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Satan’s Soup Is Sweet

By Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema (Nigeria)


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Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema is a

thirty year old school teacher and writer.

He lives in Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.






“I am pregnant,” she announced in her melodious voice, her inviting lips quivering as she withdrew gently from my embrace.



My passion-charged hands stopped shaking. I looked at her as the world came to a full stop. Her big, violet eyes pierced mine with a disturbing anxiety. The directness in them only increased their angelic quality.



Blood began to pound in my ears. You cannot swear you did not see it coming; a soft voice spoke at my elbow. But I took every reasonable precaution, I argued. Don’t forget the human element, it replied.


“Are you sure?”


“Yes, Chidi darling.” Don’t reject me; don’t reject your child, her eyes pleaded.



Gently I sat her on my knees and put my hands on her shoulders, those femininely square shoulders in which I had buried my face as the prelude to many journeys of love. I held her gaze.



“Tell me the truth, Chi-Chi.” My voice hardened. “How many men have seen your naked thighs since we became lovers?”



She reacted as if I had stabbed her with a red-hot dagger. She jumped up and stared at me with such stricken eyes that I caught my breath.



But as a veteran counsellor I had seen countless Oscar-deserving performances. Yet at the back of my mind there was a nagging suspicion that I could be wrong. Only a woman who loved her man totally could have given herself the way Chinwe had given herself to me for the past nine month.



“So y…ou think I …?” She was too distraught to continue. “A…fter I gave up Michael for you? Oh God!” She paused to catch her breath. “Let us go for paternity tests if they will convince you!” The deluge pouring down her face was as intense as the silent sobs racking her ample chest. Brother Michael was the handsome member of the Evangelization Ministry whose marriage offer had been rejected.

I tried to take her in my arms but she pushed me away. “Darling, I just wanted to make sure. I don’t doubt your love. Please, come. I still love you. How can I abandon you, after you gave me a new lease of life?” I meant those words. Her sand-complexioned face softened; a dazzling rainbow replaced the rain. She shook her head girlishly and melted in my arms.


“What’re we going to do, darling?” she cooed.



I ruffled the braids whose beauty was often concealed under a headscarf, which all true daughters of God were supposed to wear everywhere. My head reverberated with her question. What lay beyond this rainbow? Heaven or hell? Suddenly the cameras were switched on, the credits rolled, and the film began. A long, long movie …



Rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.



Whenever I read this portion of the book of Proverbs I wondered what King Solomon would say to the wife who did not make her breasts available to her husband. How could the husband be ravished when his wife’s love was as scarce as rice import licence for non-politicians during Nigeria’s Second Republic? For that was the situation with my wife, Pamela.



Pamela was a ravishing beauty I married three years ago. I saw her for the first time when I was teaching new members of the Saints Catholic Charismatic Renewal prayer group of St. Theresa’s Catholic Parish. One look at her and I was half convinced I had obtained the favour of the Lord. But discretion was needed. Serious prayers were indispensable. A Christian courtship would then follow.



As I watched her from a distance I concluded that Pamela was a daughter of Zion. Her spiritual growth was remarkable. In barely seven months she had graduated from the Newcomers Class to the Prayer Warriors Ministry. An ardent preacher, she often participated in evangelization sessions at the local polytechnic. She graduated from the polytechnic where she was converted in her final year, moving from a regular Mass - attending Catholic to a spirit-filled believer. I was similarly converted in my third year at the local university. From that time I became a firebrand.



A firebrand with a difference. A firebrand who still asked some uncomfortable questions, though secretly. A firebrand who believed that God was not going to come down from heaven to do those things I ought to do for myself. A firebrand who still loved the delights only Eve’s daughters could give. Although I burnt my pornographic stuff and said goodbye to my weeping girlfriends when I repented, over the years certain things still bugged me. And whether I liked it or not the flesh’s tax had to be paid.



I thought Pamela would be the payment voucher. I met her requirements; as a leader of the Counselling Ministry I was a man of God. I was handsome. I ran a fairly successful business. So after prayers and consultations with the prayer group’s Marriage Committee we got hitched. A hitch, which became a stitch in jail.



Don’t misunderstand me: Pamela was a wonderful housekeeper, a good cook, and when the baby came, a fine mother. But what red-blooded husband does not like to keep the engine running? I make no apologies for my libido. I had kept it under wraps, trusting God for a wife who would satisfy it. With hindsight I realize it was a mistake: years after destroying my copy of ‘Deep Throat’ my fantasies were still fresh. Crystal clear. Razor sharp. Living with a woman who believed it was sinful for her husband to see her naked body was something else. In the three years of mismarriage I could count the number of times we made love, and most of them were marital equivalents of battles between Nigerian and Biafran soldiers. Initially I put it down to shyness, but as the months turned into years, and Pamela countered every effort to talk sense into her head with “it is written …”, “thus says the Lord of Hosts…”, “the church teaches that …” I realized I was in trouble. I hated using force and extramarital pleasures were out. This was hell on earth.



