“You don enter trouble today.”
Emeka stood by the door, watching the maddening tirade that was unfolding before him, knowing that he was in the biggest trouble of his 23 years of life. His clothes littered the floor and as for his shoes, he had no idea where they had travelled.
“Foolish boy,” the man roared, spitting out his words alongside white thick sputum. “You don enter pepper today.”
His chest heaving in panic, Emeka’s regrets were a thousand and many as he remembered what Silvanus, the village drunk and his drinking buddy had told him yesterday.
“My guy, na plenty plenty trouble dey follow man wey follow ‘im penis o, “Silvanus had prophetically warned when he had told him of his quest to visit Onitsha. Silvanus always seemed to make the most sense when he was drunk.
Thinking about it all in hindsight, Emeka realized he shouldn’t have come today. In fact, he should never have come, but no, the temptation to taste the over-ripened female apples in the popular brothel known as Mama Clara’s house of goodness aka the Goddess of the Night had just been too strong. For days now, he had been praying hard for success. He had even asked for a sign from heaven, and when the rains had come in torrents last night, he had felt that it was all the sign he needed to know that his prayers had been answered. So today, before the crack of dawn, he had taken his own leap of faith, travelling all the way from his remote village to Onitsha to end his daily longing for a woman’s bosom. Any woman would suffice, he had told Silvanus yesterday when the Drunk had told him that the women who worked at Mama Clara’s were probably old enough to be his mother. Some of them were wives who visited the brothel to make more money to feed their families, Silvanus had said. But Emeka hadn’t cared. All he had wanted was to break the curse of not having the carnal knowledge of a woman that even all the little boys in his village seemed to have.
“Come now. Na today you go meet ya maker.” The man before him bellowed while the prostitute behind him wailed in distress, too scared to stand up and run for her life, lest the man’s machete descend on her instead.
Emeka stared hard at the glistening sharp edge of the blade. Chei! But why him, he asked himself. Why did it all have to happen on the day he had lost his virginity? He cursed quietly to himself, wondering if the lumpy woman he had done the deed with had even been worth all the trouble. Of all the women that filled the brothel, he had had to choose the wife of this enraged farmer whose legs were bulky enough to be confused for newly harvested yams.
“I say, come here. You deaf?”
He bit his bottom lip, again cursing himself silently for being caught in the middle of a drama that wasn’t going to end well, either he escaped or not.
He studied the door, wondering if he could flee through it before the man’s angry-looking machete landed on his back.
The man rolled his murderous eyes at him, daring him to make the move. “If them born you well, make you waka reach that door. Na heaven go greet ya head.”
Chineke! The man meant serious business, Emeka cried within himself as the woman wailed some more.
“”Oga, abeg,” he pleaded. “Na Devil Sah! Na Devil, abeg.”
“Na Devil talk say make you put ya thing inside another man property?” the man replied with a sarcastic leer. “No be devil cause this one. Na ya yeye thing…Na ‘im do you bad, and I go cut am commot today.”
“A- beg Sah” He pleaded again.
“I dey warn you o. Bring yaself here. Na die you go die today.”
Placing his hands on his head, Emeka exasperatedly took a step toward the man, an expression of a thousand regrets flooding his face. Just then, an idea crept into his head and he acted on it immediately as the man tried to reach for him. Running to the door, he opened it with a quickness that dazzled both the thick muscled farmer and his wife. There was no time to grab his clothes, he ran out of the smoke filled room into the long corridors of the run-down shack known as Mama Clara’s house of goodness, with the large man yelling behind him, his voice burbling with hot wrath.
“Come here. I say come here,” the man called.
Emeka didn’t. His heart was in his throat and he could practically see Death sneering at him, scorning his attempt at escape. He hardly heard the mocking laughter from the other customers who lined the corridor waiting to be serviced by Madam Clara’s girls. Naked to the hilt, but not caring about his state of undress, he ran for dear life, realizing quickly that Silvanus had been right all along: It just wasn’t ever a good thing when a man’s penis did the talking. Only trouble could come out of such folly.