Fiction,  Zoe's Cafe

Sontin To Hol’ Body || by Joy Chime

Credit: Dami Adebayo from

I entered the room and saw Dozie dressed to go out.

‘Guy, where you dey go’?

Dozie smiled at me. ‘I sharp abi? No lie o’. He walked to the door and back to the mirror. The man was fine and he knew it.

‘You sharp tru tru. No b lie. But where you dey go na’?

He checked his cufflinks – for the hundredth time, I imagined – before turning to me. ‘I wan’ reach church’.

I smirked. ‘Wetin you loss wey you con say na today you wan fin’ am’?

‘I nor blame you na. Shey nor b becos you see me as you comot for bathroom? Mtcheewww’! He turned to the mirror again, this time to inspect his hair and beards.

I refused to be deterred. Dozie was not a church boy. ‘Nna, apu dat tin. Talk d tin wey dey carry you go church dis today so’.

‘I dey go church. Pesin invite me. Fine geh lai dis’.
I forgot about dressing up for a moment. ‘I talk am! Idiot! You even dey blush! Fool’!

He blushed even harder, much as he tried not to. ‘Guy limme abeg. No wear cloth make you dey go church. I dey go church today. I go use dat wan sef giv God small sontin take hol’ body till the next time wey we go see again’.

My eyes rolled from left to up, to the curtain to the tiled floor, looking for understanding. When I didn’t find it, I looked at Dozie. ‘Wetin you wan giv God make Him take hol’ body’?

‘Offering na. Wetin again?

I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. I decided he wasn’t. ‘Tor, as you giv God, Him sef go giv you sontin take hol’ your body, soul and spirit. And you know say God hand big pass your own’.

He finally, finally left the mirror. ‘Make Him giv me, I go collect o. I don dey go. Carry your key o, make you nor con dey call me upandan if you fess me come back’.

‘I don hear. You fit buy food when you dey come o’. He didn’t reply. I was very sure he heard me.

Two point five hours later.

I returned before Dozie. Surprise surprise. My stomach played the intro to a long, loud song of complaint, harmonised by the dryness of my throat. Ugh! I knew I should have bought food on my way back. What will someone cook now? I scanned the kitchen. Rice, spaghetti, sweet and Irish potatoes, fresh pepper and tomatoes. Make I drink water fess, abeg, before I quench. I opened the fridge. Aha! Ogbono soup! Na eba get am abeg. Quick and powerful. I grabbed the container and one pure water.

While I was filling the kettle from the tap, I heard the front door open and close. I called out, ‘Dozie, you go chop eba’? I mean, who else could it be? Spongebob?

I didn’t get any response, so after putting the kettle on fire, I went to the parlour. Dozie was sprawled on the couch like a huge, deflated balloon. ‘Guy, wetin apun? Dem force you sweep church after the service wey you spread lai dis? Abi d fine geh get boyfriend’?

He didn’t say anything, just sat there with eyes closed.


Without opening his eyes, he spoke, the usual rapid speed of his speech reduced by what seemed like exhaustion. ‘After the offering and choir ministration, the pastor came up and asked the keyboardist to play. While the keyboardist played, the pastor asked everyone to be quiet, that God had things to say to some people. Toochi, I haven’t heard God in a long time, but when I heard Him, I knew He was the one. He said, “Dozie, are you angry at Me”?

Oh wow.

‘What do you say when God asks you something like that? How do you respond? I was struggling to even breathe properly after He asked. It was like… like all my pores were expelling my air faster than I could breathe in’.

He stopped and stared straight ahead. I asked, ‘What did you say to Him’?

His answer was a whisper. ‘I said yes. Yes, I was angry at Him and He knew exactly why’.

I sighed. Then I left the wall on which I had been leaning, sat beside him on the couch, looked for his hand and held it.

‘He said yes, He knew I was angry at Him and yes, He knew why. He had asked because He wanted me to admit it to myself.

‘Then He hugged me. Toochi, God hugged me’. His voice broke. His grip on my hand tightened. He didn’t speak for a while. ‘His arm went round my waist, His other hand held the back of my head. He didn’t say anything, but it felt like – he dragged in a mucus-filled breath – it felt like many waters were flooding me gently where I stood, without moving me. I couldn’t hold on to the anger, Toochi. And the pain. The regret. God said He could handle it so I wrapped it all in tears and threw it at Him.