If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.



Chinwe came into my life on the fifth evening of the Life in the Spirit seminar organized by the prayer group. That day was for counselling of all seminar participants, and since our seminars were well attended the counsellors had quite a job. Often, we had to seek the help of counsellors from neighbouring prayer groups. Frankly I felt if anyone needed help, it was I. Only last night I had sat up, long after Pamela had slept off after flinging a few scriptural protests at my effort to kiss her deeply. For the first time I had contemplated sending my soul to the yet-to-come hell by freeing it from the here - and - now hell by divorcing her.


There was a soft tap on the partially open door of the counselling room.


“Come in.”


“Brother, praise God,” an enchanting voice cooed. I looked up and was shot right between the eyes.



She wore an ankle length forest green skirt and matching blouse. Her scarf totally shielded her hair but this did not affect the compelling beauty of her round face. One look at the cucumber-soft lips that should have been tinged by lipstick and a swell rose in my heart. Even under her decent blouse her breasts threatened to burst right into …don’t ask me where. She was elegantly buxom. The violet fire of her eyes was calm but challenging.



Our eyes transmitted powerful messages as she sat down. Starvation in mine, availability in hers.



The session was short. A fresh graduate from the polytechnic, she had attended the seminar with her aunt. She talked briefly on her expectations at the seminar. I listened to her with half an ear. My mind was saying things I’d rather not put down on paper. Somehow my frequency remained connected to her wavelength. When she finished I wrote something on a piece of paper and gave it to her.


Do you realize what you have just done? a voice screamed in my head.


She read the message, and for a stomach-churning moment, an unfathomable look came into her eyes. She smiled.


“Men. You’re all the same. Even the holy Joes,” she said.


I shrugged. “We’re human.”



She smiled coyly. “I saw you on the second day of the seminar. I was in your class after the exposition.” And I liked you, her eyes added.


“I remember now.”


“Well, where then?”


“Say where and when.”


She gave me the address of a discreet hotel on the outskirts of the next town. The date was four days after the seminar.


“A deal.”


She smiled.


“Now let me say a brief prayer for you. Usual practice after a counselling session.”



Chinwe smiled deprecatingly. “After booking a sex session, you mean? Let us be honest.”



I shrugged again. She gave me a long seductive look and gently went out. My heart trembled with anticipation and guilt. Instinctively I knew Satan’s soup was going to be sweet.



The affair went into a dimension neither of us envisaged. Soon it went beyond trying out sex positions in secret love-nests. We fell in love. Totally, deeply and wildly. Love stuffed our ears with wax and whatever unease I felt died. Love was all that mattered.


No servant can serve two masters.


The wail was heart-rending. “Jesus! God of my life! So it is true!”

Chinwe nearly fell to the floor. Standing before us were the avenging angels: Pamela, Chinwe’s aunt and two leaders of the prayer group.



“Brother Chidi!” they roared. My eyes met theirs brazenly. Pamela rushed at Chinwe. With the speed of lightning I pushed Chinwe behind me and caught Pamela’s thunder on my cheek. Brother Jide pulled her back.



“So you’re defending this whore! So the stories that you are sleeping with the sisters are true! God will roast you in hell!” She fell on the floor and began to weep uninhibitedly. I watched her detachedly; only God, or most likely, Satan, knew when I had suddenly developed a heart of iron.


Chinwe’s aunt rushed at her niece but my eyes blazed.


“Don’t try it, Madam! If you or anyone else touches her, blood will flow here!”


Everyone was stunned.



“So you’re not sorry?” asked Brother Oti, the prayer group’s president, or to use a less profane phrase, general servant.



“No! Take me anywhere; do anything you like, condemn me, but now I know whom I want! To the Pope I appeal, if need be! I can’t remain in hell!”


The venom in my voice was frightening. Brother Jide crossed himself.



“My choice is Chinwe! She’s my wife, the mother of my baby.” I ignored the attendant outburst. “Pamela, my dear, I loved you”, I said gently. “But you starved me of your love. For how long did I try to put things right but each time you kept on flinging scriptures in my face? Well, I won’t go on leading you into temptation. I’ll care for our son but it is over between us.” I turned to Chinwe. “Let’s go.”



We left.


Total word count    1902








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