Jimmy ceased being a fan of White Roman Collars many years ago. Religious fanaticism and proliferation of churches by those White Collars are his reasons. It pisses him off, that even when everyone in the country claims to be God-sent; the country still seems like the same hell written about in their scriptures. So, when he sees that white collar hanging on your neck as you walk into the banking hall, he knows you must be one of them—our Sunday Miracle Workers and Monday Banking Customers.
One. Two. Three. Four…you watch his lips move as one reciting some nursery rhythms. His fingers flipping through the rough Naira notes which both unholy and holy worshipers fold tightly into the offering box.
Father Levi, Our Lady of the Rosary—for those were the details written boldly on the deposit slip. Jimmy looks up. You notice the strangeness written all over his face.“Any problem?” you ask. “No,” Jimmy says, “just that the name sounds familiar.” “Yes, the media,” you say, smiling. “Yes, yes, yes,” he replies, screaming.
Jimmy never knew he would come across you one day. He followed virtually all the commentaries about you, and the headlines you made that threw the former state leader out of seat. “Did he really flog you?” Jimmy asks you. “I mean, did he strip off your pants and whip your buttocks with strokes of the cane?” You look at Jimmy and you smile without an answer—the same smile you give newsmen whenever the question is thrown at you; even as the former leader cries out.
Arriving home, the first call you get is from Jimmy. You can’t remember giving him your number. He tells you that he copied that from the deposit slip you filled at bank.
“But that is against the banking policy,” you say. He agrees. You tell him that you must report him to his bosses. He reminds you that he is not afraid of being sacked; that infact, he has been thinking of quitting his current job which does not give him time to keep himself warm with his newly wife. You laugh, although you were not supposed to. He clears his throat and tells you why he has called.
“Father Levi,” he says. “Why not come out boldly and tell us the true story? Why not tell the world that the former leader did not touch you? That he did not strip off your pants and flog you on your bumbum...”
When Jimmy finished speaking, you remind him that this is the month of May; that you have rosary to say by 4pm, benediction to catch up by 5pm, and confessions to hear by 6pm.