Virgins of the Basilica




The voices chorused from the church courtyard, thin, tall, fat, short, bearded, clean shaven, polka dots, stripes, the “Virgins” called their bridegrooms to ravage them till the kiss of the aurora. It was 9pm, the heels were ferocious and legs firm bearing magnanimous torsos crowned with clown like countenances. Puckered lips exaggerated make up, Nike sponsored eyebrows and wigs; platinum blonde, blue, black, golden; balancing precariously on scalps. They looked like resting flags after a violent wind.

Cars sped by one after the other! No one pulled over outside the Basilica to experience the self confessed human embodiment of Love, Joy, Peace and Kindness. This quartet was always out to please. But tonight wasn’t going as planned. Normally from 9pm the sleek tinted European cars would have got their share of Love and Kindness with the latter group choosing some Joy and Peace later in the night after a stressful day.

“Where is Freddy tonight?” Love yelled out. The other girls looked at her; Peace had a smirk on her face.

“What Peace? You want a piece of me? Huh? Stop looking at me like that?”

Peace shook her head and stepped a few inches to the left, her dress was longer than normal for some reason today. Love took a go at her on it!

“What you hiding anyway today? It’s not like the church mice haven’t seen it already?”

Joy and Kindness smelled trouble brewing and walked to the furthest end of the street; right at the end of the turf. They learnt the lesson the last time, when Love disturbed Peace no referee or episode of Jerry Springer would contain that showdown. They both had scarring from previous fights.

“Just leave me alone Love, just let me be, please, I am not interested in picking a fight with you.”

“Too late, you did that when you looked at me!” Love barked back.

Peace’s countenance was downcast, she was so tired. Bright headlights shone, they all moved toward it. Peace was closest after a few steps just as she peeped through the window. She yelled, “Run! Run! Run!”

The man in the passenger’s seat grabbed her arm. The other girls had skillfully kicked off their heels in mid flight caught them in hand and were off to the “finish line” for safety. Peace was grabbed by her wrist which was aptly twisted and then griped like a vice. She couldn’t break loose. The man whipped out a gun opening his car door and he directed her to enter the back seat.

“G…” Peace’s head was smacked on to the car door and her head wacked with the magazine of the gun she began to bleed, she crawled into the backseat. The man crawled in right behind her with a gun. As he looked out for witnesses, Peace quickly exited from the other passenger door, heels in hand and ran for her life. The car sped off. Peace ran for another 10 minus looking back periodically to see that she wasn’t being chased. She got to the nearest clinic, to get checked.

She was lucky it was Dr. Chebet. Peace had gone to University with her. She dropped out of her Chemistry major because her parents found out she was pregnant. It was Chebet who kept checking in on her from time to time. Chebet had at one point housed Peace.

“It’s been 10 years Peace…get out! We’ve had this conversation and this drama over again. Don’t tell me, George showed up again tonight right? What did he want this time? No don’t tell me! You didn’t get time to find out right?”
“Please take me home with you tonight…I just can’t live this lie anymore Chebs. I can’t. I want it all to end and I want it to end today. Now that you are the one calling me out on what I should change; when are you going to tell Tony?”

“I am not going to tell him?”

“And how exactly do you expect me to deal with George then?”

“Get off the streets! You owe him nothing anymore. Your debt is paid. You didn’t have a child together. It’s over. You are even now…almost, he got what he wanted, you gave him what he needed and you are alive, ruined, but alive. That counts for something right?”

“You gave his baby away Chebs? You lied you miscarried. At least I actually miscarried and discovered the man I loved was a pimp and I had to whore to make it up to him. Now that I say it out loud I don’t get why I do this crap…Ouch! Be careful with that!”

Chebs finished suturing Peace’s scalp. She dressed the wound and the two of them sat there. Silent. Gazing in to the abyss of their lives, they needed each other to get out of the lies they had built for a decade.


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