THE APPLE IN THE BROTHEL
He was casually dressed and did not come in his car so as to remain anonymous. As he was climbing up the brothel stairs, holding the newel with his right hand to support himself, his phone rang in his trousers’ right back pocket. He stopped and answered the call without checking the caller identity. “Jones” the voice said. He knew whose voice it was. It was Frank’s. “I only want to remind you to make sure you get the lady convinced of your intentions”. Frank said and Jones responded in agreement.
Jones was on his mission that was against his religion and conscience. He had been pushed to the wall. Since he withdrew from his church, even as a worker, his life had taken a turn. Either negative or positive, he was left to judge. If he was still a worker in the church, his intentions as fuelled by Frank wouldn’t be executed. Or how does a church worker engage in extra-marital affairs without self guilt?
He was a successful businessman. Married for ten years without the expected fruit of marriage, he was more than frustrated. After series of fasting, prayers and messages of hope – the “it is well” cliché, he seemed not to have that hope anymore. Not even a bit of it. What else was he going to do after doctors have confirmed that he was medically okay?
He had no clue on how to manage his emotional stress coupled with the pressure from family members, especially his aged mother whose hope of having a grandchild solely rests on him. Only him! What about the regular quarrel with his wife, Tina? He easily accused her of being a desert and Tina as well called him various names like “Paper Tiger”, “infertile sheep” among other unpalatable names. There was no understanding of things anymore.
Tina on her own side was one of the holiest girls on campus when they met at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka twelve years ago. They fell in love and got married two years after graduation. Tina had always seen a bright hope for the both of them since they began. Even until three years ago when Jones decided to get out of his boring life of Christianity, she was as faithful as faith itself but at times, “you don’t have to trust anybody, not even yourself!”
Neither Jones nor Tina wanted the marriage to fail; it might be that they didn’t know that it had failed already? Or what is the definition of marriage failure when the wife can’t produce after ten years and yet she has no iota of respect for her husband, and she made him look clueless about marriage?
Pieces of advice from families and friends, like that of Frank, didn’t help matters in the slightest. What about Tina-’s closest friend, Joyce, who had been suspended ten times from attending her church’s women union meeting on the account of insulting her husband and subsequently divorced by her no nonsense husband on the account of being too talkative and insulting to him? Who needs advice from her kind?
And today, Jones was on his way to the most popular MOGAMBO BROTHEL to test his potency on a lady he was introduced to by Frank. If she conceived, he was going to secretly marry her; if not, he was going to try another person. The said lady was already in the appointed room waiting when Frank called to remind Jones of the importance of what he was about to do.
After ending the call, he went up into the room 55 on the third floor. As he was about to open the door, he saw something astonishing, something he had always seen but in a less beautiful manner, he beheld a great beauty and it was beauty, and nothing more. If he would rethink, not now that a deal was on.
As he turned the door knob, the beauty he just saw turned out to be Tina. His lips stuck together like that of a child learning to pronounce the thirteenth letter of the English Alphabet. Finally, he talked; all he could say was “My Apple”, the name he used to call Tina when they started dating in the university.
They were mature not to have mixed salt with palm oil at the brothel. On getting home, none of the two was a good liar. If Jones was going to say he was there for a business meeting, his car wasn’t there and he was casually dressed. Tina on her side would have no reason to bring her supermarket products to the hotel. They had no choice but to open up.
Back home, the duo could not face one another, they were both speechless. The question which hung over them like the sword of Damocles was “who caught who?”. After minutes of silence punctuated with several sounds of “hmm hmm” from both ends, Jones finally found his voice. “What were you doing in that place?” he asked. He got closer to her, grasped Tina’s shoulders then snarled like an angry beast while repeating the question.
He was almost losing his cool, was in fact about to physically assault her but remembered the position of the law on wife battery. Tina looked at him, bitterness written all over her pretty face. She got up from the bed and headed for the living room without saying anything. He stormed after her like a mad bull demanding answers, swearing and cursing.
Jones’ voice drowned every other thing, including the chiming of the door bell. After several minutes at the door, the person at the door made his way in quietly. Standing at the doorway was their Church Pastor. Pastor’s arrival was all Tina needed to betray emotions. She broke into tears, hot tears which muffled her voice. She wanted to talk, but she could not find her voice.
Pastor originally came to visit them in his continued efforts to persuade them to return to Church where he was sure their problems would be solved. He however met something much more demanding, something which was of more importance than the persuasion to come to church for their ‘miracle baby’. He entered, sat them down and they started discussions to restore peace in the home.
The two had the same reason for their shortcomings. Jones accused Tina of giving him psychological problem, making him believe he was not up to a man and he had no better option, or worse option, than to find an alternative. Tina had the same reason.
The mental pressure, incessant quarrel and wrong pieces of advice was tearing what love and God had joined, they created the chance for that anyway. Each party had faults. Listening to devil-inspired pieces of advice was their major problem.
After the Pastor had talked and concluded by asking them if they had ever read Romans 12:12, the two embraced each other, confessed more sins and resolved to return to their faith. Not until today, Tina and Jones never had to wet their clothes so much with tears. Maybe of joy or sadness, it must be one.