Scrubbing my sins away..

The clouds looked like they were mad at a cheating lover.

I hoped they were, and I felt no guilt. I wanted badly for them to weep their vaporized intestines out.

My room smelled of pineapple jam, Jesse had been here earlier, and we had eaten bread and pineapple jam off our bodies. My window was open and I could smell baked beach sand. I kicked the blanket away and poked my head outside the window.

I had been gone for 8 years; the whole place looked different now.

I remember Sisi Mansa’s shop; I used to steal nkate cake from a jar whiles Elizabeth distracted the shopkeeper. It was now a pharmacy shop, Mr. Dode; holier-than-thou-if-you-look-at-my-daughter-with-lusty-eyes-I-will-gut-your-reproductive-system-out was now the owner of a liquor shop and had impregnated two girls even younger than his own daughter. My childhood crush, Yoofi, was now a father and the Presbyterian Church was looking like the entrance to heaven. Everything had changed.

Mother and I left town three months after father’s death. I was 11 then. I cried when father died, but I cried enough tears to fill the Densu River in an effort to prevent mother from making us leave. But it was to no avail. It’s funny, when you’re young and heartbroken; the least pain feels like the end of the world. After 8 years, I’m back to this town. It’s been only 3 weeks and my life is already in an intertwined maze.

The room I was sleeping in belonged to my mother when she was about my age. She was the only girl amidst 7 brothers so my grandmother treated her like a princess. It is very typical for siblings to share rooms regardless of gender in culture, but my mother was an exception. The house was empty but for my deaf aunt and I.

Thoughts of Elizabeth filled my head. Elizabeth was my childhood best friend.

I’m sure you’re expecting a sweet story of how we were sitting partners in class and about how we practically did everything together from eating to taking a crap. No, it’s nothing like that.

We were dedicated haters of each other. I hated her guts and she would gladly take either 1 pesewa or 10 million to push me off a cliff with a smirk and a “die bitch, die!” declaration as an answer to my request for a priest before I die.

And yes, it was because of a boy. If not for an earthquake that trapped the two of us beneath a table in the staff room at school, we would probably still be enemies.

We’ve been besties since then, even after I left town. And I cherish our friendship more than anything. When I returned, I was told she was out of town, and would be back in a month’s time

I met Jessie by the well. It was after noon and the townsfolk were gathered at a chief’s palace. I thought he looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him so I brushed it off. He was kind and funny and wise. He offered to help with my pot of water and we instantly hit it off.

He was patient, very patient. He penetrated my cranium in seconds where it took others months. He was 32 years my senior, yet he looked 10 years younger. He was a well built man. Tall,with short dark well-trimmed hair. He had long eyelashes, and red lips which made him pretty damn good-looking. I don’t know how he jumped from being the stranger at the well to my lover. All I know is that I needed someone who would just listen. And he did just that. How we got to where we are now? Is a beautiful miscalculated mystery.

19 years, and I had been with enough men to need another set of fingers to count them. Yet none had driven me to the pleasurable state where your mind goes numb. ….

I smiled as the thought of him sucking pineapple jam off my nipples minutes ago filled my head

I couldn’t believe it had been just three weeks. I felt like I had known him all my life. And before him every one of my sexual encounters was just – play

His only worry was his high hopes that his daughter would love me just as he did. Or at least, like.

His daughter, the one he calls Beth. Beth, the fair one, the young versatile Beth, the funny childish Beth.

Beth- my very own Elizabeth.

I was fucking my best friend’s father, and the only feeling I felt was regret that she was coming back to town soon.

A rhythmic pitter patter on my roof tap brought me back to reality. It was raining.

I combed my hair out.

I was going to dance naked in the rain. Naked and barefoot

Maybe, just maybe, the rain would wash my sins away