The Remedy for Love (Part 1)

He was an average, inconspicuous man. He had a bald head with small beady eyes and thick, long lashes. He had a long aquiline nose on which rested very expensive gold rimmed spectacles. He was wearing a black frock with a white collar. He was a priest! It was unbelievable. I never would have come here if I knew that I would meet a priest.

I had come here thinking that I would meet a real doctor, but instead it seems I came for a confession. Why would a priest claim to be a love doctor? You see, I had this terrible sickness that needed a cure. I’d tried so many things in hopes that I would be all right. But each remedy was fake, each was a trick. My sickness persisted.

“Good afternoon, young man,“ he said, with a wide smile that stretched the length of his tranquil face. “How may I be of use to you?” 
Without knowing why, I became rude to him.

Perhaps, because I was still surprised to see a priest posing as a love doctor. I answered, “You tell me. The advert said you had the remedy to cure the problem of love.”

“Indeed, I do. But people come to me for different reasons, so permit me to ask: have you come here seeking for the remedy for love, or is there something else that you came for?”
The way he was so calm, so collected in asking and answering questions rankled me. But since he was playing a game of being calm, I decided to play it too. Two people can play the game as well as one.

“I seek the remedy for love,” I replied, and to further disrupt his composure, I asked, “How much does it cost?”

He just let out a good-natured guffaw; it was so genuine and innocent that I soon joined him in laughing. He was transformed when he laughed, he seemed ethereal, as if he was laughing with someone who wasn’t in the room with us.

After the bout of laughter, he stood up, went to the refrigerator, and as was about to open it, asked me:

“What would you take? But I must ask for your forgiveness, I have a few variety of drinks available now. I am yet to restock.”

He was something else entirely. He was acting as if I hadn’t asked him a question about money. How am I even sure that this man, this charlatan attired in priestly garments was capable of what he says he could do?

Instead I said, “Just give me a glass of water.”

“Ah, water! The very prerequisite for biological life.” He brought two glasses and a bottle of water, poured out the pristine, life-giving liquid. One for him and one for him. Sitting down, he asked, “Why would you think that I want money? Love doesn’t concern itself with money.”

“Interesting,” was my reply.

“So, why do you seek the remedy?”

“I would prefer not to say.”

“Young—What is your name?”

He was so quick to change topics and lines of conversation that I was left confused. “Michael is my name. Michael Nnamani.”

“Alright Michael, I am Father Peter Anayo. But please call me Peter. No need for titles between us.”

“Noted,” I replied, a tad icily. He was wasting my time with his unnecessary rigmarole.

“Since we are now on first name basis, I want you to know that no doctor can treat an unknown affliction. No matter how good he is. So, please, can you tell me why you seek the remedy?”

Maybe it was the way he was almost pleading with me, maybe it was the water, maybe it was even my emotions playing tricks on me, whatever it was, I found myself opening up to him, opening up to anyone after that terrible evening. An evening that made me hate myself and love.

“I seek the remedy because I still love my ex-girlfriend.”

“And why is that a wrong thing?”

“For crying out loud, she’s my ex! She’s a lying, conniving bitch, with whom I unfortunately fell in love with. Now I have to get out before I kill myself.”

“I see. May I ask what she did to you?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I don’t have many people waiting for me today. So I have all the time in the world.”

“But I don’t,” I said.

“All right then. Cut to the chase. What exactly did she do to you?”

It was just too painful, too raw—the memories hit me with the force of a bullet. I contorted my face in anguish. He just sat opposite me, his dark brown eyes, boring through me and piercing my soul. Strangely, I felt he could see the memories inside my head. He also seemed to understand. That gave me the courage to tell him everything.

“We had been together for five months, and within those months, was the perfect embodiment of what I wanted in a woman. She was calm, suave, and very honest; or so I thought. On that fateful day, I had planned to propose to her. I told most of my friends and hers too. So, I took her to the restaurant where everyone was. She was surprised and asked me why everyone was here. In response, I brought out the ring and proposed to her.”

He cut me short by saying, “That is a very wonderful thing.”

“You won’t think so if you hear what happened next.”

“By all means, let me hear it.”

“Now, as I knelt before her and everyone else—with her gushing and crying her fake tears—my girlfriend before her came out among the throng of people inside the restaurant. Somehow, she had found out that I planned to propose and was incensed. She rained abuses on the both of us and accused Ada—that’s my ex’s name—of breaking their contract. I was very confused and asked Ada to explain what was going on. But she was silent. The other girl now made me realize that the what she had planned with Ada was to make me fall in love with her (Ada) and then take as much of my money as she could before leaving me heartbroken.”

“Interesting. And why did you and the other girl break up?” he asked.

“She was cheating on me. She was also dating a much older man, her ‘sugar daddy’. I had to break up with her, but she was furious when I did so, saying that I had humiliated her and promising revenge.”

“Ah! I see. So, which do you think was her revenge? Setting up with Ada or publicly humiliating you?”

“Both of them of course. Ada never loved me!” I was shouting with barely restrained anger.”

“And how do you know that? Did she explain herself?”

“I wanted her to tell me something that would make sense of the whole fracas. But she just stood there crying and telling me that she was sorry.”

“I’m sure she is indeed sorry,” he opined.

“Do you derive some joy in making me unnecessarily angry?” I glared at him as I threw the question at him.

As usual, he was the perfect symbol of tranquility. He just said, “She wronged you. It’s only natural to feel sorry for hurting someone.”

“That is hard to believe considering what I see around the world.”

“Did she ask for your forgiveness?”

“Yes, she made an act of pleading and asking for a forgiveness she did not deserve.”

“If she, who wronged you didn’t deserve your forgiveness, then who does?”

“I’m not sure you’re getting the picture,” I said, “She intentionally planned to hurt me. How do I forgive her?”

“It’s simple,” he replied, “Just get over the hurt and humiliation. Throw them into the big ocean of forgetfulness and let them go. Then see her without the hurts she caused you.”
“That is one wild idea.”

“All ideas are wild at some point in time.”

“Even if what you say is possible, I can’t go back to her. And I still love her.”

...To be continued...

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  1. Replies
    1. Wonderful piece, waiting for the part 2.

    2. Thank you. The second part will come out tomorrow.

  2. “Just get over the hurt and humiliation. Throw them into the big ocean of forgetfulness and let them go. Then see her without the hurts she caused you.”

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