Walking on Water is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information, address the author.
Copyright © 2020 OmoobaJesu Adetunji
for every son or daughter that is struggling.
The door is shut with great care and locked swiftly. A slender young woman leads a much younger girl by hand to a bed at the corner of the room. Intruding sunlight is swallowed whole by ugly brown curtains hanging over the window, painting the room a golden hue. The light switch is left off on the wall.
The woman sits delicately on the edge of the bed, facing the girl. The woman’s eyes are intent, drunk with knife edge focus. Her face though shinning with striking raw beauty even in this somewhat dark square space, is unreadable. As though on cue, she begins to undress. First, her pink shirt and then more slowly, her black bra.
The child pays little attention to this, choosing instead to scan the room with curious eyes. She is about to ask a question when the now shirtless, braless figure before her says “Simi, put you mouth here” pointing Simi to her bare left breast.
Simi hesitates as a result of confusion.
“C’mon dear, suck it like a baby” says Aunty Toke.
Simi is six.
Yinka is her best friend. It is a misty Saturday in September and they are spending the day together in Yinka’s house. Yinka is thirteen, only a year older than her and already has a mobile phone. Simi is playing the same game she has been playing for over an hour on the phone. She loses a round and decides she needs a break. She presses hard the button with the red telephone doddle and the square screen goes black.
There is a desktop computer seated atop a desk at one end of Yinka’s room. Yinka is reading a novel on her bed. Simi is on a couch opposite the table. She glances at the dark monitor screen a few feet away for awhile. Restless, she fumbles the phone in hand and brings it back to life. Home screen. Gallery. Videos. She presses play on the first. Her eyes are glued in an instant.
White nude bodies. Moaning. She pauses the video after about five seconds, unsure what to do next. She succumbs to returning to her gaming, furtively replaying the lewd images in her mind. If Yinka by chance heard a thing, she is not acting like it.
Simi closes the game and finds her way back to Videos.
Her parents bought her a laptop for her eighteenth birthday five months ago.
It is two in the morning. The world is quiet and cold. Her room is still and dark. Her mind keeps yelling this is the best time to do it. She grabs her laptop and flips it on, the blue light showering her face. Her headphones are plugged in as she types in the site. She feels her body tense in longing anticipation.
Simi finishes and sighs in short-lived relief as disgust and exhaustion then chew her alive, but not quite enough for her to forget clearing her browsing history right before slipping into sleep.
She is seated by the window of a public transport bus on her way back to university from home. The air is beating sultrily against her cleavage, fighting its way further down her chiffon blouse. She can feel the arousal between her thighs and is suddenly hit with nausea. Is she now a walking sex machine? Could she not enjoy air, ordinary air, without thinking sex-sex-sex? Simi asks herself.
Her heart quickens as her mind wades to all those years in that godforsaken room with Aunty Toke. Between deep breaths to calm herself she hears echoing through the vehicle the baritone voice of a man preaching. It feels like he is speaking directly to her when he says “Jesus wants to save you. Jesus wants to restore you. He loves you. He died for your sins and he wants to give you new life”
The words burrow through her dark skin straight into her heart and when the preacher calls for people who want to receive this Jesus, she does not know when she raises her hand, and much less that she is the only one who does so.
The relief that comes after saying the words after the man is one she did not have to purchase with her body and soul, and one that is unaccompanied by residual guilt.
Simi finds herself for once, delirious with unbridled joy and gratitude.
Jesus saved her that day in the bus. All interest did not vanish at once but with fellow believers and getting to know Her Father for herself, she simply found that those things did not have power over her anymore. She was free. And so this is how Simi found that six months had passed and she had not touched herself.
Her apartment outside campus is a self contained flat in a three storey building. This Friday night she is alone in her room, watching a movie. There is kissing and before she can skip the scene her eyes are fixed as more and more of things she had forgotten play out.
And it happens. Again.
Sunday morning meets her burdened by guilt so monstrous she cannot find the heart to attend church, to look God in the eye. She walks from her bathroom towards her bed and falls like a heap of lifeless clothes on the soft foam.
She whispers “I am sorry” and begins to cry.
Between her sobs she hears His voice.
Look me in the eye My Simi. Don’t take your eyes off Me. Don’t be afraid to stare. This is how you walk on water. This is how you rise… and stay risen. Keep your eyes on Me. Not you, my love. Me.
She knows now what she must do.
Simi wipes her tears and blows her nose into her T-shirt. A smile stretches itself on her face. She will put on her Sunday best. She will go to church.