expected that I, your most obedient child could ever be. Frankly, before this letter reaches you, I may have already been stored in a cooler.
Please, do not burst into tears on realisation of what I mean. It is not your fault in any way, so crying wouldn’t help matters because there’s nothing you can do to remedy my predicament.
Do you remember while I was growing up, how you constantly reminded me of the importance of daily study of my Bible? Or how I should avoid bad company? Do you remember how many times Aunt Nkechi drew my ear to warn me of the dangers of gluttony, stating that I should imbibe the value of contentment? Or how Uncle Segun, the church’s choir leader, constantly knocked my head whenever I failed to greet him or any elder correctly, anytime he was around me? Also, do you remember how Pastor Francis flogged me mercilessly in front of the congregation after hearing that I was listed among the boys who spied on girls when they used the restroom, how he explained to me afterwards that it was natural for me to be inquisitive as to why girls were always hiding to do the needful but it was totally wrong for me to feed my curiosity by actually going to spy on them, stating that in the future, I would be privileged to see my wife urinating uncensored but doing so before then could make me see things capable of blinding me? Do you remember_____ Mama, I can keep giving examples of instructions I have received, not only from you, but also from other responsible adults who were concerned about my moral and physical upbringing. I am guessing you are wondering why I decided to list all these memories, just after telling you that you may never hold me in your arms again. Well, I just wanted to remind me that you did a great job in giving your son a proper upbringing and your son, actually abided by your words and those of the other responsible adults dedicated to my cause, until he had an encounter with a lady, Omolola Kimberly Dara.
Before I tell the narrative, I just want to let you know that your son is no longer an innocent, God-fearing boy, in stead, your son has joined bad gang.
Shortly after I got admitted into the university, I was still a determined fellow, a practicing Christian, a dogged follower of Christ, at least, my baggy trousers, oversized strap bag with hundreds of evangelism pamphlets, color blocked shirts and oversized pointed shoes could testify that I had the looks of a born again Christian. My faith took a U-turn the moment I decided to attend the “freshers” party, choosing rather to ignore series of instructions ringing in my head from Pastor Wale, the youth pastor against indulging in carnal activities, youthful exuberance, worldly lust and immorality. I felt that it was just a “casual” departmental party and as such, nothing much was going to happen. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
On getting there, I was surprised by how majority of the girls were dressed, a description Pastor Wale attributed to prostitutes in strip clubs. I recall how many times Bible quotes on chastity, self control and sexual immorality kept resurfacing in my mind; scriptures I had come to know by heart, after diligent attendance of weekly Bible study and house fellowship at Aunt Yemisi’s house but somehow, I decided to stay, at least, to convince myself that I had become a big boy and was on campus. I got do thirsty and then I decided to go to the bar to get something to drink, a bottle of water or a soft drink.
On getting there, I surprised when the bartender informed me that no soft drinks were sold and that a bottle of water costs #500, and I had just #220 with me then. I contemplated leaving the party but I still wanted to feel like a big boy and I knew that anything which would make me leave would also make me pay another #1000 as gate fee to re-enter the venue. Someone noticed my predicament and asked “Why don’t you take a bottle or a shot?”, the lady said, giving me a sultry smile.
“Bottle? Shot?” I asked, not initially knowing what she meant but upon realisation, I quickly chided from the offer. “God forbid!” I replied, “I cannot drink alcohol.” She chuckled at how innocent I was and asked me to try it, stating that I was no longer a child and big boys don’t take small drink. She pointed at a bottle in the rack behind the bartender “That’s what real men take; unrefined alcohol.”
I didn’t know whether to listen to her advice or not, because a part of my sub consciousness kept reminding me of the last Sunday School class you taught, where a scripture from the book of Proverbs was cited “Give wine to a man perishing”, how you emphasized on the negative effects of alcohol, stating that it wasn’t right for a Christian to take; but the other part of me wanted to have the experience of a big boy, at least, to know how it felt to be a “Real” man.
“I don’t have the money to buy such a drink” I politely stated.
She kept on chuckling “Don’t worry, I’ll pay for a shot for the two of us each. Trust me, alcohol is very sweet and it’s not like how all those “Christian” people portray it to be.” She kept smiling at me and although I initially didn’t pay attention to her, I soon noticed that her smile was sending signals through my body as there was something unusual with her smile. It fueled something inside of me, something Pastor Wale had warned me about, lust.
“What’s your name, handsome?”, she asked. It took me a while to realise that she was talking with me, because no lady had ever attributed “me” with “handsome”. I made conscious efforts to avoid her gaze but my efforts proved abortive because she happened to be the most beautiful lady I had seen since my admission into the university.
“Ayo” I mumbled “Ayo is my name.”
“Oh, that’s a very sexy name for a handsome guy like you” She said, biting her lower lip “Don’t you think so too?”
Pastor Wale’s preaching on the tactics of a seductress began playing in my sub consciousness. My spirit was willing to run away but my body was weak and willing to hear more teases or flirtatious words proceed from the most beautiful lady I had seen in the university.
“My name is Omolola Kimberly Dara”, she said, handing me a glass of wine. She gulped the contents of the glass at once and chuckled realising that I was still skeptical on whether or not to take it. Soon, I decided to be a “Real” man and I drank it.
When I partially regained consciousness, I was with Dara and we were dancing very wildly, in an amoral manner, a practice I had condemned to only be done by prostitutes. I fought so hard to turn away, to pull away from her grip but I guess that I was still heavily under the influence of alcohol.
