From last week…
….“But there is a price,” she told me. “What is the price?” I asked but she didn’t say. She asked me to come back after my menstrual period with two pads soaked in menstrual blood. I was skeptical for some minutes, but I was desperate. It was as if my period pitied my frustrated life, two days after the visit, it pumped out. In three days I had two fully blood-soaked pads. I visited Nneka, and together, we visited Baba Owo.
How we got to the shrine, I can’t remember because we went at night and I slept through out the journey. When I woke up, I was at the shrine, how I walked to the shrine I don’t know, everything was hazy. The shrine smelt of blood and smoke, it was so dark that I could barely see anything, I clutched Nneka’s arm. “Calm down, there is nothing to fear” she reassured me.
“The Baba Owo” came out of nowhere and unlike the normal Babalawos I see on TV, this one was not old at all, he was about 30 year old and he wore a pair of jeans. Like a Lagos girl that I am, I thought, “These people wan scam me.” He exchanged pleasantries with Nneka and asked, “Is this the friend you were talking about?” “Yes” she nodded and asked me to give him the menstrual pad. I handed him the pads and he asked us to seat down.
He went inside and not long after, came out naked, stark naked. He told me to undress myself and I did. He said some incantations, shred the pads and gave me back. “Eat!!!” he said. I stared blankly, trying to process what he just said. “Eat what?” I heard myself saying. “Just eat it” Nneka whispered to me. “But…” She cut me off. “Eat it, there is nothing there.” Resigning myself to fate, I chewed slowly as my belly churned and nausea hit me. I felt so disgusted and sick.
After a while, he stopped me and handed me a bowl and a razor-blade and said, “Use this razor-blade to make 30 cuts on your tongue. Do not swallow the blood coming out of the cut, spit it into that bowl. If a drop of blood goes down your throat, you will die.” “I can’t do it” I said to Nneka. “I did it, so you can, abi do you think having that kind of power is easy?” she said to me. “I can’t cut my tongues 30 times after eating my menstrual blood. Do you want to kill me?” I muttered. She replied in an annoying tone, “What did you think we were coming here to do? Party?! Madam I did all these things and I didn’t die, I am alive and rich. I want to help you.” “Keep your help to yourself,” I said angrily as I stood up to leave.
“Young lady, you want to die?” The Baba asked me. I couldn’t reply that kind of question. “If you can’t cut your tongue 30 times there is another alternative” he said. My bones relaxed a bit, “What alternative?” I asked. “Can you live with three worms on your head for the rest of your life?” He replied. I didn’t understand what he meant, and I didn’t want to understand. The mention of “worms,” “head” and “rest of your life” was enough to make me scream “No!” I stormed out of the shrine in anger and stumbled into an empty space in fear.
“You can’t leave here without his consent” Nneka said from behind. “Just cut your tongue. Do it fast. It would pain you but it would heal and you won’t ever have to suffer again.” I walked back into the shrine, took the razor-blade and started making deep marks on my tongue. Blood flowed from my mouth into the bowl. Tears blinded my eyes. A big lump built in my throat, my heart squeezed. The pain went to every part of my body and I felt like I was going to die. After the 30th cut I slumped on the floor, physically and emotionally drained . I was too weak to cry. The only thing I felt was hatred towards money. Nneka helped me up. “You did it.” She grinned.
I didn’t eat for one week, I only took liquids, by the time my tongue had healed and I was back on my feet, it was time for operation “Kill Men”.
After I delivered on all of Baba Owo’s demands, he gave me an anklet. I remember every word he said that morning. “I must warn you, never have sex without this chain. Treat it like your eyes, never lose it” he said. It kept ringing in my head; I didn’t want to be a scape goat.
He looked at me and smiled. “Look at the mirror. What do you see?” He asked. “I see myself.” I replied. “Any man that doesn’t see this scar on your neck, has nothing to offer you.” he said pointing to a newly formed scar on my neck. I couldn’t believe I had a scar on my neck, it had to be one of Baba Owo’s escapades on me that night I went unconscious in his shrine. I didn’t like the fact that any man I would get from then on will first notice a scar on my body, but what could I say? Anything that brought the money was good, in fact, my neck automatically became my best body part.
….To be continued next week friday.
Photosource: IG @elmundodeaia
Story culled from The Bug Magazine.
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