The story is that of my aunty.
She is a lovely human being and such a jolly good fellow, too. Aunty J we call her; she is our grand mother’s last born and so closer to us in age, maybe that is one of the reasons why we got on well with her. Aunty J had no secrets; she was one lady who also knew how to make fun of herself; Aunty J is in her sixties now, early sixties and she is not married.
I will tell you one of the reasons why people think she isn’t despite the fact that she is one of the loveliest creatures on this earth.
Now, Aunty J, like I said is such a lovely human being; she hardly loses her temper and even on occasions when she does, she would be back to laughing her raucous laughter in no time.
You see, Aunty J is also one person who never takes herself seriously; she is fat and has been chubby from birth. All her baby photos were those of a chunky small eyed girl who through the years never lost her baby fat, instead added more and more to it. but when Aunty J describes herself, she would say, “skinny human being like me…”and we would all burst into laughter or she could go like, “In your mind, you think I am orobo but if you open your inner mind, you will see that I need to be fed.” She’s such a clown!
Anyway, so I used to attend a white garment church and during our harvest season, we’d usually invite friends, family, neighbours to church to come and be part of the church’s harvest celebrations. It usually included dancing, singing…you know how it gets with our churches, don’t you?
And also before then, our pastor had asked us to pray and expect miracles, especially for people in our lives. My one and only prayer was for my aunty J to find a good husband! I felt my aunty needed a companion; she is a great cook, she is amazing company to have, she is a good listener, she is the one we go to if we can’t talk to our parents; she is the one who got us out of trouble our parents would never even believe we ever got into, so my earnest prayer at that time was for aunty J to find a good man.
I didn’t tell Aunty J that that was the miracle I was believing God for on her behalf, I just told her to come and be part of our harvest that Sunday. What usually happened is that during the thanksgiving, we would all dance towards the altar, drop our gifts of money or whatever we wanted to give to God, be prayed for by the pastor and we would dance back to our seats. Like I said, harvest is mostly dancing and singing and thanking God.
Now, I told you aunty J is a big woman, she is quite ample with many fleshy folds around and about her and she is a great dancer, with her ample behind and everything.
Time came for dancing and we filed out from the rows of seats to begin a slow dance or crazy dance, depending on how the spirit moves you towards the altar…we were dancing, Aunty J was directly in front of me; she was wriggling her behind, using it to push me back when I attempted to dance forward. She was enjoying herself and soon everybody’s eyes were focused on her because of her dance…we weaved slowly towards the altar…it was fun that day in church.
Finally, we all assembled at the altar with plenty of people still on the aisle, plenty more trying to get as close to the altar as they could, it was a packed service…my aunty was still positioned in front of me. The pastor who had also been dancing at the altar called for silence, so he could pray…the music stopped, the drummers, stopped…so we could hear the pastor.
As the pastor began to pray, I saw my aunty wriggle…ok, like I said, it was a white garment church and people going into trance is common. So when my aunty began to wriggle, I opened my eyes and thought, maybe she had been seized by the spirit and was about to go into a trance. I mean that day we sang and praised God, a few people went into trances and delivered God’s responses to our thanksgiving offerings but at this time, it was just the pastor talking and …Aunty J wriggled again…huh? I was like, no o, this is not a trance o, this is…
Before I could form it in my mind, I saw my aunty suddenly fling her blouse off! As in she flipped it over her head, removing her gele and in a second she was just in her bra and her wrapper! She stood there dazed, looking wildy about and attempting to remove her bra to everyone’s stupefaction!
“Aunty J, what is the matter?”
By this time, the people around her had scattered despite the fact that we were packed tight in front! Everybody scattered because we knew that this was no trance!
Aunty shook again, attempting to remover her bra, she lifted one breast, still in her bra… and aunty like I said is richly endowed… she lifted one breast and from under it, fell a wall gecko!
It wasn’t funny then but apparently a wall gecko had crept into aunty J’s clothes, settled in between her many folds, I am guessing and crawled out when she was still, you know?
We saw the stupid thing crawl lazily away after aunty scattered the church. As it fell from under her bra…even I that was standing close was falling over other people to run!
My aunty was so embarrassed. I and my friends later escorted her out of the church!
It was quite embarrassing for aunty J; she didn’t find it funny at all!
We couldn’t go back to finish the service; afterwards, and then I began to hear all kinds of nonsense about my aunty J…that my aunty was a witch, that the wall gecko was a symbol of her witchcraft, you know…people can be nasty! The story went about like she was responsible for the wall gecko being in her clothes. But this isn’t rocket science, the woman is a big woman, she spread her clothes where wall geckos crawl, she wore the clothes and the gecko hid in her folds, what more explanations do people need?
Well, people would tell you that is why she didn’t get married and I say they are stupid people and I will not apologise for that language!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)