By Abayomi Habib (Nigeria) and Joseph Wangila (Kenya)
A true life story about the tragedy of a prostitute
By Abayomi Habib and Joseph Wangila
“Will you ever love me if I have AIDS?” she asked in a pensive mood, while the trees danced to the mystery of his poignant question in her morally derailed eyes. The damaging inquiry hurt her deeply inside her bones.
Everybody in the beer parlour stared at her miserable face with painful and awkward smiles to cool down her wretched demeanour.
“Hmm,” she breathed deeply on his shoulder, coughing blood on the floor. But this was his third night of looking for the orphaned moon which accepts a sacrifice of those bereaved of childlessness, as the times had made her deranged and she could not hold back the tears of her incurable deadly disease which led to her being rejected by the inhumane society.
She always wondered if this would be the end of her traumatic life of prostitution. She had lived in a ghetto before joining the despondent women who languished in the brothel, smoking Indian hemp in their room and she’d now become a burden to her fellow harlots who risked their lives through sexual pleasures with the ghosts in the night.
She couldn’t even laugh to the rhythmic tune of the local song because she considered it a curse from the gods. “What kind of life is this?” she pondered in her heart, as she recounted the life of being an AIDS-infected patient at the same time being sarcastic about her deep mourning of sojourning with death. The shadows of being a slave of anything under the skirt were his love as the husband was always on the chase whenever he was hungry for sex.
This morning, tears were flowing down her face. This weeping game of war started when she found out that she had tested positive of the dreaded virus and now would be forced to endure the enigma of living with the hideous disease.
She had walked the long distance of her famished road and couldn’t count her days of dying young, having remembered that there was no cure for her insidious ailment. She was haunted by the memories of the whispering trees in her primitive age. So, she walked as if someone was chasing her grave, fleeing from shadows of the benevolent inferno of her witch-hunting chaos of the throbbing noise of the deceased.
Her self-esteem and beauty had waned with the mystery of a strange and deprived orphaned lifestyle. She woke up with romantic prayers at her bedside, kneeling down to her husband, pleading with him not to abandon her, having heard the rumour of his divorcing her for another wife. She had been barren and bereaved with madness over a tragic miscarriage.
Her pregnancy had ended in still-birth. At home she was still beautiful in her husband’s eyes and he would use her for ritual titles in the village shrine. But she was dumped by her husband whose matrimonial bliss had deteriorated with the nightmare of paying homage to the brothel. So she found solace in living in the pleasure of a dirty life, selling her body for a pittance of money; now her house haunted her with memories of of the intimate affair of a man who’s a walking ghost.
How could she remember how she murdered insomnia and any hope of what the future holds? She had been living a hopeless life of dining with a man who had a devilish mind. “Can a woman live without sexual pleasures?” she asked herself. But she had lost most of her friends to untimely death, and she couldn’t endure the torture of a person leaving in tears. She was still groping in the dark detention of looking at the mirror with an ugly and fragile body where she was treated like an outcast. Nobody wanted to dine with her or touch her body because of fear of contracting the dreaded disease.
Her gory tales stood as a nightmare to those trading with their bodies, as they were initiated into the clan of the brothel where they danced with men of fortune, whose pockets were warm.
In the brothel, there were girls disappearing without a trace, as men used them for money rituals. It was always traumatic whenever they found them dead in the forest, as her sibling had failed to give her the marriage ring after hearing the rumour of her infection. She always reminded him of the promise he made on the altar at the church “...till death do us apart” whose hope had diminished as she had an affair; with an animal. She had become beggarly as they departed for the odd job of prostitution. The brothel kept haunting her with the masquerading picture like a shadow of evil image of being a victim.
That night, she came home with a burden of getting pregnant, as she had been suffering from the turbulent times of being a celebrity .There was pressure on him to take another wife since she was committing an abortion before childbirth. How could she bare the infamy of her childlessness?
Her womb had been damaged and she was feeling the mystery of dating several men who were positive from the dreaded disease.
Whenever she went to church, she was the gossip of women who discussed her holy fugitive of revealing her ailment and preaching against sexual slavery in the brothel. She had opened a can of worms by preaching against sexual-slavery pleasure which was damaging to her life-style. How could they be dying one after another without dreading the myopia of their evil gods?
“Don’t touch her or shake her hand because you might be infected” that was the warning from the cash madam who ran the brothel with a blurred image of making money from their vagina.” How could she envelop her secret without spreading the disease in their shrine? But she had abandoned their oracle because she couldn’t find healing to her sickness, although she was dying day by day for not using any drugs.
Her beliefs had failed her and she was now walking as if a shadow of the dead was pursuing her dream world. She was abandoned by her fellow inmates because she was behaving like a walking ghost whose life had diminished.
This had become a tragedy of her blind ambition of trying to commit suicide on a tree, which was an abomination. Her life was dancing on the graves of the dead who died young.
