WAR: LOVE AND LIFE - Episode 1

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - made a preacher out of him, preacher, America, preacher’s daughter, a bride kiss her groom, the reception, Congo, Republic, genocide by the United Nations, million dollars, love his wife as Christ loved the church, across the street, American.

Kilwasi Catholic Church, Saturday 9:20 am
“Shirley Robinson Dejen, do you take Solomon Jelani as your lawfully wedded husband?” Rev. Kato, the preacher asked. Shirley smiled and said in a voice that could pass for a whisper, “I do with all my heart.” Rev, Kato smiled, he was well acquainted with their love story. “Solomon Jelani, do you take Shirley Robinson Dejen as your lawfully wedded wife?” “Yes!!” Solomon said, his voice booming like a drum. One could have thought he had won a lottery. Oh! Perhaps he did. Shirley was quite some lady; beauty and brains seamlessly woven together. A bloke would kill to have her. “I now pronounce you man and wife! You may kiss…” before he could finish his sentence, Shirley leapt on Solomon, coiled her legs around his body like a tree trunk, and with her two hands tilting his face upward, planted a passionate kiss on his lips.

Amongs the congregation, ladies cheered on excitedly, barely holding their breath. Some felt like they were going to slump and so sat and tried to fan themselves. Others allowed tears to run freely down their cheek. “I still can’t believe it is true. She came to Kilwasi as a returnee preacher’s daughter from America and within six months she stole the heart of the most dangerous man in Kilwasi and somehow made a preacher out of him. Do you think this is going to last for long?” a lady in tears asked her friend who was sitting next to her. “Solomon has not smoked a whiff, cursed anyone or got into a fight since he met Shirley. This has to be the Lord at work. The American preacher’s daughter knows the Lord indeed,” her friend replied.

Shirley was still hanging on Solomon’s body, sucking hard at his lips. The congregation was beside itself by now. “It is okay Shirley, you will have a life time to kiss those lips,” Rev. Kato said, tapping Shirley on the back. Reluctantly she let go of her mouth from Solomon’s. Gently Solomon put her down on her feet. She took a step toward him and pressed her body against his. “I love you Solomon,” she whispered. “I love you too baby,” he replied. No one had seen a bride kiss her groom like that on their wedding day and certainly not a preacher’s daughter. “We shall now proceed to the King’s Garden for photo session and the reception,” the preacher announced. The King’s Garden was built in 1926, the same year the Church building was built by the Belgian Missionary Corps. To have one’s wedding reception in it was a rare luxury. Rev Kato had made it available to Solomon and Shirley because of his relationship with them and also because of Shirley’s father who was a preacher in America.

Everyone in Kilwasi who knew Solomon was present in his wedding and wanted to take a photo with him and his American-born wife, Shirley. Solomon Jelani was the worst definition of street violence and thuggery Kilwasi had known in years. To leave his old life behind and find love in the in the life of the drop-dead beauty damsel like Shirley, was almost unbelievable. “The food is getting cold and the drinks hot! I promise to take photos with whoever will return here on Sunday after church service! I and my wife will be dressed in our wedding clothes to let you take the photos you want. Please! Please, can we all go now for the reception!” Solomon pleaded with guests. While he was pleading with them, some were busy posing for photo shots with him. It took quite some persuading to get the guests to sit down in the garden for the reception to start.

The City of Kuma, Pinky Resort, Saturday, 4:14 pm
On the bed lay a naked seventeen-year-old girl. General Masamba had a phone to his ear. He had reluctantly cut short the sexual romp he was into with the girl on the bed to take the call. “General Masamba, United Nations Security Council has agreed to grant Kilwasi independence from the Congo Republic. By the next three years Congo Republic will have no influence whatsoever in Kilwasi,” said Julien Florian, a Belgian diplomat. “The Congo Republic should have been part of that decision! Kilwasi is the live wire of our economic life! Its oil wells cannot be lost! The Congo will not be able to sustain itself without Kilwasi’s oil!” “Calm down General, there are some of us in the EU and America who can help you invade and occupy Kilwasi for the next ten years if you will do what is required of you.” “Tell me, what is it that is required of me?” “You will give us access to the oil in Kilwasi. I mean mining contracts and ownership of oil wells.” “I want to know, what will happen after the ten-year occupation of Kilwasi?” “Teneme, the oil rich east of Kilwasi, will be ceded to the Congo Republic.” General Masamba pondered the offer momentarily and asked, “Will I not be tried for genocide by the United Nations after the ten years?” “You will be arrested but your case will never be tried. You will be released and paid one hundred and fifty million dollars after two years of detention without trial.”

