Haruna had not always been this way. He was bred in the most civil areas of Jos, studied in the finest schools and even grew up on Sunday school. His fourth year in high school was the beginning of his troubles. One afternoon, under the scorching sun amidst the serene Plateau skies, he had lost his virginity to a class mate of his while they revised for an exam. It hadn’t been consensual.
He would go on to do it afterwards, more out of vendetta than out of pleasure. He felt like he had a point to prove. He could not be exploited. He was a man. The man.
It was at a crusade he had attended many years later that a lady had prophesied that he had several demons living in him.
‘Demons!’ he had repeated, a tinge of fear in his tone. He never really knew about this stuff.
At that point, he had already become an addict to violent sex. He was a fine hunk, so getting the girls was easy. He seemed to know the right words, and severally, he had brought the so called big girls to their knees. He had mastered the art of force, threats for non-succumbing girls, and brute force for loud mouths. Thankfully, no one had filed any charges. None he was aware of.
This habit of his had cost him his first job after he had been caught raping one of the cleaners in the men’s restroom before work hours on an early morning. He couldn’t help himself watching the elderly woman squatting and rising as she mopped on the office floors.
Out of distress, he had sought help at a popular deliverance church somewhere in Oyo. His cousin had referred him there. ‘He is really anointed,’ she had said.
The deliverance session lasted seven days. He ate neither food nor fruits, but was occasionally allowed milk and water. He had been certain his demons had left him until now. He had heard no strange voices, and he had done nothing stupid for six months. He was almost proud of himself.
Natasha worked in his workplace, in a different entity of the group. He had always liked her, said hello every once in a while, but had never been this close. Now, with the violent force that pushed him forward, he knew he’d do more than get close to this one. Why wasn’t he free?
He opened the door to find her back turned towards him. She sat in the dining area, spectacles on, and typed away on her laptop. He was moving closer now, his legs had taken control of his body, and were moving fast. He wanted to scream, he wanted to say something, maybe warn her, or shout for help, but his demon had him locked down this time, like it had grown stronger on six months of silence.
He was behind her now, breathing heavily and ready to pounce. Then his phone rang.
She turned around then and saw him, and for a moment, she looked startled. He could hear his demon curse loudly.
‘Harry? What are you doing here? Thought you had slept.’
‘Erm… no. Came to check on you,’ he stammered. He rushed back to his room to get the phone. Her eyes followed him. It was an unsolicited Airtel advert. His demon cursed again.
He moved briskly back to the living room. She was no longer there.
‘Just great!’ Demon groused. ‘You dull head, when did you become such a slacker?’
He wondered where she had suddenly disappeared to, then he heard flushing sounds coming from the visitors’ toilet.
‘Grab her when she gets out.’ He nodded helplessly. He had conceded defeat, this one was beyond him. He felt sorry for Natasha.
She finally got out of the toilet.
‘Go to sleep, Harry. You don’t have to babysit me.’ she said as she walked towards him. He rushed towards her and grabbed her. Her composure slipped away into the darkness.
‘What are you doing?’ she said hysterically. Everything was happening so fast it was becoming a blur.
‘I don’t want to,’ he said as he pushed her against the dining table, ‘But I can’t help it.’ He heard the demon laugh now. A mean, resounding laugh. He too laughed.
She struggled on, whimpering at first, then pleading, then screaming, till he felt a sharp pain on his side that immediately had him jerking off her and falling to the ground.
‘You bloody imbecile!’ she screamed. ‘Go to hell.’
He wanted to say something now, but the ballpoint pen that stuck out in his midriff had miraculously poked his voice box as well. The Demon disappeared –literally went to hell.
She packed her stuff and left too, leaving him to bleed on to his end. He felt somewhat betrayed by the demon. Then it hit him.
“When the demon goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ “And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. “Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
He had been shown this scripture by the minister. He had been told to fill up the empty spaces with God’s word and other related things. He hadn’t taken that seriously at the time. Now he wished he had.
He dragged himself towards his phone and dialed the minister. As it rang into his ears, he muttered some gibberish about needing another chance under his breathe.
Then he passed out.