Psalm 51

Ann Wanjiku

© Copyright 2018 by Ann Wanjiku

Scene in Nigerian night club.

Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy, wipe away my sins! Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin!

I was unable to continue to the next line being aware that I’m faulty and yet dirty. My relationship with God isn’t that steady still.


Duuf! Duuf! Duuf!

The music was so loud and deafening of which upon at each and every beat I had the best move for it. Ask me! All the songs played at the tavern, I was fond of the lyrical too. Two or three lines won’t pass by before I mumble something.

Hey!’ I heard a masculine voice behind me. He did tap me.

Helo to you!’ I respond.

My name is Jack Dennis. Would you love to be my dance partner?’ He shouted though I’d still hear him quite clearly if he hadn’t too for he was so nigh to my ear.

Jack! That name sounded totally familiar but I was deeply swayed by the music at the moment so I ignored the latter.

Yeah, why not?’ I deemed myself lucky to have a male dancing partner for the night, of which was the first for a long time.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s true. You see, most of us who crowded at the tavern- I’d rather call it a pandemonium, it was a real hell- and yeah we’d akin absurd immoral acts.

He put his arms around my tiny waist. Relentless sweat seeped around my waist and wouldn’t leave. He did notice that. His facial expression could tell he was displeased but as usual as most of them ,he assumed. He smiled. I smiled back. We danced until our limbs couldn’t hold it anymore. The wee hours. Most of the fellas within the pandemonium had upgraded to a different type of dance and no one seemed surprised by that. It was normal here. Those in unclad, others making irritating piercing voices and more of a kind didn’t seem amazed by that. Expect for this lad. I looked at him. He was shocked. Never had he been to such places or maybe just maybe was his first time to see those of the same gender cuddle. I’m just saying.

Would you love too?’

The tone of the query was terrible. His voice shook. He did try to accumulate all his manly effort and pose the query.

I straightened my right arm to him. The palm did quite speak for itself. It was ready to receive the dollars.

What’s up?’

That did catch him by surprise I bet. Wait, this white guy wasn’t expecting the negress to just do some kind of charity. I earn from this though not always, in fact this would be my first encounter to be associated with a masculine after spending nearly a month with the selfsame.

Fifty dollars!’

What !!!? But…but…I…I…’

You thought it’s for free,’ I cut him short, ‘What did you expect of a tavern during wee hours?’

Yeah he was naive. I pitied him. Everything going on in here got him entangled, swayed and most probably attracted to want to try out.

Forty five dollars then.’


Forty two. End of negotiations.’


I recognize my faults; I’m always conscious of my sins. I have sinned against you- only against you- and done what you consider evil. So you are right in judging me; you’re justified in condemning me. I have been evil from the time I was born; from the day of my birth I have been sinful.

I close the Bible and put off the lamp. With the optimism of getting sleep, I shut my eyes. The bed feels cold.


It’s six in the morning. I woke up only to find him dead asleep. I quickly and quietly dress up. He’s snoring- deep slumber of course. I collect his pants from the floor head for the back pockets. I take his wallet. I pay myself and still rob him of more. In the process, I come in contact with his ID.

Jack Dennis Wells. Youth Minister at Church of Alb. No wonder…so this Jack is the son of the famous Pastor Wells.

I’m sorry Jack.’ I whisper and head to the door. I’m out of the inn.

Is Sandra back?...oh pardon my manners, good morning pretty!’ It’s Jeff, Sandra's cousin. We collide at the stairs.

Sandra is my girlfriend. She’s miles away at another State on an on-job- training. We’ve been together for quite sometime but of recent hadn’t heard from her, she seldom picked my calls and when she did the outcome would leave me missing her extremely.

Morning Jeff. She’s hasn’t. If you won’t mind please excuse me!’

I hurriedly walk past him and find my way to the exit.


Sincerity and truth are what you require, fill my mind with your wisdom. Remove my sin and I’ll be clean; wash me and I’ll be whiter than snow. Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; and though you’ve crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again. Close your eyes to my sins and wipe out all my evil.

I still can’t get sleep. I put the lamp back on. I continue with the scripture.

I feel like a mammoth load of burden is being cast out of me.


