Kojo, Pappy and I we usually go to the bar every Sunday where we sit and make some small kongossa. We talk about the things that happen within the week while we drink plenty-plenty beer. For instance, week before last we talk about thieves in the country and how they steal our money. Kojo say na government, them all be big-big thieves, but Pappy no agree. For him, them need Jesus for their lives. Only so them go provide good governance for their people. What I think no ever matter, because after I drink I start for see stars and things that are not there. For example, yesterday after I drink four small Guinness, I see my Papa. He tell me how disappointed he be in me. Then I start laugh, na so he start vex hold he heart. Which ghost get heart? I gave him heart attack when he was alive. Then he go die I go still givam heart attack? After six bottles I see my small boy come begging money. Since when I get small pikin?
“Papa it’s my birthday, give me money.” he say.
“Na you get to give me money after I make you come this world” I say to him. Then he start vex, and then he frown. “Anyways happy 12th birthday.”
“I’m 19 not 12.” he say, then sigh and leave.
“They all grow like corn, so fast. Praise Jesus!” Pappy exclaim.
“You know… It’s the government…They have this vaccine…They give to them to grow fast and disrespect us so that they can control them easily.” Kojo stutter.
“It’s my papa’s spirit in him. He wan pay me back all the bad I do to him.” I tell them.
And then come last week. We do the usual-usual things. The tori only begin after we drink two bottles. We start talk about wicked people in the world, about our enemies. Those people who good at being wicked to others. Them who can create university course: WKD 101: Introduction to Wickedness, and givam tutorial classes too. We talk about such people in our lives. We compare their wickedness and imagine ways we fit use to punish them for what they do to us.
“You know who wicked pass?” Kojo ask.
“No tell us.” Pappy and I answer the same-same time, as if we no know the answer already. Kojo remain silent some small time waiting for his hiccups to pass.
“It’s the government. Them are the wickedest. Them steal all the money, them make wars, them kill little children. Them use country money for their families, and we stay with no light, no water, no school, no job.” Kojo say. His answer was expected. We discuss about his idea and we all agree to it. We know them very wicked. And when we agree over something, huh…Lord help us, we drink again like thirsty camels. So what Kojo suggest we do to wicked government? Burn them all at the national assembly and start everything again. We all laugh cause we agree to that. Then we raise a toast to the burnt government.
“Vengeance is the Lord’s, but this one belongs to me.” Pappy say.
“Which one?” Kojo ask.
“My boss, my pastor, the man with whom I share my wife. He preach in church on Sunday about fornication and about loving the neighbour. But on Saturday he take small energy on my wife before he write his Sunday sermon. Then on Monday he come and use us well, and refuse to pay salary. He say it’s because of the economic crisis.
“And he buy new car every month?” Kojo asked.
“Yes. He think I no know he sleep with my wife. But if I complain I lose my job, and my wife too because she begin enjoying the thing too. That’s why I don go to the church again.” Pappy say.
We talk about the pastor. We all agree he be wickeder than the government because he at least teach the bible. Then what Pappy suggest we do to the pastor? Record his sex tape and play it on the church flat screen on Sunday. Then burn down all his businesses. We all laugh to the suggestion. We agree to that, so we drink again and again and again.
One fresh-fresh young man enter the bar. He sit down on one sofa close to we, then he take newspaper and begin to read. We be too drunk to fear discussing our private matters by him side. We no care about him so we continue.
“You know who wicked too?” I ask.
“No tell we.” Kojo and Pappy answer.
“It’s my landlady. She beat me the other day because I no pay rent on time. I told her I won’t give her money if she no fix her house. Every place is leaking. I rent swimming pool or I rent house? Yesterday I come back late and drunk and she beat me. She say I bring evil spirits to her house and when I go no person will want enter again.” I tell them.
“People say she’s a witch.” Pappy say.
“A government witch.” Kojo add.
“She has the spirit of a man in her. The way she carry me and throw me to the grown yesterday, only a wrestler can do that.” I say.
We all agree she very wicked. We laugh and drink more and more. So what I suggest we do to wicked landlady? Burn down all her houses. This would make her go mad on the streets. We laugh to the suggestion and we drink more.
“I thought I was very clear about that.” The fresh young man say, still reading his newspaper.
“Clear about what? Who are you? Who send your ear for elders matter?” Pappy ask the young man.
“That’s how them be today. No respect.” Kojo said.
“Clear about what?” I ask him.
“I told you to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. So that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Those were my exact words to you.” The young man say.
“So you be Jesus or something like that?” Pappy ask and begin to laugh till his beer choke him.
“He himself, in person. The Way, the Truth and the Life.” The young man say.
“Government Jesus?” Kojo ask, but the young man didn’t answer. He continue reading his newspaper. Why he read newspaper if he be Jesus? Wasn’t he supposed to know everything already? He continue read while we all laugh him, mimicking what he just say about loving our enemies. But he no still talk. Kojo imagine loving the government but he see it’s not possible at all. Pappy imagine loving the pastor. He say his wife can’t be loving pastor and he love pastor too.
“So you mean I should love the pastor ein…? Pappy ask then laugh, we all start laugh.
“Yes, that’s what I commanded.” the man say, and then turn the page of his newspaper. “You will be happy if you do.” he add.
“Be happy?” Pappy ask, then he start laugh mockingly.
“Yes, the resentment you keep inside you makes you unhappy and destructive. It affects you and your family. See where you are now. You kill yourself inwardly because of your anger and hate.” the man said. Pappy was touched. He no laugh again. He even shame to take his bottle to his mouth again.
“Even if it be possible, how man fit love government who kill people and steal money and then be happy?” Kojo ask.
“Forgive them and pray for them. Your anger takes control of your life and you see the government everywhere.” the man answer. From the look on Kojo face, I see he fall too. I see he believe the man. He no touch his bottle again.
“That is stupid talk Mister Jesus. How loving my landlady go make me happy as she the one who find palava every day?” I intervene angrily because he take my friends from me already. He continue read his newspaper.
“Loving her will set a good example for your son. He copies all you do. He will also hate you and get here to drink and discuss how to punish you someday.” the man answer.
“I don’t even love my son enough and you wan me to love my enemy?” I ask him.
“Your goodness is not seen in how you love your friends and family. It is seen in how you overcome the hatred for your enemies and turn the resentment into love.” he answer back.
All he say enter one ear and go out through the other. To me it be stupid talk, and also difficult to love my enemy. So I no agree with him. How Pappy fit love pastor who sleep with his wife? How Kojo fit suddenly love government and be happy? To me it remain difficult. So I tell Jesus, “Ok ‘Jesus’ gimme long life, let me learn how to love those who matter first and get happiness from them, then I will love my enemies after.”