“Sister, I will tell you the gospel truth I have not found someone I could commit to. Most of the women I encounter are just not dependable,” I told her frankly.
“Mike in a few weeks from now you will be 50 years old. You know what that means? Have you not heard of a fool at 40? We are talking about 50 years here,” she said.
“I am on this trip and it is very important because the spirit of Mama has been worrying me. Each time I lie down to sleep, she would appear to me in the dream. The only thing she would be saying is Mike. She thinks something is wrong with you. I believe the same thing too:’
“Sister, why do you people like to make issues out of nothing? Mama died seven years ago. Now her spirit, according to you is worried that I am not yet married. Why hasn’t her spirit appeared to me? Why is it appearing only to you, sister? Think about it. It could be a false spirit,” I replied.
That night we spoke at length. And it really brought back memories of the olden days when we would all sit close as to deliberate on issues. The pressure of work and of course marriage had driven all of us apart. In fact, the last time we all had converged was seen years earlier when we went to bury Mama in the village.
Before morning my elder sister had succeeded in convincing that what was going on in my life was not ordinary. She had also convinced me that there was need to go and find out what was wrong so that a solution could be arrived at.
But I told her that I was not into fetish activities and had never indulged in it all my life.
“There is nothing fetish about making inquiries. All of them operate based on natural laws. But if you understand how bad the situation is for you, you would not mind where the solution is coming from. Mike, just take a good look at yourself. You have no family. You have no fat account. You are just existing. That is no life, if you want me to stress it again. Something is definitely wrong. I know a place where we can go to find out, my brother,” she insisted.
That was how we arrived at the decision to go to one diviner in Opobo Town in Rivers State. My sister had lived all her adult life in Port Harcourt and this may have influenced her choice of the man of Opobo. It was not an easy transit. Having no ability to swim, I found it nauseating being on a boat for almost two hours. When we finally arrived, the whole place looked strange and the sounds around were enough to highlight the fact that it was a diviner’s paradise.
After series of questions, we finally arrived at the place. It was a hut, with only one entrance. Nothing fascinating was there to prove that I had met the solution to my so-called’ problem. We removed our shoes at the entrance and walked inside to see one aged man, perhaps in his 70s, sitting on a mat with one big earthen pot, positioned right before him.
My sister greeted him. He simply nodded without saying a word. “We have come with a problem, hoping to find a solution”, my sister told him.
“Whatever you want, just speak to your coin. After, you clean your faces with the red towel hanging there”, he pointed to it at the far left side of the room, “then you return to coin to the earthen pot. Drop it into the water in the pot.”
We followed all the steps in quietness and concert. When we dropped the coin in the earthen pot, I noticed the water inside effervescing but soon it calmed to form a dark transport film right on the top layer of the water.
“Just look at the pictures you will see them very well. That is the source of your problem. You should be able to recognize the people there,” he said.
Curiously, my sister and I bent over the pot and started looking into it. A familiar face popped up and the next 10 minutes or so brought me sketches of what gave rise to my situation. The face was Omolara, a girlfriend of mine many years ago.
“Do you recognize any person there?” the old diviner asked me, when we were done with the session.
“Yes, I do”, I said, as my sister looked on in awe.
“Did that happen?” he asked again.
“I did not believe her until now. That was many years ago. I just started work then”, I explained. “But what is the solution?”
“Speak to a coin again and follow the same process. Clean your faces and drop the coin into the water. Then look at the pictures and tell me what you saw,” he directed us.
By this time anxiety had got a better part of me. And it was evident in the way I was behaving. The coin almost dropped out of my hand as a result of my shaky hands.
But when we bent over the pot, I saw a more violent picture. Omolara was hiding behind one beautiful woman who wore a crown with the number seven visibly enshrined on it. The beautiful woman was ranting and barking, and quarreling with someone. At the end, she took out one big key, put it into her mouth and swallowed it.
I told the diviner all I saw. “She swallowed the key?” he asked me in amazement.
“Yes, she did”, I replied.
“This is a difficult case. The woman is the seventh queen of the ocean. She has the key to the solution of your problem. I do not have the power to confront her. With a wave of hand, she can blow me away like ashes in a fire place,” he said.
“So what are we going to do?” I asked him again.
“There are eight queens. The least in terms of power is the first while the eight is the most powerful. It is only the eight that can get the key out of the seventh queen. To find the solution is to seek favour from the most powerful queen of the ocean,” he announced.
“I will recommend you to someone who can help you, because I cannot .”
He described the location and it turned out that the man lived some three hours away from his spot. And the entire three hours would be done on a boat. I guess that spot will be the one tiny dot on the Atlantic Ocean. My sister and I considered that it would be a journey that would be accomplished later, so we decided to go back to Port Harcourt. It was on our way back that I explained to my sister who Omolara was.
“It’s a long story”, I told her, as she cupped her chin in her hands, listening. “Omolara was one of the first girlfriends I met in Lagos. Then I had just graduated, finished my NYSC and got a job at the Ports Authority. We were close and everyone thought we would get married. I also believed my intentions were known to her parents. But along the line, she got pregnant and I was over-joyed. I happily hoped and planned for our wedding until a friend of mine came to tell me that he knew Omolara’s other boyfriend. In fact, he told me plainly that the pregnancy could not be mine.”
…To Be continued