I arrive at my estate. Mum is not yet back from her trip.

I make myself comfy at the couch. Deep in thoughts I fall asleep.

Ting tong! Ting tong!

The door bell cuts short my sleep.

Good morning. This must be Liza's. Please sign here.’ The delivery guy just dropped a parcel for my mother.

I take the parcel in and shut the door.

This' weird. Who’d have sent such a parcel to my mother! I try to find the sticker with the sender’s info but to my dismay I found none.


Create a pure heart in me O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me. Do not banish me from your presence; do not take away the Holy Spirit away from me. Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach sinners your commands, and they will turn back to you.

My phone rings. It’s a text message.

Hey. Hope all is well. Just checking up on you. You never came for the fellowship today. Good night and Pray. Jack.’ It read.

Thanks. Sorry didn’t notify that wouldn’t make it today. Tomorrow won’t miss. Do pray too. Good night.’ I respond.

Spare my life, O God, and save me, and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness. Help me to speak, Lord, and I will praise you.

I leave the Bible wide open and push it near the edge of the bed and put the lamp off. I yawn. My eyes are heavy. I say the Lord’s prayer and dive in the duvet.


I open the parcel.

A Bible, a novel and a manuscript.

Awkward!’ I astonishingly mutter.

I decide to read the novel. I love reading though not often.

WHEN PIGS FLY' The very bold title of the novel did broadcast for itself. Somehow sounds bizarre and with lots of suspense. I skip the preface and the introductory- I find them boring.

Molested at two by my father not once, not twice but many a times. I’d lost all hope and indulged in absurd immoral acts. This is my story…’ I halt reading. I see a reflection of my life in the first paragraph.

No way the author isn’t speaking to me right!’ I whisper.

My phone rings. I pick it. It’s mum and she’ll be in the estate within a few hours. The house is messy and disorganized and I’m pretty sure she’ll not stand what meets the eye. I decide to do clean up. I start with the parlor, fetch the moppet and a bucket half full of water with detergent. Oops! I slip and fall while doing the cleaning.

My back…my back hurts!’ I cry out lying helplessly on the floor. I lift my face and the statue of Jesus on the cross, placed at the corner of the house, meets my eye. My mother is religious but contrary to me. However, on this fateful day I’d be one. The pain in my back was really something. I pray for healing. Ten seconds and I’m done. Alas! Miracles are real and so is Jesus. The pain is gone. With zero gratitude, I hastily continue with my chores.


Good morning beautiful.’ It’s my mum. She’s opening my room’s window curtains. The sunlight cruelly dives in scorching. It’s quite early for the singe.

Morning mum.’

Hey prepare yourself or we’ll be late for the morning devotion.’ She leaves my room.

Huh! It’s on a Sunday. How could have I possibly forgotten and Jack would be here in no second! I tap my forehead with my right palm.

I sprint out of bed, kneel beside on the tattered mat and make a supplication to the heavens. On completing my daily number one task I make my bed and head to the shower.

I groom in a decent long skater dress, pack my clutch and head to the parlor. Jack is already here.

You look amazing!’ He compliments.

Gracious Jack.’

We take our seats at the diner and are pleased to have mum’s tasty breakfast. Yams, Herring’s soup and a glass of milk- my favorite of course and more when it’s Miss Liza who’s prepared. We’re done.

Ready?’ Inquires mum.

We leave for Church. Meters away we could hear Pastor Wells already leading the congregation into the spiritual realm with hymns.

On entering my mum heads for the choir block. I and Jack seat adjacent to each other at the back row. Subsequently, the service led to another program. The Bible reading session of which I am the one assigned to read the sermon of the day. I stand up and head for the altar. The microphone is handed on to me. I open the Holy Book and opt to read few concluding verses of Psalm 51.

You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you’re not pleased with burnt offerings. My sacrifice is a humble spirit. O God; you will not reject a humble and a repentant heart. O God, be kind to Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices and with our burnt offerings; and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.


I could hear the gate open. It’s my mother. She’s back. I go out to meet her. She seems tired and I am too, from how things had unfold from the past night to minutes ago. I feel dizzy. My life, a secret.

Ann is 18 years old and lives in Nigeria.

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