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She came out from somewhere. I asked her to come. She did. We greeted warmly. And then I asked her to follow me. She did without any show of refusal as if she expected my asking. I led the way as if I expected her to pay heed. Wasn’t it normal that I asked? Wasn’t it also normal that she followed me? The norm of normalcy was our guide.

We strolled into the room. Its darkness was our light. It lit up our way to the bed.

I led her there. She lay in it on her back. I hovered over her. My heart pounded. It wanted to pull down the walls of my chest. My features were instigated to be shaky.

Her countenance was an expression between approval and no approval. But the rippled folds on her forehead and her slightly parted lips informed the beautiful frown on her face.

Our lips touched, but it was more out of the routine of encounters like than of passion, let alone a genuine feeling of being together.

Tentativeness lurked around us like a shadow.

I untied her wrapper, pulled down her black panties. She let out a hiss of unease. Myself, already hard, left the panties and went no further. I puffed air out of me. I looked at her. She looked at me. We looked through ourselves as though we were dead trees.

The door creaked open. Mom and dad entered and strolled up into the inner room. I hurried my cloths on asking her to do the same, pulled her stunned self to the back of the door and asked her to stay there.

Then I went to meet them, mum and dad. I tried to divert their attention to something in the parlor. Mom answered my greetings and went on into the inner room.

I forced myself to wake up.


My heart still pounded. I felt haunted. I tried to pray. The prayer metamorphosed into listlessness. I remained still in bed, under the folds of my blanket, on my back and just stared at nothing in the room’s darkness.

The sonority of the muezzin, the frequent crow of cocks from far and near, tore into the silence and crowded the life of the dawning morning as if competing for the audiences of sleepers.

I felt a bulge on my right side. My hand reached for the area. The object was the book I was reading. I had fallen asleep and rolled over on it. The back page was folded into two under my weight. I straightened it. The picture of the author stared at me indifferently from his smoking pipe.

I put the book down, laid it on the affected cover and took up my phone. The screen responded with robotic awareness to the touch of my index finger. I opened my mail box. A rejection email stared at me point blank. I stared back straight faced. Was that why I had jitters? I put down the phone on the book. Its brightness became a glint of dimness that disappeared into the room’s darkness.

I sighted involuntarily, turned my head in the direction of the reading table. The writing pad was still there. The morning was becoming brighter. Its light shot in through the glint in the window.

I tried to pray again. My thoughts were whisked away back to the feeling before I had awoke.

The feelings danced on my mind’s arena like a coquettish damsel inviting me to her fickle world. I reached out only to find elusiveness. The dancer was a bunch of random moving dots that wanted to express the many faces of a feeling that felt unjustly repressed.


At a certain age, some things become the fixation of your mind. Sex is one. If you have never had sex, the feeling is an incessant, nagging desire.

It feels as though sex is the only thing I want to have now. It feels as though I should just go to a brothel, carry a bunch of prostitutes and have sex with them. It feels as though I should just shout it out, “Hey, I want to have sex.”

I want to have sex but with whom?

The instinct seem to be saying, you have cocooned us in your indifference for far too long…your so called self discipline. We can’t endure this cage anymore. We are dying to be consumed in the pleasure that we are created for. You have neglected us for far too long a time. Now, we wouldn’t give you a chance.

This blast of impulse by the instinct is instigated by a feeling of emptiness. The emptiness floods my imagination most of the time. That moment of emptiness yearns for meaning. It is an instant that comes when meaning has gone to sleep or has died on the plethoric alters of meaninglessness or, rather, become a sacrificial lamb in reparation for the trespasses against the instincts: an affront! A repression of desire!

A moment you call temptation. And the only available motive is an instinctual gratification. It is a moment of weakness, when ‘reason’ and ‘will’ slide down the precipice of numbness.

Should I then go and get the gratification? Should I just satisfy myself? After all, it is what the feeling wants?

It is what everybody does. I hear them discuss, converse at length about their macho escapades. Ladies do it! Men do it! Married ones do it outside their matrimonial home. It is everywhere. It is common. It is uncommon not to be doing it. It is a culture: a practical culture that is not preached. It is just done as an obedient abandonment to the whims of the impulse.

The Preacher says ‘no’ to it. Yet in whispers, chitchats, gossips, and intimate conversations, that is all you get. It is a sin only as a ‘said’. As a practical reality, it is just done. That is its only defense.

Innocence is still in pains. It cries from its pristine abode. It never wants to die in the so called heavenly bliss of the instincts. At least not yet…not like this. We shall not die to resurrect shame. We shall die to bring fort life. Of the oneness of two, we want to die. And there is the joy of dying in that pleasurable bliss that brings life about.

It is a tussle between innocence and the instincts. And that’s why if you are one of a kind from the crowd you are in a terribly concocted soup of daily temptations.

I rolled over out of bed, knelt down beside it and prayed again. Lord, I lift up these feelings to you. Help me to perfect them for Your glory….



Post image by reynermedia via Flickr.

About the Author:

Portrait - PeterEze Ifeanyichukwu Peter is a graduate of philosophy. His works, ‘Bitrus’,’Exam’, and ‘In the Bus’,have been featured in the Kalahari Review, where he is a regular contributor.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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