I spent my teenage mornings wondering if my parents could tell that I had just finished masturbating. Because my father ruled the house with a million rules, an unmoving heart and iron hands; the perfect antidote to be the worse amongst the lot.
They say preachers’ kids are the worse, like how the most righteous Christians are the worst sinners. But that is only a half-truth. See, it wasn’t a rebellious path we had chosen to take; it was just a consequence of being forced in a cage in the hopes of being exemplary citizens to the rest of the world.
The other half truth? We were perfect devils.
On Sundays I would sit two rows behind the front seat, and alternate between listening to daddy preach so I could answer correctly to his questions about the sermon later, to keeping a straight face while I concentrated on watching Deacon Djan’s daughter squirm as my finger stirred her gates of Salem
I remember the day Julie came over. The parents had travelled to a little village in the Western region to share the gospel. I invited Julie into my room. My chest was pounding so loud I kept downing jugs of water to calm me down. I was scared shitless even though I knew they were miles away, every second crept by with the freaked out thought of my father coming out from under my bed.
But then Julie started to undress, and her translucent jugs made me forget what it was I was worrying about temporarily. When I got behind her, the framed bible verse father had given to me on one of the Sunday mornings as a means of motivation was staring into my face, and guilt came tumbling down. But not enough to stop me.
He’d asked me to meditate on it daily and ‘tap into it’. I was tapping into Julie alright.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – the picture on the wall read.
I could definitely do all things. And so could Julie – her womb was going to turn miraculous and not take seed, because I was deliberately out of condoms.
According to father’s logic, I wasn’t born dumb, so I wasn’t supposed to be as dumb as I acted. I wasn’t born with a sheath on my manhood, and I wasn’t going to enter the Promised Land with one either.
If marriage made 2 people one, then mother was the good side of father. She was the kind hearted beauty that made his beastly passion bearable. And she was my constant saviour.
I read a book set in the 60’s where a mother lay with her son to curb his homosexual tendencies. Now my mother wasn’t that fucked up but I owe my residual sanity to her patience and love.
It was mother who saved me from my father’s fury.
It was mother who saved me from myself
It was mother who knew what to do when the Bishop’s daughter almost died trying to abort my baby
Hell, mother must be Jesus. Mother has to be Jesus.
Because she’s the only person I know who can save me from this death.