The demise of a god – A Short Story by Pele Olabanji
Pele Olabanji’s story is melancholic. It mirrors the ironies of life. It tells of how fate can play a fast one on a man and make him a character in a story he wishes he could run out of.– Editorial Team
The sun sets prematurely, giving away velvety dark night. Some sort of coldness stripped our hearts naked, leaving us panting. Distinct whimpers that grew in momentum, wailing and groaning, interrupted the palpable stillness that reigned in the house, for sickness kissed my father and betrayed him to the hands of death.
My father slowly passed away that night and joined his ancestors. Streaming tears of sorrow line the cheek of every mourner, but mother’s eyes were void of mist and her face as the desert– blank, and unremorseful.
My father lost his honor as a husband a few years ago when my mother deserted him to be with another man to whom she accords the hallowed glory of a husband. She fell pregnant for the man after three issues for my father. This part of their story was shady and none of the children was bold enough to seek what went wrong between them. Until his death, my father was our god, an honored role model, and a good father.
“There is nothing as horrible as a nagging and promiscuous wife”, father always cautioned the boys. He sermonized us, as would a catholic saint whenever he deemed fit. He preached that women are deities that must be worshipped.
Unfortunately, the deity in his own wife became the devil that tore him apart. On other occasions, he would frown and speak ill of women’s excesses, which like a frustrated tutor, caused his teachings to lose balance. We drank from his chalice of truth even when he’s in doubt and uncertain, for he had remained true to the unwavering stance of integrity.
We saw him grow weak in the shackles of poverty and boredom, yet his love birthed strong emotions in our hearts; The emotions of sons who have a true and open-minded father.
By our looking up to him, even up to his aspirations and limitations, we have understood the paradox of life and how to strike a balance. “Do not fear death. A bar of true gold fears no furnace”, he always said.
His life’s journey was an admixture of dismay and delight; an undiluted wave of sweet, sorrow, and sadness, occasioned by the vicissitudes of life’s complexity. He followed a hearse into the grave but his grave is always in our hearts.
About the Author
Olabanji Pele with the pen name PBO is a Nigerian. He studied mechanical engineering and he was formally a research assistant at the department of mechanical engineering, University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria. He is a lover of literary work. He writes poems, prose, and other creative writings. His work explore themes such as love, adventure, nature, and African-based histories and lifestyle. His work has been published in Parousia Magazine and Poesis Journal of Literature. He writes and currently lives in Ibadan, Nigeria.