She didn’t remember them or appease their oracle in the graveyard. Her beauty of being barren had made her disabled with the tradition of crying at the blossom of her grandmother when her mother was praying for her to conceive a baby. She couldn’t reveal the secret of being a harlot, feeling the touch of romantic’s people in their satanic coven.
Her long-lost friend was asking for appeasement in the grave so as to heal her since she couldn’t reveal her secret of being a prostitute to her. The friend was asking for appeasement in the grave and so had to intimate moment of her of family affairs.
Her experience has been like a dust of the shadow that was walking on the walls of their curfew as her marital strife was broken with promises that were made on the altar of the church. Her man was playing games with her heart –a conflict of the joy of motherhood and living as a slave in her matrimonial home.
She enjoyed the life of the brothel - living a dog’s life. Twice, she wanted to tell her husband about her ailment, but she was afraid that her man would run away.
These were her fears - a kind of torment of hell of sojourning in the prostitute, resident of prostitutes whose life has been damaged by the disease. “What if I don’t wake up anymore or I become dead from the disease?” she said quietly in her mind as her days of dying slowly headed towards the devil’s cross.
Her long walk to freedom had been interfered with by the quest for a mother’s love. She had encountered the spirit world as she couldn’t erase the memory of those dead patients who contributed to her wellbeing – a kind of remembrance. Her ray of hope had gone with the wind as she was avoided by her mates who were suspicious of contacting the dreaded disease in the diabolical way.
She woke up seeing her dead body and how they kissed, crying to remember her graveyard. Her loving angelic face wanted to see her happiness as she was depressed and her friend was worried in her morning whisper of how her smile had gone away.
Her silence was a lonely walk from seeing them dead by the disease and she afraid she would also die young. So, she kept quiet in the face of her obituary as her marriage had collapsed on knowledge of the adultery. The mess she found herself in could not contain her dark memory, as her hair had been erased by the disease.
Her life had been shattered by saying goodbye to her lovely friends who were kidnapped or died as a result of the disease. She lost them to the tragedy in their effort to find daily bread for their families. They all came from different cities of the country with inscriptions of confessing their deadly sickness, as they were broken hearted by evil men who didn’t fulfil their vows.
The poverty they looked at was horrible in their naked eyes, as the disease had wiped out most of her customers. Their emotions were blindfolded by the rituals of romantic sexual pleasures they enjoyed in their bedroom.
Their existence had been threatened by the police detectives who raided the brothel to arrest them and plant on them charges of keeping criminals and smoking Indian hemp. These had become a tragedy as they all absconded, escaping through the backdoor fence when the police shot through the air. Some who were arrested, slept in the cell and couldn’t erase the memory of being abused “If I dey do my business, police come carry me”. The owner complained bitterly as they were all released on bail. The cash madam was happy that the girls were released and so, business would bloom again in the brothel. They said that the wife had committed sacrilege and that is why she couldn’t get pregnant.
They also revealed that her womb had been tied to the tree. That secret was revealed to her in the dream and so she gazed at the pillow of nightmare of the broken promise rite. How would she be able to untie her womb from the mysterious tree? That was her frustration as she cried holding onto her pillow, knowing that she was under a curse of the goddess.
As she woke up, her mind saw a fetish that morning and she recounted the unfortunate broken vow. She had mistakenly spotted her menstrual cycle as a sign of losing her pregnancy. How could she explain that her womb had been damaged again to her wretched husband?
Her misfortune began when she knew she was infected and her chance of conceiving a baby departed as a result of procuring so many abortions.
She had been warned by the doctors that she might not be able to conceive a baby with her husband because of the damaged womb through the surgical operation. She had escaped so many untimely deaths on the hospital bed.
Her mind was confused as she promised him a baby within a short time.
Her life was about to be destroyed as she was famished by the horrific dirty sexual enslavement in her life.
This touched her heart as a lot of the girls had fallen victim to bad helpers on the road to motherhood. How could they wait for gullible men who wanted to milk them dry in their season of anomie? She couldn’t rebuff the advances of her husband as she was a loose girl whose life had made her the cynosure of all eyes.
Her passion had ruined her marriage and made her to think of committing suicide. Why would she stay with a man who breaks vows and wages infertile war against her brothel? But her drunken rage moment was eclectic with poverty as she was hungry for strange sacrifice of the living dead.
Many years after wedding, she was being forced out of her marital home, leaving her homeless in a bitter experience as she had been psychologically affected by the trauma of living in a corrupted prostitute den that traded her body in the dead of the night. Her shame was diabolical with the sound of fornication and odours of cigarettes, looking like a hardened criminal that had just got out of the filthy room with the vicious cycle of her paranoia.
She felt disgraced by the abuse of her feminine business as she had even lost the prestige of being a harlot. She was tagged the name “Ashawo” who goes to bed with any mysterious men who’s pockets are rich but she doesn’t bother about being treated like a dog. The husband would come home drunk and sleep like an animal, forgetting their bond of relationship. They were entangled to swearing an oath never to mistreat her.
She came in disgusted, her husband could treat a woman like an angel with a sugar-coated tongue. She still looked beautiful in his face despite hearing the rumours of being infected with Aids.