When I woke up, I was in a strange place. I couldn’t remember the room I was in because it wasn’t familiar to me at all. I knew that I didn’t have a refrigerator in my room, neither an air conditioner nor a television set and satellite connection. I knew that I didn’t have mural paintings on my room wall and my bed wasn’t as high as the one I laid on. I knew that I didn’t have a side cabinet with some clothes hanging on them, clothes probably worn frequently like____pants.
“Where’s am I?” I asked rhetorically until she came into the room from where I assumed to be the kitchen.
“So you’re awake?”She asked, adjusting the wrapper knotted on her chest which was partially getting loose.
“I don’t understand” I asked puzzled “Please explain to me how I got here.” She only pointed to a heap of clothes that was at the corner of the bed, my clothes, wrapped with hers and then I realised that I was naked.
“Are you telling me that we___?” I asked, partly shocked and partly infuriated. She made to explain when the wrapper across her chest fell to the ground revealing the most perfect work of creation, bare before my eyes.
Pastor Wale’s teaching beeped in my mind “Marriage is pleasurable for a bed un-defiled. Do you not know that your bodily is the temple of the Living God? Flee fornication and youthful lust. He who sleeps with a harlot has become one flesh with her.”
And I had exactly two seconds to make a choice; to either speak to my legs to run or to seize the opportunity she created but pretended to apologise for. The members of my body below were already standing at attention, paying homage to the home of paradise and so I decided to yield to the clarion call.
That’s how it started, mama. I later found out that she’s a final year student of the university and has a major boyfriend, with several entanglements, here and there. Every morning, I would decide that that day would be the last I spoke to Dara but my plans usually ended on her bed with either one or the both of us singing melodious tunes.
On Sunday mornings, I would get so sad after hearing the preacher’s sermon and would weep so bitterly, promising myself never to go back to her, but in the evenings, I would somehow find myself wrapped around her, inventing new styles of love play.
My regular Christian activities started declining. I stopped going for the regular weekly programs, Bible studies, house fellowships, evangelism outreach, with the excuse that I was either too busy with academics or I wasn’t feeling well. One time, sister Mercy, my evangelism partner decided to bring the topic of “unchastity and sexual immorality common among students” out of the blues, but I made conscious effort to divert the topic because I couldn’t stand being guilty of something I was preaching against. I even started feigning to be studious, always using the excuse of going for “night class” to go to Dara’s room (she actually put me through some subjects I found difficult before or after we sang melodious tunes, amidst shortened breaths on her bed). I felt so enslaved by Dara, the more I tried to desist from her, the more I inadvertently returned to her.
I once told some of my friends my predicament and their response was “Ayo, so you are fucking a higher level babe and you didn’t tell us? You no try oo. You no fit tell us say you get sugar mummy. Abeg show us the way oo.”
Now, mama, I want to tell you how I landed here. One day, I made up my mind that I was leaving Dara for good and then when I got to her room, she offered me lunch, which I ate and passed out. When I finally woke up, I saw her through the corner of my eye doing something I never imagined her doing. It was then that I understood why she was given the nickname “dragon lady”, as fumes emanated from her nostrils, mouth and ears.
I asked her to explain what she put in my food and she told me that it’s just grass.
“Weed?” I asked “Is it Indian hemp? Or Marijuana? Or cocaine?” She refused to answer, stating it’s just harmless “grass”. When I asked her why she fed me with “grass”, she told me she wanted to know if I had a strong body system because she was fully aware that I would refuse to try it if she plainly gave it to me raw. I got so angry, insulted her and stormed out of her house.
It was not long before I came back to her house, crawling, please ding for mercy. I asked her for a favour, to help me with a good sum of money to clear all my departmental debts so I could be qualified to sit for the upcoming exams. She decided to help me with about #50,000. Later that month, I was in dire need of more cash and I had no one else to turn to so I decided to meet her again.
She refused to help me this time, claiming that it was better for her to teach me how to catch a fish than giving me a fish for the second time. She then opened a small bag and threw five small sachets of crushed grass, something even smaller than that of sachet water.
“Each of these sachets costs about #100,000. That’s cocaine. Sell them and pay all your debts. It is through selling these sachets that my boyfriend and I are able to afford this lifestyle of luxury. You have been privileged to enjoy some of the benefits of a side boyfriend. What if I tell you that I want to dump my boyfriend and give you a chance if you are willing for us to make cool cash together? ”
I asked inquisitively “Sell them to who?”
She chuckled. “As long as there’s a commodity, there will always be a buyer. Don’t worry, I will introduce you to some potential buyers.”
As I picked one of the sachets, it felt heavier than a bag of cement, with Pastor Wale’s preaching “Godliness with contentment is great gain” replaying in my mind. I wanted to drop it and politely decline the life changing offer spanning from financial to relationship status and choose in stead to rely solely on the little money you sent for me quarterly or to accept the offer and change the story of my life for GOOD.
I chose the latter, mama and I am reaping the consequences of my action. I started selling the “grass” and was making cool cash until I met my waterloo by selling to the drug law agency in disguise as buyers. Immediately I was ratted out, Dara cut off all connections with me and even if I wanted to implicate her, it would have been futile because there was no link between her and me.
Mama, can you imagine that my case didn’t stay long in the court? I was almost immediately sentenced to death on the charges of possession and sale of hard drugs. Mama, what pains me the most is that it remains four days till the executioner is paid for a job well done. Please, mama, do not cry. I won’t be able to bear it in the after life if I heard that you cried for me. It’s not your fault, mama. I, know very well that “It takes a village to raise a child” as you, Pastor Wale and the others have diligently done but “it takes evil communication to corrupt good manners.”
I LOVE YOU MAMA!!!
ARINZE DANIEL UDOYE
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, NIGERIA.