“So Julien, you and your colleagues in Europe and America want me to kill my brothers in Kilwasi because of your interest in Kilwasi’s oil, and then be paid one hundred and fifty million dollars after two years of detention, right?” “Don’t look at it that way General. During the ten-year occupation of Kilwasi, the oil in Kilwasi will be under your control. You can become the richest man in the world my friend. During your two year-detention, you will really not be in detention. Look at what we did in Kenya. In truth, you will have access to your businesses in Congo, across Africa and all over the world.” “Julien, as much as I hate to see Kilwasi granted independence and its oil gone, I will not shed the amount of blood you want me to for one hundred and fifty million dollars. I want the money increased to one billion dollars and some humanitarian awards to go with it. You know, to hide my sins.”

“Okay General. We can make that happen.” “I am not the president of the Congo Republic; how do I invade Kilwasi without the support of the president? I hope you know his wife is from Kilwasi.” “Yes I know. We will help you stage a coup to remove him within weeks. The plan has been in place for months. General, I will get back to you in two days’ time. Remember that this conversation never took place.” “I am no child Julien.” The General dropped the call and turned to look at the teenager on the bed; she had slept off while she was waiting for the general to return to the bed. General Masamba watched her nubile body as she slept. He felt a rush in his groin. He jumped on the bed and began to kiss the girl’s stomach, moving his tongue seductively down toward her private part. The girl woke up, twisted and moaned lustfully as General Masamba reached further down. He paused and asked, “Avez-vous entendu ma conversation téléphonique? (Did you hear my telephone conversation?)”  The girl grabbed his head, pushed his face back on her private part and said with deep lust, “Je ne comprends pas l'anglais. (I don’t understand English.)”

The Street of Kuma, 11:04 pm
A red taxi pulled to a stop beside a telephone booth; she jumped out of the taxi and ran into the telephone booth. She rummaged through her purse and found a coin. She pushed it into the phone and dialed a number. Holding the phone handle to her ear, she whispered to herself, “Choisissez s'il vous plaît. Preacher ramasser (Pick please. Preacher pick up.)”

Kilwasi, Reverend Kato’s bedroom, 11:06
“Grrrrrm!!!” the old phone rang, waking Rev. Kato. Sluggishly he dragged himself out of bed and went to pick the phone.

Kilwasi, Lake City Hotel, 11:20 pm
Robinson and Shirley were on the bed naked. Solomon was lying on his face while Shirley was sitting on his back. Her eyes were wide in shock. She was running her fingers over the multiple scars on Solomon’s back. “How did you get this one? Shirley asked, rubbing her hand over a scar on Solomon’s left shoulder. “Oh! That one. I got it fighting for the right to smoke a stick of cigar,” Solomon said laughing. Shirley was stunned. She could not believe her ears. “You got such a big wound fighting for the right smoke a stick of cigar?” she asked, drawing her words slowly. “Why didn’t you go across the street to buy one for yourself? Why fight for it?” she asked further. “Pride. Pride was the word on the street.  Back then, that was how to lay claim to your ownership of the street and hood.” “You could have died back then you know?” “I didn’t occur to me I could die. Death was the last thought on my mind then.”

Shirley raised his right hand and ran her fingers through it. She kissed the many scars on it and asked, “Will you lose it someday and beat me up? I am scared of you now.” Solomon sat up on the bed, made to say something but stopped. He leapt out of the bed and knelt on the floor. “I will never so much as raise my voice on you much less touch you with my smallest finger to cause you pain. I will rather die than inflict pain on you,” Solomon said. He lowered his head and mumbled, “God help me to love this woman at the expense of my life.” “I heard you baby! I heard you!” Shirley shouted. She jumped out of bed, knelt beside him and prayed, “Dear God, help me to love this man with all my life and every blood in me. If need be, I will give my life for him to live.” “No, baby! You scare me when you say that. I am the man. I should lay my life down for you and not you for me. You are a preacher’s daughter, aren’t you?” “I am. What about it?” “Then you will obey the bible. The bible says, a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church and laid down his life for it. You see, I am the one to die for you.”

“I am not sure I can live a day without you. That is why I want to die for you.” “Stop talking about death, baby. No one is going to die here. Our love is stronger than the grave. Nothing can stop us! Nothing.” Solomon said. He took her into his arms and held her firmly. Shirley rested her head on his shoulder feeling blessed to have him in her life.


Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: WAR: LOVE AND LIFE - Episode 1
WAR: LOVE AND LIFE - Episode 1
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - made a preacher out of him, preacher, America, preacher’s daughter, a bride kiss her groom, the reception, Congo, Republic, genocide by the United Nations, million dollars, love his wife as Christ loved the church, across the street, American.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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