How could he now abandon her for another wretched looking woman? She wished her to be dead and buried because their relationship had gone mad, enslaving her into whorehood and forcing her to die from hunger. She couldn’t feed herself again as she had been bitter, labouring to feed himself alone.
He wanted to associate with a foreign woman who was hunting him down to dance to her love affair. But she caught the secret letters of the castaway woman and questioned him on the bed of roses saying that he has a companion that she now cherished. “How could she love a stranger and allow another woman to take her husband?” She said quietly.
It was a ceremony that could break her heart. ”How could you break my heart “she questioned her, kneeling down, confused that their marriage was fallen apart. He denied as he said that she was the hero of her time. She couldn’t wipe out the tears and the outcry of her eyes of leaving her marital home.
The twisted in his eyes and couldn’t erase the memories of how they had spent time in the village and she couldn’t forget the lovely years they had spent merry-making in companionship as love-birds.
She was surprised that her sickness could be an excuse she neglected as the prize of leaving her for another desperate lover, outside their matrimonial home because she couldn’t leave the brothel home. She was enjoying the daily sex with rich men who patronized her daily in the night.
She was still a damsel who could whirlwind with rich customers whose pockets were warm. Her intimate enjoyment was ravishing with beauty of her mystery power as her journey of deceiving those snooping around her. Her hope of dining with victims of the dreaded disease was on her mind as she would confess that she was dying slowly.
Her silence couldn’t be controlled as she didn’t want to be struck by untimely death. So, she had to join the gang of women who were anxiously protesting against the bitter treatment from their mates whose homes had been flowing with moments of expecting babies. She was missing her dear husband on the bed of roses as he had tried to persuade her to sexual pleasures “My husband doesn’t feel like a man” she always complained bitterly that her husband had abandoned her.
He had lost the enigma of being a wonderful man that could make a woman happy. How could he now forget the pleasure of the first time they met as their love now entangled in a strange relationship, and she was absconding from her because of what she heard in a whisper that she was a victim of the disease, from a conversation.
“I better run for my life before this woman infects me or am I Living with Aids,” he confessed slowly to her inner mind, groping in the dark room .She was angry when her husband questioned her that night about being an Aids patient as she was now walking like a nightmare of the stinking dead. Her impossible inspirational world filled his mind that God knows held the secret of the deep. She was afraid that she would depart as she was a woman to behold and her soul would search for her spirit if she left her.
He couldn’t allow her to separate her marital bliss as she was a romantic woman who could entice with the best meal. How could she miss her lovely gift of a daily kiss?
But she remembered the promise he made in the beer parlor that he would stay with her even if she was infected. But he was an egotist who breaks promise of being destined together. Her charm had shattered him and her ecstatic suitors had been deserted for another lover whose dream was the mystery of his wedlock .
She was in a mess of adultery that couldn’t erase his perdition for those worshipping the evil river which accepts the blood of strangers whose death has not slept.
That was a vanishing theory of sexual abuse as she would drink, dancing with the grave of mythical ghost as the poor suffered untold hardship. She was afraid of dying young as she was smoking heavily like a flock with sacred prayer gin, as she poured it on the floor and said a little prayer to those who were deceased. Her infamy began when there the vanishing wizard abandoned them in their perilous season. She couldn’t look back at the times of her of her dreaded nightmare and the wound of the disturbing phobia of her heart.
When will she learn to obey her doctors against the wished of her stigmatized body? But she couldn’t erase the disease, though on her abnormal brainwashed and innocent brainwashed secret tears, she was shedding for her love to blossom like a morning flower.
That morning, she was preparing a long distance of no-return where she would commit suicide in the evil forest.
How can she be abandoned as a beautiful mind as she was marauding her refuge, having heard the spiritism and how she could have a family living in penury?
His fear was that the disease would decay her body and she would be sick all her life. Her augurs continued to dry up as she had lost hope of using her drugs. She believed in smoking Indian hemp with another harlot whose enjoyment had closed her ear to the warning of the witch doctor. If she doesn’t arrive home, she couldn’t take her food in protest of her spouse’s refusal to stop drinking to stupor.
She always sleeps, hugging the pillow, as her infidelity has been broken. She was imprisoned by the unknown pregnancy that is bevelling her womb. She knew her prayers of sacrifice have been answered in the seventh heaven.
How could he abort their marriage and break the oath that was forbidden .That was the beginning of her hopelessness as darkness filled the room with laughter on the walls. But she wanted to go to the village to visit her mother in her last wish of saying goodbye to the world. Her bones were cracking and her skeletal body was showing. She never knew that she had conceived as she vomited that morning after coming back from the church.
The devilish friend had deserted her. Her juju she was using fell down on the floor and she chased shadows holding the gory picture of her husband and shattering it on the floor. That was the stronghold of his fetish power. The damsel had left them as she poisoned herself because her immortal friends she mourned visited her and received her to hell.
That was her day of sojourning with death on her bed-side.