‘I’m not sure how long the flooding lasted, but I could barely stand when He was done. My knees. My body. My heart. It was too much’.

Silence stretched between us, slipped in and out of the gaps in our breathing. I rubbed the back of his hand with my thumb before asking, ‘Are you still mad at Him’?

His smile was a small one, mostly on one side of his mouth. ‘No. Not anymore. He told the pastor to explain a few things to me during the short sermon. Let’s just say I kinda understand better now’.
He glanced at me then. ‘You know, on my way home, I wondered if you had a hand in it. But I-‘
‘What! Me? How’!?

He laughed and let go of my hand. ‘Calm down. I just remembered you said God would give me something to hold my spirit, soul and body, and that God has a bigger hand’.

‘Aaaahhhh! And you said if He gave you, you would collect’! I shook with laughter.

‘Yeah. Sense of humour much’?

‘Much o. But – I cleared my throat – I’m really glad to hear this. Does this mean the church now has a new member’? I struggled but didn’t entirely succeed in keeping the smile from my voice.

‘Hey, slow down, bro. I’m back on talking terms with God, yes, but I’m still not sure about church’, Dozie replied as he removed his shoes and socks.
I got off the couch and headed for the kitchen. ‘Okay, fine, but are you sure about eba so I can make your mouth’?

‘Mtcheeww. Nor make my mouth na. Then when you chop the eba finish, I go con chop you’.


Joy is a mesmerising-eyed beauty who loves colourful things, laughs more than she smiles, reads more than she writes, and likes to eat more than she likes to cook. As a spoken word artiste, she is a wonder better experienced than explained, and as a professional editor and proofreader, she makes your work sparkle. She has performed on the Inside Out show on Rave TV, and is Managing Editor at IG & Twitter: @nothingbutjoyc || YouTube: Joy Nwamaka Chime



I breathe in music, and exhale words tastefully woven for your soul's pleasure. When high on sarcasm, I could smash your ribs into fine pieces. But whether on a stage, singing out my heart, on in Solitude, scribbling out mysteries, my greatest aim is to bless humanity with the essence of my being.


  • EMOREDO Hope

    Hmm, u needed to see how I was reading this please am.waiting for the continuation so touching how God relates with us like we are mates he is the best person av ever meant thanks for sharing.

  • Obinna P. Anyaibe

    Our stories (Dozie’s and mine) are very similar, although in my case, I THINK I heard God call out to me, but I can’t be sure since I’ve forgotten what he sounds like. I’m still mad at Him for tons of reasons, but I’m willing to give our relationship another try — if he’s willing.
    I’m still not sure about church, though; I doubt if I’ll ever be sef. Right now, the last thing on my mind is religion.
    What I want to focus on is reestablishing my relationship with God (if he’s open to it). It might sound ironic but everytime I go to church, my faith dies a bit. Maybe it’s because of the kind of churches that surround me shaa… I don’t know.
    But whatever. I truly hope I experience what Dozie experienced sometime soon. I’m tired of hating God. That thing can suck energy ehn.

    • Temi Enemigin

      Obinna, I don’t know what happened between you and God, but I understand you’re upset with him. I want you to know he’s not shy of or uninterested in the relationship you once shared. God is willing. My prayer is that you’ll see, through all the confusions and hurts, that he’s concerned. I pray for an encounter beyond Dozie’s that’d awaken the intimacy you once shared. In Jesus name. Amen.

  • Pere Amamy

    This is sweeter than shawarma.
    Thanks Temi.


    Dear friend, I hope you are doing great?

    Okay, Pause, take a deep breath…
    Now read on.

    “God is not in a building called church, but He lives in a people called the church.” You will find Him in those ones who truly love Him. Some of them are around you.

    Mr. Obinna, from your comment, I know that you believe that God exists and that He is the Creator of us all. I don’t know what might have happened between you and Him, but, remember these,

    ~But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matt.10:30). They have never ceased growing, You were not the one that planted them on your head.

    ~The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I HAVE LOVED THEE WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jer.31:3). Know that the heart of Father God has been and will ever be panting after you.

    Finally, the question is not about, ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’

    But, it is ‘why on earth do good things still happen to we humans that betrayed Father God from the garden, and yet His arms are still wide open, saying TAKE A LITTLE STEP CLOSER?’

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