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The Sinner

For three teen-years I was perhaps the ‘Rock’ upon which my father built his church, and the object of his Sunday chastity sermons. My body, he said, was “God’s Temple.”

Often, the Devil sends Ada to tempt me with pinches during Choir Practice, but I always overcome, never looking at her face.

This evening was different. When I saw her sitting under the mango tree, alone, my heart raced. There was a strange feeling on my chest, it felt like love. It was so strong that it drowned father’s voices in my head. Was this love at first sight?

I began rehearsing imaginary romantic lines until I found myself before her. My mouth was open, but there were no words, just father’s coveted white hibiscus in my hand. She got the flower and smiled, her moist eyes hidden behind a pair of glasses. She was not Ada!

“This is so sweet…” she started saying, but words were not enough, for she placed her lips on mine, and held my head so close that I could see a reflection on her pair of glasses. I closed my eyes…

…and opened to see the reflection on the glasses, his pair of glasses. I felt a sticky coldness on my thigh. Father stood over my bed with his Bible in hand, staring as if at the ruins of a temple. Ada’s unopened letter was on the bed, read and spread out; her hibiscus, like my sainthood, was crushed.

“Morning Prayer time!” he said and left.

My heart pounded, and I saw a vision of the cane exorcising the immoral demon in me. On my knees, I reminded God that I was only praying for Ada’s “deliverance” when the Devil brought his sinful dream, but even God’s testimony will not convince my father.

The story made it to the top 50 of the controversial 2016 9mobile Flash Fiction Prize, there were no winners or finalists.
Written by: Effiong Samuel

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